Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Romantic Holiday Reading

As we move closer to the holidays and start choosing books for gift giving, or books we can read while collapsing in our comfy chairs after shopping all day, we'll be looking at some wonderful choices for our reading pleasure.  There's nothing quite like relaxing with hot chocolate and a good book when we want to just kick back and read after the craziness of crowds and shopping chaos. Today we start with a wonderful offering that is both fun and romantic. The book is Learning to Love by Jennifer Wilck.

Dina Jacobs is a single librarian who has never fit in due to her off-the charts intelligence., frizzy hair, and rounder-than-socially acceptable figure. She left her past behind until she receives an initiation to her ten year high school reunion, and all her insecurities return. 

Adam Mandel is a single corporate attorney who just missed his third deadline at his father's law firm, the law firm where he is up for junior partner. With his reputation on the line, Adam needs all the help he can get to convince his father that he deserves the promotion. When Dina and Adam run into each other on a deserted road, Dina thinks Mr. Flashypants can't possibly be interested in someone like her. Adam thinks Dina is just the person to help him improve his reputation. Lies and insecurities force them to take a look at themselves. Can they trust each other to look beyond the surface?

Sounds like an intriguing dilemma, doesn't  it? I wanted to ask Adam and Dina more about their situation. Sio, let's talk to them.

Dina, what do you like or not like about your life now?  
I love my current life. I’m a librarian, which is a job I love. I’m surrounded by books. I’ve a few close friends with whom I’m comfortable. So overall, I’m happy. I confess to being a little…jealous is too strong of a word, but I wish I had a family like my best friend, Tracy does. She’s married with a new baby and I hope I have that someday.

Why did you decide to attend your high school reunion? 
High school was difficult for me. I was smarter than the rest of the kids in my class, so I didn’t fit in. People didn’t talk to me unless they wanted to cheat off my homework or tests and I was more comfortable around the teachers than the students. So the thought of going to my reunion, well, I was planning to throw the invitation in the trash. But then Adam saw it when he came to pick me up one day and he convinced me to go to it, with him. I’m still not sure why I agreed.
What are your best or worst memories of high school?
 Like I said, high school was a rough time for me. I don’t have too many happy memories, other than some special teachers who made it bearable.
What are your thoughts of Adam? 
My initial thought was that he was Mr. Flashypants, all style, no substance. He was consumed by what others thought of him and by outward appearances. But as I’ve gotten to know him better, I realize that initial thought was wrong. He’s much deeper than he appears. I want to get to know him better.
Adam, what is your life like currently? 
Ha! It’s a disaster. My dad fired me from my job. I’m a lawyer at his firm and I was up for junior partner, but my cases have tanked recently due to things being misfiled and everyone is blaming me. The problem is, I didn’t do anything wrong. But my dad and everyone else thinks I’m a screw-up, so they’re not willing to consider someone else might have caused the problem. I can’t tell Dina, because who would want to date a guy whose own dad fired him? 
What were you like in high school? 
I was kind of a clown.
What were the expectations for you then?
My dad has always had high expectations of me, ridiculously high ones. And no matter how hard I try, I’ve never been able to meet them. 
Why did you decide to go to the reunion with Dina? 
Everyone should go to at least one high school reunion, if only to see how people have changed. Dina didn’t want to go to hers because she was afraid no one would know her and she’d be all alone. So I offered to take her. I’ll make sure she has fun and that people are nice to her. And she’s helping me to improve my reputation with my father, so we have a good bargain. Plus, I love spending time with her, and this just lets me extend that.

What do you think of Dina now? 
She’s amazing. I love her hair. She’s kind and intelligent and she’s able to read me better than anyone ever has, which makes me uncomfortable but is kind of nice at the same time. I almost feel like I can be myself around her. I love talking to her and she’s one of the sexiest women I’ve ever met. I can’t wait to get to know her better.

Now that sounds like wonderful reading material on a cold winter evening. Here are the buy links.

Buy Links: 

 If you would like to get in touch with Jennifer, here is her contact information.

Author Links:

Thank you, Jennifer, for introducing us to your latest book. Any comments or questions for Jennifer?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Paranormal Romance in Paradise

To me the search for new books and new authors never ends. Just when I think I've fallen in love with one genre, I'll find something else that really intrigues me and before long I'm engrossed in a new book and enjoying learning about a new author. That was the case when I saw the cover for author Jeny Heckman's newest book, The Sea Archer.  Jeny is the guest today in My Writing Corner and her newest book is a paranormal fantasy romance that mixes mythology with romance in an engaging tale.   

Jeny lives in Stanwood, Washington, with her husband of twenty five years, and she keeps busy with him and on her writing and photography.  She  says she loves romance as an author. She especially loves writing romance with a paranormal and/or historical twist. She was educated as an artist but she has also gained experience as a banker, sales clerk, draftsman, charity fundraiser, jewelry maker, nursing student, hospice volunteer, photographer, mother, and wife. 

But writing has long been a calling, so she finally turned her attention to it. 

Raven Hunter, a musical prodigy, flees to the Hawaiian Islands to pick up the pieces after her marriage to her manager collapses. Instead, she experiences extraordinary and unsettling events that are beyond her understanding. 

Living in paradise, marine biologist, Finn Taylor has the unconscious but effortless ability to understand the needs of the animals he cares for. His playboy lifestyle is most men's fantasy. That is, until the night he meets the shy and elusive new island resident. Suddenly his life no longer feels like his own. The attraction is undeniable. However, vastly contrasting lives, peculiar dreams, and an unbelievable proclamation that they could be the direct descendants of Poseidon and Apollo threaten to divide them forever. Will they accept their destiny and begin the quest of a lifetime or will they remain in their comfortable yet separate existence?

Why did you choose this genre?
I love the paranormal romance genre. It’s fun and it’s interesting. I have never written in this genre though and that was a little different. I changed from being a pantser to a plotter but all in all I loved the process. It was really fun implying the “fantasy” world within the real one. Where you get that reasonable doubt that the fantasy may be possible.  

What do you think is the most difficult thing about writing a book?
By far, the most difficult thing about writing a book for me is having a head full of ideas and unable to write them down because I’m busy or the day is packed full of other events or people. It’s by far the hardest part. When I write, I don’t really like to stop. I definitely lose track of time. So, invariably I need a lot of undemanding time or I’ve been known to get a little grumpy when I get interrupted.

What book have you read that you wish you had written?
Well, of course the gold star would be Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I truly love the way she weaves realism with fiction, with history, then back to the fantastic. She truly is a very gifted story-teller.

If writing is your first passion, what is your second?

Writing is absolutely my first passion and then a very close second is photography. Two very creative fields I know. I love capturing moments whether in life or in my mind and showing it to people. To stand in the Scottish Highlands alone but able to show it to people like they’re standing there too, is exciting. Primarily, I shoot portraits and weddings but recently I’ve really gotten into scenery and epic landscapes. I love capturing moments, expressions and small windows of time that reveal more than what you expect.

How much of the book is realistic?
I think the modern day story is very realistic, especially the emotions and awkwardness. I’ve seen or experienced many of the scenes in the book. Some made me actually laugh and some made me cry.

What do you like best about your hero?
Oh Finn, what is there not to like about Finn! He is perfectly flawed, as most men are. I love men, so I love writing about them and Finn is the epitome of male beauty but doesn’t always get that isn’t enough. I like his turmoil in how he handles this tsunami that’s entered his life. Just a side note. When I write, I have to have a visual on my desktop of the character and when I wrote Finn’s scenes, his visual counterpart is Ben Dahlhaus (with the short beard). So, if you are wondering my vision of him, Ben was it. Go look him up now and you’re welcome!

What do you like best about your heroine? 
I love…LOVE Raven! She was such a loud voice and presence in my head. I love that we have an idea about what a celebrity might be like. We think we understand their lives, their intellect, their beliefs, when we don’t know them at all and many times they are nothing like the people you fall in love with on the stage or screen. Raven is two separate people and everyone thinks the one on the stage is the real one. However, she is just as insecure as everyone else. She doesn’t know any more or less than anyone else. Her life is primarily the same just with extra wrapping paper. Second side note, Jennifer Anistan was the visual que for Raven. The best thing is Jennifer has played many roles and I was able to get the performer and every day woman characters of Raven from Jennifer too.

How can readers get your book and get in touch with you?


Links for Purchase:


Thank you, Jeny, for introducing us to The Sea Archer.  Any comments or questions for Jeny? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Escape to a New World

With the holidays right around the corner, this is the time of year for not only looking for good books to read on those long, cold winter evenings, but it's also time to start looking for gifts for my reader friends who love new authors and unique stories. Today's guest in My Writing Corner, Mona Sedrak,  has a new book out that immediately caught my interest.  

Mona lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she works as a university administrator and professor. Although she has co-published two academic books, she has joined the world of fiction writing and is now published in mainstream fiction and women's fiction. She says she is an avid reader and that she is probably Audible's best customer.

Like so many writers, she says writing and reading fiction provide her escape from reality, and we can certainly understand why that might be possible.

Mona lives with her husband of 31 years, and she says they shared their space with a geriatric maltipoo, and an Amazon Parrot named Pretzel. Mona tells us she is an avid TV watcher and binge watches too many shows to count. She also says she loves fine brandy. 

Her new books is Six Months:

For twenty years, Mikala Jacobson had it all: loyal friends, a precious little girl, and a man who adores her. Then double tragedy
strikes and her perfect world shatters. 

Good friends, Rena and Jake are instantly by her side, protecting her from her husband David’s sordid secret life and his final drunken confession.

With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.

With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.

Let's get an excerpt:

Wandering from room to room, she memorized every detail of the life she and David built––the family photos lining the mantel, the hand-carved jewelry box David bought her on their honeymoon in Salzburg, and Molly’s tea set arranged on the coffee table for evening tea. A cold, hollow ache took residence in her belly where the knot of dread made its appearance that morning. The sensation expanded with alarming speed, dug in deep, and planted roots. Like an unwanted guest appearing without warning and bringing too many bags for just a brief visit, sorrow moved in, shifted, and stretched then got comfortable for the long haul.
When the house line rang, Mikala froze, and her gaze darted to the cordless on the couch. Her breath stuttered. Her heart seized. Clarity forced its way past the tentacles of sheer terror strangling, dominating, and paralyzing her. She shook her head and took a step forward, only to be hit by a wave of dizziness and nausea so tremendous, she doubled over wrapping her arms around her womb. Mikala’s entire being, inside and out, shook as her heart tumbled about in her chest without a set time, tempo, or rhythm. Her breaths grew shallow and choppy, and her legs turned to rubber. The cord tethering Molly to her and this world had been severed.
The telephone rang four times before Mikala forced her body to cooperate. God, she hadn’t wanted to answer. She hadn’t wanted to know. She’d even considered not answering, protecting herself and her beautiful family from the annihilation of their world.
People said she was strong––the strongest woman they knew. They said in time she would heal. She would build another life. And God didn’t give you more than you could handle. People were idiots. They had no idea how in her head she raged. She howled, and shrieked, and wailed...and begged, and pleaded for mercy. All day. All night. Every day. Every night.

If you would like to read more here's the information for Mona: 

Thank you Mona, for being my guest today and letting us escape into your world. Any questions or comments for Mona?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Special Holiday Romance from the Past

It is time to start thinking about those books you might like to buy for friends and loved ones for the holidays and to start looking for great new holiday stories to read. I always have a few I love to re-read around this time of the year but I  am always searching for new books and stories to enjoy during the holiday season. They get me into a festive mood and always make the holidays seem brighter.

My guest today in My Writing Corner, Kathy Otten, has a wonderful new offering and I was curious about it and about her writing career.

Kathy, did you always want to be a writer? 

I suppose I’ve always wanted to write. As a kid I made up stories in my head at night when I couldn’t sleep. I wrote them down and made books with crayon pictures tied together with yarn. Over the years, my stories grew longer and I filled several notebooks. But it wasn’t until my kids grew up that I joined Pennwriters Inc., and seriously pursued the craft of writing.

Tell us about your new book and where got the idea for it. 

A Christmas Smile isn’t a new book, but as it is a holiday novella, I thought it would be fun to talk about it. Rather than an idea, many times my characters come to me first, lurking in the periphery of my mind. In this case I saw Tom, the hero, returning home from the Civil War, eager to finally see the only woman he ever loved.

How did you come up with your characters for the book?  

After the characters come to me, I start asking them questions. In Tom’s case I asked him things like: Where are you going? What are you looking for? Why? What will you do if she isn’t waiting for you?

What do you like best about your current hero? 

Tom is so beaten down by war at the beginning of the story, he makes a terrible mistake. Once he understands what happened, rather than concede defeat he tries to win the heroine’s forgiveness. I guess I like the fact that in the end if she no longer loves him, that he’s willing to walk away.

What about your heroine? 
Beth also suffered hardship during the war and it transformed her from a girl into a self-sufficient woman. I like the fact that she didn’t easily forgive Tom. She needed him to understand how his mistake had hurt her and changed her.

How do you normally come up with characters? 

I see them in my mind, in that half awake, half asleep stage in the early morning. Usually they are dressed in clothes of their period and they are doing something or saying something. In this story I saw Tom, in a battered Confederate uniform, a crutch under each arm as he hobbled up a narrow lane.

What a great idea! You put them in a story immediately! How about a blurb?

After years in a Yankee prison camp, Tom Montgomery returned to Virginia to discover the wife who said she'd love him forever had mistakenly been informed of his death and married another man. Seven years later, Tom returns to Montgomery, Texas to discover Elizabeth has been living at his grandfather's ranch. Can a Christmas miracle heal the pain of betrayal and bring their two hearts together again?

What are you working on now?

I’m in between projects. My Civil War novel, A Place In Your Heart, is out now from The Wild Rose Press. I finished writing a contemporary young adult novel for which I am currently querying agents. My NaNoWriMo goal is to write the rough draft for the second book for that same cast of characters. And I’m playing around with an idea for a short story set during WWI.

How can readers reach you or find you online?

I can be contacted at  

Thank you, Kathy, for being my guest. Any comments or questions for Kathy?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Magical Romantic Touch

With the first snow upon us, it is always good to find a new series to dive into or a new author to read. This year I've been discovering a lot of new favorites and the best thing is that many of them I can read or sit and listen to as audio books. Either way I come out a winner. But this week I discovered another wonderful author with what sounds like a perfect book for a cold winter's day or evening. 
Author Debby Grahl is the guest today in My Writing Corner, bringing us her latest book. Debby lives in South Carolina. She tells us she has long been a history buff and it shows in her writing. She also says she loves reading mystery novels, romance and books featuring time travel. She takes that love of those genres into the books she writes as well. Besides writing, she says she loves walking on the beach, and biking. Her favorite places to visit include New Orleans, New York City, Captiva Island in Florida and the Cotswolds of England.  
Her first book, The Silver Crescent, won the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers/ Choice Award. 

Her newest book is His Magic Touch:

The night before Jared Dupre’s wedding, a spectre warns him that the demonic witch, Adam Montief, has kidnapped his brother, threatening  to kill both him and Jared’s fiancĂ©e, Kendra O'Connell, in a centuries-old vendetta Jared knows nothing about. A powerful witch himself, Jared tracks Adam from New Orleans to a remote island off the coast of Connecticut. A sword fight ensues where a final thrust of Jared's blade sends Adam over the cliff into the sea below.
But when Jared returns to New Orleans, he finds a triumphant Adam alive and intent on seducing Kendra. Kendra, not knowing Jared was forced to break off their engagement to save her life, has turned to a new man, unaware he’s Adam who has vowed to kill the man she truly loves.
             With help from his grandmother's spirit, Jared discovers the motive behind the Montiefs' vengeance, while fighting to win back Kendra before she is drawn into Adam's world of sadistic evil and assure Adam's final destruction.

Want more? Here's an excerpt:

In the stifling heat, Angelique Montief flicked her wrist and set the bamboo ceiling fan spinning. Kneeling on a woven mat with sweat coating her body, she lifted a small wooden brass-bound casket from the bottom of a large trunk, inserted a gold key, and opened the lid. Inside two objects lay wrapped in thick cloth. She carefully unwrapped the smaller bundle to reveal a pentagonal mirror, a gift handed down to her by her grandmother, its ancient oak frame carved with tiny pentacles.
She glanced over her shoulder at her locked bedroom door, then stared into the mirror and whispered, “Show him to me.”When the glass remained blank, fear clutched at her chest. Again, she said the words, and the image of a plantation house engulfed in flames appeared. “No, please, he can’t be dead. ”Tears blurred her vision. The fiery image changed to reveal a human form lying beneath flowering bougainvillea. “Show me his face.”
She saw his indigo blue eyes blink open.
“I’m coming, my love.”
She rewrapped the mirror and placed it into the smaller casket among cloth bags of herbs and potion-filled vials. Relocking the lid, she hung the key on a chain around her neck, dropped a jeweled dagger into her pocket, and tucked the casket under her arm.
Augustus had locked her in, placing what he thought would be an impenetrable shield across both doors. Her husband’s biggest mistake was underestimating her.

