Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Interview, mystery, Spotlight on July 31, 2016

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The Quirky Quiz Show Caper (Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Nysteries)
4th in Series
Cozy Mystery
Cozy Cat Press (March 26, 2016)
Paperback: 242 pages

Synopsis

38-year-old formal teen idol Sandy Fairfax is a guest panelist on a TV game show–and the first category is murder! When his brother, a college professor is framed for the murder of one of his student, Sandy investigates, in between fighting with his ex, visiting his kids, wooing his new girlfriend, and presenting a concert at a black tie gala to save his father’s orchestra. Sandy’s ready to tear out his long blond hair as the game points and suspects pile up.

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Character Interview

I had a chance to interview Sandy Fairfax for today’s blog post.  I know these questions are so serious and you are just dying to know what I asked and how Sandy answered…so here you go!

If you had to describe yourself in 1 sentence, what would you say?

I’m a 38-year-old recovering alcoholic who’s grateful for his career and for having a chance to mend my broken bridges.

If you had the time to binge watch any show, what show would it be?

Rockford Files

Do you think the way that you are written about by the author is an accurate portrayal?  If not, what would be different?

I’m not happy on the way she wrote about my relationship with my brother, Warren. Okay, so we drifted apart over the years, but really, that was his fault more so than mine. And if I sounded petty about Warren’s life, that wasn’t envy as much as annoyance that my brother never gave me credit for my accomplishments. I mean, most families would be proud to have a celebrity in the clan. And the author makes me sound like a lusty old fool. I don’t go gaga over pretty women all the time (just a good portion of it).

What is your favorite snack food?

Gooey fudge brownies.  (me too Sandy, me too!)

Do you have a hidden talent and what is it?

I love tinkering on old cars. I use to have a Corvair that I restored to its former glory before I sold it to a friend. I keep my classic Mustang convertible in top shape. I’m thinking of expanding my collection with a few more vintage vehicles to fix up.

Praise for the book

The author does an excellent job of giving the reader a taste of the celebrity life. She, also, blends mystery, romance and adventure to perfection. ~Socrates’ Book Review

This was my first experience with Sandy Fairfax and I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. ~Bookjunkie’s Book Blog

It’s great to see the family crucible which formed and supports Sandy. Add to that the facts that he has been married and divorced, with children, is a recovering alcoholic and is keen on a new lady. One thing is for certain, life will never be dull with Sandy around!  ~Back Porchervations

About the Author

CarpenterSally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, Calif.

She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award and “Star Collector” was produced in New York City.

Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.

She’s worked as an actress, freelance writer, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain, and tour guide/page for a major movie studio. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.

The Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series is comprised of: “The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper” (2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel), “The Sinister Sitcom Caper,” “The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper” and “The Quirky Quiz Show Caper.”

She has short stories in two anthologies: “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in” in “Last Exit to Murder” and “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” in “Plan B: Omnibus.”

Carpenter penned chapter three of the Cozy Cat Press group mystery “Chasing the Codex.”

To atone for her sins of killing fictional people, she also writes the monthly Roots of Faith column for the Acorn Newspapers.

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She’s a member of Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles chapter. Contact her at Facebook or scwriter@earthlink.net.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on July 30, 2016

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SHOW TIME

Show Time (A Dodie O’Dell Mystery)
Lyrical Underground (July 19, 2016)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601837202
E-Book ASIN: B0174PKHFG

Synopsis

The tide has turned for Dodie O’Dell since a hurricane upended her life on the Jersey Shore. Now she’s further up the coast in sleepy Etonville, managing a restaurant that dishes dinners themed around the community theater’s latest productions. But Dodie just never imagined she’d land the starring role in a case of bloody homicide . . .

Intrigued by rumors of vanishing box office money, Dodie has agreed to help oversee the casting of Romeo and Juliet at the modest Etonville Little Theater. If nothing else, it’s a welcome escape from the thirty-something’s usual going-to-bed-with-a-mystery-novel routine. But when Jerome Angleton, a well-respected member of the theater company, is inexplicably found murdered on the loading dock, deadly drama transcends the stage—and the page. As a crime wave crashes over the small town, the spotlight is on Dodie to orchestrate her own investigation behind the scenes . . . before someone has a chance at a killer encore.

