Category Archives: Featured New Book

Featured New Book: A Touchdown to Remember by Seelie Kay

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Featured New Book Spotlight

Let’s welcome Seelie Kay to West of Mars!

Seelie and I chat via Twitter from time to time — see why it’s useful to have Twitter? Come chat with us! — and I was thrilled when I saw she’d filled out the handy-dandy form to tell us what song makes her think of her new book, A Touchdown to Remember. Ready? It’s a good one!

It’s Feel Like Making Love, the Bad Company classic! If you click the link, you’ll LOVE the video — looks like someone recorded VH1 and alive appearance by the band. Since there was no official video, I went with this so you can at least see Paul Rodgers and band at their fashionable best. (We should not make fun, but come ON.)

Intrigued about the book? I sure am! Here’s the description:

A Touchdown To Remember

It takes more than a hard knock on the head to keep running back Tim Wheezer Douglas down. When life pelts him with the proverbial lemon—a career-threatening concussion—he simply runs the other way, right into the arms of litigator Laura Adler.

When a second concussion sidelines Milwaukee Greyhound running back Tim Douglas, the rest of his life continues full-speed ahead. A some-time law student, Tim is faced with a classic Catch 22: Whether to continue to play football and risk a third and possibly life-altering concussion or quit the game altogether to pursue a career as a sports agent. He loves the game, but his priorities change when he meets Laura Adler, a sassy, sexy young attorney and rabid Greys fan. Their sizzling romp of a romance turns serious and Laura demands that he make a decision about football before she accepts his marriage proposal. Will Tim choose football or the law, and what role will Laura play in his future?

Pick up a copy! This link will take you to the Goodreads page, as the Amazon link wasn’t working. And besides, I like Goodreads better than Amazon.

Hey! Here’s the link to the publisher. Buy direct!

And connect with Seelie, too. Get news of new releases and follow her career.
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Featured New Book: A Cruel Kind of Beautiful by Michelle Hazen

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Featured New Book SpotlightLet’s welcome Michelle Hazen to West of Mars!

Those of you who hung out at The Rock of Pages will recognize Michelle from some great reviews and book coveting spots she wrote for me and Jett over there. But if you don’t know her?

Well, sit down, grab your coffee, and let’s go. Because Michelle is super. AND today is the release day for her new book! How can you beat that?

Michelle, what song makes you think of your book, A Cruel Kind of Beautiful?

“Seeing is Believing” by Blind Pilot.

It’s a song all about the strange ways life brings you exactly what you need. In the book, Jera has a really rough time, but in the end, all those obstacles work together and end up bringing her just where she needs to be. I love how life does that, and it makes perfect, divinely-inspired looking sense in hindsight, but as you’re living it it feels messy and horrible and annoying. I wanted to write a book that did exactly that.

There’s a line in the song: “This life is going to make you believe…” Yes. For Jera, it really did.

Be sure to check this song out; it’s a different one for us avid followers of the Featured New Book Spotlight, and it’s pretty cool! Shades of the Fifties, of Rockabilly, of country music… I’m digging it.

Ready for the book’s description? I sure am.

If you can’t get to the Big O, can you get to the happily ever after?

Jera McKnight loves music, swoons for hot guys, but sucks at sex. Jacob Tate is her perfect storm: a pun-loving nude model with a heart as big as his record collection.

When a newspaper-delivery accident lands him in her living room, he’s almost tempting enough to make her forget she’s never been able to please a man—in bed or out of it. Sure, he laughs at her obscure jokes, and he’ll even accept a PG-rating if it means he gets time with her, but he’s also hiding something. And it has everything to do with the off-limits room in his apartment.

Jera pours all her confusion and longing into her drum kit, which pays off when her band lands the record deal of their dreams. Except just like Jacob, it might be too good to come without a catch.

She doesn’t know if her music is good enough to attract a better contract, or if she’s enough to tempt a man like Jacob to give up his secrets—even if they could fix her problems between the sheets. But if this rocker girl is too afraid to bet on herself, she might just end up playing to an empty house.

Fans of Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger or Kylie Scott will love this addictive new series because of its quick sense of humor and adorable found family.

Do you NEED this? I know all my Rock Fiction fans and friends do! (I sure do, and thanks to Michelle for approving me for a copy over at NetGalley.)
It’s Amazon only, though — so if that’s an issue, I HIGHLY encourage you to get in touch with Michelle and see what sort of magic she can make happen for you. Because you need it!

Connect with Michelle. She’s very cool, very involved in the literary community, and very diverse in her jobs, too. I’ll let you figure out what that means, because it’s too cool to spoil!

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire by Kayelle Allen

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Featured New Book Spotlight Let’s welcome Kayelle Allen to West of Mars today!

Kayelle’s new book, Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire (Marooned on a Barren World) is only available for pre-order right now (release date: December 29, which is a date near and dear to my heart), but what’s stopping you? Preorders are awesome because you can preorder and then when the book shows up on your Kindle, it’s like a belated Christmas present, right when the post-Christmas-present blues hit. How can you resist?

Before you go order (and the link’s at the bottom, of course, to slow down your excitement and instead build it up to a slow burn, let’s ask Kayelle what song makes her think of her book. Kayelle?

The Ancient One by the wonderful group Really Slow Motion. They perform movie trailer music for some of the biggest films out there, including Beauty and the Beast, the Justice League, Blade Runner 2045, Daddy’s Home, and hundreds more. You can find the song on YouTube.

Yeah, I linked twice. Just to make sure you go listen to movie music. Who doesn’t love that? (Honestly, I do, so this is a real treat to be exposed to and excuse me while I dash off to Spotify to see what I can add to my various playlists.) And just from the title of this book alone, the song is perfect. (If any of you have these guys on the playlists you write to, let me know! This song in particular would be incredible writing music.)

Intrigued yet? I sure am. So let’s check out the back cover copy and the description of Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire.

What if you were a soldier marooned on an undeveloped planet?

What if you had no food and few survival tools? What if you’d been genetically engineered? No matter how agonizing the wound, you’d survive. No matter how you died, you’d come back.

It could be worse. You could be here alone. But that’s the problem. You’re not.

On one hand, there’s a tribe of sentient panthers who protect you. Although you hate humans, the one who was dumped on this planet with you has become a trusted friend. The beautiful telepathic warrior you’ve loved since forever is at your side.

On the other hand, half a million people who depend on you are trapped inside stasis pods, waiting for you to save them. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could wake up a few at a time. But the traitors who abandoned you and your followers set the timers to release all half million.

At the same time.

You’re facing an ecological disaster and over five hundred thousand hungry, thirsty, homeless immortal warriors.

Worse still, before you can build shelter, figure out how to grow food, or set up a government, you must take back command from a ruthless enemy you’ve fought for centuries.

Your brutal, merciless father.

Talk about being forged in fire…

Immortals may heal, but a wound of the heart lasts forever.

Bringer of Chaos: Forged in Fire has no profanity or explicit content, but lots of angst, a little humor, some sweet romance, and a ton of betrayal with plenty of vengeance. Oh, and let’s not forget–one ginormous black “kitty”.

Anyone else sold on the kitty?

Pre-order your copy today — remember, you’ll order now, and it’ll magically show up on December 29. And yes, it’s Amazon-exclusive.

(Yep, double links again. Just to be sure you see it!)

Connect with Kayelle. She’s a neat lady.
Kayelle Allen writes Sci Fi with misbehaving robots, mythic heroes, role playing immortal gamers, and warriors who purr. She’s a US Navy veteran and has been married so long she’s tenured.
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Featured New Book Spotlight: Where Are You?

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Featured New Book SpotlightSo, umm… Where are you?

Yeah, you. You with a book you want the world to know about and discover.

You, who made a playlist to keep you company and set the mood as you wrote.

You, who read something that you loved and want the author to come talk about, so you can learn more about it.

You, who loves music and finding new angles on beloved songs — or who loves discovering new songs to fall in love with?

I don’t get it. It’s one question. It’s free. And it’s promotion.

My readers like to buy the books featured here. Some of them will leave a review.

C’mon. Submit your song and your book today!

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lyndi Alexander

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Featured New Book Spotlight

Let’s welcome Lyndi Alexander to West of Mars! Lyndi and I have known each other for years now and I think she’s pretty darn cool. I bet you will, too — and that you’re going to love her song!

Her book is called Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, and it’s been around awhile. We’re good with that because it’s new to me! It’s got to be new to some of you guys, too.

So what’s the song that makes you think of your book, Lyndi?

