In essence, it's a story about finding happiness in the most unlikely of places. When the story begins, New York City travel writer Julia Sullivan is sent to Eufaula, Alabama to cover the annual Pilgrimage and she's not happy about it! When she arrives, though, she's soon charmed by the quaint area -- only to discover that a developer is planning to raze the city's historic landmarks.
2) What's your favorite quality about your hero/heroine?
Julia is smart, resourceful, and energetic--she always has the best of intentions--but often acts before she thinks. That impulsiveness gets her into a LOT of trouble!!
3) What made you want to write this book?
I lived near Eufaula, Alabama for several years and always enjoyed attending the annual historic Pilgrimage, which is a weekend-long tour of antebellum homes and gorgeous landmarks. It's a magical time of year--everything's in bloom--the weather is great! I always thought that the city would make a wonderful setting for a novel. In fact, the movie, "Sweet Home Alabama," (Reese Witherspoon) used shots of Eufaula's historic district!
4) What are you working on now?
I am researching for my next novel, Pie Girls, which will follow a girl who's gone off to a big city (like Atlanta or New York) and vows NEVER to come home. She's forced to return to Greensboro, though, when her romantic relationship falls apart. Since she's burned a lot of bridges, it will be interesting to see how she makes amends.
5) What comes first for you -- character idea, plot idea?
It's always an idea ... or a 'What if' question. For example, Stay Tuned was a "What if two anchors got into a fistfight on live television...what would happen next?" Dancing Naked in Dixie was a "What if a big city travel writer was forced to go on assignment to the Deep South or lose her job?"
6) How do you think of titles?
Stay Tuned came from being in the television business for a long time. I wanted something catchy, short, and easy to remember. Dancing Naked in Dixie jumped into my head one day when I was thinking about a novel about a travel writer who comes to Eufaula. My first idea was to have the protagonist discover some fabulous "dessert" or treat that was so good it made everyone want to dance naked! The more I thought about it, though, I felt it would be straying too much from the plotline that needed to be Julia's journey--a physical journey from New York to Eufaula, Alabama, but also a personal journey of growth and discovery about herself and her own family.
7) What are your thoughts on love scenes in books? Do you prefer to read/write sweet/romantic encounters between your hero and heroine or spicy ones?
After just finishing Book 2 in the Shades of Gray series, I'm definitely in the prude camp! I had a racy strip-tease seduction scene in Stay Tuned, but I don't want to write anything that would make my mother blush or my grandmother come back from the grave to wash my mouth out with soap!
8) Who are the authors who inspire you?
Love Sophie Kinsella...she's so funny! I adore Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin, as well as Lisa See, Abraham Verghese, and Michelle Richmond. I think Stephen King is brilliant, though I'm not a horror fan. The Green Mile is so moving, as is the short story he wrote which was made into "The Shawshank Redemption" movie. His book, On Writing, is witty and truthful!
9) What genres do you like to read? Do you stick to one or are you eclectic in your reading tastes? I vary my reading--mostly between Chick Lit and Thrillers. I've been on a Lisa Gardner kick lately. I'm desperately waiting for Juliette Sobanet's third in the Paris series. I tore through Stieg Larsson's series, as well as Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games (loved her trilogy for the strong heroine).
10) What was the last book you read that really WOW'd you?
I was impressed by James Patterson's Guilty Wives. It's not his usual serial killer repartee and I was captivated by the story. Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers was also amazing, detailed, and very moving.
Smart, Sassy Fiction with a Southern Twist
Lauren Clark is the author of Stay Tuned and Dancing Naked in Dixie. She writes contemporary novels set in the Deep South; stories sprinkled with sunshine, suspense, and secrets.
A former TV news anchor, Lauren adores flavored coffee, local book stores, and anywhere she can stick her toes in the sand. Her big loves are her family, paying it forward, and true-blue friends. Check out her website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com.
Moon Dust is a sci-fi adventure that begins when Samantha Hunter is the only survivor of a car crash that claims the life of her mother and younger brother, Cody. Although her car accident wounds are healed by a mysterious stranger, Samantha is haunted by the knowledge that the accident was her fault. When she and her father move to New Mexico, it is a chance to get away from the bittersweet memories of her family, and start over new. However, the arrival of a pale, dark haired stranger into her life changes everything. The stranger, a boy named Lucien, introduces Sam to the hidden world of real-life aliens. Romance and adventure follow Sam in her new life as she works to decipher her complicated alien-human relationship, and a underground covert organization who wants to discover what connects her to this strange alien boy.
