50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book Reviews · Free book · Saturday Reviews

The Private Sector by Leigh M. Lane

Saturday Review

Genre: Dystopian, Science Fiction
Publisher: Cerebral Books
Publication Date: April 8, 2016
Format: ePub
Pages: 296 pages
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4.75 Stars

4 half stars


The world of corporate greed runs rampant after the government’s dissolution has left police, fire, and all other services once handled by the public sector in the hands of privatized businesses and wealthy investors.

With the class divide ever widening, debtor prisons for the lower and middle classes overflowing, disease ravaging the country, and resources running dry, the streets have become a battleground for those who would fight against the elite’s corrupt system, against a world spiraling into ruin, against the devastating impact of a society ruled by The Private Sector.


I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

Wow, this was such a terrifying read. Not in the sense that it had jump scares or the like, but in the impact that this society could easily become our future.

Just take a moment and imagine a society where greed and corruption run rampant. Where medical costs and illness will cost you everything you hold dear. Where public services like the police or fire department have become privatized and vie for your money. Imagine a world where education is privatized and what education is open to the public doesn’t guarantee you much of a future. And the careers of today are literally a dying art. Imagine a world where naturally conceived and born children are incredibly rare. That people would prefer to have a child that is completely genetically perfect.

If we continue on this path, I’m sure that will become our reality.

For me, the end of this novel was the hardest. One of the main characters, Dianne Irwin, suffers two of the most horrible experiences ever and it bothered me that she was just expected to move on. And she pretty much does.
I don’t want to ruin the end of the story, but it stuck with me. It was a reminder of the world as it was, no matter what happened.

Thrilling read for sure. I definitely recommend this.


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In addition to writing dark speculative fiction for over twenty-five years, I’ve sung lead and backup vocals for bands ranging from classic rock to the blues, dabbled in fine arts, worked in retail management, and accrued a moderate level of expertise in animal care and behavior. I have a BA in English and graduated from UNLV Magna Cum Laude. I currently live in the dusty outskirts of Sin City with my husband, an editor and educator, and one very spoiled cat.

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Featured Author · Spotlight Interview

Spotlight Interview with author Stacy Hoff


Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication Date: September 28, 2016
Pages: 160 pages
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Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I am a full-time attorney, wife, and mother of two boys (ages eleven and fourteen). My only chance to write is late at night, when the rest of my household is fast asleep. Not surprisingly, coffee is my best friend.

JOCKEYING FOR YOU will be my forth novel with Soul Mate Publishing, Inc. I have two more complete manuscripts under contract with Soul Mate. Those two books will start a new series.

What inspired you to write?
Who knows how my quirky mind works? I’ve always had a strong creative side. I’ve been writing and drawing since I was little.

What inspired your novel?
JOCKEYING FOR YOU was inspired by the 2015 Triple Crown. I was truly wowed by American Pharoah.

What is the genre?
JOCKEYING FOR YOU is a contemporary romance. It could also be considered “sports romance,” with one major exception–the heroine is the athlete instead of the hero.

What draws you to this genre?
I write the type of book I like to read. Contemporary romance has been my favorite genre for as long as I can remember.

How did you develop your plot and your characters?
They developed organically. I am a true “pantser” (someone who writes “by the seat of their pants”). Sometimes I write a whole book with nothing planned out, other than a vague sense of the “tag line.” This may sound like a creative freefall, but I like not knowing what happens next. It’s the exact opposite part of my brain I use when I’m in lawyer-mode.

What inspired your protagonist?
I wanted a character who had an emotional journey as dramatic as the storyline itself.

What inspired your antagonist?
I always conjure up the antidote to my hero and/or heroine, and then begin to flesh the villain out. The villain in this book is motivated by greed and control.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?
Accurate sports details. I always sweat when it comes to getting details right. Precision is important to me.

What was your favourite part of your book to write?
My favourite part was writing the sections where I had conducted real-life research. I had visited the New York Racing Association’s famous race tracks, Belmont Park and the Saratoga Race Course. I also spent time at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, New York. After my trip, I wrote these sections in mere days.

Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
As an attorney, I draft and review business contracts all day. I recently celebrated my twentieth year in practice.

What are you currently reading?
Because my younger son has dyslexia, I read his assigned books along with him. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry is the book we’re reading now.

Who would you say are your favourite authors?
Kristan Higgins, Diana Gabaldon and Charlaine Harris.

How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
It seems that every time I pick up a romance book, it becomes my new favorite. But right now I’m focusing on series, since I’m in the process of writing a trilogy myself. Some of my favorite series are: J. Kenner’s “Release Me,” Chloe Neill’s “Chicagoland Vampires,” and Vanessa Kelly’s “The Renegade Royals.”

What are your future projects, if any?
The series I’m currently working on is BUILDING LOVE. Book 1 is BUILDING LOVE IN VEGAS and book 2 is BUILDING LOVE IN THE CARIBBEAN. This series is set in the construction industry, and is jammed packed with family drama, secrets and lies. Not to mention plenty of passion!

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
I love to hear from readers! They can connect with me the following ways:
Website: https://www.stacyhoff.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff
Amazon author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/Stacy-Hoff/e/B00NN0HCW8
Twitter: @authorStacyHoff

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 
Yes. Join a writing organization. I joined a chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America) and it changed my life.

Featured Author Wednesday · Spotlight Interview

Spotlight Interview with author I.J. Weinstock

Wednesday Spotlight

Fantasy, Paranormal
Publisher: DreaMaster
Publication Date: September 2, 2016
Pages: 316 pages
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Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’m the son of Holocaust survivors and grew up in Brooklyn and New Jersey. In high school I performed in musicals and became a football “hero” winning the Homecoming Day game with a 65-yard touchdown. I’ve enjoyed a varied career in the arts—acting on stage, appearing in films, and even doing performance art on the streets of New York. While producing television in Los Angeles, I created a new cable network, The Game Channel, the precursor to GSN (the Game Show Network). I’ve also written several books.

