Posted in Book Release, excerpt, mystery on April 13, 2017

Book Title: REMNANTS

Author: Carolyn Arnold

Series: Brandon Fisher FBI series, Book 6

Published by: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Synopsis

All that remains are whispers of the past…

When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.

With no quick means of identifying the victims, building a profile of this serial killer is proving more challenging than usual. How is the killer picking these victims? Why are their limbs being severed and bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this killer to murder?

The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: the killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…

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Excerpt

KILLING WAS THE BEST SEDATIVE. Just knowing that the time was coming had allowed him to fall asleep the second his head had hit the pillow last night, and now the clock on his nightstand told him it was almost noon.

He got out of bed and opened the curtains, letting the sun spill in and blanket him in its warm glow. Closing his eyes, he bathed in its splendor. His breath was calm and deep as he got down onto his knees and spread his arms heavenward, giving thanks for not just another day but for the blessing of life. Not his, but what would be the beginning of another offering.

He remained there in a meditative state, letting his consciousness drift to the other realm, a place far too few visited or were even aware of. But it was in this stillness that he found his true self, his identity, and his purpose, where he became centered and focused on the seriousness of his mission.

He wrapped himself in a black robe and shuffled downstairs and out the back door. He stood on the patio facing the riverbank with his eyes closed.

As the sun warmed his eyelids, he imagined himself being carried up toward the sky, merging with the flames, the source of life, and shedding his human form. He knew that he belonged somewhere else—a different plane of existence—but the physical required roots. So for now, he was grounded.

He remained standing there until the sun ducked behind a cloud, the shadows casting over him. He opened his eyes and knew. It was time.

His stride was full of purpose as he returned inside to where he kept the man in a dimly lit room. He closed the door behind him and headed for the preparation room.

The man was standing, restrained at the wrists and ankles, and held up by a clasp around his neck. His arms and legs were stretched out like rays of sunshine. The offering was free to talk, but his spirit had become broken with the passage of time and he rarely whispered a word.

About the Author

carolyn-arnold-authorCAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

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Posted in 4 paws, Book Release, Review, romance on April 4, 2017

Synopsis

Veterinarian Rory Gallagher chose a different path from his brothers, both of whom became first responders in the lovely little town of Darling, Vermont. Rory’s always had an affinity for animals—and the ladies. Known for his impressive track record in breaking hearts, Rory never meant to hurt anyone; he’s just never been in a hurry to settle down. It’s not as if he needs to pay a visit to the town’s famed Kissing Bridge to magically find love. He’ll know The One when he sees her. . .right?

Oaklee Ferguson is the kid sister of Rory’s best friend—and, even now that she’s all grown up, remains immune to the pet-doctor’s charms. When she shows up at Rory’s clinic late one night—devastated after hitting a stray dog with her car—Rory’s so-called “bedroom eyes” are the last thing on her mind. Still, his care and kindness toward the dog, and his concern for her feelings, catches Oaklee by surprise. . .and soon the two (and rescued dog makes three!) begin to share a deep connection that neither could have ever imagined. Could it be that love has been waiting for them by the bridge all along?

Macmillan * Books-A-Million * Indie Bound * Powells

Review

I will pretty much read any book when there are dogs involved and it doesn’t hurt when there is a cute vet in the story too.

This is the 3rd in a series and I’ve haven’t read the first two and it isn’t necessary other than maybe to be clued in to the back story of Rory’s brothers and a few other characters.

Rory and Oaklee have some major baggage with past relationships and it does infringe upon their potential relationship with each other. I think most people can relate to bad relationships that leave them feeling vulnerable or skittish on getting involved with someone again. This is definitely where Rory and Oaklee are but they are wise enough to learn that perhaps being together is worth the risk. I think this makes them very relatable because who hasn’t had their heart broken making it hard for them to trust again?

The setting of the book really makes me want to move there. I love the ideas of small towns and a close knit community. Maybe not that everyone knows your business but knowing everyone and knowing who you can call for different things.

All in all a very enjoyable book and we give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers!

Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.

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Posted in 4 paws, Book Release, Children on April 1, 2017

Written by Holly L. Niner, Illustrated by Isabella Ongaro
April 2017, Hardcover, 32 color pages, ages 4–8, $17.95 US/CAN
ISBN 9781936261895
Published by Flashlight Press
Distributed by IPG

Synopsis

While Dad tucks her in, a little girl named Grace calmly recounts her day—which was anything but calm. She had a tantrum (because of some injustices involving a purple shirt and breakfast cereal) and was banished to her bedroom before deciding to run away. Understanding that kids have ups and downs, Grace’s mom wisely gave her daughter the space and time she needed to reach her own decision to return home—to open arms.

The Day I Ran Away amusingly captures Grace’s mutable moods and childlike logic, making her a character readers care about and can relate to. Warm, humorous digital paintings offer fun details to keep little listeners busy. Kids can compare the bedtime and daytime scenes and try to figure out how Grace got that purple paw-pint on her cheek—and when it got washed away. They can mimic Grace’s facial expressions or copy her poses for some soothing bedtime yoga. And of course, they can create a safe place to run away to when the injustices of Pre-K existence become too much to bear. A pop-up tent in the yard and the haven beneath the dining room table are excellent run-away destinations, as long as you come home for dinner.

Review

This is a cute story with a bit of a lesson for both children and parents. All children (actually people of all ages) will get upset at one time or another and this story shows that if you handle it properly and have taught your children well that it will all work out. I like how the mother handled the situation – giving her daughter some freedom and letting her think she was running away from home without actually leaving the yard. In a small way she turned it into an adventure and having taught her daughter some lessons earlier in her life about crossing the street, she was able to keep her close. It was really ingenious!  Hopefully though it doesn’t teach the little girl that she can throw a tantrum and get away with it.

The only thing that was wrong is that the story never says the little girls name in the text.  No where in the story does mom or dad call her by her name. (at least not in the ARC that I had been provided).  Her name does appear in an illustration, and while I did look at the illustrations (they depicted the words beautifully) I would not have expected to have to look there for her name.

We give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

Holly L. Niner grew up in Newburgh, NY, where on a bad day she would run away with a book to a swing under a willow tree. She is a speech therapist and the award-winning author of I Can’t Stop and Mr. Worry. Holly lives in Fort Wayne, IN, and this is her third picture book.

About the Illustrator

Isabella Ongaro grew up in Verona, Italy, where on a bad day she would run away to her garden shed to draw her cat in her notebook. She creates 2D animation, character designs for apps, and illustrations for the educational and fashion markets. Isabella lives in Paris, France, and this is her fourth picture book.

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Posted in Book Release, fiction, Literary on April 1, 2017

The Path of the Wind: A Novel

By James Misko

Publisher: SquareOne

Publication Date: April 2017

 

Synopsis

The year is 1957 and Miles Foster is a newly minted teacher who dreams of getting a teaching job in the highly respected and financially stable Portland, Oregon school system where everything is available, and where he and his wife call home. But the only opening for his talents is in a remote lumber mill town in central Oregon, two hundred miles away. It is a poor school with forty students, and is controlled by a jealous superintendent and school board who tolerate no thinking outside the box and who conspire to destroy his teaching career. Miles must find a way to educate students who have been passed along in the system regardless of what they learned, and defeat the damaging control that the school board and superintendent have without losing his marriage or his job, or both.

About the Author

Jim Misko grew up in Ord, Nebraska, moved to Oregon, and then to Alaska in 1974. He has worked as an oil field roughneck, logger, forest service lookout, planer mill hand, truck driver, mink rancher, journalist, school teacher and real estate broker.

His previous novel, As All My Fathers Were, has won the FOUR GOLD’s AWARDS from the Benjamin Franklin Awards, Nebraska Book of the Year Award, 2016 Feathered Quill Award, and Pinnacle Book Achievement Award. Jim and his wife Patti live in Alaska in the summer and California in the winter. You may find out more about the author here www.jimmisko.com.

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Posted in Book Release, coming of age, Music on March 27, 2017

Synopsis

An ensemble sets off on a dark comedy of errors and uncertain conclusions, featuring original music throughout the story.

Theo and Judah, two childhood friends, are trying desperately to find an audience for their hard-edged, “grunge” music as they move past their twenties and feel the need to establish careers. Together, they enroll in an unusual college, called The University of Jazz and Music Technology.

Attracted at first by the means within the school to professionally record their own original music, the two friends embark on what could be a lifelong journey.  But the endeavor has an alternate effect, as Theo begins to question his musical efforts with Judah.

Entanglements with co-eds quickly complicate matters. Theo and Judah hit as many rough spots as any amateur band may find along the way, including a disastrous mini-tour of the northwest during spring break. Little do they know, the misfortunes have just begun…

The book will be free on Amazon April 1st – 4th – so snag your free copy in a few days!

Q & A with Barnaby

Misfortunes of T-Funk really is all about the music. What inspired the story?

My past, really. I knew this story was brewing in me for years now. The different jobs I’ve worked and stories I’ve lived through in the name of keeping music my priority has been just outrageous, so it seemed natural to craft these stories about fictional characters informed by my own “misfortunes” and frustrations in what almost seems like a former life to me now.

There has to be a little of your own real life peppered in, right?

Yes. I made up these characters and put them through some stories that are made up, and

some that I have actually experienced, though I will keep those details close to my chest. My favorite part of having a ‘work of fiction’ disclaimer is that I can borrow them from my own life with no intention of ever returning to them. I like to say that maybe I’ll even forget those parts of the stories really happened. I’m getting older… it could happen.

I love the idea of incorporating music directly into your story, especially with your background. It’s such a unique idea! How did you come up with it?

I started thinking about where Theo, my main character, was headed musically right away –

meaning back around the year 2000, though I didn’t have a name for him then – but, I didn’t have much in mind for the vehicle to get him there.

I felt like I needed a different plan of some sort.  I don’t really remember the moment I thought to use recordings, but it seemed an unnecessarily difficult task to describe Theo’s experience with nothing but words.  It was when I decided to use these recordings that my second character, Judah, materialized. He sings each track from my own songwriting past throughout the book.

Which genres and artists from your own life influence the music in Misfortunes of T-Funk?

I grew up listening to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, along with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and other classic rock. I also went through a punk phase, along with another stretch where I was listening to rap and writing hooks for some of those rappers in a studio in Northern California.  Jazz was a favorite later on in life, which explains why I eventually obtained an MA in Jazz Composition. I think all of these various influences will be pretty apparent to readers/listeners of the book, though I’m sure some are more obvious than others.

And what can readers/listeners expect of the embedded music in each of the Misfortune books?

I’m hoping for 12-15 tracks incorporated across the entire series – which is suspiciously the length of a CD or full-length playlist. It’s something that’s ever-developing with the story itself, so I’m looking forward to seeing just how the entire thing plays out.

About the Author

Barnaby Hazen is an author, editor and musician. Driven strongly by collaboration, it seems natural his first venture into writing began with a friend. Seven Eleven Stories periodical took shape in 2014 and just one year later, Seven Eleven Forgotten and Other Stories  debuted with a full-length collection featuring nine strange tales on convenience store fiction.

In 2017, Misfortunes of T-Funk, the first in a series, pulls directly from Hazen’s own life in music. Having been a lifelong, dedicated listener, teacher and performer, his latest novel incorporates his self-recorded and produced musical tracks directly into the chapters of his new novel. Hazen’s music illuminates his main characters and further elaborates on the story, creating a unique and personal soundtrack for readers of the book.

Having spent years as an educator, Barnaby’s time as an elementary school music teacher particularly inspired him to become involved with The Bud Hawthorne Revue.  He writes and edits the publication, along with Mr. Hawthorne himself, and is eager to continue offering contributions to literary culture given his unique perspective on writing.

Hazen lives in Taos, New Mexico with his wife Sarah and their adorably troublesome pets.

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Posted in 4 paws, Book Release, Review, romance on March 10, 2017

Synopsis

Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.

Review

I have mixed feelings about this book. The main character, Cecilia, has her issues (as do most people) but when faced with the supposed love of her life, Keith, from 20 years ago, she throws everything she has now away (or so it seems). She is trying to figure out if she missed out on something or not. We have probably all been at that point in our lives but perhaps made different choices.

Keith is another matter, he seems to have regretted letting Cecilia walk away from him…but as the story continues, I wondered if he was really sad she left or if he just wanted a fling because she was married and he still wouldn’t have to commit.

I did like seeing characters from Plan Bea continue in this story, I liked picking right back up where that story left off. The dynamic of the friends and family is probably similar to one you have in your own life. There are ups and downs and the ties of friendship are truly tested in this book.

I have to say I wasn’t thrilled with Cecilia and her actions. She redeemed herself to me at the end and the story ended where we don’t really know what is going to happen to Cecilia and her husband, Bryce. Perhaps another book is in the works?

We give it 4 paws up!

Plan Bea is Free on Amazon  (as of 3/9/17)

About the Author

By day, Hilary Grossman works in the booze biz. By night she hangs out with her “characters.” She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She’s been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humor in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodge ball – she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. She lives on Long Island.

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Giveaway

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Posted in Book Release, excerpt, Giveaway, romance on March 1, 2017

Synopsis

Forget all those other best-friend romances you might have read.

Jace and Isabella have only known each other…since kindergarten. And he hasn’t been secretly in love with her…for more than six or seven years. She doesn’t make him bristle with jealousy when she goes out with other guys…that he’ll admit to. And she doesn’t get all flustered and confused when she starts to find him incredibly sexy…too often.

But they definitely don’t transform their friendship into romance…right away.

Isabella has known Jace all her life, and she’s been best friends with him since high school, when she used to date his best friend. Now she’s ready to settle down and get married, and she’s decided that her sister’s wedding in three months is her deadline. She’s going to find the man of her dreams in time to take him to the wedding.

Now if only Jace would stop acting strange and territorial so he could help her.

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Excerpt

An excerpt from Speed Dating

Copyright © Noelle Adams and Samantha Chase 2017

She stared at him fixedly until she saw the corner of his mouth twitch just slightly.

“I knew it! You’re bluffing!”

“Never.” He was obviously still trying to hold onto his composure, but his eyes were brimming with humor, and he was having trouble hiding a smile.

“Cheater!” Bursting into laughter, she tackled him, playfully pushing him down so he was lying on his back on the floor. “You’re cheating, and you know it, so you have to forfeit the game.”

She realized her mistake when Jace’s hard, lean body started to rub against hers. Her heart began to race with excitement as her breath quickened and shivers of excitement ran up and down her spine.

His hand slowly slid down her back until he was cupping her hips, almost—almost—touching her bottom. “I’ll never forfeit. I’ll go to my death declaring that Zoroastrian is a perfectly legitimate Scrabble word.”

Despite his light tone, his expression had changed again. His eyes were hot. So hot. As hot as she felt.

She couldn’t stop herself from rubbing against him again, and she suddenly realized how tense his body was.

Tense. And tight. And hard.

So hard.

All of him hard.

He shifted beneath her weight, and every little move he made against her fired all of her sensitized nerve endings.

She wanted him to roll over on top of her. Sink into her completely.

She wanted him to bury himself in her and never come out.

Jace closed his eyes and took a slightly shaky breath, and she knew now why that was.

He was aroused beneath her. She could feel it very starkly when she rubbed her pelvis against his.

She made a breathless noise at the realization, and she trailed her hand down his chest to his belly.

Jace jerked in what looked like surprised pleasure.

“Jace?” she whispered, her hand grazing down even further.

It felt like there was some sort of magnetic force drawing her hand down toward the bulge of his erection. He was sweating a little—she could see it—and his breath was blowing in and out in short huffs.

He grunted, not really forming a complete word.

Isabella’s hand had reached his belt, and she idly played with the supple leather. Maybe it was the wine. Or maybe she’d been holding back for too long.

But she heard herself saying, “I know that we’re just friends, and that we said that kiss didn’t mean anything. I know touching like this is really against the rules.”

Her hand slipped down even lower, brushing against the bulge at the front of his trousers. Jace let out a soft strangled sound in response, as if he were desperately trying to hold himself back.

The knowledge was all she needed to know.

He wanted this just as much as she did.

“But I was wondering,” Isabella continued, lifting her upper body so she could look down on his strained face, “if maybe we could break that rule… a little.”

About the Authors

Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.

She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.

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Samantha Chase, a creative writing teacher, released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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Giveaway

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Posted in Book Release, excerpt, romance on February 21, 2017
~ Release Day Blitz ~
A Way Back Into Love by Veronica Thatcher
21st February, 2017

Synopsis

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love… Well, that makes complicates everything complicated. When you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.

Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life is turned upside-down when she realizes she’s in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken.

Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home… to the man she left behind?

Goodreads * Paperback * eBook


Excerpt

Emily stepped back from him and shook her head. “Oh, you know damn well what I mean. You know what, Derek? I’m done having this conversation with you. I’m so done with this conversation and I’m so done with you,” Emily spat out angrily before brushing past him.

“Emily, wait,” Derek said, catching her by her arm. “Where are you going?”

Emily spun around and gave him a bitter look before looking down at his hand gripping her arm. “Leave my arm,” she said in a low yet threatening voice, “And why do you care where I’m going? It’s none of your business.”

Derek didn’t leave her arm in spite of her warning and said, “Em, you’ve had too many drinks. You can’t drive in this condition. I’ll drop you home.”

Emily jerked her arm free from his grasp and replied in a bitter voice, “Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly capable of getting myself home on my own. I don’t need you to drop me home. Do you get it, Derek Thorpe? I DON’T NEED YOU!” Emily yelled the last words, causing a few people to look their way.

About the Author

Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them.  She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!

Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it.


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Posted in Book Release, Novella, romance on February 8, 2017

Synopsis

Eve Harris has always had a point to prove: where you come from doesn’t matter, it’s what you aim for that counts. She has it all planned; find the perfect teaching job, live with her best friend, Cherry, and never get dragged back into the destructive world of her youth.

The last thing she expects is to bump into millionaire heir Cameron Wallis on her last day on campus. Nor is she expecting to discover that when she gives him a chance to win her over he’s nothing like the playboy the newspapers paint him to be.

Will Eve be able to let go of her judgements and embrace a spontaneous affair with Cam that isn’t part of her plan? Or will the constraints from both their families prevent Cam and Eve from discovering The Truth About Love?

The Truth About Love Vol.I is the first novella in a serial About finding love even when you’re least expecting it.

**The book is FREE this week!**

 

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Posted in Book Release, Spotlight, Young Adult on February 4, 2017

Synopsis

Spivey Spillane’s grandmammy always said there were only two good reasons to kill a man — for cheating on a woman, and for serving drinks to a Yankee. She may have had a hand in winning the Revolutionary War, but even she never met the likes of Alabama Sam. Sam robs a bank under Spillane’s name, casts him in an obscene one-man play wearing only a pink tutu, and starts a betting pool on how many wieners he has. Despite the indignities Spillane suffers, he chases Sam across Gold-Rush-era California because Sam is the only one who knows the location of a hidden fortune buried somewhere in the hills.

Meanwhile in the present, 17-year-olds Amanda and Jet have rekindled an old childhood rivalry. Amanda is obsessed with finding the treasure of her infamous ancestor Spivey Spillane. Jet and Amanda’s feud comes to a head over an extended incident involving a broken window, an exploded car, and a charge of sexual assault with a candy Batman. Jet vows that he is going to find to Spillane’s gold before Amanda does, but it doesn’t take them long to realize that someone may have come this way already — someone who wants the past to stay buried.

About the Author

What authors have influenced your writing the most and why?

People say I have a bit of Vonnegut in me, which is very flattering but only true in a figurative sense — I haven’t stolen his false teeth or anything. Of course I was addicted to Vonnegut growing up, but then I also love John Kennedy Toole, who wrote A Confederacy of Dunces. It’s one of the funniest novels of all time, and helpless indignation still cracks me up to this day. I’d also have to mention James Kennedy, whose novel The Order of Odd-Fish showed me that you can still write dazzling, hilarious, clever novels for teenagers. Somehow I’d got the idea that had gone out with hydrogen dirigibles and asbestos underpants.

Why did you choose to start writing YA novels? What about your voice really caters to that audience?  

I got into YA novels when I realized you can get away with pretty much anything except being boring. If you write for adults you instantly get shelved as one genre or another, but YA is kind of its own genre. No one bats an eyelid when you write about radium-obsessed teenagers in antique flying machines, or Old West vamps with guns that shoot round corners, or accidentally assaulting people with candy cake-toppers. The only thing you’re not allowed to do is be boring, which suits me fine. When a book spends ten pages telling me how the protagonist cooks dinner and how everyone’s hair smells, I’m halfway ready to drop-kick the thing into the street.

San Francisco writer ST JOHN KARP is an ornamental hermit who likes to live near exciting things so he cannot go to them. He has an undying love for the unusual, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and toast. His debut novel, RADIUM BABY, released in 2013. SKUNKS DANCE, Karp’s second novel, releases Jan. 24, 2017.

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