Thursday, April 17, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library: June M. Pace

June M. Pace stopped by The Library to chat with us as part of her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly dawn commenter will win an autographed print copy of the book and two other commenters will receive downloads of the book.


First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

I live in northern/central CA in a little beach community, in the foothills of the giant Redwoods, called Santa Cruz. It’s a perfect place to live, and I love it here! I recently got married to my best friend, Ray, in SeptEMBER of first marriage ever! So I waited in my life to do that and I’m really glad I did. We have three kids....stepkids to that still lives with us, LOVE him! and the older two are in San Francisco and LA. We have two dogs, Louie, a big white/tan lab and Bodhi (your guess is as good as mine), a tuxedo cat, Frankie and five chickens, Esther, Maxine, Marilyn, Wynnefred, and Petunia..and one duck, Vida. She had a mate, Dulce, but alas a hawk got him. Then we had Doug, however, Doug loved to go after my little Doug is gone. We’re now looking for a new female friend for Vida.

How long have you been writing?

I actually started writing with this first book back in 2010. Wow, that seems so long ago and we’re just promoting the book now; for clarity, it didn’t take three years to write this book. I began writing in the beginning of the year in 2010 and wrote until I moved in Aug/Sept. then I laid off for about five months and got back to it and finished the book in 2011. I attempted to shop it for about a year then decided to self publish in here I am. I just today, finished book two in five more settled into the real life of writing. It’s better than anything I’ve ever done in my life...writing I mean. I have a tremendous passion for this work.

Do you have a favorite place to write?

Yes, I live in my den when I’m writing. Someday soon we’re going to make this into a library, wall to wall bookshelves and my big fat desk. It’s a great room! Wood burning stove, big tall windows, super high ceiling and all my books surrounding me..I love it in here.

Why did you decide to write Benjamin McTish and the Door through the Grandfather Tree?

I’ve always had a way with kids, they flock to me. I’ve always felt a need to champion for our young people. I wrote this book, this series, with a deeper meaning than merely a tale to tell. I hoped to touch on the idea of the courage it takes to figure out who you are, and then to live that Truth freely. To be accountable for your actions and realize they may have repercussions for others as well, and to own up to your actions. I believe in Walking your Talk. There’s a spiritual thread that runs through this series, and hopefully it will allow someone the insight to observe the synchronicity of their life and see where they can make the changes, if any, to uplift themselves and others, to stay on the Path to their highest good. I’ve wrapped it all up in an exciting adventure of fantasy, magic and hope.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Mathilda! I just want to scrunch her cheeks. She makes me laugh, she’s a real character. She’s not afraid of anything and thinks outside of the box. She says what she feels, and loves with all her heart. She’s all the best parts of me.

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

Sorry, no answer for that one. How can any character you write be less than? They are a part of the whole, you need them to complete or embellish, or make sense of, or antagonize...fill in the need every character, so as a writer I’m invested in all my characters. I love them all, even the nasty evil Tar Vigorn. Actually, that’s one of the reasons I made her so over the top beautiful. I don’t think evil is always produced by something dark and ugly. Truth comes in many different does a lost soul.

Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

7. Yes, and yes. Ironically a bunch of us writers have been talking about editing the past two days. It’s a torturous job. You read and re-read and read again..and you STILL miss things! It’s absurd. So I give the book to my husband and he goes over all the grammar and punctuation and gives me back a really marked up book and I go about the tedious task of re-writing and corrections. Although he missed a good one too...not once but twice...I spelled the word, clothesline...closeline...for god’s sake!

I originally gave my work to a teacher who proof reads and she wanted to change up my entire I don’t do that anymore!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love my garden and plants, so I get very involved with the property. Then there are the girls I like to call chickens...they are so much fun to visit with...they’re like shoes, they are all so unique and unusual you just want to keep buying more. And they are used to my voice so they hang out with me, it’s very sweet. I plant live vegies in their pen and the duck pond needs cleaning out, etc. so it takes time. The pups of course, they need tons of attention. My husband and I make a habit of taking them for a long walk on the beach on Monday mornings.

