Category Archives: Featured New Book

Featured New Book Spotlight: Chevalier by Bree M Lewandowski

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Let’s welcome Bree M Lewandowski to West of Mars!

Her newest book is called Chevalier, and isn’t that cover intriguing? I really dig it.

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

How will Fate dictate this adventure between lovers?

Nightcore’s version of Legendary Lovers.

Hmm. That doesn’t tell us a lot about the book, does it? Are you intrigued? I am. I’d like to know more. So here we are:

Linah Morane, a well-known woman of Meridionalis has been scorned and taunted her entire life due to her abnormalities. After the humiliation of being abandoned at the altar, she humbly accepts the unexpected marriage proposal to the King’s Vizier, Kohl. Her heart still fluttered each time she fondly remembered their first and only dance together.

The depth in her eyes was emphasized by the rare hue of cerulean that peered into his soul. Those eyes had stopped the very beating of Kohl’s heart. He had fallen in love with her that very moment. Over the years, her poise and grace to overcome the whisperings were admirable on a royal level. Then fate arrived and Kohl lept at the opportunity to have Linah as his bride.

Seeking safety for his wife after learning of impending war, they journey through the forests and mountain caves until Kohl is mortally wounded. Linah turns to the Nightingale Queen and her gift of healing for help, but is unaware of the damaged past the Nightingale Queen and her husband share.

Secrets are exposed and loyalties shift in this thrilling tale of love and war!

Yeah, this one’s got SERIOUS potential. Pick up a copy!
Amazon
iTunes
Barnes and Noble

And connect with Bree, too. It’s always fun to connect with authors (especially when you like their books and leave them reviews. Not that I’m hinting; I’m coming out and telling you do it!)

Facebook

And what’s this I hear? More coming from Bree? Check out her page, get in touch, read her book, leave reviews. You guys know the drill. Help support authors of all kinds; it’s good for all of us.

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Featured New Book Spotlight: Naval Maneuvers by Dee S Knight

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Let’s welcome Dee S Knight to West of Mars! She and I got to chatting via Twitter one day and the next thing you know, my inbox was full of a Featured New Book Spotlight that I’m thrilled to bring you guys today.

Do you guys like military fiction? I have to confess I like what I’ve read, but I don’t rabidly seek it out. Still, this is one that’ll probably show up on my GoodReads page sooner or later… it really sounds good!

But before we get to what the book’s about, let’s talk about music. Because that’s the fun of the Featured New Book Spotlight: the music. Dee, what song makes you think of your book?

“Blue, Navy Blue” by Diana Renay.

I like it for my book Naval Maneuvers because it’s kind of bittersweet. Men and women who choose the Navy to serve the country leave family and loved ones behind during long tours at sea. Of course, the song also mentions the happy homecoming, which is often filled with lots of kissing and loving behind closed doors (except those doors aren’t closed in my book! ;)) Naval Maneuvers is composed of three novellas: love denied because of childhood memories, love found and then lost because of military regulations, and love found for a second time after years of lies. All have HEAs, humor, and strong men and women.

An oldie! Oh, I love this song. I’d never heard it before, but it makes me think of a more innocent time. And Henry Winkler. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a compliment.

Now I need to read this book! But wait! It’s actually a three-in-one volume — and not novels, either, if you’re worried about time commitment. Nope. These are short stories. Even better.

Here’s what it’s about:

Men and women of the armed forces experience desire and love pretty much like everyone else. Except, well, there is that uniform. And the hard-to-resist attraction of “duty, honor, service” as a man might apply them to a woman’s pleasure. All things considered, romance among the military is a pretty sexy, compelling force for which you’d better be armed, whether weighing anchor and moving forward into desire, dropping anchor and staying put for passion, or setting a course for renewed love with anchor home.

Weighing Anchor (allowing a ship to move forward by retrieving the anchor): A professional woman sworn to avoiding all things military finds herself in love with a lieutenant commander in the Navy. Love won’t conquer all if she allows her childhood memories to eclipse future happiness.

Dropping Anchor (securing movement by dropping the anchor): Two people find (surprisingly) that they are both in the Navy and love their chosen professions—until one turns out to be an officer but not a gentleman and the other is a gentleman but not an officer.

Anchor Home (safe, smooth sailing): When two former lovers find each other after more than a decade, will a long-hidden secret threaten the course of a rekindled romance or be the cause of it?

So. Grab your copy, and be sure to leave a review — they help readers find books!
Amazon
Smashwords (affiliate link)
Book Nook
Kobo

And connect with Dee, too.
Website
Blog
Twitter
Good Reads
Amazon

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Featured New Book: Harmon General by Kimberly Fish

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Woot! Let’s welcome Kimberly Fish to West of Mars!

Kimberly’s got a new book coming out, so let’s take a minute and talk to her about what song makes her think of it.

I’ll Be Seeing You–the scratchy record version sung by Bing Crosby. I’ll Be Seeing You is an iconic song made famous by a rule-breaking woman–Billie Holliday. Rule-breaking women are my favorite characters to read about and write about. These particular lyrics reflect the main character–Lane Mercer– and her feelings of lost love and longing for the men who defined her career. Plus–and this may be my favorite aspect–the song is a little ironic for a spy novel. My two female characters have carried out difficult missions for the U.S. government through the espionage agency, the OSS. As spies, their primary goal is to remain undetected. So, a love song about “seeing” someone in familiar places means the spies are not doing their job. To be clear, Lane Mercer and Emmie Tesco are very good at their jobs–too good.

Ooh, this is good stuff. I definitely want to read this one! It comes out in mid-June, so mark your calendars, add Kimberly’s blog to your reader, and stay informed.

Ready for the official description? Here you go:

In 1943, Lane Mercer and Emmie Tesco had nothing in common. Well, nothing stronger than a town neither of them chose and careers they couldn’t advertise as agents within the Office of Strategic Services. During the days of Longview, Texas’ Friendly Trek Homecoming Parade, Lane was gearing up for the grand opening of a bookshop that also disguised an espionage safe house, and Emmie was chasing a criminal with evil intent through the US Army’s new medical facility treating diseased and amputated soldiers, Harmon General Hospital. Emmie ropes Lane into international threats at Harmon General, making it increasingly hard for the two spies to navigate the Junior Service League, church life, or anything else that might be considered normal for a town sizzling with oil boom wealth. A friend from Lane’s past arrives and pushes against the fiction she’s created to distance her spy history from the wedding bells ringing her future. Emmie flirts with the idea of finding a life outside of the OSS, but justifies the danger as a way to make amends for those she’s betrayed. Connecting the two women, to their surprise, is a rogue agent who targets them for crimes he believes they created. For better, or worse, they have to put aside their differences to share responsibility for stopping “The Grasshopper” before he blows apart the Big Inch Pipeline project, and Harmon General Hospital. The hope of malaria treatments for US soldiers depends on it, and justice of the heart demands it.

Buy links aren’t up yet, but since this is a sequel to Kimberly’s novel, The Big Inch. So be sure to get that one now so you’re all caught up and ready for Harmon General’s release. Y’all see the link in that previous sentence, right?

Of course you do. You guys aren’t dummies.

Which means you’re going to connect with Kimberly, too, right? Of course! She just might have written the best “connect with me” link posts ever. At least of those I’ve seen submitted here at West of Mars, which for me counts as ever. Pooh on you if you don’t agree.

I like to blog about the writing process
I have one social media app on my iPhone and it’s Instagram–so follow here to see my spontaneous photos

I’m also on GoodReads learning about new books in the market and talking to readers

I do keep a Kimberly Fish, author page on Facebook and love to announce bookish news, events, awards, and connect with readers.

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Featured New Story: Visiting Friends by Rebecca House

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Let’s welcome another new writer friend of mine to West of Mars!

The best part of this anthology may not be the stories themselves, but the people and their fascinating lives and the personal tales they tell, beyond their fiction. That said, the fiction’s pretty damn good, too, so don’t miss out on it — and remember to leave your reviews. Reviews help more readers discover a book, and even if you list your favorite story titles and say nothing else, that’s a helpful review.

Okay, off my soapbox and back to the story at hand. Today’s focus is on Rebecca and her story, Visiting Friends. Which means we gotta ask that one famous question: Rebecca, what song makes you think of your book?

As soon as you asked this question the song that came to mind was, People Are Strange by The Doors. It’s an eerie song that I think aligns itself well with my short story, “Visiting Friends” in the Running Wild Press Anthology of Short Stories Volume 2. The main takeaway from the song and I think “Visiting Friends” is that things are not always as they appear. The song also lends itself to the darker components that tend to creep into most of my fiction writing.

Ooh, I love me some dark fiction!

Want to know more about the story? Here you go:

In the short story “Visiting Friends,” Bram Samper is thrust into Tarriton, a small Upper State New York town to attend his best friend’s wedding. While he is trying to navigate his own torments, Bram meets a strange couple, the Bakers and is taken to the bride’s family home, the Van Meertan mansion. A lavish party is being held where he meets his friends and soon-to-be married couple, Jeff and Maryke. As the night before the wedding continues, a brewing storm and strange occurances eventually draw Bram into a precarious situation. This eerie short story with a supernatural twist asks the one simple question, are things always what they appear to be?

Pick up your copy of the anthology today!
Amazon
B&N
Rakuten/Kobo
iTunes

And connect with Rebecca, too.
You can find out where to find Rebecca’s other published short stories at www.smalltowngal.com. You can also find her all over social media at Twitter (@rhhouse), Instagram @rhousewriter) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/smalltowngalwriting/)

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Featured New Short Story: Dawning by Suzanne Grieco Mattaboni

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Featured New Book SpotlightMy friend Suzanne Grieco Mattaboni steps into the spotlight this week!

To be honest, we weren’t even casual acquaintances before the Running Wild Anthology of Stories came out, but now that we’ve been working together for a couple of months, let me tell you what a cool woman Suzanne is. You’ll want to check out her story, Dawning, and then connect with her.

So, Suzanne, what song makes you think of your story?

This sounds fatalistic, but “It’s The End of the World As We Know It” by R.E.M. makes me think of my story, “Dawning,” which appears in the “Running Wild Anthology of Stories” (Volume 2). First off, the song dates to the late ’80s, which zaps me back to when the confusion of navigating an adult world first hit me. Like a frying pan to the head.

Second, the chaos of the song itself reflects the inner turmoil of being on this confounding yet exciting precipice between the world of carefree college parties; and the workaday, gritty reality of starting a career from scratch in an unforgiving city. The lyrics are random and harsh and rambling:

“That’s great, it starts with an earthquake/Birds and snakes, and aeroplanes …
… Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn …
… Birthday party, cheesecake, jellybean, boom … Right? Right!”

Yet even in the midst of incoherent disaster, the narrator of the song finds a sense of redemption that sews-up the narrative:

“It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel l fine … I feel fine …”

I heard the producers of “Friends” wanted to use this song as the opening theme but couldn’t afford it. They wanted it because it embodies that point when life first spits you onto the pavement of the grown-up world, left to find your way in the midst of what seems like the insurmountable insanity of adulthood. Yet you have to give in to it, realizing you’re destined to become another person soon, someone who might even have a better, more drama-free existence and professional life ahead of her. Eventually. If you can tough it out.

“Dawning” drops us into that moment. Throw in a Manhattan Christmas party, the 7 train to Queens, 15 helium balloons, illegal substances, and a best friend who doesn’t understand the word NO, and you’ve got the picture.

Give the story a read!

Pick up your own copy of this incredible anthology. The more I investigate it, the more I love it and am proud to be one of its contributors.
Amazon
B&N
Rakuten/Kobo
iTunes

And connect with Suzanne!
My website
Goodreads
Facebook
Twitter
Huff Post blog

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Featured New Book: Her Real Man by Natalina Reis

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Featured New Book SpotlightThere’s a Reis Run Road not too far from West of Mars. Think the person that road was named for is any relation to Natalina Reis?

I know… who cares? But it’s fun to make those small connections, especially now that we’re welcoming Natalina to the West of Mars family. She’s got a new book out, called Her Real Man, Book 0 in the Rescue Me Collection.

How can it be Book 0? Well, think of it as Ground Zero: where it all begins.

The book is called Her Real Man, and the song that makes Natalina think of it is…

Ed Sheeran’s Perfect

An awkward writer and a scarred firefighter. As imperfect as Ana and Gavin were, they were perfect in each other’s eyes.

I know a LOT of writers who would describe themselves that way… but I’m hopeful that for Natalina, this isn’t a case of Write What You Know.

Anyway, I love that very simple description. Don’t you? It’s so pure and trusting… Oh, that gives even the most jaded among us (and you all point to me, I know) hope.

Want more? Here’s the official description:

An imperfect firefighter defined by his past.

A determined author on a mission for the truth.

When Ana Mathews searches for book-boyfriend inspiration, she gets more than she expected from Gavin McLeod. Her quest to find imperfection could be the spark that brings to life their chance at happiness, or the burn that could destroy it all.

I LOVE that. “When Ana Mathews searches for book-boyfriend inspiration…” I have clients who do this! I have friends who do this!

(I do not. See above about being jaded.)

And suddenly, the title makes a LOT more sense. In fact, it’s really darn clever and I appreciate the sly nod here.

Grab a copy. You know I did.

Please provide buy links
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon AU
Amazon CA
Kobo
iTunes

And connect with Natalina!
Instagram
FB
BookBub
Amazon
Newsletter
Twitter:
Goodreads:
Blog

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Featured New Short Story: Life After Breath by Tori M Eldridge

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Featured New Book SpotlightLet’s welcome Tori M Eldridge to West of Mars!

Tori isn’t just another contributor to the anthology that my short story, Undaunted, is in. Nope. She’s the lead named author, which means that she’s got some serious literary clout. Just that reason alone should be enough for you to pick up a copy of the anthology and start reading, but in case it’s not, let’s ask her what song makes her think of her story.

“Hurt” by Christina Aguilera: The anguish conveyed through this evocative melody, poignant lyrics, and–of course–Ms. Aguilera’s astounding voice resonates with the grief and despair that drives my character into the ocean when a fast-moving fog swallows the coast. “Hurt” strikes that painful chord of longing, guilt, and a struggle to find a reason to live.

Now, you may not know this, but Christina grew up near West of Mars. She’s a graduate of the school my kids go to. So this connection may or may not count for Pittsburgh Geography, that game where it all links back to Da Burgh, but… maybe it does. I vote yes, anyway.

So what’s the story about? In case Tori’s explanation above wasn’t enough for you, here’s more:

“Life After Breath” is a poignant underwater ghost story about grief and redemption, set along the foggy Malibu coast.

Grab your copy! Not all the stories have to deal with death and grief, I promise.
Amazon
B&N
Rakuten/Kobo
iTunes

Remember, too, to leave a review once you’re done. It’s the best way to say thanks to an author for putting in the time to compose a literary gem (or turd, but let’s face it: in this anthology, they’re all gems), and then to have the courage to submit it. That’s some scary stuff, folks, submitting a story!

Be sure, as well, to connect with Tori:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest

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Featured New Story: Justice by Julie Doherty

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Featured New Book Spotlight

Let’s all welcome Julie Doherty to West of Mars!

I met Julie via the Running Wild Anthology of Stories, Volume 2, and she’s pretty awesome. And her story? LOVED it. Voice, detail… this is the kind of fiction I adore and, oddly, have been reading a lot of lately.

So let’s get to it. Julie, what song makes you think of “Justice”

“Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield. Part of the lyrics go “I am unwritten, can’t read my mind,
I’m undefined. I’m just beginning, the pen’s in my hand, Ending unplanned.”

Readers have called my novels “romance with teeth,” so I’m no stranger to dark, edgy writing. However, producing “Justice” for this anthology gave me a chance to skip past the smooches and straight into disturbing. What a rewarding challenge!

I love that! “Skip past the smoochees and straight into disturbing.”

Pick up your copy of the anthology — and be sure to leave a review! Reviews help other readers find great new reads.
Amazon
B&N
Rakuten/Kobo
iTunes

And connect with Julie, too.
SITE
FACEBOOK
GOODREADS
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE
TWITTER
BOOK TRAILER #1
BOOK TRAILER #2

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Featured New Short Story Spotlight: Idylls of the King by Amelia Kibbie

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Featured New Book SpotlightIt’s time to welcome my anthology-mate Amelia Kibbie to West of Mars!

Her story is directly after mine, so if you sat down to ONLY read mine (bless your heart for being such a dedicated Susan fan), well, just keep turning the pages. I did. I mean, how could I speak with any authority if I didn’t?

So her story is called Idylls of the King, and I’ll let you read it to find out what that means. But first, here’s Amelia with the song that makes her think of her story.

Richard Robbins’ soundtrack to the movie A Room with a View comes to mind. I don’t think about this story in terms of lyrics to a song, which is odd for me because I could usually name you a whole soundtrack. It’s sappy, but probably “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion would fit as well. When you find the right person to love you and support you, it does lift you up to reach the things you couldn’t reach before, and I think my characters realize that by the end of the story.

Sappy is fine! And I like that the story transcends lyrics; I’m so much more literal than that, so it’s neat to meet someone who is my polar opposite. I hope Amelia brings us more of her perspective in the future.

Ready for more about the story? Here you go:

“Idylls of the King” is a short story included in the Running Wild Anthology of Stories Volume 2, and tells the tale of two young teens and their classmates who are evacuated from London to escape the bombings in WWII through Operation Pied Piper. The schoolchildren move into Willowind House, the country estate of the elderly but formidable Baroness, Lady Barlow. The Baroness takes an interest in the class misfits, James and Arthur, and uses the myths and legends of King Arthur and his knights to teach the boys the courage to not only stand up to their bullies, but to dare to find their first love in each other.

Grab your own copy of this fun and incredible (if I may say so) anthology. Lots of great stuff to discover in here.
Amazon
B&N
Rakuten/Kobo
iTunes

Connect with Amelia:
Facebook
website
Twitter

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Featured New Short Story: Undaunted by Susan Helene Gottfried

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Featured New Book Spotlight

It’s my turn to step into the spotlight! Do you know stoked I am to do this?

Here’s the story, if you missed it a few weeks ago: One of my son’s friends told me about a prompt on their English final. One word: Puddles.

And after years of not writing a heck of a lot, just like that, I started writing again.

I still don’t know what motivated me, but something did. Maybe I was possessed, maybe I just loved this story and had that much faith in it.

But… I submitted it, it was accepted, and now, today, I’m here to tell you about the song that makes me think of my story, Undaunted.

This is embarrassing as hell, because I’ve come to realize this is actually a horrible song, but here it is anyway: It Can’t Rain All the Time, from the Crow Soundtrack, performed by Jane Siberry. The link will take you to a fan-made tribute video, and I think it does the song and movie justice. But… yeah. It’s not the sort of thing I listen to… ever. But there’s a longing in it, a sense of what true love must be like, and even a promise — and those elements are what I tried to key into when creating Carrie and this story of her loss of her husband, Dante. And, of course, the rain is a theme in both song and story — in Undaunted, though, it’s more an element of the safe harbor of love, and in the end, it’s all about redemption and freedom.

The description isn’t much, as it shouldn’t be in an anthology such as this, but here it is:

Over twenty stories that will make your heart race, make you joyful, fearful, thrilled, inspired, and horrified.
These are stories that will make your imagination run wild featuring Gemma L. Brook, Lorna Walsh, Jasmine Wade,
Laura Nelson Selinsky, Carol Dowd-Forte, Tone Milazzo, Julie Doherty, Tori Eldridge, Ken MacGregor, Nick Mazzuca, Andrew Adams, Susan Helene Gottfried, Amelia Kibbie, Lexis Parker, Rebecca House, Elan Barnehama, Gary Zenker, Suzanne Grieco Mattaboni, Joe Nasta, Cindy Cavett

Need some buy links? It’s still a pre-order for three more days. But go and pre-order. Don’t wait, to make sure you don’t forget!
Amazon
B&N
Rakuten/Kobo
iTunes

And… you don’t really need my connect links… they’re all over this here site.

Just remember that if you pick up a copy (and you should!), my fellow authors and I would LOVE a review.

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Featured New Story Spotlight: All God’s Creatures Got Reasons by Frank Oreto

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Featured New Book SpotlightLet’s welcome Frank Oreto to West of Mars this week!

Frank’s got a few things that make him pretty cool: he’s local to me, part of a writer’s group I belong to and will one day make an in-person appearance to, AND he’s got a short story to tell you about. I know we’ve got some other short stories featured in the spotlight in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned and expand your literary buying habits now!

So Frank’s got a short story called All God’s Creatures Got Reasons, and it’s in the Hinnom Magazine, #5. I’ve never heard of this magazine, so you KNOW it’s time to investigate and learn about it.

But first… Frank, what song makes you think of your story?

“Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Love in My Tummy” for the most horrible reasons imaginable.

Oh.

My.

I’m… scared now. Which I suppose I ought to be, given that this is a group who’s pretty hard-core Science Fiction, Fantasy, and horror. I mean, this is the source of that way-cool pizza-themed call for submissions I posted a few months back.

(Know what’s worse? When I dug up the song on YouTube, I recognized it! I am NOT that old. I mean, really. I am not. I just know weird shit.)

So. Back to Frank and his story because to be honest, I need to get myself a copy of this. I mean, don’t you? Between the title and the song, how can you resist?

But if you’re still on the fence, here’s how Frank describes the story:

We’re all heroes in our own story. But what happens when what you do, the act that gives you purpose, makes you the worst person in the world? Find out in “All God’s Creatures Got Reasons.” Featured in Hinnom Magazine #5. Available now.

Yeah, it’s hard to summarize a short story, but now I’m even MORE intrigued. Who gets eaten? Who’s the hero? What’s this about God’s creatures and reasons?

Seriously.

Let’s ALL get a copy. It’s an Amazon-only thing, I think, but if you’re more Amazon-averse than I am, let me know if you find other retailers and I’ll update.

And connect with Frank!
Twitter
Facebook

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Featured New Book: Blood Bond by Susan Leigh Noble

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Featured New Book Spotlight

Let’s welcome back Susan Leigh Noble to West of Mars! If you’re paying attention around here, you’ll notice that Susan also features authors on her blog, so it’s nice to be able to pay the kindness back. Or forward. Or whatever.

The end result is that she’s here today to tell us about her new book, Blood Bond. Ready? Susan, what song makes you think of your book?

I would like to thank Susan for allowing me to spotlight my new release Blood Bond. I found picking a song that represents my fantasy novel to be a challenge. I finally chose Should I Stay or Should I Go by The Clash.

I felt this song’s title is exactly the question running through my main character’s mind. Soren is reluctant to help Dex, the dragon, who wants him to help reunite man and dragon for an upcoming battle. The line “If I go, there will be trouble and if I stay it will be double” is particularly true to the story. After Dex’s blood mixes with Soren’s during a battle, the two become linked. If Soren decides to leave it will cause both of them pain but if he decides to stay and help not only will the bond get stronger, but he will be putting himself in harm’s way.

Intrigued? I am. The basic premise of staying or going… that’s one we all face, more often than most of us would like to admit.

Here’s the book’s description:

Man severed the alliance with the dragons fifty years ago. But now an invading army marches north destroying everything in its path. The dragons believe only together can the invaders be defeated. They need an emissary.

Womanizer. Drunk. Failure. Soren is many things. A leader isn’t one of them. But, Dex, the dragon that saves him from a cliff, believes different. Thrust into an adventure he never wanted, Soren’s life changes forever when during a battle Dex’s blood mixes with his blood creating a mystical blood bond – forever linking them.

As the bond strengthens, Soren must decide whether to return to his old life or accept the bond and embrace his role in the battle against the invading army.

Whoa, huh?

Pick up your copy. It’s Amazon-only, but Susan said, “right now,” so maybe there’s hope for those of you who choose to use other book retailers than Amazon?

And connect with Susan! Remember to check out her blog for other authors you may know… and those you may not.
Link to my blog
Link to Facebook

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Featured New Book: Chasing Ordinary by Pandora Spocks

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Featured New Book SpotlightLet’s welcome Pandora Spocks to West of Mars! If you like your fiction hot and spicy, Pandora’s got some for you!

(If not, well, it takes all kinds to rock the world, and maybe this book would be perfect for one of your friends?)

I actually like that the dude on the cover is wearing a shirt. So many erotic romances (and, indeed, many of Pandora’s own books) feature the de rigeur skin that this one… it catches the eye. But it can also be misleading.

So, let’s find out about the book, shall we? Pandora, what song makes you think of your book?

My new book, Chasing Ordinary, is the modern adult fairy tale I’ve always wanted to read. As I was writing, one song echoed through my mind, and it makes an appearance several times throughout the story: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran.

I have to admit, I was absolutely captivated by the woman dancer in the video.

But this isn’t a post about a song! It’s a post about a book, so let’s find out what Chasing Ordinary is about:

Red-haired Petey Cavanaugh is a sculptor who welds steel and glass creations. A young widow, she lives on her in-laws’ sheep ranch in Montana where she helps out during the day, working on her art at night.

Looking to raise money to expand the ranch’s business, she gratefully accepts her art school roommate’s offer of a gallery show in Manhattan. It’s been years since she was in the city, and she’s happy to visit her old friend.

Nik is in New York on business. He’s been traveling for nearly a month, enduring endless meetings, attending obligatory dinners, and battling jet-lag. On his way to yet another business dinner, his world collides with Petey’s one rainy Manhattan night.

Their mutual attraction is immediate, but Nik’s skeptical. Could it possibly be that this gorgeous, enchanting artist has no idea that he’s Europe’s most eligible prince?

Spending time with Petey is Nik’s first-ever taste of ordinary. What will happen when she finds out the truth?

Nice twist at the end there!

This won’t be released until February 13, but you can pre-order now. (I LOVE pre-orders) Best of all, this link will take you to a variety of retailers, so you can pick from your favorite!
Here’s the link again, in case you missed it the first two times. Because really, if I can’t resist, that means no one else in the world should be able to. (Did anyone buy that garbage I just spewed? Oh, just go buy the book insteaad!)

Remember, once you’ve read it, a few words in review are always appreciated by the author. If you need help writing your review, holler. I charge super-cheap rates to get reviews up to the brilliance you know you intended to write.

And be sure to connect with Pandora, too. As she puts it, “I’m all over the place. Feel free to stalk me!”

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Featured New Book: Vigilance and Vengeance by SD Hintz

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Featured New Book Spotlight Let’s welcome SD Hintz to West of Mars!

Honestly, I don’t know how SD found us, and I’m more than okay with that. I love adding new people to my radar, as you long-time readers well know. Of course, my wish list of books I want to get my hands on grows exponentially, and sometimes, so does my TBR mountain range, but even that’s worth it. I’ve found some fantastic stuff from what you guys ask me to feature. And that’s only one reason why I do this!

So, SD, what song makes you think of Vigilance and Vengeance?

Start A Fire by Unspoken

That was all SD had to say, but if you really listen to the song, you’ll understand it. Of course, it’ll help if you know what the book’s about.

Eighteen-year-old Seanna had a face that was hard to forget. A blood red birthmark emblazoned across her chin is the reason why. It made her the target of taunts from bullies and the bane of the headmistress of the orphanage where she lived since birth. Her mark possesses a fiery flair she struggles to control. Consumed by a pyrokinetic ability she can either learn to control it or let it control her.

In a world where no one can be trusted can she trust herself to save the world or will she be the one to end it?

Pick up a copy — this has a great premise, doesn’t it? And I like the song; Unspoken is a new-to-me band. It’s happy. It’s got great energy. What a contrast to a book about a pyrokenetic!

Unfortunately, this is an Amazon-only book, but if that’s your juju and you have Unlimited, you can download and read away. The rest of us will have to either cough up real money (what a horror! To pay money for a book!) or wait and hope our libraries or other retailers will carry it.

Connect with SD Hintz! You know you want to be around someone this creative.
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Featured New Book Spotlight: Second Chances by Kimberley O’Malley

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Featured New Book Spotlight

Welcome 2018 and welcome Kimberley O’Malley to West of Mars!

And also, say thanks to Kimberley for her patience; she’d sent this in to me back in December, but I wanted to make sure it got maximum exposure because that’s the whole point, right? So here we are, starting January off with our first Featured New Book — it’s the third in a series, so you’ll probably want to go back and check out the whole thing. Who likes starting series in the middle? Well, okay, because writers improve with each book, sometimes that’s a good thing (to this day, I cannot read the first Stephanie Plum book, or the first Sookie Stackhouse, but both are series I swear by.)

Back to Kimberley, because she’s the focus today. We want to learn about Second Chances, the third book in her Windsor Falls series, so we can love it as much as we love Stephanie Plum and Sookie Stackhouse. Kimberley, what song makes you think of your book?

Take A Chance on Me by ABBA! I love ABBA and this song in particular. Both Brendan and Charlie bring emotional baggage to this relationship. Both have their own scars. Both have to be willing to ‘take a chance’. Second Chances is about two people who have to be willing to overcome their own personal demons to make this relationship work.

I know second chance romances are a HUGE catnip for a lot of people, so this is got to tempt a bunch of you out there!

Ready to hear the official description? I sure am.

Dr. Charlotte Avery is the newest resident of Windsor Falls, North Carolina. Just back from the war-ravaged plains of Africa, Charlie only wants to settle into her new life and to reconnect with Elizabeth Fitzgerald, her best friend from residency. What she doesn’t expect, or need, is the instant attraction she feels for Elizabeth’s brother-in-law, Brendan. A single dad, Brendan Fitzgerald isn’t interested in anything that will further complicate his life. Will they be open to a second chance?

Yeah, this sounds like something I’d totally read. I’m on it. Are you?

Or maybe you’re nervous because this is the third in the series and you haven’t read the first two. Worry no more! I asked Kimberley and she said that you can read the books in any order. Which means this may be the third book, but it’s also a great place to start. Grab your copy today!

Here’s how:
Amazon
B&N
KOBO
Smashwords (Referral link and please use it ’cause Smashwords delivers GREAT royalties. I don’t care about the referral; I want to see Kimberley get the great royalties!)

Who, me? Got a favorite retailer? Nah…

And be sure to connect with Kimberley. She’ll be interested in seeing your review once you read the book and post it!
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Featured New Book Update: Buy links for Peter Perrin’s Grace’s Turmoil

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It was only a couple of weeks ago that I ran this Featured New Book Spotlight for Peter Perrin’s new book, Grace’s Turmoil.

The book wasn’t out yet, but it is now, so here are your buy links — Amazon only, I’m afraid. Sorry to you who aren’t Kindle users! (and note that I’m not telling you to download the free app; I assume you’re not a Kindle person for reasons, and I respect that.)

 

So… grab your copy now at all the Amazons… or only the one you can actually make a purchase through. Be sure, once you do and once you’ve read the book, to leave a review when you’re finished — either at Amazon or GoodReads, or both, and/or any other place you can think of. Reviews do help readers find new books!

 

(And if you feel like you need help writing or honing a review, I offer review help for only $5 per review. That’s a bargain!)

 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078GBQY4D/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078GBQY4D/
https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B078GBQY4D/
https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B078GBQY4D/
https://www.amazon.de/dp/B078GBQY4D/
https://www.amazon.it/dp/B078GBQY4D/
https://www.amazon.au/dp/B078GBQY4D/
https://www.amazon.es/dp/B078GBQY4D/

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Featured New Book: Grace’s Turmoil by Peter Perrin

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Featured New Book SpotlightLet’s welcome Peter Perrin to West of Mars!

Peter and I met via Twitter — another good reason to use Twitter to directly reach readers and other publishing industry professionals, such as myself. Twitter makes a good water cooler when you can find people willing to chat with you. And here’s proof: Peter’s come to tell us what song makes him think of his new book, Grace’s Turmoil.

In Grace’s Turmoil, Grace had suffered a painful divorce and been emotionally scarred. After that, she had settled for a life without men, without a love of her own.

But then a dashing widower moved into her retirement village. Alfred awoke feelings in her she had wanted to keep dormant.

Less than four weeks later, Grace sang “Blue Moon” for him at a karaoke night and her choice of song spoke volumes about how he had changed her life. Like the song says, she was no longer alone.

Ooh, I like this version! Billie Holiday is incomparable, and her version is so much more upbeat than the dirge we’re usually presented with. Be sure to check out the link and give this version of a classic a listen. I bet you’ll never go back. (I sure won’t.)

And yes, Peter specified this version of the song. For which I am grateful. Love this solo interlude!

Back to Grace’s Turmoil, though. What’s its official back cover copy?

Divorced and emotionally damaged, artist Grace Stollery wants nothing more than to spend her semi-retirement painting and let time heal her emotional scars.

But when dashing widower Alfred Nobel moves into her retirement village he turns her life upside down and her heart inside out by awakening feelings she wants to keep dormant.

Alfred quickly sets out to woo Grace and slowly she warms to him. But the village’s resident femme fatale wants him for herself. Will she succeed in driving a wedge between Alfred and Grace?

Get a copy! It just went live on the 15th — that was last Friday — and you know how the early sales help fuel a book’s success!

Devine Destinies

I’ll update with Amazon and other links later.

And, of course, connect with Peter at his website.

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Featured New Book: A Touchdown to Remember by Seelie Kay

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Featured New Book Spotlight

Let’s welcome Seelie Kay to West of Mars!

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

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

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

A Touchdown To Remember

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Seeing is Believing” by Blind Pilot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At the same time.

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

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

Your brutal, merciless father.

Talk about being forged in fire…

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

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

Anyone else sold on the kitty?

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

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

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