Wednesday, July 30, 2014

#Excerpt from NIGHTFALL by Brian White #Crime #Mystery #GoodReads

at 11:30 AM 0 comments
Middleton is a relic. I suppose you could call it a West Coast version of Detroit. During the industrial age Middleton (then Middle-Town – the brainchild of some uncreative founding sap) thrived as a rapidly growing Californian Mecca for blue-collar job seekers. Families arrived in droves during the post-World War decades. Middle-Town upgraded to Middleton. Life was good.

Then industry became a thing of the past. No one cared about cars or manufacturing. Computers were the new thing in town, and no one in Middleton knew shit about them.

Factories closed, manufacturing lines ground to a halt. Banks worked overtime serving foreclosure notices.

Like Detroit, you can’t come close to calling Middleton a ghost town. What you can call it is a wasted husk of its former self.

Every once in a while you’ll catch a documentary on TV about it. The narrator remarks for a time on the tragedy – the jobs lost, the poverty, the shame of a once-proud populace – before moving on to brighter times in another part of the country. Usually complete with soft, light-hearted background music toward the end.

The weather here seems to compliment the rest of the town’s atmosphere; perpetual gray from an overcast sky, cool temperatures, and frequent fog banks all contribute to the Melancholy which seems to pervade everywhere. You’ll usually catch a glimpse of the sun during dawn and dusk. Any time other than that and you’re lucky.

Life goes on in here, like it does anywhere else in the world. C’est la Vie and all that.

My office is a rented space in one of the smaller abandoned factories located on the east side of town. Someone with a little money tried to renovate it and draw in some executive types, but that failed like most business ventures here do.

It made for a cheap place to rent, though and for someone like me cheap is a selling point.

And it was in this office where Amanda Wells visited me for the first and only time. It’s funny in a cruel sort of way. I mean, don’t stories like this always start with a dame?

A beautiful young escort is strangled to death, her corpse discarded in a back alley dumpster. The killer’s identity is a mystery, and the homicide has gone almost unnoticed. Welcome to Middleton, where these things happen every night and the police are too busy or too jaded to notice.
Ezzy Morgan once roamed these blue collar streets as a paramedic. Here she was weaned from innocence and taught the cold-blooded nature of the human heart. Now she works as a private detective and has shut the door on shootings, stabbings, and the constant specter of death. But her life is about to be shattered when the dead woman’s only surviving friend seeks her out, looking for justice.
Clues are sparse and the trail seems to be a dead end before it has even begun. But the mystery takes a macabre turn after another death is dropped at Ezzy’s feet, and she’s hit with an ultimatum from the world of organized crime: find the killer in the next twenty-four hours . . . or die.
This murder mystery turned terrifying struggle between life and death will expose a cover-up spanning two generations involving a sadistic psychopath, a burned-out cop with a cocaine habit, and a powerful man willing to commit murder just to ensure a secret stays buried.
With the noose tightening and the clock winding down to her own demise, Ezzy must come to terms with a darkness she thought she’d left behind years ago. Nightfall has come to Middleton, and she might not live to see the dawn.
Brian White has crafted a captivating tale in the new noir. Nightfall, with its crisp prose and razor-sharp dialogue, is a thrilling tale of crime and suspense that grips you by the throat and doesn’t let go until the end.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Crime, Noir, Mystery
Rating – R
More details about the author
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Copyright: A Novel #Excerpt by @LeskoLori #AmReading #Thriller #LGBT

