Friday, May 30, 2014

Murder, She Wrote

I'm visiting Penny Ehrenkranz's blog today. She's putting me under the hot light of interview madness. I'm featuring the murder mystery thriller, "Missing, Assumed Dead." Click over to Penny's place to read all about it.

Everybody who leaves a comment gets a free audio book (via coupon on 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Countdown Price Final Day



Here's the schedule, price, and % savings. If you haven't read the books, you'd be freaking insane to pass up the lowest price. Each individual book is $2.99 regular price. Even at full price of $4.99, you're saving a bundle.

A similar deal with slightly different numbers will start the same day on Amazon UK. Click here for the countdown starting 24th of May on

Monday, May 26, 2014

Countdown Price Day #3

Only $2.99


Here's the schedule, price, and % savings. If you haven't read the books, you'd be freaking insane to pass up the lowest price. Each individual book is $2.99 regular price. Even at full price of $4.99, you're saving a bundle.

A similar deal with slightly different numbers will start the same day on Amazon UK. Click here for the countdown starting 24th of May on

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Countdown Price Day #2

Only $1.99


Here's the schedule, price, and % savings. If you haven't read the books, you'd be freaking insane to pass up the lowest price. Each individual book is $2.99 regular price. Even at full price of $4.99, you're saving a bundle.

A similar deal with slightly different numbers will start the same day on Amazon UK. Click here for the countdown starting 24th of May on

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Kindle Countdown for Witches of Galdorheim

Here's how a Countdown works: I set a starting date and super low price on the book. In this case, I'm counting down on the Witches of Galdorheim series ebook (contains all three books in the series plus the prequel short story). Each day of the countdown, the price gets higher, so the earlier you buy, the better the deal. Here's the LINK TO THE EBOOK ON AMAZON.

Here's the schedule, price, and % savings. If you haven't read the books, you'd be freaking insane to pass up the lowest price. Each individual book is $2.99 regular price. Even at full price of $4.99, you're saving a bundle.

A similar deal with slightly different numbers will start the same day on Amazon UK. Click here for the countdown starting 24th of May on

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Liza O'Connor's Climbing Out of Hell

Liza O’Connor provides a deeper analysis of Iowa’s gun laws.

As an author of fiction, I tend to take reality and bend it for my readers’ entertainment. In this case, I took Iowa’s vote to allow blind people the right to carry a loaded weapon in public places and had fun with it.
Only a gun wasn’t going to work for me, because my character wished to go hunting. Also Sam, the sheriff of my fictitious town, would have never have given Leroy a permit to carry a gun. So I seized upon the fact that no permit is required for hunting rifles in Iowa. You can buy whatever and as many you want when it comes to ‘long’ guns. Now to shoot deer or turkey, you do require a hunting license, but that doesn’t concern Leroy. He wants to shoot pigeons
This left only one issue. I needed him to hunt in a park that borders Main Street. Since the town is fictitious, I had the park registered as hunting grounds as long as hunters don’t aim towards the town. Most towns in Iowa will not let hunters anywhere near their cities, because not all hunters are good shots… or sober, for that matter. But Denton is a very small town, population 2,154. And they have a very fine bit of wilderness near the river, which their ancestors used to bring home a quick meal. In the Victorian era when Denton was a prosperous river town, a half acre of the land was gentrified with several gazebos, or follies as they called them, park benches, and lots of bushes that require endless trimming. Despite all their changes, no ever removed the land’s classification as hunting ground.

Thus, when Leroy sits on a bench and fires an AK47 into the air, towards the sound of pigeons cooing in the trees, he is breaking no laws. He is not aiming towards the town and he is hunting on legal hunting ground. It doesn’t matter that he’s blind and cannot see what he’s shooting. Iowa doesn’t think that should impede a person’s right to carry arms.
Now you might challenge me that hunting and carrying a gun are very different things. That is true. Iowa has always perceived handguns to be far more dangerous than hunting guns. They’ll allow a twelve year old child to go hunting without supervision. (Any younger and they have to bring a parent along.). So when I say hunting regulation is lax, I mean it’s sound asleep.
Iowa’s official reason why they MUST allow blind people to carry loaded guns while walking about in public is because to deny them this right would put them in trouble with the federal Disabilities Act. If that is their reasoning, then it would be likewise illegal to deny Leroy his right to sit on registered hunting ground and shoot up into the tree with his AK47.
While four other states do allow blind people to hunt, they require a seeing partner to aim the gun. Most of these states allow laser beaming, so it’s easier for the seeing person to adjust the gun accurately, so it hits the deer instead of the trailer house a half mile further in the woods.
Iowa has no such regulations. Thus Leroy doesn’t need a seeing partner.
In case you’re curious, the four states that specifically allow blind people to hunt are Texas, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. That doesn’t necessarily mean blind people aren’t hunting elsewhere. In some cases, such as Iowa, it means the situation has never specially been addressed. But since Iowa isn’t requiring the blind person carrying a loaded gun in public arenas to have a seeing partner, why would they require such in their less regulated hunting?
And that is why Leroy gets to hunt pigeons with his AK47. Now let’s learn more about Trent’s redemption.

Climbing Out of Hell

Book 4 of the series

A Long Road to Love
Romantic Comedy
Billionaire Trent Lancaster has destroyed his relationship with the only woman who ever loved him. Now we discover the full truth of what happened.
He actually had reasons for his behaviors.
Still, there is no going back. Trent has lost Carrie forever, but he would rather die than marry Coco, so he does just that. Trent gives away most of his possessions, fakes his death, and starts over with a new face and a better attitude in a small town in Iowa where his half-brother Sam is sheriff.
Losing his true love has fundamentally broken Trent to his core. His only chance for happiness is to become the better man Carrie had always seen inside him.
True change is not easy. Can Trent grow up and become a man we can love?

Sam burst into the kitchen, frowned at Trent, then focused on Dani. “Leroy is at it again. I thought you said you were going to hide the damn thing?”
I did. But there aren’t many places one can hide an AK-47 rifle.”
Well, you hid it worth shit because it’s raining lead again at the downtown square!”
She gripped her head as if it might explode.
What’s the problem?” Trent asked.
Sam rolled his eyes. “Iowa passed a law allowing blind people to carry guns in public. So her grandfather, who is blind as a bat, sits on a bench in the square and shoots his AK into the trees.”
What’s he trying to shoot?”
Pigeons,” Sam and Dani answered at once. She glared him into silence and continued her reply. “He likes pigeon soup. A Pakistani doctor told him it would prevent strokes.”
Well, he’s giving me a stroke,” Sam snapped. “You have to make him stop!”
I’ve talked to him until I’m blue in the face. He won’t listen to me. Most of the time he thinks I’m three-years old. Who listens to a three-year-old?” She threw her hands up in frustration and turned back to the grill.
Trent didn’t care for the way Sam pushed Dani. Grandparents were impossible to boss around…at least his had been. “Why don’t you talk to him?’
Sam released a hurricane of air. “Because the mayor told me to stay away from him, since he is not breaking any laws, and any attempt on my part could result in a lawsuit against the town.” He eyed Trent. “You should talk to him.”
Sam, Trevor’s been in town an hour. You know Gramps doesn’t trust people right off.”
Neither do you, yet here he sits, like an old friend, watching you cook him dinner.”
She rescued the burgers off the grill, slapped them both on buns, and shoved one at Sam. “This is your hamburger. Trevor is holding out for braised lamb.”
Point still stands. Look, I think he can do the job. I intended to hit him with a ticket but he was so nice I sent him to you instead. He’s a likable guy. Let’s send him out and see if he can stop this madness.”
Then I’m shutting this bar down for safety violations.”
She stared at him in shock. “What violations?”
Don’t worry. Mr. Olsen will find something. He owes me big time after last night’s poker game.”
Trent stood up. “Sam, you’re digging yourself into a hole. Your initial solution was excellent, and frankly I’m honored you think so well of me. I’ll go talk to him right now. Just tell me how to get to Pigeonville.”
Sam grinned and slapped him on the back as he led him out of the kitchen. “Way to man up. Seriously, I’ll owe you one if you can get the gun away from Leroy and bury it six feet under.”
Trent just hoped being a nice guy didn’t get him buried six feet under as well.
Released May 1, 2014
Book Four of the series:
A Long Road to Love
Climbing out of Hell
Easily, the best of the series!”

