Category Archives: Susan’s Book Talk

Submitting to Him by Tara Conrad in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Woo hoo! Tara Conrad and I have gotten to know each other over the past year or so, thanks to Pennwriters. If you’re looking for a top-notch writing group, that’s it. Right there.

But we’re not here to talk writer’s groups; that’s just your bonus tip of the day. No! We are here to talk about Tara and her new book, which is actually a re-release, cleaned up and made prettier and all sorts of better — for her and for us. And if you’re into BDSM fiction, this one’s for you. Need proof? Let’s get to it! Tara Conrad, what song makes you think of your book?

Caleb and Kelsey’s Medley: From this Moment/You’re Still the One
Alex and Natalie didn’t go to the club that night hoping to meet someone. They were both suffering from past hurts and wanted nothing to do with love. However, when they saw each other, they couldn’t ignore what they were feeling. The first lines of the song really speak to the heart of where Alex was at and what happened when he saw Natalie, “From this moment life has began…right beside you is where I belong.” Meeting Natalie brought Alex back to life. He found his soulmate, and he wasn’t going to let her get away.

In the middle of the song, the lyrics read, “They said I bet they’ll never make it. But just look at us holding on. We’re still together still going strong.” This speaks to Natalie’s side, especially with her family discouraging her relationship with Alex. But despite all that, they were together and strengthening their bond.

Later in the song is the lyric, “And you’re the reason I believe in love. And you’re the answer to my prayers from up above. All we need is just the two of us. My dreams came true because of you.” For me, this is where Alex and Natalie have become a solid couple. Everything around them fades away. They’ve helped heal one another’s hearts. Love is no longer something they avoid, but is something they embrace.

The song ends, “So glad we made it. Look how far we’ve come my baby. I will love you as long as I live. From this moment on.” I don’t want to ruin the ending of the book, but these lines reflect on Alex and Natalie’s journey and the love the share. They’re going to need to rely on the strength of their love for the challenges that lie ahead.

Overall, I think the songs represent the beauty of two people finding each other and overcoming all the odds–finding that once in a lifetime love.

Ooh, wow! What a detailed, rich answer!

Ready for the official description? Here you go!

An act of betrayal, a call to 911, and a note from the brother she lost give Natalie the courage to embark on a journey of self-exploration.
Unknowingly set up by their friends, Alex and Natalie spend the evening together at New York City’s Fire and Ice Club.
Neither one is looking for love, but their chemistry is too strong to ignore.
They agree to a relationship with an expiration date—the insurance policy both believe will keep their hearts safe.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, or so they say.
Forces outside their control seek to pull them apart, but they find their way back to one another.
The couple’s connection is stronger than ever until tragedy strikes Natalie’s family.
Mistakes are made. Words that can’t be taken back are uttered.
Sometimes it takes the love of friends to pick up the pieces.
Can two broken souls find their way back to one another?

Do you need a copy? Of course you do!
Readers can find Submitting to Him here

They can also find the pre-order links and physical book copy links for the other two books in the trilogy here:
Fighting with Him
Living for Him
They both release on June 21 — so preorder away and have a nice surprise waiting for you on the 21st (Hey, that’s my parents’ anniversary, too, so when your book magically shows up, be sure to send my parents anniversary wishes!)

Hey! Do you need a signed copy? Of course you do! Signed copies are available on Tara’s website

And get to know Tara, too. She’s lovely, and always glad to be active in the greater community to fundraise and be involved to help make the world a better place. You all know I love people who do that!
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Seven Sisters by Eileen Troemel in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Nope, you’re not seeing things! Eileen Troemel is BACK for another visit at West of Mars! Book Cover

If you’ve missed her previous visits, here they are: Marelo, On the Line, and Celtan Dilemma.

Our friend Eileen is both a prolific writer AND catching us up on her backlist, as well. Because NEW can mean “new to West of Mars friends” as well as it can mean “brand spanking new” — and of course, backlist sales are always good things for all authors. If you read a book you like, take some time and investigate an author’s backlist. You will probably find some hidden gems! Like Seven Sisters, which is the book we’re here to discuss today. Shall we get busy?

Eileen Troemel, what song makes you think of your new-to-us book?

Song – Gloria Gaynor – I will survive.
Lydia has survived a deadly plague, foster care with unscrupulous people, and life on the street. Not only has Lydia survived but she’s joined forced with other abandoned children living on the street. She’s kept them safe and alive despite gangs, bad cops, and no resources.

And then the aliens landed. As she’s trying to escape from a gang, she literally runs into an alien walking the street. Mycos holds her for a moment before she pulls from his arms. Lydia and her sisters live where they can. They avoid the gangs and live in abandoned warehouses. The older girls look out for the younger girls. An instinct tells Lydia they need to move but it’s already too late. Police surround and capture them but in the process they also hurt them. They are delivered to the aliens.

Mycos knows she’s his mate and women on his world recognize their mates. But Lydia doesn’t trust him and his men. She doesn’t submit to his demands. She stands her ground and as usual fights for her girls.

In this story, all seven of the females have suffered trauma – some worse than others. Sticking together, they’ve survived the worst this world has thrown at them. But the world of the aliens is completely different. Men, big men, all hoping to find their mate have invaded earth. Despite their own needs, they recognize the trauma the sisters have gone through and do their best to help them overcome the trauma.

The sisters are survivors. They fought to survive on earth against so many forces which tried to swallow them up. When those forces come at them again. Mycos and his men are there to help them survive and thrive.

I don’t know about you, but Eileen’s kick-ass women make me smile. And I love SciFi, as well… always have, since I was first introduced to it. I love the possibilities inherent in the worldbuilding and the opportunities for stories off the beaten path. And the creatures!

I particularly like that these aliens are kind. I mean… how can you NOT? And that Gloria Gaynor’s rallying cry across decades represents them???? Come ON.

Ready for the cover description? Here we go!

Aliens invade Earth!

Following prophecy Mycos traveled Across the universe to trade old technology to the backwards world in order to find his true mate.

Surviving the plague and life on the streets Lydia struggles to keep her six sisters alive and safe. Mycos demands Lydia submit to him. She refuses.

Will he compromise in order to win her over and open the world up for other Hylatians to find their fated mates?

The fates of both worlds rests with these seven sisters.

Can you stand it? I can’t. Grab your copy here.

And while we’re doing linktrees for Eileen’s contact information… I love linktrees, by the way. Everything in one nice neat spot!

Remember: the best way to appreciate an author’s book is to buy a copy or two for a friend or two. Or more! No one said you had to limit the book love! Be a book fairy! (I may be a bit punch drunk as I format this… Hmm…) And if you can’t do that, a few words in an online review pays the kindness forward numerous times. It helps a reader discover a new-to-them book, and that’s always such a gift!

As always, feel free to send your friends and colleagues over to the handy-dandy FNB form, and I’ll be more than glad to format a post so their books can take their turn in the spotlight, too. It’s one question! One song! A bunch of links! It’s EASY. And so much fun for all of us, too.

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The Name I Chose by Naima Haviland in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Let’s all welcome Naima Haviland and her new book, The Name I Chose, to West of Mars and the Featured New Book Spotlight!