at 11:30 AM 0 comments
“Please, I can’t catch my breath,” I gasped, reaching out to the chubby nurse.
“Just relax, sweetie, I have some medicine that will calm you right down and you’ll go to la-la land.” She smirked as she inserted the meds into my IV. Three minutes later, I inaugurated her as my new best friend. Oh, such a beautiful place la-la land was. Heart attack, what heart attack? I felt much better; there was no need to angy-plasty-wasty me. I wanted to move in here permanently. Karen, the kids and I, we’d be just fine and dandy right here.
All of a sudden, a pair of bright blue eyes filled my vision. I glanced down and saw Karen’s cleavage spilling out of her sleeveless white shirt.
“Babe! How do you feel? You scared the shit out of me!”
“Karen, hey Karen, I can see your boobies,” I laughed hysterically.
“Christ, what did they give you?” Her tone suddenly became quite parental.
“Wait, where are the kids?” I asked, in a moment of clarity.
“Danny is out in the waiting room, and Kira is at Stacey’s house.”
“Yes, muffin, Stacey from next door,” she responded.
The chubby nurse re-entered my room and began to look more and more like a pink bunny rabbit. “Okay, it’s time to go, say your goodbyes.”
“Wait!” I screamed. “Karen, come here.”
“I’m right here, babe.”
“Karen, don’t call me muffin anymore.”
“Okay,” Karen said with a giggle and a kiss on my lips.
“I love you,” I said as the chubby nurse and a male attendee pushed me on my gurney out into the hall toward my next destination. I stared up at the glaring light fixtures, still gleefully high from whatever the chubby nurse had given me. I seriously must find out her name before I go home so I can thank her for taking me to la-la land. I looked to my left as I moved down the corridor and saw other patients’ rooms. People of various ages and colors watched me passing by. Time seemed to be moving in slow motion.
There was a man in his seventies with his eyes closed. How anyone slept with all this noisy clatter, I had no clue. Oh God, I hope he wasn’t dead. Around the corner, a little boy screamed bloody murder as a doctor tried to examine his arm. Mid-scream, the young lad glanced my way and I contorted my face and stuck out my tongue. He stopped screaming for a moment, then continued on his rant, even louder than before. I’d probably scared him for life with the way I looked.
I noticed one of my wrists not attached to any device. I waved as people walked by me. Eventually, a man dressed in blue scrubs looked down at me when we passed by each other.
“Give me five,” I yelled at him and placed my hand up. He laughed and gently slapped me back.
“That’s what I’m talking about!” I screamed in medicated bliss. We reached the elevator, and I tried to sit up. “Can I push the buttons?” I’d clearly regressed to a five-year-old girl.
“Yeah, Valium works on them every time,” said the chubby nurse. The male attendee nodded in agreement. They were acting like I wasn’t even there, or fucking deaf.
“I can hear you, you know,” I said, addressing the issue.
“We know, sweetie, and we’ll have you up in the OR in a second.” Forget about thanking the chubby nurse or finding out her name, I no longer cared about her, even though she had provided the wondrous meds. Wait a minute, should I even be on them? Surely, they had received my history from Karen? The elevator door opened and I heard more glass doors slide. I lay back and closed my eyes, while fear and anxiety rose once more. They mentioned I’d had a heart attack. Did that mean I had a broken heart?
“Amber Tyler,” announced the chubby nurse as she handed me off to the crowd of masked strangers in the brightly lit room.
“Hello, Amber, how are you doing right now? My name is Dr. Peterson. I’ll be assisting Dr. Casey,” said a man wrapped up in blue. He had elephant ears and wore glasses. That was all I could tell about him. Having a doctor with impaired vision assisting my heart surgeon didn’t fill me with a ton of confidence. Yes, this had my dream team written all over it.
A weird face filled my vision, again, all masked up. “Are you comfortable, Amber?” I recognized Dr. Casey’s voice once more.
“I guess so,” I replied apprehensively.
“Let me know if you’re in any pain, we’re going to go through your groin with a tiny tube up to your heart,” Dr. Casey said.
“Really? That’s how my girlfriend does it. Only she doesn’t have to medicate me first.” Had I actually just said that? Apparently I had, because the room broke out into laughter. Amber Tyler, ladies and gentlemen, make sure you tip your waiters. Author by day and comedienne by night.
I peered up at the monitor that was guiding the doctors. But I didn’t understand quite what I was looking at.
“There, right there, do you see it?” Dr. Casey asked.
“See what?” I inquired.
“Sorry, I was talking to Dr. Peterson,” he responded.
Both doctors moved over to the monitor and turned it away from me. Okay, officially fucking scared now! Anyone want to tell me what’s going on? Why were the two men in charge of my life pointing worriedly at the screen? Talk to me, people, remember me, the patient?
“What’s happening?” I asked.
They ignored me for a second. Then Dr. Casey walked over to me cautiously. Somehow I knew I wouldn’t like what he had to say. Be nice to me, I thought, you’re talking to a woman who’s got a bad ticker.

Amber Tyler is living every author’s dream: her books are all best sellers and she writes full time. She has worked hard and is well-accomplished in her career, and she has the support and love of her beautiful children and girlfriend. 

But the dream soon turns into a terrible nightmare when her latest manuscript is stolen. She decides to fight for what is rightfully hers, only to find that the harder she tries, the easier it all slips through her fingers, putting her career, her family, and her life in jeopardy.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Lori Lesko on Facebook & Twitter

Beyond Neanderthal by Brian Bloom @BrianB_Aust #AmReading #Thriller #GoodReads

at 9:30 AM 0 comments
Visit to a Blue Amber Mine
As Tara alighted from the vehicle, she found herself facing a ghostly white haze of wispy, low-lying clouds that hung as if suspended in time above the undulating hilltops. The peaks rose from the variegated emerald and olive valley below and stretched into the distance amid a virginal mixture of lush equatorial undergrowth. She drew a deep, involuntary breath.

‘Wow!’ There were no other words to describe the feeling of awe-inspired privilege that washed over her. The vista was about as far removed from Central Park as a New York city skyscraper was from the little pastel coloured huts lining the Carretera Turística.

Aurelio smiled. Intuitively, he seemed to understand that the most appropriate response to this magnificent sight was silence. It was a full two minutes before Tara gathered her thoughts.

‘Let’s get going,’ she said.

They made their way carefully—gingerly climbing over dead logs, negotiating their way around rocky outcrops, and grabbing onto available plant life to steady themselves as they walked and stumbled their way towards the valley below. On either side of the track, a mixture of tall, fronded plants grew in an array of shapes and sizes beside stunted and gnarled old trees with deep green foliage. Tara thought of the trees like friendly bystanders, their leafy branches protectively shading Aurelio and her from much of the glaring sunshine above. They came across a trickling stream, which they followed for a while; Tara ever mindful and vigilant, watching for any sign of wildlife in the undergrowth. Except for the background humming of insects, the occasional noisy squawking of a flock of parrots flying past overhead and, once, the silent imprint of a shoe sole on the muddy banks of the stream, they seemed to be alone.

Then, in a clearing, they came across a group of young men standing seemingly relaxed and chatting. A few feet away, under a lean-to made of branches and palm fronds, one of them squatted while cooking something on a small paraffin or gas stove. Aurelio and Tara had arrived at the mine.
Again, there was a short conversation in Spanish. Again, there was a wrinkling of noses followed by broad smiles of understanding and agreement. There were also some side comments and laughter amongst the men. The word ‘gringa’—foreigner from America—came up a couple of times. Tara thought she also heard the words ‘bonita’, and ‘sexual’, but she couldn’t be sure. She decided to keep a slight distance for the time being. They were in the middle of nowhere, miles from the nearest civilization.

Aurelio walked back towards her. ‘They will be happy to show you around, but we should remember our time limitations. We cannot spend more that half an hour here if we are to return to Santo Domingo before dark.’

‘Are you trying to protect me from these guys?’ she asked with a smile. Aurelio looked embarrassed.

‘What’s he cooking?’ she asked to change the subject. ‘It smells great.’

‘That is called arroz con abichuelas, a mixture of rice and beans. He is probably cooking some small pieces of beef with it, but it could be any meat.’

‘Can one buy that in a restaurant in Santo Domingo?’

‘Of course, but not exactly the same. This is a local dish for locals. To sell food like this to tourists would be like offering leftovers to your guests. It would not be right. In the restaurants it is much more carefully presented and is usually served with salads.’

The word ‘dignity’ popped into Tara’s mind. Aurelio seemed to have it, and that was what she had seen on the faces of the fruit vendor and the amber polisher and, now, even the miners as she approached them. Other than their initial jocularity, they seemed to consider her as their guest and themselves as hosts who happily welcomed visitors into their world. The men were just being men.

As they approached the entrance to the mine, a happy looking miner wearing a backward facing baseball cap sat with a short-handled pick in one hand, a lump of soft rock in the other.
Hola, señorita,’ he said, grinning broadly.

She smiled back at him, lifted her hand in greeting, but continued to follow Aurelio to the mine entrance. It was like standing at the entrance to the burrow of a large animal.

Beyond Neanderthal
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Thriller
Rating – MA (15+)
More details about the author
Connect with Brian Bloom on Twitter

@MorganRichter Shares 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Charlotte Dent #ChickLit #AmReading

at 8:00 AM 0 comments
1. Great chunks of Charlotte Dent were written while I was working as a legal assistant at an insurance company in 2006. I had to cover the switchboard for an hour each day; the computer at the reception desk didn’t have Microsoft Word installed on it, so I’d open up a blank email, type my first draft directly into the body of the email while answering phones, then send the email to myself at the end of my shift.
2. Two agents from two well-established agencies simultaneously offered to represent Charlotte. I considered, then made my decision. My chosen agent and I chatted happily back and forth via email about the book for a week or two, discussing changes and strategy. He was awesome and fun! We were on the same wavelength! Then he abruptly broke off communication. Wouldn’t answer emails, wouldn’t return my calls. I waited for far too long, but I never heard from him again. I have no idea what happened; he’s still at the agency, and his reputation, as far as I can tell online, is spotless. I felt too ashamed and foolish to go back to the first agent and ask if her offer was still good, so after that promising start, I never did find an agent for Charlotte. In retrospect, this seems exactly like the kind of thing that would happen to Charlotte herself.
3. Charlotte Dent was a semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) in 2008, which was the competition’s inaugural year. Four years later, my novel Bias Cut would also become an ABNA semi-finalist. I have warm and fuzzy feelings towards ABNA.
4. As part of judging for ABNA, Publishers Weekly reviewed the then-unpublished manuscript of Charlotte Dent, very kindly calling it “a crisp, fun treatment of Hollywood life.” They also described it as “perky” and “chick lit”, which surprised me a little; I’d thought I’d written a melancholy, introspective book about fame and identity. As it turns out, I was wrong.
5. I eventually published the book myself in 2013 with my own publishing company, Luft Books.
6. The book’s theme may be found in the title: “Charlotte Dent” is a near-homophone for “charlatan.”
7. Though it deals extensively with celebrities and the film industry, Charlotte Dent is not a roman à clef: None of the characters are based on real-life individuals. Charlotte’s sometimes-boyfriend Simon probably looks a lot like Ioan Gruffudd, though.
8. Like Charlotte, I was once cast in a play that got canceled right before performances started. It was for the best; I was pretty awful in it. I had to do a fake English accent, and trust me, nobody needs to hear that.
9. Like Charlotte, I lived in Los Angeles without a car. Unlike Charlotte, I lived in Los Angeles without a car for twenty years. Los Angeles is surprisingly easy to navigate on foot.
10. Like Charlotte, I was once stopped by a famous director while I was out walking in Los Angeles. He asked if I was an actress and gave me his phone number. This is a true story! I’m not special, nor am I especially cute; this sort of thing happens in L.A. a lot. Nothing ever came of it—I think he realized pretty quickly that I would be a mediocre actress—but it made for a fun anecdote.

When struggling actress Charlotte Dent is cast as a leggy killer robot in a big, brainless summer blockbuster, the subsequent hiccup of fame sends a shock wave through her life. The perks of entry-level celebrity are balanced by the drawbacks: destructive filmmakers, online ridicule, entitled costars, and an awkward, unsatisfying relationship with the film’s fragile leading man. Self-aware to a fault, Charlotte fights to carve out a unique identity in an industry determined to categorize her as just another starlet, disposable and replaceable. But unless she can find a way to turn her small burst of good fortune into a durable career, she’s destined to sink back into obscurity.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - General Fiction, Chick Lit
Rating - PG
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#Excerpt from Heavyweight - 6 Rules for #Dating by @MBMulhall #LGBT #YA

at 7:00 AM 0 comments

SO I’VE got six rules for dating. They go like this:

 1) Never date the same person for more than one month.
2) Never date the same person twice.
3) Always behave like a gentleman, but try to remain distant and aloof.
4) Never give more than a kiss. Preferably short pecks. Definitely no tongue.
5) For the love of God, no touching breasts!
6) Always end it with an “It’s not you, it’s me” speech, highlighting her greatness while making yourself out to be the dog.

I’ve got my reasons, and these keep me sane. Keeps most of the girls from getting too attached and keeps my balls intact after I let them go.

A brunette ball of energy bounds my way, all smiles and twinkling eyes. My name is on her glossy coral lips, and her curves are probably the focus of every hot-blooded male standing on the green. 

Holding back a sigh, I open my arms to receive her, but as she’s rocketing my way, something—or actually someone—catches my attention.




Shoulder-length black hair with… are those blue stripes artfully running through it? Skin like porcelain. The sun reflects off a silver lip ring. It seems to be winking at me. Slight build, yet the skintight tee shows that he must work out.

Shit. My jaw is hanging and there is drool on my chin. My teeth snap closed, and I try to focus on the girl hugging me. Maggie’s soft body is rubbing up against mine as she greets me, but I cannot seem to avert my gaze from the new boy. Who is that Adonis?

Dream Boy turns his head and our eyes meet.

Hole-lee shit.

I swear my knees go weak. What the hell? Since when do I have lame Harlequin Romance-type reactions like that? What’s next, gushing with the girls over how hot this guy is? Somehow, I don’t think my girlfriend will appreciate that. Somehow, I don’t think anyone in this town would be down with that. Anger overtakes my lust as I picture everything I’ve worked for going down the drain thanks to this guy. I need to snap out of it.


Secrets. Their weight can be crushing, but their release can change everything—and not necessarily for the better. Ian is no stranger to secrets. Being a gay teen in a backwater southern town, Ian must keep his orientation under wraps, especially since he spends a lot of time with his hands all over members of the same sex, pinning their sweaty, hard bodies to the wrestling mat.

When he’s trying not to stare at teammates in the locker room, he’s busy hiding another secret—that he starves himself so he doesn’t get bumped to the next weight class.

Enter Julian Yang, an Adonis with mesmerizing looks and punk rocker style. Befriending the flirtatious artist not only raises suspicion among his classmates, but leaves Ian terrified he’ll give in to the desires he’s fought to ignore.

As secrets come to light, Ian’s world crumbles. Disowned, defriended, and deserted by nearly everyone, Ian’s one-way ticket out of town is revoked, leaving him trapped in a world he hates—and one that hates him back.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - LGBT, YA
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
 Connect with MB Mulhall on Facebook Twitter

Friday, July 25, 2014

STORM WITHOUT END #Excerpt (Requiem for the Rift King) by @RJ_Blain #Fantasy #BookClub

at 12:30 PM 0 comments
“Sometimes something is so absurd that it can be nothing but the truth.”
Kalen huffed a laugh. It was evasion at its best, and it told him more than he suspected the other man wanted him to learn. Marist had seen the sigil before, which put the young man in a role of power. As the Rift King, his role in the ongoing disputes between the Kingdoms was one that most didn’t like to think about.
Bully. Enforcer. Violent mediator. Monster needing to be caged.
That meant that while people were aware that a Rift King existed, few could recognize the mark or what his real role was. He’d heard some of the rumors about himself. Some of them were even accurate, but he didn’t have a taste for human flesh, despite common belief. After seeing so many dead men, he didn’t even like meat all that much anymore, not that meat was plentiful within the Rift.
He also didn’t share his bed with any of his horses, although he had to chase his stallion out of his study whenever the handlers didn’t manage to secure Ferethian’s stall door. It didn’t help that the small stallion was as clever as he was stubborn.
A surge of loneliness tightened his chest. Ferethian, Honey, and the rest of his herd was fine. If any one of them died, he’d know, just as he had known when Tavener had died so many years before.
Kalen stretched to hide the nature of his grimace.
“What would happen if you died here in Kelsh?” Derac asked him in a whisper.
Kalen pressed his lips together. It was an answer Derac wouldn’t like. He knew it, but gave it anyway. “They’d Ride.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You don’t want to know.” That much was the truth. It made him glad that he couldn’t hear the song of the ancestors like some could, but he’d been told even they stilled at the very mention of the Ride.
Marist rejoined them. “We can use the well in the back to clean off. They only had a few free rooms so some of us will have to share.”
“We’ll deal with it,” Derac said. “But first, time to get this filth off.”
Kalen nodded his agreement. The mud that wasn’t dried was sticky, and the mud that had dried cracked and pulled at his skin. The naked dagger bounced against the side of his leg with each step. While he had managed to slip the blade through one of the corded loops attached to his belt, it wasn’t the same as having a proper weapon at his side.
Maybe it was a good thing he’d lost his boots. At least he wouldn’t have to clean them. Marist led them around the building to a covered stone well ringed by trees. Kalen limped after them and watched as Derac and Marist went to work hauling buckets of water from the depths.
The other three, still nameless and refused to speak or look at him in the eye, helped at pulling up water. They didn’t ask for his help and Kalen didn’t volunteer.

Kalen’s throne is his saddle, his crown is the dirt on his brow, and his right to rule is sealed in the blood that stains his hand. Few know the truth about the one-armed Rift King, and he prefers it that way. When people get too close to him, they either betray him or die. The Rift he rules cares nothing for the weak. More often than not, even the strong fail to survive.
When he’s abducted, his disappearance threatens to destroy his home, his people, and start a hopeless and bloody war. There are many who desire his death, and few who hope for his survival. With peace in the Six Kingdoms quickly crumbling, it falls on him to try to stop the conflict swiftly taking the entire continent by storm.
But something even more terrifying than the machinations of men has returned to the lands: The skreed. They haven’t been seen for a thousand years, and even the true power of the Rift King might not be enough to save his people — and the world — from destruction.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG – 13
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Connect with RJ Blain on Facebook and Twitter

The Forgotten Child by Lorhainne Eckhart @LEckhart #Romance #Contemporary #AmReading

at 9:00 AM 0 comments
“Please sit down, Emily.” He extended out the flat of his hand, very much in control.

“Ah, thank you.” She perched on the edge of the soft leather seat across from a man who was too damn good to look at—a man obviously comfortable in his own skin.

Hardness set his jaw as he studied her. The tick of the wall clock seemed to echo in the silence, and Emily squirmed in her seat. Why was he looking at her like that? Maybe it was her outrageous entrance and he was wondering what kind of kook she was, whether he could entrust her with his child. Yes, that had to be it.

She swallowed hard. “I’m Emily Nelson; I talked to you yesterday on the phone about the job.”
He blinked before closing those exquisite eyes, as if he’d forgotten the reason she was here. When he opened them again, his hard judgmental expression seemed to have softened a bit.

Again he extended his large hand, taking hers in a firm grip. Just the touch of his solid calloused hand and the secure squeeze was enough to teeter her nerves back to that awkward woman at the door. She wondered what it would be like to have a man like this run his hands over you. She snatched her hand back before her face burned any brighter. Finally, he introduced himself. “The name’s Brad Friessen.” Emily kept quiet. He didn’t run on with his words. He must be a deep thinker, a doer. She could relate to that… but not to him. Her sly eyes glanced down at his left hand: no gold band, no white line, no wife or significant other. Or maybe he was one of those arrogant guys who wouldn’t wear a ring, a lady’s man. He had the looks and the attitude. Now was the time to ask about the woman who answered the phone when she called. Who was she?

“This is a working ranch I run, and I need a woman to look after my son. I’m old fashioned in my values. Children should be at home, not stuck in daycare. I’m looking for someone who’s comfortable in a kitchen and looking after children: a role that should come natural to a woman. I don’t want someone who’s got the phone stuck to their ear half the day. It’s a decent job and good pay; $500 a week, room and board, and includes all your meals.”

Her heart sank about the same time the bottom dropped out of her stomach. It was too good to be true. She wanted to cry. “But I… I have a little girl, I didn’t realize–”

His face hardened and he looked away. For some reason he was angry with her… no, furious. Emily didn’t know what to say when he let out a heavy sigh. He closed his eyes, rubbing his hand over the light brown shadow that appeared over his jaw. Then he faced her again, with those deep brown eyes now turned to steel. Emily saw that he could be a hard man.

Lorhainne Eckhart
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Western Romance
Rating – PG
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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sunspots by @KarenSueBell - 3.5 STARS - #AmReading #Romance #ReviewShare

at 10:30 AM 0 comments
SunspotsSunspots by Karen S. Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall rating based on plot, characters and writing
3.5 stars

Initial thoughts - I was lured by the romance cum magical realism premise of the book. I thought I was getting a woman scorned who was going to react. Not quite.

Pros - The romance - magical realism parts of the book were strong and these were the plot times I enjoyed the most. The back and forth 'memories' that enabled the readers to explore the lead character's relationship with her now dead husband was also a good touch.

Cons - Where do I begin? The lead character was the most irritating lead I have read in a book. She whines. She moans. She's got her priorities all mixed up. God forbid this character was actually based on a real person. Long winded writing and an irritating character. Definitely a book that is not for all readers.

In the end, I say - Good but don't expect anything fantastic.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

View all my reviews

Lethal Greed (Greed Series #2) by @JWMefford #NewRelease #SummerOfGreed #Suspense

at 9:30 AM 0 comments
Lethal Greed (Greed Series #2)Lethal Greed by John W. Mefford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Overall rating based on plot, characters and writing
5 stars

Initial thoughts - You know that opening scene in Revenge 3 when Emily gets shot and you jump a teensy bit. That is what the opening chapter did to me. It doesn't make sense AT ALL. But when Mefford links it all, prepare to be mind blown.

Pros - Easily everything about this book. Writing that rocks and a plot that makes your heart go ba-dump. Mefford doesn't waste his time beating around the bush. Here's the plot, let's go and then you don't know what hit you. The depiction of drug use was scary. The twists and turns about how illicit drugs actually end up with a teenager was even worse.

Cons - 1. Some of the dialogue was stilted. 2. Apparently we have to wait a whole month for the next book. Humbug.

In the end, I say - Go get this book NOW. If you like suspense, thrillers or mysteries, you will like both books in the Greed Series.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Scott Moon Opens Up About Intimate Scenes in #SciFi @ScottMoonWriter #WriteTip #AmReading

at 9:30 AM 0 comments
The Best Advice
At the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., 2013, Patrick Rothfuss (bestselling author of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear) suggested writing sex scenes can be difficult. Someone asked, “How do you know when a scene is too much.”
Rothfuss said when the reader can tell the author was touching himself or herself while creating the scene, it’s probably too much.
If I remember correctly, this was something he had heard before, so I don’t know if I can quote him, but the point remains valid. In science fiction, the expectations differ from that of a romance or erotic novel. Breaking the rules can alienate or even offend readers. Ultimately, each scene must do a job. If a dash of something beyond the genre-wall is needed, then it must go in.
A Humble Example
To date, I have not attempted to write erotica, but some of my stories have moments, ahem, that are more adult than others. To compound the risks I took in this novel, one of the genre-testers comes on page one. Here is the opening line from an early draft of Enemy of Man:
KIN ROLAND left Laura’s house hung-over, well sexed, and feeling dirty. He was bound by few rules on this planet, but the most important was to avoid drinking with Laura Keen.
An Editor Put on the Brakes
My editor thought this risked giving the reader the wrong idea. Unable to completely abandon the scene I envisioned, I rewrote page one many times. Here is the result:
HEROES weren’t sealed in space caskets and launched into the void—not while they were still breathing. Kin shuddered. Memories came at night; they came with regrets, fears, and nightmares only a man buried alive could understand. Heroes destroyed the enemy. Heroes saved the day and died before they could wear medals or explain what it was like to shed the blood of millions.
This room is too dark.
Kin needed to go outside and look at the sky, but the wormhole song, the distant groaning of a universe unraveling, reminded him of Hellsbreach—gunfire, plasma bolts, and nuclear explosions on the horizon. Better to dream of Becca, though she was the reason he volunteered for the campaign.
“Stop thinking of her,” Laura said.
Kin sat up in bed, dropped his feet to the floor, and watched her drift back to sleep. Her chest rose and fell, a silk sheet accentuating her curves. Her eyes began to move under her eyelids.
“You don’t even know who she is.” He ran a finger behind Laura’s ear and down her neck until she giggled in her sleep. He smiled. “I can share anything with you in moments like these.” He slowly pulled the sheet lower and she didn’t stir.
Laura would like the game—exposing her skin to the night air and staring until she sensed his attention and awoke, but he stopped, reaching to cup the side of her face instead. Lust didn’t mix well with the darkness still in his mind.
“I’d fail again, given the same choice. Could you commit genocide, Laura?” he asked.
“Hmm?” She struggled to open her eyes, it seemed, but pushed him clumsily away with one hand as she rolled onto her stomach, twisting the sheets as she moved.
“I still love her. You know that, right?” Kin said.
Motionless on the bed, Laura seemed not to breathe. The wormhole that dipped into the atmosphere quieted. Silence spread across the planet. Sea birds called to each other and waves gently touched the beach.
Let’s Talk about
This may not be a classic love scene, but is an example of something different from most science fiction I’ve read. The boundaries between genres seem to fade with each passing year. It’s a good thing. Like most writers, I read far and wide, and hope some of it finds its way into my stories.
I’d love to hear comments and discussion on breaking genre boundaries. Please recommend books I may not have considered, but might like to read. And, as always, I’m active on twitter at

Lost Hero

Changed by captivity and torture, hunted by the Reapers of Hellsbreach and wanted by Earth Fleet, Kin Roland hides on a lost planet near an unstable wormhole.

When a distant space battle propels a ravaged Earth Fleet Armada through the same wormhole, a Reaper follows, hunting for the man who burned his home world. Kin fights to save a mysterious native of Crashdown from the Reaper and learns there are worse things in the galaxy than the nightmare hunting him. The end is coming and he is about to pay for a sin that will change the galaxy forever. 


Enemy of Man: Book One in the Chronicles of Kin Roland was written for fans of military science fiction and science fiction adventure. Readers who enjoyed Starship Troopers or Space Marines will appreciate this genre variation. Powered armor only gets a soldier so far. Battlefield experience, guts, and loyal friends make Armageddon fun. 


If you love movies like Aliens, Predator, The Chronicles of Riddick, or Serenity, then you might find the heroes and creatures in Enemy of Man dangerous, determined, and ready to risk it all. It’s all about action and suspense, with a dash of romance—or perhaps flash romance. 

From the Author

Thanks for your interest in my novel, Enemy of Man. I hope you chose to read the book and enjoy every page. 

If you have already read Enemy of Man, how was it? Reviews are appreciated! 

Have a great day and be safe.
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Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – R
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