My novel Talion began as a novella about the friendship between Lu and Lisa, teenagers from different backgrounds. I fell in love with Lu, who clings to her selfhood despite neglect and abuse. But the story dragged, weighed down by the characters' pasts and a present where the conflict arose from their general distrust of one another. Nothing was happening! The plot needed a catalyst, a threat that would either unite or destroy them.
Rad entered the story, stalking the girls as they sunbathed at an old dam in the mountains. The narrative was third person with multiple points of view, and I could not avoid including Rad's. Since his character is so far outside my experience, I had research to do.
Two or three books, I thought, but I ended up reading ten times that many. As often happens, a little knowledge taught me how little I knew. My reading fell into three categories: books written by FBI profilers or police detectives, journalistic accounts of true crimes, and academic books.
Serial killers have been popularized in fiction, most famously Thomas Harris' Silence of the Lambs and his villain Hannibal Lector, whose powers verge on the supernatural. Harris drew material from the books of the FBI profilers who studied these criminals: Robert Ressler, John Douglas, Roy Hazelwood. So I began with them and learned the concept of signature, those details of the killer's crimes that express his inner needs and fantasies – his ritual. If he needs to arrange his victims' bodies in lewd poses, that's part of his signature. His MO might evolve as his skill increases or circumstances dictate, but his signature never changes. I learned serial killers are driven by their fantasies.
The true crime genre is a perennial favorite, and given the dark side of human nature, journalists always have fresh material. Since these books describe the killer's crimes at length, they make difficult reading. In the 1970's a sadist named Cameron Hooker kidnapped a girl and kept her in a box under his bed. For years. He would take her out, rape and torture her, then stash her back in the box. His wife helped. As always in cases like this, the question arises whether the wife was an accomplice or another victim. I had nightmares of being shut inside that box and realized serial killers' fantasies are worse than anything I could imagine.
The academic books gave me less practical help in writing Rad's character, but they broadened my understanding of the darkness in human beings. In Why They Kill, Richard Rhodes chronicles the life of Lonnie Athens, a criminologist whose violent childhood led him to research how people become violent. Athens concludes violence is learned behavior – an optimistic finding since it implies violence may be unlearned. In Dark Nature: A Nature History of Evil, Lyall Watson explores the biological roots of human actions that are considered evil, or more accurately, amoral. He takes the more pessimistic view that amorality is part of our nature. But Rad falls outside the category of ordinary evil. Watson presents a complicated theory to explain serial killers, one that confirms my sense of them as monstrous. To make their fantasies come true, they lose whatever humanity they might have had.
Mary Maddox grew up in Utah and California. A graduate of Knox College and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, she taught writing and literature at Eastern Illinois University. She lives in Charleston, Illinois with her husband, film scholar Joe Heumann. Her interests include dressage and tournament Scrabble. Mary's short stories have appeared in a number of magazines including Farmer's Market, Yellow Silk, and The Scream Online. Her fiction has been honored with an Artist's Grant and a Literary award from the Illinois Arts Council.
GHOST IN THE MACHINE is an Edinburgh-based police procedural with a
modern twist, and is the first in the SCOTT CULLEN series but the
sequel, DEVIL IN THE DETAIL, is out on the 14th of October. It
currently has 42 reviews on Amazon UK, averaging 4.6.
The book is a unique twist on the traditional British Detective police
procedural - the story is told from the perspective of a Detective
Constable, the lowest rank a Detective in the UK can hold. Most books
in the genre tend to feature a DI (Detective Inspector), which is
roughly the sort of leadership role you'd expect, not a door-to-door
sort - the more ludicrous books feature a DCI, which is essentially an
administrative post. Most series begin with the detective already a
burnt-out husk - his wife has left him, he's an alcoholic, his
colleagues don't like him, etc. This series has his mistakes on the
The key feature of this particular novel is that DC Scott Cullen is
just starting out but is faced with a crime in which social media
plays a significant part - the victim, a young single mother, was
using Schoolbook, a social network, which may or may not have played a
part in the mystery. Cullen also uses it and it is a core part of the
way he approaches the crime. The story is set in Edinburgh, Scotland,
a city I've lived in since I was 18 when I moved from the north-east
of Scotland, much like Cullen did.
Thanks and I hope you enjoy it.
Bayward Heart, is the second book in the Cascade Brides series. Three siblings are named after the Sisters mountain in Oregon--Faith, Hope, and Charity. Unlike the mountains, the three women are now estranged, each living in a different part of the state--one in eastern Oregon, one on the coast, and one in Portland. As they meet men--who have their own family issues--they are reminded of the importance of family...and ultimately each other.
Bayward Heart follows Hope Conrad as she looks to a new whale-watching charter season to bring her charter business into the black. But an unexpected collision puts her boat in dry dock and hobbles her hope for a future. Captain Eric Bandon offers the use of his boat and lets her know his motives are not totally altruistic. He came to town after a difficult past and finds himself attracted to the prickly Hope. Will her name mean he might have a future with her that goes beyond the use of his boat?
Visit me at my website and Kindle store.
Music takes me back. It always has. I hear one great song and I'm 12 or 17 or -- I believe we all share this ability to time travel. But it came as a big surprise to the central character of my novel. It never dawned on him that he might save a life by helping an elder remember his favorite songs.
There is an observation made in The Writers' Conference that there are no words more beguiling than "Let me tell you a story." Let me tell you the story of what happened at a writers' conference called The Clymer Workshop.The novel is first and foremost what I believe a novel should be, which is an entertainment. It has a diverse set of characters whose lives intersect in unexpected ways. Over two hundred people attend the The Clymer Workshop, many of them with the same idea: to find the key to getting published. Day after day the hopeful writers attend workshops, most of them busy taking notes, no one questioning what is told to them except for tall manic-depressive on a high who is irrepressible. The writers on the staff have their own concerns, some of which aren't far apart from the people they have been hired to teach. As the conference draws to a close, the atmosphere becomes increasingly tense with desperation. Then, for one aspiring writer, the unexpected literally does happen.
The Writers' Conference is the first novel that I am aware of that looks at the world of publishing and the frustrations of aspiring writers. I was told by a well-respected New York agent that I couldn't say the things in print that I say about publishing in The Writers' Conference. I believe you can say anything in print as long you say it responsibly and it isn't offensive.
Jill thought that being married to a cop was going to keep her safe. She found out the hard way that just
because he may uphold the law on the street, it wasn't always the case at home.
No one should have to go through what Jill went through.
Will she find true love?
Entered in the suspense/horror category, This Time You Lose is the suspense driven story of one woman's struggle to survive when she and the children she cares for become victims of a home invasion gone terribly wrong.
Author Chris Stralyn explains: "In This Time You Lose, Lisa Kaamp operates a small childcare business out of her home in Nogeksum, Michigan. Highly respected and known for going the extra mile for her daycare kids, she thinks she's handled every daycare emergency possible. But nothing prepares her for the horror she now faces.
Lisa finds herself bound and gagged, four strange men in her home, and the daycare children held hostage in the next room. Terrorized by her captors as the authorities work to meet the ransom deadline, she tries negotiating with the men for the release of the children, but soon realizes they have no intention of letting anyone go. With the deadline approaching, Lisa must do the unimaginable to protect the children and get everyone out alive."
An intense thriller, This Time You Lose has been read and reviewed around the world. With over 200 reviews collected from various reader review sites around the globe, This Time You Lose is quickly becoming a must read phenomenon.
To learn more about Chris Stralyn and This Time You Lose, visit:
"We are simply looking for the very best indie books out there. We are judging quality of writing, quality of plot, and quality of eBook formatting (a complete professional product). The judging team is comprised of our most critical and avid reviewers, so only the best will make it through. If you want to be a winner, you must grab our attention and keep it from the beginning. If you do not hook us, we will close your book. "
• Literary Fiction
Winners of the Best Indie Books Award will be announced on October 1, 2012
Carmegeddon doesn't begin to describe it. Petroplague does.
Petroplague, a debut novel by Dr. Amy Rogers, presents a terrifying scenario that is all too believable because it could really happen. In this story supported by plenty of Crichton-esque scientific detail, a Latina graduate student at UCLA modifies natural oil-eating bacteria to make them particularly good at breaking down petroleum into natural gas. Christina Gonzalez’s goal is worthy: to increase energy production from currently inaccessible underground tar sands. But a radical environmentalist sees her work as a threat and sabotages the field test. Before long, mysterious gas leaks, explosions, and car breakdowns begin to plague central Los Angeles, and Christina must confront the unintended consequences of research gone horribly wrong.
Petroplague is a fast-moving thriller with some serious brains behind it. Science, in particular microbiology, is central to the plot. It’s a story about good intentions and unintended consequences, about loyalty and betrayal, about love and family. Petroplague will have you cheering for Christina not only because you care about her, but because the situation she confronts is so frightening-–and believable-–that you can’t let yourself imagine it coming to pass in a fictional world, much less the real one. Don’t be surprised if this book gets you thinking about investing in gold and stocking up on canned food. Read Petroplague and you’ll realize that bacteria do a lot more than make people sick. Bacteria rule the world.
THE DEMON OF SYNAR is Book One and free for all Kindle users. It introduces the characters and sets the groundwork for the rest of the stories. The hero of Book 1 is Liam Synar, willing captain of the Liberator, but the unwillingly master of his family's hereditary demon. Did I mention Liam ended up putting the demon, Malachi, in his very spiritual mate (and the heroine), Ania Looren, on the very day they had their mating ceremony? Yes, I know it sounds horrible, but to be fair, he was trying to save her life. Feeling appalled for forcing Ania to host Malachi in her body, Liam immediately left both of them and stayed away for two years. Yeah, also not a great sign of mating bliss and definitely not very mature on the part of a Norblade male who fancies himself the captain of a Peace Alliance rescue ship. Nor did it turn out to be a very good move strategically, especially with his evil brother looking high and low for Malachi. Conor Synar was supposed to be the demon's master and had been almost fully trained to do so. Liam barely knew how to call the demon in and out of the host body, much less make Malachi behave. Trust me though, Bogdan Synar had very good reasons for making his son, Liam, the demon's master.
When the book opens, Liam's plan of staying away has reached an end because Malachi has killed to save his host body, and Ania is being blamed for murders she cannot remember. At the urging--okay let's say insistence--of his close friend and ship's counselor, Lieutenant Dorian Zade, Liam heads back to collect Ania and Malachi. Problem is, Ania hasn't known about the demon all this time. She just thinks Liam abandoned her for typical male stupidity reasons. She also blames her cursed mated state for the gradual demise of her spirituality since Liam left. The situation blows up when Ania finds out about Malachi and demands to be allowed to die. Liam refuses of course. He's not that much of a lousy husband/mate, but Ania doesn't share that opinion.
Doesn't sound much like romance, you say? Oh, it's in there, along with lots of humor and some characters you're really going to like. Sure, if you're looking for a "happily ever after" in this first book, well you won't find it completely at the end. Sorry. This book is a "happily for now" kind of situation. It took two books to tell a romantic story as large and complicated as Liam and Ania's. But in this first book which you can read for free, you will definitely get to enjoy the journey of getting to know these three intriguing characters, and you'll have a lot of fun getting to meet the rest of the Liberator's crew whose stories will appear in later books.
And you may even find yourself rooting for Malachi. He definitely has the best lines. Maybe a character just sees things differently after two thousand years of being demon mist.
Happy reading...write and tell me what you think. I would love to hear from you.
Jenny Weaver is smart, she's funny, and she's so lonely it hurts. Two years after her husband committed suicide, she begins writing to him, at first out of frustration and loneliness, then out of a deep need to look at what went so wrong in their lives. She waits until the children are bathed and in bed, then pours herself a glass of wine and writes, "We didn't spend as much time together when you were alive as I spend with you now." The irony of this doesn't escape her; nor does that fact that even though he is dead, people still try to 'place' her through him. "Death doesn't sever a woman's identity with her husband," she writes. "When a man's wife dies, she's dead. Widows' husbands linger."
Richard Weaver lingers in Jenny's life. He is with her night after night, until she is able to free herself from the past.
E-learning 101 offers practical e-learning solutions in a friendly voice, because I believe e-learning can actually be FUN! That's why the e-book is packed with pictures of friendly dogs...
Handcrafted Jewelry Photo Gallery -- free dates: 09/15/2012 - 09/19/2012 -- link
Handcrafted Jewelry Photo Gallery is a compilation of my cast and/or fabricated jewelry in 14k yellow gold or sterling silver from 1975 through now 2012. Step by steps of several of my pieces have been published in international trade magazines: Jewelry Artist, Wire Jewelry, Step by Step Jewelry, Lapidary Journal. This book will soon be available in Spanish.
There are many book review sites in the web, including our site - Goodkindles. There are two types of websites: websites that review books for free, and the other one: websites that offer a review or a book listing for a fee.
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