Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Saturday Spotlight with Frances Housden and Giveaway of Chieftain by Command

Welcome to the Saturday Spotlight, a weekly feature that shines the light on Indie and Debut authors. This week we are taking a small break from the Indie author and highlighting Rita Award Nominee authors. Im thrilled to introduce readers to:
~Author of The Cheiftain Series~

Why I Do Not Write With an Outline
by Frances Housden for Tinasbookreviews -2014

I always know where I want the plot to begin and have some idea where and how I want to finish, but for me the rest is an adventure and the excitement lies in the unknown.

Usually, I have the title of the book in my head, for me this is important and helps to fix the direction I want the book to take. My RITA nominated book The Chieftain’s Curse began with a dream of a Highlander, although the only way I could tell he was a Scot was from the way he wore his hair and his accent as he happened to be naked—I did say this was a dream. He was shaking his fists and yelling ‘Will this bloody curse never end!’

Needless to say I had to discover who he was and the nature of the curse he was yelling about? For me, this is the start of the adventure, the parts written in your head that become the hero and heroine’s backstories, bringing opportunities for motivations, goals and conflict as well as settings, timeline as well as research. Then I’m ready to put words on the page and in this way Euan and Morag were born. I must also confess to liking prologues as a way of setting the story up and this was in Morag’s POV and the first few important lines: -

Year of our Lord 1069

The Abbot was forever telling Morag that disobedient daughters would go to hell. He forgot to tell her that hell lay only a few miles from her father’s hall, and here she was in the middle of it, with dire feeling of dread twisting in her belly.

 Stay or run?

In these few lines we have a glimpse of the heroine’s character. As for the date—shortly after the Battle of Hastings and William the Conqueror’s invasion of England—that is when the research begins. If possible, I like to use actual historic events to help shape my plot, using the events as the backdrop for conflict, a Scottish hero and a heroine from the Northumbrian side of the borders in this instance. These parts are the nuts and bolts, the excitement comes from characters who pop up and refuse to be ignored, like Nhaimeth who is dwarf and not to be confused by the one in GOT, as this book was written long before the series appeared on TV. However he has proved to be an important character in the trilogy, almost like a voice over, or the person who moves the story forward in a Shakespearian play.

Quite a few of these characters are now in my September release ‘Chieftain by Command’ and both the hero, Gavyn, and heroine, Kathryn, had smaller parts in the first book. In ‘Chieftain by Command’ I discovered it was vitally important for Kathryn to make Gavyn fall in love with her, as that was the only way for a woman to gain power. Gavyn on the other hand only became Chieftain of her clan by command of the King, a job Kathryn felt she was perfectly capable of doing; everything after that just evolved with some of the motivation deriving from the plot of the first book as my characters developed further.

Then there are the lads, Nhaimeth, Rob and Jamie from book #1 of the trilogy whose stories are like the backbone of the plot. I found it wonderful to watch their characters grow and change as they became older, and I keep discovering new reasons for their reactions to the hero and heroine as well as the new characters introduced in this book. I had the opportunity to watch young Rob fall in love for the first time, and see Jamie being seduced by an older woman. None of these things were planned. As for the hero and heroine, well they had two years apart straight after their wedding when Gavyn left behind a virgin bride with a warning that when he returned, she had better be as he left her—intact. I love these complications and discovering ways to solve them.

I also love the spontaneity of action and reaction, but it has to be logical—magical mayhap—but still logical. In November my novella The Chieftain’s Feud will be released. This is Jamie’s story it’s few years further on in time and I’ve had to solve conflicts wrought by his seduction by the villainess in the previous book. Even as I write I’m almost ready to begin editing ‘Chieftain in the Making’, Rob’s story and the final novel of the trilogy. Will that be the end—I don’t think so, as I already have titles for another trilogy floating around the back of my mind—connected with but not about Chieftains. I’m calling this next one my Wicked trilogy—it has a good ring to it—and who knows where it will take me or my characters, as at this moment I haven’t a clue, all I have are titles.

Frances Housden has two sons and four grandchildren and loves to travel. She’s a member of Romances Writers of New Zealand, Romance Writers of Australia and Romance Writers of America.

Through these associations she has made a multitude of good friends and indulged in her love of travel by attending conferences in other countries.
Today I have one Ebook copy of Frances Housden's Chieftain by Command for giveaway. Everyone is welocome to enter. Please fill in the copter to enter." rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gavyn Farquhar’s marriage is forged with a double-edged blade. Along with the Comlyn clan’s lands, a reward from the King, he is blessed with an unwilling bride, Kathryn Comlyn, and an ancient fort with few defences that desperately needs to be fortified before it can act as a sufficient buffer between Scotland and the Norsemen on its northern borders.

Gavyn needs wealth to meet his king’s demands, and he knows of only one way to get it — with his sword. Leaving his prickly bride behind in the hands of trusted advisors, he makes his way to the battlegrounds of France and the money that can be made there.

Two years married and Kathryn is still a virgin. A resentful virgin, certain that, like her father before her, she is perfectly capable of leading the Comlyn clan. In her usurper husband’s absence, she meets the clan’s needs, advising and ruling as well as any man.

But she is an intelligent woman, and she knows the only respect and power she will ever hold will be through her husband. And to wield it, she needs to make him love her. An easy task to set, but impossible to complete, when said husband has been gone for two years, and there is no word of his return. But Kathryn is undeterred. After all, a faint heart never won a Chieftain.
Thanks for being on the spotlight today Frances. To learn more about this author visit:


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Giveaway~Lisa Scottoline's and Francesca Serritella's Guilty Trip Giveaway- Win 5 or win big!!!

Mother-daughter author team @Lisa Scottoline and @Francesca Serritella have a new essay collection just out called HAVE A NICE GUILT TRIP. Lucky for you I have a copy of this book--plus their FOUR previous books--to give away to one lucky winner. (Yes, the winner gets all 5 books!) For an entry just fill in the Rafflecopter and be sure to answer the comment below with the name of a place you would sneak off to if you could manage a solo summer getaway. I'll pick one winner at random on Aug 21. This 5-book Giveaway is open to US residents only.

You can also enter to win this awesome "Guilt Trip Giveaway" prize pack worth more than $1,000! Visit this page on Lisa's website for full details and the entry form: Open to Everyone.....

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Timesbestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 22 novels, including her latest,KEEP QUIET. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "Chick Wit" which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman's perspective.

These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in four books including their most recent, Have a Nice Guilt Trip, and the earlier, Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim, Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, which has been optioned for TV, and My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella are back with another collection of warm and witty stories that will strike a chord with every woman. This four book series is among the best reviewed humor books published today and has been compared to the late greats, Erma Bombeck and Nora Ephron. Booklist raved of the third book in the series, Meet Me At Emotional Baggage Claim, “readers can count on an ab-toning laugh session, a silly giggle, a sympathetic sigh, and a lump in the throat as life’s moments are rehashed through the keen eyes and wits of this lovable mother-daughter duo.” This fourth volume, Have a Nice Guilt Trip, maintains the same sterling standard of humor and poignancy as Lisa and Francesca continue on the road of life acquiring men and puppies. Ok, to be honest, Lisa is acquiring the puppies, while Francesca is lucky enough to have dates with actual men. They leave it to the listeners to decide which is more desirable and/or or easier to train.

Find out more about these authors at:

Lisa Twitter:
Francesca Facebook:
Francesca Twitter:

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Saturday Spotlight with Brock Car and Giveaway of Dead Behind the Eyes

Welcome to the Saturday Spotlight, a weekly feature that shines the light on Indie and Debut authors. This week I have the pleasure introducing readers to:

~Author of Dead Behind the Eyes~

Killer Intent
by Brock Car- 2014 for Tinasbookreviews

At a recent book signing I was asked if I knew who the killer would be when I started writing Dead Behind The Eyes.  Heck, I didn’t even know I was writing a mystery.  I’m still a bit confused about that.  I wanted to write a book about relationships.  I hoped to explore how two people in the same circumstances develop  such opposing values.  I was interested in marriages that failed under the weight of ennui while others with gross betrayals endured. 

I worked for many years at a Baby Bell and saw first hand the privilege and moral corruption that can come with power.  Research showed me that when it comes to politics and morals ,one corporation looks pretty much like the next. 

When it was suggested I work my stories around a murder my job got a lot more interesting – and fun.  Getting rid of someone who needed killing and researching ways to get the job done was fascinating and empowering. 

Trying to decide what genre I had written was difficult.  When a would-be agent told me that nobody reads mysteries anymore (tell that to the brilliant Louise Penney) I was unfazed.  When a reader or reviewer refers to Dead Behind The Eyes as a thriller or a page-turner I’m pleased but surprised.  To me it is still a psychological exploration of human behavior.  But perhaps that remains the biggest mystery of all.

Brock Car grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and graduated from the University of Kansas School of Journalism. After a long career in corporate communications, she established her own advertising/public relations firm and wrote for magazines and literary journals.

Car lives on North Hutchinson Island, Florida and in Omaha. This is her first novel.


Today we have one copy of Dead Behing the Eyes to give to a lucky winner. Everyone is welcome to enter this contest. Winner can choose between a Ebook of choice or a paperback. International winner can choose eBook. To enter fill the form.

Newly promoted CEO Max Riley boards the corporate jet in Denver. When it lands in Omaha he is dead - murdered by an unseen assailant. As the people closest to Max are investigated we learn relationships are rarely what they seem. While police compile the hard evidence, private investigator Claudia Sullivan seeks answers she will find only by examining the deeper psychological mysteries that are more difficult to solve. Like why Max - a good man and loving father - put his children through such mental torture. Or, what turns bad behavior for some into chronic obsessions for others? 

The stories of infidelity, sexual addiction, devoted spouses, and the privilege that comes with power are both touching and tragic. As much a whydunit as a whodunit, Dead Behind the Eyes weaves a patchwork of compelling stories and relatable characters that explore why some of us are strengthened by adversity and others fold.....

Thanks for being on the spotlight today Brock. To find out more about this author visit her website at:

*Photo credit of BabyBel Cheese (not related to authors reference to Baby Bell)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Book Review~The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich

The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich
July 8, 2014 by William Morrow
Hardcover: 272 Pages
Review Copy/TLC Book Tours
Adult- Romance
Warnings: Language, sexuality, adult themes
4/5 Stars (18&Up)

When pro baseball player Chase Walker first meets restaurateur Amanda Cole, it’s love at first sight. But while Amanda can’t help noticing the superstar with the Greek-god build, he doesn’t have a chance of getting to first—or any other—base with her. A successful entrepreneur who’s built her business from scratch, Amanda doesn’t need a Prince Charming to sweep her off her feet.

But Chase has charm and heart, as well as hunky good looks, and he isn’t about to strike out in this courtship. His hopes rally when Amanda discovers that squeaky-clean Chase has a few sexy and very secret pregame rituals that turn the smart, headstrong businesswoman on—and into his number one fan.

Then a tabloid and a hidden camera threaten to turn the love of a lifetime into just another late-night punch line. Is Amanda ready to let loose and swing for the fences? Or will the pressure of Chase’s stardom force them to call it quits?


Adorbs!! A quick, fast paced summer romance.

If you've read Big Girl Panties then you'll know this story is that books prequel. This story centers all around how Chase and Amanda meet, fall in love and decide to take the relationship to the next level. I was surprised that Amanda had reservations to date Chase but loved that she finally gave in...(obviously I knew this was going to happen but it was so fun getting there)......

I had a marvelous time reading this fun perfect for the beach book. Packed with plenty of humor, swoon and romantic moments I found myself as a reader laughing out loud or shaking my head at the sparkly chemistry between Chase and Amanda.

Sweet Spot was for sure my favorite "girlie" fun time read of this summer!

Stephanie Evanovich is a full-fledged Jersey girl from Asbury Park who began writing fiction while waiting for her cues during countless community theater projects. She attended New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts, performed with several improvisational troupes, and acted in a few small-budget movies, all in preparation for the greatest job she’s ever had: raising her two sons. Now a full-time writer, she’s also an avid sports fan who holds a black belt in tae kwon do.

Connect with Stephanie on Facebook.
*Thanks to William Morrow and TLC for review copy.

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