Thursday, March 21, 2019



Margaret Ann Shepherd just wants to be a normal high school senior and not be seen as the least bit weird. But nothing extraordinary ever happens to anyone who is not a little odd . . .

When Margaret Ann wakes one morning acting as though she’s just stepped out of the Middle Ages, everyone starts to doubt her sanity. But what really happened on the night in question? Placed in therapy to get to the bottom of her eccentricities, memories emerge of another body, another world, another life lived over the course of one night. 

In The Soultrekker Chronicles Book I, The Healer of Guildenwood, Margaret Ann struggles to make a new life with a new name, Arwyn, in a world where elves, mortals, and dwarves live beneath a shadow of tyranny, groaning for redemption. Arwyn must carefully navigate her abilities in combat and the art of healing, which she learns from a mysterious old hermit who seems to know more about her than he willingly admits. And when she accidentally attracts the attention of a brutal dictator, Draigon, her new world becomes even more dangerous. Is she truly an elf, revered by some, feared and hated by the powers that be, or do her passionate tendencies hint at a mortal nature?

Elf or mortal, her soul was borrowed for a purpose she can scarcely imagine. Arwyn will either fall into despair over her lost life . . . or discover that which she was born to be.

Book Details:

Title: The Healer of Guildenwood 

Author: Mary E. Calvert

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Series: The Soultrekker Chronicles, book 1  

Publisher: Westbow Press (October 2016)

Print length: 288 pages


In book two of The Soultrekker Chronicles, Margaret Ann Shepherd, still under hypnosis with therapist Dr. Susan Renfroe, continues recounting memories of the night she lived an entire other life as the elven maiden, Arwyn, in the beautiful but troubled land of Bensor.

A perilous journey smuggling fugitive dwarves leads Arwyn to the enchanting realm of the elves, where a lukewarm reception by the elven lord, Valdir Velconium, a man plagued with secrets from his past, makes her wonder if she will ever find the place she truly belongs. Yet an unexpected meeting with an intriguing stranger challenges her resolve to aid the Alliance in its upcoming rebellion against the dictator, Draigon, forcing her to choose between two men who seek to win her heart. It is a choice between love and duty that could ultimately destroy Arwyn when Draigon springs a trap of his own.

Or, it could force Arwyn to do the unthinkable.

Book Details:

Title: The Secret of the Hold 

Author: Mary E. Calvert

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Series: The Soultrekker Chronicles, book 2

Publisher: Veritana Press, (January, 2019)

Print length: 390 pages



A few of your favorite things: Christmas lights, waterfalls, photo albums.
Things you need to throw out: My box collection. A good box is hard to throw out.

Things you need in order to write: A shower (in which to collect my thoughts).
Things that hamper your writing: Three teenage boys, a husband, two dogs, and a slight case of ADD

Things you love about writing: Figuring out another piece to the puzzle, whether it’s a word, a paragraph or an entire scene, and seeing it come together to create a beautiful picture that enhances the overall story and moves it forward.
Things you hate about writing: Coming up with unusual names of fantasy places and characters.

Easiest thing about being a writer: The commute
Hardest thing about being a writer:
Book marketing.

Things you love about where you live: Being unable to go two miles in any direction without running into a body of water.
Things that make you want to move: Wanting to live in a house that is actually on a body of water.

Things you never want to run out of: Chocolate, toilet paper.
Things you wish you’d never bought: All of those Donny and Marie Osmond albums from back in the 70s.

Words that describe you: Weird, Quirky, Friendly, Optimistic.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Quiet, Technically-challenged.

Favorite foods: Crab legs, steak, fried chicken, sautéed mushrooms, chocolate.
Things that make you want to throw up: Baked beans.

Favorite music or song: Anything Josh Groban, Old Sting and the Police, Contemporary Christian.
Music that make your ears bleed: Rap.

Favorite beverage: Coffee with flavored creamer.
Something that gives you a pickle face: Lemonade.

Favorite smell: Anything that reminds me of Christmas.

Something that makes you hold your nose: My son’s socks.

Something you’re really good at: Scrapbooking, Interior design/decorating
Something you’re really bad at: Technology

Something you wish you could do: Play the violin.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: Play the violin because, trust me, it’s not something you would ever want to hear me do.

Something you like to do: Travel, snow ski, water ski, scrapbook.

Something you wish you’d never done: The last dive on a trip to the British Virgin Islands in 2001, when I ended up with the bends and had to be airlifted to Puerto Rico for treatment in a hyperbaric chamber. Not a great way to end a vacation.

Last best thing you ate: Filet mignon

Last thing you regret eating: That same filet mignon, which sat in my stomach the following night like a brick .

Things you’d walk a mile for: A photo op.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: A room full of cobras, pit vipers, scorpions and black widow spiders (duh!).

Things you always put in your books: Symbolism
Things you never put in your books: Anything considered “R” rated.

Things to say to an author: “I LOVED your book!,” “I just wrote you a review on Amazon,” “When is your next book coming out?”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “I’ll be sure to write you a review on Amazon” (and then never do).

Favorite places you’ve been: Italy, Santorini, Greece, The Lake District of England, Disney World
Places you never want to go to again: Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Favorite books: Anything set in reality but with an element of fantasy, like the Outlander Series.

Books you would ban: Harlequin romances.

People you’d like to invite to dinner: Chip and Joanna Gaines
People you’d cancel dinner on: Most politicians.

Favorite things to do: Scrapbooking, decorating, traveling with my family
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: Scrubbing the bathroom, ironing.

Things that make you happy: Traveling with my family.
Things that drive you crazy: Wasting an hour or two getting sucked into social media or the news.

Proudest moment: Getting my first book published and people telling me they loved it!
Most embarrassing moment: Singing along to “Happy Birthday” and then realizing it was to ME it was being sung!

Biggest lie you’ve ever told: I was raised by apes in Africa.
A lie you wish you’d told: I’m sorry, but I’m busy this weekend. I have to go visit my uncle in prison.

Best thing you’ve ever done: Married my husband
Biggest mistake: Going on that date with that person I should’ve lied to.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: Putting life on hold to go live in Europe for a year
Something you chickened out from doing: Marrying the guy to whom I should’ve lied to get out of the date with.

The last thing you did for the first time: Went on a book tour.
Something you’ll never do again: Eat “Kaestur Hakarl,” also known as “rotten shark” in Iceland 


Mary E. Calvert grew up in Virginia, the daughter of a Baptist minister.  Even as a youngster, she had a propensity for telling stories and quickly became recognized in school for her writing abilities. Reading The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings in middle school changed the focus of her story telling, and she found herself making up the tale of a young woman from this world who suddenly pops into a fantasy world of magic, mystery, elves, dwarves and wizards. When in high school, she realized this story had taken on a life of its own and started to put it onto paper, spending hours over three summers locked away in her room on her typewriter. By the time it was completed, Mary was ready to move on to other challenges, so she put her fantasy novel away in her closet where it collected dust for years.

Realizing it would be difficult to make a living as an author, Mary went on to study psychology at Furman University and then on to get a master’s degree in counseling at the University of Georgia. For thirteen years, she worked as a psychotherapist in a psychiatric hospital for adolescents in Atlanta, Georgia. Over those years, she learned quite a bit about the human psyche, something that would later have an important influence over the development of the characters in her books. It was in 1997 when the idea struck to re-write the story she had written as a teen, only with more twists and turns and from a more adult perspective. The decision was enough to breathe new life in Mary, who determined to finally realize her dream of becoming a published author, and she set to work on re-writing her fantasy novel.

Soon afterward, Mary met her husband, dated, got married, had their first son, moved half-way across the country to Colorado, and then gave birth to their twins, all while grabbing tidbits of time here and there to write a page or two of her novel. In 2006, her masterpiece complete, she employed the services of an editor who informed her that no one would publish her book being the length it was and that it would be better as, say, a trilogy. But after receiving a succession of rejection letters from agents and publishers, Mary decided to take a break from writing to re-evaluate her story. Though discouraged, she was determined not to give up on her dream or the story she fully believed in. It was then that she decided to re-write all three books, telling the story in first-person point of view and deepening the message of the trilogy by weaving a spiritual element throughout.

In 2012, Mary and her husband, Rob, decided to take a break and move their family to Italy for a year of traveling, homeschooling, and immersing themselves in Italian culture. It was during this time, while living in a 300-year-old converted horse barn, that Mary went about the task of re-writing her books to reflect these changes. And she found that with the echo of her footsteps on cobblestone streets still ringing in her ears and the exhilaration of standing in a white-washed village clinging to a cliff above the Mediterranean still so fresh in her mind, it sent her writing to new heights. She returned to the states, ready to be published for real. The question now was “How?”

After another upheaval, which led her family to move from Colorado to the Midwest, Mary made the decision to self-publish her trilogy. Like most new authors who struggle with going it alone, Mary went with a “hybrid” publisher for her first book, The Healer of Guildenwood, Book One of the Soultrekker Chronicles, published in October, 2016. Having learned more about what to do and what not to do with the first book, and having been introduced to more seasoned authors who were able to walk her through the publishing process, Mary published the second book in her fantasy trilogy, , through KDP, Amazon’s self-publishing arm. She has just returned from her very first book tour and gets excited when she sees the growing number of positive, enthusiastic reviews for her books on Amazon. Mary looks forward to the release of the final book in the trilogy but also has a sequel to The Soultrekker Chronicles in mind, a story that follows the adventures of one of the trilogy’s characters upon coming to this world from the fantasy realm.

Connect with Mary:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, March 19, 2019



It all started with a chance encounter in the city with Blair, his late wife.

Chris Matheson and the Geezer Squad, working under the guise of a book club, dig into the events surrounding his late wife’s supposed death halfway around the globe. A state department employee shoots himself in the back three times. A CIA operative goes missing. A woman is targeted by an international assassin three years after being declared dead in a terrorist attack overseas. 

Nothing is as it seems.

In his most personal cold case, Chris fights to uncover why the state department told him that Blair, the mother of his children, had been killed when she was alive. What had she uncovered that has made her a target? Who terrified her so much that she had gone into hiding and why are they now after him?

Book Details:

Title: Winter Frost

Author: Lauren Carr

Genre: Mystery

Series: The Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries, book 2

Publisher: Acorn Book Services (January 28, 2019)

Print length: 290 pages



A few of your favorite things: Chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.
Things you need to throw out: Diet and exercise.

Things you need in order to write: A comfy chair and fully charged laptop.
Things that hamper your writing: Family members needing things.

Things you love about writing: Escape from the real world.
Things you hate about writing: Proofreading.

Easiest thing about being a writer: Writing
Hardest thing about being a writer:
Taking care of business.

Favorite beverage: Coffee with lots of sugar and mocha flavored cream.

Something that gives you a pickle face: Coffee without cream and sugar.

Something you’re really good at: Cooking. I’m a gourmet cook.

Something you’re really bad at: Cleaning up the kitchen after cooking a gourmet meal. (That’s the only reason I ditched the idea of becoming a caterer.)

Last best thing you ate: Chocolate marble cake with cream cheese frosting.

Last thing you regret eating: Chocolate marble cake with cream cheese frosting.

Things you always put in your books: Four-legged characters. I believe pets are as much a part of families as people. 

Things you never put in your books: Explicit sex and graphic violence just for the sake of sex and violence.

Things to say to an author: I love your books so much that I recommended them to my _____.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: Attached to this email, you will find a spreadsheet of the grammatical mistakes in all your books.

Favorite places you’ve been: Cruise of the Caribbean.

Places you never want to go to again: New York City.

Favorite things to do: Horseback riding
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: House Cleaning.

Most embarrassing moment: High School.

Proudest moment: Toss up between when my son won the county science fair, graduated high school, or got an article published in a national magazine.

Best thing you’ve ever done: Marry my husband
Biggest mistake: Put mustard on his cheeseburger a couple of weeks ago. (At least, that’s what he’s been telling me.)


CHECK OUT ICE (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery, book 1)



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

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and two spoiled rotten German shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

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

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble 

Sunday, March 17, 2019



Theodosia Browning serves tea and solves crimes in Charleston, a city steeped in tradition and treachery in the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs.

It is Sunday afternoon, and Theodosia and Drayton are catering a formal tea at a hot-air balloon rally. The view aloft is not only stunning, they are also surrounded by a dozen other colorful hot-air balloons. But as the sky turns gray and the clouds start to boil up, a strange object zooms out of nowhere. It is a drone, and it appears to be buzzing around the balloons, checking them out.

As Theodosia and Drayton watch, the drone, hovering like some angry, mechanized insect, deliberately crashes into the balloon next to them. An enormous, fiery explosion erupts, and everyone watches in horror as the balloon plummets to the earth, killing all three of its passengers.

Sirens scream, first responders arrive, and Theodosia is interviewed by the police. During the interview she learns that one of the downed occupants was Don Kingsley, the CEO of a local software company, SyncSoft. Not only do the police suspect Kingsley as the primary target, they learn that he possessed a rare Revolutionary War Union Jack flag that several people were rabidly bidding on.

Intrigued, Theodosia begins her own investigation. Was it the CEO’s soon-to-be ex-wife, who is restoring an enormous mansion at no expense? The CEO’s personal assistant, who also functioned as curator of his prized collection of Americana? Two rival antiques’ dealers known for dirty dealing? Or was the killer the fiancée of one of Theodosia’s dear friends, who turns out to be an employee—and whistle-blower—at SyncSoft?

Book Details:

Title: Broken Bone China

Author: Laura Childs

Genre: Cozy mystery

Series: A Tea Shop Mystery

Publisher: Berkley (March 5, 2019)

Print length: 336 pages


Things you need in order to write: Diet Coke, a bit of chocolate, and lots of quiet.
Things that hamper your writing: E-mails and phone calls.

Favorite music: Beach Boys, Rolling Stones. I saw both groups in concert this past year. Have tickets, will travel!
Music that makes your ears bleed: Polka music. Really guys, just really.

Favorite beverage: Good French red wine.
Something that gives you a pickle face: Cheap white wine.

Something you’re really good at: Marketing. I have a knack for knowing exactly how to promote a product.
Something you’re really bad at: Anything mechanical. Even a mousetrap baffles me.

Last best thing you ate: Truffle pizza.
Last thing you regret eating: 99 cent taco. But not because it didn’t taste good.

Things you always put in your books: Dogs.
Things you never put in your books: S – E – X. My cozy mysteries are G-rated, good for girls to grandmas.

Things to say to an author: Hi, will you sign my book?
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in the next book: Hi, when is your book coming out in paperback?

Favorite places you’ve been: Paris, London, Hong Kong, Bali.
Places you never want to go again: Beijing (because of the dangerous air quality!).

Favorite genre: Mysteries, thrillers, history, art history – basically all books.
Books you would ban: None. I don’t believe in banning books.

Things that make you happy:
Hearing from all my readers. They are my biggest inspiration to keep coming up with inventive and crazy new plots.
Things that drive you crazy: People who think I really don’t have to work at this.

Most embarrassing moment: Not getting picked for softball in 5th grade.
Proudest moment: Making the New York Times bestseller list – then doing it again and again.

Biggest lie you ever told: My agency partner and I were pitching an agricultural account and he told them my dad was a turkey farmer. I didn’t deny it. (Yes, we got the account)
A lie you wish you’d told: I wish I’d pitched Lorne Michaels of Saturday Night Live on my credibility as a comedy writer. (This was when I wrote some United Way public service spots that his cast recorded.)

Best thing you’ve ever done: Financed a dog training school for a good friend. (It’s still going gangbusters after 19 years!)
Biggest mistake: Should have bought more real estate.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: I started my own advertising agency when I was 29. All these older art directors and account guys warned me not to – they said it was too risky. At the end of my first year, I was earning twice what they were.
Something you chickened out from doing: Parachuting with my Uncle Bob to celebrate his 90th birthday.


Laura Childs is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbooking Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. Recently, Book Riot named her mysteries to their list of “25 of the All Time Best Cozy Mystery Series.” In her previous life Laura was CEO of her own marketing firm, authored several screenplays, and produced a reality TV show. She is married to Dr. Bob, a professor of Chinese art history, enjoys travel, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Connect with Laura: 

Website  |  Facebook 

Buy the book: 

Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble

Friday, March 15, 2019



A hook-up turned lethal. A spurned, angry cowboy. Can rebel Maggie turn the tables before a killer adds her to the list of lost causes?

Washed-up alt-country rocker-turned-junker Maggie Killian is pulled to Wyoming by an irresistible force . . . former bull rider Hank Sibley, the man who broke her heart fifteen years before. When she unexpectedly meets his Sunday school-teaching girlfriend at a saloon, Maggie seeks liquor-fueled oblivion between the sheets of a younger man’s bed. But after her beloved vintage truck breaks down and leaves her stranded in the Cowboy State, she learns her hook-up died minutes after leaving their rendezvous. Suddenly surrounded by men with questionable motives, Maggie searches for the murderer while fighting the electricity between herself and her old beau, and her new penchant for local whiskey.

