Tag Archives: Romance

Review and Giveaway: Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon

 SANDPIPER COVE

A Hope Harbor Novel, Book 3
by
By IRENE HANNON
  Genre: Contemporary / Christian / Romance
Publisher: Revell
Date of Publication: April 4, 2017
Number of Pages: 352
Scroll down for Giveaway!
  
Irene Hannon welcomes readers back to the enchanting seaside town of Hope Harbor, Oregon, in her novel Sandpiper Cove, releasing April 2017. Praised by Library Journal as a “master at character development,” Irene Hannon steps away from suspense writing once again to deliver another powerful, multifaceted romance that is sure to have readers coming back for more.

 

Hope Harbor police chief Lexie Graham has plenty on her plate raising her son alone and dealing with a sudden rash of petty theft and vandalism in her coastal Oregon hometown. As a result, she has zero time for extracurricular activities—including romance. Ex-con Adam Stone isn’t looking for love either—but how ironic is it that the first woman to catch his eye is a police chief?

 

 

Nevertheless, when Lexie enlists Adam’s help to keep a young man from falling into a life of crime, sparks begin to fly. And as they work together, it soon becomes apparent that God may have a different—and better—future planned for them than either could imagine.
Review
I was immediately pleased to find that the dog on the cover of the book is a prominent character. I was not pleased, however, how Adam Stone referred to Clyde the dog as a stupid mutt and other unsavory names. But further down the page, you realize that he doesn’t mean those nasty words and actually loves Clyde more than anyone in the world. His attempt to belittle the dog is just his tough guy way of trying not to care about someone else so deeply.
Lexie Graham also has a tough exterior, but she is able to have normal friendships and loving relationships with her family. But you start to wonder if you will ever know what really eats away at her. What is it about the death of her husband that keeps her from going to church on Sundays (after an upbringing as an avid churchgoer)? And you know it’s a conflict she holds on her own since she doesn’t prevent her mother from taking her son, Matt, to church with her.
You find out that Adam and Lexie have seen each other around, but have never had a conversation before. So it’s a little surprising that there’s electricity between them when Lexie goes to his cabin to investigate the damage from some recent vandalism. Although Adam has been on the right side of the law for the last 18 months, he feels foolish for thinking he could have a chance with a good woman, let alone the police chief of their town. Lexie feels similarly but for different reasons. Adam is the complete opposite of her beloved, departed husband. She also feels like she doesn’t deserve a second chance at love.
As Lexie puts together the pieces of the mystery behind the vandalism, she and Adam begin a timid relationship that is encouraged (and also predicted!) by the people that care about them most. Adam sees what a loving family should be like and Lexie trusts him enough to bear her soul.
Much like Adam rescued Clyde the dog, he patiently earns the trust of a young, troubled boy and encourages him to take the right path. When terrible rumors start flying around, the small town rallies together with a surprising conclusion.
An enjoyable read all around. I hope to get around to reading the two books preceding this one, and look forward to reading the next installment.
PURCHASE LINKS
 
* * *
PRAISE FOR THE HOPE HARBOR NOVELS:
“Fan favorite Irene Hannon brings a whole new cast of characters to life in a charming Oregon seaside village. Emotional and heartwarming, this story invites reader to come home to Hope Harbor.”

 

Christian Retailing on Hope Harbor

 

“A place of emotional restoration that readers will yearn to visit.”

 

Publishers Weekly on Hope Harbor

 

 

 “Summer romance doesn’t get much better than this.”

 

Examiner.com on Sea Rose Lane


Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including One Perfect Spring, Hope Harbor, and Sea Rose Lane, as well as the Private Justice and Men of Valor suspense series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, two Carol Awards, two Reviewers’ Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers’ Choice Award, three HOLT Medallions, two Booksellers’ Best Awards, and a National Readers’ Choice Award. She is also a two-time Christy Award finalist. In 2014 she was inducted into the Romance Writers of America’s elite Hall of Fame, and in 2016 she received a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews for her entire body of work.
WEBSITE     FACEBOOK    TWITTER
——————————————–
GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Grand Prize:  
Print copies of full Hope Harbor series, Mr. Munch Oregon Treat Basket, & Ann Clark Oregon 3.25” Tin Plated Steel Cookie Cutter.
1st Runner-Up:  
Full series + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card
2nd Runner-Up:  
Full Series + $10 Starbucks Gift Card
April 4-13, 2017
(U.S. Only)
CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

