Author Spotlight

Author Alert: Justice for Belle by Didi Oviatt (Cover Reveal)

Posted on Updated on

It’s my latest author alert and today we’re revisiting Didi Oviatt, a past spotlightee (is that a word… wait, I’m a writer — should I know?), to reveal the cover of her newest book. I’ve read and loved two of Didi’s other books, Search for Maylee and Aggravated Momentum. Check out her dedicated profile page on my blog too! But today… it’s all about ‘Justice for Belle’ which drops on May 15th, 2019 and is available for sale NOW! I’m reading it now, stay tuned for a review next week.

Pre-Order/Purchase Link

Book Quote:

***Call me weird, obsessed, paranoid, twisted or whatever, but I have this nasty little habit of trying to guess what kind of killers people would be… if they were actually killers, that is. Whenever I see someone in a crowd who stands out among the rest, I see it. It all depends on their size, the way they move, the look in their eyes. Everything plays a part, and the image is usually fairly detailed. Then, I jot down my observations for future use.***

Blurb:

Ahnia, has a very dicey past, one that is scratching under the surface, just dying to get out. She’s hit rock bottom, broke and desperate to be on top again. When she finds herself partnering up with man she hardly knows, and who’s utterly untouchable, she’s forced out of her comfort zone and left to question her own sanity. Will Ahnia and Mac’s dangerous business move be a success? Or, will Ahnia find herself in the clutches of an unforgiving force, brought about by her childhood sin? In this nail biting thrill ride, no one is as they seem… and no one is truly safe with those they trust.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Didi Oviatt is an intuitive soul. She’s a wife and mother first, with one son and one daughter. Her  thirst to write was developed at an early age, and she never looked back. After digging down deep and getting in touch with her literary self, she’s writing mystery/thrillers like Search For Maylee, Aggravated Momentum, Justice for Belle, and New Age Lamians. Along with a six- piece short story collection called the Time Wasters. She’s also collaborated with Kim Knight in an ongoing interactive short story anthology The Suspenseful Collection. When Didi doesn’t have her nose buried in a book, she can be found enjoying a laid back outdoorsy life. Time spent sleeping under the stars, hiking, fishing, and ATVing the back roads of beautiful mountain trails, sun-bathing in the desert heat, along with watching the relaxing dance of a campfire plays an important part of her day-to-day lifestyle. 

Didi can be found on her Website/Blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and most importantly AMAZON

Excerpt #1:

“You get lost?” Mac’s voice rings loudly at my side.

I jump, knocking a cold glass bottle of booze over with my arm. I grab it back up with trembling hands. I straighten myself to a stand and hand it over before grabbing two more for myself. Mac takes a step closer to me no sooner than the fridge door shuts completely.

The scent of him is just as fresh as the first day we met; only tonight there is a muskier underlining. The delicious smell of his natural skin, no doubt. My knees weaken, and I take a step back. The center of my back touches the counter causing me to reach back with my free hand and grab ahold of it for balance.

“What are you doing?” I ask desperately under my breath.

“You were taking a while, so I thought I’d check up on you.” His voice is wanting and raspy.

“I’m fine.”

I duck and spin, maneuvering my body around him. I’m careful not to brush our flesh together. He props himself against the exact spot of the counter that I just left by the hip, his gaze fixated on me. I look away, twist the top off of my first drink and guzzle the entire thing as if my life depends on it. He, too, takes a drink, but barely a sip. The serious clench of his jaw tells me that he means business. My chest tightens.

“Why are you really here?” I ask.

“A few reasons, actually.”

“Which are?”

“I’m trying to decide which one I wanna tell you first.”

He takes another sip and continues to stare. I toss my empty bottle into the trash can, and twist open the top of my next. It’s quiet enough to hear a pin drop. Aside from my own heavy breath, I hear only haunting silence.

“Start with whatever it is you’re so afraid to say.” I breathe, my heart quickening another pace.

Mac takes a few quick steps forward, again closing the gap between us. The wildness of his eyes and his hair reminds me of a lion, ready to pounce. Soon I’m backed against the wall, with our chests pressed together. I stare at his mouth. His lips are the perfect shade of pink. I want to lick them. I tuck my own in and bite the insides lowering my head…denying him access. He places his palms against the wall, beside my shoulders, and lowers his forehead to mine.

“You’re not who I thought you were,” he says, the hops in his breath mixing with my own.

I close my eyes tightly and breathe him in. The image I once had of his fists closing in around the neck of an unknown man as he shook the life from him is all I can think about. God, I wish I could stop enjoying the thought of death. I can feel his heartbeat through my shirt and my nipples harden. The heat from his body screams danger, and the pool of nerves between my legs wants it.

“Mac,” I whisper, our foreheads still together.

I try and lift my arms to push him away, but can’t. Like dead weight, they stay motionless at my sides. I shake my head against his. This is wrong.

“Ahnia, I know we can’t do this. I just… I…”

Mac slaps an open palm against the wall. It’s an angry, powerful blow a mere foot from my face. I jump, feeling the vibration of it against my entire body.

“F**k!” He shouts, and pulls himself away.

He runs a fist through his hair and storms off. After helping himself to another beer from my fridge, he disappears back into the living room, leaving me behind to gather myself. I take a couple deep breaths and run my shaking hands down the front of my shirt a few times.

