11 five-star reviews and ratings! Thank you to those who have left reviews. If you haven’t already, please, post your review!
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11 five-star reviews and ratings! Thank you to those who have left reviews. If you haven’t already, please, post your review!
Link to the issue can be found on our Facebook page:
Free for those with Kindle Unlimited!
Only 99 cents on Amazon!
The stars are about to align in the newest Shaughnessy brothers romance!
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He’s great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn’t factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.
LOVE CAN DAZZLE YOU
Polar opposites in personality, the friction between them threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw Owen and Brooke together—and she’s going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.
A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase is another brilliant masterpiece. Once again, this talented writer, has brought me to tears. Her story is full of emeotions that pulled at my heart strings. Sad, hilarious, frustrated and loved. A book that made readers feel something is a book worth reading. A Sky Full of Stars has it all.
Inside this latest novel, Samantha Chase features the brainiac brother. Dr. Own Shaughnessy. He’s hot, clever, and the sweetest man ever. But little by little, I got to view his bolder side. His personality is one that intrigued me. All his life, his family stood up for me. Telling him,,he’s normal. When everyone else said differently. As an adult a lot of that feeling of not being normal transferred over…making it harder for Dr. Owen to believe in himself. Yet, his family continued to tell him he’s perefect. I love the Shaughnessy family. Yes, they’re loud and different, but they’re loyal. They love each other.
A Sky Full of Stars is about Dr. Owen finding the courage to believe that he’s perfect the way he is. That’s he’s normal. It’s a real struggle for the man whose so talented. Then, as the plot unfolds, his world gets shaken. Enter Brooke Matthews. A girl trained for beauty pageants. Together their lives will be rocky. As in the real world nothing comes easy…these two will cry, laugh, love, and fight. I enjoyed watching them grow. Also, themes of loss, love, and courage are found on every page. Overall, I highly recommend A Sky Full of Stars to all.
ULM: What was your inspiration for creating the Shaugnessy Brothers?
I had been reading Bella Andre’s Sullivan’s series and loved it. When my agent asked me to come up with a series after the Montgomerys, I knew I wanted something similar to what Bella had created.
ULM: How many books have you written so far?
I have written 55 books total J But I have written all 6 of the Shaughnessy books and there is a possibility of a 7th, but that will be it for that series.
ULM: If you’re single and could date any one of the brothers, which one would you choose?
I am a happily married woman. However…let’s just say – hypothetically – that I am single. It would still be a hard choice because there are characteristics of each brother that I find appealing personally. It would be a draw between Quinn and Riley!
ULM: Do you have any other works planned after A Sky Full of Stars, if so can you share with us, readers?
How long is this article? Lol! Okay, I pretty much have my releases scheduled all the way through the end of 2019! Here’s what the next nine months looks like:
– A Sky Full of Stars (Shaughnessy 5)- June 2017
– Complicating (Preston’s Mill 3)- July 2017
– Holiday Spice (Shaughnessy 6)- October 2017
– Christmas Novella (Silver Bell Falls/untitled) - November 2017
– Ford (7 Brides for 7 Soldiers)- December 2017
– One More Promise (Band on the Run 2)- February 2018
ULM: Out of the many novels you have written in the past, which one is your most favorite?
Oh, that’s hard to say! The Christmas Cottage is one of them because it’s been optioned by the Hallmark Channel to become a movie and that was my dream for it almost since it was published. But I don’t have just one favorite. I can probably say the top three (lol!): Stay with Me (Montgomery #3), A Sky Full of Stars (Shaughessy #5) and One More Promise (Band on the Run #2).
ULM: Using only three words, how would you describe your writing style?
Chatty, informal, fluent.
I think. Lol!
ULM: What was it like writing your latest book, A Sky Full of Stars?
I had a lot of fun writing this book because I was looking forward to it for so long. Owen Shaughnessy was an interesting character to create and I knew that once he had his own story, I could do so much more to flesh him out. You’ve seen him in the four previous books and he was the kind of character that piqued reader’s curiosity and I wanted to do him justice. So I had intended for this book to really have the potential for some humor and lightness – for Owen to learn to laugh at himself a bit – but what came out was a very emotional and deep book that I just love. It took me by surprise and I love when that happens – when I start out in one direction and then the characters take me someplace else.
ULM: When did you publish your very first novel? Which novel was that?
I self-published my first book in November of 2011. I had spent years writing it and I had submitted it to about two dozen publishers and agents and after about sixteen rejections, I realized that I was not someone who handled rejection well. Jordan’s Return was the book of my heart and I knew that I wanted to see it in print so I decided to self-publish. I knew nothing about the process or about marketing and promoting, so that book only sold about 30 copies in the first year – and most of that was to family and friends!
ULM: You mentioned teaching creative writing to elementary students. Describe that experience.
I always loved to write. I homeschooled my older son from fourth grade through twelfth. I was involved in several co-ops and always volunteered to teach creative writing. I’ve taught students from fifth grade through high school and it was the greatest experience! It was the high school students who really encouraged me to take the leap and self-publish! They were all doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and had paperback copies of their books that they showed me and I thought “I can do that!”. I loved encouraging my students to get their thoughts down on paper. And the ones who started the class saying that they hated to write or they weren’t good at it, ended up being some of my favorite students and the best writers! The key? Write about something that you love. Once they had that choice, the rest was easy.
ULM: How did you come with Dr. Owen Shaughnessy’s career as an astrophysicist?
I’m a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory and thought that having Owen be some sort of scientist would be a great distinction in a family like the Shaughnessys.
ULM: When does the sixth novel in The Shaughnessy Brothers series come out? Can you briefly tell us what that will be about?
Holiday Spice is Darcy Shaughnessys story and it comes out this October! She has been another interesting character and we’ve essentially watched her grow up a bit throughout the series. She’s sassy and independent and as much as she complains about her over-protective brothers, she simply adores her family. In the book, she gets snowed in with a very talented artist (he does wood sculpting) and he is a complete loner. He lives up in the mountains in Washington and loves his solitude. Obviously things get romantic while they’re snowed in and once Darcy leaves to go back to North Carolina and her family, they have to figure out if this is a relationship that can continue.
ULM: When did you start writing? Did you always have a love for creative writing?
I wrote my first short story in the third grade. It was for an assignment and that was the thing that told me that writing was a passion. I hand-wrote my first romance in the ninth grade. Then I didn’t write again until I was in my thirties! It was a hobby for me, an outlet, and I started writing because I couldn’t find anything to read that I wanted! So you know the saying “Write the book you want to read!” And I did. I probably still have the binder with maybe fifteen different stories in various stages of completion hiding around here somewhere. I may pull it out eventually and see if any of those stories can be finished.
ULM: What is your advice to those pursuing a career an a writer?
Write what you LOVE. Don’t write to the trends!
ULM: How would you describe each of the Shaughnessy brothers using only one word?
ULM: Where can readers find both you and your work online?
Theatre professors and spouses, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are on their honeymoon at a Hawaiian resort, where musclemen in grass skirts are keeling over like waterfalls. Things erupt faster than a volcano when Nicky and Noah, along with their best friends Martin and Ruben, try to stage a luau show. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the grass curtain down on male hula dancers—before things go coconuts for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining fourth novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and aloha!
Drama Luau: A Nicky and Noah Mystery by Joe Cosentino’s is another grand adventure with this stunning pair. Nicky and Noah are two professors who end up solving cases. Wherever these two go, there’s always a murder investigation around the corner. This time, Nicky and Noah are heading on their honeymoon. Both choose Hawaii as their destination. Not only does murder follow them where they go, but there’s always an opportunity for them to perform a show.
Joe Cosentino’s has once again, brought all of his usual talents with him. Drama Luau is his newest piece to the Nicky and Noah mysteries. A novel that speaks out for the LGBT community. I love reading Joe Cosentino’s work. He always incorporates major themes into his tales. Each theme brings out a real life issue that readers everywhere can relate to immediately. As with his previous novels, this one was just as exciting. Humor filled the pages. Readers will have found adventure, mystery, and romance with every page. Nicky and Noah are my favorite gay couple. Something about them just lures me further into their story. Funny, clever, and sweet. One teaches fitness the other teaches drama. Their roles as detectives isn’t lost on their friends nor family. I can’t find anything not to love about this series. Especially, Drama Luau. This read had me laughing and falling in love…I was hooked instantly. Overall, I highly recommend Drama Luau to all.
After months of playing the lottery and hoping for an uptick in her dog-boarding business, Janet’s friend Annie must face the inevitable: the bank is foreclosing on her family farm. But thanks to the Rejected Writers’ Book Club, Annie doesn’t have to face it alone. With just a few weeks to raise the $20,000 that she and her fifty rescue dogs need to avoid becoming homeless, the writers need a fund-raiser, and fast. Much to Janet’s horror, Doris has another crazy plan.
In a moment of inspiration, their fearless leader declares a solution: a musical extravaganza. No one in the group has ever produced a musical, but Doris will not be deterred—they’ll write it together. And with Flora, who has never sung a note in her life, as the lead and Janet as their reluctant director—along with a hypochondriac costume designer, a pyrotechnics enthusiast, and Janet’s very pregnant daughter pitching in—what could possibly go wrong?
To produce a miracle for Annie, Janet and her friends will work around the clock holding auditions, concocting elaborate costumes, and getting a little too close to blowing themselves up—but will it be enough?
Rejected Writers Take Stage by Suzanne Kelman is a wonderful woman’s fiction piece. The charcaters are charming. There are moments I laughed out loud, worried, and fell in love with this group. A group of writers get together to help one of their own be saved from being homeless. Their actions to save her and the dogs under her care, will be full of drama, flair, and excitement. This book is full of craziness, humor, and friendship. The sense of community in this small-town of theirs was believable. I loved following along. Suzanne Kelman’s writing is entertaining from the start to end. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.
New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak welcomes you to Silver Springs, a picturesque small town in Southern California where even the hardest hearts can learn to love again…
Struggling to make ends meet after a messy divorce, Sadie Harris is at the end of her tether. Her waitressing gig isn’t enough to pay the bills let alone secure primary custody of her son, Jayden, a battle she refuses to lose. Desperate, she accepts a position assisting Dawson Reed—the same Dawson Reed who recently stood trial for the murder of his adoptive parents. Joining him at his isolated farm seems risky, but Sadie is out of options.
