Category Archives: Reading Nook Blog Posts

Author Interview: ‘Monogamy Book One: Lover’ by Victoria Sobolev

About the Book:

What starts as an affair and a new experience turns out to be a monogamous lifetime saga. The two fight with borders, morals, infidelity issues, cancer, dark secrets and win

People think that Alex was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, not only rich, but blessed by luck. Men respect him, women dream of him, and Alex alone knows the strength it takes to conceal his tortured soul and devastating secrets.

But despite those powerful life lessons, he has always believed in his father’s words, ‘When you fall in love, you love forever – it’s in our family blood. Look for HER and you’ll find your happiness beyond thought…’

Valeria has never experienced actual romance (an early pregnancy, a hasty marriage, a life filled with work and study) and considers herself a pragmatist. She was taught to live by the rules: if you get married, then you love your husband; if you dream of a new home, then you work hard. But when, against all logic, she finds a beautiful stranger in her bed, her world turns upside down. After all, falling for the forbidden can be too sweet not to try… at least once.

They come from the opposite ends of the globe, but the collision of two soulmates is destined. Fate will send them on a lifelong journey from Eastern Europe to Spain, France, the United States, and back.

Their story is a mix of a beautiful fairy tale and a painful nightmare. It`s not something you`ve heard before: everything is too vivid, too honest, too emotional and too profound.

An attraction at first sight;

A passion that breaks all rules;

A hypnotic melody – it conquers all.

This is one love for life and beyond time,

This is MONOGAMY…

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

There is a free extended preview of the first book in the series here: www.sobolevvictoria.com/subscribe

Monogamy Book Two: Husband is releasing in November: www.goodreads.com/book/show/55388348-monogamy-book-two-husband

 

Excerpt:

The First Kiss

*** ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ by Selig ***

My friendship theory lasts until one hot July day, when we find ourselves in an amusement park eating ice-cream – coffee and chocolate. It is melting so quickly that it drips out of the cone and covers Danny’s face, hands and even shorts in brown smears. On any other day this would make me upset and angry, but not today. We are laughing and joking around so much that life seems happy, the day magnificent, and dirty shorts unimportant. I laugh uncontrollably, with absolutely no fear of seeming inadequate, and, between these bursts of pure, unadulterated joy, I am aware of two brown eyes locked onto me. It is the gaze of a child staring at an expensive toy in a shop that he desperately wants and can look at, but is not allowed to touch and is definitely not allowed to play with. I like it. It wraps me in its honey-sweet caress, forcing me to lose all sense of reality, dive into the waters of desire and drown in euphoria.

It is on this day that I experience the most delicious and exciting moment of my life, one of those that remains a cherished memory and fills our existence with meaning, the kind that will flash through our mind as we depart this world – my first real kiss.

My ice-cream is melting just as quickly as Danny’s and is dripping down my chin, across my wrist, and onto my thigh. I laugh, throwing my head back and covering my eyes so as not to be blinded by happiness, and it is in this moment of weightlessness that I am suddenly aware of the lightest touch on my skin, like the wings of a butterfly. It flutters against my thigh then lingers on my wrist, but before its delicate wings reach my face, I force my eyes open and see only fragments: pink lips, a tanned cheek, the features and lines of a face silhouetted against the bright sunlight. My nostrils draw in his scent for the very first time and it is so strong that he is not just next to me but intimately close. His smell instantly takes me prisoner, overpowering me to such an extent that I have forgotten who and where I am.

I know that, moments before, Alex was using his lips and tongue to clean the melted ice-cream off my thigh and wrist and inadvertently treating me to the most ecstatic experience of my life. My body and mind are adrift in a sea of bliss, the sounds of the park suddenly fade away, and the world and everyone in it cease to exist. All I can see is a blindingly bright light and all I can feel are a man’s moist lips touching mine. Alex’s hot, passionate mouth is kissing me greedily as if there is finally enough air; as if he had been suffocating, but now he can breathe.

I know that a kiss like this is neither flirting nor dating and can sense with every fibre of my being that it was a sudden impulse, unplanned and impetuous.

When Alex comes to his senses and realises what he has done, I am already staring meaningfully into his eyes. He pulls away slowly and starts to apologise, but I assure him there is no need, just not to do it again. He replies that he won’t, but his eyes say otherwise: he looks as overwhelmed as I feel.

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’ve never been into books. I mean I used to enjoy classics when I was young but having work and family on my plate I stopped reading at all as I thought for good. I used to tell everyone that in our days reading is luxury – it takes too much precious time. Back then I couldn’t imagine myself as a writer.

But…as they say, “ If you want to make God laugh, let him know your plans”.

Many years later, at the age of 36, I realized that I’m going to explode with the emotions and the heaviness of images I had been carrying in my head for years if I don’t let them out. It was a story of a man tortured by his beauty and human desire to consume it. Somehow, I was able to feel not only his suffering and loneliness but his great almost endless ability to love. To love monogamously, unconditionally, investing every cell of his being into happiness of only one person on Earth – his soul mate. Well, I never created him, you see, he was born in my brain all by himself. Or maybe it was (and still is) some kind of mystiques.

My urge to get rid of those images, write them down and let them live their own separate life was so strong that I made myself learn how to draw with words. It took me two months to write the very first version (which was half as long as the final hundred times rewritten one) and when I was finished I called it “something”. And I sent my “something” to my sister with a message: “Kira, I wrote something, can you please read it?”

A couple hours later, at 3 a.m. to be precise, I heard from her back. “You MUST show THIS to people… ” she wrote.

And then “I’ve never cried so hard and I’ve never felt such profound happiness with every corner of my soul. I can’t believe it, my sister wrote a BOOK!”

That’s when I realized that what I was dealing with was an actual book. But having 13 of them now I still don’t consider myself a writer. I have a feeling that I can and must do better to earn that.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

The ideal place to write for me would have been Spanish beach in September: there are no crowds, no scorching heat, there is only you, the azure sea and the calming tale of the waves. In real life, I work sitting at my desk and looking occasionally through my window at the rainy dreary streets of Vancouver and realizing that every single day, I keep falling in love with this hauntingly beautiful city.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I would say that “Monogamy” wasn’t inspired but rather urged by my strong feelings of regret, sorrow, love for the man who lived in my imagination for years. It only happened this way with the “Monogamy”.

My other books were inspired quite traditionally. For example, I have another popular book “Opium” – a story about forbidden love, based on a letter from my reader. Of course, it wasn’t something new, I’d heard plenty about brother-sister stories, I neither judged nor supported, but in that huge reader’s letter there was one sentence that described what she (my reader) and her brother were both feeling about their lives being for years married to other people. It was the “emptiness” that finally led the woman to a deep depression. I wrote absolutely different story with different characters, but still connected to that letter through “emptiness”. It’s like one sentence, or even one word had opened a portal of inspiration and imagination.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Well, the plan, if it exists, is only in my head. But I doubt it’s even there. I just listen to my thoughts, and when I get from those thoughts strong emotions – that’s when I know that the book is going to be good.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I think it’s social drama with elements of romance, psychology, sometimes detective and thriller. I do not plan a genre; I let the plot choose its own path. The main thing is that it will lead me to the point of triumph of hope and faith. In fact, everything I write builds the idea “never give up, always fight”.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Rodrigo Guirao as Alex and Agnes Obel as Lera.

7/9: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors? and What is your favourite book and why?

It had already been a full year since I released “Monogamy”, I finished his book “Monogamist” and I went with my husband for a three marvelous weeks on vacation to Italy. That’s when I actually restarted reading myself. I got a TBR list from my readers with the “best books ever” and among them I found one that really touched me – “The Opportunist” by Tarryn Fisher. I read it in Rome (listened to the audio book, actually), and it was interesting since the last scene in the book was happening exactly there – in Rome.

My memory still keeps the moment where exhausted we crashed on a bench somewhere close to Forum, my husband happily fell asleep on my knees and even his snoring wasn’t bothering me as I was listening how Olivia entered Caleb’s office to see him with another woman. Well, to me with all I read before it was filigree – not too much, not too shallow. That’s why I love Tarryn, she is on the same wave as I am. She impressed me. And “The Opportunist” led me to my favorite of all times – MUD VEIN. That`s where I was crushed. That’s where I found my personal apocalypses, the deepness I needed so desperately and couldn’t find in other books.

Not only did Tarryn tell me “what love is”, but she found a way to show it in the most powerful and exquisite episode I had ever met. I am talking about the scene where freezing and dying Isaac covers Senna with his body to keep her warm and alive as long as he can. My fingertips went numb when I saw that image in my head.

I have a series of two books called “15 minutes” and “Strip games”. It’s a story about a couple struggling to live a normal life after their 3 year old girl drowned in the pool. Six years of ineffective therapy pushed the husband to take a dissonant attempt of bringing his “ghost-like” wife back to life. While we oversee her becoming alive again in the hands of her young lover, we can feel how deeply and desperately her husband is suffering. Months after the divorce, she founds her husband’s letters revealing that he had never cheated on her but had betrayed her in the most cruel way possible – he had bought her a lover. She can’t even think straight through the words and confessions of the most important man in her life, but she finely discovers how badly he was destroyed and hurt not so much from jealousy as from seeing the woman he loved falling in love with another man – the man whom he paid. Here I can see Tarryn’s influence – the idea of manifestations of love through sacrifice, ability to “give” despite self-preservation instincts.

I have read tons of books now and “Mud vein” still remains at the top along with The Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paullina Simons.

Do they inspire me? I think so.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’ve read recently Normal people and Conversations with friends by Sally Roony. I loved the latter.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Not to think about it, but to try.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

Please, visit my site: www.sobolevvictoria.com

Follow my Instagram: www.instagram.com/victoriasobolev_author

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ViktoriaSobolev

Amazon page: www.amazon.com/author/victoriasobolev

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomvictoriasobolev

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/victoria-sobolev

 

About the Author:

Victoria Sobolev is the author of four bestselling series and one standalone novel that have gained her thousands of followers on Russian indie platforms and a Monogamy fan club.

She was born in Ukraine but spent most of her life living in Moldova until immigrating to Canada with her husband and two children. She currently lives in and marvels the beauty of British Columbia.

Join Victoria’s mailing list for exclusive material ➜ www.sobolevvictoria.com/#267

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Author Interview: ‘Complicated Heart’ by Nicole Higginbotham-Hogue

About the Book:

After Parker and the Avery Detective Agency leave Kansas, they are contracted to work in conjunction with the ATF and FBI on solving the mysterious oil trafficking case that is plaguing the area. The group is sent to Chicago in an attempt to get to the bottom of the crime ring that is terrorizing local farmers by confiscating oil from their land, but as they dive deeper into the case, figures from the past emerge, and the group might find that the culprit behind the whole thing is right under their nose.

 

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“We’re not in Kansas anymore!” Kay called as their car sped down the road and out of the farm town that they had been staying at the last week or so.

“Well, technically, we still are for about another hour,” Parker replied with a smile. “But I agree, it’s about time that we move on.”

“How do you think that Iris is doing?” Kay asked, concern in her voice. “I told her that she could come with us, but she was bound and determined to get a ride from Cam.”

“You know Iris,” Parker said, shaking her head. “She’s in love, and when she feels that way about someone, she goes all in.”

“That’s what I’m worried about,” Kay replied. “She wears her heart on her sleeve. We do not even know much about Cam. What if she is the one behind the black-market oil smuggling? What if Vicki does not have anything to do with it? Maybe, it’s all just one big cover-up.”

“Maybe,” Parker mused. “But I have a good inkling that Vicki does have something to do with all of this. There’s no way that someone would fake their own attack to the point that they ended up in the hospital in order to frame an innocent person unless they were involved in some way, shape, or form.”

“I suppose that’s true,” Kay agreed. “I just can’t completely trust Cam yet. I need to know more about her before I am comfortable with her dating Iris.”

“You’re so motherly,” Parker grinned, sneaking a look at her wife. “Poor Iris is just trying to go out into the world to find Mrs. Right, and you are always there to tell her why each person isn’t good enough for her.”

“I care,” Kay said simply. “You should too. You have been friends with her longer than I have, and you know that Iris is impulsive. I just don’t want to see her diving into a relationship that isn’t healthy, and I certainly don’t want her ending up with some kind of criminal.”

“Yeah, she does know how to pick them, doesn’t she?” Parker commented, thinking about all the women that Iris had gone out with in the last couple of years. The other woman was always going out to the clubs and to the bars, looking for the one, and during that time, Parker had seen her fair share of contestants for the spot, none of them receiving her approval. Nevertheless, Cam seemed like a better match than most for Iris. Though they had just met while working on the Gifford Farm case, Parker felt like the other woman had a greater sense of responsibility than the other people that Iris dated did, and Iris was one that needed a responsible mate. “Did you ever think that Cam might be just what Iris needs?” Parker finally said to her wife, vocalizing her thoughts. “It seems like she has her life together, and I don’t think that Iris has ever gone with someone like that before.”

“Maybe,” Kay said. “But I’m not going to trust this woman until I know her better.”

Parker laughed at her wife’s stubborn attitude. “You know, maybe we really do need to have a kid,” she commented. “Then, you could use all of that extra energy to worry about them instead of Iris. She is a grown adult, you know.”

“A child,” Kay replied, a softness in her voice. “Have you been really thinking about it? I thought that you weren’t ready to have a family yet.”

“I wasn’t,” Parker admitted. “But something tells me that you are.”

“I told you a long time ago that I was ready,” Kay said. “Nevertheless, if you aren’t, then there is no point in proceeding forward.”

“Well, you can’t go your whole life not knowing what it is like having one of your own,” Parker told her wife. “And you are showing all of the signs that it is nearing time. I love you, Kay, and I went into this relationship knowing that there was a possibility of being a parent. I certainly don’t want to take that dream away from you.”

“What’s stopping you from wanting them yourself?” Kay inquired, fooling with the mixture of items in the middle console. “You would be a great parent. You have a decent job, a nice place to live, and an ample support system.”

Parker thought about this question for a moment. She knew the answer, but she was not sure how to present her concerns to her wife. She knew that Kay could not go through her whole life without being a mother. The other woman had showed her in so many ways that she was ready for the responsibility, and Parker honestly thought that she would be good at it. However, Parker also knew the risks in that endeavor. The job that they had was not a very safe one, and there were always unexpected risks. She certainly didn’t want to get in over her head by taking on a case that might put her family at risk, and she knew that if they did have a child, Kay would need to stay home to take care of their little one. She would not feel comfortable having Kay work alongside of her at the detective agency knowing that they had a baby at home. She wanted to have the comfort of knowing that her family was secure, and she was not sure how she could do the job that she loved and guarantee that.

“Hello, are you listening to me?” Kay urged, clearly not appreciating the silent response to her question.

“Yes, I’m listening to you,” Parker responded.

“Then, be honest with me,” Kay said. “Why don’t you want kids?”

“I do want kids,” Parker confessed. “I just don’t know if I would be a good parent, especially with my given career field.”

Kay looked over at her with a knowing look. “So, this is about our job?” she said, the stress in her voice easing with the realization. “You know, I would never ask you to leave the detective agency, right?”

“I know that,” Parker said.

“Then, what’s the issue?” Kay inquired.

“I just don’t think that it would be proper to bring a child into this world given our current job,” Parker commented. “We are constantly in danger, and we deal with several issues that a child shouldn’t have to even know about. How can I feel good about bringing another person into the world, knowing that there is a chance that I may not even make it home?”

“There is always that chance,” Kay said. “Look at my grandparents. My grandmother was in her own house when she was murdered.”

“Yeah, I suppose that you are right,” Parker sighed. “It’s just a lot to think about.”

“It is,” Kay replied. “But keep thinking about it, because I feel like it is the right time to expand our family. I can’t imagine going my whole life without children, and regardless of our job, I think that expanding our family would be a good thing for us not a bad thing.”

Parker was silent. Kay had never pushed the subject this hard, and now it was evident that her wife was not going to give up on the topic. She watched the road ahead of her, noticing the small clusters of fields on either side. Time had gone by rather fast in the last couple of years, and she knew that if she did not make a decision on expanding their family, they may never get the chance to do so, but now wasn’t really the time. They were in the middle of a big case, probably their most dangerous case to date. She decided to push the family issue to the back burner for the time being. Her decision could wait until they solved this case, and maybe, then she would have some clarity on the issue.

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I realized that I was fascinated with books when I was eight. I was walking in my school library, and I saw a book that was written by a boy my age. After looking closely at his work, I was inspired to try and create my own story. I started by creating picture books and comics, and later, I wrote screenplays and for newspapers. It took a while for me to realize that my true calling was writing novellas and novels.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I have two hours to write a day. I try to schedule this around my other responsibilities. I am a full-time writer, but I am also a full-time mother, so time constraints are a very real thing to me. I think that this affects my writing in the fact that I have to make decisions about what I can and cannot get done in a day, and since I write, edit, create my own cover designs, market, and advertise my own work, along with running my Website and promotions, it might take me a little longer to get what I want to accomplish done.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

The people that I have met in my life and the situations that I have gone through inspire my writing. I like to write fiction that is based on some sort of truth. For instance, the book, The Flood Between Us, was written after a flood devastated the cities around me.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I usually have some sort of plan. There are times that I write outlines, and I do this, because sometimes, I will have a scene completely thought through. However, that scene may be in the middle of the book, so to write out that scene, I have to keep track of what came before it and what will come after. There are also times where as I write, my story changes in ways that I didn’t expect as even though I have a basic idea of what I want to write, I let the scenes play out naturally.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I write lesbian fiction. When I was younger, there were not that many lesbian fiction novels to choose from. In fact, when I went to the store to find them, I would encounter a large amount of nonfiction books about coming out and the history of LGBT people in the United States. Nevertheless, I just wanted to read something adventurous where the main characters were lesbian. Since there were very few novels of this kind to choose from, I decided to write my own.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Honestly, I don’t have a particular person in mind to play Parker, but I would like to fit Amy Schumer in there somewhere, and I think that the person that played Iris would have to have a personality similar to Fran Drescher.

7: Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?

I read when I can get the time. A couple of my favorite authors are Harper Bliss and Radclyffe.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

It has been a busy year, so I have not had as much downtime as I would have liked. However, it is a goal to finish the Pink Bean Series by Harper Bliss, and I am also in the middle of two other novels, one by Miranda McLeod and another by J.A. Armstrong.

9: What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is Keeping You a Secret by Julie Ann Peters. I feel like this book tells a heartfelt story about coming out.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

The biggest piece of advice that I have is to keep on writing. Sometimes, one reader may not like one of your books, but that does not mean that they will not like another one. This is a difficult industry to break into, and there is a lot of criticism that goes with it. However, it is important to accept the fact that other people have their own opinions and to keep your head up. If you keep writing, you might just write the masterpiece that you have always wanted.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

Website: www.higginbothampublications.com

Blog: www.higginbothampublications.wordpress.com/books-by-nicole-higginbotham-hogue

Twitter: @higginbothampub

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/nicole-higginbotham-hogue-66a349b9/

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/14687751.Nicole_Higginbotham_Hogue

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/higginbothampublications

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Nicole-Higginbotham/e/B010OIGXAS

Smashwords: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/higginbothampublications

 

About the Author:

I began writing, because I liked the idea of using the imagination to tell stories. At an early age, I published poetry, news articles, and jokes for magazines, but I always was partial to writing books. When I finally had the chance to do this, I wanted to write lesbian romance books that incorporated other parts of a woman’s life. Many of us have families, jobs, and non-romantic relationships that are a big part of our lives, and I thought that it would be more realistic to incorporate these features into the books that I wrote. Later, I noticed that the availability of LGBT books in bookstores and libraries was sparse. I wanted to write more than one genre of lesbian fiction, so that those that were into other types of books like action, adventure, crime, and mystery were able to find a book that suited their personality with characters that were like them. I am currently working on my newest project, which will hopefully be available by the end of the year.

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Author Interview: ‘Costco As You Like It’ by Casey Giffen

About the Book:

Old Fashioned Romance, Lovers United, and Literal Drama Collide

Boy meets girl, girl meets boy—and everyone around them meet in this romantic comedy of errors where hearts melt and love abounds. Costco as You Like It takes readers into the worlds of a lonely librarian named Paul and an equally lonely school drama teacher and counselor named Maddie. A chance meeting in Costco over a table loaded with books and a few calamities later, and this match made of the minds and hearts ignites into a romantic ruse sure to delight readers everywhere.

While Maddie and Paul “fail to launch” out of self-induced stage fright and the belief that love only happens in fairy tales, not their lives, these two star-crossed lovers find their lives somehow coming together over a proposed Arts Center. Maddie exerts all her thespian prowess to convince residents that a civic arts center is practical and prudent. Incognito, she plays the part of Gaylord (aka Ganymede from Shakespeare’s As You Like It) to succeed. By performing a play to raise money and awareness for community folks, Gaylord (aka Maddie) becomes a hidden gift for Paul. However, as is the case with most things in life (and even fairy tales) nothing works out quite as planned.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into writing?

NANOWRMO (National Novel Writing Month) birthed a challenge in me that lives today. I love creative writing. I wrote my first novel eighteen years ago, The NANOWRMO goal was to write 50,000 words during the month of November, for folks like me who said, “Someday I’m going to write a novel.” In 2012, I wrote Costco As You Like It but decided to publish it last November after meeting with Michelle Gamble, the publisher of 3L Publishing.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Waking up at 4:00 a.m. allows me to sip the first cup of coffee in my household. By committing to writing the first thing in my day, I guarantee fostering a constant, persistent approach to writing. I never feel as though I’m procrastinating or wasting time. Sitting in a corner section with windows, I watch the sunrise, and I know that I’ve begun the day creatively, productively.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas originate by seeing the “old” in “new” ways. By watching, listening, and interacting with a variety of people, I consider how these real-life people would play out in fiction.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Prior to writing my current novel Apollo’s Broken Chariot, I reread Elizabeth George’s Write Away. George’s approach is fascinating. She explains the significance of characters’ names. I’ve never initiated a plot based on names. Also, she highlights the importance of thorough character development before penning a sentence of narration. For the first time, I outlined most of the plot prior to beginning the story. What Faulkner terms as the human condition in conflict, George elaborates with facets of the characters: emotions, environment, finances, intellect, quirks, needs and the usual physical, behavioral, and spiritual qualities. With a strong setting, the first chapter ushers in a terrific story and continues to advance from a great beginning which gets even better.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

Costco As You Like It is a well-played romantic comedy, so I thought that Costco As You Like It would be a terrific summer read. After some research, I had decided to market Costco As You Like It to women in their 40s because they purchase the majority of paperback fiction. Prior to Costco As You Like It, I wrote a trilogy with significant social influences. These mysteries set in the early 1970s reveal provocative settings: the Central Valley of California (the backdrop is the United Farm Workers’ plight); the Southern California locals of New Port Beach and Catalina Island (the backdrop of Roe v Wade ramifications); and in the California Sierras (the backdrop of the Oakland Athletics winning consecutive World Series).

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

I’m somewhat old school. With Costco As You Like It, I’ve imagined Sandra Bullock as the lead Maddie because Bullock displays such originality with romantic comedy roles. Perhaps Matthew McConaughey would appeal to women.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

A favorite adventure of mine is to visit the local used bookstore and discover first-time novelists. However, I appreciate the following: Flannery O’Connor because she reveals faith in new ways with characters; Cormac McCarthy because his storylines and characterization is intriguing; and Sue Monk Kid because her ability to mesh fantasy with real life is stunningly fresh.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I recently finished Kiran Desai’s national bestseller The Inheritance of Loss. She won the Man Booker Prize in 2006 for this novel. She organizes short chapters, which is an interesting style, but obviously she narrates a page-turner because of three-dimensional characters.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

For non-fiction, I love a God in the House, a collection of essays where poets talk about faith. Something about poets of varying faith experiences fascinates me. For fiction, I’ve reread To Kill a Mockingbird during so many Octobers.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Eventually, writers must decide whether or not to write because they feel like they have a story to tell or whether or not they must write the story…period. Regardless, someone considering being a writer simply must tell a story that is worth reading, especially for the author.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work? 

I have a website: www.caseygiffen.com that highlights my novel, my interests, and my blog. Those interested can follow me on Instagram and FB, too.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/casey.giffen.35

Instagram: www.instagram.com/caseygiffen

About the Author:

A teacher for the past 38 years, Casey Giffen lives in Hughson, California with his wife. They have four grown boys, three grandchildren, two golden retrievers, and one tabby cat—just the way he likes it. Writing has always been analogous to discovering golden ideas. He enjoys writing poetry, prose, and post-its in order to discover the hidden stories everyone wants to read. Costco As You Like It is his first novel.

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Book Review: ‘Curses of Scale’ by S.D. Reeves

Title: Curses of Scale

Published: 15th November 2017

Author: S.D. Reeves

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SDReeves.Author

Twitter: @SD_Reeves

 

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Niena wants nothing more than to attend an elite bardic college, but when the dragon that shattered the empire awakens again she finds herself on the run, through the fey realm of Fairhome, to the city where she was born. On her trail are her army veteran grandfather, thrown into a commander’s role he doesn’t want, the lord of the fairies, trying to steer her to his own ends, and the husband she won’t meet for fifteen years. If she kills the dragon, she’ll save everyone she holds dear. But if she kills the dragon, she’s cursed instead to become it.

 

Review:

Creative fantasy world where many peoples’ paths are thrust together for one main journey’s end, who will make it out is anyone’s guess.

Starts as it means to go on with Calem right in the thick of a skirmish with many more to follow. Dropped right into the middle of action, though I felt like I was playing catch up trying to figure things out. Seems Calem has some magic but not enough to stop a curse from taking hold of his wife. He seeks a deal with Oberon to help but will the trickster hold up his end after being sent to where he needs to be? With Calem slowly going mad from his task is he soon to be a danger to others as well as himself?

Niena wants to be taken seriously by others, mostly her grandfather Captain Marny, and show that she can take care of herself out in the world. Something her grandfather doesn’t want her to endure. She wants to explore, fearing she’ll waste away if she doesn’t, and soon gets her wish. Things don’t go to plan on an ale run and she finds herself alone in a world in chaos with a dragon and battles falling at her feet. Perhaps it’s her imagination she needs to worry over with where it seems to take her and a stranger she meets along the way.

Marny sees the destruction and knows he needs to get his people to safety but mainly he wants to find his granddaughter. The journey is perilous but he needs to keep his head to keep people alive with the route they have taken. Seems these three journeys are soon to collide in a dragon’s destructive path. Who will make it out in this fantasy ride?

Bit of a strange book for me that took a while to get going and even longer to make sense with what was happening. It picks up at near the end when things start to click into place. I think what put me off in places was not the story itself but how the narrative parts were written in first person. It took me a while to get used to the style of writing and it’s not one I would go back to. Also didn’t help that there were different POVs but not always clear at first who you are with. Interesting story all the same.

2.5/3 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review.

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Cover Reveal: ‘Bloody Union’ by Brooke Summers

Title: Bloody Union
Series: Made #1
Author: Brooke Summers
Genre: Mafia Romance
Cover Design: Lee Ching, Undercover Designs
Release Date: January 21, 2021
BLURB

Marriages are meant to be sacred but when an arranged marriage turns bloody a war is started.

Makenna Gallagher’s life is anything but ordinary. After experiencing something traumatic her life changes and not for the better. When she meets the man that she is expected to marry she knows that keeping her secrets is only going to get harder.

When Dante Bianchi sees his wife-to-be, he’s surprised. She doesn’t look anything like the sweet and innocent fourteen year old who he had agreed to marry five years ago. He looks forward to making her his.

When their wedding ends in a gunfight, he’s surprised to see his wife handling a gun with ease and when he watches her kill a man he doesn’t know whether to be angry or turned on.

Every family has secrets, but Makenna is drowning in hers. Will she sink or swim when hers turn deadly?

 

PRE-ORDER LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
EXCERPT

I make my way out the back just in time to see my wife shooting a fucking Russian bastard. Why the hell has she got a gun in her hands? My rage starts to surface again, she’s already been hurt and now she’s just killed a man. Fuck.

“Kenna.” Her name is a growl from my lips.

Her back stiffens and she turns to glare at me, “You here to help?” Her Irish accent is thicker than I’ve heard it before.

My cock starts to stir again, her defiance shouldn’t be a turn on, but it is. “Sure,” I drawl and see her lips turn up before she quells her features.

“There’s six out front,” she tells me. “Fucking Finn told me to stay here while he took the men with him. Arsehole.” She shakes her head. “Fuck knows where they’ve gone. Thankfully, Romero isn’t stupid and had a gun.”

“Where did you get that one?” I ask her and I’m surprised I’m able to keep my tone even.

She raises her brow and shakes her head. “When Romero put a bullet into arsehole number one,” she points to the dead body on the floor beside her, “I picked his gun up and used it on arsehole number two and three. Now, I’ve answered your question and as you can see I’m not going to have a meltdown because I killed someone; wasn’t the first time and certainly won’t be the last. How about we cut the chit chat and get to the car before your brother bleeds to death?”

I bite back my chuckle, whereas Romero and Alessio don’t. Fuck, I should hate that she’s not the quiet, shy woman I had expected but I’m not, I’m glad. I don’t want a docile wife, I want someone who’s full of life and looking at Kenna that’s what I’ve got. “Let’s go.”

“Atta boy.” Kenna laughs and I shake my head, fuck, how can I want to laugh during a moment like this? “The black Rolls, that’s where we’re heading. Try not to get shot,” she tells me.

“Don’t worry, princess, I’ll be fine.”

She smirks at me, “Good, you have your husband duties to take care of tonight.”

Jesus! My cock twitches at the thought of being inside of her. “Oh, princess, nothing, and I mean nothing will stop me from fucking you tonight.”

Her pupils dilate, then she shakes her head and runs out the back door, firing her gun as she does.

“I’m going to kill her,” I grunt as I follow behind her.

AUTHOR BIO

I’m Brooke, I’m a Londoner born and raised. I live with my fiancee and our daughter.

I’m a foul mouthed, dirty minded weirdo.

I’m an introvert who would rather spend the night in front of the fire reading than go out.

I write Dark Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Taboo. Basically everything I love thrown together.

I’m hoping you’ll join me on this wild ride I’m about to embark on.

AUTHOR LINKS

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