Category Archives: Romance

An Interview with Collette Yvonne, the author of The Perils of Pauline

Collette Yvonne, the author of The Perils of Pauline, was kind enough to agree to an interview. I’m glad that I was able to get to know her a little better. I hope that you enjoy it too. Don’t forget to go to the bottom of the post. There is an excerpt from her book. This will allow you to get a feel for her writing. Thanks again, Collette.

Author Interview

What is your typical writing day like?

Usually I try to carve out a full day for writing. If I have something pressing to do—work, a kid’s dentist appointment, a weedy garden, a sick friend who needs soup— I find it tough to concentrate knowing I will have to break my focus too soon. I find it painful, disorienting and tiring to transition in and out of my creative flow, so I am reluctant to work for short spurts of time. I try to clear my schedule first.

On a writing day, the coffee is poured first thing. Since I tend to be easily distracted I prefer to have the house all to myself. I am lucky enough to have a dedicated writing space of my own so that is where I go to write: in front of my desktop, steaming coffee mug at my elbow. I usually begin with answering email to focus my brain a little before I open my work in progress in Scrivener.

When I’m on a roll, I will work for hours without a break. At some point my dog usually demands a walk. Sometimes I stop to do some yoga stretches or grab a quick bite. I quit for the day when my family rolls in from school and work. My process is unremarkable: no charming boulevard cafés for me. Just butt in chair. All day.

Authors project parts of themselves into their main characters. Does your heroine have any of your qualities?

Yes and no. I always tell my friends and family not to think of The Perils of Pauline as an autobiography but usually people confess that they see me as the main character when they read the book. This is actually a little horrifying as Pauline is a bit wild and out of control. She is impulsive and bold and fearless, which can be a good thing unless you tend to act first and think later, which is what my character tends to do. As the author, I can safely explore impulsive choices and bad behavior when I write Pauline’s story. I can let her take all the risks and face the consequences while I remain safe in my writing chair, laughing at her—or crying with her—when everything falls to pieces and begins to circle the drain.

If you had three words to describe your main character, what would they be?

Impulsive. Irrepressible. Bravehearted.

Would you call your protagonist a truth-seeker or a thrill-seeker?

Contrary to popular impressions, Pauline is a truth-seeker. She is trying to figure things out. She likes a thrill as well as the next girl, but she is in it to win answers.

What themes did you visit in your book?

Relationships. Parenting. Family. Marriage. Adultery. Adult ADHD. Conflict. Love and romance. Separation. Career. Civilian life after active service. Single parenting. Post traumatic stress disorder. Forgiveness. Humor.

How do you find/make time to write?

I have to be disciplined about it. Since I work part time as a yoga instructor and have many outside interests such as volunteering, gardening, photography, reading, visual arts, and gadding about, I need to find ways to keep writing squarely on the agenda. Membership in a writing group helps as the members will chew me up and spit me out if I don’t produce new writing regularly.

How did you come up with the title?

The original The Perils of Pauline was a 1914 American melodrama film serial. The main character, Pauline, is the original damsel in distress who often finds herself hanging from a cliff or tied to a set of train tracks. The 1914 Pauline was smart and resourceful, rather than helpless and needing to be rescued by a man (but there’s a dashing lover on scene willing to lend a hand). I loved the idea of recreating the plucky Pauline and placing her in a modern context. Like many woman today, who find themselves juggling work, marriage and children, the modern Pauline still feels as if she’s hanging by a thread. She faces her challenges with intelligence, courage and sheer force of will plus a large dash of eccentricity. She has to figure out how to save herself. She needs to be smart and fearless. And then of course there’s a dashing lover.

What’s the hardest part about writing? The easiest?

The hardest part is to ignore that mean little voice that says, “You have nothing to offer. You suck.” The easiest part is the comfy chair.

How do you keep your written world from encroaching on your life?

Why would I want to do that?