If you would like to read on, here is the Amazon buy link:

Here is the information for Debby :

Thank you, Debby, for bringing us another great book to read! Any comments or questions?

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Uncovering & Discovering New Romance

 As someone who loves to read fiction or listen to books, I love discovering new stories and new authors and learning all about them. This week my featured guest in My Writing Corner is author Ryan Jo Summers. Her biography intrigued me because it says she likes to write romances that blur the lines of subgenres. For instance she mixes contemporary with time travel, Christian, suspense, sweet, and the paranormal. She compares it to blending a fruit and yogurt smoothie. 

Tell us a little about how you became a writer.  An event happened when I was ten that was hard for me to wrap my brain around. So I wrote it out, story form, and even illustrated it. I’d been reading since I could remember so making this unconscious step over to writing was more of a coping strategy then, but it paved the way to becoming a writer.

You write fiction and non-fiction.  Yes, I was published in the non-fiction world before my debut fiction novel. 

What do you like about writing non-fiction? It usually takes less time to write non-fiction. They are both so different, but the subject matter for non-fic is usually written—to some degree—to spec, so it saves me having to supply a topic.  Plus the faster turn-around is nice.

Tell us about your writing different genres and mixing genres.  What challenges and rewards do you find in doing that? It’s a natural thing for me to do the mish-mashed genres. The challenges are believability.  For example, my sophomore novel, “Shimmers of Stardust”, is inspirational Christian and time travel. Those two don’t naturally lend themselves to being believable when combined. The reward, however, is “Shimmers of Stardust” has remained my consistent best-selling book for 4 years running. Other challenges are creating the story lines to flow together, and not have one overpower any others, or overtake the romance. “Chasing the Painted Skies” has a lot going on in it. It’s a romance, with mystery, a treasure hunt, a shape shifter, and a ghost story. There were a lot of story lines to keep in line with that story. The reward is all the positive feedback I’ve received from readers. It ended up flowing together nicely. Many people say the setting is a character all its own in “Chasing” and that makes me feel good.
What advice would you give beginning writers? Write for yourself first and foremost. Never write for trends or uncomfortable genres. Writing is a learning process, from the first one to the last one, whether it’s one book, two books or one hundred books. Each one has something to teach. Each one.

What is your current book? 
September’s Song is my 2nd self-published book, and first fictional one. The first was a blog to book non-fiction about my adopted dog and the challenges of the first two years with him. This is my “problem child” in that it was a very difficult book to write. It was sort of like a petulant child that demanded “Write me!” but then fought me every step along the way with how it wanted to be written. Honestly, most days I just went along for the ride as the characters dictated what was happening. It was a new experience for me. I wasn’t even sure what genre to label it until it was finished. That was tough! But it’s done, it’s live, and I could not be happier with the end result. It was worth every crank tantrum it gave me for the two-and-a-half years it took to write.

What made you want to write it? A friend sent me an email, with a series of various photos. One in particular struck a chord within me. Nothing fancy, just a child handing a Styrofoam carton to a man. But so much about the photo shouted it wanted to say something. So without any real sense of direction, I started scribbling away. Many of my original thoughts never came to fruition as the characters pushed them aside in favor of better and newer…err…suggestions.

How about a blurb?
Ivey London who lost her military husband, tried to move on with their son, her Alzheimer's mother, and a boss attracted to her. She finds him alive and amnesiac five years later. Armed with inexpiable abilities, he is pursued by a forceful group determined to reclaim him. Ivey is just as determined to keep her late husband.  Together, they uncover what happened to him, who is after him, and search for how to reclaim what they once were--husband and wife.

Now that sounds like an intriguing story! Here are the buy links if you would like to pick up a copy:


What is your next project? 

Several! I am still working mightily on a 1719 time travel/ pirate romance that is slated to be released November 2019. I need to get it finished and to the publisher. Last month I signed with a new publisher for a series of books. Stories 1-3 are written and contracted, so edits will start soon. I’ve started writing book 4 and planning out books 5 & 6. Ultimately, I hope to see around 9 to 12 stories come out of this series over the years. I have plotlines and some fleshing out for three other novels, I just need time to work on them. I have a non-fiction inspirational novella and a young adult/ new adult novel I will either self-pub or pitch to agents, when time allows. On top of that I still have my non-fiction articles to work on. I am a regular contributor to a couple of them, so there is always topics to research and drafts to work on. No dust should be collecting on my keyboard.

 How can readers get in touch with you and learn more about your books?


Thank you, Ryan Jo, for being my guest today.  Any comments or questions for Ryan Jo?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Traveling Back In Time with A New Romance

Romance has always been one of my favorite genres to read and write, but I always like the stories even more when they contain an extra element such as suspense, fantasy or time travel.  That's why I was very excited when I learned about the new book by author Leslie Bowes, Heart Healer.

Leslie is a native of Maryland, but she moved to South Carolina as a young teenager. She tells us that she absolutely fell in love with the Low Country, its landscape and its abundant history. That countryside became the inspiration for her newest book, Heart Healer.

She has moved to Virginia recently and she says she can see the  promise of writing possibilities in that area as well as she studies the rolling landscape and the history.

But let's find out more about Heart Healer. Here's the blurb that immediately caught my attention:

Catherine Andrews is an English woman living in the 1800's. Her father sells her to Blake Von-Clyer to be his wife to pay off debts owed to Mr. Von-Clyer. Catherine soon finds out Blake is a cruel and horrible man.

On their wedding night, to escape his cruelty, she throws herself into the river. Death is better than marriage to a beast.

Christopher King is living in 2014 doing his best to raise his young son Ryan after his wife left him. One night, Christopher finds a woman in the river unconscious and barely breathing. She is also wearing old fashioned clothes. Christopher does everything in his power to help the young women. When Catherine regains consciousness, she finds herself in a strange and unbelievable situation. Terrified, she does her best to keep her guard up against Christopher. But as she gets to know him, she can't help but fall for the man who saved her life. When Catherine's dangerous past comes back to haunt her, it has Catherine and Christopher fighting for each other and their love.

Intrigued? I am! Want more? Let's get an excerpt:

"That’s true, but I don’t need a servant. I need a wife.”

Catherine dropped the spoon as her whole body shook. What was her father planning to do? Hard work? A wife? What was going on? She was not her father’s slave to trade as he wished. She was his daughter. Too nervous to turn around, Catherine prayed that she heard wrong.

“What did you say?” her father asked, shocked.

“You heard me.” Mr. Von-Clyer laughed. “You had no problem selling her to me as a servant Mr. Andrews, but now that I want her for my wife your conscience haunts you. What’s the difference? Either way your debt to me is paid.”

“Catherine, get over here now!” her father yelled drunkenly. The longer she stared at the vein in her father’s neck; she realized that she was making him angrier than Catherine had ever seen before.

She slowly walked over to the table and stood in front of her father. Her heart was pounding in her chest as she watched him drink his last bit of wine.

“You will be Mr. Von-Clyer’s wife to pay off my debt.”

“What debt?” Catherine asked angrily.

“Catherine, do not speak unless you are spoken to,” her father snarled.

“What debt?” Catherine yelled.

Her father jumped up from his chair with an angry shout, bumping the table, but James jumped in front of him.

“You cannot treat Catherine like that, Father. She is your daughter and my sister, not your slave!” James yelled.
Catherine’s father was having none of that. He lunged for James, but Catherine got in between them before her father could do anything. She knelt in front of James and wiped his tears. All the while she prayed for strength.

“Thank you, James, but I need you to go to your room.”
“But, Catherine—”
“No buts. Go to your room and stay there until I come for you.”

As soon as James was in his room, Catherine’s father grabbed her arms and shook her hard.

“Don’t you ever speak to me like that again, Catherine! Do you understand me?”
“Yes, sir,” Catherine whispered, scared for her life.
“Good. Now go with Mr. Von-Clyer and pay off your debt.”
“Father, I beg of you. Tell me what my debt is?”

Want more? I do! This sounds like a wonderful book for curling up on cold winter days so here is the buy link:

The best part that I discovered when I went there is that this is the first in a series! Thank you, Leslie, for bringing us your latest book.  Any comments or questions for Leslie?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

In the Mood for a Suspense Series?

As  a long-time mystery fan, I always keep a watch out for new releases by my favorite authors, but I also watch for new books by authors I haven't read before. There is nothing more fun than finding a new author who pulls me into reading a new series. That was the case with author Julie Howard, who whose latest book, Crime Times Two is just about to be released.

The book is the second installment of her Wild Crimes series, a domestic suspense series, so that gives me two new books to read! She is the guest in My Writing Corner today.

Julie is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. 

This is the second Wild Crime, a series of domestic suspense books. Here's the blurb:

Meredith knows three things: First, the man in the library begged her to help him. Second, he was afraid of his wife. Third, now he’s dead.
While the evidence first points to a natural death, Meredith is certain there’s more to discover. People are tight-lipped in this small mountain village, and the man’s wife isn’t talking either. Then a second death occurs, with remarkable similarities. It’s time to talk about murder.
As a slow-burning relationship heats up in her own life, Meredith struggles with concepts of love and hate, belief and suspicion, and absolution and guilt. Nothing is clear cut…
She must decide: Is guilt, like evil, something you can choose to believe in?
 Want more? Here's an excerpt:
       Jowls quivered under the man’s weak chin, and Meredith noted the stained and frayed shirt of someone who spent a lot of time alone in dark rooms, sending out a better version of himself into the virtual world. His eyes were anxious and beseeching at her as though she should have a clear understanding of him and his life.
       Somehow, over the past hour and a half they’d been sitting next to each other – him playing video games and sharing his life story and her ignoring him the best she could – she had become his confessor and friend.
      Meredith gave him what she hoped was an impartial-though-quasi-friendly smile. She reached for her purse and papers and rose from her chair. “Well. Nice talking with you.”
The man was lost in his own train of thought and seemed only slightly aware that Meredith was leaving.
       He shook his head, morose.
      "To make  a long story short," he summed up, "I think my wife is trying to kill me."

That grabbed my attention. The best thing is if you'd like to read on, there is a sale that starts this weekend on Julie's first book in the series, Crime and Paradise. It  goes on a 99-cent flash sale Friday (Oct. 5).

The story follows a young abused woman who ends up in a remote Idaho town. When her husband is murdered, she becomes the prime suspect. The local sheriff develops an interest in her beyond the investigation, and together they uncover some unsavory secrets in their small town.
For more on Julie, here is how to learn about her and get in touch as well as the buy links for her books:


Thank you, Julie, for being my guest and introducing us to a new crime series! Any comments orquestions for Julie?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

New Mystery Fiction for Fall

Sometimes it's the author of a book that grabs my interest. I have particular authors that I love to read and I try to watch for their latest releases. But sometimes it's the title of a book that gets me to take a second look, and that's even better because it introduces me to new authors. That was the case with the latest release by author CJ Zahner.  The title of her latest book, The Suicide Gene, drew me in, but then I discovered she also had another book coming out. Two books releasing so close together? Naturally I was intrigued and wanted to know more about her as an author so I asked her to be my guest in My Writing Corner. 
CJ, or Cyndie, hails from Erie, Pennsylvania, and like so many writers, she says she fell in love with writing at an early age. She credits her English teacher in high school for introducing her to the world of books, reading and writing. She went to work in the business world but also wrote articles for magazines. She married and had children before eventually turning her attention to writing books. Now she has two new books coming out, and two more that she is presently finishing.  

Her latest work, The Suicide Gene, has just been published by The Wild Rose Press, and as I noted, that title really grabbed my attention. Here's the blurb and that grabbed my interest as well: 
She thought they were her siblings. By the time she realized they weren’t, one of them was dead.
Doctor Emma Kerr had no right counseling them. Adopted and her birth records lost, she believed she was born a McKinney. Her face, intelligence, and depression resembled theirs. For years people mistook her for their sister. So she devised a plan. What begins as a scheme to counsel the McKinney family and determine if they are blood relatives, quickly causes Emma to wonder if she had truly done the manipulating. Is someone following her?
Now Emma clamors to escape the McKinney world of domination and deception.
Is she Mathew McKinney's sister? She can't be. Is he in love with her? He can't be. Then how do he and his sisters know more about her than she knows herself? This is a game to them. Is the game suicide? Or murder? 
Intrigued?  I was!  Let's get an excerpt:
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
The Funeral Parlor.
The face in the casket was her own. It nearly freaked her out.
She stood between her brother and sister, knees wobbling. Her high-necked dress clung to her skin, choking her throat, squeezing her long, slender body tighter and tighter until she felt her lungs might explode. Damn panic attacks.
Her siblings moved closer, tightening their grip on her when they heard her struggling to breathe. Together their tall frames—movie-star handsome—melded into a dark mass at the foot of the casket. It took all the energy the three of them could muster to keep her upright.
“Are you okay?” Melanie asked her.
She nodded.
“Try not to embarrass yourself,” Matt whispered.
Again, a nod.
She wasn’t sure she could get through the day without fainting. There were no breaks at a funeral, and she just wanted to get away from the grim whispery-whirrs of the bereaved and the sickeningly-sweet waft of the flowers. But she couldn’t leave. Matt would kill her and, besides, she had no cigarettes. Her sister was her supplier. Now she’s dead.

The parade of mourners stretched out of the room and down the hall and it was only 2:05. Some faces in line she didn’t recognize, which infuriated her. Her sister had no real friends. Nosy bastards. They just want to know what happened.

She tried to ignore surrounding conversations and remain composed. But like Medusa’s venomous mane, muffled words of hand-covered comments serpentined toward her from all directions. She couldn’t block them. They echoed in her head like garbled phrases over a worn intercom. “Why did she do it?” “Like her mother.” “Was it suicide?”
That last question nearly sent her to her knees. Her body sagged. Melanie caught her and Matt pulled her close, so she could lean on him until it passed.
“Don’t look if looking makes you queasy,” Melanie told her, but her glance drifted back to her sister’s pasty face. That’s what I would look like if I were dead.
She, herself, had considered suicide for so long it was hard to believe she still feared death. She hated funerals, could barely walk through the front door of a funeral home without hyperventilating. Yet, she had to go to this one. Her own identical twin sister lie in that ugly copper box, her head sunk low in billowing white silk.
“I’m sorry for the three of you.” Her aunt Carol’s hoarse voice coaxed her attention from the coffin. Notably thinner—grief now topping her midmorning chemotherapy cocktail,— her aunt dabbed a tissue at tear-stained cheeks. She was in the third round with breast cancer and getting her butt kicked. “I can’t believe this is happening to our family again. Did you know she was that bad?”
“Well.” Melanie paused. “She’s always had those tendencies, but we thought—with the counseling—she was doing better.”
“Counseling?” Aunt Carol’s cheeks pinked.
“Yes,” Matt said. “Six months ago we started seeing a psychiatrist—all four of us.”
“We thought a counselor might help,” sweet Melanie continued. “We decided maybe we did have some baggage about Mom’s—” She took a deep breath. Her gaze moved to her sister.
Don’t say it, Mel, don’t say suicide.
“Death.” Melanie looked away.
“How horrible.” Aunt Carol straightened. She appeared appalled. “You should sue him—that counselor.”
“Her.” Matt shook his head, eyes glaring. “She’s a psychiatrist.”
“We will sue her.” The twin’s voice rose, but she stopped, glanced at Matt, and tightened her jaw. “She didn’t give a damn about us. Now my sister is dead. She’ll pay.”
It happened then—at 2:10 p.m. She felt Matt’s piercing gaze and watched as he released his grip on her arm. Her aunt Carol became so emotional that Matt had to help her to the back of the room. Family members congregated there amidst her wild sobs while Matt held her, and a rush of people came toward her and Melanie at the casket. One after another. Melanie let go of her, too, and she had to stand on her own.
For the first time in her life, she was alone.
Want to read on? Here are the buy links:
The Wild Rose Press:
Barnes and Noble 

If you want to read more by CJ, she has another book out, Dream Wide Awake, and here is how you can learn more about her as an author:
Author website:     or
BookBub:                 blog:

Thank you, CJ, for bringing us your latest releases.  Any comments or questions for CJ?