And as I mentioned earlier, I paint. I’ve had a pretty good run with my Rock Series...large scale paintings of Rock n Roll legends, I’m in the middle of Stevie Nicks...well, I was in the middle last summer until wedding fever took I need to get back to her and finish that up. And the house is never finished with the little things, like a ceiling mural I began in the hall and stair landing...the mosaic fireplace and the guest bathroom re-do...can’t wait to get into that one. We have a new orchard...gardening and plants take up a lot of time. When things are on a regular routine I do Yoga almost daily, hike, run, things of this nature..I like to keep fit. Right now I’m dealing with a major injury, so it’s not as consistent...and holiday chunk is hangin on still...ha ha. But I always do a week fast every spring, so that will shift things up for me. And we go to regular ball games (Go A’s) with my husband's dad who is 95! Geez, no wonder I’m always so tired...I’m too busy!

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I don’t read like I used to because I’ve been working on this series so much (and did you get a load of the stuff I do when I’m not writing, when do I have time?). It’s really sad to me because I would literally read for five hours straight once upon a time. I love reading. I had this great day bed in my dining room at my old house, right in front of a gigantic picture window that looked down over the forest mountains and I could see the coast line all the way to was spectacular. I would lay there among a huge pile of pillows and a blanket and read forever. I miss those days. I used to lay out in the sun and read for hours as well, and I still like to do that so that’s when I get the longest span of free time here. This past summer I read a great dystopian novel by Shaunta Grimes called Viral Nation...loved it! Her main character Clover is extremely well written. Now that I’ve opened my life up to YA Fantasy, I’m coming across a TON of amazing authors and their work, so I’ve got a pile going that I’ll begin very soon...Etiquette and Espionage, Wander Dust, Aquifer and a new one that I just ordered today called The War Inside...and there’s a couple more I have on a list, it will keep growing.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

Do you think your work is you think you’re a good writer?

I do.


The McTish Series is an explosive adventure through a dimensional Gateway into another world, a world of beauty and magic, Coranim...a land of insight, thought and possibilities, that sits beneath the enchanted Gilley Forest.

There is local legend in the small town of Grandlochcheshire that has been passed down for a 100 years about the mysterious disappearance of the Chickering family, that trails on the coat tails of the equally shocking abduction of the Skeffington Union Rails heirs. The circumstances that follow this notorious tale enter into the modern world of Benjamin and his two best mates.

One day Benjamin watches as a mysterious little woman steps out of a taxi and in one synchronistic moment their eyes lock and a series of visual snippets of unfamiliar events unfold in his mind’s vision. His razor sharp sixth sense allows him the freedom to explore the extrasensory messages coming at him like a derailed freight train. And when Benjamin finds a peculiar relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.

Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have come from America, have become more than mere friends to Benjamin, they have all become the three Muskydeers (Mathilda’s mispronounced version of Musketeers, which was a huge laugh and of course it stuck), as they are plunged head first into this curious journey.

In the Gilley Forest they discover that the path they have chosen is inundated with many obstacles as well as intrigue. Alliances are made with the Forest clan of Gnomes and with the aid of the Vila sisters, Sethina and Morel, as well as some surprising and unexpected allegiances, the three friends take on the test that is the Grandfather Tree. They must stay on the pre ordained Path of Prophecy, whose ancestry comes from the home of the oldest living beings on the planet, the Elves of the Darmon. However, this is no easy task for the Muskydeers as they have the foulest of sorcery hunting their every move, the powerful dark beauty, Tar Vigorn.

This ruthless Queen is not without humor however and loves a good game of cat and mouse, as long as she’s the cat. With her biting sense of sarcasm and calculated taunting, she knows just how to unnerve Benjamin. Her phantom army, the Blunt, are searching for a way into the Grand Tree and will stop at nothing to infiltrate the pristine world beneath his giant roots.

Once in Coranim the children make the acquaintance of the greatest Medicine Elder alive, Esmerelda Fet. A most powerful Light Sorceress with a brazen in your face attitude, who guides the trio on their Path of destiny. However, a Path can change in the blink of an eye...what could alter the overpowering trajectory Benjamin has followed to Coranim? How will it change his life?

Find out as our three heroes delve into the mystic, as well as their own inner character, as you watch from the edge of your seat.


Ms. Pace has created a magical world that reminded me a bit of some of the books I read as a child--a world in which the fantastic happens and where children have the power to help others and themselves, power which is often absent in their every day world.

I enjoyed very much the characters she created. During the course of the story, they became friends I would enjoy hanging out with and I'm very interested in their next adventure.

I did find the formatting of the book a little odd--with all the dialogue being in italics. It was a little off-putting at first, but I got used to is.

Although marketed as a young adult, in The Library I would put this in our Middle Grade collection--I think this book is most suitable for 10-13 year olds, although it could be read with enjoyment by adults.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next entry in this series to see what other adventures Benjamin, Annabel, and Mathilda encounter. 4 stars.

June lives with her husband and best friend Ray, her step-son and their two dogs, five chickens and two ducks, in Santa Cruz Ca. Her two older step-kids live respectively in LA and San Francisco.

June spends her days writing and sometimes painting her well known series of Rock n Roll icons. June and Ray own Madrona Rust, a line of unique, hand-made rustic furniture.

This series of work, the McTish characters, are a part of June in every sense of the word. “This work brings a deep sense of joy and passion for me in a very profound way, like nothing else that I do.

Blog Buy the book at Amazon and Smashwords.

Straight Chatting From the Library: Forgetting Fallenwood by Leslie D. Soule


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Leslie will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to TWO randomly drawn commenters during the tour, so make sure you visit with her today. Click the banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

Mattimeo, by Brian Jacques – I got this book for free in elementary school. They were doing a book giveaway to promote literacy and it’s been one of my all-time favorite reads. The cover’s so bent up that I’ve had to repair it completely with packaging tape just to keep it together.

What is your favorite book today? Currently I think my new favorite is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I love the skill she displays in her use of the first-person narrative (traditionally a difficult style to write in). I also have a fondness for the dystopian novel genre, after one of my Master’s degree classes was a Utopia/Dystopia course.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

Forgetting Fallenwood is a book about refusing to accept mediocrity.

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s an excellent novel in which the author writes about her journey through Italy, India, and Bali in her search for happiness and contentment.

E-Reader or print? and why?

To me, it doesn’t really matter, though I tend to prefer print books because I’m so used to them and to the feeling of having a book in my hands. I like to stop and look at where I’m at in a book and have a feeling of accomplishment when I pass the halfway mark, and things like that.

Favorite place to read?

Preferably somewhere quiet in the woods, like up in Crescent City in northern California, where the woods are so peaceful that thick layers of dust settle on the ferns.

Favorite book to recommend?

I’m a fan of Aubrie Dionne’s work – she’s created some brilliant sci-fi novels and I’d like to recommend them to readers.

Keep books or give them away?

KEEP THEM!!! Personal libraries have been so important throughout history in the preservation of classic works of literature, such as the tale Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, found in a personal library called the Cotton Nero library. History has been plagued with library fires (the mention of the burning of the Great Library at Alexandria makes me weep on the inside).


Cover_Forgetting Fallenwood What happens when Ash accidentally makes her way through another portal, this time into the Other Realm, and forgets she ever went to Fallenwood? More importantly, how much of one's identity is made up of memories? Fallenwood 2 is the continuing journey of heroine Ash Kensington. Struggling with a deep sense of grief, sorrow, and overall confusion, Ash tries to work her way through to a deeper, underlying meaning. This search leads her back to Fallenwood, where the mystery unravels itself as she realizes that a very sinister force may be underlying everything…


As she approached the archway, she looked through it and saw the open sky beyond, with clouds that looked soft as cotton. A guard stood next to a bronze plaque with the words "Invisible Bridge—take a leap of faith!" He smiled as though radiating an inner light and Ash felt drawn to the challenge like a moth to a bug zapper. She took a deep breath and was about to take a step out onto what appeared to be nothing, when she felt the strong hands of Terces, pulling her back by the shoulders. She also felt a small force tugging at the leg of her jeans. She felt herself pulled backward several feet and then saw Terces’s brown eyes boring into hers.

"The invisible bridge is a trap for the unwary. The clerks of the Tower are trying to kill you."

Ash gasped at the realization of what she’d nearly done. She seated herself on the ground. "I’m so sorry. I need a moment."

Greymalkin walked up and pressed his nose up to hers. Then he swiped her across the face with a paw. His eyes narrowed. "Who do you think you are—Indiana Jones?"

AuthorPicLeslie D. Soule is an author who loves to try new genres and Sacramento, California is her hometown. She has an M.A. in English from National University and is a member of the English Chapter of the Sac State Almuni Association. She is currently working on her fantasy quadrilogy, The Fallenwood Chronicles.

Website link:

Twitter: @Falcondraco


Buy Links:


Melange Books:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library: Aldred Chase

Aldred Chase stops by The Library to chat as part of his virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. He will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so leave a comment or ask him a question of your own. You can see the stops on the tour here:


First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

I grew up in the UK and my family still live there. Many years ago, I visited Australia on holiday, fell in love with the country and emigrated. I now live in Sydney with my wife Barbara.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing stories since I was a child, and I dreamed of being a writer when I grew up. As an adult, I’ve always maintained my writing as a hobby, but it’s only in the last two years that I have become serious about publishing my work.

Do you have a favorite place to write?

My favorite places for writing are cafes and park benches, but I do most of my work sitting at my desk. My best ideas come to me when I'm traveling by train or walking by the sea.

Why did you decide to write the Nobody’s Fool Quartet?

I’m fascinated by the history of theatre and I thought it would be interesting to base a story around a troupe of strolling players in a medieval setting. I was also inspired by the legend of Robin Hood. My hero would stand up and fight for the downtrodden people in an unjust society, and no matter how bad the situation became, he would never admit defeat. The final strand was that I wanted a hero who would be fun to write. I made my hero, Keth, a boy who was an energetic, impulsive risk-taker with a sharp wit and a flair for getting into trouble.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

My favorite character is my hero, Keth. I tend to be thoughtful and cautious whereas Keth is an impulsive risk-taker, and I find it exhilarating to experience the world through his eyes. I admire his resilience. He makes mistakes and he has setbacks, but he never gives in.

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

My least favorite character in Dragon’s Fool is Prince Dawyn, who is a spoiled brat. My hero, Keth, is the Prince’s fool. Dawyn is an unsympathetic and obnoxious character but I try to find occasions to give him a little light and shade so that the reader can see how he became this way.

Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

Once I’ve finished my first draft, I do some self-editing. I try to resolve structural issues first then progress to finer levels of detail. Once I’m happy with my story, I send it to an editor to line-edit. I make most of the amendments suggested by my editor then my wife kindly proofreads the story before I publish it. I value the extra pairs of eyes looking over my story as they pick up many things that I miss but my readers would notice.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy reading and watching plays and movies; any form of storytelling draws me in. I like to travel, especially long distance train journeys. The planning is almost as much fun as the trip.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I read a lot of fantasy fiction and if I like a book, I will read it twice. The first reading is purely for personal pleasure while the second reading is more for professional interest. I want to learn how other writers weave their enchantments that suck me so completely into their stories. My favorite authors that I’m currently reading include Neil Gaiman, Eoin Colfer, Jonathan Stroud and Rick Riordan. My all-time favorite author is Tolkien.

Have you ever found yourself stuck part way through writing a book? If so how did you escape?

Before I begin writing a first draft, I work out an outline of the book down to the scene level. This keeps me on track, most of the time, but sometimes I will sense that I’m forcing my characters to act in ways that are untrue to them. My initial reaction is to panic but once I’m over that I revisit my outline and work out what needs to change. I give myself plenty of time and coffee to do this because I’m tweaking at the threads of the story and in fixing up one thing I might unravel something else.


Keth has become the most powerful person in the city of Russett. He is both Prince Dawyn's fool and his most trusted adviser. The secret of Keth's success is listening to the tart, sour comments that the turnip on the end of his fool's stick pours into his mind, which no one else can hear.

When an earthquake strikes Russett, it is only the first in a series of disasters to devastate the city. Superstitious folk say that these are signs that a dragon is coming and only the golden prince of legend can save them. Keth's turnip tells him that these are only natural events and dragons don't exist, but he can use peoples' fears to his own advantage.

In the ruined city, Keth has to decide who he will trust and what he will believe. The fate of his friends and the survival of the land depend on the choices he makes.

Dragon's Fool is book four in the Nobody's Fool Quartet, the gripping climax to a tale of comedy and adventure.


Aldred Chase’s first experience of fantasy fiction was reading ‘The Hobbit’ at school, and he has been hooked on the genre ever since. His favorite places for writing are cafes and park benches, but he does most of his work sitting at his desk. His best ideas come to him when he is travelling by train or walking by the sea.

Aldred has just released Dragon’s Fool, the final installment of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, a tale of adventure and comedy with some scary bits, aimed at children age 9 to 12. He vacated his desk to give his brain and keyboard a rest, but during a recent train ride the idea for his next novel arrived, and the desk is calling him back.

Website ~ Facebook

Buy Dragon's Fool at iTunes, Amazon, Smashwords, or Barnes and Noble. For readers who would like to read the series from the beginning, Apprentice Fool, book one of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, is available free at Amazon, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo and Barnes and Noble.


This post is part of the Cover Reveal Blog Tour for the first four books in Lashell Collin's Kelly Family Series. These four novellas will all be released on April 30, followed exactly one month later on May 30 by a full length novel in the series. Lashell will be awarding a $15 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. The other stops on the tour can be seen by clicking the tour banner.


Ethan: A Kelly Family Novella

Officer Ethan Kelly is a nice guy. That’s what all the girls say, right before they toss him aside for one of those bad boys. But when he meets rookie officer, Heather Moss, Ethan is determined to show her that a nice guy knows how to treat a real woman.

But Heather isn’t interested. Or at least, she doesn’t want to be. She swore off men a long time ago, and focusing on her career leaves zero room for romance. Even with someone as sweet and sexy as Ethan. But when she saves his life on a robbery call, Heather realizes that he might just be the man to save her from herself.

Storm: A Kelly Family Novella

Bad boy cop Storm Kelly is on the prowl for some action. And the way he’s feeling, he doesn’t much care if it comes in the form of a bar fight or a smart, sassy woman. So when he gets off his Harley and walks into a biker bar, he’s in his element when he finds both … barroom brawl, check. Rescue the damsel in distress, check. And with any luck, that sexy damsel might just turn out to be the perfect sub he’s been searching for.

Nina Fitz is in a world of trouble when the sexy stranger comes to her rescue. Never one to resist a hot guy on a motorcycle, she quickly decides to invite this one home. And when the jerk from the bar decides he’s not through with her, Officer Storm Kelly becomes her protector. But after one night of passion with Storm, Nina is left wondering if she can handle his dark dominant side.

Frankie: A Kelly Family Novella

Frankie Kelly has fought her whole life to prove that she is just as capable as all the men in her testosterone-driven family. And now her hard work and dedication to the police K-9 program is finally beginning to pay off. But when her secret, sexy romance with her sergeant culminates in a marriage proposal, Frankie is thrown for a loop wondering if she’s ready to go public with their clandestine relationship.

John Myles is sure of two things in life - one, that he is dedicated to the K-9 program he leads at the police department. And two, that he loves Frankie Kelly more than life itself. But when she hesitates to accept his proposal, John is rattled. Especially when the job gets in the way, forcing him to send her and her K-9 partner out into the dark night in search of a dangerous murder suspect.

Marina: A Kelly Family Novella

Marina Kelly is sick to death of cops! That’s all she’s known her entire life - her father is a cop, her uncle was a cop. All of her cousins are cops. Even her two brothers and her big sister … all cops. So Marina decided early on that her life would take a much different path, getting as far away from that lifestyle as she could get. And dating a cop is totally out of the question!

Levi Hawks is well aware of Marina’s ‘no cops’ dating rule, so when a supposed chance meeting brings him face-to-face with the sexy shop owner, Levi is determined to hide the fact that he’s a police detective from her for as long as he possibly can. Or at least until he can get her to agree to go out with him!


Lashell Collins spent the last twenty years of her life working in Veterinary Hospitals and Garden Centers. But whether she was surrounded by the adorable puppies and kittens she helped care for, or by the beautiful flowers, trees and shrubs, she constantly pursued her favorite pastime – reading romance novels and imagining herself as the heroine in each and every one of them. She began writing as a way to work through her grief after the loss of a few people who were special to her, and she found it to be cathartic, so she kept at it. She self-published her first novel in 2013. Since then, Lashell has self-published ten titles across two series – the Pierced Trilogy (romantic suspense), and the Jagged Ivory Series (contemporary romance) – and is hard at work on another seven titles for this year. All of Lashell’s stories are full of heart and romance, with smart dialogue and spicy sex scenes.

When she’s not writing, Lashell enjoys reading, shopping, eating Chinese food, and riding on the back of her husband’s Harley-Davidson. She loves watching General Hospital and Grimm. She is a huge music fan and is completely obsessed with Slash. Lashell is a member of the Romance Writers of America. Drop her a line; she loves to hear from readers.


All of the books are available for prepurchase at Barnes and Noble:

Ethan -
Storm -
Frankie -
Marina -

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library: Bernadette Marie

Bernadette Marie stopped by The Library to talk with us about books as part of her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Bernadette will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can see the other stops on the tours here:


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

My favorite book was THE LITTLE HOUSE by Virginia Lee Burton. It is now my youngest son’s too and we both cry when we read it.

What is your favorite book today?

IF TOMORROW COMES by Sidney Sheldon will probably always remain my favorite (and one I’ve read the most.) It was the first book that got me wanting to seriously write.

Do you have any bad book habits?

Not so much anymore, but I used to be a sucker for self-help books that I wouldn’t read.

E-Reader or print? and why?

I’ve gone to the love of an Ereader because I can have the same book on my computer, iPad, and phone. I have read most books lately on my cell phone!

One book at a time or multiples?

I both read and write more than one book at a time. :-)

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

I’m a bookmarker. Dog-ears make me crazy! :-) But I use a Post-it note for a bookmark usually.

Favorite genre?

Contemporary Romance

Do you loan your books?


Re-reader or not?

No, I don’t usually reread books.

Keep books or give them away?

Only recently, in a fit of decluttering, I have started to give away books. I used to keep them as trophies, but as I don’t reread them it seems silly.


In one moment Christian Keller’s life was changed. Now as he picks up the pieces he wonders if he can possibly recoup what he lost.

Victoria Lincoln had a promising future with Christian until an accident took the life of her sister and left her as guardian to her two small children.

Their lives have gone in different directions, but Christian and Victoria’s paths will cross again. It will take a lot of change to pick up where they left off—if either of them can.


Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends. Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter. At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years.

In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published. That year she wrote 12 books. In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born. In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and has begun the process of taking on other authors in other genres.

Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events. She is also an accomplished martial artist, working her way to her second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. An avid reader she loves to meet readers who enjoy reading contemporary romances and she always promises Happily Ever After.

5 Prince Publishing ~ Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Blog

Monday, April 14, 2014

Straight Reading from the Library: Crimson Clouds by Claude Nougat

The Library received Crimson Clouds to review as part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Claude will be awarding a print copy of Crimson Clouds to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (US ONLY) You can see the other stops on the tour here:


Robert is at a crossroads. Just retired from a brilliant career as a UN manager in humanitarian aid, he could work as a high-level consultant or pursue his childhood dream of becoming an artist. He chooses the latter to the dismay of his wife Kay. Twenty years his junior, Kay is a lover of Contemporary Art, deeply involved in her work as the owner of a trendy art gallery in New York. She is horrified by his academic paintings. They fight over Art - he's square, she's cool - but more separates them than diverging views on Art. A secret Kay has never revealed weighs on their marriage and threatens to break it apart...

This contemporary romance resonates with the complexities and wistfulness of mature passion the second time around.


This book is not your everyday romance book--instead it's a story of second chances, of mature love and failings, and carries with it the theme--and fear-- of "too late." It reads more like "women's fiction" than romance.

Is it "too late" for Robert to follow his childhood dream of painting?  Is it "too late" for Robert and Kay to have a life together?  Is it "too late" for them to find some common ground in a marriage that for twenty years have been living all but separate lives?  Is the love they still share not only "too late" but enough to salvage this relationship?

Ms. Nougat does a wonderful job at reeling the reader in and making her care what happens to these two characters, even while said reader wants to just shake them both at times and tell them to "stop it right now."  They each want to regain what they had in the early days of marriage but each are equally sure that their needs are the most important ones. 

