Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Review: A Quaker Cupboard by David Madden

Welcome to my final review of 2011. It's been a year filled with many wonderful books. It is going to be difficult to choose the Top 10.

A Quaker Cupboard by David Madden is a book filled with Bible verses, quotes, friendly voices, and Quaker testimonies of SPICES (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship). The book opens with an introduction that explains about the Quaker concept "The Inner Light." It goes on to explain the Quaker testimonies of SPICES. A Quaker Cupboard is then broken down into six sections, each one dedicated to a particular testimony. A brief explanation of a testimony is followed up with Scripture, yearly meeting queries on the testimony, and then friendly voices on that testimony. A poem and a quote that encompasses the essence of a testimony rounds out each section.

When one thinks of Quakers, one might think of 17th Century Englanders who broke away from the Church of England. Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends or Friends Church, still exist today. I can't say I know a great deal about them, but I am always eager to explore new cultures and learn about people's faith.

Earlier this year, I reviewed Sprung from the Soil by David Madden. The author kindly also sent me a copy of A Quaker Cupboard to review. This short collection definitely provides insight into the Quaker faith of long ago, but also shares what is on the mind of modern-day members and their concerns as they try to abide by the SPICES testimonies. A quick read that includes several black and white drawings, I am glad to have this book among the other treasures on the shelf in my office.

All proceeds after printing costs will be used to fun community outreach by the Westerly Monthly Meeting, and, if requested, other monthly meetings as well.

Title:  A Quaker Cupboard
Author:  David Madden
Publisher: Garden Patch Books
ISBN:  978-0-9843119-1-0
SRP:  $15.95

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation of any kind for this review.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

First Chapter Review

I am going to be starting a new feature in 2012--the First Chapter Review. I have over 100 free books on my Kindle. While many are classics or older books that have been made available digitally, several are recent books that are being offered for free. Based upon all the books I already have in  my TBR pile, I know it will be some time before I get a chance to read them, but I want to provide these authors some publicity. So, I will read the first chapter, talk a bit about it, and then let you know whether I would keep reading. Since the first chapter should be strong to encourage a reader to continue, I think it will work out well. Feel free to share your thoughts on this approach.

Here's to more great books in 2012!

What Was Your Favorite Book of 2011?

In getting ready for my Top 10 Books of 2011, I thought it would be nice to hear from our readers what their favorite book of the year was. I rarely end up reading books that make the big lists, but I always have a difficult time selecting only 10 favorite books of my reading year.

What was your favorite read of the year? Did you have more than one?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Book Connection's Top 10 Books of 2011 Coming Soon

I'm in the middle of reading my last book of 2011 right now. When I'm done, I'll have read 169 titles, which includes six short stories. This is slightly less than the 174 books I read among my three main blogs last year. I'm still satisfied with my tally. It was an overwhelming year filled with wicked weather, and I was busier with volunteering, business, and home life than I've ever been.

I'm looking forward to participating in reading challenges for 2012 at this blog. I'll also be running themed months over at Books, Products and More! January will be a month of product reviews; though I'm sure you'll find books there too. I can never wander far from my love of books. If you are looking to have your product reviewed, please feel free to send me an email at cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com.

The Book Connection will continue to focus on the many titles in  my TBR pile, so I won't be taking on any new review requests until July. I can still offer a limited amount of guest post spots. Please read  my guest blogging policy before contacting me.

Thank you for your continued support and readership.

How many books did you read this year? What goals are you setting for your blog(s) in 2012?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Book Chick City's Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2012!

Since mystery and suspense novels are some of my favorites, I am also joining Book Chick City's Mystery and Suspense Reading Challenge 2012!

Here are the details:

Challenge Details

• Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2012

• Rules: There are TWO LEVELS you can choose from:

- Read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2012

- Read TWENTY FOUR (24) mystery & suspense novels in 2012

• You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
• You can join at anytime. All books read in 2012 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.
• At the beginning of Jan 2012, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews.

• Audiobooks do not count, but all other formats are accepted.

• This challenge can crossover to other challenges.

• You don't have to have a blog to join in - for those without a blog but who use Goodreads, Amazon, LibraryThing etc, you can add the URL to where you track your books. If you don't have a URL at all then choose a name you would like to use and then copy and paste the following link:

• You can choose from the numerous sub-genres of mystery and suspense, from cosy mysteries such as Agatha Christie to the more hard-boiled kind like V I Warshawski by Sara Paretsky, or romantic suspense written by the likes of Linda Howard, forensic crime such as those written by Kathy Reichs and even paranormal/supernatural suspense such as Kelley Armstrong. I'm sure this challenge will have something for everyone! :) A list of eligible sub-genres is available.

Since my TBR pile already has 22 books in these genres, I am selecting to participate at the second level - 24 books! You can read my initial list at

For additional details and to sign up, please visit

Good luck to all who join!

Book Chick City's 100 Books In A Year Reading Challenge 2012!

This is the year I am determined to have a bit more fun with my blog. I read a lot of books among my three blogs, so why not participate in a few challenges to spread the love. Here is the latest I am joining:

If you're interested in joining the challenge, here's what you need to know:

Challenge Details

• Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2012

• Rules: Read 100+ books in 2012 (any genre)

• You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

• You can join at anytime. All books read in 2012 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.

• At the beginning of Jan 2012, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews.

• Audiobooks do not count, but all other formats are accepted.

• Only fiction, no non-fiction.

• This challenge can crossover to other challenges.

• You don't have to have a blog to join in - for those without a blog but who use Goodreads, Amazon, LibraryThing etc, you can add the URL to where you track your books. If you don't have a URL at all then choose a name you would like to use and then copy and paste the following link:

For additional information, click here!

To see my initial list of titles, you can visit

Good luck to all who join!

Under my Christmas Tree

Is it lame for me to be posting about my gifts the day after Christmas? I'm pretty much the biggest kid in the house when it comes to Christmas, so I get wrapped up--pardon the pun--in all the gift giving and receiving.

I was expecting a new vacuum cleaner, but I got a Kindle Fire! This was a total shock. Just another reason I love my hubby is because he always surprises me at Christmas with something special. It's not always expensive, but it's always something that he knows I'll love.

The Kindle Fire has a lot of nice features: color, ease of use (even for this technology dummy), and a smaller size then my first Kindle. The new screen allowed me to read on the way home from our brother-in-law's house last night in the dark. Love that! Right now I am checking the news from my Kindle, and I was able to post to Facebook and Twitter a story that captured my attention.