I’m scared to death of him right now, but I don’t want him to leave either. I can’t kick him out, what if he comes at me? Or worse, what if I wind up throwing myself at him. I don’t trust me at this point, any more than I don’t trust him.

***

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are three books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, Flower Power Trip, and Mistaken Identity Crisis. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Advertisements

GIVEAWAY PROMOTION: Little Darlings by Melanie Golding (SWAG!)

Posted on Updated on

Today’s post has an exciting promotion from Crooked Lane Books beginning on April 1 for Little Darlings—a pre-order giveaway of a swag box including 1 copy of The Complete Grimm’s Fairytales, 1 leather-bound notebook valued at $100.00, and 1 wood-burnt bookmark with an engraving from “The Stolen Child” folktale reminiscent in Little Darlings. 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY CONTEST HERE

***

If you haven’t heard of the book or read my review from last month, I’ve re-created the post below to get you up to speed. It was a great opportunity, and who wouldn’t love this Grimm swag!

Format: Hardcover Publication

Date: Crooked Lane Books on April 30th, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Buy the Book on Amazon

9781683319979_fc

Overview

“Mother knows best” takes on a sinister new meaning in this unsettling thriller perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Grimms’ Fairy Tales.

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

***

My Review

Little Darlings

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding is a story about pain, hope, psychosis, fairy tales, motherhood, lies, and drama. It is the type of book where you do not get all the answers and must interpret for yourself what actually happened in the final pages. For some, this will be a great opportunity to decide what is fantasy and what is real. For others, it’s a foray into an unknown world of uncertainty. Whether you lean in either direction, one thing’s for sure, it’s good writing.

Lauren Tranter just gave birth to twin boys. Her husband, Patrick, is committed and loving, but there’s something slightly off about him. There are no grandparents or siblings involved (okay, a minor scene with Patrick’s sibling later on, but it doesn’t impact the plot). Lauren doesn’t work outside the home. They seem to have little to no friends except a soon-to-be mother’s group who drops off peculiar gifts. When this happens, who do you turn to?

For Lauren, she’s happy in her cocoon until the birth is way more difficult than she expected. The doctors almost lose her to excessive blood loss at one point, but she bounces back and begins to care for the little tykes perfectly. Except during the first overnight in the hospital, a weird witch-like woman threatens to swap the babies because hers are bad and Lauren’s are good. Maybe they each keep one good and one bad, she suggests?

How would you handle the situation? Lock yourself in a bathroom to avoid anyone trying to steal them? Good plan, except on video tape, there’s no one attacking you. Was it real? Was it supernatural fantasy thing? The fairy tales tell a very different story… one about a woman who demands you drown your children in order to save them. Lauren is trapped. If she does nothing, the woman comes nightly to haunt her. If she does something, the cops and/or hospital threaten to commit her. What a paradox! To love, you must hurt. How would you handle the situation?

Golding tells a wicked story with heart. Readers will be uncertain where to lend their loyalties as a few twists and turns convince you Lauren is crazy, but then easily show you she’s not seeing things. For me, it drove me nuts! I like clarity, but I appreciate the variables at play here enough to indicate this book is a challenging read in a good a way. As a side story, one of the cops struggles to believe Lauren. Through research, she finds something that might confirm who kidnaps the kids, but in the end, all is not what it seems.

A psychological thriller, readers have a chance to determine how to interpret a story that can be told in many ways. Golding’s talent sits in the ability to walk a fine line of confusion and power. We will all feel differently, yet it’s the same words and story. Which part will you connect to? Definitely worth a read, you’ll find hidden gems in the life lessons and fairy tale history we learn along the path. I recommend it for those looking for something a little different than the normal family drama.

Many thanks to the author and Crooked Lane for the chance to read this book. I voluntarily participated on the blog tour and am excited to spread the word about this novel.

View all my reviews

***

About the Author

Melanie Golding is a graduate of the MA in creative writing program at Bath Spa University, with distinction. She has been employed in many occupations including farm hand, factory worker, childminder and music teacher. Throughout all this, because and in spite of it, there was always the writing. In recent years she has won and been shortlisted in several local and national short story competitions. Little Darlings is her first novel, and has been optioned for screen by Free Range Films, the team behind the adaptation of My Cousin Rachel.

golding author photo credit michele calverley

***

Who Else is on the Blog Tour?

The tour has ten (10) days of stops and you can see the blog names listed below. Stop by to check out everyone’s opinions or to enter the giveaway contest and win a free copy…

little darlings blog tour

I hope you enjoyed stopping by my blog to be part of this fun tour. Many thanks to Sarah @ Crooked Lane Books for including me in this opportunity. I’ve come to love Crooked Lane as a publisher and read many of their books. It’s been a blast… can’t wait until my next tour with them in early 2019. Tell me what you thought of the blog tour, the review, and whether you’re gonna read this book! Only time will tell, I suppose… right?

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Author Spotlight: Laurie Woodward

Posted on Updated on

In today’s stop on the author spotlight series, we’re lucky enough to share some time with Laurie Woodward, an author and peace consultant you need to know more about. Laurie blogs about creativity, artistic expression, poetry, peace and how to stop bullying. Readers with great imaginations and a love for adventure would enjoy her books, so be sure to stick around for this wonderful interview opportunity… you might just find that special combination of literature, art, empathy, and creativity.

