Tag Archives: Featured New Book

Featured New Short Story: Undaunted by Susan Helene Gottfried


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!

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.


Featured New Book Spotlight: Dragon of the Stars by Alex J Cavanaugh


Let’s welcome Alex J Cavanaugh to West of Mars! Alex is a tour de force in the publishing world right now, involved with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and visible in many other places. He’s one of those folk you want to know!

So, Alex, what song makes you think of your book?

The song that inspired the story in the beginning – Dragon on the Sea by Ayereon. The lyrics tell the story of Queen Elizabeth sending Sir Francis Drake to defend England in the 16th century. I began to envision the story set in space. Only the man sent by the queen isn’t the dragon–he is seeking the Dragon, a lost ship of unimaginable power that could win the war. And I took the line ‘You will never be the same…’ to a new level.

I like taking history and giving it a new twist! And the song itself is great, too. Completely new to me, at first I thought it was some techno song. But nope! It’s as surprising and twist-filled as Alex’s take on history.

Here’s the official description:

The ship of legends…

The future is set for Lt. Commander Aden Pendar, son of a Hyrathian Duke. He’s poised to secure his own command and marriage to the queen’s daughter. He’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.

But when the Alliance denies Hyrath’s claim on the planet of Kavil and declares war on their world, Aden finds his plans in disarray. Entrenched in battle and told he won’t make captain, Aden’s world begins to collapse. How will he salvage his career and future during Hyrath’s darkest hour?

One chance remains–the Dragon. Lost many years prior, the legendary ship’s unique weapon is Hyrath’s only hope. Can Aden find the Dragon, save his people, and prove he’s capable of commanding his own ship?

Even if I didn’t know this was based on history, I’d be intrigued enough to pick it up. I love a great space opera and this just hit the right notes for me. If it does for you, too, pick up a copy:


Barnes and Noble




Amazon UK


Books-A-Million print

Audio book:




And be sure to connect with Alex. He’s a great dude, and the IWSG might be just what you need for your own writing endeavors.

Companion site

Insecure Writer’s Support Group



Featured New Book Spotlight: Love Reign O’er Me, part One of the Behind Blue Eyes Series by Anne-Marie Klein


I’m extra excited to bring today’s Spotlight book to you. It’s written by my friend Anne-Marie Klein, and it’s part of her Behind Blue Eyes series. This one’s called Love Reign O’er Me, and you may recognize that lyric. I hope you do, anyway!

Let’s get to it. Anne-Marie, what song makes you think of your book?

A question tailor-made for me and for my book series, at least, and one that is answered by looking at the front cover. The music of The Who captured me as a teenager in the late 70s, so much so that I began to imagine a narrative of who the bad man, sad man Pete Townshend had so famously written about might be: many pages later, the Behind Blue Eyes series of rock novels was born. My four books follow a troubled young rock musician from his arrival in Toronto from London in 1978 to 1994, and readers will see how the lyrics echo his difficult path to success amidst family drama and great love stories in rock and rock and fashion settings on both sides of the pond.

This might be the first time EVER that an entire band’s work inspired a novel. I linked to the Song “Behind Blue Eyes” but I know Anne-Marie well enough to know that the entire band is this lady’s muse. And honestly, I admire her fandom.

Ready for the entire description? Here goes:

Son of a wealthy, successful, and famous British designer, Ian was born into the world of the rich and shameless. He blames himself, and his father, for his mother’s death, and has run far away to start a new life. Beautifully blond, musically talented, but emotionally troubled, he hides his pain behind pale blue eyes and drinks to numb the guilt that has followed him across the ocean. When he meets Sarah, the fiery-haired singer with all the connections to make his dreams come true, will the burdens of his past destroy their love and everything they’ve ever wanted?

Behind Blue Eyes is a new four-part series following a young musician’s turbulent life as he makes his rock and roll dreams come true in a city far from where he grew up. Equal parts family saga, love story, and rock and roll circus, this first novel will take you back to the late 70s in Toronto for a dramatic roller-coaster ride through the world of music. Inspired by the Pete Townshend song made famous by The Who, the series is at once a nostalgic love letter to the author’s hometown and to the music she listened to while growing up there.

Ready for your own copy? I sure am.

Here’s some links:


And connect with Anne-Marie. You’ll be glad you did because she is awesome.
Facebook author page
Twitter: @badmansadman


Featured New Book: A Mighty Good Man by Rebecca E Neely


Let’s welcome fellow Black and Gold lover Rebecca E Neely to West of Mars! Woot! How often do I get to say that around here? Not. Often. Enough.

Rebecca E Neely A Mighty Good Man400

Ready? Let’s go. Rebecca, what song makes you think of your book?

The song Somebody to Love You by Delbert McClinton makes me think of my romantic suspense, A MIGHTY GOOD MAN.

The song is exploding with a powerful mix of emotions—a keen sense of mystery, desperation and a down home, no holds barred warmth and passion. There’s the hypnotic mix of instruments, including the bass, a flute, and a tambourine. Too, the balance of tempos, slow and easy one moment, the next frenetic and high octane, takes me on a tumultuous ride—up and down, smooth and rocky, and I never want to get off this ride. The back-up singers add a delectable edge.

The lyrics capture exactly the struggles ‘Hank’ and Jack both face, and their challenges that are tied up in family and second chances.


You need a job so you can make some money
You need a nice warm place to stay
A sense of humor cause life is funny
A big stick to keep the wolves away

I recommend you get some life insurance
Be prepared to dial 911
Pay close attention to your high blood pressure
And stay away from the man with a gun

You got to find somebody to love you
Someone to be there for you night and day
Someone to share it with and be part of you
Love ain’t no good till you give it away
You got to give it away

And of course, the main attraction on this song is Delbert himself. His voice has a way of creeping into your soul, with its rock and blues and rhythm, and getting down to the nitty gritty of life and love and everything that truly matters.

For me, this song delivers the total experience that is A Mighty Good Man. Have you got somebody to love you?

Ooh, how can you resist? (Personally, I was sold when I found out she’s a Steelers fan. As much as I don’t like pro ball anymore, I’m still a Steelers fan. Make no sense? Then you’re not from here.)

Here’s the official description:

Her personal and professional life on the skids, a family emergency forces writer Hank Jerry to return to the small town and the aunt she left behind.

Fresh out of prison, Jack “Gent” Darcy is bent on cutting ties with the Creds, but when you’re a war counselor in a national gang, they don’t let you just walk away.

That raises more questions than it answers, huh? But at the same time, it says it all. Pretty clever back cover copy.

Get your own copy! It’s Amazon exclusive (exclusives suck. I know.).

And as always, the best way to say thanks to an author is to leave a few words of review… on your blog, at GoodReads, or at Amazon (if you and she aren’t friends). Need to borrow space? Drop me an e-mail. I’d be glad to post a review of a formerly featured book here.


Featured New Book: Civil War Valentine by Haley Whitehall


So 2015 has gotten off to a rough start for me, unfortunately. Lots of technical problems, and I really hope this isn’t an indication of how the year is going to go.

BUT we have friends to help promote (don’t forget about Lines of Distinction, too!), so let’s focus on the positive.

Like returning friend Haley Whitehall, whose new book, Civil War Valentine, came out a few weeks ago and would love to be read by you. If books could love things, that is.

Civil War Valentine Medium

I’d like to thank Susan for welcoming me into the spotlight today. My newest release Civil War Valentine is a sweet ghostly romance that shows the timelessness of love. There are a lot of Valentine-themed songs out there, but the one that fit the tone of my book best was Valentine by Kina Grannis.

Recently divorced museum curator Charlie Bristol is not looking forward to her first Valentine’s Day once again single. She’d rather hide and forget the holiday all together. Unfortunately, she is in charge of the travelling Valentine’s Day exhibit. Forgetting Valentine’s Day is not an option.

When she receives donated Civil War era valentines for her exhibit, strange things start to happen. This story brings out the magic of the holiday. I hope it makes you smile just as watching the music video Valentine by Kina Grannis makes me.

I dig this concept! How about you? Kinda mystical and romantic and magical all at once.

Here’s the official description:

Charlie Bristol comes to Seattle to set up a traveling Valentine’s Day exhibit. The director of the museum surprises her with a package of Civil War valentines from an anonymous donor. She is touched by the heartfelt messages. Does such powerful love still exist?

During a nap she dreams she’s alive during the Civil War and meets Elliot Lowery, the author of the valentines who mistakes her for his fiancée Charlotte. She and Elliot negotiate the murky waters of wartime romance. When she wakes she’s still under the dream’s spell and Valentine’s Day love is in the air. Can love work some miracle time and death cannot overcome?

This is one I want to read just to be able to close my eyes and sigh, you know?

Pick up your own copy.


Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble


Smashwords *Referral link

Connect with Haley, too. We authors love this.
Amazon Author Page


Featured New Book Spotlight: Heir to Alexandria by Susan Leigh Noble


I’m still basking in the return to posting here. Ahh, life is grand.


Let’s welcome author Susan Leigh Noble today, shall we? Her book came out two weeks ago, so it’s going to be new to most of us. It’s called The Heir to Alexandria, and here’s the song that makes her think of it:

I would like to thank Susan for allowing me to spotlight my new release The Heir to Alexandria. I struggled with finding a song that represented my story. There aren’t many songs that seemed to right fit for a fantasy novel. I finally chose Nowhere to Run by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.

While my main character Alista is not running from love, I thought the line “Got Nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide” fit on two different levels. First, Alista cannot avoid going for testing as the heir to Alexandria. The one time she tries to run, she is brought back in chains. And second, the secret society, the Order of the Black Dragon, relentlessly pursues anyone marked for testing and with the use of magic, makes hiding nearly impossible.

Woot! Old school! Did you guys know I simply adore this sort of music?? Well, I DO.

So the book sounds like it’s got a bit of the dystopian to it, doesn’t it? Nowhere to run to? Yeah. Definitely.

Here’s the official book description:

Believed the descendants of the Gods themselves,
The Alexandria line ensured peace,
Until they were brutally murdered.
But rumor spread a maid escaped with the youngest daughter.

Now as the world rushes toward a period of unrest, the nations’ Kings continue their 200-year-long-search for the Heir to Alexandria – the one person who can bring peace and stability through divine power.

Alista has her own search – for the parents who abandoned her as a baby years ago. When her only lead proves to be a dead end, she heads to the capital with a reluctant escort. Grayson is just following his aunt’s order, but he would rather be on one of his solitary scouting missions for the Landra Guard. However, when Alista unintentionally curses a guard in front of the King’s court, everything changes for both of them.

Now forced to travel to Covington for testing, danger lurks at every turn as a secret society strives to prevent the return of the Alexandria line. Are Alista’s visions of the future enough to save herself and those traveling with her?

That doesn’t sound quite so dystopian, does it? In fact, this description makes it hard to not run out and grab a copy right now. (But it’s Amazon exclusive, so those of us who have different e-ink e-readers are left in the cold.)

If you’re so inclined, here’s the link. Use it for yourself and your friends.


Connect with the awesomely named Susan:


Featured New Book: The Briton and the Dane by Mary Ann Bernal


It’s through Triberr that I’ve come to know Mary Ann Bernal, a lady with some fascinating interests. If you watch her blog, you’ll be as blown away as I am.


So I’m pleased to bring you the song that makes her think of her new book, The Briton and the Dane. I’ll hand it over to her now:

Verdi – Requiem Mass Dies Irae

The music sets the stage for the tumultous storm that transport Gwyneth back in time, when treachery, deception and betrayal run rampant in 11th century Britain.

Short and sweet… So what’s the book about?

Dr. Gwyneth Franger is a renowned expert in early medieval England who is set upon learning the truth about the death of Lord Erik, the last descendant of the powerful House of Wareham. Her quest becomes an obsession, a condition that began with the discovery of a portrait of the tall and valiant warrior with which she forms an extraordinary and inexplicable bond.

Digesting troves of mildewed scrolls and source documentation only enhances her belief that Lord Erik was brutally assassinated by a cabal of traitors in the pay of William the Bastard, shortly before the onslaught of the Norman Invasion.

On an archeological dig in Southern England, her team unearths an Anglo-Saxon fortress, a vast citadel built during the reign of Alfred the Great, which she believes was Lord Erik’s stronghold. In the midst of her excitement, she is awakened one night from her slumbers by a disconcerting anomaly emerging from the site.

Dr. Franger finds herself transported back to the Dark Ages and at the side of the noble Lord Erik who commands an army of elite Saxon warriors, a swift and mobile force able to deploy quickly throughout the kingdom to ward off invaders.

Witnessing the unrest firsthand, Gwyneth senses that her instincts had been right all along, and she is determined to learn the identities of the treacherous blackguards hiding in the shadows, villains who may well be posing as Lord Erik’s friends and counselors.

Will Gwyneth stop the assassins? Is she strong enough to walk away and watch her beloved Erik die? Or will she intervene, change the course of history and wipe out an entire timeline to save the man she loves with all her heart?

Buy links!

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Connect with Mary Ann:


Featured New Book and a missing client


First off: the Featured New Book spotlight is empty again! C’mon, authors and readers. If you don’t have a new book out, surely you have a friend who has one. Send him or her my way. I love to help others out.

A reminder link to the Featured New Book Spotlight page. Follow the directions and send me an e-mail.

Second is a bit of a weird story. Despite clear instructions NOT to, a potential client left a comment asking for a sample edit and what my timetable is. The mail got deleted, as the site says it will, but I dug it out.

I’m sort of wishing I hadn’t. I tried twice, in two different ways, but the e-mail bounced.

Either someone is messing with me, which I don’t appreciate, or Janet made a mistake, which happens.

Janet, if you’re out there, please be in touch. My calendar is filling up pretty fast, so we need to connect sooner rather than later.


Featured New Book: Breathe You In by Lily Harlem


I first came across Lily Harlem’s name because she’s written a Rock Fiction trilogy (Mattress Music, Mirror Music, Menage a Music). I haven’t read them yet, but hope to.

However, SHE came across ME while looking for some promo for her new book, Breathe You In. And the Featured New Book is here for exactly that: Promo for your new book.

(If this isn’t showing right, yell at Tim at Tech No Riot. He’s supposed to fix this stuff for me.)

So… Lily, tell me what song makes you think of Breathe You In?

With Or Without You by U2

Breathe You In is a story that has been lurking in my mind for years. Before I became an author of erotic romance I worked in London as a nurse. As part of a post graduation course I got to spend time observing cardiac surgery which looking back was when this story was born. Because it wasn’t just the surgeries that fascinated me but also caring for these patients after life saving and life changing operations.

Seeing a chest wide open, a heart beating, being repaired or even transplanted held something magical for me, so much more so than a hip replacement or a bowel operation. I remember chatting to a woman in the post-op ward about her operation and she was completely fascinated that I’d observed her surgery and actually seen her heart. In fact she made me come and speak to her husband about it when he visited that evening. He looked at me as though I’d told him I’d seen a fairy at the bottom of the garden. I’ll never forget that look on his face.

Why? Because the heart is the foundation for our lives, not just the chemical, electrical and engineering qualities it possesses, but also the way we refer to it when we love someone. It’s more than that even, we say it breaks when someone leaves us, pines for a lover we are separated or beats more quickly when we’re held, kissed, made love to.

The heart is an organ referred to more than any other in our body in our day-to-day lives. When I started outlining the plot of Breathe You In it was these thoughts that kept playing with the threads of the storyline. I became fascinated by the thought of a girl obsessing over the recipient of her dead husband’s heart. She wanted to see him, to know where the heart that loved her so much was when she went to sleep at night. It’s the one piece of him that she cannot stop thinking about. I guess that’s where that haunting U2 song, With Or Without You comes into play. The words, not being able to live with someone or without them worked for the situation my heroine found herself in. She’s torn up with grief but also fascinated to find the one part of her husband that is still alive, still breathing, beating. I even managed to give the songs references to thorns into her thoughts at the end of the first chapter.

In the UK donor families and recipients can communicate and even meet but it has to be mutually agreed and coordinated through a liaison officer. In my story, Katie, can’t wait, she has to see the donor, but that’s it, just see him from a distance, and she hires a private detective to seek him out. But when Ruben Strong turns out to be not only fit and healthy but gorgeous and charming things start to get complicated, not least because she doesn’t tell him what he has inside of his chest that she’d come looking for.

It was this complex tangle of emotions that for me, as a writer, were so much fun to play with, and satisfying too, because I didn’t want this to be a sad story, I wanted it to be about overcoming tragedy, trauma, getting out of the lowest point of your life and finding love and happiness, passion and laughter once more. It’s an emotional tale that is fun and sexy too, my very favorite sort to read and write, and I even managed to get the song With Or Without You into the novel because U2 (like me) were her husband’s favourite band and that leant itself to a mention.

One other song features in the book, The Police, Every Breath You take. That worked so well for my hero and heroine’s first dance, in fact my beta reader wrote a comment when checking through the manuscript that she was crying with joy at that point and had to walk away and compose herself before she could carry on reading – which I took as a compliment!

Reviews so far are very positive, much to my delight, and out of my 30 novels and short novels that I’ve published, this one is certainly a story that tugged my heartstrings when writing it – pun intended. I hope you’ll check out Breathe You In. Thanks so much for reading about the special songs which inspired several scenes within this story and have a wonderful day.

Yowza! How can you resist after THAT??? I sure can’t.

Need a blurb? Sure, you do!

Soul-aching desire was just the beginning!

If the road to Heaven starts in Hell then I was ready to start climbing my way out and Ruben Strong was the man to accompany me. With his devastating good looks, seductively sexy charm and lust for adrenaline he was sure to make it a sensual and erotic experience as well as one to re-awake the passionate, throw-caution-to-the-wind woman I’d once been.

I’d given Ruben something, though, without him realizing, and that gift had come from the man I’d loved before. But I couldn’t tell Ruben. I had to keep that a tight secret even as our naked bodies wound together, sought out pleasure and hit the dizzy heights of ecstasy as one. Because Ruben had my husband’s heart, literally, and that heart was still in love with me, so it seemed, and now I was in love with Ruben.

Emotions tangled with bliss, and fears were locked away as I surrendered to the touch of Ruben’s hands, the taste of his skin and the sounds of his pleasure. I couldn’t deny that Ruben had brought me back to life the same way I had him and there was no way I was giving up that feeling, not for anyone.

How about some links?

Amazon US
Amazon UK

(Not available anywhere other than Amazon)

Lily Harlem Links
Facebook author page


Featured New Book: Blood Rush by Ash Krafton


Ash Krafton and I met online — and THEN discovered we’re both part of one of the best writing groups out there, Pennwriters. (You, too, can be a Penn. State residency is not required!)

We share many loves, me and Ash. And you bet your booties I’d love to edit her work — not because it needs it but so I get a first look at it!

Blood Rush

She’s got a new book out as of May 7, so she’s here to tell you about it… at least, all about how it relates to music.

Ash? Take it away, girlfriend:

So, thanks for stopping by, rockers and readers. I hope you want to know the song behind my latest novel, BLOOD RUSH (Demimonde #2) because I really want to share my muses with you.

Susan already knows what kind of music I have playing in my head all the time. We share a lot of the same favorites. In fact, when she’s not around, I call her my “sister from another mister”. We are two of the same limited edition. 🙂

This book doesn’t have only one song, though. That’s because, at this point in the story, everyone has their own number.

I’ve been “living” inside the Books of the Demimonde for so long now that my characters are absolutely autonomous. See, there is Sophie, whose song is “Not Enough” by Lacuna Coil (Shallow Life, 2009) It’s her plea to her estranged Demivampire lover, Marek, who may be too far Fallen to come back to her. “I don’t want to be safe/ I want to go down with you/ Together, we will find a way to come back.”

Then there is Marek, whose song is darker and considerably more out of control–and one snap away from the jaws of insanity. The song that is Marek’s…”This Is How I Disappear” by My Chemical Romance (Black Parade, 2006) “And without you is how I disappear/ And live my life alone forever now” Gerard Way always has a way of sounding both maniacal and loveable, doesn’t he?

And Rodrian. Ah, adorable, luscious Rodrian who is too desirable to know what’s good for him. He’s trying to watch over his brother’s girl, but men will be men…and Sophie’s blood is too powerful for him to resist for very long.

Rodrian’s song is my special gift to Susan because I’d bet dollars to drumsticks that she’d never heard it before: “Beautiful” by Spyair (Rockin’ the World, 2011). They’re a J-Rock band (short for Japanese rock) that my teen daughter adores. They’ve struck the proverbial chord with me even though I have NO IDEA what they are saying.

Songs aren’t only about the lyrics, you see. It’s the music behind the words and the voice that sings the words. Spyair’s vocalist, Ike, has a delicious rocker’s voice, with the right balance of melody and strain that lets you see him in your head. He is putting every inch of his soul into that song and soul is absolutely instrumental to the survival of my Demivamps.

So, who knows–Ike might be singing about a 2011 Camaro or the Grand Canyon or the Doctor’s Tardis in the song “Beautiful”–and those are all truly beautiful things–but the soul with which he sings it can only be born of a desperate desire for an unattainable woman.

For the record? Ash is dead-on right. Never even HEARD of Spyair before now! Not terribly surprising, though: I don’t know a lot about Japanese rock.

Need to know more about the book and this world? I do. Here’s the blurb:

Sophie doesn’t believe in happily ever after. These days, she’d settle for alive after sunrise.

Advice columnist and newly-appointed oracle to the demivampire, Sophie Galen has more issues than a Cosmo collection: a new mentor with a mean streak, a werewolf stalker she can’t shake, and a relationship with her ex’s family that redefines the term complicated. And then there’s her ex himself, who is more interested in playing leader of the vampire pack than in his own salvation.

Becoming a better oracle is tough enough, but when Sophie encounters a deadly enemy – one she never dreamed of facing – it will take everything she’s ever learned in order to survive.


Featured New Book: Public Love in a Private Place by Toni Kenyon


I love meeting other authors of Rock Fiction. You guys know this: Rather than being threatened or worrying that you’re going to steal my audience, I’m glad there are more and more of us spreading the rocking goodness. If we keep it up — and keep up the excellence — we’ll make Rock Fiction a contender of a genre yet.

That brings me to today’s author: Toni Kenyon, whose bio sounds an awful lot like mine, at least when it comes to rock and roll and kitties. (No, the two are NOT oxymorons. Sheesh.)


Her new book is called Private Love in a Public Place, and here’s the song that makes her think of it:

Better Man by Robbie Williams … “Once you’ve found that lover you’re homeward bound, love is all around, love is all around…”

Robbie’s performance of this song (live at Knebworth) epitomizes the struggle Julian has with Jules the man and Julian the performer. I love this clip and I can’t watch it now without thinking about Jules.

Robbie Williams… not someone I’d have expected from a rocking chick! Just goes to prove that musical tastes, like reading tastes, can’t be defined by genre.

I’m curious about this Jules dude. Are you? Here’s the blurb. That ought to satisfy us both.

Mags O’Brien lives on the alcohol-soaked, drug-enhanced concert circuit, managing out-of-control rocker Julian MacAvoy. She helps him spread his musical gospel to his adoring followers, despite the fast-spinning turnstile on his bedroom door, and the broken hearts he leaves in his wake.

Mags believes she’s immune to Julian’s magnetic personality but when controversy hits the tour, she finds herself in danger of falling at his feet, slave to his appetites and her own desire and need.

Julian refuses to be tamed, but the pressure of the ravenous crowds clamps tighter and tighter around him. His chaotic world starts to crumble when he realizes his motivation to continue touring comes from an unobtainable woman. Can he force her to make the agonizing choice between himself and her estranged husband?

An erotic and candid look at life on the road.

A woman managing an out-of-control, alcohol-soaked rocker… shades of Sharon Osbourne, perhaps? Let’s read it and see!

Buy it here:
Smashwords (Affiliate link. Use it. I need a new roof.)

Visit with Toni:


Featured New Book: Fading Echoes by Jaime McDougall


I’ve known Jaime McDougall almost since I began blogging. I know she was one of the first folk to ask me to write a guest blog post for her, and I’ve written HOW many since then? (over 50 is the answer, and no, that original blog post isn’t linked to. If you find it, holler, and I’ll link to it.)

So… It’s my pleasure to host Jaime today with her new book, Fading Echoes. mail.google.com

I’ll admit it; I thought way too much about what song reflects my recent release Fading Echoes. I tried to think about what reflects the themes of secrets and lies, what song reflects being haunted by your past… But when I cleared my mind and thought of my main character, Charlotte, the song came to me instantly.

Vindicated by Dashboard Confessional

Why Vindicated? Why would I pick a song attached to one of the Spiderman movies? Well, not because of Spiderman. Rather, the lyrics…

Vindicated, I am selfish, I am wrong, I am right
I swear I’m right, swear I knew it all along
And I am flawed but I am cleaning up so well
I am seeing in me now the things you swore, you saw yourself

When Fading Echoes begins, Charlotte has been trying so hard for so long to be what people want her to be. But as the book progresses, she discovers that being flawed is okay. She struggles to take control of her own life – and to discover what being a pure bred werewolf is all about.

The lines ‘I am right, I swear I’m right, swear I knew it all along’ are especially relevant because Charlotte faces another predicament: she is a werewolf crying wolf. Intensely focused on her past, Charlotte knows that the pack is under threat. But, knowing her obsession, no one is willing to listen. Even her best friend, Tom, is beginning to think she should just let it go.

She still has hope that she will find a way to prove that they are in danger, but is she putting her hope – and trust – into the right people?

Slight hope dangles on a string
Like slow spinning redemption

Ooh, yum, right??? Damn, I like this song. I’m putting it on my iTunes wishlist as I type. (am I really out of it that I’m still iTunes and not Spotify?)

Ready for the blurb?

In a town full of werewolves and legends, Charlotte Peterson is unique. As the first ‘pure-bred’ werewolf in Echo Falls, she struggles to fit in even amongst her pack.

When Dr. Adam Baker arrives in town, Charlotte is forced to balance their growing friendship with her need to keep the pack’s secrets – and her own. But she is not the only one keeping secrets and Adam’s past could threaten them all.

That is not the only danger. Compass, the genetic research company intent on isolating the ‘werewolf gene’, will do whatever it takes to gain the final advantage over all werewolves. Compass CEO Calvin Stephens has a very special plan in mind for Charlotte…

Time is running out for Charlotte and the pack as Calvin’s plans near completion. In a town where secrecy is the key to survival, can Charlotte trust Adam to help her? Or has she revealed the deadliest secret of them all?

Go pick up a copy or three!

Find me at:



Featured New Book: Cast the First Stone by Phyllis Zimbler Miller


Remember back a few weeks, when I mentioned I’d be hosting Phyllis Zimbler Miller for a second turn in the spotlight? Well, here we go!


The song “All the Right Moves” by One Republic makes me think of my cozy mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE: A REBECCA STONE MYSTERY because of the theme of competition that runs throughout the book. These lyrics from the song capture this:

“All the right friends in all the right places
“So yeah, we’re going down
“They’ve got
“All the right moves in all the right faces
“So yeah, we’re going down.”

In the story Los Angeles business reporter Rebecca Stone must finally face the fellow Wharton student who broke off their engagement in order for him to focus on making it big on Wall Street. The following words from the song are similar to the thoughts that have plagued Rebecca since then:

“Do you think I’m special?
“Do you think I’m nice?
“Am I bright enough to shine in your spaces?”

Now Rebecca may finally get the answer to these questions.

Ready for the blurb? Here you go…

Cozy mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE introduces shomer Shabbat Los Angeles business reporter Rebecca Stone:

While investigating the murder of a Wharton professor spending the summer term at UCLA, Rebecca Stone must grapple with telling her former fiancé that she has now become an observant Jew.

Kosher recipes from the Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION by Rabbi Karen L. Fox and Phyllis Zimbler Miller (available on Amazon) are included in this cozy mystery.
See the followup outing for amateur sleuth Rebecca Stone in TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE: REBECCA STONE MYSTERY SHORT STORIES.

You know, I may need to present this to my book club… Hmm….

Pick up your own copy!

Main links:
Amazon Author Central


Featured New Book: Moment of Truth by Marat M’saev Daan


The best part of the Internet is that we get to meet and know people from all over the world. This isn’t news to anyone, I know. But I’m old enough that I haven’t stopped being tickled by how easy it is to connect with people in cool parts of the world.

Like Marat M’saev Daan. He’s in Serbia, and while he’s not the first Serb I’ve met (and I count a couple of Croats among my real-life friends, as well), he’s the latest.


His book, Moment of Truth, is a collection of short work that came out a few months ago. That’s still new in my book! (Yeah, that pun was a groaner. I know.)

So… Marat, what song makes you think of your book?

Song that reminds me most of my book is “Where do we draw the line” by Poets Of The Fall. Metaphors in the song and how they are connected to our lives and surroundings reminds me a lot of words I have written and of my way of thinking.

Pretty cool, huh? I’ve heard of Poets of the Fall, but I haven’t heard Poets of the Fall before now. I’m overdue. What a lovely, delicate, yet lush song. Maybe even a bit haunting.

That brings us to the next question. Marat, what’s your book’s blurb?

There’s always been some thinking. Self-knowledge or knowledge of the environment? It often doesn’t matter. Time periods are different, the question is do we recognize them. Our desires, our needs, our truths, it takes courage to admit to ourselves that after a long night, a new sun is born. One story after another, our lives go with hope for a better future. That’s our moment of truth.

“Moment of truth” is a collection of short stories I have written in different times, each one connected to a particular event, my feelings and emotions and/or point of view at that very moment. It has been written in my own symbols and style that I have found most suitable to describe written above.

Go pick up a copy! It’s exclusive on Amazon (I hate exclusives, if I may take a wise woman’s quote out of context).

My personal links are:


Facebook page




And once you’ve picked it up and read it, how about leaving a few words of review over at GoodReads? Recommend it to your friends, if you’re so inclined. I know Marat will appreciate it!


Featured New Book: Crimson Footprints II: New Beginnings, by Shewanda Pugh


After I put out my plea last month for folk to step into the Featured New Book spotlight, Shewanda Pugh was one of the brave souls willing to take the plunge.

I appreciate and admire that bravery!

So… Shewanda, what song makes you think of your book?


Without a doubt, it’s One More Night by Maroon 5. Crimson Footprints II: New Beginnings, like the Maroon 5 hit, is a wonderful contradiction, bursting at the seams with the euphoric pull of forbidden love while simultaneously wrangling with reality. Everyone can relate to wanting what we ought not have. And while Adam Levine, mid-delusion, begs for but a single night, the love found in Crimson Footprints II: New Beginnings is far too irresistible for that.

Ooh, irresistible love… I’m all for that!

Ready for the blurb?

An eleven-year-old boy hitchhikes 1500 miles from Bismarck to Miami; a prostitute yearns for escape from a prison of her own making, and the horrible secrets of a long-ago murder are unraveled in the shadows of one woman’s dreams. Lizzie Hammond is an ill-fated whore that believes in little, save her own ultimate demise. Kenji Tanaka is a pseudo-architect, content to hide in the shadows of his family’s overwhelming success. Neither can stand the other. But the appearance of a boy only rumored to be true helps them discover that two unlikely halves can fit together as the perfect whole. For Lizzie Hammond and Kenji Tanaka, redemption is found in the most unlikely of places: each other, even as the world around them disintegrates.

Niiiiccccceeee…. pick up a copy!

Barnes & Noble
Smashwords (affiliate link)

4. Personal Links:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShewandaP
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author.ShewandaPugh
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17322100-crimson-footprints-ii


Featured New Book: CIA Fall Guy by Phyllis Zimbler Miller


I’ve known Phyllis Zimbler Miller online for awhile now. So it’s my honor to host her for not one, but two Featured New Book spotlights. Two separate spotlights, in case any of you are groaning about how long this post will be.


Her new book is called CIA Fall Guy, and here’s what she had to say about the song that makes her think of her book:

The song “The Riddle” from the musical “The Scarlet Pimpernel” (which I saw performed on Broadway many years ago) makes me think of my romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY because of these lines in the song:

“Just see how virtue repays you
“Your turn and someone betrays you
“Betray him first
“And the game’s reversed!
“For we all are caught in the middle
“Of one long treacherous riddle
“Can I trust you? Should you trust me too?
“We shamble on through this hell
“Taking on more secrets to sell
“Till there comes a day when we sell our souls away!”

While I won’t say who in the book these lines best represent (that would be giving away too much), I will say that this is a good description of the intrigues in CIA FALL GUY.

How COOl to have some Broadway on my blog! I love it. (As an aside, the original vision for the Trevolution books was to have ShapeShifter bringing a musical to Broadway. That should tell you something about me!)

Here’s the blurb:

When Beth Parsons is summoned to CIA headquarters for the bogus purpose of identifying someone from her past, she realizes she must find out what is really going on. Forced to partner with the man who may have been responsible for her husband’s death, she has to unmask the real traitors or end up as the fall guy.

After the CIA driver who brought her to D.C. is shot and killed, Beth escapes her CIA “babysitter” and sets off to discover why she is suddenly once again in the world of spies and double agents.

Her quest takes her to Europe and then back to the U.S., and pairs her with a mysterious man who may or may not be on her side.

If you like espionage stories and tales of intrigue — especially ones with a dash of romantic suspense, CIA FALL GUY is for you!








Featured New Book: 10 Nights By Michelle Hughes


I met author Michelle Hughes via a Triberr tribe, but it took us awhile before we started chatting. That’s some ice I’m glad is broken… read on and see why.

I released my book 10 Nights, which is a contemporary romance. The song it reminds me of is “Love the Way You Lie“. With Rhett, he’s just such a strong Alpha Male and his dominant personality just seems to override Leah’s common sense. That song talks a lot about how they were like two freight trains destined to collide, and not in a good way. Their relationship is just volatile when it starts, and it continues on that way until the last chapter. I don’t want to give away everything in the book, so I’ll just leave how it ends up for readers to find out.

I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to include a question, but if I am… What would you do if you were asked to surrender ten nights and in return you had the opportunity to have all your desires fulfilled?

There is something about that song that is SO powerful and hypnotic… it’s in the chorus. I love this one, and I’m NOT an Eminem fan, now am I? Call it proof of the magic of a good song.

Here’s the book blurb for you:

After graduation, twenty-four-year-old Leah was determined that no man would destroy her plans for the future. Or so she thought. Her best laid plans and well-ordered life were turned head over heels after her best friend, Janie, invited her to a “coming-out” party.

One look at Rhett and all previous thoughts went straight to hell. He made an unbelievable offer to her: “Give me 10 nights and I’ll show you pleasure beyond your wildest dreams.”

Was this an invitation to paradise or would his request destroy her mind, body and soul?

From virgin to courtesan in 10 nights? Was Leah even willing to consider it?
In a game of cat and mouse in which 10 nights, 10 choices and 10 fantasies could change everything, who would declare victory?

Buy links!
Barnes and Noble


Featured New Book: A Question of Fire by Karen McCullough


I’m part of a forthcoming anthology of essays. I’ve mentioned this before. They’re built around Stacy Juba‘s book, Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, and will be out sometime in the fall. You’ll want to check it out, I know — if only to read my essay. Which you know you want to.

Anyway, I told my fellow anthology contributors to feel free to drop in for a Featured New Book Spotlight. Last week, Michele Drier did. This week, it’s Karen McCullough with her new book, A Question of Fire

I asked her: What song makes you think of your book?

Metallica – Nothing Else Matters

So many lines of this song resonate with me and remind me of my novel, A Question of Fire. In the larger sense, it’s kind of a personal theme song. I’ve never been one to write to the market or even to stick to a particular genre. I wrote A Question of Fire at a time when there was no real market for romantic suspense, but I HAD to write that book. It was in my head, begging me to get it down. And when it was done (and revised several times), a number of the rejections I got from agents and editors played that theme: like the book, don’t know how to market it. It took almost ten years before it finally found a publisher. It’s been out of print for a long time, but I have the rights back to it, and I’ve recently released it in ebook format. I’m incredibly thrilled to make this book available again.

“Every day for us something new, Open mind for a different view.” When Catherine Bennett is the recipient of Bobby Stark’s dying words, it catapults her into a world of danger and new possibilities. If she were a different sort of person, she might have ignored the plea the dying man made of her and just hidden out until the peril passed. But that would have left his brother, Danny, in danger of being convicted of a murder he didn’t commit. Danny isn’t a particularly nice or attractive person, but Cathy isn’t the sort who would leave him in danger when she has the key to rescuing him. Or part of the key, anyway.

“Trust I seek, and I find in you” is one of the themes of the book. None of the main characters in A Question of Fire are particularly trusting sorts, for a variety of reasons. The heroine is a journalist and professionally skeptical. The hero has been burned by a former wife who cheated on him. Danny is a young man whose violent, abusive upbringing has taught him to trust no one but his late, older brother. In the course of the story, all three learn to believe in each other, sometimes painfully, sometimes stumbling toward it. And several times in the course of the story that trust is tested in desperate situations.

“So close, no matter how far.” In a pivotal scene in the story, the heroine is separated from the other characters and her life is in mortal danger. There’s only one thing she can do, but it’s risky, and it involves a huge leap of faith in her distant companions.

“And nothing else matters.” In the end…. Well, you’ll just have to read the book to see.

Oh, yeah. You guys KNOW I approve of the choice. (Be glad I didn’t link to Godsmack’s version of the song. Heard it yet? Heard it when Sully and James sang together when they toured together? Mmm. Yeah. Good stuff, there. Anyway, back to the book.)

book blurb!

When Catherine Bennett agrees to attend an important party as a favor for her boss, she knows she won’t enjoy it, but she doesn’t expect to end up holding a dying man in her arms and becoming the recipient of his last message. Bobby Stark has evidence that will prove his younger brother has been framed for arson and murder. He wants that evidence to get to his brother’s lawyer, and he tries to tell Cathy where he’s hidden it. Unfortunately, he can only manage to give her a cryptic piece of the location before he dies.

The man who killed Bobby saw him talking to her and assumes she knows where the evidence is hidden. He wants it back and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it, including following her and trying to kidnap her.

Cathy enlists the aid of attorney Peter Lowell and Danny Stark, Bobby’s prickly, difficult younger brother, as well as a handsome private detective to help her find the evidence before the killers do.

Buy links!
Amazon (for Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (for Nook)
Other formats (Smashwords)

Personal links!



Featured New Book: More than Sorrow by Vicki Delany


As part of the hoopla and fun surrounding Stacy Juba’s new release, 25 Years In the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back, I’ll be featuring a number of the authors who appear in this book along with myself.

Today, it’s Vicki Delany in the hot seat, talking about her new book, More than Sorrow.

Ready? Here’s the song that makes Vicki think about her book:

What Wonderful World sung by Louis Armstrong. I love this song because of the contrast with the tune and the lyrics. It’s actually very sad, as he sings about the wonderful world. In More than Sorrow, the protagonist, Hannah Manning, is recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury caused when she was in an IED explosion in Afghanistan (where she was working as a journalist). Hannah has come to her sister’s organic vegetable farm to recover.

Like in the song, as I interpret it, Hannah is surrounded by peace and beauty of the countryside in the height of summer. But she has not been able to find peace and she is largely immune to the beauty of the farm. She wants to get her old life back, not to be dependent on others. She spends much of her time in the atic of the 18th centry house, looking through old letters, letters full of sorrow and she thinks to herself:

Life was more than sorrow.

It had to be more than sorrow.

Yes, I’d agree. Life has to be more than sorrow.

Here’s the blurb:

Once, Hannah Manning was an internationally-renowned journalist and war correspondent. Today, she’s a woman suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Unable to read, unable to concentrate, full of pain, lost and confused, haunted by her memories, Hannah goes to her sister’s small-scale vegetable farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario to recover.

As summer settles on the farm, she finds comfort in the soft rolling hills and neat fields as well as friendship in the company of Hila Popalzai, an Afghan woman also traumatized by war.

Unable to read the printed word, Hannah retreats into the attic and boxes of mouldy letters that have accumulated for more than two centuries. As she learns about the original settlers of this land, Loyalist refugees fleeing the United States in 1784, she is increasingly drawn to the space beneath the old house. More than carrots and potatoes, soups and jams, are down in the dark damp root cellar.

Hannah experiences visions of a woman, emerging from the icy cold mist. Is the woman real? Or the product of a severely damaged brain?

Which would be worse?

Then Hila disappears. When Hannah cannot account for her time, not even to herself, old enemies begin to circle.

In this modern Gothic novel of heart-wrenching suspense, past and present merge into a terrifying threat to the only thing Hannah still holds dear – her ten-year-old niece, Lily.

Buy it!





Contact Vicki at vicki@vickidelany.com. Her website is Vicki Delany.com. She blogs about the writing life at One Woman Crime Wave, and you can catch her at Facebook, and twitter


Featured New Book: Coincidences by Maria Savva


I’ve known Maria Savva for a couple of years now. She’s really cool, very grounded, and is into the BEST music out there. She’s from the UK, so catching her on Twitter can be tough. She’s got a soft spot for Rock Fiction and connects to more authors than I do, which makes me not like her so much sometimes. And she writes like a dream.

So, of course, when she released her new book, Coincidences, I HAD to ask her what song makes her think of her book.

Maria, take it away:

Searching by Joe Satriani (link is to a fan-made video)

Coincidences is all about Alice’s search for her father, who left home when she was a baby, so the title of the tune ‘Searching’ is very fitting. It’s an instrumental, which I think goes well with them theme of the book because Alice does not really tell anyone about much of the things that lead up to her deciding to search for her father, it all stays in her mind, unspoken. The tune contains some uptempo parts, and also more brooding and melancholic melodies which reflects Alice’s changing moods in the book: sometimes she feels very excited at the prospect of finding her father, but then at times, she is let down and disillusioned. There are also parts of the tune that sound, to me, almost like inner conflict, which is what Alice has to face up to in the course of her search for her father.

Joe Satriani??? I TOLD you Maria’s into the best music ever!

Book blurb:

Secrets, lies and coincidences abound in this story of a young girl looking for her father. Alice, now twenty-one years old, is determined to find her father who left home when she was just a baby, despite a warning from her mother that she should not look for him. Her mother’s secretiveness over the subject is because of the guilt she feels about keeping the truth from Alice. It will take all of Alice’s courage to persevere in her search. There are doubts and uncertainties at every turn. Coincidences is a story about following your dreams and staying on the path no matter how difficult the circumstances may become.

Yes? Yes!

Go pick this one up and connect with Maria via the following links. You won’t be disappointed!

Amazon UK

My website
Facebook Author Page

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