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Archive for September, 2012

ImageBook description:

He needs a wife for three weeks…

Owen Phipps is out for revenge. His mission? To expose the man who stole his sister’s money and dignity. All he needs is a “wife” who can play along. Too bad his last best hope is an actress who tries to mace him with perfume when he offers her the role of a lifetime.

Lindy Covington is a real sap. She loves too hard, feels too deep, and often finds herself saying yes when she should be saying “Let me think about it.” She can’t believe her good fortune when Owen offers her more than enough money to hold off foreclosure until she can find a job. Three weeks at a resort, money she desperately needs, and she gets to help bring a criminal to justice? Score.

It seems easy enough until the first time a couples bonding game turns intimate, and they realize how dangerous their mutual attraction could be. Can they keep their hands to themselves long enough to find the evidence Owen needs? Or are the close quarters more temptation than they can handle?

Title: Wife for Hire
Author: Christine Bell
Genre: Category – Contemporary
Length: 245 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62266-973-8
Release Date: August 2012
Imprint: Indulgence
Purchase from Entangled Publishing

My thoughts:

I had not read romantic comedy in a long time, so when I learned of this latest release by Entangled Publishing, I immediately requested a review copy. I was not disappointed. Wife for Hire is a delightful, utterly romantic read with scenes that will make the reader laugh out loud. What I liked most about it, though, is the heroine. Lindy is the ultimate sympathetic heroine. She’s smart and independent, but at the same time she’s sensitive and has a huge heart. Owen is a wonderful hero as well, alpha enough to be tantalizing without being overbearing. Needless to say, there’s a lot of chemistry  between the two.

From the very beginning I was pulled into the story, wondering how these two were going to fall for each other in such a silly situation. There are a lot of well-written sexy scenes and plenty of sensual tension. The story moves at a pretty quick pace with lots of dialogue. Wife for Hire kept me smiling and it’s just one of those stories that make you feel good and believe in romance. If you’re a fan of the genre, I encourage you to get yourself a copy. You won’t be disappointed.

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Helen Smith is a member of the Writers Guild of Great Britain and English PEN. She traveled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both – from cleaning motels to working as a magician’s assistant – before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel which was published by Gollancz (part of the Hachette Group).

She is the author of bestselling cult novel Alison Wonderland. She writes novels, poetry, plays and screenplays and is the recipient of an Arts Council of England Award. She’s a long-term supporter of the Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture and mentors members of an exiled writers group to help them tell their stories.

Her latest book is the dystopian thriller The Miracle Inspector.

Visit her website at http://www.emperorsclothes.co.uk.

Friend her on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/ emperorsclothes

Become a fan at Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/authorhelensmith

Friend her at Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2833648.Helen_Smith

Pick up a copy of The Miracle Inspector at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Inspector-Helen-Smith/dp/0956517056

About the Book:

The Miracle Inspector is a dystopian thriller set in the near future. England has been partitioned and London is an oppressive place where poetry has been forced underground, theatres and schools are shut, and women are not allowed to work outside the home. A young couple, Lucas and Angela, try to escape from London – with disastrous consequences.

“…this is an absolutely exceptional piece of fiction, a work of art befitting the best in socially-conscious literature.”

– Journal of Always Reviews

“…Only occasionally does a piece of fiction leap out and demand immediate cult status. Alison Wonderland is one.”

– The Times

“…Smith is gin-and-tonic funny.”

– Booklist

“Smith has a keen eye for material details, but her prose is lucid and uncluttered by heavy description. Imagine a satire on Cool Britannia made by the Coen Brothers.”

– Times Literary Supplement

 Interview

Would you call yourself a born writer?

When I was a child I thought I had been born a poet but I soon gave up on that idea. I realized that, in order to be a great poet, I’d have to live a life of romantic suffering and, perhaps mostly importantly, I’d have to be good at poetry. But I have always loved reading and knew I wanted to be a writer when I grew up – in that sense, perhaps I was born a writer. I love writing – there’s nothing else I’d want to do.

What was your inspiration for The Miracle Inspector?

I had been volunteering as a writing mentor with exiled writers in London through an organization called Freedom From Torture, a British charity that helps survivors of torture. I wondered what it would be like if I had to flee London because it was no longer safe. That was my starting point.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

It changes, depending on what I’m thinking about when I begin to write a book. I usually write about love, friendship and betrayal. The Miracle Inspector is about a young couple who try to escape London for a better life in Cornwall, and it’s partly about the curtailment of civil liberties in the name of the fight against terrorism. Most of my books are more light-hearted than that but I wanted to deal with some serious issues in The Miracle Inspector.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It took about a year to write.

Describe a typical writing day.

I am disciplined but I find that life gets in the way – there’s lots of admin involved in being a writer, never mind going to the shops and cleaning the house and all the other aspects of daily life. A typical writing day involves getting up, having breakfast, checking my emails, getting distracted by whatever messages are in my inbox, and then getting started at about nine or ten o’clock. I work for about five hours – but this might not involve writing text that finds its way directly into the manuscript. I might be writing notes, working up ideas. But I rarely have a typical writing day. Each day is different. The purest and best kind of writing day involves going away somewhere with no Internet and just sitting there and writing, not talking to anyone or worrying about anything except the work. I have only managed that a few times but I would like to do it for a couple of weeks for every book.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

I wanted The Miracle Inspector to have an ambiguous ending and I wanted to give away as little as possible about what had happened to bring England to this sorry state so that readers would fill in the gaps themselves. When you’re trying to withhold information it’s tough to get the balance right but I think I have succeeded with this book.

What do you love most about being an author?

I like writing and I love it when I have just finished a project – at that point I will be pleased with the work and feel it’s all worthwhile.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I have been traditionally published in the past but I decided to self-publish The Miracle Inspector. I began by putting the book up for sale on the Kindle and it is now available at Kobo as an ebook and in print just about everywhere. I’m happy with the decision I have made. I just hope readers like the book!

Where can we find you on the web?

I have a blog at www.emperorsclothes.co.uk and I’m on Twitter at emperorsclothes.  My Facebook author page is Helen Smith. Come and say hello!

Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/GhODz6BMZ7o

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Of all my 16 novels Dinosaur Lake has the strangest story attached to its creation, death and rebirth…20 years later…of any of them.

Not so much because, as a few of my books, it took so long to write or publish, but because in 1993 it was contracted, edited and the final galleys had been proofed by me for a 5th paperback book release from Zebra (Kensington Publishing) after 3 earlier novels with Leisure Books. I even had a stack of the full-color, printed and embossed covers; it was only weeks before it was to go to the bookshelves (in those days the brick & mortar stores were still king, no Internet or ebooks). I strongly believed it’d be my breakout book. You know, the book that’d make my career and launch me into the stratosphere with Stephen King and Anne Rice? How wrong I’d be. But, hey, I thought who wouldn’t love a tale of a cunning but malevolent rampaging prehistoric dinosaur living in Crater Lake, Oregon, and the Park Ranger who, along with a ragtag gang of heroes who’d try to stop it? I mean, I’d always loved anything about dinosaurs…dinosaur books, playing with those little plastic figurines and watching old stop-action dinosaur movies of the 1950’s and 60’s…who hadn’t?

Apparently someone. My new editor at Zebra.

By 1994, after four novels with them, I’d lost my sweet editor there and a new one took her place…and over the next year he didn’t like anything I wrote for him and later that year Zebra unceremoniously dropped me and my book (Predator…which never came out but still lingers to this very day like some weird ghost book in every computer on the global Internet) only six weeks away from going to the bookstore shelves. When we were editing the book and deciding on the title and the cover, I’d begged the new editor not to call it Predator (his choice as they hadn’t liked my American Loch Ness Monster title), bad title since there was a popular movie out of that name and the movie, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, was nothing about a dinosaur, and the cover was awful, an empty boat on a lake…what!!! Having that book–my first ever–dumped like that was a crushing experience, let me tell you. I had a stack of finished, printed covers and my final edits were done! But nothing my agent or I could say or do would change their minds. They said they were cutting their horror lines and setting adrift a lot of their mid-list horror authors because horror (in 1994) was on the decline. The new editor-that-didn’t-like-my-writing explained: “And no one wants to read a book about a dinosaur.”

