Blog Tour and Giveaway! CUT FROM STRONG CLOTH by Linda Harris Sittig


Title: Cut From Strong Cloth
Author: Linda Harris Sittig
Published: November 21st, 2014
Publisher: Freedom Forge Press
Genre: Historical Fiction
Content Warning: Non-graphic sexual content
Recommended Age: 18+

Cut-From-Strong-Cloth At nineteen, Ellen Canavan lives for the dream of her late father: to succeed in business. But being a woman in 1861, she finds the path to entrepreneurship blocked many times over. The threat of war, her mother’s disapproval, and even a malicious arsonist threaten to limit the aspiring textile merchant to the status of impoverished Irish immigrant. As she travels from the factories of Philadelphia to the riverfront wharves of Savannah with her business mentor, James Nolan, the Civil War explodes amidst their blossoming love, and the two are separated. Can Ellen’s undaunted, fiery strength guide her through a divided nation, or must she abandon her dream in order to save her own life?

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Excerpt from Cut From Strong Cloth by Linda Harris Sittig:

“Then you don’t know me as well as you think. Remember when I told you I wouldn’t let disappointments interfere with my dreams of success? Weaving is my legacy from Da. I was meant to become a textile merchant all along. And I don’t need anyone taking care of me. I can take care of myself.”

“Ellen, your Da’s been dead for years. You don’t owe him a thing.”

Her eyes stormed as she held her head high. “I’ll succeed for him because he never got the chance.”

James shook his head. “If I canna talk you out of this foolhardy scheme, then I won’t be giving you my blessings for the trip.”

“I dinna ask for them.”


About the Book Interview with Linda:

What was the inspiration behind this story?

I discovered the grave of an unknown ancestor buried with only her husband’s name for identification, when I started looking into her life I found out that she had been an incredible woman who never got credit for her achievements.

Tell us about your main character.

Ellen Canavan is a 19 year old Irish immigrant who wants to get into the Philadelphia textile empire, but is discriminated against because she is a female.

How long did it take you to write this book?

I did research on Ellen Canavan for 10 years and then it took 2 and ½ years to write the novel.

Tell us about your cover art and how it pertains to your story.

The factory in the background is the real Nolan factory from Philadelphia in 1861. It is still standing today, although the art editor had to Photoshop the graffiti out!

Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one?

Because it shows the life of a young determined woman who struggled to break the glass ceiling of her era and while she had many set-backs, she persevered in the end. Although Ellen Canavan lived in 1861, her story resonates with women of all ages even today.


About the Author:

Linda-Harris-Sittig Born in New York City, and raised in northern New Jersey, Linda’s love of history and a commitment to family and literacy led her to a career in writing articles and books for parents, grandparents, and teachers on how to instill the love of reading in children of all ages. Twice recognized for her journalism by the Virginia Press Association, Linda and her husband live in western Loudoun County, Virginia, where the Blue Ridge Mountains are the first to greet the dawn.

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Freedom Forge Press Publishing Links:
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Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

• Print copy of Cut From Strong Cloth (US)
• Ebook copy of Cut From Strong Cloth (INT)
• $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Ladies and Gentlemen: Adam Wolf and the Cook Brothers: A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll by Joe Schwartz


Looking for a story that’s gritty, a little messy, in-your-face, sometimes sad, and always real? Joe Schwartz has you covered with his new book, Ladies and Gentlemen: Adam Wolf and the Cook Brothers: A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll.

Adam Wolf Ever dreamed of joining a rock band, getting rich, getting famous, and seeing the world through a private jet plane’s window?

Ladies and Gentleman: Adam Wolf and the Cook Brothers – A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock&Roll is your personal invitation to tune in, turn on, and drop out as you ride the tour bus through the night and into the next town with Paul, Ronnie, Adam and Mark.

Paul is old school rock ‘n’ roll but he knows a hit song when he hears one. When he gets a demo from a St. Louis metal band, he is not impressed until he hears a track unlike all the others. He may have to make a deal with the devil to find the kid for his last chance ticket to rock glory.

Ronnie is a brutal, delusional alcoholic and prescription fiend. In spite of his amazing technical guitar style, he has no talent. He can never be an original like Adam. For vengeance, Ronnie will follow a dark path of violence and destruction to the bitter end.

Adam is a musical prodigy. He simply hears music in his mind while the notes naturally come through his guitar. Young and utterly naïve, music will change his life but his regret is a wound that will never heal. Mark couldn’t play a piano if it had only one key, but he doesn’t need to. Unlike Ronnie and Adam, Mark is hoping he can find the balance between his brothers though a musical bridge connecting them all forever. Paul, Ronnie, Adam, and Mark all have one thing in common – they would rather die than give up on their rock ‘n’ roll dreams. Walking down this wicked, twisted road each man will realize one important thing – this music can save them all.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Adam Wolf and the Cook Brothers – A Tale of Sex, Drugs, and Rock&Roll will leave your ears ringing long after you’ve read it for the first time!

Published: March 1, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK


Here’s Joe, sharing the inspiration behind this book:

Ladies and Gentlemen: Joe Schwartz

When I sat down and first decided to write about ten years ago, I had almost a hundred pages single-spaced in about six weeks’ time. The idea that I couldn’t just pound out The Great American Novel never really occurred to me. A friend of mine hired me around page 89 as a blog reporter and eventually I figured I’d to get back around to it. Two years later, a half-dozen blog postings and one screen sold play later, I remembered the novel I was going to write about a famous and long-dead musician (see: Jimi Hendrix) becoming reincarnated to finish a song, possibly the greatest rock song ever written. My first editor read it and rightly declared it crap. That, however, didn’t dissuade her from taking me under her wing, lending me her MFA as we used to joke, and teaching me how to write – hold the ego. The idea of writing about being in a rock band, though, never left me.

Like Stephen King says, you can’t expect to be a good writer if you aren’t first a good reader. I had read Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and Chad Kultgen’s The Lie. I loved the compound points of view telling the same story but from each characters perspective and decided to try my hand at the same kind of multiple-narrator style myself.

The story is actually quite simple. Brothers in competing rock bands will do anything it takes to make it in the music industry. The key for me to write the story was not to try and pretend that, in some alternate universe, exists a band bigger than The Beatles or Bob Dylan, but rather try to give readers a voyeuristic adventure of what it’s really like to be in a working rock and roll band.

I spent every day from the time I was sixteen to thirty-two years old playing music. In that time I roadied for other bands, played music in more bars than I can remember, met a few famous musicians and lots of struggling nobodies like myself, and basically wasted fifteen years of my life pouring every spare moment into a dream almost guaranteed to fail. The common thing I found, sitting in some car or in an anonymous basement, smoking weed with others like myself, was that everyone had these great stories about the business.

