#MondayBlogs – ELI’S COMING – Supernatural Giveaway!

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I’m just a few weeks away from launching my new book – ELI’S COMING. And, yes, I’m excited. You can probably tell by the amount of times I’ve already talked about it here. Today I’m announcing my first giveaway for this book. Want to win a signed, print copy that I will ship anywhere in the world? When the book is ready for release, I’ll pick one subscriber from my (brand new) newsletter to receive a copy! All you have to do in order to be eligible to win is to sign up. If you already have, then you’re already entered! I know some of you don’t like to subscribe to stuff, but I promise not to bother you often. You’ll only hear from me when I have news worth sharing – new releases, contests other than my regular monthly giveaways, and updates on the movie deal for this book. (No, I don’t really have a movie deal. I’m working on the theory that the universe will provide that which I am confident of receiving.)

Have you somehow missed all my shouts and blathering on about this book? If so, here’s a look:

ebook Eli’s dark legacy holds murder as his rite of passage. They say his ability is a gift. He calls it a curse. A life of violence and heartache leaves him with nothing left to fight for.

Or so he thinks.

Amanda steals his heart, but love makes him vulnerable. He must give her up or accept who he is and fight.

Will he risk stepping into the darkness that could consume him?

 

And now for a teaser:

The Scream Eli grabbed a hardcover copy of each of his books from one of the shelves. When he turned to get a pen from the desk, he noticed Amanda staring at the opposite wall. She was looking at a framed reproduction of The Scream by Edvard Munch and, judging by the change in her energy, she was unsettled.

He slipped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on the top of her head. “You don’t like the painting?” he asked.

“It sort of creeps me out,” she said. “I’ve only seen the image a couple of times online. The actual painting is more intense. It looks like he’s frozen in pain. Not exactly the most relaxing image.”

“No, I guess not.

“What’s the appeal for you?”

“The eternal agony,” Eli replied. “That inner being in so many of us, unable to put a voice to the fear. Locked in a perpetual state of horror, if only within your own mind.”

Amanda twisted to face him. “You say that as if you’re speaking from personal experience.”

He dropped his arms and forced a smile. “Just a writer’s imagination. Any special inscription you think Eve would like?”

He felt her energy shifting and he wanted to rewind to the living room. He knew how to handle sexual tension. This other kind of tension flooded him with panic. He’d have to decide, and he wasn’t ready.

*
Eli’s Coming is the first in the Chasing The Night series. This is psychological / supernatural suspense. No vampires or werewolves. Eli is completely human, powerful, different, and dangerous.

Back to the giveaway. If the book intrigues you, and you’d like updates along with a chance to win a copy, sign up for my newsletter below. The release will be mid to late May, and you’ll need to be signed up before then. I’ll randomly pick one subscriber to receive a signed copy!

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Thank you for taking this journey with me!

LINEAR SHIFT by Paul B Kohler – No one said time travel would be easy.

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Title: Linear Shift
Author: Paul B Kohler
Published: April 7th, 2015
Publisher: Global Endeavor Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi Thriller

Linear-Shift No one said time travel would be easy.

Peter Cooper, a widowed father of two whose life is crumbling around him—until a bizarre encounter with a desperate Army general launches him on a risky mission: to go back to 1942 and change a moment in time. The repercussions will almost certainly alter the conclusion of World War II. But will the ripple effects stop there? And what kind of life will Peter return to?

Unknown Consequences:
A successful mission may not have the success he had intended.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Excerpt from Linear Shift:

Peter opened the trunk and pulled out a large duffle bag. From its side pocket he slipped out a neatly folded packet. He slung the bag over his shoulder, stepped over the rope barrier, and climbed down the stone embankment. By the time he reached the water’s edge, he had unfolded his map and was studying it in the moonlight. Once he had his bearings, he walked another twenty paces until he came upon a large concrete tube. Stepping over two rows of heavy riprap, Peter stood up in the mouth of the opening. Flicking on his flashlight, he strode into the darkness.

He had expected the ceiling to descend, but after a dozen steps into the bowels of the city sewer, he was still able to stand fully upright.

Adjusting his map, Peter plotted his route and continued onward.

The map—the proverbial key to the castle—had been something of a windfall. Chet, the coin shop owner, had spoken of a flaw in the original security. The original documents had been sealed shortly after the flaw was discovered. Luckily though, the sixty-year confidentiality had serendipitously expired only a few months before Peter’s trip through the time machine. He had examined every detail regarding the breach and had found an unaltered map of the city sewer system. Peter hadn’t been able to take the map out of the records room, so he’d had to memorize it. His map was something he was quite proud of; he had drawn it completely from memory upon arrival in 1942. With his architectural background and razor-sharp memory, he’d been able to sketch the map with superior precision, even without the benefit of the original.

 

About the Author:

Paul-Kohler Paul began writing in 1998, shortly after the birth of his daughter. His first short story, Amy, was written in November of that year, but went unpublished until November of 2013. That was when Paul found the courage to publish.

Despite the 15 year lag, Paul has written many unpublished works throughout the years. Linear Shift, Part 1 (September/2013) was his first published story, and was the kick off to his four part serial novel. Part 2 followed up in December of 2013, and Part 3 is planned for a May/2014 release.

Aside from his Linear Shift series, a number of Paul’s short stories have been included in anthologies. Amy, was included in “Something To Read On The Ride”. Lookout Mountain and Gold Rush were both included in “Something For The Journey”. His short story Alone has been submitted to another anthology, but has yet to be published.

When not writing, Paul is hard at work in the field of architecture. He has been in the field of design since 1992, and loves what he does. He lives with his wife and daughter in Littleton, Colorado, where he was born and raised.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

 

The Writing Life – Interview with Paul Kohler:

When you first begin writing a new book, is your main focus on the characters or the plot?

When I first begin, it’s all about the idea, and the plot. Mostly. There are some times that the idea is so character driven, that I come up who the story is about first and then create a world in which that character lives.

Is there a time of day or night when you’re most creative?

Yeah, strangely enough, it is very early in the morning. I was never a morning person. I mean, I’d sleep in till 10:00 every morning if I could. Back in mid 2013, I made the decision to really put a solid effort into my writing, and began getting up at 5:15 a.m. It’s now been almost two years since I started that habit, that I feel weird if I’m not up and on the computer by 5:30. Most of my best ideas flow out within the first 30 minutes of waking.

Describe your writing environment.

I’m pretty particular with my writing area. I have a home study that has a floor to ceiling bookcase behind my desk. The walls are covered with only positive things, and the wall color, as least the parts that you can see, are a taupe color that seems to sooth my soul. As for sound, if I am the only one home when I write, the better. I really prefer complete silence. I can throw on a little classical music in the background, if the family is around, but the door will most always be closed if there are.

What do you find the easiest to write; the beginning, middle or end? Why?

The beginning is absolutely easiest. The middle seems to be the part that drags along the most, because I know what started the story, and I usually know how I want things to end. It’s that dreaded middle part that sometimes lags on and causes the most delays on my projects. The beginning part sometimes feels like it writes itself.

Tell us about your process for naming your characters.

For the second part of Linear Shift, I let the readers pick some of the names. I actually ran a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the editing portion of the book, and as a reward for the higher level contributions, I let them name and help develop a few key players in the story. Other times, I’ll simply use a name generator if nothing jumps out at me. The name has to roll of the tongue though, or it’s not going into the book.

Do you outline first or take an idea and run blindly?

I use to be a ‘pantser’ but after several stalled stories, I changed up to a planner. I don’t plan everything out, but I certainly have guide posts set up along the path. As long as I hit certain mile stones, I usually have much better results in my story and plot.

Do you edit as your write? Or do you write an entire rough draft before doing any edits?

Unfortunately, I do edit as I write. I’ve tried to not do it, but the obsessive part of my mind will not let it go! If I could get through a complete first draft without editing along the way, I think I could much more prolific on my stories.

How do you decide on your book’s title?

Sometimes, the title is the worst. I want a title that tells something about the story, but also looks good on the cover. Too wordy, and my mind yells at me.

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

I’ve set them up in both, actually. I’ll normally take a real place and then fictionalize some of the details. Take Linear Shift for example, I wrote the story to be largely based in San Francisco, but as I wrote some of those scenes, I made up entire communities and locations in the city, while left some of them alone and still included them. It’s a nice blend of real and fake.

Tell us about your process for designing a cover.