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I hope that readers will pick up on the theme of forgiveness. In this age of high divorce rates, it is considered to be normal and acceptable to cut loose from a marriage when everything goes off the rails. Of course, in some cases, filing for a divorce is absolutely necessary but, in other cases, a marriage may be saved with hard work and a very large reset button. Very few novels explore the situation of a couple who make huge mistakes and manage to patch things up, although in real life this happens, probably more often than we realize, given how tough staying in a relationship can be.

Book Description

The Perils of Pauline For ex-army vet Pauline Parril, life marches along in an orderly formation now that she is happily married, raising three kids, and ascending a promising career ladder. But the handles of her safe and comfortable world soon turn upside-down when a termination letter lands on her lap and her husband, it turns out, isn’t the person she thought she knew. Things get even more complicated when Pauline returns to school and meets Michael Fortune—a handsome and exciting poetry professor who threatens to get out of hand. Pauline once endured a long deployment to a war-torn country, but can she survive the front lines of her fraying household?

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About the Author

Collette YvonneCollette Yvonne was born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, Canada where her father served as a fighter pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. She has many fond memories of growing up as a military brat. Now married with three children, she lives in Ontario where she is a part-time yoga instructor, as well as writing. She also enjoys volunteering in the community. She graduated from Toronto’s York University, majoring in Creative Writing with a minor in the Humanities. In her first year, she toyed with the idea of becoming an anthropologist and also considered being a computer scientist! However, following the opportunity to study under well-known Canadian authors such as Don Coles, Susan Swan, Elisabeth Harvor and Bruce Powe, she decided to stick with writing. Collette’s first novel, ‘The Queen of Cups’, was published in August 2006 and was a finalist within its genre in ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year. Other publication credits include many articles, stories, reviews and interviews in various Ontario local newspapers, and national Canadian publications including ‘The Toronto Star’, ‘The National Post’, ‘The Globe and Mail’ and ‘Canadian Woman Studies’. Her subjects tend to be personal journalism with pieces on a wide range of topics and she also likes to write in her blog, along with writing guest posts for other bloggers. She is a member of the Writer’s Community of Durham Region (WCDR), and has developed skills as a photographer, speaker, website designer, editor, and writing workshop facilitator. Editorial contributions have been made to several published works, along with short non-fiction pieces. Indeed, she is equally at home writing both fiction and non-fiction. One of her short stories was made into a short film ‘Snapshots for Henry’, which was screened in numerous film festivals around the world. The film received a nomination for a Genie Award in 2007.

Here is an excerpt from The Perils of Pauline

I step out my front door to find my next-door neighbor standing at the edge of his lawn, staring across at our yard, his lips compressed into a frown.

“Is everything okay, Lewis?”

“Your water sprinkler is too close to my property line.”

“How so? It’s on my lawn.”

“When you water your lawn, my driveway is getting sprinkled.”

I know better than to argue with Lewis. “Okay, no problem, I’ll position the sprinkler further away.”

I better not mention the sprinkler issue to Donald or he might freak out. Over the years, Lewis has complained about the height of our grass (too long), the color of our grass (yellow) and the condition of our grass (weedy). He also demands that we cut down our shady maple and repaint our porch.

The mature maples lining our street are the best feature of this old sprawling suburb with big front porches and quiet cul-de-sacs. Lewis chopped down all his trees last year, citing the aggravation of leaves choking his gutters.

Our grass is admittedly scruffy but that’s because last month Donald spot-sprayed it with a home-brew of salt and vinegar to kill the crabgrass and clover, and ended up pickling the grass instead. He dug out the worst scorched areas and laid pieces of new sod, so now the lawn has bright green patches interspersed with the weedy yellow parts and the dead brown bits. Now all the neighborhood kids like to come over to play The Floor is Lava on our front lawn. The green bits are safe. Step outside them, you die.

I hurry down the sidewalk to Bibienne’s where boring lawns go to die and reincarnate as boisterous perennial gardens full of day lilies, climbing honeysuckle and chrysanthemums. Hummingbirds chase butterflies through pink and purple peonies as I go around the side to her garden doors only to find an abandoned wheelbarrow. Odd. Usually Bibienne is outside pruning her roses on a day like this.

