Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"In Times of Trouble" - Yolanda Sanders (Virtual Book Tour Cafe Blog Tour)

"Divorced, single mother Lisa Hampton is grateful for a fresh start after a humiliating scandal forced her to relocate from Maryland to Ohio. Her biggest issue nowadays is dealing with her rebellious teenage daughter, Chanelle, who is one smart comment away from being toothless!

Other than the stress of dealing with Chanelle, life is perfect. Lisa has a new beau and a steady job that allows her the opportunity to rub shoulders with very wealthy and influential people. She is best friends with Isaac and Olivia Scott, an extremely rich and powerful couple.

When Chanelle accuses the Scotts’ son of rape, Lisa learns how quickly her friends become enemies as Olivia and Isaac use their wealth and power to manipulate justice. The Scotts prove that they are willing to go to extreme lengths to protect their son, even if it means destroying both Lisa and Chanelle in the process."

Genre: Christian | Contemporary | Inspirational
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Strebor Books
Release Date: April 23, 2013

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Yolanda Sanders
Yolonda Tonette Sanders took a leap of faith in 2004 when she resigned from her job with the State of Ohio after only three and a half years to focus more on writing. It was a leap that she has never regretted. In 2005, her debut novel, Soul Matters, was published by Walk Worthy Press and Time Warner (now Hachette Book Group). In 2008, her second book, Secrets of a Sinner, was published by Harlequin/Kimani Press. That same year Yolonda started Yo Productions, LLC, a Christian based literary services and theatrical entertainment company, which she used to launch and create her first stage production. The theatrical version of Soul Matters debuted successfully in September 2009 at the Capitol Theatre in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Since then, Strebor Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, is planning to release four of Yolonda’s titles by April 2015. Currently, Yolonda resides in Columbus, Ohio and is the loving wife of David, proud mother of Tre and Tia, and joyful caregiver of her mother, Wilene.

Where is God when life seems to just be a sh** storm with no proverbial or literal light at the end of the tunnel?  People have wrestled with this question since Biblical times.  Toss in today's issues - drugs, rape, selfishness, power, name it (really, these are age-old issues) - and you have a mucked up place that desperately calls out for a Savior to set it right.  Or in the very least, to walk with us when the sh** hits the fan.  But what if those fans keep on coming?  And if we feel alone?  Where is God then?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

"Souls of Darkness" - Eleanor T. Beaty (Novel Publicity Blog Tour)

"Alex's life is turned upside down after his father's sudden death. An old pamphlet found in his father's belongings leads Alex and his mother, Charlotte, to a remote Polynesian island. His mother longs for a place untouched by past memories, and Alex hopes the trip will help her to heal. Their arrival on the island elicits an eerie episode of déjà vu for Alex, and he begins to wonder about the pamphlet and his father's past. Why did he have it? Had he been there before? Alex senses something is off with the island. Progress is unwelcome by the inhabitants. A local girl reveals the history of the island and its dark spirits. She warns him to never be caught outside after dark, but Alex finds it all hard to believe... Until inexplicable and terrifying events begin to unfold. While digging for information, Alex finds his presence on the haunted island is not by chance. Rangur, the most evil of souls, aims to use him to acquire great power. There's only one way Alex can stop him and for that he must uncover his father's past connection to the island."


Eleanor T. Beaty is a Young Adult Paranormal author, her most recent novel “Veiled Mist” released on July 9, 2012.

A worldly person, Eleanor was born in beautiful Brazil and spent much of her childhood in several places (Argentina, Switzerland, and the US to name a few). She holds a BA in English Literature and is published in both Brazil and Turkey.

Eleanor loves spirituality and magic – both have allowed her to gain a strong grip on life and enjoy what it has to offer. She believes that everything has a reason and understanding those reasons help us deal with the difficult moments. Eleanor currently enjoys life with her husband in Brazil. You can find out more about her and her other books on her website.

You can find Eleanor T Beaty in all the usual places: her websiteTwitterFacebook and Google+ are a few great places to start. You can buy Souls of Darkness in ebook, and inpaperback. If you liked Fallen Ruler or Veiled Mist and want more, you can find a list of her other works here.

We have this tendency to believe that those who talk to invisible things (at least invisible to us) are in need of some heavy duty medication, if not some time in a small room with padded walls.  Yet individuals talking and working with/around things invisible to others are found in literature and myth throughout the ages.  Whether they are talking to sprites, faeries, spirits, the deceased, whatever....they are generally eyed through a lens of skepticism and doubt.

Where does that leave a teenage boy who is suddenly seeing and hearing things, given that his life is awkward enough simply because he is a teenage boy?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"Stilettoes and Scoundrels" - Laina Turner (Virtual Book Tour Blog Tour)

"Stilettos & Scoundrels
Presley tells her boss what he can do with her job in HR and embarks on a new career as a freelance journalist. What seems like a simple interview with a Senator turns to murder when the day after her interview the Senator turns up dead. Does the fact that Presley was one of the last people to see him alive make her a suspect? Her ex-boyfriend Cooper, who was in charge of the Senators security, might think so. Presley is determined to clear her name but can she do it and resist Cooper’s charms?

Necklaces & Nooses
When Presley’s boss is found hanging she thinks its suicide until the police discover its homicide. Who would want to kill a boutique owner? Presley’s not sure but she’s determined to find out. The cute detective assigned to the case makes it all the more exciting.

Handbags & Hooligans
Presley went to Vegas to watch her friend Anna get married and the event turned into solving the mystery of her brothers girlfriend disappearance. But Ashley wasn't exactly the schoolteacher she appeared to be. Who was she and was she kidnapped?

The holiday short…Mistletoe & Murder
In this holiday short story, Presley goes home for Christmas expecting it to be a relaxing holiday until her old boyfriend, Brian, asks for her help finding out who has been stealing from him and it turns from theft to murder. Why would anyone want to kill Tommy and what was he hiding?

Gems & Gunshots
Presley heads to San Diego to hang out with Cooper and enjoy the great west coast weather. She didn’t expect that while hanging out at the local coffee shop she would be a witness to a robbery and murder at Gemstone’s Unlimited. Much to Cooper’s dismay Presley feels compelled to investigate. She discovers that not only was the store owner a womanizer but also was filing false insurance claims for diamonds that weren’t really stolen. Was that why he was being blackmailed? Was that why someone robbed his store? Presley is determined to find out!

As a bonus get the short story prequel, A Day in the Life of Trixie Pristine.
In this short story prequel, Trixie and her friends Berklie and Sophie, considered themselves typical thirty something females until someone turned up murdered in their newly opened bookstore/wine bar. They thought they would be living out their dream in their new shop not trying to catch a killer. Who killed Sylvia and why? Or was one of them the intended target?"

"Who am I? It kind of depends on the day. I am a human compendium of unrelated things. I used to think I was just weird, had shiny ball syndrome and couldn’t focus, scattered, you name it. Then I decided it was OK to be all over the place as long as each avenue I wanted to explore had meaning and purpose or was fun. So I embrace the fact I am a college professor, a writer of fiction and non-fiction, promoter of other authors, human resource professional, business consultant, mom, and all around interesting person (according to my closest friends).

When I’m not working toward my goals I like, ok fine, LOVE wine, coffee, shopping, and books. I enjoy my kids, they are awesome. I hate the cold but yet live in the mid-west. Vegas is one of my favorite spots as I love to people watch and if I ever get married again it will definitely be in a drive through chapel by a fake Elvis.

Women.  Can't live with 'em, can't make 'em stay out of it when trying to conduct a murder investigation.  Gossip is a crucial part of small town life (much to my annoyance...I grew up in a town of approx. 450 -- fart on one end of town and the other is talking about it before you arrive).  Gossip fuels hair salon chats, meetings over coffee, and small town rumor mills when someone dies who just might have something to hide.  We get criticized for gossiping - and rightly so, it is a bad thing to do - but what if gossip lends help to the unofficial investigation of a small town politician's murder?

Friday, July 12, 2013

"Cassie Scot: Paranormal Detective" - Christine Anderson (Virtual Book Tour Publicity Post)

"Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs."

Christine Amsden has been writing science fiction and fantasy for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful.  At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)  In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.  Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children, Drake and Celeste.

Taking a break from reviews, here is an excerpt from this book.  Sounds super intriguing...what happens when the hero is not the one with magical powers??

Cassie Scot: Normal Detective

Last night, I was just about to close up and go home for the day when an old woman walked into my office with a cat carrier. Inside the carrier, a black cat hissed and yowled. I suppose I would have felt that way too, if someone had locked me inside a little cage. I felt instant sympathy for the cat. Not so much for the old lady.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"Ghostly Summons" - John Karr (Tribute Books Blog Tour)

"Lars Kelsen doesn’t believe in psychic phenomenon. To him, visions of murder victims are a form of mental illness. Once they begin, options are limited; he can try to ignore them or deal with them by exposing a killer. Only the latter provides any semblance of peace. Temporarily, anyway. Five years into his new life as a programmer, Kelsen—ex-crime beat reporter with a penance he can never fully satisfy—sees a victim.

In person. Upright. Staring.

Typical of such past "Visits" as he calls them, he doesn’t welcome this one. The nude form of a beautiful millionairess in his cubicle means murder has come to the vacation haven known as North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It means he’ll have to go places he'd rather avoid. See things he'll wish he hadn’t. Do things that don't come naturally, like in-your-face confrontation and bending the law. Actually, breaking the law ... but with good intent. It also means dealing with one very attractive county coroner, who pushes his buttons in a not entirely unwelcome way.

So begins Kelsen's return to investigative reporting—complete with attempts on his life, fights, deception, and all the technological tricks, such as GPS and computer hacking, at his disposal. And maybe even finding a new love interest."

John A. Karr believes fiction writing each day helps keep the demons at bay. Ghostly Summons is his first full-length novel for Dark Continents Publishing. DCP has also published his Weird West novella, Ujahwek. He is the author of a handful of other novels: Death Clause, Hippocrates Shattered (scheduled for reprint by World Castle Publications as Shattered), Rhone, and Van Gogh, Encore. His short stories have appeared on webzines Allegory, The Absent Willow Review, and Danse Macabre. More works are in progress and in the marketing queue.

Karr is an ardent believer in the quote by Carl Van Doren (1885-1950), U.S. man of letters: Yes, it's hard to write, but it's harder not to.

Author Links: Website       Twitter       Facebook       Blog       Goodreads
Book Links:  Goodreads       Kindle       Nook       Kobo

The macabre.  What is it that holds such fascination for us?  Certain psychologists who shall go unnamed would argue it is is a "ohmigosh I'm so glad it was them and not me" mentality.  Others would claim we are all inherently morbid and macabre genres of entertainment offer most of us an avenue to explore that morbidity (perhaps an expression of id impulses?) without fear of a jail sentence.  But what about when macabre is mixed with the supernatural?  Well?