Book Spotlight: Kissing Katie by Babette James

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Kissing Katie and the His Girl Next Door series were both inspired by many summers spent at the shore in Lavallette, New Jersey. My brother met his wife there, his own "girl next door," and I thought it would be fun to write a romance series where my heroes discover love is just around the corner, literally. I set the stories in four of my favorite New Jersey shore towns and I've had a wonderful time exploring some fun and sentimental memories while writing these romances.

(Blurb): Sometimes love is just around the corner.

Seeking peace while he decides between prestigious job offers, burned-out lawyer Matt Powell rents his boyhood vacation home at the Jersey shore on a nostalgic whim. However, discovering the lovely widow next door is his childhood best friend, Katie Vanburen, complicates everything. His old love for her hits hard, but this time around his feelings are anything but innocent. It’s decision time: the high-profile career he’s earned–or a life he never dreamed possible loving his girl next door.
Twenty years ago, Matt broke Katie’s teenaged heart when he vanished from her life after his parents’ divorce. She grew up, buried her childish dreams, and moved on. New dreams shattered with her unfaithful husband’s death, but now she’s a successful website designer and owns her beloved shore house. She’s delighted to renew their friendship, but unready to trust her heart again–even if Matt’s kisses tempt her beyond reason. But can her cracking defenses hold when Matt argues his case for love so eloquently, in bed and out?

Excerpt :

The Powell’s kitchen door squeaked open.
Katie peeked from behind the line of towels as a tall man stepped onto the landing.
Scanning about as if finding his bearings, he walked slowly down the stairs. He had short, curly, dark brown hair and sharp brows over a strong, straight nose. Broad shoulders filled the red polo shirt he wore untucked over loose khaki shorts, and he had long, muscular legs. At the bottom, he turned sharply, as if he knew she lurked behind the laundry. The strangest expression of longing filled his lean, intelligent face, and—
Complete déjà vu clobbered Katie as she raised her hand to give a neighborly wave. Pain warred with joy, strangling her greeting in her throat.
Matt? How could he be? Impossible, but this man had to be Matt. Katie pressed a hand over her wildly beating heart. Twenty years had passed, but the man was the spitting image of Edward Powell, Matt’s dad.
Why on earth hadn’t he come right over to say hello?
The delighted little girl in her burst through her shock and drove her bolting next door. She threw her arms around him. “Matt! Oh, it’s so good to see you!”
Several impressions struck Katie simultaneously through her dizzy joy. Matt felt astonishingly different in her hug. Of course he did, he’d grown taller and filled out since their last summer together twenty years ago when she’d hugged a boy goodbye. This Matt was all man, and he fit her exactly how a man should, rocking her with a wild, weird surge of enthusiastic craving.
However, while the marvel of his presence and her abruptly resuscitated libido burst and bounced through her, realization dawned that he stood stock-still in her arms. He should be hugging her back. Why wasn’t he hugging back?

Book Information:
Age: Adult
Genre: Contemporary romance
Length: 196 pages
Versions: eBook and print
Release Date: December 16, 2014

Come fall in love at the shore

Buy at:

About the Author:
Babette James writes sweetly scorching contemporary romance and loves reading nail-biting tales with a satisfying happily ever after. When not dreaming up stories, she enjoys playing with new bread recipes and dabbling with paints. As a teacher, she loves encouraging new readers and writers as they discover their growing abilities. Her class cheers when it’s time for their spelling test! Born in New Jersey and raised in Southern California, she’s had a life-long love of the desert and going down the shore. Babette lives in New Jersey with her wonderfully patient husband and extremely spoiled cats.

You can find Babette at:

Amazon Author Page:

Author Spotlight: Who Killed The Candy Lady? Unwrapping the unsolved murder of Helen Brach by James Ylisela Jr.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

(Blurb): Thirty-five years ago, Helen Brach walked out of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and vanished without a trace. By all accounts, the 65-year-old heiress to the E.J. Brach & Sons candy fortune was in good heath. But shortly after her leaving the clinic the details of Helen Brach's life—and presumed death—moved from fact to speculation, and they have been shrouded in mystery ever since.

Who Killed the Candy Lady?: Unwrapping the Unsolved Murder of Helen Brach is the true and complete story of Helen Vorhees Brach's mysterious disappearance and unsolved murder, as told by veteran Chicago journalist Jim Ylisela. This book will reveal the sordid facts behind the case and the seedy underbelly of Chicago's notorious crime world. Drawing from never-seen documents, interviews, and insiders' perspectives of prosecutors, horse thieves, and candy heiresses alike, Who Killed the Candy Lady? is a true-to-life whodunnit.

This is a fascinating and entertaining tale, and after finishing it readers will be unable to stop themselves from jumping to their own conclusions. Written with the straightforward precision and sly wit of a longtime Chicago writer immersed in the case's details, Who Killed the Candy Lady? is the ultimate guide to this unsolved murder mystery.

Reviews of James Ylisela Jr.'s work:

"Very interesting and well-written; Kudos to the author for all his work and time in investigating the Brach case in order to be able to present the different theories. Couldn't put it down."
– Diane Regan

" The real deal…a page-turner that hooked me early and then took me for a great ride!"
–Jeff Nyweide

"True Crime at its best! Couldn't put it down!" 
– Kurt Mueller

Purchase Links

Author Sally Ember, EdD: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Blog #Hops and #Virtual #Book #Tours (Part 4)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Part IV: Letter to my Earlier Self about #Blog #Hops and #Virtual #Book #Tours
By Sally Ember, Ed.D.

This is Letter Four of Four of my "open letter to my earlier self" series that first appeared on The Book Cove Reviews,, late November - December, 2014.

Other posts in this series:

Letter One appeared on my site, , on 3/26/15.
Letter One posted on 3/26/15; Letter Two appeared on 4/4/15 and Letter Three on 4/11/15.

image from

I published my first ebook in December, 2013, and my second in June, 2014. I intend to publish my third in April, 2015. What I wish I had known before my first ebook went into pre-sales in November, 2013, about Virtual Book Tours and Blog Hops and other kinds of "shared" PR continues to grow. I write these Open Letters in order to share my wisdom "backwards" to my earlier self from today's vantage point.

Dear Sally,

Now that you know you are going to be an indie published author, and you know you're going to start with only ebooks and then see what happens, your choices about book marketing are more limited than if you were going to have both print and ebooks available or if a major or even minor publisher were backing your books. Mostly, your entire author platform and writing life are going to exist almost exclusively online.

That all means no book signings (you have no books to sign). It also means that you will have few or not any public readings, at least, not yet, since those usually go with book signings. You won't be paying for much publicity since you have almost no budget for it, so forget print ads, posters, or other signage in the "real" world. Your PR is going to all be virtual.

What does this new type of non-in-person, non-print PR include besides your blog? You will have online "stores," places that sell your books online, where the cover, blurb and reviews live. You can post your photo and bio there (on some, anyway). You should have author pages and book pages on vendor sites. What else?

Blog Hops and Virtual Book Tours.

Well, no wonder you have no idea what a "Blog Hop" or "Virtual Book Tour" is: You just barely started to blog last August, 2013, and barely know what blogging is. You have recently published your first fiction book while is also your first ebook. It's hard to be more of a newbie than you are!

When someone invites you to "join" a Blog Hop or be part of a Virtual Book Tour, you don't know what you're saying "Yes" or "No" to, do you? How could you?

First of all, go visit/go on a Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour at least once, each. Be  a visitor to one or more that have some of the same organizer(s), authors and/or books as the Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour you're considering as a participant.

Take notes: what do you like/not like? What is confusing/clear? How appealing are the promos, widgets, banners, graphics? Since you are also a reader, consider: would YOU be more or newly interested in these authors/these books because of this Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour?

If the answer is "NO," stop there. You might want to join a Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour, but not THIS one.

Visit some more until you can say "Yes" to these questions, above.

Now that you know what you like, it's time to get more educated. There are hundreds of (free or fee-based) webinars, Google+ Hangouts On Air (HOAs), teleseminars, podcasts, blog posts, and, don't forget: BOOKS and EBOOKS devoted to explaining everything about creating or joining a Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour and all aspects of book marketing.

I won't even try to recap it all here. Nonfiction can or should be marketed differently than fiction, short fiction differently than long. Target audience for and chosen genre/subgenre of your writing change the PR scene as well. Poetry and memoirs are in their own niches. Etc.

Attend, read, watch. Take more notes.

There was an excellent month-long series of educational events and posts I attended last May, 2014. Well worth it. Thanks, D'vorah Lansky! The Book Marketing Challenge has both free and paid options. Look into them! Email D'Vorah and ask about the next round:

blog-hop-150x150 BMC 2014
image from

If you are leaning toward "Yes," before deciding whether or not to join a particular Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour or to create your own, regardless of how enticing the organizers or instructors make it sound or you found theirs to be, there are some key questions to ask:

  • What are the requirements? Are they easy, moderately easy or arduous to fulfill? If you have to create or acquire a lot of new graphics, redesign or add to your website, write new blurbs or text to fit their guidelines, is it worthwhile? Answer the other questions, below, to determine that.

  • What's in it for you? Are you allowed to promote/feature your own books, your blog, or just others' books and blogs?

  • Virtual Book Tour
    image from

  • How much of your precious writing time will be given over to this endeavor?

  • How long does it go on? Does that timeframe work with your schedule (i.e., for visiting others' sites, cross-promoting, posting widgets/modifying your own site, commenting, etc.)?

  • Can you be ready to submit everything by the deadlines and post on your day as scheduled?

  • How much does it cost to join, e.g., do you have to provide a "Raffle" prize, a "giveaway," or any other "swag," discount coupons, gift cards, or what? Is that affordable?

  • Vegas Vacation Book Tour
    image from

  • What amount of traffic is likely to be driven to your site from these other sites, i.e., how many followers do they have, what are their ALEXA scores?

  • Are the other Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour participants in the same or similar or at least compatible genres/subgenres with yours?

  • Are the other blogs/sites/books/authors' brands compatible with yours (NSFW [Not Safe For Work] vs. SFW [Safe For Work], for example)?

  • Is this organized by a paid promoter or someone else with experience organizing a Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour so that there is at least one person who will handle the responsibilities of corralling, collecting, scheduling, managing this event professionally and well?

  • How many other participants' sites are being visited on the same day as yours? Do that number and variety seem likely to be competitive, supportive, confusing, appropriate?

  • What possible benefits will there be and how likely are they to accrue to YOU?

  • monthly book sales
    image from

  • Having answered all these questions, is this Blog Hop or Virtual Book Tour a worthwhile endeavor?

  • Bottom line, Sally, is that your writing time MUST be a priority, but you also have to put in time to create relationships in order to find readers, get more visible, be part of an online community with important and meaningful connections, and, oh, yeah, MARKET your books. Be cautious, be discerning, be wise.

    I hope you are finding this series of Open Letters helpful to your decision-making and planning for your first and subsequent book launches and ongoing marketing and promotions. I might add to this series as I get even more experienced; we'll see.

    Meanwhile, don't forget to ENJOY the ride!

    Best to you!

    Your future Sally

    Sally is the author of The SpannersSseries. The Spanners Series is for adults/new adults and young adults. Sci-fi/ romance/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian/speculative fiction stories for this series come to author, Sally Ember, from dreams, meditation, visions and scientific research.

    Divergent Series: Insurgent Trailer

    Friday, December 12, 2014

    It's finally here! Cannot wait for this next movie!
    Did you like the book or movie best so far? How do you think the rest of the movie series will pan out in comparison? I'm loving the movie development so far. Great cast, effects, and best of all -- Shailene and Theo!

    News at The Book Cove: We're offering promotion alternatives in place of reviews for now

    As most of you know, we offer a variety of promotional opportunities; author spotlights, book blitzes, blog tours, interviews, giveaways, and more. Those are continuously offered and booked via email by authors, marketers, and tour organizations. For the past few months we have not been accepting review requests from our online submission form. Long story short -- those are primarily left to me and my life got too hectic to offer a reliable reviewing service. As a result, we wound up with hundreds of review requests. None of which were accepted.