One of the doors is ajar so I rap on the frame and step inside. I love Bibienne’s roomy kitchen: an inspired mix of antique cabinets fitted with granite countertops. A cook’s dream but nothing’s cooking here. Beyond the kitchen, in the family room, I spy Bibienne reclined on the couch watching TV, legs stretched out and crossed at the ankles on the oversized ottoman in front of her. Without taking her eyes from the screen, she frowns at me while laying her palm on top of her head, as if to hold down her thick auburn hair, which is gathered away from her face in a hasty French twist. She raises a warning finger to her lips. Camilo Villegas and Adam Scott are playing so I know enough to remain silent until the next commercial break, when she turns her cool green eyes on me. I’ve interrupted men’s tennis so this better be good.

“I’ve been fired. My assistant, Daria, stole my job.”

“Oh. Okay.” She gets up from the couch and pats my shoulder. “I’ll make you a drink.”

I nod and follow her to the kitchen. I’m safe. I can stick around and watch tennis with her as long as I don’t make too much noise.

“I have ChocoLee chocolates too.” She drops ice cubes into tall glasses and fills them with red wine and lime soda. What luck. Bibienne always drinks Spanish wine cocktails and breaks out the chocolate when Villegas is winning.

Bibienne watches the end of the match with her lips parted and her hand across her heart. After the final point, she turns off the TV, fans her cheeks and sighs. “Él está bueno. Oh well, come see my new laptop. You can try it out while I top us off.”

The connection is lightning fast. I wish I had ripped-speed access to the Internet. Bibienne sets my glass at my elbow and peers over my shoulder. “Career Search Australia?”

“Yeah. Look. They need a snake wrangler in Canberra. Wait a minute, there’s an opening at the Bikini Car Wash.”

I click around. There are a zillion postings for jobs all around the world, from San Francisco to Shanghai. Even Kalamazoo has a raft of listings. Here, in the greater suburbs of the Boston Commonwealth, not so much. Unless I want to commute all the way into the city, like Donald does when he isn’t at the branch office here in town. Since Doubles got so busy, he has to go into the city more often than not these days.

Forget job searching for now. Bibi has a collection of fun apps on her desktop. I click on a Tarot icon. “Is this site any good?”

“Yes, it’s one of the best,” she says. “If you want a quick reading, try the Celtic Cross spread.”

Bibienne knows a lot about tarot. She’s so sharp and perceptive, her massage therapy clients are always asking her to read their cards for them.

I type in my question: What does the future hold for me?

The results show the Queen of Cups, seated in the auspicious Position One, which represents the “Questioner in Her Present Situation.”

“The Queen of Cups is the good woman card,” says Bibienne. “She’s loving and kind. A bit of a dreamer, distracted. But see? She sits on a throne, which means she wields power and makes the rules. The suit of cups represents emotions. Overflowing emotions, hidden emotions, secrets maybe. Who knows what’s in her cup?”

“Bra cups, cups of laundry detergent, cups of wine.”

Bibienne points to my glass. “Your cup of wine is empty.”

Position Two shows the Three of Swords: a lowly card suggestive of trickery and betrayal. “That would be Daria and WiFi-Robes,” I say as Bibienne refills my glass and sits beside me.

“Could be.” She examines the spread. “The Three of Swords usually represents sudden heartbreak or betrayal. But look over here. Your Three is countered by the Two of Swords, which is about the difficulty of making decisions. That’s a double whammy. See the blindfold on the woman in the picture? She can’t see her way. She may not want to see, in fact, she may be in denial.”

It all makes sense. I’ve been betrayed, lost my job, and now I have to make choices about what to do next, right? More curious though is the appearance of the powerful and authoritative Emperor standing in opposition to my Queen. Donald perhaps? But, if the Emperor is my husband, who is the Knight of Cups occupying the near future position? The Knight of Cups is a man of high romance, poetry and passion. Here, Donald doesn’t spring to mind. How intriguing: the card drawn for the position representing Final Outcomes turns out to be The Lovers. As I wander back home I can’t help but note that two cups makes a couple.

