Archives for posts with tag: series

Check out Christoph Fischer’s new mystery box set!

Further to my recent “New-Release-Posts” I proudly present you my first ever Mystery Box Set: “The Fraud or Miracle Trilogy” – available in paperback and available for pre-order o…

Source: Mystery Monday: “The Fraud or Miracle? Trilogy” by Christoph Fischer | writerchristophfischer

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A blog featuring various articles by women’s contemporary fiction author, Terry Tyler.

Source: Terry Tyler: LINDISFARNE ~ my new book, out today! #TuesdayBookBlog

Hi all:

Today it’s Friday and time to share a new book. As you know I am always eager to bring you back the work of authors who’ve already visited us, as it’s always a great encouragement to see people dedicated to honing their skills and I can’t wait to see what new stories they bring us.

Billy Ray Chitwood is coming back today (and I know there are quite a few of his books I haven’t brought you yet) with his new book. As a visitor of his blog, I know that many of his stories have more than a grain of truth in them, but I’ve been fascinated by the story of this book, Stranger Abduction, that in itself deserves a book.

Stranger Abduction by Billy Ray Chitwood

Stranger Abduction by Billy Ray Chitwood

The author had written the story (based on a case he was familiar with), years back, and it was, he thought, stored with some of his papers. When he went to retrieve it, he could not find it. But still, as we writers know, there are stories that insist and nag at us to be told, and there’s no peace until they are on paper (or on a computer file), so, here it is. You can read more about the story of the creation of the book, here.

Description:

It is a sunny Sunday in May, 1993. After church, a mother and her lovely fourteen-year old daughter walk three miles to a country store for cigarettes and ice cream. It is a walk members of the family often take in this rural Sulphur Springs Valley area of southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.

The mother and daughter arrive at the store in a jovial mood, trading pleasantries with customers and the owners… The daughter timidly flirts with a boy from her school. The daughter and mother leave the store in a silly mood, finger painting ice cream on their faces.

They never make it home…

The deputy sheriff of the county believe there has been a ‘stranger abduction’.

There are lots of action, interesting characters, and romance to go with this fictional account of an incident inspired by true events…events that brought tragedy to a shaken family.

You can find the book here in Kindle version: goo.gl/Xu7mLC

And here in paperback: goo.gl/ITw3o3

And if you want to connect with Billy Ray Chitwood (I recommend it), here are a few links:

Billy Ray Chitwood

Billy Ray Chitwood

http://www.about.me/brchitwood

http://amazon.com/author/billyraychitwood

http://billyraychitwood.weebly.com

http://facebook.com/billyray.chitwood

http://goodreads.com/author/dashboard/billyraychitwood

https://www.linkedin.com

https://plus.google.com/+BillyRayChitwood/posts

Thanks so much to Billy Ray Chitwood for his new book and its story, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, please remember to like, share, comment and CLICK!

Hi all:

As you know on Friday I bring you new books and authors. J.P. McLean has already been my guest before and her series (initially a trilogy, but these things have a way of growing…) The Gift has featured with pride of place before. I knew that the next novel was nearly ready, and the author has been so kind as to send us her reflections about her writing and where she is now. And here, the floor is yours, J. P.:

Author J.P.Mclean

Author J.P.McLean

Thank you, Olga for once again hosting me on your Friday guest author feature. It’s great to be back.

I’m at an interesting crossroads. Having recently released Penance, the fourth book in the contemporary fantasy series, The Gift Legacy, I’m now ready to start a new project. The decision is whether to take the road that leads to the next book in the series, or take the road not yet travelled, and write a brand new story instead.

On the familiar road, a small but devoted group of readers, who love The Gift Legacy, cheer me on (a writer’s dream!). I know the terrain and the characters and just how to tamper with their brakes to heighten the excitement.

There are no street lamps on the second road and no map. The characters taunt me with their thumbs out, but do I dare pick them up? Will we get along in the tight confines of the car?

What if there’s a curve so sharp we crash?

Hmm. Decisions, decisions. If you have thoughts on the matter, I’d love to hear them.

You can reach me through my blog, on Twitter (@jpmclean1) or on Facebook. And if you’d curious about The Gift Legacy, you can read excerpts and learn more about it on my website.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Thanks so much J.P.!

And here, I had to tell  you a bit more about Penance

The Gift Legacy Book 4. Penance by J.P. McLean

The Gift Legacy Book 4. Penance by J.P. McLean

When Emelynn Taylor chooses a man’s life over a secret, she draws the attention of the wrong people. International Covert Operations wields the secret like a weapon to coerce the Tribunal Novem’s cooperation. And all ICO wants in exchange for protecting the secret is Emelynn’s services.

With a new job, a new handler and no choice, Emelynn goes undercover to unravel a dangerous drug ring. She soon finds herself in a deadly game of cat and mouse in which she breaks all the rules: the same rules that got her into trouble in the first place.

Here the links in Amazon, although you can check J.P.’s website for more links and information:

http://www.amazon.com/Gift-Penance-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B00VYWHM40/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gift-Penance-Legacy-Book-ebook/dp/B00VYWHM40/

Thanks so much to J.P. McLean for her book and her reflections (I hope you’ll give her some suggestions), thanks to you all for reading, and you know, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Ah, and as you know, I do reviews for BTS e-Magazine and just in case you want to have a look at the new number, here it is (there are a couple of mine):
//e.issuu.com/embed.html#5491198/13900468

Hi all:

As you know, I’m on the way to publishing my first YA series (I’m getting there!) and I asked for help with sharing information about it. Blogger friends, you’ve been AWESOME (and I’m well aware some people dread the way the word is used these days, but in this case, it’s true. I’m in awe, thunderstruck… any superlatives you might come up with).

I’ll try and do a drumroll of everybody when the worst (or best) is over.

But I thought as thanks, I should give you something. The next few weeks I’m involved not only in promoting my own books but in blog tours for others (it seems to be the season) so I thought I’d take the chance today. I pondered, thought and finally, I decided to share a story, that I think can be enjoyed by all, writers, readers and dreamers alike. Some of you might have read it already but it’s never been officially published, and it’s light enough, to cheer people up. It’s not short, short, but… Ah, and I leave you a few links to other things that you might find interesting at the end.

Here it goes:

The Novel

Denver had never been the most attractive or lucky of girls. Brown hair, brown eyes, average height. Not a sculptural body either. She’d gone through Primary and High School without doing anything remarkable. She’d had a few dates, but she’d never had a formal boyfriend (or an informal one, for that matter!). She’d managed to move away from her parents’ house (nice people, but too conventional) nearly a year ago, and she’d expected her life to change completely. No more boredom! Excitement, freedom, recklessness! Maybe all that wasn’t her, after all, because her life had continued to be as boring as usual. Nothing new. She had a studio-flat to herself, but that was all there was.  It wasn’t even in a fancy place. Peaceful, quiet, and empty.

Even her friend Phoebe was living with someone. She’d always thought Phoebe would be the last girl in the world to get somebody. So shy, so prudish, she never dared to take any risks at all…And there she was. Phoebe had had her adventure, and Denver was still there. Waiting. What on earth was she waiting for?

If only things were like in the books or the films. Life would be so much easier to handle. If only she could discover what the plot to her life was, or at least what the genre of the novel she was living was. If life came with a book of instructions for its use and enjoyment everything would be so much simpler…

She told herself that it was all a matter of determination. She was going to take control. From now on, she was writing her own story. And she would decide what it was going to be like. She could hear the music of Carmen (‘Toreador’) as she went to sleep on the thought. Her name in neon lights. Her relatives and friends clapping at her performance. Her life was going to become a best seller!

