To celebrate the season, I’m participating in a romantic spring fling book event. Scroll down to see all the great books offered April 8-12 for 99 cents or FREE. Also by clicking the link above, you can enter daily to win $100 worth of goodies. Enjoy!

Warm Wishes,

Love on the Wind

FREE April 8-12

Love on the Wind by P.C. Zick

Contemporary Romance – An uptight builder. A quirky travel show host. An explosive passion that surprises them both.

After six years of traveling, Kiley wants to settle down. While vacationing at the beach, she buys a house. She meets Jeff, a contractor, who can help if his stubbornness doesn’t interfere with the job and the attraction.


Count The Roses by Jackie Weger

FREE April 8 – May 30

Count the Roses by Jackie Weger


Contemporary Romance – Travel with Jennifer DeWitt from New Orleans—that humid, high-stepping city of music and magic on the Mississippi River to the depths Louisiana swamps where real life happens. And where a sexy Cajun just happens to live.


Creatus Talis-Carmen

99 cents April 8-12

Creatus Talis by Carmen DeSousa

99 cents on Amazon

Paranormal Romance – Vev, one of the first generations of creatus talis, finds herself torn between her younger family members and a forbidden love as she fights to save the young talis from being turned into a weapon — or worse, annihilation.


Jaded MJKane

99 cents April 8-12

jADED by M.J. Kane

99 cents on Amazon

Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance – A devastating breakup leaves Yasmine Phillips in shambles. Unable to trust another man with her heart, she focuses on the one thing she can control — starting her own business.


The Beast Within Jacquie Bigger

99 Cents April 8-12

The Beast Within by Jacquie Biggar

99 cents on Amazon

Murder Mystery – Julie Crenshaw didn’t expect to land in the crosshairs of a serial killer. Connor O’Rourke has seen his share of human depravities during his years as a homicide detective, but is still sickened by the murderer terrorizing his island shores.
Can two people give love a second chance or will a killer become the winner?


Time for Honesty - Mette Barfelt

FREE April 8-12

Time for Honesty by Mette Barfelt


Sweet romance – Small-town romance with a dash of suspense, set in Norway! Misunderstandings and jealousy can ruin friendships – unless you face up to it and embrace new love!


Meant for Me - Lyn Cote

FREE April 8-12

Meant for Me by Lyn Cote


Historical Christian Romance – When a handsome stranger about to leave for World War I proposes elopement, Chloe, the perfect Southern lady, runs away to 1917 New York City. “


A Flicker of Light - Roberta Kagan

99 Cents April 8-12

Flicker of Light by Roberta Kagan

99 cents on Amazon

Historical Fiction – She’s trapped in Hitler’s home for the Lebensborn. In order to save her unborn child she must try to escape. But if she’s caught it will cost her dearly


The Betrayal of Lies - Debra Burroughs

FREE April 8-12

The Betrayal of Lies by Debra Burroughs


Police ask Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher, who couldn’t see beyond the hood ornament, is found strapped in the driver’s seat in Lalla’s vintage Cadillac. Dead. Lalla is gonna find the answer.


Into the Light -Darcia Helle

99 Cents April 8-12

Into the Light by Darcia Helle


Paranormal Suspense – Joe Cavelli didn’t become a PI with the intent of providing customer service to disgruntled ghosts. Yet, somehow that’s exactly the turn his career has taken. Max is dead, and he refuses to leave until Joe helps solve his murder. This odd couple forms an unlikely friendship while uncovering the truth of Max’s life.


Pirates of Blood Bay Island - Dianne Greenlay

99 Cents April 8-12

Pirates of Blood Bay Island by Dianne Greenlay


Historical and YA Romance – West Indies 1717 – Yesterday Tess’s life shattered when, forced onboard a ship and unwillingly betrothed to a treacherous man, she lost her family in a pirate attack that he arranged. Today she is plotting how to save her own life and perhaps to take his in retribution. She must decide quickly. Tomorrow will be too late.


All Tomorrow s Memories

99 Cents April 8-12

All Tomorrow’s Memories by Jackie Weger


Police ask Lalla Bains why an elderly widowed piano teacher, who couldn’t see beyond the hood ornament, is found strapped in the driver’s seat in Lalla’s vintage Cadillac. Dead. Lalla is gonna find the answer.



cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgAuthor Wednesday time once again. Today I welcome one of my eNovel Authors at Work members. She’s EM Kaplan, the author of the humorous Josie Tucker mystery series. But today she’s here to talk about her epic fantasy series, Rise of the Masks. The  first book in the series, Unmaskedwill be free on Amazon February 25-29. Check her out!Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 2.58.55 PM

Hello, Emily, and welcome to Author Wednesday. Since this is your first tour of duty on my blog, let’s start with some general tidbits about your writing life. Do you have any writing rituals?

