Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!


51n6b1Sh3AL._UY250_Out of Time

by Shona Husk

The fabulous New Adult series from Shona Husk continues: he wants to shut out the world; she wants to invite it in…

Mike Peterson has learned the hard way that the good really do die young. He and his mum only have each other, and now she’s losing her second battle with cancer. He wants to stay with her; she wants him to keep following his dreams. He doesn’t have long to decide and the rest of the band is waiting on him. Whatever choice he makes, he will lose.

Living at home has become impossible for Ava Brand. Her very religious, very traditional grandmother would like to see her married off to a nice Indian boy. But Ava wants to make her own choices. Meeting Mike gives her a chance to rebel.

What starts off as easy rapidly becomes complicated, as their problems expand and emotions bubble to the surface. Neither has time for complicated, as Ava’s family discovers her extra-curricular activities and Mike has to make incredibly hard choices. But love never waits for the perfect time, and Mike and Ava are going to have to decide if they’re playing for fun, or playing for keeps.

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads


51kswPuS5vL._UY250_The Gauguin Connection (a Genevieve Lenard book)

by Estelle Ryan

Murdered artists. Masterful forgeries. Art crime at its worst.

As an insurance investigator and world renowned expert in nonverbal communication, Dr Genevieve Lenard faces the daily challenge of living a successful, independent life. Particularly because she has to deal with her high functioning Autism. Nothing – not her studies, her high IQ or her astounding analytical skills – prepared her for the changes about to take place in her life.

It started as a favour to help her boss’ acerbic friend look into the murder of a young artist, but soon it proves to be far more complex. Forced out of her predictable routines, safe environment and limited social interaction, Genevieve is thrown into exploring the meaning of friendship, expanding her social definitions, and for the first time in her life be part of a team in a race to stop more artists from being murdered.

Amazon | BN


51ISHS7sIEL._UY250_The Taming of the Billionaire (Billionaires and Bridesmaids)

by Jessica Clare

The New York Times bestselling author of The Billionaire and the Virgin returns with a tale of Shakespearean-style seduction…

Edie’s an overbearing cat behaviorist who’s not big on people. Magnus is a newly-rich game developer who likes to be in control. When the two of them meet at Gretchen and Hunter’s masquerade engagement party, the loathing is mutual. Unfortunately for them–and everyone else–they’re in the wedding party together and must deal with each other for the next few months.

But when Magnus’s younger brother falls for Edie’s sister, he begs for his brother’s help in concocting a plan to win her over. If Magnus can keep the prickly Edie occupied, his brother will have time to woo Edie’s sister. Of course, Magnus isn’t interested in the slightest, but Edie is…intriguing. And stubborn. And smart. And sexy. And they might have more in common than they thought.

Before long, it becomes a challenge between the two of them to see who will be tamed first. But how’s Edie going to react when she finds out that Magnus is using her? And how’s Magnus going to handle the fact that he’s fallen for a cat lady?

Amazon | BN

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Author Pamela Hearon on putting your story in its place

Today, I am pleased to welcome author Pamela Hearon to the Magical Musings blog. Pamela writes contemporary romances for Harlequin Superromance. Take it away, Pamela:


Pamela Hearon Author PhotoA week-long seminar on The Poetry of Place pounded the importance of setting into a prominent section of my writing brain (and obviously a penchant for alliteration, as well). Setting ghost stories in old deserted houses and romances with views of the ocean places the reader into a place with a familiar personality, giving instant connection to emotions already in place. Just think of the places you’ve been that stand out as the most memorable, and you’ll understand how much personality setting can have.

I tend to think of setting as a ubiquitous giant of a character who pulls and tugs at the edges and pushes from the heart to shape the story into its most perfect form. My three most recent books from Harlequin Superromance—and the next two on the way—have just such a character named Taylor’s Grove, Kentucky.

His Kind of PerfectionWhen I started world-building the small, Western Kentucky town, I pulled from my hometown of Paducah, Kentucky, as well as other smaller towns where I’ve lived. Most important to keep in mind was how essential it was to remain true to the nature of the area.

Western Kentucky is Southern to the core in culture, language, and flavor, and what better way to personify those characteristics than the inclusion of a church, a school, and a diner? And the town is set on Kentucky Lake, so, of course, there had to be a marina.

Bit by bit, the town grew under the strokes of my fingers on the keys. With each addition of a place within the place—a street, a house, a business, the park at the center of town—the people cradled in its palm became more real to me until the town took on a personality all its own.