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Praise for the Book

Author Suzanne Trauth’s experience as a playwright, screenwriter, and university theater professor is evident in the theater details and realism present in Show Time.  ~Jane Reads

I found Show Time a fast read – and one I didn’t want to put down. I am sure you will love this book as much as I did!  ~Kaisy Daisy’s Corner

About the Author

Suzanne Trauth is a novelist, playwright, screenwriter, and a former university theatre professor. She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Dramatists Guild. When she is not writing, Suzanne coaches actors and serves as a celebrant performing wedding ceremonies. She lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey.

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Posted in excerpt, Romantic Suspense, Spotlight on July 29, 2016

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Synopsis

Police officer Mia Donovan is studying for the detective’s exam when her captain offers her an assignment – be Finn O’Rourke’s personal bodyguard for the next three weeks.  He’s in town to film a movie, he has a stalker, and the threats are escalating.

Mia isn’t interested – she’s focused on the looming exam.  But her captain convinces her that successfully protecting Finn will look very good on her record when promotion decisions are made.  So, reluctantly, she takes the assignment.

Finn isn’t the arrogant, egotistical actor Mia expected.  There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the ‘most hated man in America’, Finn’s nickname since he cheated on his girlfriend, a beloved pop star.

But his stalker is lurking and the threat is escalating.  Although Mia’s feelings for Finn are growing, her job is to protect Finn, not fall in love with him.

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Excerpt

Finn shoved his hand through his hair as he paced in front of the window, both appreciative of his godfather’s concern and irritated by his interference.  “Doug, it’s great that you want to protect me.  I appreciate it.  Really.  But I don’t need a cop hanging around for the next three weeks.  I’ll hire private security if the situation escalates.”

Finn’s hand tightened on his phone as he imagined the field day the paparazzi would have with a cop following him around.  ‘Cops called on Pretty Boy O’Roarke!’  ‘O’Roarke a danger to Chicagoans?’  ‘O’Roake arrested!’

Yeah, he didn’t want anything to do with the cops.

“You hire all the private security you want, Finn.”  His godfather’s voice boomed over the phone, as rough as the waves crashing onto Oak Street Beach below Finn’s window.  “But I’m the goddamned police superintendent in Chicago, and I want a cop in there.  This stalker is escalating.  First that note, then a wedding ring?  This is serious.”

“No cops.  Okay?”

“No one will know she’s a cop.  She’ll be posing as your girlfriend,” his godfather retorted.

“That’s even worse,” he groaned.  “I don’t want a pretend girlfriend.  If the stalker is a woman obsessed with me, the situation could escalate.  I’m not going to do this, Doug.”

He hadn’t dated anyone since the fiasco with Gemma a year and a half ago.  Hadn’t had the stomach for it.  Pretending would be awkward and uncomfortable and unnecessary.  And he’d be trapped, since Doug’s cop would be staying in his suite if he went along with this crazy scheme.

“Really?”  Doug’s voice took on the steely tone Finn had dreaded when he’d played with Doug’s sons twenty years ago.  “You don’t want a cop protecting you?  You want me to have to look your father in the eye and tell him I let some psycho nut job kill his son on my watch?  Huh?  Is that what you want, Finian?”

Finn closed his eyes and banged his head lightly on the window.  Doug was bringing out the big guns.  Finian.  If his full name didn’t work, the next step would be calling Finn’s mother.  They both knew what would happen then, and it wouldn’t be pretty.

“Damn it, Doug!”  Finn knew the hell that would rain down on him if his mother got involved.  “Fine.  But don’t expect me to hold her hand in public.  Or kiss her.  I’m not giving the vultures any money shots.”

“That’s fine, Finny.  Wouldn’t expect you to.  Wouldn’t expect her to, either.”  Doug’s voice was smooth and happy, now that he’d gotten his way.  “She’ll be on the job.  All business.   But she’s going to be with you, wherever you go.”

And wouldn’t that be fun.  “Yeah.  Fine.  Send her over.”

“First thing in the morning, son.”

Finn could hear the self-satisfied smile in his godfather’s voice.  “Doug, I know you mean well, but you’re a pain in my ass.”

“And your ass will still be alive when you leave Chicago,” Doug retorted.  “Now go be evil and nasty in that movie of yours.”

“Give my love to Marie,” Finn said, hanging up the phone a little harder than necessary.

About the Author

Margaret_WatsonTwo-time Rita finalist Margaret Watson has sold millions of copies of her thirty eight books.  After writing spicy Harlequin romances, Margaret dials it up a notch with her latest, the Donovan Family series.  Once you start reading these sexy romantic suspense stories about a family of Chicago cops, you won’t be able to stop.

