May I introduce: Andy Lewter "Gifted"

 

Gifted
by Andy Lewter

Andy Lewter has only recently released her debut "Gifted" and has already received a lot of positive feedback. 

As much as we had agreed to include a few questions as well, Andy's reason for not getting back to me is one of the best ... she's due with another child "late July".

We wish her all the best!
 
Blurb:
The last thing Abigail Everett thought would happen over spring break was having her world shift into an entirely new perspective.
Unfortunately for her, that’s exactly what happened.
           
Between struggling to master her newly-formed abilities, coming face-to-face with dark, deceiving mind tricks by those that seek her leadership, and learning of a mythical world that she never deemed possible, Abigail risks everything with the future of mankind and the safety of its’ people in her hands.

 
Author:
As a young child, I grew a fond passion for writing. English quickly became my strongest subject, and I continually found myself excited when assigned papers. I scored between 97%-99% on my ACT and state high school exams in punctuation, spelling, grammar and writing.
I'm so excited to have finally touched the edges of my dream as an author. Writing this story has given me determination that I can fulfill my childhood dream. And ultimately, that I can write a beautifully executed story. 
https://www.facebook.com/AndyLewterAuthor
https://twitter.com/AndyLewter

 

Purchase Links:

  Amazon Barnes & Nobel Smashwords 
 

Excerpt:
 “I knew I was in mortal danger.  But I was finally able to breathe again—with him by my side.  Then dangerous eyes bore into mine, and darkness overtook me . . .”

May I introduce: Krysten Lindsay Hager "True Colors"

 
True Colors

by Krysten Lindsay Hager


Krysten has travelled around a bit, and the ideas she's picked up on the way sound great. And so does her latest release "True Colors"

Please make her welcome!



1 - Jealousy and competition amongst teens / YA is a delicate issue. What drew you to this subject?
I think the subject of jealousy and competition is something we all face at that age—at all ages really. I know I sure ran across it and recently I had a cousin of mine (who is in college) complaining about dealing with jealousy drama on the same day I was talking to someone with a twelve year-old daughter who was dealing with the exact same issues. It’s difficult to deal with things like that, but when those negative feelings are coming from people you considered good friends…well, it hurts all the more.  I used to like to read about girls I could relate to and I hope someone reads TRUE COLORS and feels a little less alone in the world.

 2 - Where do you get your ideas from?
From everywhere really: from old journals (thanks for keeping those, Mom!), to tabloid stories, to my overactive imagination that runs wild—especially at night. I keep little notebooks that I jot down little ideas in all the time.
 
3 - Tell us about your favourite author or favourite book.
I have so many favorites, but the writer I call my “literary boyfriend,” is F. Scott Fitzgerald. I actually started off interested in his essays before I got into his fiction. I read “The Great Gatsby” in both seventh and ninth grade, but it didn’t do much for me until I read it right before the film came out. Suddenly the book spoke to me and I got what all the fuss was about.
 

4 - Tell us about your current project.
I’m working on a follow up to TRUE COLORS that picks up right where the first book left off with Landry getting off the train with her mom to meet her dad. There’s a scene with Landry dealing with makeup counter salespeople in it that I think every girl can relate to—oh, and lots more Vladi Yagudin!
 


Blurb:

True Colors is about Landry Albright, an eighth grader who enters a modeling competition with her two best friends, but runs into jealousy when she advances to the next level without them. Enter the gorgeous Devon, who also makes the first cut of the modeling contest. Devon seems like the perfect new best friend, but can their friendship survive the competition? Throw in a new boy, jealousy and loyalty issues, and insults from hair stylists. How’s a girl to deal?

 
 

Author:

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an author and book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn't like. She has worked as a journalist and also writes middle grade, YA, humor essays, and adult fiction. She is originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and currently resides in Southern Ohio where you can find her reading and writing when she’s not catching up on her favorite TV shows. You can see what she’s up to at: ww.krystenlindsay.com. 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram:http://instagram.com/krystenlindsay 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon Barnes & Nobel Smashwords 

 

Excerpt:

 The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.

“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.

I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.

“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.

Tori was next.

“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.


May I introduce: Maggie Christensen "Band of Gold"

 
 
Band of Gold
by Maggie Christensen

Another Author, who calls Australia home. Very happy to welcome Maggie to my blog today!

1-  How did you come up with the idea for "Band of Gold"?
Several years ago I heard of a woman whose husband placed his wedding ring on the kitchen table on Christmas morning. It stuck in my mind and eventually became the basis for this novel.
The novel follows Anna through the months after her husband leaves her. It’s the story of a woman in her middle years, who is suddenly alone. It’s about how she copes with that, alongside her daughter’s joy in her first love and her parents’ failing health. When the opportunity for a second chance at love comes her way, she struggles to leave the past behind and create a new life for herself. Can she trust again? Does she dare?



2 - Tell us a bit about your current project.
I’m currently working on a book called The Dreamcatcher .It’s part of my Oregon Coast series, the first of which, The Sand Dollar, will be released later this year. The Dreamcatcher is Ellen’s story. Ellen is a minor character in The Sand Dollar, a Native American who owns a bookshop in Florence, Oregon.
Ellen has the gift of being able to foretell the future, but is at a loss to explain her nightmares and the uncanny premonition she experiences one morning when a dark cloud obscures the sun and she shivers with a sense of foreboding.
When her brother’s old army friend, Travis, insists she help him take her brother to hospital, she dismisses him as another of her brother’s no-hoper buddies, but can’t shake the idea there’s a connection between her nightmares and Travis’ sudden appearance in her life.

3 - From one immigrant to another ... any regrets?
Absolutely not! I came to Australia in my mid-twenties attracted by advertisements to ‘Come Teach in the Sun’ which depicted muscular young men wearing swimmers, gowns and mortar boards standing on beaches. Needless to say, the school I was sent to was nothing like the posters. I came for two years and stayed to build a career in education, teaching in schools and colleges. I met my wonderful husband here when we both teaching education at Wagga Wagga. I came to Australia to exchange the dark, dank winter (and often summer) days of Scotland with Australian sunshine. Beautiful though the land of my birth is, I really hated the weather and wanted the adventure of travel. Having grown up with romantic tales of a great aunt who married an Australian soldier during the First World War, Australia was my first choice. Now I live on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in almost perpetual sunshine. Winter here is very like the summers I remember in Scotland. What is there to regret?


Blurb:

Band of Gold, deals with the tricky topic of new romance after a failed marriage.

Anna Hollis is a forty-seven year old schoolteacher living in Sydney. She juggles her busy life with a daughter in the throes of first love, and increasingly demanding aging parents.

Anna’s world collapses when her husband of twenty-five years leaves her on Christmas morning. She makes it through the family festivities, explaining his absence with a flimsy excuse, but later breaks down on a Sydney beach where a stranger comes to her aid.

Marcus King has returned to Australia from the USA, leaving behind a broken marriage and a young son; through their mutual hurt and loneliness, a fragile friendship is formed when he takes up the position of Headmaster at Anna’s school.

Written in first person, present tense the author slips the reader into Anna’s shoes as she struggles to leave the past behind and learns to trust again. Can Marcus be a part of her future?

 

 Author:

Born and brought up in Scotland, and attracted by advertisements to ‘Come and Teach in the Sun’, Maggie Christensen emigrated to Australia in her twenties to teach in primary schools in Sydney. She now lives with her husband of almost thirty years near Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. She loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the Noosa River on weekends. After spending many years in teaching, lecturing and education management, where she wrote course materials and reports, Maggie began writing the sort of books she enjoys reading, books about women in their prime, their issues and relationships. Now her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven! She continues her love of books as a volunteer with Friends of Noosaville Library where she helps organise author talks and selects and delivers books to the housebound. 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/maggiechristensenauthor

Website:  http://maggiechristensenauthor.com/

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/MaggieChriste33

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8120020.Maggie_Christensen

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon - http://amzn.to/1owK2w6

 
 

Excerpt:

 ‘I don’t want to be married anymore.’

The band of gold, symbol of our twenty-five years of marriage lies on the table between us. I am stupefied, unable to speak. Tears prick my eyes as my first coffee of the day grows cold beside me. The sun is shining brightly through the kitchen window. The turkey is sitting on the kitchen bench waiting to be cooked. My parents, daughter, brother and sister, along with her husband and children are due to arrive in five hours’ time. The house is redolent with the scent of pine needles and Christmas pudding. It’s Christmas morning and my world has collapsed.

‘What do you mean?’ I finally utter, thinking this must be Sean’s idea of a bad joke. My mouth goes dry. My head begins to spin. The bottom has dropped out of my world. I look over at the man I have loved for over twenty-five years, his bushy greying blonde hair, his ruddy cleanshaven cheeks. He looks no different from any other morning. He’s wearing the bright yellow tee shirt we bought on our holiday in Bali last year. His steely blue eyes meet mine. This isn’t happening.

‘I can’t do this anymore, Anna.’ His waving arms take in the kitchen including me, ‘All this; family, house, job. I need to get away.’ He pushes his chair back from the table and strides out of the kitchen. I sit there in a daze, my mind going round in circles. Is it too late to call off Christmas lunch? How can I even think of such a thing? Does Sean mean he’s going to leave right now? How will I explain his absence? God, this is really going to be the Christmas from Hell


May I introduce: J.J. Nite "Bruises of the Heart"

 
Bruises of the Heart

by J.J. Nite
 
Please help me welcome J.J. Nite as she tells us about her latest release Bruises of the Heart.
 
I love the title!

1 – I had to laugh at this description “She's also found that if she doesn't write something everyday, her mood is that of a bear waking from hibernation”. What triggered your love for writing or have you always been writing ?
 
According to my family, I've always been a storyteller. When I was little, my father would come home from work and ask what we did that day. I told these elaborate stories of the places we had been and the people we had seen. In reality we had never left the house. As for writing it all down, that came much later.
 
 
2 – Three kids, a dog, turtle, and 5 goldfish – what’s your secret when it comes to time management?
 

Coffee!! And an understanding family. I carry a notebook around with me and write things down whenever I get the chance. Then at night when the kids are in bed and the menagerie has settled in, I grab my laptop and work for a bit.
 
3 – Tell us how you came up with the story "Bruises of the Heart".
"Bruises of the Heart" was written several years ago. I had finished writing another book, but wasn't ready to let the characters go yet. Or rather they didn't want to let me go! Tori had a story to tell and I got very little sleep until I finally started to get it all down on paper. The subject of relationship abuse between teens hadn't been widely talked about, but I thought there was a story to tell and I've received a lot of positive feedback.
 
4 – Tell us about your current project.
 
I have a new release from Astraea Press coming out in August titled "Beginnings of the Heart". It is Tori's mothers story and also a Regency Christmas novella "His Christmas Bride" that will release in the fall from AP as well. There are a few other projects I'm working on and you may see a few familiar faces show up in those!
 
 
 
Blurb:
 
 When Victoria’s long-time boyfriend breaks up with her she’s convinced that she will never be happy again. But after meeting the new student, Will Prescott, things start to look up. Victoria is happy again and even when a little voice tries to tell her that something isn’t quite right with her new relationship, she holds on even tighter. Before long even Victoria can’t deny that she needs to end her new relationship, but can she get out before something happens to change her forever? Or will she be lost?

 
Author:
 
J. J. Nite lives in North Alabama with her husband, 3 kids, a dog, turtle, and 5 goldfish. She devours books like some people eat chocolate! She's also found that if she doesn't write something everyday, her mood is that of a bear waking from hibernation. Don't worry though, the children have learned to let Mommy write a little before approaching. 

@jjnite

www.facebook.com/jjnite1

Instagram - jjniteauthor 

 

Purchase Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Bruises-Heart-J-J-Nite-ebook/dp/B00EV8LCUE/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1400872019&sr=1-1&keywords=bruises+of+the+heart


 
 


Review: John Grisham "Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance)"

Publisher: Doubleday

ISBN:  978-0385537131

My rating: 3/5

John Grisham's A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial-a trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history.

Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier.

The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?

In Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to the setting and the compelling characters that first established him as America's favorite storyteller. Here, in his most assured and thrilling novel yet, is a powerful testament to the fact that Grisham remains the master of the legal thriller, nearly twenty-five years after the publication of A Time to Kill. (
from the backcover)


My rating

It's been a while since I've read a book that's worth writing a review.

Having said that, Grisham's latest book "Sycamore Row" wasn't a page turner for me either, although it almost had me in tears at the end. Yes, a small disappointment, considering how much I enjoyed "A time to Kill"

Jake Brigance (I have to admit, it was nice to imagining him with Matthew McConaughey's face) returns in this book. Set in the late 1980s and only a few years after having defended a black man for killing the two rapists of his daughter, Jake defends the hand written will of the late Seth Hubbard, who has left most of his estate to his housekeeper, Lettie Lang, cutting out his children completely.

Over the next I-don't-know-how-many-pages, we follow the trial, the good and the bad, the interesting and the boring part, until the reader has an idea where this is leading - that's when Grisham draws out the story and it gets really boring!

I love most aspects of the law. And I love reading about it. In my opinion, though, this story was waaaay to long and would've been much more interesting if some of the parts were left out.

PS - Loved Harry Rex!



May I introduce: Rachel Jones "To Dance One More Day"

To Dance One More Day
by Rachel Jones
   

I love it when I come across a person who's reply is "I had free time, so I started to put my ideas onto paper". I love it even more when this person is successful with their new venture!
 
Congratulations to Rachel Jones on the release of her book!

1 - You have a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education, and Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing, and you passed the state boards for registered nurses. What was it that 'triggered' you to write a book? My trigger was free time. With grown children and my husband and I working opposite shifts,
I found myself with an enormous amount of free time. At first I filled it with an increase of reading
romance novels - my favorite genre. In March 2012 I decided I wanted a shot at writing a romance novel.



2 - Where do you get your ideas from for new stories? My ideas for stories come from different sources. I listen to or read news reports everyday. You never know what might spark an idea. Sometimes with a character or two in mind I might play the 'what if' game. Many times I wake up with ideas or even scenes running through my head. I go directly to my computer and startmy day typing away.


3 - Tell us about your current project. My current project revolves around a new college grad whose future plans are drastically changed from performance to teaching when her mother's death brings her back to the town she wants to leave behind. She meets her polar opposite in the school's new football coach. Their mandatory interactions lead to friendship. They discover what they think they want from life is not what can bring them the most joy.


Blurb:
At age thirty-two, Jillian Russell has endured a lifetime of heartache. Alone in the world, she has also suffered the loss of her dance career. Redirecting her life, she opens the North Carolina Ballet Company. Intent on making it the go-to company for serious performers, she shuts down her personal life while she struggles to build her company into the success she envisions.
As far back as he can remember, trauma surgeon Alan Armstrong has had a penchant for fixing things. Since his father's death, the ambition to open a community clinic in a rural area on the eastern coast has directed his actions. Hopeful to prevent future deaths due to lack of medical care, he has made the clinic his top priority.    
When Alan's life intersects with Jillian's, the connection they both feel is undeniable. As a new board member to her ballet company, Alan is eager to help solve the financial damage of lost federal funding. But he doesn't want to stop there. He wants to help her build new relationships to chase the loneliness from her life. As they grow closer, secrets from their pasts cause them to be pulled apart. Will they be able to overcome their pasts to have a future together?
 
Author:
In 1977 Rachel earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in music education and taught music for ten years. After the birth of her second child, she returned to school and in 1991 earned her Associate of Applied Science degree in nursing and passed the state boards for registered nurses. She has been a labor & delivery and antepartum nurse since that time.
Anticipating her retirement from healthcare, Rachel decided to write her first novel at age fifty-seven. For years she had experienced scenes of heroes and heroines rambling about in her thoughts and spilling into her dreams. So it was a no-brainer that she should attempt to capture these thoughts on paper.
Rachel resides in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband of thirty-seven years. She has three adult children, who help spoil their Labrador retriever. She is a member of Georgia Romance Writers and Romance Writers of America and has achieved PRO status.

FB - I have an author page titled Rachel Jones (writer appears under my name)
Twitter - Rachel Jones @ rellenj1

Purchase Links:    
  Amazon Barnes & Nobel Smashwords 


Excerpt:
 
Jillian turned around and as she moved toward him, she tripped over a shoe left behind by someone. She lost her balance and with amazing timing, Alan broke her fall as he caught her by the shoulders. The heat from his hands spread through her body.
Pulling her upright, his hands lingered as he asked, "Are you okay? Your head almost collided with the edge of the bench and it wouldn't have been pretty."
Her breath caught in her chest. "Well, I guess my secret is out." She giggled to hide her embarrassment. "I'm a klutz, except of course, when I'm dancing."
"So, Ms. Klutz, are you sure you're all right?" He guided her to sit on the bench. "You didn't twist your ankle?"
His eyes pierced through her. She was not used to being so closely scrutinized and she felt she was losing control of the situation. One more flash of those dimples and she might cave.
"No, my ankle is fine. I'm good. So you said there was something you wanted to mention." He must think I'm a klutz, first the water on his pants and now tripping over my feet. Looking up, she saw his eyes remained fixed on her.
"Are you sure you can't skip rehearsal and go to dinner with me?" He removed his hands from her shoulders and reclaimed his seat.
"Somehow I think it would send the wrong message about professional obligations if I decided to cut rehearsal tonight."
His head bobbed slowly up and down. He sighed. "Well, we can't have that. So if you won't lower your professional standards and go to dinner, I was wondering if you'd allow me to escort you to David and Ann's wedding on Saturday."
The question took her by surprise, but what a wonderful surprise! She sat without moving, her stillness rendering a statuesque appearance. The silence continued.
"It's not a hard question. Just give a yes or no."
Butterflies circled in her stomach. Her heart rate galloped and a seed of panic threatened to shut down her voice. On the one hand she wanted to go with him. On the other, she knew she shouldn't.
Alan snapped his fingers in her direction. "Jillian-hello? Where'd you go?"
She focused her eyes on his handsome face. "Um, I'm sorry. My mind ran off on a little tangent about what dress I would wear. I'd love to go to the wedding with you."
She flashed a big smile and wondered how she could do such a horrible thing to him.