Saturday, June 30, 2012

Flash Fiction from Peggy Browning

This week for the MK Virtual Blog Tour, I'm pleased to welcome Peggy Browning. Our group did a flash fiction thing. Ms. Browning writes fiction for women over 50, and this is what she came up with from this picture. Ms. Browning, thumbs up to you for writing what you do.

"First, let me express my sincere thanks to Tara Chevrestt for hosting me on her blog this week for the Tasha Turner Coaching Virtual Blog Tour. Thank you, Tara! I appreciate your hard work and your generosity in sharing your blog!

 Our assignment was to write a Flash Fiction piece inspired by a picture. When I saw this picture, I knew I had to write about it. I write for women over age 50.  This is a picture of all my character desires: peace, love, joy. And isn’t that what we all desire, no matter what our age?"

So here goes:

I hesitated before opening the door and asked myself if I really wanted to do this.

Oh, for Pete’s sake, I answered myself. Don’t be silly.

You’re a grown woman. Go inside. It’s your birthday present to yourself, after all.
No one else knows you well enough to buy it for you.

No one. Not one person knew me that well, especially not Dave, my husband of 30 years.

The brass prayer bells jangled when I opened the door. It had been over 30 years since I’d last been in the local head shop. Of course, now the High Flyer had added the words “specialty store” to its sign on the wall outside to convince the police that it offered more than rolling papers and bongs.

Other than the name, not much had changed in the tidy little shop since the last time I’d visited. Funny…the last time I’d been in here I was shopping for a birthday present. I bought Dave a Pink Floyd poster for his 21st birthday.

Mellow incense wafted through the air. Hookahs were displayed on the walls behind gleaming glass counters filled with artsy looking glass pipes. Decorative swords and martial arts equipment hung neatly on the opposite wall behind the racks of tie-dyed tee shirts. Tarot cards and crystals occupied a long display case next to shelves filled with incense sticks and cones. Good marketing technique demanded that the teakwood burners were close by. Teas, cigars, and herbal remedies all had their place on the spotless shelves.

 A balding man sporting a long gray ponytail approached me when I stopped at the display of DVDs.  Embarrassed when I realized they were all rated XXX, I looked up and saw the bigger than life size dildos stored above the porn behind locked glass doors.

Well damn, I thought. Maybe some things had changed. I sure didn’t remember those from my last visit!

“Can I help you find something?” the old hippie asked.

I blushed.

“Uh…yes,” I said. “I want to buy a poster.”

“Anything special in mind?” he smiled.

“The one in the window,” I said. “I noticed it yesterday when I drove past here on my way to work.”

“It’s just the right thing to put over my desk,” I added.

“Hendrix? Yeah…that’s a great one,” he said.

“Um, no. The circle colored blue and purple and green,” I answered.

“Oh, that one!” he said. “It’s not a poster. It’s one of my originals…on canvas. Yeah. I like that one too.”

He walked over to the window, lifted the fabric backdrop and pulled the painted canvas out. He handed it to me.

My hand shook a little when I took it. Yes. This was just what I wanted. I didn’t know it until I saw it yesterday, but I had wanted this exact thing for a very long time. The circle was painted in swirly greens and blues and purples, yellows and browns on a background of pale gray. Encircling the design were the words peace, joy, intuition, love, gratitude, compassion.

These were all the things, the feelings, I wanted. I had them all once. And I wanted them back.

“It’s beautiful,” I said. “I’ll take it.”

The graying shopkeeper led me to the back counter where the cash register was located. While he wrapped the painting I listened to his partner, a man with a shaved, tattooed head and nose ring give instructions to another customer.

“So, you take this 48 hours before your physical. You can’t eat any fats or dairy products and you gotta drink at least two gallons of water after you take it…over that 48 hours,” the tattooed man explained. “Then you should be rid of all your “toxins” before you have to take your piss test.”

The customer nodded solemnly.

“That’s $81.19,” my helper said.

Oh, shoot. I hadn’t even asked the price.

“How much was the painting?” I asked.

“Seventy-five. With tax,” he said.

 I winced. I only had a twenty on me. Then I took Dave’s MasterCard from my purse and handed it to him. It seemed a small price to pay for everything I wanted.

“Thanks,” I said.

“It’s my birthday present to me,” I said. “I’m 50 today.”

“Well, happy birthday to you!” the shopkeeper smiled. “You don’t look a day over 49!”

I blushed again.

Back at home, I pulled the framed photograph of Dave and me from the wall above my desk and hung the painting in its place.

It was just a painting to remind me of all that I desired. I wanted to have it all again.

