Showing posts from February, 2011

Hanging out with author, Pamela Callow + Giveaway

Can you please share with the readers a bit about yourself?
Hi, Cheryl! Thanks so much for having me here today. I’m a thriller writer, mom of two, owner of a mischievous pug, and dedicated coffee lover. I grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Living by the ocean has shaped my life and my work. I’m also a member of the NS bar and worked as a strategy consultant for Accenture Consulting before turning my hand to writing.

I love to walk, hike, and go camping with my family. My favorite daydream is to travel around the world.

Do you have a morning routine?
I’m a morning person – at least after I have a cup of coffee! After I get my kids off to school, I go for a power walk with my dog, and then I come home and get to work. I spend the first hour going through emails and social networking. Then I dig into my work in progress.

Do you prefer the peace and quiet when you are writing or do you listen to music?
Interesting question! I wrote DAMAGED, the first book of my thriller series, in a coffee shop.…

Dearly Departed Blog Tour and Giveaway

Dearly Departed

Author: Tristi Pinkston

Publisher: Walnut Springs Press

Published Date: January 2011

Softcover: 270 pages

Genre: Mystery-Suspense

ISBN# 978-1-935217-89-3

My Review:

Ida Mae has just finished a marathon of baking. She is expecting Tansy to arrive any minute. Ida Mae heads downstairs to retrieve something and loses her balance. That is exactly where Tansy finds Ida Mae when she arrives…at the bottom of the stairs. Now Ida Mae has a nice, new pink cast on her foot and the Relief Society by her side.

Eden West is a reporter for the Salt Lake Sentinel. Eden also writes the obituary articles. When Eden receives a request from Peggy to write her mother, Beverly Hilton Partridge’s obituary, it is just another day at the office. This is until Peggy reacts to something Eden writes about her mother. Eden stated that Beverly departed before her time. It seems that Beverly was a resident at Shady Aspens Retirement Center. Eden decides to do some investigating with Kevin, a fellow reporter a…

The Shepherd will not lead you astray but down a path of horror, chills, suspense, great characters and an equally fantastic story line!

Francis Ackerman Jr. is a mad man. He has been terrorizing people across many states and the only trace that Francis was ever there was the wake of bloody bodies that he leaves.

Marcus Williams has just moved into a new town. Marcus could not expect that his first job would come so quickly. It seems that Francis has made his way into the same town as Marcus. Now these two men must face each other. There can only be one winner. Who will be the Shepherd?

A book that receives high praises from author, Andrew Gross has my interest peaked. The Shepherd is worthy of the praise. Be warned as I pretty much read this book in one afternoon. Francis is one sick, twisted individual. The way Francis played his games, reminded me of Jigsaw from the Saw movies. Marcus has the backbone to stand toe to toe with Francis. The ending is the perfect lead up to the next book. The Shepherd will not lead you astray but down a path of horror, chills, suspense, great characters and an equally fantastic story lin…

I was horrified, memorized, and almost afraid to go to sleep…all thanks to The Impaler!

There is a serial killer on the loose. Someone is killing men and leaving them staked through the body into the ground for all to see and a message written on one of the bodies that says “I have returned”.

There is only one man perfect for stopping a serial killer. He is FBI Agent Sam Markham. Sam stopped The Sculptor, in the first book. Though, The Impaler is a different beast of his own. Sam has never seen anything like what he has witnessed with this latest victim. The deeper Sam investigates, the clearer the Impaler’s plan becomes. Will Sam be able to stop the killings before the Impaler claims him as his final victim?

The Impaler is the most recent novel from author, Gregory Funaro. Now having read The Sculptor and now The Impaler, I can say with 100% confidence that I am truly a fan of Mr. Funaro. I really like Sam. He has a great eye for detail that even I did not catch until he starts going with his leads. What I enjoy the most is that Sam and which ever killer he is facing nex…


FBI agent Heather Wallace has just received the most shocking surprise of her life…she has been betrayed by someone very close to her. This person feels that Heather’s relationship with Dante Baptiste is bad news.

Dante is on a mission to rescue Heather and Lucien from Gehenna. It won’t be easy. There are others who have other plans for Dante. The only plan Dante has is to protect Heather.

