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Book review Book reviews Guest author post Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog SECRET SKY (The Gift Legacy Book 1), LOVER BETRAYED (The Gift Legacy Companion Book1) and guest post by JP McLean (@jpmcleanauthor) #Bookreview

Dear all:

I have known author JP McLean for quite a while (she was one of the authors I met through social media shortly after I started blogging and publishing my own books), and her books and news have featured on my blog a number of times. Although I’ve followed her career with interest (I confess I was fascinated by her trilogy that kept producing more and more books), I hadn’t yet managed to read any of her books, partly because I kept putting it off to make sure I’d have time to go back and start at the beginning of the series. When she contacted me to let me know that she was relaunching and rebranding the whole series, I was keen to feature her books, and she kindly offered to write a guest post enlightening both, readers and other writers, on her reasons to relaunch and rebrand her series. And the relaunch also gave me the perfect excuse (if I ever needed one!) to start reading her series. So here goes. First, the author’s guest post, where she answers a few questions that most of us would think about when an author takes such an important decision:

A Rebranding Q&A

JP McLean recently rebranded her Gift Legacy series of books. She’s here to answer a few questions about why she rebranded, and what steps were involved.

Q: Why did you decide to rebrand your books?

A: I discovered that the books weren’t attracting their intended contemporary fantasy audience. The books were gathering great reviews, and selling modest numbers, but primarily by word of mouth. What I learned was that contemporary fantasy readers were bypassing my books believing them to be religious or spiritual in nature. The reason was not only the titles of the books (Awakening, Revelation, Redemption and Penance) but the beautiful covers that reinforced that impression.

Q: What were your considerations before rebranding?

A: Readers were my first and most important consideration. I didn’t want to misdirect readers who were looking for spiritual or religious material, and I wanted to attract readers interested in contemporary fantasy.

Another consideration was the cost involved. Covers, like editors, are one of the major expenses of publishing. New covers meant new marketing materials like bookmarks, posters and banners. I would also have to invest in new book stock to have on hand. Though I’m Canadian and ISBNs are free, they aren’t free in all countries and this could be a major cost consideration depending on how many books you rebrand. You also have to consider the cost to have the interior files reformatted to incorporate the changed titles in your front and back matter.

But perhaps the most critical consideration was for the hard-earned reviews the books had garnered over the years. You can change your cover with no impact on your reviews at all. You can change publisher and ISBN and though you’ll have to ask, you can have your reviews transferred to the new publisher/ISBN. But when you change titles, some retailers view this as a new book and WILL NOT transfer your reviews.

Q: What steps are involved in rebranding?

A: Finding a cover designer who is available and within your price range.

Brainstorming new titles, new taglines and new book descriptions in a variety of lengths.

Editing the books’ interior files to replace references to the old titles, and having the files reformatted.

Obtaining new ISBNs (new titles mean new ISBNs).

Designing or hiring a designer to prepare new bookmarks, banners and other marketing material.

Making changes to your social media platforms to reflect the new branding.

Q: Do you have any advice for those considering a rebrand?

A: If you believe a rebrand is necessary, consider if a new cover alone will do the job. It will preserve your existing reviews.

If you do decide to change the title, be sure to make it clear in your copyright and wherever the book is sold that the new title is a republication of an old title. You don’t want readers re-purchasing a book they’ve already read. You’ll end up with unhappy customers who may return the book, leave a scathing review, or even complain to the retailer.

If you are rebranding more than one book, consider asking if your cover designer can work on the covers concurrently rather than consecutively to speed up the design process.

Develop a re-release schedule to keep you on track and on top of the details and deadlines required for each book.

Give yourself more time than you think you need.

Author JP McLean
Author JP McLean

JP McLean’s bio

JP (JO-ANNE) McLEAN writes contemporary fantasy thrillers that readers describe as addictive, smart and fun. Her debut novel earned honourable mention at the Whistler Independent Book Awards. JP is a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, and she makes her home on Denman Island, off the coast of British Columbia. Visit her at https://jpmcleanauthor.com.

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

Twitter: @jpmcleanauthor

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/JP-McLean/e/B00JSZOXTC/

 

 

Secret Sky. (The Gift Legacy Book 1) by JP McLean

Secret Sky (The Gift Legacy Book 1) by JP McLean

An intrepid young woman. An incredible gift. A terrible price to pay.

As a child, Emelynn Taylor accepted a stranger’s gift that changed her life forever. This gift wasn’t wrapped in pretty paper and tied with a bow, nor could it ever be returned. Now, it’s taken over her life. Striking without warning, it strips Emelynn of gravity and sends her airborne, unchecked.

Haunted by terrifying flights she can’t control, Emelynn returns to the seaside cottage of her childhood, where she vows to take command of her dangerous gift. Here, she discovers an underground society whose members share her hidden ability, and a man who sends her heart soaring.

But is this secret society using the gift for good, or for evil? Unravelling the truth will plunge Emelynn into a fight for her freedom—and her life.

The first book in The Gift Legacy seriesSecret Sky is a thriller that skirts the edges of reality in a world within our own. Buckle up and escape the ordinary: take flight with Emelynn Taylor.

(Secret Sky was previously published as The Gift: Awakening)

Purchase link for Book 1, Secret Sky: https://books2read.com/SecretSky

My review: Be prepared for flights of fancy, magical experiences and wonderful locations.

I was sent an ARC copy of this novel, which I freely chose to review.

I had been aware of The Gift Legacy series and its author for a while, and felt curious about it, but as happens sometimes when I discover a series with several books published already, I never seemed to find the time to catch up on it, and the collection kept growing. When I heard that the series was being relaunched with new covers and titles, I grabbed the opportunity to finally start reading it. And I’m pleased I did.

It is a bit difficult to talk about this novel without revealing too much of what happens, but from the description, you can probably guess some important aspects of it. Emelynn, or Em, as she is known, is the protagonist and first-person narrator of the book. We meet her at an inflection point in her life. She’s finished her studies and has decided that it is time to tackle her “gift”. Her dreams and memories give us a good understanding of the background to her situation and how she came to be in possession of her gift, at least to the extent she understands it. After all, she was a young girl and she was never given much information about what had happened to her. We also learn about her personal life, the death of her father, the move to Toronto, her mother’s taking refuge in her work, and Em’s difficulties fitting in, partly (mostly) caused by her gift. Although she found ways to deal with the disruption to her life caused by the gift, from a practical perspective, she had never been able to have a “normal” life, and that had made her decide to go back to the cottage where her family lived when she was a child, as it was more remote, it had always felt like a refuge and a safe-place to her, and it would give her the breathing space to experiment.

Her plan works although not in the way she intended, and she gets into contact with people who can guide her and teach her to tame her gift, although this is not at first evident to her. Having grown up hiding things and never trusting anyone, she finds it difficult to trust these strangers whose agendas she does not fully understand, and who seem to keep some things under wraps. Despite her initial reluctance, Em discovers a new world, a new group of people she finally belongs to, and a level of skill and power she had never suspected. But things don’t run smoothly: there are threats, mysterious forces at work, and missions that have to be accomplished. And of course, romance and love don’t always mix well with such complications.

I know first-person-narrations are a bit like marmite for readers: some love them and others don’t. In this particular case, Em’s narration is perfect for the story. Although she has a gift (or power, although at times it feel like a curse to her), she does not understand it, and readers have the privilege of experiencing with her the thrill of discovery, the fear of the unknown, her suspicions of the motives of the new people that come into her life, and we also learn about her and what makes her tick. In contrast to many books with a paranormal aspect where characters discover a power or an ability they knew nothing about, Em doesn’t just wake up one day and is somebody completely different, proficient at her ability, and a total kick-ass hero. She has doubts, she hesitates, she does not always want to push the boundaries, she gets tired and sleeps in, she feels pain, she gets hungry, she lacks in self-confidence and doubts herself, she makes mistakes and misjudges people, she feels bad for not phoning her mother… In sum, she is a pretty normal human being, sometimes low and sometimes happy, with a good sense of humour and of observation, and it is easy to empathise with her, even if we might not have much in common with her.

She is also a young woman with zero love experience, and she seems to fall in love easily, perhaps because she had been trying so hard and for so long to block those kinds of feelings. There are sex scenes in the book, and although they are not the most explicit I’ve ever read, they are explicit and this is not a sweet and clean romance. I am not fond of sex scenes, although at least her first time is not totally unrealistic, as it often happens in romances, but yes, I won’t talk too much about that.

The book also has elements of mystery and thriller, and they are worked well into the story. We have several intriguing events going on at the same time: first, there is the attempt at trying to find information about the person who passed the gift to Em (this is far from resolved is this book, but we learn some things); there is the search for a woman who has gone missing that takes up centre stage, especially towards the end of the book, and brings in action scenes and an interesting twist (that I had suspected all along, but it’s a twist nonetheless); and there is also a mystery involving Em and her house, which is seemingly resolved in the novel but has left me wondering. As pertains to this genre of books, there are red herrings, plenty of clues thrown in, information and misinformation, although the book has so many other things going on that I am not sure it will work for people who are looking for a straightforward mystery or thriller. The pace of the book ebbs and flows, with some pretty contemplative moments and some pretty fast ones (when the action kicks in), and there are lengthy and beautiful descriptions of locations, and especially of experiences, that I particularly enjoyed, turning this book into something more than a page-turning by-the-numbers thriller.

There is a paranormal element in the book, but this is not high-fantasy where you need to read pages and pages to gain an understanding of a new world order. This is the world we all know (especially Canadians), and although the lyrical way in which some of the descriptions are written and some of the remote locations give it a timeless quality, the story takes place in contemporary times. We are familiar with the world and the social order portrayed in the book, and we get to know about groups of individuals who are seemingly “normal” but share something “extra”, the “gift” of the title, and it seems this legacy can have as many variants as individuals possess it. Although there are fantasy and paranormal aspects to the novel, I felt they were particularly well integrated into the plot and did not require an extreme grade of suspension of disbelief, and I don’t think you need to be an enthusiast of fantasy or paranormal books to enjoy this series.

This is a book I’d recommend to people who enjoy credible characters, a touch of the paranormal, mysteries that go beyond who-done-it, and who don’t mind a story that builds up slowly and takes readers on flights of fancy through magical experiences and wonderful locations. Oh, and who don’t mind a touch of sex. I’ve become very fond of Em and many of the other characters in the book (Avery is a favourite as well), and I hope to learn how her gift develops further in the future.

 

Lover Betrayed (The Gift Legacy Companion Book 1) by JP McLean
Lover Betrayed (The Gift Legacy Companion Book 1) by JP McLean 

 

Lover Betrayed (The Gift Legacy Companion Book 1) by JP McLean Fathers, sons, betrayals and a gift with many shades.

A son in mourning. A disputed inheritance. A shocking betrayal.

When Jackson Delaney’s father dies unexpectedly, Jackson inherits a booming New Orleans development company with a tarnished reputation. Jackson pledges to clean up his family’s name, but his plans are thwarted by a disowned half-brother who lays claim to Jackson’s inheritance.

Then Jackson’s wife disappears. Desperate to find her, he calls in favours from his father’s nefarious colleagues and flirts with the feared Tribunal Novem—a ruthless organization of elite Fliers.

But nothing is what it seems, and from a single deception grows a suffocating web of lies. And when Jackson meets Emelynn Taylor, a mysterious young woman with no knowledge of her powerful gift of flight, he recklessly lures her into his vengeful mission.

How far will Jackson go? And how much is he prepared to sacrifice before he finds his way home?

Lover Betrayed retells Secret Sky, the first book in The Gift Legacy series, from the viewpoint of Emelynn Taylor’s lover: handsome, charming, ruthless Jackson Delaney.

(Lover Betrayed was previously published as The Gift: Betrayal)

Link:

http://mybook.to/LoverBetrayedKindle

My review:

I was sent an ARC copy of this novel, which I freely chose to review.

As I said in my review of Secret Sky, I had known about this series for a while but never seemed to find the time to read it as more books kept being added to it. After finally reading the first novel, I had the opportunity to read this one, that in effect covers much of the same ground as Secret Sky, but it is told from a different perspective, that of Jackson Delaney, the man who trains Em in the first book, and teaches her quite a number of things (and in case you haven’t read it, I won’t say any more). I must confess that my curiosity was two-fold. On finishing that novel, I think most readers will be left wondering the reasons for Jackson’s behaviour. Although he was never a favourite of mine (he seemed too good to be true and too secretive to be trustworthy), the things we learn about him at the end of the story would make most people reconsider what they had read and make conjectures as to why he had done what he did. As a writer, I was also intrigued about how the author would approach the challenge of telling the same story from a different perspective, or at least, including part of the same story into another story told by somebody else. It is not the same to write a book that includes different perspectives as writing two separate books giving us different accounts of the same story. By using a first-person narrative again, we get inside of the character’s head, and it makes for a very interesting experience, especially if one has read the other book very recently, as you can see the same scene, and read the same dialogue, but interpret it in a completely different way. It must have been a challenge, and I must say that although I read both books back to back and was, therefore, very familiar with the story, the nuances and the change in point of view kept it fresh and intriguing.

This novel talks about families and family relationships, particularly between fathers and sons, although the relationship of Jackson’s wife to her family is also key to the development of the story. The novel opens at the funeral for Jackson’s father, and the author sets the scene beautifully, with great descriptions of the setting, the characters, the funeral arrangements, down to the heat (this is New Orleans in August, and having visited it in September, I can only imagine how suffocating it must be). The author also manages to convey a lot of information about Jackson’s father and his somewhat “dubious” business practices, without making the reader feel there is too much telling. Being inside of Jackson’s head, we share in his perspective and, at least at first, it seems as if he is trying to leave his mark on things and do things more ethically and stand his moral ground, in contrast to his father. (Of course, having read the other book, I had my doubts as to how things would work out, but I think he makes for a very credible character if somebody reads this book first). It doesn’t take long though before it becomes evident that perhaps he is more of his father’s son than he wants to believe, and some of the lessons he learned from his father prove difficult to unlearn, like his lack of confidence and mistrust of women, and his attitude towards family, his and others.

This is another book that has paranormal elements at its heart although, at least at first sight, the novel is set in our everyday world, only with some enhancements and secrets most of us know nothing about. This novel can also be enjoyed by people who don’t often read fantasy, but here we come to realise much sooner than in Secret Sky that the gift can be manipulated and put to uses far from harmless, and we get the perspective of somebody who has grown up with the gift, rather than learning about it with the main character. Jackson moves between both worlds with ease and manages to keep them separate most of the time, but perhaps not as well as he imagines.

I enjoyed reading the same story from a different perspective, although I would not say the book has managed to endear me to Jackson, in particular. He is a solid character, his motivations are plausible, and whatever we might think of his behaviour, he is not all good or all bad. He is quick to think the worst of people; at times he seems cocky and full of confidence but some of his actions and reactions prove he is not as strong and self-confident as he’d like others to believe; he misjudges people often and holds grudges that seem unjustified; he is rather egotistical and thinks of his own interests first; he manipulates others to get what he wants, but he is ambivalent and tries to avoid causing unnecessary harm, can be generous on occasion, and is a dutiful son.  His attitude towards women is problematic, but this seems to be part of his inheritance, and yes, we do get the male perspective of the sexual encounters as well (not something I particularly cared for, but like the rest of the book, I thought Jackson’s voice felt genuine and worked well). There is a clear ARC to the character and by the end he has learned a lot about himself, not all of it flattering.

I read a description of the book which mentioned Rashomon and it got me thinking. Rashomon tells the same story from the perspectives of several of the witnesses present, and in this case I wondered how other characters would have seen the events, or rather, thought about Jackson and his actions at the time. But that would be another book. (Just saying!)

The novel also contains questions for book clubs (don’t read them before you read the novel, as there are spoilers) and a glossary of terms that hints at a much more complex world than we have so far glimpsed. That and the description of the rest of the books in the series piqued my curiosity, and I suspect this would not be the last book in the series I read.

I think this book can be enjoyed on its own, and I’d be curious to hear the opinion of somebody who read it without being familiar with the series, but to fully appreciate it I’d recommend reading at least the first of the Gift Legacy series first. A book for readers who enjoy a touch of fantasy and fancy, combined with a good story of family relationships, betrayal, and mystery. And if you like boats and sailing, even better.

Here, if you’ve been intrigued by the guest post and my reviews, are the links to the whole series:

The Gift Legacy:

Book 1 Secret Sky: https://mybook.to/SecretSkyKindle

Book 2 Hidden Enemy: https://mybook.to/HiddenEnemyKindle

Book 3 Burning Lies: https://mybook.to/BurningLiesKindle

Book 4 Lethal Waters: https://mybook.to/LethalWatersKindle

Book 5 Deadly Deception: https://mybook.to/DeadlyDeceptionKindle

Book 6 Wings of Prey: https://mybook.to/WingsofPreyKindle

The Gift Legacy Companion

Book 1 Lover Betrayed: http://mybook.to/LoverBetrayedKindle

Thanks to the author for her guest post and her books, thanks to all of you for reading and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and always keep smiling!

