Saturday, May 31, 2008

Book Contest



Book Description :
At her friend Ivy's behest, Emily reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the sprawling English country estate of Lord Fortescue, a man she finds as odious as he is powerful. But if Emily is expecting Lord Fortescue to be the greatest of her problems, she is wrong. Her host has also invited Kristiana von Lange, an Austrian countess who was once linked romantically with Emily's fiancé, the debonair Colin Hargreaves. What Emily believes will be a tedious evening turns deadly when Fortescue is found murdered, and his protégé, Robert Brandon—Ivy's husband—is arrested for the crime.



Determined to right this terrible wrong and clear Robert's name, Emily begins to dig for answers, a quest that will lead her from London's glittering ballrooms to Vienna's sordid backstreets. Not until she engages a notorious anarchist in a game of wits does the shocking truth begin to emerge: the price of exonerating Robert can be paid only by placing Colin in deadly peril. To save her fiancé, Emily must do the unthinkable: bargain with her nemesis, the Countess von Lange.




If you like how this book sounds than head on over to http://abookbloggersdiary.blogspot.com/ for your chance to win and all the details. Hurry as contest ends June 15th

Friday, May 30, 2008

Wind Follower


Although it is not entirely to her liking, grief-stricken Satha, a dark-skinned woman from a poor Theseni clan weds young Loic, the wealthy Doreni son of the king's First Captain. Loic, graced with ability to see into the hearts and minds of others, begins to help Satha overcome her sorrows. Despite coming from different tribes, they begin to forge a life together. But when Satha's own compassion is used against her and a treacherous enemy contrives to dishonor her in Loic's absence, Loic's love turns to anger and disgust. Embittered, Loic must still avenge his honor and Satha's and he sets out on a journey that brings despair as well as spiritual discovery. Battling him are the Arkhai, the spirits of the land who know his quest will lead him toward the God whom they have usurped. After his departure, Satha is kidnapped, sold into slavery and learns, first hand, how cruel the pioneering Angleni tribe can be. Both face great hardship, danger and anguish apart, but with the Creator's aid there remains hope they will be reunited and heal the love the world has torn as under.



I have to admit I have been wanting to check out this book for a while, so when I won it from J. Kaye's book blog I was excited. So when I read this book I was a little disappointed and still a little confused about what really took place suring the story. Now it could have been partially due to the fact that I was reading it at work so when I got a break or lunch ai would read it and could only get into about 15 to 30 minutes at a time to dedicate to this book. Now don't get me wrong as this could be a good book and maybe when I get the chance I will try reading it again but I actually finished this book about a week ago and just now got around to reviewing it as my third and final book for the Heard It Through the Grapevine Challenge as I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to write the review.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Quiver


Kate McCall's husband dies in an hunting accident. Kate's son, Luke accidentally shots his father with an arrow. As Kate is trying to cope with the loss of her husband and the guilt her son carries, an old friend walks back into her life. Jack is an ex-con. He has a lot of people after him right now, because they think he has lost the heist money. The events that take place will make Kate and her son, Luke's relationship stronger than it has even been in this skillfully plotted strongline of a book called Quiver.




I thought Quiver was a good first book for Mr. Peter Leonard. It moved very quickly and easily. The ending was a surprise to me. I enjoyed this fact, when the unexpected happens in a book. It shows that author's writing style to be so amazing that Mr. Leonard can take the reader all the way through a story without the reader knowing or figuring out what is going to happen next. It makes me want to read more novels by this author. If Quiver is any indication of what's to come from Peter Leonard than readers are in for a treat. So make sure to check out Quiver to see what people are talking about and make sure to add Mr. Leonard to your list of favorite authors. You won't be sorry you did.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hot to Trot


Patti North and Dylan Decker used to be married to each other. Dylan cheated on her. Patti’s hot temper can usually be seen in public whenever Dylan is around. Dylan broke her heart once. She is not about to let him do it again. Regrettably Patti needs money to support her house and her horse. Patti ends up applying at DD Technology not knowing the company was co-founded by her ex Dylan. Dylan is the ultimate ladies man with black hair, green eyes and his love for naughty women. It’s been five years since the divorce but Patti can’t stop lusting after Dylan. He vows to not let Patti get away with her temper in public with him again without paying for the consequences. All Patti can think about is having sex with her ex. Dylan requests a second chance with her. Will the second time around be even better or will this relationship end up in flames before it gets started?




Hot to Trot started out with a big bang. The chemistry between Patti and Dylan was incredible. Patti and Dylan’s lust for each other showed that sometimes second chances are the best. Patti was a very independent woman but at the same time she loved when Dylan took control. I say ‘go girl’ to Patti. This story shows that women can be both strong and have a sexy man take control every once in a while without losing her freedom. Of course it didn’t hurt that Dylan was hot. Barrie Abalard’s latest novel Hot to Trot is first-rate. You can bet I will be checking out more books by Barrie Abalard. I enjoyed Hot to Trot and you will too. So go pick up a copy today.




Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Creme Brulee Upset


Mike Tucker has not seen Patrice Wilson ever since she left four years ago for Paris. So it was an enormous surprise when she shows up for his celebration in making partner. Patrice Wilson is now living in Chicago and top chef at Victor’s. She can’t wait to see the look on Mike’s face at the celebration. Mike ends up acting like a jerk at the party. He tells Patrice he doesn’t want her anymore in addition to unintentionally dumping a whole crème brulee cake all over Patrice. Mike’s roommates Randy and Alex could not believe how Mike acted at the surprise celebration that they helped arrange with Patrice. Now Mike will do anything to get Patrice back, his one true love. Patrice may be ready to pardon Mike but her friends won’t let her forgive and forget so soon. Friends like David Welsh, her best friend from high school who is now known as Doctor Delicious the ice cream guru or Bubba Scott, the Bears All Pro defensive end.





I have read quite a few books now from The Wild Rose Press. They just continue getting better and better. Laurel Bradley’s latest Crème Brulee Upset is no exception. I enjoyed reading it a great deal. It was hard to select who I liked more, the main characters Mike and Patrice, or their friends. Both of the mothers were equally humorous in their approach with the intention of trying to make them a couple. Doctor Delicious had tremendous advice to share with everybody over a bowl of one of his creations. For anyone who believes in second chances then this is the book for you.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Vineyard Mambo

Anna and Tony brought a farmhouse with tons of acreage that included a vineyard. Nonno, Tony’s grandfather, lives in a cottage on the neighboring property. Diane has been Anna’s best friend for about five years. Diane calls to tell Anna that Marge and Sam Pilchards were found at their home attacked. The police suspect foul play. Sam is in the hospital listed in critical condition. Marge is dead. Anna can’t believe this happened. Murders just don’t happen in Milton Falls. Jack and Kate, another couple in the neighborhood are acting like something is not right with them but what could it be?



Every year Milton Falls holds their annual Zucchini Festival. So when it seems like this year’s festivals might be postponed, Anna decides to play detective. She wishes everything would go back to normal.




Vineyard Mambo is a must read. Talk about a fun book. The first thing I noticed was the title of each chapter, for example Hot Waffle Kisses or how about Grilled Pizza and Cold Leads. Nonno has a secret romance going on with someone in town. The ending was a happy as well as a good one. As I was reading I could just about picture myself living in Milton Falls. Sarita Leone is such a wonderful prolific writer. I can’t wait to read more books by this author.




Sunday, May 25, 2008

Book Contest

Since I know we all love winning free books. I found this contest at http://www.bookshipper.blogspot.com/





FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY CONTEST
I have just finished reading and reviewing this ARC and want to PAY IT FORWARD....