What inspired you to write?

Probably my family’s story of surviving the Nazis during the Holocaust. In 6th grade while others in my class did “show & tells” about “How to ski slalom” or “How to bake a strawberry shortcake,” I did a “show & tell” about “How 5 People Were Buried Alive for 9 Months.” My parents’ horrific experience ignited my imagination—what did they do all those months while they were hiding from the Nazis? What would I do? How did 5 people stay sane buried alive in a space as a big as a large walk-in closet for nearly a year? In high school I tried to write a play about it. That was my first attempt to explore through writing what to me was a very provocative “what if?”

What inspired your novel?

Many years ago I had a dream about sex. This wasn’t your typical “wet dream” but rather a mind-blowing dream like the kind the biblical Jacob had about angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven. In my dream, the angels were having sex!

The French philosopher, Teilhard de Chardin, conveyed something of the awe-inspiring majesty of my dream when he wrote, “Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity…we shall harness…the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” When I woke up from that dream, I felt I’d been graced with a vision that I needed to share with the world. But life intervened.

After the death of my wife, Joy, a remarkable thing happened—she began communicating with me from the Afterlife and led me on an incredible journey to heal my grief which I wrote about in my memoir, JOYride: How My Late Wife Loved Me Back to Life (which won an eLit Award—silver medal for Best Spiritual/Inspirational Digital Book of 2011). Ultimately, like the final scene in the movie, Ghost, she found someone—a willing medium—through whom she literally loved me back to life. Had I not experienced it myself, I wouldn’t have believed it possible. Those sacred, sexual, supernatural encounters, which I call the Rites of Joy, occurred ten times during that year and helped heal my inconsolable grief. During these other-worldly sexual initiations, I was shown some of the secrets of human sexuality.

What is the genre?

On the back cover of The Secret Sex Life of Angels it says FICTION / FANTASY / PARANORMAL. However, Amazon considers it also ROMANCE / EROTICA.

It’s difficult to categorize since it’s all about sex and sexuality, but it’s not porn or meant to be erotic. Actually, whether it’s erotic or not is in the eye and body of the beholder, I guess.

What draws you to this genre?


My previous novel ULTRA BOWL was a sci-fi story about football, robots and time-travel which explores the dangers of our Digital Age and the dystopian future towards which we may be heading. I guess I’m drawn to sci-fi & fantasy because it allows me the freedom to explore all the “what ifs?” that intrigue me. In The Secret Sex Life of Angels I quote the philosopher J. B. S. Haldane, “The world is not only stranger than we suppose, it is stranger than we can suppose.”

How did you develop your plot and your characters?

In 1998, at the time of President Bill Clinton’s sex scandal, I was struggling—after several false starts that ended in shredded frustration—to find the right “story” for my dream about sex. During the hysteria of the Clinton sex scandal, my wife, Joy, and I wanted to protest the sexual-political insanity that had overtaken the country. We decided to fight sexual hypocrisy with sexual fantasy!

What if, as an act of political theater protesting the hypocrisy of the investigation, we actually confessed to having sex with President Clinton? And what if we created a petition of fantasy “confessions” and handed them over to the Independent Counsel investigating the President? And so the “I Had Sex With Clinton, Too!” petition was born. We launched a primitive website and sent out a press release—“New Political Website Invites Public to Have Sex with the President to Save the USA!” The media picked it up and the confessions started rolling in—at first a trickle, then a stream and ultimately a flood—nearly a thousand in all.

As the “I Had Sex With Clinton, Too!” petition grew, I wanted to write a “confession,” too. But I wanted my confession to offer another way to look at sex. If not a heavenly perspective, then perhaps an off-world one. So I wrote the SeX-FILES (this was the late ‘90’s!) as a “confession” from a female intelligence officer, who violates her oath of secrecy to exonerate President Clinton by revealing the details of our secret contact with Extraterrestrials. She describes how she (along with others, perhaps even Monica Lewinsky) was trained by the ETs to “deploy the President’s antenna” and “sing the song” that would put him in contact with the ETs whenever he sought their counsel. Unfortunately, this ET communication technique resembled a “blowjob.”

The story of the petition and a sampling of the X-rated confessions can be found in my recently released book, IT’S THE SEX, STUPID! (available on Amazon).

When I finally returned to my novel, I realized I’d found my “story.” It was about a newly-elected president (no, he doesn’t have contact with ETs) who discovers that to fulfill his oath of office he must embark on a sexual odyssey that could determine the fate of the world.

What inspired your protagonist?

The possibility of saving the world.

What inspired your antagonist?

The “antagonist” is an elemental mystery.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

Sex is one of the most difficult things to write about. We have so many assumptions and there is such a charge to sexual words, and of course, there’s so much unacknowledged shame. It’s especially difficult when you’re trying to write about sex in a way that hasn’t been written about before.

What was your favourite part of your book to write?

The sexual initiations which constitute the 2nd half of the book. In these initiations I was able to begin to communicate what I’d witnessed in my dream and what I learned during the Rites of Joy.

Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?

I’m a full time writer…but I do other things: I give workshops at bereavement conferences around the country (since I’ve written about healing from grief), and I co-lead a bereavement camp at the end of August for people who’ve lost a loved one.

I’m also casting a daily LoveSpell since January 2012, declaring something I love every day, which you can follow on Twitter.
Jerry has also created a Facebook group called The LoveSpell Challenge.Please don’t hesitate to join it!

What are you currently reading?