When not writing, Margaret practices veterinary medicine.  She lives near Chicago with her husband, three daughters and a menagerie of pets.

Susan Elizabeth Phillips, NYT bestselling author, says, “Margaret Watson, a star in the world of contemporary romance, grabs you on the opening page and keeps you reading to the happily ever after.”

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Posted in Giveaway, romance, Spotlight, Time Travel, Young Adult on July 29, 2016

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In Her Own Time

The Bean Books, #2

by Christine Potter

Romance/Time Travel/Suspense

63K, Evernight Teen Publishing

Synopsis

Summer 1970: Bean Donohue’s sixteen, she’s finally got a good band together, and she’s crazy in love with her artist boyfriend Zak. She’s also about to get the coolest summer job ever, and her impossible mom’s conveniently out of town.

So why does she keep ending up in 1953…or 1779?  And who’s that guy with the black ponytail and the Kent State t-shirt?  He knows way too much about her.  Should Zak be worried—or should Bean?

14+ due to sexuality and adult situations

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Excerpt

Bean found herself alone, just outside the house. The air was sharp. Tall trees that had just been in full summer leaf were suddenly bare, and smaller than they’d been seconds before. Bean tried to peer back in through the kitchen window, but the lights were off, and she couldn’t see anything. She stood in her side yard, sometime in the past. It was happening again…

And It was enough of a shock that she didn’t even know how she felt. She’d been glowing from the night before with Zak, happy to have had Sam pound on her door with music and laughter. Bean stuck her hands in the pockets of her thin blue cotton robe, and looked up. The sky looked like early afternoon: pale sunlight behind a thin, high layer of clouds. In front of her house, underneath the living room windows stood three overgrown barberry bushes. Bean had never seen them before. The ground was hard and cold, and she was barefoot.

Alrighty, thenDamn it. Lately, Bean had been perfectly fine with life in 1970. What year is this supposed to be? She had no idea.

Zak said love is always why this happens, she thought. But then she felt the happiness beginning to leak out of her. If Zak were right, why had she slipped backwards just now? She had a whole June weekend to spend with him, feeling nothing but love…and now, this.

It made no sense. All she could do was watch, deal, and try to keep warm.

It really was pretty chilly. She tried jogging in place to warm up, which helped a bit. Her toes were soon numb, though.  After a few minutes, a black car with big, round bumpers pulled into the driveway and clattered to a halt. There was the rasp of an emergency brake being set.  And Bean’s father—very young, and too thin for his thick, grey winter coat—got out of the driver’s side. Bean put a hand over her mouth, and watched as he ran urgently around to the passenger’s door. He yanked it open.

“Can you make it?” Bean’s dad called into the car.

“Of course I can make it,” said her mother’s voice. A high-heeled shoe and a nylon stocking-covered leg emerged. Then came the rest of Bean’s mom, wearing a brown tweed overcoat and a floppy green beret. She walked a bit unsteadily, clutching a bundle of white blankets wrapped around a baby, which began to wail.

“Sh-sh. Sh-sh-sh,” said Julia as she wobbled up the walk. She stopped when she got to the front door.

“You wouldn’t happen to have remembered the house keys, would you, Tom?” she called. Tom patted down three pockets in his coat before something jingled. He rushed a key into the lock. Then he looked back at the car. Both its front doors now stood wide open, and he sprinted back down the walk toward them. Bean sucked in her breath hard, taking it all in. Was that her days-old self,crying, inside the house? Sixteen-year-old Bean felt a little weepy, too.  It’s 1953, then, she thought. Just after my actual birthday. Wow…

The wind blew and she shivered.

And then there was a hand on her arm.

Book 1 in The Bean Books series is now available:

Time Runs Away With Her

Evernight Teen  Amazon   ARe

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About the Author

Christine PotterChristine Potter lives in a small town not far from the setting of Time Runs Away With Her, near the mighty Hudson River, in a very old (1740) house with two ghosts.  According to a local ghost investigator, they are harmless, “just very old spirits who don’t want to leave.”  She doesn’t want them to.

Christine’s house contains two pipe organs (her husband is a choir director/organist), two spoiled tom cats, and too many books.  She’s also a poet, and the author of two collections of verse, Zero Degrees at First Light, and Sheltering in Place. Christine taught English and Creative Writing for years in the Clarkstown Schools.  She DJ’s free form rock and roll weekly on Area24radio.com, and plays guitar, dulcimer, and tower chimes.