Anything from Phantom of the Opera. LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME is the story of Sara Woods, who is innocently drawn into a mystery of deadly proportion, just as Christine was in the musical. I listened extensively to the soundtrack while writing the story, and can still suddenly be in the middle of one scene or another if I hear the music. Life is never what it seems, and trusting too soon can be dangerous.

The haunting quality of the Andrew Lloyd Webber creation inspires me–Sara’s journey will do the same for the reader.

But… but… there’s no one song I can link to! Here’s the theme song, such as it is, performed — by all people! — by Nicole Scherzinger. Who knew she had such pipes? She’s also lucky enough to sing with FOUR different men who played the Phantom (although damn, this one dude belongs in Les Miz and I wish I knew all their names ’cause I’d like to hear more of them). So enjoy this and check out the rest of the soundtrack.

(It has been so long since I’ve heard this, I’ve forgotten how powerful the music is. This is going to be a hell of a book Lyndi’s written.)

Ready for the description:

A bad divorce, a broken heart, a need to begin again.

These three things propel reporter Sara Woods to leave her comfortable position working for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and take the first news job that comes along, working as the new reporter for small-town Ohio’s Ralston Courier. Ralston is a sleepy little town that doesn’t seem to have much to offer this big-city girl, but her very first assignment is to investigate a dead body, a young woman found half-frozen on the side of a country road.

But soon the story on this body ties in with others, and she finds herself scrambling to come up with a common link among the dead other than the fact that they’re all young women Sara’s age.

Still recovering from a previous auto accident and struggling with chronic pain, she becomes a patient at the Goldstone Clinic, a local mecca of healing.

But all is not as it seems at the Goldstone, its doctors and nurses are all the picture of perfect beauty and health. Patients at the clinic first seem to get better, then they deteriorate. Sara enlists the help of Dr. Rick Paulsen, a doctor at the city hospital who shares her concern about the deaths of the young women, one of whom was his own patient. He teaches her through Eastern techniques how to access her internal power, skills she never knew she had, revealing secrets from her past.

Police officer Brendon Zale also takes an interest in Sara, but he stalks her, watching her every move, and he won’t leave her alone. He always turns up at the most suspicious times, especially where the dead bodies are found. What’s his interest in Sara?

As she digs deeper into the story, and more young women die without explanation, she tries to choose allies wisely, but not till the last confrontation does she discover the identity of her true enemy.

By then, it’s too late.

Yeah. I need this book. Do you need this book?

Get it at
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And connect with Lyndi!
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Featured New Book: Wild World by Peter S Rush

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Featured New Book Spotlight

Let’s welcome debut novelist Peter S Rush to West of Mars! Peter’s a cool dude I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know, and this book is timely, timely, timely even though it’s set way back in history, maybe almost before my time.

Peter, what song makes you think of your book?

Wild World by Cat Stevens. The book is set in the early 70’s and the music is integral to the era.

Not only does it fit the book title, but this song is PERFECT for this book. Sit back, let the familiar strains wash over you, and then get this book.

Here’s the description:

Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and the protest era of the early 1970s, a gripping novel of a power, corruption, injustice, courage, and hope—and one tenacious young man whose determination to overturn the system holds unexpected consequences for his own life.

Steve Logan wants to make the world better. Weeks before his graduation from Brown University, he meets a reform-minded cop from New York City who convinces Steve that to change the system, he has to get involved. Fueled by a strong sense of moral justice, Steve joins the Providence Police Department. Though he’s eager to make a difference, fighting the establishment is overwhelming. His education makes him an outsider, and his honesty makes him a threat to the corrupt cops who use the badge for money and power. At home, his college friends think he’s a traitor, and even Roxy, the med student he loves, has begun to pull away. But Steve isn’t going to give up. He devises a dangerous plan to radically shake up the system and take his enemies down… unless they take him out first.

Seriously. Pick up a copy and be sure to leave a review once you’ve read it.

Amazon
B&N
Indiebound

Connect with Peter at his website, too!

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Featured New Book Spotlight:

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Featured New Book Spotlight

Oh, my.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people now about the Featured New Book Spotlight. I’ve heard a lot of interest, especially when we get to that point about “Well, it has to be new to my readers, so use your best judgement…” line. Because even older titles need promotion and what better way or place to do it than with a quick, one-question interview?

Seriously. Tell your friends. Send ’em on over. Authors, this is a spot for YOU to brag about YOUR book. That’s it. I want to help the good books find their readers.

And if you can’t answer the one question — I’ve heard repeatedly that it’s a hard one — if you have a graphic teaser, or a line you simply adore, remember there’s Lines of Distinction for you to take advantage of, too. That one’s even easier, especially if you have the graphics made. All I need is the graphic and the buy links!

Really. This is your spot for free advertising (caveat: if you want to reserve a date, there’s a token fee), for helping spread the word about your books. A number of readers still check in every Monday to see what book they are discovering, so why aren’t you taking advantage? Readers are looking for you!

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Featured?

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Featured New Book Spotlight

What.
the.
heck.

The Featured New Book Spotlight is still empty?

One question.

Free.

Promote yourself.

What’s not to like?

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Where’s the Featured New Book?

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Featured New Book Spotlight

I purposely took last week off from posting a Featured New Book Spotlight because of the launch of the redesigned website (have you clicked through yet? Checked it out?).

But this week?

Well, I’m not quite sure why the spotlight is empty.

I’d like to change that. We even made a handy-dandy form for you to fill out right here on the site, to make it even easier to send me your question and the one song that makes you think of your book.

C’mon. It’s easy.

Well, the question can be hard. Only one song?

But it’s sooo worth it. And as I’ve said before, I’ve had readers go out and buy a book based on your appearance here at West of Mars.

So what’s stopping you?

C’mon… get your submissions in. Like always, first come, first served. And it’s free, unless you want to reserve a specific date (although even that is free for my editing clients).

So what’s stopping you?

C’mon.

You know you want to!

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel by Toi Thomas

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Let’s welcome author Toi Thomas to West of Mars! Toi stopped in last week to see what song made her friend Alex think of his book and decided to hang around and step into the spotlight, herself.

Brave woman!

Let’s get right to it: Toi, what song makes you think of your book?

When I wrote the story, Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel, that of a gray man and his search for a purpose and transformation; romance was the last thing on my mind. During the developmental stage, I realized that Giovanni needed a new relationship to replace one that was fading. I wanted it to be a friendship, but with the new character being a likable and attractive woman (not a bombshell by far) soon romance was on the page.

There’s a scene where Giovanni is drawn to the woman, Mira, who has left him temporarily and gone to another state. It was the next scene that made me realize that this friendship was a romance. Giovanni finds Mira across many miles, when he’s not even looking for her, because of a compulsion. Later, I heard the song, When Can I See You by Babyface. That scene came back to me and I thought, “Giovanni just couldn’t wait to see Mira again.”

Ooh, this sounds by turns deep, spiritual, uplifting, and maybe even a little bit scary. Don’t believe me? Check out the description!

“You have plenty of time to change your mind. You have not yet seen the monster I can be.” — Giovanni

Giovanni has been waiting his whole life to meet someone like Mira, someone from the outside world who might be able to help him. He wonders if there really is help for him as he continues to hold tightly onto dark secrets and even darker memories. Giovanni wants to be hopeful and he wants to accept Mira’s help, but first he has to look himself in the mirror and face what he truly is- and that is a reality no one is quite ready to accept.

Searching for new purpose and meaning in her life, Mira meets Giovanni online and an exciting and, in some ways, scary friendship is developed. Mira decides one day to meet Giovanni in person, at his secluded country home, in order to aid him on his journey of self-discovery. What these two are able to discover will not only test their strength and will, but it will stretch the limits of their minds and catapult them into a world where earth, Heaven, and Hell collide.

Giovanni’s Angel is the story of a man who may just be the answer to a spiritual war swiftly heading his way- but for now, he just wants to be a man.

Do you need to read this book? I think I do! And you know what else I need to do? Check out more Babyface; I’ve never really explored his music, but hearing him take on James Taylor? You betcha. That’s how you open doors and get someone to listen to a new artist: expose ’em to a cover of a song that’s got some sort of attachment and make ’em curious. I approve!

Pick up your copy of Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Curse:
Amazon
Createspace

Connect with Toi; she seems really cool!
Website/Blog: The ToiBox of Words
Toi Thomas Facebook Fan Page
@toithomas on Twitter
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Amazon Author Page

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Dragon of the Stars by Alex J Cavanaugh

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Let’s welcome Alex J Cavanaugh to West of Mars! Alex is a tour de force in the publishing world right now, involved with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and visible in many other places. He’s one of those folk you want to know!

So, Alex, what song makes you think of your book?

The song that inspired the story in the beginning – Dragon on the Sea by Ayereon. The lyrics tell the story of Queen Elizabeth sending Sir Francis Drake to defend England in the 16th century. I began to envision the story set in space. Only the man sent by the queen isn’t the dragon–he is seeking the Dragon, a lost ship of unimaginable power that could win the war. And I took the line ‘You will never be the same…’ to a new level.

I like taking history and giving it a new twist! And the song itself is great, too. Completely new to me, at first I thought it was some techno song. But nope! It’s as surprising and twist-filled as Alex’s take on history.

Here’s the official description:

The ship of legends…

The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. He’s poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter. He’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?

One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

Even if I didn’t know this was based on history, I’d be intrigued enough to pick it up. I love a great space opera and this just hit the right notes for me. If it does for you, too, pick up a copy:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

ITunes

Kobo

Chapters

Amazon UK

Overdrive

Books-A-Million print

Audio book:

ITunes

Amazon

Audible

And be sure to connect with Alex. He’s a great dude, and the IWSG might be just what you need for your own writing endeavors.
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Companion site

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Chain Reaction by Wendy Goult

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Welcome Wendy Goult to West of Mars! She popped in via Twitter, so even if you’re not currently promoting a new book, keep helping spread the word. I do like to give presents to friends and clients who refer a lot of new people my way, either for this or for editing services.

Her book is called Chain Reaction, and she didn’t say a lot about why she picked her song. In fact, she didn’t say anything. She simply said, “Jealousy, by Billy Fury” and left it at that.

Check. This. Song. Out.

I love it. Total old school. And you know what? It doesn’t need an explanation. Wendy, you are the woman!

Here’s what Chain Reaction is about:

Do you believe or even think there might be life after death? We all have our opinions on this conundrum. Chain Reaction takes up the challenge in admirable style and gives an acceptable insight into what it could be like to be ‘on the other side’. We follow the chain of events that occur after Kate Maple arrives in her after life with no recollection of how or why it happened and who killed her. The story weaves through the lives of friends, family, witnesses and suspects exposing vulnerabilities and associated threats. Even the police are not immune. Their frustrations, reactions, emotions and attractions show they are human too. This is no sugary, endless fields of flowers, birds and butterflies tale but draws the reader into a story of illicit love and secrecy, a love betrayed and a rage that takes away all reason but which ultimately leads the reader into a sense of wellbeing.

Need a copy? It’s paperback only, and the listing takes you to the UK Amazon site, but there’s a note that says it can be delivered to select locations. If you’re in one, pick this one up, give it a read, and be sure to let us know what you thought — reviews are always helpful and appreciated not only by authors but future readers, as well.

Jealousy… oh, that’s a catchy tune…

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Where’d You Go?

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Oh, no! After two weeks, the Featured New Book Spotlight is back to dark.

I don’t like it dark.

I like it when I can feature YOU. And your book, of course. Okay, mostly your book.

And a song that makes you think of your book.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

Well, okay, some buy links, too. And links to social media, so people can connect with you and you can make long-lasting fans.

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU HERE IN THE SPOTLIGHT!!!

So tell your friends. It’s free, unless you want a specific date (and it’s always free for my editing clients).

It’s supposed to be quick and easy. One question. In. Out. Done. And it’s one that should be fresh, one that doesn’t get asked by every single other interviewer out there.

Here’s the details. Really. Spread the word. Hog the spotlight, if only for a week.

You deserve it.

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar: A historically accurate retelling of the ninth book of the Gesta Danorum by Rachel Tsoumbakos

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I LOVE having books to feature around here, and I’m glad to see submissions rolling in. Keep ’em coming, so keep spreading the word.

Today we have one of my friends from Triberr, and although this book has a super long title, I’m fascinated just by the concept of it. It seems (to me, anyway) that lately, we’ve been learning that Vikings are more than just all rape-pillage-boats-conquer-wear hats with horns. And this book definitely helps us learn more than the old-time stereotype.

The book is called Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha and Ragnar: A historically accurate retelling of the ninth book of the Gesta Danorum. (Did anyone else not know what a Gesta Danorum is, or am I deficient?)

So. Author Rachel Tsoumbakos, what song makes you think of this incredibly ambitious-sounding book?

If I Had A Heart by Fever Ray

Not only is this song included in the opening credits to History Channel’s Vikings, but the theme of the song feels like it is on a very similar trajectory to that of Lagertha and Ragnar’s love story in my novel. Vikings: The Truth about Lagertha and Ragnar delves into their story and tries to shed some light onto the real version rather than the one shown on TV. Even though both characters are faced with many obstacles in their relationship, like the line “crushed and filled with all I found,” they still care for each other. They still feel the need their love “will never end” because they want more. However, it is never quite clear until the very end of their Viking saga whether their story will have a happy ending or not.

But… it’s a romance between Lagertha and Ragnar, right? But… it’s also real life, so…

Ugh. Now I NEED to read this!

Here’s the back cover copy:

Lagertha was known to be one of the wives of the famous Viking, Ragnar Lodbrok. But did you know they first met each other at a brothel? And just how long did their marriage last? Was Lagertha really the revered shield maiden we see her as today? ‘Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar’ aims to unravel all these secrets.

‘Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar’ is so much more than a history book though.

In Part One their story is brought to life with a historically accurate retelling. Part Two then explores the historical facts surrounding this story.

‘Vikings: The Truth About Lagertha And Ragnar’ aims to discover just how much of what we know of the shield maiden, Lagertha, and the famous Ragnar Lodbrok in popular culture today is actually true.

‘The Truth About’ series explores the historical fact from present day fiction in regards to the Vikings and other key historical figures that existed in the Viking era.

Pick up your copy. It’s Amazon-only, so know that going in.

And if you do read it, be sure to leave a review! If not at the place of purchase, then consider GoodReads or the other social book networks, or if you ask nicely, I’ll loan you my blog for a day. Reviews help books find new friends!

Connect with Rachel, too. (She writes amazing reviews of popular TV shows, and I recommend them!)
Website
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Featured New Book Spotlight: Bolt Action Remedy by JJ Hensley

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Let’s welcome my dear friend JJ Hensley to the Featured New Book Spotlight today!

JJ’s cool. If you don’t follow him on Facebook or Twitter, you should. He’s got a very dry, acerbic sense of humor that slays me, time after time.

And… he’s got a new book out. It’s called Bolt Action Remedy, and let’s sit back and see what JJ’s got to say about it. I bet it’s funny.

First off, what song makes you think of Bolt Action Remedy, JJ?

My first novel, RESOLVE, was set against that backdrop of a marathon. Ever since writing that book, I’d been looking for a way to integrate another endurance sport into a story but with more intensity. I incorporated biathlon (skiing and shooting) into the setting because if you are going to write a murder mystery then why not give EVERYONE a gun. As I researched biathlon, I came to truly appreciate the intensity and speed of the sport. So whenever I hear the song Joyride (Omen) by Chevelle, I feel the intensity I tried to capture on the pages.

The song itself captures some of the internal struggles of the protagonist, Trevor Galloway. Joyride is about the difficulty of letting go of the past (or, in Galloway’s case, the past refusing to let him go) and the fast tempo gives the song the feel of a race.

The music I listen to is so important to my writing process. I visualize my stories as movies and each of them has a soundtrack. The songs I hear in my mind (shut up, I’m not crazy) really assist me in developing the tone I’m looking for in particular scenes. Sometimes I’ll be listening to a song and think, That’s the mood I want the readers to feel when they read chapter two! It’s not surprising that most of the music I listen to is fast-paced rock, since I do everything I can to keep my stories moving along at a good clip. Fortunately, I’ve been able to construct my books in a way that readers don’t have to particularly care about marathons or biathlon, or like rock music, and they can still get caught up in the mystery. I THINK Bolt Action Remedy and my next book, Record Scratch (Spring 2018) are my best work thus far. If not, I guess I better shake up my playlist!

JJ and I often have similiar tastes in music, but I’m just not there with the Chevelle. Are you? Not familiar with them? Check it out and see if JJ’s right, that it works with his book!

Here’s the official description:

Former Pittsburgh narcotics detective Trevor Galloway has been hired to look into the year-old homicide of a prominent businessman who was gunned down on his estate in Central Pennsylvania. When Galloway arrives, he determines the murder could have only been committed by someone extremely skilled in two areas: Skiing and shooting. He believes the assailant should not be too difficult to identify given the great amount of skill and athleticism needed to pull off the attack. When he discovers the victim’s property is next door to a biathlon training camp, the situation becomes significantly more complicated.

Galloway makes plenty of enemies as he sifts through stories about lucrative land deals, possible drug connections, and uncovers evidence suggesting the homicide may have been elaborate suicide. As he attempts to navigate through an unfamiliar rural landscape, he does his best not to succumb to an old drug addiction, or become confused by one of his occasional hallucinations. Oh, and a Pittsburgh drug gang enforcer known as The Lithuanian—if he’s even real—is tracking Galloway and wants to take his eyes. Galloway would rather keep those.

In Bolt Action Remedy, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies.

Mmmmm. I love people who write about Western Pennsylvania. And, like I said, JJ is great people.

Join me in the love. While the book won’t be released until October, you can (and should!) preorder it now. Here are the links:
Smashwords *Affiliate link
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Connect with JJ and enjoy the wit! (Seriously. You’ll be glad you did.)
Website
Blog- Steel City Intrigue
Facebook
Twitter

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Still Empty!

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Still?

Yep.

Look, it’s simple: I want to feature YOU. And your book, of course. Okay, mostly your book.

And a song that makes you think of your book.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

So tell your friends. It’s free, unless you want a specific date (and it’s always free for my editing clients).

It’s supposed to be quick and easy. One question. In. Out. Done. And it’s one that should be fresh, one that doesn’t get asked by every single other interviewer out there.

Here’s the details. Really. Spread the word. Hog the spotlight, if only for a week.

You deserve it.

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Featured New Book Spotlight: … is empty?

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I KNOW.

It’s summer. It’s July, so that means you all are sending me your manuscripts to edit, not your One-Question Interview to post. And that’s good because, hey, I’m editing and making money but it’s bad because I want to feature YOU. And your book, of course.

So tell your friends. It’s free, unless you want a specific date (and it’s always free for my editing clients). It’s ONE QUESTION, although I’m told it’s a hard question.

But it’s supposed to be quick and easy. One question. In. Out. Done. And it’s one that should be fresh, one that doesn’t get asked by every single other interviewer out there.

Here’s the details. Really. Spread the word. Hog the spotlight, if only for a week.

You deserve it.

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Panther Mountain: Caroline’s Story by Christy Perry Tuohey

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Welcome to the start of the week and a book that is hopefully new to you and that you’ll want to read after you reach the end of this post. That’s how this thing works, you see. I write about a book. We all pick it up, read it, and hopefully leave reviews. (If you need help writing a review, holler. My editorial self would be glad to help, and if you need a place to post your review, let me know. I’d be glad to host you.)

Today’s book comes from a new friend, who I just discovered via Twitter. You find fun people on Twitter. Christy is one of them.

Her book is called Panther Mountain: Caroline’s Story and before I tell you what it’s about, let’s hear from Christy about what song makes her think of her book:

The lyrics of Paul Weller’s “You Do Something To Me” perfectly sum up the passion of the love letter written to Caroline, the heroine of my book Panther Mountain: Caroline’s Story. The letter was written in 1854 in pre-Civil War western Virginia by a man named Nathan Hanna who desired to get to know Caroline better. His elegant handwriting showed him to be an educated man, his words thoughtful and polite as he requested a meeting with her. When she read his invitation, she was reminded of a long-ago passion she felt for him as well. But would they meet, and if so, where would the relationship lead?

Ooh, I don’t know about you, but I’m tempted. And this Paul Weller dude? This isn’t something I’d listen to all the time, but he’s kinda cute and I do like this song. Nice pick, Christy!

(You guys have exposed me to some really cool music, and I’m appreciative. Best of all, I’m expanding my own horizons, which is a bonus I never expected when I started this feature many years ago.)

Ready for more about Panther Mountain: Caroline’s Story? Here’s the description:

Panther Mountain: Caroline’s Story is a historical fiction novel based on true events in my great-great-grandmother Caroline’s life in antebellum and Civil War Virginia. Its centerpiece is a romantic mystery; a love letter, written to her by a suitor who was not my great-great-grandfather.

Caroline Grose was raised on a mountain deep in the heart of 19th Century western Virginia. Despite her geographical isolation, she was educated and well-read. At 19, she fell in love with a handsome young man whom she met at a church camp meeting. Her hopes for a romantic relationship were dashed, though, when she saw him kissing another girl.

The world around her grew increasingly chaotic. Caroline’s family members were Methodist Episcopalian abolitionists, and those beliefs pitted them against friends, neighbors and fellow church members. When she discovered that a runaway slave was hiding in a mountain cave near her home, she was faced with a hard choice: turn him over to the authorities or help him escape to freedom.

By 1854, Caroline was a spinster living at home with her parents. One day a letter arrived. It was from the love of her younger years. He wanted her back. Little did she realize, as she read the words on paper, that another man loved her, too. A romantic rivalry was in the making.

Caroline is challenged to go beyond her comfort zone and Victorian gender role to help and protect others. She showed courage in the face of violence and anarchy during the Civil War.

There is SO MUCH going on here that makes me want to read this… the setting, the era, the story itself.

If you’re as inspired as I am, here are the handy-dandy buy links:
Paperback or as an-ebook at Amazon.com

It’s also available online at:

BarnesandNoble.com

Booksamillion.com

Adlibris (Sweden)

And get to know Christy, too. I can vouch for how cool she is!
Panther Mountain Caroline’s Story website
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Twitter
Pinterest
YouTube

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Calling All Authors: The Featured New Book Spotlight Wants You

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What.

The.

Heck.

The Featured New Book Spotlight is empty AGAIN this week.

It’s a one-question interview. Yes, it’s not a particularly slam-dunk easy question, but that’s what makes it fun. And it combines a few of our favorite things: books and music.

Because I know there’s a lot of authors who create playlists for their books. One song on those lists has to represent their book. It just has to.

So send your friends. Spread the word. I want to feature YOU. I want YOUR book highlighted here on my pages. I want my readers to learn about YOU.

It’s free (unless you want to reserve a specific date) and one of the most fun, challenging, and cost-effective ways to promote yourself and your book.

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Love Reign O’er Me, part One of the Behind Blue Eyes Series by Anne-Marie Klein

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I’m extra excited to bring today’s Spotlight book to you. It’s written by my friend Anne-Marie Klein, and it’s part of her Behind Blue Eyes series. This one’s called Love Reign O’er Me, and you may recognize that lyric. I hope you do, anyway!

Let’s get to it. Anne-Marie, what song makes you think of your book?

A question tailor-made for me and for my book series, at least, and one that is answered by looking at the front cover. The music of The Who captured me as a teenager in the late 70s, so much so that I began to imagine a narrative of who the bad man, sad man Pete Townshend had so famously written about might be: many pages later, the Behind Blue Eyes series of rock novels was born. My four books follow a troubled young rock musician from his arrival in Toronto from London in 1978 to 1994, and readers will see how the lyrics echo his difficult path to success amidst family drama and great love stories in rock and rock and fashion settings on both sides of the pond.

This might be the first time EVER that an entire band’s work inspired a novel. I linked to the Song “Behind Blue Eyes” but I know Anne-Marie well enough to know that the entire band is this lady’s muse. And honestly, I admire her fandom.

Ready for the entire description? Here goes:

Son of a wealthy, successful, and famous British designer, Ian was born into the world of the rich and shameless. He blames himself, and his father, for his mother’s death, and has run far away to start a new life. Beautifully blond, musically talented, but emotionally troubled, he hides his pain behind pale blue eyes and drinks to numb the guilt that has followed him across the ocean. When he meets Sarah, the fiery-haired singer with all the connections to make his dreams come true, will the burdens of his past destroy their love and everything they’ve ever wanted?

Behind Blue Eyes is a new four-part series following a young musician’s turbulent life as he makes his rock and roll dreams come true in a city far from where he grew up. Equal parts family saga, love story, and rock and roll circus, this first novel will take you back to the late 70s in Toronto for a dramatic roller-coaster ride through the world of music. Inspired by the Pete Townshend song made famous by The Who, the series is at once a nostalgic love letter to the author’s hometown and to the music she listened to while growing up there.

Ready for your own copy? I sure am.

Here’s some links:

Amazon
iTunes
B&N

And connect with Anne-Marie. You’ll be glad you did because she is awesome.
Website
Facebook author page
Twitter: @badmansadman

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