Tag Archives: suspense novels

Mist of Midnight is an Excellent New Christian Gothic Mystery Romance: Highly Recommended!

My 500th post to Oh, for the Hook of a Book!!!

For me, everything is more than right about Mist of Midnight by Sandra Byrd! Before reading my review, take a peek at the synopsis and the amazing cover, then continue down for my thoughts….

01_Mist of Midnight

Mist of Midnight, Synopsis~

Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Howard Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 384

Series: Daughters of Hampshire
Genre: Historical/Christian/Romance

GoodReads Link

In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her…and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca’s name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father’s investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.


I am in book love. From the lovely yet esoteric cover to the title fitting the story perfectly to the opening of the inside pages where lies an engaging story seeped in gothic and mysterious tones, I am thrilled to have been able to submerse myself into this novel. I was completely hooked from the first chapter, and when I fell asleep late into the night, I woke up needing to dive right back into it!

This penetrating romance reminds me of favorite authors and reads of the 19th century such as Bronte and Hawthorne, as well as romantic suspense authors such as Victoria Holt and my beloved Daphne Du Maurier. Yet, Sandra creates her own voice with a lighter, cleaner air to the writing, even through the foreboding, atmospheric development!

It’s difficult to find books such as this, even though they are a book of choice for me! Though I don’t care for many cheesy romances, I do love well-done historical and mysterious romances, and though I am no prude, I do prefer often times to have the heated side of romance take a subtle seat so I can enjoy the character and the environmental development. Mist of Midnight, as most Howard historical romances do, hit this on the head of the nail for me. I was pulled into the the main character’s romance by feeling the suspense of their tension for one another. The romance was paced perfectly, right along with the air of mysteriousness.

Rebecca is an adult daughter of missionaries who returns from India, where her family lived since she was very little but have recently been killed, to their estate in Hampshire, England. But someone is living as the heir to the estate, an attractive Captain Luke Whitfield, and he says that another woman named Rebecca already claimed as the heir, but  recently committed suicide, being buried late at night on the grounds.

Of course, the disrepair of the estate, and the fact that she is a mystery to them (and the other Rebecca to her) creates a sense of foreboding from the very beginning. Enter creepy developments, right? Woman not claiming to be who she says….murder….a graveyard on the estate rolling in mist at night….yes, Victorian Gothic we have. I did nothing but eat up each ominous page!

Sandra does a stellar job of placing just the right pieces into the novel to layer the eerie–such as a prominent portrait of an ancestor, a run down garden with broken statues, and things disappearing. She then creates a cast of characters in whom I was suspicious of all right from the start. Each character, whether Captain Whitfield and his societal friends, the locals, or the downstairs staff, were finely developed and dimensional. As the main protagonist, I was compelled to care about Rebecca straight away and wanted to defend her claim. No wonder she felt at times as if she was the one going mad with paranoia as the story unfolded. I took to solving the mystery of the other Rebecca right along with her. She was strong and engaging, yet kind, innocent, and thoughtful.

I also relished the historical aspect of the English estate and town folk, but especially the interwoven details that Rebecca gave of her sights, sounds, and experiences in India during her time as a missionary there. They were delicious and mesmerizing and as a reader I could feel Rebecca’s love of the country and people in which she served until the Indian Mutiny over British Crown rule destined her to leave.

Of course in reading Sandra, or many Howard Books, the main character is often Christian and relies on talking through her faith to help her through and we listen to her prayers. As a Christian I am fine with this, but if you are not, I think the story is still enjoyable and never preachy so that anyone can read it. It fit well with the story.

Sandra gives us ambrosial descriptions seeped in atmospheric details to create a Gothic mystery that was really difficult for me as a reader to put down. The suspense gave me a welcome apprehension and the creepiness produced goosebumps, while her writing propelled me quickly through with a smooth tone. This one is going on my best loved Gothic romance reads list and will take a lasting place on my best loved books shelf. Highly recommended, Sandra is one of THE best! This should definitely be on Masterpiece Theater!!

Praise for Mist of Midnight~

“Intriguing secondary characters and lush scenery contribute to the often sinister, even creepy, moments readers will come to anticipate. Infusing her story with mystery, tension, and emotion, Byrd (To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn) strikes a fine balance between the darkness of a Gothic mystery and the sweetness of a captivating love story. Byrd—and Brontë—fans will enjoy this first of the new Daughters of Hampshire series.” – Publishers Weekly

“A marvelous mingling of mystery and deeply moving family and romantic love, Mist of Midnight kept me guessing until the very end. A house on a cliff, a Victorian-Gothic atmosphere, a cast of suspicious characters including a dark, brooding hero and a strong heroine: shades (or mists) of Jane Eyre and Rebecca! I look forward to the next novel in this compelling new series.” (Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of Mistress of Mourning)

“Mist of Midnight is wonderfully atmospheric, with all the right elements for a true Gothic novel, from sounds that go bump in the night to characters who are not at all what they seem. The spiritual underpinning is solid, comforting, even as we’re trapped in the author’s finely spun web of mystery, romance, and a sense of foreboding that doesn’t lift until the final page. Charlotte Brontë? Victoria Holt? Meet Sandra Byrd, the modern mistress of Gothic romance!” (Liz Curtis Higgs, New York Times bestselling author of Mine Is the Night)

“Among the many things I love about reading a Sandra Byrd novel is knowing that her words will transport me to another place and time, that she will win me over with intriguing and complex characters, and that I’ll savor every word. Mist of Midnight is no exception. I loved this book! Sandra Byrd could belong to the writing group of the Bronte sisters if they’d had one. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre along with crumbling mansions, mysterious distant cousins, and one woman’s journey to prove who she really is are just few layers that ripple through the mists. Bravo, Sandra! Another winner.” (Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of A Light in the Wilderness)

“Richly written and multi-layered, Mist of Midnight blends traditional England and exotic India in a historical feat worthy of Victoria Holt. Breathless danger, romance, and intrigue made this series opener by the ultra-talented Sandra Byrd a compelling must-read!” (Laura Frantz, author of Love’s Reckoning)

“Once again, Sandra Byrd delivers a richly layered story that will leave you eagerly awaiting the next book in this brand-new series. Mist of Midnight has it all: intriguing and memorable characters—including a central female protagonist who is both complex and inspiring—a plot chock-full of mystery and suspense, and a Victorian gothic setting, impeccably researched and artfully and evocatively relayed. Prepare to be transported!” (Karen Halvorsen Schreck, author of Sing For Me)

“Mist of Midnight is a beautiful, haunting tale. Sandra Byrd masterfully weaves together both romance and suspense among a cast of mysterious characters. I was immediately swept into the wonder of this story, and I loved unraveling all the secrets and discovering exactly what happened at the old Headbourne House.” (Melanie Dobson, author of Chateau of Secrets and The Courier of Caswell Hall)

“Sandra Byrd’s trademark attention to historical accuracy combines with an eerily building intrigue to envelope readers in a sense of dark foreboding that hinges precariously between hope and desperation. Mist of Midnight is a subtly haunting, beautifully atmospheric, and decadently romantic Victorian tale that will find a comfortable home among the best Gothic romances of days gone by.” (Serena Chase, author of The Ryn and contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog)

“Not since Jane Eyre have I read a Gothic romance that has captured my heart so completely. From the exotic India to an English estate shrouded in mystery, Byrd’s eye for detail shines through on every page. Romance lovers are sure to devour the tale of Rebecca Ravenshaw and her search for the truth behind the mysteries of Headbourne House and the handsome young captain who lives on the estate.” (Renee Chaw, reviewer at Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot)

“From the first word to the last, Mist of Midnight is a completely absorbing romantic, and mysterious, novel. Ms. Byrd’s writing is splendid, and her characters are so complex and endearing that they leap off the pages. I couldn’t put it down. An absolutely irresistible read!” (Anne Girard, author of Madame Picasso)

Pre-Order/Buy the Book~

Barnes & Noble

Author Sandra Byrd, Biography~

03_Sandra Byrd AuthorAfter earning her first rejection at the age of thirteen, bestselling author Sandra Byrd has now published more than forty books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist, as was her first historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn. To Die For was also named by Library Journal as a Best Books Pick for 2011 and The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr, was named a Library Journal Best Books Pick for 2012. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I published in April, 2013.

Sandra has also published dozens of books for tweens and teens including the Secret Sisters Series, London Confidential Series and a devotional for tweens.

