Archive for the ‘Author Interview’ Category



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The Rising Series Box Set
Holly Kelly
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: December 12th 2017
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

A magical underwater realm awaits! Own books 1-3 of the Best-Selling Rising series by acclaimed author Holly Kelly.

This value-priced boxed set includes the first three novels in the best-selling Rising series: Rising (with an exclusive bonus scene), Descending, and Avenging. Beautifully packaged with brilliant new cover art, this set is perfect for any fan of Greek Mythology and Mermaid Romance stories. Order the Rising series today and submerge yourself in an underwater world full of passion, romance, intrigue and adventure.

Rising: Contains a newly released scene! In a war between the humans and the inhabitants of the sea—humans will lose. Xanthus Dimitriou—the most lethal Dagonian to rise from the ocean—is on a mission to save mankind from annihilation. There’s just one thing standing in his way: the life of a beautiful young woman…

Descending: When Xanthus cashes in a long-standing favor, Kyros is faced with doing two things he thought he’d never do—protect a mermaid and live on land.
Avenging: Two thousand years ago, King Triton witnessed the slaughter and total annihilation of his merchildren. Devastated by the loss, he vowed to never again father a child. Powerful, handsome, and eternally youthful, Triton was no stranger to seduction—yet his resolve was unwavering…until he met Nicole.

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Enjoy the interview with Author Holly Kelly

1)   Why Mermaids/Mermen?

I’ve always had a love for the ocean and had a fascination of the creatures that live within its depths. However, this book didn’t start with a lot of forethought. I was surfing online and came across—quite by accident—a picture of a mermaid with a flesh-colored tail. The thought hit me: what if a mermaid was born on land and she didn’t know she was a mermaid? She simply thought she was born horribly deformed. I started writing that same day.

2)   What kind of research did you have to do?

I didn’t start out with any research under my belt. I would simply write until I came to a part where needed to know more about the mythological world. I then would do a search on the internet and find out what I needed to know. After the rough draft was written, I did read an in-depth book about Greek Mythology and made necessary changes. One thing I found in my research—Greek Mythology is filled with contradicting information. This actually worked to my advantage. I used the mythology that fit best with the story and then I also filled in empty places with my own version of the mytholog

3) How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

The names are very important in my books. I choose based on meaning AND on liking how the name sounds. But then the names of minor characters I usually just pull out of my head. I hit a gold mine with Gretchen’s name. When I first started writing Rising, she was going to be a minor character and I just wanted a name that was a bit different for her, so I called her Gretchen. When I decided to write her as the main character in Descending, I looked up her name and found it meant pearl. That fit her character perfectly! And as she said herself about her name, “Life gave me a piece of dirt, but I’m making it beautiful, one layer at a time.”

4) How long did it take to write Rising?

I spent a year and a half writing Rising. But I didn’t write full time. I wrote when I got an idea or when I felt like writing. It wasn’t until it was published and I had a deadline for another book that I learned to write on a schedule.

5) How do you plot? Do you write it down, have a mood board etc?

I’m what you’d call a pantser. I’ve tried outlining, but I always end up throwing them away and letting the story take me where IT wants to go. Basically, it’s all about learning who my characters are, and putting them into challenging/impossible situations.

6) If you were a character in your book for a day what would you do?

I’d do some serious exploring!! I’ve always wanted to know what lurks in the deepest parts of the ocean.

7) How would you describe your book to get a reader interested in it?

A friend of mine once described my books as Twilight meets Percy Jackson. I think that describes them pretty well. And I’m never offended by people saying my books are like Twilight. I happen to love the series (the books not the movies) and am flattered when people compare them.

8) How many books will there be in the series?

At least four, but probably more. The way I have the stories set up—with different main characters in each book—it’s easier to keep the stories fresh and new. So I guess I’ll keep writing in the Rising world until I get tired of it.

9) What is your favorite genre to read?

          I read a much wider variety of genres than I write in and it’s hard to pinpoint a favorite. I read fantasy and paranormal, mostly NA, YA, and middle grade—I’m not much of an epic fantasy gal. But I also read anything with an element of romance—historical, contemporary, comedy, crime, cloak and dagger stuff, who-done-it mysteries… You probably get the point. Basically, I love reading amazing books, no matter the genre.

10) What are you working on now?

I’m actually working on a spin-off series for Rising called The Lost Gods series. This one takes place several months after Raging. The lost children of the gods are still out there, living lives not knowing who/what they are. This will be a series following those characters as they discover their powers, have adventures, and fall in love.

Quick Fire Round

Favorite drink

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

Favorite color

Aqua blue—for obvious reasons.

Favorite movie/s

All the Harry Potter films, all the Marvel movies (esp. Thor), and I adore Up.

Favorite book/s

I love anything written by Amy Harmon, Julie Garwood, and Janet Evanovich. And I also love Harry Potter, Fablehaven, Percy Jackson, Iron King, and Twilight series.

Favorite place

Disneyland

Favorite TV show

That one is hard to pin down. I do like the superhero shows like Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, etc.

Favorite food

New York style cheesecake

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Check out the excerpt:

He knew what he had to do, what he’d done countless times before. As a trained soldier, he had a sacred duty to protect his people, guard their secret, and uphold the law. This female’s presence here was not only a criminal act, but it also presented an imminent threat. And because of that, his course was clear.

He had to kill her.

His plan lay clearly before him. Blanketed in the shadows, he’d enter her apartment window. Moving silently, he’d strike fast. Before she could cry out for help, he’d have her throat slit wide open. With her blood flowing swiftly, she’d be dead in mere seconds. The fact that she bathed at this time added to the ease of the execution. Clean up would be simple. Before the night ended, it would be as if she’d never existed. The Dagonian threat of exposure would be wiped clean from the human world.

Xanthus stood, his feet rooted in place under her window. Her sweet scent surrounded him as he listened to her pitiful sobs. Then, in that moment, he did the most shameful thing he’d ever done in his life.

He hesitated.

No, he didn’t merely hesitate. He halted. Fingering his blade in his holster, he willed his feet to move, but they seemed unwilling to obey. Then his mind latched onto a thought. It was no crime to wait for a more opportune time or a more secluded place to strike. He didn’t need to act rashly. True, finding her here in the human world shocked him, but he needed to be clear-headed and sure when he killed her.

He made his way back to his vehicle and climbed behind the wheel. He leaned his head back against the seat, closed his eyes, and attempted to clear his head.

He’d be back and she would die. She deserved to die. She may have the voice of an angel, but that was a lie. She was a traitor, a threat to their people. No other explanation made sense.

Xanthus looked toward the little female’s apartment building across the street. Could she have found a more dangerous place to live? This Dagonian female probably felt at home with these bottom-feeders.

Probably? Aw Hades. He cursed himself and the doubt in his mind. He doubly cursed that he couldn’t seem to stop himself from caring about her welfare. He’d be killing her himself, after all. The traitor had to die, regardless of his feelings and no matter how appealing she was. Of course, if she died by a human’s hands then he wouldn’t…

No.

He shook his head at his own idiotic thoughts. If a human killed her, then her body would be taken to the morgue, for the humans to see. He couldn’t let that happen. He had to be the one to kill her and carefully dispose of her body. And he would, soon.

Just not tonight.

 

Author Holly Kelly

Holly Kelly is a mom who writes books in her spare time: translation–she hides in the bathroom with her laptop and locks the door while the kids destroy the house and smear peanut butter on the walls. She was born in Utah but moved around a bit, living in Kansas, Texas, and Hawaii where she studied marine biology. She’s now back in Utah–“happy valley”. She’s married to a wonderful husband, James, and they are currently raising 6 rambunctious children. Her interests are reading, writing (or course), martial arts, visual arts, creating Halloween props, and spending time with family.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Join Fiona and the gang for a hot whodunit on the sandy beaches of Presque Isle, Pennsylvania!
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Waves Of Murder is a fun one for your summer reading. Check put the book. Enjoy the author intervew. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
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Enjoy the interview with author C.S. McDonald
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If you were to compare Fiona Quinn Mysteries to a book or a TV mystery series, who would you compare it to?

I think Fiona is a unique individual being a kindergarten teacher from Pittsburgh, who possesses a huge heart—not to mention her ghostly grandmother who lives in the attic apartment. I’ve been asked (especially by parents) if I would compare her to Nancy Drew. The answer: No. The Fiona Quinn story lines are more exciting than a Nancy Drew mystery. If I had to compare to anyone it would be Jessica Fletcher/Murder she wrote—except for the fact that Fiona is much younger than Angela Landsbury’s famous character. Again, I believe the Fiona stories are more electrifying than Fletcher’s mysteries, but it is a better comparison.

What actress would you choose to portray Fiona Quinn?

Kaley Cuoco hands down! Every time I watch Big Bang Theory I think—Wow! She would make the perfect Fiona!

Did you write Waves of Murder specifically as a beach read?

chuckle No, not really, but I must admit that I’m hoping that it is very popular as a “beach read.” The stories are quick clean reads, so you could definitely read the entire book, or at least most of the book, while baking on the beach.

What is the difference between writing mystery and writing suspense?

When writing a mystery, the author holds their cards close to their chest, only feeding the reader clues as to whodunit bit by bit so as not to give away the murderer. In turn, the reader is trying to piece together the clues to try to figure it out before the last chapter.

When writing a suspense novel, the author reveals who killed the poor widow who lives on the hill, and then forces the reader to sweat it out as to whether the widow’s daughter who has come to clean out the house will be killed by the charming, helpful young man who lives next door—who, of course, killed her mother. Or will the detective working the case figure out who the killer is in time to rescue the widow’s beautiful daughter before she becomes the next victim? Yikes!

Which is easier for you to write mystery or suspense?

I love writing the Fiona Quinn Mystery series—really I do, that said, I truly enjoy and find it a tad bit easier to write the suspense novels. Yes, it takes me longer to write the suspense novels—as much as a year, but I do so love to make my readers sweat—and the characters too. Even though Fiona Quinn is a mystery series, I think I do manage to give that touch of suspense to her stories—I can’t help myself!

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Book Title: Waves of Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery
Author: C.S. McDonald
Category: YA Fiction, 190 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: McWriter Books
Release date: April 11, 2017
Tour dates: May 15 to 26, 2017
Content Rating: G (The Fiona Quinn Mysteries are for everyone–adults love the books and they are appropriate for teens and tweens too!)

Book Description:

School’s out for the summer!

Kindergarten teacher, Fiona Quinn is looking forward to spending some quality time in her yard and with her boyfriend, Detective Nathan Landry. However, Fiona’s plans get squelched when her mother volunteers her to edit a manuscript for famous romance author, Wyla Parkes.

What’s so bad about that? The author insists Fiona must work on the manuscript at her beach cottage on Presque Isle–three hours away from her yard and Nathan. Spending six weeks in an adorable cottage on a private beach doesn’t really seem all that bad until people start turning up dead—beginning with the author! Fiona’s summer of sun and sand is instantly transformed into a murder investigation. Can Fiona and Nathan crack the case or will the murderer get away on a wave of deceit?

Join Fiona and the gang for a hot whodunit on the sandy beaches of Presque Isle, Pennsylvania!

Buy the Book: 
 

 

Meet the Author C.S. McDonald


For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. Now she adds the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series for her young granddaughters, and has found that so many adults love them too.Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

 

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR:

May 15 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 15 – Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama – book spotlight / giveaway
May 15 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
May 15 – Corinne Rodrigues – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 16 – Reviews in the City – book spotlight / giveaway
May 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 16 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / giveaway
May 16 – Blooming with Books – book spotlight / giveaway
May 17 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
May 17 – Sleuth Cafe – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 17 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – book spotlight / giveaway
May 17 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post
May 18 – FUONLYKNEW – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 18 – The Book Drealms – book spotlight / giveaway
May 18 – Laura’s Interests – book spotlight / giveaway
May 18 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 – Babs Book Bistro – book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 – Brooke Blogs – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 19 –100 Pages a day – book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 – Puddletown Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 – Hall Ways Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 – Books for Books – book spotlight<br
May 22 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
May 23 – Kristin’s Novel Cafe – book spotlight / giveaway
May 23 – Katie’s Clean Book Collection – book spotlight / giveaway
May 23 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 23 – Travelling Through Words – book spotlight / giveaway
May 24 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 24 – Seasons of Opportunities – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 24 – Bookworm Cafe – book spotlight / giveaway
May 25 – JBronder Book Reviews – book spotlight
May 25 – Carole’s Book Corner – book spotlight /
May 25 – Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / giveaway
May 26 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy + Sissy, Too! – spotlight / giveaway
May 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
May 26 – Jessica Cassidy – book spotlight

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

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I’m so excited to share this book with you.  Check out my 5 Star review of Mama’s Knight. And enjoy the interview with Author Aurora Whittet.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Interview with Aurora Whittet, author of

Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love

 

There are many books out there about cancer. What makes yours different?

The big difference with Mama’s Knight, is that it is personalizable. No matter what type of cancer you have, breast, brain, thyroid, this book can help your children understand what is happening. Mom can write in her diagnosis and symptoms. Put in photos of her child and find activities based on mom’s energy level. Most books are concentrated on one type of cancer, but I wanted to create something that any mom with any cancer could find hope and help.

 

How long have you been writing?

I have been writing stories since I was about eleven or twelve years old. Naturally those ones were terrible, but my friends enjoyed them at the time. I continued writing, and one day when my mom was diagnosed with cancer, I realized I needed to start pursuing publishing now, because tomorrow wasn’t a guarantee. I published my first novel in 2013, and have since finished the entire Bloodmark Saga series, followed by Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love. It has been an amazing and creative journey. I’m currently in edit for a new novel, illustrating the daddy version of the cancer book, and writing and illustrating a children’s picture book about monsters. I am endlessly creating something. Keep an eye on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates and Cover Reveals.

 

Is there a specific ritualistic thing you do during your writing time?

I like to listen to the same song on repeat every time I write on a book. Sometimes with longer novels, that can be three or four different songs based on the mood of that section of the book, but whichever song it is, that one is on repeat. It helps me set the tone, return me to where I was the day before, and drown out any distractions, while not becoming a distraction itself.

 

If you could go back in time, where would you go?

I would go back to the moment that the doctors told my mom she had cancer again and I would buy us tickets for a week in somewhere amazing and take that moment. I would take her on a trip. I would help her see all the things she dreamed. I kept saying when she’s healthier we’ll go, but she never got better. Sometimes you truly must live in the moment, because tomorrow is never a promise. I would go back to that moment and I would help hug her. What I wouldn’t give for one more hug from my mom.

 

If there is one thing you want readers to remember about you, what would it be?

You know I don’t think it’s about me. I’m just a mom who writes books. What I want readers to remember is to always love, forgive, find grace, make time, be kind. Be there. Be present. Take the photo of your kids, but also put the phone down and just play. Make the wonderful homemade meal, and make the dinner from a bag. Don’t live by someone else’s standards, make your own rules and find happiness. Life is unexpected and chaotic and there is an ever-present unknown expiration date, so don’t put off the fun and hugs and life for tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come, so love hard every day. And one must always hold the door for the next guy.

Mama's Knight

Genre: Children’s Book / Interactive / Non Fiction

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My Review

Families coping with cancer will find this book invaluable. It’s an interactive book designed to be personalized with children’s names and family pictures, and includes activity plans, and cute, colorful pictures to help a mother with cancer explain treatments and symptoms with their young ones.

I especially liked the idea of coupons the kids can fill out choosing who will help them with an activity when mother is too tired or ill to participate. This is just one of many helpful ideas.

I can honestly say I’ve never come across a book like this before. Very helpful and one of a kind.

5 Stars

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Synopsis

Once upon a time . . . It’s how all heroes begin their story, and you’re a hero, too! Your mama has cancer, and it’s a scary journey, but you can help your mama just by being you—special, wonderful, YOU. Your mama loves you just the way you are. You are your mama’s knight.

Mama’s Knight: A Cancer Story of Love is an emotional toolbox that can help kids and parents communicate about what it means for Mama to have cancer. The book is filled with tools and activities designed to make coping with illness easier on both parent and child, and can be personalized for each child.

Buy the Book:  Author’s Website

Author Aurora Whittet

Aurora Whittet

Aurora Whittet started out as a wild red-haired girl in Minnesota dreaming up stories for her friends to read. Today, she has completed Bloodmark, Bloodrealms, and Bloodmoon of the Bloodmark Saga trilogy and started her journey into children’s books with Mama’s Knight in honor of her own mother who lost her battle with cancer. She’s a national award-winning graphic designer and birth doula in her day jobs. Aurora lives with her family in Minnesota.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

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Follow The Tour

April 3 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway

April 4 – Working Mommy Journal – review / giveaway

April 5 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – review / author interview / giveaway

April 6 – Books, Dreams, Life – review / author interview / giveaway

April 7 – 100 pages a day – review / guest post / giveaway

April 10 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – review / giveaway

April 11 – Heidi’s Wanderings – review / giveaway

April 12 – Fantastic Feathers – review

April 13 – ReadingBifrost – review / giveaway

April 14 – T’s Stuff – review / guest post / giveaway

April 17 – Svetlana’s Reads and Views – review

April 18 – Deal Sharing Aunt – review / giveaway

April 19 – FUONLYKNEW – review / author interview / giveaway

April 20 – Book Room Reviews – review / guest post

April 21 – Kristin’s Novel Cafe – review

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

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Enjoy the interview with Lauren Carr

  1. If you could go back in time, what period and where would you go?
  2. Oh, man! Right off hand, first gut reaction, I say Texas during the days of wild west. Simply because I love horses and animals and I would want to live on a ranch and go horseback riding every day. But then, that would be before the days of indoor plumbing, which means I would not have my whirlpool tub and men would smell like body odor. So let me think about that.

 

  1. What is your favorite travel spot?

LC: Anywhere a cruise ship can take me! Finally, after years of talking about it, I went on a cruise this summer to the Bahamas a couple of years ago now I am hooked. I came back swearing that I would go on a cruise every year—but then life took over, my son went off the college. Oh, man! Give me a minute. I need to call Royal Caribbean now!

 

  1. What is your favorite dessert?

LC: Cheesecake Factory Tuxedo cheesecake or if that is not available, chocolate lava cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Actually, anything that includes chocolate makes my top ten dessert list.

 

  1. If you were stuck on a dessert island, what three books would you want with you?

LC: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe for inspiration.

SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere by John “Lofty” Wiseman for tips on how to make the most out of this experience.

The Holy Bible.  Always good to have.

 

  1. What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

Write a book and allow it to be made public for readers to read.

 

  1. What’s next for Lauren Carr?

LC: Twofer Murder will be a treat for mystery lovers because it will be two mysteries in one novel. This book will contain all of the characters from the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose mysteries. The guys go fishing and get embroiled in a murder mystery. Meanwhile, the ladies go off to a murder mystery writers conference and end up wrapped up in their own mystery when an up and coming mystery writer ends up dead! Can’t beat that! Two mysteries for the price of one!

As for Murphy and Jessica of the Thorny Rose, sorry, readers, but the next Thorny Rose Mystery is at least a year away. I’m now working on three series! The working title for the next Thorny Rose Mystery is From Rags to Riches to Dead. In this mystery, Jessica’s best friend Amy receives news that her leech of a husband was killed in a freak accident at an expensive resort, where he had spent the last several days living it up. Amy, and Jessica are still trying to sort out this news when Dean walks in—alive and well. Upon investigation, they discover that a killer has been stealing the identity of deadbeat husbands who have been living off their rich wives, and then luring them to expensive resorts to murder them.

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A Fine Year For Murder

A Thorny Rose Mystery #

by Lauren Carr

A Fine Year for Murder

Synopsis

After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~ Add on Goodreads

Author Lauren Carr

Lauren Carr 2

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE

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I remember reading Zane Grey’s westerns when I was young. I couldn’t wait for each new release. It’s been a long time since then, and I find I’ve slipped away from the genre.

I’ve found a wonderful new author and am excited to share her historical western romance, Solitary Horseman.

The cover art is visually stunning and captures the essence of the cowboy and his trusted horse.

Come on in. Enjoy the interview with author Deborah Camp.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

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Author Interview

Do you have any tattoos? Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?

I don’t have any. I actually dislike tattoos. I don’t understand the concept. Seems that people need something visual to remember things. I don’t. I can recall important moments and people without a visual hint. Tattoos make me think of prisons and drunk sailors and I don’t like to think about those. I think the human body is lovely without ink.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?

Actually, it is quite the same. I work. I play. I foster dogs for a rescue group. I read a lot. Life is good.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. I had my first novel accepted by a New York publisher in 1978. I’ve made my living writing since I graduated from college.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

Approach it as you would any profession. Learn your trade. Take classes. Join writers’ groups. Go to critique sessions. Enter writing contests, both local, state, and national. Read one of your favorite books as if it were a textbook. Mark in it the POV (point of view) and when the POV changes. Is it written in present or past tense or both? When is the main conflict introduced? How is this conflict carried out through the novel? When are the main characters introduced and how are they introduced to readers? When is the first “action” scene in the book? And so on. Dissect it. Learn from it. Read “how to” books by authors such as Stephen King, Lawrence Block, and Dean Koontz. Read writers magazines such as Writers Digest and Publishers Weekly. Know your stuff before you submit to a publisher or a literary agent.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

I find the first decade following the Civil War more interesting than the war – for the South, at least. Although I think that what they were fighting for (slave trade) is despicable, I sympathize with the aftermath they faced as the losing side. Their money was worthless, but they still had to pay taxes and buy things. They’d all lost family and friends. They were under a “new rule.” The life they’d known was finished and they had to pick up the tatters and knit some kind of existence from them. So, this book deals with how people coped and didn’t cope. It deals with the bitterness running through the South and how it manifested in people. Living in the South, I can tell you that the bitterness still exists today. It runs very deep and the scars remain.

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Solitary Horseman

by Deborah Camp

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Genre: Historical Romance (Western)

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Synopsis

Texas rancher Callum Latimer believed that the Civil War had killed everything tender and yearning inside of him until he struck up a partnership with Banner Payne. His dark-haired, golden-eyed, spirited neighbor stirred embers that he thought were long dead . . .

 

Sunlight glided over hair as she shifted from one boot to the other, and before his mind could catch up with his instincts, Callum reached out and wrapped his index finger around one of her auburn curls. Its softness against his calloused skin sent longing through him like a rushing river. She’d be like that all over – soft where he was hard, giving where he was not. He heard her gasp and his heart bucked.

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Excerpt

As long as he could remember, the Paynes were the family everyone in these parts shunned. His pa made noise about Otis Payne stealing cattle from him, but the bad blood between him and Otis went farther back than that – years before Callum was born. The Paynes had a good piece of land and had usually turned out a healthy herd of cattle, but they were a slovenly lot. The children had always looked unkempt. That probably had to do with them not having a mother to look after them. Alva had died when Banner was just a babe.

The war had taken two of her brothers, leaving only Hollis. Otis had died six months before the war ended. Callum had heard that Banner was running the Payne ranch, but he didn’t believe it. He figured Hollis was trying to be the boss and his cowhands were taking advantage of him. Stealing him blind, probably. That’s what he’d heard from Eller and from folks in town.

Leaning a shoulder against the porch post, Callum watched the horse and wagon make its way toward the house. Behind him, the hound growled. “No, Rowdy,” he commanded and the growl faded to whine.

The sun burned his eyes, making it difficult to discern any details of the Payne’s girl’s face. She reined the sway-backed horse in the shade of the house and Callum could finally see her bonnet and pretty dress. After she wrapped the reins around the brake, she turned toward him and a smile curved her pink lips as her gaze met his boldly, confidently.

Callum shifted his weight from one boot to the other as a bolt of awareness shot through him. Damn, she’d grown into a beauty, he thought, taking in her reddish brown hair and heart-shaped face. And those eyes – dark gold. The eyes of a tiger.

“’Afternoon to you, Misters Latimer.” Her voice had a husky quality, as pleasing as aged whiskey. “I bet you’re surprised to see me.”

“I don’t like surprises,” Seth said.

She swallowed and her smile faltered for a moment. Directing her full attention to Callum, she took in a breath that lifted her breasts and the white ruffles covering them. “Your herd looks profitable. Good, sound stock.”

“That’s what we’re aiming for,” Callum said, wondering what was going on under that blue bonnet. She was up to something – but what? “How’s the Payne herd?”

Her smile vanished and she shrugged. “Not what it should be. I’m missing some. It’s been a bad year for calves, but a good year for coyotes, wolves, and rustlers.”

“Your pappy stole cattle from me,” Seth said, repeating an oft-spouted accusation.

Banner’s gaze whipped to the older man’s frowning visage and Callum could almost feel her fighting back scalding words.

“Sir, my father is dead and can no longer defend himself.” She squared her shoulders. “And I’m not here to fight old battles. I have new ones to address. I’ll come right the point as I know you have work to attend to – as have I. Northerners are sniffing around our place and several have offered to buy me out.”

“Damn Yankees,” Seth groused and Rowdy growled as if in agreement.

Banner gave a sniff of contempt. “Of course, they want to pay half of what it’s worth.” She looked off into the distance and it seemed that a shadow passed over her face. “Looks like I’m going to have to sell. I don’t want the Yankees to prosper from what my family bled and died for, so I’m here to offer it to you.” Her gaze swept to Callum again. “I’ll sell it to you. All I ask is that you let Hollis stay on.”

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Author Deborah Camp

SolitaryHorseman author

Author of more than 45 novels, Deborah lives in Oklahoma. She has been a full-time writer since she graduated from the University of Tulsa. She worked for a few years as a reporter for newspapers before becoming a freelance writer. Deborah’s first novel was published in the late 1970s and her books have been published by Jove, New American Library, Harlequin, Silhouette, and Avon. She has been inducted into the Oklahoma Authors Hall of Fame and she is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of the Author’s Guild.

Lover of the west and the people who tried to tame it, Deborah likes to write about strong, independent women and the men who are their equals. She grew up on a diet of TV westerns which have served her well. Since she appreciates men with devilish twinkles in their eyes, she likes to mix laughter in with the love scenes in her books. Also widely published in non-fiction, she writes and edits for a magazine focused on small businesses. Deborah taught fiction writing for more than 10 years at a community college. She is currently working on her next historical romance set in the wild, wonderful west.

Her books have been re-issued on Amazon for Kindle Direct and have attracted tens of thousands of new fans. For a list of them, visit her website.

 

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What do you think of that cover art? I love it. Wicked. Funny. Kind of sexy. All of these things make me excited to read Friend Of The Devil.

For today, I have an interview with Author Mark Spivak and a glimpse inside his book.

There’s also a giveaway, so don’t forget to enter!

Enjoy the Interview

What are four things you can’t live without?

First and foremost, love and affection (two things, but we’ll count them as one). Then, in no particular order: sushi, Bourbon and dogs. The world would be a very sad place without any of those.

What is your favorite television show?

I don’t watch a great deal of TV, except during a major election season—I’m a political junkie. On a regular basis, I do keep up with several reality shows, particularly Survivor. I think it’s the most interesting of the batch. They obviously put a lot of effort into choosing the cast, and always include enough dysfunctional personalities to make it worth following.

If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?

That’s a tough question, but I’d be tempted to say Huck Finn. He was fortunate to grow up on the American frontier, and he made the most of it. And of course, we all have an Aunt Sally that we’re running away from.

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?

I’ve actually completed drafts of two different novels. The first is a political thriller set during the invasion of Iraq. The second is titled The Secret Life of Sylvia Epstein.  It’s told from a female point of view. The main character is a woman who stumbles on some very disturbing revelations about her mother after her mother’s death, and struggles to reconcile them.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

I’d have to say Hemingway. While there are things he could be legitimately criticized for, his prose is a model or clarity and directness that is often lacking in many “classical” writers.

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Friend Of The Devil

by Mark Spivak

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Genre: Thriller (Culinary)

Synopsis

In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, cut a deal with the Devil to achieve fame and fortune. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

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Excerpt

Several years after the opening of Chateau de la Mer, the triumvirate of Avenzano, Walsh and Ross appeared to be one big happy family, although there were rumors of strains in the relationship. One night, at the height of the Festival of Champagne, there was an incident. Ross, a notorious womanizer, was sipping Cristal with a redhead at the restaurant’s corner table. His wife slipped through the front door of the mansion, unannounced. Walking slowly through the dining room, past the Medieval memorabilia and dramatic cast-iron griffins, she strolled up to Ross’s table, took a revolver from her evening bag, and calmly shot him through the heart.

The ensuing chaos did more to establish Joseph Soderini di Avenzano in the American imagination than his designer pasta, his Bedouin-stuffed poussin, his recipes transposed from Etruscan or Old Genoese, or his library of 10,000 cookbooks. This was more than a good meal, after all. This was sex and death in Palm Beach. Even more intriguing was the Chef’s refusal to comment on Ross after his death, except for informal and effusive eulogies in his famous baritone.

“Watch that Cristal,” David’s friend Bill Grimaldi told him before he left Manhattan to do an assigned story on the 25th anniversary of Chateau de la Mer. “It’s a killer.”

AMAZON

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Author Mark Spivak

Friend Of The Devil

Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog on www.palmbeachillustrated.com. He is the holder of the Certificate and Advanced diplomas from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Mark’s work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. He is the author of Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). His first novel, Friend of the Devil, is published by Black Opal Books.

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