Issuu on Google+


Night Owl Reviews 3

Q & A with an Author Look into the Lives of Authors

4

Fabulous Fiction An Inside Look

6

Urban Fantasy and the Paranormal Hot UF / PN Releases Every Month

10

Science Fiction & Fantasy A Look Inside the Books

11

Leaf’s Legends A Look Inside Legends

12

A Piece Of My Mind Insights for Writers

14

Dark Streets Suspense at Its Best

16

Staying On Top Bestselling Authors Share

19

Inside the Cookbook Find Some Awesome Cookbooks

20

Love and Romance in Color Diversity in Romance

22

Novel Technology The Low Down on Tech for Readers

24

Teen Reads Young Adult Reads For All

25 Romance Stories To Make You Fall In Love

16

Night Owl ReviewsTM WEtap Media, LLC 2459 SE TV HWY, #153, Hillsboro, Oregon 97123 NightOwlReviews@gmail.com Editor-In-Chief: Tammie King Director of Marketing: Tammie King NightOwlReviews@gmail.com © Night Owl Reviews 2011 2


www.NightOwlReviews.com

REGAN WALSH Current Release: Whisper Cape Publisher: Amber Glow Books

What main genre do you write in? Romance

Please tell us your latest news!

The Latest

Right now I am working on a Young Adult novel as well as the sequel to Whisper Cape. I believe the YA will be finished before the sequel and I am hoping to have it ready for submission by February, 2012. On a personal note, I am expecting my seventh grandchild any day now and am extremely excited about that. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I suppose I have two. One would have to be J.D. Robb aka Nora Roberts. I became hooked on her In Death series right about the same time I started writing. I’ve never read anything that she has written that I haven’t loved. The characters in her books always seem so real to me. The other is J.R. Ward. I love her unique trademark expressions. What’s been the most challenging part of writing for you?

WHISPER CAPE is a town of secrets and Addison MacKenna soon becomes tangled in a web of them. Plagued with nightmares of her father’s sudden and brutal death, Addie struggles with her anguish and refuses to believe his demise was accidental.

Staying focused. There are so many distractions it can be difficult sometimes, especially if I have a sudden case of writer’s block. Usually a long, warm shower helps clear out the fog and some of my best ideas come to me. Sort of like washing out the mucked-up clouded space and making room for something creative and meaningful. If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?

I’m sure most writers would claim they would love to have dinner with their favorite author, but anyone who knows me would expect me to say, Gerry Butler. Yep, I’m a fan, big time. Although I doubt I would be able to eat anything from nerves. I would probably end up just sitting there, listening to his smooth Scottish accent and wishing he would sing to me. It was his voice, singing the “Music of the Night” from “The Phantom of the Opera” that filled me with inspiration to write Whisper Cape. Full Interview at: http://www.nightowlparanormal.com/nor/ Interviews/Tamazon-interviews-Regan-Walsh-on-Nov-02-2011.aspx

3


Night Owl Reviews

Fabulous Novels for Any Wish List

After the Party – Lisa Jewell

Can you believe it’s November already? The holiday season is in full gear and busy shoppers are about to descend upon stores everywhere. Whether you’re shopping for others or making your own wish list, these books are sure to delight a variety of readers. After all, what better gift could you give the reader in your life than a great book?

Snapshot Synopsis – Two people, destined to be together forever, they are the perfect couple. Two become four, an apartment turns into a house and life changes from single to married to family. Along with this comes sleepless nights where romantic ones used to be. Life isn’t simple anymore but they still love each other. When Jem, the wife, goes back to work part-time and Ralph, the husband, starts struggling with his work, the two starts to drift apart. In the midst of chaos two people who were so perfect for each other become imperfect and different. While trying to find their way back together, Jem must find herself again and Ralph looks for meaning in life. Is it too late? Can they put happily ever after back together?

Wildflower Hill – Kimberly Freeman

Snapshot Synopsis – Wildflower Hill follows two main characters, Beattie and her granddaughter Emma, by telling each of their stories in an alternating pattern. The book gives insight into Beattie’s life while revealing a deeply buried secret that Beattie has hidden. Meanwhile, Emma finds meaning to life outside of ballet through her grandmothers secrets.

Shock Factor – WOW! Can anyone say “Hello real life?” Who hasn’t married their perfect match only to become a family with dual incomes and crazy schedules? In the midst of all this who hasn’t lost sight of their partner? Who hasn’t had kids wake up in the middle of the night or opposite schedules to keep that have you running in different directions? What woman hasn’t lost herself after having children? What man hasn’t wanted all of his wife’s attention back? This book just screams reality but yet shows the amazing side of marriage, family and discovering yourself as you change and life changes around you. Supremely written, After the Party shows just what happens when the party stops, and how to find your way back to it.

Shock Factor – This novel is shockingly amazing! My book club unanimously gave this book 5 stars in a blind polling. The story beneath the lives of these two women was emotionally addictive and deeply compelling. When reading about Beattie, I felt as if I was the character myself. When reading about Emma, I felt as if I was looking through her eyes but also seeing her through Beattie’s eyes. This book is about love, family, life, secrets and the ties that bind people together. Season’s Suggestion – MUST READ! This novel is for any reader who enjoys historical fiction, family relationships, women’s fiction, or a wonderfully written novel with taboo issues that have overcome history.

4

Season’s Suggestion – Highly Recommended. Anyone who has ever been married, is married, has children or loves women’s fiction will enjoy this book.


www.NightOwlReviews.com Heart Wishes – Jude Deveraux Snapshot Synopsis – What if your secret wishes came true? In Heart Wishes, Gemma discovers a powerful secret behind the Frazier family while cataloging their history. Though she passes the secret off as urban legend at first, Gemma begins to realize this secret is no hoax. The only trouble is she is not the only one who has discovered the family secret. Soon an international thief is on the hunt for his family’s most valuable possession and Gemma finds herself in a race against time as she and Colin try to protect his family from the threats surrounding them. Shock Factor – If you haven’t read anything by Jude Deveraux you need to! I love her writing. It amazes me how she can craft a story that keeps the reader glued to the pages and engrossed in the story. The suspense is perfect and the romance just as great! This book will have you on the edge of your seat in anticipation from start to finish. Season’s Suggestion – Must Read!! Lovers of romance, suspense, women’s fiction or general fiction will love this book! Proof of Heaven – Mary Curran Hackett

Snapshot Synopsis – In a novel that shows the power of love, faith, hope and family, Mary Curran Hackett unveils the story of Colm, a young boy who has come to terms with his own death, his fate. Colm is a very sick child who understands he will not get better. His mother, Cathleen, believes her faith will protect Colm but despite her feelings, Cathleen attempts to make Colm’s last wish come true. The

only problem lies in finding the father who abandoned Cathleen before Colm’s birth. The journey is difficult, the quest is hard, and the emotions are high but the novel is unforgettable and a powerful example of love.

Shock Factor – This novel left me speechless. It’s a thought provoking story full of amazing and wonderful characters. The strength Colm had in regards to his own fate was stunning to me. I don’t know that I could face the same reality and be so understanding. What shocked me about this book is how Hackett tackles the tough questions we all face at some point in our lives. Life, death, and the afterlife are topics with a high difference of opinion but yet they all have a common factor that everyone will face. Hackett’s writing was wonderful. This novel is full of faith, courage, dedication, hope, love, family and discovery. It was emotional yet wonderful.

Season’s Suggestion – Highly Recommended. This novel is for every mother, every woman, anyone who has faith, hope, love, courage or dedication in their life. I was hooked from the beginning and didn’t stop reading until the end. It is thought provoking and touching. It makes you appreciate life. ------------------Tiffany is an avid reader, reviewer and marketing specialist. You can connect with her via the following outlets. Website- http://acozyreaderscorner.blogspot. com- Twitter - @cozyreadersnook – Facebook http:// www.facebook.com/groups/#!/pages/A-Cozy-ReadersCorner/152514161454295

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure young German princess who traveled to Russia at fourteen and rose to become one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history.Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into Empress of Russia by sheer determination. 5


Night Owl Reviews

November Already, Where Did 2011 Go? Pretty soon the turkey will be roasting in the oven, then soon after that Christmas lights will be popping up and the mad dash to get all the right holiday gifts will have everyone going crazy. Just remember books always make great gifts, as do gift cards to book stores. :) I know what’s on my wish list for Christmas, a Kindle Fire. I love my regular Kindle, but it would be nice to have one that does so much more. What about you- have you started holiday shopping yet? Or making your own wish list? There are plenty of new releases in the urban fantasy and paranormal genres this month that are sure to end up on many wish lists- I know I’ve updated mine with a few of these fabulous new books. Entangled Publishing has several new titles this month including: Deadly Pursuit (Blood Hunter #2 ) by Nina Croft, Shadowlander (Shadow Sisters, #1) by Theresa Meyers, North of Need (Hearts of the Anemoi #1) by Laura Kaye and Under the Moon (Goddesses Rising, Book 1) by Natalie J. Damschroder- I’m adding all of these to my Kindle…now if I can just find the time to read them. :) Many popular authors in these genres have new releases out this month: Not Your Ordinary Faerie Tale (The Others #12) by Christine Warren, Nightshine (Kyndred, #4) by Lynn Viehl, Heart of Steel (Iron Seas, #2) by Meljean Brook, Heart of Darkness by Lauren Dane, Courting Darkness (Sisters of the Moon, #10) by Yasmine Galenorn, The Hunter by Theresa Meyers (this one’s in my to-read pile), The Guardian (DarkHunter, #21; Dream-Hunter, #5) by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Death Magic (World of the Lupi, #8) by Eileen Wilks, Vampires Dead Ahead (Night Tracker, #5) by Cheyenne McCray, Hunter of Shadows (Moonlight, #5) by

6

Nancy Gideon, Fate’s Edge (The Edge, #3) by Ilona Andrews, Immortal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #2) by Larissa Ione, Bride of the Night by Heather Graham, Killing Rites (The Black Sun’s Daughter, #4) by M.L.N. Hanover, Bad Blood (House of Comarré, #3) by Kristen Painter, and Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires, #5) by Chloe Neill - which was a fabulous read. If you were upset after the ending of the last book in this series you’ll be much happier with this ending. Yes, I am definitely hoping my stockings will be stuffed full of books on Christmas morning this year. SQAI with Natalie J Damschroder

RR: Hi Natalie, Let’s start out by getting the name of your newest release: NJD: Under the Moon

RR: It’s all about the heroine, what is one unique trait about your heroine that makes her stand out? NJD: Quinn Caldwell is a goddess who owns a bar. She’s probably the only one in the country who does. :) RR: Ladies always want to know about the men, what is the sexiest trait of the main man in your newest book?

NJD: There are two main men, actually. Sam’s sexiest trait is that he takes care of Quinn’s needs, whatever they are, and sometimes in such subtle ways she hardly knows he’s doing it.

Nick’s sexiest trait is how tightly he holds on to control, determined to do what’s right instead of what he wants. RR: Ok what’s the heat level of your book?


Under the Moon

by Natalie J. Damschroder

Quinn Caldwell is the epitome of a modern goddess. Her power source is the moon, her abilities restricted only by physical resources and lunar phase. She runs a consulting business and her father’s bar, serves on the board of the ancient Society for Goddess Education and Defense, and yearns for Nick Jarrett, professional goddess protector and the soul mate she can never have. But someone has developed the rare and difficult ability to drain a goddess of her powers, and Quinn is a target. With the world thinking Nick has gone rogue (whatever that means) and that Quinn is influenced by “family ties” she didn’t know she had, keeping themselves safe while working to find the enemy proves harder each day. But not as hard as denying their hearts…

Blood and light by Rue Volley

Enter into the world of 16 yearold Rue Volley...who, up until one fateful night, thought she was “normal” or as “normal” as she could be. But “normal” does not include being a vampire...a truth about herself that she will soon discover. Rue Volley lives in the quiet little town of Calvary, Minnesota...nestled in the thick woods lining the Great Lakes. Rue, along with her brother Kai, have lived an otherwise calm life up until their Mother was commited into Rolling River Asylum, after she mysteriously stopped speaking to anyone. Rue is convinced by her brother to attend a party on her birthday, and after she experiences something that she cannot explain, she and everyone in her world is thrown into madness. Join Rue on this epic journey, 6 books in all, as she struggles with grief, love, humor, old crushes, newfound infatuations, hot boys, AND vampires, lots and lots of them. 7


Night Owl Reviews 3 words?

NJD: The heat level is sizzling, because when Quinn uses her goddess-inherited powers, it drains her and she needs to have sex to recharge.

RV: Rue is determined, sarcastic, loyal

RR: Can you describe your heroine in one sentence?

RR: What kind of paranormals and/or paranormal elements can be found in Under the Moon?

RV: Rue Volley is willing to do anything for her family. RR: Can you describe your hero in one sentence?

NJD: Under the Moon has modern-day goddesses who are conduits for energy generated by various phenomena. Quinn’s source of power is the moon, and she can draw on that power to heal, to move objects, to sense things behind her vision, etc. Other sources for other goddesses include plants, rain, the ocean, etc.

RV: Joshua Barrington is a fierce warrior, a passionate lover and will make you vibrate in naughty places. RR: What kind of paranormals or paranormal elements are in your book?

RR: Can you tell readers one unique element about your book?

RV: Vampires, witches, ghosts, psychic visions, demons. RR: In two sentences or less can you tell readers something unique about your book?

NJD: My very favorite thing about Under the Moon is its heroes. Yep, that’s plural. Many romances have a hero or heroine who is involved with one man when they meet the person who will be their true love, but the person they’re involved with is rarely worthy of them. Quinn has two worthy men in her life, but for different reasons, can’t have either one.

RV: The vampires in my series feed on blood & energy. They can see the “energy” swirl on their skin and in the air and they are the colors of the Chakra. RR: What’s the heat level of your book?

RR: How about summing up the book in 2 sentences or less?

RV: Hot & spicy.

RR: And last but not least, where can a reader purchase your book?

NJD: Quinn Caldwell finds herself the potential target of a leech, a man draining goddesses of their powers, and must team up with her protector, Nick, and her business partner, Sam, to stop him before he strikes again.

RV: Vamptasypublishing.co.com Smashwords.com

RR: And last but not least, when and where can we expect to find your book?

SQAI with Jamie Haden

RR: Let’s get started, Jamie please tell us the name of your newest release and genre/category it falls into:

NJD: Under the Moon is a paranormal romantic adventure coming out in November from Entangled Publishing, it will be available in paperback and e-book at most places where books are sold! You can find links for many retailers on my website http://bit.ly/hpWTDB

JH: Spirit Seeker—Young Adult Fantasy

RR: Can you describe your heroine in one sentence?

SQAI with Rue Volley

JH: Talisa is an independent, free spirit Native American who learns at a very young age that she does not need to be rescued—her ultimate guide is her Self, however nothing is what it appears to be, and life can become strange and difficult, especially when you’re only sixteen and in love with a shifter.

RR: Hello Rue let’s get started with the title and genre of your newest release RV: I have 2 actually Blood and Light and Smoke and Mirrors both could be labeled as adult fantasy, vampire novels.

RR: What kind of paranormals or paranormal elements are in your book?

RR: Tell me, can you describe your main character in

8


www.NightOwlReviews.com JH: Spirit Seeker is about bridging the gap between the two worlds of what is known and what is unknown, the normal and paranormal. Just because some people can’t experience a non-ordinary reality simply doesn’t mean it fails to exist. In Spirit Seeker, there are indeed many people like shamans, medicine men, and ghost dancers that are fully connected to the spirit worlds and who can, in a very normal reality, experience cosmic traveling and out of body experiences. The journey itself is the heart of shamanism. They are the healers who allow their soul to roam between the upper, middle, and lower worlds. The shape-shifters, those who can voluntarily shift their bones and become something else entirely, live an extraordinary existence for they have the desires of man and animal dwelling within them. As for the Talisa, The Spirit Seeker, her journey is only beginning; she is the eyes of the world on a quest to seek the sacred knowledge of the Universe. However, danger lurks on this remote island and there is evil present everywhere. Some don’t want her to see—to learn. Nevertheless, all of the spirit people in my novel share one

thing in common—they can feel the earth move.

RR: Without giving away details, Can you describe one interesting scene in your book in less than two sentences? JH: One interesting scene in Spirit Seeker is when Talisa fist sees Jag alone by the bank throwing rocks into the water—she can’t believe what is tattooed across his entire back. It is a surreal experience when she finally gazes into his dark eyes and feels as if it is something much greater than herself that is calling her to him. RR: In two sentences or less can you tell readers something unique about your book?

JH: With deep respect and admiration for the Native American culture, Spirit Seeker deals with Native American spirituality on a level all people can relate to. I believe Native Americans need a voice in young adult fiction.

Spirit Seeker by Jamie Haden

Life is strange and difficult for the granddaughter of a shaman. Sixteen-year-old Talisa Santiago was born in the desert underneath the full moon in January-the wolf moon. However, she left the desert with her mother when she was a young girl. She remembers bits and pieces of her past but it isn’t until she and her mom move to a remote barrier island off the coast of North Carolina that she feels fate has finally calledsecretive and mysterious he stands alone on the edge of the bank. Her friends tell her to stay away; she hears rumors that he is dangerous. Still, she can’t resist. Whether Talisa realizes it or not, she knows a thing or two about boys like Jag Chavez. Fate is funny that way. For the first time in her life, Talisa meets kids just like her-Native Americans who know the ways of the spirit. The closer she gets to Jag, the more she realizes he is hiding a dark secret. He may have the markings of the Thunderbird, but he is named for the powerful Jaguar. Together they embark on a journey that will haunt her forever.

9


Night Owl Reviews

In Blood We Trust A Novel of the Bloodlands, #3 Author: Christine Cody 4.5 Stars - Top Pick Reviewed by: Angibabi4

result in a significant cash prize even as it confirms her superiority in her field. Dakota’s ethics will not allow her to ink an unknown design that she has not had evaluated by both a reputable witch and graphomancer, particularly since the werewolf’s potential tattoo has Nazi ties. Unfortunately, she will also need to consult with a were tattooist and that will require safe passage to his location and necessitate that she request the assistance of her ex-girlfriend, the vampire queen of Little Five Points. Dakota incurs the wrath of a rival vampire, meets the Lord of the Hunt, and inexplicably acquires a weretiger follower. Add in several attractive potential allies and she may have more than she and her special tattoos can handle. Fascinating tale that has many creative twists in a story that has plenty of action and wonderful secondary characters. Intricate relationships between the different factions of the city as well as inventive treatments of tattoos, air vehicles, were-beings and the architecture of a truly underground Atlanta make this a unique and entertaining read. The romantic entanglements that Dakota has to deal with are a bit unbelievable but she is a charismatic and complicated being and there are mesmerizing descriptions of her tattoo transference that make this a mystical read.

This is the third installment of the Bloodlands series and it doesn’t hold anything back. When we last left Gabriel, Mariah, and Chaplin they had just gone into a government complex and freed all the Preters and Reds. When they were there they found the Origin of all the monster species. This installment takes place a couple of months afterwards. The monsters have made the facility there home after defeating their captors. They are trying to create a society for all preters and reds for survival. Mariah and Gabriel are trying to fit in and finding that even among monsters they are an oddity. They go on a quest to track down the remainder of their hunters as well as the one who turned Mariah. Along the way they have to deal with their weakening connection and a way to deal with Mariah’s changes after confronting the Origin who goes by 562. Will they be able to survive the journey and where it takes them. You be the judge. This was by far my most favorite of the books in this series. You need the history from the first two installments, but if necessary “In Blood We Trust” can stand on its own. Christine Cody continues to capture my imagination with her new insights on the horror stories of old. Keep up the good work.

Magebane Author: Lee Arthur Chane 4 Stars Reviewed by: A.M. Donovan

Frost Moon Skindancer, Book 1 Author: Anthony Francis 4.5 Stars - Top Pick Reviewed by: ELF

“Frost Moon” by Anthony Francis is the imaginative tale that introduces Dakota Frost, magical tattooist, as she is trying to deal with several significant demands on her skills. A mysterious were-wolf has a particular design that he wants inked to give him more control just as Dakota is being requested to assist the Feds in locating the being that is harvesting tattoos and the skin they have been inked on. This is quickly followed by a challenge of her skills that could

Evil wizards, multi-level conspiracies, magic, hidden kingdoms, cruel tyrants, usurpers, and a hint of steampunk make this book entertaining. Lee Arthur Chane (also known as Edward Willett) has done a marvelous job of making all of this work together. Instead of being overwhelmingly complicated and difficult to follow with the danger of being boring, he manages to tie the different themes together into an entertaining, cohesive whole. The good guys do win, just not the way anyone expected. Magebane is a very entertaining book and well worth the time.

10


www.NightOwlReviews.com

Witches’ Here in the United States, November brings an official day of thanks. The first Thanksgiving celebrated in 1621 was a day of sharing a meal by the Pilgrims, who had survived the harshness of the prior winter with the help of Native Americans living in the area, as a way of saying thank you to their new friends. Today the holiday is about family and food. But given the convoluted paths my mind takes at times, I ended up wondering how a group of devout Puritans, that left their country to escape religious persecution, ended up labeling others who thought differently as witches. Witchcraft has probably been around as long as civilization itself and has a strong existence in the fear of the unknown. Possibly dating back 40,000 years to the Paleolithic period, it is a belief system that predates the majority of known religions. The practice has evolved throughout time, and in its present form there are varied covens that perform their witchcraft in different ways. In the century after the Pilgrims landed, New England became a hot bed of witchcraft accusations. Anyone thought to have committed a bad deed or done bad things could end up with a finger pointed at them and accusations of ‘witch’ shouted in their direction. In 1500 there had been outbreaks of witchcraft in Scotland. Then witchcraft became a crime in England in 1542 and hysterical cries of ‘witch’ generated grief for a lot of people. So why not continue these outbreaks in a new country settled by a group of English. If your neighbors thought you were in a pact with a devil, you were labeled a witch. This technique to cause trouble for someone on your dislike list had been going on in Europe and England a few centuries, so it’s no surprise in addition to their bibles, the new arrivals brought their superstitions with them. For example on how these outbreaks worked, in the town of Hartford in 1662, an 8-year-old named Elizabeth Kelly started having visions. In addition, she became tormented by things she

couldn’t control. Little Elizabeth pointed a finger at a neighbor, the Goodwife Ayers and accused the lady of bewitching her. One thing led to another with the blaming of others until it ended with Mr. Greensmith who admitted to being a witch. Not only that, he confessed to having carnal relations with the devil. That was the end of Mr. Greensmith and with his execution, Little Elizabeth recovered, returning to her sweet self. Things died down for a while, but then would flare up again. In 1692 Salem became a hotbed of another outbreak. Three young girls started acting strangely (here we go again) and reporting on specter people coming to bewitch them. These visitations caused them torments, had them speaking in strange voices and doing bizarre things. From the specters they moved into charging real people, the first being the housekeeper for one of the girl’s family. They continued to point fingers and the allegations against one person led to others being brought in to face the same charges. By the time it reached the Governor Phips door, he put a stop to it… after all, his wife was then being accused. When it was all said and done, about 200 people had been accused, and 19 had met death by execution. One poor soul had stones piled on his chest until he was crushed. This baffling period of time in American history isn’t our finest hour, but it does show how fear and prejudice can convince people that the wrong they are doing is for the good. Do we experience some of this in today’s world? Take a look at the news and you may think so. But my hat is off to Salem. The town took a negative and has turned it into a positive…a positive that brings in lots of tourist each year. The ‘blip’ on their town’s history has created a business that employee a bunch of people. And in today’s economy, employment is a good thing. Plus, there is a history lesson to go with it. ---------Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf enjoys writing Paranormal/ Fantasy with a twist of humor. Emerging Magic, the second book in the Magical Love series is set to release late August or early September by Passion in Print Press. www.lizzietleaf.com

11


Night Owl Reviews

A Piece of My Mind Direction If there is a book you really want to read but you can’t find it, sit down and write it.” ~Toni Morrison (recently re-quoted to me by Poet Meg Collins of Blog Talk Radio’s show Page Turners) If you do all that work of figuring out exactly how writing is done, then it’s available to you at any time, and you can build on it. It’s like the difference between shooting one hoop and having it go in by accident and saying later, I shot a basket-and practicing so much you can do it whenever you want.” ~ Mark Salzman, author of Iron and Silk & The Laughing Sutra The first draft is a skeleton-- just bare bones. It’s like the very first rehearsal of a play, where the director moves the actors around mechanically to get a feel of the action.” ~ Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, author of Shiloh

You need to have an idea where you are going. Like the guy in the car, what kinds of food do you want? You need to have some sort of idea what you want to write, what genre and what format (a short story, a novel, a play, a script, etc.) You want to use before you start writing. If not, you are just ambling for a thought for you to write on. I know this may sound simple, but I hear writers at workshops tell me they are blocked and cannot write because they have an idea BUT no direction. I suggest starting an outline and they thank me for it. To me, this is writing basics 101, but to many new writers this idea is totally new. When I was in high school, my creative writing teacher (AKA my English teacher) always suggested an outline. She told the class that gives you an orientation where to go with your work. I am not trying to say to make an outline of a concept of everything you want to write. I remember I once told a group of writers on Marcia Casper Cook’s Blog Talk Radio show “A Good Story is a Good Story” (which I co-host a few times a month . . . shameless plug I know!) That when I start a story or even a column (YES, like this one), I begin with a skeleton outline. It is like a basic road map (not like MAPQUEST) . . . and then take my characters, situations or ideas off road and see where it leads. I still have an idea where I want it to end up, but it is fun getting there My friend Christie usually writes a six to a ten-page outline for every novel she has written She has written twelve at this time. This outline she submits to the publishers to sell her book concept before she has even written one word of the book. Remember she has written twelve books already, I would never suggest this to a beginning writer. One erotic/romance writer that I know (she asked me not to reveal her name) said to me when I co-hosted a radio show on Blog talk radio that she gets her storyteller vibe going and just starts typing on her computer. She also said that the words flow out of her and she stops writing when the characters say to her that they are done for the day. This author went on to say that she is just a vessel for the character’s stories. Now, if

The first draft is a skeleton --just bare bones.

***************************

Recently, I was getting gas at my local Shell station. A guy pulled up to my car, rolled his window down and said “I’m looking for something to eat.” “Okay” I looked quizzical at him. His statement seemed a strange thing to say. “So what kind of food are you looking for?” I asked him. “Well I dunno. Something to eat!” He replied “Well is there any type of food you have a mind to eat?” I questioned “I dunno” he replied I suggested a few different restaurants for him. So he had a direction of where he could get something to eat. He drove off and I do not know where he went. He looked like a lost soul. It is the same thing with writing. I know some writers have told me they get on the computer and just write. I can respect that. However, there are other writers who have told me that they stare at a computer screen and expect that an idea or two will strike them square in the face. I am sorry to say this, but what to write gene like Manna from heaven do not happen to many.

12


www.NightOwlReviews.com has their own way...and you as a writer needs to find your own way. It takes time, trial and error, and the drive to keep going in a career in writing. One person asked me in a workshop, “Is there a trick to an outline?” I say put the thoughts down on paper. You don’t need to use formal outline standard that may be taught in High School or College. Just put the ideas down. Noted author Judy Blume, author of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing & Fudgemania said it best “Once I have a pile of paper outlining to work with, it’s like having the pieces of a puzzle. I just have to put the pieces together to make a picture.” Remember this, after you finish your first draft, let your outline again help and guide you in editing and rewriting process. Sometimes, it will bring the piece back into a form of ideas and concepts that you originally started with . . . and other times, it will act like a tour guide to make your rewrites better than you started with. That is a wrap for this month columns. So until next time, keep reaching for the stars.

this works for her and her writing, that’s great! This author has written 62 e-books at this time and still going strong . . . so more power to her and her way! Yet, some of my friends say free flowing prose is better like poetry is. It is a choice. To outline or not to outline that is the question! My outline format is a different ideal to me. It is a point going from A to B that I try to follow. For me, It is like a GPS for writers. An outline gives the writer an outlet and even freedom to flesh out and explore ideas that they did not think about when they began to put their ideas in outline form. Is the outline format the end all of end all that all writers should do? NO. In my opinion, It is a beginning. However, you as the writer needs to research and leg work to make sure your story rings true. You need to fill in the blanks. You as a writer need to flesh out the characters or the situations. You need to take them in directions that you want them to be going. You have to remember this. Everyone has their own way and style of writing. So any advice you may get from Ray Bradbury or E.B. White may differ from advice you get from Lawrence Block or even Stephen King. Some suggest outlining and others don’t! Does that mean one person’s style or one writer’s concept to create is better than another? I do not think so. Everyone

***************************

Thank you Lee Ann for the great advice. So until next time, Reach for the Stars

13


Night Owl Reviews

SUSPENSE, ACCORDING TO WEBSTER (AND KAVA AND FAIRSTEIN) Suspense, as per Daniel Webster: n. 1. The state of being suspended; specifically, a state of uncertainty and expectation, with anxiety or apprehension; indetermination; indecision; as, the suspense of a person waiting for the verdict of a jury. Even Aristotle realized the importance of suspense in storytelling. In his book Poetics, he tells us suspense is an important building block of any literature: to be concise, suspense consists of having real danger looming and a ray of hope. The two common outcomes are either a) the danger hitting or b) the hopes being realized. Suspense can be present in any sort of situation where there is a lead in to a dramatic moment, tension being a primary part. Alfred Hitchcock was long known as the “master of suspense”. A thread ran through all of his movies, often with the audience anticipating something bad to happen (i.e. the shower scene from Psycho). Suspense arose from a combination of anticipation and uncertainty and often culminated in a shocking finale (i.e. Tony Perkins in a dress???) Anyway, you get the idea :) We have many suspense writers who are true masters of the genre: James Patterson comes most forcibly to mind. There are others, too, two of which I’d like to speak about today.

Alex Kava fantasized about becoming a writer at an early age, writing her short stories on the backs of calendars that she hid in a shoe box under her bed. With a background in advertising and marketing to fortify her, she started up a graphic design firm, but quickly realized her true love lay in writing. As such she quit her job, mortgaged her home, and devoted her time to getting traditionally published, which she did in 2000 with the Maggie O’Dell series, which centers on the life and adventures of an FBI profiler. Kava took her love of true crime stories and injected it into a series. Her latest, due out July of this next year is HotWire. From the publisher:

Suspense Queen #1: Alex Kava

14

On a crisp fall evening in western Nebraska, what started as a group of kids filming their drug-fueled party ends in an explosive light show, leaving the victims apparently electrocuted, with odd scorch marks being the only evidence. While Maggie tries to make sense of the dif¬ferent stories, sifting through what is real and what is hallu¬cination, she realizes that the surviving teens are being targeted and systematically eliminated. Meanwhile on the East Coast, Maggie’s FBI partner, R.J. Tully, and Army colonel Benjamin Platt are at the scene of a deadly outbreak, desperate to identify the pathogen that has infected children at a Virginia elementary school. Despite the miles that separate them, the two cases collide as Maggie, Tully, and Platt uncover secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the remote Midwest. Most of the Maggie O’Dell novels have the theme of biological warfare running through them – it was most noticeable in “Exposed” where Maggie and her former mentor are both exposed to a deadly virus that Maggie barely survives. Talk about suspense. :) Kava has also written other stand alone novels and


www.NightOwlReviews.com shorts, but it is in the Maggie O’Dell that her love of detail and ability to craft suspenseful situations truly shines.

SUSPENSE

Suspense Queen #2: Linda Fairstein

Linda Fairstein didn’t start out an author- far from it. Like other suspense novelists (Grisham comes most forcibly to mind) she went to law school and became a NY prosecutor focusing on crimes centering on crimes of violence against women and children. She was promoted to the head of NY Sex Crimes unit in 1976, where she prosecuted several highly publicized cases including the “Central Park Jogger” case in 1990. After leaving the DA’s office in 2002, Fairstein went on to become a consultant and sex crimes expert, often consulting for a number of media outlets (Michael Jackson’s molestation charges in 2004). After leaving her prosecutorial duties behind, Fairstein turned author, grinding out a series of novels featuring a Manhattan prosecutor, Alexandra Cooper. Fairstein drawn on her own legal experience to craft suspenseful situations for her main character, who debuted in 1996 in Final Jeopardy, and then went onto twelve more adventures, the most recent being Silent Mercy, published in March of this year. From the publisher:

In SILENT MERCY, a middle of the night call brings Alex Cooper and NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace to Harlem, where the decapitated body of a young woman has been burning on the steps of the Mount Neboh Baptist Church, originally a synagogue until the neighborhood changed. Initially, the authorities suspect a hate crime until another dead woman turns up at a cathedral in Little Italy a few days later. A religious motive emerges as Alex prosecutes a defrocked Catholic priest accused of molesting boys, a high-profile trial that a politically connected bishop wants stopped. Next month: Spotlight on Tess Gerritson, author of the Rizzoli and Isles series.

A Perfect Evil Split Second The Soul Catcher At the Stroke of Madness

A Necessary Evil Exposed Black Friday Damaged

By Toni LoTempio – admin by day, writer by night, Toni is the author of several paperback and e-books of romantic and paranormal suspense – check out her website at www.tonilotempio.webs.com and her cat’s blog! www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com Check out her YA fantasy, MY SUPERHERO SISTER and her paranormal romances, NO REST FOR THE WICCA and RAVEN’S KISS. She is also featured in the paranormal romance anthology, KISS ME KILL ME, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

15

SUSPENSE


Night Owl Reviews

Allison Brennan This month, I got to work with an inspiring author, Allison Brennan. Allison specializes in suspense novels, which is what I chose to do for this year’s NaNo. She allowed me the honor of reading her upcoming release, If I Should Die. I love the story of Lucy Kincaid and enjoyed watching her blooming relationship with private investigator Sean Rogan. What is supposed to be a vacation and simple case turns into an inter-agency madhouse as Lucy discovers a body in a mine, and sabotage on the soon-toopen resort she and Sean are staying. This leads to even larger problems as they realize there’s an illegal operation running in Spruce Lake, and there are people who are ready, and already have, to kill to keep it a secret. I found this book irresistible to put down. The characters were so real and I would scream when they became endangered, cheer when they got a break on the case, and melted when Sean became a mushy male. A special surprise at the end of the book came in the form of a short story, highlighting the year before the very beginning of the Lucy Kincaid series. I enjoyed the flash back and found the story intriguing, as always. I am delighted to say that I made it through most of the story without realizing who the criminal was. This is my favorite

16

kind of story because it so rarely happens. I’m always able to predict the outcome, long before the author gives it away. Readers, be known: the cover for the new If I Should Die might not say this, but Allison’s wonderful self-decided to give readers a treat by offering two books for the price of one. At the end of your novel, you’ll find Love is Murder. Hi Sara:

Thank you so much for the interview. Great questions! What’s one thing you can’t live without?

AB – My kids. They keep my young and hopeful for the future. And they remind me that I’m not perfect. Constantly. :) routine?

Do you have a writing

Sort of :) … I write every day after the kids go to school, but sometimes I play around more on the Internet than I should. I’m usually in full writing mode no later than 11 a.m., and write at least four hours. Because of sports and other after-school activities, I’m pretty busy from 4-8, but after dinner, I also write, roughly 9 p.m. until 1 or 2 in the morning, depending on how the story is coming along. I also write on the weekends, but usually only at night unless I’m on deadline. How do you create your characters?

This is a hard question! They sort of create themselves as I write. I don’t plot, I don’t create character charts or interview my characters. I put them in a situation,


www.NightOwlReviews.com and their personality develops on the page. Often, I don’t realize how much I know about my characters until I get to the end of the book and realize that I’d set up some sort of emotional arc I was unaware of during the process. Then I can use revisions to bring out key personality traits. The villains are a little different. I need to know what motivates them pretty early into the story, otherwise I can’t write. So I’ll spend some time in my villain’s head, writing different scenes, trying to figure out why they do what they do. And I try to keep in mind, for all my characters, that they all have pasts. It helps me keep them three-dimensional, so even the secondary characters have context. What’s one thing your readers don’t know about your character Lucy? Probably everything I don’t know about her! :) Okay, there’s one thing that comes out in SILENCED (4.24.12) that is only hinted at in the other books. Lucy hates driving. I didn’t know WHY she hated driving until she gets in an accident while being chased by one of the bad guys. But when she was much younger, about four, her dad was driving the family while it was raining. They went off the road and her mom, dad, brother and sister (Patrick and Carina were in the car.) Lucy was the first to wake up and she thought they were all dead. It’s haunted her, even though she didn’t remember it until the recent accident. I also think there’s about her cousin Justin’s murder (first mentioned in SPEAK NO EVIL) that Lucy doesn’t realize she knows.

I was too young to remember! I’ve always been a writer, but never got serious until after my son was born in 2001. I read 77 books during my four month maternity leave, and remembered how much I loved writing. Two books in particular stand out: THE SEARCH by Iris Johansen and THE THIRD VICTIM by Lisa Gardner. They were both very gritty, heavy suspense/light romance stories. They were exactly the types of books I loved and wanted to write, but hadn’t until that point seen that mix of suspense to romance. I decided if I ever wanted to be published, I had to FINISH one of the over 100 stories I’d started. In March of 2002, I made that commitment to myself. When I sold in March of 2004, I had five complete manuscripts. Knowing that no one cared by me if I were ever published helped keep me focused—because there was no one else to push me to write, except me. I had to make the time to write. At first, it was in the morning before everyone got up and I had to get them ready for school then go off to work. Later, after the birth of Brennan #4, I started writing at night after the kids went to bed. Have you ever had to deal with rejection letters?

Many! I’ve had over 100 rejection letters. Some are the standard, “Not right for me.” Others were a little more hopeful, “This isn’t right for me, but I like your voice. Send me your next project.” On my first completed manuscript (which will never see the light of day), I had one agent request the full. She rejected it by sending back my cover page and writing one word in all caps: SUPERFICIAL. Ouch.

What preparations do you do to get the writing mojo working?

I look at my deadline and think, “Oh, shit, I need to get to work!” Okay, that’s only partly true :) … I drink a lot of coffee. I check my email in the morning and try to avoid it until a take a break for lunch. And I always re-read what I wrote the day before. It gets me back into the story. Often, when I call it quits at night, I’ll write a few bullet points about where I’m going with something or a scene that needs to be written or reworked, to refresh my memory. If you could visit one place, where would it be? Ireland. I’ve always wanted to go there. How did you get into writing?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten to help with your journey as a writer?

The most practical advice was from Mariah Stewart who told me long ago that it wouldn’t get any easier, that as writers, we are constantly trying to make our next book better than our last, we’re trying to push ourselves to try new and different things while still striving to please our readers, and this is hard work. I didn’t believe her then. I definitely believe her now! But the advice that’s helped me the most? Probably a combination of what people have told me over the years that I’ve summarized: You can only control one thing: the story. Protect your voice, write freely, edit ruthlessly. How long does it take you to write a book, from beginning phase to editing?

17


Night Owl Reviews proofs. That means IF I SHOULD DIE would be my favorite. The easiest book to write—meaning, the one that didn’t need extensive revisions and the story seemed to flow easier than others—was FEAR NO EVIL, followed by PLAYING DEAD. The two hardest books to write were FATAL SECRETS and KISS ME, KILL ME. The former because it was a difficult subject (human trafficking) for me to tackle, and the latter because I had NO IDEA who the killer was until the end of the book and I began to panic. (This isn’t unusual for me, but usually I know who did it by the time I get to the midpoint.) My mom’s favorite book is THE HUNT, which took me longer than any other book to write. (A year—though I had a baby in the middle of that—followed by three rounds of editor revisions.) But my favorite book to have written? My first. THE PREY. You always have a soft spot for your debut novel.

I can think a book to death. For example, all the time I was writing SILENCED (my May book) I was thinking of ideas for STALKED, my fall 2012 book. I also research all the time, mostly through reading non-fiction and an occasional field trip. But from the moment I create a document for the book until I have the rough draft ready for my editor: 1214 weeks. Then it takes me 2-4 weeks for revisions. Have you ever gotten into a story only to realize it’s not working the way you choose and set it aside?

This is how I used to write. Now, I just delete what isn’t working and go off in a different direction. I remember when I was writing the NO EVIL trilogy. Originally, Dillon Kincaid was supposed to be the hero of book two, SEE NO EVIL. But when I put him and Julia on the page together, they were best buddies. No chemistry. But when Connor Kincaid walked in, there was instant chemistry and a lot of conflict. I emailed my editor and asked if I could swap the heroes (since the back cover copy was already written!) She agreed. Good thing, because no were Dillon and Julia going to work as a romantic couple. In LOVE ME TO DEATH, I deleted the first 70 pages of my rough draft and started in what was then chapter six. I had to edit it heavily, but it worked much better starting in a different place. In IF I SHOULD DIE, I originally started the story when Lucy and Sean arrived at the lodge, but found it was all BORING so deleted the first couple chapters and started the story when they woke up to the arson fire. I was able to integrate the key information from the first two chapters into subsequent chapters, and kept the pacing alive.

Your favorite book by another author?

THE STAND by Stephen King has been my favorite book since I read it when I was thirteen. Do you have any mentors, or inspirational authors?

Stephen King—he is the master of suspense and character. I learned so much just by reading his books, not only his fiction but his writing book ON WRITING. Mariah Stewart has been a supportive mentor to me since I first sold, and I will always be grateful for her patience and support over the years. Carla Neggers is another author who stands out as being incredibly supportive and helpful, particularly when I was struggling with a change in agents. And my cobloggers at Murder She Writes. Without them, I don’t think I’d be able to keep my insanity in check. :) What are you currently working on?

What’s your favorite book to have written?

Argh! That’s like asking me my favorite child! I have five kids, and now 18 books. Usually, it’s the book that I just finished. I mean, completely finished – writing, editing, copyedits, page

fourth Lucy Kincaid book.

I am in the middle of revising SILENCED, the

Thank you so much for a wonderful interview Sara!

18


www.NightOwlReviews.com

The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook This cookbook was first published 17 years ago. You may wonder how in the world I ended up reviewing it. I found a copy of the Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook at a used bookstore. I always visit the cookbook section and browse. This book captured my attention as soon as I opened it. It contains recipes like any other cookbook but it has so much more- stories, histories, cooking tips and even pictures. I would have to call this more a history book than a cookbook. Within its covers is the story of Ellis Island. You’ll find what families did to enter our country, how their money was exchanged, what food they ate, where they slept and what happened if one member happened to be sick. I learned so much of our country’s history from reading this one book. The recipes are phenomenal. Think about a different generation bringing over their old family recipes from all over Europe. Many of these are long lost and forgotten I’m sure. To compile this collection the author took recipes from family members across the country. Many had to be translated. There is a story behind each and every one of them. Who brought it over, who they made it for and if it is still cooked and enjoyed today. One of the steadfast rules about food is it brings back memories. I remember my mother baking On the Trail Cookies to sell at my Girl Scout booth to raise money. We always had glunkies at every wedding we went to in Michigan and all family functions involve a bit of grandpa’s peanut butter fudge. Most of us have that ‘go to’ dish that we make to take to group events. Think right now about who you’ll ask to bring dessert for Thanksgiving. Eating is a necessity for all of us. It’s the history, aromas and love that surround that activity that makes it fun! Be thankful this year for family, friends and food. And don’t forget your pets either. Featured Recipe

Rolled Cabbage (This recipe is very similar to the one my family calls glunkies, minus the raisins. It was brought over from the Ukraine and said to always be a family favorite.)

1 medium head of cabbage 1 pound of lean ground beef 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 sliced onion salt 1 can of whole tomatoes (1 pound)

brown sugar lemon juice ½-3/4 cup of raisins

Boil head of cabbage until soft, 15-30 min. Cool, core, and remove leaves carefully. Combine and mix thoroughly meat and chopped onion. Place small amount of meat in leaf and roll. In a pot, place cabbage rolls with sliced onion, tomatoes, sugar, lemon, raisins, and salt. Sugar and lemon amounts vary with individual taste, so frequent tasting is necessary. Simmer, covered, very slowly for 2 hours. Refrigerate or freeze. When ready to serve, return to room temperature, place in shallow pan in oven for ½ hour at 350 degrees. Baste often and brown well. Adjust seasoning if necessary. 4-6 servings. ***I recommend this cookbook to history and food lovers alike. If you are a new or seasoned cook you’ll find a recipe in here easy to create and share. As you eat you’ll be thinking of where that recipe came from and how you’re keeping history alive just by cooking it.***

PS- I found used copies of this book on Amazon for less than $3! Now that’s a deal.

Looking forward: Next month I’ll be reviewing Gifts Cooks LoveRecipes for Giving. I can’t wait!

Buy Link on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ellis-Island-Immigrant-CookbookReminiscences/dp/0962919829/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=132 0608849&sr=8-1

Pamela Reviewer/Freelance Writer www.thefantasticfoodie.wordpress.com

19


Night Owl Reviews

Native American Heritage Month November is Native American Heritage Month! According to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Native American Heritage Month (NAHM) initially started out as one day of recognition for Native Americans, and it eventually became a full month. The first American Indian Day was established by the governor of New York in 1916 and observed on the second Saturday in May. In 1990, President George Bush approved a resolution designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month. To learn more about the first settlers, take a trip to the National Museum of the American Indian. It’s the eighteenth museum of the Smithsonian Institution and filled with valuable information about the history and culture of Native peoples. Per the website, they’re “committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere, past, present, and future.” If you can’t get there right now, the next best thing is their website: http://americanindian. si.edu. To find out more about Native American Heritage Month, visit the official website at http://

20

nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/. My first introduction to Native Americans in romance came in the form of the old historicals which romanticized the forbidden relationships between the males of the first inhabitants and the females of the settlers who came after them. Very often, the titles contained the word “savage” and the cover models always seemed to be standing directly in a gust of wind. I like diversity in my reading material, so I pulled together a list that includes a few contemporaries and a paranormal. Maybe you’ll discover a new author whose other works you’d like to read from this list of choices. Escape to Falmouth by Lena Joy Rose

When a feisty, Cherokee beauty and a strong-willed, male, runaway slave lock their destinies together in a headlong pursuit of freedom, they unleash forces that deny their liberty, threaten to destroy their love and propel them into dangerous exploits. As they boldly stake a claim for their future, vengeance strikes, loyalties are put to the test, a life is perilously at risk and they wonder, what price will they have to pay for freedom? Moon of Ripening by Diane Davis White

When Lakota warrior Thunder Heart, who is destined to be a leader of his people, saves the lives of two white women during Red Cloud’s War, he places his family and entire village at risk. Uncertain of the outcome, he knows only one thing: He desires the pale-haired beauty, Victoria Abernathy, and will do anything to ensure her safety. Captive Legacy by Therese Scott

Heading west to the Oregon Territory and an arranged marriage, Miss Dorie Primfield never dreamed a virile stranger would kidnap her. Dorie’s abductor is everything she’s ever desired in a man, yet she’s not about to submit to his white-hot passion without a fight. Zander Durban’s Indian mother was only a country wife—rejected after


www.NightOwlReviews.com his white father married a woman like Miss Dorie Primfield. He kidnaps the proper Miss Primfield and takes her as his country wife. But he finds himself falling for her. Can they turn a captive legacy into an endless love? The Speaker by Sandra Leigh

