Man Overboard

Man Overboard
Man Overboard by J.A. Jance

The Somnanbulist's Dreams

The Somnanbulist's Dreams
The Somnambulist's Dreams

Thursday, February 27, 2014

ALL OF US WERE SOPHIE BY RESA NELSON

Synopsis for All Of Us Were Sophie
What if the only way you could save your own life was to kill yourself?

Someone is trying to kill Sophie Rippetoe, and she has no place to hide. But Sophie has a unique option. Her husband designed and built a duplicator machine to make exact copies of complicated and sophisticated machine parts. She knows how the duplicator works.

Will it work for people? No one knows.

There’s just one problem: the duplication process destroys the original. The only thing Sophie knows for sure is that trying to make copies of herself will end up killing her.

Sophie isn’t sure who’s trying to kill her or why – but she has her suspicions and has gathered some evidence. Before she takes the leap of faith to use the duplicator on herself, she creates a trail of clues, hopeful that at least one of the Sophies she creates will figure it out in time to save herself.
All of Us Were SophieAll of Us Were Sophie by Resa Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

All of Us Were Sophie by Resa Nelson is a 2013 Mundania Publication. I as provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Someone is trying to kill Sophie. In order to find out who and why, Sophie sacrifices herself by using a duplicator to make more Sophies. Each duplicate has a piece of the original Sophie. They will all have to work together to figure out what was going on in the weeks prior to Sophie's decision to take drastic measures. Sophie's husband Jack was working on a duplicator and of course this was all top secret. He had secrets he had not shared with Sophie and Sophie had secrets she didn't tell Jack about. There were a myriad of possibilities .
When a woman calls the police claiming someone has tried to kill her, Jeromy is called to the scene. Working in the sleepy bedroom town of Hounslow was not where Jeromy had intended to land. He had opted for a place to raise his daughters and be more of a family man. After his wife died, it was more important than ever for his daughters to be a safe community environment. But, he would take the crime of the big city any day over the strange situation he has gotten himself into with this woman named Sophie. She claims someone is trying to kill her and that she has no memory of the last two weeks.
In the meantime the duplicates have given themselves unique names and are trying to follow the evidence the original Sophie left for them so they can prove who was trying to kill her.
The synopsis for this book will have your interest peaked to say the least. This novel is a very creative, intricate, and quirky science fiction and mystery combination. The duplicator wasn't really intended to be used on people, but it does work in ways Jack could never have imagined. As the story progresses we see multiple layers of Sophie's life prior to her duplication. She had a close relationship with her husband's friend, Ben. There were signs the relationship was more than platonic, and it puts Ben on the suspect list, as well as some rather unique neighbors of the Jack and Sophie's. With only bits and pieces of the puzzle, the Sophie's race against time to find the truth before one them becomes a victim .
I will confess that science fiction is certainly not my go to genre. In fact, it's pretty far down the list. Mysteries however are always at the top of my list. So, I had to see for myself how all this was going to play out. I was a bit concerned I was going to have trouble following the plot, but trust me, this is an easy to follow story without a lot of technical science fiction speak. The emphasis is on the investigation, the who and why of Sophie being on someone's hit list, and the drama that unfolds as more information is leaked out. I loved the wry humor the other Sophies had and the way the author gave each duplicate a special part of the original Sophie. Naturally, there is the question of what the long term consequences might be for the duplicates and the problems they would face if anyone ever discovered the truth about them. The novel also has a whimsical quality , a feeling of being surreal, and had me caught up in the story as though I were a part of it. I love it when that happens. I enjoyed the escape from the mundane for awhile and loved the creativity and obviously well thought out plot. Very well done. This one is an A+

AUTHOR INTERVIEW:
Resa Nelson has been kind enough to take time out to answer a few questions for us today. Welcome Resa! I'm so happy you could join us!

Resa Nelson interview:
 
1) You have written science fiction and fantasy novels for awhile. What gave you the idea for All of us were Sophie?

Like a lot of people, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the things I need to get done in a single day. I got the idea because I wished I could be more than one person so I could split up the work and the responsibility and get some breathing room.

2) This novel is an interesting combination of mystery and science fiction, but with the emphasis on the mystery. Have you ever thought about writing a mystery without SF elements?

That’s a great question! Yes, I think I might someday. Most of the books I read for fun are mysteries. When I was in grade school I read Sherlock Holmes stories, and then I became addicted to Agatha Christie novels. So it’s very likely I’ll someday write a regular mystery novel without any SF elements.

3) Is there research involved in writing in the science fiction and fantasy genre? If so , what resources do you use?

Yes, I love doing research. My Dragonslayer series is about a female blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers. While writing that series I took a course in blacksmithing, as well as courses to learn historically accurate ways to use medieval weapons. I also do library research to learn about the historical period in which I set my fantasy books. For All Of Us Were Sophie, most of my research came from interviewing people, including a friend who is a scientist and a science fiction author.

4) Where did the idea of a duplicator come from?

When I first got the idea for this book, I talked to my scientist friend and asked him if he thought instant human duplication (as opposed to cloning) would be possible one day. He talked to me about how he thinks it would be possible and what would be required to make it work. So the credit for the science behind the idea goes to my friend.

5) Where can readers contact you?

My email address is ContactResa@aol.com. I also spend time on Twitter, where my handle is @ResaNelson.

6) What are you working on now? Where can we find your books?

You can find my books on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, www.mundania.com (my publisher’s website), and other websites. I’m getting ready to start a new series that’s a spinoff of my Dragonslayer series. Later this year I hope to start another new series that’s leaning toward horror. After that there’s a standalone novel I want to write that is likely to be a near-future thriller. Also, throughout 2014 and probably well into 2015, each month I’m offering a different short-story ebook for free for a few days, which is a great way to sample my work. The best way to find out about these giveaways is to follow me on Twitter or subscribe to my monthly newsletter by sending email to me with the word "newsletter" in the subject line.

7) What is your favorite season? Coffee or Tea? Dogs or Cats? Physical books or e-books?

Definitely summer. I’m a big fan of tea. I like all animals, but I lean a little bit more toward dogs than cats because I love birds. Although I have a Kindle I haven’t made the switch yet. I still like the feel of a physical book in my hands.

8) What is your favorite things about being an author? What is your least favorite thing about being an author?

I love the act of writing. Every time I sit down to write, it’s a thrilling experience. I don’t think I have a least favorite thing. I feel lucky to be living my life as a writer.

9) J.K. Rowling recently revealed she has had second thoughts about who her characters ended up being paired with. Have you ever had second thoughts about a book once it published?

No, not at all. When I write, I follow where my characters lead and trust their judgment. And once a book is done, it’s done. I don’t look back.

10) Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share?
 


That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

Thank you SO much for stopping by today! 

You can contact Resa or find her books by using the following links:

Resa Nelson’s links:
Resa’s website: http://www.resanelson.com

GoodReads giveaway (10 signed copies, U.S. only): https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/77022-all-of-us-were-sophie


Twitter: @ResaNelson
Email: ContactResa@aol.com

Ebook ($4.99) and trade paperback ($12.95) are available directly from Mundania Press at: http://mundania.com/book.php?title=All of Us Were Sophie
(get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)



Paperbacks and ebooks are available also from Amazon, and Barnes&Noble:
http://www.amazon.com/All-Were-Sophie-Resa-Nelson-ebook/dp/B00HEVBT5S/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1391905736

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-of-us-were-sophie-resa-nelson/1117748727?ean=9781606593202

Blog tour schedule: http://www.resanelson.com/all-of-us-were-sophie-blog-tou/
 


Resa Nelson’s first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series, which also includes The Iron Maiden (Book 2), The Stone of Darkness (Book 3), and The Dragon’s Egg (Book 4).
Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."
She has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Resa lives in Massachusetts. Visit her website at http://www.resanelson.com and follow her on Twitter @ResaNelson.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DUETS BY EMELLE GAMBLE


DuetsDuets by Emelle Gamble
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Duets by Emelle Gamble is a 2014 Posh publishing release.
Molly and Ben make a perfect couple. Ben is the superstar leading man in Hollywood and Molly's career is on the fast track. Being engaged to Ben will certainly give her career a boost. But, Molly isn't hundred percent certain Ben is the love of her life. Cruz Morales was her first love and best friend. She secretly hoped he would step up when he heard about her engagement and profess his undying love to her and beg her come back to him. Well, it doesn't quite work out that way.
Meanwhile, Anne, is a woman dealing with her husband's cancer and rapidly declining health. As a result her husband has begun tightening up some loose ends in case he doens't win his fight with cancer. This could mean Anne will have to reveal a long kept secret to her two grown sons and open up a pain she has buried deep in her heart for many long years. But, something will have to be done because a young woman is out there with no idea she could be predisposed to a genetic illness and Anne must let her know about it.
This novella sets the stage for the full length novel Molly Harper which will explore the impact of all these shocking secrets once they are revealed. Of course we will want to know what happens with Ben and Cruz as well and if Molly will achieve her career goals.
This is a great introduction to the novel and I am so excited to find out what will happen with Molly. I'm sure this will be a very emotional story and one you won't want to miss.
Overall this is an A.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BEYOND DARKNESS: SHATTERED BY SARAH M. CRADIT A CRIMSON AND CLOVER NOVELLA

Beyond Darkness: Shattered ( Crimson and Clover 1.5) by Sarah M. Cradit is a February 2014 publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Anasofiya arrived in Maine with a great deal of baggage. Although she had been helped a lot by the locals in preparing her for the harsh Maine winter to come, it was still much more than the New Orleans native could have imagined. That wasn't all Ana had to worry about that winter. She was the target of an obsessed man. Ana the St. Andrews brothers had barely survived that winter. Now, with Finn home from the hospital the feelings he and Ana have for one another have grown into a full fledged love affair. Things are not all peaches and cream though. While Finn was recovering in the hospital, Ana and Finn's brother, Joe had a moment most likely brought on my extreme stress, but it happened non the less and although Ana is concerned Finn wouldn' t understand and she doesn't want him to know about it, she has still put it behind her. Joe on the other hand... well, not so much.

This is a very tense novella that explains a few things the followers of the series should know and tightens up the scene for the next book which I am awaiting with bated breath. All of these paranormal stories have been suspenseful, but this one is certainly a bit darker than the others. Previously, we only saw glimpes into the personalities of these two brothers. Finn is a much more laid back guy and Joe is wound up way too tight. The tension in the household is palpable as Joe makes the most of every opportunity to remind Ana how much he dislikes her and how badly he wishes she would leave. To add to the story, some interesting things come out involving Ana'a mother, which explains a bit of Joe's hostility and it causes Ana to think Finn deserves someone better than herself. The situation builds to a cresendo and Ana is at the apex when things finally explode. A rip in the relationship between the two St. Andrews brothers and Ana will tear wide open.

The author does an excellent job of building suspense and tension. It's raw and edgy, leaving the reader holding their breath in anticipation. I am really enjoying this series and I am glad we got an inside look at what happened after the big Maine snowstorm and what took place in subsequent novels in the series. This explains a great deal and now we wait to see where we all go from here. I highly recommend that readers check out the first novel in this series before reading this one. Trust me, you like this series so you will want to start at the beginning so you will have better understanding of what brought us all to this point. Once again Sarah has done a fantastic job. A+

Monday, February 24, 2014

STRUCK BY CLARISSA JOHAL BOOK BLAST AND GIVEAWAY


STRUCK

by Clarissa Johal

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

The shadows hadn't been waiting.

The shadows had been invited.

After a painful breakup, Gwynneth Reese moves in with her best friend and takes a job at a retirement home. She grows especially close to one resident, who dies alone the night of a terrific storm. On the way home from paying her last respects, Gwynneth is caught in another storm and is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of being rescued by a mysterious stranger. Following her release from the hospital, the stranger visits her at will and offers Gwynneth a gift--one that will stay the hands of death. Gwynneth is uncertain whether Julian is a savior or something more sinister... for as he shares more and more of this gift, his price becomes more and more deadly.

Excerpt:

A loud ‘crack’ sounded and an iridescent white light surrounded her. Two things registered: a searing pain that ripped down her back and the ground which seemed to be pulled away from her at an alarming speed.

* * * *

Blackness.

Pain shot through the back of Gwynneth’s head as she opened her eyes. Somebody was standing over her. She tried to focus on the face, but it hurt too much. A cool hand slid across her forehead. She opened her eyes again.

Pale, almost white eyes. High cheekbones, aquiline nose, and a well-shaped mouth. Long, white hair. Ageless. Beautiful, like a Michelangelo. All of those details registered with clarity before agony ripped through her body. She arched her back and cried out. The man murmured something into her ear which she couldn’t understand. She could feel the vibration of his voice and his breath on her neck as he gathered her in his arms. She opened her eyes and saw lightning fork to the ground silently behind him. She blacked out again.

\



AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.

Website: http://clarissajohal.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarissa.johal.9

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClarissaJohal

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4502113.Clarissa_Johal

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Clarissa-Johal/e/B003KVTMPK/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1389927184&sr=1-2

Buy Links for STRUCK

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Struck-Clarissa-Johal-ebook/dp/B00HWFFNL2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1389913987&sr=8-3&keywords=clarissa+johal

Musa Publishing: http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=11&products_id=731

Barnes and Noble: http://www.amazon.com/Struck-Clarissa-Johal-ebook/dp/B00HWFFNL2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1389913987&sr=8-3&keywords=clarissa+johal

Excerpt link for STRUCK: http://clarissajohal.blogspot.com/2013/10/struck-excerpt.html
Clarissa will be awarding an ecopy of STRUCK to three (3) randomly drawn commenters during the tour.
FOLLOW THE TOUR FOR MORE CHANCES TO WIN!!
 The tour dates can be found here: 
 

 



Sunday, February 23, 2014

LIVE- THE BURNSIDE SERIES BY MARY ANN RIVERS- REVIEW


Live (Burnside, #1)Live by Mary Ann Rivers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Live by Mary Ann Rivers is a January 2014 Loveswept publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review by the publisher and Netgalley.

Destiny is going through a very tough time. Each day she walks past a restoration project and has noticed one man in particular. She has created a fantasy about him which is really just a way to escape her problems. But, one day she just can not take any more and breaks down crying. Her fantasy guy takes notice and she discovers his name is Hefin and he is Welch. He comforts her and listens to her explain that she is out of a job and is becoming desperate. He tells her of a job opportunity and from that point on the two begin seeing each other.
Hefin is in America because of his wife Jessica, who is now his ex-wife. Once his current job is finished he plans on returning home to see his parents and touch base with his professional contacts so he can get back to work in his chosen field.
Knowing from the start that the relationship will be short lived, Destiny and Hefin just can't help themselves. They continue to become more and more involved while the world around Destiny becomes more and more intolerable. Being out of a job for so long isn't her only problem. She has a very messed up family and she has recently lost her father. She is torn up over the death and the family situation which leaves her little time to really live.
Hefin has a few unresolved issues with Jessica as he reflects upon his marriage and his fault in it's failure. He must leave America, it isn't just about the end of his marriage, or his career, but he needs to take care of things he has not seen to a while. But, the thought of leaving Destiny behind isn't making his departure easy. For the time being the two lovers are taking things one day at time until they must face the day Hefin leaves.
I just loved this story. It is a very unconventional contemporary romance. This is a realistic look at a young woman that has put her own life on a back burner in light of some very heavy family issues. She isn't supported emotionally by anyone in her family as they are all very self absorbed people, living in their own misery. Destiny doesn't have a lot to be happy about and Hesin in the only bright light in her life, and even he will soon depart. You may ask yourself if getting involved with someone that has made it crystal clear they will not be around much longer is a good idea . That thought crossed my mind to be honest. But, when the issue is addressed between the two characters, Destiny hits the mark when she says that she just doesn't care right that moment. The pull Hefin has over her and the feelings they can't deny leaves her thinking it is better to at least have this time and enjoy it than to never have experienced the magic Hefin has given her and to avoid fretting over the day when he will have to go. Destiny has enough to deal with so if she wants to have this time for herself then I say she deserved it. But, I also felt like she deserved more than just a spring fling. Hefin also needed to have this great love that with his maturity and the peace he now feels to move foward would make his life complete. But alas, it doesn't look as though that is meant to be... or is it?
I was just wowed by this authors prose and the very character driven story that just sucks the reader right into the world these people are living in. The story has a lot depth and emotion. Hefin is a quiet guy not prone to anger or manipulation, but he doesn't like it if someone mistreats Destiny in any way. He is supportive of her and encourages her and understands her more than her own family does. What Destiny does for Hefin, is to help him move forward from the life he had with Jessica. To face what went wrong, and learn from it. Destiny doesn't try to talk him out of going or make a big scene, she understands that he has to do this and even supports it. it is just a real shame that Destiny is caught in a web she can't escape from. It will take a lot of courage for her to step up and do what SHE needs to do. Her family will just have to deal with things and grow up for the love of Pete. Will Destiny live up to the name she was born with and seek her destiny with Hefin or will this great couple become a just another tragic love story?
All I can say is if you haven't read Mary Ann Rivers I strongly recommend her work. This book would be a great place to start. This one gets an A+


LADY IN BLUE BY LYNN KERSTAN- REVIEW


Lady in BlueLady in Blue by Lynn Kerstan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lady in Blue by Lynn Kerstan is a 2013 Belle Bridge publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Bryn watched both of his parents die of syphilis. Seeing first hand the ravages of the disease, Bryn, the Earl of Caradoc, has decided that until he is married he will only take a mistress that is a virigin. She will remain faithful to him until the relationship ends. Bryn has a madam he employs to help him find these women. The only one she can find for him is selling her viginity for an exorbitant price.
Clare is in dire straights and is running out of options. She needs a large sum of money and knows of of only one way to obtain it. Her motives are not selfish, she is not trying to earn the money for herself. The goal is to make a swift transaction and then move on. But, the man who is considering forking over her asking price has more in mind than a single night together. Bryn wants to set her up as his long term mistress and also wishes for them to have a relationship that is more than a sexual transaction. He wants her to desire him as he does her. However, Clare is too worried about the initial encounter and the prolonged relationship with the Earl she hadn't counted on to even consider enjoying Bryn's company outside of he bedroom.
To complicate matters, a young woman of the ton is elible to marry and of course Bryn is a logical choice. However, he is too obsessed with Clare to think of marriage, although if he must to save the girl from her tyrant of a father is supposes he would, but his friend is really the one in love with her. Either way Bryn is not about to let Clare go.
Will Bryn learn the real reason Clare has offered herself up to him? Will Bryn marry to protect a girl from violence or is there a chance Bryn and Clare could really have a chance at a love match and a Happy Ever After?
Orginally, this novel was published in 1995. Belle Bridge Books has reissued the book in digital format.
The set up is unique in that the Earl who would have had no problems satisfying his urges the way most single men of this time did. But, because of his experience with his parents he isn't about to risk dying the way they did or speading the disease further. This makes things a bit more complicated for the Earl. Once he sets his sights on Clare he knows he must have her, but he doesn't want a cold business transaction. He treats her very well, but Clare doesn't want to stay with him as his mistress. He does everything in his power to make sure she stays. As secrets and manipulations come to light it is possible Clare could be in danger.
While both Clare and Bryn know deep in their hearts they are falling in love, neither of them will admit it to themselves much less each other. When a dangerous situation arises the two will realize how short life is and maybe, just maybe they will be able to put their class differences aside and the other issues that cause Clare to hesitate can be worked out for everyone.
This novel has some interesting passages about birth control and the set up between the upper classes and their mistresses. Once Clare had become involved with Bryn she considered herself unable to marry him because some from his station in life couldn't possibly marry his mistress. I'm not sure about the accuracy of the birth control methods used as in drinking herbal potions, but the sponge method was something I could believe was realistic. I found that very interesting.
I knew Bryn was smitten with Clare from the beginning. I enjoyed watching her wrap him around her finger without even realizing the effect she had on him. The chemistry was good, the romance as steamy and sensual. I enjoyed the book and I am really happy to see these older titles being given new life in the digital world.
This one is a B.

View all my reviews

THE DARING LADIES OF LOWELL BY KATE ALCOTT

The Daring Ladies of Lowell: A NovelThe Daring Ladies of Lowell: A Novel by Kate Alcott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott is a Doubleday/ Random House publication set for release in February 2014. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Alice Barrow wished to become an independent woman. She leaves her family's farm against the wishes of her father , in 1832 and begins work in the textile industry. Being a "mill girl" proves much more difficult than Alice had anticipated. However, she does make friends with the other girls, especially a girl names Lovey.

Lovey was a nonconformist, funny, daring, and an all around great friend to have. The girls, especially Alice speak out against the terrible conditions in the factory. This gets Alice noticed by the Fiske family, owners of the mill. Samuel Fiske in particular takes a liking to Alice when she shows him the true nature of his family.
But a terrible tragedy occurs that brings down the reputation of Alice's friend and puts a barrier between her and Samuel and their budding romance.

This book is multi-layered. There are elements of a strong friendship, a strong willed Alice who gained much from her experience with the ladies of Lowell. There are the historical aspects that call attention to the treatment of workers, especially women and the attitudes of the upper classes that certainly felt these women were nothing more than slaves and balked at making the work conditions more humane. The attitudes of men toward any woman that got pregnant without benefit of marriage was also horrifying. The rules regarding women who were allowed to work in the mill and many other historical details kept me in enraged at the treatment these women endured.
This was also a courtroom drama when a man is accused of murder and Alice must testify.

There is also a romance between Samuel and Alice. This romance goes against the Fiske family's standards, but it's Alice's standards that are much higher.

This novel was inspiring and thought provoking. It took a lot of spine for Alice to make a stand against injustice. She made sacrifices for her co-workers and for her good friend Lovey. I wonder if there are many people today who would put their jobs and relationships on the line the way Alice did.

Over this one gets an A+


Saturday, February 22, 2014

THE TEXAS COWBOY BY KATHERYN LANE


The Texas Cowboy (Western Cowboy Romance)The Texas Cowboy by Katheryn Lane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Texas Cowboy by Katheryn Lane is a 2013 publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.


Vicky has flown in from England to visit her cousin Laura who lives in Dallas, Texas. This is a bit of culture shock for Vicky. When she spots a real life cowboy she takes his picture. Her upper crust cousin nearly has a stroke, especially when the cowboy takes notice and walks over to introduce himself. Vicky is charmed by Jack Cassidy and the feeling is mutual. Jack thinks Vicky is attractive and her British accent is a real turn on to him.
After a little bit of trouble getting in touch, the two manage to meet again. Vicky is smart enough to keep her flirtation with Cowboy Jack a secret from her cousin. Laura has a set Vicky up on date with someone she thinks Vicky should pursue because of his wealth.
Meanwhile, Laura is going through a crisis and Vicky agrees to be her confidante. Eventually, the truth will have to come out for everyone and wow... there are some real bombshells coming. Is there a chance at true love with Jack or will Vicky have to return to England ?

This was a really cute contemporary romance. I can see someone coming to Texas with these preconceived notions about cowboys being everywhere. To run into one in such an unlikely spot was funny and taking his picture like he was a tourist attraction was even funnier. Laura's character was spot on for someone from the area the author was talking about. Vicky was much easier to relate to and I liked her open and honest style. She hated secrets and lies, but would keep a confidence if asked to. Jack was super sexy and down to earth, but he was also trying to move on from a bad relationship which still had him on edge. He knows he wants Vicky in his life, but there happen to be a few serious complications that could keep that from happening.
The secondary characters like Laura's housekeeper and Jack's sister help round out the story when the couple need a little help and advice.
This is a novella and the author has asked that you let her know if you would like to hear more about this couple in the future. I vote YES!
Overall a B+

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


I’m a wife, teacher, author and mother of two boisterous boys, so most of my days are taken up with finding lost school shoes, getting stuck in traffic and wondering why I always join the queue that doesn’t move in the supermarket. However, I try to forget these daily problems (and the fact that I burnt the toast again this morning) by losing myself in a good book and writing novels that give readers a break from everyday life.

Open one of my books and escape on an adventure to an exotic location, because it’s easier to buy a book than it is to book an air ticket.

Have a break, read a book!


INTERVIEW WITH KATHERYN LANE AUTHOR OF THE TEXAS COWBOY


WELCOME TO THE BOOK REVIEW KATHERYN!  THANKS FOR STOPPING BY TODAY!


1) When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’m not sure that there was a particular time when I ‘knew’ as I’ve always written stories. The first one that I can remember was when I was about 4 years old. It was a short story about a grape! I don’t remember much about it, but I do seem to remember that it had a happy ending.

2) What is your favorite thing about being an author? What is your least favorite thing?

My favorite thing is being with my characters. While I’m writing about the hero and heroine, I feel like I’m there with them and it’s wonderful to see them fall in love and find happiness together, despite all the obstacles that come between them. Admittedly, these are obstacles that I’ve put there, but I know that the characters will work things out as they have to have their happily-ever-after by the end of the book.

My least favorite thing is when I get stuck while writing a book, which usually occurs because there so many obstacles in front of the hero and heroine that I can’t see a clear way forward. For example, when I was writing The Texas Cowboy, at one point I couldn’t see how the hero, Jack, would deal with his wild ex, or how the heroine, Vicky, would get round her cousin, Laura, who does everything she can to stop Vicky from seeing Jack, because she thinks he’s just a poor ranch hand.

3) What types of books do you like to read?

I love to read a lot of different types of books, but my favorite is romance. I love classic romance, such as Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite books - and I also enjoy reading books by modern romance writers, such as Nora Roberts. In addition, ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved reading fairy tales. I guess my passion for romance started with stories like Sleeping Beauty and I have ‘borrowed’ several ideas from fairy tales for my novels. For example, the first part of my latest sheikh romance, A Bride For The Sheikh, is loosely based on Cinderella.

4) What are you reading now?

I’ve just started reading Surrender to Fate by Jacelyn Rye. It’s a coming of age romance which has had great reviews and I can see why, I love what I’ve read so far.

5) Where can readers contact you?

Readers can find out more about me, my books and what I’m up to at the moment at the following sites:
Blog: http://Katheryn-Lane.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KatherynLane

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/KatherynLane.Author

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/KatherynLane 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/KatherynLane

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Katheryn-Lane/e/B0056NJRZ0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1


6) What are you working on now?

At the moment I’m thinking through and outlining The Texas Bride, a sequel to The Texas Cowboy. I originally wrote The Texas Cowboy as a stand-alone novel, with Jack and Vicky finally together at the end. However, their marriage is only implied and since the book was published, several readers have started to ask about their wedding and if Vicky’s cousin, Laura, will take over their wedding plans. Therefore, I’m now thinking of writing a sequel to The Texas Cowboy. I’m still trying to work out the details, but Laura will probably try to turn their wedding into a huge Dallas social event and Jack’s wild ex, Cassie, will definitely make a dramatic appearance. I also have heaps of other ideas in my head, as well as several unfinished books on my computer, so it’s possible that one of these stories will take over. For example, I might start work on another sheikh romance.

7) Who is your favorite book hero?

That’s a difficult question. Mr Darcy from Pride and Prejudice immediately comes to mind, but then so do others such as Rhett Butler from Gone With The Wind and Romeo from Romeo and Juliet. I’m not sure I have a favorite. While I’m writing, I fall in love with my book’s hero and I’m sure that one of the reasons why I’m thinking of writing a sequel to The Texas Cowboy is that I’d like to spend a lot more time with Jack...

8) Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share?

Can I pick more than one? I have lots of favorite quotes by Oscar Wilde and Mae West, but I especially like:
'I can resist anything but temptation’ (Oscar Wilde)


‘It’s not the men in your life, it’s the life in your men’ (Mae West)

Thank you very much Julie for hosting me on your great site and for your great review of The Texas Cowboy. I’m so glad you liked it!




Friday, February 21, 2014

SHANNON'S LAW BY EMMA CALIN SPOTLIGHT/CHARACTER STUDY AND GIVEAWAY!!


Thank you so much for letting me showcase my forthcoming steamy action-romance novel SHANNON’S LAW. It’s the second in my PASSION PATROL series - stories where sassy female cops lock up the criminals and always get their man. February marks the start of my “Pinterest Reveal Virtual Book Tour” in the run-up to the launch on the 28th February 2014. Every day there are feature posts on topics relating to SHANNON’S LAW on blogs all around the world. They’re all linked together on one big Pinterest Board. Each post replaces a ‘mystery’ silhouette that was posted in January. I saved all my notes and photos as I was writing, on a private Pinterest Board and now I can share them with you.




Today’s subject is: The character of Shannon Aguerri Shannon Aguerri (pronounced Ag -Where - ee) is a strange mix of a name. Her first name reflects the heritage of her Irish mother, Mary. Her family name reflects a noble Basque family and by chance the name of her father, Patrick. Somehow in the chaos of slavery and its dissolution, Patrick's ancestors ended up on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Of course, these unfortunate souls had no true known names as such and were sometimes called after an estate where they labored or a trader who had handled them. Some names were just chosen by individuals after they became free and could be someone prominent in the area, a famous figure or someone they admired. Whatever the source of their assumed names, the true sadness is that in their West African homelands a line of descent and identity stretched back into the mists of time, never to be uncovered.
Shannon's father came to London to work as a mechanic. Her mother worked as a hospital cleaner. She grew up poor on a tough estate and could not afford to pull any punches. She became fearless but steered away from the dangers of crime. She joined the police not because she wanted to wear a uniform or have power. She was never going to be pushed around and the police gave her the chance to spread the word. She had a contempt for anyone who used or bullied others. Her attitude marked her out as a bit of an enforced loner since none of her peers followed such a path in life.
 Within the police service she struggled to rein in her natural desire to achieve justice and quickly, regardless of the rule book. She was pure cop and pure woman. That meant a life balancing on an edge. As she cruised down Haymarket a solitary uniform cop was struggling with a drunk. She pulled over, flashed her warrant card and helped restrain the guy until the van turned up. She was a loner but here she was a loner with friends. Outside the police she’d just been lonely. She lived in a twilight zone somewhere between handbags and scumbags. Book Blurb Wild child inner-city cop Shannon Aguerri walks a dangerous line between her methods and justice. When the bosses lose their nerve, after yet another maverick mission, she is transferred to green pastures to play out the role of a routine village cop. When she encounters signs of slave and drug trafficking she homes in on serious millionaire criminals.
As a loner she has attracted men but nothing has stuck. When she meets Spencer, the hunky and widowed Earl of Bloxington, there is an immediate rapport between them. Their social differences mean nothing to their passion and need. Already in the mix is an upper class female rival – who has long plotted her way into the Earl's bed. The jealousy is an evil shade of green and the anger is a violent scarlet. Often inhibited by a sense of duty and honour, Spencer is slow to reveal his feelings.
 When Shannon confronts him with the need to choose between her word and that of her rival, he does not immediately support her. All issues are set aside, when they are forced together to carry out a desperate rescue mission. Their love is stronger than everything ranged against them. SHANNON’S LAW comes out on February 28th 2014 in print and digital formats for all e-readers. Amazon are offering some great discounts for pre-orders of the paperback version (29% off in USA, 12% off in the UK). You can pre-order the digital version at a pre-launch special price from Nook, Kobo, and iTunes. It will also be available in all digital formats on Smashwords See this post and others from my tour as they go live on Pinterest or click the Goddess Fish panel below to visit the other blogs in the tour. Follow Shannon’s Law on Facebook Visit the Shannon’s Law Website for book details and pre-order information.




a Rafflecopter giveaway The draw will be made at random, by Rafflecopter on the 7th March 2013. Companion Cook-Book In addition to SHANNON’S LAW, I’m launching a companion digital cook-book with illustrated recipes for all the meals from the novel. It’s called COP’S KTICHEN - Read the love story and taste the romance! To celebrate the launch of SHANNON’S LAW, there is a special FREE gift for you in my RAFFLECOPTER draw. As well as great, unique prizes to win, EVERY ENTRANT will get their own digital copy of – COP’S KITCHEN. There are many ways to get bonus chances – by commenting on this post, liking Facebook Pages etc. ENTER DRAW HERE: Main Prizes in the Draw: $30/£20/€25 Amazon Gift Voucher, 2 paperback copies of Shannon’s Law, 3 digital copies of Shannon’s Law. Shannon’s Law comes out in paperback and digital formats for all e-readers on February 28th 2014. Emma Calin’s Website Emma Calin’s Twitter Emma Calin’s Facebook About.me page: http://about.me/emmacalin Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4915751.Emma_Calin

Wild child inner-city cop Shannon Aguerri walks a dangerous line between her methods and justice. When the bosses lose their nerve, after yet another maverick mission, she is transferred to green pastures to play out the role of a routine village cop. When she encounters signs of slave and drug trafficking she homes in on serious millionaire criminals.

 

As a loner she has attracted men but nothing has stuck. When she meets Spencer, the hunky and widowed Earl of Bloxington, there is an immediate rapport between them. Their social differences mean nothing to their passion and need. 

 

Already in the mix is an upper class female rival – who has long plotted her way into the Earl's bed. The jealousy is an evil shade of green and the anger is a violent scarlet. 

 

Often inhibited by a sense of duty and honour, Spencer is slow to reveal his feelings. When Shannon confronts him with the need to choose between her word and that of her rival, he does not immediately support her.

 

All issues are set aside, when they are forced together to carry out a desperate rescue mission. Their love is stronger than everything ranged against them.

 

 

 

SHANNON’S LAW comes out on February 28th 2014 in print and digital formats for all e-readers.

Amazon are offering some great discounts for pre-orders of the paperback version


 

You can pre-order the digital version at a pre-launch special price from Nook, Kobo, and iTunes. It will also be available in all digital formats on Smashwords

 

See this post and others from my tour as they go live on Pinterest or click the Goddess Fish panel below to visit the other blogs in the tour.

 

 

Follow Shannon’s Law on Facebook
Companion Cook-Book
 
In addition to SHANNON’S LAW, I’m launching a companion digital cook-book with illustrated recipes for all the meals from the novel.
 
 It’s called  COP’S KTICHEN - Read the love story and taste the romance!
 
To celebrate the launch of SHANNON’S LAW, there is a special FREE gift for you in my RAFFLECOPTER draw. As well as great, unique prizes to win, EVERY ENTRANT will get their own digital copy of – COP’S KITCHEN. There are many ways to get bonus chances – by commenting on this post, liking Facebook Pages etc.

 
 

 

Visit the Shannon’s Law Website for book details and pre-order information.

Main Prizes in the Draw:
 
$30/£20/€25 Amazon Gift Voucher, 2 paperback copies of Shannon’s Law, 3 digital copies of Shannon’s Law.
Shannon’s Law comes out in paperback and digital formats for all e-readers
on February 28th 2014.
 
 
 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

DARK MASQUERADE BY JENNIFER BLAKE- CLASSIC GOTHIC COLLECTION



Dark Masquerade (Classic Gothics Collection)Dark Masquerade by Jennifer Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dark Masquerade by Jennifer Blake is a 2014 Steel Magnolia Press publication.
When Elizabeth's sister, Ellen Marie dies, Elizabeth assumes her sister's identity and travels with her young nephew to the Louisiana Plantation where were her former brother in law was from. Felix had left a will and Elizabeth wants to be sure his son , Joseph, recieves his inheritance.
Upon arrival with her maid, Callie, Elizabeth is met with disdain and resentment. Felix had been engaged to marry another, but met Ellen Marie after he went away to war. The marriage was very painful to the family and they don't try to hide their feelings from Elizabeth.
Bernard Delacroix is in charge of the will and is now the guardian over Joseph. This has Elizabeth trapped at the plantation. Knowing she isn't wanted and being controlled by the matriarch of the family has Elizabeth thinking of leaving, until Bernard explains that she is free to leave, but Joseph will stay since he is the boy's legal guardian. It also appears Bernard is in charge of the money Felix left his widow, doubly trapping Elizabeth.
Strange occurances, such as spiders in her bed, and odd conversations with members of the family, all of whom have hidden motives, secrets, and agendas. Furthermore, Elizabeth lives each day in fear of being found out. What would happen if they discovered she was not Ellen Marie? Who wants Elizabeth out of the way bad enough they are willing to kill her? Is it an old grudge or is it money that motivates Elizabeth's tormentor? What about the fierce dark eyed Bernard? Is he a friend or is he the enemy?
This book was originally published in 1974 I believe. This was at the pinnacle of the Gothic mystery/romance genre's popularity. This book fits in perfectly with many other popular Gothic mystery books in that period by such greats as Dorothy Daniels and Dorothy Eden and so on.
The novel has all the elements of Gothic mystery . The large Louisiana plantation, and odd family members, some perhaps touched with a bit of madness, and strange whispered conversations, old secrets and grudges and the damsel in danger. The suspense builds as the protagonist begins to ask a few questions and then begins to fear for her safety especially after she is told flat out people don't want her there. Elizabeth has drawn herself into a corner and can't leave, though she certainly wishes she could.
The romance is G rated and comes toward the end of the book with the main focus being on the mystery, which once again was standard for this type of novel. I just love these stories and I am thrilled to see them now being reissued in digital format by Steel Magnolia Press. Jennifer Blake did a great job of sticking to the general rules of the genre, but giving it a style of her own with a little southern accent. This one is a B+

DAWN AT LAST BY LAWRENCE GRODECKI- REVIEW AND AUTHOR INTERVIEW


Dawn at LastDawn at Last by Lawrence Grodecki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dawn at Last by Lawrence Grodecki is a 2013 self published novel. I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
BOOK BLURB:
Dawn at Last is an intriguing debut novel about one person at war with her past and it's future. It's about fear and love, real or imagined, and the close bonding of six misfits.

Single, 37 and never married, Donna Belauche – therapist, fugitive, entrepreneur – has everything in control until a chance meeting with an old sponsor. She must start again, leave Victoria, but she's tired – she needs other options. She tries to go it alone but they get in her way, those five other misfits.

This is a mosaic of fascinating characters, searching for a taste of love in their own delicious ways. Their stories blend – Ben the painter, Sunaria and Andrea, youthful dreamers, Pierre and Charles, more than just partners. It snaps a picture of love's morality, or lack of it, the clash between the material and the spiritual, and the art of life.

Lawrence Grodecki exquisitely portrays our strengths and frailties, capturing the tender moments where we find a little love . . . or where love finds us?

A group of six adults all at lose ends and all a little quirky find themselves connected to one another, some by pure coincidence and some by design.
Donna is the core character the others form around. She has set out to be come a psychology major but a research project turned into something more and she got a little side tracked and never got her degree. That doesn't stop her from presenting herself to clients as a bonafide therapist. Things aren't too bad until Donna is confronted head on with her past, forcing her make some changes.
Art is the foundation on which the plot is built.
"Like most, she can appreciate the talent and uniqueness, but not the process. It took many years for Charles to learn this about art lovers. No matter how hard they try, few really understand what is truly a gift, something truly priceless... but many try."
Art is in the eye of the beholder and in this case it take on a whole new meaning when art and therapy collide. Some artist are actually painting a story and each one of us reads it in a different way, much same as reading a novel.
As the six lives "blend" in the most unexpected ways, a person that has lived a life of fear has the chance to begin again. This development may close some doors, but opens new doors for Donna and the others in this odd ball group of people. They are all looking for some kind of connection and really isn't that what we all want? Some how, some way , these six individuals manage to connect on many different levels.
This is truly a unique novel. The prose is literary in nature, but the story is about love, courage, faith, and maybe even a little redemption. The characters all had very unique personalities that are revealed to the reader slowly making you wonder how all these people managed to connect and why did these connections seem to work out so well. But, it does work, although it was a bumpy ride for some. Each person found a little something about themselves they had not realized before. Some had more to overcome than others, but in the end there is a huge feeling of relief as Donna is finally able to let go of her past and accept her future without the need for secrecy and pretense. There was a kind of "The truth will set you free" moral to the story.
This book is different which made me really pay attention to the details and dialogue more closely. Once I started reading a chapter, it turned into two and although I needed to get to other books on my list, I kept going back and sneaking in a chapter or two whenever I had time. While the synopsis leads us to think the book is mostly an adult romance/drama , there are some very funny moments as well. If you have read any other reviews of this book, I'm sure you have seen warnings that this novel is for adults only. Yes, it is. However, a few have deemed it erotica and I can see that it might feel that way to some. I don't really have much interest in most erotica, but I think the word someone tossed out for this book was sensual and I think that is much more accurate. While unconventional and alright, a little controversial, all sexual content was written very tastefully. It's all a matter of perception and it is good to give readers an idea what kind of book they are reading. I just don't anyone to be misled by a label.
This author has a real talent for weaving an absorbing, albiet offbeat, story, bringing the characters to life, and keeping the reader interested and engaged. I understand this is the first book in a planned series. I hope that's true as I will certainly want to read more works by this author. One final thought for those that finish the book the cover art is quite revealing and I had to chuckle at the irony. You'll have to read the book to understand the meaning. So, on that cryptic note...
This book will appeal to adult romance readers, contempory or literary fiction lovers and anyone looking for something off the beaten path.
Overall this one is an A


INTERVIEW WITH LAWRENCE GRODECKI

Thanks Lawrence for taking the time out today to answer a few questions about yourself and Dawn at Last!


1) What inspired you to write a novel?

This is actually my second novel. I wrote the first about six years ago but when it was finished I decided not to pursue publishing it. Over the next five years I thought about writing off and on, while working on my art fulltime then. Finally, about a year ago, I knew it was time to break from my art and write Dawn at Last.

My inspiration for writing is much the same as with my art. It has something to do with a passion for truth. That has led to wonderful journey of escape into the imaginary, at other times it's hell. It can be playful and sensual or it can be a nightmare, a place you don't want to be. I try to write about the more positive aspects of life and the same goes for my art.

I'm also a big believer in Love - for me it is the most important truth - a real mystery! I see too much cynicism about it. That alone is motivation enough.

2) You are an artist as well as an author - tell us about your work as an artist.

Since leaving the corporate life behind I've come to see Nature in a different way. This ties in deeply with my answer to the previous question. One of the simplest truths is that there are no straight lines in Nature and that is a recurring aspect in my art.

I'm very concerned about the direction we're going, so much reliance on machinery while separating ourselves from Nature. So I try to make the best of it. I use a lot of materials from nature, mostly leaves, but only the fallen ones, including some I've had to chase in the wind. These are scanned into my computer, often along with hand drawn sketches, and then it's a matter of digital painting. Most of my palettes are actually from leaves, so the colors have a natural "blending" to them.

I try to express what I see in the wind, in the clouds and elsewhere. For some reason these tend to take on the feminine form. I don't know why, but when I try to balance my work off with more masculine forms, it seems forced and doesn't come out as I'd like it to . . . I succumb to intuition and it becomes a playful experience more than work. Also, I find so much more sanity in Nature.

3) What have been the most challenging aspects of promoting a self published novel?

Did I mention I have an MBA in marketing and strategic planning? You would think that would help, but in many ways it doesn't. Since this is more of a business question, I'd say it is the same challenge that all independent artists face - awareness.

There is so much out there and everyone in the developed world is being increasingly bombarded with information. Our attention spans - and perhaps our patience and tolerance - are being stretched to unprecedented limits.

The short answer is to reach the kind of readers who will love Dawn at Last, and then getting them to spend a minute or three to take a closer look, rather than a few seconds.

4) Who has influenced you the most in terms of your personal writing style?

I'm not sure I can properly answer this one. I've always admired Mark Twain. It was his advice that I followed all the way through writing Dawn at Last. I'd often hear those words throughout the process, "Just tell the story."

I was also reading a little Anais Nin at the start, her book of short stories, Little Birds. The way she touched on pretty abstract issues in simple terms, the simplicity of her style, that certainly helped.

Finally, more years ago than I can remember now, I took to heart the advice of W. Somerset Maugham, "There are three rules to writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." In the process I came to learn that he was tricking us - there are actually five such rules!

5) What genres do you read the most?

Aha - for me this is a trick question! Until almost finishing Dawn at Last I'd never thought of this issue of genre. Throughout my life I've always had eclectic interests. As a child I was fascinated by Treasure Island, Greek Mythology and a biography on Leonardo da Vinci. Later I'd go from Jerzy Kosinki's The Painted Bird to something by Carlos Castenada to Anais Nin to Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse and then Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Throughout that I'd be dabbling into a book on the I Ching, and doesn't everyone love Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media? I enjoyed Dan Brown's first four books and I've tended to avoid Harlequin romances. The odd time I'll read a little of the dictionary, out of curiosity. I hope that answers the question.

6) What are you reading now?

To be honest I'm not reading as much as perhaps I should . . . so much of my time is used up in promoting Dawn at Last. Also, for a break on my eyes - a change of pace - I'll spend some precious time on my art. Having said that, I'm still trying to finish The Dancing Goddess, have barely started The Prowler by Kristjana Gunnars (talk about an interesting style), and I'm also reading a little Alice Munro, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. Finally, there are a number of new author acquaintances I've made, self publishers like myself, and it's impossible to keep up with all their writing, but I do what I can.

7) Where can readers contact you?

I have my blog, HYPERLINK "lawrence%20interview.doc" lawrencegrodecki.wordpress.com and my website, HYPERLINK "www.lawrencegrodecki.com" www.lawrencegrodecki.com . Those are my two online hubs and my other social media contact information is on each of those . . . I'm mostly on Goodreads, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. I do like Pinterest as a bit of a sanctuary, including a Pin board that gives a fun-filled pictorial of the book.

Also, if you're in town, you might find me hanging out at the corner of 18th Street & Brandon Avenue . . . a quaint little coffee shop called "Forbidden Flavors" . . . so far I haven't been forbidden but I'm working on it!

Time travel also sometimes works, depending on what zone you are in, and me as well.

8) What are you working on now?

Oops - didn't I just mention what I'm working on? I'm working on a few projects. One is a possible sequel to Dawn at Last. I feel the book can certainly stand on its own, but then my closest fans keep wanting to know more about these darn characters . . . it seems you kind of love 'em or leave 'em?

I'm also working on a series of short stories, an embellished take on my life story. That only starts at the age of six, and it's more about a real-life witch named Mrs. Antichilles than it is about me. We were told to stay away from her - you can imagine how that went over! I'm saving the embellishing for the later stories.

9) Name your five favorite authors of all time.

No. Sorry, I just can't do that. One reason is that it in hindsight the answer varies from one time to another. Also, I tend to read books more than follow authors. For example, while I love A Tale of Two Cities, I've only read a few other Dickens books.

10) Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share?

Now this could be a very long list. Given my thoughts in recent years, it would be a timeless quote from Buddha, "Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened."

Finally, I do find it fascinating that for all our knowledge, we cannot find the center of the flame of any given candle. It seems this is as it should be. This too is about love?

 
Thanks again Lawrence! Great interview!  Dawn at Last  is available in the Amazon kindle store.
 
 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Born in Winnipeg and raised on the prairies, Lawrence's first passion was sports, especially baseball and then hockey. In the private hours it was reading, from Treasure Island to biographies on Leonardo da Vinci. This passion for reading eventually helped him endure his trials at various universities - four of them across Canada - culminating in a psychology degree and then an MBA in strategic planning from McGill. He began his career at Reader's Digest, but soon returned to the prairies to run a few gardening catalogs, where among other duties he wrote about tulips, sub-zero roses, and Elephant Ears.

In his debut novel, Dawn at Last, readers delight in the storytelling . . . the tragedies and triumphs, and the timeless aspects of love. However, it's the characters that make it both memorable and real. Smart, sexy, mysterious and refreshing. That's how others see his writing.

He has also been called a troublemaker, though he claims this is without intent.
 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

THE SHADOW PRINCESS

                                           Available February 2014

THE SHADOW PRINCESS, by Mary Hart Perry
To catch one of history’s most notorious killers, a princess risks losing her family, her life—and her heart…
London, 1888: A year after Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee terror mounts in the city's slums.  A killer has butchered two prostitutes, the crimes brutal even by London’s hardened standards.  Rumors of the murders reach Princess Vicky, daughter of Queen Victoria and grieving widow of the German Emperor Frederick III.  When her niece Princess Maud visits, she brings with her even worse news--the Metropolitan Police have a suspect. It’s Vicky’s nephew, Crown Prince Eddy. Desperate to clear her family's name, Vicky rushes back to England.
Detective Inspector Thomas Edmondson believes there is a royal cover-up behind the killings. He will stop at nothing to expose the truth and bring a murderer to justice before he can kill again.  But when Vicky joins him in searching for the man who will become known as Jack the Ripper, neither of them foresee the overpowering attraction that will draw together the royal and the commoner—or the danger their love puts them in.

Read the first two books in the series The Wild Princess and Seducing the Princess.

 
MY REVIEW OF THE SHADOW PRINCESS

The Shadow PrincessThe Shadow Princess by Mary Hart Perry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Shadow Princess by Mary Hart Perry is a 2014 Diversion Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Vicky, daugter of Queen Victoria , has returned to England after the death of her husband, bringing her daugher, Sophie, with her. She returns just as the first murders are being commited by the infamous "Jack the Ripper". Queen Victoria confides in her daughter that Eddy, the queen's grandson is a suspect in the killings and the public is accusing the queen of trying to lead the investigators away from Eddy. So, the Queen packs up for a little trip and pleads with Vicky to keep close tabs on the case. Vicky isn't the only one the inserts themselves into the investigation. Her daughter and niece also attempt to discover who the ripper is in a misguided attempt to prove Eddy isn't the killer.
Once Vicky meets the Inspector, Thomas Edmondson, the two have an instant chemistry between them. While Edmondton is leaning toward a royal coverup he is still interested in seeing Vicky and hearing her opinions. In fact, the two begin to make up reasons to see one another to the utter horror of Vicky's daughter, Sophie. How could her mother keep company with with a commoner?
The press also have their hands in things as they throw around all sorts of theories and accusations.
As members of the royal family find themselves crawling around in White Chapel at night looking for the ripper, more killings take place and more pressure is added to the Inspector to find the culprit.
This historical fiction/ Victorian era romantic mystery was a very enjoyable read. While it is obvious the author did research and added real live events to the story, there were many liberties taken and if you keep in mind that this story was written for entertainment purposes, you will find yourself swept up in the adventure and romance.
The class differences and the duty both Vicky and Thomas must uphold makes their relationship impossible. Vicky would love to just toss all of it aside and fall headlong into an affair with Thomas, but of course in reality this could never happen. In the end they would both regret such a decision. So, we are left wondering if we will be cheated out of the HEA.
The identity of Jack the Ripper would remain a mystery for many, many years. Recently some historicans and authors believe they know who the ripper was , and I think they make a strong case. They author gives us her version of who the killer is and wraps things up explaining why the killer remained anoymous all these years. The story of Vicky and Thomas also concludes with more satisfaction than I thought it would.
Writing about Jack the Ripper makes it impossible to avoid some graphic depictions, but overall the author did a good job of keeping that to a minimum. There was a nice balance between the mystery, the adventure, and the romance. The characters are familiar to us, but the author puts her own stamp on their personalities and motives.
If you enjoy historical mysteries and romances you will like this one as long as you take it all too seriously. Oveall this one is a B.


Mary Hart Perry lives in the Washington, DC area, with her husband and two cats, in a perfectly ordinary house that is nowhere close to being a castle. She has neither a coach, nor footman or driver. You won’t find even one lady-in-waiting in her bedroom, and there’s no cook in her kitchen to whip up a luscious 6-course meal to fortify her when she’s too busy obsessing over her current novel to cook. However, she feels positively regal when she travels to speak at conferences. There they feed her very well, thank you! Her favorite things in life are writing, history, animals and the people who own them—including most of her family and all of her fans. When she isn’t writing she hangs out with her pals on her Facebook page (Mary Hart Perry) or on Twitter (@Mary_Hart_Perry). If you like, come join us! Or email Mary at Mary@MaryHartPerry.com  to tell her what you enjoy most about historical fiction.