Etched in Bone is book four in the Maker’s Song series. This is the first book I have read in this series. Though it is not the first book I have read by Adrian Phoenix. I must admit that I like Ms. Phoenix’s new series a bit better. That series starts off with Black Dust Mambo. This book just did not do it for me as I had hoped it would. It seems like this is the type of series that you would better benefit from by reading the books in order, so that you can become attached to the characters. To me the fact that the book started out like it had picked up from the last book did not bother me, so muc…

A New Birth of Freedom

Review by Nancy (my friend)

A New Birth of Freedom by Robert Pielke.

Edwin Blair is a man with a mission. He feels so strongly about it that he allows himself to be transported back in time to 1849. On a train. To meet Abraham Lincoln. He tells Lincoln they will meet again. And they do. Fourteen years later at the White House. Edmund explains to Lincolln and his trusted advisors and he is from a future and has come to warn them against an invasion.

The Pests, gigantic locust who have killed nearly all of the humans in Edwin's time. He figures if he destroys them in the 1800's he has a chance of saving humankind (plus his wife and daughter). We shall see.

In an unprecedented move, Lincoln sends Edwin, with an escort to Gettysburg. There he meets with General Meade who in the midst of battle. Blair has come in under a forced truce and tells Meade he also needs to meet with General Robert E. Lee. Meade reluctantly argees, with persuasion from Lincoln's escort. It turns out that L…

Check out Inkheart!

Ok, so my husband and I found a movie on last night as we were flipping through channels a really cool movie called Inkheart. It stars, Brendan Fraser, Andy Serkis, Paul Bettany, and Helen Mirren to name a few. I had never heard of the books but the idea that someone has the special ability to read a book and have the characters come alive from the pages of the book is very intriguing. I will have to check out the books.

Here is the cover of the orginal book and the summary

Inkheart (original title: Tintenherz) is a young adult-child fantasy novel by Cornelia Funke, and the first book of the Inkworld trilogy.

Inkheart follows the adventures of a 12-year-old girl named Meggie Folchart whose life changes dramatically when she discovers that her father, a bookbinder named Mortimer (Mo), has an unusual ability; when he reads aloud, he can bring characters and items from books into the real world. When Meggie was three years old, Mo read a book called Inkheart aloud to her mother. In an insta…

Learning to Swim is a nail-bitter, edge of your seat, breath of fresh air!

Troy Chance was on the late ferry on Lake Champlain to Vermont. There were very few people on the ferry and most of them were indoors. Out of the corner of Tory’s vision, she sees a movement. Someone fell into the water from the other ferry. Without a second thought, Troy jumps into the lake after the item. For all Tory could know, the item could end up to be someone’s trash that they did not want to recycle.

Tory swims to the last location where she saw the item being thrown in. To her surprise, the item ends up being a little boy. Troy rescues the boy. The boy speaks French and very little English. The boy is silent for the most part except to say his name is Paul. When Troy digs into who would throw a little boy over a ferry, she ends up uncovering something way bigger than herself.

Learning to Swim is the debut novel form author, Sara J. Henry. I have to tell you that this book far exceeded my expectations…twice over! I was hooked right from the beginning. The moment Troy jumped i…

Be prepared to lose track of time as The Night Season draw you in!

Famous female serial killer, Gretchen Lowell has been arrested for the second time. It does not look good for Gretchen this time. Meanwhile, Archie has been seeing a psychiatrist and been staying off the prescription medications for a while now. Archie is actually communicating and working with his co-workers again.

Susan Ward works as a reporter for The Herald. Now that anyone is counting but she and Archie have saved each other’s lives a few too many times. You could almost call Susan and Archie mutual friends. Now when there is a murder, Archie gives Susan the scoop. Like this latest murder. What at first seemed like a drowning has turned into a murder. A woman’s body was found. It seems that she was poisoned. Before Archie can figure out the answers to the questions…who, what and why…another body is found. Can Archie stop the killer before it is too late?

The Night Season is the latest offering from author, Chelsea Cain. While, I am a fan of Mrs. Cain and have been since day one, I…

Angel Sister is a recommended read!

Kate Merritt is the middle sister. Though if you met Kate you would never guess she was so young. She is wiser beyond her young years. Kate is strong. She learned right away that being the middle sister meant caring for yourself. Kate has only cried about a dozen times. Kate helps care for her father. She tucks him in every time that he comes home drunk, helps her mother and cares for younger sister.

Lorena Birdsong is just five years old. Lorena is a pretty brave little girl. When Kate found Lorena sitting on the back steps of the church, she looked right at Kate and knew everything would be alright from that moment on. Kate was her angel. Kate knew that Lorena needed her but what Kate didn’t know is just how much the Merritt family needed Lorena.

Author, Ann H. Gabhart is a new to me author. After reading Angel Sister, I now have Mrs. Gabhart on my radar and will be checking out more of her books. I just absolutely fell in love with Kate, Lorena and the rest of the Merritt family. I f…

'The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson'

Review by Nancy (my friend)
The Secret life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn

Emily Dickinson, one of America's most beloved poets, was an unusual gal! She had impure thoughts, tried her teachers sorely, loved her father (possibly more than was healthy?), imagined sitting on the laps of many men and was the source of an amazing tale of her years in Massachusetts. It begins at Holyoke, a school for young women with the precise intent of creating new nuns, it seems. There she becomes infatuated with Tom the handyman. It was the beginning of Miss Emily's frivolous thoughts but certainly not the end. We read how she is a master baker, never published while her father was alive and how her entire family could have been the basis for many a reality show.

Emily worked hard and loved harder - in her mind only, of course as we are talking about the mid 1800's. Her father is on the Board of Amherst College. Emily has suitors, for all that she is quite small and plain and her sister i…

Skipping a Beat is worth both your money and time. This book will have you skipping all the way to the bookstore.

Julia Dunhill was planning one of her many fund raisers when her life as she knew it was about to get turned upside down very quickly. Julia’s husband, Michael collapses while at work. Michael stood up to speak and his heart just stopped. In fact Michael was officially dead for four minutes and eight seconds.

Lucky for Michael and a little invention called a portable defibrillator. As wikipedia encyclopedia explains, a portable defibrillator is a machine that can help someone who has gone into cardiac arrest through the use of electrical therapy, which just starts the heart into a regular heart beat rhythm.

Now that Michael as a second chance, he has a new perspective at life and his marriage. Julia can’t tolerate the upheaval; Michael is bring into their lives. What is a wife to do?

Skipping a Beat is the first book I have read from author, Sarah Pekkanen and what she has to offer. After reading this book, I plan to go back and read The Opposite of Me. Right from the beginning, I was…


Dreams of a Dark Warrior is Reginleit story. The first time Reginleit, the Radiant One met Aiden, the Fierce; she was just twelve years old. Regin may have been just a small thing but don’t under estimate her as Aiden almost made the mistake of. Regin comes to Aiden to ask for his assistance. She left her home in the skies to find her sister, Lucia. Aiden promises Regin that he will help her find her sister, only because they are meant to be together. One day she will become his wife.

Years later, now that Lucia is safe and Regin is grown, she returns to her fierce warrior, Aiden. After making love, Aiden dies and returns reincarnated. This happens numerous times with Aiden returning as someone else. Regin must fin a way to get Aiden to remember his past; so that they both can have the happy ending they always wanted.

Dreams of a Dark Warrior is book nine in the Immortals After Dark series. I have read maybe only one other book in this series. Though from what I understand from reading…

The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters

There was four sisters. Well technically three sisters and one God sister.

Gi-Gi Chen is the oldest at twenty nine years old. Next is Lily Kong, who is twenty seven, than Mei-Ling, who is twenty six, and finally the youngest, Mimi, who is just sixteen years old. Lily, Mei-Ling and Lily all grew up in China. Gi-Gi grew up in Panama.

Years later Gi-Gi and Mimi ended up living together. Mimi did not know she had other sisters, until one day she and Gi-Gi saw a fortune teller who told them about Lily and Mei-Ling. After learning about Lily and Mei-Ling, the other two went in search of them. The Mirror of Karma and the 4 Sisters is their story.

I thought Mimi as the narrator of this story did a good job. Some times the narrators of stories are not very relatable or don’t really have a stake in the story. This was not the case in either way with Mimi. Gi-Gi was so mature. She could have gotten upset that her mother gave her away but she didn’t and tried to help the others learn this as well.

What Makes a Mystery Good?

What Makes a Mystery Good - The Kate George version.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what it takes to make a good mystery, and you know what I’ve discovered? I don’t know. Yep, I’m a mystery writer and I don’t know what makes a good mystery. I think that’s because the characters are more important to me than the plot.

Don’t get me wrong, I was fascinated by the Da Vinci Code. That was some interesting stuff that Dan Brown threw in there. I was right there with him the whole way, examining The Last Supper and wondering how much of this stuff was true. In fact, I still want to know how much of it is true. But at least in part that was because I identified with Dr. Robert Langdon. That Dude was in a heck of a bind.

What gets me interested in any story, mystery or not, is the protagonist. Can I relate? Do I get inside his or her head? Are the characters believable? I can take quite a bit of improbability if the protagonist comes alive for me. It’s the cast of characters, the human – …

Talking with Laura Fitzgerald + Giveaway

Hello and Welcome.

I read Dreaming in English and loved it. Tamila was my favorite. She had this calmness about her and a caring heart. Speaking of favorite characters, do you have a favorite? If so, who and why?

Oh, my gosh – what a question! I’m not sure if you mean a favorite character in this book or any fictional character, so I’ll answer both.

In Dreaming In English, as well as in Veil of Roses, I have a great affection for Rose. I know her character really well – quite beyond what’s reflected in the story. She’s kind and nonjudgmental, qualities I especially admire in people. She’s also got a secret about her past that I know but that readers don’t, and this adds to my positive feelings for her.

As far as a favorite fictional character not of my creating, there was one character in the past year who made me want to stand up and cheer, and that’s Major Pettigrew from Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. I adored him.

What came first for you in writing this book…the characters or the story l…


Senna Slepy had a husband, Dirk that loved her and four beautiful daughters, Mary Grace, Mary Tessa, Mary Catherine, and Amaryllis. Amaryllis is Senna’s pride and joy. Right from the first moment that she was born, Senna knew she was special. Amaryllis was born in the middle of a blueberry patch.

Things really fall apart for the Slepy family when they travel to Africa. The once picture, perfect family starts cracking. One false step can make everything come crashing down on them.

This book starts out with Senna Slepy standing trial in Africa for killing her husband, Dirk. The story than flashes back to the past and the events leading up to the present. Amaryllis in Blueberry is kind of a dark book. It touches on the raw emotions of the Slepy family and their faith with God. While I did like this book, the only person I felt was of any interest to me was Amaryllis. I found the rest of the sisters got on my nerves. I did however feel bad for Amaryllis’s father. He really loved his daugh…


Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? is a zombie fest, good time! I have not had this much fun reading a book in a very, long time. I can remember sitting in the library reading these adventure books trying to predict the best choice. Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? brings back wonderful memories.

You start out as the hero but be warned as every step you make could be your last. You must decide if you want to be the hero and help people or say screw it and watch your own back. Either choice could be the best choice. There is some language used in this book. Of course though what would you expect…there is a zombie apocalypse and you are supposed to watch your language. What helped really make this book over the top is the fact that the zombies were the genuine kind. They were flesh eating, gruesome beings. After reading this book, I am hoping that choose your own adventure books are making a come back.

Eyes of the Innocent

Investigative reporter, Carter Ross is back. Carter writes for the Newark Eagle –Examiner. Carter’s boss wants Carter to write about the dangers of space heaters, after a house fire that killed two young boys. Carter is being paired with the newest intern, Lauren McMillan aka Sweet Thang.

Akilah Harris is the boys’ mother. At first glance she seems like a devastated mother but there is more to Akilah than meets the eye. Carter would have brushed Akilah off but when councilman, Windy Byers goes missing, Carter’s investigative instincts kick in.

It is not often that when I read a book I am in agreement with the press on their praises about an author or book. In this case they have it right. When I first read Faces of the Gone, I knew Mr. Parks was someone to be watching. It is easy to see why Carter is considered the best in the business. He is tough as nails and has a cynical way about him that I like. Of course living in Newark, I would expect nothing less. Carter and Sweet Thang actu…

A Discovery of Witches

Dr. Diana Bishop has tried her hardest to stay away from her heritage. Diana is one of the last Bishop witches. As try as she might, Diana just can not escape, who she is. Just take Diana’s latest research project…Diane ends up checking out an alchemy manuscript known as Ashmole 782. When Diana touches the manuscript, she feels a charge…a magical one.

Matthew Clairmont is a professor at Oxford. He is also a vampire. Matthew can sense something evil is descending upon Oxford. Matthew shows an interest in Diana. Though is Matthew getting close to Diana because he likes her or for another reason?

A Discovery of Witches is author, Deborah Harkness first novel. While I did enjoy this book. I thought that it moved at a really slow pace. It seemed liked most of the book was just explaining and build up of the story and the characters to help lead into the next book. The problem for me with this book was that every time the story would start to pick up speed, it would slow down for more explan…

The Matchmaker of Kenmare is the perfect reading addition to any reader’s bookshelf!

Kate Begley came from a line of matchmakers. It takes some skill to be a matchmaker and Kate is a natural. Kate is known as the Matchmaker of Kenmare. Kate is a little flighty but she has lots of personality and people just become drawn to her like a moth to a flame.

Ben McCarthy from Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show has returned as the narrator in this book. When Ben first met Kate, he had come to write a story about matchmaking. Ben worked for the Folklore Commission. As Ben gets to know Kate, he becomes intrigued by her. They soon form a friendship.

When Kate meets the dashing, Charles Miller, an American solider in the Army, she and Charles share feelings towards each other. They marry. Charles role in the Army takes him all over Europe. Kate worries about Charles and convinces Ben to travel with her to find Charles.

You could read The Matchmaker of Kenmare as a stand alone novel, but to really appreciate this book and the characters, I would suggest reading Venetia Kelly’s Travelin…

Having a Haunting time with Anjali Banerjee + Giveaway

I want to thank author, Anjali Banerjee for being a guest on my blog.

Writing Ghosts

What’s with all the ghosts?

Before I knew it, they’d slipped into three of my novels. In my children’s book, LOOKING FOR BAPU, a boy named Anu seeks the spirit of his grandfather, Bapu, who died suddenly while the two were bird watching together. Bapu’s ghost visits Anu in his dreams and in the woods. In my novel for adults, IMAGINARY MEN, the ghost of a young woman’s ex-boyfriend appears to help her discover true love. And in my new release, HAUNTING JASMINE, a young divorcee, still reeling from her ex-husband’s infidelity, receives gentle guidance from the spirits of dead authors who reside in her aunt’s haunted bookstore on a rainy Pacific Northwest island.

Why do I find ghosts so attractive? I believe I write them for some of the same reasons people like to read about them. I’ve formulated a few ideas.

To escape from the ordinary…
In real life, we deal with mind-numbing jobs, long commutes, family probl…

Anyone Can Die

God's Warriors Megan Nolan in Paris, pre-9/11.

Till Death Us Do Part Pat and Lorrie on their honeymoon in New Mexico.

My review

I became a fan of Mr. LePore’s when I first read his debut novel, A World I Never Made. I grew close to Pat, Megan and the rest of the characters in the book. Mr. Lepore explains in the beginning of this short booklet that when he had more to tell about his characters that he felt readers should know about. Anyone Can Die is Mr. Lepore’s chance to finally close the book on his characters in A World I Never Made.

In Till Death Do Us Part, Pat Nolan and his wife, Lorrie are on their honey moon in New Mexico. While out sightseeing, Pat and Lorrie stop to take a rest. As Pat and Lorrie are moving on, they pass a group of men. The men call out to Lorrie. Can Pat find the strength to walk on past?

Before Megan Nolan made a major decision that would lead her father, Pat to travel halfway across the world, readers learn what shaped Megan’s path in God’s Warrior. Megan…

Pocket author based new book on 2009 ice storm experience

Pocket author based new book on 2009 ice storm experience by Molly Harper

An ice storm. Stranded in a strange, isolated place without power. Children with an unsettling ability to win staring contests. This is how horror movies start.

