07 December 2011

Crowds, hospitals and offal…

Wondering what those things have in common? Join me at fReado and find out:


And while you’re there, why not check out what fReado has to offer? More author interviews here.

Wishing everyone all the best for the festive season. Merry Christmas.


11 November 2011

The IndieView ARC Angels' Club

The IndieView has a new feature: ARC Angels' Club for both readers and authors.

“The idea here is to help authors find advanced readers for their novels, stories, poems. For readers it is the opportunity to read some of your favorite authors, in advance of release, and perhaps even influence the outcome of a book.”
For more information, head over to New Feature the ARC Angels Club.

11 October 2011

NEW: Killers by Shaun Jeffrey

From the author of The Kult comes this new psychological thriller:

Murder makes monsters of people. Prosper Snow knows that better than most. Now he’s back on the trail of another serial killer, only this time there’s far more to the case than meets the eye. Thwarted at every turn, Prosper unwittingly uncovers a human experiment more monstrous than anything he could ever imagine. Now the only way to crack the case is to work from the inside and join a shadowy government agency that operates outside the law. Only he might be too late as the experiment has spiralled out of control.


Shaun Jeffrey was brought up in a house in a cemetery, so it was only natural for his prose to stray towards the dark side when he started writing. Among his 30-plus writing credits are short stories published in Surreal Magazine, Dark Discoveries, Shadowed Realms, and Cemetery Dance. He has also had one collection published, Voyeurs of Death and four novels, The Kult, Deadfall, Fangtooth and Evilution. His novel, The Kult has been filmed by Gharial Productions and will hopefully be released soon. The next novel featuring the protagonist from The Kult will be released in the not too distant future.

25 August 2011

Be Nicholson's Agent and Win 15% of His Ebook Revenue

Best-selling author, Scott Nicholson, is giving away 15 percent of his September book revenues in the form of gift cards to Amazon and BN.com, as well as prizes to supporting blogs.

21 August 2011

NEW: Jungle of Deceit by Maureen A Miller

Congratulations to Maureen on the release of her latest novel, JUNGLE OF DECEIT. I can’t wait to read it.

Mitch Hasslet, a war photojournalist relegated to a desk job, is the sole witness to a heist of Mayan artifacts. Recruited by the enigmatic director of the Museum of Art and Antiquities, Mitch is sent to Guatemala, the last location the shipment was tracked to. Acting as the museum staff photographer, Mitch joins a group of archaeologists. His goal is to locate the artifacts as swiftly as possible so that he can collect his compensation and get the hell out of the jungle.

Alexandra Langley is about to run out of funds. She has yet to discover the lost Mayan civilization she knows lurks in the rainforest. To achieve her grant, she will accept the museum's latest nuisance, Mitch Hasslet, and any other obstacle that is sent her way.

Unsuccessful and desperate, Alex has decided to move the group to a portion of the jungle referred to as, “No Man’s Land”−a sector where archaeological teams have ventured but never returned.

As Mitch and Alex discover romance, will their bond protect them in a jungle filled with deceit?


I am known for writing cold, dark romantic suspense novels. But even I need to warm up after awhile. ENDLESS NIGHT will take you to the cliffs of Maine's rugged coast in the middle of a blustery nor'easter, but JUNGLE OF DECEIT will have you sweating in the jungles of Guatemala. Whatever your geographical or weather preference may be, chances are that I'm going to weave you a tale of romance and danger in one of them.

My first endeavor into romantic suspense was a novel called, WIDOW'S TALE which became a Golden Heart nominee with the Romance Writers of America. Since then I have added ROGUE WAVE, BORROWED TIME and EMOTIONAL WAVES.

18 August 2011

NEW – Kitt Pirate: Snaggletooth's Treasure (Middle Grade)

X marks the spot! Everyone knows that, but where’s the island to go with it?

Kitt Pirate knows that his crew of salty seadogs expects him to find the fabled gold from the treasure map. He is the youngest buccaneer captain sailing the Caribbean and he has more wits than any grown man, but Caverock Island? Well, that’s a bit of a problem.

The treasure beckons. Weeks tick by without a sign. Then an uncharted speck appears on the horizon. Land!

Kitt Pirate: Snaggletooth’s Treasure is a 17,000 word chapter book with a number of illustrations. Written for middle-graders, this book corresponds to a 128-page print chapter book.


11 August 2011

Books for your Kindle for £6 or less... or US$5 or less.

Looking for great reads at bargain prices? Check out:

Each day, DailyCheapReads list cheap reads available for your Kindle reader through Amazon. They guarantee no book will be priced over £6 in the UK or $5 in the US. At least once a day, they post a SuperCheap read for less than £2/$2. They also post FREE books as soon as they become available. The only thing better than cheap is free.

I’m a DailyCheapReads fan and follow them via their RSS feed (picked up many excellent reads, too), but you can also follow them on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with their daily postings and announcements.

P.S. I realise I'm probably preaching to the converted here. :)

08 August 2011

OUT NOW: Fatal Liaison by Vicki Tyley

I’m thrilled to announce the release of my latest mystery, FATAL LIAISON:

The lives of two strangers, Greg Jenkins and Megan Brighton, become inextricably entangled when they each sign up for a dinner dating agency. Greg's reason for joining has nothing to do with looking for love. His recently divorced sister Sam has disappeared and Greg is convinced that Dinner for Twelve, or at least one of its clients, may be responsible. Neither is Megan looking for love. Although single, she only joined at her best friend Brenda De Luca's insistence. When a client of the dating agency is murdered, suspicion falls on several of the members. Then Megan's friend Brenda disappears without trace, and Megan and Greg join forces. Will they find Sam and Brenda, or are they about to step into the same inescapable snare?


*Smashwords 99¢ coupon code PJ54D

06 August 2011

Q&A at ePublishing a Book

This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Patricia de Hemricourt at her blog, ePublishing a Book.

Please join me and check out Patricia’s informative blog. Other interviews include:
  • Michael Garrett (Stephen King’s first editor)
  • Terry O’Dell (multi-published author of “romance with a twist of mystery”)
  • L J Sellers (author of the bestselling Detective Jackson mystery/suspense series)

05 August 2011

NEW: The Gifting by Anne Brooke

“I always look forward to a new book by Anne Brooke as I know I will not only enjoy the story but I will have a truly entertaining read ... Here we venture into the world of science fiction and meet the residents of Gathandria who have been besieged, many are gone and their beautiful land is almost destroyed ... As on any quest, there is much to be learned and there are attacks along the way and Anne Brooke tells a wonderful story with fascinating characters.” – Amos Lassen Reviews

The mind-dwellers of Gathandria are under deadly siege. For two year-cycles they have suffered: their people decimated, their beautiful city in ruins. Their once peaceful life has descended into chaos and misery. Legends tell of the Lost One who will return at such a time to save them from their mortal enemy – the mind-executioner. This enemy knows their ways well, for he was once an elder of the city. Time is running out.

Johan and Isabella take up the quest, journeying to the Lammas Lands searching for their distant cousin and lowly scribe, Simon Hartstongue. The elders dare to hope that he is who they seek. Not everyone shares this hope; there is one amongst them who is bound to the enemy, shielding their secret thoughts from mind links while seeking to betray Simon.

Powerful lessons are learned as they travel through the mystical kingdoms of the Mountains, the Air, the Desert and the Waters. Deadly attacks threaten total annihilation and devastating sorrow strikes. Story-telling weaves a tenuous net of protection around them, but the enemy has absolute power with the stolen mind-cane in his possession. To his surprise Simon hears its song. Desperately he tries to understand and embrace his gifting, as he struggles to comprehend his inheritance.

A strong and pure mind is needed in the battle to defeat the enemy. If you are branded a coward, a murderer and an outcast, how can you be a saviour? Doubt creeps into the Gathandrians' minds. Is Simon truly the One?

This novel is the first in the Gathandrian Trilogy fantasy novels and is published by Bluewood Publishing.

I write gritty novels, energetic short stories and often quite dark poetry. I am also a regular reviewer for the Vulpes Libris review site.

I grew up on an apple farm in the heart of rural Essex. After gaining 3 A levels and 1 S Level, in which my specialist subjects were Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron, I read English at Durham University. There I focused on Medieval and Old English, and must be one of the few people who has read the Anglo-Saxon poem, "Beowulf", in the original language. However, I remember almost nothing about it now.

After University, I spent six months doing voluntary work before taking a series of administrative jobs in insurance, education and legal conferencing. When I could stand it no more, I went back to Durham University to take my MA in Medieval English and Latin.

I married my husband in 1993 and moved to Surrey, where I have lived for the last seventeen years. Interests include playing bad golf, theatre-going, birdwatching, reading books with at least one dead body in them, and of course writing, which - sometimes - keeps me sane.

My website can be found at: annebrooke.com and I also blog regularly at annebrooke.blogspot.com

03 August 2011

NEW: White Gold by Rachel Amphlett

A conspiracy that will end alternative energy research; an organisation killing to protect its interests – and a bomb that will change the face of terrorism...

When Sarah Edgewater’s ex-husband is murdered by a radical organisation hell-bent on protecting their assets, she turns to Dan Taylor – geologist, ex-soldier, and lost cause. Together, they must unravel the research notes that Sarah’s ex-husband left behind to locate an explosive device that is circumnavigating the globe towards the London 2012 Olympics – and time is running out. In an fast-paced ecological thriller that spans the globe, from London to Brisbane and back via the Arctic Circle, Dan and Sarah aren’t just chasing the truth – they’re chasing a bomb that, if detonated, will change the future of alternative energy research and the centre of England’s capital forever.


