Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review - Time Off For Good Behavior by Lani Diane Rich

Time Off For Good Behavior by Lani Diane Rich
Released: May 23, 2012
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 260
Format: Kindle
Source: Freebie
Rating: 3/5
For Wanda Lane, life has been one long string of screw-ups. Her abusive ex-husband keeps threatening to kill her, she just lost her crappy job, and a head injury has left her hearing phantom music no one else can hear. It isn't until she hits the rock bottom of her bottle of scotch that she begins to wonder if maybe -- just maybe -- the problem is her.

I didn't fall in love with this book right away; in fact I was typically bored early on and wanted to just chunk it mainly because I don't think I liked Wanda and her smart ass mouth and attitude but after taking a moment to step back and re-evaluate my way of thinking I saw her in a new light and my whole perspective of Wanda changed and I began to enjoy the book a bit better.

Initially I was thinking of her as crabby and foul mouthed but then I took into consideration some of the things she had been thru, even though alot of it was her own doing, and that she wasn't always this way and after a while it genuinely seemed she wanted to change but had no clue where to start. I went from hating her character, to feeling sorry for her, and by the end of the book I was all "You go girl!"

If you've ever had an identity crisis or just plain out felt there was no help for yourself then I think you will totally enjoy this one.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Review - Fire and Ice by Karen Maneely

Fire and Ice by Karen Maneely
Released: November 28, 2012
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 324KB
Format: Kindle
Source: Freebie
Rating: 2/5
Bobbie Burke loves to play hockey and is the most talented playing in a large Burke family, with four older brothers. The only problem is Bobbie's a woman and the most she could ever hope for, now that she graduated college, is maybe a spot on the US Olympic team.

The Philadelphia Fire just finished the previous season last in the league. Management is desperate to turn the team around and make it to the playoffs. What they needed was a forward that could score goals and win games.
This was a wonderful love story between teammates. Bobbi grew up in a houseful of men hockey players having lost her mother at a very young age so she was no stranger to playing rough. She has had to overcome alot of obstacles to play in this basically male dominated sport but she loves the game and has put personal relationships on the back burner as far as having a major rule of not dating other hockey players so Connor has his work cut out for him when he becomes very attracted to her being not only her teammate but captain of her team.

I am not even a sports fan but was able to enjoy the story and I loved the relationship between Bobbi and Connor and also the friendship Bobbi made with Laura, one of her teammates wives. Bobbi had never really had any female role models to relate to so it was interesting having her go thru all these different relationships and evolve not only as a pro hockey player but as a more feminine character as well.

What I didn't like and why I gave such a low rating to such a wonderful story was the amount of editing errors. I usually don't even mention problems with editing but there is just so many of them as well as one whole chapter that is just totally missing. Without going into alot of detail it was a really significant chapter where something happens to Bobbi and she has to miss a few games. It just really took alot away from the story having to constantly read and re-read just to make passages make sense.

**edited to add that the missing chapter has been added since I downloaded my copy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

UGLee Pen Review

"The UGLee Pen is a revolutionary ergonomic pen that is designed, created and used by a real physician. This Doctor-inspired grip pen is redefining the way people view pens and writing because it is good for everyone who writes (even just a grocery list), and is especially helpful to people who experience pain and discomfort when writing, for example those with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.,. It's also the best writing utensil for children who are learning to write and are developing fine motor skills, as well as helpful for special-needs children who find holding a pen or pencil properly difficult. And for high-school and college students who have to take copious notes, this pen helps keep hands and fingers from cramping."

Pronounced "Ugly Pen" but I fell in love with it the moment I first gripped it! Not only does it stay firmly between my fingers without slipping up and down like most pens but it writes so smoothly I don't know if I can go back to regular pens now! My hands don't cramp up as bad and it's just very comfortable! I highly recommend this pen! For more information and how to get your UGLee Pen visit their website at UGLee Pen

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review - Speed Dating With The Dead by Scott Nicholson

Speed Dating With The Dead by Scott Nicholson
Released: June 25, 2010
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 349 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Freebie
Rating: 2/5
When Digger Wilson brings his paranormal team Spirit Seekers International to the White Horse Inn, he is skeptical that his dead wife will keep her half of the bargain. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, and just before she died, she promised to meet him there.

But when one of the conference guests channels a mysterious presence and an Ouija board spells out a pet phrase known only to Digger and his wife, his convictions are challenged.
I wish I could tell you that I LOVED this book because I wanted to so much as the storyline made for an exciting read but alas I can only give it a mild "like". I picked it up full of expectations but even after the first 100 pages I was not feeling it at all and had I not been depending on it to fulfill several reading challenges I may have marked it DNF and I almost never do that. I trudged on and eventually about middleways it did begin to get interesting with ghosties popping out left and right and folks started disappearing but still although it redeemed itself in the end I felt it was just too little to late plus I never became involved or even really cared about any of the characters, not even the main ones being Digger and his daughter. I will say I did take great pleasure in a few of them getting exactly what they deserved especially Janey Mays!

On the upside though I do believe this would have been a far better movie than book. I would love to kick back and watch this on the screen!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Review - Unbreak My Heart by Helen Scott Taylor

Unbreak My Heart by Helen Scott Taylor
Released: April 3, 2012
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 132 pages
Format: Kindle
Source: Freebie
Rating: 2/5
They were inseparable until family conflict tore the teenaged sweethearts apart. Nine years later, she turns up at his prestigious hotel with the paparazzi at her heels and the six-week-old daughter of her celebrity ex in her arms. She has nowhere left to run except back to the place where she left her heart. Can they forgive the pain of the past, accept each other as they are now, and rediscover the childhood love that was snatched away from them?
A really quick read but it lacked something and I can't quite put my finger on it. We've got a young man and woman who were teenage sweethearts but boys father didn't think girl was good enough for his son so he finds a way to part them and yada yada boy breaks girls heart and she moves on and winds up with another man and has his baby and now is on the doorstep of teen sweetheart who supposedly never got over her either but it seems they are both too busy living in the past to try to have a future together.

I got annoyed after a while because they couldn't decide whether to rekindle what they once had or leave it be and then they kept misunderstanding how the other was feeling but if they had just sat down and talked and got to reknow each other and take more time maybe all the nonsense that went on could have been avoided.

I did enjoy the tender scenes with Andre and the baby though. It's rare to have such a sweet interaction between a baby and a man especially when it's not his own!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Review - A Chalice of Wind by Cate Tiernan

A Chalice of Wind by Cate Tiernan
Released: May 29, 2008
Publisher: Paw Prints
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 250 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Rating: 3/5
After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she’s ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans.New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries.
Took me a bit to get into the story. It just wasn't appealing to me at first but once Thais moves to New Orleans and begins sharing opinions on her weird new guardian my interest peaked.

Things were hard enough on the poor girl as it was what with losing her father and being orphaned, to thinking she would be able to live with her elderly next door neighbor, and then being whisked off across the states with a guardian she had never heard of, but then once she tries to settle into her new home not only is her guardian and her friends creepy as all get out but she goes to school only to bump into somebody that was her mirror image right down to an identical birthmark!

Oh my gosh I would totally be freaking! Pass the Xanax I am about to flip out would be more like it! I could almost feel the sizzle when the two girls bumped into one another! The story just took off from there for me and had quite a few twists later that I enjoyed as Thais and Clio get to know one another and demand answers.

Review - The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch
Released: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 304 pages
Format: Hardback
Source: Bought
Rating: 5/5
In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving.
Loved this story! Read it in almost one sitting it was so good. Stephen is a young teen who has never really known what normal was because every since he was born his family has been on the move never taking up roots anyplace because of a horrid war and plague of influenza not to mention being salvagers (folks who piddle thru places looking for things to trade) and having to always look over your shoulder for thieves and slavers.

Stephen was drilled to not trust other people and to survive at any means possible so it was really hard on him when tragedy strikes his family and he is forced to rely on strangers for help.

I hope I never have to live like Stephen did but the author makes the scenes so real I could almost imagine I was hiding or running right alongside him. I felt so much compassion for him and desperately wanted him to see another world than the one his stronghanded grandfather had instilled into him. There is good and bad in all of us and not everybody has hidden agendas when they offer a helping hand. Sometimes you just have to trust folks and hope for the best.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Review/Giveaway - Kept by Shawntelle Madison

Kept by Shawntelle Madison
Released: November 27, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 320 pages
Format: Paperback
Source: Author/Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5
Author Site: Shawntelle Madison
Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Natalya Stravinsky, a whip-smart werewolf with a lovable neurotic streak, wants a little rest and relaxation. Once an outcast, she's now eager to rejoin the ranks of her New Jersey pack, and has even gotten a handle on her obsessive urge to hoard holiday ornaments. Yet Nat barely has time to revel in her progress before the next crisis comes howling at her door.
Kept pretty much picks up where Coveted leaves off with Natalya still struggling and in therapy with her OCD and trying to regain her place inside the pack again but as if that's not enough on her plate her father goes missing and Nat is basically the only one who can make things right but she wont be able to get any help from another werewolf. Instead as in Coveted she will have to rely on her therapy group of misceallaneous friends for help and support.

I really am enjoying this series because on one hand Nat makes me so sick with her OCD problem holding her back but on the other hand it makes her feel more like a real person but it's not that I am against her it's because I so much want her to gain her rightful place back with her family and to enjoy life as she deserves to. What I am sick of is how even her own family treats her sometimes...thank God she has Aggie for a friend because Aggie is all about the backbone and speaks her mind freely let me tell you!

Then we have the love interests. I am torn between Nick the wizard and Thorn the Alpha. Both are easily compatable for her or for me....LOL Thorn however is tangled up with that tramp Erica who so does NOT deserve him but we'll not go there.....

You could probably read Kept just fine as a stand alone but I must advise you to go back and read Coveted first you wont regret it! This is a remarkable series by a new voice in the shapeshifter genre.


Shawntelle has offered one lucky reader of this blog a copy of her new book Kept! Just follow directions on the Rafflecopter to win and be sure to leave an email address on the "freebie" entry so if you win I can get your shipping info to Shawntelle so she can send you your prize.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Guest Scott Moon

Michael Prim does what any good cop would do upon discovering a soul reaving sorcerer is hunting on his beat, he goes to war, until hell hounds and the other worldly Rashfellen warriors come after him. Then it is time to get a little help from his friends, namely a tough as nails veteran and a zombie like prostitute who holds a soul trapped in a magical jar. And when that fails, there is his most hated enemy, the gang member who murdered his partner but now holds the power to kill Travass Isegurad and unravel the mystery of the Sionk.

Fame or fortune, which would you prefer? by Scott Moon

Fame is probably a lot more work than it is worth. I have always enjoyed music and played in rock bands since high school and thus had some good friends who really enjoyed being the center of attention. These natural performers were always on stage. My best friend in high school definitely had world-class musical talent and probably still does; we have not talked for years. Once, in a music store, he played Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on the piano, and everyone in the place stopped to listen. He put us in a trance—and this was primarily a store for heavy metal guitarists.

The amazing thing about this story is that the piano was not his primary instrument. At parties he would do handstands and back flips, making boisterous jokes, and do amazing tricks. He could use is abdominal muscles to move a quarter up and down his torso. On the other hand, I dreamed of being the center of attention, but hated it when it happened. The only exceptions being activities like jumping over bonfires or “skiing” behind a pick-up truck by holding the bumper and praying my rocker cowboy boots didn’t catch an imperfection in the pavement.

One of the tricks I use when I edit is to read my work in progress out loud, sometimes into a digital recorder, and imagine that I am captivating my audience. When the words work aloud and during silent reading, I start to think there is some magic happening. I have done this for years. Recently, I went to my first meeting of the Kansas Writers Association and volunteered to read. It went fairly well, though I was self-conscious because of some violence and profanity in the scene I chose to read, which is what happens when you change your mind about which chapter you will read at the last minute. Despite several compliments, I nearly imploded with self-conscious depression during the drive home. I am now more careful what I wish for.

If I had to pick between fame and fortune, the latter would win. Now, I have no experience with fortune in the sense of life-changing wealth, so this could be a mistake. But I am willing to take that chance. I think having the respect of the most important people in your life makes you fortunate. Possessing the monetary fortune necessary to write fulltime would make me ridiculously happy, much than fame. People often become famous for negative reasons. Famous people have to work to maintain their fame and remain the center of attention. It would be easier to build a “platform” as a famous author, but I have always hoped the stories would sell themselves.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Contemporary Fantasy

Rating – R

More details about the book

Connect with Scott Moon on Twitter

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jo Briggs Feature/Interview

A modern take on the classic Pride & Prejudice premise.

Model, Elle Benedict is young, beautiful and headstrong. When she overhears billionaire, William Dexter insulting her integrity, it leaves her deep attraction to him in tatters.

As William stumbles over himself to repair the damage, he pursues her intensely, and begins to draw her into his private world. They embark on a relationship, consumed by love and desire, awakening feelings neither had experienced before.

But not everything is perfect. Jealousy and misunderstandings allow a so-called friend to seek out the cracks in their relationship and use them to manipulate and interfere, intent on ruining a little boy’s life before he has even drawn a breath.

Seven years of euphoria to the depths of a dark abyss of pain awaits them.

Their journey is a carefully woven story thread of murder, paternity, jealous lovers and family members, and misunderstandings.

Can their love be rekindled?

