Friday, February 28, 2014

Review - No Kiss Good-Night

No Kiss Good-Night


Kevin Zdrill

The Dates from Hell and other Relationship Problems.


Gus Adams experiences an existential crisis when plans to celebrate his 39th birthday fall apart and everyone he has invited cancels at the last minute. He knows he has to do something about his life before he reaches the big 4-0.

A wife would have been there for him, wouldn't she?

He should know how to enter into a meaningful relationship. He's a psychotherapist specializing in helping couples work through their problems. But how to go about finding the right woman? He's been out of the serious dating game for almost ten years.

After some interesting and bizarre experiences with his best (and only) friend Lonny, and his young office assistant Christy, he learns that suits are not cool, and that his best course of action is a telephone dating service.

Each date is totally different from the other, but similar in one aspect only—they are all the dates from hell. Everything that could possibly go wrong does, and he is forced to extricate himself from some utterly absurd and impossible situations.

Eventually, love finds him in an unexpected way (doesn't it always?) and then, he has to make some difficult decisions, and in the end, the most difficult decision of his life.

Very well-written, witty and amusing, this slightly dark romantic comedy is hard to put down. A must for singles approaching their fortieth birthday or anyone who can remember the torment!

Reviewer: Trish Jackson

Review - Only Love Twice

Only Love Twice
Kat Canfield

A Poignant Cross-Cultural Romance.


Lonely widow Madison doesn't expect to find love a second time around, but when she meets a middle-eastern man named Saleem online through her XXX voyeurism website,  they engage in an online conversation. Both of them feel a special connection despite their obvious religious differences—she is Jewish and he is a Muslim.

They arrange to meet. Madison is forced to confess she is a retired cop and she worries that he might see this as a negative because of the way his culture views women. He in turn discloses that although he was educated in England, and his mother is English, he is a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family, and is a prince.

They realize they are falling in love and he showers her with gifts, while she delights in showing him America and in particular, the deep-south. Since her husband's death, Madison has reinforced her love of horses and she is thrilled to find out Saleem is also an excellent horseman.

But will the enormous differences in their cultures create obstacles they cannot overcome?
The author had done an amazing job of comparing the two cultures and presents some very thought-provoking factors.


A very sweet and beautiful love story.

Reviewer: Trish Jackson

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wow! Two Novels in One Year!

I'm thrilled that I managed to write two full length novels in 2013, and finish Capricorn Cravings, which was published in February 2014.


Aquarius Ardor is the second in my Zodiac Series, in which each main character displays the traits of her star sign. 



Aquarius Ardor

"Anyone who thinks God doesn't have a macabre sense of humor answer this—why did he bring Andre Rossouw into Arlette's life on the same day her doctor told her she was about to die?

Attractive FBI Psychic Arlette Xylander displays all the character traits of her star sign, Aquarius, being feisty, eccentric, freedom-loving, flirtatious, rebellious and unpredictable. She may be only five feet tall, but she epitomizes the old adage that dynamite comes in small packages.

Her emotions rage between denial, anger and tears when her doctor tells her she is suffering from a rare terminal disease. When hunky Andre Rossouw asks her to help find his sister who has been missing for four years, Arlette makes two decisions. To beat the disease and find a cure, and to have wild and passionate sex with him.

Then she finds out he has a fiancée.

Arlette's country home on the banks of Bayou LeGue was left to her by her mysterious aunt Lucie, whom she never met, and whom her dysfunctional parents have never been willing to discuss. She often wakes in the dark hours of the night to hear ghostly voices downstairs, and wishes she could find out who they are and what they want.

A mysterious letter arrives from her aunt, hinting at a secret in the house, and her friend, Reay, agrees to research her home's recorded archives, while Arlette plans to dig into her family history. She starts by visiting her aunt's grave, where she finds a mysterious woman wearing a hooded cloak, who leaves in a hurry. Arlette's instincts tell her the woman holds the answers to all her questions, but how can she find her?"

I have yet to find a publisher for this story.
Capricorn Cravings is the first in the Zodiac Series.
****

The second book I wrote is the third in my Redneck series.


Backwoods Boogie

"It goes against all her principles when Redneck P.I. Twila Taunton accepts a case from local attorney Jimmie-Ray, the person she despises more than anyone else in the world, but she simply can't let the harmless, soft-spoken Brit Pam Taylor be convicted of a murder she clearly did not commit.

She flies in master hacker and computer expert Gasser Cunha, who brings his guitar and joins a local band.

They find they have two suspects. One requires a trip to England. The other is a local, and when Twila discovers he is abusing several dogs he has locked up in his barn, she calls on her long distance boyfriend, Harland. "Have to save those dogs," she tells him.

There's only one problem. The suspect's crazy Goth girlfriend, Xyla. Twila begs her office manager, LaMercy and Great Aunt Essie to do whatever it takes to gain access into the property.

Oh, and Twila thinks she could be pregnant."

This is the sequel to Kick Assitude


My publisher Uncial Press plans to release this sometime in the fall of 2014.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pitch Perfect - Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest

I stayed awake until midnight to enter my latest manuscript, "Aquarius Addiction". That's when they started accepting entries to the Amazon ABNA competition. 

Since they were only accepting 10,000 entries I figured they would be inundated and I would be lucky to get in, but it seems there hasn't been that much interest after all. When one thinks of the millions of authors who must have published their work with Amazon on CreateSpace.com I would have thought they would easily get 10,000 entries the first day.


Upon reflection, I realize not every author has a completed unpublished fiction manuscript available, but anyone who has self-published and retains all the rights to their work can also enter. Entries close on March 2nd, 2014, so there is still time.


There are five genre categories and each author can only enter one novel. They are: General Fiction, Mystery/Thriller, 

Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror,  Romance,  and Young Adult Fiction.
To enter, one has to submit a pitch (300 words or less), the first 5,000 words, and the complete manuscript.

The first elimination, results announced on March 17th,  is judged only on the pitch, judged on originality of idea, overall strength of the Pitch, and the quality of writing. . That means it has to be really compelling. Only 2,000 out of the initial 10,000 will remain - 400 in each genre category. 


The second round is judged on the excerpt, specifically 

a) Overall Strength of Excerpt, b) Prose/Style,
c) Plot/Hook, d) Originality of Idea. 
The top 100 from each genre will advance to the quarter finals. These excerpts will be posted where Amazon customers can download them, read them, and write a review on them.
To get down to the semi-finalists, Publishers Weekly will read, prepare a review, and rate each Manuscript on a scale of 1 to 5 on the following criteria:
a) Character development
b) Originality of idea
c) Plot
d) Prose/style
e) Overall strength of submission
Their reviews will be posted on each semi-finalist's Createspace account on May 23rd, and finalists in each genre will be chosen by Amazon's panel of judges by July 8th, 2014.
Finalists will be posted on Amazon and members of the public will vote to choose the grand finalist. He or she will win $50,000 plus a publishing contract with Amazon.
Genre finalists win $15,000 advance and a publishing contract with Amazon.
Quarter Finalists get a Publisher's Weekly review that they can use in their marketing efforts. Others who made the first cut will get a review of their excerpt.
I think it's well worth the effort and I'm glad I entered. Here's where you go if you also want to try. 
https://www.createspace.com/
If you don't have a Createspace login you can create one there. 



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How do you Celebrate Valentine's Day?

Saint Valentine's Day is the holiday of love and many people all around the world celebrate it in one form or another.

The origins of this day are somewhat obscure, but most historians seem to agree that it started as a pagan fertility ritual in ancient Rome, called Lupercalia, where men and women were paired specifically to engage in sexual relations. Legend tells of a Christian priest named Valentine, who performed wedding ceremonies in defiance of Emperor Claudius ll's decree that soldiers were more effective when they were not married. Valentine is said to have healed his jailer's daughter's blindness and on the eve of his execution he wrote her a love letter signed 'from your Valentine.'

February 14th was first celebrated as a day of love in the 18th century, when the term 'courtly love' was coined by members of nobility to describe secret extra-marital affairs or flirtations.


When I grew up, Valentine's day was the day when one purchased a Valentine's card and mailed it anonymously to someone you secretly admired or were attracted to. I remember the anticipation of waiting for the mail to see if I had any secret admirers and if I did, the excitement of trying to guess who had sent the card. In today's world I suppose one could get an anonymous email from an untraceable account, which would be almost as much fun as receiving a card.

Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated as a christian feast on or around February 14th, and has also been commercialized, which has taken the romance out of it. Gifts and cards are exchanged by people who openly love one another, not necessarily in a romantic manner. Parents can give Valentine's gifts to their children; friends can give to friends.

The type of gifts are usually flowers, chocolates,and jewelry, and my favorite -- a good romance novel.

While there's nothing wrong with expressing different forms of love, I think I prefer the old way. Romance, and secret admirers are so much more fun!


Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Woman with a Past, Indecision, and Murder

Here's the first review for my new romantic suspense, Capricorn Cravings from Ruth Ann Hicks:


Trish Jackson has done it again. She's written one of her superior mysteries with all the action and tension as the rest of her work. Capricorn Cravings has a daring set of characters that one would expect from Trish. 

Riley is a woman with a past that she doesn't want anyone to know about. She moved the the mountains of Colorado to take over the practice of a retiring veterinarian. Then her assistant disappears. She doesn't know who she can trust. So she decides to do a little investigating on her own. She meets a mysterious man who lives in a camp in the woods. Is he a government agent like he tells her or is he a serial killer? Add to that, a man she met in town is determined to make her his girl. She is turned off by his heavy drinking and crass behavior. 

She must decide which man she wants. And then her new assistant disappears.

 This book will keep you up at night. It did me. I finished it at 4 a.m. It was just so compelling, I couldn't put it down.


BUY IT HERE FOR $2.99

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Capricorn Cravings New Romantic Suspense

I am thrilled that my romantic suspense Capricorn Cravings was released today by Soul Mate Publishing.


The only thing missing from Riley Shaughnessy's life is a man. She has a thriving veterinary practice, a home she loves, and has managed to put her dark past behind her.

Everything is turned upside down when hunky Powell Stewart arrives and overhears her saying she needs to get laid. Could he be the serial killer who killed her young assistant Jamie? She can't help being attracted to him despite the warnings in her daily horoscope.


Buy it today on Amazon at the link below: