Monday, May 25, 2015

Featured Author: Jennifer Ammoscato


ABOUT THE BOOK:


Oh, don’t judge me, people. We
 all do it.

Don’t try to tell me that you’ve never checked that weird mole on your thigh on WebMD. Or how to fold meringue on Epicurious. And, there’s no way that I’m the only one who clears her search history after looking up how to give a great bl— (Um, that last one’s not important.)

When newspaper reporter Avery Fowler discovers her husband is having an affair, the online help site HowTo.com is where she turns to navigate this challenging stage of her life.

If the Internet is Avery’s information god, then HowTo.com is her Holy Grail. Its live chat option is like having a virtual life coach for the low, low price of $14.95 a month:
When I joined HowTo.com, it assigned me “Clementine” as my advisor, based on my choice of “British female” in the Preferences panel. That way, I can pretend that a Maggie Smith or Judi Dench type supplies the wisdom, tinged with a sassy touch of malt vinegar. (In reality, it’s most likely a bored, seventeen-year-old boy labouring in a New Delhi call centre.)

Add into the mix a new boss whose managerial style calls to mind the Wicked Bitch Witch of the West — or the Anti-Christ — and the poor girl needs all the help she can get! The stakes rise and hilarity ensues as our heroine struggles to take control of her personal life and topple her boss after she learns Victoria’s guilty secret.

With Clementine (virtually) in tow, our heroine tackles such tricky situations as dating after divorce, sex once nothing points north anymore, and how to cover attempted murder scenes (despite a paralyzing fear of blood) as the new and improved Avery Fowler 2.0.

Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops!

INTERVIEW WITH JENNIFER AMMOSCATO


Jennifer, what’s the story behind the title Dear Internet, It's Me, Avery?
 


The title reflects Avery’s emotional journey. She’s a woman who has no faith in her ability to make decisions. Instead, she turns to Clementine, her online muse at HowTo.com who provides advice 24/7. The Internet is her crutch, her confidante, her shoulder to cry on. Of course, it can’t end well. 


Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
 

This is Book 1 in the Avery Fowler 2.0 series. The series will trace Avery’s continual evolution to become the new and improved Avery — the first version needed a reboot. There will be five in total. You won’t absolutely have to read Book 1 to appreciate the others, but it would certainly add to the reading experience to have the context of each before moving on to the next.
 


If you had an extra $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
Manicure/pedicure. Hot red, please! 
 



What’s the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made?

The rowing machine I bought last summer and used twice. Slowly.


What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

That you can’t control much of what happens in life so you might as well get over yourself and laugh. And even cheap wine tastes better when you use an aerator. 


Who would you pick to write your biography?


Dorothy Parker. She was brilliant.
 


What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?


That it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. And that skinny arms aren’t such a bad thing. 
 


What makes you nervous?



The thought of chopping my hair in a pixie ever again.  


What makes you happy?

My husband and children. And chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. 


If you could only save only one thing from your house, what would it be?
Assuming all family and pets are safe, my photo albums and videos. I actually keep them in a cupboard by the front door with shopping bags there ready to collect them in if the need ever arises.
 


What brings you sheer delight?


When someone tells me how much they enjoyed reading my novel.
 


If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
England. I’m not picky. Notting Hill would do in a pinch.
 


What’s your favorite line from a book?

"I think that voice held him most, with its fluctuating, feverish warmth, because it couldn’t be over-dreamed — that voice was a deathless song." The Great Gatsby

What would your main character say about you?


“What a bitch! How could she do that to me?”
 


How did you create the plot for this book?

It occurred to me that there’s nothing you can’t find on the Internet. How to bake a pie. Fix a dishwasher. Give a great bl— (Never mind about that one). So why not how to figure out your life once everything goes to hell in a handbasket? From there, I simply kept imagining what awful (or funny) things could happen to Avery next. 
 


No wonder she's mad at you! Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

No. They’re the usual chick lit suspects: the plucky heroine, the stalwart but lovingly sarcastic friends, the evil boss, a handsome guy (or two). They’re popular characters because people can relate to them. Cheer for them. Laugh with them and cry with them. They’re people you know. That’s comforting.