The author takes these two through an unconventional (especially in the terms of romance writing) journey as they seek to regain what they have lost.  It's told through alternating points of view so we get some of the story from each of them, which is interesting to see. 

I am definitely interested in reading more of this author's work---I like the way she writes.

4 stars.


Claude Nougat is a writer, economist, painter and poet. A graduate of Columbia University, Claude has dabbled in a wide variety of jobs before starting a 25 year career at the United Nations (Food and Agriculture), ending as Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia.

Claude is the author of many books, including two in Italian that won several awards in Italy, and seven in English, all fiction except one essay on development aid; she is considered a prime exponent of Boomer literature.

Her poetry has been included in "Freeze Frame", an international poetry anthology curated by British poet Oscar Sparrow, published by Gallo Romano Media in 2012.

Claude is married and lives in Italy.

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Visit the Goodreads Boomer Lit Group that she founded:

Friday, April 11, 2014

Straight Talk from the Library: Cathi Shaw's Take on Critique Groups

Cathi Shaw, author of FIVE CORNERS, is at The Library today to talk about critique groups as part of her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. Cathi is giving away a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner's choice). You can see the other stops on the tour here:

My Take on Critique Groups

I’ve wanted to be a writer for my whole life so I’ve done pretty much everything you’re told you should do if you want to be a writer and that includes joining writing groups.

From my first creative writing course as a college student to my last attempt at putting together a writing group in my home town, I’ve found the experience of these kinds of groups an utter let down.

I think there are a few reasons for this. First, and most commonly, it becomes a way to avoid writing. The number of times I’ve pulled an old story out and passed it around because I didn’t actually write anything for the group is truly startling. Instead of spending a few hours sitting around talking about writing I would be better off doing the actually task of writing.

Second, in open groups a lot of the people who attend aren’t very good writers. That sounds snobby but it’s true. Some people who join writer’s groups really need to work on their writing process (usually the revising phase). But they don’t want to be told that. I teach writing so I read a lot of first drafts and in a writer’s group I want to be reading polished drafts not crappy first attempts.

Third, and probably most importantly, people are often there to have their egos stroked. They don’t want constructive criticism; they want praise. I tell my students that you have to decide what kind of feedback you are looking for when you ask for someone to read your work. Do you want a cheerleading section (frankly, sometimes we want exactly that!)? Do you want a copyeditor who focuses on grammar and punctuation (also, very much needed sometimes)? Or do you want a constructive critique of your story? I think writers’ groups work best for the final category but often that’s not why people are there!

So writer’s groups are not my piece of cake. But what I do find immensely helpful is finding a few trusted souls who can give you honest feedback. My writing buddy is Rochelle Dionne. We read one another’s drafts and give copious amounts of feedback to each other. We are brutally honest about everything, which really hurts sometimes. But we also get extremely excited if we like a story. We’ve had long evenings of wine and planning of our stories – just talking about them. I recommend every writer find one other writer you can bond with. Someone you trust and enjoy spending time with. It could be the best thing you’ve done for your writing!


Growing up in a sleepy village untouched by distant wars and political conflicts, it was easy for Thia, Mina and Kiara to forget such horrors existed in the Five Corners. That is until the dead child is found; a child that bears the same strange birthmark that all three sisters possess. A Mark their mother had always told them was unique to the girls.

Kiara’s suspicions grow as their Inn is soon overrun with outsiders from all walks of life. Strangers, soldiers and Elders who all seem to know more about what is happening than the girls do.

After Mina barely survives an attack in the forest, the sisters are faced with a shattering secret their mother has kept from them for years. As danger closes in around them, the sisters are forced from their home and must put their trust in the hands of strangers. With more questions than answers, Kiara finds herself separated from everyone she loves and reliant on an Outlander who has spent too much time in army. She doesn’t trust Caedmon but she needs him if she has any hope of being reunited with her sisters and learning what the Mark might mean.


Cathi Shaw lives in Summerland, BC with her husband and three children. She is often found wandering around her home, muttering in a seemingly incoherent manner, particularly when her characters have embarked on new adventure. In addition to writing fiction, she teaches rhetoric and professional writing in the Department of Communications at Okanagan College and is the co-author of the textbook Writing Today.

Twitter: @CathiShaw

Buy the book at the publisher, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.


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