So head on over to http://www.bookshipper.blogspot.com/ for details but hurry as this contest ends Friday, May 30th

The Latest Sunday Salon


I present to you all another interview for my Sunday Salon. Hope you enjoy it.

Just to get you started. Here's a little bit of information about Mr. Lynskey.










Author Bio.




I've published three novels in the P.I. Frank Johnson series (THE DIRT-BROWN DERBY, THE BLUE CHEER, and PELHAM FELL HERE) as well as a short fiction collection (OUT OF TOWN A FEW DAYS). THE BLUE CHEER generated positive reviews in prominent print media like PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, BOOKLIST (a starred review), SANDIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, ARIZONA DAILY STAR/TUCSON CITIZEN, THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT, as well as in major such Canadian newspapers as LONDON FREE PRESS and HALIFAX CHRONICLE-HERALD.

My creative work has received critical acclaim from such print media venues as ELLERY QUEEN MYSTERY MAGAZINE, BOOKLIST (starred review), PUBLISHERS WEEKLY,LIBRARY JOURNAL, CHOICE, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, ARIZONA DAILYSTAR/TUCSON CITIZEN, HALIFAX CHRONICLE-HERALD (CANADA), LONDONFREE PRESS (CANADA), LANSING STATE JOURNAL, THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT,NASHVILLE CITY PAPER, ROANOKE (VA) TIMES, SPARTANBURG (SC)HERALD-JOURNAL and SOUTHERN PINES (NC) PILOT. A syndicated online review by Lance Wright of THE BLUE CHEER appeared in 8 major newspapers, including CLEVELAND PLAIN-DEALER, NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE, BIRMINGHAM (AL) NEWS, NEW JERSEY STAR-LEDGER, SYRACUSE POST-STANDARD, ANN ARBOR NEWS,HARRISBURG (PA) PATRIOT-TIMES, and THE REPUBLICAN (MA).

A syndicated book column by Terri Schlichenmeyer for Father’s Day gift reads recommended THE BLUE CHEER in 12 newspapers,including OUR WEEKLY (LA), QUEENS TRIBUNE (NYC), YANKTON (SD)PRESS & DAKOTAN, DAILY (SC) JOURNAL MESSENGER, ALBANY (OR)DEMOCRAT-HERALD, CORVALLIS (OR) GAZETTE-TIMES, CAPITAL CITY (AK)WEEKLY, THE TIMES OF ARCADIANA (LA) , AIRDIE ECHO (CAN), THEVAIL (CO) TRAIL, MAMMOTH (CA) TIMES, and THE BROWARD (FL) TIMES.

My editor is Edgar-nominee and Theakston Award-winner Al Guthrie. My work has been translated into French and Finnish. I've sold book reviews to the NEW YORK TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, CLEVEL AND PLAIN DEALER, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, BALTIMORE SUN, DES MOINES REGISTER,WASHINGTON TIMES, KANSAS CITY STAR, COLUMBUS DISPATCH, and I've contributed to NEWSDAY.

I'm a regular paid contributor to PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, MYSTERY SCENE, and PASTE MAGAZINE. I also have a strong "in-print" track record of my short fictionin 250+ online/print journals, including ALFRED HITCHCOCKMYSTERY MAGAZINE and THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. Reprints of my work are in anthologies from St. Martin's Press, The University ofVirginia Press, and Storyline Press. I've made multiple prosales (12) to the Dorchester Media/TRUE magazines. My work ratedan Honorable Mention in THE YEAR'S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR 2007(Ellen Datlow, editor).AUTHOR PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS:MWA Full membership since 2005 Past member, NBCC and PWA



My third P.I. Frank Johnson title, PELHAM FELL HERE, will be released next month.























I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions.




Where do you draw your inspirations from? Who are your inspirations?

My five books (3 novels and 2 short story collections) are all detective fiction. The idea of writing about somebody (a privateinvestigator or P.I.) who helps other people out of their troubles appeals to me. So, my inspiration stems from past masters of P.I. fiction writing such as Ross Macdonald (P.I. LewArcher), John D. MacDonald (P.I. Travis McGee) and Walter Mosley(P.I. Easy Rawlings).

Describe your books in one sentence.
My current novels in print are hardboiled detective fiction madedistinct by their modern voice, characters, and setting.Which comes first for you … the character or the plot? Character, I’d say. I can’t work from an outline, so my plot has to unfurl as I plod along in my first draft. My theory is once the character is set down, the things that he or she does (the plot) will follow.
If you were not a writer what would you be?

A national park ranger always seemed like a cool job to me.

Whose books do you like to read?

Some contemporary P.I. fiction writers I admire include Stephen Greenleaf, Walter Mosley, Dorothy Uhnak, James Lee Burke, Bill Pronzini, and James Crumley.

If you could be one of your characters -- who would you be? And why?
I suppose my personality somewhat resembles my P.I. Frank Johnson protagonist. But Frank has all the tenacity and shrewdness I sorely lack. That sounds funny since he’s my creation. Maybe I pick up a vicarious thrill from writing about his adventures.


How do you juggle writing all the different books and series you have?
I have to finish one project (such as a P.I. series title) before I can begin a new one, such as the work I did on my science fiction title, THE QUETZAL MOTEL. Early morning while the house is still semi-dark and quiet is the best time for me to wake up and work on my first drafts.



In your opinion, what constitutes a good mystery?

Good question. My views on mystery fiction, I’ve noticed, have been shifting. I’m less interested and concerned with the whodunits. I like to use a broader canvas and delve into the characters -- good and bad -- populating a crime fiction who interact with each other. A mystery may or may not exist in the storyline. I guess this is the difference between crime fiction and mystery. Knowing how a novel ends doesn’t detract from its reading pleasure for me. I’m more attracted to the journey(including the narrative twists) and less so to the destination. I like a good mystery to use a intelligent and credible plot. Setting is a big deal as is the voice.


Do you use an outline when plotting?

I keep a running outline of what I’ve already written so I can where I’ve been. That helps me to take the storyline in its next logical direction.


Which book was hardest to write? Which was the easiest?

My work-in-progress (working title: SKIN IN THE GAME) has been the toughest to write for me. SKIN uses multiple view points (four) that often overlap and intersect. Keeping all that straight without the seams showing has given me a real challenge.



The easiest book for me to write was my first P.I.title, THE DIRT-BROWN DERBY, mainly because I didn’t know much about writing novels and I just largely winged it.



What other authors have you been compared to and how did you like this compliment?


Critics in published reviews have compared my novels to Loren Estleman, James Lee Burke, Daniel Woodrell, Walter Mosley,William Caunitz, Dennis Lehane, Bill Pronzini, and Robert Crais.


I guess it’s flattering for a critic to compare you to a renown novelist, but it leaves me uneasy and wary. I mean Mosley and James Lee Burke? That’s a lot to live up to and I don’t want to take that on at all. But it’s nice and I don’t turn away such comments. I’m thankful a reader liked my books enough to say anything at all.

If you could save three books from burning, which three would they be?

Holy Bible, Huck Finn, and I, the Jury.


What do you love most about the book you’ve just written/released?

I’m excited about SKIN IN THE GAME (my work-in-progress) because it’s a post-Sopranos Mafia noir set in Washington, D.C. where the mob never had much of a presence. That fact has allowed me to play with the idea of just how a Mob family could successfully operate in the F.B.I.’s very backyard.

What do you want your readers to take from your books?

Just the joy of taking the ride when they read my novels.




Thank you for having me contribute to the discussions on your book blog and share my thoughts with your readers.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Not in the Flesh









Searching for truffles in a wood, a man and his dog unearth something far less savory—a human hand. The body, as Chief Inspector Wexford is later informed, has lain buried for 10 years or so, cause of death undetermined.




The only clue is a crack in one of the corpse’s ribs.Now Wexford has his work cut out for him. Eighty-five people have disappeared in this part of England over the past decade. He and his team will need to interrogate everyone who lives nearby to see if they can turn up a match for the dead man.




Then, in the cellar of a disused cottage nearby, a second body is found. As Wexford painstakingly reveals long-buried secrets, Ruth Rendell proves once again why she has been hailed as our greatest living mystery writer.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Are you Scared to Live?

A harmless middle-aged recluse, shot to death in her Peak District home. A young mother and two children, their lives snuffed out in a raging house fire. Two murders—one inexplicable, the other unspeakable. As detectives Diane Fry and Ben Cooper investigate, a horrific possibility begins to take shape: What if the two cases are connected?

For answers, they must travel far beyond Derbyshire, to the other side of Europe and back.Cooper and Fry are about to step into dangerous and unfamiliar territory, where the criminals they seek wield their influence from far away. Death can be everywhere, even lurking among the crowds in the tourist village of Matlock Bath. Soon they might discover one of the reasons people can be scared to live.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Book Contests


Ok. So over at http://bookroomreviews.wordpress.com/ . For May's Pay it forward. You get chances to win either Ms. Perfect by Jane Porter or Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer. Head on over to read the details on how to enter to win.


As a young California girl growing up in a blue collar neighborhood, Taylor Young dreamed of being popular, beautiful, and acquiring a wardrobe to die for. Not to mention marrying a handsome, successful man and living happily ever after in a gorgeous house with three wonderful children. Now, at 36, Taylor has reached the pinnacle of her dreams, but is it all about to unravel? As the new school year approaches, Taylor prepares herself for playing the perfect alpha mom: organizing class activities, fund-raising, and chairing the school auction. But the horror! Her archrival, bohemian mom Marta Zinsser, is named Head Room Mom of Taylor's daughter's fifth grade class. As tensions rise at committee meetings and school activities, the two rivals seem to be destined for a final confrontation. But as Taylor plans her next move, she is floored by a more serious blow at home-her husband has been secretly unemployed for the past six months. With her posh lifestyle crumbling, Taylor struggles to maintain her alpha image-but could Marta, who cares little about appearances, be her only true friend?



Sounds like a book you would be interested in reading? Good cause you have a chance to win a copy of this book over at http://abookbloggersdiary.blogspot.com/2008/05/jane-porter-review-and-giveaway.html but contest ends June 1

“This intense, marvelously plotted, paced, and characterized story will immediately garner comparisons to Lord of the Flies, or even the long-playing world shifts of Stephen King, with just a dash of X-Men for good measure. A potent mix of action and thoughtfulness—centered around good and evil, courage and cowardice—renders this a tour-de-force that will leave readers dazed, disturbed, and utterly breathless. Grant’s novel is presumably the first in a series, and while many will want to scream when they find out the end is not the end, they’ll be glad there’s more in store.”—Booklist (starred review)

Intrigued? I have two Advanced Reader’s Editions of Michael Grant’s Gone to give away to two lucky readers. Than head on over to http://booksandmovies.today.com/2008/05/20/gone-giveaway/ but hurry as this contest will end 12:00 am Pacific Standard Time, Monday, May 26th.

The Fourth Watcher







Travel writer Poke Rafferty is ready to let go of his Looking for Trouble series of travel books and the dangerous lifestyle that goes with it, and settle down in Bangkok with his fiancée, Rose, and his newly adopted daughter, Miaow. But trouble isn't ready to let go of Poke. Enter the one person Poke least wants to see in the entire world—a person whose emotional hold on Poke is absolute. With him come a box of rubies, a wad of fraudulent identity papers, and—in pursuit of those things—one of the most dangerous gangsters in China.



Add to that Rose's innocent involvement in a North Korean counterfeiting operation and an off-the-tracks agent of the American Secret Service who's dying to put Poke behind bars, and Poke and his family find themselves in a complicated and potentially deadly situation. Getting them all out alive will take every skill Poke has.



Once again, Hallinan has created a complex, emotionally satisfying thriller with edge-of-your-seat suspense and a cast of characters so real you'll feel you know them. Sharp as a razor and full of heart-pounding surprises, The Fourth Watcher firmly establishes Hallinan as a brilliant new voice in the world of suspense.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dead Silver






Their first appearance in Lone Creek helped garner McMahon the most extraordinary reviews of his career. None other than mystery guru Otto Penzler said: "It is the poignant and knowing prose that elevates this novel to literature. What separates this book from other outstanding crime novels is the moral might of the hero—and he is a hero, just as Philip Marlowe, Lew Archer, Spenser, Harry Bosch, and C. W. Sugrue are. Davoren believes in friendship, his word, honor, and the earth—the bleak but beautiful mountainous west."



Dead Silver begins with a distraught call to Hugh Davoren from the daughter of a famous professor when she finds a wooden box containing disturbing photos and an earring that belonged to her stepmother, murdered after protesting the opening of a silver mine.



With his trademark descriptions of the well-to-do and the down-and-out, McMahon brings in a cast of colorful characters who support and oppose Hugh and his friend Madbird—plenty of people who may have had a hand in the murder cases that these photos have reopened. And Hugh's judgment could be clouded by his feelings for the professor's vulnerable but feisty daughter, who is trying to draw the killer out on her own.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Blue Smoke and Murder




Jill Breck was just doing her job as a river guide when she saved the life of Lane Faroe, son of two of St. Kilda Consulting's premier operators. But when a string of ominous events—including a mysterious fire that kills her great-aunt and a furor in the Western art world raised by a dozen Breck family paintings—culminates in a threat to her life, Jill reluctantly calls in a favor.



Zach Balfour works part-time as a consultant for St. Kilda. His expertise is gathering and analyzing information from unlikely and often dangerous sources. Though he's got the skills to be a highly effective bodyguard, being a bullet catcher isn't his preferred way to spend time.
Protecting Jill will take him into familiar territory—among a strange, savagely competitive bunch of collectors who'll do anything to stay at the top. But Jill is in deeper waters than she's ever known; as she soon discovers, the perils of running wild rivers are tame compared with the hidden dangers in the high-stakes game of art collecting.



From the cozy rooms of the Breck homestead cabin to the cold multimillion-dollar galleries of the Western art circuit, Zach and Jill must race against time to unmask a ruthless killer hidden in a blue smoke of money, threats, lies, and death. . . .

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sacrifice





I got the chance to review this book before it comes out. You can pre -order it May 27, 2008. Let me tell you if you enjoy thrillers mixed with some old fashion horror than you need to do yourself a favor and order Sacrifice by S. J. Bolton.



Tora Hamilton and her husband, Duncan are living at Shetland Islands, located in Scotland. Tora is an outsider but Duncan is coming back home to Shetland Islands. Life is good, till Tora goes to bury her horse and instead finds a mutilated woman's body in her own backyard. From this point on things start getting interesting for Tora. The woman has weird foreign symbols carved into her back. As Tora investigates more ino this mystery woman and why she was buried in Tora's backyard. Tora stumbles upon a secret that the people of Shetland Islands have been keeping hidden for centuries. A secret so horrible that you couldn't imagine it even in your wildest of dreams. If it was to be uncovered Shetland Islands would never be the same again.



What an amazing, wonderful first novel for S. J. Bolton. Sacrifice brought all the winning moves with suspense, intrigue, and spine-tingling thrills and chills. Tora was such a strong character who also had a good personality. By incorporating these two elements into a character like Tora it made reading Sacrifice very enjoyable and before I knew it I was done with the book. Also really loved the concept of the story as well as picking a location like Scotland which helped bring he chills. I read that S.J. Bolton will be releasing another book. So glad to hear this as S.J. Bolton has quite a splendid story telling quality about her and I know if her next novel is half as good as Sacrifice it is going to be a winner. Sacrifice has got to be one of the best books I have read so far in 2008.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

An Spicy Time with Shiela Stewart

Here's a treat for The Sunday Salon. A interview with Sheila Stewart.






I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions.



Thank you Cheryl for doing this interview.





What’s your idea of a relaxing day?
Hmmm, relax, what’s that? I rarely ever just relax. This really made me think. LOL
I guess I would chose lounging on the sofa and watching movies with my hubby, ordering some take out and not lifting a finger to do any of the dozens of things I do on a regular basis.

Can you tell me what it’s like living in Canada?

Since it’s the only place I’ve ever lived I’m not sure how to answer this. I love being a Canadian and wouldn’t change it for the world.

Where do you draw your inspirations from? Who are your inspirations?

Other authors and books inspire me. I love to read, love to watch movies and always feel creative after watching a really good movie.


What is the best advice you’ve ever received? And what is the worst?

Best advice I ever received would be from my husband. If it wasn’t for him, I might not be talking with you today. He’s the one that encouraged me to get my work published. He’s been my rock for over twenty years now. He’s always full of ideas and advice and his never ending support is staggering.

As for worst advice, I don’t think I’ve ever been given really bad advice.


How do you juggle writing all the different books and series you have?

I don’t consider it juggling because it comes so naturally to me. I’m lucky to be able to devote 100% of my time to writing. I don’t have a day job and all my children are teenagers so that really leaves me open to be able to work any time I want. Ideas just flow from me and when I struggle to get something down, I know it’s not the right time for that story or I need to rework it. I love so many different styles of literature and I love to experiment with my work.


Does reader’s feedback help you with your writing? Is feedback something that is very important to you?

Oh most definitely. Feedback is great! The good and the bad. If I didn’t ever receive feedback I don’t think my books would be as good as they are. It’s always nice to hear the good and the bad. It helps me learn, shows me where I’m going wrong or if I’m doing something right.


Please share what your latest series Passion is about.

The Passion series are three books focusing on three couples living in the town of Passion. The first two, Discovery and Escape take place within months of each other. Mercy takes place twenty some years later and involves the children of the Heroes and Heroines in books one and Two.






Here are the blurbs for all three.



Discovery in Passion


Nothing is ordinary in the small town of Passion, especially the love. Wanting to start fresh, Cassie Evans relocates to the small town of Passion where she moves into the home of her dreams, complete with dreamy next door neighbor, artist, and handyman Thomas Healy. The only problem is, the house she bought just might be haunted.


Thomas Healy lives a life of solitude and that suits him just fine. Then Cassie Evans moves in next door and begins to turn his peaceful live upside down. He tries to ignore her, but ignoring a woman as beautiful as Cassie isn’t so easy, especially when she shows up at your door, naked, begging for you to paint her. Thomas’ first mistake was to agree to it, his second was to take Cassie to bed, now she’s all he can think about.


When their blossoming love is overshadowed by a ghostly haunting, the curious Cassie launches an investigation into the life and death of her home’s previous owner, uncovering a mystery and attracting the attention of a killer. Where will Cassie’s discovery lead her, to the love of her life or to death itself? Welcome to the town of Passion.












Escape in Passion

Victor Davis is a man trying to escape the tragedy of his past. Several months ago, a bullet that was meant for him killed his girlfriend by mistake. Now struggling to move on, Victor’s taken over as the chief of police of Passion. Vic knows everyone in Passion, so naturally he can’t help but notice when beautiful stranger Julia Wilson moves into the small town.


Mysterious and alluring, Julia came to Passion with one thing on her mind, avenging the death of her sister. Desperate to find the truth, and keeping her true identity a secret, Julia enters into an affair with the one man she thinks might be able to give her answers—Victor Davis.


Lust and love run rampant when Victor and Julia enter into a torrid romance. But Julia’s deception turns dangerous and secrets from Victor’s past soon threaten their fragile relationship. Murder, kidnapping, and an escape that you’ll never forget. Welcome to the town of Passion.





Mercy in Passion

Wild, rebellious, and perpetually in trouble, Justin Davis was labeled the town troublemaker and an embarrassment to his father, the chief of police in the small town of Passion. When Justin was framed for a crime he didn’t commit, he impulsively left the town he’d called home, vowing never to return.


For six years Beth Healy pined after Justin, the boy next door who she’d come to think of as her friend, and had wanted for a lover. Now an officer of the law, Beth is shocked when her pursuit of a speeding car leads her to the one man she’s been longing to find—Justin Davis—and after all these years, he’s finally come home.


Despite the sizzling attraction, Beth’s feelings of hurt and betrayal linger and acceptance and forgiveness don’t come easy. Justin soon discovers that begging for mercy and allowing Beth time to grow to love him again might be the only way to win her back. Then an enemy of Justin’s begins to threaten his life, forcing Beth to make a choice. Will she be able to put the past behind her and trust in the man that Justin is now? Welcome to the town of Passion.

What do you love most about the book you’ve just written/released?

I love the Passion series because it was my first step into erotic Romance. My first two releases, Kidnapped and Secrets of the Dead were mild compared to the Passion series and the new series I’m writing, Darkness series, is just as erotic.

I love being able to get into the nitty gritty of romance—so to speak. It’s rather liberating to let myself go and write some incredibly steamy books.


If you could save three books from burning, which three would they be?

Now that is a tough one. Wow! Only three, huh? Hmmm….I would have to say my children’s photo albums. The stories written in them in the pictures that line the pages are worth more than anything else I’ve ever created.


What other projects do you have coming out?

Right now I am working on a vampire series which when finished will total five books with a possibility for more. The Darkness series is a tale of vampires and humans banding together to break the spell that’s been cast over Jacobs Cove encasing the city in Darkness. The first book, Seducing the Darkness will be released in July.

Here is a little teaser of Seducing the Darkness. To see the covers and blurbs, you can go to: http://www.shielasbooks.ca/TheDarknessSeries.htm






An outcast by her kind, Trinity Ford has learned how to live on her own. And it isn't easy doing so, considering she is a Vampire.

Once a fragile girl, taken by a powerful vampire prince, Trinity had relied on Basil for support. But finding him in the arms of another woman was more than she could take. On her own, she has decided to protect her city from the predators of her kind that prey on the innocent. Another tough thing to do when you're heart is broken. She's had to learn fast, how to be tough, how to survive, how to stay alive. And she's doing a pretty damn good job of it. Until Basil walks back into her life.

Basil Hawthorn has been the reigning prince of vampires since banishing his father to the Realm of Darkness decades earlier. When his father comes to him in a dream, threatening Trinity’s life, he knows the only way to save her is to push her away. Doing so is not easy, especially when she is the only woman he will ever love.

Rumors in the underworld talk of raising the vampire King and blotting out the sun. Basil knows that if his father rises, he will be put to death for his betrayal. Trinity knows that if the King returns, no human would ever be safe again. Despite the betrayal and the threat, neither can stay away from the other. But can the two work together to stop the Ritual before the King is resurrected?

Or will the darkness capture them both?




I enjoyed conducting this interview with you. Thank you.


Thank you, Cheryl for this wonderful interview.


Readers can find me at: http://www.shielasbooks.ca/ or email me at: http://us.f431.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=Shielas@shaw.ca to join my Newsletter.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fighting for Our Freedom

I want to start off by saying that Never On These Shores is one of those books that maes you glad you read it wondering why you didn't read it sooner. So on that note, here is my review. Enjoy.




The year is 1942.


The Japanese have invaded Canada and taken over almost all of the West Coast. The Nazis traveled through Mexico and have occupied Texas. Also, the Italians were able to wage a battle from the seas in Cuba to obtain control from Florida to Atlanta.


Our troops are stuck in the European countries. The only people left that can help defend the United States are women, young men, and anyone else who were not able to join the military. As if having our enemies in control was not bad enough. The KKK are supporting this take over and trying to rid the United States of all the Blacks, Jews, Asians, etc. Will we once again be able to taste victory or will be have to accept defeat?


I hope all these questions and more get answered in Mr. Pastore's other books he has coming out titled Never on These Shores Volume 2: War in the Heartland (Feb 08) and Never on These Shores Volume 3: Doomsday (July 4, 08). This novel was my first by Mr. Pastore and I thought it was very well written. He did an outstanding job with Never on These Shores. From the first page Never on These Shores was packing on the heat full speed ahead and didn't let up till the end. If after reading this book you don't feel proud to be an American than something must be wrong with you (sorry to say). Never onThese Shores had my nose glued in the book reading as I couldn't put it done in order to see what happened. If you are looking for a novel that will bring you intrigue, suspense, adventure and having you cheer for the good guys than you really have to check out Never on These Shores by Stephen R. Pastore. Hopefully after reading Never on These Shores you will find yourself like I am doing wanting to check out Mr. Pastore's other two books to find out what happens next.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Enlightening Time with Lloyd Lofthouse

I recently picked up this book not knowing what to expect from it. After reading My Splendid Concubine, I have to say it was outstanding. The writing style of Mr. Lofthouse took me to another place that most people never get to experience. I hope after reading this interview you will consider checking out My Splendid Concubine for yourself.





I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions.

You’re welcome.






Explain what a day in the life of an author is like?

Each author is different. My wife is also an author. My wife’s day is different from mine and no two days are the same for either of us. My father-in-law is also a published author (but only in China). When he is visiting us in the States, he works endless hours in his room on his Chinese publications. He has published hundreds of articles on astronomy in magazines and newspapers all over China and is a noted expert there on the subject. He even has a star that he discovered named after him. He works all hours without let up. He only stops to eat and sleep. He even watches television while he is working on one of his astronomy pop-up books.


On the other hand, my wife and I start each day with exercise. Then she usually does a bit of gardening and eventually settles down to write for a few hours and ends the day with more gardening. Since Anchee works to a contractual deadline, her work day grows as the deadline nears.


My work day starts out more relaxed. When I was still a classroom teacher, I wrote weekends and sometimes at three in the morning. Now I wrote whenever I’m free or feel like it.

Since Concubine came out in December I haven’t been doing much writing. I’’ve spent more time promoting the novel than working on the sequel, Elegy for a Concubine. If it weren’t for the small writing group that I belong to, I wouldn’t be writing at all. All of my free time would be going toward promotion. However, since I’m getting chapters from the other writers, I feel compelled to take advantage of the valuable feedback I receive from them. It helps to belong to a group of dedicated writers that support each other.


How long does it take from start to finish to complete a book?

I started My Splendid Concubine in 1999 and finished the first version by 2001 when I first attempted to market it. No luck, so I returned to the drawing board and went much deeper into Chinese culture and history. I finished the current published version a few months ago after extensive revisions and rewrites for six years. During that six years, there were several research trips to China and a lot of study of China’s history (an ongoing process that may never end). The final revision of Concubine changed the novel from first person into third.


Describe your books in one sentence.

I’'m tempted to pull a Faulkner here. He wrote one sentence in the Sun Also Rises that ran for sixty pages. Since Robert Hart is not like the main character of Faulkner’s novel, I will resist that temptation.

Here goes: “Due to one devout Christian’s bitter sweet love affair with a Chinese boat girl, he learns to understand her culture and people in ways that few from the West will ever attain (even today) for him it was a journey to hell and back.”


Whose books do you like to read?

I’’ve read thousands of books in my life. When I was in high school, I managed to read two a day--mostly science fiction and fantasy. The one author that stays with me from my high school years is Ursula K. LeGuin.

Later, I read many westerns like Louis L’Amour’s work.

This answer could be endless, so I will stick to my favorites. I love James Lee Burke’s work and hope he lives a long time. I’ve read Michael Chabon and have most of his books waiting (I’m about three years behind in my reading. I buy books faster than I read them). John Dunning is another author I admire. I’ve read Lord of the Rings three times--the first time in Vietnam. I also read Rice’s Interview with a Vampire over there. My favorite Vietnam memoir is Chickenhawk by Robert Mason. If you want to taste war without going, I recommend that book. I don’t recommend war. I’ve been there. Another author worth reading is Patrick O’Brian. I have all of his Aubrey/Maturin Novels.

When I was earning my MFA, I focused on twentieth century American writers. I admire Hemingway and Fitzgerald. I wrote a paper on both of them.

Currently I’m focusing on the writers that belong to another writers group I recently joined, the IAG, Independent Authors Guild. Right now I’m reading The Confederate War Bonnet by Jack Shakely. When I finish his historical, I will write a reader’s review and post it on Amazon and on my own Website at http://www.mysplendidconcubine.com/. I have a page there for new writers. War Bonnet is about a chapter in the American Civil War I was unaware of, and I’ve read dozens of books about the Civil War and never heard this story. It’s excellent. I’m only half way through Shakely’s novel and it has already earned five stars from me.


Do you follow any rules when writing your books?

Discipline to stick with it even if that means getting up at three in the morning to write. Never give up. If you give up, it wasn’t meant to be.




I recently finished reading My Splendid Concubine and enjoyed it very much. I have to admit that I did not know much about Sir Robert Hart. Can you explain what you were feeling when you wrote My Splendid Concubine.


Concubine started out as a love story and it grew wings and become a novel of discovery--one man’s journey to discover and fall in love with a culture alien to his own while retaining his own religion and beliefs. I don’t know how he did it but he did. That’s what makes him a unique individual--a man worth knowing about.


At the beginning of the book in the foreword by Anchee Min it was mentioned that it took you 9 years to complete this book and that it was a labor of love. I could definitely tell that from reading My Splendid Concubine. So do you feel like you have accomplished what you wanted with this novel?

Yes. The feedback I’m getting from bookstore owners, readers and reviews is telling me I achieved my goal.


I read that you have a second home in Shanghai, China. I know from reading My Splendid Concubine that I got to read what it was like living in China for Sir Robert Hart but what is it like living there for you and your family?

China is an amazing country and culture that most people in the West do not understand. The stereotype of China that is alive and “sick” in the West today is one that has carried over from Mao’s twenty-seven years as the brutal Modern Emperor of China. Today’s China is not Mao’s China.

Today, China is a thriving, capitalistic market economy that is driving a country ruled by the largest political party in the world (seventy million members)--a party that has term limits and an age limit for the elected officials (something we don‘t even have in America and we should have it).

I suggest that everyone in the West that does not know the China I know erase the stereotype lodged in their brains and start to read. Read My Splendid Concubine to discover what Robert Hart discovered; read China: Portrait of a People by Thomas Antoni Carter (there’s a link on my Website for this book--a true masterpiece); read the May/June issue of Good magazine but do not believe what the Dalai Lama’s prime minster in exile says in the interview with him; read this month’s National Geographic special on China; read this issue of Poets&Writers magazine--they have a piece on the literary scene in China. After you have done your homework by finishing this list, travel to China and stop in Shanghai first.

Go to People’s Square and walk from there to the Bund down the pedestrian mall. Visit the stores and mingle with the people. The next step would be to spend a few weeks visiting the rest of China with a focus on the minority groups. The way China treats its minorities is a model the rest of the world could follow. Forget about all of this free Tibet trash and Western propaganda that twists the reality about Tibet. Most of it is wrong. Afterwards, you will return home a changed person. Sure, the government in China can be harsh but that will change with time. We in the West must be patient.


What has been your best experience so far though this whole process?


My continuing education about China. I’m sure if I hadn’t met and married Anchee, I would still see China as most Americans and Westerners see that country through eyes clouded by the past. It is sad that so many people are being kept in the dark by a misguided mass media. I’m glad there are magazines like Poets&Writers, Good magazine, and National Geographic.


What is on your bookshelf?

More than a hundred books begging to be read. If I could do without sleep, I might be able to catch up. I’m sure you don’t want me to list them here. I’m already long winded enough.


What new projects are you working on?

The sequel to My Splendid Concubine, Elegy for a Concubine. Better a Dead Hero.

This novel is about my experience in Vietnam as a field radio operator in the United States Marines.

The Redemption of Don Juan Casanova. This novel uses my knowledge and experience of the night club scene in America. I was a maitre d’ for a few years in a multi-million dollar nightclub. I draw on that life experience in writing this novel. I also use my years as a self-educated card counter in Las Vegas. I inherited my dad’s love for gambling and like him I control it. He once picked eight winners in a row at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California, but he only gambled small amounts so he never won that much. After he died, my mother lived off of his winnings for more than a year.







Again I want to thank you for your time. I will remember this book for a long time.


Thank you for interviewing me and reading My Splendid Concubine.


For anyone who is looking for an amazing and wonferful book to read than check out My Splendid Concubine at http://www.mysplendidconcubine.com/. Also feel free to contact Mr. Lofthouse at lflwriter@sbcglobal.net. He was so nice and a wealth of knowledge.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Come Along to the Movies


Admit One: A Journey into Film is Emmett James's story about his childhood and his love of movies. What I really loved about this book was Mr. James's un-censored take on movies, growing up into adult hood, his feels towards a certain actor and life in general. Admit One: A Journey into Film had me laughing at the good times and there were plenty. Like the time when Emmett just knew he was destined to be the next greatest superhero sidekick, or the time he tried to cop a feel with Joanne Hardy, also the time when Emmett was explaining that you can always count on the fact that at all movie set buffets you can find red licorice, and my favorite was his feelings towards a famous trained monkey (actor). Ok, I will give you a clue who it is....yeah right you will just have to read the book for yourself to find out.

Admit One: A Journey into Film is one of those rare books that just make you feel good inside. I found myself having a hard time putting this book down. Everytime I would start, it was not long before I had it back in my hands and before you knew it I was finished reading it. Thank you Mr. James for not being bashful in writing this novel Admit One: A Journey into Film. I now have a new book to recommend to all my friends. For anyone who has a love for any type of movies needs to read Admit One: A Journey into Film. It will make you remember all the good times about your childhood and wish you were young again! Pop yourself a bag of popcorn and settle in to read Emmett James's Admit One: A Journey into Film.


I want to thank Lisa Roe http://onlinepublicist.net/ for letting me read this book.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Lady in Blue




Description


In Los Angeles, Jennifer Narody has been having a series of disturbing dreams involving eerie images of a lady dressed in blue. What she doesn't know is that this same spirit appeared to leaders of the Jumano Native American tribe in New Mexico 362 years earlier, and was linked to a Spanish nun capable of powers of "bilocation," or the ability to be in two places simultaneously. Meanwhile, young journalist Carlos Albert is driven by a blinding snowstorm to the little Spanish town of Ágreda, where he stumbles upon a nearly forgotten seventeenth-century convent founded by this same legendary woman. Intrigued by her rumored powers, he delves into finding out more. These threads, linked by an apparent suicide, eventually lead Carlos to Cardinal Baldi, to an American spy, and ultimately to Los Angeles, where Jennifer Narody unwittingly holds the key to the mystery that the Catholic Church, the U.S. Defense Department, and the journalist are each determined to decipher -- the Lady in Blue.



Find out more: Read an excerpt



Product Details Washington Square Press, June 2008
Trade Paperback,
368 pages
ISBN-10: 1-4165-3226-9
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-3226-2

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Assassin



Description



Alex Hawke is back. In this explosive,jaw-tightening follow-up to Ted Bell's ""rich, spellbinding, and absorbing"" (Clive Cussler) debut national bestseller, Hawke, fearless intelligence operative Lord Alexander Hawke matches wits with a cunning and bloodthirsty psychopath in a desperate race to avert an American Armageddon.


In an elegant palazzo on the Grand Canal, an American ambassador's tryst turns deadly. In the seamy underbelly of London, a pub-crawling killer is on the loose. And in a storybook chapel nestled in the Cotswolds, a marriage made in heaven turns to hell on earth. Isolated incidents? Or links in a chain of events hurtling towards catastrophe? So begins Assassin, the tour de force thriller that heralds the return of every terrorist's worst nightmare, Alex Hawke.


A shadowy figure known as the Dog is believed to be the ruthless terrorist who is systematically and savagely assassinating American diplomats and their families around the globe. As the deadly toll mounts inexorably, Hawke, along with former NYPD cop and Navy SEAL Stokely Jones, is called upon by the U.S. government to launch a search for the assassin behind the murders.


Hawke, who ""makes James Bond look like a ""slovenly, dull-witted clockpuncher"" (Kirkus Reviews), is soon following a trail that leads back to London in the go-go nineties, when Arab oil money fueled lavish, and sometimes fiendish, lifestyles. Other murky clues point to the Florida Keys, where a vicious killer hides behind the gates of a fabled museum. And to a remote Indonesian island where a madman tinkers with strains of a deadly virus and slyly bides his time.


Hawke must call upon resources deep within himself. He must enter a race against time to stop a cataclysmic attack on America's most populous cities and avengethe inexplicable and horrific crime that has left him devastated.


Brimming with relentless action and stylish detail, and featuring a hero that readers will

Product Details Pocket Star, May 2008
Mass Market Paperback,
608 pages
ISBN-10: 1-4165-8712-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-8712-5

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Wonderful Time with Celia Jade

I am very excited to be presenting a wonderferful new author to me.....Celia Jade. I got the chance to read her latest book Her Warrior Lord and I have to say it was a winner.



Thanks so much for allowing me to conduct this interview.


Thank you for requesting this interview, Cheryl.








What’s something about you that we’d be surprised to learn?

I’m not sure there is anything surprising about me…except that I used to be very conservative and shy during my teenage years and early twenties. I don’t know what happened after that, lol.


How do you tackle writer’s block?

It sometimes happens when there’s a deadline to meet or a request for a story within a specific genre and theme. I’ll have the story line ready but there will be one scene I just can’t get into…especially if it’s a sensual scene and I’m not ‘in the mood’, lol. So I walk away from it for a few hours or a couple of days and avoid thinking about it. Also, I’ve found reading material of a totally different nature helps. Luckily though, when the muse is in full swing, I tend to write prolifically.


If you could be one of your characters – Who would you be? And why?

I would love to be Kyla Ayslin, the Heroine in Her Warrior Lord because she’s a spirited young woman with an unusual talent that embodies both physical and mental strength.


What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

The fact that I can lose myself in my private world for a certain period of time, doing what I most enjoy.


If you could try any other profession in the world. What would it be and why?

Well, besides being a writer, I work as a freelance proofreader but I’ve considered being a zoo keeper, a landscape artist, a real estate agent, a flower shop owner, bookstore owner, antiques store owner to name some. I guess, since I prefer working for myself, I’d like to try owning an antiques shop because antiques are timeless.