The idea of some guy sitting in an office somewhere and discovering the next big thing was inspired by actual submission services who promote themselves as helping musicians, for a nominal fee, of course, get their music to the next level. I often wondered if something really great did come in, why in the hell wouldn’t you just steal the demo and go sign the band yourself? Thus, a story was born.

I have been in a few great bands, a bunch of terrible bands, and never made any money. That was the story I wanted to tell, of just how goddamn awful it can be when you can’t afford to buy a hamburger and how fricking awesome, too, like when you headline a show to a packed house for the first time. About the hours invested in rehearsal and the tons of money it takes just to be mediocre. The misery of being in a band with guys you hate and the joy of making music with people you love like family.

If you ever thought being in a band is cool, well, it is, but it sure as hell ain’t easy. At any time the whole thing could implode and everyone is screwed, forced to start over again. And yet, that’s the great thing – there’s always a chance that this time could be it, this band could get signed, famous, rich and all our troubles are over… but that is another story.


Meet the Author:

Joe Schwartz “My name is Joe and I write stories for men. Of course, some of my biggest fans seem to be women who seem to find my writing insightful, even a bit shocking, as to how men really think. I assure you no matter how awful a thing I’ve written about, worse things have been done by you friendly, next-door neighbor.”

Joe Schwartz has written three collections of short stories and a previous novel. He works as a booking agent for a public library and in his spare time he likes to lose video games to his kids, watch movies with his wife, and read. All of Joe’s stories happen to people in the City of St. Louis. According to Joe, you can walk in any direction for eight blocks and everything will change. ‘It is not the evil men do that is fascinating,’ he says, ‘but the almost dire, predictable outcomes.’ Life is short. Stories are forever.

Facebook / Twitter / Website


Joe has written and recorded the playlist that goes with the book. Here he is singing and playing These Seasons:

Grab a copy, join the band!

Thanks for reading. :)

Vampires On The Loose! CHASING DAYBREAK by Ranae Glass

Chasing Daybreak Tour Banner

Title: Chasing Daybreak
Series: Dark of Night, Book 1
Author: Ranae Glass
Published: March 24th, 2015
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Violence and adult language
Recommended Age: 18+

Chasing-DaybreakIsabel Stone wanted a normal life. But when the unexpected death of her father leaves her at the helm of the family business, things quickly go from weird to worse. Vampires are on the loose and out of the coffin, and only Isabel can walk the fine line between the world of the living and the world of the undead.

Torn between letting go of her past and embracing her future, Isabel will have to decide who she can trust, and be willing to use all the weapons at her disposal, to get to the bottom of a terrifying string of deaths that lead right to her doorstep—before she becomes the next victim. In a city where nothing is what it seems, ending up the target of a deranged killer might actually be the high point of her week. Because in this town, the things that go bump in the night… just might kill you.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Excerpt from Chasing Daybreak by Ranae Glass:

“You were arrested for what?” I asked again in disbelief.

Shane sighed on the other end of the line. “Loitering. Are you gonna come get me or not?”

Part of me wanted to ask why he didn’t just call his rich vamp girlfriend or soon to be boss-man to bail him out, but I held back. Truth was, in some sick, co-dependent, Dr. Phil kind of way, I was glad he’d called me.

“Keep your panties on, I’m on my way. Just relax and try not to eat anybody,” I quipped.

In the background I could hear a male voice tell Shane his time was up.

“Isabel, just hurry, okay?” Nervous tension was thick in his voice.

I quickly put in a call to Craig Gentry, a bail bondsman who’d done some work for my dad in the past, and made a beeline for the precinct.

Shane was sitting on a wooden bench just outside the magistrate’s office, a young, nervous-looking officer standing behind him with a massive shotgun probably loaded with wooden pellets. Not fatal to vamps unless it took out the heart, but certainly enough to do some serious damage.

The kid couldn’t have been more than twenty-one, and judging by his general pallor and sweaty forehead, Shane was probably the first vamp he’d ever seen, much less been tasked to guard. Seeing me walk in, Shane slumped just a fraction, visibly relaxing. It was a very human gesture. One of the many things I’d miss about him when he grew into his new life.

I nodded, warning him with my eyes not to make any sudden movements that might spook the newbie.

Reggie was waiting for me at the desk, chatting with Matilda, the night desk officer. He’d obviously been called in from home. Still wearing his Superman pajama pants and gray sweatshirt, he cradled a cup of coffee with one hand and smoothed down his unruly bed head with the other.

“Reggie,” I called, turning his attention to me.

“Ah, Isabel. Good to see you.”

“Same here.” I thumbed behind me. “Mind sending Skippy over there to get some coffee or something before he accidentally shoots my partner?”

Reggie laughed, leaned forward and called over. “Hey Weston, I got it from here.”

The kid looked like he might argue, then thought better of it and closed his mouth, walking away backwards, watching the back of Shane’s head the whole way.

“Thanks. So what happened?”

“Looks like Shane was over at the Quick Mart down the road from your place about midnight. Clerk thought he was acting ‘suspicious,’ so he called in the black and whites. Shane gave them some lip and they moved to detain him when he flashed fang.”

“Did he put up any resistance?” I asked, knowing as soon as the words were out of my mouth that it was a stupid question. If he’d resisted either he, or more likely they, would be in body bags.

Reggie chuckled. “Nah. But he gave Weston a good scare.”

“The store owner pressing charges?”

“I doubt it. He was pretty pissed to get called in the middle of the night and dragged down here. He and Detective Richards are looking over the security footage right now. If the clerk jumped the gun, then most likely Shane’ll be free to go.”

I turned and looked over my shoulder at Shane who sat there wearing his best innocent face, then turned back to the desk.

“Hey, Reggie, has anyone taken mug shots yet?”

“No. If he’s cut loose there’ll be no need to book him.” His eyebrow shot up as he noticed the wide up-to-no-good grin spreading across my face.

“Cause the thing is, I could really use some photos for the Christmas cards.” I smiled.

Finally catching on, he erupted with laughter.

“Why not? You go break the bad news to Shane. I’ll meet you in the back.” He pointed over his shoulder to the double doors and the magistrate’s office beyond.

I walked over to the bench where Shane sat. “Bad news, the owner might be pressing charges. Reggie said you have to go get your mug shot and fingerprints taken. But he said I could go with you at least.”

Shane stared at me, his mask of innocence morphing into sheer panic, then fading to mild boredom and resignation.

“Fine,” he huffed.

The clink of snapping metal echoed in the nearly empty hallway as he got to his feet before remembering he was handcuffed to the bench. He held up his hands. The links between the cuffs were broken in half. Shane shrugged and I beckoned for him to follow me down the hall.

By the time Joyce, the lady in charge of taking mug shots, was finished Shane knew he’d been set up. Reggie and I were rolling with laughter. At first Shane was confused, but then he looked at the nameplate Reggie had made for him and saw that it read, ‘Merry Christmas from Stone Private Investigations.’


The Writing Life Interview with Ranae:

Do your characters sometimes surprise you with their behavior? Or do you always have complete control?

I don’t think I have any control at all. My characters constantly surprise me. For example, in this book, Isabel’s ex-fiancée, Shane, is based on my real life ex. I wanted to make him (the character) kind of arrogant and dickish, but he just refused. Shane decided to actually be a really decent, if occasionally thoughtless, guy. That kind of thing is why I drink.
No, I’m joking.
Kind of.

Do you set your books in real locations or do you make them up?

I use real locations whenever I can. I actually went down to Charleston and spent a week scouting locations, meeting people, and just getting familiarized with the city. It was great.

Tell us about your process for designing a cover. 

Crimson Tree Publishing has a great designer they work with. Well, they have a few, but my designer was Mayra from Strong Image Editing. She is killer. We worked together to find just the right model, and the concept was hers. There’s nothing she had handed me that I didn’t love, but if it ever did happen, I’m sure she would work with me. They are really good about that. Their focus in the process is making me happy.

Have you ever received a negative review? If so, how did you handle the criticism?

Oh LAWD yes. I get a dozen great reviews and one bad one, and guess which ones sticks in my brain? Yep. It’s soul crushing. BUT, and this is rule numero uno, you CAN NOT ENGAGE. As an author, you are a professional, and getting into a slap fight with a reviewer not only makes you look like a crazy person (which, ok, we all probably are. I mean, hello? We talk to imaginary people for a living) but it can also sink your career. This is not a test. Just say No. Better yet, just STFU and eat some Oreos and cry, then pick your butt up and get back to writing. That’s how I roll.

If you could bring any one of your characters to life, which would you choose and why?

That is a glorious and terrifying question. Would I be brave enough to face one of my creations as a real person? Probably not. It would just be too weird.


About the Author:

Ranae-Glass Ranae Glass writes New Adult Paranormal Romance. A Southern girl at heart, Ranae loves feeding people, gardening, and sweet tea. She hails from Oklahoma and lives with her family out West where she spins tales of vampires, werewolves, and other things that go bump in the night. You won’t find any ‘vegetarian’ monsters here, her books are best served bloody and are not for the faint of heart. Ranae is the author of the Dark of Night novels from Crimson Tree Publishing.

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Crimson Tree Publishing Links:
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Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

• A bookmark swag pack, winner’s choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, and a $15 Amazon gift card.

Giveaway is International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



#MondayBlogs: Dogs, Please Leash Your Owners!

As many of you know, I am a crazy dog lady. My husband and I have three – Oliver, Sammy, and Isabel. Today I want to talk (rant?) about irresponsible dog owners. I am far from the perfect pet parent, but I am about to start macing some of these clueless, selfish people who should have nothing larger than a goldfish.


Every weekend, we take our dogs to a local park. It’s a peaceful place, with woodsy trails that lead to and along a river, then out to the gulf. Lots of people go there to fish and/or to walk their dogs. Most of them are pleasant, responsible people. But it seems that we encounter at least one idiot per visit. And these encounters are always with owners of large, often aggressive dogs.

Key Vista

For instance, last Saturday we were down on the beach and suddenly two very large, unleashed dogs came charging down the path onto the beach, right at us. No pet parent in sight. Our dogs are small. The boys are roughly 13 pounds and Isabel is about 7 pounds. Imagine this scene from their perspective. They are leashed and defenseless against these giants. It’s a bit like a 3-foot tall, 40-pound child being charged by a 7-foot, 400-pound man. Fortunately, in this case, the dogs weren’t aggressive. (Though my dogs went into a panicked frenzy, which could have led to a disastrous situation.) I’m pretty sure I shrieked when I saw them coming. I’m not afraid of dogs, but I am afraid for my dogs. Their owner stayed about 100 feet back, never even venturing onto the beach. The dogs ran back to him and he started to move away. So I yelled at the inconsiderate jerk. One of those moments when words just flew out of my mouth without conscious thought. And, no, I didn’t swear at him, though he would have deserved it. My inner peacenik exposed itself, and I yelled, “Hey! That was seriously not cool!”

Yeah, I am to be feared.

The man did then call back, asking if our dogs were okay. Nice of him, right?

Me, Ollie, Sammy - Key Vista

I can’t count the times we’ve run into pit bull parents who should not even have Chihuahuas. Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against pit bulls, or any other breed. But know your dog. If it’s aggressive in nature – and I don’t care how big it is – learn how to control it. If you can’t, then do not take it out in public. One example: We were walking along one of the paths, and a young man was coming toward us in the opposite direction. He had a pit bull. (On a leash, fortunately.) He was 50 feet a way and the dog was already foaming at the mouth. Michael pulled the two boys in close. I picked up Kaylee. (Our little female that we lost in early January.) We pushed as far over to the other side of the path as possible. We were twenty feet away when the guy had to sit on his dog. Yes, sit on him. The dog was lunging. The guy had a death grip on the collar and was sitting on its back. We managed to get past and practically ran to get some distance. We were thirty feet ahead and he was still sitting on his dog. Seriously, what is someone like that doing with his dog in a public park?

The park isn’t the only place where I encounter clueless pet parents. My neighborhood has been taken over by them. And, again, it’s always those with big dogs. I don’t mean that as an insult to those with big dogs. There are plenty of excellent pet parents with big dogs. I’ve had big dogs myself. I love dogs of all sizes. But people with small dogs tend to keep them leashed, while people with big dogs find it easier to let them run.

On my street alone, we have three families with retrievers and one with a mutt of questionable origin, who all let their dogs run loose. I have to check my street before I take my dogs out for a walk. When I inevitably encounter someone with a loose, large dog in my neighborhood, as I’m yanking mine close and restraining them, the other person is telling me some rendition of, “You don’t have to worry. My dog is friendly.”


Yes, that may be so. But my dogs don’t know that. Oliver, in particular, is wary of large dogs and will more than likely attack out of fear.

