Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Spotlight: Night in Jerusalem by Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy

Title: NIGHT IN JERUSALEM
Author: Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy
Publisher: PKZ Inc.
Pages: 246
Genre: Historical Romance


A bewitching love story that is also an extraordinary portrait of Jerusalem, its faith, spirituality, identity, and kaleidoscope of clashing beliefs, Night in Jerusalem is a novel of mystery, beauty, historical insight, and sexual passion.
David Bennett is invited to Jerusalem in 1967 by his cousin who, to the alarm of his aristocratic British family, has embraced Judaism. He introduces David to his mentor, Reb Eli, a revered sage in the orthodox community. Despite his resistance to religious teaching, David becomes enthralled by the rabbi’s wisdom and compassionate presence. When David discloses a sexual problem, Reb Eli unwittingly sets off a chain of events that transforms his life and the life of the mysterious prostitute, Tamar, who, in a reprise of an ancient biblical story, leads both men to an astonishing realization. As passions rise, the Six Day War erupts, reshaping the lives of everyone caught up in it.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Excerpt:

David lay awake thinking about Anat. He was intimidated by her sexuality, but also fascinated by her free spirit and daunting intelligence. He had never met anyone like her. He wondered if Jonathan and the others knew she preferred women lovers, and why she had confided in him. He became anxious, thinking perhaps she sensed he had sexual issues and was someone she could easily manipulate. 
Earlier, out on the roof, he had asked her why she preferred women. She had answered simply, “For the same reasons you do,” then adding, “I find women more interesting intellectually, as well as sexually.” 

Her directness was equal parts frightening and exciting. He wanted to know her better. Perhaps, with her, he could get over his sexual problem. The truth was, he desired her as much as he found her intimidating.



Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy worked as an actress and writer in film and television in the United States and IsraelNight in Jerusalem is her debut novel, which she has adapted to film. She lives in Ojai California with her husband and daughter.

She writes, “I lived in Israel in the 1960s, a naive twenty-year-old, hoping to find myself and my place in the world. The possibility of war was remote to me. I imagined the tensions in the region would somehow be resolved peacefully. Then, the Six Day War erupted and I experienced it firsthand in Jerusalem.

I have drawn Night in Jerusalem from my experiences during that time. The historical events portrayed in the novel are accurate. The characters are based on people I knew in the city. Like me, they were struggling to make sense of their lives, responding to inherited challenges they could not escape that shaped their destiny in ways they and the entire Middle East could not have imagined.

I have always been intrigued by the miraculous. How and where the soul’s journey leads and how it reveals its destiny. How two people who are destined, even under the threat of war and extinction, can find one another.

Israel’s Six Day War is not a fiction; neither was the miracle of its victory. What better time to discover love through intrigue, passion, and the miraculous.

Writing this story was in part reliving my history in Israel, in part a mystical adventure. I am grateful that so many who have read Night In Jerusalem have experienced this as well.”

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

New Release: Christmas Babies on Main Street by the Authors of Main Street



Nine individual stories from the bestselling Authors of Main Street - New for the 2017 Christmas Season!

This year, Authors of Main Street have combined their talents to bring you stories about love, the holidays, and babies. And not all of our babies have pudgy fingers and adorable toes...one of them has hooves and a mane!

~*~*~*~*~
Baby Blue Christmas - Kristy Tate

After a tragic accident claims the lives of baby Jamison’s parents, custody is awarded to both his aunt Sophie Rossi and his uncle Luke Mason. With Luke nowhere to be found, Sophie quits her demanding job with a prestigious law firm in San Francisco and moves into her sister’s farmhouse in Shell Beach to care for Jamison. After six months, she is doing the best she can, but mostly feels like an imposter trying to fit into her sister’s too big shoes. Still, when Luke Mason resurfaces and wants to be a part of Jamison’s life—and therefore Sophie’s—she resents his long absence and interference. Plus, she hasn’t really forgiven him for his teasing when they were in high school.

But as Christmas nears, Sophie and Luke’s shared concern for Jamison begins to draw them together, forcing both of them to rethink their plans for the future and to redefine their ideas of a family.


