Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Author: Jessica Ashley Dafoe

Jessica Ashley Dafoe is on tour with CLP Blog Tours and she's here today with a guest post and an excerpt from her novel, The Tantalizing Tale of a Bitter Sweetheart. Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway for a $35 Amazon gift card at the end of the post.

About the book:

Successful, lucky in love, taking the world by storm?.....not quite. Portia Delaney is down on her luck, disgruntled in a dead end, mind- numbing career with little prospects and is not even close to finding a stimulating romance to take her mind off her lack-luster situation. Her defeatist attitude and unmistakable idiosyncrasies don’t help much either. 

But with rock bottom comes a choice, lie down and enjoy the cold and barren ground beneath, or climb that ladder of success to the top. Portia finally sets out to do just that. With a fantastic group of friends and a bit of fateful circumstance on her side, she begins her trek up and out of the despair filled trenches. But Portia soon finds out that with success, often comes hardships and unwelcome competition.

Guest Post 

by Jessica Ashley Dafoe

Leading Ladies of Inspiration

It is interesting that after taking a moment to reflect about all of the novels I have read over the years, and to select from those my most favourite of all, those that stand out among the others are of course novels which focus on a somewhat lost and inadvertently helpless, even seemingly hopeless, female heroine.

My love for Jane Austen and her romantically charged tales, which are plotted around the stringent rules in regards to class structure and expected decorum of her day, has been strong and true since the tender age of 14 when I picked up Pride and Prejudice for the first time. It most certainly was not the last time I would flip through its pages. I have read that novel countless times and with each read through it feels as though it's my first perusal. There is a magic behind Austen's writing.

It seems as though with each read the true agony I imagine to have been felt by Elizabeth Bennet during her passionate and heated exchanges with Mr. Darcy is more and more identifiable. Her yearning for him, so muddled by her confusion and misinterpretation of his intentions, leaves a young woman like myself feeling just as gutted and despairing as the adrift heroine seems to feel. The eloquent language and incredibly developed characters left me infatuated with the genius behind the work. I will forever view Austen as an icon to English literature. I must say, as a side note, that when I lived in London, England for a year, I fell head over heels for the great (x many) grandnephew of the very legend herself. Romance is in the Austen line, and this was proven to be the case as our relationship continued through the entirety of my time there. I suppose I may have been starry eyed from the get-go after being made aware of his connection to my icon.

The Brontes have also made a tremendous impact on my literary experience. Out of the three it is Charlotte's Jane Eyre which I esteem above the others. In Grade 12 English class I was asked to complete an independent study followed by a seminar presentation on this very novel. That seminar ran 30 minutes longer than allotted simply because I did not feel that only touching on the major events in the novel would do it justice. My seminar turned into ‘Story Time with Jessica’ as I verbally recounted the entire action of the plot right up to the mysterious unveiling in the final chapters. My English teacher at the time gave me an "A" even though I sorely misjudged the timing of the presentation. The "A" grade was allocated due to the enthusiasm with which I shared the extremely accurate and exact details of the plot. Jane Eyre, much like Pride and Prejudice is a novel I picked up to read and re-read many times over the years. The isolation and rejection initially experienced by a young Jane produces such compassion and sympathy. The seemingly pathetic, plain abandoned girl's journey is one of great victory in the face of uncertainty.
'I am not an angel,' I asserted; 'and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself. Mr. Rochester, you must neither expect nor exact anything celestial of me - for you will not get it, any more than I shall get it of you: which I do not at all anticipate."
-Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre

Finally, and this may seem a far cry from the two writing styles that I have previously focused on and deemed as being partly responsible for my inspiration to write my debut novel, yet Sophie Kinsella has managed to entertain and inspire me with her frivolous and witty tales involving female protagonists such as Rebecca Bloomwood. In The Secret Confessions of a Shopoholic, Becky is a hopeless wreck and not only that, she's got a keen eye for fashion. She is simply a character that I easily identified with as it was during my early-twenties that I discovered her; a time when my finances were in a dire situation, straight out of university with little to no income and still living at home with my parents. I had a love for shopping and not a spare dime to act on my impulse with. 

Kinsella made light of a horrendous situation in the life of Becky and the humour allowed me to escape from the less than perfect situation I found myself in. I continue to this day to be a hardcore Kinsella fan, ensuring to pick up a copy of her latest book as soon as it hits the shelves. Yes, Shopaholic to the Stars is next on my ‘To Read’ list!

"Ok, don't panic. Don't panic. It's only a VISA bill. It's a piece of paper; a few numbers. I mean, just how scary can a few numbers be?"-Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic

I suppose the main character of my novel The Tantalizing Tale of a Bitter Sweetheart, encompasses aspects of all three female protagonists mentioned. Portia’s dream is much like that of Elizabeth's, her journey is much like that of Jane's and she is quirky, impulsive and somewhat of a mess, just like Becky Bloomwood. I love her just the same and am sure you all will too!

Excerpt from The Tantalizing Tale of a Bitter Sweetheart

“Portia!! Portia!! Get up already! You’re about a zillion minutes late for your first day. Come on you lazy imp!”

Oh, I hate being torn out of a lovely slumber when I’m in the middle of the most wonderful dream; woken up by the horrendous bellowing of none other than my meddling, unbearable roommate, Minnie. The dream was perfection, and waking to a reality that can only be described as the exact opposite of perfection, is highly undesirable, yet this similar feeling each morning as I come to, has been my lot in life.

I slowly open one eye to see a familiar, thin, curly haired red head glaring at me from my bedroom doorway. I quickly shut it and feign being back in a deep sleep. Why oh why can’t I wake up to a dark haired, charming and handsome man as opposed to this?

“I saw that, Portia Delaney!” she sounds frustrated. “Not only are you late, but you’re making me late too, because I’m doing my duty as your friend and roommate to be sure that you don’t screw this one up! Now get on with it! Up, up, up!”

At this point she has found her way to the bottom of my bed and is now dragging me by my perfectly pedicured feet, because you never know when you may end up on a date with a gentleman who is won over by a well-cared for set of tootsies, (although I haven’t been on a date with a “gentleman” in over 6 months), and has just about gotten me to the point of full on bailing off the bed when I give in.

“OK! OK! You maniac! I’m up and I can be ready in 5 minutes flat, so get your skinny rear out of my room and let me get myself together. Thank you and please be on your way now.” I quickly jump to my feet after Minnie has unhanded them, and sternly guide her out into the hall slamming the door behind her. “Have a lovely day!” I manage to say in a sharp and clearly irritated voice.

Minnie is a workaholic, freakishly organized, highly paid executive at an ad agency. Why she still wants or needs a roommate is beyond me. I suppose it’s because work is her life and any ounce of energy she has, she wants to be poured into her career, not her home life or even love life for that matter. Minnie is the power-hungry career oriented woman who honestly, no word of a lie, could not give a damn whether she ever marries or has a family of her own. Sometimes I wish I had that mindset, because I, Portia Delaney, am ever hopelessly focused on finding that one soul mate.

Now what? Dressed, yes I must choose an outfit for the first day at yet another mind-numbing, low paying office job at yet another medical office. I really want to be styling the rich and famous, not to mention designing clothes that are intended to be strutted down the runways of Paris and Milan; not to be stuck in a dead end job that has me working for pompous and self- absorbed doctors, who get to drive off in their luxury cars and head home to their glamorous trophy wives not to mention who give absolutely no notice of the front desk help. Why didn’t I listen to my heart instead of my nagging parents?

Alright, outfit, yes outfit. Well this is the most inexcusable tidbit of all. I’m here selecting an outfit for a first day at a job where my only selection can be from an assortment of various coloured scrubs, when I want to be making a selection between Gucci and Versace. Lavender it is, I suppose. With that disgruntled decision made, I reach for my terribly ordinary lavender scrubs, quickly pull them on, jet into the bathroom and whisk a brush through my hair while applying a pinch of foundation and blush. A bit of tinted lip gloss and a quick once over with the toothbrush and I’m set to go. Yes to go to my...well...bore of a career. Pay increase or not, just the thought of getting compensated to give up my dreams on a daily basis makes my stomach turn, and anxiety take over.

“But enough of this negativity Portia Delaney” I say out loud to my reflection in the hall mirror, “You are a successful, adorable, intelligent, creative and inspirational woman with amazing potential. For you nothing is impossible!” Ok, so do I actually believe this bunk...not a word. My shrink surely is trying to make me think I do, but let’s face it I’m at rock bottom with S.O.S. carved in the sand and flare guns blazing.

I suppose, however, there is nowhere to go but up.  Work is blah, love life is blah, family life is… well, is what it is. My friends are mostly amazing, but sometimes having great friends, who seem to have it all together, just help to highlight everything lacking in your own life. With that summation of my view on my life circumstance, I slip on my god awful, yet comfy crocs, grab my Mark Jacobs purse, because I must still demonstrate some good taste in my daily wardrobe, and strut out the door while working those lavender scrubs to the max.

About the author:

Jessica Ashley Dafoe resides in Toronto where she is an educator by day and a literary enthusiast and writer by night. She attained her BA in English Literature at The University of Ottawa and her B Ed at Brock and Queen’s University. 

When Jessica does not have her nose in a book or is not scribbling out her ideas for her newest tantalizing tales, she's most likely keeping busy trying out various exciting activities and delicious cuisine that the great city of Toronto has to offer or planning her next getaway to her immediate destination of choice. The traveling bug bites her often.

 A romantic comedy addict to the core, she enjoys all things silly, frivolous and emotionally endearing which is the reason she writes stories that encompass all of these qualities. 

Connect with Jessica:
Twitter | Linkedin | Goodreads | Google+

Buy the Book:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Guest Post with Susan Daffron

How Did You Get Here?

by Susan Daffron

In reviews, readers often comment about the town of Alpine Grove, which although imaginary does have some similarities to the small town where I live in northern Idaho. I even had one reader say she wants to move to Alpine Grove. There's no doubt that many people would love to move to a small town for the peace, quiet and sense of community.

I know I did.

In both my first novel, Chez Stinky, and the second, Fuzzy Logic, the main characters are actually transplants from somewhere else who subsequently fall in love with small town life and decide to stay.

I think that's true of many small towns. Where I live in Idaho, I have met only a few "natives" that actually grew up in this area. As a result, a popular topic of conversation is "how did you end up here?" Realistically, a town of 7,000 people is not exactly an employment mecca, so in most cases people have specifically chosen to live here.

Because it is such a key question in small towns, my books also include the answer to the question, "how did you get here?" as story elements. In Chez Stinky, Kat Stevens had been a tech writer but inherits a house in Alpine Grove. In Fuzzy Logic, Jan Carpenter graduates from college with a degree in library science and can't find a job anywhere except at the tiny Alpine Grove library, which it turns out she loves.

Most of the people I have met here in Idaho have a similar story. They move out here to the middle of nowhere, decide they love it, and never want to leave. We started a business so we could move here in the first place and not be dependent on the (nonexistent) local economy. Since 1996, technology has made it possible for us to do freelance work from our bedroom offices in our log home in the woods. Even with feeble bandwidth that makes other people cringe, we have managed to find ways to make money for almost two decades and through two nasty recessions.

In much the same way, the characters in all three of my novels have to figure out a way to continue to live in their small town of Alpine Grove. So readers, be advised that the little town of Alpine Grove is likely to turn into quite a little hotbed of entrepreneurial activity!

Excerpt from Fuzzy Logic

This is part of the scene where the main character, Jan, is on the plane to San Diego. She explains to the person in the seat next to her why she is taking the trip.

Ethel tilted her head, causing the ossified bluish curls on her head to shift in an unnatural way. “Why are you going to San Diego?”

Jan sighed a little too loudly. Maybe Ethel wouldn’t notice. “My mother is getting married.”

Ethel straightened in her seat and leaned closer to Jan. “That’s wonderful! I love weddings. Who is the lucky man?  What does he do? Are you excited? It’s beautiful to see such an expression of love. Where are they getting married?”

It was apparent that Ethel had not been retrieving breath mints out of her suitcase. Jan replied slowly, “Well, they are getting married on the beach. The man was actually her next-door neighbor many years ago. I knew him when I was growing up.” Jan shrugged. “I don’t know if I’m excited exactly. But it will probably be interesting.”

