Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Limited Time FREE Offer!

The Shell Keeper is FREE on Kindle today through September 23. If you haven't read it yet now's the perfect time!

Click HERE to find it on Amazon. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Short and Sweet Review: Crosstalk by Connie Willis

I’m a huge Connie Willis fan. There’s no arguing Willis knows her genre as one of the most award winning Sci-Fi authors out there (Nebula, Hugo, etc.) I’m particularly fond of her time-travel adventures. I can’t imagine anyone who does it better with books that are chocked full of fascinating history (i.e  Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, Blackout, etc.)—my mind is boggled by the extensive research she must have done to prepare to tackle some of these subjects (The Black Plague, Victorian England, The Blitz!). But she knows how it’s done.

Clearly this latest, Crosstalk, took some in-depth research to understand the concepts and history behind the science and myth that propels this tale of a near future where a small implant in our brains can ramp up the emotional ties between two people. But Ms. Willis is creating a future, not tweaking a past, and sometimes that works and still works, but it puts her readers to the test, as she does this time around.

Our heroine, Briddey, is persuaded by what she thinks is love to receive a surgical implant that will enhance her empathetic connection to her co-worker and (hopefully) soon-to-be fiancĂ©, Trent. But there’s more going on with Trent’s proposal than she realizes and she soon discovers why the company geek, C.B., tried so hard to persuade her from having the procedure done. Briddey finds herself connected to a whole lot more than Trent’s emotions, but she’s also finding out who really cares about her, and what real love truly means.

Great concept, right? But throw in the MOST annoying family and co-workers, mix with more guessing and second guessing and interrupting just when a character is about to reveal vital info (MULTIPLE times!), and stir it all together with far more words than are necessary and you have a recipe to stress and challenge even the most ardent Connie Willis fan. But I persevered! And I was glad to finally reach the end and a satisfying conclusion, if not also one constantly interrupted by another family member!  (I get it...maybe all this confusion is designed to make us feel some of what Briddey feels, but still...). 

So here's my advice about this book. If you love Connie Willis read it-you gotta, it’s part of the package of being a fan. If you love Sci-Fi in general, you might love this. We’re not talking Classic Sci-Fi here (Dune, War of the Worlds, 1984), it’s a future that’s right around the corner...but contemporary references probably will date this book in an equally not too distant future.  If you love characters-and relationships-worth rooting for, this fits the bill too. But if you don’t have patience with a little more of the written word than really is necessary and endless rehashing of facts and science...maybe you should start with Doomsday Book. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Shell Keeper, Book 1 of The Keeper Series, Gets a NEW Cover!

I am so excited to share the new cover for The Shell Keeper, Book 1 of The Keeper Series!

Julie Beckett of JuJuBeckCreative has designed this lovely new cover, as well as the previously posted cover for its upcoming sequel, The Road Back to Grace.
I LOVE it and hope you do too.

Click on think on the side bar to find The Shell Keeper on Amazon and don't forget to click on the 'Look Inside' feature to see the beautifully designed new interior of the book, courtesy of Jennifer Jakes at The Killion Group.

Altogether, I'm so excited for you to see the new books and hope you'll enjoy reading them. Watch for an update soon about the release date for The Road Back to Grace.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Short and Sweet Review: The Queen's Accomplice: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal

The Queen's Accomplice is the 6th book in the Maggie Hope Mystery series. I gave this one 4 rather than 5 stars because it was a little gruesome and gory in spots. This series can be counted on to build tension--it has some real 'thriller' moments, but this particular book went a little over the line with details, I thought. Just a warning, in case you don't want those visual images in your life.

Aside from that, it's a great book and moves Maggie's story forward nicely. The setting is WWII London and a Jack the Ripper wanna-be is on the loose and terrorizing the women who have volunteered for duty in the secret section of undercover warfare in which Maggie is, by this time, a seasoned veteran. Maggie, of course, is the perfect person to team with Scotland Yard to hunt down the serial killer...and maybe become a target herself.

In Germany, Maggie's half-sister has been temporarily released from the hellish confines of Ravensbruck concentration camp. But will she cooperate with the Nazis to gain her permanent freedom? Meanwhile, at Maggie's behest, Churchill has sent Free French forces to rescue her...if they can convince her that's what she wants.

The action flips from England to Germany to other locales where Maggie's friends prepare for their own under-cover French mission. Ultimately, Maggie must turn to the Queen for help, but that's really setting up the next book, so, my biggest question is, why is it called The Queen's Accomplice? It would have made more sense to call it Scotland Yard's Accomplice, but maybe that just one mystery the book leaves unsolved.

