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Archive for April, 2013

Chasing Victory is a delightful debut novel by first-time author Joanne Jaytanie.

Our beautiful protagonist, Victory Winters, is a veterinarian and geneticist specializing in molecular biology for Claremont Research in Poulsbo, Washington. She also has a special innate ability she keeps secret: she has almost a telepathic gift to communicate with animals. As head of her department, she’s currently researching canine DNA and its potential benefits to humans.

Then one day, Victory receives a cryptic call from Jeffrey, an old friend and colleague who she hasn’t seen or spoken to in 5 years. Like her, he’s also a veterinarian and geneticist working for a competitor company, Biotec. Jeffrey insists he needs her help and asks her to meet him in a picnic spot. But, to her horror, once there she secretly witnesses his murder.

Soon after, she’s approached by a representative of Biotec with an offer to work for them. They claim that Jeffrey is working overseas, and they want her to take his place. Though she doesn’t trust them, she decides to play along in order to investigate her friend’s murder. But things go unexpectedly wrong when instead she’s kidnapped to a secluded island and forced to do research, injecting humans with wolf DNA. Unbeknown to Victory at first, the madman CEO wants to create the perfect invincible army.

Thus, Victory is soon pulled into a vortex of intrigue, blackmail and murder. Together with the hero, Tristan Farraday, a naval officer who also has telepathic abilities and who is sent undercover to investigate Biotec’s experiments, Victory must find a way to stop the company from carrying out their horrific plans and to get out of the island alive.

This was a fun, light, entertaining read! They story is compelling and the hero and heroine sympathetic. Victory is intelligent, yet caring and sensitive. Tristan is the perfect combination, not too alpha, not too soft. The action moves at a pretty quick pace, and there’s a lot of action and romantic suspense to keep readers turning pages. One thing I especially enjoyed about this story is that the love between Victory and Tristan develops gradually and organically. I certainly look forward to reading more works from this author. Recommended for fans of paranormal romance!

Visit the author’s website: http://www.joannejaytanie.com/

Purchase from Amazon.

My review previously appeared on Blogcritics.

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Campbell-author-400Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best this year when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.

Melodie got her start writing comedy (stand-up and columns.)  In1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference.  She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories and 4 novels. Her fifth novel, a mob caper entitled The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books) will be released Oct. 1. She has won 6 awards for fiction, and was a finalist for both the 2012 Derringer and Arthur Ellis Awards.

Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. Her humour column ‘Bad Girl’ appears in The Sage.

Connect with Melodie on the web:

www.melodiecampbell.com

www.funnygirlmelodie.blogspot.com

Facebook: MelodieCampbellAuthor

Twitter: @MelodieCampbell

Q: Welcome to the Dark Phantom, Melodie! Tell us why readers should buy ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD.

A: Need a laugh? Want to escape? That’s what I’m all about. I’m a former comedy writer who has gone over to the dark side of writing comic fantasy. ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD is a rollicking adventure novel, with romance, adventure, magic and sex…and hopefully you will find it ‘Hot and Hilarious” as many reviewers called the first book in the series.

Q: What makes a good comic time travel novel?

A: Fast and lean writing. A protagonist you like and want to be for a little while. OH, and maybe a few attractive warrior men to bring up the heat. But really, I think the trick to writing any novel is to provide the reader with an entertaining escape.

I write in first person. I like the reader to *become* the protagonist, to be pitched into Rowena’s head and experience what she does.  That’s entertainment.

Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?

A: I’m the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada, so I have a day job. My writing, like many authors, is done mainly at night, from 8 until midnight, and on weekends.

I tell my writing students that writing takes time, and you have to give up something if you want to write. So I gave up the gym. And housework. I’m quite happy, really.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?

A: I’ve won six awards for fiction – BUT – have to admit – the most rewarding day of my writing life was very recent, when a reader found my email address and wrote to tell me that ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL (first in the Land’s End series) was the best book she had ever read. I actually cried. That’s the best reward I can imagine. And readers like her are the reason I continue to write.

Q: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?

A: Writing is work – hard work. Be prepared for that. We all think it should be easier, but it’s not. Sometimes, in those magic moments, it doesn’t seem like work, and that is grand. Those are the moments we live for.