“Interesting? But weddings are so gorgeous. The flowers! The lovely food! How can you not just adore that?”

Jan twisted in her seat, leaning her back away toward the window. If she were any farther away from Ethel, she’d be outside the plane. Discussing anything related to her mother was never fun. “My mother tends to do things differently, I guess.”

“What do you mean differently? It’s a wedding! There are traditions. People say vows!”

“Well, I think for one thing, there will be a puppet show.”

The woman looked slightly taken aback, but then smiled knowingly. “Oh, is it one of those sex-puppet shows? I’ve never seen that at a wedding. But it could be fun.”

Jan didn’t know what a sex-puppet show was. And she didn’t want to know. She’d seen way too many puppet shows in her lifetime as it was. “No, no, nothing like that. My mother was on local children’s television for a long time. She was the assistant to The Farmer, the kid’s TV show in San Diego. She did the puppet shows with the sock-puppet farm animals.”

“You mother is the Farm Lady? I loved her. My kids loved her. My grandkids love her in the reruns. Oh my goodness me, I can’t believe I’m sitting next to the daughter of the Farm Lady. This is so exciting! Oh and the Farm Lady is getting married? How wonderful for her! Is she finally marrying the Farmer?”

After so many years, Jan was used to people knowing her mother as the Farm Lady with the sock puppets. And it never failed to embarrass her. Years of being teased at school by other kids making every possible form of revolting farm noise was hard to shake. The pig sounds were to the point that she still couldn’t eat bacon. And what people didn’t know was that the wholesome sweet TV persona was nothing like the real woman, Angie Carpenter. Responsible motherly farm matron, she certainly was not. “Maybe you didn’t hear, but Bob Myers, the Farmer, died a few years ago and the show went off the air. The man my mother is marrying is in the plumbing business.”

Ethel narrowed her eyes and gave Jan a knowing look, “Oh, plumbers make a lot of money. He must be a great catch. How did their love blossom? I’m sure there’s a romantic story there.”

“I don’t know how romantic it is. Like I said, we were neighbors a long time ago, but he was on television, too. They met again recently on a retrospective special that featured stars from old TV shows and commercials. If you saw the ads for the Toilet King years ago, that’s him.”

Ethel clapped her hands together, “My heavens! The Farm Lady is marrying the Toilet King! I can’t wait to tell all my friends. Does he still have purple hair and wear the blue jumpsuit? I just loved those commercials with the swirling and all that.”

“I haven’t seen him in a long time. I live in Alpine Grove now.”

About the author:

Susan Daffron is the author of the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedies, a series of novels that feature residents of the small town of Alpine Grove and their various quirky dogs and cats. She is also an award-winning author of many nonfiction books, including several about pets and animal rescue. She lives in a small town in northern Idaho and shares her life with her husband, two dogs and a cat--the last three, all "rescues." You can read more about her on her website.

Connect with Susan:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads | LinkedIn

Buy the book:

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Author: M.C.V. Egan

About the book

"M.C.V. Egan twists truth and fiction until you question your perceptions...it is a story of real love, triumph and search for self." - Beckah Boyd @ The Truthful Tarot

5 out of 5 stars:  "An unusual yet much recommended read." - Midwest Book Review 

On August 15th, 1939, an English passenger plane from British Airways Ltd. crashed in Danish waters between the towns of Nykøbing Falster and Vordingborg. There were five casualties reported and one survivor. Just two weeks before, Hitler invaded Poland.

With the world at the brink of war, the manner in which this incident was investigated left much open to doubt. The jurisdiction battle between the two towns and the newly formed Danish secret police created an atmosphere of intrigue and distrust.

The Bridge of Deaths is a love story and a mystery. Fictional characters travel through the world of past life regressions and information acquired from psychics as well as archives and historical sources to solve "one of those mysteries that never get solved." Based on true events and real people, The Bridge of Deaths is the culmination of 18 years of sifting through conventional and unconventional sources in Denmark, England, Mexico and the United States. The story finds a way to help the reader feel that s/he is also sifting through data and forming their own conclusions.

Cross The Bridge of Deaths into 1939, and dive into cold Danish waters to uncover the secrets of the G-AESY.

Get the revised 75th anniversary of The Bridge of Deaths on Amazon in ebook and paperback.

Guest Post

by M.C.V. Egan

Pondering on Peace and the Past

Pondering on peace after last year’s PEACE BLITZ in which around fifty bloggers from around the world wrote and posted their thoughts on peace, I came away with the distinct impression that peace can be a very personal and unique feeling or idea. The posts were as varied as can be and all of them were fascinating to me.

As I see it, peace can be described in a wide variety or ways: harmony, calm, freedom from disturbance, quiet, stillness and tranquility, to name just a few.  Any of those words convey pleasant and very different images to us all.

However, the words that describe war all seem to convey if not the same image then surely the same feeling: conflict, combat, confrontation, hostilities.

Pondering on that made me worry and wonder if in great part peace is so elusive in some way because it is visualized in such a wide variety of ways. There are, after all, different types of pacifists: absolute, conditional, selective, and active.

I would love to imagine that I could someday be the absolute pacifist my character Maggie is in The Bridge of Deaths, opposed to war all war and violent conflict. The fact of the matter is that I was born in 1959 and war has been excused in one form or another for as long as I had any awareness of the term. As a young kid watching the Vietnam conflict on T.V. as if it was ‘just the news’ I believe synthesized an acceptance of the inevitability or even excuse of certain conflicts. 

An absolute pacifist believes that it is never right to take part in war, even in self-defense. The value of human life is such that nothing can justify killing a person deliberately. As a parent, in self-defense or to protect my child, I cannot imagine I would not resort to any means—even violence.

I guess this might make me a conditional pacifist, which is embarrassing if not sort of convenient: A belief that one is against war and violence in principle, but that there may be circumstances when war will be less bad than the alternative.

I don’t think I am a selective pacifist and judge war by a matter of degree. I oppose violence and harm from small and large weapons. Apparently the selective pacifists only oppose wars involving weapons of mass destruction—nuclear or chemical and biological weapons—and it is unclear to me if this is because they see it as morally repugnant or as illogical because it is likely to have side effects far worse than whatever it could fix.

