Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Flirts! by Lisa Scott

Today we're welcoming author Lisa Scott to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for her short romance anthologies, "The Flirts!". These are delightful stories and so well written. You can see our review of "Fairy Tale Flirts!" here.

Lisa is giving away a $10 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

I grilled Lisa with some "must know" questions, and she has graciously responded. Take it away, Lisa!

Why short stories?

I suffer from new-idea-syndrome. I'm an idea junkie. Writing short stories is an easy way to bring many of my ideas to life quickly. If I'm strict with my schedule, I can write a short story collection in two months. Then I need another month for betas to read it and then for editing and formatting. I couldn't write a novel in that time. I'm hearing from more US readers who are just discovering and really enjoying short stories. I think it's a more common thing in the UK. My books sell really well in the UK itunes store.

How do you come up with the inter-connected stories for your anthologies?

Connecting the stories happened by accident. In my first volume, Flirts!, I had one story ending at a charity event, and another story starting at a charity event, and I thought, 'Dang, I can't do that.' Then I thought, 'Wait a minute...' Now when I start writing a volume, I think about the theme and where it's happening. Usually, it's friends and family members connecting the stories. In Fairy Tale Flirts! it was the residents of Grimm Towers who connected the stories. Right now, I'm working on Wedding Flirts! and it's the venues, attendants, and wedding professionals that will connect the stories. It's so much fun for me to find ways to drop characters in other stories, and look for unique ways to connect them. I think when you finish reading one of my collections, it feels like you've read a longer work, and not just five short stories. (Even though the shorts are stand alone reads as well.)

What's a normal day like for you?

I work from home as a voice actor, so I usually do any urgent voice work once the kids are at school, (you wouldn't belive how many people need a commercial done NOW!) Then I try to spend an hour or two writing, then it's back to more voice work and editing. When the kids get home and all bets are off. Once they're in bed, I try to get back to writing. It's nice to have two creative endeavors to balance my work day. I don't think I could spend all day just writing. I get burned out. I do love working from home. Some days I don't change out of my PJ's. In the summer, I can go outside and sit by my koi pond to relax and recharge. Every day feels like a vacation!

Do you ever plan on writing a novel? Why or why not?

I wrote my first novel, No Foolin' and it will be released by Bell Bridge Books this November. I'm working on book number two in that series, Man of the Month. I also wrote a middle grade novel, Tomboy Beauty Queen, that is currently on submission with my agent. Romance and children's books, what a match, right?

Any odd quirks you'd like to share?

Besides my fear of spiders, heights, and dentists? Not really. But I do find I need to take a long walk before starting a project. That's when I get my best ideas. I've accepted that I have to carry a story around in my head for a while before I can start writing. I have to understand my characters and where I'm coming from first.

What are the pros and cons of being self-published?

I feel like I've got the best of both worlds being self-published and working in the traditional publishing world. I have total control with self-publishing, and I can get my work out there quickly. But on the down side, it is hard doing all the marketing yourself. It can be tough to get noticed and stay noticed.

What's coming up from you that you'd like to share with our readers?

Wedding Flirts! will be released this April, and in March, look for the first short story from my Willowdale Romance series--southern romantic comedy. "A Fine How-De-Do" introduces us to the characters of Willowdale. (I'm self-pubbing the short stories to precede the release of the novel with Bell Bridge. Their idea; pretty cool.) Then No Foolin' comes out in November. A small town girl poses as a movie star's girlfriend to hide the real reason he's in town. The only thing harder than convincing the press that they're in love, is fooling each other they're not.

Any questions you'd like to ask our readers?

Have you ever tried short stories? Who's your all time favorite romance hero? What's your all time favorite romance title?

What are The Flirts! about?

Every volume of the Flirts! Collection features five sweet, funny romantic short stories, linked by a loose thread. It all ties up in a fab, fun ending, bringing together characters from all the stories in that collection. Each short story is 8,000-12,000 words long--the perfect length to squeeze in during your lunch break or kids' practices. Sometimes you need a little love!

Lisa Scott is a former TV news anchor who now enjoys making up stories instead of sticking to the facts. The first book in her Willowdale Romance series will be released by Belle Bridge books in November 2012. In the meantime, she'll be releasing short stories linked to the Willowdale series, in addition to her Flirts! collections.

When not begging her husband and two kids for a few minutes of peace to write her stories, she works as a voice actor and putters around in her koi pond and garden in upstate NY.!/ReadLisaScott

Review: Fairy Tale Flirts! By Lisa Scott

(Full length sweet romance anthology, self-published)

Five modern takes on classic fairy tales, and the only magic is the real-life kind. Each sweet, funny, romantic short story is 10,000-13,000 words in length. The stories can be read separately, but are linked together in the collection, and wrap up in the perfect happily ever after.

There are five short stories in this book, and I want to review each of them. They are absolutely wonderful, sweet, and fun and all of them are contemporary stories based on a fairy tale story, but of course with a twist.


This is a clever remake of the Cinderella story. It is fun, romantic, clever and I loved reading it. The handsome prince in the story is a Marketing executive who lives in a majestic hotel, not a palace. Cindi lives with a stepmother and three stepsisters who are always mean to her. The story is similar but yet different from the original fairy tale with conflict and many ups and downs and kept me avidly reading to the Happy Ever After.


Her real name is Rose, but her hair is red, so she is called by both names. This Rose, runs a bakery which only makes vegan, gluten free, casein free, and multi-grain breads, muffins and buns.

The conflict is based on many misunderstandings, and the author incorporates twists and turns as she tries to keep her bakery from bankruptcy. She ends with a lot of help from a Mr. Wolf. How she ends up making a success of her bakery and finds love makes this another HEA.


Belle moves into the penthouse part of the majestic hotel to do some finishing work in the library of the prince who lives there. Her father started the work, but became ill, and was unable to finish it. Since she had been helping him all her life, she was more than able to do the work.

The prince does not allow anyone to see him, as he was disfigured and his face was now scarred. Of course she does eventually meet the prince, and gradually they fall in love. Another sweet story I loved to read.


This clever twist on Snow White is different in that there are seven children involved, not seven dwarves. Her wicked stepmother got her a nanny job so that she, herself could spend more time with the widowed father. Of course, it didn’t work out that way, so she tried other ways to get rid of Shawna. I loved reading how this worked out. The kids were fun, and the father wonderful. Another HEA of course. This is, after all, a fairy tale and a romance!


Of course by this time, you have probably realized that this story is based on Goldilocks. This Goldie is supposed to be watching a little dog, and decides to stay for a couple of nights. The owner is not due back for a week.

Then the owner returns, along with his parents, and he insists that she pretend to be his girlfriend for them, as they are always trying to get him married off. This leads to fun and misadventure, and of course a HEA for her and for him.

This collection of short stories is delightful and different than the usual ones I usually read. They are all delightful and fun and I loved them all. I was hooked at the start and read this through in one sitting, ending with a sigh and a happy heart. I recommend them to any romantic with loves a fairy tale.

I give this 5/5 Flowers and can't wait to dig into the other Flirts!.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Rancher and the Rock Star by Lizbeth Selvig

Today we're welcoming author Lizbeth Selvig to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the contemporary romance, "The Rancher and the Rock Star" from Avon Impulse.

Lizbeth will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Also Lizbeth will be awarding one eBook or Print copy of “The Rancher and the Rock Star” to one commenter at EVERY stop (print book is US/Canada only). So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC and book!

Welcome to the blog, Lizbeth!

First things first! I was to thank you for inviting me to visit It’s Raining Books. You have such wide-ranging content and it’s so much fun to look back at all the interviews. Talk about a place to add to your TBR pile! Plus, this is “The Rancher and the Rock Star’s” official release day, so I’m extra happy to be here celebrating with you and your readers.

I'm always interested when authors write about Rock Stars -- how much (and what kind) of research went in to making sure you had your details correct?

As for research, I claim as my primary source a lifetime of following rock singers’ careers. This dates as far back as the Beatles, so I’ve gone through a lot of singers, from Paul McCartney to Neil Diamond to Adam Levine, and I’ve always been fascinated in how they manage their affairs and their fans.

But in the name of real research, I read through several biographies while working on The Rancher and the Rock Star: recent ones on John Lennon and Steven Tyler, along with short pieces about Jon Bon Jovi and Bono. In addition, my son is a recording engineer, so he provided me with a lot of information for the sound engineering scenes in the book. He’s also played in a rock band for many years. The very best part of that is, when the band is active they practice in my basement. Having drums and bass pounding through the house only feeds my addiction to rock musicians—plus, I was privy to their hilarious conversations. Boys in bands are . . . interesting!

In truth, a lot of the story takes place outside the rock world, so I didn’t need tons of technical information. The concert scenes and the band member interactions are way fun, but they really act as enhancement to the rest of the story, which is true romance. This is a story about my hero Gray’s journey away from the craziness of his rock life to a place of balance.

Where did the idea for "The Rancher and the Rock Star" come from?

What’s fun is, I can actually point to a particular event that generated the idea. It was a conversation I had with my daughter, Jennifer, quite a few years ago.

In high school, she was a huge Elton John fan—which was pretty unusual since EJ’s music was from my era. She took some teasing for it from her friends but didn’t care a bit—she’s so loyal! One day she said, “Wouldn’t it be the pits if you got to meet your favorite rock star, and he fell in love with your mother”? That’s all it took.

I made up our ideal rocker, gave him a Juilliard background, had his first instrument be the clarinet, and gave my daughter (a clarinet player) the part of Abby’s daughter, Kim, in the book. Jennifer is definitely the inspiration for the scene where Gray helps Kim with her clarinet solo. And Kim definitely has to explore those what-if-my-mom-stole-my-hero feelings!

Pantser or Plotter?

This question always makes me laugh because I have no idea how to explain what I am. I’m a schizophrenic, ummmm, Plotster?

I’m not very good at sitting down before I start a book and creating the story (or the turning points or the beats or whatever) out of whole cloth. I’ve tried, truly I have! I tend to start with a character and a setting and then begin typing to see what happens. Unfortunately, I seem to love the sound of my own fingers tapping away, so my first drafts ramble through about 40,000 words. After that, when I really know my characters, have a sense of where I’m headed, and my critique partners are yanking hairs from their heads hoping I’ll start getting there soon, I can step away and plot the end of the book. Then I race to the finish. Once the book is roughed out, I have to go back and shorten the first half, flesh out the second half and come up with a cohesive whole. It isn’t pretty, but it’s what always happens.

Any odd or interesting writing quirks or habits?

Probably the oddest thing about my writing is that I prefer to do it late at night. My most creative time is from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. That’s when I let the fewest things distract me, and when I don’t feel the procrastination pull of cleaning bathrooms, brushing the dog, de-pilling sweaters, and playing Pocket Frogs.

I also love to write in timed bursts or sprints. I have a very good friend and fellow writer who doesn’t live anywhere near me anymore, but we “meet” frequently using Instant Messenger and time each other while we write as quickly as we can for 30 minutes at a stretch. If we do four or five sprints, I rack up a lot of pages. The timing turns off my inner editor – that little pipsqueak-of-a-critic inside who wants to tweak and revise as I go – and that’s the key for me. Spit out that first draft and then fix what’s on the page. Plus, I’m worthless without a deadline of some sort.

Anything new you're working on?

I’m working on a series of three books set in Alaska, and I’m really excited about them. They revolve around The Taggerts, a family of scientists. Think Jacques Cousteau meets wilderness Alaska. There are three siblings and their father, all brilliant, each with an important cause and a knack for falling in love with the most unlikely of people.

The first book is about the middle sister, a marine biologist fighting for Alaska’s endangered beluga whales, who falls for a lawyer working with a company that wants to build next to a critical habitat. I was fortunate to live in Alaska for three years and it’s one of the most fascinating places on Earth. The scenery is beautiful, the politics endlessly entertaining, and the people and lifestyle wonderfully quirky—all elements that I think will make fun, and unique, romances set in a place of genuine grandeur.

Any questions you'd like to ask our readers?

Musicians have always pushed the romantic fantasy button for me, so of course I have to ask who your favorite rock star is – or, if a singer isn’t your idea of a romance hero, what occupation drives you to fantasize about love?