As always, I want to know where my fellow authors and friends live. In a world where we know more people through the Internet than we do in person, it’s always necessary to get a sense of where the person spends most of their time. Laurie lives in the small town of Nipomo on the Central Coast of California on ½ an acre of land where she raised her two children, Nicholas and Jessica. When I asked her why Nipomo, she said, “I love this small town where I can hear the coyotes and crickets at night, look up at scattered constellations while an owl swoops overhead, and the people of the post office, pharmacy, and local Mexican eatery know my name.”

What has Laurie written?

The Artania Chronicles  (3 Published so far by Creativia)

These books build self-esteem and honor the uniqueness inside every one of us. It tells children that when one is true to him/herself, magical things happen. When a mystical art-created land is in danger it’s up to an unlikely trio of kids to save it. Once they enter this magical place, Alex, Bartholomew and Gwen join gods, goddesses, and painted beings in a battle against an evil race bent on annihilating all art. But it won’t be easy as only the true art will keep Artania safe.

The Artania Chronicles are middle grade fantasy novels similar to The Narnia Chronicles and Harry Potter.  I have written almost four and plan to write seven because there is a prophecy which says that there will be seven tasks to complete before Artania is safe again.

But hope will lie in the hands of twins

Born on the cusp of the second millennium.

On the eleventh year of their lives.

They will join together like single forged knives.

Their battle will be long with 7 evils to undo.

Scattered around will be 7 clues.

And many will perish before they are through.

But our world will be saved if their art is true.

Each book takes place in a mystical land based on an art-history period. For example, A1 takes place during the time of antiquities, A2 during the Renaissance, A3 is set during the Gothic Period, and A4 is during the Impressionist Period. I do extensive research for each novel making sure that all clothing, architecture, and art is true to period.  Thus, each book is educational, but children learn while going along on an adventure. 

THE PHARAOH’S CRY (BOOK I OF THE ARTANIA CHRONICLES) SUMMARY

Can a kid who’s forced to bathe six times a day save a magical world? It’s not his fault his father drowned in a mud puddle just before he was born, turning Mother into a cleaning fanatic. Now eleven-year-old Bartholomew Borax III can’t go to school, play outside, or, worst of all, make art. But he has to. So he sketches in secret.

Then two amazing things happen, he’s allowed to go to school and he meets skateboarding painter, Alexander Devinci. In Bartholomew’s book, Alex is wicked cool because he gets needing to create. But sharing glimpses of a freaky world every time they brush past each other makes for a tentative friendship. Meanwhile, Alex’s strained relationship with his mother takes an ominous turn when she has a heart attack, leading Bartholomew to reach out.

Later, during an art museum field trip, a rainbow inside a painting yanks the boys into another realm. Bartholomew’s living in an antiseptic mansion is nothing in comparison to how weird Artania is with living paintings, sculptures, and sketches. It shares some mystical connection with Earth, but is in grave danger. Twelve pharaohs have been captured and if they are not freed soon, an entire Artanian nation will be destroyed.  But only Alex and Bartholomew’s powers can rescue them. 

No way.                                                                                                

When he sees a struggling Artanian child pulled underground, Bartholomew finally agrees to help, not knowing if it will be enough. With Egyptian gods, goddesses, and warriors at their side, they brave a series of battles, duels, and skateboarding escapes. Bartholomew blunders again and again. Amidst dead and wounded comrades, his guilt grows. As his confidence begins to erode, he must work with Alex but it takes all of his talents and more to battle an evil race of shadowy creatures. For only the power of true creation will finally defeat Sickhert’s army and bring art back to the world. 

KIDNAPPED SMILE (BOOK II OF THE ARTANIA CHRONICLES) SUMMARY

Mona Lisa kidnapped? Her father, Leonardo, in tears? What will the Deliverers do?
It has been a year since Alex and Bartholomew first ventured into the mystical Artania. Once again they are called upon to keep this art-created world safe.
     But peril waits at every turn. Traitorous Pirates. Fearful gods and goddesses. Monsters of the deep. A world’s safety lies in the hands three twelve-year-olds.  Alex and Bartholomew, with their spunky sidekick Gwen, return to Artania to wrench the kidnapped Mona Lisa from the hands of ruthless pirates.

DRAGON SKY (BOOK III OF THE ARTANIA CHRONICLES) SUMMARY

As shadowy dream-invading creatures unleash a new power, dragons disappear from a mystical, art-created world. Fearful, The Thinker calls upon an unlikely trio of thirteen-year-olds to find out why. Soon, Alex, the brooding painter, Bartholomew, the home-schooled sculptor, and Gwen, the skater girl, enter his art-created world on a quest to return the elusive golden dragons to the sky.  With battling dragons, murderous outlaws, and enchanted scrolls these teens will need to find strengths they never knew they had in a relentless battle to keep an entire land from turning to dust.

***

The Dolphin Legacy (Co-writer) This book was used as the basis for a film recently aired on Discovery’s television show, Animal Planet. As a young dive instructor, Dean Bernal in the quiet bays of the Turks and Caicos Islands he meets a wild bottlenose dolphin named JoJo. This sparks the beginning of a deep friendship that spans decades. Dean begins a campaign to protect JoJo from machines and from the greed driven people who wish to capture him.  And as JoJo touches more and more people, Dean learns about our human ability to heal ourselves through nature and how compassion shown to animals brings us openness, sensitivity, and peace.

Forest Secrets (Self-published) In this book children learn about the necessity of care for nature and the forest and apply it to other environments. When an eleven-year-old girl befriends a tree creature, she uncovers a plot to illegally log in a protected forest. She then sets off on an adventure to save all tree people and an endangered species from destruction. 

Q&A Opportunity

Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? First, I want to grow in my craft improving my work. Also, I plan to write the final three Artania novels, complete at least one realistic YA novel, write more environmental fantasies like Forest Secrets, and learn more about screenwriting.

What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published? Write and read as much as you can. Don’t expect the first draft to be perfect. Rewrite. Read your changes. Rewrite again. And again. Until your story is the best it can be. Don’t rush for quantity and forget about revising for quality.

What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published? Like all writers, I’ve struggled with doubts. Am I good enough? Will people like my work? What if I do my best and it’s terrible? And as year followed year with the pile of rejection letters growing my confidence definitely waxed and waned. It wasn’t until Creativia offered me a publishing contract in 2017 that some of those doubts faded.

What are your hobbies and interests besides writing? I love adventure and travel. Some of my favorite places to visit have been Italy, Great Britain, and France where history feeds her dreams and stories. I also enjoy scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and boating both near my coastal California home and in Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica, and in the Caribbean. One of my greatest loves is dance, something I minored in during college. I have taken courses in everything from Jazz to Ballet and Salsa to Swing. You can find often find Laurie at live music venues joining her friends with silly moves on the dance floor. I believe in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and goes to the gym several times a week.

As a fifth-grade teacher, I endeavor to empower children in a myriad of ways. First, I am an award-winning peace consultant who helps other educators teach children how to stop bullying, avoid arguments, and maintain healthy friendships. For twenty-five years I have worked in Title One schools with large concentrations of low-income students, second language learners, immigrants from diverse cultures, and gang families.

 Dean Bernal even filmed some of the lessons for his DVD.  He shot scenes at Taylor Elementary of students making Peace Cards, engaging in role-plays, and signing contracts to become Dolphin Ambassadors for Peace.  In 2011 I became a team coach and coauthored more peace curriculum with other teachers which I offer free on my blog. Here, strategies to promote compassion in children were introduced.  Then, positive conflict resolution was promoted with a series of art, writing, role-playing and other activities.

Most recently I have been working to make anti-bullying videos with my students one of which was a winner in the national Oxy Take A Stand Against Bullying contest. I also coach our school’s Battle of the Books team, am the faculty advisor for Student Council, and my team’s language arts representative.

Some authors like to make an argument or address an issue when they write. Is there an issue addressing with your book? I believe there is a  magical part inside all of us, our creative side, that when nurtured, births amazing things. Films. Paintings. Stories. I’ve seen both children and adults light up when creating. But many people do not honor who they truly are. They try to fit into some preconceived notion of what society says is “normal.” I would love my Artania novels help others see that wonder inside.

What gave you the idea for your books The Artania Chronicles? When our government started putting so much emphasis on test scores in schools. It felt like overnight that creativity was being replaced by rote learning. As teachers were told to do less art, music, and other creative endeavors, it felt like we were squelching a beautiful part of children, their creative selves.

To me, that creativity is magical. Thus, in Artania, every time a child sketches, paints, or sculpts, it births a beautiful part of children, their creative selves. But when people turn away from their true selves it gives rise to these monsters I call Shadow Swine whose purpose is stop all creation.

What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge? I love revising and adding more texture to a book. As I read and reread my work I am one with the story. My least favorite part is that first draft when I’m not sure where the story is going.

What do you like about writing in your genre?  Pretending to be a kid on a skateboard battling monsters!

With so many books being written today, what makes your books stand out from the crowd? I have looked, asked librarians and book store clerks, and as far I can tell Artania is the only series with an art-created land and creation as superpower. Also, the books inspire children to follow their dreams and honor their own unique gifts.

What type of books do you like to read?  Who are some of your favorite authors? I love science fiction, fantasy, and thrillers Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land is my favorite because it represents the utopia dream of peace I wish we were working towards in the real world. I also love to read Dean Koontz, Neil Gaiman, Asimov, Lois Lowry, and Frank Herbert.

Follow Laurie On

https://www.facebook.com/laurie.woodward


https://twitter.com/woodward_laurie


http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=laurie+woodward


https://www.pinterest.com/artaniaauthor/https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurie-woodward-aba55936


https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6454013.Laurie_Woodward http://www.artania.net/

https://artania7.wordpress.com/

***

Before we say goodbye to Laurie for today… one last question I asked to see if we share the same response.

What are you afraid to write about, Laurie?

Sad times from my childhood… aren’t we all? I know how she feels… I look forward to reading The Artania Chronicles this year… anyone want to join me? Also… stay tuned for later this month where I bring a few trailers for Laurie’s books to the the blog — now you can check it out in even more detail! Let’s give a great big hug and thank you to Laurie for spending some time with us today! THANK YOU!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are three books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, and Flower Power Trip (March 2019). I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Strong Leading Female Characters

Posted on Updated on

I’m excited to share a video about 4 fantastic books I’ve read… all centered around strong female leading characters… check it out!

https://videopress.com/embed/eZlWVDM7

Leading female characters are a force to be reckoned with! They present the kind of strength and dynamics that are both admired and envied. I love to completely bury myself in books where the story lines are driven by headstrong and capable women! It’s empowering, uplifting, and admirable to say the least! Today, a few fellow Creativia authors and I would like to present a sample of our own books that feature STRONG LEADING FEMALE CHARACTERS! Enjoy, and click-through the links for more!

1st Stop: WATCHING GLASS SHATTER, by James J. Cudney

Purchase HERE:

Direct Book Quote:

** As she left the bedroom, Olivia ignored the dirtycup still sitting on Ben’s nightstand, its importance far less than anything else in her life these days. Time had arrived to arrange for her sons’ return home to honor Ben’s memory on what would have been his seventieth birthday, but also so she could rebuild the bonds between brothers. She needed to stop obsessing over the letter and determine how to help her sons fix their problems. The letters had become an unfortunate crux to lean on, a red herring for what loitered among her years of ignorance… a rabbit hole to get lost in… and she was too old to play Alice. **

Find more from James J. Cudney on his Website, Blog, and his Amazon Page!

***

2nd Stop: HEIR OF DOOM the Roxanne Fosch Files Book 2, by Jina S. Bazzar

Purchase HERE:

Direct Book Quote:

** Because there was nowhere to run, I waited until the passenger door opened… only to find myself staring at the barrel of Logan’s gun. The little jolt of fear that zinged through me was skillfully hidden under a blank façade.

“Get in,” he snapped tightly. His shoulders were tense, his eyes held annoyance and irritation, but no anger or hints of crazed triumph. Two things I gathered in that instance. One, if he was going to shoot me he would have done it the moment the door opened. Two, the expression on his face told me he didn’t want me dead.

I eyed him and was proud my gaze didn’t waver. My hesitation only seemed to irritate him more, although I guessed his crankiness stemmed from following me around for the past few days. I weighed my options. I had this curious hunch and was tired and aching enough to not think better on it, so I turned my back on him and walked—shuffled—away, despite my body begging for the warm comfort the Range Rover could
provide for a few hours. **

Find more from Jina Bazzar on her Blog and her Amazon Page!

***

3rd Stop: KALORAMA ROAD, by E. Denise Billups

Purchase HERE:

Direct Book Quote:

**An invisible threat festers, warning and urging me to recapture lost memories scattered in cerebral crevices. Undaunted’s blog, the mysterious manuscript, and the campus photo of Patrice and Penelope are only frazzles—pieces of a daunting puzzle. There’s a reason Penelope’s resurfaced two years later with her friend’s stolen online identity. I sense a scheme intended to unearth Patrice’s disappearance. She’s providing small clues, guiding me closer to Patrice. Detective Pennington, Senator Murphy, is the PayPal address also evidence?

Penelope didn’t want to publish the novel. It’s a subtle entrapment. She knows something about that party, and if she does, it’s because she was there. God, if only I could remember. I don’t have a choice but to follow the next clue. I dial information for Patrice Jensen’s number at Ninety Windsor Street, Chevy Chase, Maryland. The operator reveals the address belongs to Doctor Mark and Connie Jensen. Another piece of the puzzle fits. I suppose they’re Patrice’s parents or relatives. Hesitantly, I dial the number. A woman answers and warily I ask, “Is this Mrs. Jensen?” **

Find more from E. Denise Billups on her Blog and Amazon Page!

***

4th Stop: SEARCH FOR MAYLEE, by Didi Oviatt

Purchase HERE: (FREE Feb. 22-26)

Direct Book Quote:

** The afternoon Maylee’s case was practically declared unsolvable and doomed for a cold shelf life, all hope drained from Autumn. Her car was left in the parking lot, and slow dragging feet carried her home, she moved in a blurry haze. Amidst the draining three mile walk to her front porch, the heat transformed into gloom, and before Autumn knew it she was engulfed in rain. The weather as unforgettably odd.

The door swung open, and she collapsed onto the floor, unable to take in air. Anxiety surged through her body in waves, and salty tears streamed down her face. God only knows how long she lay paralyzed on the floor before she got up and ran out the door. Pushing herself through the stinging oversized drops of rain, she rounded a corner and made her way to the beach. Giant deadly ocean swells had never looked so inviting, but she refused stop, continuing to run faster. Step after painful step in the sand, she pushed forward. **

Find more from Didi Oviatt on her Blog and Amazon Page!

***

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations but with a twist. There are three books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, and Flower Power Trip. I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Launch Day Book Blitz: Clouded by Envy by Candace Robinson

Posted on Updated on

Today is extra special because it’s LAUNCH DAY for CLOUDED BY ENVY, the next amazing young adult fantasy book written by Candace Robinson. I’m thrilled to share my review and key links for readers everywhere to dive into this wonderful story. Isn’t that cover TRULY spectacular! Don’t wait… check out my review below, add it to Goodreads, and visit Amazon today!

clouded

Buy from Amazon

add-to-goodreads-button

*** MY REVIEW ***

Clouded by EnvyClouded by Envy by Candace Robinson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In my quest to become a more well-read and genre-diverse connoisseur of great literature, I often pick up a book that I think will be one thing yet turns out to be something quite different in a wonderfully shocking and engaging way. I’ve read several novels written or co-written by Candace Robinson in the past, but when the opportunity to read her upcoming release, Clouded by Envy, arose, I had to jump on it — initially from the cover alone. What is that!?! I bet you want to know… it’s gorgeous and captivating and peculiar and oddly sensual, don’t you think? Throw in the always-intriguing concept and deadly sin of envy (I’m Roman Catholic, so my repression requires me to love it) and you’ve got all the makings of a fine book. Guess what? It totally lives up to that hype!