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Giveaway

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Please leave your answer to these questions in the comments

1. Suppose you were my main character, Bean.  What time period would you like to be swept back into–and why?

2. These books believe in ghosts.  Do you?  Ever seen one?

 

 

 

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on July 29, 2016

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Homicide in the House (Washington Whodunit)
2nd in Series
Cozy Mystery
Camel Press (June 15, 2016)
Paperback: 258 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813334

Synopsis

Kit Marshall has bounced back from her first brush with the law, when she was suspected of murdering her senator boss. Now she is working for a freshman congresswoman, Maeve Dixon, a young Gulf War veteran representing North Carolina. It’s February, and Kit is feeling out of sorts. A government shutdown has just been announced, wreaking havoc on the Hill, and Dan, Dixon’s chief of staff and Kit’s supervisor, is an inexperienced lightweight flying blind. Then there’s Kit’s distracted live-in boyfriend, Doug, who doesn’t seem any closer to popping the question. Kit’s best friend Meg is up to her eyeballs with her new beau and oversight committee job, and Clarence the beagle mix will certainly not win Capitol Canine if Meg has to campaign for him all by herself. Bad as things are now, they are about to get much worse.

Early one morning Representative Dixon is caught standing over the corpse of Jack Drysdale, the Speaker of the House’s top staffer, a man she argued with in front of the press the day before. The murder weapon was the Speaker’s gavel. This item was entrusted to Dixon at the time, leading the police to believe they’ve found their killer. To save her job, Kit must clear her boss’s name, and quickly. Dixon’s career may be over if the police declare her a suspect or an anonymous blogger known as Hill Rat breaks the story. Solving this murder will test Kit’s courage and all her fledgling powers of deduction as she roams a spooky, sparsely populated Capitol Hill looking for clues and sounding out suspects.

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Eating My Way Through “Homicide in the House”

The Washington Whodunit mystery series is no stranger to good food. A variety of restaurants, cafes, and bars are huddled along a condensed Pennsylvania Avenue corridor next to the Library of Congress and House of Representatives office buildings. If the weather is decent, those sidewalks are packed by noontime with hungry federal government workers, congressional staff, lobbyists, Members of Congress, and curious tourists.

It was a breeze writing about the various eating establishments patronized by Kit and Meg in Homicide in the House. After all, I’m a frequent customer. There are some cool tidbits worth mentioning about several places prominently featured in my book.

Tortilla Coast: In Homicide, Kit and Meg come here to commiserate after the government shuts down. They munch on burritos, fajitas, and tasty tortilla chips.  Many people do not know that current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, worked at Tortilla Coast as a server in the early 1990s. It really does prove that Washington, DC is a town premised upon the ability to rise quickly amongst the ranks!

Pete’s Diner: The no-frills diner right across from Library’s Madison Building (where I work) is legendary for its matter-of-fact service and low prices. In Homicide, Kit meets Trevor there for breakfast and he urges her to engage in some clever sleuthing to uncover an important clue about the murder weapon. In real life, former Speaker of the House John Boehner was a huge fan of Pete’s. Speaker Boehner routinely ate there for breakfast, often wearing jeans and a baseball cap. He favored the eggs and sausage platter.

Tune Inn: This dive bar is perhaps the most infamous place featured in the book. No, the victim in the book didn’t die from food poisoning. But Kit does have a fateful conversation here right before she solves the mystery. The Tune Inn has been a Capitol Hill institution for more than sixty years, serving up beer-battered burgers, Joe’s special roast beef sandwich, and fried pickles. Guy Fieri gave it a “thumbs up” when his Food Network show came here for a visit. Others who have dined here? There are too many members of Congress to mention. Former Attorney General Janet Reno reportedly liked the Tune Inn for its breakfast fare and burgers. Political strategist James Carville brought Mary Matalin here on their first date, as legend goes. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer is also a big fan. One of the only unpretentious bars in Washington, DC couldn’t be ignored in Homicide in the House.

If you’re in Washington to visit, be sure to make it a point to visit these fun and historic restaurants on Capitol Hill.  Tell them that Kit Marshall sent you!

About the Author

colleen shoganColleen J. Shogan is a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is the former deputy director of the Congressional Research Service and previously served as a staffer in the United States Senate. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American government at Georgetown University, Penn, and George Mason. Colleen is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her BA from Boston College and her doctorate from Yale. A member of Sisters in Crime, she lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband Rob Raffety and their rescue mutt, Conan. Her first book, Stabbing in the Senate, won the Next Generation Indie Award for Best Mystery in 2016.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Spotlight, Thriller on July 28, 2016

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Synopsis

Dominique Stein is beautiful, young and Jewish. Her sanity is overly dependent on external cues: chameleon-like. She wakes up every morning at 5:59:59. She weighs in at exactly 111 lbs., her snug palindrome. These are her “friends.” They keep her safe. Then, it all explodes, and she finds herself desperately searching to find a way back inside that cozy bubble of sanity.

Lost, her bearings off and wobbly, she discovers that her instincts are not functioning as they should. Crimes are committed, and not everyone survives. Found “not guilty” by virtue of temporary insanity, she is sent to a psychiatric prison for women. There, she is caught between the kind, serene Freudian analyst, Dr. Haddad, and the head of the institute, the manic, megalomaniacal Dr. du Chevre, who offers her the Faustian contract: be the subject for his secretive, odd research, and he’ll get her out of prison earlier. Dominique has to navigate her way out of this maze of institutional insanity while also trying to survive the random explosive violence of the women’s prison.

In this psychological thriller, Gary Dvorkin crafts a compelling story of love, betrayal and reality-shifting anxiety. Dominique hears many voices in her life. But which one can she trust? Which voice will ransom her sanity?

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Excerpt

As Dominique drove back to her apartment, she had no idea how fast she was going. Her two fists rhythmically smashed down on top of the steering wheel. She could hardly see the traffic through her tears.

“I am going crazy! Somebody, please! Please! Please! Please!

She almost choked on her saliva. She started to cough so vio­lently that she felt like throwing up. She wanted to throw up. On her­self, in her car. She wanted to feel and smell the particulate food matter vomitus all over her clothes.

“I have nothing! Nothing!”

She thought of turning the car around, returning to Suzie and Edwin’s house, begging for forgiveness, and joining their family. Going to church. Seeing people! The intense envy she felt toward Suzie quickly mutated into hatred. She knew she could not turn her car around. She would have to return to her empty apartment, her empty life, and wander the streets again.

“I can’t do this!” she wailed.

“Dominique, you need to get a job!”

“Phyllis! Oh, thank God!”

“Sweetheart. Calm down. Everything is going to be all right. I promise you.”

“Oh, if I could only believe you. Oh, Phyllis. Thank God, you came back.”

“I’m never away from you, Dominique. You know that.”

“But, Mommy—”

“What?”

A sharp tone had returned to Phyllis’s voice. Dominique braced herself but plowed ahead anyway.

“Sometimes . . . you’re not . . . very nice to me.”

“Sometimes, Dominique, you’re a bit of a wimp and you need a good kick in the ass! Now don’t go all gushy on me now. Listen! I know how you will get out of this mess!”

“You do?”

“Yes, I do. ‘Liebe und arbeit.’”

“Excuse me?”

“Listen. Remember what Freud said. About sanity. He was asked for the definition of sanity, and he responded by saying, ‘Liebe und arbeit. Work and love. If you can work and love, you are sane.’”

“Maybe I should work on love first.”

“You can’t be loved until you work.”

“Really?”

“Think about it. Would you fall in love with a man if he told you that he did nothing? That he hadn’t decided what to do with his life?”

“No.”

“Then start with arbeit. Liebe will follow. Get a job.”

So Dominique became a truck driver.

Praise for the Book

“A superb exploration of sanity’s dark corridors, recounted with grace, intelligence and biting irony. This is a book to be savored.”  -Arthur Holden, Goodreads

“It was the most suspenseful, thrilling tale of a young woman’s transformation in the hands of her captors’ professional routine. Every chapter brought unexpected twists; every move Dominique took presented a different side of her complex character. I teach drama at a local high school. I could not help but think of my senior students. As part of my curriculum, I work on character development. What an amazing learning experience it would be to analyze a scene from the novel. Extremely visual, with thrilling turns, but at the end, a fully accessible human story.”  -Kati Kemeny, Goodreads

Ransom’s Voice is a taut, cerebral thriller with a wicked sense of humor. This debut novel succeeds as both an inventive page-turner and a complex exploration of sanity and reality, with echoes of Patricia Highsmith’s dark suspense and Carl Hiaasen’s laugh-out-loud dialogue. In both story and tone, Ransom’s Voice surprises, shocks and delights in equal measure.”  -Charlie Delfield, Amazon

“This book was a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end. What I love about Dvorkin’s book is that every time I was sure that I knew what was coming up next, I was constantly surprised to see the book turn in a direction that I wasn’t expecting. This book gave me a very interesting glimpse into the human psyche. It’s very controversial at times and really gets you thinking! I highly recommend it!!!”  -Yuval, Goodreads

About the Author

Debut author Gary Dvorkin, M.D., has been working as a practicing neurologist in Montréal, Canada for more than thirty years. He earned his medical degree at the University of Alberta. Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, he currently makes his home in Montréal, Québec with his wife. He has one daughter. Unlike his reading interests in history and biography, Dvorkin prefers to write fiction books, and his first novel, Ransom’s Voice (Brown Books Publishing Group), was released on February 23, 2016.

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Posted in 4 paws, Dystopian, Review on July 28, 2016

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Synopsis

Even the suburbs aren’t safe from the end of the world…

Daisy Danner is your typical busy stay-at-home mom. On most days she tries to keep her head down and finish her never-ending work. Today is different. Today is the apocalypse.

When an eerie attack starts to tear the neighborhood and the world apart, Daisy shuts the doors and prays that her husband Justin will return soon. Her mind begins to fray as she tries to cope with the possibility of single motherhood in a menacing new world.

With her mental and physical abilities compromised, Daisy must keep her family together as the world falls apart.

TV Apocalypse is a psychological apocalyptic thriller set in an all-too-real suburb. If you like end-of-the-world tales, humor mixed with tragedy, and incredible suspense, then you’ll love Kathleen Rover’s chilling glance into post-apocalyptic suburbia.

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Review

What a unique premise for a book! I thought I had heard/read it all but a “virus” transmitted over the television is definitely new to me. They call those that have the virus “influenced” and they take on a zombie like appearance and tend to go a little nuts and try to harm those around them including loved ones. A twist on a dystopian scenario.

Enter Daisy – she might be influenced but not like the others, she just wants to protect her family. It seems that she has a split personality and the other side of her has all these skills that seem second nature but Daisy is anything but a fighter.

I really enjoyed this book and it was hard to put down because I wanted to know what the heck was going on in the world. In a way it seemed to correlate to all of the issues we have in the world today. This is a series and so the book does sort of leave you hanging but at least there is a sneak peek into book 2.

We give it 4 paws up.

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TV Apocalypse Teaser

About the Author

I am a mother, a writer, and an avid reader. I write under a pen name due to another professional career. Everyone has a secret in their life, mine is writing.
What’s your secret?

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Posted in Giveaway, nonfiction, Spotlight on July 27, 2016

Party with a Plan

Synopsis

Finally! Here is a proven, practical way to drink alcohol and lower your risk for problems. Up until now, there have been two primary messages when it comes to drinking alcohol. One is “just say no,” which for the majority of the population is not an option. The other is to “drink responsibly.” But what does that mean? If you ask five random people to define responsible drinking, you will most likely get five completely different answers. This invalidates the term because it can be defined in so many different ways. Party with a Plan® gives a concise and research based formula that teaches people how to drink and lower their risk of negative consequences. It’s like creating a speed limit for drinking. If you stick to the speed limit, your chance of problems is minimal. However, the more you go over the speed limit, and the more often you go over the speed limit, the more you put yourself and others at risk. This book is long overdue!

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About the Author

Randy HavesonRandy Haveson knows addiction. As an alcoholic in long-term recovery (May, 1984), he has dedicated his life to helping others make more empowered choices in their lives. He is a 25 year veteran in the substance abuse field with extensive experience as a counselor, Director of Health & Alcohol Education at highly accredited universities, and speaker on over 100 campuses, speaking about harm reduction, self-esteem, leadership, and supporting students in recovery.

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Giveaway

Five winners will each get a copy of Party With a Plan. One winner will also get a $25 Amazon GC and another will also get a consultation with Randy Haveson (Open to USA & CAN)

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Posted in Giveaway, paranormal, romance, Spotlight on July 27, 2016

CadencesCauldron_Cover

Author: Nicole Pouchet
Series Name: Elemental Myths
# in the Series: 4
Length: 50,000 words
Date of Publication: July 26, 2016
Publisher: Nicole Pouchet
Cover Artist: Ann Alger

Synopsis

Cadence Williamson has life all figured out. Her London jazz nightclub gives her a place to sing, friends she calls family, and enough money to pay the bills. No man is going to block her chi, especially not the shark trying to buy her out. Who cares if she’s been dreaming of doing the deed with him? Cadence’s perfect plans unravel when she develops fiery superpowers, melts her mic, and has past life visions of an evil force snuffing out the city’s population.

Trystan Tawanti may have his fun, but he’ll never allow another pretty face near his soul again. The serial entrepreneur is determined to purchase Cadence’s nightclub and turn it into a profit machine—no matter the cost to his heart or to his Incan family’s world-saving destiny. He just has to ignore those pesky empathic powers and the feelings signaling his fated mate is near.

Will Cadence and Trystan learn to trust their destiny and each other before ancient evil catches up to them to burn London down?

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Excerpt

“This is a song we like to call the ‘Lullaby for Insomniacs.’” Her smile heated the warehouse, and the men at the bar with Trystan exhaled their awe as one. Their audible fascination would have been amusing if he wasn’t just as securely under her spell as them.

She sang and her words penetrated his senses. The loneliness he felt, the ever-present searching for something more clawed at him, urging him to leap from his chair and force his way to her. The pianist played his solo as she swayed her body to the rhythm. More instruments joined in. There was a whole band back there. Trystan should have cared.

All he could do was watch Cadence’s body move. Her hips drifted from side to side and the outline of each leg could be seen through the dress. He loosened his collar, discreetly removing his tie and undoing the top two buttons of his shirt.

As he rolled up his sleeves, he noticed three other men doing the same. The room was definitely getting hotter. He was turned on by the singer, and his Spidey senses proved he wasn’t the only one. At least a dozen guys leered at the songstress. Couples let their hands roam freely under cover of the tables. Several women peeled off their cardigans and layers of clothing. One sat wearing nothing but a camisole.

Cadence licked her bottom lip as she launched into her final verse.

If I could reach the lever
I would make this thing go faster
Speed through confusion
Rewrite this chapter

There was nothing confusing about the state of the people in the club. A woman to his left ran her tongue over her ruby red lips, and a nearby man pressed against her backside, whispering in her ear before caressing her knee. The man she came with whispered into her other ear, and they both smiled as he let his fingers trail over the newcomer’s hand.

They were all ready to get it on. There was no wonder. The singer was a living aphrodisiac and someone had turned up the heat. The combination of sweltering passion and pure lust set off an animalistic response in the audience.

Everyone sat silent at the end of her song, panting with arousal. Desire was at a fever pitch in the club, and Trystan wondered if an orgy would break out, or if people would adhere to societal rules. Applause began, softly at first, then thunderous as the spell weakened and people returned to their senses.

Cadence and her band bowed. The pianist and the rest of the musicians stumbled off, leaving her on the stage alone. She blinked into the spotlight, seemingly unaware of the extent of her effect on the audience. “Thank you,” she shouted over the crowd before handing the mic off to the emcee.

The emcee went on about a big-name jazz singer scheduled to perform in a few weeks. Trystan forgot to scold himself for not listening as he tossed a ten pound note toward the bartender and followed the singer to her back office…

About the Author

Nicole Pouchet is a memoirist and a paranormal romance novelist. Books from her Elemental Myths paranormal romance series have enjoyed spots on Amazon’s Bestseller list. Layla’s Gale, A Paranormal Romance won second prize in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. Additionally, Cadence’s Cauldron, A Paranormal Romance won an Honorable Mention in the 2014 RWA Pages from the Heart Romance Novel contest.

Still amazed to be an adult, Nicole has managed to center her life on raising her two small sons and being true to her family (including husband and friends). She resides in Issaquah, Washington where she is a marketing executive. Happiest near the water, Nicole spends her free hours plotting her next escape, writing, and staring at the ceiling.

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Posted in Book Release, excerpt, Interview, Spotlight, women on July 26, 2016

Trophy Life Cover

Synopsis

Meet Amy, the world’s most improbable trophy wife.

She has a degree, ambitions and something resembling a mind of her own. The trouble is, she just doesn’t use it anymore. Married to handsome aristocrat, Harry Green, Amy’s world is a whirlwind of luxury, labels and lunches.

But amidst the peerages and polo of the privileged few lie wolves in minks’ clothing.

Before she knows it, Amy’s perfect existence is plunged into chaos by the poshest of plots. Ominous heiresses, simpering starlets and a terrifying mother-in-law abound as Amy faces up to some harsh realities.

So, can Amy survive life in the upper crust? Or is high society an all new low?

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Excerpt

‘You are a Green my dear and Greens must represent the family.’