 It was just a painting, but it was a pretty good start. 
More about Peggy:
Peggy Browning is a writer who views her life after age 50 through rose-colored bifocals. She writes about issues facing the boomer crowd with humor and wit. She has reinvented herself many times through life’s exciting adventures, varied jobs and diverse careers. She’s been a special education teacher, social worker, waitress, newspaper carrier,  newspaper correspondent, fruit stand owner, nurse’s aide, janitor and  writer/entrepreneur. And that’s just a few of the jobs she’s been paid to do during her first 5 decades…Catch her musings about life after 50 on her blog at her website,, her opinion column and feature news stories at, and blogs at and Visit her Facebook page at

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Virgin Huntress by Victoria Vane

The Virgin Huntress (The Devil DeVere #2)Regency romances are just simpering, weak heroines, right? NOT so! Victoria Vane introduces Lady Vesta...a young woman determined to prove she is a young woman and a young woman who will not take no for an answer. And she wants Hew, Devil DeVere's brother.
When he seems immune to her charms, Vest takes over DeVere's boat as well as Hew...against his will.

I won't say much about this, only that it was FUN, delightful, and humorous. And the most touching thing of all: they're both virgins.

Available from Breathless Press: HERE

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The House of Serenades by Lina Simoni

The House of SerenadesThis is a historical mystery/romance that takes place in Genoa, Italy. It's about class, greed, and most of all: how pride can be one's downfall.

The mystery involves the patriarch of a family and his dirty secrets. Most of the entire family is guilty of something. He casts aside his "save" the family name. His wife turns the other cheek to save her own reputation. His son does the unspeakable. His daughter falls in love with a man of low class...a baker! And the aunt is ridiculously crushed when the you know what hits the fan. The family's name is now in the gutter! The world is over! There's a doctor involved as well...and what starts as a good deed becomes a question into greedy madness and he's soon embroiled with this crazy family too.

There is such a thing as too much pride.

The love story is Caterina and the poor baker. Both handle their love in different ways. Can persistence conquer all? Can love?

Very intriguing and I appreciated the moral. But...there was a lot of telling and the narrative at times went on and on and on without a break for a few pages.

I also grew a bit irritated at times, found the love story slightly comical, overblown. The mystery, secrets, and moral about pride is what kept me glued.

Three bikes.

I received this from  the author via a PR company.

Cool Off With a Holiday Read!

Operation: Enduring SantaIt's that time's HOT. You sit by the pool, slurp a tropical drink, fan yourself, and still, you sweat like crazy.

Cool off with Christmas story! Though, I confess the tale takes place in Iraq, it has a strong holiday theme, and holidays always make one think of snow and if you get tired of the hot summer, go to Amazon and nab my Christmas story. Some of you have waited a year for it.

USAF fighter pilot Janet Kerrigan is not having a good Christmas. It's bad enough she is stationed in Balad Air Base, Iraq and away from her three-year-old son, but to make matters worse, she has to spend her Christmas day on Combat Air Patrol. 

A friend and fellow pilot tells her to make new Christmas memories, and much to Janet's surprise, she does, though not the kind of memories she expects. While flying her F-16 Fighting Falcon in the Iraqi skies, Janet is faced with a difficult choice: follow orders and have the glory or ruin her Air Force career to save Christmas for boys and girls everywhere. 

“Medusa, Pancho, this is Base Command. We’ve got an unknown object showing up on radar, 116 nautical miles to the northeast. Be prepared to engage.”
Janet frowned. An unknown object, a bogey? Most of the Iraqi Air Force was destroyed at this point. She quickly glanced at her heads-up display and scanned her information. Altitude: 20,438 feet, air speed: 424 mph, compass: east, bogey: check. Janet’s breath caught at the sight of the tiny dot on her HUD. What the hell? Where did he come from? She watched the moving dot and felt her heartbeat spike. “Base, this is Medusa. Unknown object alert acknowledged and verified. Preparing to approach and engage target upon visual ID.” Switching frequencies, she attempted to reach her wingman. “Pancho, this is Medusa. You got the bogey?”
There was only static in reply. Janet frowned again before pressing her communication button. “Medusa calling Pancho. What’s your location?”
A few seconds passed before she heard a crackling response. “Medusa, this is Pancho. I’m eighteen nautical miles to the west of you. Having some difficulties.” Was that fear in her wingman’s voice?
“What kind of difficulties?” Janet kept one eye on the dot, and remembering her orders, prepared to approach the bogey. Nothing bogey-like was visible outside of her 360 degree cockpit yet. According to the HUD, the bogey was still 100 nautical miles away. She placed her right hand on her side-stick controller and pressed against it slightly. Janet applied pressure to the left rudder with her foot, commanding her flight control system, FLCS, to make the necessary manipulations to the aircraft. With her left hand, she controlled the engine throttle. The vibration of her Falcon increased with the speed. She felt a trickle of sweat near her eye under her visor. She was going after the bogey.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Where Does the Nook Take Scott Seldon?

