Search Results for: cate price

Meet Guest Blogger R. K. Price author of THE THUNDERBIRD CONSPIRACY

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I reviewed THE THUNDERBIRD CONSPIRACY on November 8th. Go back and check it out if you missed it. Today I would like to welcome R. K. Price who is here to talk about his book:

rkpriceThe fiftieth anniversary of the tragic death of John F. Kennedy quickly approaches. The nation will once more honor one of its finest of fallen heroes.  There will be no celebration.  It will be a somber affair, and a new generation of Americans will join their parents and grandparents in reliving those horrifying days and tearful nights of November, 1963 to mourn the youthful President. His image is frozen in time. Besides the sorrowful reminiscing the most notorious crime of the twentieth century will again be examined as the greatest mystery of that millennium. Perhaps the greatest mystery ever. The airwaves, internet and print media will overflow with the full spectrum of opinion on topic.  Accomplished scholars will weigh in; crime writers will have a field day; bloggers will pontificate, and broadcasters will bloviate.  The story will never go away.  It is engrained in the American psyche.

And inevitably during this examination many will ponder the “what if’s.”  What if JFK had lived? What if Lee Harvey Oswald had changed his mind?  What if during that morning in Dallas someone had spotted him with his rifle and called police?  What if his shots were just slightly off target?  Or what if one of his accomplices had turned against him?  Besides Jack Ruby. Before it was too late.

Accomplices, you say.  Why?  What makes you think so?

Thunderbird does not attempt to solve Kennedy’s murder. Far from it. It is neither a scholarly recitation nor another chronicle leading up to and moving beyond the sights and sounds of those fatal gunshots.  Thunderbird does, however, present intriguing elements to this endless Shakespearean-like drama too big to ignore.  It introduces two new, honest-to-God, bigger than life characters .  Men never heard of or written about before.  They were men of such divergent backgrounds that even their chance meeting shattered all odds. They were fascinating men, each in their own right, and the people around them, some who actually were there, others who are found in my imagination, bring color and perspective to those times and to the events that shaped the nation.

Thunderbird is a book of fiction, but it contains more truth than many would like to admit.

thunderbird coverUntil the Kennedy Assassination section of the National Archives finally released secret FBI and Secret Service files on Robert Kaye his story laid dormant.  It was then, in 2008, and the unexpected revelation of the Robert Kaye dossier that I began to write.  To tell it all beginning on the day my mother’s beloved brother, Bud Carlson, sat, near death from chronic heart disease, spinning a yarn too hard for many to believe.

I truly believed my uncle’s telling on that dreary winter day in Colorado, but I was a journalist and a pretty darn good one at that.  I needed collaboration so I waited and searched for it for thirty-seven years.  I waited to describe the Hungarian freedom fighter, wounded in the bloody 1956 uprising against the Soviets, who came to New Orleans seeking solace and asylum only to find wickedness among those who conspired to kill a President.  A gullible, selfish, confused man easily manipulated by the allure of sex, money, power and standing among the group hell-bent on their murderous mission.  He made his way to Denver where he met Bud Carlson and later a man named Lee Harvey Oswald.

I waited to tell how this man shattered the innocent, yet sorrowful life of my uncle who longed for peace and tranquility after years of heartbreak and personal loss.  Their paths crossed when Bud Carlson hired Robert Kaye and a bond was forged between them. I write that Bud, too, was duped by the conniving Kaye, one of many aliases as the Kennedy investigators soon found out.  Bud trusted the talented tradesman but soon grew tired and wary of his radical views and expressed hatred for America’s leaders at the time.  Bud became suspicious but never thought for a moment his employee ever harbored such ominous motives.

Then Kaye vanished mere weeks before the Assassination leaving a wife and child behind. Like the good man he was Bud stepped in to help, giving the abandoned pair hope and financial support to await his return. Kaye has never been seen since.

I tell how days after the President’s death Bud was arrested for questioning and spent days under intense interrogation. What linked the two and forced Bud to his knees in handcuffs was a piece of evidence somehow lost or possibly ignored in America’s rush to judgment.  That evidence, I reveal, was a pair of binoculars given to Kaye by Bud Carlson as a birthday gift.  This same pair was found in Oswald’s apartment on the day of the Assassination. To his knowledge I write not once in all the millions of documents collected on Kennedy’s killing have binoculars in Oswald’s possession ever been disclosed.  But my uncle said they were his gift to Kaye, and years later, a friendly G-man confirmed to him the shocking truth. For Bud that inadvertent connection led to terrifying days that turned into years of unwarranted suspicion and harassment at the hands of a government he respected and loved.  Bud was betrayed by Robert Kaye but more hurtful was the betrayal by his nation which, through its protectors, victimized Bud Carlson as an unwitting participant in the whole sordid affair.

Bud Carlson is dead.  Robert Kaye may not be.  If he is alive let him come forward to confess and finally free Bud Carlson to rest in peace. The captivating tale of Robert Kaye and Bud Carlson and the parts they played in the Kennedy saga will assume a prominent position on the bookshelves and in the virtual libraries of America’s readers for many years to come.

R. K. Price

R.K. Price Website: http://rkprice.com/
R.K. Price Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rkpriceauthor
R.K. Price Twitter: https://twitter.com/RK_Price

Buy The Thunderbird Conspiracy:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository  

Follow the Tour:

So Many Precious Books Oct 18 Review & Giveaway
Dr. Bill’s Book Bazaar Oct 21 Review
Dr. Bill’s Book Bazaar Oct 22 Interview
Deal Sharing Aunt Oct 23 Review
Ordinary Girls Oct 24 Review
Rainy Days & Mondays Oct 25 Review
Fundimental Oct 28 Review
Fundimental Oct 29 Guest Post & Giveaway
Joystory Oct 30 Review
Serendipity Oct  30 Review
Serendipity Oct 31 Interview
Reviewing Novels Online Oct 31 Review
Rose & Beps Blog Nov 1 Guest Post & Giveaway
Cozie Corner Nov 4 Review
Library of Clean Reads Nov 5 Review
Tea & Inspiration Nov 6 Review & Giveaway
Romance & Inspiration Nov 7 Review & Interview
Kate Eileen Shannon Nov 8 Review
Kate Eileen Shannon Nov 12 Guest Post
Indies Behind the Scenes Nov 9 Live Interview
Tales of a Book Addict Nov 13 Review

Review and a chance to win a book or a prize package – GOING THROUGH THE NOTIONS

Cate Price is on a blog tour put on by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours with her new cozy GOING THROUGH THE NOTIONS, first book in Cate Price - giveawaythe Deadly Notions mystery series. You can read my review below and leave a comment (with an email to contact you) for a chance to win the bookand you want to win this book, trust me. And you can also enter the rafflecopter contest for the prize package pictured by clicking here: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck to Cate with the tour. Stop at some of the other tour spots listed below for more chances to win.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

cate price bio picCate Price was born in England and came to the U.S. when she was sixteen. She is a regular sight on the streets of her home town walking her two amazing rescue dogs, and enjoys gardening, yard sales, and cooking with friends. Her previous (unpublished) books span the genres of romantic comedy, romantic suspense and murder mysteries, and have finaled in numerous contests, including the prestigious Daphne Du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Romance Writers of America.

Writing the first book in the Deadly Notions mystery series proved to be rather an expensive project, because while researching auction houses, she also became addicted to bidding on box lots. She is currently hard at work on the next book in the series, A DOLLHOUSE TO DIE FOR.

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A retired schoolteacher—and yes, daughter of a Fitzgerald fan—Daisy Buchanan has found her calling in the village of Millbury, Pennsylvania. While her husband endlessly renovates their old house, Daisy happily presides over Sometimes a Great Notion, a quirky shop that sells sewing bits and bobs, antiques, and jewelry.

Daisy has her eye on an antique dollhouse and a classic Singer Featherweight at the local auction—until her friend and mentor, auctioneer going-through-notions coverAngus Backstead, is led away in handcuffs. It appears he bashed in the head of a drinking buddy who stole a set of fancy fountain pens. Daisy’s sure the sprightly old-timer couldn’t have done it. But she soon learns Angus had more than a few enemiesincluding the detective on the case.

As Daisy seeks the truth, she also uncovers some leads: a disgruntled heiress hunting for the pens, two farm boys with a grudge against the deceased and the accused, and a twisted scam that entangled the dead man. But if Daisy can’t stitch together the bidder truth soon, Angus will be going once, going twicegone forever.

MY REVIEW

I have read a lot of so called cozies lately. They were good, don’t get me wrong, but they really weren’t cozies. Some have been thrillers – it seems if you are female and write a series, you are called cozy because the publishing industry only allows a small percentage of Patricia Cornwalls. Or they were what I call ‘cozy lite’, those zany mysteries written more for the humour than the mystery. Well all lovers of true cozies can rest easy now because a new true cozy author has joined the ranks. If you are a fan of Cleo Coyle’s Coffee House Series or Ellery Adams’ Books By The Bay Series or Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles series or… well you get my drift, you are going to love Cate Price’s Deadly Notions series. The characters are well drawn. You can just see Daisy’s shop. You feel you could find your way around the quaint towns and villages in the area. The plot is very smart and you will be kept guessing. And it may have caused Cate to develop an expensive habit, bidding on box lots, but as someone whose husband owned an antique store many years ago, I can tell you her research was impeccable. I recommend GOING THROUGH THE NOTIONS and I can’t wait for A DOLLHOUSE TO DIE FOR to come out. ♥♥♥♥♥ +

Book Details:
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Berkley
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Number of Pages: 304
This is a Brand New Series

LINKS:
Cate loves to connect with readers at her website, http://cateprice.com/ on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/catepriceauthor or Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/cateprice

Purchase Links:
Amazon              B & N                   Powell’s Books                   Book Depository

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Tour Participants
August 29 – rantinravin’ and reading Review
August 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy Review & Interview
September 2 – Melina’s Book Blog Review & Interview
September 3 – A Year of Jubilee Reviews Review
September 4 – Booklady’s Booknotes Review & Interview
September 5 – readalot Review
September 6 – Book Dilettante Review
September 9 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner
September 10 – Mochas, Mysteries and More Interview
September 11 – Must Read Faster Review
September 12 – Books n Kisses Review & Interview
September 13 – Brooke Blogs Review
September 14 – Escape With Dollycas Review

 

FREEZER I’LL SHOOT by Victoria Hamilton (and a giveaway!)

Giveaway is at the bottom of the page.

VictoriaHamiltonAuthorVictoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels. Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others. She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series Victoria also writes the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, out June 3rd, 2014. She is on tour, for her new book FREEZER I’LL SHOOT, with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.  I’m thrilled she is here today, welcome Victoria.

You’re a prolific writer. Multiple series, multiple genres, how long does it take you to write a first draft of a book like FREEZER I’LL SHOOT and then with all that follows that, how long before the reader gets to see it?

Ideally I have four months from start to finish, with the first draft taking two of those months, at least and usually a little more. We are timing due dates about one year before the publication date, so if I turn in a book November 1st, it’s probably for November of the next year.

To do what you do, you must be an incredibly organized person. Would I be correct in assuming you must be a plotter not a pantster?

Hah! You would think that, wouldn’t you? Here’s how it goes… I start out determined to be organized, and my plan is generally to take the synopsis that I used to sell the book, and flesh it out into a chapter by chapter outline. Except… planning is boring and writing is fun. So without even intending to, I jump ahead to write, and end up in the thick of it. I torture myself through the whole thing and beat myself up for not following the plan, but I get there after a lot of hair pulling and moaning and waking up at three in the morning certain I’m going to fail this time. But eventually I do get there. Next book I’m going to plan properly, I swear it. 

You write under three different names – that I am aware of – ever get confused who you are, say at a book signing?

Well, I don’t do book signings at this point, so it’s never a problem!

How many books are you ahead and what is the next book we can expect to see from you?

After Freezer I’ll Shoot, my current release, Book 3 of the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, there is a bit of a gap. In June of next year Tempest in a Teapot, Book 1 of the Teapot Collector Mysteries, comes out. Then in July, Muffin But Murder, Book 2 of the Merry Muffin Mysteries is released, then in November, No Mallets Intended, Book 4 the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries, will be published!

Which is more fun to write, a romance or a mystery?

That’s tough… romance was where I started, but mystery was always where I intended to go, so I guess I’ll have to say mystery. I love everything about it. And… I can always add a little romance into the mystery! Of course, I often did add a little mystery into my romances, so there you go.

What do you like to do to balance the demands writing places on you?

I find TV relaxing because I don’t have to think about it (!!). I enjoy sitcoms, and love historical dramas like Downton Abbey and a new one, Reign. But I really enjoy crafts, too; jewelry making, cross stitch, crocheting. And friends and karaoke! I like to sing. My favorite time of year is coming and it combines everything I adore… Christmas specials and movies on TV, Christmas songs to sing, crafts to do… love it!

I happen to collect vintage kitchen items. Are you into that? Is that how you got the idea for the theme of this series?

Absolutely! What do you collect? I love to hear about other people’s collections. I don’t have a lot of room, so it’s kind of a revolving door collection… I buy stuff and get rid of stuff. I collect vintage kitchen, Friendly Village china, bowls, teacups… too much stuff for my small place!

Do you have your own Hoppy? And is that his picture on your website?

I wish I did! I would love to have a small dog. But no, that is a stock photo. Hoppy (at least his temperament and behavior) is based on a friend’s neighbor’s Morkie (Maltese-Yorkie cross). His name is Wicket and he is adorable!

Now three things that have nothing to do with writing or your book:

  • What is your favorite food? Oooh… spaghetti. Or cake. Or brownies.
  • What is your favorite TV show? I love Mike & Molly, and still enjoy Survivor.
  • What is your favorite music? Favorite all time is old Motown, but I also like new music by Bruno Mars, Duffy and Adele.

Thank you so much for being here today Victoria, and good luck with the tour and your new book. Before you go, is there anything else you would like to tell your readers or have them know about you?

I would like to thank everyone, all the readers out there. This has been a wonderful journey to mystery publication, a dream of mine since I was twelve, and the response from readers has been stupendous. Especially wonderful have been some of the letters I’ve received telling me how my books have affected folks. I love hearing from readers!

And thank you, Kate, and the fabulous cozy mystery reading community of bloggers and reviewers! You make our jobs as writers so much fun and connect us so happily with reader… it is appreciated.

freeer ill shootBLURB

Trying to escape her overbearing mother, vintage kitchenware enthusiast and soon-to-be columnist Jaymie Leighton retreats to her family’s cottage on Heartbreak Island. While there she hopes to write an article about the Ice House restaurant, owned by good friends and neighbors, siblings Ruby and Garnet Redmond. Once an actual icehouse, the restaurant is charmingly decorated with antique tools of the trade, including a collection of ice picks.

One night, while working on her article, Jaymie overhears an argument and, ever the sleuth, sets out to explore. But when she stumbles upon a dead body her blood runs cold. It’s Urban Dobrinskie, whose feud with the Redmonds is no secret, and he’s got an ice pick through his heart. Now Jaymie’s got to sharpen her sleuthing skills to chip away at the mystery and prove her neighbors’ innocence—before someone else gets picked off…

MY REVIEW

All the ingredients for a great cozy. A smartly written mystery and I’m pretty sure you won’t guess the killer. A bit of romance. Though my feeling boyfriend Daniel may find himself replaced by police officer Zach at some point – just a guess. Very well drawn characters, though not all are who you think they are. I learned something new ­ – about ice storage in the days before refrigeration – which I always enjoy, even when I am reading for entertainment. And a vintage recipe at the end for something called a sandwich loaf which I am planning to try out.   This is the third book in the series and I will be looking forward to seeing this series continue for a long time. ♥♥♥♥½

AUTHOR LINKS

Amazon Page

Website 

Facebook – Victoria

Facebook – Vintage Kitchen Mysteries

 Blog

Twitter

PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon         Book World                B&N               Book Depository

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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 2 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Interview, Giveaway

November 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview, Giveaway

November 4 – My Recent Favorite Books – Review, Giveaway

November 5 – According to Squenn – Interview

November 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

November 7 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Interview, Giveaway

November 8 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Giveaway

November 9 – A Chick Who Reads – Review, Interview

November 10 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review, Giveaway

November 11 – A Date with a Book – Review, Giveaway

November 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review, Giveaway

November 13 – Community Bookstop – Review, Giveaway

November 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Giveaway

November 15 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Review, Giveaway

For a chance to win one of two autographed copies of Freezer I’ll Shoot or a ‘Cozy Up To A Mystery’ book tote and pen 1) leave a comment below AND then 2) click HERE. Good Luck.

PLUM DEADLY by Ellie Grant – Interview and a GIVEAWAY

Joyce and Jim Lavene write bestselling mystery fiction. They have written and published more than 60 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, and jj 2Charter Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family, Quincy, their black cat, and their rescue dog, Rudi. They are here today as Ellie Grant (although sometimes they are J.J. Cook or Elyssa Henry or Joye Adams) because they are on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours promoting their new book PLUM DEADLY. Be sure to leave a comment below (with email) to be entered in the GIVEAWAY for a copy of Plum Deadly. Welcome Joyce and Jim.

I have two different last names but it is easy to remember – day to day it is Shannon but if I use a credit card it is Thomas, my husband’s last name. But how do you remember who you are on any given day? Do you sort of feel any different when you are writing as a ‘different’ person?

J & J: That’s funny! We frequently joke about not knowing who we are.  Actually, we never lose track because we keep lots of notes and have dozens of Excel spread sheets. We know who we are because of what we’re working on each day. We only write one rough draft at a time. To get ‘into’ the characters and feeling for each series, we go over past stories and notes. We also have photos for each series.

How and when did you meet? And at what point did you decide to write together?

J & J: We met in 1971 when we were both protesting the Vietnam War in Washington, DC. After we were arrested, we knew we should be together. We were married two weeks later.

Writing together was different. It took many years to decide to write together. It was another few years before we figured out how to do it.

I’ve interviewed other writing teams but they weren’t married. Once you made that decision to write together, what has it been  like to live together AND write together? The good and the bad…

Joyce: We owned an office supply business together for 15 years so we had some practice. It’s a challenge sometimes.

Jim: I just do what she says!

I have only one series I am working on, with one group of characters and I have to keep what I call my ‘Character Bible’ with all their facts and characteristics.  Do you ever confuse the characters from different series? Forget who you are writing about and suddenly realize you’ve given someone some personality trait of someone else? What tricks do you use to keep everybody straight?

J & J: Really, confusing the characters would be like confusing our children. You live and work with these people, just like when you work with real people in an office or store. It would be easier to forget that they aren’t real people! We do have huge character fact sheets about what they look like – their opinions on things, what they hope to achieve. Our sleuths also have records on things that happen to them so we don’t keep injuring them in the same way. Broken limbs. Hit in the head. Shot. Etc.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? Is baking a passion for either of you?

Jim: Joyce is the best cook in the world. She makes awesome pie!

Joyce: Actually, our son is the baker in the family. He runs his own pizzeria and makes different kinds of artisan breads, sweet rolls and pies.

Jim: But she taught him.

What author, living or dead, would you invite for dinner and conversation if you could? You can each give an answer. Jim and Joyce that is – no one else LOL.

Joyce: Jules Verne

Jim: I already got to do this because I ate breakfast with Carole Nelson Douglas!

Now three things I ask everybody that have nothing to do with writing (once again, both of you ):

  • What is your favorite food? Jim: lasagna – Joyce: baked potatoes
  • What is your favorite TV show? Jim: True Blood – Joyce: Castle
  • What is your favorite music? Jim: I love all music.  Joyce: A Pirate’s Christmas,  Tom Mason and the Blue Bucaneers

Thank you so much for being here today, Joyce and Jim, and good luck with the tour and your new book. Before you go, is there anything else you would like to tell your readers or have them know about you?

Jim: Hmmm . . . we both like French toast.

Joyce: And Jim makes us both lattes every morning before we start working

Jim: She makes male characters sound wishy-washy

Joyce: He thinks every female character should wear ‘nighties’.

J & J: And we both LOVE working together! Thanks for having us here today!

My review is below and don’t forget to comment below to win a copy of Plum Deadly!

Plum deadly640x414Book Details
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Gallery Books
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Number of Pages: 304

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Unjustly accused of cooking the books, Maggie Grady is forced to retreat from her high-flying New York financial career to the town where she grew up. Her aunt Clara greets her with open arms and a job at the family-owned business that has baked the best pies in the South for over forty years. Unfortunately, while Maggie is determined to return to banking, her reputation there seems permanently in the pits. That is, until her old boss, Lou, visits with news that he’s found the real crook. Before he can reveal the details, though, Maggie finds his body right behind the pie shop.

With only her own word that Lou planned to exonerate her, Maggie is in the spotlight. The police seem to suspect that Aunt Clara’s damson pie may not be just dangerously delectable, but downright deadly. Maggie doesn’t just have her own name to clear; she has to make sure that her aunt’s beloved business isn’t harmed, either. Yummy local reporter Ryan Summerour appears eager to help, and Maggie can’t help hoping that it’s not just the police who find her a person of interest—but Ryan, as well. She’d thought it challenging to make the perfect pie crust that Aunt Clara demands, but that turns out to be nothing compared with finding a murderer. . . .

MY REVIEW

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it so quickly that when I discovered the number of pages, I was amazed. It is just so enjoyable that you breeze right through it. The characters are so likeable – the ones we are supposed to like that is LOL. And I like the little touches – like Maggie and Clara walk everywhere. I don’t know, it just made it comfortable, homey, you want to be friends with these people. Maggie decides to stay with her Aunt Clara instead of going back to New York and there is a budding romance with Ryan and a very good friendship with Frank, the cop… in other words all the ingredients for a wonderful new series. And speaking of ingredients, there are recipes at the back of the book. Yum. ♥♥♥♥♥

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website

Blog

Goodreads

Twitter

PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON          B&N               Book World                  Book Depository                    Powell’s Books

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Tour Participants

September 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Guest Post

September 4 – My Recent Favorite books – Review & Giveaway

September 5 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner –Review & Giveaway

September 5 – Dru’s Book Musings– Guest Post & Giveaway

September 5 –Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Guest Post & Giveaway

September 6 – StoreyBook Reviews  – Guest Post, Review & Giveaway

September 7 – Dr. Pepper Diva – Review & Giveaway

September 9 – rantinravin’ and reading – Interview, Review & Giveaway

September 10 – readalot – Review & Giveaway

September 11 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Guest Post & Giveaway

September 12 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Guest Post, Review & Giveaway

September 13 – A Blue Million Books  – Interview

September 14 – Brooke Blogs – Review

September 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Review of Noah’s Rainy Day -The latest installment in the Liv Bergen Mystery Series

ABOUT THE AUTHORsandra br

After living in Wyoming, Washington, D.C., Washington state, and Colorado, Sandra Brannan returned to her hometown in South Dakota, where she is surrounded by family. She enjoys working with relatives in the mining business; living in the Black Hills with her husband, Joel; smiling with pride over the journeys taken by her four sons; doting over her three grandchildren; and appreciating all of life’s blessings, too many to count.

Get frequent updates by becoming a Facebook fan or following Sandra onTwitter.

Watch an author interview with Sandra:

 

noah coverBLURB

Newly minted Special Agent Liv Bergen races against time to solve a child kidnapping—which could take a fatal turn—with the help of her gifted nephew Noah.

From birth, Noah Hogarty has lived with severe cerebral palsy. He is nearly blind, unable to speak, and cannot run, walk, or crawl. Yet his mind works just as well as any other twelve-year-old’s—maybe even better. And Noah holds a secret dream: to become a great spy, following in the footsteps of his aunt, Liv “Boots” Bergen.

Now, freshly returned from training at Quantico, FBI agent Liv Bergen is thrown into her first professional case. Working side by side with veteran agent Street Pierce, enigmatic agent and lover Jack Linwood, and her bloodhound Beulah, Liv must race to find five-year-old Max—last seen at the Denver International Airport—before his Christmastime abduction turns deadly. Meanwhile, Noah, housebound, becomes wrapped up in identifying the young face he sees watching him from his neighbor’s bedroom window, but he can neither describe nor inscribe what he knows. And his investigation may lead to Noah paying the ultimate price in fulfilling his dreams.

Noah’s Rainy Day (the fourth novel in Brannan’s mystery series) combines classic Liv Bergen irreverence and brainpower with an unflinching look at the darkest of human motivations, while a whirlpool of increasingly terrifying events threatens to engulf Liv and Noah both in one final rainy day.

MY REVIEW 

NOAH’S RAINY DAY is not an easy book to review or read and not everyone should read it – but it is a very well written book. I have heard so many people say again and again that they will not read a book in which a child or an animal is harmed. For those people, do not read the prologue. It adds nothing to the book, could mislead you into putting the book down, and it should not be in the book at all, in my opinion. If like me, you are the parent of a handicapped child, it will be a difficult book to read. I sobbed through parts where Noah is thinking about how people marginalize him. Obviously it is not new knowledge, just a very painful reminder. There is no mystery to the reader. We know the child, little Max, is kidnapped. We know who did it. Noah knows where the child is but is unable to communicate it. The people who are in the dark are the FBI and local police who are trying to find the child. It is well written, suspenseful, has wonderful character development. Perhaps if I had read earlier books in Sandra Brannan’s series there are things I would understand better. Like the fact Noah uses a five finger method of communication which even most of his closest family does not understand. I find that hard to believe in such a large, close, loving family. Not to mention, I find it hard to believe he doesn’t have an iPad. Even though Noah has hypertonic or spastic cerebral palsy and is almost blind, he can see with his special contact and he is able to operate a pin/recording device given to him by his aunt and key to the FBI solving the case. Of course, if Noah had an iPad, the element of suspense would be lost. Sandra Brannan is an excellent writer. It is a very suspenseful book. And not everyone would have the issues I do – few would. So yes, I do recommend the book, for most mystery readers. ♥♥♥½

The book was scheduled for release on September 3rd but is available on Amazon now.

 

 

BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A DIME? The continued screwing of Rhode Islanders.


Once I built a tower up to the sun1936-s-mercury-dime

Brick and rivet and lime
Once I built a tower, now it’s done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Okay, so this time it wasn’t a tower that was built, it was a bridge. And a depression era song is very appropriate. Because while our government continues to talk about the Great Recession (which is BS – it met the definition of a depression), here in Rhode Island we were, and still are, in a regional depression. No matter what any politician says.

So do our politicians work to try and relieve it? No. Of course not. They are too busy up there on Smith Hill with smoke and mirrors, back stabbing, lining their pockets and those of their cronies, and all manner of skullduggery.

On occasion, something good emerges from the smoke and mirrors. This year we got Same Sex Marriage out of it. Which I am totally in favor of. But I am 100% convinced that the only reason we got it this year was because the politicians knew that while the voters were in a tizzy, pro or anti, they were too busy to notice the politicians were doing nothing about our job or economic crisis in the state.

Oh, and there was all the time debating whether or not to make calamari the official appetizer of Rhode Island.

Then there was the whole 38 Studios debacle. Which in my meandering way will ultimately lead to the point. And the dimes.

The Governor that preceded the current knucklehead was Donald Carcieri. Scum. Of. The. Earth. I met him when he was running the first time because I was forced to attend a Republican fundraiser as a favor to someone. (They got not even a thin dime out of me. There was some decent food though.) While I may at rare times be forced to attend functions that I would prefer not to, there is no force on this earth that can keep my mouth closed. Which people really need to remember when forcing me to do something that violates everything I believe in. (You know who you are.) So when the candidate was trying to leave, I cornered him – despite the best efforts of he who brought me to hold me back. The man was anti gay, anti woman, anti poor,  anti immigrant (yeah, Carcieri, a proud old Native American name), anti everything I am pro. Which I can handle. I know many other morons. But they can look me in the eye when defending their racist, bigoted, mysogynistic views. This scum bag couldn’t. Never trust a person who can’t make eye contact. He who brought me managed to finally physically drag me away as the state police were closing in.

So in his second term, Carcieri was at a cocktail party and met Curt Schilling. I have no clue who Curt Schilling is but I am told he played baseball and has something to do with a bloody sock. I could research this but it is so not worth my time. Impressed with the idea of being able to hang out with this former ball player with no business experience, The Scum conspired with the EDC and a couple of other equally scummy politicians to give said former ball player, with no business experience, 75 million dollars to bring 38 Studios to Rhode Island.

Big surprise. 38 Studios failed.

So who is on the hook for the 75 million?

While Rhode Islanders traditionally vote for the worst possible candidate, they have been strangely wise about voting on bond issues. So they couldn’t take that route to get the money. Instead, they got Moral Obligation Bonds. Which should be illegal. Not just that they got them, the bonds themselves.

The citizens of Rhode Island have absolutely no legal obligation to repay these bonds and despite what some people say, it would not hurt us if we did not repay them. But the scum bags that gave this money to Schilling are in bed with the wealthy investors who bought these bonds – knowing full well the risk involved in doing so. So they want to pay it off. How? By taking the money from the poorest in our society. By cutting money from every social welfare program that is the only thing keeping a large number of Rhode Islanders going.

 

It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.
Hubert H. Humphrey

 

Surprisingly, there were a number of politicians who balked at repaying the 75 million which actually works out to paying out 90 million. Finally. Something too odoriferous for even some politicians.

And here is why you should never sell your soul to the devil. He will screw you every time.

There were a  group of politicians who wanted to prevent the new Sakonnet River Bridge from becoming a toll bridge. It was unfair, no doubt. But fair is not a word used in Rhode Island politics. It would cause small businesses and restaurants to lose enough business they would close. We cannot afford that in this state with an already dismal business climate. And in fact, in anticipation, some small businesses have already moved over the line into Massachusetts. The power brokers realized that the bridge people could put them over the top and force through the bill forcing the people of Rhode Island to repay the 38 Studio bonds. So they said you vote with us and we won’t put the toll on the bridge. The power brokers won.

Guess what?

They lied. Imagine that. The devil lies?

Once they got their bill passed they ‘suddenly realized’ that by government regulation, if they did not institute a toll now, they never could. So just to cover the possible future need to have a toll, they put in a mere token of a toll. A symbolic gesture. That’s all. A 10¢ toll. And it would be on the honor system. They weren’t even putting in toll booths.

Honor. Rhode Island. There’s an oxymoron.

Well not totally an honor system. There are cameras which will record your plate as you drive over the bridge. And if you have an E-Zpass, it will debit your account.

Now from the sublime to the ridiculous.

They are already making plans to bill people for the 10¢. Okay. Let’s think about this. A stamp costs 46¢. Then there is the price of the envelope and paper and the state worker to do the billing and the undoubtedly new computer program, and training thereon… All to collect a dime.

Oh. And lest we forget. The dime toll is only until April 1st when who knows what will happen. I think we know what will happen. What the power brokers wanted in the first place.

April 1st. Irony, anyone?

I write fiction. If in any of my books you ever read something and say that is ridiculous, that could never happen. Remember this. I currently live in Rhode Island. It more than likely did happen. Man, I just had an idea for a storyline.

A visit with Geraldine Evans, author of A Thrust To The Vitals

gerrie evansStopping by today is Geraldine Evans who is going to talk about her latest ebook release A THRUST TO THE VITALS. It is actually the tenth of a fifteen book (so far)  series. I’m sitting here with a nice strong cup of tea, as I’m sure Gerrie is, so let’s get started.

Gerrie, I liked the book. But some of the early reviews  have been less than kind. I know that hurts so I’m not going to ask if that bothers you – of course it does. But the criticism seems to be you write in a British style and that doesn’t appeal to Americans. Is it something you are finding?

No, not really, I think it was an issue with this book because I’ve been experimenting with Amazon’s Categories and I put this one in International Crime and Mystery. Big mistake!  Although it is ‘international’ for everyone but my fellow-countrymen, readers were clearly expecting a big book with globe-hopping characters. I’ve now put it in ‘Cozy Mysteries’. Hopefully future reviewers will judge it on its merits. Anyone, be they American or British, who enjoys a bit of humour with their mysteries, might well enjoy it.

I put the question out in a mystery reader group I belong to – these are all very experienced mystery readers. And the general consensus was this is a side effect of the if it’s free it’s for me syndrome. You put something out free for a while to get reviews and there are a lot of people who grab stuff just because it is free without asking themselves if this is a genre they even usually read. And all agreed, where would mysteries even be without British mysteries – after all it was Agatha Christie really got it all going.

Yes, I think that’s true about freebies. I won’t be in a hurry to offer another book of mine to all and sundry! But you live and learn and ebooks and their promotion are still things most authors are trying to get right. I should have taken heed of the old maxim that something that costs nothing isn’t valued. In future, I think I may restrict freebies to serious reviewers. I will also steer clear of branding my novels as ‘International’. My DI, Joe Rafferty, is far from a globe-trotting hero. He’s a working-class copper (as are most British police officers even in these days of graduate recruitment) with a family not averse to back-of-a-lorry-bargains — which gives me plenty of opportunity to create a sub-plot full of family mayhem.

Yes, I cut my teeth on Agatha Christie. A lot of people deride her as a writer. I’m not one of them. I think it’s a form of literary snobbery. I’ve suffered from it myself as, like Agatha’s, my books are far from ‘highbrow’.  But her books are still going strong when those of her detractors have often faded into obscurity. I hope my books fare as well as the redoubtable Agatha’s.

So. Irish Catholic. I’m recovering myself. Do you think it influences your writing or is it too far back?

God, yes! I’ve given my lapsed-Catholic DI, Joe Rafferty, a conscience that nags him almost as much as his Ma! (when she isn’t buying dubious ‘bargains’, that is).

No, the Irish influence is very recent. Both my parents were Irish (mum from Dublin and dad from Limerick).

I used to visit Dublin every summer when I was a kid. My dad was employed by London Transport as a driver on the London underground and my mum was able to get reduced fares).Clontarf was my maternal grandmother’s home. She was a widow and lived alone: I often think nowadays how that poor woman survived having her tiny home invaded by four boisterous youngsters! It was a three-roomed flat (no bathroom) and she had to give up her bed and sleep in the kitchen for six weeks every summer when we descended upon her like a swarm of locusts. No wonder she prayed a lot and went to 7 o’clock Mass every morning. The church was the only place she could get some peace.

I haven’t been over to Dublin for years (it’s the lure of the sun for the inhabitants of my rain-sodden little island that draws me to holiday somewhere warm). I really must go again soon and renew some old friendships.

I always seem to have a favorite line or lines in a book and in yours it was what Rafferty thought when Nigel found Rafferty and Mickey in the caravan: “You’ll get yours, one day, God. What goes around comes around. Maybe Lucifer will manage to stage a successful coup next time.”

Laughs! Yes, Rafferty and God have a lot of one-sided conversations. Poor old God gets it in the ear regularly. 🙂

You are a prolific writer. Do you have a day job or at what stage were you able to get rid of it?

Thanks to Amazon’s Kindle, I’m now able to write full-time. But for most of my writing life I had a day job and wrote  evenings, weekends and holidays. It was only after I turned indie in 2010 that I began to earn a reasonable living. Traditional publishing is not a good payer when you’re judged to be a midlister, as I was. Maybe, your readers would be interested to read more about my decision. I go into it more fully in a recent guest post I did on Joe Konrath’s blog. Here’s the link.

Very interesting blog. I’m following it myself now. So why a police procedural? Were you or your late husband or any of your family coppers?

No. No one in my family was a copper, though I’ve known several and my late husband’s ex-brother-in-law was a police dog-handler. (George, my husband, was a grease monkey, a mechanic).

I was drawn to writing procedurals after a (failed) attempt to get a career as a romance writer off the ground. I was aiming at the Mills & Boon (Harlequin) market. I never managed to get a novel accepted by them, though I did get a romance taken by Robert Hale. They then rejected my next effort in  the genre, which made me good and mad. I felt like murdering someone. So I did. I turned to a life of crime and my very first mystery, Dead Before Morning, was accepted from Macmillan’s slush pile and sold on to St Martin’s Press and Worldwide. If only I’d listened to that little voice advising me to change genre several books’ earlier, I could have saved myself a lot of grief. I’m not at all a romantic sort of woman. I don’t even like pink. And when Mills & Boon editors offered a little feedback, it was: Too much plot and not enough romance, which should have told me something a whole lot sooner.

You have been with a publisher for a long time. Now that you are putting your backlist out in ebook form yourself, how are you finding the wild and wooly world of the indie? What do you like most and what do you hate the most?

I love it! I love everything about being an indie. When you’re traditionally-published, unless it’s been decided that you have best seller potential, you have no control over anything and any suggestions you make are generally ignored. You’re given a pat on  the head and get told to ‘run along’. Now I can decide on the book’s cover, its publication date, description,  sale price, category (!) and reviewers (another !). Best of all, I actually earn a living income. Some months I even feel rich! Glorious. I’d say the need to spend much of my time on social media is a drawback, but it’s a drawback that traditionally-published authors share, so it’s not really an indie ‘hate’.

I just bought How To eFormat Your Novel for Amazon’s Kindle: A Short But Comprehensive A-Z Guide and you have explained the process in a far more easily understandable way than any other I have seen. I wish I had it last February and March – my hair would be far less gray!

Ha! Ha! Thanks, Kate. Glad you found it useful. I’m a techno-thickie myself, so I wrote the guide I had been unsuccessfully searching for amongst the formatting throng. All I wanted was a short and simple guide that says, ‘Do this, then do that’, without going down assorted side alleys. Short, sweet and easy to understand for me and my technologically-challenged brethren. Sounds like I succeeded. 🙂 

What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?

I’m ashamed to confess that I haven’t looked at my so-called work in progress for weeks. My time has been taken up with getting my backlist formatted for kindle and the other ebook retailers. I’m doing the last one to which I hold the rights, then I can get on with the WIP.

Future writing plans? I’d like to write another historical novel. My (so far) one and only historical is my bestseller on kindle UK, so I really must give my fans in that genre something else to read before some other author snatches them from under my nose. I would also like to return to writing  short non-fiction. I had quite few articles published back in the days when the rejections for my novels were coming thick and fast. The non-fiction kept me sane and gave hope something to cling to.

I’ve also got around half-a-dozen other novels mouldering away in drawers, which I think deserve a second look and another turn through the laptop.

There are so many things I’d like to do that I’m going to have to have myself cloned in order to achieve them all! Authors have to be social media junkies and, although I’m not as regular in my habits as many writers, I do try to keep abreast. The drawback is that it swallows a huge chunk of time that I could devote to writing. But if you don’t attempt to get your name out there, you’re liable to sink quicker than a boulder. It’s a nicely-judged balancing act. It’s lucky that I’m a Libran, with the astrological symbol of the scales to help me with all the weighing and balancing.

If you could invite any writer, living or dead, over for a cuppa and a chat, who would it be? And why?

Librans are renowned for being indecisive. Unfair question! Shakespeare springs to mind. And, to leap forward to the present, Ruth Dudley Edwards, the British author of the marvellous Baroness ‘Jack’ Troutbeck novels. I’m going to allow myself one more, or rather, two, as R C Bridgestock is a husband and wife writing team. Carol and Bob were both in the police service for years and have a wealth of knowledge and experience which they bring to their police procedurals. You can be sure I not only love them for themselves, but also for all the gen I can steal.

Now the one question I ask everyone, three things that have nothing to do with writing:

  • What is your favorite food? I’m partial to Indian food. I love all the spices. I like strong flavours as my sense of taste seems to be rapidly going the way of my sense of smell, hearing and eyesight.
  • What is your favorite TV show? Another indecisive Libran selection here, I’m afraid. I love Blackadder, Have I got News For You, The White Queen and Live at the Apollo (British line up of comedians in front of a live audience).
  • What is your favorite music? I’m a (later, obviously!) Baby-Boomer, so my first love is the music from the 60s and 70s. The Mamas and the Papas, The Walker Brothers, The Kinks, The Stones, Dusty Springfield, The Monkeys. Again , there are so many great groups and solo singers from those days, I’m spoilt for choice.

Do you miss London living in Norfolk? Do you ever think about going back? And what part of Norfolk are you in?

Strangely, I don’t miss London at all even though I was born and spent most of my life there. Funnily enough, I’ve seen more shows since moving to Norfolk than I ever did when I lived in London with access to the West End.

I’d never move back, though, if I ever had the money, I wouldn’t mind a little pied  à terre there.

I live in a North Norfolk market town, about sixteen miles from Norwich.

Thank you so much for being here today Gerrie, and good luck with the new book or rather the re-released book. I’m going to visit all the family later this year or early next year so that means Ireland, Scotland and England so don’t be surprised if I ring you up and tell you to get the kettle on, I’m in Norfolk! Before you go, is there anything else you would like to tell your readers or have them know about you?

Just to give my books a try. In spite of the mixed reviews for my latest ebook re-release, they might enjoy them! And if they do, they can be happy in the knowledge that there are fifteen in my Rafferty series. And none of them the sort of ‘bargains’ that Ma (Kitty) Rafferty prefers…

TRUST TO THE VITALSBLURB:

Returning to Elmhurst many years after his involuntary departure, to attend a civic reception in his honour, Sir Rufus Seward had ignored the maxim that ‘going back’ is not always wise. Summoned after Seward’s body is found, a wood chisel protruding from its back, Dl Joe Rafferty receives a panicky call from his younger brother, Mickey, who fears he is in the frame for Seward’s murder. Strangely, given his loathing of the dead man, Mickey had received an invitation to the reception. Keen to confront the bully who made his youth a misery, Mickey found his tormentor’s body, and fled the scene…Rafferty, aware that his brother hated Seward, and that Mickey, a carpenter by trade, has three pointers to guilt – the means, the motive and the opportunity – finds himself torn between protecting his family and finding the real killer.

MY REVIEW:

I had one very big problem with this book. After receiving it for review, I discovered it is tenth in a series so now, after reading it, I have to go get the first nine. Because I want to know everything about the whole Rafferty clan. The book is just the right balance of police procedural and humour.

A party. A stolen invitation. A body – Sir Rufus Seward. A man everyone seems to hate. But his murder seems to have set-up Mickey Rafferty to take the fall. Before anyone realizes though, Detective Inspector Joseph Aloysius Rafferty spirits his brother away to hide in a less than desirable caravan. So while JAR, as he is called by Mickey, races to find the real murderer all the while worried that if he isn’t quick enough, he will be charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

I enjoyed the character Sgt. Dafyd Llewellyn – a moral high ground kind of guy, who upholds the position of sidekick we see so often in British police procedurals, very well. And I liked how fiancé Abra is able to sit JAR down, get him talking everything through and focusing his mind to see what he missed. That looks like it will be a promising personal partnership for the Detective Inspector.

I look forward to going back to the beginning and reading this series from one end to the other. ♥♥♥♥♥

GERALDINE’S LINKS: