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Results 1 - 25 of 180
1. Review: Bang by Lisa McMann


May Contain Spoilers


I thought that Crash, the first book in the Visions trilogy, was a bit repetitive.  Don’t get me wrong – I still couldn’t put it down and read it in short order.  But the never ending replay of the vision haunting Jules became tedious about the 100th time through.  Bang never felt like a CD set on Replay, probably because the vision is Sawyer’s, and Jules does not have firsthand knowledge of it.  Instead, Sawyer’s nightmare is relayed to Jules in painstaking detail as he is forced to watch it over and over again.  That distance made all the difference.

When Sawyer tells Jules that he’s suffering from a vision of an impending disaster, she wants to help him figure out what’s going on so they can stop it from happening.  Sawyer is haunted as the vision becomes ever more gruesome – a pile of bodies lie crumbled in a classroom, staining the floor red with blood.  All he can hear is the bang! bang! bang! of gunfire.  He’s desperate to find a way to make it stop, but if it’s anything like Jules’ vision of the crash, the only way to make it go away is to figure out when the shooting is going to happen and stop it, saving the lives of a bunch of people he doesn’t even know.

Using her experience with her own vision as a guideline, Jules dives in and helps him sort out details of the upcoming tragedy.  Where are the victims?  What are they wearing? Can he tell what time of day the shooting will occur?  They slowly unravel snippets of details about the incident, which aid them as they race to solve the mystery before the shooting happens, or before Sawyer is driven insane by what’s he’s forced to watch all the time.

To complicate matters, Jules and Sawyer have to deal with their families and their animosity towards each other.  The Demarco’s and the Angotti’s certainly know how to hold a grudge.  Neither of their fathers is ready to bury the hatchet on the feud that has simmered between them for years, and both Jules and Sawyer are punished when they are caught together.  Jules is having a terrible time showing any kind of respect for her father.  He’s a liar and a cheat, and she suspects that he’s a coward, as well.  I wonder if he suffers from the visions, too, but hasn’t been able to do anything about them.  Maybe that explains his odd behavior and probable mental illness?

I enjoyed the book because I liked Jules, her siblings, and Sawyer so much.  They are just trying to do the right thing, and not get buried by the weirdness of their families.  They all start to show some independence and resistance to the status quo, though all of their parental relationships suffered for it. 

I don’t want to spoil any of the mystery, so I’ll just sum things up by stating that Bang kept me on the edge of my seat, and I hated to put it down.  It’s a very fast read, with plenty of twists and turns, and enough parental conflict to keep any teenager distracted.  I felt so bad for Jules!  Her home is certainly not a haven for her, and neither is Sawyer’s. I can hardly wait to learn what secrets Jules’ father is hiding in Gasp, the last volume of the Visions trilogy.

Grade:  B+

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

What Sawyer’s seeing might mean murder. The second book in a series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Wake trilogy.

Jules should be happy. She saved a lot of people’s lives and she’s finally with Sawyer, pretty much the guy of her dreams. But the nightmare’s not over, because she somehow managed to pass the psycho vision stuff to Sawyer. Excellent.

Feeling responsible for what he’s going through and knowing that people’s lives are at stake, Jules is determined to help him figure it all out. But Sawyer’s vision is so awful he can barely describe it, much less make sense of it. All he can tell her is there’s a gun, and eleven ear-splitting shots. Bang.

Jules and Sawyer have to work out the details fast, because the visions are getting worse and that means only one thing: time is running out. But every clue they see takes them down the wrong path. If they can’t prevent the vision from happening, lives will be lost. And they may be among the casualties…

The post Review: Bang by Lisa McMann appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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2. Review: Turned by Virna DePaul

May Contain Spoilers


I picked up Turned because I was in the mood for something a little different, and because it’s the first book in a new series.  I don’t intentionally read a lot of vampire books because I prefer a good zombie apocalypse to torment my protagonists, or werewolves, because they just kick butt.  All of that Mine, Mine, Mine, the snappy teeth, and the pack dynamics just work for me.  But I decided to venture into the dark world of vampires, which, in the case of Turned, includes gangs, cults, and rogue vampires.  Oh, and lots of sexy times.  Fun!

Ana is a former gang member.  She has recreated her life, leaving behind the gang and opening a coffee shop in Seattle.  She served a two year prison sentence, and she’s still haunted by the events that caused her incarceration.  On the day she was going to leave the gang and take her younger sister as far away from the crime-seeped life they were living, a rival gang interrupted her jump out ceremony, guns blazing.  When the smoke cleared, Ana was arrested, and her sister disappeared without a word.  Having searched fruitlessly for her for years, she’s approached by a dark, dangerous man who promises that he’ll hook her up with Gloria if she agrees to work for Belladonna, a covert branch of the FBI.

What Ty doesn’t tell her is that he’s a vampire, and that he needs Ana’s help to crack a crime ring that is selling Hispanic immigrants as blood slaves to other vampires.  Ty was turned against his will six months ago, and now he wants the Rogues responsible to pay.  They turned him, turned his friend, and killed his sister.  Struggling to keep his lust for blood and sex under control, he considers himself a monster.  He failed his sister and his friends, all because he thought he was a badass.  He had no clue that there were real monsters lurking in the dark, and now that he’s one of them, he’s searching for a way to return to what he was – human. 

Both Ty and Ana are damaged.  Ty because he was turned against his will, and Ana by a lifetime of being spit on by the people she loved.  She’s only ever been able to count on one person, and she will do anything to ensure that Gloria is safe and happy.  Ty and Ana are both are suffering from tunnel vision as they seek to achieve their goals.  Ana finds it so hard to trust anyone,  or count on anyone, so she is used to doing things for herself, so she doesn’t give Ty much of a chance to prove himself to her. Ty thinks he’s a monster, not fit to be loved, so he denies his feelings for Ana, thinking that he’ll soon be tired of her.  Ha! Foolish vampire!  Once Ana gets under his skin, there is no getting rid of her!

I felt that the pacing faltered near the end.  Ana and Ty find themselves in grave danger, they receive assistance from a surprise source, and then BOOM!  Book two is set up as the attention is shifted from Belladonna busting the masterminds behind the blood slave ring, to busting up a sex ring.  Events at the compound happened so quickly, and the villains were dispatched with equal speed, leaving me feeling a bit let down.

Turned is a gritty vampire yarn, packed with action, blood, and seduction.  It kept me reading late into the night.  I enjoyed the introduction to Virna DePaul’s dark and sensual world, and I’m curious to read more.  I’d really like to learn more about the full-blood vampires lurking in the background, hiding among the humans while manipulating them at the same time.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by publisher

From Amazon:

Perfect for fans of J. R. Ward, Nalini Singh, and Lara Adrian, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Virna DePaul’s new series of paranormal romances introduces readers to a thrilling world where vampires secretly co-exist with humans, seduction rules the night, and the stakes are nothing less than life and undeath.

Welcome to a mesmerizing world where vampires hide among humans. This centuries-old species has its own rules, code of conduct, and taboos. Only the FBI knows that vampires exist—and although the Bureau agrees to keep their secret, it also plots to give humans the upper hand.

Turning mortals into vampires is forbidden.

But there are creatures who refuse to play by the rules.

Ever since he was turned, FBI special agent Ty Duncan has had one mission: bring rogue vampires to justice. As a recruiter for Belladonna, a shadow agency formed to keep vampires in check, Ty must tap Ana Martin, a troubled ex–gang member and one of the few mortals who can infiltrate places that his kind and the law cannot. From their first encounter, Ty fights a hunger to make Ana his own.

When Ty claims to have information about Ana’s missing sister, Ana has no choice but to trust this captivating stranger who awakens her deepest desires. But as she and Ty climb the heights of pleasure and passion, an enemy is conspiring to destroy them both.

Can Ana help Ty find his humanity in a love that could heal them both, or will their passion lead them into a darkness impossible to escape?

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3. Cybils Finalist Review: ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein

Full disclosure: the author of Cybils finalist Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein, is a blogging/writing friend of ours. Yes, that did make me excited to read this companion book to Code Name Verity (reviewed here by Tanita and here by me), which I... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Cybils Finalist Review: ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein as of 4/7/2014 5:53:00 PM
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4. Spotlight and Giveaway-Lie by Night by Cathy Marlowe


Lie by Night by: Cathy Marlowe

Author Bio:

Cathy lives in Missouri with a huge chocolate lab whose crazy antics occasionally appear in her books. She’s blessed with a supportive husband and three wonderful children. When not writing, she coaches soccer and works to create a safe world for children. She loves dark chocolate mint M&Ms accompanied by a steaming mug of coffee, and smart stories that touch the heart while making you laugh, cry and stay up all night turning pages.

When her children were young, she wrote stories for them. Her daughter encouraged her to pursue publication, presenting her with a card that read “God is cheering for you and so am I.” This sign of support has been a source of inspiration for her throughout her writing career.

She believes in the power of each of us to change the world, by word and by deed, in big ways and small.

Her first published novel, Lie by Night, was a winner in the Entangled Smackdown Competition held during National Novel Writer’s Month. A romantic thriller, Lie by Night will be available in March 2014.

Email: cathy@commonpurpose.biz

Website: http://www.cathymarlowe.com/

Blog: To Come

Twitter: @Cathy_Marlowe

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cathy.marlowe.315

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7912384.Cathy_Marlowe

Newsletter: To Come

Release Date: 3/24/14

Genre: Romantic Suspense


When Emma Bailey’s brother disappears, leaving her in possession of dangerous information, there’s no one she can turn to for help. Her desperate search for her brother leads her to a remote island where she discovers the one man who can help her is a man she can’t trust.

Cole Stevens is on a mission to bring down the drug mastermind who threatens to destroy the lives of his family. His plans take an unexpected turn when Emma runs head first into his investigation. Not only is she a danger to his heart, but her brother is one of his key suspects.

Cole and Emma reluctantly join forces to unravel a web of deceit that reaches deeper into their lives than either had imagined. As the lies unravel they will be forced to choose between fear of betrayal and their willingness to put their emotions on the line in order to save the people they love.  

Tagline: Can their web of lies protect them from the truth?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20944633-lie-by-night

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1g5REeu

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1i9NveA

EP Link:  http://bit.ly/1kPYJEK

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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5. Cover Reveal and Giveaway–Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows

I have a cover redesign to share for Honor Reclaimed by Tonya Burrows, as well as a giveaway for you to enter. 

First, here is the synopsis:

Former Marine scout sniper Seth Harlan is new to HORNET and anxious to prove he can still do his job despite an ongoing battle with PTSD. He remembers all too well what it’s like to sit inside an enemy camp, praying for rescue and waiting for death. So when a black ops soldier contacts HORNET to rescue a buddy who was left behind, all sorts of nasty memories strain his newfound stability.


When an interview with a runaway Afghan child bride leads photojournalist Phoebe Leighton to an arms deal involving a suitcase bomb powerful enough to wipe out a mid-sized town, she realizes this is one battle she can’t win on her own. Forming an unlikely alliance with a ragtag team of military and government delinquents, she meets Seth, a sniper carrying as many emotional scars as physical, who impresses her with his steely will and ignites passions within her she thought long dead.

Suddenly this mission is about a lot more than an abandoned soldier. Racing against the clock, Seth, Phoebe, and the rest of HORNET struggle to stop that bomb before it reaches it’s final destination: The United States.


Honor Reclaimed by: Tonya Burrows

Release Date: 5/27/2014

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Website: http://www.tonyaburrows.com/

Blog: http://www.tonya-burrows.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonyaburrows

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonyaburrowsauthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Tonya_Burrows

Newsletter: http://tonyaburrows.us6.list-manage2.com/subscribe?u=e03d7c5ec1a8fdc67db99bac3&id=3cafb9c112

Author Bio: Writing has always been my one true love. I wrote my first novel-length story in 8th grade and haven’t put down my pen since. I received a B.A. in creative writing from SUNY Oswego and I’m now working on a MFA in popular fiction at Seton Hill University.

When I’m not writing, I spend my time reading, painting (badly), exploring new places, and enjoying time with my family. Give me a good horror movie over a chick flick any day. (And, let’s be honest, I’ll take a bad horror movie too!) I’m a geek at heart and pledge my avid TV fandom to Supernatural and Doctor Who. I’m also a big fan of The Voice. What can I say? Guilty pleasure.

I share my life with two dogs and a ginormous cat. I’m from a small town in Western New York, but I suffer from a bad case of wanderlust and usually end up moving someplace new every few years. Luckily, my animals are all excellent travel buddies.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18594360-honor-reclaimed

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1fxVRI1

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1kSdBWz

What do you think of the new cover?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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6. Cybils Finalist Review: OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys

One of this year's Cybils finalist titles in YA Fiction was Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, who wrote the much-acclaimed Between Shades of Gray. Sepetys seems, so far, to specialize in historical fiction, which is a genre I've come to appreciate... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Cybils Finalist Review: OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys as of 3/31/2014 8:13:00 PM
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7. Finally!

Hey, I’m back. It’s only been . . . well, months.  Have been struggling with getting “Buried Alive!,” John Victor’s second adventure, edited and published. It’s available–right now!–online at Create Space’s Book Store.  Finally! But, before I get into that, there’s something exciting (at least for me and possibly for any of you who suffer with insomnia):  Over the counter medicine, prescriptions, and the usual suggestions have all failed me. But, there’s a cure that actually works for me!  Finally! My long-time friend, Erna D, told me about it on the telephone. You simply need a banana, a small saucepan and some water.  Cut both ends of the banana off. (I’m not sure why, but perhaps they’re bitter?).  Then place the banana–skin and all–into a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  Let it simmer for ten minutes.  Then, use the water like tea (I add lots of cream and a little sugar).  Tastes great that way if, like me, you like a little bit of tea with your cream and sugar.  Anyway, drink your tea that tastes slightly like banana, and eat what you can of the banana–skin and all according to Erna–but with my stomach troubles I don’t bother with the skin.  I even mash the banana and add a bit to my tea. Reminds me of the consistency of extra pulp in OJ.  I end up falling asleep within half an hour, instead of struggling for two or more hours.

Getting back to “Buried Alive!,” the scene is set near Tucson, Arizona.  Our intrepid hero is literally buried alive in a crude cedar coffin somewhere beneath the Sonora Desert. And to make it interesting, his “coffin” is digitally connected to a live radio show. The radio host invites a bevy of professionals to communicate with John Victor, in an effort to pull elusive clues from his memory. Professionals like detectives, profilers, scientists, etc.  So they can find him before it’s too late.  An endangered plant is the basis for his being found. There are bits of trivia about the Tucson region, and most importantly of all, there’s information about the Bible. Between John Victor and one other character, bits of Biblical information is revealed, including info about prophesies that have actually been fulfilled–the chance for them being fulfilled is astounding–and about faith in its various forms.  Like with “The SEED,” John’s first adventure, “Buried Alive!” has intrigue, humor, a touch of romance, and faith-based information.  Speaking of “The SEED,” have I mentioned at least a hundred times that it was nominated by a professor for inclusion on Green Mountain College’s required reading list? And that it placed as a top-ten finalist in a national contest?  Well, right now, you can find “Buried Alive” by Ann Rich Duncan by Googling Create Space Book Store.  It’ll be available thru Amazon.com after April 10.  By the way, the ISBN #s are:  13:978-1496055538 and 10: 1496055535.  Here’s a pix of the cover:


0 Comments on Finally! as of 4/1/2014 1:31:00 PM
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8. Spotlight and Giveaway – Pretty Reckless by Jodi Linton

Pretty Reckless by: Jodi Linton

Release Date: 3/24

Genre: Romantic Suspense


Welcome to Pistol Rock, Texas where secrets last about as long as the sporadic west Texas rain showers.

Laney Briggs has long been considered reckless, but she’s turned herself around—she’s respectably engaged and she’s become a Pistol Rock deputy sheriff. Everything’s fine until a dead body turns up and her ex, Texas Ranger Gunner Wilson, decides to stick his boots into the town’s first murder case.

Laney will be damned if she lets Gunner trample all over her turf and her chance at a quiet, contented life. His seemingly endless ability to undermine her resolve and her libido is only outdone by her constant urge to butt heads with him. But when the bodies start to pile up, Laney has to ask the lethal bad boy for a hand—and a truce in exchange for his help.

Having an ex-boyfriend as an ally might not be the best idea, but Laney has always been pretty reckless…

Tagline:  She’s dead-set on giving one bullheaded cowboy the boot.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20944652-pretty-reckless

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1mQSXHY

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1fD6usO

EP Book Page: http://bit.ly/1fD6usO

Author Bio:

Jodi Linton grew up across the street from a cow pasture, where she was more likely to be seen selling Kool-Aid in a Dixie cup at ten cents a pop, or inviting neighbors over to watch one of her plays staged on her father’s Bass boat.  

In 2001, she traded in the rednecks, cowboys, and mesquite trees of her hometown to chase destiny out west. After a few years of mucking it around with the roughnecks, dust storms, and droughts, she decided to dust off her boots and head home. With a History degree in one hand and a marriage license in the other, she followed her husband in 2006 to central Texas the heartland, fabulous Austin.

After settling into the Texas Hill Country with her husband and two kids, she joined the Austin Romance Writers of America, and signed with The Belcastro Agency.  Today she can be found cozied up to the computer escaping into a quirky world of tall tales, sexy, tight jean wearing cowboys, and a protagonist with a sharp-tongue quick enough to hang any man out to dry.


Website: http://jodilinton.com/

Blog: N/A

Twitter: @JodiLinton1

Facebook: http://facebook.com/JodiLintonAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7912388.Jodi_Linton

Newsletter: http://jodilinton.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=4988983a2898e5154762e5bb7&id=2c98479e78

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9. Spotlight and Giveaway-You Again by Ashlee Mallory


You Again by: Ashlee Mallory

Author Bio

Ashlee lives with her husband, two kids, a dog, and cat surrounded by the majestic mountains of her hometown of Salt Lake.

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, she always wanted to know what it was like to live on the other side of the mountains. In college, she interned a semester in DC and later attended law school in Syracuse, New York, where she also ventured to Israel for a summer semester. After graduating law school with a taste of what it’s like living in the bigger world, she moved back home to Salt Lake and took the Utah Bar Exam, got married, and settled in with her hubby and two wonderful kids. After a few more years in the legal realm, she grew restless and turned her pen to one of her first loves—writing stories.

Currently, when she’s not working the day job as in-house counsel, she spends her time with the family and squeezing in writing time—anything to avoid the housekeeping. Just kidding, honey! ;)

She writes with romance and humor at the heart of every story—and a healthy dash of mystery and suspense.

Hopefully she pulls it off.

Email: Ashleemallory7@gmail.com

Website: http://www.ashleemallory.com/

Blog: http://ashleemallory.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AshleeMallory

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashlee.mallory.50

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7912393.Ashlee_Mallory

Newsletter: N/A

Release Date: 3/24/14

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis: A hopeless crush…

Back in high school, Allie McBride thought the sun set around Sam Fratto’s smiles, even if they were only friends. Now she’s older, wiser, hotter, and teaching at the same school they grew up in. When Sam joins the faculty, she has a chance to make good on the crush that got away. But when a dead body turns up on school grounds, they realize there might be a murderer in their midst. The heat keeps getting hotter between Allie and Sam, but more might be in danger than their hearts…

The cute kid from high school is all grown up…

A family crisis brings true-crime writer Sam Fratto back to town after more than a decade’s absence. Teaching at his alma mater seems like a good way to pass the time—especially when he sees that Allie, the geeky, sweet-mannered girl from high school, has blossomed into the saucy teacher in the classroom next door. Too bad finding a dead body transforms his return into one of his true-crime books come to life. And when it seems the killer might be after Allie next, it’s up to him to keep her safe…

A killer determined to keep the past buried at any price…

As if dealing with the return of one ghost from her past wasn’t enough, it looks like the killer might be the person they least suspected. Someone from the past. Someone with something to hide. Someone who thinks Allie and Sam are getting a little too close to the truth. If Allie and Sam are going to get out of this alive, these two friends to lovers will have to work together…or die together…

Tagline: Old acquaintances, New Lovers, and Murder…

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20944708-you-again

Amazon Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1nkJ0iA

Barnes & Noble Buy Link: http://bit.ly/1ceCGYw

Entangled Book Link: http://bit.ly/1gNPFh3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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10. Meet Winslow from Shana Galen’s True Spies and Giveaway!

Today’s special guest is Winslow, the sexy and secretive hero of Shana Galen’s latest release True Spies.  After meeting Winslow, enter for a chance to win a copy of True Spies!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.

[Winslow] Charming, witty, deadly

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of one of England’s elite spies?

[Winslow] I don’t know anything about spies. I’m just a baron who has to travel a lot to oversee his estates. I don’t know anything about spying or the Barbican group or that madman trying to topple the monarchy.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Elinor?

[Winslow] I don’t think I can share the first three words that come to mind. The second three are smart, brave, and sensual.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about her?

[Winslow] Is she going to see this interview? If not, the most exasperating thing about her is that she doesn’t seem to understand that women do not make good operatives. She should stay out of the way when it comes to the business of spying—not that I know anything about spies. If she is going to see this interview, then nothing about her exasperates me. She’s perfect as she is.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?

[Winslow] I would change the kind of father I’ve been. I haven’t been present enough in my daughters’ lives. I am changing that now.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?

[Winslow] Letters of transit. One never knows when one might be called upon to take an unscheduled trip to somewhere classified to—you know—oversee an estate.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t conducting covert operations?

[Winslow] I don’t conduct covert operations, but if I did and I had a few days’ respite, I’d spend it in my wife’s bed.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.

[Winslow] More time in bed.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

[Winslow] Thank you, but let’s keep this conversation classified.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Mum’s the word!

About the book:


He’s Getting Tired of Deception…

Baron Winslow Keating is honor-bound to finish one last mission as an elite spy for the Barbican group even though he just wants to go home and be with his family. But after years of secrecy and absence, his daughters hardly know him and his wife has given up on him…

She Wants to Try a Little Intrigue…

Lady Elinor has had enough of domestic boredom. She contemplates an affair with a rakish spy, only to discover a world of intrigue and treachery that she never knew existed. Even more shocking, her neglectful husband is suddenly very attentive—quite the jealous type—and apparently there is much more to him than she ever knew…



Shana Galen is the author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the Lord and Lady Spy Series, the Jewels of the Ton Series, as well as the Sons of the Revolution Trilogy. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time, and is working on more regency romance novels! She’s happily married to the Ultimate Sportsfan and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her website at www.shanagalen.com or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

To Purchase True Spies:

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11. Book Review: Conjured


by Sarah Beth Durst

Synopsis: Eve remembers nothing. No past, and not even any recent memories. Eve isn't even her real name – she has no idea who she really is. All she knows is that she's in the witness protection program, and that she can do magic. Any use of magic, though, causes incapacitating visions of a strange carnival, and a Magician and a Storyteller. Eve begins to suspect that the visions are actually memories, but who are the Magician and the Storyteller? And more important, who is Eve?

A magical serial killer is on the loose, and Eve may be the key to finding him, if only she can remember in time. As Eve tries to unravel the mystery of her life, it becomes increasingly difficult to know who she can trust. The Witsec agents? Patti, the library manager? Zach, the boy in the library that she wants to kiss? Or handsome, cocky Aidan, who has magic of his own? It seems that everyone has their own idea of what Eve should be doing. But in order to decide what to do, Eve must first figure out who she is.

Review: Conjured is an exquisitely crafted book that stands out for its tight writing, unique story, and intriguing character arc. Durst obviously spent time and care on the writing: every word is carefully chosen and rich with meaning, from smells, sounds and colors, to the use of point of view.

It must have been exceptionally difficult to write a character who is essentially a tabula rasa at the beginning, and do it in an engaging way, but Durst succeeded admirably. Eve is engaging, and the reader becomes her as her character journey unfolds. An important theme of this book is defining who you are for yourself, rather than allowing your past or other people to define who you are.

Conjured is mysterious, suspenseful, and oh so creepy. The descriptions are evocative and convey a strong sense of atmosphere, whether the deliciously comforting atmosphere in the library where Eve works, (obviously written by a book lover!) or the bizarre and creepy atmosphere in her visions.

Put this in the hands of anyone who enjoys the creepy, mysterious, and atmospheric books, or someone who is just looking for something a little bit different.

Get it from:
FTC required disclosure: Review copy sent by the publisher to enable me to write this review. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.

0 Comments on Book Review: Conjured as of 9/19/2013 2:08:00 PM
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12. Interview with Loreth Anne White, Author of The Missing Colton and Giveaway!

Please give a warm welcome to Loreth Anne White!  She’s visiting the virtual offices to chat about The Missing Colton, and she has a book for one of you to win!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Loreth Anne White]   Hugely empathetic. Passionate. Intense. Analytical. Philosophical … Serious. (Yeah, yeah, makes me sound like a barrel of fun, I know!) Understanding. Open minded. Adventurous. Unsettled. Solitary.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Missing Colton?

[Loreth Anne White] THE MISSING COLTON is book 3 in the Colton’s of Wyoming Continuity from Harlequin Romantic Suspense. The dark mystery of a Colton child’s disappearance has haunted Dead River Ranch for thirty years and solving the crime is foreign correspondent Jagger McKnight’s last chance to put his war-ravaged past to rest.

But his undercover mission leaves him the victim of an attack. And he wakes up to discover that beautiful infirmary nurse Mia Sanders believes he’s the missing Colton.

Now the real danger begins. An unknown enemy has Jagger—and Mia—in sight. For survival and the sake of his story, he must lie to the woman he’ll do anything to protect. But when deception turns deadly, can love save them both?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Loreth Anne White] The story concept was the brainchild of the Harlequin Romantic Suspense editorial team, and they gave all six of us contributing authors a ‘bible’ from which to work. The bible outlined the overall arc of the series and within that framework, we were each given room to create our own characters and sub stories. I was given an amnesia theme, and a war-ravaged hero who was partnered with the ranch nurse. It gave me the opportunity to play with the concept of how memory shapes who we are, and how the secrets we keep affect not only those around us, but ourselves. All this set against the exciting and drama-laden backdrop of the Colton ranch and missing baby saga. It was a challenge juggling the huge cast that appeared across the books, but it was also huge fun!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Mia?

[Loreth Anne White] Nurturing. Sensitive. Bold.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Jagger had a theme song, what would it be?

[Loreth Anne White] Fun question! I think it would be Five For Fighting’s Superman (It’s Not Easy). Because Jagger is bold, he’s strong. He’s a journalistic crusader, a hero. But inside he’s broken.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Mia is never without.