I’d love to have a quiet space—one of those trendy “she-sheds” (which is a terrible name, but marginally better than girl-cave). They are detached spaces, perfectly decorated, separate from your house and usually in a lush garden. Yeah, that’s a nice dream. Usually, I am sitting at the dining table surrounded by kids’ homework, junk mail, and leftover randomalia (I just made up that word). The dog (a.k.a. my officemate) sprawls at my feet, groaning with boredom. The TV blares Japanese cartoons from the other room while I wrestle with twisty plots and unruly characters. I should get some noise-blocking headphones, but sometimes I do need to referee arguments or snack-block my hungry teenagers when it’s too close to dinner.

I sent my husband the link for the she-sheds, but so far he hasn’t kept up his end. They are amazing, but you’re the amazing one if you can write amid the chaos. Hats off to you. Now that you’ve told us about your reality, what’s the vision you hold in your head as you the writer? 

Picture this:  I’m at the premiere of my third book to be made into a movie. I haven’t written the screenplay for it, but that’s all right—I trust Diablo Cody completely. She did a fabulous job with Juno. I step onto the red carpet, and Entertainment Weekly asks me what designer I’m wearing. I say, “My sweatpants are by Target. And my slippers are bunny.”

All right then. You’ll make a splash. Can’t wait to read the reviews of what you wore to that one! Now back to your actual writing. Do you have a favorite character that you created? 

Aside from Josie Tucker, who is probably my favorite fiction-child, I love both Mel and Ott, from Unmasked and Unbroken, equally. Mel is logical, over-sensitive, and almost magical in her ability to sense things around her. Ott, on the other hand, is one hundred percent rogue. He puts the swash in swashbuckling.

You’ve written books in two distinctly different genres. What are you going to do next? Are you planning to continue writing in the same genres?

That is a very good question. Rise of the Masks is set to be a trilogy, but whether there are more books about Mel and Ott after that, is up to readers. My mystery fans are more vocal about their affection for Josie Tucker. My fantasy fans are devoted but more introverted in their support. In other words, any readers out there who want more Mel and Ott, please let me know—in the form of a review, for example. (That probably sounded snarky, but I’m being honest.)

Speaking of reviews, let’s talk about the inevitable for a minute. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

One of my best fans of Unmasked said that in some ways, the writing reminded her of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which is an amazing YA fantasy book by Laini Taylor. That compliment was thrilling to hear.

Give us the one sentence pitch for Unmasked.

When monsters invade a castle of young women, young Mel, a mystic girl disguised among them, discovers she may hold the secret to their survival.

How long do you estimate it took you to take Unmasked from an idea to a finished, published?

You’re going to laugh. Unmasked took me thirty-two years. How is that possible? I wrote down the seeds of the story when I was ten. I have a notebook full of hand-drawn maps and an outline of the basic plot in my ten-year-old handwriting. Then one year, I was looking for an idea for NaNoWriMo, and I found my notebook in a storage box. I didn’t finish writing Unmasked that month, but I did finish it. Is it the same story I first thought up when I was ten? No. Like me, it grew up.

That’s amazing. I can’t imagine anything I wrote at that age could be made into a novel. I recently read my diary from sixth grade. Embarrassing — I had so little to say about life and the world. Do you listen to music while you write?

For Unmasked, I listened to a lot of the band, Muse. If music had genre categories like books, Muse would fall into Fantasy/Scifi, without a doubt. For the sequel, Unbroken, I listened to the soundtrack from Game of Thrones.

How does your immediate family feel about your writing life?

My husband is author JD Kaplan, who writes contemporary or urban fantasy. His mother, Esther Kaplan, is our professional editor. You might say, book production is a family business here. Although writing is completely separate and individual, we share marketing tips and experiences.

I love it. It will be interesting to see what your kids do. I can’t imagine that you have any with your busy life, but what do you do during your down time?

I recently became a certified dance fitness instructor, which is really weird for an introvert like me. Click here to read my  blog post about it. I’m certified to teach CIZE Live, which is the new program from Shaun T and also MixxedFit, which is explosive dancing mixed with bootcamp-inspired toning. Imagine hip-hop moves and music with a nice, heavy beat.

I want to take your class. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you a bit better. You’re one cool woman and author!

Aem_neck_sigbout EM:  I’m EM Kaplan—but you can call me Emily. I’m a technical-writing, hip-hop-dancing, dog-belly-rubbing mom of teenagers. I write a series of humorous mysteries that features an amateur detective and food critic named Josie Tucker. I also write a lesser known epic fantasy series called Rise of the Masks, the first of which is Unmasked, which happens to be free on Kindle February 25-29.

Links to books and social media sites

Grab your free copy of Unmasked Feb. 25-29

Website and blog – Just The Em Words









It’s Author Wednesday again. Today I welcome back Cate Beauman, who is introducing her latest addition to the Bodyguards of L.A. County. Finding Lyla – book ten – brings back Ethan Cooke Security’s bodyguard team to solve yet another thrilling crime. Cate tells me that each book in the series stands on its own, so no worries that you have to read the first nine to understand Finding Lyla03 Finding Lyla - Ebook Small

“Although reading the books in order is preferred, it is not necessary,” Cate said.  “Each title features brand new primary characters and limited overlapping secondary characters.  Don’t hesitate to jump right in!”

