Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A World I Never Made

I want to thank Mr. LePore for sending me a copy of his book to review.

Pat Nolan has been estranged from his daughter, Megan for a long time. The last time he spoke to her was when she called him on Christmas day. Since then he has not heard a word from her. So you can imagine his surprise when he receives a farewell letter from Megan. She committed suicide.

Pat travels half way around the world to retrieve his daughter’s remains. When he arrives in Paris, he learns that Megan gave birth to a son. He also discovers that Megan was not in Paris the whole time but living in Morocco. Pat suspects something is up. Even though he and Megan have not had the best of relationships, he can not believe she would leave her son motherless. Pat decides to retrace Megan’s steps, so he can solve what really happened to her. Things go from bad to worse really quickly. Pat is now the enemies of both the French authorities and a group of international terrorists.

When Megan was in Morocco, she fell in love with a very dangerous man by the name of Abdel Lahani. He is a Saudi businessman but he also deals in terrorism. It is too late for Megan to get out of their relationship. Every step she makes after this will put the lives of millions in danger.

Nothing gets your attention faster then reading a suicide note and this was just the first page. From there the story quickly moved into an international adventure filled with high-intensity and drama. I liked how it seemed like there were duel plots happening at the same time. There was the one that involved Pat seeking the truth about his daughter and the one where the reader was able to be transported back a year to Megan and how she got to the point that she had no more options. I read this book during my whole lunch hour. Nothing could have tore my attention away from this story. The World I Never Made by James LePore is a must read for thriller fans! The only problem I have is that I now have to wait another year for the next book from Mr. LePore to release.

Published by The Story Plant

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's in an Accent? with Amelia Grey

I am pleased to have author Amelia Grey stopping by today. Her latest release is titled A Duke to Die For.

That Accent!

By Amelia Grey

All right, I admit that I am one of those ladies who go wild over a British accent.

Perhaps you watched Saturday Night Live a few weeks ago when Hugh Laurie (better known as House) was the host. One of the skits was where two of the ladies on SNL were interviewing Laurie. They didn’t care what he said. They just wanted to hear Hugh talk! (I think he’s Australian, but that’s close enough to British). And they drooled and panted over every word he said. I was laughing so hard. I just kept thinking that’s me! I’m just that silly over a British accent. Maybe it’s because I grew up during the British invasion. Ah—not the Revolutionary War invasion but the music one; the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits.

When I was in middle school I used to go around faking a British accent. I must have sounded so goofy to my friends, but they were kind enough not to tell me. I don’t know how they put up with me. But that young and innocent love for the British rock ‘n roll stars is probably the reason I now love Regency romances so much. I can go head over heels for a gentleman who is tall, blond and British, and if he’s titled that makes him all the more appealing. To me there’s something downright sexy about a man who’s born to power and privilege, but he never misuses either. But these days I’m not daydreaming about Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, or Mick Jagger and Peter Noone, I’m filling my days with heroes from Regency England as I write about A Duke To Die For, A Marquis to Marry and An Earl To Enchant. My new trilogy, The Rogues’ Dynasty is just a continuation of my love for the British.

Every time I write dialogue I hear that sexy British accent in my head. And I just love it! Just like the girls on SNL… Who’s your favorite British Boy?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Riding on Instinct

I want to thank Kathryn with Penguin for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Department of Justice agent Shadoe Grayson has just signed on to help the Wild Riders. The Wild Riders are a group of bikers that work for the US government. Their latest case is to identify a DEA rogue agent, who is helping the Colombians bring in illegal drugs. The only clue the Wild Riders have is that the drugs are being transported through a strip club in New Orleans. Agent Shadoe plans to go undercover as a head lining stripper but first she has to convince bad boy and one of the Wild Riders, Spencer King that she is not the stuck up bitch he thinks she is. Agent Grayson not only convinces Spence that she is more than qualified for the job but leaves him wanting her body from head to toe. Things are about to really heat up in New Orleans.

The sexual attraction between Shadoe and Spence is so hot that it burns! The characters in this story were captivating and had a great sense of humor. They all meshed well together. Riding in Instinct seems to be part of a series that features the Wild Riders. This book can be read separately. I have been in a reading slump and thought I would never be able to ge4t out of it. That all changed when I picked up Riding with Instinct. From the first chapter I was hooked. I read the whole book in a matter of hours. Let me say that Jaci Burton is just what the doctor ordered. So if you are looking for something steamy that touches up in all the right spots, then you need to pick up a copy of Riding with Instinct today.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Watch out for the Dragon!

I have been getting into reading and reviewing more children's books as my nephews are at that age that they can understand the words and the story. I thought The Suburban Dragon would be a fun book. My five year old nephew lost interest immediately. What he didn't like was the fact that there was a girl mentioned in the book. A sister and two brothers. He thought it was about girls and didn't like it. (Boys, what can you say about them).

What I found interesting was that the words had too many syllables. The story could have ended about ten pages ago. For a five year old, I think this book is too much for them but too simple for the older crowd. I did like the illustrations as they were very colorful and author, Garasamo Maccagnone had a good imagination. Overall, I thought The Suburban Dragon had lost his fire.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Medicine People

I want to thank Mike Simpson with Second Wind Publishing for sending me this book to review.

Ben Whitekiller has returned. He is like the prodigal son. Only for Ben this reunion won't be filled with smiling faces. Twenty five years ago, Ben was accused of murdering his wife and killing two police officers.

Ben barely steps out of the car when he is met at gun point by Office Ace Adams. Officer Adams was one of the officers that fatal night that Ben supposedly went crazy and started shooting. There is no love lost between Ben and Adams. Office Daniel Hook, the newest policeman to join the force, suspects something isn't right with the events of that night, twenty five years ago. He believes Ben is innocent. As Officer Hook digs into uncovering the truth, he discovers a connection between himself and Ben that could change everything Daniel knows.

Daniel is a very nice, caring, and kind hearted man. I instantly liked him as well as Ben Whitekiller. Officer Ace Adams did a good job of playing the villain. I distrusted him. I liked this story but wished that I enjoyed it. The reason I can't say I really enjoyed this book is because while I found the characters interesting, the storyline seemed too simple. It was like you were being told what was going to happen next as Daniel Hook was the narrator. There were a few twists but they came late in the plot. The Medicine People is the first novel I have read by Lazarus Barnhill. Though I only liked this book, I would try another one of Mr. Barnhill's novels again.

You can purchase the book here

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Zombie Chicken Award

I was awarded this from J. Kaye

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all...

I award the following bloggers. Because I can't just choose five!

Contests, Contests and more Contests

Hello. As promised I bring to you a huge audio contest. Also because I will not be on the interest as much for a while and won't have the daily posts, I hope this satifys you all for a little while. I promise to be back soon.

Courtesy of Hachette. I am giving away 3 copies of each. Yes 3 copies of each audio book. Open to US and Canada only and no PO Boxes.

Up for grabs are the following:

Run for your Life by James Patterson
Drood by Dan Simmons
The Accountant's Story by Roberto Escobar
Max by James Patterson
Never Give Up by Joyce Meyer
Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gillman
The Age of the Unthinkable by Roberto Escobar
Women's Murder Club by James Patterson

The rules are simple. Comment with which ones you want to enter. If you want to go for all then say all.