My giant was born.

Most surprising to me, though probably it shouldn’t have been, has been the realization that Taylor’s Grove is a dynamic entity that changes, grows, and adapts with each story to keep from being left behind and forgotten like those sad old ghost towns out West.

Change isn’t easy and certainly not always welcome, but it’s a fact of life we all face and a necessity, even for my gentle giant. And so, the giant stands tall and stretches its arms, pushing the boundaries that one time confined it … and making me one very proud mama.

My Way Back to YouThe world of Taylor’s Grove has become an integral part of these stories—just like a supporting character—so important actually, that the story would change if the town disappeared in a flood or if I tried to set the stories anywhere else. I see the town vividly in my mind and strive to make the reader see it through my eyes—strive to breathe life into the community so the reader thinks of it as a good friend and wants to come back again and again.

Just like in the real world, Taylor’s Grove has to compete with “bigger and better” places that offer more excitement. My books don’t take place only in the little village. That would be boring … and there is a whole world out there.

But Taylor’s Grove is the place my characters come home to, welcoming them with warm, giant hugs.

Some stay and some leave, but Taylor’s Grove stays in their hearts forever.

I hope you’ll plan a visit. Any of my Taylor’s Grove books will take you there, but they might be more fun to visit in the order they were written so you can experience those growth spurts the town has gone through.

Moonlight in ParisBook 1—Moonlight in Paris

Book 2—His Kind of Perfection

Book 3—My Way Back to You

Book 4—Right Where We Started (coming Dec. 1)

Book 5—TBA (coming Spring 2016)


Although she now makes the Midwest her home, Pamela Hearon will forever remain a Southern gal. Born and raised in Kentucky, the values, humor, and dialects of the South infuse her writing with down-home warmth—no matter how exotic the setting.

Writing was always one of Pamela’s favorite past-times. Childhood stories and angst-filled teenage poetry eventually led the way to book-length fiction—and the past-time began a passion.

Pamela is an avid reader, gardener, and enjoys traveling with her husband, searching for that next story that begs to be written.

Visit Pamela at her website:

Like her Facebook Page:

(The Sign Up form for her Newsletter is at the top of that page. See it? It says SIGN UP.)

Prefer Twitter? She’s there, too!


For a chance to win an autographed set of the first three books in the Taylor’s Grove series (US/Canada only), tell Pamela a book setting you’ve read that has a personality you can’t forget. To enter, use the form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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So Many Questions with Author Veronica Scott!

I hope your week has been fabulous. If not, well, that is about to change because I am going to introduce you to another author this week. Are you ready to meet Veronica Scott? I recently met Veronica and she is so very sweet. And busy! Let’t learn more about her.

Welcome to the blog, Veronica! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Veronica Scott square photoI’m Veronica Scott and I write fantasy romance set in ancient Egypt and science fiction romance set in the far future, and I voraciously read everything I can get my hands on! This year I was able to accomplish the dream of going full time as a writer, but prior to that I spent a lot of wonderful time at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (think Mars rovers) on the business side of the house, which was an amazing place to work. I also write the SciFi Encounters column for USA Today Happily Ever After blog, as well as having my own blog, plus a few more places I contribute. Apparently I’m just not happy unless I’m wayyyyy overbooked! I have two daughters, one grandson Lego-aficionado, and two cats.

Have you been writing “forever” and if not, when/how did you decide to write?

I wrote my first story at the age of seven, and illustrated it too. Flying cats, flying horses, lots of princesses and a river boat captain for the romance. I’ve written ever since then but really got serious about my craft and working to become published in late 2010. (I do have some rejections from earlier writing attempts but buckled down to learning what I needed to know – show vs tell, POV etc – in 2010.) Carina Press bought my first ancient Egyptian story in 2011 and Priestess of the Nile was published in 2012. Now I independently publish my novels for the most part. I alternate between writing fantasy and science fiction, but always with romance and HEA included.

GhostOfTheNile_highresDo you read in the same genres you write?

Yes, as well as many others. Since I was a kid I always have to have something to read or I kind of panic. I also read pretty fast so thank goodness there are so many wonderful, prolific authors writing nowadays. I love Regency romances, paranormal, urban fantasy, some contemporaries, a touch of BDSM here and there…plus the scifi and the fantasy. I read nonfiction as well.

Where do you find your inspiration and ideas for your stories?

