30 Dec 2012

Book Review: Hidden Treasures by Fern Britton

Helen Merrifield decides to put her ex-husband behind her and start afresh in the idyllic Cornish village of Pendruggan. Throwing herself into local life, Helen is surprised to find herself the object of two very different men's attention - the rather desperate Vicar and the dark and brooding local historian, Piran.

Meanwhile, Helen's best friend, Penny, decides that the village is the perfect setting for her new TV series. When cast and crew descend, the community is thrown into a tizzy, but Helen has her hands full fending off her philandering ex, who seems determined to charm his way back into her bed.

Should Helen hold on to the past? Or will a Cornish Christmas give her something new to treasure?

Release Date:  11th October 2012
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Goodreads Link:  Click here
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

My Review       9 out of 10

Another really great book for the festive season and doesn't the cover just look delicious!  This is the first book I have read written by Fern Britton and I am loving her laid back style of writing.  The main character, Helen, is now living in a Cornish village and with all the great descriptions about her cottage and the village itself, it really felt like I was right there. 

A vast array of really fantastic characters and I have to admit one or two not so nice ones.  Starting of with the characters I enjoyed most in this story.  Firstly there's the main character Helen.  We see her at the beginning of the story a bit run down after leaving her husband, going through a divorce and starting a new live in a village she has never been to before.  I found her to be a very warm and loving character, especially in the way she treated the people in the village.  I was not surprised when she immediately started making friends.  The other character that I loved in this story was Piran.  He is a man with a bit of past which you find out more when you read through the story and at the beginning he had a defencive personality but as the story goes on you see why he is do defencive and you also discover how loyal he can be.  Turning to the characters that I was not so fond of, those had to be Gray and Penny.  Gray is Helen's ex-husband who cheated on Helen over many years of her marriage, treated her like a doormat and still wants to.  Penny, although she is Helen's best friend and she will always fight for Helen's side of things I did find her a bit selfish and very abrupt in her manner.

What I really enjoyed about this story was its pace.  Helen had come from a life that was hectic and is now living in a laid back Cornish village and the story certainly did have that feel of a slower pace, making me sit back, relax and really enjoy the story.  Although there were certain good points to the TV crew being in the village, I have to admit that this was a part of the story that I struggled to get through.

What I would have loved to have had more focus on in this story is the box that is found in Helen's back garden containing old items, pictures and ashes of someone/something.  Although you do find out, in a very quick way, all about them and about some long lost secrets, I would have loved more focus on it throughout the story.

A really great, laid back, Cornish drama which I would definitely recommend, for any time of year.

Continue reading Book Review: Hidden Treasures by Fern Britton

Author Interview and Giveaway: Malia Ann Haberman

For details of the giveaway, please see the end of this post.


Author of "Chase Tinker and the House of Magic (The Chase Tinker Series, Book 1)," Malia loves dancing, reading, writing, sunsets, ladybugs, playing video games on her iPod, watching TV, and chocolate. She also has terrible motion sickness and hates onions. She's always wanted to have the ability to teleport and the power to move things with her mind. She lives in the Seattle area with her four wild and crazy ferrets.

Book Summary:

In Chase Tinker's world, magic, lies and secrets can be a lethal combination...

Thirteen-year-old Chase Tinker can't understand why he has the power to move things with his mind. Besides that, his dad has been missing for over a year, causing his mom to be too upset to pay much attention to her sons, so now he's been busted for shoplifting. As if this isn't enough to worry about, his younger brother Andy suddenly has a weird magical ability too.

Can things get any crazier? Chase thinks.

Then, a grandfather they thought to be long dead arrives at their door. He wants Chase and Andy to come visit him for the summer so they can learn about their supernatural heritage and why they have magical powers in the first place.

The boys soon find out that Grandfather, along with their cousin Janie, lives on a remote island in the middle of Puget Sound in an out-of-this-world house where fantastic magic can be found in practically every room, stairway and corridor. Chase can't believe their dad has been keeping so much from them.

It's an even bigger shock when Chase learns that all their magic is controlled by a very powerful and mysterious Relic in the attic, and if anything happens to this relic, every bit of Tinker magic will be lost forever. He's even more disturbed when he learns his family has a dark and powerful enemy that is determined to steal all their magic, their house and their relic.