When the police zero in on Maggie despite a disturbing series of break-ins at her guest cabin, she realizes she’s got no one to rely on but herself. To keep herself happily in bars instead of behind them, she must stop the killer before the cops realize the man she really suspects is a jealous, angry Hank.
Live Wire is the first standalone book in a trilogy featuring sharp-tongued protagonist Maggie Killian from the addictive What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery series. If you like nerve-racking suspense, electric characters and relationships, and juicy plot twists, then you’ll love USA Today best seller Pamela Fagan Hutchins’ Silver Falchion award-winning series.

Book Details:

Title: Live Wire

Author: Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Genre: Romantic Mystery

Series: What Doesn’t Kill You

Publisher: SkipJack Publishing, (March 6, 2019)

Print length: 207 pages


A Day in the Life of Maggie Killian, Star of Live Wire in the What Doesn’t Kill You world of romantic mysteries

Pamela: We’re here today with Maggie Killian, alt-country rocker-turned-junker. And I have to say, she’s wearing the coolest rodeo belt buckle I have ever seen. I hear she got it from that super hot champion bull rider Hank Sibley. (silence) Okay . . . Anyway, Maggie is the star of several books in my What Doesn’t Kill You world. Most recently, USA Today bestseller Buckle Bunny and the follow-up, Shock Jock. Now she’s tearing it up in Live Wire, with two more novels to come, Sick Puppy and Dead Pile.

Maggie interjects: Great. Just what I was hoping for. More intrusive writing about me.

Pamela: Readers, in case you’ve never had the pleasure, talking to Maggie has been described as a little like cuddling a porcupine.

Maggie (smiling): Thank you.

Pamela: So, if Live Wire is made into a movie, who would play you?

Maggie: Hopefully no famous sell out.

Pamela: I think Emmy Rossum would be great.

She’s not as bad as most. I like Shameless.

Pamela: I’ve heard you have the cutest house, ever.

Maggie (nods): Well, yeah, she’s a sexy beast.

Pamela: Tell us about her.

Maggie: Honestly, she was a piece of shit when I got her. It was a package deal, another way for my record label to rip me off by trading it to me for rights to my music and royalties: the land and everything on it, which turned out to include a barn, a shop, a magenta vintage Ford pickup, and the falling-down house. For a long time, I basically camped in her. The junk really spoke to me, and I repurposed a lot of it into the refurbished shop and opened Flown the Coop. Next, I got the truck running and spent years restoring it. Finally, once the shop started making money, I brought the house back up to code. Then, over the years, I decorated it and remodeled it in line with its farmhouse roots with pieces I found or created myself. When my birth mother passed—which is when I learned of her existence—I inherited her art collection. She was a painter and gallery owner. So I’ve added pieces that were gifts to her, and also priceless paintings by her.

Pamela: Sounds wonderful. Do you have a favorite?

Maggie: Front Porch Pickin’. It’s a joyfully melancholy painting of a guitarist. And of course it’s a Gidget Becker original. I keep it in my bedroom.

Pamela: Do you have a favorite room?

Maggie: The house is tiny, so there’s no modern open concept flowy element to it. It’s tight and cozy. For that reason, I like the kitchen best. It’s like a hug, which is what cooking is all about. Warmth and comfort. The cabinets are all reclaimed wood, painted and pickled. I have a skirted butcher block island in the middle. And the appliances are gas and electric, but they’re throwback style. And I have a big porcelain farm sink.

Pamela: What do you like to cook in there?

Maggie: Slabs of meat. I’m a carnivore.

Pamela: No veggies?

Maggie: To the extent they enhance the meat. Otherwise it’s just a waste of room on my plate.

Pamela: Dessert?

Maggie: If someone brings it. Then I prefer chocolate. I’m more of an expert in the cocktail making department.

Pamela: Care to share a recipe for your favorite?

Maggie: Sure. It’s really a two-part recipe. The cocktail, and the morning after cure.

Pamela (eyes widen): This sounds dangerous.

Maggie: So they say. (hands papers to Pamela) Here you go.

Pamela: Thanks. Now, if you would, take us through the typical Maggie day before we go.

Maggie (shrugs): Consume the hangover cure I just gave you. Shop estate sales. Work on old junk. Sell shit to collectors, decorators, and city folks who want to pretend they live in the country. Eat a slab of meat. Drink cocktails. On a good day, test the bed frame with a friend with benefits. Drink more cocktails. Start over at noon the next day.

Pamela: Friend with benefits?

Maggie: A person to have sex with. I don’t do relationships.

Pamela: What about Hank Sibley from Buckle Bunny?

Maggie: Not up for discussion.

Pamela: Oh, come on. He was the love of your life, wasn’t he?

Maggie (chair scrapes back): Love is bullshit. I told you I wouldn’t talk about him. I’m outta here. (Door shuts behind her as she leaves.)

Pamela: And . . . that was Maggie, folks. Recipes are below. Imbibe at your own risk.

Maggie’s Favorite Cocktail

One bottle Koltiska Liqueur
One cocktail glass

Pour two fingers. Sip. Keep sipping. When empty, pour four fingers. Take bigger sips. Repeat until everything feels peachy. For me, that’s when I quit thinking about that SOB Hank Sibley.

Maggie’s Hangover Cure

Sleep until noon. Drink a glass of water. Make and quickly consume Maggie’s Favorite Cocktail. Have someone whip you up some egg and chorizo breakfast tacos. Go back to bed. Second Maggie’s Favorite Cocktail optional.


Pamela Fagan Hutchins is a USA Today best seller. She writes award-winning romantic mysteries from deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and way up in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. She is passionate about long hikes with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs and riding her gigantic horses.

If you'd like Pamela to speak to your book club, women's club, class, or writers group, by Skype or in person, shoot her an e-mail. She's very likely to say yes.

You can connect with Pamela via e-mail (

Connect with Pamela:
Website  |  Facebook Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads  |  Newsletter sign-up  |  Bookbub  |  Amazon Author Page 

Buy the book

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019



In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore. But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more. The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune. As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.

Book Details:

Title: As Directed   

Author: Kathleen Valenti   

Genre: Mystery 

Series: A Maggie O'Malley Mystery, book 3

Publisher: Henery Press (March 12, 2019)

Print length: 282 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours


Things you need in order to write:
I need caffeine and quiet. In that order. I admire those who write with a gallon of water at hand, or those who have musical play lists for each scene. Me? I prefer a steaming cup of coffee and the sound of my fingers hitting the keyboard.
Things that hamper your writing: Interruptions are the writer’s bane—at least for this writer. Once I’m pulled out of the story, it’s difficult to find my way back in. 

Favorite foods: Licorice tops the list. (Black, of course. Any other color isn’t really licorice.) That’s followed by pizza, Doritos, and ice cream. (Yeah, I’m a real health nut!)
Things that make you want to throw up: I can’t stand lima beans. I’m told there are ways to prepare them that make them absolutely delicious. Let’s just say I’m a bit skeptical.

Favorite music: Despite my rather mild-mannered exterior, I’m a die-hard Led Zeppelin fan. Give me "Dyer Maker" or "Over the Hills and Far Away," and I’m happy.
Music that makes your ears bleed: I’m not a country-western fan. It’s just not my cup of tea. Or chicory.

Something you wish you could do: I wish I could sew! I envy my friends who can whip up beautiful creations with their sewing machines.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: I wish I’d never learned to use our semi-fancy coffeemaker. Why? Because it’s now my job to make the coffee!

Things you’d walk a mile for: I’d walk, run, hike—whatever—for a friend in need.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: I’m horrified by the very idea of public speaking and actually having to do so makes me want to run screaming from the room. I control myself, but it is tempting!

Things you always put in your books: My books always include humor and witty dialogue. 

Things you never put in your books: I don’t have sexy-time scenes in my books. I can’t read or write them!

Things to say to an author: “I couldn’t put your book down!”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “You’re an author? What a nice hobby.”

Favorite genre: Mystery, suspense and thriller top the list. 

Books you would ban: I’m not into book-banning, but I doubt romance or science fiction will make their way to the top of my TBR pile.

Things that make you happy: I love spending time with family and friends. 

Things that drive you crazy: People who refuse to use their turn signals drive me bonkers! (Although my own father counseled me against using them!)

Most embarrassing moment: En route to a band performance, I sat in a pile of M&Ms while wearing white pants. The result was…colorful. 

Proudest moment: Having a book nominated for an Agatha and Lefty award was my proudest moment.

Best thing you’ve ever done: Having children was the best thing I’ve ever done.
Biggest Mistake: My mistake list is pretty long, but not all that interesting. One recent, amusing mistake was failing to put the flour in the banana bread I was baking. Whoopsie!

Most daring thing you’ve ever done:
I took flying lessons until I realized that I didn’t really want to become a pilot.

Something you chickened out from doing: I refused to go night shipwreck scuba diving with my husband. Yeah, I don’t regret that decision.


Protocol, book 1
39 Winks, book2


Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running.

Connect with Kathleen:

Website  |   Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads Amazon 

Buy the book:

Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble   |  iTunes  |   Kobo 

Monday, March 11, 2019



It's a sad day for librarian Nina Foster when she discovers her good friend, bookstore owner Wildeen Bergman, dead on her office floor. Worse yet, another friend, romance writer Zelma Duke, becomes the police's prime suspect. Nina knows Wildeen had something on Zelma. Was it enough to warrant murder? Handsome Stephen Kraslow, owner of the local newspaper, joins forces with Nina to find out the truth. The quest takes them on a dangerous journey of twists and turns before they reach the final outcome.

Book Details:

Title: Murder Between the Pages  

Author’s name: Linda Hope Lee

Genre: Cozy Mystery    

Series: The Nina Foster Mystery Series, book 1

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press (December 19, 2018)

Page count: 253 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours



A few of your favorite things: My children’s book collection; my wire-haired fox terrier collection (figurines, pictures, etc.).
Things you need to throw out: Clothing I no longer wear

Things you need in order to write: My computer, of course, or paper and pencil. Every once in a while, I like to write a scene or section of a novel in longhand. 
Things that hamper your writing: The pull to engage in other activities I enjoy, such as drawing and watercolor painting.  I’ve often joked about wishing to clone myself so that I could do several things at the same time.  

Things you love about writing: Getting to know the characters that have popped into my head and want their stories to be told. They always surprise me with things I never would guess about them. I like to use places I have visited—especially small towns—and populate them with fictional characters, creating something that is part real and part made-up.
Things you hate about writing: Facing the blank page and writing the first draft. Once that is done, I can have fun with the story.

Easiest thing about being a writer: Writing may be done without much preparation; all I need is the computer or notebook.
Hardest thing about being a writer: Facing the blank page (see above). 

Things you love about where you live: With the mountains and the water all within short driving distance, the Pacific Northwest has a lot to offer. I love the small town setting, and the big city (Seattle) is close by.
Things that make you want to move: When it rains for days on end and the sun doesn’t shine.

Things you never want to run out of: Art supplies: paints, colored pencils and pens, pastels, anything needed to make art.
Things you wish you’d never bought: Art supplies I don’t need. Spotting a new, pristine set of pencils, for example, is a temptation, even though I might already have other sets at home. 

Favorite foods: Salmon (always available in Pacific North West, and so many ways to prepare it); fruit (especially pears and blueberries); coleslaw (especially with fish).  
Things that make you want to throw up: Not throw up, exactly, but I am allergic to soy beans.

Favorite music: Rhythm and Blues; some Country-Western.
Music that make your ears bleed: I’d have to say Heavy Metal.

Favorite beverage: Mint herbal tea.

Something that gives you a pickle face: Not crazy about pesto.

Something you’re really good at: Organizing (comes from being a librarian). The main character librarian in Murder Between the Pages is the same. If she happens to see a shelf of haphazardly arranged books, for example, she will want to organize them. Order is all important. 

Something you’re really bad at: Math. Anything beyond the basics and my eyes glaze over.

Things you always put in your books: If the story is a romance, I always include a scene in which the hero and heroine dance together.

Things you never put in your books: Onstage violence. That’s one of the rules of a cozy—any violence happens offstage. I followed that rule for my other books, too.

Favorite places you’ve been: Places within driving distance include Leavenworth (picturesque Bavarian-style town in Washington State); Semiahmoo (favorite resort, near Canadian border); Lynden (Dutch-style town, also near border); oceanside towns in Washington, such as Long Beach and Ocean Park. These all are great settings for stories, some of which I have already used. 

Places you never want to go to again: Places that are not pet-friendly. My trips are by car, and the dog goes, too.

Things that make you happy: Writing  (most of the time); doing art; taking care of the current dog. I’ve owned only wire-haired fox terriers. Pearl, is number 8. Several of them have been rescues and two were show dogs (not shown by me). I’ve bred only one, the first I owned, and kept one of the puppies. 

Things that drive you crazy: Drivers who speed through my otherwise quiet residential neighborhood, especially when dog and I are taking our afternoon walk.


Linda Hope Lee lives in the Pacific Northwest. She had written contemporary, romantic suspense, and mystery. Murder Between the Pages is her first cozy. In addition to writing, she enjoys watercolor painting, photography, collecting children’s books and anything to do with wire-haired fox terriers.

Connect with Linda:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Saturday, March 9, 2019



Cape May, New Jersey is the site of a big culinary competition—and the knives are out . . .

Poppy McAllister is happy about opening a Jersey Shore B&B—but working in a professional kitchen has always been her real dream. Now it’s coming true, at least briefly, as she teams up with her former fiancée, Tim—and his condescending partner, Gigi—during the high-profile Restaurant Week challenge. Poppy’s specialty is pastries, despite her devotion to a Paleo diet. But if anyone can make glorious gluten-free goodies, it’s Poppy.

Things get heated quickly—especially when some ingredients get switched and Tim’s accused of sabotage. Relatively harmless pranks soon escalate into real hazards, including an exploding deep fryer. And now one of the judges has died after taking a bite of Poppy’s cannoli—making her the chef suspect . . .  

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

Book Details:

Title: Restaurant Weeks Are Murder   

Author: Libby Klein   

Genre: Cozy mystery

Series: A Poppy McAllister Mystery, book 3

Publisher: Kensington (February 26, 2019)

Print length: 304 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours


A few of your favorite things: My fur babies, French press coffee, my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, Rose vanilla body scrub, UGGS, fuzzy blankets, and my award winning book, Dayton the Rabbit (2nd place in the fourth grade creative writing contest)
Things you need to throw out: Twenty-seven pairs of socks with holes in them.
Clothes that I haven’t fit into for thirty-five years.
Self-esteem issues.
Receipts from 1989 – I just know I’ll be audited if I get rid of them.

Things you love about writing: I love laughing at things my characters say and do. Aunt Ginny is always surprising me.
Things you hate about writing:
I hate when the day job gets in the way. I have an anxiety attack just thinking about missing a deadline.

Things you never want to run out of: Coffee, Peanut butter, bacon
Things you wish you’d never bought: Quinoa – this tastes nothing like rice
Tofu – what was I thinking?
Psyllium husk bread – just no.

Favorite foods: Peanut butter, chocolate, pasta, cheese, bread, TOAST
Things that make you want to throw up: Seafood, organ meats, snails, kombucha

Favorite music: I love Motown, 70s Rock, 80s Hair bands, Alternative – Right now my favorite artists are Imagine Dragons and 21 Pilots.
Music that make your ears bleed: Rap, Acid, Folk.

Favorite beverage: Coffee! But I’ve recently fallen in love with Thai iced tea. OMG
Something that gives you a pickle face: Green Tea – yuck!

Something you’re really good at: Baking, Dancing with an aerobics video.
Something you’re really bad at: Knitting, crochet, needlework, throwing a ball, dancing without an aerobics video

Things you always put in your books: Humor – We have enough sadness in the world.
Body Confidence themes – We need to learn to love ourselves just the way we are.
Feel good themes – I want my readers to finish my books happy and uplifted.

Things you never put in your books: Animal cruelty.

Things to say to an author: I loved your book. It meant so much to me on a deep, personal level. 
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: You had a mistake on page 284.

Favorite places you’ve been: French Polynesia, Paris, Venice, Maui, Scotland
Places you never want to go to again: Pisa, North Hollywood, The Piggly Wiggly in Bonifay, Florida.

People you’d like to invite to dinner: Carol Burnett, Betty White, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson
People you’d cancel dinner on: Every single political Talk Show host – if I want drama and unbridled opinion sharing I’ll invite my family over.

Best thing you’ve ever done: 
Cooking lessons in Paris.
Biggest mistake: Helicopter tour over Kauai where I learned the meaning of motion sickness.


Libby Klein graduated Lower Cape May Regional High School sometime in the '80s. Her classes revolved mostly around the culinary sciences and theater, with the occasional nap in Chemistry. She loves to drink coffee, bake gluten free goodies, and befriend random fluffy cats. She writes from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard. Most of her hobbies revolve around eating, and travel, and eating while traveling.

Connect with Libby:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

Buy the book:

Amazon Barnes & Noble

Thursday, March 7, 2019



MERIDIAN’S curse has left her in a state all her own of amnesia. She is on Earth lost and afraid with only fragments to piece together her mysterious circumstance. The curse has taken the unimaginable from her, but that is just scratching the surface. The Black Widow curse will reveal itself through the demon’s riddle, the Coven and the Fairy Nymphs.

A trip back to Salem is just what the psychic ordered, but treachery lurks with an ex coven member who calls on demons. The demon realm offers more riddles than answers, but a stroke of luck from the high demon court, brings in a sophisticated demon, Lahash who has grown tired of the games.
The curse hides Meridian’s identity and her memory will unlock the Universal secret of her twin soul to find her way home. As Meridian finds Aiden so do the impacts of her curse and what it could do to their budding relationship.

Meridian’s soul and fate are in the cross hairs, while the odds rise between the demons, witches and the fairies.

Finally having found Aiden, the Fairy Queen comes through to send aid to Meridian, but she still doubts herself and contemplates running away from it all. Who is Meridian’s twin soul? Will she go back to Etheria or will the curse reign down on Meridian?

Find out in this dark and twisted paranormal romance.

Book Details:

Title: Meridian Chronicles: Black Widow Curse & The Coven

Author: M.D. Fryson

Publisher: AMF Publishing (September 29, 2018)

Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Meridian Chronicles, book 2

Print length: 408 pages

On tour with: Pump Up Your Book


Hall of Souls & The Book of the Fairies (#1)
Black Widow Curse & The Coven (#2)
Fairy Nymphs & The Demon Court (#3) 2019
Book 4 TBA 2020


M.D. Fryson is a wife and mom to three boys. She is an animal lover especially horses that she used to ride, train and show. Someday she will do it once more!

Her favorite books are anything astrology, self help, motivation, romance and humor.

She loves chocolate, coffee, her family (not in that order), and the beach.

Madelyn likse to garden, hike, jog, swim and travel. Her oldest two boys tell her she is weird, as they laugh, and she thinks that is a good thing. She is told she is witty and sarcastic, and she believes that comes out in her writing.

The third installment to this series comes out September, 2019 and she is nearly finished with the last book to the series that comes out in 2020.

Connect with Madelyn:
Website  |  Twitter

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, March 5, 2019



Have you ever asked yourself the question . . . what is the true nature of reality and what is my place in it?

John Forelli went to Peru in search of the answer. Waiting for him in the Sacred Valley was a hut, a psychoactive brew called ayahuasca, and a beautiful woman.

Presented with photographs of Peru from the ancient alleys of Cusco to the dizzying heights of Machu Picchu, Ayahuasca in the Age of Donald Trump is a spiritual quest within a travel memoir.

It is the true story of John’s trip—the journey of a lifetime.

Book Details:

Author: John Forelli

Genre: Narrative non-fiction

Published: March 8, 2019

Print length: 342 pages


Things you need in order to write: Inspiration.
Things that hamper your writing: The lack thereof. 

Things you love about writing: Everything!
Things you hate about writing: I don’t hate anything about writing!

Easiest thing about being a writer: Actually doing the writing. I can write all day long. 

Hardest thing about being a writer: Finding inspiration.

Things you never want to run out of: Coffee.
Things you wish you’d never bought: Gucci shoes. Expensive and unnecessary. 

Words that describe you: Calm. Thoughtful. Observant.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Human.

Favorite foods: Steak. Chocolate.
Things that make you want to throw up: Anything with vinegar.

Favorite song: "Hotel California."
Music that make your ears bleed: I’ll listen to anything!

Favorite smell: Snow. The ocean. Freshly cut grass. 

Something that makes you hold your nose: Ax body spray.

Something you’re really good at: Writing.

Something you’re really bad at: Doing the same thing day after day for years.

Something you like to do: Listen to music. 

Something you wish you’d never done: I have no regrets in life. Everything I’ve ever done has brought me to this moment, and in this moment I am happy.

People you consider as heroes: Anthony Bourdain. Buddha. Tiesto. 

People with a big L on their foreheads: Donald Trump, which is partially what the book’s about.

Things you’d walk a mile for: A view.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: Pointless conversation.

Favorite places you’ve been: Machu Picchu (which I talk about in the book). The Grand Canyon. Lake Tahoe. 

Places you never want to go to again: I can go anywhere and have fun.

People you’d like to invite to dinner: Barack Obama. The Dalai Lama.

People you’d cancel dinner on: Donald Trump.

Things that make you happy: Thinking, listening, and smiling. 

Things that drive you crazy: People who don’t think, listen, or smile.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: Go to Peru and drink ayahuasca. 

Something you chickened out from doing: Skydiving, though I plan on doing that eventually.


The Simulations 
One Woman Two Towers 
Finding DJ Macguffin 


John is an avid reader and traveler who calls Philadelphia home (go birds). You can follow his travels on Instagram. 

Connect with John:
Website  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  | Amazon

Buy the book:


Sunday, March 3, 2019



The Hardy Boys meets The Phantom Tollbooth, in the new century! When two adventurous cousins accidentally extend the last day of summer by freezing time, they find the secrets hidden between the unmoving seconds, minutes, and hours are not the endless fun they expected.

Otto and Sheed are the local sleuths in their zany Virginia town, masters of unraveling mischief using their unmatched powers of deduction. And as the summer winds down and the first day of school looms, the boys are craving just a little bit more time for fun, even as they bicker over what kind of fun they want to have. That is, until a mysterious man appears with a camera that literally freezes time. Now, with the help of some very strange people and even stranger creatures, Otto and Sheed will have to put aside their differences to save their town—and each other—before time stops for good.

Book Details:

Title: The Last Last-Day-of-Summer

Author: Lamar Giles

Genre: YA Fantasy

Age Range: 10 - 12 years

Grade Level: 5 – 7

Publisher: Versify (April 2, 2019)

Print length: 304 pages


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

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer
is the first book in an ongoing series so readers are coming in at exactly the right time. In this book, we’re dropping in on a pair of seasoned 11-year-old adventurers named Otto and Sheed as they’re about to embark on their strangest adventure yet—a town frozen in time (thanks to them!). It’s a wild ride with wild characters and hopefully the start of a long love affair with these guys.

Q: Do you have another job outside of writing?

I’m a Most-Time Writer. My other part-time jobs include traveling across the country to speak to eager readers, and teaching in the Spalding University low-res MFA program. 

Q: Where did you grow up?

A town called Hopewell in Virginia. It’s 20 miles south of the state capital, Richmond.

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

A Helly-Hansen sailing jacket when I was in high school. Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan wore one in a video, and so I thought it would be a cool thing to have, but it cost like $200 bucks, fit poorly, and just looked dumb. Lesson learned.

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

Treating people like gold is better than actual gold. I don’t know who told me that, but I think it’s true.

Q: Who would you pick to write your biography?

Jason Reynolds. Let just be honest, he’d make me sound way cooler than I actually am.

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

Don’t waste time trying to impress people who don’t like you and likely never will. The people who get you are your tribe.

Q: What makes you nervous?

Public Speaking (says the guy who speaks publicly 50+ times a year).

Q: What makes you happy?

My wife.

Q: What makes you scared?


Q: What makes you excited?


Q: How did you meet your spouse?

We met in college in 1999. I was a junior, she was a freshman, and she came to my apartment because her parents knew my roommate's parents and they told her to stop by and say hi so she’d know someone on campus. We became friendly and started dating a few years later.

Q: If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?

The hard drive (yikes!).

Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes? 

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?

A Caribbean cruise ship.

Q: Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
Otto and Sheed are probably analogs of me and my cousin AJ. We grew up together in a small Virginia town, and when we’d hang out on the weekends it always felt like an adventure to me.

Q: With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?

Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Stephen King, Ryan Coogler, and Shonda Rhimes.

Q: What book are you currently reading and in what format?

Sadie by Courtney Summers, e-book.

Q: If you could be a ghostwriter for any famous author, whom would you pick?

Stephen King. His work was very formative for me. It’s not like he’d ever need the help, but I’m here for him. LOL!

Q: Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?

Appomatox Regional Library, Hopewell, Virginia branch. I love it because it was my first library. The original building was demolished a long time ago, but the upgraded building is beautiful, so if I had to name some I love, it’s all the windows that let in a lot of natural light.

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

Easy. Spiderman. I think webslinging through New York would be the coolest thing ever.

Q: What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?

I saw a review once that said something like “this writer is just dumb.” How did I deal? I probably ate some gummi bears (go-to comfort snack) and kept it moving.

Q: What would your dream office look like?

Okay, so it would be more like a suite. There would be stairs that lead up from my kitchen to this space over the garage. The main area would have a TV/couch, then there’d be a corridor that leads to the actual office area which wouldn’t be huge—I don’t need a lot of space—just cozy. Also, I’d have a full private bathroom across the hall. No, I haven’t thought about these detailed layout a lot…lol!

Q: Why did you decide to publish with Versify?

Kwame Alexander, the founder of the Versify Imprint, contacted me personally to ask if I’d like to write for him. First, what an honor! Second, who would say no? It was an easy decision.

Q: Are you happy with your decision to self-publish with Versify?

Absolutely. There’s a freedom and trust with the Versify team that allows me to write the weirdest stuff in the world without any reservations on their part. I don’t know if every publisher would be up for such a gamble. I’m very grateful to be a part of this imprint.





Fake ID 


Lamar Giles is a well-published author and a founding member of We Need Diverse Books.  Lamar has two novels forthcoming in 2019: his debut middle grade fantasy The Last Last-Day-Of-Summer (Versify / HMH) and his fourth YA thriller Spin (Scholastic).

Lamar Giles is a two-time Edgar Award finalist in the YA category, for his debut YA thriller Fake ID   (HarperCollins, 2014), and his second YA thriller, Endangered (HarperCollins, 2015). His third YA thriller, Overturned (Scholastic, 2017) received this glowing New York Times review, and was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2017. You can see the book trailer for Overturned here. Fake ID has been optioned by Sony Pictures.

Lamar is a contributor to the YA anthology Three Sides Of A Heart (HarperCollins, 2017), the editor of the We Need Diverse Books YA short story anthology Fresh Ink (Random House 2018), a contributor to the forthcoming YA Anthology Black Enough: Stories Of Being Young & Black In America (HarperCollins / Balzer & Bray 2019), and a contributor to a forthcoming We Need Diverse Books middle grade anthology The Hero Next Door (Random House 2019). He has published several short stories for adults. You can see TV interviews with Lamar here, and here, and here, and in a truly fun “Fun Facts” short interview, created by HarperCollins.

Connect with the author:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  

Buy the book:
Amazon   |  Barnes & Noble  |  Indiebound  |  Hudson Booksellers