Dawson has given small town Silver Springs plenty of reasons to be wary, but he’s innocent of the charges against him. He wants to leave his painful past behind and fix up the family farm so he can finally bring his dependent sister home where she belongs.
As Sadie and Dawson’s professional relationship grows into something undeniably personal, Sadie realizes there’s more to Dawson than the bad boy everyone else sees—he has a good heart, one that might even be worth fighting for.
Brenda Novak is one of my favorite writers. Her work is amazing. Each book has a unique story that grabs my heart. This latest novel, No One But You, is part of a new series. Inside, readers will find that it houses many themes. Ranging from marital problems to domestic violence. Plus, a character has been arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. As readers dig further they’ll find demons everywhere. A town so ready to torture an innocent man, another man who is violent to his wife, and a mother trying to survive…
No One But You pulls at the heart. Sent me on an epic emotional journey. One that I won’t ever forget. The charcaters were believable. As for the plot, it was a bit slow in the begging then sped up as the action took over. Dangerous, intriguing, and a bit sad. Brenda Novak creates another opportunity for readers to explore real world issues in a fictional setting. Brilliant and well-told. I recommend this new novel to all.
April, 1970. Late at night, a mysterious Caucasian emerges from the rain forest north of Saigon. Unexpectedly he encounters a US Army outpost and is killed. Who was he, and why was he alone deep in the jungle? Military investigator George Tanner must find the answers soon––and survive.
The Man Who Walked Out of the Jungle by Jeff Wallace is for those who love a good novel about war. Instantly, I was taken into a suspenseful tale with a lingering question that caught my curiosity. My intrigued only peaked further as the pages held my attention. The pacing was a bit lagging but other than that, it was good. The Man Who Walked Out of the Jungle by Jeff Wallace is a military thriller that feels real. Action, adventure, and danger all wrapped in one engaging tale. The plot sent me deep into the investigation of why one man was alone in the jungle. Overall, I recommend this novel written by Jeff Wallace to readers everywhere.
The highly anticipated follow-up to SW Lauden’s Bad Citizen Corporation, former Los Angeles police officer Greg Salem and his sidekick Marco escape to a remote cabin in the backend of the Angeles National Forest, only to have their peaceful retreat upturned after stumbling across the marijuana farm operation called Grizzly Flats. When the drug lord Magnus Ursus’ latest marijuana crop leaves Greg’s hometown and closest friends in disarray—setting off a series of explosive scenes including high-speed motorcycle chases, violent porn shoots, high-altitude gun fights, Mexican drug smuggling and murder—Greg is forced out of retirement to avenge his home and save the lives of those closest him.
Grizzly Season by S W Lauden is an exciting adventure. This book has trouble all over it. Inside, I found a retired police officer forced out of retirement because of a lot of mayhem happening within his hometown. A drug lord operating a marijuana farm leaves around a lot of violence. From shootings to car chases, the main charcater, Greg Salem, will have his hands full. Murder investigation and criminal activity makes this a heart racing read. Panic, fear, and deadly situations on every page. I’ve found Grizzly Season to entertaining. Suspenseful and well-developed. Overall, I recommend this hard-billed thriller by S W Lauden to all.
Jellybeaners is a contemporary novel set in the heart of Appalachia, revealing the money ties, political corruption, wasted lives, and overall cash-churning nature of the prescription pill culture from perspectives spanning both sides of the law.
Jellybeaners by Gene Scott is a great contemporary read. This novel alerts readers to the pill popping issue. What better way to address it than to weave it into a work of fiction…an addiction that continues to haunt our world. Prescription drugs is one of the easy drugs for others to get their hands on…whether it’s over the counter from family members or on the store shelves. The entire plot was believable. Realistic, strong, and held truths. Gene Scott is a writer whose not afraid to lay out the troubles faced in reality. Not many are aware of the prescription pill addictions. I was intrigued by the tale. Overall, I recommend it to readers worldwide.
Aaron Poochigian’s Mr. Either/Or is an ingenious debut, a verse novel melding American mythology, noir thriller, and classical epic into gritty rhythms, foreboding overtones, and groovy jams surrounding the reader in a surreal atmosphere. Imagine Byron’s Don Juan on a high-stakes romp through a Raymond Chandler novel. Think Hamlet in Manhattan with a license to kill.
Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published in 2009. The Cosmic Purr, a book of original poetry, was published in 2012.
Mr. Either Or by Aaron Poochigian is quite an interesting read. This novel, is layer out in a unique way. I was hooked. Aaron Poochigian is a talented writer indeed. His protagonist isn’t like most. I loved how the words took me through the book. It was like reading one of my favorite literary novels – tone wise and had the alluring nature of the fictional reads I’ve read and come to love. Each section is intriguing. Readers like myself will drink up this work of fiction. Engaging, well-told, and different. Mr. Either Or is very entertaining from beginning to end. I recommend it to readers worldwide.
A young man is found murdered, his bones crushed nearly to dust before his body was dumped into New York’s East River
In New York there are hundreds of murders a year, but this one is different. Somebody is sending a message. And shockingly, the victim has ties to my brother, Stephen Gaines, recently murdered by an elusive drug lord known only as the Fury.
For years this kingpin has been shrouded in darkness. Stephen was executed just as he was about to shed some light. Working alongside my mentor, Jack O’Donnell, I’m going to find the truth behind this blood-soaked curtain. But the more we reveal, the more we realize just how dark the Fury’s plans are. And that no matter how brutal the violence has been, we haven’t seen anything yet….
The Darkness by Jason Pinter is a dark thriller. The plot instantly swept me into its web of murder, drugs, and violence. This novel was full of twists and turns. Intrigued, engaged, and full of suspense. Every page pulled me further into the chase. A deadly game of good versus evil. Blackmail, threats, and death. The fear factor is raised to new heights. Inside The Darkness, a man is found murdered right before he was about to shed some evidence. A message well received. A drug lord has some sinister plans as the duo team continued their search for the truth…the evilness only expanded. I haven’t read any of Jason Pinter’s previous novels but this one was good. It caughtmy attention. Perked my curiosity. It led me on a journey.
From Lisa McInerney, hailed by The Irish Times as “arguably the most talented writer at work in Ireland today,” comes The Glorious Heresies, a searing debut novel about life on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society.
When grandmother Maureen Phelan is surprised in her home by a stranger, she clubs the intruder with a Holy Stone. The consequences of this unplanned murder connect four misfits struggling against their meager circumstances. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father, Tony, whose feud with his next-door neighbor threatens to ruin his family. Georgie is a sex worker who half-heartedly joins a born-again movement to escape her profession and drug habit. And Jimmy Phelan, the most fearsome gangster in the city and Maureen’s estranged son, finds that his mother’s bizarre attempts at redemption threaten his entire organization.
Biting and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies presents an unforgettable vision of a city plagued by poverty and exploitation, where salvation still awaits in the most unexpected places.
— New York Time’s Book Review’s “10 Best Crime Novels” of the year.
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney is quite a read. There’s a lot of realistic issues happening within the plot. The charcaters have tough struggles that can send their worlds spiraling downward. Ranging from drugs to sex plus violence, their worlds are full of chaos. They want different lives yet live in paths that keep them where they are or send them down further than where they originally planned to be. Four misfits each with a different issue. Readers will get an insider’s view to the world’s ugliness and how those living these lives try to survive their outcomes. The Glorious Heresies is definitely a dark yet deeply complex story. This world stayed in my mind long after reading reading it. Unforgettable scenes. Overall, I recommend it to other readers.
LOVE TO THE RESCUE
Macayla Burkett is no ordinary private eye. She’s a pet detective, dedicated to tracking down missing dogs and cats. When two famous racing greyhounds disappear and turn up dead, Macayla finds herself in the midst of a much more serious case. And when the thieves target her and threaten her life, she realizes she’s in grave danger—until a ridiculously handsome stranger enters the picture …
Oliver Kelly may look like a male stripper, but his muscles aren’t just for show. The gorgeous Australian is co-owner of a K-9 Search and Rescue service dedicated to saving those in danger. When he and his K-9 partner, an Australian shepherd named Jackeroo, rescue the fiery detective from trouble, the sparks begin to fly. And when they join forces to stop a widespread case of animal theft, it unleashes a torrent of passion that’s impossible to tame…
Physical Forces is an entertaining romantic suspense read from the beginning. D.D. Ayres is a a writer who knows what readers want in a novel. This tale showed me the K-9 teams in action. The bond between them and the dogs was believable. I fell in love. I can’t imagine anyone not falling for this group of characters both the two and four legged kind.
Inside Physical Forces by D.D. Ayres, I met a woman lacking her licesnce as a private investigator who went all out to find missing greyhounds. Macayla Burkett is a detective for animals. They go missing, she’s gets called. She loves helping owners find their pets. Her personality is strong. Macayla is independent, likes to work her own hours, and fend for herself. She’s smart and pretty. However, Macayla ends up stumbling into a situation that’s a whole lot more serious than her previous adventures. This time, she’ll need help…which comes in the form of Oliver Kelly. Talk about heat! The whole story from this point on, was intense. The raw desires flying like electricity in the air between both Macayla and Oliver. Their situation at hand is dangerous and it’s only a matter of time until they explode…overall, I highly recommend this engaging romance to readers everywhere. I loved the action, intrigue, and the passion between the charcaters. Don’t forget the amazing dogs, too!
In this explosive addition to the New York Times bestselling series, Ashley Antoinette brings you pain, pleasure, love, hate, as YaYa struggles to hold it all together before life blows up in her face, in The Prada Plan 5.
Disaya finally has it all. The man she fought for is hers at last. Her name is Mrs. Indie Perkins and their daughter is safe. Leah is gone. Life is supposed to be good. So why isn’t she satisfied? Why does life suddenly seem so bitter? YaYa’s Prada Plan had worked but with the riches comes pain.
She and Indie have grown apart, and with Parker now a permanent fixture in their lives, Indie is pressured to juggle it all. But YaYa’s patience is running thin. Indie is loving her wrong. Her life isn’t what she wants. Her Prada Plan has changed…and now, it’s time to pursue a plan B in order to get what she really wants…
The Prada Plan 5 by Ashely Antoinette is another drama filled urban fiction read. Having not read any of the previous novels, it was hard to follow along. Trying to figure out why the main charcaters made the choices they did was not easy to understand. However, the drama filled world of their was certainly entertaining. There was never a boring moment. Tough love, bad choices, wrong relationships, and trouble were just some of the issues brought into the book. Living the rich life isn’t easy, nor as fun as the fantasy of it. Pressure lies heavily upon the charcaters…their actions will layout their futures…chasing after dreams is hard. Ashley Antionette is a talented writer. I have read other novels co-written by her. This novel would be easy to follow along if I had read her previous Prada novels. However, the plot was fast-paced and juicy. The entertainment never ended. Overall, The Prada Plan 5 was a great read.
A stunning star-crossed love story set against the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City
When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.
The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love, but also for their lives.
White Fur follows these indelible characters on their wild race through Newport mansions and downtown NYC nightspots, SoHo bars and WASP-establishment yacht clubs, through bedrooms and hospital rooms, as they explore, love, play, and suffer. Jardine Libaire combines the electricity of Less Than Zero with the timeless intensity of Romeo and Juliet in this searing, gorgeously written novel that perfectly captures the ferocity of young love.
White Fur by Jardine Libaire is a thrilling romance. Similar to the Great Gatsby in ways. I was intrigued by this plot. Two lovers from opposite sides. Threatened and in danger all because they love each other. A love that shouldn’t be if, a particular family had its way. Perfect plans can be hard…when others are determined to see it fail even if that means a couple of lives are lost. Poor versus the rich and the star-crossed theme hits hard with this tale. White Fur is an intense love story. Filled with glamour, anger, an one brilliant emotional journey. Deep, heart felt, and exciting. Jardine Libaire kept me captivated with Jamey and Elise. Tragic yet realistic…a love story that pulls. I recommend it to readers worldwide.
Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.
Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
For Miguel, Earth’s charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.
The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber is a fascinating YA book. The race to find answers is thrilling. A young girl loses her brother and a young man is worried he lost her, Sofi. Sofi isn’t sure if her brother is really gone or not. Miguel may know something…only now, he’s being blackmailed. Can an online gamer and an Abassador find a way to beat the odds?
Sofi is clever. She’s a charcater that I can easily connect to. Her loss and grief over her brother pulled me closer to her. When she thinks her brother may not be gone likeeveryone states…she goes searching for the truth. Her determination and bravery make this a worthy adventure. Then there’s Miguel. He is in a difficult position. Not sure of who Sofi really is but is pulled to her by a connection, soon leads him into danger. Video games and aliens are taken to a whole level in this stunning tale. Intrigue, suspense, and a deadly plot will keep readers sucked into The Evaporation of Sofi Snow. Mary Weber’s talent can be seen through her words. Every page absorbed me into the conflict…overall, I highly recommend this novel.
F.B.I. criminal profiler Diana Mancuso doesn’t do field work anymore. Not since a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives. But when notorious serial killer Luther Vayne escapes from prison and resumes his campaign of brutal murders, the Bureau convinces her to take one last case. To catch him, she must understand him. She must delve into the arcana that fuels his madness, risking her life and her sanity to follow his twisted path. The trail plunges her into a shadowy world of occult rituals and unspeakable horrors, leading to a secret cabal operating at the highest levels—and a plot to summon the darkest of all powers, to bring forth an evil that does not belong in our world—to enact the Rites of Azathoth.
Rites of Azathoth by Frank Cavallo is clearly a well-written dark fantasy. The title and cover caught my curiosity. Upon reading this tale, I found Frank Cavallo’s talent to entertaining. His novel is a dark mystery and horror combined. A thriller too. A serial killer, a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives, and new murders committed will surely lure readers further into the story. A fast-placed plot with an edge that will frighten and keep readers like myself deeply engaged. Suspenseful with every page. Guessing will occur as readers dig their way through it. Rites of Azathoth is wicked novel full of twisted scenes. Evil is here. Escaping it will be hard. Overall, I highly recommend this fantasy to readers everywhere.
ULM: What was it in the ancient scriptures that inspired you to write The Transmigrant?
The idea of Jesus as a holy man rather than the Messiah had been brewing in my mind for a long time. For me, the New Testament story didn’t quite add up. If Jesus were of God, then certainly he would be loving, inclusive and kind, right? Yet, in the stories we hear and the movies we see, Jesus pretty much says, “believe in me, or go to hell,” which sounds like something a bully would say.
So, when I happened upon a book about Jesus in India, it all started to make sense, the pieces fell into place. I’m not saying this is the truth, or the only truth, but for me it was the logical explanation for who the man Jesus had been, and what he had done during those eighteen years not mentioned in the bible.
I started researching old scriptures and found the Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of scrolls unearthed in Egypt in 1945. These manuscripts date from the third and fourth centuries, and are believed to be based on scriptures from around 80 AD or earlier, which would make them earlier than most of the Gospels of the New Testament. In the Nag Hammadi texts, Jesus is a kind and holy man, but he is not the Messiah.
The more ancient sources I studied, the more I found scriptures that supported my theory. I did also read the bible, several times, and underlined sections that aligned with my thoughts. There are plenty of jewels to pick from the New Testament if you really look.
ULM: How long have you had a fascination for historical things?
I grew up in Sweden and went to school in the Old Town of Stockholm, a city that dates from the 13th century, and I guess that has something to do with it. Whenever I travel, I like to visit ancient locations and meditate in the presence of old buildings and ruins and absorb the energy of the past.
I don’t believe people who lived thousands of years ago differed so much from us. They still loved and laughed, were vain and greedy, girls were attracted to boys, etc. I feel like we sometimes forget and believe that everyone was prude and correct, like in the Middle Ages. But before then, the people were perhaps even more promiscuous than we are today. Maybe.
ULM: You mentioned that the Russian traveler, Nicolas Notovitch’s 1894 book, “The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ”, also inspired you. What really stuck out to you from this book?
This was the book about Jesus in India that started my thought process and made me want to write The Transmigrant. This was the seed that, many years later, has blossomed into a novel. In the “Unknown Life,” which is based on scrolls found in a Tibetan monastery, Jesus travels across the Middle East and ends up first in Sindh (Pakistan), where he studies Buddhism, and later in Jagannath (Puri, India).
He makes his way back home via Kapilavatthu (Nepal), the Himalayas, Kashmir, Persia, and Syria. Along the way, he studies Hinduism and Buddhism, among other local religions. The fascinating this is that when you start looking closer, all these religions have common threads. Most of the core beliefs are the same, or every similar. And also, when I looked at the distances and the time it would have taken Jesus to travel from one place to another, the calculations in the book were correct. Remember, there was no Google Earth in 1894. How could Notovitch have made up the story and have gotten it so right? To me, the book is very believable.
ULM: How would you describe your writing using only three words?
Sly, spiritual, and sexy.
ULM: What was the research like for writing The Transmigrant?
At times, it was overwhelming. I started with The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ, the New Testament, and the Nag Hammadi Library. I watched Robert Beckford’s Channel 4 documentaries on YouTube. But the more I read, the more books I found that I just had to read. My apartment in Harlem is packed with books about Jesus. I also tried to read different point of views, different opinions.
I didn’t want to follow anyone’s lead, I wanted to form my own theory. Finding information about the common man in Galilee, Syria, India, etc. in the first century, was difficult. What did they really eat? What kind of sandals did they wear? There are almost no drawings of poor people from that era. And of course the majority of people couldn’t read or write, and those who could wrote for hire or wrote from a political perspective. I did travel to Israel, Syria, India, and Nepal to see the places with my own eyes. It made a huge difference.
ULM: What process did you use to help you outline your book?
To be honest, I just started writing. I didn’t know almost anything about Jesus when I started. For example, did you know that none of the gospels, perhaps not a single word in the New Testament were written by Jesus’ disciples? It was a steep learning curve.
Once I had written my first draft, I went back and forced in a plot line. At one point, the book was 125,000 words long. Now it’s 95,000. I cut out more than a quarter that just didn’t fit. Still, I couldn’t have done it a different way. I think Historical Fiction is like that, you learn as you write, and you don’t know what the story is until you have written the last page.
ULM: What other projects do you have in mind after releasing, The Transmigrant?
I have written the first draft of the follow up, which starts six months after Jesus’s death. His disciples, who have been in hiding, get together and decide they need to keep spreading his message to the world.
They don’t want him to have died for nothing. I’m at the point now that I need to clarify the plot line, but the bare bones are there. After that, I might write about Jesus’s brother Thomas, who brought Christianity to India. I wouldn’t mind going to India again for research.
ULM: For readers, who haven’t yet read, The Transmigrant, can you share with them briefly about it?
The story follows Yeshua, a somewhat presumptuous young man who thinks himself wiser than everyone else, on his journey to adulthood. It’s focused on the eighteen years not mentioned in the bible.
Yeshua can’t be a priest in his home country because he’s not born in a priestly family, so he travels via camel caravan along the Silk Road to India, in search for a guru. In the novel, Yeshua is an ordinary man who struggles with his ego, falls in love, yearns to be wise, and ultimately dedicates his life to becoming wise.
The book shows the similarities between Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism, and how Christianity can very well be a product of them all combined. It’s not a heavy novel with a hammered-in message, it’s more of a travelogue with some steamy scenes, too. It’s not really a religious book, even though it’s about Jesus, as strange as it may sound.
ULM: What are some books, movies, and or other articles that you enjoy that pushed you into writing this book?
Apart from the research, I mentioned earlier, I don’t think any specific books or movies influenced me. But I did like The Last Temptation of Christ, and I think The Transmigrant might have some parallels with the movie.
ULM: What are your other hobbies besides writing an entertaining yet stunning book?
I read a lot, of course. But I guess my passion is travelling. I’ve visited a third of the world’s countries, and although I can’t reach them all in my lifetime, I can still dream about it. The more difficult the place seems to be, the more I want to go there. Tibet and Ethiopia are my favorite countries thus far.
But I don’t mind a weekend on the beach with a good book, either. I also enjoy live music shows. I’m lucky I live in New York City, because there’s free music everywhere. We often go to a jazz dive bar in my neighborhood, Paris Blues. And in the summer, concerts at Central Park Summer Stage and Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect park.
ULM: Where can readers find you and your work online?
The Transmigrant is on pre-sale on Amazon.com until July 13 when it will be published more broadly. My web site is: www.KristiSaareDuarte.com. I also have a blog with funny travel stories at www.AmongBuddhasAndBabas.wordpress.com. And if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to email me at: KristiDNYC@gmail.com or contact me on twitter: @kristisaare.
New Release Coming Soon!
Susannah Davis loves the rodeo. She and her horse have done well in barrel racing this year and she has hopes to make it to the finals in Las Vegas. Yet it all may come to an end when she discovers drugs hidden in her truck. Is someone setting her up? Or merely using her truck as a means of transportation?
All Around Cowboy
Toby Palmer and his partner were high on the charts of this year’s rodeo events–until his partner is arrested accused of smuggling drugs. Toby knows that’s impossible and sets out to find who’is responsible to get his partner out of jail.
The one person on the rodeo circuit Susannah can trust is Toby Palmer. Together they contact Jesse Knight of Knight Agency Investigations to help them discover who’s using the rodeo as a part of a drug smuggling ring. What better cover than that of falling in love to fool others in thinking their time investigating is really personal. Can this charade become real?
She lost him once…
Years ago Samantha made a mistake and lost a chance at something real with Maguire O’Connor. Now that she’s living in Holly again, she knows seeing him is inevitable. But the last thing she ever expected was to take him on as a client.
Now, they have a second chance…
Maguire never got over Sam. Thanks to a meddling family member, he mistakenly hires Sam as his real estate agent. With her in his sights again, he’s not letting her go. But someone from her past followed her back to Holly with a sinister intent. Now Maguire will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he intends to claim as his forever.
Healing is a power that fifteen-year-old, Brenna Finlayson, has fought long and hard to subdue. When a harebrained idea suddenly occurs to her, she risks losing everything by revealing herself to the one person she fears losing the most.
Brenna’s spontaneous unveiling brings about the revealing of other truths. She, and her twin sister, Keely, have destinies to fulfill. Destinies that require them to fight. maybe even kill. As an innate healer, violence is the last thing Brenna wants.
In an attempt to live a normal, peaceful life, Brenna rejects her heritage, choosing a different path. But the path she chooses doesn’t bring her the normalcy she was hoping for.
Not even close.
Whispering Winds Unveiled by Tiffany Garnett is another great YA read. For fans of the paranormal genre this needs to be added to your list. Two sisters, twins, have destinies to fulfill. Like most charcaters in this environment one of them isn’t too thrilled about her destiny. Avoiding her path, Brenna still faces the life she tries to avoid. The plot was intriguing. A bit slow at first but worthy of reading. A new adventure full of drama and twists. Brenna is a charcater that is easy to relate to…her life isn’t easy and tough choices have to be made. Overall, I recommend Whispering Winds Unveiled by Tiffany Garnett.
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Tatum hasn’t had it easy. Her life has been a series of battles, but that hasn’t stopped her from finding and hanging onto what she wants and loves. She’s come a long way from the small farm in Texas she was born on – she’s earned her own way through college on diving scholarships, then moved to begin her career as an elite swim team coach, and is doing her best to survive her life as a widow and single mom.
When Nic Lobo literally steals her away from the life she’s fought to keep together, the most basic of responses is to hate him with every fiber of her being. His quick temper and random absences make that easy. So is the fact that she’s still in love with her dead husband, though she’s also very angry at him for the way in which he left her. But Nic is stubborn and committed, and he has the uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before, not even with the father of her child. He forces Tatum to respond to him the only way he knows how and that terrifies her in so many ways.
Will she fight him to the death, refusing to forgive him for the harm he’s caused, or will he wear her down until she acknowledges the connection their souls won’t allow to be severed.
Dee Henderson Pens Another Compelling Cold Case Mystery
Evie Blackwell’s reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results–and quickly.
Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn’t be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.
With a deep conviction that “justice for all” truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.
Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson is a deep Chase after the truth. Missing persons cases are being investigated and the blur between work and personal lives will blur. The pressure to solve them is high. As the cold cases connect with one another and with other cold cases, the duo team has their hands full. Murders…old wounds…and an engaging plot. Mystery, intrigue, and some romance. I enjoyed following Evie and her partner David as they went about getting answers. I haven’t read any previous novels by this talented writer, but I am happy that I read this book. After reading Threads of Suspicion, I look forward to reading more by the bestselling writer, Dee Henderson.
Littlehorn is the last dragon, born into a world that wants him dead.
The dragon’s blue scales and orange eyes are a stark contrast to the dull gray around him. The sky is gray. The ground is gray. Everything is gray, even the skin, eyes, and hair of every other living creature, including humans.
When Denyth, a simple farmer dreaming of a world of color beyond the gray encounters Littlehorn, the two set out on a journey to find the truth of where Littlehorn came from and if there truly is a world of color beyond the gray.
But Denyth isn’t the only human who knows of Littlehorn’s existence. A dragon-hunter named Zero, who has dedicated his entire life to purging anything of color, is coming after Littlehorn to finish the job.
Dragon and human flee together to the colorful land called Evenar, coming across a host of odd, colorful creatures, including a cat-like shapeshifter who can hear the land, a pacifist troll who wields a club the size of a tree trunk, and even a group of walruses who can talk.
Just as they think that they have found paradise, they discover a terrible secret: humanity wasn’t responsible for the fall of dragons after all.
Dragonsoul by Kayl Karadijian is an interesting YA fantasy. I liked the two worlds created by this writer. One of color and life and the other full of gray and doom. The farmer boy who finds the last dragon egg made my heart melt. The two new friends travel in the world of color…where there are other fascinating characters. While the dragon hunter tracks the farmer down down to kill his new friend the dragon, aka Littlehorn. For those who love adventure, fantasy, and a good journey, this is definitely a novel to read. I was captivated by the plot from the beginning to end. Overall, I highly recommend Dragonsoul to all.
Should an author stick to one genre?
Most authors tend to stick to one genre. Fantasy writers typically only do Fantasy. Scifi lovers focus on the future and whatifs and nothing more. Romancers can’t get enough of John Smith, and on and on. As an author who started with fantasy, then did a nonfiction memoir, now doing a scifi romance, and will go back to fantasy, I wonder if more authors should explore different stories?
To give some better insight as to what I’m getting at, I want to describe my own foray into new lands. So far, I’ve written five books. Three are from my epic fantasy series Tales of Ashkar. One is from a YA Fantasy trilogy called Dragonsoul. The last is a nonfiction memoir of my great grandfather, who survived the Armenian Genocide. My sixth, which I am currently working on, is a scifi romance inspired by Nic Pizzolatto (the guy behind True Detective) that contains a giant monster rampaging through San Francisco.
So far, I can say that I am glad I’ve ventured out into the dark. Going from fantasy of the utmost caliber to nonfiction in a personal and historical sense has developed my skills as a writer in two ways. The first is that I’ve gone from making up my characters and their story to writing about a real person and his real struggles, allowing me to understand different ways to approach human emotion and conflict. The second benefit is that from taking my eyes away from writing fiction after fiction, I switched to nonfiction and am now switching back. In other words, writing the nonfiction has given me the chance to refresh my skills as a writer, and as I come back to fiction I won’t be dogged down because I’ve just written four fantasy novels prior.
It’s also nice from a voice perspective. Writing fantasy is amazing, but it can also be a challenge when trying to convey a more archaic and specific voice with your characters. For example, my scifi romance is contemporary, and the dialogue and prose is going to reflect that.
So to all the other authors out there who may want to venture into other genres and have cold feet, I say go for it. You’ll learn a lot about yourself, and I guarantee that your writing skills will improve in some capacity.
You can find Dragonsoul, my YA Fantasy, here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MCVJVIP and Remembering Avedik: The True Story of a Genocide Survivor, my nonfiction memoir, here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072526BGS
Kayl Karadjian’s bio: Kayl Karadjian is a lifelong fan of Science-Fiction and Fantasy books, Manga, and Role-playing games. He is the author of multiple books in the Tales of Ashkar and Dragonsoul series.
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Punk is no ordinary millennial who takes the life as it is. She has a nasty habit of getting in troubles, she shows the middle finger to prejudice and stupidity, she fights against her broken identity and darkness of her soul. She goes against the stream with her heavy, tight shoes, but she still tries to be a better person. Punk’s adventurous journey to become someone who matters starts in a Place Without a Name, continues in Italy and London. Her train is full of sad reflections, laughs, modern tales about our young lives, relationships and occasional heartbreaks. If you’re a misfit, depressed, lonely or tired of people telling you what to do join Punk’s wild side of the moon. It all may seem out of this world, but it is very real.
Train to the Edge of the Moon by Asper Blurry is an interesting contemporary tale. One that spins readers deep into a millennial’s journey. Deep, dark, and emotional. Mental illness and the fight to survive is a common theme seems inside this book. Asper Blurry created a refreshing story. Many readers like myself can relate to the main character’s battle. To be understood, accepted, and happy. Life isn’t that easy nor neat. Humans are greatly flawed. Punk is a troubled teen whose life is anything but nice. Punk has many flaws which were expected. Believable and realistic. Train to the Edge of the Moon is a thrilling and raw. Readers will see the openness of the writer as they flip through every page. The writing by Asper Blurry is very bold. I enjoyed reading this novel.
There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions. Why? Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question. Who? Who are you, God? It is a question of relationship, a question we all murmur in the hardest places.
Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own hard questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors’ appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and self-doubt. Cancer is now not only threatening her own life, but, in a surprising twist, the lives of both her parents as well.
Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites fellow sojourners to discover that in life’s hardest places, they are not alone in their fear, they are not foolish to hope, and they are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never.
Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke is an inspiring memoir of one woman’s journey with cancer. Cancer is the toughest path one finds in life. It takes hold of us, crushing us under its pressure. Sometimes, we feel like we’ve lost the battle and want to give up. However, this book, redefines hope, beauty, and faith in the hardest places. Lynne Hartke’s words grabbed my attention immediately. Her words made me cry and feel that hope never dies. Pain only makes one stronger. Beautifully written by a survivor, who went through it all. Pain, grief, and hope. Overall, I deeply recommend this memoir to all.
Joys, Fears, and Frustrations of Being an EditorBy Danita Moon
I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. When I read, things that may be incorrect have always popped out at me. I make a note of what I find and then go back to see if there was an actual problem, whether it be an incorrect character name, character description or timeline issue. It’s hard for me to finish a book if I find that there are many typos or spelling errors. I’ve always asked myself what it would be like to be an editor. Would I enjoy it? What would it be like to work with authors?
I started working with New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Novak as her assistant a little over two years ago. I’ve learned a lot from her about the process of writing and editing. So I decided to start proofreading manuscripts, but when I saw what others were charging, I was afraid I wouldn’t get any business because I wouldn’t charge a competitive enough rate. Most were charging so much per word, but I couldn’t see doing that as most authors are now self-publishing. I decided I was just going to charge a flat rate for a manuscript, but because I wasn’t familiar enough with grammar and sentence structure I limit my editing to everything but that.
The frustrating part is when you are reading a story and see something that just doesn’t make sense. You try to explain that from a reader’s point of view, but it is written from a whole other perspective. I do understand that there is a structure in which a book is to be written and format that it must follow, but I just get a little frustrated when it doesn’t make sense or it isn’t consistent with another area of the story.
When I first started proofreading or making suggestions to an author, I was fearful of how they would take what I was saying. I mean, here I am, just a reader pointing out something that they spent months writing, and they are the professional, but I eventually realized that it takes several eyes to make a book successful.
To help in the editing process I took a course to become a certified proofreader and copy editor which I completed last year.
The editing I do isn’t what I call a standard proofreading service. I’m very detail-oriented and a perfectionist, so when I work on a project, I do a line-by-line edit. If the book is part of a series, then I will research the other books in the series to make sure everything is consistent. This is the author’s life work, and they depend on those who read their drafts to help them polish the manuscript.
The one thing I’ve learned in my adventures in proofreading is that you can’t catch all errors. It took me awhile to get used to that fact and is still a huge frustration.
The major joy of being an editor is the fact that I’m a part of such a magical world. These authors have a craft that very few have. They weave stories that draw so many of us in and take us to places that we can only dream about. To be a part of the process that gets these books out to the reader in as perfect a format as possible is a magnificent feeling.
The matchmaker meets her match…in one very persistent tycoon!
Secretive matchmaker to the rich and famous, Lydia Whitney prefers to stay behind the scenes. But after one mistake, rich resort developer Ian McNeill is hot on her trail, and he’s more attractive—and persistent—than ever before.
Ian can’t believe it when he figures out who’s messing with his family: a woman who has deceived—and seduced—him before. What’s her agenda? And why can’t he resist her? He’ll get the answers to all his questions, if Lydia agrees to his convenient marriage proposal. But once she’s in his arms again, will he let her go?
200 Pgs. |Heat: 3 | Series Info
Harlequin Desire | Rel: May 9, 2017
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Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.
The Magnate’s Marriage Merger by Joanne Rock is a novel full of passion. Talk about desire! This read is hot as fire. Both main characters will be playing with something they can’t resist nor deny. That is what makes this a compelling tale.
Inside The Magnate’s Merger, I met a tycoon, Ian McNeill. He is wanting to know who is messing with his family and why. Then, he finds the answer. Someone he knew from his past. But her motive is what he’s really searching for…only he doesn’t realize how dangerous the game he’s playing will be. Hearts will be taken.
Then, there’s the secretive matchmaker, Lydia Whitney. Her one mistake leads her past flame to chasing her. This time, he’s hotter and more demanding than she knew. He offers her a convenient marriage proposal…will she accept it?
Joanne Rock has once again brought another fabulous book to my hands. A heated romance packed full of tension. The future of the characters lies with their choices…the suspense is killing and the intrigue kept me turning the pages. Overall, I highly recommend The Magnate’s Marriage Merger to all readers.
ULM: What inspired you to write your novel, Play for Me?
A train trip across Canada, a kind of concert in motion, jumpstarted the idea. I had begun studying classical guitar, which led to writing for music magazines. When I heard about the train ride and how several bands would be performing, jamming, and interacting with their fans, I decided it was something I just had to be part of and write about. It was quite an experience, and I found myself wanting to explore why music is so powerful for us and about obsession and hardcore fandom. To top it off, on the train I was berthed next to the leaders of two of the bands and had a front row seat to their very explosive romantic breakup – they became the models for my lead singer Blaise and her guitarist JJ.
ULM: What was it like creating the main character, Lily?
I actually based Lily in large part on my sister. Her twin daughters were going off to college and she was suddenly confronted with empty-nest angst and the realization thatshe had lost sight of her own needs through years of work and childrearing. I wondered,is it possible to reinvent yourself in middle age, to rediscover your own creative potential? In a way, Play for Me is a cautionary tale, especially for women, of what can happen if you lose touch with your deepest self.
ULM: Since your novel is around the central theme of music, what kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
While I love most styles and kinds of music of music, my favorite is anything guitar-centric, whether rock, acoustic, classical, flamenco. I also really enjoy singer songwriters.
ULM: How would you describe your novel, using only three words?
emotional, intelligent, honest
ULM: How would you describe your other main character, JJ?
He’s charming, sweet, needy, super talented, and, ultimately, selfish.
ULM: What advice would you give to other writers?
I advise writing every day, even if just for 15 minutes. One trick I use if I’m stuck is to work off other writers. Sometimes I copy out entire passages I admire and then use that as a base to write something of my own. It’s a great way to improve technique. I also recommend joining a writing group – whether in person or online –for feedback, advice, and support.
ULM: Do you have any future writing projects that you can share with us, readers?
I’m currently working on a new novel set in Montauk, Long Island, with a broad cast of characters. It’s about the conflicts and pressures – environmental and financial – on a beach/resort town.
ULM: What is it like being both a writer and editor? Which task would you say was easier? How long have you been an editor?
A very interesting question! I think it’s sort of right brain/left brain – both are creative in their way and both also require basic language skills, but overall, editing requires the analytic part of the brain while fiction depends on the intuitive and on the imagination. Happily editorial work doesn’t make the same kind of demands on me that fiction does –of invention and imagination. So they are complementary but very different. For me, editing is easier, because most of it can be learned, whereas fiction is an art, and any art relies on being able to tap into the deeper parts of the self and on honing one’s creativity and unique point of view—and how all of that works is something of a mystery! I’ve been an editor for decades. I started out in publishing as an editorial assistant and worked my way up through various editing jobs. Then I switched to magazine copyediting, and now I work as a freelancer.
ULM: Being a music reviewer, would say that this had some influence on writing your novel, Play for Me?
Yes, absolutely. I have been able to do many interviews with musicians for various articles and found their lives and struggles to be quite interesting. So I used a lot of that material in the novel. Also, in writing reviews one has to describe – to people who are listeners but not necessarily musicians – how music sounds. Finding the right descriptivewords and a way to put them together is a unique kind of challenge. The experience writing reviews really helped when I was trying to communicate how JJ’s music sounds to Lily so the reader can imagine it, and also to understand the profound effect the music has on her.
ULM: How did you become a music Reviewer?
I find that pretty interesting. It’s not every day one hears about meeting a Reviewer of music. Breaking in to music reviewing is similar to breaking in to other writing for publications—with a query letter and your clips (already published work)—except that you are requiredto play an instrument yourself. I wrote a query letter to Acoustic Guitar magazine about a CD I wanted to review, and they accepted. After that they asked if I’d like to review for them regularly, and that led to longer pieces and to writing and reviewing for other places as well.
ULM: Where can readers find you and your work online?
I’m at www.celinekeating.com and I’m always happy to hear from readers. Many of my stories and reviews are available, as well as excerpts from my novels.
International Book Award finalist in literary fiction
Indie Excellence Award finalist in fiction
USA Book Award finalist in fiction
“Keating combines the soul-searching of Eat, Pray, Love with the rock ’n’ roll fable of Almost Famous to create a novel of midlife crisis with music at its core.” —Booklist
Middle-aged Lily impulsively joins a touring folk-rock band, leaving her job and marriage behind in an attempt to find a second chance at life, passion, and art.
It happens without warning: At a folk-rock show at her son s college, Lily becomes transfixed by the guitarist s unassuming onstage presence and beautiful playing and with his final note, something within her breaks loose. After the concert, Lily returns to her comfortable life an Upper West Side apartment, a job as a videographer, and a kind if distracted husband but she can t stop thinking about the music, or about the duo s guitarist, JJ. Unable to resist the pull of either one, she rashly offers to make a film about the band in order to gain a place with them on tour. But when Lily dares to step out from behind her camera, she falls deep into JJ s world upsetting the tenuous balance between him and his bandmate, and filling a chasm of need she didn t know she had. Captivating and provocative, Play for Me captures the thrill and heartbreak of deciding to leave behind what you love to follow what you desire.” (less)
Play for Me by Celine Keating is a contemporary piece written mostly for women. I can feel the main characters’ emotions as the scenes played out…I also noticed that the writer’s book held her passion for music. Deep, entertaining, and well-told. As I followed the main character, Lily, I got lost within her story. She goes out doing what she loves and ends up entangled in her own problems. Decisions have to be made….and the consequences are intense. Making the novel’s atmosphere that more electrifying. Romance between two that shouldn’t occur, a marriage held by a strong, and destruction of her daughter’s life lay ahead. As I read through the pages and wasn’t sure what advice I would give to Lily. I felt her pain as the plot continued. Celine Keating has a way of luring readers like myself further into the book.
Play for Me is exactly as it states and the options get harder as one wife slash mother tries living her life and balancing the old with the new. But as with reality, life has a way of knocking us back down to earth. Overall, great read for women everywhere. Easy to relate to and connect with the characters.
The story begins with a phone call from Robin. She and I had been working together in therapy for almost ten years. She usually didn’t call between sessions, partly because she was very aware of and careful about boundaries, but also because severe anxiety about making phone calls was one of her symptoms.
The story that follows this phone call is one of courage and determination. Despair to Deliverance is a memoir-one unique in its perspective from both client and psychotherapist-that uncovers the harrowing experience of recovering from mental illness.
Robin Personette’s descent into a severe mental health breakdown is not an experience she goes through alone. With her longtime psychotherapist, Sharon DeVinney, PhD, at her side, Robin must first learn to see the value in life before she can continue living.
With touching transparency and a courageous examination of what it means to fight for a stable and healthy life, both Robin and Sharon welcome readers to follow them on their unique journey together.
For anyone who has ever struggled with life’s challenges-or who has had a loved one dealing with mental illness-Despair to Deliverance is a comforting message of perseverance and hope.
Despair to Deliverance by Sharon DeVinney, Ph.D. & Ronin Personette is a memoir forall to read. The path of having a mental illness is not easy to navigate through alone. Here, Robin has her psychotherapist, Sharon, to help her. A dark journey of despair is slowly lifted through a woman’s search for help. A triump over severe mental illness. After reading other books by mental illness patients, this was the first one I’ve read by both the doctor and the patient. It was exciting to read pages written by both women. It peaked my curiosity. Many suffering from mental illnesses also suffer from depression. I was glad to see the outcome of Robin’s journey turn to be a good one. Despair to Deliverance is a recommended read for all.
Revenge. It’s something Sigrud je Harkvaldsson is very, very good at. Maybe the only thing.
So when he learns that his oldest friend and ally, former Prime Minister Shara Komayd, has been assassinated, he knows exactly what to do and that no mortal force can stop him from meting out the suffering Shara’s killers deserve.
Yet as Sigrud pursues his quarry with his customary terrifying efficiency, he begins to fear that this battle is an unwinnable one. Because discovering the truth behind Shara’s death will require him to take up arms in a secret, decades-long war, face down an angry young god, and unravel the last mysteries of Bulikov, the city of miracles itself. And perhaps most daunting of all finally face the truth about his own cursed existence.
City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett is an epic science fiction fantasy. Robert Jackson Bennett has impressed me with his writing. I haven’t read a book of his until this one, and I am thrilled I did. This novel of his, has a powerful emotional journey. One that sucks readers straight into its emotions. Sadness, anger, loss and many more. I enjoyed following this closing piece of the trilogy. Fast-paced story. City of Miracles offers action, adventure and a deep sense of attachment. It kept me captivated. The characters are complex and the plot is woven in a way that kept me from putting down…overall, I highly recommend this masterpiece to readers everywhere.
The 4th book in the BESTSELLING Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series is 28th April 2017!
A funeral wreath is delivered to Barker’s cottage. Is it a prank, or a grim warning? Julia’s fears that somebody is trying to kill Barker are confirmed when a dead body with a striking resemblance to him is found on his doorstep the very next day, just as their romance is deepening.
Barker might be on temporary suspension from his role as Detective Inspector at the village police station, but that doesn’t mean he’s short of enemies in Peridale, especially when a dark face from his past arrives in the small village to stir up painful memories.
With an unclear list of suspects and motives, Julia vows to keep Barker safe, but can they figure out the puzzle as they work outside of the law in a race against time to stop Barker paying the ultimate price?
Chocolate Cake and Chaos by Agatha Frost is the fourth masterpiece in this series. I absolutely loved it. Once again, I was following the heroine, Julia, and her boyfriend, the suspended inspector. Here, I learned a lot of surprising twists. Inspector Barker finds that a man he put away for a murder case, has been released due to false charges…and that same man is now, in the same town as him. Talk about suspense, intrigue, and fear! As always there’s a new murder investigation happening where Julia is involved. This time, it hits closer to home. A personal case that has everyone nervous and scared. The brewing romance between Julia and Inspector Barker is sweet as sugar. A man who loves chocolate as much as I do is a keeper. Chocolate Cake and Chaos is a hilarious, romantic, and engaging read. I was intrigued throughout the piece. Again, Agatha Forst has created another favorite book for me to always remember. I love her charcaters and sticky plots. Overall, I highly recommend this cozy mystery to all.
The 3rd book in the BESTSELLING Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series!
Julia never expected to be caught up in another murder investigation, but when she discovers that homeless people are dying suspiciously and the police aren’t investigating, she can’t sit back and do nothing. After promising her young lodger, Jessie, that she will do everything she can to help, Julia finds herself diving headfirst into the case, aided by her new Detective Inspector boyfriend, Barker. Sure there is a serial killer preying on the vulnerable residents of an old burnout warehouse, Julia must act quickly to get to the bottom of the mystery, but can she crack the case before more bodies turn up?
Book 3 in the Peridale Cafe Mystery series! Can be read as a standalone but will be enjoyed more as part of the series. A light, cozy mystery read with a cat loving and cafe owning female amateur sleuth, in a small village setting with quirky characters. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes!
Doughnuts and Deception by Agatha Frost is another brilliant masterpiece. Julia is a baker but also one of the best ameature sleuths ever. She practically does the entire police force’s work for them. And not a single officer believes her when she’s informing them about a new case and why they should investigate it. However, there’s one investigator on her side…Barker. He’s completely fallen in love with the stubborn, brace, and smart Julia. Julia also likes Barker just as much. Julia’s gran is crazy but hilarious as well. She ‘spies’ on Julia and Barker as they do things and speaks her mind like no one else I know. Caring, sweet, but crazy older lady. Then, there’s the adoptive teenager, Jessie. Jessie was homeless until Julia took her under her own roof. Both Jessie and Julia are good bakers.
In this latest piece, the main characters are taken into a string of murders deemed as ‘not murdered’ and the police won’t take interest. These murders involve mostly homeless men. Men that Jessie knew when she was homeless. Jessie takes the murders to heart….and Julia can’t help but to dig into the mystery. Then, there’s Barker who will have to stick with Julia if he wants her to be safe…but his career and everything else might be jeopardized…overall, Doughnuts and Deception is another highly engaging and well-told story. Agatha Frost has once more caught my full attention and my heart with her new book. I highly recommend this read to all.
Raina Sun is cashing in a gift certificate for a free hairstyle from the town’s premier beauty salon and day spa. No more walking dandelion head, thank you very much. Life is on the up-and-up—until she finds an attacker holding her best friend in a headlock outside the treatment rooms.
She never thought she would spend her birthday pinned against a sweaty armpit, gagging on a mouthful of seaweed, with the attacker plucking at her best friend’s weave like a farmwife de-feathering a chicken.
When the attacker ends up six feet under, her best friend becomes the prime suspect. Raina summons her sleuthing skills to jump full-tilt into this murder investigation to clear her best friend’s name. With her stink-bomb-toting grandma and the geriatric posse, she soon discovers death is easy, and it’s the living that kills to protect the dead.
For readers who like fun cozy mysteries, quirky characters, and a dash of humor.
Balmy Darlings and Deaths by Anne R. Tan is a fun cozy mystery. This novel has plenty of action to keep readers intrigued. I enjoyed following Raina as she worked as a sleuth to solve the mystery. Imagine going into a hair salon only for an elderly lady to hit the salon, a jealous woman to attack a worker of the salon, and for the jealous attacker to be found dead. So many things happen and it’s only time to find out if Raina’s best friend is a murderer or not. Raina has a lot on her sleeve. A crazy grandmother, an ex, and a best friend who isn’t acting like a friend at all. Emotionally troubling…and full of drama. The elderly ladies make this tale sweet and hilarious. Balmy Darlings and Deaths is one adventure after another. A murderer is on the loose and situations keep getting more intense…Anne R. Tan has woven an entertaining tale. I recommend it to all.
Still recovering from the fire at Sagamore Road, and what she witnessed there, Robin Hanley’s daughter, Tess, is the one speaking to the ghost of Fryderyk Chopin now. Having inherited the abilities shared by her rock musician father and her witch stepmother, Tess must discover what started the long history of witches culminating in her family, and why they have the abilities they do. To accomplish this, she must delve back to pre-Dynastic Egypt, and the very first incarnation.
As Tess struggles to convince them that they might still be in danger, Robin and his wife, Suze, face the loss of a loved one and seek to counsel the troubled spirit of Suze’s cousin, Angie, an unwilling accomplice to the family secret.
Desperate to carry on the archaeological research of Suze’s late father, Tess must find the only person capable of giving her the missing facts to discover the cause of the phenomenon before it returns to strike at them again.
The second in Cary Marc Grossman’s three-part Chopin’s Family series, The House on Sagamore Road takes the reader back 26,000 years, to the birth of civilization.
Rating: 4 stars
The House on Sagamore Road by Cary Marc Gross an is an impressive piece. The pacing drags a little but the action soon takes over and carried me through it. The tale is about a family of witches….in danger. Danger in the present is related to the past. Father, step-mother, and daughter work together in uncovering the answers before they’re facing troubleonce more. A ghost musician added to the plot was fascinating. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Research, archaeology, and family secrets are the three areas that move this tale into a suspenseful read. What they find, if they find, may or may not help them with their struggles. Loss and time racing against them, readers will be captivated just like I was. Tess is a teen who intrigues me. Believable…it was easy to get lost in her story. Dark, entertaining, and different. The House on Sagamore Road just the second part to a grand adventure. I dare readers to pick it up…(there are some adult content within this book, therefore I advise those 18 and older to read this book). Overall, I recommend it to others.
Rik Bogart built the ‘In’ Club in lower Manhattan with his separation check from the CIA and the anguish of a lost true love; at least it was in his mind. Ingrid Johanssen, an international news correspondent living in Baghdad, did not show up at the airport to accompany Rik when Saddam Hussein instructed him to leave in 1991, just before Desert Storm. Rik spent nineteen months in prison after going back in a failed attempt to get Ingrid out safely. But on a September evening a decade later, she walks into his club seeking his help. Understanding he cannot resurrect the love that has haunted him, Rik refuses, but comes face-to-face with his continuing love for her. Rik must overcome a decade of emptiness, and feelings of betrayal to react when he realizes she is in the New York World Trade Towers on the morning of the terrorist attack. That night he finally learns what happened a decade before and why; decides to undertake a dangerous mission that will not bring her back to him, and will make their reunion impossible. Resigned to his fate, he draws on relationships and talents unused for more than a decade knowing that even if successful he must let her go.
Rik’s by dhtreichler is an amazing alternate history tale. War, realistic events like 9/11, and a romance that seems impossible to have all brilliantly woven, here. The main character, Rik Bogart is an interesting man. His training is impressive, but he leaves it. All it takes is for one woman to snatch his heart and all he thinks about is her. A journalist who is entangled with the dangerous events. Rik riskshis life to stay behind to find her and get her out…but she was already gone. Years have gone by and she shows up once more. Intense, intriguing, and well-told. Rik’s is a clandestine relationship that is crazy, powerful, and addictive. Despite all odds, they keep it going. Overall, dhtreichler’s writing was wonderful to follow. Every page added to the suspenseful plot. I enjoyed reading this and recommend it to others.
This is a collection of twelve, high concept, multi-part short stories reflecting on and inspired by the death and transformation of the year 2016. It serves as an elegy for that period of time, submerging into its dark themes of loss, extracting what irreverence and hopefulness it can, and reflecting it through a prism of an eternal universe. Sorted astrologically, the stories sometimes span generations, depicting conflict based around such themes as apocalypse, dreams, aging, dying, ghosts, the afterlife, animals, nature, global politics and pop culture. Location also varies, taking the reader through several American states to North Korea, Africa, the Philippines and beyond – often peppered with heavy doses of Southern Gothic sensibility. Here you can read about religion based on science fiction and fantasy, a 1960’s lounge singer marginalized by the Beatles, or a mixture of drugs that allows the user to summon the dead. Several of the tales blend fact into the fiction, nodding to the cultural giants whose deaths loomed over the year 2016: David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Carrie Fisher and others. These are detailed and developed stories, intended to instill within the reader a sense of timelessness and a comfort in the notion of infinity.
Coping with Death and Destruction by Arrison Kirby is an epic collection of short stories. Each one has a different plot. Every plot gives off another emotion. One that takes my heart and pulls and tugs until it sets me free. Sad, haunting, and dark. The tales told, captivated my attention with every page. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened this book. However, I am thrilled to have done so. This was a path full of multiple journeys that I won’t be forgetting. There’s a variety of unique characters and stories to suit the taste of readers everywhere. The emotions hit me hard and square. I loved it. Coping with Death and Destruction not only entertained me but left me to feel things…that’s when I knew this was a book I would recommend to all. One fantasy after another can be experienced by each story told. Well-written.
CRIMES OF PASSION
When she was on the verge of adulthood, Riva Henneman committed a crime and got caught red-handed. Luckily, she was busted by a HOT young cop…who also had a big heart. A one-time SEAL candidate, Officer Ian Hawthorn knew how it felt to have your dreams derailed. So he gave Riva a choice: face prison time or work for him as a confidential informant. But even a get-out-of-jail-free card comes with a cost. . .
Years later, Ian still remembers beautiful, innocent Riva–and the smoldering attraction they shared but both tried to ignore. Will they have a second chance, now that they’re back in each other’s lives? Riva’s work with inner-city children has led to a surprise run-in with Ian, who has his own agenda–one that could put them both in grave danger. Is their desire worth the risk this time?
The high octane suspense and super sizzling romance continues with Turn Me Loose, the third novel in the Alpha Ops series by Anne Calhoun.
Turn Me Loose by Anne Calhoun is a novel to die for. The heat is massive. Raw chemistry increases with every page. The lust has the two main characters locked on each other. But there is more than just lust going on between Ian and Riva. History that brought them together is now, repeating itself. Placing Riva into a difficult spot. One that could endanger all the people she loves as well as her own life. Themes of drugs, violence, abuse, and hope are found within these pages. I was hooked from the beginning.
Turn Me Loose is exactly as the title suggests. A police officer, Ian Hawthorn, turns himself loose from his career to keep the one woman he loves, safe. He also, turns loose the woman he loved in the past ofor his career. Then, we see that a young guy is turned loose for a second chance at life. Anne Calhoun has once more drugged me with her powerful plot and irresistible charcaters. It was hard not to love both Ian and Riva. Their story pulled at my heart, made me laugh and cry. The ending was just as satisfactory as the rest of the book. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere.
In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.
Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.
But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?
Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it.
The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston was a wonderful Amish heirloom read. This novel, was a journey down memory lane for Mattie. Memories that might change the present. Doubt, fear, and worry fill Mattie’s mind. Her daughters know something…but not enough. Imagine keeping a secret for so long…and finally it’s about to be revealed. Choices have to be made. For better or for worse. I loved reading this charming, engaging, and emotionally powered book. The family life tugged at my heart strings. Suspense of what might happen kept me intrigued. Every page was entertaining. The Beloved Hope Chest is another brilliant piece featuring strong female heroines. Amy Clipston has once more captivated my full attention with her latest novel. Overall, this heartfelt read is one that I would recommend to readers everywhere. The story is full of both woe and happiness.
After a devastating winter, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.
Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.
Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.
When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love?
Upon A Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin is a Christian tale full of tragedy, loss, and new beginnings. A young woman loses her husband and faces life as a single mother. Beth buries herself into work. Keeping busy. Aidan is facing internal struggles over his friend’s death and the growing attraction towards his friend’s wife. The child seems to be pulling the two adults closer but Aidan and Beth have to overcome their obstacles and fears before love can set in…
Kelly Irvin’s writing is easy to follow. Intriguing, clean, and charming. The charcaters are believable. Their life situations are realistic. I was able to connect with both characters. Loss, grief, love, and faith are themes commonly found on every page. Overall, I recommend Upon A Spring Breeze to all.
Chocolate expert Chantelle Cummings arrives in Marietta, Montana with two goals—sign copies of her new book and research a quaint local chocolate shop. When she meets a gorgeous guy passing out chocolate samples, her visit turns sweeter than she ever imagined. The man melts her heart, but her dream of working in France with her family makes her hesitant to pursue a romance.
Former Air Force captain York Parker has one month before embarking upon a consulting career. He never expected to be selling chocolates, but he’s happy to help his sister and her boss. He also likes spending time with sassy, pretty Chantelle. His new co-worker may have the chocolate touch, but he’d rather taste her decadent kisses… That is, until he learns the real reason she’s in town.
Will the truth harden his heart, or will love pave the way to a sweet future?
The Chocolate Touch by Melissa McClone is another exciting journey that involves chocolates, romances, and hearts on the line. I love chocolate and this book like the others in it’s series have been heart melting. Sweet, decadent, and intriguing. The suspense of what will come between an Air Force captain and a book writer is one that stole my heart. The characters were believable. The scenes made me feel like I was watching them unfold. The writer has a way of engaging her readers like me into her plot. Two alphas working together, fall in love…but can they keep what they have or will their differences set them apart? Truth can set them free or break them into a million pieces. Chantelle and York will both be tested and tempted. I liked the duo combination as it sparked chemistry, heat, and an HEA possibility. Overall, The Chocolate Touch was entertaining to follow. I recommend it to others.
What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?
One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.
The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.
Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.
Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.
Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison? (less)
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner is a stunning YA novel. Instantly, the plot dragged me into its depth. Deep, emotional, and troubling. As I read further, I wasn’t sure of what the outcome would be. Intrigue, sheer curiosity, and the intensity of the tale hooked me. Friends, death, loss, and uncertainty are major themes found on every page. The main character, Carver Briggs, has a way of luring me further into his life journey. Blame, angry, and heated moments are sure to follow…overall, Goodbye Days has the effect of breaking me into a million pieces and pulling me back together. That kind of epic adventure is truly one worth reading. I recommend this title by Jeff Zentner to readers worldwide. Whether one is a teen or an adult, the pages will send you falling into the book.
Vijetha Kumar from the Blog ‘Bookshelves and Everything Else‘
She is hosting a Giveaway of a Historical Romance novel – ‘Never Trust A Pirate‘ by Valerie Bowman on her blog.
It’s actually in the form of a contest. She would love it if you participate!!
If you have friends who love HR and want free book ( who doesn’t right?) you can tell them to participate as well.
It’d be really great, if you can spread the word.
The contest ends on 2nd May.
PS: It’s US only!
PPS: I just notived the female protagonist’s name in the book is Danielle too..!! 😉
Japan – what a beautiful country filled with rich history, extraordinary culture, and most of all, exotic food.
If you have ever eaten at a Japanese restaurant, you know just how exquisite the food is. The displays, the flavors, the textures – all like a fresh burst from heaven!
Experiencing Japanese cuisine is not merely another dining experience. It’s a journey, a lifestyle, and something that you never forget.
How would you like to create that experience for yourself at home? Whenever you are looking for a new way to cook for your family, why not give Japanese cooking a try?
Now you can with “Excel Japanese Cooking,” which will give you all the tools and information to get started today. It won’t be long before you’re whipping up delicious dishes that you never thought you could make!
Here’s a sample taste of what you’ll get:
– Japanese Dining Culture and Etiquette. Knowing these will help you when you are eating out at a Japanese restaurant as well as when you are cooking.
– Craftsmanship for Japanese Chefs. There are many specialized kitchen essentials needed for the Japanese chefs that will be covered.
– Essential Breakfast Basis. The healthy Japanese version of breakfast that will get you going. Plus, the one most complicated recipe not for the faint of heart.
– Follow-up Lunch Basis. The heartier follow-up meal to the lighter breakfast that will fill you up and energize you to keep going throughout the day.
– Transition Dinner Basis. The guilt-free side of Japanese cuisine where the items are more varied and appetizing for dinner to end the long day.
…and that’s just for starters.
As you can see, this is not only some list of Japanese recipes thrown together. It’s a whole introduction to Japanese cuisine and culture. You’ll learn all sorts of things that you never knew before to be well-rounded in the art of Japanese culinary.
Whether you are interested in getting into Japanese cooking or you want to impress your friends and family with an impressive meal, “Excel Japanese Cooking” is for you!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I’m a huge fan of Japanese cuisine, which is why I decided to take a look at this book. I’ve never tried making sushi, or any other kind of Japanese food, at home and the idea intrigued me. Not being even close to a professional chef, this book was perfect in helping me experiment. The directions where clear and simple – anyone can easily follow the different recipes. Fabulous resource that made me confident I can make any dish I want in the future.
I was pleasantly surprised that there weren’t any grammar errors in this book! This isn’t my first book read from the “Excel” series of books, which is one of the big reasons I went with it. They have had some issues before with needing corrections but this one was pristine. It was fantastic. I’m looking forward to the next book I read in this series. It was interesting to read and no errors. I can’t ask for anything in a book, not even in one of my favorite fantasy novels.