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Guest author post

#TuesdayBookBlog Celebrate your new book release by running a #Giveaway. PARALLEL LIES by Georgia Rose (@GeorgiaRoseBook)

Dear all:

I’ve been trying not to post too many things recently, but today I had to make an exception, as I have a very special guest post to share with you that I thought both readers and writers would enjoy. The fabulous Georgia Rose tells us about her experience running giveaways, and of course, I asked her to also tell us a bit about her most recent book, Parallel Lies. I leave you in her very capable hands!

Celebrate your new book release by running a #Giveaway – Parallel Lies by Georgia Rose

To celebrate the launch of my latest novel, Parallel Lies, I decided to have a little fun and run a Giveaway via Rafflecopter. I chose Rafflecopter because that was the Giveaway widget thing I’d seen on blogs all over and I’m not sure if there even is anyone else who provides a similar service.

I had been thinking about this Giveaway for some considerable time and had collected items for it for a while. As an example I wasn’t planning on publishing until September but in February, because that is when they are around, I was buying heart shaped chocolates – in fact I could have sworn I also had some heart shaped marshmallows from that time but they don’t seem to have made it into the final prize photo… ahem… moving on…

I continued to look out for suitable additions and bought them as I went along. Notepads decorated with hearts and some really cute thank you cards (avec hearts!) joined the pile. I bought these extras because although I already knew I was going to offer all of my paperbacks I wanted to make the prize as appealing as possible.

Even with all my planning there was a small misjudgement as come photo taking day the paperbacks for Parallel Lies had not arrived but I made do with the kindle version and made it very clear on the entry form that the kindle was NOT included!

Giveaways a go go!

You can run Giveaways for free via Rafflecopter, but your choices on what you want the entrant to do are limited and I wanted to get specific things out of the Giveaway, so there are also various levels of upgrade. After checking with them that a) I could do what I wanted to do when I upgraded, and b) I only needed to upgrade for a month (and finding Rafflecopter incredibly helpful in the process) I went ahead.

By upgrading to the Grow option it meant I could customise the entry requirements because I wanted two things:

  1. To have one of the options to be the purchase of Parallel Lies,
  2. To have one of the options to be for the entrant to sign up to my newsletter.

Other than that I chose the usual, visiting me on Facebook, following me on Twitter and sharing on Twitter options.

Rafflecopter have done a superb job of making the setting up of a Giveaway really easy. They say that it is up front, but you know, people say that all the time and it isn’t necessarily true – however I’m delighted to say, this was.

Adding the prize details, the photo and then the entry requirements was a piece of…, well, very simple and straightforward. You get to choose how many entry points to allot to each entry requirement. I made my main two 5 points each and the others all 1. This, I think, was a mistake and in hindsight I’d have made the buying of Parallel Lies a larger number, as a bigger enticement.

Rafflecopter can also automate the entries that sign up to your newsletter, which is a feature I love, and it means that the email addresses of anyone who does enter this bit get put directly onto your newsletter list with Mailchimp (other email providers are available) and you don’t have to do a thing. Bliss!

You set the dates of when you want the Giveaway to run and deal with the terms and conditions and that’s it. You are given an embed code so that you can put it on your website or in any blog posts. You are shown how to insert it into a Facebook page and you are given a link for if you just want to link it here and there.

The positives that came out of running this were:

  • I really enjoyed it!
  • There were a lot of sign-ups to my newsletter, which was tremendous.
  • There was a lot of interaction on Facebook and the real surprise was the increase in the number of ‘likes’ for my Facebook page as that wasn’t a necessity.
  • Entrants also did a lot of sharing of the Giveaway on Facebook, which was lovely of them.

I should also add that there were a few people on Facebook who were confused about whether they had entered correctly and another great feature of Rafflecopter is that you can go and look at the entries to check whether someone’s name is on there or not.

The lessons learnt were:

  • There was a disappointingly low take up of the ‘purchasing my book’ option so it would be interesting to see if increasing the number of points this was worth would improve the numbers willing to take a chance on a new book/new author.
  • I should maybe have run it over a shorter period of time. It was going for over 3 weeks and I’d lost impetuous in that time in promoting it. It appeared on all the blog posts in the blog tour I had running up to the launch and then there was a bit of a lull before the final push for entries.
  • I’m sure there must have been others but they escape me at the moment!

Rafflecopter do the whole dipping their hand into the virtual hat brimming with entries at the end so that keeps it all above board and they even announce the winner on the entry form.

Running a Giveaway is an investment in time, prizes, postage etc but you have control over how big or small you want to make those and can tailor what you do accordingly. I was certainly delighted with the results of the one I ran and would definitely do it again. This one was held to celebrate the publication of my fourth novel, Parallel Lies, which is here.

Parallel Lies by Georgia Rose
Parallel Lies by Georgia Rose

 

My name is Madeleine, Madeleine Ross. It is a name chosen with thought and because it is classy, and that is what is needed here…

Madeleine Ross has life exactly as she planned it.

Cosy cottage, friendly village, satisfying job.

Company… when she wants it.

It’s an enviable existence for an independent young woman, and one she’s keen to protect.

Enter Daniel – strong, dependable and a danger to everything she’s built. He’s not something she was looking for, but hearts can’t be controlled and maybe, just maybe he might be worth letting into hers.

But, all is not what it seems. Because Madeleine is hiding a lifetime of secrets. Deep secrets.

And they never stay buried for ever.

Her darkest secret returns, like the proverbial bad penny. He is her first love, shadowy, dangerous, the baddest of bad boys. No matter how far she runs, or how well she hides, she can never escape him.

Or her past.

Here he is, on her doorstep, with a proposition she is powerless to resist but which could devastate the future she hoped to have.

Can Madeleine satisfy the old love while keeping the new?

You can’t always get what you want but, desperate to preserve the life she has worked so hard for, Madeleine is willing to risk everything to prove that she can.

You can get Parallel Lies, or check out the reviews, here

I’d love to hear of your experiences of Giveaways, either running or entering them?

If you want to get in touch with Georgia Rose, here are some links:

Author of The Grayson Trilogy

www.georgiarosebooks.com

Follow on Twitter: @GeorgiaRoseBook

Georgia Rose on Facebook: Facebook

The Grayson Trilogy page on Facebook: The Grayson Trilogy FB Page

Google + Pinterest Instagram Goodreads

Thanks so much to Georgia Rose for her post, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click and REVIEW!

 

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book promo Book review Book reviews Guest author post

#TuesdayBookBlog #Bookreview REMNANTS by Carolyn Arnold (@Carolyn_Arnold) #RBRT High-octane Police Procedural. And guest post

Hi all:

As you know I regularly review books for Rosie’s Book Review Team and in this case, this novel came to me both directly through the author’s husband and it was also one of the novels on offer in Rosie’s group. As the launch was on the 11th of April, I’ve tried to time it to coincide with the date. I’ve also included a guest post by the author that will be of particular interest to the writers of the genre, although I’m sure the readers will be intrigued to read the ins and outs of the process of creating a serial killer novel.

Remnants. Brandon Fisher FBI Series Book 6 by Carolyn Arnold
Remnants. Brandon Fisher FBI Series Book 6 by Carolyn Arnold

REMNANTS Author: Carolyn Arnold Series: Brandon Fisher FBI series, Book 6

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…

Major Retailer Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Apple iBooks

Kobo

Google

A little information about the series:

Brandon Fisher FBI series by Carolin Arnold

What to expect from the Brandon Fisher FBI series:

Profilers. Serial killers. The hunt is on. Do serial killers and the FBI fascinate you? Do you like getting inside the minds of killers, love being creeped out, sleeping with your eyes open, and feeling like you’re involved in murder investigations? Then join FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit in their hunt for serial killers.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Criminal MindsNCISSilence of the LambsSevenDexterLuther, and True Crime.

Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning.

A bit about the author:

Author Carolyn Arnold
Author Carolyn Arnold

Author Bio

CAROLYN 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.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

And as promised, a guest post by the author:

Writing Serial-Killer Fiction BY CAROLYN ARNOLD

The world seems to be uniquely fascinated and captivated by the mystery of serial killers. What motivates them to kill, and why do they choose certain people to be their victims? As fiction writers, we need to harness that intrigue, but we also should be very careful not to allow our work and characters to become cliché. That feat is certainly a tough one—especially since most stories have already been written!—but it can be done. It’s all about making your work extraordinary by creating your own distinct slant and personalized voice. And let’s not forget that it’s up to you to make sure your storytelling is superb.