4/4
Character Interview
4/5
Review
4/6
Scrapbook Page
4/7
Review
4/8
Excerpt
4/9
Author Interview 1
4/10
Review
4/11
Guest Post
4/12
Review
4/13
Author Interview 2

 


 

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Author Interview: Deadly Encounter by DiAnn Mills

DEADLY ENCOUNTER
(FBI: Task Force)
by
DiAnn Mills
Genre: Romance / Suspense / Christian
Publisher: Tyndale House
Date of Publication: August 1, 2016
Number of Pages: 376
Scroll down for Giveaway!

 

Airport Ranger volunteer Stacy Broussard expected a peaceful Saturday morning ride around the perimeter of Houston’s airport. What she encounters instead is a brutal homicide and a baffling mystery. Next to the body is an injured dog, the dead man’s motorcycle, and a drone armed with a laser capable of taking down a 747.

Though FBI Special Agent Alex LeBlanc sees a clear-cut case of terrorism, his past has taught him to be suspicious of everyone, even witnesses. Even bleeding-heart veterinarians like Stacy. But when her gruesome discovery is only the first in a string of incidences that throw her life into a tailspin, Alex begins to wonder if Stacy was targeted. As a health emergency endangers Stacy’s community, and the task force pulls in leads from all directions, Alex and Stacy must work together to prevent another deadly encounter.

Praise for the FBI: Houston novels

Deadlock: “This is a fast moving crime story with several interesting twists and turns. [Deadlock] is a page turner.” — Online Reviewer

 
Double-Cross:  
“Mills does a superb job of character and plot development in this faith-filled series.”Christian Library Journal
 
“Mills’ writing is transparently crisp, backed up with solid research, filled with believable characters and sparks of romantic chemistry.” Novel Crossing
 
Firewall:  
“Christy Award–winning Mills skillfully builds a menacing overall tone, and the tension level rises as layers of lies are peeled away in multiple plot twists. This novel, which takes off at a breakneck pace with a narrative arc that could have been ripped from today’s headlines, will greatly appeal to fans of James Patterson’s “Alex Cross” series and readers who enjoy psychological thrillers.” — Library Journal starred review
 
“Mills takes readers on an explosive ride. The terror is all the more chilling because it
could easily be a headline story on the nightly news, and Mills’ characters spring to life
through their fears, strengths, and quirks. A story as romantic as it is exciting, Fi
rewall
will appeal to fans of Dee Henderson’s romantic suspense stories.” —
Booklist 

AuthorInterview

Author Interview #4

DiAnn Mills 

Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend? I choose names according to their meaning. This helps me begin the process of physically and psychologically understanding who they are and what motivates them into action. I’ve used Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon for years. I often google a name meanings and origin too.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it? Definitely rape and sex trafficking. The subjects are overdone and can be graphic.

Deadly Encounter is one more book that features a dog. Why is that? I’m always searching for a way to get over my fear of dogs, especially big ones. Having my heroine treasure a relationship with her dog helps me.

What book do you wish you could have written? The book is yet unwritten. I’m waiting for the right time. It’s a psychological romantic suspense.

What literary character is most like you? Skeeter Phelan from The Help or Gandalf from Lord of the Rings.

What do your plans for future projects include? I’m putting together a proposal about the Texas Rangers. The idea has intrigued me for a long time.

What is something you want to accomplish before you die? I want to see one of my books made into a movie. And . . . I want to zip line.

What’s something fun or funny that most people don’t know about you?

Fun – I write fantasy with my nine-year-old granddaughter.

Funny – I’m a Texan who doesn’t eat barbecue.

What do you want your tombstone to say? A Daughter of the King

 


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational ReadersChoice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.
DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at http://www.diannmills.com.
 
 ————————————— 

 

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   August 10 – August 24, 2016 
 

 

CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
 

8/10
Review
8/11
Author Interview
8/12
Review
8/13
Promo
8/14
Author Interview
8/15
Excerpt #1
8/16
Review
8/17
Guest Post
8/18
Review
8/19
Author Interview
8/20
Excerpt #2
8/21
Review
8/22
Promo
8/23
Author Interview
8/24
Review

 

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Review: Lost Path to Solitude by Maria Elena Sandovici

LOST PATH TO SOLITUDE

 

(A Follow-Up to Dogs With Bagels)


by 


Maria Elena Sandovici
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Date of Publication: February 12, 2016
# of pages: 315
Scroll down for Giveaway!

