Category Archives: Featured New Book

Featured New Book: Releasing the Demons by LD Rose

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Okay, so I’ve exchanged only a few e-mails with LD Rose, but when you see her song, you’ll see why I like her immediately. I won’t hold you up; let’s get to it.

 

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First off, I want to thank Susan for having me on this awesome blog! When I came upon this feature I couldn’t resist submitting my debut novel, since music and writing are intimately connected for me.

My debut dark PNR, RELEASING THE DEMONS, is actually named after a song: “Releasing the Demons” by Godsmack. The novel is about reaping vengeance and falling in love at the most unlikely of times. But this song relates mostly to the hero, Blaze, a former prisoner of war who’s still trying to put himself back together. When his torturers return to the Bronx for him, all of Blaze’s hard work at recovery falls apart as he hunts down each and every one of his enemies and serves them the karma they deserve. As a vampire-human hybrid, he constantly wrestles with both the leech and the normal inside him, and he isn’t quite sure which one will dominate his desires, particularly around the heroine, Valerie.

Oh, Sully. *fans self* Have you heard his solo album? Sinner’s Prayer, baby.

Oh. Ahem. Books. Releasing the Demons, by LD Rose. Here’s a closer look at what it’s about:

Blaze Knight has been through hell and back, but the nightmares aren’t over yet.

Five years after Blaze was maimed by Cyrus Chimola, a powerful vampire with a penchant for torture, he’s still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. As a genetically engineered mercenary with the ability to bend fire to his will and to see in infrared, Blaze’s mission is to protect what’s left of humanity. When Chimola and his crew return to the Bronx gunning for Blaze’s blood, Blaze is forced to face the demons of his past. Hell-bent on revenge, he seeks the help of Valerie Medeiros, an NYPD detective who manages to steal his heart and save his life in more ways than one.

Motivated by her sister’s gruesome death, Valerie has made it her life’s goal to bury every vampire in the ground where they belong. When she brings in Blaze Knight for suspected murder, she discovers he’s not only innocent, he isn’t a man at all—he’s a half-vampire hybrid working with a band of brothers for the U.S. military. Valerie has a hard time trusting anything with fangs, yet she quickly falls headlong into Blaze’s life, a life full of darkness and horror she can’t even begin to fathom. The bodies are stacking up, but Valerie can’t seem to let go of this hybrid, a beautiful monster filled with pain, rage, and passion unlike anything she’s ever known.

In a world where the line between good and evil is blurred, Blaze and Valerie will find danger at every turn, risking everything they’ve come to know and love, including one another.

Apart from the song, I’d totally read this. I like the idea behind Blaze although I still think the ultimate slayer-vamp pairing is Angel and Buffy. Yeah, I’m old. We knew that. So do my knees.

Need a copy? Exclusive to Amazon, I’m afraid.

Amazon US

Amazon UK

 

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Website: writerldrose.com

Facebook: facebook.com/writerldrose

Author page: facebook.com/ldroseauthorpage

Twitter: twitter.com/ld_rose

Goodreads: goodreads.com/ldrose

Pinterest: pinterest.com/writerldrose

Tumblr: writerdoc.tumblr.com

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Featured New Book: A Mighty Good Man by Rebecca E Neely

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Let’s welcome fellow Black and Gold lover Rebecca E Neely to West of Mars! Woot! How often do I get to say that around here? Not. Often. Enough.

Rebecca E Neely A Mighty Good Man400

Ready? Let’s go. Rebecca, what song makes you think of your book?

The song Somebody to Love You by Delbert McClinton makes me think of my romantic suspense, A MIGHTY GOOD MAN.

The song is exploding with a powerful mix of emotions—a keen sense of mystery, desperation and a down home, no holds barred warmth and passion. There’s the hypnotic mix of instruments, including the bass, a flute, and a tambourine. Too, the balance of tempos, slow and easy one moment, the next frenetic and high octane, takes me on a tumultuous ride—up and down, smooth and rocky, and I never want to get off this ride. The back-up singers add a delectable edge.

The lyrics capture exactly the struggles ‘Hank’ and Jack both face, and their challenges that are tied up in family and second chances.

SELECT LYRICS

You need a job so you can make some money
You need a nice warm place to stay
A sense of humor cause life is funny
A big stick to keep the wolves away

I recommend you get some life insurance
Be prepared to dial 911
Pay close attention to your high blood pressure
And stay away from the man with a gun

You got to find somebody to love you
Someone to be there for you night and day
Someone to share it with and be part of you
Love ain’t no good till you give it away
You got to give it away

And of course, the main attraction on this song is Delbert himself. His voice has a way of creeping into your soul, with its rock and blues and rhythm, and getting down to the nitty gritty of life and love and everything that truly matters.

For me, this song delivers the total experience that is A Mighty Good Man. Have you got somebody to love you?

Ooh, how can you resist? (Personally, I was sold when I found out she’s a Steelers fan. As much as I don’t like pro ball anymore, I’m still a Steelers fan. Make no sense? Then you’re not from here.)

Here’s the official description:

Her personal and professional life on the skids, a family emergency forces writer Hank Jerry to return to the small town and the aunt she left behind.

Fresh out of prison, Jack “Gent” Darcy is bent on cutting ties with the Creds, but when you’re a war counselor in a national gang, they don’t let you just walk away.

That raises more questions than it answers, huh? But at the same time, it says it all. Pretty clever back cover copy.

Get your own copy! It’s Amazon exclusive (exclusives suck. I know.).

And as always, the best way to say thanks to an author is to leave a few words of review… on your blog, at GoodReads, or at Amazon (if you and she aren’t friends). Need to borrow space? Drop me an e-mail. I’d be glad to post a review of a formerly featured book here.

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Featured New Book: Dancing in Stilettos by Rebecca J Clark

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Let’s welcome Rebecca J Clark to West of Mars! She’s got a new book out and it sounds like a lot of fun. Read on!

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What song makes me think of my book?
Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, because it’s the only thing that will stop my heroine’s young son when he’s having a tantrum, so it’s played throughout the story. It also serves as her motto when she’s feeling insecure and suspecting her husband has grown tired of her–she tells herself to “shake it off.”

Taylor Swift STOPS a tantrum? Well, it takes all kinds… and good thing that something stops a tantrum. Never-ending tantrums are the worst.

Ready to find out what the book is about?

She’s bringing sexy back…

Stay-at-home mom Darlene Ramirez appears to have it all: a sexy husband, a beautiful little boy, and a new home in the suburbs. But when Colton starts working longer hours and spending more time at the gym, she fears the worst. When a stylish new friend offers her a makeover, Darlene jumps at the chance to do her part to bring some va-va-voom back to the relationship and fight for her marriage. As she learns to walk in stilettos and seduce Colton with her sexy new look and attitude, her plan seems to be working… until she catches him in a lie and learns nothing is what it seems.

Will a great pair of shoes be enough to save her marriage?

Buy links

Kindle

Nook

iBooks

Kobo

Other links
website
Facebook

Remember, if you’ve liked what you’ve seen and you’ve bought and read the book, a review at any online site will help keep an author writing. Just a few words — it’s not that hard and it helps more than you realize!

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Midnight Caller by Haley Whitehall

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Let’s all welcome both Haley Whitehall AND the Featured New Book Spotlight back from hiatus! I’ve been busy editing over here at West of Mars, so hitting up people for submissions has fallen by the wayside. Thanks to whoever posted about the spotlight on Facebook; I’ve got a bunch of new books to share with you in the coming weeks (and hopefully months).

Midnight Caller eBook Cover Large(1)

I’d like to thank Susan for having me on her blog again. I recently received the rights back to my first historical romance Midnight Caller, lengthened, re-edited, and re-released it. No matter how many romances I write in my career, I will always have a soft spot for Midnight Caller. I liked it before, but now I love it. I enjoyed improving a good story.

Midnight Caller is set in Kentucky right after the Civil War. Racial tension runs high, and a white woman loving an African-American man can be very dangerous. Emma never thought spending one night with Frederick would be all it took for him to claim a piece of her heart. She wanted a little freedom, wanted to experience passion after her loveless marriage. Frederick is the complete opposite of her late husband: muscular, caring, gentle, and midnight black. He works as a roustabout on the steamer the Comet by day and at night he moonlights by keeping widows company.

They both feel the pull to each other and try to ignore it…but the heart wants what the heart wants. I thought the song Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man from my favorite musical Showboat captured their forbidden love perfectly. The musical is set not long before my novella, and I’m sure the character Julie knows what my heroine Emma is going through. 🙂

I love hearing about authors who get their rights back and work to strengthen a book, even when it was good to begin with. You go, Haley!!

Ready for the book’s description? Do you even need it after that run-up and song choice?

Life without love is painful, but in the Reconstruction Era South forbidden fruit can be deadly. A fiery romance between a widow and an African American man has more consequences than either of them imagined.

Slavery has ended, but racial prejudice remains in Kentucky. Emma Bennett guards a secret that could destroy her life. Until now she never considered the price of her security. Becoming a well-respected member in Louisville had seemed a dream come true, but at what cost?

Her husband’s death from a carriage accident releases Emma from her loveless, controlling marriage. Now she has a chance to find happiness and raise a family. But before she begins courting again she wants to experience her freedom. At the advice of the leading socialite in town, she takes a black lover to fulfill her sexual needs. His raw masculine power awakens feelings she didn’t know existed. After the first touch, she craves more.

Frederick works as a roustabout by day and moonlights as a prostitute. He knows better than to fall in love with his white client, but Emma enchants him the first time he calls on her. To keep them both safe, he works hard to put up barriers. Unfortunately, he can’t protect Emma from the slimy Mr. Hawthorne, who wants her as his bride. Frederick vows to keep her safe even if his forbidden love costs him his life.

 

Buy Links:

Universal Amazon Link | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords | All Romance Ebooks

 

Social Media Links:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Fan Page | Twitter | Amazon Page | Pinterest

 

And remember: if you read it and like it, the author would LOVE a review! Even a few words at a site like Goodreads will help keep Haley in the business of writing books and creating new worlds for us all to explore.

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Featured New Book: Alpha’s Voodoo by Haley Whitehall

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Haley Whitehall is back here at West of Mars! Yay, Haley!

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I love that cover. I also love repeat visitors. And since we all know the drill, let’s get right to it: Haley, what song makes you think of your new book, Alpha’s Voodoo?

I’d like to thank Susan for letting me step into the spotlight once again. It is always a pleasure to be on West of Mars. I’ve recently had a book birthday. My new release, Alpha’s Voodoo, is my first historical paranormal romance. The interracial novella is set in New Orleans in the 1850s, and my story delves into Voodoo. In fact, the Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau plays an important part. Both the hero, Mark Afton, who is secretly a wolf shifter, and the heroine, Violet Creed, think they have been cursed. But have they?

When I was trying to think of a playlist for Alpha’s Voodoo, lots of songs with witchcraft and magic came to mind, but I don’t consider Marie Laveau a witch. In my erotic romance, she is more of a matchmaker.

I finally came across the perfect song Voo Doo by Rachel Sweet. The music video is a little creepy, but I like the lyrics. “Cause I’m caught in your magic spell. It’s such a spooky romance.” With Mark being a wolf shifter, he can indeed read Violet’s mind. See, the song lyrics were perfect!

For different reasons, my hero and heroine are afraid that their attraction to each other is not natural. If a spell is causing these strong feelings, what should they do?

Alpha’s Voodoo is the first book in the Bayou Pack series. Mark and Violet’s story will slowly unfold one book at a time.

Wow. That song has a very ’80s feel. (and the video has a very ’80s look, too! Think there’s a reason?) I’d have thought of Godsmack, myself, but … it’s always fun to be exposed to new stuff. Even if it’s very ’80s. (or maybe *especially*)

I would read this. I totally would. Here’s why:

With her reputation in tatters, debutante Violet Creed is forced to exchange her life of luxury for one of uncertainty. Mark Afton wants nothing more than to take his rightful place as the leader of the Bayou Pack, but he needs a mate. Is Violet Mark’s destined mate, or is their attraction merely Voodoo magic? Haley Whitehall is pleased to present Alpha’s Voodoo, Book 1 of her hot, new, paranormal romance series, Bayou Pack.

Are curses real or merely imagined?

Violet Creed is a colored New Orleans debutante. She was brought up with servants and a strict set of rules regarding propriety, and her papa never approved of her interest in Voodoo. One night she sneaks out of the house and attends one of Marie Laveau’s gatherings—where she loses her virginity and her reputation. Turned out by her papa, Violet is destined for a life on the streets until Madam Dawn saves her.

Cursed to live as a wolf shifter, Mark Afton is a wealthy lawyer and heir to the Bayou Pack. Unfortunately, he can’t take over leadership from his uncle without a mate. Wanting to escape his mother’s endless matchmaking attempts, he accepts Madam Dawn’s invitation to sail on the maiden voyage of the Southern Rose and enjoy the pleasurable company of her ladies.

One of Madam Dawn’s recent hires catches his attention. He is drawn to Violet immediately. Could she be his mate or is their attraction merely Voodoo?

Maybe it’s the whole Godsmack thing. I don’t know. But I’d totally read this.

If you agree, go pick up a copy.

Liquid Silver Books

Amazon Universal Link

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

All Romance Ebooks

 

 

Haley loves to connect with readers. You can find her here:

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HaleyWhitehall

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LightonHistory

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752677.Haley_Whitehall

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/haleywhitehall/

Website: http://haleywhitehall.com/

Blog: http://haleywhitehall.com/blog/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Haley-Whitehall/e/B0078EO6CE/

 

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Featured New Book Spotlight: A Piper’s Song by CK Johnson

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Two things happened at once: Submissions for the spotlight dried up and I got slammed with work. I’d say that was pretty good timing.

But I’m back with CK Johnson, a buddy of mine (she can talk more about our relationship if she so chooses and no, it’s NOT romantic. Sheesh. I like being single, folks!). Her first book, A Piper’s Song is a really cool twist on the Pied Piper story we all grew up with. Read on and see what I mean.

Piper Front Lighter

CK: What song makes you think of your book?

I wrote A Piper’s Song listening to a mix of rock and roll and Celtic music. However, this song actually came from a reader. They listened to this a few days after reading my book and sent me a message saying, “This is it- this is your book!” Of course I had to pull it up.

Note from Susan: Yep. It is!

So what’s the book’s description?

When you control music, every note is a weapon.

Most girls don’t think twice about singing along with their favorite song on the radio. Not me. I hum once and it zombifies the hottest guy in school.

The Pied Piper was real and I am his descendant. Music is my curse. If I don’t master the song inside myself, it will overpower me, and if that happens…

Let’s put it this way: the last piper to lose control led a town-full of children to a river and started the plague.

Welcome to my life.

Now, you know you need a copy. You really do.

Buy it at Amazon.

Connect with CK!
Website
https://www.facebook.com/people/Author-C-K-Johnson/100007611465481
Twitter
Goodreads

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Love me Tender by Susan Fox

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Hey, folks! Let’s welcome Susan Fox to West of Mars today. She’s got the latest of her Caribou Crossing Romances to share with us today, Love me Tender.

Do you NOT love that title? Fits right in around here.

Love me Tender

Let’s get busy. Susan, what song makes you think of your book?

What song makes you think of your book?

That’s an easy one! Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender,” the song the book is named for.

The Caribou Crossing Romances are each named for the title or lyrics of a song that’s particularly meaningful in the book. For this story, the song first plays after a wedding reception, when all the guests are gone. As Cassidy and Dave are leaving the hotel, they notice that there’s still a light on in the bar where the reception was held. When they go to turn the light off, they find that the bride and groom’s love songs soundtrack is still playing. Cassidy and Dave’s first dance is to “Love Me Tender”—and so is their first kiss.

Cassidy’s a drifter, a free spirit who never wants to settle down, but she does appreciate a fine man when she sees one. Dave, a single dad, has been heartbroken since the woman he loved died three years ago. And yet, with Cassidy, he finds himself coming to life again.

Here’s how things go that night.

“I like to dance,” Cassidy said softly. “But I’m always working.”

He swallowed. He was vaguely aware that Faith Hill had given way to Elvis Presley singing “Love Me Tender.”

“I’m not working now,” she said, tugging his jacket and tie away from him, then tossing them over the back of a chair.

When he didn’t say anything, she prompted, “This is where you say, ‘Cassidy, would you like to dance?’ ”

Was she flirting, or did she just want to dance? Though the need to hold her in his arms was painful, he couldn’t shape the words or even move toward her.
That didn’t discourage her. “And then I say, ‘Thank you, Dave, I’d love to.’ ”

She stepped forward and some muscle memory or instinct or pure blind need had him raising his arms so she could step into them.

As Cassidy raised her arms and twined her hands around the back of his neck, as she pressed the front of her body lightly against him, his blood stirred. Oh God. Small, firm breasts lightly brushing his chest. Curved hips swaying gently as he and she shuffled in place. The heat of her back through wrinkled cotton, the total femininity of a bra strap under his fingers.

Later in the book, after Dave’s and Cassidy’s lives and relationship have become very complicated, that same song is on the radio after they’ve had a fight, and it helps them regain perspective and apologize to each other. And later still, Dave realizes how that song speaks to his love for her.

Yep, easy song, indeed. If only they were ALL that easy!

Here’s the description:

Dave Cousins, owner of the Wild Rose Inn, is known throughout Caribou Crossing as the nicest—and loneliest—guy in town. He’s had his heart broken more than once, and he’s determined not to let it happen again. So it’s no wonder he’s wary when a free-spirited drifter leaves him longing for more than just a steamy fling…

Like the wild goose tattooed on her shoulder, Cassidy Esperanza goes wherever the wind takes her. For her, a new day means a fresh start. And yet something about her days in Caribou Crossing—and nights with its handsome hotel owner—makes her think about staying a while. But when life takes an unexpected turn, her first instinct is to take flight once more. Is Dave strong enough to help them both face their fears, come to terms with the past, and believe that sometimes love truly can last a lifetime?

Buy links

Amazon

Kobo

B&N Nook

BAM

Chapters

IndieBound

Audible (audio book)

Personal links

website

Facebook

Goodreads

.

Remember, the Featured New Book Spotlight is open to any author with a book that’s new to our readers around here. Got a book? Got a friend with a book? Send ’em over. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it’s free.

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Spotlight, Spotlight, Who’s in the Spotlight?

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Tell your friends. It’s easy, it’s free, and it’ll have you looking at your book with fresh eyes.

The Featured New Book Spotlight.

One question. One song. Your chance to reach the world.

(THIS is a crummy way to start the week. Just sayin’)

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Heir to Alexandria by Susan Leigh Noble

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I’m still basking in the return to posting here. Ahh, life is grand.

HeirAlexandria_ebookcover

Let’s welcome author Susan Leigh Noble today, shall we? Her book came out two weeks ago, so it’s going to be new to most of us. It’s called The Heir to Alexandria, and here’s the song that makes her think of it:

I would like to thank Susan for allowing me to spotlight my new release The Heir to Alexandria. I struggled with finding a song that represented my story. There aren’t many songs that seemed to right fit for a fantasy novel. I finally chose Nowhere to Run by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

While my main character Alista is not running from love, I thought the line “Got Nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide” fit on two different levels. First, Alista cannot avoid going for testing as the heir to Alexandria. The one time she tries to run, she is brought back in chains. And second, the secret society, the Order of the Black Dragon, relentlessly pursues anyone marked for testing and with the use of magic, makes hiding nearly impossible.

Woot! Old school! Did you guys know I simply adore this sort of music?? Well, I DO.

So the book sounds like it’s got a bit of the dystopian to it, doesn’t it? Nowhere to run to? Yeah. Definitely.

Here’s the official book description:

Believed the descendants of the Gods themselves,
The Alexandria line ensured peace,
Until they were brutally murdered.
But rumor spread a maid escaped with the youngest daughter.

Now as the world rushes toward a period of unrest, the nations’ Kings continue their 200-year-long-search for the Heir to Alexandria – the one person who can bring peace and stability through divine power.

Alista has her own search – for the parents who abandoned her as a baby years ago. When her only lead proves to be a dead end, she heads to the capital with a reluctant escort. Grayson is just following his aunt’s order, but he would rather be on one of his solitary scouting missions for the Landra Guard. However, when Alista unintentionally curses a guard in front of the King’s court, everything changes for both of them.

Now forced to travel to Covington for testing, danger lurks at every turn as a secret society strives to prevent the return of the Alexandria line. Are Alista’s visions of the future enough to save herself and those traveling with her?

That doesn’t sound quite so dystopian, does it? In fact, this description makes it hard to not run out and grab a copy right now. (But it’s Amazon exclusive, so those of us who have different e-ink e-readers are left in the cold.)

If you’re so inclined, here’s the link. Use it for yourself and your friends.

Amazon

Connect with the awesomely named Susan:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Bitten by Snake Oil by Shiloh Saddler

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Out of the blue came an inquiry: do you post about m/m romances?

Of course, I said. I am an equal-opportunity promoter — it’s not as if my own books weren’t banned from certain sites due to Trevor’s adoration for the f word, and every other word found objectionable (and some that aren’t).

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So without further ado, here’s Shiloh with word of what song makes her think of her new book, Bitten by Snake Oil (that’s a super title, btw. Maybe even a great band name.)

I’d like to thank Susan for giving me the spotlight for my new release Bitten by Snake Oil. It is a M/M erotic historical western romance with fantasy elements. So what song makes me think of my book? My story is written in first person from the point of view of my blacksmith Jed Riker. There aren’t too many songs written about blacksmiths. I thought I’d come across an old western song or maybe one from the Civil War. Nope.

I actually ran across this song while putting together a Pinterest board for Bitten by Snake Oil. I’d never heard it before. It is simply called Blacksmith Song by Tom Willoughby.

The music video is a homemade simple slideshow, but the words of the song speak to me and to my book. I know Jed Riker would love this song. Jed is proud of his work, is a respected member of Tumbleweed, a small Kansas town, and he works hard to support himself and his elderly mother-in-law. I am going to write a sequel to Bitten by Snake Oil and this song almost makes me want to give Jed an apprentice so he can pass on his knowledge.

 

Shiloh’s got a great point. When was the last time you saw a book about a blacksmith? Heck, I’d read it for that and that alone.

Ready for the description?

Since the death of his wife four years ago, blacksmith Jed Riker has been fighting his attraction to men. When sexy medicine-show man Peter Saint comes into Tumbleweed, Kansas, Jed buys his potion hoping for a cure, but receives vivid erotic dreams of the perfectly built salesman instead.

Jed’s uses all his strength and energy to fight the attraction in a town where the local preacher’s hellfire and damnation sermons promise repercussions if he dares to act on them. Can Peter Saint’s potions offer a solution and free the blacksmith to live and love as he wishes and not as his closed-minded neighbors demand?

 

Now there’s a question that resonates with many. Nicely done, Shiloh!

Pick up your copy.

Buy Links:

Decadent

Amazon | Amazon UK

B&N

Kobo

iTunes

Smashwords

 

Shiloh Social Media Links:
Blog: http://shilohsaddler.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shiloh.saddler?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShilohSaddler

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/shilohsaddler/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00H6CN5D4

 

And remember, if you read it and are moved by it (good or bad!), a few words of review at GoodReads and the point of purchase will help Shiloh immensely. The best way to give back to an author, other than buying her books, is to leave a quick review.

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Featured New Book: Holiday Delay

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It’s Monday. Where’s the Featured New Book?

On delay. I’ve got fun stuff from author Shiloh Saddler, but I’m pushing to finish up this edit before Christmas Eve. Add in a sick kid and … yeah. The chaos over here has intensified.

Stay tuned. Good books and better tunes (or is that the other way around? You’ll have to come back and read to decide!) await.

So does this client, and wait until you read these books. Inventive as anything!

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Featured New Book Spotlight … Goes Dark?

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I love doing the Featured New Book Spotlight. I’ve hosted a huge number of authors for this spot, and not once has the song choice failed to interest me. It’s widened my music horizons and I’ve heard from readers that the author did such a good job on their post, the reader went out and bought the book. So I know this feature is more than just another link in a line of links. I know it sells books. People tell me when they buy.

But finding authors to fill the spotlight has gotten harder and harder, even as there are more and more authors out there, promoting their books aggressively.

So what gives? Is one question too many? Is it too hard a question? Is it that I’m not looking to run the same thing as twenty others? Or is it that now that West of Mars isn’t ranked in the top 125,000 anymore (according to Alexa), I’m not worth the time and energy?

The Featured New Book Spotlight is a free service, folks. Well, unless you want to reserve your date, and then I’m charging a measly five bucks. I see authors shelling out hundreds of dollars for book tours or book reviews, sometimes protesting they can’t afford to have their book edited.

Ahh, maybe that’s it. West of Mars has evolved over the years, from an author’s site to an editor’s business platform.

Don’t be worried I’ll try to sell you an edit. Sure, I may mention it if we chat (“If you’re ever in the market, come on back and I’ll work up a sample for you” is my usual refrain, if the conversation gets that far), but do I mean it? At the moment, sure. My door is always open to new clients. But mostly, I do it to be polite. To put it in your head that I’m here, and maybe you’ll share my name with your friends — either for the Spotlight or for editing work.

But that’s only if we chat and the conversation goes in a direction where I can bring it up. If we don’t, no loss. We’ve still had a nice interaction, I’ve been able to help you promote your book — and at the end of the day, helping each other is what matters. At the end of the day, I run the Featured New Book Spotlight because I want to see authors succeed.

So spread the word, will ya? Featured New Book Spotlight. Open to all authors, of any genre. Free unless you want to reserve a specific date. No hard sell for the editing services.

Consider this my labor of love.

And watch for something new and even more fun on the horizon, doubling your opportunity to play along and get word of your book out there.

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Featured New Book: In the Shadows of the Onion Domes by Mary Pat Hyland

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I’m not even sure how Mary Pat Hyland and I met. Over Twitter, I think it was — so for all you who don’t use Twitter to chat and network and make new friends, see what you’re missing out on?

9781502358646_p0_v1_s260x420

 

So let’s get to business: Mary Pat, what song reminds you of your book?

This is a great question, and as part of my promotion for my new
collection of short stories, In the Shadows of the Onion Domes, I already
created a playlist on my facebook page.

This song, “Secret O’ Life” by James Taylor, I linked to the final story
in the book “The Reluctant Magnolia.” That tale is about a woman recently
widowed who is forced to downsize her life, painfully aware of the
downward slide ahead. But I think the universal themes in Taylor’s lyrics
fit all of the stories.

The connecting thread in this collection of eighteen stories is the fact
that they’re all set in the same river valley in Upstate New York. It’s an
area settled by a major influx of European settlers seeking manufacturing
jobs during the first half of the twentieth century. Each group bought
its own perspectives and unique flavor that remains to this day. (There
are many Orthodox churches throughout the valley and their “onion domes”
help define its skyline.)

These stories follow families, college students, couples, friends and the
recently widowed, each presented with the challenges of life, love and the
rapid changes that come with the passage of time. “Einstein said that he
could never understand it all,” Taylor sings.

Each tale has a different treatment. Some are sweet, others tinged with
bitterness, and since these take place in the childhood hometown of writer
Rod Serling, some carry a definite Twilight Zone vibe. Two are sudden
fiction, under five hundred words, and “The Reluctant Magnolia” is
novella-length.

I think of them all as drawings in a sketchbook, trying to capture moments
in this “lovely ride” we call life and reminding us to “enjoy the passage
of time.”

Okay, how about you? I’m fascinated. This sounds like the sort of thing I’d love to read, to savor a story each night before bed… it takes me back to my grad student days, when I was an MFA in creative writing and I read short stories the way, one each night, and thought about it as I went to sleep…

Ahh, the memories. I still remember how that bed felt; it wasn’t the most comfortable thing my money has ever purchased. But still… It was mine!

Back to the collection. Here’s the back cover copy, just in case you need to know more.

By the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango rivers in New York’s
Southern Tier lies a verdant valley called the Triple Cities.

The shoe factories that originally drew thousands of immigrants from
across Europe have long moved on.

What remains are the distinct ethnic flavors of a gritty community
determined to overcome economic woes, adapt to the rapid changes in
society and find true meaning in life.

Consider these stories as pages ripped from a sketchbook. Some are quick
studies; others are more detailed portraits inspired by observed
characters, whispered gossip, overheard conversations and the local lore
of the residents whose neighborhoods are framed by the gilded Orthodox
Church domes that span this valley.

You’ll find that each tale has its own tone: some are humorous or
poignant, others are surprising and haunting.

Pick up a copy!

CreateSpace
Amazon U.S.
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

The book will be available via Smashwords and other ebook retailers in
late January 2015

(but I don’t wanna wait! Daddy, I want a golden egg NOW.)

Connect with Mary Pat. She’s fun to chat with!

Website
Blog
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter

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Featured New Book: Intimate Details by Tina Donahue

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I’ve known Tina Donahue via Triberr for awhile now. She’s prolific, and if you like your romance on the steamy side, check her out. And even if not, read on ’cause her song choice is way cool.

td-intimatedetails-full (2)

Katy Perry’s Roar – that baby is spot on. In Intimate Details, Shana’s not
taking it anymore. Despite a tragic and hidden past, she’s now a
world-class computer hacker, bringing down one of Manhattan’s most corrupt
executives. A far cry from when she was the victim. Now, Shana demands
justice, which gets her involved with two of the hottest men in town, Mike
and Cody. They’ve never met anyone quite like Shana, smart as hell, sexy
as sin. These guys will do whatever it takes to keep her safe and in their
arms…

I love that song. Simply love it.

Tina’s explanation does a pretty good job of telling us what the book’s about, no? But here’s the official description anyway:

As a computer hacker, she demands justice.
As a woman, she craves two powerful and commanding men.

Shana’s been hacking one of Manhattan’s most corrupt executives, making
him pay for what he’s done to his victims. Using her skills, she convinces
Mike and Cody to hire her at their intelligence-gathering firm, where
intimate details help their clients.

Never has Mike met a woman as delicious as Shana. Smart as hell, curvy and
assured, she’d be a delightful challenge in bed. Cody’s carnal hunger is
equally intense. He and Mike want to know everything about her.

She won’t divulge the secrets of her past. All she can offer is
unquenchable desire and her heart.

During weeks of shameless lust and pleasure, Mike and Cody peel away the
layers of Shana’s life. The stunning truth changes everything. They’ll do
all that they can to keep her safe…and in their arms.

Pick up your copy, exclusively at BookStrand.

Connect with Tina!
FB Fanpage
Email
Website
Blog
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook
Triberr
Pinterest
Amazon author page
My page at TRR
EC Author Page
Samhain Author Page

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Featured New Book: Collide Into You by Kelly Washington

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I can’t recall if Kelly Washington has stopped in at West of Mars before. I know her alter ego, Della Roth (formerly Jean 8), has.

Kelly’s good people. Special people in my world. So don’t just read this post. Be sure you go pick up a copy of her newest romance, Collide Into You. Here’s why.

unnamed

What song makes me think of my book? “Afraid” by The Neighborhood.

YouTube link (with lyrics!) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsLMoxa6xZ0, the key lyrics being, “When I wake up, I’m afraid somebody else might take my place.” (Note the explicit version of this song.)

Now, this song is somewhat on the darker/moodier side, and my novel, Collide Into You, is a romantic comedy with a “touch of magic”. Hmmm… these two emotions don’t exactly mix, now do they? However, this is a body swap romantic comedy and, one day, my two romantic leads (Keira and Dillan) literally wake up as somebody else–each other–with hilarious and touching results.>

Sounds good, huh? Here’s the description:

When twenty-seven-year-old Army Sergeant Keira Holtslander, an orderly and rule-loving intelligence analyst, is reassigned to the Pentagon for a special assignment, she agrees to room with her brother’s best friend, Dillan Pope. But there’s a problem. Several, in fact. He’s sarcastic, egotistical, full of himself, extremely attractive, and a womanizer. Within a matter of days, her life is chaos. She didn’t like him when they met nine years ago, and her opinion isn’t likely to change now.

Dillan Pope, a thirty-year-old career businessman climbing his way up the corporate ladder, has learned to use his looks, charm, and sexual skills to his advantage. There isn’t much he cannot accomplish. Women easily tumble into his bed and business deals come about effortlessly. But when his best friend’s little sister moves in, he knows he’s in trouble. She’s rather hostile toward him, which takes him by surprise. Not even his patented smile works on her, but maybe that’s why Keira, aka Sergeant Prim and Proper, has always been the one girl he hasn’t been able to forget since their first meeting, nine years ago.

When a meddling barista puts a charm on the roommates, causing them to swap bodies, they must live as the other until they both own up to some hard truths. They quickly learn that panic, fighting, and accusations will get them nowhere. Until they can learn the lessons they refuse to acknowledge, they experience life as the other. Along the way they are forced to concede that maybe the other isn’t so bad.

Maybe there’s a reason they hated each other. And admitting the feelings that lay hidden may be the only way to undo the switch.

 

Nice, huh? I’ve … read this one. If you get my drift. Yes, I’m biased.

Get your own copy, exclusively at Amazon.

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Featured New Book Update: The Fallen Angels of Karnataka by Hans Hirschi

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So it came to my attention that a Featured New Book post had shown up with the funky formatting I’ve struggled with since the website’s redesign. (If anyone is a website maintenance person, who can help work on the site on a regular basis without charging me two arms, a leg, and my firstborn, holler.)

The funky formatting meant you couldn’t read Hans’ reply to the famed one-question interview.

So here’s the link.

Or better yet, here’s Hans’ answer:

Eagle, by ABBA
This was not an easy question to answer and and I’ve been tossing and turning over this for a long time, as the story of the book is not very pop or rock even. I’ve contemplated pieces from Mozart’s Requiem (too somber as it is) to Beethoven’s Fifth (too majestic and pompous) to glamrock (too duh!) before I finally settled on a song.

I ended up settling on this particular song from my favorite musical group (yeah, I am THAT old), because the lyrics do speak to some of the core beliefs expressed in the book, and lyrics are as important to a good song as the cover is to a good book. Fallen Angels obviously can’t fly, but the question the book raises is what it takes to make them fly again, and the eagle from the song does: “high, high, what a feeling to fly over mountains and forests and seas, and to go anywhere that I please, a symbol of hope and above all freedom.” And it is the freedom that our fallen angels need more than anything else to be able to soar and fly once again.

But the eagle also symbolizes Haakon, who’s traveled far, who’s seen the world, who’s got great stories to tell.. Listen och enjoy one of my favorite songs from Sweden’s greatest music export ever, and enjoy a corny 70s music video!

And the book description:

In an isolated mountain town in Norway, Haakon dreams of traveling the world, pursuing adventure, seeing great places, finding love. His very first trip to London with friends from university offers much promise, yet soon after tragedy strikes. Still young, and mourning the loss of his lover, Haakon is not ready to give up on his dream, so when a rich Englishman offers him the chance to join him on a tour of the world, Haakon takes it, daring to believe that his dream is finally coming true: but at what price?

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is a novel filled with adventure, life’s hard-learned lessons, loss, despicable evil, and finally, love and redemption.

A remarkable story that will have readers hooked until the end. Denny Patterson, Vital VOICE Magazine

 

You know you need a copy. I sure do!
Amazon
B&N

Connect with Hans. You’ll be glad you did.
website
blog
Release Trailer
All about Hans

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Featured New Book: Broken by Susan Helene Gottfried

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Yeah, so it’s tacky to feature myself. But it’s been quiet around here again; what’s with these spurts?

Broken_One

So… what song makes me think of my short story? Like many before me, it’s a hard choice. Ozzy’s Crazy Train is an option ’cause if there’s anything going on with Ice  Cubes in Hell, it’s a crazy train. This band is dysfunction city — and sadly familiar to many of us inside the biz.

Maybe I’d settle on Nothing More’s breakout song, This is the Time (Ballast) — as a warning to my fictional friends that what gets revealed this night needs to be moved past.

Or there’s my son’s favorite song (Not): Katy Perry’s Roar, since Broken describes the events that happen when T finds her voice — although she’s never been the sort to bury it in the first place. T’s a pretty in-your-face sort of woman. I like her for what it’s worth.

The Amity Affliction’s Pittsburgh? A definite contender, as this band, these people are lost and drowning.

Funnily enough — or not — I have three of these songs in my Spotify playlist that keeps me company at work. I bet you can’t figure out which is the one not on the list…  And yes, I’m sticking to these four. It’s MY site, MY interview question. I get to break the rules.

Here’s the long description for Broken:

For T and the rest of Ice Cubes in Hell, it’s a routine night backstage after their set, opening for the notorious Vanessa Kontempt. The party’s in full swing when T walks in, but she’s not in the mood. Not tonight. Things spiral downward when she finds some groupies raiding her stage clothes. One breaks the heel off her favorite boot, and as T confronts the band’s tour manager about the destruction, secrets are revealed. Secrets which might tear the band apart … or bring them closer.

The story won’t be released until the 15th — that’s just next week! — but you can preorder it now.

Smashwords  (Uhh, no affiliate link this time. Go figure.)

Amazon

 

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Featured New Book: Measure Twice by JJ Hensley

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Ahh, the beauty of writers’ groups. If you’re a writer, find yourself one. Find a good group of folk who don’t merely lift you up when you need it, but who always always always lift your writing up.

Author JJ Hensley is in one of my writer’s groups. He’s also one of the few people who knows what I look like, so be extra nice to him and maybe he’ll spill the goods. Of course, we’ve only seen each other face to face once, and that was at a table in a restaurant, so who knows how much of me he actually saw.

Measure Twice 750 x 1200 jpeg

Anyway, JJ’s got a new book out, Measure Twice. He’s garnering some good reviews, so be sure to check them out, as well as the book.

Let’s get down to business. JJ, what song makes you think of your book?

Man of Constant Sorrow

 

This is a traditional folk song that has been covered by multiple artists since 1913.  Many people are familiar with the tune from the George Clooney movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?  However, I’m not really into folk music, so the version I like is by a hard rock band called Charm City Devils. 

 

My new novel, Measure Twice, is a story about addiction, recovery, and the search for redemption. An addict, Lester Mayton, is methodically killing Pittsburgh city officials and Homicide Detective Jackson Channing is on the case. However, Channing has his own addiction and a dark secret that is tearing him apart.

 

Like true men of constant sorrow, both of these characters struggle to be free of their addictions in very different ways. Mayton’s addiction to religion has to be broken if he is to complete his terrifying plan, while Channing’s alcoholism is threatening his career and his sanity.

 

The novel is divided into 12 chapters, or “steps”, mirroring the 12 steps of recovery as defined by Narcotics Anonymous. This literary 12 step program propels the reader through a plot unlike any other.

 

While the lyrics of Man of Constant Sorrow do not exactly reflect the content of Measure Twice, the underlying theme of the song makes me think of the novel.  In fact, this song pops into my head whenever I think about the climax of the story and envision the scene. 

 

And I certainly do not see George Clooney.

 

Charm City Devils. Good choice, JJ! And killing Pittsburgh officials… why do I think this was written near the end of the Ravenstahl administration?

Ready for what the book is about? I sure am.

Lester Mayton is struggling to break free from his addiction. In his particular case, the drug of choice is religion. Now with his wife dead and city officials to blame, Mayton is out for revenge. In order to commit the atrocities necessary to spread his message of justice, he must change his ways and become the evil he has always abhorred.

Pittsburgh Homicide Detective Jackson Channing is struggling to break free from his own addiction. His alcoholism may have already cost him his marriage and now threatens to sweep away his sanity. Ever since he and his partner were brutally tortured by a sadistic murderer, his life has spun out of control. Following a failed suicide attempt, Channing decides his life must have some meaning and the only way he can put the pieces back together is to break free of his addiction and commit acts of redemption.
When the body of a city official is discovered in a public location, the entire city of Pittsburgh bears witness to a form of evil that is difficult to comprehend. Channing learns the killer is patient, methodical, and precise. In order to stop the killing, Channing will have to pull his life together and come to terms with a secret that is tearing him apart.

With each chapter of this thriller representing one of the 12 steps of addiction recovery, Measure Twice is a story of personal struggle, revenge, and the search for redemption. Pay attention throughout this heart-pounding pursuit. The details are important because every cut is lethal.

 

Now, I don’t usually delve into author bios, but here, I feel like I need to. That’s ’cause, you see, JJ? He’s the real deal. Former cop and Special Agent with the US Secret Service. Cool, huh?

I know neat people. Love it.

So. Ready to pick up your copy?

Smashwords (affiliate link, so be sure to use it. Those three cents add up!)

Amazon

And before I’m out of here for the day, let me make one more comment about why you should pick this up: a portion of the sales for Measure Twice go toward breast cancer research through the non-profit group Par for The Cure. Anyone who’s read my Trevor’s Song knows this is an issue near and dear to my heart. 

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Featured New Book: The Fallen Angels of Karnataka by Hans Hirschi

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The best part of Twitter is being able to chat with people and get to know them. And so it has been with my buddy Hans Hirschi, who I first met through Triberr. (Can I be involved in any more social media that start with the letter T?)

I don’t think I knew Hans when he put out his first six books, but I’m here now, and glad of it. Let’s get busy. Hans, what song makes you think of your book, The Fallen Angels of Karnataka?

fallenangels_front_final

 
Eagle, by ABBA
This was not an easy question to answer and and I’ve been tossing and turning over this for a long time, as the story of the book is not very “pop” or “rock” even. I’ve contemplated pieces from Mozart’s Requiem (too somber as it is) to Beethoven’s Fifth (too majestic and pompous) to glamrock (too duh!) before I finally settled on a song.

I ended up settling on this particular song from my favorite musical group (yeah, I am THAT old), because the lyrics do speak to some of the core beliefs expressed in the book, and lyrics are as important to a good song as the cover is to a good book. Fallen Angels obviously can’t fly, but the question the book raises is what it takes to make them fly again, and the eagle from the song does “high, high, what a feeling to fly over mountains and forests and seas, and to go anywhere that I please”, a symbol of hope and – above all – freedom. And it is the freedom that our fallen angels need more than anything else to be able to soar and fly once again.

But the eagle also symbolizes Haakon, who’s traveled far, who’s seen the world, who’s got great stories to tell.. Listen och enjoy one of my favorite songs from Sweden’s greatest music export ever, and enjoy a corny 70s music video!

A corny 70s  music video… Oh, and you wonder why I have grown to love Hans? His sense of humor is right up my alley.

So what’s the book about?

In an isolated mountain town in Norway, Haakon dreams of traveling the world, pursuing adventure, seeing great places, finding love. His very first trip to London with friends from university offers much promise, yet soon after tragedy strikes. Still young, and mourning the loss of his lover, Haakon is not ready to give up on his dream, so when a rich Englishman offers him the chance to join him on a tour of the world, Haakon takes it, daring to believe that his dream is finally coming true…but at what price?

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is a novel filled with adventure, life’s hard-learned lessons, loss, despicable evil, and finally, love and redemption.

“A remarkable story that will have readers hooked until the end.” – Denny Patterson, Vital VOICE Magazine

You know you need a copy. I sure do!
Amazon
B&N

Connect with Hans. You’ll be glad you did.
website
blog
Release Trailer
All about Hans

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Still Empty

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What?

Usually, there’s a line for the Featured New Book Spotlight.

Makes me think no one’s releasing books this time of year (and if you’re an author and this is true, this may be the best time for a release ’cause there’s not as much competition — and  you can build up reviews to help get noticed in the Christmas buying sprees).

Do you have a new release? Did your friends? With the new preorder abilities at the major retailers, you can let your book have the spotlight before it’s released. All we need is buy links.

And have I mentioned it’s a one-question interview? ONE.

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