(Insert sound of crowd cheering and confetti flying because it’s just that sort of day and we all need cheers and confetti.)

Naima Haviland and I share a mutual friend who sent her over… so if you would like to be a mutual friend, I’d love it! Your other friend will, too, I’m sure. After all, this is a fun place. (Points to cheers and confetti.)

Let’s put the focus back where it belongs, on Naima Haviland and… the song that makes her think of her book, The Name I Chose. (Awesome, kickin’ title, by the way.) Naima? What say you?

You’re Dead by Norma Tanega:
You’ll never get a second chance
Plan all your moves in advance
Stay dead, stay dead, stay dead
Stay dead and outta this world
Run fast don’t stand in the sun
There’s too much work to be done
You’re down, you’re down, you’re down
You’re down and outta this world

It’s a last-minute warning to a sheltered society girl before she dives headlong into London’s underworld to catch up with the man she loves before her family sees him hanged.

Whoa. This is oldie but WOW goodie. I’ve never heard it before; had you?

And how about that last line? Does that make you curious, or WHAT? I mean, let’s just get right to the book’s cover description because whoo boy, it sounds like a don’t miss.

A story of passion and peril in alternative Victorian England.

It’s the late 19th century. Bold inventions usher in a new age, while genetic and cosmetic sciences reinforce an age-old class system. For the rich, immunity to disability and disease justifies their hold on power. Born disfigured, Mordecai Michaelson has employed his musical talent to rise above a life of poverty. Philomena Paulson appears no less perfect and no more talented than her upper class world requires. But she has secrets only Mordecai understands. Acceptance, trust, and a passion for music compose bonds of forbidden love between them. When chance discovery of Philomena’s darkest secret threatens scandal and revolution, she’s determined to save Mordecai from the gallows. But Mordecai is just as determined to keep her from social suicide, even if it costs him his life.

Whoo boy, there’s a lot going on there. And WOW.

I need a copy. Do you need a copy? Get yours here:
B&N
Amazon
Apple

And be sure to connect with Naima Haviland, too! You never know when you’ll run into a lovely person, although I’ve been doing this so long, I feel safe in saying everyone who stops in here is lovely. Like attracts like, right?
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As always, remember that the best way to thank an author for a good book is to buy a second copy for a friend. Or more copies for more friends, of course! But if you can’t do that for whatever reason, leaving a review online is also great and helps other readers find the book you’ve read.

Pay that kindness forward. Tell others about your reading experience.

And, of course, send your author friends my way, too! I love meeting new people, I love learning about new music, and I love hearing about new books. Win-win-win!

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Prophecies and Promises by Alana Lorens in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Book Cover It’s another visit from our friend Alana Lorens! This is her FIFTH visit here, which might be a new West of Mars record, and one I encourage all my author friends to try to take on and exceed. And the author friends of my author friends, as well!

If you’ve missed her earlier visits, here they are:
Second Chances (in 2013!!!)
Tender Misdemeanors
Encounter
A Rose by Any Other Name

Wow! And you ask why she’s one of my favorite people! Here’s only one example of why. Well, two. She’s prolific AND likes to drop in to visit. Plus, she’s really super, but we’ll talk about that part in a minute.

First, let’s find out what song makes Alana Lorens think of her NEW book, Prophecies and Promises. Alana, take it away!

Who doesn’t like pirates? Well, I suppose those enforcing the letter of the law may not be thrilled with them, but many ladies I know swoon over the romantic notion of a man who lives at sea and experiences the wild, free life! The mystery, the wicked pleasures …the sea shanties. Yes, the sea shanties, and there are several in PROPHECIES AND PROMISES, as sailors used the songs to set the timing for their tasks, pulling lines and setting sails, even swabbing the decks. When I was polishing this story, the pandemic was in full swing, and the sea shanty craze hit. I was inspired, of course, but this one hits my funny bone. I hope you enjoy it too.

Not only did I turn off TIDAL’s list of heavy metal to give it a watch and a listen, it summoned both my cats! Okay, maybe that’s only coincidence, but it happened. I swear.

So other than sea shanties and cats — although probably not cats — what’s Prophecies and Promises about? Alana Lorens, let’s hear it!

Tamsyn McKiernan thinks her dreams have come true. She’s engaged to a dashing Key West bachelor and finally in her widowed father’s good graces. But in her heart, she knows something’s wrong. She loves the ocean and the quiet pleasures of nature—so what does the aristocratic life she’ll lead truly hold for her?

Mercenary captain Drake Ashton is neck deep in preparations for the Spanish-American War, running guns and other supplies to Cuban natives who want out from under their Spanish masters. He and his brother Freddie risk their lives daily, focused on saving his friends on the island. Nothing else matters but his mission.

A chance encounter with a spiny sea urchin brings the two together, and neither of their lives will ever be the same again.

This might be the most intriguing Alana Lorens plotline yet, and I know I say that every time. I don’t know how she manages to top herself, but… she does. Also, the idea of shrugging off a life of propriety sounds mighty appealing. Maybe I just need a grand adventure, though. It’s possible. And this book just might be grand adventure enough!

Be sure to grab your copy! It’s not releasing for another week, but c’mon. You know how important preorders are, and you know that there’s no better gift to yourself than to wake up one day and find hey! A new book on your device!

Amazon Ebooks

Amazon Paperback

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Remember, the best way you can show your appreciation for an author’s book is to buy a copy for a friend or two. Or seven. But the second best way is to leave an online review, and I heartily encourage all readers to get in the habit of leaving reviews.

So. Ready to connect with Alana Lorens? Like I said, she’s pretty awesome.
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As always, if you’ve got author friends who’d like a turn in the spotlight, or if you’re an author wondering how to get in on the fun, follow this link to the handy-dandy form. Even if we’ve not met yet, I’d love to fix that and host you for the day!

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Celtan Dilemma by Eileen Troemel in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Let’s welcome Eileen Troemel back for a trifecta visit! Woot! (Also, I keep telling y’all it’s addictive and fine with me if you need to feel the high. Come on by anytime.)

If you missed her previous visits, here you go! Here’s her first time in the spotlight, featuring her book Marelo. And her second time? Right here, with On the Line. Eileen Troemel likes us, and we like her right on back. How can we not? Her books sound wonderful!

So what do we have today? Today, it’s Celtan Dilemma, and let’s talk music before we get to what the book’s about. That is, after all, how we do things around here. Music first to set the mood! And also, music!

My Fight Song by Rachel Platten would be the perfect song to go with Lilly and her song. The refrain of the song is as follows:

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Lilly and her squad as fighters for the human military and they fly the missions they’re told to fly. They live in fear of the punishments the male military members impose on them. They are sent on a mission to take out a Celtan (Keltan) transport. While it carries Celtan people, they are women and children. The transport is unarmed and barely has shields. Lilly and her subordinates have to make a decision – take out the transport and become war criminals or disobey orders to be labeled traitors. Up until this point, Lilly has done what was required of her. But in the moment she knows the right choice for her. She makes her decision, her squad follow her decision, and Lilly believes they will suffer the punishments from the human military. The Celtans offer them other options.

WHOA!!! I love this song and actually recognized it, so I had to scurry over to Tidal to add it to my work playlist. Talk about empowerment… and ladies, do we need some of that right now, or WHAT? Let’s let Lilly inspire us. And Rachel Patten, too.

Ready for the book description? Although after THAT, how can a mere book description fire us up as well as the song does?

Traitor or criminal?

Lieutenant Lillian Buckner receives orders to take her squad of women pilots out to specific coordinates and destroy an unarmed transport. Lilly must decide whether to be a war criminal by firing on an unarmed vessel or to be a traitor and disobey her orders. Her life and those of her six pilots depends on her decision. No matter her decision, the punishment may kill her if she returns to the human forces.

Trust or Punish?

Lord Hugh Korol fights against the humans. They invaded the Celtan’s territory and took sectors of space from them. The humans attacked their home world. When human women aid one of their unarmed transports, he must decide what to do to them. Can he trust the one he desires or will she break more than the fragile trust growing between them?

Ooh, this looks like a FUN read. Yes. I am into it. Are you? Preorder your copy and on June 4, you’ll wake up to a nice surprise waiting for you! It’s Amazon exclusive, sad to say (I’m always sad and it’s never personal). Just don’t forget to leave a review; they help with a book’s discoverability, which means it gets noticed by more and more readers.

And be sure to connect with Eileen Troemel! This link will take you to a LinkTree (I love these aggregators… they make everything so easy!), so have fun and make a new friend!

As always, send your friends over to the handy-dandy form if they’d like to step into the spotlight. Or if you’re an author, fill it out first so you get priority scheduling and then share it with your author friends. That’s not against the rules!

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Brown Eyes by Frances Ive in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book coverLet’s welcome Frances Ive to West of Mars!

Frances shows why it pays to still be hanging out on Twitter; that’s how we connected and I invited her to join us here today. And she was gracious enough to accept the invitation! Yay! Now we all get to hear more about her book, Brown Eyes.

Let’s start with the most important question: Frances Ive, what song makes you think of your book?

Everything I Own – Bread

Is there someone you know
You’re loving them so
But taking them all for granted?
You may lose them one day
Someone takes them away
And they don’t hear the words you long to say

Many of us take those we love for granted, and it takes a special person to show appreciation and value their partner in the way they deserve all the time. Especially when someone dies, we realise how much they meant to us, and often feel guilty. Did I take them for granted? Did they know how much I loved them? Losing someone close can be a sea change in our attitudes and perspective on life.

Whoo boy, this is going to be a heart-string-tugger, isn’t it? It sure sounds like it, but check out the description. It gets really super interesting and I may need to read this one sooner rather than later.

Brown Eyes: The dog sees everything

A watchful eye as a marriage falls apart. The phone call, the rows, and the split are all observed by the family Labrador. He knows the habits and senses the moods of his beloved family members. Seeing them unhappy and hurting each other is unbearable. Where did his perfect life go?

Her marriage to Phil in crisis, two children at the challenging teenage stage, and a close friend in peril, Meriel’s world is falling apart. She finds solace in the arms of another man, but is this the answer for her? It is her stubbornness that threatens the family’s future together, until a major loss has a life-changing effect on her. A sliver of hope returns.

Like a fly on the wall, Benji the dog sees it all.

Narrated by both the dog and Meriel, Brown Eyes is written by the author of Finding Jo.

This is just… I’m intrigued. Aren’t you? A novella about a struggling marriage and two very disparate narrators… both the reader and the editor in me are intrigued.

Get your copy! See what you think! And remember to leave your review when you’re done, too.

Kindle
Paperback
And all bookstores including Barnes & Noble

There you go! Happy shopping!

And be sure to connect with Frances Ive, too. Our interactions have been limited so far, but I have enjoyed them.
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And, of course, the spotlight is open to you, your friends, authors you know… It’s all good around here. I just want to tell you about books and the songs that are inspired by them. That’s it! That’s the agenda! And here’s the handy-dandy form for you to use to submit your own.

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Bridges by Linda Griffin in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Third time’s a charm, right? Well, let’s welcome Linda Griffin back to West of Mars for her third stint in the spotlight.

If you missed the first two, here they are:
Guilty Knowledge
Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking

And so Linda Griffin is back with a third book! This one’s called Bridges, and let’s learn about it, shall we?

Linda, what song makes you think of your book?

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” because Neil is always on Mary Claire’s side when she needs a friend, and their friendship is a bridge over the troubled water of their differences and her situation.

Oh, my! That’s rather provocative, isn’t it? I’m intrigued by that, and I love good, healthy friendships in books, too.

Ready for the cover copy? I sure am!

In 1963, Neil Vincent, a middle-aged World War II veteran and “Christian atheist”, is working at Westfield Court as a chauffeur. He spends most of his spare time reading. Mary Claire DeWinter is a young, blind Catholic college student and reluctant heiress. To secure her inheritance, she has to marry within a year, and her aunt is pressuring her to marry a rich man who teased and bullied her when she was a child. Neil and Mary Claire shouldn’t even be friends, but the gulf between them is bridged by a shared love of books. Can they cross the bridge to more?

Oh, I hope so! No one should be forced to marry a bully, current or former. (My clients can tell you I’m a big proponent for healthy relationships among their characters!) And how romantic could it be for Neil to read to Claire…

Heck, why don’t we see MORE scenes of couples reading to each other?

Are there reading-to-each-other scenes? I sure hope so, but grab a copy and see for yourself. Because that’s what we’re here for: to entice you to pick up a copy!
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B&N

Apple

Remember, the best way to help an author is to leave a review after you’ve read the book. It doesn’t have to be fancy; one of the best reviews I saw recently read “This gutted me.” That was it! The whole review! How EASY is that, and why aren’t you helping make a book more discoverable, especially if you liked it?

And, of course, connect with Linda Griffin.

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Remember, if you’ve got a friend who’s an author, or if you’re an author yourself, send them over to the Featured New Book Spotlight. One question, a bunch of links, a lot of fun. And, of course, we all get to discover new books–and, often, new music, too! Everyone wins!

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The Hob and the Hound Pub by Seana Kelly in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Woo hoo! Let’s welcome Seana Kelly to West of Mars!

I have to tell you, I’m a HUGE fan of this series. Action, of the fighting variety as well as the sex variety, great characters, paranormal doings, world traveling, and more!

And so, these songs do NOT surprise me in the least. Ready for them? Okay, then! Seana Kelly, what songs make you think of your new book, The Hob and Hound Pub?

I think my books are a combination of Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival) and So This Is Love (Cinderella)

So… that’s why I don’t recall Tom Keifer and company singing a song called So This is Love…

Are my hair metal roots showing?

Anyway, I stand corrected. I’m surprised by So This is Love, and yet I totally get it. It makes sense and it fits.

Ready to know what this fourth in the series is about?

I’m Sam Quinn, the newly married werewolf book nerd owner of the Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar. Clive and I are on our honeymoon. Paris is lovely, though the mummy in the Louvre inching toward me is a bit off-putting. Although Clive doesn’t sense anything, I can’t shake the feeling I’m being watched.