I have previously worked in the legal and economic publishing industry in the UK, and had undertaken several publishing specific courses at Oxford John Brookes University. Always a keen story-teller at school, a couple of years ago I felt it was time to sit down and write again.

A member of Queensland Writer’s Centre since 2009, I undertook some of their courses to redevelop my craft. These provided me with the skills and dedication to return to writing and led to publication success both in Australia and the United Kingdom with my short stories.

In December 2009, I decided 2010 would be the year I would fully develop an idea for a novel. Twelve months later, I completed my first thriller, 'White Gold'. A sequel is currently being researched, while a further novel is in early draft stage.

I moved to Australia from the United Kingdom in 2005 and live in Queensland with my partner, Nick, and our two dogs.

02 August 2011

NEW: The Black God's War by Moses Siregar III

“Moses is a fine writer deserving of success, and I think that it will follow ... maybe his project will turn him into the next Amanda Hocking. Personally, I really enjoyed Moses’s work.” -David Farland, NYT Bestselling Author of The Runelords

“An inventive tale with high command of craft.” - Scott Nicholson, Bestselling Kindle Author

Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One.

Her father-king wants war.

Her messianic brother wants peace.

The black god wants his due.

She suffers all the consequences.

King Vieri is losing his war against the lands of Pawelon. Feeling abandoned by his god, he forces his son Caio, the kingdom’s holy savior, to lead his army. Victory ought to come soon.

To counter Caio’s powers, Pawelon’s prince enters the conflict. Rao is a gifted sage, a master of spiritual laws. He joins the rajah to defend their citadel against the invaders. But Rao’s ideals soon clash with his army’s general.

The Black One tortures Lucia nightly with visions promising another ten years of bloodshed. She can no longer tell the difference between the waking world and her nightmares. Lucia knows the black god too well. He entered her bed and dreams when she was ten.

The Black One watches, waiting to see Lucia confront an impossible decision over the fates of two men—and two lands.

This is the full novel (120,000 words/384 pages) promised by the much shorter excerpt novella, ‘The Black God’s War: A Novella Introducing a New Epic Fantasy’ (available FREE at Amazon and Smashwords).

Moses Siregar III is a co-host of the popular Adventures In SciFi Publishing podcast, where he has interviewed Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Guy Gavriel Kay, Sherrilyn Kenyon, David Farland, Tracy Hickman, Dan Wells, Michael A. Stackpole, Eric Flint, Laura Resnick, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Nathan Bransford, Robin Sullivan, and Michael J Sullivan. The AISFP podcast has also interviewed Neil Gaiman, Kevin J Anderson, and Ray Bradbury, among others. Moses has a B.A. in Religion. He lives in Prescott, AZ with his wife and son. ‘The Black God’s War’ is his first novel.


27 July 2011

FREE: Simian's Lair (A Tale From The Land of Verne)

From David Burton, the author of Scourge: A Grim Doyle Adventure, comes Simian’s Lair (a children’s fantasy short story) – FREE for a limited time. Grab your copy now! (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download Kindle for PC for free – or download it to your iPod/iPad/iPhone/Blackberry/Android – and read it on your mobile device.)

This 'Tale From the Land of Verne' is a children's short story that takes place in the world of the Grim Doyle Adventures. Enjoy reading about some of the characters you know from Scourge!

Four orphans from the land of Verne are lured into Simian's Lair - a dark abode whose purpose has been lost to the ravages of time. In it dwells an evil that must be cleansed, and from it, they must retrieve a secret that's been locked away for centuries. Join them, along with Madam Patrice and Master Rickett, on a journey where courage is found in the darkest of places.

Also includes the first chapter of Scourge: A Grim Doyle Adventure

Available from:

26 July 2011

NEW – Mean Streets: Tales of Urban Terror [Kindle]

If the gunshots don’t wake you, the agonizing screams will. When darkness descends on the concrete jungle people check the bars on their windows and the locks on their doors, praying to stay safe during the night. The wicked are always on the prowl. People hunker down in houses, apartments, the back seats of cars, or inside cardboard boxes down a fog-shrouded alley trying their best not to be noticed by the people and things that walk and slither in the shadows. Most get lucky and are left alone. Most, but not all…

Evil never rests. Mean Streets presents seven chilling tales of urban horror and moral decay from acclaimed writers Gord Rollo and Gene O’Neill with a special introduction by Kealan Patrick Burke.


07 July 2011

New Forensics Blog for Writers

Tom Adair is a retired, internationally recognized, forensic scientist/CSI in Colorado (US). I am excited to announce that he's recently launched FORENSICS4FICTION, a forensics blog aimed specifically at mystery/crime writers. (Fun categories for the historical, science fiction, and fantasy/paranormal writers coming soon.)

Tom welcomes questions about forensics and law enforcement in general . Email him your questions/suggestions.

Thanks, Tom.

02 July 2011

On My Bookshelf: Stumbling Forward by Christopher Truscott

“If this idiot gets elected to Congress, we’re moving to Australia.”

Categorized as a political novel, this book is so much more. I have to be honest and say that I don’t have a lot of interest in politics, let alone American politics, but Truscott’s easy writing style hooked me in the sample and kept me reading me to the end. What happens behind the political scenes was interesting, not to mention educational, but for me it was more about the character dynamics. A sprinkling of humor, some classic one-liners, and a dash of sexual tension all add up to make this a great read.

Clarissa Rogers is a young idealist who’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime.

Unfortunately, however, that means serving as communications director for a hopelessly egotistical, opportunistic and unqualified congressional candidate.

It isn’t too miserable at first. Alex Hogan has no chance of actually getting elected to represent Minnesota’s 7th District. Then he gets lucky—again and again and again.

As Election Day nears, Clarissa’s hit with the reality that winning may not be the best thing. Along the way, she captivates a womanizing political consultant, draws the attention of people who could change the world, and emerges as the one person who might actually be able to send Alex Hogan to Congress.


Christopher Truscott is a former journalist who now occasionally works as a political strategist. He’s a veteran of two dozen local, state and federal campaigns over the last 10 years. When he’s not obsessing about politics, he can usually be found watching the Minnesota Twins or telling people about his cats, Benny and Boo. He lives in a suburb of St. Paul, Minn., and can be reached by e-mail at chris.truscott@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/christruscott.


30 June 2011

Fair Dinkum Crime Baker’s Dozen

Image courtesy of Pat at Lost and Found

Fair Dinkum Crime is a must-follow blog for all fans of Australian crime fiction. Hosted by Adelaide-based book bloggers, Kerrie and Bernadette, the site is a treasure trove of book reviews, author interviews, news, award updates and anything else relevant to Australian crime fiction.

One of Fair Dinkum Crime’s regular features is the Baker’s Dozen interview – their version of the author interview. Instead of the standard questions, the authors are provided with thirteen sentence beginnings. So far, they've "interviewed" Aussie authors:
  1. Felicity Young
  2. P M Newton
  3. Sulari Gentill
  4. Leah Giarratano
  5. Brian Kavanagh
  6. Phillipa (PD) Martin
  7. Michael Robotham
  8. Michael Duffy
  9. Rosanne Dingli
  10. Vicki Tyley

I'm both honoured and humbled to be in such esteemed company – I'm a big fan of many of them. If you enjoy good crime fiction, you can't go past any of these authors. (Unfortunately, not all are available in digital format... yet.)

15 June 2011

Q&A and Giveaway at The Frugal eReader

The Frugal eReader is a site dedicated to featuring Frugal Finds Under Nine for the Kindle, as well as author interviews and giveaways.

I'm delighted to be featured as this month's The Frugal eReader's author. To celebrate, 5 Frugal eReaders will win a gifted Kindle copy of Brittle Shadows. PLUS, 3 Frugal eReaders will win an advance reader's copy of my upcoming novel, Bitter Nothings.

I also answer the following (and more) questions:

When did you first know that you wanted to write? What inspired you to start?

How would you describe the style of your writing?

How would you describe Brittle Shadows to someone who has not read any of your previous novels?

As I have a strong relationship with my sister, I am always intrigued by novels with sister relationships as part of the premise. How did you come up with the premise for Brittle Shadows?

What was your creative process for determining the final title and cover for your novel?

What were the challenges of writing this novel? Your favorite part of writing Brittle Shadows?

Any advice to those who hold the dream of becoming an author?

Are you working on anything new that you’d like to share?

13 June 2011

NEW – Broken: A Paranormal Romance by David H Burton

Three days before her twenty-fourth birthday, Katherine Gregory receives a letter from her deceased mother. It details a faery curse in which the eldest child in each generation will die in their twenty-fifth year.

Three days before her twenty-fourth birthday, a new love interest comes knocking, and her first love has returned - neither men are what they seem, and Katherine may have to choose between them.

Three days before her twenty-fourth birthday, Katherine must decide if this is all real, or if the strange visions she's been having are just a figment of her imagination.

The race to unravel the mystery begins, and Katherine must solve it - for any day after her birthday could be her last.


05 June 2011

Do You Judge a Book by Its Cover?

Maybe not judge, as such, but get a feel for the tone and style of the story? I only ask because when I picked up Catch an Honest Thief by Maria Schneider recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find that instead of the light-hearted cozy depicted on the cover (or at least that’s how I interpreted it), it was a taut, pacy hi-tech mystery – my sort of reading. Now, if it hadn’t been recommended to me, I probably wouldn’t have looked at it twice. I’m very glad I did.

Today, I received a message from Maria to say she’d redesigned the cover. I love the new look and think it fits the story much better. See what you think – old cover on the left, new one (design by Razzle Dazzle Design) on the right:

An Indiana Jones-style caper across the desert of New Mexico; high-tech gadgets, a mystery and a romance.

Alexia is trying to protect the crystals that power the city of Haven. Going undercover and stealing the crystals seemed like a great idea--until a real thief showed up.

Bait and switch is suddenly cat and mouse--but who is the real thief? And why is the new security chief spending so much time looking into her background?

Confessing her secret plans to protect the crystals might help the security chief narrow in on the real culprit, but it would cost Alexia her job, her freedom, and her status. Of course, if she keeps standing in the way of the real thief, it will cost her a whole lot more.


Maria Schneider grew up in New Mexico where the desert environment required that she embellish the landscape with her imagination. After working in the computer industry for twelve years, she decided technology moved too slowly, and again put her imagination to work, creating messes and then inventing characters to handle all the clean up. She currently resides near Austin, Texas.

For more information about Maria and her books visit: http://www.bearmountainbooks.com/


02 June 2011

Q&A at Maureen Miller's Place

The delightful and talented Maureen Miller, the author of the newly released ENDLESS NIGHT (Carina Press) [see trailer below], posed me a few questions.

Please join me at Maureen’s place and check out her romantic suspense novels – highly recommended, especially if you’re like me and don’t enjoy over-the-top “romance.” With both the mystery and the romance aspects, the focus is on suspense.



26 April 2011

THIN BLOOD released as an audio book

I’m delighted to announce that Thin Blood has just been released in audio.

Narrated by Basil Sands

Running time: 7 hours, 38 minutes | Unabridged

Produced by Perfect Voices

$34.95 $12.99 (save 63%)

Listen to SAMPLE/purchase at

Craig Edmonds, a successful stockbroker, reports the disappearance of his wife, Kirsty. What starts as a typical missing person’s case soon evolves into a full-blown homicide investigation when forensics uncover blood traces and dark-blonde hairs in the boot of the missing woman’s car. Added to this, is Craig’s adulterous affair with the victim’s younger sister, Narelle Croswell, compounded further by a recently acquired $1,000,000 insurance policy on his wife’s life. He is charged with murder but, with no body and only circumstantial evidence, he walks free when two trials resulting in hung juries fail to convict him.

Ten years later, Jacinta Deller, a newspaper journalist is retrenched. Working on a freelance story about missing persons, she comes across the all but forgotten Edmonds case. When she discovers her boyfriend, Brett Rhodes, works with Narelle Croswell, who is not only the victim’s sister but is now married to the prime suspect, her sister’s husband, she thinks she has found the perfect angle for her article. Instead, her life is turned upside down, as befriending the woman, she becomes embroiled in a warped game of delusion and murder.

12 April 2011

RE-RELEASED: Tracking Perception by Cherri Galbiati

An entertaining and engaging mystery, and one I'd recommend to all mystery fans, but especially those who are dog-lovers. Dogs play an integral part in the story and it is obvious that Galbiati writes from experience. (Tracking Perception was originally published by L & L Dreamspell as The Scent of Money.)

A bloody murder at the Piper Mansion. The only witness, Tasha – a German shepherd dog…

There’s been a murder in Spike, a small Texas town. The bank president and his wife were found in their home with slashed throats. The discovery occurred when four church ladies came to visit for the monthly financials. After stumbling onto the gruesome scene they decided to clean things up before calling the police, to spare the town from seeing the atrocity.

When Becky McAllen, who happens to be married to the chief of police, becomes Tasha’s caretaker, she becomes the killer’s next target… a murderer who’s after much more than blood.

“This is an intriguing mystery, filled with twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing throughout. Galbiati’s small-town descriptive draws the reader into the story with a sense of actually being there. Becca has a feisty nature and is a delightful character, a woman who has no problem standing up for herself and who loves her husband very much. The relationship between Matt and Becca is at the center of the story and offers a sweet touch against the dark premise of murder. Tasha, the German shepherd, is an added bonus among a cast of lovable characters. The Scent of Money easily meets the criteria for a guaranteed good read: engaging characters, realistic dialogue, a galvanizing plot, and action-packed suspense.” – Midwest Book Review


Cherri Galbiati grew up on the outskirts of a small town in rural Louisiana, but moved to Houston, Texas while still in grade school. By the seventh grade Cherri knew she wanted to be a writer. She attended college at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. After that she traveled throughout Scotland, London, Germany and France before returning to make Houston her home.

Her interests include reading, writing, knitting and crocheting. and she's also a coffee connoisseur. She enjoys her coffee. Really loves her coffee.

CANINE FAMILY - Animals are a huge part in Cherri and her husband's lives, as several German shepherds and a Great Pyrenees reside with them in their home. Two of her German shepherds were active Search and Rescue dogs. One is a retired canine police officer. These animals served their communities well and are retired from duty. Her dogs have inspired her series of books. Visit her at: cherrigalbiati.com


08 April 2011

NEW: Annalisa's Highway Blues by David Reichart

David Reichart spent eight years writing for newspapers, and another five as a freelance copywriter, but it was his work as an over-the-road truck driver that provided the inspiration for his debut novel, a romance with an anything but stereotypical heroine.

A family crisis forces Annalisa Rochon, a beautiful but inexperienced small-town girl, into the male-dominated world of long-haul trucking, where she finds danger, loneliness, hard work and something unexpected out on the road--the kind of romance she had always dreamed of.

Ex-Marine Mike Cindik, son of a wealthy industrialist, has a contentious meeting with Annalisa while she's delivering a load to one of his father's warehouses and, in the aftermath, becomes completely captivated by this exotic, strange-talking, truck-driving Louisiana girl…


I thought about using a pen name for this novel, which I consider a romantic comedy, because a man’s name attached to a romance might have a negative effect. No doubt it would have been a disadvantage if I had gone through the traditional route, trying to interest agents and publishers. But I’m jumping into independent publishing with both feet so I decided to just enjoy being in control. What the heck?

I’m trying to build an audience for future books, so I guess it makes sense to use my own name. Subsequent works won’t be romance novels, necessarily, though romantic encounters are fun to write and will no doubt be a big part of the stories.

People who love romance novels have certain expectations, and they might not find all of them met in Annalisa’s Highway Blues, but I think they–as well as a general audience--will enjoy pulling for my heroine, Annalisa Rochon. It’s a story of two people from vastly different worlds who are actually quite right for each other, finally realize it, and then have to overcome difficult obstacles to eventually get together.

I was an over-the-road truck driver for two years, so this is painstakingly researched. Annalisa’s Highway Blues is the story that kept rolling around in my mind as I was driving around the country. I had to get it out of my system, and I finally did, thanks to Smashwords and Amazon.
It’s an exciting time for people who have stories to tell.


07 April 2011

Books for your Kindle for US$5 or less

Looking for great reads at bargain prices? Check out DailyCheapReads.

With 750,000+ ebooks now available at Amazon to say readers are spoilt for choice would be an understatement. But with such a huge selection, where do you start? DailyCheapReads search the Kindle Store to find the bargains so Kindlers have more time to read. Each day, they list cheap reads, with a guarantee no book will ever be priced over US$5. And at least once a day, they post a SuperCheap (less than US$2) and/or Free read.

DailyCheapReads have three sites:

05 April 2011

Characterisation and Reader Emotional Involvement

Check out and join Richard Adin's American Editor discussion: Characterization: How Important is Reader Emotional Involvement?

It struck me the other night while I was watching TV that in series like Spooks and NCIS, I remember (and love) the characters, but not the stories. In movies, it’s the storyline that stays with me, never the character. The difference between plot-driven and character-driven perhaps? I’d be really interested to hear others thoughts on this subject.

Does anyone have any recommendations for standalone (versus series) mysteries where the characters get inside the reader's head and stay there long after the book is finished?

01 April 2011

An American Editor on Books Down Under

Review republished courtesy of An American Editor:


My reading habits seem to me to be odd. Why odd? Because I read genres in spurts. The spurts may be months or years, but I haven’t read a genre continuously throughout my reading life.

What I mean is this: Many years ago, the only fiction I read were mysteries written by authors like Ed McBain, Dashiell Hammett, Agatha Christie, Georges Simenon, Martha Grimes, P.D. James, Mickey Spillane, and Arthur Conan Doyle. I read those books for years, then one day I stopped and moved to another genre and didn’t pick up another mystery – that is, until recently.

Several months ago I bought the ebook of Vicki Tyley’s Thin Blood at Smashwords. The synopsis looked interesting, and several people on another forum remarked positively on the ebook. I thought I couldn’t go wrong at the price. Even if I didn’t like the book, it wasn’t much of an investment.

Thin Blood, which is the story of a reporter’s investigation of a decade old murder, reignited my interest in the mystery genre. Thin Blood is a compelling story with a twist, and Tyley keeps the reader’s interest with her articulate prose. The writing style reminded me very much of the Ed McBain/Dashiell Hammett style — sentences that have been stripped down to the barebones.

After reading Thin Blood, I had to read the other mysteries written by Tyley, Sleight Malice and Brittle Shadows. In Sleight Malice, the lead character is devastated by what she thinks is the death in a house fire of her best friend. Then she learns that the body found in the fire is male, not female, and she teams up with a private investigator to discover the truth.

In Brittle Shadows, the body of our heroine’s sister’s fiance is found hanging in his closet, presumably death by accident. Two months later, the heroine’s sister commits suicide, an act that our heroine cannot accept, especially when she learns that at the time of her death, the sister was 6 weeks pregnant.

Each of the three books is different, yet all are united by a single characteristic: strong, female leads. Tyley’s characterizations allow the reader to grasp the mental framework of the lead females. The writing is taut, direct, and without waste. Throughout the three books, there were only a couple minor grammar errors, at least from an American perspective. I admit that I am not familiar with Australian style.

What I find particularly interesting is that even with the very high quality of the writing, Vicki Tyley, as is the case with the exceptionally talented New Zealand writer, Shayne Parkinson (see On Books: The Promises to Keep Quartet), remains unsigned by the major traditional publishing houses. Makes me wonder if there is a Down Under bias.

There is no question in my mind that Vicki Tyley is the Australian P.D. James — a can’t miss read. The writing is outstanding, the stories creative. The one failing is that her female leads are frenetic. Interestingly, although the female leads are as strong a character as any of the males in the story, and often even stronger, they do not comport themselves as well as their male counterparts in stress situations, leaving the impression that they are weaker than their male counterparts. It is almost as if Tyley is suggesting that no matter how strong a woman is, she is still emotionally ruled whereas men are both strong and emotionless, or at least better capable of contolling their emotions and thus more objective under stress.

The significant difference between the Parkinson books and the Tyley books is how the lead female characters – Amy Leith, in the Parkinson books, and Jemma Dalton (Brittle Shadows), Desley James (Sleight Malice), and Jacinta Deller (Thin Blood) — emotionally involve the reader in their story and plight: In the case of Amy Leith, I was greatly engaged, whereas the Tyley characters didn’t rise to that level of reader involvement. My emotional involvement was minimal at best.

That, however, is no reason to not buy, read, and enjoy these books and to anxiously await the next Tyley Down Under murder mystery. On a 5-star rating scale, I would rate each of Tyley’s 3 books as 5 stars. In comparison, for those of you who took my advice and read Parkinson’s Promises to Keep quartet, the quartet’s rating would be 5 stars plus a smidgen more, the difference being the emotional involvement of the reader with the characters.

As I wrote earlier, Vicki Tyley is the Australian P.D. James — a can’t miss read. Her mysteries definitely are in the same class as McBain, Grimes, and James, and like Grimes and James, have that little bit of reserve that distinguishes the English-style mystery from the American-style mystery. And at $2.99 an ebook, the value is greater than that of the better-known but not more capable English-style mystery writers. I highly recommend Tyley’s three ebooks to mystery fans.

19 March 2011

Ghosts Templar, a Jason Dark supernatural mystery by Guido Henkel

Winner of The 2010 Occult Detective Award at www.occultdetective.com

“A briskly paced pulp fiction throwback full of gothic dread and shivery intrigue … A cult of sophisticated fiends who like their terror full of elegant dread and Victorian charm.” ~ Chris Alexander, Fangoria

“What amazed me, as I dug deeper into the series is the sheer, joyous brilliance of the project>” ~ Mirek Lipinski, Fantaterror

Undead Templar Knights haunt a quaint seaside village in Victorian England.

When the disappearance of the local Chief Constable brings occult detective Jason Dark and his partner Siu Lin to Swanage, they find the village terrorized by a string of macabre murders which swirl amidst rumors that undead knights have awakened to exact a bloody revenge.

Will they be able to stop the horror that arrives every night on ghostly steeds from the ruined monastery before the skeletal warriors claim any more innocent victims?

Experience this bone-chilling adventure, filled with enough mystery, drama and suspenseful action to transport you back in time to the sinister streets of a town riddled with horrible secrets.

Ghosts Templar is a 24,000-word dime novel, the equivalent of about 90 book pages.



Guido Henkel is the author of ten Jason Dark supernatural mysteries, including DEMON'S NIGHT, HEAVENS ON FIRE, DR. PROMETHEUS, THE BLOOD WITCH, TERRORLORD and the award-winning GHOSTS TEMPLAR.

You can find out more about the books at http://www.jasondarkseries.com/ or follow his blog at http://www.guidohenkel.com/


18 March 2011

SPECIAL: The Merry-Go-Round by Donna Fasano $0.99 (Offer ends 31 Mar 11)

Donna Fasano is an award-winning, best-selling author whose books have sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide. Grab a copy of her romantic comedy, The Merry-Go-Round, at the bargain price of $0.99 before 31 March 2011.

Lauren Flynn is riding life's merry-go-round--literally. She won the dilapidated amusement park ride in the divorce settlement. Since then, her life's been a three-ring circus.

Ladies and gentlemen! In ring number one is a barrel of quirky clients. In ring two, a hypochondriac, live-in father. And in ring three, the 'perfect' man, the one who could possibly make all her dreams come true. Life has become Lauren's carnival, her ex, a lingering ringmaster. And Lauren...

Well, step right up, folks, and see if she makes a grab for the brass ring.

"The Merry-Go-Round is an utterly charming romantic comedy that pulled me in right from the start. Award-winning author Donna Fasano skillfully weaves a story consisting of funny, imperfect characters, love lost and found, sexual attraction, and an old merry-go-round. Told with humor and honesty, this novel is an entertaining and satisfying read. I highly recommend it!" ~ Karen McQuestion, author of A Scattered Life


Growing up the third child of five-yes, smack dab in the middle and the only girl to boot-Donna Fasano had no idea she would one day be a published author. Her story-telling talents came to light when she conjured lively and elaborate tales of pure blarney (yes, she has a bit of Irish in her blood) for, first, her youngest brother, and years later, her children. Donna sold her first manuscript in 1989, and since then has become a bestselling, award-winning author of over thirty novels and four audio books. She writes under her own name as well as under the pen name, Donna Clayton, and is known for her "smooth, polished" writing style and for creating "strong, complex" characters. Reviewers have described her stories as "poignant," "richly textured," "enticing," and "absorbing." The writing process can be extremely engrossing for Donna, so much so that she's missed appointments with dentists and doctors, lunches with friends and family, and once she even forgot her carpool run. Luckily, the people in her life make allowances for this quirk. Still happily married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two grown sons who have flown the coop. She and her husband share their home with Jake, a black and white, couch-potato border collie, and Roo, a spotted red and cream Australian cattle dog that looks (and acts) like a wild dingo. Donna's spare time is spent reading, walking the countryside and beach, or trying out new recipes from one of the many cookbooks she has collected over the years. Oh, and one night a week she and her hubby nab some alone time from their busy schedules, enjoying a nice glass of wine and a video-preferably a romantic comedy.


15 March 2011

Currently reading: Storm Surge by J.D. Rhoades

Looking for a top class thriller full of adventure and intrigue, you can't go past this one. And only $2.99. Highly recommended.

DIE HARD meets KEY LARGO in the first e-published novel by the Shamus-Award nominated author of BREAKING COVER and the Jack Keller series. As a hurricane bears down on the luxurious Pass Island resort, waitress Sharon Brennan and her daughter are trapped with some very bad people and a handyman who's more than he seems. Amiable Max may not be a good guy...but he may be just the bad guy they need.


I'm the author of BREAKING COVER, published in July 2008 by St. Martin's/Minotaur, and the Jack Keller series of thriller novels: THE DEVIL'S RIGHT HAND, GOOD DAY IN HELL, and SAFE AND SOUND, also from St. Martin's. In my day job, I practice law in a small town in North Carolina. My family and friends call me Dusty. Website: jdrhoades.com


11 March 2011

NEW: Crimson Leaf by SM Jonas $2.99

Orphaned by a double murder, Crown Prince Travis celebrates his freedom from a loveless and strict upbringing by running riot with his teenage friends. Travis doesn't curb his behavior until warned by his elderly guardian and then threatened by the Lord Chief Justice.

Following the coronation, much stranger Guardians concern themselves with the young king as a new sword master and a maid start work at the palace. Not long after, Travis' brothers and sister are subject to murder attempts. It seems that a complex plot threatens the entire royal family.

In a race to find the murderer before he strikes again, the Guardians and the king's advisors become dangerously at odds. Meanwhile, Travis goes on a clandestine mission that will lead him to the unimaginable truth.

"Here is an enigma, Gareth, and it's my job to unravel enigmas. Besides, consider her eyes - you know my weakness for fine jewels" - Lord Chief Justice Oakley



SM Jonas is my pen name for fantasy, which was my first love, though I now write contemporary thrillers. With Crimson Leaf, I wanted to create a mystery that would keep the reader guessing till the end, but also engage them emotionally with the main characters. I hope that I've achieved those aims, but only you can tell...


27 February 2011

Industrial-strength espresso... Aussie style

Blogger and avid reader Susan's photographic intepretation of this sentence from Sleight Malice:

"What she really needed was an industrial-strength espresso."

I especially like the detail of the Australian raw sugar. Thanks, Susan. You made my day. :)

26 February 2011

Seeing is believing. Demons are real...

Joanna just has to convince everyone else before it's too late.

Dead Man's Eye
by Shaun Jeffrey $0.99

Blighted by an eye disease, Joanna Raines undergoes a corneal transplant operation to stop her going blind. The procedure is successful, but in the weeks that follow she begins to see dark coronas surrounding certain people. By turns fearful that something has gone wrong and worried that she's going crazy, Joanna searches for an answer to the phenomena.

What she finds will change her life forever. The transplant has opened a door in her mind, and the strange coronas are not legacies of the operation but proof that a legion of demons plans to invade the earth!

Now the only thing that stands between the demonic horde and their plot to take over the world is Joanna, a young woman with the power to see them for what they really are.

Available on Kindle from Amazon



Shaun Jeffrey was brought up in a house in a cemetery, so it was only natural for his prose to stray towards the dark side when he started writing. He has had three novels published, 'Evilution', 'The Kult' and 'Deadfall', and one collection of short stories, 'Voyeurs of Death'. Among his other writing credits are short stories published in Dark Discoveries and Cemetery Dance. His novel The Kult was optioned for film and shooting has just finished.