Friday, August 26, 2016

Straight Chatting from the Library with Amy McKinley

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amy will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


How do you come up with the titles of your books?

Some titles come to me instantly and others take time. I like them to add depth to what the book is about, what the character struggles with, or perhaps provide foreshadowing. That can be difficult when I tend to gravitate to one-word titles!

Taken wasn’t the original title. I had another in mind. In the end, it didn’t quite fit and Taken won.

What does your writing space look like?

My writing space varies. I have an office, without a door (yep, you heard correctly), a desk, couch and coffee table, and a couple of chairs. The walls are painted a very pretty blue. I love it. Rarely am I at my desk though. I sit there for a while then end up writing with a lap desk or stretch out and write on the floor. I move around a lot. If the kids are home and there is a lot of noise I’ll write in my bedroom. I have a small desk up there too but usually end up writing on my bed.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

Reading. If I could I’d read all the time but I have to be careful or I’ll only do that instead of whatever else I’m supposed to get done. I love going on vacation to the beach with my family. We don’t get to do it often enough, but it is one of my favorite things.

What is your favorite color?

Blue. Most variations of it….blue green, gray blue…etc.

What is your favorite pleasure food?

Carbs. Why does that have to be a bad thing? I adore pizza, ice cream, chocolate, and lasagna. Not necessarily in that order or together. Other days, it’s steak, asparagus, and mashed potatoes. Salad does not make the cut.

What is your favorite season?

Fall. The colors are beautiful and I like the cooler weather.

What is your favorite television show?

Just one? I have a hard time naming only one favorite as you’ll see. Hmm, this is tough. I haven’t watched as much TV as I’d like to lately. I’m going to say Modern Family. After that I have a list of runner ups: Big Bang Theory, iZombie, The Flash, Parks and Recreation, Food Network Star, American Idol, and X Factor to name a few off the top of my head.

What is your favorite movie?

Name only one? There are so many! I like a variety from romantic comedies to action. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Jason Bourne movies and can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched them. August Rush is one I watch at least once or twice a year and still manage to cry. That one is an all time favorite. As for romantic comedies, I adore them.


Forged through a childhood trauma and cursed by the Fates, Layla vows never to be at another’s mercy. With determination and training she evolves into a deadly weapon and quiets her inner demons—until the prophecy activates, shattering her peace. The gods who want her dead converge and the hunt to end her life truly begins. The skills that Layla honed for protection become an unconscious tool for death and destruction, threatening not only the gods but her family.

Entrenched in clan turmoil, Thaull’s life hangs at a precipice. He’s faced with a condition known only to his kind, the soul-divide. If not dealt with, his soul will rip in half and he will turn into an unstoppable, ice-cold killing machine. As he hunts the traitor within his Phantom Warrior clan he worsens. A fragile thread of hope remains. The love of a female, freely given, can save him. Through a premonition of an alluring demigoddess, he gambles his very existence in the chance she will be his salvation. ‬‬‬‬

She will go dark from her curse. He will go numb from his. To survive, Layla must risk trusting another or become another.


Layla scowled as her sister moved closer. Why did she have to be so tall? Kepri’s height annoyed her too. Feeling small sucked. Shifting her focus, she launched her knives again. With each progressive strike, her hands shook less, her confidence returning.

Thankfully, her headstrong sister kept quiet, giving her the space she needed. Soon, the sounds around Layla lost their edge, as did the intensity that ground on her nerves; the cool morning breeze acted as a balm. The moodiness of the glen was replaced with a crisp, beautiful day. She inhaled the first full breath in unrestricted lungs and glanced at Kepri with the beginnings of a smile until her sister opened her big mouth and asked about the order she was waiting on.

“Seriously, Kepri? I’ve got a lot on my plate right now.” Pressing her lips together, Layla walked to the target and yanked out the knives before she faced her sister once more. With the activation of the curse and her past riding her hard, she didn’t need one more thing to worry about. Her sister coming around, risking herself, wasn’t what she wanted.

Layla motioned to her workshop. “They’re in there, completed. Look, sis, I can’t take on any more right now. I’m swamped. You need to hold off and really, I prefer filling orders for Shoeld, not this realm.” Wary of the backlash of her stubborn sister, she crossed her arms and tensed for the potential verbal barrage.