Is your book based on real events?

Not at all. It simply reflects the reality that many women face today: starting over again when life throws you some very tricky curveballs. I love the theme of someone reaching deep inside themselves to find a strength they didn’t know they had. It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them along the way when they trip up, of course. 
 

One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him/her off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he/she kill you?

Bore me to death by making me watch a Storage Wars marathon.
   


You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?


Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He gets to live there in the end!
 


What would your dream office look like (other than a chocolate factory)?


My fantasy office would be an industrial loft with wide-plank hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, a fabulous glass desk that someone else shines, an espresso machine, a fireplace, and a couch. For napping.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

jennifer ammoscato Author Jennifer Ammoscato – solving the world’s problems one cosmo at a time. Jennifer Ammoscato is a paid, productive member of society. Frankly, it’s not enough. Therefore, May 2015 will see the launch of her debut novel, Dear Internet: It’s Me, Avery (The Avery Fowler 2.0 series, Book I). During the day, she is an intrepid writer/editor for the public relations department of a Canadian university. By night, she fights crime and the urge to organize closets and stuff herself with salted chocolate caramels. Jennifer began writing as a child, producing such classics as The Occurrence (she understood the appeal of werewolves long before Stephenie Meyer). She had to search for the courage to write a novel, though. “That’s so F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. I didn’t know if I had the alcohol capacity for it.” However, after being goaded (sorry, encouraged) by a friend, she took the leap. Dreams do not inspire Jennifer’s books. In fact, they tend to terrify her. In particular, the everpopular naked-at-school or I-have-a-final-exam-and-didn’t-study dreams. She usually just makes stuff up. She is married to her husband, Ezio. As opposed to someone else’s husband (insert name here). She is the proud mom of two very tall sons, Dante and Christian.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Featured Author: Susan Russo Anderson


ABOUT THE BOOK

Abandoned by her father and mourning the sudden loss of her mother, twenty-two-year-old Fina Fitzgibbons eeks out a living by establishing a cleaning service in Brooklyn called Lucy's. But when she finds a body on a busy sidewalk in the heart of the Heights, she dusts off her PI license and begins searching for the killer, only to discover that the strangled woman's four-year-old grandson is missing. A desperate hunt begins for the kidnapped child. During the chase, Fina resists falling in love with her boyfriend, Denny, an NYPD patrol officer, steps on the toes of Detective First Grade Jane Templeton, and uncovers secrets about her mother's death. In the end, the killer has a vicious surprise for Fina.



INTERVIEW WITH SUSAN RUSSO ANDERSON

Susan, how did you create the plot for this book?
I walk to create plot.

What would your main character say about you?
Boring at first and a little wordy, but asks interesting questions.

Are you like any of your characters?
I wish I could be like Lorraine. In the series she’s the character with the long view.

One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
Great question. It would be Ralph, a character in Too Quiet in Brooklyn, and he’d strangle me by squeezing until he heard the crack. Then he’d say, “Look. No blood, boss.”

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“Everything that rises must converge.” -Teilhard de Chardin

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
I’d have a home in Paris and a home in Brooklyn.

What would you like people to say about you after you die?
Her words enriched others.

What’s your favorite line from a book?
“Isn’t it pretty to think so.” It’s the last line in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, but you have to read the book to get it, I mean, really get it.

Who are your favorite authors?
Favorite book of all time: Fell in love with Paris through the hobo in A Family Under the Bridge. But there are lots of writers and books I love: whoever wrote the Nancy Drew books, as well as Georges Simenon, Ross MacDonald, Agatha Christie, James Joyce, not that I understand him, but I love the sound of language, T.S. Eliot, and lots of early twentieth-century American writers, even Hemingway. Love love love A Moveable Feast.


What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
Ann Cleeves, Raven Black (audible); Anne Perry, Death on Blackheath (ebook); John Green, The Fault in our Stars (ebook)


Do you have a routine for writing?
I get up in the morning and write, which I do until noon. I work on two books at one time, writing a first draft in the morning, editing in the afternoon. After editing, I market (work on a marketing plan). When I take a break, I walk, which is how I plot or listen to a book or music. I read in the late afternoon until dinner. While watching TV, I tweet and Facebook.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
In my latest book, I killed a character I really liked. It took me a long time to do it, too, and many days of deciding, finally, I had to do it. First she was fed Rohypnol, one of the date rape drugs. While in the hospital recovering, she was hit over the head, finally killed by an overdose of potassium chloride. So she died by degrees.

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
Park Ridge public library. It was my first library, and it still looks and smells the same after all these years.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Susan Russo Anderson is a writer, a mother, a grandmother, a widow, a graduate of Marquette University, a member of Sisters in Crime. She has taught language arts and creative writing, worked for a publisher, an airline, an opera company. She lived in Brooklyn for fourteen years and misses it. Like Faulkner’s Dilsey, she’s seen the best and the worst, the first and the last. Through it all, and to understand it somewhat, she writes.

Connect with Susan:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Goodreads

 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Guest Post by Carolyn Haines


About the book


Sarah Booth Delaney is heartbroken: her fiancé Graf Milieu has decided to move to Hollywood permanently, leaving their relationship in shambles. Sarah Booth has a perfect distraction, however, in the form of the Black and Orange Halloween ball her best friends are throwing in New Orleans. Sarah Booth plans to dance the night away to the swinging tunes of her old flame Scott Hampton's blues band. But just as the party gets going, Scott receives a mysterious message that threatens his life and the lives of his bandmates. Sarah Booth knows that a new case is just what she needs to take her mind off her failed relationship with Graf, and she's ready to help Scott investigate. And then the message turns from threat to reality when the bartender from Scott's club is gunned down in a drive-by. Enlisting Sheriff Coleman Peters and the rest of her friends from Zinnia, Mississippi, Sarah Booth is caught in a race against the clock as she tries to stop a killer from striking again.

With a twist around every corner, Carolyn Haines will delight readers with Sarah Booth Delaney's latest zany adventure in Bone to be Wild.


Form Versus Formula


    I teach fiction writing at a university, both graduate and undergraduate students. Part of my duties includes working with students on thesis projects. One thing about teaching — if I intend to answer the hard questions serious students ask, I have to learn and keep learning every week.

    After publishing 70 books, I’ve learned some lessons the hard way, and perhaps the students will benefit from my journey. The first thing I tell them is this: The two most important things a writer decides is whose story she’s writing and which POV the writer will use to tell the story. These are crucial. Most books can be only one person’s story. (There are exceptions to everything, so these are general rules.)

    So many young writers want to tell everyone’s story. It’s difficult to learn how to cut out that one story from the herd of great stories and focus on that. It is crucial, though.

    Point of view, whether first or third. (I’m not a huge fan of second person POV for a novel. Short stories, fine. Novels, very difficult.) This decision impacts the structure of your book. In my opinion, most failed novels either have structural flaws or the plot is faulty. The smartest thing to do is focus on the structure before you begin writing. This will save a whole lot of rewriting down the road. And perhaps keep more hair on your head than torn out on the floor!

    Here is where we get to the issue of form versus formula. Many young writers, especially in graduate programs, have disdain for what they consider to be formula fiction. Many genres fall into this student created dump. But what young writers fail to understand is that all artistic endeavors must follow form. Symphonies have movements. Paintings have a flow the eye naturally follows. Songs have verses and a chorus, and poetry has a dozen forms that test the ability of any writer.

    Fiction—or story, if you prefer—also has form. From the first drawings on cave walls, those wishing to impart a story or information had to create a pattern, or form, in which to convey their story. We in America read left to right, top to bottom. It’s the formula of the page. Story must have form or else it is incomprehensible. If a writer just threw scenes in random order into a book, the reader would be lost.

    But some types of books do have a more regimented form than others. Because they meet reader expectation in a particular way. In romance, for instance, happy endings are often part of the story. Readers expect this, and they get very upset if this is tampered with. But what’s wrong with meeting reader expectation? If a happy ending isn’t in the card for your characters, steer clear of the romance market and sell to an audience with different expectations.