The new larger keyboard is a definite plus, as is the touch screen. I'm eager to read a children's picture book on it, so I can see the illustrations in color.

I was a bit nervous when I registered my new Kindle, as to how to get all the Kindle books linked from my old Kindle to the new one, but it synched them automatically when I registered. Now, I just need to figure out how to get the other versions of electronic books onto it that are on my old Kindle. I might be using two devices for a while, as I have several books on the old one that I need to review that aren't Kindle versions. My girls are hoping that doesn't take too long, as they are eager to begin using my old Kindle. The Lil Princess (8) already has a Junie B. Jones book on it that she's reading, and the Lil Diva (10) is in the middle of The Halloween Dino Trip by Lea Schizas.

I also received a new, desperately needed laptop bag. Hubby found a beautiful one from Land's End that he had monogrammed for me. The girls, knowing how much I love candles bought me this scrumptious smelling Dark Chocolate scented candle and some musk-type smelling cologne. I also received a heated massaging seat for my office chair, and an electric griddle.

As always, the Lord blessed us with wonderful moments shared with families and friends. We look forward to the new year and hope it brings all of us much health and happiness.

What did you receive this year? What was your most special gift?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

The Book Connection would like to wish its readers Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Here's hoping 2012 is a wonderful year filled with many great books.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Interview with Michael Norman, Author of Unbridled Grace

Dr. Michael J. Norman has owned a family health center offering chiropractic care and wellness programs since 1992. Since 2003, he has served as a staff doctor volunteer at a non-profit center offering health care and life services to the indigent and uninsured of his community. In addition to his practice, Dr. Norman enjoys writing, speaking, mission outreach and completing graduate studies in Theology. He lives with his family near Dallas, Texas.

Dr. Norman is available and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your church, organization or group. He enjoys sharing the message within Unbridled Grace as well as numerous health and wellness topics. Dr. Norman’s inspiring programs can be tailored for the needs of your event. You can contact him at,  or by email at DrMichaelNorman(at)

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Dallas, Texas.

When did you begin writing?

From as early as I can remember, I have always loved to write. I have always found time to write and I am a voracious reader.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

As often as I can. Unbridled Grace took form through my journal writing as well as my personal experiences during an incredible ordeal in our lives. The book was 10 years in the making. In the final year, (preceding being published), I devoted Fridays for my writing. This is my day off from my practice and I wrote in the peace and quiet of my empty office. These Friday sessions would typically begin about noon and end around midnight. Interestingly, during this period, I was also fasting each Friday while I wrote. Although not my intention, this assisted my writing tremendously in discernment, focus and inspiration.

What is this book about?

Unbridled Grace is the true story of how one man rises from the forces of evil through his renewed faith in Christ and takes the reader on a journey to redemption through the bold use of our power of choice for God. Along the way, Michael meets a dynamic Catholic parish priest who gives him the courage to forge a path through this crisis and a hard-working attorney who joins him in this monumental battle. Will their efforts be enough to free the author and his family from this nightmare? It is at this time that a series of seemingly miraculous occurrences begin and the reader is shown what courage, faith and the power of heartfelt prayer can bring to all of our lives when all else appears hopeless.

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

What I have always heard has proved to be correct. Despite all the slick book marketing and promotional campaigns, it is the author who truly sells the book. I am accomplishing this through speaking engagements and readers’ word of mouth sales.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Like the Nike commercial…Just Do It! That inner voice and inspiration prodding you to write your book is there for a reason. Listen and follow it. If your book helps just one person, it is well worth it.
Who is this book written for? My desire was to offer our story to all individuals gallantly engaging in life’s struggles and to those fighting to just stay afloat. Like myself for many years, you may find yourself canvassing and imprisoned within the depths of a self-imposed pit, or hell on earth, that seemingly holds no options for escape. I recorded the message in Unbridled Grace to simply offer a way out.

What can readers learn from your book?

The most common feedback I have received from readers thus far has been what they have told me the true value of my book has been for them. They were certainly moved by the powerful true story but they enjoyed the lessons my family and I learned through the ordeal most of all. These lessons come in the form of chapter-ending meditations that reflect different themes of our experience. Readers have told me how these lessons and meditations speak incredibly clear to their own life challenges and greatly assist in charting the course over the mountains currently facing themselves and their families.

Where can readers purchase Unbridled Grace?

The easiest way is through my website, You can also find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or ordered through your local Christian bookstore.

Dr. Norman will be touring with Unbridled Grace in February 2012 with Pump Up Your Book. Visit for more information or if you are interested in hosting him.

Book Spotlight: Ruins Discovery by Janie Franz

Anthropologist Kate Ferguson stumbles upon desert ruins, ancient rituals, and psychic gifts, awakening a love that could prove deadly.

Read an excerpt!

Though some of Kate’s fellow graduate students would probably have noticed the superb fit of the stranger’s designer suit, it was his black hair, beginning to gray at his temples, which caught her eye. That was an odd quality in someone his age with his obvious Spanish lineage and apparent refinement. She scanned his features, taking in his sensitive mouth and a nose hinting at an Aztec hawkishness.

She quickly rejected the comparison as she turned to Dr. Swartz, her employer as well as her faculty advisor. He had accused her on more than one occasion of trying to find Aztecs under every rock as she researched Aztec/Maya links with the Arizona prehistoric peoples.

Embarrassed at the memory, she turned back to the stranger. His dark gaze concentrated on her intently for a few seconds, and then he retreated into his thoughts as if he could only focus on the world around him in brief glimpses. It didn’t seem like the muddleheaded preoccupation she’d seen among physics majors. And, it definitely wasn’t drugs—or any she had read about—since he just exhibited a piercing moment of clarity and after that withdrew. It seemed a controlled act or one repeated so often it had become habit. His ability to turn on a single moment of intense interest and concentration like switching on a floodlight—and quickly turn it off—fascinated Kate. She wondered if he had family problems preoccupying him—an errant wife or a child flunking school.


Janie Franz comes from a long line of liars and storytellers with roots deep in east Tennessee. Honed by the frigid Northern Plains and a degree in anthropology, her writing skill and curiosity have generated thousands of feature and cover articles over a vast range of topics for more than a hundred regional, national, and international publications for over a decade.

She has co-written two books with Texas wedding DJ, Bill Cox (The Ultimate Wedding Ceremony Book and The Ultimate Wedding Reception Book), and has self-published a writing manual, Freelance Writing: It’s a Business, Stupid!

