Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Book Review: A Comedy of Erinn by Celia Bonaduce

An engaging and delicious contemporary romance awaits you in A Comedy of Erinn by Celia Bonaduce.

A once celebrated playwright turned photographer, Erinn Wolf needs to reinvent herself. Almost broke and tired of her sister's constant worrying, she accepts a job producing a reality TV show. She's not thrilled with the young, brash director, but the Italian guy that rents her guesthouse seems like a promising prospect.

While it took a couple of chapters for me to get fully invested in this novel, once that happened, I never wanted to put the book down. At first Erinn and Jude didn't do much for me, but I think part of that is intentional on the author's part. Erinn is a down on her luck socially awkward person, while Jude is young and says whatever comes to into his mind. They don't click at all and she's happy to be rid of him. He originally rubbed me the wrong way too.

Enter Massimo, the classy Italian guy who knows what to say and how to treat a woman with respect. Though pushy at times, Erinn is wondering if he's part of the romantic plot materializing in her brain.

But while on location, Erinn starts getting used to how Jude and the rest of the crew operate and act. She begins thinking of Jude in a different light. The experience forces her to get used to dealing with people again instead of hiding out in her house all by herself. She works to tame her know-it-all attitude and discovers a side to Jude she didn't consider at first. I also had a kind of transformation where Jude is concerned, which was neat to see: my opinion and Erinn's opinion of Jude changing at the same time.

What I kept thinking about while I read this novel is how much this is a realistic romance novel. Yes, Jude is a young hunk of a guy who works out at the gym each morning, but he's not perfect. Erinn doesn't even like him when they first meet. And as for Erinn, she's older than Jude and not exactly the type of woman you find in a romance novel. Her face wouldn't be gracing the cover of Cosmopolitan. Even as charming as Massimo is, he has many flaws. So, while you have this cockeyed kind of triangle going here, none of the players seems superhuman. That's definitely part of why I enjoyed A Comedy of Erinn so much--these are realistic characters trudging through life and making mistakes along the way.

Bonaduce created a fascinating, funny and romantic story that includes regular people and is for regular people. It's a great storyline that is told well. There were a few shocks along the way to Erinn figuring out her life, too. Definitely a book I would read again.

Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Kensington Trade (September 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1601831250
ISBN-13: 978-1601831255

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read this book for the following challenge:

Discuss this book in the PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

First Chapter Review: The Kafka Society by Ron Felber

I received a copy of the first chapter of Ron Felber's new Jack Madson thriller, The Kafka Society, from the author's publicist.

BLURB:  After a night of clubbing, Jack has no memory of how stripper, Amber Starr got into his bed. Great sex doesn’t make up for the discovery of a severed head in the trunk of his Mustang convertible. Is Madson a murderer? Before that question can be answered he finds himself helping old high school nemesis, Tom Dougherty, FBI’s head of East Coast Operations, to get disentangled from a blackmail scam set up by porn queen Havana Spice. Reluctantly, Madson agrees and it's through Havana that the mask is lifted from Dougherty to expose him as head of a criminal organization that specializes in the most monstrous of enterprises: global human trafficking, run from the underground tunnels beneath New York City, directed by a coterie of intellectual thugs known as the Kafka Society. Once again, the reader follows Madson through a wealth of evil and exotic pleasures before the exciting conclusion of this thrilling page turner.

COVER: Perfect for the genre. Having read the first chapter, I can say this black cover equals the dark content. Love the font used for the title, and that red is a nice contrast. If you look at the cover for the first book in this series, you'll see the black cover with red and yellow contrasts is used there too.

FIRST CHAPTER: It's Christmas week. Jack Madson is waiting for his chronically late hot shot attorney to make an appearance. How he got where he is, he's not quite sure. But he sure knows who's to blame.

KEEP READING: I enjoyed Felber's tight, edgy writing in A Man of Indeterminate Value, the first book in this series. He returns with another thrilling adventure for Jack Madson that immediately draws you into Jack's world. While the first chapter is primarily backstory, it's important and engaging backstory. Jack is giving you a glimpse into how he wound up in this less than admirable position. Just enough hints are dropped that by the end you have no choice but to continue. Felber has grabbed you hook, line, and sinker. Now he's reeling you in. Superb writing and what looks like an excellent plot along with a fascinating first person narrator, make this a fabulous addition to the genre.

Series: A Jack Madson Novel
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Barricade Books (May 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1569805105
ISBN-13: 978-1569805107

This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Musing Mondays - April 28

This is a weekly meme run by Miz B of Should be Reading.

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musing:

Do you ever wonder sometimes if there are simply too many virtual book tour (VBT) companies out there? It seems a new one crops up every week. I know I certainly receive more than my fair share of requests from VBT companies.

When I first started blogging, there weren't that many companies. I remember almost begging publishers to review books at my blog. Then blogging and online book promotion exploded. My TBR pile also exploded. As an author, I know how tough it is to get exposure for your book; so I hate to say no to someone asking me to promote a book on my blog.

