Author Spotlight – Lynn Steigleder: Terminal Core

This book sounded interesting but not something I could read right now. Still, I wanted to help with getting the book some exposure. Let me know your thoughts on the book..


When did you know first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
For years, I had written short stories for my own enjoyment. In 2006, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Two months later I learned my job was being outsourced. On one of our father/son spring surf fishing trips to Cape Hatteras, my son having enjoyed my stories in the past, suggested I try writing as a new career path.


Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
Rogue officials led by President Gaylen and in turn directed by off-worlder’s set an 80-year plan in motion to seize planet Aon’s core. Being made of pure caladium, the planet’s center is the hardest and most valuable substance in the galaxy. Separate alliances unwittingly come together in the dead city of Baine with Clay gravitating to leader. Their objective; preserve the planet. The core is fashioned from living beings, these indestructible creatures prepare to defend their domain. Disregarding all else, the would be thieves continue to process the pilfered caladium. Once Clay melds the coalition, a battle for life and world begin.   

I’ve always enjoyed science fiction. When it comes to writing fantasy, I find it equally enjoyable; however, there are certain conditions: no kings, queens, elves, etc. and definitely no unicorns. As to why I wrote TERMINAL CORE, when I start a novel, I stare at a blank sheet of virtual paper. An idea will soon pop into my head and I will jump in with all fours and take off from there. Because of my interests, I am usually led down a path of sci-fi or fantasy, sometimes a hybrid of both will be the result. To make a short story long as I have just done, there are no ironclad reasons for writing what I write. I give the story a beginning, let it write itself and hang on knowing I’m headed for a wild ride.


You have also written a series. Can you tell me about the series?
It’s a fantasy series with bits of science fiction and dystopian mingled throughout. It follows a couple (Ben and Eve) through a world where land is at a premium due to the rising seas and is soon to be destroyed. To avoid any spoilers, I can tell you they end up on a new world where they are the beginning. They meet a plethora of characters many evil and some who become allies. Let me give you an example. This is a short synopsis from the third book, DEADLY REIGN:

Ben, Eve and Pete continue to push through this new Earth as the world sinks deeper into corruption. They gain new allies, including an intellectual animal equipped with the gift of speech. They are forced to battle six aberrations (beasts and riders) deemed nearly indestructible. The environment has manifested into a frigid terrain with the sun lost in the ice filled cloud cover. Swords forged especially for the riders by the riders offer another layer of defense to an already superior force. The humans have deduced that water may possibly be a weapon, but a weapon that even now is freezing at an accelerated rate.

I am a Christian. I attempt to work my faith into each novel I pen. In many cases, if you know the Bible you will pick up on the references. If not, it will be a Science Fiction or Fantasy novel. There is no offensive language or sexual situations in any of my writings; however, when it comes to killing demons, that can be a pretty grizzly business.     

 What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
I hope readers will remember TERMINAL CORE as a unique Science Fiction novel and it will leave a lasting impression. So much so, they will compare it favorably to other novels of the same genre.

 What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
As much as I love the written word, no book or author other than the Bible has an impact on my life. Some of my favorite authors: Stephen King would have to be number one, Robert Heinlein, H. G. Wells and Ernest Hemmingway, for the “Old Man and the Sea.”

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
Alex Hailey said it best. When asked how to become a writer, he said (and I paraphrase) if you want to write, then write. I’ve had people come to me asking the same question and I give them the same answer. As far as being published, look for a small press that accepts unsolicited manuscripts. Before you submit have other people read your manuscript that will give you an honest opinion and make sure it’s well edited. After you’re published then comes the task of marketing.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this spring?
Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower Series”


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Pages: 358
Published: April 18, 2016

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Synopsis:
Aon, a solid core planet made from the priceless and most dense element in the galaxy, caladium, is under silent attack. Plans are made by off-worlders to dissolve the unbreakable core using crude oil obtained from 19th century earth. Once the oil is refined, the byproduct, gasoline, will soften the caladium, allowing it to be collected. It is soon discovered the core is made from living beings created from caladium itself. The off-worlders employ a band of corrupt inhabitants to carry on this work. They find themselves in a constant struggle with a small coalition of Aonians bent on saving their home world. Both factions clash with the indestructible core creatures. With horrendous beasts one step behind and deadly pitfalls ahead, the coalition struggles to finish its journey, hoping to insure their races’ survival.


Excerpt from Chapter One:

CLAY STEPPED UP onto the raised walkway.

“I hate this place,” he mumbled, patting his sidearm. He grabbed the door handle and prepared to enter.

Clay was a bounty hunter. His latest skip (if you want to call him that since Clay had spent the better part of two years chasing empty leads) was Sal Ricky—a career criminal with a taste for refined women, as he would consume certain body parts of his victims after performing whatever atrocities piqued his fancy.

Clay stood tall, six foot five. He almost always wore black, except for his blue jeans. He felt it more intimidating.

He stepped into the brothel. A dozen pair of eyes turned his way. Clay removed his sidearm from its holster.

“I’m looking for Sal Ricky,” he announced. After a slight pause, he repeated the phrase. “I said, I’m looking for Sal Ricky.”

“If you want me, all you gotta do is ask,” came a smug response. The voice emanated from a dark corner. In it stood a six foot tall figure. Instead of legs, it sported four eight foot long appendages. These members would shoot forward landing on the ground and allow the rest of the body to move over them like treads on a tank. He could move surprisingly fast when necessary.

“So?” Sal Ricky asked. “What can I do for you?”

Clay moved closer toward the corner and cocked his weapon.

“Don’t play stupid, you ball of snot.” He raised his free hand and pointed a finger. “I’ve been looking for you for almost two years now.” Clay cocked the second hammer on his handgun. “This time you’re all mine.”

Sal Ricky was a hydrak. He lived up to his name, constantly oozing fluid and leaving a trail similar to that of a slug when he moved.

“Ya think so.” The creature lit a cigarette with two human-like hands. The hydrak inhaled deeply, burning up half the smoke in one drag.

“Better men have tried,” he said, finishing his cigarette with a second drag and dropping it into a puddle of slime; the butt hissed as the glowing ashes died.

Clay tightened his grip.

“We can do this the easy way or the hard way. I get just as much for you dead as alive.” Clay smiled out of one corner of his mouth. “It makes no difference to me.”

Sal Ricky crossed his arms which were anything but human. They were muscular with a lizard-like texture and a green color to match. His lower half was bulbous and horizontal to the ground, turning vertical at mid-thorax until it formed his head.

“Don’t you tire of the same old clichés?” Sal Ricky snickered. “Easy way, hard way, alive or dead, blah, blah, blah. After two years, you should know I do nothing the easy way.” His head was square with a round circle on each side. Sal Ricky could spin his neck three hundred and sixty degrees if need be. He had a set of eyes at the upper portion of each circle. One side contained an orifice with which he spoke and took in nourishment. One big tuft of green hair sprang from the center of his scalp, climbed vertically, about a foot, and then flopped over on all sides.

“Have it your way,” Clay said.

Just then, two dark humanoid figures appeared on either side of the slug. The first figure made a move and then slipped on his boss’ excretions, landing flat on his back.

Clay rolled to his right behind a steel column and fired one barrel, removing most of the second figure’s head. The first man, still floundering in the goo, was an easy take out.

Sal Ricky moved toward Clay knocking him to the floor as he passed by.

Clay moved to one knee and steadied himself. He would have but one shot.

Sal Ricky could easily burst through the wall, and that’s what he had a mind to do, Clay surmised. He made sure both hammers were cocked. Cocking them was one thing; firing both at the same time was something you didn’t do unless you had to.

Clay took a deep breath and pulled both triggers.


2Lynn Kevin Steigleder was born in Richmond, Virginia. He spent most of his adult life as a supervisor in the field of construction and fabrication. When Lynn’s department was outsourced within two months of his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, he realized the need to transition into a new career path due to his energy and mobility challenges.

His son suggested he consider writing as a career; having enjoyed Lynn’s short stories. He agreed to the challenge and his first novel, “Rising Tide”, was accepted for publication released in 2009 then re-released in 2015 with additional content. Rising Tide has become a series with two follow up novels Eden’s Wake and Deadly Reign with a fourth in the works. Lynn has also published TERMINAL CORE a stand-alone science fiction novel.

Lynn writes mainly: science fiction, fantasy, dystopian and hybrids of all three genres including action adventures all with a Christian premise.

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Let me know if you check out this book. Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

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Author/Book Spotlight – Opal Carew: X Marks the Spot

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Author: Opal Carew
Pages: 256

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Synopsis:
Abi has been in love with Del for years, but they never got around to acting on their mutual attraction. And then she met and married his best friend, Liam.

But when Abi and Liam’s marriage falls apart, Abi decides to take control of her life and find her happily-ever-after with Del. So when they’re all staying in a country inn for her brother’s wedding, Abi decides to slip into Del’s bed and seduce him…except she accidentally ends up in Liam’s instead.

Liam never stopped loving Abi, and he plans to use every blazing hot trick in his book to keep her in his bed…even if it means sharing her with Del.


Excerpt, Chapter One:

Abi ran her finger over the embossed wedding invitation. The feel of the raised flowers, smooth under her fingertip, made her think of white satin.

She stared at the silver letters … Join us … and her mind drifted off, imagining herself walking down the aisle, wearing a beautiful white satin and lace dress adorned with delicate pearls and white sequins. In her daydream, her gaze locked on her groom, standing at the altar watching her approach with eyes filled with joy, his beaming smile melting her heart.

Del.

“Hey, earth to Abi,” Jaime, her older sister, said. “You know we’ve got to get all these done this evening, right?”

Claire, Abi’s other sister, laughed. “Don’t worry about it, Jaime. If our little sister wants to daydream a little, that’s okay. She’s already stuffed more invitations than both of us combined. What were you thinking about, Abi?”

This time Jaime laughed. “Isn’t it obvious? She’s thinking about Del.”

Ignoring her sisters, Abi slipped an RSVP and the invitation into an envelope, then turned it over and ran her dampened sponge over the glue on the flap and sealed it. Then she flipped it back and wrote Del’s name and address on the front.

He was the next guest on the list.

She sighed, wishing this was her wedding coming up instead of her brother Kurt’s. But despite the intense attraction between her and Del, he seemed more than happy to be just friends. Which she couldn’t really blame him for after their false start in college.

But she’d do anything to turn things around. To finally find her happily-ever-after in his arms.

Jaime plucked the completed invitation from Abi and placed it in the box with the others. Claire added the one she’d just finished. Doing the invitations had been Kurt’s task, but of course he’d left them to the last minute, then got pulled into something at work, so he’d called on his three sisters to help out.

Abi sipped her wine and realized Jaime was staring at her.

“What?” Abi asked.

“You know you’ll be seeing Del at the wedding. You should make a move.”

Abi’s lips compressed. “I don’t have a move.”

“You’re a woman. The only move you need is to get naked in his bed,” Jaime said.

Abi’s mouth dropped open. It wasn’t like Jaime to say something so brash.

Claire’s eyebrow arched. “You’re suggesting our little sister march into a man’s room, strip down, and climb into bed with him?”

Jaime shrugged. “I suggest a little more finesse than that but, yeah, essentially. And the point is, this isn’t any man. It’s Del, the man she’s been mooning over for years.”

“Forget it,” Abi interrupted. “That is not going to happen.”

“Come on, Abi,” Jaime said. “You’ve been out of sorts ever since you heard that Scruff was getting married.” Scruff was the nickname her older sisters had for Kurt.

Claire placed her hand on Abi’s, staring at her with concern. “What is it, honey? Why is Scruff getting married bothering you?”

Abi shook her head. “It’s not. I’m thrilled for him. Suzanne is wonderful and I know they’ll be very happy together.” She squeezed Claire’s hand. “I really want that for him.”

Claire stroked her shoulder. “Of course you do. We all do.”

“It’s not really about Scruff,” Jaime said, leaning back in her chair. “Is it?”

Abi shook her head. She’d been thinking about it a lot lately, confused by her own reaction to her brother’s fabulous news. And she’d finally figured it out. “It’s because after this, I’ll be the only one in the family who’s not married.”

“But, honey, you are married,” Claire said.

Abi sighed, pain flaring through her.

“Technically, yes. But I was married for barely a year before we separated and we’ve been apart for over two years now. I don’t really think that counts.”

Her chest constricted at the thought of Liam. The whole ordeal around their separation—her hands tightened into fists—around their marriage … was still difficult for her to think about. It brought up memories that were too agonizing to relive.

Claire slid her arm around Abi’s shoulders and squeezed.

“I know it’s been tough on you. But I still think you and Liam have a chance to make it work. I think the fact that he hasn’t signed the divorce papers yet means he’s not ready to let you go.”

“No,” Jaime said, “it means the jerk’s a son of a bitch who just wants to prolong Abi’s suffering. She belongs with someone who’ll make her happy. Del will do that.”

Abi glanced at Jaime who sat in the chair opposite the couch, sipping her wine. “I always thought you liked Liam.”

The severe expression on Jaime’s face softened.

“I did. Until he hurt my little sister.”

* * *

When Abi got home, she slumped into her bed and stared at the ceiling. Both her sisters were home with their husbands now. Jaime with her two boys in the next room. Claire didn’t have kids yet, but Abi knew she and her husband, Bill, were thinking about it.

Her sisters had everything Abi had ever wanted. A life partner who loved them. A family, or the opportunity to have one soon. And now Kurt did, too. In a month’s time, he would be married and working on his family.

Where was Abi’s happily-ever-after?

She closed her eyes, but sleep wouldn’t come. All she could think of was Del and what might have been.

* * *

Abi had met Del at college, the day she’d moved into her dorm room. She’d received a scholarship to pursue her master’s in Early Childhood Education at Brahm’s University in Eldridge, New Hampshire. The same place her brother, Kurt, had gone for his graduate studies.

It was the first time she’d been away from her family, since she’d done her undergraduate degree close to home, and she’d been feeling a little lost.

Then Del had shown up at her door. He was a friend of her brother’s, and Kurt had asked him to look out for her.

She still remembered glancing up to see the gorgeous man standing in her doorway.

He’d smiled, his straight, white teeth and the warmth glowing from his eyes making his whole face light up in a way that dug into her heart and tugged at her most intense feminine needs.

When she’d shaken his hand, electricity had sparked up her arm, firing every nerve ending along the way. His hand had been so big and warm and … comforting. In his warm olive-green eyes, flecked with what looked like golden stardust, she’d been sure she’d seen a reflection of the same intense attraction.

He’d shown her around town and helped her integrate into the social life on campus.

But because of his friendship with her brother, he’d insisted they remain just friends.

She’d kept hoping. Her face flushed with embarrassment as she remembered when she’d practically thrown herself at him one evening, kissing him and telling him she wanted more from him than friendship.

Despite the sexual tension between them, their friendship continued to grow. He was always there when she needed someone to talk to. And he looked out for her. He even introduced her to his best friend, Liam, clearly hoping she’d turn her attention to him instead.

The moment she’d met Liam, she’d fallen hard. It would be easy to tell herself that she’d only needed someone to distract her from her feelings for Del, but it wasn’t that simple. The chemistry between her and Liam was spectacular, burning brighter than anything she’d ever experienced before. And both of them had mistaken that for love.

Her gut clenched as her mind started along a path that would take her on a rapid downward spiral. Tears prickled at her eyes, and she brushed them away. She pulled herself from the painful memories, refusing to relive them right now.

Over the long, dismal year when her marriage was falling apart, Del had been there for her. Encouraging her. Trying to help her keep it together with Liam, who had sunk into his own man cave of despair.

After she’d finally ended it with Liam, Del had been the one holding her hand. He had been the shoulder she’d cried on.

And he’d helped her get herself back on her feet and focused on getting her degree. Despite the fact that all she’d wanted to do was curl into a ball.

He’d known how vulnerable she was, and he’d been a true friend, never making a move on her. Even though she’d wanted him to.

Then she’d graduated and moved back home, hoping to get a position teaching. And needing to be near her family. She and Del kept in touch, but they continued to stay firmly entrenched in the friendship zone. She was sure that he had feelings for her and now that time had passed, it was time to do something about it.

* * *

Del grabbed the mail from his box and headed up to his apartment, then dropped onto the couch and sorted through it. He spotted the invitation to Kurt’s wedding. He knew that’s what it was before he opened it. Kurt had asked Del to be a groomsman and, of course, he’d accepted. The invitation was a formality.

He recognized the handwriting on the front of the envelope. Abi had addressed it.

He ran his finger over the inked lines, picturing her fingers gliding the pen over the paper. Imagining reaching for her hand and taking it in his, then bringing it to his mouth. Brushing his lips against the soft skin on the back of her hand.

Del couldn’t help remembering the first time he’d met Abi almost four years ago.

He’d been attracted to her the instant he’d seen her. He’d heard a lot about her from Kurt, so he’d already known what kind of person she was. Loving, sweet, and giving, with a strong sense of family. And intelligent.

He hadn’t realized how stunning she was, however. He’d seen pictures of her, but none of them did her justice. Her long, wavy, chestnut-brown hair that tumbled around her shoulders had glistened in the sunlight from the window. Her figure was slim, but well-rounded in all the right places. And when she’d gazed at him with her luminous blue eyes, his pulse had skipped a beat.

Damn, his friend’s little sister should not have been so fuckably attractive. She’d been totally off-limits.

Even now, the memory of how she’d looked at him still sent liquid fire racing through his veins.

He stood up and walked into the kitchen, then grabbed a water bottle from the fridge. He returned to the couch and sat down again.

When he’d taken her out to dinner that first day, despite his best efforts, he’d forgotten he was with the sister of a friend, seeing instead a fascinating, vibrant, sexy woman he wanted to get to know better.

Much better.

When they’d stood outside her door, her wide, blue eyes gazing up at him, his intense desire for her had urged him to take her up on the invitation glowing in her eyes, and follow her to her bedroom.

But he had a sister. He glanced at the graduation photo of Cara on his bookshelf. One he cared about very much. And when Kurt had asked Del to look out for Abi, he’d taken that promise very seriously.

So he’d forced himself to resist the temptation of her lips. Of her incredible body. A feat that had become increasingly difficult the more time he’d spent around her.

He took a sip of his water, then slumped back on the couch.

Especially the day she’d made it clear she wanted more. He’d walked her to her door, and seen the desire in her eyes. She’d wanted him to kiss her. When he didn’t make a move, she’d rested her hand on his shoulder and pushed herself up onto her tiptoes, then their lips had met.

Oh, God, he could still feel the gut-wrenching need that had swelled within him at the feel of her soft lips. His arms were around her before he knew what he was doing, pulling her tight to him. His cock swelling in response to her soft curves. His tongue had delved inside her, her sweetness becoming like an aphrodisiac. He’d pulled her tighter and she’d murmured softly against his lips.

When their mouths parted, she’d smiled up at him and invited him inside.

He raked his hair from his face.

That’s when he’d come to his senses. He’d explained to her that he couldn’t pursue the attraction between them. That he wanted to be her friend.

He’d been a complete fool. If he had only allowed them to pursue the intense attraction that crackled between them … allowed their romance to blossom … then he would have prevented the tragic events that followed.

And the limbo they both found themselves in now.

Fuck, he wanted her in his life. And not as a friend. Desire had turned to something more years ago.

The fact that she was his friend’s younger sister didn’t matter anymore. Not after so much had happened.

But she was married. To his best friend.

The marriage had failed, however. He’d seen it crumble before his eyes, despite Abi trying to keep it together.

Liam was resisting signing the papers, but Abi wanted the divorce. And they’d been separated for two years.

His lips compressed as he opened the envelope and pulled out the RSVP. He grabbed a pen and filled out the small card—no plus-one—then slipped it into the small pre-addressed, stamped envelope.

It was high time he stopped playing by the rules and did whatever it took to win her heart.

* * *

Abi stepped from the car and stood gazing at the lovely country inn with a beautiful garden of bright-colored flowers adorning the sides of the stone path leading to the front entrance, as Claire’s husband, Bill, started pulling their luggage from the trunk of the car. There was a sparkling lake beyond the building, the shoreline spotted with tall trees.

Claire stepped beside her and drew in a deep breath.

“Mmm. The flowers smell lovely,” Claire said. “Scruff and Suzanne definitely picked a beautiful spot for their wedding.”

Claire hooked her arm with Abi’s and they walked along the path toward the front door.

“Abi.”

Abi’s heart stuttered at the familiar male voice and she turned toward Del.


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Opal Carew is the author of several erotic romances for St. Martin’s Press, including A Fare to Remember and Nailed. She lives in Canada and makes regular trips to the US to speak at conferences and industry events.

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Comment below if you’ve read the book or other books by Opal! Check out my review of her other book, Meat

Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Author Spotlight – Hanleigh Bradley: Inescapable Fate (Fate Series, #1)

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Hi Book lovers, welcome to another author spotlight! This week I was able to chat with Hanleigh Bradley about her upcoming book. Here is what she said:

When did you first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved books. I found it incredible that someone else’s words could make my imagination run wild. I wanted that for my own words. I would write short stories, the occasional bit of Harry Potter fanfiction and stuff like that as a teenager and I found I could get lost in those words for ages.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
Inescapable Fate is the first book in my new series and it all centers around Georgia Kentley. She’s a police officer – Detective Sergeant – and she’s just broken up with her long term boyfriend over Christmas. Totally awkward. When she returns to work she gets into a lot of trouble, much to the irritation of her new boss, DCI Walker Trent.

Why did I write this book? Not really sure. I just had an idea and went with it. I like to believe that with every book I write, I become a better author and I think this might be my best book yet.

You mentioned this is the first book in a series. Can you tell us more about the series?
The series is going to follow Georgia and Walker as they get to know each other and face all sorts of danger. There are going to be three books; Inescapable Fate, Inexplicable Fate and Irreversible Fate. All my books are linked so anyone who has read my other books will recognize the occasional character that is going to pop up in this series.

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
That sometimes it’s okay to be rescued. Georgia has experienced some pretty nasty stuff in her life and is seriously self-reliant. Somewhere in all this she’s going to have to learn that she can’t always save herself. I just hope she realizes before its too late.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
Gosh. There are a few authors that I love. Austen – I love Persuasion. JK Rowling. Elizabeth Gaskel. Deborah Bladon. I’m not sure I can say just one. Perhaps Austen. It’s not just about what she wrote, but more than that. It’s the fact she wrote in a time where women authors weren’t really a thing. The women authors of her generation are like writing superstars in my mind.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
Write a plan, do your research and then write a marketing plan. Writing is the fun bit. Marketing is the important bit. Promote your book like crazy. Get as many ARC readers as you possibly can. But whatever you do stick to your plan (unless to improve it) and don’t rush.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this spring?  
Meg Anne’s The Chosen Series is insanely good and I also love Rae B. Lake’s 7 Kingdoms Series.

Do you have any strange antics you do while you write?
Not so much. I listen to music – but it can’t have lyrics. I also watch the news – on mute.


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Short Excerpt:
Worst bloody Christmas of my life! In all my life I never thought I’d be so grateful to get back to work on the 27th of December. We’d been sat there at the dinner table enjoying what should have been a fantastic dinner with the people we loved, and he had to go and ruin it all. His mum had asked a simple question, one my mother was itching to ask too. A question I had hoped they’d leave off for at least another six months but when I heard it, I thought we’d behave like grown-ups and answer it reasonably. What I didn’t expect was for him to have said what he did. I was just as shocked as everyone else at the table, at a complete loss for how to respond.

“So, when will you be getting married then?” His mum had asked in a teasing tone as she elbowed him gently.

I’d laughed slightly and gone to answer the question myself. We’ve not thought about it, was on the tip of my tongue. It was the truth after all. Even if we’d been together since high school, we’d never once considered getting married. There were so many things to discuss before we could agree to spending the rest of our lives together, like if we wanted kids and how many. We’d never once discussed the future, and part of me believed it was because we both knew that we were just passing time until something or someone better came along. It wasn’t that I didn’t love him, I did. I loved him more than almost anyone else, but it wasn’t the way I imagined being in love. Something was missing and over the years I’d convinced myself that that was okay, that eventually, we might find that missing component. Darren had apparently disagreed though because this Christmas he dumped me.

“We won’t be getting married,” Darren told me and our families in tandem.

His eyes were glued to the table in front of him as he continued, “actually I’ve decided we need to break up.” I wasn’t upset at the prospect of breaking up, not really. It had felt inevitable. I was downright pissed that he’d taken it upon himself to make the decision, not including me at all. What was worse was that he’d decided to tell our parents without my consent and on fucking Christmas Day of all days.

“What do you mean?” My father had jumped to his feet, prepared perhaps to defend his little girl.

“We’ve grown apart and there’s no point in continuing this farce.” His tone was cold and unfeeling. It left my heart like ice. He could have at least shown me some kindness, after all, we were friends before we started dating. We’d been dating for five years; ever since our last year at secondary school and before that, we’d been friends for over ten years.

“Why are you doing this now?” My father was furious and I couldn’t really blame him. I wasn’t exactly happy myself.

In a much quieter voice than my father’s, I asked, “why didn’t you discuss this with me before bringing it to our families?”

For the first time since his mother brought up marriage, he looked at me, “I didn’t think you’d let me go.”

“Let you go? I’m not holding you hostage,” the pitch of my voice increasing as I spoke.

“I… I didn’t mean it like that.”

“Then what did you mean?” I asked sharply.

My mother dropped her hand to my shoulder and suggested that everyone leave us to discuss the situation, but just as everyone got up from the table and began to make their way through to the living room, Darren abruptly told them it wasn’t necessary and that he was leaving.

“It’s not as simple as that,” I told him as he gathered his things together, “what about the flat?”

“You can keep it. I don’t want it.”

“What?” I was astounded by his complete lack of feeling. “Where will you stay?”

“I’ll find somewhere.”

“What about your belongings?”

“I’ll ask mum and dad to come and collect them in the New Year.”

“Why didn’t you talk to me about this?” I tried to touch his arm, but he flinched away from me as if burnt.

“There was never a right time.”

“There’s no such thing as the right time… As a friend, as your best friend, as someone you’ve known almost your whole life, I deserved to be told properly.”

“I can’t give you what you want.”

“I don’t know what you think I want.”

“Forever.”

“I never asked for that.”

“You didn’t need to.” With those words, he was out the door and I was left to deal with the aftermath. I had to apologize to our families for destroying Christmas, listen to his parents’ apologies, bear through all the absolute crap excuses that our siblings tried to make for him, and attempt to sooth my father’s anger. Worst Christmas of my life and it was all thanks to Darren Jacks. Thank fuck for being back at work is all I can say.


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Inescapable Fate

Published: April 14, 2018

Pages: 152

Series: Fate Series

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Where to Buy:
Amazon

Synopsis:
When Georgia Kentley breaks up with her long-term boyfriend Darren over Christmas, she really can’t wait to return to work on the 27th of December.

The excitement dies when she meets her new boss, Walker Trent. DCI Trent is a misogynistic pain in the arse. Being a young police officer, Georgia has met her fair share of men who don’t understand that she can hold her own. Every single time she has proven them wrong.

Will she be able to prove to Walker Trent just how capable she is or will she get herself into a heap of trouble, danger and chaos? And when chaos ensues who will be there to save her?


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Hanleigh is a British author. She was born in Scotland but has lived near enough her whole life in the South of England. Hanleigh loves books more than nearly anything in the world; whether it’s reading them or writing them, Hanleigh just can’t get enough. She relishes in the way authors can create whole worlds with the words they put in their books. She wishes that being an author really was magic, just like in Once upon A Time. Hanleigh first fell in love with literature as a small child reading Dr Zeus. She then fell in love with romance as a genre when she first read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. She checked every new five-pound note she got her hands on for Austen’s face but didn’t find her £50,000 five-pound note. Shame. Hanleigh is about as English as it’s possible to be, which is highly ironic as she isn’t English at all. She sometimes wishes she could live inside the world that she can create inside her mind, but since that isn’t possible she puts pen to paper and shares that world with this world instead.

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What do you think? As always, comment below your thoughts and if this might be a book that interests you. Until then, Happy Reading 🙂

Author Spotlight – Khaled Talib: Gun Kiss

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Here’s what people are saying about Talib’s new book, Gun Kiss :

“Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib is an incredibly suspenseful novel filled with twists and turns that left me flipping the pages as quickly as I could!” – GoodReads Reviewer

“Take a deep breath, because Gun Kiss’s special brand of high-octane action is on its way to market, and it’s a hell of a ride especially recommended for thriller readers who like their action not only nonstop, but tempered with a bit of romance and a lot of world-hopping political confrontations.” – GoodReads Reviewer


Author Interview:

When did you know first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
Around seven I started showing interest in reading, delving into the realm of imagination as far as it would take me. I didn’t have the skills then but I found myself being a good essayist in school. It was not until I was about 15 when I tried to write my own murder-mystery. I gave it up halfway after a classmate mocked at my attempt. I tried again when I was in my twenties and failed miserably. But my little voice told me not to quit, so I tried again and again. I self-taught myself how to write. It was trial and error and with the help of an editor, I got my first novel published in 2014.
Writing is a platform that allows me to explore and express my imagination, and that’s why I write. It offers a sense of adventure. I can be here, there, anywhere without being physically present. You get a kick when you create characters, write scenes and watch your manuscript develop. Who needs opium when writing lifts you up?

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
I had gone jogging that morning. It was the first day after so long. When night time came I couldn’t sleep because my legs began to ache. So I decided to watch an old movie with a famous actress, who also reminded me of an old school friend. It led me to write a thriller about an obsessed druglord who kidnaps the actress. Funny how one finds inspiration for a story. What a stumble!

You mentioned this is the first book in a series, Can you tell me more about this series?
I am thinking of writing a sequel because I enjoyed writing the first one. It’s easy reading, not heavy, and I feel the characters should continue living. But I’m looking for a fresh plot. I might make it more humorous, not sure – it depends. Gun Kiss has a bit of this and that. Bottomline, if I do write another and another, I’d like the reader to finish the book and say, “What a fun read!”

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
Gun Kiss features several themes, but the main one is racism, which would explain why I weave in the Deringer. It carries a message but you’ll have to read the novel to understand. The assassin John Wilkes Booth was a racist and he shot Lincoln because he didn’t like the president’s policy. In Gun Kiss, I resurrected Booth who speaks with a different attitude. I’m not sure if he was brought back from the dead today would he still harbor those thoughts, but he is an interesting character nevertheless.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
Depending on the stages in my life, I would say every book that I’ve read. Every author is a teacher. I enjoyed reading children’s books, literature to commercial fiction. They all impacted me one way or another. But I would say George Orwell’s 1984 had a strong impact. Look at the world today: they want to control you, monitor you, and make you decide what you like and what you should dislike. The list goes on.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
There are two ways now to get published: the traditional way, which is a rough road or the self-published way. But make no mistake. you need a skilled editor to help you develop your story. Writing “The End” at the end of the page is just the beginning of your efforts to become a published author. So patience is a virtue and tenacity is a must. Above all, don’t give up.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this Winter?
Apart from the books of authors who have endorsed my own novel, Gayle Lynds, Jon Land and K.J. Howe, check out Carmen Amato’s Emilia Cruz detective series. Also, Jean Rabe’s The Dead of Winter (Piper Blackwell mystery), and Judith White’s Sam Flanagan murder-mystery detective series set in the 1940s.

If you could have dinner with a novelist, dead or alive, who would it be?
Mary Shelley. I’m trying to imagine that period of time when she lived, somewhere between the 1700s and 1800s. This person was deep. I mean to be able to write a story like Frankenstein at that time – what a genius. The novel was horrifying and philosophical at the same time. First thing I’d ask her is, “Who are you, really?”

Do you have any strange antics when you write?
Apart from coffee and chocolates being a must, I talk to myself. Well, it’s more like trying to listen if the dialogue of my characters sound awkward or not. Sometimes, I listen to music to get it going, and it works when I am writing a fast scene. Other times, I hum.

What would life be without coffee?
Zombie-ish. Avoid me at all cost … I’ll eat you. Yikes!


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00069]

Published: December 1, 2017
Pages: 254

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Synopsis:
A stolen piece of history, an abducted actress and international intrigue…

When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen.

After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.

Excerpt:
The tall buildings around Washington, D.C.’s 10th Street overshadowed the historic Ford’s Theatre. Though the building had undergone refurbishment both inside and out, it still seemed slightly out of place in modern America. However, that didn’t stop the throngs of tourists visiting the building that June morning as wispy clouds threaded through the cerulean sky.

It was a crowded weekend day when Abraham Lincoln, in his overcoat, and two Union soldiers, their faces covered with bandanas, stepped out of the van. They meandered past the theater’s five historic doorways toward the modern glass entrance. Everyone assumed they were part of a promotion taking place at the museum. It was not uncommon to see park rangers and tour guides dressed in period costumes.

The man behind the Lincoln mask was Rick Walker—at least, that was the name he was currently going by. Highly educated, the thirty-six-year-old professional thief had a penchant for the fast life. If the assignment was a success today, he’d promised his girlfriend a nice holiday.

Two female park rangers stepped forward when Rick and his companions reached the front of the line.

“You have to get in line, sir. Also, you need to get tickets. Kindly remove the mask and bandanas before entering,” one of the park rangers said.  

“I do apologize, madam, but I’m in a bit of a hurry,” Rick said. “I don’t think I need a ticket, nor do I have to get in line given who I am.”

“That’s the only way you’re going to get in,” the park ranger said.

“Well, if you insist, madam, and once again, please accept my apologies.” Rick bowed and tipped his hat, then extended a hand to the park ranger, who instinctively took it.

Rick grabbed her wrist tightly and locked it to his own with a steel cuff.

“What are you doing?” the park ranger yelled, trying to jerk her hand away.

“Getting acquainted,” Rick said.

The park ranger reached for the walkie-talkie strapped to her belt, but Rick snatched it away from her. Frantically, she turned to the other park ranger. “Get security!”

One of the two Union soldiers dropped his prop rifle and grabbed the other park ranger’s hand, then cuffed her wrist to his own. He pulled out a real gun tucked under his waistband and aimed it at her.

Rick unbuttoned the jacket of his three-piece suit and brandished the bomb strapped to his chest.

“Bomb! Bomb!” a young teenager in the line shrieked.

Pandemonium broke out as the screams of panic amplified. People ran in every direction. Those who moved slowly were slammed aside, or knocked over.

Rick pulled the ranger cuffed to him aside. “We’re going downstairs, and we’re going to take the Deringer. Obey your president,” he said in a hollow voice.

“Yes, sir,” the park ranger said as beads of sweat formed on her forehead.

They descended by elevator and emptied into an interactive museum. The wealth of history in the dimly lit space featured original artifacts in glass showcases, furniture, statues, murals, and narrative devices. The visitors already in the museum scattered wildly at the sight of a man in a Lincoln mask displaying a bomb strapped to his chest, a park ranger cuffed to his wrist.

“Show’s over, folks,” Rick yelled. “Go!”

The park ranger guided her captors to a section in the museum where the Deringer floated in an oblong glass case capped at both ends with wood. A mural behind it depicted John Wilkes Booth firing a single shot at Abraham Lincoln as he sat in the theater box.

The Union soldier not cuffed to a park ranger took out a glasscutter from his coat pocket and began to cut a circle in the glass. When it popped free, he inserted his hand inside and yanked out the Deringer.

“We’re going to take you with us. Don’t give me trouble. If you behave, you’ll be back home in time for dinner with the family,” Rick said, dragging the park ranger closer to him. “Understand?”

The park ranger nodded once, nervously.

“Excellent,” Rick said.

They exited through the theater’s main door and stepped out into the empty street. The crowd had dispersed. Some had regrouped tensely a few hundred meters away at both ends. “Cheer up—it’s going to be a fun day,” Rick said, walking toward the van.

The park ranger with Rick raised her voice. “Please, please, let us go. I don’t want to die.”

“Well, behave and everything will be fine.”  He opened the side, forced her in and jumped in after her. He shut the door after the accomplice had climbed in with the second park ranger.  

The van began to move off.

“Hallelujah!” Rick yelled in excitement behind the mask as he sat at the back of the van.  He removed the cuff from his wrist and secured the park ranger onto a railing.

“We’ll be arriving in five,” the driver said after a few blocks. “You know what to do.”

“I sure do,” Rick said as he removed the bomb strapped to his chest. Still wearing the mask, he looked at the hostages. “Don’t worry about the bomb, it’s fake.”

He unhooked a tote bag from the wall and began removing the contents. Facing away from the hostages, he removed the Lincoln mask and slipped into casual attire. He hid his face by putting on a red baseball cap and a pair of dark shades then stuffed the costume into the bag and swung it over his shoulder.

Rick looked again at the park rangers. “Look on the bright side—now you get to tell visitors a different story at the museum.”

The Union soldier in the back with him handed over the Deringer, which Rick slipped into the bag.

The driver slowed down and stopped behind a parked car.

“All good outside?” Rick asked.

“Yeah…all good. I parked a few cars behind us,” the driver replied, looking at the side mirror.

“Okay. Nice doing business with you guys.” Rick pulled open a trapdoor in the center of the floorboard, slid out, and slithered under the parked car in front of the van.

The van pulled away from the curb and sped down the street. After a minute, Rick rolled onto the road, got up, and walked toward the park at Judiciary Square on the Red Line and descended into the Metro.

A day later, Rick sat at a café with his eyes glued to the screen of a laptop, drinking a hot latte with his back against the wall. He scanned the faces of everyone who entered. Though he wasn’t expecting trouble, he remained vigilant.

“Is it in yet?” the tall blonde sitting across from him asked.

He scratched the roughness of his stubble as he continued to stare at the screen. “Not yet.”

Moments later, the figures on his account changed. A new deposit had been registered: ten million dollars.

Rick lifted his eyes. “Darling.”

“Yeah?”

“Remember, we’re in a public place, so don’t scream.”

She leaned forward. “It’s in?”

Rick wriggled his eyebrows. “Pack your bags. We’re going on a holiday, as I promised.”


Khaled Talib Photo _KT

A former magazine journalist and public relations practitioner, Khaled Talib has authored three thrillers since 2014.

His work has been praised by NY Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, NY Times bestselling author Ruth Harris, USA Today bestselling author Jon Land, NY Times bestselling author Keith Thomson, K.J. Howe, and Jon McGoran. The author, who resides in Singapore, is a member of the International Thriller Writers.

 

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Hope you are able to check out this author and his new book, Gun Kiss! Comment below if you’ve read the book. Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂 

Author Spotlight – Tara Thomas: Darkest Night

Happy Release Day Tara Thomas!! Darkest Night is the first in a brand new series called Sons of Broad. With it’s recent publish, reviewers are already going crazy over this book:  

Sexy and dangerous – a perfect reading combination!” – Cynthia Eden, New York Times USA Today bestselling author

“Thomas delivers a sexy, smart and emotion-packed thriller that will have you begging for her next book.” – Bestselling author HelenKay Dimon


Darkest Night_Cover

Published: February 27, 2016
Pages: 352

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Where to Buy:
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iBooks

Synopsis:
In this first novel in the explosive, brand-new romantic suspense Sons of Broad series from Tara Thomas comes a novel of deadly secrets and hidden danger. In the sultry streets of Charleston, one family, ruled by its powerful, take-no-prisoners sons, has risen to the top. But a merciless enemy is out to destroy them…and everyone they hold close…

SHE THOUGHT SHE’D LOST HIM FOREVER
Tilly Brock has learned—the hard way—how to take care of herself. Once a pillar of Charleston society, her family lost everything in the wake of a shocking scandal. And then Tilly lost the only boy she ever loved.

BUT NOW THAT HE’S BACK IN HER LIFE
Keaton Benedict is Charleston’s most notorious bachelor. But in spite of all his advantages—the money, the women, the family name—he longs for more: the heart of the young woman he still can’t forget.

THE DANGER HAS JUST BEGUN…
When Keaton re-enters Tilly’s life, after all these years, she is torn between feelings of doubt and desire. Can they put the past behind them and learn to love again? Tilly is willing to try. But Keaton is afraid that a vengeful enemy is watching—and waiting to destroy them. Can the rekindled flame of their love defeat the deadliest rival and light their way forward in the darkest night?


Tara Thomas

Tara Thomas’s love of books and writing started as a child and though she wanted to be an author, she decided a degree in science was more practical. After fifteen years in the pharmaceutical industry, she returned to her first love and hasn’t looked back since.

She writes erotic romance as Tara Sue Me. Her Submissive Series novels have been on both the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists. Her novel The Master earned a starred review from Publishers Weekly and was awarded Best Romance of 2016 from Best Book Awards.

 

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Keep an eye out for my upcoming review of this book. I can’t wait to read it!! Comment below if you’ve read the book or are just as interested as I am. Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Author Spotlight – Darin Colucci: Everything I Never Learned in School

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Life has really gotten busy for me but I wanted to take the time to highlight this book. This isn’t a book I would typically review but with a new year I thought someone might be looking for a new perspective on life… 

I was lucky and was able to ask the Darin about his book, this is what he said:

I’ve always been interested in “success” and in particular, whether there is a science to it.  I mean, why is one person more successful than another?  Is it education, native intelligence, wealthy parents, luck … what’s the determining factor?  After decades of study, learning, discussion, and application, I felt like I cracked the code.  And much to my amazement, it wasn’t any of the factors previously mentioned.  It was actually a simple formula.  But as I point out in the book, just because something is “simple” doesn’t make it “easy.”    Anyway, once I figured out what had eluded me for so long, I was anxious to explain it to anyone who was interested.  So I decided that the best way to reach as many people as possible was to write a book.  And doing that very thing (sitting down to write a book)  was an example of the main emphasis of the book itself: Never let fear or inexperience stop you from pursuing your dreams.

I had never written anything like this before but just accepted and believed that I could.  So I sat down and wrote page 1 … and then page 2 … and so on.  And that’s something I tell aspiring writers.  The very best thing you can do is come up with your idea, and then sit down and write page 1.

Don’t Give In To Fear. 

It doesn’t matter that you’ve never written before, and it doesn’t matter that you don’t know how to write a book.  The more you give into that the further you will be from writing The End.  When you actually sit down to do it, you’ll find that it’s easier than you thought and all your worries will dissipate. And once you’ve finished, be relentless in pursuit of getting it published.

Dr. Seuss was turned down by 40 publishers, and Chicken Soup for the Soul was turned down by 45.  Just persevere.  Steve Jobs once said that the main difference between successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs is perseverance.

“No” is not a Stop Sign … It’s a Yield Sign.  Look both ways, and then keep going.

 What message or lasting thoughts do you want the reader to take away from your book?  
Of all the wonderful, positive feedback I’ve received, my favorites are: 1.) It all just made sense to me for the first time in my life.  I understood it like I never did before, and 2.) It gave me real hope that I could live a life of my choosing instead of one that just happened.  I couldn’t ask for a better takeaway from readers.  That’s exactly what I wanted people to feel … and then apply.

 What book had the biggest impact on you?
The book that had the biggest impact on me was written 90 years ago by Napoleon Hill, called Think and Grow Rich.  It really is a remarkable book, but it’s dated.  It’s actually difficult to read and understand the first time through.  That book requires patience, dedication and a lot of introspection.  I’m not running it down; I loved it.  But my idea was to write a how to succeed book more simply and in a way that would be more fit for our time.


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Published: April 24, 2017
Pages: 140

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Where to Buy:
Amazon

Synopsis:
There are some lessons that can only come with age and experience; lessons that make us look back and say, “If I only knew then, what I know now.”

And while they’re essential to providing answers about ourselves, how we approach life, and even our professional aspirations, there’s no doubt we wish we’d had those answers long before we got to that point in our lives.

In Everything I Never Learned in School: A Guide to Success , author Darin Colucci aims to help new college graduates, aspiring entrepreneurs, and those with an immense desire to be successful, navigate life’s stumbling blocks by sharing a few insights on how to reach your goals and keep happiness along for the ride.

A straightforward, practical guide for every high school and college student in America, Everything I Never Learned in School: A Guide to Success is made for the relentless spirit within each of us who yearn to get the most out of life.

Filled with easily understood rules for success, humorous and poignant stories, and life lessons, this book demystifies and breaks down success in a way that anyone can understand, including:

Building a Strong Financial Future Scaling the Corporate (or Career) Ladder Finding Confidence and Letting Go of Insecurities Achieving Goals that Matter to You How Success and Happiness Should Always Be Intertwined And So Much MoreWinner of a 2017 Eric Hoffer Award in the category of Self-Help and Semi-finalist for Book of the Year for the Online Book Club, this is a rare, candid look what life can offer us if we only have a few answers before we get there.

If you’re ready to learn how to be successful, and want to live life to its very fullest, get a copy of Everything I Never Learned in School: A Guide to Success today. You’ll be happy that you had the right answers to help you through the obstacles ahead.


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Passage From the Book:

“Your mind is a powerful tool. Your mind can convince you that you are capable of great feats and that the arrival of success is nothing more than a matter of time – or it can convince you that success will never happen for you no matter how hard you try because in your hear of hearts you believe that success is something that other people attain. In either instance you are correct.  Success is a choice we make.”


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For the past 23 years, Darin Colucci has been a successful trial attorney in Massachusetts, often representing plaintiffs in high-profile personal injury cases. In recognition of his work in this field Newsweek.com recently named him one of the ten best personal injury attorneys in America. He is one of the founding partners of Colucci, Colucci, Marcus, & Flavin and makes his home in Duxbury, MA, where he lives with his wife, Lorna and his son, Jackson. He is a graduate of Bucknell University and Suffolk University Law School where he was a staff member and comment editor of the law review. He has been a commentator on WBZ radio in Boston and, along with his firm, has been recognized numerous times by the publication Super Lawyers.

Darin has also written several works of fiction, been a successful investor, an entrepreneur, and inventor who recently designed a safety mechanism to stop wandering in daycare centers and Alzheimer units. In addition, he spent 12 years as a college football coach. During that time, he gave dozens of speeches to young adults on such subjects as success, integrity, mind-set, and the importance of attitude.

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I think this book would be a fascinating read. Comment below if you read the book or are interested in reading the book. Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂

Author Spotlight- Josie Jaffrey: The Solis Invicti series

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“Jaffrey takes on vampires, their world and their power has me awestruck! This one is blazing bright at the top of my growing hidden gem pile.”  With reviews like this, I can’t help but be curious about these books. This is a four book dystonia, paranormal romance series with book four being released on August 5, 2017. I had the opportunity to chat with Josie Jaffrey about her series and ask her a few questions about what it takes to be a writer.

When did you first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
I’ve been writing stories all my life, but it wasn’t until I had written the first book in the Solis Invicti series in 2014 that I started to think about writing seriously. Even then, I didn’t really think of myself as a writer until I was on the third book of the series.
I strongly believe that writing is not something you choose; it chooses you. I have books in my head that want to escape, and I feel as though I don’t have much choice now but to let them out onto the page.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
A Bargain in Silver is the first of four books that together form the Solis Invicti paranormal romance series (all now published and available on Amazon). The series is set in London, in a world in which the human population has been decimated by a blood-borne virus. In the wake of the zombie apocalypse that follows, a vampiric race called the Silver seizes control. Without the protection of the Silver, humanity will soon cease to exist, and without uninfected human blood, the Silver will perish. A necessary symbiosis is the result, but the power of the two races could not be more unevenly balanced.

The protagonist of the series is Emilia, a twenty-something barmaid with an insubordinate and reckless approach to the new order. In the first days following the collapse, she struggles to accept that her life has changed irrevocably and that she is powerless to reclaim it. That recalcitrance brings her face to face with the highest ranks of the Silver, resulting in danger, intrigue and a dash of romance.

I’m a big fan of paranormal romance, but I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for in the genre. I wanted something grittier, with more fluid relationships, and something that wasn’t set in the USA (I live in England). My imagination plugged the gap for me, and that was the genesis of the series.

Can you tell me more about the series?
All four books follow the same protagonist as she struggles against the zombie apocalypse and, primarily, the incarceration that is pushed onto humanity by the vampires who now protect her. There is a strong romance element to the novels (there is some sexual content), but I didn’t want it to be linear. I’ve taken the opportunity afforded by a four-book series and have played with a few common tropes that irritate me (primarily instalove), together with a few that I really enjoy (like scent-marking and bonding). There are love triangles, aggression and drama, but there is also an eventual HEA (promise!).

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
There isn’t a moral to the series as such. Instead, the books examine issues of power and control, and how they affect the dynamics in human relationships. Vampires are a great medium through which to explore those sorts of questions, for obvious reasons. But more than anything, I just hope that readers will enjoy the story.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
This is such a difficult question to answer! There are lots of authors I could name, but if I have to choose one I’ll say Michael Marshall Smith. He writes intensely thought-provoking and often twisted stories. My favourite is More Tomorrow, a harrowing and bleak short story with an ending so full of understated horror that I’ll remember it till the end of my days. I aspire one day to write something as powerful.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
Keep reading, and keep writing. I think it’s easy for new authors to get so caught up in the business of writing that they never actually write. How many people do you know who say ‘I have this idea for a book…’, but then never do anything about it, or start but don’t finish? The naked truth is that you’ll never be a writer unless you can complete a piece of work, so just do it. Worry about everything else later.

Beside your series, are there any other books you would recommend reading this winter?
I have a huge stack of books awaiting my attention over Christmas, and I can’t wait to get going on them. Top on my list are a couple of Gail Carriger novellas. My recommendation for anyone who hasn’t read any Gail Carriger would be: read Soulless, and do it immediately. I love her books, and will automatically buy anything she writes.


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Published: January 3, 2015
Pages: 368

Series: Solis Invicti

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Where to Buy:
Amazon

Synopsis:
If the price of safety is slavery, would you bargain your life?

A Bargain in Silver is book one of Josie Jaffrey’s Solis Invicti paranormal romance series, set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic London.

A deadly infection threatens to wipe out humanity. The only people who can stem its advance are the Silver, a vampiric race who offer a simple exchange: protection in return for blood and subservience. It’s not a deal that Emmy’s willing to make, but as her world burns around her she finds herself in the arms of the enemy and the line between oppressor and saviour begins to blur.

After an attack by the infected, Emmy is rescued by the handsome Drew who introduces her to the world of the Silver. Desperate to escape subjugation and confused by her attraction to him, she gathers what remains of her surrogate family and plans to make a break for freedom.

But despite her efforts to resist, she is drawn further into the intrigues of the mysterious Silver through the agency of their ruler, the Primus: Solomon. Emmy refuses to submit to the cold and detached Primus and an attempt on her life makes it clear that he is unable to protect her from the political machinations of his race.

As the connection between them deepens she must choose between her desire and her will to rebel, but can she trust his intentions when everyone is after her blood?

Short Excerpt:
His beautiful blue eyes bored into mine.

“What would you have me do?” he challenged. “Would you rather I lied? That I use clever arguments to convince you this is something you want? That I manipulate you into believing the reality of this arrangement to be other than it is?” 

I looked down at the table.

“We have to drink blood to live,” he continued, “and it has to be human. There’s no way I can make that concept more palatable to you, if you’ll excuse the pun. Life as you knew it has changed, Emilia. We have always been here, moving amongst you, it was just that you weren’t conscious of our presence. Now, with the Weepers multiplying, consuming and replacing your kind, we can no longer hide.”

“Isn’t that a little disingenuous?” I said, remembering Jeff’s theory about the lead time that would have been required for the level of organisation the vampires had displayed. “Aren’t the Weepers just an excuse for you to act?”

“We have been waiting for an opportunity for some time,” he acknowledged with a tilt of his head. “I know you want things to return to how they were,” he continued, “but that is not in my power to give. Your world is gone. You’re fighting for a life that no longer exists. There are difficult decisions to make, sacrifices, simply to save what little remains to us. I am trying to salvage an existence for your race, a new world for both of our races. There could be a place in that world for you, if you’re willing to look for it.”


2Josie lives in Oxford, England, with her husband and two cats.  When she’s not writing, she works as a lawyer, specialising in intellectual property and commercial law.  She also runs a video book review club, The Gin Book Club, through her website.

The first book in the Solis Invicti series (A Bargain in Silver) is Josie’s debut novel.

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Hope you are able to check out the first book in this series. Comment below if you have read any of the books from this series. I can’t wait to hear what you think! Until next time, Happy Reading 🙂