EGO – Everyone’s Got One

I’ve often wondered at what point A-list celebrities become jaded to their success. Recognizable folks from any walk of life are at risk but since the world (especially Americans and Brits) obsess over the antics of the rich and famous, it must happen more quickly with those prominent, newsworthy folks. However,  even photogenic “beautiful” people have flaws.

Authors are a different lot for the most part, perhaps because we hide behind our characters. I seldom see that nose-in-the-air snootiness with a well-known author. Oh, there’s a few, don’t get me wrong. I won’t name names but every aspiring or mid-list writer knows who they are. Unapproachable. Kiss-my-ring, peon attitude. “I’d be happy to speak at your event but I must have Evian water and no red M&M’s at my table” type requests. “Certainly I will be a keynote speaker but keep those autograph hounds away from me.” Sadly, I’ve even met some of those ego driven folks at chapter meetings for various author organizations.

Sad, isn’t it? My parents stressed that I should never forget my roots – which came from an archaic middle class, hard working, respect your elders, have pride in your work, look at those less fortunate and say “for the grace of God, there goes I” type upbringing. That being said, today’s world requires caution when dealing with the public because the values I was raised with got thrown out with the bathwater.

Old habits die hard. I’m a writer. A good writer but not the best or most recognized writer. I’m not sure I would even classify myself as mid-list. I love spinning a good yarn and am flabbergasted when others seem to like it, too.

Today I received a 5 star review for one of my older books. A book I considered irrelevant to today’s market. It’s not graphically sexy. My characters are not as contemporary as those written by my peers. It’s kinda hokey, I guess, but back when romantic suspense was popular, it did okay. I like it. In fact, it’s one of my favorites. A nice blend of things I love like strong men, sassy women, Native American culture, and a bad ass (IMHO) villain. I actually thought about taking this book off my availability list. But now, because of one kind and expressive person who cared enough to leave a short review saying they liked it, I will keep Red Hot and Dangerous active in hopes someone else might find respite form the craziness between its pages.

Thank you to all my reviewers. Remember, most authors are an insecure lot. It makes us feel good when you enjoy our hard work that probably took months, or even years to release. Writing a novel is like giving birth to a child. We carry it inside us for ages, allowing it to grow and nurture. When our manuscript finally takes its first breath as a published work, we are proud.

If you don’t like it, there’s no reason to be cruel. Just let us know what you think would have made it better. The majority of us want to know. Believe it or not, we listen – and also realize it’s impossible to please everyone. But as writers, we’re probably still going to try.

 

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Glynis Has Your Number – But Does She Have Mine? Book Review

It’s no secret I enjoy off-beat destinations, books that make me think, ideas which question the norm – so it shouldn’t be a surprise when I say I’ve been studying numerology.

I’ve always had an interest but recently decided to take it a step further after reading Glynis McCants book on numerology, “Glynis Has Your Number”. There are several “Primary” numbers i.e. The Soul Number, The Personality Number, The Power Name Number, The Life Path Number, etc. The most important is your Life Path, derived by adding the digits in your full birth date. Mine equals 3. Glynis uses a few celebrities for examples but the 3 Life Path hits me dead center. I write. I paint. I love talking with people – all traits of a creative 3.

It’s not all smooth sailing, however. My “Destiny” number is 4 which is not compatible with a 3. So how do I achieve my 4 destiny of leaving something behind that benefits mankind when it conflicts with my 3 life path? The logical thing (also a trait of a 4 destiny) is to change my author name so it adds up to a 3, thus making it a “power name”. Surely I can write a heart stopping, memorable novel like Gone With The Wind before I die. Glynis cited an interesting story about John Denver’s musical talent taking off after he changed his last name to Denver. In numerology, it was the compatible power name he needed to jump start his career.

As for content, Glynis has a written an intriguing book that explores the origins of numerology as well as breaks down the individual numerical categories and their meanings. I especially enjoyed her examples using celebrities since they live out their lives in the public eye. It’s easy to see certain numerological traits in their actions and speech.

After reading “Glynis Has Your Number” three times, I decided to try a little experiment. I’ve altered the name on my website to Debra S. Sanders, which computes to a 3. I may even use it as an author name on an episodic thriller series I’m writing. If that project takes off, I’ll consider it confirmation that numerology does indeed work.

I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes and branding this as hocus pocus. A few of you might be intrigued. And some stopped reading my blog as soon as they saw the title. But if you have experience with numerology, good or bad, I’d like to hear about it. Leave a comment or send me an email. Inquiring minds want to know. Until then . . . I’ll be working on my next book because after all, I am a 3 Life Path.

Learn more about Glynis McCants and Numerology at http://www.glynishasyournumber.com/  There are links for her books on the site.

Catherine Bybee Continues the Love with “Seduced by Sunday”

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SEDUCED BY SUNDAY

Catherine Bybee

Weekday Brides, Book 6

Series, Stand Alone

April 14, 2015

Montlake Romance, Contemporary

Goodreads Book Page

BUY LINKS:

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Book Description:
She swore off love forever…but he just might change her mind.

The sixth sweet, thrilling book in the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling Weekday Brides series from Catherine Bybee.

Meg Rosenthal: Matchmaker by day, realist by night, Meg is not about to get swept away by a charming, darkly handsome businessman in a designer suit. She’s come to a beautiful secluded resort to evaluate the private island’s potential for her agency, not to ogle its owner. But there’s something about the magnetic man that’s hard to resist, even for a woman who refuses to fall in love.Seduce by Sunday L

Valentino Masini: A successful and drop-dead sexy businessman, Valentino is used to having the finer things in life. Yet he’s never wanted someone the way he wants Meg, who’s stirring up a hurricane of trouble in his heart. But just as he decides to convince her to stay, someone else decides it might be time to get Meg off the island…permanently.

Praise for Catherine Bybee

“Suspense, survival, and chemistry mix in this scintillating read in the style of Julie Garwood and Suzanne Brockmann.” —Booklist on Fiancé by Friday

“This is a book nobody should miss, because the magic it contains is awesome.” —Booked Up Reviews on Married by Monday

“[A] wonderfully exciting plot, lots of desire, and some sassy attitude thrown in for good measure!” Harlequin Junkie on Single by Saturday

MY REVIEW:

Catherine Bybee continues the love with SEDUCED BY SUNDAY, Book 6 of the Weekday Brides series. It seems redundant to tout the remarkable talent by this USA Today and NY Times Best Selling Author but I simply can’t resist. Simply put, Ms. Bybee is the BOMB when it comes to contemporary romance!

Her stories explode from Page One, ripping apart any preconceived notion the novel is formulaic and only names and places have changed. Quite the opposite. SEDUCED BY SUNDAY is a great stand alone read or a continuation of a very popular and entertaining series.

Meg is a high profile matchmaker secretly researching an island resort for the Alliance Agency. She wants to make sure it offers the discreet accommodations and privacy it advertises. Plans go awry when she is not allowed access to the resort until they complete a background check, which sends Meg into a cyber frenzy as she pens not-so-friendly emails to the owner.

After she is finally allowed admittance, Meg meets Val, the hotel owner. Sizzling attraction ensues but Meg doesn’t trust those feelings. Val on the other hand, is quite eager to push the envelope. As these two lovebirds-in-the-making maneuver past a rocky beginning, they discover all is not as it seems in “paradise”. I love a little suspense with my romance and Ms. Bybee knows how to deliver.

This is a well written tale with an interesting plot, snappy dialogue, beautiful setting and a great cast of characters, some from previous stories in the series. If you haven’t read the other Weekday Brides books, don’t despair. While I highly encourage you to indulge, SEDUCED BY SUNDAY will make perfect sense as a stand alone novel. But be warned . . . this series is addictive. Once you’ve read one, you’ll want to keep going!

Rating:  ♥♥♥♥♥

Meet Catherine Bybee:

Bybee Author Photo

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Weekday Brides Series and the Not Quite Series. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.

CONTACT LINKS:

http://www.catherinebybe.com

catherinebybee@yahoo.com

catherinebybee.blogspot.com

twitter.com/catherinebybee

Start Your New Year With A Good Book – American Specter by R. Prioleau

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American Specter

Rasheedah Prioleau     

Genre: Paranormal Mystery

Date of Publication: Feb, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692226582

ASIN: B00IOWGVZY

Number of pages: 248

Word Count: 72,000

Cover Artist: Roger Raymond

Book Description:cover2

FBI Agent Audra Wheeler has been haunted for the last thirteen years by a paranormal attack that left her sister, Kendra, in a coma. Mentored by FBI Assistant Director Jonathan Cordero to investigate crimes committed by specters, Audra believes she is on the trail of a ‘serial killer’ specter with a MO very similar to her sister’s attacker.

The investigation takes her to a small town of Specter, Georgia; a haven for ghosts who exist among the living.

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/i6m6vTxw-Yg

Available at Amazon

Review: 

American Specter is an interesting tale offering a twist to the “ghost story” theme. It’s an eclectic blend of Criminal Minds, Supernatural and Men in Black, and features great characters with a fun supporting cast.

In a nutshell, Audra Wheeler is a special agent trained to hunt “specters” – ghosts who reside among the living. Most are nice and don’t upset their living counterparts but one has developed a rather nasty habit of strangling women. Audra arrives in Specter, Georgia to investigate yet another murder by the ethereal serial killer, only to run into the one man she can’t resist . . . Ethan Cole, now Sheriff of Specter.

The story progresses with the investigation and a few unique elements like the latest victim returning as a specter to help solve her own murder. Since the girl was strangled by an unseen entity, she can’t identify her assailant but she does offer up some other clues.

I have to say, American Specter surprised me by the way it subtly reached out and grabbed my attention . . . and held it. This is a clever, well told story. I didn’t expect such an enjoyable read since I found the Prologue boring, more like the author was reciting facts. If she’d breathed a little more life into those few pages, I could easily rate this with five stars. Telling should never be an option to showing. I only bring this up because someone might not give this book a chance if they judge it on the Prologue.

American Specter is a fun, quirky read for anyone who enjoys crime novels, suspense thrillers, paranormal thrillers and likes their stories sprinkled with romance. You won’t go wrong starting your new year off with a good book . . . like American Specter.

Excerpt:

AUDRA DANCES WITH ETHAN

“So, was it as good as you remembered?”

Yolanda didn’t waste any time getting into the thick of Audra’s personal life once they were seated at the bar in Bishop’s. Audra remembered to turn off her specter shield on the way in. Yolanda had changed into a charming sundress and boots that instantly made her look as if she belonged in the late-night hotspot of Specter.

“No comment,” Audra said as Ashley, the specter waitress, placed a glass of red wine in front of her.

“Long day, Agent Wheeler?” she asked with genuine concern.

“Long summer.”

“I’m so sorry about this ugly business here,” Ashley said. “I hope you’re able to find out who’s responsible.”

“Thanks, Ashley. Me too,” Audra said, and the specter phased out.

Audra shed her usual suit jacket and draped it across her lap before lifting the drink to her lips and taking a sip.

“How is the city?”

“Doing just fine without you,” Yolanda said with a huff. “We don’t need you to call and check-in. So what if my marriage has finally ended in crashing flames and my mother thinks that I’m the worst daughter, like, ever.”

“Finally gave Billy the heave-ho?”

“I gave him the heave. He already had his own hoe.” Yolanda snorted.

“Sorry,” Audra said and perked up as a great song came on. “I have not heard this song in a million years.”

Audra spun around on her barstool as she tried to remember the last time she’d heard it. Her eyes fell to the far corner of the room onto the ancient jukebox that Ethan hovered over. Her breath caught as she remembered lying on the floor of Ethan’s New York apartment, tangled with him in his Egyptian cotton sheets.

“Be careful, your heart’s on your sleeve, Agent Wheeler,” Yolanda commented.

Ethan strode across the floor towards her, the look in his eyes unmistakable, just as a mature specter phased into his path. Audra found the sight somewhat amusing as Ethan couldn’t find a way to politely sidestep her. He finally gave in when dodging her was not an option, and Audra watched as he spun his lighter than air partner around the floor. She watched the way his body moved, enjoying its smooth and nearly fluid gestures.

Before the music stopped, an older gentleman specter tapped Ethan on the shoulder and took over. Audra watched the romantic sparks fly between the ghosts as they lit up the dance floor. Audra eyed Ethan as he walked to the end of the dance floor and motioned for Audra to join him. She took a deep breath and looked at Yolanda.

“Go on. My magic works better when I’m alone anyway,” she said. Audra downed the contents of her wineglass, left her jacket on the stool, and walked over to the current sheriff of Specter. He pulled her into his arms and she felt as if she were floating. Placing her right hand on his left shoulder and her left hand in his right, she rested her head against his chest and allowed herself to get swept up in the moment.

“I found Abigail’s sister,” Ethan said.

Audra looked up. “Where is she?”

Photo on 3-4-13 at 2.17 PMAbout the Author:

Rasheedah Prioleau is a southern African American writer with an eclectic range of writing and ghostwriting credits. After a few years in the corporate world she started over from the bottom as an unpaid intern for a literary manager and never looked back.

“I love to write because there are no limits. All it takes is a finite space of time and I can create a story from infinite possibilities.”

Writers who have influenced her include: Judy Bloom, Jude Deveraux, V.C. Andrews, Octavia Butler, Stephanie Meyer, Charlaine Harris, Joss Whedon, William Nicholson, Shonda Rhimes, Quentin Tarantino, Tyler Perry, Mike Kelley, and J.J. Abrams… just to name a few.

Website: www.rasheedahprioleau

Twitter: @prioleaura

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rasheedah.prioleau

Holding On To Georgia – A Beautiful Love Story

Hold on to your hankie because HOLDING ON TO GEORGIA is a tear jerker you won’t want to miss!

Holding on to Georgia

Courtney Giardina

Take Two Publishing

Genre: Romance, General Fiction

Release Date: October 21, 2014

AMAZON

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Book Description:

Rylan Bradley is perfectly content with her single, thirty-something life. Love is the last thing on her mind—until she crosses paths with Wesley Kade. He is handsome, charming, and always there when she needs someone the most. But there’s a story behind those brown eyes that he’s not ready to tell. As Rylan and Kade struggle to untangle their feelings for each other, the reality of their pasts will once again resurface and threaten to take it all away.

REVIEW:

As I read HOLDING ON TO GEORGIA by the talented Courtney Giardina, I was reminded of a roller coaster ride – sitting in the car as it slowly moves away from the loading station, anticipating a few thrills but not quite prepared for the highs and lows, sharp turns, and unexpected bends as it races over the track. After disembarking, knees shaking, heart racing and emotionally spent, you think, “Dang . . . what a ride.”

I am not easily taken in by the written word yet I found myself sniffing from despair – and happiness – a few times before I turned the final page. Ms. Giardina displays an uncanny knack for building emotion into scenes that might otherwise remain one dimensional. Her characters are charming and likable. Exhibiting a bit of empathy toward their struggles comes easy.

Rylan and Kade are each ready for a new beginning after enduring painful losses in their past. Closing the door on old business, however, is easier said than done. I don’t think anyone who has experienced a lost love could keep from reliving that heartbreak as they navigate the budding relationship between the main characters. It’s a story of moving on, having faith and courage to leap into an unknown future . . . and to love again.

HOLDING ON TO GEORGIA is reminiscent in style to Nicholas Sparks. It will fill you with hope. It will make you smile. It may even make you cry. A novel that can evoke so much emotion from this reader is definitely one I can recommend.

About The Author:

cgiardina1-300x300

I was born in raised and Western, NY. And yes, it is western, not upstate. After more than two decades, I decided to trade in the cold winters for hot and humid Charlotte, NC summers (and sometimes spring and a little bit of fall). Since then I’ve bee focusing on finally do all the things I said I would do someday. I love my dog, he’s my right hand man, but he’s not the man of the house. That belongs to my cat, he’s kinda crazy. Country music has my heart. My favorite song of all time is Rhett Akins “That Ain’t My Truck.” To challenge myself I run. Mostly because I used to be horrible at it, but I’m starting to get the hang of this 5k and 8k thing. Contemplating a 10k, but no promises on that. There are a lot of places I haven’t seen in life that I would love to go. Italy and Paris are high on that list.

I write to save my soul. It makes me whole and happy and the fact that all of you enjoy what I put on paper makes me love it even more. Thank you for letting me share my stories with you.

Review and Contest: Splintered Lies by Karen Lopp

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Splintered Lies

Karen Lopp

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Publisher:  SilverTree Publishing

Date of Publication:   May 18, 2014

ISBN:  978-0-9903666-0-7

ASIN:  BOOK1FSEW

Number of pages:  223

Word Count:   70k

Cover Artist:  Karen Lopp

Available at Amazon

splinteredlies850x1362Book Description: 

Detective Rissa Marten sacrificed her only chance for a normal life to put a drug lord behind bars. Now, her life in the shadows has to be brought to life to save the man she has secretly loved for years. With a price on her head can she risk letting him know?

Detective Jerah Qassem has built his career as an undercover agent in the dangerous world of drug cartels. But when a ghost from his past is resurrected can he overcome his bitterness in time to save her life?

REVIEW: 

I love Romantic Thrillers, especially if the suspense is intense and the romance sizzles. SPLINTERED LIES delivers all that and more.

There’s a whirlwind of action in this story, and  more twists and turns than an amusement park roller coaster. Some readers may find Rissa Marten’s multiple alias’ a bit confusing in the beginning but the author is merely staging with a little backstory . . . necessary to understand the extreme measures Rissa has taken to keep her identity secret. Things soon smooth out and we know exactly who Rissa is, why she is in hiding and how much she loves Detective Jerah Qassem. In fact, the only person who is still in the dark about how much she cares is Jerah.

After believing for eight years that Rissa was dead, Jerah is more than a little confused, angry and excited when she wanders into the bar where he is having a drink. Within a few pages of their meeting, Rissa and Jerah are whisked off to Mexico on the yacht of a drug lord, shot at by Federalizes, and almost drowned in the ocean. As I said, there’s a lot of action in this book!

There are some violent scenes so if you are sensitive to physical brutality, you might squirm from time to time. I personally don’t like graphic violence but I wasn’t too put off by the detailed beatings. It seemed an appropriate way to show the villain’s  capacity for cruelty.

I would have liked a more realistic approach to Rissa and Jerah’s reunion. I felt Rissa was a bit too “offish” for the well written sexual chemistry playing out between her and Jerah, and he didn’t seem as curious about why she faked her death as most men would have been. These are minor issues and in no way take away from the fast pace and suspenseful plot.

If you enjoy thrillers or suspense with a healthy dose of romantic angst, SPLINTERED LIES is a good choice for your to-be-read list.

 Excerpt:

Jerah Qassem had never been more grateful for his years of undercover training than at this moment. Fingers tight around the tumbler to stop the tremors, he watched the apparition glide up to the bar, and wondered if someone had laced his drink with a hallucinogen. Mary was dead. He had nightmares or wet dreams about her most nights for the last eight years.

It wasn’t only the woman’s face that had his insides swirling like a hurricane. It was the way she moved. Long, smooth strides, shoulders straight and eyes darting around like a caged cat. Mary had always been casting looks over her shoulder as if she expected someone to jump out and chase her. But those legs were just as toned and shapely as Mary’s had been. She had been athletic and grabbed every chance she could to romp around the beach. Even the hair was the exact same color of ripened wheat and bounced just below her shoulders. Just like Mary had worn it.

Chills erupted all over his body and cold fingers caressed the nape of his neck. Unable to blink, Jerah stared at the ghost of Mary. The girl he had sent to her death in a fit of anger. The girl he had fallen in love with, yet had been too proud and ambitious to acknowledge until she was gone. Forever.

Jerah closed his eyes against the jarring memory of two firemen holding him back from the charred remains of the building he had sent Mary into as three body bags were carried out. A shudder rattled down his spine. He had relived that day too often. When he glanced back at the bar, the woman had taken a seat and smiled at the bartender. Jerah knew that smile. The same smile that once had almost melted his resolve to not get involved. He had had a career to build. Mary had stirred up thoughts of forever and love, things he hadn’t been ready for. The temptation had been great. But somehow, he persevered and tossed away the best thing that had ever happened to him.

Air exploded from his chest and Jerah shook his head. He did not believe in ghosts. Prickles sprang up his legs as if his blood had decided to flow again. He tugged his leaden body from the chair and stalked to the bar. “Give me a shot of Wild Turkey.” Needing the fortification, he gulped down the amber liquid. Fire burned down his throat. Nope, he wasn’t dreaming. Hands braced on the edge of the bar, he turned to the woman at his side.

“Jerah?”

A voice from the grave, soft and melodic, brushed across his ears. That face, resurrected from the dead, shimmered under the neon lights, a few years older, but still able to mesmerize him. Fear, anger, and profound sadness glittered in those honey-hued eyes as the color leeched from her face.

Anger and shock swelled like a wave and crashed over Jerah. That’s all she had to say? After leaving him to believe she had been killed?

Blood roared in his ears and he clamped a shaking hand around her arm. “Come with me.” A tiny voice told him this was a bad idea. That too many curious eyes watched this little exchange. But he couldn’t help it. Mary was alive and he damn sure wanted to know how. Carl and the risk of a blown cover be damned. Besides, this wasn’t the usual meeting place, and Carl wasn’t here yet.

“Let go of me, Jerah.” The sharp whisper of dismissal slapped him in the face.

He leaned in close and tightened his grip. “You are coming with me and I don’t give a shit if you cause a scene or not.” The bartender sat another drink on the counter and Jerah gulped it down in one swallow, ignoring the open interest of the bartender. The burn of alcohol on his throat was not enough to ease the utter chaos of his insides. “Come on.”

Mary catapulted out of her stool at his tug and stumbled into him. When she landed against his chest, sizzles and crackles exploded over his flesh like a bolt of lightning. Conscious control flew away as Jerah’s free hand snaked to the nape of her neck and he feathered his fingers through her soft tresses. Something he had dreamed of many nights over the years.

About the Author:

karen loppStories have always been a part of my life, from books to tales passed down from my ancestors that brought history to life. Danger, struggles and the will power to overcome are all found in the rich legacy of my family tree. Inspiration from their lives inspired me to write what I love. Branching out to contemporary suspense has been another dream come true. I hope my stories bring you entertainment and inspiration.

I love history of all times and places. And my second but equal love of suspense fills my books.

http://karenlopp.com

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