Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Writer's View: Lin Brooks

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lin will be awarding a $15.00 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn host. Click on the banner above to see the other stops on the tour.

I travel a lot. And I do mean a lot. Some of it is voluntary and some not. That means the view from my window changes enough that it never gets dull.

I decided many years ago that I didn't want a bucket list. I've never been a patient person. Why wait? I'm ready now. So I learned that the best way to keep that list from ever getting out of hand is to just do the things you want to do. I am blessed with a daughter, she's twenty now, with a spirit similar to mine. When she was 11 and I was a single mom, I decided I wanted to go to the Bahamas. I had never been out of the country, outside of a road trip to Quebec when I was a teenager. I'm a hopeless beach bum, it was November, and I was already tired of the cold and longing for some sunshine. I found a deal on a cruise, and three weeks later we were sailing for Nassau.

I was hooked. I take a lot of business trips, and I learned to add a day or two to the trip and use those opportunities to get out and see new things. I toured Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Louis and Rome. I took my daughter out of school for business trips to New York, Tampa and New Orleans. For our vacations, I vowed that we would spend spring break somewhere out of the country every other year. We went to Cozumel, St. Thomas, St, Maarten, Puerto Rico, and to the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben and Dzibilchaltun. For her senior trip, my daughter chose Fiji. Then there was her study abroad program at her university, where we wound up touring Italy from Cinque Terre in the north, to Pompeii in the south. When I got remarried, my new husband and I spent a week touring Jamaica (the picture is the view from our cottage). My daughter and I ran half marathons in Destin and Orlando. We're running our first full marathon near Dallas on New Year's Day. And, of course, I can’t forget the flying lessons I took with my husband. If you’ve ever wondered what Gulf Shores looks like from the cockpit of a plane no bigger than my shoe, I’m happy to report that the view from that window is spectacular.

Today, when I look out my window, I see bright sunshine, blue skies and a hot Southern fall day. The grass needs mowing, and there are two rescue cats, Yoko and Annie, stretched out in the sun. I have a bichon/poodle that will take off after them at warp speed as soon as I give in to his demands to turn him loose in the yard (it won’t be long—I just can’t resist those big brown eyes). Just past them is my herb garden, and the basil and oregano are lush and green. I love where I live. There is just enough here to have what I need no more than a block away, but not so much to create congestion, high cost of living and chaos. Some might say there isn't enough to do here to keep things interesting. I don't agree. At home, I can relax, putter around the house, go to the beach and take an occasional night on the town. And when I feel the need to change the view, the airport is only five minutes away.

About the Author:
Lin Brooks is a lifelong Southern girl who lives in Mobile, Alabama with her family. Lin is a lawyer, runner, mother, home improvement enthusiast and an avid reader with a bucket list that includes visiting Australia, running a marathon and trying every kind of margarita ever made.

Author page:

Sending the children off to college is never easy. For Lacey Marchand and Cara Myers, an empty nest is enough to drive them a little crazy -- but sometimes, a little crazy is just what the doctor ordered.

Now that their daughters have left for college, Lacey and Cara have too much time on their hands. With nothing else to do, Cara decides to help single-mom Lacey get a life. And what better way to get a life than a few blind dates?

Lacey, however, can't think of a worse way to spend her weekends. She has her own ideas for curing their empty nest problems -- Cara needs a new career. And a career just happens to be what Lacey understands best.

For Cara and Lacey, coping with the empty nest means reinventing their lives without losing their sanity. Where the Greener Grass Grows is the story of two mothers learning to live, to laugh and to let go.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie will award one autographed cover flat to a randomly drawn commenter at each blog stop. In addition, she will award a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) as a grand prize to one randomly selected commenter on this tour, and a $25 gift certificate to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn host. You must leave an email address to be entered into any of the drawings. Click on the banner to see the other stops on her tour.

Forgiving yourself is the first step, but helping others forgive may be just too hard.

Rachel Cullen grew up in Scotland with a fiddle in her hand from the age of four. She couldn't imagine life as anything but a musician. When her husband brought her to America she was immediately embraced by the Celtic and Bluegrass communities. But after her divorce, Rachel's life is a mess.

A year of trying to prove to herself that she's woman enough for any man, and then a vicious rape while on tour with the band, leaves Rachel reeling. When she meets Noel Kershaw, an English teacher who is poetry in motion, she is definitely attracted. But he has a young child and he's suffering from his own divorce. The last thing Rachel needs in life is more baggage.

First, Rachel must reconcile who she is, what she wants, and how to get there. Maybe then she'll know how to be a part of the family she's always wanted.

About the Author:Claire crawled onto a stool on the other side of the island and smiled. Neither of them talked for several minutes as they listened to the water in the pot heat.

“When I grow up, I’m going to play with Sweetwater Canyon all the time.”

“Are you sure you want to hang out with all us old folks?”

“You’re not all old. Well maybe a little old. But Kat isn’t old.”

Rachel smiled. “That’s true. She’s only seventeen.” And going on twenty-five it seemed sometimes.

“Oh, seventeen? That is old.” Claire put a finger to her lips and furrowed her brow. “How old do I have to be to play in the band all the time?”

“Probably at least eighteen.”

“But, you just said Kat—”

“Kat is different, because her mother plays in the band and can watch her all the time.”

“Well, you can watch me all the time. You can be my mother.”

Rachel gulped.

“Well, can’t you?”

“Can’t she what?” Noel walked in the room and lifted Claire off the chair in a big hug, swinging her around the room. “Can’t she what? She can do anything she wants.”

“See,” Claire leaned forward and looked at Rachel over Noel’s shoulder. “See, even Daddy thinks you can be my mother.”

“Whoa.” Noel set Claire back on the stool. “I’m not sure what I walked in on here.” He sent an accusing glance to Rachel. “You already have a mother, Claire.”

“I know. Not my real mother. My second mother. You know, like my friend, Megan. Her mommy and daddy got divorced and her daddy married a new mommy. So, Megan has two mommies now. See? Rachel can be my second mommy. Okay?”

About the Author: Maggie Jaimeson writes romantic women’s fiction and romantic suspense with a near future twist. She describes herself as a wife, a step-mother, a sister, a daughter, a teacher and an IT administrator. By day she is “geek girl” – helping colleges to keep up with 21st century technology and provide distance learning options for students in rural areas. By night Maggie turns her thoughts to worlds she can control – worlds where bad guys get their comeuppance, women triumph over tragedy, and love can conquer all.

HEALING NOTES is the second book in the Sweetwater Canyon Series of four books. The final two books will be available in 2013.

Find the author online at

Twitter: @maggiejaimeson

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Writer's View: Jennifer Conner

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennifer will be awarding a Halloween Bracelet to a randomly drawn commenter (US/Canada Only) during the tour. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Thanks to My World of Dreams for hosting me and my new release, Love Comes for Halloween through Books to Go Now.

Halloween is a great time of year that we can step into a costume and pretend to be someone else, but as writers, we get to do this every day. I have been a professional author for many years and have gotten to be many different people through my writing world.

Writing zones are fun to be in and you don’t have to be in a paranormal or fantasy writer for this. I have learned over the years that people write in many different places. Some like public coffee shops or bars, I need it quiet to concentrate. I usually write in my office or living room.

I surround myself with inspiration whenever possible. I have gotten into discussions (arguments) with people about ebooks. Ebooks will never replace paper books. I would know. I am what would be referred to a ‘book slut’. I have thousands of books in my house. If I read an ebook I like, I will buy the paper version if it is available. Ebooks are just a new and exciting way people are reading (which is the most important thing, right?)

My office has shelves & shelves of saved romance books, writing books, RT magazines and craft printouts. I also have a feather boa and tiara from my local RWA chapter for when I became a professional writer.

I have framed photos of me with some of my favorite authors who have inspired me along the way, Julia Quinn, Christine Feehan, and Debbie Macomber to name a few. Along with favorite hunk photos like Henry Cavill, Gerald Butler and beer tokens from the Highland games. I like to have framed covers of my stories to show myself what I have accomplished over the years with a few Amazon top sellers lists printed off. One, I was ahead of Jane Eyre, yeah!

There is also a shrine to my writing goddess, Diana Gabaldon. I have her books in hardback, paperback, European covers, audio etc.

I love movies too, so there are a few of my favorite movie posters displayed. Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rogue, Young Victoria, Australia, etc.

I also like to make jewelry so there is a lot of that in my office. The messy side I’m not showing :-)

The view outside my window is lovely. I live in a 100+ year old house I grew up in and have 5 acres and a stream. I love to see the changing seasons outside my window as I write.

About the Author:
Jennifer Conner is a best-selling Northwest author who has twenty short stories and one full length book on ebook and in print. She writes in Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, and Erotica.

Christmas Chaos was in the Kindle sales top 50 ebooks and #2 in the Romance category.

Her novel Shot in the Dark was a finalist in the Emerald City Opener, Cleveland, and Toronto RWA contests.

Jennifer is an Associate Publisher for the indie e-book publisher, Books to Go Now who resides in the Seattle area. They pride themselves in helping new authors get their foot in the door with well-edited manuscripts, professional covers, and platforms uploads.

She live in a hundred year old house that she grew up in. Her semi-small town holds an interesting mix of resident hillbillies, yuppies and Navy Seals. And of course Seattle, only a few miles away, is the birthplace of Starbucks so coffee is always on the check list. She blows glass beads with a blow torch, (which relieves a lot of stress and people don't bother you) and is a huge fan of my local soccer teams, the Seattle Sounders, and Kitsap Pumas. Boys in shorts! :)

Find Jennifer online at

Now it’s her turn. Until she’s kissed, Jane, is the last one of her girlfriends to wear the Mobile Mistletoe. Feeling pressured by her friends, she jumps on her dad’s motorcycle and heads out on the open road. But she doesn’t get far before it breaks down. What else can go wrong? Will she be eaten by a bear?

Gage has a past he wants to forget. Retreating to the mountains, where he can build custom bikes and cars in seclusion, he wants to give back for the mistakes he’s made.

Neither Jane or Gage are looking for a relationship, but isn’t Halloween the perfect time of year to scare up some love?

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Writer's View: Jenn Nixon

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jenn will give away one backlist ebook to each of the blog hosts and one backlist book at every stop for one lucky commenter, and she and Wild Child Publishing will be awarding a $10 Wild Child Publishing GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner above to see the other stops on the tour.

My writing space is currently in my bedroom, which thankfully has a window. I specifically set up my computer desk in front of the windows because I tend to be a daydreamer. No one wants to stare at a wall when they daydream.

However, having a window to look out while I’m writing has both helped and hindered me in the past.

I live in an apartment complex. The landscaping is wonderful with trees and bushes and flowerbeds all over the area. On occasion, when I’m stuck in a scene, I will gaze out the window and see what’s going on because something usually is. My neighbors are walking their dogs. The kids are playing football or chase. Animals are scurrying and flying around. At times, my mind wanders off while looking out the window but the view rarely helps me if I’m stuck. I actually use the time to “un-think” what I’m doing and start fresh.

One of the problems I have is the noise. I can be in the middle of a great scene, know exactly what I want to do, and the kids--who are outside--start playing right under my window. And kids don’t play quietly.

I never want to be that mean neighbor that chases the kids away, but the complex does have plenty of space for them to play away from the apartments. Don’t get me started on the Saturday early morning landscapers. I’m glad it’s fall. :-)

I have two dogs at home, a German Shepherd and a Cairn Terrier. Sometimes, when I’m in my room for too long, the GS will come in to see what I’m doing and if she’s in the mood, she’ll sit on my bed and look out the window too. There have been a few occasions when the both of them have come to “hang out” with me, but then they hog up the window!

I’m sure if I didn’t have a window to look out I would probably get more writing done faster than I do know, but I also know that I would get bored staring at a blank wall when I need a moment to think or “un-think”, so I’m glad I have a view to appreciate when I need one.

About the Author: Jenn’s love of writing started the year she received her first diary and Nancy Drew novel. Throughout her teenage years, she kept a diary of her personal thoughts and feelings but graduated from Nancy Drew to other mystery suspense novels.

Jenn often adds a thriller and suspense element to anything she writes be it Romance, Science Fiction, or Fantasy. When not writing, she spends her time reading, observing pop culture, playing with her two dogs, and working on various charitable projects in her home state of New Jersey.

Find Jenn online at

Twitter: @jennnixon

To protect her family and find a killer, Felicia "Lucky" Fascino assumed her adoptive father's identity and joined the network of moral assassins to finish the job he began. Eliminating the man responsible for murdering her mother has consumed her for the last five years. Completing the job is the only way Lucky and her family can return to a safe and normal life. Lucky's uncle, Stephen Chambers, hasn't come close to tracking the killer. He announces he's stepping down as her handler to concentrate on the investigation and names Elizabeth, his daughter, as successor.

Keeping secrets is a family trait, and Elizabeth's addition to the business tests Lucky's ability to maintain the pretense that the job doesn't affect her despite the fact that all network hits are hardened criminals. While keeping her family at arm's length, Lucky begins to feel the weight of her career choice and reclusive lifestyle. Then a chance encounter with an enigmatic hit man during one of her jobs turns into a provocative and dangerous affair. Distracted by the secret trysts with Kenji Zinn and mounting tension within her family, Lucky starts to make mistakes that threaten her livelihood and almost claim her life. When her family is targeted, Lucky must make several rash decisions she believes can save them and preserve her own sanity.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Writer's View: Victoria Vane

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Victoria will give one randomly chosen commenter a download of her first erotic historical romance A Breach of Promise. Click on the banner above to see the other stops on the tour.

My home office is absolutely one of my favorite places and my personal retreat from the outside world. It's also filled with my some of my very favorite things –photographs of my boys and other mementos from their childhood, my dog Alfie , who is my constant companion, and of course my beloved books!

I also have a wonderful nook where I read and often nap.

Shown in the photos are views of my office and my reading place with close ups of my book case and the view of my desktop, which always includes a caffeinated drink (coffee in the morning and Coke zero at night) and my favorite chocolates!

This is the place where I can turn on my baroque music, shut out the real world, and immerse myself in centuries past. My time spent here alone is very precious to me, as it's where all my stories find their way from my conscious to the page.

About the Author:
A lover of history and deeply romantic stories, Victoria Vane combines these elements to craft romantic historical novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone, Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism. Ms. Vane also writes award nominated romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee.

Find Victoria online at

Twitter: @authorvictoriav

Do you have a private retreat from the world? If so, where do you go?
Please comment for a chance to win an e-book copy of A WILD NIGHT'S BRIDE, book #1 in the Devil DeVere series.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Writer's View: Eva Marquez

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Eva will award a Kindle touch to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a swag pack of goodies to one commenter at each stop. Click on the tour banner to see the other tours on the stuff.

The View Inside My Writing Space, and Out
Eva Márquez

Over the past decade, I have had so many different and unique writing spaces. Sweetest Taboo was first drafted in the capital of Nigeria, where I spent most of my free time gated up in my compound watching Oprah, reading books and writing Sweetest Taboo. My writing space was literally my living room’s coffee table and a few cushions, which I used to prop myself, up as I sat cross-legged on the carpet and typed away on my work-issued Dell laptop. I completed the first draft of Sweetest Taboo in that writing space, but that was just the beginning! I spent some time in California with family while healing my body from the many illnesses inflicted upon my body in Nigeria (Malaria, Typhoid, amoebic dysentery, just to name a few) and my writing space was transformed from a simple coffee table in my Nigerian home to a bustling Starbucks in a local Barnes & Nobles in my hometown. I must say, this writing space was the most enjoyable because I find that a nice buzz of activity helps me to concentrate. For example, if I’m trying to write at home I often become distracted and think of half a dozen things that need to get done. However, when I commit myself to staying at Starbucks for several hours, I have nothing else to do but write, write and write some more. I close my Internet browser, I close my mail program, and I ensure that all of my social media apps are closed down to limit any interruptions. Most of Sweetest Taboo’s edits, changes, rearrangements and improvements were carried out in my local Barnes & Noble Starbucks, as well as at least half of my doctoral dissertation!

Since moving to Southern Africa to assume the role of Director of HIV/AIDS Programs for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), my writing space has yet again been transformed. I lived in a beautiful house in a serene, country like setting (my house is on an unpaved road, I might add, which lessens traffic and contributes to the serene nature of my home). In this home, I have a large ‘study’ with two French doors that open to two different patios, which are both on the periphery of my garden courtyard. I absolutely adore flowers, plants, trees, and colors so I have surrounded both patios and the garden with flowering almond trees, violas, verbena, California poppies, star jasmines…you name it!
This makes for a beautiful outdoor scene, as I look up from my desk and draw my attention to the French doors which serve as the windows to my gardens. Although I don’t often sit at my desk and write, when I do, I take the opportunity to stare out onto my garden to ponder and decide which way ‘to go’ in my writing. Should I lead the character this way, or that way? Should he chase after her or let her be? Will there be drama here or should I wait until the next chapter? More often, though, I sit at my table in the furthest patio from the house, the patio off of the master bedroom, which is more private and secluded. Since I work primarily on a laptop, I like to take advantage of the mobility it affords me and sit outdoors when the weather is cooperating. Sweetest Taboo was finalized as I sat in my private patio, smiling at the miniature orange pansies lining a potted plant nearby and enjoying the feeling of completing such a monumental task (this is my first full-length novel, so it felt quite monumental to finally be done!).

About the Author:
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, daughter of European immigrants, Eva Márquez has spent most of her life outside of her home country. At the age of five, Eva accompanied her parents to the United States, where the family settled permanently. After graduating from university, she went on to complete graduate studies in International Relations in Spain. Eva received her Master of International Studies degree from the University of Sydney and went on to work in the global health field in Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia. Eva currently resides in Southern Africa.

Find Eva online at (website AND blog) (FB Book page)
@EvaAuthor (Twitter) (GoodReads) (Official Book Trailer on YouTube)

Isabel Cruz was fifteen years old when she met Tom Stevens. She was 15 when they started dating, and 16 when she lost her virginity to him. By the time she turned 18 and went to college, everything had fallen apart. This hadn’t been an ordinary love, though. Not a love between two dear friends, or even high school sweethearts. This had been the most taboo sort of love there was: a relationship between a student and her teacher. Isabel started her high school career as a normal student, but set her sights on Tom Stevens as soon as she met him, and pursued him with an intense – and sometimes reckless – fascination. When he finally approached her after swim practice and told her that he shared her feelings, it was the start of a forbidden and dangerous relationship.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Bisi will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Sixteen year old Wisteria Kuti has two options—track the infected around the Isle of Smythe or leave the only known safe haven and face a world infested with flesh eating biters. But even with well-armed trackers, things go wrong and Wisteria ends up alone facing certain death, until she is rescued by the mysterious Bach. Uninfected, Bach is able to survive among the hordes of living dead.

Eighteen year old Bach, from a race known as The Family, has no interest in human affairs. He was sent here to complete his Great Walk and return home as a man—as a Sen Son. The Family regard humans as Dirt People, but Bach is drawn to this Terran girl, whom he has never seen before, but somehow knows.

Hunted by flesh eaters, cannibals, and the mysterious blood thirsty group called Red Phoenix, Wisteria and Bach make their way back to the Isle of Smythe, a community built on secrets and lies.

This is a debut novel and the first book of a series--a dark dystopian novel. The storyline is good--the world has been decimated by a virus that creates zombies (known in the book as Biters). There is a safe haven on an island--trackers attempt to keep it safe by scouting around and "curing" any Biters they find--with a bullet or arrow to the head.

We're also introduced to Bach, a member of an off-world race known simply as The Family, along with his best friend and his steward, a half human/half Family. Wisteria is rescued by Bach when she is surrounded by Biters--and somehow he knows who she is.

We are faced with zombies, cannibals, and the mysterious Red Phoenix-- along with secrets that come to light through the book.

There were some issues with editing, however the book was still a good read. If you enjoy dark fiction, this is a book you might want to take a try on. I have to admit that I was surprised by some of the revelations of this book--and looking forward to what happens in the future of the series.

About the Author:
Bisi Leyton was born in East London in 1978. She grew up in London, Nigeria and the States, listening to the stories life and love from aunts, cousins and big sisters.She lives in London, but has worked around Europe including France, Germany, Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. She has a fondness for reading graphic novels.
Twitter: @bisileyton
BookTrailer: and

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Judy will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner to see the other stops on her tour.

What if it turns out that YOU'RE the bully - and you didn't know it?

Up until now, life has been good for 13-year-old Luke. He's good at sports, attractive, and he's a big wheel at Heyworth Academy, his private school. He likes to tease, and poke fun at the other kids, but that's just because he likes having fun. But things start to fall apart, six weeks into eighth grade, when Luke commits an act of 'goofing around' that ends up costing him his best friend and his beloved private school.

After he's expelled, Luke transfers to his local school, Carlyle. Now, he's on the outside looking in. His looks, and background (not to mention his Heyworth hoodie), make him stand out, and the tough guys zero in on him right away.

The upside-down world that Luke finds himself in at Carlyle gives him a whole new way of looking at things. Can he recover from losing his school, and his best friend, and find new friends and a way to fit in at Carlyle?

This book is written for the middle school age group and has an important lesson. The good thing about it is that the lesson isn't preachy--Luke sees the issue from the other side, and it's a wake-up call to him.

We're Done is the second book in the series, but the first book does not need to be read to enjoy this one. They are set in the same world with some of the same characters, but can each be read as a standalone.

My only complaint with the book is that issues were left unresolved (the cyberbullying on the part of Luke's sister, the issues with his parents). However, the book is designed as a one-issue book--showing that bullying is wrong, even if it's disguised as "joking"--and is not designed to be a deep look at the issues or Luke's family life. It is, after all, written for the 9-13 year old.

I'm looking forward to the next book in the series and am planning on ordering it for our library--we have some patrons who would really enjoy this book.

About the Author:
Judy Irwin writes books about kids dealing with everyday stuff, like parents and divorce, friendships and bullies, and figuring out how to handle different situations and circumstances. So far, she's written two books: We're Done and What Did You Say? We're Done is about 13-year-old Luke and how he figures out what went wrong when he's kicked out of school for a bullying incident. In What Did You Say?, 12-year-old Tash tries to figure out what life will be like following her parents' divorce. In this book, which takes place at a trailer park up north, Tash first meets Luke, Jon and Polly.

Judy lives in Toronto, Canada, with a dog, a cat, and two hamsters, plus her husband and two children, ages 10 and 13. She studied English Literature at the University of Toronto. She always wanted to be a writer. She wrote her first book in fourth grade - it was about a boy called Japan, who lived in Japan. In addition to writing books, Judy is a freelance business writer.

Find Judy online at


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sandra will be awarding the winner's choice of a backlist eBook to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and a $25 Amazon GC to one commenter from the tour.

1. Where did you get the idea for The Hounding?

It literally fell from the sky. I believe the idea was in a rain cloud over SW 5th Avenue and Main St in Portland one day awaiting the next willing writer to cross the street. I went out to lunch. A light rain was falling, and right in the middle of the street as I was crossing, I was hit with the idea to write books for a female Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. This is a true story.

2. What is your favorite character and why?

My favorite character between Shirley and Mary is a close call. I think Mary is generally more likeable. I find Shirley more interesting. I'm enjoying watching the relationship between them develop. They have lots to offer each other to aid in their personal development, and as they are still relatively young, they have a way to go.

3. Did you find it difficult to write a novel at first? (It's a daunting task.)

I did at first. I've been a playwright for a long time. And I enjoy writing plays because of their collaborative nature. Whereas writing novels is more solitary. In today's age of online communities, we needn't be so reclusive as in earlier times, but it still isn't the same as theatre. So, yes, and that's why I put it off for so long. Writing The Hounding took me 18 months. And that was before I began the process of trying to get published, editing, rewriting, and all that.

4. What, in your opinion, makes a book a good read?

For me, I want a good hook at the outset, then interesting characters, a good story, and if it's a mystery, I hope I don't solve the puzzle too quickly. I also like for most of the loose ends to be wrapped up by the end. And a possibility of another book in the series if I like the protagonist.

5. Do you think your book meets this requirement?

I do think my book meets all these requirements. I have to say though that I enjoy many other kinds of books as well. I don't have to have a fast moving book, or a mystery to enjoy myself. I read many genres, as well as poetry, non-fiction, memoir, and essays. I especially love reading books by women of color, like Ann Petry and women from long ago, like Mary Austin Hunter.

Thank you so much for inviting me over today. I appreciate it. sdh

About the Author:
Sandra de Helen lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. See more of her work at de Helen is also a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and International Centre for Women Playwrights.

Follow her on Twitter @dehelen
Read her blog
Like her on Facebook at

Tall, thin, androgynous Shirley Combs considers herself the world’s greatest living detective because she uses the methods and casebook of Sherlock Holmes to solve crimes of the gentry of the American city most closely resembling London, England -- in terms of the weather, at least. Sidekick/narrator Dr. Mary Watson both delights in and is frustrated by her partner’s behavioral resemblance to Sherlock. Combs is unemotional, analytical, and given to pacing through the night in the streets of the almost perfectly livable city of Portland, Oregon. Her ability to observe details and understand their relationship to a case is unmatched; her demands on Watson’s time are too.

Shirley Combs bills herself as the world’s greatest living detective, and why not? Taunted and teased as a child because her name sounded so much like Sherlock Holmes's, she developed an early obsession with the adventures and methods of Sherlock himself. She considered her fate sealed when she met up with Dr. Mary Watson. Shirley adds the technology of today to Holmes’s 100-year-old casebook and solves the mysteries of her much-beloved hometown. Mary Watson assists, and - of course - chronicles their exciting exploits. The planned series of novels incorporates and explores current events, types of people, social/economic situations that occur in Portland and the Pacific Northwest.

In their first documented adventure, Shirley is hired by 19-year-old Goldenhawk Vandeleur to investigate her wealthy mother’s untimely death. Timber heiress Priscilla Vandeleur Leoni, direct descendant of Sir Charles Baskerville, decides to spend the family fortune saving the old-growth forests of Oregon. She is a product of the 1960’s - former hippie and free-love advocate who gave birth out-of-wedlock, experimented with lesbian separatism, and married late. When faced with midlife, she tries to outrun her fears and give away her huge fortune. Haunted by a phobia of dogs, she is literally frightened to death by a pair of hounds.


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Shewanda will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to one lucky commenter on the tour.

When an insecure, bi-racial woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark—albeit with devastating consequences. On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But love’s a devil that way. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this—for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.
Crimson Footprints is about family, acceptance, and differences. It was hard for me to identify with Deena's family--as my family was always very supportive. Deena's family not only didn't support her--they actively put her down because of the fact that she is bi-racial and that she is successful. But, they are the only family she has since her white mother is in prison for killing her black father (and that's another story I would love to read. Hopefully in the next book, all that will be explained).

Shewanda did a great job at sharing the backstory slowly. Just as she did an excellent job stretching out the sexual tension between Deena and Tak. I like him--he, too, has issues with his family, but they were the types of issues I understood. Both Deena and Tak, however, have families they feel would not accept the other because they are of different races.

There were elements of this story the author left hanging--esp. the issue of Deena's sister, Lizzie. She was wild, but the author shows us in snippets that go back until the time she was eleven that helps explain the circumstances that lead to her current behavior. I hope that she, as well, is given more time in the second book to work out her issues.

This book is richly drawn--not a quick read, but a very satisfying read. Even with the times I wanted to take Deena and shake her, I was still very interested in what she was going to do and how her and Tak's relationship was going to play out. Kudos to Shewanda Pugh for an intriguing debut.

About the Author:
Shewanda Pugh is a native of Boston’s inner city, though she now lives in sunny Miami, Florida. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Alabama A&M University and a Master’s in Writing from Nova Southeastern University. Fueled from a young age, her passion for crossing societal boundaries like race, class and culture, is the inspiration for both her cluttered bookshelf and her writing. When she’s not busy obsessing over fiction, she can be found traveling, nursing her social networking addiction or enjoying the company of loved ones.

Find her online at

Follow on Twitter: @ShewandaP

Monday, October 15, 2012


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marianne will award 4 autographed print editions of Hearts Crossing, her award-winning novella and book one of her Christian inspirational Woodland Series (US/Canada only) to four commenters from this tour and her blurb blitz tour, and a $25 Amazon gift card as a grand prize to one commentator from both this tour and her blurb blitz tour. Click on the banner above to see the other stops on this tour.

From This Day Forward

Christian Music agent Kellen Rossiter has everything he ever wanted: A-list clients from coast to coast, a loving wife who honors and respects him, and a faith life that’s never wavered—until now.

Juliet Rossiter has the perfect life: a rewarding schedule serving the underprivileged, a husband who loves her as Christ loved the church, and a blessed future as a mother—at least that's what she thinks.

For Better or Worse

But what happens when their rock-solid marriage begins to crumble under the weight of an unexpected and powerful temptation? How does love survive when its foundation is shaken?

'Til Death Do Us Part

When human frailty and the allure of sin deal a harsh blow to their relationship, it will take more than love to mend the shattered trust and heartbreak. It will take a lifetime of devotion.

Marianne Evans' novel Devotion is rich on so many levels.

First, it's a darn good story that kept me reading until I was finished.

Second, it's full of hope and promise and a warning to all couples who might have grown complacent in their relationship.

Kellen and Juliet have it all--their love, their church, their home. Until one day temptation rears it's ugly head and everything they thought they believed in becomes shattered. Ms. Evans takes the reader through the pain of realizing one you trusted completely in is fallible. And, she also takes you through the process of redemption and the struggles both Kellen and Juliet face in trying to put the pieces of their marriage together again.

Kudos to Marianne Evans for an enthralling and powerful story of love and forgiveness.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Writer's View: PJ Sharon

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. PJ will be awarding an eBook copy of "Thin Ice" to one commenter at each stop and a $25 Amazon or BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To see the other stops on the tour, please click the banner above.

Up until last December, I was parked on my couch with my laptop and as many pillows as I needed to keep me comfortable and supported. I think I was hell bent on being in the living room because I spend so much time at my desk, if I didn’t get to take breaks and watch TV or engage in a conversation with my husband now and then, I would feel like I was working ALL the time. I had a room upstairs that we called an “office,” but it was really a cubbyhole with a desk, an ancient computer, a filing cabinet, and stacks of junk I wasn’t using. It felt claustrophobic. I couldn’t work in that space at all. Creativity for me doesn’t happen in isolation. I need a wide open space and access to my living area. I need to feel like I’m part of what’s happening in the household, even if there isn’t much happening.

Against my better judgment, I had gotten used to hunkering down in the living room. I tried a million ways to make sitting on the couch ergonomic, but my back and neck were definitely suffering. Being a massage therapist, personal trainer, and former PT Assistant, I knew better, but I was stubbornly holding onto the idea that my productivity was attached to being in my living room.

So last Christmas, while I was at work one day my wonderful husband moved my office from upstairs down into the living room. He created a fabulous work space for me, including dual computer screens so I can work simultaneously on two projects at once, or have my e-mail on one while I write my stories on the other. It’s very easy to move from my laptop screen to the much larger screen in front of me that is ergonomically in just the right position. I must say that I’ve gotten spoiled having this feature but my neck and back pain have improved greatly.

Technically, my view includes the living room with flat screen TV, our pellet stove room which is a cozy transitional room between our living room and kitchen, and then of course our fabulous kitchen itself, where my husband plays chef and does most of the cooking. It’s very easy for us to have conversations between rooms and for both of us to feel like I’m still present, even if I am pecking away at the keyboard. However, when I need a dose of fresh air and sunshine, I can be found out on my front porch, enjoying the lovely weather here in the Berkshires and watching the hummingbirds and butterflies in my gardens.

About the Author:
I knew I would be a writer someday when I was a little girl sitting on my grandpa’s knee and telling him stories that he would help me put on paper. By the time I entered kindergarten I could already read and write, and I couldn’t wait to look up new words every morning in the ginormous Webster’s Dictionary that sat in the book case at the bottom of our stairs. I would get on the bus and ask my friends, “Do you know what pulchritudinous means?” Between that and challenging the boys to push-up contests at the bus stop, I mostly sat alone on those bus rides to school. But that just meant I had more time to make up stories.

I went on to many other endeavors in life, including the world of figure skating, and later, earning a black belt in martial arts. Though I was a mom at seventeen, I did manage to finish school and somehow made it through college, earning a degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant. After nineteen years, two sons, a divorce, and some fairly lean years, I found that it’s true what they say about life beginning at forty. It was about that time when I reunited with the love of my life and worked my way to owning my own business as a Massage Therapist, Personal Trainer, and Yoga Instructor—all of my favorite things. To make my bliss complete, I moved out to the Berkshires and found my muse waiting for me there amongst the lilacs and humming birds.

I now write Extraordinary Stories of an Average Teenage Life in order to share hope with others, especially teens, that no matter how tough life gets, there is always a bright spot waiting just around the corner. My published books include the award winning YA Novels, HEAVEN IS FOR HEROES, ON THIN ICE, and SAVAGE CINDERELLA, available through Amazon and B&N Booksellers.

Amazon Author Central

In the year 2057, in a post-apocalyptic world where a global shift threatens the remainder of the population with extinction, sixteen-year-old genetically enhanced Lily Charmichael has more immediate problems. Her uncle is dying of cancer and her healing abilities are ineffective against the blood ties that bind them. In order to find a cure, Lily must leave the protection of her quiet town and journey into the trading city of Albany, all while avoiding the Industry, an agency that would like nothing better than to study and exploit her abilities.

Seventeen-year-old Will Callahan has been searching for his father since severe storms blasted through the Midwest, killing his mother and sister. When he learns that his father may be in the city, he catches a ride with Lily, a girl who has come to his rescue more than once. As the two embark on a dangerous journey, the attraction between them grows. But the secrets Will’s keeping could put her in far more danger than traveling to the city with him, and if he was any kind of man, he would have told her to run the minute she found him.