***Author Interview***

Skittles or M&Ms? M&Ms

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? Yes, two projects at the moment. One is a stand-alone romance called Half Truth Whole Lie that is still only halfway through its first draft. The other is a trilogy about a Rock Star called Broken Strings, which is complete in rough form. Both I hope to have out during 2013.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Supersonic flying

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose? Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Queen Victoria and Jane Austen

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Any Ben & Jerrys

Night owl, or early bird? Early Bird

One food you would never eat? Parsnips

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? The Outsiders by S E Hinton

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters? Love the way you lie by Rihanna and Eminem

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? New York

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy? A new Audi R8

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit? Made in Chelsea, which is a reality show in the UK about the lives of some posh 20-somethings and the bizarre things they do and say.

What’s your favorite season/weather? Summer sun

What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate

What is your dream cast for your book? Clive Own as William & Natalie Portman as Elle

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? To take all bad reviews with a pinch of salt, skim them for things you can improve on, ignore any pointless remarks, but above all do not let it stop you from continuing to write. And never ever respond to the nasty ones.

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year? Argo

Favorite music? Coldplay, Muse, U2

Favorite Candy? Flake

If you were a bird, which one would you be? Penguin

Buy now @ Amazon

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – R

More details about the book

Connect with Jo Briggs on Facebook & Twitter


Review - Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise by Alicia Richardson

Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise by Alicia Richardson
Released: September 26, 2011
Publisher: Brigham Distributing
Age Group: Children
Pages: 38 pages
Format: Hardback
Source: Author
Rating: 5/5
Kirby Puckernut is Santa's cleverest little elf. While dreaming up marvelous toys for good girls and boys, Kirby has his best idea yet - a real elf in every home, all through the holidays, spreading Christmas Magic! Santa finds the perfect family and allows Kirby to serve as the test elf for the first momentous visit. Fun and adventure are at every turn, but not everything goes as planned...
I loved the story and the pages are so beautifully illustrated! This will be a nice addition to any child's library! I think I enjoyed it alot because it was the story of a family I could relate to with real like children and not the so fabulous ones you normally read about that make you think that that is soooo not a real person or family. The two smaller children you could easily see they still held Christmas magic in their little hearts and minds whereas the to big for her britches older pre-teen sister had all but turned into a Scrooge but then it is the holiday season and more "magic" happens this time of year than most any other time so maybe just maybe they'll be hope for this family yet!

For more information about this delightful book and free color pages check out Kirby's Facebook Page and Have a safe and Happy Holiday Season this year!

Monday, November 19, 2012

51 books from 47 authors
- GoodReads Listopia -
- Amazon Listmania ONE, TWO, THREE -

Fun • Sexy • Intense • Hot • Compelling • Thought Provoking, and So Real you may find it Shocking, even Disturbing.

Inspired by an episode on Oprah from years ago that dealt with men addicted to porn, a dream, and information from 8 women’s lives, Portrait of Our Marriage, is a story you don’t want to miss. Nicky, embarks on a journey to find herself and become her own person despite the legacy of a domineering father and an emotionally—and often physically—distant husband.

Reminiscing events from her life, she looks at pictures and remembers romance, falling in love, marriage, and family.

This is the story of one woman’s life as her husbands interest in pornography becomes an obsession that ultimately changes both of them.

Although this is a fictional memoir and only one woman’s journey, many women today deal with this issue in silence, feeling ashamed and embarrassed.

What would you endure for love?


Nicky led a sheltered life until she met Brett: An adventurous, handsome, smart, and exciting lover. She had never known this kind of love before, either emotionally or physically. She pictured her life with Brett as a partner, a friend, and a father to her future children. And when they married, Nicky knew she had found everything her heart and body desired.

But when Brett’s fantasy world of racy magazines, explicit videos, and disturbing internet porn becomes an obsession and affects their marriage, Nicky has to ask herself: What happened to the man I married?

Portrait of Our Marriage is the story of one woman’s journey.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Women’s Adult Fiction (R)

Connect with Martha Emms on Facebook & Twitter


When Laurence Harford, a prominent businessman and philanthropist is found murdered in the historic Rocks area of Sydney, Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn is asked to solve the crime quickly and discreetly. After barely starting his investigation, uncovering a discarded mistress and disgruntled employees, a second killing occurs.

Meanwhile, Laurence’s nephew, Nicholas Harford, has his certainties in life shaken when he becomes a suspect in his uncle’s death, and receives a mysterious gold locket that starts a chain of events unravelling his family’s dark truths.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Murder / Mystery (PG)

Connect with Jill Paterson on Facebook



A drawn out conflict between Inspector Simon Webster and Chief Inspector Damien Rose ultimately results in a career ending posting for Webster. Seeking retribution, Webster, with the support of his Sergeant, Noel Elliott, endeavours to undermine Rose’s credibility with the police hierarchy.

Unfortunately things don’t go according to plan and, with Rose’s credibility already under investigation, Webster is drawn into a web of corruption, extortion, blackmail and conspiracy to murder. With the help of a police informant, Ron Lange, Webster draws on all his experience and skill to prevent bloodshed and put a stop to an endless round of corruption and blackmail.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Police Procedural / Satire (PG)

Connect with John Henderson on Twitter


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Saturday, November 17, 2012

#OBTreat Orangeberry Trick or Treat - Day 36

51 books from 47 authors
- GoodReads Listopia -
- Amazon Listmania ONE, TWO, THREE -

Another anthology of the strange, bizarre, and just plain weird.

Unicorns, zombies, devils, dark whispers, teddy bears, and …fireflies? Try a taste of writing from two very different fantasy authors. Flash fiction stories are super short and perfect for when you ‘just have a minute’. This anthology contains 15 stories (both flash and longer short stories) from authors Sean Hayden and Jen Wylie. Run the rampart of emotions in this exciting mix of tales. From humor to horror, sweet to twisted, there is something for everyone.

Note: Some stories contain adult language.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Paranormal Anthology (R)

Connect with Jen Wylie & Sean Hayden on Facebook & Twitter


If you are looking for a fun book to read with your kids or a book to keep them entertained for ages, then look no further.

Take a magical journey into ‘The Mystical Wood’ where a boy, searching for his lost dog, meets a wizard, a dragon, a giant bumblebee and a T-Rex. He must befriend each one to carry on the search for his pet and return back home to his Mum. Will the boy find his dog? How will he get home?

“Little boy, oh little boy, what business have you here?
This wood is full of monsters and other things to fear.”

‘The Mystical Wood’ combines a terrific adventure with everything a parent or teacher could want a child to read. It has new words, but not too many so that a child loses interest. It shows positive values, without lecturing. It can be read together, or alone. It is written in rhyme which helps your child to remember the new words.

If you and your kids loved the Gruffalo then this book will give you plenty of pleasure and with three times the word count the pleasure will last for longer. At over two thousand words, the book has been broken down into five parts, so that you can read one part at a time or the whole thing if you just can’t wait to find out what happens.