Ah yes, ‘The Family’. Andrea saw herself as the matriarch of a great dynasty, one whose reputation had to be constantly tended and elevated, not unlike the Windsors or perhaps the Kardashians. It didn’t help that Andrea Green preferred to be known by her title, Lady Andrea, bestowed upon her when Harry’s late father had himself received a knighthood.

As if in solidarity, Sir Steven’s eyes stared down at Amy now from the portrait which hung on the wall behind Andrea. His expression, a mix of petulant reluctance and mournful resignation, combined with his drooping jowls and ill-fitting medieval outfit to give him the air of a grumpy toddler at a fancy dress party.

Steven Green had been made Sir Steven, a Knight of the Order of the Bath, in honour of his work in the sector of banking. He had been the head of a prestigious private bank by the name of Hodders. Of course, in the light of the banking crisis, it did transpire that Hodders’ one-time spectacular success in the investment and currencies markets had been courtesy of some less than above board – but equally spectacular – strategies, but Sir Stephen had had the good grace to shed his mortal coil before he could be the subject of anything so vulgar as being held to account for this. What’s more, this was never discussed, either within the family or otherwise.

For Andrea’s part, she saw herself as a member of the aristocracy if not minor royalty, with a duty to the people of Britain and, of course, the world. Her ambitions were nothing short of stratospheric, particularly for her children. It was clear that she considered Harry’s older brother, James’s match with Giselle, whose family had connections to the royal German line, suitable. Quite what she made of the middle class roots of Amy from Totteridge, North London was another thing. She imagined that Andrea felt she had much in common with the tribulations of the royals themselves, having welcomed the less than regal ‘Kate’ into their midst.

Q & A With Elli

Elli Lewis drew upon her experiences as a lawyer to the stars to write her novel, Trophy Life. Here, she lifts the lid on some of the experiences that inspired the story.

DESCRIBE TROPHY LIFE IN A NUTSHELL

Amy is an accidental trophy wife who must survive the very peak of London high society. It’s tongue in cheek, unapologetically glamorous chick lit choc full of strong characters, but it’s also about lost love and learning to cope with whatever life throws at you.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE A STORY SET IN LONDON’S ARISTOCRACY?

Quite frankly, I couldn’t resist. To me, reading is an escape and I wanted to create a world filled with luxury and glamour. It’s something I’ve thought about ever since my time as a lawyer in the City, when my clients had the kind of wealth and fame that’s usually restricted to films or magazines. Having seen that world, having been on the inside of it, I wanted to bring the reader down the rabbit hole with me.

TALK ABOUT YOUR MAIN CHARACTER, AMY. HOW DOES SHE BECOME AN ACCIDENTAL TROPHY WIFE?

Amy has so much potential, but she allows life to happen to her. She doesn’t take control or make decisions. I think we can all be guilty of that sometimes, just falling into this or that. I wanted to explore what could happen if you took that to an extreme and poor Amy was my guinea pig.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER IN THE BOOK?

It has to be Amy’s sister-in-law, Giselle. She’s beautiful and enviable, but she’s also smart, funny and kind. I like that she’s not what she seems, nor what society wants her to be.

About the Author

elli lewisFor Elli Lewis, the path to becoming a novelist was paved with 90’s pop, celebrity clients and pitta chips. Each step of her journey has imprinted on her work.

Elli Lewis grew up in North London, the second of three sisters and, consequently, in a home that was bursting at the seams with shoes. As a teenager in the 90’s, she experimented with Sun In, wore a standard uniform of combat trousers and vest top and shed tears over the breakup of Take That.

She soon recovered and went on to study law at university and qualify as a solicitor. In the course of her career, Elli has worked for some of the UK’s most prestigious law firms, representing a host of A-list clients.

Her time in the City gave her a unique insight into the depths of high society, the height of fame and the biggest of fortunes. It was a world where multi-million pound mansions housed pampered pooches and ruthless spouses determined to wreak revenge, experiences that would later inspire her literary career.

In 2008, she went on to found a successful copywriting agency, with clients including national newspapers and media brands, including the BBC.

The books came later. If you ask Elli why she started writing novels, she will glaze over and look thoughtfully into the middle distance. This is not because she doesn’t like you – well, probably – but because Elli has literally no clue how it happened. Sufficed to say that, one day she started typing and then never stopped. In fact, Elli wrote Trophy Life, The Lottery Club and The Anti-Natals in the same year and published the first of them in 2016.

Elli can now be found back in North London in the house she shares with one tired husband, two boisterous boys and a colossal Siberian cat. She relies on coffee and chocolate to keep her awake and has a mild addiction to pitta chips.

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