Thursday, January 21, 2016

Reviews for Virgo's Vice

All authors know reviews are important because they help readers to decide whether to buy your books or not, and we are always thankful to people who take the time to write a review, or even a one line comment.


Unfortunately, some readers take great delight in dissing books, and earn themselves the title of 'troll'. If you don't like a book, it's okay to say so and to explain why, but there is no need to be hateful and nasty like the review for Virgo's Vice from a woman named Libby. If you go to her profile and check out her stats, you can see she is a committed troll.  She's rated 1019 books and her average rating is 2.92 stars. It appears she was expecting a sweet little innocent romance. She probably doesn't understand that romantic suspense or suspense thrillers with romantic elements can be dark and intense.

Thankfully, most readers who leave reviews are good people who want to express their honest opinions in a decent and respectful manner. I personally don't publish reviews if I believe a book is worth less than three stars. I usually contact the author and explain why I feel the way I do and leave it at that.

Here are three great reviews Virgo's Vice received this past week:

From Ron (4 Stars)

Virgo's Vice asks, "What if Survivor were about actually surviving?" When a disparate group of contestants, with two camera operators, are parachuted into Africa with few supplies, they are confronted with just that question. Each has a reason to win the contest with a cool million as a prize and each has a reason to make sure no one else does. But how far will they go to win? Literally landing on her butt in the brush, Lexie King is right in the middle of it. When she took on the assignment to film the event, she had no idea what she was getting into. She is haunted by demons from her past and soon finds the present ones can be just as bad. She is confronted with the the possibility that one of the contestants feels that a million dollars worth killing for. Or are other evil forces at work?

Trish Jackson shows her familiarity with the African wilds in this book and uses it as a backdrop for her book. The characters are a varied lot, some good people and some not so good, but all are interesting. You find yourself rooting for some and not caring what happens to a few. It's a lot like life. In the end, I'm reminded of a phrase from the old TV series, Maude, "God will get you for that." I must admit that Jake was my favorite character, willing to give his life for Lexie, but I'm a dog person. Still, loyalty and self sacrifice are great qualities in any species. While part of the book is first person, in Lexie's point of view, Trish also uses third person to let you know what other characters are thinking and seeing. It's a fun read and keeps up a good pace throughout the book.

From Ken (4 Stars)

Trish Jackson’s fast-paced crime and romance novel “Virgo’s Vice” takes us into the wilderness of Africa. The contestants and two camera people have just been parachuted into the wilds where they are going to take part in a television reality show. Stranded by the failure of the show’s producer to get funding, the characters have to survive a menu of murder, love, and disaster. Using a combination of first and third person narration, Jackson creates the sense that we are watching a television show that has gone out of control. This is a page-turner with strong action and excellent romance.

From Todd (5 stars)

Reality TV...nope, not for me. But a book about a reality TV show in Africa that had a lot of things go wrong... I loved it! There was romance, there was suspense, and most importantly there was a great story behind it all, unlike reality TV. Lexie King the main character in the book is well thought out and described. Her past is the main story in this book to me and Trish does everything right in making this affect her life as a contestant for the $1,000,000.00 prize.

Thank you SO much. I really appreciate you.

Here's a link to more info and the Amazon page where you can buy this book.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Review -- It's Bad Business by R.L. Cherry

This is the second story featuring detective Morgana (Morg) Mahoney, a captivating character who has an insouciant sense of humor and enjoys a Jameson whisky, (or two) on the rocks.  


In this story, we go back in time to when she graduates from college and starts working as a private investigator. One of her cases is tied up with the Mexican Mafia—La Eme. She blames them when a special friend is murdered, but is unable to prove her suspicions. 

Fast forward fifteen years and Morg's past catches up with her. . . and maybe she'll finally solve the mystery and bring the killer to justice.


A mystery that will keep you guessing all the way to the end.  The characters are intriguing, quirky and disparate, and I particularly enjoyed Morg's sidekick—a Border Collie named Sam.

Here's where to purchase It's Bad Business

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Review of Lost by D. M. Thornton

Lost by D.M. Thornton is a masterpiece, and a truly great debut novel.


In the beginning, 'Lost' resembles the TV show with the same name—a plane crashes in the middle of nowhere and most of the occupants lose their lives. 

The survivors are lost, yes, and yet the word 'lost' holds a double entendre as readers will discover at the end.

It is essentially a love story, and the author's depiction of the progression of the process of the two primary characters falling in love and eventually realizing they can't live without each other can only be described as masterful. The love-making scenes are graphic yet tastefully written, leaving the reader in no doubt that the couple love one another deeply.


If you love romance and enjoy a fast-paced book that moves forward with each page-turn, you will enjoy this story. 

One word of warning -- the cliff-hanger at the end. While it clearly shows that a sequel is in the works, and will leave you hungering for more, you may feel disappointed if you are accustomed to reading romance, in which there is always a happily ever after or happy for now ending.

Find out more on Amazon

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hello 2016

Sometimes I find it hard to believe we are this far into the 21st century. When I think back to Y2K and all the hype about the end of the world, it seems like just yesterday. So much has changed since then, and yet so many other things have stayed the same.



Virgo's Vice, published in 2015 is seeing some good sales and I've had some great feedback. The only thing readers seem to have a problem with is that there are too many characters all introduced at one time near the beginning. I knew that when I wrote it, but I felt that I had to give readers a little early information about each of the 12 contestants in the reality show.

All my stories highlight social problems, and this one addresses the terrible way childhood sexual molestation messes up a person's life.

Lexie King suffers from PTSD and has anxiety attacks, but she desperately wants to heal herself, which is the reason she goes completely out of her comfort zone by agreeing to work as one of the two camera operators for a new Survivor-style reality show in Africa. It probably would have worked out for her but for two things--the producer doesn't play fair, and one of the contestants is the monster who repeatedly raped Lexie when she was a child.

I got a lot of the information from a person I know who actually was molested and suffered the same way as Lexie.

I love animals and always include at least one in my stories. Jake is the producer's chocolate lab, and he and Lexie have a special bond.

Billy Murphy is a real life cowboy from Texas. He works on the family cattle ranch. Apart from being hot, with a small ass, broad shoulders and intense green eyes, with dark hair that hangs down to his collar, he's tough and resourceful. He's also kind and caring, which is exactly the sort of man Lexie needs. When I lived up in the mountains in Arizona I met some real cowboys whose lives revolved around riding the open range, herding cattle, and camping out in the wilderness. They wore spurs that jingled, chaps and cowboy hats and were all cute, a little shy, and respectful to women.

Lexie's Story is free for you to download in any format you need. Here's the link: Lexie's Story
Here's the link for Virgo's Vice

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I joined Romance Writers of America in 2015, something I probably should have done long ago. It's an organization for romance writers who are serious about their writing careers, and they offer a wide array of useful resources. One suggestion they make is that writers should get a critique partner--someone they don't know, who will give an unbiased opinion of their work. I checked out the list of members actively seeking critique partners and picked Tami Lund because it appeared that she writes similar stories to mine. We clicked right away and I'm extremely thankful for Tami's wonderful help and advice. She's made some excellent suggestions and I've implemented most of them to improve my next novel, Scorpio's Sting. I hope I've helped her in the same way. Strangely, after we had already started critiquing one another's work we discovered we both have the same publisher--Soul Mate Publishing-- and we both write for the SMP blog on Wednesdays.

I plan to post the first three chapters of Scorpio's Sting on my website soon. In this story I address the drug and illegal immigration problems in the U.S. and in particular, the abuse of power and horrific crimes of the drug cartels. I hope to have this novel released later on this year.

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I've just started work on the fourth book in the Redneck P.I. Mystery Series, and writing about characters you've already created in the past is so much fun, especially when they're all a little quirky. It's like visiting old friends you haven't seen for a while. This story is called "Fat Girls Rock" and I am still amazed at how the story simply unfolds in my head as I write it. It's a great feeling. Almost as good as wine and chocolate. 

Obesity, and the way people treat overweight individuals, as you may have guessed, is one of the social issues I address in this story.

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Aquarius Addiction was released in January 2015, and is now in print format for those of you who prefer paper to plastic. I'm hosting a Goodreads giveaway starting January 9th.

This story tackled ALS and was released at a time when people were enduring the ice water over the head idea to make a statement. It also touched on human trafficking, and there will be another book which will go into this in more detail in the future.

Happy 2016 to everyone reading this. I hope all your dreams will come true this year.




Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bye Bye 2015

I can't believe I haven't updated my blog for so long. My excuse is that I went to South Africa to celebrate my amazing mother-in-law's 96th birthday, and then when I got home the 'silly season' was in full swing. 


That's all in the past now and 2016 looms on the horizon. I'm hoping it'll be a great year for writers in general. My wish is that you all have something good to celebrate next year.

2015 was a good year for me as a writer. I had two books published and a short story. As always, they include delightful animal characters and romance, plus a message to educate people about the evils of our world.

Sheer Panic is a novella I published myself. It's my first attempt at a psychological thriller. 

Breanna Barton has no love life until the guy she had a crush on at high school shows up unexpectedly on Facebook and wants to get together. After several strange and terrifying incidents, she comes to the realization that someone is stalking her. But it can't be him. He lives in another state. 
Her eight-year-old niece, and Panda, the little black and white mutt who belongs to her elderly neighbor rescue Breanna in more ways than one.
Sheer Panic on Amazon


 Virgo's Vice, the third in my Zodiac Series, was released by Soul Mate Publishing late in the year.

Camera operator Lexie King has a good reason to work out of her comfort zone in Allan Dockery's new survival-style reality show in Africa. She is determined to overcome her PTSD and make something of herself, but she has no way of knowing he would be there. The monster who molested her repeatedly as a child.
Jake, the producer's chocolate lab, and sexy cowboy contestant Billy Murphy are her only hope, but can they do enough to save her?  

Virgo's Vice on Amazon


Lexie's Story is the prologue to Virgo's Vice. I self-published this on Smashwords and it can be downloaded totally free in any format.

   Lexie KIng's childhood sucked. When she wasn't lying in in her bed at night waiting for 'the monster', she was hiding from the bullies at school. It was like she had a sign on her forehead that said "Abuse Me."
   Lexie's parents died in a car crash when she was too young to remember, and Aunt Jess refuses to believe that her live-in lover, Phillip could be molesting Lexie. 
   An ugly mutt named Candy -- a cross between a boxer and a standard poodle -- is Lexie's only friend in the world.

FREE Download of Lexie's Story

See you all next year.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Virgo's Vice -- Available for Pre-Order!

I am thrilled to announce that the third novel in the Zodiac Series, Virgo's Vice, is available on Amazon for pre-order. The publishing process always seems to take forever!


I'll be guest blogging on Just Contemporary Romance on October 20/21 and I will be doing a giveaway there


Camera operator Lexie King has a good reason to work out of her comfort zone in Allan Dockery's new survival-style reality show in Africa. She is determined to overcome her PTSD and make something of herself, but she has no way of knowing he would be there. The monster who’d caused her distress. 

Now all she wants is to get away—as far away as possible. But how? They're stranded one stop past nowhere in Africa. 

When traumatic events start to happen, she draws comfort from Jake, the producer's chocolate lab, and cowboy contestant Billy Murphy, who makes her laugh at the darkest of times, and heats up more than her heart with his touch . . . 


Here's the book trailer:




Lexie's background story is told in 'Lexie's Story' which is available for free download on the home page of my website with no strings attached.

In the Zodiac Series each primary character belongs to a specific star sign and exhibits the character traits attributed thereto

Here's the Amazon link for pre-ordering Virgo's Vice

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Review -- Please Release Me by Rhoda Baxter

Rhoda is a very talented author who usually writes sweet and entertaining romantic comedies. This book was written as a tribute to hospice and hospice workers all over the world.


Peter is the perfect husband, the husband we would all cherish. When his wife, Sally is in a coma as a result of a car crash on their wedding day, he visits her faithfully in the hospice, always hoping she might recover consciousness one day.  Perhaps some of his devotion comes from guilt. He was the one driving. But he is also just a really good person who loves his wife.

Sally can hear him, while she lies there in a coma, but she can’t move or communicate. Until he becomes friendly with Grace, who is also a regular visitor to the hospice.

I thought I had a good idea of where the story was going, and then it went in a totally different direction. The title is brilliant, because each one of the three main characters is stuck in some way, and all of them find their own form of release in the end.

This is a beautiful, poignant love story, and a very successful divergence from the author’s usual romantic comedies, and she did a great job of illustrating life in a hospice, as she set out to do.

A little dark; a little sad, but happiness triumphs in the end.

Here's the link to buy it on Amazon