Don’t forget you get all of these qualities in this book:

An exciting adventure which will keep your kids excited until the very end.
An ideal book to read together or for your child to read alone.
Just the right amount of new words to help your child increase their vocabulary.
Written in rhyme to make the story more fun and the new words easier to remember.
Over two thousand words broken into five sections so you or your child can choose how much to read at one sitting. Great value for money.
Every page of writing has a vivid color illustration on the opposite page.
Strong positive messages within the storyline, without lecturing.
For ages 4+ (Guidance only)

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Children (G)

Connect with Simon Jenner on Facebook



‘Lust Knows Where You Work’ is a dark collection of five short stories revolving around lust and jealousy. Every story is very different but each one will keep you on the edge of your seat. Enjoy!

Executive Perks – Sci-fi:
Set in an office of a dystopian future. Samuel Carter has finally made it to the fourth floor where the ‘big cheeses’ work, but the move doesn’t bring him the satisfaction he worked so hard to achieve. He complains to his formerly unseen boss, the beautiful, Miss Greenfly, and things start to get infinitely better … or do they?

Eternally Fit – Supernatural, horror:
Max Miller, owner of Executive Fitness Gym, hankers for a day without sit-ups but the gym is his whole life – work and social. Enter the raven-haired Debbie Marshall, and day by day Max’s needs begin to change. Why is Max losing gym members? Why does Debbie hardly eat? How far will he go to find true love?

Eye of the Beholder – Supernatural, horror:
After an acrimonious divorce, Jim swears off women for good. That is, until Amanda Jones starts work in his office. Jim is immediately infatuated and struggles to control himself. Why can’t others see her beauty? What is the hold she has over him? Will Jim live to tell the tale?

Windfall – Mystery, thriller:
Tony Wallis is about to receive a massive inheritance which is fair compensation for the miserable life he has led up until now. What’s more, as he waits in the solicitor’s reception area, he meets pretty secretary, Kate. It is clear that this is his lucky day in more ways than one. But Kate is the solicitor’s granddaughter, and things don’t play out as Tony expects.

For Better or Worse – Murder, mystery:
Infidelity is a hard blow to take, and Andrea is a proud woman who decides that revenge is in order to redress the balance. But murder never comes easy, and learning the truth can be harder still.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Short Stories (PG13)

Connect with Simon Jenner on Facebook



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#OBTreat Orangeberry Trick or Treat - Day 35

51 books from 47 authors
- GoodReads Listopia -
- Amazon Listmania ONE, TWO, THREE -

There’s a darkness that lurks in the City of Light

Seventeen-year-old Connor Lewis is chased by a memory. On his first day of kindergarten he bit a boy hard enough to scar the kid for life. Since then he’s been a social outcast at a New York private school. Through an unexpected turn of good fortune, he lands a scholarship to study in Paris, where everything starts to look up. On the first day he befriends two military brats, and he may finally get a taste of what it’s like to be a normal teenager. It doesn’t last.

His host family –€” an alluring young tattoo artist and her moody, handsome boyfriend –€” inadvertently introduce him to the underworld of werewolves where there are two types: the born and the bitten. Those born to it take the form of elegant wolves, while the latter are cursed to transform into the half-man, half-beast creatures of horror movies.

The bitten rarely survive. Unfortunately, Connor is on the wanted list of a four hundred-year-old bitten human who’s searching for both a cure and a means of wiping out werewolves for good. Connor’s loyalties are tested as he becomes embroiled in a conflict where werewolves, mad science and teen angst collide.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Urban Fantasy (PG)

Connect with Kat Kruger on Facebook & Twitter


Rowan Faine compulsively overeats to compensate for the big changes that have taken place in her life. Forced to cope with the death of her parents in a car accident, inheriting her rebellious younger sister to rear, and the constant bombardment of junk food at Knight & Daye, the Downtown Dallas law firm where she’s a secretary, Rowan gains 35 pounds. Her beautiful and skinny best friend, Madelyn Morrison, shares the secret of her success: Diary of a Dieting Madhouse.

Rowan navigates in a mad world of wacky lawyers, crazy co-workers and dysfunctional families. Even though she deals daily with the erratic nature of the attorneys she works for, in an atmosphere where class distinctions, while subtle, still thrive even in this enlightened time, she is caught off balance by a new, lateral hire attorney, the proud and haughty Grey Faris. Grey and Rowan instantly clash, particularly when she overhears him call her “fat.”

His best friend, Rex Selkirk, is also a client, and falls in love with Madelyn, against Grey’s better judgment. As Rowan begins to lose weight and shape up, she soon becomes convinced that her prejudices against Grey are well-founded. But her outgoing, playful nature and impertinence have attracted his attention, and, in spite of himself, his admiration.

For those interested in knowing more about Rowan’s diet, Book Two takes you on a journey of a lifetime with author Paige Singleton and her friends, Susan, Kenzy and Sharon, who lose weight and change their lives forever on a plant-based, whole foods diet.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Women’s Fiction (PG13)

Connect with Paige Singleton on Facebook & Twitter


Life is hard. Death is harder. But for Carmen, the two go hand-in-hand.

Carmen Heathers finally gets a new lease on life, just in time to have it ripped away before she even got to enjoy it. Luckily for her, she has a vampire for a soul mate who gives her the choice of death, or living life as a monster with him. Her choice to live in darkness and her love for Gaviyn end a centuries-old curse that has claimed her life more times than Gaviyn cared to remember.

Suddenly, though, her life is in danger again. Along with a group of outcast witches and vampires, Carmen is facing yet another battle for her life. But this time, the stakes have never been higher…

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – YA (PG)

Connect with Ashley Torbeck on Facebook & Twitter


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Friday, November 16, 2012

#OBTreat Orangeberry Trick or Treat - Day 34

51 books from 47 authors
- GoodReads Listopia -
- Amazon Listmania ONE, TWO, THREE -

From the award-winning author of Babe in Boyland comes a Young Adult paranormal romance about witchcraft, black magic, and the pleasures of paranormal chocolate…

Falling in love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer–it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. When her mother goes missing and her mysterious “cousin” shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft is more than just a novel; it’s a book of spells, a collection of easy recipes, a charming coming-of-age tale, an enchanting romance, and an action-packed adventure. As Audrey overcomes her insecurities and learns to protect herself against the wicked black magic of her nemesis, she grows into a heroine we can root for–a witch who knows that true power comes from deep within.

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Genre – YA, Paranormal Romance (PG)

Connect with Jody Gehrman on Facebook



As the daughter of a fortune-telling mother and a scam artist father, Spring Ryan wants nothing more than to leave her past behind, fall in love, and live a nice, normal life. But the Universe had other plans.

For starters, the man Spring fell in love with, Trevor Donnelly, has disappeared off the face of the earth. To make matters worse her mother Lanie, an eccentric nudist, moves in ‘just until she’s done with menopause’, and her boss, Kimberly, has asked her to escort a life-sized condom around town to promote teen abstinence.

Still trying to salvage a normal life Spring agrees to marry Sam Wayne, a banker with an appreciation for books, God, and a well-mashed potato. He may not be Prince Charming, but at least he can give her the normal life she has always dreamed about.

But as her nuptials with Sam draw nearer, Spring’s life becomes even more complicated. She soon finds herself involved with three men, and has no idea what to do with any of them. It seems the Universe has a sense of humor…and just maybe, a better plan for Spring than the normal life she’s always told herself she wanted.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Romantic Comedy (PG13)

Connect with April Aasheim on Facebook & Twitter


A pharmaceutical company receives a lucrative government contract for a vaccine currently coveted by the entire U.S. population. They set the price at $60,000 per shot, putting the vaccine out of the reach of all but the wealthiest of Americans. The situation creates a class warfare powder keg that only needs one thing to ignite, the words of a man.

This man is known simply as Max, a man who believes revolution is the only remedy to the disparity between the haves and the have nots. He sets to work at gathering a talented, highly motivated group he calls “The Citizens” and tasks them with recruiting all those who feel like the world stopped being on their side a long time ago. Together they record a message to the American people with Max’s moving words “I refuse to be your slave. I refuse to let you distract me with fear and promise me a tomorrow that will never come. I refuse to let you drain me of hope so that I am docile, broken and clinging to the absolute minimum. I refuse to live my life as a reaction to your choices.”

A revolution has begun.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Thriller (R)

Connect with Eric Thomas on Facebook & Twitter


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

#OBTreat Orangeberry Trick or Treat - Day 33

51 books from 47 authors
- GoodReads Listopia -
- Amazon Listmania ONE, TWO, THREE -

Hot & Forbidden is heartbreaking, tantalizing and exciting. Nicolas De La Cruz and Daniella De La Cruz fall in love. Their love rocks their world flinging them into pain, despair, and ecstasy Nicolas is hot, sensitive, and captivating. Nick’s amor for Daniella is intense and passionate. Daniella De La Cruz is hot, sexy and sweet. Nick and Daniella recognize that they are alma gemelas (soul mates). Nicolas De La Cruz leaves la familia to work in Washington.

The close knit familia has no a clue to the cause of the emotional rollercoaster that rocks Nicolas world. La familia is mystified and disturbed with his departure Daniella De La Cruz is expecting a bebe. She refuses to tell the familia who is the padre (father) of her bebe.Daniella dreams of the day that she is reunited with her bebe’s father, her alma gemela. Their love rocks their world. The forbidden is enticing and painful. Can they overcome the obstacles that threaten their amor? The familia secret is the key to unlock their love and set it free.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Romance (18+)

Connect with PT Macias on Twitter



When twelve-year-old Freeman Mills arrives at Wendover, a group home for troubled children, it’s a chance for a fresh start. But second chances aren’t easy for Freeman, the victim of painful childhood experiments that gave him the ability to read other people’s minds.

At Wendover, Freeman and the other children are subjected to more secret experiments, organized by a shadowy organization called The Trust. But the experiments do more than open up clairvoyant powers–the electromagnetic fields used in the experiments are summoning the ghosts of the patients who died at Wendover back when it was a psychiatric ward.

Now a new scientist has been brought into the project, an unstable and cruel pioneer in ESP studies who performed most of his work on a very special subject: his son, Freeman Mills.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Paranormal Thriller (PG13)

Connect with Scott Nicholson on Facebook & Twitter


“Jose Enrique De La Cruz the CEO of the De La Cruz, Inc. needs a fiancée in time for the 25th anniversary celebration. La familia is anxious to meet his fiancée, but he doesn’t have one. His hermana Patricia agreed to obtain una novia for him. Paty enticed her amiga to pretend to be his loving fiancée.
Jessica Maria Acosta agreed to be his fiancée for two reasons. One, she has always loved him and prays she can make him love her. Two, this is a great opportunity to achieve her dream of working as an Interior Decorator Design Manager.
Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Romance (18+)

Connect with PT Macias on Twitter



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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

#OBTreat Orangeberry Trick or Treat - Day 32

51 books from 47 authors
- GoodReads Listopia -
- Amazon Listmania ONE, TWO, THREE -

THE BOILER PLOT is about how the media’s ‘next big thing’ is really a scam that abuses the presumed anonymity of the internet.
Alex Sanderson is young, isolated, and hungry for success in a business dominated by men. She’s an American technology PR agent who came all the way to London to work with the best media in the world, when she’s handpicked to hype Avadar, a ‘Google killer,’ in the press.

The hype machine is cranking. Alex starts getting in with powerful figures in Westminster. But some things about Avadar don’t add up. It’s creepy—a human-like hologram that lives with you—and its creators are swimming in cash; hardly a typical start-up. Noah Stein, wily, celebrated investigative journalist, starts asking questions: where do they get their funding? Why the Middle Eastern HQ?

The world’s economy crashes down on Canary Wharf, and Alex’s relationships crash along with it. But Noah may be a saviour. They travel to Abu Dhabi, risking their safety to learn what’s been lost in the quest for the latest news scoops, and Alex tries to extricate herself from a trap she, in part, has laid.

THE BOILER PLOT is a suspense novel about a society weakened by its dependence on the internet, and a media blinded by its hunger for sensation. An assertive female narrator provides an inside view of London’s alluring but cutthroat media technology scene.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Suspense (PG13)

Connect with Emily McDaid on Facebook & Twitter


“All things are composed of patterns…” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:
In Alorin…three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him…

In the kingdom of Dannym…the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord…

In the Nadori desert…tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Fantasy (PG)

Connect with Melissa McPhail on Facebook



These are dark times in the land of Fallada, and I fear that they will only continue to grow darker. Only the return of those we’ve lost will even the score.
It will begin with first line of the prophecy, which foretells of a red sun over the desert sky…–Adrah, Queen of the Fae
On the outside, seventeen year-old Selena McKinley is like any other teenage girl. Yet Selena has always felt as if she doesn’t belong and is counting the days to graduation and her freedom from the small town that makes her feel so out of place, when the arrival of a stranger turns her world upside down. Selena will learn just how different she is and the truth of where she comes from.

A lost princess, they call her, the catalyst for a war involving a world that Selena was taken from as a child. An evil queen obsessed with her own beauty with a plan to enslave the human race.…the notion seems so silly, yet Selena knows in her heart that it is true. Then there is Titus, the shape shifter whose blue eyes and claims of destiny hold her heart captive. Can Selena find the strength to do what she must while following her heart?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – YA Paranormal Fantasy (PG)

Connect with Alicia Michaels on Facebook & Twitter


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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

#OBTreat Orangeberry Trick or Treat - Day 31

51 books from 47 authors
- GoodReads Listopia -
- Amazon Listmania ONE, TWO, THREE -

Sometimes life can be a real witch.

Meet Maxie Duncan. Your average 23-year-old blonde. If you can call being wealthy, gorgeous, and knowing what the future holds at times, average.

After her fiancé blindsides her with a breakup at their favorite restaurant, she leaves Maine for a shot at being Hollywood’s new ‘it girl.’ There’s only one problem. She’s never acted a day in her life.

When a big Hollywood director sends her packing, she realizes if she wants to stay in L.A., she may have to become a normal girl after all. But normal has never been in the cards for her. Strange things keep happening wherever she goes, a red-eyed shadow no one else sees is stalking her, and to top it off, she may be falling in love again, with either the bookish guy next door, or Hollywood’s hottest leading man.

But everything isn’t what it seems. Someone’s keeping secrets from her. Is it her new friends at the apartment building she moved into? Or is it Ryan Everheart, the actor who wants to sweep her off her feet? And why are her feet suddenly floating off the ground?

It’s enough to drive a girl insane. All Maxie wants to do is ride off into the sunset with her one true love and find a killer pair of Manolo Blahniks on the way. But how’s a girl supposed to focus on a love life and shopping when everywhere she turns someone or something is trying to kill her?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Paranormal Chick-Lit (PG13)

Connect with Melissa L Webb on Facebook & Twitter


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Monday, November 12, 2012

#OBTreat Orangeberry Trick or Treat - Day 30

51 books from 47 authors
- GoodReads Listopia -
- Amazon Listmania ONE, TWO, THREE -

Skye Walters thought waking up on the side of a river with no memory was her biggest problem. She had no idea that the man who had saved her from drowning, the man she now depended on, Aiden, was more than mere mortal. A warrior of ancient.

No memory, nowhere to go, Skye stays in the mountain town, only to discover she herself, has unexplained powers. Her life, her destiny, are soon out of her control, as are her feelings for Aiden. The deeper Skye gets sucked into Aiden’s hidden world, the more the past, and who she really is, threatens her future, her love, her sanity.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Romance / Fantasy (R)

Connect with KJ Jackson on Facebook



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Sunday, November 11, 2012

#OBTreat Orangeberry Trick or Treat - Day 29

51 books from 47 authors
- GoodReads Listopia -
- Amazon Listmania ONE, TWO, THREE -

Three dark, sardonic short stories that will have you expecting the unexpected:

In “Poison,” a psychologically abused wife discovers that her husband’s nut allergy may be the solution to all her problems.

In “Round Trip,” a five pound note passes through desperate hands, greedy hands and tired hands before coming full circle…accompanied by a big surprise.

In “Ç’est La Vie,” the police bungle a murder investigation under the watchful eye of someone uncomfortably close to the killing.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Short Stories (PG13)

Connect with Donna Brown on Twitter


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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lethal Circuit by Lars Guignard

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Mystery & Thriller / Technothriller
Rating – PG13
(4.0 / 48 reviews)
Connect with Lars Guignard on Facebook & Twitter

WARNING: “You will not be able to let it go until you read to the very last page.” From Bestselling Amazon Author, Lars Guignard, comes the #1 turbo-charged, Techno-Spy Thriller, Lethal Circuit.

A Chinese satellite is on a crash course with Earth. It contains enough plutonium to irradiate a large city. 
And that’s the good news…

Michael Chase is a twenty-six year old backpacker, a recent college grad, an amateur. He flew to Hong Kong to find his missing father. Four hours later, he’s running for his life. The Chinese Secret Police want him dead. The Conspiracy wants him dead. And the one person who he thinks is on his side, may want him dead too. If Michael is going to live, he’ll need to find a hidden piece of Nazi technology lost since World War II. And he’ll have to do it before anyone else. Because if he doesn’t, a little plutonium is going to be the least of his problems.

Can Michael Chase team up with a beautiful but deadly MI6 agent to find a lethal piece of Nazi technology that will save the world?

If you can’t get enough of the action and suspense of Lee Child, the intrigue of Robert Ludlum, and the adventure of Clive Cussler and James Rollins, you are going to LOVE Lethal Circuit!

Praise for Lethal Circuit
*Watch for the soon-to-be-released explosive sequel to Lethal Circuit - Blown Circuit. The action is about to blow sky high!
**If you were looking for a chilling paranormal mystery try Lars’, Brood. It’s a wild and frightening ride deep into the Alaskan wilderness where fish are being bred for more than their meat.
***If you’re a kid or a kid at heart, try Lars’ children’s chapter book, Ghost Leopard. Join Zoe and Zak as they journey high into the Himalayas in a magical adrenaline fueled adventure to a place few have been, and even fewer have returned to tell about it.

Lars Guignard is a former television writer and graduate of both McGill University and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. His work can be seen on television screens across the globe in such cult classics as Beastmaster and Big Wolf on Campus. His bestselling novel, Lethal Circuit, has been a TOP 100 Amazon Technothriller since its release.

Lars’s work has also been produced for film and published in magazines. Ever since attending high school in the Indian Himalayas, Lars has been an avid backpacker and traveler. He now makes his home in the Pacific Northwest where he is busy completing the next Michael Chase thriller for release in 2012.

From now till 31st December 2012, Lars Guignard is offering a 25% discount for a paperback copy of the following books.
Coupon code is CQ3XXT28
Purchase link is

Coupon code is J5B45PUZ
Purchase link is

Giveaway Details
- $50 gift card or cash via PayPal and 1 ebook copy of Lethal Circuit
- 2 ebook copies of Lethal Circuit

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#OBTreat Orangeberry Trick or Treat - Day 28

51 books from 47 authors
- GoodReads Listopia -
- Amazon Listmania ONE, TWO, THREE -

Myri Monaco has problems she doesn’t know how to deal with: a crush on her best friend’s boyfriend, a mother who’s dating her science teacher, and a “punishment” for a science project that lands her in auditions for the school play (the last place she wants to be). But most girls don’t have a ghost living at home who is willing to “trade places” whenever she’s needed. Will ghostly possession be an easy solution when problems collide? Or will Myri lose everything to a ghost wanting to fulfill her own desires?
Praise for the book
“Keeps the reader guessing.” — David Corbet”Wenger provides plenty of humor along with suspense.” –author Carole Thayne Warburton
“I definitely recommend it.” L.D. Brown

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Middle Grade / YA

Rating – G

Connect with Shaunda Kennedy Wenger on Facebook & Twitter



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Christine Nolfi Tour

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? The future. I adopted my children from the Philippines and am sweetly aware of how one good choice can alter lives. Besides, who wouldn’t want to glimpse their great- or great-great grandchildren?

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose? Jesus, Buddha, Moses, Oprah and Bill Gates. Bill probably wouldn’t attend unless Melinda was invited.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you? The complete works of Shakespeare, the Bible and enough protein drinks to last until a passing ship spotted a marooned writer.

What is one book everyone should read? The Bible for all the obvious reasons, if you’re so inclined. But also for an understanding of how theology—like mythology—influences literature.

If you were a superhero what would your name be? Honor. Feel free to draw your own conclusion.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose? The ability to raise human consciousness above the level of ignorance, avarice and hate.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Häagen-Dazs Rum Raisin. I hide it in the back of the freezer because I don’t like to share.

If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose? It would be a joy to meet Gandhi. But I’d take care not to tell him that relations between India and Pakistan are still troubling.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal topped with fresh fruit. Pass the strawberries, please.

Night owl, or early bird? Early bird. On a perfect day, I begin writing by 5 A.M. and head to the gym by noon.

One food you would never eat? Only one? I’ll never eat snake or octopus. Add either to my sushi and I’m leaving the party.

Pet Peeves? People who rattle off problems but never suggest a solution. People who are rude to waiters or salespeople but have never hauled a platter of dishes or stood on a marble floor in heels while working the jewelry department. I’m a white gloves and party manners girl. I still try to reply to every reader kind enough to look me up on Twitter.

Skittles or M&Ms? M&Ms with peanuts.

What has most surprised you since beginning your publishing career? USA Today selected Treasure Me as one of the best of the Indies. I wouldn’t have known if a blogger hadn’t kindly sent mail. I was also pleasantly surprised when the book became a finalist in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Awards.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. Because you like books that make you laugh one moment and dab at your eyes the next.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? Second Chance Grill, the next book in the Liberty series after Treasure Me, will be released in late October. I’m also midway through revisions of my fourth release, due out in early 2013.

What inspired you to become a writer? Honestly, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. My late mother swore I began reading at age two. Having met toddlers, I find this hard to believe.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. Reading reviews by readers who’ve stumbled across my books. If that sort of validation doesn’t send you back to the computer to begin work on the next novel, nothing will.

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world … which world would it be? Harry Potter, first year at Hogwarts. I’m not sure I could stomach life at Hogwarts in later years when he-who-is-not-named began stirring the soup.

What is your dream cast for your book? Funny you should ask. Lately I’ve been deliciously tempted to send Treasure Me to Whoopi Goldberg and beg her to play Theodora in the movie. Not that I’ve sold the film rights, but still.

What was your favorite book when you were a child or teen? Peter Pan. I was utterly convinced I could fly. It’s a miracle I didn’t fall out of Bobby Cooper’s treehouse while trying to demonstrate my gifts to the neighbor kids. Interestingly, Bobby and I both reached adulthood soaring above the clouds—he flies F16s and I’m still floating through the imaginary world of stories.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors? Don’t damage your health by pulling all-nighters pounding out fiction while gorging on carbs. This isn’t a college exam. Producing your best work comes with time, reading often and well, and having the courage to put emotion on paper.

List five suggestions or writing tips for aspiring authors.

1) Read often, and across genres.

2) Polish each draft relentlessly.

3) Join a critique group.

4) Read books on craft, and strive to improve.

5) Make time for your art every day, if only for twenty minutes.

If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live. Why? The Universe puts us exactly where we choose to ensure the greatest soul development. So I’d stay in the present.

If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why? Zeus, of course. If you get the chance to be a god, why not go for broke and run the show?

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? Thanks—already done. Last year I moved to Charleston, South Carolina. The Postells in Treasure Me are actually my French ancestors who settled here in 1681. Maybe I’ve come home.

What is your favorite Quote? My late father had a saying: Do you want to be a follower or a leader? As he lay dying, I grabbed his hand and shouted the only words that came to mind. “Dad, don’t go! Do you want to be a follower or a leader?” Despite the pain he was enduring, he smiled at me and said, “Always a leader.” I try to live by the last words to leave his lips.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? I’ve always known I’d write. During childhood I’d drift through libraries running my fingers across the spines of books in a dreamy sort of rapture. As my fingers glided across the covers, I felt like I was touching other souls. I wanted to be a part of that.

What led to your decision to self-publish? I worked with two agents, each for about eighteen months. Random House was interested in Second Chance Grill. A division of Penguin considered releasing Treasure Me and the other Liberty books in hardcover. Then Wall Street melted down. The interest fizzled, and my critique partners convinced me to self-publish. By then I’d read enough success stories to realize London and New York no longer held a monopoly on the publishing industry.

Who are your favorite authors of all time? It’s impossible to choose a favorite. Sue Monk Kidd, Nora Roberts, Ann Patchett, J.K. Rowling, Toni Morrison, Sarah Gruen—the list of remarkable talent is varied and virtually endless. I’m not a genre reader. If a novel is good, it’s on my TBR list.

Where do you get ideas for your stories and characters? Usually I get the kernel of an idea, a conflict. The characters most apt to struggle with that particular issue begin to appear in bits and pieces. It’s rather like molding a sculpture from clay, with the final result hidden for many months.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters? Theodora is my inspiration of the best way to age—with fire and sass. Birdie? One morning she simply arose from my subconscious, dangling from a window ledge. Hugh’s hard edge came from years in public relations when there was always another deadline to meet. Ditzy Ethel Lynn and the skillet-wielding Finney … they’re probably the bits and pieces of women I’ve known and loved. Landon and his all-consuming depression came from my experiences helping friends struggling with mental health issues. And Meade reminds me of any woman who has experienced great loss but deftly hides her pain behind elegant gestures and immaculate clothes.

What character in literature do you consider the most memorable? The abuse suffered by Celie, the poor, uneducated black narrator of The Color Purple, will always haunt me. Three pages into Alice Walker’s masterpiece, and I was in tears. Later in the novel Celie’s triumph over hardship becomes one of the most moving passages in literature. A truly stellar work.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had? It hasn’t occurred yet. I’ll keep you posted.

Hidden talent? I can make anything grow and can cook like nobody’s business. My house is a jungle of plants and my family hates when I’m deep in a novel and they have to fend for themselves.

Favorite Food? Lobster with drawn butter. Beluga caviar. Sushi. A steak seared to perfection, my homemade meatballs, a salad of baby greens with goat cheese sprinkled on top … I’m half Italian. This means I have a love affair with food and you shouldn’t make me choose.

Favorite Candy? Those chocolate covered macadamia nuts they sell at Costco. My husband and I will battle to the death for the last chocolate in the container.

How do you relax when you have free time? I was a single mother for many years. Even now, “free time” comes at a premium. I’ve learned to exercise daily and reserve time for my family. I love to cook, garden, visit museums, dance … and, of course, read. Everything from The Economist and Scientific American to the latest novel to catch my eye.

Nickname? During childhood my parents called me Chrissy-bird because I had a pet parakeet. I also believed I could fly, like Peter Pan.