If you are a follower you get an extra entry.

If you spread the word then you get one more entry.

I will pick the winners April 25th.

You won't get No Sanctuary here.

Officer Stacey Wilbur is called onto the scene of horrible car crash. The car is wrapped around a tree. There is onle one person in the car...a woman. At first it seems like a pretty cut and dry case. Upon futher digging, Stacey learns that the woman was shot to death, neatly behind the ear. The woman was Mallory Cookmeyer. She is the wife of a prominant pastor's wife.

Stacey calls for help on this case. Detective Doug Milligan, Stacey's friend and somewhat boyfriend agrees to lend a hand to Stacey. Instantly as with any murder case, the spouse is the lead suspect. It seems that Stacey may not need to look any father then the husband. He sure never acted with any remorse when he was notifed of his wife's death. Stacey learns though that everything is not what it seems in this town. The pastor was not the only one who's hands are covered in blood. As Stacey gets more involved in the case, the list of suspects grows. Just who wants Mallory dead and for what reason? You can learn the answers by reading No Sanctuary.

No Sanctuary is a good read. It is also part of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series written by F.M. Meredith. The best part is that you don't have to read the books in any order. I like this fact because if I am just discovering a new author, which is the case, I want to be able to pick up any book and start reading it. I liked Office Stacey Wilbur. She was tough without being over the top mean. She knew just what to do to solve the case and get her suspect. The romance between Stacey and Doug was just right. I say this because, I enjoy my romances but when it comes to mysteries, I like when the romances don't over power the storyline. Luckily this was not the case. For anyone looking for a quick weekend story with plenty of twists to satisfy any mystery fan, then you should give this book a try.

I want to thank Cheryl for letting me host F.M. Meredith on her blog tour.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Carrie Vaughn's interview

Werewolves in Colorado

I am happy to be part of this blog tour for author, Carrie Vaughn. She writes the Kitty series.

Her latest releases are Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand and Kitty Raises Hell.

Here is a complete list in order by the latest release dates

Kitty Raises Hell, Grand Central Publishing, 2009

Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand, Grand Central Publishing, 2009

Kitty and the Silver Bullet, Grand Central Publishing, 2008.

Kitty Takes a Holiday, Warner Books/Hachette Book Group, 2007

Kitty Goes to Washington, Warner Books, 2006

Kitty and The Midnight Hour, Warner Books, 2005

Sorry I do not have a review for you as I was sick and almost 100% better. You can check out all the other blogs for some great reviews on this series though. For a list of the other blogs participating on this blog tour go here

Carrie's website

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Dawning of Power

I want to give a big thank you to Mr. Rathbone for sending me a copy of his book to review.
Young Catrin Volker was just a normal girl…that is till that fatal day. All Catrin remembers is walking home from school and trying to help her friend, Osbourne from being pummeled to death by a group of townies. One moment Catrin feared that she would soon breathe her last breath and the next moment she was waking up in what can only be described as some kind of nightmare. Osbourne and Catrin were alive and so were the townies…barely.

All of the townsfolk are now looking at Catrin like she is some kind of witch. Which wouldn’t be so terrible if Catrin wasn’t going through a change. Something is happening to her. Days pass. Suddenly out of nowhere a comet appears in the sky. The once peaceful town of Godfist is attacked. Benji a friend of Catrin’s father whisks Catrin, Osbourne, and a few other people away from Godfist. Benji reveals to Catrin that is not just her father’s friend but guardian to the Herald. Benji also tells Catrin that the changes she is experiencing is because she is the Herald of Istra. Catrin, Benji, Osbourne and the rest of the group set out for the Greatland to locate the Cathurans. They can help Catrin learn about her new powers and how to use them.

Let me first start off by saying this story completely surprised me in a good way. Fantasy books and I have a so, so relationship. I acknowledge they are out there and they usually don’t make an appearance on my bookshelf. This works well for both of us till now. The Dawning of Power is kind of like a cross between The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Let me tell you that is saying something about the book and the author. I honestly could not stop reading this book. I completed it in two days, it was that good. Though there is one minor flaw and that is that there were too many characters. I had a little trouble keeping up with them all. The Dawning of Power is the first novel I have read by Brian Rathbone and it won’t be the last.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Hello All and Good Morning. I am sorry that I have not had some new reviews for you. I suddenly became really, really sick and that is why I have also not commented on your posts. I am feeling much better and will get back on schedule again.

Look for some interesting and fun book reviews as well as contests (hint, hint) to come your way soon.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Read-A Fest

J. Kaye is hosting this fun Read-A-Fest. It focuses on Lisa Jackson and her books. You can sign up here. All you have to do is list which of her many books you plan on reading. It is that easy.

I am listing the ones I currently own and have not read yet but plan to pick up more for this read-a-fest.

The Morning After
Almost Dead

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Are you a Wintergirl?

Lia met Cassandra “Cassie” when they were both in grade school. Lia was the popular one. Cassie got picked one for being new and maturing before most of the other girls. You wouldn’t imagine Lia and Cassie having anything in common but they shared a lot in common. Like any friends as you grow up you sometimes move apart. This was no different for Lia and Cassie.

Lia and Cassie just wanted to be normal girls and fit in. It is not easy when people around you are have opinions about you, in addition to the many ads that pictured super models as so called “real people”. Cassie and Lia want to be skinny. All they have to do is count calories and essentially not eat anything. Why can’t everyone understand? They all act they care but they don’t really; even Dr. Parker is happy when he hears what he wants to hear.

Wintergirls is a powerful story that touches on the sensitive subject of anorexia. When you inquire into in any touchy subjects, it can be sticky but author, Laurie Halse Anderson does it very well. The whole story was narrated by Lia. It was like I was in her body looking out at the rest of the world. What I liked about this story was that the parents did not give up on Lia. As I have read in so many stories, where the children have troubles the parents just want to ignore the issue and hope it will go away but that was not the case with Lia’s parents, especially her mother. I cheered when Lia pulled through and fought her battle to become a fighter. Wintergirls is the first novel I have read by this author but it won’t be the last. Wintergirls warmed my heart.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chatting with Jan Stites

As you all have learned by now I love introducing new authors to the rest of my readers. Today is no exception. I was delighted when author Jan Stites emailed me and asked if I wanted to interview her. Her book has received many rave reviews.

Thank you so much for this interview.

Thank you. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to reach out to readers.

Can you please share a little bit about yourself.

I love to write, except of course for those days when I’m tempted to hurl my computer through the window because I can’t seem to find the right words. Lots of people ask me how I have the discipline to spend so much time writing, but to me it doesn’t take discipline because it’s what I love to do. Going to the gym takes discipline. I regard gym workouts with about as much enthusiasm as I have for jury duty.
Teaching was my second passion. I’ve taught middle school in inner-city and affluent public schools in Missouri and California. I’ve also worked in village schools in Kenya and Mexico, and for six years taught screenwriting at San Francisco State University.
Much as I loved teaching, I was elated to be able to quit and write full time.

Do you have any type of morning routine?

I usually get up about 5:30, gobble a quick breakfast, stretch, and then head downstairs to the office to write until lunch. I’m definitely a morning person, probably one of the few people in America who hates to see daylight savings time spring back because I like to begin work in the dark and watch daylight ease into being.

I read that you were once hired to write about scuba diving. You were in the Caribbean. Have you been back to the Caribbean since?

I’ve been to Curacao, Cozumel and St. Crois, but none of them matched the exhilaration I felt on first diving in tropical waters for that book. It was a tough job having to dive the Bahamas all expenses paid while staying at 4-star hotels, but I mustered up sufficient willpower to tough it out.

What other fun hobbies do you have?

Nothing comes to mind. I tend to spend 8 hours or so a day on writing-related work. In the remaining time I like to hang out with my husband or friends, read, walk, do volunteer work, or attend one of my two writers’ groups.

Do you prefer peace and quiet when you write?

Absolutely. I get distracted if people around me are talking. I tend to want to eavesdrop and analyze conversations, gestures, appearances. Often I take notes. I should wear a sign: Beware: Writer with Notebook in Vicinity.

Which comes to you first…the characters or the plot?

The characters, although the idea of what the book will revolve around often comes to me simultaneously. For instance, with Edgewise I knew I wanted to write a novel that revolved around patients in an outpatient psychiatric hospital, and I knew I wanted to have two main women characters, one white, one black, but I didn’t know what would happen until I got to know them. For the new book I have conducted interviews with my characters, read books through their eyes, and written eight-page, single-spaced character monologues. Most plot ideas arise for me through doing such preliminary work on character. (I hear Deborah Kerr singing, Getting to know you, getting to know all about you.)

One of the characters in your book is named Satch. That is a unique name. How did you come up with that name?

Satchell Paige was a terrific baseball player in the old Negro League before the majors were integrated. I’d known about him for years, though I don’t remember how I first heard of him. When I knew one of the two main characters was a black woman, I just seemed to always know that her father would have expected a boy whom he would have named Satchell in Paige’s honor, so when he had a daughter, he went ahead and named her Satch.

Edgewise drew from some of your experiences in a hospital. Was it hard to re-live some of that for your book?

More so at the very beginning, but I worked on this book for over thirteen years. By the last few years, I found writing about it to be more therapeutic than traumatic. And of course the book is a novel. As I got to really know the characters, I became immersed in their fictional world rather than bogging down in my own reality.

Now after writing Edgewise and currently working on a new novel, do you find it easier or harder to write and why?

Easier because I learned a lot from writing Edgewise and through studying fiction, both other people’s novels and authors on writing like Janet Burroway. Recently I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, which gave me so much joy, I wanted to try to write a book that affords similar pleasure to others. My new novel, not autobio-graphical, is a romantic comedy set in the Ozarks. Currently I’m brainstorming and researching, the most enjoyable phase of writing because I’m not yet trying to choose the right words but am simply getting to know characters and setting.

What has been the most rewarding experience to happen to you since the release of Edgewise?

At one of my readings, a woman came up and tearfully thanked me for writing a book about people with mental illness and for talking openly about my own struggles. I reached up to touch her, but she’d already turned to flee. That moment has stayed with me. At readings and book groups where I’ve been a guest, many people have expressed similar sentiments. I’m gratified to know I’ve shed at least a little bit of light for people who have experienced their own or another’s darkness.

Any last words to the readers?

I’ve accepted lots of invitations to come to local book groups. Edgewise has generated remarkable discussions. So, please, read it and if you like it, talk it up to family, friends, bookstores and book clubs, review or profile the book on your blog, or review it on Amazon. Word of mouth is the best publicity for any book, but particularly for a self-published novel. To borrow a phrase, it really does take a village. And thanks for the help.

Check out Jan Stites's website

Rubies in the Orchard

I want to thank Janny for sending me a copy of Rubies in the Orchard to review.

Rubies in the Orchard: How to Uncover the Hidden Gems in Your Business by Lynda Resnick gives an inside look into how to turn silver and gold into diamonds. Lynda and her husband, Stewart own POM Wonderful, Teleflora, Fiji Water, and The Franklin Mint. They did not get where they are today without pure grit and determination.

Lynda and Stewart own acres and acres of land in California. When they bought the land, one of the food items that was growing there were these red, round balls known as pomegranates. They didn’t know much about them other then they knew they needed to do something with them but what? Lynda and Stewart researched all they could about pomegranates and learned from many medical experts that this fruit provides very many essential health benefits. Now many people were taking advantage of what the pomegranate had to offer; in fact there was less then one-third of the population that even knew what a pomegranate was. You usually could only find this item during the holiday season in the grocery stores for a limited time.

If you have ever tried to eat a pomegranate well then you know that they are hard to open and messy to eat. You almost have to wear a rain coat to east one. I enjoy eating pomegranates but I hate the clean up afterwards. I don’t want to give anything away but if you read Rubies in the Orchard: How to Uncover the Hidden Gems in Your Business you will learn how Lynda and Stewart came up with the idea for POM Wonderful as well as how they came to be successful business entrepreneurs. Rubies in the Orchard: How to Uncover the Hidden Gems in Your Business is such an intriguing book that I read it in one sitting.

Check out the book's website

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Galway Bay

I want to thank Miriam with Hachette for letting me be a part of this blog tour. In honor of St. Patrick's Day and reading Galway Bay. I thought this poem seemed fitting to share.

SONG OF INNISFAIL by Thomas Moore from The Poetry and Song of Ireland

They came from a land beyond the sea,

And now o'er the western main

Set sail, in the good ships, gallantly,

From the sunny land of Spain.

"Oh, where's the Isle we've seen in dreams,

Our destined home or grave?"

Thus sung they as, by the morning's beams,

The swept the Atlantic wave.

And lo, where afar o'er ocean shines

A sparkle of radiant green,

As though in that deep lay emerald mines,

Whose light through the wave was seen.

"'Tis Innisfail - 'tis Innisfail!"Rings o'er the echoing sea,

While bending to heaven, the warriors hail

That home of the brave and free.

Then turn'd they unto the Eastern wave,

Where now their Day-God's eye

A look of such sunny omen gave

As lighted up sea and sky.

Nor frown was seen through sky or sea,

Nor tear on leaf or sod,

When first on their Isle of Destiny

Our Eastern fathers trod.

When Honora Keeley and Michael Kelly first met, it was love at first sight. Soon after they were married and starting a family. It was not easy. They grew as much food on their lands and they could. Michael would go out and work under any conditions…rain, snow, sleet, or sun. The elements got so bad that it wiped out almost their entire potatoes crop. They were down to barely eating much. It was important to Mary and Michael that their children were fed and grew up health and strong. Day after day Michael and Mary saw their good friends die. They knew they never wanted that for their children. They wanted them to have a chance at a good life.

When the war made its way to Galway Bay; Michael, Mary, her sister Maire, and their seven children between the two of them set sail for America. Sadly Michael met his fate with a watery grave. It was up to Mary and Maire to raise their children in this new land of opportunity. They did a fine job too. Their children grew up to help mold Chicago into the city it is now. The men go on to fight in the Civil War for Ireland’s freedom. They never forgot where they came from or who they were.

