Rob Rosen on Title or Concept, and his new hilarious release Mary, Queen of Scotch! (author guest post)

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Mary, Queen of Scotch

by

Cover Art: Written Ink Designs
Publisher: JMS Books LLC

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Rob Rosen here to talk about his latest novel Mary, Queen of Scotch.  Hi, Rob, welcome back.

✒︎

Which comes first, the book title or the story concept? In the case of my latest novel, Mary, Queen of Scotch, it was most definitely the title, which simply popped into my head one day. “Rob,” my head said, “this seems like a bitchin’ title.” My head, you see, frequently uses out-of-date vernacular. Anyway, I agreed with my head this time. Now all I needed was a story, and, right away, I came up with a drag queen, namely Mary, Queen of Scotch. Seemed like a perfect fit.

Most of my novels contain drag queens. I grew up in Atlanta. Drag queens abound in the south, Atlanta especially. I adore drag queens, live for a good drag show, and love writing about them. Drag queens, you see, can say just about anything, can do just about anything, and people stuff wads of cash into their hands. It’s all in good fun, right? But what if the fun is just a cover?

Which brings me back to my novel. I figured if one drag queen was good, a whole slew of them would be even better, especially if they all have deep, dark secrets they’re trying to hide, namely from Mary, Queen of Scotch, detective extraordinaire. Throw in a good mystery and a comic romance or two, add a few villains and a raucously funny meddling mom, and, voila, I had a story. I hope you can check it out!

You can buy a copy here (though you can find it on all book sites):  Amazon

Or for even less money, directly through my publisher:  JMS Books LLC

Excerpt:

Here’s a little excerpt to give you a taste:

The room was oddly empty. Oddly because, without the others in there, it was devoid of bitchiness, of fabulousness. It was all shell, no soul. Cryptlike would’ve been apt, but crypts rarely come replete with boas, bangles, and a blinding array of beads.

There were four tables, all with mirrors above them, bulbs all around, the lights now dim. The tables were cluttered, the mirrors lined with photos of the girls, of their loved ones, of naked beau-hunks, of catty cartoons. There were makeup containers everywhere, clothes strewn about. A cyclone couldn’t have made the place look any more cluttered.

There were eight of them, eight in the troupe. The eighth was now me. There were four tables shared by two girls. Lucy shared the table closest to the wall. It, like the other three, was covered with drag debris: discarded lipstick tubes, half-open jars of makeup remover, a few dislodged feathers, rhinestones. There was photo of Arthur and Chad taped to the mirror, a Polaroid, the couple in some sort of Buddhist-looking temple. The person taking the photo was a good bit away so that their age difference seemed less apparent, distance being a girl’s best friend.

My eyes went from my client to the tabletop to a drawer below. I gave it a pull. It pulled back. In other words, it was locked. Locked drawers have always held a special interest to me. And I’m not speaking euphemistically. Mostly. I mean, you watch any detective movie, any detective TV show, read any detective book, and the detective is always adept at picking locks. I mean, sure, I was no Columbo, but I could still hold my own in the whole lock-picking thing. That said, don’t tell my alma mater. Lock picking is illegal. And even online schools frown on their alumni committing crimes. Or at least getting caught doing so. Meaning, I learned from YouTube and practiced on my mom’s bathroom door and jewelry case—when she wasn’t at home. Mainly because Mom frowned on illegal activities as well, especially when they were done by her son, who the sun surely shined down upon, who the angels had blessed with all things wholesome and good, who walked around a trail of ants rather than stomp across them. FYI, I burned them with magnifying glasses when I was a kid. I prayed the angels were looking the other way at the time.

In any case, it was an old desk and a cheap lock, and there were bobby pins galore in that dressing room. Which is to say, Columbo would have been proud. Or maybe the fickle finger of fate was simply flipping someone off, preferably not me. And hey, I didn’t even need to put gloves on to hide my fingerprints because I was already wearing a pair—satin instead of rubber, but still.

The bobby pin went in, I did a few YouTube-inspired twists and turns, and, voila, I was in like Flynn. I quickly rummaged around inside. There was mostly jewelry inside, more expensive stuff, by the looks of it, then what was left on the countertops. There was some cash, too, but not much. Mostly, it was just knickknacks. Mostly. Mostly but not only.

“A key,” I said.

To which I got a rattling reply of, “What are you doing, Mary?”

I turned right quick and shut the makeup table door. Chad was standing there, not yet Lucy. Chad wasn’t supposed to be there. Chad had already done his two days. “First day on the job,” I replied, keeping my voice even, not speaking too fast, trying not to look guilty. I was good at that. I’d practiced, lying to baristas, to store clerks, meter maids. Making shit up off the fly. Takes some getting used to. When most people lie, you can tell. Politicians are good at it because they do it so often. Takes training, is what I’m getting at. Me, I was trained. Online, sure, but trained nonetheless. “Looking for some space for my valuables.” I tinkled my earrings his way. They were my mom’s. Valuable was a matter of opinion, namely mom’s. Ebay might have a different take on it.

He nodded as he walked in the room. “That’s my makeup table.” Chad didn’t seem as nice as Lucy. Maybe the wig did it. Turned on some nice-switch inside his brain. Lucy always seemed to be smiling. Chad definitely wasn’t as he drew nearer.

“I’m filling in for Connie,” I said. “Isn’t this her table, too?”

Chad shook his head. He eyed the now-closed drawer nervously. Chad, it seemed, wasn’t trained like I was. “That one,” he said, pointing at the table next to his. He grabbed for the drawer. It opened, of course. “This was locked.”

I shrugged. “Not just now. Maybe you forgot.”

He squinted at me. It was weird. We were friends, of a sort, except he suddenly looked anything but friendly. He thought to say something. His mouth began to move, then stopped. A smile appeared. Even out of drag, there was still this strange sadness behind it. He breathed. He seemed to have counted to ten, given that about ten seconds had gone by. “Yeah, I must’ve forgotten to lock it. My bad, Mary.” He reached out his hand. “Congrats on the gig.” The smile widened. “Chad, by the way.”

I shook his hand. “You make a nice boy.”

He chuckled. “I’ll tell my parents you said so.”

About Mary, Queen of Scotch…

Four five-star Yelp reviews do you little good when you’re nailed inside a giant barrel of whiskey, which is where our intrepid private detective Barry finds himself while on the case to help his campy drag friends, all of whom have numerous secrets to hide.

If he can decide between the man he once loved and the bartender he’s falling for, successfully stay undercover as his alter-ego, Mary, Queen of Scotch, and keep one step ahead of the bad guys, plus a raucously funny meddling mom, he just might live to see that much-desired fifth review.

About the Author

Rob Rosen is the award-winning author of the novels Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love, Divas Las Vegas, Hot Lava, Southern Fried, Queerwolf, Vamp, Queens of the Apocalypse, Creature Comfort, FateMidlife Crisis, Fierce, And God Belched, and MaryQueen of Scotch, and editor of the anthologies Lust in Time, Men of the Manor, Best Gay Erotica 2015, and Best Gay Erotica of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

You can contact Rob at:

A MelanieM Review: Mary, Queen of Scotch by Rob Rosen

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

 

Four five-star Yelp reviews do you little good when you’re nailed inside a giant barrel of whiskey, which is where our intrepid private detective Barry finds himself while on the case to help his campy drag friends, all of whom have numerous secrets to hide.

If he can decide between the man he once loved and the bartender he’s falling for, successfully stay undercover as his alter-ego, Mary, Queen of Scotch, and keep one step ahead of the bad guys, plus a raucously funny meddling mom, he just might live to see that much-desired fifth review.

One of the things that just does it for me in a novel is well done dialog.  When an author nails it, has his character’s personalities fleshed out  so well, so dynamically that the words flying out of their mouths just snap with life, a vitality that rocks the reader’s world….well, job well done!   If that author can do it for more than one character but an entire cast?  Kudos and scotch.  In this case, a barrel full.

I will admit it almost did him in the beginning.  That first chapter where Barry explains, from the inside of a barrel of whiskey, how he got to the state he’s in was a little too scattered, too too, even for me, a lover of the big personality and free form inner conversations.  At places, you almost got lost in who Barry was and what was happening to him.  Luckily, Barry get the exposition out of the way. We understand that he’s a private investigator on a new case that entails him becoming a drag queen and, boom, there we are, hooked into another wonderful, weird Rob Rosen  adventure.

I was not prepared to find that my first loves in this book were Barry’s parents!  Jewish, hilarious, smart, devoted to each other and their son, the relationship between his mother and dad, parents and son, were among some of the best (and funniest) in the story. Each scene, whether with the mother or dad could have potentially veered into comedy because of the crackling dialog but the layers of understanding and love that hold those scenes up elevate above meer laughs into the acknowledgement and joy that comes from  the snarky back and forth salvos obtained from poking at people you care about.  That glint you see in the eye, that up turn on the side of the mouth before a comment is made.

And as always Rosen’s characters are a roll call of complexity, grittiness, depth, and, brash pizazz!  Most of them have been through the worst and still gotten back p on their Louboutin’s and started lip syncing.  How I love his drag queens!  This author gets under the skin of what it feels like to be a  drag queen, to be part of the sisterhood and pulls the reader in as well.

There’s a nifty mystery, a pretty realistic resolution, and yes, HFNs all around.  Barry and company are clearly I need to spend more time with, on and off the stage.   That includes his parents!

There’s romance, one Barry figures stuff out, lots of sex, mystery to solve, and all the wonderful characters and dialog this reader could want.

Even a Preface and a Afterword.  Don’t’ miss those.  You know I never do.

I love this author and Mary, Queen of Scotch is simply another great reason why.  The writing is wonderful.  the plot interesting and well made, and the characters easily people to take to heart.  I highly recommend it.

Cover: Written Ink Designs.  I start to laugh just seeing this cover.  Great job.

Sales Links:  JMS Books LLC  | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Published November 10th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ASIN B07JXS5M8L
Edition Language English

Laura Lascarso on Research, Strip Clubs, and her new novel In the Pines (A Charlie Schiffer Mystery #1) (author interview and excerpt)

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In the Pines (A Charlie Schiffer Mystery #1) by Laura Lascarso

Dreamspinner Press
Publication Date: October 23, 2018V

Cover Designer: AngstyG

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Laura Lascarso here today talking about writing, research, and her new release and series In the Pines (A Charlie Schiffer Mystery #1).  Welcome, Laura.

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with  Laura Lascarso

 

The excerpt I’ve chosen to share is a scene from IN THE PINES, where our amateur sleuth Charlie Schiffer, and his love interest, Dare Chalmers, travel to Café Risqué, which is a real strip club just outside of Gainesville, Florida, in search of clues to Dare’s brother’s murder.

For those who are unfamiliar with this particular strip of I-75 in Central Florida, Café Risqué is something of a legend because it’s the only strip club within a hundred-mile radius, and all along the interstate are suggestively graphic signs pointing you in that direction. All throughout my college career at the University of Florida, friends would tell stories about their adventures at Café Risqué. I never made the pilgrimage myself, but I knew that I wanted to include a scene from it in my story, simply because it was such a magnet for local lore.

That’s where my research came in, and to my surprise, the best place to get actual details and information about the club wasn’t from their website, which was pretty sparse, but from their Yelp reviews. Here are a few of my favorites:

The ladies were nice and very sweet to me being a newcomer. I ordered chicken tenders with my side as rice and gravy. Thought it was an oddest thing to put on rice, so I ordered it. The gravy was good, just wish it was a little less than that. Not taking over the plate. Still an enjoyable dinner.

Often times when I’m embarking on a cross country expedition in my big rig 18-wheeler, I try to make Cafe Risque my first stop. Drop-in, take a shower, eat some food, make some new friends, then back on the road again! Definitely would recommend the Tuna Salad sandwich. Britney is also my favorite staff member and often times I think she lets me get in a free song or two.

I’ve been here. It’s amazing. I won’t say whether or not it’s a good amazing or a bad amazing. Just imagine 2 eggs over easy with bacon and toast. Then imagine a Reddick, FL native bringing it out to your table completely nude. I mean naked. If that’s not enough, imagine eating it while that same Reddick, FL native gives the guy next to you a lap dance.

I could go on, but you catch my drift. The most interesting thing to me, was that all of the Yelp reviews really focused on the food, with the dancers only being a second or sometimes third consideration. I suppose part of the reason is because Yelp tends to focus on the restaurant aspect of establishments, more so than the entertainment, but I found it fascinating nonetheless.

So, in this very sexually charged setting, I knew that I wanted for Charlie to be very uncertain and nervous (and a little judgmental) while also worried that he’s going to unintentionally offend one of the dancers. And I wanted for Dare to be cool and collected, and absolutely enjoying Charlie’s discomfort. I think I pulled it off, while also getting at some information important to the mystery itself. All in all, I think this is my favorite scene from IN THE PINES, and a good example of the balance I was trying to achieve between camp and sincerity.

Maybe one day I’ll take that trip to Café Risqué and give their chicken tenders with gravy a try.

The excerpt I’ve chosen to share is a scene from IN THE PINES, where our amateur sleuth Charlie Schiffer, and his love interest, Dare Chalmers, travel to Café Risqué, which is a real strip club just outside of Gainesville, Florida, in search of clues to Dare’s brother’s murder.

For those who are unfamiliar with this particular strip of I-75 in Central Florida, Café Risqué is something of a legend because it’s the only strip club within a hundred-mile radius, and all along the interstate are suggestively graphic signs pointing you in that direction. All throughout my college career at the University of Florida, friends would tell stories about their adventures at Café Risqué. I never made the pilgrimage myself, but I knew that I wanted to include a scene from it in my story, simply because it was such a magnet for local lore.

That’s where my research came in, and to my surprise, the best place to get actual details and information about the club wasn’t from their website, which was pretty sparse, but from their Yelp reviews. Here are a few of my favorites:

The ladies were nice and very sweet to me being a newcomer. I ordered chicken tenders with my side as rice and gravy. Thought it was an oddest thing to put on rice, so I ordered it. The gravy was good, just wish it was a little less than that. Not taking over the plate. Still an enjoyable dinner.

Often times when I’m embarking on a cross country expedition in my big rig 18-wheeler, I try to make Cafe Risque my first stop. Drop-in, take a shower, eat some food, make some new friends, then back on the road again! Definitely would recommend the Tuna Salad sandwich. Britney is also my favorite staff member and often times I think she lets me get in a free song or two.

I’ve been here. It’s amazing. I won’t say whether or not it’s a good amazing or a bad amazing. Just imagine 2 eggs over easy with bacon and toast. Then imagine a Reddick, FL native bringing it out to your table completely nude. I mean naked. If that’s not enough, imagine eating it while that same Reddick, FL native gives the guy next to you a lap dance.

I could go on, but you catch my drift. The most interesting thing to me, was that all of the Yelp reviews really focused on the food, with the dancers only being a second or sometimes third consideration. I suppose part of the reason is because Yelp tends to focus on the restaurant aspect of establishments, more so than the entertainment, but I found it fascinating nonetheless.

So, in this very sexually charged setting, I knew that I wanted for Charlie to be very uncertain and nervous (and a little judgmental) while also worried that he’s going to unintentionally offend one of the dancers. And I wanted for Dare to be cool and collected, and absolutely enjoying Charlie’s discomfort. I think I pulled it off, while also getting at some information important to the mystery itself. All in all, I think this is my favorite scene from IN THE PINES, and a good example of the balance I was trying to achieve between camp and sincerity.

Maybe one day I’ll take that trip to Café Risqué and give their chicken tenders with gravy a try.

About In The Pines

A Charlie Schiffer Mystery

When your high school crush is also your number one suspect, what’s a boy to do?

After the disappearance of Eastview High’s homecoming king, seventeen-year-old Charlie Schiffer must put his detective skills to work to help class heartthrob Dare Chalmers find his missing twin brother. From the gator-filled swamps of Paynes Prairie to the truck-stop strip club Café Risqué, there’s no situation too dicey for this amateur sleuth when he’s on the prowl for clues to this mystery.

Meanwhile, Dare is everything Charlie could want in a boyfriend—charismatic, handsome, polite—but as Charlie’s mother always says, the unlikeliest people can turn out to be criminals. When evidence surfaces revealing his suspects’ hidden motives, Charlie must dig deep to suss out who among them is innocent and who is guilty, even if it means betraying the man he cares for most.

 

Excerpt:

 

We headed out into the inky, starless night, southbound on I-75. All along the stretch of interstate between Gainesville and Ocala, Café Risqué billboards promised great food in a welcoming venue where “We bare all.” The billboards used to have a picture of this blonde woman from the eighties with feathered hair, which could have easily been mistaken for a teen pregnancy hotline or a missing persons advertisement. But in recent years, the business rebranded to feature silhouettes of busty women in provocative poses, and one in particular of a woman gripping a pole in ecstasy.

It seemed we were all chasing some ridiculous fantasy.

A trip to Café Risqué was something like a rite of passage for central Florida teens on the cusp of manhood, and one I’d always assumed I’d happily forgo due to my sexual orientation, and yet, there I was, racing to the famed truck stop with Dare in his sleek silver Jaguar, intent on looking for clues to the identity of Mason’s killer.

We arrived at about 10:00 p.m. Dare gave me Mason’s ID, which could pass for my own if the lighting was dim and the bouncer didn’t look too closely. Still, I was nervous about potentially breaking the law. The first place they’d call was the local police, who would contact my mom. She’d probably send someone to arrest me just to scare me straight.

The bouncer in question roved his flashlight over Dare’s ID and then over his person. Dare’s height made him look older, along with the scruff of a few days without shaving that had accumulated on his jaw. It was pretty sexy, actually, and I scolded myself for even looking at him in that way.

When it was my turn, the bouncer inspected me a little closer.

“You’re twins?” he asked while side-eyeing the both of us. “You don’t look alike.”

“Fraternal,” Dare clarified. He made a motion to move past the bouncer, who held out his hand to block him. The man turned to me.

“What’s up with your hair?”

“It grew out.”

“What’s your sign….” He squinted at the ID. “Mason?”

“Scorpio,” I said easily. I’d memorized that a long time ago.

“Where do you live?”

I recited the Chalmerses’s address. I had a knack for memorization. And riding past their house on my bike when I was at the height of my stalking phase didn’t hurt my recall either.

“You been drinking?” he flashed his light in my eyes, blinding me.

“No, sir,” I answered.

“All right, then.” He passed the ID back to me. “No funny business, and make sure you tip the ladies. They aren’t here for their health.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I entered into the surprisingly well-lit Café Risqué. It was kind of like when you built something up in your mind so much that the reality couldn’t possibly match up to your expectations. I wasn’t disappointed by the interior, not exactly, but it seemed so much smaller than I’d imagined. Other than the poles, it really did resemble a Denny’s or some other greasy spoon. There were booths along one side of the dining area and a bar that butted up to a small empty stage, where I assumed the main event would take place. There was also a side shop that sold ladies’ lingerie and pornographic DVDs, but overall, it was pretty underwhelming.

There were a few truckers in the booths, being served by women in revealing outfits, something like a costume you might pick up on a discount rack after Halloween—naughty nurse or curious co-ed. So far, nothing that lived up to the motto of “We bare all.”

Dare suggested we sit at the bar and soon after, a waitress approached us. She appeared to be in her late thirties, dyed red hair, heavy on the makeup, with her ample, freckled bosom squeezed into a cropped leather bustier. “What would you handsome fellas like to drink?” she asked with a salacious grin.

I knew from the signs out front they didn’t serve alcohol, which seemed a little strange to me, but if this venue really catered to truckers, then I supposed it wouldn’t do to get them liquored up while pulling an all-nighter. In fact, the idea of a place where truckers could get a square meal while also admiring naked women to help pass their long and lonely rides had an almost wholesome appeal.

“Cherry coke?” Dare asked, looking at me. He seemed perfectly comfortable with our situation and not at all put off by the strange mix of fry grease and sex pheromones circulating in the air.

“Coke’s good. Regular for me,” I said as I steered my eyes away from our server’s chest. I’d kind of zoned out there for a minute. She left us with two menus, and Dare scanned his dutifully.

“This is not what I was expecting,” he said in a low voice.

“No, me neither,” I admitted.

“I really can’t believe this.” He studied his menu with a look of deep concentration.

“What is it?” I thought perhaps he’d stumbled across a clue.

“The food’s actually very reasonably priced.”

I laughed out loud at Dare’s practicality. He glanced over with a small smile that acknowledged the sheer oddity of our situation. Our waitress, Cherry, returned soon after and took our order. Mine was a hamburger and curly fries. Dare’s was soup and salad, and I remembered what he’d told me before about how greasy food upset his stomach. As she was leaving, Dare grabbed her arm. “Wait a minute, if you would.”

“No touching, sweetie,” she said in an almost motherly fashion.

Dare released her immediately and apologized. “I was wondering if you’ve ever seen this man.” Dare pulled up a photo of him and Mason on his phone, the one taken from the pep rally with Mason in his singlet.

“You a cop?” she asked with dismay.

“No, ma’am. It’s my brother. He’s gone missing, and he used to come here from time to time, over the summer, I believe. I was wondering when he might have been here last. If you might have seen him?”

His sincere desperation came through in his appeal and Cherry took another hard look. “I don’t recognize him, but one of the late-night girls might.” She pointed to the stage, which was really just an extension of the bar and less than two feet in front of us. “They come on in about a half an hour, if you want to ask them.”

The place had a definite between-shift vibe. Cherry herself said she’d close out our order when she brought us our food. “It’s past my bedtime,” she said, yawning unapologetically as she collected the money for the food and her tip. Dare insisted on paying for my meal, but it wasn’t like we were on a date. More like he was paying my expenses.

We were just finishing our meal when the jukebox kicked on. I hadn’t noticed it before, but it stood in a dim corner of the room. There were a couple of burly men going over the choices with an almost academic fastidiousness.

I recognized the song after the first couple intro bars of a searing guitar riff: “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. Dare grabbed my arm. “Charlie, look.”

I turned. Onstage, among a cloud of fog and strobe lights, five women of varying ages, ethnicities, and statures entered the spotlights, wearing stilettos and nothing else.

“We bare all,” Dare said with wonder. As it turned out, Café Risqué’s motto was absolutely true. Dare handed me a stack of bills. “Time to splash some cash, Charlie.”

And then with a look of childlike glee, Dare made it rain.

I didn’t realize until after their performance, Dare was baiting the dancers. When they finished their set, the women circulated through the bar, offering up private dances to the patrons. All of them had their eyes on Dare. The first two women he slipped a twenty and showed them his phone, asked them if they’d ever seen Mason. They hadn’t but were happy to take his cash nonetheless. One of the women told Dare she’d give him a deep discount on a private dance on account of him being so easy on the eyes. It actually took quite a bit of the Chalmers’s charm to let her off easy.

The third woman, who was blonde, or perhaps wearing a blonde wig, was the closest to our age. She looked from the picture to Dare and said, “Private dances are forty bucks.”

I thought she was only angling for an upsale, but Dare seemed on board with it. “My friend Charlie here wants a dance. And I want to watch.”

“Each dance is forty. No freebies,” she studied me with a peculiar expression. I wiped my mouth, thinking there might be ketchup on my face.

“Lucky for me, I’m a rich bastard,” Dare replied.

The woman introduced herself as Crystal and led us to a back room where there were booths covered in red vinyl, kind of like a Pizza Hut. Easy to wipe clean, I thought and then shivered with disgust. About five feet away was a video camera recording everything that happened in the room. I prayed my mother never saw this footage.

“Don’t worry,” Crystal said, perhaps noticing my unease. “It doesn’t record sound.” She then gave us a list of rules, which included, among other things, no touching.

“You don’t have to worry about that,” I assured her, sweating profusely. I’d never seen a naked woman this close before, and even after watching Crystal grind and gyrate on the pole, having her practically on top of me felt criminal. Her boobs were everywhere. I didn’t know where to put my hands so I wouldn’t accidentally touch her, so I shoved them between my legs.

“Are you sure this is legal?” I asked Dare.

He gave me an amused look. “You’ll have to excuse my friend, Crystal. Charlie has a girlfriend, but like I told him, so long as there’s no touching, it’s not cheating. Am I right?”

“That’s right, baby,” she said, winking at Dare. A rap song came on, something fast with a deep bass line. Crystal straddled my knees, which were pressed tightly together. “Just relax now, baby. Crystal will make you feel all right,” she cooed in my ear. Her hair tickled my neck, and her heavy bosoms nearly brushed up against me.

“Maybe you should take this one,” I said to Dare, who sat to the side of us, watching with complete rapture. His arms stretched out along the top of the booth like this was an everyday occurrence. Funny thing was, his attention seemed more focused on me than the naked woman on my lap.

Dare shook his head with a huge smile on his face. He was really getting a kick out of this. “It’s your birthday, Bud. Just sit back and enjoy it. Let’s see what turns up.”

I gulped and pressed back as far as I could into the slightly reclined seat. It felt a little bit like being at the dentist’s office when you’re trying really hard not to get any of your bodily juices on the dental hygienist. But the more I retreated, the more Crystal advanced. She gyrated in lazy circles, cupping her boobs and pinching her nipples to perhaps add to the excitement. She moaned a little, trying to sell it. I wanted to squeeze my eyes shut and count in my head until it was over, but I didn’t want to be rude.

“Did you recognize my brother Mason?” Dare finally asked, studying her critically. He didn’t seem aroused in the least by her performance, just deadly focused on getting answers.

“I saw him in the news,” she said. “Is he… dead?”

“Yes, he is.” Dare ducked his head so that she wouldn’t see his face. Still, Crystal seemed sympathetic to his pain.

“I’m sorry. He seemed like a nice guy.”

“He was,” Dare said quietly. “So, you met him?”

“He came in here a couple times while I was on shift.” She reached down to spread my knees open, as though she could force me to relax. She grabbed my hands as if we were dance partners. I probably resembled a very stiff puppet.

“I thought there was no touching,” I said, feeling a little panicked.

“You can’t touch me, but I can touch you,” she said with a teasing smile. It made absolutely no sense to me. Touching was touching, but I didn’t want to argue the point with her.

“Did you see him with anyone else?” Dare asked.

“Yeah, a beefy red-headed kid. Bad attitude. He complained about the girls being fat. He was kind of an asshole, if I’m honest. Not your brother, though. He was a good tipper, just like you.” She dabbed Dare’s nose with the tip of her finger. He went cross-eyed for a moment and then drew his finger along the end of his nose where she’d touched him.

“Did it seem like my brother was just here to enjoy the entertainment, or was he meeting someone?” Dare asked.

Crystal turned around so I could get a full view of her bulbous butt, jumping up and down to the beat with practiced efficiency. At least now she couldn’t see me cower.

“There was another man here with them. Older. White hair and a fake tan. Looks like he works out a lot. He’s a regular.”

Dare leaned in closer. “When was the last time you saw him?”

“He’s here tonight,” she said. “He was sitting next to you at the bar.”

My mind flashed back to the guy she was describing. He was wearing a sleeveless shirt and a red bandana and his arms were grossly huge, like a Hulk Hogan wannabe. I suddenly knew what pills Mason had been taking.

“Steroids,” I said aloud.

Dare slumped back into his seat, realizing my meaning. A speaker piped up in the room. “Crystal, finish up. The cops are here.”

I glanced over at Dare. “It might be GPD.” As I was indisposed, Dare poked his head out of the room to take a look down the hallway. He turned back to the two of us, both of us having given up this charade and awaiting his word.

“One more favor, Crystal. You’ve got to get us out the back.” Dare laid a stack of bills on the red vinyl booth.

“Is it your girlfriend?” she asked with exasperation, as though that sort of thing happened frequently.

“Nope,” Dare said. “It’s Charlie’s mother.”

About the Author

Laura Lascarso wants you to stay up way past your bedtime reading her stories. She aims to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of storytelling to heal and transform a society. When not writing, Laura can be found screaming “finish” on the soccer fields, rewatching Veronica Mars, and trying to convince politicians that climate change is real. She lives in North Florida with her darling husband and two kids. She loves hearing from readers, and she’d be delighted to hear from you.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lascarso 
Twitter: @lauralascarso

Blog Tour for Ride or Dye (Curl Up and Dye Mysteries #6) by Aimee Nicole Walker (excerpt)

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Ride or Dye Tour Banner

RIDE OR DYE

CURL UP AND DYE MYSTERIES SERIES, BOOK 6

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 09.12.18

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PHOTOGRAPHER: Wander Aguiar

COVER ARTIST:  Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

MODELS: Jacob and Matthew

 http://mybook.to/Ride_or_Dye

 ride-or-dye-3D-eReader 

BLURB 

Gabe and Josh Roman-Wyatt have been living life in the fast lane. Demanding jobs, precocious twin toddlers, an ever-growing circle of friends, and a menagerie of pets means their home is filled with love and laughter but very few quiet moments for the happy couple. Gabe’s solution is to plan a surprise vacation at a perfect hideaway where the two of them can slow things down and reconnect.

Tarlington House, a historic home located on Edisto Island in South Carolina, hosts an annual murder-mystery event which will allow Josh to use the skills he learned from his all-time favorite television detective to solve the case. The serene setting is perfect for fun days in the sun, passionate lovemaking under the stars, and a healthy wager between husbands to see who can plan the best date. But when the other guests arrive, the guys find themselves surrounded by liars and cheaters who will say or do anything to win, reminding them there’s no place like Blissville.

When a guest is killed during a vicious storm that knocks out the power and phone lines, Josh and Gabe’s murder mystery role-playing becomes a real-life whodunnit. Serve and protect will take on a deeper meaning for Gabe when he’s torn between upholding the law and protecting his husband from a ruthless killer.

Ride or Dye includes sexy sunrises, snarky banter, and swoon-worthy romance. It is the sixth and final book in the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries, which must be read in order. Ride or Dye contains sexually explicit material intended for adults 18 and older.

Ride or Dye Teaser 1 Color

EXCERPT

“THIS ISN’T THE CAR I rented,” I said to the agent at the front desk. “I requested a convertible Mini Cooper and was assured you would have one for me to pick up today. This,” I gestured to the Volkswagen Beetle, “is neither a Mini Cooper nor a convertible.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Roman-Wyatt, there’s obviously been a mistake. Another agent got the orders mixed up and gave your Mini to someone else this morning. I did call and ask them to return the car since they didn’t pay for the upgrade, but they’re halfway to Florida already.”

I pinched the bridge of my nose and inhaled slowly through it, exhaling through my mouth. I’d never be the flexible pretzel Josh was, but I was learning yoga basics to help manage stress. “I understand mistakes are made, but I’d like to know how you’re going to make this up to me?” The Beetle was cute, but there was no way in hell I was driving it all the way to the coast of South Carolina.

“I’m prepared to offer you an upgrade. We have a brand-new luxury vehicle with two moonroofs, top-of-the-line leather seats, and a killer stereo system. I’m willing to let you drive it at no additional cost to you.” “I’ll take it,” I said proudly. I had hoped to surprise Josh with a convertible Mini for this trip, but he wouldn’t turn up his nose at a luxury car. My mind was spinning with all the possibilities as I waited for them to bring the car around. Cadillac? BMW? Audi? I glanced up as a shiny, black minivan pulled up to the door and stopped. I felt sorry for the poor sucker who had to drive it. I don’t care how convenient it would be; a minivan was never going to be in my future.

The young employee who drove the car around the building entered the lobby and made a beeline straight for me. Maybe I needed to spend more time in the weight room if the guy looked at me and instantly thought soccer dad. I’d set him straight as soon as he tried to hand those keys off to me. “Are you Mr. Roman-Wyatt?”

“I am,” I acknowledged, expecting him to say my ride would be brought around next.

“Here are your keys,” he said, holding them out to me. “Let me show you some of the unique features the Chrysler Pacifica has to offer you, sir.”

“Hold up,” I said firmly. “The agent,” I turned and gestured to the counter which was conveniently unoccupied, “told me I was getting a luxury vehicle upgrade since your company gave the car I wanted to the wrong customer this morning.”

“Yeah?” he asked. “That’s a bummer. What did you choose?”

“A convertible Mini Cooper,” I replied.

“A Mini?” He looked me up and down like it was the last car he expected me to rent.

“It was a surprise for my husband.”

“Oh, well, I’m sorry we made a mistake, but I can assure you the Pacifica is the most luxurious minivan on the road.”

“Both my mother and mother-in-law own one to drive our kids around in, so I’m very familiar with it.”

“You’re all set then,” he said with a huge grin, dangling the keys in front of me. “Thanks,” I grudgingly said when I accepted the keys.

Aimee Nicole Walker Logo

I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy

who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

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A MelanieM Review: Drifting Sands (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #1) by C.J. Baty

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

As he approaches his fortieth birthday, Justin Warfield feels alone, drifting like the sand that blows along the beach near his family’s hotel. He has done exactly as his father wanted. Married the right girl and carried on the family tradition of running the Warfield Hotel. On paper things seem perfect, but happiness hasn’t been a part of his life for a very long time.

Marcus Drummond once spent a summer with his best friend Peter at the Warfield Hotel and fell hard for Peter’s much older brother. Five years later he’s back, and this time hopes that Justin will see him as more than his kid brother’s friend.

Sparks fly when the two meet again, but there are a few things standing in their way. The closet that Justin has himself buried in and someone on a killing spree, dumping bodies on the Warfield beach . . . victims that indicate Justin may be involved in some way.

Drifting Sands (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #1) by C.J. Baty was another difficult story to review.  I liked many elements but found others hard to navigate and others still baffling in their inability to like or believe in.

First of all, I adore mysteries.  I have shelves waited down with them and have mainstreamed them starting with Nancy Drew from childhood.  Honestly, I can’t get enough, from cozies to outright thrillers.  And I like the tales that come from C.J. Baty so I thought this would be a series to grab up and get involved with from the start.

The idea of this family establishment (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries)with all it’s traditions set in the coastal tide water town is lovely.  That’s a great hook!  And Baty lays out its history and drama perfectly.

We also jump into the story in high fashion…with a murder.  Loved that.  The murders and mysteries that start swirling around Justin, his brother Peter who is about to inherit his share of the Hotel and the house (I adored Peter), and Robert, and yes, even Matthew.  Those were the best part of this story.  Some nifty clues were left strewn around that if wasn’t too hard to figure out who exactly was behind the evil goings on and you were still curious enough to want to see everything unfold to want to continue reading.

No, I think my issues here are with Justin and Matthew.  Justin who seems like a bit of a doormat, someone lacking the courage  to get out of the closet where his father put him all those years ago when he forced him to get married.  All around him, including Peter his younger brother, are one’s I am able to connect with more than Justin.  It simply takes far too long for Justin to find any ounce of gumption here before he starts to fight back against, well, everyone.

Another thing is the relationship between Justin and Matthew.  Justin doesn’t remember him.  So while the bodies are falling all around him, Justin is firmly in the closet, the wife is threatening him, the stress and guests must be attended to, Justin is just going to what?  Have a fling with  someone he can’t remember? While a killer is loose closeby?  And fall instantly in love?  Even though Matthew is a friend of his brother’s it just never struck me as terribly convincing.  Again.  I think it was the character of Justin.  I think he just came off as incredibly dense.

Yes, there is a lot of everyone’s here, including a bigoted Sheriff.

I found the wife’s character interesting, especially towards the end and wonder if more information will be forthcoming in the next installment.

This story ends with a cliffhanger and the plot does not wrap up as you would hope.  In fact it leaves the main characters in a dire situation.  If you aren’t fans of this format, this is going to make you really unhappy.

Didn’t bother  me for some reason.

I just have to figure out if I care enough about him to pick up the next story.  The jury is still out.

Cover art is generic and doesn’t really speak to the story.

Sales Links:  Bottom Drawer Publication | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 211 pages
Published July 12th 2017 (first published June 7th 2015)
Original Title Drifting Sands
ASINB073WY9LVQ
Edition Language English
SeriesThe Warfield Hotel Mysteries #

Release Tour – Drifting Sands (The Warfield Mysteries #1) by CJ Baty

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 Amazon US | Amazon UK
Available for the first time in Kindle Unlimited

 
Length: 211 Pages
 
Blurb
 

As he approaches his fortieth birthday, Justin Warfield feels alone, drifting like the sand that blows along the beach near his family’s hotel. He has done exactly as his father wanted. Married the right girl and carried on the family tradition of running the Warfield Hotel. On paper things seem perfect, but happiness hasn’t been a part of his life for a very long time.


Marcus Drummond once spent a summer with his best friend Peter at the Warfield Hotel and fell hard for Peter’s much older brother. Five years later he’s back, and this time he hopes that Justin will see him as more than his kid brother’s friend.


Sparks fly when the two meet again, but there are a few things standing in their way. The closet that Justin has himself buried in and someone on a killing spree, dumping bodies on the Warfield beach . . . victims that indicate Justin may be involved in some way.


Author Bio


C. J. Baty lives in southwest Ohio. Her heart, however, lives in the mountains of Tennessee where she hopes to retire some day. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.


The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to fan fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected.


She has a loving and supportive family who don’t mind fixing their own meals when she is in the middle of a story, and a network of friends who have encouraged and cheered her on in her quest of being an author.


One thing she has learned from life and she is often heard to say is: “You are never too old to follow your dream!”


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A Stella Release Day Review: Midnight in Berlin by JL Merrow

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RATING 2,75 out of 5 stars


One bad decision can change your life forever.

It’s midnight in Berlin, and drifter Leon is hitchhiking home in the rain, covered in feathers after a wild festival in the city park. He can’t believe his luck when he’s picked up by a hot guy in a Porsche. That is, until he learns his driver is a creature from his worst nightmares—and plans to turn him into one too. He runs, but he can’t escape the werewolf’s bite.

Christoph made one mistake, but he’s paying for it plenty. He took Leon for a rogue werewolf on his way home from a hunt, and by the time he realizes the truth, it’s too late to do anything but make Leon a monster to save his life. That doesn’t save Christoph from the pack leader’s harsh punishment.

As Leon struggles to cope with his horrifying new reality—and his mixed feelings for the man who bit him—he’s desperate to discover not only what’s happened to Christoph, but the secrets their pack leader is hiding from them all.

Secrets the pack will kill to protect.

First Edition published by Samhain Publishing, Ltd., February 2012.

I’ll be honest. I struggled a lot with Midnight In Berlin. And at the beginning I didn’t even understand what was wrong. This is a second release and I missed it when it was first published. In the years the author has become a favorite, her works are always so great. That’s why, although I badly wanted to put this novel down and start reading something else, I had to force myself to finish it.

The plot is actually interesting, a little boring at the beginning because I didn’t get it what was going to happen.  But then when there was some action and mystery to solve, I was interested and curious about Leon and Cristoph characters and their HEA. The writing superb as always and the scenes so well done, I felt I was there with the couple.

There were some elements I didn’t enjoy and why I rated the novel so low. First of all I was so upset  with the resolution of the little mystery, I actually felt cheated, I don’t want to reveal anything but I thought it was too easy to just put things like that. There were quite a lot of secondary characters and I would have so loved to know more about them, but maybe there was no space for them. In fact to me the story felt rushed and ended too quickly, it surely deserved more pages, that way so many things would have been more explained and developed. Most of all the romance part, almost inexistent, should have had a more important role in the plot. And most likely that’s the main reason why I had trouble connecting with Leon and Christoph.

Midnight in Berlin is not the masterpiece I’m used to reading by JL Merrow, in my opinion the author last years’ releases are the best she has done.

The cover art by Tiferet Design is awesome, I adore it and find it eyecatching. I love the colours and it’s fitting. I couldn’t have asked for more from a cover. Well done.

SALE LINKS   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

ebook, Second Edition, 200 pages

Expected publication: August 24th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published February 21st 2012)

ISBN13 9781640801219

Edition Language English

An Alisa Release Day Review: The Case of the Sexy Shakespearean (The Middlemark Mysteries #1) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Dr. Llewellyn Lewis leads a double life, as both an awkward but distinguished history professor and the more flamboyant Ramon Rondell, infamous writer of sensational historical theories. It’s Ramon who first sets eyes on a gorgeous young man dancing in a club, but Llewellyn who meets teaching assistant Blaise Arthur formally at an event held for wealthy socialite Anne de Vere, descendant of Edward de Vere, seventeenth Earl of Oxford—who some believe was the real Shakespeare. Anne wants Llewellyn to prove that claim, even though many have tried and failed. And she’s willing to offer a hefty donation to the university if he succeeds.

It also means a chance for Llewellyn to get to know Blaise much better.

Not everyone thinks Llewellyn should take the case—or the money. Between feuding siblings, rival patrons, jealous colleagues, and greedy administrators, almost anyone could be trying to thwart his work… and one of them is willing to kill to do it.

When Anne de Vere turns up dead, the police believe Blaise is the murderer. Only the shy, stuttering professor who has won his heart can prove otherwise….

This was a fascinating story.  Llewellyn is adorably shy and when he is himself he prefers to hide away in his office behind books and research.  Blaise easily draws everyone in and wants nothing more than to catch Llew.

Llew if trying to decide what to do with pressure from all sides and no one really caring how he feels about it.  But Blaise stands by him and throws everything he ever thought about himself out the window.  But the truth about why Blaise is at MIddlemark may keep them apart.

I loved Llewellyn, even though he is crazy shy he can stand up for himself too and it was easy to understand him as most of the story is through his eyes.  It was great to see him find someone who wants to care for him and doesn’t see him as a burden.  Only a small portion is seen through Blaise’s eyes and when we do see his thoughts it’s easy to see how conflicted he is about what he is doing but his actions really show how he feels.  I can’t wait to see what else happens around Middlemark.

I love the cover art by Kanaxa is give so man little visuals from the story.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 204 pages

Published: July 31, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-486-9

Edition Language: English

Series: Middlemark Mysteries #1

A Stella Review: Lock Nut (Plumber’s Mate Mysteries) by JL Merrow

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

Still waters run deadly.

Tom Paretski, plumber with a talent for finding hidden things, and his private investigator fiancé Phil Morrison have been hired to locate a runaway husband, Jonathan Parrot. The job seems simple enough—until their quarry turns up dead in a canal, and a photofit of Tom’s face is splashed all over the news, making him chief suspect.

The widow, petite ex–porn star Lilah Lovett, is convinced her husband was killed by his gay lover, but Tom and Phil aren’t so sure. Worried they may have precipitated Jonathan’s death, they’re determined to find the real killer. But with a web of incestuous ties linking the suspects, it’s hard to know who to trust. Especially when a second victim dies a gruesome death.

Meanwhile, with their wedding looming and them sharing a house now, Tom’s worried it may all be too much, too fast. The last thing he needs are the mixed messages Phil seems to be sending out. They’ll need to get back on the same track if they want to make it to their honeymoon together—and alive.

I’m crazy about this author works, I saw the name and pick every new book without even reading the blurb. That said, I have a confession to make: this time I screwed up. I was over the moon as soon as I received Lock Nut and like an osbessed I started reading it. From the beginning I realized something was wrong. I couldn’t remember Tom and Phil’s story and since Lock Nut is the fifth book in the series I wasn’t understanding how could I not. I went to Goodreads to check and realized my mistake: I mixed The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries with The Shamwell Tales series.  While I read all the titles in the second series, I completely and consciously ignored the first one because I’m not so into psychic abilities combined with mystery, it’s not my thing, I am a huge chickenshit. When will I learn to (at least) read a title and a series name and not just the author?

Anyway I decided to teach myself a lesson and went on with the reading, positive it was going to be a disaster. I found it impossible to not just like a story but actually understand the MCs, an established couple that met and told their stories in the last FOUR books of the series.

I had to change my mind, the author proved me wrong. And this is one more reason why I love her works, even if to me it’s so freaking hard to read her so British writing.

Not once I thought about giving up, there was nothing to give up, the plot was clear and I beautifully saw Phil and Tom, I knew them quite well, sure there is so much more to know, so many details and adventures I missed, but I learnt their natures and tempers, I saw their love. They “worked” (well, it’s more Phil’s job) so good together, throught moments of laughs and hotness, sweetness and banters.  And now I have to catch up on the series, hoping Lock Nut isn’t the last book.

The cover art by Chistine Coffee is not a winner to me, there is nothing special about it, sorry I don’t like it.

SALE LINKS:  RIPTIDE   |  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 330 pages

Published May 12th 2018 by Riptide Publishing

ASIN B07D23W4Z6

Edition Language English

Series The Plumber’s Mate Mysteries #5

Vicki Reese on Writing, Characters, and her new release No Tears for Darcy (author interview)

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No Tears for Darcy by Vicki Reese
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Tiferet Design

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Vicki Reese here today talking about writing, characters and her new release No Tears for Darcy.  Welcome, Vicki.

 

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Vicki Reese ~

 

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?:  I’m not sure. I’d say a little of me goes into all of them. Actually, a little of a lot of people that I know. I take bits and pieces of myself and everyone I know and those pieces go into my characters.
  • Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write? Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?: With a degree in Library Science, I love research. I can get lost in the research – which is not always a good thing! LOL. As for making up my own worlds and cultures – that is my first love, but to do it right requires a lot of research so the two are not mutually exclusive. I’ve been known to create entire worlds in the sand while vacationing, but when I bring those worlds (in the form of pictures) back home, then I get to work researching to make them viable, whether contemporary or fantasy or science fiction. You have to make it real for yourself and the reader.
  • Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing? Sort of. I read a lot and always have – in a lot of different areas. From Shakespeare to Asimov. From DuMaurier to Clancy. I read almost everything – so for me, it came down to picking one (or three). And some that are my favorite to read I don’t write (like historical fiction).
  • Do you like HFN or HEA? Why?: It has to be HEA for me. I’m a firm believer in HEA and committed relationships. Yes, it takes work and it’s not always easy, but there has to be that “hope” that the couple will make it. After all, they’ve already made it through the worst, so the rest can’t be bad, right? I need that happiness and hope that all will work out. I’ve read several HFN and they just didn’t work as well for me because I didn’t have that feeling they would stay together. I need that for a satisfying ending.
  • Do you read romances?: Definitely. I started reading romances in college and haven’t stopped. In all genres- historical, contemporary, paranormal, suspense – you name it, if it’s a romance, I read it.
  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?:  I know for a lot of readers, that’s all they read, and that’s fine. I kind of have a love/hate relationship with it. I definitely prefer the feel of a book in my hand, not my tablet (or computer). But, after a recent issue with my vision, I find that I like being able to enlarge the text and that means ebooks. Plus, as I’ve moved a lot over the years (23 times so far), it’s a lot easier to move a library of ebooks than my actual library. As to where it’s going… your guess is as good as mine. Ebooks are here to stay…until something better comes along. LOL
  • How do you choose your covers?: I’m fortunate to have worked with some great artists for my covers. I give them what I would like, and they come up with amazing drafts. For me, I usually like one or two of the main characters, a little of one of the settings, good fonts, and colors that carry the mood of the piece. I’m not a fan of “cartoonish” covers-though they work for many books. But I don’t like them for mine. I like the characters to be real, for both myself and the reader.
  • Do you have a favorite among your own stories and why?: That’s like asking if I have a favorite child. They’re all my favorites. LOL. From the first silly story I wrote as a child to my latest novel, they all mean something special to me.
  • What’s next for you as an author?: I’m currently working on my next romantic suspense for Dreamspinner as well as a high fantasy story I hope to shop around.
  • Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work, then years later you loved it?: Actually, No Tears for Darcy is one of those stories. I wrote this several years ago, but the timing wasn’t right for it. Then I met Dreamspinner and, voila… a love was born.
  • Ever drunk-written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?: LOL!! No, sorry. Due to a medical condition, I don’t drink. But I have written while under the influence of medication – interesting outcome, but it made little sense so it didn’t make it in.
  • If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?: I kind of have that now. I have a private office with a great view outside, good music on the stereo, multiple bookshelves stuffed to overflowing and a big, comfy chair to sit in. Back before the kids grew up, I wished for a place like this instead of the chaos of the kitchen table. Funny thing is, I miss that chaos, but I cannot write in a place like a coffee shop or the library. I find those surroundings too distracting—watching people, listening to conversations, and so on. So I’m good with where I am.
  • With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain? To get away? To move past? Why do you write?: I write to escape. To show a better world, or a world where the possibility of a HEA exists. Where someone normal like me can face difficulties and still come out on top of things. I write to give hope to myself and my readers. In today’s world, we all need a little hope, and happiness. We all need our HEA, even if only for a short while.

 

About No Tears for Darcy

Letting love pass them by would be a crime.

Former forensic accountant Cameron has lost nearly everyone he’s ever loved, and now his vintage clothing shop has been broken into and trashed. When town police chief Will Carson asks an out-of-town cop friend of his for help, Cam takes one look at the dark-haired, blue-eyed detective and knows he’s in real trouble—and it has nothing to do with vandalism or murder.

Pete Minchelli is on leave from his job in Philadelphia due to a gunshot wound, but he figures he can help an academy buddy with some light police work. Plus, he’ll have a chance to experience small-town life. He’s tired of the big city and all its corruption. But he quickly discovers that not all the bad stuff happens in cities. What he doesn’t expect to find is death, treachery—or love.