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Monday, February 18, 2019

Cover Reveal: No Feeling Involved by Siobhan Davis

NFI - CR banner.jpg

Can this skeptical player let down his guard long enough to let love into his life, or is this forbidden romance a train wreck in the making?

No Feelings Involved, an all-new steamy romance from USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis is coming March 31st!

Ryan James doesn’t believe in love.
It’s a truth he learned early in life. A truth he carried with him into adulthood. He broke his golden rule one time, but Myndi trampled all over his heart, cementing his belief that love is a lie and not worth the effort.
Now he’s returned to his cynical views and promiscuous lifestyle, racking up more notches on his bedpost than he can count.
Until Summer Petersen comes crashing into his world, threatening to knock down his walls with her tempting body and sunny, sweet personality.
Summer is determined to lose her V-card before she starts freshman year of college, and the hot, older guy with the cute dimples, dazzling smile, and rippling biceps is just the man for the job. Ryan doesn’t take much persuading, and he rocks her world, giving her a night to remember.
When they walk away, there’s an unspoken agreement it was a one-time thing. Ryan doesn’t do feelings, and Summer doesn’t want to be tied down at eighteen.
But when she moves into her brother Austin’s apartment, she’s shocked to discover her new roomie is the guy who recently popped her cherry.
Ryan can’t believe he slept with Austin’s baby sister, and if he finds out, he’ll literally kill him. Keeping their hook up a secret is nonnegotiable. Keeping his thoughts, and his hands, off Summer, less so. Because the longer he’s around her, the more he finds himself catching feelings for the gorgeous brunette.
Summer doesn’t want to care for her older brother’s best friend, but Ryan makes her feel things she’s never felt before, and she’s slowly falling under his spell.
Embarking on an illicit affair behind Austin’s back has train wreck written all over it, but provided they keep their feelings in check, they can end this before he ever finds out.
It’s not like either of them is in love.
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About Siobhan:
USA Today bestselling author Siobhan Davis writes emotionally intense young adult and new adult romantic fiction with swoon-worthy romance, complex characters, and tons of unexpected plot twists and turns that will have you flipping the pages beyond bedtime! She is the author of the international bestselling Kennedy Boys, Saven, and True Calling series’. Siobhan’s family will tell you she’s a little bit obsessive when it comes to reading and writing, and they aren’t wrong. She can rarely be found without her trusty Kindle, a paperback book, or her laptop somewhere close at hand. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Siobhan forged a successful corporate career in human resource management. She resides in the Garden County of Ireland with her husband and two sons. sd author photo version 2.jpg
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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Guest post with Peter Bartram


Peter Bartram, author of the Crampton of the Chronicle comic crime mysteries, tells how he tackled the task of making merry of murder…

I imagine there’s nothing amusing about being shot with a revolver at close range. Or being stabbed with a knife in a back alley. Or being beaten to death by a blunt instrument. So how is it that when we read about murder in fiction, it can sometimes be funny?

It's a question I puzzled over quite a bit when I started to write my Crampton of the Chronicle series of humorous crime mysteries. I’ve not been alone. It turns out writers have been puzzling over the same problem for at least two thousand five hundred years. I found a story in ancient Greek literature about a guy called Euphiletos who kills his wife because she’s been having an affair with a rascal called Eratosthenes. When he’s hauled up before the judges, Euphiletos gets off by raising some laughs and painting himself as a comically deluded cuckold.

Fast-forward about one thousand five hundred years, and Will Shakespeare is penning one of his darkest scenes, the murder of Duncan in Macbeth. The groundlings are going to need a bit of light relief after this, the Bard thinks. So he writes one of his funniest scenes, in which a drunken porter rambles about the dangers of having sex when you’re drunk.

Well, there’s nothing like standing on the shoulders of giants when you’re trying to learn something new. So examples such as these provided some useful pointers when I started to write the Crampton mysteries. The question I had to answer was how to make murder mysteries fun in the modern world.

I read lots of other writers’ comic crime and it seemed to me that the key to making murder a laughing matter lie in creating a central character that readers would identify with. I realised I needed a protagonist who could solve mysteries - and win smiles. But my hero couldn’t be a mere clown. He had to have the brains to solve mysteries which baffled the police. He needed the wit to talk himself out of dangerous situations.

I was also struck by the fact that quite a high percentage of humorous crime mysteries are narrated in the first person by the central character. That’s important because the first person gives the author the opportunity to let the protagonist tell his own story in his own words – or in the case of a Janet Evanovich’s brilliant creation Stephanie Plum, her own words.

The voice of the protagonist is the key to humorous crime fiction. It is the voice of the hero - essentially his inner perception of the events taking place around him - which either lightens or darkens the tone. The voice needs to be his unique way of seeing the world. And that voice may set a whole range of tones - cynical, sardonic, flippant, sarcastic, resigned, angry, and many others. Someone said that comic characters see the world through the wrong end of the telescope. It’s their different view - so unexpected we’ve not considered it before - which creates the humour. Colin Crampton, my protagonist is a crime reporter on a Brighton evening newspaper. The late British journalist Nicholas Tomalin said the three qualities needed by a successful reporter were “a plausible manner, a little literary ability and rat-like cunning”. I guess that about sums up Crampton.

Crampton’s humour comes from a flaw in his character. He battles against odds to fight for justice - but he’s a master at pulling outrageous newspaper scams to get his stories. He reaches high, but acts low. He’s a knight in armour with a rusty sword.

Comic crime fiction, in one sense, is a sub-category of the traditional cozy mystery. It's important to ensure the reader never gets close enough to be splattered with the blood or smell the rotting corpse. In the Crampton series, Colin's investigations become something of a romp which he tackles with a cast of colourful characters - aided and abetted by his feisty on-off girlfriend, Shirley Goldsmith.

Since I started writing these books – there are 10 of them now - I've been very encouraged by messages from readers who've enjoyed a lighter mystery than gritty and gruesome "Nordic noir". But I've also learnt one important lesson about humorous crime fiction. No matter what difficulties Colin Crampton encounters, he must always have the last laugh.

* The latest Crampton of the Chronicle adventure is The Mother’s Day Mystery –

About Peter Bartram:
Peter Bartram brings years of experience as a journalist to his Crampton of the Chronicle crime series – which features crime reporter Colin Crampton in 1960s Brighton, England. Peter has done most things in journalism from door-stepping for quotes to writing serious editorials. He’s pursued stories in locations as diverse as 700 feet down a coal mine and Buckingham Palace. Before turning to crime, Peter wrote 21 non-fiction books in areas including biography and current affairs. Peter is a member of the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association. His website is at

Friday, February 15, 2019

Review: Cash by Cassia Leo

Title: Cash
Author: Cassia Leo
Series: Power Players
Publisher: November 19, 2018
Publication date: 
Stars: 3.5

Summary: Kara needs fast cash to pay her ailing father’s gambling debts. Dealing blackjack at the Billionaire Club is her lucky break. Until a scorching hot one-night-stand with bad boy billionaire Cash Westbrook turns into a million-dollar bet. Cash agrees to pay her father’s debts…if Kara pretends to be his fiancĂ©e.

Kara agrees to Cash’s terms, but she doesn’t expect to find herself falling for him. And when it comes to love, all bets are off.

Review: This was a very interesting book. I was able to read it very quickly.    I really struggled on what to rate the book for a few reasons. I felt like maybe it could have had more to it. They talked about "getting to know each other" but then we never really get to know them. Some parts of the story pop up out of no where then go and disappear and pretend they never existed. I liked Cash, he turned into a real likeable character. I like Kara, she's very determined. Willing to do whatever she needs to for her families sake. She throws everything on the line sometimes because of determination and sometimes because of just pure frustration. But man that lady has heart. As much as someone may not want to like Kara's father you kind of just can't. I liked the way it ended. The book may haven't gotten a few smiles out of me. For my first Cassia Leo book, I may have to check out another one in the near future.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Review: June Kisses by Mari Carr

Title: June Kisses
Author: Mari Carr
Book series: Wilder Irish
Publication date: January 8, 2019
Stars: 5

Summary: Kiss me once, shame on you. Kiss me twice, shame on me... 

The first kiss with Landon, Sunnie blames on tequila. The second on adrenaline. He did save her and her Louis Vuitton from a mugger after all. 

But then the kiss goes viral and sexy cop Landon is flooded with female attention. Now it’s Sunnie’s turn to save Landon—by pretending to be his girlfriend. 

It’s all fake fun and games and a few orgasms until Landon’s ex comes back to town. 

Now Sunnie has to decide if June is just for kisses or for love and commitment… 

Review: I absolutely adored this book. I love the way it starts in the beginning. It shows one part of the story line then pushes further in, then goes to present day. I read it in a few hours. It's the sixth book in the series but it can be read as a stand-alone. I cannot wait to read the next one in the series and also check out the first five. I absolutely love this family. For being such a huge family they are extremely tightknit and support each other so much. Which of many things can be one of my favorite things to read in a book. I love that this family basically adopts others in with such open hearts and arms. This book has the perfect splash of romcom with the cliche "unexpected" childhood friend turned lover. Of course i'm in no way bashing the book. Just because something is a tad cliche doesn't make it less amazing. The story is so well written. Landon completely flips the switch on Sunnie a lot when she doesn't expect it. They are polar opposites which is part of what makes them amazing. I highly suggest you go and check out this absolutely amazing book!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: The Reverse Play by Julia Clarke

Title: The Reverse Play
Author: Julia Clark
Series: The Rebels
Publication date: January 29, 2019
Stars: 4.5

Summary: Football is my life, and coaching in the NFL is my dream. I have a doctorate in sports psychology, but the fact that I’m a woman means I couldn’t possibly know a thing about football, let alone coaching a team. At least, that’s what my critics say. Others argue a woman on the sidelines would be a distraction.
Distraction. Pfft. I’m a professional, and I certainly don’t fall for players.
When I land my dream job coaching the Boston Rebels, I realize just how difficult it will be to maintain a hands-off approach to the team. Everything about them, from their broad shoulders and thick biceps to their chiseled abs and narrow waists, makes it so I’m the one who’s having trouble staying focused.
As if that weren’t bad enough, I’m attracted to not one, but three, players. Three offensive players who keep breaking through my defenses.
I’m their coach, but absolutely nothing in my playbook prepared me for this. My head seems to understand they’re completely off-limits, but my heart is pulling a reverse play.

Review: I absolutely loved this book, I had a hard time putting it down. I stayed up late to read it. I honestly didn't expect the cliffhanger at the end and I cannot wait to see more from each character. Blake is one very determined lady. I would love to see a lot more leads like her. She knows what her dreams are and she will let absolutely nothing stop her from achieving them! She is so independent and tries to not let anyone see when she's hurting until these three hunky football players walk into her life. Her best friend Bastian has the ultimate drunk voice of reason and is fantastic at tell her what she already knows but won't admit to herself. I really hope to see more of him in the second book as well as her dad, Big Mac. Xavier, Colt and Tristan each have something she's needs in her life and something she's been looking for all along. It's no wonder she's fallen for them. I thought perhaps she may choose one. Even though the book ended in a cliffhanger I absolutely loved the ending and the book as a whole and I can't wait to see what comes next for the whole gang.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Cover Reveal – Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle with Giveaway

Cover Reveal – Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle with Giveaway
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle
presented by Month9Books!
Be on the lookout for this upcoming title, and be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post!
What do you think of the cover?
In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty.  The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship. Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate dalliances. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets. But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.
Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle Publication Date: April 9, 2019 Publisher: Month9Books
Available for Pre-order: Amazon
Author Bill Doyle was born in Michigan, and wrote his first mystery at the age of eight. He has gone on to write critically acclaimed and bestselling children's books, including stories of real-life war heroes in "Behind Enemy Lines: True Stories of Amazing Courage"; the pick-your-own-adventure "Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest"; the historical fiction mystery series Crime Through Time; the Henry & Keats series including "Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie"; the Scream Team series about Bad News Bears-type monsters playing sports; and soon-to-be released series "The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place." Additionally, Bill has served as editor at Sesame Workshop, TIME for Kids and SI Kids. He's written for LeapFrog, Weekly Reader, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, National Geographic Kids, and the American Museum of Natural History. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the film school at New York University where he was taught by the likes of Arthur Miller and David Mamet. Bill lives with two dachshund-headed canines in New York City, and you can visit him online at

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Guest post by G. S. Johnston: The Sweet Bitter Cane Cover Evolution - a revolution

The Sweet Bitter Cane Cover Evolution - a revolution

Once Sweet Bitter Cane was “finished” (an exact date is hard) and shipped off for the nit-picking line edit, it was time to think about the cover.  In many ways, success and failure hinge on this.  If the cover doesn’t visually evoke the story, all other efforts are lost.  Added to this, in the digital age, if it’s not eye-catching as a postage stamp, it’s failed too.  Gone are the days of the siren covers on booksellers’ shelves, but it does also have to work on a printed edition.
With all this in mind, with designer Ian Thomson, we started the quest to represent this story visually.  The first thing to consider – what’s this novel about?
The novel involves Italian migrants brought to work on the sugarcane fields of Far North Queensland in Australia in the early twentieth century.  But when they became a success, the local British Australian population became resentful and intolerant, the trade unions making it difficult for migrant workers to work.  With the European rise of fascism, some Italian workers saw this as a means of support against the unions, which unleashed even more resentment.  Once Italy entered WWII, the Australian Government classified the Italians as enemy aliens.  The men were interned in concentration camps, disrupting their families and destroying their livelihoods.
But more specifically, Sweet Bitter Cane is the story of a young Italian woman, Amelia, who marries by proxy a man she’d never met, Italo, to escape the poverty of Italy after WWI.  Together they run his plantation but Amelia, shocked by the challenges, is drawn into an affair with a local Irishman, her subsequent years forever impacted by the bitter mistakes she makes in those early, arduous months of her marriage.
History has largely ignored these women’s stories, especially the women who were also placed in concentration camps, accused of crimes like supporting fascism and aiding the Japanese in their quest to invade Australia.  But at the heart of these accusations were often long-held grudges.
So the cover had to evoke the novel’s period, from the 1920s to the mid-1940s, the main character, Amelia, and, clearly, the main environment, the cane fields of Far North Queensland.  Quickly, Ian mocked up a cover, deftly combining images pulled from the net.  The best of these collages was this image. 

The woman is walking quickly into the fields – was she purposefully walking to or away from someone?  Clearly, in the mocked-up image the dress and hair were an earlier period, and this image wouldn’t work.  But the collage was on the right track.  But after scouring the net for images of a young woman, dressed in the 1920s or 30s, walking with pace away from the camera, we found none suitable.  We then decided to stage and photograph this digitally created image.
After much problem solving, a photographer, John Bortolin, thought he could recreate it.  Then the rush was on - the cane fields were soon to be harvested.  A model, Ella King, would “play” Amelia.  I didn’t want a face on the cover although there are many novels which, like movie posters, depict the faces of the major characters.  A novel’s descriptions should evoke the characters in the reader’s mind, so the fact Ella didn’t look like Amelia in the face was okay.
But we needed a frock that would evoke the period, the major element of the photo that could do that.  I rang a friend, Kate Zarboch, who owns a children’s fashion design company, Escargot Kids, who made suggestions of the type of frock we needed.  I contacted fancy dress and theatre prop companies in the area near where the photo would be taken, but none had anything suitable.  But then Kate sent me a photo of a dress in an op-shop.  From the front, it was all wrong, but from the back, as we would have it in the image, it was perfect.  Even the colour would look good in the field. 

So the day came for the shoot.  There was the most beautiful blue, clear sky.  Over a hundred images were made of Ella walking, running or walking briskly between two fields.  From these, we culled back to two images and then started working to arrange the text around the images.
To be brutally honest, the first few attempts were disheartening.  It looked like a magazine cover.  So we tried to dirty up the images with various filters, place the text in different fonts and manners but it still didn’t look right.  It lacked drama. 

Then Ian suggested we set fire to the cane.  I was reluctant.  It seemed clichĂ© and reminded me of other covers.  But he did a quick mock-up.  BANG.  All of a sudden there was great drama.  And what was more, one of the most important parts of Amelia’s character came into the image.  This was a woman with agency, strength, guts and determination.  She wasn’t standing at a distance from the fire, her gaze passively turned away from it.  Amelia walked into the fire of life.  This was my character.
So, drum roll.  Ta-da!
Here is the finished cover.

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