A penny for your thoughts #8 (quote from A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

| | | 1 comments
Words touch us all in different ways. Sometimes the original intent of a quote resonates so profoundly with us that it is hard to believe that another wrote it. Other times it is a single word, peculiar phrasing, or an alternative meaning regarding an event in our lives that resonates the most. I believe in the power of starting the day (and week) off with a positive thought -- and so was created A Penny For Your Thoughts. This is a weekly blog hop that will feature quotes of all kinds; classics, character, book-movie, personal, etc. The themes will range from funny to serious, but really it all depends on how you interpret it! How does this work?

  1. Every Sunday a quote will be posted
  1. Post your thoughts on your blog and/or the comment section of a participating blog. You only get the penny for one or the other. You can do both but it doesn't count twice.
  2. Those with posts can join up on the Linky - Linky will not be active until day of post
  3. Collect the pennies! Every week there will be a new penny to collect and include with your post.
  4. RAFFLE ENTRY: Your site or comment needs to be submitted to this form as well so that your name can be uploaded to a raffle generator. If you're using a comment as a submission instead of a post, then put name of site where you left the comment in the "direct link" section.
  5. On the last Saturday of every month the entries from the form above will be entered in a drawing. Winner will be notified on Sunday. You get as many entries as you have pennies for the month. Prizes will include books, gift cards, site promotion, and other bookish winnings!
  6. Have fun! This is a fun way to start some discussion, discover blogs, and get to know more people. Please re-post these steps so that followers understand the process.
“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword. If you would take a man's life,
you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words.
And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

Book Blitz and Interview: Dances of the Heart by Andrea Downing

Thursday, February 19, 2015

| | | 8 comments
(Blurb):  Successful, workaholic author Carrie Bennett lives through her writing, but can’t succeed at writing a man into her life. Furthermore, her equally successful but cynical daughter, Paige, proves inconsolable after the death of her fiancé.
Hard-drinking rancher Ray Ryder can find humor in just about anything—except the loss of his oldest son. His younger son, Jake, recently returned from Iraq, now keeps a secret that could shatter his deceased brother’s good name.
On one sultry night in Texas, relationships blossom when the four meet, starting a series of events that move from the dancehalls of Hill Country to the beach parties of East Hampton, and from the penthouses of New York to the backstreets of a Mexican border town. But the hurts of the past are hard to leave behind, especially when old adversaries threaten the fragile ties that bind family to family…and lover to lover.  




Book Information:
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: contemporary women's fiction/romance


What people are saying about Dances of the Heart

"DANCES OF THE HEART by Andrea Downing is a fabulous Texan romance with plenty of action to keep you entertained."  Linda Green, Fresh Fiction

Excerpt: 

Carrie let the screen door close quietly behind her and sat on the steps, the cool glass still in her hands. Peering up at the canopy of heaven, she suddenly experienced a sense of being so small, infinitesimal; it was as if the world loomed over her, spreading out from the one axis of her being. Rather than celestial entities in the infinity of space above her, to Carrie, the stars were holes in the fabric, entries to the endless expanse beyond, gateways to other worlds of which she would never be a part.
The lights inside switched off and, for a moment, it appeared as if Ray had gone to bed.
“I’m sorry.” His voice came through the screen. The words were hoarse with drink and pain. “I... Can I join you?”
“Of course.”
He came out and carefully lowered himself onto the step, the coffee in his hand slopping slightly over the side.
“Don’t burn yourself.”
He set the mug down and stretched his legs forward, hands coming to rest on his thighs. “Robbie died in Afghanistan,” he started. “He was my eldest. It was five years ago, you know, and the pain is as fresh now as it was then. You never expect...you never think your kids are gonna go before you and all. And then Jake went off to Iraq, well, see...” He hesitated. “I told them, I said you take, but you give back. That’s what we do, we give back to our country, we serve. Robbie, well, Robbie just wanted to breed his horses—those damn Arabs meant everything to him, but I told him he had the...” There was a gulp of tears fighting to come out, the assault on a man’s pride he tried to cover. “I told him he had the rest of his life to breed those horses. I said every man in this family has served his country, and he wasn’t going to shame me, he wasn’t going to be the exception.”
“You served in Viet Nam, didn’t you?” Carrie lowered her voice to the whisper of a secret.
“Yeah. Right at the very end. I was lucky, I guess. Got over there just about in time to get out.” Ray tapped his hat back, then must have thought better of it and took it off, laying it carefully on the step beside him. Strands of damp hair lay plastered down the side of his face, but he made no attempt to push them back.
“Do you know how... I mean...”
“He was on guard duty, him and another kid. Some truck driven by them suicide bombers came at them laden with bombs, trying to get into the compound where all his buddies were. ’Course the two of them could’ve run away, could’ve stepped out of the way, but that’s not what you do, is it? They blasted the truck to stop it, blew it up outside to save the lives of the men inside that compound. Now, his mama has his Distinguished Service Cross and the flag that draped his coffin, as if that would make amends.” Ray cleared his throat, a sob mixing with his speech and anger. “But you know,” he went on, covering his mouth as if it would stop the tears, “you know it was my damn fault. I mean, what the hell difference would it have made if Robbie hadn’t gone, hadn’t of served? And what the hell are we doing there anyway? I mean, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq, what the hell are we fighting in those countries for? It’s meaningless, it’s just dang foolishness is what it is, kids dying for nothing...nothing at all.”
“Ray, you don’t believe that. Of course it made a difference, his serving. It made a big difference. You don’t believe that it was meaningless for one second.”
“Well. Tell you the truth, I don’t know what the hell I believe anymore. I criticized you for wanting to do the right thing, that business ’bout the designated driver an’ all, but, well, I guess it’s me. I just always tried, you know, I tried to do the right thing, but it never seemed to come out straight.”
“Of course it has,” Carrie assured him. “If Robbie hadn’t gone you would—”
“Oh, I know. I would’ve been angry with him for the rest of my life, been thinking what son of mine could do that, stay back. I’d’ve been shamed.” He sighed and glanced over as if noticing for the first time she was there. “I married Leigh Anne ’cause she was pregnant—that’s what you did, the right thing. You get a girl in the family way, you damn well married her. I’d been a kid when I went to Nam, and when I got back, I was quite a hell-raiser. Went all over the place, doing the rodeos, workin’ ranches. Then I got back here, and I was just taking over the ranch. Hardly had a dime to my name in those days, but you did the right thing. Well...” He ran a finger along the line of a crack in one of the steps. A hint of his earlier humor flashed on his face. “Is this when you New York folks say, ‘Thanks for sharing?’” he quipped.

Interview with Andrea Downing:

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What are some hobbies? General answers or not answering at all is okay.      

Thanks so much Jessi for having me here today.  I'm a New Yorker by birth but spent most of my life in the UK, returning to live in New York in 2008.  I try to spend as much time as possible out west, however, and that feeds the stories I write.  So far, they've all taken place in the west, mostly the Rocky Mt. states, but this new book is a departure for me.  I've headed on down to Texas and, not only that, slipped back into a contemporary time period.  As for hobbies, well, they're pretty much what you'd expect with that input:  riding, travel, rodeo, and so on.  You get the picture!


What was the trigger for your most recent book?   

Actually, it was a desire to learn the Texas Two-step.  Somehow or other "two-step" turned into two couples and the Texas remained but, as a New York gal wanting to learn the dance, other settings came into play as well.


What was the hardest part about writing this book? 

As I said, there are two couples in this book so the most difficult part about writing it was keeping the romance of the two couples going.  One is definitely the primary romance but I didn't want the second one to be so in the background that it became inconsequential.  It was really difficult to keep all four characters fully developed and constantly in the picture.


Do you develop characters from your personal experiences or draw from that of others? 

A little of both actually.  I don't think you can just pull characters out of thin air; you have to have some experience of them, what motivates people, what ticks they may have, the way their minds work.  As an author I watch people a great deal, as in airports or restaurants or whatever.  I don't think, however, that an author has to have personally experienced loss to know what it feels like to lose someone they love.  On the other hand, it might be difficult to write about climbing a mountain or riding a horse if you've never done it.


Are your comfortable writing in different genres? What is your go-to genre?    

Dances of the Heart is my first contemporary novel; the other three were historical romances so you might say my 'go-to' is historical western.  I have to admit I'm not sure why that is, though I was once told I was born in the wrong century!  I didn't find writing contemporary particularly difficult, and there's a lot to be said about not having to check language constantly for anachronisms, and think about what they were wearing or how they pumped water and so on.  I don't really think about what time period I'm going to write in; I think about what story I'm going to write.


When did you decide that it was time to take your writing public?         

When I got so old it didn't matter anymore whether I was a success or a failure.  Really—you get to the point when you have nothing to lose so you do it.  Of course, we'd all like to be raving successes, but in the new digital age, it's even more difficult to make a mark than it was before.  I'm just happy to be able to tell my stories and entertain a few people.

Writers block is inevitable. Either a plot is not developing how you want or something about your character(s) feels missing. What’s something that you do to help find new inspiration?         

I recently wrote a blog about this.  I think relaxation is the answer, quite honestly.  Leave it alone and it will sort itself out, honest.  When you're relaxed, you think more clearly.  If you stress about that blank white page, it'll never come, so I leave it and go back when I'm ready.  Might be in the middle of the night, might be while driving my car and I have to pull over and jot something down…


What is your next writing project?     