© Copyright 2015 Astor+Blue Editions

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A Review of Sight Lines by Michelle DiCeglio

Sight Lines

by Michelle DiCeglio

4,0

First things first, I don’t think that the author wrote this book for me. I’m a 66 year-old, retired, male, construction worker. I was a little bit uncomfortable reading a novel where the main character, Lacey Mills. is a lesbian police detective. Her girlfriend was killed two years ago. She is thinking about getting her feet wet, but not sure that she is really ready to get involved with anyone quite yet. She does end up meeting a beautiful young web designer, Alison Rhodes. Ali and Lacey hit it off and before too long, they end up in bed. Now I know guys are supposed to get turned on by some hot girl-on-girl action, but it wasn’t really my thing. BTW, it wasn’t overly explicit either. I wouldn’t call it erotic.

For the most part, Ms. DiCeglio does a good job of bringing Lacey to life. She seems pretty lifelike, just, in my opinion, a bit too emotional to be a cop. It seems like her feelings would interfere with her job. They seem to cloud her judgement at a few crucial moments in this book. She has a hard shell act, but crumbles rather easily. I still liked her and wanted her to get though everything.

Sight Lines is a fast-paced, rather twisty, mystery. The story moves pretty quickly, but does slow down once in a while, mainly when Lacey’s emotions are getting the better of her. I did like some of the tender scenes that took place between Lacey and Ali, and also between Lacey and Bishop, her boss. Overall I enjoyed the story, even though it was a new experience for me.

I give Sight Lines 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up! I think that the target audience for this book is the young, hip, female reader, who is looking for a mystery with a romantic twist. They should connect with this story much more than I did.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the publisher.

Book Description

Sight-Lines-cover-artPolice Detective Lacey Mills is on a mission to find a serial killer. Still reeling from the unsolved murder of her girlfriend two years earlier, Lacey has buried herself in work for too long. At least that’s what she’s told on her mandatory appointment with a shrink after being involved in a deadly shootout. It’s time to stop running away from every woman who shows interest in her.

When she meets a beautiful web designer named Ali, Lacey follows the doctor’s advice and lets herself take another chance on love. So much for cutting back on work—it turns out Ali has been hiding a big secret that might change the entire direction of Lacey’s murder investigation.

A mystery/suspense from Ellora’s Cave

Book Details

File Size: 758 KB
Print Length: 173 pages
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc (November 6, 2015)
Publication Date: November 6, 2015
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B0178ADQF0
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Lending: Not Enabled
Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

About the Author

MDMichelle DiCeglio is the author of Sight Lines published through Ellora’s Cave Publishing, LLC. She has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and has been working in corrections and law enforcement for fifteen years. She is the photographer and (sometimes) stage manager for a local theater troupe, and in her spare time she will write and direct short films with her friends. Her photography has been published in newspapers and online magazines/blogs.

Michelle is married, and has two dogs and four cats. She hopes to see her novels turn into a movie or television show one day (Netflix, are you listening?).

Michelle can be reached at michellediceg@gmail.com or her website: michellediceglio.com

She is also on twitter: MLRED219 and SightLinesNovel, and Instagram: MLRED_photography

The Three Kitties that Saved My Life by Michael Meyer

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Blurb:

FINALIST 2014 RONE Award, Inspirational Book
#1 Amazon best seller in Love & Romance, March 2015 and April 2014
#1 Amazon best seller in Cats, March 2015 and November 2014
#1 Amazon best seller in Educator Biographies, April 2014
#1 Amazon best seller in Love and Loss, December 2013

A true story of love – a four-time Amazon best seller
I thought that I would never be able to love again after the tragic death of my wife, my partner in life. I was wrong. I do. I fell in love with Kitty and two adorable rescue cats. This is the true story of my journey from love and loss to love once again. My story begins with loss and tears, but it ends with lots of love and laughter.
Love was then.
Love is now.
Love is forever.

“This story will touch you, and you’ll be telling your friends about it long after you’ve finished….Please buy this book and absorb it into your own life’s experience. It will make you a stronger person.” – T.R Harris, bestselling author of THE HUMAN CHRONICLES SAGA.

