Category Archives: Featured New Book

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
Facebook
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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Susan’s Promo Tales: Let’s Fire Up the New Book Spotlight Again!

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Back before I got hurt, I was running the Featured New Book Spotlight pretty consistently. For years. YEARS.

And then I went and fell off my bike and spent the past year recovering and pretty much let anything but medical needs and paid editing gigs fall by the wayside. Makes sense, no?

But although there’s at least one more surgery ahead, it’s supposedly an easy, in-office zap with a laser. Minimal recovery time, and I say that as someone who had to fight with herself to honor the recovery time on the cataract surgery.

Which means it’s time to pick up the pieces that have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for me. And one of them is the Featured New Book Spotlight.

It’s easy. It’s simple!

If you think you have a book that my readers aren’t familiar with (and there’s a clue in there, if you’re quick enough to catch it), stop in. The directions are on their own page here, or I’ll list them right here, right now for you.

1. Answer this question: What song makes you think of your book?
(Remember: this is your chance to hook your potential reader, so you may want to explain.)

2. Provide the YouTube link to it, just in case I dig up the one you didn’t intend anyone to ever associate with your book.

3. Provide the book description.

4. Provide buy links.

5. Provide social media links that you’d like to share.

And that’s it! I run them in the order they show up in my inbox, unless you want a specific date. Then I charge a $5 fee, and let me tell you, when I’ve been busy, that fee is necessary. At my heyday of the Featured New Book Spotlight, I was scheduling pretty far out. You guys were clawing for dates.

Let’s get back to that. Because if you’re willing to be flexible, I’m willing to give you space here. For free. (Oh, and once your post is scheduled, it can’t be bumped, either.)

Drop me a line. Let’s feature you in the Spotlight.

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Featured New Book Spotlight: The Absconded by Michael C Bayer

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And we’re back! Thanks as always to the amazing and wonderful Magnolia Belle for creating really cool graphics for us. If you don’t know Belle, I suggest getting to know her. Pick up a copy of Lady Gwendolyn, why don’t you?

But we’re not here to talk much more about Belle, unfortunately. (But once she puts out a new book…)

Today’s brave soul is Michael C Bayer, and I might or might not have read an earlier draft of this one. And I am definitely dying to see how it turned out in the end!

Michael put The Absconded out back in November, and now that the holidays are over and we need some distraction, he’s decided to see how many West of Mars Fans he can entice to read his book. I know you guys won’t let him down…

Ready?

Here goes…

Michael, what song makes you think of your book?

That was a tough one, since I listened to a lot of music while writing The Absconded. But once I turned everything off and started thumbing through a couple of chapters, I realized that the song I listened to the most while writing it was Take Flight by Lindsey Sterling. Give it (and the rest of her songs) a listen. There’s an ebb and flow, highs, lows and struggles in the song that match the plights of three of my main characters – Kaliria, K’Pol and Scott. To varying degrees, each one finds themselves thrown off a cliff. They can either plummet or take flight (natch!), and some do it better than others. That, and when creating my characters, I always have a style of music in mind for each one. For one of the aliens, whenever she listens to music (from her world, not ours), to me it was always Lindsey Sterling. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which character enjoys her music. Lastly, since this is my first novel, I was taking flight myself. There you have it! If you take a chance on my novel, please feel free to leave feedback.

You guys know I’m all about leaving reviews… they are important things!

This is also the spot in which I confess that I’m a Lindsey Sterling fan. Not all of her stuff, but an awful lot of it. And her single with Lzzy Hale of Halestorm? One of those songs I just cannot ever get enough of. So I concur: she is an incredible artist to be inspired by.

So. What’s the book actually about? Here’s the back cover copy:

Unfortunately for Scott, aliens exist. Snatched from Earth, he finds himself added to their collection of creatures gathered from throughout the universe. His cage is a window to the wondrous varieties of life, and the atrocities that can be inflicted upon it. Atrocities that are clues of what awaits him.

Nearby is Kaliria, a furred being that’s equal parts wild and wily. A long, torturous captivity has filled her with a righteous rage. She spends her days alone, simmering in her cramped confinement, pining for the fields and forests of her world. Pining for companionship.

While happenstance makes Kaliria and Scott neighbors, it’s desperation that makes them allies. In order to survive, they must overcome each other’s language, culture and mistrust, all while keeping their interactions hidden from their captors. And if they succeed, there’s still one more obstacle to surmount — escaping an alien ship traveling through space.

Get your copy — but only if you’re a Kindle reader! (aargh, I know!)

Personal links!

My self-publishing imprint. It’s run by a very energetic corn snake.

My Amazon author page

My Facebook page is still a work in progress

Just a reminder: The Featured New Book Spotlight runs on Mondays, when I have submissions. So send them in! Send your friends over here, too. It’s free (unless you want to reserve a date) and it’s easy and it’s fun. What more can you ask for?

And another reminder: If you want to post a review but are squeamish about any typos or if you need help, I’m always glad to tip my editor’s pen in your direction, and for a super cheap amount, too. Reviews are important for authors, and there’s no need to feel insecure about yours. Not on my watch. Drop me a line and I’ll be glad to help you out.