Watching the news coverage as cities across the Midwest are pelted by the much-touted historic blizzard, I’m having strange sympathy pangs. In January 2009, an ice storm ripped through Kentucky, taking out power and phone lines for thousands of homes, including mine. The first night I spent camped out in my in-laws’ darkened living room with my two young children, I was sure this was just a temporary blip. It was going to be a funny story we could tell the next winter. As in, “Remember that night we had to sleep on an air mattress in front of Grandma’s fireplace and cook on a gas grill in the garage?”

By the sixth night, I was no longer amused.

Over the next week, Kentuckians were cold, cranky and progressively ill-groomed. I returned to my dark, cold house …

Gated Grief = Giveaway

My Review

In Gated Grief, Leila Levinson shares with readers a glimpse into what her father, Dr. Reuben Levinson witnessed, while treating patients in concentration camps. As well as life for Leila growing up a daughter of a GI Concentration Camp Liberator.

Be warned as the pictures in this book are not for the faint at heart. Some are really hard to stomach only for the fact that they are images of real events that took place to many innocent people. I have been fascinated by books on the subject of the Holocaust. I can remember reading The Hiding Place and The Diary of Anne Frank. Both good books. What made these books so good was the raw emotions that the authors were not afraid to show by sharing the ordeals that they had to go through to survive.

While Gated Grief does touch on some of this. What I took away from this book was that this book was also a discovery of Leila Levinson finding herself and her heritage and who her father was. Hearing stories from some of the other people w…

The Paris Secret is a roller coaster ride that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat!

Maya Sinclair and her boyfriend Ben may be done but that does not mean that Maya is going to let the Paris trip they had planned to go together on go to waste. Besides Maya deserves the trip after putting up with Ben for a year only to have him go back to his ex-wife.

When Maya arrives at the hotel, there is a mix up. The hotel is booked and it seems that Dr. Juliet Rice was supposedly mistaken for Dr. Julius Price. Maya offers to share her room for the night as the hotel promised that another room would be open in the morning. Things quickly go downhill for Maya when Dr. Rice is found murdered in their room. Maya is the prime suspect.

A mysterious stranger by the name of Simon Girard offers Maya assistance. Maya soon finds herself caught in the cross fires of a dangerous game. Will Maya be leaving Paris in a body bag?

The Paris Secret is a roller coaster ride that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat! This book had elements of The Bourne books…mystery, intrigue, and romance. S…

Everyone Loves a Hero is just what the doctor ordered for a cold, winter night!

Cole Langston is a First Officer or in other words “Co-Pilot”. After a safely landing the aircraft after the pilot had a heart attack during a bizarre no less, Cole now finds himself a hero. Cole is ready for someone else to have their fifteen minutes of fame.

Olivia is working temporary at one of the many airport kiosks. Olivia needs the money to help pay for her school. When an angry customer gets in Olivia’s face, Cole comes to the rescue. Cole awakes to find the most beautiful angel he has even seen looking down at him. For all of Cole’s troubles, he gets knocked out. Cole feels a spark towards Olivia. He asks her out and that is when the real sparks begin. Will Cole and Olivia find their happy ending?

I am a fan of Mrs. Force. Her latest novel, Everyone Loves a Hero is just what the doctor ordered for a cold, winter night! Cole and Olivia sizzle together. Cole did not let his fame get to his head. In fact he was just a normal guy, who happened to be really good looking. I liked Ol…

The Werewolf Upstairs is a howling good time!

We first met the residents of this fun apartment complex in the first novel, Strange Neighbors. Now they are back and funnier than ever.

Met Rosalyn Wells. She is good friends with Merry from Strange Neighbors and an attorney. Rosalyn has moved into Merry’s old apartment. Rosalyn is not too sure she made the right decision moving in, until she meets Konrad Wolfensen. Konrad is everything that Rosalyn desires in a man…good looking, tall, charming. There is just one small detail that Rosalyn does not know about Konrad...he is a werewolf.

When Konrad is charged with theft, he turns to Rosalyn for help. Konrad just may have stolen Rosalyn’s heart.

The Werewolf Upstairs is the latest book from author, Ashlyn Chase. I enjoyed reading the first book. It was nice to visiting with everyone again. It was like having the old gang back together again. Though, I hope to see more of Chad. There is so much that I don’t know about him but whenever he makes an appearance, he brings comedic relief. The sp…