And I have a related question. The prevailing “wisdom” among writers is never write about rock stars. Thank goodness Avon didn’t subscribe to that! But, really, are there subjects you avoid when deciding what book to read next?

As noted above, in addition to the gift certificate Avon/HarperCollins is giving away to some lucky visitor to my Virtual Book Tour, I’d like to offer a special gift to someone who comments today here on It’s Raining Books. If you leave a comment by March 1 at midnight, you’ll be in the running for a copy of “The Rancher and the Rock Star,” as well as some other goodies. Thanks so much, everyone, for coming by to visit!

There comes a time in every independent woman's life when she has to step aside and let a White Knight do his job.

Abby Stadler has fought to carve out a quiet, independent life for herself and her fifteen-year-old daughter, Kim. She may need a White Knight, but she doesn't want one. Especially when he shows up in the form of a superstar with a missing son and vindictive paparazzi on his tail.

To the world, Gray Covey is a rock god. To his teenage son, Dawson, he's simply an absent father. When Gray is forced to track a runaway Dawson to Abby's struggling horse farm in small town Minnesota, he finds far more than a widow and a ranch with a silly name.

Faced with one teen who despises him, one teen who worships him, and a woman who flips his heart on its axis, Gray must learn not just how to be a father, but how to be real superstar.

Growing up in Minneapolis, Minnesota with three brothers and no sisters definitely shaped my personality. Even though my girl friends were great, I was much prouder of the fact that I was the only female allowed into the neighborhood Boys Only club. Girlie stuff (with exception of the occasional Barbie play date) was simply a waste of time. Baseball, climbing trees, begging my parents for a horse, and avoiding wearing dresses at all costs were much more fun--and seemed much more fair. After all, girls simply didn't have any fun in life.

Imagine my surprise when, after years of my tolerant mother putting up with me wanting to BE a guy, like one of the Beatles or the Monkees, I looked up at a picture of Paul McCartney on my wall one day--and fell in love. Like a doggone proper girl.

Making up stories was second nature to me. As far back as I can remember I told myself tales when I went to bed. As I got older and competent enough, I started writing them down. When most girls were reading themselves to sleep, I was writing until the wee hours.

After the momentous epiphany over the poster from Tiger Beat Magazine, all my written tales were romances. At first, they were romances about Davy Jones and Bobby Sherman and Paul. Then I discovered my own characters, and writing became more than a bedtime activity, it became a passion.

It took lots of years, fantastic adventures, the raising of two children, and a real-life love affair that is still going on, to get my stories ready-for-prime time. Suffice it to say--girls, I've learned, have ALL the fun. And my love affair with romance novels has never died.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting On Wednesday

There are a couple YA books that sound really amazing...

Violins of Autumn by Amy McAuley - Coming June 19th

Go behind enemy lines during World War II in this tale of romance and espionage...

Betty, an American teenager living in Britain, is determined to contribute to the cause when the Germans begin bombing London in World War II. Instead of collecting scrap metal or running air raid drills like most girls her age, Betty lies about her age and trains to become a spy and member of the Special Operations Executive. Now known by her secret agent persona, Adele Blanchard, she soon finds herself parachuting over German-occupied France in the dark of night to join the secret Resistance movement.

Adele's missions in Paris and throughout the French countryside delivering top-secret messages, lead to several close calls with the Gestapo, but it's when she crosses paths with a young American pilot that Adele fully realizes the brutality of this war and the seriousness of her circumstances. Plus her changing feelings for this pilot are as uncertain as their future. Can Adele elude the Gestapo long enough to enjoy the future they are trying to protect?


A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont - Coming March 27th

Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre…

Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…

What are you waiting on?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Ginger Hanson

Today we're welcoming author Ginger Hanson to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical romance, "Lady Runaway". Her publisher has discounted the price of this book during the tour, so grab your copy now, for 50% off! You can buy it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Ginger will be giving away a $10 Barnes and Noble GC and the choice of either a print copy of How I Wrote My First Book: The Story Behind the Story which includes “Ten Lessons I Learned from Writing Quest for Vengeance" by Ginger Hanson -or- a new paperback copy of Ransom’s Bride by Ginger Hanson to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC and book!

Ginger was kind enough to answer my questions. Take it away, Ginger!

First of all, I’d like to thank you for inviting me to visit with the readers of It’s Raining Books!

Why historical? What draws you to this genre?

I write historical romance because I love history. Not only am I a history buff (I was reading historical fiction and nonfiction in high school), but I have a degree in history and taught history at our local junior college for seven years.

History offers so many opportunities to explore “what if” and I love to ask “what if.” It was a natural match! I’m also drawn to past injustices and I like righting what I see as a past wrong in my stories.

How do you research your time period(s)?

When I begin researching a time period, I prefer to go from the general to the specific. By this I mean, first I get a general feel for the time period before zooming in on the small things. To obtain an overview, I like to read a general history that spans at least twenty years. College textbooks are an excellent source because I can’t think of any period in history that some college professor hasn’t written about. Often libraries have these textbooks in their collections, or you can buy them used through college textbook outlets, or download them. At the back of every textbook and nonfiction history book will be your most valuable resource, a bibliography.

The bibliography opens the door to the specific. In order to write a general overview of the period, the author pulls together information from many sources and lists them in the bibliography. Scan the bibliography of every resource you use, because nuggets of historical gold will be found there.

Other sources for getting a general feel for the time period are the popular “everyday in the life of” type books. I used the Writer’s Digest Books, Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England by Kristine Hughes as well as Everyday Life in the 1800s by Mark McCutcheon while writing Lady Runaway.

I also love the Internet, but I advise writers to use it with caution. History buffs turned web site managers don’t always equal historical accuracy. On the plus side, with so much historical information going digital, a world of primary resources are now at a writer’s fingertips.

Once I have a grasp of the time period, I begin work on the novel, but I continue the research. By this point in writing the story, I usually have an outline or detailed synopsis that focuses my research. Rather than going off on unnecessary historical tangents, I can concentrate my research on what I need to flesh out the novel.

Any interesting writing quirks?

I’m not sure if this qualifies as a writing quirk, but I like to design covers for my works in progress. These are by no means professional looking covers since I’m not a graphic artist, but I’ve been using basic graphics to design flyers, bookmarks, newsletters, etc. for years. One day I thought, why not design book covers for the stories I’m writing?

