Monthly Archives: November 2014
“Humor and Mystery combine to make these must-read who-done-its.”
MOCHA, MOONLIGHT, AND MURDER, Romantic Suspense novel by MaryAnn Kempher http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CDNQ37Q
This book tells the story of 28-year-old Katherine O’Brian. One night she awakes and can’t go back to sleep. Hungry, but with an empty refrigerator and a pantry that holds little more than Ramen noodles, she decides to walk to a nearby all-night diner. Unfortunately, she comes nearly face to face with a killer as he prepares to dispose of his victim. She gets away, but it doesn’t take him long to find out who she is, and he wants her dead.
Katherine has recently gone back to college to finish her degree where she’s paired with Scott Mitchell on a class project. Scott left a broken engagement behind when he moved to Reno, and the last thing he needs is more melodrama, but that’s what he gets. It can be very distracting when someone is out to kill your lab partner. Together, they try to figure out what the police haven’t been able to—the identity of the murderer. Passions flare, but with Katherine’s life in danger, romance seems like more than a bad idea.
Scott and Katherine will face jealousy, misunderstandings, lust, and rivals, not to mention attempted murder—and all before their first real date. Here is just one of her five-star reviews:
Praise for Mocha, Moonlight and Murder:
A MUST read!! Mystery, Danger, Drama, Romance…it has it all!,
I gave this book 5 stars because it’s so cleverly written, I was hooked from the start! I read it in 2 days because I just kept speculating about what happens next. There are a lot of romance books out there at the moment, but let’s be honest, they’re mostly all sex and little depth to the story lines. This book has it all! Romance, kinky sex, and a storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat! There are lots of twists and turns and when you think you’ve figured it out, you soon find out you haven’t. There is an unbelievable twist towards the end that left my mouth hanging!
I hate reviews that reveal too much, so I won’t say much about the twists, but I hope you’re ready to fall in love with Scott and Katherine….and Reno! The chemistry between these 2 is sizzling hot! This author is one to look out for for sure. Looking forward to more from her.
Forever Doomed, Romantic Suspense novel by MaryAnn Kempher http://www.amazon.com/Forever-Doomed-Under-Moonlight-Book-ebook...
“It’s not wise to wander the cruise ship Forever alone at night. You might not live to see daylight.”
Detective Jack Harney agrees to do an old Army buddy a favor. Curt Noble had some personal business to attend to, he didn’t say what. What he did say was he needed someone to temporarily take over his duties as head of security on the struggling cruise ship Forever. Jack hesitates, but he owes Curt his life so agrees. He’s told the worst mischief he can expect to encounter will be the occasional shoplifter, or drunk. Instead, one week into the cruise, a beautiful red head and a member of the crew are ruthlessly murdered. Are the two murders connected? It’s up to Jack to find out. He must find the killer before the ship returns to Tampa’s port, or worse, before another dead body is found.
Jack can handle a murder or two, but that’s not all on his plate: Cookies, cakes, and custard are being sabotaged, an ex-girlfriend is on board for a large wedding and she wants to “talk”, and a murder suspect is trying really hard to get into his tan Dockers. Can Jack remain focused and catch a killer, or will someone get away with murder, not to mention serious brownie abuse.
Praise for Forever Doomed:
“Jack Harney is a detective who has recently transferred to Tampa Florida. An old army friend has asked him for a huge favor; take his place as head of security on a cruise ship. Jack is hesitant but he owes the man. Don’t worry his friend said
“the worst mischief he could expect to encounter would be the occasional shoplifter or drunk tourist.”, yea right! Murder and a delicious crime spree ensue. Jack knows if he doesn’t have a suspect when the ship returns to Tampa two weeks early he’ll likely lose his detective position.”
“Well, let’s just say we’ve misplaced him,”
I’m not ashamed to I was a bit skeptical when I was asked to read this book. A run down cruise ship, murder, mystery, I just wasn’t sure I would like it. Let me tell you, you CAN NOT judge a book by its cover or by the simple blurb about the story. I LOVED this book, LOVED IT!!! It was rather confusing in the beginning but it had to be in order to keep me guessing. This book was more than a simple murder mystery, there were so many mini stories intertwined I couldn’t put the book down. Romance, betrayal, passion, humor and some sex, yup this book has it all. MaryAnn Kempher really brought the characters to life; I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next in each mini story. How would all the pieces fall into place, what is the connection between the different groups, some I could guess at the path, some I was caught well of guard. I give this book 5 stars and impatiently await the next book by this talented author. I love how she ended the story, “The end, for now.”
Sweet Mystery, Romantic Suspense novel by MaryAnn Kempher http://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Mystery-Under-Moonlight-Book-ebook...
Who Killed Candy Dashwood?
Candy Dashwood was young, beautiful, and accustomed to getting exactly what she wanted, by any means necessary, including sex and blackmail. Does that make her murder less important? Or her killer less guilty? Her mother doesn’t think so. She asks private detective Jack Harney to help find Candy’s killer. When all signs point to her police officer lover, the case seems cut and dry. So why does the evidence seem so flimsy? And why are the police so unwilling to dig any deeper. Jack uncovers a web of sex and deception in which nothing is as it seems, and the list of potential killers grows every day. Can he put the pieces together and discover who really killed Candy, or will her killer Sweet Mystery is a suspenseful murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.
Praise for Sweet Mystery:
“I absolutely LOVED this book. This is the third book in a series by MaryAnn Kempher, and they just keep getting better!!! The story line was awesome…. I was hooked from the very beginning and found that I was unable to put this book down. I loved the characters, and it was nice to see some of the characters from the other books return in this one, especially Nene and Gaga 🙂 Those two ladies are a hoot!!
I am really looking forward to book 4!! “~ Yvonne via Amazon ~5-star Review
“I loved this book. I didn’t want to put it down. Out of the three in this series, this is the best one. I am looking forward to the next book.”~Wanda Downs via Amazon ~5-star Review
Her books can be read out of order, but she recommends you start with her first, Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder which is a romantic mystery set in Reno NV, then Forever Doomed, which is a murder mystery set on a cruise ship.
Sweet Mystery is her most recent release and another “I did not see that coming.” murder mystery.
Link to books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MaryAnn-Kempher/e/B00CDNQ37Q
Link to books on B&N.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/maryann-kempher
If you’d like to connect with MaryAnn Kempher, that will be easy:
MaryAnn Kempher’s writing is infused with romance and mystery. Her love of romance stories goes back to her teen years spent living in Reno NV where Mocha, Moonlight, and Murder is set. MaryAnn’s travels have taken her to beautiful cities in Italy, Southeast Asia and the sultry desert country of Qatar. She met her husband on one of her romantic misadventures while traveling. She has two children and currently lives in Florida where she and her family share their home with two dogs and a cat. Her writing influences include favorite authors Jane Austen and Agatha Christie. She’s a huge fan of the Hercule Poirot mysteries. Her guilty pleasures are any and all sweets, including a good cup of Mocha.
I have a bit more information to give about this wonderful new Kindle Scout Campaign.
My Kindle Scout campaign runs through December 17.
What is this Kindle Scout campaign you ask?
Amazon is now publishing books, yes Amazon is a publishing company with hired editors and all, but they do things a bit differently. Once they accept a novel it is launched in this campaign lasting thirty days in which the author has to gather enough votes. Those novels with the most votes are then published. I’m sure they have other criteria they go by since they don’t show how many votes each novel gathers.
What are enough votes?
I’m not sure of that answer. The one thing I do know is that each novel, to make it, needs a lot of votes. As a new author I’m at a disadvantage because I don’t have a fan base to support me. Therefore I’m using any means that are legal in this campaign to gather supporters to vote for my novel.
White Swans A Regency World is a Young Adult fantasy with a pinch of romance series and this is book 1. In the campaign you’ll be able to read the first three chapters to determine if you like the story and would like to vote for it. If you think you need to read more to make up your mind go to Wattpad where I have the first five chapters posted.
If you want to help me make it through the campaign, you can vote here. Now, if my book makes it and Amazon publishes the novel, all those who voted for it will receive a free copy. After looking carefully, I believe each person can vote for three different novels. Therefore, if you see more than one book you’d like to vote for, you can. Won’t you help make my dream come true?
Kendíka’s second chance at life begins as a nightmare. Will the eerie eyes always looking down from the sky reveal themselves? Kendíka challenges the aliens no one has ever seen to bring about a better life for the humans trapped in the surreal Regency world she wakes up in. While getting to know her alien owner, she discovers the aliens aren’t so perfect and have much to learn about humans. Will Kendíka survive or perish, attempting to make life better for the people living on Regency?
About the author:
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the States, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.
Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.
You can visit Annamaria at:
About Joyce T. Strand
Joyce T. Strand is the author of who-done-it mysteries set in the San Francisco Silicon Valley and Napa-Sonoma wine regions of California.
Her most recent novel, HILLTOP SUNSET, is the first of a new series featuring protagonist Brynn Bancroft, a financial guru in transition to winemaker from corporate executive. Brynn Bancroft is a minor character in Strand’s novels ON MESSAGE, OPEN MEETINGS, and FAIR DISCLOSURE—three mysteries solved by Jillian Hillcrest, a publicist whose boss was Chief Financial Officer Brynn Bancroft.
Much like her protagonist Jillian Hillcrest, Strand headed corporate communications at several biotech and high-tech companies in California’s Silicon Valley for more than 25 years. Unlike Jillian, however, she did not encounter murder in her career. She focused on writing by-lined articles, press releases, white papers, and brochures to publicize her companies and their products.
Strand lives with her two cats and collection of cow statuary in Southern California, and seeks out and attends as many Broadway musicals and other stage plays as possible.
She received her Ph.D. from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. and her B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
HILLTOP SUNSET is available November 12, 2014 on Amazon (Paperback and Kindle) and Barnes and Noble’s Nook. For a peek, check out an excerpt at: http://joycestrand.com
Barnes and Noble Nook Author Link – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/joyce-t-strand?store=allproducts&keyword=joyce+t+strand
Web page – http://joycestrand.com
“Buying a book is not about obtaining a possession, but about securing a portal.” – Laura Miller
You’re at an estate sale when you are drawn to an old journal and the price is too good to pass up. When you get home you decide to go on the internet and do a little research on the author. What you discover frightens yet intrigues you at the same time. The writer of your masterpiece is known to have dabbled in the occult until they went missing over a decade ago. It is rumoured that by reading the journal you can open a portal to another dimension.
Write about your adventure with this journal. Are you brave enough to read it? What do you find inside? Does this portal exist and if it does where does it lead? Is it a dream come true or your worst nightmare?
Get creative, write and have fun! 🙂
I had a blast writing THE EXPATRIATES. It’s the first in a series that follows teenager, Jim Wales, who can communicate telepathically with animals. He discovers his family has been hiding him because they know he’s a scholar—one who can manipulate energy using magic—and someone is hunting all scholars.
I love to read books on craft. I have many of them, and continue to marvel at the ways these books weave advice about writing in so many ways and yet all hope to get a writer to the same place. One of my very favorites is The Plot Whisperer, by Martha Alderson.
The book opens with an introduction which begins, Something urges you to pick up this book. And from there she begins to write not just about writing craft, but about our humanity and who we are in the world. Alderson describes how the stories we write, and things we put our characters through, speak about who we are as human beings.
I teach the Universal Story to writers through plot. Though difficult to accomplish successfully, plot is critical to stories. As I continue to teach and write and consult, I gain new insights into plot… and into writers’ lives.
She goes further to speak about the things that we struggle with as writers and the things that block us and how we should dig deep when these pop up in our writing because some baggage in our real world there needs to be unpacked and dealt with.
This is not to say that a murderous villain’s actions are speaking to the author’s experience. She’s talking about the deeper stuff. The conflicts, the motivations, the juicy meat that makes a story universally relatable.
Alderson talks about energy, and the Universal Story that we all strive to come into contact with. And how our ability to tell a story that speaks to everyone will be dependent on how we approach the world as a left- or right-brained person, or both. AND THEN… she tells you how to do it. *yay*
Look what happened when I finished the one of the exercises:
That’s my book there on my wall, all laid out in blue post-it notes. When I took this picture, I had been having issues with that first little downhill jaunt up there. Post-it note number 3 and 4 after the crisis peak were causing all kinds of havoc on everything that came after.
Posting it out like this, as the exercise advised, I was able to move through and solve the problem and became completely jazzed in the process. Being jazzed about your book is important.
I got so excited I grabbed my husband and made him come in to see the fabulous plot poster, but insisted that he didn’t actually READ any of the notes because he had not read the final draft yet and some of the juicy bits had now changed. So he admired my blue story structure plan and congratulated me and then left the room with me grinning like a starry-eyed maniac.
When I started writing this book, I did so without a plan. I had it in my head where I needed to go and I went. Once the first draft was finished, it was okay. I was enamored of the process and realized my story went in a few directions I hadn’t intended. Many drafts later, I was still paying for that lack of planning as I reworked some stuck spots and solved the larger issues of plot. Above all things, I have realized that I require a plot plan.
If you look closely, you’ll see a little pink post-it in the lower left corner. That was the start of another line of my story about to be explored and added to the six foot paper mural. I added green and orange tags as well. The exercises in this book are done in such a way as to help you see your story to its fullest completion. My plot poster was a kaleidoscopic adventure of bullet points when I was done.
If you’re looking for some help with your story plot, I highly recommend The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson.
Due to a very busy week ahead I will be taking a short break from blogging until
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
~Joseph Campbell ~
Wherever you may be in your day/eve, I hope you’re living with passion & purpose!
Live,laugh & love! xo
Wishing all a wonderful week! 🙂