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Showing posts from October, 2009

An Article by Thad Carhart

Readers, today it's my pleasure to bring you this article by Thad Carhart, Author of Across the Endless River (Doubleday, 320p, ISBN-10: 0385529775), a historical novel about Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea, and his intriguing sojourn as a young man in 1820s Paris.

Across the Endless River imagines this mixed-blood child’s mysterious and unique boyhood in Missouri among the Mandan tribe and his time as William Clark’s ward in St. Louis. With unparalleled language skills and his ability to slip between and co-exist within two very different worlds, Baptiste proves indispensable to the explorers and scientists he meets through Clark.

Imagining the Past in Paris
To walk in Paris is to walk through multiple layers of the past, more than 900 years of built history that awaits any stroller. Having lived here for twenty years, I've seen the city change with new roads and bridges, new museums, new rows of apartments. And yet the deep respect that Parisians have developed …

Three Doggy Reads

Coincidentally, I received three books this week, all of which had a cute dog on the cover.  Here they are for your reading pleasure:

Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan (Avon, 400pp, Isbn-0061547786)
Anna O'Shea has failed at marriage, shed her job at a law firm, and she's trying to re-create herself when she and her recalcitrant nephew are summoned to the past in a manner that nearly destroys them. Her twenty-first-century skills pale as she struggles to find her nephew in nineteenth-century Ireland. For one of them, the past is brutally difficult, filled with hunger and struggle. For the other, the past is filled with privilege, status, and a reprieve from the crushing pain of present-day life. For both Anna and her nephew, the past offers them a chance at love.

Will every choice they make reverberate down through time? And do Irish Wolfhounds carry the soul of the ancient celts?

Wally's World: Life with Wally the Wonder Dog by Marsha Boulton (St.Martins, 288pp, Isbn- 97…

Author Guest Post - Michael Baron (& Giveaway)

Congrats to lucky winner - Deb!

Readers, please join me welcoming Michael Baron, author of When You Went Away, who will be guest blogging here today! In this book, drama springs from finding the courage to put one foot in front of the other each day and, for protagonist Gerry Rubato, the alternate universe is one he can only imagine—one in which his wife, the mother of their infant son, is still alive and his teenage daughter has not abandoned them.

In a Sentimental Mood

Many years ago, I read an article that John Irving had written for the New York Times Book Review. In it, he defended the novelist’s use of sentimental passages if they were intrinsic to the story and not contrived purely to generate an emotional response from the reader. His argument, if I’m remembering it correctly, was that these events do in fact come up in our real lives. Therefore, a writer should be able to reflect this reality on the page. Sentimental experiences can tell us as much about ourselves as tragic expe…

Great New Books from Harper Collins

I received these books for review today and I'm so excited! Check them out. Click the link below the images to read more about them.

In Silent Night, Haunted Night, Joe Bascombe is no stranger to desire, but when a sexy spirit begins haunting his dreams, he finds himself ensnared by dark passions. What he doesn't realize is that the devious demon and her two sisters, otherwise known as the Three Fates, are out to teach the woman he loves a lesson.

To Love a Wicked Lord by Edith Layton, lovely Phillipa is tired of waiting for her missing fiance. Under his foppish demeanor, Lord Montrose is the only man who can help Pippa find her fiance. On the trail of the elusive husband-to-be, a simmering attraction builds between Maxwell and Pippa with a sinful passion that will be impossible to deny.

In Jordan Dane's The Wrong Side of Dead, computer wizard Seth Harper awakens in a bloody motel room with a grisly corpse next to him. Bounty hunter Jessie Beckett, is determined to prove h…

Author Guest Post - Blume Rifken (Giveaway - closed)

Congrats to lucky winner - Amanda

Readers, please join me welcoming Blume Rifken, author of Scarecrow Finds a Friend who will be guest blogging here today. This heartening tale involves Tally, a good witch, who is losing her power to fly. She befriends a Scarecrow and he comes up with a plan to save her flying power.