    The three-act screenplay for movies has been taught for decades, and the most successful movies ever made bow to this form (or formula, if you insist). I seldom hear screenwriters debating the merits of ‘formula.’ They know to finance the cost of a film, they must meet the expectations of an audience. Only in fiction do I hear disdain for formula. And formula is only a box or prison if a writer doesn’t truly understand how it works.

    Readers love the rise and fall of action, the forward movement of the plot, the growth of the protagonist’s character. Whether it is general fiction, women’s fiction, thriller, mystery, or romance, story is what matters. It is how the writer executes her story that determines whether a book will gather an audience or not. Story trumps everything else.

    Whether you physically write an outline or merely think the story through, relying on character motivations (this should be what drives any story), you will save a lot of time if you study structure. After all, you wouldn’t build a house hurly-burly throwing up walls wherever. You need support for the roof and flow from room to room. Writing a book requires exactly the same thing.

    There’s plenty of freedom here. This isn’t a rigid box. The way you execute story is where you shine as a writer, but a nod to form and structure will make your story tighter and the journey of writing it a lot more pleasant.


About the author

Carolyn Haines has published over 70 books in a number of genres from general fiction to crime novel and cozy mystery. She was awarded the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence. She lives on a farm with 22 dogs, cats, and horses and is the sole labor force for Good Fortune Farm Refuge, a 501c3 rescue. She teaches fiction writing at an Alabama university. You can learn more about Carolyn, her rescue, or her crazy life at www.carolynhaines.com. Or you can join her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Featured Author: Penny C. Sansevieri




About the book

Amazon wants you to sell a lot of books. And How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload teaches you exactly how to do it. Internationally renowned Amazon book marketing expert Penny Sansevieri has created the ultimate guide for mastering the Amazon marketing system.

And in moments it can be right at your fingertips! The savings in time you’ll gain is enormous — when compared to painstakingly researching this information yourself.

When you follow Penny’s time-tested proven formulas you’ll instantly skyrocket the exposure you receive and kick your book promotion campaign into overdrive!

Plus, you can bypass all of the misinformation out there about how Amazon works. That’s because every secret you need to know to understand the Amazon marketing system inside and out is right here. Penny Sanseveri takes you step-by-step through simple and dynamic processes that show you how to:


  • Get top visibility for your book on Amazon
  • Increase sales through perfectly-timed pre-order campaigns
  • Leverage a secret tool to get hundreds of reader reviews
  • Use Kindle Unlimited to your greatest advantage
  • Boost sales by knowing when to give away your e-book – it really works!
  • Use keywords and book descriptions that puts your book in front of tons of buyers
  • Identify and locate secret categories that drive bigger sales

Get your booked ranked #1 in your category!

How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload is your must-read, go-to resource if you want to really understand the inner workings of Amazon, so you can sell more books. Order right now and you’ll also receive these FREE BONUSES:

BONUS #1: Free listings to book bloggers, fiction bloggers, and romance bloggers! Includes hundreds of bonus resources!

DOUBLE BONUS: Includes a special book marketing discount coupon!


Interview with Penny C. Sansevieri  

Penny, what’s the story behind the title How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload?
Funny you should ask, it’s actually part of what I talk about in the book. So I was doing research on Amazon one day to see what searches were popular in regards to what I was writing and I discovered that the keywords in my title (with the exception of the word ‘Truckload’) were very popular so that’s how I named it. I’d love to say that it just popped into my head one day, but it didn’t, it was actually based on keyword research on Amazon.

Where did you grow up?
Well, I grew up in Southern California but also Belgium where I went to school (grade and high school) for ten years. I loved living there!

What’s your favorite memory?
I took my mom to the beaches of Normandy. She was a little girl in Belgium during WWII and she had never been, so we went there and to the American Cemetery and Museum which is incredibly moving.

Have you been in any natural disasters?
I have actually, we were in that fire that raged through California – I think 6 or so years ago. At its height it was chewing through 6,000 acres an hour, and by the time it hit us (with almost no warning) we had 30 seconds to get out of the house. No kidding. Thankfully my house didn’t burn but a lot of them around me did.

WOW! What is the most daring thing you've done, besides staying in your house too long in a fire?
Starting a business. No, really. I’ve been in business for fifteen years, and I can tell you that it’s the hardest and the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I love it, but it’s not for the faint of heart

What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?

I was a geek as a teenager, I loved to read, study, etc. I wasn’t big on fashion or up on pop culture, and I always felt like an outsider. I wish I had known then that it was okay to be a geek, that geeks rock, and many geek-type people have changed our work. Think Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc. I’m not even close to being in their league, but it’s nice to know that even a geek can create magic.

What makes you happy?
Well a few things actually. My uber-perfect dog Cosmo, I love traveling in Europe, and last, but certainly not least: I love, love, love it when I get great buzz for an author we’re working with. It’s harder and harder these day to do that, so hitting that mark is pretty thrilling!

Do you have another job outside of writing?

I do! I run Author Marketing Experts, and I’m so fortunate to work with a fantastic group of women who work with our authors and publishers to help them market and promote their work!

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?

All of my books are hard really – the Amazon book which we’re discussing here is hard because Amazon changes what they do all the time, so the book needs to be written fast, produced quickly and updated frequently. It’s not a matter of "set it and forget it." I want the most current information out there. I’m a stickler for that.

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
I would love to be Sydney Bristow from Alias – if you’ve never seen the show it stars Jennifer Garner, and many stars, like Bradley Cooper, got their start there. It’s also on Netflix! She is a super spy and kicks some serious a**, she always gets the bad guy.

I used to watch that show and love it! What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
Great question! Years ago when I published the first edition of Red Hot Internet Publicity, there was a blogger who hated it – and I mean *hated* it. It was hard to read his review, and in fact, I thought for a moment about writing the person back. But I opted not to, I mean, what’s the point? Then, after a glass of wine and rocking in the corner, I realized that amidst some of his less–than-kind remarks, there were in fact some good tidbits and things I fixed the next time around. But I never pitched him for a book review again. Just sayin’

What would your dream office look like?
Minions, there would be lots of minions.

I love it! What are you working on now? 
Funny you should ask, I’m working on the next edition of Red Hot Internet Publicity!

About the author

Penny C. Sansevieri, Founder and CEO Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. She is an Adjunct Professor teaching Self-Publishing for NYU.

Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most innovative Social Media/Internet book marketing campaigns. She is the author of fourteen books, including How to Sell Your Books by the Truckload on Amazon and Red Hot Internet Publicity, which has been called the "leading guide to everything Internet." 

AME was the first book marketing and publicity firm to use Internet promotion to its full impact through The Virtual Author Tour™, which strategically harnesses social networking sites, Twitter, blogs, book videos, and relevant sites in order to push an author’s message into the online community. AME has had over eleven books top bestseller lists, including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal.

To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her website

Connect with Penny:

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Pinterest  ~  Google +

To enter the giveaway to win an Amazon Optimization Package, go here.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Guest Post by Miriam Auerbach


About the book

Patients at a posh Boca Raton rehab center are ending up stiffer than a Boca babe’s smile. Tough PI Harriet Horowitz, once a bedazzled babe herself, signs in at The Oasis at the request of a frightened friend.

As a pattern emerges in the murders, it’s clear the killer is targeting patients with an unusual addiction. How did they end up with the same drug problem at the same time and in the same rehab together? Harriet’s sleuthing leads her down a path of secrets and danger, and what she learns could lead her undercover assignment to a dead end.




Guest Post by Miriam Auerback


WHAT IS A BOCA BABE?

