Writing for a Good Cause

I’m a writer.

People ask me why I enjoy writing so much. Well, I’ll explain it this way: I’m a natural born klutz. I can trip over a rock and hurt myself. And usually the way I hurt myself is, in fact, pretty stupid and funny. Continue reading

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Book Review Thursday: Double Strike: A Davis Way Crime Caper by Gretchen Archer

It’s Book Review Thursday. Come back each week to get a peek inside what authors I love and what storylines inspire me. 

DOUBLESTRIKEfrontDavis Way has enough on her plate right now: a future mother-in-law who doesn’t think Davis is good enough for her son; her mother, who hates the future mother-in-law for giving her baby girl a hard time, and her father, who is trying to keep a low profile by hiding behind his newspaper. Her fun-loving grandmother has decided to divorce her latest husband over a dog…oh, and she can’t get a marriage license because she’s still technically married to her rattlesnake of an ex-ex-husband (ok, so she had married him twice, don’t hold it against her). And that’s just her personal life.

Her job at the Bellissimo Resort and Casino is about to get interesting again. The new casino manager, Levi Newman, has brought in his own people, and they are preparing for a Strike it Rich tournament in a remodeled area of the Bellissimo, but he wasn’t letting any of the regular casino staff into the new area. They go undercover: her partner, Fantasy, ends up as a waitress, and Davis is the assistant social media director for the tournament. A disastrous trip with Baylor, another Bellissimo security man, ends with them getting shot at on what they think is the Christmas tree farm of two Strike it Rich players. But the trees are hiding a dark secret, and it almost gets Davis and Baylor killed.

The death of an undercover federal agent brings the Feds into their investigation of the tournament, and they are given a few days to find out who’s behind the tournament before the Feds are taking over. It doesn’t help matters that Davis has to deal with Bianca Sanders, the wife of the owner, and the sudden appearance of the Sanders’ son, Thomas, further complicates things, especially when he gets expelled from his private school for dealing pot.

With all these things going on, it’s a wonder Davis doesn’t go crazy. It’s bad enough that she loses most of her hair when it catches fire (Bianca’s fault, totally), or that she has ticked off the lawyer who handled her divorce by stealing his car. And making a deal with the devil, in a manner of speaking, brings her more trouble than she expected. But when Bianca is kidnapped by the tournament mastermind, Davis turns to someone she never thought she’d have to deal with to save her life. Will Davis and the Bellissimo crew be able to figure out what is going on before they all end up wearing orange jumpsuits? And will Davis ever be able to marry the love of her life, Bradley Cole?

Double Strike is the third installment in the Davis Way adventures, and it is the best one by far. It was a good thing I was home alone when I read this, because I was alternating between laughing out loud and gasping in horror. Colorful characters with a casino for a backdrop, well-written with plenty of twists and turns, you will enjoy this book as much as I did. Two thumbs up! I can’t wait for the next one!!

Pick up Double Strike on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Books and Audible.

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Promote an Author Tuesday: Gretchen Archer

It’s Promote an Author Tuesday! Meet Gretchen Archer, the mind behind Double Strike. Stop back over on Thursday to read my full review of the book!

Double Strike

DOUBLESTRIKEfrontBellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way knows three things: Cooking isn’t a prerequisite for a happy marriage, don’t trust men who look like David Hasselhoff, and money doesn’t grow on Christmas trees. None of which help when a storm hits the Gulf a week before the most anticipated event in Bellissimo history, the Strike It Rich Sweepstakes. Securing the guests, staff, and property might take a stray bullet. Or two.

Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way has three problems: She’s desperate to change her marital status, she has a new boss who speaks in hashtags, and Bianca Sanders has confiscated her clothes. All of which bring on a headache hot enough to spark a fire. Solving her problems means stealing a car. From a dingbat lawyer.

Bellissimo Resort and Casino Super Spy Davis Way has three goals: Keep the Sanders family out of prison, regain her footing in her relationship, and find the genius who wrote the software for futureGaming. One of which, the manhunt one, is iffy. Because when Alabama hides someone, they hide them good.