One thing these irresponsible pet parents don’t take into consideration is that dogs are animals, and animals by nature are unpredictable. Even friendly dogs sometimes attack. Maybe they sense aggression from another dog. They may be protecting their territory and/or their people. Or maybe they’re just cranky. This is one of the major reasons why we have leash laws.

Just down the street from me, a couple with a black Labrador retriever “walks” their dog without a leash. The dog wanders through everyone’s yards, as if the street is a public park. My dogs sit on the front window bench, freaking out because some strange dog is roaming about in our front yard. The male owner will brazenly stand in front of my house, staring in my windows while my dogs bat against the glass in a fury. These people are among the owners who consistently tell me not to worry because their dog is friendly. I would like to kick them in the face.

Not very neighborly of me, I know.

That man isn’t even our biggest neighborhood irritant. A nearby family has a white German Shepherd. Beautiful dog. Also one of the most aggressive dogs I’ve ever come in contact with. My husband and I were out walking our dogs one day, and the male owner had the Shepherd loose on his front lawn. By the time I saw the dog, it was already running right at us. Fortunately, my husband was able to wrangle our dogs across the street, while I went at the Shepherd to keep it away from our dogs. This wasn’t a conscious decision. I’m sure Michael would have preferred I not get near a snarling dog. But I protect my dogs just like I always protected my human children. There isn’t a decision to be made. It’s simply instinct. I kept stomping my foot and yelling “No!” The dog would back away, then try to come at me from a different angle. I’d stomp and yell. It would back up and try again, wanting either to tear me apart or get around me to tear my dogs apart. Probably both. In the meantime, the owner was on his lawn, watching, either enjoying the show or in shock. He finally tried calling his dog, but his dog had no interest in responding. It felt like this went on for an hour, though it was likely about 90 seconds. The owner finally raced over and grabbed his dog, dragging it away with a muttered apology.

You have a dog that salivates at the sight of smaller dogs. It doesn’t respond to the “come” command. (Which, in this case, the owner didn’t use. It was more like, “Get the hell over here!”) Yet you let it loose in a suburban neighborhood, where there are lots of young children and families walking their own dogs. My son tells me some people are too stupid to live. I used to think that was a terrible thing to say. Now I’m beginning to see his point.

And what about the safety of the unleashed dog? My next door neighbors had a beautiful springer spaniel that they never put on a leash. One day the dog raced across the street, chasing a squirrel, just as a car was driving past. The dog was hit and killed. Horrible for the dog, but also for the driver. That poor lady was a wreck, and probably still sees the dead dog every time she closes her eyes, all because a stupid dog owner thought his dog was fine without a leash.

You see, it’s not the dogs I have a problem with, it’s the irresponsible dog owners. Just because your dog is friendly to you, at your home, does not give you special privileges. Use a leash and some brain cells. Keep your dog safe, and help me keep mine that way as well. Owners beware: When I finally snap and buy that can of mace, it won’t be the dogs I go after. And trust me, there will be no safe place for you if your dog hurts one of mine.


Two Fateful Confrontations – CURSE ME NOT by Elizabeth Fisher – Giveaway!


Title: Curse Me Not
Author: Elizabeth Fisher
Published: December 1st, 2014
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Adult Sexual Content
Recommended Age: 17+

Curse-Me-Not Southern unsophisticate Elzetta Swan has gained the ability to see auras and the more lucrative ability to clean revenge curses from those auras. Embracing the gift faster than grass through a goose, Elzetta is about to finish her first year as a legally licensed bodywasher with a trendy new lifestyle and a countrified inner child that’s skipping all the way to the bank. But when a routine cleansing suddenly turns ugly, she begins to wonder if a powerful invoker has come to town—one who’s hooked on the rush of setting particularly nasty curses.

As Elzetta attempts to track down the culprit, she faces two fateful confrontations. Each will threaten her trendy new life and the hallelujah hankering she’s formed for the unlikeliest of urban white knights, but together those confrontations could do much worse. They could create in Elzetta a vengeful rage all her own.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Excerpt from Curse Me Not:

Frustration became a bad taste in my mouth, as did disappointment. I’d sent Cal and his police buddies on a stupid, stupid goose chase and for what?
I thought of Book’s hostile and near-anorexic face and poor Miss Patrice looking lost in her nightgown and robe. I had cleansed a major curse when it should have been a minor one. I had seen a glimpse of something deadly in Book’s aura. While I’d never dealt with a saturated invoker before, I knew from my training Book could seriously hurt someone with his curses. He’d definitely hurt himself.

Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath. I couldn’t allow the police to dismiss this, but how could I convince them to continue the search?
“Elzetta, is there something you can do as a bodywasher?” Cal asked. “That is, since you work with auras, maybe you can pick up something from this room you can use to track him.”

With sad resignation I opened my eyes to look up at the two men.

“Gentlemen, I’m not a psychic. I’m not clairvoyant or precognitive, and I’m definitely not an auravestigist which is exactly what you’re asking for. I don’t even think people can do ESP stuff, although I guess that must sound strange coming from me.”

I found myself having to turn away from their scrutiny before I could continue.

“But I do see auras if the person is in front of me. I know what an aura looks like when it’s healthy and I know what it looks like when a curse has been set on it. I know what an aura looks like at birth and at puberty. I even know what an aura looks like when a person is dying,” I said remembering that last day with Mom a little over a year ago.

With as much resolution as I could muster, I looked from Cal to Detective Griffin and back to Cal again. My eyes were starting to tear up and I forced myself not to blink.

“And I know, from what little I saw of his aura, Claude Book—heaven help him—is a very, very dangerous young man. Oh, I do so wish I could be of more help. I know this must seem like such a wasted effort.”

I stared at Cal willing him to understand. His poker face was back and the detective beside him no longer acted amused. I couldn’t tell if they truly grasped my fears or if they just thought I was wacko. If Griffin’s gentle, almost pitying smile was any indication, I’d put my money on wacko.
Finally, Cal turned toward the detective. “Dwayne, you want to pack up what we’re taking? I’ll walk Miz Swan to her car.”


Interview with Elizabeth Fisher

Were you surprised by the behavior of any of your characters or the direction of your plot at any point while writing?

I was surprised every single day. I’m a “discovery” writer. That’s the term I’ve since learned describes that I best create—plot, scenes, characters—as I go along. I think I’d find it boring if I worked from an outline. Then I’d know the ending, and I hate spoilers! In Curse Me Not, my biggest surprise was how quickly I found the humanity in my villains and foibles in my heroine.

Please share a few favorite lines or one paragraph.

Sadistic much? Okay, okay. I’ll see your one paragraph and raise ya one.

While talking and laughing, we had subconsciously leaned in closer toward each other over the kitchen island. When the conversation faded, and with only a few inches separating us, I was so sure he was about to repeat Friday’s kiss that I hot flashed and started to close my eyes. Good thing I didn’t close them all the way. I would have missed how he suddenly sobered, how he pulled away to sit straight backed on his stool. His next words hit me like a sucker punch.

“I wish I could accept what you do, Elzetta. Being a bodywasher, I mean. Maybe it’s because of the way I was raised or maybe it’s because I’ve come across too much fraud as a cop. I don’t know. I might understand intellectually a curse needs to be lifted in a certain way, but in my heart I don’t understand why it can’t be countered with faith and atonement.”

If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the lead characters?

One part of this question is easy. Ashley Judd has to play Elzetta. She’s such a good southern girl. As to Elzetta’s urban white knight, I’d say Clive Owen but his English Midlands accent just wouldn’t do!

Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd

Clive Owen

Clive Owen

Tell us about your cover art and how it pertains to your story.

The element I asked my publisher to include on the cover of Curse Me Not was the Khamsa hand. Discussed in the book, the design has been a sign of protection against curses and The Evil Eye since the Phoenicians. While some still believe that people can harm others just by bestowing a malevolent glare, about the only thing I feel when I’m on the wrong side of a bad attitude is chills. On the other hand (no pun intended), I feel better wearing Khamsa hand jewelry. I compare it to chicken soup as a home remedy for a cold. It couldn’t hurt, as they say.

Of all the books out there, why should readers choose this one?

Curse Me Not is made unique in the genre because of its believability. My heroine’s world is exactly the same as our own with the exception that in hers curses are a real, measurable phenomenon. Also, my characters are adult men and women, not youths and not twenty-something’s who haven’t yet grasped that each of us—whether hero or villain—are three-dimensional with hearts nicked and scarred by real life.


About the Author:

Elizabeth-Fisher Elizabeth Fisher lives in east Tennessee and has deep Appalachian roots that involve all the usual elements—moonshine stills, horse thieving ancestors and rumors of illicit banjo pickin’. Fortunately, due to her father’s less felonious North Carolina heritage, Fisher makes an honest living as an author, freelance writer, editor and graphic designer. In her spare time, she reads, hikes and attempts to oil paint. She believes she’s making great strides in creatively incorporating the errant hairs of her cats—Buck and Bozo—into her still lifes. Her loving husband, Tim, is not so sure.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website



Curse Me Not Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway and there will be 3 winners. Prizes include the following:

• $20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
• 2 x Khamsa Jewelry sets (US)

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Book Review: THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY by Simon Wood

The One That Got Away

Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas. But something goes terribly wrong on their way home, and the last time Zoë sees her, Holli is in the clutches of a sadistic killer. Zoë flees with her life, changed forever.

A year later and still tortured with guilt, Zoë latches on to a police investigation where the crime eerily resembles her abduction. Along with a zealous detective, she retraces the steps of that fateful night in the desert, hoping that her memory will return and help them find justice for Holli. Her abductor—labeled the “Tally Man” by a fascinated media—lies in wait for Zoë. For him, she is not a survivor but simply the one that got away.

With an unforgettable heroine, a chillingly disturbed psychopath, and a story that moves at breakneck speed, The One That Got Away is thriller writer Simon Wood at his finest.

Published: March 1, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK


My Review:

There she was – the one that got away.

Survivor’s guilt and post traumatic stress have left our heroine slightly damaged, though not in the timid, skittish way often portrayed in this type of book. I enjoyed the way Simon Wood handled these issues. Zoe’s character incites sympathy in her recklessness. I wanted to both hold her back and help her surge forward.

She wanted to win, score one for the victims. And if she lost, she was OK with that too. It was the price she had to pay for surviving the abduction when Holli didn’t.

This book is more suspense/thriller than mystery, since we always know who the bad guy is. The author does include enough twists to keep us slightly off balance. The pace is quick, while also allowing the story room to breathe.

He’d put her out of her misery after a couple of hours of punishment, with a thrust of his knife to her heart. He wasn’t a monster.

The opening scene is a blast of terror straight in our face. If you’re squeamish or you dislike violent books, you might want to skip this. But the violence here is necessary to move the story forward, to show us what shapes Zoe’s future and what torments her subconscious no matter how fast she runs.

Shame was one of those things that had to be excised like a cancer, but it was a hard thing to remove when it was wrapped around your heart.

This is a powerful story that left me thinking about victims, and how sometimes surviving can feel worse than dying.


Thanks for reading. :)

#3AnthBlast: 3 Anthologies Supporting 3 Great Causes!

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Three Anthologies to Support Three Great Causes

Titles: Here, Kitty Kitty / Reaching Out / Bellator
Edited by: Mia Darien
Publication Dates: October 4, 2013 / May 10, 2014 / August 1, 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance / Romance / Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Charities: Exotic Feline Rescue Center / American Red Cross / Wounded Warrior Project

herekittykitty_cover1563 What is it about the tiger that so captivates? Or about the jaguar that enchants? Why are we so drawn to the lethal grace of the large feline predators of the world?

Get ready to purr, growl and roar along with six paranormal romance authors in this anthology of love and shapeshifting kitties. After reading these
six unique tales, from the sexy to the sweet, you’ll be guaranteed to be saying… Here, Kitty Kitty…

* * *

In ‘His Jaguar Princess’ by A. Star, jaguar shifter Selene Peters can’t deny her feelings for the tycoon Lucas King. Somehow, he’s penetrated her barriers and become more than just a client, but loving a human is dangerous and she fears her past repeating itself. Could he help her overcome the past or will she sacrifice her happiness and succumb to it? Not if he has anything to say about it…

In ‘In Our Nature’ by Jessica Nicholls, when Mira’s privacy and independence are threatened, she can be very nasty. Daniel is an expert on American mountain lions. His assistance is requested after an ‘incident’ on Mira’s front lawn. When the two meet, they recognise each other in more than one way.

In ‘Divine Passage’ by Dariel Raye, Kimani, a breeder with the power to preserve the human race, must depend on her guardian, Ahkil, a black panther shifter with more than one reason to distrust humans, but his secrets could change the course of her life forever.

In ‘The Distance Between’ by Mia Darien, she’s traveled thousands of miles, looking for a safe place. He’s brought her thousands of miles, looking to not be lonely any more. But they both have secrets. Can they bridge the distance between, and find what they’re looking for in each other?

