Dec 302013

Chrys Fey dropped into my inbox out of the blue. No idea whose friend she is, who sent her to me, or … well, anything! Except she’s got amazing, positive energy and I like her already.

She’s bringing us her debut today, a slick-looking book called Hurricane Crimes.


Before we get to the blurb, Chrys, what song makes you think of your book?

Hurricane by 30 Seconds to Mars

Hurricane Crimes, my short romantic-suspense story, is about a woman who finds herself trapped with a man during a category 5 hurricane. Not only does the title of this song fit the theme of my debut eBook perfectly, it is also by my favorite band.

The lyrics in “Hurricane” remind me of Beth Kennedy and Donovan Goldwyn. Beth wants to escape Donovan, but the hurricane forces her to stay inside with a man she can’t trust. There is even a scene where she asks him if he is going to kill her, and a line in the song closely resembles that question. As hours go by, a fire starts to burn between them, a passion that neither of them can deny, but could kill at least one of them.

I included a video that has the lyrics for anyone interested in knowing the words.

NICE!!! I love meeting new authors who love the same music I do. Chrys, I hope you’ll hang out here at West of Mars more often. This is where the cool kids play.

So… how about a book description?

After her car breaks down, Beth Kennedy is forced to stay in Florida, the target of Hurricane Sabrina. She stocks up supplies, boards up windows, and hunkers down to wait out the storm, but her plan unravels when she witnesses a car accident. Risking her life, she braves the winds to save the driver. Just when she believes they are safe, she finds out the man she saved could possibly be more dangerous than the severe weather.

Donovan Goldwyn only wanted to hide from the police, but the hurricane shoved his car into a tree. Now he’s trapped with a beautiful woman while the evidence that can prove his innocence to a brutal crime is out there for anyone to find.

As Hurricane Sabrina wreaks havoc, Beth has no other choice but to trust Donovan to stay alive. But will she survive, or will she become another hurricane crime?

You Kindle users are in luck; the rest of us aren’t. The novella (51 pages!) is only available at Amazon right now.

Need some links? Of course you do!
Google +

Oct 012013

No better way to start off Rocktober than with a dear, dear friend of mine. Thomma Lyn is one of those people who are so musical, it just flows out of them. She’s recording her own music, too, and is a heck of writer.

She, my friends, is the complete package.

Her new book, Maestro, came out just a few weeks ago, so let’s get right down to business.


TL, what song makes you think of your book?

This one’s easy. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. This lush and romantic concerto plays a crucial role in the story of Maestro in that it enables the heroine, pianist Annasophia, to travel back in time and meet Maestro, her dear friend and mentor, at a time when he was young, vigorous, and close to her own age.

Here’s a YouTube link to a great version of Concerto No. 2, as played by Sviatoslav Richter, concert pianist extraordinaire and one of the inspirations for Maestro’s character.

So what is the book about? After a tease like that, stop holding out!

For Annasophia and Maestro, their love is ageless, and music is their door through time.

Annasophia Flynn is a young, classically-trained pianist and singer-songwriter who enjoys a special bond with Wilhelm Dahl, her older mentor and teacher whom she affectionately calls Maestro. Maestro is terminally ill, and Annasophia must come to grips with the fact that she’ll have to say goodbye to him soon.

But not so fast. Annasophia receives a mysterious email to which is attached a photo of her standing by the side of a virile and much-younger Maestro, years before she was born and during the height of his fame and power as a concert pianist. Either somebody’s doing some serious Photoshopping, or Annasophia traveled — or will travel — back in time, meaning that there’s more to her relationship with Maestro than meets the eye.

She visits Maestro in the hospital and shows him the photo. When he talks about a mysterious door and hums a few bars of a romantic Rachmaninoff concerto much beloved by them both, she is compelled to go home and play the piece on her piano. The concerto indeed turns out to be a door back through time, where she meets the younger Maestro, and they fall in love.

But staying in younger Maestro’s time proves tricky. For one thing, he has a son who will never be conceived or born if Annasophia stays and changes things. She starts to second guess herself and tries to go back to her own time, only to find, each time, that the timeline as she has known it has been altered. For another thing, Maestro’s very elegant and cunning ex-wife, Elena, is determined to get him back and makes up her mind to do everything she can to send Annasophia back to her own timeline for good, where she will have to say goodbye to Maestro forever.

You need a copy. I know you do.


Want to hang with me and the other cool kids and fans of TL?


Sep 162013

The best part of running the Featured New Book spotlight is learning new things about casual acquaintances. Jessica Topper is one such lady — she dropped into my inbox with the news that she’d been hiding the fact that she and I are soul sisters!

Read on… you’ll see why.


I’ve had a rock and roll day job for the past decade, and I’ve spent my evenings over the last five years writing this novel, so you could say that I eat, breathe and sleep music! LOUDER THAN LOVE features a recluse guitarist as one of its main characters (I call him my “heavy metal hero with a heart of gold”) and music weaves through the entire story, but if I had to pick just one song that makes me think of my book, it would be “Times Like These” by the Foo Fighters.

Most people are probably familiar with the electric version from the radio and album, but lately I cannot stop listening to this amazing acoustic version, featuring just Dave Grohl, a mic (along with a little bit of piano) and a guitar. I just love his slow and soulful treatment of it and the way it builds up to that powerful, passionate rock finish before dwindling down gently one last time. If I may be so bold, I think it perfectly parallels the way my story unfolds!

The chorus of “it’s times like these…you learn to live again” and “it’s times like these…you learn to love again” certainly resonates throughout the story as you meet Katrina Lewis, a level-headed librarian who has lost her husband in a freak train accident, and Adrian “Digger” Graves, a recovering and reclusive British rock star living quietly under the radar on Manhattan’s tony Central Park West.

Kat’s life has always had order and she is very focused; she’s like the “one way motorway” described in the song. She can’t make sense of staying where her husband Pete existed one day and not the next, so she has fled Manhattan with her infant daughter Abbey to the place where she existed before she knew him. In the sleepy suburban home of her childhood, she begins to heal through the comfort of a close-knit group of girlfriends.

Before being literally and figuratively burned by the music industry, Digger Graves had had the 80s rock world by its spandex-clad balls. In typical rock and roll fashion, he had seen it all, had done more than his share, and had lost almost everything. I definitely see him as “the white light blinding bright, burning off and on” as the song goes. He was a wonderful character to write: very raw, very genuine, and humble yet complicated. I hope he surprises people, as he turns out to be quite a contradiction in terms of what people may expect from his cocky, shock and doom rocker roots.

Librarian and rock star meet by chance in a chuckle-worthy case of mistaken identity four years after the wreck. The chemistry is undeniable, not only between Kat and Adrian, but between Adrian and young Abbey as well. Admittedly, his relationship with his own daughter Natalie is strained, but Adrian delights in getting to know Abbey, as well as her mother. It’s the second chance he hadn’t realized he’d even wanted in life, and he’s not totally sure he deserves it.

Although Adrian defies standard classification, Kat finds herself falling for him. She makes peace with his intimidating past…but she still has her own to wrestle with. To Adrian, Kat is like a desert flower; thorny but will hopefully some day bloom. But as more time goes by, the larger the ghosts loom…testing the stability of their newfound love and relationship. There is definitely a delicate balance between hope for the future, and heartbreak from the past, that brings this verse from the Foo Fighters’ song to mind:

I am a new day rising
I’m a brand new sky
To hang the stars upon tonight
I am a little divided
Do I stay or run away
And leave it all behind?

If you are in the mood for a love/loss/love again story and a good rock and roll read, I hope you will check out LOUDER THAN LOVE when it drops on September 17th! (And if you’re jonesing for the original Foo’s “Times Like These” after hearing my tale, here it is)

Nice, huh? I don’t think we even need the official blurb after that, but in case you do, here it is:

In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.

It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

Ooh… can’t wait. Jessica, how about a review copy? Pretty please?

Or quit begging and buy it, gang:
Barnes and Noble
Google Books

Need more of Jessica? I sure do (see that comment about soul mates..)


Sep 092013

Jaleta Clegg is another of my long-time friends. In fact, if you missed it, I hosted her a little over a year ago, when she had another new release. This might even be the same series… In fact, it is!

Jaleta cover

Don’t worry if you’re new to the series… read on.

Let’s start with the reason we’re here: Jaleta, What song makes you think of your book?

Chicago – We Can Last Forever. No, my book is not a sappy love story. It’s science fiction adventure, heavy on the action and explosions and fight scenes. But I have this thing for sappy 80s love songs. I write my action scenes with them playing in the background. My iTunes library is chock full of sappy love songs for that reason. I also have a lot of movie soundtracks because they make great mood music, but it’s the love songs I keep turning to for inspiration.

Love songs? Really? And we’re friends? Good thing Jaleta is awesome in so many, many other ways.

So if you’re looking for some good adventure, try Cold Revenge. It’s book 5 in the series, but don’t let that stop you. Each book was intended as a (mostly) stand-alone story with a complete beginning, middle, and end.

Cold Revenge – Revenge is a dish best served cold. Jerimon is about to serve Dace to the Targon syndicate. On ice.

It’s on Amazon exclusively!

Book series website – The Fall of the Altairan Empire

Jul 222013

The best part of this socially connected world of ours is that we get to meet neat people without ever getting out of our pajamas — and there’s no innuendo or impropriety about it.

Okay, maybe it’s lazy.

There’s nothing lazy about Marat M’saev Daan, who is a repeat spotlight holder — not a hog. Never! Just a driven, accomplished writer who spends more time writing than I currently do (it’ll all be worth it as West of Mars grows. You’ll see!).


So here’s Marat with the song that inspired his new book, Carnival Rust.

Although this book was given name by same named song by Poets of the Fall, song that reminds me most of this book will be “Diggin’ in the dirt” by Stefanie Heinzmenn. A lot of bad emotions have moved me to write this book and in the end after every dark night, there is a new dawn with sun rising that promises us a new smile on our faces that will make us even more beautiful that we were the day before.

Ready for what it’s about? I sure am. With a title like Carnival Rust, you know it’s going to be good.

Pain, sorrow, anger, passion are emotions that moved writer to start writing this book. Sometimes, when we are cornered and don’t know what to do we have those emotions and want to burn the whole world. A moment later like rain is falling all over us and we feel like unprotected robots exposed to ones nemesis creating of us “Carnival of rust”.

After long thinking, I have sorted this book under poetry cause no matter how short stories are, their form belongs the most under this category.

Nice, huh?

Need some buy links? I sure do.
For now, book is available on CreateSpace and Amazon (both US and Europe), but I am working on it to publish this book on few other places. Buying links are:
Amazon US
Amazon Europe

Connect with my bud Marat, why don’t you?
Facebook page