BOOK FEATURE: Natchez Nights by Eugenia Riley

Oops, wrong bedroom!

Hiding out in Natchez, Mississippi, Leigh Carter leads a tour of the antebellum mansion where she’s staying, only to crash in on a nearly naked hunk with bedroom eyes! Sexy L.A. attorney Peter Webster decides it's "finders, keepers" when it comes to lovely Leigh. But the reasons she is on the run could threaten their budding romance.

Please join me for a fun, romantic adventure as we watch Peter and Leigh dash down the exciting path to discovery . . . and love!

Book Feature: EMBRACE

How far you would go to save the people you love?

Anything can happen in a town where there are people who possess magical powers. Madison Riley will discover these powers exist. When her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil, Madison will need to embrace the Powers if she hopes to save her friends. 

Join me in experiencing the magic of Embrace.

Book Feature: EDEN, DAWN

“Not everyone dreams of greatness, some dream of one more day. Some want to reach for the stars and thrive; I just wanted to reach tomorrow alive” ~ Ristan

This tale charts the path of a shy young man who, wrestling with his own inner turmoil, discovers the truth about his mortal enemies. Faced with choices and their vexing consequences, he becomes a reluctant answer to mankind’s predicament on a hostile, alien planet. If our choices create our future, what does tomorrow hold for us?

Welcome to Zika, a beautiful but brutal planet. This is your invitation to a new adventure and a new hero.

Author Interview: AFN Clarke

Today we have the honor to feature an amazing author of an action story THE ORANGE MOON AFFAIR.

Let AFN Clarke to share with us his own personal story:

TBM: How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book?

AFN Clarke: I imagine the ideal reader of my thriller/suspense books to be someone who savours being immersed in a good story, a fast paced plot with twists and turns, layers of intrigue, contemporary themes, characters with depth, and imaginative and thought provoking content that keeps them guessing to the very last page and leaves them wanting more.

Anyone reading my satirical books would relish an outlandish story with larger-than-life characters and have a wicked and irreverent sense of humour. A reader of my literary works? Someone with a thoughtful, passionate nature interested in the nuances of human behaviour and how people deal with life when it throws them unexpected curve balls.

TBM: How was the writer inside of you born?

AFN Clarke: When I was young my family moved around a lot – we lived in exotic places like Hong Kong, India, Libya and Iran and I was exposed to many different cultures and ways of life. To me it was a great adventure, and so from the time I could read I sought out books that created that same sense of adventure, transporting me to another world even more enthralling than my own. I was a voracious reader, devouring all the classics as well as books by new and unknown authors. So it was natural I wanted to express myself using words to create new worlds, new ideas, new images, tastes, sounds and smells to bring my stories to life. But I didn’t become an “author” till I was in my late twenties. I served in the British Parachute Regiment, two tours of Northern Ireland that left me without most of my insides, trying to understand what the violence, conflict and damage to generations of people affected by such a war was all about. It was then I wrote my first book, a memoir called “Contact”, and the rest is history. It became a best seller and thrust me onto a path of writing that has taken me on many adventures since.

TBM: What genres do you work with and why are you attracted to these forms of writing?

AFN Clarke: I think the way I write is the way I live life – I delve into different genres, and use each genre to explore ideas from a different perspective. Literary fiction allows me to explore the more human, vulnerable side of life. With satire I can use my irreverent sense of humour to say things I could never get away with normally. But I am most attracted to the mystery/thriller/suspense genre in recent times as it allows me to create a sense of heightened excitement and expectation in my readers. I am fortunate to have such a rich background to draw on. I was an officer in Britain’s elite Parachute Regiment, fought terrorism, used weapons and advanced communication technology, have knowledge of the intelligence community, drove racecars, flew planes and helicopters, lived all over the world including places embroiled in controversy and revolution like Iran and Libya. Add to that my natural curiosity about everything, love of research, and excitement at being challenged to create a story that is more imaginative, thought provoking and multi layered than your typical “good versus evil, hero gets the girl” kind of thriller  - and you start to see what motivates me to sit down each day and let the words flow.

TBM: As a reader, what elements of a story do you love, or do you hate?

AFN Clarke: I love a story that enthralls me. That captures my imagination with an unusual plot, rich or quirky characters, unexpected themes, that makes me look at life through different eyes for a while, expanding my world, not making it smaller. I love writing that flows, that creates images, sights, sounds, smells, textures. Writing that’s evocative!

I don’t like books that are predictable, or characters that are shallow. I dislike books that go on forever with a simple story that is dragged out like molasses. And I don’t like books that are all “black” and “slit-your-wrists depressive” – life is more complex than that. If I want to be depressed, all I have to do is watch the news on TV. I don’t want to curl up with a book like that.

TBM: What inspired you to write “The Orange Moon Affair” and what do you hope your readers will take away from this book?

AFN Clarke: I was inspired to write “The Orange Moon Affair” and the Thomas Gunn thriller series by my own sense of adventure and experiences in life and the life of a great friend who, sadly, is no longer with us. Terry Forrestal was an outstanding human being with a background in Special Forces. His life, at times, read like a James Bond novel, but was far more complex than 007’s.

I think he would like Thomas Gunn, the central character. He’s former Special Forces, trained in assassination, covert operations and international espionage. He’s also a compassionate, caring, passionate lover of life who desperately wants to leave his old life behind him. So while I hope my readers can indulge themselves in a thrilling and intriguing page-turner, I also hope it provides a deeply enriching experience as they witness the very human inner turmoil of someone like Thomas. A trained killer with a conscience, with values, ethics, desires and dreams that are constantly being challenged.

I also hope they will gain a lot of food for thought, by the very real possibility of what takes place in this book, the seedy players of international intrigue, deceit and corruption that live in the darkest shadows of our lives and manipulate world affairs for their own ends, more than we’d like to think or hope for.  

TBM: How long did it take you to write this book and what did you do the day that you finished it?

AFN Clarke: This book took me about 3 months of full time writing to finish, then a month of editing, rewriting, editing, rewriting etc. It was a very intense period where I lived and breathed being every character in the book most of my waking hours and also when asleep. So when I finished, it was like the end of a marathon! I danced around the room with my wife, who was glad to have her husband back and not be living with Thomas Gunn each day, had a large glass of Single Malt Whisky, then sat and stared out the window for hours. I know it sounds strange, but I actually go through a low period after I finish each book. It’s like giving birth to a new being and the process takes its toll. This whole new world no longer has to be sustained and nurtured in my mind. So I feel kind of empty for a while, there’s more silence in my brain, which is a good thing. Until the creative ideas come roaring back and I start writing all over again. I give thanks for my extraordinary wife who is also my chief critic, editor and marketing diva. How she puts up with me, I will never know J

TBM: What would you like to say to your readers?

AFN Clarke: What I would like to say to my readers is that if they choose to read any of my books, my greatest wish for them is that they have an entertaining, thought provoking and truly enriching experience, so that when they close the last page they sit for a moment with a satisfied smile on their faces, and feel the time they spent reading was worth it. But more than anything, I simply encourage readers to keep reading. I am astonished at how many people in the world have never read a novel, when books are so easy to find with the explosion of ebooks and publishing in general. So I say, be adventurous. Explore new authors, new books, new genres. Some you will like, others you won’t, that’s fine! But there is so much richness, depth and pleasure to be found in the reading experience, so go for it and be excited by what you discover.

TBM: What’s your greatest strength as a writer?

AFN Clarke: I think my greatest strength is my ability to have a general idea of where I want to go with my stories but allowing them and the characters to write themselves.  Rather than forcing a fixed idea, my books and characters take on a life of their own taking me where they want to go as much as the other way around. It takes a leap of faith and great trust to do this and probably a little insanity. But I’ve never been able to outline a book on paper and then write to that – it doesn’t work for me even though it does for many other writers. When I write to a plan, that story doesn’t breathe and expand and contract the way life does.

TBM: Why should the reader read “The Orange Moon Affair”?

AFN Clarke: If you’re a bit like me  - and love the suspense and action of a good thriller where new twists and turns make you hold your breath, wondering where the next page will take you, and you also relish getting to know fascinating characters with real life challenges being played out on a world stage, as well as thrive on new insights into what might be happening behind-the-scenes in the world of international intrigue -  then I think you might just like this book. I’d be delighted if you’d join me for the ride, and let me know how you find it.


A story for lovers of dystopian fiction! Written by Gabrielle Arrowsmith, author of Concealed in the Shadows.

She will fight to free those captive to darkness.

Sydney faces unbelievable obstacles to gaining freedom for herself and her loved ones in this action-packed, intriguing second book in the YA dystopian Concealed in the Shadows series (book one is free on all ebook platforms).

I invite you to pick up the books that readers are finding impossible to put down!

Author Interview: Gary Starta

Today we feature Gary Starta, author of the exciting science fiction story, Blood Web. “Can Diggs stop this biological internet from taking more victims, becoming a tool for mass mind control and resist the lure of its blood web?”.
Let Gary tell us his own personal story as author:

TBM: How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book?

GS: My ideal reader would be very receptive to new ideas, especially the science fiction theories I propose, and also appreciate the hints of mix genre.

TBM:  How was the writer inside of you born?

GS: I started reading books – massively – during the summer break between second and third grade and won an award for taking out most books out of local library. At this same time, I had a great interest in newspapers and later became a journalist. It wasn’t until the last ten years that I tried creative writing.

TBM:  What genres do you work with and why are you attracted to these forms of writing?

GS: I write science fiction predominantly but readers will find mystery, romance, fantasy and paranormal suspense in my books as well particularly the Caitlin Diggs series beginning with the book Blood Web.

TBM:  As a reader, what elements of a story do you love, or do you hate?
 GS: I like to write outside the box so I appreciate stories that leave the reader with something unexpected not the ordinary Hollywood ending. That’s what I really appreciate when I read a book.

TBM:  What inspired you to write Blood Web and what do you hope your readers will take away from this book?

GS: I want readers to see the metaphysical side of life and that things such as crystals can affect us in ways we might consider to be paranormal or fantasy but actually can be attributed to real science. We are all energy beings and we all can be connected like an Internet.

TBM:  How long did it take you to write this book and what did you do the day that you finished it?

GS: It took about six months and I believe I treated myself to a nice dessert, which I kind of do anyways. Lol.

TBM:  What would you like to say to your readers? 

GS: I want to thank those who have supported me with some really great reviews this year and hope those who will discover my writing feel will the same.

TBM:  What makes Blood Web unique and what does the title mean?

GS: The plot of how a biological Internet could come into place is a theory coalescing from the ideas of several 19th century scientists.

TBM:  Lastly, a direct message to the readers, about why they should read Blood Web.

GS: I want to immerse readers in Caitlin Diggs’ world and hope they find the light in Caitlin even when she’s faced with her darkest moments – supernatural killers and crazed military men hell bent on ruling the world! But don’t worry, this FBI agent operates out of the box and she’ll find a way to save us all.

Author Interview: Anne Allen

It's time to present another great author, Anne Allen and her great book Dangerous Waters, a heart-warming contemporary romance

TBM: How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book?

AA: I imagine my ideal reader being someone interested in relationships – both romantic and familial –but also enjoying stories encompassing secrets and mysteries. My books are all set in Guernsey, in the British Channel Islands, providing the added frisson of a foreign setting for most readers, appealing to people who wish to learn more about countries they may never visit.

TBM: How was the writer inside of you born?
AA: I'm not sure! I think the writer side of me enjoyed an extremely long gestation period, frankly. I did enjoy writing what was termed 'composition' while a schoolgirl, but didn't ever feel that I wanted to be a writer. In fact initially I wanted to be a pharmacist! However, I became a mature student at The Open University here in the UK and my studies gave me the opportunity to stretch my unused writer's muscle. Again, there was a period of gestation before I finally took up my pen in earnest in 2006 and wrote my first novel, Dangerous Waters, after winning a true-life short story competition in a national UK magazine.

TBM: What genres do you work with and why are you attracted to these forms of writing?

AA: I write romance based stories, with either a touch of mystery or family drama. Having spent nearly thirty years as a psychotherapist, I am fairly well qualified to write about relationships and issues of love and loss, including overcoming tragedies. While working with my clients I was always heartened to hear how strong the human spirit is in the face of adversity. And, unlike real life, I can allow my characters to achieve happy outcomes.

TBM: As a reader, what elements of a story do you love, or do you hate?

AA: I love stories that are many-layered, and involve the emotions. I need to empathize with the main character(s) and want to will them to succeed in achieving their goal or goals. My pet hate are stories that seem to run out of steam and offer up a tame ending after what was an enjoyable ride. Even worse are those books that leave the reader in suspense, having to decide for themselves what the outcome is.

TBM:  What inspired you to write Dangerous Waters and what do you hope your readers will take away from this book?

AA: I was inspired by a book set on a small island off the French coast which reminded me of Guernsey and made me want to write a story based there. In a way it was my homage to an island where I had lived for many happy years but had recently, and reluctantly, left. I also wanted to have a tragic heroine who needed to let go the past and move on, in the process uncovering family secrets and solving a tragic mystery. Ideally, I would like readers to feel a connection with this young woman and her journey and also come to appreciate the beauty and history of Guernsey.

TBM:  How long did it take you to write this book and what did you do the day that you finished it?

AA: The first draft took 6 months and, in my ignorance, I thought that was it! But after several professional critiques and much re-writing and editing, I finally finished the published version in 2012. Having thoroughly enjoyed writing the initial draft, I felt a little bereft when it was finished so promptly started my second book, Finding Mother.

TBM: What would you like to say to your readers? 

AA: I do hope that you enjoy my books and I would love to hear from if you do. It's wonderful as an author to receive an email from a reader, saying they enjoyed a book I'd written but I think readers may shy away from doing this. As if they are imposing on the author. Don't be shy! I can be contacted through my website –

TBM: Tell us more about Dangerous Waters

AA: Jeanne Le Page left Guernsey 15 years ago at the age of 16, after a tragic boating accident that left her injured and an orphan. In distress, she left the island to live with her maternal aunt in England and has remained there since. But now she has to return as her beloved grandmother has died and left her an old cottage. Jeanne, recently grieving the end of a relationship, plans to return long enough to settle her grandmother's affairs and then leave. Life, however, does not always go according to plan, and she finds herself drawn to stay and re-invent herself. The cottage itself contains a long-buried secret and as Jeanne learns more, she also begins to learn the truth behind her parent's deaths, putting her own life in danger.

TBM:  Lastly, a direct message to the readers, about why they should read Dangerous Waters.

AA: If you enjoy romance and mystery, then this is the book for you! It can be enjoyed on the beach or curled up under the duvet on a chilly evening, wafting you to the beautiful, sunny island of Guernsey for some true escapism. And remember, it is Book 1 in The Guernsey Novels series, with two more books already published and the 4th due in 2015.

Book of the day: BLOOD AND SNOW

Every thousand years the vampire queen selects a new body, always the fairest in the land, and this time she's chosen Snow White. 

Fifteen-year-old Snow White takes a trip to Boston with her seven best friends where she's bitten by a vampire. That singular act changes Snow forever as she discovers there's more to life than tripping over her own feet and pining after Gabe. There are vampires, dragons, elves, trolls, and even witches. 

Discover Snow's destinyIt's her destiny to be part of that world, but first she must learn how to control her bloodlust... or not.  

Wise Quote of the Day

Author Interview: Joe Cosentino

Mystery author Joe Cosentino brings us PAPER DOLL, a story plenty of suspense, intrigue, humor and romance.

1. How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book? 
            My ideal reader is a lover of mystery, romance, and Hollywood. Someone who craves being swept away by a story and becoming part of the novel. My reader loves clues, suspects, and plotlines that zigzag with numerous surprises leading to a shocking yet totally justified conclusion. Finally, my reader relishes in beautiful, lush locations and captivating characters as she/he enters the portal of my book.
2. How was the writer inside of you born? 
            As a kid I played make believe constantly. “Let’s put on a show!” was my motto. Thankfully my parents and teachers indulged me (rather than committed me-hah). Eventually I became an actor in film, television, and theatre, working opposite stars like Bruce Willis, Nathan Lane, Rosie O’Donnell, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Morphing into writing plays and now novels seem like the perfect progression.
3. What genres do you work with and why are you attracted to these forms of writing? 
            I read and write mystery romance novels that are far more than who-done-its. Humorous, engaging, complex characters in interesting locations captivate me. Every one of my characters has a secret, sometimes more than one! I have used my knowledge of show business to tell shocking, riveting, and entertaining stories.

4. As a reader, what elements of a story do you love, or do you hate? 
            When I read a great novel, I feel as if I am the leading character, going through the story and experiencing all of the emotions right along with him/her. A terrific mystery lays out all the clues and culminates with only one possible ending, unveiling various secrets along the way. I don’t appreciate mystery novels, where authors lay out clues then arbitrarily pick a murderer. 
5. What inspired you to write Paper Doll and what do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
            In Paper Doll I share my love of movies and moviemakers with my readers. I have always been fascinated with ex-child stars like Hayley Mills, Shirley Temple, Patty Duke, and Brooke Shields. My heroine, Jana Lane, is an ex-child star who has lost her self esteem as an adult. Through the course of the book, Jana not only solves the mystery of her past, but also reclaims the courage and fortitude she had as a child. This is an important message for all of us.

6. How long did it take you to write this book and what did you do the day that you finished it?
            Generally I write very quickly, however, this book took me years to write and rewrite. It was, and is, so important to me that I wanted to get everything just right. Once I was confident that I had achieved just that, I announced to my spouse, “It is finished!” I have not had a better night’s sleep before or after that night—until I saw Holly McCabe’s gorgeous book cover!
7. What would you like to say to your readers? 
            I have been doing author talks/readings/book signings at libraries, bookstores, and book clubs. I love talking to my readers. So my hope is that everyone who reads and enjoys PAPER DOLL will email me via my web site and tell me what they liked about the book. I also love answering questions about the novel, so let them fly. My web site is:

8. Tell us about PaperDoll, and tell us which is your favorite character.
Paper Doll is the fictitious story of Jana Lane, America’s most famous child star until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Now a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York, Jana’s flashbacks turn into murder attempts.
The local suspects include Jana’s down-on-his-luck husband with a dislike for living off the fruits of his wife’s young labor, Jana’s sister and male friend (who both have eyes for Jana’s husband), Jana’s show business father, her deranged loyal fan, and Jana's young Guy Friday who covets her fame and shares an uncanny resemblance to Jana.
            Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana visits the California movie studio she once called home. This sends her on a whirlwind of visits with former and current movie studio personnel. It also leads to a romance with the son of her old producer—Rocco Cavoto—the devilishly handsome filmmaker who is planning Jana’s comeback both professionally and personally. With Rocco’s help, Jana uncovers a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future.
            Jana’s agent, Simon, is my favorite character for five reasons. He is amazingly resilient, old world Hollywood, incredibly funny, loyal to Jana, and most importantly, I want to play him in the movie version!

9. Lastly, a direct message to the readers, about why they should read Paper Doll.
            Make sure you have a good block of free time before beginning Paper Doll. Once you start, you will be reading until you finish. The mystery/romance novel is full of quirky, endearing characters, a captivating story, and more plot twists than a maze. The Hollywood background will entice you, and the time period of the story (1980) will bring you back to better days. Prop your feet up, grab a Shirley Temple, and enjoy!

Recommended Book: UNTETHERED

Untethered by Katie Hayoz, a young-adult novel with a new paranormal twist!

Sixteen-year-old Sylvie isn’t comfortable in her own skin. In fact, there are times she can’t even manage to stay inside it -- literally.

After years of trying to ignore her ability to astral project, Sylvie finally decides to embrace it. But she also decides to embrace the shadows that accompany her on her out-of-body experiences. Opening herself up to the shadows and their evil, Sylvie comes up with a dark plan that she believes will give her everything she wants. But she doesn’t count on it all spiraling out of control.

Untethered explores the intoxicating and dangerous world of jealousy and obsession when coupled with paranormal ability. Follow Sylvie on her sometimes touching, sometimes funny, sometimes heart-breaking journey that speaks to the self-doubt lurking in us all.

Featuring: MIRROR X - a dystopian story by Karri Thompson

“I was their Eve. Who would be my Adam?

MIRROR X by Karri Thompson – a new twist on a dystopian future.

MIRROR X will get under your skin and shock your system in a myriad of disturbing and intrusive ways.

When Cassie is awakened in the year 3025, the world seeks change, but this change leaves Cassie questioning herown beliefs and role in this world while the reader continues to tackle the book’s highly controversial and provocative themes. “Now that Cassie is awakened, everything is different.”

Enter the 31st century, and you too can experience this clash of romance and conspiracy in an uncertain and fearful future.

Do You Believe That? No Way The Butler Did It!

Written by Joyce Strand, author of Jillian Hillcrest Mysteries
“Why shouldn't truth be stranger than fiction? Fiction after all, has to make sense,” Mark Twain, aka Samuel Clemens, is quoted as saying.
Most books of fiction must “make sense” for readers to complete. 
(We’ll ignore James Joyce and ‘stream of consciousness’ for this article.) Characters, setting, and plot work together to deliver a story that could happen, or at least the reader believes it could happen. If any of the three are out of synch in some way, we tend to dismiss the book.
I read and write mysteries, and heartily endorse the concept that a mystery “has to make sense.” We must believe that the crime could occur in the setting where it happens, and that our sleuth can solve it. We’ll allow for a little guess work and luck. Not only must the story make sense, but all the loose ends need to be “tied up,” extraneous characters and actions explained, and the villain or criminal dealt with in some way. That is, there usually must be a conclusion.
Let’s look more closely at plausible characters. Creating an engaging story assumes that readers will care what happens to the characters. If they can’t relate to them, they can’t care about them. We want to understand the characters, particularly the protagonist, in everyday life—their love life, friends, and most important how they’re related to the plot.
In a mystery we want to comprehend how our characters relate to the crime. If a crime fiction book’s main character is a police detective, such as Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch, then we look for the accurate portrayal of police procedure. If the hero is a forensic anthropologist, such as Kathy Reich’s Temperance Brennan, we expect to read about the processes involved in solving crimes by examining bones.
If, however, our sleuth is an amateur, the author offers other capabilities to support the character’s ability to solve a crime—even without the qualifications of detective or criminologist. Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander is a credible sleuth, even though she is not a detective. Her computer and investigative skills, combined with her sly brashness, enable us to accept her as a believable crime-solver. Dick Francis’ thrillers about race track events sported credible heroes who solved the crimes of some very evil villains.
What about setting? How important is setting to “making sense” in a mystery?
Certainly crime can take place anywhere, but the type of crime will vary depending on background. It is unlikely that a ponzi scheme will occur in a poor area of town. We need a Wall Street background of some sort. On the other hand, we’ve become accustomed to reading about muggings and beatings in more rundown areas where gangs operate. I write about a publicist who works at a public Silicon Valley biotechnology company. She encounters insider trading in the next mystery FAIR DISCLOSURE (to be published in November.) Obviously she would be less likely to run into this crime if she worked in an independent book store, for example.
Finally, what about plot?
In a mystery, the puzzle is what it’s all about. Therefore plot is critical to determine if a story “makes sense.” A plausible mystery is one we care about solving. We eagerly follow the author’s steps to guide us to discover “whodunit” or catch the villain. We don’t like to encounter snags, like not allowing enough time for a crime or creating a scene where the protagonist can’t possibly participate because he’s visiting a suspect in another State.
Further, the crime itself should be plausible. I read Michael Connelly and have no difficulty accepting his plots surrounding either Harry Bosch or Mickey Baller. He creates a crime that could happen, his characters follow clues that are most often helpful, and he guides us to the conclusion. For my own mysteries, I draw on real California cases that a publicist in Silicon Valley might encounter.

Bottom line: our mystery must make sense. Crime fiction is indeed very different from true crime stories, which frequently are not solved, involve unlikely characters, and don’t lead anywhere. Although ironic, crime fiction makes “more sense” than true crime. I guess Samuel Clemens knew what he was talking about.