Your latest book Her Warrior Lord has a medieval theme. What inspired you to write it?

I have always been fascinated by medieval times…the romanticism of that different world, its simplicity, architecture and even its ugliness—and of course, sword fighting.


The love scene between Lord Egan and Kyla is pretty steamy. What do you do to prepare yourself to write a hot love scene? Do you have a ritual, special music, candles, etc?

Good question. Actually, one of the most challenging things for me is the love scene. That’s because there are several things to consider…the fact that the scene has to relate to the characters’ personality and their experience—it has nothing to do with me. And every love scene has to be different to move the story along and keep the reader interested. I have a healthy list of words/phrases I use for describing love scenes and I always re-read every scene to make sure there is no repetition. I sometimes listen to romantic opera before writing…Pavarotti and Domingo are my favorites. I find it almost impossible to write an intimate scene if the mood isn’t right.


I enjoyed the twist you added with the people of Asgard having special abilities. Which brings me to ask if you could have a special ability what would it be and why?

I think that would be the ability to make the most delicious desserts, because I love cakes and pies. Then I’d be a pastry chef in Hollywood, lol.


What are you working on next?

There’s a lot going on now. I’m writing a short story for the Fantasy Games category for eXtasy books. I’ve sent a sexy paranormal MS to be reviewed and I’m excited about my first story in print that is part of an anthology. The book is titled Emerald Envisage and should be out this year. The story I wrote is a paranormal with a ‘green’ theme. I really enjoyed writing Phantom Persuasion because it has elements of things I love: Justin is a chef who lives in a lovely Irish suburban town. Brigit loves plants and gardening. The dilemma here is that Justin suffers from a medieval curse and cannot experience physical pleasure except in women’s dreams. To break the curse, he has to find someone who has similar interests and believes his existence. He finds a way into Brigit’s life and her dreams. Although their lovemaking is nothing less than passionate, she has doubts that such a man can truly exist…










Thank you again for answering some questions. It was fun and I really enjoyed reading Her Warrior Lord.



My pleasure!





To check out all Celia Jade's books and to keep current on upcoming releases go to http://celiajade.wordpress.com/

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Theft of the Master




I got the chance to read this book from Lisa Roe http://onlinepublicist.net/ who has a site dedicated to online bloggers. How cool is that. Check her site out for books you want to read and she will send them to you. The only thing you have to do is review it, like I did. So on that note here is my review.









Karl Heinz Fiedler is part of a secretive organization called The New Templars. The group is a privately funded organization dedicated to the preservation of the German cultural heritage. Karl goes to see a man named Herr Brandt, who at one point held a senior position in the SS Administration. The only problem is that there never was a Herr Brandt in the SS Administration. So the question is.... Who is Herr Brandt?

Well he must be someone important as Brandt passes on to Fiedler an inventory list that consists of photographs of valuable artifacts and a will that ensures that Brandt's whole collection goes to The New Templars. In the pile of stuff handed to Karl Fiedler is a typescript dated March 1944 and titled My Life by SS Gruppenfuhrer Richard J. Gluecks. Wrriten in the typescript is Mr. Gruppenfuhrer's account of how he helped dispose of Oswald Pohl's collection of artifacts.

When Al Hershey, private investigator was hired by Geoff Hughes to dig into the death of Megan Gilchrist his niece, he did not know what he was signing up for. As Hershey investigates the death of Megan he finds that she did not drown but was instead murdered. Megan was a sweet girl who did not hurt anyone so who and why was she murdered? These are the questions that Al Hershey has to answer. He will do so by travelling through three continents.


Theft of the Master was based on chronicled accounts of Hitler's orders to take and transport valuable pieces of art work to Germany. Theft of the Master takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride of intrigue, adventure and secrecy. I thought Theft of the Master was like Indiana Jones meets James Bond..... Explosive! From the moment you pick up this book you will find yourself not wanting to put this book down till the end. I really enjoyed the little tid bits of information that author, Edwin Alexander gave throughout the book. He would insert interesting information at the bottom of the pages when it applied. This was a great addition as this helped bring you into the plot line more. It made Theft of the Master like a history lesson but the kind you actually want to attend. This is my first Edwin Alexander novel but you can be sure that it won't be my last! So do yourself a favor and pick up a copy today.










Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Sit Down with..... Charles Atkins M.D.

For any one who enjoys a good thriller than you need to check out this book. It is called..The Prodigy by Charles Atkins.


James Martin IV was a former child prodigy and talented cellist. He is a resident of an institution for the criminally insane. James was convicted of stalking a female musician and murdering her. Now from the power of money he is released. James is requesting that Dr. Barrett Conyers treat him as her patient. James is not the typical patient Dr. Conyers would take on but there is just something about James that draws her to him. James may be considered a sociopath but there is more than meets the eye with this cellist. James is gearing up for his final duet with... Dr Barrett Conyers.


The Prodigy is one of those books that once you start it you can't stop reading it till the end. I enjoyed the twists The Prodigy brought. It has suspense, drama and intrigue. James had a very unique personality about him. He may be a sociopath but he is nothing like you have ever meet before. If you are ready to dive into the depths of a thriller that will leave you begging for more than check out The Prodigy by Charles Atkins. You will not regret it other than maybe asking yourself why didn't I know about this book sooner. Well don't worry as you still have time to read The Prodigy before Charles Atkins next book Ashes, Ashes comes out. I know I can't wait to see what else Charles Atkins comes up with in Ashes, Ashes.







I want to thank you for taking the time to answer some questions.



Explain what a day in the life of an author is like? How long does it take from start to finish completing a book?

I write first thing in the morning—every morning. One of the most-important habits for a writer is to write. I believe that most that are serious do it daily and typically at the same time of day.
A typical novel, from outline to completion, is about a year. This includes several drafts of a dense outline and a number of drafts of the completed manuscript.


How much research do you do and how do you do it?

For novels I tend to stick with what I know. I’m a psychiatrist so writing psychological thrillers is a good fit. When I hit material I don’t know, I go to the experts—cops, lawyers, mothers—whatever it is I need to make the book completely believable.


Has your profession as a psychiatrist helped you in writing your books?

Absolutely, I’m committed to helping my readers get an in-depth and accurate look inside the worlds of people with serious mental illness—both my heroes and villains. There’s nothing I hate more than finishing a novel or true-crime book and not having a clear sense of why people behave as they do—especially when they’re doing bad things.

How many books do you usually write a year?

Typically I write two books a year. Although, this year, I’ll have three published, two novels—both with my new heroine, forensic psychiatrist Barrett Conyors, MD—and I’ll also have a book on Alzheimer’s Disease come out in the fall—THE ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE ANSWER BOOK (Sourcebooks, Inc.). I’m currently at work on the outline of Barrett’s third book.










Which book was hardest to write? Which was the easiest?

Writing is not difficult. The hardest part is doing the outline of a new thriller. It’s like the infrastructure of a building that no one will ever see, but without it the building would collapse. The actual book writing goes quite fast. The Prodigy went through many outline drafts before it finally got to its final version. In fact, I initially wrote my heroine as black.


Do you follow any rules when writing your books?

No.

In The Prodigy James Martin IV is a sociopath. What a found interesting it seems like he didn’t really know that he was a sociopath in addition to the fact that he was not the one in control. Is this a common trait of sociopaths?

Jimmy is quite special, and is not like most sociopaths, although many will lie and say they didn’t know what they were doing at the time they…took an ax and murdered in cold blood.

Jimmy is a badly damaged adult who was horribly and sadistically tortured by his father when he was a child. As an adult he has Dissociative Identity Disorder a.k.a. multiple personality disorder. The child Jimmy who still survives in the adult body is not a sociopath. His father, who has become a split-off personality inside of Jimmy, is quite sociopathic.