I'm working on something that takes place in two different time periods—and that's all I'm going to say.  Stay tuned!


Now for one of my favorite requests - tell us a random fun fact about yourself.    

Oh, gosh, Jessi!  How about: I have fear of heights but used to do a bit of showjumping.  Somehow the two don't seem to go together, to be up there on a horse jumping over something.  It's a matter of trust though.  I have to admit I hate going down mountains on horseback, having once had a really bad fall doing that, but here I am, going back for more…
     Thanks so much for having me here Jessi.  It's been a great visit.






About Author Andrea Downing:
Andrea Downing likes to say that when she decided to do a Masters Degree, she made the mistake of turning left out of New York, where she was born, instead of right to the west, and ended up in the UK.   She eventually married there, raising a beautiful daughter and staying for longer than she cares to admit.  Teaching, editing a poetry magazine, writing travel articles, and a short stint in Nigeria filled those years until in 2008 she returned to NYC.  She now divides her time between the city and the shore, and often trades the canyons of New York for the wide open spaces of Wyoming.  Family vacations are often out west and, to date, she and her daughter have been to some 20 ranches throughout the west.  Loveland, her first book, was a finalist for Best American Historical at the 2013 RONE Awards.  Lawless Love, a short story, part of The Wild Rose Press ‘Lawmen and Outlaws’ series, was a finalist for Best Historical Novella at the RONE Awards and placed in the 2014 International Digital Awards Historical Short contest.   Dearest Darling, a novella, is part of The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series, and came out Oct. 8th, 2014, and Dances of the Heart, her first contemporary novel, came out in February, 2015.

Links to Social Media:  

WEBSITE AND BLOG:  http://andreadowning.com
Twitter:  @andidowning  https://twitter.com/AndiDowning
Linkedin:  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=124888740&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic





Book Blitz: Say Nothing of What You See by Christy Effinger

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

| | | 1 comments

(Blurb)When her aunt steps off a grain elevator into the emptiness of a prairie evening, Mira Piper loses her one protector. Chloe, her flighty mother, impulsively drags her daughter to Bramblewood, an isolated spiritualist retreat in northern Michigan, run by the enigmatic Dr. Virgil Simon.

Chloe plans to train as a medium but it's Mira who discovers she can communicate with the dead. When her mother abandons her, Mira discovers a darker aspect to Bramblewood: the seemingly kind doctor has a sinister side and a strange control over his students.

Then one winter's day Troy Farrington arrives, to fulfill his mother's dying wish and deliver her letter to the doctor. But calamity strikes and he finds himself a captive, tended by a sympathetic Mira. Haunted by her dead aunt and desperate to escape Bramblewood, Mira makes a devil's deal with Dr. Simon. But fulfillment comes with a steep cost...betrayal.





Book Information:
Published by The Wild Rose Press
Released August 29, 2014
Genre: Paranormal New Adult
Length: Novel  


Excerpt:

“You are absolutely stunning, Mira.”

I stole another glance in the mirror. The material was a rich, shimmery gold that fell from my shoulders in folds of liquid light. It looked like something a Greek goddess might wear. Oh, how I wished the girls from Amberville High School could see me in this dress!

“When you came here,” said Dr. Simon, “I had a vision of you like this. I looked at the girl before me, but I saw the woman you are now.”

“Thank you,” I murmured, gesturing toward the piles of clothes on my bed. “You’ve been so generous. I know you’ve spent a good deal of money on me—”

“Money means nothing,” he interrupted abruptly. “I have more than I could ever spend, more than I know what to do with. Don’t consider the cost.”

His tone was brusque, and I wondered if I had offended him.

But the next moment Dr. Simon smiled. “I think of you as my charity case. You were like a doll thrown out in the garbage. I simply rescued you from the trash, cleaned you up, and dressed you in something decent. But the beauty was present all along.” He touched my cheek. “Here.” Then he touched my forehead. “Here.” Then he touched my chest. “And here.”

I knew he was referring to my heart, but even so, his hand on my chest made my face warm with discomfort.

“You blush so easily,” he laughed. “You’ll never be able hide anything, Mira, with such a transparent face.”

“That’s all right,” I said, taking a small step back. “I don’t have anything to hide.”




Buy Links:


The Wild Rose Press:



Amazon:



BN.com



Author Bio:

Christy Effinger’s poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in various print and online publications. She lives near Indianapolis. Her website is www.christyeffinger.com.


















Author Links:











A penny for your thoughts #7 (quote from The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

| | | 1 comments
Words touch us all in different ways. Sometimes the original intent of a quote resonates so profoundly with us that it is hard to believe that another wrote it. Other times it is a single word, peculiar phrasing, or an alternative meaning regarding an event in our lives that resonates the most. I believe in the power of starting the day (and week) off with a positive thought -- and so was created A Penny For Your Thoughts. This is a weekly blog hop that will feature quotes of all kinds; classics, character, book-movie, personal, etc. The themes will range from funny to serious, but really it all depends on how you interpret it! How does this work?


  1. Every Sunday a quote will be posted
  2. Post your thoughts on your blog and/or the comment section of a participating blog. You only get the penny for one or the other. You can do both but it doesn't count twice.
  3. Those with posts can join up on the Linky - Linky will not be active until day of post
  4. Collect the pennies! Every week there will be a new penny to collect and include with your post.
  5. RAFFLE ENTRY: Your site or comment needs to be submitted to this form as well so that your name can be uploaded to a raffle generator. If you're using a comment as a submission instead of a post, then put name of site where you left the comment in the "direct link" section.
  6. On the last Saturday of every month the entries from the form above will be entered in a drawing. Winner will be notified on Sunday. You get as many entries as you have pennies for the month. Prizes will include books, gift cards, site promotion, and other bookish winnings!
  7. Have fun! This is a fun way to start some discussion, discover blogs, and get to know more people. Please re-post these steps so that followers understand the process.



“Then you compared a woman's love to Hell,
To barren land where water will not dwell,
And you compared it to a quenchless fire,
The more it burns the more is its desire
To burn up everything that burnt can be.
You say that just as worms destroy a tree
A wife destroys her husband and contrives,
As husbands know, the ruin of their lives. ”
― Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

Book Spotlight: Summer Tour by Diane Matlick

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

| | | 0 comments

 (Blurb): Ben has always had it bad for his childhood friend Anna, but after years of unrequited pining, he's officially done with her. It's the summer before he and his best friends graduate college and they are about to go on tour, following their favorite band all over the east coast. This group is like a family—extremely close but with their fair share of old wounds and hidden secrets.

Anna figured out at a young age not to rely on anyone and she has always done whatever necessary to get by. She has carefully constructed her life—keeping herself isolated to stay focused and avoid getting hurt. But everyone has vulnerabilities and even the strongest willed have their breaking point.

Ryan is buried in stress at work, so when his friend suggests a night out, he reluctantly agrees. But what starts off as a typical night in a strip club just outside New York City, ends in an encounter that will change everyone's lives.



  
Join a group of friends on tour following their favorite band all over the east coast the summer before they graduate college. This addicting coming of age story explores love and the meaning of friendship set to the scene of a page turning road trip with a huge dose of rock and roll history. This book is intended for readers over 18 due to mature subject matter.

Purchase Links:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/489615

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Tour-Diane-Matlick-ebook/dp/B00ONG00ZC

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-tour-diane-matlick/1120616813?ean=2940150605800



Praise for Summer Tour:

"Alluring and captivating" The Kindle Book Review

"Journey packed with sexy drama, personal growth and friendship" Amazon Reviewer


Author Bio:

Diane Matlick is a physical therapist by day, medical writer by night, and fiction writer in her daydreams. She grew up in Connecticut, started her adult life in New York City, and now has settled down in the burbs of Northern New Jersey with her husband and two kids. As an avid reader, sheÕs a sucker for second chance romances, emotionally intense reads, and possessive heroes that talk dirty but play clean. Summer Tour is her debut novel and she is currently working on a second book following the same group of friends titled Winter Break, due out later this year.





Connect with Diane Matlick:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23349611-summer-tour

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dianematlickauthor & https://www.facebook.com/summertournovel

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dianematlick

Website: https://dianematlickauthor.wordpress.com/

Book Talk: The Mystery of Harper Lee and Go Set a Watchman

Saturday, February 7, 2015

| | | 0 comments

The literary world was rocked this week by news that a lost Harper Lee manuscript reemerged. To Kill a Mockingbird was always touted as the author’s first and only book. Go Set a Watchmen tells the story of Scout as an adult. Lee supposedly wrote it first, but the adult Scout’s interactions with Atticus so entranced the editor that he convinced her to set down the childhood story. The rest is publishing history. I have great fondness for To Kill a Mockingbird, a book I read in school. It had a spunky character in Scout at a time when girls in stories were generally relegated to being sweetly submissive to the boys. It was also one of the first assigned readings that was gripping and relevant rather than dull and preachy. I put more trust in my teachers after that.

Naturally, this announcement has all fiction lovers in a tizzy. The discovery of a new work by Lee raises many questions and reads like a piece of fantasy itself. How can a manuscript get lost for over fifty years? Surprisingly, for those of us who remember life before word processing, this is the least mysterious aspect of the puzzle. Back in the fifties when this book was supposedly written, everything was done on a typewriter. If you wanted a copy you slipped a piece of carbon paper between two sheet of paper or you had a typist create a duplicate. Nobody had access at home to a copy machine or duplicators, as they were called. Even most businesses didn’t have them. It wasn’t unusual for a manuscript to be lost in a fire, misplaced, or even eaten by a rambunctious pet dog. More than one author back then shed copious tears over work tragically gone forever.

However, Go Set a Watchman was apparently attached to the original manuscript of To Kill a Mockingbird and just discovered by Lee's lawyer. Reports are murky as to where it’s been all these years. Misfiled under Accounts Receivable? Stuffed under the mattress? Seriously? No one touched the original manuscript of the Great American Novel in over fifty years and noticed another haphazardly stuck on the back? You’d think somewhere along the way, a curious person would have picked it up, dusted it off and suggested since To Kill a Mockingbird sold over 40 million copies, by gum, this other one might garner a few fans, too.

For me, the greatest mystery was why Lee didn’t rewrite the book. After all, the story was already in her head. Lee has stated in the past she never felt the need to write again after To Kill a Mockingbird, but rumors circulated over the years that her childhood neighbor and close friend, Truman Capote had a heavy hand in the editing. A second book would surely have put those stories to rest. I admit I’ve puzzled over this. Lee never wrote for enjoyment? Not even for herself? I write every day. Even if Congress passed a law forbidding me from ever publishing, I would still write. I’d write whether anyone read my books or not. Of course, I’ve never penned a classic. Perhaps, something that momentous changes you. Much is gained with overwhelming success, but much may be lost in the process.

Recently, Lee has suffered both the devastating loss of her sister and a stroke. Rumors persist her health is less than ideal. Her lawyer stresses that everything is hunky-dory, but this is the same lawyer who miraculously stumbled upon the missing manuscript. Not much comes from the author herself, and no public sightings. It leads one to wonder if any statements issued in Lee’s name really came from Lee. As I said, mysteries abound.

For the present, the curious discovery of Go Set a Watchman is all quite a head scratcher. Its publication may put to rest the belief that Lee was a one hit wonder, or perhaps, it will raise even more questions than it answers. I’ve already purchased my advanced copy and look forward to getting reacquainted with Scout and Atticus. I wish you all the best, Miss Lee, and I hope you are looked after by people who are only concerned with your well-being and harbor no hidden agendas.
 
 
L. A. Kelley writes fantasies with adventure, romance, humor and touch of sass. You can find her at http://lakelleythenaughtylist.blogspot.com
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Spotlight: Doubletake by Maryann Miller and Margaret Sutton

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

| | | 1 comments
(Blurb): Death sneaks in the back door of the peaceful town of Twin Lakes, Texas and nothing is ever the same again. Homicide detective, Barbara Hobkins, is thrust headlong into the investigation. A product of the "new direction" in law enforcement, her strength comes from a degree is psychology and an intuition that has served her well. But will that be enough when up against a sadistic killer?

Book Information:
Maryann Miller & Margaret Sutton
Publisher/ed: March 2014
Genre: Police Procedural Mystery
Versions: E-book and Paperback
ASIN: B00J4YI8DE $3.99 - $9.99






What others are saying about Doubletake

 "WOW! Talk about a double take, the ending floored me. The story drew me in and compelled me to read more and more. Miller and Sutton's ease of introduction, yet fully characterizing each new character so quickly really added to the pace of the story adding urgency to the feel. Truly a book that builds the tension and frustration of the leads within you as you read their tale. I liked the flaws and insecurities of the main characters being proportionate to their strengths, they were real in depiction and easy to visualize. A great read!" 
- 5 Stars from Valerie


"I could not wait to get to the next page...Read for almost 8 hrs...Could not put it down...Two thumbs up." 
- 5 Stars from Sherry.



Guest Post: A Team Effort By Maryann Miller

While I've written most of my books and screenplays alone, there have been times I've shared the byline with someone else, and I must say, I enjoy the collaborative process. Two creative minds are sometimes better than one, if those creative minds can put egos aside and focus on the book, the screenplay, the story.

That's what Margaret Sutton and I were able to do when we wrote, Doubletake, a police procedural mystery featuring a female homicide detective set in a fictional suburb of Dallas.

When I first met Margaret, and we decided to write a book together, all I could think of was “The Odd Couple.” Not that either of us matched the personality types of Felix and Oscar, but we certainly were as opposite as opposite could get. I was a mom, a homemaker, and a humor columnist, known as the Erma Bombeck of Plano, Texas. Margaret was a successful business woman whose writing experience included invoices, business letters, and a single sale to Ellery Queen’s Mystery magazine. How could we turn out anything even remotely appealing to fans of hard-boiled crime fiction?

 Somehow, we managed to do it.

Right off, we realized how much research we needed to do. Collectively, we knew zip about law enforcement – speeding tickets not withstanding - and we had no clue how the criminal mind works. We were lucky in that we both had connections to people in law enforcement, and those people were happy to help us get it right.  Police officers really do hate it when authors don't get it right.

After the research and brainstorming sessions, we did a broad outline of the story, and we each chose sections to write. Usually, that was determined by who came up with the original idea for that part of the plot, and I was amazed at how effortless that process turned out to be. We would then meet once a week to trade pages, adding our touch to the other’s work.

When Margaret read my first attempt to get into the killer’s mind, she just gave me a look as if to say, "Really?" My narrative was… well, how should I put this…so nice. But what did she expect from a mom? She put the pages down and said she doubted that any killer would have “Gosh, Golly, Gee” running through his mind. Maybe he’d go for something with a little harder edge. I told her I didn’t know about harder edges, so she took me out behind her barn and made me use words I’d never even heard before. She made me say them over and over until she thought I would be comfortable putting them on paper.

I never did tell her, but I didn't become comfortable putting some of those words on paper. I do write them when those kinds of words are necessary for a character, but they don't come without a bit of a stammer or a blush.

A writing partnership that is a complement of talents is a real gift. In the two years we worked on Doubletake, Margaret’s strengths bolstered my weaknesses and my strengths bolstered hers. We each brought something unique to the process, and I couldn’t look at a chapter and tell you specifically who wrote which section. I may know who started a chapter. Margaret does have a wonderful way of setting up memorable secondary characters-the introduction of the irascible Dr. Davis is uniquely hers-but beyond that, the lines blur; which is a very good thing. Even though quilts play a central part in the plot, I’d hate to think the book resembled one.

We are thrilled that Doubletake has been honored with the 2015 Best Mystery Award by the Texas Authors Association, and doubly thrilled that so many readers have enjoyed the story. 


Purchase Double Take
http://www.amazon.com/Doubletake-Maryann-Miller-ebook/dp/B00J4YI8DE/


About Maryann Miller:


Maryann Miller won her first writing award at age twelve with a short story in the Detroit News Scholastic Writing Awards Contest and continues to garner recognition for her short stories, books, and screenplays. In addition to Doubletake she has published several other novels, including the Seasons Mystery Series, which features two women homicide detectives in Dallas. You can find all her titles on her Amazon Author Page. She lives in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas, where she also loves to play on stage. 




Margaret Sutton has headed up several unique businesses in the Dallas area. These included the production of home decorating items and a custom-design carpet sculpting business. Sutton has placed short stories in several mystery magazines such as Ellery Queen Magazine. A resident of Texas, Sutton shares her home with a pet monkey and considers herself “Willie’s Mom".


Connect with Maryann:

You can find out more about Maryann and her books...

Blog Tour: Interview with Sheila R. Lamb author of Once a Goddess

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

| | | 0 comments



For the sake of peace, Brigid of the supernatural Túatha de Danann enters into an arranged marriage with Bres, the prince of the enemy, and casts aside her own hopes for happiness. Set in a time when myths were reality, Once a Goddess brings the legend of the Ireland’s magical Túatha dé Danann to life…

This week, Sheila R. Lamb celebrates her new novel, Once a Goddess, with a virtual book tour. Follow along for more unique content about this historical/fantasy novel!

Could you tell me a little about the origins of Once a Goddess? How did you first conceive of this book?

The origins of Once a Goddess are really tied in with the whole trilogy (Once a Goddess is the first book in the trilogy). I used to teach history and loved studying Irish history. I traveled throughout Ireland and worked as an archaeology student in a summer program. As I began to research Ireland’s conversion from druid to Christianity, I couldn’t read about St. Patrick without finding a mention of St. Brigid. So that took a turn, and I began researching St. Brigid - who has a very diverse interpretation. I focused on this woman who was known as Goddess, Druid, and Saint. As it turned out, her three personas are the basis for each book in my trilogy.

Did you always know you would write a trilogy?

No, originally this was one very, very long novel. At one point, a critique group member suggested dividing the book in half, which I did. Then, Once a Goddess began as a few pages of backstory in what is now book two, Fiery Arrow. The backstory began to take on a life of its own and grew to a chapter, then another. I added, cut, and revised to shape what will be three complete books. Brigid of the Túatha dé Danann really wanted her story told.

What made you decide to focus on “race”? Characters are devoted to their race/people, but the emergence of “half-bloods” becomes an issue for many.

The Danann myths and legends describe the invasions of the Fomorians into the Danann world. In various sources, the Fomorians are described as the dark-skinned invaders. The Danann are known as fairy people, and generally we think of fairies as small and translucent, letting in light, so this turned out to be a good physical contrast as well as cultural contrast between the two tribes. Brigid and Bres, along with others in the story, have children of mixed tribes. There are two issues resulting from this: inheriting Danann magical powers and tribal divisions of land. Suddenly, there are shades of gray that both groups must face.

Can you tell me a bit about your interpretation and treatment of soul mates in Once a Goddess?

The Irish language has a term anam cara, or “soul friend.” The beliefs of the ancient Irish were druidic. As such, they believed in reincarnation - the continuous cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The idea of anam cara is a soul friend or mate who is with you from one life to the next. Brigid, in the mythology, was in an arranged marriage with Bres. What happens if that person isn’t your soul mate? Can you still have a happy marriage? Can you ignore the presence of a soul mate? Brigid is torn because she has a duty to her people and to her tribe, and she must protect them from further bloodshed. She wants to do the right thing and respect her marriage to Bres, yet it goes against everything she was raised to believe.

Was there a lot of research involved in writing Once a Goddess?

Yes. :-) I love research. I get lost in research. I can spend more time reading about things than writing about them. But the fun part about of Once a Goddess was finding different interpretations of the Dannan stories, whether it was in a book, encyclopedia, or website. And that is also the fun part about working with myths and with fiction - I could add in my own twist and my own interpretation. For example, Adraic is a character that I made up. He’s not in any of the mythology, but he carries over into the next two books.

What can readers look forward to in the second book, Fiery Arrow?

Fiery Arrow continues Brigid’s story. She’s a druid priestess who is haunted by the Túatha dé Danann. Other druids in her tribe are jealous of her mystical abilities and try to control her powers. She’s determined to stop Christianity and bring the Túatha dé Danann back to Ireland. But when she comes face-to-face with Patrick, they realize they have a shared past, tied together by a bond formed lifetimes before.



Sheila Lamb received an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. Her stories have earned Pushcart and storySouth Million Writers Award nominations and can be found, along with a few photographs, here. She’s also the journal editor for Santa Fe Writers Project. Sheila has traveled throughout Ireland and participated in the Achill Archaeology Field School. She loves Irish history, family genealogy, and is easily distracted by primary source documents. She lives, teaches, and writes in the mountains of Virginia. Once a Goddess is the first book in the Brigid trilogy.

A penny for your thoughts #6 (quote from The Immortal by Jorge Luis Borges)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

| | | 0 comments
Words touch us all in different ways. Sometimes the original intent of a quote resonates so profoundly with us that it is hard to believe that another wrote it. Other times it is a single word, peculiar phrasing, or an alternative meaning regarding an event in our lives that resonates the most. I believe in the power of starting the day (and week) off with a positive thought -- and so was created A Penny For Your Thoughts. This is a weekly blog hop that will feature quotes of all kinds; classics, character, book-movie, personal, etc. The themes will range from funny to serious, but really it all depends on how you interpret it! How does this work?


  1. Every Sunday a quote will be posted
  2. Post your thoughts on your blog and/or the comment section of a participating blog. You only get the penny for one or the other. You can do both but it doesn't count twice.
  3. Those with posts can join up on the Linky - Linky will not be active until day of post
  4. Collect the pennies! Every week there will be a new penny to collect and include with your post.
  5. RAFFLE ENTRY: Your site or comment needs to be submitted to this form as well so that your name can be uploaded to a raffle generator. If you're using a comment as a submission instead of a post, then put name of site where you left the comment in the "direct link" section.
  6. On the last Saturday of every month the entries from the form above will be entered in a drawing. Winner will be notified on Sunday. You get as many entries as you have pennies for the month. Prizes will include books, gift cards, site promotion, and other bookish winnings!
  7. Have fun! This is a fun way to start some discussion, discover blogs, and get to know more people. Please re-post these steps so that followers understand the process.

There is nothing very remarkable about being immortal; with the
exception of mankind, all creatures are immortal, for they know nothing
of death. What is divine, terrible, and incomprehensible is to know
oneself immortal.
- Jorge Luis Borges, The Immortal

Guest Post: Author K.V. Flynn discusses “adults” reading “kidlit” and new release, On the Move

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

| | | 2 comments
THANKS, Jessi and L.A. for inviting me to hang in The Book Cove today. Very cool. Appreciate the chance to write a guest post on your site. What I like around here are the blogs and reviews of writers writing and doing what they love to write and do. That works for life same as art, no? Whatever your thing is. And around here you have a lot of love for NA and YA books.

So I thought I’d write a little about how “adults” reading “kidlit” is somehow now a thing. Lots of bloggers and trad-media-types speculate as to why so-called grown-ups (or anybody older than thirteen, basically) is all over some of the big books of the last few years that feature teen protagonists: The Hunger Games, The Harry Potters, The Maze Runners, the Divergent et al. Or why mags that no Millennial ever reads, like TIME, continue to proclaim the “golden age of young-adult literature” and generate their top-100 lists of YA fiction, new and old, featuring books that we already know are great.

I mean, is there really an issue around who is reading any good book, regardless their age? Or, who wouldn’t think that A Wrinkle in Time or The Outsiders was going to stay on your “love it” book list, whether you’re nineteen or forty-nine? But okay, let’s say that for whatever reason—the internet, the movies, the helicopter engagement of parents reading these books to their kids and falling for them, themselves—there is a cultural shift in the fascination with and commercial popularity of YA novels for all ages right now, a “golden-age” as they said. What then?

On The Move by K.V. Flynn
www.thebookcove.com
As anybody knows who checks me out, or who has peeked at my new book On the Move, I skate. I’m not eleven, although I did skate when I was eleven and I’m still friends with some of the guys I hung with at my local skatepark back then. Like the boys in my novels, I connected with certain great buddies and had some mad fun adventures in and around the Southern California skate culture. Then like now it was something I loved doing—skating still involves being outside, hanging with people I enjoy, and challenging myself to skills and activities that (sometimes) even make me stronger or healthier. (Sometimes I crash and burn—that, however, is another story altogether!)

Same with the guys I play music with. I have teachers and band mates and former frat brothers who all like to jam—some professionals, some who play in top groups or others who keep performances to just around the basement. It’s the same notes, the same horn, the same axe as I picked up when I was eight, fourteen, twenty-two-years-old so why wouldn’t I keep going back to how I feel and what I do and how great it is to be in the hang with my buddies doing something awesome? Nobody said my trumpet permit expired when I graduated high school jazz band, right?

Same with YA books. The good ones have always been forever. Maybe there are just more good ones now.

For most readers and writers of YA books, there are a set of big feelings that connect to reading our favorites, whether the first time we “meet” a certain book was as a tween or much later. We always remember the first time we read the powerful, funny, teary, romantic, eye-opening books like The Book Thief or Charlotte’s Web or The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Yeah, not every YA/MG book you read rocks your world but the best of them, the ones that stay with you, open your eyes and your heart… even Captain Underpants! What’s better than to just crack up sometimes, right?

So, to me, like to Meg Wolitzer who tapped in to the powerful emotional memory of her first reading of The Bell Jar as a teen in order to tackle her writing of Belzhar decades later, there is all of this “leftover feeling” from our encounters with YA lit, at whatever age we read it. And like picking your pleasure reading or playing music or skating or writing or whatever you do as you “grow up” and define yourself as an adult of tastes and desires and experiences and activities, you’re going to tap back in to that feeling, seek it out, rock it as many ways as you can, alone or in groups, in work or at play. How lucky are we, that just curling up with a new YA novel or an old favorite on a crappy afternoon in a comfortable chair can touch us back and raise us up through the affecting, transforming, intense and universal feelings that they bring to us all?

Read well. Skate on.

And if you haven’t already, please check out On the Move, a new YA/older-MG novel set in Southern California about a 14-year-old skater named Callum Vicente. He and his middle school skateboard buddies are spending the best summer together ever, grinding and doing tricks all day at a mountain-top skate camp called PEAK. But when a major war breaks out, they’re stranded—separated from their parents, cut off from communications, and almost alone in an evacuated state. They use their wits and resources, along with a secret network of skate parks and message boards, to travel miles to the north and reach their families in the Safe Camps—skating all the way!

It’s full of skating, yes, and multi-cultural kids who pick up on a cool underground network of retro tech, green living, secret clues, and skater support like no other you’ve read about before. It has some scary stuff, and definitely shows how easy it can be to let aggression and tempers get out of hand, leading to the devastation and destruction that we see in On the Move. But it has a hopeful message: kids are great, smart, resourceful, thoughtful, funny, loyal, compassionate, energetic. They know how to do the right thing, and will stand by their friends no matter what.

Where can you find On the Move? Here’s a few ideas!


Amazon: http://goo.gl/W0A2Zg
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/TTJ7Pu
Amazon Australia: http://goo.gl/stT9QR
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/KuY8EI
iTunes: http://goo.gl/nt6U03
Smashwords: http://goo.gl/WM0s59
Kobo: http://goo.gl/45hFgD


And to find me, if you’re a fan of indie writing or skating, I post about that on Facebook: 

www.facebook.com/OnTheMoveBooks
Twitter: @OnTheMoveBooks
Tumblr: onthemovebooks.tumblr.com
Goodreads:. www.goodreads.com/author/show/8420774.K_V_Flynn




Watch for the next book in my trilogy, On the Rim, in 2015!

Please Keep In Mind:

© The Book Cove, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Book Cove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

The Book Cove is a private entity independent of the promotions, events, features, authors, programs and so forth that are featured on The Book Cove website or in newsletters. The Book Cove does not guarantee quality or content of those works and events featured. The Book Cove does not assure legality of the works and events featured.

Creative Commons License
Book Cove Reviews by http://www.thebookcove.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.