~*~*~*~*~
The Christmas Stocking - Carol DeVaney

Ellie had never wanted to settle for less than a happy home and the sound of pitter-patter dancing across her floors…but she had. Ryan Newsome had married her only to give him babies. One week after her second miscarriage, Ryan took the cowards way out and walked away.
Little did Ellie know, God was about to intervene.


~*~*~*~*~
Baby Steps and Snow Flakes - Jill James

After more than a decade as a foster parent, all Krista Green wants is to become a mother.
When Max Evans drops into her lap just before Christmas, she believes this is the one she gets to keep.

Morgan Fieldcrest finds out he has a child, and all he wants is to be a father to baby Max.
The only thing standing in his way is Krista and her distrust of anyone with the Fieldcrest name.
They will need baby steps and Christmas magic to work their way toward each other
in the pursuit of the best for baby Max.  


~*~*~*~*~
A Sister's Christmas Gift - E. Ayers

Naval officer Craig Jenski returns home on leave to discover his on-again-off-again would-be girlfriend has been tragically killed. He also discovers she has a twin sister who is now the guardian of a baby he didn’t know existed. His suspicions that the child is his prompt him to become a part of Brandy’s life, perhaps more so than he’d originally intended.


~*~*~*~*~
Lena Takes a Foal - Lizzi Tremayne


If there is one thing a veterinary school faculty of frowns upon, it's a relationship between a resident and a student...like oil and water, they just don't mix.

After a messy divorce, Kit Allen returns to his first loves -horses and his old veterinary school alma mater. Determined to earn a tenure track position, he excels at imparting his knowledge to students.
Becoming involved with anything but a pager—ever—isn't in the cards. Especially a talented and beautiful student in need of his help.

When Lena Scott’s horse lands on her, upside down, it has to be the dashing new resident, Kit, who finds her. Self-reliant she may be, but she's not bullet proof! She swore off relationships after her last romantic disaster and vowed to concentrate on graduating from vet school—and it's not yet a sure thing. Besides, she has more important things to think about than sea-green eyes and rugged good looks.

Lena has a secret…


~*~*~*~*~ 
A Family Christmas - Jude Knight


Trevor is heading home for Christmas, after three years undercover investigating a global criminal organization. He hasn’t spoken to his sister and grandfather since the case began. He hasn’t spoken to Kirilee, his target’s sister, since the day nearly nine months ago he married her and helped her escape. Will she want to stay married? And if so, will he?

In the heart of a storm, two people from different worlds question what divides and what unites them.
  
~*~*~*~*~ 
Small Town Christmas Baby - Stephanie Queen

Julie and Jack are excited about having a baby until a long-ago secret threatens to create a deep divide between their mothers. Can Julie count on Jack to come up with a Christmas miracle to keep them all together? 


~*~*~*~*~ 
Christmas in Eastport - Susan R. Hughes

A holiday visit to her hometown of Eastport brings Carly Nolan face-to-face with a part of her past she’d rather forget. That face belongs to Mitch Logan, the boy who broke her heart when they were seventeen. When their reunion leads to one passionate night, Carly is convinced that Mitch has changed and dreams of a fresh start with her first love. But after rumors and revelations shatter her illusions, she resolves to leave Mitch in her past for good—a pledge that becomes impossible to keep when it turns out there are not just two hearts on the line, but three.


~*~*~*~*~
Christmas in July - Leigh Morgan

Madelyn Grace recently returned to Door County, Wisconsin after twenty-five years away to try to renew her relationship with her daughter, Dr. Julie Grace. Drew Selleck, Sheriff of Fish Creek, never left The Door and never lost his love for Maddy. When they get together, old flames re-kindle, and long-held secrets are revealed.


For Drew, Maddy’s return in July was just the Christmas present he needed.

Available now for only 99 cents! Order here!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Book Spotlight: Death Comes by Sue Hallgarth


Death Comes gives us another glimpse into the life and work of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and her talented life partner. The year is 1926. Willa and Edith return to Mabel Dodge Luhan’s pink adobe in Taos, New Mexico. Willa is writing Death Comes for the Archbishop. Edith is sketching Taos Pueblo and hoping for a visit to the nearby D.H. Lawrence ranch. The previous summer they had stumbled onto a woman’s body. Now the headless bodies of two women add to the mystery. Sue Hallgarth presents an intimate portrait of Cather, Lewis, the spectacular New Mexico landscape, and the famous artists and writers Mabel Dodge Luhan gathered in Taos.





Sue Hallgarth is former English professor. She has written scholarly articles on Willa Cather and Edith Lewis, and this is her second book of fiction featuring the two of them. Her first book in the series On The Rocks, set in 1929 on the island of Grand Manan in New Brunswick, Canada. She lives in Corrales, New Mexico.



Blog Tour Schedule:
Oct. 11: The Book Connection (Book Spotlight)
Oct. 12: Debra Smouse (Review)
Oct. 14: Teddy Rose Book Reviews and Plus More (Book Spotlight/Giveaway)
Oct. 17: Jorie Loves A Story (Review On the Rocks)
Oct. 18: Jorie Loves A Story (Review Death Comes)
Oct. 19: Modern Creative Life (Interview)
Oct. 25: Silver's Reviews (Book Spotlight/Giveaway)
Oct. 30: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)
Nov. 2: Jorie Loves A Story (Interview)
Nov. 6: CelticLady's Reviews (Book Spotlight)

Nov. 8: Donna’s Book Reviews (Review)


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Book Review: Kin Types by Luanne Castle

Emotional and gripping, Kin Types by Luanne Castle is a collection unlike anything I've ever read before. At moments heart wrenching, at moments disturbing, these powerful glimpses into the lives of the women and men from Castle's family history will grab you right away.

While part of me hoped for more lighter moments, the reality is that our ancestors lived in dangerous, difficult times. Castle captures that reality so well with her poetry and prose. She writes a fascinating blog on family history at The Family Kalamazoo. Kin Types is a wonderful new way to bring those people to life for others.


Paperback: 44 pages
Publisher: Finishing Line Press (July 14, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1635342546
ISBN-13: 978-1635342543

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ip6mTWIMSvI

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.



Winner of the 2015 New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, Doll God, Luanne Castle‘s first collection of poetry, was published by Aldrich Press. Luanne’s poetry and prose have appeared in Grist, Copper Nickel, River Teeth, Glass Poetry Press, Barnstorm Journal, Six Hens, Lunch Ticket, The Review Review, and many other journals. Published by Finishing Line Press, Kin Types was a semi-finalist in the Concrete Wolf chapbook contest.

Luanne has been a Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California, Riverside. She studied English and creative writing at the University of California, Riverside (Ph.D.); Western Michigan University (MFA); and the Stanford University writing certificate program. Her scholarly work has been published in academic journals, and she contributed to Twice-Told Children’s Tales: The Influence of Childhood Reading on Writers for Adults, edited by Betty Greenway. For fifteen years, she taught college English. She divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a herd of javelina. Visit her website.

Available on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vEq5eW



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Guest Blogger: Marilyn Meredith, Author of A Cold Death

Deputy Tempe Crabtree and her husband answer the call for help with unruly guests visiting a closed summer camp during a huge snow storm are trapped there along with the others. One is a murderer—another a ghost.

How Tempe Has Changed
by Marilyn Meredith

When the series began Tempe Crabtree knew little about her Indian heritage. She didn’t grow up on the reservation and all she knew about being a Native American came from stories her grandmother told her. These stories play an important part in a couple of the mysteries.

When she went to high school she was made fun of for being an Indian by some of the other students, and shunned by the Indian kids who lived on the reservation.

Her friend, Nick Two John, is the one who gradually teaches her about what it means to be an Indian and some of the Bear Creek Indian legends. Many of these legends are also a basis for plots. Her feelings about her heritage and all it means change throughout the series.

As time goes on, she has reached out more and more to Indian mysticism and spirituality to help her solve the mysteries that confront her, despite her pastor husband’s objections.

What hasn’t changed is her willingness to risk her life to help others. Her strength has remained consistent throughout.

While writing this, I realize that I probably should have had her appearance change a bit—but hopefully the reader will use his or her own imagination to see Tempe with natural changes as she’s aged. To be honest, I see her in my mind’s eyes as the more mature woman that she is today.

What is your opinion about how much a series character should change?

Marilyn

Anyone who orders any of my books from the publisher‘s website: http://mundania.com
can get 10% off by entering MP20 coupon code in the shopping cart. This is good all the time for all my books, E-books and print books.