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Dark magic…dark passions….

When Rowena is abducted from Arizona and taken back to medieval Land’s End, one thing is clear: she must learn to control her powers of magic. It isn’t easy being a modern girl in an archaic land, and when Rowena accidently conjures up a Roman Legion in mid-battle, Land’s End is on the brink of a war that could jeopardize everything and everyone she loves.

The stakes are raised when the Dark Lord reappears and traps Rowena in a cyclone of lust and passion. Once again, she is torn between the man she loves and the mage who fires her desire.

Purchase the book on Amazon.

Currently #2 Timetravel in Canada!  Top 100 in US!

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PND TOUR BannerI am always repeating the story of how I started to write poetry.

Because of the origin of my poems, I feel that were gifts to me.

When I share a poem with readers, it’s like sharing a treasured gift.  I wrote my very first poem on February 14th, 2007.  I woke up out of my sleep with this poem swirling around in my head. I got up and quickly scribbled it down.

The poem was “Our Place”. It was the first of many more poems to come. After that day, the poems just started to flow and flow. Within the span of about six months, I had written well over 200 poems.

Most of the poems in both of my books Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia and My Magnolia Memories and Musings came from that initial period of writing/inspiration.

It’s funny that I very rarely, ever, sit down to intentionally write a poem. Most of my poems come to me as I am going to sleep, waking up, or ODDLY, when I am alone in my car.

I can safely say that well over 50% of them came to me and were written in my car. It still amazes me when I hear myself say that.

I call my car my ‘personal think tank.  When I am riding alone, with no conversations to distract me, with no music on or inside noise……..the magic happens. I have little scraps of paper, envelopes, bills and all kinds of things with poems scribbled on them.

I feel that my poems came and come to me in that way because they are truly an overflow of the heart. My poems are filled with my love for Mississippi and the southern way of life. It is my hope that, through my poems, I can help others see the many positive things about our state and region. Most of what everyone hears about Mississippi and the south is very negative. But I want to show that there is so much more to the story.

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PND Bio

Where to Purchase Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia

Amazon Paperback
Barnes & Noble Paperback

My Magnolia Memories

Amazon Paperback
Barnes & Noble Paperback 

Patricia’s Website / Facebook

Add Patricia’s Books to Your Goodreads List:

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia

My Magnolia Memories and Musings

 Blog Tour Link:

http://worldwindvirtualbooktours.weebly.com/tour-reflections–magnolia-memories.html

 

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Pic_8_-_Die_in_Paris_ebook_cover (1)Full Name: Marylin Z Tomlins
Title: Die in Paris: the true story of France’s most notorious serial killer
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-10:
 1482752808
Genre: Serial Killer/War/France

Review by guest reviewer Susan Keefe

Wartime Paris and the life of a serial killer.
When we think of the war years, our focus tends to be with the horrors of wartime battles, and it is easy to forget that for ordinary people in occupied lands other crimes still happened.
In Paris, under occupation, the French people remained strong. Their ability to keep quiet and forget incidents when convenient was very necessary, and the resistance managed to save many thousands of people because of this. However, under this cloak of secrecy, other crimes were committed, but none as horrendous as the mass murders committed by Dr. Marcel Petiot even now France’s most notorious serial killer.
This book is a thoroughly researched and an interesting study into the life of this serial killer. In its pages, we discover the making of the man, his relationships, and how he evolved into the cold, callous monster he became.
The detailed descriptions of life in Paris at this time and the thoughts and lives of its people make it a fascinating read for anyone with a love of wartime history.
In conclusion, this book makes you yearn to be able to wander down those same streets now, look at the locations and imagine being there then, stepping into the scenes which the author has so clearly laid before you.
 

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anne-k-edwardsLike so many authors, Anne K. Edwards grew up with her nose stuck in a book. “I couldn’t get enough stories,” she says.

In the third grade, she fell in love with Walter Farley’s exciting Black Stallion series. An avid horse lover all her life, she reread the series over the years and still enjoys them. Though no one read to her when she was a child, her mother always encouraged her to read and write. “Books weren’t a necessity when I was a child,” states Edwards, “but Mom taught herself to write music and play the piano which wasn’t bad for a gal who left school at 15. We lived our creative dreams together.”