I do most of my covers myself. I’ve hired out a few, but I am a hands on kind of guy. My background is architecture, and I use a lot of design software. Because of my grasp of computer aided design, I think I have a step up on some other authors that attempt to do their own covers. So far, I’ve not had any complaints with the covers I’ve designed.

 

Giveaway Details:

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

• A $20 Amazon gift card

Giveaway is International.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Follow the tour to learn more about Paul and his writing: http://junipergrovebooksolutions.com/linear-shift-by-paul-b-kohler

 

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#MondayBlogs – Meet Eli – They say his ability is a gift. He calls it a curse.

Out in May!

 

ebook Eli’s dark legacy holds murder as his rite of passage. They say his ability is a gift. He calls it a curse. A life of violence and heartache leaves him with nothing left to fight for.

Or so he thinks.

Amanda steals his heart, but love makes him vulnerable. He must give her up or accept who he is and fight.

Will he risk stepping into the darkness that could consume him?

 

Opening Teaser:

The allure of the night is its ability to pull you into its depths, to keep you hidden in its crevices. The darkness wraps around you. Nothing reaches you there.

And you reach nothing.

Have you ever wanted to melt into the darkness? Dissolve into the shadows?

You can lose yourself in the black emptiness. But while you may lose yourself, the night always knows where you are.

 

Eli Hayes stood alone in the darkness. The night sky was clear, lit by the stars and a perfect quarter moon. Shadows fell across the ground, casting a thick and almost tangible black film. He was aware of the tension in his shoulders and the ache in his jaw. Closing his eyes, he breathed in slow and deep. He stayed that way, quietly meditating, until the pain melted away.

When he opened his eyes again, the shadows followed the path of the gravestones. He squatted in front of a square chunk of marble. He read the name and date slowly, committing it to memory as if he’d later be quizzed on the information. As if it wasn’t already etched in his mind, a permanent fixture there.

He reached out. The stone felt cold against his fingertips. He traced the letters. Deep grooves in cold rock. All that was left at the end of existence.

*
Read a longer excerpt on my website: www.quietfurybooks.com/eliscoming.html

Want to know when the book is released? Sign up for my newsletter! I’ll send updates on new releases, and information on contests and giveaways.

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Thanks for reading. :)

Book Review – DREAMLAND: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

Dreamland

In fascinating detail, Sam Quinones chronicles how, over the past 15 years, enterprising sugar cane farmers in a small county on the west coast of Mexico created a unique distribution system that brought black tar heroin—the cheapest, most addictive form of the opiate, 2 to 3 times purer than its white powder cousin—to the veins of people across the United States. Communities where heroin had never been seen before—from Charlotte, NC and Huntington, WVA, to Salt Lake City and Portland, OR—were overrun with it. Local police and residents were stunned. How could heroin, long considered a drug found only in the dense, urban environments along the East Coast, and trafficked into the United States by enormous Colombian drug cartels, be so incredibly ubiquitous in the American heartland? Who was bringing it here, and perhaps more importantly, why were so many townspeople suddenly eager for the comparatively cheap high it offered?

With the same dramatic drive of El Narco and Methland, Sam Quinones weaves together two classic tales of American capitalism: The stories of young men in Mexico, independent of the drug cartels, in search of their own American Dream via the fast and enormous profits of trafficking cheap black-tar heroin to America’s rural and suburban addicts; and that of Purdue Pharma in Stamford, Connecticut, determined to corner the market on pain with its new and expensive miracle drug, Oxycontin; extremely addictive in its own right. Quinones illuminates just how these two stories fit together as cause and effect: hooked on costly Oxycontin, American addicts were lured to much cheaper black tar heroin and its powerful and dangerous long-lasting high. Embroiled alongside the suppliers and buyers are DEA agents, local, small-town sheriffs, and the US attorney from eastern Virginia whose case against Purdue Pharma and Oxycontin made him an enemy of the Bush-era Justice Department, ultimately stalling and destroying his career in public service.

Dreamland is a scathing and incendiary account of drug culture and addiction spreading to every part of the American landscape.

Published: April 21, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK

 

My Review: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This book is a fascinating and disturbing look at the connection between the use of prescription opiates and heroin addiction. The author blends facts with real life stories, pulling us into this world where pharmaceutical companies and pill mill doctors are knowingly creating addicts.

Much of the story centers around Portsmouth, Ohio, a blue-collar town where families once thrived. We follow its history, through an economic collapse, the burgeoning pain clinics and Oxycontin push, and the subsequent onslaught of heroin dealers and addicts.

About the only new folks who came to Portsmouth then were merchants of the poor economy. Portsmouth got its first check-cashing places and first rent-to-owns. Pawn shops and scrap metal yards opened. And David Procter expanded his practice.

But the problem is certainly not limited to this one area of Ohio. Quinones takes us through the country, where opiate and heroin addictions go hand-in-hand.

We also learn about the Xalisco Boys, a loosely formed group of Mexican immigrants who take advantage of the new opiate addiction by providing a cheaper alternative. Black tar heroin comes from Mexico, not Afghanistan, and it is a far worse problem than the white powder has ever been.

Think of it like a fast-food franchise, the informant said, like a pizza delivery service. Each heroin cell or franchise has an owner in Xalisco, Nayarit, who supplies the cell with heroin. The owner doesn’t often come to the United States. He communicates only with the cell manager, who lives in Denver and runs the business for him.

Throughout this book, we meet the addicts and their families, the dealers, the doctors, and the DEA agents who are trying to make sense of this fast-growing epidemic.

Oxycontin, Oxycodone, and heroin all come from the morphine molecule. One is not safer than the other. They are all highly addictive drugs. Quinones uncovers the lies told to doctors and to patients about the supposed safety of the Oxy product, with pharmaceutical representatives calling it nonaddictive and pushing doctors to prescribe in increasing dosages. The pharmaceutical company here is worse than the street dealer, as they purposely and knowingly create a nation of addicts all in the name of profit. Yet no one is locking them away for their crime.

In 1998, Purdue sent out fifteen thousand copies of a video about Oxycontin to doctors around the country without submitting it to the FDA for review, contrary to the agency’s regulations.

This is a book that needs to be read by the masses. We have become a nation of drug addicts. Putting it in pill form and labeling it ‘medication’ only means our dealers are now pharmaceutical companies instead of drug cartels. That is, until the doctor cuts us off or we can’t afford the pills anymore. Addiction doesn’t go away because the doctor stops writing prescriptions or because the pills cost too much. When that happens, we just turn to the cheaper alternative. Whether we call them ‘legal medications’ or ‘illegal drugs’, it’s all the same and it’s all destructive.

So as the movement to destigmatize opiates and use them for chronic pain gained energy, the seeds of discontent were already being sown. These drugs were advertised mostly to primary care physicians, who had little pain-management training and were making their money by churning patients through their offices at a thirteen-minute clip.

*Neither I nor the author make the claim that pain meds should not be prescribed and used appropriately – only cautiously.*

 

Thanks for reading. :)

Book Review: WITHIN THESE WALLS by Ania Ahlborn

Within These Walls

From indie horror author and bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn, this brand-new supernatural thriller questions: how far would you go for success, and what would you be capable of if the promise of forever was real?

With his marriage on the rocks and his life in shambles, washed up crime writer Lucas Graham is desperate for a comeback. So when he’s promised exclusive access to notorious cult leader and death row inmate Jeffrey Halcomb, the opportunity is too good to pass up. Lucas leaves New York for the scene of the crime—a split-level farmhouse on the gray-sanded beach of Washington State—a house whose foundation is steeped in the blood of Halcomb’s diviners; runaways who, thirty years prior, were drawn to his message of family, unity, and unconditional love. Lucas wants to tell the real story of Halcomb’s faithful departed, but when Halcomb goes back on his promise of granting Lucas exclusive information on the case, he’s left to put the story together on his own. Except he is not alone. For Jeffrey Halcomb promised his devout eternal life…and within these walls, they’re far from dead.

Published: April 21, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK

 

My Review: ★ ★ ★ ★

This book combines various genres – thriller, paranormal, suspense, horror. Most of all, it’s a fascinating and realistic look at cult behavior. We see how a cult leader preys on specific types of people, how easily these otherwise intelligent and good-hearted people get caught up in the madness, and how it all slowly escalates from something basically good to something horrific.

Her heart fluttered inside her chest. She couldn’t tell if it was love or nerves. She dared to shoot a glance at him, and their eyes met as they approached the clearing that would lead her back to her parents’ home. It was as though he knew everything about her, knew just what she needed to hear.

Throughout this story, we alternate between the present time with Lucas Graham and three decades past with a young woman called Audra and the cult she unwittingly allows to take over her life. Eventually, these two storylines collide in an explosive and creepy ending.

Some of the content is predictable, a bit Amityville Horror-ish with a heavy Charles Manson influence. I wanted to shout at Lucas to just get out of the house. Even so, the author does a good job of showing us why Lucas is so caught up in himself and his pursuit of the story at all costs.

He could have done the research from anywhere, but there was something about being where the crimes had been committed, something about standing in the very spot a person had died. Wandering through the rooms of a house haunted by death. Seeing the details. Touching the wallpaper. Smelling the air. It ignited Lucas’s work like nothing else.

I would have liked more of a presence from ‘the bad guy’. We mostly see and experience him through the impressions of others. I wanted to get a little closer to him, to better understand him and his motivations. Cult leaders have a way of making the illogical and selfish sound altruistic, and I would have liked to see this in motion directly from him instead of the roundabout after effects.

In the end, this book held my interest throughout, gave me a chill, and left me with something to think about.

 

Thanks for reading. :)

Cover Reveal: ELI’S COMING – You better run!

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Book Title: Eli’s Coming
Series Title: Chasing The Night – Book 1
Genre: Supernatural / Psychological Suspense

Eli’s Coming
You better run!

 

ebook Eli’s dark legacy holds murder as his rite of passage. They say his ability is a gift. He calls it a curse. A life of violence and heartache leaves him with nothing left to fight for.

Or so he thinks.

Amanda steals his heart, but love makes him vulnerable. He must give her up or accept who he is and fight.

Will he risk stepping into the darkness that could consume him?

 

I’m excited to show off the cover for my new book, coming in May! The design is by Biserka, two talented and incredibly nice sisters. You can find them on the 99 Designs website: https://99designs.com/profiles/biserka

I was about midway through writing this book, which at the time had no title, and I noticed a song kept intruding into my thoughts. I couldn’t make it go away. A few days later, I realized why this song wouldn’t leave me alone. The title was the perfect title for my story. In fact, the song itself makes the perfect theme song for the movie. (Anyone in Hollywood paying attention? 😆 Clearly you can figure out the song is Eli’s Coming. I’m referring to the version done by Three Dog Night, particularly the later, live version, which is darker in feel than the earlier studio recording. Because Three Dog Night made the song popular, most people assume they wrote it. But that credit goes to Laura Nyro, who also first recorded the song. You can find her original version on YouTube.

You can find at least a dozen different live recordings of Three Dog Night doing this song on YouTube. The opening of one in particular fits the mood of the book perfectly. It starts with this haunting vocal that gradually builds in intensity. Click the link for your listening and viewing pleasure: Eli’s Coming by Three Dog Night.

Now here’s the thing. While I love that version, Eli, my character, demands something current. And I have the perfect vocalist/musician in mind. His voice is deep and gritty. His music has that dark quality I’m looking for. He is also a very cool guy. So help me out. Let’s ask him to cover Eli’s Coming his way, and upload the video to YouTube. This man’s name is Geoff Lenox. He recently released his first album, called Into The Light, which I highly recommend. Ready to bombard Geoff with requests? Find him on Facebook and Twitter, and ask him to do a YouTube cover of Eli’s Coming for me. Then go check out his music on Bandcamp, where you can stream the album free. But beware; it’s addictive!

I’m working on the formatting for Eli’s Coming in both print and ebook. I have bookmarks being printed. Prepare yourself because…

ELI’S COMING

 

Thanks for reading. :)

Book Review – HOUSE OF ECHOES by Brendan Duffy

House of Echoes

In this enthralling and atmospheric thriller, one young family’s dream of a better life is about to become a nightmare.

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.

When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

House of Echoes is a novel that shows how sometimes the ties that bind us are the only things that can keep us whole.

Published: April 14, 2015

Amazon / Amazon UK

 

My Review: ★ ★ ★

I love old-fashioned, scary stories. No vampires or zombies. No gratuitous gore. Just a realistic story that makes me shiver with dread. With that in mind, I was looking forward to this book. In some ways, I got what I hoped for. In other ways, the book fell short.

No matter how much the Tierneys made the Crofts their own, the presence of the house’s former inhabitants would linger if given the chance. He felt this in the way that every empty room seemed to recoil at his presence when he walked the halls on sleepless nights.

First, Brendan Duffy excels at creating atmosphere. I was in that small town, looking at the huge home on the hill with awe. I stepped inside and felt that glimmer of hope mixed with the tremble of fear. Those surrounding woods felt both ominous and peaceful. I heard the sounds and smelled the air. Throughout the book, I was in that space with the characters.

The plot itself has a stutter. We meander, then we surge. The pace lacks consistency and often shifts gear right at the point where we’re losing our breath and completely falling into the story.

And sitting there smiling, laughing, telling stories, Ben felt it again: an actor. Everyone was gracious and said polite things, but the night felt like a performance.

One word of caution: This book contains a lot of animal-related violence. These actions do pertain to the story, although the scenes are quite graphic and might bother many animal lovers. My major issue with this aspect is Charlie’s reaction – or lack thereof. He is a young boy from a stable home, yet he seems completely unaffected by what he sees. I was at a loss to understand how complacent both Charlie and Ben were about this issue.

The incredible number of flies made it difficult for Ben to understand what he was seeing. There were bones in the ravine. Dead animals, Ben guessed from the varying sizes of the remains. Stark white rib cages arced from the ground, some still draped with graying sinew.

I felt the characters were underdeveloped. We get to know them on a surface level, allowing them to lead us through the story. But, for the most part, I felt they lacked depth. Some of their actions didn’t ring true, mostly due to lack of normal response.

Long after her footsteps faded down the hall, the feel of her mouth lingered alongside his, sitting there like an exhausted goodbye.

A final, minor issue comes with the ending. We suddenly shift gears, from a third person narrative with a traditional feel, to a second person narrative with a literary feel. While I respect the author’s approach here, the switch feels out of place and jarring.

In the end, this book falls short of the promise it holds. Still, the writing can captivate and the story is worth reading.

 

Thanks for reading. :)

HER WEREWOLF BODYGUARD – Paranormal Romance #MPRTour and Giveaway!

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Title: Her Werewolf Bodyguard
Series: Moon Pack Rules #1–4
Author: Michele Bardsley
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Her Werewolf Bodyguard Stephanie Draper is on the run from an abusive husband–a terrifying breed of shifter. She seeks sanctuary in Tulsa, Oklahoma at her childhood home. Her stepfather is a respected Moon Pack werewolf, and even though she’s human, she’s considered a pack member, too.

Nolan Wright is also a Moon Pack werewolf and a cop with the Tulsa PD. He can sniff out a damsel in distress from five miles away … and it doesn’t take him long to find the beautiful and haunted Stephanie.

Beauty wants the Beast. Stephanie has built solid walls around her heart–for a good damned reason. But Nolan’s kind and funny demeanor is creeping through the cracks of those walls, and soon, she finds herself falling for the handsome shifter. It feels like Stephanie may finally be able to piece together her shattered life … until her monstrous husband returns for his final revenge…

Amazon / Goodreads

 

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michele2Bbardsley New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Michele Bardsley writes howling good paranormal romances. When she’s not writing, Michele consumes chocolate, crochet hats, watches “Supernatural,” reads on her Kindle, and spend times with her awesome hubby and their fur babies.

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest / Tsu

 

Getting to Know Michele:

What is your favorite cartoon character?

Scooby-Doo. To this day, I love the original Scooby-Doo cartoons because some of my fondest childhood memories are getting up on Saturday mornings, making a bowl of cereal, and turning on cartoons. Back in the day, cartoons only came on Saturday mornings, so it made the experience special. It was the one thing to look forward to on the weekends.

What is your favorite TV show?

Supernatural. I love me some Dean and Sam Winchester!

Do you prefer summer or winter?

Winter. So. Much. I live in Texas, and the summers are brutal here.

Are you an introvert or extravert?

Introvert. I prefer to be at home with my puppies, family, and computer. I’m not shy, but like most introverts, I’m perfectly cool being alone.

Do you prefer cats or dogs?

I’m an animal person. We have four dogs, two cats, and six finches.

What is your favorite food? Least favorite?

My favorite food is chocolate. My least favorite food is celery. Blech!

What is your favorite material possession?

I have a doll that was popular in the early 1970s called “Christine.” She has hair that you can “shorten” by turning a knob on her back. When I was five, I ended up in the hospital for a little while (I don’t remember why) and my grandmother brought me the doll as a gift. I’ve had Christine for more than 35 years.

What personality traits do you most admire in others?

Patience. Kindness. Honor. The most admirable trait anyone can have is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.

Some people believe we can tell a lot about a person by the books on their shelves. Share 3 titles from your bookshelf.

Shadows and Lace by Teresa Medeiros: This historical romance is one of my few “re-read” books. It’s pure joy, intrigue, and love. I heart this book so much!

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: I’m a huge fan of these two writers and this book is amazing on many levels. Plus, you get two talented, wonderful authors writing a singular book that’s funny, entertaining, and an absolute must read.

A compendium of Edgar Allan Poe stories: Edgar Allan Poe is a master at creating sinister, creepy stories that crawl under your skin and worm into your brain.

 

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Prizes: A $10 Amazon/B&N/Book Depository gift card and another $20 Amazon gift card.
Ends 4/17.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: A STRIKING DEATH by David Anderson

A Striking Death

An elderly retired French teacher is found brutally bludgeoned to death in his bedroom. With very few leads to go on and no witnesses, Detective Sergeant Nicholas Drumm of the Violent Crimes Unit with the York Police Services is faced with a difficult task in finding the killer. One surprising event follows another, as Drumm finds himself in a race against a killer with a violent and twisted agenda.

Amazon / Amazon UK

 

My Review:

This is an interesting whodunit type of crime novel. We follow the detectives as they investigate a pair of murders, and we find the clues right along with them. The plot is mostly a straight forward mystery, with a few little twists along the way.

For me, the characters fall short. Their behavior feels stiff, and they lack the depth I need to help me connect and get lost in the story. The dialogue often sounds scripted and awkward, making it obvious that certain things are said to advance the plot or make a point, rather than being a realistic conversation.

A major issue for me comes with the two prominent female characters. They are both stereotypical in an unflattering way. One is a moody scatterbrain, while the other is like a teenager in love. Both women are high-level professionals in their jobs, but their personalities come off as childish.

In the end, while not a bad read, this is one of those books I could have put down and not picked up again.

 

Thanks for reading. :)

#MondayBlogs: Help Me Choose A Book Cover!

Help

My next book is getting close to publication, and I can’t wait to share it with you all! I’ve been working on cover ideas with some of the best designers. With help from family and friends, I’ve narrowed it down to six finalists. And now I need your help in choosing a winner!

This book is Supernatural/Psychological Suspense. There are no vampires, werewolves, etc. The ‘Supernatural’ aspect is about enhanced… abilities. I can’t – or maybe I won’t – give you more than that… yet. I want opinions to be based solely on the cover and the accompanying description. Which cover would make you stop and look? Which appeals to you more? Which matches the description and the genre? Which would you buy?

To make this more fun for everyone, I’m including a giveaway. Everyone who chooses the winning design as his/her favorite will be eligible to win a signed, print copy of this book upon release. I’ll randomly pick one winner from that list. Here’s what I need:

  • Please rate every cover, so I get a clear sense of comparisons.
  • Rate only your favorite with 5 stars. All others 4 stars or less.
  • Feedback is not necessary, unless there’s something you’d like to tell me about the cover. Keep in mind that minor changes can be made, such as font color and style. If you love the cover but would like a minor change, add that comment. Only I can see comments, so feel free to express yourself.
  • To be entered in the giveaway, please include your e-mail address in the comments. Again, only I see the comments and I won’t share that information. I’ll randomly pick one name from those who chose the same cover I ultimately choose as the winning design. To be eligible to win, you can only have rated one cover with 5 stars, and you have to include your name and e-mail address.
  • You have until noon EST on Wednesday, April 8.

I’ll post the winning cover here on my blog on Monday, April 13.

Ready to vote? Here we go. Click the link and a new page will open with the covers:

 https://99designs.com/book-cover-design/vote-okcx05

Thanks for your help! :)