But there’s even more to it than good writing and coming up with a unique motivation and method of operation (MO) for your serial killer. You also have to know how your investigator is going to realistically look at the case. You want to portray your main character—for example, an FBI agent—as following and working through the investigative process the way one would if he or she was living and breathing. If you don’t, you risk losing your reader, not only for that book but possibly for future ones, too.

So where do you begin when you want to write this kind of fiction? Let’s start with what constitutes a serial killer. The basic definition requires a series of three or more killings that, due to characteristics such as an MO, can be attributed to one individual.

From here, the serious authors do their due diligence to educate themselves both in the mindset of a killer and the investigator, as well as in accurate police procedure. They should search online and reach out to real-world contacts for direction and feedback. As they do this, they’ll come to see a basic formula and start to recognize common terms and phrases, such as cooling-off period, trigger, organized, disorganized, hunter, sexual sadist, and the list goes on. As they dig even deeper, they will start to understand all that is involved in building a profile, as well as how and what information the investigator needs to compile a solid lead.

While writing serial-killer fiction takes a lot of research, it is very rewarding. As an author, you provide entertainment to many readers, it’s true, but you are also shining light on a dark part of society. You are going beyond the surface of the horror and providing some clarity into these heinous crimes and the minds of those who commit them.

And you’ll be wondering what I thought about the book…

My review:

Thanks to Rosie Amber, to the author and her husband for offering me an ARC copy of this novel that I voluntarily choose to review (before its official launch).

I read thrillers often and although until recently I’d been reluctant to read books belonging to series that I had not followed before, I’ve found myself reading a few books in this category and enjoying them. Sometimes we might feel particularly attracted to a story line but wonder if we’ll enjoy a book where we’re missing much of the background. Rest assured; although your experience might be different to that of somebody who’s followed the characters from the very beginning, that shouldn’t put you off.

In this novel, the sixth in the Brandon Fisher FBI series, the story is complex and intriguing. The setting, Savannah, Georgia, where some body parts are found in the river crossing through an old plantation. New remains keep appearing and the details of the cases point at ritual killings. Things get more and more bizarre and the plot twists and turns like the river itself.

Most of the book is narrated in the first person by Brandon Fisher. As mentioned, I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, but there are quite a few clues as to past events in his life (he was married, lost a child, was in a relationship with a member of the team, Paige, that ended…) and in that of other team members (his boss almost died in a recent case, Paige is now in a new relationship…) and we get a good sense of the dynamics within the team. There are some chapters written in the third person but narrated by Paige, and also by other unnamed characters (that we soon realise are involved in the crime). The author spins the story with these different threads, managing to maintain the intrigue and mystery despite the alternating viewpoints and complexities. She is also very adept at making the characters sound genuine, using professional terminology and achieving a high degree of accuracy on the procedural side of things, ensuring that the authentic details serve the story rather than slowing it down with endless descriptions that distract the reader from the plot.

There is plenty of action, clues to follow, puzzles to be solved, and an interesting explanation behind the crimes. (As I want to avoid spoilers at all cost, I won’t talk in detail about it, although as a psychiatrist, and one who has worked in forensic psychiatry for a number of years, I must say one of the aspects of the explanation is controversial within the profession [the diagnosis is included in several classifications of mental disorders although disputed by clinicians] but very popular in books and movies.)

The book is easy to read, a page-turner and difficult to put down. Brandon Fisher is not the typical hero: he doubts himself, wonders often about his personal life and questions his decisions, worries about his partners and his boss, has a weak stomach and gets queasy in the scene of violent crimes. He can be reckless at times, has a sense of humour, and is good at convincing people and reading them, gaining their trust. I wasn’t totally convinced that what he does at the end fits in with his behaviour and comments throughout the story, but it is understandable that being exposed to extreme risks and dangers would make anybody reconsider his or her life. The book can be enjoyed in its own right, but I’m always curious about the background of the characters, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed coming to the book armed with the knowledge of the previous novels in the series.

The local characters vary between the local police, who do not play an important part, the relatives of the victims, that are depicted sympathetically and given their own touching stories, and the characters linked to the current case.  Some of those make brief appearances, whilst we know how the minds of others work and we see events from their points of view although we only find out their circumstances later. This works well for lovers of mysteries as we suspect and rule out many of the characters and keep wondering until the end.

In sum, a solid police procedural novel, well researched and constructed, for those who love complex stories and who don’t mind gore details.

Thanks so much to Rosie and to the author for providing me a copy of the book, thanks also to Carolyn Arnold for her informative guest post (I’m taking notes), thanks to all of you for reading and don’t forget to like, share, comment and of course, CLICK!

Categories
Guest author post

#NewBook P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye (@pokercubster) Memoirs can teach us so much!

Hi all:

Yes, I know I said I would be sharing old posts because I’m trying to carve some time for the things I should be doing… (the other things I should be doing) but I’ve wanted to share D. G. Kaye‘s new book for a while and kept thinking that perhaps I’d do it when I read and reviewed one of her books. Realistically I know it will take me some time to get there (my reading list has become all jumbled up, so anything might happen), and I don’t want to deprive  the readers who follow my blog from getting started  and exploring her books (even if it takes me, personally, a while to get there). D. G. (Debby for her friends and followers) writes non-fiction, some about her travels, menopause, but some that are even more personal, about her relationship with her mother, and this one is very personal indeed.

So here it is.

P. S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye
P. S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye

 

P.S. I Forgive You by D.G. Kaye

“I hurt for her. She wasn’t much of a mother, but she was still my mother.”

Confronted with resurfacing feelings of guilt, D.G. Kaye is tormented by her decision to remain estranged from her dying emotionally abusive mother after resolving to banish her years ago, an event she has shared in her book Conflicted Hearts. In P.S. I Forgive You, Kaye takes us on a compelling heartfelt journey as she seeks to understand the roots of her mother’s narcissism, let go of past hurts, and find forgiveness for both her mother and herself.

After struggling for decades to break free, Kaye has severed the unhealthy ties that bound her to her dominating mother—but now Kaye battles new confliction, as the guilt she harbors over her decision only increases as the end of her mother’s life draws near. Kaye once again struggles with her conscience and her feelings of being obligated to return to a painful past she thought she left behind.

blog-new-book-ps-print-cover

Excerpt

The End Is Near

My mother had been dying for years, and through those years she refused to surrender her bitterness and remained in denial of her flaws. The many times I heard she was dying reminded me of the boy who cried wolf. I almost believed she was invincible, and even though I never wanted her to suffer, she did.

I thought it was just a horrible and sad way to die—holding hatred for those she had chased out of her life, living in bitter seclusion, knowing her days were numbered. Her once vibrant life had diminished into a mere existence of watching TV and complaining. She’d also given all her caregivers a difficult time, bitching at them all and letting them know how useless they were to her because of what her life had become. Nobody was exempt.

I asked my brother Robby why God didn’t just take her out of her misery and pain during one of the many times she was on the brink of death. Why would he not spare her from suffering? He replied, “God has his own plans.” I couldn’t help but wonder if he was letting her suffer because she had hurt so many people in her lifetime, but in my next thought I couldn’t believe God would play those cruel games, tit for tat.

I wondered what thoughts had to have been going through my mother’s head. How awful it must have been to know her time left on earth was limited. I thought about how frightened she must have felt in her lonely world, although she’d never admit it. I was sad for her, knowing that the anger and bitterness she displayed was a front for the depressed state of her pathetic life. I couldn’t fathom why she remained so obstinate in her resolve to spend what little time she had left wallowing in misery instead of embracing the end and making amends with her children. I wanted to fix her, but I didn’t know how.

Get Your Copy Here!  Available on Amazon!

On the occasion of her new book, D. G. Kaye has given a number of interviews that I thought you’d enjoy too. Here I leave you links to them and that way you can go and explore her blog too.

Author D.G. Kaye
Author D.G. Kaye

Interviews:

http://dgkayewriter.com/mind-pen-spirit-interview-d-g-kaye/

http://dgkayewriter.com/write-memoir-savvy-book-writers/

Thanks to Debby for her books, thanks to all of you for reading and if you’ve enjoyed it, you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Categories
Guest author post

#Guestpost “Two countries separated by the same language” by Wendy Janes (@wendyproof). You say potato and I say…

Hi all:

As you know I’m taking a bit of a breather from my regular blogging to recover from recent emotions (my mother is doing much better, thanks) but as luck would have it, I have been in contact with Wendy Janes whom I met through Lit World Interviews (check here for one of her fabulous guest posts there). She is a fabulous writer and an excellent proofreader and she kindly pointed out a couple of things in one of my books that had bypassed my and my proofreader’s keen eye. I suggested she could share one of her posts in my blog, and she produced a wonderful post about the differences between UK and US English, something that as a translator I get asked about and think about often. The post was too good to just keep it waiting, so here it comes.