Now Chase must find a way to stop these evil beings, while at the same time figuring out what has happened to his dad, unraveling even more Tinker lies and secrets and not letting on that he has a huge crush on the housekeeper's daughter.

1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?

I think I would pick Rick Riordan to work with. I love his Percy Jackson series. The books are clever, exciting and funny. He shows such a great sense of humor in his writing and if there's anything I love, it's someone with an awesome sense of humor.

2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?

I don't really have any typical work day. Since I teach ballroom dancing, my hours aren't regular 9 to 5 so I stick in writing time here and there along with all the other stuff I have to do in life. I write sitting on my floor in my living room with my coffee table as my desk, my computer in front of me and my TV going as background noise. Sometimes I listen to music, but the problem with that is I can' stop myself from singing along and getting up to dance. So it's probably best to not have the music on too much during writing sessions. :)

3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?

Staying focused. I have a tendency to go off onto other tasks when I should be writing. The Internet, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads don't help either. (sigh)

4. When and why did you first start writing?

I first started writing around the time I turned 14. That's when I decided I wanted to be a writer. I'd just discovered that boys really weren't that bad so I began writing sappy love poems and stories. Though, I have to admit, most of that stuff was pretty sucky. :)

5. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

About 6 1/2 years ago I was working as a Real Estate Agent. After a day of showing homes to my clients, I guess I had houses on my mind because that night I dreamed I was living in a huge house and every room had some sort of magical power in it. The next day, when I told my daughter about it, she thought it would make a terrific kids' book so we started brainstorming for more great ideas

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?

I LOVE to read. I've always been an avid reader. When I was kid, I never went outside because I was too busy hanging out in my room reading. One day, when I was around 9 or 10 years old, my dad decided I was just spending way too much time indoors reading. So he made me go outside to play. I just sat on the porch and cried. He finally got mad at me and sent me back into the house and back to my books. I was happy once more.

Right now I'm reading "Book of a Thousand Days" by Shannon Hale. It's sooo good. I got the ebook version of it for .99 cents on Amazon.

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

Just keep writing and writing and don't give up. Believe in yourself. If someone has the talent and drive and keeps at it, then eventually something should happen.

Malia is very kindly giving away a copy of her ebook together with five MP3 songs from Amazon of your choice.  For your chance to enter, please see rafflecopter below.  Please note that this prize will be gifted direct from the author.  Good luck!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Continue reading Author Interview and Giveaway: Malia Ann Haberman

29 Dec 2012

Book Review: Winter Wonderland by Belinda Jones

Imagine waking up in a snow globe...

That’s how travel journalist Krista feels when she arrives in magical Quebec to report on Canada's glittering Winter Carnival.

Over ten sub-zero days Krista's formerly frozen heart begins to melt as she discovers an enchanting world of ice palaces, husky dog-sledding and maple-syrup treats galore. And then she meets Jacques, a man as handsome and rugged as he is mysterious…

The two share a secret that could bond them forever, but can they find a way to break through the protective layers around their hearts to warm up this winter wonderland?

…let the snow-spangled adventure begin....

Released:   8th November 2012
Publisher:  Hodder
Goodreads:  Click here... 
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher

My Review  (9 out of 10)

So, this is the second Christmas book I have read this year and although I thought that I might have 'Christmas book burn out', I really haven't.  The author, Belinda Jones, is a completely new author to me too.  I had heard from friends that I should try a Belinda Jones novel and as it was Christmas I thought this was the best one to pick up.

I really loved the character of Krista.  We see her at the start of the story travelling to Quebec where she will be checking out the area and facilities etc to write up for a travel website she runs with a friend.  Throughout the story, Krista meetings a few different men who could be a possible match for her.  I liked how Krista 'evolved' throughout the story and even helped out other people to 'evolve' during parts of her story.  

This is stuck a great story about self-discovery, exploring the unknown and making unexpected friends...  Such a great story for this time of year...

Best wishes


Continue reading Book Review: Winter Wonderland by Belinda Jones

22 Dec 2012

Book Review: Christmas Magic by Cathy Kelly

A festive collection of short stories by the natural heir to Maeve Binchy

Cathy Kelly, the number 1 best-selling Irish author, has created her first collection of heart-warming short stories. Christmas Magic is full of charming tales of life, love and the everyday dilemmas that we all face, all told in Cathy’s warm voice.

From Dolores and Genevieve, two spinster sisters who must finally break free from their mother’s powerful personality, to Alice, who is facing having to open her home and her heart to the one visitor that she doesn’t want this Christmas, from a captivating family story triggered by a letter to Lily’s disastrous arrival at her best friend’s wedding, these are stories to make you laugh, cry and nod in recognition.

Relax and unwind in front of a roaring fire and indulge yourself in these, and many other humorous and uplifting tales. Remember that Christmas comes but once a year, so let the magic reel you in…

Released:  8th November 2012
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Goodreads Link:  Click here 
Source:  Review Copy From Publisher

My Review   (9 out of 10)

This is the first book written by Cathy Kelly that I have read and I have to say that I am definitely going to be picking up more of her books.  I loved her style of writing, it was one of those styles that you really don't have to concentrate too much on the words.  You can just sit back, relax and enjoy the story.   I have to admit that I was a bit hesitant about picking this book up as, in the past, I have not had much luck with enjoying short stories, until this one came along.  

The story that I enjoyed the most in this book was the story of Dolores and Genevieve.  As mentioned above, they are two sisters who have lived most of their lives in the shadow of their mother, both when their mother was alive and after her death.  All their lives they have lived by certain rules and have never really branched out and experienced new things.  I loved following their story and finding out what they would do next.  

Another story that I enjoyed was another story about sisters, this time it is two sisters who lives world apart.  One lives in Australia and one lives in Ireland.  They have corresponded with each other by letter for a long time.  Things start to change when a visit is organised and some hidden secrets come to light...

This is a really great collection of short stories, especially great to read this time of year...

Best wishes


Continue reading Book Review: Christmas Magic by Cathy Kelly

19 Dec 2012

Author Interview: Janet K Halling

Sometimes finding peace means finding a difference perspective.

Ella Davies, is focused, independent, and driven. Her hard work is finally paying off and she is on the brink of great success. But what no one knows is that her frantic drive is born not from a desire to succeed, but from a need to forget – forget her past, forget her guilt, and mostly, forget the tragedy that changed her life forever.

Ella’s strategy seems to be working but on Christmas Eve she meets Cohen, a strange man with an even stranger purpose. Cohen catapults Ella back through time and forces her to confront not only her own pain, but the pain of those long since passed. In the process, Ella learns about courage and compassion and that in the darkest hour, no one is ever alone.

Author Bio
Janet Halling discovered her love of writing at the age of six when her story of a lonely duck won a first grade writing contest. She has a degree in Marketing Communications and lives with her family in northern Utah. She is currently working on her next novel.

1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?

It sounds a bit cliché, but I would pick J.K. Rowling. The worlds she builds are so complex and loaded with symbolism, but also very fun. I would like to be privy to her thought processes as she writes and creates. Incidentally, I considered using J.K. Halling for my author name but decided it would be a bit too derivative!

2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?

I do not get as much time to write as I would like. Much of my day is taken up with family and my day job so I really have to push to get my creative writing in. I wrote much of An Unexpected Angel at the library in the evenings. It was a lot easier to concentrate there than at home!

3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?

Finding the time and focusing on only one story.

4. When and why did you first start writing?

I have always loved writing and it seems like I have always done it. When I was in the first grade, I wrote a story about a lonely duck and my teacher took me around to all the other classrooms and had me read it out loud to them. There wasn’t anything terribly remarkable about my story, but from then on I was hooked.

5. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
There were a couple of things that inspired me. One was when we were driving home on Christmas Eve after spending the day with family. As we drove through the downtown district in the city, it felt so quiet and kind of eerie because most of the businesses were closed. I started thinking about people who spend Christmas alone – about why they are alone and how they must feel on Christmas Eve. The story kind of grew from there.

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
Absolutely! I love to read. I tend to be in the middle of several books at once because I read whatever fits my mood at the time. Right now I’m reading Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen, Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George, and Mama Day by Gloria Naylor.

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

Writing is only a little bit about those moments of creative high when the words are coming out almost faster than your fingers can type. Most of the time it takes patience, dedication, and hard work. You have to be prepared for the slog and to you have to have the self-discipline to make yourself work through the writer’s block. Inspiration is great, but it’s not what gets a book from your head to a finished manuscript.

Buy Info

Retail: $8.99
120 pages
Genre: gift/holiday, inspirational
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Release Date: October 9, 2012

Online Content

TV interview (Recorded 11/27/12 for Good Things Utah ABC4)

An Unexpected Angel – Excerpt (All rights reserved)

Somewhere there was a rhythmic humming—a kind of a swooshing sound that increased and decreased in volume at regular intervals. She couldn’t remember where she was. Her whole body ached, and her head felt as if it would explode.
Ella groaned and opened her eyes. She was still in the gym, lying crumpled against the weight machine. The treadmill had stopped, and the rhythmic sound was coming from the man riding the spinning bike, which sat nearby.
Her fingers trembled as she felt the goose egg on the side of her head. Her face was on fire, probably scraped on the belt, and her knees were bloody, also from the belt.
Suddenly she stiffened. There was a man riding the bike! A man riding the bike. While she had been lying there unconscious. Had he just sauntered in and climbed on without seeing her at all or had he viewed her inert form without concern? That was cold, even for New York City. Gingerly, she turned her head to look at him.
It was the clerk from the deli, and he didn’t stop pedaling as he glanced her way. “Oh good, you’re awake.”
She stared up at him in mute astonishment.
He reached for his water bottle and took a long drink. “I’m glad you woke up on your own,” he said pleasantly. “I was about ready to pour this in your face, so you can thank me for sparing you an unexpected shower.”
Ella grasped the weight machine and pulled herself slowly to a sitting position. Her head was throbbing, and her stomach lurched. “I could sue you for failing to come to the aid of an injured person,” she snapped rather feebly.
The man studied her contemplatively. “Hmmm, yes, you would think of that, wouldn’t you? But I’m not too worried, Ella. You’re not going to sue me and we both know it.”
She opened her mouth to snarl a retort but stopped abruptly. “How do you know my name?” she demanded. “And what are you even doing here? You don’t live in this building.” She hesitated, realizing she wasn’t sure. “Do you?”
He jumped off the bike and held out his hand. “You should get up. Want help?”
She shrank away from him. “Don’t touch me! Who are you, and how do you know my name?”
“Well, it’s simple really. My name is Cohen, and I’m your guardian angel.” He broke into a brief but rapid tap dance routine and finished with flair. And with jazz hands.
Ella stared at him in perplexed silence, unsure if he was a hallucination or just crazy. “Uh-huh. Right,” she finally said, groaning as she pulled herself to her feet. A wave of nausea hit her, and she stopped, doubling over and willing herself not to vomit. She for sure had a concussion.
She tried to think. Should she go to the hospital? Or maybe just go home and try to sleep? She didn’t know. She made a move toward the door, but Cohen tap-danced over to block her path.
“Get out of my way,” she snapped at him with more bravado than she felt.
He grinned. “Can’t do that. You and me, we have business tonight.”
For the first time, she felt a small dart of fear. Cohen wasn’t exactly menacing, but he certainly was strange. If he attacked her, would she have the strength to fight him? If only her head would stop hurting!
“What do you want?” she asked.
“I already told you, I’m your guardian angel. Well, not technically an angel, but that word will serve as well as any other. Anyway, I’m here to help.”
“Sure. Like you helped me when I was unconscious a minute ago? If that’s your kind of help, no thanks.”
“No, not that kind of help, silly.”
“Look, whatever you’re on, whatever you’re offering, I’m not interested. Just leave me alone, please? I’m sore and tired, and my head is killing me. I need to go lie down.”
“Oh, right. That.” He made some sort of vague gesture and instantly her nausea subsided and the pain in her head vanished.
Chills raced up and down her spine, and she stared at him, “Wait . . . what’s . . . what’s going on?”
“Okay, no more joking around.” Cohen looked suddenly serious. “Here’s the deal. You need help and there’s a lot you need to learn. Only you’re far too stubborn to admit it. You might not even know how much help you need. But I know; so here I am.”
The pieces were starting to fall into place. “Wait . . . Christmas Eve . . . guardian angel. This is some kind of a joke, right?” she said before adding sarcastically, “What’s the matter, Jacob Marley was busy? Clarence already got his wings? Or wasn’t he on duty tonight?”
He grinned. “Both good men. But you got stuck with me. Although, all things considered, maybe it’s me who got stuck with you. You can be quite unpleasant, do you know that?”
Ella snorted derisively. “So when does the Ghost of Christmas Past show up? Or is he waiting for me upstairs?”
“Dickens took some liberties. It doesn’t exactly work like that. At least, this time it won’t.”
“You have exactly one second to get out of my way or I’m going to start screaming at the top of my lungs!”
Cohen cocked his head to one side and gave her a brief shrug of resignation. “Okay then, you win. Can’t say I didn’t try.” He stepped smoothly to one side and swept his arm in a wide arc toward the door. “Be my guest.”
Throwing him what she hoped was a withering glare, Ella marched past him, flung open the door—and stepped into a nightmare.

Continue reading Author Interview: Janet K Halling

17 Dec 2012

Author Interview: Dusty Crabtree

Author Bio:

Dusty Crabtree has been a high school English teacher at Yukon High School in Oklahoma since 2006, a challenge she thoroughly enjoys. She is also a youth sponsor at Cherokee Hills Christian Church in Oklahoma City and feels very blessed with the amazing opportunities she has to develop meaningful relationships with teens on a daily basis. Her passion for teens has poured into her writing as well. She is the author of the young adult urban fantasy, Shadow Eyes, through Musa Publishing, which she wrote in order to give teens an intriguing and provocative book series that promotes moral messages. She lives with her husband, Clayton, in Yukon, Oklahoma, where they often serve their community as foster parents.

If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
Becca Fitzpatrick, author of the Hush Hush series! I love her writing style! Her words flow so smoothly, and her plots transition seamlessly from one scene to the next. As I was writing my first novel, Shadow Eyes, she was the one I read while thinking to myself, “Man, I want to write like that.” Without her knowing it, I think she made me a better writer.

What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
Well, I’m actually a high school English teacher by day, but I doubt you want to hear about that as it has nothing to do with writing, except that I sometimes gain some interesting fuel for my young adult books. Since school takes up so much of my time, I try to write late in the evening before bed, on the weekends, or on school breaks…basically whenever I can find some free time. Summer is my main time to write. As far as where, I love to write on my couch or sitting at my table on my laptop. But if something comes to me while I’m out, I always have my notes app on my phone.

What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
I think trying to write the beginnings of chapters is the hardest part or when I first sit down to write after a long break. Once I get the flow going, it’s much easier, but that first initial writer’s block is sometimes hard to get through.

When and why did you first start writing?
I didn’t start writing until May of 2010 when I started working on Shadow Eyes. I had never tried to tackle writing anything before my friend suggested I write a book. I told her she was crazy, but once the seed was planted and I started, I couldn’t stop. I loved writing and couldn’t wait every day to go home from my teaching job to write some more.

How did you come up with the idea for the book?
It originally came to me as an idea for a screenplay for what can only be described as a Christian horror movie. It would have had several interwoven characters who would unknowingly be harassed and influenced by creepy evil shadows. When my friend convinced me I should write a book, I immediately thought of my screenplay idea. A few days later the visual of what is now my prologue just came to me one morning, so I took both ideas and worked them around in my head until I came up with a teenage, female protagonist who could see the shadows while nobody else could…or so she thinks…

Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?
I love reading, especially young adult books! I don’t think I’d be a good author or English teacher if I didn’t. Because of being so busy, though, I don’t get to read nearly as much as I would like. Right now, I’m reading the last of the Fallen series by Lauren Kate! After that it will be The Mark of Athena, the latest Lost Hero book by Rick Riordan!

Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
Find a subject or idea for a story that you are truly passionate about and write a detailed outline with a killer ending. If you do, you’ll be far less likely to drop out or give up in the middle of the writing process. Also, write short stories and other small works now for practice and enter them in contests or try to get them published. When you get to the point of looking for an agent or publisher for your first novel, you’ll have more luck if you can include some writing credentials in your query letter.


Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil. But she is the only one who can see them. She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier.

Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters. First, a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend.

As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be.

Check out Dusty’s blog at http://dustycrabtree.wordpress.com/
Follow her on twitter at https://twitter.com/dustycrabtree
(also available at all major online bookstores)

Continue reading Author Interview: Dusty Crabtree

16 Dec 2012

Book Review: Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley

Looking for a woman of good character and pleasant disposition willing to learn the ranching business in Arizona territory. Must be SINGLE and prepared to remain so now and forever more. Will be given ownership of ranch. --Eleanor Walker

Disgraced dime novelist Kate Tenney fled the city that banned her latest book for a fresh start at a cattle ranch in the Arizona Territory. She hopes ranching turns out to be as romantic as she portrayed it in her novels.

But what awaits her is a much harder life. There is no room for mistakes on a working cattle ranch in 1895, and Kate is ill-prepared for her new life. She quickly learns that dawn comes early . . . every day. But she is tenacious.

Having been abandoned by a string of men, Kate has no intention of ever marrying. But she didn't expect to meet Luke Adams either. Luke awakens feelings inside Kate she doesn't recognize, and his steady presence is a constant distraction. She has only written about love in the past, never known it herself. But her feelings for Luke stand in the way of all she has to gain if she is chosen as the heir.

Perhaps God brought Kate to the barrenness of the desert to give new life to her jaded heart.



7 out of 10

I received this for review and I have to be honest and say that this is not normally the type of book I would pick up.  There are two types of stories that I tend to stay away from and they are war and westerns.  OK, so this one was a bit like a western story but the blurb sounded really good I thought I would give it a try and I was so glad I did.  

For me, what made this story really enjoyable was the romance element and character interaction.   I really felt like I was right inside the story and interacting with each of the characters.  Kate and Luke were great characters and I loved seeing how they interacted together and romance build up, however I do wish there was a bit more romance to the story.

Best wishes

Continue reading Book Review: Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley

12 Dec 2012

Author Interview - Libby Mercer

Defamed, Disgraced and Displaced...

Fresh from a career-killing scandal, New York fashion girl, Maya Kirkwood, arrives in San Francisco to reinvent herself as a fine artist. She's offered the opportunity to create an installation at the Silicon Valley headquarters of a hot new tech company. Fabulous, right?

Not so much.

She can't stand Derek Whitley - wunderkind software genius and CEO of the company. Hot as he may be on the outside, inside the man is a cold, unemotional, robotic type. Way too left-brained for her right-brained self.

As Maya and Derek get to know each other, however, their facades begin to crack. She catches her first glimpse of the man behind the superhuman tech prodigy, and he starts to see her as the woman she used to be. But is this a good thing? Once that last secret is revealed, will it bring them closer together or will it tear them apart?


Born and raised in the Midwestern US, Libby Mercer’s adventurous spirit kicked in after graduating from high school, and she’s since lived in Boston, NYC and London. San Francisco is the city she currently calls home. For several years, Libby worked in fashion – first as a journalist and then as a shopkeeper. She also dabbled in design for a while. Even through the crazy fashion years, Libby never let go of her dream of being a published author, and has since developed her signature writing style, crafting quirky chick lit/romance hybrids. Fashioning a Romance was her first published novel, and Unmasking Maya will be her second. Libby has a third novel, The Karmic Connection, scheduled for release in 2013.

1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?

I would have to say Marian Keyes. Her way with words is amazing and her plots are so intricate. I’d love a chance to work with her and hopefully pick up some tips!

2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?

When I’m on a roll, I write pretty much all day long – from the time I wake up until long into the night. If the words aren’t flowing so well, I’ll power through for a few hours only – usually sometime around midday. And I write on my laptop, which is set up on a small table in my kitchen.
3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?

Really just getting through a difficult scene to write. Sometimes things just don’t sound right or I don’t know what direction to take. For me, it helps to get away from the computer and maybe go for a walk or run some errands. Sometimes I’ll figure out a way to make the scene work or else I’ll realize that whatever I’ve been trying to come up with is just not right for the story and I’ll have to take it in different direction.

4. When and why did you first start writing?

I’ve been writing for so long I can’t remember why I started! Seriously. I wrote my first “book” when I was seven years old. I continued to write stories all through childhood and my teens. I studied creative writing in college and worked as a journalist, so I don’t really know what life is like as a non-writer.

5. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

In a way, it was inspired by real life. I moved to San Francisco a year ago as a single gal, and I thought it would be a good idea to look for love in Silicon Valley. Easier said than done though. Some gal pals informed that a lot of the guys there are a bit difficult to relate to because they’re so left-brained and analytical. I thought that would make for an interesting story if the love interest was so deeply immersed in the cyber world he couldn’t relate well to people outside of the industry.

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?

I absolutely love to read. And even when I’m at my most hectic and overworked, I must have a book to read at night. It’s my ritual. Right now I’m reading Rachel Astor’s Bridesmaid Lotto for one of my book clubs. It’s a lot of fun. Love the premise!

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

Keep at it. The more you write, the more you’ll improve and in almost all cases, it takes a long time to hone your craft. I’m talking years. If your goal is to build a writing career, be sure to study up on what’s happening in the industry. It’s changing so much. And with the boom of e-publishing, it’s actually a great time to be an author. Thank you so much for having me here today, Debra!
Continue reading Author Interview - Libby Mercer

11 Dec 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.


Expected Release Date:  5th March 2013
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

The only thing worse than forgetting her past... is remembering it.

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author, Jessica Brody comes a mesmerizing and suspenseful new series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday - Unremembered by Jessica Brody

9 Dec 2012

6 Dec 2012

Joint Book Review - Immortal Beloved and Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan (Book 1 and 2, Immortal Beloved)

New name, new town, new life. Nastasya has done it too often to count. And there's no end in sight. Nothing ever really ends ...when you're immortal. 

 But now, after centuries of feeding from the lives of the innocents around her, of living with little care for others, Nastasya is ready to turn towards the light. 'After some of the events I've witnessed I felt like I was a shell with nothing alive left in me. I hadn't been going around killing people, but people were hurt -- the memories just kept trickling in like rivulets of fresh acid dripping into my brain until I wanted to scream. It was in my blood, I knew. A darkness. The darkness. I had inherited it, along with my immortality and my black eyes.

Immortal Beloved Release Date:  6th January 2011
Darkness Falls Release Date: 13th September 2012
Goodreads Links :  Immortal BelovedDarkness Falls
Publisher:  Hodder & Stoughton
Source:  Review Copies from Publisher

My Review - 10 out of 10   

For every post I do, I always try to choose the actual cover of the book I read.  In this case, I had two different types of cover for each of these books.  Being honest, I have to say that I prefer the Immortal Beloved cover better than the Darkness Falls cover.

Ok, so onto the review.  I absolutely love this series so far.  After reading the blurb, I thought this sounded like a pretty weird book as the blurb does not really give much away but this story has so much goodness in it I really did not want to put it down.  There are two aspects to the story that I enjoyed the most:

Environment  - As we follow Natasya through the story, I slowly became aware of the life that she was living in, in the present, and the life that she would come to know.  I liked how the two different lives were introduced slowly and not just as a massive 'bang' and then trying to have to pick up the pieces afterwards.  The introduction of the new live that Natasya would come to know came slowly in the novel and introduced new pieces of information a bit at a time, which allowed me time to digest each and every one and truly appreciate the beauty of the situation that Natasya was in.

Characters - For me, this book was definitely very character driven.  You have a group of characters at the beginning that you get to know and start to form an opinion over and when Natashya moves on to her new life there is a whole bunch of new characters that you get to know and start to form an opinion on.  As the story goes through Immortal Beloved and Darkness Falls, those opinions get tested on many occasions as one thing you may have thought about a character turns out not to be true and I definitely had to rethink my opinions on many characters in this story.

I absolutely loved this story so far and can't wait to pick up the next book in the series, hopefully very soon...  

Best wishes

Continue reading Joint Book Review - Immortal Beloved and Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan (Book 1 and 2, Immortal Beloved)

5 Dec 2012

Author Interview: Cotton E Davis

A time traveling soldier warps to first-century Galilee to prevent Christ from being assassinated.

When historian Gwen Hoffman first meets time traveler Mike Garvin, an ex-Special Forces weapons sergeant, back from ancient Gaul where he was embedded as a centurion in Julius Caesar's elite 10th Legion, she is more than a little put off.  Scarred and dangerous-looking, the man appears more thug than time traveler.  Yet he is the person TimeWarp, Inc. is sending back in time to protect Jeshua bar Yosef (Christ) from twenty-first century assassins; the man Gwen was assigned to prepare for life in first-century Galilee.  Gwen, of course, has no idea she and Garvin will become lovers. Nor does she realize she herself will end up in Roman Palestine, where she will not only meet Jesus but face danger alongside Mike in the adventure of a lifetime...

"TimeWarp, Inc." by Cotton E. Davis

Price: $5.99
ISBN: 9781927454374
Release Date: August 6, 2012

1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
I'd have to pick the historical novelist Cecelia Holland. Not only are her novels evocative and historically accurate, but her characters, male and female, ring true. The first novel of hers I read was The Death of Attila, about a surprisingly avuncular Attila the Hun (the so-called Scourge of God) and his warriors, one of whom she humanized to the point I shed tears for him at the novel's end. I really admire the woman.

2. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
There is nothing typical, or even organized, about my catch-as-catch-can life. Basically, I've pretty much Forrest Gumped my way through the entire thing. I usually rise between 4-30 and 5:00 a.m. every morning, not from design but because I wake and can't go back to sleep. Some days, I go into my office and write between 7:00 and 9:00, but often I don't make it in there until early afternoon or even at night. I retired about ten years ago, which allows me the luxury of being so undisciplined.

3. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?
I'd have to say the research. Once I get an idea for a project, I immediately want to begin writing. Researching a subject slows me down, and I often find myself writing and researching at the same time.

4. When and why did you first start writing?
Decades ago, I got a reporter's job on a small weekly newspaper in Missouri. There, I discovered I liked writing, but wasn't crazy about the reporting part. Years later, while managing a restaurant in Washington, D.C., I started reading a lot of fiction and thought I'd like to try writing it. The constraint of earning a living prevented that, but the desire to pen a novel stayed with me until I retired.

5. How did you come up with the idea for your book?
The process sort of evolved in bits and pieces. The basic idea of an agnostic time traveler going back in time and meeting Christ hit me at work one day from out of the blue. The satellite ideas that added bricks and mortar to the story came to me at different times: walking down the street in lower Manhattan, taking the plotting suggestion of a former green beret intelligence officer, recalling a young woman who would later become the basis for a character.
I have an episodic memory, which gives me access to a lifetime of such memories to draw from.

6. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now? Yes and no. I go through periods where I read almost voraciously. At other times, my focus is elsewhere. I remember a time, that lasted nearly a year, during which I read fantasy novels exclusively. There was another period in which I was enthralled by gangster fiction and non-. I've always liked historical novels. History is easier to remember, at least for me, if it comes at you couched in interesting characters. Right now, I'm reading a bit of women's fiction titled Eliza by Joyce Proell.

7. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers? It would be presumptuous for me to advise anyone on anything. Well, on second thought, I might tell an aspiring writer not to write like I do, unless of course it works for them.

Continue reading Author Interview: Cotton E Davis

Waiting on Wednesday - This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly memo that is hosted by Breaking the Spine Blog.


Expected Release Date:   2nd April 2013
(Release date obtained from Goodreads)

Goodreads link is here.

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith's new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O'Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don't even know each other's first names.

Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don't tell each other everything; Graham doesn't know the major secret hidden in Ellie's family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham's new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie's mom want her to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs?
Continue reading Waiting on Wednesday - This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith