Writer’s Block? Ask your readers for help!

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By DelSheree Gladden

CollegeDegrees360 / Creative Commons

CollegeDegrees360 / Creative Commons

One of my biggest pet peeves as a reader is a lackluster ending to a series I’ve put hours upon hours into. Because of that, in my own writing, I struggle to write those final few chapters to end a series. I want it to be perfect. I don’t want to forget something important or leave unanswered questions. I don’t want to disappoint my readers.

So, I freeze up.

Wicked Revenge GOLD FRONTWickedHungerwickedglorywickedpowerNormally, I’m a pretty fast writer. Not so much when it came to finishing my Someone Wicked This Way Comes Series. Originally intended to be a three-book series, I couldn’t wrap everything up at the end of book three and extended the series to four books. I knew the path I needed to take to the ending. It was the details and fear that were holding me up. For over a year.

My poor readers messaged, tweeted, emailed, and tagged me to ask when book four was coming. They tried to be patient, but they weren’t used to waiting on me so long. I just couldn’t get over the fear of disappointing them to get any substantial writing done.

After months of agonizing over whether I had everything straight, and even rereading the first three books to refresh my memory, I still wasn’t getting anything done. A few more messages came in, asking if I had a release date yet, if there was any news … gently prompting me to get a move on.

Suddenly it hit me: If I didn’t want to disappoint readers, why didn’t I just ask them what they wanted?

I don’t mean what ending they wanted. I needed to know what questions they needed answers to. What were they still wondering about after three books? What essential information would they be upset over if they didn’t get all the details? So, that’s exactly what I did.

I posted on my various social media accounts asking readers what questions they wanted answered in Wicked Revenge and what information absolutely had to have.

They told me. I ended up with two pages of notes from readers. Their questions. Their guesses. Things they had wondered about. Details they needed. What they hoped would happen to the characters even after the story ended. My readers are pretty awesome, so I wasn’t surprised that they were willing to respond and help me out. I was surprised by the effect of their responses.

Seeing how much they cared about the characters and story motivated me just as much as getting their lists of questions that still needed to be answered. I had my checklist of what needed to be wrapped up, and I had a crew of readers I knew were eagerly waiting to find out how the characters they loved were going to fare in their final battle against destiny, lies and inner demons. They gave me everything I needed to finally stop being afraid of disappointing them and actually give them the story they wanted and needed to read.

The relationship writers develop with their readers is so important. Yes, on some level I write for myself, but I write for my readers just as much. Publishing today isn’t what it used to be. A big change is the ability to easily interact with readers, to learn about them and from them. Writing has become more symbiotic, and it’s amazing to be able to ask a reader what they need out of a story and then be able to give it to them. It’s not always that simple, but if you’re stuck and unsure of where to take your writing, don’t be shy about asking your readers for help. They love being a part of the process just as much as they love finally getting their hands on the final product.

DelShereeGladden4DelSheree Gladden wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published. Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by. When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting, sewing and trying not to get bitten by small children in her work as a dental hygienist.
Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

 

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Thursday teasers: New BestSelling Reads from your favorite authors

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Your favorite writers have been hard at work. Here are the newest books, just out or soon to be, from BestSelling  Reads members.

sugarforsugarsebkirby2Sugar for Sugar by Seb Kirby

How far would you go to uncover the secrets of your past?

Issy Cunningham has made a new life for herself but that’s all about to come crashing down.

If only she could recall what happened that Valentine’s Eve, she would be able to tell the police what really took place.

But those memories won’t come because there’s too much in the past that troubles her.

How can she set the record straight when her past won’t let her be?

Get it now on Amazon.

tgwtgEmily (author photo)The Girl with the Gun by Emily Kimelman

When international fugitive Sydney Rye turns herself over to authorities in order to protect the vigilante network she inspired, her freedom depends on helping Homeland Security shift the tides in a war for “hearts and minds.”

Recruiting female fighters to take on jihadists because being killed by a woman is the only thing they fear (it bars their entrance to heaven) is the perfect assignment for Sydney and her dog, Blue. But when the director who enlisted her is killed and the deal she made is scrapped, Sydney and Blue are left in a war zone, hunted by the U.S government and jihadists.

Get it now on Amazon.

wired-rouge-text-usa-today-high-res-185x278TobyNealWired Rogue by Toby Neal

“Wired in” to her computers, MMA-fighting tech agent Sophie Ang has been content in her clean, cool tech lab, where she chases criminals online, continuing a dance in the dark with the enigmatic vigilante known as the Ghost.

Tumultuous changes from without and within eject her from her agency cocoon to the front lines, where she finds herself in partnership with a brilliant, overbearing, larger-than-life ex-Special Forces operative, Jake Dunn. They climb walls, dodge bullets, kidnap children and dig up bodies for a case that might cost her life—and has already taken her badge.

Get it now on Amazon.

 

smalltownfocusRenee PawlishSmall Town Focus: A Reed Ferguson Mystery by Renée Pawlish

With this one sentence, Gina Smith immediately draws Denver private investigator Reed Ferguson into a case. Questioning her past and yearning to find the mother she’s never met, Gina hires Reed to find answers. With the help of his wife, Willie, his best friend Cal, and the always amusing Goofball Brothers, Reed’s search for Gina’s mother leads him to a rural Colorado town and a puzzling mystery that involves a decades-old kidnapping, a powerful small-town mayor, a seductively charming pastor, and an unsolved murder. And if Reed isn’t careful, the murderer’s focus could turn to him.

