#GoodreadsGiveaway for Eating Bull, a Thriller that Explores #Bodyshaming, #FoodAddiction, and #Obesity–Oh, and Is There Some Mischief Afoot?

Here’s a giveaway for those of you who enjoy novels of action, suspense, and public health importance! I’ve read and reviewed Carrie Rubin’s Eating Bull and loved it! Click on her post for details on the giveaway (as well as her story of what writers fear (almost) most: the “reader” who doesn’t read his or her free copy but just sells it. There’s a special place in h*ll for people like that 😉 ).

Carrie Rubin

If you’re in the U.S. and would like a chance to win one of two paperback copies of Eating Bull, click here or on the image below to enter the Goodreads giveaway. Ends January 23rd.

Good luck!

Click image to enter giveaway. Click image to enter Goodreads giveaway.

That Time I Made the Book Out to Bob

Many people are familiar with Goodreads. It’s a great place for readers to keep track of their books. A giant virtual bookshelf, so to speak. In addition, there are always hundreds of giveaways going on.

The hope is the winner of a book will eventually review and/or rate it. In my experience, that happens about 30% of the time. Most winners probably never get around to reading the book, or maybe they do and just don’t like it enough to give it another thought. But I sometimes wonder if there’s mischief afoot as well—people who enter numerous…

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A Traditional Book Review: Three Ghosts by Katie Sullivan #MondayBlogs #bookreview

As I often complain to anyone who will spare me a few minutes (and that usually reduces to a few seconds once they see I’m about to complain):  I have a  tower of to-be-read  and to-be-reviewed books that may as well be called Eiffel for it’s height.  It’s my own fault, I know.  I buy books at the urging of friends, or because of a fascinating interview with the author, or because I participated in a promotion, or, as in this case, because I am already familiar with the author’s writing and just had to read more. 

Many of you I hope already know Katie Sullivan from The D/A Dialogues, an often hilarious blog where Katie spars with a Druid who’s been living in her head for roughly the last 20 years.  She is currently working on a series, a young adult historical fantasy novel replete with Druids and Fae, magic and mystery.  I’ve read the first novel since published, Changelings:  Into the Mist, and wrote a review which you may read here.

When I heard that Katie was publishing a novella, I couldn’t wait until it was available.  And while I prefer to write my reviews in the form of stories, well, sometimes there just isn’t time for that.  But I did write a traditional review, as would be acceptable on Goodreads and Amazon.  So, here it is.  I hope you enjoy it and that it makes you want to pick up your own copy of Three Ghosts.  

***

three-ghosts-cover

Three Ghosts is a fast read not just because it’s only 69 pages. The author pulls you right in with a conflict between two men, Pearse Finnegan and Pat McGuire, and the woman between them, Pearse’s wife Deirdre. Pearse supposedly dies in a conflagration of an abandoned wharf, and Deirdre is gone from Ireland. Fast forward 15 years and Deirdre is back in Ireland on a mysterious assignment. There is much that is mysterious in this well-told tale, and to say too much more would give it all away.

Let’s just say, Deirdre has to come face-to-face with the ghosts of her past, not knowing which of them, if any, she can trust. In many ways, the twists and turns of this story reminded me of some of the Alfred Hitchcock movies of intrigue and betrayal. While I am by no means an expert on Irish history (recent or long past), the author Katie Sullivan appears to be quite astute with historical details as well as creating a sense of place so strong I once felt I was sitting in the table next to Deirdre and Pat as they worried over events yet to unfold.

I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed in the ending, in part because it came too soon. I would have liked to have kept reading, to have had that tell-all scene drawn out some more, to have continued to feel the rising tension as everyone slowly realizes who has been betraying who. As it was, the ending reminded me of the old Perry Mason TV episodes where Mason brings together all the suspects and then neatly points out the murderer.

Perhaps the author thought she needed to wrap things up, but she didn’t. I would have liked to have stayed in the company of Deirdre O’Brien a good while longer. While I’m not sure I would trust Deirdre as far I could throw her, she was still someone I could admire for her wit and her will. I recommend this novella in large part for the pure entertainment value of Deirdre. Perhaps, as subtle hint to the author should she read this review, we haven’t heard the last of Deirdre O’Brien.

***

Now, Dear Reader, get thee to Amazon and purchase your own copy of Three Ghosts!

Cover Reveal: Midnight Dynasty by Sarah M. Cradit!

For most, death is a fact of life. If you are a Deschanel, it’s a way of life.

Midnight Dynasty, Book 3 in The House of Crimson & Clover, will be released in three dramatic acts over the 2014 Summer. Click here to read the Press Release.

 

The Deschanel Curse, dormant for a decade, has returned with a vengeance. As the body count rises, it becomes apparent that strength, love, and ancient power provide no protection from destiny’s cruel hand.

ACT I: MALEDICTION

June Release

The Deschanel Curse is back. They’ve never been able to stop it before, but as it threatens the lives of those closest to them, the desire to put an end to the tragedy has never been stronger.

MidnightDynasty_Malediction

 

ACT II: CONVOCATION

July Release

The Curse has claimed its first victim. The Deschanel Magi Collective must bring the whole family together, to fight this as one.

MidnightDynasty_Convocation

 

ACT III: OMEGA

August Release

The Deschanels continue to say goodbye to those they love, just as a new and unexpected hope dawns. Will it be enough to save them?

MidnightDynasty_Omega

Acts I, II, and III will be released as ebooks only, across all major online retailers. Then, in fall, a paperback (and electronic) version combining all the acts will be available.

MidnightDynasty_fullcover

The question is: will you be able to wait that long?

 

Dive into the secretive, ancient, powerful world of the Deschanels and Sullivans…

SERIES PREQUEL:
St. Charles at Dusk
Set amidst the lush and vibrant backdrop of New Orleans, this is the story of Oz and Adrienne. Of forbidden love, and startling heartbreak.
BOOK 0.5:
Beyond Dusk: Anne
Anne’s entire life has been a lie. She must find the courage to discover who she is, including this terrifying, inexplicable ability she was born with.
BOOK 1:
The Storm and the Darkness
Ana is about to discover a startling truth: there exists no greater darkness than the one which lives inside of us.
BOOK 1.5:
Beyond Darkness: Shattered
Think you know the story of Ana, Finn, and Jon? Guess again.
BOOK 2:
The Illusions of Eventide
Nicolas spent 30 years under his flawed set of principles. Mercy, three millennia under hers. Both are bound by these chosen illusions, until their paths unexpectedly cross.
BOOK 2.5:
Beyond Eventide: Bound
Beyond Eventide: Bound- Ana, Finn, and Aidrik are forever bound. By love, promises, and the undeniable threads of fate.
Diesel:

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1ea6bLW

 

Connect with Author Sarah M. Cradit

Twitter facebook_logo_detail images (1) images (2) images (3) goodreads_icon_1000x1000-bed183559c02a417861f930e33e157d1

Book Review: St. Charles at Dusk. An suspenseful, atmospheric love story

Synopsis:  At twenty-one years old, Oz Sullivan is unable to understand his fascination with and attraction to a much younger Adrienne Deschanel. Adrienne is spirited, passionate, and impulsive… all of the things Oz is not. Oz is drawn to her in a way that is inexplicable to him, and deeply concerning to those who know him.

Amidst her father’s threats, Adrienne makes secret plans to run away with Oz. Before they can act on them, Adrienne and her family are involved in a tragic accident that takes the lives of the entire family. Adrienne’s body, however, is not found in the wreckage. Oz is devastated and unable to move on when an extensive investigation fails to solve the mystery of Adrienne’s vanishing.

Three years later Oz has made a life for himself as an attorney at his family’s law firm. However, the predictability and peace of his quiet life is shattered when Adrienne is discovered, alive and well…but with no memory of anything before the accident. Oz is conflicted: grateful that she is alive but still damaged from her disappearance and hesitant to get involved and re-open a wound that never fully closed. Yet, Oz finds himself unable to resist helping when Adrienne’s desperate attempt to flee the confusing and dark influences in her life instinctively finds her on Oz’s doorstep. Unable to turn her away, but equally unable to get too involved, Oz keeps from her the truth of who he was and what they meant to each other before she disappeared. Against his better judgment he finds himself enmeshed in the mystery of what happened to her when she was sixteen. The more he learns, the less he understands, and as the story unfolds and Adrienne’s memory slowly returns, everything they thought they both knew gets called into question.

Review:  St. Charles at Dusk is a layered story of love, deceit and mystery. Ms. Cradit is an artful storyteller, willing to take risks. The two pivotal characters are Adrienne and Oz, two young people who dramatically fall in love, against their parents’ wishes, and then embark on a journey that takes them (and the reader) on a dark ride through mystery and secrets.

The novel is mainly set in New Orleans, and the author does a wonderful job of making you feel that you are there with Oz and Adrienne as they walk the streets of the French Quarter and the Garden District. The differences within New Orleans class culture are illuminating (“Life did not stop for the dead here the way it did only a few miles away in New Orleans. None of the celebrations of the deceased were found in this cold, crisp suburb.”) and help the reader understand the complex issues that face Oz, Adrienne, and a number of other characters.

Oz is five years older than Adrienne and a long-time friend of her family. Adrienne is only 16 when they begin their affair and initially it feels (to this reader) somewhat incestuous. But that is part of the tension, for as a typical 16-year-old, Adrienne is headstrong and convinced that Oz is the love of her short life. Oz, although he quickly falls in love with Adrienne, has that turn of conscience that makes the reader not just like him, but also hope that they can and will be together happily ever after.

But the parents intervene, an tragic accident occurs, and Adrienne leaves and then returns to Oz and then leaves again. Throughout the novel, Oz is forever playing the grown-up to Adrienne’s willful, confused, and heartsick lover. I did come to care for them both, even if I was also impatient with them at times. But, again, that was part of the attraction of the story: you can’t help but have an opinion about their behavior as they struggle to understand each other and overcome the forces that continually get in their way.

The structure of the novel was difficult to navigate at first, with chapters of flashbacks alternating with other chapters of flashbacks. I read the novel as an e-book, and I think it would have been easier for me if I had read it in paperback, easier to flip pages back and forth. Fortunately, Ms. Cradit indicates at the beginning of each chapter, what the year is, the ages of Oz and Adrienne, and also whose voice begins the chapter. The fact that she did lay a “map” (so to speak) for the reader suggests that she also was mindful of the challenges of this particular structure.

Alternating present day with flashbacks is a very difficult storyline to master, and I did feel some frustration at times when I found myself going deeper into the past when I felt like I should be moving forward. But by that point, I was committed to reading the novel. I needed to know how things would turn out for Oz and Adrienne. My reward was that about halfway through, even though most of the novel was still in the past, there was a sense of moving forward, a sense of coming to some resolution with the upheavals in the affair of Oz and Adrienne.

I won’t give away the ending, but I can say that for the longest time, I felt it could go either way. Either they will live happily ever after or they won’t, and either ending would be plausible. That too is a skill that many new authors don’t have readily: to convince the reader that any number of endings could occur and they could all be right.

I recommend this novel to anyone interested in the struggles of young love, suspense and mystery, and magical worlds such as New Orleans.

Work In Progress Report – Meme

Thank you so much to Jade Reyner (Jade’s Jungle) for tagging me in her Work In Progress Report Meme. As is customary I shall share my WIP and then pass the meme on!

P writing blue

Photo credit: Wikipedia

1. What is the name of your current WIP?

The Widow’s Club:  Book 3

2. Ready to do a cover reveal?

Oh, god, no, I haven’t even outlined the novel (whoops, should I have admitted that?)

3. How many words are you into it?

Ahem … (cough) … 0 … (cough)

4. Goal word count by the end of the week?

This week?  Let’s just say I plan to produce at least 50,000 words by end of July.

5. Goal word count for the entire manuscript?

Hmmm, I don’t do word count goals, except during NaNoWriMo writing challenges.  As long as a novel tells a story well, what matters if it is 50,000 words or 500,000 words?

6. What genre does your work in progress fall within?

Mystery/Suspense

7. When would you *like* to publish this project?

Within my lifetime or by end of 2014, which ever comes first.

8. Go to page 5 of your manuscript and pick a sentence at random to share with us!

Mary would have preferred a simple divorce case, the old “spy on my spouse so I can get evidence for a divorce” type of investigation.

(I’m cheating.  This sentence is from The Widow’s Club:  Book 1.)

9. Will this WIP turn into a series book?

Actually, Book 3 is the end of the series, unless the series becomes wildly popular.  Then perhaps 6 or 9 books.  Must be divisible by 3 because I love the number 3.

10. What has been the hardest challenge in working on this WIP?

Right now answering these questions because the WIP is still in my head.  Seriously, convincing myself that I have a viable enough concept to continue writing.  I have three main characters–Mary, Maggie, and Melissa–and the novels alternate among their POVs as well as other characters such as the victim and the perpetrator.

11. What has been your favorite part of working on this WIP?

Writing from different POVs.  The cousins (Mary, Melissa, and Maggie) are very different from each other and it’s a fun challenge to write from the perpetrator’s perspective as well.  (My husband worries that I enjoy imagining the mind of a sociopath much too much.)

12. Any special treat planned for when you finish the final draft of your WIP?

Eat a whole pint of Americone ice cream.

13. Tag three people to complete this WIP meme!

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