“It is one of the most moving books I’ve ever read. I cried very hard in the early part and rejoiced with the author through the rest.” – Nick Russell, bestselling author of the BIG LAKE series

“Sometimes after finishing a book, I will feel something like emotional awe. It is a rare thing, but The Three Kitties gave me that feeling.”

“Mike Meyer pens a tender tale of love, loss, and renewal. The depth of emotion is palpable…The Three Kitties will tug at readers’ heartstrings, as they ride through the emotional highs and lows of Mike Meyer’s remarkable story.” – InD’tale Magazine

“It’s so remarkably well written that I just couldn’t put it down. It was one of those tear jerking, heart stopping, soul stealing, and mind blowing stories that had me up for several hours into the night. I actually read straight through, that is how intense and addicting this story was.”

“This is like drinking tea and honey on a cold day.”

“This uplifting memoir salutes Coco, Pom Pom, and Kitty — three angels that rescued the author from his demons and taught him to live life to its fullest.” – Bookbub

Snippets:

1.

“I sure love my new home,” Coco purred at me, as I rubbed gently at his backside, which seemed to put him back in seventh heaven. He was loving every second of everything in this new world. “Thank you,” I knew he was saying to me. “Thank you for rescuing me and for giving me such a great new home.” He closed his eyes as I continued rubbing him the way he seemed to love. “Thank you for taking me off the street,” I could hear him tell me. And then came the clincher.

“Thanks, Dad!” I distinctly remember hearing him purr.

2.

I knew that her feelings for me were those that I felt for her. That was obvious. The two of us had clicked from the very start, and passion was in the air. It was clear what we both felt for each other.

But she had a date. I had no idea what that meant, but I hoped—longed—really.

We stood in my driveway just before she got into her car. It was July 10th, less than a week past July 4th, and as I bent down and kissed her, believe it or not, fireworks went off in the distance.

It was an omen.

She looked up at me. I knew she knew that I knew, and I knew that she knew. There was a magnetic connection between us, something unbreakable.

But she had a date.

She waved at me as she drove away, and we both blew kisses to one another. The whole night had been so magical.

But there was an 800-pound gorilla in our midst: Kitty had a date that night.

3.

My journey has been a long one, a difficult one at times, but it has a happy ending. The three kitties in my life have made it so. They have all helped me to become the happy-to-be-alive man that I am today. I now accept rather than cope. I live each day to the fullest, knowing full well that life is a gift, and a very precious one at that. I look back on my life and I often think that I must be the luckiest man in the world. I have so much to be thankful for. The wonderment and beauty of life are both so dear to me.

And, to add a delicious icing to the lovely taste of my life, I can say with total honesty to the whole world, my voice booming into the sky, my dancing feet not caring in the least who might see me, that I have been very fortunate to have done something that brings more sheer delight and wonderful pride to me than anything else that I have accomplished in my life: I have fallen madly, heads-over-heels in love not once, but twice, and how many others can say that?

Thank you, Kitty!

Meet Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer is the author of mysteries, thrillers, humorous fiction, and non-fiction: Love and romance, laughter and tears, thrills and fears.

His INTERNATIONAL SUSPENSE COLLECTION currently has two books: COVERT DREAMS, Book One; and DEADLY EYES, Book Two.

His CONTEMPORARY/HUMOROUS FICTION COLLECTION currently has two books: THE FAMOUS UNION, Book One; and THE SURVIVAL OF MARVIN BAINES, Book Two.

THE THREE KITTIES THAT SAVED MY LIFE was his heartfelt attempt to make things right again in his life after his first wife died, and putting this true story of love down on paper worked. It was something that he knew he had to do. One reviewer says of this book, “This is like drinking tea and honey on a cold day.”

TRIANGLE OF HOPE was written as a testament to the fact that sheer determination on the part of people can bring about hope in even the most hopeless of circumstances.

THE SIR RODNEY VIGNETTES is a collection of humorous anecdotal episodes in the life of an Old World Charmer, allowing the English professor side of Michael Meyer to come forth.

