Night Owl Reviews 3
Q & A with an Author Look into the Lives of Authors
Staying On Top Bestselling Authors Share
Fabulous Fiction An Inside Look
History Bits Travel Back in History
Urban Fantasy and the Paranormal Hot UF / PN Releases Every Month
Inside the Cookbook Find Some Awesome Cookbooks
Science Fiction & Fantasy A Look Inside the Books
Love and Romance in Color Diversity in Romance
Leaf’s Legends A Look Inside Legends
Teen Reads Young Adult Reads For All
A Piece Of My Mind Insights for Writers
23 Romance Stories To Make You Fall In Love
Dark Streets Suspense at Its Best
Night Owl ReviewsTM WEtap Media, LLC 2459 SE TV HWY, #153, Hillsboro, Oregon 97123 Reviews@NightOwlReviews.com Editor-In-Chief: Tammie King Director of Marketing: Tammie King Tammie.King@NightOwlReviews.com © Night Owl Reviews 2012
Novel Technology The Low Down on Tech for Readers
RON D SMITH
I would like to have dinner with Ghandi, not just because he would be great company, but also because I wouldn’t have to worry about him hogging all the food.
Featured Release: The Savior of Turk
Who has been your best supporter? How have they been there for you?
What main genre do you write in? Mainstream Fiction
My wife, Michele, is my best supporter. She encourages me to write, and she looks forward to reading anything new. She’s honest. If I wrote something she didn’t like, I know she would tell me. I would also be smart enough to start over if that were so.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve loved writing every since I could put a word or two togehter. My first work was actually a song called A Snowy Day. It was for the piano and was only about four measures long. It was inane.
What’s been the most challenging part of writing for you?
What book are you reading now? What are your thoughts on it?
The first draft is the most challenging part. I love editing, improving, re-working and massaging. But I have to get through the draft in order to that. I feel like holding my nose sometimes during the first go-round, becasuse the work is usually pretty putrid.
I just finished a Dick Francis mystery. I had read once where he didn’t re-work multiple drafts. Instead, he would only write a word when he was completely happy with the one he wrote before it. I envy that approach, but I know I could never do it. I know where I want my stories to end up, but I’m never sure how they’re going to get there.
I never set out with a genre in mind. The Savior of Turk doesn’t fit neatly in any category, which is why I most often settle on “contemporary”. It can be coming-of-age, young adult, a bit of a mystery... I know some high schoolers who like it.
Please describe your writing environment.
I like to write first thing in the morning, and I switch up the location from time to time. I have an office, which I’m currently using most often. But I also sit on the couch with my lap top when time allows, and no one else in my family is up yet.
Do you like to mix genres?
If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?
Full Interview at: http://www.nightowlreviews. com/nor/Interviews/Tamazon-interviews-Ron-DSmith-on-Jan-02-2012.aspx
Night Owl Reviews
Fabulous Books to Anticipate in 2012
These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen April 2012 – ISBN: 9781451612547
Bridge of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris March 2012 – ISBN: 978-07582-4685-1
“Violinist Maddie Kern’s life was predictable and orderly until she fell in love with Lane Moritomo, the ambitious son of Japanese immigrants. Maddie expects their families’ disapproval, but when Pearl Harbor is bombed the day after she and Lane elope, her new husband is no longer viewed as just an outsider, but as an enemy…” Kristina McMorris, the author of Letters from Home, amazed me with this title. I loved it. I’m still in awe of how well written this book is. I was awakened to so many different aspects and trials of that time period that I wasn’t aware of prior to reading the novel. The author has a unique ability to portray the emotions of an era we didn’t belong to, through words. She proved this with Letters from Home and sealed it with Bridge of Scarlet Leaves. The book is extremely accurate for a historical fiction. The author leaves a note at the end of the book that discusses the importance of accuracy for her in this book and explains how she went about achieving it. Her preparation for this novel is evident in her thoughtful and expressive writing. Though it is fiction, these characters lived. Maybe not as Maddie and Lane but those who lived with the same hopes, dreams, realities and trials. I now have a whole new outlook and respect for those involved in WWII after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Bridge of Scarlet Leaves is a must read for 2012. You won’t be sorry!
With the cover of These Girls recently released, I anticipate reading this newest novel by Sarah Pekkanen even more! These Girls “examines the lives of three women working and living together in New York City and shows that family secrets may shape us all, but it’s the rich, complicated layers of friendship that can save us. Cate, Renee, and Abby have come to New York for very different reasons, and in a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance. Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated. Renee will do anything to have the job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills—ignoring her body’s signals of real danger. Then there’s Abby, who abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. Though no one knows what happened to make her leave everything she once loved behind. “In a true-to-life novel Sarah tells the story of three very different women as they navigate the complications of careers and love—and find the lifeline they need in each other.” If you’ve read The Opposite of Me or Skipping a Beat you are probably anticipating These Girls just as much as
www.NightOwlReviews.com I am. Sarah’s books are easy to read and addicting. Once I start one, it’s very hard to put it down. I don’t expect These Girls to be any different. Besides, who can resist a New York City story? Home Front by Kristin Hannah January 31, 2012 – ISBN: 978-0312577209
If you haven’t read Night Road or any other novel by Kristin Hannah run to your nearest bookstore and grab one! Once you read a novel by Kristin it’s easy to anticipate her newest release. I was thrilled to receive an ARC of Home Front for review and media purposes. It impressed me enough to share with you. Home Front tells the story of a husband and wife who struggle through the daily pressures of everyday life while dealing with their deeply troubled marriage. When Jolene, the wife, is deployed unexpectedly, Michael, the husband, is left at home to be a single parent to the couple’s daughters. Though Jolene struggles with her absence, she understands her duty as well as the dangers of her job. In an effort to easy her families worry, Jolene’s letters home paint a pretty picture that hides the real truth of her situation. The war changes Jolene in many ways and when a tragedy strikes, Michael is forced to face his deepest fear and fight for what matters to his family. Home Front examines a modern family in the midst of war, a troubled marriage and focuses on love, loss, honor, and hope. It’s a story that will tug at your heartstrings with its raw honesty. Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas February 2012 – ISBN: 978312-60588-9
If you haven’t read Christmas at Friday Harbor, I highly suggest it. It will give you a look at the wonderful town soon to be re-visited in the first book of Lisa’s newest series, which releases February 28th. In Rainshadow Road, Lucy Marinn, a glass artist who lives in beautiful, Friday Harbor, Washington is stunned when her fiancé
Kevin betrays her and leaves. His new lover is Lucy’s own sister. Lucy’s anger over being dumped is multiplied by the fact that she has constantly made the wrong choices in her romantic life. Facing the severe disapproval of Lucy’s parents, Kevin asks his friend Sam Nolan, a local vineyard owner on San Juan Island, to “romance” Lucy. Complications ensue when Sam and Lucy begin to fall in love, as Kevin has second thoughts, and Lucy discovers that the new relationship in her life began under false pretenses. Questions about love, loyalty, old patterns, and mistakes are raised in this novel. Readers of Lisa’s will be thrilled to know that the second book in this series, Crystal Cove, will release in August of 2012. What could be better than two new books by Lisa Kleypas in 2012?
A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson January 2012 – ISBN: 9780446582353
If you’ve ever read anything by Joshilyn Jackson you are aware of how mesmerizing and absorbing her books are. Well, “Hold onto your hats” because A Grown up Kind of Pretty is one of Jackson’s most spell binding novels yet. Set in the South, this story is about 3 generations of Slocumb women whose lives are disrupted when a long hidden grave is unearthed in the family’s backyard. Suddenly, Mosey, the youngest, is determined to find out who has been using the yard as a make shift cemetery and why, though what she learns could cost her family everything. Ginny, the oldest, is fighting to protect Mosey from the truth though doing so may cost her the love of her life. Liza, who remains silenced by a stroke, is trapped with all the answers inside. With Liza’s secrets, Ginny’s protective stance and Mosey’s determination to reveal the truth, Joshilyn Jackson brings an intriguing and stunning story to her fans. Happy Reading! -------------------
Tiffany is an avid reader, reviewer and marketing specialist. You can connect with her via the following outlets. Website- http://www.acozyreaderscorner. com - Twitter - @cozyreadersnook – Facebook http:// www.facebook.com/groups/#!/pages/A-Cozy-ReadersCorner/152514161454295
Night Owl Reviews
Bringing In the Paranormal New Year A new year means lots of new books. Did you already spend all your book store gift cards you received for the holidays or did you save a few so you could buy January’s new releases? I have some gift cards bucks stashed just so I can add to my collection. What’s on my wish list for the month? Several of the books mentioned below. What about you? New books this month for popular PNR and UF series include: A Demon Does It Better by Linda Wisdom, Hold Me If You Can by Stephanie Rowe, Midnight Reckoning (Dark Dynasties #2) by Kendra Leigh Castle, Sins of the Demon (Kara Gillian, #4) by Diana Rowland, Wild Wild Death (Pepper Martin #8) by Casey Daniels, Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #12) by Kresley Cole, A Devil Named Desire (The Devil’s Bargain #2) by Terri Garey, Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson, #3) by Darynda Jones, Wrong Side of Dead (Dreg City #4) by Kelly Meding, Heart of the Incubus (Demons of Infernum #3.5) by Rosalie Lario, Never to Sleep (Soul Screamers, #5.5) by Rachel Vincent, Bloodrose (Nightshade, #3) by Andrea Cremer, and Charmfall (Dark Elite #3) by Chloe Neill. Must read series debuts include All That Bleeds (Etherlin, #1) by Kimberly Frost, Immortal Hope: The Curse of the Templars by Claire Ashgrove, and To Walk the Night (Kat Redding, #1) by E.S. Moore. Kimberly Frost’s Southern Witch series was so amazing I am really eager to try this new series. Plus she’s a former Michigan girl so I have to support an author from my home state. E.S. Moore’s take on vampires and werewolves is unique and dark. Not your average urban fantasy or PNR- this one has more of a male perspective even though the protagonist is female. I have to admit it was a nice change to read something different even if it wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. So what’s on my must have list? Sins of the Demon by Diana Rowland, Third Grave
Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones, and Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer. Want to learn about other new books and authors? I have three paranormal authors answering a few quick questions about their newest releases here- little interviews we like to call the “SQAIs” or Super Quick Author Interviews. SQAI with Hildie McQueen
RR: Today we have author Hildie McQueen in the hot seat for the Super Quick Author Interview. Let’s start by getting the name of your newest release and genre/ category it falls into: HM: Desperate Betrayal is a Paranormal Romance
RR: Can you describe your main character in 3 words? HM: Cyn is Arresting, Honorable and Strong
RR: Can you describe your heroine in one sentence? HM: Emma is Determined, Independent and Caring
RR: What kind of paranormals or paranormal elements are in your book? HM: The paranormal aspect of Desperate Betrayal is the idea of immortal slayers who roam the dark streets of major cities all over the world protecting innocents from creatures that prey on them. Immortals, demons and fae all exist in this world.
RR: Without giving away details, Can you describe one interesting scene in your book in less than two sentences? HM: The hero, Cyn informs Emma, the heroine, he needs to take a shower; she starts to protest being locked in the room until he begins to undress. In shocked silence she
Desperate Betrayal by Hildie Mcqueen
Cynden Frasier (Cyn) is a member of a group of immortal warriors, the Protectors, assigned to protect humans in Atlanta, Georgia, the epicenter of a major uprising in demon activity. When Cyn is approached by a beautiful woman in a dirty alley, he is intrigued by the fact that she can see him for what he is, a terrifying demon slayer, and still dares to approach him.
Emma Blake, a half-demon, has to convince Cyn to help rescue her sister from powerful demons. Terrified that the Protector will kill her if he realizes what she is, she still goes against every instinct and approaches Cyn for help. Despite knowing that she is leading them both into territory...
Vala: Agendas by J.F. Jenkins
Cheyenne Loveless was just a boring sixteen-yearold girl. Then Denver Collins bit her and everything changed. Her plants start talking to her, she finds out sheâ€™s a Nymph, and a witch and the angel of death show up at her doorstep to take her away to the prestigious Vala School and Seminary. Oh, and she has no choice in the matter.
All she wants to do is blend in and return to being invisible, but the more time that passes, the harder that becomes. Plus sheâ€™s a daughter of the Divine, an exclusive secret society which rules the world of myth, and discovers she is a key ingredient to an ancient covenant created before she was born. A covenant that will reshape the order of the world.
Night Owl Reviews wind fast interview, J.E. Hopkins (what’s up with all the initials? LOL). Let’s start with the name of your newest release.
watches him remove every inch of clothing and stride into the bathroom. RR: What’s the heat level of your book?
JEH: We Shall Rise: Misfits of the Lore Series
HM: This is a funny question, I thought it was spicy, but then some of my readers have commented it’s closer to sizzling. I guess you’ll have to be the judge!
RR: Can you describe your main character in 3 words?
RR: And last but not least, where can a reader purchase your book?
JEH: – sexy, stubborn, and irascible
HM: Desperate Betrayal can be purchased online at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
JEH: A fiercely loyal half-breed vampire warrior who would readily sacrifice herself to protect those she loves.
RR: Now we have author J.F. Jenkins in the SQAI hot seat. Tell us J.F. what’s the name of your newest release and genre/category it falls into?
JEH: A tortured vampire whose painful past compels him to hurt those he loves to keep them away from the darkness that haunts him.
RR: Can you describe your heroine in one sentence?
SQAI with J.F. Jenkins
RR: Can you describe your hero in one sentence?
RR: What kind of paranormals or paranormal elements are in your book?
JFJ: Vala Agenda it’s a YA/Urban Fantasy
RR: Can you describe your heroine in one sentence?
JEH: Vampires, werewolves, shifters, witches/warlocks, sirens, and the misfits –hybrid immortals and those genetically born different who were rejected by their clans for their uniqueness and lack of purity.
JFJ: She’s the girl who if she doesn’t have the answer, she doesn’t stop until she gets it. RR: Can you describe your hero in one sentence?
RR: Without giving away details, Can you describe one interesting scene in your book in less than two sentences?
JFJ: He’s the kind of guy who would remain loyal no matter what happens. RR: What kind of paranormals or paranormal elements are in your book?
JEH: The hero, Kaden, is volunteered to baby-sit the heroine’s adopted four-year old daughter. Kaden has minimal experience with kids, especially little girls who like to dress up as princesses and play tea party.
JFJ: Nymphs, angels, demons, witches, fates, satyrs, and vampires. A whole lot of fun stuff.
RR: In two sentences or less can you tell readers something unique about your book?
RR: Can you list three adjectives that describe your book as a whole?
JEH: Although it is a paranormal romance, the characters and their emotional journeys are relatable to anyone whether human or immortal. It shows that immortals have just as much dysfunction as humans.
JFJ: Dark, twisted, mystical
RR: What’s the heat level of your book?
RR: What’s the heat level of your book?
JFJ: Sweet and romantic.
RR: And last but not least, where can a reader purchase your book?
JEH: Hot and spicy.
RR: And last but not least, where can a reader purchase your book?
JFJ: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, or the publishers website (Astraea Press).
JEH: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords
SQAI with J.E. Hopkins
Thank you to Hildie, J.F. and J.E for taking time to participate in the Super Quick Author Interviews.
RR: Now we have another author ready to do the whirl-
ALL FEAR THE ENEMY OF OLD
Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness— until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.
vowing to protect her heart.
Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while
Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millenniaold blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her? We Shall Rise by J.E. Hopkins
War surrounds him, yet for vampire Kaden Gaspard, there is no greater battle than the one his mind has waged against his heart. He knows he should stay away from her. Reysa. The halfbreed vampire warrior who had risked her life to prove his innocence for the seven murders for which he was accused, but had not committed. This stubbornly loyal woman who dedicated her life to her family of misfits - immortals shunned and abandoned by their clans for their impurity of blood and genetic mutations. This courageous and valiant African warrior who Kaden fears could never love the monster that he is destined to be.
As Kaden and Reysa struggle to accept the undeniable bond between them, they must come together to stop the emerging terror that threatens to destroy all immortals. The lesser immortals – witches, sages, shifters, demons, hybrids, charmers and foreseers – have declared war against the pureblood vampires and lycans who have used their purity of blood and greater strength to enslave the weaker races. No immortal is safe. This is a fight for freedom and a fight against genocide. There can be no true victor as death looms for them all. 9
Night Owl Reviews
Earthbound Author: Joe Haldeman 4.5 Stars - Top Pick Reviewed by: Dawn Colclasure
Carmen Dula and her husband, Paul, know Mars – and the Martians. They also happen to know the mysterious Others, alien species who have some kind of control over what happens to Earth. For this reason, the two of them are at somewhat of an advantage when they return to Earth from Mars, only to find that the Moon has been blown up and the power on Earth has been shut off. They team up with friends and Carmen’s brother, Card, and struggle through a post-Apocalyptic Earth set well past the year 2060, where everything is in chaos, the world they once knew is gone and what’s left of the human race will never be the same again. Earthbound by award-winning sci-fi author Joe Haldeman is the third book in his series. Newcomers to this series, and I am one of them, will be brought up to speed through Carmen sharing her and Paul’s history with Alba, a woman on Earth who was once a security guard and who ends up joining their team. Because Earth is without power – then with power then without power again – no one takes any chances in being able to live to see another day. Everyone is suddenly a survivalist, stocking up on food, weapons, ammunition and medical needs before who knows what awaits them around the corner. It seems that these characters have savages and enemies everywhere they go, constantly fighting from one location to the next. They end up at a “Fruit Farm” in Northern California, where the “farmers” welcome them and allow them access to a bed to sleep on and food to eat. Still, they know they can’t rest easy yet; they must figure out how to survive long-term and
where they can get extra supplies, as needed. Reading this novel was more like reading a post-Apocalyptic story than a science fiction one. Sure, the characters interacted with aliens, there are Martians in the story and some of the futuristic technology is enough to remind the reader that this is science fiction, but a big part of this story is a test to see how the characters, the humans, survive once the planet is no longer as habitable as it used to be. Earthbound is an enjoyable story filled with action and surprise. I found it to be a book that was hard to put down as I wanted to know how the characters would ultimately survive and what would happen to them in the end. It’s a good book and definitely a novel that should be in every science fiction library. Human For a Day Author: Edited by Martin H. Greenberg, Jennifer Brozek 4.25 Stars Reviewed by: A.M. Donovan
This collection examines what it means to be human, with all the hope and heartbreak this entails. You go from robot slavery (complete with an underground railroad) to how do you spend your final hours when trapped and you know you will die. Like any really good story, these take the basic premise and expand upon the theme. This volume is filled with tales that manage to take the step further. Martin H. Greenburg will be sorely missed, this anthology adds to an impressive legacy.
Sedona, Arizona Twisting along the switch-backs on road 89A you admire the scenery and the beauty of the red jutting boulders that splash a breathtaking contrast against the blue horizon, but don’t be fooled. You’re entering into a land of vortexes, legends, angels and possible aliens— Sedona, Arizona. A land considered scared by the Native Americans that inhabited the region before settlers’ setup residence because of the beauty. New Age use of “vortex” to describe psychic energy vortexes such as the Basye vortex in Virginia or the vortexes of Sedona, Arizona, which are thought to have an effect on the level of mind and energy on people who come near them. Vortex sites are enhanced energy locations that facilitate prayer, meditation, mind/body healing, and exploring your relationship with your Soul and the divine. Those who were privy to the Sedona vortexes were hush-hush about sharing in a desire to keep the sites to themselves. My trip to Sedona took place on a cold, windy day and my traveling companion didn’t want to get out and explore so I’m not in a position to comment on my own vortex experience there. Trips into the circle at Stonehenge have resulted in some of the feelings described from those how have visited Airport Mesa, Bell Rock, Boynton Canyon and Cathedral Rock in Sedona. For me, light-headedness hit first followed by a sense of energy flowing through my body. One of the items on my bucket list is a trip to the red rocks to see if the experience is duplicated. The Hopi have stories that have passed through the generations of the earth’s creation starting in the Sedona area. On a trip into the region, archaeologist Jesse Walter Fewkes in 1895 believed that Sedona and the Verde Valley was the legendary Palatkwapi, the great red city of the south, which is one of the stories in Hopi legends. In Hopi the word Palat means red and ki, residence. Stories have it the people who settled in the
area were from the Patki – Water – clan. If Native American legends aren’t for you, how about UFOs? The Sedona area is a hotbed of sightings. Whether you believe in UFOs and aliens or not, Sedona, Arizona is one of the most active extraterrestrial aircraft sighting zones in U.S. It is believed the valley is a portal for UFO ships. Of course, if you don’t happen to see an actual UFO you have the stores that feed into the theme with lots of spaceship replicas, alien t-shirts and other items featuring pictures of ET and his relatives. Looking for something more believable to you like angels? Famous for as a spiritual mecca, Sedona attracts those in hopes of sighting an angel. Pictures of angel sightings have been taken, just as with UFOs. There are stories from some who swear they have guided angels around the portals. Disguised as humans, when their guide met them he swears they glowed and he could see wings. A lot of people see angel shaped clouds. It’s easy to see how clouds could appear to be feathery winged angels. Whether you go to Sedona to seek enlightenment and meditate, study the history, search for aliens or in hopes of an angel sighting, one thing is certain…you will find beauty. And according to residents, you’ll most likely come across some of what they call high strangeness, a term they use for bizarre sightings, eerie events and unexplained phenomenon. That’s why Sedona is on my bucket list for 2013. Care to join me in exploring the beautifully strange? ---------Award winning Author, Lizzie T. Leaf enjoys writing Paranormal/Fantasy with a twist of humor. Her second book in the Magical Love series has been rescheduled for January 2012, but she has two Christmas stories available. Making Christmas re-released at Musa Publishing and releasing December 17th, Howling Under the Mistletoe, a short with Passion in Print Press.
Night Owl Reviews
On My Soapbox
People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.–Emerson Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.–Plato The fun thing about doing a column is you usually have a lot of latitudes to write what you bloody well want in the spectrum of a subject matter. That means any subjects regarding writing and writers are fair game. Note: There will be a rant or two in this column. So buckle your seatbelt, keep all arms and legs in the column and prepare for a bumpy ride. Let’s talk social media sites and the way people use them. When I started as a writer almost 30 years ago (*It has been that long . . . I cannot believe it either), writers tended to promote their project when they were going to be published. Many did writers workshops, Science Fiction (or mystery) conventions and book expos, promoting their upcoming books. Say a few months before the book was out, you see the writers do the circuit to share the hype or the fore-coming projects Now a days, I see some writers saying such things on Facebook like “ I just did 2k worth of writing” (which many in support liked) . . . or “I just getting coffee and starting writing” . . . or “ Don’t you hate it when you had an idea last night and cannot remember it in the morning” . . . Or “ Having someone read your work for the first time, submitting your work to a publisher/ editor, or even just allowing someone to be your beta reader is very much comparable to standing on your front porch in the nude, in broad daylight, so that your
neighbors can all make comments about you and pick out all of your flaws. It’s very unnerving sometimes, to say the least. But, figuratively speaking, just take your clothes off and strut out your front door anyhow. You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t put yourself out there. “....or this new year’s message “I really should go to sleep but I’m just so FREAKIN’ excited about this new year! I can’t wait to dive into all my projects and explore new possibilities :) How about you?” I understand the idea of support. I do not wish to get unfriended by anyone on Facebook. But come on people, these messages are going all over your network of fans, friends and relations I have seen sillier than that too. One wrote and this is a direct quote from Facebook, “I been in the toilet all day and really have no inspiration to type anything today” HELLO, you can type that on Facebook, but can’t write . . . PLEASE give me a break! I thought someone should say thank you for sharing with your 1876 friends. I have also seen many promote their work tirelessly on Facebook and other media sites. People like Jeanne Marie Spicuzza, Cassandre Dayne, Dakota Cassidy, Dawne Prochilo, Jean Joachim, and Rie McGaha inexhaustibly promote themselves and others, these are people who deserve a hand Silly as it sounds, social media is now a major part of the publishing industry and it’s here to stay. Book Trailers are staples on major publishers’ web sites and of course on You Tube and Hulu. Smashwords, Good Reads (I will talk about this site later in this article and about reviewing from this site in the next few months), Amazon and other sites are watched by major and minor
Silly as it sounds, social media is now a major part of the publishing industry and it’s here to stay.
www.NightOwlReviews.com publisher alike. Most authors cannot get away without a web site of some sort promoting themselves, other friends and/ or praising (or bashing) reviews and reviewers (myself included!)... Or even a twitter verse, to reach their fans. They have contests on their site with an offer of everything from a Kindle to bath oils from the Dead Sea to their fans. Even when I post a new review on Amazon, I can direct link it to my Facebook profile. So every one of my friends can see it. I wish I could do that with my newspaper columns. And Social media expands too! Blog Talk Radio and Shark radio are two internet-based talk radio shows outta many. I am currently co-hosting shows on both networks . . . Blog Talk with A Good Story is with Marsha Casper Cook and Shark with The Eclectic Artist cave with Joann H. Buchanan. These kind of shows have replaced most talk radio shows. Even big name writer guests do these type of shows like Sara Paretsky (With Marsha Casper Cook And fellow Critic Fran Lewis) and CRT’s Jerry Robbins (on a show I co-hosted). I have fun going to these shows and talking to friends like Elizabeth Black, Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy, Barbara Watkins and others about their current and upcoming works. It is not just writers I enjoy speaking to on the radio, but people like Horror Movie host Court Gore De Vol as well. Do I promote that I am appearing on those shows on my Facebook? You better believe I do. So does this make me seem like I am biting the hand that feeds me? NO. I am just waxing for the old days when we promoted stuff that was coming out, not promoting that we are writing and attempting to write. On a side note, The lovely and talented Blog Talk Radio host Candy O’Donnell did a YouTube interview with me (it’s still up). The reason I mention this, I was in a mall at a Dave & Buster’s in New Jersey, celebrating my cousin Andrea’s Bas Mitzvah. I was not working, just at a small family event. I was in the game room with my cousin Rachel, the young man came up to me and said “You look like that critic who has that interview on
YouTube.” I said that I was him. He said “Really!” My ten minutes of fame had arrived and in front of my cousin, no less! I do feel that we use social media correctly and incorrectly. I am guilty of it myself. However Facebook has writers, publishers and artist taking their private battles to the social arena. In a way, Facebook is the TMZ for literature and artist communities. Too many artists of all sorts air their dirty laundry (personal and otherwise) on the pages of Facebook or My Space, rather than doing this behind the scenes. If you do not like what someone says on their wall, don’t reply. Many just want to start a war of words to see where it goes In my opinion, if you have a private problem with someone, you handle it privately. Too many authors have clicks where rumors spread faster than wildfires . . . and people see and hear what they want to. Facebook is a tool; use it as a tool . . . and not a means to get even with someone. A bully is still a bully. If an author does not like my review, don’t take it to Facebook; take it to the source... ME. Most want to have public approval for their work, if that is what you are in it for...Please get out now. People, critics and reviewers are often not nice in their honest assessments. Some silly critics will give a book “one star” because they only read up to page 41 and they do not like the genre. Yes, that example is very real and on Goodreads (I can show you the review if you like, unless someone smartly removes it). I, personally, do not and will never do that, when I am given something to review . . . I will review it in full and give my humble opinion . . . right or wrong! It is what my readership (from Amazon to my Newspaper columns to the pages of Affaire de Coeur) expects from me . . . HONESTY! I told you it was a soapbox Until next time reach for the stars!
Facebook has writers, publishers and artist taking their private battles too publicly onto the social arena.
In my opinion, if you have a private problem with someone, you handle it privately. Too many authors have clicks where rumors spread fasted than wildfires . . . and people see and hear what they want to.
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Jeff Cohen A Salute to a Sultan of Suspense (with laughs aplenty!) – Jeff Cohen Another writer I’ve discovered over the past few years is Jeff Cohen, who writes murder mysteries that are not only chock full of suspense, they’re funny! No, I mean really, really funny – and who can’t use a good dose of humor peppered in with their suspense? Jeff has been writing since graduating from Rutgers College, and has had articles published in The New York Times, USA Weekend, TV Guide, Premiere, Writer’s Digest, American Baby, Hollywood Scriptwriter and many others. When the idea for one of his countless unproduced screenplays wouldn’t cooperate and become a script, Jeff wrote it as a novel called For Whom the Minivan Rolls. Brief synopsis: Freelance writer and work-at-home dad Aaron Tucker tells everyone who’ll listen he’s not a detective. But he’s still investigating the disappearance of Madlyn Beckwirth, who disappeared out of her bed in the middle of the night. Soon, he’s dealing with threatening phone calls, uncooperative witnesses and the nasty message left outside his house, written in barbecue sauce. The book was published by Bancroft Press in 2002. It was followed in the Aaron Tucker series by A Farewell to Legs and As Dog Is My Witness. Aaron returned in a short story, The Gun Also Rises, in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. The Double Feature Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime began with Some Like It Hot-Buttered, which introduced Elliot Freed and his all-comedy movie theater, Comedy Tonight. In the first installment, Elliot Freed, recovering writer, socked all his savings-and the alimony from his ex-wife-into the Comedy Tonight movie theater,
never suspecting it would become a murder scene. And murder can’t be good for ticket sales… particularly when the cause is death by popcorn – poisoned popcorn, no less! Elliot takes to his bike to start his own investigation. A growing attraction to a beautiful detective, the discovery of a DVD pirating operation, and one missing employee later, he’s still waiting for the punch line – or for the corn to pop (or fur to fly, you pick one!) Elliot’s adventures continue in the next two books, It Happened One Knife and A Night at the Operation. (Author’s note: I’ve read these and they are drop-dead funny! No pun intended!) Jeff Cohen is one of the few writers I know who can make suspense rife with humor – and comedy alone is no easy feat to pull off, as any seasoned comedy writer will attest to. And now, under the pen name of E.J. Copperman, Jeff brings his acerbic wit to the world of the paranormal with his Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series, which begins with Night of the Living Deed: (Yes, it’s DEED, not Dead – read on!) Alison Kerby buys a huge Victorian on the Jersey Shore to renovate into a guesthouse. Not long off a divorce, Alison is hoping she and her nine-year-old daughter Melissa can find a fresh start in the town where Alison grew up. But she has a problem. Two problems. Their names
www.NightOwlReviews.com are Paul and Maxie, and they’re ghosts. And they won’t let Alison’s renovations go on unless she helps them with a little problem: The ghosts want Alison to find out who murdered them. Doing so will speed up the home improvement project, but there’s a pretty serious catch: The killer seems to be intent on making Alison the next ghost to haunt her guesthouse. Here’s a brief excerpt from NOTLD, reprinted with the author’s permission:
“Ms. Kerby,” he said. “I’m Dr. Walker. I see you’re awake”
“You can never be sure, Doctor,” I said. “I just might be dreaming you.” He didn’t react. I got the impression he never reacted. It would be undignified. “Do you know what day today is?” “Your birthday?” I tried.
“Do you know your name?”
“You called me Mrs. Kerby when you came in,” I said. “Isn’t that sort of a giveaway?” “Alison,” Tony admonished.
“Now he’s given me the rest of it,” I complained to the doctor. “Alison Kerby, right?” “Mom,” Melissa said. “Stop fooling around, or they won’t let you go.” Dr. Walker made a point of looking me straight in the eye. “That’s absolutely correct,” he said. Well, that was different. “Okay,” I said. “Fire away.”
The series continues with An Uninvited Ghost. And, lucky for us all, the third book , Old Haunts, is scheduled for publication in February 2012. That’s just a few weeks away, so start haunting your local bookstore immediately! By his own admission, in his copious spare time (??!!), Jeff is an unaccomplished amateur guitar player, a fan of Major League Baseball, a graduate student and a teacher of screenwriting at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He’s also available for weddings and bar mitzvahs, but don’t expect an expensive gift. (See – drop dead funny – what did I tell you?) Visit Jeff on Facebook and Twitter, and read him at Hey, There’s A Dead Guy In The Living Room, the most comprehensive blog on mystery writing.
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.
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finished the book, I sent it off to one publisher, then waited a year for a rejection. I used that time to educate myself about publishing and when the manuscript finally came back to my doorstep, I sent out 22 query letters to 22 different publishers asking if they’d like to see all or part of the novel. Within 3 months, I received an offer from Berkley for a 3-book-contract and my first novel LADY OF CONQUEST was published in 1989.
This month, I am featuring Teresa Medeiros. I received an ARC of her book, The Pleasure of Your Kiss. I love historical novels, anything to do with pirates or dangerous villains, and forbidden love. This story had all of this and more. The timeless story of forbidden love is powerful in this new book. When Clarinda is kidnapped on the trip to meet her fiance for their wedding, the future looks grim. Max, desperate to get his bride-to-be back, acts in an uncharacteristic way. He saves his rogue brother Ashton from a firing squad, then hires him to trek deep into the desert, at the risk of Ashton’s own life, and Max’s career, to save Clarinda. Ashton agrees for a hefty price. He’s stunned to learn that his own brother plans to marry the woman he has yet to forget. A woman who has stolen his heart and broken it. This story is full of action, sharp wit, foreign lands, and great sex. The way Teresa incorporates the back story of Ashton and Clarinda’s past is done flawlessly, so the reader feels like they’re really living a flashback rather than just being told about the past. Each scene is wonderfully written and is sure to hold the reader captive until the end.
What made you choose the romance genre?
LADY OF CONQUEST was actually published as a historical novel the first time around so I had to make a conscious decision as to whether I wanted to continue in that direction or pursue historical romance. Every piece of fiction and film I’d loved the most had always contained a romance. (Even THE BLACK STALLION is a love story between a boy and his horse!) I adore the positive world view that’s possible in romance, the happy endings, the magic of exploring courtship rituals and the opportunity to make the female character the driving narrative force and the hero of her own story. (Plus I get to fall in love with a gorgeous new guy every year and my husband doesn’t mind!)
An Interview with Teresa
What’s your writing process like?
How did you get into writing? I sat down at my mom’s kitchen counter when I was 21 with my old Smith-Corona typewriter and started writing the book I wanted to read. I had just graduated from nursing school so I would work as a nurse from 3 to 11 PM, then write every morning from 10 to 12. (Well, I would stop at 12:30 when AS THE WORLD TURNS came on :)) After I
Process? What’s that? But seriously, every book is different. I’ve done books with extremely detailed outlines and started others where I knew
www.NightOwlReviews.com nothing more than the first line of the first page. My ideal process is to have a dozen scenes listed or written on index cards before I start writing. (I just started using the writing software Scrivener just for this purpose.) Then I use those scenes as building blocks for the rest of the book. Sometimes I know the end before I start; sometimes I don’t. I’ve never been able to fake it so it’s important for me to “feel” the story as I’m writing. I’m sort of a “method writer” in the same way you’d be a method actor. If one of my characters is crying, I’m usually crying, too. I’m also highly motivated by deadlines and desperation. How do you come up with ideas and characters?
I almost always get the characters first. Sometimes in my head I see something as visual as their name scribbled on a piece of paper. I usually get their names first, then their personalities, then the story. Then I choose the time period and setting that would best frame that story. Ideas can come from anywhere—song lyrics, snippets of overheard conversations (writers are notorious eavesdroppers), classic movies and books. I got the idea for my new book THE PLEASURE OF YOUR KISS because I’d never written a harem book before so I’d been storing up harem fantasies in my subconscious for years. Do you use visual aids, such as random pics which remind you of your characters and/or locations?
A lot of my characters (especially my heroes) start out looking like actors. (I’ve said Ashton Burke in THE PLEASURE OF YOUR KISS is a combo of Harrison Ford in RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, Brendan Fraser in THE MUMMY and Nathan Fillion in FIREFLY.) But it only takes a page or two before they take on their own appearance in my imagination. So the photos are almost more for attitude than looks. I also think the reader deserves to give the hero of the book she’s reading his own face. Do you ever get writers block? If so how do you get through it?
I’ve had writer’s block since my career started and I’ve still managed to write twenty-two books. The trick is figuring out when to crash your way through it by writing and when to pull the gun away from your temple and walk away from the computer for a while. There will always be resistance to sitting down to write, especially when you’re creating something from nothing. I feel an almost visceral terror
every time I sit down to do it. But I’ve learned that the only antidote to that terror is to start putting words on the screen and moving them around. The minute I start doing that, I’m reminded that there’s nothing in the world I’d rather be doing. What was your reaction to becoming a best seller?
Pure delight and the desire to celebrate with a really expensive meal! My first major bestseller was HEATHER AND VELVET and when they called to tell me it was #5 on the Waldens list, I assumed they meant the romance list. I didn’t find out until the next day that it was #5 among ALL books published that week! How long does it take you to finish a book?
Usually between 5-8 months. I tend to ascribe to something I once heard my friend Jill Landis say: “I can write a book in 6 months. It just takes me a year to do it.” There’s a lot of muddling in between the actual writing. Some of my best work takes place OFF the page. I could sit down and write just about anything in a competent fashion but the real magic happens in the silences between the words. That’s when I get my best ideas. What’s next for you?
Pocket will be publishing a mass market edition of my contemporary romance GOODNIGHT TWEETHEART in September. (The book is only available in trade right now.) And in early 2013, THE TEMPTATION OF YOUR TOUCH (the sequel to THE PLEASURE OF YOUR KISS) will be out. That one is Max’s story and I can’t wait to give that bad boy just what he deserves ;). Where can fans find you on the net? Social networking, website, email. My website is http://www.teresamedeiros.com. We have a wonderful time on my Facebook Page at http://www. facebook.com/teresamedeirosfanpage and I’m always on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/teresamedeiros What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I’m actually quite shy. (And yes, that one usually sends my writing friends into gales of disbelieving laughter.)
Night Owl Reviews
In January, there are quite a few holidays throughout the month. While there are many that may be nationally specific (First Foot (Scotland) - Jan. 1, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Jan. 15, Chinese New Year - Jan. 23 and Australia Day - Jan. 26) specific, there are others that are more international. Those include New Year’s Day itself (Jan. 1), World Braille Day (Jan. 4), Epiphany or Three Kings Day (Jan. 6), United Nations Day (Jan. 10), and Holocaust Memorial Day (Jan. 27). Below are some books for you to consider that focus on January holidays. New Year’s Day by Kathryn Imler
Also available in Spanish.
Blurb: While written primarily for elementary school children, it is part of the “Holiday Histories” series and answers such questions as how people were able to tell time before clocks were made, how January got its name, and how January 1 became the first day of the new year. Epiphany: The untold epic journey of the Magi by Paul Harrington
Blurb: “The Old World is dying. A dazzling, mysterious star compels three Magi to undertake a journey. But before Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar can complete their quest they must survive the deadly desert, supernatural forces, treachery, and the might of Rome. From the bamboo forests of China to the hidden city of Petra, from the lofty summits of Arabia to the scorching plains of Ethiopia, the Magi will battle their way to Bethlehem to unravel the secret of the star. But with blood and betrayal their constant companions, the Magi begin to wonder if they journey to destiny . . . or death?”
Chinese New Year (Festivals and Faiths) by Catherine Chambers Blurb: Written for Kindergarten ages and up, Chinese New Year looks into how and when the Chinese New Year begins, why it is so important and how the reader can join in. The book includes color photographs showing how the festival is marked and how it relates the festival’s cultural and religious importance to the communities involved in its celebration.
A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King and James M. Washington (Editor) Blurb: “’We’ve got some difficult days ahead,’ civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., told a crowd gathered at Memphis’s Clayborn Temple on April 3, 1968. ‘But it really doesn’t matter to me now because I’ve been to the mountaintop. . . . And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.’ These prophetic words, uttered the day before his assassination, challenged those he left behind to see that his “promised land” of racial equality became a reality; a reality to which King devoted the last twelve years of his life. These words and other are commemorated here in the only major one-volume collection of this seminal twentieth-century American prophet’s writings, speeches, interviews, and autobiographical reflections. A Testament of Hope contains Martin Luther King, Jr.’s essential thoughts on nonviolence, social policy, integration, black nationalism, the ethics of love and hope, and more.”
Foodista: Best of Food Blogs Cookbook There are so many great food blogs on the Internet. I spend a lot of time browsing through said blogs and find numerous recipes that way. The idea of compiling these recipes into a book is an excellent one. That is how Foodista came to be. They had a contest where food bloggers sent in recipes and pictures and some were chosen to be in this cookbook. Some of the details in this book are fabulous. They have included the person’s name that sent in the recipe along with the name and URL of the blog and a short narrative. So neat to read about who sent in recipes and why they love to cook. This was my favorite part of the book. In the back of the back they’ve included a ‘blog roll’ with small pictures of the chefs, the name of the blog and page numbers to direct you to their recipes. What an awesome way to organize. There is also an index where the recipes are listed by name and page number, another great organizational tool. After the introduction the food recipes are categorized by food type. Every page has a beautiful color picture and the directions you need to prepare that dish are all in one place. Kudos to whomever did this layout. Now, after all of those glowing compliments you would think this was a favorite cookbook of mine, but unfortunately it’s not. The content is what turned me. Simplicity is important to me as a cook. I like trying new recipes and new foods, but when I can’t pronounce most of the recipe names, I know I probably won’t attempt to make them. Some of the recipe names were so long I dreaded to read the actual recipe without taking a day off to devote to them. The Philosopher’s Pizza was a hit for me. Thanks to Marika Josephson for this addition. It was explained, simple and made with ingredients I either had in my kitchen or had at least heard of before. Maple Cinnamon Pecan Ice Cream was another goodie I found in this book. Thanks Marillyn Beard for submitting this one. There is some good in everything and you two were the shining stars of this endeavor. With so much focus on gluten-free products these days I’ve decided to include a gluten-free recipe from this book. I also need to add that this recipe was a favorite as well so make that three shining stars.
Featured Recipe Gluten-Free Onion Rings - Jeanine Friesen, The Baking Beauties 1 egg ¼ c vegetable oil 1 cup milk 1 ½ c gluten-free all purpose flour ½ teaspoon of salt 1 teaspoon of baking powder 2 large yellow onions, sliced and separated into rings Canola oil for deep-frying 1- In a medium bowl mix the egg, oil and milk on low speed with a mixer for one minute. Add one cup flour, the salt and the baking powder, mix until smooth. 2- Put the remaining ½ cup of flour in a separate small bowl. 3- Heat at least one inch of oil to 375 degrees F 4- Coat the onions in the flour, then dip in the batter. Gently drop the battered rings into the hot oil and fry until the desired shade of brown.
***Foodista is a compilation of fancy foods from around the globe. I wish more recipes had been included for the everyday cook. This cookbook was released in 2010 and has already been reduced from $19.99 to $4.20 on Amazon. I hate that it hasn’t done well because I love the concept. Used copies are less than $1. You try it and let me know what you think.*** Buy Link on Amazon: http://www.amazon. com/gp/product/0740797670/ref=as_li_ss_ tl?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwnigh08-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789 &creative=390957&creativeASIN=074079767
Looking forward: Next month I’ll be reviewing Quick Fix Southern.
Pamela Reviewer/Freelance Writer www.thefantasticfoodie.wordpress.com
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Romance and Danger – An Exciting Mix After romance novels, my next favorite genres of fiction are mysteries and thrillers. A combination of a mystery and thriller in the same book is preferable. I love the rush of a protagonist racing against time to solve a crime and save the world/nation/hostage, etc. Despite my love of romance and mystery/thrillers, I’ve only recently started reading romantic suspense. Apparently, I’m behind the learning curve. According to the Romance Writers of America’s 2010 statistics, romantic suspense is one of the top-performing romance subgenres. In today’s column, I introduce you to Capri Montgomery and Stacy-Deanne, authors who write romantic suspense. Delaney: Please define the genre in which you write.
Capri: I write in multiple genres including books that fall in the mystery, science fiction, and contemporary literature realm, but mostly I write suspense romance. Suspense romance combines a level of excitement by exploring the depths of the uncertainties of a given situation seasoned with a dash of romantic relationships. Stacy: I write crime and mysteries with interracial romantic subplots. My books are more along the lines of 80% mystery and 20% romance.
Delaney: Who do you like to read in the same/similar genre(s)?
Capri: I like to read Linda Howard books. She’s one of my favorite authors. She does thorough research which makes her stories believable, but at the same time she can write great dialogue and a solid suspense romance that sucks me in as a reader and makes me want to know more. Stacy: I love classic writers like Edgar Allen Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, etc. All of these have written stories along the line of mystery and suspense, but I just love a lot of their work no matter what genre it fits into. Delaney: How do you conduct your research for your books?
Capri: It depends on the book and the genre. For my books containing military men, or military situations, I have a friend, Air Force Colonel Susan Cardin-Hoffdahl, and she helped me whenever I had a question on topics ranging from how a military rescue situation might play out to how a Navy SEAL keeps in shape. For questions that don’t pertain to the military I extensively research via encyclopedias, news articles, and other primary sources. For Fahrenheit I spent a lot of time researching Palm Coast fire services and the requirements to become a smokejumper in California and other states to see the training required, what testing was needed, and what my lead guy would have to go through to prepare to enter the program. Not all of my research makes it into the book, but I like to think that the research included in the story helps to advance the story and bring the reader deeper into the setting with a little reality and a lot of imagination included. Stacy: The Internet. I’ve been writing long enough to
www.NightOwlReviews.com know a lot about the police procedures which I use in my work by heart now, but the Internet hands down is the easiest and fastest way to research for me. You have tons of knowledge at your fingertips without leaving your seat. Delaney: Capri, tell us about the Men of Action series and your latest release. Include the ethnicity of the main characters.
The Men of Action series has suspense, romance and intrigue. It involves military and non military heroes. The latest release is Fahrenheit, book six in the series. Eve McGregor is a photojournalist covering several arson related fires in Palm Coast, Florida. She meets a sexy fireman intent on turning up another kind of heat. Can she allow him to conquer her heart without getting burned by the fire? Ethnicity: Eve McGregor’s father is Irish, and her mother is Italian and black, while Adam is white.
other books in their romantic suspense series, visit each author’s website. Capri Montgomery: http://caprimontgomery.wordpress.com Stacy-Deanne: http://www.stacy-deanne.net
In addition to the books above, I’ve found some interesting novels in the romantic suspense genre I think you’ll enjoy. You Belong to Me by Patricia Sargeant
Writer Nicole Collins is delighted when she learns her first book will be made into a movie by Celestial Productions -- until she finds out who owns the company: Malcolm Bryant, her ex-husband. Nicole still loves him, but she knows Malcolm is still the same man who crumbles in the face of adversity. And then there are those threatening letters. Naked Edge by Pamela Clare
Someone wants the Native Americans off their sacred land. And when Navajo journalist Katherine James and park ranger Gabriel Rossiter team up to investigate why, their passion for the truth—and each other—makes them targets for those desperate enough to kill.
Delaney: Stacy, tell us about the Bree and Steven series and your latest release. Include the ethnicity of the main characters.
Detective Brianna “Bree” Morris and Steven Kemp are ex-lovers and sex crime detectives stationed in Albany, New York. They first debuted in my ‘08 novel Melody. They used to be lovers and Steven still has feelings for Bree. The Season of Sin is the latest installment of the series. In The Season of Sin, Brianna’s psychiatrist, Dr. Nadia Hollister, is stabbed to death. Brianna, who is at Nadia’s when the murder happens, is the only witness. Unfortunately, she was knocked unconscious by the killer and only has the memory of the killer’s scent to go on. With Nadia’s journals as her guide, Bree learns that Nadia was keeping a devastating secret. The renowned doctor’s secret may not only have gotten her killed but could ruin the foundation of her entire family. Ethnicity: Brianna is black and Steven is white.
A big thank you to Capri and Stacy for being so gracious to answer my questions. For more information about the
Forget Me Not by Terri Molina
Six years. Thirteen murders. One connection. To escape the pain of her past, Casey Martinez changed her name and moved across half a continent. Detective Scott Weller is assigned to protect Casey, but living in such close quarters leads to temptation neither can resist. I’m loading up my e-reader. How about you? Happy reading in the new year!
---------------------------------------------------------------------Delaney Diamond is the best-selling author of AfricanAmerican and interracial romance. Her first release in the Hawthorne Family series, The Temptation of a Good Man, and her first sweet interracial romance, Worth Waiting For, are now available. Enjoy free reads on her website at www.delaneydiamond.com.
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It’s that time of the year again folks! Time for the review of what I consider to be the best books in 2011 as well as a few titles to watch for in 2012. Here are my top picks for 2011:
Here are some novels to look for in 2012:
1. Enshadowed by: Kelly Creagh: She is an amazing author and the second novel in her Nevermore series is going to be AMAZING!
1. Divergent by: Veronica Roth: If you haven’t read this book by now you are missing out. It is an amazing dystopian sci-fi novel that keeps your head reeling and your heart pounding. A must read for all readers young and old.
2. Delirium by: Lauren Oliver: Also another dystopian (which seems to be really popular this year) is amazing and you won’t be able to put it down. It will keep you on your toes and you won’t believe the ending. 3. The Last Little Blue Envelope by: Maureen Johnson: Just put Ms. Johnson on your auto-read list because everything she writes is going to be a BIG hit! This book will make you laugh, sigh, and want to go find a hunky English bloke.
3. Insurgent by: Veronica Roth: I already told you about Divergent the first book in this series. Please just trust me on this one.
4. The Crimson Crown by: Cinda Williams Chima: This is the fourth book in the Seven Realms series. A series you would be crazy to miss out on.
4. The Iron Knight by: Julie Kagawa: Another always must read author. She knows how to keep you guessing and I promise you will never look at fairy tales quite the same way again.
5. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by: Michelle Hodkin: I wasn’t quite sure about this book when I read it the first time. I read it another time and once it sunk in and played with my mind I fell in love. It’s a contemporary with fantasy/ paranormal edge. Ms. Hodkin knows how to tell a story.
2. Charmfall by: Chloe Neill: What’s amazing about the Dark Elite series is that is sneeks up on you. You have no idea how much you love these books until you’ve read them and read them over and over.
Hope this list keeps you busy well into the new year! Best wishes for a beautiful new start!
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
Romance Resolutions “I will be nicer to my mate.” January brings up those pesky resolutions. On New Year’s Eve, I went to a party at a restaurant with my husband and brother-inlaw. A poll showed that the #5 resolution was to spend more time with the family, and #1 is to save money. Instead of looking to lose a few pounds, or to pick up piano lessons, how about looking toward love, and potentially making your relationship happier? Statistics have shown that those who are in a relationship – whether it’s “happy” or not – tend to live longer lives. And, it’s true for men even more so for women. (Probably because if they’re single, they wouldn’t be taken care of quite so well, eh?) So what do writers have to do with romance? Hello … romance writers. We focus on those most important aspects of a relationship. We work through real-life everyday issues in our novels. We are keen observers of humanity. And, some would argue that those steamy scenes can actually help a relationship. Depending upon where you are at in a relationship, these romance resolutions may vary and/or be more appropriate. For an established, married couple with children, maybe one goal can be to spend more time together as
a couple. How about setting aside a date-night once a month? Don’t have a babysitter or funds are an issue, then how about waiting until the kids go to sleep, and then cuddling up together to watch a movie. Or, better yet: Having him read your favorite author to you. (Hint: Those sexy scenes!) Exercise of Love
For a little bit of professional insight, I consulted with Linda Borders-Killian, LCSW, MFT, an Orange County Therapist who works with couples in Private Practice in Fountain Valley, CA. Borders-Killian offered a simple exercise to bring partners closer together. “My favorite is for the most willing partner, who is usually the wife, but not always, to ask one or all three of these simple questions: “What is best thing that happened to you today?”