In ‘Hannah’s Fate’ by Abigail Owen, cougar shifters have allied into groups, together in a rocky alliance to protect themselves against other shifters. Hannah Keller becomes the targeted Mate for Kyle Carstairs, the treacherous soon-to-be Alpha of another group. Meanwhile, Nick Jensen, her
childhood hero and longtime secret crush, has returned home with hopes of claiming Hannah for his own. But will he be in time to rescue her from the Carstairs’s schemes?

In ‘Full Moon’ by B. R. Kingsolver, the full moon can get a girl stirred up, especially with a handsome cowboy paying her way too much attention. If
it wasn’t for those damned werewolves causing trouble and getting in the way…

Goodreads/ Amazon/ Barnes and Noble / Smashwords


reachingoutcover1563 Romance can be found among the darkest of times. In this anthology, you’ll find four tales of sweet romance about those who dedicate their time, and sometimes even their lives, to helping others. 100% of the proceeds go to the American Red Cross.

“Cross My Heart” by Abigail Owen

“A Healing Touch” by Jessica Nicholls

“Lesson Learned” by Crystel G. Smith

“Hope” by Mia Darien

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Smashwords


bellator1563 Science Fiction and Fantasy, two genres that are both unalike and inextricably entwined, stretching the imagination to the expansive boundaries of time, space, and magic. These boundaries are often filled with warriors and war, fights and causes worth fighting for, and that’s what you’ll find in this anthology.

From fighting aliens in space to demons in a world of magic, you’ll find many stories to suit your starship’s entertainment collection or your favorite bard at the local tavern…or just your imagination here and now. Sit back and enjoy twelve stories from authors both familiar and new!

100% of the proceeds to be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

“SARAH” by Lee Pletzers

“The Summoned Rise of the Phantom Knights” by Kenny Emmanuel

“Border Patrol” by BR Kingsolver

“The Twelve” by Mia Darien

“Ghosts” by Christi Rigby

“Outside the Walls” by A. L. Butcher & Diana L. Wicker

“My Brother’s Keeper” by Raphyel M. Jordan

“With Our Own Blood” by Jessica Nicholls

“The Connection” by Crystal G. Smith

“A Fly on the Wall” by Chantal Boudreau

“Slacker” by Doug Dandridge

“The Light Bless Thee and Keep Thee” by Mason Darien

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Smashwords

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Win a $10 Amazon/B&N Gift Card or a $10 credit at the Book Depository!

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Blog Tour and Giveaway! ADVENTURES IN MOTHER-SITTING by Doreen Cox


Title: Adventures in Mother-Sitting
Author: Doreen Cox
Published: January 2015
Publisher: Whistling Duck Books
Genre: Memoir
Recommended Age: 16+

Adventures-in-Mother-Sitting For a daughter, at age 61, being called “mommy” by her own mother was a heart-wrenching experience. This happened to Dody during the course of a three-year adventure as the full-time caregiver to her mother, much loved yet caught up in a downward spiral of physical, mental, and developmentally regressed disabilities.

Each day was an adventure, because when dementia is present, the typical actions involved with her mother’s daily care habits became unpredictable. The experience is also termed an adventure because of the surprising twists and turns of emotion that arose in Dody, compelling her to recognize and face deep-seated fears and unwanted emotional reactions when her performance was not in accord with the spiritual vision that she had of herself. Moments of comic relief saved Dody from the depths of despair during pill-taking and messy hygienic episodes, and during her mother’s nighttime delusions. The mantra that kept her going was an echo of her mother’s life-long response to any calamitous event: you can do what you have to do.

ADVENTURES IN MOTHER-SITTING is not just a chronicle about the dementia-induced antics of an independent, spirited mother as she approaches the time of her death. The book is also about Dody’s journey through a rollercoaster passage of grief that gets intermixed with surprisingly sweet instances of joyful connections with her childlike mother, but also with her innermost self. Throughout the book, Dody portrays the ways in which the physical and mental needs of her mother and her own emotional, spiritual needs lovingly served each other and how dementia served them both.

The memoir depicts the role changes that occur in the relationship between Dody and her beloved mother, but more so, it portrays the more compassionate relationship that she gains with herself as she learns to walk more honestly and gently with her fears, worries, and shortcomings.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Excerpt from Adventures in Mother-Sitting by Doreen Cox:

As had become her usual habit, Mother fell asleep shortly after her dinner, around 7:30 p.m. After cleaning up the kitchen, I watched some TV then started working on a jigsaw puzzle in order to stay awake until midnight. If Mother didn’t wake up before midnight, there was a good chance that she would sleep until morning. By 10:30 p.m., however, I couldn’t keep my eyes open so gave up the puzzle and crawled into bed. About to drift off, I groaned when I heard noises coming from her room, sounds that portended the smooth flow was about to change. It was a few minutes before 11:00 p.m. when I heard Mother babbling loudly in conversation with what I assumed to be was her cast of invisible nightly visitors.

I stayed in bed at first, annoyed that her medications were not doing their job in managing the delusions. She wasn’t jangling the bedrails for all she was worth, so I did not feel an urgency to get to her room. However, when the word “catheter” zoomed into my foggy brain, I jumped out of bed and hustled down the hall, slowing as I got to her door. Mother was touching the bedrails a little when I peeked into her room, but she did not need me at all. She was having a pretend conversation with the three stuffed animals that shared her bed. Mother was trying to place the little bunny-eared duck onto the bedrail after having successfully propped her larger otter and tiger onto the rail. Now with a brain set at toddler age, Mother was talking and playing with her stuffed animal friends. In the midst of my recent musings about why humans hang onto life when any quality left in living seems almost nonexistent, an unexpected answer had come my way.

My annoyance disappeared immediately and was replaced with a feeling I had never felt so strongly before: fierce belly-warming surges of love and protectiveness. This must be what mothers feel when they watch their toddlers at play, I thought while gazing with moist eyes at Mother. If I had stepped into her room at this moment, I am sure that she would have given me one of her toothless grins and tried to say, “Look, Mommy!” But I didn’t step into the room. I’m sure my heart would have burst if I had heard those words. Love and tenderness had enveloped me so completely—it was hard to contain this unexpected sense of motherhood.

I stood and watched until she had drifted off to sleep then went in, picked the duck off the floor, and tucked Mother in once more. After getting back into my own bed, I lay awake for a while and thought about toddler-age children. Most are unable yet to totally understand the onslaught of images, words, objects, and noises that come and go at them throughout their day. Make believe conversations and playacting with small dolls, stuffed animals, and toys engages them completely; to them, their play is real. So, too, was having make-believe conversations with stuffed animals and imagined people so real to Mother. During delusions, her hand gestures became flamboyant, her face animated, and even her sentences were understandable instead of garbled.

This particular incident made me consider a poignant question even more seriously: is it possible that, on some level, dementia can be viewed as a blessing for those who have it and are at the end of their life? For people with dementia, make believe seems to be as much a part of end-of-life experience as it was when they began life as a child. A wave of melancholy hit me strongly then as sadness over the loss of Mother’s adult personality and her motherly presence in my life moved through me. After this wave passed, a feeling of gratefulness lightened my grief. Mother was having her own experience of delightful fun, so real to her. The dementia that had caused her brain to regress back to the age of a toddler served a greater purpose than I had ever imagined. It was me that had to adjust and discern the benefit to her.

The pictures I took of Mother lying in bed surrounded by her animal friends are priceless to me. She loved each one and handled them differently. She was constantly putting on and taking off beaded bracelets from around the neck of her bunny-eared duck. Toward the end of her life, a bunny rabbit propped up Mother’s head when it weakened and began to droop. After her death, each of us took one of her animal friends into our homes. They are our reminders that Mother did experience her own brand of end-of-life joy.


Interview – About the Book:

What was the inspiration behind this story?

Making the choice to quit my job and care for my mother was not an easy one, but neither was it difficult. She had been my stalwart champion for every endeavor that I’d ever decided to tackle, and there were many of them. I’ve always loved and respected my mother, but in the years leading up to this caregiver decision, I had come to like her so much. We had been close for a long time, and I’d witnessed the decline of both her health and her mind. So how could I not become her caregiver? This endeavor was one of the best ones I’d ever chosen to take on: the experience was priceless.

After my mother died, I had a tough time just getting through the day. I’d taken care of her for three years and was nearing age sixty-two. The job I’d quit to care for her was not available; I was at a total loss as to what I wanted to do next in my life. A few months passed…I was still going through her files. When I discovered a cache of letters that I had written to her while in college and the years I’d lived out of state, I laid everything else aside.

It was while rereading those letters that I had an epiphany. For much of my adult life, my mother had been after me to write a book, any book. I hadn’t paid any attention; my life was busy enough. But maybe my letters home were the reason she kept niggling me to write, for I’d written to her about my life in storytelling detail. Writing technical and procedures’ manuals in my earlier career endeavors was the closest that I had come. But one day, my eye caught sight of my journal lying on the table amidst all the letters. Throughout the three years that I was my mother’s caregiver, I wrote in a journal every night as a way to keep a handle on my sanity. While flipping through the journal, I realized that there was no rhyme or reason to the content of my daily notes, the topic covered. Each page contained scribbles relating to the events, thoughts, and emotions of the day. For several days, I kept thinking about how to turn this into a memoir. One phrase kept intruding, one that my mother liked to say: you won’t know until you try. So I decided to give writing a go, telling myself to relax and just play with it, see what happens. Seven months later, I’d finished the book and fulfilled my mother’s wish: the first version was written for her.

Tell us about your main character.

Honesty, determination, resilience, and humility are the traits I most admire in the person who is the main character in my memoir: my mother, Eva. As the oldest daughter in a poor family during the Great Depression, she didn’t have much of a childhood. But with grit and the determination to make life better for her own family, she became a registered nurse, married Carl when he came home from WWII, had four girls one year after the other, and then faced a tragedy that had struck unexpectedly. My mother became a widow just after her last child was born. She made it through many challenges after that, always managing to keep a house over our heads and food on the table.

Those are some of the early details of her life. The important part is the example that she set for us, her girls. Though raised in the South when prejudice was rampant, my mother stood firm, teaching us to respect all people regardless of their race, color, religion, or beliefs. The only people she was prejudiced against were those who didn’t take care of their families. My mother loved us unconditionally. How do I know? As we grew toward adulthood, she allowed us the freedom to make choices, even ones that she knew would hurt, that were mistakes. She was always there to listen and encourage us to keep moving forward. Often, in many different ways through words and example, my mother taught us this: hold your head high no matter what people may say about you. A mistake is simply that, a mistake. A sin would be if you did nothing to correct it.

My mother loved being a public health nurse, meeting people from all walks of life, and going to movies and plays. She always had a twinkle in her eye and a laugh erupting out of her heart. Even after dementia took over her brain and scrambled her words, there were two that remained: thank you. Those were the last words that she mumbled before nodding off to sleep; when she woke up next, she was in a coma.

Please share a few favorite lines or one paragraph.

“I stayed in bed at first, annoyed that her medications were not doing their job in managing the delusions. She wasn’t jangling the bed rails for all she was worth, so I didn’t feel an urgency to get to her room. However, when the word “catheter” zoomed into my foggy brain, I jumped out of bed and hustled down the hall, slowing as I got to her door. Mother was touching the bedrails a little when I peeked into her room, but she didn’t need me at all. She was having a pretend conversation with the three stuffed animals that shared her bed, trying to prop the little bunny-eared duck onto the bedrail next to the tiger and otter. In the midst of my recent musings about why humans hang onto life when any quality left in living seems almost nonexistent, an unexpected answer had come my way.”

How long did it take you to write this book?

It took me seven months to write the first version of my memoir, but longer to write the revision. It’s interesting how life takes a turn, and you find yourself doing something that you hadn’t planned to do, like write a revision of a memoir. It has been a few years since the first publication, and due to several factors (friend’s urgings and well-meaning suggestions in a review), I decided to take a second look. It was time for me to read my own memoir.

I’ve come a long way with regard to my writing abilities thanks to opportunities to be a beta reader of other authors’ stories, a desire to become a better writer, and teaching a GED class of adult students. While writing A Sacred Journey, my first fictional story, I received helpful feedback from author friends. They taught me so much and nourished the writer in me in unexpected ways. I’m indebted to many authors, but in particular to Lisette Brodey and Julia Hughes for their immeasurable helpfulness and confidence in me. So during this past summer, I pulled up the initial file of my memoir, put some glue on my seat, and took a walk back in time through one of the most poignant adventures of my life. It took over nine months for me to finish the revision.

In this second edition of Adventures, the storyline itself is unchanged, but it’s had a facelift—a cover that was beautifully designed and created by Charles Roth. I deleted some redundant passages, took out a few chapters (incorporating some parts into other chapters), and refined some of the experiences that I’d had with my mother. It helped that time had passed since her death; my emotions didn’t overwhelm me as they’d done before. Instead, rewriting my memoir was cathartic, helping me go less traumatically through deeper pockets of grief.

My memoir was initially written to honor my mother’s wish for me to write a book. This revision was done to honor myself—my willingness to listen to feedback, learn from suggestions, and thereby craft a revision that reflects the writing skills I’ve gained.

How did you come up with the title?

My career path has been a series of revolving doors. I never could settle into one job for more than five years. It bothered my mother at first, but she decided that I was born with a sense of wanderlust. Whenever I’d called and said, “Guess what, Mom?” she’d usually groaned and then asked me, “What adventure are you jumping into now, Dody?” After she died and I decided to write the memoir, the first title that popped into my head is one that would not leave: Adventures in Mother-Sitting. The title describes my experience completely. Because my mother had dementia, her daily care habits and responses were always unpredictable. My responses to hers were unpredictable too. I had some powerful meltdowns in reaction to what was going on with her. The best thing is that our most difficult moments always ended in laughter. This experience had every element to be found in a good adventure. I faced a lot of unknowns, had various challenges to meet in order to make it through the day, needed other peoples support, and felt end-of-the-day satisfaction because I’d learned a lot and gotten through some tough spots safely.


About the Author:

Doreen-Cox Born with a sense of wanderlust, Doreen (Dody) Cox had a somewhat convoluted career path, working in various business-related and mental health occupations. When dementia began to debilitate her mother, Dody resigned from her job as group counselor at an alternative school in order to take on an unforeseen endeavor: become her mother’s care bear. It was after her mother’s death that Dody’s path took another unexpected turn. She chose to honor her mother’s long-held wish: for her to write a book. ADVENTURES IN MOTHER-SITTING is Dody’s first publication, a memoir that emerged from the pages of her journal. Writing was a steadying outlet throughout the three years that dementia took her and her mother on an unpredictably tumultuous, yet heartwarming adventure.

Currently, Dody lives in her native Florida and works part-time, teaching a GED class comprised of multicultural adults in one of her favorite places: a library. She continues to write and has recently published A SACRED JOURNEY, a fictional short story with themes relating to nature, spirituality, hope, and dignity in death.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog



There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

• A $15 Amazon Gift Card & ebook copy of A Sacred Journey

Giveaway is International.

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Follow the tour to learn more about Doreen and her writing:



#MondayBlogs: Sex, Drugs, and Murder – MIAMI SNOW – Free Kindle Book!

How close can you get to the edge before you fall off?

Miami Snow is a free Kindle download from February 23-25!


One day Nick Donovan has it all; a beautiful, pregnant wife, a nice house, a great job. The next day he is on his own, starting from scratch with nothing but a few suitcases and his old truck.

Nick flees to the opposite coast of Florida, trying to leave his ex-wife and the memories behind. But that couldn’t happen. Soon Nick finds that he is tied to Shelley in a way that he hadn’t expected. And, in her bitterness, she does everything she can to ensure his misery.

Brandy is Shelley’s opposite; wild, sensual, free-spirited. With Brandy, Nick is able to rebel against all that Shelley stands for. Brandy quickly leads Nick into a world of sex, drugs, and cash. And now Nick finds himself caught between the two worlds, desperate to stay afloat.


Go ahead and download a copy. It’s free! The characters await you.

Thanks for reading. :)

Book Review: MONDAY’S LIE by Jamie Mason

Monday's Lie

From the acclaimed author of the “ripping good” (The New York Times) debut novel Three Graves Full comes a new thriller about a woman who digs into her unconventional past to confirm what she suspects: her husband isn’t what she thought he was.

Dee Aldrich rebelled against her off-center upbringing when she married the most conventional man she could imagine: Patrick, her college sweetheart. But now, years later, her marriage is falling apart and she’s starting to believe that her husband has his eye on a new life…a life without her, one way or another.

Haunted by memories of her late mother Annette, a former covert operations asset, Dee reaches back into her childhood to resurrect her mother’s lessons and the “spy games” they played together, in which Dee learned memory tricks and, most importantly, how and when to lie. But just as she begins determining the course of the future, she makes a discovery that will change her life: her mother left her a lot of money and her own husband seems to know more about it than Dee does. Now, before it’s too late, she must investigate her suspicions and untangle conspiracy from coincidence, using her mother’s advice to steer her through the blind spots. The trick, in the end, will be in deciding if a “normal life” is really what she wants at all.

With pulse-pounding prose and atmospheric settings, Monday’s Lie is a thriller that delivers more of the “Hitchcockian menace” (Peter Straub) that made Three Graves Full a critical hit. For fans of the Coen brothers or Gillian Flynn, this is a book you won’t want to miss.

Published: February 3, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK


My Review:

It’s Friday, but Monday’s lie made today what it is.

First, it’s important to note that while this book is marketed as a thriller, I found it far more of a literary journey. The only aspect that really fits into the thriller genre comes in the last quarter of the book. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-packed true thriller, this book will disappoint you. Be prepared for a compelling look at family relationships, with some suspense and mystery, written in an almost poetic style.

I breathed, and what should have been an automatic thing was now a trick of measuring air – not too much, not too little.

This story is told largely through flashbacks. We begin with Dee in her car, driving to an untold destination. This is where she remains through most of the book. We learn where she’s going and why through her memories.

Before the big things that were importantly disastrous, there were the slippery, subtle, little things.

The concept here is unique, filled with characters that are vivid, mysterious, and captivating. But what kept me engaged wasn’t as much the plot as the writing. Jamie Mason has a way of stringing words together that feels like a beautiful painting. Individual sentences can be held up and admired. The mood, setting, and emotions are not so much described for us as they are laid out for us to step into.

If I’m ever a ghost, this will be one place they’ll see me – the translucent drenched girl in pajama pants and soggy sweatshirt, hovering and shivering in the foyer.

Dee’s mother, Annette, is a central figure throughout the story, to the point where she often feels more like the main character. One aspect of this that might be a problem for readers is that we are never given a definite answer as to who she worked for or what she did. The plot demands this be shrouded in mystery throughout, but even in the end we don’t get answers. In my opinion, this is because Dee herself isn’t quite sure. But, because Annette has such a big role, not getting answers feels a bit like we’ve been cheated.

I don’t believe my mother, Annette Vess, though that mothering and training were the same thing exactly, but a blurred line stitched the two ideas into our security blankets from infancy.

The ending didn’t hold surprise for me. By then, I’d correctly guessed much of the outcome. The power for this story came in the journey. While I wasn’t on the edge of my seat, I was comfortably ensconced throughout.

I twist the key and kill the engine and the silence rolls over me like syrup, rising into every space. My ears fill with quiet. It slides down my throat. I can’t breathe. I’m drowning. It’s so heavy.


Thanks for reading. :)