In a small way I am an active pacifist, but to really wear that label I feel the need to commit far more to the cause. Although some active pacifists have been known during war to take part in activities that seek to reduce the harm of war—such as driving ambulances or cooking for troops—some will refuse any involvement at all. I often heard of that growing up with stories of people who fled to Canada or Sweden to avoid the draft, and with great courage as a matter of principle and not one of fear.

But of course there are some “closet pacifists” afraid to act according to any beliefs or to refuse to fight. History has recorded many who have bravely chosen punishments or made their lives difficult rather than support wars or if drafted participate.

Nowadays, most democratic countries accept that people have the right of conscientious objection to military service, in some countries alternative forms of public service are available for objectors, but as we watch so much turmoil in the world today, I wonder how loud and powerful voices of peace would be if countries felt obliged to instill obligatory conscriptions.

The U.N. International Peace Day was first celebrated on September 21st 1982. At the time I was living in Sweden and working with small children. We taught them about peace and made white paper doves. At the same time the Catholic priest in my church was actively refusing to comply with the compulsory military service. He did so calling himself a pacifist and not a priest—he eventually left the priesthood but I can only imagine he has never left his pacifist views.

So I guess digging deep into my mind’s eye when I tailored the character Maggie as an absolute pacifist I did so with that man in mind. The only absolute pacifist I have ever met. 

About the author

M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family.

From a very young age, she became obsessed with the story of her maternal grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo--mostly the story of how he died.

She spent her childhood in Mexico. When her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. in the early 1970s, she moved with her entire family to the United States. Catalina was already fluent in English, as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award, despite being the only one who had English as a second language in her class.

In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977. She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France, at the Catholic University for two years. In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (the Swedish kind, not the football player kind), Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish businesspeople. She then returned to the USA, where she has lived ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.

Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son who, together with their five-pound Chihuahua, makes her feel like a full-time mother. Although she would not call herself an astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in the subject.

She celebrated her 52nd birthday on July 2nd, 2011, and gave herself self-publishing The Bridge of Deaths as a gift.

Find M.C.V. Egan and The Bridge of Deaths on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and online.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Sptolight on: Jackie King

on Tour September 2014 with

The Corpse Who Walked in the Door


Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Deadly Niche Press 
Publication Date: June 2014 
Number of Pages: 206 
ISBN: 978-162016-112-8 
Purchase Links:    

About the book:

Former society wife Grace Cassidy is learning to live on the minimum wage she earns as a bed & breakfast inn-sitter. Grace finds her cat’s bloody paw prints leading away from a bathtub and wants to run for her life. But she can’t. Her 19-year-old son is accused of pushing his pregnant girlfriend down a flight of concrete steps and she won’t abandon him.

Excerpt from The Corpse Who Walked in the Door:

Blood colored paw prints trailed from the white tile bathroom onto the faux Oriental rug in the bedroom where Grace stood. The cat-feet marks immobilized Grace. She closed her eyes and prayed that she had been claimed by stress-induced insanity, that there were no dark-red blots before her eyes, but a hallucination. A nice long rest in a mental hospital didn’t sound too bad. Anything except another dead body in this inn where she worked.

About the author:

Jackie King loves books, writing tall tales, and murdering the people she dislikes on paper. Her latest mystery, The Corpse Who Walked in the Door, is available in ebook format. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, and Tulsa NightWriters.

Catch Up With Jackie:


Tour Participants:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Author: Clare Langley-Hawthorne

About the book:

Ursula Marlow thought she was done with death, but when her fiancé, Lord Wrotham, is arrested on charges of treason, her world is turned upside down. It is the winter of 1913, and the British Parliament, unsettled on the question of Home Rule for Ireland, is shaken over allegations of a plot to sell naval military secrets to Kaiser’s Germany and liberate Ireland from English rule. For the first time, Ursula must work together with Chief Inspector Harrison to uncover the truth about Lord Wrotham’s involvement, as well as his mysterious past.

As the investigation continues, Ursula is drawn into the shadowy world of the Irish Republican Brotherhood and a web of espionage and betrayal. She must race against time to clear Lord Wrotham’s name and thwart a plot that threatens not only British national security, but also her life.

Interview with Clare Langley-Hawthorne

Clare, how long have you been writing, and how did you start?
I was always writing stories as a child, and as a teenager all I wanted to be was a journalist or a writer – but then I became a lawyer and an economist and that career took over. It wasn’t until I quit my job to start a Ph.D. that my brain finally said “this is it!” and I wrote a novel instead. The Ph.D. totally fell by the wayside when I had twin boys and a book contract.

How did you create the plot for this book?

My husband and I traveled to Venezuela and went down the Orinoco River to stay at a lodge on the delta. While there, I found myself imagining what it must have been like to be Victorian explorers, and the plot for Consequences of Sin started formulating in my mind.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?
I love writing Sir Oliver Wrotham, as I get to create my own version of Mr. Darcy. I love writing scenes contrasting his dry sarcasm with Ursula’s wit and passion.

How do you get to know your characters?
My main characters have a way of walking into my head and just introducing themselves, more or less fully formed. I do write out backgrounders on each character, and this allows me to explore elements of the character’s past, their relationships, and education that helps me get to know them on a deeper level.

Are you like any of your characters?
My husband is convinced I’m Ursula. I like to think it’s because of my tempestuous nature, but it could be I’m just argumentative and opinionated, like her. Sadly, I don’t have Ursula’s wonderfully opulent Edwardian lifestyle!

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose?
Ursula, of course! I think it was an incredible time for women – right on the cusp of such immense changes that would redefine their roles in society. Ursula is also lucky to have the financial means to stand by her principles, seek her independence and also live (and love) the way she chooses. She also gets to say and do things I never would!

Who are your favorite authors?
I find it hard to make a choice, but for now - Dorothy L. Sayers, E.M. Forster, and Georgette Heyer

How long is your to-be-read pile?
Long! I currently have Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the end of the Lane lined up. I have two non-fiction books I’ve been meaning to start – Zeppelin Nights by Jerry White (about London during World War I) and Our Tempestuous Day by Carolly Erickson (about Regency England). I also have a couple of YA novels on my bedside table that I’ve been meaning to get to...