Small Town Focus is a suspense-filled mystery, with a Bogie-wannabe detective, a dose of humor, and a clever homage to film noir. From the award-wining author of This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies.

Great for fans who love a fast-paced, humorous read, without a lot of swearing or sex.

Get it now on Amazon.

obliviousgirlshandbookDelShereeGladden4The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook by DelSheree Gladden

Being oblivious to all the signs that your life is about to fall apart doesn’t stop it from happening to Sara Taylor.

Alone except for the Siamese cat her boyfriend—ex-boyfriend—Joseph left behind to teach her a lesson, Sara has no clue how to survive on her own. She hasn’t handled her own bills in years, can’t meet a deadline without someone else programming alarms into her phone, and is constantly either losing important things or getting herself hopelessly lost. Sara has no idea how she’s supposed to move out of her university apartment and start her first real job without someone there to hold her hand.

Although she knows her new friend Monroe would step in to help, she’s not about to call him after having thrown him out of her apartment when his suspicions about Joseph prove true and Sara is left angry and mortified. It doesn’t take long before she is desperate to lean on someone else’s strength, even for just a few minutes, as real life begins to overwhelm her. Pride forces her to either sink or swim, even when sinking seems the most likely outcome.

Get it now on Amazon.

violenceinvegasJulie Gilbert 2013Violence in Vegas by Julie C. Gilbert

Coming December 1

Sin City holds some dark secrets …

But Marcella Scott’s in town to help Angela Melkin-Pierce with a small case of sabotage. Somebody’s been slashing guests’ tires and ransacking rooms at The Grand Game Hotel. With the guest list including the Reno Birdwatcher’s Society and the Paradise Quilting Club, the suspect list is kind of thin. The only intriguing option is Gatton Technologies. When the eccentric billionaire who runs the company decides to host a masquerade party at the hotel, Marcella goes undercover.

The air of elegance quickly turns to terror when masked men kidnap Jeffrey Gatton and Angela.

Marcella’s going to need all of her wits—and a borrowed handgun or two—if she wants to survive the violence in Vegas.

Get more information on Julie’s website.

More to come

black-jasmine-185x287Keep watching this blog for more exciting news about books from your favorite bestselling authors. Fill out the form at the top right of this page to Subscribe to BestSelling Reads by email and you can download a free copy of Toby Neal’s Black Jasmine.

 

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Tribute Thursday: Kathleen Valentine

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This week, we are again paying tribute to Kathleen Valentine, who passed away on October 29, by reprising an excerpt from one of her best-loved books, The Crazy Old Lady Unleashed, Volume 3 in Kathleen Valentine’s Beacon Hill Chronicles.

In an effort to rid the Thorndike townhouse of spirits, Vivienne Lang, accompanied by Joe and Tom Quinn, go in search of an exorcist they’ve heard about.

“I think we’re almost there,” Tom said. “Brother Gregory said it was just past the old fort.” He pointed. “There. I think that’s it.”

At the top of a hill overlooking Boston Harbor, a weather-beaten salt-box style house next to a long greenhouse sat surrounded by vast, tidy gardens.

“It’s beautiful,” Viv said as she got out of the car and stretched. “What a view!”

“No kidding, huh?” Joe got out, shaded his eyes with his hands, and pointed. “That’s Boston Lighthouse right in front of us but see that light farther out?”

“Yes.” Viv followed suit, shading her eyes. “Where is that?”

“That’s called The Graves Light. It’s nine miles out from Boston.” He turned and pointed in the opposite direction. “See that?” He pointed toward a flicker in the loom above the water.

“Another lighthouse?”

“Yeah. That’s Minot’s Ledge. I bet on a really clear day you can see all the way to Provincetown.”

“I’m going to go knock.” Tom and Joe turned back to the house but Viv, enthralled by the view, wandered down the driveway, both hands shading her eyes.

“You must be the brothers Quinn.” The screen door opened and a stocky man in baggy jeans and a dirt-stained sweatshirt crossed the porch. Except for the tonsure on his head he looked like any other middle-aged man. He held out his hand. “I’m Brother Gregory Aston. Welcome.”

“Hi, I’m Tom Quinn. And this is my brother Joe.” Tom glanced backward. “What happened to Viv?”

“She’s still wrapped up in the view. What a place you have here,” Joe said to Brother Gregory.

“Who’s Viv?” Brother Gregory asked.

“Joe’s fiancee,” Tom said. “She’s the one who needs to talk to Brother Maksim.”

“Oh dear.” Brother Gregory frowned. “Bringing her here without warning might not have been a good idea. Brother Maksim is a difficult person under the best of circumstances but he’s got a lot of problems with women.”

“Oh shit, is that him?” Joe turned and, as they watched, an enormous man rose up from one of the gardens.

“Yes.” Brother Gregory cupped his hands around his mouth and hollered, “Brother Maksim!”

The giant strode toward Viv.

“Crap. Viv’s not a good person for men with issues about women to be around.” Joe broke into a run.

Brother Maksim either did not hear his name being called or chose to ignore it. He reached out as he neared Viv and grabbed her arm. In a flash, she turned, slammed her heel into the back of his knee and brought her elbow down in the middle of his back, sending him sprawling, face down in the grass.

“What the hell..?” Tom stopped dead in his tracks as Joe grabbed Viv and pulled her into his arms.
Brother Gregory glanced at her, a look of total bafflement on his face. He dropped to his knees next to the fallen man.
“Brother Maksim? Are you all right?”