“Listen, I’ll cut you some slack since you’re obviously going through—” Kepri motioned to Layla’s entire being. “—something. But I need the medieval pieces you craft for my collections. They aid all of us. Each connection I establish is a possible step in the right direction toward an answer in breaking the curse.”

“You can’t be certain of that.” Layla scrunched her nose at Kepri’s self-absorption. “I get that they help you to talk with more people, which in turn connects you to even more ancient artifacts, and you scry for answers.” Answers I need. “Come on, Kepri, you are not the only one looking.” Layla took a step back, rubbing her forehead. “I’m sorry, I get that it helps you, but I need a break.” Silence met her apology.

With a curt nod, Kepri gave a tight-lipped smile.

What she really needed was Kepri to stay away, aside from figuring out the change she sensed inside her; she worried about who was coming.


Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author of the Five Fates Series. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. You can find her at

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Straight Browsing from the Library: Defragmenting Daniel by Jason Werbeloff

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jason will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


7 stolen organs.
1 vengeful victim.
A gruesome sci-fi thriller.

Organ scrubbing was a bloody job, but somebody had to do it. Daniel, an orphan from the Gutter, was put to work scrubbing kidneys at aged twelve. The job had its perks: a warm bed, Law and Order reruns, and an all-you-can-eat Mopane worm buffet.

Until the Orphanage stole Daniel’s parts, and sold them on the organ market.

Now Daniel has grown up, and yearns to become whole again. The cybernetic organ replacements just aren’t the same – he needs his parts back. But the new owners of his organs won’t give them up. Not without a fight.

Just how far will Daniel go to regain his missing pieces? And how much more of himself will he lose along the way?

Defragmenting Daniel is a cyberpunk crime thriller that will unnerve you. Every part of you.

“A work of great imagination. Powerful and gripping.”
“A stark and moving experience.”
–, 5 Star Review


“Don’t worry about stepping on the limbs,” said Shoulders. “They’re crunchy underfoot, but you get used to it. Forensics cleared the scene before we got here.”

Kage knelt down. Examined a hand. Such small fingers. He shivered.

“Told you. No forensic traces on any of the limbs. No need to examine them. The vic fell from above.”

Kage looked up. In silhouette above the mobile spotlights, he could barely make out the ceiling. But there it was, a few yards up. He thought he saw square outlines of light perforating the concrete ceiling every five yards or so, stretching ever deeper into the vast underground hall.

Shoulders was on the move, ascending the mountain of human limbs. Kage followed. He scrabbled up the pile of arms and legs, toes and fingers, elbows and knees. He was surprised how yielding they were. How they bent under his weight. But Shoulders was right. He couldn’t ignore the crunch of breaking bones.

“Why’d we legalize this?”

Shoulders threw him a look. “Why not? They’re Gutter kids. This way at least the Bubble gets to have its fun without anyone getting hurt.”

One of the hands twitched, and Kage almost lost his footing.

Shoulders held Kage by the wrist. “Woah, you don’t want to be doing that. Those fingernails will rip you open if you land badly. Happened to Jensen just before you got here. Poor guy almost lost his cheek.” Shoulders shone a victory smile.

“Thanks,” mumbled Kage.

“Vic’s just on the other side of that ridge.” Shoulders pointed to a mound of limbs that looked a little fresher, a little more plump and moist, than the rest.

Kage trudged on behind the Detective. Climbed the hillock of arms. Had to grab hold of more than one to ascend it.

“What … what do they do with them?” asked Kage, breathing heavily under the mask. Beads of moisture condensed on the curve of his lower lip.

“Do with what?”

“The body parts?”

“I hear they send the fresh ones for scrubbing. The rest …” Shoulders shrugged. “The vic’s over here.”

More mobile spotlights, their metal poles staked in the pile of flesh around the body.

Kage looked for the flashing red light at the bottom-right corner of his vision. Recording. Good.

He knelt down. Pulled out a pair of gloves from his leather jacket pocket. He shuddered to think what the jacket would look like after this mess. But that wouldn’t matter if he solved this case. It was the Mayor’s brother. Captain Weeks would pay plenty to the investigator who solved this.


Human. Male. From an obscure planet in the Milky Way Galaxy. Sci-fi novelist with a PhD in philosophy. Likes chocolates, Labradors, and zombies (not necessarily in that order). Werbeloff spends his days constructing thought experiments, while trying to muster enough guilt to go to the gym.

He's written two novels, Hedon and The Solace Pill, and the short story anthology, Obsidian Worlds. His books will make your brain hurt. And you'll come back for more.