Boca Raton, Florida, has been hailed as the Beverly Hills of the East Coast. Now, to me, that’s a claim that cries out for corroboration. So let’s see – what are the commonalities between Beverly Hills and Boca? Opulent mansions and beautiful shopping areas? Check.  Young blonde women precariously balancing a size sixteen stack atop a size two tuchus?  Check. But frankly, I think they’ve got it backwards – it should be Beverly Hills that aspires to be the Boca of the West Coast. After all, we’ve got some home-grown beauts that they can’t shake a stick at.  Namely, we’ve got Boca Babes.  What, you may ask, is a Boca Babe?  Here are some clues:

•    If you live in a house the size of a jumbo jet hangar, then you are likely a Boca Babe.
•    If you don’t talk to anyone who doesn’t own anything made by Prada, then you just might be a Boca Babe.
•    If Neiman Marcus is #1 on your cell phone speed dial, you might be a Boca Babe.
•    If you’ve had diamond studs soldered into your earlobes, you could be a Boca Babe.
•    If your dog owns more clothing and toys that some people’s children, you just might be a Boca Babe.
•    If the only thing you know how to make for dinner is reservations, you are probably a Boca Babe.
•    And if you are all these things but you’ve hit the big 4-0, then you’re no longer a Boca Babe – you’re now a Botox Babe.

In sum, Boca Babes are high-maintenance, highly enhanced, high-end consumers married to high-income men. To illustrate, here is a pic of me posing as a Boca Babe (no, really, I’m just posing – this is not my everyday appearance!).

My series protagonist, Harriet Horowitz, is an ex-Boca Babe. Why an ex? Here’s the thing: a rich husband, no matter how revolting, is the price of admission to the Boca Babe Club. Harriet’s husband was indeed revolting. He abused her for ten years. Finally she’d had enough. One day when her husband raised his fists at her one last time, she told him, “Go ahead – make my day.” He obliged, and she shot him through the heart – with his (now hers) .44 Magnum.

Due to the influence of a wealthy friend, the local Boca philanthropist Contessa von Phul, Harriet’s act was ruled justifiable homicide. And Harriet embarked on a new identity – Dirty Harriet – and new life. She sold everything, bought a Harley, and moved to a desolate cabin in the Everglades. She swapped swank for swamp, indulgence for independence. 

Harriet embarked on a new career as well: she opened up her own private eye agency, ScamBusters. And business is booming. Boca’s got a slew of scams. Investment scams, insurance scams, immigration scams – you name it, we’ve got it. So Harriet is doing just fine as a ScamBuster. But occasionally, murder intrudes. So far, Harriet has had four murderous adventures in the Dirty Harriet Mystery Series, including the latest, Boca Undercover.

But I don’t think Boca Babes are confined to Boca.  What do you think – do you have a version of Boca Babes in your town?


About the author

Miriam Auerbach is the author of a satirical mystery series set in Boca Raton, Florida and featuring Harley-riding, wisecracking female private eye Harriet Horowitz. Her debut novel, Dirty Harriet, won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best First Series Romance. Miriam can only assume that this is because the heroine kills her husband on page one. In a parallel universe, Miriam is known as Miriam Potocky, professor of social work at Florida International University in Miami. She lives in South Florida with her husband and their multicultural canines, a Welsh Corgi and a Brussels Griffon.

Connect with Miriam:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads   


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Featured Author: B.L. Blair



About the book:

Leaving Emily was Mitch’s greatest mistake.  Can she forgive him?

Growing up, Mitch Carson had always dreamed of leaving Holton, Texas, traveling the world, and writing life altering stories. As an investigative journalist, he made those dreams come true, but he left behind the only woman he ever loved. That was his greatest mistake. Mitch has returned home to see if she can forgive him for leaving her when she needed him the most.

In high school, Emily Fairview had fallen deeply, madly, and completely in love with Mitch. The two of them planned a life together far away from Holton, but when Emily’s family needed her, she chose to stay. Mitch chose to leave. Fifteen years later Mitch is back and wants a second chance, but Emily doesn’t know if she can forgive him.

Return to Holton, Texas one last time to see if Mitch can get Emily to forgive him.  Forgive Me is the fourth and final book in the Holton Series but may be read as a standalone novel.


Excerpt from Forgive Me

“Paul seemed pretty excited about that ad campaign,” Emily said after a moment of silence.

Mitch glanced at her and nodded. “Advertising is his passion.”

“What?” she asked.

“His passion,” Mitch repeated. “You know the thing he loves.”

Emily cocked her head and gave him a smile. “I thought Rachel was his passion.”

Mitch laughed. “Well, yeah, that’s a given. But advertising is also a passion. It gets his juices flowing. He loves it. You can tell. I believe everyone has at least one passion.  It may not always be a healthy one, but everyone has to have something that drives them.”

“What do you mean?”

“Take Steven, for example,” he said to her. Emily looked over at his brother. “You know him pretty well. What do you think is the most important thing to him?”

“Anna,” she said promptly. “Well, and Mia. And your parents, you, and Tori.” She stopped and laughed. “I guess that’s more than one thing.”

“No. You got it right. It’s family. Steven has always been a family guy. Has always wanted to be with his family, in his hometown. That’s his passion.”

“Hmm,” Emily said thinking. “Do you have a passion?”

“Sure, I have three.”

“Three?  What are they?”

He shot her a sly look. “You tell me yours, and I’ll tell you mine.”

He hadn’t expected the sad look that crossed her face. She didn’t respond. He reached for her hand and squeezed. “Hey, what’s wrong?”

“I don’t think I have a passion,” she whispered.

“Sure, you do.” She shook her head so he continued. “You’re passionate about computers.”

She thought about it for a minute. “Not really. I mean I like working with them. I enjoy teaching about them, but I don’t think I can call it a passion.” She paused. “I really don’t have a passion.”

“Well, then, I guess we will have to find you one.”

About the author

B. L. Blair writes simple and sweet romance and mystery/romance stories.  Like most authors, she has been writing most of her life and has dozens of books started.  She just needs the time to finish them.

She is the author of the Holton Romance Series and the Leah Norwood Mysteries.  She enjoys reading books, writing books, and traveling wherever and as often as time and money allows.  She is currently working on her latest book set in Texas, where she lives with her family.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cover Reveal for Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville




About the book

In 1920s Galveston, society reporter Jazz Cross is in for a surprise when she attends a traveling vaudeville show with her beau, Prohibition Agent James Burton, and sees an old flame in the production.  That night, they find a stabbing victim behind the Oasis — her half-brother Sammy’s speakeasy — who’s identified as an actor in the troupe. When the victim disappears and later turns up dead, Jazz must help prove that Sammy wasn’t the killer. After a second vaudeville actor is found dead, Jazz discovers that the events behind the scenes are much more interesting than the outdated acts onstage.

To make matters worse, Sammy’s old nemesis demands that he settles a score and forces him into yet another illegal scheme involving the troupe’s money-making ventures. Can Jazz help solve the murders and prove her brother’s innocence—so he can get away from the Downtown Gang for good?

A historical Jazz Age mystery inspired by real-life Galveston gangs and local landmarks. Vamps, Villains and Vaudeville will be out in late spring/early summer.

Check out Goodreads for the book giveaway for Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns through May 25.

Jazz Age Mysteries



About this author

Ellen Mansoor Collier is a Houston-based freelance magazine writer and editor whose articles, essays and short stories have been published in a variety of national magazines. During college summers, she worked as a reporter for a Houston community newspaper and as a cocktail waitress, both jobs providing background experience for her Jazz Age mysteries.

A flapper at heart, she's worked as a magazine editor/writer, and in advertising and public relations (plus endured a hectic semester as a substitute teacher). She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Magazine Journalism and served on UTmost, the college magazine and as president of WICI (Women in Communications).

Flappers, Flasks and Foul Play is her first novel, published in 2012, followed by the sequel, Bathing Beauties, Booze and Bullets, released in 2013. Gold Diggers, Gamblers and Guns, the third book in the trilogy, came out in May 2014 and picks up right after BBB.

Collier lives in Houston with her husband and Chow mutts, and visits Galveston whenever possible.

"When you grow up in Houston, Galveston becomes like a second home. I had no idea this sleepy beach town had such a wild and colorful past until I began doing research, and became fascinated by the legends and stories of the 1920s. Finally I had to stop researching and start writing, trying to imagine a flapper's life in Galveston during Prohibition."

Buy Jazz Age Mysteries