How do you react to a bad review? I don’t. By definition art is interpretive. One man’s gold is another’s pile of manure. Of course, if I released a novel that didn’t garner predominately 4- and 5-star reviews, I’d pull the work from circulation for reassessment. I owned a public relations firm for many years and learned to emotionally detach from whatever I write.

In your opinion, what are the qualities of a good book? Depth of characterization. Flawless execution of plot. Succinct, creative prose and a relentless pursuit of editorial perfection. Great books are also character-driven.

What is your writing process? Describe your typical day. Creating a compelling novel requires mind-body balance. I start writing early in the morning then knock off around lunchtime to head to the gym. After I work out for an hour, I return home to edit the morning’s pages. And I eat well—lots of fruits and veggies. You can’t fully honor your creativity unless you honor yourself as well.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started writing? I wish I’d known it’s possible to thrive as an independently published novelist. My books don’t easily fit a particular genre—they’re part mystery, part romance, with both poignant and comedic elements. New York editors enjoyed several of my books, but never knew where to place the works on the shelves. With the advent of electronic publishing, I can build a readership without worry about where my books should sit in a physical bookstore.

What is the biggest obstacle you have to overcome when you want to write? This may sound strange, but my biggest obstacle involves knowing when to stop and rest. I get utterly caught up in my character’s lives. During the first 100 pages I’m able to conduct a normal routine. By page 250, all bets are off. I wake in the middle of the night with half of a scene spilling from my subconscious and hurry to the computer. Midway through dinner I leap up to scramble for pen and paper because I’ve suddenly solved a story problem. It becomes rather silly, but my young adult children and husband are very understanding.

You have won one million dollars. What is the first thing that you would buy? I’d pay off my children’s college loans. I have three kids in college presently, and the baby is a high school senior. Ouch.

What do you do in your free time? My husband and I are still discovering so much in our new home of Charleston, South Carolina. We live ten minutes from the beach, and we love to walk the dog there. Recently we toured a mansion downtown that miraculously survived The Civil War. By the way, genteel Charlestonians call the war “The Great Unpleasantness.”

What was life like before writing? My twenties and thirties were a blur—working in public relations, living from deadline to deadline. Then my now ex-husband and I adopted a sibling group of four children from the Philippines. Moving from career woman to fulltime mother was a shock. It took many years of doctor visits to The Cleveland Clinic to heal my kids. Today they’re all healthy, happy adults.

What is one thing your readers would be surprised to know about you? The age thing is usually a surprise. I’m fifty-three years old. People usually think I’m much younger. And the composition of my family always surprises. It’s not every day you see a white woman with four Asian kids. I affectionately refer to my children as ‘The Asian Invasion.’ We stand out in any crowd.

When is your next book coming out? Can you tell us about it? Second Chance Grill will appear on Amazon in late October. A prequel of sorts to Treasure Me, the book depicts the story of Dr. Mary Chance, who’s just inherited The Second Chance Grill, and Anthony Perini, a single dad with a precocious daughter. Of course the feisty women of Liberty will be featured. You’ll learn more about the “bad blood” between Theodora and Ethel Lynn. Their battle was “fur and feathers” in Treasure Me. In Second Chance Grill, they’re even wilder.

Do you have any writing rituals? Working for many years in public relations gave a love of constancy. No writer can create compelling fiction, book after book, without committing to a serious work schedule. Most days I’m at my computer early. By noon I need a break and head to the gym. Then I spend the afternoon editing the morning’s pages. That’s the first edit, mind you. I’ve never written anything that wasn’t submitted to an endless series of revisions.

Your character’s names—Birdie, Blossom, Wish—seem to hint at a bit of whimsy. How do you choose your character’s names, or do they choose their names? There’s no set pattern for naming characters. Some, like Birdie, arrive fully formed. Others start with an archetype employed to aid in fleshing out the character’s traits. In Blossom’s case, I wanted a name that conveyed “life” despite the struggle she faces. Wish is another play on opposites. I think of her as a nefarious criminal who destroys the wishes held dear by others, a sort of death wish in human form.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? Nothing beats the experience of reaching the middle of a work-in-progress and becoming utterly immersed in the characters. They’re real by that point, flesh-and-blood people one might meet on the street. Yet I’m privy to their darkest fears and brightest hopes. It’s an exhilarating feeling.

What is your guilty pleasure? Taking a long, leisurely bath with lots of bubbles. Or scheduling a 90-minute massage. Give me both in the same day and I’m in heaven.

What TV show/movie/book do you watch/read that you’d be embarrassed to admit? Wall Street Journal. Every morning except Sunday. Does this make me dull?

What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced in the self-publishing market? The biggest challenge is the allocation of time. Those long, leisurely mornings of writing are now encroached upon by marketing demands, creating a buzz, talking to readers—without the help of a New York editor or a publishing house’s marketing department, I must wear many hats. On the up side I can directly connect with readers, which is marvelous.

Favorite places to travel? I’m hoping to earn enough from my books to travel to Istanbul next year. I’ve written about fifty pages of a literary novel set in the city. I’d sorely love a first-hand experience to deepen the work.

What’s your cure for writer’s block? I think writer’s block is a misnomer. Writers are often overworked—if the pages don’t arrive on schedule, perhaps you need a night out with friends. A walk in the park to reconnect with nature. Or more exercise, and a bit more sleep at night. Here’s some motherly advice: Eat more fresh fruits and veggies. Oftentimes the well-balanced life produces the finest art. If you feel blocked, asked yourself, “What should I do to bring myself back into balance?”

If you could choose to be something other than a writer, what would it be? Already chosen! Sixteen years ago I boarded a plane, traveled to an orphanage in the Philippines, and adopted my kids. Becoming their mother was—and still is—an absolute joy. Today I view parenting as a privilege, the finest blessing in my life.

Any advice for aspiring artists? If you burn with the need to paint, sculpt, write—whatever your passion—find time to cultivate your gifts. Ignore the parent who questions why you’re wasting that expensive education on frivolous pursuits. Explain to your significant other that your inner muse requires some of the precious hours of your life. The world is made all the more beautiful by a ballad of human experience sung in a chorus of voices.

About the Author

Some writers are gifted with an unusual life and I’m certainly one of those. I’ve lived in Ohio, Virginia, California, Utah and now South Carolina. In college I was featured on the front page of the Houston Post for a lark that erased all my debt. I met my four adopted children for the first time in the sweltering heat of the tropics. I helped build several companies and was lucky enough to earn a living doing what I love best—writing—in a PR firm I owned.

In 2004, I made the wisest and most irrational decision of my life—I began writing fiction full-time. All those years of hard work pay off daily in sweet notes and comments from readers. Please continue the mail and the tweets. I cherish your support and love chatting with readers.

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Genre – Contemporary Fiction

Rating – PG13

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