Galway Bay is a touching, soulful, powerful novel. You will be captivated by the words and characters. I dare you not to cry, smile, and cheer with the Mary, Michael and their family as they endure it all to become survivors. It was like I had gone back in time and could feel the earth between my fingers. Every little moment that the Kelly’s went through I was right there with them. If Mary Pat Kelly’s next novel is anything like Galway Bay then I highly anticipate the next release.

Great news! You can hear Mary Pat Kelly in a Blog Talk Radio interview at 11 AM ET Click here

You can read more about Mary and Galway Bay at her website

A Pure Double Cross

Yesterday you got to learn a little bit about author John Knorle. Hopefully after reading his guest post you have already added his book to your list to read and if not after my review I hope you do add it.

The year was 1945. Hal Schroeder used to be s spy for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Upon his return from behind enemy lines in Germany, Hal is so ready to relax; through he will miss the excitement that only a spy could relate to. Hal will have to wait to retire just a little longer. The FBI wants to recruit Hal for a bank heist. Yes, you did read right…the FBI is planning a bank heist, in fact a couple of bank heists. The plan is for Hal to integrate himself into the mob and steal the money. This way the FBI has some evidence to pin on crime boss Teddy Briggslavski otherwise known as Mr. Big.

At first Hal is reluctant to partake in any of the FBI’s dealings but after they sweeten the deal, Hal agrees. What the FBI or the mob doesn’t know is that Hal is about to engage in a risky bet and play both sides. Some people would call this a double cross. Will Hal’s plans pay off or has Hal gotten himself in over his head?

A Pure Double Cross is book one of the American Spy Trilogy. I really enjoyed reading this story. Hal was brilliant in his tactics and how he played both sides. One of the best parts was the twist at the end. Mr. Knoerle did a great job with this novel. He is a true, classic mystery fan’s dream. A Pure Double Cross brought me back to the good old times and helped remind me of why I love this genre. I plan to check out the rest of the books in this trilogy.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hanging out with author John Knoerle

I am happy to be part of this great blog tour for author, John Knoerle. Today is about getting to know Mr. Knoerle a little bit. Come back tomorrow and read my review on his book A Pure Double Cross: Book One of the American Spy Trilogy.


John Knoerle’s first novel, “Crystal Meth Cowboys,” was optioned by Fox for a TV series. His second novel, “The Violin Player,” won the Mayhaven Award for Fiction. His new novel, “A Pure Double Cross,” is Book One of the American Spy Trilogy. John lives with his wife in Chicago. You can learn more about John Knoerle at http://www.bluesteelpress.com/.


Cleveland, Ohio, 1945. Hal Schroeder returns from a two-year stint behind German lines as an undercover agent for the OSS. The horrors of war have left him bitter and cynical. He is recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a local mob that is pulling bank heists. The feds have concocted a sting operation to capture the head of the gang and they want Hal to execute it. He agrees. But Hal Schroeder is no longer interested in being a hero. Hal Schroeder is interested in a fat payday.

Writing Fiction in an ADD World

by John Knoerle

Marcel Prousts’ “Remembrance of Things Past” is considered one of the finest novels ever written. His American contemporary, Henry James, was the greatest American novelist of his generation, perhaps the best of all time. The recently departed John Updike, most famous for his four Rabbit novels, deserves a place in the Pantheon of immortals beside them.

Proust, James and Updike were not writers who labored in obscurity, they were well known and well respected in their day. And I’ll bet you a Booker Prize that not one of their manuscripts would make it off the NY publisher’s slush pile were it submitted for the first time tomorrow.

The problem?

Too long-winded! Cut to the chase!!

Such is progress. Blame television, instant messaging, the disintegration of the nuclear family or Pop Tarts. Whatever. The era of reflective, slow-moving fiction is dead and gone. We are now firmly planted in an Attention Deficit Disorder culture.

I wrote “The Violin Player” in the ‘90s while under the spell of Updike’s superbly crafted Rabbit novels, his scene descriptions so precise I felt as if I was right there in the moment. But I wasn’t up to the task. A newspaper reviewer said my novel “sagged in the middle.”

It was an arrow to the heart. A true arrow.

I had let long-winded descriptions of minor scenes get in the way of a perfectly good story. I loved those minor scenes, I thought they contributed mightily to overall atmospherics, which they did.

The bad news is that nobody in this day and age gives a bleep about overall atmospherics. In the age of James and Proust the average person probably hadn’t traveled fifty miles beyond his hometown. Novelists were travel guides as well as story tellers.

That was then. The advent of the film and video age means that even the most house-bound have a good idea of what the wider world looks like. The novelist doesn’t need to describe the interior of a drug store, nor the items displayed on the shelves.

The exception to this rule is when the drug store is the scene of high drama. In that case the reader wants to know the chilling details.

This rule also applies to the protagonist’s innermost thoughts. If she goes to the drugstore to buy cold cream we don’t much care why. If she goes there to meet her child’s kidnapper - or her illicit lover - then we want to hear her thoughts.

Of course John Updike could craft a compelling scene from his central character buying a Slim Jim at a Mini-Mart. He once said – and I’m paraphrasing – ‘Plot is whatever keeps the reader turning pages.’

Ah, those were the days! As writers we can mourn the passing of the golden age and sob salty tears. Or we can hitch up our britches and meet the challenge of a new era of reading and writing.

Cut to the chase!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Sunday Salon

I want to thank Kathleen Carter for sending me a copy of this book to review.

All Samantha Friedman ever wanted was to live a perfect life with the perfect family. Unfortunately what we ask for is not always what we actually receive. Samantha and her husband, Bob tried for a long time to have a child. The doctor told them that they should start thinking about adoption. That was seventeen years ago. Samantha would never trade anything in the world for her adopted daughter, Cammy. By some miracle Samantha was finally able to give birth to Andrew and Jamie.

Samantha and Cammy used to be real close. Cammy always had just the right words to cheer Samanthaup. Now a days, they barely speak to one another. Cammy has taken on a whole new persona. She hardly ever washes her hair; she dresses all in black and worse of all Samantha doesn’t even know what goes on in Cammy’s world. All Cammy wants to do is hang out with her new friend at school, Monica.

Samantha is distracted herself. Her and Bob are like two strangers. They do their routine and go to bed. It has been a long time since Bob has touched or even looked at Samantha with desire in his eyes. Samantha never planned for it to happen but Craig was conveniently there for her.

I thought Sleepwalking in Daylight was a sad story. Samantha walked around in a daze. Bob is self-centered. The only person I really cared for was Cammy. She found herself in many difficult situations, but a big reason for this was she was rebelling. This was her way of speaking out and asking for help. The poems Cammy wrote, I thought were deep, sorrow, and showed she was more adult then the actual adults in this story. After reading Sleepwalking in Daylight, I would try Elizabeth Flock again.

Check out Elizabeth Flock's website

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Author Challenge-Completed

I also completed this challenge as well. I was surprised at all the different new authors I read. I am still trying out new authors.