I’d classify it as science-fiction, fantasy, young adult, re-appropriation of a few fairy tales, and life advice. There are two worlds. There are twins who were abandoned by their parents. When they’re magically transported to a human environment, and they only look human at certain points in their lives, there’s bound to be a plethora of page-turning scenes, intense thrills, heart-stopping emotions, and a few eye squints — at least for me because I kept finding myself trying to guess how it could possibly end given the different themes encircling this complex story.

Robinson excels at capturing the young adult voice of someone yearning to escape and find whatever’s missing in their heart or mind. She draws you in based on the sadness of what’s happening to a seemingly kind and lovable character, then tosses you to the wolves with a scene so crazy or shocking, you no longer know what to believe. After being tossed around a bit, you develop your own sense of connection and wait for the next shoe to drop. In this case, the characters often forget to wear shoes, so it’s kinda fun to see how that eventually plays out (just including a little side humor so after you read the book, you’ll get what I am saying here).

If you like something different, or something you know well but that’s been turned upside and written from the perspective of a non-human creature, you’ll enjoy this novel. It’s on the shorter side in page count which makes it easy to get through in a few hours one afternoon or evening. It’s also something you can put down and pick up again without feeling lost. The story is told in alternating perspectives from the twin protagonists, but there’s a few other character POV’s sprinkled from time to time so you see what’s happening in totality. What a ride! I look forward to seeing everyone’s thoughts and reactions when it’s officially released in early 2019. I got lucky and received an ARC (thank you) which made me quite happy… this is the 4th or 5th book I’ve read by the author… always leaves me thirsting for the next one.

***

If you’re unfamiliar with Candace Robinson, you should check out the other books I’ve read of hers. I’ve created a dedicated page on my blog where you can see them all!

Candace

***

Title: CLOUDED BY ENVY

Author: Candace Robinson

Pub. Date: February 19, 2019

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 215

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooks

OVERVIEW

Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.

***

Book Trailer:

Embed Code:

Link:

https://youtu.be/Xk7Rrpz5VYs

 ***

Exclusive Excerpt!

Bray wasn’t sure how long she had drifted off for, but there was a puddle of wetness against her cheek when she woke up—okay, so it was only drool from herself. Lifting a hand up toward her cheek, she swiped the saliva away and rubbed it on to the hammock. Classy, she thought, but there was already some gathered there anyway.

Remembering the events from earlier, Bray headed straight to the hole and peeked out. She shifted her head from left to right. Nothing. Bray looked up and down—she could see a few bushes had already been planted in the dirt.

Then she saw it: a circular stone bowl filled with water sitting on top of a long thick stem, attached to a circular bottom. A birdbath! Almost giddily, Bray stepped on the ledge of the hole and leaped off, flapping her wings hurriedly to the nearest pink and yellow peach. Opening her jaw wide, she bit into the thin skin. A juicy one. The fruit filled her mouth with delicious pleasure, and she took one more long bite before diving down to the birdbath.

The top of her newfound treasure was a perfect circle with tiny mounds around it resembling hills. Bray landed on the ceramic and bent down to take a seat, before placing her bare feet into the warm water that had been perfectly heated from the shining sun.

Peering down at the clear water, Bray saw no sign of intrusion from other creatures yet. She rotated her head in every direction, as if she would be caught just by thinking about slipping into the water—still no sign of life.

Flicking her braid over her shoulder, Bray pursed her lips together to hide the smile aching to shine against her face and jumped into the water. The splash echoed. Her bare feet scraped the rough bottom, while her dress inflated and then clung to her body as she shot to the surface. She let out a small giggle to herself. It was sad that the only highlight of the past year was hopping into a shallow pool of water with no one around except for her.

She leaned back into the liquid, letting herself float and moving her arms slowly up and down, while swimming in figure-eight circles.

Bray closed her eyes and let the water cover her ears, so it felt like nothing in the world existed, except for the muffled vibrations from the liquid.

A loud booming sounded from above, and her eyelids thrust open, meeting dark brown eyes, light brown skin, and that black bowl hair. Tiny human. Luca.

Freeze, Bray thought to herself, not even blinking her eyes. She held them wide open, thinking he wouldn’t notice her, or maybe he would just assume she was a bird. Even though he was staring at her and had spoken something she didn’t hear clearly.

Nope. That isn’t going to work. He hovered closer, his eyes scrunched halfway closed to examine her more thoroughly. Unable to hold her eyes open any longer, Bray blinked several times.

“What are you?” he asked, genuine amazement creeping into his words, lips slightly parted.

“A bat!” Bray yelled, and she jumped up from the warmth of the water, darting straight for the tree hole.

Breathing heavily, Bray landed inside and collided with the floor. She rolled to her back, running both hands down her face. “Why did I come out without paying attention? I know not to!” Ruth had always told her this.

A quake trembled through the tree, causing shivers to run up and down her spine. What is the little beast doing? Oh no, what if he is trying to chop down the tree? My home—the peaches! Bray didn’t know why she was thinking about stupid peaches when there was another fruit tree directly next door.

Despite the thunderous rumbling, Bray grabbed the needle from underneath her hammock and dodged toward the window. If the little beast thought he could take her down, then he had another thing coming. She would prick his eye—actually, she would poke both of his eyes to protect her and Brenik’s home.

When Bray reached the edge of the window, the sound stopped. She peeped her head out of the hole, right as a face met hers, his black hair falling forward over a hazel eye—an eye she was going to poke. Startled, she jumped back instead of toward him.

A broad smile crossed the little beast’s face. “Hello.”

Freezing once again, until she remembered that the staying-still-as-a-statue strategy didn’t work in the birdbath, she meekly said, “Hi.”

Bray brought the needle up toward his smiling face, just in case.

“Are you planning on sewing something?” He tilted his head at the needle.

“Yeah, your eyeball.” She gave him a hard glare.

“What?” he asked while laughing hysterically.

He was laughing? Not scared? Bray brought the needle closer. “Yeah, you need to leave and never come back. This is my home.”

“No. Technically, it’s my brother’s home,” he said, still smiling.

“What brother? You mean your dad out there who was planting this morning?”

Luca shook his head, and she didn’t miss the wince before he spoke. “No, that’s my brother, Wes. I don’t have a mom or dad.”

Crestfallen, Bray lowered the needle. “Oh. Me neither. I only have a brother, but he will be gone for a while.” She paused and glanced at the note Brenik had left behind, her chest tightening. Then she shrugged it off and shifted her gaze back to the boy. “By the way, my name is Brayora, but you can call me Bray.” For some reason, she wasn’t worried anymore about the human.

“I’m Luca Duran.” He plopped his thin fingers on the edge of the hole.

“Yeah, I heard your name this morning, little beast. I mean, Luca.” She thought little beast suited him better than Luca.

 ***

About Candace:

My name is Candace Robinson. I’m just your average hemiplegic migraine sufferer. My days are spent writing, book reviewing and traveling through books for my blog, Literary Dust. I live just outside of Houston, Texas, where it feels like the hottest place on Earth with the crazy weather. No, seriously, one day it’s 30 degrees and the next it’s 70 degrees! I live with my husband and awesome daughter!

You can also follow her on her review blog Literary Dust

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads

Giveaway Details: All International

1 winner will receive an 10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

Ends on February 28th at Midnight EST!

Giveaway Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2895/?

CLOUDED BY ENVY

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are two books: Academic Curveball and Broken Heart Attack. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Author & Book Spotlight: Bree Baker — No Good Tea Goes Unpunished

Posted on Updated on

Today’s author spotlight is an accomplished writer with over two dozen books and a couple of pen names to keep track of… you might already know her! Let’s meet Bree Baker who agreed to an interview earlier this month with none other than yours truly. I first met Bree through one of her alter egos, Jacqueline Frost, author of the ‘Tree Farm Mysteries.’ If you missed my reviews of Twelve Slays of Christmas and ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas, be sure to check them out so you can see for yourself how fantastic of a writer she is. The next book in her Seaside Café Mysteries releases on February 26th, 2019, which is why we’re going all out today to get to know her better so we can spread the word!
Author Spotlight (1)

About the Author

Bree Baker is a Midwestern writer obsessed with small town high jinks, sweet tea and the sea. She’s been telling stories to her family, friends and strangers for as long as she can remember, and more often than not, those stories feature a warm ocean breeze and recipe she’s sure to ruin. Now, she’s working on those fancy cooking skills and dreaming up adventures for the Seaside Cafe mysteries. But there is more… Bree is a pen name for Julie Anne Lindsey… a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Julie lives in Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Today, she hopes to make someone smile. One day she plans to change the world. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.
BreeBaker1
  • Websites
  • List of Books & Series
    • Seaside Café Mysteries (Bree Baker)
    • Kitty Couture Mysteries (Julie Chase)
    • Tree Farm Mysteries (Jacqueline Frost)
    • Cider Shop Mysteries [fall 2019] (Julie Anne Lindsey)
    • Harlequin Intrigue (Julie Anne Lindsey)
    • Geek Girl Mysteries (Julie Anne Lindsey)
    • Patience Price Mysteries (Julie Anne Lindsey)
  • Social Media Links

Author Q&A.jpg

  • What are your real, author, and/or pen names?
    • My real name is Julie Anne Lindsey. I write as myself for Harlequin Intrigue and also at Kensington, where my new Cider Shop Mysteries series begins this fall. I write as Julie Chase AND as Jacqueline Frost for Crooked Lane Books, and for Sourcebooks I am Bree Baker.
  • What is your location?
    • I live in Northeastern Ohio.
  • How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles?
    • I published my first short story in 2012. Since then I’ve published more than 25 novels, 2 short stories and 3 novellas. My new Cider Shop Mysteries series begins in November with Kensington. I’m currently publishing the Seaside Café Mysteries with Sourcebooks, the Kitty Couture Mysteries and the Tree Farm mysteries with Crooked Lane Books, plus I write romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue.
  • Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
    • Yes! I’m a national and local member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America. I’m also the current PAN Coordinator for the mystery and suspense chapter of RWA called Kiss of Death, and I belong to the International Thriller Writers.
  • What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
    • Coffee, cats and Wine, plus reading!
  • What’s your goal in writing? Any social issues you want to cover?
    • I write to provide readers with an escape. It’s the reason I read, and I write to return the favor, or at least to pass it on.
  • What gave you the idea for your book?
    • I have a busy mind. The ideas never stop. It’s exhausting.
  • When did you know that you wanted to be an author?  What things, if any, influenced that decision?
    • I read Twilight in2010 and it gave me a much needed escape from the chaos of my life. When I put it down, I realized that I wanted to do that for someone else.
  • Do you work from an outline or plot or do you just see where the characters take you?
    • I’m a dedicated outliner. Writing for four publishers as five people while raising three kids and trying to stay sane requires serious time management and outlines keep me on track to deliver 6-7 novels a year.
  • Do you read your reviews?  Do you respond to them, good or bad?  Do you do anything special to get those reviews?
    • I rarely read reviews. The positive ones feel amazing, but the mean ones really sting, and when people are cruel, it can take a long time for me to emotionally recover.
  • What have you learned about yourselves since becoming an author?
    • I’ve learned that I’m tougher than I thought, more determined and resilient too!
  • Do you write full-time or part-time?
    • I am a full time author.
  • What do your plans for future projects include?
    • I’ve got a tight writing schedule through March 2020 which will provide manuscripts for releases through the end of that year. In addition, I have several new ideas brewing, I just need a little time to write up their proposals.
  • What do you think the hardest part of writing is?  What is the easiest?
    • For me, the writing is easy, finding the time to do it is a nightmare!
  • What type of books do you like to read?  Who are some of your favorite authors?
    • I try to read broadly. I belong to a local book club that reads bestsellers across genres, plus I read cozy mystery and romantic suspense to keep myself on top of the genres I write. I also listen to audio books on my 4 hour daily commute in anything from psychological suspense to YA, to sci-fi romance! And I’m currently reading the Harry Potter series. I read it all!
  • Name 3 influential authors on you and tell us why.
    • Janet Evanovich because she always makes me smile
    • Susan Mallery because she melts my heart.
    • Stephen King because….STEPHEN KING.
  • If you could co-write a book with a famous author who would it be? If it was another writer you admire but isn’t well known, who would it be?
    • In my dreams I would write with Janet Evanovich, my favorite author ever.

***

NEXT BOOK – No Good Tea Goes Unpunished – February 26th, 2019

Don’t marry into murder…

Catering her childhood friend’s beachfront wedding was a dream come true for Everly Swan—and, with hundreds of guests in attendance, great exposure for her new iced tea shop and café. But when the well-to-do groom is found floating facedown in the surf, the locals of Charm, North Carolina turn their suspicions on his new bride. Could she have been so desperate to lay hands on his fortune that she arranged for his murder even before they set off on their honeymoon?

Everly knows her lovestruck friend couldn’t be behind the murder, but with clues pointing in several directions, she can’t decide which wedding guest is the most likely culprit. Meanwhile, the frustratingly handsome Detective Hays has made it clear that Everly should stay out of the investigation altogether. But with a killer on the loose and a feeling that someone is watching her café very closely, Everly knows that if she can’t solve this murder soon, her cake might be iced for good.

 

NGTcover

Don’t miss your opportunity to pre-order Bree’s book via Amazon right now!

add-to-goodreads-button

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are three books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, and Flower Power Trip (March 2019). I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Author & Book Spotlight: Unveiled by J. M. Northup

Posted on Updated on

Today I’m highlighting a different genre than I usually share on the This Is My Truth Now blog. Take a wild guess based on the main cover of this post… not sure yet? It’s a supernatural romance with a multitude of themes bound to entice a wide readership.

51ZdV6HDSOL

I have the privilege of chatting with the author, J.M. Northup, this week to find out a little more about this book. Not only is she an author, but she operates a fantastic publications company (see below for more information). I learned several interesting facts about this series to share with everyone:

 

  • It is considered a mature YA novel based on the age of protagonist, not the target readers.

 

  • The stories focus on important themes for our culture, including anti-bullying, coming-of-age, and anti-prejudice.

 

  • The books take a medical look at what could be the real cause of someone being a sasquatch and how ancient alien ideals might fit into the picture. Ultimately, the stories are actually based on the Coastal Salish traditions of Bigfoot.

51E6ZEUIbNL

 

If you’re curious to learn more about these books or the author, take a look at her Facebook page. You can follow her and other authors in her publishing fold to see fantastic stories, content, and opportunities to find your new favorite writers!

***

Below find links to the first book in the series, Revived, as well the second, Unveiled. You can even read a few pages to see what you think. The topics are quite fascinating…

http://nornstriad.com/authors/j-m-northup/books-by-j-m-northup/snowqualmie-valley-sasquatch-series/

 

http://mybook.to/REVIVED_jmn 

 

 

http://mybook.to/UNVEILED_jmn

About the Author

J.M. Northup is an American author and partner of NORNS TRIAD PUBLICATIONS. Julie writes in various genres, though she specializes in young adult fiction. Many of her stories blur the lines between multiple genres, including but not limited to Middle Grade, Dystopian, Suspense, thrillers, and romance.

B1VXzcRhB2S._US230_

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. My new book series, Braxton Campus Mysteries, will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. There are three books: Academic CurveballBroken Heart Attack, and Flower Power Trip (March 2019). I read, write, and blog A LOT on this site where you can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.