He has resided in and has visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to his own published writing. He has literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. He has lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, Saudi Arabia (where COVERT DREAMS – INTERNATIONAL SUSPENSE COLLECTION BOOK ONE – is set), and the U.S. Virgin Islands (where DEADLY EYES – INTERNATIONAL SUSPENSE COLLECTION BOOK TWO – is set). He gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left him. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as he has aged.

Among the many unique things that have happened to him in his world travels, he has walked the streets of Istanbul with a detective, searching for a pickpocket who got him good. He has ridden on the back of a motorcycle in Tehran while the driver, who spoke not one word of English, pointed out all the sights to him. He has wrestled an Iranian soldier who tried to break into his hotel room in Tehran. He has had the paint completely stripped from his car as he drove across Saudi Arabia in a sandstorm. He has stood on the stage of a busy nightclub in Tokyo, singing “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes” to an audience feeling no pain from the Sake they were drinking. He has been chased by a family of mongooses (yes, that is the correct spelling) on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Croix. And that is just the beginning of his long list of worldly adventures.

As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, he now lives in Southern California wine country with his wife, Kitty, and their two adorable rescue cats.

SPECIAL NOTE: COVERT DREAMS has recently received a Compulsion Reads endorsement. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Compulsion Reads, this company specializes in reviewing and endorsing those novels that meet its quality standards based on the fundamental qualities of good storytelling. Many books that the company reviews don’t earn their endorsement, so this is a pretty big deal.

You can follow Mike at his Facebook writer’s site: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMeyersWritingLife

Be sure to check out his Pinterest writer’s page, which includes numerous audio readings, clips, and trailers of his books:

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A Lady in Hiding by Amy Corwin

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Blurb:

A tragic case of arson sends Sarah into hiding to escape the terrible fate of her family. She works as a common laborer, and is safe for thirteen years, until she receives an ominous note. Despite her disguise, the killer has caught up with her, and she is once again in danger from a man determined to silence all echoes from the past.

William, an inquiry agent, is consumed with curiosity when he meets Sarah and hears about her case. And one look into her gray eyes has him hooked. Even though the evidence is scanty after so many years, he vows to assist her, unaware how events will challenge him both as a man of honor and as an investigator.

When a second attempt is made on Sarah’s life, William is forced to follow a treacherous path through the twisted, dark past. And his growing attraction to the independent woman proves just as dangerous. He needs a clear head to sift through the ashes of the old tragedy, with its hints of corruption reaching into the highest levels of Society. Above all, he must protect Sarah, regardless of personal cost.

Love must find a way to bring the two together and thwart a desperate arsonist, or the last survivor of the long-ago fire will die.

ALadyinHiding Promo GraphicSnippets:

SNIPPET 1

Now, as if aware of her scrutiny, Major Pickering caught her gaze across the street between them. His attention fixed on her. His body stiffened like a dog pointing at a likely grouse. Sam stepped closer to the brick building at the edge of the sidewalk seeking the safety of its towering shadow, her skin prickling.

She glanced around, trying to listen over the pounding of her heart. No one shouted. No one except the major showed any interest in her—other than sheer annoyance when she impeded the smooth flow of foot traffic.

Major Pickering raised his hand, his eyes intent on her face. She took a slow step forward.

Then without warning, he stumbled. His hand fell to his side. His gaze wavered. A look of confusion passed over his thin face. Glancing down, he pressed a hand to his side. And as he brought his palm up in front of his face, his legs buckled beneath him. He fell sharply to his knees, and with a shudder, he raised his head. His gaze once more met Sam’s as his mouth worked soundlessly.

A sense of urgency sent her running forward, hand outstretched. Alarmed by the pallor of his face, she tried to reach him to hear the words he uselessly mouthed. Then, although she couldn’t be sure with the jostling men between them, he shook his head slightly in warning. A spasm twisted his features.

Sam stopped and watched in agonized horror as he slowly crumpled, face down, onto the pavement.

SNIPPET 2

Archer arched his back and dug in a pocket, drawing out a flattened slug of metal. He threw it at William, who caught it in one hand. A spent bullet, dimpled and compressed where it had hit the brick wall. He raised a brow and caught Archer’s eye.

“Looks like our sleeping lad is in need of watching,” Archer said. When he didn’t answer, Archer leaned forward, his voice softer. “I didn’t fire the rifle, son. Remember that. Your Mr. Sanderson is safe in this house.”

He caught himself rigidly, just before he accidentally referred to Sam as ‘she’. “Is he?”

“Why not? What would I want with a bricklayer? Other than to finish that blasted garden wall, of course. Which looks like it will never get done, now. I promised my wife it would be completed in time to plant the summer herbs—and it’s April already.” He snorted. “Like as not, it’ll be fall again before these blockheads complete it.”

“I hope this incident hasn’t upset your wife.”

“Not at all. Tender-hearted female—always worries over the merest trifles.”

“She seemed upset when she heard his name. Perhaps she knows him? Or his family?”

“There are scores of Sandersons littering the English countryside. No doubt, she knows several of them. She may even have thought she knew this one.”

“Does she?”

“It’s hard to say. Did you notice that peculiar scar on his forehead? The one shaped like a star?”

The mark could no longer be seen. Sam’s entire head was swathed in yards of white linen, but William nodded slowly and cautiously.

How much should he reveal? He chose the easy course. Nothing.

“What of it?” He asked.

 

SNIPPET 3

“Get back into bed, or I’ll put you there,” William said.

Sam’s eyes turned silver as she studied him, her head cocked to one side. “If you think you can, try.”

“I don’t foresee any difficulties,” he said, striding toward her. After all the stabbing and head bashing, he’d have thought she’d have enough sense to stay abed.

Obviously, he was wrong.

He came to a stop mere inches from her, hoping to discomfort her at least half as much as she had discomforted him since their first meeting.

She stared at him, her chin thrust out at a mutinous angle. Although she blinked a few times, she didn’t back away.

He frowned.

Her eyes blinked more rapidly.

So he did the only thing he could think of that would put the fear of God into her soul.

He leaned nearer and kissed her.

Meet Amy Corwin:

Amy Corwin is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a charter member of the Romance Writers of America. She has been writing for a number of years and recently retired from a career as an enterprise systems administrator in the computer industry to write full time. She writes mysteries, sweet Regency romances, and paranormal romances. To be truthful, most of her books include a bit of murder and mayhem since she discovered that killing off at least one character is a highly effective way of encouraging the remaining ones to toe the plot line.

In her spare time she cooks, gardens and has won several awards at local rose shows for her Old Garden and English roses. She is also a birdwatcher and generally fascinated with nature, having gotten her first Peterson’s Field Guide when she was six years old.

Join her and discover that every good mystery has a touch of romance.

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A Review of Missing You by Harlan Coben

Missing You
by Harlan Coben

Once again, Harlan Coben, has written a tightly constructed mystery thriller, with a main character who you can connect with and a plot that has more twists and surprises than you expect. He has two simultaneous narratives, one light and one very dark.

Kat Donovan, an NYPD Detective, has two ongoing investigations that she is working on, for the most part unofficially, because she is forced into taking some time off for insubordination. She is trying to find out what really happened 18 years ago, when her father, a NYPD policeman, was killed. She is also, with some reluctance, looking into the disappearance of wealthy widow from Connecticut, when Brandon Phelps, her son, asks for Kat by name at the front desk of her Police Station.

There is a second very disturbing storyline, being told from the point of view of a predator, Titus. He is grabbing rich men and women, holding them in root cellars on an old farm, making them transfer their wealth to his bank accounts, and then killing them. One of the women he kidnaps is Brandon’s mom.

I listened to the audiobook for the first two-thirds of the book, and then finished up reading the last part. The audiobook is very well read and draws you firmly into the story. The last third of the book was very hard to put down. All of the story lines start to come to together in a twisted final few chapters.

I enjoyed Missing You quite a bit. It was a real page turner, even though some of the story pushed the boundaries of believability. Many of Mr. Coben’s books do seem a little out there, but this one a bit more than most.

I give this book 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up. If you like a mystery thriller with a somewhat troubled, female police detective with past love issues, then you will enjoy this. I strongly recommend listening to the audiobook, it feels more believable when you listen to the story than when you read it.

Book Description
Release date: March 18, 2013

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Harlan Coben, a heart-pounding thriller about the ties we have to our past…and the lies that bind us together.

It’s a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart—and who she hasn’t seen in 18 years.

Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her.  But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable.

As the body count mounts and Kat’s hope for a second chance with Jeff grows more and more elusive, she is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she ever loved—her former fiancé, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained. With lives on the line, including her own, Kat must venture deeper into the darkness than she ever has before, and discover if she has the strength to survive what she finds there.

Product Details

Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (March 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0525953493
ISBN-13: 978-0525953494
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.5 x 1.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

About the Author

HARLAN COBEN is the internationally bestselling author of more than twenty previous novels, including the #1 New York Times bestsellers Six Years, Stay Close, Live Wire, Caught, Long Lost, and Hold Tight as well as the Myron Bolitar series and more recently, a series aimed at young adults, featuring Myron’s nephew, Mickey Bolitar. The winner of the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards, he lives in New Jersey.
The book description is from Amazon.  Missing You

A Review of Turn or Burn by Boo Walker

Turn or Burn by Boo WalkerTurn or Burn
by Boo Walker

Turn or Burn is an entertaining novel by Boo Walker. It is a kind of multi-genre book. It’s a mystery, thriller with a heavy dose of romance thrown in. One difference in this book, is the romance is from the male point of view. This is a fairly light weight read, it’s mostly entertainment, but that isn’t all bad, since sometimes you want a book that just keeps you reading, and those pages turning. It was fun, if a little on the romance side for me. Mr. Walker has promise. His first book, Lowcountry Punch, is now available on Amazon.

I enjoyed this book. I give it 3 1/2 Stars out of 5. If you are looking for a fun, but exciting mystery thriller, with a large dose of romantic male thinking thrown in, give it a shot.

I received a copy of this eBook from the author.

Book Description
Release date: January 7, 2013

Harper Knox has ripped up his family’s cherry orchard in eastern Washington State and planted grape vines, hoping that a contemplative life making wine might help him conquer his debilitating battle with PTSD. But on the other side of the state in Seattle, the Singularity Summit, a conference celebrating and encouraging the growth of artificial intelligence, is about to get underway. The controversial nature of the Summit has many reeling in fury, and protesters are taking over the city. A man Harper has been fighting alongside since Fort Bragg shows up at the vineyard offering a generous payday if Harper will join a team charged with protecting Dr. Wilhelm Sebastian, the keynote speaker at the Summit. Hungry for the cash and the danger, Harper agrees to join the team. But has he signed onto something much bigger and deadlier than just another bodyguard gig?

As much a love story as it is a gripping thriller, Turn Or Burn, driven by the wonderfully cynical Harper Knox, will keep you up late into the night.

Product Details

File Size: 423 KB
Print Length: 305 pages
Publisher: Sandy Run Press (January 7, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
Language: English
ASIN: B00HS3XWMU
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Lending: Enabled

About the Author

Boo Walker spent his College of Charleston years and a few after in Nashville as a banjoist and songwriter for the avant-garde punchgrass band, The Biscuit Boys. Some hand problems knocked him out of the game, and he stumbled into a position with a short term equity trading firm based out of Charleston, SC. To feed his ravenous muse, he began writing his first novel, Lowcountry Punch. Around that time, what started as a passion in wine became a neurosis.

 After six years of the Wall Street thing, Boo decided it was time to end his sedentary, computer-driven lifestyle. He grew out a handlebar mustache and moved clear across the country into a double-wide trailer situated on 5 acres of Malbec vines just down the road from Hedges Family Estate on Red Mountain in Washington State. The Hedges family took him in and taught him the art of farming and the old world philosophies of wine. He now travels the world peddling the family’s juice, and chances are you can find him in an airport somewhere working on his next novel.

The book description is from Amazon.  Turn or Burn