For me the story almost always starts with the situation and a “what if” question. What if the Titanic was a luxury spaceliner and my characters were traveling aboard her? What if my characters got trapped behind enemy lines on a planet at war? What if the Crocodile God was a shifter and fell in love with a human girl? The characters come after the situation occurs to me, and then I’m off and writing.

Are you on social media? If so, which platforms do you like to use to interact with your readers most?

I’m a huge Twitter fan – it’s like a giant party to me and I love all the conversations. I like to curate content and share fun things with my Followers. So I’m always there. I also enjoy Facebook interactions – more good conversations! And there are a couple of scifi romance groups I spend a lot of time with on FB.

What is the strangest thing a reader has ever said to you?

They asked if my ancient Egyptian stories were based on my own experiences. Um no, not an immortal or a reincarnated ancient to the best of my knowledge, but thanks for enjoying the books!

What do you love most about the romance writing world?

A reader can experience so many other lives and times, be in so many places…dance with the Duke, marry the Pharaoh, fight the aliens next to the good looking space marine….As an author, I love telling my stories and getting feedback from the readers. I always enjoy meeting readers too, at a conference or event!

MaroonedFinal-FJM_High_Res_1800x2700What do you have coming up?

I’m in edits on a new science fiction romance, probably out next year. Next I’ll be doing a sequel to Star Cruise: Marooned, which was my most recent best seller, and of course more ancient Egyptian romances. Ghost of the Nile was so much fun to write and left me with even more ideas to explore. Ancient Egypt had such depth and culture over thousands of years, and a wonderfully complex mythology to work with. Of course sometimes a story just comes to you out of the blue and demands to be written, and then the plans go out the window!

Anything else you want to say to the Magical Musings readers?

Keep on reading, whatever your favorite genres may be! Thanks for having me as a guest today – I always enjoy these posts and it was such fun to have the chance to answer the questions.

* * * * *

Thank you to Veronica for joining us today. In addition to the Twitter and Facebook pages she mentioned above you can also find her on Goodreads and at her Amazon page!

Since Veronica writes fantasy and science fiction, I am curious who else out there is a big fan of those genres? If so, who are your favorite authors and/or books?

Posted in Amy R's Posts | Tagged | 6 Comments

So Many Questions with Author Nicole Leiren

Happy Monday, all!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are ready to take charge of today. I have a guest today that I am very excited to introduce you to. She has been a fellow reader, street team member, and friend. And recently I had the chance to read an ARC of her upcoming contemporary romance which was fantastic! Let’s meet Nicole Leiren!

* * * * *

Welcome to the blog, Nicole! Can you tell us about yourself?

11148798_829720897114358_8989691231531778823_oHi Everyone! Where to start? I was born in a small town… (not the same one as John Cougar Mellencamp, but still a small town. LOL). I’m a Midwest girl, born and raised to parents who made their living in the medical field. Thanks to dinner conversations, I knew from a very young age that the medical field wasn’t for me. Yes, that’s right…I passed out after giving blood once. I never tempted fate and tried that again! While my parents didn’t inspire a strong desire to work in a hospital or doctor’s office, they did instill a love for reading practically from day one of my life.

I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember and have always enjoyed being transported out of reality into a world where, no matter what happens on the journey, we end up at happily ever after. Needless to say, books that end in a cliffhanger or are not a happily ever after aren’t high in my TBR pile. I need my endings to be all wrapped up with a nice bow. Why? Because real life isn’t like that typically, so my escape needs to be.

Have you been writing “forever”?

Maybe not as long as I’ve been reading, but for almost as long.  As a kid, I wrote dialogue for a character my Dad introduced to my sister and me, Wee Willy Ant. Then in high school, I utilized poetry to help make sense of all those wonderful hormones and emotions we’re forced to endure in that “fun” part of life. Next, I moved to fanfiction, a beautiful playground for writers to stretch their creative wings. After spending several years there and meeting some amazing readers, I decided to try my hand at my own characters and stories. There’s a constant diatribe of characters running through my brain (I don’t sleep much LOL) so allowing them to escape my head and fill a blank page has proven immensely satisfying over the years. I’m pretty sure if I didn’t have this creative outlet, my brain might spontaneously combust.

What genres do you typically write?

So far I’ve written contemporary romance, suspense with romantic elements and I’m halfway through a cozy mystery.

Do you read in the genres you typically write?

Yes, I’m a big fan of romantic suspense, suspense and contemporary romance. Most, if not all, of my TBR pile falls in those genres. I love having the added mystery/suspense element woven into a love story – warms my heart every time!