[Loreth Anne White] Her first aid and backcountry survival kit. It saves them in the end!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Jagger’s bedroom?

[Loreth Anne White] Signs that he lives there J. Jagger has been without a real ‘home’ base for many long years. In fact, he hasn’t felt a real sense of home and belonging since he was taken away from his ‘mother’, the woman who kidnapped him when he was baby.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Mia’s greatest regret?

[Loreth Anne White] Believing that the man who left her standing at the altar loved her.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Loreth Anne White] I was turned onto writing for the romantic suspense genre by reading authors like Tami Hoag, Lisa Gardiner, Tess Gerritsen, Elizabeth Lowell/Anne Maxwell, Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockman, Linda Howard. Their novels–among those of many others–have inspired my writing. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Loreth Anne White] A big bottle of water on my desk. And I need a clean desk — well, as clean as it can be — before I can create. And my Black Beast of a labradog at my feet :)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Loreth Anne White] The last book I read that really wowed me was THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey. Part fairy tale, part myth, part historical set against the rugged and often brutal backdrop of Alaska in the 1920s. It’s lyrical, and complex in its deceptive simplicity. And there was romance in it–a tender, loving, growing relationship between an isolated husband and wife. Eowyn Ivey has a wonderfully light touch, never overdoing anything. Really loved it.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Loreth Anne White] A book about a spotty pig that my grandfather bought for me when I was two. I adored it, and have not been without books since.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Loreth Anne White] Cross country skiing and skijoring with my Black Beast (aka Hudson), biking and hiking our local mountain trails. Tracking, search games, other dog sports. Camping. Reading. I like to cook and wish I had a garden where I could grow herbs and veg and have chickens.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Loreth Anne White] I love hearing from readers! I can be contacted in several ways:

Through the contact form on my website here: http://www.lorethannewhite.com/#!contact/c1kcz

Via email: loreth.anne @ gmail .com (Spaces for security)

Via my newsletter–sign up is here: http://lorethannewhite.us6.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bac74ac639fddddc3d7612500&id=c450725ea7

My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Loreth.Anne.White?ref=hl

My Twitter: @loreth

My Goodreads profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150272.Loreth_Anne_White

[Manga Maniac Cafe]  Thank you!


US addresses only please

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the book:

A gripping Coltons of Wyoming mystery unfolds from award-winning author Loreth Anne White

The dark mystery of a Colton child’s disappearance has haunted Dead River Ranch for thirty years. Solving the crime is foreign correspondent Jagger McKnight’s last chance to put his war-ravaged past to rest. But his undercover mission leaves him the victim of an attack. And he wakes up to discover that beautiful infirmary nurse Mia Sanders believes he’s the missing Colton.

Now the real danger begins. An unknown enemy has Jagger—and Mia—in sight. For survival and the sake of his story, he must lie to the woman he’ll do anything to protect. But when deception turns deadly, can love save them both?

About the author:

Loreth Anne White hails from southern Africa, but now lives in Whistler, a ski resort in the moody Coast Mountain range. It’s a place of vast, wild and often dangerous mountains, larger-than-life characters, epic adventure, and romance — the perfect place to escape reality. And the perfect inspiration for her new Snowy Creek series!

It’s no wonder it was here she was inspired to abandon a 16-year career in newspapers to escape into a world of romantic fiction filled with dangerous men and adventurous women.

When she’s not writing you will find her long-distance running, biking or skiing on the trails with her Black Dog, and generally trying to avoid the bears – albeit not very successfully. She calls this work, because it’s when the best ideas come.

Loreth has won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s choice award, is a double Romantic Times Reviewers’ choice award finalist, a double Rita finalist, a double Daphne Du Maurier finalist, and multiple CataRomance Reviewers’ choice winner. Her new single title Romantic Suspense, PIECES OF YOU ~ A Snowy Creek Novel, is out now!

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13. When It Comes in Threes: Chapter 3 “Meet My Daddy”

This is Chapter 3 of the new novel I’m working on.  This book is a piece of Young Adult Fiction.  Young readers should be particularly advised that this chapter is harsh, and if this were a movie, it would be given a PG-13 rating.  Chapters 1 and 2 are published here also at www.toniaalengould.com. I’m uncertain how many chapters I will publish here on this blog.  Your feedback is welcomed and appreciated, and please kindly note that this is only fairly edited to this point.

Meet My Daddy

Last night, when the house was quiet and nothing was keeping the room lit but for the dime store digital alarm clock Mama got me and Bartlett for Christmas last year; my sister broke the night’s calm by shifting her weight and turning over in her bed to face me in mine.  “Barley, you awake?” she whispered.  Not waiting for me to answer she continued, “It’s real late and daddy ain’t home yet. When he gets in, I don’t want you to make one single, solitary sound in here, no matter what happens.  You hear me?” Bartlett pleaded.  I shivered and pulled the covers tighter over my body and used the top of them to wipe the tears that already began to roll as big as dimes down my cheek and said, “Uh huh, I hear you,” I said, knowing she was right and that the shit was about to hit the fan.  I tried to muster a voice inside me big and loud, but what came out of my mouth squeaked like one of those kangaroo mice that we occasionally caught meekly poking their heads out of our paneled wood walls, disappearing as quickly as they came, here and gone again, just like my tears now.  My whole body began to tremble and shake and my feet were so cold, it felt like I had popsicles for toes.

Bartlett rose up out of her bed looking like a ghost or something, looming over me like that in her cotton white nightgown; her face was nothing but a shadow in the darkness, and for a second, I thought I was dreaming or having a nightmare or something.  I pinched myself sharply and only when I felt the pain was I certain she was real and not a figment of my imagination.  Finally, she sat down on the edge of my bed.  “Sit up for a second,” she said, as she pulled back the covers and tugged at my arms, effortlessly bringing me up next to her.  I couldn’t make out her face in the darkness, although her white cotton nightgown seemed to illuminate the whole bedroom.   She stroked my long, dark hair and whispered in my ear.  I know she could feel me trembling beside her, and even though sometimes I hated her, I was so grateful for my sister’s warmth tonight.  “Shhh,” she said.  “Maybe it won’t be so bad this time.  Give me a hug and try to go on back to sleep now and remember that no matter what happens, you stay in this here bed and don’t get outta it for anything, until Kingdom come if you have to, or at least until I say so” she said, as she pulled me tighter in next to her body.  I hugged her limply, like something had sucked the bones out of me and I was nothing but a gob of dangling, cold skin, but it weren’t for but a second, before she got up and paced across the room to check on Graham, who was sleeping soundly in his own bed.  I knew Bartlett would be by his side stifling him, muzzling his mouth if she had to, if things got really ugly.  So I just laid there—cold and limp, a lifeless, waiting, trembling, hoping and praying mass-of-a-child.  If you’ve never had the experience, waiting for something bad to happen feels like all the oxygen has been snatched-up outta the air, your throat and lips feel awfully dry, you can’t hardly swallow your own spit for the lump in your throat won’t let it go down, and it’s as if the Earth collapsed and shattered to giants chunks of rubble around you, pinning you in and leaving you breathless.  Yes.  Waiting feels like something big and looming and enormous like that.

Another hour or so must’ve passed as we laid there in silence before the headlights from daddy’s ’59 Impala finally ricocheted off the walls and reflected from the mirror that sat on top of our dresser.  The light was so bright, it was blinding, and it felt like Lord Jesus had come to take us home.  I could hear the tires spitting-up gravel from the driveway and the pistons rumble and fade away into the darkness once Daddy turned off the ignition.  Moments pass and he finally gets out of the car, slamming the door forcibly as he exits.  Then the thud, thud, thud of his feet comin’ up the porch steps, tromping the whole way.  Suddenly, I became consumed by each and every sound my father was making, each noise was a siren, a warning call that rang loud and true and into the stillness of the night.  It was almost more than I could bear, waitin’ for my Daddy to find his keys and enter the trailer.  I wasn’t breathing, but I wasn’t holding my breath neither, it’s like I had my foot stomped on and was punched in the belly all at the same time.   Rattle, Rattle, rattle; he fumbled with the doorknob, turned it, and then finally fell into the kitchen which was right outside our bedroom.  He was struggling to find the light switch; I could hear him grasping at the walls, groping the wood paneling, and scraping the dinette chairs across the floor as he clumsily made his way to the light switch across the small kitchen.

From where I was laying, I could see the dark outline of his body through the crack in our bedroom door.  I screeched a bit when he finally turned on the light, it surprised me so much, since I had become particularly fixated on all the sounds he was making and due to the suspense of it all. Bartlett shushed me again, but fortunately Daddy hadn’t heard me. Bartlett was right, it was best to pretend I was asleep, but I couldn’t help but watch through that small opening in our bedroom door.

