Tag Archives: buy it read it review it

His Melody by Tara Conrad in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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We’re back after a short blackout (I hate those!) with a return visit from my new friend Tara Conrad.

You can visit her first post, featuring Submitting to Him, here.

Which means Tara’s an old hand at this already. I mean, of course she is after only being here once before. This isn’t hard stuff, gang — and that’s by design. I want it easy for you, both as spotlit authors and as readers. Which means, we gotta get right to it, no?

Tara Conrad! What song makes you think of your new book, His Melody?????? (Lots of question marks ’cause I really want to know and yes, today is a MOOD. Go with it.)

Just Give Me a Reason by Pink

Viktor and the girl he ends up with (I can’t give away who it is) both believe they’re damaged beyond repair. Both of their pasts are filled with loss, pain, and more trauma than any person should have to endure. Neither of them believe they’re worthy of love.

Their paths cross–their worlds collide and they can’t ignore the pull to one another.

But, there’s one big problem, their love is forbidden.

This song? One of my all-time favorites! And I want to one day write a book that makes me think of this song. It’s so… mmmm. Everything. Yum.

And if you didn’t notice, by Tara’s refusal to let us know the female lead’s name, this is one in a series — the fourth, to be precise. So you might want to backtrack and catch up before reading this one! (Hey, the first book? I linked to it above! It’s Submitting to Him!)

But before we think about that, let’s talk about the official book description. Ready? I sure am!

Everyone seems to believe time heals all wounds. But is that really the truth or something people say to ease their conscience?
The pain from loss never completely goes away. Instead, we learn to live with the suffocating grief.
I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. A man like me doesn’t get a happily ever after.
I knew better. That mistake won’t happen again.
This time, I’m starting over with nothing left to lose.
I just hope when the dust settles, everyone I care about can forgive me.
~Viktor

Ooh! Tara STILL didn’t spoil the woman’s name!!! Notice what she did there!

I gotta know. Do you gotta know?

Here’s the way: Amazon only book you gotta read

And here’s how to connect with Tara… well, how to get signed paperback copies, anyway! They make great gifts…. just sayin’…

This is that spot where I remind you that if you can’t gift a copy to a friend, and if your friends are tired of you talking up all the great books you find here and want them to know about, the next best way to help an author raise their visibility is to leave a review online! Another good way is to send them here, for their chance to stop into the spotlight.

Be a good reader. Share the name of your favorite book or author with the world.

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Fractured: Love of the Broken by Eileen Troemel in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Calling my dark fiction lovers! Author Eileen Troemel herself describes Fractured: Love of the Broken as being dark, and c’mon. That title says it all right?

But.

But.

Let’s let Eileen Troemel tell us all about the song that makes her think of her book, Fractured: Love of the Broken. Ready? It’s not some bizarre death metal (hey, I listen to death metal), I promise.

Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) Kelly Clarkson
Zulma’s space transport crash lands on Laken a Prisoner of War planet. She’s been sent there after being captured during a war with Dolians. She’s been through the ringer. Drugged, tortured, raped, she’s a mess. She’s greeted by four Conasians who have been prisoners on the planet for a long time. They’ve survived the drug addicts they call Sleepers but they’re tired of fighting to survive. Drake, Parker, Claud and Stuart take her back to their leader as ordered.

Zulma is RAW from her experiences. She doesn’t know who to trust or believe. She’s been beaten down by the Dolian Premier. He tried to break her in every possible way. But she stayed strong, barely. She feels shattered but her four men help her cope with the trauma and terror she went through.

Four men, huh? Should I be winking at that? I don’t know! We’ll have to read the book!

Want to know more? I don’t know if that explanation can be topped, but let’s see. Here’s the official book description for you:

Fractured
This is a Reverse Harem dark scifi romance. There is cursing and violence. Rape and torture are referred to.

Sent to the prison planet Laken, Zulma expects to be raped and tortured. What she finds there may save her and her people.

Ordered to a crashed Dolian ship, Conasian prisoners of war Drake, Claud, Stuart, and Parker hope to survive the trek through the dangerous sleepers. The downed ship is vital. What they discover will change their future if they survive the sleepers and their own men.

Yep, I shoula winked. My instinct was right.

If you are offended by the use of the term reverse harem, I apologize. I know it’s a loaded term, that there’s a huge controversy about its use and meaning, and what good alternatives are… romance is HARD, y’all.

Anyway, regardless of the term, pick up the book. It sounds like it’s a dark book with a redemption or healing arc, and couldn’t we ALL use a bit of that right now? I sure could.

And make sure you make note! It will not be for sale until October 15! But if you preorder now, it’ll magically show up on your device on the fifteenth, like a gift from past you.
Here’s your universal link.

And visit with Eileen Troemel! She’s lovely, and I so enjoy our chats. Here’s her linktree — again, universal links, so have at it and have fun exploring her world. You’ll be glad you did!

Remember, if the book strikes and emotional chord with you, leave a review somewhere online, in addition to sharing copies with friends. Reviews help a book become more discoverable, which in turn means more sales, which in turn means authors who can make a living bringing you amazing books to read. See how you’re a part of that? You ARE important too.

And if you’re reading this and you are an author, or you have a friend who’s an author, send them over to the Featured New Book Spotlight! This is how we all find great new reads, hear great songs, and support each other. There’s room for everyone!

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Cruising Danger by Stevie Turner in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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book coverLet’s welcome Stevie Turner to West of Mars! I’ve known Stevie for a long time now, via Triberr, and so I’m very excited to finally host a spotlight for one of her books. This one is called Cruising Danger, and that title alone is awesome, is it not? And before you ask, this is an older title, but that’s fine! It’s new to me, so that’s what counts.

Stevie Turner, what song makes you think of your book, Cruising Danger?

Sailing, by Rod Stewart.

My book is ‘Cruising Danger’, a mystery/suspense story.

Whoa! That’s an old one! And a good one; musically, it’s held up. Takes me right on back, although I’d say it’s more soothing than suspense and mystery, but yeah, I can see it.

So what’s Cruising Danger about?

When Pauline Edmunds agrees to accompany her workmate Shirley on a Caribbean cruise, she is disappointed to be left alone almost at the start when Shirley starts a holiday romance with Joe Collins, a guitarist in a band working on board the ship. However, Pauline does not like the look of Joe, and tries to dissuade Shirley from continuing the affair. When Shirley cannot be found one morning, Pauline begins to investigate her friend’s disappearance, opening up a whole can of worms amidst a background of Caribbean scenery and sunshine.

Oh, my! Did the guitarist do it? Or… well, I mean, it’s a mystery, so I guess we’ve got to read it because you know it’s not going to be that easy.

Be sure to grab your copy. It’s an Amazon exclusive, but that does not mean you can read and return it! (That’s super-duper tacky. Don’t be tacky, let alone super-duper tacky.)

And, of course, be sure to leave a review online somewhere once you’ve read it, okay? That helps more readers find a book, and that’s always a good thing! So is buying a copy for a friend, or simply telling others about a good book, too. Do all three! It’s easy!

If you’d like to connect with Stevie Turner — and why wouldn’t you? You can find out more about books like Cruising Danger–here’s how!
Website
Twitter
Blog
Pinterest
Amazon Author Page
Email
Goodreads
YouTube
About Me

Remember, if you’re an author or you have friends who have written books, I’m glad to host them for a day and let them take their turn in the spotlight. There’s even a handy-dandy form for them to fill out.

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Escape to the Garage by Aimee Eddy in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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book coverLet’s welcome Aimee Eddy to West of Mars!

To be honest, I have no idea how how Aimee found us, but let me tell you how glad I am that she’s here. The full title of her book is “Escape to the Garage: Family Love Overcomes Bullying” and just from that title, I can tell you we need more of this kind of goodness in the world. (And I say this as a parent who pulled her own kids back from the “high-risk” label, so I get it. I really do.)

There’s a LOT to explore about this book. We’re not going to get to it all, so I encourage you to explore on your own because me? I’m starting with the usual… Aimee Eddy, what song makes you think of your book, Escape to the Garage?

Taylor Swift’s song, Mean reminds me of my memoir, Escape to the Garage: Family Love Overcomes Bullying. She sings about being put down and how it affected her. In my book I show how I was bullied and that led to a decline in my mental health. Her lyrics, “Words like knives,” tells how the rotten things people say feel like. In my memoir I show how words cut the soul like a knife and tear me down. Taylor Swift sings about how she rose above the bullying and proves the person wrong. In my memoir I rise up to show my worth.

From the opening lyrics, I got the connection here. This is a perfect fit, song to story. (Also? I really want a metal or hard rock version of this song.)

Aimee Eddy, would you please share the book description with us?

Unable to do classwork in first grade, Aimee Eddy is called a retard by her teacher. This label follows her throughout elementary school and forces her to endure daily bullying from classmates and teachers alike. Low self-esteem and hopelessness threaten to swallow her.
Despite the hardships at school, she finds love and acceptance in one place-the family garage. Aimee, her siblings, and cousins disappear into their imaginations. There they build forts in the junkyard and roll down hills in inner tubes. The love her family shares with her at the garage gives her the courage to withstand the deep depression school produces.

Then tragedy strikes, and the family loses the garage. Without this place of refuge, how will she find the strength to stand up to bullies?

Whoa! Like… this reads like fiction. I’ll say it. This is a fabulous hook and I want to know what happens to the family and how Aimee manages to come out on top. I mean, gumption and guts and courage and resiliency, sure. But… there’s ALWAYS more to it than that.

I need to read this, in case it’s not obvious! Don’t you?

Grab your copy! It’s an Amazon exclusive, it looks like.

And connect with Aimee. Authors are always fun to connect with, and Aimee is doing very important work.
Website/Blog
Facebook
Twitter

As always, remember to leave a review online if you’ve read this and/or tell a friend. Or buy a copy for a friend! The more you spread the word of a good book, the more you help make the book discoverable to others, and that means more sales, which means more royalties for the author, which means all good things. (Also? Don’t download, read, and return, okay? That’s tacky AF.)

And, of course, send your friends and the authors you know on over for their turn in the spotlight. It doesn’t hurt, I’m a lot nice to chat with than I am in my book reviews (ulp), and you never know where your biggest fan is going to come from!

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The Shifter: Legends of Pern Coen (Book 1) by Hannah E Carey in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Book CoverLet’s welcome Hannah Carey back to West of Mars! Hannah Carey has been here twice before, in fact, if you’ve missed her and her romantic fantasy set on the island of Pern Coen. Here’s the link to The Hunter, and here’s the link to The Betrayer. And today, she’s here to tell us about her new book, The Shifter.

I really like Hannah’s books. If you like Tamora Pierce, I suspect you’ll like Hannah Carey’s world and her vision. That’s who immediately comes to mind.

Lucky for us, Hannah’s willing to drop in and talk music. (Although, to be fair, I’ve never invited Ms. Pierce to step into the spotlight.) And so, let’s get right to it: Hannah Carey, what song makes you think of your new book, The Shifter?

I listened to this song pretty consistently while writing The Shifter and I really felt like it fit both the main characters. Both the male lead, Bran, and the female lead, Seren, go on their own sort of “hero’s journey” over the course of the story and have to choose whether or not they’re going to step into the roles that await them. For Bran in particular with his troubled past, this song really felt like it fit. This song was definitely inspiration for one of my favorite moments in the book:

She saw something I didn’t. Something I didn’t dare hope to believe.

“I’m not a hero, Ren,” I quietly told her. “Not like you want me to be.”

“You are one to me,” she replied, holding my gaze.

If you’re looking for artist and title, since Hannah’s teasing us (fair!), it’s Tommee Profitt with Fleurie, and the song is called There’s a Hero in You.

And yes, the song fits the book. Totally. No argument from me.

Plus, I really like Tommee Profitt. I’ve got some of her music on my daily work playlists. So if you ever feel like no one cares what song you pick, you are WRONG. I care and I listen to it all. I really do.

CAN WE TALK ABOUT THOSE THREE LINES FROM THE BOOK? Wow! I love them.

So what’s the full book about? What do those three lines mean? Take a peek:

Bran has spent his life being hunted for what he is. Born with the gift of shape shifting, his very existence is in danger from the ruler of the Clan of Blaidd, Ri Cadfael. Bran has sworn his loyalty to a man who has vowed to see Cadfael brought to ruin, until a chance encounter with the Ri’s daughter leaves Bran questioning his future. Seren saved him years ago and the memories of her, and of his old life, aren’t so easily forgotten.

In the end, Bran must make a choice: kill Seren or spare her. And if he does spare her life, he will be forced to risk his very own. Can Bran turn away from his questionable past and help Seren save the clan from the Dark Spirit bent on destroying it? And will Seren lose her heart to a dangerous shifter in the process?

Sound good? I think so. Also, I may have already read it and know. Maybe. I’m not saying for certain.

Get your own copy, and then be someone who can and does say with certain — because leaving an online review is so important to help other readers find their next read.
Direct/My Online Store (eBook)

Amazon

Apple

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Google Play

Smashwords *Affiliate link, so you know and so I can maybe earn a few pennies

Lots of options! Pick your favorite!

And be sure to connect with Hannah, too. She’s good people.
Website

Facebook

Instagram

BookBub

Remember, if you’re an author or friends with an author, the Featured New Book Spotlight is open to all — and I’d love to host you. Why not take a few minutes and let the spotlight shine on you?

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The Earl’s English Rose by Regina Jeffers in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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Woot! I have been sharing posts for books by Regina Jeffers for literal years and I’m so excited to host her today in the Featured New Book Spotlight. It’s always fun to get a better, closer look at a book I’ve seen bandied about on social media — and this is another reason why stopping in here is always a smart thing to do! I’m so ready to learn about your books, I can’t tell you.

So let’s get right to it, shall we? Regina Jeffers, what song makes you think of your new book, The Earl’s English Rose?

If I were to choose a song to accompany “The Earl’s English Rose,” I would choose Amanda McBroom’s “The Rose,” sung beautifully by Bette Midler as the soundtrack of a movie by the same name. Yes, I know, my choice seems so obvious, as such is the heroine’s first name, but there is more to the lyrics which speak of the “ease” of the young woman to give her heart to a man she realizes is both her savior and her nemesis and his “inherent” lack of trust in “LOVE” itself.

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower
And you, its only seed

The heroine, Miss Rose Vickers, although young, recognizes the fear of romantic heartbreak as real, but she does not avoid the possibility. Instead, she accepts what she cannot control and plunges head first into a relationship with a man dead set on only being her guardian.

It’s the heart, afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance
It’s the dream, afraid of waking
That never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken
Who cannot seem to give
And the soul, afraid of dying
That never learns to live

Meanwhile, Jacob Casper, the 13th Earl of Everwalt, believes his life of dissipation is all he requires until he must marry and provide the earldom the traditional “heir and a spare.” Love has nothing to do with begetting a child on his future wife. However, as Midler’s “The Rose” tells us, there are certain endeavors in life, including most importantly, falling in love, which require a considerable degree of courage on the part of participants.

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose

So, although some consider this song has something to do with dying, as it is often played at funerals, and because such was the plot, which is loosely based on the rise and fall of Janis Joplin, I think otherwise. I dwell on the lines , “I say love, it is a flower, and you its only seed” in the first verse and the last two lines of the third verse, which say, “Lies the seed that with the sun’s love, in the spring becomes the rose.” The song speaks to the durability of love. Therefore, I offer the book’s tagline: The True Beauty of a Rose Lies in its Contradictions.

OOH! What an explanation! I love it! I also love where Regina says, “There are certain endeavors in life, including most importantly, falling in love, which require a considerable degree of courage on the part of the participants.”

So. Much. Yes.

If that’s not enough for you (yet), I’ve got more! And so does Regina, thankfully. Ready for the book’s official and actual description (although what we’ve already gotten is pretty darn good)?

The new Earl of Everwalt was not one to appreciate being bamboozled by an obstinate, headstrong girl, though pretty she may be. If he did not require her to repair his reputation, he would leave her to the schemes she had concocted to save her father’s estate.

Just because he was now her guardian, the Earl of Everwalt had no right to decide who she might marry. Therefore, Miss Rose Vickers sets out for London to provide the new earl a piece of her mind, only to run into a highwayman. As if scripted, the new earl proves to be her savior, but it would be some time before the suspicious Rose and the extremely susceptible Everwalt learn the depth of their connection and the true meaning of love.

Are you ready to grab your copy? I sure am!

“The Earl’s English Rose” is one of six tales in The Regency Summer Garden Anthology.

Amazon Paperback

Kindle

Also Available to Read for Free on Kindle Unlimited

And remember: the best way to show your appreciation for a book is to leave an online review for it. Some of my favorite reviews are short; others are thoughtful and perceptive. And other favorite reviews of mine are in between. There are no rights and wrongs — so long as you are honest.

Be sure to connect with Regina Jeffers! It’s free! It’s fun! It’ll let you learn about more of her books!
Every Woman Dreams (Blog)
Austen Authors (Blog)
Facebook
Twitter
Amazon Author Page
Pinterest
BookBub
Instagram
You Tube Interview
Regina Jeffers’s Website

Remember if you’re an author or have a friend who’s an author, the Featured New Book Spotlight is waiting to be filled by you (or them)! This is my labor of love, my way of helping readers find new books. Join me. Grab one of the books you see featured here. Send your friends over. Fill out the form yourself, if it’s your book. Because no one can talk about your book if they don’t hear about your book!

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Witches and Fairies and Tacos… Oh My by Carol Kilgore in the Featured New Book Spotlight

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We are back after a few weeks off with the new release (TODAY new!) from our friend Carol Kilgore. And when I say “Our friend Carol Kilgore,” I mean that. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Carol over the past few years and not only are her books a LOT of fun, but she’s become one of my favorite people. And okay, I have a lot of favorite people, but Carol’s up there among the fierce competition.

And so I’m super excited to host Carol Kilgore for the first time ever today! Why hasn’t she been here before? Good question! I’ll let you ask her that, since the one and only question I promised to ask wasn’t that one. It was… I mean, hello, if you’ve hung out here for any length of time, you know what it is: Carol Kilgore, what song makes you think of your book, Witches and Fairies and Tacos… Oh My ?

Well of course there’s “Witchy Woman” by the Eagles, even though both my witches are blondes. But I couldn’t stop there, not when the tagline for this book is PRACTICAL MAGIC meets BEWITCHED.

So I have to add The Bewitched theme song and the theme from Practical Magic as well. Sometimes I would wake up in the night with the Practical Magic song in my head because many days I listened to it over and over as I wrote.

I haven’t heard Witchy Woman in years and WOW, not only is this such a blast from the past, it’s a song that’s really held up and oh, the memories. BUT it’s absolutely perfect for the book. Yes.

The Bewitched theme song just made me laugh. I used to love that show, but I think Carol’s witches are way cooler. And much, much better dressed. And as for the Practical Magic theme? What a lovely, uplifting piece of music.

Yes. I approve, Carol. I approve. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

Need to know what more this all adds up to? Yes, you do. This is FUN STUFF, folks.

WITCHES and FAIRIES and TACOS… Oh My
Practical Magic meets Bewitched

First Book in the House Witches Mystery Series

Charli Quinn and her sister Brielle own House Witches Cleaning and promise to clean like magic. They may not be your everyday, run-of-the-mill witches, but they are… something.

When Charli finds the husband of one of their clients dead, the wind warns her to beware the man with eyes of green. As the sisters search for the ominous man, they find themselves in danger and rely on their real magic to outsmart the killer.

Along the way, Charli and Brielle have help from a group of fairies, and even a talking cow. And Charli falls head over broomstick for a tall, sexy deputy with dreamy blue eyes who saves her from being hijacked by a water sprite.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Texas without tacos.

They are:
+ Best friends
+ Work partners
+ Sisters
+ Witches… wicked good witches

Yes, right? A talking cow? A group of fairies? A bit of romance and a water sprite?? Only here, folks, and it is So. Much. Fun.

Get your copy now! It’s Amazon exclusive, but we love Carol anyway. Actually, I think it was her who explained to me why, and it was a very very wise reason. Like I said, Carol is one of my favorite people for a reason!

Come see why and connect with author Carol Kilgore:
Website
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page
Facebook
Twitter

As always, if you’re an author or have a friend who is, the Featured New Book Spotlight would love to highlight you and your book. Or your friend and their book. We aren’t picky; we just want to highlight books and music and have some fun. What’s stopping you from joining us?

And, of course, the best way to say thanks to an author for taking the time to do promo, for writing a great book, for… anything! Is to write a review and post it online. It doesn’t matter where; the idea is to get people talking about a book you like (or hate; yes I’m a fan of a well-written review that isn’t gushing praise of a book) in order to help others discover it.

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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

B&N

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.
Website
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Goodreads
Amazon Author Page
Bookbub
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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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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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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
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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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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!)
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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.
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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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A Rose By Any Other Name by Alana Lorens in the FNB Spotlight!

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Let’s welcome Alana Lorens back to West of Mars! Woot!

Alana is one of my favorite people and if you catch us at the right moment, you’ll see us chatting on Twitter. Come join the conversation, of course!

But today, the focus is on business, which means Alana Lorens’ new book, A Rose by Any Other Name. If you’re on social media at all, you’ve seen this making the rounds, but only I have the scoop on what song makes Alana think of this new book baby. Ready for the answer? I am!

Marisol and Russell, known as Rusty, dated in high school, but he broke off their relationship to chase the popular homecoming queen. When they get together at their 20-year high school reunion, Rusty is importuned by the committee to reprise his famous interpretation of Pee Wee Herman’s “Tequila” big shoe dance. It may not be as ubiquitous as the Chicken Dance or the Macarena, but it’s definitely a performance number.

HOW CAN YOU NOT WANT TO READ A BOOK THAT WILL MAKE YOU THINK OF THIS SONG???

This might be a new height of perfection.

So.

Ready for the description? I sure am. I mean, after THAT, how can you not be?

Up-and-coming mommyblogger and single mom Marisol Herrera Slade returns to her old hometown in Western Pennsylvania for her 20th high school reunion in 2005, reluctant and yet compelled to see her high school sweetheart, Russell Asher, who dumped her for the homecoming queen.

Russell’s marriage to the golden girl, however, ended in a nasty divorce, and he has been systematically excluded from his sons’ lives. In his Internet wanderings, he’s found a feminist blogger named Jerrika Jones, who glorifies single motherhood, essentially putting a stamp of approval on what’s happened to him. His group of single dad advocates have vowed to take this woman down.

What Russell doesn’t know, when he thinks to rekindle what he had with Marisol, is that Marisol and Jerrika are one and the same. When his group discovers the truth, will their drive for revenge derail any chance the couple have to reunite? Or will they find they have more in common than they ever expected?

Oh, my. Russell, Russell, Russell… Maybe you need better single dad advocates, my man.

Or does he? Gotta read it to see!

Before you grab a copy, check out the book trailer.

Grab your copy:
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And like I said, feel free to connect with Alana Lorens! She’s fun.
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And remember, the best way to say thanks to an author for their hard work is to leave a review. Even a few words, or a bulleted list of what you like is super!
As always, if you’re an author, have a friend who’s an author, or want to help promote a book you love, here’s the link so you or your author friend can step into the spotlight themselves. All are welcome!

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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?
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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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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.
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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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