Boom Baby Reviews has a New Home!

I decided it was time to get Boom Baby Reviews better sorted out, so we’ve moved to our own place at: http://www.boombabyreviews.com

Reviews by me on BBR will also now be on a new GoodReads under Bella! (All my 2015 reviews have already been moved over. The new GR is linked off the new page!)

All posts from now on will be there! Thanks for reading!

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Review: “Warrior Lore” by Ian Cumpstey

“Warrior Lore” by Ian Cumptsey

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 2 May 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: Thor resorts to cross-dressing in a bid to recover his stolen hammer. The hero Widrick Waylandsson comes face to face with a troll in the forest. A king’s daughter is abducted from a convent in rural Sweden. A young fighter has to show off his prowess in skiing and shooting for King Harald Hardrada. And more…

The medieval Scandinavian ballads in this collection tell stories of champions and fighters, vikings, and trolls, drawing on Norse mythology and heroic legend. There are riddles, and there are appearances from Thor, Loki, Sigurd, and other figures from the myths of the Edda and from history. Narrative ballads were part of an oral folk music tradition in Scandinavia, and were first written down around 1600, although the ballads themselves are older. These new English verse translations are mainly based on Swedish tradition.

All the ballads included are:
Widrick Waylandsson’s Fight with Long-Ben Reyser; Twelve Strong Fighters; Hilla-Lill; Sir Hjalmar; The Hammer Hunt; The Stablemates; Sven Swan-White; The Cloister Raid; Heming and the Mountain Troll; Heming and King Harald.

Review: I accepted this story for review because I liked the subject matter, at least in terms of geography, but after reading it, I’m not sure I feel like the most qualified person to review this type of thing. I don’t read many old folk tales and related translations, or much poetry of any sort.

Further, I’m not reviewing the author’s work as much since the true focus is on things written long ago by many others.

Still…the translations read well and clearly, and I appreciated how the author took from multiple sources to try to build the most coherent and complete image for each work. They read with rhythm and rhyme, which I imagine is difficult for translations.

One thing, though, bugged me a little. It’s probably common in this type of academic endeavor, but reading it from a more “lay person” PoV, the introductions to each poem/ballad were repetitive. I read them for the pronunciation and historical notes mixed in, but when the entire story was explained before I read it, I felt like… What’s the point in reading it now? Maybe if it had come after, for those who needed clarification. I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure this was just a me thing.

Over all, though, it was an interesting short book to read, particularly if the poetic history of this region is of interest to you. So 3.5 Fireballs.

3.5 Fireballs

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Susanna Calkins is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

The Masque of a Murderer

“The Masque of a Murderer” (A Lucy Campion Mystery, #3) by Susanna Calkins

Published as… Historical Mystery

A Chat with…Lucy Campion

Bella: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?
Lucy Campion: I have appeared in three books so far— all a rather odd chronicling of my life in 1660s London. The titles come from tracts I wrote, describing some strange events that have transpired around me: A MURDER AT ROSAMUND’S GATE, FROM THE CHARRED REMAINS, and THE MASQUE OF A MURDERER.

Bella: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?
Lucy Campion: Several years ago, when I was sixteen I joined Master Hargrave’s household as a chambermaid. He’s a magistrate, and never beat me like most masters will do. For a long time, my life was just an endless repetition of emptying pots, stoking fires, and laundering clothes. I did learn to read though, listening to the tutors brought to teach Master Hargrave’s daughter from behind a curtain. Everything changed when my best friend—another servant—was killed and my brother Will was accused of her murder. That was bad enough. But the world completely overturned when the plague struck, and then a Great Fire ravaged London. After that I had to do something different with my life, and somehow I finagled an apprenticeship with a master printer. Now, I spend my days setting type, running presses and selling books on street corners. I also am being wooed by two men, Adam Hargrave the magistrate’s son, and Jeb Duncan, a constable. I thought I was in love with Adam, but I wonder now whether I could ever fit into his social circle. Sometimes I am not even sure if I want to marry, since I rather like making books and selling them, and could not well do that with young ones hanging onto my skirts.

Bella: What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.
Lucy Campion: There is a madness to your question. I know that someone else, Susanna Calkins, claims to have written these stories, but I can assure you that I am the author. I know that women are not supposed to write books, especially about such indelicate topics as murder. Which is why I write my tracts as Anonymous, or with my initials, L.C. Master Aubrey, my master, has several of my works good enough to print. I have written several tracts now, but the ones about murder sell the best. I can always get a good crowd. But sometimes that’s a problem. When I first started to sell FROM THE CHARRED REMAINS, in which I wrote about a body that had been found murdered after the Great Fire, the murderer heard my story and came after me. It was quite terrifying, I can assure you. Maybe I should let people think Susanna is truly the author; madmen and lunatics might stop pursuing me.

Bella: How do you feel about the story you’re in?
Lucy Campion: Even though my life is hard, I truly enjoy being a printer’s apprentice and a bookseller. Somehow I always seem to stumble across puzzles and secrets too, which makes life interesting. But it is never easy to see someone die, and death is ever present in my world. As I explain in THE MASQUE OF A MURDERER, I was even brought to record the last dying words of a man run over by a cart and horse. Before he died, he told me he had been pushed, and that his murderer was someone he knew. I have seen several murderers brought to justice though, and that is a reward that I will treasure.

Bella: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.
Lucy Campion: I do not know what divine providence has in store for me, but if I had my druthers, I would set up my own printing press, and be the master of my own trade. Somehow I think though, that even if that wondrous thing should come to occur, that murders and secrets will still find me…

Bella: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?
Lucy Campion: I am currently writing another of my stories, based on a true but strange tale that I recently experienced. Early one morning, as I was walking near Holborn Bridge, I discovered a young woman, distraught and clad only in her nightdress, which was covered in blood. She knew not her name, but I realized very early on that she was a noblewoman and needed to be tended to. I have called this story, A DEATH ALONG THE RIVER FLEET, which Master Aubrey will print and I will hawk next April (the year of our Lord, 2016).

Bella: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?
Lucy Campion: I have heard tell of this devilish thing—“the movie—which seems to be strange and wonderful. I do not wish to point to a player with my likeness, however, for fear that she would be strung up as a witch for cavorting about in such an unnatural way. So I shall keep such speculation to myself. I wish you a very good day and farewell.

About the Book

In Susanna Calkins’ next richly drawn mystery set in 17th century England, Lucy Campion, formerly a ladies’ maid in the local magistrate’s household, has now found gainful employment as a printer’s apprentice. On a freezing winter afternoon in 1667, she accompanies the magistrate’s daughter, Sarah, to the home of a severely injured Quaker man to record his dying words, a common practice of the time. The man, having been trampled by a horse and cart the night before, only has a few hours left to live. Lucy scribbles down the Quaker man’s last utterances, but she’s unprepared for what he reveals to her—that someone deliberately pushed him into the path of the horse, because of a secret he had recently uncovered.

Fearful that Sarah might be traveling in the company of a murderer, Lucy feels compelled to seek the truth, with the help of the magistrate’s son, Adam, and the local constable. But delving into the dead man’s background might prove more dangerous than any of them had imagined.

In The Masque of a Murderer, Susanna Calkins has once again combined finely wrought characters, a richly detailed historical atmosphere, and a tightly-plotted mystery into a compelling read.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository or iTunes

About the Author

Susanna Calkins Author Photo
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Susanna Calkins lives in Highland Park, Illinois with her husband and two sons, where she is an educator at Northwestern University. With a PhD in history, her historical mysteries feature Lucy Campion, a 17th century chambermaid-turned-printer’s apprentice. Her first novel, A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate, was a finalist for the Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award (Macavity). The second in this series, From the Charred Remains, is currently a finalist for the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery Award. Her third, The Masque of a Murderer, will be released in April 2015.

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Review: “Bad for Me” by Codi Gary [Tour Stop]

“Bad for Me” by Codi Gary

Available from: Avon Romance, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Kobo
To Be Released on: 6 April 2015
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review, as part of this book’s blog tour.