The rest are well played and if you are at all involved, you will absolutely pick up the the 7th book in the series, The Paris Spy, to find out what happens next. If this series is new to you, I highly recommend it. Start with Mr. Churchill's Secretary. There are several books out already and they are all great reads. Enjoy!

Monday, August 7, 2017

New Cover! New Book Coming Soon!

I'm so excited to share the cover for my new book, A Road Back to Grace. Isn't it beautiful? The lovely and talented Julie Becket at JuJuBeckCreative is the artist and designer.

A Road Back to Grace is the sequel to the Amazon 5 Star Reviewed The Shell Keeper, and Book 2 in The Keeper Series, though it can definitely stand on it's own, if you haven't read the others. Here's a little info on what to expect....

Claire left real estate and came to Colorado’s wine country to escape and find some well needed R&R. A violent assault that almost ended her life left her feeling adrift in her early 40’s, unsure which path to take next. 

Her friends encourage and support her, though empty-nester Gwen is busy with a new bakery and single-mom Del is dealing with a very confusing love-life.

Friends, yoga and too much gardening can only go so far. Not to mention a great guy named Bob whose winery takes up more and more of his time. Enter two sweet, little old ladies who live down the road and need her help. Or is it the other way around?

Claire’s rest and relaxation is coming to an end, but will she return to the bleak inner landscape of her old life, or can she step away from the pain of her cynical past and embrace a new life she never expected to want so badly?

I'll be announcing it's publication very soon, so be sure to follow my blog for updates! Plus, CLICK HERE to see Julie's gorgeous new cover for The Shell Keeper! (Let me know what you think-I always love hearing from you!) 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Short and Sweet Review: A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch

As all readers know, it’s no fun when you come to the end of a good series and feel adrift in your lifeboat of literature, searching for the next thing to read. So I’m throwing out a lifeline with A Beautiful Blue Death, the first in the Charles Lenox mystery series by Charles Finch.

Set in Victorian England, Charles is a gentleman of the upper class with Parliamentary aspirations who has discovered he has a real talent as a detective. With time and means to pursue this talent he’s already earned a reputation among his peers-and Scotland Yard-for both good and bad outcomes. But he knows his way is the way of the future so, invited or not, he doesn’t stop until the crime is solved.

In this case, the crime is the mysterious poisoning of a housemaid in the home of one of London’s most powerful political players. The suspects are many, as are potential motives. But Lenox persists, with the help of his friend, Dr. Thomas McConnell, and in spite of personal danger and a second murder. 

His neighbor and lifelong friend, Lady Jane, is a frequent companion with a great interest in Charles’ activities and well-being. Readers will wonder if something deeper is developing between these two and it very well may be.

Along the way readers are treated to a fun education in Victorian England. If you are a history buff as well as a lover of a good mystery, this one’s a page turner. And the good news is, once you turn the last page, there are nine more books to go.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Short and Sweet Review: Rescuing the Earl by Lana Williams

This is the third installment of Lana William’s Seven Curses of London series and in my opinion she just gets better and better with each new installment. So far we’ve met wounded warrior Nathaniel Hawke and reclusive scholar Oliver, Viscount Frost. Both were men whose spirits were deeply injured but who found happiness with strong women willing to fight for their love.

In Rescuing the Earl we follow Nathaniel’s older brother, Tristan Hawke, the Earl of Adair.  His black temper has given him a reputation and also a burden—carrying on the legacy of an unloving father whose dark temperament continues on in his eldest son. 

To keep the one thing in his life that matters most--a property that gives him solace and peace but that is entailed to someone else if Tristan doesn’t marry by his next birthday--Tristan has proposed to a shrewish woman, Lady Samantha.  He is determined that her own bad nature is the only one tough enough to withstand the wrath of Tristan’s darkest moments.

Then, he literally runs into the widowed Grace and her young son Matthew. They are fleeing a devious relative who plots Matthew’s demise in order to inherit his title and estate. Tristan finds himself compelled to help them and, in the process, drawn more and more to the lovely widow and her delightful son.

As with other books in this series, there are complications connected with the social issues that plaque the London of the era. As a reader I was intrigued by the blossoming relationship between Grace and Tristan and anxious to see how they would surmount the hurdles that entangled their lives. The characters were interesting and complex, as was their relationship. If historical romance is your cup of tea, I highly recommend Rescuing the Earl.