    In effort to help authors out in some way, I've opened up more promotional dates than what I normally have available (usually only Wednesdays are available). The following dates are now open for any type of promotional material (not reviews).

    December: 18th, 22nd, 23rd, and 30th
    January: 6th, 7th, 15th, and 28th
    February: 4th, 10th, 19th, and 24th
    March: 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th

    If interested, review this document first and then contact about a date.

    Feature and Follow #20 (Favorite reading spot)

    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    What is Feature and Follow?

    F&F is a weekly blog hop that consists of book bloggers. It is hosted byAlison Can Read and Parajunkee. The rules of involvement are simple:
    1.) Link up on the blog hop Linky gadget below this post, 2.) follow the hosts via their network of choice, 3.) follow the weekly featured blog(s) via their network of choice (listed as "featured" in the blog list below), and lastly, 4) check out the rest of the blogs on the hop! If you become a new follower of a blog, let them know and they will follow you back.

    The F&F is a great way to network, meet other book bloggers, and gain new followers. Even more so, it's a great way to drive fun discussion on a weekly topic.

    This week's question:

    Do you have a favourite place to read? - Suggested by Liberamans

    My bed. I do a majority of my reading at night. It's what I wind down and fall asleep to. I get super lazy reading in bed and usually read eBooks so I really like my new computer that has a flip back screen. I can set it up as an "A" and just poke a finger out from the covers every now and then to push the forward button ;)

    Other Posts Of Interest:

    Remember to check your follow links regularly - by Jessi - November 22nd, 2014
    5 easy tips for making your blog more user friendly for blog hops - By Jessi - December 27th, 2013
    CAPTCHA challenge presented by The Book Wheel and The Relentless Reader - By Jessi - August 16th, 2013

    Author Spotlight: Speaking of Murder by Jonathan Black

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    (Blurb): Hank Fowler is finally getting is life back together after his divorce and “early retirement” from reporting at Chicago’s biggest daily. But the tranquility doesn’t last long. After receiving an odd phone call from his old college roommate, who turns up dead shortly thereafter, Hank can’t help but investigate the case. Several more bodies are found in similarly mysterious circumstances, and the victims all have one trait in common: they are—or were—motivational speakers.
    Meanwhile, Hank meets Rachel, newly divorced and trying to write a book, after she enrolls in Hank’s writing class. With her not-always-welcome help, Hank sets out to track down the killer.

    In this compelling, well-knit narrative, Jonathan Black creates a fast-paced murder mystery for the digital age. Speaking of Murder is a contemporary whodunit that should appeal to all lovers of the mystery genre.

    Reviews of Jonathan Black's other work:

    Praise for Jonathan Black’s Making the American Body

    “An engrossing history of fitness in the United States…a must-read for fitness buffs and
    beefy enough to whet the appetite of even the most inert couch potato.”
    —Kirkus Reviews

    “In Making the American Body, Jonathan Black masterfully explores the many twists and
    evolutions of the fitness industry, from barbells to exercise machines to today’s health
    —Jeff Friend, Foreword Reviews

    “An interesting history of physical fitness in America.”
    —Karen Sutherland, Library Journal

    “The antecedents of the American fitness industry are varied and fascinating, and journalist
    Black...does a superb job of chronicling them.”
    —Publishers Weekly

    “As a book for a popular audience, it will be of interest to diverse readers.”

    —J.L. Croissant, CHOICE

    Praise for Jonathan Black’s Yes You Can!

    “By turns hilarious and absorbing, Yes You Can! is one part exposé, one part meditation
    on the curious conviction of so many Americans that all they need to change their lives is
    a good talking-to, and on the touching personal dreams that so often underpin that belief.”
    —Scott Turow, bestselling author of Presumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof

    “Bolstered by solid research and lively anecdotes...”
    —Publishers Weekly

    “A fascinating mirror held up to our cultural face.”
    —Brad Hooper, Booklist

    Purchase Links

    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 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.