Yeah, sure.

And six months later Jurassic Park the book came out! We all know how that story ended, don’t we? People loved the book, the movies; they loved dinosaurs.

I’ll never know the real reason they cut the book but that male editor never bought another book from me…which was another weird thing because when I’d met him in New York (I went for a Horror Convention) in the summer of 1993 he’d taken my husband and I out to lunch and gushed over me and said how much he’d loved my last release WITCHES. Hmmm.

Anyway, I got to keep my advance but the book was officially dead. It never came out. I grieved.
I was so disgusted I stashed it in a drawer somewhere and tried to forget it.

Until now. After I’d finished revising and rereleasing all my new/old 15 books (and besides paperbacks they’re in ebooks for the first time ever) from Eternal Press/Damnation Books in June of 2012 I remembered about my American Loch Ness Monster novel, took it out and reread it.

Whoa, like a lot of my older novels now years later I could see what was wrong with it and how to fix it. Back then I hadn’t seen the head-hopping I did or the awkward phrasing, stiff or overly dramatic dialogue, repetitive words and other things I’ve learned since to recognize and stay away from. Of course, computers help make the editing so much easier. I think I’d done the original book on my electric typewriter.

Anyway, telling myself the dumping of that book had been a turning point in my writing life–sending me in the wrong direction for a long time apparently…I couldn’t sell a book for eight long years after that–I decided to rewrite and finally release it. In fact, I was going to do something that twenty years ago would have been unheard of and frowned on…self-publish the book myself. With Kindle Direct. For the first time in forty years I was walking away from the traditional publishers and going on my own. Thank you J.A. Konrath’s blog! I figured I could sell the Kindle ebook a lot cheaper and, thus, use it to introduce (as enticement) more readers to my writing and perhaps, if they liked it, they’d buy more of my other fifteen novels, novellas and various short stories.

It could work, right?

So here it is, retitled, rewritten, updated and with an amazing new cover I love by Dawne Dominique… Dinosaur Lake. I hope my readers will like it.

Amazon Kindle

***

About Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21, over forty years ago now, and have had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel and two murder mysteries) previous novels and eight short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-four years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois called Columbia, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha, live cats Cleo and Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

Novels and short stories from Kathryn Meyer Griffith.

All available on Amazon.com on my page:http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Kathryn+Meyer+Griffith#/ref=sr_pg_3?rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AKathryn+Meyer+Griffith&page=3&keywords=Kathryn+Meyer+Griffith&ie=UTF8&qid=1346360338

Evil Stalks the Night (Leisure, 1984; Damnation Books, June 2012)

The Heart of the Rose (Leisure, 1985; Eternal Press Author’s Revised Edition 2010)

Blood Forge (Leisure, 1989; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2012)

Vampire Blood (Zebra, 1991; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011)

The Last Vampire (Zebra, 1992; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out 2010)  You Tube Book Trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZU77j_q4S8

Witches (Zebra, 1993; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition out 2011)

The Nameless One (short story in 1993 Zebra Anthology Dark Seductions; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011)

The Calling (Zebra, 1994; Damnation Books Author’s Revised Edition, 2011)

Scraps of Paper (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2003)

All Things Slip Away (Avalon Books Murder Mystery, 2006)

Egyptian Heart (The Wild Rose Press, 2007; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011)  You Tube Book Trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cogCNYKzPqc

Winter’s Journey (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) You Tube Book Trailer address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZYCs2DVhHg

The Ice Bridge (The Wild Rose Press, 2008; Author’s Revised Edition, Eternal Press 2011) You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28HZqu-my1g

Don’t Look Back, Agnes novella & bonus short story: In This House (2008; ghostly romantic short story out; Eternal Press 2012)

You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3q9rZryFMo

BEFORE THE END: A Time of Demons (Damnation Books 2010)

You Tube self-made Book trailer with original songhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0-U9c2Lwfo

The Woman in Crimson (Damnation Books 2010)

You Tube Book Trailer Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcRBvDI5G4Y

The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Fiction: Volume 1 (I did the Introduction)

My Websites:

http://www.myspace.com/kathrynmeyergriffith (to see all my book trailers with original music by my singer/songwriter brother JS Meyer)

http://www.bebo.com/kathrynmeyerG
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1019954486

http://www.authorsden.com/kathrynmeyergriffith

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=1019954486

http://www.goodreads.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith

http://romancewriterandreader.ning.com/profile/KathrynMeyerGriffith

http://romancebookjunction.ning.com/profile/kathrynmeyergriffith

E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net  I love to hear from my readers. 

 

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Please welcome my special guest, Jack L. Brody, author of the latest suspense thriller, The Moroni Deception. I had the opportunity to read it and you can find my review in Blogcritics. In this interview, Brody talks about the history behind the book and how difficult it was to dwell in Mormon controversy, among other things. 

ImageAbout the author:

Jack Brody is a writer, ex-military, and an avid traveler. After his Army stint and then deciding to pass on law school, he went to film school, wrote screenplays, and held a number of jobs which ran from everything to working for a newspaper for one day, to film production, to then going into real estate (with at least five others along the way).  He’s fascinated by history, politics, and architecture, all of which play a part in his novels (yes, he already has two more in the works). When not writing, he can often be found hiking with his two faithful dogs, occasionally breaking out the old BMW bike for a ride though the mountains, or playing volleyball or bar trivia with his friends.  He divides his time between his home in the Southern Appalachians and wherever his passport will take him. After reading Jon Krakauer’s bestselling “Under the Banner of Heaven,” he was inspired to undertake a full year of research in preparation for the novel. Taking what he’d learned, along with a bit of imagination, the result was the conspiracy thriller, The Moroni Deception. Go to http://www.themoronideception.com/ for more information about the novel and to read the first chapters for free.

The Moroni Deception is your first novel. What made you decide to sit down and write it?

I’d written screenplays for a number of years, and had made several half-hearted attempts at a novel before, but not only was it was so different, but it was so much harder I found than writing a screenplay, so I had tended to give up pretty easily.  The thing I ran into with screenplays, however, was the old Catch-22, that to sell a screenplay you have to have an agent, and to get an agent you have to have sold a screenplay.  I won’t go into a lot of details–for possible future legal actions which I may still take, but in my attempt to navigate around this agent obstacle, I sent my very best screenplay directly to two different director/producers.  Both wound up–although it’s not yet been proven in court– “borrowing” very large and significant portions of this screenplay, and went on to make two different movies where I got to see a lot of my work up on the big screen, but without a penny in compensation.

The second film even went on to make over $100 million, which was sadly ironic, because I had always jokingly referred to that script as my “$100 million dollar screenplay.”  Those episodes really kind of took the wind out of my sails, and so I thought I the next time, maybe I need to to write a novel, and that hopefully it would be easier to find an agent, who could then represent my 5 other screenplays.   My first, well, I hate to call it an inspiration, but what spurred me on, believe it or not, was an episode of “South Park” –“All About Mormons.”  Like a lot of people, I had never really given the religion much thought and had always just kind of thought of it as one of the lesser know Protestant branches of Christianity. After having my interest sparked, I then went on to read Jon Krakauer’s Under The Banner of Heaven. With all the sordid history, and some, what I found to be, rather odd beliefs and practices, I knew, there was a lot of potential there for a novel.

I found the history behind the story fascinating. Is the prophecy mentioned in the novel true? 

I did, well, I won’t say “tons,” but literally, pounds of research, from all the books I went through, notes that I took, and reams that I printed off from my internet research.   While I had some idea in the beginning of what my story would be–which at the time, started out having to do with a rogue FBI agent who was investigating the murder of his Mormon girlfriend who had broken away from one of the LDS’s radical fundamentalist offshoots.  As you can see after reading it, it’s changed quite a bit from that. I then probably took close to a year of doing nothing but researching and taking notes, mostly of what seemed like fascinating items to further explore and perhaps later work into the story.  As far as “The White Horse Prophecy” goes, I wish I could take credit, but Joseph Smith supposedly first came up with that in the 1840’s.  There’s actually a pretty good Wikipedia entry on the prophecy that gives a basic explanation.  Mr. Romney has mostly dodged the question when asked about it, but I think back when he was running the first time, he said something along the lines that he considered the Prophecy to be a matter of “speculation and discussion by church members” and “not official church doctrine.”

ImageThe novel deals with a negative aspect of religion, especially the Mormon religion. Was it difficult to deal with this aspect of the novel while working on it?

Definitely, because I never wanted to turn it into a screed against the religion, and I tried to say some positive things that I could find whenever appropriate in the story.  I did, though, want to work in as many true beliefs and historical facts as I could and let the reader make up his or her own mind.   Like Michael Chenault, the main character, as well as the writers of our Constitution, I  firmly believe that everybody has the right to believe in, and practice their religion in whatever way they see fit.  But on the other hand, if say, Tom Cruise, a well-known practicing Scientologist, was to run for President, I would have to take his religion and beliefs into account before I went into the voting booth. 

How long did it take you to write it?  

If I could condense all the time I spent, doing both the research and the writing, it would probably be about 2 and a half years.  However, and unfortunately for me , that’s not the way things work, especially when we’re not only living out our lives, but trying to put bread on the table with our day job. So the true time it took stretched out to almost 5 and a half years. I started it more than a year prior to the election of 2008, which is how I remember.

Are you a disciplined writer?
 

In that, unlike most people, I wrote and completed a novel, yes.    But when compared to other writers, definitely not.  When I read about how a guy like Dan Brown gets up every morning at 4:30 or some ridiculous hour, does an hour of exercise, and then sits down to write for 4-5  straight hours, or 10-15 full pages, and I’m both impressed and amazed.  My writing time has always generally been limited by how much energy–both physical and creative–that I had left at the end of a working day.  I often found myself not beginning my writing until 11 at night, and then writing until 1 or sometimes 2 AM.  And that, again, was not every night.  I also for about a year, had a very real case of “writer’s block” where no matter what I did or how hard I tried, I couldn’t get anything substantial down on the page.  I even went to a hypnotist, which didn’t do a lot, and I almost gave up.  Also during this time period,  I  had to deal with a heart attack at a relatively early age, which came completely out of the blue, and then after that, the year and a half long battle a best friend of mine had to endure in his losing fight with cancer. 

Did you plot in advance?  If yes, tell us about your plotting process.  

Well, as I mentioned earlier, I started out with a completely different story.  I don’t even quite remember where along the way my protagonist turned into an investigative journalist, other than that I thought I wanted to create a character who solved his problems more with his brains than with what he was packing, which seemed to be so often the case with a lot of adventure/thriller protagonists I was reading at the time.   With The Moroni Deception, which I think is fairly intricately plotted, a lot of the little details that I think made it that much better, came out along the way.  I, of course had a general plot outline in my head, and then down on paper.  And then when something else would pop into my head, I would see first if it worked, second, if it actually made the story better, and then if it would work into the overall conspiracy.   The lead conspirators/villains I didn’t settle on until probably two thirds of the way through that I was working on the book. But when I finally did settle on this person or persons who shall remain nameless, that’s when I then went back and made little subtle changes starting from the beginning.

What reaction do you think or hope your story will have on the general reader? Do you think it’ll create a controversy the way The DaVinci Code did?     

Well, the reaction I’ve gotten so far from just about every reader I’ve spoken with, or heard from either by email or through their reviews, is that The Moroni Deception is a fast, fun, very topical read, especially with the current election going on.  I guess I should mention that in addition to exploring the strange but true history of the LDS (Mormon) Church, the protagonist, Michael Chenault, is investigating the background of a candidate running for President, who is a Mormon Senator from Utah, who it appears will say or do just about anything to get elected.  Comparisons have obviously been drawn to Gov. Romney, and I’ve even had the timing of the release questioned.  But I really did just finally finish writing in mid July, and I’m pretty sure I had no idea five and a half years ago that Mr. Romney would be in the position to be our next President come this November.  As far as controversy, I can imagine some old school LDS members maybe not being too happy with some of what is revealed,  but I’m not making any of it up–like the White Horse Prophecy, or the secret brotherhood of vigilant assassins known as the Danites, and some of their beliefs, like for instance, how any man can become a god and one day live on his own planet.

Where is your book available?
 

With a brief bit of explanation, because it took me so long to finish the book, I realized that if I went the traditional route of trying to find an agent, and then a publisher, and then have the publisher finally release the book, it could take up to another 2 to 3 years.  I thought the timing was right, with the current election and all the interest there has been in the Mormon religion over the last several years, as well as the fact that electronically delivered books appear to be the wave of the future, to just release it initially for Kindles and Nooks and the like.  And then, who knows, hopefully, maybe a publisher might want to step in and release it in hardcopy if there appeared to be enough interest.  So with that said, right now The Moroni Deception is available from Amazon for Kindles, at Barnes & Noble for their Nook, at the iBookstore for Ipad, as well as for Kobo, Copia, and soon supposedly for the Sony reader, as well at Gardners Books, Baker & Taylor, and e-BookPie. 

Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
 

I guess just that if you’re a fan of thrillers like The Girl With The Dragon Tattooor The Da Vinci Code, or you’re one of those readers who likes to learn a little something along the way as you’re being entertained, then I think you’re really going enjoy my book.  As there is some sex, and quite a bit of violence, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and despite the fact that most 12-year-olds probably know more about life than I did when I was 20, I still wouldn’t recommend it for anybody under 17. Also, I wanted to thank you for the great questions. 

Thank you for the great interview, Jack, and best of luck with your book!

My interview originally appeared in Blogcritics, http://blogcritics.org/books/article/holdworking-div-tags-interview-with-jack/

 

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Jack L. Brody’s The Moroni Deception is an exciting page-turner in the tradition of The DaVinci Code, one that will be relished by fans of suspense thrillers.

The presidential election is just around the corner and it looks as though charismatic Republican candidate and Utah senator Brockston Ratchford is going to win. The fact that his wife has been brutally murdered and his daughter kidnapped has only gained him public sympathy.

However, his wife isn’t the only one whose throat has been cut from ear to ear and whose forehead has been marked with strange symbols. A retired history professor by the name of Martin Koplanski has suffered the same fate, and the fact that he’s the author of a book that apparently doesn’t sit well with the powers that be in the Mormon Church doesn’t look like a coincidence.

New York Times journalist Chenault begins working on the story. With the help of Rachel Potter, a fledgling reporter for the The Salt Lake Tribune, he sets out to investigate the murders. Soon, a dark grim history begins to emerge, one of ancient artifacts, secret societies, and a mysterious prophecy that points to none other than Senator Ratchford.

Who, in fact, is The Prophet? Who is meant to be The Great Restorer? As the clock ticks and the presidential election approaches, the bodies pile up.

I enjoyed this novel immensely. The Moroni Deception is a hell of a ride. The pace is quick, the characters compelling, the stakes high. I really liked Chenault. He’s smart and sympathetic and has a good heart. I especially like that he’s not one of those tortured journalist heroes with a bitter past and prone to drinking. That was refreshing. The ending is surprising and satisfying.

The Moroni Deception is a controversial novel in the same way as The DaVinci Code is. So if you enjoy thrillers with religious and historical undertones, you’ll get a kick out of this one.

Visit the website at  http://www.themoronideception.com/
Purchase from Amazon.