Spouse reflects on their day for a moment, answers in short sentence and asking spouse just listens … with a response like ‘really, okay, wow,’ or just a ‘hum’ and a smile in a nod. “What is the worst thing that happened to you today?”
Same response. Asking spouse needs to really listen and hear rather than respond. And … if you have the time, reverse the roles and the
Night Owl Reviews other spouse asks the questions and waits patiently for the answer.
with your partner. Communication is key to a happy and healthy love/sex life. Roxanne Rhoads, Paranormal Pleasures Ten Tales of Supernatural Seduction
This takes a little practice, but if the couple sticks with the process, you can ‘connect with each other and catch up’ in a very short time. Always under five minutes. But it’s five minutes that could set the tone for rest of the time together that day. Several things happen, now each spouse has some specifics on how the other’s day went, each spouse can make a mental note to talk more about this later, or not and each spouse can be a bit more responsive to the others needs for the time the have together until they both go off to their respective ‘jobs’ the next day. Honestly, I have couples who do this for a while, get lack about it and realize one day they lost contact with each other and will pull out their cards, or just go with the two short connecting questions above. Now if now if one spouse is feeling particularly loving, or giving, he or she can make the third question a statement and say …
Advice: Take time to connect physically every day – it doesn’t have to be sexual – it can be a hug, a kiss, cuddling on the couch watching TV... In today’s busy world couples can sometimes forget to simply connect, instead they rush by each other and never take a moment – and that moment can make all the difference. Maria Powers, OCC/RWA Member
The best advice I ever got from a book was from a women’s fiction book, Jennifer Weiner’s Best Friends Forever. In it the heroine is fat her whole life and then in her thirties she goes to a doctor to lose the weight. The doctor tells her “There is no secret.” Eat less, exercise more. For whatever reason, I realized in that moment that there is no secret to anything. If you want to be published, write. Keep writing. Learn. If you want your relationship to get better, quit focusing on what you aren’t getting and start looking at what you aren’t giving. “There is no secret” is my mantra now and in fact I painted it over my bedroom door. It is the first thing I see every morning and the last thing I see before I turn out the light. It reminds me that no secret handshake will get me in the door of anything. Perseverance is the only key. Truly “There is no secret.”
“Something I am really looking forward to doing with you is …”
Hands down, this seems to be most couple’s favorite connection technique, or effort, if you will. I always suggest they use this one at the end of the interaction as it leaves a very positive and anticipatory note, and who doesn’t love having something to look forward to.” What Writers Say
Continuously, as I read through romance novels, I keep finding these little gems of information and insights into relationships. And often – since I read on a Kindle – I notice that other readers have highlighted the same excerpts. A few writers offered up some “expert” advice. Let’s see what they had to say:
So that’s the special edition of this month’s Romance Column. Hopefully, you can gleam some tidbit to help in your personal relationships and next time you’re reading and think, “Wow, that’s great …” think about all the positive input you receive. Happy New Year!
Shay MacLean, Branded Hearts from Sizzler Editions
Advice: Don’t try to suppress something you desire whether physically or emotionally. It will only drive a wedge between you and the person you’re involved with as well as make you miserable and depressed. On the flipside of that coin, you have to be open and honest about what you need both physically and emotionally
Bacio recently released the m/m erotic paranormal The Vampire & The Werewolf: A New Orleans Christmas, which is available via Amazon, Ravenous Romance, and other e-retailers. For more information, visit www. louisabacio.com.
The Spoken Words Journey in Technology From 8 Tracks to Mp3 Downloads
There are probably a great number of you that are totally unfamiliar with the concept of 8 Track tapes. Way back in the 60’s and 70’s, there were these big bulking physical tapes; similar to cassettes, but 3 times as long as well as wide that contained recorded music. While the 8 track themselves were pretty big the units that played them were even bigger. Owners of these decks would have cases upon cases of these 8 tracks stored in their car trunks for on the go playing. As technology advanced, in the 80’s mini cassette tapes and players emerged as the next best thing. No longer was the act of playing music confined to the radio. Cassette decks started to be incorporated into automobiles, portable players. Some of the named brands were created by leading manufacturers like Sony, Samsung and JVC. I can still remember my little red JVC cassette player. It was so small and flat that it fit in a shirt or pants pocket. In addition to these portable cassette players, the age of the boom-boxes surfaced. Teen from all walks of life carried their boom-boxes on their shoulders with pride as they drummed out the latest tunes. The deliverance of portability spurred the innovative idea of “Books on Tape”. Stretching the boundaries of traditional print publishing, books on tape offered the publishing industry a new market place to entice new and old readers into embracing technology. In garnering an array of talented narrators and presenting traditional print titles in audio format, the publishing industry successfully built its foundation for the emergence of the Mp3 digital download. A lot has changed since the days of 8 Track Tapes and Mini Cassettes. The digital age is here and while there are still books available as “Books on Tape”, most have been replaced in favor of mp3 digital downloads, Mp3 CDs and Multi-Compact Disks. My own personal preference is Mp3 audio-books. Since the standards for the recording industry is mp3, an audio-book can be played on virtually any Mp3 compatible device. At first Mp3 audio-books or books on
tape were confined to older and lesser known titles. These days simultaneous print, e-book and audio-book publication dates makes it easier for a reader to immersing oneself into the imaginary world of science fiction & fantasy, hurdle head first into a spine tingling mystery or traveling back in time to the plush expanse of the Victorian age. The endless hours of story-telling are all at your fingertips. You can now listen to your favorite author’ latest edition while performing such mundane tasks such as vacuuming or washing the dishes. An audio-book can be a great way to get through some of the most unappealing tasks. They help relieve the boredom during long commutes and add an air of relaxation while sitting by the pool. All of these examples are proof of just how far technology has evolved. I know some of you are probably thinking, “Why would I want to have someone read to me”? My response would be “audio-books don’t read to you, they are a motion picture without the picture. They enhance the story by allowing a reader to visualize the character actions, scene settings, the color and the emotional depth of the worlds created by the author. If you happen to come across a narrator that possess the unique ability to breathe life into each distinct character, while conveying the emotions of those characters, then you have found a winner. Susan Ericksen, the narrator of J.D. Robb’s “In Death” series gives a perfect rendition during her narration. Her use of character voices, infliction, mannerism and speech exemplify excellent narrative skills. Jennifer Van Dyck’s narration of Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan series conveys the strength, weaknesses as well as the follies of its heroine in defining emotional angst. As you can see technology is slowly reshaping our lives
and the manner in which we indulge in our favorite past time; reading for enjoyment. Why not take a leap of faith and try an audio-book today?
About Victoria Mays: 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 “Where to find “Free Book”, “Paid Books”, “Borrowed Books”?
THE SERPENT’S SHADOW BY RICK RIORDAN He’s b-a-a-ack! Despite their best efforts, Carter and Sade Kane can’t seem to keep Apophis, the chaos snake, down. Now Apophis is threatening to plunge the world into eternal darkness, and the Kanes are faced with the impossible task of having to destroy him once and for all. Unfortunately, the magicians of the House of Life are on the brink of civil war, the gods are divided, and the young initiates of Brooklyn House stand almost alone against the forces of chaos. The Kanes’ only hope is an ancient spell that might turn the serpent’s own shadow into a weapon, but the magic has been lost for a millennia. To find the answer they need, the Kanes must rely on the murderous ghost of a powerful magician who might be able to lead them to the serpent’s shadow . . . or might lead them to their deaths in the depths of the underworld. Nothing less than the mortal world is at stake when the Kane family fulfills its destiny in this thrilling conclusion to the Kane Chronicles.