Wendy Janes author and proofreader extraordinaire
Wendy Janes author and proofreader extraordinaire

“Two countries separated by the same language”

Thank you to Olga for inviting me to write a guest post. As Olga is a translator I decided to choose a topic relevant to that aspect of her professional life. Unfortunately, my only knowledge of a language beyond English is the limited French I learned at school squillions of years ago. However, thinking about different languages brought to mind the similarities and differences between US and UK English, and how important it is for authors to be aware of the differences so that they don’t unwittingly mix them up.

 

I’m not advocating sticking slavishly to the rules. If an author does choose to mix things up, that’s fine, as long as he or she is making an informed decision, which is applied consistently throughout. (I’ve chosen to use UK spelling and US double quotes throughout this post. J)

 

In my role as a proofreader, I can do a much better job focusing on spotting typos and ensuring consistency if an author has already spent time making decisions (perhaps with an editor) on things like US or UK punctuation, spelling and style.

 

I have a basic US/UK checklist that I refer to when I start working on a proof. I’ve selected some items from it to produce the following six points which I hope you’ll find useful:

 

  1. Generally, for speech, quotations and emphasised words, US English uses double quotes and UK English uses single. Fortunately, the rules for punctuating speech are the same. However, they are different for quotations and emphasised words, which are set with commas and full stops inside quote marks in US English, and outside in UK English, as follows:

 

US: Edith was feeling a little “emotional.”

UK: Edith was feeling a little “emotional”.

 

  1. When dashes are used parenthetically they generally appear as unspaced em dashes in US English, and spaced en dashes in UK:

 

US: Edward had a quiet—but far too brief—moment to himself.

UK: Edward had a quiet – but far too brief – moment to himself.

 

  1. If you are referring to Mr, Mrs and Dr, these words are followed by the period/full stop in US English. UK English omits it.

 

  1. US English usually uses the Oxford or serial comma, while UK English does not, unless it’s needed for meaning.

 

  1. US English sets dates as Month, Day, Year, while UK English sets dates as Day, Month, Year.

 

US: January 14, 2010 or 1/14/2010

UK: 14 January 2010 or 14/1/2010

 

Where this can cause confusion is when a date such as 6 April 2010 is presented in numerals. US style would show this as 4/6/2010, which looks like 4 June to a UK reader.

 

  1. When it comes to spelling, I think most people are familiar with the following:

 

color/colour

theater/theatre

catalog/catalogue

modeling/modelling

pajamas/pyjamas

jewelry/jewellery

 

However, some of our spelling differences result in different meanings for US and UK readers, so authors need to be alert to these. For example, in US English you can pay for goods with a check, but in UK English, it’s a cheque.

 

Having established the basics, I’d now like to chat for a while about word choice, which I hope you’ll find as fascinating as I do.

 

Last year I proofread a book by an American author, set in the US and peopled by American characters. One sentence that really brought home to me the differences in our common language ran as follows:

 

“The Asian man sat in the diner wearing his new pants, eating chips, and watching football on the TV.”

 

As an English reader I am picturing an Indian man, sitting in a restaurant in his underpants, eating French fries while watching people kicking a round ball in a game that Americans would call soccer. I understand that an American reader could be picturing a Chinese man wearing trousers, eating what I’d describe as crunchy thin fried potato slices while watching people kicking and throwing an oval-shaped ball in a game that I would call American football.

 

I find I often have to “translate” words such as smart, mad and purse. For example:

 

“The smart woman was so mad she threw her purse on the floor.”

 

I picture a well-dressed woman who is insane, throwing to the floor the small object where she keeps her money, while I understand that an American reader would see a clever woman who is angry, throwing what I would call her handbag to the floor.

 

If an author would like his or her book to be enjoyed by people on both sides of the pond and elsewhere, I advise double-checking the text for clarity. I suggest re-working sentences to ensure that the intended meaning is as clear as possible. Adding a little extra context can help avoid confusion.

 

I’ve recently proofread a couple of books written by UK-based authors that were set in the US and had a mix of American and English character. One author chose to follow US style of spelling and punctuation and the other UK style, which was absolutely fine. Where things became a little complex was with direct thoughts and dialogue. There’s something jarring when an American character refers to pavement, lift, nappy and tap, and an English character says sidewalk, elevator, diaper and faucet. However, it’s not always clear cut, and I encourage authors to think carefully about their characters before making a decision.

 

It may be that the American secret agent in a novel has lived for so many years in England that he would naturally talk about walking along the pavement. His English-born contact may have watched so much American television that he would refer to the sidewalk.

 

In another book I proofread, there was a terrific tangle with the word mom/mum. The book was written in UK English, but an American character’s internal thoughts and spoken dialogue used both mom and mum. I think this one was difficult to call, but a call needed to be made. On the one hand, if we kept the UK English for everyone except the American character’s internal thoughts and spoken dialogue, then there was a danger the text would look inconsistent. On the other hand, having an American character referring to his “mum” could sound inauthentic.

 

If you’re keen to read more, The New Oxford Style Manual has a whole chapter about the differences between US and UK English.

 

Wherever you are in the world, whether you’re a reader or a writer, I hope you have enjoyed this post.

Here a bit more information about Wendy:

Wendy Janes lives in London with her husband and youngest son. She is a freelance proofreader (see her website here ), and a caseworker for The National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service.

 

Wendy has contributed a number of short stories to anthologies, and her first solo novel, What Jennifer Knows, was published in 2015. A selection of short stories entitled What Tim Knows, and other stories will be available in the summer of 2016.

 

Her writing is inspired by family, friends, and everyday events that only require a little twist to become entertaining fiction.

 

You can connect with Wendy online via Twitter, and discover more about her writing on her Facebook author page, and Amazon author pages (UK/US).

I could not resist and had to share a bit more information about Wendy’s book (and I hope to share the next one too). It’s Friday after all!

What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes
What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes

What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes

A vital member of her Surrey community, Jennifer Jacobs is dedicated to her job as a dance therapist, helping children with special needs to express themselves through movement. Wife of a successful though reclusive sculptor, Gerald, she is known for having a deep sense of empathy, making her a trusted confidante. So when two very different friends, Freya and Abi, both share information with her that at first seems to be an awkward coincidence, she doesn’t tell them. But as the weeks roll by, the link revealed between the two women begins to escalate into a full-blown moral dilemma – and also brings to the surface a painful memory Jennifer believed she had long since forgotten. What is the right thing to do? Should she speak out or is the truth better left unsaid?

Links:

http://amzn.to/1Pvg3xs

http://amzn.to/1Pvh4W2

Thanks so much to Wendy Janes for her very informative post, and for her help with my own book, thanks to all for reading, and please, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Categories
Book reviews Guest author post New books Traducciones/Translations

#Bookreview (sort of) and new author. The Quiet Island by Mo de la Fuente (@ModelaFuente) An island, a Mystery and Unforgettable Characters

Hi all:

First of all it’s Friday and as you know I usually bring you new authors and books. I have featured this writer, Mo de la Fuente, in my blog before, and shared some of her novels in Spanish. I was lucky enough that she decided to have one of them translated to English (she took advantage of my special offer in March, 50% discount… I might do it again, but there’s always a deal to be had for my author friends and fellow bloggers). I recently shared my review of her novel in Spanish (that has nothing to do with me), and what I decided to do today, was share that review (translated to English) with you.

The review is not reflection of my own work (the author has very kindly said that she prefers my version to hers) but I enjoyed the original, as you’ll see from my review. I also share the author’s page in Amazon, that is available in bilingual version.

The Quiet Island by Mo de la Fuente. Translation: Olga Núñez Miret
The Quiet Island by Mo de la Fuente. Translation: Olga Núñez Miret

The Quiet Island by Mo de la Fuente

As dawn breaks, the usual calm of a tiny quiet Mediterranean island is shattered by the news. A teenage girl has gone missing. Inspector Villanueva, temporarily transferred to the island, and sub-inspector Esteller must fight against the elements, the lack of resources, and their own demons to solve the mystery of what happened in a place where nothing ever does.

Here my review, of the original (no reflection of my own work):

I don’t read exclusively a single genre, although I freely admit that I like thrillers and mystery books and I read quite a few of them. In part because they are like a puzzle we try to solve thanks to the clues the text gives us, in part because I like to see how the writer manages to bring something new to the genre. And for me, no matter what type of story I’m reading, finding interesting characters I can connect with it’s the most important thing.

This novel takes place in the small island of Tabarca, in the Mediterranean, off the shore of Alicante. As several of the reviews of the book point out, reading the novel makes one want to visit it, because of the wonderful descriptions of the peace and quiet, the thought of a place with no cars, without pollution, and calm. In such a small place, where everybody knows everybody else (apart from the tourists, of course) and where nothing ever happens, a girl’s disappearance is an event that upsets everyone. And when Clara turns up dead, things only take a turn for the worse. The combination of the place and the setting with the investigators: Hernán, an inspector sent there god knows why, Mónica, who had been sub-inspector in Barcelona but decided to quit due to personal reasons, and Raúl, the only one not hiding from something and who is totally happy there, works beautifully.

The investigation is hindered by circumstances (even with the arrival of the inspector, there are only three police officers in the island, there’s no lab, and no way to follow correct protocol) and the lack of resources (an excellent commentary on the budget cuts Spain is suffering), and little by little we discover more details about the island’s inhabitants and about the members of the police. I really enjoyed the ending (that I won’t talk about in detail as I don’t want to spoil the surprise) and it rounds up a novel that, although short, is long enough to intrigue and touch us.

I found Mónica’s personal story, closely related to the case, fascinating, and it would make a great novel (or more than one) on its own. Quite aside from the details, for me the author manages to portray complex psychological aspects and the reactions of the characters in a very accurate manner, by using several points of view, that help the reader get under the skin of the characters, sharing in their emotions and their life experiences. For me, Mónica, María (the victim’s mother) and the island of Tabarca stand out in the narration and I’m sure I won’t forget them in a hurry.

I recommend this book to readers who love mystery novels that go beyond the usual, psychological thrillers and extraordinary settings.

Link:

http://rxe.me/PBRFDS

 

And here, the author’s page:

Autora Mo de La Fuente
Author Mo de La Fuente

Mo de la Fuente (Salamanca, Spain) studied Translation and Audiovisual Communication at the University of Salamanca and Westminster School of Languages (London). She is an official translator and “Ojalá Paula” is her first novel. Besides, she writes and produces short films.
If you want to learn more about the autor, her novel and her interests, visit her blog http://ojalapaula.blogspot.com.es/

http://amzn.to/1ZlLJKS

Thanks so much to Mo de la Fuente for this opportunity, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment and of course, CLICK!

Categories
Guest author post New books Reviews

#Newbook and #Bookreview The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson (@ms_lilyanderson) ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ for YA in a school for gifted kids. A quick-fire delight.

Hi all:

On Friday I usually bring you new books and/or authors. Recently I read a new YA book by a new author and I loved it. I’ve shared the review in Lit World Interviews even before it was published, but by the time you see this, it will already be on sale. I can’t recommend it enough.

The only thing worse than me is you

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You

Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West–and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing—down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books—well, maybe not comic books—but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie’s for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben’s best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben’s cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie’s best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they’re on—and they might not pick the same side.

Stephanie Perkins meets 10 Things I hate About You in The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, a fresh, romantic debut from author Lily Anderson inspired by Much Ado About Nothing.

Here is my review:

Thanks to Net Galley and to St. Martin’s Griffin for providing me a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

When I read this book was a modern take of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing for young adults I could not resist. It’s one of my favourite Shakespeare’s comedies and it’s had pretty good adaptations to screen. I am very partial to Ten Things I Hate About You and I hoped this would be as good if not better.

Told in the first person, this novel’s narrator is Trixie (Beatrix, of course), who is a fiercely intelligent and feisty shrew. She’s a geek, loves comic books, TV series (Dr Who among them), and attends a school for gifted youngsters, that is a fascinating ecosystem, with its own rules, its fights for top position and ranking, and it’s aristocracy (all based on merit, intelligence and hard work).  Her two friends, Harper and Meg, are also very clever but very different to her in their unique ways (Harper, who is kind to a fault, lost her mother years back and her family life is fairly empty despite the money, and Meg’s psychologist parents seem to track any behaviours that might fit in some theory or other, and she is always trying to classify friends and actions around her as if they took place in a lab). Of course, there would be no school without boys, and Trixie has a long-term enmity with Benedict (Ben), who shares many of her hobbies and dislikes but who can’t open his mouth without aggravating her. Everybody but the two people involved know the pair are a perfect match, but making them see it proves a hard task. Students start getting suspended and they don’t realise at first that behind exams, essays, tests, balls and functions, there is somebody messing up with pupils’ results with dramatic consequences.

The characters are as clever as is to be expected from the school they attend, and at their age, they know everything. Their references to both pop culture and Culture with capital letters are flawless, witty and make for a great read. The dialogue is fast, clever, and funny (I must confess to laughing out loud quite a few times), and appropriate to the age of the characters. Although they are clever, they are also young, naïve, and at times very innocent and that makes them plausible teenagers. They are friends of their friends, they confront serious moral issues (for their age) and they are articulate, wholesome but sometimes mean.

I remember talking about a young adult book to a reader who told me he couldn’t remember having met girls as clever as the ones in the book. Well, I did, and although perhaps the interests might vary depending on the person and the era of our school years, I appreciate a young adult book where the young protagonists are clever, study, and care for each other. And are very funny too.

I thoroughly recommend this book to anybody who likes high-school young adult novels (I have no doubts adults will like it too), and I’m sure people who enjoy Shakespeare and pop culture references will have a field day. And I look forward to more books by the writer.

Here links:

http://amzn.to/1XoA3bz

http://amzn.to/1XoA3bB

Here a bit about the author, whom I think we’ll be hearing plenty about:

Author Lily Anderson
Author Lily Anderson

Lily Anderson is a school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California, far from her mortal enemy: the snow.

Her page in Amazon:

http://amzn.to/1XoArqG

Here is her website:

http://mslilyanderson.com/

Here a couple of scenes from Ten Things I Hate About You as I keep mentioning it (and I’m not the only one):

And just in case you want to know a bit more about the movie, here is the link in IMDB.

Thanks to Net Galley and to St Martin’s Griffith for the book, thanks to Lily Anderson and plenty of success (she’s touring the book so check where she’s going) and thanks to you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Categories
book promo Guest author post

#Mother’sDayMagic. A book anthology for a very good cause. An interview with Allyson R. Abbott (@AllysonRAbbott)

Hi all:

If you follow my blog you know I’ve been talking about this anthology for a while. Mother’s Day in the US is this weekend, and one of my author friends, Tamara Ferguson, told me about an initiative she was taking part in. A wonderful collection of books to commemorate mother’s everywhere, and for a very good cause, to support the research of Multiple Sclerosis. She also gave me the opportunity of getting to know some of the writers. Today is the last interview I bring you of another British writer whom you will love to meet. A true character. Allyson R. Abbott.

Mother's Day Magic

Mother’s day Magic…

with love

Every mother’s heart holds a bit of magic…her children’s love. Enchantment awaits in a dozen brand new, previously unpublished-stories, written by #1 bestselling and/or multi-award winning authors from across the globe. Whether it’s a captivating tale of romance or fiction fashioned from loving memories, these poignant stories are sure to touch your heart.

10% of proceeds from this anthology will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society toward research.

Links:

http://www.mybook.to/MothersDayMagic

Amazon

USA http://amzn.to/1QBkiXk

UK http://amzn.to/1QBkiXn

CAN http://amzn.to/1QBkhTw

AUS http://bit.ly/1QBkiXs

iTunes

USA: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1077026791

UK: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/id1077026791

CAN: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/id1077026791

AUs: https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/id1077026791

NZL: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/id1077026791

Barnes and Noble

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940152738933

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=9781524222727

AN INTERVIEW WITH Allyson R. Abbott One of the Authors FROM MOTHER’S DAY MAGIC Anthology

Author Allyson R. Abbott
Author Allyson R. Abbott

#1 Best Seller and 4 times 5★ seal award from Readers’ favorite

 

The Story I’ve Contributed Is An English Rose. A Mother’s  Love, A Love Inspired

An English Rose. A Mother's Love, A Love Inspired by Allyson R. Abbott
An English Rose. A Mother’s Love, A Love Inspired by Allyson R. Abbott

At eighty-five, Rose fears her usefulness and independence are shrinking. Her grown daughters have full lives, and Rose worries if she’s a burden to them. After meeting Bill, a spark of laughter and purpose comes flooding back into her routine, especially when her happy healthy family reveal a few cracks and turn to her for advice and support. And Rose blossoms, opening her heart to accept new challenges.

Allyson R. Abbott, British romance author, always finds a way of encouraging the reader to become attached to her characters. Using wit, humour and real life situations the protagonists could be your friend or neighbour.

 

What Was The Inspiration For Your Mother’s Day Magic Story?

My own mother. She is a great inspiration for me, even at 86yrs old, she is always on the go and her social life is more active than mine, even though she is visually impaired. She has a wicked sense of humour and laughs at everything, enjoying all she can in life.

 

How much research was involved in writing your story? How did you go about it?

I just sat and thought about my mum, it was easy and pleasurable.

 

How often do your characters surprise you by doing or saying something totally unexpected?

I’m a panster, and write as I go along. Bill, In An English Rose, was a total surprise, he came out of nowhere, but is such a loveable, jolly character.

 

Do you miss spending time with your characters when you finish writing this story?

I have a habit of trying to think about a follow up book, to keep the characters alive.  I just can’t let go. I am the character, when I am writing, so I know they have so much more to give. I find it hard to remove myself from a book.

 

  What writer has been your biggest inspiration?

I am great lover of the classics, especially by Charles Dickens and Jane Austen. I love the way they subtly use humour. Most of my books have a humorous element. I also enjoy a Lee Child book and now, of course, having found his books, Cary Allen Stone. I am always in awe of writers who can weave a good plot. To round of my inspirations, I also need to add Janet Evanovich to my list. I love a book that makes me laugh out loud, and the Stephanie Plum series are so funny, I have read them all. I have just found a new author, Aimee Horton, her book Mother’s Ruined, had me howling with laughter. 

 

What non-writer had the most influence on your life and why?

My husband, only recently married, but he has such faith in my abilities and is so supportive, he makes me believe that I can do anything. When you have someone at your side to lean on and trusts you explicably, if gives your live a boost and opens so many doors. 

How important is the choosing of character names to you? Have you ever decided on a name and then changed it because it wasn’t right for the character?

The name of the character usually pops into my head as I write. If it doesn’t I will just leave a line XXXXXX until it reveals itself to me.  As most of my writing is about people over 40yrs old, and sometime a lot older.  I often think of friends or relatives names, of that era, that will suit my characters.

Do you allow others to read your work in progress, or do you keep it a secret until you’ve finished your first draft?

I usually share my work with my husband, by reading it aloud to him.  This also helps me to edit it. If it is clumsy in speech or just doesn’t sound right then I can change.

 

What inspired you to write your first book? 

For the first time in my life I actually found I had time on my hands. I had always wanted to have a go at writing a book, I think most people do, but I realised that there was an indie movement, and now was a good time. When my niece-in-law to be, celebrated her first published book, it took me by surprise.  It gave me a push. I thought if my niece can do, so can I.  So I took pen to paper and started writing.

What might we be surprised to know about you?

I like nothing more than to sit in an English pub with a pint of real ale in my hand. I really miss a good British beer, during my travels. I spend most of my time on the road, or at least abroad somewhere, flitting from one continent to another.  It is a great life.

 

In Addition

An English Rose, was inspired by my mother. She is 86yrs old and has macular degeneration and is now registered as blind.  Along with her deteriorating hearing, diabetes, asthma and extremely delicate thin skin, she drags herself to church every Sunday to make her peace with God. Her middle name is Rose, and she is a happy and active senior. Now she has a mobility scooter, she is never at home. Nothing seems to slow her enthusiasm for life down. Losing her sight has stopped her from her many hobbies of Green Bowling, painting, pottery, sewing, reading, but she still struggles on with her knitting, and laughs about all the air-holes that appear through dropped stiches. She talks about her numbered days, and then books a holiday abroad.  I just love her to pieces.

The fabulous line up of Mother's Day Magic
The fabulous line up of Mother’s Day Magic

About the Author

I love to travel, but I also need to work. Being an author allows me to combine both of activities and has the added bonus of life being an adventure. I never know where I will be sitting writing from one year to the next. As I write this, I am in South Africa, in February I travel to Spain for a few months and by June, in the USA. It is a great life, if you don’t mind a little insecurity.

I try to bring a little of my adventurous personality into my stories. Being a ‘mature aging gracefully’ woman, I feel akin to the problems of aging and relationships. I spent many years on my own before finding my truly remarkable and very patient partner who I happily gave up my whole world for. My stories are about mature relationships with mature people. People who have character and humour, who have a history; people just like us.

I like to call it Hen Lit, Not Chick Lit, but they are not just about falling in love. They are about real relationships and adventure.

Allyson R. Abbott's Hen Lit
Allyson R. Abbott’s Hen Lit
Goodbye, Hello by Allyson R. Abbott
Goodbye, Hello by Allyson R. Abbott

LINKS:

Email Address Allyson.Abbott@hotmail.com

Webpage http://www.AllysonRAbbott.com

http://bit.ly/1NopBMl

Twitter https://twitter.com/AllysonRAbbott

http://bit.ly/1E180bd

Facebook www.facebook.com/AllysonRAbbott

http://on.fb.me/1gRmOOY

Pinterest                             https://www.pinterest.com/aabbott0517/

http://bit.ly/1TPJ5P4

LinkedIn                              www.linkedin.com/in/AllysonRAbbott

Google Play                       http://bit.ly/1NBlDxP

Goodreads                         www.goodreads.com/AllysonRAbbott

Blog Page                            http://allysonrabbott.blogspot.co.uk/

http://bit.ly/1z8f6Te

Google+                             http://google.com/+AllysonRAbbott

 

Thanks so much to Allyson R. Abbott for talking about her contribution to Mother’s Day Magic, thank to Tamara Ferguson for this opportunity, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and of course, CLICK!

Categories
Guest author post

#Guestauthor Uvi Poznansky (@UviPoznansky) The David Chronicles and The Music of Us. Art and stories

Hi all:

You know on Fridays I like to bring you guest authors and new books. I realised, after author and artist Uvi Poznansky was so kind as to feature me as a guest in her blog (check here, and don’t forget to follow her blog for her news and her great features) that although I’d shared some of her books when she’d featured them as part of collections with several authors, she’d never been a guest in her own right, and I thought it was about time.

Here she is:

Author Uvi Poznansky
Author Uvi Poznansky

Uvi Poznansky is a California-based author, poet and artist.

She earned her B. A. in Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion in Haifa, Israel. During her studies and in the years immediately following her graduation, she practiced with an innovative Architectural firm, taking a major part in the large-scale project, ‘Home for the Soldier’; a controversial design that sparked fierce public debate.

At the age of 25 Uvi moved to Troy, N.Y. with her husband and two children. Before long, she received a Fellowship grant and a Teaching Assistantship from the Architecture department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she guided teams in a variety of design projects; and where she earned her M.A. in Architecture. Then, taking a sharp turn in her education, she earned her M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.

During the years she spent in advancing her career–first as an architect, and later as a software engineer, software team leader, software manager and a software consultant (with an emphasis on user interface for medical instruments devices)–she wrote and painted constantly, and exhibited in Israel and California. In addition, she taught art appreciation classes. Her versatile body of work can be seen online at uviart.com. It includes bronze and ceramic sculptures, oil and watercolor paintings, charcoal, pen and pencil drawings, and mixed media.

Here is her page in Amazon (don’t forget to follow):

http://amzn.to/1oBj4Fn

http://amzn.to/1QAj0MJ

And if you want to know more and connect here a few more links:

She has a great collection of books, The David Chronicles, all around the figure of King David (that as you know has always intrigued me)

Book one in the series is FREE

Rise to Power by Uvi Poznansky
Rise to Power by Uvi Poznansky

Rise to Power (The David Chronicles Book 1) by Uvi Poznansky

Here is the story of David as you have never heard it before: from the king himself, telling the unofficial version, the one he never allowed his court scribes to recount. In his mind, history is written to praise the victorious—but at the last stretch of his illustrious life, he feels an irresistible urge to tell the truth. In the first volume, Rise to Power, David gives you a fascinating account of his early years, culminating with a tribal coronation. Rooted in ancient lore, his is a surprisingly modern memoir.

In an era of cruelty, when destroying the enemy is deemed a sacred directive, the slayer of Goliath finds a way to become larger than life. His search for a path to power leads him in ways that are, at times, scandalous. Notorious for his contradictions, David is seen by others as a gifted court entertainer, a successful captain in Saul’s army, a cunning fugitive, a traitor leading a gang of felons, and a ruthless raider of neighboring towns who leaves no witnesses behind.

How does he see himself, during this first phase of his life? With his hands stained with blood, can he find an inner balance between conflicting drives: his ambition for the crown, his determination to survive the conflict with Saul, and his longing for purity, for a touch of the divine, as expressed so lyrically in his psalms and music?

If you like ancient historical fiction about court intrigue, this king David novel has a modern twist like no book you have read before.

Links

ebook print audio

 

Go and get it! Here is a preview!

A Peek at Batsheeba by Uvi Poznansky
A Peek at Batsheeba by Uvi Poznansky

A Peek at Bathsheba (The David Chronicles Book 2)

by Uvi Poznansky

 

Against the backdrop of wars, raging within the land and without, David is growing into the mantle of leadership. Between his anointment as a tribal king and his anointment as the king of all of Israel, he uses wisdom, cunning, and his own understanding of the forces of history, aiming for high ideals: stopping the bloodshed, uniting the nation, and bringing about healing and peace.

But then, having reached his peak, David falters. He makes a serious error that threatens to undo his political success, and cost him not only the adoration of his people—but also the sense of being sustained by a divine power. That error is the most torrid tale of passion ever told: his deliciously forbidden love for Bathsheba, followed by his attempt to cover up the ensuing scandal by sending her husband—who serves him faithfully in his army—to his death.

This standalone novel is volume II of The David Chronicles. It is told candidly by the king himself. David uses modern language, indicating that this is no fairytale. Rather, it is a story that is happening here and now. Listen to his voice as he undergoes a profound change, realizing the magnitude of his sin, and the curse looming over his entire future.

If you like ancient historical fiction about court intrigue, this king David novel has a modern twist like no book you have read before. And among forbidden love books, this one stands alone.

Links

ebook print audio

 

Here a preview:

And book 3

The Edge of Revolt by Uvi Poznansky
The Edge of Revolt by Uvi Poznansky

The Edge of Revolt (The David Chronicles Book 3) by Uvi Poznansky

Struggling to find the right balance between loving his sons and upholding justice, David is silent when Amnon rapes his daughter, Tamar, and when Absalom lures Amnon to his death. These crimes go unpunished, because a mysterious change has come upon the king, which his court scribes note even before he does. In the past he had to explain his actions, such as the affair with Bathsheba, to them. Now, they want to understand the opposite thing: his lack of action.

In families other than his, such matters may be a mere matter of gossip. Yet when assault, incest, and murder occur in the king’s family, they affect matters of the state. David is toppled from his throne, and must escape from the son he adores, Absalom.

Even as he finds a way to quell the revolt and come back to the City of David, the road ahead seems unclear. How will he find the right successor amongst his remaining sons, the one who will connect to him and continue his legacy?

This standalone novel is volume III of The David Chronicles. It is told candidly by the king himself. David uses modern language, indicating that this is no fairytale. Rather, it is a story that is happening here and now. Each volume can be read as a standalone novel. Taken together, they put you in the skin of the character from youth to old age.

Links

ebook print

 

Here the preview:

The David Chronicles

If you want the whole series:

http://amzn.to/1oBjZWl

http://amzn.to/1oBk10l

David Chronicles boxed

Or the boxed set

http://amzn.to/1QAje6n

I’m always amazed at the fact that she has created her own covers (yes, she’s an artist for sure) as I love them all.

Uvi also has a new audio out:

The Music of Us Audiobook
The Music of Us Audiobook

The Music of Us: Still Life with Memories, Book 3 Audible – Unabridged

Uvi Poznansky (Author, Publisher), Don Warrick (Narrator)

In 1970, Lenny can no longer deny that his wife is undergoing a profound change. Despite her relatively young age, her mind succumbs to forgetfulness. Now, he goes as far back as the moment he met Natasha, when he was a soldier and she a star, brilliant yet illusive. Natasha was a riddle to him then, and to this day, with all the changes she has gone through, she still is.

Digging into the past, mining its moments, trying to piece them together this way and that, dusting off each memory of Natasha, of how we were, the highs and lows of the music of us, to find out where the problem may have started?

To their son, Ben, that may seem like an exercise in futility. For Lenny, it is a necessary process of discovery, one that is as tormenting as it is delightful. He often wonders: can we ever understand, truly understand each other – soldier and musician, man and woman, one heart and another? Will we ever again dance together to the same beat? Is there a point where we may still touch?

http://amzn.to/1oBk7VZ

If yo prefer to check the whole series in book format, you can go here:

Still Live with Memories three books series
Still Live with Memories three books series

Still Life with Memories (3 Book Series) Kindle Edition

From Book 1: Ten years ago, when she was seventeen, Anita started an affair with Lenny, in spite of knowing that he was a married man. Now married to him and carrying his child, she finds herself condemned to compete with Natasha’s shadow, the memory of her brilliance back in her prime, before she succumbed to early-onset Alzheimer’s. Despite Anita’s lack of education, her rough slang, and what happened to her in the past, Lenny tries to transform her. He wants her to become Natasha.

Faced with his compelling wish, and the way he writes her as a character in his book, how can Anita find a voice of her own? And when his estranged son, Ben, comes back and lives in the same small apartment, can she escape the love triangle? Can she keep the balance between the two men, whose desire for her is marred by guilt and blame?

Do you like historical fiction about the 20th century, especially when it is tinged with a family saga romance and wrapped with a second change in love with a strong female lead? Then this series, Still Life with Memories, is for you.

http://amzn.to/1QAj3be

http://amzn.to/1QAj137

And links to each one of the books in the series:

Vol I My Own Voice ebook print audio

Vol II The White Piano ebook print audio

Vol III The Music of Us ebook print audio
Vol I+II Apart from Love ebook print audio

There are a few more books by Uvi you can check, and I recommend you follow her everywhere and check her art, poems and books.

Thanks so much to Uvi Poznansky for being my guest today and bringing us such great books, thanks to all of you for reading, and don’t forget to like, share, comment and CLICK!

Categories
Guest author post Valentine Day's Special

#Guestauthor J.P. McLean (@jpmclean1) is back! Come and check her news! And some #Valentine’s offers!

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I try and bring you guest authors and new books. You might remember that J.P. Mclean had visited us last July when she was pondering about which direction her writing was going to take. There was a lot of interest in her work and she promised to keep us informed, and here she is, as good to her word as usual. As you know, I love to have previous authors visit again, and this is a great pleasure. And without further blah, blah, here she is!

Author JP McLean busy signing copies of her books
Author JP McLean busy signing copies of her books

It’s a pleasure to be back here, Olga. Thank you for the opportunity to update your readers. When I was here in July 2015 , I had just released Penance, the fourth book in The Gift Legacy series.

At that time, I’d been contemplating which writing project to take on next. Three shiny new stories vied for my attention. Unfortunately, I’d forgotten how close the deadline was for me to recommit to my current publisher. Recommitting would have meant giving up control … again. I really didn’t want to do that.

So … the deadline won the day. I put the shiny new projects on hold and dove headfirst into re-publishing the first three books in the series with a new publisher. Going with WindStorm Press gave me the opportunity to do an editorial review of the books, revamp their covers and lower their prices.

The Gift Legacy Series by JP McLean
The Gift Legacy Series by JP McLean

It’s been six months of intense editing and design. The process has been challenging, to say the least, but I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve gained some hard-won skills for my toolkit. The new covers, which were re-designed by the original artist, Viona Halim, are gorgeous. The new pricing is considerably lower, or it was before the Canadian dollar decided to head south. (Sure wish that was something I could control!)

Now, with the re-publication largely behind me, I’m once again turning my attention to shiny new writing projects. Hmm, which one to choose?

After much internal debate, I decided to capitalize on the momentum of having the story of the gift so fresh in my mind, and finish the companion piece to Awakening, which was two-thirds complete before I put it on hold last year. And while I’m in the Gift Legacy mindset, I’ll pick away on the outlines for the next book(s) in the series.

In my non-writing time, I’m learning about audio recordings, so expect to see the excerpts for all four Gift Legacy books on Sound Cloud soon. If you’d like to be the first to hear the audio excerpts, sign up for my newsletter here. I always love to hear from you with your thoughts and advice.

Thanks again, Olga, for hosting me on your blog, and for your continuous support of authors.

Links:

Website: www.jpmclean.net

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jpmclean1 @jpmclean1

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

And links to her books:

Awakening

Revelation

Redemption

Penance

J.P. McLean shared one of her excerpts with me, and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you too.

Thanks very much to JP McLean for sharing her news with us and best of luck with her writing. Don’t forget to keep us informed! And before I let you go, as it’s Valentine’s this weekend, I thought I’d offer my two romances at only $0.99 each. Check them out and see what you think! 

My romances on offer for Valentine's Day
My romances on offer for Valentine’s Day

And

Thanks for reading, and thanks for liking, sharing, cliking and Happy Valentine’s Day! Love to you all!

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