I use Print Shop for Mac software to make cute titles and then paste in clipart graphics or photographs. These never leave my office, but they do give me ideas to pass on to the real cover artist when it is time to design a cover.

What's a typical day for you?

A typical day starts with an early morning walk of our dogs. Currently, we have two rescued hounds, a cute Beagle named Sierra and our latest addition, a lovely Louisiana Catahoula Leopard hound mix named Sadie. I’m a breakfast person and will fix a hot breakfast several days a week, but I try to be at the computer in my office no later than 9 a.m. (or earlier) on a writing day.

I’m a morning person and do most of my story writing before 1 p.m. I tend to make appointments (hair, dental, etc.), clean the house, and run errands in the afternoon. Or I may answer email, update websites, do promo or research, etc. Depending on what remains to be done, I stop for dinner and might return to the computer to wrap up the day.

Who is your favorite character in literature? Why?

I guess I could go all hoity-toity and name a character from some highfalutin college lit class, but that would require me to do some research on highfalutin college lit novels!

And frankly, I don’t remember that many characters from those books. And yes, I did all the required reading for various literature classes, as well as reading recommended books on my own.

And while I’ve run into countless memorable characters over the years, my favorite
character has to be Nancy Drew. Her books may not be the stuff of academia, but few can dispute the impact Nancy Drew has had on the lives of countless young girls. And I was one of them.

Nancy Drew’s character as we know it today is the work of Mildred Wirt Benson and females everywhere owe a debt of gratitude to her for giving us a heroine who was resourceful, smart, athletic, daring, plucky, and independent. Plus, she possessed the courage to succeed against all obstacles. By firmly establishing Nancy Drew’s character in the first three books, Ms. Benson gave American literature a strong female character.

I love to read and write about female characters who share Nancy Drew’s characteristics which is why she’s my favorite character in literature.

Anything new coming up that you'd like to share?

I recently received the reversion of rights for my first two historical romances and plan to take the plunge into e-book self-publication. I’m looking forward to the chance to chose the titles and cover art. I’m not too excited about the mechanics of getting these into e-book format, but both these books did well in prestigious RWA chapter contests (one was a Maggie finalist and one was a Holt Medallion finalist!) and I think they need a second chance. Under the traditional publishing model, they weren’t promoted much by the publisher and available at stores for only a few months. I like knowing the e-books will have a longer “shelf life” at online book stores.

I also have a more traditional Regency romance on the back burner I’d like to finish writing this year. And I’d love to write some stories about pioneer female aviators! So many stories to write, so little time…

Do you have any questions for our readers?

Yes, I’d love to know whether your readers enjoy traditional Regency romances (ex. those used to be published by Signet) or the less traditional ones (ex. those being published by companies like Avon).

Thanks for stopping by, Ginger!

Fleeing arrest by a spurned suitor, Lady Riana Travistock heads for London where she is knifed in a street brawl when she helps a man attacked by footpads. Luckily for Lady Riana, the victim of the attack is army surgeon Captain Devlin Carrington who takes her home to tend her injury.

When Dev cuts off her blood-soaked chemise to stitch the knife wound, a fortune in jewels spill out. Has he saved a lovely jewel thief only to watch her hang?

About the author: Ginger Hanson is a former college history teacher who found writing historical romance a natural outlet for her love of history. While Lady Runaway is her first foray into the Regency period, her two award-winning Civil War era historical romantic adventures were published in 2004. Ransom's Bride scored success as the winner of the 2005 Gayle Wilson Award Of Excellence and was a finalist in the 2005 Holt Medallion Contest. Tennessee Waltz was a finalist in the 2005 Maggie as well as the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence in the Historical category.

Ginger also has two published contemporary romance novels set in the fictional small town of Tassanoxie, Alabama. The series slid into ebook only format with a 2011 Christmas short story, A Christmas Diamond for Merry.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Rebecca Royce

Today we're welcoming author Rebecca Royce to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the erotic paranormal story, "Love Beyond Loyalty".

Rebecca is giving away a $50 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

I challenged Rebecca to find five things about her we might not expect. Let's see what she's come up with!

5 Things You’d Never Expect About Me

1. When I was growing up, my mother used to keep lists on small pieces of paper. When she would complete whatever was on the list, she would tear it up. Rip. Rip. Rip. She’d stand at the counter and rip. I would be sitting at the kitchen table and I would just hear this horrendous ripping, tearing sounds. She loved it because it showed her she’d finished all the things on the list and it meant she got to tear it up. But, for me, it became one of the noises that to this day I cannot stand. Ripping paper is for me akin to nails on a chalkboard. It makes me shudder with pain.

2. I’m easily fooled by white lies, particularly if it’s my parents telling me the story. I used to have nightmares when I was an adolescent, long past the years of having them as a small child. But, I would wake up every night and be afraid. So, one night my mother told me that if I wore socks to bed, I could no longer have nightmares because wearing something on my feet would release a chemical into my brain that would trigger only good dreams. I believed her, started wearing socks to bed, and ceased having nightmares.

One day, when I was in college, I came home and mentioned something to my mom about how something scary had happened but I hadn’t had nightmares afterwards because I wore my socks. She grinned for a split second before she hid it and then I knew: she had fooled me. All of those years, I had believed that if I wore socks to bed I would not have bad dreams. It wasn’t at all true—except, of course, that I had believed it would work so it worked. To this day, I wear socks to bed.

3. When I was in 3rd grade, we did this thing called Child Of The Week. Each of us had a week that was designated for us and we were the child who got to have a bulletin board with our own information on it. One week, my friend’s mother came in. She was an immigrant and she spoke to the class because it was her son’s turn to bring someone in. She told us that when she’d first come to this country she’d gotten a green card. But, because of her accent, I heard green car, leaving the d, out and for the longest time I believed that all immigrants drove green cars to identify themselves as immigrants. Had one of those ‘oh duh’ moments when I finally figured that out.

4. I don’t look good in the certain colors. I’m a red head. Certain things are just not good for my complexion. So, when my girlfriend told me she’d picked out the color of her bridesmaids dresses specifically for me—and then they turned out to be coral—I had no idea what she could have been thinking. Coral is pretty. But not on me. And I have the not so pretty pictures to prove it.