The Inspiration Behind Finding Lyla from Cate Beauman:

Typically, I get my story ideas from crime documentaries or some sort of crime television program, but I can’t say that is the case for Finding Lyla. When I was coming up with ideas for this novel, I knew I wanted to tell a story about a hero that had struggled through some rough times and a heroine that had some unresolved issues of her own, but was soft, strong, and gentle all at the same time. During the summer months, I started paying close attention to the ongoing Russia/U.S. conflict, and Lyla and Collin assured me they wanted their story to revolve around an adventure that combined all of these elements together.

Blurb from Finding Lyla  

Principal Dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery is always on the go. Grueling practices and endless performances rule her busy days—and things are about to get more hectic. Russia is rolling out the red carpet for their beloved star, despite the string of violent terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation.

Bodyguard Collin Michaels’ life is falling apart. His long-time relationship recently ended. He’s trying to start over, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, Collin has a new assignment on the horizon: keeping a beautiful ballerina safe for the next three weeks.

Collin finds comfort in Lyla’s easy friendship, but that all changes after a night out on the town. Simple feelings become complicated—something Collin can’t afford, especially when tragedy strikes and Collin realizes Lyla’s caught in the middle of a dangerous plot for revenge.

Collin and Lyla are forced to flee. They need to reach the border before it’s too late, but the odds are stacked against them in a country that wants them dead. With time running out, Collin formulates a risky plan that might be their only chance of making it out alive.

Excerpt from Finding Lyla

She crossed her legs, the picture of calm, even as her temples began to pound with the sudden headache. “I’ve turned my back on nothing. Dance is personal. My reasons are personal, but I can assure you nothing would make me happier than to see peace restored between the two countries I call home.”

“And you will help with this?”

She frowned. “Help restore peace? Roman, you overestimate my influence.”

“Perhaps you underestimate your power. Are you not Mina Markovik’s daughter? Have you not followed in her footsteps?”

God knows she’d tried. “I will never be my mother.”

“But you are ‘Russia’s Princess.’”

But she wasn’t. The weight on her shoulders grew exponentially—as it did every year when the title she’d never asked for was thrown in her face.

“This comes with great responsibility,” Roman continued, staring at her, clearly waiting for her response.

She consciously relaxed her hands when she realized her knuckles were white. As their gazes held, she swallowed. How was she supposed to tell him she had canceled her plans to travel east? By honoring her father’s requests to stay in New York, she disgraced the woman who’d died giving her life. With an inner sigh, she sat up straighter, remembering that she owed the beautiful woman who perished nearly twenty-five years ago. “I understand my responsibilities. I accept my duties.”

“Russia has heard nothing from you since the tragic bombing in Saint Petersburg almost two weeks ago.”

Another request from her father: to distance herself from the politics of extremists and deadly acts against the Russian Federation. “Of course I’m deeply saddened and disturbed by such a horrible tragedy.”

“Your father wasn’t shy about his condemnation of the attack. He’s quoted as calling them guerrilla tactics that cannot be tolerated by the United States any more than they are the Russian Federation.”

“Yes. My father is very troubled by the violence.”

“Rumor has it your father is discouraging your travels to the Mother Land for fear of your safety.”

Her spine snapped straight at such a clear invasion of her privacy. How could anyone know that? She discussed her personal issues with very few people. “The rumors you hear are wrong.”

“Ambassador Avery hasn’t pressured you into staying home safe and sound in New York?”

“No, he has not.”

“So you won’t be postponing your trip to Russia?”

“No, I will not. I’ll be coming for my three-week holiday as I always do, and I’ll be performing The Markovik Number at the Bolshoi Theater.”

Roman gaped. “You’ll dance The Markovik Number?”


He edged closer in his seat. “It’s never been seen before. The choreography is unknown to all but a few.”

“Yes,” she repeated.

“This dance is a pas de deux?”

She nodded while her mind raced as she dug herself deeper into her current mess. Not only was she now going to Russia, she was also committing herself to imitating the steps of a true legend. Many had compared her to Mina through the years, but that was nostalgia. No one would ever hold a candle to Mina Markovik on stage.

“Who will you partner with?”

“Sergei Ploeski,” she decided. As soon as word spread, there was no doubt Russia’s best male ballet dancer would be committed to learning the choreography.

Roman’s eyes grew wider. “You will dance with Sergei Ploeski?”

“Mmm. A token of goodwill between two beautiful countries.”

Roman all but rubbed his hands together. “The headlines will be wild. “Ploeski and Markovik-Avery: History.”

“It will be an honor.”

“Your father knows of this?”

“He encouraged me to reach out to Sergei, to bring my mother’s last dance to life during such uncertain times,” she lied without qualm, knowing such a statement would put her father in a positive light.

“This is fantastic, Lyla.”

“I’m excited,” she fibbed again as she struggled not to fidget.

“And your visit at Orphan House Ten, will you still meet with the children?”

“I plan to carry on with my usual schedule.” Which would drive Dad crazy.

“With added security and precautions no doubt.”

She shook her head. “No. You know I don’t use security.”

“Surely your father will insist.”

“My father and I both believe that we must be cautious with the new threats, but we must also live our lives. I plan to carry on in Russia as I always have—drive my own car, walk the streets without being flanked by any sort of protective personnel, eat out with friends and family.”

“You can’t exactly call yourself a normal citizen.”

“Why not?”

“Normal citizens aren’t from the womb of great dancers. Few can call themselves the daughter of an American ambassador.”

“I am both of these things, and I’ve never wanted to be treated any differently than anyone else.”

“There is certainly truth in that, Princess.” Roman shut off his recorder and stood abruptly. “Thank you for sitting down with me.” He bent forward, absently pressing a kiss to Lyla’s cheek. “We’ll catch up when you land in Russia next week. I want an exclusive.”

“Of course,” she muttered, waiting for him to disappear around the corner before she let her head settle against the back of the seat. Closing her eyes, she groaned as she rubbed at the throbbing in her temples. What had she done? Dad was going to lose it when she explained what had just happened. She stood and started back toward her dressing room, not looking forward to the call she was about to make. But there was no turning back now. Every word she’d spoken was on Roman’s handy little tape recorder.

The Unofficial Finding Lyla Soundtrack

Music plays a HUGE part in my writing process. I typically listen to Pandora or YouTube while I create my stories and compile a collection of songs that I feel represent my characters or the situations they face as each novel unfolds. It’s a rare occasion that my creativity demands silence (And that’s a good thing. I’m a mother of two boys. Quiet doesn’t exist in my house.). I thought it would be fun to create a list of songs that ‘spoke’ to me while I wrote the Bodyguards of L.A. County series. You can listen to the “soundtrack” for each book on my website www.catebeauman.com.

The soundtrack, of sorts, for Finding Lyla:

  • “Today” by Steve Moakler
  • “Beautiful Things” by Gungor
  • “Teneferie Sea” by Ed Sheeran
  • “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk The Moon
  • “Anywhere but Here” by Safety Suit
  • “Never Gonna Be Alone” by Nickelback
  • “Nirvana” by Sam Smith
  • “Don’t Deserve You” by Plumb
  • “Unconditionally” by Katy Perry
  • “You’re in Love” by Taylor Swift
  • “Fight Song” by Rachel Platton

05 Cate Profile PicAbout Cate:  International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, Justice for Abby was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while Saving Sophie took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on Deceiving Bella, the eleventh novel in her popular Bodyguards series. For information on Cate’s new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, click here to sign up for her newsletter.

Buy Links:

Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks

Contact Cate:




Amazon Author Central

You can follow Cate on Twitter @CateBeauman

















On-Lucky-Shores-Front-Only-Large (2)Kerry Donovan stopped by Author Wednesday this week to talk about his new thriller On Lucky Shores

I edited the novel, but my review has nothing to do with my professional work as a book editor. My review considers what makes a novel interesting and intriguing, and well, thrilling, if that’s the genre, which On Lucky Shores is. Kerry knows how to deliver on all levels. The book opens with the rugged and handsome drifter colliding into a mountain town and rolling into the lives of its inhabitants. But first there’s an accident, a secret, and an untimely death.

That’s just the first chapter. Chet Walker eventually makes it into the town of Lucky Shores intent on finding a place to play his music, delivering a message loaded with mystery from a dying man, and staying out of trouble. But trouble rides on the case of his guitar from the site of the accident he witnessed to the hospital where he fends quite nicely for himself against the local ruffians. But he has yet to encounter the sheriff, the doctor, the mayor, or the lovely woman running the local cafe.

It’s that woman at the cafe to whom he must deliver his message–a message that will spin the town all around, causing its residents to race up the mountains surrounding it. Josephine is adorable, and Chet finds himself drawn to her.

But for me, the best thing about the novel was my reactions and thoughts as I read it through the first time. I couldn’t figure out who done did it. I’d think I knew who the villain was, and then I didn’t. Not until the very end, near the climax, did I know for sure. And that’s the mark of a true author of a thrilling mystery. I’m not a fan of always knowing exactly who did what to whom. I like the tension created from not knowing, when every scene could be loaded with real clues or clues meant to confuse the reader who is suddenly headed down the wrong road out of town.

The book also contains a romantic thread in the growing attraction between Josephine and Chet. So even though there’s mystery, intrigue, and thrilling parts, I also enjoyed the the sweet and tender love that grows. Perhaps the genre is best described as romantic suspense.

Perfect combination. I recommend you give it a try yourself. You won’t be disappointed. And I must say for an English bloke living in France, Kerry Donovan did an excellent job of adapting to the Rocky Mountain setting and making it believable. [Go Broncos!]

Kerry_J_Donovan - Web pagesAbout Kerry: Kerry J Donovan was born in Dublin. He spent most of his life in the UK, and now lives in Brittany with his wife of thirty-eight years. He has three children and three/four grandchildren, all of whom live in England. Family apart, Kerry has three loves: making furniture, sport, and writing (but not necessarily in that order).


Purchase Links:

On Lucky Shores Amazon US

On Lucky Shores Amazon UK





cropped-typewriter.jpgI’m excited to welcome James Moushon to Author Wednesday today. James has been a tireless supporter and promoter of Indie Authors, so it gives me great pleasure to return the favor. He stops by today to talk about his latest release, Operation Alpha Dog, a collection of short stories, featuring the character Jonathon Stone.moushon1-alphadog300

Welcome, James! I’m so happy to have you here today. Let’s start with some information about you as a writer. When were you first able to call yourself a “writer” or “author?”

Actually, I have been both. In 1994, I became a published writer in national business magazines. At that time, I was writing about the coming digital conversion of books and business forms and what it would do to companies and their products.

In 2011, I became a published author with the release of my first novel, Call Off the Dogs. This title is being rewritten with the working title: Cajun Ghost (release date in the Spring 2016).

Do all your books have a common theme or thread? 

All my books are centered around my main character, Jonathon Stone. Jonathon is a CIA agent, working domestically for a secret CIA division called DOT. Because the CIA isn’t allowed to operate in the U.S. by law, this division is off the books. Jonathon attempts to catch terrorists and assassins while he struggles with drinking, gambling, and the ladies.

Sounds like a bad boy American James Bond. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

It comes from a review for Operation Alpha Dog:

These stories… don’t waste any time and jump straight into the action. Some excellent plot ideas that work well in the short space given to them, quite different in locations and style but all very compelling and rewarding reading. So good, I devoured it in one sitting.

What’s your one sentence pitch the new collection of short stories?

A six-pack of complete Jonathon Stone Mystery short stories filled with murder, mystery, and espionage.

Sounds intriguing! How long do you estimate it took you to write, and then publish, this collection?

There are six unique stories. I would estimate two months of writing and editing, but the elapsed time was much longer.

Is the book traditionally or self-published? 

This is a self-published collection. I started from the technical part of creating eBooks in 1994. That transferred to learning the whole publishing process. Choosing self-publishing was next.

You were really in at the beginning. I didn’t start until 2012 with the Indie Author movement, although I’d been published traditionally since 2000. What is the best thing someone could say about Operation Alpha Dog?

It is a quick, interesting read with twists and turns for the reader to enjoy.

That’s always good for readers living in such a fast-paced world. Explain how this book was conceived in your imagination.

The collection is an extension of Jonathon Stone Mystery series and the various assignment the CIA has had Stone conduct.

What type of research did you do in the writing of this book?

This is part of the fun I have writing. I very seldom write about a location I haven’t lived or visited. I study terrorism, the CIA inner workings, current events and specifics of the locations Stone must visit to carry out the op.

I love doing the research for my books as well. Not everyone does, so that’s a good start. Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

Jonathon Stone catches an assassin in “Operation Red Dragon.”

Jonathon Stone’s plans for a quiet gambling experience is interrupted by the sighting of a known gun for hire from Mexico. A casual weekend in the desert for Jonathon changes into an apparent assassination plot. With the FBI and the Secret Service involved, Jonathon tries to apprehend the elusive hit man before he can do damage.

Thank you so much for stopping by Author Wednesday, James. I wish you great success with this new collection of short stories. And I hope you’ll stop by again–maybe for a guest post on the wisdom you’ve gained through your experience and research on being an Indie Author.

moushon1About James:  James Moushon is a Mystery author and a published writer in the electronic document field. He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published two books: Black Mountain Secrets and Game of Fire, and Operation Alpha Dog, a collection of short stories featuring Jonathon Stone. He is currently wearing two hats. He is a mystery author and a book publishing blogger.

Social media sites

Website: James Moushon – Mystery Writer

Author’s Blog: eBook Author’s Corner

Blog: HBS Author’s Spotlight

Blog: HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle

Twitter: @jimhbs

E-Mail: james.moushon@gmail.com

Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads

Google+: Check Out Google+

Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Spotlight post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author’s Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile

Links to books

Black Mountain Secrets

Game of Fire

Operation Alpha Dog




sun_eBOOK_NEW (1)Flo and Brittany. Brittany and Flo–a relationship born in shock and fascination, breaking down age barriers immediately. No spoilers in here, but the opening of When the Sun was Mine is filled with mystery and love stories, which leads the young Brittany into an exploration of herself and her views on the elderly. Flo guides her through both.

I enjoyed When the Sun was Mine because of the growth and development of the relationship between the young Brittany and the much older Flo.

Set mostly in the nursing home, Happy Hearts–the greatest misnomer of all–this novel addresses something rarely touched in writing. The author takes us inside the mind of Flo, suffering from the early stage symptoms of Alzheimer’s–or is she? Because of the mystery slowly unraveling at the center of the plot, the reader is never sure if Flo is faking the symptoms to aid her investigation, or if she really doesn’t remember some things. It’s a brilliant literary touch because it creates a confusion in the reader that provides a brief glimpse into how it must be for Flo, who moves back and forth between and through the shadows of her memories and her present existence.

Those beginning stages of this disease can be the most challenging for loved ones and the most terrifying for the patient.

I know from experience with an aunt and a brother. When both of my relatives knew they were declining and knew they were defenseless against what was happening, they broke my hearts in their helpless knowledge. My brother, a respected and innovative mathematician, felt frustrated in those early days.

“There’s plenty of material out there for the caretakers of the Alzheimer’s patient,” he told me. “But I can’t find a thing about how it is for me, the patient.”

He still had those moments of lucidity, and in those moments, he was anxious to find out all he could before he had a setback where he wouldn’t even be able to remember the word for what he had.

Ms. Jones takes the reader on that journey into the mind of the Alzheimer’s victim in her characterization of Flo. Yet she manages to prevent the novel from devolving into a dark abyss by using humor through Flo’s own antics and the inexperienced fumblings of her young accomplices, Brittany and two of her friends.

Mystery mixed with contemporary realities provide for an enjoyable read because once the reader sees Flo in all her naked honesty in that first chapter, the ride surprises us with its twists and turns.

It takes a talented author to bring us contemporary issues that not only entertain but cause us to pause and wonder at the possibilities for our dreams, no matter our age or condition. And Darlene Jones has achieved that in her latest novel, When the Sun was Mine.

Links to find out more about Darlene Jones:

Author Wednesday posts:

January 13, 2016

April 3, 2013

Book Review Friday – Embattled

Purchase Links for When the Sun was Mine – $0.99 for a limited time

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK







cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgHappy New Year! It’s Wednesday and time for 2016’s first Author Wednesday. Today’s offering is unique as Diane Rapp stops by to gives us some information about her new novel, Golden Legacy, which blends historical adventure with modern-day mystery. Stepping back to 1888, Diane has provided us with a character interview with Genevieve Elizabeth Donnelly as if it was conducted by me! Read and enjoy.Golden Legacy Cover_edited-3

Interview with a Victorian Lady

Written by Diane Rapp


Ginny Framed_edited-2


Genevieve Elizabeth Donnelly steps through a shimmering light that suddenly opens in my office. Although warned to expect a time-travel portal, I feel unnerved. The lovely woman resembles an old-fashioned portrait brought to life before my eyes. She’s an attractive tall woman with chestnut hair pinned back into a neat bun. Her lively hazel eyes look intelligent and inquisitive. As she enters my domain, her gaze explores the room, noting my laptop computer, cellphone, and my casual attire.


I offer my hand to the genteel lady. “Hello, Genevieve, I’m Patricia Zick, an author friend of Diane Rapp’s. She arranged for your interview today.”

She says, “Do call me Ginny.” Removing a pair of kid gloves, Ginny shakes my hand and smiles. Her mellow voice sounds calm, but I notice a slight tremble in her fingertips. She adds, “I felt incredulous about your kind invitation to chat. I hardly anticipated a female writer from the future might summon me through a time-portal. Of course, having read the Time Machine by H.G. Wells in 1895, I felt eager to take an excursion into the future. It felt ever so exhilarating.”

Eager to know more, I ask, “Did you ever meet H.G. Wells?”

Ginny’s laugh contains a musical contralto resonance. “Not all English citizens mingle in the same social circles, you realize. No, I’ve never been afforded the opportunity to meet the lauded author. Perhaps the experience of time-travel during this interview might provide a proper means of introduction.”

She wanders past my book shelves and fingers several titles with a quizzical expression. The scent of roses fills the room as I observe her old-fashioned clothing. Ginny wears a demure plum-colored silk jacket over a ruffled white blouse and long skirt in a slim design. She carries a small velvet reticule and white parasol.

“What a lovely outfit you’re wearing, but I thought women in the 1880s typically wore bustles. Please make yourself comfortable.” I point to an armchair opposite my desk.

Blushing, Ginny replies, “Thank you for the kind compliment.” Smoothing her skirt, she sits primly upon the chair, maintaining an erect posture. “Truthfully, I seldom dress in current vogue, preferring to delay until I’m forced to alter my habits to suit society. However, travelling the seas wearing cumbersome bustles grew tiresome, and consequently, I relished the idea of a change. I made the acquaintance of a French fashion designer on a long voyage to Japan. I found her a woman of uncommon talent and daring as she outlined a plan to make a name for herself by marketing avant-garde fashions sewn from Japanese silk. Amazed by her illustrations, I knew such attire would make life more tolerable for modern women. In Tokyo, we purchased luxurious materials and hired tailors to create new garments to my measure. I promptly cast aside my entire wardrobe. Can you imagine the comical sight of servants strolling through Japanese streets wearing unwieldly bustles?” She lowered her gaze and blushed. “Pardon me for prattling on like a magpie. It’s a disagreeable habit for which Father often chides me.”

I quickly interject, “Please don’t stop, Ginny! I enjoy hearing such charming details and the information will be useful for my article.”

She fidgets, picks up an open microfiber pen from my desk and fingers the tip. When ink mars her white finger, her eyes grow round. “I’ve never seen such a marvelous writing implement. A fountain pen proved an invaluable tool for me.” She points at my laptop and eagerly leans forward to watch me type. “Is this another magical invention like the time-portal?”

I stifle a laugh and nod. “Computers are inventions that replaced the common typewriter.”

“Extraordinary! I deemed the typewriter an ingenious device, but this astonishing machine displays words upon a glowing picture frame as you strike the keys. I fear no one in my time period will credit the veracity of my observations.” She eyes the clock on my desk and says, “We must commence the interview forthwith. I’m informed we have but an hour available before the portal dissolves. Diane said you inquired about my journey through the American West during 1888?”

“Yes, let’s begin.” Sighing, I peruse my list of interview questions and state, “You claim to be a spinster at the age of twenty-five. You are obviously beautiful, so how did you remain unmarried?”

Touching her shapely lips with an ink-marred finger, she blushes before beginning an explanation. “Mother died upon my birth, therefore, I grew up as an impressionable girl surrounded by gentlemen. My attitudes and conceits were formed by interactions with the masculine gender, who tolerated my opinions. When introduced into society as a sixteen-year-old debutante, I balked at the notion that a husband could become my lord and master. An inheritance from my American mother’s fortune included a dowry of ample size to secure a proper husband, but young gentlemen who courted failed to capture my heart. During two seasons, I attended fancy balls, elaborate hunts, and weekly picnics. I grew utterly bored by members of the ton and subsequently refused several proposals—much to Father’s chagrin. He claimed I became a spinster by choice, and I admit he was correct. At the age of twenty-one, I gained control over my capital and became free to travel.”

Rapidly typing to record the dialogue into my laptop, I pause to ask, “Why did you travel to Ouray, Colorado?”

Ginny’s lovely hazel eyes become somber. “After visiting the Sandwich Islands, the ship I booked passage upon landed in San Francisco where I hoped to enjoy a congenial holiday with cousins. A telegram arrived from Father that changed my plans entirely.” She leans forward and comments in a hushed tone, “You do realize that telegrams seldom carry good news, which is better conveyed in a nice long letter. The cryptic communication from Father alerted me that Johnny, my twin brother, lay injured in hospital—shot by miscreants. Father implored me to cut my visit short and rush to Johnny’s bedside in Ouray, Colorado. Luckily, by 1888 American railroad companies offered expanded routes that allowed for civilized travel across rugged terrain.”

My fingers fly across the keyboard until I sense Ginny watching me again. “Was it common for a woman to travel alone in 1888?” I meet her steady gaze.

I notice a slight flinch at the question but she soon replies, “I felt safe enough, after all, I followed the example of a fellow English gentlewoman. As a girl I faithfully read all the journals published by Isabella Lucy Bird, the daughter of a clergyman and celebrated travel writer. Twenty years prior to my adventure, Miss Bird’s solitary travels afforded me the courage to venture into the wilds of the Colonies on my own.”

The hands on my clock creep forward, and Ginny glances nervously at the shimming light that would soon snatch her back a hundred years. I explain, “Diane Rapp just published Golden Legacy, a novel that features your journal. It sounds like you experienced an exciting and dangerous adventure.”

Ginny shushed me by raising her finger to her lips. “We must not reveal too many secrets from my journal. I allow that I encountered a modicum of danger, even adopting a disguise to thwart those dreadful bandits, but I felt compelled to carry supplies to the hidden mine—armed with a fountain pen and two hat pins. You see, my brother’s business partner, Nick, had no knowledge regarding Johnny’s injuries or the threat of villains watching the trail. I admit my audacity nearly caused me harm, but I faithfully recorded the events. Later I directed my descendants to follow my journal to discover the gold mine and secure their fortunes.”

“Descendants? That means you didn’t remain a spinster. Did you fall in love during your trek to the mine?” I leaned forward, eager to hear more.

Flashing an enigmatic smile, Ginny declares, “A modern woman should never accept less than true love in her story. I shan’t spoil the book by revealing too much, but realize that a splendid love story always contains a handsome hero. My mettle was tested in ways I still shudder to recall. The escapade prompted me to institute a similar test of courage and intellect for my future heirs.” She stands and puts the kid gloves back onto her slender hands. “I hope you enjoy reading my adventure. Be sure to examine the photos taken by descendants inside the tome and discover more clues for the treasure hunt.”

Ginny’s silk skirt swishes as she rushes back through the time-portal. The shimmering light vanishes after she waves good-bye. I feel anxious to peruse the description of the book and view a slideshow of photos at Diane’s website.

Description of Golden Legacy blends historical adventure with modern-day mystery in a novel that follows two time lines. Embarking on a harrowing treasure hunt, two daring heroines tackle the hazards of gold country more than a century apart. Although a stand-alone novel, readers who have already met Kayla and Steven in the High Seas Mystery series, may enjoy their continued love story in the Rockies. See real places around Ouray, Colorado, through actual photos within the narrative.

Diane AloneAbout the Author:  Diane Rapp became an entrepreneur when she opened a dog grooming salon in Santa Barbara, California. She spent the next thirty years as a small business owner. She sold real estate, owned an office supply/copy center, and performed freelance advertising design. During those hectic years, Diane wrote stories as a cure for insomnia. After joining her daughter on a research trip for a Caribbean tour guide, Diane’s daughter suggested the idea of writing a mystery novel set on cruise ships. Although part of the High Seas Mystery series, each book is a stand-alone story.

In Murder Caribbean-Style, readers meet the main characters and learn about life aboard a ship while solving a murder. When Kayla teams up with Steven Young, a handsome British magician working undercover for Interpol, danger and romance get mixed into the action.

The second in the series, Murder on a Ghost Ship takes readers cruising to Bermuda and the Azores. Kayla and Natalia are summoned back to work by Emily Schultz, who bought a ship haunted by a very unhappy ghost. The women must learn who murdered the ghostly victim before another passenger dies.

Take an Alaskan cruise in Murder for Glacier Blue and solve and murder and art heist. While preparing for her own wedding on Glacier Bay, Kayla and the gang must protect six valuable paintings—six chances for thieves to strike. Her dream wedding hits a snag when Steven’s ex-wife shows up alongside his school chum planning trouble for the newlyweds!  Readers enjoy photos of Alaskan wildlife and natural landmarks mixed into a tale of art theft and murder.

Diane Rapp also writes a  science/fantasy series and a fractured fairytale.

Visit www.quicksilvernovels.com to learn more about all of Diane’s books and see photos.

Connect with Diane at https://www.facebook.com/quicksilvernovels and follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/DianeRapp





bleeding heartOn Author Wednesday this week, Staci Troilo wrote about her choice to write multi-genre novels. After reading Bleeding Heart, her first venture into suspenseful romance, I can attest that she’s made a wise choice to branch out from mainstream fiction and mystery. She titled it Bleeding Heart for a very good reason (you’ll find no spoilers here), but I can tell you it was heart-stopping, heart-throbbing, and heart-pounding as well.

The novel, the first in her Medici Protectorate series, never allows the reader a moment to relax and take a breath for a variety of reasons. It’s a novel that crosses genre lines in a fascinating cross-pollination of lives, eras, and continents. There’s suspense, mystery, intrigue, and history. But overriding the whole thing is a romantic sensuality that tops anything I’ve read of late.

I’m impressed with what Ms. Troilo accomplished in this book. It’s intelligent and explores an area of mystery that has plagued generations from the United States to Italy. But she’s also written some of the steamiest sex scenes I’ve ever read. I’m embarrassed when I read some steamy romances because the plot line can delve into cheesy. Not so with this novel. She matched the personalities of her main characters–Franki and Gianni–perfectly. Both proud, stubborn, and with streaks of anger that are down right frightful. Even Franki’s sisters and Gianni’s adopted brothers fear that anger. What a combustible combination when the two meet and then eventually collide into one another on an explosive sensual ride.

It’s a roller coaster of a book that takes the reader from a city in the U.S., loosely resembling Pittsburgh, to the past of Michelangelo’s Italy.

But there’s more, if that’s not enough. There’s the paranormal aspect of the Medici line that’s been passed down to Gianni and his family tribe. Franki only begins to understand her family’s role in the whole Medici mystique after her father’s murder. That’s right–there’s murder, too. And the threat of murder always overhanging the sisters who are beautiful, talented, and devoted to their mother and dead father.

Be forewarned–not everything is solved at this end of this novel because Book Two is now being readied for release in 2016.

I highly recommend reading this book to add lots of spice and excitement to your life! I know my heart is still bleeding all over the floor after my voyeuristic visits with Franki and Gianni through all their trysts.

Blurb for Bleeding Heart—Franki, secret legacy of the Medici, is prophesied to return Italy to its former glory. Targeted for assassination and ignorant of her enemy’s identity, she is protected by Gianni, the warrior destined to defend her. He must conquer her fears and his demons to save them both.

Purchase Links:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBooks.



Women of Words book Blitz #eNovAaW

I’m pleased to be a part of Women of Words Book Blitz with my novel, Trails in the Sand. You’ll find some great books here and a chance to win some fantastic prizes. During the tour, Trails in the Sand can be downloaded from Amazon for only $0.99.

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