The huge body began to shudder and shake.

“Brother Maksim?” Brother Gregory put his hands on the massive shoulders and tugged. Brother Maksim rolled effortlessly onto his back and lay in the grass laughing hysterically.

“What just happened?” Tom asked stopping beside Joe.

“Viv doesn’t like surprises,” Joe said, grinning. “That’s my baby.”

“I’m so sorry,” Viv said. “He scared me.”

“And you taught him a lesson about scaring women,” Joe said.
Brother Maksim pushed himself to his feet, still laughing. “I like her,” he boomed.

“I’m so sorry.” Viv disentangled herself from Joe’s arms and turned to face Brother Maksim. “You shouldn’t have grabbed me like that.”

Brother Maksim put his hands on his hips and grinned down at her. He stood at least half a foot taller than Joe—who was taller than everyone else in their group—and was half-again as wide. His wild, thick hair, except for where it was tonsured, was a mix of black and gray, and he wore an equally gray beard. The left side of his face was a mass of long-healed scars but, judging by the right side, he must have been a handsome man at one time.

“Come.” He gestured toward the house. “We’ll have tea. I want to get to know this woman.”

About The Crazy Old Lady Unleashed

Beacon Hill Chronicles: Volume 3: Two years have passed since the horrible events in the Thorndike brownstone on Beacon Hill. Viv and Joe are recovering. Mattie and Stan have Adam, the little son they both adore.

But strange things are going on in GrammyLou’s townhouse; realtors refuse to show it because they say it is haunted and prospective buyers are being frightened away. Mattie hires a Salem ghost-hunter named Destiny Starlight, but though she identifies three distinct spirits haunting the old ballroom, her bungling only makes matters worse.

With the help of Calista Defarge and Anteus Roosevelt Jones, an elderly historian, Viv discovers an ancient secret the house conceals. Guided by a mysterious Romanian monk, Brother Maksim Gromyko, Viv makes a terrifying journey that could end her relationship with Joe—and possibly her life.

About the author

Kathleen Valentine - authorKathleen Valentine was the author of four novels including the award-winning The Whiskey Bottle in The Wall: Secrets of Marienstadt; the Amazon Best Seller in Psychological Horror, The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic; its sequels The Crazy Old Lady’s Revenge and The Crazy Old Lady Unleashed; as well as numerous short stories and novellas.

She passed away in her home in Gloucester, Maine in October.

Visit her

 

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Thursday teaser: Sugar for Sugar

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The new psychological thriller by Seb Kirby launches tomorrow.

Today is your last chance to pre-order before the price goes up.

sugarforsugarPROLOGUE

Mark Dankworth shifts the luxury SUV through the gears. He’s late for the early morning meeting in London that he’s tried his best to postpone. But no one will cut him any slack. So, here he is, peering through the pre-dawn November darkness at the twists and turns on the country road ahead and wishing he was already there.

In truth, he knows that the conditions outside are less than ideal. He should reduce his speed, given the poor visibility ahead, as pockets of fog lurk here and there in the hollows along the way. But why spend all that money on a top of the range performance vehicle if it isn’t fit to cope with conditions like this? He’d be the one to pay if he failed to make the meeting on time.

He presses down harder on the accelerator and feels the reassuring surge of speed as the vehicle responds.

The song being played on the sound system is one he doesn’t like. In fact, it annoys him. Why would his favourite band include something like that on what is otherwise a near perfect album? Better to skip that track, move on to the next.

He takes his eyes off the road for the briefest moment.

The sound system responds to a prod of his finger as the despised track is skipped.

His eyes return to the road.

He doesn’t see it before it hits.

He feels it first. A dull thud as something collides with the front of the SUV, sending a shudder through the vehicle.

Then the blurred image of something heavy hurtling across the windscreen and disappearing behind him.

He grips the steering wheel, maintains onward direction. He is safe.

What was it? A dog? A badger?

Something tells him it was no dog, no badger.

Instinct tells him to apply the brakes. The vehicle slows and then stops.

The road around him is dark and still. There is no other traffic. No one about.

He unlocks the door, climbs out and begins to walk back along the road, towards whatever it is he’s collided with.

There’s something there, lying broken at the side of the road.

As he moves closer, he can tell that his instinct was right. It’s no dog, no badger. He peers through the fog and sees that it’s a young girl. A schoolgirl. Aged about ten. Somehow, her school bag is still with her, tangled now around her neck.

He panics. If he comes any closer, if he stays, they’ll know it was him. When they analyse the scene, they’ll discover that he was driving too fast. His life will be a mess.

He walks away. Back to the SUV. He knows he should phone to report the accident. They may still be able to save the girl. But then they will know it’s him when they trace the call.

Someone else will find her. Make sure she gets the attention she needs. It will come out all right.

He feels secure again as the SUV envelops him in its comfort and responds to his need to escape.

Further down the road, there’s the school bus the girl must have been heading towards.

As he passes, he hopes that no one will notice him.

About Sugar for Sugar

How far would you go to uncover the secrets of your past?

Issy Cunningham has made a new life for herself but that’s all about to come crashing down.

If only she could recall what happened that Valentine’s Eve, she would be able to tell the police what really took place.

But those memories won’t come because there’s too much in the past that troubles her.

How can she set the record straight when her past won’t let her be?

You can pre-order Sugar for Sugar at a special price only before launch day on November 9.

About the author

sebkirby2Seb Kirby was literally raised with books: his grandfather ran a mobile library in Birmingham, UK and his parents inherited a random selection of the books. Once he discovered a trove of well-used titles from Zane Gray’s Riders of the Purple Sage, HG Wells’ The Invisible Man and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities to more obscure stuff, he was hooked.

He is author of the James Blake thriller series, Take No More, Regret No More and Forgive No More, and the science-fiction thriller, Double Bind.

Visit his

And follow him on Twitter @Seb_Kirby

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Thursday Teaser: The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook

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Being oblivious to all the signs that your life is about to fall apart doesn’t stop it from happening to Sara Taylor.

obliviousgirlshandbookThe Handbook Series, #2

By DelSheree Gladden

I was tangled in a tornado of fabric when a low hissing sound caused me to freeze. Did we have snakes around here? How would one get up to the second floor? Some climbed trees, didn’t they? My heart rate was suddenly stratospheric.

I hadn’t bothered to turn on the bedroom light in my furious dash, and had only the light from the main room filtering in through the open door to surveil the room around me. Deep, angular shadows in the blankets at my feet made it impossible to see anything clearly. It seemed to be entirely too much fabric covering the floor to only contain two sheets and a light blanket, but I couldn’t see anything but bedclothes.

Until something moved.

I screamed, stumbling back in terror that I was about to be eaten by a python someone had stupidly released into the wild when they got tired of keeping it as a pet. My frantic movements did nothing but tangle my feet in the blanket even more. I was falling before I could process the fact that I’d lost my balance. Fabric tightened around my feet. I hit the floor hard, rattling the dresser handles and knickknacks on top of it.

Another hiss, this one even angry, followed by some kind of growling, homicidal yowl I could barely hear over my own screaming. I tried to get away. Being eaten by something the night I was walked out on seemed fitting, but I refused to let it happen and scrambled across the floor, blankets and sheets trailing behind me. I was reaching for the bed when pain flared across my ankle and I screeched at the attack.

Panic threw me onto the bed. Clawing at the blankets, I hauled them up on the mattress, praying the snake-demon trying to make me its dinner couldn’t climb, or jump, or whatever it might take to reach me. I had just barely yanked the last corner of fabric to safety when something sprang at me. Any screaming I might have done before were mere whimpers compared to the sound that tore from me in that instance.

Batting my arms, flinging portions of sheet, kicking out blindly, I fought off whatever was trying to kill me. I refused to die tangled up in sheets Joseph may or may not have screwed some other girl on.

Harsh, irritated banging burst through the apartment, scaring me and my attacker. We both froze, me with hair in my face, glasses nowhere to be seen…and some kind of big-eared, beige-brown colored cat glaring at me with one paw extended toward me, claws extended to match its bared teeth.

I was so stunned to realize it was a cat trying to shred my arms to ribbons, and not an escaped jungle snake, that I completely forgot what had startled us into stillness until the banging started up again and the cat bolted for my closet. Completely confused by what had just happened, I still had someone banging on my door. Throwing off blankets as I tried to get to the edge of the bed, my uncoordinated escape sent me falling off the side and slamming into the ground with one leg still wrapped from ankle to knee with the displaced top sheet.

About The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook

Alone except for the Siamese cat her boyfriend left behind to teach her a lesson, Sara has no clue how to survive on her own. She knows her friend Monroe would gladly step in, but pride forces her to either sink or swim as Christmas approaches, even when sinking seems the most likely outcome.

Where to get it

The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook is coming as a novella in the Christmas, Pets & Kisses box set and as a full novel on its own, November 1, 2016.

Pre-order the box set now:

About the author

DelShereeGladden4DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist. Her works include Escaping Fate, the Twin
Souls Saga, The Destroyer Trilogy, the Something Wicked This Way Comes series, the Date Shark series, the Ghost Host series, the Handbook series and the Aerling Series.

Visit her:

And follow her on Twitter @DelSheree.

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Thursday teaser: Once Upon a [Stolen] Time

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Once Upon A [Stolen\ TimeThe Stolen Series I

By Samreen Ahsan

She is standing in my courtyard. Everything in nature surrounds her—hugs her and is dazzled by her…including me.

Beautiful flowers of every hue and aroma are grown in this majestic garden. My eyes are burning; I’m simultaneously overwhelmed and awed by the colorful oasis. Never have I been so close to nature, to growing things. Her alchemy drives me mad.

She’s gifted me with all the colors, but I painted her with darkness.

As much as I crave feeling the sunlight and the flowers against my skin, I want her touch too. I am cursed and doomed to never experience the beauty of the natural world, for all eternity.

She watches me with extreme hatred in her eyes—her gaze throwing fireballs at me. She doesn’t know I’m already burning, but since she despises me so much, I can’t even dare to come close to her. I want to end this tortuous distance between us—but I was the one who created this hatred in her.

She was a beautiful tender rose—I stole her fragrance, crushed her petals and burned her in hell. If I knew the fire with which I was conflagrating her would come to engulf me—I swear I wouldn’t have done it. Her spell is too strong for me not to fall; her curse is too mighty for me to run away.

Her deadly yet magical existence haunts me, excites me and has thrown me into a pit of deep lust. She is my prisoner, but she doesn’t realize that I’m the one who’s already submitted to her slavery, when I first touched her.oust-graphic2

Despite being her captor, I am still her captive.

She walks toward me, enthralling me with her grace and beauty, altering and accelerating my heartbeat. She has the power to throw me into hell as well as show me heaven. I’ve never been able to understand her witchcraft. I was warned to stay away from her sorcery—she was born and cursed with it—yet my heart kept running after her.

Now…there’s nothing left for me to survive on. She has my heart and my soul. Why is she here? What does she want from me now? Perhaps she wants to cut my heart from my body…just to see if it’s beating for her or not.

The distance between us closes and I lean my back against the giant tree trunk—the same tree where I tried to write her fate. She is holding my sword—my only weapon of protection—but it doesn’t matter now. She wants my life for her eternal peace—I will give it to her.

Her steel-grey eyes are much stronger than any armor or shield I’m wearing. She doesn’t need my sword to kill me…all she needs to do is place her hand on my heart. I will be undone…forever.

About Once Upon a [Stolen] Time

2015…

All her life, Myra Farrow has been obsessed with medieval castles—and the kings and princes who once inhabited them. Now, wealthy videogame designer Steve Bernard wants her to model for a princess character in his new game. Myra can’t resist his offer, especially when she learns that Steve plans to film inside the mysterious Hue Castle—a cursed, barren, colorless place forbidden to visitors for centuries. But unknown to Myra, her soul is bound to Hue Castle by blood and sorcery. When she enters its doors, she awakens dark powers that will reach through time—stealing her past, torturing her present, and rewriting her future.

1415…

Edward Hue, the last of the Hue royal bloodline, has never stood in the sunshine or held a living flower. Cursed from birth to live in darkness and bring death to all he touches, he is at the mercy of his cruel, tyrannical father, who will not rest until he shatters Edward’s soul and makes his son into a diabolical copy of himself. Edward’s one hope is the mysterious woman who haunts his dreams—who will either break his curse and bring him out of the darkness, or destroy him utterly.oust-graphic3

For Myra and Edward, past and future collide in a tale of love, obsession, betrayal, and the hope for redemption.

Read Once Upon a [Stolen] Time on WATTPAD

Praise for the book:

“At the outset, I’d like to say I just love the premise of this book and think it would make an awesome movie; producers and film makers please check out this interesting novel.” – Kristin Ravelle (Author of The Everlasting Spell)

This book was hard to turn away from once you start reading it, it’s that good. It should be made into a movie or tv series 5-Stars!” – Country Girl Bookaholic Book Blog

“It’s impossible you will not love Once Upon A [Stolen] Time. 5-stars!” – Tine’s Review Book Blog

“Author’s style is magical in itself as she sets the past and present onto a direct collision course. 5-stars!” – Tome Tender Book Blog

“This book is amazing!!! This is the first Fantasy novel I’ve read in a while and I loved it.” – ‎NerdGirlLola’s Review

“If you are a fan of fantasy, romance and a hint of classic rewrite, this series should be on your radar.” – Penny for My Thoughts Blog

“The story is intense with dramatic moments, and suspense. Overall I felt Once Upon A Stolen Time was an enjoyable read and highly recommend to those who love Adult-Romantic-Fantasy. A definite five-star read!” – Amazon Reviewer

“This is a mesmerizing story that keeps you swiping your e-reader to get to the next page. It’s well worth a read.” – Scott Bury (Author of Army of Worn Soles)

“The plot is really good. The author thought of every detail and the story has no flaws or holes. 4.5 Stars!” – Reading…Dreaming Book Blog

“Heartwarming read that will make you realize that true love holds no bounds.” – Ms. Me28 Book Blog

Where to buy it

About the author

samreen-ahsan350History, art and literature are my passions. I love digging out information about prophecies, divine miracles and paranormal events that are mentioned in history and holy books, that don’t sound possible in today’s modern world.

Since childhood, I have been into reading and writing—and yes, it can’t happen without imagination, which luckily has no boundaries. Dance and music are also pastimes I enjoy, as well as reading romance fiction. I love to travel and explore historical cities.

A Prayer Series” is my first Multi-Award-Winning Series sabout paranormal events based on Islamic concepts.

Find me on:

And follow my on Twitter @SamAuthorCanada.

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Thursday teaser: Collateral Damage

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cover-collateral-damage1(Annie Ogden Series Book 3)

By Frederick Lee Brooke

Sometimes it bugs the hell out of me. She calls, I jump. She knows I’ll do anything for her, anytime. She takes advantage of me. We’ll have a fantastic time, laughing together, kissing, and dreaming about the future, and the next day she’ll be twelve kinds of bitchy. We spend a glorious day and a half after getting engaged, and then she calls me from her ex-boyfriend’s car. She’s on her way to Florida.

Fine.

She goes on a road trip with her ex-lover. Accepting this is part of being an adult. I’m not jealous. I’m not worried. I’m not happy, either, but I’ll deal with it. Even though Garcia is a certified wingnut who does stalkerish things like attacking Annie wearing a mask or breaking into her sister’s apartment and spending the night in a closet. Talk about unhealthy fixations.

And what happens at their famous party? Garcia’s best friend is butchered with a bayonet. They have Garcia’s fingerprints, they have the murder weapon, and they have the body. He’s got a mile-long record. Florida hasn’t outlawed capital punishment like a lot of other states, including Illinois. He’s gonna fry.

Will you come to Florida?

Will you help me find the real killer?

Not because there’s anything between them. Not because he wrote her a love poem, oh no. For justice.

Of course, it’s for justice. We all want justice. And the police don’t know what they’re doing, right, Annie?

It means nothing to her that the murder victim is the nephew of a US senator. That means the police will be working three times as hard to build a solid case. They’ll want ironclad evidence, spotless procedure, and the best witnesses money can buy. To Annie, all this means nothing. Garcia is innocent no matter what everyone else says, no matter what all the evidence says. He couldn’t have done it. When Annie becomes irrational, watch out. You don’t stand a chance. Her ears might as well be plugged.

There’s always a motive if you look hard enough. Two war buddies could have a fight, two roommates who’ve done three tours in Iraq. They can call it PTSD. Maybe drugs. No shortage of motives in that minestrone. That DA would have to be a real idiot to botch this one.

Or was this wishful thinking?

I was boarding my Tampa-bound plane as these thoughts traversed my love-addled brain. Annie only had to call to set off a chain reaction in my body chemistry. Hormonal reactions.

I’m getting married again.

It hit me for the five hundredth time. I was standing there, waiting for someone to move in the cramped airplane aisle, so I could sit. A single mom was buckling three kids into their seats. Suddenly I felt the contentment of an old mafia don surrounded by laughing grandchildren. Annie and I would make wonderful kids. We would have a blast raising them. God made me for that.

About Collateral Damage

Annie Ogden is back. Like it or not, she’s about to learn about COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

A love story.

When Annie Ogden’s ex-boyfriend Michael Garcia reappears, she has to confront a lie dating back to her time in Iraq. Will she go back to hot, passionate Michael, who has developed a disturbing interest in meth, or stick with her pudgy PI partner and fiancé, Salvatore?

A murder.

The calculus changes when Michael is arrested for murder. When Salvatore refuses to help investigate, Annie is forced to try to find the killer herself. Meanwhile her sister’s creepy husband, Todd, is making more of an ass of himself than usual.

An obsession.

Annie’s problems with three obsessive men suddenly pale in significance when she realizes the killer has set his sights on her. Having changed his mind about helping her, Salvatore finds himself in a desperate race against time, the only man capable of finding the killer before it’s too late.

Get it from Amazon.

About the author

fredbrookeFrederick Lee Brooke launched the Drone Wars Series in 2013 with Saving Raine, and the sequel, Inferno, followed in 2014. The third and last book in the series, The Drone Wars, released in June, 2015 wraps up the short, catastrophic period in which Matt Carney first learned he had a twin brother.

A resident of Switzerland since 1991, Frederick Lee Brooke is also the author of the Annie Ogden Mystery Series. He has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He makes frequent trips to the United States to visit friends and family. Visit Fred on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @FrederickBrooke.

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Book Launch Tuesday: The Girl with the Gun

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Buy Emily Kimelman’s newest Sydney Rye blockbuster & get a free bonus book

tgwtgTo celebrate the launch of the eighth book in the bestselling Sydney Rye action/mystery series, Emily Kimelman is giving away a free e-copy and audiobook of Death in the Dark, the second Sydney Rye adventure.

What’s The Girl with the Gun about?

When international fugitive Sydney Rye turns herself over to authorities in order to protect the vigilante network she inspired, her freedom depends on helping Homeland Security shift the tides in a war for “hearts and minds.”

Recruiting female fighters to take on jihadists because being killed by a woman is the only thing they fear (it bars their entrance to heaven) is the perfect assignment for Sydney and her dog, Blue. But when the director who enlisted her is killed and the deal she made is scrapped, Sydney and Blue are left in a war zone, hunted by the U.S government and jihadists.

From a bestselling author who “has reimagined a traditional genre for a new generation.” (New York Times Best Selling Author of “Black Hawk Down” Mark Bowden).

How to get your free bonus book

Download a copy of The Girl with the Gun by Saturday, September 17, and send proof of purchase to emily@emilykimelman.com. She’ll send you your free bonus!

Get it on any of these sites:

About the author

Emily (author photo)Emily Kimelman is the author of the bestselling Sydney Rye Series including Unleashed, Death in the Dark, Insatiable, Strings of Glass, The Devil’s Breath, Inviting Fire and Shadow Harvest. This series feature a strong female protagonist and her canine best friend, Blue. It is recommended for the 18+ who enjoy some violence, don’t mind dirty language, and are up for a dash of sex. Not to mention an awesome, rollicking good mystery!

The first book in the Sydney Rye series, Unleashed, is available as a free download on all major ebook retailers.

She has also been penning a Web serial, Kiss. This is an apocalyptic urban fantasy featuring vampires, zombies and multidimensional travel. The first six episodes are now available on Amazon.

Emily splits her time between the Hudson Valley and traveling the world with her husband and dog, Kinsey (named after Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Milhone), researching exciting locations for the Sydney Rye Series. You can follow along on their adventures through Instagram, Facebook, and on Emily’s blog.

Visit Emily’s

And follow her on Twitter @EJKimelman.

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Thursday Teaser: The Monday Night Needlework and Murder Guild

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by Kathleen Valentine

You could WIN a free e-copy of The Monday Night Needlework and Murder Guild. Find out how at the end of the excerpt.

MondayNight-600px

Excerpt:

Around the time that I received my invitation to join Miss Serena’s guild Edgar Harrison had a massive coronary and kicked the bucket. It was a great shame because he wasn’t even sixty. He left behind a widow whose grief was considerably soothed by the fortune he also left. Their two daughters were grown, married, and living in other parts of the country. Poor Eulalia was not the sort of woman who could function on her own, fortune or not. She had been a member of Miss Serena’s guild for several years, and we all did our best to comfort her once Edgar was gone. We invited her to lunches and tried to involve her in fundraisers for the high school sports teams or in political canvassing, but Eulalia just wasn’t the community-minded type.

How do you stand it?” she said to me late one Saturday afternoon as we packed the leftover books from the library’s weekly yard sale into cartons.

Stand what?”

Well,” she studied me, “I know you’ve been a single lady all your life but you have had gentlemen friends, haven’t you?”

I kept my eyes on my work to hide my smile. “I’m not exactly sure I’d call them gentlemen.”

Listen to you!” She giggled. “You know what I mean.”

I shrugged. “I like men,” I said as frankly as I could. “I just never met one I wanted around full time.”

She caught her breath. “What a thing to say! Surely you’re joking. Why, you’re not a bad looking woman. My Edgar said you were downright handsome. You’ve got beautiful hair. Edgar was always after me to let mine grow long. If it was me, I’d have it colored but it’s beautiful the way it is anyway.”

My hair, which hangs nearly to my waist when it’s not twisted up in back, started turning gray when I was thirty and has been nearly snow white for the last two decades.

I consider it my one good feature,” I told Eulalia.

You’re just too modest. I have always had a lot of admiration for women with a good, sturdy figure. If you fixed yourself up a bit I bet lots of men would like to spend time with you.”

I folded in the flaps on a box and stacked them with the other boxes to be put back in the library’s storage space.

The problem with me,” I said, “is that I get bored easily. I’m always thinking about what I’d rather be doing. You don’t know how many times I’ve sat in a restaurant across the table from some man who was going on and on about his job or his plans for retirement, just wishing I was at home in my pajamas with a glass of wine and my knitting.”

She stared at me and then laughed. “My goodness, Cece,” she said, “you do have a sense of humor.”

Win a free e-copy of The Monday Night Needlework and Murder Guild by describing the worst lothario experience you’ve ever had in the comments below. The author will select a winner.

About The Monday Night Needlework and Murder Guild 

Over fifty years ago Miss Serena Pitts founded the Monday Night Needlework and Murder Guild in the town of Pitts Crossing, Massachusetts. Members got together every week to share cookies and gossip while they did their needlework and discussed the latest murder mysteries. But when an unscrupulous lothario starts seducing and fleecing some of its members, the guild begins falling apart. That is until retired teacher, Miss Cecelia McGill, decides this cannot go on.

Get it for your Kindle or Nook.

About the author

KV-300pxKathleen Valentine was born and grew up in the Allegheny Highlands of Pennsylvania. She graduated from Penn State with a degree in The Arts and worked for over twenty years in the art/marketing departments of high-tech corporations. Since 2003 she has run her own design business, Valentine-Design.com. She is the author of “Fry Bacon. Add Onions”, a cookbook/memoir of growing up,Pennsylvania Dutch, as well as 4 novels, several novelettes and short story collections, and knitting instruction books. She has been listed as an Amazon Top 100 Author in Horror. Her novellas, The Crazy Old Lady in the Attic and Ghosts of a Beach Town in Winter were Amazon Top Ten Best Sellers in Horror and Ghost Stories for over 20 weeks.

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Thursday teaser: New books by your favorite bestsellers

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Admit it: you love good books. And BestSelling Reads authors have been working hard to bring you books you’ll love. Here are just a few of the most recent books published by members.

Coming soon

AwakeningAwakening: Redeemer Chronicles 1

Coming August 16 by Julie C. Gilbert

Victoria Saveron knows two things for certain. Dark forces want to kill her, and her friends have cooler powers than she does. Katrina can shapeshift and Tellen can tap into destructive magic currents.

Everything else is uncertain and rumors abound.

Victoria might be the Chosen One, whatever that means. Her father might be able to help them, but only if they can find him. Coldhaven’s villagers might be able to offer them food and shelter. Some fool might be running around unlocking Darkland portals to raise an undead army.

The further Victoria and her companions get on their journey, the more dangers and betrayals they face. The must awaken Vic’s true powers or forfeit the world.

The Girl with the Gun: Sydney Rye #8GirlWithGun

Coming September 10 by Emily Kimelman

A page-turning thriller! When international fugitive, Sydney Rye, turns herself over to authorities in order to protect the vigilante network she inspired, her freedom depends on helping Homeland Security shift the tides in a war for “hearts and minds.”

Recruiting female fighters to take on jihadists because being killed by a woman is the only thing they fear (it bars their entrance to heaven) is the perfect assignment for Sydney and her dog, Blue. But when the director who enlisted her is killed and the deal she made is scrapped, Sydney and Blue are left in a war zone, hunted by the U.S government and jihadists alike.

Recent releases

Dead Man LyingDead Man Lying - 529x800

A Lei Crime Kindle World Novella featuring Vanessa Storm
By Scott Bury

Published June 27: With lush rain forests, black sand beaches, and a laid-back lifestyle, Maui offers the perfect retirement location for once-famous country singer Steven Sangster … until he ends up dead.

As the killer, or killers, strike again and again, Detective Lei Texeira and FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm must untangle the lies spun by the singer’s associates, friends, family — and the singer himself before the music dies.

First place winner: East Texas Writers Guild 1st Chapter Awards 2016.

 

The Author Toolbox

AuthorToolboxBy Barb Drozdowich

Published July 20: Beginning authors are often overwhelmed with tasks they must do in addition to publishing a book. Many of these action items are outside of their comfort zone.

Look no further! The Author Toolbox is a box set of two books that will help authors understand the creation and use of an Author Platform, and the ins and outs of Book Blog Tours. Both are written in easily understood language. This essential box set covers important information that authors need to effectively start their publishing journey in a manner they can understand, follow, and implement.

Tired of spending hours trying to figure things out? Tired of always asking questions?

Pick up a copy today and let Barb teach you in her unique way.

Get it on Amazon.

Treachery Makes it TenseSC 4 TMIT

A Lei Crime Kindle World novella featuring Marcella Scott
By Julie C. Gilbert

Published June 20: When a vanquished foe resurfaces with vengeance on his mind …

Special Agent Marcella Scott expects the danger to fall to her. She does not expect her FBI partner’s entire family to disappear.

Cassandra Mirren witnesses her boss’s murder and gets drawn into a deadly game. Now, she has a choice—either work with Agent Scott or betray her.

Both women are about to find out that treachery makes it tense.

Get it on Amazon.

Wicked Revenge

By DelSheree GladdenWicked Revenge GOLD FRONT

Published July 8: Secrets are unraveling, but they only bring up more questions and not enough answers. While the Roth siblings attempt to recover from the devastating confrontation with the Godlings, each one must overcome their own demons to survive.

Where to get it:

The James Blake Series Box Set

By Seb Kirby

JBBoxSet1500No2jpegPublished July 9: Three gripping full length, best selling thrillers in one suspense packed download.  

All three books in the James Blake thriller series are included for the first time in this box set for one low price! Includes Take No More, Regret No More and Forgive No More. It’s a great deal for thriller, suspense and mystery book lovers, and a FREE borrow for Kindle Unlimited. 

  • Top 20 bestselling thriller series 
  • 170+ reviews with an average of over 4.0/5.0 stars 

Available exclusively on Amazon.

The James Blake series includes:

  • TAKE NO MORE – James Blake #1

“I really liked the main character, James Blake and his fearless pursuit of the truth.” 

“Thrilling and original…” 

“Memorable characters with murder, organised crime, Italy and art….” 

  • REGRET NO MORE – James Blake #2 

“A tense and exciting thriller…..if you enjoyed Take No More you really have to read this one!”  

“A stellar mystery thriller…. gripping, intense, and captivates the reader to the end. Author Seb Kirby is an outstanding author who knows how to write what I think of as a classic action-packed thriller.”  

“Excellent read…an intriguing story that will keep you turning page after page.” 

  • FORGIVE NO MORE – James Blake # 3 

“Awesome…intelligently written….” 

“Compelling, extraordinary, and finely honed.” 

“A good thriller with plenty of action and intrigue.” 

Wired In (Paradise Crime book 1)

By Toby Neal
Author of the Lei Crime Series

Paradise has no protection from a hacker with a hidden agenda. 

Special Agent Sophie Ang’s emotions are battered by a child kidnapping case that goes badly wrong. In tracking the criminal ring, her rogue data analysis program D.A.V.I.D. identifies an anomaly that leads her into a cat-and-mouse game online with a deadly enemy whose motives are unclear. The chase lures her through dark corridors of cyberspace into a confrontation with the violence from her past that sent her fleeing to the United States. She’ll need every skill she’s learned to defeat her worst nightmare—and the stakes couldn’t be higher. 

“Toby Neal has created a wonderfully rounded action heroine with everything: looks, brains, mixed martial arts prowess, and the ability to swear proficiently in Thai and English. Fans of the genre will love FBI agent Sophie Ang, as well as the tangled web she must negotiate in the tropical setting of Hawaii.” — Russell Blake, NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author.

Available exclusively from Amazon

Author of the Lei Crime Series

Murder In FashionMurderFashionCover

A Dewey Webb Private Investigator Historical Mystery Book 2
By Renée Pawlish

Published July 8: In post-World War II Denver, the world of fashion can be murder.

Herb Washburn has already been convicted of murdering his boss, Mel Templeton, owner of Templeton Fashion. And in a few days, Herb is headed to the Colorado state prison for a long stay in a decidedly unfashionable suit of clothes.

A hard-boiled, historical mystery that’s great for fans who love a traditional detective crime story with a noir flavor, but without a lot of sex or swearing.

About the authors

Visit Scott Bury‘s:

Scott Bury

and follow him on Twitter @ScottTheWriter.

Take a look at Barb Drozdowich’s

BarbDrozdowichPic

And follow Barb on Twitter @sugarbeatbc

Visit Julie Gilbert’s

Julie Gilbert 2013

And follow her on Twitter: @authorgilbert or @jilliananddeli.

Check out DelSheree Gladden‘s latest books, and get updates and sneak peeks of new projects:

DelShereeGladden4

And follow her on Twitter @DelSheree.

Visit Emily Kimelman’s Emily (author photo)

Visit Seb Kirby‘s

And follow him on Twitter @Seb_Kirby

Visit Toby Neal‘s 

Toby Neal, bestselling author of Hawaii mysteries Blood Orchid and Torch Ginger

Toby Neal

And follow her on Twitter @TobywNeal

 

 

 

Visit Renée Pawlish‘s

Renee Pawlish

And follow her on Twitter @ReneePawlish

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