Be Still My Vampire Heart by Kerrelyn Sparks
Celtic Bonds by Terri Pray
Forced Out by Stephen Frey
A Darker Domain by Val McDermind
Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Marked by Passion by Kate Perry
Battles between Somebodies and Nobodies: Combat Abuse of Rank at Work and at Home by Julie Ann Wambach, Ph.D

Return of the Rogue by Donna Fletcher
Death of a Witch by M.C. Beaton
Flirting with Temptation by Kelley St. John
The Warlord’s Son by Dan Fesperman
Stay the Night by Lynn Viehl
Etta by Gerald Kolpan
Being Familiar with a Witch by Sapphire Phelan
Houston, We have a problema by Gwendolyn Zepeda
De Marco Empire by J. Lou McCartney
The Mind of a Genius by David Snowdon
Bones of Betrayal by Jefferson Bass
Katka by Stephen R. Meier
Privy to Murder by Carol Shenold
American Outrage by Tim Green
The Shack by WM. Paul Young
Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch
Lifelines by CJ Lyons
Vexing the Viscount by Emily Bryan
Trouble in High Heels by Leanne Banks
Baron thinks dogs are people too by Laurie Dean
Too Tall Alice by Barbara Worton
Where Rain is Made by K. Celeste Bryan
Unholy Domain by Dan Ronco
Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione
The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
Seducing a Scottish Bride by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Once upon a nightmare by Lee Moylan
Family Plots: Love, Death, and Tax Evasion by Mary Patrick Kavanaugh
American Rust by Philipp Meyer
Carpet Ride by Norm Brown
The Vagrants by Yiyun Li
Gauntlet by Richard Aaron
Straight from a Horse’s Heart by R.T. Fitch
The Queen of Sleepy Eye by Patti Hill
Secrets Unveiled by Sheshena Pledger
Decadent Deceptions by Keta Diablo
The Broken Parachute Man by Dr. Robert R. Bolin
Confessions of a Former Child by Daniel J. Tomasulo

2009 Vampire Reading Challenge -Completed

I am happy to report that I have completed another challenge. This means that I can sign up for more. LOL

Here are the two books I read for this challenge:

Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione
Stakes & Stilettos by Michelle Rowen

Do you like to Sway contest.

Three dramatic and emblematic stories intertwine in Zachary Lazar's extraordinary new novel, SWAY--the early days of the Rolling Stones, including the romantic triangle of Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg, and Keith Richards; the life of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger; and the community of Charles Manson and his followers.Lazar illuminates an hour in American history when rapture found its roots in idolatrous figures and led to unprovoked and inexplicable violence. Connecting all the stories in this novel is Bobby Beausoleil, a beautiful California boy who appeared in an Anger film and eventually joined the Manson "family."With great artistry, Lazar weaves scenes from these real lives together into a true but heightened reality, making superstars human, giving demons reality, and restoring mythic events to the scale of daily life.

I am giving away courtesy of Hachette five copies of this book. Open to US and Canada. No PO Boxes. Ends April 3rd.

To enter leave a comment with your email address (1 entry)

Add my blog to your blog roll list (2 enteries)

Blog about this contest (every location earns you 1 extra entry)

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Hats and Eyeglasses

I want to thank Theresa, Ms. Frankel's publicist for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Hats and Eyeglasses is a memoir by Martha Frankel. Ms. Frankel shares her story about growing up with a family of obsessed gamblers. They played everything from her mother’s favorite mah-jongg to her father’s love of poker. Already at the young age of four, Martha was familiar with pretty much any game you could think of where gambling was involved. Her parents would throw big parties. Everyone would come over to eat and play games. To Martha the feel of the cards or the sound of poker chips hitting the table top was normal for her.

Have you ever heard the saying “All I got is Hats and Eyeglasses”? Well don’t worry, neither have I till now. Well one of the men that Martha’s father would play cards with Broadway explained that it means…”It’s what happens when a ship goes down and sinks, what floats to the top is hats and eyeglasses”. In other words it means you don’t have a prayer, you are that bad off. So remember this saying the next time you are playing cards with friends.

As Martha grew up she didn’t play much with cards. It wasn’t till she was conducting some research for a screenplay she was writing with a friend that she got bit by the gambling bug hard. Some friends of Martha’s, Ken and Barbie invited Martha to go with them on a cruise ship. They were dealers. Martha soon was up all hours of the day and into the night playing poker. Martha’s habit got worse when she discovered online poker. That was many years ago and Martha has since then learned to play in moderation.

I didn’t realize you could enjoy reading someone’s memoir so much till I read Hats and Eyeglasses. What a fun, light read. Martha is so down to earth. She invites you into her life with open arms and a warm heart. No wonder so many celebrities like hanging out with Ms. Frankel. I would be glad to call her my friend too. In a rapidly growing sea of memoirs, Hats and Eyeglasses is a must read. You will not be sorry you picked up this book. In fact you will be doing yourself a favor by reading this novel. I am recommending Hats and Eyeglasses to all my friends.

Check out Martha Frankel's website

Friday, March 13, 2009

Stakes & Stilettos

Sarah Dearly has just joined the dark side as a nightwalker. It happened two and a half months ago. She went on a blind date. Yes, you guessed it a dreaded blind date story. Her date decided to take a bite. Let me tell you it was anything but …dear-ling. Ok, so groan for the bad pun.

All Sarah wants to do is live a normal life but how normal can one really live as a vampire. Sarah goes for an interview, sure she is a shoo in, only to be staked but the interviewers. Talk about willing to sacrifice for a job. It wasn’t all bad for Sarah. She gets rescued by a tall, dark, masked man. Who calls himself the Red Devil. Sarah wants to get to know the Red Devil better. Unfortunately though she will have her hands full. She pissed off the wrong witch. She is now cursed to talk around as a full-fledged true blood vampire. One who must stay out of the sun and who craves blood. Can Sarah convince this witch to reverse or spell or does Sarah have to invest in some 50 SPF sunscreen?

I have wanted to try this author out for a while but never got around to it. Stakes and Stilettos is book four in the Immortality Bites series. Though I didn’t feel like I missed anything but not reading the rest of the books in this series. Who doesn’t love a good vampire story, filled with humor? I know I do. There are so many vampire stories to choice from now a days that it can be a little hard to know which ones to read. Well let me help you make the choice a little easier and pick up a copy of this book or all of the books by Michelle Rowen.

Sleeping with the Undead

Sleeping with the Undead: Tales of Vampire Seduction is an anthology filled with short stories by a collaboration of ten authors.

I have to admit that I didn’t care for anthologies at first. A big reason was because the stories were too short. You would just start really getting into the story and then it would end. One thing I like about anthologies is that they allow me to try out new authors. When I picked up this one, I thought I would enjoy it. The stories consisted of two factors…vampires and sex. Ok so I don’t really need to have sex in my books but sometimes it doesn’t hurt.

I am sad to report that I didn’t care for this anthology. There were a few stories I liked but most I didn’t like. There didn’t have much substance to them. One of my favorite stories through was by an author I enjoy and that is Cornelia Amiri. I pretty much figured I would like her story, even before I got to it. For anyone who has not read any of Ms. Amiri’s novels; she writes Celtic stories. She is known as the Celtic Romance Queen. Her druids are pretty great. It was nice to see that Ms. Amiri was able to incorporate some of what she is famous for into her vampire story.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Ten Year Nap

The Ten Year Nap is the story about a group of friends that live in New York City. They share a bond…motherhood. They came from the working class to stay-at-home moms. Of course it wasn’t planned to stay at home. In all of the ladies cases, they assumed that they would go on maternity leave and come back to work. That was ten years ago. What happened?

Well in Amy’s case, she truly meant to only take off twelve weeks and go back to work. That was the deal her and her husband, Leo made. They had both been working at the same law firm. After the twelve weeks. Amy just couldn’t tear herself away from caring for Marty. He needed her and everything else at that point seemed meaningless. You could say that is pretty much the same situation for the rest of the women…Karen, Antonia, and Jill.

Now they are re-evaluating their lives. They are wondering how time could have passed so quickly. Some of them are even debating going back to work but are they ready to face life outside of motherhood?

At the beginning I really liked the book but towards the middle there became too many different characters to keep track of. This was a little distracting and made the story a little hard to follow. Something else that turned me off was that some of the women seemed really whiny. They would complain about their husbands not doing enough to help pitch in with all the housework and taking care of the kids. Now I have nothing against complaining but these women would not even talk to their husbands about their feelings. How are you suppose to try and fix anything if the other person does not know what is wrong? What I did like about this story was that it showed that mothers are just as important as the working class women.

Purchase the book here

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Don't Look Twice

Since today is my birthday, I thought I would share with you all a new book by one of my favorite authors.

Ty Hauck and his daughter, Jessie had stopped off at the Exxon gas station to pick up a few items. It was just like any other Saturday morning or so Ty thought. Suddenly a truck pulls up outside, rolls down its window and starts firing. The whole incident took only a few minutes but it seemed like a lifetime to Ty.

After it was all over the carnage left behind was bad. One of the bodies is identified as federal prosecutor David Sanger. He was working on a high profile case against a Connecticut businessman Richard Scaynes. Mr. Scaynes was involved in a corruption scandal. At first it seemed like the shooter was intentionally aiming at Sanger. Then it seemed that he was there at the wrong place, wrong time.

Sunil, the manager of the Exxon gas station thinks the shooter was there for revenge against his son, Azzi. Josephina Ruiz a girl at Nazi’s school had drowned in the pool. Azzi was going to come forward. The deeper Ty gets in the case the more twisted it becomes. Soon he doesn’t know who to trust.

I first became a fan of Mr. Gross’s when I read his debut stand-alone novel, The Blue Zone. It blew me away. Since then I can’t get enough of his work. Don’t Look Twice is everything I anticipated and more. There were plenty of thrills to keep the thriller fan in me happy as well as a good ending to keep any fan pleased. Ty Hauck has warmed a place in my heart. He never backs down no matter how high the stakes are. For any up and coming authors who want to learn how to write a best-seller, all they need to do is take a page out of Mr. Gross’s handbook. I can’t wait to read the next release from one of my favorite authors.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Come my love and have a taste of my Poisoned Love

Poisoned Love is a true story. It is written by Dr. Melanie Cane.

Dr. Cane grew up with abusive father, who was bipolar. All Melanie wanted was to be loved and cared for. She found that with her new boyfriend, Luke. I guess you could say Dr. Melanie Cane’s problem was that she loved too much. They both shared a love of medicine and each other. They were both studying to become psychologists. Everything was going well with her and Luke. She could even picture herself getting married and having children. Luke decided that he did not want to be with Melanie as well as live with her anymore. He slowly broke it off with her. For Melanie this wasn’t good enough. She deeply cared for Luke.

Melanie researched a drug called Prolixin. It can be given in liquid form. This drug is given to the mentally challenged. It has serious side-effects. Dr. Cane understood and that is why she planned to give Luke only a small dose to just cause him minor pain for a little while. Melanie finally ends up confessing to Luke that she poisoned him. Her confession leads to her being committed in a psychiatric hospital for seven weeks. She would later be charged with attempted murder.

In Poisoned Love, the reader is taken through the progression of Dr. Cane’s illness and how it affected her. What she did to her ex-boyfriend was wrong but on the other hand you have to feel a little sorrow for Melanie. Luckily this sorrow doesn’t last as in the last part of the book, we see that Dr. Melanie Cane is doing well and living a normal life. She has learned how to combat her illness and through this book and many other articles, she hopes to help other people become survivors just like herself.

To read more on this book go here

Monday, March 9, 2009

Confessions of a Former Child

Confessions of a Former Child is a memoir of Daniel J. Tomasulo. Mr. Tomasulo is a psychologist, psychodrama trainer and writer. It chronicles his childhood with his family as well as his life as a husband and father. It is a good thing Mr. Tomasuio meant for his memoir to be funny as it was.

I was smiling; especially during the moments when he had a ritual of laying out his Hopalong Cassidy cowboy outfit every Friday night, so that when he woke in the morning he would put it on and practice his gun slinging at exactly 6 am. A time that when Daniel’s downstairs neighbor also knew every well for he would get woken up by the loud thud when Daniel was unfortunate to catch his gun. One time Daniel practiced in his parent’s bedroom while they were sleeping and the sound of the gun combined with the ringing of the phone had his dad waking up so fast it was amazing. Daniel’s father was a double agent so he could handle many things. He took that gun from Daniel’s hands as well as answered the phone without missing a beat.

Another classic moment was when Daniel was younger; he believed that if he ate anything with seeds in them that he would get pregnant. All he pretty much ate that summer was butter and mayo as French toast was out because did you know that you have to use eggs and eggs came from seeds! I enjoyed this light-hearted quick read by Mr. Tomasulo.

To learn more aobut this author and his book go to http://www.formerchild.com/

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Sunday Salon

Pharmaceutical executive Clyde Young never in a million years imagined that the plan he was flying on would be high jacked or that he would be thrown from it. Well that is exactly what happened. Clyde was not going to sit down idly to wait and see what would transpire. Before he could process what was going on, a parachute was strapped to hi body and he was thrown out of the plane like a bowling ball.

Clyde somehow survives the drop. Clyde’s survival instincts kick in. Clyde is able to live off the land and walk out of the wilderness alive. When Clyde tells his story to the authorities, they do not believe him. In fact they suspect him of being one of the terrorists. The police inform Clyde that he was found about a hundred miles southwest of where the plane was last seen. The police also say that Clyde died and his body was discovered under a rock at the scene.

Clyde has no other options then to take matters into his own hands. Along the way he meets some interesting people like a sociopath, a prostitute, an alcoholic doctor and a skilled pick pocket. You might say well that is an odd group but it just so happens that these people are the only ones that believe Clyde’s story and want to help him. Clyde learns that his company Galano has produced a very deadly drug that has some serious side effects. They will stop at nothing to keep their secrets hidden, even if it means shutting Clyde up permanently.

Clyde surprised me. For some reason I was expecting a weak man but instead a got a warrior, who took on a pharmaceutical giant practically on his own. Those I did have some problems with the book. One I read whole book but I had a hard time getting any of it to really stick in my mind. Two the storyline moved a little fast. It jumped from one place to the next and all the while I felt like I was two steps behind. What I really did like though was the wilderness scenes. You could feel Clyde’s need to survive and could not fault him for anything he did. Overall I did think The Broken Parachute Man by Dr. Robert Bolin was an ok book.

Check out Mr. Bolin's website

Saturday, March 7, 2009

City of the Dead

Hemiunu is a great architect. His latest project is building the Great Pyramid of Giza. His cousin is the Pharaoh of Egypt. So you can imagine the pressure to complete the pyramid and quickly, no matter what. Something happens to put a wrench in Hemi’s progress. Mentu-hotep the Overseer of Constructions has been found murdered. As much as Hemi would like to grieve he is on a strict time line, so he convinces Senosiris, the construction supervisor to take over as Overseer. A few days later; another body is discovered. This time it is the Pharaoh’s wife, Merit. It seems that both Mentu-hotep and Merit shared something in common. They along with Hemi, the Pharaoh and a few of their friends went many years ago on a hunting trip. Something happened on that trip that is now coming back to haunt them. It seems their secret is no longer hidden. Someone is killing them one by one. Hemi makes it his mission to locate and stop the killer before it is too late.

City of the Dead is book two in T.L. Higley’s The Seven Wonders series. I first discovered Mrs. Higley when I read the first novel in the series. Since then I have wanted to read the next book. What I like about this series is that the stories take you all over the world, during ancient times. The first third of the way into this book, I did find it to move somewhat slowly, even though two people had already been murdered. As I got further into the story it really started to pick up. This is because you were drawn in by Hemi and what happened on that day so long ago. The story would flash back revealing the events of the hunting trip. I can’t wait to continue my journey in T.L. Higley’s series.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Decadent Deceptions + Giveaway

I want to thank Keta Diablo for letting me review her book.

I give this book 4 stars.

It was spring in Savannah, Georgia. The year was 1856.

Olivia Breedlove and her brother, Cain had just lost their father a couple of weeks ago. They were at a meeting for the reading of their father’s will. Their father left them everything, except there is one stipulation. It pertains to Olivia. The will states that she must marry within six months in order to claim her portion. Olivia is outraged. She does comedown enough to formulate a plan.

Morgan Gatewood is a childhood friend to the Breedlove’s. He has been in love with Olivia since the day they shared a kiss as children. Now both he and Cain find themselves sucked into Olivia’s crazy scheme to find a husband. She convinces them to let her visit L’ Amour Immortelles, a brothel. After a couple of visits, Olivia decides to partake in what L’Amour has to offer by offering herself up to a man. She asks for Madame’s help. Olivia gets more then she bargained for with her French lover, Arnaud Joubert.

I thought it was cute that Olivia thought she knew all there was about sex from reading books. So in order she thought she would be fine visiting a brothel. One of the funny moments was when she tried to ask questions of Morgan on why the people did certain things. Morgan is a good leading man. He is tall, dashing, and a great kisser. It is not often where you read erotic novels where the storyline is just as good as the lovemaking. I can see why fans are raving about Keta Diablo and her books. Decadent Deceptions is a delectable treat.

Purchase the book here

Check out Keta's blog

Mrs. Diablo is offer the winner their choice of either Decadent Deceptions or Land of Falling Stars in ebook format.

To enter to win all you have to do is leave a comment with your email address. I will pick the winner March 14th.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Secrets Unveiled

Nick Miller's world is messed up enough. He operates day in and day out without any really purposes in his life. Nick does understand that he needs to straighten up soon. He can't keep making the same mistakes over and over again...like Keisha, the busty woman that he keeps letting back into his bed. Women like Keisha are bad for a guy's health. She has been with every guy with a pulse.

As much as Nick hates his life, he hates it more when anyone tries to interfere in it, especially anyone like the Harris family. The Harris family is one of the most feared crime families around. They know only one thing...blood. They can smell fear. In fact they prey on the weak. This time it's personal. When crime boss's daughter, Natasha Harris "Cleopatra" is found dead, the family goes on a warpath to paint the town red...blood red. Now it is every man for himself.

The beginning of this story really drew me in. Towards the middle it started to fizzle a little and by the end, I was left undecided on my thoughts about the book. It took me a couple of days to gather my thoughts to write a review on this book. The reason for this is because I liked the plot, deceitfulness of the characters and the pace of the story but my problem was with Nick. I was put off by Nick's lazy attitude. Also when Nick would flash back to the past, it wasn't as smooth as I would have liked. When Nick would go back in the past it seemed like a weird acid trip that I was lost in. This story was fine as it was as long as it stayed in the present and not in the past.

Purchase the book here

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Queen of Sleepy Eye

It was the summer of 1975.

Maria Amelia Casimiro Monterio “Amy” for short and her mother Francie, a former beauty queen of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota decide to take a road trip. Amy thought they were heading to sunny Santa Barbara, California. Boy was she ever in for a surprise.

With not much luggage or a care in the world. Amy and her mother head for the open road in a 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Sport Coupe Jubilee in mint condition. The car looked like it had just come off the assembly line it was in that great a shape. With the wind in their hair, Amy and Francie said good-bye to Sleepy Eye for the last time.

Suddenly the transmission blows. With no money to repair the car. Amy and her mother settle down in the town of Cordial, Colorado. Amy can’t help but suspect of her mom of planning this all along. What would all of a sudden the transmission go on a vehicle that is in perfect condition? Amy doesn’t have much time to ponder that as she will be busy getting really familiar… literally with the residents of Cordial. Francie finds a place for them to stay, which just happens to be a mortician house. The question now is what secret is Francie hiding and will Amy be able to handle the truth?

The Queen of Sleepy Eye is the first book I have read by Mrs. Hill. I thought this novel was good. The storyline as well as the characters had this fun upbeat, I want to get to know you better attitude. What I liked is that both Amy and Francie grew up that summer and discovered their heart’s desires. It was harder for Francie to grow up then it was Amy. I mean can you imagine that after all these years; Francie still has her tiara and sash. She tells everyone she knows that she was the former queen of Sleepy Eye. I am so pleased to have discovered a new Christian author. Some of my favorite authors are Christian writers likes Janette Oke, Beverly Lewis, and Dorothy Garlock to name a few. I am proud to add Patti Hill to this list of famous authors. I plan to check out Mrs. Hill’s other novels.

Check out Mrs. Hill's website

Exit Music

Scottish Detective Inspector John Rebus is preparing for his retirement. Unfortunately though he will have to put all thoughts of it aside for now. A Russian poet is found beaten to death. The only witness to his murder has been burned to death. Rebus is joined on the case with Detective Siobhan Clarke. As Rebus starts doing some digging, he becomes suspicious of some Russian businessmen, who are in town looking to do some realty investing in Edinburgh. Rebus is trying to figure out what the connection is with these men and the dead poet.

It appears the killer is moving fast. Another victim has been found. This time it is the body of a local gangster, who Rebus used to have a beef with. Edinburgh’s mayor and politicians want Rebus to close out this case quickly and quietly. Having a stack of dead bodies in your own backyard is bad for business. All of Rebus’s poking around has caused some peoples attitude to turn sour. Will Rebus’s last case be a cold case or can he solve the murder and go out with a bang?

Exit Music is the last story to feature Detective Inspector John Rebus. Having never read any of the other books, I can happily say that you do not have to read of the prior novels. Exit Music can be read or listened to in audio format as a stand alone novel. What I liked about Detective Inspector John Rebus was his gung-ho attitude. It didn’t matter how difficult the situation may seem. He was willing to jump in feet first. What I didn’t like about this book was that aside from Rebus everyone else seemed uninteresting to me. Even with the help of James MacPherson doing the voice-overs, I still found it hard to pay attention to the story.

Purchase it here

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Horse's Love

Straight from the horse’s heart: A spiritual ride through love, loss, and hope is the true story about R.T. Fitch, his wife Terry, and their love of animals, which include Ethan, Harley, Apache, Bart, Pele, and their dog, Niki.

While living in Brazil, a friend of Terry’s thought she should get a horse. It was there that they acquired Apache. After moving back to the states, the Fitch’s and Apache made their home in Texas. They later acquired Ethan, the leader and speaker of the group, Harley, sidekick and buddy to Ethan, Bart and Pele. Pele was the youngest of the group. The first time that Mr. Fitch heard Ethan speak to him, he couldn’t believe his ears. After that it was a normal thing to have conversations with Ethan and Harley. It was from Ethan and the rest of the horses that Mr. Fitch was able to find the courage to take a stand. He petitioned to stop horses from being shipped to slaughter houses.

I fell in love with everyone from R.T to Pele. It was like I was part of the family. You can’t help but experience a connection to these great animals when you read this book. The illustrations in this book were like pieces of art. They were breathtaking. The relationship that Mr. Fitch had with his horses is amazing. It just goes to show you that if we all took a moment to slow down and listen, we just might be surprised as what we hear. Mr. Fitch sits as an active member and voice as part of the board of directors for Habitat for Horses. Straight from the horse’s heart: A spiritual ride through love, loss, and will tear at your heart strings and make you want to stand up and shout “Save the Horses”.

Check out the Habitat for Horses website. Sale portions of this book go to this organization to help save horses.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Take a thrill ride with Gauntlet

I want to thank Lisa Roe for sending me this book to review.

The United States thought they had come up with the perfect way to dispose of six hundred tons of Semtex. They would denote it out in the desert of Libya. Shortly after the big explosion, CIA agent Richard Lawrence learns that some of the Semtex was high jacked enroute.

Then an “Emir” televises that he plans to blown up a major landmark somewhere in the world. The only other piece of information that the Emir provides is that he plans to attack within the month. To hide the disaster that the USA has on their hands, the president issues a cover up.

Now the president and the rest of the world are relying on the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, otherwise known as TTIC to help locate these terrorists before it is too late. The TTIC was founded on May 1, 2003 due to attacks on American soil. Hamilton Turbee, a mathematician and programmer is the newest member to join TTIC. He also happens to be very brilliant. He has found a way to track the Semtex. Unfortunately these terrorists are lead by a very rich and smart man. He has come up with ways to evade the US and stay one step ahead but how long will he be able to keep it up?

Let me first start off by saying I am enthralled by Mr. Aaron. Gauntlet is his first novel and the first in a series. I was barely a third of the way into this story and already I was thinking about how much I really wanted to pick up the second book in this series. Each character in this story played a piece of the puzzle. Richard Aaron's writing was so vivid it was like I could feel the grit of the sand. Plus talk about an adrenaline rush. This story spanned across many different continents from the Middle East to the US, to Canada. Gauntlet is not for the faint at heart. If you are looking for a solid, best-seller then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book today.

Check out Mr. Aaron's website

Publisher's website

Interview with Cheryl Brooks

I am so thrilled to have gotten the chance to interview author, Cheryl Brooks of the Cat Star Chronicles series. Her third book, Rogue is currently available.

I want to thank you for allowing me to interview you.

Glad to be here!

Can you tell me about yourself?

I was born in Louisville, KY, but currently live near Bloomfield, IN. I've been a critical care nurse since 1976, and though I've been writing off and on for most of that time, I wasn't published until this past year. I've been married to an adorable guy for almost thirty years, and we have two sons, ages 19 and 22. I've been horse crazy all my life (I currently have four of them in the barn), and I also I enjoy gardening, cooking, and playing guitar.

What is your favorite indulgence?

You mean something other than sex???? That would have to be food. At the top of my list of favorites are cheese, corned beef, and chocolate.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Never done anything crazy in my life, unless you count grabbing a strange guy's buns while in the mosh pit at a Nickelback concert. He never suspected it was me, either. ;-)

When you want to get away for a while, where do you go?

I go on vacations with the girls from the hospital a few times a year. We used to go to Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee all the time, but lately we've branched out, going to Gatlinburg, Nashville, and Las Vegas. My family vacations have nearly always been to Myrtle Beach.

If you were deserted on an island and you could only have three items, what would they be and why?

Ha! If you've ever watched the movie “Castaway” with Tom Hanks, you'll understand why I would want these things: a good knife, a box of dry matches, and a very sturdy tent. No, wait! What was I thinking??? I'd want a sailboat, a compass, and a paddle!

Do you have a routine that you do every morning?

Since I work nights, my 'mornings' can be at 4pm, but on the days I don't work, I get up, eat breakfast, feed the horses, clean the barn, clean the kitchen, then I turn on my computer, check my email and various blogs, and after that, I start writing. Exciting, huh?

Please describe to readers about the Cat Star Chronicles series.

This is a science fiction romance series about a group of sexy Zetithian warriors who were captured and sold into slavery at the end of the war which destroyed their planet. Each book tells the story of how one of them found love and freedom. They're all filled with romance, humor, adventure, a little action, and plenty of super-hot love scenes. Oh, yeah, and the guys can purr!

How did you react when you first heard the news that Sourcebooks Casablanca was going to publish your book?

When the phone rang, I knew who it was even before I answered it—and, no, I didn't have caller ID at the time! I wish I could say I did a little victory dance, but actually, my editor seemed more excited than I was. It took a long time for the news to sink in.

Did you buy anything fun with the money from your first check?

I bought an Ibanez RG350EX electric guitar, which is still the coolest guitar I've ever seen in my life.

What is in store next for you? Another series or a stand-alone novel?

Not sure. When writing a series, it's very hard to keep the momentum going. Readers may want more, but keeping the ideas fresh is difficult. I have a lot of contemporary romances already written, and I may try to publish some of those. It's still pretty much up in the air at this point.

Thank you for this pleasure. It was fun

Check out Cheryl Brooks website

Also check out all of the Casablanca Authors' on their blog

Thanks to Danielle with Sourcebooks. I am giving away 1 copy of Rogue to a lucky winner. Contest ends March 8th.

To enter, please leave a comment for Cheryl along with an email address address so I can contact you if you are the lucky winner.