Finding Fizz – Entered in Romance Novel Contest


5 Stars

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Julie Hodgson

In Julie Hodgson’s Finding Fizz, Sam has found himself in a beautiful, mystical land halfway between Heaven and everlasting purgatory. His guardian angel, Athena, explains that he is dead now, killed right around his twentieth birthday. However, Sam hasn’t just left his life behind; he also lost the love of his life, Fizz. Riddled with guilt, Athena offers to reincarnate him so he can return to Fizz- but there’s a catch. She can’t stop his eventual death, so each time she brings him back, he’s on a time crunch to finish his mission before that fateful day. There’s a chance that Sam could conquer his unfortunate demise, but only if he solves the mystery of his first death, the one that tore him away from Fizz in the first place.

Finding Fizz is a highly unusual book, but in the best way. It combines several genres- most notably romance, mystery, and fantasy- together into one melting pot of literary greatness. The concept might seem a bit odd, but it is executed wonderfully. The imagery that Julie Hodgson used in her novel was phenomenal; it was almost as if Finding Fizz was a masterpiece painting concocted only of words.

Its only downfalls were so minimal that they did not take away from its magic at all. First, it seemed to have a plethora of winding, run-on sentences that were sometimes hard to follow. The other is its dialogue; often when characters were speaking to one another, their dialogue seemed wooden or awkward. Beyond that, Finding Fizz was almost faultless. It was an enchanting read, unexpectedly unique and charming. Julie Hodgson’s fictional world was a pleasure to experience, and one that most readers would surely fall in love with.

Originally reviewed by the staff of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.

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Twelve Spirits of Christmas – Entered in the Holiday Book Contest

4 Stars

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Kathryn M. Hearst

Twelve Spirits of Christmas is Kathryn M. Hearst’s second novel about Tessa Lamar, a Cherokee woman who uses her psychic abilities to assist the Orange County Police Department. In this adventure, Tessa is trying to unravel the mystery of a dangerous serial killer who uses lyrics from the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to choose his victims. It isn’t as easy as she would have hoped, especially while managing a hectic jumble of colorful family members, a steamy romance, and her newfound mystical abilities. Her time is limited, though, and she must race to catch the killer before he has a chance to finish the carol. 

Twelve Spirits of Christmas is an odd mix of things that don’t usually go together (Cherokee folklore, crime drama, and Christmas, to name the obvious ones). It’s a little difficult to wrap your head around in the beginning; for a good amount of the novel, the plot seemed to be all over the place. Thankfully, as the story progressed, it did begin to be easier to follow. 

Once you get past the oddness of the plot, Twelve Spirits of Christmas is actually an excellent book. Kathryn M. Hearst’s characters are simultaneously believable and extraordinary, which made them very entertaining to read about. Her style of writing is full of imagery and quirkiness, while still maintaining the sense of suspense and mystery that keeps pages turning. Twelve Spirits of Christmas is a bit different, to be sure, but it is definitely a great read.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Thirst

Today’s Featured Author and Book

Thirst

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Book Description:

Explosive violence rocks Canada’s Slocan Valley after the shooting deaths of three teenagers in a bombing attempt at the Keenleyside dam. A joint U.S.-Canada military force locks down the Valley to protect Columbia River dams critical to both countries but martial law incites more violence. 

Geologist Alex Graham refuses to let politics stand in her way. She evades military patrols to slip into a restricted zone in her hunt for a silver mine to claim as her own. But her plans are derailed by an intentionally set fire that almost takes her life. 

Someone wants her out of the Slocan Valley. 

When Alex discovers a gunshot victim in an abandoned mine, she fears she could be next. But she’s never been one to wait for trouble to come to her and she tracks a suspicious man seen once too often in the lonely mountains. 

All eyes are on the dams, but the true threat lies elsewhere. 


Notes: 

In Katherine Prairie’s Thirst, geologist Alex Graham is determined to find a lucrative silver mine amongst the mountains of Slocan Valley, Canada. However, her suspicions are aroused when her tent is burned down by a mysterious arsonist, followed by a gruesome discovery in an abandoned mine. She is certain that something sinister is going on, but between the military presence on the Keenleyside dam after an attempted bombing and the sensitivity of her own geological work, she is hesitant to bring attention to the situation. Meanwhile, martial law has been declared in an effort to solve the increasingly violent protests after the dam debacle, sending the entire area into a turbulent mess of politics, activism, murder, and mystery. Alex is left to figure out whether the recent crimes against her have to do with the situation at the dam, or something much worse. 

Thirst is a fantastic mystery, loaded with suspense and intrigue from the very first page. It has a pleasant blend of science, politics, activism, and mystery, yet is overdone in none of these things. The plot is wonderfully unique thanks to this winning combination, especially with the protagonist being a geologist, which is something very rarely seen in fictional literature. Katherine Prairie, the author of Thirst, is a geologist herself, and the expertise she lent to her written work made it all the more believable. 

Also, each character was wonderfully written to be complex and so very human, making the characters easy to relate to and root for as the story goes on. Aside from that, the general story as a whole was a great read; the pure talent that Katherine Prairie exhibited in every descriptive sentence was truly phenomenal. Thirst is easily one of the best modern mysteries to recently grace the shelves, with enough unique content to entertain fans of any genre. Hopefully Alex Graham will make another literary appearance in the future, because her adventures are more than worth the read.

Originally critiqued by the staff of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.


Katherine Prairie

katherine-prairie-v2

Katherine, a geologist and IT specialist, stepped away from the international petroleum industry to follow her passion for writing. An avid traveller with an insatiable curiosity, you never know where you’ll find her next! But most days, she’s in Vancouver, Canada quietly plotting murder and mayhem under the watchful eye of a cat. She is an award-winning presenter and the author of the thriller THIRST. 

www.katherineprairie.com


If you enjoy these author interviews be sure you subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow on Podbean and get your copy of Thirst.


Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

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Have you checked out the 2016 Holiday Book Contest yet? Deadline is 11/15/16

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

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Whether you’re a first time author or a New York Times Best Seller this book award contest is for you.

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

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Fairfield’s Auction

Today’s Featured Author and Book

Fairfield’s Auction

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Book Description:

On a cold winter evening in the small mountain town of Witherston, Georgia, antique dealer Hempton Fairfield auctions off rare Cherokee artifacts, Appalachian antiques, and a young African Grey parrot. Late that night, a blizzard stops traffic for a three-mile stretch of the Witherston Highway, prohibiting anyone’s arrival or departure and stranding an eighteen-wheel semi full of chickens. The next morning two bodies are discovered in the snow, the chickens are running free, and the parrot is missing, leaving a number of unanswered questions. What happened? Where’s the parrot? How did the chickens escape the stranded truck? Who rightfully owns the remnants of the thousand-year-old Cherokee civilization? Who killed the two men? And, most importantly, how many more bodies will turn up before the killer is caught?


Notes: 

Listen to our previous interview with Betty Jean by clicking here.


Betty Jean Craige

BJ Craige and Cosmo

Dr. Betty Jean Craige has published books in the fields of Spanish poetry, modern literature, history of ideas, politics, ecology, and art.  She is a scholar, a translator, a teacher, and a novelist. http://www.bettyjeancraige.com/

 


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Rob and Janelle

 

 


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Unscrupulous: A Circle City Mystery

Today’s Featured Author and Book

Unscrupulous: A Circle City Mystery

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Book Description:

Christmas is only a week away, but not all is merry and bright for Sergeant Brent Freeman and his partner, newly promoted Detective Anne Samuels. They find themselves facing more than a homicide when they discover the victim’s five-year-old daughter, Maricella, is missing. When suspicion moves to human trafficking and gang involvement, the FBI sends in two of their best to assist in the investigation. 

In the meantime, two people who insist her mother didn’t want her anymore have transported a terrified little Maricella out of state. Fortunately, she finds solace in two older children. These two soon realize their captors are prepping Maricella for organ harvesting. Their main goal becomes to protect her at any cost, even if it means running away in the snow and bitter cold temperatures of December without any knowledge of the area where they’re being held. 

Can Maricella’s newfound protectors get her out of the house and to safety before the doctor decides she’s a transplant matche? Will Brent discover where these unscrupulous persons are hiding the children before it’s too late?


Notes: Previous interview about Purgedclick here.


M.E. May (Michele May)

Winner of the 2013 Lovey Award for Best First Novel for Perfidy, M. E. May lives in the Far Northwest Suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Paul, and their white Husky, Iris. Born in Indianapolis, she spent most of her years there or in a suburban town nearby. Although, she has physically moved away, her heart still lives in her hometown. She has a son, daughter, and four wonderful grandsons still living in central Indiana.

She attended Indiana University in Kokomo, Indiana, studying Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her interest in the psychology of humans sparked the curiosity to ask why they commit such heinous acts upon one another. Other interests in such areas as criminology and forensics have moved her to put her vast imagination to work writing crime fiction that is as accurate as possible. In doing so, she depicts societal struggles that pit those who understand humanity with those who are lost in a strange and dangerous world of their own making. 

In creating the Circle City Mystery series, she brings to life fictional characters who work diligently to bring justice to victims of crime in the city of Indianapolis.

Read more about M. E. May and her latest adventures on www.memay-mysteries.com.

 


If you enjoy these author interviews be sure you subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow on Podbean and get your copy of Unscrupulous.


Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

 

 


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Authors Talk About It Book Award Contest

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The Case of the Yellow Diamond

Open Case:

The Case of the Yellow Diamond (Sean Sean Mystery)

 

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Book Description:

A dead man on the floor of his office in Minneapolis won’t lead P.I. Sean Sean to journey to Yap Island to protect his new client. Bombs in lawyers’ cars only jostle him. This short investigator knows the value of research and asking questions in the right places. World War II, Asian diamonds and concrete in Des Moines combine to almost destroy a Minnesota family. In the end, Sean detects flaws in the plans and brings down a criminal enterprise.


Carl Brookins

2009Carl Brookins

Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Carl Brookins was a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Brookins and his wife are avid recreational sailors. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Private Eye Writers of America. He can frequently be found touring bookstores and libraries with his companions-in-crime, The Minnesota Crime Wave.
 
He writes the sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney. The third novel is Old Silver. His new private investigator series features Sean NMI Sean, a short P.I. The first is titled The Case of the Greedy Lawyers. Brookins received a liberal arts degree from the University of Minnesota and studied for a MA in Communications at Michigan State University.

http://www.carlbrookins.com


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Peace & Love,

Rob and Janelle

 

 


Have you checked out the 2016 Book Awards Contest yet?

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On Thin Icing: A Bakeshop Mystery

Today’s Featured Author and Book

On Thin Icing: A Bakeshop Mystery

 

Click here to get your copy of On Thin Icing: A Bakeshop Mystery

 

Book Description:

Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the treats are killer good. 

It’s the dead of winter in the sleepy town of Ashland, which means no tourists-and fewer customers-for Jules Capshaw and her bakery. But when she’s asked to cater an off-season retreat for the directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, business starts heating up…until Jules finds a dead body in the freezer.

“An intriguing new series.”-Reader to Reader

Someone at the retreat has apparently iced the bartender, a well-known flirt with a legendary temper-that is, before a killer beat him to the punch. Then, from out of nowhere, Jules’s own ex-husband shows up at the shop-and soon becomes a suspect. With accusations piling up higher than the snow-and thicker than a chocolate mousse cake-Jules has to think outside the (recipe) box to find the real culprit…and make sure he gets his just desserts. 

“A delectable tale of murder and intrigue.”-Portland Book Review on Meet Your Baker


Ellie Alexander

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Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Learn more at www.bakeshopmystery.com.


If you enjoy these author interviews be sure you subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow on Podbean and get your copy of On Thin Icing: A Bakeshop Mystery


Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

 

 


Have you checked out the 2016 Book Awards Contest yet?

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Deviant Acts

Today’s Featured Author and Book

Deviant Acts

Click here to get your copy of Deviant Acts

Book Description:

Jackson Hurst lives his nightmares with his eyes open. Only the heroin he’s been addicted to since Vietnam keeps the horror at bay. A poster child for losers, Jackson’s addiction has cost him his job, his girlfriend—and unless there’s a change soon—his life. That change comes in the form of the wicked Aunt Camille, a Vermont millionaire who desperately needs Jackson’s services to retrieve her twenty-year-old daughter, Cheryl, from kidnappers. Camille wants her back at any cost and she wants the kidnappers, who maimed her only daughter, murdered. Jackson could use the money—no, he desperately needs the money—but can he stay clean long enough to get her back? And more importantly, can he kill again despite the demons that haunt him from the war?


Notes:

Prior interview: Prodigious Savant


JJ White

jj white 2

J. J. WHITE has had articles and stories published in several anthologies and magazines including, The Homestead Review and The Grey Sparrow Journal. His story, “The Adventure of the Nine Hole League,” was published in the Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, and his story, “Lucky Bastard Club,” was published in the Saturday Evening Post, 2016 anthology. His newest novel, Deviant Acts, came out in November. He was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize.  Learn more at www.jjwhitebooks.com


Subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes or follow at Podbean and get your copy of Deviant Acts.


Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

 

 


Have you checked out the 2016 Book Awards Contest yet?

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Authors Talk About It Book Award Contest

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Death by Sunken Treasure

Open Case:

Death By Sunken Treasure (A Hayden Kent Mystery Book 2)

Kait Carson

Click here to get your copy!

 

Book Description:

“Carson takes us on a whirlwind deep sea adventure filled with enough twists and turns to give the reader a serious case of the bends! She’s created a fascinating world complete with a beautiful setting, compelling characters, deceit, a shipwreck, and even gold doubloons. Dive in with Hayden Kent, the water is wickedly fun!” – Annette Dashofy, USA Today Bestselling Author of With A Vengeance 

“I love this series. The Florida Keys setting is beautiful, and Hayden is the kind of woman I would like to hang around with.” – For the Love of Books 

“Very fun to read…I loved the main character of Hayden. A strong lead character, but not perfect. The characters were so well-written, I felt connected to them from the start. This book flew by for me, I couldn’t put it down…A perfect book set in Florida to read during a cold winter.” – Goodreads 

When Hayden Kent’s mentor and friend discovers her son Mike’s dead body, dressed in full scuba attire, washed up on Pigeon Key, she needs Hayden. Her paralegal and dive skills may help unravel the tragedy of Mike’s last days. He’d recently discovered a sunken Spanish galleon and rumors that he hit the mother lode ran through the Keys like wildfire. 

Hayden’s dive on the treasure site uncovers gold, and clues that Mike’s death was something far more sinister than an accident. When two different wills, both signed the day Mike died, are delivered to the courthouse, the suspect list grows, as do the threats against her. The danger escalates as she tries to save herself, discover the motive, and find the killer.

 


The Mastermind behind Death By Sunken Treasure (A Hayden Kent Mystery Book 2):

Kait Carson

Kait Carson lives in a South Florida airpark with her husband, six rescue cats, and four, tropical birds. By day, she’s a practicing probate and litigation paralegal, in the evening, legal pads give way to a keyboard and she spins tales of murder and mayhem set in the tropical heat. Kait writes two series, the Catherine Swope series, set in the Miami area, and the Hayden Kent series set in the Fabulous Florida Keys.

Learn more at www.kaitcarson.com.


If you like Authors Talk About About It, make sure to subscribe via iTunes and get your copy of Death By Sunken Treasure (A Hayden Kent Mystery Book 2).


Peace and Love,

Rob and Janelle

 

 


Have you checked out the 2016 Book Awards Contest yet?

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

Authors Talk About It Book Award Contest

Whether you’re a first time author or a New York Times Best Seller this book award contest is for you.

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

Yes!  Excellent!

Click here to learn more and enter!


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Soft Target

Open Case:

Soft Target

 

JohnBeyer

Click here to get your copy!

 

Book Description:

Russia had learned the hard way the extremes these fanatics would go to… Ten years ago, Captain Yuri Shakirov stood in horror as young children were butchered by a hail of bullets from a group of Islamic extremists. As blood spattered the walls of this small Beslan school, Yuri’s greatest fear was that this tragedy would someday be repeated. Now America would encounter these same crazed murderers… All the terrorists needed was a place where they could descend, like the cowards they were, and strike terror into the heart of every American. An average middle school in California seemed the perfect soft target. The terrorists saw it and pounced. And Yuri was once again thrust into the line of fire. It would take strong determination and courage to stop what had happened in Russia from happening here. The Americans need his help, but can Yuri find the strength to go through this nightmare again?

 


The Mastermind behind Soft Target:

John Beyer

John R. Beyer spent nearly a decade in a Southern  California law enforcement agency as a traffic officer, a training officer, and as a member of the elite Specials Weapons Assault Team (SWAT) before moving into the educational field. In that capacity, he served as a teacher for both regular and special education before moving into school and district levels of administration for a total of over twenty-five years in education. He is currently the co-founder and head writer for the J and L Research and Exploration blog  with his lovely spouse Laureen, co-founder. He has been published in dozens of magazines and finished his Doctorate in Educational Management from Pepperdine University in 2001 and completed his PhD. in Clinical Psychology in January of 2014. He resides on a small ranch in the High Desert of Southern California.
He has also been involved in acting  within the Western genre and is an active member of the theatrical group – Tombstone Legends. You can look him up on IMDB and find many videos on YouTube.

 

Learn more at http://johnrobertbeyer.weebly.com.

 


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes and get your copy of Soft Target.


The question remains – Will you accept your mission?

Rob and Janelle

 

 


Have you checked out the 2016 Book Awards Contest yet?

Book awards give you clout and credibility!

Authors Talk About It Book Award Contest

Whether you’re a first time author or a New York Times Best Seller this book award contest is for you.

Are you ready for the chance to be an award-winning author?  

Yes!  Excellent!

Click here to learn more and enter!


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