Do you draw from real life experiences?

Yes, but all of my characters are fictional. But I do use my own experience quite a lot; it’s no coincidence that Jimmy Martin plays cello and has a Siamese cat. The pieces he plays in the novel are ones in my own repertoire.




What other author have you been compared to and how did you like this compliment?

People make lots of comparisons, everyone from Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Cornwall and even Stephen King. At the end of the day, it’s flattering to be considered in the same company as such well-established best-sellers.


What is on your bookshelf?

Currently I just finished 8 of the 10 Dresden File books by Jim Butcher and am waiting for the other two to arrive. I’ve also been indiscriminately reading various series—romance, detective to sci-fi--to get a handle on what makes a hero or heroine someone you want to follow through several books.


What do you love most about the book you’ve just written/released?

I love the lush gothic quality of The Prodigy. It’s a very twisted love story that incorporates many of my favorite things—New York City, beautiful music, forensic psychiatry, and an insider’s look at the world of great wealth and how it can twist and distort those who have it.
I read that your latest book Ashes Ashes will be released in the U.K (June 2008) and the U.S (September 2008) It has Dr Barrett from The Prodigy returning and it also includes another sociopath.


Can you share any more details about this book?

Ashes Ashes—Barrett’s second outing—is a doomsday thriller, where the fate of the world hangs in the balance. In it secrets left over from the first book are handled—such as who is the father of Barrett’s unborn baby?

Ashes Ashes is not for the faint of heart, it’s the most intense thing I’ve written from a pure action standpoint. The action starts on page one and doesn’t let up.


It was so much fun doing this interview with you. I can’t wait to check out Ashes Ashes.

Excellent! And thanks for the ink in your blog.


Best:
Charlie
Charles Atkins, MD

Friday, May 9, 2008

Come Get Infected

Ok, Here it is my review for the challenge.


First off let me start by commenting on this book cover. Is this not the Coolest cover you have seen in a long time! I have been hearing great things about Infected and I have to tell you it lived up to it's expectations and more. If you are looking for a book that you can lose yourself in than you really have to check out this book Infected by Scott Sigler.



Here's my review.


People are going insane. They keep hearing voices and turn into killers. Killing people around them in addition to turn on themselves. The Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases is investigating this rash outbreak and what could be causing this. Margaret Montoya with the CDC detemines that there is one thing that all these people have in common......They have been colonized by a bioengineered parasite.

Perry Dawsey has been infected but there is something unique about him. For some odd reason the parasites need Perry. The parasites start communicating with Perry. They even grow eyes, so they can see what is going on. Perry doesn't know what to do. The only thing Perry knows is that the parasites need Perry to live. There is help on the way but help for who... Perry or The Parasites?

I have to tell you this book kept my interest going till the end. I have not come across many books like Infected and this is why. Infected delivers such a hugh whopping punch of "Holy Shit, I can't believe what just happened."

In just the first chapter. There was a man who called a radio station demanding to be put on the air as he had just murdered his family. His reasoning was because The Triangles told him so. Infected reminded me of the movie Bug with Ashley Judd and The X-Files only Infected was ten times better! Infected is my first book by Scott Sigler but after reading it I have to say it will not be my last time. I now have a new favorite author and his name is Scott Sigler. Infected was always running on full...full of intrigue, adventure, horror, and paranoia. So grab a copy of Scott Sigler's Infected but be warned you may lose sleep but don't worry as Mr. Sigler already has the sequel for Infected lined up with Contagious. I can't wait.



Garland of Druids: Druid Redeemed


Devon Dellafield is the son of Lord and Lady Lance Dellafield. He comes from a long line of Druid women. Devon’s grandmother, mother, in addition to his sisters all have the Druid power. Jocie Summerhill is daughter to Professor Summerhill.



Jocie is arrested as a protester. She was brought before Devon since she was found in the company of a document with some weird writing on it. Devon is well-known for being excellent at decoding. He recognizes the writing as Ogham alphabet. It was used by ancient Celts and Druids. Instead of going to jail, she is put in the custody of Devon and his family for a month. In the mean time, Devon tries to make out the significance of the message. Not knowing that he has put both of them in harm’s way. As much as Devon does not want to acknowledge his Druid powers, he can’t deny the signs.




I received the opportunity to read Garland of Druids: Druid Redeemed which is a fantastic novel. Devon’s playboy ways are over and done with when he meets Jocie. These two characters are meant for each other, which is an excellent thing. You won’t believe what secret Devon reveals after he decodes the message that started it all. It will blow you away. I just have one final thing to say and that is don’t mess with Druids, or at least the Dellafield family. Jean Hart Stewart deserves praise for delivering this superb treasure.






Courtesy of Fallen Angel Reviews http://www.fallenangelreviews.com/2008/April/Cheryl-GarlandOfDruids_DruidRedeemed.htm

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother's Day Book Bash


Check out all the books that A Book Blogger's Diary is giving away. For all the details and to check the books out go to http://abookbloggersdiary.blogspot.com/

Death Defying Acts



Description



It is 1926, and Harry Houdini is the most famous performer in the world. Audiences pack theaters to watch him perform his now-legendary death-defying acts. But despite his fame and fortune, Houdini is a man haunted by his past. Thirteen years ago, his beloved mother passed away, leaving her son tortured with regret that he was not at her side when she died...and did not bear witness to her final words to him. Now driven to the point of obsession, Houdini offers a $10,000 reward to anyone who can contact his mother from beyond the grave and reveal her dying words to him.



Enter Mary McGregor and her young daughter, Benji. Poor and uneducated, they live by their wits in the slums of Edinburgh, with Mary using her feminine wiles and deceptive ways in a psychic act that is part burlesque and part occult. When Mary and Benji learn of Houdini's public offer, they set their sights on the world's greatest illusionist and escape artist as the ultimate score.



But Houdini proves to be not such an easy mark, especially under the watchful eye of his manager. As Mary moves closer to Houdini, her charms soon overwhelm him, and he realizes that he may be falling for this mysterious woman. But what began as a con now evolves into something much more complicated and dangerous than anyone could ever dream -- even as Houdini embarks on one of the most spectacular stunts of his career....




July 2008 Trade Paperback
304 pages
ISBN-10: 1-4165-6079-3
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-6079-1

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Gemini Heat




Deana is the fun loving and spontaneous twin. Delia could be considered the plain and sensible one. Every year they celebrate their birthdays together but when Delia has to bail this year, she gives her sister Deana her invite to attend a showing of erotica in Visions of Eroticism the de Guile collection. There she meets a mysterious gentleman names Jake who seduces her. They end up having sex. When he asks her what her name is, she says it is Dee. They next day before Deana has a chance to tell her sister about the man she met, Delia is called to see her boss Mr. Jackson Kazuto de Guile. He mistakes her for Dee. Unable to stop thinking about their wild night together he gives Delia multiple orgasms there in his office. He wants to see her again so he asks her out. The problem is that both Deana and Delia both want the same guy. The twins decide to take turns playing Dee in the Gemini game. Unfortunately it is harder than they think as Jake is a maestro with his fingers. He can make Dee come at just the touch of a finger.




Portia Da Costa is a master of erotica. This is my first book by her but if Gemini Heat is any indication of her work than I am sure that it will be a safe bet that the rest of her novels will be first-class. Portia Da Costa’s writing was so realistic that I could almost feel Jake’s breath on my neck. Let me tell you: Delia might have started out plain in addition to having a hard time orgasming but after only one experience with Jake there was no more saying she couldn’t. Gemini Heat will touch you in a good way in all the right places. I already have a list of other books I want to read by Portia Da Costa.