Archive for April, 2018

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChristine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she’s a mom and freelance editor.

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Book description with link to book:

Apparently, life doesn’t end when you get married.

When a couple freezes to death on a fifty degree day, Cassie is called in to investigate. The couple ran a daycare out of their home, making preschoolers the key witnesses and even the prime suspects.

Two of those preschoolers are Cassie’s youngest siblings, suggesting conditions at home are worse than she feared. As Cassie struggles to care for her family, she must face the truth about her mother’s slide into depression, which seems to be taking the entire town with it.

Then Cassie, too, is attacked by the supernatural cold. She has to think fast to survive, and her actions cause a rift between her and her husband.

No, life doesn’t end after marriage. All hell can break loose at any time.

Buy Links

Frozen (Cassie Scot Book Seven)

Print Release: July 15, 2018

Audiobook Release: TBA

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Cassie Scot Book One)


Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Frozen. To begin with, can you gives us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it?  

A: In Frozen, Cassie discovers a couple frozen to death in their living room on a fifty degree day. Jacket weather not usually being lethal, she sets off to investigate, and discovers far more than she bargained for.

Frozen_medFrozen is the seventh book in the Cassie Scot series, and the first book in her new “Happily Ever After” arc. The book begins with the line, “Apparently, life doesn’t end after you get married.” And that line, more than anything else, is what compelled me to write it.

The first four books in the Cassie Scot series, now “The Original Quartet,” did exactly what I meant for them to do. Each one was a self-contained mystery while the series dealt with Cassie, the “normal” daughter of powerful sorcerers, struggling with self-doubt. Plus, there was the romance. When I finished book four, the series felt more or less complete. I did have to write two spin-offs (books five and six) for her friends who got too big to be footnotes in her story, but that, I thought, was that.

Except Cassie kept talking to me, and it was clear she wasn’t done, however happily married she was. There were still mysteries to solve, and actually she’s having problems with her mom, plus I’d always known there was more to magic in this world than was I ever able to reveal in the original books.

So I give you Frozen, which, I reasonably sure, will be the first in a trilogy. I’m working on the next book, Forgotten Magic, now.

Q: What do you think makes a good (genre of your book)? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

A: Character!

Actually, I think a good character makes a good story, period. If “character” were a genre, I’d claim that one.  I think this is why I get a lot of cross-genre readers (people who claim they usually prefer another genre).

Urban fantasy is a setting. I have fun in that setting, in that world. I like magic. I always have. But even more than that I love strong, vulnerable characters who set out bravely to conquer their world despite some degree of self-doubt.

Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

A: My story unfolds as I write it, more or less. I say “more or less” because it’s almost impossible to write a book without at least some planning. But I’m not a rigid outliner – I tried that once and ended up with the flattest, most plot-driven (as opposed to character-driven) books I’d ever written. It is safely tucked away where no one will ever read it.

Usually, I do some planning and brainstorming up front, know more or less what’s going on, then start writing. Meanwhile, I begin a companion file, a journal file that I use daily to discuss (with myself) where I’ve been and where I might be going next. In this way, I end up outlining a few chapters at a time.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

A: Cassie and I go way back at this point! I met her nine years ago, and she has been the chattiest character I’ve ever created. The first thing I knew about her was that she had no magic in a world of magic. I also knew this troubled her deeply, and that it would be a defining characteristic. Yet I also knew that she was more than her disability (so to speak), and that she would learn this over time.

I’m not a visual person (I’m legally blind) so I don’t draw my characters. I find character profiling to be dull and lifeless. Honestly, some of the most lifeless characters I’ve ever read very obviously had a complete profile behind them.

Interviews work better. I probably did some interviewing with Cassie, or at least with some of the other important characters in the book.

But what I like to do most is write first-person journals. I do this, even if I’m not writing in the first person.

Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

A: I work hard to develop believable character motivations. The most important question is why? I’ll ask why over and over again until I get at the truth.

Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

A: Conflict.

In every scene, ask yourself: What is my character’s goal? What motivates her? What is preventing her from achieving that goal?

Your story can have multiple conflicts; mine certainly do! And this helps keep things interesting. For instance, in Frozen, the first chapter develops some family conflict as I bridge the gap in years between the last book and this one. So even though what I need to do is catch the reader up on what’s going on, I’m doing it through conflict.

In chapter two, we begin the mystery, which is easy, straightforward conflict. That takes us through a few chapters, then we’re back to what could have been dull transition except that I avoid dull transition through more conflict. For instance, after Cassie finds the two dead bodies and one of her deputy friends is attacked by a hell hound, she goes home to nurse her baby daughter. And yes, there is a scene in which she nurses her baby daughter. But it’s not dull. Actually, it’s one of my favorite scenes because it vividly portrays Cassie’s personal truth and inner conflict right now – trying to be a good mom, trying not to become her mom, who has serious issues (developed in chapter one) …

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

A: Character.

Did I mention that character was the most important part of storytelling?

Yes, setting can be like a character itself, but it also comes alive through character. The world I built (nestled in some version of our own reality) is a community of sorcerers, of magic users, and they make the setting real.

The rest of it – the lake shore, the homes, the downtown diner and the antique stores – those are just window dressing.

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

A: I always discover themes as I go, although it doesn’t usually take to the end to identify them!

Whatever’s going on in my life makes its way into my books. These things become themes. Forgiveness is a long-standing theme that continues to emerge in my work. But in Frozen, there’s a definite element of “becoming like your mom” in the theme. That’s new.

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

A: Those are two completely different questions!

Okay, I’m a freelance editor, and I’m a damn good one. So I know that damn good editors do not destroy creativity. I spent as much time carefully wording my suggestions as I do identifying problems because ultimately, I know, psychology plays a big role in how authors receive what I say and how they improve their craft without becoming discouraged.

Bad editors, on the other hand ….

As for craft vs. art, I would say this. Learn craft. Learn it, and know it, and then really get to know it. Art is there the whole time, but before you learn craft, it can end up getting lost behind incompetence so that no one can recognize its brilliance.

There are four main stages of writing craft:

Unconscious incompetence, in which you’re no good at writing and don’t even realize it.

Conscious incompetence, in which you begin to realize that you need to work on your craft.

Conscious competence in which you are beginning to know what you’re doing, but you have to think about it all the time.

Unconscious competence, in which your skills become deepy ingrained and can more freely support every decision you make.

Once you get to the final stage, you should no longer need to worry about where craft ends and where art begins. And not because you’re following the rules all the time – rather, because you intuit the rules, and understand the effect of any given decision you make on the artwork you’re creating.

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

A: 1.) Writing a novel. 2.) Enjoying writing a novel. 3.) Being open to writing another novel.

That’s it. If you’re loving what you do, learning from it, and growing, you’re successful. The industry will give you little love or support, but if there’s something in you that’s always seeking, always yearning, then you win.

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. Thoughts?

A: Yes. That writer needs to quit.

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

A: Yes. Savvy Authors has some good workshops. If you don’t understand what I mean by POV, read Characters and Viewpoint, one of the Elements of Fiction series. (PLEASE read this. I’m so tired of fixing egregious POV problems in amateur writing and am considering not accepting clients for editing unless they are making intentional, awake POV choices. I’ll even take incorrect choices, as long as they are intentional and awake!)

NaNoWriMo is still swinging. As is Critters.

These days, a lot of writing action seems to have moved to Facebook. I’m not convinced this is a great resource as that site is more about trying to be heard than anything else. You have to be on Facebook for marketing, but learn craft elsewhere.

Q:  Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

A: Practice makes perfect. You have to write a million words of crap before you’ll even begin to sound good.

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As the judge in a complicated case involving an oil-bunkering gang, Sir Carter Braxton finds himself totally under the security provided by a mysterious figure, Sidi el-Hassam, a wealthy Arab who commands a volunteer group that specializes in preventing crude oil theft. The isolation under which he now lives causes him to miss his best friend’s funeral in 1993 for reasons that must remain inexplicable to his friends, the Falconer family, who live in the Forest of Dean, where they grow restoration oak. Finding herself in London, the widow, Valerie Falconer, an American from Texas, slips into one of Carter’s trials as a spectator, after which she discovers the conditions under which her old friend has been living for over three years. However, a third element also mixes into the situation in that both Carter and the Sidi, separately, have volunteered to participate in the refining of the GSP satellite system now being tested by NASA. This tracking system allows Carter to move temporarily to Texas to draw one of his assassins out. Not only is this the story of a man under physical stress and emotional stress; it is also a record of his spiritual journey led by his friend and later wife, Valerie, as well as the spiritual journey of the Sidi, which has been generated by an apparition of Mary in Zeitoun, Egypt.

Lanayre Liggera holds an MA from Tufts University and another from Cambridge-Goddard Graduate School, where she became interested in the history of woman as portrayed by music, which led to the formation of the New Harmony Sisterhood Band, with Lanayre on banjo. The students’ research produced the book All Our Lives, which was used on college campuses until radicals blew up the publisher, Diana Press. Sometime later, she began to pursue a long-held interest in early aviation. Inevitably, this led studying World War I, spending several tours of the Western Front sponsored by our parent organization, the Western Front Association, US branch. Lanayre was named chairman of the New England–New York chapter, a post which she held for fourteen years, which held a yearly conference at a different location in our region. She and her husband were involved as volunteers in prison ministry for eighteen years as well as in nursing homes, soup kitchens, and the VA. They live in Hudson Valley, where they try to keep up with the comings and goings of their global grandchildren. She is the author of The Life of Robert Loraine: The Stage, the Sky, and George Bernard Shaw.


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WHITE WITCH by Larry D. Thompson, Thriller, 291 pp., $14.95 (Paperback) $5.95
(Kindle edition)



Author: Larry D. Thompson
Publisher: Story Merchant Books
Pages: 291
Genre: Thriller

Jamaica is a place where the surreal is simply everyday reality. When a ruthless American aluminum company plans to strip mine the Jamaican rainforest, they send former Navy SEAL Will Taylor to Montego Bay to deal with local resistance on their behalf. But he’s unaware that the British had signed a treaty deeding the rainforest to the Jamaican Maroons, descendants of escaped slaves, over 300 years ago. The Maroons fought and died for their land then, and are more than willing to do so now, whether it’s the British or the Americans who threaten them this
time around.Upon Will’s arrival, a series of inexplicable murders begin, some carried out with deadly snake daggers that were owned and used by Annie Palmer, a voodoo priestess better known as the White Witch. She was killed 200 years prior, but is said to still haunt the island at night, and the local Jamaicans are certain she’s responsible for the gruesome murders, her form of retaliation against the new turmoil taking place in the rainforest.

And Will has been forced directly into the middle of it. After a few close calls, he’s finally convinced to leave his company and join forces with the Maroons, headed by Vertise Broderick, a Maroon who resigned from her position at the New York Times to return to Jamaica to stop the mining. Together they hire a Jamaican attorney to prove that
the Maroon/British treaty is still valid to stop the mining, and they take it upon themselves to solve the White Witch murders, because the legend of the White Witch can’t possibly be true…

Order Your Copy!


Will returned to his room, too wound up to sleep. He stripped to his

underwear and flipped channels on a large screen HD television until he ran

across First Blood with Sylvester Stallone. Having lived that life for a few years,

he never passed up the opportunity to watch it again. He settled back and had

drifted off to sleep when his cell chimed. He glanced at the television to make

sure it was not coming from there and found Fred Astaire waltzing Ginger

Rogers around a ballroom. He turned off the television and reached for his





“Will, Alexa here.” It was nearly three in the morning and Alexa was still at

her desk. Smoke drifted from a cigarette in her ash tray while she sucked on a

Tootsie Pop. She was on the speaker phone. When Will answered, she walked to

her window and stared at the lights of Baltimore.


Will turned on the nightstand light, glanced at the clock, and swung his feet

into a sitting position on the side of the bed. “Yes, ma’am. Little late for a booty


“Cut the crap. Kaven was just found at Rose Hall. He’s dead.”


“What? Are you sure? I just saw him a few hours ago.” Will got to his feet

and began pacing the room. “Shit.”


“Must be those goddamn Maroons. He called me last night once he got

back from Accompong. He told me about what happened up there. By the way,

they let the pilot go. They said they had no beef with him.”


“So I heard. What was Kaven doing at Rose Hall? When I saw him, he was

going to his room.”


“How the hell should I know? I got a call from some local detective. They

found his employee identification in his wallet. When the detective called here,

the operator knew I was still in my office and put the call through to me. You need to get to Rose Hall now.

“Yes, ma’am,” Will agreed.

“And I’m flying down there tomorrow before this gets any more out of

hand. See if you can keep anybody else from being killed until I get there.”


Will’s cell went dead. He put it on the nightstand and picked up the hotel

phone. Pleased to find it working, he punched the key for valet parking.


“Good evening, Mr. Taylor. How can I be of assistance?”


“Bring my company Land Rover to the front as quickly as possible.”


Getting assurance that it would be there when he got downstairs, Will hung

up and walked to the bathroom. Five minutes later he was met at the hotel

entrance by a valet.


“Can I give you directions, Mr. Taylor? It’s a little late at night.”


“No thanks. I know exactly where I’m going.” Will got in the car, fastened

his seat belt, and left the hotel.

When Will got to Rose Hall, he turned onto the road they had just come

down the evening before. At the top of the hill he could see the mansion, now

well lighted. He dodged tree limbs and utility wires and parked among several

other vehicles. Police cars were positioned so that their headlights focused on the

steps of the mansion where Will could see the yellow police crime scene tape. He

walked up a path from the parking lot between the police cars that faced the

mansion to the yellow tape where an officer stood watch. The officer came to

attention as Will approached.


“Sorry, mon. I can’t let you past here. We’re investigating a murder.”


Will kept his voice even but controlling. “I know, officer. That’s why I’m

here. Name’s William Taylor. I’m head of security for Global American Metals.

Here’s my identification.” Will tried to hand him an ID. The officer just shook

his head. “Officer, the dead man is one of Global’s employees. Can you get

someone in authority to let me up there?”


Before the officer could reply, Miles Harper, the St. James Parish Chief of

Detectives, approached. Harper was a lean, fit man with a shaved head and a no

nonsense manner. He was dressed in a brown suit, yellow shirt, and matching

tie. He looked like he just stepped out of GQ Magazine, even at three in the



“Mr. Taylor, I’m Miles Harper, Chief of Detectives in this parish. I was

told by your company to expect you.”


Will extended his right hand. Harper ignored it. Instead, he nodded at the

officer and motioned for Will to follow him. Harper went up a dozen steps and

turned to Will as he stood beside Kaven’s body, sprawled on his back with dagger in his chest. Will bent over for a closer look and found that the handle of

the dagger was in the shape of a snake. At the top of the handle was the snake’s

head. The snake’s eyes were two bright rubies.


“Shit,” Will muttered, “He was almost killed because of one snake on the

road today and now someone finished the job with a, what would you call this, a

snake dagger?”


“That’s as good a name as any, Mr. Taylor. My officers reported what went

on up in Accompong and the incident with the boa.”

Will continued to study the body. “Looks like he’s been dead a couple of

hours. I last saw him about ten last night. Who found him?”


“The hotel has a security guard that roams the mansion grounds and up to

the club house in a golf cart. He spotted the body.”


“Where’s your coroner?”


“He’s a local Justice of the Peace, not a medical doctor. He won’t set foot on

these steps until morning. My men here won’t go past the tape either. They

believe the White Witch did it.”


Will shook his head in disbelief. “Come on, Chief, this is the twenty-first



“Old beliefs die hard, Mr. Taylor. Come on. Let me show you something.”


Harper stepped around the body and climbed the steps with Will behind

him. Entering the ballroom, Will said, “I was just in this room yesterday evening during the storm.”

Harper turned to study Will. “Would you care to explain?”


Will covered the details of the previous day and their time in the mansion

while they waited out the storm. “You know a woman named Vertise?”


Harper nodded his head. “She’s a local. Works for the paper and tends bar

for the hotel. Since you were in this room a few hours ago, come over here.”

Harper led Will to a glass display against one wall with pictures of two snake

daggers above it along with the history of the daggers. The glass had been

broken and the daggers were gone.


“You see this case when you were up here?”


Will studied it and thought back to the day before. “Can’t say I did, Chief.

It was pretty dark in here, lit only by candles since the storm knocked out

power. I wandered around the room but never glanced toward this case. And I

don’t believe anyone else mentioned it. Now that I think about it, Vertise told

us the legend of Annie Palmer and her using a snake dagger to kill an overseer.

evening during the storm.”


Harper turned to study Will. “Would you care to explain?”

Will covered the details of the previous day and their time in the mansion

while they waited out the storm. “You know a woman named Vertise?”

Harper nodded his head. “She’s a local. Works for the paper and tends bar

for the hotel. Since you were in this room a few hours ago, come over here.”

Harper led Will to a glass display against one wall with pictures of two snake

daggers above it along with the history of the daggers. The glass had been

broken and the daggers were gone.


“You see this case when you were up here?”


Will studied it and thought back to the day before. “Can’t say I did, Chief.

It was pretty dark in here, lit only by candles since the storm knocked out

power. I wandered around the room but never glanced toward this case. And I

don’t believe anyone else mentioned it. Now that I think about it, Vertise told

us the legend of Annie Palmer and her using a snake dagger to kill an overseer. Surprising that she didn’t show us these daggers when she was telling the story.”


“Interesting,” mused Harper. “You have any idea why your man would

come up here in the middle of the night?”


“Not a clue. Have you checked his cell phone? He always carried it.”


“Yeah. The last calls were with you yesterday afternoon and one with Ms.

Pritchard later in the evening.”


Will nodded. “He called me from Accompong, warning me of trouble up

there. I should have gone with him.”


Harper shook his head. “Whether you were there or not wouldn’t have

made any difference. Just would have been one more person that was in my

police car that rolled, assuming, of course, you didn’t take a bullet up on the





“How did you get in the mansion?”


“Vertise said she knew where a key was hidden and let us in.”


“Strange that she could get into the locked mansion. It was my

understanding that only the manager of Rose Hall had a key. He locked it and

left when the storm was hitting. The hotel spent a fortune on period pieces to

recreate how it looked two hundred years ago. One of his jobs is to make sure

they are not stolen.”


“Any signs of a break-in?” Will asked.


“This is not for publication, you understand, but when I got here the

mansion was locked and the lights were off.”


“So, you’re saying that someone got into the mansion, stole two daggers, let

themselves back out, killed Kaven, and left no trace.” Will paused to absorb all

that he had just said. “Wait a minute. If someone wanted to kill Kaven, why not

just use a gun? Why go to all the trouble of getting that dagger to do it?”


“I’ve been wrestling with that very question,” Harper said. “It’s illegal for a

private citizen to own a gun in Jamaica, but that doesn’t mean they are not

available if you know the right people. My working hypothesis is that the killer

or killers wanted the public to think voodoo was involved, or maybe even the

White Witch. The only other possibility that comes to mind is that the Maroons

are trying to send a message to Global. They tried to kill Tillman in Accompong

and failed. Maybe the message is that they finish what they start. Either way,

someone is trying to make trouble for your company. I have another problem

that may not be apparent.”


Will looked quizzically at the detective.


“As you can see, there were two snake daggers in this case. One’s accounted

for out on the steps. The other is gone. Nearly everyone around here thinks that

they are voodoo daggers with magical powers. They were found in an overseer’s

grave during the restoration of the mansion thirty years ago.”


“Does ‘everyone’ include you? Looks to me like the killer or killers are just

trying to mess with the minds of my co-workers, maybe keep some locals from

hiring on with us.”


Harper stuck his hands in his pockets. “Not up to me to decide if they’re

magic or not. I’ve got a murder with one of those daggers. My job is to solve the

murder and along the way, find that other dagger before someone uses it.”

Will’s eyes searched the room in a futile effort to see any clues to the crime.


Then he focused on the chief. “Look, I’m going to need a gun. My company is

obviously under attack. I’m licensed to carry back home.”


“No way, Mr. Taylor,” Harper exploded. “Foreigners are not permitted to

have guns in Jamaica. For that matter, as I just told you, neither are Jamaicans.

And I want you to stay the hell out of my investigation. We don’t need your

help. Understand?”


“Yeah, I understand. You know that each of our mines on this island is

permitted a certain number of guns for our guards. I’ll just get one of those.”


“The hell you will. Don’t you dare go behind my back. Those guns never

leave mine property. I have an officer that inventories them. If one turns up

missing, I’ll confiscate every damn weapon that Global has and put you under

house arrest. Clear, Mr. Taylor?”


Will clinched his fists and tried to hold back the anger that was apparent in

his face. Without another word, he turned and stormed out of the mansion,

pausing only to gaze at Kaven and say a prayer for him and his family. At the

bottom of the steps, he got in his car and glanced toward the mansion. The

lights from his car somehow caught the ruby eyes of the snake, making them

appear briefly to be alive. Will shook his head, put the car in reverse, and

returned to the hotel.

Book Trailer:

After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Larry spent the first half of his professional life as a trial lawyer. He tried well over 300 cases and won more than 95% of them. Although he had not taken a writing class since freshman English (back when they wrote on stone tablets), he figured that he had read enough novels and knew enough about trials, lawyers, judges, and courtrooms that he could do it. Besides, his late, older brother, Thomas Thompson, was one of the best true crime writers to ever set a pen to paper; so, just maybe, there was something in the T hompson gene pool that would be guide him into this new career.  He started writing his first novel about a dozen years ago and published it a couple of years thereafter. He has now written five highly acclaimed legal thrillers. White Witch is number six with many more to come.Larry is married to his wife, Vicki. He has three children scattered from Colorado to Austin to Boca Raton, and four grandchildren. He has been trying to retire from the law practice to devote full time to writing. Hopefully, that will occur by the end of 2018. He still lives in Houston, but spends his summers in Vail CO, high on a mountain where
he is inspired by the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

His latest book is the captivating thriller, WHITE WITCH.







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Contact: Maryglenn McCombs, (615) 297-9875 maryglenn@maryglenn.com 

Manhattan Novelist Awarded The Garcia Memorial Prize for Best Fiction Book of the Year: Diana Forbes wins prestigious honor for her debut novel, Mistress Suffragette 

Mistress-Suffragette-IMAGE-e1512431996188AUSTIN, TEXAS Manhattan novelist Diana Forbes has been awarded The Garcia Memorial Prize for her debut novel, Mistress Suffragette.  An annual award presented in conjunction with the national Reader Views Book Awards, The Garcia Memorial Prize is awarded to the best fiction book of the year. 

Sex and the Suffrage movement collide in Diana Forbes’s debut novel, Mistress Suffragette.  A brilliantly crafted work of historical fiction that unfolds against the backdrop of Manhattan’s Gilded Age, Mistress Suffragette has earned high critical praise. In a Starred review, Kirkus calls Mistress Suffragette “a sprightly, winning historical novel.” San Francisco Review of Books reports “writing of this quality is rare…a very welcome debut.”  New Theory Magazine notes:  “the plight of the clever main character, Penelope, has a timelessness that every 21st century woman will recognize.” 

About Mistress Suffragette:  Sheltered but feisty Penelope Stanton, growing up in Gilded Age, Newport, Rhode Island is tarnished by her father’s bankruptcy during the Panic of 1893.Penelope quickly attracts the unwanted advances of a villainous millionaire banker who preys on distressed women. After she flees him to nearby Boston, Penelope, by necessity, becomes a paid public speaker in the early women’s suffrage movement. Now she’s speaking out on women’s issues from Boston to New York. But will her disastrous choices in love unravel everything she’s fighting for?  In the glittering age where a woman’s reputation is her most valuable possession, Penelope will be forced to discover her hidden reserves of courage and tenacity—and she’ll have to decide whether to compromise her principles for love.

A mesmerizing tale that blends elements of history, romance, and women’s fiction, Mistress Suffragette is a beautifully-written novel that will stay with readers long after the final page is turned.  Meticulously plotted and brimming with multi-dimensional characters that spring to life within the novel’s pages, Mistress Suffragette leads readers on a rich, rewarding journey to a time long past.  An extraordinary novel by an extraordinary writer, Mistress Suffragette is a timeless, unforgettable tale. 

According to Susan Violante, editor of Reader Views, “We were overwhelmed by both the quantity and quality of entries in this year’s Reader Views Literary Awards. This year’s awards program featured numerous outstanding works of fiction.  Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes was a true standout. This incredible novel has it all:  excellent writing, a mesmerizing storyline, and memorable, realistic characters. Mistress Suffragette is an exemplary work of fiction and it is our honor to recognize this title as recipient of the Garcia Memorial Prize for Fiction.” 

Diana Forbes is a 9th generation American, with ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. Diana Forbes lives and writes in Manhattan. When she is not cribbing chapters, Diana Forbes loves to explore the buildings where her 19th century American ancestors lived, loved, survived and thrived.  Visit Diana Forbes online at: www.DianaForbesNovels.com 

Published by Penmore Press, Mistress Suffragette is available in trade paper and eBook editions. Mistress Suffragette is available where fine books are sold. The Reader Views Awards is an annual literary awards program that recognizes excellence in independent publishing. Founded in 2005, Reader Views (www.readerviews.com ) is based in Austin, Texas. The Garcia Memorial Prize honors the life and memory of Garcia, one of the finest Old English Sheepdogs to have ever roamed the earth. Members of the news media wishing to request additional information about the Garcia Memorial Prize or author Diana Forbes are kindly asked to contact Maryglenn McCombs by phone – (615) 297-9875, or by email –  maryglenn@maryglenn.com  


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Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and the recently released, A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married.



Would you call yourself a born writer?

I’m not sure I would say I am a born writer as much as I have always felt called to write. It’s important to me to make sure of my God-given talents. Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed.

What was your inspiration for Amos Faces His Bully?

Like my first book, Little Shepherd, this story places fictional characters in a Biblical setting. My first inspiration was to continue with the format of my first book—make it a series of unrelated, yet similar, stories. There are others planned.

My primary reason for writing Amos Faces His Bully, however, is very personal. I was bullied as a child; teased from the day I entered elementary until the day I graduated high school. Yet, with all the awareness of bullying and the anti-bullying programs that exist in our cities and towns today, bullying still exists. As I’ve worked hard to prevent my own child from being bullied, I wanted her to know God could provide her—and other victims of bullying—with peace and strength.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Faith often plays a role in my books. Whether it be a young shepherd boy who must trust that God will keep his sheep safe while he visits the newborn King, or a bullied child seeking courage to deal with his tormenters, reaching out in faith has many rewards. A Christmas Kindness, while not faith-based, has themes in it that some might consider Christian values. Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and A Christmas Kindness show young people as problem solvers.

How long did it take you to complete this picture book?

The first draft of Amos Faces His Bully took a few days…but that’s the easy part. It’s the editing process that takes a while. You’re not only looking for typographical or grammar errors. You’re looking to trim away the unnecessary words. You’re clarifying your meaning. You’re seeking out repetitive words or phrases. Even after a book is published, it’s not uncommon to wish you had done something differently.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Um…no. Total panster who waits until there is a fair amount of time to sit down uninterrupted to write. Usually that means once a month at writing group, but I’ll take what I can get.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Writing a book about a youngster being bullied when you were bullied and friendless for most of your childhood tends to bring up bad memories. Thankfully, as many of us discover, the years after high school bring with them a level of maturity the bullies—and you—didn’t have in school.

What do you love most about being an author?

It’s amazing to be able to go to Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com or other online retailers and find my books there. Have to admit that is a special feeling.

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?

All my books are published by independent publishers. After the manuscripts were accepted, the process—while not exactly short—was fairly painless. I’ve been blessed to work with wonderful people at both publishing houses. That’s why I keep going back with each new book.

Where can we find you on the web?

My friends say I am all over the Internet. Having worked in online book promotion and using social media for my current job means they probably aren’t too far off. I am out there a lot. The best places to find me are:

Website: http://ccmalandrinos.com

Blog: https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cheryl-C-Malandrinos-170542359697682

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccmalandrinos

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ccmalandrinos

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4341623.Cheryl_C_Malandrinos


About the Book:

Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 20
Genre: Christian children’s picture book



Amos is targeted by the town bully because he is so small. When word reaches Amos of his friend David’s battle with Goliath, he thinks back to what David told him about putting his faith in God’s protection. Perhaps the same God can help Amos face his bully too.


Guardian Angel | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Indiebound.org


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