I’ve lately read these books:

  • Oneida: From Free Love Utopia to the Well-Set Table by Ellen Wayland-Smith
  • The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
  • The Story of Alice by Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
  • Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson
  • A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation How Indian Spirituality Changed the West by Philip Goldberg, Huston Smith
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
  • One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
  • The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us by Nicholas Carr
  • The Bees: A Novel by Laline Paull

Who would you say are your favourite authors?

I have a problem answering questions about “favorite.” I love many authors, among them: Tom Robbins, Paul Coelho, Nikos Kazantzakis, and many others.

How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?

Some books that I’ve loved: The Last Temptation of Christ, Shogun, Clan of the Cave Bear, The Alchemist….

What are your future projects, if any?

I’m finishing book 2 & 3 in The Secret Sex Life of Angels series.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

Readers can visit my website (which I’m proud to say I did all by myself) www.IJWeinstock.com They can visit my Amazon Author’s page. I haven’t figured out Goodreads yet (and would appreciate any help). And, of course, they can write me at dreamasterbooks@gmail.com.

I’d love to hear from readers. I wrote The Secret Sex Life of Angels to inspire a sexual evolution. To put it in contemporary tech jargon—we’re running factory-installed sexual OS programs that have religious bugs and cultural viruses, not to mention shame-based malware. The Secret Sex Life of Angels will make people realize that a sexual upgrade is available and inspire them to discover the possibilities of their own sexuality. It’s just the beginning and reader response and future community will have a great impact.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

It’s something I was told many years ago in a writing class and has helped me when I felt “stuck” or “overwhelmed” with the task ahead of me. The instructor asked how many of us could write a postcard. Everyone raised their hands. Then the instructor said, “Just write a postcard a day. If you do, you’ll have 365 postcards at the end of the year. That’s almost a book.” It’s about consistency, write daily even just a postcard worth. And make it a habit, like brushing your teeth. And don’t try to write “good,” write fast and just get it down. You’re going to re-write many, many times. Keep Writing! Keep Dreaming! Keep Believing!

Book Tour · Contests · Excerpts · Giveaway · Monday Book Tours · Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Yellow Hoods Book Tour & Giveaway

Young Adult, Steampunk, Fantasy
Publisher: ADZO Publishing
Publication Date: April 7, 2017
Pages: 338 pages
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The gripping adventure continues in this international best-selling Steampunk meets Fairy tale series!

As the shepherd watched the aerial bombardment of his village, he had no idea it would lead him to tip the scales in the war between Marcus Pieman and the Lady in Red.

Meanwhile, the Yellow Hoods, along with the meager remains of the Tub, race to rescue Nikolas Klaus before it’s too late. Who will betray them, and who will be murdered?

The Day the Sky Fell picks up where Beauties of the Beast left off, and brings an epic finale to the series. But is this truly the end of the Yellow Hoods? Find out!

Tee peeked out from behind a big pine tree. She pulled her yellow hood back down over her face. “I don’t see them,” she whispered to Alex.
The fifteen-year-old towered over her, standing right beside her.
He was dressed in his daily garb of a worn, green, long coat and high-collar shirt. The cuffs and elbows of their clothes were threadbare, and the stains and small tears told much of the story of the past two months since Kar’m.
The dense forest was carpeted with autumn leaves of all shapes and colors. The majestic trees seemed innocent of it all, with the canopy high overhead still thick and blocking some of the afternoon sun.
A rifle crackled in the distance.
“That was further away than the last time,” said Alex, his Enderian accent crisp and sharp. He tugged on his cuffs and pulled up his coat’s collar. His chin raised, he scowled at the landscape.
“See, I told you they’d go the wrong way,” said Tee, leaning against the trunk of the tree. She pulled back her yellow hood and put down the leather sack. She slid her backpack to the ground, rolling her shoulders in relief. “I have to admit that was more of a chase than I was hoping for.”
Alex grumbled, running a hand through his short, tight-curled, black hair. “These missions the leaders of the Tub have been sending us on are getting more and more dangerous. We shouldn’t be doing them.” He gave Tee a sideways glance. “There’s no Tub, so why are we doing their bidding?”
“Because that’s the only way we’re going to get my grandpapa back or see any of our families again.”
Alex bristled. “If they wanted to save Nikolas Klaus, then I believe they would have already done so. That Madame DeBoeuf, Elly’s supposed grandmother, she has many plans.”
Tee raised an eyebrow. “What are you talking about?”
His face tensed, and he turned away. “Nothing. I’m sure she promises everyone something to keep them in check.”
“Alex, what’s going on?”
He shrugged.
Tee shook her head. “I don’t like that they’ve been keeping us all apart. Madame DeBoeuf, in particular, has been preventing any of us from having any time alone, but I think it’s because she’s worried about our safety.”
“Are you that naive?”
“Excuse me?” snapped Tee. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to save my grandpapa, and I have complete faith in my other grandfather, Sam.”
Alex licked his lips and looked at Tee. “I would like Nikolas Klaus to be free; I do. He sounds like a splendid man. But I am not sure I’m willing to risk my life for his.”
“Ah. Wow.” Tee checked the cable that ran from her armband grapnel device to the backpack. “We’re all on the same side you know.”
He slowly shook his head back and forth. “I’m not sure. I believe if the Butcher and Baker wanted to save Nikolas Klaus, they would have done it weeks ago.”
Tee’s face twitched. “Is it true that when you were paired with Elly a few days ago, you basically sat out and she had to do everything? She mentioned it quickly before we left, but I couldn’t quite believe you’d do that, until now.”
Alex nervously brushed his sleeves. “We were asked to break the law, to steal maps from a cartographer. And those maps didn’t seem to have anything to do with freeing your grandfather. We didn’t even leave any money to pay for them. That’s wrong.” He gestured about. “Don’t you see how they’re warping our sense of what’s right and wrong? I mean, you still have not said anything about regretting killing those men at Kar’m.” His eyes welled up. “How can you live with yourself?”
Tee stood up and shoved Alex with one hand. “You’ve got some nerve.”
“It’s the truth, Tee. I haven’t said anything because I hoped to hear it come from you, but I no longer believe it will. I thought you were an honest and honorable person. But you killed those men when you threw them off that airship.”
She glared at him and went nose to nose with him. “They were killing good people. They were going to kill us. I did my best to make them stop, and if some of them died in the process, that’s what happens.”
Sorrow was written all over Alex’s face. “How can you be okay with that?”
“I don’t know what life was like growing up with your uncle as king, Alex, and I’m sorry you had to flee your homeland, but where I grew up, if a wolf attacks you, you do what you must to survive. If there’s no cruelty or malice in your heart, then you didn’t do anything wrong.”
He bit his lip and looked down.
Tee took out a thin leather strip and tied her hair back. She stared at him all the while. “So, you think I’m a killer? Or is this a twisted-up sense of being homesick?” She slid her backpack on again.
He stared quietly at her.
She took a big breath. “I’m going to pretend this conversation didn’t happen. I’m going to pretend that you’re just freaked out because there are men with guns hunting for us.”

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Adam Dreece kicked off his indie author career with his best-selling steampunk meets fairy tale series, The Yellow Hoods, which struck a chord with kids 9-15 and adults. After four books in the series, the former software architect put out two more young adult books, the post-apocalyptic fantasy book The Wizard Killer – Season One, and then his science fiction novel, The Man of Cloud 9. The first two novels in The Yellow Hoods series, as well as The Wizard Killer, have been finalists for Book of the Year awards from the Independent Author’s Network.
When he’s not working on his next book, Adam can be found giving talks at schools, libraries, associations, as well as comic-con type events like CalgaryExpo and FanExpoCanada on subjects from how to get one’s ideas out and stepping outside of one’s comfort zone, to how to give a successful book signing.
Along the way, Adam has faced many challenges, including working around his Dyslexia (reading and writing disorder), and needing to be ruthless with his time and energy in face of his severe asthma and chronic abdominal scar pain. He’s become an inspiration to some, and a symbol of tenacious hard work to others.
He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his wife and children. He is an active online mentor at adamdreece.com, and is a busy public speaker, panelist, and author in Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

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Book Tour · Contests · Excerpts · Giveaway · Monday Book Tours · Silver Dagger Scriptorium · Uncategorized

The Thief Book Tour & Giveaway

Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: 
April 11, 2017
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The Elite Crimes Unit works behind the scenes of Interpol—and employs some of the world’s most talented criminal minds. Because as everyone knows, it takes a thief to catch a thief—or to seduce one . . .
The old farmhouse in the French countryside is a refuge for former jewel thief Josephine Deveraux. Admittedly, there aren’t many men in the vicinity, but she has her cat to cuddle up with. It’s a far cry from her former life, constantly running from the law, and she’s enjoying her peace . . . until the intruder in the three-piece suit tackles her. He wants her back in the game, helping with a heist—and he’s not above making threats to get his way.
Little does Josephine know that notorious—and notoriously charming—thief, Xavier Lambert, is after the very same 180-carat prize she’s being blackmailed to steal. To his chagrin, he’s doing it not as a free agent, but as a member of the Elite Crimes Unit—the team he was forced to join when his brilliant career came to a sudden end. And little does Xavier know that his comeback is about to include a stranger’s kiss, a stinging slap, and a hunt for missing treasure—along with the infuriatingly sexy woman who’s outfoxing him . . .

Two days later, Josephine took a cab back to Jean-Hugues’s place. She’d set up in the Paris safe house and had contacted Dmitri. It would take a week to relocate her to Berlin. She didn’t look forward to that—she didn’t speak German and the city was dismal—but it wasn’t permanent. A quick layover that would provide much-needed misdirection. All that mattered was getting out of France and going under.
How Lincoln had managed to keep tabs on her was incredible. She’d been careful. Since moving to France with her mother when she was eight, she’d never been issued a driver’s license or ID card. No internet presence, not even a credit card. The only phones she used were pre-paid burners. Of course, she should have expected Lincoln would not let her leave so easily. He’d been infatuated with her. So quickly. It had freaked the hell out of her. She’d refused his marriage proposal after dating only four weeks. She wasn’t the marrying type. Domesticity gave her the hives. Sharing her life with a man sounded so evasive. Since giving up thievery, she liked to keep her head down and her ass out of trouble. And Lincoln wanting her to step back onto the scene now was not keeping her head down.
She directed the cabbie to turn off the headlights so they didn’t shine through her neighbor’s bedroom window, then told him she’d be right out. She headed up the walkway, then stopped.
The front door was open. Instinctively, Josephine’s hand went to the gun she’d tucked in the back of her leather pants. While she didn’t like guns, sometimes they were necessary. She pulled out the small pistol she favored and held it pointed down near her thigh. She stepped over the cracked stone threshold.
A groan sounded from the living room. She hurried in to find the old man sitting on the wood floor before the smoldering fireplace. Blood dribbled from his forehead and had stained his upper lip. He smiled up at her, but then winced.
“Jean-Hugues, what happened? When did this happen?” It must have been Lincoln. Had to be. Had she passed him on the road coming here?
“They were here not too long ago. I am so sorry, Josephine.
They took Chloe.”
Heart dropping, she bent before Jean-Hugues and touched his forehead. He’d been punched, and probably cut with a ring. Not a deep cut, but it must hurt terribly.
“A man with dark hair asked for you. I told him I didn’t know where you were. He had two thugs with him. Why did they take the cat?” he asked, spreading his hands. “I don’t understand.”
It was a means to force her to do the job. Lincoln was a ruthless bastard.
Hurting an old man to get to her was beyond cruel.
“I’m sorry, Jean-Hugues. Let me get that first-aid kit out of your bathroom and we’ll take care of you.”
“No, I am fine. Just a cut and maybe a few bruised ribs.”
“They beat you?” She stood and pressed the gun grip against her temple. “That bastard.”

“Why do you have a gun, Josephine? Who were those men?” Josephine clenched her jaw. “My past.”

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Michele Hauf has been writing romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over twenty years. Her first published novel was Dark Rapture (Zebra). France, musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she followed the adage “write what you know,” all her stories would have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and writes about countries she has never visited and of creatures she has never seen.

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Heir of Locksley Book Tour & Giveaway

Historical, LGBT
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Publication Date: December 1, 2016
Pages: 400 pages
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About the Book:

Robin of Locksley is a rebel, more comfortable roaming Sherwood Forest with his longbow and courting the village girls than learning how to run a manor.

An innocent flirtation with a peasant girl soon lands Robin in trouble, and worse, he finds himself inexplicably attracted to Will Scathelock, his best friend since childhood. Robin must decide whether to follow the rules of society or his own conscience.

Meanwhile, his neighbour, Guy of Gisborne, is anxious to get his hands on the Locksley estate and he will do anything to make it happen – even murder.


“Well, it looks like we will not be stepbrothers after all.”

Guy spun round, his hand tightening on his sword. Robin had appeared noiselessly on the path in front of him, his face wearing the old, infuriating grin Guy remembered so well.

“You’re looking well, Guy.”

“That’s more than I can say for you,” Guy snarled. He pointed at Robin’s nose. “Brawling is hardly proper for the son of a lord, but then, you never did conduct yourself with any propriety.”

Robin laughed, which was not the reaction Guy had hoped for. He patted his nose.
“This is a souvenir of our last meeting. Don’t you remember?”

“Oh, I remember.” Guy’s voice was a low hiss. “You destroyed my life. You destroyed my family.”

The grin faded from Robin’s face. “I’m sorry for that.”


“I was a child, Guy. Sir Benedict happened upon me just after I’d discovered your mother and my father together. When he asked me where they were, I panicked. What else could I have done?”

“Oh, I don’t know.” Guy’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “Lied, perhaps?”

“Your life wasn’t the only one that changed. I never meant to hurt you or Katrina. How is she, by the way?”

“You will not touch my sister,” Guy roared. “You will not even speak her name.”

“Guy!” Robin made as if to lay a hand on his arm, but Guy’s sword flashed between them. Robin didn’t flinch. “So this is how it’s going to be, is it? We were friends once. Are you going to let one mistake ruin that?”

“Friends?” Guy let out a derisive laugh. “That’s what you thought? A few apologetic words and we could forget the past?”

“I’m not proud of what I did. I’ve regretted it every day for yours and Katrina’s sake.”

“Save your regrets for those who want them. And I have news for you; we were never friends. Unlike everyone else, I didn’t worship the ground you walked on. I despise you, and if I ever catch you alone in a secluded spot…” Guy ran a thumb along his sword blade.

Robin’s eyes hardened. “Go ahead. We are alone. I am unarmed. Those are just the type of odds you like, aren’t they? I could be wrong, but is it normal practice to bring a sword to a funeral? You wouldn’t be flaunting your new status? Dear me, and your father just in his grave. Your love leaves something to be desired.”

Guy was speechless. Robin’s self-assurance was almost too much for him. He considered killing him there and then, but he remembered the plan. Robin’s fate was already decided, and revenge, Guy’s mother had often told him, was a dish best served cold.

With a noise of contempt, Robin walked away.

Where to Buy:

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About the Author:

N.b. Dixon is an author of historical fiction. Her love for the Robin Hood legend began in a neglected corner of the school library and has continued ever since. She is a self-confessed bookworm and also a musician.

She began work on the Outlaws Legacy Series in 2013, and was accepted by Beaten Track Publishing in 2016. Outlaws Legacy is a historical series based around the Robin Hood legend. The author describes it as Exciting Historical Adventure with GLBT romance.

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Three lucky winners will receive an e-copy of Heir of Locksley, the first in the Outlaw’s Legacy series by N.B. Dixon, a highly original retelling of the Robin Hood legend. To be in with a chance, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The contest closes at midnight EST on May 6 and is open to entrants worldwide.

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Book Tour · Excerpts · Giveaway · Monday Book Tours · Silver Dagger Scriptorium

Within a Captain’s Power Book Tour & Giveaway

Historical Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
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Captain James Steele is duty bound to capture the privateer Scarlet Night and bring her rebellious crew to England to hang. Then he will leave his majesty’s service, make an upstanding marriage, and join the landed gentry. But the winds of fate are blowing the straitlaced commander utterly off course.

Once aboard, James comes face to face with a pirate boy who is in reality fierce, desperate—and gorgeous—Samantha Christian, on the run from a sadistic Virginia plantation owner. With her identity unbound, the good captain dutifully takes her under his personal command, whereupon decorum goes out the porthole. But while his heart is lost to Samantha by the time they reach England, her noose still awaits. Now James’s sense of duty will be severely tested. As for Samantha, she has a plan, and a duty, of her own . . .

She lifted her gaze from his pristine silk neckcloth. The Captain’s eyes were impossibly blue. They were the sky on a brilliant summer afternoon. “No, he is not my betrothed. He is more my jailer.”
Captain Steele laughed again. “Isn’t that somewhat the same thing?” “Spoken like a man who is either terminally single or unhappily betrothed.”
“Betrothed, but not unhappily. Impatient. I’m to be wed as soon as I return to England.”
Samantha blinked at the quick rush of unexpected disappointment. “Congratulations, Captain. Your fiancée is a lucky woman indeed.”
“Thank you. Lillian is lovely. We’re well matched.” “Will you wed in Weatherington?”
“Unfortunately, no. Lillian lives in London. She does not share my love of the country. A bit too rustic for her tastes.”
“I’m a true country girl, I’m afraid,” Samantha lifted a shoulder in a slight shrug, “but I’ve always longed to see London.”
His rust-tinged brows rose. “You didn’t sail from there?”
“No, Portsmouth.” Turning once more in the dance, Samantha caught Wessler heading toward them, only to be intercepted by one of the other local plantation owners. He acknowledged the man with a civilized nod. The tolerant set of his jaw told Samantha he’d been caught in conversation. He shot her another dark scowl.
“Well, if you ever find yourself back in England, you must allow me to show you London.”
Captain Steele’s warm voice softened the edge of Wessler’s threat. “Won’t your Lillian mind?” She blinked up at him.
The dimple in his cheek flashed once more. “I suspect she’d frown like your guard dog.”
“I can certainly understand why. You are quite handsome.” A darting look told her Wessler still watched. Samantha laid her hand on the lapel of the captain’s jacket. “What is it about a man in uniform that is so appealing?” She traced the gold braid.
“I wouldn’t know. I’m surrounded by men in uniform every day. I fail to see the allure.”
Samantha’s laugh sounded tinny and forced to her ear. Their dance ended. Couples began to clear the dance floor. Wessler finished his conversation and seemed intent on making his way through the crowd toward them once again.
“Captain, I do beg your pardon, but I am suddenly feeling a bit…It’s so terribly warm…” She feigned a stumble.
He caught her arm. “Are you unwell?”
“Air.” She lifted a shaky hand to her throat. “I’m desperate for a bit of air.”
The orchestra began another lively tune. New dancers crowded the floor and blocked Wessler’s approach as Captain Steele guided her quickly in the opposite direction toward the French doors leading to the back veranda.
The night breeze was a blessed relief after the heat of the ballroom. Moving them into the shadows, Samantha pressed a hand to her ribs and drew in several deep breaths. She lifted the back of her hand to her cheek.
Captain Steele gave her a worried frown. “Are you all right?”
“Yes,” she nodded, “I believe so.” She shot a glance over her shoulder. “Can I fetch you some water, perhaps?”
“No, thank you. I’m feeling much better.” She laid a hand on his sleeve. The lights from the ballroom filtered through the sheer fabric adorning the doors and accented the attractive angles of his face. “Are you always so kind, Captain?”
He gave her another small grin.
“Unless I’m ordered otherwise.”
“You are in His Majesty’s service.” Samantha responded coyly and curtseyed.
“Aye, and loyal to king and country.” He inclined his head in a small bow. “And steadfast in your duty?” she teased.
Captain Steele stood tall. “I know of no other way.”
The doors to the veranda flew open. Music and the hum of conversation tumbled out as Damian Wessler rushed from the ballroom. He stood for a moment at the railing, peering into the shadowed pathways of the Whitmore’s formal gardens.
Blood rushed in Samantha’s ears. Fear and panic caused her to clutch at Captain Steele’s sleeves. “Forgive me, sir.” she whispered before rising on tiptoes to crush her mouth to his.
“Madam—” Captain Steele put his hands to her waist and gently tried to push her away.
Samantha heard Wessler’s curse behind her. She tightened her grip. “Please, Captain, I’ve no time to explain,” She rushed. “Play along.” She slipped her arm about his neck, angled her mouth, and kissed him again. Wessler’s boot heels punctuated each stride as he marched toward them. He wrenched her out of Captain Steele’s grasp. “What in the bloody hell—” he snapped. His eyes held a murderous rage as he growled into
Samantha’s face. His jowls trembled with barely contained fury.
Samantha wiped at the corner of her mouth. She flashed Wessler a coy smile. “You can’t blame me for stealing a simple kiss.” She shot a nervous glance at the Captain. In the dim light, she couldn’t read his face, but the increasing bite of Wessler’s fingers interrupted all else.
She faked a small stumble and a tiny burp. A forced giggle through her gloved fingertips capped her performance. “Whatever was in the punch? I’m so lightheaded.”
“You’ll pardon us, sir, but Mistress Christian,” he jerked her to his side, “and I need to bid you a good eve.” As he spoke, his grip continued to tighten. “Come along, my dear,” he snarled as he jerked at her arm. “Didn’t I warn you not to drink too much this evening? Time to get you home.”
Samantha pushed at his punishing hand. “We shouldn’t be rude to the Whitmore’s distinguished guest.” She shot Captain Steele an embarrassed glance. He was watching the exchange between her and Wessler. A frown knit his brows. “Another dance, Captain?”
“We’re leaving,” bit Wessler.
“The spirits were rather potent tonight. Perhaps, Mistress Christian simply needs a bit more air, Mister…?” Captain Steele held out his hand. Damian had to release her arm to return the Captain’s handshake.
She couldn’t stop the small gasp that escaped her. Her fingers wrapped around her battered skin.
“Wessler. Damian Wessler. I own the Blackwater Plantation. Mistress Christian is in my employ, and she can be rather wild. Undisciplined.

Ignorant to social protocol. Almost defiant.” The last words he directed toward her as he reached for her once more. “If you’ll excuse us.”
Samantha started to thank the captain for his kindness, but Wessler jerked her away. His vise-like fingers left little room for argument. He dragged her back through the crowded ballroom and past a horrified Rebecca.
“We—we need to t-thank our hosts.” She resisted the strength of his pull, casting a pleading glance back at Rebecca. She’d rushed to Isabelle’s side, and now both women watched their hasty departure, concern etched on their faces.
“And give you yet another opportunity to humiliate me?” He wrenched her arm, causing her to gasp as he snarled into her ear. “Shut your fucking mouth and keep moving, or—”
“Or what? I’ll live to regret it?”