My review originally appeared in Blogcritics

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Shakira Constantine is a beautiful, independent, successful London attorney. One night she meets handsome Alex Lancaster. There’s no denying that the sparks are mutual, even though she isn’t impressed by his riveting good looks and acting career.

Then fate plays a trick on her when he is unjustly sued for sexual harassment and she ends up representing him. Of course, now that he’s her client, they get to spend a lot more time together.

Risking venturing into the boundaries of unethical behavior, she accepts his invitation to spend a weekend in the countryside. He promises to behave and also swears that the weekend will be strictly professional.

Nothing, however, prepares her for what happens next…

Walking in the woods one day, they experience a moment of abrupt, strange disorientation and find themselves in front of a Norman medieval stone castle. Everyone around them is dressed in medieval fashion and speaks in an archaic way just like in The Canterbury Tales.

Unable to believe her eyes, Shakira thinks the setting is for one of his movies. But nothing prepares her for the truth…

Journey in Time is a steamy, time-travel romance story with a strong, independent heroine and an irresistible, warm and caring hero. Karslen does an excellent job with the historical setting and characters. I really felt myself transported in time and enjoyed all the historical details.

There’s also a lot of good humor at times to balance the serious segments. Abundant love scenes spice up the prose and there’s enough tension to keep readers turning pages.

I look forward to reading more novels from this talented author.

Find it on Amazon or visit the author’s website to find out more.

My review originally appeared in Blogcritics. 

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I’ve been asked why I write about the darker side of life, involving subjects like drugs, personality disorders, abuse, neglect, and violence. My work is fiction but it’s based on a lot of things I have personally experienced, and the characters in “Vida Nocturna” come from vampires I have known.

I wrote “Vida Nocturna” in a two-year graduate workshop at the University of Chicago, where people from the industry sometimes visited to show us how publishing worked. It became clear to me that books weren’t getting published because they were good. They were getting published because they were predictable sales and the publishing companies could go back to their stockholders to report that they’d placed safe bets, which very often meant that they closely resembled earlier work. Books were chasing the market in a death spiral of creativity.

My daughter was reading “Twilight” at the time, and this, to me, was a prime example of what was happening in publishing. Vampires sell, and romances are half of the fiction market, so it wasn’t surprising that publishers were climbing all over each other trying to put out the next series about vampires in love. Meanwhile, the book my daughter was reading seemed to be telling her to date the spookiest, creepiest guy she could find.

My book, “Vida Nocturna,” is a response to that. Sara’s narcissistic father and borderline personality disordered mother left her helpless, drained and afraid, turning to horror and fantasy stories to escape her real life. In college she fantasizes that her spooky new boyfriend is a vampire because he’s pale and slender and stays up all night with a strange dark energy. By the time she realizes he’s a cocaine addict, she’s been “bitten” by the drug and become addicted, herself.

Sara has always escaped her real-world fears by reading fantasy and horror stories. Now, as a social-phobic college freshman, she enters a dark world where horror is not supernatural and fantasy is a trap.

Evil is contagious. Victims become predators, and every predator was once just like Sara. Imagining she’d be different was her first step toward them. Now, draped in the decadent ‘80s subculture, she’s rendered helpless by powers she never imagined.


Mark D. Diehl has lived and worked in five countries. He met his wife Jennifer in South Korea and was chased out of the country by her powerful family and the police, and together they were stranded in Hong Kong with no income and no way home. (Read about this in the “Our Story” section of his blog at http://www.markddiehl.com.) Eventually he became a trial lawyer at a multinational law firm in Chicago, escaped that pitiful existence by attending a fiction writing program at the University of Chicago, and now lives and writes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. 

http://www.markddiehl.com

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/1463554060/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

http://www.amazon.com/Vida-Nocturna-Mark-D-Diehl/dp/1463554060/ref=la_B008XKQ1NO_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346174233&sr=1-1

More videos of author reading in Freeport, ME, with 40 attending:
ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNsUP-MqehU&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWgboqL0KP0&feature=plcp

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