Where do you find the inspiration/ideas for the stories you write?

It varies for each book, but the hero in my upcoming release was inspired by someone I met on a plane.  I travel a lot for my day job and so I see/meet a lot of interesting people along the way. He shared his theories on love, life and women with me in such a highly entertaining way, it inspired the idea for the Daniel character in the story. From there, I decided what kind of woman would take him by surprise. I wanted her to, in a very subtle way, change what he believed about himself, love and life and lead him, ultimately, to his happily ever after. Once I have the characters, I get to play the fun game of “what if?” and the story grows from there. Typically, my overactive imagination can take a little blip or blurb from real life or attributes of people I meet and then run with it to create a story.

Are you on social media? If so, which platforms do you like to use to interact with your readers most?

Facebook is a great place to connect with readers and share in each other’s lives. Of course, changes in what Facebook allows our friends and followers to see, keeps it challenging to make sure we can connect with everyone. I’m also on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumbler and Goodreads.  I’m on Facebook the most, though, so that’s the best place to find and interact with me. I also have a street team, Leiren’s Lovelies, and we have a LOT of fun in there.

What is the strangest thing a reader has ever said to you?

I’m still pretty new so I can’t think of any strange questions yet. I have a great sense of humor so I look forward to that first one.

What do you love most about the writing world?

There are so many things about this world that I love, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Since you asked so nicely, though, I’ll do my best to answer honestly. For me, the magic of taking a blank page and transforming it into a story filled with emotions, actions and descriptions that take me and the readers on a heartfelt path to happily ever after has to be one of the greatest feelings evah! Okay, when someone messages or emails me to tell me how much they love a character, scene, line, etc. that’s pretty cool too.

MoreThanOneNightWhat do you have coming up?

More than One Night the first book in the Heroes of the Night series releases on 9/29/15.  I’m so excited for everyone to hear Daniel and Melodie’s story.  I’m also currently working on book 2 (releases spring of next year), Remember the Night which tells the story of another hero, Cody.

Anything else you want to say to the Magical Musing’s readers?

A heartfelt THANK YOU to each of you for your love of stories and for the support you give authors each and every day. I appreciate your sharing part of your day with me and I hope you fall in love with Daniel and Melodie as much as I have. Live, Love, & Laugh!

* * * * *

Thank you, Nicole, for joining us today! I loved hearing about how your inspiration for Daniel came about from someone on a plane.

Readers, have you ever met someone on a plane that you had a great conversation with during the flight? 

Posted in Amy R's Posts | Tagged | 11 Comments

Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!


51JFC39Sh1L._UY250_Kissing the Maid of Honor

by Robin Bielman

Kissing her best friend’s brother never felt so right…

Sela Sullivan is resolved to be the best maid of honor ever, even if it means tolerating the best man. Insufferable, too-handsome Luke Watters is not only the guy who humiliated her at a kissing booth in high school, but he also happens to be her best friend’s older brother. Positive he’s the same arrogant jock, Sela vows to focus on her duties and steer clear of the frustrating—and frustratingly tempting—Luke.

As a world-renowned extreme-sports photographer, Luke is used to undertaking life-risking adventures. But risking his heart for the beautiful Sela Sullivan, who clearly still hates him for his rejection all those years ago? He didn’t see that coming. Sela inspires a passion he’s never known, and the more time they spend together, the more he craves her. But can he prove to the maid of honor he’s become a man of honor?

Amazon | BN | iTunes

FF divider

51CGgL56BSL._UY250_Witches Be Burned

by Stacey Kennedy

In Stacey Kennedy’s steamy paranormal romance novel, a rookie guardian sworn to combat the undead risks life and love in a world of violence, witchcraft, and seduction.

Trained as an Elite Guardian and witch, Nexi Jones has lost her family and she’s hell-bent on making sure she doesn’t lose anyone else. At least she has Kyden, her smoldering hot partner who’s been there for her every step of the way. But just as Nexi thinks she’s done mourning, tragedy strikes the Otherworld when a fellow guardian is murdered by a group of rogue vampires. Drawn into their dangerous games, she and Kyden trek into the Earthworld to hunt down a killer—and Nexi alone will be put to the ultimate test.

Although Kyden knows that Nexi must fight her own battles, his guardian instincts are raging as he struggles to keep her close. The ruthlessness of these vampires is like nothing he’s ever seen. And at their helm is the black witch Astoria, a demon with one burning desire: to shed blood in the name of vengeance. What troubles Kyden even more, though, is the warlock lurking in the shadows. Let the devil do his worst . . . all Kyden can do is love and protect Nexi until his last breath.

Link/s to book: E-book deal. WITCHES BE BURNED by Stacey Kennedy is on sale for 99 cents:

Book recommendations

61NTmVhTo4L._UY250_Fables Vol. 22: Farewell

by Bill Willingham

The New York Times Best-selling Series and Winner of 14 Eisner Awards!

Completing more than thirteen years of critically-acclaimed storytelling, FABLES #150 is here!

Doubling as the final volume of the series, creator Bill Willingham, artist Mark Buckingham and a host of the industry’s finest artists deliver the end to this legendary Vertigo series that sees the final fates of beloved characters Bigby Wolf, Snow White, Rose Red, Boy Blue, Pinocchio and countless others. Ready or not, ever after is here.

Amazon | BN  | Amazon UK


51rffQH5MbL._UY250_From this Moment On

Bella Andre

For thirty-six years, Marcus Sullivan has been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings after their father died when they were children. But when the perfectly ordered future he’s planned for himself turns out to be nothing but a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all.

Nicola Harding is known throughout the world by only one name – Nico – for her catchy, sensual pop songs. Only, what no one knows about the twenty-five year old singer is that her sex-kitten image is totally false. After a terrible betrayal by a man who loved fame far more than he ever loved her, she vows not to let anyone else get close enough to find out who she really is…or hurt her again. Especially not the gorgeous stranger she meets at a nightclub, even though the hunger – and the sinful promises – in his dark eyes make her want to spill all her secrets.

One night is all Nicola and Marcus agree to share with each other. But nothing goes as they plan when instead of simply tangling limbs, they find a deeper connection than either of them could have anticipated. And even though they both try to fight it, growing emotions – and sizzling attraction – keep drawing them closer together. Close enough for them to wonder if stealing one more secret moment together can ever be enough?


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Guest author – Jeff RIvera

I write a lot. In order to do that I sprint a lot. :) Often I sprint with Jeff, so when he had a new release out I thought it would be fun to have him visit. Here is an interview on this interesting character and his latest book.

What inspired you to write Sing to Me?

What inspired me to write Sing to Me was when I started thinking about how heart breaking it would be to write a story where there was this struggle between someone who has a rising career, who really could be a star and how he would make a choice between that and the person he loves. I wanted to create characters that had sort of an oil and vinegar relationship where they’re kind of like quasi-arguing with each other all the time, and yet there’s love and flirtation behind it. And so that’s originally what inspired me. And that idea kind of stayed with me for the last few years and was germinating in my head and then finally I got to the point where I just had to tell the story. I’d been wanting to tell a really short story that people could read quickly, but at the same time would give what Nicholas Sparks calls “a mini lifetime” so people got really get sucked into the story,  and feel like they’d lived a mini-lifetime in a short period of time.

Why did you decide to call it Sing to Me?

The title was symbolic of course because you have a rocker who sings and his girlfriend, Emma, is always telling him to Sing to Me, because he’s the type of person who’s got a lot of talent who’s always been sort of in the background letting other people be in the foreground, and he just hasn’t let his light shine. She believes in him and tells, “You could be the star, you don’t have to be in the background. If you’re going to sing to anyone, Sing to Me.” That thought was the inspiration for the title, Sing to Me.

Why did you write a mainstream M/F book?

I’ve written Male/Female books before, but they were more ethnic, and I wanted to do something more mainstream this time to give it a better opportunity to be enjoyed by the world. I wanted a story that everyone could enjoy. It didn’t matter whether you were gay or straight, or white or black or latin or anything. I wanted something that would be more accepting but I actually have plans to do a M/M version of the same story at some point.

What authors inspired you to write this story?

I’m inspired by a lot of different authors; authors who have the talent to pluck those heartstrings and to take us on a true emotional journey. I think it’s rare for me to read a book that actually takes me on an emotional journey. Yeah, there’s Sci-Fi books, and there’s Thriller books that keep you at the edge of your seat when you turn the pages. But to be able to write a story that really captures your heart, so that you are absorbed into the characters, their lives, and you go on a journey with them, through thick and thin, it’s rare. There are few people who can do that for me. One of them is Nicholas Sparks. I mean, he’s my hero. If I could pick one author whose career I’d like to emulate it would be Nicholas Sparks. I also love Jodi Picoult; I think she’s an amazing storyteller. And I love people like Eric Segal; and people like James Patterson has several love stories that he’s done.