I wanted to roll over in my bed and face Bartlett, but it was too darn late, I had to lay still, or I might’ve caught Daddy’s attention, so I watched as he tried to navigate around the kitchen. Daddy has knocked over a chair, and I watch as he stumbled and fell forward, trying to pick it up.  When he finally brought the chair upright, he heaved his body into and lit himself up a Marlboro, and thankfully the whole trailer fell quiet again.  We can hear Mama as she slowly eased herself up out of her bed through the paper thin walls leading to the bedroom next to ours.  The rickety old box springs from the cast iron bed Mama and Daddy got from a flea market, is the only thing to break the silence.  “No Mama,” I prayed.  “Please don’t get up.  Let him be.  Don’t go in there,” I prayed.  But I  knew God wasn’t listening to Barley Sullivan tonight, because I watched as Mama drowsily entered the kitchen, wiping the sleep out of her reddened eyes.  I could see that mom had been crying, and guessed probably she had cried the whole night long.  The stench of the alcohol on Daddy’s breath, and what smells like a somewhat familiar perfume now permeates the air throughout the entire trailer.  Mama is ten shades of mad because Daddy has been out so late.  She glances around the kitchen in disbelief. “Earl, it looks like a God-damned circus ran through here,” she says as she stoops to pick up an errant chair up off the floor.  Mama’s right.  It was a circus in there and unbeknownst to her; she just stepped into the lion’s lair.  Like I’ve said before, Mama didn’t have too much common sense.

“You think ya can just saunter on in here, any old time ya God-damned want, drunker than a skunk and smellin’ like June’s cheap-ass perfume all the time?  I’m getting pretty fuckin’ sick and tired of it, Earl!” she yells.  “If my brother John gets a hold of you, he’s gonna kill you for runnin’ around with her like that.  What?  You think I don’t know?  I’m not fuckin’ stupid,” my Mama laughs. The argument ensues, both of them screaming back and forth at one another, but some of what they are talking about makes absolutely no sense to me—like what does Aunt June have to do with any of this, anyway?  It’s all over my head, and Daddy is so belligerent, I can’t make sense of what he is saying at all.  Their voices rise another octave, and the neighbor’s dog, George, begins to bark and that beckons other dogs in the trailer park to wake and come alive with their unrelenting barking.  Daddy’s voice suddenly shifts to a dangerous tone, and I can feel it in my gut.  It’s too late, there’s no undoing what’s Mama’s done.  She has incensed my father.

Despite Bartlett’s admonishment, I sit up on the side of my bed, my legs dangling, holding on tightly to the stuffed monkey I got from that time I got put in the hospital when my appendix almost burst.  Doctor Cooper gave him to me.  I loved that stuffed monkey because he reminded me of a special time.   For two weeks, while I was in the hospital, I got to eat all the ice cream I ever wanted, there weren’t any televisions on blaring loudly twenty-four-hours a day, and Daddy and Mama weren’t there fighting about things I just didn’t understand, like they were doing tonight.  Hell, Mama and Daddy barely even came to see me when I was in the hospital back when I was only just nine-years-old, and oddly enough, I was okay with that. Those two weeks were the first time in my life I had ever experienced what silence was.  I could think there in the hospital.  I wasn’t all wound-up and scared all the time.  In fact, it felt like I had boarded a plane, and landed in some faraway perfect place.  For a kid like me, growing up in a trailer park, staying in a hospital feels something like staying at one of those fine resorts I read about in one of those magazines Jeannie Bell had down in her parlor shop in town.  Bartlett breaks me away from my reverie and whispered loudly again, “Lie back down and pretend that you’re asleep!  If Daddy sees you, he’ll up and come on in here and whoop us both.  Do it now!”

But I don’t listen to Bartlett.  My body feels possessed by someone bigger and braver than me.  Instead, I continue to rock myself gently back and forth, trying to will away the feuding coming from the other room.   Daddy is cursing something fierce, and then I hear him push a chair out of his way as he crosses over to Mama where I can’t see them anymore.   I knew better, and despite all of Bartlett’s warnings, I got up and tip-toed myself across the floor to the door and stepped quietly over to the other side of it to peer through the crack to see where my Mama and Daddy are standing on the other side of the kitchen.  Daddy’s already got her pressed right up against the wall, his arm pinned across her throat and he is yelling directly into her face.  He’s so mad, I can see little droplets of spittle flying into the air as he screams at her.  And then, before I can digest what I am seeing, I watch in outright horror as Daddy leans over and picks up one of those fallen chairs and busts it right across my Mama’s head.  She falters and falls hard to the ground, moaning in anguish, her body is now a lifeless heap strewn clear across the floor in a pink, cotton-candy-colored, terry-cloth robe.  With a grumble underneath his breath, my Daddy steps over her body, like she’s nothing more than the day’s trash, and stumbles into their bedroom.  I watch him hoist his fully-clothed body onto that old bed, the sheer weight of him causes those box springs to creak and whine again, and almost immediately, the sound of his snoring breaks the dead quiet silence of daybreak.  The morning light is already filtering in through the windows, casting morning sun on my poor mother, splayed out on the floor in her pink robe.

Mama was lying perfectly still on the floor, and I was almost certain she was dead.  A thin, red trickle of blood oozed from a wide, deep gash on her forehead.  I was crying, but my sobs were coming from some subterranean part of myself.  Even if I wanted to, I could not project any noise; I had learned so early on in life to stifle my emotions and to filter my own pain.  My stomach was heaving in and out while a steady train of new tears rolled down my face.  It took every ounce of my courage to walk over to Mama to see if she was breathing or dead.  Just as I crossed over the kitchen and came to her side, my mother looked up at me, surprised to see me and immediately placed her right index finger next to her lips and mouthed the word “Shhhhh!”  I leaned over her and gave her my hand, which she gratefully took, and I helped her up off the cold, hard linoleum tiles.  Without saying a word, she led me back to my room where Bartlett stood crying at the door, holding Graham in her arms; he was almost too big for her carry.  He was buried deep in her bosom and I knew Bartlett hadn’t let him see anything that went on in the kitchen.  “Go on back in there now, you three.  Ain’t nothin’ more to see out here tonight,” Mama said as she motioned us back into our bedroom. “I’m ok,” she said, “It’s just nothin’ but a little bump on the head.  Y’all go back to sleep, and stay good and quiet in here, you hear me?” she whispered.   Mama led me back into our room, where she tucked me into bed, checked on Graham who rolled over immediately and went back to sleep, and then looked thankfully towards Bartlett.  Then with some degree of dignity, she straightened her back and walked out of our room and back into the kitchen.

The door to our room was left cracked open again and I watched as she lit herself a cigarette, inhaling the smoke deeply into her lungs where she savored it a moment until she finally exhaled, and then she sat down at the dinette table, drew her feet up onto the chair and rested her head on her knees, her body trembling from head-to-toe as she silently watered her lap with her tears.  I wanted to go to her again, but I knew if I did, she would retaliate on me just to prove she was still strong and in charge, like she had done so many times before after a beating from Daddy, so I just laid there and saw her arms heave up and down as she cried, watching as the early morning light cleansed and clarified the kitchen, hoping for a new and brighter day.

0 Comments on When It Comes in Threes: Chapter 3 “Meet My Daddy” as of 9/29/2013 9:16:00 PM
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14. Spotlight and Giveaway! Mercy by Jan Coffey

Author Interview with Jan Coffey (aka May McGoldrick, aka Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick)

Q. What inspired you to become an author?

We’ve always been writers and readers! Nikoo used to write stories for her grade school friends. After high school, being very good at math and sciences, she was encouraged to go to engineering school. After all, that was where the JOBS were. So she did…and tucked away her love of writing (in a safe spot) in favor of her immediate responsibilities. Later on, writing took a backseat to paying a mortgage and raising a family. She never lost her love of storytelling, though.

Jim wrote poetry and ‘007’ skits for the other kids in the neighborhood. He later became an English major and at least tried to stay in touch with his desire to write. In fact, after finishing college he wrote a screenplay that almost sold to Robert Redford’s production company. But real life again interfered with dreams as he pursued a career in a submarine shipyard before going back to school and getting his PhD some ten years later.

Q. Why did you decide to write together?

After our younger son successfully came through heart surgery as an infant, we found ourselves reassessing our lives and our goals. We have always been storytellers and readers, and we decided to try writing a short story together. That story, a prizewinner in a national writing contest, was the first step. The next step, naturally, was a full-length historical novel!

Q. You are somewhat unique in that you are a married writing team. How well does that work for you, and what are the pluses and minuses?

We can no longer even imagine writing separately. In our nonfiction book, Marriage of Minds: Collaborative Fiction Writing, we talk about the difficulties and the delights of working together, but we can tell you that the joys outweigh the hardships by a mile…at least for us. To sum it up, everything comes down to our ability to separate the work from the person. We came to the realization early on that just because we don’t like a passage or a paragraph or a chapter that our partner wrote, that doesn’t mean we don’t like THEM. Another thing that has made our writing career possible is that we had a solid foundation in our marriage (thirteen years!) before we started collaborating on our fiction.

Q. What is the biggest challenge and the biggest pleasure about writing as a team? Do you each have a particular area of specialty in the writing?