Even after we cross the English Channel to begin our search for Aldith—the woman who’s been plotting against Clive since the beginning—the prickling unease persists. Clive and I are separated, rather forcefully, and I’m left to find my way alone in a foreign country, evading not only Aldith’s large web of hench-vamps, but vicious fae creatures disloyal to their queen. Gloriana says there’s a poison in the human realm that’s seeping into Faerie, and I may have found the source.

I knew this was going to be a working vacation, but battling vampires on one front and the fae on another is a lot, especially in a country steeped in magic. As a side note, I need to get word to Benvair. I think I’ve found the dragon she’s looking for.

Gloriana is threatening to set her warriors against the human realm, but I may have a way to placate her. Aldith is a different story. There’s no reasoning with rabid vengeance. She’ll need to be put out of our misery permanently if Clive and I have any hope of a long, happy life together. Heck, I’d settle for a few quiet weeks.

Sound confusing? Maybe go back and start with the first in the series — it’s a USA Today Bestselling series, so you know you’re in good hands! And The Hob and the Hound is still up for preorder, so you’ve got time yet before it releases. Not a lot, so get reading!

Here’s your buy link. It’s a link aggregator, so pick your retailer and have some fun!

And connect online with Seana Kelly. I can confirm she’s great fun.
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As always, remember to leave a review; it’s the second-best way to let an author know you liked their book (the first, of course, being when you buy a copy and give it to a friend).

And speaking of friends, if you’ve got a friend, be sure to send them this way to have their own book featured! Or is it YOUR book that you want to have featured? That’s fine, too! This is your moment, so step into the spotlight, enjoy, revel, and help yourself find some new readers. You’ll be glad you did.

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Zeus by Carly Spade in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book CoverLet’s welcome author Carly Spade to West of Mars!

And does that book cover remind anyone — in a very very very good if a bit I-miss-you way — of Lucifer? That right there is reason enough to grab this book, no?

But we’re here to talk about the music! So let’s talk music! Carly Spade, what song makes you think of your book, Zeus?

Throne by Saint Mesa This song represents the royalty aspect of Zeus but also the carnal and powerful sides he exudes as well as the book’s themes as well.

I have never heard of Saint Mesa before, but WOW. I ran over to TIDAL and added this and made a note to myself to explore more of this Saint Mesa man. This is good stuff. And it’s great to have on as I work, too.

So okay… we’ve got carnal and powerful sides and this amazing song… if THAT hasn’t sold you yet on this book, how about its description?

𝘼 𝙜𝙤𝙙-𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙙𝙞𝙨𝙜𝙪𝙞𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙘𝙧𝙞𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙙𝙚𝙛𝙚𝙣𝙨𝙚 𝙡𝙖𝙬𝙮𝙚𝙧…⁠ ⁠

Zeus/Zane, King of the Greek gods, holds the world in his palm in both his mortal and godly form… until Hera leaves him, forcing him to uphold Gaea’s clause: There must always be a Queen, or he loses his title and part of his power along with it. Time is short. Too bad the one woman he has his sights on wants nothing to do with him. Or does she?⁠ ⁠

𝘼𝙣 𝙚𝙢𝙥𝙖𝙩𝙝 𝙘𝙧𝙞𝙢𝙞𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙚𝙘𝙪𝙩𝙤𝙧…⁠ ⁠

There’s nothing Keira Bazin dislikes more than defense lawyers. So when she discovers Zane Vronti, one of New York’s finest, has been brought in on her newest murder case, it’s anything but good news. Tensions flare as the two immediately butt heads, but there’s something about Zane she can’t put her finger on. His emotions are the strongest she’s ever felt–borderline overwhelming. Power. Lust. Command. Can she fight her growing attraction for him? Does she want to?⁠

WOW. This looks like fun.

Make note, though: this is the last (the sixth! Good on you, Carly!) in the series and CAN be read as a standalone, there are some Easter Eggs that’ll jump out at you if you’ve read the first five. So… I’d say get this, read it, then go back and start at the beginning and read the series the whole way through to catch those Easter Eggs. Why not?

Pick up your copy:
Universal Amazon link
Pre-Order Incentive Bonus Sign Up (Free art print and bookmark)

Nice. Preorders are always good things. And you won’t have to wait TOO long, as this releases on April 25. That’s two weeks! Heck, if you’re a fast reader, you can buy the first five and speed read and be ready for this one to drop. (I wish; how about you?)

And be sure to connect with Carly Spade, too.
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
My Readers Group
TikTok
Goodreads
Amazon
BookBub

Of course, the best way to thank an author for a book you like is to either tell a friend or buy them a copy. The second best way is to leave a review, and I think leaving fair reviews is always the way to go. If you’re not sure what a fair review is, drop me an email.

But the bestest best way of all? Send your author friends to the Featured New Book Spotlight submission page!

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Not You Again by Patricia Elliott in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book CoverLet’s welcoem Patricia Elliott to West of Mars!

Like others, Patricia has come to us from the referral of a friend. See how that works? You give someone the link and they use it and I get to meet someone new and we ALL get to hear about a new book and the music that inspired it. How can you go wrong? You can’t!

Since we can’t go wrong, let’s enjoy by finding out what song makes Patricia Elliott think of her book, Not You Again:

The song that makes me think of my book is Far Away by Nickelback. Devon made the mistake of leaving the only woman that ever captured his heart, but he never stopped thinking about her… never stopped loving her. Now he wants a second chance, but what will she give it to him?

Ahh, Nickleback. Make all the jokes you want, but they are solid. And a little raunchy in spots, if we’re being honest. But that just adds to the fun. (Also, I can’t believe this is the first time in all the years that they’ve shown up in the spotlight. What the heck?)

And can I tell you that I really like second-chance romances? They’re a lot of fun, and maybe it’s because I think we all hold a torch for the one who got away. And I’ll shut up now, lest secrets be revealed. 😉

Onward to the book and its back cover copy:

Emma Praught has everything a woman could wish for: a house, a husband, and a teen daughter who she wouldn’t trade for the world. But when she receives that fateful call, everything falls apart.

Her husband is dead. The life she knew is over. And before she has a chance to make sense of it all, death threats roll in and so does a man from her past. One she never expected to see again.

Devon Matthews, in the stupidity of his youth, broke the heart of the only woman he ever loved. Something he has never gotten over. Now he has a chance to make it up to her by protecting them. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll find it in her heart to forgive him. If he can keep her alive, that is.

Will they make it through this unscathed or will Emma’s stubborn nature make the way difficult for them both?

One way or another, he’s not giving her up this time.

OOF. What a setup, no? What utter loss… I can’t. And then to add in the romantic suspense angle here? Yes. Let’s all grab copies. Here’s a handy Link Tree, for your buying pleasure.

And of course, connect with author Patricia Elliott.
Twitter
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Tiktok

Remember! The best way to show an appreciation for an author’s book is to recommend it, or buy a copy for a friend. The next best way is to leave a review, something I highly recommend doing (HINT). And next? Give them the link to the Featured New Book Spotlight so they can tell more people about their new book baby.

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Lies of Gold by Jan Selbourne in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book Cover

Lies of Gold by Jan Selbourne

Let’s welcome Jan Selbourne to West of Mars!

Jan found us because an author friend pointed her in our direction. Yay, author friend! Yay, Jan for taking a chance on a total stranger! (I am only strange until you get to know me, so welcome to my world.)

Jan’s got a book. It’s a Regency Romance, for those of you who love Regencies (I don’t love them, but like them a lot and will gladly read them, so if you’re in that boat with me, welcome and let’s find out more about this one, shall we?), and it looks like it’s a standalone, for those of you who like those (Me! You?). Standalones are always nice in between all those commitment-demanding series.

So. Jan Selbourne, what song makes you think of your book?

Emotion in music speaks to all of us. The words from Some Enchanted Evening, (musical South Pacific) -‘You may see a stranger across a crowded room. And somehow you know, You know even then, That somewhere you’ll see her again and again,’ was exactly how Julian felt when he set eyes on Katherine in the crowded ballroom. Although my book Lies of Gold is set in Regency England, and Julian and Katherine were forced to part, fate, cloaked in treason and treachery, brings them together again.

South Pacific! An absolute classic!

Jan, tell us what the book’s about!

Their love affair ended in anger and painful consequences. Katherine Ashford has guarded a secret through years of abuse from her husband and now, after his death, from his brother now guardian to her children. Hard living and fighting wars have numbed Julian Ashford, Katherine’s former love. Then, as so often happens, fate steps in. A traitor is smuggling gold across the Channel to Napoleon Bonaparte, and Julian is ordered back to Halton Hall and Katherine, the woman he’s tried for years to forget. It’s her secret and their increasing danger that rekindle the love they once shared. Even when a murder reveals the shocking truth of the gold smuggling, nothing can prepare them for the devastating betrayal that awaits when they finally face the mastermind behind the sordid operation.

Lots going on here… definitely one you’ve got to pick up and read, no?

It’s an Amazon exclusive, so apologies to those of you who don’t buy via Amazon for whatever reason. (They’re all valid!)

And be sure to connect with Jan, too! Being an author can be lonely work. Rewarding, especially when readers leave good reviews (good = well thought-out, focused on the book and its merits and nothing personal to the author; etc. Good doesn’t always mean the number of stars!)
Website
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Remember, as always! The best way to appreciate an author’s book is to recommend it to a friend. The second best way is to leave a review. And the third best? Tell them to come here and take their turn in the spotlight!

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On the Line by Eileen Troemel in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Mmm. Bare male torso on the cover!

And with that, let’s welcome Eileen Troemel back for a second visit just this fast! Eileen’s got quite the backlist, and she’d like to share them with you. I’m game, so get your book-buying budget set accordingly.

This book is called On the Line, and it’s part of the Everyday Heroes World, which right there is intriguing. I want to know more! Don’t you?

So let’s start with the most important question of all time: Eileen Troemel, what song makes you think of your book?

I love music but I’m horrible at remembering song titles and artist names. So I recently wrote a contemporary romance and there’s a scene where they’re in the bar dancing. I wanted something ROMANTIC – not sexy or new but something where two people shared their feelings and you can really feel it in the song. I’m horrible at songs – as I’ve said – so I turned to my daughters. I got so many suggestions from them. I listened to all of them and it came down to two. As is normal for me, I cannot remember the one I didn’t pick but I waffled. My oldest daughter spoke up and said she suggested the date they were on, so she got to pick. I said true, she did. I think we were all satisfied with the end result. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill duet of Let’s Make Love. It fit the situation and I even had him sing to her.

Woo! That’s how you do it!

(Also, are your daughters old enough for songs like that??? Ehh, sex is healthy, right?)

So. Eileen, what’s the back cover copy? Tell us what the book is about!

Sunnyville offered Allison a return to a happy time in her life after leaving her cheating husband. After the drama of a car accident and the failure of her marriage, she wants nothing but peace and quiet. With the help of her daughters, she’s settled in her new home. She wants to do her job as a 911 operator and live a quiet life.

When his father fell off a ladder and his mother called 911, Chandler didn’t realize how much it would impact his life. One look at Allison and he knew he had to convince her to meet his family. But her ex-husband believes she’s still his. Is Chandler stepping over a line when he uses his computer skills to learn more about her ex?

Ooh, the jealous ex trope!! BRING IT. (Well, no, because no one needs that horror and trauma and just the sheer hassle in their lives and yes, I speak from experience. But for those of you who love it, here it is!)

Grab your copy! You know you want to!
Also, it looks like it’s Amazon exclusive, so know that before you click.

Be sure to connect with Eileen Troemel, too. Connections are what make life interesting and fun.
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
LinkedIn
MeWe
Goodreads

As always, don’t forget that if you’re an author or have a friend who’s an author, the Featured New Book Spotlight form is open to any author, with any book you’d like to feature. Got a short story in an anthology? I’ve featured those, too! (Apparently, it was a very long time ago, however, and I can’t easily link to one. But I have done it!)

And, of course, be sure to leave a few words of review about the book once you’ve read it. Authors appreciate it and it helps others find their book. Be part of an author’s success! Leave a review!

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Marelo by Eileen Troemel in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Book cover for book titled Marelo

The book is called Marelo and it was written by Eileen Troemel

Let’s welcome Eileen Troemel to West of Mars! We were chatting on Twitter and I invited her to stop in… see why it’s always good to chat on social media?

Eileen’s new book is called Marelo, and it sure sounds interesting to me! Let me share with you the hows and whys, and let’s start, of course, with the question of the day: Eileen Troemel, what song makes you think of your new book?

When I write, I listen to classical or non-vocal music. With Marelo, she’s very focused and has a light touch. Gary Stadler Fairy in the Woods album is one that comes to mind as I think about the story. The music is ethereal and that’s how I see the studies Marelo is doing.

I have always loved classical music and lately have been getting into instrumentals to play as I edit, as well, so I understand this impulse! And this song is everything Eileen says it is, so check it out, and then grab a copy of Marelo.

But before we get to the buy links, let’s hear the description!

Marelo studies water dragons. Bandor studies her heart. Driven to succeed, Marelo focuses on her studies. She doesn’t have time for males claiming her as a mate. She came here to study the dragon’s ancestral home. She will find the evidence she needs while avoiding all males especially Bandor who makes her heart rush. Bandor takes one look at Marelo and knows she’s his mate. Her haughty demeaner doesn’t put him off. She’s his mate, he’ll do anything to win her. But he has secrets only his mate can know. Can he convince her to be his mate or will it take something more?

Whoa. There’s a LOT of interesting stuff going on there! And this is categorized as a short read, too, so if you’re in the mood for something quick and (what sounds) lovely, this might be perfect for you!

Pick up your copy here:
Books2Read

And be sure to connect with Eileen Troemel!
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
LinkedIn
MeWe
Goodreads

And my usual reminders for you all…
* If you read a book, be sure to leave even a few words in a review of it. Reviews help readers find good books — and, of course, they help readers know what to avoid. Do your part! Your opinion matters!
* If you are an author, if you are friends with an author, if you have an author you like but want an excuse to talk to… I don’t care! Send them my way and tell them to fill out the form. I genuinely miss the days when I was posting one of these a week.

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The Betrayer by Hannah Carey in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Woot! I love it when authors come back to West of Mars to feature their new books, and Hannah Carey’s doing just that today. She’s been here before with The Hunter, and today she’s back with The Betrayer.

(Psst, we’ve missed a few books in between, I think, so you’ve got to go find those. Hear me? Hunt ’em down, buy ’em, read ’em, and leave reviews.)

So. The Betrayer. That’s a rather… ominous title, no?

Hannah Carey, what song makes you think of your book?

There’s a lot of vying-for-the-throne vibes in The Betrayer (and in its companion novel, The Ascendant) and this was a song I found myself listening to on repeat during the writing and editing process, as it felt like it fit for multiple characters. The line of “Someday, they’ll tell my story” particularly resonated, as The Betrayer focuses on the next generation of characters in my Tales of Pern Coen series. Many of the characters are descendants of legends themselves and in The Betrayer, they get to begin carving out their own stories of bravery, sacrifice, and love.

Ooh, I like this song! I shall have to add it to my streaming playlists and keep it once I decide which streamer to stick with.

Okay, I LOVE this song.

So, Hannah Carey, what’s the book about?

Niall never imagined he would become king, nor did he ever imagine that he would be granted the abilities of a seer. His unnatural power, however, has proven to be no great gift, for it has already cost him the woman he loves and it threatens to cost him his kingship. His people already don’t trust him and if they knew of his power, they would view him as nothing more than a monster.

Niall’s future looks grim, but a twist of fate returns Ciara to his life when he least expects it. He latches onto the hope of a different future, only to discover that things have changed while he has hidden away in his castle. When the man Ciara trusted the most disappeared, she turned to his brother, a man she never saw herself falling for.

Bleddyn has shown Ciara that there is more to him than she first thought and she has carved out a life at his side, but things are unsettled on the island of Pern Coen. A dark power is stirring, one that hasn’t been seen in decades. One man is at the center of the growing darkness, but is it the man that Ciara, and the people, think? Is Niall innocent or is he hiding more than just his powerful abilities?

Let me just say that if this seems to be a book about Niall, it’s pretty evenly balanced between him and Ciara. And yet, the book description is dead-on perfect. Weird how that is working out, but you gotta trust I know what I’m talking about on this one.

Pick up your copy!
Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Kobo

The Violet Fox Bookshop (Local Indie Bookstore, but does ship)

Ooh, yay! Buy indie, folks! I’m a huge fan of indie bookstores.

And remember, although I’ve said it before: Be sure to leave a few words of review. I’m confident you’ll like this one, but if you’re a hardass like me, be critical. I am probably not the only person who only reads the one- and two-star reviews! And, as always, if you’re struggling to be coherent in your review, I’m here to help.

And, of course, connect with Hannah Carey online. I can vouch for what a prolific reader she is, and she writes great reviews, too.
Facebook
Instagram:
Website

That’s it! Go get it!

But if you need more, and of course you do, submit a Featured New Book Spotlight request yourself. Or send the link to your author friends. I’m not picky, and yes, I’ll post spotlights for authors I’ve never met. Why not? How else are we supposed to meet?

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DNA by Katie Zaber in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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I. Love. This. Cover.

The story’s a lot of fun, too. Yeah, I might have prior knowledge of it. And now, today, author Katie Zaber is stopping in to tell you all about her new release, DNA, so you too can have some fun with it.

You want to do this. You do.

Let’s start with the important stuff: Katie Zaber, what song makes you think of your book??

There are two songs that have been running through my head while writing.
Heart of Glass – Crabtree Remix
Alone Time – Lovelytheband

The string instruments in the Heart of Glass remix have this haunting effect. They sound so eerie and beautiful at the same time, just like Evie’s mysterious pregnancy.

Love becomes mistrust and then divorce when she reveals to her husband she’s pregnant, even though he had a vasectomy.

After a heartbreaking divorce, she notices odd things. Things that should never happen. Things that make her think she’s going crazy. Possessions, nightmares, and odd electrical problems make her feel like she’s losing her mind.

Needing time to figure out her life, Evie goes on a road trip where she meets Lucas. Their relationship is almost a pause on normal life. A break from everything Evie has known. Something completely foreign and refreshing as she rebuilds her life while trying to understand what is happening to her and how she became pregnant.

The moment she meets Lucas, it makes me think of the song Alone Time.

She’s unstable but needs something good in her life and someone to enjoy the small moments of happiness with.
And she chooses him.

This Blondie remix? Katie’s not kidding about how haunting it is. I mean, Debbie Harry herself is, and this remix really showcases her voice. WOW.

So. If that hasn’t told you enough about the book–and it’s telling you plenty but not the really good stuff!–then here’s the back cover copy.

It’s weird how every woman reacts differently. How each pregnancy differs.

Mine is definitely unique.

My sense of smell became stronger, picking up the faintest odors, and my stomach was in constant turmoil. Those were the first signs.

And then I started eating. And eating. If I don’t, I get a migraine and people’s faces become blurry. Electronics seem to malfunction in my presence. And the nightmares—they don’t stop.

Something is changing my body. Something that should have never happened.

Something that my husband and I had prevented from happening.

Something people say is miraculous.

The bigger I get, the more frequently I encounter people who become possessed. And the more often I wind up questioning if I am carrying a miracle baby.

The closer I get to the due date, the more I love this child and the more confident I am that I will protect my baby from anything.

Even its fate.

WHEW! Is that too much, or what? I’m telling you, this one is a crazy fun ride. Jump on now, so you can say you were one of the first to do so!

Here’s your buy link. Katie’s Amazon-only, which… well, she knows how I feel about that so I’ll shut up and support her. Because this book is worth supporting and this author is worth supporting and ALL THE SUPPORT FOR KATIE ZABER. (And I am not saying that because she promised me homemade wine. She’s really very talented.)

Connect with Katie Zaber! She might promise YOU homemade wine, too! But if she does, save me a sip?
Website
Goodreads
BookBub
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

As always, if you’ve read DNA, leave a review! (Yes, I think it’s okay if you leave a one or two-star review, but you won’t want to with this one. I only read one and two-star reviews.) Reviews help books find new readers, so be sure to leave your thoughts. If you’re struggling with how to write a review, reach out and I’m glad to help.

And if you’re an author or know an author, I’d love to host you AND them. It’s okay if we’ve never met; this is how friendships begin, after all! Here’s the link to the handy dandy submission form. I schedule posts on Sundays for the next open Monday.

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Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking by Linda Griffin in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Let’s welcome Linda Griffin back to West of Mars! She was just here last March, which means she’s either really prolific or likes us. Or both!

Her new book is called Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking, and how can you NOT love that title? Not only does it flow really well off the tongue, but it’s intriguing as all get out. Let’s learn more about it, shall we?

Linda Griffin, what song makes you think of your book?

“Friends and Lovers” by Gloria Loring and Carl Anderson, because Alyssa wants to be just friends, even though they keep ending up in bed, and Reid wants so much more.

Wow, that’s an oldie.

So what’s the book about? How do Alyssa and Reid handle this familiar (and beloved; it really is one of my faves) trope? Let’s see…

Software engineer Reid Lucas loves to cook and has a history of falling in love with married women. When he leaves his complicated past in Chicago for a job in California, he runs into trouble and must call a virtual stranger to bail him out of jail. Alyssa Knight, a tough street cop waiting for a church annulment from her passive-aggressive husband, is the roommate of the woman Reid calls for help, and she reluctantly provides bail for Reid. He falls for her immediately, and cooking for her is an act of love. She just wants to be friends, but they keep ending up in bed together. When his boss is murdered, Reid is a suspect—or is he the intended target?

YES. Cross-genre stuff happening here, it looks like. Some mystery with your romance, some romance with your mystery. Maybe some romantic suspense entirely?

Gonna have to read it to see… Grab your copy today!
Amazon
B&N
Apple
Bookshop.org

Remember, the best way to say thanks for a good book is to recommend it to others. And one way of doing that is to leave a review. Leave reviews, friends!

And connect with Linda Griffin. Authors are fun people to chat with.
Website
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Encounter by Alana Lorens in the New Book Spotlight!

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Let’s welcome Alana Lorens back to West of Mars and the spotlight!

By now, Alana’s a veteran, so let’s get right to it. Alana Lorens, what song makes you think of your book, Encounter?

The various characters in ENCOUNTER are disparate, so finding one song to symbolize the entire story is not so easy.

Teo and the lawyers obviously come from an upper-class cut, and they can hardly be able to empathize with the have-not illegals like Inez, running from a bad economy in Mexico, or Davi, who has made it in America, but is still tied down to his Mexican roots.

Jake is perhaps an Everyman, a man who’s struggling to maintain his sobriety on the best of days— and these are not his best days.

Maybe the song that will sum it up the best is Mad World by Michael Andrews (I love the Pentatonix version tho) Each step people take in this story brings them closer to a life-and-death struggle none will ever forget and some will not survive.

Lots of cultural stuff going on here… I like it!

But.. what’s the book about?

Teo Haroun and the other lawyers in his firm look forward in varying degrees to the retreat at the Sherman Ranch in northern New Mexico. The boss has laid down some rules — no phones, no computers, no communication with the outside world — that makes them uneasy. But the corporate team-building exercises are necessary for this firm to survive its inner sniping and turmoil — and to protect the secrets they hold.

Inez Suela and thirty other Mexicans have paid a coyote hundreds of pesos to take them across the border into the United States, where they hope to make a better life. The crowded truck heads north into New Mexico to meet their local driver, the occupants unaware that a freak March snowstorm is waiting in its path.

Jake Patrin, the caretaker of the Ranch, fights demons of his own as he struggles daily with addiction. Working far from the city on the lonely Ranch, hosting those who rent the facility, is his protection and solace. But he’s about to lose the only peace he’s been able to grasp.

Davi Pilar needs to make some fast money to appease a couple of St. Louis loan sharks, so he agrees to pick up a truckload of illegals and take them to St. Louis. He drives to New Mexico, not knowing that Inez, the woman who rejected him years before, is one of those on that truck.

The intersection of these people, the collision of their cultures, the revelation of their secrets—all these things lead to violence, death, and even redemption in their New Mexico ENCOUNTER.

Border issues are hot topics right now, no? This book was originally published in 2014, according to GoodReads, although I don’t know if the version I’m going to link to has been updated to reflect what all we’ve learned in the past six years. And really, we’re talking seven years since the original publication. So hmm…

Pick up your copy and when you leave your review (always leave a review!), let us know.
Amazon
Smashwords (Affiliate link)
Kobo
Apple
B&N

Be sure to connect with Alana Lorens, too!

Alana Lorens has been a published writer for more than forty years, after working as a
pizza maker, a floral designer, a journalist and a family law attorney. Currently a resident of
Asheville, North Carolina, the aging hippie loves her time in the smoky blue mountains. She
writes romance and suspense as Alana Lorens, and sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal mystery as
Lyndi Alexander. One of her novellas, THAT GIRL’S THE ONE I LOVE, is set in the city of
Asheville during the old Bele Chere festival. She lives with her daughter on the autism spectrum,
who is the youngest of her seven children, and she is ruled by two crotchety old cats, and six
kittens of various ages.

Website
https://www.facebook.com/AlanaLorens/” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Facebook Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

As always, send your writer friends — even if that’s yourself! — to me for their own chance to stand in the spotlight. I’d love to host anyone (well, within reason) who’s got a book that’s new to my audience.

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Dance to a Wylder Beat by Marilyn Barr is in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book cover for Dance to a Wylder BeatLet’s welcome Marilyn Barr back to West of Mars! This isn’t her first, err, rodeo here, so let’s get right to business.

Marilyn Barr, what song makes you think of your book?

The core issue of Dance to a Wylder Beat is the need for community. Nartan’s secret Shamanic dancing and Olive’s paranormal secret keep them on the outskirts of Wylder society. In line with their desires, their song is “Stolen Dance” by Milky Chance.

Listen to this haunting song here – https://youtu.be/k750IIdKq08

In the late 1870s, the Arapaho nation’s way of life was being destroyed by the US Government. Their nomadic existence was at odds with the settlements, like Wylder Wyoming, popping up along the railway line. The Arapaho followed the migratory herds with small bands creating circles of teepees for a season before packing their travois and heading to the next place. The US Government turned tribes against each other and in 1871, the Shoshone and Arapaho battles destroyed the Antelope Band which broke my heart. This conflict is the catalyst for Nartan and his brother, Ikshu to set up their homestead at the edge of Wylder.

“I hope they didn’t get your mind
Your heart is too strong anyway
We need to fetch back the time
They have stolen from us.” –Stolen Dance, Lyrics – Clemens Rehbein

Away on a vision quest, Nartan missed the chance to defend his band. His younger brother, Ikshu, was with the women, elderly, and children when the attack happened. His PTSD gives him night terrors and selective mutism. Despite being a Shamanic apprentice and destined for mystic greatness in his tribe, Nartan becomes a humble leather tanner and protector of Ikshu’s fragile state. What he refuses to give up is the support of his spirit team. The six spirits answer his calls when he dances in secret. His ceremonial herbs, dance steps to create the sacred geometry of his people in the dirt, and incantation (the same incantation I use in my energetic healing practice) are offerings to the spirit realm. Such practices are against the law on the reservations which is a second reason why Nartan left. While I would argue Nartan is never stoned, the unbelievers contribute his visions to the ceremonial herbs – which were most likely sage, tobacco, and sagebrush in 1878.

“You’ve never danced like this before
We don’t talk about it
Dancin’ on, doin’ the boogie all night long
Stoned in paradise
Shouldn’t talk about it” –Stolen Dance, Lyrics – Clemens Rehbein

What about his love interest, Olive? While she doesn’t dance, this song has a ring of truth for her story as well. Olive is a guttersnipe. These were orphaned kids who rode the railways to find their adventure. Olive migrated from “Mexico to Montana” with the native tribes who would protect her. She learned many skills – such as the basics of leather tanning – from the gentle souls who helped her along the way. Unfortunately, her paranormal secret has kept her from assimilating into the settler towns of the Wild West. Yes, Olive is too wild for the Wild West and tired of wandering alone.

“I want you by my side
So that I never feel alone again” –Stolen Dance, Lyrics – Clemens Rehbein

When a medicine man on the Wind River Reservation suggests answering Nartan’s telegraph ad for a wife, Olive dares to dream of living in a house with a soft bed and a roof over her head. Could she keep her secret, learn to be a settler wife, and have a family of her own? She has nothing to lose.

“Coldest winter for me
No sun is shining anymore
The only thing I feel is pain
Caused by absence of you” –Stolen Dance, Lyrics – Clemens Rehbein

Will they put aside their differences to create a family nestled in the community of Wylder or will Nartan reject Olive out of the desire to hide his spiritual past? Find out in Dance to a Wylder Beat.

Whoa. There’s a LOT going on there. And I’m fascinated.

And this song? It’s catchy. Fun. I’d add this to my Spotify playlist. I can see myself singing along as the miles while away on a road trip. It’s got that vibe. Also, it kinda makes me want to dance. That would definitely be hard to do while driving.

Ready for the back cover copy? Here you go:

Nartan Sagebrush’s name may mean “to dance” in Arapaho, but he dances in secret. Forced to abandon his Shamanic apprenticeship, he is overwhelmed with homesteader life, and even his spirit guides are at their wit’s end. Nartan takes fate into his own hands. Instead of divine intervention, a wife will help with his responsibilities and in assimilating into the Wylder community.

Olive Muegge answers Nartan’s “wife wanted” advertisement. Wildly independent she has secretly dreamed of a family to call her own. The secret she carries inside makes her an outcast and her wild ways don’t fit the quiet wife Nartan thinks he desires. Despite their differences, they are drawn to each other but a mistake may drive them apart. Will Nartan embrace his Shamanic past to save them both or will he choose to rid himself of Olive forever?

Yeah… I’m so there. Are you? Grab a copy of Dance to a Wylder Beat by Marilyn Barr
Amazon

ITunes

B & N

KOBO

GooglePlay

Go and connect with Marilyn Barr! She and I chat very occassionally on Twitter and just based on that, I can say she’s lovely.
Website/ newsletter
Twitter
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Amazon Author Profile
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Goodreads
BookGems Profile

Still here? Good! Remember that the Featured New Book Spotlight is open to any author of pretty much any book or even if you have a short story in an anthology. I’m here to help spread the word about your fictional masterpiece!

And since the best way to say thanks to an author for all their hard work — well, other than buying their book (often in multiples) — is to leave a review, if you’re struggling with one, drop me a line. I’m really busy right now and this isn’t a free service, but if I’ll make the time for you, I’ll also make it worth your five bucks.

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Prairie Fire by Terri Branson is in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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book cover for Prairie Fire, written by Terri BransonLet’s welcome Terri Branson to West of Mars!

Terri is not only an author but a publisher, too, helming Dragonfly Books. Check them out.

Now, Prairie Fire isn’t a new book. Nope. It was published in 2008, but as I often say, new can mean New to West of Mars readers, and I bet that’s the case here. How many of you have already encountered this book? Not me! And I’ve run into Terri and spoken with her more than once.

Let’s get to it. Terri, what song makes you think of Prairie Fire?

In PRAIRIE FIRE, the handsome rancher Max is in newly opened Oklahoma Territory, because he is running from a murky past which includes a gunfighter. So he’s got trouble even before he meets Chloe. So the song that reminds me of this story would have to be DESPERADO, by the Eagles.

Ooh, an absolute CLASSIC song, filled with longing and emotion and all sorts of other chill-inducing stuff. Yes. Most definitely.

Need the official description, or are you ready to buy? Here it is, just in case:

Chloe plans to stay only a short time at her brother Joe’s ranch in 1893 Oklahoma Territory. Despite her efforts to avoid Joe’s matchmaking schemes, she is soon entangled in them. At the same time, she catches the interest of a nosy and possibly dangerous ghost called Fire Horse.

All Max McKee wants is to buy a few horses. Before he realizes it, he becomes part of Joe’s scheme to marry off the rich and lovely Chloe, who happens to be the owner of those horses.

Max is a man with many secrets. Despite the risks, he finds Chloe irresistible. When a series of strange fires spooks the local ranchers, Chloe and Max must work together to discover who is setting those fires and try not to get themselves killed in the process.

I’m curious about the dangerous ghost, myself. Is it a horse? A person? What? Who? And how does it try to mess up the relationship between our hero and our heroine?

Who’d like to find out? Grab a copy:
Amazon
Apple
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Smashwords *Affiliate link

Of course, a Spotlight Feature wouldn’t be a spotlight feature without letting you know how you can connect with Terri Branson!
The book’s Website
Author Website
Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Goodreads
Smashwords
BOOK TRAILER

As always, the best way to thank an author for their hard work is to leave a review. If you’re struggling to write one, drop me a note and I can help.

And, as you’ve seen time and again — and I mean it! — if you’re an author, if your friend is an author, if someone you know is an author and would like to be featured here, that’s super. Complete strangers are welcome to drop me an email, especially when they’re willing to be more than complete strangers. Here’s the link to the handy-dandy form.

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Sixshooter by Lyndi Alexander in the Featured New Book Spotlight!

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Woo hoo! Let’s welcome Lyndi Alexander back to West of Mars!

Lyndi’s got a new book out, called Sixshooter, and it’s part of the Horizon Crossover series. Want to know more? I sure do!

Let’s start with the usual, of course. I mean, it’s what we’re all here for!

Lyndi, what song makes you think of your book?

The Joker by Steve Miller. I mean, a SPACE COWBOY? I’ve been a long-time FIREFLY fan, and the thought of living out among the far-flung stars leads naturally to thoughts of Terran cowboys on the Plains. No one’s micromanaging you, and you’ve got the open spaces to call your own. You meet all sorts of interesting people and aliens, too. But as always, evil parts of government manage to get their tendrils into every life, and you’ve got to fight to stay independent and free.

Oh, and his name isn’t Maurice–but his grandfather’s is. 🙂

Like space, love has no boundaries.

Heh. His grandfather’s name is Maurice. Get it? (If not, hello? CLICK THE LINK.)

So. What’s the official book description?

Valeni Pascual wants to be free to make a living hauling cargo with her spaceship and to understand the shapeshifting alien who presents sometimes as the steamy male Nik and other times as the blonde bombshell Nikki.

As a rebel insurgence builds against the oppressive government known as the Agency, Valeni and Nik/Nikki encounter a sexy Terran cowboy named Garrett Rawls. Since being pulled into this region of space by another mysterious wormhole, Garrett has looked for a way to return to Earth. After meeting Valeni and Nikki, he might have found something worth staying for.

However, dark forces may have a much bigger picture in mind for all of them. Valeni, Nik/Nikki, and Garrett are pulled into a life and death fight that lays bare all of their secrets and their desires. Will they lose everything as the battle against the Agency rages around them or can love pull them through?

Pick up your copy!
Apple
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Smashwords (affiliate link)

And connect with Lyndi:
Website and Blog
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page
Bookbub
Smashwords

Remember, if you like a book you’ve found here, the kind thing to do is leave a review (and if you hang out with me here, you’re kind. RIGHT?) wherever you bought your copy. Or, better, in multiple places. Tell a friend! Spread the word! Books bring us together as a community.

And if you’re having trouble with your review and need some help, drop me a line. I’m here to help!

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