The next morning, when she walked into her office, she’d made her mind up. A romantic story. That was what her life was going to be. A beautiful love story. The setting wasn’t perfect: tables, computers, doors, papers and more papers. But her reserve of imagination was larger than the Federal Bank’s gold reserve. She could blank out reality if she tried real hard. It was all in the process of creation. The plastic and cheap-looking tables could become mahogany, period tables. The lamps, crystal…Maybe something more intimate and less grand would be more romantic. She didn’t want ‘Gone with the Wind’ either. It was too much. Not so ambitious. Flowery pastel curtains on the windows; instead of the huge skyscrapers a lake and a little white house in the distance, a Cole Porter song…And soft light. Definitely soft light. It would go with her pink dress. And she had a hero. Mr. Spencer, Mark, her boss. He was tall, dark and handsome. Denver was well aware that there were many women interested in him, but deep inside him, even if he’d never showed it, she knew that the flame of his love for her burned really hot. She had got some flowers for her desk, to complete the scene, and she left one in his room.

Mr. Spencer came in and nodded at her. The music grew louder. He hadn’t said anything but Denver sensed that he was only feigning indifference. She waited for his call. He would call her any time to thank her for the flower, and he would acknowledge his feelings. She could picture the scene. She’d go in, and there he would be, in the centre of the room, hazy  background and a shiny smile on his face. Who needed Brad Pitt or Leonardo Di Caprio when she had Mr. Spencer? He would rush towards her, inflamed by his passion and taking her hand he would cover it with kisses.

”Thanks for the flower. It’s so beautiful and delicate as you are. I suppose you imagined I didn’t notice you, but it’s taken all my self-control not to approach you before, and now…”

“Mr. Spencer…” She would blush and flip her long eyelids that were one of her main charms.

“Call me Mark…”

One of the other girls, a newcomer, short and very active, shook her.

“Mr. Spencer is calling you. I wouldn’t make him wait. He’s been quite short recently.”

“He won’t be short with me.”

The other girl looked at her surprised, but Denver marched in the office with her notebook and a broad smile. ‘Our love is here to stay’ was playing in her mind.

“Mr. Spencer.”

He was sneezing like mad. No hazy background, no shiny smile.

“Was this your idea?”  He asked pointing at the flower.

“Well, yes. I thought it would enliven the office.”

“Nobody asked you to think. I’m allergic to flowers. Take that away from here. Quick!” His tone was dry and hard. He was not amused.

She grabbed the flower feeling mortified. She was only trying…

“And don’t come back in. Mr. Wingfield needs someone to help him. His secretary had an accident a couple of days ago. Take your things to his office.”

Mr. Wingfield! He was old, fiery, and not very nice. Denver could have cried.

“And take the flowers on your desk with you. Thanks.”

Thanks? Thanks? Who did he think he was? Not her hero, definitely not. A romantic hero didn’t behave like that. Men. One could never trust them to play their parts.

While she was filing documents in Mr. Wingfield’s office she concluded that, whatever it was, her life wasn’t a romantic novel. But, who wanted a romantic novel anyhow? There was no real adventure, no risk, and no danger. A detective story. A good detective story was what she needed.

Next day Denver decided on wearing a dark suit, and she even bought a packet of cigarettes on the way. She tried to smoke one, but it made her cough, and her eyes started to cry. She threw them away. She’d have to be a healthy detective instead.

Once in the office nothing exciting seemed to happen for a while. Selecting the mail, answering some of the letters, rearranging some appointments. Just before midday, Steve, one of the salesmen and Marie’s (one of the other secretaries) boyfriend went to see her. He was a nice guy, nothing outstanding, but kind and attentive. He didn’t have a dress sense though, red hair and a brown suit didn’t quite match, but he wasn’t like the other salesmen always flirting with the pretty girls and never talking to her. He was polite and he always told her about his adventures when selling their ‘wonderful garden implements’. Marie never let him talk about it; it was too boring for her. She only wanted him to adore her and talk about her all the time. Steve was far too good for Marie. Not Denver’s type, but he deserved better than Marie. She always had to act all high and mighty.

“ I wonder if you can help me with this mystery.”

A mystery! Eureka! She had the feeling this was going to be her lucky day. The music inundated her ears. Dark, slightly threatening, jazzy…

“Tell me.”

“I’ve been to see Marie…She’s not at her desk.”

Denver’s pulse accelerated. The trumpet blew in. A missing person. Always a good topic in detective stories.

“She’s probably doing something…photocopying?”

“I’ve looked. She isn’t there. Nobody has seen her go out either.”

“Let’s go and see.”

Denver examined Marie’s desk with utmost attention. A good detective had to be scientific and meticulous. Shame she hadn’t brought a magnifying glass with her. But, that was too old-fashioned. Now it was all DNA testing and sophisticated gadgets. She’d have to do with her wit. It was much cheaper. Observation was the first rule. Marie’s notepad was there, so it was unlikely that she would be in Mr. Spencer’s office. Unless she…

“Do you think she’s filing something in the office?” Steve asked.

“It’s possible, but Mr. Spencer doesn’t like us to do it while he is here, and he hasn’t gone out. You see? She hasn’t written anywhere where he was going. He must be there.”

“What about the toilet?”

“It’s been quite a while. And her handbag is in the drawer, so she isn’t making up or anything.”

“She can’t possibly have vanished.”

“Did she know you were coming?”

“No, she didn’t. I wasn’t supposed to be here today, I had to go out of town, but the client phoned saying he was unwell, so I didn’t go.”

“I see.”

An idea came to Denver’s mind. She didn’t like it, but it made sense. Why Mr. Spencer had seemed so crossed recently, why Marie had been wearing nicer and more expensive clothes, why he’d dismissed her with a stupid excuse. Her mental soundtrack died. It was solemnly silent.

“I think…” Denver pressed a button in the intercom.

“Oh Marie…”

“Mr. Spencer…”

“Mark…”

“Mark…Go on…Go on…Yes, yes, yes!”

Denver switched it off. It was too much. Steve’s face had changed colour.

“Bitch.”

“Don’t…”

Steve was flushed, shaky, but tried to smile. “Don’t worry. I won’t do anything stupid. Good luck to her. I can find somebody like her any time. Thanks all the same.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s all right. Not your fault. Bye.”

Denver wasn’t hard enough for the job. She didn’t like its results. The truth could be too hurtful at times and she wasn’t mean. Her life wouldn’t be a detective’s story either.

Denver didn’t admit her defeat as yet. The times weren’t right for romantic novels or detective stories. People wanted the impossible, dreams come true, progress…Science Fiction, that was the ‘in’ thing. A good Sci-Fi story. That was it.

On the elevator the next day she was trying to get herself in the right mood for her new genre. The building was better suited for that than for romantic novels or detective stories really. Metallic-looking doors, abstract paintings, mechanical sculptures, cameras everywhere, computer screens, and thousands of doors…Even the people looked grey and metallic that day. The elevator stopped without a warning between the tenth and eleventh floor. She didn’t know any of the other people stuck with her. They worked in other offices. One of the men, pale, bold, in a grey suit, seemed annoyed.

“I wonder what it is this time. These bloody things never work properly.”

“It won’t be anything serious.” the youngest, blondest and prettiest of the girls affirmed. She was wearing a grey skirt and a grey blouse too. Definitely a grey day.

“Shall we press the alarm button?” a very young man anxious, sweaty, and probably wearing his first grey suit for his first job, asked.

The lights went off. Maybe she’d made a mistake and it was a horror movie after all. Or a combination, like ‘Alien’. But, the only music that would play in her mind would be the band in ‘Star Wars’ bar. OK, they were all a bit weird in that elevator, but not as weird as the specimens in the film.

“What’s happening?” It was an unknown voice. A grey woman, no doubt.

“I’ll press the button” the young grey man said. No movement, no sound. Dead quiet.

“It isn’t working! What’s happening?” the same grey woman asked. The pitch of her voice was higher this time.

The elevator shook and there were noises. Everybody went quiet. Denver thought that it didn’t feel quite right for an abduction. She’d always heard about bright lights, and usually somebody driving along lonely roads, or out for a walk, not in the middle of town, in an elevator full of people. It didn’t make sense. Maybe it was a horror novel. But why that music? It wasn’t serious. Even the music of the ‘X-Files’ would be more appropriate, but no. The alien bar in ‘Star Wars’.

They could hear what seemed to be voices coming from outside. Perhaps it was an abduction after all. Aliens. Did aliens prefer people wearing grey in elevators? Denver hadn’t read anything about that. She shouldn’t have neglected her culture that way. If she wasn’t abducted she’d made up for it. If she was…well, she imagined she’d get to know, one way or another.

