#Review: Normal by: Graeme Cameron

 

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Title: Normal
Author:  Graeme Cameron
Pub. Date:  3/31/2015

Series: None
Genre: Psychological Suspense


He lives on your street, in a nice house with a tidy garden.

He shops at your local supermarket. He drives beside you on the highway, waving to let you into the lane ahead of him.

He also has an elaborate cage in a secret basement under his garage.

The food he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will—one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her.

This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal…and it works. Perfectly.

But this time it’s different…


My Review: 3/5

When I was in high school, I watched an interview with FBI profiler John Douglas.  I was instantly captivated.  I knew right then and there what I wanted to do with my life, become an FBI Profiler.  This was before the tv shows of Criminal Minds and The Profiler were in production.  This was even before Silence of the Lambs.  It was the idea of getting inside the head of serial killers, finding out what really makes them tick that fascinated me.  I entered college and realized I eventually wanted to have children.  After reading John Douglas’ book Mindhunter  (my autographed copy is one of my prized possessions), I realized having a career in the FBI, especially as a profiler, is nearly impossible if you also want to have a family.  So, I put my dream aside.  However, I still have a fascination and now just read everything I can about the subject.

Given the introduction above, you can see why this book appealed to me.  A story of a man who is your everyday next door neighbor, but holding women captive?  And, better yet, the story is told from his point of view?  YES!  I knew this book was for me!

However, when I started reading it, my expectations fell short.  The writing was difficult for me to follow.  A couple of times I found myself reading paragraphs two or three times just to understand what was being said.  At one point, I even considered putting the book down and adding it to my DNF pile.

I like discovering why a killer is the way he is: what motivates him?  What occurred in his past to shape his adulthood?  This book briefly touches on those questions when we are taken back to the killer’s past, but I really can’t tell you the answers.  The writing and story was unclear.  It was difficult to follow when he was talking about the past or the present.

There are a couple of twists and turns in the book that normally would get my heart pumping, but my pulse didn’t raise even once.

I can see this book being for someone else, but unfortunately it just wasn’t for me.  If you have read the book, I’d love to talk to you.  Maybe some of my questions can be answered.

The reason for my rating, is because of the subject matter and the attempt the author made tell the complete story from the killer’s POV

 

Blog Tour: Love Them and Leave Them @thatsueshepherd @emmamitchellfpr

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Love Them and Leave Them by Sue Shepherd

Love Them and Leave Them: Sometimes you have to leave the one you love … sometimes you’re the one who’s left behind. The new heart-warming and heart-breaking romantic comedy from the No.1 bestselling author of Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret?

On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.

But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.

Love Them and Leave Them is a story of love, families, friendship and a world of possibilities. Whichever decision Ed makes, the same people are destined to come into his daughter’s life, sometimes in delightfully different ways. And before they can look forward to the future, they will all have to deal with the mistakes of the past.

 

 

Sue Shepherd

Sue Shepherd writes contemporary romance and enjoys creating novels with heart, laughs and naughtiness. She doesn’t pull any punches when choosing her subjects, but manages to handle her characters’ challenging situations with sensitivity and humour. Her debut novel, Doesn’t Everyone Have a Secret? was published by Corazon Books in March 2015. It reached the top 10 UK Kindle chart, and also topped the romantic comedy, contemporary romance and humour charts. It became available in paperback on Amazon in November 2015.

Sue’s second novel, Love Them and Leave Them, was published in September 2016.

Sue lives on the picturesque Isle of Wight with her husband, two sons and a standard poodle. Her passions in life are: her family, writing, the sea-side and all the beautiful purple things her sons have bought her over the years. Ask Sue to plan too far in advance and you’ll give her the heebie-jeebies and she’d prefer you not to mention Christmas until at least November!

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Release Blitz: Switch @AuthorALocke @givemebooksblog

 

 

 

Title: Switch
Series: Landry Family #3
Author: Adriana Locke
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: February 20, 2017

 

Blurb

 

Mallory Sims is late for her first day of work.

After spilling her tea, she discovers she has no gas in her car. Add that her arm keeps sticking to her dress from syrup left on the console of her car, flustered feels like an understatement.

Then she sees her new boss.

Graham Landry is the epitome of NSFW in his custom-fit suit, black-rimmed glasses, and a look so stern her libido doesn’t stand a chance. Being flustered is just the start of her problems.

Her punctuality is only the start of his. With a pink slip in hand, he’s been waiting on his new secretary to show up only to let her go. Then she rushes in with her doe eyes and rambling excuses, smelling like bacon and lavender. The termination paper falls to the side as she falls in his arms.

This is a disaster in the making. Not because of his pinpoint exactness or her free spirit, but because when they’re together, the sparks that fly threaten to burn the whole place down.

 

Purchase Links

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited

 

 

Excerpt
We both know we aren’t just talking about a moved stapler or a mishmash of files. As that really sets in, the air around us gets heavier. Hotter. Hazardous.“Those things always lead to dangerous situations,” he says, his eyes trained on me.

I shift in my seat, the throb between my legs growing stronger by the second. “People do it every day and survive.”

“They may survive, but don’t things get messy?”

“Only if they do it right.”

His chair flies backwards and he’s to his feet and next to me before I know what’s happening. He doesn’t ask that I stand, but he doesn’t have to. It’s implied and my body reacts accordingly to his silent command.

We stand face-to-face, our breathing ragged. Our chests heave with the anticipation, the possibility, of what might come next.

“You are, quite possibly, the most dangerous of them all,” he says, his voice rough.

“Why is that?” I breathe.

“There’s no plan for you.”

“But you’ve already penciled me in, haven’t you, Graham?” I ask, finding the courage to play this little game with him. Being strictly professional is incredibly hard, and this is way too easy.

I can flirt with the best of them in a bar or on a college campus. But here, with him, it’s a game all its own. A level I had no idea I’d ever be a contender in. Maybe I’m not, but I’m going to play the hell out of it while I’m here … even though if I keep it up, I might not be here for long.

“What do you want, Mallory?”

“I want to do all the things you ask of me and do them better than you ever expected they could be done.”

A rumble emits from his throat as his eyes darken. My knees go weak and I grab the table with my left hand to ensure I don’t fall.

He licks his lips and flips his gaze to my mouth. I think I whimper as I lift my chin, waiting to see what he does next. My entire body is on fire for this man, my heart thumping so hard I’m sure he can hear it.

He moves so my back is pressed against the table, our food long forgotten. His hands are on either side of me, caging me in. Our eyes locked together, he leans in, a slow smirk spreading across his gorgeous face.

“Excuse me, Mr. Landry. Ford is here to see you,” Raza chirps through the line.

We exhale simultaneously, a giggle escaping with mine. There’s nothing funny about this, but the energy has to come out in some way.

“Mr. Landry?” she asks again.

“I’ll be right out. Thank you, Raza.”

“Oh, you’re so welcome, sir.” The line clicks off and Graham marches across the room and punches a button. The light on top indicates he’s not to be disturbed.

I busy myself with cleaning up our lunch, and before he’s at my side again, I have everything bundled up.

“Thanks for lunch,” I say like nothing just happened.

“Mallory …” He runs his hand through his hair, leaving one lock sticking up. Knowing what that will look like if we walk out together, I reach up, hesitating for a split second, before smoothing it out.

His hair is silky against my fingers. He jumps when I touch him at first, but doesn’t back away. “What are you doing?”

“Nothing went on in here. I refuse for it to look like something did. That’s the way rumors get spread, Mr. Landry.”

“Mallory, I …”

I get a final look at his face, reach up and straighten his tie as his eyes go wide, then turn towards the door. “I’ll send Ford in.”

“Mallory!”

“Yeah?” I turn to see him over my shoulder. He’s standing by the table, his hands in his pockets looking frazzled. When he doesn’t respond, I place my hand on the knob. “I’ll have that file back to you before I leave today. Thanks again for lunch.”

I walk out before I can change my mind.

Also Available
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited

 

Author Bio

 

USA Today Bestselling author Adriana Locke lives and breathes books. After years of slightly obsessive relationships with the flawed bad boys created by other authors, Adriana has created her own.

She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.

For sneak peeks, giveaways, and more, please join Adriana’s Facebook Group, Books by Adriana Locke, or her Goodreads group, All Locked Up.

 

Author Links

Blog Tour: Isolation Junction @JenLGilmour @emmamitchellfpr

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I’m so excited to be part of the Blog Tour for Jennifer Gilmour’s new book, Isolation Junction!  I had the pleasure of having Ms Gilmore take a break and answer a few questions.  Read below and learn more about this amazing author!  Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!

What is the most important item you require for a quiet night in?

Someone to lock away my laptop and phone so that I don’t get distracted by social media. Add in a cold bottle of white wine (preferably Sauvignon Blanc) and a good film followed by an absorbing book to read in bed.

Is it best to always tell the truth or is it sometimes better to tell a little white lie?

People who know me know that I can be too honest at times but because some of my past was filled with white lies and half-truths I made the decision to be nothing but honest. Been honest and voicing it is different and over the last few years I have gained confidence in myself to voice my honest opinion. However, whether people like it or not and it may sound brutal but friends find it refreshing because I will tell them my opinion about their outfit when they ask- it comes down to simple things as well as bigger thoughts.

I always think it is better to tell the truth, people only end up getting hurt if they find out you haven’t told the truth.

What’s your signature dish?

I would have to say my spaghetti bolognese. It may sound ordinary and unoriginal but it has never failed to please! My mum often made this dish and added certain ingredients which made the dish her own.  I began by helping her and it was the first meal I cooked on my own when I was 16.

Even though I say it myself, I also make an amazing chocolate cake with buttercream. Again, my mum had taught me this and it was my first dessert that I was confident enough to present to guests.

Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook, why?

Facebook. this is because I can find my connections easier and a lot more people I am connected with are on Facebook. I have however become more into Twitter since opening my author profile on there as there seems to be a fantastic community of authors, bloggers, readers and connectors. @JenLGilmour

Which book character do you wish you had written?

I just love Hermione Granger from Harry Potter and the reason is that she is so similar to me, the library and studying, the love of close friends and education. I love how she never sways from what she knows and her morels.

Why did you choose your particular genre?

Fiction allowed me to go freely with the characters and the plot line, it’s based on true events and it is not a biography. At first this was hard and I felt restricted but then one day I woke up after a week of talking to other victims and some research and the plot had thickened. I have a lot of kept notes still.

If you had to write in a different genre, which would you choose?

Most likely a thriller because I love to watch and read thrillers and even though I do see it as a challenge to write I can imagine its rather fun and exciting.

What’s the worst thing about writing a book?

The worry that it won’t be liked by readers and that it hasn’t done the job you’ve intended it to.  This includes if you have gotten the balance on emotion and because my novel is about a taboo subject it was important I wove through romance and some comedic moments, but will this be seen or will the initial topic of the book put people off?

What’s the best thing about writing a book?

It allowed me escapism from what was happening in my life at the time, I managed to channel many emotions I was struggling to handle. I loved how I was in control of the story and plot line when in reality I wasn’t in control of the outcome’s. I find it hard to enjoy freedom of choice but I was able to make the choices for the characters in the book and this helped me see that I am able to make choices. It also gave me a sense of purpose and I enjoyed writing for a reason.

If you could be anyone for the day, who would you be?

Focusing on the topic I am passionate about and domestic abuse I would like to be Theresa May for the day and amend and implement the national policies that are currently in place that prevent conviction of a perpetrator. Although the new law for coercive control is in place there still needs work to support this such as introducing an intensive training policy for the national services so that they are trained about how to recognise this behaviour. This would include the police, justice system, family courts, Surestart Centres and even children’s services like CAFCAS who all work to assess residency and access to children. I have no doubt that training does take place but the level of understanding needs to be improved. I would also like to see more education in schools regarding healthy and unhealthy relationships.


jennifer-gilmour

See the article in the local paper – Hull Daily Mail – Full page: http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/hull-mum-jennifer-gilmour-tells-of-torment-at-hands-of-controlling-partner/story-29613145-detail/story.html

See other articles and press appearances via: http://jennifergilmour.com/press/

 PRESS RELEASE

Married mum of three, writes first novel to raise awareness of the unseen side of domestic abuse/coercive control.

Local mother and business owner, Jennifer Gilmour, has spent the past eighteen months writing her first novel with the aim of not only raising awareness of this insidious behaviour which brings hidden misery to so many but of bringing about changes at a national level.  A ‘survivor’ herself, Jennifer is well aware that changes to national policies and working practices are needed so that situations in which women (and men) present in emotionally abusive situations are recognised and dealt with appropriately and with compassion. Jennifer believes that particular training needs to be focused on recognising the perpetrators of this behaviour, as often they are very persuasive people who are  able to manipulate the services themselves.

Jennifer’s Huffington Post article went into more depth about life after domestic abuse and living with the unseen ‘bruises’. She states that, “This is why it is important that not only are the agencies well equipped to recognise abuse and coercive control but that there is support to protect those at risk as well.  I was lucky to be supported by Hull DAP, which takes on medium risk cases as well as high risk cases. In many parts of the UK. This is not the case.”

Jennifer’s book follows the story of Rose who is stuck in an abusive and coercive relationship referred to as Isolation Junction.  After years of emotional abuse, the self doubt about her future and the erosion of her confidence, Rose takes a stand.  Finding herself alone, penniless and frightened Rose wonders how she will ever escape from the situation to provide a better life for herself and her children.  With 100 reasons to leave and 1000 reasons why she perceives she can’t – will she have the courage to do it? And will she find the support to regain control and confidence?

Jennifer Gilmour was born and educated in Hull before moving south to attend university. Now happily living in her home city with her husband, three children and a hamster she runs an Internet business (Blissful Gifts and Services) and is a top performing Consultant for Jamberry.


Website: www.isolationjunction.com

Kickstarter campaign which is live right now: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/690571062/isolation-junction

Facebook: www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour

Huffington Post Blogger Profile: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/jennifer-gilmour


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Blitz/Review: Parker @jquinnbooks

Parker
Jillian Quinn
(Face-Off Series #1)
Publication date: February 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Former collegiate athlete and successful sports agent, Charlotte “Coach” Coachman, is a straight shooter who has a very strict policy—no dating clients. The loves of her life are coaching little league basketball and managing the careers of her players, leaving no room for men.

Coach hasn’t met an athlete she couldn’t handle and a deal she couldn’t close—until she meets Alex Parker—the NHL’s most notorious bad boy both on and off the ice.

Alex is the best defenseman in the league, breaking records along with hearts. He’s made a name for himself as a womanizer, and after a scandal involving the owner’s granddaughter, Alex is traded to Philadelphia. Still reeling from the loss of his father, Alex is on a downward spiral, drowning himself in booze and women, until Coach takes him under her wing.

She might be attracted to the sexy hockey star, and certainly not immune to his charms, but Coach can see that Alex needs her help, and coaching players is what she does best. Now that the lines are blurred and the passion between them is too strong to deny, Coach has to decide if Alex is worth making an exception to her rules.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

As my cell phone rings, Tony mumbles that he’s going to grab us a few more beers, and then he disappears into the hallway. I do not recognize the number on the caller ID, but I do know the 215 area code. Philadelphia.

I press the button to answer, and before I can even say hello, a woman on the other end of the line says, “Parker, this is Coach. Mickey wanted me to call personally, so here you go. You’ve got me for all of two minutes and thirteen seconds.”

It takes me a minute to remember the name before I realize it’s Mickey’s girl, Charlotte Coachman. Her voice is so stern and confident, yet she’s exactly what I expected from what I’d heard about her from Mickey and some of her clients. She has made a name for herself in the sports world, and she’s one of the few women who didn’t sleep her way into that position, which is rare in this business.

“Hello to you, too, sweetheart.”

At first, she chuckles, but then her laughter slowly turns into a cackle. “Call me that again, Parker, and watch what happens. Let’s get something straight. I’m not one of your puck bunnies. I have a name. That name is Coach or Charlie, but it sure as hell isn’t sweetheart. You got that?”

This chick is crazy and feisty, and I kind of like it.

“One minute and thirty seconds.” She sounds like she’s chewing glass, the words harsh and painful on the tip of her tongue. “In the interest of saving ourselves the headache, I’ve arranged for my secretary to meet you at the apartment building. Please don’t look at her, smile in her direction, or flirt with her because I’m sick of replacing secretaries. I did you a solid with the Philly deal, so I’d appreciate you doing the same and keeping your hands to yourself.”

She went from intriguing to working my last nerve in a matter of seconds.

“Give me some credit at least. You make me out to be a total creep.”

“That’s not entirely off base, Parker. You seem to have a problem with keeping your pants on—or is it finding them?”

I can hear her covering the phone and chuckling to herself before she returns to being a mega bitch.

Damn those stupid YouTube videos.

“Forty-seven seconds.”

What is her problem?

She’s so uptight, she might snap in half.

“Like I was saying, Kayla will meet you at the building with the keys. If you need food, clothes, whatever, just let her know, and she will have it delivered. I put my ass on the line for you. Please make sure you’re at practice on time.”

“Sure thing, boss lady. Anything else?”

She sighs loudly into the receiver. “No. My cab is here, and I have to hang up. Mickey said you had the address and Kayla’s contact info. Just call her when you arrive. That’s all.”

I’m about to speak when I realize she already hung up on me and without even saying good-bye. I guess she sucks with them as much as I do.

Every second of our phone call replays in my mind as I try to wrap my head around what the hell just happened. It’s not hard to see why Charlotte is Mickey’s favorite agent and close friend. She’s the female version of him.


My Review: 4.5/5

I loved this book.  First of all, just look at that cover!!  If that’s not enough to make you swoon, then I don’t know what is!  Alex Parker, start hockey player, with a body to die for just messed up again.  Charlotte (Coach) is his new agent who steps in and helps him put his life back together.

The chemistry between Alex and Charlotte is just plain hot.  It is instant for both of them, and something they cannot deny.  I loved both of them.  Charlotte has a hard time letting someone in because of her past with her family.  Alex has also learned to live in the fast-lane of alcohol and women after the death of his father.  Together, they are one hot mess, but it works.

Once I started reading this, I couldn’t put it down.  It is a fast read and very well written.  Jillian is becoming one of my favorite romance authors.  Her books aren’t just about love stories; there is depth in every character.  I also loved the hidden surprises of the Philly Mafia popping up here and there, remnants from her last book Corrupt Me!

I’m excited to read the next book in this series…hopefully I won’t have to wait too long!


 

Author Bio:

Jillian loves Mafia men, sports, bad boys, dirty talkers, strong female characters, and books with plenty of heat, all of which you will find in her books. As a lover of all things bookish, she has a serious book hoarding problem and runs a book blog in her free time. When she’s not reading, writing, or blogging, she’s obsessively fangirling over hockey players and can be found wherever she can catch the next hockey game.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


GIVEAWAY!

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Book Tour/Excerpt: 15 Minutes @LarissaReinhart @HelloChickLit

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15 Minutes
By author: Larissa Reinhart
Release Date: January 24th, 2017
Genre: Cozy/Humorous Mystery

Blurb:

#10days #findthewoman #getthejob #doNOTfallinlove

#WannaBeDetective

When ex-teen star Maizie Albright returns to her Southern hometown of Black Pine, Georgia, she hoped to rid herself of Hollywood tabloid and reality show hell for a new career as a private investigator. Instead, Hollyweird follows her home. Maizie’s costar crushing, but now for her gumshoe boss. Her stage-monster mother still demands screen time. Her latest rival wants her kicked off the set, preferably back to a California prison.

By entangling herself in a missing person’s case, she must reprise her most famous role. The job will demand a performance of a lifetime. But this time, the stakes are real and may prove deadly.

Buy the Book:

AmazonUS
AmazonUK

What readers are saying:

“Hollywood glitz meets backwoods grit in this fast-paced ride on D-list celeb Maizie Albright’s waning star—even as it’s reborn in a spectacular collision with her nightmarish stage mother, her deer-pee-scented-apparel-inventing daddy…and a murderer. Sassy, sexy, and fun, 15 Minutes is hours of enjoyment—and a wonderful start to a fun new series from the charmingly Southern-fried Reinhart.”
— Phoebe Fox, author of The Breakup Doctor series

“Child star and hilarious hot mess Maizie Albright trades Hollywood for the backwoods of Georgia and pure delight ensues. Maizie’s my new favorite escape from reality.”
— Gretchen Archer, USA Today bestselling author of the Davis Way Crime Caper series

“I was already a huge fan of Larissa Reinhart’s Cherry Tucker series, but in her new mystery series, FIFTEEN MINUTES, she had me at the end of the first line: ‘Donuts.’

Maizie Albright is the kind of fresh, fun, and feisty ‘star detective’ I love spending time with, a kind of Nancy Drew meets Lucy Ricardo. Move over, Janet Evanovich. Reinhart is my new ‘star mystery writer!’”
— Penny Warner, Author of Death of a Chocolate Cheater and The Code Busters Club

“Larissa Reinhart’s newest heroine, Maizie Albright, is at once naïve and worldly. As a former child star, she craves life in the real world by becoming a PI, just like the TV character that made her famous. Armed with humor, charm, and stubborn determination, Maizie is a breath of fresh air. I adored every second of 15 Minutes. Viva la Maizie!”
— Terri L. Austin, author of the Rose Strickland mysteries and the Null for Hire series.

About the Author:

Larissa Reinhart

Bio:

A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery and Maizie Albright Star Detective series. The first in the Cherry Tucker series, Portrait of a Dead Guy, is a 2012 Daphne du Maurier finalist, 2012 The Emily finalist, and 2011 Dixie Kane Memorial winner. She loves books, food, and travel in any and all combinations.

Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, live in Nagoya, Japan, but they still call Georgia home. You can see them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Visit her website, find her chatting on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads, and sign up for her newsletter at http://smarturl.it/larissanewsletter. If you enjoy her books, please leave a review. She sends you virtual hugs and undying gratitude for your support!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


Visit all the stops on the tour:

Feb 12th – Blog on the Run – Promo/Spotlight Post

Feb 13th – Ali’s Book Nook – Book Review
Steamy Book Momma – Promo/Spotlight Post

Feb 14th – Judging More than Just the Cover – Author Q&A

Feb 15th – Hello…Chick Lit – Book Excerpt

Feb 16th – Kristin’s Novel Cafe – Book Excerpt
Jenabooks – Book Review

Feb 17th – Book Lover in Florida – Author Guest Post

Feb 18th – He Said Books Or Me – Author Guest Post


Excerpt 2

#PunchintheDeerNose #ManiPediPow

I loved Julia Pinkerton: Teen Detective.

Not because the show gave me international exposure. I worked with some great actors, both my regular cast and the guest stars. Real nice people who genuinely seemed to like me. Excellent crew and sweet craft folks. Treated me like a princess. On a long running show, they say your colleagues become family. That’s true. But when a show ends, the family disperses.

And you don’t always get a new family. Especially when you’ve outgrown your cheer uniform, but everyone still thinks of you as a cheerleader. And you weren’t that great of an actress anyway.

Even in hindsight, I would have done the show all over again. But not for the reasons you might think. Julia was smart. Really clever, sometimes crafty, but still likable. The other characters underestimated her because she was a teenager, but Julia used it to her advantage. Her teenagerness was her disguise.

She began as a school narc in the first season, working with the local police department. But after falling in love with the high school basketball star/drug dealer—originally a redeemable character, but when his contract wasn’t renewed, the writers had to flip him and kill him off—Julia lost confidence in the police and decided to strike out on her own. When you’re a teen detective on TV, you can do that. It worked. For eight seasons.

That’s like two millennia in TV years.

Plus, I met real police officers and real security agents. Advisors to the show. They took me for ride-alongs, got me into the Kids Police Academy, and let me hang out with them on set so I could listen to their stories. My agent and Vicki encouraged it, thinking it would help me develop Julia into a more convincing character, even though the advisors were actually hired to assist the writers and director.

Quick-witted and sharp, Julia could make the experts laugh. She asked provocative questions. Detective Earl King—guy with a permanent scowl and no neck—took me for ice cream every Friday.

Detective King said he wished he had a daughter as bright as Julia.

I’ll tell you one thing. Julia Pinkerton would never have gotten socked in the nose by a nail esthetician.

I lay on the floor, holding my nose and tearing up. I was no Julia Pinkerton. I wasn’t even a very good Maizie Albright. But I had succeeded in flushing out Tiffany for Wyatt Nash. Maybe he would still give me the job.

Mr. Nash handed Tiffany her papers, glanced down at me, and shook his head. “Guess I should have told you she has a record for assault. Didn’t think she’d use it on you. They were all domestic disputes.” After asking if I wanted to call the police, he offered me a hand up, steadied me on my Jimmy Choo wedges, and left.

Tiffany cursed him up one side and down the other as he walked away.

That girl has a mouth.

Blood dripped off the end of my nose and splattered my white dress. Grabbing the towel from the manicure table, I held it over my nose, inhaled acetate and ammonia, and almost blacked out.

“I’m so sorry.” Rhonda righted the chair, grabbed my elbow and guided me to safety. “Thank you for not pressing charges. Tiff has some anger issues. And an itchy trigger fist. But only when it comes to subpoenas.”


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Blogger Recognition Award!

award

Speechless.  That is what I am…along with humbled, excited, and shocked.  Thank you so much to Jen at Jen Med’s Book Reviews and Emma at Emma The Little Bookworm for nominating me for the Blogger Recognition.  Both of you are awesome and I cannot express to you how grateful I am!

Below are the rules I need to take care of, before accepting this awesome award:

Rules of the Award

1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

2. Write a post to show your award.

3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.

4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.

6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide a link to the post you created.


How I got started

Like most other bloggers, I love to read and write.  I’ve been accused of shutting out the world when I become involved with a good book.  One day, I was looking on Goodreads for different books to read.  I came across a review from Chelsea (The Suspense is Thrilling Me) for The Butterfly Garden.  I read the book based on her review (and loved it, btw), but also noticed the mention of Netgalley and how she received the book in exchange for her review.  After doing a little research the floodgates were opened!  I not only learned what an ARC was, but also discovered the wonderful world of Netgalley.  It was then that I decided to take book reading a step further and share my thoughts on all of my books.  From there, Kristin’s Novel Cafe was created and I’ve never looked back!


Advice 

I actually feel a little silly giving advice to new bloggers, since I’m new to blogging myself.  I’ve only been blogging for 5 months!  But, I will do the best I can and share two tips that I’ve learned.

  1.  First and foremost (and I’m sure every other blogger will tell you this) learn how to say no.  It is an exciting world of books!  Before you know it, authors and publishers will be reaching out to you, asking for your thoughts on their book.  I was so excited when this starting happening, I never dreamed that I would have to limit myself!  However, when you have more books than you can handle (I’m still working on the scheduling aspect) there comes a time when you just have to say no.  I now only accept books if they are in my genre, and if my schedule allows it.  It’s really o.k. to say no too, they will understand and you won’t hurt their feelings.  Which leads me to my next point of advice…
  2. Write from the heart.  Always remember why you started blogging in the first place.  For me, I love reading and I love writing.  It is a dream of mine to someday write my own book, but for now I share my thoughts in the form of book reviews.  Don’t worry if you hurt anyone’s feelings.  Be true to yourself and always be honest.  There are going to be times when you are asked to review a book that just isn’t that good.  While you don’t want to be mean about it (remember, there is a person behind the book) you still need to be honest in how you feel about it.  There have been a couple of times after finishing reading a book I’ve felt just so-so about it.  I was worried about writing the review.  However, during my writing I realized the books hit too close to home and made it difficult to face certain insecurities of mine.  That is one of the beauties of writing; it brings out thoughts and feelings sometimes you didn’t know were even there!  Always, always be honest.

My Nominations

This is the hard part, narrowing down my choices for nominations to only 15 other bloggers.  These bloggers have helped me in my blogging journey.  They are beyond awesome, and a couple of them I am honored to actually call my friends.  Without further ado, here is my list:

  1. Amy – Novel Gossip
  2. Chelsea – The Suspense is Thrilling Me
  3. Renee – It’s Book Talk
  4. Jill – Jill’s Book Cafe
  5. Wendy – Little Bookness Lane
  6. Amanda – Hanging With Amanda
  7. Emma – Damp Pebbles
  8. Amanda – Cover 2 Cover Mom
  9. Jillian – Rant and Rave About Books
  10. Kaisha – The Writing Garnet
  11. Claire – Brizzlelass Books
  12. Lorraine – The Book Review Cafe
  13. Sue – Books From Dusk till Dawn
  14. Krysti – YA and Wine
  15. Sarah – By the Letter Book Reviews

So, there you have it.  I cannot be more honored to be part of this awesome world of books and blogging.  Everyone I’ve met has been beyond helpful and just plain great.  Never in a million years did I ever dream that I would be part of this world and here I am…honestly living the dream.