Tag Archives: adult fiction

Book Review: Lust, Money & Murder – by Mike Wells

Lust, Money & MurderBook: Lust, Money & Murder: Book 1
Author: Mike Wells
Publisher: Mike Wells
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Date: January 18, 2014
Genre: thriller, suspense
Pages: 107 
Price: Under $3.00, digital;  may still be free
My rating: a good start to a three-part book
 
 

Lust, Money & Murder is not a title I would ordinarily select, but the author requested reviews in exchange for the ARC.

Lust, Money & Murder is really a teaser. It is part one of three parts that make up a complete book; therefore, this volume is short and didn’t take long to read.

The author, Mike Wells, grabs the reader’s attention in the prologue, but then there is no connection with the rest of the story; perhaps that comes later. Some things are somewhat contradictory, such as this: Elaine looked down at it, unable to move. She abruptly rose. Later in the story, the man Elaine is falling for is somewhat cool toward her but then …. well, that changes abruptly, too.

Lust, Money & Murder takes the reader through Elaine’s life from a little girl doted on by her father, to a coming-of-age young woman. She becomes super focused, though, on her libido, and does some crazy things for a crazier reason. Later, she applies herself to her future goal and becomes highly regarded in her chosen field – chosen for the purpose of revenge – through which she meets the rather secretive man she thinks she can truly love.

Even though there are sections that could have been delved into more to extend the read, and the story could have benefited from more editing and development, Lust, Money & Murder is a good start. The groaner is the last line, which ended up being a cliffhanger mid-scene. (If you are tempted to get part one, please don’t spoil it for yourself by reading the end first!) The continuation is in book two, and since there are three parts it is likely the same thing happens at the end of book two as a lead-in to book three. Apparently, together they make one complete novel.

If you enjoy reading suspense, thrillers, espionage, you may enjoy Lust, Money & Murder, book 1, by Mike Wells, and want to purchase books 2 and 3 to continue the story.

You can find Lust, Money & Murder, book 1 listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

 
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Book Review: The Tipping Point – by Walter Danley

The Tipping Point. Walter DanleyBook: The Tipping Point (A Wainwright Mystery)
Author: Walter Danley
Publisher: Marble Arch Communications
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Date: 1st edition December 9, 2013, 2nd edition May 15, 2014
Genre: mystery thriller; crime mystery
Pages: 354
Price: $13.78 but can be found for much less
My Rating: a crime mystery full of twists and intrigue to keep the reader hooked
 
 

* Before the book was in its finished state, I received the ARC of the second edition of The Tipping Point to review; therefore, my comments are based on the unpolished product. *

Debut novel, The Tipping Point by Walter Danley, begins with murder and continues from there with corporate greed, intrigue, conspiracy, suspense, and more. There are many questions that come up which the reader will want answered before reaching the last page. Even though there were a few contradictions in the story, sidetracks and extra information that drew the reader away from the main story, and times when it was hard to follow who was speaking, the main thread carried through. It was set in the 1970’s, so the reader may find some subtle sexism that seems to be accepted by the characters.

Instead of my dwelling on the problems with the editing of this story, and inconsistencies which I hope have been corrected in the final edits, I would suggest – if you enjoy a novel such as I described in the first sentence of the above paragraph – you give this book, The Tipping Point, a try. 

You will meet Wainwright, who, after one of his partners is murdered, tries to uncover the corrupt undercurrent he discovers that prevails in their multimillion-dollar company. There are more deaths, threats, fraudulent dealings, love affairs, an illusive hit-man, and many well-developed characters to follow through it all.

The Tipping Point is not a straightforward tale, but one that is tangled and interesting to read. It is fast-paced where needed, and dramatic. Even with my habit of noticing flaws as I read, this was a story I wanted to follow to the end. I’m usually a good guesser at ‘whodunit’, but this one kept me guessing as to whom was behind the murders and conspiracy.

Readers will be satisfied with the ending Walter Danley wrote to The Tipping Point. Because of his fans’ requests, the author is working on a sequel. 

Visit Walter Danley’s website to view the trailer for The Tipping Point.

You can find The Tipping Point listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

 

Interview with Carol White & Book Giveaway

 

It’s time for an author interview!

I’m happy to introduce Carol White, author of the adult fiction novel From One Place to Another. If you missed my October 13 review of her book you can read it here

 

Carol, welcome to my blog! Of course, you are no stranger here; I’m pleased to know you are a reader of my blog. Also, you won one of the books I offered here. 🙂
Would you please begin by telling us a little about yourself?

 

Thanks so much for this interview, and for your in-depth review of my latest book, “From One Place to Another.” I began to read your blog when I saw that Delia Ephron was your guest, and I ended up winning “The Lion is In.” Since then, I’ve been a steady follower. I live in beautiful Delray Beach, Florida and I’ve been writing fiction, plays, poetry and articles for about 12 years. I also do a lot of volunteer work in the community, which keeps me grounded.

When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you?

 

In school I was always considered a good creative writer, and have also been interested in theatre since junior high. I didn’t take my writing abilities seriously until I enrolled in a 12 week workshop based on “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, a wonderful jumpstart to discovering your creativity. Anna Lisa Curtis was the leader and I have her to thank for helping me develop my career.

 

I’ve considered looking into The Artist’s Way, perhaps I should.  As a writer, do you do much reading? Who were/are your favourite authors or books?

 

I read all the time and usually have two books going at once, one on my Kindle and the other in print. I enjoy contemporary fiction, essays and some biographies. Authors I like? Well, Jonathan Tropper comes to mind because I just finished his latest book. Susan Isaacs, ALL of the Ephron sisters, Jennifer Weiner, John Grisham and Emily Giffin are some of my favorites, and for essays, David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs, Calvin Trillin and the late, great Nora Ephron.

 

Have you ever felt like giving up? When did you finally believe in yourself so you can say “I am a writer”?

 

After completing The Artist’s Way course, I called myself a writer. I do feel like giving up at times because the publishing field has gotten so competitive, but I have enough fans who insist that I keep writing. Even a small base can keep you motivated.

 

Do you have a motto or Bible verse or quote that you try to live by and that helps to keep you going?

This may sound insignificant, but I relate to the song, “So You Had a Bad Day.” That kind of keeps things in perspective and reminds me to count my blessings! I also use the sticky note program on my laptop to keep words of encouragement in plain sight “Be healthy, exercise, give thanks, etc.” I pop those notes up on the screen several times a day and add more if I feel something is lacking.

 

I believe if something is useful it is not insignificant, and those pc sticky notes are wonderful things.  🙂  What do you remember about your very first time to be published, how did that happen?

I remember it exactly. I had written a children’s story, The Dinosaur’s Computer Shop and entered it into a contest given by a St. Louis publication, which is now out of print. I won first prize and received a check for $100.00. The story was published on page one of their paper. It was the best $100.00 ever.

What great encouragement that must have been! Do you mind mentioning some of what you have written or contributed to thus far? Of what you have had published what means the most to you? Of those, what do or did you most enjoy writing?

I’ve had a lot of short fiction published by The East Hampton Star Newspaper and the now defunct Writers Journal, several articles in The Sun Sentinel Newspaper, and columns in various magazines and newsletters such as Insight for Playwrights, Working Writers and The Florida Writer. Two of my plays have won major awards and that was pretty exciting. I think whatever project I’m working on becomes my favorite, but seeing my first novel, “Hidden Choices,” in print was exhilarating.  

What method do you use to keep track of your writing ideas?

I keep files in my computer of titles I like, i.e., good phrases for writing, and notes for new stories. I’ve also started to use index cards when plotting out a novel, which helps keep my characters straight. There are times I can’t see my dining room table because it’s covered with cards! 

What process do you go through when writing and perfecting your work?

Once I get going, I pretty much work 8-10 hours a day. When the first draft is finished, I start in with rewriting. The process can take several months. Before I send anything to my editor, I give it to my reader who happens to be my best friend and target audience. She gets back to me with notes, sometimes brutal, but always honest and her input has been invaluable.

What a blessing to have a friend like that! What inspired you to write From One Place to Another?

The novel started as two short stories I wrote years ago when I lived in a country club in Boca Raton. I also worked for a caterer at that time, so was able to create the story using true-to-life experiences, of course greatly exaggerated. 

It’s good to know it is greatly exaggerated. 🙂 How long did it take you to write From One Place to Another? Did you have to do any research? And how did you come up with that title?

 

Because I already knew the beginning and end of the book, I just had to fill in the middle and add more characters. Once I got going it didn’t take more than a couple of months to put it together as a novel. I did research on some of the local places I mention in the book in southeast Florida, and called others in North Carolina for information. I liked the cadence of the title, and it also represents the geographic and personal journey of the protagonist.

 

Did you write a little of yourself into any of the characters? Do you have a favourite?

There is a lot of food mentioned in the book. I’ve always had a huge interest in cooking and enjoy entertaining in my home, but similarities to the protagonist, Dina Marshall, stop there. I love Gabriela as a character because she is the antagonist and adds a good dose of spice to the book…the villain you love to hate! 
 
Why did you decide to include some crude language? Was it simply a natural fit with the characters?

Much of today’s contemporary fiction includes cursing. I felt I kept mine to a minimum, but in some places it was absolutely necessary. When Dina’s husband leaves her (and you find that out on page one so no spoiler alert needed) she indeed uses some foul language when relating the story to her best friend. Because I speak aloud as I type, I actually become my characters, so if they’re angry – I’m angry…and if they curse, it’s because I believe it’s what they would do in that situation. 

How did/do you go about finding a publisher? an editor? Do you have an agent?

For my first book, I used a large print-on-demand company. They did a good job in certain areas, but fell down in others. My second book was published by Trimark Press, a hybrid company, where you pay for certain services, but receive a lot of personal attention. I was fortunate that they had a spectacular house editor, Penelope Love, and we worked very well together. I haven’t looked for an agent, but I may try once my next book is completed. I’d like to mention that my books are available in both print and ebooks on Amazon, etc. Readers may also order the book directly from me at a greatly reduced cost. 

Oh, very interesting.  How do you consistently write? Do you have writing goals? daily? weekly? monthly? long-range?

 

I work on something every week, but not daily. I go in spurts. I wish I could be more disciplined, but that only happens when I get the urge. 

What other interests do you have for a change from writing?

 

I belong to several writing organizations including the National League of American Pen Women and act as their Letters Chair, which means I do a lot of event planning for our writers. I am fortunate to have many friends in the area, so there’s never a loss of fun things to do. I belong to a book club, and attend a lot of local cultural events. I was the executive producer for a local theatre company for almost a decade, and am now getting back into that. 

You lead a busy and creative-inspiring life. Do you have another project in the works?

 

I have several! I’m working on two plays and two novels. One novel is a book of short stories, most of which have previously been published, and I really just have to put it together. The other is a mystery that takes place in Delray Beach, Florida. 

Finally, is being a writer/author all you had hoped or thought it would be? Do you have any advice for hopefuls?

 

To be a writer in today’s day and age, you must push yourself. Here is what has worked for me. Get known in your community and form relationships with libraries, book stores, etc. Submit articles to your local newspaper. Write a newsletter for your community. Enter contests from magazines or blogs to see if you get results. Contests are great because you become familiar with deadlines and word counts. If you write children’s stories, offer to read in libraries and after-school programs. Join writers groups and see if there is a critique group that suits your needs. Give workshops in an area you’re skilled in. Offer to read poetry in nursing homes and independent living communities. Join a book club. Go to book signings where you’ll meet authors and have the opportunity to ask questions. Writing is such a solitary career that we love to talk to people! READ as much as you write. Subscribe to a writer’s magazine to keep current, and read blogs such as yours!

Thank you, Carol, for a very interesting interview. You gave quite a list of suggestions there, great ideas – specifically that last tip. 😉

Now, my friends, as Carol mentioned, you can purchase her book through Amazon, or you can buy directly from her at a lower price. She can be found on Facebook: www.carolwhitefiction.com and on Twitter: https://twitter.com/polowhite 

Do you live in Canada or the USA and would like the chance to win a free copy of Carol White’s newest book – From One Place to Another? If so, please leave a comment here and tell us what you gleaned as helpful from this interview.  Tuesday, October 23, at about 7:oo PM EST, one name will be drawn from the basket, so get your comment in! Once the winner responds to my email the winner’s first name will be posted here on my blog and Carol will be notified so she can get a copy to that person. Sound good? 

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

PS: Leave a comment and remember to check your emails on Tuesday evening.

Reminder: Book Giveaway on August 12!

This is just a reminder in case you planned to add your name into the draw and haven’t done so yet.

Tomorrow, Sunday, August 12, the names of those who left comments on my last post will be put into a little basket, and at 6:00 PM EST one name will be drawn out. That person will be notified via email that he or she has won a copy of The Lion Is In, written by Delia Ephron. Once I receive a reply with your mailing address, I will contact Blue Rider Press who will mail a book to you.

At the time of my writing this post, you have less than 21 hours to enter the draw. If you want a chance to win a book, then get your name in by leaving a comment after reading my interview with Delia EphronThat’s all there is to it.  Oh, and you must live in either Canada or the USA to win. (Sorry, that’s the stipulation this time.)

You can also read my review of The Lion Is In.

I hope you win! I wish you all could.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Interview with Delia Ephron and book giveaway

It is with great pleasure – and more than a little excitement – that I bring to you my interview with renowned author, Delia Ephron. As you know, Ms. Ephron has applied her talent to journalism, essays, movies, novels, screenplays – to name some venues. I was thrilled to discover the author of The Lion Is In also co-wrote one of my all-time favourite movies, You’ve Got Mail.

If you haven’t already read my review of The Lion Is In, you can do so here.

Now to our interview —

Delia, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to my blog. Having just read and reviewed your new book, The Lion Is In, it is an honour to interview you. Thank you for graciously agreeing to this.

To begin, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you? 

My parents were screenwriters.  My mother wanted all four of her daughters to be writers and she got her wish.

What an accomplishment! Who were/are your favourite authors or books?

My favorites are from childhood.  Anne of Green Gables, the Betsy-Tacey books.  I read them again and again and again while eating chocolate chip cookies.

Books and chocolate chip cookies sound like a delicious combination to me! Regarding writing, have you ever felt like giving up? When did you finally believe in yourself so you can say “I am a writer”?

Well, it’s a process.  You have to develop writer muscles.  This just means really good work habits.  And then it’s exciting when you start to really have technique.  But there are always moments where you want to quit.  Being driven and brave is very important.

Good work habits, driven and brave, excellent advice. What do you remember about your very first time to be published, how did that happen? 

I think my first piece was about basketball.  I was living in Rhode Island and I wrote about Providence college basketball.  They had a great team.  Or maybe it was my crocheting book.  My first book was called The Adventurous Crocheter.  So either basketball or crocheting.

You have an impressive list of successes. Of all you have had published thus far, what means the most to you? What do or did you most enjoy writing? 

I love novels the most.  I love story telling and just being able to write things exactly the way I want.  Movies are collaborations, so that is much more complicated. No control.  I love control.

Freedom to write, control to write the way you want. Sounds good to me. 🙂 How did you get into writing for the movies?

I married a screenwriter and he taught me how to do it.  Also I had written a funny book called Teenage Romance, and there was interest in it for a television movie, and the network let me write it.

That must have been exciting. What method do you use to keep track of your writing ideas?

Idea files in the computer.

What process do you go through when writing and perfecting your work?

Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.  And print it out and then rewrite it, retyping the whole thing.  Don’t just edit on the computer.

That is a lot of work! It’s certainly a commitment and I can see that by doing it that way you’d get to thoroughly know your story and characters and what needs fine-tuning. This method obviously has had great results for you. 

What inspired you to write The Lion Is In?

I had a dream about three women and a lion.  I knew all about the women, their names, their relationship.  I knew they were all on the run and they were in a bar on a highway in North Carolina.  I knew the lion would change their lives, and when I woke up, I also knew it was my next novel.

Wow! I’m sure every writer would love to have worthwhile dreams like that! How long did it take you to write The Lion Is In? And how did you come up with that title? 

Two years.  When I woke up from the dream, I knew the title.

Did you write a little of yourself into any of the characters? Do you have a favourite?

I don’t have a favorite but I am in every character.  I don’t think it’s possible to write a character that isn’t in some way personal. 

Why did you decide to include some crude language and, shall I say, ‘delicate’ scenes? Was it simply a natural fit with the characters? 

Yes.  I don’t worry about that.  The important thing is, are the relationships real, do I care about these characters, do I want to know what happens.  Is it emotional? 

Good tips there for writers, especially when dealing with dialogue. I can vouch for it being emotional as the reader gets to know your characters. What other interests do you have for a change from writing? 

Cooking.  Baking especially.

Yummy chocolate chip cookies, perhaps? 🙂  Do you have another writing project in the works?

Yes, but it’s way too soon to talk about it.

I can certainly respect that. We now have something more to watch for from you. Finally, is being a writer/author all you had hoped or thought it would be? Do you have any advice for hopefuls? 

Being able to earn a living from your imagination is a great gift.   The important thing for all aspiring writers is believe in yourself, be driven and never give up.

“Be driven and never give up.” Thank you for this excellent advice, Delia, and thank you again for sharing with us a little about yourself and your creative gift. I wish you much continued success.

Now, my readers, I hope you enjoyed this interview. 🙂  I’m sure there are things you can take away from it that will benefit you. Would you like a chance to receive from Delia Ephron’s publisher, Blue Rider Press, a copy of The Lion Is In? If so, please leave a comment and on Sunday, August 12 at 6:00 PM EST one name will be drawn out of the basket. This time there is one stipulation: you must live in Canada or the US to receive the book. But, if you live in another country I still want to read your comment. (Please tell me from what country you are writing if outside Canada and USA.)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Book Review: The Lion Is In – by Delia Ephron

The Lion Is InBook: The Lion Is In
Author: Delia Ephron
Publisher: Blue Rider Press
Date: March 29, 2012  hardcover;
January 29, 2013  paperback
Genre: adult fiction
Pages: 304
Price: $24.95 hardcover; $14.99 paperback
My Rating: an enjoyable easy read that will inspire you, make you laugh, and leave you wanting more

 

I had the good fortune to win this book and decided to review it.

The story begins on a warm June day when two runaway women – Lana in a t-shirt and ripped jeans, Tracee in a wedding dress – suffer the inconvenience of a flat tire in rural North Carolina. Rita comes casually walking along in her Sunday best with no plan of where she is going, just somewhere, and after changing the flat Lana offers her a ride. What they don’t know is they have rescued Rita. The truth is, each of the women has her secrets and fears and issues. Each is trying to get away from everything. Each is searching for … something.

Renowned author, Delia Ephron, has created a scenario that, with humour, brings us into the lives of three women very different from one another, and the unique people they meet when they are unwillingly stuck in a dying town. And then there is Marcel, Marcel the lion, caged in a nearly down-and-out nightclub. It’s Marcel that eventually plays a key role in this whole situation.

Lana, Tracee, and Rita certainly have their calamities and their clashes, but their determination to work things out in their lives and help each other in the process keeps them from having complete individual meltdowns. They each have to find a way to deal with their problems and fears and to let themselves trust again. In the process of self-realization they have a profound effect on certain others in the town. Trouble doesn’t stay away, though, but you’ll have to read for yourselves to find out what happens.

The Lion Is In is a story of change, challenge, and facing the lions in one’s life. It is an easy, enjoyable read written in a casual style that keeps the reader wanting to know what’s coming next.

Now for the negatives –The ‘f’ word was used several times, but as the reader gets to know the characters, the outbursts of the one occasionally swearing works with the anger and frustration. It is not frequent and does not taint the story. Also, if you are uncomfortable with mild erotica then I would suggest you just skip over those few paragraphs – do NOT skip this book because of that.

FYI: In case you didn’t know, The Lion Is In author Delia Ephron also wrote You’ve Got Mail, which was made into the movie of the same name. One of my few all-time favourite movies, I might add! I watch my copy of it every once in a while.

By now it seems unnecessary to say I enjoyed this book, but I’ll say it: I enjoyed this book! The Lion Is In was amusing with realistic characters and laugh-out-loud situations. I just wish there were more of it. Perhaps this too will become a movie.

You can find The Lion Is In listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