But where does it end? I'm looking at the hundreds of books in my office and I know I can't keep up. There's no way I'll be able to review all these books and still have a life. And yet, I love buying new books and reading new books despite my enormous pile. This was supposed to be my year to catch up, but I look at my schedule for May and June, and I see I've taken on eight new titles. What the heck am I thinking?

How about you? Do you love the requests from virtual book tour companies? Or does it make you sick to your stomach every time a new request appears in your inbox? How do you stay on top of your TBR pile?

First Chapter Review: The Author Training Manual by Nina Amir

I received a copy of The Author Training Manual by Nina Amir through Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tours.

BLURB:  Anyone can publish a book and become an “author,” but if you want to become a successful author with a profitable publishing career, you need a clear, step-by-step guide to help you develop book ideas that sell. In The Author Training Manual, expert editor and book coach Nina Amir reveals the exact process successful authors have used to create business plans and proposals for their books and teaches you how to view your ideas through the eyes of acquisition editors and literary agents.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, plan to traditionally publish or self-publish, The Author Training Manual provides you with the tools you need to achieve your goals and become the author publishers and readers want. Inside you’ll find concrete steps, evaluations, sample business plans, in-depth training activities, editor and agent commentaries, and much more – all designed to help you stand out, from the slush pile to the shelf.

COVER: I don't think the picture does the cover art justice. The background image of the head with different cogs is a clever design that is nicely set off by the red lettering and blue border.

FIRST CHAPTER: After a Foreword by James Scott Bell and the author's short introduction, the reader learns about "Author Attitude," the essential characteristics necessary if you seek publishing success. The next section, "How to Begin" discusses how you can evaluate yourself and your book for success, before moving into Step #1, which is "Develop an 'Author Attitude' and Plan Your Success."

KEEP READING: Definitely. This is more than a manual that encourages you to treat writing like a business. It is an approach that will help you evaluate your ideas, flesh them out, and turn them into publishable books. What could be worse than spending years writing a book then discovering publishers aren't interested? Or worse, your idea was so vague at the beginning, that you still don't know who your target audience is after you've self-published it.

A full review was scheduled for today, but I overbooked my week and didn't finish this book yet. The other reason for the delay is that this isn't a book you can just read and put back on the shelf to use for fly-by-night inspiration. The Author Training Manual is meant to help you see if you have the "Author Attitude" that will help you be successful. The book includes exercises, which I want to perform, to see what type of difference it make toward my current project. I'm not sure I'll get to all of them before I post my full review on Thursday, but I definitely want to try one or two to see how this impacts what I'm working on now.

The Author Training Manual is a fascinating book. I look forward to learning more of what Amir has to say about "Author Attitude."

Paperback: 248 pages
Publisher: Writer's Digest Books (March 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599631458
ISBN-13: 978-1599631455

This review contains my honest opinions, which I was not compensated for in any way.

Book Review: Murder in the Worst Degree by F. M. Meredith

Another spectacular installment of the Rocky Bluff P.D. Series is now available. Officer Gordon Butler is patrolling the beach when he is approached by a surfer about a body that has washed ashore. The Rocky Bluff P.D. is fairly certain they know who it is, but it will be up to Detectives Doug Milligan and Felix Zachary to figure out what happened. Meanwhile, Officers Stacey Milligan and Lizette Gibbs investigate the rapes of two women. The new police chief, Chandra Taylor, is making some changes at the department, one of which impacts Ryan Strickland, who is already on pins and needles awaiting the birth of his first baby.

F.M. Meredith shows she knows how to keep it fresh for fans of her long-running Rocky Bluff P.D. Series. Several changes have come to the department: a new police chief, some retirements, and a promotion for Felix Zachary to detective. That doesn't mean new fans will feel lost. Not only is there just enough backstory to help newbies feel comfortable, each book is a stand alone, so you truly can pick up any book in the series for a great read that blends the personal and professional lives of the members of the Rocky Bluff P.D.

Murder in the Worst Degree, like the other books in the series, draws its strength from the likable, complex set of characters working within the department. Coupling this cast with an intriguing plot with twists and turns along the way, you'll enjoy getting to know everyone while trying to figure out the suspects and motives.

One of the best aspects of this series, and this book in particular, is that you see plausible situations played out in this fictional police setting, by a group of people who seem almost as real as one of your friends or relatives.You meet new characters within the town as the police department follows the clues and works to keep the residents of Rocky Bluff safe. It's a perfect blend of both worlds. I would love to see these novels turned into a television series.

If you enjoy mysteries that are equally character driven and plot driven, Murder in the Worst Degree is a perfect choice.

Series: Rocky Bluff PD
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Dark Oak Mysteries (January 23, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1610091450
ISBN-13: 978-1610091459


For more information about F.M. Meredith, you can visit

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

A video trailer for this book is coming soon!

I have read this book for the following challenge:

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book Spotlight: The Tree of Young Dreamers by Frank Sousa

Brought up in the Depression, Johnny DaSilva is leader of a fun and imaginative gang that lives out their dreams in the Big Tree in which each has a branch that serves as the Lone Ranger’s Silver, the race car of Morey Amsterdam, the rocket ship of Buck Rogers, the crow’s nest for Black Bart the Pirate.

When World War II broke out, they tried every ruse their young imaginations could think of to get into the marines, army, and navy but had to settle for the Boy Scouts. But the faux pas war to end all wars came too soon for the Big Tree Gang.

Johnny is best described by an aunt as having the millstone around the neck of having a strict English Episcopalian conscience and bucking bronco Portuguese sexual proclivities.

Two girls are in love with him, one wealthy and popular, the other sexually abused and who considered herself a worthless toy, until she met Johnny.

Whatever they knew about the facts of life, male and female, were learned pretty much by trial and error.


Hardcover: 558 pages
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation (April 8, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1493176099
ISBN-13: 978-1493176090

Paperback: 558 pages
Publisher: XLIBRIS (April 10, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1493176102
ISBN-13: 978-1493176106

File Size: 858 KB
Print Length: 666 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Xlibris US (April 10, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English


Frank Sousa is a veteran outdoors writer for the Springfield Republican. An avid outdoorsman, he owns Outdoor Sports Exposition Group and published a sportsmen's monthly newspaper for more than 35 years. The Tree of Young Dreamers is his debut novel. He lives in Granby, MA with his wife, Charlotte. The Sousas have four children, 16 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Interview with Reba White Williams, Author of Fatal Impressions

Reba White Williams worked for more than thirty years in business and finance—in research at McKinsey & Co., as a securities analyst on Wall Street, and as a senior executive at an investment management firm.

Williams graduated from Duke with a BA in English, earned an MBA at Harvard, a PhD in Art History at CUNY, and an MA in Writing at Antioch. She has written numerous articles for art and financial journals. She is a past president of the New York City Art Commission and served on the New York State Council for the Arts.

She and her husband built what was thought to be the largest private collection of fine art prints by American artists. They created seventeen exhibitions from their collection that circulated to more than one hundred museums worldwide, Williams writing most of the exhibition catalogues. She has been a member of the print committees of several leading museums.

Williams grew up in North Carolina, and lives in New York, Connecticut and Southern California with her husband and Maltese, Muffin. She is the author of two novels featuring Coleman and Dinah Greene, Restrike and Fatal Impressions, along with the story of Coleman and Dinah when they were children, Angels. She is currently working on her third Coleman and Dinah mystery.

Visit Reba online at

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Mississippi, lived there and in Tennessee before moving to North Carolina where I lived with my family. I graduated from high school at St. Mary’s in Raleigh, and went on to Duke, where I majored in English

When did you begin writing?

I wrote as soon as I could write, and wrote more and more as I grew up—at St. Mary’s and Duke.

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

I write wherever I am, and whenever I can.

What is this book about?

Fatal Impressions is about two young women working in the art world in New York. Both have moved into new areas: Coleman has bought a second magazine, and Dinah is competing for a corporate contract. Both encounter serious problems and meet threatening people—and criminal activity.

What inspired you to write it?

I always intended to write a series, and planned to use a corporate setting. Many corporations have employed an art consultant to put together (and hang) a collection, but I haven’t seen a mystery written in that setting/situation.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

I like both of my protagonists, but Coleman is my favorite because she’s more active, takes more chances.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

I am a big proponent of independent bookstores, so please purchase at your local one, but it can also be purchased at chain bookstores and online.

What is up next for you?

I’ve just finished writing the 3rd book in the series, and I’ve started the 4th. I’m looking forward to a short trip to London, and a trip to Alaska later in the summer. I’m also looking forward to book parties hosted by my friends for Fatal Impressions!

Is there anything you would like to add?

Anyone who wants to write should keep writing. Don’t get discouraged; just write!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

First Chapter Review: The Bali Mystery by Linda Weaver Clarke

Linda Weaver Clarke is celebrating the release of the first book in her Amelia Moore Detective Series. This is a cozy mystery.

BLURB:  Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some very interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of Rick Bonito, her business is flourishing.

When Mrs. Brody hires Amelia and Rick to find her missing brother, they find themselves in Bali, Indonesia. They are mystified why her brother quit his job, put his home up for sale, and ran off to this mysterious and exotic island without telling a soul.

COVER: Like the covers for her other books, you can see great care went into creating this one. The setting and main characters are captured here in an eye-pleasing color scheme. I like the subtle texture to the background.

FIRST CHAPTER: Amelia has accepted a new case that involves finding Mrs. Brody's missing brother, William. It soon becomes apparent that someone would rather she not investigate William's disappearance. That's when Amelia calls in Rick to give her a hand.

KEEP READING: This looks like it will be another great book by Clarke. Though a short chapter, the reader gets a chance to meet the two main characters, and the author works quickly to set up the conflict. Told alternately from Amelia's and Rick's points of view, both characters' personalities shine through. Rick is a bit unorthodox in his approach, whereas Amelia is a no-nonsense kind of gal. It looks like Clarke might be weaving a romantic element into the plot between the two main characters. Right now it's more like Moonlighting, where the two detectives are determined to be just friends while considering the winning attributes of each other secretly. I'm curious to see where these characters go from here.

Series: Amelia Moore Detective Series
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 29, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1497327156
ISBN-13: 978-1497327153

Purchase at:

Through April 28th, you have a chance to win a free copy of The Bali Mystery by visiting Linda's blog at

I read the first chapter of this novel from the author's website. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


This meme was created by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Erinn Wolf needs to reinvent herself. A once celebrated playwright turned photographer, she's almost broke, a little lonely, and tired of her sister's constant worry. When a job on a reality TV show falls into her lap, she's thrilled to be making a paycheck--and when a hot Italian actor named Massimo rents her guesthouse, she's certain her life is getting a romantic subplot. But with the director, brash, gorgeous young Jude, dogging her every step, she can't help but look at herself through his lens--and wonder if she's been reading the wrong script all along. . .

I'm reading this one for the author's virtual book tour. My review will appear on April 30. I'm loving this one, though I wasn't so sure about it in the beginning.

What did you recently finish reading?

Officer Gordon Butler is called to the scene of a body washed up on the beach, a new police chief makes changes, a rapist attacks two women, Ryan and Barbara Strickland’s baby is born, but he faces an even bigger test, and Detectives Milligan and Zachary follow a twisted path of clues to find a killer.

I've read this series from the very beginning, so I knew I would enjoy this one. I like the addition of the new police chief and the switching around of personnel that comes as a result. I have to wonder, however, what is in store for Ryan Strickland's future with the Rocky Bluff P.D. after this. My review of this book will appear on Monday.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Anyone can publish a book and become an “author,” but if you want to become a successful author with a profitable publishing career, you need a clear, step-by-step guide to help you develop book ideas that sell. In The Author Training Manual, expert editor and book coach Nina Amir reveals the exact process successful authors have used to create business plans and proposals for their books and teaches you how to view your ideas through the eyes of acquisition editors and literary agents.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, plan to traditionally publish or self-publish, The Author Training Manual provides you with the tools you need to achieve your goals and become the author publishers and readers want. Inside you’ll find concrete steps, evaluations, sample business plans, in-depth training activities, editor and agent commentaries, and much more – all designed to help you stand out, from the slush pile to the shelf.

I definitely don't read enough writing craft or publishing books, so I'm working on changing that this year. My review of this one is also coming up on Monday. Whoops--double-booked.

First Chapter Review: The Hybrid Author by Dianne G. Sagan

Dianne G. Sagan recently released The Hybrid Author. I downloaded a sample of the book to my Kindle Fire.

BLURB: A publishing industry in constant change, authors find themselves trying to make decisions about whether or not to self-publish or traditionally publish. Now you have a book that explains the Hybrid Author path.
• What it is.
• What the options are.
• How to decide.
Including interviews with C. J. Lyons, Joanna Penn, J. A. Konrath, Hugh C. Howey, Barbara Freethy, Marie Force, Barbara Morgenroth and Jennifer Archer. The Hybrid Author is "a treasure house of useful suggestions and resources for any writer."

COVER: This cover is a great choice. It's simple. It's uncluttered. The laptop makes you think of writing. Though I'm not always a fan of the title being blocked off, the color scheme along with the border make it stand out. Nice job.

FIRST CHAPTER:  Sagan starts off by giving an overview of the various publishing paths--traditional publishing, subsidy publishing, self-publishing, and vanity publishing. The hybrid author is someone using more than one path to publication. Cited surveys and statistics support what Sagan says is the biggest challenge for authors--keeping up with voracious readers.

KEEP READING: Definitely. As an author, I've found publishing requires a ton of patience. There are days I wish my books could make it to market sooner. This is part of why I've considered self-publishing, even though I enjoy working with both my publishers. Even just the first chapter of Sagan's book has given me food for thought. The cited surveys and statistics indicate hybrid authors are finding success by boldly embracing multiple paths to publication, giving readers more of what they want--books.

Sagan's conversational style encourages readers to continue, while her experience gained from more than a decade in the industry provides the security and comfort that she can speak on such topics. I'm eager to learn more about what she has to say on the topic of hybrid authors. I also want to read all the interviews included.

File Size: 562 KB
Print Length: 158 pages
Publisher: Sagan & Associates, LLC (April 11, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

To learn more about award-winning author Dianne G. Sagan, please visit and

This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensate for in any way.

Book Spotlight: The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran

When Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from college has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally really had turned her back, why is her little girl named after Olivia?

As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel their tangled history. But as Sally’s secrets start to spill out, Olivia’s left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.

“Gripping, emotional – shows how losing a best friend can be worse than losing a lover."
—Daisy Goodwin, author of My Last Duchess on The Last Time I Saw You

"Defiantly superior women's fiction . . . “
—Independent on Breakfast in Bed

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Quercus; Reprint edition (April 22, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1623651336
ISBN-13: 978-1623651336

Read a Q and A with the author at

Eleanor Moran is the author of three previous novels: Stick or Twist, Mr Almost Right and Breakfast in Bed, which is currently being developed for television. Eleanor also works as a television drama executive and her TV credits include Rome, MI5, Spooks, Being Human and a biopic of Enid Blyton, Enid, starring Helena Bonham Carter. Eleanor grew up in North London, where she still lives.

Visit Eleanor Moran’s Website:
Follow Eleanor Moran on Twitter:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Interview with Susan Israel, Author of Over My Live Body

Susan Israel lives in Connecticut with her beloved dog, but New York City lives in her heart and mind. A graduate of Yale College, her fiction has been published in Other Voices, Hawaii Review and Vignette and she has written for magazines, websites and newspapers, including Glamour, Girls Life, Ladies Home Journal and The Washington Post. She’s currently at work on the second book in the Delilah Price series, Student Bodies.

Visit Susan online at or

When did you begin writing?

I was in grade school, I think, making up stories to cope with being
bullied. That continued into junior high school and high school. I got
some encouragement from one (just one!) teacher in high school, but my earlier efforts weren't very good. I was trying to be someone else. It wasn't until I went to college that I felt my talent was appreciated and I grew as a writer and took greater leaps. My suggestion to anyone who has been afflicted with the "writing bug" is if you are not being encouraged by the people you know, find people who will encourage you, even if it means getting a ton of criticism (as long as it's meant to build you up, not tear you down) Read as much as you can and at the same time find your own voice.

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

I used to write in a computer cluster during the day, between say, 10 a.m. and noon, after which I'd go for coffee to reboot. I wrote all of Over My Live Body that way. After the cluster was removed, I started
writing at home, after dark, when it was quieter and I still do. But I also take my work in progress and a composition notebook with me when I go out for coffee and work there, whichever cafe I happen to go to.

What is this book about?

My main character, Delilah Price, is being stalked by a stranger who is obsessed with her, a situation not uncommon to actresses and rock stars, only Delilah is an artist who happens to work as an art model to
help make ends meet, not exactly a household name (yet). She doesn't know how she happened to attract his attention and doesn't know why horrible things are happening to people close to her as a result of the
attraction. The police only get involved when a murder is committed.

What inspired you to write it?

I was modeling for art classes and in a perfectly safe environment, but I conjured a situation where somebody would not be as safe,as sheltered, I and plopped my main character, Delilah, in the center of that.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Over My Live Body is available for purchase through:
Barnes and Noble
Kobo -
iTunes -
IndieBound -

What's up next for you?

My next novel, Student Bodies, is the second in the Delilah Price saga. In this, Delilah is still modeling but also working as a substitute art teacher in a girls' middle school, dealing with teenage angst (and her own feelings of inadequacy) and the threat of a serial rapist and sexual predator posing a real danger to those she is close to - and herself. After that will be a third, yet untitled, involving a human trafficking ring and an intriguing foreign suitor with a questionable past and present.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Interview with Emily Sue Harvey, Author of Cocoon

New York Times bestselling author Jill Marie Landis called Song of Renewal “An uplifting, heartwarming story of forgiveness, commitment, and love, and Kay Allenbaugh, bestselling author of Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul says “Emily Sue Harvey’s work will linger in the memory long after readers put it aside.” National bestselling author Harvey, who has written numerous inspiring works of nonfiction, writes intensely romantic novels that thrill the heart as they inspire the soul. Her stories have something to say to every family.

Visit the author at

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a mill village in South Carolina named Tucapau, which is the setting for my National Bestseller, UNTO THESE HILLS. The name was later changed to Startex, over which I grieve till this day.. I loved the old Indian name better.

When did you begin writing

I began writing in college, where I majored in English Education and discovered I had a gift for it. I planned to teach but when my eleven-year-old daughter, Angie, died in a tragic accident, my plans changed. My goals evolved into writing to make a difference in lives.

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

All of the above.

What is this book about?

COCOON is about a widowed woman, Seana, who, against her family’s wishes, elopes with Barth, a man with a mystifying past. She’s happier than she’s been in years. Then her happiness shatters when a mysterious illness suddenly befalls her, exiling her once brilliant mind to a dark nightmare from which she may never return. The eclipse is startling and complete. Will Barth, with such a short history with Seana, love her enough to endure the trials of caring for someone under such dire circumstances? Can her family get past their suspicions and trust his motives and love for their mother? Will Seana ever escape her dark cocoon and reclaim her very purpose for living? Will life give her a second chance to spread her wings, like a beautiful butterfly? Cocoon is a life-affirming story of travail, obstacles, and the extraordinary lengths undying love will travel.

What inspired you to write it?

Everybody has a story. I look for stories all about me in everyday life. Occasionally, I find exceptional ones to build upon. COCOON is one of those. I saw two old high school classmates, Kay and Gerald Turner, at a restaurant one day and knew something was terribly wrong with Kay. She was not the person I’d known in school. I went over to speak to them and Kay avoided me like the plague, refusing to make eye contact or acknowledge me as Gerald and I chatted. I later learned from another classmate, Kay’s sister-in-law, that Kay was experiencing a psychosis, one from which she would,never, according to doctors, return. Years later, I saw Kay again at another restaurant, laughing and engaging with others and it smote me, the difference. I went to her and asked, “what happened?” She laughed and said, “it was a miracle. A true miracle.” I said, “I want to hear your story.” We met later and spent time together and when I asked to base a book on her medical history, she agreed. “If my story will help one person, it will be worth it,” she said. So, the inspiration came from those two wonderful people who are willing to be transparent and generous. They, along with Billie McGregor, another real life muse for the character Billie Jean, in COCOON, who, like the character, battles bone cancer, are my heroes!

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

Let’s just put it this way: I paid my dues. After several years of submissions and rejections, I began publishing in short stories, I was ecstatic and soon, I’d accumulated dozens of credits. But I decided to add fiction to my repertoire because I love happy endings and that was a way to ensure them. Getting published in novel was a whole different story. I received more than my share of rejections and bad critiques and then, one day, I found my voice! It was first person and the story was HOMEFIRES, which I submitted to the Peter Miller Literary and Film Agency in NY. Lo and behold, Peter and his entire staff loved the story and now, years later, it is a National Bestseller.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Readers may purchase a copy of COCOON from, Barnes and Noble, or any online bookstore. They may even order it through their local bookstores.

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

The best investment is using social media. Social networking is a wonderful venue to get your name and books out there.

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

Keep on writing! Don’t let the first bad critiques get you down. Learn from them and keep sharpening your writing tools. Get in a good writers workshop, like Southeastern Writers Association. That’s where I learned the ins and outs of writing and marketing. And in the words of my mentor, bestselling author Cec Murphey, “Look in the mirror everyday and say to yourself, ‘I AM A WRITER!’” It works!!

What is up next for you?

I’m doing final formatting to my latest book, TWILIGHT TIME, as you read this. The story chronicles the odyssey of a couple simultaneously battling near-death trauma (the wife) and early stage Alzheimer’s (the husband). It captures the tragic, the funny, the heartwarming, the gut-wrenching ups and downs of a couple over which Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling. It’s their Twilight Time. Where, in the afterglow of day, they keep their rendezvous beneath the blue…and in the sweet and same old way, they fall in love again as they did then. Amid the most chaotic time of their lives, they still hear each other’s voices calling from the mist. They struggle through betrayal, forgiveness and on to redemption, where deepening shadows gather splendor as day is done, and know that they can conquer anything as long as they’re together.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter. Thank you for your readership.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

First Chapter Review: Hair of the Corn Dog by A. K. Turner

A.K. Turner is on tour with Pump Up Your Book to talk about her humor book, Hair of the Corn Dog

A.K. Turner is the author of This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store, Mommy Had a Little Flask, and Hair of the Corn Dog, as well as a co-author of Drinking with Dead Women Writers and Drinking with Dead Drunks. Her work has been featured in various publications and anthologies, including Folio Literary Magazine, Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana, and I Just Want to Be Alone. A former writer-in-residence and creator of "The Writers' Block" on Radio Boise, she lives in Idaho with her exceedingly tolerant husband and two daughters.

Learn more at

BLURB:  In the latest laugh-out-loud confessional from A.K. Turner's "Tales of Imperfection" series, the author of This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store and Mommy Had a Little Flask relates her adventures on the Jersey Shore, at an Idaho drag show with her in-laws, and surviving the perils of an elementary school ice-cream social with equal parts wit and heart. The laughter pairs well with two parts cocktail.

COVER: This one is a riot. Don't you expect a corn dog to be paired with a beer or a soda? I wasn't expecting a Bloody Mary. The color scheme catches the eye. Between the look of the cover and the title you're bound to pick this one up to glance at it.

FIRST CHAPTER: The author relays a story of visiting a local dive with her husband and his former college buddy. There's lots of drinking, some storytelling from a cab driver, and a next day regret.

KEEP READING:  All I can say is that if this is the opening chapter, you're in for one heck of a ride. I had not expected a chapter titled "Humpin' Hannah's," and I don't drink, so going out to the bar to tie one on means nothing to me--except horrible memories of pretending to fit in and faking it. But I have to tell you, this is a funny chapter. If nothing else, it made me feel so much better about some of the exploits of my youth. Actually, it made me realize that had it not been for some of the wonderful people in my life, I might have been  one of those people the cab driver told the author and her husband about on their ride home from that dive.

Turner is funny. In some parts she seems almost vulnerable or too innocent for her own good. The cab driver's stories are outrageous, making me glad I don't live somewhere like New York City where cabs are the regular mode of transportation. The one thing I could really relate to was how Kelly (the former college buddy) learned keeping up with his college-age tenants wasn't as easy as it seemed. Getting old stinks.

The content isn't my usual style, but I had to admit I snickered and chuckled more than once. If you enjoy edgy, sometimes bawdy humor, this is a book you'll get a kick out of.

Series: The Tales of Imperfection Series
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Fever Streak Press (February 8, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0991375920
ISBN-13: 978-0991375929

I received the first chapter only of this book from Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Interview: Peter Murphy, Author of Born & Bred

Peter Murphy was born in Killarney where he spent his first three years before his family was deported to Dublin, the Strumpet City.

Growing up in the verdant braes of Templeogue, Peter was schooled by the De La Salle brothers in Churchtown where he played rugby for ‘The Wine and Gold’. He also played football (soccer) in secret!

After that, he graduated and studied the Humanities in Grogan’s under the guidance of Scot’s corner and the bar staff; Paddy, Tommy and Sean.

Murphy financed his education by working summers on the building sites of London in such places as Cricklewood, Camden Town and Kilburn.

Murphy also tramped the roads of Europe playing music and living without a care in the world. But his move to Canada changed all of that. He only came over for a while – thirty years ago. He took a day job and played music in the bars at night until the demands of family life intervened. Having raised his children and packed them off to University, Murphy answered the long ignored internal voice and began to write.

He has no plans to make plans for the future and is happy to let things unfold as they do anyway.

Visit Peter online at

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a nice respectable suburb on the south side of Dublin, Ireland. It was the type of place you would imagine that children would be happy in but in my late teens, I wandered downtown in search of the places where my literary heroes had roamed. I found them and spent the next few years absorbing the atmosphere that still lingers.

When did you begin writing?

Growing up, I was strongly encouraged to read and write. As a lovelorn teen I wrote poetry and songs and became a bit of a troubadour for a while. Later, after I moved to Canada and became busy raising a family, I stole a few hours, here and there, to write short stories—some of which were not too bad. A few years back I got cashed-out of a job that I had grown very tired of and decided to start doing what really made me happy—writing.

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

I find the evenings are best for writing and I spend the day editing and reworking the previous day’s work. Reshaping it always gets me in the mood to take another plunge forward.

What is this book about?

It is the story of Danny Boyle, a pious and innocent child who gets waylaid by the storms of the world around him. His granny, a formidable and influential dowager, raised him to be good but when she dies, all of her secrets come tumbling out and shatter everything Danny believed in. Lost and confused, he gets involved with the drug scene and gets duped into leaving his fingerprints on a murder weapon. But his family still has powerful friends who are prepared to move Heaven and Earth to save him, only, even that might not be enough.

What inspired you to write it?

A few years ago, I was having dinner with family in Dublin when the talk turned to the recent murder of an alleged drug-dealer. Everyone voiced reasonable and insightful opinions and it set the wheels in motion. Even the greatest villains among us begin life as babies and I wanted to explore what might have happened along the way.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

Danny Boyle’s grandmother, Nora. She seems so self-assured at first and doesn’t hesitate to put everyone in their place. She does what she believes has to be done and pays her penance forward. But, as the story unfolds, her certainty is tested and Nora is forced to look at things differently.

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

Notwithstanding that the whole process can feel like it moves at glacial pace, I have been very fortunate. I found someone, my editor Lou Aronica, who saw something in my writing and has spared no effort to coax me along. Initially, some of his opinions ruffled my feathers but he has been proven right. Because of that I get to do my part—write—and trust that the rest will be well taken care of. Writing, publishing and reader’s reactions all make for a bit of a rollercoaster ride but what part of life isn’t?

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

No because all of that led to this. I spent over 3 years working on my first novel, Lagan Love, and have managed to produce the first 2 books of Life & Times; Born & Bred and Wandering in Exile in 2. What I am learning along the way is to avoid filling pages with anything that is not central to the story—a practice that can only be improved by making mistakes along the way.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?


Barnes and Noble:



Local Bookstores:


Ben McNally Books:

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

Write, write, and write. Like anything else, it gets easier with practice.

What is up next for you?

I have been working 10 to 12 hours a day for 3 years and when the 3rd book, All Roads, is done, I need to take some time to attend to the rest of my life. I need a haircut and I need to get organized for my move to Portugal. I tell myself I must take a few months off but, already, I’m playing with a few new ideas!

Is there anything you would like to add?

Yes, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to talk about my work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I'd Like To Own

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I'd Like To Own


Reading room/library


Built-in bookshelves


Window seat


Book wall art


Book stairs


Book page furniture


Book chair


Book clock


Unusual bookshelf


Book Christmas Tree

Monday, April 14, 2014

Musing Mondays - April 14

This is a weekly meme run by Miz B of Should be Reading.

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musing:

Just polished off the latest Rocky Buff P.D. novel by F.M. Meredith. I love these books and they are all quick reads. I polished this one off in less than twenty-four hours. That doesn't mean it was short on content. It amazes me how much Meredith can pack into one 176-page book. Murder, a serial rapist, several developments in the personal lives of the members of the Rocky Bluff Police Department, and a few surprises make this an awesome read.

Gordon Butler, my favorite character in the series, has been one of those guys who if he didn't have bad luck wouldn't have any luck at all. Maybe things are changing for him. At least I can hope. Most of the members of the Rocky Bluff PD are familiar names, but there was a new introduction, in addition to the numerous townsfolk unique to the crimes.

Look for my review on April 28.

Guest Blogger: Carla Acheson, Author of The Whitechapel Virgin

Catherine, a fifteen year old runaway, stumbles into a seedy brothel-house tavern in the back streets of Whitechapel, London. She hesitates at the scene before her, one filled with low class prostitutes and drunkards, but it is late, and the dimly-lit labyrinthine alleyways are filled with deviant fellows and petty criminals.

Weary and hungry, she meets Eddie, the rugged young tavern boy who shows her to a room for the night. She settles down only to be awoken in the early hours by piercing cries from the room next door. Arising to find the cause of the commotion, she becomes witness to a gruesome abortion.

Filled with revulsion, Catherine decides to flee as soon as daylight arrives, but Eddie quickly soothes her fears and convinces her to stay, arranging for her to meet Madame Davenport, the nefarious brothel-mistress who employs Catherine as a serving girl, under the proviso she begins work ‛servicing’ men once she is settled in.

Difficulties arise, however, when Eddie’s growing romantic affections for Catherine clash with her sudden infatuation for the dashing middle-class gent, Mr Cross. Unknown to Catherine, the lothario is keeping a diary of his affairs with Whitechapel’s whores, with the dishonourable intention of turning his writing into a successful ‛gentleman’s, publication.’ Mr Cross quickly seduces the fresh young virgin, allowing his sexual fantasies to escalate into an unfathomable obsession.

As Catherine tries her hardest to fit into the ways of life at the lodging house, she encounters only jealousy from Eddie, and resentment from the other prostitutes who reside there. Annie, in particular, dislikes the new girl who has blossoming beauty and youth on her side.

Unexpectedly one night, a crime occurs within the narrow landing of George Yard Buildings. Local prostitute Martha Tabram is found brutally hacked to death by a cruel assailant. The police can unearth no explainable motive. The Victorian crime stuns the entire Whitechapel district, causing widespread panic amongst the prostitutes who each fear for their own lives.

Catherine’s anxiety increases when Edward Cross begins to show signs of ‘odd’ sexual behaviour and mental decline, as he brutally tries to expunge the girl of her virtues. When two more gruesome murders occur in the area, the prostitutes realise that there is no escape from the vicious killer who calls himself Jack The Ripper. But who is he? And who will be the next Jack victim?

London City by Carla Acheson

I'm not sure when my love affair with Victorian London began. I'm not even exactly sure what draws me to that particular era. Perhaps it's the pretty corsets and frilly apparel which the ladies wore, or maybe it is because it was the revolutionary golden age of technology. But I have a tangible link to the city, one which I could never erase.

Despite being born on a Rock in the Mediterranean Sea, my parents emigrated to the United Kingdom very shortly after my birth in the early seventies, where I grew up on the eastern side of the great city itself. Many years later we returned 'home' to the Rock where I brought with me a distinctive cockney-sounding 'twang.' It was an odd accent for the locals to decipher, and it threw me into the category of 'foreigner' almost instantly. I pined for my childhood home, yet never returned to live there.

So over the years, it is logical that I have always felt a certain affinity to the place where I was raised. I knew that I had left some part of me behind. There is even a particular children's swing in a small fenced off park close to where I lived, that I visit in my mind during troubled times. I sit and swing back and forth, calmly, returning to that innocent and carefree state of youthful existence.

Perhaps then my choice of London as a fictional setting for my books felt like the most natural choice. I have, after all, walked through the narrow fog-filled streets, and felt my fingers and tip of my nose turn numb in the bitterest winter evenings. To return there, even if just to indulge in the fantasy of my own inventions and imaginings is cathartic, and presses upon me the joys of an existence now long gone, but one which can be re-created in some ways over and over again in my own story world.


Carla lives in Gibraltar with her family and is a member of the Freelance Writers Association. She works as a book reviewer and has interviewed and published book reviews and articles for best-selling and award-winning authors. Her articles and reviews have been featured in various press publications, as well as Waterstones Quarterly UK Magazine.

Her debut fiction novel ‘The Last Gift’ released October 2012, is available on both Kindle and paperback.

Carla is also the founder of the Rock Writers Group formed in Gibraltar in 2009.

Music production, singing, reading and writing have always been the main essential ingredients in Carla’s life.