Scott Seldon
This week on the MK Virtual Blog Tour, I have Scott Seldon here to talk about what book he is currently reading and what he thinks of it.

Cover for 'Well of Dreams'
Scott's Book
"I’ve read a lot of books through the years, but these days, with a full time job, a family, and a writing career on the side, I have very little time. That means I am somewhat picky about what I read. I am currently working on two novels. The first one is a classic, Les Miserables, which I have loaded on my phone. I’ve read it before and it probably is going to take me a long time at the rate I’m going, but at least I can’t get lost since I know the story very well. It gives me something to read on the go.

I received a Nook last Christmas as to innagurate it, I loaded some books some of my fellow independent writers have released. The first one in the queue, which I hope to finish soon, is Viridis by Calista Taylor. It is a steampunk novel set in a Victorian England complete with airships.

I’m rather enjoying reading a book by someone I know, it’s a different experience. In this day and age, saying you know someone needs some explaination. I know Calista from her online presence and we have discussed quite a number of topics. I wasn’t one of her beta readers, but I did give her some input on the cover. Viridis is her first book and is part of a series. The second book, Devil on a Sparrow's Wing, is currently available as are a couple other books.
I’m really enjoying her writing style and her ability to tell a story. She has an excellent knack of weaving her world building into the story and not dumping too much information at once. And not only is the setting steampunk, the book has several steamy love scenes. Steamy enough that it rates an adult content warning, but not gratuitous. They further the story and are necessary to understand the characters. I am looking forward to having some time this summer to sit down and finish this book and get to the others on my list."
What's on Scott's  Nook

Scott Seldon lives with his family in Colorado and works as an IT administrator. Visit his website ( for the latest updates and to find where his books are sold.
Find out more about Calista Taylor, Viridis, and her other books at

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fairy Tail by Andrew P. Weston

Fairy TailThis one shocked me, but I'm also tickled pink someone else wrote something that could be classified erotic noir.

You've got a detective investigating a crime and he's oh so full of himself, and this being a first person narrative, you would think that would be irritating, but it wasn't. The guy made me chuckle a few times with his blatant honesty and sarcasm.

"If you get on the wrong side of me, the only thing you'll hear going bump in the night is my fist repeatedly hitting your face."

The case: Once year, before Halloween,  like clockwork, someone commits a series of gruesome murders. They tear the bodies apart, pin the flesh to the wall with the ribs, and dance in the blood...and somehow disappear without a trace or a footprint.

Can he figure out whodunnit and how in time? And oh, how a man's dick can get him into trouble... That is all I'm gonna say. It's a short story and I risk revealing too much. But I will say it's incredibly daring and the sex is hot. Thumbs up, Mr. Weston.

This was free on Amazon Kindle.

Out of the Ashes by Lori Dillon

Out of the AshesThis is by far one of the most entertaining and romantic stories I've read in a long time. It also has humor.

You have four main players: An old couple that has been together centuries, Marsha and  Hershel. They're dead. They're guardian angels who apparently aren't doing a good job. They missed the natural disaster memo about the volcano eruption that covered Pompeii. And this time, they ask for a "teenie, weenie miracle," but are told they have to fix it and this time, Sera and David must get together!

Their parts were hilarious. Loved those two. David and Sera was the romance. Their love first starts in Pompeii before the eruption. David is a gladiator/slave. Sera is a well-cared for daughter of the upper-class. Just when they get together, they're covered in ashes.

Many, many years later, they have another chance to be together, but WWII, an evil archaeologist and ex-fiance, Nazi and Italian soldiers, and secrets threaten to keep David and Sera apart once again.

There's adventure, suspense, love, duty, differing of opinion, and tremendous attention to historical detail. The makings of the casts of holes where bodies were found is absolutely fascinating. David and Sera's love, doubts, and turmoil, just radiate off the page. And all along, Marsha and Hershel, on earth to see things through, provide the humor and lighten up the feeling of war and impending doom.

I thought it was a tad long and repetitive at times, but overall, I loved it. Highly recommended. Five bikes.

I was given a copy of this by the author in exchange for an honest review.

P.S. The author notes are just as fascinating. This story was inspired by a real plaster cast of a couple holding each other as Pompeii fell around them. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

T-shirt Giveaway!!!!!

Hey everyone! I've got a T-shirt to giveaway, white, a men's/unisex Large, with my website and author logo on it. If you haven't checked out my author website, you can do so here: Every Book Has A Chick. It tells you about every single one of my titles, their genre and length, and where you can find it. There's also some free stuff such as songs you can find in my books, a short story, and a page of reviews and blog post links.

And that awesome logo was made by Marissa Dobson of Sizzling PR.

The awesome logo in question has been put on this awesome T-shirt. This giveaway will run for an entire week. Here's the catch:

1. You must be a follower of Book Babe.
2. You must like or be a liker of my FB page: Tara Chevrestt/Sonia Hightower
3. You must leave a comment on this blog post WITH an email addy, or make sure that if I click on your blogger profile, it will allow me to access your email addy that way.
4. Keep in mind the T-shirt will come with a few dog hairs attached. *sigh* It's flying around my house right now courtesy of Pudgy. The girls send their love. :)

Good luck, all! Winner be chosen from a random name drawing a week from today.

*Please, due to high shipping costs, this is limited to mainland, U.S. residents only.*

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dancing in the Shine by Diane Lynn McGyver

Dancing in the ShineI came across this author on a blog today, and was so excited and inspired by  her words about strong women characters, I immediately sought out her work. To my great pleasure, two pieces were free on smashwords. I was terribly excited by this because this allowed me to sample her style before buying the big book.

I am not disappointed. This was a powerful short story with a terrific message. You can do it!! You can get away. Reach deep within yourself and find it. It's there: courage.

The story is about a woman who is trapped in an abusive relationship in a horrible family. A search for her birth certificate leads to a surprising discovery and possibly a new identity: if she wants.

Like many women caught in controlling relationships, she's found herself making excuses and trapped in a vicious cycle. Just when you think she's going to do it, she does something else, and then something else. The ending artfully took a shocking twist and had me on the edge of my seat.

Very well done. Five bikes. I downloaded this from smashwords.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dominique WaterSinger Goodall Talks About Her Favorite Book/Author

Image DetailI was drawn into the world of wolves by an author named David Clement-Davies and his book The Sight. I was caught by the way they had personalities, struggles and strife that almost matched the problems we ourselves suffer with. Caught in the threat her half-sister, Morgra represents, a brave pack struggle to find a place where their Alpha female Palla may give birth free from fear.

When she gives birth to two pups, one white and one black, her old nurse begins to worry. As the cubs grow, Brassa teaches them the way she taught Palla and Skop, the brother to the Drappa. As the pups near the time for their first hunt, they are joined by Skop and Kar, a pup who is alone in the world after his brothers are taken under Morgra’s edict.

There was something about this book that literally captivated me. Even more so when I read the sad follow up, Fell. Larka’s brother is suffering from loneliness. The events of The Sight had meant that he doesn’t know how to interact with those who may have provided him with the companionship he needs.

Both books are amazing for those who would love to read about things from the point of view of the animals. The slight superstitious theme made it so that all those who love the more paranormal theme are pleased too. It taught me a lot about growing up and how I want to be known after everything I’ve done.

The Sight and the sequel, Fell are two books which I fell in love with a long time ago, and stay in love with now.

Moving on to the author, David Clement-Davies – I’ve actually spoken to him and he is a very down to earth British writer. He was fun, gave some helpful advice about my own writing and doesn’t hesitate to talk to his fans – something which is important to me. I still talk to him now, and he offers insights into things and I will be sure to keep in touch with him all throughout my publishing endeavours.

Dominique Goodall is the author of the soon to be released Echoes of Winter, book one in the Seasons of the Wolf series and a self-confessed wolf addict. She has currently been published in two anthologies by Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing and is currently working on getting herself better known by sending in manuscripts for as many different anthologies as she possibly can.

As much as she loves to admit it, she never will be able to count her wolf stuff- there's nothing left for her to be truly able to collect without her own home.

She can be friended on Facebook here:

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Woman at the Light by Joanna Brady

The Woman at the Light: A NovelAt first, I really loved and enjoyed this book. The narrative is very engaging. The descriptions are just right. The story is different. Can't say I've ever read a tale quite like this one. It gets major points for a unique story line.

It goes from New Orleans to Wrecker's Cave and the workings of maintaining a light house back in the 1800s to Key West to Cuba. It addresses slavery, greed, and how cruel and deceitful people can be.

When Emily's husband disappears, the story immersed in mystery as well. What happened to him? Where is he? When a former slave lands ashore, Andrew, he becomes a blessing in disguise for a woman trying to maintain a lighthouse position on her own. And they fall in love.

That part was beautiful. But when a hurricane hits, it was all downhill from there. I was aiming at a four until the last half.