Once you leave home, can you ever return? Two characters, mother and daughter, contemplate this question in Lost Path to Solitude. Twenty-five years after leaving Romania in order to follow the man she loves to New York, Maria Pop still struggles with accepting her decision. She is determined to go back and recapture the poetry and joy of life in Bucharest, even at the expense of risking her marriage. Meanwhile, her daughter, Liliana, second-guesses her own choice of moving to a small town in Southeast Texas, ironically called Solitude, where she finds herself lonely, bored, and nostalgic for the fast pace of life in New York City. Facing the claustrophobic social climate of a town that goes to bed early, as well as the constrictions of her emerging academic career, Liliana longs for something that would give her existence meaning. The parallel soul-searching and the frustration they experience does little to bring mother and daughter closer. Instead, as each struggles with finding her own place in the world, they become increasingly critical of each other. Will their relationship survive the growing pains they each must suffer in their quest for self-fulfillment?

Review
If I don’t judge a book by its cover, I have a tendency to judge it by its synopsis. At first glance, I decided rather quickly that this book would be interesting but not something that I could relate to. I was very wrong.
I’m the same age as Liliana but our lives have followed very different paths. She’s single due to a broken engagement 10 years prior and on track for tenure at the university she works for. I’m married with a kid and working from home. But we both struggle with the question of whether that is all there is to us. And throw in the drama with our mothers, and I think that Liliana and I could hang out all day after a yoga class.
On the surface, it might seem I could relate more to Liliana’s mother, Maria. She studied to be a librarian and a string of events prevented her from working in the field. I actually quit working as a librarian to raise my son. Ok, well, maybe we don’t have as much in common as I thought. But we do have that existential crisis thing going for us like Liliana. Also, when she makes the decision to stop speaking to Liliana, I can definitely relate. If only my family were like hers, letting the two quarrelers be and not getting in the middle.
I don’t know a lot about Romania and its people, but it was interesting how much the culture and people seem to parallel people in the Philippines (my parents’ homeland). I thought it was hilarious that the family from America was expected to bring back gifts that could probably be purchased in Romania. Or that you had to stay with family when you visited rather than stay at a hotel even though it might be uncomfortable or inconvenient. Don’t even get me started on the sexism, religious fanaticism, and general hypocrisy. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s not pleasant. But when you read about it or think about it in retrospect, it’s pretty entertaining. It’s nice to know that this translates across so many cultures. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel left out.
In a funny coincidence, just the other day my brother-in-law, who is a flight attendant, was explaining to me the difference between Texans and New Yorkers. Both BIL and book pointed out that New Yorkers are very straight forward and don’t sugarcoat things and waste your time like Texans often do. How New Yorkers can be misconstrued as rude because of this, whereas Texans seem sweet even when they insult you with a “Bless your heart.” This might not be earth shattering news, but I felt like it deserved a mention since I felt like New York and Texas were sort of characters as well. Romania, too, of course. But like I’ve said previously, I know nothing of Romania.
Sandovici writes a great tale. My only nitpick on this book is that I wished she put the name of the character at the beginning of each section when she switched perspectives. I sometimes had to read a whole page before figuring out who it was about, and then circling back to the start of the section so that I fully understood what was happening.
I applaud her writing style because of the subtle things. Like Maria’s broken English when she’s speaking to her kids, non-Romanian friends, and strangers. But then her vast vocabulary and colorful dialogue when speaking to her husband and those who do speak Romanian. It’s these little things that speak volumes about an author’s abilities.
Maria Elena Sandovici moved to Texas on a Greyhound bus in the summer of 2005. It would be the beginning of a great adventure. Born in Bucharest, Romania, a place she loves and where she returns often, she’d spend the requisite time in Manhattan to call herself a New Yorker, but also to know she was looking for something else. Her debut novel, Dogs with Bagels, is very much a New York story: the story of an immigrant family forging new identities for themselves in the city that never sleeps. 