“Help! We’re trapped!” the bold grey man shouted.

The voices stopped and all went very quiet.

“Something is not right.” the very young grey man offered. “I think…”

They heard somebody or something walking on the roof of the elevator. One of the panels on top of them began to move. It was lifted and a ray of light flashed in. Denver had suddenly realised in a panic that she was wearing green! They were coming for her! Aliens couldn’t stand people who wore green! She screamed and the rest of the elevator joined in.

“They’re coming to get us!”.

When a head looked in, a loud thump resounded in the closed space. A spot of light fell on the body. It was the bold grey man. He’d fainted.

“What are you doing here?” the owner of the head asked. “We told the porter not to let anybody use this unit because we had to do some repairs, so we stopped it in a place convenient for us.”

“The porter never said anything.”

“Who did you think I was, anyhow? Why did you scream? Oh well, we’ll let you out. Sorry.” The repair man grinned. He was probably thinking it would make a good story to tell his colleagues. Panic in the elevator!

It was embarrassing. Even Denver looked grey after that. And if it wasn’t bad enough, the music carried on. But she could take it.  It wouldn’t be a Science-Fiction story, or a Horror novel either. Maybe try another old-style type of thing. Revival time. A good Western. Nothing could really compare to an old Western. And she’d always wanted to wear cowboy boots and a hat. With the central heating at full blast it felt like a dessert, and the cacti the company had bought to give the office a homely atmosphere helped the impression. Her name was appropriate too. Denver. The Denver Kid…The Denver Girl…Denver the Quick. Buffalo Denver? Decisions, decisions. And Mr. Wingfield bothering her about some copies. She’d choose her new name whilst making the copies.

When Denver reached the photocopier, strategically placed in the middle of the corridor that joined all the offices, she realised that she had forgotten her card. She left her things next to the machine while she went to pick it up. When she returned Marie had had the cheek to jump her place and start photocopying her own stuff. Who did she think she was? First her man, then the photocopier. What would be next? No, it shouldn’t be tolerated. There wasn’t enough space in that office for the both of them. The whistles in one of Clint Eastwood’s movies seemed to filter under the door at the end of the corridor. A very long corridor. Empty. Only Marie and her.

“Marie.”

“Yes?”

“I was here before you came. Didn’t you see my things?”

“You should remember to bring your card with you.”

Denver didn’t have a gun, but she reached for her belt nonetheless. She adjusted her imaginary white hat. At the end of the dusty street was her enemy, Marie, all dressed in black. They were approaching each other in slow motion. Did she imagine the clink of the spurs? Moving closer, a little bit closer.

“And you should remember you have a boyfriend before getting in the office with the boss.” She felt a slightly bitchy, but one had to use the best weapons available. She was ready to shoot. Fast, clean, no hesitation.

“What do you mean?”

“Have you seen Steve recently?”

“No.”

“I think he heard a very strange conversation between Mr. Spencer and you.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“One that went something like: ’Mark…Yes, yes, yes!’” she said, trying to imitate Marie’s high pitched voice. Did she hit the target? Marie was still standing, but she was sure she’d wounded her at least.

“You…!”

“Me…what…?”

Denver could see in Marie’s eyes that she was preparing to shoot. She looked like a good shot. Cool, calm, no shakiness.

“Do you know what Mark said to me, Denver? He said: ’That Denver, she’s such a pathetic creature. She always seems to be living in the clouds, she has no style, no sense of humour. I’m sure she’s a lesbian.’”

“He didn’t…” Denver felt the bullet straight in the heart.

“Do you want us to ask him?”

Denver retreated. Too much blood loss to try another shot. She wasn’t offended by Mr. Spencer calling her a lesbian. That wasn’t an insult, that was the same as calling her short or brown-haired. Only she didn’t feel attracted to women that way. But ‘pathetic creature’ ‘no sense of humour’. She’d tried so hard to make him like her and she had failed. She didn’t stand a chance with anybody else. She left the scene badly wounded. She’d lost her duel. She wasn’t made to be a gunwoman either.

If Steve hadn’t walked in her office at that precise moment Denver would have cried, but she knew he had better reasons than her to cry(after all he’d been going out with Marie for nearly two years now and he seemed quite serious about it), and he was holding on. Whatever her life was, she didn’t want to make a big tragedy out of it. It wasn’t that bad.

“Hi Denver. You don’t look happy.”

“Hi Steve. I am not. But nothing important.”

“Tell me your sorrows and I’ll tell you mine.”

“It’s a long story, Steve.”

“It’s lunch time. Go on. Let’s go out and you tell me.”

“All right.”

Sitting on a bench in the park she told Steve her ideas about books and life and her failed attempts at living her life as if it were a book. He laughed.

“Do you think it’s funny?”

“I do. Haven’t you realised that your life makes a wonderful comedy?”

“It doesn’t. Not from my end.”

“I think it’s hilarious. A shoot-out with Marie. That’s a lovely idea. I wouldn’t mind myself. But I’d rather have real guns.”

“I’m pleased I’ve made you laugh.”

“You’ve made me feel better. But not as well as to make me change my mind. I’ve decided to leave this job. It was never for me in the first place and I don’t want to do this for ever. A friend of mine is getting a restaurant. I can’t remember if I’ve told you before but I trained as a chef. It isn’t going to be a big business to start with, but…”

“Here?” It would be sad to lose her only ally in the place. And such a nice person.

“No, in Boston. It’s a bit far but I am not leaving that much behind.”

“I’ll miss you.”

“Come to see me. I’ll miss you too. The only person I’ll miss in this hole. But you must remember, nobody can ruin your life for you if you don’t let them. You have enough imagination to survive anything.”

“Thanks. We must go back to the office. I still work there.”

“Let’s go back.”

Steve promised to say goodbye before leaving, and Denver promised in return that she would try to go and visit him. She sat back at her desk and her mind wandered back to the old themes. Life. Novels. Maybe books weren’t as powerful or as good a guide as she had thought. She didn’t want to live a comedy that was only funny for others. Whoever was writing her life hadn’t given her a very good part on it. And not much voice in the matter. Life wasn’t fair.

“Denver, Denver!” Mr. Wingfield’s voice woke her up from her reveries “Dreaming again? Come to my office. I have to dictate you some letters.”

Letters, letters…Maybe life was only writing other people’s letters.

Back at home Denver kept on thinking about her life. Writing other people’s letters? Was that all there was? No. It couldn’t be. If she couldn’t live her life like a book, maybe….

She sat at the table, got pen and paper and began to write:

Denver had never been  the most attractive or lucky of girls.

****

What do you think? I like Denver.

And, a couple of things, as I said at the beginning a couple of links to sites that I’ve been using recently that you might find interesting.

If you’re fed up with ads when you’re on-line, you can try this:

https://adblockplus.org/

It is free, it exists as an extension that you can download for most of the usual browsers, and although it does not block all ads (it does not block those they consider do not interfere with content and as just part of helping run the site) it does make the experience less annoying. You can also customize it to your own taste, as, for instance, I don’t mind the Facebook like buttons that much, but you can block those too. Have a check and see what you think.

For the authors amongst us, I think we know that if we publish our books with Amazon, we have the added problem of the many different stores, with multiple links to the same book. The answer is to create a link that sends the person directly to their store. There are a few options for this, with caveats about affiliateship extensions, etc (it can get complicated), but I’ve always tried to go for an easy option. Due to some changes in the site I used before, I looked for a new one and came across, Relinks.me.

http://relinks.me/

They provide not only the multi link, but also the shortened version (you don’t need to worry going to Bitly, owly or others… Yes, I’m sure you all know the links shorteners, that can be handy for Twitter), and the you can create an author one too (if you have your profile in more than one of their stores). If you only have one profile, what the author link does is direct people to a list of your books. (I asked).

They also provide a QR code for each book. I haven’t used them for anything yet, but if you produce your own promotional material, it can be handy. Apart from that, I’ve been in contact with them a few times, and they are prompt replying and keen on working with authors, so I like them.

