A Monthly Special from Kindle Nation & BookLending.com
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Greetings from Kindle Nation and BookLending.com!
This is just the third issue of what has become a monthly feature for (mainly) Kindle fiction lovers, and we have to say that our 5-Star Fiction partner, bestselling novelist M.J. Rose, has absolutely floored us with the exciting range of sponsored work she has brought to share with us.
And it keeps getting better, with this month’s featured titles including:
Gillian Bagwell’s The Darling Strumpet, a dazzling debut in historical fiction that brings the remarkable character of Nell Gwynn to life right on your Kindle;
Lisa Jackson’s Devious, which brings back her enormously appealing detective duo of Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya.
All great reads, all nicely priced between $2.99 and $9.99 on Kindle this month, and each one introduced to you with an excerpt below and a note written by the author to all of us here in the Kindlesphere.
But that’s not all.
We’re also very excited to be able to announce that the new Kindle release of M.J. Rose’s own novel The Hypnotist, Book Three in her Reincarnationist series, is just days away. The novel is already available for pre-order on Kindle right here.
Here’s what the discerning folks at BookReporter.com say about this latest triumph:
“If you haven’t been reading M.J. Rose’s Reincarnationist series, then THE HYPNOTIST will blow away any excuse you may have had… A memorable, engrossing read, a story that sets a new bar for Rose. Something for everyone: murder, suspense, history, romance, the supernatural, mystery and erotica. These elements are woven together so skillfully that the whole becomes something new and different…. Rose, who never disappoints either her die-hard fans or the casual reader, has surpassed herself.”
We couldn’t have said it any better ourselves. If you love to read, and you have yet to read M.J. Rose, the time is now and the book is The Hypnotist. Pre-order it now and it will arrive automatically on your Kindle no later than May 1.
And finally … not to be a tease … there’s a free book waiting for you in the last panel of this post, but we’re not going to tell you to scroll down because we don’t want you to miss out on anything twixt here and there!
“An absolutely brilliant addition to the historical fiction genre and might be the best novel on Nell Gwynn ever…. Nell would have applauded in approval and probably done a little jig to celebrate her tribute….”
I fell in love with Nell Gwynn more than 25 years ago, and she stayed in my mind and heart until life presented the perfect time to tell her story. Born into poverty in 1650, she rose to become a beloved comic actress and the mistress of Charles II by using what she had: smarts, determination, charm, humor, and a very likeable sex appeal. Her rags-to-riches odyssey takes the reader through the newly-opened London theatres, the last plague epidemic, the Great Fire of 1666, and the licentious court.
The interval came, and the musicians struck up. Nell gazed at the empty stage and longed to know what it felt like to stand there. Did she dare to try it? Moll had given her permission, so Nell clutched her basket, climbed the steps to the stage, and surveyed the scene before her. She felt as if she were at the center of the universe. The galleries rose to the ceiling, enwreathing the space, and the sloped floor of the pit made it seem as if its benches were marching toward her. The theatre was a swirling sea of movement. The king in his box was not ten paces away. She took a breath and sang out “Oranges! Fine oranges! Who will buy my oranges, fine Seville oranges?”
The king smiled and beckoned. Nell went to him, her heart in her throat.
“Will you have an orange, Your Majesty? They’re very sweet.”
“How could they be otherwise, with such a peddler? I’ll take two.” She held out two oranges, but the king took only one.
“One for you and one for me,” he said with a wink.
Nell’s scene with the king had been observed, and as she turned from him and sang her cry again, gentlemen pressed to the foot of the stage. By the end of the interval she had sold almost all that was in her basket.
* * *
“[A] richly engaging portrait of the life and times of one of history’s most appealing characters!”
– Diana Gabaldon, author of the best-selling Outlander series
“Nell Gwynn is one of the most likable figures in British history. ‘Pretty witty Nell’ went from poverty and prostitution to the grand stages of London theatre, and then to a king’s bed and his heart…. The Darling Strumpet is an absolute triumph as a debut novel…. Bagwell’s story truly captivates as she makes Nell’s story come to life…. [She] shows such expert knowledge, research, and passion of the time period…. Bagwell has a background in acting and theater and it shows with her knowledge of Nell’s days on stage…. an absolutely brilliant addition to the historical fiction genre and might be the best novel on Nell Gwynn ever…. Nell would have applauded in approval and probably done a little jig to celebrate her tribute.”
From bestselling author Robin Slick comes a funny, engaging novel of second chances and rock and roll.
Annie loathes middle age because in her mind, as long as she avoids mirrors in brightly lit rooms, she is still a cool, cutting edge hipster with a scandalous secret she has kept for almost three decades.
At age seventeen, Annie had a love affair with a man ten years her senior — legendary British rock guitarist Mick Saunders. Now, feeling stuck in a boring, faltering marriage and desperate to change her life, she is unexpectedly given the chance to reconnect with Mick while chaperoning her fledgling rock star teenagers on a tour across America.
To Annie, this opportunity to recapture her past is a dream come true. But will she and Mick be able to pick up where they left off?
If you like this book, be sure to check out Robin’s New York trilogy – Three Days in New York City, Another Bite of the Apple, and Bitten to the Core. Visit Robin on line at http://www.robinslick.com.
Daddy Left Me Alone with God is a creative non-fiction version flashbacks of my own childhood growing up with a jazz musician father and an affair with an internationally famous rock musician at age seventeen intertwined with my own experience as a parent of two teenaged fledgling rock stars as I chaperone them on tour across the country and have a chance meeting with my former lover who, much to my joy and confusion because I am having doubts about my own marriage, has never forgotten me.
I sat on the edge of a bed in a cheap Los Angeles hotel, two thousand seven hundred miles away from my home in Philadelphia, armed with the uneasy realization that in a couple of hours my life might be changed forever.
And what was my biggest concern?
How did I look and what should I wear.
* * *
“…a funny, sexy, and scathingly honest look at what it means to be an aging baby boomer in a world changing faster than a phone number on speed dial. With a fresh voice, a fast plot and a unique perspective on the new generation of sex, drugs, and rock and roll…a delight from start to finish.”
Ellen Meister, author of THE OTHER LIFE
“Ms. Slick is a serious and enthralling storyteller”
Blurb from e-cata romance
About the Author
Robin Slick is a rock music obsessed fiction writer living in downtown Philadelphia with a strong desire to jump into a time machine and land in London during the 1960s. She is the author of Three Days in New York City, Another Bite of the Apple, and Bitten to the Core, light-hearted erotic novels published by Mundania/Phaze Press. She is editor and contributor of a short story collection, Thirty Nine and Holding…Him and its sequel 39 and Still Holding. Her short story “Daddy Left Me Alone with God” appears in the new anthology, Rebellion – New Voices of Fiction, published by Rebel Press in July 2006. You can find Robin’s work in print and on the web everywhere from heady places like In Posse Review and Slow Trains Literary Journal to give-heady places like Clean Sheets and Playgirl Magazine. She lives vicariously through her rock star daughter — bass player extraordinaire, Julie Slick, and her amazing drummer son, Eric Slick — who were featured in the Picturehouse Films documentary, Rock School.www.amazon.com/Daddy-Left-Alone-God-ebook/dp/B004OA6L0U
The Restorer by Amanda Stevens(Pre-Order Now for May 1 Release!)
“Every cemetery has a story; every grave, its secrets. The cemetery was her sanctuary…. “
I grew up near an abandoned cemetery in rural Arkansas. Some of the graves dated back to the Civil War and I still remember how awed I was by the history. Time and again I was drawn back to that crumbling necropolis, captivated by the poetic inscriptions and artistic motifs on the old headstones. I didn’t know it at the time, but the discovery of that graveyard-sequestered as it was in a thicket of dogwood trees-ignited a lifelong fascination.
Amelia Gray is a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts-greedy, grasping, ravenous entities that prey on human emotions. In order to protect herself, Amelia has always held fast to her father’s rules. But a haunted police detective has entered her world and now everything is changing…including the rules that have always kept her safe.
And then I saw it. A nebulous, dream-like form hovering just beyond the fall of pale moonlight. Devlin’s ghost child. I thought at first I must be seeing things. Prayed that my overwrought imagination had conjured her from my deepest fear. But she was there. I felt the cold fire of her eyes through the darkness.
How was it possible? This house was a haven, a hallowed refuge that protected me from ghostly invasions. I was safe here. Or had been until I met Devlin.
“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you….”
We live in an age of conspiracy theories, and at the same time we’re constantly learning that there are shadow governments, secret societies, and genuine conspiracies. Where does paranoia end and the real world begin?
That’s the crooked line of thought that resulted in the latest Joe Ledger novel, THE KING OF PLAGUES (St. Martin’s Griffin, March 29).
Joe squares off against the Seven Kings, a secret society that uses misinformation, disinformation, and social media to allow them to profit from public reaction to terrorist attacks. Their plan is a workable one…which gives KING OF PLAGUES a disturbingly plausible back-story; and it kind of creeped me out when writing it. I think it’ll do the same for readers.
What’s really disturbing? No matter how far out I go when plotting the Joe Ledger thrillers, the real world always catches up…and zooms right past into the Bizarro Zone!
“Unless you do exactly what you’re told,” whispered a voice, “we’ll kill your wife and daughter.”
The words dug into Trevor Plympton’s brain like railroad spikes. He sat on the chair, wrists bound to the arm rests with plastic pipe ties, ankles tied to the wheeled feet of the chair. A hood over his head that let in no light. He was lost in a world of darkness and fear. And those words.
He could barely remember what happened. He’d taken the elevator to the basement parking garage, clicked open the locks on his Vauxhall Astra, felt a sharp burn against the back of his neck and then nothing. When he finally woke up he was already lashed to the chair. He’d cried out in alarm, tried yelling for help.
A heavy had belted him across the face. A savage blow, made worse by the absolute surprise of it. He couldn’t see it coming, could not even brace against it or turn away.
Then the whispering voice.
“W…what…?” It was the best response he could muster. Nothing made sense; the world was a confusion of disorientation, fear and pain.
“Did you understand what I said?” asked the voice. A male voice. Was there an accent? It was hard to tell with the whisper.
“Yes,” Plympton gasped.
“Tell me what I said.”
“T-that you’d k-kill my family–.”
A hand clamped onto Plympton’s crotch and squeezed with sudden and terrible strength. The pain was white hot and immense. The grip was there and gone, as abrupt as the snap of a steel trap.
* * *
“A fast-paced, brilliantly written novel. The hottest thriller of the New Year! In The King of Plagues, Jonathan Maberry reigns supreme.”
–Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Athena Project
“Headlong action, up-to-the-minute science, and intriguingly conflicted characters — do not miss The King of Plagues.”
–F. Paul Wilson, NY Times bestselling author of the Repairman Jack series
Dick Francis meets Robin Cook in a tale of “murder, sabotage, infidelity, and a whole lot more….”
Dean M. DeLuke
Shedrow has been dubbed a cross between Dick Francis and Robin Cook, because it is a racetrack thriller in the spirit of Dick Francis, but there is a medical mystery at the heart of the story-surrounding the mysterious death of a multimillion dollar stallion on a supposedly secure farm in Lexington KY. And because the principal character happens to be a surgeon, there is a good deal of medical drama throughout the book.
I came up with the story concept by drawing on both my medical background as well as my longstanding interest in thoroughbred racing. The “what if” concept behind Shedrow was simply: what if a multimillion dollar stallion dies under very mysterious conditions on a supposedly secure farm near Lexington, KY? From that starting point comes a compelling story of “murder, sabotage, infidelity, and a whole lot more,” as one recent reviewer commented.
The blindfold was torn off Dr. Gianni’s eyes, and he squinted at the light, trying to focus on the two men who had dragged him from his office at gunpoint, thrown him into the back seat of a car, and transported him to the small room where he now sat. There were no windows, the only light coming from a bare bulb in a ceiling fixture. The walls were all cinder block, except for a metal garage door that had been closed behind them. The room seemed like part of a warehouse, or one of those self-storage units. With the blindfold off, Gianni could see a hint of sunlight where the cinder blocks abutted a tin roof.
Gianni was seated at a metal table, his hands bound behind his back. At one end of the table stood Sal Catroni. Unlike the other man, he wore no disguise. His longish hair was slicked back neatly, white at the sides, darker on top. His brow was furrowed in a scowl, amplifying the deep frown lines between his black-looking eyes.
Catroni spoke first. “You know who I am?” he said.
Gianni shook his head.
“I’m Sal Catroni, of the Catroni family, and this here is Hector. Hector was a medic in the marines. He’s here to help you with some medical treatment.”
Hector stood at least six-two, all of it solid muscle. He wore a tight white dress shirt, its silk sleeves rolled neatly to the middle of his massive forearms. A ski mask, open at the forehead, concealed his face, and his closely cropped black hair stood mostly on end. It reminded Gianni of a 1960s style flat-top cut, only not as stiff.
“Hector has some tools for you, Doc,” Catroni said.
Hector opened a clean white linen cloth, the texture of a dishrag but with a starched white appearance. Inside were surgical instruments. Dr. Gianni instantly recognized them-there was a blade handle and several large #10 blades, the kind a surgeon would use to make a long incision. It was not a delicate blade, but one meant to cut hard and fast through a lot of tissue with a single swipe. Next to the blades was a bone cutting forceps, which Gianni knew to be a Rongeurs forceps. Then there was a large pile of neatly folded gauze pads.
“Recognize those tools?” Catroni asked.
“Well, Hector here is prepared to do a little surgery today.”
* * *
“I know nothing about thoroughbred racing, but Shedrow held me from beginning to end and made me want to learn more. Dean DeLuke is a wonderful talent, with a physician’s sensitivity and knowledge, and a writer’s deft touch with story and language. I am pleased and proud to welcome Dean DeLuke to the family of doctor-writers, and Shedrow to the ranks of razor sharp, fast-paced new novels. Shedrow is a great read–intriguing and exciting…this book moves!”
-Michael Palmer, NY Times best-selling author of The Last Surgeon and 15 other medical thrillers
“DeLuke’s out-of-the gate, spare-no-prisoners portrayal of horse racing, vets, racing elite and slimy underworld mafia types leaps beyond anything being published in the genre today. From its opening pages you’ll be shivering on the edge of your seat while this thrill-ride of a debut has you chomping at the bit for more. I’m willing to bet the mortgage on a trifecta that DeLuke’s next two efforts will be just a masterful as the first. Not a win, place and show. But a win, win, win!”
-Vincent Zandri, best-selling author of The Remains, The Innocent, Moonlight Falls and As Catch Can and International Thriller Awards panel judge for 2010
“Lisa Jackson brings back her detecting duo of Bentz and Montoya for a nail-biting tale of dangerous secrets and deadly passions….”
DEVIOUS will tie into Lisa’s Det. Rick Bentz & Det. Reuben Montaya thriller, HOT BLOODED! Is Father John, the serial killer whose body was never found at the end of HOT BLOODED back…or is there a new killer echoing his killing pattern from ten years ago?
The crime scene at St. Marguerite’s cathedral in New Orleans is shocking, even to seasoned detectives like Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya. A novice nun named Sister Camille has been found dressed in a yellowed bridal gown and viciously garroted, her body covered with an altar cloth.
Valerie Houston is devastated by her sister’s death. For weeks, she’d begged Camille to leave St. Marguerite’s, where she seemed determined to live as some kind of martyr. But Camille had a knack for making bad choices-she joined the convent in part because she’d fallen for Val’s soon-to-be ex-husband, Slade.
Convinced the police aren’t doing enough, Val begins to investigate. Slade, on a mission to repair their marriage, is determined to help her. But the deeper Val’s inquiries go, the more twisted the case becomes. St. Marguerite’s is far from the tranquil retreat many believe, and everyone, from handsome Father Frank O’Toole to the mysterious Mother Superior, has their own agenda. Despite their closeness, even Camille had a hidden life Val never suspected. But someone knew about Camille’s past-and Val’s, too. Now she has no choice but to catch a devious, depraved killer intent on purging St. Marguerite’s of all its sins-before she becomes the next victim…
“Jackson brings back her detecting duo of Bentz and Montoya for a nail-biting tale of dangerous secrets and deadly passions.”
“Jackson’s the queen of the modern-day suspense thriller.”
–The Providence Journal
And we’ll never say good-bye without sharing a parting treat….
We haven’t breathed a word to anyone about this until now, but we’ve got a new book out, and we’d like to send you a free copy!
The book is called Kindle Nation Quarterly, Winter 2011: Dispatches from the Kindle Revolution, and it makes it easy to read the most important news and commentary in the Kindlesphere in the past few months, right on your Kindle or free Kindle App. Of course you can buy it in the Kindle Store, but all you have to do is help us spread the word and stay connected with you and we’ll send a free Kindle-compatible copy via email. Just follow these steps anytime between now and Monday, April 25:
and click on the “Like” button near the top of the page
Wasn’t that easy? Thanks! We like you, too, and now you’re almost done!
3. The only other thing you’ll need to do is to send an email to
kindlenation+KNQFREE@gmail.com — make sure you copy and paste that into your “to” field so that you get it exactly right! Type your Facebook name into the subject line, click send, and you’re done!
We’ll send your free copy of Kindle Nation Quarterly, Winter 2011: Dispatches from the Kindle Revolution by May 1. We’ll send it right along to the same email address that you used to request the free book, as an attachment in .PRC format, and then all you have to do is send it to on your appropriate firstname.lastname@example.org email address. Amazon will then convert it and send it on to your Kindle or other Kindle-compatible device in Kindle-compatible format.
Happy reading with all of this month’s great selections, and we’ll see you in about a month for another issue of 5-Star Fiction.
Five-Star Fiction, March 2011A Special Monthly Feature from Kindle Nation
Greetings from Kindle Nation!
Betty and I have a friend named Smokey who has a great expression of which I have grown fond. You finish a project, accomplish something worthwhile, or do the right thing in any way significant or small, and Smokey will say, “Give yourself a biscuit!”
The fact that the expression may derive from the rigors of canine training doesn’t mean it isn’t nice to hear. And so, readers of Kindle Nation, if you were here and I perhaps knew you just a bit better, I’d be inclined to look at the great response with which you greeted last month’s first issue of our 5-Star Fiction feature and say, “Give yourself a biscuit!”
Our readers responded very enthusiastically to several of the books that we selected last month with the help of our 5-Star Fiction partner, bestselling novelist M.J. Rose. So this month, instead of a biscuit, we’re back with another mix of terrific new Kindle reads.
Once again we’re flirting with the boundaries between fiction and fact with selections such as Katharine Weber’s novel Triangle, a great potential book club selection based on the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of March 25, 1911 …
or Amelia Grey’s fun frolic through the romantic lives of some of the world’s great romantic writers …
or a fascinating new novel by from the real-life star behind an only slightly fictionalized eponymous film, the Erin Brockovich.
Which one will be your favorite? All of them, we hope, but whether you choose one of the above or a Julia London romance, a Diana Orgain mystery, or a James Lepore thriller, all we ask is that you give yourself a biscuit, and …
The Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of 1911 fascinated me as a child growing up inNew York City, because my father”s mother worked at the Triangle Waist Company in 1909, finishing buttonholes. It was her last sweatshop shop, before she married and gave birth to my father in the back of a grocery store in Brooklyn, and so she wasn”t there on the day of the fire. But the Triangle fire has always felt like an event in my family history. I was further inspired when the last living survivor of the Triangle fire died at the age of 107. What had it been like for her, telling her story about the day you didn”t die, for ninety years? The novelist in me took over. What would it be like to explain the events of that day for ninety years, if your story was a lie?
This is what happened. I was working at my machine, with only a few minutes left before the end of the day. I had only two right sleeves remaining in my pile — my sister Pauline, she did the left sleeves and I did the right sleeves and between us we could finish sometimes as many as twenty-four shirtwaists in an hour, three hundred shirtwaists on a good day, if the machines didn”t break down and if the thread didn”t break too often. My sister was a little faster than I was, and sometimes her finished pile would be high because she did her sleeve first and then I would take from her pile to do the right sleeve, but I have to say my seams were the ones always perfectly straight.
* * *
“Katharine Weber’s crackerjack historical mystery may be the most effective 9/11 novel yet written — and it isn’t even about 9/11.”
— Entertainment Weekly
* * *
Many book groups are reading TRIANGLE to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the fire, which will occur on March 25th, 2011. Katharine appears in the HBO documentary, “Triangle: Remembering the Fire,” which will air on HBO several times in March, starting March 21st at 9 p.m. Eastern time.
… a fast-paced thriller … full of passion both of hate and love …
If I was asked why I write novels, I think the answer I would be most comfortable giving would be: to explore the human heart, to try to understand why it makes the choices it does. Choice was the echo I kept hearing as I was writing Blood of My Brother. When we don’t have to choose, life is easy, or seems to be; when we do, it can become very difficult. Dan Del Colliano, Jay Cassio and Isabel Perez, the central characters in Blood of My Brother, make choices. Danny’s leads to his death, Jay and Isabel’s to a confrontation with evil that they may not survive, but which they both know is the only chance they have to live the lives they were meant to live.
“You never met him, not even once? He considered himself quite attractive to woman.”
“I would tell you if I did.”
“He’s dead,” Herman said. “His head is in the suitcase.”
Isabel gave Herman one of her nothing looks, and then glanced over at Jose, who was smiling. She had heard that Jose beheaded his victims, but had been reluctant to believe it, even of him. She looked back at Herman, remaining silent, her face a blank.
“Would you like to see it?”
“We’ll show you anyway.” Herman nodded at Jose, who deftly flipped up the suitcase’s clasps and lifted it open. There, laying on a creamy white towel, was indeed a human head, the face pallid and ghostly, the long dark hair greasy, the raw, jagged flesh of the neck, where Jose’s machete had done its work, ringed with dried blood.
* * *
“Blood of my Brother is exciting, full of passion both of hate and love. It is a story that will captivate and keep you in your easy chair reading until you reach the satisfying conclusion. It is a great book deserving of a 9 out of 10 rating.”
– Mainly Mysteries
“Blood of My Brother is a fast-paced thriller with twists and turns that defy reason. James LePore has again written a novel of suspense showing his maturing style is in even better form. A best seller for sure for those who love thrillers and a good mystery!”
” … Erin Brockovich continues to fight the good fight, now as a writer of fiction … in a story Erin Brockovich lived …”
I noticed something happening in courts of law when juries deal with environmental issues like groundwater contamination. The repercussions of a case might be riveting but the scientific jargon is dry and becomes overwh
elming. In fiction, that same story can be told in a way that maintains its dangerous and heroic elements, enabling people to become aware, to believe that they can make a difference, and to become their own hero.
Rock Bottom is not only entertaining and suspenseful, but also informative about the environmental crises that affect us all as individuals, as a country, and as a global society. If a few people close the book with a renewed sense of what can be accomplished, and become proactive in taking on accountability and responsibility for spreading the word about environmental issues and clean up, the A.J. in all of us will be here for a good long time.
Once we’d left the concrete tangle of highways surrounding D.C. and made it over the West Virginia border we were on two-lane switchbacked highways crossing through the Appalachians. Home. The word filled me with dread-and yet also offered a tantalizing feeling of anticipation. Maybe this time. . . .
When we were kids, we used to whine that Scotia, West Virginia, was the town where dreams went to die.
But I’d escaped.
I’d lived my dreams. Lost most of them. Except the most important one, David. Almost ten years old and going to meet his grandparents for the first time. His first time leaving D.C. since he was an infant in my arms.
Was I crawling back, a failure, a fool for returning to the town that had tried so hard to assassinate my dreams? Or was I really still just a kid myself, coming home at twenty-seven to be healed?
* * *
“Everything a great thriller should be-action-packed, authentic, and intense.”
-New York Times bestselling author Lee Child
“A compelling new voice in thriller writing, Rock Bottom will keep you in its spell from beginning to end. I love how the characters come alive on every page.”
-New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver
“Erin Brockovich continues to fight the good fight, now as a writer of fiction. Rock Bottom is a story Erin Brockovich lived. The heroine is brilliant and feisty. Tension and turmoil mount in a high stakes adventure with dire consequences. Nobody could tell this story better.”
-New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry
A Light at Winter’s End by Julia London
A LIGHT AT WINTER’S END by Julia London, just$7.99 on Kindle:
” … As a writer, I am fascinated how ordinary people are thrust into extraordinary circumstances that forever alter their lives and their souls … “
I am delighted to announce the release of another Cedar Springs, TX book: A Light at Winter’s End.
Hannah has always done everything right: getting married, having a baby, and caring for her dying mother, all while performing impeccably in a high-level job. Her sister Holly is the college dropout, the one who works at a coffee shop and wants to be a songwriter. One day, Hannah suddenly-without explanation-leaves her baby with Holly and disappears. While Holly struggles with the sudden upheaval, Wyatt Clark (Summer of Two Wishes), a mysterious cowboy who knows a lot about life-changing events, wanders into her life.
As a writer, I am fascinated how ordinary people are thrust into extraordinary circumstances that forever alter their lives and their souls. This book is for everyone who believes that no matter how dark the journey, there is always a light at the end.
An Excerpt from the Novel
The cowboy rose at dawn’s first light and pulled on a pair of worn, dirty denims. “Come,” he said to his dog and, scratching his bare abdomen, he padded down the hall of the nondescript red brick ranch house and into the kitchen.
There was something sticky underfoot on the linoleum, but he couldn’t really see. He sleepily made a note of it and thought Sunday, when he washed his clothes in that old harvest yellow washer, he might wash a few things around the house, as well. He couldn’t remember ever mopping the floor here, and figured, after a year, it was as good a time as any.
He studied the row of buttons on the trendy contraption that some would call a coffee machine, and he called a pretentious piece of pain-in-the-ass machinery. It was one of the few things he’d kept from his marriage. He’d bought it for her, of course, and she’d been ridiculously pleased with it. He’d never quite figured out how to operate it correctly. Why had he kept it? He didn’t know anymore. The only thing he did know was that Wyatt and Macy Clark were no more.
* * *
“A passionate, arresting story that you wish would never end.”
– Robyn Carr, New York Times bestselling author of Paradise Valley
“A fine story…London’s ability to draw real-life characters and settings is superb. The way her characters cope with life’s curve balls and keep on trucking is inspiring.”
“London’s effective wordcraft and plotting keeps readers engages as she draws drama from her charaters’ inner strife, breathing life into the journey from quiet desperation and loneliness to happiness and self-discovery.”
” … New mom starts her own business as PI in order to stay at home with her baby … only it’s not as easy as she thinks … “
I am proud to introduce The Maternal Instinct Mystery Series to you. I was inspired to write the series because when I was pregnant with my first child I was addicted to non-fiction baby developments books. I read nightly how my little sprout was progressing, week 14 fingernails are well formed, week 26 eyelashes are present. Eyelashes? Really? I was fascinated.
Around week 35 I longed to escape into fiction. But every time I cracked open a mystery my mind drifted back to baby – how were the lungs developing?
After my baby was born, I hated the idea of returning to the corporate world and leaving her for a minimum of 40 hours a week. I had to be a work from home mom.
The idea for The Maternal Instinct Mystery Series was formed: New mom starts her own business as PI in order to stay at home with her baby … only it’s not as easy as she thinks.
I checked Laurie in the rearview mirror. She was sound asleep; as usual, the motion of the car had lulled her into slumber.
She looked adorable, wearing a tiny red satin dress with matching red booties. We were on our way to get her first holiday photos taken. I couldn’t believe three months had evaporated; it seemed like she was born just yesterday.
I cruised down the hill to the stoplight and stepped on the brake. Out of habit, I glanced in the rearview again and saw a silver SUV barreling down the hill.
Was the car out of control? It continued to speed and there was no telltale sign of the nose dipping as it would if the driver were braking.
They were getting closer! Almost on top of us.
My eyes were transfixed on the rearview mirror. I held my breath, bracing myself for the crash at the same time my brain screamed for a miracle.
Please stop in time. Please don’t hit me and my baby!
* * *
“If you were expecting warm and cute you’ll be mistaken. Fast paced and fun, this book gives a true feel of the modern mom, trying to juggle motherhood and career (when that career happens to be solving crimes). ”
Rhys Bowen – award-winner author of the Molly Murphy Series
“Skip your afternoon nap and cozy up to Diana Orgain’s Maternal Instincts Mysteries. The series’ plucky protagonist gives ‘working mom’ a whole new meaning as she endearingly juggles bad guys and binkies.”
-Susan McBride, author of the Debutante Dropout Mysteries
Fall in Love Like a Romance Writer: Your Favorite Novelists Share Their Secret Keys to a Long and Lasting Love, by Amelia Grey
“… 67 amazing stories from some of the most famous names in romantic fiction …”
The publication of Fall In Love Like A Romance Writer has been a wild and crazy ride but worth every twist, turn, and roadblock that I’ve encountered. I have collected 67 amazing stories from some of the most famous names in romantic fiction. It all started with, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if…”
Imagine emailing an author out of the blue and asking her to write about her own true romance. I was nervous, but I did it! What could be more exciting than to have a peek into the love life of the authors who write your favorite fictional love stories?
I was eager to find out how the masters of the fictional romance world were doing in their very own love life. Were they all living the happily-ever-after life that they wrote about in their books? Now is your chance to find out.
Please visit my website at ameliagrey.com to see a complete list of the fabulous sixty-seven authors featured in Fall In Love Like A Romance Writer.
Fall in Love Like a Romance Writer:
Your Favorite Novelists Share Their Secret Keys to a Long and Lasting Love
Victoria Alexander writes: As for a sense of humor, you have to have one to live with me. But then I need one to live with him, too. He’s never read one of my books. He’s a nonfiction rather than a fiction reader. But since he doesn’t read my books, I started naming dead husbands after him in about my third book. It’s become a tradition. When I have a dead husband in a book and he wasn’t evil or a bad guy, I named him Charles. I have a dead Charles now in most of my books. At first, when he realized I named heroes after old boyfriends and dead husbands after him, he was a little annoyed. Now, he’s annoyed if I don’t name dead husbands after him. I think that keeps our marriage fresh. He thinks it keeps him safe. He’s mentioned that if anything ever happens to him I’d be the first suspect. He takes a great deal of comfort from that. And I like keeping him on his toes.
Heather Graham writes: Is my life, my romance, perfect? Never! His family is very Italian. My dad was Scottish and my mother fresh off the boat Irish. I like to say that Dennis has given me lots of conflict to write about. Do we get along now? Nope. He likes mountains. I love the sea. And it is such with many things. Dennis has learned to work around me and make sure he has my total attention when something is really important. We’ve weathered tragedy, we’ve had tremendous happiness. My husband and I have not traveled the path that we intended; we probably missed a few important forks in the road. But I am going to grow old with him. When the mind slips and the flesh fades, when beauty is memory, when passion is warmth, the love remains.
Teresa Medeiros: My husband and I met in a mental institution. Wait! Perhaps I should clarify that. My husband asked me out for the first time in a mental institution. But neither of us were patients. We were both nursing students.
Gayle Callen: I received my marriage proposal in a cemetery. This might seem very unromantic, but let me explain.
Eloisa James: I met the very man in my first year at Harvard: a would-be banker who drove a convertible and knew a lot about oriental rugs. His mother was horrified by my braless state; we were perfect for each other.
Elizabeth Grayson: I could tell they were watching me. I was stopped at a red light on a blustery Saturday night in downtown Rochester, N.Y. I was headed for an upscale bar called Shakespeare’s to meet a guy I’d been dating for a couple of weeks. While I sat waiting for the light to change, two guys in a Mustang pulled up beside me.
Every woman with a pulse knows when a guy notices her. These two had and were obviously talking about me. Of course, I pretended to ignore them. When the light changed, I peeled out and left them eating my dust – the automotive equivalent of flipping my hair.
And we’ll never say good-bye without sharing a parting treat….
Click on the image to check out our guide to free content for your Kindle, Kindle Free for All!
We’ve been working on some nice changes for our readers, so we’re especially excited to announce the launch of two new websites for Kindle readers! Well, almost new.First, here — http://www.kindlenationdaily.com — is a link to our totally revamped Kindle Nation Daily website, a much more stylish and easier-to-navigate site with all the same great daily and weekly posts including free book alerts, tips, news, excerpts, mailbag correspondence, and more.
Second, if there are kids of any age in, near, or otherwise appended to your personal Kindlesphere, you’re going to want to make sure to hook them up (can I say that here?) with the Kindle Kids’ Corner website that we launched just last week in collaboration with teachers and students at the Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia. We’ll be starting out with two kids’ ebook reviews for kids and by kids each week, in addition to tips and other content. You can read it free on the web here — http://kids.kindlenationdaily.com — or subscribe here to have each post sent directly to your Kindle in real time.
Finally, here’s a question for you: what do you when you finish reading a book on Kindle? The laundry? Read another book? We’ve heard from a few Kindle readers that they like to clear their heads by playing a game on Kindle. If you’d like to try that, but you’d rather not set yourself back more than a dollar or so, we’re here to be helpful: at the bottom of this issue we’ll provide links to 5 Kindle games that are available now for just 99 cents each!
So, check them out, and we’ll see you soon for our regular weekly blast of Kindle Nation and, in about a month, another issue of 5-Star Fiction.
We’re been lucky enough, during the time we’ve been building and publishing Kindle Nation, to have been able to help a great many talented authors connect with thousands of you, our readers, the greatest readers in the world.
In our most recent Kindle Nation Citizen Survey, you made it clear that you value the role we play in helping you find great reads by undiscovered indie authors. But more and more great books by traditionally published authors are also finding their way into the Kindle Store, so we’re especially excited about our new partnership with novelist M.J. Rose — author of The Reincarnationist, The Memorist, and The Hypnotist — to curate and call your attention to some of the best 5-Star Fiction available each month for Kindle reading.
We’ve worked hard to make 5-Star Fiction an enjoyable way to check out a mix of interesting books each month, and we promise to close each month’s issue with a fun parting treat from an inexpensive reading suggestion to, in some future months, some giveaway specials! And we’ll always include a link to free contemporary Kindle titles at the end!
But we begin, here and now, with a February offering in which we break our own rules implicit in the title of this new Kindle Nation 5-Star Fiction feature: while the first of our six selections is certainly one of the most distinctive narrative works of the second half of the 20th century, it is not, strictly speaking, a work of fiction.
Roots: The Saga of an American Family (30th Anniversary Edition)
“Early in the spring of 1750, in the village of Juffure, four days upriver from
the coast of The Gambia, West Africa, a manchild was born to Omoro and Binta Kinte.”
So begins ROOTS, one of the most important and influential books of our time, which has lost none of its emotional power and drama. And its message for today’s generation is even more vital and relevant than it was 30 years ago.
“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage….Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning no matter what our attainments in life.”
Roots: The Saga of an American Family (30th Anniversary Edition)
–A Note From Bestselling author Michael Eric Dyson:
Roots is unquestionably one of the nation’s seminal texts. It affected events far beyond its pages and was a literary North Star that guided us through the long midnight of slavery’s haunting presence. Roots is an exercise in the skillful telling of a people’s pilgrimage through the quagmire of lost racial links to the solid ground of recovered connections. For that reason alone, it is to be celebrated as a classic of American ambition and black striving. Each generation must make up its own mind about how it will navigate the treacherous waters of our nation’s racial sin. And each generation must overcome our social ills through greater knowledge and decisive action. Roots is a stirring reminder that we can achieve these goals only if we look history squarely in the face.
Island Girl by Lynda Simmons
” … is Alzheimer’s a moral get-out-of-jail free card? …”
–A Note from Author Lynda Simmons
My family has been dealing with Alzheimer’s for fifteen years and I am fascinated by the differences in the ways the generations approach this devastating illness. Those who endured the Depression and World War II tend to be fatalistic about the curves life throws at them, trusting their doctors and viewing Alzheimer’s as just one more cross to bear.
My generation, on the other hand, mistrusts authority, demanding control of everything that touches our lives and thumbing our noses at Alzheimer’s long goodbye.
In writing Island Girl, I wanted to explore not only what happens when one of these strong-willed individuals is diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s, I also wanted to ask the question: Do you have to forgive someone a lifetime of sins just because they’re sick? Does Alzheimer’s grant them instant immunity? A moral get-out-of-jail free card? Because as we all know, not everyone who is sick was a saint.
I turned, saw Mark in the doorway. “I can’t,” I told him. “I have work to do.”
“No, you don’t. We’re going canoeing, remember?”
“I can’t go anywhere now. I have clients. Grace can’t handle this alone.” I looked around. “Where’s my notebook? I need my notebook.”
“I don’t know about the notebook,” Mark said. “But I do know that Grace is doing okay on her own.”
“Okay? Okay? Mark, look around. She’s made a mockery of everything.” I turned to the woman in the chair. “What’s your name?”
“Ruby, it’s me,” she said. “Joanne from Algonquin Island.”
“Of course you are.” I swung around to the other women on the couch. “The rest of you. . . I don’t know. I’ll figure something out. But right now, I need my goddamn notebook.”
Mark put his hands on my shoulders. “Ruby, give me the scissors.”
* * *
“Simmons exhibits an exquisitely deft understanding of the extraordinary difficulties that unite a family, and her portrayals of the three women, told in alternating first-person chapters, enable satisfying connections with each.” Publisher’s Weekly
“…an engaging book about mental acuity as well as incapability,
emotional strength as well as frailty . . . a page-turner that will both
satisfy and enchant its readers.” Winnipeg Free Press
“Simmons wields her pen with grace and aplomb. . .a carefully drawn story
mixed with island history of the best sort.” A Worn Path
The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner
” … the spy who becomes the protector of a future queen …”
–A Note from Author C.W. Gortner
Everyone has a secret. And secrets can be deadly. Welcome to the dangers of THE TUDOR SECRET, where a squire to the powerful Dudley family becomes a d
ouble agent to save Princess Elizabeth from a dark conspiracy- one in which the secret of his mysterious past may be revealed. Filled with the intrigue and suspense that make the Tudors one of history’s most fascinating royal dynasties, this thrilling novel brings their world to life from a new perspective, introducing the spy who becomes the protector of a future queen. This is Book I of The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles.
To the hound’s blood-curdling bark, I stood and shifted through an opening in the hedge. I swiftly knelt, removed my cap. The moonlight sliced across my face. She went still. The dog snarled again. Cecil snapped his fingers. The guards were at me, swords scything in release. In a second, I was surrounded by blades. If I so much as moved a muscle, I would impale myself.
The dog strained at its chain, snout drawn back and fangs bared. She patted its sleek head. “Hush, Urian,” I heard her say. “Be still.” The hound sat on its haunches, its strange green-toned eyes fixed on me.
Cecil said, “I believe I know this youth, Your Grace. I assure you, he is quite harmless.”
One of her thin red-gold brows arched. “I don’t doubt it, seeing as he thought to hide from us in the yew, of all places. Who is he?”
“Robert Dudley’s squire.”
I glanced up in time to catch the quick look Cecil cast in my direction. I couldn’t tell whether he was displeased or amused.
The princess motioned. The guards shifted back. I stayed on one knee.
There are moments that define our existence, moments that, if we recognize them, become pivotal turning points in our life. Like pearls on a strand, the accumulation of such moments will in time become the essence of our life, providing solace when our end draws near.
For me, meeting Elizabeth Tudor was one of those moments.
* * *
Gortner handles action with aplomb, adding a riveting, fast-paced thriller to the crowded genre of Tudor fiction. Publisher’s Weekly
Even Tudor fans who know the main players and historical backdrop will be captivated by Gortner’s storytelling and his engaging hero. Romantic Times
The Collectibles by James J. Kaufman
” … we are all in need of help one way or another … ”
–A Note from Author James J. Kaufman
James J. Kaufman
The core of The Collectibles is a way of approaching
life. For years, I have watched people collect and proudly display all kinds of things-watches, clocks, figurines, furniture, cars, dolls. My idea for The Collectibles was to suggest the same level of intensity could be employed to help one another. When their inherently good qualities are recognized, the characters in my story are not only enriched, but so are the lives of those who reach out to them. This is the investment we should be making. We are all in need of help in one way or another. It’s not about control or money; it’s about heart and reaching out.
Neither spoke for a few moments. Then Missy looked at Joe, and breaking the silence, asked, “Why me?”
“Why me, what?”
“I mean, why have you taken such an interest in me? I know you’re a good guy and that you believe in helping people, not just your clients, but others, too. I know you and Ashley supported the Domestic Violence Shelter. I remember all my conversations with you back then. You helped me a lot. Don’t get me wrong, Joe. I love you for it. The part that blows me away is that you’ve stayed in touch so long to make sure I’m all right and see what you can do to help. And the others, too. Why, Joe? How do we get to be the lucky ones?”
* * *
“The Collectibles is a poignant and thoughtful read, highly recommended.” Midwest Book Review
“For a debut novel, Mr. Kaufman has outdone himself. This book is nothing short of incredible and extremely heartwarming.” Night Owl Reviews
Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland
” … to capture the heart of … the rock star of kings … ”
–A Note from Author Sandra Gulland
Mistress of the Sun was 8 years in the making, but my passion for the story of Louise de la Vallière, mistress to the Sun King, began longbefore. Louise was unsophisticated, a tomboy from the lower nobility-an unlikely young woman to capture the heart of such a powerful, handsome and charismatic young man (the rock star of kings).
I was horse-crazy in those years, and Louise was an extraordiary horsewoman; she could out-ride the King! While researching her life, a friend told me the story of taming a horse nobody else could come near.
Shortly after, I bought a postcard of the painting “Head of a White Horse” (by Gericault), which I pinned on the wall above my computer. This, then, became Diablo, a wild horse nobody could come near. Nobody, of course, except Louise.
What does Diablo represent to her? A free spirit: her own free spirit.
Petite succumbed in the first hot week of autumn. She no longer had the strength to say no, no longer the will to deny fate.
“Don’t let me go,” she begged as Louis embraced her. The linens had been newly washed and smelled of sunlight.
“I love you,” he whispered with stuttering helplessness. “I love you.”
Passages from the Bible came to her, inexplicably and unbidden, as from a song that would not leave, the words not quite known: And the mountain was altogether in smoke, and the mount quaked greatly, and all was thunderings and lightnings, and the noise of trumpets, and Fear not, for the Lord is come to prove you.
“I love you,” she wept, for the pain, and for the pleasure, and for the very great sin she was committing. She was ruined now, truly-and yet made whole. She wept, for she had found her one true love, but he was the King, and forbidden to her.
* * *
“Here’s a warning: Mistress of the Sun is dangerously seductive. It’s one of those books that will grab you and hold you captive till the last page is turned.”
-Geeta Nadkarni, for the Calgary Herald
“Exquisite and fantastic detail . . . to be savored and enjoyed. Take your time with this one; you will not want it to end.”
–Romantic Reviews Today, Perfect 10 Rating
The Murderer’s Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
” … remember when I let Daddy in the house and he tried to kill Mom … ?
–A Note from Author Randy Susan Meyers
Randy Susan Meyers
Why did I write The Murderer’s Daughters?
“Remember when I let Daddy in the house and he tried to kill Mom?”
My sister swears I was there, but I didn’t remember. As she fed me details, the scene rooted and became my memory also. I heard Daddy sweet-talk his way in. My mother’s screams echoed.
Years later I worked with violent men, men who punched, and broke bones; some murdered. When asked where their children had been, they swore the children slept.
Children don’t sleep through traumatic moments. Some freeze. Some bury the horror. Some become stuck re-creating the incident. I asked myself, what if? What if the neighbors hadn’t pounded upstairs? What if the police never came?
The Murderer’s Daughters is from my childhood shelf of worry, and my adult experience of working with men who killed.
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