She runs her own online music publication, Refrain Magazine (, is a book and music reviewer, and was a radio announcer, a booking agent/publicist for a groove/funk band, and a yoga/relaxation instructor.

“Ruins: Discovery” is her fourth published work of fiction. Visit Janie online at and

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reviewed Madison and Jefferson by Burnstein and Isenberg

Esteemed historians Andrew Burnstein and Nancy Isenberg collaborated on this moving narrative titled, Madison and Jefferson. Purposely titled, the authors attempt to pull James Madison out of obscurity, while giving the reader fresh insights into these two founding fathers.

You can read my full review as part of the Amazon Vine Program at

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What's on Your Wish List?

I think my wish list at this point must be a mile and a half long. As I tour the blogosphere I keep adding new books to it. Sometimes those titles make it onto my Amazon Wish List and other times they don't. The nice thing is that now I can add Kindle titles to my wish list and not increase the clutter in  my office.

Here are a few books that made it onto my Amazon Wish List this year.

Michael J, Fox has been one of my favorite actors since he appeared in Family Ties. I've missed seeing him on the big screen as he's battled Parkinson's Disease, even though I know he stays busy and also does a lot of voice over work.

In some ways. Fox reminds me of a young Jimmy Stewart. Dignified, Fox carries himself in a certain way that seems so far gone from what we see in Hollywood today. Married for over 20 years, he and Tracey Pollan have managed to maintain a private life in a very public arena.

Fox has done so much to raise public awareness of Parkinson's, and I hope this translates to a cure.

I fell in love with James Garner in The Rockford Files. Garner's rugged good looks and his fast car certainly could turn a girl's head. We own some of the seasons on DVD and my girls (10 and 8) have been known to watch a few episodes.

I have to admit I don't know much about Garner's personal life. I was surprised when the book's description mentioned he was abused as a child and left home at the age of 14. I also didn't know he was awarded two Purple Hearts.

I've enjoyed watching Garner's career continue through the years. I can't say there's anything I've watched with him that I didn't enjoy.

A show that our family watched regularly--on our one TV--was The Waltons. It told the story of a family of seven children, their parents and grandparents during the 1930's, when America suffered through The Great Depression. Each episode is narrated by an older John Boy Walton, the eldest son and a writer. 

Mary McDonough portrayed Erin Walton. In her memoir, she talks about the overnight transformation from her normal kid life to child star. It also talks about the difficult transition she had after the show ended and her battle with depression.

What I didn't know until recently is that McDonough is friends with one of my favorite child stars, Alison Arngrim, who portrayed nasty Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie. They recently held a book signing together. If you haven't read Argrim's Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, you really need to. It's fabulous!

In the fiction world I am most interested in reading, The Strangers on Montagu Street by Karen White. I've had a chance to review all the others in the Tradd Street series, but I wasn't asked on this one. Because my TBR pile overwhelmed me this year, I didn't want to ask for it either, as I didn't know how soon I could get to it.

This series follows the ghostly adventures of psychic realtor Melanie Middleton, who we first met in The House on Tradd Street. She's still restoring her Charleston home, and this time is visited by a new ghost with some new friends who don't seem eager to leave.

Proving that a good cover is worth its weight in gold, I added Christmas in Sugarcreek solely because I loved the cover so much. I've never read anything by Shelley Shepard Gray, but I will try anything once.

You have an obedient Amish daughter who ends up working alongside a man who left Sugarcreek two years ago under a cloud of shame. Christmas is approaching and sparks fly between Judith and Ben. Maybe a Christmas romance is on the agenda.

This is another book whose cover caught my eye. Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist finds Georgie Gail as a proud, independent switchboard operator. When the telephone company sends Luke Palmer to watch over her shoulder, she's quite vexed about it. What she doesn't know, however, is that Luke is a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers.

Historical romances are a favorite of mine, so I would love a chance to read this one.

In addition to these, I would love to read the Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke. So many people have raved about these books, and I recently won Love Begins on DVD, so I'm ready to explore these books.

What about you? What's on your wish list? What are some of the books you're excited to read in 2012?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Interview with Melinda Leigh, Author of She Can Run

More than a decade ago, Melinda Leigh left a career in banking to raise her children and never looked back. She started writing when her youngest child entered first grade as a way to preserve her sanity. Her paranormal romance and romantic suspense fiction has won writing awards across the country, including The Gateway to the Best Contest, The Marlene Award, Where the Magic Begins, Put Your Heart in a Book, and The Golden Gateway 1st Round Grand Prize.

Melinda is also an avid martial artist. She holds a 2nd degree belt in Kenpo Karate, studies Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and teaches women’s self-defense. She lives in a messy house in the suburbs with her husband, two teenagers, a couple of dogs and one neurotic cat with an inexplicable fear of ceiling fans. With such a pleasant life, she has no explanation for the sometimes dark and disturbing nature of her imagination.

I want to thank the Book Connection for hosting a stop on my blog tour to celebrate the recent release of my debut novel. It’s so exciting to share this experience with other book lovers.

When did you begin writing?

I’d harbored a life-long ambition to write a book. My youngest child started school, and I finally had a couple of hours to myself each day, as long as I was willing to slack off on housework. Not being a domestic goddess, that was an easy transition. The first day I sat down at the computer and started typing, I was hooked.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I do most of my writing during the day while the kids are at school. I love to work when the house is quiet, probably because my house is usually chaotic. When I’m behind schedule, I’ll sit down to work again in the evening.

What is this book about?

This book is about a woman dealing with a threat to her life and the lives of her children. She’s learned a dangerous secret about her already abusive and powerful spouse, one that he’ll gladly kill her to keep. How far will a mother go to protect her kids? Like most moms, Beth is willing to give up everything, including her life. That’s the easy choice for her. The harder choice comes when she learns that she can’t do it alone. She must decide whether she can trust Jack with both her children’s lives and her heart.

What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to write an emotionally charged book. For me, nothing elicits more emotions than decisions I make that affect my kids. Not only are Beth’s children threatened, but it was her action that endangered them. She married Richard. Once I had my character in a terrible situation, the story snow-balled from there. The plot complicated itself through multiple rewrites.

How can readers purchase a copy of your book?

SHE CAN RUN is available at in paperback or ebook. The paperback is also available through other booksellers.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Yes! Please connect with me. I love to hear from readers. Find me on my website, on Facebook and Twitter.

What is up next for you?

My current work-in-process is connected to SHE CAN RUN. It’s a separate book with a separate plot, but some of the characters will be familiar. Police Chief Mike O’Connell is investigating a crime spree, and he’s inexplicably attracted to a feisty horse trainer with a vicious stalker. Next Mike’s going to make a shocking discovery.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

Henry. He surprised me. I knew early on that Henry would play a more important role in the story, but as I wrote, he became more than a dog or a plot vehicle. He became a real character.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

I have several other writers that are willing to critique my pages. I’m also a founding member of Liberty States Fiction Writers, a writers’ organization based in Edison, NJ. There’s always someone in the group who’s willing to help with plot snafus or character problems. Writers are uniquely supportive of each other, perhaps because we understand each other so well. In fact, that is the one piece of advice I would share with other writers. Join a writer’s group. The friendships and knowledge you will gain are priceless.

Thanks for joining me today!

Melinda Leigh web site:

Melinda Leigh Facebook:

Melinda Leigh Twitter:

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:

She Can Run blog tour site:

Price: $13.95
ISBN: 9781612181516
Pages: 326
Release: November 28, 2011

Amazon buy link

Barnes& buy link

Price: $7.99

Kindle buy link

Publisher's Weekly Review:

“In her debut romantic suspense, Leigh carefully weaves the subplot of a serial killer with the main plot of an abused wife on the run and successfully ties the threads in a thrilling conclusion… Leigh’s tight, consistent plotting marks her as an author to watch.”

Next Stop:

December 21


Monday, December 19, 2011

Short Story Review: Mistletoe and Miracles by Wendy Davy

Looking for a tender inspirational romance for this holiday season? Pick up this free short story from Wendy Davy.

Noelle Barkley is planning to catch the attention of a man at her upcoming Christmas party. When she lands in the arms of a stranger, she soon discovers that patiently waiting for God's plans to be revealed is much better than trying to rush things along.

Mistletoe and Miracles is the perfect short romance to snuggle up with in front of the fire. Filled with humor and tenderness, it will warm your heart as you watch Noelle learn a very important lesson about God's timing.

This is a story you won't get tired of reading over and again.

Title:  Mistletoe and Miracles
Author: Wendy Davy
Publisher: Pelican Book Group
Current price: FREE

I downloaded a free e-copy of this book from the publisher's website. I received no monetary compensation to provide this review.

Short Story Review: Evergreen A Christmas Tale by Richard Taylor

An elderly man remembers the year his dying grandfather told his family the story of the first Evergreen tree.

In this touching tale of the season, readers are treated to a short story of a family coping with issues whose lives are transformed by a loving grandfather's telling of a story about the first Evergreen tree.

I wish the narrative had been a bit more polished and engaging, but overall this is a sweet story that will have you holding your loved ones a little closer this season.

Title:  Evergreen A Christmas Tale
Author: Richard Taylor
Publisher: Ransom Greene Press
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Current price: FREE for Kindle

I downloaded a free copy of this book from Amazon. I received no monetary compensation of any kind for this review.

Interview with Suzanne Gravelle, Author of Unfinished

Suzanne Gravelle is doing what almost every person dreams of doing. Packing it all in and starting again, not because she had too, she wanted too. So on the cusp of turning 50, Suzanne got into her vehicle, drove herself to many self imposed exile destinations, seeking what we all want, peace of mind with our life….and it was not easy for her, although she makes it look easy

After a very comfortable life raising children as a single parent, working in a career she enjoyed, Suzanne reached a crossroads in her life just as she was within reach of attaining her freedom from children living at home.

Looking forward to the next phase of her life she started thinking about minimizing the “stuff” to maximize the quality. A unexpected devastating heartbreak turned her world upside down, tearing away the very fabric of her life that kept her safe and comfortable, forcing her to look at her life and she decided, not only did she not want the life she had been living, she no longer recognized it, her world changed and she could not go back to living how she was just a few short month before the heartbreak.

So being the woman who has always had a warrior attitude with a gypsy spirit, Suzanne sold her home, put her important material possessions into storage, packed a few bags and drove away, with no destination and no return date.

Now over 60,000km/40,000 miles in 17 months, Suzanne is continuing on her journey of self exploration, driving alone, seeking the peace of mind she envisioned when she first drove away. But before she was able to embark upon this next journey she had to figure out how her simple structured life became so painful and she wanted to change it, fix it, before she returned home to her family and friends, it took her 13 months to be able to return for a short visit with them. She says, “I am still unfinished…but I am getting there. Plus, I promised my children I will come back to them, but only when I am better, when I am finished this part of my life. I did not want them to see me so confused and sad.”

When she left everyone again, she was on the road to recovery and discovering she can live the life she designed in her mind with all the details that were missing because Suzanne has learned to keep her vision clear and adds all the detail because as she has been heard to say many time, “Make sure your vision, your goals and dreams include lots of detail because I am sure you getting tired of them showing up, attaining them with missing parts.”

You can follow along with Suzanne on her journey; she could be anywhere any anytime, even in your town.

Find out where Suzanne is -

Suzanne’s radio show Wednesday 10am EST on  

Face Book -  

Twitter @tourwithsuzanne -  

Where did you grow up?

I grew up equally on each coast of Canada. Spent my younger years on the East Coast, Nova Scotia… then moved West, returning East as a young woman/wife/mother, the in between years were spent on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

When did you begin writing?

I started writing children’s stories when my children were young, and then put them away for many years. 3 years ago I found them and continued writing children’s stories, thinking I would make a career of it. Then life switched up and I started writing a daily travel journal which very quickly turned in to my published memoir… UNFINISHED.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I write when the mood strikes, which is often. I am fortunate enough in my life right now, that writing and feeding myself are the only things I need to take care of.

What is this book about?

It is about a very personal physical journey. I left all that I knew, sold my home, packed a few bags and went on the road to discover why I suddenly felt so disconnected with my very comfortable life.

What inspired you to write it?

I knew what I was doing was extraordinary, or at least that is what I was being told. As I started reading my journal I saw a story starting to appear.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

When I write about my children, and how they handled their lives when I left and got through a very horrific period of their lives without me, (the horrific period had nothing to do with me.)... they are my favorite, and Mr. Aswell.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

I do not know any different so I am going to say my publisher made it a smooth ride for a first time writer.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I may have had the first few chapters done before I committed to a deadline. When I signed contracts I had not written one word, but we knew it would come as it was so current of a story and I did not have to make anything up.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

UNFINISHED is available on  In select bookstores, Chapters, Costco, Wal-Mart

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

No video trailer, I have a radio program on every Wednesday morning 10am EST and I read and talk about my book and journey with guest speakers talking about my book and how it resonates with them. I will do a YouTube trailer and any other trailer I can find. Still finding out all the ways to promote.

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

I hired a publicist.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Keep writing and do not stop seeking a publisher until you find on that will work with you.

What is up next for you?

I am currently writing, working on my second book to my series aptly titled… FINISHED which will be released in March 2012. I am travelling and promoting Unfinished any way I can. I want to do speaking engagements everywhere!

Is there anything you would like to add?

I had no idea when I started writing Unfinished how many people would be affected and able to relate to my state of mind and what was happening to me while I was travelling alone and writing. It has been life changing for them and for me. I believe I will be travelling for another year if not longer as I have not made it to Alaska and that is where I said I wanted to go. But the Universe had other plans for me when I got close, it turned me around. I also believe that Finished… will not be the last part of my journey as I feel so far from finished….but getting there.

For more information about Unfinished by Suzanne Gravelle, visit and you can follow her journey on her blog –   

Interview with Robin Perini, Author of In Her Sights

Award-winning author Robin Perini’s love of heart-stopping suspense and poignant romance, coupled with her adoration of high tech weaponry and covert ops, encouraged her secret inner commando to take on the challenge of writing romantic suspense novels. Her mission's motto: "when danger and romance collide, no heart is safe."

As a writer, Robin is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high stakes adventures with a love story sure to melt their hearts. Robin’s strong characters and tightly woven plots have garnered her seven prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finals, and Golden Heart Winner in 2011. Stolen Lullaby, will be published by Harlequin Intrigue® in May, 2012 as Finding Her Son. Her other 2011 Golden Heart® Finalist, In Her Sights, will be published by Amazon's Montlake Romance November 29, 2011.

By day, she works for an advanced technology corporation, and in her spare time, you might find her giving one of her many nationally acclaimed writing workshops or find her training in competitive small-bore rifle silhouette shooting. She's a voracious reader and a die-hard fan of the T.V. series, BONES.

Visit Robin online at

When did you begin writing?

I've been writing forever, but it's storytelling that grabbed my interest first. I lost my heart to storytelling when I was a child, sitting at the knee of my great-aunt. She mesmerized me with her tales of 'The Little Match Girl' and 'How the Tiger Got its Tail.' She wrenched my heart, made me laugh and cry. She fed my love of reading and learning. Perhaps it was inevitable that I followed in her footsteps.
My love of writing was her gift as well. When I was eight, I attended a Camp Fire Girls' camp for a week--it seemed like a month. I wrote tear-stained letters to my great-aunt and after I returned home she told me I had a gift. That my letters evoked pictures in her mind.
My great-aunt has long since passed away, but I look up and smile sometimes. My inner fire for storytelling and writing was her gift to me. I pray I do her justice.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

I have an amazing agent. Jill Marsal from Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. Jill took me on as a client before I sold my first book, In Her Sights, because she believed in me and my writing. It's a blessing to have someone in your corner with such faith, enthusiasm and savvy.

What is this book about?

This is my debut novel, so it's a real dream come true for me to even be here. For a long time, I had to wonder if it would happen. Jazz's story has been with me a long time, and while I've written other manuscripts since she first came to life in my heart, this has always been a story I really wanted to tell. I'm so thankful that Jazz found a home at Montlake Romance.

Jasmine “Jazz” Parker is the only female sniper on Jefferson County’s SWAT team. Always at the ready with calm nerves and steady hands, she never misses a shot. Strong, dedicated, and dependable, Jazz has committed her life to defending the helpless by exacting swift and uncompromising justice, all the while harboring dark, devastating secrets from her past. Secrets she thought she'd buried for good as a teenager.

To keep her past hidden, Jazz keeps a low profile and avoids getting too close to anyone, including the one man she thought she could love—ex-Army Ranger turned reporter Luke Montgomery. So when Luke runs a front page story about Jazz, calling her a hero for her recent victory—saving the life of the governor’s daughter—she feels uncomfortable with the exposure, and rightly so. A vicious enemy from her past takes notice of the article and sets out on a mission to reveal Jazz’s secrets and ruin her life in the process. At the same time, a corrupt cop is out to take Jazz down at any cost. As her world begins to unravel, Jazz is forced to rely on Luke for help—putting his life and the lives of those closest to him in danger.

What inspired you to write it?

I love learning, and one of the opportunities I try to take advantage of is a day-long research event hosted by the Kiss of Death chapter of Romance Writers of American®. One year, the group visited the Arvada Police Department in Denver, Colorado. And the SWAT Team was there. I stood back as others asked questions and studied the interplay between the elite members of this team. My mind started whirling. What kind of man would be a sniper? What would his relationship be with the other members of his team? Then I learned that a woman could be a SWAT team member as long as she could meet the physical requirements. I didn't really put it all together until I was speaking to another writer friend. I told her that women could be members of SWAT. She asked, "What if your sniper IS your heroine?"

Lightening struck!

Jazz was born. In Her Sights was born. All the questions I'd been asking—including what does it take to be a sniper—crystallized, and the story was inevitable from that moment on.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

In Her Sights is available on in kindle and paperback formats. Paperbacks are also available at It can also be ordered from most bookstores through Ingram Book Company and Baker & Taylor.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

I love to hear from readers. Please connect with me. You can get in touch via my website, where you can view the In Her Sights book trailer, read excerpts, read reviews, sign up for my mailing list and even request trading cards or a Kindlegraph. I'm also on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. I'd love to hear from you.

What is up next for you?

November 29, 2011—the release date of In Her Sights—was the culmination of a lot of years of dreaming, and I hope the beginning of dreams I never imagined. So much has already happened since I sold In Her Sights. Within months I sold three more novels to Harlequin Intrigue.

So, in 2012, three romantic suspense novels will be released from Harlequin. Finding Her Son, which won the 2011 Romance Writers of America ® Golden Heart® Award in Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure as Stolen Lullaby, will be released in March 2012. In the story, a woman determined to find her kidnapped son, and who is suspected in her husband's death, reluctantly teams with the embattled SWAT cop assigned to prove her guilt. Cowboy in the Crossfire, in which a woman desperate to protect her young son after he witnesses a murder, is forced into an alliance with the disgraced Texas Sheriff who her family framed, will come out in July, 2012. A third book will hit the shelves, Christmas, 2012.
I truly hope there are many more stories to tell!

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

There are three keys that I would like to share (because goodness knows, I talk too much to share just one).

1. Study the craft…always. This may seem obvious, but life can interfere with writing and learning, as I'm sure many of you know. Over the last decade I've worked full time, gone to school at night for my Masters degree, and survived a serious illness. The most important thing I've done, however, is study the craft of writing and storytelling. I've been lucky enough to teach an amazing online class with author Laura Baker called Discovering Story Magic. The class required me to analyze other writers' stories. One of the best ways to learn is to teach. I highly recommend developing workshops that require you to understand the craft. It's been a blessing to me. This advice goes hand-in-hand with my second bit of advice. Never stop learning and growing as a writer.

2. Trust yourself. I don't know about you, but sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder how I've fooled everyone for so long. Don't do it! Trust your instincts. Believe in yourself. Listen to your gut. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I had to really decide who I wanted to be as a writer. I tried writing numerous books in numerous subgenres. But I finally discovered the kind of stories I really want to tell. I love optimistic stories of suspense. I love heroes and heroines who grow and change and win. I love poignant love stories. That's what I do. Heart-stopping suspense and heart-wrenching romance. That's a Robin Perini book. Know who you are as a writer. It will help when you doubt yourself.

3. Persistence. Get a motto: Mine is: "Never give up, never surrender." My theme song could be Tubthumping - "I get knocked down, and I get up again." Don't get me wrong, there are times I almost quit. I am a writer. Are you? If you want something badly enough, don't let the setbacks stop you. Learn more, grow more, find your path, find yourself. You'll be glad you stuck with it. I know I am.

Thanks so much for having me. It's been a blast.

Robin Perini Facebook:

Robin Perini Twitter:

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:

In Her Sights blog tour site:

Price: $13.95
ISBN: 9781612181523
Pages: 262
Release: November 29, 2011

Amazon buy link

Barnes& buy link

Price: $7.99
Kindle buy link

Next tour stop:

December 26

Sugarbeat's Books

Book Review: Dax Rigby, War Correspondent by John Rosenman

War Correspondent Dax Rigby accepts an assignment on the savage planet of Arcadia. His job--to investigate and report on the Western Alliance mission there. He is quickly thrust into a battle to save two alien species from extinction and rescue a human outpost plagued by a mysterious disease. While the fate of two worlds hangs in the balance, Dax struggles to redefine himself and fulfill his destiny.

Wow! Dax Rigby, War Correspondent by John Rosenman was not what I expected.  I don't tend to read science-fiction all that much, but I've tried to explore new genres this year. I'm certainly glad I gave this book a try.

Having struggled financially, Dax accepts a mission to Arcadia that he's been told will be his big break. A young and handsome reporter, he's also in love with Lexis. He hopes if he does well on this mission, her father might approve of him.

Nothing prepares Dax for what he finds on Arcadia. The commanding officer is a weed-smoking, thirty something woman whose time exposed to the harsh elements makes her look twenty years older. She doesn't seem to care much about what happens around Base Camp. What little information Major Campbell provides Dax isn't overly helpful, but she warns him about the Hoppers and Flyers, two alien species who seem determined to wipe out each other. When Dax takes a baby Flyer as a pet, Campbell is pretty sure he's lost his mind.

While trying to stay alive and uncover why so many of the people at Base Camp are sick, Dax is fending off Casey Frank, a pilot with a history of getting around. Archer, Head of Security, is against him. Father Ben, the physician and All-Faith chaplain believes in him. And someone--or several someones--certainly isn't what they seem.

Dax Rigby, War Correspondent is a definite page-turner. The action doesn't stop from the moment you start reading. While the romance takes a back seat to Dax's investigation, the reader understands his motivation for going to Arcadia and watches eagerly as Casey and Dax draw closer to each other. Rosenman creates an interesting world in Arcadia. It is the oppressive heat Dax notices right off, and the reader can almost feel it too. I like how the author revealed the history of the Hoppers and the Flyers, and how it played into the plot as a whole.

The book contains some adult situations, but that's not the focus of the story. You'll be so wrapped up in Dax's investigation, you won't give them much thought.

If you're a lover of science-fiction, you'll want to pick up a copy of Dax Rigby, War Correspondent. You'll be thrilled you did!

Title:  Dax Rigby, War Correspondent
Author: John Rosenman
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-927085-66-0


SRP:  $5.95

I received an e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I helped the author promote this book earlier this month with a virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book. That fee did not include a review. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide my thoughts.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Interview with Jaime Patterson, Author of Lost Edens

Jamie Patterson is a writer, teacher, runner, and dog owner who has been writing since she was 9-years-old as the "kids corner" reporter for the Tangletown News in Minneapolis. Since then, she has written her way through life in four states and two continents and has completed four marathons. She is now an academic editor and lives in Minneapolis with her dog, Huey. Lost Edens is her first book.

When did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but my first writing gig was as the Kids-Corner Reporter for the Tangletown News in Minneapolis. I was nine years old. As an adult I’ve belonged to writing groups and taken several creative writing classes in undergrad and grad school. My focus as a writer was always fiction until I wrote Lost Edens. Some of my training as a fiction writer is evident in how the story is presented.

What is this book about?

Lost Edens is a chronicle of the last week of my marriage. At its root, this is a story of a failed relationship but it really touches more on the personal struggle I went through in coming to terms with the relationship and how it ended. One of the things I really like about Lost Edens is that it captures what the falling apart of a person is really like. So many books focus on what happens after but Lost Edens shows day by day how far you can fall and then still recover.

What inspired you to write Lost Edens?

This was a story I needed to tell myself first and it wasn’t until years later that I had the thought of sharing it with others. I think this absence of audience while I was writing made it so much easier for me to write—I wasn’t so much inspired as I was driven. Dr. Miller, the doctor mentioned in Lost Edens, told me to keep retelling my story. He said the more you can retell a traumatic event the more you can own it so that it becomes less something that happened to you and more something that simply happened and that you can manage. Writing down what happened certainly helped me to own the events and manage them.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

I’m really lucky in that I’ve always been surrounded by editors; I work with 20 or so writers and editors who all provided feedback at some point. In particular, though, there were two readers who were extremely influential early in the process: Sue Greenberg and Laurel Walsh. The very first reader of Lost Edens was Sue Greenberg, a wonderful friend and editor who provided support and encouragement years before I thought of publishing. Another friend and editor, Laurel Walsh, read the entire 90,000 word manuscript and pointed out that the story could be told in half the word count. It’s largely thanks to her that Lost Edens is so compact. Even before Sue and Laurel, though, my mom would read what I wrote at the end of each day as I was drafting. She was the immediate input about whether something worked or not. Now, my sister reads each first draft I produce and lets me know what she thinks. If you can find just one honest reader, that’s more than a writer could hope for. I’ve found several and am extremely grateful.