Two heads being better than one should be the theme song for every collaborative writing team. You are never alone. You always have someone to talk over your ideas with. But of course, having two heads doesn’t necessarily mean that you have twice the brain… or that you can write twice as fast. Also, feeding times are difficult…bathroom times are hell.

The biggest pleasure that we’ve found in the actual act of writing is the feeling of complementing each other. While we don’t really have specialty areas, Nikoo could be characterized as the screenwriter type (she loves writing dialogue), and Jim is more the poet type (he loves imagery and language, descriptive passages… he also loves sleeping in late, long walks on the beach, old movies… anything to keep from working.)

Q. Do you write in different genres?

We do. Our choice of historical romance was simple… Jim had the historical information from his dissertation work and his PhD, and Nikoo had the stories. And we’re both fervent believers in satisfying endings! So May McGoldrick was born.

After more than a dozen historical romances under our belt, we pursued romantic suspense and suspense thrillers under the name Jan Coffey.

Our decision to write nonfiction grew out of our desire to help other writers who might be looking for an alternative way to successfully tell their stories. Also, we’re teachers, so many of our handouts and exercises went into our Step Write Up collection.

We also write young adult under both names.

Q. How did you come up with the story for Mercy? Is the book, the characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

For many years we lived in Newport, Rhode Island. Our house was an early nineteenth-century home that was rumored to be haunted by two sisters—very friendly ghosts. During our years living there, we experienced some strange things. There were many occasions when our dog would wag his tail and bark excitedly at an empty doorway. Also, our toddler would smile and wave his hand at the same invisible people that we couldn’t see. Doors closed on their own. There were creaks in the old plank floors after we go to bed. On one occasion, Nikoo was baking in the kitchen when a cold hand touched her face. She turned to find the baby monitor had gone off. Running upstairs, she found our son was choking in his crib. To this day, we credit the sisters for saving our child’s life.

An old seaport town, Newport is famous for the ghosts of pirates and seamen and the families that they were left behind. There are stories of executed buccaneers being buried on the shore below the high tide line so the souls would never rest as the waves washed across the sands. There are so many ghost stories about the historical homes on the island.

Our novella Mercy was pieced together from many of those stories. An inn on the bluffs, a widow’s walk on a house on another corner of the island, an angry ghost who unsettled every occupant of the home she haunted. Isn’t this the way all stories are born?

Q. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

We start with a working title. The final book title always goes through a constant revision because the two of us have to agree. That often takes some negotiating before deciding on the final name. Of course, there have been many instances when the marketing departments at our publishers have changed the title in the eleventh hour. We still get letters from fans saying, “Why can’t I find a copy of the novel Jeweled Cup that was advertised in the back of one of your earlier works?” Jeweled Cup became Flame. And that is another ghost story, but set in the Scottish highlands…

Q. Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

We have been working on Road Kill (working title) about a small-town Connecticut photographer that discovers crime scene photos are mixed in with her work—pictures of a slayings that have not yet been discovered. As the result, she becomes the center of a police investigation and the target of a killer’s obsession.

We love to hear from our readers. So please stay in touch.

Nikoo & Jim


Mercy by Jan Coffey

ISBN: 9781622663347

Book Description:

Julia Klein’s life has begun to unravel—her daughter Amy has been suspended from school, Julia is about to lose her job, and her boyfriend Garrett is being transferred thousands of miles away.

Overwhelmed, she and Amy leave for a weekend at a rambling old colonial inn. Julia never suspects that Garrett, desperate to find a way to keep Julia in his life, has decided to surprise her by joining them. Nor does she expect her daughter to befriend a mischievous ghost…or that she herself would be possessed by the malevolent spirit of a long-dead mother.

As a dark secret emerges, Julia, Amy, and Garrett find themselves pitted in a fight for survival against a savage presence that intends to resurrect/repeat/relive a horrible crime committed two centuries ago. And this time, Amy and Julia will be the victims.

Amazon BN Goodreads


Starting up the stairs, Garrett tried to bury the image of a teary Julia when she’d closed the door on him yesterday after he’d arrived at her house. She’d been too upset to talk.

He shivered as a gust of cold air rushed down the stairwell, slapping him in the face. Garrett hesitated, startled by the sharpness of it. At the top of the steps, a shadow moved, catching his eye. But when he reached the second floor landing, he was surprised to see no one there and no open window.

Doors were visible on both sides of the well-lit hallway. A light flickered behind him. Then, halfway down, a bulb buzzed, blazed intensely, and burned out. He stopped dead. A tall woman in a long, gray dress was standing beneath the darkened light, glaring at him.

Something in her face kept him from looking away. Her eyes burned with emotion. Bitterness. Anger. Hatred.

The hairs on his neck rose when she started in his direction. She moved toward him, filling the narrow hallway.

Garrett turned to make room for her, shuffling his overnight bag from one shoulder to the other, but as he did, his room key dropped to the floor.

When he bent down to retrieve it, chilled air, oppressive and gray, hit him like a wave.

He froze. He’d felt this sensation once before, diving with a film crew at the raising of a sunken slave ship. It was in the ship’s cargo hold. It was a feeling so icy, so overwhelming, that it went straight through him, infusing his bones, numbing him. With it came a sudden memory of some forgotten nightmare—a barren winter field, the gaping black hole of a bottomless grave. He could almost taste the dank odor of death.

Cold panic washed through him. She was on him, all around him. He could feel the woman’s fury. Snatching the key, he straightened up.

She was gone.

Garrett looked up and down the hallway. He was alone. No door had opened or closed. The woman had disappeared.

He was in a colonial inn in Newport, he thought. Of course it could be haunted. He ran a hand over his face. Key in hand, he continued down the hall. By the burned-out light, he saw a set of stairs going up to the third floor. Peering up, he saw the chain across the steps with a sign. ‘Private Residence’. It was dark beyond.

Julia had no idea that he was coming. He’d been on the phone with her this afternoon, and they’d even sent texts back and forth a couple of times tonight. He had given her no inkling that he was already on his way to Newport. Yesterday, he’d been shut out. By showing up here today, he wanted to show Julia that the promotion and the move didn’t change the way he felt. He wanted to be part of their life.

His room was just beyond Julia’s. With one last look down the hall, he turned the key in his door and entered the dark room. A gust of autumn wind blew in from an open window, rattling a picture frame on the wall and causing the gauze curtains to stand straight out like ghostly wings against the ceiling.

Standing inside the door, Garrett sensed that he was not alone in the room. He could feel the eyes of someone watching him. Hating him.

He switched on a lamp by the door. Yellow light bathed the room, throwing deep shadows into dark corners.

The door slammed and Garrett jumped, his eyes sweeping the room. The wind eased, and the sheers fell calmly against the sills. No one else was there.

"Halloween, a wicked draft, and exhaustion," he muttered. “Get a grip.”

The temperature had dropped considerably since he left Boston this afternoon. He closed the window and glanced around at the furnishings. Four-poster bed. The usual dressers and tables. Two reading chairs by the window. Exposed ceiling rafters of rough-hewn timber completed the colonial feel of the room. At one end, the bathroom. At the other end, a door that he knew must lead into Julia and Amy’s room.

He checked his phone. The last text from Julia had come a few minutes after seven. They were walking into the theater to see a movie. Almost two hours ago.

His eye was drawn to Julia’s door. He walked over and unbolted the latch, but it was locked from the other side.

He stopped, hearing faint voices. Snatches of conversation.


I want to stay…

Telling you…Go.

A woman and a child’s voice. But the woman didn’t sound like Julia. And it couldn’t have been Amy. For a second, he wondered if the receptionist downstairs had put him in the wrong room.

"Julia?" he called, pressing his palm flat against the door. The wood felt like ice.

The voices stopped.


The knob turned from the other side, but it didn’t open. Suddenly, a heavy bang rattled the door.

Shocked, he jumped back. Over and over, the doorframe shook.

"Unlock it, Julia," he called.

As suddenly as it started, it stopped, and the sound of scratching began. Someone was sitting on the floor on the other side, clawing at the door. Then, as he stared, long lines of claw marks started to show through the paint. Garrett took another step back.

“This isn’t happening,” he said, feeling the hackles rise on his neck.

Just as the words left his mouth, the scratching stopped. Even as he stared, the claw marks disappeared.

The sound of moaning came through the door. A woman crying.

Help me.


About the Author:

Jan Coffey aka Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick are storytellers, teachers, and partners in the truest sense.

Nikoo was born in Tehran, Iran, and moved to United States on the eve of Iranian revolution. After receiving a degree in Mechanical engineering, for fifteen years she worked in shipbuilding and robotics, holding manufacturing and higher level management positions. Always a writer and teacher at heart, she gave up her engineering career to pursue writing full time over a decade ago. These days, she also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a visiting author at middle and high schools.

When their first son was born, Jim gave up a successful career in shipbuilding to pursue a PhD in Medieval and Renaissance literature. After being awarded tenure at a university in Pennsylvania, he found that the opportunity to write novels full-time could not be ignored. Since then, he and Nikoo have written well over two dozen works of fiction and nonfiction. Along with his writing, he currently teaches English and Creative Writing in northwestern Connecticut.

Together, Nikoo and Jim write historical fiction as May McGoldrick and contemporary suspense thrillers as Jan Coffey.

These prolific and popular authors have been the recipients of numerous awards for their work. They now reside in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Website: http://jancoffey.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JanCoffey

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jan-Coffey/24034372353

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/46476.Jan_Coffey


$20 digital gift card (Winner’s Choice: Amazon or B&N) and a Nautical brooch for every tour stop.

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15. The Incredible Power of This Question: What Comes Next?

Now available! Start Your Novel

Here’s a quote from Orson Scott Card, the author of Ender’s Game:

So as you look at your bogged down first draft, look to see how much of your effort is spent on withholding information, and then examine whether your reader has any reason to care about what’s going on as long as that information is withheld. Most novice writers imagine that this is how suspense is created–by hodling back key information from the reader. But that is not so. Suspense comes from having almost all the information–enough information that the audience is emotionally involved and cares very much about that tiny bit of information left unrevealed.

Usually the only information that you withhold is this: what is going to happen next.
–Orson Scott Card. How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, p. 85.


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16. Erased (Altered): Jennifer Rush

Book: Erased (Altered #2)
Author: Jennifer Rush (@Jenn_Rush)
Pages: 288
Age Range: 12 and up

Erased is the sequel to Altered (reviewed here) by Jennifer Rush. Altered introduces Anna, who lives above a secret lab holding four genetically altered boys. A shadowy organization called the Branch has enhanced the boys' capabilities, wiped their memories, and used them as weapons / assassins. In the first book, Anna learns that she has been part of the experiment all along, too. 

Erased finds Anna in hiding from the Branch, with Sam, Nick, and Cas. Although their lives are perilous, there's a certain stability to the surrogate family that Anna and "the boys" form, and to Anna's relationship with Sam. This stability is threatened when it appears that Anna's sister, Dani, whom they all thought was dead, may be looking for them. Various dangers, flashbacks, and investigations into all of their pasts, follow.  

Erased is that rare sequel that, I think, is better than the first book. There's more action, and less figuring out of what's going on along the way. There's still suspense, but as a reader, you have a better idea of what's going on from the start. Rush also does a nice job of recapping the situation from the first book, without going into excessive detail. Also, and this was important for me, Anna is a much stronger character in the second book, not putting herself down so much for not being as physically capable as the boys. She's learned self-defense, and pushed her (not artificially strengthened) body to improve her stamina. 

There is still a little of the "oh, they're so much better than me". Like this:

"Like all the boys, Nick, even at his worst, was gorgeous. It drove me crazy. I didn't consider myself unattractive, but next to them, I was painfully average. They didn't know the meaning of a bad hair day." (Chapter 1)

But this doesn't stop her from being mainly secure in her place with them. 

I did like this:

"In the months since Sam, Nick, and Cas had escaped the Branch's lab, and I'd gone with them, I'd learned that nothing was permanent, not even my memories. Now I took every opportunity to savor what I had, just in case. (Chapter 1)

There are some useful practical tips for anyone on the run from a powerful organization, like the fact that you should use your money to buy weapons, because weapons are a lot harder to steal than food. And how to tell if a house is probably a vacation home, and thus safe to break into to squat for a little while in mid-winter. Fun stuff for thriller fans. 

In terms of content advisory, I do think that this is more a high school book than a middle school book. The language is fine, and there's no overt sex. But Anna is clearly sharing a bedroom with Sam, and there are descriptions of their closeness ("It was like my nerve endings weren't truly functioning unless they were beneath Sam's fingers.") More significant, to me, is the fact that the teens, including Anna, kill quite a number of people. Enemies who are out to get them, mainly, but some adult gatekeepers may find that this aspect of the books makes it less desirable for middle schoolers.

Personally, though, I found Erased to be fast-paced and interesting, with enough clues revealed along the way to make me feel smart as I figured out what was going on. Teens looking for thrillers with a bit of science fiction (brain wipes, genetic modification), and plenty of chases and shootouts, will want to give this series a look. Erased (due out in early January) seems to wrap up the series, but there is a short story prequel being released this week. 

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (@LBKids) 
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

FTC Required Disclosure:

This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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17. Sensual Surrender by Katie Reus–Excerpt Tour and Kindle Giveaway!

Sensual Surrender by Katie Reus

Genre: romantic suspense

Series: The Serafina: Sin City Series, #2

Pub. Date: March 3, 2014

Length: 50,000 words

Back Cover:

I’m ready to move on. Please don’t search for me. Please just let me go.


The note on the kitchen table shatters Jay Wentworth’s world into bits. Ellie is his lover, his soulmate, his best friend…she’s the woman who stood by him through the aftermath of a horrible explosion, the woman he’s planning to propose to. He’d do anything for her…except let her go. With his fierce protectiveness kicked into overdrive, he teams up with Ellie’s Hotel Serafina boss, billionaire Wyatt Christiansen, to find her. Ellie is family at the casino and they take care of their own.

Ellie is devastated when her secret past finally catches up with her. Stupid to think she could bury the mistakes of her youth and find happiness with a good man. Leaving Jay rips her heart to shreds, but it’s the only way she can protect him from the dangerous people she once ran with. And deep down, she fears he’ll never be able to forgive her for hiding her past from him.

The closer Jay gets to the truth about Ellie, the deeper he plunges into danger. He’ll move heaven and earth to save her, but if she can’t trust in Jay’s love it might be too late for both of them.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20569821-sensual-surrender

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1cPr9f4

Amazon Print:http://amzn.to/1kos1xe

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1fxkMuP

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sensual-surrender/id824345655?mt=11

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sensual-surrender

All Romance eBooks: Coming Soon

Meet Author Katie Reus:

Katie Reus is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

Connect with Katie at:

Website: http://katiereus.com/

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/katiereusauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KatieReus

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1563059.Katie_Reus

Find more stops:


Additional Info:

Make sure to check-in on Katie’s Facebook page this week, as she’ll be celebrating the release of SENSUAL SURRENDER with giveaways on her wall!


Sensual Surrender

Copyright © 2014 Katie Reus

Jay wasn’t sure if he believed the guy so he’d be following up. Stepping back, he put some distance between them, but still didn’t take his eyes off the bastard. Once he’d reached Ellie and Wyatt, he saw that Ellie was wearing Wyatt’s jacket to help her cover up. She clutched her purse to her chest as if it could protect her. And she was shaking. Shit. He needed to get her out of there.

Questions later, he reminded himself. Wrapping his arm around Ellie’s shoulders, he started to steer her out of the room when he saw Brannon hovering in the hallway acting as a lookout. He nodded once to indicate they were clear, but before they could leave, Ellie stopped and swiveled in the direction of the security guy.

“Cody, are you going to be okay? I’m sorry I got you fired.” The words spilled from her at once as if she’d just found her voice again.

“This was a long time coming.” There was a dark, deadly edge to the man’s voice that surprised Jay. “You guys get out of here. I’m going to clean up this mess.”

Unsure exactly what the guy meant, and not really caring, Jay squeezed Ellie’s shoulders. “Come on.”

“We can go out this way,” she said quietly, motioning toward the end of the hall in the opposite direction of the pulsing beat of the club.

After checking the alleyway, they all spilled out into the bright sunlight. The glare was jarring after being in the darker atmosphere, but Jay didn’t release his grip on Ellie.

“Wyatt, Brannon.” He nodded at them, indicating they should walk ahead. He wanted them gone so he could talk to Ellie alone.

She still wouldn’t look at him, was looking anywhere but at him in fact. Currently her gaze was on her shoes, three-inch heels that she’d worn once before while they’d made love on the counter in their kitchen. He quickly shoved that thought away.

As the other two men moved toward the parking lot, Jay turned Ellie so that she had to face him. Now that she was safe and he was able to touch her, the anger burning inside him pushed toward the surface. “We talk here or at home. Your choice.”


“No,” he said savagely. “I come home on a break to find a bullshit note from you, throwing away our relationship like it meant nothing, then I find out from Wyatt that you quit with no notice. You’re going to talk about whatever the hell scared you enough to run. So you get a choice. Here. Or home.”

Shifting from one foot to the other and still not looking at him, she finally whispered, “Home.”

Tour Wide Giveaway: Digital copy of SENSUAL SURRENDER per the total number of tour stops (~12), and (1) Grand Prize: 6” Kindle (US only).

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18. Blog Tour by Ink Slinger PR: Author Interview & Giveaway - White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: The Dark Elements (Book 2) Paperback: 400 pages Publisher: Harlequin Teen (February 25, 2014) Language: English ISBN-10: 0373211104 ISBN-13: 978-0373211104 BUY LINKS: Amazon Barnes and Noble iTunes Kobo One kiss could be the last.  Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon,

0 Comments on Blog Tour by Ink Slinger PR: Author Interview & Giveaway - White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout as of 3/7/2014 1:20:00 AM
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19. Cover Reveal- Killing Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries and Giveaway!

I have a cover reveal and giveaway for Killing Ruby Rose by Jessie Humphries this morning, but first, here is some info about the author:


About Jessie Humphries: Jessie Humphries was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. She received a BA from San Diego State University, where she cultivated her love of the beach, then lived in France, where she cultivated her weakness for shoes, and finally earned a law degree from UNLV, where she cultivated her interest in justice. After practicing law for several years she began writing, and, appropriately, her debut novel Killing Ruby Rose is a thriller about vigilante justice set in sunny southern California with a shoe-obsessed protagonist. Jessie currently writes and practices law in Las Vegas, where she lives with her husband and children.

Social media links:

Website: www.jessiehumphries.com

Blog: http://jessie-humphries.blogspot.com

Twitter: @JessieHwrites

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MsJhump

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessieHumphriesAuthor

Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/jessiehumphries

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7058718.Jessie_Humphries

And now the cover reveal!

About KILLING RUBY ROSE: In sunny southern California, Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks and her killer SAT scores. But ever since her dad, an LAPD SWAT sergeant, died six months ago, she’s also got a few killer secrets.

To cope with her father’s death, Ruby has been trying to stay focused on school (the top spot in her class is on the line) and spending time with friends (her Jimmy Choos and Mahnolo Blahniks are nothing if not loyal), but after months of therapy and more than a few months of pathetic parenting by her mom, District Attorney Jane Rose, Ruby decides to pick up where her dad left off and starts going after the bad guys herself.

But when Ruby ends up killing a murderer in defense of another, she discovers that she’s gone from being the huntress to the hunted. There’s a sick mastermind at play, and he has Ruby in his sights. Ruby must discover who’s using her to implement twisted justice before she ends up changing Valentino red for prison orange.

With a gun named Smith, a talent for martial arts, and a boyfriend with eyes to die for, Ruby is ready to face the worst. And if a girl’s forced to kill, won’t the guilt sit more easily in a pair of Prada peep-toe pumps?

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I'm not generally a fan of weeping, though I do it at Cheerios commercials, when reading Dear Sugar, when watching little kids do just about anything precious, and pretty much when anybody else cries. I cry like a bean sídhe people, on every day... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on TURNING PAGES: THESE GENTLE WOUNDS, by Helene Dunbar as of 3/18/2014 11:35:00 AM
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21. Cover Reveal and Giveaway: The Vault (The Farm series) by Emily McKay

Age Range: 18 and up  Grade Level: 12 and up Series: A Farm Novel Paperback Publisher: Berkley Trade (November 4, 2014) Language: English ISBN-10: 0425275884 ISBN-13: 978-0425275887 Pre-Order The Vault: Amazon In a world where vampires rule and teenaged humans are quarantined as a food source, there is only one choice—resist or die. But fighting the vampires comes at a

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22. What Dan Brown Does Right

“Ha!” you say. “Dan Brown is a hack. He doesn’t deserve his millions of followers.

He head hops, shows instead of tells, dumps info, layers the adverbs, and has clunky descriptions.”

All of that may be true, but he does several things that you should emulate to make your thriller thrilling.

1. Use the treasure hunt or bread crumb mystery skeleton.

2. Employ the chase.

3. Place your protagonist in danger.

3. Start the timer.

4. Include obscure historical facts and theories that intrigue your readers enough to want to know more about them.

5. Raise controversy. Nothing spawns sales like someone asking for your head.

6. Add a love interest.

7. Introduce an unusual protagonist.

I read Brown’s earlier books, Digital Fortress and Deception Point, before I read The Da Vinci Code.  Both were solid suspense thrillers and I hope they make them into movies. As much as I love Langdon, the follow-up books have gotten progressively weaker. I keep reading them in the hopes of regaining that original thrill.

It was the controversy of The Da Vinci Code that made Brown headline news. However, controversy comes with risks. Be sure you can withstand the heat of the fires they set to roast you.

And, if you aren't willing to raise your level of craft, be prepared to be picked apart. Darling Dan is thumbing his nose all the way to the bank, but it wouldn't kill the guy to perfect his prose. Please, for the love of Fibonacci.

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23. Clouds

I was watching the clouds one rainy afternoon.  And as they sailed swiftly across the sky in an ever-changing variety of shapes and squiggles I remembered a quote from Thomas Browne.  In 1635 he wrote, “Nature is the art of God.”  I thought, I believe it because right now, the entire sky looks like His own personal Etch a Sketch.  I mean, first there was a hole in the clouds that morphed into a five-pointed star before it got sucked into a shrunken pinpoint that was suddenly the eye of an alligator that chased a hump-backed snake.  Highly entertaining.  Almost started singing, “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly . . .”

Can’t tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. The alligator made me wonder briefly if animals ever marvel at God’s Etch a Sketch? After all, my two pooches are pretty smart and I do catch them scanning the sky every so often.  Speaking of pooches, who cannot see God’s hand in all of creation:  from the perfection of a playful puppy’s soft, furry paw to the swiftness of a hungry cat’s claw . . . to the flawless symmetry of a daisy or black-eyed Susan.  Happenstance?  Occurring by chance? I think not.  After all, according to Genesis 1:24, “. . . and God said, let the earth bring forth every kind of animal — livestock, small animals, and wildlife.  And so it was . . . and God said it was good.

Seen my books? “The SEED” a Novel of suspense that placed as a top ten finalist and was nominated to be put on a college required reading list.  And the Johnny Vic historical adventure series (mixing treasure hunting, adventure and American history!).   Go to http://www.annrichduncan.com.

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24. Interview with Rebecca York, Author of Bad Nights and Giveaway!

I’m excited to have Rebecca York in the virtual offices this morning.  She dropped in to chat about Bad Nights, and she brought along a copy for one of you to win!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Rebecca] I’m a stubborn, determined woman who has the best job in the world—making up exciting, romantic stories and sharing them with readers.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Bad Nights?

[Rebecca] it’s the story of two people who never would have met under ordinary circumstances. Although they are very different from each other, they fall in love as they fight to save their lives from a homegrown militia led by a dangerous fanatic. There’s a synopsis of the story below.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Rebecca] I wanted a tough hero with a military background who was reckless enough to infiltrate a militia bent on attacking the U.S. Capitol. And I wanted him to meet the heroine of the story in a completely unexpected way.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Morgan?

[Rebecca] She’s intelligent. At the beginning of the story, she’s sad, still mourning the loss of her husband. Later, she’s determined to survive and forge a bond with Jack Brandt.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Jack had a theme song, what would it be?

[Rebecca] Well, I keep thinking about Jack determined not to cave in under torture. Maybe his song is “I Won’t Back Down.”

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Morgan is never without.

[Rebecca] Her training as a psychologist.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Jack’s bedroom?

[Rebecca] You know, this has to change as a result of Jack’s falling in love with Morgan. At the beginning he’d never have silk sheets, family photos or a bathrobe. I think she gets him into all three.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Rebecca] I have been greatly influenced by two writers: Jack Williamson and Ken Follett. Williamson because his was the first werewolf book I read, and I loved the concept. Follett because he’s a master of romantic suspense. When I read his Key to Rebecca, my reaction was, “That’s what I want to write.”

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Rebecca] A laptop computer. A comfortable place to sit. (Not at a desk.) And a glass of iced tea.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Bad Nights?

[Rebecca] The usual. E-mail, Facebook and Twitter.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Rebecca] Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Rebecca] I am dyslexic and had a terrible time learning to read. My mom read to me, until I got the hang of it. One of the first books I enjoyed reading on my own was Red Planet, by Robert Heinlein.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Rebecca] I love cooking, gardening, decorating my house, hanging out with my husband and the cats, traveling, reading.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Rebecca] You can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebecca-York/122426234846?ref=hl and at my web page www.rebeccayork.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!


US addresses only please

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About the book:


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca York’s newest series will keep you on the edge of your seat

When Professor Morgan Rains goes out to investigate a strange sound coming from her backyard, the last thing she expects to see is a naked man covered with burns and bruises. Jack Brandt is a former Navy SEAL on an undercover mission, and he’s barely managed to escape from a terrorist militia’s torture. Jack and Morgan are thrown into a pressure cooker of danger and intrigue, and they soon find themselves falling in love. When Morgan is captured by the terrorists, Jack must rescue the woman whose life now means more to him than his own.


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rebecca York’s writing has been compared to Dick Francis, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Maggie Shayne. Her books have been translated into twenty-two languages and optioned for film. She lives in Maryland, near Washington, D.C., which is often the setting of her romantic suspense novels. Rebecca’s next romantic suspense novel from Sourcebooks Casablanca, Betrayed, will be in stores in July 2014. For more information, please visit http://rebeccayork.com/.

To Purchase Bad Nights:

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25. Reading in Tandem: CONJURED by Sarah Beth Durst

Normally, we have a fixed format for our book reviews. We ask ourselves questions about our gut reactions, the character sketches, and how we liked the cover. That covers books pretty well, most of the time, but one of the joys of book talking is... Read the rest of this post

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