At 9 years of age, Edwards began writing stories which she was sure would be accepted by top known magazines and she submitted often, with The Post being a favourite target. Now retired, Edwards modestly hesitates to call herself a fulltime writer because of all the “many furry distractions that rule our home. I write while they snooze between meals.”

Today, Edwards is an award-winning, multi-genre author who writes both fiction and nonfiction for adults, as well as children’s picture books. She has penned novels in genres ranging from cozy mysteries, to speculative and fantasy, to suspense thrillers. A reviewer for more than a decade, she also regularly writes short stories and articles for magazines.

Presently, she’s promoting the release of her suspense novel, Shadows Over Paradise, the story of a young woman who travels to the South Pacific Islands to attend a friend’s wedding, but ends up nearly killed because she finds a dead body—none other than the groom’s—on her first day there.

It often takes her a year or more to finish a novel. Some have even taken her ten years due to stops and starts when another story has beckoned. She loves new ideas and often drops what she’s working on to see what would happen with a new one. As for her writing space, “I have a computer in a corner of a room that is cluttered with cats and paper and books,” she says.

shadowsoverparadise_med1Edwards describes her writing process as follows: “It begins with an idea that I want to follow to some sort of conclusion. For instance, I just worked on a new Death and Detective story where Death who is a guide for the souls of those passing over was revealed to have a special problem. Like the other such stories in the series, I wanted to see where the idea that became a plot, then a story, would lead. I usually have my ending for all stories before I begin to write. Following these ideas means I take the side roads that open up, follow false clues, and let the story unwind as I go. Having the ending is a general goal to work toward and has the ability to be changed if necessary and of necessity keeps the story focused on that point.”

After falling victim to a couple of online scams, one that resulted in a book being held by the publisher for a full seven years, and after wasting her time and efforts with agents and large publishers, Edwards is happy to have found Twilight Times Books (www.twilighttimesbooks.com). “Twilight Times Books is a very honest publisher that promotes their name and their authors and I feel lucky to be an author there. It took me several decades to find them as I started submitting at age nine and I’m now older. Lucky for writers in general there are more quality publishers out there than bad ones. One factor about find a publisher, no matter your age, do learn how to write before you submit,” warns the author.

For Edwards, the most rewarding aspect of this business is seeing the finished product of her efforts and having someone read it and say they really enjoyed or understood it.

A native of the Pennsylvania, Edwards resides in Gettysburg, where she keeps herself busy reading and writing. “I have about two million books I want to write and that many new ideas to follow.”

Visit the author at www.annekedwards.com.

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Review by Susan Keefe

Lee Talbot, an American journalist, is in Guernica, northern Spain with Quinn Bergin on the day Hitler chooses to try his experiment ‘total war’ there. Devastated by the scenes of horror which unfold before her, she sends a graphic eyewitness account to London, where it is broadcast on the radio.
Back in London Sir Winston Churchill meets with his Director of the Secret Intelligence Organisation, Sir Fletcher McAlister and Lord Wynne Henry Radcliffe, as they build their spy network and watch Hitler carefully.
Undercover spies Lee and Quinn are in Vienna surreptitiously minding the lovely pianist Lady Grace, daughter of Lord Radcliffe as she wins the coveted Belvedere Medal; they are still there when Kristallnacht (The Night of Broken Glass) changes everything. That night Lee and Grace witness horrors which bond the young women from very different backgrounds together, and a close friendship develops.
England is at war and when tragedy strikes Grace’s life, she decides to work with Lee undercover in the desperate race to stop Hitler from make an atomic bomb, knowing that if he does so first, all is lost. What follows is a tale of love, intrigue and betrayal, as the two women and the people in their lives face unimaginable dangers, and hurdles, in the name of duty.
The secret life of the underground network, and spies, who risked their lives to help others escape the tyranny of Hitler in World War II, comes alive as we learn of the dangers they faced constantly, and the personal sacrifices they had to make.
The knowledge that this author has firsthand experience of wartime journalism comes as no surprise when reading this engrossing book. With her thorough research and attention to historical detail, I felt as if I was taking a peep into hitherto hidden war files, rather than reading a work of fiction.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, full of love, betrayal and intrigue, it has so many twists and turns it keeps the reader guessing right to the end.
Available in paperback and Kindle.

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fear-x1-sm451x640Once again author Rudy Mazzocchi ventures into the shadowy world of controversial medical technologies. In his first thriller, Equity of Evil, the author revealed a dark world involving abortion, human trafficking and organ cultures. In this his latest instalment and 2nd book in the series, Equity of Fear, he boldly delves into subjects of the re-wiring of the brain to eliminate fear and the alteration of memory. Fascinating and terrifying stuff, to say the least.

Dr. Frank Moretti is CEO of Recon Innovations, a company that is developing a new technology designed to help millions of patients get rid of irrational fears, such as the fear of heights or darkness. He is also working on a neuroplasticity program designed to rewire the brain and restore the memory of Alzheimer’s patients. It all sounds like the perfect way to contribute to science and help humanity.

However, the USA, Russia and Japan are secretly competing for this technology, for a nation that would be able to control fear and pain in the minds of the people would also be able to create a supreme, invincible army.

Roman Citrano, a member of the Recon Board of Directors (also the protagonist in book 1 of these series), warns his friend Frank about the possible sinister repercussions, but Frank decides to move forward and license the technology to other countries. For this purpose, he flies to Japan with his teenaged son Joey—a big mistake, for soon both fall into an evil vortex of international intrigue where sadistic, unscrupulous doctors experiment on orphan children in the name of science, and where father and son have to fight for their lives.

This was a great read! First of all, the science behind it, which the author so skillfully describes and explains, is both absorbing and horrifying. It truly reminds us of the two very different fac

ets of science and what can happen when greed, ambition, and plain and simple human nature get in the way.

The story moves pretty quickly in spite of all the ‘science talk.’ I really liked the three main characters, Frank, his son Joey, and Roman, and felt compelled to stick with them to see how they were going to get out of their difficult predicament. I especially enjoyed the character of Joey; he really added spunk to the dialogue and situations. The Japanese scientist villain is well rounded, and I appreciate the tact and responsibility of the author in describing the Asian culture in the book. The ending is satisfying and utterly surprising.

One last word of caution, Equity of Fear has some scenes that are quite violent and graphic in nature, so this isn’t a read for those of you faint of heart.

Find out more on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Equity-Fear-EQUITY-Series-ebook/dp/B00C0HAUUG

View the original article on blogcritics.org

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Wolf Protector banner

Pump Up Your Book and Milly Taiden will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card during Milly’s Wolf Protector Book Blast today! This promotion starts April 15 and ends on May 17. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!

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Wolf ProtectorABOUT WOLF PROTECTOR

A woman with a secret…

The Federal Paranormal Unit is an elite squad of supernaturals dedicated to solving missing persons cases. Erica’s gift allows her a special connection with the crime, but it comes at a deep personal cost… Until now, she’s kept her gift a secret, even from the other members of the team. But this case will throw her together with Agent Trent Buchanan. He’s the object of her secret desires, but he’s also a cocky womanizer. She’d rather swim in shark-infested waters with a paper cut than admit she has feelings for him.

A man with one desire…

Wolf Shifter Trent wants Erica more than he’s ever wanted any woman. He’s spent years patiently waiting for her to admit that she wants him too. Working one-on-one in a race to find a serial killer, Trent’s patience and Erica’s resolve wear thin. When Trent discovers the truth about Erica, will he accept her for who she is? And can he protect her from the horrors that her gift brings?

A case that pushes them to the edge…

Erica will have to risk it all if she wants to stop the killer, and when she does, Trent may have to put his own life on the line to make sure his mate is protected…

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS

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Milly TaidenABOUT MILLY TAIDEN

Want to know about this author? Milly Taiden (aka April Angel) was born in the prettiest part of the Caribbean known as the Dominican Republic. She grew up between New York, Florida and Massachusetts. Currently, she resides in New York City with her husband, bossy young son and their little dog Speedy.

She’s addicted to shopping for shoes, chocolate (but who isn’t?) and Dunkin Donuts coffee. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to connect with her.

Her latest book is the paranormal romantic suspense, Wolf Protector.

Visit her website at www.millytaiden.com.

TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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Pump Up Your Book and Millie Taiden are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Chance of a GhostChance of a Ghost is the fourth installment in the Haunted Guesthouse series and the first that I’ve had the pleasure to read.  While this is not how I would usually describe my reaction to a mystery novel, there’s really no other way to say it:  I was charmed.

The story picks up where (I assume), the last book, Old Haunts, left off.  Alison Kerby, a single mother and guesthouse owner, is just trying to get by and give her precocious ten year-old daughter, Melissa, a good life.  Now that right there could be the start of a romance or a drama, except for one thing:  Alison Kerby sees ghosts.  And so does her widowed mother.  And her daughter.  It’s like a genetic disease.  Alison is especially sensitive to the presence of two specific ghosts – a muscular Canadian P.I. named Paul, and the tech-savvy former owner of the guesthouse – an acid-tongued woman named Maxie.  While still amongst the living, Maxie had hired Paul to uncover who was threatening her and lo and behold, they both ended up dead.  In previous books, Alison had helped uncover their killers and subsequently got her P.I.’s license.  Needless to say, life hasn’t quite been the same since.

But Chance of a Ghost takes a far more personal turn for its freshly minted private eye.  When Alison’s deceased father stands up her very living mother for their regular Tuesday date, things start to get very suspicious.  A new ghost with a theatrical flair and a murder to solve (his own) suggests that Alison’s father may have met with other-worldly foul play.  Faced with painful memories of her father’s arduous death from cancer, Alison must determine whether her father has finally gone to the other-other side, or if something more sinister is at work.

In Alison Kerby, we readers get a wise-cracking, foot-in-mouth would-be gumshoe.   And one who has managed to crawl into that little space in my reader’s heart and set up camp.  Admittedly, I’m a sucker for a good laugh and a great ghost story, and Chance of a Ghost delivers both.  It’s not the knee-slapping, comedy club at two in the morning kind of laugh, but it is the sort that keeps an unshakable smile on your face – at least until the suspense gets dialed up.  And fear not, it does.

And there’s a sweetness to EJ Copperman’s writing, too.  He brings you into a family – a quirky, but loving family – without sacrificing what often makes a mystery most delicious, which is an off-kilter, unlucky at love protagonist with a dry wit and stubborn moral compass.

In short, Night of the Living Deed – the first in the series – is next up on my reading list.

Reviewed by Victoria Dougherty

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      PEARLPearl is a wonderful nostalgic historical fictional novel of the early years of Pearl Buck. The story weaves the story of the life and background of this wonderful writer and author. It is an inspiring and spell-binding book, one that will be read and re-read by many.

The story begins when Pearl is quite old and disabled. She feels like a black pearl but not a white one, as when she was young. She is living in an old Vermont Farmhouse all alone.  All she has are her memories. She feels like her life is getting close to the end.

Then the story weaves back in time to when she lived in China. Most of the story focuses on her home life and how they moved a lot because her father was a missionary. Her Dad wasn’t home a lot either. So, her mother had to take care of the family on her own. Pearl also remembers her teachers and what an important role and influence they had on her formation as a writer. She felt completely indebted to them for who she became later.

She was always a writer first and foremost. She kept a diary from a very early age.  One of Pearl’s favourite pastimes was to sit down and write about her experiences and feelings. Some of her journal entries are contained in the book. They are warm-hearted and the reader is able to see what she felt at the time and what was going through her mind. There are quite a few gems of wisdom in the book as well which the reader could take to heart, such as Never stop educating yourself, When you come to a fork in the road, follow your heart, and so on.

What a splendid book!  I enjoyed reading it from beginning to end. It transported me to a world of the writer and how at the end of one’s life one should take stock looking at all the good and difficult things. It is also a ponderous book that feels a bit like a memoir. All the reader has to do is to sit back, grab a java, and be transported into Pearl’s world and feelings. Thank you Ron for such a wonderful book!

Article first published as Book Review: Pearl: A Historical Fiction Based on the Early Years of Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author, Pearl S. Buck by R. Lee Salkind Merliment on Blogcritics. 

Irene S. Roth is an freelance writer, author, editor, and book reviewer. She writes nonfiction books for kids, teens, and tweens. She also has a novel in the works for adolescents. For more reviews please visit http://rothsbookreview.wordpress.com

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