Was the road to publication smoothly sailing or a bumpy ride?

The road to publication has been relatively smooth. I chose to work with a mentor publisher, Beaver’s Pond Press, so that I could really learn about each aspect of producing a book. The only thing I would have done differently is allow more time for my own education. I initially had hoped for publication within a year of starting the process. Now, we’re publishing at about 16 months. If I could advise any first-time author who has control of the project just one thing it would be to plan for 16 to 24 months to really do each element of the process well and allow for your own education.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?


Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

I do! My website is and my blog is

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

Readers can find a video on my website: or at this Vimeo link:  

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

The best investment I made by far was employing the help of a publicist Stephanie Barko early on. I wanted a publicist on board during pre-publication to help guide the project toward a marketable end product and Stephanie was really involved in development aspects in ways most publicists wouldn’t have been. She secured the endorsements, created a platform for promotion, and has served as my guide as I get to know this other side of being a writer. The book wouldn’t be what it is without her involvement.

What is up next for you?

I mailed a galley to each person mentioned in the book except for the Ben and Beth characters; other than these two names I used the actual names of each person and wanted to be sure they were okay with how they were presented in the book. As I was mailing the galleys I felt the need to include a note with the book that said something to the effect of: “don’t worry! I’m okay now and really happy.” I realized then that I need a follow-up to Lost Edens to say this for me. I’m working on this manuscript now. It is largely set in North London, where I shared a flat with eight others for a summer. It’s been harder to write because there’s less personal urgency but at the same time it’s been much more fun!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Occupy The North Pole by Joel Andre

Horror and dark comedy author Joel Andre has come out with a seasonal short story that is sure to give you a few giggles.

Reporters gather in a small conference room awaiting a major announcement from the North Pole. Sick and tired of doing all the work while the fat man in the red suit gets all the credit, the elves decide to take a stand.

This is the first piece of fiction I've read by Joel Andre, but it won't be my last. Occupy the North Pole gets its premise from the Occupy movements that have been sweeping across the nation. This is a clever, darkly funny and slightly warped short story with a neat twist at the end.

If you're looking for an unusual seasonal offering, this is definitely it.

Title:  Occupy The North Pole
Author:  Joel Andre
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Current price: 99 cents

Book Spotlight: Right to Bragg by Tanya Hanson

Disowned by her family, Tiffany Vickers faces a lonely Christmas and takes great comfort in the baby boy in her care. Her faith in tatters, she guards her heart against the baby's uncle, handsome cowboy Bragg Martin, a man with baggage of his own. While Bragg longs to open his heart and family to the lovely nanny, he doesn't understand her interest in his arch enemy. Saving a man's life and saving Tiffany's faith bring the couple together…and home to Hearts Crossing Ranch.

Read an excerpt!

Tiffany got up for another cup of coffee, Matty’s eyes watching her every move.

“He sure notices you,” Bragg remarked as the baby drained the bottle.

“Yeah. We bonded right off. I’m so glad about it.” As she’d made a snap decision just then, she rushed on. “I left behind my precious nephew. I guess in my psyche somewhere I figured maybe nanny to Matty might help ease that hole in my heart.” Gently she rubbed her hand over Matty’s head, the edge of her hand tugging at Bragg’s shirt and causing a funny havoc. Mostly though he listened to her pain.

She sank back down into a kitchen chair, resting her cheek in her hand. “I was with Connor from the moment he was born. Paul and Diana wanted me there. Then things went haywire. It was my fault. You talk about forgiveness, but there isn’t any in this case. And I miss that little boy. Oh, I miss him so. I need him. His love was unconditional, you know. He’s three now. I can’t let him forget me.”

Bragg’s heart tugged at the agony on her face, and Matty’s little hand flailed. Tiffany took it at once. “It can’t be that bad, can it?”

“I’ve been disowned, so, yeah, Bragg. It’s that bad.”


Tanya Hanson is a California beach girl who love her cowboys. A former high school English teacher, she loves traveling with her firefighter hubby when she’s not working on her eight-book Hearts Crossing Ranch series. The two recently returned from a fantastic tour of the East Coast just in time to welcome their daughter’s first child, their second grandson. Their son’s little boy stole Tanya’s heart upon his arrival four years ago. God is good.

Visit Tanya online at:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Book Review: The Last Confederate Battle by John Cline

Steeped in Civil War history, The Last Confederate Battle by John Cline is a novel of three brothers and how the War between the States impacted their lives. It is also the story of Frank Stone, New York City Chief of Detectives and Allan Pinkerton, as they search for answers to mysterious murders and work to find out who is behind war-profiteering to bring them all to justice.

In this moving story, Cline brings the Civil War up front and close to readers as they explore how the conflict impacted the lives of several fictional characters. The three Davis brothers are called on to play different important roles for the Confederacy, and Andy pays a huge price for it.

The alternate plot finds Frank Stone brought in from New York City to assist Pinkerton in uncovering certain plots at President Lincoln's request. I like how Cline portrayed Lincoln in this novel. The caring persona that evolved throughout the story is exactly how I feel Lincoln has been remembered throughout history. In addition, Lincoln did what he felt was best to win the war, not necessarily what made him popular with Congress.

How the author tied the stories together is well done. I was wondering exactly how he would pull it off, but he managed quite nicely and it all made sense in the end.

My one challenge with this novel is that it is very plot-driven. The author obviously is well-versed in Civil War history, and he includes an abundance of historical detail within the pages of The Last Confederate Battle. While I enjoyed this aspect, since this is my favorite time in American history to read, the extensive pages of narrative made it read more like narrative non-fiction than a novel. Typically, with historical fiction, you have historical events molded around the characters. In this instance, it felt like the characters' stories were molded around American history, and this means the characters can get a bit lost in the shuffle. It puts a character-driven reader at a slight disadvantage, because you don't get to know the characters as well as you would like.

Now, for some this won't be an issue. Many readers enjoy plot-driven novels. I've read many of them myself. The Last Confederate Battle is a good book that accurately depicts the times in which the story is set. I would definitely look for more books from Cline in the future.

Title:  The Last Confederate Battle
Author:  John Cline
Publisher: Borderline Publishers
ISBN-10: 0984366997
ISBN-13: 978-0984366996
SRP:  $7.99 (Kindle and Nook)

Book Review: The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey by Deborah Barnes

If there is a cat lover on your list, you better rush out to pick up a copy of The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey by Deborah Barnes.

In this moving story of living with and loving your pets, Barnes shares the story of how her pets came to live with her and the joys they have brought to her life. Though the story focuses on Zee, a male Maine Coon, and Zoey, a female Bengal, and their loving relationship, readers are also treated to reading about the many other pets Barnes has come to own in her life; their quirks, their antics, and even how they interacted with each other.

But this book is so much more than that, because Zee and Zoey's love affair results in the birth of four kittens, and all the challenges and happy moments the new babies bring. It also tells the story of Deborah and Dan, and how their life evolved into what it is today.

Filled with stunning photographs, The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey makes the perfect coffee table book. Its larger size will make it stand out from the crowd, but it's the beautiful cover that will truly capture your eye.

This is a loving tribute to our feline friends, and even their canine counterparts. It's worth every penny!

Title: The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey
Author: Deborah Barnes
Publisher: ZZP Publishing
ISBN-10: 0983440808
ISBN-13: 978-0983440802
SRP:  $21.95

Giveaways, Contests & Prizes!

Deborah will be attending Pump Up Your Book’s 1st Annual Holiday Extravaganza Facebook Party on December 16. More than 50 books, gifts and cash awards will be given away including a paperback copy of The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey! Visit the official party page here!

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide this review.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Interview with David Huffstetler, Author of Blood on the Pen

Educated in Dallas, North Carolina, David Huffstetler holds degrees in Engineering and Business Administration. He has worked in the area of human relations and spent fourteen years weaving through the maze of politics, including participating in a Federal Law suit as Chairman of the Workers’ Compensation Commission, with a sitting governor over issues of separation of powers. David has served on Boards of Directors for numerous professional organizations including Crime Stoppers, SC Workers’ Compensation Educational Association, SC Safety Council, the SC Fire Academy, and the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Workers’ Compensation. He has advised governors and legislators on matters of public policy and legislation. His wealth of experience is broad and brings deep insight to his writing.

David’s work as a senior manager with a major industrial concern took him to international venues and exposures that helped feed his urge to write Disposable People, a dramatic expose of the working conditions and politics that engulf undocumented workers. Disposable People is a top-ten “Suggested Book” at Tufts University in Boston, MA.

He turned the frustrations and rejection that plagues thousands of yet-to-be-published authors into the heralded mystery/thriller Blood on the Pen, with a serial killer disposing of literary agents. David, an avid history buff, led him to write Dead in Utah, the story of Joe Hill, the controversial musician and union organizer accused of a double murder in 1914.
His books receive praise from mystery readers across the globe.

As an editor, David edited a treatise on the South Carolina workers’ compensation laws, as well as, Shannon Faulkner’s novel Fire and Ice. Shannon was the first female cadet at the Citadel. She received national publicity for her federal lawsuit and was a guest on Good Morning America.
As an editor, public speaker, and seasoned professional, David has appeared on television and radio, and has lectured on the East Coast, California, Canada and Mexico.

David currently lives in Lexington, South Carolina with his wife, Trudy.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in several places, all in North Carolina. My earliest memory is of Lexington, watching our dog being hit by a car. As you might guess, my siblings blamed it on me, and they may have been right. I spent several years in Winston-Salem, the most progressive city of my childhood. Then we moved to a textile town, Gastonia. Even when living in the same city, I remember a lot of moves.

Do you write during the day, at night, or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

If I only have a few moments, then I make notes on ideas or concepts for the story, maybe even describe a character. I need time to write, because I get caught up in the plot and lose track of time. I sit down with a cup of coffee and, when I look up, the coffee is gone or is cold, and it’s three hours later. Sometimes the day has gone from afternoon to evening.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

Hard to say, but the most fun to write about was Moses Browner, the Deputy Medical Examiner. He’s the smartest guy in the book, and he has a unique personality, always reminding people that he is a doctor and fastidious about his personal preferences, like chicory in his coffee.
Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

Many authors can relate, when I say no agent wanted me. We face that dilemma that major publisher only accept submissions from agents, and agents only want to represent someone who has been published. Now that I have some publishing credits, I may look into an agent in the future, but I’m not in a hurry.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Oh, everyone has an easy time getting published, and, if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell. I suffered through the same rejections and form letters that most other authors do. Signing that first contract is very rewarding, but there is a price to pay before you get there.

Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more?

My website is  It has information about all my books, reviews, and some personal information. I hope people like it. I also have a blog, but I confess to being a poor blogger.

What is up for you next?

The second book in the series, Blood on the Cards, should be released later this year. We are about to begin the edits on it. Like Blood on the Pen it is being published by Wild Child Publishing, and it will start as an ebook. The final book in the series is Blood on the Badge, but I don’t expect to see that one published until 2012. I am working on the manuscript for Thread of Life, the story of nine-year-old boy whose elderly, billionaire father is murdered. Yes, I said elderly father, and that is part of the plot.

Book Summary

Jack Harden is a modern-day Texas Ranger haunted by his wife's death a year ago.

But when a murderer strikes, he is called into duty. Now he must battle the urge to kill the drunk driver responsible for her death and the hunger to kill himself as he hunts for a serial killer who wants him dead.

Elsie Rodriguez is assigned to report on the murders for her newspaper and ordered to stay with Jack Harden. He's old school, tough, and doesn't want her there, but, despite his gruff manner, the big Ranger triggers something inside her. Something more than just her Latin temper.

Can she pull him back from the edge of sanity? Or will death win again?

Price: $5.95
Amazon ASIN: B0041G6JC2
BN ID: 2940012599278
Release: August 2010

Amazon buy link ($5.95)

Barnes& buy link ($5.95)

Wild Child Publishing buy link ($5.95)

David Huffstetler blog:

David Huffstetler Facebook:

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Blood on the Pen blog tour site:

Next tour stop: December 16

Once Upon a Twilight