Subscribe to his newsletter to receive a free novel, and a lifetime of free and discounted stories:

**Amazon Author Page – - download all of Werbeloff's fiction from Amazon.

**Newsletter – - subscribe to get 'The Solace Pill' free, as well as VIP access to Werbeloff's latest fiction.

**Sound Cloud – - listen to stories from Obsidian Worlds narrated by the inimitable Marc Ryan Rees.

**Goodreads – - read and submit reviews of Werbeloff’s fiction.

**Facebook and Twitter – follow Werbeloff for release date information on upcoming shorts and novels.

**Website - - read about the author, and the philosophy behind his fiction.

The book will be free on Amazon for 4 days, August 24 – 27 2016.

The Organ Scrubber is the first fragment of the Defragmenting Daniel trilogy:
Fragment 1 – The Organ Scrubber
Fragment 2 – The Face in a Jar
Fragment 3 – The Boy Without a Heart


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Friday, August 19, 2016

Straight Chatting from the Library: Doug Howery

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Doug Howery will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon GC and an autographed copy of the book to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please note geographical restrictions apply. United States only for the physical prize. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

“Where the Wild Things Are.”

What is your favorite book today?

The Color Purple.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

Tethered to the wrong body.

What are you reading right now?

The Grass Sweeper God.

Do you have any bad book habits?

Read the end first.

E-Reader or print? and why?

Print because I like to feel the paper in my hand.

One book at a time or multiples?

One book @ a time.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)


Favorite book you've read this year?

Of Great Expectations

When do you do most of your reading?

At night.

Favorite place to read?

At my pond.

Favorite genre?

Historical and Espionage.

Do you loan your books?


Favorite book to recommend?

The Beans of Egypt Maine

Re-reader or not?


What would make you not finish a book?

Boring; no conflict. Sappy, wife beater.

Keep books or give them away?

Give them away.


Sixteen-year-old Smiley Hanlon is a young woman tethered to a young man's body. In the 1950's Appalachia coal fields of Solitude, Virginia, Smiley is placed in the "Mentally Retarded Class" because he is effeminate and wears a blouse and saddle shoes to school.

Smiley is backed by his best friend, Lee Moore who protects Smiley from a father and many townspeople who hate him. Smiley has dreams of becoming an entertainer. Raised by his aunt in a juke joint, as a child Smiley sings and dances on the Formica bar top into the wee hours. Chosen as the female lead, Dorothy, in a new town production called Dorothy of Oz Coal Camp, his dream is being realized. The triumph of the play and his dream is sabotaged by his father and classmate bullies culminating in a tragic and horrific moment that changes both Smiley and Lee, forever.

Smiley and Lee flee to NYC. They learn that prejudice is prejudice whether in the coal fields of Virginia or on the streets of NYC. Smiley suffers at the hands of his real mother who is a religious zealot. She tries to change who Smiley is because he is a boil on the body of Christ. Lee suffers at the hands of psychologists who practice Aversion Therapy-electric shock treatment to cure his homosexuality.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Both Smiley and Lee become forces of change as do countless others. In 1969, Smiley Hanlon and his friend, Lee emerge as leaders of a gay revolution, the historical Stonewall Riots. The riots are vicious but the real battle will be won or lost on another continent: Solitude, Virginia.

The Grass Sweeper God is a force of nature that flows through all things...straightens out that which is bent...which is sick...


Madam Luna: Celestial Fortune Teller, Spiritual Advisor, Psychic and Conjurer of Bad and Good Fortune. The circus had come to the fairgrounds and later, Solitude’s Main Street would swell. People would line Main Street and scurry about in a trance-like state, like they had been put under an ancient spell cast by a conjurer. Elephants, giraffes, zebras, and lions from Africa would parade down Main Street, and people would be entranced. Clowns, fire breathers, bearded ladies, conjoined twins, along with every other human oddity would demand an audience without the sense of judgment, but instead bewilderment. Madam Luna would work her magic, conjuring up spirits, and for every conjure bad bequeathed good. It was how the heavens aligned by balancing the space and time in which bad and good thrived. To conjure up the spirits, to conjure up forces beyond mortal expectation, was to play with the fire of the gods. And she was a fire breather. Those that requested a conjurer’s service always paid the price because people’s nature was to want bad to happen to others. There was always a price to pay for such a request. Madam Luna believed in the adage: We reap what we sow. This was part of the unspoken conjure.


DOUG HOWERY has been writing both fiction and essays since 1990. His essays and familial stories have appeared in The Blue Ridge Lambda Press.

In many of his stories, as in "The Grass Sweeper God," Mr. Howery's true lode, his font of inspiration is in the passion and suffering he has experienced.

Author, Doug Howery penned the novel with insight into his own struggle for sexual identity and personal tragedy. His mother committed suicide in 1982, blaming her two sons' sexual identity in a letter and declaring herself a martyr for intolerance and social bigotry. She referred to her own sons as "Gutter Rats that Could Rot in Hell" and represents the hate and mistrust that have plagued society.

Suspense author, Maggie Grace, with the North Carolina Writers' Network writes about her cohort Mr. Howery: "What I like is the riskiness, the cutting edge of the narrative voice we hear. The moments when he lapses into descriptions of the moon, of the horse, etc. are true poetry that offers some relief from the coarseness of the story, and he places them well. He has an ear for the rhythm of the story, a natural sense of when to end--hangs fire with a new way of looking at someone or something, turning the entire chapter on its ear. I like the way he makes it impossible for the reader to stop reading at the end of the chapter." Mr. Howery lives in Virginia with his partner of 34 years where he is at work on his next novel.

Goodreads: Goodreads>/a>
Book Website: Website

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Straight Browsing from the Library: Fighting Blind by C.M. Seabrook

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Mackenzie Brooks is everything I've ever wanted.

Three years ago, she walked out of my life. No explanation. Just gone.

With the biggest fight of my career only weeks away, she walked back in.

I'll do anything to protect her. Destroy anyone who tries to hurt her. When it comes to Mac, there isn't a line I won't cross.

I've loved her my entire life, and now that's she's back I won't let her go.

She refuses to speak about the past, or the secrets I know she's hiding.

I know she's planning on running again. But when you love someone, you stay and fight. Even if you're fighting blind.


Her hands snake around my back and she rests her forehead against my chest. I pull her tight, reveling in the warmth of her body. My muscles tense in awareness of how perfectly she fits against me.

I breathe in her scent, not wanting the moment to pass. “Let me fix this.”

“You don’t even know what I’ve done.” Her voice is muffled against my chest. “If you knew, you wouldn’t…I can’t do this.”

“Whatever it is, it’s in the past. Come home with me and we’ll figure things out.”

She shakes her head against my chest and mumbles incoherently. When she pulls back, there are tears running down her cheeks and her eyes are red. I know before she says the words that she’s going to run again. Whatever she’s hiding, it’s obvious she doesn’t trust me.

A cold chill wraps around me when she drops her hands and takes a step backwards.

“I need to go.”

“Mac.” Her name comes out as a rough plea, and I see her flinch.

“Don’t come back,” she whispers, before disappearing through the shelter’s doors.

Like hell I won’t. Losing her once nearly destroyed me. I won’t lose her again.


C.M. Seabrook is the author of the Amazon bestselling fantasy romance Cara's Twelve, as well as the Therian Agents paranormal romance series, and co-author of the Mated by Magic series.

When she isn't reading or writing sexy stories, she's most likely spending time with her family, cooking, singing, or racing between soccer, hockey and karate practices. She's living her own happily ever after with her husband of fifteen years and their two daughters.

She loves creating new exciting characters - from sexy, bad boy alphas, to the passionate, fiery women who love them.

Canadian born and bred, she started life in Edmonton, Alberta, and now resides in London, Ontario. She attended Western University where she graduated with an Honors degree in Anthropology.

Her guilty pleasures include red wine, pasta, binge watching Starz originals, and hanging out with her rescue pup, Jaxx.

She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at

Facebook -
Website –
Twitter – @chantelseabrook

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Straight Reading from the Library: Inheritance by Joan Cleveland and Marisa Cleveland

This review is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Joan Cleveland & Marisa Cleveland will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


His destiny is to save humankind. But first he must survive middle school... The descendants of the fallen angels never had it so good. At twelve, Grayson Lahash is thrust into an unfamiliar world where battle lines balance precariously in favor of good over evil, and his unexpected arrival and fallen heritage may be just enough to tip the scales. But as Grayson uncovers the secrets of his past, he must decide if he's willing to risk everything for the destiny that is his to inherit.