Thanks Jeff! Here is the blurb on Jeff’s book Sing to Me.

Sing to Me

Cover5-5They want to pull the plug on his brain-dead wife.

When rock-star-to-be, Cody White meets sassy Emma Lohan, he doesn’t know what to make of her.

Obviously out of his league, she’s outspoken, full-figured, beautiful, college-educated and has a heart of gold.

She’s perfect and he can’t stop thinking about her. She’s nothing like the girls he’s dated before.

It doesn’t make any sense.

And yet, true love rarely does.

Little does he know she will teach him what it means to love, what it means to fight for the girl of his dreams and what it means to give up everything he’s ever wished for; for the chance at something he never thought was possible.

True love and kisses from the heart.

But when tragedy strikes and her life is on the line, Cody is broken. He must make a choice: accept that the girl he knows will never be the same again or stay with her when she needs him the most and give up his life-long dream of becoming a rock star forever.

Jeff Rivera is an author and inspirational media personality. He has appeared on national television, radio and print in such outlets as, The Boston Globe, Publishers Weekly, Right On! Magazine, Rotarian Magazine, TMZ, WABC, WNBC, WCBS, SITV, American Latino and NPR. He also writes or has written for Entertainment Weekly, Mediabistro, GalleyCat, Publishing Perspectives, Digital Book World, Examiner, American Chronicle, School Library Journal and the Huffington Post and has been invited to speak and inspire groups all over the world from South Carolina to Nigeria. He has been on panel discussions for The Library Journal, Authors Guild, the Harlem Book Fair and many others.

Where can we get a copy of Sing to Me?

You can get on iTunes,, and here on Amazon:

Posted in Dale's Posts, Guest Posts | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Readers–I need your help deciding something

photo credit: The Quest via photopin (license)

photo credit: The Quest via photopin (license)

I’ve been re-reading one of my favorite mystery writers lately–Rex Stout. Stout began writing his 1/7 ton, orchid-loving gourmand genius detective Nero Wolfe in the thirties (just after the end of Prohibition, Wolfe’s first recorded words are, “Where’s the beer?”). But the stories are lively and readable for today’s audiences, thanks to entertaining narrator Archie Goodwin, Wolfe’s feet, eyes and ears on New York–and ours, too.

I admit that I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy reading Stout as much, since my author training means I see the puppet strings and the puppeteer behind the words.

photo credit: Puppet via photopin (license)

photo credit: Puppet via photopin (license)

But no. I actually enjoy Archie and Nero more, because Stout’s such a freaking great writer. There’s an impact seeing a genius use the tools of writing that a teacher’s telling (even with examples) doesn’t have. Don’t believe me? Think of any occupation where you’ve seen someone who blows you away. For me it’s Brett Favre, whatever you might think about his career. I see anyone throw a football and it’s caught and I think yay, amazing, because frankly I can’t throw a ball a foot to a receiver dressed in two-sided tape. But Favre…when he threw the ball, the receiver didn’t catch it so much as Favre seemed to place the ball directly into the receiver’s hands. Artistry, poetry in motion.

Anyway, the point to all this is that Stout made me reconsider one aspect of writing that has plagued me my whole career. What makes something mysterious? Frankly, I always thought you had to write vague unsettling creepy stuff.

Here’s what I now think is true, and this is what I need you to confirm or not: The way to be mysterious is to be crystal clear about your mystery.

Example: Which is more mysterious?

  • Jen thought she saw a shadowy figure in the dark bushes.
  • Jen saw the bushes stir. Not a cat-size stirring, but man-size.

Or this:

  • The victim wrote something in her own blood before dying.
  • The victim wrote “rache” in her own blood before dying.

So which is more mysterious to you? First or second point in each example? Please let me know!!

Posted in Mary's Posts | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Time to hug your pets again!

Every once in a while I get to be a part of something special. Something fun. And when life is good I get to repeat it – in this case with a follow up to MUST LOVE PETS: A ROMANCE BOX SET!  That set has garnered over 100 lovely reviews and I’m proud to be one of the authors in this bundle.

It’s particularly poignant today as I buried my 15 year old tomcat, Spooky, this weekend. :( My book in this bundle is Broken Protocols: Book 1 of Charmin Marvin series – a willful, handful of talking feline fluff with an attitude!


Spooky 2000-2015

This bundle has a royal line up of NY Times, USA Today, Amazon and B&N bestselling authors!

Something for everyone: 3 novels, 3 novellas, 1 short story

Anthology-Must Love Animals 2 Prespective
Love dogs, cats, horses.
Love romance, military, mystery, suspense, new adult, romantic comedy.
Love geeks, men in kilts, time travel, pie, service dogs, and more.

Hounded (Going to the Dogs, Book 3) – Zoe Dawson
To keep her mother from losing her home, veterinarian Poe Madigan enters her two Jack Russell terriers to compete for a substantial cash prize. But when her partner sprains his ankle, she’s stuck with undercover security specialist Jared Taylor and his basset hound. If Poe and Jared aren’t careful, it won’t be just the prize they’ll lose, but their dogs and their lives.

Broken Protocols (Charmin Marvin Series Book 1) – Dale Mayer, USA Today bestselling author
Just as Dani’s year of hell is getting better, she’s tossed forward through time with her orange Persian cat, Charmin Marvin, clutched in her arms. They’re dropped into the home of Levi Blackburn in an age where breaking protocols have severe consequences, putting them all in danger…  Good thing Dani has her suddenly talking cat Marvin to help her navigate this new era. But she has to figure out Levi all on her own…

A Woof in Sheep’s Clothing – J B Lynn
While working a Missing Persons case, Detective Brian Griswald meets dog trainer Stephanie Browne, an independent woman who rescues mutts, and isn’t quick to trust. But when Brian is dragged into a case involving Stephanie’s beloved dogs, the two must work together. Who will rescue whom?

Geek with the Cat Tattoo (Cool Cats, Book 2)- Theresa Weir, NY Times, USA Today & Amazon bestselling author, & Rita award winner
Shy music geek Emerson Foshay breaks into a cold sweat and is rendered speechless whenever Lola Brown, the girl of his dreams, steps into his guitar shop. But once a stray cat named Sam follows him home, everything changes and Emerson becomes the coolest guy in town.

On The Buckle: a humorous romantic mystery (Dreamhorse Mystery #1) – Candace Carrabus
All that’s between show-jumper Viola Parker and a trust fund is keeping her new job for one full year. Soon after she and her horse arrive at the Missouri horse farm for her last chance to make the full year, her horse kicks her kilt-clad boss and she dreams about a dead horse. The question isn’t whether she’ll keep her job long enough to claim her trust fund, but whether she’ll live long enough.

Dog Heart – Barbara Samuel, 7-time Rita award winner & RWA Hall of Fame member
When Marcus Stone broke dog-whisperer Jessie’s heart by joining the SEALS, she vowed she’d never speak to him again. But when he brings a German shepherd service dog who’d been injured in a battle and has a bad case of PTSD to Jessie, she can’t turn them away. But can Jessie bear the close contact with the man who broke her heart? And can even she heal a dog so desperately wounded?

Miracle Pie (Miracle Interrupted, Book 4) – Edie Ramer, award-winning, USA Today bestselling author
Intuition tells Katie Guthrie what pies to make in the small Wis. Town of Miracle. To help a friend, she agrees to film a cooking pilot show. Only to realize the filmmaker is the dying boy Katie used to call her angel when she lived in Chicago with her junkie mother. Only he’s no boy anymore … and he’s for sure no angel.

Available for preorder!






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Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! We would love your input for discounted books, free books, book recommendations or new releases and book contests (where books are the prize). Feel free to submit through our Friday Finds Submission Form. The cut-off is Wednesday for that Friday’s post, and please make sure that the offers you are submitting will be running that Friday. Please check the deals mentioned in this post before buying, as some may have expired. Thanks!


51Pjrn+uRbL._UY250_Countermeasure (Single Edition): A Countermeasure Series Novel

by Chris Almeida & Cecilia Aubrey

COUNTERMEASURE is the recipient of the indiePENdents seal, 2012 book of the year at the TBR Pile, and Readers’ Choice award in Romantic Suspense in 2013.

In the first novel of the COUNTERMEASURE SERIES, NSA analyst Trevor Bauer is on the hunt for answers to the mystery surrounding his parents’ disappearance. Following a promising lead into the missing Bristol files, he accidentally gets on the radar of, a woman too hot to handle.

Tenacious ex-CIA agent Cassandra James is in hot water. A cyber-thief stole sensitive information from her father’s top client – information she was supposed to keep secure – and now she could lose her job, even if she is the boss’ daughter. The only person who can help her recover the stolen data is a sexy computer mastermind who’s broken through her personal security and might break her heart as well.

To track down the mercenary willing to do anything to keep both of them from recovering those files, Trevor and Cassandra must embark on a harrowing adventure that leads them across the ocean and into a world of intrigue, danger, and passion. As they close in on their target, their relationship begins to boil, jeopardizing their mission as well as their very lives. Will they learn to trust their instincts – and each other – in order to survive?

Link/s to book: Amazon (US ONLY) | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | ARe | Google Play | Authors Website

Book recommendations

518LYsCv4IL._UY250_Bedeviled & Beguiled

by Sam Cheever

A roller coaster ride of fun and sexy sci fi paranormal romance with a devilish flavor!

Astra Q Phelps is on the side of the good guys in the war between good and evil. Unfortunately for her, the bad guys have been making inroads on her soul. And when a particularly dark and sexy dark worlder fixes his heated gaze on Astra, the lighter side of her nature quickly finds itself kicked to the curb by her slut-monkey side. But Astra doesn’t have time to deal with her love life. She’s in the middle of a war between two dark factions…a war that just might mean the end of the human population…and it seems the fate of the world rests uneasily on her shoulders. It’s a lot of pressure to put on one feisty halfling…but Astra Q Phelps is definitely…erm…certainly…ahh…possibly up to the challenge.

Amazon | Author’s website



Three’s a Clan

by Roxy Mews

Sometimes the only way to hold on is to let it all go.

Hart Clan Hybrids, Book 3

Finding out she’s a byproduct of her maker’s plan for world domination is a letdown for Shelly Meyers. Now she must figure out where to pin her loyalties. Tradition tells her to follow her leader, but something tells her tradition is overrated. Is it her conscience? Nah. Not that. Not anymore.

Richard Paulson never planned on turning furry, yet here he is, an Alpha in charge of a pack. Even with Doc, his beta, at his back, he seems to keep winding up in another frying pan.

Long ago, Trevor “Doc” Paulson gave the woman he loved to someone who could give her the life she deserved. Now, as he and Richard fight to prevent history repeating, he’s struggling not to act on pure attraction—again. He knows he should be Rick’s voice of reason, but what happens when the three of them get close makes no sense at all.

Together they must decide to let go of the past to forge a new future—and fast. Before a power-hungry vampire takes it all away.

Warning: This book contains a sexually volatile vampire who is about to grab the world and a couple of werewolves by the balls. Not for the faint of heart, or those who are opposed to sex, blood, bites, multiple partners and multiple orgasms.



416ngamdSnL._UY250_Swiftly Beats the Heart

by S.C. Mitchell

Are their super powers a gift or a curse?

When Beth (Cheetah) rescues Ryan and takes him into hiding with the rest of the surviving supers, she had no idea how hard she’d fall for the super swift speedster. The loneliness and isolation is suddenly better with the sexy super in their hidden safe house. But the rules of their secret society keep her from ever really getting to know him at all. And it only gets worse when he decides to leave.

Saved from almost certain death at the hands of Echelon by the captivating super woman he knows only as Cheetah, Ryan discovers the undercover world of the supers. Secrecy, stealth, and a list of restrictions keep him almost a prisoner in the sanctuary they call the Fortress of Solitude. Only the woman he’s not allowed to know offers any distraction in their dreary hideout. But Ryan refuses to stay in hiding. He’s convinced he needs to use his new powers against Echelon, even if it means he has to go out on his own.

Swiftly Beats the Heart is a sexy novella set in a dark and dangerous world. Passion and danger abound as superheroes struggle to save their own and the world around them.


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Guest Authors with Giveaway!

Today was supposed to be a guest author post day on the blog. I missed it! So sorry I don’t have an awesome author guest post for you today! I will bring one next time.

On the topic of guest authors, I have a question for you all. What is it you like to hear about from authors in guest posts? Do you like to hear about their writing? Their personal lives? The struggles they have with their characters? Maybe music that inspires them? What they do when they are not writing? What else?

Authors are asked to write guest blogs all the time and I know some find it difficult to come up with new and different topics. So, let’s help them out today, shall we? And to make up for NOT having a guest author today, how about a giveaway?

I will give away one $5.00 gift card to an online book retailer of choice. To enter, just comment below and tell us what you like to learn/hear about from authors. I will draw a winner on Sunday, September 13, 2015.

Posted in Amy R's Posts | 5 Comments