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Lisa A. Olech is an artist/writer living in her dream house nestled among the lakes in New England. She loves getting lost in a steamy book, finding the perfect pair of sexy shoes, and hearing the laughter of her men. Being an estrogen island in a sea of testosterone makes her queen. She believes in ghosts, silver linings, the power of a man in a tuxedo, and happy endings.




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Book Tour · Excerpts · Giveaway · Monday Book Tours

Cleaved Book Tour & Giveaway

Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Publication Date: November 11, 2015
Pages: 257 pages
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When a serial killer breaks into the home of bestselling author, Sage Quintano, she barely escapes with her life. Her husband, Niko, a homicide detective, insists they move to rural New Hampshire, where he accepts a position as Grafton County Sheriff. Sage buries secrets from that night—secrets she swears to take to her deathbed.

Three years of anguish and painful memories pass, and a grisly murder case lands on Niko’s desk. A strange caller begins tormenting Sage—she can’t outrun the past.

When Sage’s twin sister suddenly goes missing, Sage searches Niko’s case files and discovers similarities to the Boston killer. A sadistic psychopath is preying on innocent women, marring their bodies in unspeakable ways. And now, he has her sister.

Cryptic clues. Hidden messages. Is the killer hinting at his identity? Or is he trying to lure Sage into a deadly trap to end his reign of terror with a matching set of corpses?

Saturday, September 20, 2003
Even the weather betrayed me. Aqua-blue sky, not a cloud in sight. Niko and I sat in silence during the two-and-a-half hour trip north. Next week offered a new beginning, a chance to leave Boston and never look back.
I lowered the back passenger window. A light breeze ruffled farmland acres, and a full, round sun shined, burned, blazed as though this was an ordinary day. The limousine tires hit cracked asphalt, the road worn from a brutal New Hampshire winter.
Birds whistled serenades. Preteens played basketball within the confines of school grounds. Young, adolescent voices carried in the crisp morning air, rustling hues of burnt orange, scarlet, and burgundy through autumn leaves. Mountains stood proudly as if they could protect us. Here, perhaps, but not in Boston, where my nightmare began eight days and six hours ago.
We drove by the Minot Sleeper Library, and my gaze narrowed on the patrons. A middle-aged woman clutched my latest novel close to her heart like a coveted treasure. Scorching heat jagged up my chest. Soon she’d enjoy my words while I endured the harshest committal.
Didn’t she know? Couldn’t she feel my pain, my anguish? Pure evil enveloped my life, then spit me out like bitterness on a delicate palate, leaving me reeling in torment.
The hearse carrying our dreams, our endless devotion, veered right through tall, iron gates and followed a winding road to the back of the cemetery. My fingers curled around the armrest, and I shifted my sight to Niko.
Splayed hands on his knees, he turned only his head and offered a weak, faint smile. “You okay?” His voice was barely above a whisper.
To demonstrate what I thought of his stupid question, I shot him a cutting glare.
Palms up, he opened his arms. “What? I only asked if you were okay.”
“Seriously?” I said. “How could anyone be okay with this?”
Two funeral employees in dark suits dragged a tiny coffin from the back of the hearse. Stark white, the casket rode in their hands as the men marched over burnt, dead grass. Lowering the coffin onto two bands, they stepped away. My baby lingered above the mouth of an awaiting grave—displaying my shame, announcing my cowardice.
“We’ve gotta go.” Niko’s words churned the sickening feeling deep in my gut.
I peered through the side window, the cemetery dark and gloomy through tinted glass. The world now appeared as it should, mourning along with me.
Niko said, “Babe?”
The limo driver opened my door and startled me. He reminded me of a prison guard, hands clasped behind his back, eyes focused straight ahead. Behind him, rows and rows of ghosts, shattered lives buried deep with nothing left but a headstone to mark their existence. In the distance, an emerging sea of blue soldiered toward the grave—Niko’s fellow detectives, the ones who did nothing.
I twisted toward my husband, and a stabbing pain stole my breath. I bit my upper lip, waiting for the pang to subside. “Why are they here?”
“To pay their respects, Sage. Look, if you wanna blame someone—”
“Don’t,” I warned.
My crutches in hand, he dashed around the back of the limo to my door. Jaw clenched, I sneered at my new mode of transportation and steadied my balance with the toe of my splinted leg. I dropped my chin to my chest. Dammit. Why didn’t I fight? Why didn’t I do something, anything?
With a supportive arm around my waist, Niko coaxed me toward the gravesite. I passed him one of the crutches and rested my head against his strong chest. If only he could sweep me away so I didn’t have to face this devastation.
I squeezed my eyes closed. I couldn’t look, couldn’t witness the finality. It wasn’t fair. I had no memories to savor. No first touch, no tiny fist gripping my finger. No first steps, first word. I never had the chance to admire a newborn’s searching eyes, gazing at the world as a wondrous place. Instead, I had the harsh reality that wicked men roamed free, leaving destruction in their wake.
I had nothing, except the faint recall of precious feet kicking my insides, yearning to break free and experience life. My baby’s lungs never had the chance to expand with oxygen-infused air. He would never know the magic of Christmas, or admire glorious lights dancing on tree limbs. My boy would not have the honor of placing a brilliant star on the top branch as his daddy lifted him so his delicate hands could reach.
For God sake, he didn’t even have a name. The headstone marked only with, “Baby Quintano.” This was so cruel. Why did we have to endure such torture? There wasn’t much I wouldn’t do for my unborn son. But this? Dear God, not this.
Bob Jordan, the funeral director, recited the opening remarks. I cocked an ear, my grip tightening around the crutch. I slid my gaze toward Niko. Did he notice slight nuances in Bob’s pitch, the unspoken truth I insisted he conceal?
Beneath gauze bandages, sweat seeped through the multitude of stitches zigzagging across my forearms. Pain throbbed from a dislocated knee, and broken ribs labored my breath—my injuries refusing to allow a moment of repose. Thanks to a mass murderer who slipped through Niko’s grasp, tranquility no longer existed.
Tears brimmed in my husband’s red-rimmed eyes and he offered me a reassuring squeeze. “It’s almost over, babe.”
I swallowed, averted my gaze. I didn’t deserve his kindness, his love.
We huddled together opposite six Boston detectives in department dress blues. Cold stares in my direction, foreheads rippled in accusation. Bob Jordan asked if we wanted to speak. Niko swept my hair out of my face, but I kept my head down, staring at the ground.
“I think we’re all set,” he said, tears hitching his voice.
Bob gave a slight nod and cranked a handle that lowered our child into the maw of nevermore. Hot tears slipped down the sides of my face, salt biting jagged wounds on my cheek, upper lip, and neck. The cemetery became eerily quiet. Soft gasps and muffled cries from my heart fracturing beyond repair pierced a cool September wind.
Inside I screamed, “No! Don’t take our baby! Please, stop! I can’t survive this!”
Verbally, as usual, I remained silent.

Where to Buy:


Book 2:

Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
Publication Date: May 3, 2017
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Author Sage Quintano writes about crime. Her husband Niko investigates it. Together they make an unstoppable team. But no one counted on a twisted serial killer, who stalks their sleepy community, uproots their happy home, and splits the threads that bonds their family unit.

Darkness swallows the Quintanos whole—ensnared by a ruthless killer out for blood. Why he focused on Sage remains a mystery, but he won’t stop till she dies like the others.
Women impaled by deer antlers, bodies encased in oil drums, nursery rhymes, and the Suicide King. What connects these cryptic clues? For Sage and Niko, the truth may be more terrifying than they ever imagined.

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 Member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers, Sue Coletta is an award-winning, multi-published author in numerous anthologies and her forensics articles have appeared in InSinC Quarterly. In addition to her popular crime resource blog, Sue co-hosts the radio show “Partners In Crime” on Writestream Radio Network every third Tuesday of the month from 1 – 3 p.m. EDT/EST (see details at www.suecoletta.com). She’s also the communications manager for the Serial Killer Project and Forensic Science, and founder of #ACrimeChat on Twitter.

She runs a popular crime website and blog, where she shares crime tips, police jargon, the mind of serial killers, and anything and everything in between. If you search her achieves, you’ll find posts from guests that work in law enforcement, forensics, coroner, undercover operatives, firearm experts…crime, crime, and more crime.
For readers, she has the Crime Lover’s Lounge, where subscribers will be the first to know about free giveaways, contests, and have inside access to deleted scenes. As an added bonus, members get to play in the lounge. Your secret code will unlock the virtual door. Inside, like-minded folks discuss their favorite crime novels, solve mindbender and mystery puzzles, and/or relax and chat. Most importantly, everyone has a lot of fun.

Sue lives in northern New Hampshire with her husband, where her house is surrounded by wildlife…bear, moose, deer, even mountain lions have been spotted. Course, Sue would love to snuggle with them, but her husband frowns on the idea.

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50 Books 2017 · 50 Books in a Year · Book Reviews · Saturday Reviews

Origins by Kristen Middleton

Saturday Review

Young Adult, Horror, Zombies, Apocalypse, Romance
Publisher: CreateSpace
Publication Date: May 28, 2012
Format: ePub
Pages: 238 pages
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4.50 Stars

4 half stars


Seventeen year old Cassandra Wild thought living in the chaos of her mother’s home daycare and dealing with her developing feelings for Bryce, her new Martial Arts’ instructor, was a struggle, until the night her world turned upside down.

When an untested vaccine kills more than just a rampant flu virus, Cassie learns how to survive in a world where the dead walk, and the living…run!


For a zombie story, this was a really surprisingly good start. The characters were developed well and the story seemed to have a path it was trying to take.

One thing I definitely enjoy from author’s who chance at writing zombie apocalypse tales is that they start at the beginning. No offense, but I like to know why the world went BOOM and why the dead walk again, not just be launched into mid-survival.

Cassie is one serious tough cookie. She is a karate student and is well versed in weapons, on the insistence of her father. I definitely would want her by my side in a zombie apocalypse. I enjoyed seeing that one side of her and then that vulnerable side where she begins to have feelings for her new martial arts instructor.
Bryce actually seemed older than his 19 years. So it was a little weird to see Cassie enamored with him, but as he opened up more and discussed his family life, it was understandable why he seemed so much older. I’m not going to ruin it though, you’ll have to find out why the hot martial arts instructor is the way he is.

There were a few minor editing error’s but nothing that took away from the story line.

However, noted, don’t get vaccinated by an untested vaccine. You might turn into a human chomping zombie!


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NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Kristen Middleton, is from the Midwest and not only enjoys writing, but connecting with her readers. Kristen also writes gritty biker books under the name Cassie Alexandra. She is also involved with raising money to help locate missing and exploited children, helping other authors succeed by sharing what she’s learned in the self-publishing industry, and volunteering resources or her time whenever she can. “Besides having a passion for writing, I adore children, suspenseful movies, watching Shameless and The Walking Dead, traveling, Moscato wine, Chianti Grill, Savoy Pizza, and meeting new friends.”

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