Sooneawa is no ordinary Native American girl. She has a special gift and a special friend and a talent she doesn’t even know about yet. With her talkative feline friend, she heads off to college to study veterinary medicine. Along the way, she finds a few friends, both magical and otherwise, a young man who is anti-magical, and one powerful young wizard who will stop at nothing to possess her. And then there’s the Native American spirit that has marked her for its own. Hot Blood and Cold Ashes by Jude Atkins

The body of a young Native girl found stripped and staked out has the Vancouver police department desperate to solve the crime before sparks of racial tension divide the community. Native Support Worker Jesse Dancer is called in as a liaison between detectives and his community. Together with beautiful Martine LaChance, he calls on Spirit Water, the sexy Medicine Man who’s more than a casual acquaintance of Jesse’s. When another murder raises the stakes even higher, passions flare and boundaries are tested. Winter’s Kiss by Mahogany SilverRain

Joseph Blackhorse doesn’t trust humans. He and his tribe of animal shape shifting shamans are known as “The Shadow People” among the Crow and Arapaho tribes. They are hunted by the government who seek to use their power and magic for its own means. When the worst blizzard Wyoming has seen in years hits, they take refuge inside a national park. There they

encounter Kendra Jones, a park ranger. When Kendra discovers their secret, can Joseph trust her to keep his tribe safe? Brandon’s Way by Ann Lory

Marisa Rand fled Oklahoma ten years ago, the day before she was to marry Brandon Spotted Eagle. Now, Marisa is a determined career woman making a name for herself on Wall Street. Then she gets a call from Brandon— her mother is battling cancer and it’s time to return home. Brandon wants Marisa to come home for good, but Marisa has a fiancé back in New York and a successful career. Marisa must face who she’s become, be the daughter she once was, and discover if she’s truly strong enough to give Brandon what he wants... Brandon’s Way. White Eagle’s Touch by Karen Kay

They come from different worlds—she, the wealthy English socialite traveling deep into Indian territory; he, the proud and powerful Blackfoot warrior who once saved her life. White Eagle is captivated by Katrina Wellington, but she’s betrothed to another. And although she moves his soul like no other, he knows he can never have her. Raised in civilized society, Katrina never wanted to return to the west. The hard, dangerous life had killer her parents and, if it weren’t for White Eagle’s bravery, she might have died too. Is their all-consuming passion enough to sustain a love that both their worlds call. . .forbidden? Happy reading, and have a happy Thanksgiving! ---------------------

Delaney Diamond is the bestselling author of AfricanAmerican and interracial romance. Her second release in the Hot Latin Men series, Fight for Love, is now available. Her September 19th, 2011 release is The Temptation of a Good Man. Enjoy free reads on her website at www.delaneydiamond. com.

21


Night Owl Reviews

All New Tablets! I would like to apologize to my readers. This month’s article was supposed to be about “The Spoken Words Journey in Technology: from cassettes to Mp3 Players”. But I just realized that with the holidays just around the corner, I should feature an article about the latest news in e-reading. So the holidays are almost upon us. Oh my! I am sure many of you have already heard the latest news in the tablet/e-reader wars; Amazon is introducing its own branded tablet called, the “Kindle Fire” on November 14th, 2011. Amazon’s foray adds another dimension to an already convoluted selection of Android based Tablets. But it also catapults them into the status of having a Kindle device for just about everyone. I think the “Kindle Fire” may put a few competitors on notice with its inviting $199 price point. Another feature making the Kindle family of e-readers and its new tablet a viable option is its ability to access Kindle formatted e-books from the public library systems; via Overdrive.com’s Library Content Management System. The New Kindle Fire sports the following specifications and is sure a close competitor to the iPad. • Display: 7” multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors. • Size (in inches) 7.5” x 4.7” x 0.45” (190 mm x 120 mm x 11.4 mm). • Weight 14.6 ounces (413 grams). • System Requirements: Wireless and doesn’t require a computer. • On-device Storage: 8GB internal (approximately 6GB available for user content). That’s enough for 80 apps, plus 10 movies or 800 songs or 6,000 books. • Cloud Storage: Free cloud storage for all Amazon content • Battery Life: Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as web browsing and downloading content. • Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours via included U.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your

22

computer via USB. • Wi-Fi Connectivity: Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or enterprise networks with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks. • USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) • Audio: 3.5 mm stereo audio jack, top-mounted stereo speakers. • Supported Formats: Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.

Not looking to be left behind in response to the Kindle Fire’s impending debut, Barnes and Nobles is gearing up to introduce its own branded tablet called, simply the “Nook Tablet”. While specifications are sketchy, SlashGear is reporting that the device will look rather similar to the current NOOK Color with the following features:

• Runs using the Texas Instrument OMAP4 processor Dual processor • Internal Storage Capacity of 16GB • 1GB of Ram • An external microSD card slot with a max of 32GB, • An estimated battery life of 4 hour of video playback with Wi-Fii on and 8 with it off • The device is Wi-Fi only • Uses the same 7-inch VividView IPS display as the NOOK Color.


www.NightOwlReviews.com Following the charge of new and sleeker devices, Samsung is adding another addition to its line of tablets; the Galaxy Tab, unveiled at the IFA conference in Berlin.

• Features a 7-inch AMOLED display with a

screen resolution 1024x600 • Powered by Android 2.2 with an ARM processor • Ships with Flash Player, Google Maps and JavaScript 1.5 comes pre-installed with • Bluetooth and Swype compatible

Motorola is even getting into the swing of things as it prepares to offer it second iteration of its Xoom Tablets. 10.1 Inch Model - Geared for Enterprise and Corporate Users:

• 1.2GHz dual-core processor (probably OMAP) • 1GB RAM • 16GB built-in storage • 5MP rear camera, VGA front

• Android 3.2 • Gorilla Glass • Splash-guard • 3D virtual surround sound • Enterprise-grade security with Active Sync for email, contacts, and calendar • USB and Ethernet ports • 599g Weight

Playback - High-End Entertainment:

• 1.2GHz dual-core processor (probably OMAP) • 1GB RAM • 16GB built-in storage • 5MP rear camera, VGA front • Android 3.2 • Gorilla Glass • Optimized display for wide-angle viewing • Adaptive virtual surround sound with multiple speakers and “booming bass” • 386g

I know I only touched on a few of the new offerings in table devices that are available or are soon to be available. But oh! What an exciting time to explore the world of e-reading on some of today’s hottest devices be it an Apple device, an Android powered Device, a Kindle or even your Smartphone, the way we consume our books is evolving every day. Why not jump on the band wagon and join the millions of others that relish the excitement of having almost any book readily available when they want it. I currently own a classic nook wifi-3G, an iPod Touch 4th Gen and an iPad wifi-3G. You would probably ask why so many, the nook is more for indoor reading for me, while the iPod touch is that on the go reading in line at the bank, waiting for a movie to start etc and the iPad is used for long term review reading and annotating. I still purchase my favorite authors in Imprint books, but my library has grown exponentially since I have embraced the eBook technology. Novel Technology “E-books and Technology Made Simple” next month’s article

“The Spoken Words Journey in Technology: from cassettes to Mp3 Players”

8.2 Inch Media Edition Model - For Movies, Games and Media

Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly

From one of the most admired and beloved couples in recent American history, an extraordinarily moving story of public service, risk-taking, romance—and the journey toward recovery. This book delivers hope and redemption in the face of the tragic shooting, and introduces two unforgettable heroes. 23


Night Owl Reviews

Sadly, there are only about four more paychecks (for the average consumer) until the holiday season is in full swing. This scares and excites me. I, as you may have guessed, love to buy people books for the holidays but I like to take the time to buy them one they will definitely read instead of return or re-gift. I am going to provide you will a nice list of books to find a gift for even your most picky friend this holiday season. Books make wonderful gifts for friends and family because they can be so personalized to your specific shopping needs, as well as the personality of whom you are shopping for. If you have an uber picky friend maybe try a gift card to your favorite bookstore and a nice bookmark. Otherwise this list should have you covered! For the friend who wants to travel the world: Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes and The Last Little Blue Envelope by: Maureen Johnson For the friend who is high maintenance: Pretty Little Liars by: Sara Shepard For the friend who is always playing pranks and scaring you: Darker Still by: Leanna Renee Hieber or The Name of the Star by: Maureen Johnson For the friend who is always in a reading slump: My Name is Mina by: David Almond For the boy type friend (girls will like it too): The Death Cure by: James Dashner

For the friend who loves drama: If I Stay by: Gayle Foreman For the friend who likes non-fiction: Jane Austen: A Life Revealed by: Catherine Reef For the friend hooked on ‘The Walking Dead’ TV show: Ashes by: Ilsa Bick For the fantasy lover: Guardian of the Dead by: Karen Healey For the comic and graphic novel lover: Mercury by: Hope Larson For the friend facing a challenge: Harmonic Feedback by: Alex Stein For the friend who likes the classics: The Giver by: Lois Lowry For your best friend: Saving June by: Hannah Harrington For your sister: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by: Natalie Standiford For your brother: The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins ------------------------

24

Monica is a lover of books and is currently serving her countery abroad! Find her online at The Bibliophilic Book Blog: http://www.bibliophilicbookblog.com


www.NightOwlReviews.com

An Early Holiday The stores trek out the winter decorations right after Halloween. Try as I might to avoid reviewing Christmas stories until next month, I have to admit that it’s what I’m reading. And, the releases have been out there aplenty. We begin with a favorite, Robyn Carr, who opens up the arms to a small town and welcomes readers with a warm hug. December promises to be filled with special editions. For now, snuggle up with this tale of young love that’s matured, and then enjoy a few steamy reads. Robyn Carr Bring Me Home for Christmas A Virgin River Novel #16 MIRA Books

A successful holiday-themed novel leaves the reader with a heart warmed with love, inspiration for the season and sparkling tears of joy and satisfaction. Robyn Carr’s Bring Me Home for Christmas accomplishes on all levels. Carr returns to Virgin River, a small mountain town in California that’s housed a previous 15 well-loved books. Honestly, I never read Carr until she visited my local RWA chapter in Orange County. Afterward, I quickly consumed the first five books in her series and then took a break. (When I get busy doing my own writing, I have to avoid addictive series.) Even still, I know what to expect when I pick up one of her novels, and I’m never disappointed. Book #16 focuses on a young couple in their mid-twenties. Becca and Denny broke up three years previously, when Denny’s mother passed away and he re-upped with the Marines. Rather than facing his life at home, Denny took off and didn’t want to leave Becca hanging. Becca, on the other hand, sees his desertion in another manner.

The book begins the week of Thanksgiving – perfect timing for this November column – and runs through Christmas. When Becca’s brother Rich plans a trip to Virgin River for a little R&R with his former military buddies, Denny included, Becca hitches along to try to gain “closure” on her romantic past. After a broken ankle lays her up, Becca must learn to rely on and trust Denny. Here’s a sample of the magic:

“Denny fussed with the top of the tree, then the cherry picker lowered him to the ground again. Jack must have connected the electricity, because the tree came alive! Lights twinkled all over the giant fir and on the very top was a star that positively brightened the sky! There was a collective “aww” in the crowd and as the night grew dark and the lights bright, there was silence. People seemed motionless. Then magic happened—a gentle snow began to fall.”

And that “aww” carries throughout this release, a perfect combination of holiday nostalgia and romance. On the Wild Side

Women in Lust Anthology Rachel Kramer Bussel, Editor These lusty women enjoy a rough and wild romp. The anthology Women in Lust plunges headfirst into spanking, multiple partners and switching genders. For me with erotic writing, it’s not about the gender of the individual but the overall person, and I enjoy anthologies that embrace this diversity. The collections kicks off with Portia Da Costa’s “Naughty Thoughts,” which immediately asks, “Are you having those naughty thoughts again, you bad girl?” Oh, yes, baby … I am! And it only gets better from there. Aimee Pearl’s “Her, Him

25


Night Owl Reviews and Them” tells the storyline right in the title, but in a much better way. Justine Elyot’s “The Hard Way” proves to be pure fun. When Detective Blake gets transferred, that gives an in to some personal interaction with lawyer Ellen (You know those sex harassment laws against intermixing business and pleasure.). All that charged sexual energy built up over time, until that opening outlet. And boy, do they do some hot role playing. Finally, the sizzling tale “Hot for Teacher,” which was written by the anthology’s editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel, explores a divorcee’s return to college, and her crush for her younger professor. When he invites her to his office hours to crunch some numbers, she shows up, sans panties. Let’s just say that it’s a well-lived fantasy come true.

The Carson boys – Cord, Val and their older brother Wyatt – have grown distant over the years. While Wyatt’s off doing the rodeo circuit, Cord and Val have taken over the duties of the farm. But, they’re stuck in the past, afraid of change and moving on. It takes an unassuming stranger, Samantha, to bring them all together. Espino’s built up her fan base of these hardcore stories of polyamorous relationships. While in some fiction that focuses on an intimate threesome, with Espino’s work, all the loving is focused on the female. As in this case, the brothers simply learn to share. (That sounds way tamer than her writing.) At the same time, Espino infuses real-life problems, and each potential love interest with his own distinct personality. In other words, it’s a real story not simply a sex romp. And in these cold winter months, a good heating before bedtime may be just the ticket.

Stacey Espino Hardcore Cowboys – Ride ’em Hard 1 Siren Publishing

Louisa Bacio

Bacio’s erotic paranormal sequel The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf: Chains of Silver will be available soon via Ravenous Romance. For more information, visit http://www. louisabacio.com.

If one cowboy’s good, three have to be better, right? Known for her erotic ménages, Stacey Espino takes the concept of “Ride ’em Hard” to another level. When Samantha Brown embarks on a solitary vacation, she never expects to become stranded, and then rescued by three cowboys capable of fulfilling her ultimate fantasies.

Temptation at Twilight by Jo Carlisle

A fantasy resort that offers all the pleasures of life-and death... Vampire brothers Aldric, Soren, and Luc Fontaine own and run La Petite Mort, an adult fantasy resort for the adventurous of heart-and body. Humans, shifters, Fae, and other beings gather to enjoy two weeks of fantasies-come-true at the New Orleans estate. The brothers themselves have experienced everything life, and death, have to offer...except finding their true mates.

Soren makes a bargain with a Voodoo Priestess, binding him to her forever in exchange for the return of the wife he lost a hundred years ago. He is soon convinced that one of the new guests is his wife reincarnated, and an intense sexual attraction turns to a true emotional bond...but all could be lost when the Priestess comes to collect. 26


www.NightOwlReviews.com

What Happens After Dark by Jasmine Haynes

She’s pushed all the limits-but can she finally free herself completely?

Bree Mason wants more out of life, but she is ruled by fear and controlled by her secrets. And there’s one great secret she’s hidden for years, even from herself. But now a tragedy is causing her carefully constructed world to unravel... Bree is like no other woman Luke Raven has ever known. He’s always given her what she’s asked for. But now he craves more-a lot more. Luke wants a relationship outside their strictly sexual affair. But can he help Bree exorcise her demons and free her from her abusive past? Tempt Me by R. G. Alexander

In the sultry heat of the Big Easy, desire can be a dangerous thing...

Gabriel Toussaint Giodarno has returned to New Orleans to make amends with his estranged family. The last thing he expected was to be hounded by a magical wannabe-guardian angelor to be tempted by a beauty who’s strictly offlimits. Angelique Rousseau has always lived a safe, uneventful life. But when her friend’s twin brother arrives, Angelique finds herself drawn to him. Neither Gabriel nor Angelique is prepared for the intensity of their joined passions, or what the voodoo spirits have in store for them... 27


The Alloy of Law Mistborn Series #4 by Brandon Sanderson

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.

One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn, who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.


Night Owl Reviews Magazine, Issue 24