Other books in the A Long Road to Love series
Book One
Worst Week Ever
Love this book and couldn't stop laughing from beginning to end.” 5 stars – Alves - Amazon

Book Two
Oh Stupid Heart
Be warned though, this book is completely different from The Worst Week Ever. Yes, there is still humor, dry wit, situations that you would think...NOT AGAIN but this one humanizes Trent more.” 5 stars - Brian’s Mom – Amazon

Book Three
Coming to Reason
Once again, Ms. O’Connor has written a brilliant book about the complexities of relationships, good and bad. Again, to me, the book is the best break up book EVER and it left my heart singing in the end. Best. Book. Ever…
Other Books by Liza O’Connor

Liza O’Connor
Author Bio:
Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.
Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter for the $50 Gift Card.
Plus, at each stop 1 commenter who requests a book and leaves their email will win one of the following:
Worst Week Ever
Oh Stupid Heart
Coming to Reason

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: Old Hickory Lane by E.J. Ruek

Old Hickory LaneOld Hickory Lane by E.J. Ruek
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Warren Jeffreys wants to be a premiere veterinarian on the horse show circuit. He certainly has the education (multiple degrees) and a special connection with the horses he loves (not to mention the cows, pigs, goats, and mules), but he's got a prickly personality. Who'd care, you think? The top horse breeders are a snooty bunch and want to be catered to by their vet. Warren is not a people person.

Ms. Ruek's sometimes frightening, sometimes humorous story of the aspiring veterinarian is an engrossing read. Not all warm and fuzzy like "All Things Great and Small," it still has elements to tug at your heart strings. You can't help but wish Warren success, but you also want to slap him upside the head to knock the chip off his shoulder. If he was totally likable, I don't think the story would be near as compelling. The characters, the situations, the details of day-to-day veterinary work will keep you glued to the page. I would have read it all in one session, but for the book's substantial size. You definitely get your money's worth.

Highly recommended.

More about the story if you're interested:

Before Warren can realize his dream, he's got to get the all-important work credits. He joins a veterinary clinic in Idaho to gain the all-important experience. Just a couple of years, he thinks.

Unfortunately for Warren, his personality along with being an "Injun" is a prejudiced and tight-knit area, he is scorned and even ripped off by a rotten slumlord. Forced to live in a hobo camp until he can earn enough to afford an apartment, he has to hide so nobody will know his poor circumstances. To the rich horsey set, it'd never do for their vet to be anything but prosperous...and white.

Along the way, he finds himself falling for Elise, whose grandmother raises a rare breed of horse which fascinates Warren. He wants both the woman and the job. Elise likes him, so that's not a problem, but her grandmother keeps pushing him away from having a relationship with the young woman. Prejudice or something more?

Slowly, Warren gains the trust of the farmers and ranchers in the area. His bosses at the Lewis and Clark Clinic see his skill and the something extra Warren adds when he treats animals. A skill or magic? Warren doesn't even know for sure, only that his Cree grandmother taught him ways to feel an animal's emotional state and even tell him what their problem is. Not in words, but in a metaphysical connection to the animal that allows him see and understand more than any normal human.

View all my reviews

Friday, May 16, 2014

How I Ticked Off a Witch...

and Didn't Get Turned into a Toad (yet!)
by Stuart West
FAMOUS AUTHOR of The Tex the Witch Boy Series

Thanks for having me on your blog, Marva, from one witch biographer to the other.

(M: I'm very happy to have you, Stu. You're a weirdo after my own heart.)

Okay, so, my Tex the Witch Boy trilogy deals with witchcraft. Um, you probably gathered that from the title. I delved heavily into the world of witchcraft, researched it quite a bit. I picked, plucked, tweaked, changed, and formed details I found to fit my narrative. Sometimes I made things up. Having Kansas in the center of a United States pentagram was just a lucky accident, better than finding a buck on the sidewalk. Sure, I cheated at times. But most of what I detail is true. Well, as true as the intranets can be at times, of course.

In my researching travels, I actually had the pleasure to meet a witch. Now before y’all start pitching a fire, ready to toss me onto the logs, let me explain. Yes, there are witches. No, not like the Wicked Witch of the West. To simplify matters, they’re a serious bunch, mostly dedicated to the love and worship of nature.  I was curious about what he thought (and, again, yes, male witches tend to proclaim themselves as “witches,” not warlocks) so I sent him my book.

Yikes. He came back a little perturbed. While actually liking the book quite a bit on an entertainment level, he took umbrage to my portrayal of witches.  He said I treated witches as a fictional construct, a buncha’ hocus-pocus. I didn’t understand the real focus. (And I just realized I rhymed like a witchcraft spell, what the hell?).

Well. Guilty. But I was torn. I’m not a biographer or journalist. I didn’t set out to write a no-holds-barred account of witchcraft. Nor did I set out to slag witchcraft as a serious practice. On the other hand, I didn’t want to get turned into a toad.

Back to the research grinder. And, yes, I discovered more about witchcraft as a belief. I incorporated my new understanding into the third Tex book, Tex and the God Squad. It just so happens the book was already dealing with religion as a subtext anyway, and it dovetailed perfectly.

My witch pal was a happy witch when he read one particular sequence. Thought I treated his beliefs with respect and understanding. No unsightly warts or gills growing on me. Whew.

But enough about me. What I experienced is nothing compared to what my protagonist, Tex the Witch Boy lives through in the trilogy. I tend to think of the books as “suburban paranormal” tales. It was important for me to keep one foot firmly planted in reality as I wanted to reach as many teens as I could with the tales. They’re not just entertainment (although, yeah, I kinda’ hope you guys enjoy them). But rather, I took the idea of a normal kid, finding out about his witchcraft heritage, and wrapping it around meaty, weighty social issues. Tex tackles bullying, self-worth and identity, suburban gangs (yeah, like witches, they, too, exist), gay and lesbian issues, teen suicide, religion and other topical subjects. It’s not all soap-boxing, so don’t leave yet. The books are all self-sustained murder mysteries told with, I hope, a lot of heart and humor.

This summer, I’m especially stoked about MuseItUp Publishing releasing a spin-off book based on my favorite character, Elspeth, the Living Dead Girl. I’m particularly proud of this book (think it’s my strongest one yet), because it was extremely challenging to write. The topic this time? Drugs. It’s a twin, first-person narrative, detailing the adventures of two very different teenage girls sharing the same body. It’s complicated. But coming from a 52-year-old man? A feat worthy of witchcraft.

Stuart’s Blog:
Stuart’s Amazon Author Page:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strands of Thought Blog - My Charming Thoughts

I'm visiting Kai Strand today. Kai writes a fun interview style. I think you'll enjoy it. Click on over to say hi.

Topic is the Witches of Galdorheim Series.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

How I Got My Agent #6 - Golden Oldies Post

We watched Julie/Julia last night. I whacked my palm on my forehead! Why didn't I think of that?!?!? Pick a famous person and blog about them. After a year, you get 65 phone calls from publishers and agents wanting you to WRITE a book.

No, you don't have to have written the book already. Just blog cute, and you're a shoe-in for fame and fortune.

So, here's my new plan: First, I pick a celebrity chef. I like southwestern food, so Bobby Flay is a top choice. On the other hand, Rachel Ray has REALLY REALLY easy to follow recipes, and I can do them in 30 minutes. After all, that's the name of her show.

So, I watch a Rachel or Bobby episode on food network, then I cook the thing they cooked, then I write on my blog about my experience.

Sheesh, I wish I'd thought of this sooner. I wouldn't have had to write all those pesky books just HOPING to get an agent. Blog food and POW! The agents will call you. Now, how did they get Julie's phone number? Hmm. If she put it on her blog, I'd be surprised if she didn't get even more calls--most of them involving heavy breathing.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

How I Got My Agent #5 - Golden Oldies Post

I sent out more than 2000 queries to agents. I know, there probably aren't that many agents, but I did resend every three months, so it does add up.

Finally, I got one positive response. "Send me the first three chapters." Cool, methinks (I read a lot of lit from the 18th Century, so 'methinks' is a perfectly valid dialog tag).

Since my book is 451,293 words long and has only five chapters, I sent off the 349,459 words comprising chapters 1 through 3 (notice that I know how to use the word 'comprising'). Since I have a pretty old computer, I sent the files in the original WordStar.

Eighteen months, three weeks, two days, and fourteen hours later, I received a note from the agent: "Send me the full, but use Word, okay?"

Since she specified Word, I had to go find a version of Word so I could convert my WordStar files. I finally found a free copy of Word 95. I had to copy and paste, but that took a long time since my computer only has 8MB memory. That doesn't hold a lot of text. Still, I perservered (notice that I use the word 'perservered' correctly), and attached the file to an email.

Fourteen months, two weeks, five days, and 13 hours later, I received an answer from the agent: "Not for me."

I really appreciated the thought and effort she made to give me specifics. Next time, I'll just send the entire manuscript as a text document. Maybe her computer doesn't use Word 95.

Oh, yeah. This is How I Got My Agent, so I need to answer that. I'll ask her next time I go up to the attic to feed her. She gets cranky when I don't give her any food for a couple of days. Still, she's really good about sending my manuscript to publishers. Starvation is an excellent motivator.