Friday, August 29, 2014

Three Freebies and the $175 Gift Card Giveaway!

So there's only a couple more days until the $175 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway ends. If you haven't entered yet, hurry and go do it! You know you can think of stuff to get on Amazon for $175.  Click here to enter.

Today's your lucky day. I have THREE free Kindle books to show you!

The first one is Lost Then Found by Heather Moore from her Aliso Creek series.  Here's the back copy:

Welcome to the Aliso Creek Novella Series:

Liz, Gemma, Arie, Jess, and Drew have been best friends since creating “the Five” at Aliso Creek High School. But that was over ten years ago, and each is still trying to find that perfect someone… if perfect is even possible.

Arie, at the top of her career as VP of an established real estate company, discovers that her professional success has led to a less-than-successful dating life. But she may have just met the ideal man in workaholic film producer Dustin Jacobs. When Arie discovers that Dustin’s life is more complicated than she thought, she wonders if there is room for her in it after all or if she should add him to her long list of disaster relationships.

Want it? Click here for your free Kindle copy.

The second one is by Shannon Guymon and is called Come to Me. Here's the back copy:

Will the past repeat itself? Rob hasn't had the best of luck when it comes to women and his epic failure with Kit Kendall is still very fresh. Rob might be successful in sports and in business but does he have what it takes to be successful in love? When Rob gets to know Wren Tyler, his sous chef, he's willing to try again even knowing he could get hurt. Wren on the other hand, is very attracted to Rob, but she knows she's not in his league. So when he starts to pay her attention, who could blame her for being a little suspicious? But have Wren's past heartbreaks destroyed her ability to trust? And will Rob be able to overcome his past failures and become the man Wren needs him to be? Only true love will be able to heal Wren's heart and help her trust again.

Want it? Click here for your free Kindle copy.

The third one is by Susan Aylworth.  Her first book in the Rainbow Rock collection is free, but all three books in the series are being offered for .99 cents.  Here's the back copy:
Come to Rainbow Rock, Arizona to meet the McAllister Men—Jim, Kurt and Chris.

Book One

Jim McAllister has worked hard to become a qualified and respected dealer in Navajo and Hopi art, yet professional success hasn’t given him what he wants most—a love and family of his own. The daughter of a serial-marrying mother, Meg Taylor has a fear of emotional intimacy and a grudge against the town that mistreated her when she was the principal’s daughter. Meg returns to help a friend and is startled to find that “Little Jimmy” has become one of the most attractive men she has ever met. As their feelings for one another rekindle, each must assess what matters most.

Book Two

Kurt McAllister has everything going for him. So why is he discontent? Alexa Babbidge has just earned her first great break as a screenwriter. So why does bad luck find her now? Kurt and Alexa have differing ideas about what constitutes success and their differences may be too great to bridge. So why are they so drawn to one another? This heart-warming love story examines Navajo weaving, small town living, and the nature of independence versus inter-dependence as Kurt and Alexa each decide on goals and priorities at the rainbow’s end.

Book Three

Chris McAllister is a healthy bachelor looking for some good times and some help on his pig farm. What he isn’t expecting and doesn’t want is romantic complications. Behind her composure and professional demeanor, pretty veterinarian Sarah McGill is hiding deeply painful personal secrets. The last thing she needs is some handsome cowboy stirring up trouble, digging for answers, making her feel emotions she never wanted to feel again. When a project for the Navajo Nation throws them together, they must decide whether they can risk making promises they may not be able to keep.

If you want Book One for free click here.  If you want the link for all three books for .99 cent series, click here.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bellon Family Favorite Youtube Videos

Today I'd like to share with you some of the Bellon family's favorite Youtube videos. Because they make me laugh. And it's late. And I can't stop laughing.

Chuck Testa (Nope, just Chuck Testa!)

The Rainbow Sponge (I love to wiggle. The whole thing!)

Things Cats Do That Would Be Creepy If We Did Them

Holding People's Hand

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Word Count Wednesday

Instead of writing, I've been working on wedding stuff because my oldest son is getting married next week! Woohoo! I'm so happy for him. But there's a lot of work to do when you're the mother of the groom. (I did finally find a mother of the groom dress that I love, though. So, whew on that part!)

I really will need some help getting back into my novella after the wedding is over.  I'm trying to think of ways to help that along.

So far I have:

  • Read over my plot outline and character bible.
  • Have some quiet time to allow the ideas to come.
  • Write every day no matter what. Even if it's only half an hour.

What are your favorite tricks for getting back into the writing groove after you've taken some time off?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

More Than Just A Wheat Field

When I was traveling to Canada last week, my little three year old in the back seat kept asking, "Are we in Canada yet?"  He asked it over and over and I was so anxious to get to Canada so I could finally say yes.

Once we'd crossed the border, there were beautiful wheat fields as far as the eye could see.  I love the grain elevators that stand sentinel there, I love the views, the wide roads, everything about that place.  I was anxiously waiting for my little boy to say "Are we in Canada yet?"

He finally did and I held my hand out, pointing to the windows and said, "We are in Canada! We're here!"

He looked out his window and said, "This isn't Canada. This is a field."

(I snapped a picture.  Here it is.)

I couldn't help it, I laughed.  Here I was, so excited to be in Canada and to him, it was just a field.  It's all in the perspective.

So it is with any book that we read.  We all bring our own background, perspectives, and experiences to a book and what works for me in a book might not work for you.  Reading can be such an individual experience and yet shared by thousands.  A book experience becomes beautiful, just like that view of the Canadian wheat field is to me, when it expands into something more than "just a field" for you.

And yes, I think this is true of most genres.  Even fluffy escape fiction can provide an experience that expands my view.  What do you think?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Free Book Instead of a Book Review!

The book I was going to review today didn't turn out like I thought it would, so instead of putting up that review, I'm going to tell you about a free book that I downloaded today that looks good! Win/win for everyone!

(I've just started reading it, and so far so good.)

Here's the cover:

Here's the back copy:

Eliza Dunmar is about to turn thirty-one and fears her best days are behind her. Soon she'll be too old to attend church in a singles ward, her career as a painter is no longer considered cool, and she feels too old to use the excuse that she's "just starting out" to explain why she still can't pay the bills. The only man interested in her is a scruffy, video game addicted nerd who is the first to admit that they are all wrong for each other. 

When her beloved Aunt Nora calls from England and begs her to visit, Eliza leaps at the chance. Even better? Nora had the perfect romance with her late husband and is eager to share the tale. As Eliza sets out to immortalize this courtship in a series of paintings, she learns a lesson that will change her outlook on life and love forevermore.

If this looks like something you're interested in click here for your free Kindle copy!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Nearly Freebie Friday---Five Novellas for 99 cents!

Today's Nearly Freebie Friday is five novellas for less than a dollar! Fun, contemporary romances.

The complete Aliso Creek series is having a back to school sale on their boxed set.  If this looks like something you're interested in, you can download it here .

Here's the back copy:

Welcome to the Complete Aliso Creek Series Box Set
Liz, Gemma, Arie, Jess, and Drew have been best friends since creating the “Five” at Aliso Creek High School. But that was over ten years ago, and each is still trying to find that perfect someone . . . if perfect is even possible.

This box set includes all 5 stories:

PICTURE PERFECT: Gemma Staheli has never done anything out of the ordinary, until her boyfriend Randy starts to ignore her. But even cutting and dyeing her hair doesn’t get his attention. She decides to join her old high school friends for spring vacation, only to be faced with Drew, her best friend who suddenly seems interested in her as more than a friend. Gemma must determine if her heart is on the rebound or if it’s finally met its true match.

THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM: Liz Carlson will settle for a normal man. A normal man with a job, that is. Married twice, then divorced twice, Liz’s rose-colored glasses fell off and shattered on the ground a long time ago. Her main focus now is raising her six-year-old daughter and surviving long days at work on her feet as a hairdresser. When Sloane Branden answers her call for help, quite literally, Liz doesn’t even give him a second glance. She’s sworn off dating for as many years as it takes, and it seems that Sloane has done the same after his own tumultuous marriage. But when Liz realizes that Sloane defies every stereotypical deadbeat she’s dated, she might just find room in her heart and discover the third time’s the charm.

THE DAISY CHAIN: Jess Giles does find her perfect match, but since Charlie’s several years older than she, they never have a moment of harmony from his adult kids who protest the marriage. When Charlie dies in a tragic accident, his kids add insult to injury and sue Jess for her share of the inheritance. The only person Jess trusts for financial advice is Charlie’s financial planner, Preston Michaels. Just talking to Preston on the phone makes Jess feel flustered, yet strangely comfortable at the same time, so she puts off meeting him for as long as possible. When Jess has to attend the formal hearing, she’s about to find out if the man she’s been talking to over the phone for several months lives up to the voice that she’s grown attached to.

LOST THEN FOUND: Arie, at the top of her career as VP of an established real estate company, discovers that her success has led to a less-than-successful dating life. But she may have just met the ideal man in work-a-holic film producer, Dustin Jacobs. Seeing each other once a week, or even once a month, is no big deal since they are both ambitious… until Arie realizes she wants much, much more.

ONE CHANCE: Valentina is the odd-woman out. She’s part of “the Five” when she dates Drew for a couple of years, and remains friends with the women, but with her traveling schedule as a runway model, it’s impossible to maintain a real relationship. When Valentina attends her cousin’s wedding in LA, she runs into Cesar, who she was school friends with in her native country of Puerto Rico. Cesar is not the young skinny boy she remembers, but a grown man who seems interested in what’s beyond her model-appearance. Back in New York, Valentina can’t get him out of her mind, but she also can’t deny the fact that they’re separated by more than one country.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meridian Magazine Reviewed My Novel Today!

I was so excited to wake up this morning and see that Meridian Magazine had reviewed, Ring Around the Rosie, today!  And Jennie Hansen, the reviewer, had a lot of nice things to say.

Here's some of the highlights:

"Julie Coulter Bellon in Ring Around the Rosie proves once again she is a master at capturing her audience from the very first page . . . The characters in this book are easy to like and there is strong growth in both Ron and Sarah as they are forced to look at their failures, come face to face with death, and discover what really matters to them. Supporting characters are distinct individuals, showing both positive and negative qualities. The concept of family plays a strong role in this story as does the destructive urge for revenge.

Unlike most suspense novels, the most suspenseful portion of Ring Around the Rosie is the first two thirds of the book. The rest of the book is exciting and wraps up the story nicely, but doesn't have quite the edge-of-your-seat quality the first part has. It's kind of like the nursery rhyme, "ring around the Rosie" until we're dizzy then "we all fall down", and nobody knows where we'll land. Suspense readers as well as anyone who just enjoys an absorbing story will enjoy this one."

Isn't that awesome? I loved this review!  Totally made my day. I was so glad that she saw the family theme and the growth in my characters. It really validated what I'd tried to highlight in that book without being too obvious, you know?  Anyway, I am doing a happy dance today. Come dance with me!

You can go here to read the entire review.  Or you can see the list of books that Jennie recommends (and I'm on there, too! Yay!)  Click here for Jennie's list.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Weird Vacation Memories

I haven't been able to write this week with being on vacation.  If you didn't hear, however, we had an interesting experience while in Canada. I know this will be a fun family memory someday, but while we're trying to replace everything, all I can do is scratch my head and wonder.

On our second to last day in Canada, the other car in our caravan was broken into and the thief stole all the nickels in the cup holder but left the dimes, then they went through the entire car and stole all the mints that were in it.  They also took a 72 hr. kit, some purple sheets, an old iPod, a ring full of keys, a hair straightener, women's sunglasses, and a backpack.

My kids all had their own theories---one son thought that maybe the thief took the nickels to fight off a zombie attack because dimes wouldn't do much good in a slingshot (I had no idea I needed to stock up on nickels in case of a zombie attack!) Another son thought that perhaps the thief was making a Barney costume with the purple sheets and needed the other items for props in their Barney production. Another theory was that the thief was a hobo who had terrible breath and really liked 72 hr. kit food. (Maybe the thief needed the mints for after they ate the 72 hr. kit food?)

Regardless, we were very grateful that the thief threw my daughter's journal and scriptures out of the backpack before they stole it. Those items are priceless. (But the thief probably could have used the scriptures themselves for reading material. Just sayin')

Ahhh, family vacation memories!

Have you ever had something like this happen to you?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meet My Character Blog Tour

I was tagged in the Meet My Character blog tour by Debra Erfert, author of the fantastic, Relative Evil!(If you haven't picked that one up, yet, you should!)

Here's the six questions I was asked to answer about my new novel, Ring Around the Rosie.

Where does your story take place?

The story starts out in Hartford, Connecticut, where the Hostage Negotiation team is based.  It does move to New York and Boston, however, as the story progresses.

What is the name of your character? Is he/she historical or fictional?

Captain Ron Reed is definitely a fictional character, but there is a funny story about his name.  When I was writing All Fall Down, I couldn't figure out a name for the Captain so I used my brother-in-law's name as a placeholder and then ended up leaving it in.  At the time I didn't think it would be a series and that I'd be writing a story about him, but here we are! Thankfully, my brother-in-law is a good sport.

What should we know about him?

Ron Reed is dedicated to his job.  He's seen a lot of the seamy side of life with his job, but he still has a positive outlook on life. He's experienced loss in his personal life, but still believes in love.  He's a good person put in an impossible situation.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?

Well, a man from the Captain's past shows up and holds him hostage, along with his entire team and his ex-wife.  All he wants is revenge and so he forces Ron to bargain for the life of everyone he cares about. It's definitely emotional and frustrating for everyone involved.

What is the personal goal of the character?

To save those he loves and stop the attacks from going any further.

When can we expect the book to be published?

RING AROUND THE ROSIE was released on July 25th and can be purchased through Amazon HEREand from and for your Barnes & Noble Nook HERE

I tag JORDAN McCOLLUM the author of I, Spy. If you haven't picked up her books, you should!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Book Review: Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer in New York

Today's review is of the Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer in New York.

I really enjoyed the majority of the stories in this book. They were all set in New York and you could really feel the setting in most of them. I liked that it wasn't "touristy" and the characters all felt realistic. The stories were romantic and left me wanting more! There was only one that felt less like a novella and more like an unfinished story, but it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the anthology.

Janette Rallison's novella, Job Hazards, made me laugh as an undercover officer, posing as a prostitute meets up with her high school boyfriend who wants to help her out of that life and get her away from her pimp. There were some really funny situations and I enjoyed these characters.

Heather Moore's novella was so romantic and sweet. I loved the hardships these two people had been through to get to this point in their lives and the sweetness they found with each other.

Luisa Perkin's Dulce de Leche was a surprise that really kept me captivated. Her characters had a depth to them that isn't usually seen in a novella or as well-developed. Really well done.

Sarah Eden never disappoints with the strong emotions she can bring out in her readers through her characters. Hers was an unforgettable story that really made you stop and think and maybe sigh a few times and really root for these two!

Annette Lyon's novella was one of redemption and showcased finding your dream again. The chemistry with the two main characters was well done and kept me glued to the page. I loved all the different places on her final list and how she saw things through new eyes when she was with Mark.

Lisa Mangum's contribution was sweet and charming and some of the scenes with the "wordsmith" made me smile as Ms. Mangum knows the publishing world/writing world well. Very true-to-life and fun to read!

This is a stellar addition to all the others in the Timeless Romance Anthologies and one I highly recommend! If you are interested in this novel click buy now below!

Buy Now!

Here's the back copy"

Amazon #1 Bestselling series in *New Release* for Clean Romance

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Summer in New York. Readers will love this collection of six contemporary romance novellas, all set in renowned New York City with one thing in common: Romance.

In USA Today bestselling author Janette Rallison’s delightful novella, JOB HAZARDS, Lydia Robinson is posing as a prostitute. Undercover of course. Lydia’s job as a police officer hasn’t reeled in her prince charming yet. That is, until Harrison Aldridge, old high school flame, pulls up to the corner to rescue the fallen damsel. Lydia can’t exactly give Harrison the truth without blowing her cover, and it takes a series of mishaps and another whole set of misunderstandings before Lydia will even consider letting Harrison back into her life.

In Heather B. Moore’s enchanting novella, A TASTE OF SUN, Winona Grant embarks on a summer-long visit to NYC to house-sit for her great-aunt after a nasty break-up with her boyfriend Paul. But when her aunt commissions neighbor Steve Monti to tour Winona around, they strike a deal. Winona has too many deadlines to play tourist, and Steve is looking for a distraction from his looming gallery opening. So Steve goes on the tours by himself, and Winona reports back to her aunt as if she’d gone too. The longer this happens, the more Winona wants to change her mind. Seeing the city with Steve might be the perfect solution to forgetting about Paul.

In Luisa Perkins’s sweet romance novella, DULCE DE LECHE, Marisol is desperate for another nanny job after being unfairly fired from her previous position. She has only two more semesters of college, but she’s too proud to ask her wealthy parents for financial help. When her potential new employer, a single father working long hours as an anesthesiologist, decides she’s too young and pretty to hire, she practically begs him for the job. Darius finally agrees, and as he watches her work miracles with his Asperger’s son, he realizes there is much more to Marisol than he first believed.

In TAKE A CHANCE, a captivating story by Sarah M. Eden, Miguel Santos has a stopover in New York. When the announcement of delayed flights comes over the PA system, Miguel is looking at spending several hours at the airport. Determined to get comfortable for the long wait, he’s surprised when he spies a familiar face amongst the stranded passengers: Jane Schoonenburg, the last person he expected to see. Three months have passed since he asked Jane to marry him—three months of misery. And now he knows that he must talk to her, if only to find out why she broke his heart.

Annette Lyon’s entrancing novella, FIRSTS AND LASTS, begins with Dani’s last week in New York. She’s failed in her dreams to catch a break as an actress and is now ready to return home and dust herself off. As she visits the places on her final to-see list, she meets Mark, another New York City transplant with big dreams. Except Mark hasn’t given up on his. As they spend the day together, Dani realizes that even though she hasn’t hit the “big time” she might be living her dream after all. Only problem: she has a one-way ticket back home.

In Lisa Mangum’s whimsically titled story: &, Lucy is riding a wave of success at having found a bestselling novel in the slush pile at an exclusive New York publishing house. If only her personal life was storybook perfect as well. Her relationship with Devon is on the rocks, and even though she's been put in charge of the house while her boss is gone on business, Lucy isn't sure she's up to the task. It will take a chance encounter with a handsome wordsmith to help Lucy claim the courage that has always been a part of her heart.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Freebie: Key of Kilenya

Today's Friday Freebie is Key of Kilenya, by Andrea Pearson. It's a YA fantasy, the first book in the series, and while it's not my cup of tea, I think my boys might like it. And it's free!

Here's the back copy:

One Teenage Boy
Two Magical Keys
Endless Worlds to Save

Two monstrous wolves drive fourteen-year-old Jacob Clark down a path to a different world near his small-town home. The inhabitants of this new world are peculiar, and he is surprised to learn that they know everything about him. Even the evil, immortal Lorkon, who stole the Key of Kilenya. They are jealous of Jacob and wish to control powers he doesn't know he possesses.

If this sounds like something you'd like, click here to download your free Kindle copy!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Castle Season 7 Spoilers!

You all know I'm a huge Castle fan and we've been waiting all summer to see what happened to Rick when he was in a car crash on his wedding day.  The last thing we see is Kate in her wedding dress looking at a smoking car in a ditch.  Poor Kate.

But some new spoilers are starting to leak out and they make me SO EXCITED for the new season to start! I'm going to tell you some of them here, and if you don't want to read them, do not read on.  (Although, there's no big reveals or anything, so I think you're fine. But it's up to you.)

It has been reported that the new season opens up right where the last episode left off.  There's no time jump.

Kate Beckett will be investigating exactly what happened to Castle, but it won't take the whole season.

Kate and Rick will not be torn apart.  Their relationship will be stronger than ever.

They're going to be exploring more of Castle's character this season.  Why is he interested in murder? Why does he do what he does?

All of that sounds good to me!  The season premiere will be September 29th.  I know my phone will be on silent and the lights off so no one comes knocking on my door.  What about you? Are you excited for the new Castle season to start?

(I read the spoilers here, and here if you want to go read them yourself.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Word Count Wednesday

I'm making slow but sure progress on my novella.  I'm doing a bit of research this week on my settings and a few government jobs.  Is that enough of a teaser?

I have to say I do love research. I learn so many new things!  Sometimes it's hard to pull back and get to writing.  It's like that Lay's commercial where it says "you can't eat just one."  My thing is, you can't just research one thing! You've got to get all those details completely documented and follow where the next trail leads.  So, I'm trying to be more careful of my writing/research balance.

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Books Made Into Movies---Yay or Nay?

There are a lot of books being made into movies this year.  One of my fellow authors and friends, James Dashner, has his novel The Maze Runner, coming out as a movie really soon. And it looks really good! Here's the trailer:

Doesn't it look awesome! I'm excited to see it.

There are several other books being brought to the big screen this year, like The Giver.  That is such a classic book and I wondered if it would ruin it to be made into a movie. Hollywood sometimes has a way of ruining a book for me.  (Yes, I loved the Twilight books, but HATED the movies.  Don't judge me.)  For The Giver, however, Lois Lowry gave an interview about how involved she was with the movie, even though they weren't obligated to include her at all.  That made me feel a lot better about it.  And she seems like an awesome person.  You can read that interview here  I liked what she said about how she felt about the book and it being made into a movie after all this time.

That got me thinking about my own books.  How would I feel having them made into movies?  Who would be cast as my characters?  (Of course I have a Pinterest board of who would be my dream cast.  Go visit it and tell me what you think of my choices!  Click here for the link.)

The reality is, though, these characters live in my imagination and they are part of me.  I love creating them, their back stories, their struggles and triumphs.  And whether a movie is ever made or not, they will live inside their pages and in my mind.

If they ever were made into movies, though? I hope I would be consulted as they brought my people to life. Just so it didn't turn out like Twilight did onscreen.  *shudder*

What do you think about favorite books being made into movies? Yay or nay?

Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: Relative Evil

Relative Evil is a book that has it all---a compelling story, a can't-put-down plot, with just enough romance to make you sigh.  

Claire Abney is a novelist, yet her writing career doesn't support her so she has to have a day job.  I loved how real Claire's writing life was. It made me laugh out loud in some places!  Claire has a loving family, that is, until her father introduces his children to his new wife---a woman that is much too young for her father and someone Claire doesn't like from the start.  That feeling gets stronger when her father begins to have strange accidents and his new wife seems to love the attention she gets when she's taking care of her suddenly ailing husband.

Claire begins to research Munchausen syndrome which gives her an idea for a book.  She doesn't want her family to know what she suspects, however, so she uses a male pen name and a front man to go to all the book signings.  Everything would have been fine, no one ever the wiser, until the book's success brings attention to Claire and the handsome front man---her editor, Max.  I loved Max and how real he seemed.  He had ghosts from his past he was trying to overcome, and yet he was still sensitive to Claire, her career, and the bind she's in with her family.  He also escapes some really dangerous situations and was the type of hero every girl wants to fall in love with.

Riding the wave of success, Claire's life takes a sharp turn when her father unexpectedly dies and Claire suspects her stepmother of killing him.  She starts her own investigation, finally accepting some help from Max, but soon finds herself in danger of being killed herself.  The twists and turns of the plot were so intriguing and Ms. Erfert does a great job of keeping the tension high.  

I stayed up very late to finish the book and I was not disappointed. Loved the ending, loved the book, and I will be anxiously awaiting Ms. Erfert's next novel!

Here's the back copy:

Inspired by her father and his pretty young wife, novelist Claire Abney allows her imagination to run wild and pens a best-selling thriller. However, as Glen Abney suffers multiple freak accidents, she wonders exactly where the prose stops and reality begins.

Claire screens her family from the prying eyes of success with a masculine pen name and her handsome editor, her shill for photo ops and book signings. But her father’s unexpected death, and bungled attempts on her own life, force her to admit the strategy may have backfired. Now, with the help of her brother and Max, her dreamy frontman, she must separate truth from fiction. Before life imitating art becomes deadly.

If you'd like to purchase a Kindle copy for $4.99, click the buy now link below.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Nearly Free Friday--Variant

Today's book is an awesome YA by Robison Wells called Variant, (the first book in a series).  It's only $1.99 on Kindle and looks really good!  Here's the back copy:

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

If this looks like something you'd like to read, you can download it at the link below!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Authors Against Plagiarism

Writers pour their heart and soul into their writing. Anyone who has ever written a book or even attempted to write a book knows that it isn't easy.  The characters I create are from my imagination, research, blood, sweat, and tears as it were.  So, the thought of someone else taking my work and slapping their name on it as the author is abhorrent to me.  Yet that is exactly what happened to Rachel Ann Nunes.

Rachel wrote a Christian romance back in 1998, called Love to the Highest Bidder.  Last year, she digitized it and released it as A Bid for Love. Then, last weekend, a reviewer contacted her to say that she had read an ARC called The Auction Deal that was exactly like Rachel's book, A Bid for Love, except that strong language and sex scenes had been added.  Rachel tried to look into the situation, to see if the plagiarism concerns were warranted, and sadly started to unravel a string of lies and deceit like no other.  It truly has been stranger than fiction to watch this unfold as the plagiarist, once caught, tried desperately to hide what she'd done.

Thankfully, a reviewer came forward with proof and laid out screenshots of Rachel's book and the plagiarized version and Rachel can now move forward with legal action.  She is standing up for writers' rights and we need that in today's day and age when it seems easy to copy and paste.  I think the writing and reading community needs to really band together when plagiarists are found to shine a bright light on these people and say "We will not accept this. We will not support you." The only way to do that, it seems, is to share stories like this and make sure no one supports/buys/reviews any work that has been plagiarized. Writers work too hard to have their original stories stolen.

If you want to read the entire bizarre story, Rachel Nunes posted a blog about her ordeal. You can click here to read it.  

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Word Count Wednesday And A Free Book!

I just wanted to give you all a heads up because one of my favorite authors, Heather Moore, has her historical romance, Heart of the Ocean, for FREE on Kindle today!  Here's the back copy:

A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost . . . a handsome stranger . . . What more could Eliza Robinson want? Except for maybe her life.

In Heather B. Moore's enthralling 1840s historical romance, Heart of the Ocean, Eliza Robinson has turned down the very pretentious Mr. Thomas Beesley's marriage proposal. As a business partner of Eliza's father, Thomas quickly discredits the family and brings disgrace to the Robinson name.

While her father scrambles to restore his good name in New York City, Eliza flees to the remote Puritan town of Maybrook to stay with her Aunt Maeve. Maybrook is the last existing Puritan town, having survived against centuries of outside influence. Although relieved to be away from all- things-male and unforgiving gossip columns, odd things start to happen to Eliza, and she is plagued by a ghostly voice. Her aunt's explanation? That Eliza is being haunted by a woman who died of a broken heart twenty years ago.

After Aunt Maeve is tragically killed, Eliza's life is put in danger as she tries to uncover the mystery of her aunt's death. She encounters Jonathan Porter in Maybrook, whose presence in the town seems suspicious, yet she finds herself drawn to him. When she discovers that Jonathan's dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt's murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

Sound interesting? Click the title below to download your free copy!

One of my other favorite historical romance authors is Sarah Eden and her book, As You Are, is only $1.99 on Kindle.  Here's the back copy:  

A horse breeder by trade, Corbin Jonquil is more at home in the stables than in the ballroom of his sprawling estate. Corbin is the quietest of the Jonquil brothers and has always faded into the background, contentedly unnoticed. When a mysterious young widow, Mrs. Clara Bentford, moves into the neighborhood, however, Corbin quickly comes to realize that being noticed has its advantages. But how to catch the eye of the lady? According to his brothers, Corbin need only make a few simple changes to transform himself into the object of any woman’s desire—dubious advice, indeed. Following a series of misadventures, Corbin and Clara slowly lower the facades behind which they’ve been hiding, leaving Corbin shocked by the horrors that haunt the woman he’s coming to care for so ardently. When the menace of Clara’s past threatens to tear them apart and tensions mount, will the couple have the courage to fight for the promise of forever?

If this sounds like something you'd like, click the title below to download your copy!

All right, I'm excited about Word Count Wednesday today because I dusted off my novella I started last year and worked on it!  Only about 500 words, but still, it's progress! Woohoo! I'm getting excited about this one again.  I'd love to finish it before the year is over.  We'll see I guess. I need you guys to keep me accountable!

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Raising A Reader Who Loves the Library

photo credit: Radarsmum67 via photopin cc

I had something happen today that I will be writing down in my journal because I don't want to forget it.

I was sitting on the couch with my two youngest children.  We were reading their library books one more time before we returned them to the library.  We were all snuggled together and really enjoying the stories. When we were done, my little ones clutched their books to them and we got in the car.  Right then, their father came home and he said he would take them to the library to return the books so I could have a little window of time to relax without the kids. (I know, he's a total keeper.)

A little while later, I heard the garage door opening, signalling their return.  I was lying on the couch when the door flew open and my little three-year-old burst in, crying.  "I couldn't get a new library book because Daddy didn't have his card," he sobbed.  "And I didn't even get to go in."

"It's okay," I told him.  "We can go look for a new book in your bookcase." I thought that would console him since the bookshelves in his room are overflowing, so the chances of us coming across a new book he hasn't read yet are really good.

"Noooo," he wailed. "I want a library book. From the library."

Now, some of you are probably wondering why I would want to write about a mini-meltdown over a library book.  But, to me, that means I am raising a child who values the library.  I love taking my children there, to touch the books, to feel the ambiance of knowledge, and the experience of me holding them close (while they're small) while they read. I want them to associate reading with enjoyment and love.  Too often, I think we forget about this amazing resource we have in our libraries and instead fill our children with something other than books.  Our world is filled with amazing things we can access from our own homes---movies, internet, TV shows, even electronic books and websites for kids, but I love the experience of a library and want that for my children.  I want them to love all the good things about the library.

And today, with this little exchange between me and my preschooler, I know I'm on the right path.

Do you go to the library?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review: Trouble at the Red Pueblo

Today's book is a Spider Latham mystery by Liz Adair called, Trouble at the Red Pueblo.  I first read Liz Adair's books years ago and was creeped out by Cold River($2.99 on Amazon), The Mist of Quarry Harbor ($10. 49 on Amazon) and The Lodger: A Spider Latham Mystery  (in a good mystery way) that I never really forgot her plot lines.  They were that memorable.

The Trouble at Red Pueblo has all the things that set Liz Adair's books apart---great setting, memorable characters and a twisty mystery that will keep you turning pages to see how it all turns out.  Trouble at Red Pueblo is set near the Utah/Arizona border with the beautiful red rocks and exquisite mesas.  Coincidentally, on my trip to Arizona a few weeks back I noticed a large banner proclaiming that Ms. Adair's book launch would be there the next week. I was sorry to have missed it!

This book features Spider doing a favor for a friend and looking into some trouble at a museum.  Spider agrees to look into it, and him and his wife Laurie head up to the Red Pueblo.  When they get there they find a real mess on their hand. The museum is going under, but it has a lot of help---with frivolous lawsuits and claims against a cache the museum has, not to mention murder!  Spider and Laurie spend a lot of time trying to unravel it all and in so doing we come across a lot of great secondary characters. I loved Karam best I think, but all of the B cast had memorable traits.

The thing that makes this book stand out, however, is definitely the setting.  So well-described, it's as if you are there.  And the twists this book takes bumped it up from an afternoon read to an every=second-I-get-I'm-trying-to-finish this read.

So, if you're looking for a fun mystery that will keep you guessing, Trouble at the Red Pueblo is the book for you!  If this looks like a book you're interested in, you can click the title below and download it from Kindle for $4.99.

Trouble at the Red Pueblo (A Spider Latham Mystery Book 4)

 Here's the back copy:

When Deputy Sheriff turned private investigator Spider Latham is sent to help the Red Pueblo Museum, he doesn’t suspect it will cause a rift between his wife, Laurie, and himself.

Museum Director Martin Taylor is desperate, and his son Matt is angry. Some unknown person is bent on destroying the museum financially and is about to succeed. Things turn violent. It ends with someone’s skull bashed in with an Anasazi ax, and everyone has motive for the murder.

Can Spider untangle the web of secrecy and lies surrounding the museum before the Taylors lose it all? And in the process, can he save his own marriage?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Freebie Friday--With a Kiss (Twisted Tales Book 1)

Today's Friday freebie is a fun YA that looks like a hilarious afternoon read. I already downloaded mine!  If it sounds like a book you might enjoy click the title below to download your free Kindle copy!

With a Kiss (Twisted Tales Book 1)

Here is the back copy:

Faerytales. They're real . . . they just haven't happened yet.

Halley Starr finds out the truth when she loses her heart with a curse. Now she has to get it back from that dirty faery who stole it from her, but first, she must fight against the seven rules of the faery kingdom that
mortals must never break

No trespassing sacred faery territory

Don’t ever say thank you

Using a faery’s given name is a no-no

Resist all faery music

Never break a promise to a faery

Reject all faery food

And never, never fall in love with a faery

I also noticed this author has a new book out called Jane and Austen that looks cute and fun. I might check that one out, too.  Just look at the back copy!

[Jane and Austen: a Sweet Romance]

Meet Jane and Austen. First there's Jane—an impractical, starry-eyed wedding planner; if love can’t match what she’s read in a book, she doesn’t want it. And then there’s Austen—a pragmatic, logical-to-a-fault financial consultant; even if he were interested in someone, he wouldn’t know.

The two have one thing in common: they can’t leave each other alone. Jane believes that if Austen could just experience a fairy tale romance, he would secretly love it. And Austen’s pretty sure that if one of Jane’s beloved heroes escaped from the pages of her dog-eared novels, she’d run and hide.

Both are about to be proven right.

When the rivals are called on to help a friend plan the biggest wedding of the year, an entire resort full of colorful wedding guests descends upon them—many sharing uncanny similarities to characters in a Jane Austen novel. It doesn’t take long before Jane gets everything she thinks she wants. After all, too much of a good thing can’t be all that bad, right?

But when Jane’s life turns upside down, the only one she can turn to is Austen; though he’s got his own troubles of the heart…and she's afraid that he's enjoying them more than he should.

If this one looks good to you, you can get it for $3.99 on Kindle. Click the title below to buy!