A former textbook acquisitions editor, Sandra has published many nonfiction articles and books. She is passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and their work toward traditional or self publication. As such, she has mentored and coached hundreds of new writers and continues to coach dozens to success each year.

Please visit www.sandrabyrd.com to learn more, or to invite Sandra to your bookclub via Skype. You can also connect with Sandra on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Goodreads.

04_Mist of Midnight_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/mistofmidnightblogtour/

Hashtags: #MistofMidnightBlogTour #HistoricalRomance #HistFic #Victorian #ChristianHistorical

Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @sandrabyrd @Howard_Books


Filed under Book Reviews

Interview with Author M.J. Rose of Seduction: A Magical, Haunting Tale of Victor Hugo

Hi, M.J.!  Welcome to Oh, for the Hook of a Book! It’s a pleasure for me to have you here today for an interview. Our time is obviously short so let’s get started!

SeductionQ:  Where did your inspiration for Seduction stem from? What compelled you to write it?

A:  A trip to Paris and Victor Hugo’s home there inspired me to read Les Miserables. I became obsessed with Fantine. I kept wondering if someone had inspired Hugo to create her? I started reading more and more about him. I read his poetry. Sought out his watercolors and drawings… But it was coming across a description of his belief in reincarnation and his experimenting with séances that made me decide to write about him… and the woman who might have inspired him to create Fantine.

Erin Comments: Fascinating!

Q: How is Seduction similar to your other novels? How does it differ?

A: Al l of my novels seem to be about how the past influences the present.   Seduction is different in that it’s the first time I wrote from a famous person’s point of view. About 25% of the book is me writing as Victor Hugo – giving his first person account of his experiences with séances.

Q:  What was your favorite part of writing Seduction?

A: The second draft. I love that part of every book the best. The hardest part is done – getting the book on paper – then I get to finesse for days and days and days.

Erin Comments: Totally understandable.

Q: What is one thing you want readers to remember or feel after they are done reading Seduction?

A: Hopefully how much they enjoyed reading the book so they tell everyone about it 🙂

Q:  What other novels have you written and are they all historical thriller/suspense?

A: All the books are at MJRose.com – there are 13 novels all together. The Reincarnationist, The Memorist, The Hypnotist and The Book of Lost Fragrances all have elements of historical fiction – the others don’t.

Q:  I like how you meld the senses, art, music, and the spiritual into your books. I can imagine you live your life surrounded by all things beautiful from the creative world.  What would some of your favorite Pinterest boards say about you (if you have or would have them) or show us about your personality?

A: OH I HAVE THEM! Just visit MJRose at Pinterest – I love doing them. – some are very personal and some are even hidden that the public can’t see. I use them to create characters and work on stories.

Q: Who are your favorite heroines from history?

A:  I can’t tell you – I have a list of them and a series of books planned about them – and don’t want to give it away 🙂

Q:  How do you feel that the publishing world is doing now in accepting females as major novel writers, especially in the thriller genre?

A: Other than getting reviews – which mostly go to male writers in suspense and every genre – women writers in the suspense genre have done well for decades. Going back to Agatha Christie and even further, I don’t think there’s been any serious prejudice from readers or publishers against women writers.

Q:  Do you think paranormal or spiritual themes are integral parts of your writing?  Why do you feel these themes are so popular in the current culture?

A: I think magic is integral to my writing… I’m drawn to possibilities even when they are impossible ones. And I think they are popular because we’re living in hard times and the paranormal takes us out of our world and offers hope that there is more than we know about – more than we can see.

Erin Comments: I agree.

Q:  You are an extremely well-known consultant and mentor in regards to self-publishing. I know you’ve opened a marketing company for promoting books. I’m in the same line of work in regards to journalism, PR, and marketing. I’m wondering, how do you manage to do all this and write novels too? How do you juggle it all?

A: I work on my fiction in the morning and then the afternoon is devoted to AuthorBuzz.com

Erin Comments: You make it sound so easy. Kudos to you for all you accomplish.

Q: What is some of your best advice for women authors who are balancing a family, life and writing novel(s)?

A: I don’t have any since I do not have anything like a balanced life!

Q:  What is your advice about self-publishing versus looking for a traditional publisher? What about independent press?

A: All publishing is a lottery. Over 2 million books will be published this year. Most will sell less than 100 copies. I think everyone needs to educate themselves and not just talk to the successes in traditional publishing and self publishing but talk to the authors in the trenches in both camps and see which trench you’d rather be in. Self publishing gives you total control, you own all your own rights and you don’t share any of what you make on your books but I think you need to have  an interest in running a business. Traditional offers you a lot of help, more distribution, financial support upfront and a chance at reviews that elude most self published authors. It’s all what you want to do and how you want to do it.

Q:  What has been your biggest achievement or success? What has been your biggest challenge?

A: Staying alive. And staying alive.

Q:  Switching gears, what is your favorite stage play and why? Movie?

A: Stage play  Brigadoon – it is so magical.

Erin Comments: Also one of my favorites! I hardly hear anyone say this one!

Movie – Sabrina with Audrey Hepburn tied with Portrait of Jennie. It’s that magic again.

Q:  What is coming up next for you?

A: I’m working on the 2014 book now but I think it’s bad luck to talk about it.

Q: What is the best way for readers to connect with you?

A: MJRose.com – there’s a form there.

Erin:  It’s been an honor to have the opportunity to interview you, M.J.!  I wish you even more continued success and welcome you here anytime! Best of luck to you in all your many endeavors.

M.J.: And a pleasure to visit with you here!

Readers, please stop back by on May 9 for my review of Seduction!

Seduction, Synopsis~

SeductionPublication Date: May 7, 2013
Atria Books
Hardcover; 384p
ISBN-10: 1451621507

SYNOPSIS: From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost journal of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries.

In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.

Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.

What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.

Author M.J. Rose, Biography~

M.J. RoseM.J. Rose is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Promotion for Necklace from M.J. Rose!

NecklaceYou will be eligible to win a Victoria Choker if you:

1. Put the book on you To Be Read shelf on Goodreads and email me the link or tell me and send me your account name in an email to hookofabook@hotmail.com: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15802432-seduction


2. Pre-order SEDUCTION here: http://mjrose.com/books/seduction.asp?BookVar=Praise
Send your receipt to mjrosewriter@gmail.com and state you came from the Hook of a Book blog.

Only US residents can enter.
See More Guest Posts, Interviews, Reviews, and Giveaways at Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/seductionvirtualtour/
Twitter Hashtag: #SeductionVirtualTour
Seduction Tour Banner FINAL


Filed under Q and A with Authors

A Conspiracy Thriller to Shake Humanity? Announcing Work Coming from Tim Busbey and a Reader Contest

My partner, Tim Busbey, has been a writer, editor, and copy editor veteran for many years. Now, he is on the edge of completing his first novel, novella, and short story (all which tie-in together) in his conspiracy thriller series!! I am very happy to announce this news on my own site today!

So what is his book about?

He doesn’t want to give away too much about it because there are lots of twists and turns and mysteries and conspiracies. But, according to Tim, it involves genetics, religion, covert agencies, the origins of man and much more.

More? That’s a mind-blowing amount of suspense already! Sounds good…

 It is set in a variety of locales, ranging from India to Cuba to Columbus, Ohio and more. Here’s a synopsis:

It involves a reporter who discovers a centuries-old secret that could shake the foundations of all of the world’s governments and religions. But is it the truth or simply part of a conspiracy? Dark forces try to keep him from uncovering the truth before they can unleash their master plan.

Tim says on his own blog at http://www.timbusbey.wordpress.com :  “But that is just the tip of the iceberg. It is an epic story with a large cast of characters. The story I am telling is sure to be controversial. But I am not writing it simply to stir up controversy. I am writing it because it is the story that I have been given to tell.”

fourth pic for tim's novel

If anyone happened to read his earlier versions in process, much of that content remains in what will be the finished product. However, he’s copy edited for clarity and story elements. Once he realized there was more back story than one novel could handle, and keep up its fast pace, he decided to break out parts of the book and create a short story and a novella which will serve as introductions to some of the characters and ideas associated with the main book.

AND YOU COULD UNLOCK THIS SHORT STORY!! He’s going to give away the short story to anyone who helps spread the word about his novel on Pinterest or Facebook!!