One caveat I noticed. Evidently the system must work with localization for wherever the person clicking the link is, as when I was in Spain, those links would send me to the Spanish Amazon but my account is Amazon UK (no, the links are not that clever).

And something different. As I wasn’t busy enough (Ha!) I thought I’d try to keep my brain going by doing something different. And what better than learning a language! In a post somebody suggested a number of places to learn languages free online. And I tried the first, Duolingo and I liked it (it’s a community and other users from the original country add comments and answer questions, and sometimes the comments are priceless).

https://www.duolingo.com/

If you’re curious, I’m trying to learn German. I’ve been at it for over a month and the site tells me I’m 16% fluent in German. I’m not very convinced.

Ah, and for all  of you authors, those of  you who know or live with authors, and in general, anybody who fancies a laugh, I’m sharing this post by Kristen Lamb (her blog is a treasure trove of information for writers) that made me roar with laughter. And, please, please, follow the links to the Amazon reviews…

https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/you-might-be-a-writer-if/

Thanks all for reading, thanks dear friends for your help (you know who you are) and I hope you don’t mind this rambling post. You know, like, share, comment and CLICK!

And don’t forget Angelic Business

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Amazon:

http://rxe.me/YIHTW96

Apple:

http://apple.co/1Kuzdl8

Kobo:

http://bit.ly/1LU77jt

Nook:

http://bit.ly/1eLMTOG

Hi all:

Today I couldn’t resist taking part in this blog tour. As you know I’m working on a YA/NA series myself and I’m trying to submerge myself in the ins and outs of this world, and the setting of this novel made it irresistible for me. Salem…Yes, that Salem. I include my own review, don’t miss the giveaway, and also the playlist. I was intrigued by having a playlist added so…

Come-the-dark

Enjoy Happy Geek Media’s debut tour of Come, the Dark, Book 2, in the Forever Girl series.

Come-the-dark-about-book

Come-the-dark-book

Come, the Dark, Book 2 of the Forever Girl Series

Come, the Dark by:

Rebecca Hamilton

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

361 pages

Release Date: January 6, 2015

Rose desperately wants to escape the abuse of the father who impregnated her and the dark spirits that haunt her life. Being thrust from Georgia 1961 into the era of Salem’s infamous witch trials isn’t what she had in mind, and now her daughter is left hopelessly out of reach.

The only way to return to her daughter is by facing certain death to banish the dark spirits that plague Salem. If she doesn’t eliminate these dark spirits in time, they will destroy civilization and trap her in this strange new place, ages away from her daughter.

Even if she can complete the task in time to return home to save her daughter, there’s still one problem: she’s falling in love with a man who can’t return with her. Achieving her goals will force her to choose between the only man who has never betrayed her and a daughter she can’t quite remember but will never forget.

A heart-wrenching tale of a mother’s love for her daughter, this romantic paranormal fantasy underlines the depravity of both historical and modern society while capturing the essence of sacrifice and devotion.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subject of sexual abuse. There is a thread in the Come, the Dark forum at the bottom of this page discussing the issue and how it is handled within the book.

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Rebecca Hamilton

Author Rebecca Hamilton

Rebecca Hamilton is a USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author who also dabbles in Horror and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA and has been published internationally, in three languages.

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Now my review:

Come, the Dark. (Forever Girl, Book 2)  Rebecca Hamilton. A reluctant heroine that eventually kicks ass

I must confess I haven’t read the first book in the Forever Girl series but decided to take part in the blog tour and review the book because at the moment I’m particularly interested in Young Adult/New Adult Books, I was intrigued by the background to the story (with the setting in Salem at the time of the witch hunts), and the premise of the book sounded intriguing.

The book begins with a bang. Rose’s family situation is terrible and the events that take place in the first chapter show her as a girl who’s suffered greatly and who seems to have some paranormal abilities (she sees things, or rather creatures, that others don’t). When she’s suddenly transported to a different historical period and wakes up as a different person, one of the advantages of the book being narrated in first person is that you experience her confusion and puzzlement with her.

Abigail (the person she is now) lives in Salem in difficult times. I felt the setting of the story could have been used to more advantage as the main character seems to come and go (and at some point is locked up) there, but has very limited interactions with the town and the trials. When she comes into contact with some true horrors, the paranormal background and underlying plot of the story seems to reinterpret the actual events and only a comment at the end puts this to rights. There are situations where reality puts fiction to shame.

Rose/Abigail/Cordovae is one of the most reluctant heroes (heroines) I’ve met. She struggles with her new role and powers/obligations bestowed upon her, insisting she wants to go back to the person she was because her daughter, Anna, needs her. William and Tess, who act as guides and try and bring her up to speed with the universe she lives in (not only the human one, but mostly the paranormal and the variety of creatures and the cosmogony that explains them) try to convince her, but she resists. Although the explanations are a useful way of introducing readers who are new to the series, I felt they slowed the action somewhat and I was not sure I could really grasp the differences between all the supernatural races. (But then, neither does the protagonist, who learns as she goes along.)

It took me a while to connect with the main character and I grew somewhat impatient of her reluctance to engage. Also at times the first person narration meant we spent a long time reading about her doubts, her memories, and her determination to leave. However, although it is somewhat long in the coming, eventually Cord becomes a true heroine, selfless, brave, intuitive, and a great fighter, and you can’t help but root for her. As I mention in the title, she does kick ass indeed. The battle scenes, although not described in gore detail are imaginative and vivid, with some very visual and beautiful touches. They would be very spectacular if adapted to the screen.

The twist at the end is satisfying and to me it is a fairly happy ending, given the circumstances. Although I haven’t mentioned it until now, there’s a love story too (both protagonists try and resist for very good reasons) and all loose ends are tied up for the current story, whilst leaving open the possibility of further explorations into the world of the forever girls.

Overall I felt the book has some ups and downs, but it gains pace in the second half when it becomes a very good read. The premise of the series is intriguing and I suspect there are a few more to come.  If you like YA paranormal series with strong heroines and some very dark elements, you’d do well checking out this novel.

The mini book trailer:

Come the Dark Music Playlist:
Playlist: http://grooveshark.com/widget.swf

Thanks to Rebecca and Happy Geek Media for organising the tour and inviting me, thanks to all of you for reading, watching and listening, and remember to visit other stops of the tour, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Hi all:

Following on from my short break, where I had a chance to catch up on some reading, I wanted to share some of my most recent reviews. And today I decided on sharing two fairly short books, but completely different.

First, for all the writers who’ve been wondering about Scrivener, or might even have purchased it and wanted a set of easy instructions:

Scrivener Essentials by Karen Prince

Scrivener Essentials by Karen Prince

SCRIVENER ESSENTIALS: A Quick Start Visual Guide For Windows Users by Karen Prince. Easy visual advice from an expert user.

 After hearing many positive comments about Scrivener from other authors, and taking advantage of an offer, I purchased the programme. I went through the video presentation of the features, and I’ve checked other explanations, but they all seemed very convoluted and difficult to remember at the time of actually getting down to writing. Due to that I’d so far hesitated trying to launch a full-blown project in Scrivener.

Thankfully, this book came to the rescue. It is a step-by-step guide, and best still, visual. That means you can actually open the programme and have the book by your side, allowing you to check as you go along. For me, always looking for that button at the bottom right, under the double line, with a non-descript indicator on it, having an arrow pointing, makes a big difference. Another beauty is that the writer, an author herself, gives us her personal tips, things she has discovered through use, that are invaluable (and will not appear in any of the impersonal, “how-to” guides).

The discovery of this short gem has made me feel more confident in trying and using Scrivener. I recommend it to all writers, who, like me, have been wondering for a while about the programme, but been scared by what appear to be never-ending complex explanations. Thanks Karen Prince!

This is the version for Windows users, although Karen has also published a version for Mac users.

Here is the link if you want to check it out yourselves:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00N6QFCS0/

Ah, and Karen has shared videos and other information in You Tube, so don’t forget to check her out!

And, a short while back I saw this book, The Proposal was free and downloaded it. I needed a light read at the time, and I leave you the review I wrote. When I checked at the moment of preparing this post, it’s still free so, if you fancy it, don’t hesitate!

The Proposal by Lily Zante

The Proposal by Lily Zante

The Proposal (A Perfect Match series. Book 1) by Lily Zante. A fun, light read that will keep you turning the pages.

Is a male escort the Perfect Match for a high flying executive creative director of an advertising company? If you read The Proposal you’ll have the answer. Of course, Ethan is much more than just an escort and Nadine isn’t your standard executive either. However, as many tell her through the book; she could end up being one if she doesn’t listen to her heart.

The Proposal reminded me of the movie The Wedding Date that is one of my guilty pleasures. I can’t resist to carry on watching it every time I find it flicking through TV channels. It has a similar plot although in the case of Nadine her difficulties are mostly to do with her professional life. Nadine is a driven woman, focused on her career, who has put her personal life on hold to pursue her goals. She’s pressured by her bitch of a boss, Sandra, and needs to make a good impression during a marketing convention. She needs a boyfriend to share the weekend with her and here is where Ethan, whom she met while he was performing as part of a stripper trio, comes in.

The Proposal is a fun, easy read, with engaging central characters that pull the story together and some fabulous scenes that will make you wish it was a movie.

If you like chic-lit and are looking for a quick and cheerful read you’d be well advised to give it a go. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Here is the link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ARFOGQ2/

Thanks so much for reading, thanks to the two authors for offering us help and entertainment, and you know what to do, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Hi all:

It’s Friday and it’s time for a new book or a guest author. Today I bring  you the new book by Billy Ray Chitwood. I’ve come across Billy Ray in a variety of platforms (blogs, Twitter) and saw that he had published a new book in his series. Billy Ray has been writing and publishing books for a while, and I intend to bring you more of his books soon, but I was sure his new book would grab your attention and make you look for more…especially as it is the last book in the series!

A Common Evil by Billy Ray Chitwood

A Common Evil by Billy Ray Chitwood

A Common Evil

Former sleuth Bailey Crane and lovely wife Wendy are enjoying their penthouse pleasures until a cartel sting operation at their Mexican resort brings chaos and emotional uncertainty into a blurry reality. Wendy is kidnapped, and Bailey faces the demons running loose in his mind as he struggles with his choices. Also President of the resort’s HOA, Bailey has not only kidnapping and murders with which to contend, but other problems which add to this suspenseful chapter in his life. The surprising end point brings back to Bailey and Wendy those memories better left in the memory vault. An exciting, intense thriller in the sand and cacti of Mexico’s Sonoran desert by the beautiful Sea of Cortez. This is the final Book 6 of ‘The Bailey Crane Mystery Series’.

http://www.amazon.com/Common-Evil-Bailey-Crane-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00LMHJUIS/

Here a bit about the author:

Billy Ray Chitwood

Billy Ray Chitwood

From East Tennessee. My family roots go back to tenth century England and a hamlet just north of London called Chetwode.

Never knew what it was in life that I really wanted to do…guess that had something to do with those roots in East Tennessee, a broken family, and so much mobility. Saw a lot of cowboy movies as a kid and thought about acting for awhile. Loved to sing and thought about being a singer. Being an actor or a singer meant there would be audiences, and I was a bashful boy who wasn’t too comfortable in crowds. Wanted to be a fireman. Wanted to be a cop. A professional golfer. A tennis pro. The ‘want list’ just kept changing.

You likely know where I’m going with this opening bio brevity. My dreams were fleeting because I was a fickle fellow whose roots never got too deep anywhere, any time. So. when those Tennessee hills were behind me and that big adult world opened up to me, well, it kind of overwhelmed me. There were so many Appalachian and bible belt emotions conflicting inside my heart and mind that made it easy to make a lot of mistakes. Make them, surely did, too many to enumerate, and my guess is I’ve been blaming old Appalachia, the hills of Tennessee, the broken family, the mobility, all the emotions laid upon me, for this rather wanderlust life I’ve been living. Guess I’ve always been chasing that something that was missing in those long ago days.

Now, don’t get me wrong. With the mistakes, which you can read about later, there were successes and honorable service to my country in the US Navy. The successes, in my way of thinking, were: my good wife and wonderful children; a college BA degree from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA with a major in English; high school teaching; sales and marketing management positions with some of our top educational publishers; acting in film, stage, and television; my own business.

The most exhilarating success has been my writing eleven books. The writing has allowed me to purposefully wander through some simple plot lines and characters’ lives to explore my own dimensions, to discover some things about myself I never really considered. Up front, I’ll state too brashly for some, my books are good, well written, and easy to read. Sure, the critics, even I, will still find the occasional errata that most writers disdain. There is nothing, however, that has given me more pleasure than turning a phrase that says everything I want it to say, to re-read a passage that brings back some emotional echoes.

So, you have a short bio glimpse of Billy Ray Chitwood, an Appalachian kid who ate some emotional soup and spent a lifetime trying to digest it. Are Billy Ray’s books worthy of a read? My vote doesn’t count. Only you can tell me with any certainty…

Eleven books and a lifetime later, reading, writing, and family are the biggest parts of my life. Many of my works of fiction were inspired from actual crimes. My first book, “The Cracked Mirror – Reflections Of An Appalachian Son,” is a fictional memoir which has 90% factual accuracy about my own life. Later, I wrote a rather shameful non-fiction 100% accurate portrait of myself, “What Happens Next? A Life’s True Tale.”

Currently, my time is spent on the Cumberland Plateau in Middle Tennessee with my lovely wife, Julie Anne, and our feisty but lovable Bengal cat named George.

Writing is therapy for the soul and allows me to explore dimensions of myself otherwise neglected or never known. It would not surprise me to know that writers find pieces of themselves heretofore never considered in the words they pen. Within my plot lines and my characters I can fuse and muse the most difficult and simple elements of living. My characters can embolden me with youthful heroism or with the skeptical observations of an aging man. Through my pages of people I can be a buffoon, clown, hero, villain, and/or a super solver of the world’s problems…Writing then must be another life for me to live.

It would greatly please me to have you follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Google, linkedin. For more information and previews of my books and posts, please go to these websites and blogs:

http://www.billyraychitwood.weebly.com

http://www.thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com (My blogs are also on Goodreads.)
http://www.goo.gl/fuxUA
http://www.about.me/brchitwood

And a link to his page in Amazon so  you can check all the rest of his books:

http://www.amazon.com/Billy-Ray-Chitwood/e/B00502520Q/

Thanks to Billy Ray for bringing us his latest book, thanks to you all for reading, and you know the score, like, share, comment, and please, CLICK!

Hi all:

It’s Friday and today it’s the turn of a fascinating writer, Marie Lavender. I’ve met her though one oft he groups of writers I frequent and I’ve had the pleasure of being a guest in the blog where she shares the experiences, in and outs and advice writers give other writers or people thinking about writing. Marie is currently working on the third book of her series ‘Heiress in Love‘  ‘Upon Your Love’ and to get everybody ready, we thought you’d enjoy getting to know her and her books a bit more.  And she’s also bringing as a taste of what her new book will be like…

I leave you in the very good hands of Marie:

Marie Lavender

I wanted to introduce you to the Heiresses in Love Series today.  This will be a trilogy, but only two books are available right now.  The third book in the series, Upon Your Love, should be out sometime next year.  All of them are set in the Victorian era and they have quite a bit of suspense.  Our journey starts with Upon Your Return, a book about a girl who has always dreamed of having adventures and finding love.  Fara Bellamont becomes utterly captivated by a man who rescues her one night.  Upon Your Honor, the sequel, continues the story in the form of two new characters. Chloe Waverly stows away on a ship in order to escape her circumstances.  A stranger offers to help her, but neither is prepared for the danger closing in on them both.  Learn more about both books below…

Marie Lavender's 'Upon Your Return'

Marie Lavender’s ‘Upon Your Return’

Blurb for Upon Your Return

Fara Bellamont has been back in society for a year after leaving Cluny Abbey, where her uncle sent her long ago. When he chooses a suitor for her for marriage, she fears that she will be forced to marry a stranger and live a miserable life. But, Fara finds herself thrust into an adventure of a lifetime when unforeseen circumstances cause her to place her trust in a strange man for protection. His intervention not only saves her, but puts her in an even more compromising position. Grant Hill, a trading captain, is enchanted by the young heiress not only because of her beauty, but because she is hardly conventional. Underneath her ladylike exterior lies a tigress. Grant cannot help but offer his protection as she is in need and he is far from immune from her charms. Fara just never bargained on the passion that she feels for Grant Hill. As events unfold, she must decide whether her desires and the dictates of her heart should trump the rules of society…

Book Trailer

http://youtu.be/f5P0-OAswm0

Excerpt for Upon Your Return

Fara fought the darkness to the coming light. It was so easy to stay in the dark. It was comforting like a warm blanket. But, the light held such possibilities. She knew she must rouse, as if something significant lay there in wakefulness. She stirred and felt a pair of arms holding her. Then she heard a heartbeat beneath a rough fabric, felt a coarse texture of chest hair. It was so secure within that embrace.

When she finally realized it was a man who held her, she gasped and tried to retreat from the cord of muscles. She glanced up to be temporarily blinded by the lamplight to her left.

“Don’t move,” said a soft but deep voice.

He spoke with the assurance of authority, and she could tell he was used to ordering people around. Well, he wouldn’t order her. She lifted her heavy head and whimpered as a stab of agony sliced through her skull. Fara squeezed her eyes shut tight. It was so much easier to be left in the dark for it was as if her head was being cut with so many knives.

“I will have you more comfortable in a moment. Please do not move.”

How could she possibly move with all this pain and that large man rendering her limbs useless?

Suddenly, she felt a light cushion beneath her. The glare from the lantern came into her vision again when she opened her eyes and was then replaced by the outline of a man towering above her. She gasped and crawled away from him, but his hold on her waist hauled her back. Her head hurt so as he studied her face.

Madame, the pain will be less if you stay still. I promise I did not bring you here to harm you in any way.”

She gradually settled back on the pillows and looked at her keeper. He was an attractive man, if one liked the rough, indignant kind. Dark layers of soft waves covered his head and ended at the nape of his neck. He was large, but slim in the right places…it spoke of years of hard physical labor.

His eyes captivated her as she studied him in such proximity. The shade of his eyes…a charcoal color; they were the most intense and unreadable eyes she’d ever seen. It was an odd, yet strikingly beautiful color for a man.

Oh, you silly girl, she thought. Really…how ridiculous for her to be wooed by only a pair of eyes.  “May I ask you a question?”

“I insist you do, if you are not too unwell.” He gestured to her jaw.

Fara nodded, acknowledging the wound provided by the man named Bernard. She imagined what he referred to must indeed be a hideous sight. She looked around the room. It appeared to be a cabin of sorts. “Monsieur…how did I get here? Are we on a yacht?”

“A ship. My ship, La Voyageur,” he announced firmly with a lifted brow.

She faltered at the damning tone in his voice. It gave the impression that he was accustomed to some ridicule, but she could not fathom the reason for it. “You are a captain?”

OuiMadame.”

Mademoiselle.” She blushed.

“Ah. I knew you were too young to be saddled to one man, but thought it safer to say you were.”

Monsieur…how long will I be here?”

He pointed to her throbbing jaw. “As soon as that is healed nicely, I will escort you to your home.”

Why, that could be days! Did he really mean to let her go, or was his intention to ask for a ransom? He had rescued her, but what if his motives were for reasons other than valor? “My uncle…he will be concerned for me. I insist you take me home now.” She realized her voice was too soft to sound commanding.

He shook his head. “I will have a message sent to him. What is his name?”

She sighed. “Michel de Bellamont.” She began to protest, “Monsieur, surely you do not intend to keep me here? That would not be right.”

Purchase Links

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00I0D9LQ8

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I0D9LQ8
http://www.amazon.com/Upon-Your-Return-Marie-Lavender/dp/1484978099/

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/4284739
Solstice Publishing:  http://solsticepublishing.com/upon-your-return/

 

Marie Lavender's 'Upon Your Honor'

Marie Lavender’s ‘Upon Your Honor’

Blurb for Upon Your Honor

Deception is a dangerous path…

New York City, August, 1891 – Orphaned after the death of her father, Chloe Waverly stows away on La Voyageur to escape the clutches of her cruel fiancé, Lamonte Beckett. Gabriel Hill, a strange and compelling gentleman, comes upon Chloe and promises to protect her without knowing the true circumstances of why she is running away. During their journey, Gabriel doesn’t bargain on being distracted by her fair beauty or succumbing to her many charms. As their attraction to each other grows, so does the danger and Gabriel suspects things are not as they should be.

Both are determined to get to New Orleans, where she can start a new life. But, once they reach their destination, events spin out of their control and Chloe is captured by the fiancé she escaped. Gabriel is left wondering if he can overlook her betrayal. Soon he finds himself in a race against time, to reach her before Beckett can exact revenge.

Book Trailer

http://youtu.be/dLOteuscV04

Excerpt for Upon Your Honor

When her vision cleared and she could focus, she saw that she was in a bed, a truly comfortable one. The room was a cabin, filled with books and maritime instruments, a large red chair near the fireplace, and a small chaise close by. A tall man with broad shoulders stood facing the fireplace, holding a glass.

Something had happened. They had found her. With that knowledge, Chloe became aware of her state of dishabille as well as the loose hair that fell past her shoulders. They knew she was a woman. What would they do to her now? A moan of distress escaped her lips as she tried to sit up, failing due to a bout of dizziness. She had wanted to appear composed, but she was more like an invalid.

At the sound, the man turned and stepped towards her with purpose. He set his glass on a nearby table, pulled a chair up to the side of the bed and sat down. “Perhaps it would be better if you lie still for now. You will have pain for a while. Until it goes away, I suggest you try to rest.”

His dark red hair was familiar. And now that he was closer, she saw that his eyes were a unique shade of gray. Once she realized it was the same man from before, she managed a nod. Her tongue felt leaden, thick in her mouth. How could one man render her speechless? Clearing her throat, she found her voice at last. “I feel a little silly lying here though, when there is an inquisition to attend.”

“Oh?” He nodded. “Yes, I suppose there is a lot to answer for. But, rest assured, I am at the moment the only one here that is aware of your presence, though others will know very soon. If you have an escape plan, you’d better hatch it.”

His warning sent a shiver over her. “You foresee a lot of trouble then.”

“In your position, you should expect it.”

“I do. I am prepared.”

“You are?” He smiled a little. “Even though you convinced me you were a sailor at first, I now know to expect anything from you. However, you don’t strike me as the kind of woman who has approached many of these situations.”

Chloe licked her lips before replying, “You don’t really know what I will do in order to survive.”

“I suppose I don’t know much of your character. But, you hid away in the storage room for some reason. Are you running from the law?”

She was suddenly aware that he had an accent. French perhaps? She shook her head. “Not yet. No.”

He nodded. “Are you willing to take it to that level?”

“I would like to avoid that if possible.”

“There must be a story, then, if you are willing to do nearly anything to survive. What will you divulge to me if I am your only hope? What will you do to save yourself?”

Indeed, what could she do? The minor insinuations he was making disturbed her, but did not shock her. She was aware that some men were not entirely honorable, including Lamonte. “First, I would need to know whether I was in any danger in your hands.” She swallowed hard. “And then, if that turned out well, we would see…”

Mademoiselle, you honor me.” He paused. “I assume you are not married?”

She shook her head in negation and licked her dry lips. “If my honor is at stake, then I would expect some cordiality.”

He cocked his head. “Would a stowaway have honor?”

Chloe’s jaw tightened. “Every man or woman has a right to some dignity in the face of extreme circumstances.”

“Extreme? I would say you’re fairly coddled right now. If I had any less respect for your dignity, you would be in a prison. Or worse.”

He was right. He had been kind to her, thus far. “This is true. I am sorry, sir, if I have offended you in any way. But, to find myself in such a state begs many questions…questions others might have.”

“Such as?”

“What liberties have you already taken?”

His eyes narrowed. “None other than a physician would do in the same situation.”

Her lips firmed. “Am I to assume that your actions were only for the sake of medicine, that what you did was platonic?”

The man frowned. “I never took any liberties that weren’t necessary. You were unconscious. I had to act. Will you apologize for jumping to such conclusions?”

Chloe shook her head. “Surely you cannot fault me for thinking it.”

“No, I suppose I cannot. But, I assure you, you have my character entirely wrong.”

She burrowed deeper under the covers. “Then I’m very sorry for assuming the worst.”

He grunted. “You are quite fortunate, you know.”

She frowned. “Am I?”

“Were I any other man, some aspersions might be cast on your character. You were dressed as a boy, nearly passed as one. But, you are not. Some men might think you are a lady of the night, here to rob us.”

Her eyes widened. “I assure you I am not!”

“Then only a lady?”

Chloe didn’t answer. The less the man knew, the better. But, she did not want him to think she was free with her favors either.

 

Purchase Links

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00JTKTODG

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JTKTODG

http://www.amazon.com/Upon-Your-Honor-Marie-Lavender/dp/1625260423/

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/upon-your-honor-marie-lavender/1119268362

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/430789

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/4762748
Solstice Publishing:  http://solsticepublishing.com/upon-your-honor/

 

Initial Blurb for Upon Your Love

coming in 2015…

Adrienne Bellamont Hill was born of a spirited redhead and a strong sea captain.  She was raised hearing stories of how her parents met and all of the adventures they had.  She knows she isn’t a tame sort of woman and she will bow to no man.

 

When Christian du Plessis comes into her life in the guise of helping their mutual friends, she isn’t prepared for the passion she feels for the man.  Christian, however, arouses much more than desire from her.  But, she lost her heart to one man before and she cannot allow it to happen again.  And yet, the desire he incites in her is so tempting, a part of her wants to submit to him. It is up to her to maintain the family tradition of holding out for love.

 

All of her firm beliefs are called into question when a dangerous menace threatens the well-being of her friends and thereby Christian, who jumps in to protect them.  But, Adrienne is not one to stand by and let things happen.  She is a fierce, capable woman in a time when women know their place.

 

She will do all she can to stop this man who threatens her friends and her newfound love.  But, Christian has his own ideas about Adrienne’s actions.  He will protect her at any cost.  That cost is too high for her to handle.  Can these two strong-willed people combat the danger together or will they be separated by the death that is certain to come for them?

 

Author Marie Lavender

Author Marie Lavender

Author Bio

Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 18 other books. Finalist and Runner-up in the MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years.

Marie has published nineteen books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Lavender just released Magick & Moonlight, a paranormal romance, in March. Upon Your Honor, released in late April, is her second historical romance. Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.webs.com/ for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your ReturnMagick & MoonlightUpon Your Honor

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to GetMemoriesA Hint of ScandalWithout YouStrange HeatTerror in the NightHaunted;PursuitPerfect GameA Touch of DawnRansom; Leather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other RamblingsRamblings, Musings and Other ThingsSoulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

 

Author Links
http://www.marielavender.webs.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://www.facebook.com/UponYourReturn
https://www.facebook.com/UponYourHonor
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/u/0/104926404745289477307/posts
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a
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Thanks so much to Marie for visiting us and sharing her books (come back any time) with us, thanks to you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and of course, CLICK!

Escaping Psychiatry (audiobook) by Olga Núñez Miret. Narrated by Alan Cooke

Escaping Psychiatry (audiobook) by Olga Núñez Miret. Narrated by Alan Cooke

I just wanted to let you know (sorry Marie) that my book Escaping Psychiatry is now available in audio, narrated by the amazing actor/writer and Emmy Award Winner Alan Cooke (a.k.a. Wild Irish Poet).

And if you’ve never used Audible you could have it for free! so go and have a listen!

http://bit.ly/TBE1Af

Hi all:

As you will know I review books and share the reviews here every so often. I have recently reviewed the third book in John Dolan‘s series ‘Time, Blood and Karma‘, that I loved, and I thought I’d take a chance to remind you of the two other books in the series (as I mention them in the review too).

A Poison Tree by John Dolan

A Poison Tree by John Dolan

A Poison Tree (Time, Blood and Karma Series) by John Dolan.  You can’t escape you past even if you move to Thailand

I have had the pleasure of reading all of John Dolan’s books in his series ‘Time, Blood, and Karma’ (up to now) about a very singular detective/therapist David Braddock, who lives in Thailand, is witty, deadpan, a pocket philosopher, fascinated by Buddhism, and with an intriguing back story.

When I read the first novel ‘Everyone Burns’ I wanted to know more about the main character, who is the conscience and narrator of the book, and through whose eyes we see the action. The more the story advanced, the more I wondered how reliable a narrator he was, and how many things he wasn’t telling us about himself.

I loved ‘Hungry Ghosts’ where the story further develops, the incidents get much closer home, and the interconnectedness of everything and everybody becomes clearer and clearer. The author leaves a big hook hanging at the end of the book but then…

He publishes ‘A Poison Tree’. The title is taken from a quote by William Blake and it is very appropriate. Because instead of following the story, Mr Dolan goes back to give us the background to his character David Braddock. We meet him in 1999 —when everybody was concerned about the possibility that the New Year might bring the end of the world —in England, Leicester of all places. His novel is hardly a recommendation to visit Leicester. See this description of the location of David’s office (he’s managing his father’s car dealership):

‘Behold ye the land of cheap exhausts, tyre-changing ramps, blackened welding shops, and undercapitalised garages mutating slowly into car washes.’

Unfortunately he could be describing a large number of places.

David is the witty character we get to know and love later, but he appears more vulnerable and very troubled. Although his troubles are not quite in the same league as those he encounters as a detective, he is not a lucky man. He meets a very shady character, Jim Fosse, who starts talking about the perfect murder and quotes Hitchcock’s ‘Strangers in a Train’ scenario. He wants rid of his wife and thinks that swapping crimes might be the way forward. David dismisses it as he is happy with his wife Claire…or is he? His sister-in-law and old friend, Anna has a disastrous marriage, her husband is having an affair, and at some point it seems as if everybody is having an affair, even Claire. We later discover that things are not as they seem, but unfortunately it is too late by then.

Although the major voice in this novel is again David’s, and by his own confession, he is trying to write everything that happened, as an exercise in exorcism (although not quite), there are other characters we hear too, Jim Fosse (although a nasty man and a psychopath, I must confess he is very entertaining and devious. Hear him: ‘I don’t have any friends. I don’t need them. Friends are an unnecessary burden. I only have accomplices.’), Adele, a Scottish woman, now living in Leicester, who makes her living working in a shop and prostituting herself, who is an observer but somehow involved with many of the main players, Claire (David’s wife), Anna…They all have secrets, they all live a lie, but nearly all of them survive to tell the tale. And to carry on with other stories.

‘A Poison Tree’ (reflecting on the nature of desire David concludes that it is ‘a poison tree’) closes the circle taking us to the point when David decides to leave the UK (‘I will be glad to be off this shabby little island. It’s so fucking pleased with itself. I’ve been here too long.’) and is going first to Bali but then moving to Thailand, making use of the money his wonderful Aunt Jean (I’d love to hear more of her story) leaves him in her will, encouraging him to live. He mentions becoming a detective and going back to using what he’s learned about therapies.

And so there we are. Now I see many things and I understand a bit better. ‘A Poison Tree’ can be read independently without any knowledge of the other two, as it sets up the scene. Having read the other two novels I could not help but keep having ‘ahhhh!’ moments and sharing in the anxiety, worries and sadness of the characters. I enjoyed getting to know David’s family better and getting to grips with the relationship with his wife and his guilt. This novel is far less exotic and not as fast paced as the rest of the series, but it is much more reflective and insidious, built like a complicated puzzle where pieces eventually fit in but not as you thought, and it is suffused by a sense of dread, melancholy and regret. Not all prequels are good but this is one of the excellent ones. I think it was a good choice to publish the novels in this order. It feels as if the author is giving us some space to breathe and feeding us information that might help us fully understand and enjoy what’s yet to come. And I very much suspect it will be a very bumpy ride.

Links:

A Poison Tree USA

http://www.amazon.com//dp/B00K0CRX8A

A Poison Tree UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00K0CRX8A/

Here, the first book in the series:

everyone burns

Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma Book One) by John Dolan Counselling, politics and detection in Thailand

Everyone Burns is a detective novel. And although it lives up to many of the detective novels expectations (David Braddock, the detective protagonist is a somewhat cynical man who has seen everything, is a bit of a womaniser, smokes, has a bad opinion of the local cops, and keeps us entertained with a sometimes insightful, sometimes clueless, but always entertaining internal dialogue) it is by no means your usual run-of-the-mill detective novel.

What makes it different? For one, its setting. This is not New York or a big city. This is Samui, an island part of Thailand, where sexual tourism is rife, politics and the local police are corrupt, and foreigners (Sarangs) have to live in the outskirts of society following unspoken but very strict rules. The author managers to paint a vivid image of Samui, a place of contrasts, with very wealthy patrons, gangsters who control everything and everybody, and extremely poor individuals who can’t pay for a cataract operation. But what I found personally fascinating was the deep understanding of the functioning of such society, where gross corruption can be offset by an appearance of outward morality and normality.

David Braddock, despite the many recognisable traits he shares with your favourite detective, is anything but a common guy. He has no known qualifications for the job he does. He is a triumph of vocational approach to training. He does the job because he can. In the same manner that he offers (mostly to foreigners like him) his skills as detective, he also offers counselling (that he seems to have mastered via some courses, ample reading and a generous dose of common sense) to natives. To handle these two strands of his business he has two rooms in his office and will show (or his pregnant secretary will) his clients to the East or West office. His fees also vary according to the clientele. He is married, but his relationship with his wife is mysterious from the start and although he is deeply in love with her, she seems to be a very rare presence in his life. He has a housekeeper who is a character and steady influence, he visits a Buddhist monastery and the novel is peppered with Buddhist wisdom and Braddock’s attempts at applying it to his investigations. He has a number of female friends, some married, and he is receiving what appear to be blackmail letters that seem to come from somebody in the know about his relationship with the wife of the chief of police.

He is British but has lived in Thailand for a number of years, although his standing appears to be still uncertain. We don’t know much about his background but this is a man who can quote the classics, speaks Thai, is well informed on local, international and current affairs and is a deep thinker with a peculiar but internally consistent sense of morality. This being a first person narration I was left wanting to know who he really is. If the many cases he gets involved in get solved in some fashion (foreign men get killed and burned in a spot where years back a young man killed himself by setting himself alight), I felt there were more questions left unanswered than fully satisfying answers.

I loved this novel. Although I’ve read a few detective novels and seedy settings are not uncommon, the degree of local knowledge, understanding of customs and familiarity with procedures (and I understand from reading about the author that Mr Dolan spends a fair amount of time in Thailand) goes well beyond what I expected and rather than a filler to justify some elements of the story, I felt it was integral to it and fascinating to read for the insights it provided. The cases were interesting and the first person narrative, like in many of the most loved classic detective novels, allowed you to test yourself, look for clues, and try to find the elusive connections that you knew existed but couldn’t quite work out.

The characterisation not only of Braddock but of most of the important secondary characters was vivid and rang true. How reliable a narrator Braddock is, is something that you’ll have to decide. I can say I was surprised at a particular point in the novel, because although something had not made much sense to me (and I won’t spoil the plot) when I realised why I still wasn’t sure if it was the way the scenes were set or my own lack of acumen at points.

My feeling and opinion is that this series will be a five star series, but I wanted more background, more story and more development in some of the characters. I believe that all will come together as a whole and can’t wait to read the rest of the novels. If you like detective novels and want to try something new, don’t waste any more time and read Everyone Burns.

Links:

Everyone Burns USA

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008I6GXM2/

Everyone Burns UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008I6GXM2/

And this is the second:

Hungry Ghosts, 'Time, Blood and Karma' Book 2 by John Dolan

Hungry Ghosts, ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ Book 2 by John Dolan

Hungry Ghosts (Time, Karma and Blood Series Book 2) by John Dolan. Family secrets, family feuds, betrayals and ghosts.

‘The spirits of the dead are all around us, but it is we, the living, that are the true hungry ghosts.’I could not agree more with the reflections of David Braddock, the detective-cum-philosopher and therapist who is the protagonist of Hungry Ghosts, the second book in the ‘Time, Karma and Blood Series’ by John Dolan. I read the first book in the series Everyone Burns and when I reviewed it I mentioned that I thought this would be a five star series but the first book left me wanting more and with too many questions pending. Be reassured, Hungry Ghosts delivers on all the promises of the first and more, and although, of course this being a series everything could not be resolved, it answers many of the questions, whilst opening new avenues for inquiry and intriguing plots.

‘Sometimes I come across as superficial. Of this I am aware. However, you may be confident that inside my head I am forever plumbing new shallows, finding novel ways to express the obvious, reheating old jokes.’

David Braddock, one of the most peculiar detectives I’ve met in fiction (and I am aware all famous detectives have quirks and characteristics that make them memorable) is back with a vengeance. Or rather, he is the intended victim of a revenge attempt. Vending the rules, although it appears to be the standard MO in Thailand, does not come without consequences, even there. People die, lives are destroyed, and strange alliances are made and broken. Not your standard day at the office.

If Braddock still retains many of the characteristics we’ve come to expect of most males detectives (he has an array of love interests, two of them married, one related to him by first marriage…), we get to see more of his soft/emotional side. His strange relationships with his first wife (now dead), his daughter (away in England), his housekeeper (not his maid, as he insists throughout the whole book. She is clearly much more than a housekeeper, as signaled by the fact that they have never had sex), his mother-in-law, and crucially, his father. Family secrets abound, not only those of the Braddock family, but also of other families. Fathers and sons with troubled relationships are mirrored on both sides of the law (although the lines are very fine and there is no black and white here, rather different shades of grey, but no, not fifty), and even Braddock’s Zen master, the Old Monk, has sons who are on opposite sides of the law.

The author shows his talent by using a variety of points of view throughout the novel that allow us to understand better the events and the motivations behind the actions of the characters. We share in the murderer’s frame of mind, the Chief of Police of Samui and his wife (and Braddock’s lover), the detective’s sister in law, the gangsters… We might side with Braddock but we are privy to the thoughts and feelings of others and are a step ahead. That is why the twist at the end is even more effective. We should have seen it coming but we were too taken by the action and the story, and rooting for the flawed hero to realise that…

John Dolan treads carefully and manages to recap enough information to allow somebody who has not read the first novel to enjoy and make sense of this one, whilst at the same time not boring somebody who has recently read ‘Everyone Burns’, and just nudging their memory (especially with the unfamiliar names) along.

David Braddock is fast becoming one of my favourite detectives. Although an amateur at both detective work and psychology (or therapeutic interventions), he has a natural flair for both. I couldn’t help but think that he might make an interesting team with Mary, the psychiatrist who gets involved in all sorts of crimes in my stories. It’s a thought.

Hungry Ghosts has gang-warfare, police corruption, revenge, murders and violence, secrets and revelations, honey traps and meddling employees, witty repartees and reflections (‘I need to simplify my life so far as women are concerned. Maybe I should get castrated and have done with it.’), ghosts and padrinos (Thai style). I, for one, can’t wait to see what happens next and what will come of the sudden epiphany Braddock experiences in this book. As he observes: ‘We are the artisans of avoidance, the fabricators of falsehoods. We sell ourselves snake-oil and we call it medicine.’ I’m sure there will be more revelations to come and I suspect the author might take us in unsuspected directions. I am getting a ticket for the next trip. Are you?

Links:

Hungry Ghosts USA

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ENZAURQ/

Hungry Ghosts UK

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00ENZAURQ/

Thank you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, you know what to do, like, share, comment and of course, CLICK!

About A Book Club

Obsessive Reader | Perpetual Student | Crazy Cat Lady

My Paranormal Photography

I am not here to convince you of anything, I am just sharing my personal experiences

princesssa

Vive y deja vivir... ama y dejate amar

Sofia Ellis

Writes, reads, and drinks a lot of coffee.

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