Her second novel, Stray Dogs and Lonely Beaches, is the story of a young woman traveling the world in search of herself. This theme persists in Lost Path to Solitude, her third novel, in which characters suffering an identity crisis are caught in a search for the ideal place to call home. Three locales dominate the story: New York City, Bucharest, and an imaginary, caricaturized town in Southeast Texas, called Solitude.In addition to writing fiction, Maria Elena Sandovici paints every day. She has a studio at Hardy and Nance Studios in Houston, and also shows her daily watercolors on her blog, Have Watercolors Will Travel, accompanied by essays about whatever inspires or obsesses her at any given moment.

To support her art and writing, she teaches Political Science at Lamar University. She is also the well-behaved human of a feisty little dog. 

Her favorite places in Texas are Houston and Galveston. 

—————————————————————————–

GIVEAWAY! TWO WINNERS EACH RECEIVE  COPIES OF BOTH DOGS WITH BAGELS & LOST PATH TO SOLITUDE

 

  May 23 – June 1, 2016
Check out the other great blogs on the tour!  

5/23   Missus Gonzo  –  Review
5/24   It’s a Jenn World – Author Interview #1
5/25   Country Girl Bookaholic  – Promo
5/26   Forgotten Winds  — Review
5/27   Texas Book Lover  – Guest Post #1
5/28   My Book Fix Blog – Excerpt
5/29   Hall Ways BlogReview
5/30   The Page Unbound – Author Interview #2
5/31   StoreyBook Reviews      – Review
6/1     A Novel Reality– Guest Post #2
 
 
 
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On Lone Star Trail by Amanda Cabot

On Lone Star Trail
(Texas Crossroads Book 3)
by 
Amanda Cabot

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Revell, a division of Baker Group
Date of Publication: February 2, 2016
# of pages: 368


The Future Starts When You Let Go of the Past
“She wasn’t looking for love at Rainbow’s End, 
just a change of scenery and a chance to rest”
Sometimes our past tries desperately to navigate our future. But what if facing our fear and going against our protective impulses is the key to our future? In Amanda Cabot’s final book in her Texas Crossroads series, an unlikely couple discovers that their differences just might be what bring them together. 
Gillian Hodge was heading toward a fulfilling life as a concert pianist when her dreams and career were shattered by a motorcyclist. Now she once again faces an encounter with a motorcyclist whose bike crashes in front of her. 
 
TJ Benjamin, who has been wandering around the country on his motorcycle, is recovering from the death of his beloved wife and feeling lost in both his life and his faith. When he finds himself stranded with a busted bike and a reluctant rescuer, he has to wonder about God’s sense of humor. 
Can a woman with an uncertain future and a man running to forget his past find love at Rainbow’s End? Or are they too tied to the way life used to be? These vivid characters develop and grow while readers enjoy the beautiful Texas setting.
BUY LINKS

 

 

 

Amanda Cabot is the bestselling author of the Texas Dreams series, the Westward Winds series, Christmas Roses, At Bluebonnet Lake, and In Firefly Valley. Her books have been finalists for the ACFW Carol Awards and the Booksellers’ Best Awards. She lives in Wyoming.


BLOG      WEBSITE    
 FACEBOOK        TWITTER

 

Review
 I read the occasional Christian Romance and, though I read more worldly romance novels as well, tend to hold these books to a different standard. I know it’s not fair, but something feels off when a “Christian” romance book’s protagonist engages in premarital sex and then doesn’t feel an ounce of remorse. I appreciated how the characters in this book were relatable and yet, still maintain their values. But what I admired even more is how Cabot eases you into the spiritual aspect slowly.
You could read the first half of this book and not even realize that this is a Christian book. It is a very well-written romance book that you can sort of guess who will get together, but you’re still excited to see how it comes about. That’s the type of approach that the characters TJ and Gillian have with some kids they help in the book. They don’t go at the kids trying to change them, but approach them as someone who just wants to get to know them, maybe help them, and end up being good influences.
The way that all of the characters gradually open up about their relationship with God is similar to the way that this novel unfolds itself as a Christian book. You get to know the novel on the surface level (ex-concert pianist and ex-teacher collide and find their way back to living a full, happy life), and only when you are truly invested do you get to know about their spiritual inclinations. I think that is the best way in real life, and it works in novels as well.
And though I struggle with suppressing my eye rolls at literary love triangles, I really like what Cabot did here. Mike isn’t a bad match for Gillian in any obvious way, and Cabot could have taken the easy way out and have the guy try to get physical with her or something to draw a definite line between the two men. Instead, you’re weighing Gillian’s choices along with her, not completely sure who to go with.
Again, the book is somewhat predictable, but the journey is still quite enjoyable. There were also some details along the way that were nice surprises. Overall, I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a nice, uplifting romance.
Check out these other great blog stops on the tour!
2/11 My Book Fix Blog – Author Interview
2/12  The Crazy Booksellers – Promo
2/13  Missus Gonzo – Review
2/15  Hall Ways Blog – Promo
2/16  Books and Broomsticks – Promo
2/19  The Page Unbound – Promo
2/20  Book Crazy Gals – Promo
2/21  It’s a Jenn World – Review
2/23  A Novel Reality – Promo
2/24  Secret Asian Girl – Review
2/25  The Librarian Talks — Review

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Author Interview: With THIS Ring?

  With THIS Ring?
A Novella Collection of Proposals Gone Awry
by
Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, 
Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears
Genre: Romance, Humor
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Date of Publication: January 5, 2016
# of pages: 368


Love isn’t always a fairy tale, and it doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes the best stories, though, are the ones that are the most unexpected. Join Karen Witemeyer, Mary Connealy, Regina Jennings, and Melissa Jagears for novellas that celebrate the power of love to triumph . . . even when circumstances go awry!

 

The Husband Maneuver

 

When ranch foreman Daniel Barrett seems ready to leave her life forever, Marietta Hawkins decides to grab the reins on their relationship. But to have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or risk losing him completely.

 

Her Dearly Unintended

 

Josiah Huckabee just wanted to make sure Katie Ellen Watson was safe, but when the only bridge to her farm is washed out, the two find themselves alone. Alone, that is, until a menacing stranger appears. Maybe by pretending to be newlyweds, they’ll save their reputations–but can pretending to be in love turn into the real thing?

 

Runaway Bride

 

Hired to help Carrie Halsey escape from a dangerous man intent on making her his wife, Big John Conroy never expected the job to interrupt his solitary Texas Ranger life. But now that he’s promised to keep Carrie safe, he discovers he may just want to make a few more promises.

 

Engaging the Competition

 

Harrison Gray and tomboy Charlotte Andrews have been rivals for years. With Charlotte intended for someone else, it seems they’ll never settle their differences until an accident changes things completely. When Charlotte breaks Harrison’s glasses–without which he’s nearly blind–she must help with his teaching position, and working together forces these former adversaries to reconsider everything.
PRAISE FOR WITH THIS RING:

“This quartet of authors consistently write with hilarity, warmth, and toe-curling romance. Their individual contributions to this entertaining collection hold true to form. Connealy tips her hat to long-time fans with a grin-inducing reunion and clever word-smithing. Witemeyer’s ingenious story-within-a story adds even more humor and drama to her contribution. Jennings and Jagears perfectly complete the ensemble with witty tales of friendship and breathless kisses.”—RT Book Reviews Top Pick

 

BUY THE BOOK

 

AMAZON      AMAZON KINDLE    BAKER BOOK HOUSE     B&N        KOBO

Karen Witemeyer: Winner of the HOLT Medallion and the Carol Award and a finalist for the RITA and Christy Award, bestselling author Karen Witemeyer writes historical romance to give the world more happily-ever-afters. Karen makes her home in Texas, with her husband and three children. Visit her website or connect with her on Facebook.
Mary Connealy: Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has over half a million books sold. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. Visit her website or connect with her on Facebook.
Regina Jennings: Regina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of At Love’s Bidding and four other novels, and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children. Visit her website or connect with her on Facebook.
 
 Melissa Jagears: Melissa Jagears, an ESL teacher by trade and the author of A Bride for Keeps, A Bride in Store, and A Bride at Last, is a stay-at-home mother on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house. She’s a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing, and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. Visit her website or connect with her on Facebook.
GIVEAWAY! FOUR COPIES OF THE BOOK!
February 5-18, 2016
(Winners must have US mailing addresses)

 

AuthorInterview

SPOTLIGHT: Author Interview: Melissa Jagears

 

What literary character is most like you?

I am a female Mr. Darcy. I remember totally understanding him and wondering what was wrong with all the other characters who thought he was awful. Then one day, a friend asked me who I was character-wise from Jane Austen’s novels and I was trying to mesh Lizzy and Elinor and finally gave up and picked a male character, Mr. Darcy. Later, I learned that my Myers-Briggs personality type is the one attributed to Mr. Darcy (and Jane Austen herself!). I was just so excited to find my first INTJ character in literature who was NOT the villain…well, at least the people who mattered most figured out he wasn’t the villain before the end. 🙂

 

What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?

The most useful tool I found in learning to write was serious, professional writers who exchanged work with me in a group. Having a critique group was very eye opening to things I couldn’t see myself. I could read writing craft books, understand the examples even, but having someone point out where I failed and how to fix it was beyond helpful. Plus, in a group, after I critiqued someone’s work, I’d read what others had to say and see what they caught that I didn’t, which honed my eye even more to finding craft problems in my own work.

 

I think the least useful was putting my story into a critique group one chapter at a time without having a clear idea where I was going with the story or having written the entire thing first. For when someone suggested a fix to a problem, I’d feel compelled to go that way and so, it began to feel like it wasn’t my story. The next book, I did a fast rough draft of the whole thing first before putting it into the critique group. Then when a critter gave me a suggestion, I could either disregard it because I knew my way was better or the advice didn’t mesh with my vision, or I would snatch it up and use it because it was way better than what I had come up with myself!

 

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?

I’m a part-time writer. I’m a stay-at-home mother and homeschooler to little ones. That’s why I write after everyone goes to bed; it’s the only time I have to myself, so I’m writing from 10pm to 2am. Sometimes I’m up until 4am on deadline! I’ve always wondered if I’d write better if I slept more. Hopefully someday I’ll find out!

 

Do you have any strange writing habits you wouldn’t mind sharing with readers?

Whenever I’m stuck on what to write next, I take a shower. I can think better there for some reason. It’s dangerous to take a shower right before I intend to go to bed because then I usually have to go “back to work” to put down all the new ideas. Perhaps it’s not more sleep that I need to be a better writer, but a bigger budget for hot water.

 

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

Raising children to become adults of integrity.

 


Check out these other great blog stops on the tour!

2/5      The Crazy Booksellers – Promo

2/6      Missus Gonzo – Author Interview

2/7      Books and Broomsticks – Promo

2/8      My Book Fix Blog — Review

2/9      The Page Unbound – Author Interview

2/10   Because This is My Life Y’all – Guest Post

2/11   Texas Book-aholic — Promo

2/12   The Librarian Talks – Author Interview

2/13   All for the Love of the Word — Review

2/14   Hall Ways Blog — Review

 
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Copper Lake by Ann Swann

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours
presents
 
COPPER LAKE

 

Book Three in the Stutter Creek Series 
 
by
Ann Swann

They call him the Killer Cartographer because he carves the map coordinates of each victim on the femur of the one before. Then he tattoos the information on his skin.  Can detective Kendra Dean bring him in or will she become his next tattoo?
BUY LINKS
    KOBO    iTUNES    SMASHWORDS
Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantom Pilot series, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She lives in Texas with her husband, Dude, one rescue dog, two rescue cats, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy. When she’s not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.
Books by Ann Swann
2011 Stevie-girl and The Phantom Pilot – Cool Well Press
2012 Stevie-girl and The Phantom Student – Cool Well Press
2013 Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge – Createspace
2012 All For Love – 5 Prince Publishing
2013 Stutter Creek (Book One) – 5 Prince Publishing
2015 Lilac Lane (Book Two) – 5 Prince Publishing
2016 Copper Lake (Book Three) – 5 Prince Publishing
2016 Takers: Apocalypse in Eden – coming soon
Short Fiction
“Bamboozled” Alfred Hitchcock Magazine
“Aftermath” Binnacle Magazine
“The Gap” and “In Search of Water” The Rusty Nail (previously published in The Sandstorm)
“Soul Gardener” Timeless: Cool Well Press, Anthology
“The Fee” A World of Terror: Grey Mouse Publishing, (formerly titled The Warning)
“SleepAway Pounds” Seasonal, Sweet, and Suspenseful, Anthology

“Chems” Createspace

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Review
I’ve been doing these tours for a few months now, and I’ve gotta say that they’re making me love suspense/mystery novels. Swann’s latest installment of the Stutter Creek series thrilled me in the way that The Lovely Bones did. If you read the blurb, you know that Ken is going to be the next victim, but the mind reels with how she will fall into his clutches.
Swann’s set up is pretty damn great too. You meet the killer in the first chapter and get a good picture of his twisted mind right away. But then she makes you wait for confirmation on who he is and a general idea of how he picks his victims. (You don’t meet too many male characters, and Swann doesn’t throw a bunch of false leads out there. So figuring out whodunnit was kind of easy.) The anticipation of waiting for our heroine to fall into the psycho’s clutches is probably comparable to his anticipation of getting found out. You know it’s going to happen and you’re excited/scared.
I like how Swann doesn’t let the romance between Ken and her partner muddle everything. There’s nothing I can’t stand more than delving into sex when the story is getting good. But there’s enough tension there to explain how they could possibly have a strong enough connection to achieve some incredible breakthroughs in this case. Intuition and mind reading (sorta) really win the day.
One nitpicky thing that got me: The killer’s wife never noticed his unusual scars (not to mention tattoos of coordinates…) between his legs. I’m not a Fifty Shades of Grey kind of girl, but you’re sex life is pretty vanilla if you don’t know nearly every inch of your lover. But that detail aside, I am crazy about this book and look forward to reading the other two I missed.
Check out all the great blog stops on the tour!

 

1/28       Books and BroomsticksAuthor Interview
1/29       bookishjessp — Promo
1/30       The Page Unbound — Promo
1/31       Missus GonzoReview
2/1         All for the Love of the WordAuthor Interview
2/2         My Book Fix Blog Review
2/3         Hall Ways — Promo
2/4         Because This is My Life Y’allReview
2/5         The Crazy BooksellersPromo
2/6         Texas Book-aholicReview
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Deceived: Soul Keeper Series by L. A. Starkey

 

LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE Blog Tours
presents
 
L.A. Starkey’s 
SOUL KEEPER SERIES
 
 
They say a soul is the immaterial essence, the animating principle, the actuating cause of an individual life.
But what if you had to share yours with the one person you hated the most?
The soul mate principle states that for every one soul there is another that will recognize its match, hence creating the perfect union.
But what if you had two soul mates, which would you choose?
What if your choices had eternal ramification?
Deceived, the debut novel in the Soul Keeper Series, is a modern day love story about the implications of having more than one soul mate, and having to choose between the two of them. The decisions of the gods has left the next generation, their heirs, torn between fate and reality, and the balance of the future hangs in anticipation of what’s to come.
 
Praise for DECEIVED
“This book! Oh my word. To sum it up in one word: amazing! L.A. Starkey absolutely slayed me with Deceived.” – Kristen, Pretty Little Pages Blog
 
“I love how the Greek myths are woven into this story with detail yet its still a modern high school romance. Sam is just an ordinary girl, mostly. The writing is tight and I got lost in the characters.” – Loren Weaver, Author of The Victoria Novak: Paranormal Division Series
 
“I read this book in one day because it kept me so engaged with the story that I didn’t want to put it down. There’s lots going on in the story, but it all flows really well and I like books with the ancient Gods and mythology of any nation.” – Rosie, Roses are Amber
 
“Just found LA Starkey and I am so excited I did! I love her writing style and the Soul Keeper series! I purchased book one and then went straight into book 2!” – W.J. May, Author of the The Chronicles of Kerrigan & The Senseless Series
 
“All I can say is WOW I was not expecting this at all. Deceived, (Soul Keeper Series 1) is a wonderful book and will keep your interest until the very end and leave you wanting more.” – JC Brennan, Author of The Fine Line, The Beginning
 
“The first thing that wow’ed me was the beautiful storytelling by Starkey. Just beautiful. This book had me guessing from the get-go – a sure sign that I’m hooked.” – KK Allen, Author of The Summer Solstice
 
BUY LINKS
 
DECEIVED is FREE for download everywhere
 
BOX SET of entire SOUL KEEPER SERIES
 
Amazon  
 
 

Sam smiled. “I should get going, it’s gonna get dark soon and my car is still in the shop. Bikeville, population one, here I come.”

Julie got up from the bed and moved closer. “Alright, but don’t forget I can’t talk tomorrow night. Brent and I are leaving right after school to go visit his aunt in Massachusetts.”

“Yeah, I remembered. That seriously blows about having to spend the whole evening with Brent.” Sam couldn’t help but laugh at Julie’s plight. “Sneak a call to me tomorrow night when everyone goes to sleep and fill me in on Brent’s latest skank conquest abroad.”

Julie smiled and gave her a quick hug. Sam returned the sign of affection and hurried downstairs, jogging out the front door and almost making it to her bike when someone cleared their throat. She turned around to see none other than the player himself.

“Yes?” Sam asked, trying not to smile at him and failing miserably.

“Leaving so soon?” Brent asked with a little boy pout on his face. “We were just about to order pizza. We don’t have dessert, but maybe you’d be willing to volunteer?”

“Volunteer to get dessert, huh? Never heard of the guest having to provide for the hosts, but coming from you, this isn’t a surprise.” Sam smirked at him as she jumped on her bike.

“Not get dessert, Samantha, be dessert.” Brent smiled devilishly, teasing her like he always did.

“And then you woke up.” Sam laughed and started to pedal away.

“You’re not even going to blow me a kiss? Shame, Sam, shame.”

Sam resisted flipping him the bird over her shoulder as she rode away.

The very thought of the challenging fifteen mile bike ride that lay ahead of her caused her adrenaline to surge. Laughter spilled from her lips as she stood, pumping her legs hard and fast before sitting down into a steady rhythm that offered her peace.

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and even though the breeze had picked up, embracing Sam like a good friend, the warmth of the sun was putting up a mighty fight. Being someone who thrived outdoors, she loved that New Hampshire had four seasons and took profound joy in having the ability to experience all the weather gods could throw her way. After the first few warm up miles, Sam stood back up on her peddles and pumped out the next few miles with a good bit of effort.

Man, it feels good to get my blood pumping.

Sam looked to her left as a quick movement of yellow jotted between the trees.

“No!” A loud masculine voice rang out.

She jerked forward in time to swerve, barely missing the yellow lump lying in the road and instead hitting the curb. She plummeted off the bike, flying through the air and landing in a crouch. Her chest heaved in effort to gain much needed oxygen as all of the blood in her body rushed to its aid.

Her eyes quickly surveyed her surroundings as she cautiously rose. No one was close enough to create the loud protest that was still reverbing in her head. Trying to regain her composure, she worked to make sense of what had happened. I could’ve sworn there was something yellow in the trees. And then it was in the road, right?

 

She searched the ground finding nothing to support her internal claim.

Review

A young adult novel that involves Greek mythology = the perfect recipe for a good read in my opinion. There’s nothing quite like the irrational rage of the gods and teenage angst. Although I’ve read many children’s and YA books that incorporate Greek mythology, I have never come across a retelling or reinterpretation of Zeus vs Prometheus (with 3 pregnant Fates on the side). I actually don’t remember the original tale, so I guess I should refer to the ol’ Edith Hamilton when I have some free time.
Interesting plot aside, I must say that Starkey is a great poet. It can be difficult to emulate the style of a prophecy without sounding completely ridiculous while maintaining a decent rhyme. What she could work on though is her teenage voice and interests. “As if?” These kids are not of the 90’s era. I guarantee you will not hear girls saying this. There was some other phrase that made my ear bleed but I can’t remember it at the moment. And as great as Linkin Park is, I doubt kids nowadays have “In the End” on their playlist. A bit dated. Even a Lady Gaga reference is a bit dated because she doesn’t release music that often. Go with Taylor Swift. That girl releases multiple albums every year.
Nitpicks aside, I am curious to see which brother will win this battle. To be honest, I don’t care for either of them, nor for the gods they proxy for. But I wouldn’t mind reading the next two books to see if any of the fellas have redeeming qualities that make Sam’s choice easier for her.
 
L.A. Starkey is the author of the Soul Keeper Series, a supernatural young adult series, and The Liarus Detective Series, a supernatural middle grade series.
 
She is a fulltime writer, and loves spending time with her family and reading a good book. With more ideas than one person should be allowed, she is blessed to have a muse that doesn’t seem to take a vacation and more energy that one might consider healthy.
 
She also writes under the following pen name: Kate Thomas – NA/Adult Paranormal (http://amzn.to/1SKV9ey)
 
 
 

Never miss a new release! Join LA Starkey’s readers group and grab your free copy of The Beginning: The Prophecy for the Soul Keeper Series! http://eepurl.com/9Nrc1


 
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