"Scarecrow Finds a Friend" is my first children's book, and the first book that I have self-published. In 1987, I wrote "Silhouettes In America 1790-1840, A Collectors' Guide" that was published by Paradigm Press.

When the idea for "Scarecrow" came to mind, I decided to self-publish. It has become quite an adventure! The first thing I had to do was take a good look at what I was about to engage in and decide how much money and help I would need to accomplish my goal. I immediately decided that the only portion that I enjoyed was the creative process, and that everything else would be contracted out. Dan Poynter's "Self-Pub…

Horrid Henry - Review & Giveaway - closed

Congrats to lucky winner - Clenna!

Come experience a world of fun and mischief in Francesca Simon’s latest books, Horrid Henry and the Scary Sitter and Horrid Henry's Underpants!

Don't know who Horrid Henry is?! Here's a brief intro:
Francesca Simon is one of the world's best-loved children's authors. She is the only American to have ever won the Galaxy Book Award, and her creation, Horrid Henry, is the #1 bestselling chapter book series in the UK—with a hit TV show and over fifteen million copies sold! Each book contains four easy-to-read stories and hilarious illustrations by the one and only Tony Ross, so even the most reluctant of readers won't be able to resist Henry's amazing talent for trouble!

In Horrid Henry and the Scary Sitter, Horrid Henry encounters the worst babysitter in the world; traumatizes his parents on a long car trip; goes trick-or-treating at Halloween (with disastrous results); and emerges victorious from a raid on Moody Margaret's…

Author Guest Post - Therese Walsh (& a Giveaway - closed)

Congrats to lucky winner - Marilyn
Readers, please join me in welcoming Therese Walsh, author of The Last Will of Moira Leahy, who'll be guest blogging here today. This haunting debut novel explores the intense bond of sisterhood as a grieving twin searches for her own identity in the ruins of her sister’s past.

When Your Characters Travel the World and You Don't Even Have a Passport

Once upon a time, I had a passport. As a junior in high school, I had the good fortune to be invited for a tour of Europe, to sing sing sing my heart out with others my age. I went, of course, I went. I remember taking pictures of castles in Germany, snow-covered mountains in Switzerland, grand cathedrals in Italy (where there were dress codes, I recall), elaborate town squares in Austria. Unfortunately, when we reached Paris, France, my purse was snatched, my passport, my money, my camera—and all of the film from the shots I’d already snapped—gone.

So sad. You can imagine, I’m sure. I still remem…

9 Dragons by Michael Connelly - Review & Giveaway - closed

Congrats to lucky winner - Gena!

There's no denying Harry Bosch is one of the smartest fictional detectives around and Connelly is a master at writing police procedurals. In Nine Dragons, crippled with a partner who has lost his nerve and with a self-imposed debt to pay, Harry investigates the death of a struggling Chinese shop owner which takes him into the deadly world of Triads. His own prejudices about Asians hampers him even as an internal leak has Harry suspecting everyone around him.

The investigation then takes an lethal international turn when Bosch's daughter is kidnapped in Hong Kong. What then happens is a kick-ass Hollywood style (actually make it Jackie Chan style, minus the martial arts shenanigans) adventurous romp with dead bodies piling up in the city of 9 Dragons, Kowloon, in Hong Kong.

The mystery is quite gripping, but what held me fascinated even more were the nitty gritty details of police investigation which are (true to life) 99.99% perspiration and o…


Despite all precautions, I've caught the Flu, maybe even H1N1. Doctors can't tell.

As such, I'm offline until I get better.

Sorry for any inconvenience. Hope to be back soon.
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Author Guest Post - Dianne Castell (& a Giveaway - closed)

Today I'm pleased to welcome Dianne Castell, author of Hot and Irresistible. Her guest post here today is part of this book's virtual tour, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion. And I received a copy of this book for hosting this tour.

Southern Speak’re not in Kansas anymore.

My November release, Hot and Irresistible, is set in Savannah. I love Savannah. I don’t live there but my daughter goes to school there and we vacationed in the area long before that and I knew some day I wanted set a book among the big moss draped oaks, magnolias the size of dinner plates, azaleas as big as a bus and Paula Deen’s. ‘course that Savannah is the most haunted city in the US made the city even more intriguing.