On Kindle:




Marilyn Meredith’s published book count is nearing 40. She is one of the founding members of the San Joaquin chapter of Sister in Crime. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra, a place with many similarities to Tempe Crabtree’s patrol area. Webpage:  http://fictionforyou.com Blog:  http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/ and you can follow her on Facebook.

Contest: Once again I’m going to use the name of the person who comments on the most blogs on my tour for the next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery—which may be the last in the series.

Tomorrow I’ll be here:

My Journey as an Author


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Guest Blogger: Greg Messel, Author of San Francisco Nights (Giveaway)

The wife of a wealthy San Francisco shipping magnate leads a secret life but someone is threatening to expose her.  Private eye Sam Slater and his wife and partner, Amelia, meet a mysterious woman in a large red hat during a train trip. The woman approaches him pleading for help because she‘s receiving anonymous notes quoting Bible verses which are becoming more and more ominous with each passing day. Her secrets have been discovered but by whom? What really happens behind closed doors in Room 505 in a swanky downtown hotel?

Sam is willing to take the case but Amelia warns that this woman is nothing but trouble. What does the woman really want? She’s been watching Sam for months and has a scheme to pull him into her world. 

Find out in the latest Sam Slater Mystery “San Francisco Nights” set in the fall of 1959. It’s the seventh book in the series but is a heart pounding stand alone whodunit. 

Watch the book trailer at YouTube.


ORDER YOUR COPY AT AMAZON


THE GLAMOR GIRLS OF THE SKY

There are no more stewardesses. 

The stewardesses on airlines morphed into flight attendants who are both males and females.  In the 21st Century flight attendants are the generally congenial people who walk down the aisle of the cramped plane offering you a small cup of soda, an even smaller bag of peanuts and tell you to stow your bags before take-off. 

The glamor of air travel has gradually disappeared and most passengers who navigate the extensive security at the airport and then squeeze into the seat on the plane, hardly consider it a glamorous experience. 

There is nothing wrong with flight attendants but they are a far cry from the glamor girls of the 1950s and 1960s who were called stewardesses. In Life magazine in 1957, there was a cover picture and featured article called “The Glamor Girls of the Sky.” 

The article details the rigorous training and selection process a woman must endure in the hopes of being chosen by the airline to be a stewardess.

The stewardesses of the 1950s and 1960s were something very close to movie stars and were widely admired by men as sex symbols and also were envied by women of the era.

Since she was a small girl Amelia Ryan Slater wanted to be a stewardess. As 1959 comes to a close in my new book San Francisco Nights, Amelia is no longer a stewardess and is a full time partner to her husband Sam in the private eye business. Why? Simple because she got married. The airlines want their “glamor girls” to be young and single.

I found an old job application for stewardesses from the 1950s. The requirements show how far we have come as a society and specifically how far women have come in their quest for equality in the work place.

Here is a laundry list of the requirements for stewardesses. They are:

Appearance: Height and weight proportionate
Attractive ("just below Hollywood") Standards
Gender: Female
Martial Status: Single, not divorced, separated or widowed.
Race: White
Age: 21 to 26 years old
Education: Registered nurse or two years of college
Height: Between 5 feet, 2 inches and 5 feet, 6 inches
Weight: 135 pounds maximum

I'm not sure how a woman is supposed to react to the qualification--"attractive, just below Hollywood standards." Is it a compliment or an insult to be told that you are "just below Hollywood standards?" It's astounding to think of a job application which would list the "qualifications" as "white, single, female, a range for height and of course, a weight restriction." The weight restriction was a sliding scale. For instance, the fictional character, Amelia Ryan is 5 feet four inches which means she could only weigh 125 pounds. If a stewardess shows up for a flight above weight, she is grounded.

The airlines wanted pretty young, single women to provide eye candy for their well-heeled passengers who flew--mostly affluent businessmen. Once a woman was over 26 or was married she was asked to resign.

That of course changed.

On February 11, 1958, Ruth Carol Taylor was hired by Mohawk Airlines and became the first African-American flight attendant in the United States. Ironically, despite her historic breaking of the racial restriction, Ruth's career ended just six months later due to another discriminatory barrier: she married and was dismissed by the airline. Incidentally, only stewardesses had the age restriction and the marriage ban. No other airline employees and especially pilots, were under the same type of requirements.

In my novel, stewardess Amelia Ryan falls in love with Sam Slater. They want to get married. But Amelia also loves her job. She has to choose between marriage and continuing as a stewardess. It was a great dilemma for her.

The glamorous world of stewardesses was one of the only avenues open to women in the 1950s to "see the world" and have a career. But it came at a great price. Sam and Amelia are secretly married in Fog City Strangler. They keep their union a secret so she can continue to work for the airline. 

In an earlier book in the mystery series--San Francisco Secrets--another challenge rears its head for Amelia--sexual harassment.  

A womanizing pilot, Mark Silver, is essentially Amelia’s boss and aggressively pursues her with unwanted sexual advances. There was no such term as “sexual harassment” in the 1950s.  As she tried to fight off  Capt. Silver, Amelia ponders the avenues she has to protect herself. There are basically none. 

Amelia wonders if she goes to the airline to complain about Silver if it will cause her problems, not the pilot. She fears that when she complains about the “sexual harassment,” the airline will just say that “boys will be boys.”  Stewardesses routinely had to evade grabby male passengers and the unwanted advances of pilots. 

Sam is upset by the groping of Amelia and complains about her work environment saying that if anyone is attracted to my girlfriend they can “take a sample.”

It would be several years before the stewardesses unionized and stood up to the airline. There was a series of lawsuits that knocked down the discriminatory barriers for women. 



Greg Messel has spent most of his adult life interested in writing, including a career in the newspaper business. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist and has contributed articles to various magazines. Greg lives in Edmonds, Washington on Puget Sound with his wife Jean DeFond.

Greg has written ten novels. His latest is "San Francisco Nights" which is the seventh in a series of mysteries set in 1959 San Francisco. "Shadows In The Fog," "Fog City Strangler," "San Francisco Secrets," "Deadly Plunge" are sequels to the first book in the series "Last of the Seals." His other three novels are "Sunbreaks," "Expiation" and "The Illusion of Certainty." For a more detailed summary of Greg's novels go to www.gregmessel.com 


Greg is currently working on his eleventh novel "Dreams That Never Were" which is not part of the mystery series.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Greg Messel is giving away three of his books!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway ends midnight September 29.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!
ENTER TO WIN!


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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

First Chapter Review: A Wanted Man by Robert Parker



I'm hosting a First Chapter Review of the crime thriller A Wanted Man by Robert Parker during his VBT with Pump Up Your Book.

BLURB: It’s down to fathers and fatherhood.

Ben Bracken, ex-soldier, has just got out of Strangeways.

Not by the front door.

With him, he has his ‘insurance policy’ – a bag of evidence that will guarantee his freedom, provided he can keep it safe – and he has money, carefully looked after by a friend, Jack Brooker.

Rejected by the army, disowned by his father, and any hopes of parenthood long since shattered, Ben has no anchors in his life.

No one to keep him steady. 

No one to stop his cause…

The plan: to wreak justice on the man who had put him in prison in the first place. 

Terry ‘The Turn-Up’ Masters, a nasty piece of work, whose crime organisation is based in London.

But before Ben can get started on his mission, another matter is brought to his attention: Jack’s father has been murdered and he will not rest until the killers are found.

Suddenly, Ben finds himself drawn in to helping Jack in his quest for revenge.

In the process, he descends into the fold of Manchester’s most notorious crime organisation – the Berg – the very people he wants to bring down…

This action-packed and fast-paced story will keep you turning the pages. Manchester is vividly portrayed as Ben races around the city seeking vengeance.

COVER: Perfect for the genre and gives the reader a sense of place. 

FIRST CHAPTER: After an intense prologue, the reader finds Ben Bracken out of prison and carrying around his "insurance policy" before he reconnects with people from his past. 

KEEP READING: My interest is definitely piqued. As I already said, the prologue is intense and sets a great stage for what is to come. Since Ben is alone throughout most of the first chapter its a lot of narration, but Parker keeps the reader's attention with his keen eye for details and the sprinkling of backstory that flows through the present day happenings. I want to read more of this one.


File Size: 2136 KB
Print Length: 245 pages
Publisher: Endeavour Press (May 14, 2017)
Publication Date: May 14, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B072333TYM

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.