There is one part of the book I did not like, which is why I’m giving it 4 out of 5 stars: the entire first chapter of the book. Well, there aren’t really chapters, but I’m talking about the “Opening” and “Starters” sections. They were meant to be a type of introduction to the book, but it didn’t do a great job of doing that. I didn’t really see how it had anything to do with leaving the basics of Japanese cooking, it was nonsense that didn’t get me into reading further nor prepare me for what I was about to read. It was completely unnecessary. The book would have been so much better without these two sections at the beginning.
Still, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in making Japanese food themselves. It has fantastic advice, and clear instructions. There’s no way to mess up with how simple the writer made following the recipes. Anyone trying these out can feel confident that they can make their favorite Japanese food as well as a native, and allow themselves to feel comfortable to try new dishes not included within the book’s pages. Anyone even considering trying to make this type of food themselves should read this book first!
New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak welcomes readers to the town of Silver Springs, where surprises wait around every corner!
The search for her birth mother brought Cora Kelly to the New Horizons Boys Ranch. Getting a job there was easy enough, but confiding in Aiyana, the ranch’s owner, that she’s really her daughter? Cora’s not sure she can do that, not unless she’s confident the news will be welcomed. And once she gets to know Elijah Turner, Aiyana’s adopted son and ranch manager, that decision becomes even more difficult.
Although Elijah can’t deny his deep attraction to Cora, he’s always struggled with trust. Anyone with his past would, and there’s something about the ranch’s newest employee that isn’t exactly as it seems. But if the feelings she awakes in his guarded heart are any indication, she might be just what he’s long been waiting for.
Finding Our Forever by Brenda Novak is the beginning to a new series. Talk about a starter…this novella is packed full of emotional journeys. In this tale, I met a young woman who was adopted. Luckily for her, her adoptive mother and father were good people. That doesn’t happen much for orphans. Yet, Cora lucked out and she’s about to luck out further. Cora is a twenty-eight year old woman who hired an investigation into who her birth mom was and where she could find her. Finally, she has her answers. Little did she know that she would not only met her mom but her future husband, too. I was ecstatic. Neverous, happy, and sad. The intensity of the story kept building up to where it could end badly…I wasn’t sure which way the news would swing.
Brenda Novak has once more impressed me with her writing. This writer is a pro at coming up with plots that are engaging. From the beginning to end, I was tailing after Cora every second. Left in suspense as to what will happen next and what Cora might decide to do. I was happy to have read this new novella by Brenda Novak. She truly, knows what her readers want and expect. I have read many of her books….and I love them all. There’s always some form of an emotional attachment that has me connecting immediately with the main charcaters. There’s either a dilemma that has me on edge of my seat guessing or a romance that has me hooked. Either way, I’m always left feeling satisfied having read each of her works. Finding Our Forever had a theme of adoption and family. I thought it was brilliant. A believable tale with all its craziness just like the real world brings. Overall, I highly recommend this book to readers worldwide.
World famous MMA champion Zachary Barrett has returned to his home in Phuket, Thailand, and his elite training camp, Revolution. Thanks to his twin brother, a renowned pro trainer in Colorado, Zachary is primed and ready for his next title bout—but his toughest match may be with the sports journalist assigned to write an exposé on him. Not only is she gorgeous, she’s after a well-guarded secret that Zach soon realizes makes her off limits in every way…
It’s true that Kenzie Monroe has an ulterior motive for pursuing Zachary. The half-Asian beauty believes he’s connected to her estranged father, a former MMA fighter who disappeared years ago. And the more Zachary avoids her, the more determined she is—and the hotter their game of cat and mouse becomes…until they both surrender. But as lust, love, and friendship combine, Zachary knows he has to answer all of Kenzie’s questions—because outside of the ring, the heart makes the rules…
“Mello hits all the right notes…A smart heroine, a sensual hero, witty repartee, and complex family dynamics.” – Publishers Weekly on Playing for Keeps
Perefect Pleasures by Deborah Fletcher Mello is a contemporary African American novel. It’s heat level is packed full. The charcaters’ chemistry ignites with every page. Lighting a fiery passion within them. One is after the other for answers. She won’t stop until she gets what she wants. However, neither charcater expected the raw desires to flare up…
This novel looked good. It’s written fine. But there’s really no personal connection from the reader to the charcaters. The story is all sexual which is fine, since the title suggests that. It just felt like the emotional connection between characters wasn’t really developed. They struggle with their issues. It’s like they are hiding from reality by having sex. Other than those issues, the book was fine. Entertaining read overall. I haven’t read any previous novels by Deborah Fletcher Mello so, I can’t compare how her writing fell from the others. But her novel holds promise, just needs more work.
The New York Times bestselling author of Summer Rental delivers her delicious new escapist novel about small towns, old flames, and deep secrets
Annajane Hudgens truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless. They’ve been divorced for four years, she’s engaged to a new, terrific guy, and she’s ready to leave the small town where she and Mason had so much history. She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding to the beautiful, intelligent, delightful Celia. But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is literally walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe she’s been given a second chance. Maybe everything happens for a reason. And maybe, just maybe, she wants Mason back. But there are secrets afoot in this small southern town. On the peaceful surface of Hideaway Lake, Annajane discovers that the past is never really gone. Even if there are people determined to keep Annajane from getting what she wants, happiness might be hers for the taking, and the life she once had with Mason in this sleepy lake town might be in her future.
Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews is a contemporary romance worthy of reading. The raw chemistry that flares between characters is great. Two families that have a controlling mother. A father who slept around…and fathered a child outside his marriage. An older son who takes responsibility far greater than he should. Another son who takes no responsibility at all. Two former lovers have had a lot on their plates…and their love for each other hasn’t died. But where their lives are headed is one intense journey. Love conquers all. Other themes like marriage, faith, and family are popular throughout this book. Another interesting twist was the rich and poor charcaters intermingled on every page. Friendship lasts a lifetime.
Mary Kay Andrews brought to life a real world inside her novel, Spring Fever. The characters’ lives were troubled from day one. Drama, money, and family always got in the way. In the real world those same things change and alter people’s lives. I was addicted. The plot wasn’t a fairy tale. It was rough around the edges. Entertaining, well-told, and fascinating to follow. Spring Fever was believable in every way possible. Overall, I recommend to readers everywhere.
In a devilishly dark and funny debut, a teen finds himself the unwitting beneficiary of eight enslaved and angry ghosts seeking bloody vengeance.
When Luke Manchett’s estranged father dies unexpectedly, he leaves his son a dark inheritance: a collection of eight restless spirits, known as his Host, who want revenge for their long enslavement. Once they figure out that Luke has no clue how to manage them, they become increasingly belligerent, and eventually mutiny. Halloween (the night when ghosts reach the height of their power) is fast approaching, and Luke knows his Host is planning something far more trick than treat. Armed with only his father’s indecipherable notes, a locked copy of The Book of Eight, and help from school outcast Elza Moss, Luke has just thirteen days to uncover the closely guarded secrets of black magic and send his unquiet spirits to their eternal rest—or join their ghostly ranks himself.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
13 Days of Midnight, by Leo Hunt, was really good. I mean it. The plot was great, the characters were interesting and easy to relate to, and it was even an original idea. I’ve never read a book like this before and it was intriguing to read about. The writing was good, too; I only found a couple errors while reading. Which, if you’re familiar with my reviews, there are always an excessive amount of errors in the books I read. So, that was awesome from the start.
Still, I had some expectations for this book that weren’t met. For one, the book title doesn’t make sense. There is absolutely no tie into the story. There was nothing about 13 days of Midnight at all, so I have no idea what the title was supposed to mean. The book did go through 13 different days, but there’s no mention of why it’s titled “13 days of Midnight”. I don’t get it, and it’s bothering me since it isn’t clear.
My other beef with this book is how boring it is. The plot isn’t slow or bad, it’s great. I, honestly, can’t put my finger on what the problem was and that’s bugging the crap out of me, too. The pacing was okay, but I think that was part of it. Every event passed by rather slowly. I was, also, really distracted by the fact every chapter but two (there are only eight chapters in the whole book) are excessively long. I’m talking an average of 40 pages per chapter. So, I had a hard time staying in the world of the book when I couldn’t help but wonder when the stupid chapter was going to finally end. I’m not sure if shortening the chapters would have helped, though. Each chapter had portions where time would skip so there were plenty of opportunities to cut everything into pieces, and each one gave me time to refocus on what I was reading. I was still bored. It grinds my gears that I can’t put my finger on what it was that’s missing from the book, but it’s something.
I still recommend this book. The characters are interesting, and so is the story. It might be a little boring, but it’s a good read. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it, and I hope you do, too. That way, we can talk about what’s missing!
In Luxe Two: A LaLa Land Addiction by New York Times bestselling author Ashley Antoinette, there is only one thing more powerful than anything…the love of the high…
Bleu is addicted…addicted to the luxe life and it has led her down a road of self-destruction. She knows what it feels like to be turned out by the game. With a crack cocaine addiction that she can’t seem to escape, she is desperate for a savior. Her problem is she has two great loves that want to come to her rescue. When her best friend, Noah comes searching for her she is faced with a dilemma. Will she let him save her? Or will she stick with the kingpin, Iman, who has loved her since their first encounter? Or will both men lose her to a love she can’t get rid of…one that abuses her…and one that will be the death of her…
Luxe 2 by Ashley Antoinette is an urban fiction tale that nailed my attention. Immediately, the main charcater’s life was hitting rock bottom. The life of drugs over taking her. Luckily, Bleu had two men in her life and several friends to help her. One man is a kingpin the other is a best friend who wants to rescue her. But only if Blue lets him. Noah is the man that is good for the main charcater. I can’t say too much without giving away the plot…next, there’s Iman. He loves Bleu but her heart says Noah. Yet he’s still a major part of life in more than one way. Bleu is a strong heroine that will need to make major decisions soon before it’s too late for her. Surprises and plot twists are ahead for readers. I enjoyed reading this African American novel. It portrayed real lives in a fictional sense. Everything was believable. Overall, I recommend Luxe 2 to readers.