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Featured New Book: The Heartbeat Thief by AJ Krafton

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I hadn’t heard from my cross-state music-loving buddy AJ Krafton in awhile. I figured she must be busily writing in a cave somewhere. And, of course, I was right.

The Heartbeat Thief_AJ Krafton_Kindle cover

Ash is back with a paperback release of The Heartbeat Thief, and… well, let’s get right to it. I have a feeling I’m really going to like her song choice.

Senza Fyne, Senzafine: The Musical Inspiration behind AJ Krafton’s THE HEARTBEAT THIEF

I’ve always been inspired by music. Words are powerful things but somehow, when they are sung, they gain an extra layer of strength and intent, especially when the singer pours their heart and their emotion into each note, each line.

I tend to listen to music that is emotionally-laden. My writing playlists lean heavily toward rock and metal—Type O Negative, Blind Guardian, My Chemical Romance, and especially the Italian band Lacuna Coil.

Lacuna Coil’s songs take me to a place where urban fantasy becomes real. Their song “Our Truth” from the album Karmacode even appeared in one of the Underworld movies. What can be more urbanly fantastic than a movie about vampires and werewolves and (quite literally) everything in between?

While I have lots of favorite LC titles, the top of the list is Senzafine, one of their Italian-language songs.

Senzafine is the Italian word for “without end” or “endless”. It’s the word that inspired the main character’s name: Senza Fyne. It also told her story.

It wasn’t only the title that inspired the character. The lyrics themselves and their underlying interpretation accurately portray the internal struggle Senza experiences and is the perfect companion piece to the story.

This video of Senzafine contains an English translation of the lyrics so that you can enjoy the song, even if you don’t speak Italian. (It also has live clips of LC, which makes me very happy. I love seeing them in concert!)

While the provided translation may not be perfect, it does get the gist of it. The female singer expresses her desire to break free of her life, her destiny. The male voice sings of darker things, the force that fights against the female. There is a constant battle between good and evil and the female admits that is sometimes hard to choose between them. There is also the realization that she must be prepared to live alone, dependent upon only herself.

And that, to me, sounds very much like the symphony of Senza’s determined heart.

Playing opposite to Senza is a tall, mysterious stranger who teases her with secretive smiles and suggestions of magic. From their first meeting, he calls her bien-aime, which is French for “beloved”. When she demands his name, he listens to the tolling of a nearby church bell before calling himself Mr. Knell.

But he has an older name. A much older name. And it will take Senza a very, very long time before she realizes just who he truly is.

The song “Senzafine” fits him, too. One particular verse fits Senza’s dark seducer perfectly. In fact, I believe the last lines belong to him.

Non c’e scelta senza me
Non c’e vita senza me

There’s no choice without me
There’s no life without me

And Senza utterly believes him.

I hope you’ll read The Heartbeat Thief and keep these words somewhere in the back of your heart. And when you finish, and you close the book, think back upon Senza and her struggle to escape her destined life. Think back upon Knell and think back upon those last lines. I hope you’ll find them as deliciously poignant as I do.

Most of all, think back upon your own feelings, and firmly resolve to resist destiny’s plans for you and choose your own, instead. The song will still be there to inspire you on your journey.

I’d never heard that song before; guess I’m only a casual Lacuna Coil fan (sorry, Ash!).

Ready for the book description? I sure am.

Haunted by a crushing fear of death, a young Victorian woman discovers the secret of eternal youth—she must surrender her life to attain it, and steal heartbeats to keep it.

In 1860 Surrey, a young woman has only one occupation: to marry. Senza Fyne is beautiful, intelligent, and lacks neither wealth nor connections. Finding a husband shouldn’t be difficult, not when she has her entire life before her. But it’s not life that preoccupies her thoughts. It’s death—and that shadowy spectre haunts her every step.

So does Mr. Knell. Heart-thumpingly attractive, obviously eligible—he’d be her perfect match if only he wasn’t so macabre. All his talk about death, all that teasing about knowing how to avoid it…

When her mother arranges a courtship with another man, Senza is desperate for escape from a dull prescripted destiny. Impulsively, she takes Knell up on his offer. He casts a spell that frees her from the cruelty of time and the threat of death—but at a steep price. In order to maintain eternal youth, she must feed on the heartbeats of others.

From the posh London season to the back alleys of Whitechapel, across the Channel, across the Pond, across the seas of Time…

How far will Senza Fyne go to avoid Death?

Yeah, this is cool stuff. What an original concept.

Get your copy now.
Amazon universal link to The Heartbeat Thiefhttp://viewBook.at/thief
(redirects international users to their local Amazon domains)

Aargh! What IS it with the Amazon exclusive books???

But remember: if you do pick it up, a few words in a review is a great way to show support for a book that touched you — good OR bad. (but it won’t be bad. It just won’t be.)

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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.

 

RELEASING THE DEMONS2_505x825 (2)

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!

DancingStilettos_CVR_XSML

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!

alphasvoodoo

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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