"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wayne Farquhar Reviews “Cyber Writers” by Karen Kostlivy

Cyber Writers by Karen Kostlivy

"My 11 year old son picked up Cyber Writers and read it in 2 days. I was curious so I picked it up. It’s a wonderful story with many great messages. It introduces different cultures, lands and people. This adventure centers on the love of family and stretches the imagination of our children. You'll absolutely love the talking panther!" ~ Wayne Farquhar

Reviewed By:
Wayne Farquhar, Author of Blood Over Badge

About Blood Over Badge

Two seemingly unrelated crimes – two seemingly unrelated killers – and two mysteries waiting to be solved …

The murder of the Mayor of San Francisco’s daughter sets the stage for this intriguing and spellbinding crime thriller. Two police detectives, Jack Paige and Casey Ford are assigned to catch a cold-blooded rapist and killer. In this gritty, realistic tale of homicide, unrelated mysteries of two murderers seem to come together and make little sense. What does a man rotting away behind the stench-enclosed walls of Angola Penitentiary have to do with an evil and cruel rapist and killer now on the run from California to Texas? What is the relationship to the killing of the Mayor’s daughter?

Bio:  Wayne Farquhar is a 28-year veteran working with the San Jose Police Department in California. He has worked through the ranks from officer to lieutenant with detective assignments in Sexual Assaults, Homicide 
and Internal Affairs. He has also worked undercover assignments in 
Child Exploitation, Child Pornography and Vice. He spent 10 years as a 
street cop and hostage negotiator. Wayne has worked on Federal Task 
Forces with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). He has appeared 
on national television, /America’s Most Wanted/ on a murder investigation. BLOOD OVER BADGE is his first effort in crime-thriller 
fiction, and he hopes to write more books and speak to larger 
audiences about his experiences in law enforcement. Wayne lives with 
his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

If you would like to formally invite Wayne to speak about BLOOD OVER 
BADGE or law enforcement to your organization, association, conference 
or expo, please send an email to info@bloodoverbadge.com.

A Few Words From Wayne About Imagination

I’ve asked myself “what’s the difference between me and my non-writer friends?” I mean, aside from the obvious … The answer came to me while I watched my 11 year old son play. He crashed space ships with huge drama. I listened while he made up voices and the sounds of destruction. I realized, he imagined everything necessary for a great book. His story: Star Wars Lego’s battle. His characters: Fighter pilots and ground-troop leaders barking orders (Dialogue) to storm troopers. Conflict: the battle. Plot: the battle. The light bulb went off in my head. Hey! I’m the goofy adult that still imagines like a child!

As children, it was natural for us to play and imagine. We did it every single day. It didn’t much matter if it was a doll or Army men. We used our imaginations and created stories and events. We had voices for our characters and some were heroic while others were not. Some characters were good and others evil. Each one had a specific role and place in our heart.
When it comes to writing, my characters are real in my mind. They have personalities, feeling, thoughts, relationships, history, quirks, hang-ups, problems, likes, dislikes, secrets: I could go on forever. I try to have 20/20 when I write a scene. I see it, smell it, feel it and taste it. It’s definitely not magical nor do I see myself as “gifted.” It’s practice! We grow up and the pressures of life drills down. We need to survive so we find work, build careers and relationships. Some of us start families and all of us get caught up in the many events that impact our daily lives. At the end of the day, we’re exhausted and we didn’t make much time for imagination. Days last forever and years fly by, right? Soon enough, we lose the art to imagine because we stopped practicing.

I understand why playing is exhausting for children. It’s the same reason writers are exhausted at the end of a writing day. It takes work and a conscious effort to be creative and stretch our imaginations. It doesn’t matter if we’re writing a book or crashing Star Wars Lego’s. We’re using our imaginations to create another world. And that alone, is my favorite aspect of writing. I get to create the entire world and all the players. Sound familiar?

I encourage you to practice using your imagination. It’s much easier if you enjoy writing. Give it a shot: it’s a lot of fun!

Friday, September 24, 2010


Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that particular combination.
Jacqueline: Paranormal Romance, or more specifically Dark fantasy/romance which covers witches, vampires, shifters and all the fun stuff.  The part that draws me the most to these genres would be the unexpected happens.  I like not being able to figure out exactly what’s going to happen and with dark fantasy/romance I can rarely conclude what the characters are going to do.

Kiki: What is your favorite author to read in that genre, and why? Also, please tell me a little about the best book by that author you have read.
Jacqueline: I have several favorite authors – but if I’m only to pick one I’d have to go with Christine Feehan.  The best book I’ve read by her (and this isn’t easy to do because I have read 40+ books by her and loved them all) would have to be Dark Celebration from her Dark series (I believe it’s #17 in the series).  Basically she took all of my favorite characters in the series and they were all in one book.  Christine did a fabulous job bringing the Carpathians together and giving the readers an update (so to speak) on where each character was.  I loved it.  How she was able to step back into each characters personality to pull it off, I’ll never figure out, but my hats off to her for doing a wonderful job of it.

Kiki: Do you have a Favorite Book of All Time? Of course, please tell us what about that book makes it your favorite.
Jacqueline: A favorite of all time?  I can’t say yes to this one.  I read – a lot – and if a book makes it to my “fave” shelf then it becomes one of a large collection.  These are the books I can pick up and re-read over and over without tiring of the story.

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?
Jacqueline: Two books are tied for first place here.  Sherrilyn Kenyon’s No Mercy (Dark hunter series) and Christine Feehan’s Dark Peril (Carpathian Dark series) both came out recently.  I impatiently wait for the next story in both of those series’.  I would recommend both to friends, of course if they haven’t been following either series from the start they may want to start closer to the beginning to get everything from the stories there is, but definitely both are on my fave shelf now.

Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book?
Jacqueline: My reading habits have changed in the last year, and not from my own choice.  I work long hours now (up to 70 a week) so that really cuts down on my ‘free’ time.  Before the change, at least 8 a week, now 2.  As for when do I read?  Anytime, anywhere, I can open a book and be lost in it within minutes, so the place and setting really doesn’t matter to me.

Kiki: If pressed, could you choose a favorite from the books you have written? Why is it your favorite?
Jacqueline: I probably had to think longer to answer this question than all the rest.  I’m going to say Salvation (available in October).  It’s a favorite of mine because it was probably the most challenging for me to write (so far).  I took a modern (blunt) woman and a 200 year old pirate ghost and put them together.  It was quite interesting to look at things from the view of someone from another era … and trying to remember he wouldn’t speak in our slang English with all of our shortened phrases etc.. was lots of fun to do.

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write?
Jacqueline: I’m a “what if” kind of person, so it’s really not hard to come up with plots.  I am always ready to write, finding the time is the road block I run into more than inspiration.

Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write?
Jacqueline: I’d like to think it’s the dialogue, mostly because I don’t have to pause when doing it.  If my characters could just talk the entire story through, it would save me a lot of painstaking brain strain hours.

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.
Jacqueline: Well, I could fill this part with what color of socks I’m wearing (I’m not wearing any) but I’d rather tell the readers more about my writing that I have out there, or coming soon.
Presently I have three Novella’s at Amira Press.  Behind the Mask, In Our Dream and From A Dream.
In addition to the book released last week I have four more books coming out in the next six months.
From Eternal Press in October Salvation. 
From Class Act Books : Harvest Dreams in January and Beltane Magic in March.  From Whiskey Creek Press in February Twice Cursed.

There’s more, but I don’t have definite dates just yet. 

Jacqueline Paige
All things Paranormal

Here’s a bit about the first book in the Hidden Senses Trilogy – Mystic Perceptions

Jacinda keeps to her safe space doing investigative research, avoiding people and places with people.  Her own conscience and morals force her to seek justice for women whose lives were ended.
Tossed into the world of police work and murderers, she tries to help from a distance while protecting her own secrets and sanity.
If she uses her unwanted ability to find the killer, will she have to give up everything again and run one more time?

Jacinda clashes with the very strong, grounded detective, fate has thrown her to.  At some point he begins to matter.

Will he see her as a freak and look at her with abhorrence when she’s through?

She doesn’t investigate people, can’t get that close.  But when someone she did know was murdered how can she not get involved.

If you could see everything just by simply touching someone or something, wouldn’t that be amazing?  Or would it take everything away from you over and over again?

“Because I have this ability to look at something and not see the same thing everyone else does.”

Jacinda Brown wasn’t lying when she said that.  Of course, she also wasn’t going to explain that with just a touch, she could see everyone that had touched an object.  Through her hand she could feel your emotions, your thoughts. 

A gift or a curse?

She had worked too hard this time in having a home, having a life to give it all up again.
She was done suffering through the side affects that often left her ill and weak. She had a normal life now, blending in completely undetected in her lonely existence.

Would you be willing to give up everything, again, to stop a killer?

When a fifth murder happens, Jacinda Brown makes the decision to use her gift to find the killer.  She doesn’t let herself think of how she’s going to suffer afterward, the consequences that will curse her again, just thinks of stopping a killer.

Its the price she’ll willing pay for the ability she doesn’t want.

Brent just sat there and looked at her. Reid stifled a sigh. They were pulling his leg right? This was a joke of some kind. When she continued to stand there, without so much as a smirk he frowned over at his partner. Reid shook his head in disbelief.
“It can’t be paper or clothing.” Jac said quietly.
Brent reached into his shirt, pulling out his chain and pendant. Lifting it over his head, he handed it to the crazy woman standing there, patiently holding her hand out at him.
Reid gave her a “you’ve got to be kidding” look when she stepped in front of him. When she continued to stand there, looking at him impatiently, he leaned back and pulled his keys out of his pocket. Working the pendant off the ring, he handed it to her and leaned back again. He knew his blood pressure was going to spike shortly if they didn’t stop screwing around, then he was going to start yelling.
Sandy sat down behind Jac. “Ready?”
“Yeah.” Jac held up her hand, palm up. When the doctor lowered Brent’s chain into it, Jac closed her hand around it and she took a few deep breaths as if she was trying to find some focus.
He knew Brent was waiting for them to say “Gotcha!” too. When he heard Jac laugh softly, he figured it was now.
Jac shook her head. “Really Sandy - next time please specify something they weren’t wearing during sex.” She grinned. “Cute blonde though Brent, love the lady bug tattoo.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Kiki: What is your favorite genre to read in, and what is it about that genre that attracts you to it? If you like a specific mix of genres, please state that particular combination.

Clare: I am very eclectic when it comes to my reading choices. I like narrative non-fiction, adventure type stories. I went through a period when I read everything I could find about climbs of Mt. Everest for example. In fiction, I read a broad variety of books from historicals about Ireland by Frank Delany to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I also like mysteries...Ken Follett, Erin Harte, Rory McCormac.

As a writer, it is very important to me to read outside the genre in which I write.   I have read a number romance novels over the years and if one is recommended and I find the author particularly gripping, I get hooked and read everything that author has to offer.
I avoid “self help” books like the plague and I got my consciousness raised years ago, so those types of books are not on my shelf at present.

Kiki: What is your favorite author to read in that genre, and why? Also, please tell me a little about the best book by that author you have read.

Clare: I read everything I can find from Maeve Binchy. Though one would not categorize her books as romance, they are about relationships…and that’s what romance really is after all.  I’ve read Evening Class several times and have just re-read Tara Road. Her character development is complex and I learn much from the way she weaves her plots.

Kiki: Do you have a Favorite Book of All Time? Of course, please tell us what about that book makes it your favorite.

Clare: This is a difficult question. I can’t pick one because I read so many different types of books. However, as far as romance goes, my favorite has got to be Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. It was the first romance I ever read and until that point I had no idea anyone wrote anything like that. I was mesmerized!

Kiki: What is the best book you read last month, and would you recommend it to a friend?

Clare: While I was in Ireland this summer I read The Woman on the Bus by Pauline McLynn. I loved it and definitely recommend it. Her writing is quirky and the characters wonderful. It has a romance in it, but is otherwise hard to categorize.

Kiki: What are your reading habits like? For example, how many books do you read on average in a week, what format do you prefer to read in, what time of day do you read, and what setting is ideal for you to get lost in that book?

Clare: I have several audible books on my IPod at present and I flip around through them depending on the amount of attention they require. If I’m particularly alert I listen to a bit of The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene…but this isn’t light reading, so if I’m tired or just want to relax I turn to something by Evanovitch, Gabaldon or maybe some Nora Roberts.
Most evenings my man and I read together…he does most of the reading and I listen until I fall asleep!

So far I have not read an e-book. I’m behind the curve when it comes to technology, I guess. I have thought about getting a Kindle or Nook, but I really like audible books and have a huge library of titles.

Kiki: If pressed, could you choose a favorite from the books you have written? Why is it your favorite?

Clare: Beyond any question my favorite is Butterfly. It was a blast to write, funny as well as poignant, and I love the characters. Flannery was so much fun to hang out with and she virtually wrote the book for me. It was my first sale but not my first book. Butterfly started out as just an exercise for a new critique group I was meeting with. I was supposed to take ten pages and Butterfly happened…just like magic!

Kiki: How do you become inspired to write?

Clare: I have a vivid fantasy world in my head. It might have come from being a solitary child. I was neurotically shy, didn’t speak to people and spent a great deal of time with my dogs and horse. I remember telling my four legged friends stories and singing songs and rhymes that would pop into my head. As soon as I learned to read, I read constantly. I was one of those kids who read with a flashlight under the covers when I was supposed to be asleep! When I was eight years old, I wrote a short story and sent it to a publisher…I think it was Doubleday…and got a rejection but encouragement to keep writing.

Kiki: What part of the story do you think is your strength to write?

Clare: I am good at beginnings and endings. The middle is the hard part.

Kiki: Please share with ABA readers something I did not think to ask you about.

Clare: My latest release is Hot Flash. It was the third book I wrote, but not my first sale. I thought it would fit a niche in the market aimed at mature women.
 Heroines are supposed to be young and pretty, successful and strong. My heroine in Hot Flash is fifty, divorced, facing menopause and an empty nest.  It is a tender love story about adults starting over, but it also touches on the complexities of blending families and cultures. This book should make you laugh, cry and feel good about yourself and your own journey in life.

I think author Deb Stover summed it up beautifully when she wrote…"Sexy but sensitive, powerful but poignant--HOT FLASH is not your daughter's romance! This is a story for real women.  Savor every word!"

Clare Austin
Romance with a touch of the Irish

From the back cover of Hot Flash:
Kate Aiello has spent her entire life trying to please others—her three brothers, her Italian mamma and her husband of twenty-five years. Now, she is turning fifty, facing divorce, and not coping well with her body’s unexpected thermostatic aberrations. The plane truth hits her with each hot flash—she has never been first in anyone’s life, including her own.
 Brandon Sullivan is a man desperate to save himself from impending financial ruin. He is grieving the death of his wife and in jeopardy of losing his horse farm. The promises he made to his wife on her death bed not only bound him to succeed at the sport they both loved: she made him vow to allow himself the possibility of falling in love again.
Sparks fly when Italian attitude meets Irish temper. Add two big crazy families, a barn full of horses and one woman’s menopausal hot flashes and the probability for combustion increases exponentially.
What will Kate and Brandon risk for a second chance at love?
Excerpt   Hot Flash

From her high refuge she heard the chains that raised the gates, opening the fortress of her protection, the stronghold that guarded her heart. Spurs scraping metal on stone as he took the stairs to reach her, rang out with his fierce intention. She knew he would not, could not waste a minute more to hold her, bury his need in her until they both cried out in their joining. The scents of leather, sweat and musky male melted her bones and she leaned into him to keep from falling. Sapphire flames searched her face. Long fingers traced the line of her jaw and traveled to her neck where her pulse beat in counterpoint to her panting breaths. “It has been too long MuirnĂ­n.” His whisper settled like a butterfly’s wing on her ear. “I want you now, Katie...”

“Katie… wake up sleepin’ beauty, it’s supper time.”

Brandon sat on the bed and brushed her hair out of her face. “I’m sorry, I meant to wake you sooner.”

“Oh…oh dear… I was having this dream.” My God, what a dream. “I thought I was in that castle.” She pointed out the window at the medieval fortress that was now a silhouette in the evening sky. “And, you were there.” How much am I going to tell him?

“Well, it was...amazing.”

“It’s called Dungaire.” His fingers combed through her mass of curls. “Do you know you have such beautiful hair? It reminds me of a lioness—like you—wild and unruly.”

She smacked his hand away, dropping the quilt and exposing the rise of her breasts.

Brandon, I’m not dressed.”

He traced the line of her collarbone with one finger. “You might have forgotten, but I’ve seen you in less than this.”
Autographed copies of all my books are available through my website or by contacting me at authorclare@gmail.com

Thank you for having me on your blog today.

Monday, September 20, 2010

UNIQUE, An Authors By Authors Promotional Anthology

This anthology is a unique promotional opportunity being offered by the Authors By Authors Blog http://authorsbyauthors.blogspot.com    For the author, not only will you get all the advertising/promo that will go along with this anthology and a chance to introduce your work to new readers, but the giveaways and lottery will gather many opportunities for reviews.  No royalties will be made from this anthology, it is for promotional purposes only.  All money made minus costs will go into the final lottery for the readers to win.  Please read through the timetable below to see how this unique project falls together and to see all the chances for promo the authors whose stories are chosen will have. My goal is to pick a wide range of genres to be represented from paranormal, horror, chick lit, romance, suspense and all the mixes you can create!  I do want to limit the contest to those over the age of 18.  

Time Table For Unique:

Submissions Accepted - until November 1st, 2010
  **To Submit - Send the following in One Attached as RTF or Doc – using the naming convention of “Unique_Title_Author Name” to authorsbyauthors@gmail.com with  the Subject Line of “Unique Submission”:
1.   Author Name
2.   Author Email
3.   Author Website (opt.)
4.   Story Title
5.   Story Genre(s)
6.   Story Blurb
7.   Story (Never before published because I think that would defeat the unique theme I have going on here! LOL)
Word Count: Generally 1K – 5K, but flexible within reason
Theme: Unique – However you want to interpret that! That includes a unique storyline.
8.   Individual Story Giveaway – More info below
9.   Lottery Donation (opt.) – More info below

Final Decisions  of Stories to be Included – No later than November 10th, 2010
 ** I have gathered help in reading through submissions and deciding which are chosen to fill the spaces available.
**Contracts will go out to the authors of the stories selected just giving me rights to use the story once in the ebook and possibly print.  Not getting complicated here, this is a promo opportunity.

Edits/Beginning Promo – November & December, 2010
  **General Promo Information will be emailed to authors to give them a place to start.

Book Release – January 1st, 2011
  **Will be released on Amazon & Smashwords, as well as hopefully a few others I am looking into.  Suggestions welcome.  Ebook will be available at an inexpensive price - thinking like $0.99  Again, all the money made after costs are covered will go into the final Lottery.   If  I decide to go with Print, the price will be $1 over cost to print through CreateSpace.  I have considered the idea of doing print after with authors best reviews from the contest in it, and make it available at cost if authors wanted to use it later as a giveaway themselves. Open to thoughts and ideas.

Sales/Giveaways/Promo – January and February 2011
  **Through these months the following things will happen:

1. First few days of sales each story will be featured on the blog (short blurb/tagline, genres, author name, author links, other works). Giveaway for that individual story will be announced.  Depending on amount of stories accepted, I may end up grouping these to get them all out in the first days.

2. Readers will purchase the book, read it and submit one line minimum reviews of a single story to be entered into any story giveaways plus the final lottery.  The more reviews entered for individual stories – the more entries into the final jackpot giveaway. These reviews will be posted on the blog daily.  Info about the reviewer can be anything from anonymous, a name, an author name with website link, a blog owner with blog link, a publisher with pub link, etc.  So, lots of chances to win, plus a little free advertising for those who want it – more enticement to enter.

3. Authors By Authors as well as the authors in the Anthology will continue to promote the book.  I (as Authors By Authors) plan on purchasing a banner and buying some cover ads as well as getting a book tour going on other blogs to advertise the anthology and giveaways.  I will encourage authors to do all the promo they wish/can on blogs, yahoo groups, Facebook pages, etc. as well trying to get reviews/entries for their story.

4. Story Giveaways and Final Lottery Winners Announced and Contacted – February 28th, 2011
  **Number of winners for Lottery will be determined by amount of entries. Prizes will be a $25 gift cards, plus division of any donations of items (books, booksmarks, etc) by authors, or anyone else involved in making of the book. 
      NOTE: How many gift cards to be won in the lottery will be determined by total sales minus costs to produce book -- costs will be editing provided by Gateway Editorial Services (gatewayeditorialservices.com), cover costs, banner and ads, etc. The donations I get from authors for the lottery will be divided up as evenly as I can between the prizes.

If this goes well, response wise, I will be planning on doing additional anthologies.

Any questions please send to authorsbyauthors@gmail.com
Permission to forward or repost granted!


Friday, September 17, 2010


Favorite Genre(s): 
 I regularly read paranormal YA, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, historical fiction (huge fan of Austen, Trollope, English family happiness and anything published in the pea-green covers by Virago Modern Classics), light romantic comedy, and, of course, fantasy.

List of at least 5 Favorite Books in that Genre:
Anne Bishop – Black Jewels trilogy
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s “Death Gate Cycle”
Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory – “The Obsidian Trilogy”
Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey – “Halfblood Chronicles”
Terry Goodkind – “The Sword of Truth”
C.J. Cherryh – “The Faded Sun” trilogy

Favorite Author in that Genre, and Favorite Book by that Author: 
In all truth, my favorite author is whomever I just “discovered” and who has a substantial backlist for me to work through. Last month, that was Patricia Briggs. This month, it’s Wendy Holden. My go-to author, however, is Anne Bishop. Her books are a fabulous blend of dark fantasy, romance, and sex. I always know where my copy of her “Black Jewels” trilogy is, although I’ve also enjoyed her “Ephemera” and “Tir Alainn” series.

Favorite Book of All Time:  Anne Bishop’s “Black Jewels” trilogy

Favorite Book Read Last Month:  Wendy Holden’s “Farm Fatale”

Favorite Book You Wrote: 
BOND WITH ME. My favorite is always the book I just finished. Plus, BOND WITH ME is super-sexy. For me, fallen angels are the ultimate alpha bad boys and I’ve always had a serious soft spot for bad boys. Good looks helped, but it’s the attitude, the you-can-kick-me-but-I’ll-come-back-stronger mindset. I love a man who is strong inside and out, who has the courage of his convictions—but who is still open to meeting a life-changing woman and redemption at her hands. The hero of BOND WITH ME, Brends Duranov, is a fallen angel who believes he rebelled against the Heavens for the right reasons. Whether he’s right or wrong in that belief, he accepts that there’s a price to pay for his rebellion and he’s not whining about his exile to Earth or his lost wings. He’s paying and he’s shouldering ahead.

Three thousand years after his Fall, however, Brends discovers that he may have a shot at redemption. Just one shot. What, I wondered, would he be willing to do for that redemption? If he could regain his wings and the Heavens, where would he draw the line? Particularly if his redemption meant that he could prove the fallen angels were right and their rebellion was justified? Mischka Baran is the key to that redemption—and she turns Brends’ world upside

Give Us One More Favorite Thing Beyond Books:
Fish. I snorkel every chance I get. There is absolutely nothing better than gliding over a coral reef with a mask and a snorkel. Plus, there are the total Discovery Channel moments where you look up and there’s a five foot reef shark two feet from your face or you look down and an eel consumes a puffer fish. I squealed louder for the shark than I did when I sold my first book.

Anne Marsh

Bond With Me

Fallen angels… They rule Moscow’s seedy underworld, promising untold pleasure to the females who dare to mate them. That promise – and Brends Duranov’s own raw sexual power – has hopefuls mobbing the velvet rope outside his elite club G2’s.

But Mischka Baran has no intention of hooking up with one of the Fallen. Not even after Brends gives her an unforgettable taste of the sin and seduction he can deliver with those wicked lips. She’s after information, not a stint as some Goblin’s toy of the month. What she doesn’t know is that with a sadistic killer carving up his brethren, Brends is playing for keeps, hunting the one woman whose bloodline can end the mayhem, whose bond can restore his lost wings.

Click To Purchase:
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/2u4696l

Review Snippets:

Paranormal Haven: Four Stars.
[Anne Marsh’s Fallen angels] They are wonderfully wicked creatures who are capable of seducing the pants off you one minute and scaring you half to death the next.

Fiction Vixen: Four Hearts.
Bond With Me is a very dark erotic romance.  Brends and Mischka’s chemistry is titillating right from the moment they first meet and their romance is sweet, yet exciting even beyond their smoking hot sexual relationship.

Romantic Times: “…a master worldbuilder”

            “You let me in,” he promised, “and I’ll make it good. I’ll give you whatever you want, dushka. No questions. No explanations.” He trailed the sword-roughened pads of his fingers down the bare skin of her arm and leaned forward. The hair she’d unbound slid around them, sealing them into a dark, decadent world of pleasure. The spicy scent of male and sex surrounded them
            “For a price,” she said, desperate to shake off his erotic spell.
            “Everything has its price, dushka,” Brends whispered against her ear.
            She needed this. She needed him. She wasn’t going to find her cousin on her own, not before the killer did. Brends, on the other hand, could. She wished she wasn’t so attracted to him. If they bonded, he’d have an inside track straight into her head. He’d be able to connect to her. Communicate with her.
            “And?” Her voice sounded dry. As if her throat was closing up.
            “If the killer were to come for you,” he eyed her closely, “I’d know. I’d be right there.” 
            “You want to use me as bait.”
            To give him credit, he didn’t hesitate. He gave her the truth, although she supposed it only helped his cause. “Yes.”
            She might be able to help stop this. And stopping this was the right thing to do. Before she could rethink her decision, she said it. “Yes. Bond with me, Brends.”

Excerpted from Bond with Me. Copyright © 2010 by Anne Marsh. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

“Ivan and Marya” by Anna Kashina - Reviewed by Erin O’Riordan


Book Blurb: Every Solstice, every year, a young girl dies to prolong the life of a madman.
While the girl's soul is fed to Kaschey the undead by his daughter, the gloriously beautiful Marya, the girl's body drowns in the clutches of Vodyanoy at the bottom of the Sacrifice Pool. Every Solstice a hero tries to stop them...and dies. But this is Ivan's year. Though his brothers plot his death, and the villagers whose daughters are dying warn him not to interfere, Ivan the Fool is determined to stop the sacrifice.With the help of the immortals, gotten by sympathy, force, or guile, Ivan believes his love will save the beautiful Marya from herself.

Book Length: 174 pages
Publisher: Drollerie Press  


It’s been over a hundred years since one of my maternal great-great grandfathers left Russia to avoid serving in the Tzar’s army. I’m still fascinated with Russian, and indeed all of Eastern European folklore. Anna Kashina puts Russian folklore to excellent use in her romantic fantasy/epic novel Ivan and Marya (Drollerie Press, 2010).

It’s not an epic on the scale of Lord of the Rings, though like Tolkien did with Anglo-Saxon folklore in his novels, Kashina weaves the kind of tale my Russian ancestors would have told around their hearths. It’s more on the scale of The Hobbit, but while it may not be as sweeping as War and Peace, the fast-paced storytelling keeps the pages turning. I read it in one sitting.

Ivan and Marya is the classic hero’s journey. Ivan (nicknamed “The Fool”) is on a quest to fulfill a prophecy. He and his sponsor, Wolf, seek to bring an end to the human sacrifice perpetrated by the Tzar, Kashchey and his daughter Marya in the name of the god Kupalo.

Young Ivan (a stock character in Russian folk literature, though he never feels like it in Kashina’s telling) is the sort of everyman hero the reader can easily identify with. What makes this story so compelling is rooting for Ivan to complete his perilous, virtually impossible tasks.

Marya, though she is beautiful with her long black hair and pale skin, is compelled by being the priestess of Kupalo to be cold-hearted, incapable of love. Ivan isn’t sure if he wants her love. He wants to complete his task; the wildflower the peasants call Ivan and Marya is an omen to him, a symbol of hope.

The theme of the yearly human sacrifice is a common one in ancient Pagan storytelling. In the Celtic world (as in Mists of Avalon), the sacrifice is a young man who may father as many children as he likes before going to his noble death. In this version, the sacrifice must be a female and a virgin, recalling the Greco-Roman myth of Persephone/Proserpina. The virgin sacrifice is a close folkloric cousin of the straw effigy (sometimes named Marzana) that is, even today, “drowned” in Slavic countries as a rite of spring. The name of the death god in this novel, Kupalo, recalls the modern Slavic summer solstice holiday of Ivan Kupala…John the Baptist. The virgin sacrifice’s drowning in a sacrificial pool was replaced and Christianized with the rite of baptism.

Even if the ancient origins of the myths bore you, though, you’ll enjoy Anna Kashina’s storytelling. She makes it both fresh and exciting. There’s some adult content (this is a romance, after all), so this enchanting fairy tale is not for very young readers.

If you enjoy this book, you might also like Keith Miller’s The Book of Flying, Whispers in the Dark by Marisa Quinn and The Raspberry Girl by VictoriaSelene Skye Deme.

Reviewer: Erin O'Riordan

In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.