But there was this one teeny problem, I don’t talk like Scarlett O’Hara. I live in Ohio, the land of flat A’s and folks who say “please” when they mean “excuse me.” I have no idea where that come from but it’s better than “huh?”

I had to do a lot of research to make sure I ha…

A Conversation with Barbara Mahler (& a Giveaway - closed)

Barbara A. Mahler was amazed when the wizzen Netri showed up in her life. Night after night he woke her up and told her stories about a land on the other side of the hole in the sky. She wrote down his tales and the result is her first full-length novel, The Hole in the Sky(Sea Turtle Publishing, 300p).

Tell us about your book, The Hole in the Sky.

Following the death of her mother, thirteen-year-old Kaela Neuleaf struggles with her loss. Lured by an old diary and the mysterious power of her mother’s butterfly pendant, Kaela and her cousin Shawn are transported to Muratenland where the two are desperately needed to rescue a kidnapped child from the clutches of a vicious warlord.

The Hole in the Sky offers beauty and adventure, a bevy of strange and magical friends – and deadly enemies. When Shawn is captured, Kaela must dig inside for untapped wells of courage and love in her heart in order to save her cousin and new friends from the ravages of an impending war.

Give us some backgrou…

Author Guest Post - Joy DeKok (& a Giveaway - closed)

Today I'm pleased to welcome JOY DeKOK, author of RAIN DANCE. Her guest post here today is part of this book's virtual tour, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

In Rain Dance, Jonica is infertile. Stacie chooses an abortion. One is prolife, the other prochoice. Both are suddenly alone in misunderstanding, facing hypocrisies in their belief systems, and grieving – one the death of a dream and the other the death of her child. As their hearts break where in the world will they find healing and grace? Can shattered dreams be part of the plan?

“Rule breaker!” the voice yelled. “Renegades don’t get published.”

I wanted to plug my ears. My arms were attached to my sides as if I was wrapped in a straight-jacket. The voice continued its attack from beyond the bright interrogation lights in my nightmare.

When I was able to stand up, I found myself alone in my dark hotel room. It took me a moment to remember where I was. Oh yeah – one of the best writer’s conferences in the nation and …

Author Guest Post - Shayla Black (& a Giveaway - closed)

Congrats to lucky winner - Kim!

Readers, please join me welcoming Shayla Black who will be guest blogging here today! In case you don't already know, Shayla is bestselling author of more than twenty sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances, including the Doomsday Brethren novels Tempt Me with Darknessand Possess Me at Midnight.

I’m often asked, as an author of nearly thirty novels, where my ideas come from. The answer is as complex as the art of writing a novel itself. Just as there’s more than one way to write a book, there’s more than one way to come up with ideas. There’s more than one solution to filling and mining the well of creativity.

Sure, when you’re first motivated to write, it’s because you have an idea that, for you, is so exciting, so breathtaking and consuming, that you can’t not write it. I remember my first idea, which developed when I was in college. I mulled it while walking in my neighborhood, soaking in rays by the pool, driving to th…

A Conversation with Lisa Patton

Lisa Patton is a Memphis, Tennessee native who spent three years as a Vermont innkeeper—until three sub-zero winters forced her back to the South. She's used her experience to pen Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter (Thomas Dunne Books; October 1, 2009; $23.99), a hilarious and heartwarming debut novel about a Southern belle thrown into the wilds of rural Vermont. More than just a funny fish-out-of-water story, this novel shows how one woman learns to stand up for herself and triumph against difficult circumstances.

What was the inspiration for Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’Easter?

I really was an innkeeper in Vermont. Even better, a Southern innkeeper in Vermont! After surviving three sub-zero winters and discovering Vermonters don’t bury their dead in the winter, suffering from vampire bugs bites on the back of my neck, and enduring a four-week summer where I still had to wear a coat at night, I knew I had a story to write.

How has your personal life experience influenced this boo…