Please support and like his FACEBOOK Author Page at the link..he’s got his novel contest and updates on novel progress, but also lots of writer links and tips, international news and discussion, and he announces free thrillers from other well-known authors.



and if you’d like to join his profile on Facebook too:


Pinterest and Facebook Contest~

He will post one picture a week for eight weeks, we are in week four now. Each picture is a clue or somehow related to the story. The first picture appears to be a DNA helix. But is there more to it than that? At the end of the eight weeks, everyone who has re-pinned all eight pictures (you can pin at any time or all at one) on Pinterest, or commented on all contest photos on the Facebook page, will unlock the short story for free as a special thanks for your help. To receive your free short story, please email me a link (tbuzz50@hotmail.com) to the board where you re-pinned my posts after the eight weeks are finished. It’s that easy.

Please take a look and tell your friends. Here is his Pinterest and My Novel board is the one you want:  http://pinterest.com/pin/110056784616111015/

Tim Busbey, Biography~

TimA veteran newspaper journalist, he has spent the last five years working in marketing communications for a major small appliance manufacturer, an HR communications firm and one of the top law firms in Ohio (the latter two he currently works for).  He runs Addison’s Compass Public Relations with Erin Al-Mehairi, from which they offer writing, marketing and editing services to authors, businesses and individuals. He’s a soccer and softball coach and enjoys reading and collecting books.  He graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1996 with a degree in journalism and a minor in economics.

Besides at Facebook above, follow the blog at www.timbusbey.wordpress.com or Tweet with him at @tbusbey.


Filed under Feature Articles

Will they Stop Earth from Being Destroyed? Sci-fi Romance Warrior Prince First in a New Series by Nancy J. Cohen

WarriorPrince680-199x300Many people know award winning author Nancy J. Cohen due to her Bad Hair Day mystery series, which currently has its tenth book published. However, I first read Cohen a few years ago when I reviewed her intergalactic story Silver Seranade. Now, she is busy writing more sci-fi romance, with her touch of comedy included, and I’ve just recently read Warrior Prince (#1 in her new Drift Lord series) that came out this past Fall. 

As always, her female characters are superb role models for women on how to be not a  bit afraid of following your heart and taking a thrill ride of action and adventure.  Fairly stubborn, these women know not only how to make the strongest man’s heart weak, they also know how their stubborness and sheer will can always save that man and the day. I just love strong women like that who are more than a man’s equal and valued for their advice and courage! Her protagonist, Nira, fits this evaluation with fiery attitude. (review continued after synopsis)


A galactic warrior joins forces with a sexy mythologist to stop a dimensional rift from destroying Earth.

When mythologist and Florida resident Nira Larsen accepts a job as tour guide for a mysterious stranger, she’s drawn into a nightmare reality where ancient myths come alive and legendary evils seek to destroy her. To survive, she must awaken her dormant powers, but the only person who can help is the man whose touch inflames her passion.

After a dimensional rift in the Bermuda Triangle cracks open and an ancient enemy invades Earth, Zohar-leader of the galactic warriors known as the Drift Lords-summons his troops. He doesn’t count on a redheaded spitfire getting in his way and capturing his heart. Nira has the power to defeat the enemy and to enslave Zohar’s soul. Can he trust her enough to accomplish his mission, or will she lure him to his doom?

Set in a contemporary world woven with magic, intrigue, romance, and suspense, Warrior Prince is based on Norse mythology. At its core is the story of a woman’s search for her true identity and a man’s need to accept his destiny. Their fate together is written in the runes.

Digital: 978-1-61217-358-0, $5.99, Wild Rose Press, Sept. 21, 2012
Trade PB: 978-1-61217-357-3, $15.99, Wild Rose Press, Sept. 21, 2012

Review Continued~

When I first started reading the book, I was a little worried about if I’d like the story or the structure of it. Cohen’s comedy can catch you a bit off guard if you aren’t fully ready and her romance always starts extra early, almost like love at first sight syndrome. However, once I got past the first two chapter and the book really started into the action, drama, and plot, I really couldn’t put it down even if I thought I should. She really keeps the action moving, and with a time travel component to the book, morphing a mile every minute (and in a unique style I might add). It was pure fun and entertainment with some heated passion involved along the way.

Nancy’s humor hit my geeky funny bone. She nabbed lines and inferences from Battlestar Galactica, Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Stargate, and Star Wars to name a few. They made me laugh along the way and I felt connected, probably due to my love of those shows and movies myself. I admired how she put her own twist on some of it to fit it into the story.

Also, she combined Norse God legends and mythology into her intergalactic writing. Of course, this means we’re presented with Thor and his brother, Loki, which really fits smoothly into a sci-fi story for you if you’re a Stargate SG-1 fan (I am). In legend, Thor supposedly is tasked with protecting humankind, so it is fitting when you read the story that Zohar, the Drift Lord king, fights to save Earth as well as other outer realms from invading space aliens. I think Cohen did a smooth job of mixing together the legend and sci-fi themes. It was the best part of the book in my opinion. The Norse God legend is one of my favorites though, so I might be partial, but I liked what she did with it.  The other favorite part of my book involved dancing with elves. But I don’t want to spoil your fun by givng away all the nutty details here.

Her insight on her character Nira was detailed and believable, as well as memorable, and the surrounding cast of characters were also vibrant enough to be admired, hated, and interesting. I can’t wait to follow them further.

If you’re looking for a light romance, with a few lustful scenes, but more on the action and adventure side then this might fit that criteria for you. I liked the sci-fi action and enjoyed their emotional romance evolving as the story brewed.  It might just be their destiny to be to be together….what Nira finds out is very important to them both and when they find out they need each other more than for just pure partnership, it becomes very interesting. I can’t wait to see where this story heads as their quest hasn’t ended yet. So many questions still to be answered.

So because I’m left wondering, it’s great to know that Warrior Rogue (#2 in the Drift Lord series) is out now in Kindle format with paperback coming in April!!

For a funny bone tingling non-stop action and adventure sci-fit thriller with a swirl of romance, Nancy J. Cohen’s Drift Lords series is one you won’t want to pass up.  I encourage you to try Warrior Prince today if you are a reader of sci-fi romance. Cohen’s writing is very entertaining.

I LOVED checking out Cohen’s Pinterest board for Warrior Prince! It enabled me to visualize some of her characters and ideas through her eyes. You can check it out here:  http://pinterest.com/njcohen/warrior-prince/

Nancy J. Cohen, Biography~

Cohen HeadshotNancy J. Cohen is an award-winning author who writes romance and mysteries. Her humorous Bad Hair Day mystery series features hairdresser Marla Shore, who solves crimes with wit and style under the sultry Florida sun. Several of these titles have made the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list. Shear Murder is the tenth book in this series and her sixteenth title.

Nancy’s imaginative romances have also proven popular with fans. Her first title in this genre won the HOLT Medallion award, while Silver Serenade won Best Book in Romantic SciFi/Fantasy at The Romance Reviews. Warrior Prince, her latest title, begins a new paranormal romance series from The Wild Rose Press. Coming next is Warrior Rogue, book two in the Drift Lords Series.

Active in the writing community and a featured speaker at libraries and conferences, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. Nancy is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., International Thriller Writers, and The Author’s Guild. When she’s not busy writing, she enjoys reading, fine dining, cruising, and outlet shopping.

For more on Nancy J. Cohen, go to her website at http://nancyjcohen.com/ where you can also find how to connect to her social media networks.


Filed under Book Reviews

Ever Watched a Movie Audition Clip? See an author’s book characters come to life!

How often do you hear of a small press writer gaining the attention of a movie producer? These days it doesn’t seem to happen often, but I can imagine it’s so exciting for authors to see their ideas and imagination put into visual format!

 I bet most of you haven’t ever seen an audition piece for actors portraying characters from novels either.  Wouldn’t it be exciting as a reader and viewer to watch pieces of the production process?

 Today, I am enthusiastic to be able to share with you below  audition scenes from the psychological suspense novel The Cursed Man, by Keith Rommel.

 In the first clip, Dr. Anna Lee is questioning a grounds keeper that works at SunnySide Capable Care Mental Institution. There is a belief the patient she has come to care for is cursed. His curse is believed to be that the entity of Death has taken a liking to him and kills anyone that speaks to him within the book’s time span of twenty-four hours.

 The second clip is an audition piece of an actor trying out for the role of Alister. The scene shown is of Alister as a young man as he confronts Death about killing his family and then he attempting to escape Death’s preferential treatment the only way he knows how…

 Dr. Anna Lee audition: https://vimeo.com/54497720

 Alister audition: https://vimeo.com/54265755

About The Cursed Man~

book image TCMAlister Kunkle believes death is in love with him. A simple smile from friend or stranger is all it takes to encourage death to kill.  With his family deceased and a path of destruction behind him, Alister sits inside a mental institution, sworn to silence and separated from the rest of the world, haunted by his inability to escape death’s preferential treatment.

But when a beautiful psychologist arrives at the institution and starts offering him care, Alister braces himself for more killings. When none follow, he tries to figure out whether he truly is insane or if death has finally come to him in the form of a woman.

The Cursed Man is book one in the Thanatology Series.  The Lurking Man, second in the series (yet also can be read as a stand-alone), is currently also available for purchase.

BIO, Author Keith Rommel

Keith Rommel PhotoKeith Rommel is a native of Long Island, New York and currently lives with his family in Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Rommel is a retail manager and has enjoyed collecting comic books since he was a child (a hobby inspired by a teacher in grade school to help overcome a reading comprehension disability).

Rommel is the author of two books in his Thanatology series entitled The Cursed Man and The Lurking Man. The Cursed Man is currently being considered as a feature film. He enjoys offering his experiences to other authors, writing several articles about writing and publishing, and is currently fast at work on the third novel in the Thanatology series which is scheduled for a summer 2013 release. 

He also has several other novels in the works. Besides writing, he also enjoys watching the New York Giants, scary stories, and spending time with family.

For more information on Rommel, or his writing, go to http://keithrommel.weebly.com.


Filed under Feature Articles

Sign-up for Spring into Horror Read-a-Thon (#SpringHorrorRAT) and I’m Hosting Giveaways!!

OOOOOOOO….it’s almost here!! The Spring into Horror Read-a-Thon hosted by my book blogger friend Michelle, otherwise known as “True Book Addict,” at her blog Castle Macabre! It’s starts midnight of April 23 (CST) and runs until 4/29, 11:59 p.m.

My blog (YEP, right here) will be a site to stop by during the week for fun and giveaways while you participate in the read-a-thon. It’s a very LOW STRESS read-a-thon, but make time for reading and lots of fun. You have to read at least one scary book, but you have a week to do it and it can be paranormal, mystery, etc. Read more if you can, we all like to push ourselves to read a little more by having a challenge. 😉 And there will be lots of social time to talk to others about books, so use the Twitter hashtag of SpringHorrorRAT to talk to everyone else. You don’t even have to like horror….it can be scary, paranormal, vampire, fantasy….we love it all! I’ll be using it, introduce yourself!!

For my activities and giveaways, you must at least be a signed-up participant at Castle Macabre (go to the link to her blog and sign-up). The link will be below in the info here or you can get to it by clicking on the right side graphic of my blog home page. Otherwise, just follow what I say in the posts each day there is an activity or giveaway. There might be a short thing to do and then you can sign-up to win wonderful books, both paperback and e-book!!

My author friends will be giving away signed novels!! Watch for  Denise Rago (vampire novel, Immortal Obsession), Brian Moreland (horror supernatural suspense novel, Dead of Winter), Jonathan Janz (horror suspense novel, The Sorrows), Keith Rommel (horror novel, The Cursed Man) and more!! (THANK YOU!) I’ll post info on them and links to my past reviews soon so you can see what great books you can win!

I hope you can participate and I wish you luck. Make some hot tea, grab some chocolate, climb in bed, and lock your door….then get out your scary book each night (and your laptop, KindleFire, Ipad or smartphone so you can network with us…lol). Try not to bite your nails too much. 😉 I don’t want to be responsible for any trips to the ER.

Any questions, just leave them for me in the comments below!!



~From Castle Macabre Blog……

Quick link to sign-up: http://castlemacabre.blogspot.com/2012/03/announcing-spring-into-horror-read.html or read on…

From Michelle:  “It’s coming…to shake up your peaceful spring. The Spring into Horror Read-a-Thon starts 4/23 at 12 a.m. CST to 4/29 at 11:59 p.m. CST (adjust times accordingly). Don’t let the word ‘horror’ scare you away from this read-a-thon. You do have to read at least one scary book during the duration of the read-a-thon. That book can be horror, paranormal, thriller, mystery, etc. Then, read whatever you want. More horror/scary stuff or just your regular reading repertoire. As always, this is a week long read-a-thon, but you can join in and read whenever it’s convenient for you. It’s all about being laid back and getting some reading done with a little bit of scary thrown in.

I want to do this read-a-thon a bit differently this time with more focus on the reading and less on mini-challenges. Many people who joined my previous read-a-thons have expressed a desire to focus more on the reading and I’m of a like mind.

You do not have to have a blog. You can sign up using your Goodreads, Twitter, or Facebook accounts. We will be tweeting during the read-a-thon at #SpringHorrorRAT. There will be a starting line post for you to sign-in when you start reading for the read-a-thon, whether you start at the beginning, the middle, or towards the end. For all the info and to sign up, visit the blog post here: http://castlemacabre.blogspot.com/2012/03/announcing-spring-into-horror-read.html.”

Hope to see you there, and HERE!! 🙂


Filed under Read-a-Thons

Terri Blackstock’s Downfall is a Touching Story of Redemption with a Crime Drama Twist

Who wants Emily dead?  How does an old Alfred Hitchcock movie figure in as a clue? 

Newly released for March 2012 is Downfall, by Terri Blackstock, which is the final installment in her Intervention series . However, it also reads as a stand-alone novel. In fact, I had not read the first two books myself and was not the least bit lost while reading Downfall. In this series, Blackstock takes on the tough topic of drug addiction, one that hits really close in her own family life.

Downfall character Emily Covington has turned her life around after being rehabilitated for a drug addiction. However, her family still watches her every move and misjudges her actions as they try to make sure she isn’t slipping back into using drugs again. She is enrolled in college and staying sober. When a car bomb almost explodes her car one morning, everyone immediately wonders if it is drug related. Her mother’s police officer boyfriend promises he will monitor the case, but as he is distracted by another murder, Emily decides to take on some of the case herself, which puts her life in danger as the cases may be related. She wants to know who wants to kill her and if someone else is also in danger!

Blackstock’s opening pace is right on target, giving separate small glimpses between a mystery criminal called The Avenger, a seemingly unrelated murder (until she finds out it is someone she knows!), and Emily’s life while it is again at the point of unraveling. As a reader, I wanted to know the tie-in between all the scenarios and that kept me reading to the end.

Though Downfall is a novel of suspense, I think once you get halfway through the book, the suspense becomes a lighter focus and the book concentrates more on Emily’s redemption within herself, her life, and her family. It is very touching and though I don’t have experience with substance abuse, I think anyone who has had it grip their lives will relate to this book.

However, in general, it is also a poignant read and gives other readers insight into addiction, recovery, redemption, and God’s grace.  Putting the addiction theme to the side for the moment, it is a page turning mystery for suspense readers looking for a novel for a single evening or weekend read. Both reasons will keep you reading it through to the finish.

To read more about Downfall, as well as the first two novels of the Intervention series, click on this link to Terri’s website:  http://www.terriblackstock.com/books/adult-fiction-books/the-intervention-series/.

You can also find more about Terri and her work at www.terriblackstock.com.

Author biography, Terri Blackstock

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times best-seller, with over six million copies sold worldwide. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in an Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual “new kid,” her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.

Her most recent book, Vicious Cycle, debuted on the New York Times best-seller list, as did Intervention, the first book in the Intervention Series. Intervention was also a 2010 Carol Award Winner. The series deals with the subject of drug abuse and its impact on families. Other reader favorites include her books Predator and Double Minds, as well as the Restoration Series, the Newpointe 911 Series, the Cape Refuge Series, and the SunCoast Chronicles series. In September, Shadow in Serenity will release. Her next Intervention Novel, Downfall, will release in February 2012.

In 1994 Terri was writing romance novels under two pseudonyms for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening prompted her to switch gears. At the time, she was reading more suspense than romance, and felt drawn to write thrillers about ordinary people in grave danger. Her newly awakened faith wove its way into the tapestry of her suspense novels, offering hope instead of despair. Her goal is to entertain with page-turning plots, while challenging her readers to think and grow. She hopes to remind them that they’re not alone, and that their trials have a purpose.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as “The 700 Club” and “Home Life,” and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country. The story of her personal journey appears in books such as Touched By the Savior by Mike Yorkey, True Stories of Answered Prayer by Mike Nappa, Faces of Faith by John Hanna, and I Saw Him In Your Eyes by Ace Collins.


Filed under Book Reviews