I really enjoyed this story by mother/daughter team Joan and Marisa Cleveland (Marisa stopped by to chat with us a few years ago--you can read that interview here). I was really excited to be able to read this book--I'm always looking for new and exciting books for my middle-graders at The Library. This book lived up to its promise.

The main character is dropped off rather unceremoniously at a boarding school which is home to not only human students, but also(as he discovers at the same time he discovers his own heritage) to angels, demons, and nephilim.

I'm not so sure I would have been as easily accepting of the news as he was when I was twelve, but then I'd not been raised on a diet of Harry Potter and other supernatural books and movies. Although he had his moments of doubt, they were short lived.

What I enjoyed most of all was the relationships he developed with the other characters in the book. This, I think, is the essence of the story-- friendship and standing together when the going gets tough. Although the theology might be a little weak, the message is very clearly that the "good" is the side to stay on. And, that's lesson enough for tweens.

I hope this is only the first book of a series. I would love to see these young people fight more of the evil in the world! 4 stars.


Zul hovered on the other side. “Ever seen a halo?”

Grayson fought from choking on the stench of their bad breath. “Is that some kind of drug?”

Zul motioned his stubby fingers in a circle above his head. “We mean a genuine, bona fide, it-hovers-over-your-head halo.”

They meant the kind of halos angels wore. How crazy insane was that? For them to ask him if he’d ever seen one?

He scoffed. “Halo? Have I seen one? No way.” He held up his hand. “And don’t even try to tell me you have. I may look small, but I’m not stupid.”

Loshe resumed his lounging position on his desk. Zul moved to the window, snapping the dark green curtains closed in a cloud of dust. With the sunlight banned, the room sank into a shadowy cell. A desk lamp with a single bulb struggled to glow in the far corner of the room.

Grayson’s gaze ran over the room. He counted four desks, two sets of bunk beds, and four closets. Did that mean he would have the pleasure of meeting another delusional meathead? Would the fourth be as accommodating as these two?

Only, if I’m lucky.

“Clearly he knows nothing,” Zul finally said to Loshe.

“Don’t tell me his father never told him anything,” Loshe countered, completely ignoring Grayson. “His father had to have told him something.”

Zul waved a frustrated hand, pointing at Grayson. “The kid thought a halo was a drug.”


Joan Cleveland was born and raised in New Hampshire, where she is a volunteer aide at a small, private school. She spent over twenty-five years assisting teachers in the classroom at the elementary level. The widow of Maurice T. Cleveland, Jr., Joan has three adult children.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marisa Cleveland loves to laugh, hates to cry, and does both often. If she couldn't express herself through writing, music, and dance, she would die. As a former gymnast, cheerleader, and dancer, she understands the importance of balance, and she encourages everyone to stay flexible.

Instagram: @thereisnobox
Twitter: @marisacleveland

Buy the book at Amazon.


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Monday, August 15, 2016

Straight Chatting from the Library: Annette Bower

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Annette Bower will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is your favorite book today?

My favorite book written by me today is Fearless Destiny, the book about an artist, an architect, a mine, and a town filled with hope. Tomorrow, it will be one of the other books I’ve written, and the next to that day, the new book I’m writing.

But my favorite book that I’m reading today is The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Translated from Swedish. I’m reading the audio version. The introduction and dedication provided the clue to this unlikely story. The author said that his grandpa captivated his grandchildren’s imagination when he told stories. ““Grandpa is that really true?” The grandchildren would ask wide eyed. “Those who only says what is the truth, they’re not worth listening to.” Grandpa replied.” This book is dedicated to Jonasson’s grandfather.

What are you reading right now?

The minute right before I began this interview, Fast Minds How to Thrive if you have ADHD (Or Think You Might) by Craig Surman, M.D. Time Kilkey, M.D. with Karen Weintraub. FAST MINDS stands for: Forgetful, Achieving below potential, Stuck in a rut, Time challenged, Motivationally challenged, Impulsive, Novelty seeking, Distractible, Scattered.

If you could see the state of my office and if you knew that before I began reading, I watched Masterpiece Theatre procrastinating my research, you could suspect that I’m reading this to confirm my own personality. This reminds me of "XI" by Emily Dickinson:

Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
‘T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demure,--you’re straightway dangerous,
And handles with a chain.

However, I have an idea for a story and I want to understand how ADHD might affect a character.

E-Reader or print and why?

Both. I quickly adapted to e reading after I won a Sony e reader in a silent auction for our local library. The books I can have in my TBR pile hardly vie for territory in my thrifty spaced condo. I enjoy the convenience of always having a book with me on my iphone and ipad through the Kindle app, Kobo app, and Harper Collins app. And I enjoy the convenience when I hear or read about a book, I can instantly purchase it, and it appears on my iphone, and synchs to my ipad within seconds.

However, I have shelves with books; the above book Fast Minds is a hardcover print book from our local Chapters store. And another research book, The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin, I purchased after I heard the author speak. I prefer to read print before I go to sleep, to slow down my brain.

When do you do most of your reading?

Most of my reading takes place in the morning with my coffee and then before bed. But I also have audio books on the go and listen when I run errands, walk for exercise, or ride my bicycle around our local lake.

Favorite place to read?

My most relaxing reading takes place on an airplane. I enjoy being seat-belted in and someone brings me a drink and a snack and I can read uninterrupted. My favorite is an overseas flight. No stops allowed over the ocean.

Favorite genre?

Give me a contemporary or historical romance with HEA, and subgenre women’s fiction. When I was a young teen my aunt shared the first of many romance books, back then it would have been Mills & Boon and Doctor Nurse romance. In fact, when I was a new nurse working in northern Canada, I was infatuated by a young intern. When I heard his name on the intercom, I swooned. We dated, but alas it didn`t take. He wanted me to cook dinner for the hospital director and his wife, but I hadn’t learned; I took Latin in high school rather than home economics. I invested in the tome, The Joy of Cooking but later I married a man who enjoys preparing meals and who purchased Harlequins for me to escape after a stressful day with our young children.

I’ve also come to appreciate reading the woman’s journey in women’s fiction, where the heroine is the central focus of the story. They remind me of chats with friends where I learn or confirm something about my life through the characters.

In the book, The Merchant of Venus, Inside Harlequin and the Empire of Romance, on pp 245, David Galloway, the then Harlequin president, spoke to a largely male audience. He asked how many read the Globe and Mail. He had many hands in the air. After another question with regard to news, he asked how many had read a Harlequin in the past three months. Only his hand went up. “Well, let me tell you,” he said. “Harlequin readers read – and watch television less than the average [person]. And they have better sex lives.” One man in the audience piped up: “How many books does it take?”

Now where it says, Harlequin, I think romance as there are so many small presses and Indie authors who also publish romance, and if we can provide better sex lives for those who read, we’re doing a service to couples around the world.

How do you keep your books organized?

I have a shelf that begins with Modern British Literature and ends with the Holy Bible.

Another shelf that begins with Websters New World Dictionary and ends with the CD of The Hero’s 2 Journeys with Michael Hauge and Christopher Vogler. In between is Dynamic Characters, Stephen King On Writing and Idiot’s Guide to Getting your Romance Published.
,br> And on it goes for many shelves behind closed cupboard doors. However, I’m not sure about other authors, I find myself turning to the internet for definitions and research more than the hard copies during my writing.

Keep books or give them away?

Man, I’m trying to give books away. I have a box in the hallway where I promise myself I will place one book a day to donate to the Seniors’ Life Long Learning Centre fund-raising book sale. The box is far from overflowing. In the past when I’ve given books away, I’ve taken pictures of the covers and then if I feel I need their touchstone, I can glance at the cover and if necessary, possibly re-order, hopefully electronically.

Thank you Librarian for hosting me today.


From the Romance Review Readers Choice nominee, Annette Bower, comes a new small town romance, Fearless Destiny.

Tiffany George, riding high on her commission as a fresco artist, returns home for some deserved rest and relaxation. The drive is uneventful until she rescues Will Cleaver on the side of a highway. While savoring memories of a kiss and a well formed butt, her future goals do not include a romance.

Once in town, she discovers the hopes and dreams of her community hinge on the development of a new resource mine and Will Cleaver’s designed neighborhood. Her parents demand she give up art and resume her working partner role in the family business. Tiffany George is pulled by her community roots and stretched by her newly discovered independence.

Will Cleaver knows about taking charge of destiny. He models the courage she uses to become the woman she needs to be.


“Tiffany, you’ve been away.” Mayor Robert stepped forward and turned Tiffany toward the model.

“This is our town after the urban development is completed.” He put his finger on the cenotaph.

“The new neighborhood is here on this land, with access to hiking paths, the park, and further along the street are the new family homes. And here’s the new school and a new community hall.” Mayor Robert spoke slowly, providing time for Tiffany to absorb all the changes that had been planned for Apex.

“Then of course there will be infill. Some of the older places will be torn down and new buildings taking their place.” Mayor Robert nodded.

“Everything and everyone needs to adjust.” He kept his arm securely around Tiffany’s shoulder like a kindly uncle.

“Nikki is the construction engineer. She’s responsible for the infrastructure. She knows how large our lagoon and water supply will have to be.”

Although Nikki was talking to Will, he watched Tiffany.

Mayor Robert gulped a deep breath. “I’m surprised your parents didn’t mention anything. Or you haven’t been watching our Facebook page or Twitter account.”

“Facebook page? Twitter account?” Tiffany frowned. “It feels as if I left home and returned to a strange place.” She stared at the three-dimensional model on the table in a makeshift office.

“We can’t stand still,” Mayor Robert said. “I hear you haven’t.”


Annette Bower sets her romance novels in Saskatchewan because she believes home can be as exotic as anywhere else in the World. Annette travels extensively, but always returns home to Regina, Saskatchewan. Born in Regina, her experiences as a nurse, administrator, town councillor, teachers’ assistant and student inform her stories and reflect the experiences of many readers. Annette’s stories are read around the world and have been shortlisted on many national and international stages.

Annette Bower writes about women’s roles in families, in communities and women’s emotions at the beginning and end of love in her home office in Regina, SK. Her short stories are published in magazines and anthologies in Canada, United States, and United Kingdom.

Her women’s fiction novels with romantic elements, Woman of Substance and Moving On are published by Soul Mate Publishing.

Annette Bower’s day-to-day experiences as a nurse, administrator, town councillor, teacher’s assistant and student means that her stories are the real thing because they are about you and your neighbours. Her short stories and novels are read around the world. Her romance novels are set in Saskatchewan because she believes home is as exotic as anywhere else in the wide world she has visited.

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Straight Browsing from the Library: Lyrical Press Contemporary Books

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a digital copy of both books to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Sometimes it takes hurt to open your heart…,

At twenty-two, Thane Wells is the highest-paid pitcher in Major League Baseball—and he owes it all to his adoptive Mama, “Queen” Elizabeth Sommerville, a wise, beautiful, entrepreneurial African-American woman who always encouraged him and his two white brothers to reach for the stars…the woman Thane still talks to daily. He never dreamed their most recent conversation would be their last. With his beloved supporter suddenly gone, Thane is grief-stricken, shaken, and vulnerable—especially to a woman like Kari Meyers.

Kari’s had her eye on Thane for a while, but strictly for business. As a junior sports agent, she’s hungry to sign him, especially when she hears his current agent will be retiring soon. When she finally locates Thane, she’s shocked to discover he’s attending his mother’s funeral—and he’s shocked to find Kari in his hotel room. Assuming she’s an escort is just the beginning of their misunderstandings. But one thing that’s clear is their mutual attraction. As a single mom with an NBA ex, Kari has a rule against dating athletes. Yet as circumstances bring the two closer together, they just might find they’re on the same team, heart and soul…

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Can tragedies have a happy ending in Storybook Lake?

Every town has one—a mean girl, hell-bent on taking down everything in her path—and Danielle Ranier played the role to a tee. She broke up Storybook Lake’s most beloved couple and to save herself from a lifetime of lectures on morality, she hopped on the first plane out of town. Six years, one child, and a big secret later, she’s back, fleeing from her abusive husband, who isn’t quite willing to set her free. Now on trial for a murder she didn’t commit, Simon Hunter, the only man she’s ever loved is offering her a lifetime of love and security. If she could only reveal the secrets long-held inside her, a family that never was might finally come together . . .

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Crystal Bright graduated with a B.A. from Old Dominion University with a major in Creative Writing, a minor in Communications, and an emphasis on Public Relations. She earned her M.A. from Seton Hill University in Writing Popular Fiction. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Chesapeake Romance Writers. For more information about Crystal and her writing, please visit her website at Follow her on twitter:


As an author, Melissa Shirley believes in fairytales, happily ever after, and destiny. Born and raised in Illinois, and a mother of eight, she lives with her husband and three youngest children in a quiet town in the southern part of the state where she spends her time writing and watching her children grow into the people she has always dreamed.

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