Description: Callie Jacobsen isn’t about to open her heart to just anyone. Not so very long ago, trusting someone changed her life forever—and not in a fun way. Now she’s better off focusing on her career, her friends, and her dog. So when former Marine Everett Silverton takes an interest in her, Callie’s more than a little wary. No matter how charming he is, men are a bad idea. In fact, she’s got the scars to prove it. But Everett isn’t convinced Callie should shut everyone out—especially not him. He may be a hero to the people of Rock Canyon, but he’s got his own demons, and he bets they’re not that different from Callie’s. Still, he knows it’s going to take more than chemistry to get her to let her guard down. Everett will do whatever it takes to show her she’s safe with him. All she has to do is take a chance, take a step…and take his hand.

Review: Who lives a life without scars? Not Everett Silverton, the male lead in this story is well written, daring, heroic, understanding and hot. And not Callie Jacobsen, the female lead is tragic and torn, a sweet heart with the inability to accept others into her life due to her past. Their romance is not easy, not is it gentle, as much as Everett tried to make it so. It felt each chapter was him offering all he was and her throwing it back at him through reactions and fear, and if there was ever a man to root for in a romance it was him.

Callie is a DJ with a crush on a male caller, Everett (or Rhett) is infatuated by the woman he hears every morning. Slowly they talk through his calls to her show and make a connection, then one morning he ups the ante and offers to meet her. Callie freezes and then fate (or author’s device) kicks in and suddenly they are bumping into one another at every turn, sometimes literally. Their lives are already so enmeshed that it is almost a surprise they hadn’t met. She was DJ’ing his brother’s wedding, she is an AA sponsor for his father, her friend ran the bookstore he spent so much time in, a small town in which lives usually mix had left these two never meeting until that day he asked her out.

It takes time for him to admit to her that he was her morning caller, and when he does she reacts badly. Her ability to trust had been ripped so thoroughly from her that all he did was being judged and weighed on a scale that he could not begin to see or imagine. From the beginning he was fighting a losing battle as her past was too unsettled to allow for the future to begin. It was clear she could not love or trust as she deserved to be able to until she allowed all the healing processes to work their way through her life. Hiding and dealing with the past as best as you can is not the same as healing.

I struggled with this book because some pieces didn’t fit, minor things really, but enough that I was questioning their place. Callie is an AA sponsor, but then admits she never took the full process of the steps to heart and healed herself through them as they are meant to be, this was one of my main struggles outside of struggling to like Callie. To me addiction recovery like that is an almost sacred trust and being someone’s sponsor when you never gave your all to the program yourself seems hypocritical. Everett hit every key in me that makes me enjoy a good male lead. Callie, on the other hand, had me banging my head on the wall chapter after chapter, making me want to stand up and defend Everett to her over and over and make her get the help she needed to be able to move forward with her life, and their life together. Also, I felt something interesting that could have been used to greater purpose was the original communication in the story, the couple had their first connection through the radio and that line of their relationship just stopped once they met in person. I loved that between them and wished Rhett had kept calling each morning, showing her he still cared about that woman he first began to fall for.

I give this book 3.5 Fireballs because of the details above and because I really struggled to finish the book as I could not bring myself to like Callie. I felt for her, but being empathetic and actually enjoying a character are two different things. Scars can be on the inside or outside, and these characters have both types. Through the book the details of their lives unfold and you see both characters and all their flaws, or the flaws they perceive in themselves. The romance is interesting, the sex scenes are well written, if too few. Codi Gary wove a story of people that both deserve a forever kind of love, and all the struggles that deserving that kind of love brings.

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M. J. Rose is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

The With of Painted Sorrows

“The Witch of Painted Sorrows” by M. J. Rose

Published as… Historical Mystery

About the Book

Possession. Power. Passion. International bestselling novelist M.J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this erotic, gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome runs away to her grandmother’s Parisian mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insits it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten – her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love and witchery.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or IndieBound

About the Author

M. J. Rose Author Photo
M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.

She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

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Stephen Whitfield is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Omari and the People

“Omari and the People” by Stephen Whitfield

Published as… Historical Adventure

Stephen Whitfield’s Excerpt

As was his way, bin Aswad took no part in the celebration, and actually enjoyed his time alone as everyone else danced, sang and ate. Indeed, he had always found great pleasure in his love of numbers – calculating expenses, inventories and ultimately, profits. Despite Omari’s warnings about making money from the needs of others, bin Aswad had found it profitable to provide specialty clothing for those who could afford it. He found that some people paid well for themselves and or their family to look good in new clothing, and he was very clever in the re-use of old clothes to make new garments, as his cloth supply dwindled. Instead of being rich in coin, he now had more than his share of food, water, tools and other valuables.

He was happily humming a tuneless melody while he sat counting a number of small gems, when his tent flap flew open. A stunning young woman moved in quickly and stood over him. Astonished, he scrambled backwards with his eyes and mouth wide open, spilling the gems onto the tent floor.

“Ho, bin Aswad. Easy,” said the woman in a husky voice, and a bright smile that revealed white, even teeth. “I wish you no harm.” She raised her palms to calm his fright and sat down. “In fact, I believe I might be of some service to you. My name is Saba Khan. Did you drop something?”

No longer terrified, bin Aswad was still too surprised and embarrassed to form any reply, except to start picking up his gems while glancing up at the stranger. At first glance, Saba Khan possessed what might be called an extraordinary beauty – enough to turn heads, and very pleasing to the eye. In bin Aswad’s lamplight, her complexion was a satiny smooth, golden brown that seemed to blend into the darkness. Her finely sculpted face framed dark amber, almond-shaped eyes, which made him pause. For the brief moment he held her gaze, he was so struck by their sheer intensity, intelligence and perceptiveness that he stopped picking up his gems. His attitude changed to awe and he was willing, even eager to hear what she had to say.

“How do you know my name?” he mumbled, too awestruck to ask all the questions in his mind.

“You are well-known, bin Aswad. You have many customers—people you talk to and trade with. Some of the things you receive in trade are precious gems, such as that one you missed, just there.” She pointed a slender finger at a ruby behind him.

“That gets people’s attention. Some of the things you’ve said are bound to get even more attention – such as the fact that you are unhappy with Master Omari’s leadership.” She leaned forward and opened her eyes wide. “Allow me to offer you some free advice – trade your gems away and keep your opinions to yourself.”

Bin Aswad noticed the hilt of a dagger in her waistband. As the idea of danger began to form in his mind, beads of sweat broke out on his upper lip. “That’s some strong advice,” he said, in an effort to sound self-assured. “What do you have to do with my opinions or my gems?”

Saba Khan chuckled. “I’m not here to harm you, bin Aswad. I’m here to suggest that I might be able to help you solve your problem with Master Omari…for the cost of some of your gems.” She raised her brow and tilted her head to the side. “Are you interested in seeing someone else in charge of the caravan? Someone more sensitive to your business interests?”

He frowned and leaned forward. “And how would you…”

“You don’t need to know that,” she said. “All you need to know is if you pay my price, your satisfaction is guaranteed.”

He stared at the woman in amazement. “What do you do? Are you some kind of killer? I don’t want to kill anyone.”

“I make things happen,” she replied. “And don’t worry; you don’t have enough gems for anyone to be killed. Not even that great blue jewel you have hidden in your robe.”

Bin Aswad’s eyes widened again. “You know about the jewel?”

“That is why I’m here,” she said in a low voice. “Remember my first advice? You’re not going to be able to hang onto such a stone much longer anyway. Too many people know about it. Right now, all you have to do is say ‘yes’ to the deal. If you do, I will give you more details later. Of course, whether you agree or not, I must refer you back to the second advice – keep your business to yourself. Now, do we have a deal?” She leaned forward and smiled as if she knew the answer.

About the Book

In an ancient time, a people made homeless by a devastating fire are led across a treacherous desert by a thrill-seeking thief, to a land he doesn’t believe exists – and he started the fire.

In a squalid ancient city on the edge of a desert (based on descriptions of the African Sahara’s Empty Quarter,) a weary, thrill-seeking thief named Omari sets his home on fire to start anew and cover his many crimes. When the entire city is unintentionally destroyed by the flames, the cornered thief tells the displaced people a lie about a better place to which only he can lead them, across the desert. With the help of an aged, mysterious woman who knows a better place actually does exist, they set out. The disparate people must come together to fight their way through bandits, storms, epidemics, and more. As a result of Omari’s involvement with Saba, a fiercely independent woman who is out to break him in the pay of a merchant whom he has offended, his ability to lead – his very life – is jeopardized.

Buy the Book at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Stephen Whitfield Author Photo
Chicago-born Stephen Whitfield began writing as a Marine Corps print journalist. His writing has appeared in military publications, as well as the Kansas City Star and the Jersey Journal. He holds degrees from from Loyola University Chicago, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Indiana University. Stephen currently resides near Orlando, Florida.

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Scott Pinsker is Visiting!

The Second Coming: A Love Story

“The Second Coming: A Love Story” by Scott Pinsker

Published as… Theological Thriller; Mystery; Contemporary Fiction
Published on… 6 June 2014

Scott Pinsker’s Boom Baby Blast

1. One Random Fact: During the pro poker boom in the early 2000s – back when poker was on TV all the time – I represented Phil Gordon, who was the co-host of Celebrity Poker Showdown on the Bravo Network. Following a celebrity poker tournament that Phil emceed at the Super Bowl (Eddie George beat Jerome Bettis at the final table) I noticed that our media event generated more publicity than any other party during Super Bowl week, sans one: The Playboy Party. That gave me an idea… and as fate would have it, one of the celebrity poker players in our tournament, Kato Kaelin, was working for National Lampoon at the time…

Long story short: I became the creator and executive producer of National Lampoon’s Strip Poker, which was filmed at the notorious Hedonism II nudist resort in Negril Jamaica. The film aired on DirecTV and InDemand PPV… and was absolutely, completely horrible. AWFUL! An utter abomination. (Spending 12 days at Hedonism II for the filming wasn’t so terrible, though.)

2. Fictional Character You’d Really Like to Be: E.T. ‘cause then I could TOTALLY score some free Reese’s Pieces.

3. Your Authorial Theme Song: Well, my two favorite groups / artists are Tori Amos and Iron Maiden. (I keep waiting for ‘em to go on tour together, but they never do.) But given the topics addressed in The Second Coming: A Love Story, I suppose my authorial theme song should be Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Great tune! (It’s interesting: The Prince of Darkness can steal souls, command Demons and battle God… but for whatever reason, he’s apparently not a very good fiddle player. With all the “evil” rock stars burning in Hell, you’d think someone could’ve given him fiddle lessons…)

4. Favorite Part of Being a Writer: The ability to create worlds, people and brand-new realities. It’s almost godlike! Sometimes you even start to feel detached from the “real world” because the false-realities you create with a pen are preferable. I can’t speak for all writers, but when I’m deeply, fully engaged in my craft, the separation between fiction and non-fiction becomes almost nonexistent.

And that’s when the madness begins…

5. Name of Your First Pet (Can include family or significant others…): My first pet was a German shepherd named Kevin, back when I was very young. I think I also had a cat named Kevin. Maybe even more than one cat named Kevin. (Why the name Kevin? No idea.)

Currently, I have two rescue cats: A psychotic black cat named Jinx, a chubby white-and-gray cat named Leeloo (in honor of Milla Jovovich’s character in The Fifth Element), and a 10-year-old, 220-pound American Mastiff named Leon.

(I also have two kids… who consider me THEIR pet. Woof!)

6. Music, Television or Silence While Writing: No television. Never ever. Too distracting. I mostly write in complete silence (although the Demons in my head occasionally break-out in Gregorian chants).

Sometimes I like to listen to music. To me, music is an emotional bookmark: Just one song or note can instantly transport you to a different time and place. It’s uncanny: If you’re trying to wrap your head around a certain emotion, music is – in the language of gamers – a “cheat code.”

So is alcohol: Music and alcohol both have the power to heighten emotions and lessen inhibitions. Sometimes that’s helpful.

Sometimes it’s not.

7. Early Riser or Night Owl: Let me put it this way: They say “the early bird gets the worm” but y’know who gets the worm even before the early bird? The night owl.

And besides, even though the early worm MIGHT get the worm, it’s worth noting that the late-rising mouse gets the cheese – and the early mouse gets its neck snapped in a mousetrap.

8. Favorite Season: I live in Florida, so I’m obviously a sun-lover. Here in Florida, seasons don’t really mean much; it’s always nice and warm. But calendar-wise, I enjoy winter the most: Football season is underway, my birthday is around the corner (I was born on January 10, which is probably why I’m such a big football fan: I was literally born of first and 10!), and there’s a bunch of great holidays, like Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa (although I NEVER seem to get any good gifts on Kwanzaa).

9. Did You Always Want to be a Writer: Hmm… Is a writer who you are? Or is it what you do? (That’s actually a rather profound question, when you stop and think about it.)

If it’s who you are, then I guess I’ve always been a writer. Even when I wasn’t writing, I was still a writer – hijacking my skill-set for other endeavors. Being a storyteller is a transferrable talent: From high school run-ins with angry teachers to pick-up bars with gullible coeds to PR clients in dire need of crisis communications, there’s a great deal of versatility to storytelling…

For decades, I did my best to avoid being an author of books, however. Lord how I tried! Writing books – at least for me – is an arduous, painful, dreadfully unpleasant task. Speechwriting for others is easy: It’s their life, their story, and I’m happily shielded from the consequences. But writing a book? Telling a story that’s truly a piece of me – and letting total strangers poke around, meet my alter-egos and dissect my inner-most thoughts? Aaahh!! It’s like standing naked on a street corner during rush hour! Writing is a form of exhibitionism… and I guess I’m naturally shy.

I HATE being exposed like this… but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake this God-awful compulsion to share these stories…

So more than anything else, I guess I became an author because I had exhausted all other options.

About the Book

A nationally-recognized marketing expert, Scott Pinsker has worked with a vast array of sports stars, business leaders, and Grammy-, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winners, managing everything from crisis communications to PR campaigns. His analysis of publicity trends has been showcased multiple times on FOXNews.com, where he occasionally contributes as a marketing expert. He has also written for the Washington Times, Breitbart and Bulldog Reporter.

Pinsker developed the concept for The Second Coming: A Love Story almost 15 years ago, while attending law school in Washington, DC. As the author tells it:

According to Christian theology, the Devil is thousands of years old and deviously brilliant. I remember wondering one night, if such a creature didn’t want you to know who he was… then how would you know? How could you out-think a creature that’s not only smarter than you, but also thousands of years more experienced and capable of supernatural powers? We get fooled by ordinary people every day – and most of the time, they’re not particularly clever! So what ‘prayer’ would we realistically have to outwit the Prince of Darkness?

Then I had a further thought: If the Devil really wanted to con mankind, he wouldn’t appear with a pitchfork and horns. All those horror movies have it wrong; that’s too obvious. Instead, his best tactical option would be to appear as a holy man – and to attach himself to the faith of his target audience. Because if I were Satan’s publicist, that’s what I’d recommend.

But what if we raised the stakes even further, and now there were TWO self-declared saviors – one who preached to Red America, the other to Blue America? And what if the key characters in the story were all modern day updates of the major characters from the Bible? What would happen then?

Well, you’re about to find out!

For the last 15 years, I’ve been meticulously researching the subject matter, studying ancient texts and combing through the delicate intricacies of Christian eschatology. The end-result is The Second Coming: A Love Story. You needn’t be a theologist to fall in love with this story, although it certainly won’t hurt: I’ve woven-in countless clues and subtle references to the identity of the true Second Coming – and to the identity of Satan – throughout.

No matter your faith, no matter your background, this book will challenge you to reconsider the very nature of existence. And that’s the God-honest truth.”

Buy the Book at Amazon

About the Author

Scott Pinsker Author Photo
Scott Pinsker lives in Tampa Bay, Florida, with his wife, two young boys, two rescue cats and his 220-pound mastiff. This is his debut novel, and it’s the first in a trilogy. The follow-up, Three Days Later: A Revenge Story, will be released in 2015.

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Codi Gary is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Bad for Me

“Bad for Me” (Rock Canyon Romance, #5) by Codi Gary

Published as… Contemporary Romance

Cody Gary’s Excerpt

“I’ve almost got it.”

“Thank you. This was really nice of you, especially when I haven’t given you a reason to be.”

Everett looked up at her, wiping the rain off his face so he could meet her gaze. “You seem to assume that just because people are kind to you, they want something. Sometimes people help because it’s the right thing to do.”

Her gaze shifted away, and he went back to tightening the nuts on the wheel. He’d said his piece, but knew he wasn’t going to convince Callie with words that his intentions were honorable.

He had to prove it to her.

When he finished, he released the jack and gathered up all the tools, sliding them back in the spare tire kit. “I’ll put this and the new tire in the back, and you’ll be good to go. I’ll haul this one off to the dump for you.”

She knelt down next to him and took the kit from him, their fingers brushing. Despite the chill of their skin, heat sizzled between them, sending a shot of awareness down his throat. Her blonde curls were wet and falling out of her messy top knot, and drops of rain were clinging to her cheeks. Before he could stop himself, he traced the pad of his thumb across one, catching the cool droplet on his skin. Her amber eyes widened, and he dropped his hand, cursing his impulse.

“Sorry. You had something on your cheek.”

Callie cleared her throat and stood up. “It’s okay.”

He climbed to his feet and couldn’t help wondering if she’d felt something too. Was that why she kept pulling away?

But if she didn’t want him, why was he pushing?

Because she doesn’t treat you like a defective puppy she’d have to fix.

Grabbing her spare tire from the back of his truck, he slid it into the back of her Jeep. She stood back as he closed the door, and he could tell she was nervous—her hands kept twisting.

“Well, you’re all set. You should get home and change out of those wet clothes. If you get sick, I’ll have to listen to one of those ridiculous weekend deejays, and they play nothing but crap.”

Everett started to head back to his truck, but she caught his hand. “Hey.”

Just the touch of her hand sent his heart from a trot to a gallop. He loved the way her soft skin wrapped around his.

Facing her, he waited, afraid to move a muscle and scare her off.

But she moved so fast, he wasn’t prepared when her lips brushed the scarred side of his face. He stiffened as the warmth seeped through his cheek, his stomach twisting up as a thousand thoughts and insecurities made him wince. Had the roughness repelled her? Why hadn’t she picked the untouched side?

“Thank you. For being kind.”

Callie dropped his hand and ran to her car, as if afraid he would come after her. As she started it and pulled forward, he was finally able to move again, backing up a ways to watch her disappear down the road.

Everett’s hand came up to rest against his cheek, and he realized that he’d lied to Callie when he said he didn’t want anything from her.

He wanted everything.

About the Book

Callie Jacobsen isn’t about to open her heart to just anyone. Not so very long ago, trusting someone changed her life forever—and not in a fun way. Now she’s better off focusing on her career, her friends, and her dog. So when former Marine Everett Silverton takes an interest in her, Callie’s more than a little wary. No matter how charming he is, men are a bad idea. In fact, she’s got the scars to prove it. But Everett isn’t convinced Callie should shut everyone out—especially not him. He may be a hero to the people of Rock Canyon, but he’s got his own demons, and he bets they’re not that different from Callie’s. Still, he knows it’s going to take more than chemistry to get her to let her guard down. Everett will do whatever it takes to show her she’s safe with him. All she has to do is take a chance, take a step…and take his hand.

Buy the Book at Avon Romance, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks or Kobo

About the Author

Codi Gary Author Photo
An obsessive bookworm, Codi Gary likes to write sexy small-town contemporary romances with humor, grand gestures, and blush-worthy moments. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading her favorite authors, squealing over her must-watch shows, and playing with her children. She lives in Idaho with her family.

~* Website * Avon Romance * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Pinterest *~

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David Morrell is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Inspector of the Dead

“Inspector of the Dead” by David Morrell

Published as… Historical Mystery

David Morrell’s Excerpt

As the gentleman continued up Constitution Hill, his watch now showed eight minutes past five. The watches of his associates—also synchronized with the Greenwich Royal Observatory—would display the same time. Everything remained on schedule.

At Piccadilly, he turned right toward one of London’s most respectable districts: Mayfair. He had waited what seemed an eternity for what he was about to enjoy. He had suffered unimaginably to prepare for it. Despite his fierce emotions, he kept a measured pace, determined not to blunt his satisfaction by hurrying.

Even in the fog, he had no trouble finding his way. This was a route that he had followed many times in his memory. It was the same route that he had taken fifteen years earlier when, as a desperate boy, he had raced to the right along Piccadilly, then to the left along Half Moon Street, then left again onto Curzon Street, this way and that, begging.

Please, sir, I need your help!

Get away from me, you filthy vermin!

The echoes of that hateful time reverberated in his memory as he came to the street known as Chesterfield Hill. He paused where a gas lamp showed an iron railing beyond which five stone steps led up to an oak door. The knocker had the shape of a heraldic lion’s head.

The steps were freshly scrubbed. Noting a boot scraper built into the railing, he applied his soles to it so that he wouldn’t leave evidence. He clutched his walking stick, opened the gate, and climbed the steps. The impact of the knocker echoed within the house.

He heard someone on the opposite side of the door. For a moment, his anticipation made it seem that the world outside the fog no longer existed, that he was in a closet of the universe, that time had stopped. As a hand freed a bolt and the door opened, he readied his cane with its silver knob.

A butler looked puzzled. “His Lordship isn’t expecting visitors.”

The gentleman struck with all his might, impacting the man’s head, knocking him onto a marbled floor. Heartbeat thundering with satisfaction, he entered and shut the door. A few quick steps took him into a spacious hall.

A maid paused at the bottom of an ornate staircase, frowning, obviously puzzled why the butler hadn’t accompanied the visitor. In a rage, the gentleman swung the cane, feeling its knob crack the maid’s skull. With a dying moan, she collapsed to the floor.

Without the disguise of his beard, the gentleman had been to this house on several occasions. He knew its layout and would need little time to eliminate the remaining servants. Then his satisfaction could begin as he devoted his attention to their masters. Clutching his cane, he proceeded with his great work.

Memories needed to be prodded.

Punishment needed to be inflicted.

About the Book

David Morrell’s MURDER AS A FINE ART was a publishing event. Acclaimed by critics, it made readers feel that they were actually on the fogbound streets of Victorian London. Now the harrowing journey continues in INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD.

Thomas De Quincey, infamous for his Confessions of an Opium-Eater,confronts London’s harrowing streets to thwart the assassination of Queen Victoria.
The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters.

Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation.

This killer targets members of the upper echelons of British society, leaving with each corpse the name of someone who previously attempted to kill Queen Victoria. The evidence indicates that the ultimate victim will be Victoria herself. As De Quincey and Emily race to protect the queen, they uncover long-buried secrets and the heartbreaking past of a man whose lust for revenge has destroyed his soul.

Brilliantly merging historical fact with fiction, Inspector of the Dead is based on actual attempts to assassinate Queen Victoria.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, iBooks, IndieBound or Kobo

About the Author

David Morrell Author Photo
David Morrell is an Edgar, Nero, Anthony, and Macavity nominee as well as a recipient of the prestigious career-achievement Thriller Master away from the International Thriller Writers. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic espionage novel. The Brotherhood of the Rose, the basis for the only television mini-series to be broadcast after a Super Bowl. A former literature professor at the University of Iowa, Morrell has a PhD from Pennsylvania State University. His latest novel is INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD, a sequel to his highly acclaimed Victorian mystery/thriller, Murder as a Fine Art, which Publishers Weekly called ”one of the top ten mystery/thrillers of 2013.”

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BR Kingsolver is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

I’ll Sing for my Dinner

“I’ll Sing for my Dinner” by BR Kingsolver

Published on… 1 April 2015
Published as… Romantic Suspense

About the Book

When Cecily Buchanan walks into the Roadhouse Bar and Grill and offers to sing for a meal, ex Marine Jake McGarrity can’t say no. Some say Jake is too soft hearted for his own good. But letting the waif with the cover girl face and the voice of an angel walk away would be more than he could stand.

Cecily’s sweet nature, bubbly personality and obvious talent endear her to everyone she meets, and Jake soon knows his heart is lost.

Cecily has secrets and won’t talk about her past, one so dark that she has nightmares and clutches a knife while she sleeps.

When those who are chasing her close in, she faces the decision of whether to run again or to trust her life to the cowboy angel who has taught her the meaning of love.

“Shocking, but oh, so sweet.”

About the Author

BR grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, among writers, artists and weird Hispanic and Native American myths and folklore. BR has lived all over the U.S. and earned a living doing everything from making silver and turquoise jewelry, to construction to computers. BR currently splits time between Baltimore and Albuquerque.

BR made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master’s in business. Along the way, BR worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.

~* Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads *~

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