Some things that did not sit well with me: I didn't always like the heroine. She claimed to be anti slavery after she got to know Anthony, but I can't say I really felt that much emotion from her about it. The past bits about meeting her husband were dull and unnecessary. The sex stuff involved in her second marriage...errr...felt weird, like it didn't fit. And the ending...I'm sorry, but I found it hard to believe everything could be forgiven with the simple gifting of a bag of weed. Everything was suddenly so pit pat and Andrew just brushed everything off too easily.

I found myself rolling my eyes at times over the fact that all the men want to marry, love, or rape the heroine too. But that was later explained and I confess I didn't see this particular twist coming. Big thumbs up there.

All in all, it is a good book. Every book have things one likes and things one doesn't like. It about averages out for me. Three bikes.

I received this via netgalley.

Her Unlikely Bodyguard by Lorraine Nelson

Her Unlikely BodyguardImagine having a stalker intent not only on terrorizing you, but on separating you from your son?

What's a woman to do? No husband, no boyfriend, just a crazed stalker...after her and her son? Go home, of course. Jemma Leigh packs up her son and heads back to her hometown where she feels she'll be safe and be able to start over on good footing.

But surprises await her... her former lover in in town and that spark of desire still lights up in his eyes...and in her own deep recesses... whoot whoot.

And you know it...stalkers can't be stopped. He finds her even in her hometown and when it looks like the good ole Mounties can't keep her safe, it's up to Ted. Can he keep her safe? More important, can they keep their hearts safe from each other?

A story of love, of broken promises, of flames rekindled, of regrets left by the roadside, and a crazed stalker wreaking havoc. And the sex in this is pretty darn hot. LOL

Available today from Breathless Press

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ride A Cock Horse by Gayl Taylor

Ride A Cock Horse (Naughty Nursery Rhymes)
Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross to see a fine lady upon a white horse,
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
And she shall have music wherever she goes.

I've heard a lot about these Naughty Nursery Rhymes. Submissions calls are up everywhere for them. I've been utterly blank. What am I going to do? Have Red Riding Hood diddle a wolf? I suppose it could be a shapeshifting wolf, but still...

And this is the first one I've read. I am so impressed. How can someone take that nursery rhyme above and write a story of love, second chances, white horses (and mustangs), bells, and music, and wrap it up in an entertaining contemporary romance novelette?

The answer: Gayl Taylor

And she has a way with words. Knowing this was a first time book, I was blown away by her descriptions. The sex scenes were HOT too, not the writing of a newbie, scared to open the door author.

Hunter is the hero, back Banbury Cross after having battled drugs and booze addiction. He wants his woman back, but Kate has her reservations. At first, it all seems like it is falling into place. Readers will be wondering, "where is the conflict?" It's there.  After Kate's cryptic and alarming phone conversation the morning after, I was literally on the edge of my seat, wondering, "Oh, no. WTF?"

It had some LOL moments, too, references to riding and a funny moment in the stables.

Romance? Check. Hot sex? Check. Humor. Check. Great descriptions aka not too much, not too little. Check.

Five bikes. And no, this was not a book I edited, but a book I picked up solely for reading pleasure whilst on the elliptical.

Monday, June 11, 2012

No Money Down by Julie Moffett

No Money Down (Lexi Carmichael Mystery, #3)This is the third book in the Lexi Carmichael series, but it's actually a prequel to to books one and two and about half the length. (That's just an estimate, mind you.)

This is when Lexi met the Zimmerman twins. And oh, Elvis is def my favorite. I hope she hooks up with him somewhere down the road. Anyway, as usual, Ms. Moffett gives us a mystery with a HUGE dose of humor. Seems Lexi is eager to get Elvis out of his pants. *snickers* No, no, not like sexually... Just read it!!! Find out how a wave and rogue vacuum cleaner steal the show.

The mystery involves a crazed scientist, a microship, fake money, secret agents. I was entertained and laughed out loud many times. This is one of my favorite series. I think, however, that everything just fell into place too easily. (Absolutely unavoidable this being a novella.) I wanted MORE. And it's rare that I say that. I'm really quite fond of shorter books as that is all I have time for sometimes, but in this case, I want more Lexi and her funny escapades. I can't wait for book four.

Four bikes. I bought this on Amazon Kindle.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Love Like Twilight...Debra Jayne East Talks About the Concept of Love

We all have been there. One day we are having romantic dinners for two and the next day we are wandering down the frozen food aisle looking at Lean Cuisine for one. It sucks! Come on…I hear a deep sigh from the wounded…those memories haunt us and inspire us to keep looking for “ the one.”

We are the happiest when we are in love and for most it doesn’t come easy. How many times do we try to get it right? Don’t ask me because I’ll be embarrassed! Very few get it right the first time. I’m going to self diagnose here, something that I have gotten better at in my old age.

Our first concept of love comes from our family. Mine never were openly demonstrative in that department. Sure, my mother took good care of us and my dad worked hard to provide for us all. I was the oldest of six girls. That’s right, six! My parents never showed open affection to each other or to us. I never saw them hug, kiss or even hold hands. They were shy, reserved and quiet and I was also like that in my early years. I yearned though for the affection of just hearing someone say I love you.

I first found it in the form of a small wiggly puppy. Yep, my first love was dogs. Many times they were my only friends. You can always love just one more dog! Whenever I have lost a beloved pet I tell myself I don’t want another one, but have I only loved one dog? Of course not, I’ve had many and I’ve loved them all.

My second love was teen idols! I’m sorry but I have to be honest here. I grew up in the seventies. I’m talking about bell-bottoms, rock n roll music and Elvis. I fell for Dr.Kildare, the Beatles, Davey Jones and quite a few others. Of course they’re only fantasies in our minds, but it teaches us patience. We have someone to dream about until a real life person comes along.
I will still remember the hours I spent reading Tiger Beat and salivating over the full sized posters in the middle! {Admit it, you did it too!}

My third concept of love was from television shows. I Love Lucy,  Leave it to Beaver, The Dick Van Dyke Show. Everyone wanted parents like that. The ideals and concepts of family life have not been duplicated in shows today. I’m sorry but they were the best!

My fourth concept of love was books! Glorious, exciting, mesmerizing books! When I was in second grade my teacher took me to the library and I fell under the spell of The Little Princess, by Francis Hodgins Burnette, who also wrote The Secret Garden.

Later, I became totally spellbound by romance novels. It was Barbara Cartland, Grace Livingston Hill and currently Stephanie Meyers. Their words of romance and ideals of love spoke to my heart.

Barbara Cartland wrote over 700 books in her lifetime and was the most prolific writer of the 20th century. I could never get enough of her innocent uplifting stories of love and passion {without sex scenes I might add.}

Grace Livingston Hill was next. She was immensely popular during her lifetime and wrote over 100 novels and numerous short stories. Her characters were most often young female ingénues, frequently strong Christian women or those who become so within the confines of the story.

Radiance:Love after Death
Currently, I have read all of the Twilight books by Stephanie Meyers. Amazon deemed her book Twilight, the best book of the decade. Other books in her series did just as well. Breaking Dawn sold 1.3 million in the first 24 hours. New Moon, another in that same series landed 25 weeks on the best sellers list. What was all the fuss about? It was kind of weird that teenage daughters and their mothers and even grandmothers all were under the Twilight spell.

It was never about Edward or Jacob or even the actors for me. It was the concept of a forever love. It thrilled me, lifted me and gave me back my dreams of knowing that kind of love again. Coming out of a bad relationship recently, I needed to be inspired. We all want a love like Twilight!

So much so, that I wrote my own paranormal romance called Radiance:Love after Death. Marena Jacobs was not your typical kind of heroine. She was overweight, divorced and a workaholic.
Her life is about to change one night in ways she never imagined. She fell in love with the man of her dreams after she died. ~

Author Bio:
 Debra Jayne East was born the oldest of six girls in Martinsville, Virginia. For as long as she could remember, she loved to keep journals, write poetry and short stories. She researched her family tree and suddenly she understood why. Her distant relative, Violet Florence Martin was an Irish author, born in 1862, who wrote under the pen name of Martin Ross in the late 19th and early 20th
Learning about her heritage encouraged her to follow her dreams of being a writer.

Where to find me:!/pages/Debra-Jayne-East/177696055623372

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Silent Touch of Shadows by Christina Courtenay

The Silent Touch of ShadowsFirst of all, this is a very different story from Courtenay's usual. It's a time slip, and though it has lots of "in the past" bits, I would say the majority is in the present. There was also a lot less man bits than usual. (I couldn't resist saying that!)

It was almost like reading an entirely different author, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Melissa is a genealogist. (This itself was utterly fascinating. What a unique occupation. I found these parts very educational.) She is struggling with her recent divorce when a mysterious aunt invites her to her 600 year old (I hope that is accurate) estate. Daughter in tow, she ends up moving there and soon, strange dreams, scents, voices, visions begin to haunt her.

When she meets the local vet, a dead ringer for Roger, the ghost haunting and seducing her, she faints!

And oh my goodness, can I just say I love the fact we have a contemporary romance here that doesn't feature an aggressive alpha male, but a nice guy?

But Melissa can't pursue a relationship with the handsome vet until she knows for sure Roger isn't guiding all her movements and decisions...and that Sibell isn't taking over her body. (Roger's love interest in the 15th century.)

The story goes back and forth between Melissa and Sibel. Sibel's story is sad and haunting. An evil father bartering her like coin, four brothers that treat her with brutality...but what in the world happened? All we know in the beginning and middle is that Sibell and Roger were separated, but how? By whom? What happened to the brothers? To Roger? What does Roger want?

Very suspenseful with perfect blend of historical/contemporary, mystery elements, descriptions. My only quibbles: If Roger could say "Help me, please, sweeting," why couldn't he just come out and tell Melissa the problem and how to fix it? LOL. Yes, I realize there would be no story then, but I honestly found myself wondering this. Kinda hoped for an explanation. And hey, don't giggle at old ladies with faulty hearing aids. *wagging finger* I promise it's not any more enjoyable for us to constantly ask you to repeat yourself than it is for you to repeat yourself. LOL

4 bikes.

Unearthed: Book Two of the Duty Bound Series by J.S. Marlo

Unearthed (Book Two of the Duty Bound Series)Unearthed Bones...broken hearts...meddling grandmothers...dead aunts with secrets...RCMP officers...pushy doctors...

Riley may be unearthing more than she anticipates when she takes over a bed and breakfast left to her by an aunt she never knew about. There's possibly three love interests. Avery: the haunted RCMP officer. Bjorn: the man she left in Iceland. Chris: the town's doctor who's taken a strong interest in her and Buccaneer.

While she sorts out her heart, however, she also uncovers some mysterious bones and discovers letters that shed some interesting light on her own family history.

This is the sequel to Unscripted. Available today from Breathless Press

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Flight from Berlin by David John

Flight From BerlinA fascinating WWII book, with major points for being unique and standing out as far as characters/plot in a genre in which most everything has been done to death.

I was sucked in asap by the tidbits and sideline story involving the Hindenburg. I had to Google it and look at pictures. The drama behind the 1936 Olympic games was equally fascinating. And then...oh, my goodness, we've got Richard, a British reporter, getting imprisoned and assaulted for a dossier that he doesn't have.

When his hands do get on it, what shall he do with it? He and Eleanor, the former Olympic hopeful, can either use it to save many or use it to save three. Or can they pull off both?

The story involving Hannah...just wow. It wasn't till I read the author notes in the back that I realized it wasn't true. It's a great look at what could have been going on though. Also, the things the dossier reveal. Hm.. I can't say much, but I'll say it was an excellent idea.

Loved the beginning, middle, starting growing bored toward the last half when the dossier entries started. They were interesting but too long, I think. That's actually when the action scenes get really heated though. The romance was a tad weak, but I actually liked that. Women who like steam will be disappointed, however.

Overall: this book was intriguing. I recommend it.

I received this,  an ARC, from Amazon Vine.

DeAnna Troupe talks about For the Love of Money

As part of the Master Koda virtual blog tour, today I'm hosting DeAnna Troupe. The assignment was to choose a theme song for your writing or your books or a book. Well, DeAnna came up with something a bit different. Please welcome her to Book Babe.

I didn't really have to think that hard for this assignment. The song that describes my books is "For The Love Of Money" by the O'Jays. My books are all business books and they are all about how to help you make more money. I actually found a video of the O'Jays performing this song live so I thought it would be fun to include the video in this post.

DeAnna Troupe is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and a serial entrepreneur that has always loved helping others.  Her very first job was as an algebra tutor at the tender age of 14.  Since then she has amassed over 10 years of experience at all levels of business including running her own freelance secretarial business for 5 years.  She has been on the social media scene since before we even knew that's what we were doing.  She has a knack for coming up with creative ways to solve tough problems.  She has two books out on Amazon's kindle. One is called Tips For The Sophisticated Marketer. The other one is called Tips About Twitter For The Sophisticated Marketer. She is an effective teacher that enjoys seeing her clients get to the next level with their business.  When she's not coaching clients on integrating video in their social media strategy, she enjoys spending time with her husband and kids. She also enjoys reading, writing, crocheting, singing, playing cards, and playing board games. Facebook:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Please Welcome Eugenia O'Neal

JessamineI'm pleased to announce that a fellow author is having an exciting release day. First of all, a bit about Ms. O'Neal: Eugenia O'Neal is a writer from the British Virgin Islands whose short stories have been published in regional publications. Her first book, From the Field to the Legislature: A History of Women in the Virgin Islands, was publised by Greenwood Press in 2001. Since then she has published two novels, Just an Affair and Dido's Prize. Her next novel, Jessamine, will be out in June.

I've read Dido's Prize too. Loved it! But today, we're talking about Jessamine.

Eugenia O'NealJessamine tells the story of Grace Hylton, an African-American, who arrives on the Caribbean island of St. Crescens full of doubts about her husband’s political aspirations, doubts about her marriage and doubts about the wisdom of relocating. Her native-born husband, Julian, has lived most of his adult life in the States but has come back to St. Crescens, determined to pull his country out of the cauldron of corruption, nepotism and crime into which the leading political dynasty has taken it.

An architect by training, Julian buys and restores Jessamine, an old Great House. What the Hyltons don’t know is that Jessamine is home to the ghost of Arabella Adams who lived there as a governess during the late 1800s.

Jessamine is told from the alternating viewpoints of the two women – both foreigners, both married to local men. An old injustice binds them across the century that separates them, but can Grace discover its roots before St. Crescens is plunged into violence and chaos?

It's an intriguing tale that artfully time jumps. In most novels I'd find it irritating. In this one, I didn't. The women are so different and the men are too, there was no confusion. I confess, I thought it would have a touch of horror due to the cover, but I was pleased with the interracial story line as well.

Now, some questions for Ms. O'Neal:

I googled St. Crescens and did not find an island by such a name. I did, however, come across an African Saint. Can you tell me what island you thought of as you wrote this? (The descriptions are so vivid.) And what prompted you to name it St. Crescens?
Honestly, I thought of all the islands I've ever visited while writing but perhaps the most of St. Lucia (where I got the idea for Jessamine) and also of Barbados which has a flatter landscape and where sugar was first introduced to the New World as a crop back in the 1600s.  Many of the islands were named by the Spanish, who as big Catholics named them after saints so I just followed along and looked up the saints online at the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Hey, I was on the right track. :) Alphanus doesn't look Grace in the eye. It's like he's uncomfortable with women. How do you handle it when men do that to you?
Thankfully, most guys I speak to don't do that but when it happens I usually start looking at whatever they're looking at and end the conversation quickly.
Monkey meat and turtle soup are dishes mentioned in the the story. Have you had these? What do they taste like?
Well, only a couple islands, Barbados and St. Kitts, have monkeys as far as I know.  We don't have them in the Virgin Islands and monkey meat long ago went off the menu on those islands so I've never had it.  In the old books written usually by whites vising the island or by the white planters the taste was considered comparable to chicken. Turtle soup continued to be eaten into around the 1970s, 1980s but the discovery that green turtles were near extinction resulted in governments in the region banning the killing of turtles and the sale of their meat or their shells for most of the year. You can still find it on menus when the hunting season is open (though rarely) but I've never eaten turtle, either.  Turtle eggs are considered to improve men's potency but I suppose they can use Viagra now.
LOL! Learn something new everyday... Grace or Arabella. Which one do you relate to the most and why?
A difficult question.  In many ways, Arabella has had a hard life.  She grew up without a mother and then, while still a child, really, she's sent away from the only home she ever knew, India.  Up until she met Leando she did what was expected of her, by society and by her remaining family.  Meeting Leando and living on Jessamine where things were not always as they seemed changed something in her and ignited her desire to live for herself.  Grace, on the other hand, comes from a privileged African-American background and has achieved success fairly easily.  She's fearless and basically says and does as she wants but when she comes to St. Crescens, she has to tamp herself down a bit.  It's a bit unnerving for her to be in an unfamiliar place, among strangers, in a situation where she has to be in the background and can't express herself and be who she is.  The two women are very different but, I think if Arabella, were asked she would say she admires Grace who never second-guessed herself in her life.  And if Grace were asked she would say that she's in awe of Arabella who, whatever her opinions about her own strength, had the courage to go against society and marry the black man she loved in a time when that was very much taboo.
Arabella gets her room peppered and gets scared by a snake as those brats play pranks on her. Has someone played pranks such as this on you before?
Leando looks like Dennis Haysbert.
No.  The pranksters at school tended to be my friends so they never did anything to me but other people would have eggs put under their mattreses or wake up covered with powder.  I never did that.  I do remember calling people on the phone when I was young and asking them if their fridge was running and then barely being able to get the punchline out before dissolving in laughter!  Even now when I'm telling a joke, I'm usually the one laughing the hardest!  A total dork!
As a writer, I'm fond of browsing fotolio and istockphoto and all and searching for my cover art models/figures. I'd like you to find a Julius for us and a Leando. What do they look like?
Easy!  Leando looks like the actor Dennis Haysbert, one of my favourite actors!

And Jane at Booketta's Book Blog thought of Jamie Foxx for Julian which I think is perfect though a bit short.

Ms. O'Neal, thank you for taking the time to be on Book Babe. I wish you the best of sales and reviews!
Readers looking for a mystery/suspense historical full of strong women and mystery and secrets with a lovely tropical island setting, be sure to mark Jessmine as "to read."

Thank you.