DOUBLE STRIKE. A VIP invitation to an extraordinary high-stakes gaming event, as thieves, feds, dance instructors, shady bankers, kidnappers, and gold waiters go all in. #Don’tMissIt

About Gretchen Archer

Gretchen Archer is a Tennessee housewife who began writing when her daughters, seeking higher education, left her. She lives on Lookout Mountain with her husband, son, and a Yorkie named Bently. Double Whammy, her first Davis Way crime caper, was a 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award finalist and hit the USA TODAY bestsellers list.

Connect with Gretchen

gretchen3-lowresFacebook: Gretchen Archer

Website:  www.gretchenarcher.com

Twitter: @Gretchen_Archer

Pinterest: Davis Way 

Keep an eye out for Gretchen’s book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks, Audible, Google Books.

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Book Review Thursday: These Haunts are Made for Walking: Haunted Tour Mysteries by Rose Pressey

It’s Book Review Thursday. Come back each week to get a peek inside what authors I love and what storylines inspire me. 

These Haunts are Made for Walking by Rose Pressey

coverRipley Van Raden has come home to Devil’s Moon, Kentucky to become the new head librarian at Bilson Library, and a haunted tour guide by night. People have mentioned for years that there is a ghost in the library, but Ripley’s never seen it…until now.

Her official first day at the library brings out a late nineteenth century ghost named Annie Gibson, who used to be the head librarian, and is actually buried in the small graveyard out front. But what really freaks Ripley out are the text messages she’s getting from Annie, who tries to warn her about a murder.

Ripley also has to contend with a very surly assistant, Leslie, who seems to resent Ripley’s presence there. She meets the Book Wormers, a group of four ladies who meet in one of the upstairs rooms. But this week’s meeting doesn’t start out well: three of the ladies, Katherine, Sue and Dana, have a beef with Marion, the fourth one, who has just bought the buildings their businesses are in. Marion has raised the rent for all of them, and they aren’t happy about it.

When Marion falls down the back stairs and ends up dead, it seems to be an accident. But Annie, the resident ghost, keeps sending Ripley messages, telling her it was murder, and urging her to investigate. The police chief seems to think that Ripley is somehow involved, but his young officer, Brannon, believes she’s innocent. Ripley isn’t sure what to do. She can’t tell her best friend, Tammy, that a ghost is sending her text messages; she’s sure Tammy would have her committed.

Ripley can’t shake the feeling that someone is watching her, and she begins to see a ghost popping up in various places around town. Mrs. Clatterbuck, who lives near the cemetery where Ripley’s haunted tours end, warns her that the dead don’t like to be disturbed. Could the ghosts be stalking her, trying to scare her into stopping her tours? She really starts to feel unwanted in her hometown when library patrons start telling her that she needs to leave town.

When she finds a note in a book that appears to be a confession to Marion’s murder, Ripley follows Annie’s leads and starts asking questions. And when the notes get personal, she begins to worry that she is next on the killer’s list. Can Ripley, Tammy, Annie and Brannon find the killer in time before someone else is killed? Or will they be too late?

I’ve read several of Ms. Pressey’s books before. She has written some wonderful series (The Halloween LaVeau series and the Maggie, P.I. series are two of my personal favorites), so I was very excited to get my hands on this one. How cool would it be to get text messages from a ghost? While the premise of the story was good, I had a difficult time at various points in the story because of inconsistences. That said, I didn’t figure out who the killer was until it was revealed in the story. That is a definite plus in my book, because I am pretty good at figuring these things out. Overall, I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars, and I look forward to the next book in this series (or the Halloween series and the Maggie series!).

Pick up These Haunts are Made for Walking on these sites:

Amazon: These Haunts are Made for Walking

Barnes & Noble: These Haunts are Made for Walking

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Author Interview: Rose Pressey

rose

We love Rose Pressey’s books and are honored to post this little Q&A with her. Remember to stop by tomorrow to read my review of These Haunts are Made for Walking the first in yet another wonderful series.

Rose, what would you say makes your writing different from other books/series in the paranormal genre?

I enjoy adding humor to my books. There are many dark paranormal books out, but mine are light and fun.

Who would you consider to be your target audience?

My books are adult, but suitable for young adults, too. Anyone who wants their paranormal beings to have a sense of humor might enjoy my books.

What do you think draws so many readers to stories with magical or supernatural storylines?

A supernatural world and magic make a boring world fun. It’s a great escape from the daily routine

What you would like your readers to take away from your books?

I like my readers to smile and get a few laughs from my books. Being introduced to characters they can like and root for is nice.

What is the most challenging part of writing for you?

Editing. It takes the longest. I write a book in a month, but spend a couple months on editing.

What are your favorite books or series to read?

I love the Jane Jameson Series by Molly Harper. Of course, I love the Sookie Stackhouse series, too. Another series I really like is the La Vida Vampire Series by Nancy Haddock. Really, I love too many books to name them all.

What do you like to do with your spare time when you aren’t reading or writing?

Decorating my home on a budget is fun. I love finding bargains. Spending time with family and playing with my Chihuahua. I also enjoy listening to music.

Name one thing that you would really like your readers to know about you.

I suffer from psoriatic arthritis and I have joint replacements in both knees. I’m having my hips replaced soon. I’m like the bionic writer!

You’ve got a number of different series that you write. Tell us about them. Do you have a favorite? And what is the essence of a Rose Pressey novel?

I love all of them, so it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. My novels feature fun and quirky characters with Southern flair.

You suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis and have had to undergo a number of operations. Do you feel this has given you a different outlook on life?

I never let my disease get me down. The joint pain may make moving around slower, but that just gives me more time to write. Life is what you make of it.

You can pick up Rose’s books in digital and print versions on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.

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Promote an Author Tuesday: Rose Pressey

It’s Promote an Author Tuesday! Meet Rose Pressey who pens more mystery series than I have fingers! This week we’ll be focusing on the first book of her Haunted Tour Guide Mystery Series: These Haunts are Made for Walking. Come back on Thursday to read my review.

These Haunts are Made for Walking

coverIf ever a whole town could be haunted, Devil’s Moon, Kentucky would be that town. Ripley Van Raden, or Rip as her friends call her, has come back to her hometown to start her own ghost tour business. That’s not her only career path though. Librarian by day, and ghost tour guide by night, Rip is ready to take on the ghosts following her around and the mysterious residents who show up for more than the tour in the Devil’s Moon Cemetery.

Her first day on the job as librarian, Ripley finds a dead body and a ghost who can only communicate through electronics. Who knew ghosts could send text messages? To make things even more complicated, Ripley meets a hot cop who happens to also be a ghost hunter. She doesn’t know if Brannon Landon is interested in helping her or just around for the paranormal activity.

When Rip discovers threatening notes between the pages of a novel, she must solve the library patron’s mysterious death before she unwillingly joins the other side of her haunted tour.

About the Author

presseyRose Pressey is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She enjoys writing quirky and fun novels with a paranormal twist. The paranormal has always captured her interest. The thought of finding answers to the unexplained fascinates her.

When she’s not writing about werewolves, vampires and every other supernatural creature; she loves eating cupcakes with sprinkles, reading, spending time with family, and listening to oldies from the fifties.

Rose lives in the beautiful commonwealth of Kentucky with her husband, son and three sassy Chihuahuas.

Connect with Rose

Sign up to receive emails when new books are released: rosepressey.com/blog/contact-me/

Visit Rose’s website at rosepressey.com

Follow Rose on Twitter at twitter.com/rosepressey

Join Rose on Facebook at facebook.com/rosepressey

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Book Review Thursday: Finding Sky by Susan O’Brien

It’s Book Review Thursday. Come back each week to get a peek inside what authors I love and what storylines inspire me. 

Finding Sky by Susan O’Brien

skyNicki Valentine’s best friend, Kenna, and her husband Andy, are excitedly preparing for the sound of little feet at their home. After years of trying to have a baby on their own, they’ve turned to an adoption agency, and are matched with Beth, a young teenage girl who wants to give her baby up for adoption. Everything is going well, until Beth suddenly disappears a couple of weeks before her due date.

Nicki, a young widow with two small children, has been taking classes to become a private investigator. When Kenna asks Nicki to help her find Beth, Nicki is hesitant. But after listening to her best friend, she realizes that Kenna is truly worried (Nicki is the worrywart between the two friends), and that sets off warning bells for Nicki.

After meeting with her P.I. instructor, Dean, who makes all sorts of bells and whistles go off for Nicki (in a good way), she starts looking into Beth’s life. Beth’s ex-boyfriend, Marcus, is a gang member who didn’t want to have anything to do with Beth after he found out she was pregnant. Nicki tracks him down, and stakes out his house, hoping he will lead her to Beth. But things take an unexpected turn when Marcus is shot, and Nicki is forced to step in to save his life.

More digging leads to Beth’s best friend, April, who is struggling with a secret of her own, a secret she told Beth the night she disappeared. April blames herself for Beth’s disappearance, believing her secret drove her best friend away. Nicki also learns that Beth had run away a couple of times before, and she can’t help but wonder if Beth has simply run away again, this time because she has changed her mind about the adoption. Not something that Nicki wants to tell her hopeful best friend.

When someone takes a shot at Nicki while she is sitting in her van one night, she realizes that things have taken a very dangerous turn, one that could get her children hurt. A threatening note is found on her computer after her house is broken into, and then a member of a rival gang tries to take Nicki’s youngest daughter. Things have now gotten personal, and Nicki is angry, which makes her more bounded and determined to find out what happen to Beth before it is too late. But will Nicki and Beth make it out alive?

Finding Sky is a wonderful debut novel from Susan O’Brien. As a private investigator, O’Brien is able to provide more depth and knowledge to Nicki’s character, making her more believable. I absolutely love the characters, and the vivid descriptions she paints throughout the book makes me want to take another trip to the East Coast. I truly felt like I was in the van with Nicki as she drove across two states, driving through the nice neighborhoods of Nicki and Kenna, to the rough and dangerous neighborhood of Marcus’ world. And I was holding my breath as the story raced to a dangerous, exciting conclusion. I look forward to reading her next book (I just wish it was sooner than next September!). Well done, Susan!

Pick up Finding Sky on these sites:

Amazon: Finding Sky

Barnes & Noble: Finding Sky

Kobo: Finding Sky

This mystery is also available on iBooks.

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Promote an Author Tuesday: Finding Sky by Susan O’Brien

It’s Promote an Author Tuesday!  Meet Susan O’Brien, who released her debut Finding Sky on Amazon today! Stop back over on Thursday for my review of this Nicki Valentine Mystery.

Finding Sky 

skySuburban widow and P.I. in training Nicki Valentine can barely keep track of her two kids, never mind anyone else. But when her best friend’s adoption plan is jeopardized by the young birth mother’s disappearance, Nicki is persuaded to help. Nearly everyone else believes the teenager ran away, but Nicki trusts her BFF’s judgment, and the feeling is mutual. The case leads where few moms go (teen parties, gang shootings) and places they can’t avoid (preschool parties, OB-GYNs’ offices). Nicki has everything to lose and much to gain — including the attention of her unnervingly hot P.I. instructor. Thankfully, Nicki is armed with her pesky conscience, occasional babysitters, a fully stocked minivan, and nature’s best defense system: women’s intuition.

About the Author

obreinSusan O’Brien has been passionate about reading and writing since childhood, when she started a neighborhood newspaper and escaped tween stress with mysteries. Since covering her first big story (the birth of gerbils next door), she has worked with USA TODAY, PI Magazine, The Parent Institute and others. Susan has an M.A. in forensic psychology and is a registered private investigator in Virginia. Among her diverse interests are photography, gardening, loud R&B music, healing prayer and reality TV. She lives with her husband and children in the D.C. suburbs and donates part of her earnings to missing children’s organizations.

Connect with Susan

Twitter: @SkywritingSusan

Facebook: Author Susan O’Brien

Website:  Susan O’Brien

Instagram: @susanobrienauthor

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