5. I’m a real cracker jack at video games. I have very bad hand eye coordination so it’s sort of amazing but I can really win at video games. I’m good at it and I love it. My kids are sort of in awe of their mother’s video game playing. They tell their friends “my mother really rules at this game.” It’s nice when you can be cool for you kids. At least, until they grow up to find it embarrassing and then maybe I’ll have to stop.

What's something we might not expect about you?


Gabriel Ward has no problem with the fact that he’s an Outsider. Hell, he’s always known he was different. What he takes issue with is the idea he has to follow any destiny at all. He’s taken care of himself-and others-since birth. There’s no way he has to start following rules now.

Loraine Peacock can speak to animals. Other than that she thinks she’s just a regular woman making her way in the world. She figures its not that weird. Many people have unusual abilities.

But when Gabriel and Loraine are forced together by a destiny he denies and she is ignorant of, they will both finally have to accept their Outsider legacy and help the others in their quest to defeat the ultimate evil—a demon bent on world destruction. That is, if they can both survive to find their way to the most important part of their destiny: love.

About the Author: As a teenager, Rebecca Royce would hide in her room to read her favorite romance novels when she was supposed to be doing her homework. She hopes, these days, that her parents think it was well worth it.

Rebecca is the mother of three adorable boys and is fortunate to be married to her best friend. They live in northern New Jersey and try not to freeze too badly during the winter months.

She's in love with science fiction, fantasy, and the paranormal and tries to use all of these elements in her writing. She's been told she's a little bloodthirsty so she hopes that when you read her work you'll enjoy the action packed ride that always ends in romance. Rebecca loves to write series because she loves to see characters develop over time and it always makes her happy to see her favorite characters make guest appearances in other books.

In Rebecca Royce's world anything is possible, anything can happen, and you should suspect that it will.

Visit Rebecca at

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Broke My Heart

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Happy Anti-Valentines Day! :-) Today's Top Ten Topic is "Books that Broke My Heart a Little"--I had to go way back for most of these as I tend to avoid books that make me cry.

1. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson--before it was a movie, it was a book. Breaks my heart every time Travis has to shoot the dog. Why are all the classics for kids so tragic?

2. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. Old Dan saves the boy, but loses his life in return--and Little Ann dies of grief. sniff

3. The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks -- who is always a heartbreaker.

And, once again a dog dies saving the life of the one he loves... I'm seeing a pattern here. (And, before you ask, no I've not seen Marley and Me and there are no plans to. It's not just dogs dying, though, that make me tear up ...

4. The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings. I do understand about the life lessons involved, but ...yep... when the deer becomes a nuisance and has to die--I cried.

5. I thought I would give Sparks another try with The Notebook... nope, cried there too.

6. Love Story by Eric Segal...the very first romance I cried over...and in the middle of Spanish class no less (sorry, Mr. Webb!!!)

7. Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter. I'm a long time Karin Slaughter fan, but the ending of this book made me cry--and it took me a long time to read the next book in her series. I have a friend who still won't read her--doesn't trust her not to "do it again." I still hurt when I think about Sara, Jeffrey, and their "HEA" that was cut so short.

Like I said ... I avoid books that make me cry, so this is a shorter post than normal. Interested in seeing what others think (and making me a list of books to avoid... lol)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Shadow Warrior by Courtney Rene

Today we're welcoming author Courtney Rene to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the paranormal YA novel, "Shadow Warrior".

Courtney will be giving away $10 gift certificates to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

Courtney was kind enough to answer my questions. Take it away, Courtney!

Why YA?

I choose YA for the simple matter that I am surrounded by teens almost every single day. I talk with them, and listen to them, and try very hard to understand them. Young Adults are just entertaining people in general. You never know what they are going to say or do. Putting all that character and spontaneity and life into story form was so very fun.

Why fantasy?

I love fantasy. I still build fairy houses around my big trees just for the sheer silliness of it. Plus what if? Right? YAs and Teens, still want to believe in fantasy. Whether it’s vampires or werewolves or fairies, they want to believe. I want to write for someone that still has that belief in place.

Would you share a few world-building tips?

One big one would be to make sure you can see the world in your head. All of it. Not just the edges, but the middle and the corners and the underneath of it all. I am not much of an outliner. Actually I hate to outline, but I did have to check myself when it came to creating Acadia. It was all gray and blurred and that showed big-time in the story. I had to stop, sit down, and really plan out Acadia. Once I did that, it was 100% better and a much better world and story.

Another would be to have fun. You have a chance to create your own world. So…create it!

What do you do when you get writer's block?

Sometimes all I need to do is get away from the story for a bit. Go outside, sit in the sun, walk in the woods, work in the garden, just something. Then when I sit back down to start working I am refreshed and ready to get to it.

Other times, I have to really take a break. Mull over in my brain for a few days what isn’t working or why the story is stuck. I will take that opportunity to get in some reading. Focusing on another story is the best way to get away from your own.

Any fun / strange quirks you have you'd like to share?

Strange quirks, eh? Sadly, I have many. First, I have an addiction to Harry and David Gummy Bears. This addiction is posing a real problem too, as our local store shut down this past fall, and now they are nowhere to be found within a hundred miles. You can’t buy them on line anymore either. It’s a horror story in the making. Second, I happen to be a renowned klutz. Don’t stand to close or I may take you down with me. One good thing to come out of this is that I can firmly say, I know how to fall and do it quite well. I am the only child I know who was removed from ballet class due to being a danger to myself and to others. Sad, but true story. Welp, that’s enough dirt on me for now.

What's one thing about you we'd probably never guess?

I am supremely shy. No really, I am. In writing you wouldn’t know it, but in person, WOW.

Any new stories in the pipeline you'd like to tell us about?

Well, I do have a new paranormal YA novel coming out later in 2012 called: A Howl in the Night. Yes, you guessed it. It’s a shape-shifter story. Not your normal, “Oh No! I’m a werewolf” type, but a “Cool, look what I can do” type. Plus add in a power struggle and two jealous boys and you have quite the fun romp of a story, at least if you ask me *G*.

I am also finishing the last installment of the Shadow Dancer series. Revisions….ick. Since I know you will all just LOVE Shadow Dancer and Shadow Warrior, you'll need to stick around to see the end. The working title at the moment is: Shadow’s End.

You can check my blog to find updates on both of these novels, as I am usually very excited about releases and tend to over spew about them…everywhere.

Sunny finally makes her first jump over to the Kingdom of Acadia that is on the other side of the shadows, for what she hopes is a vacation. Only her vacation turns into quite an unwanted adventure. Aside from new and unexpected issues regarding her relationship with Leif, Sunny meets the rebel group, makes new friends, fights with controlling her powers, and finds herself neck deep within a county that is torn apart by two sides, each fighting for power. Acadia is not quite what she imagined. How is she, one young girl, suppose to unite the Kingdom as well as unseat a King to take her place as ruler of Acadia.


"This is going to feel a bit strange," he said, still looking at me.

"Strange, how?" I asked. Strange weird would be okay, but strange pain, would not.

Leif shrugged his shoulders and said, "Just strange."

Then before I could get a better answer out of him, he said, "Here we go. One, two, pull."

I did as Leif instructed. I pulled the shadows up and over me again and suddenly, without warning, I was jerked painfully backward. The world was suddenly dark and grey. Everything was spinning out of control. It was spinning around and around and over and over, and my head clouded and fogged. I felt like I was tumbling and falling, and then we stopped, just as instantaneous as we had begun.

The ground was now solid again beneath my feet. I wobbled once, twice then I dropped to my knees and threw up the entire contents of my stomach. I felt Leif pull back my hair for me and thought absently, that's nice.

My head still spun, even after my stomach finally stopped heaving. I sat back on my feet, my head hung down. A bottle of water was thrust under my nose. I took it and washed out my mouth as I tried to regain my senses. The first real thought that came to my head was, "That felt more than a little strange."

About the author: Courtney Rene lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, and her Shadow Dancer series, published through Rogue Phoenix Press. For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspot com . Please feel free to contact her at .!/Ctnyrene!/ctnyrene

Remember to leave a comment and be entered to win one of two $10 Amazon GCs!

Thanks for stopping by today, Courtney.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Leslie Tentler

Today we're welcoming Leslie Tentler to the blog. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Chasing Evil trilogy from MIRA Books. Her third novel in the series – Edge of Midnight – was released February 1 and to celebrate, she’s giving away a free copy (your choice of eBook format or print -- print open to US commenters only)! Comment below to enter for a chance to win. The winner will be chosen on Monday, 2/13/12.

Leslie was kind enough to answer my questions. Take it away, Leslie!

Why thrillers?

That’s a good question, because I’ve considered writing contemporary romance, too.

That being said, however, I really enjoy the roller coaster ride of thrillers and romantic suspense. Setting your story against a backdrop of danger lets you explore high-stakes situations and heightened emotions between characters.

In each book of the Chasing Evil trilogy, a different FBI agent is working a serial murder investigation. I love writing about the dangerous aspects of law enforcement and the cat-and-mouse game between the hunter and the hunted.

I remember hearing that friends of Heath Ledger believed his dark portrayal of the Joker in the last movie he did was one of the reasons he was struggling emotionally. Your story deals with a sadistic serial killer. It is difficult to immerse yourself into something so dark?

I’m showing my age here, but do you remember “The John Larroquette Show”? Although it was a sitcom, he had a sign in his office that read, “This is a Dark Ride,” obviously taken from an amusement park somewhere. But for him, that sign had a very different meaning. I’m like that, too, I think. I do write dark and I like dark stories, even though they can take a toll on you. I didn’t have any trouble immersing myself in the world of the serial killer, or homicide investigations, for that matter. But I did notice that when I rented movies or watched television, I’d deliberately avoid anything that looked too serious for a while – I wanted comedy and lighter fare to balance out all the darkness going on in my head with these books.

It also helps that all three of the Chasing Evil stories end on the note of good triumphing over evil. In real life, that’s often not the case. There I go being dark again.

What kinds of research did you have to do to make your story believable?

For the first book, Midnight Caller, I did a lot of online research on vampirism and the Goth subculture, as it plays a big role in that book. And in Midnight Fear, I had to learn a lot about horses, since my heroine runs a non-profit equine therapy program.

In my newest book, Edge of Midnight, my heroine is a crime reporter in Jacksonville, Fla. I did do some in-person research into the life of a reporter, as I know several journalists and picked their brains, so to speak.

Also, a few years ago, I took a very helpful online course on homicide investigations through Romance Writers of America’s Kiss of Death chapter. A police detective taught it and I learned a lot about investigational protocol.

Do you write full time? If not, do you hope to?

I still work in public relations as a writer and editor, although I am taking a lot fewer assignments these days. With both jobs, I work from home, so I can’t complain.

I would like to write fiction full-time, however. Maybe someday soon.

What’s a typical day for you?

Like Dustin Hoffman’s character in “Rain Man,” I thrive on structure, the same thing every day at the same time. Unless the weather is downright horrible, I start the day off with a long walk. From there, I keep regular office hours and try to wrap things up by dinner. However, when I’m on deadline, I have been known to work until ten or eleven at night. That’s not preferable for me, though, as my mind is sharpest in the daytime. Problems – plot holes, character inconsistencies – all seem magnified to me at night.

Do you typically read in the genre you write in? Why or why not?

I’m a very eclectic reader – the last book I read was the latest in Chelsea Cain’s “Heartsick” series, and before that it was “American on Purpose”, an autobiography by comedian Craig Ferguson. I read in my genre (romantic suspense) occasionally, but not that often.

Of course, these days almost all of my reading is accomplished via audio book (I love Ferguson’s Scottish accent, so that was a bonus). I’m pretty busy, so audio books allow me to “read” while doing something else, like exercising or picking up around the house. It also lets me give my eyes a rest – which is important, since I spend a lot of time at the computer.

Anything new coming up from you that you’d like to share?

I’m currently working on another romantic thriller, this time about an Atlanta police detective who’s investigating the murder of another cop. The story also centers on the detective and his ex-wife, who is an ER trauma doctor. I’m excited about it, as it’s a different type of story from the ones in the Chasing Evil trilogy.

There’s also a story I was working on that I put aside when the Chasing Evil trilogy sold. It’s romantic suspense but isn’t police-oriented. It’s about a widower who runs a family-owned hotel outside of Charleston, S.C., and a woman in hiding who seeks refuge in the coastal resort town. I’d like to get back to that one, too.

Thanks for having me today!

The writer becomes the story when crime reporter Mia Hale is discovered on a Jacksonville beach – bloodied and disoriented, but alive. She remembers nothing, but her wounds bear the signature of a sadistic serial killer. After years lying dormant, The Collector has resumed his grim hobby: abducting women and taking gruesome souvenirs before dumping their bodies. But none of his victims has ever escaped – and he wants Mia back, more than he ever wanted any of the others.

FBI agent Eric Macfarlane has pursued The Collector for a long time. The case runs deep in his veins, bordering on obsession...and Mia holds the key. She’ll risk everything to recover her memory and bring the madman to justice, and Eric swears to protect this fierce, fragile survivor. But The Collector will not be denied. In his mind, he knows just how their story ends.

What RT Book Reviews Says About EDGE OF MIDNIGHT


“A compelling plot, thick suspense, a cunning villain, a shattered cop and a victim who wants answers at any cost place Tentler in the same category as bestselling authors Lisa Jackson and Beverly Barton.”

About the author: Leslie Tentler worked in PR as a writer and editor for nearly two decades before pursuing her love of writing fiction. She is the author of the Chasing Evil trilogy of romantic thrillers from MIRA Books, which includes Midnight Caller, Midnight Fear and Edge of Midnight. She lives in Atlanta.


Midnight Caller at Amazon
Midnight Fear at Amazon
Edge of Midnight at Amazon

Remember to leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of Edge of Midnight.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Vital Principle by Amy Corwin

Today we're welcoming author Amy Corwin to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the regency romantic mystery novel, "The Vital Principle". We've reviewed this story, here. It's a great read!

Amy is giving away a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

Amy was kind enough to answer my questions. Take it away!

Why do you write in the regency era? I'd think that would be quite challenging.

A lot of folks ask me that and I can usually pull something out of my hat to answer it. The reality is: because I always want to know “how/why/what”. What is that bird and why do you find it in that particular tree? How does it fit into that particular environment? And what has that got to do with writing about the Regency period? Well. When you start trying to understand a lot of the hows and whys in the world like “how did the science of forensics get started”, you sooner or later wind up in the Regency.

A lot of the world as we know it, our sciences and all the things we take for granted, had their roots in the Regency. Medicine, forensics, roses (yes, Hybrid Teas and other roses as we know from our friendly neighborhood garden center), trains, transportation, police, you name it and it probably had its roots during this period. Something happened when we reached the 19th century that directly led to the civilized lives we know and love today.

How could I resist that period? The start of the modern world?

Besides the fact, of course, that since forensics and police forces and all the law enforcement goodies we take for granted today were either non-existent or barely out of diapers at that period. This gave me enormous scope for creating detectives who could actually mess around crime scenes without being locked up for it.

Lastly, I love Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen. Not enough to divorce my husband and change my orientation, but… Yes. They were a great influence on my writing and why I wanted to write.

How do you conduct your research? Are you ever stymied by something you need to know for your books?

Research is hard. Very hard. But it’s hard regardless of what period you pick. If you write contemporaries (I’ve got my first one of those coming out later this year) you’re up against forensics, science, police procedures, and the fact that no matter what you think you know, someone else out there will know something that contradicts it. Plus there’s the fact that you may need to bend reality to make it do what you need to do for your story and since there are others now living, breathing and reading your book who have direct experience of this time period, well, it’s a bit harder to pull off.

Writing books set in the past simply trades those issues for others, like clothing, words (not all the words we use today existed/meant the same in the past), social mores, and so on. And again, whatever you write will undoubtedly run counter to what some other scholar knows.

Ultimately, you do the best you can to strive for accuracy. While we all like to think there are facts, there is also the interpretation of those facts, and even the experts argue about what they really mean. If there is room for argument between experts in the field, well, I do the best I can to interpret things in a way that works for my story and hope the readers will grant me a bit of leeway.

But I do work diligently at it. I look up dozens of words every page to try to make sure they existed prior to the year the story begins. Over the years, I’ve collected hundreds of reference books including The Constable’s Pocket Guide, law books from the Regency, medical books, and gardening books. I read extensively. I check the details.

Do you write full time? If not, do you hope to?

I have a full-time job as a computer specialist at the moment. But sometime within the next two years, I’m hoping to brick over that sinkhole and write full-time.

What's a typical day for you?

At the moment, it’s pretty appalling. I get up between 5-6AM and work at my day job until around 5PM. I walk the dogs. Do a bit in the garden. Cook dinner. Then from 7-10PM each night I write. Since I’m pretty wiped out by the weekend, I do try to take Saturday off. If I’m in the middle of a book, however, I might write for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. The problem is burnout. I can push it for a couple of months, but then my mind goes belly-up, so I’m trying to be more measured in my approach.

Plotter or Pantser?

Both. I have to plot out the first few chapters and come up with a few twists and red herrings. I need to find a humorous thread I can pull through the story, otherwise I get too depressed to write it because when you write mysteries, there are often some fairly dark threads. I need that humor to avoid dissolving into a small, weepy puddle. Sure, sometimes the humor is fairly dark, but hey, humor is subjective, right?

Once the first few chapters are written, things often take a turn, so I then have to revise the skeletal outline I previously created. But I do need to at least have a few bullets written down so I know what needs to happen each chapter or I get a terrible case of writer’s block. I often think writer’s block is simply that the writer doesn’t know where to go with the story. At least that’s true for me.

But some chapters are written because when the story demanded it and they were never part of the outline at all.

Anything coming up from you we should be looking forward to?

A couple of things! I’ve got a hardcover contemporary mystery called Whacked! coming out this year although I don’t have a specific date yet (it might be this summer). And I have a new Regency book in the Archer Family series called Escaping Notice, coming out in March 2012. The Archer Family series is more of a light, humorous romance with a mystery subplot, while the Second Sons Inquiry Agency series is more traditional Regency mystery, occasionally with a romantic subplot.

I’m really excited about both Escaping Notice and Whacked! and hope my readers enjoy them.

If things go really well this year, I may even have a Second Sons Inquiry Agency book, Hidden Aspects, coming out sometimes in the fall, but that is not definite yet. This one features Prudence Barnard and Knighton Gaunt from The Vital Principle, and this time, it’s Pru calling on Knighton for his assistance in solving a murder, rather than Knighton investigating Pru as a suspect. I loved having the opportunity to catch up with the two characters and find out what they’re up to. With luck, they may have a few more appearances in the future.

Do you mainly read in the genre you write in? Why or why not?

Yes. Probably half or more of the books I read are mysteries of all kinds, crime, Regencies, Science Fiction, and horror. I’m addicted to haunted house stories. I don’t know what the heck is wrong with me. I’ll often re-read Austen while I’m writing Regencies, just because it’s like a mini refresher course in all the minutiae of Regency life.

Tell us about some authors who've inspired you? How?

Georgette Heyer. I could never match her brilliance, but I adored her. And P.G. Wodehouse, Saki (H.H. Munro), Jane Austen, Barbara Michaels, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart. The list goes on and on. They gave me so much joy that I wanted to write, too, and share the joy with others in a creative way. At the end of the day, I want people to read my books and simply be happy. Our days can be so draining and there often seems so little reason to hold on to hope, but ultimately, that is what I want to achieve with my books: put a smile on the reader’s face and give her (or him) a renewed sense of optimism.

Any questions for our readers?

I would dearly love to know what sorts of stories they love to read and what makes them happy. Who knows, I may even be able to use it in a book!

I can't wait to see their responses! Thanks for visiting, Amy.

In 1815, inquiry agent, Knighton Gaunt, is asked by Lord Crowley to attend a séance with the express purpose of revealing the spiritualist as a fraud. When the séance ends abruptly, an unseen killer poisons Lord Crowley, leaving Gaunt to investigate not fraud, but murder.

Suspicion turns first to the spiritualist, Miss Prudence Barnard. But as Gaunt digs deeper into the twisted history of the guests at Rosecrest, he discovers a series of deadly secrets. Long-time friends soon turn against one another as the tension mounts, and Gaunt is challenged to separate fact from fiction before another death at Rosecrest.

Amy Corwin is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America and recently joined Mystery Writers of America. She has been writing for the last ten years. She writes romance, historical and cozy mysteries. 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 to make the remaining ones toe the plot line.
Amy’s books include the three Regency romantic mysteries, I BID ONE AMERICAN, THE BRICKLAYER’S HELPER, and THE NECKLACE; Regency mysteries, THE VITAL PRINCIPLE, and A ROSE BEFORE DYING; and her first cozy mystery, WHACKED!, will come in in 2012 from Five Star.

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


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review: The Vital Principle by Amy Corwin

(A full length, historical romantic mystery novel published by Fireside Mysteries)

In 1815, inquiry agent, Knighton Gaunt, is asked by Lord Crowley to attend a séance with the express purpose of revealing the spiritualist as a fraud. When the séance ends abruptly, an unseen killer poisons Lord Crowley, leaving Gaunt to investigate not fraud, but murder.

Suspicion turns first to the spiritualist, Miss Prudence Barnard. But as Gaunt digs deeper into the twisted history of the guests at Rosecrest, he discovers a series of deadly secrets. Long-time friends soon turn against one another as the tension mounts, and Gaunt is challenged to separate fact from fiction before another death at Rosecrest.

This whodunit, the first in the Second Sons Inquiry Agency Series, claimed it would keep you guessing until the end. I was not convinced, and believed I could figure it out if I really concentrated -- after all, I love a good mystery. I put all my skills to the test and began reading.

As I read, I'd be sure I had figured out who had done it, but then everything changed, and I was proven wrong. By this time, I was utterly intriged and kept on reading because I just knew I could figure it out. And so it continued, with me certain I knew whodunnit, and then I would be proven wrong.

The people involved in the story were very real to me. The author did a wonderful job fully fleshing them out and making them interesting and unique. The two who were trying to solve the mystery were fascinating and fun. I really got to know them. They fit so well into the regency era. There was a little romance, a little humor and a lot of regency background that was fascinating. I enjoyed that -- it made a great mix.

Finally as I neared the end, I had to confess I didn’t have a clue as to who had done it. Then, when I found out, I realized that I should have known, but Ms. Corwin is good, very good, and the ending was a surprise. It fulfilled its promise to keep me guessing until the very end.

A very satisfying read. I give it 4 flowers.

FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author and Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Fallenwood by Leslie Soule

Today we're welcoming author Leslie Soule to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the fantasy novel, "Fallenwood".

Leslie is giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter. So comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops) -- the more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

Take it away, Leslie!

10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Me

1. I have a Master’s degree in English.

Most people don’t know this since I just finished up my course work this past November. I’m very proud of this accomplishment. It’s the hardest thing I’ve done in my life.

2. I have been to India.

In 2005, I traveled to India with my martial arts instructor to help him teach there.

3. I love tea.

I love it so much that I have an electric burner hooked up in my room, so I can have tea brewing as I work on things.

4. I have ten years of martial arts training.

I have studied a traditional Korean style, Judo, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

5. I own a book on how to speak Elvish.

6. I have a pet snake. He is a gopher snake named Indy.

7. I love Blues music.

8. I love old technology. I still have an original Playstation and a Mini disk player. I love them both.

9. I used to run a Redwall RPG website. Long live Lunar Isle!

10. I have a thing for blondes. Ever since I saw Zack from Saved By The Bell…*sigh*

Fallenwood—a land where magic is the life force, dragons are sages, and wizards good and evil battle for supremacy. When 23-year-old Ash is thrust into the middle of Fallenwood’s power struggles, she is also forced to face her own inner battles. Life on Earth was hard enough on Ash, who is locked in grief for her stepfather. Now, the fate of Fallenwood rests on her shoulders. She must destroy the Great Crystal—the catalyst for all the land’s magic. As the kingdoms prepare for war, Ash must look inside to find the power to save the world, and herself.

Leslie Soule lives in Sacramento, California. Fallenwood is her first fantasy novel. She has received her B.A. in English from Sacramento State University and is currently working on her Master’s degree in English at National University.

Fallenwood is available from Decadent Publishing