You get to decide who would read your audiobook. Who would you choose?
Richard Armitage. It seems an odd choice to have a male narrator but I heard him narrate two Georgette Heyer novels, and he was just terrific.

What book are you currently reading and in what format?
I’m on the last pages of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I have the hardback version of this.

Do you have a routine for writing?
My writing routine revolves around school drop-off and pick-up for my twin boys. I tend to do most of my actual writing in the evening and then edit during the day. I constantly set myself self-imposed deadlines to make sure I get done what needs to be done.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I find it very difficult to write in public or when other people are around, so my preference is to write alone at my desk at home. I would prefer to write in the morning, but typically this cannot accommodate everything else that needs to get done, so I end up writing late at night with the help of lots of caffeine.

What would your dream office look like?
It would be in a library in the turret of a castle overlooking a beautiful garden and the edges of a woods. I love being surrounded by books. I would also have to have my collie, Hamish, lying on the floor next to my chair. No office is complete without him.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to hike, practice yoga, walk Hamish, read aloud to my boys, and do the New York Times crossword.

What are you working on now?
I am working on a Middle Grade alternative history fantasy series and an adult mystery set on the home front during the first World War.

About the author:

Clare Langley-Hawthorne was raised in England and Australia. She was an attorney in Melbourne before moving to the United States, where she began her career as a writer. Her first novel, Consequences of Sin, featuring the Oxford graduate, heiress, and militant suffragette Ursula Marlow, was published in 2007. The second book in the series, The Serpent and the Scorpion, was published in 2008. Consequences of Sin was a San Francisco Chronicle Bay Area bestseller and a Macavity Award nominee for best historical mystery. Clare now lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, twin boys, and collie, Hamish.

Connect with Clare:
Website | Blog 1 | Blog 2 | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

Other books by Clare:

Consequences of Sin (Ursula Marlow book #1)

The Serpent and The Scorpion (Ursula Marlow book #2)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Featured Author: Lori Jones

Lori Jones was here with her first book, Growing Up Beautiful, A Novel About Models in Milan, and it's my pleasure to have her back to talk about the sequel to that book, The Beauty of a Second Chance.

About the book:

Sixteen years after their European adventure, ex-models Star, Joanne and Casey reunite over lunch and realize they have a lot to talk about.

On Star’s wedding day, her soon-to-be mother-in-law drops a bomb that threatens her marriage and future security. Joanne becomes a reluctant volunteer out to protect a park against development while hesitant to lower her guard for love. Casey struggles to find a job while trying to be her daughter’s friend instead of enemy, and wonders how she can get her son’s Little League coach to play fair.

Now, older and wiser, will these three women use this second chance at friendship to help one another find success and happiness.

Interview with Lori Jones

What’s the story behind the title The Beauty of a Second Chance?
The Beauty of a Second Chance is the sequel to Growing up Beautiful. I wanted to use a word that would tie the two novels together. "Beauty" captured the physical essence of the first book and the spiritual aspect of the second one.

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
I wrote the sequel as a standalone book. With that said, there is a big surprise in The Beauty of a Second Chance that may alter the reading experience of Growing up Beautiful. As far as the series goes, I had no intention of writing another book about Star, Joanne and Casey. I changed my mind after repeatedly hearing one particular question from readers at book signings and book groups: “What happened to the girls after they returned to America?”

How did you create the plot for this book?
The plots are based on real life situations that I saw, heard about, and experienced myself. Once I had the basic information in place, I put my characters in scenes that would create the most conflict possible for their particular personalities.

What’s your favorite line from the book?
“All three of us trying to get our act together. It’s like frickin’ déjà vu, but with more wrinkles and less time.”

Is your book based on real events?
Yes. One storyline deals with a community divided after an influential and powerful individual wanted to build a private office - that included an amazing ocean view - on public parkland.
Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

Honestly, there are so many scenes I really like, starting with Casey at the doctor’s office. It was based on one of my postnatal visits where I refused to believe I had gained ten pounds instead of losing ten. And yes, a nurse did get up on the scale to prove me wrong!

Who are your favorite authors?
Amy Tan, Lisa See, Sophie Kinsella. And of course the classics, Steinbeck, Jane Austen, Hemingway, and Margaret Mitchell.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
When I lay down to read, my cat likes to lie on top of the book and stare at me, making it impossible to do so.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
"Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?" ~ Sai Baba

Love that. What’s your favorite candy bar?
It’s not a bar but a bag of See’s Dark Bordeauxs.

What are you working on now?
I am the process of outlining my next book. It takes place in the 1970s and deals with teenagers who fall in love and try to deal with the ensuing problems created by their families' different belief systems. As always, I will search for the humor in this dilemma.

Connect with Lori:
Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads 

Buy the book:


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction

Shameless self-promotion!

I'm happy to announce the re-release of my first novel, Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, a cozy mystery. The book has been re-edited and re-formatted, and this second edition is now available on Amazon.com. Tell your friends, alert the news, buy, read, and review it puleeeeease! The second book in the series, Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction, will be released in a few months, and you can get a sneak peak at the first chapter at the back of the new Murder & Mayhem.

A Moment with Amy Metz, by Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien, editor of Empirical and author of The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, Cerulean Dreams, and The Journey asked me some really fun questions in an interview for his website, The Dan O'Brien Project, and he's kindly agreed to let me post it here.

Tell us about your most recent release.
Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction was inspired by events in my family’s history. I remember hearing accounts when I was a little girl of the murders and thinking they were heartbreaking and intriguing. One of the murders is unsolved to this day, except for in my novel, where main character Tess Tremaine comes up against the killer’s relative who is intent on keeping the murder a cold case. But Tess is a little too stubborn to let a little mayhem get in the way of her solving the mystery and bringing a murderer to justice. 

What’s the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?
Four years ago I had to tell my mother that she was going to an assisted living facility for just a few weeks for rehab, when in fact her dementia had earned her a one-way ticket.

What is the most demeaning thing said about you as a writer?
Someone said my book was offensive and sadly idiotic. But I have a lot of 5 and 4-star reviews that counteract that comment.

How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
I try to keep it in perspective, remembering that everyone is entitled to a different opinion. What really bothers me are the people who don’t say anything. When someone tells me they can’t wait to read my book but they never comment on it. Or they say, “I read your book,” followed by silence. I can deal with constructive criticism — I may not agree with it, but at least I know what they didn’t like — it’s silence that I find hard to deal with. It’s difficult, because we’re talking about people I know, and I thought they’d be more supportive, but also their silence doesn’t help me become a better writer or write a better book.

When are you going to write your autobiography?
Actually, I’ve already written it. It’s not an actual autobiography, because I wouldn’t make anyone read that drivel, but it’s a memoir about my mother, her dementia, and our contentious relationship. I’m currently collecting rejection letters from agents and publishers for it. If you know an agent or publisher, tell them about it — it’s fabulous!

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
Yes, names are important. My book is set in the South, where oftentimes names are varied, interesting, and weird. I’m particularly fond of nicknames, like Pickle and Butterbean, and double names, like Henry Clay and Martha Maye.

What about the titles of your novels?
What about them? Oh, are they important? Well, yes. Many times a title can make or break a reader’s decision to buy the book. I named my town Goose Pimple Junction and put it in the title because, to me, the name reflects the quirkiness of the town and the book. It’s a fun town, and I hope the title reflects that. But I think people either love the title or hate it. 

Are there any occupational hazards to being a novelist?

Besides being a little mentally unbalanced? Yes, I’ve found extra poundage to be an occupational hazard. Sitting all day at a computer doesn’t burn many calories, and weight gain is inevitable. I’m trying to be more disciplined and get my big behind up for exercise periodically each day, but sometimes it’s hard to stop when I’m on a writing roll. 

What’s your favorite fruit?
Lemons. Does that count? A runner up would be peaches. Although it really depends on the season. In the summertime I love strawberries, honeydew, and peaches, in the fall I love crisp apples, early winter is those little Clementine oranges. And then there are pineapple and bananas, which are both good pretty much year-round. And lemons. I love lemon anything. Is that TMI?

How many people have you done away with over the course of your career?
Well let’s see … I think the total is only five. Maybe I should bump that up a bit for GPJ2 and 3.

Ever dispatched someone and then regretted it?
Yes. I can’t say who, because I don’t want to ruin it for someone who may not have read the book yet, but there’s one character in Murder & Mayhem who is maybe my all time favorite. It killed me to kill him off (sorry, that was lame — but true). I’m still in mourning. Maybe I can make him have an evil twin. Double trouble!

Have you ever been in trouble with the police?
Hahahahahahahaha. That’s funny. At least, people who know me will get a kick out of it. I did have to go to the county jail four years ago, but that was to deliver some evidence. That’s a whole nother story. The answer to your question is a big no.

So when were you last involved in a real-life punch-up?
Way back when I was a little girl, fighting with my sister. That’s as bad ass as I get.

If you were going to commit the perfect murder, how would you go about it?
I think it would involve poison. And that’s all I’m saying on that one.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Betty White.

What is your favorite bedtime drink?

Sweet tea or juice.

Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job, like data entry or working in a factory?
Absolutely not. Are you nuts?

Do you believe in a deity?
Yes. I am a Christian, and I believe in God.

Who would play you in a film of your life?
Maybe Oprah. Yes, I know I’m Caucasian, but who wouldn’t want Oprah to play them? 

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
I think a sane writer is an oxymoron.

Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or a movie?

Maybe Eeyore. Or the Catwoman, played by Halle Berry. Oh wait, that was in my dreams. 

What is the single most powerful challenge when it comes to writing a novel?
For me, it’s coming up with a good plot. It seems like all the good ones have already been taken. I had a plot all planned out for GPJ3, and I hadn’t told a soul about it. One day, my son started telling me about a book he read — and it was my plot! Or mine was theirs. I swear I’d never heard of it. I changed my plotline pdq.

What do you consider your biggest failure?

Dropping out of college my sophomore year. I transferred to another college the following fall, but leaving school remains a big part of my checkered past.

Do you research your novels?
In Murder & Mayhem I researched the real murders that were the impetus for the plot. I read everything I could find so that I could get the facts right for that portion of the book. 

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?

Well, considering I wouldn’t be who I am if I hadn’t had a childhood, I’d say a lot. Is that too cheeky?

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

When God sends us on hard paths, He provides strong shoes. That, and you should dress for every occasion. There’s no sense in looking like a wash-woman.

Do you laugh at your own jokes?
Sure, somebody has to. (LOL.)

Do you admire your own work?
Yes and no. I love the characters and the town I created, but I have a hard time reading the book. It’s kind of like actors who say they can’t watch themselves on screen. I find myself wanting to rewrite or edit it every time I pick the book up.

What are books for?
Different things for different people. For me, they’re for escape. Pure pleasure.

Are you fun to go on vacation with?
That would be a better question for my family. I think that my youngest son would say I spend too much time behind my camera. 

How do you feel about being interviewed?
It’s somewhere in between getting a root canal and a day at the beach.

What’s the loveliest thing you have ever seen? 
A full moon reflecting on the ocean.

Book trailer 

About the author (that's me!):

Amy Metz is the author of Goose Pimple Junction mystery series. She is a former first grade teacher and the mother of two grown sons. When not actively engaged in writing, enjoying her family, or surfing Facebook or Pinterest, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in one hand and a glass of sweet tea in the other. Amy lives in Louisville, Kentucky and would love to hear from you.

Connect with Amy (me):
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Buy the book:

Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Blast: E.E. Giorgi

Track Presius Series, Books 1 & 2

by E.E. Giorgi


Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published by: Quemazon Publishing 
Publication Date: April 5 2014 
Number of Pages: 406 
ISBN: 978-0996045100 
Purchase Links:  

About the book:

Haunted by the girl he couldn't save in his youth, and the murder he committed to avenge her, Detective Track Presius has a unique gift: the vision and sense of smell of a predator. When a series of apparently unrelated murders reel him into the depths of genetic research, Track feels more than a call to duty. Children are dying — children who, like himself, could have been healthy, and yet something, at some point, went terribly wrong. For Track, saving the innocent becomes a quest for redemption. The only way he can come to terms with his dark past is to understand his true nature.

Praise for E.E. Giorgi:

Chimeras is now a Reader's Favorite 2014 Book Award Finalist!! Check it out here: Reader's Favorite.

"It is a great debut novel and has a satisfying ending. The descriptions are vivid and a great sense of time and place are created." -- the Kindle Book Review (5 star review)

"A riveting and entertaining read. The prose is so much fun to read, such surprising descriptions and enjoyable dialogue." -- Dr. Rob Brooks, author of Sex, Genes, and Rock 'n Roll.

“E. E. Giorgi has created a fine ensemble of professionals pursuing what might happen if biotechnology and the desire to overrule nature clash.” -- Dr. Ricki Lewis, author of The Forever Fix.

“A scientist herself, Ms. Giorgi uses science -- genetics, specifically -- to create a compelling story that has you not only asking "who did it" but pondering the ethics of genetic manipulation and just what it means to be human.” -- Laura Mullane, author of God Sleeps in Rwanda.

“In places, Giorgi's prose is almost haunting, akin to poetry.” – Teresa Cypher, Goodreads reviewer.

“Ms. Giorgi description of Los Angeles mixed in with the lively and colorful language of her characters totally pulls you into the world.” – Juneta Key, Goodreads reviewer.

Read an excerpt:

It was one of those hot summer afternoons, with air made of cobwebs and a glare as sharp as pencils.
“Something’s wrong today,” I said.
“It’s L.A.,” my partner replied. “Something’s always wrong in L.A.”
A few hours later Johnny Carmelo was dead, his brains skewered by the whistling path of one of my bullets. He collapsed on the pavement, a red trickle of blood weeping down his face. They told me they weren’t going to clear me back to duty until the investigation was over. I left the next day. I drove up to the Sierras, camped in my truck, and hunted at night.
There are days I long to disappear in the wild, go back to the predator life I was meant to have. Kill the prey or be killed: it’s in my genes.
A chimera, that's what I am. And this is my story.



Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Published by: Quemazon Publishing 
Publication Date: 9/2014 
Number of Pages: ~410 
ISBN: 978-0-9960451-1-7 
PreOrder Today:  

About the book:

Dubbed the Byzantine Strangler because of the mysterious mosaic tiles he leaves at the crime scene, a new serial killer is stalking the streets of Los Angeles. Racing to decipher the code encrypted in the tiles before the killer strikes again, Detective Track Presius faces a new challenge: the "awakened" genes that make his vision and olfactory sense so sharp are now taking a toll on his life. When a new set of tiles appears in his own backyard, Track makes a chilling realization: those very same genes that are threatening his life are drawing the Byzantine Strangler closer and closer. The line between hunter and hunted has suddenly blurred. Will Track be the next piece of the mosaic puzzle?

Read an excerpt:

A dark hallway with no windows opened to the right of the foyer. The smells changed—the staleness of a vacant place and the victim’s scent—feminine, ambitious, seductive. The wall displayed wrought iron sconces and a collection of photos of Amy—Amy in her graduation gown, Amy with friends, Amy with her cat. A pretty face, I noticed, whose beauty didn’t distract from an underlining drive for determination.

Her bedroom was orderly. There was a half-empty birth control kit in her nightstand drawer, but no boyfriend in her life, according to the friends and relatives interviewed, only an ex-husband who now lived in Oregon. Toiletries on her vanity table, regular clothes in her closet, a few garments in her drawers that told me she was no nun, but no distinctive masculine scent anywhere. If she shared her bed with somebody, she’d done a good job at hiding it. The sheets smelled clean and freshly washed. 

The next door let to her home office, a small carpeted room with a couple of white bookcases, a table with a desktop and printer, a metal chair, and, on the opposite side, a futon, a laundry basket, and an ironing table folded against the wall. Through the window, the hills of Montecito glowed against the evening sky, a wavy fabric of glimmering lights. 

I inhaled. The bookshelves were crammed with medical books, the desk buried under stacks of papers. 

The sweet, foul smell of the tiles…

I sat at the desk, opened the drawers, sniffed the keyboard, then the computer screen. 

Not here. Close, though. 

The papers. He went through the pile of papers.

I rummaged through the folders not knowing what to look for, just tailgating a smell. Gloved fingers had brushed through printouts and graphs, tables, essays, research proposals… 

Did he find what he was looking for? And if so, what?

Article after article of scientific jargon, each title some random permutation of the words immunodeficiency, vaccine, study design, therapy, antiretroviral. 

“What are you gonna see in the dark?” By the office door, Satish flipped the light switch. 


“On paper?”

“Yeah. And patterns, too,” I said. I sniffed the top right corner. I could follow the gloved fingers searching through the pile of papers, most likely a left thumb holding up the top ones so he could read the titles, and a right index flipping through. Until the trace stopped.

He found what he was looking for. Probably took it with him.

I inhaled and gave one last look around. Everything else seemed untouched. 

“What did Gomez have to say?”

Satish shook his head sideways. “Autopsy’s scheduled for Thursday morning. Just got an invitation. Wanna join the party?” He smiled. Waited.

Amy Liu smiled too, from a silver frame on her desk, a man’s hand draping her shoulder, and a strand of black hair blowing over her face. 

“Fine,” I said, walking past him out of the room. “I’ll keep you company on Thursday, but—” He switched the lights off and followed me back to the foyer. “Uh-uh, Track. First things first. Tomorrow you pee in a cup and get your LAPD badge back.”

“I pee in a what?” 

We locked the house, replaced the yellow crime scene tape. The air was tainted with a hint of humidity and the scent of jacaranda blooms. A handful of pale stars dotted the sky, the glow of downtown beneath them like a disoriented dawn. A broken streetlight strobed from farther down the street. The Latino music persisted. Yo sufrí mucho por ti, mi corazon… Satish unlocked the car and slid behind the wheel. “Union mandated drug test. Your leave of absence from the department was longer than ninety days. Welcome back to regulations, Detective Presius.”

I made a face. 

“Look at it this way. Whoever handles those cups has it way worse than you.” He started the engine and backed out of the driveway. “Shit happens, Track. Never forget that.”

“Hard to forget on days like this.”

I rolled down the window and let cool air blow in my face. The freeway droned in the distance, as another night descended upon L.A. Another murder, another killer on the loose.

It was June 2009, the beginning of summer.

Killing season had just started.

What Readers Think:


About the author:

E.E. Giorgi is a scientist, a writer, and a photographer. She spends her days analyzing genetic data, her evenings chasing sunsets, and her nights pretending she's somebody else. On her blog, E.E. discusses science for the inquiring mind, especially the kind that sparks fantastic premises and engaging stories. Her detective thriller Chimeras, a hard-boiled police procedural with a genetic twist, is now available on Amazon.  

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Spotlight on A.J. Bennett


Hired Gun 1 by A.J. Bennett

Paranormal Romance Serial

Thorne Hollow is tall, dark and sexy as hell. And he knows it.
Cast out by the Gods thousands of years ago, he roams the earth working as an assassin for The Sicarii, a secret society that protects humans from all the things that go bump in the night.
Long ago, Thorne made the mistake of falling in love with a human, and her death stripped him bare. Destined to live a life of solitude. One night stands are his way of life—until he meets a mysterious woman whose intriguing power compels him to uncover more about her and the strange magic she wields.

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1oJgSUL


About the Author

A.J. Bennett lives in Nashville, TN with her husband and bulldog. She's addicted to coffee, popcorn and books. Becoming an author has been a lifelong dream, and she's extremely excited about her debut novel Now or Never.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Spotlight on: Scott Miller

             on Tour September 2014 with


Book Details:

Genre: Suspense, Crime Fiction
Published by:  Blank Slate Press
Publication Date: Oct 2013 
Number of Pages: 248 
ISBN: 978-0985007119 
Purchase Links:    


Counterfeit placed third in the 2013 Walter Williams major work award for Missouri writers!

About the book:

What if a man with the talent and patience to create perfect, undetectable copies of US hundred bills carries out his plan? Has a crime even been committed? What if he never spend a dime of the money on himself?

The last person social worker Mitch Adams wants to hear from is St. Louis Homicide Detective JoJo Baker, a man with whom Mitch shares a tangled past. Baker wants Mitch to see Lonnie Washington, a disabled African-American arrested for counterfeiting and armed robbery, believed to be suicidal while he sits in jail awaiting trial. The evidence points to an open and shut case, but Baker insists it's not so black and white. Reluctantly, Mitch agrees and discovers there is more to the story--more than enough to get them both killed. At first Lonnie won't cooperate, but as he begins to open up, Mitch comes to believe that the true criminal may not be the man behind bars, but the prosecutor who put him there--a man with far-reaching political ambitions, the approval of the public, and his very own Secret Service detail. With millions in perfect fake $100 bills up for grabs, Mitch's life hinges on the word of a counterfeiter, the greed of a prosecutor, and his refusal to go down without a fight.

Excerpt from Counterfeit:

Rain dripped from the concrete fangs of two massive lions standing guard at the Gateway City Jail. I hurried up the steps between the imposing Doric columns. What a dinosaur. The new county jail is a spa compared to this.

After getting through the metal detector screening line, I walked down a cold, shadowy hallway that smelled of old building, institutional cleaning fluids, and stale city air. Dust motes shone and drifted like dying fireflies in the slivers of light slanting through the high, narrow windows. The closer I came to the visitation area for the special lock-down unit, the smell changed to fear and the windows disappeared.

This is the end of the line.

Last year I was nearly an inmate here.

About the author:

A licensed clinical social worker, Scott L. Miller earned his Master's in Social Work from St. Louis University and has worked with adults, children and the elderly in state and private hospitals in St. Louis city and county. Long fascinated by the workings of the human brain, he quit writing exceptionally bad poetry and studied fiction writing under the late John Gardner and later at Washington University. His first Mitch Adams novel, The Interrogation Chair, was self-published in May 2011, has been rewritten and is due for re-release by Blank Slate Press in October 2014 under the title Interrogation. Counterfeit is the second in this series, but is a stand-alone work. Counterfeit recently took third place in the Walter Williams major work award contest at the 99th Missouri Writer's Guild workshop for Missouri's published authors. Miller is currently working on his third Mitch Adams novel, working title The Virtual Suicide Machine, which is slated for release in 2015 by Blank Slate Press.

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Counterfeit by Scott Miller

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Spotlight on Amanda Aksel

Author of The Man Test

About the author:

AMANDA (ah-MAHN-dah)- Latin-
Meaning lovable or worthy of love.

Fitting. I've always had an affinity for love.

Being born in sunny San Diego in the mid 80’s to a young military couple gave me plenty of insight into the dynamics of a romantic relationship. Somewhere between moving coasts every three years, I found myself engrossed in fairytale romances and dressing up like a bride.

My first real love was writing. By my sophomore year in a new high school in Virginia, I had a slew of short stories, songs, poems, and articles to my name. Writing was fun. It was a way to get the emotions, dialogue, and pictures out of my head, and create a destiny for my characters.

​I had no intention of making a career in writing, because it wasn’t what I did, it was who I was. In reality, I wanted to be an actress. Ah, to be the face of someone else’s authored story. The plan was to move in with my aunt in L.A. after graduation, but I had a change of heart. Instead, I stayed with my high school sweetheart (now husband) and attended a film school in Norfolk, Virginia. It was at this school that I discovered my love for writing screenplays and felt compelled to follow that path. But … as the practical girl I was brought up to be, I decided to go to a real university. While working full time, I completed my BA in Psychology in four and a half years. Becoming a couple’s therapist had always been my “backup” career and there I was on my way to solving love's most complicated quandaries one couple at a time.

With all my new free time after graduation, I decided to turn my full-length screenplay into a novel in hopes it would help my screenplay sell. I think I was in the middle of writing chapter two when I realized that everything I had ever written was to prepare me for that moment when I knew I was a novelist. Talk about the affirmation of my life. Now my plan is to solve love's most complicated quandaries one novel at a time.

Connect with Amanda:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Buy the book: