8/30: Today is Friday

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Today is Friday and I’m feeling kind of defeated

I missed the mark with something and

I’m hoping it was just a momentary lapse in judgement on my part

I’m hoping it was just a miscalculated step in my plans

I’m hoping I can decipher and discern

What failure tastes like so I can learn how to best avoid this misstep in the future

 

I hope Continue reading

Author Interview: Dianne Duvall

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I love all things creative.  Writing is my favorite, of course.  And romance is my favorite genre.  It’s the only genre that contains all of the other fiction genres within it as sub-genres.  Contemporary, historical, comedy, drama, paranormal, sci-fi, horror, mystery, suspense.  The possibilities are endless.  And I just can’t get enough of those happily ever after endings.   😉  So when I decided I wanted to pursue writing as a career, I knew I had to write romance.  It’s as entertaining to me as reading.

When I’m not writing, I work in the local independent film industry, which provides me with yet another creative outlet.  More often than not, I work behind the scenes, providing special effects or special effects makeup, serving as script supervisor, editing the films and making trailers.  But I have, on rare occasions been talked into appearing onscreen, and once even crawled out of a moonlit grave in a horror film.

Why do you write?

Writing is something I simply love to do.  I have always had a very active and vivid imagination, and realized early on that writing provided me with a very entertaining outlet for it.  I wrote my first romance (a teen historical romance that has never been published) when I was thirteen years old.  And the stories have been coming to me ever since.  When I entered college, I originally chose journalism as a major, but soon found it too restricting.  Fiction allowed me far freer reign, so I changed my major to English with a focus on creative writing and, soon after, began penning my first adult romance novel.

What is your latest book about? Why should readers buy it?

A SORCERESS OF HIS OWN, the first book in my new series The Gifted Ones, was just released on June 2nd.  It’s a historical romance, with paranormal elements, that features a hero and heroine who I think will appeal to many romance readers.  Lord Dillon is a very powerful earl whose ferocity on the battlefield spawns rumors that precedes him into every room, stilling tongues and sparking fear in all. Weary of battle, he wishes only to find a bride who will grant him the tenderness that has been absent from his life for so long. Yet every woman trembles at his approach.  Every woman, that is, save the mysterious wisewoman who has counseled him for seven years.  She alone sees through his formidable facade to the quiet man beneath.  She alone argues with him, brings laughter into his life, and comforts him on his darkest days.  Born with extraordinary gifts that label her a sorceress, Alyssa is forced to conceal her youth and the love she harbors for Dillon beneath umbral robes that lead him and his people to believe she is the same aged wisewoman who served his father.  But all is revealed and passion soon flares when an enemy threatens Dillon’s life and Alyssa sacrifices everything to save him.

How do you market your books?

In a wide variety of ways.  The internets has made it so much easier for authors to connect with readers.  Blog tours like this one are always fun and allow me to “meet” new readers, as well as “see” some familiar faces.  I enjoy interacting with other readers and writers on Facebook and other social media sites.  I also do so on my blog, offering readers sneak peeks into new releases and works in progress, along with the latest news on my series.  I post trailers on Youtube, my blog, and my website.  Both the internet and the publishing industry are changing so swiftly that new methods of marketing books are always emerging and engaging both writers and readers.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

I hope you will enjoy Dillon and Alyssa’s story.  It was such a pleasure to write. A SORCERESS OF HIS OWN is actually the book that inspired me to create my Immortal Guardians series.  Alyssa is the first gifted one (someone born with extremely advanced DNA that lends him or her special abilities or gifts) I created.  And she, along with Marcus, Seth, and Roland—all of whom appear in A SORCERESS OF HIS OWN—sparked the many what ifs that compelled me to pen my Immortal Guardians books.

If you’ve read my Immortal Guardians books, I hope you will enjoy seeing Marcus in both A SORCERESS OF HIS OWN and RENDEZVOUS WITH YESTERDAY (the second book, which will follow next year) as a mortal teenaged squire.  You’ll see Seth in both books as well.  Even antisocial Roland makes an appearance in A SORCERESS OF HIS OWN.  And don’t forget to look for SHADOWS STRIKE, Immortal Guardians Book 6, in August.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as well. J

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4/1: A Sonnet for Fools

There are only twenty four hours in

the day, yet you spend your time perfecting

the art of foolery by selecting

denial over truth. You are far more in

tune with a man who sleeps and wears thin

his opportunities while respecting

the false comforts of pride. It’s affecting

your steps and hindering your growth. Where in

your heart must I search to find the pieces

of your senses that you willfully have

decommissioned from your thoughts? What ceases

to fit has either grown or shriveled. Have

you not noticed the collapse of your heart

…the way it…fails to properly supply demands?

Book Review: A Bundle of Deceit

Title: A Bundle of Deceit

Author: Stacey Watts

Author Site: www.staceywatts.com 

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00SAAAZJ8 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19355005-a-bundle-of-deceit 

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Synopsis:

It was a string of bad luck and unfortunate circumstances that led Lucy Jennings to show interest in the two grandmothers that sat across from her desk. Six months ago Lucy discovered her boyfriend in bed with her best friend, and promptly decided that a major lifestyle change was in order. She dumped her steady job as a Police Officer, and opened up her own Private Investigation Agency.

The only thing the ladies could offer her was $250 and a letter from The Wishful Hearts Adoption Agency. The elderly ladies seemed to think the Agency had something to do with their grandson and his family’s sudden disappearance, and Lucy knew a couple of phone calls would clear up the matter quite nicely.

A simple visit to Wishful Hearts, however, turns this minor blurb in the newspaper to front page headlines and the office manager, Duncan Michels, turns her world upside down with his stunning good looks and flirty behavior.

Thrust into a scandal that sees the death of a key witness and blackmail in the highest parts of city government, Lucy must protect a young family and a man she would prefer not to fall head over heels in love with A Bundle of Deceit.

My Review:

Our actions come from somewhere. They are not the first step but the last. Beneath our actions is an underlying ground of reasoning. We only act when our minds have come to a decision. Now whether or not our decisions hold any weight depends entirely on the nature of our thoughts. We can even go another step backwards and say that our thoughts are impacted by our emotions. Take this concept into consideration, mix it with desire, deceit, and murder, and you have Watt’s character driven story, A Bundle of Deceit. I had the pleasure of reading this story and I’m excited to share my review, minus any spoilers of course.

Let’s start with the beginning. The opening prologue piqued my interest as I found it to be cleverly written. It gave away some interesting clues about Lucy’s personality. From this point, I fell in love with her character. Lucy’s quick and witty determination makes her a thought-provoking character that I’m sure most readers will love too. I mean what woman hasn’t experienced the struggle to find balance between pride, independence, and dependence? Not to mention, I’m sure men and women alike can relate to Lucy’s job predicament when it comes to leaving a job to start your own business. From the financial woes to second guessing, the struggles she experiences are real. Combine this with a unique male companion (Duncan) connected to her case, a few deaths, and several unanswered questions, what you have is a suspenseful mystery that Lucy and Duncan need to solve for both of their sakes.

In the beginning we know what’s wrong but we don’t know why. However, readers don’t have to worry about the story being boring or typical. The story has an even pace that will keep readers interested in seeing how everything comes to an end. When I reached the middle of the story the crisis had escalated (as a story should by this point) as Lucy and Duncan worked together to solve their mutual predicament. Thanks to a few incidents, both characters were well aware of the seriousness of their dilemma. Lives were at stake. By this point, I was more than committed to the storyline. I was dedicated to seeing the main characters resolve their situation. I was rooting for them and this is a dangerous position for a reader to be in. I had no control over their decisions and let’s face it. Like any character driven story, their emotions impacted their decisions, which further impacted their actions. This in turn pushed the development of the plot. Keep in mind that the tension wasn’t suffocating or complicated. At no point in the story was I lost or confused. The author did a great job of laying out the initial framework for the plot and climax.

I do want to mention that I was surprised by Duncan’s character. Taking into consideration the nature of his job and his response to the conditions he worked in, I expected him to turn out differently. This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy his character. I just wanted to point out that I had his personality measured differently. This notwithstanding, I liked that Duncan went in a direction that I didn’t predict. This ultimately meant he engaged in actions I didn’t see coming. I love it when I can’t guess where the author is going to take me.

I don’t want to give away the secrets of this story but I will say there is a definite shift in Lucy’s attitude towards the end of the book. I am a huge fan of Lucy’s character and people like her who have the courage to step out and follow their own dreams despite their heavy past and the difficulties they currently face.

However, let’s jump over to the antagonist. I appreciate the way the antagonist’s character unfolded, especially when it came to understanding his/her reasons for their actions. This isn’t to say that I agree with his/her activities but from a reader’s position, it helps knowing that there aren’t any plot holes in the story. We know who’s evil and why. We don’t have to play the guessing game and when it’s all said and done, we don’t feel cheated.

In the beginning of the story the author is making a promise to the readers and posing questions. It’s like an agreement between the author and the readers. In the beginning we get teased a bit as it’s not until we get to the middle that we get to the real mass of the situation at hand. Then we’re left with possibilities as to how it may or may not be resolved. We keep reading to find out which path the characters will take. Will our assumptions be confirmed? Were my assumptions about this story confirmed? More importantly, was my contract with the author fulfilled?

I don’t want to discuss the ending because I want people to read the story for themselves. However, I will say that I am quite satisfied with how the story ended. In my opinion, the promise was met and the questions were answered. The contract between the author and reader was fulfilled.

Final Assessment:

Rating 5 out of 5 stars

I give A Bundle of Deceit 5 stars because every aspect of the story is enjoyable. I can look back at the overall story and guarantee that readers will appreciate the even pace in which this story unfolds. Also, when it comes to editing the story is perfect. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good suspense novel with light romance. Life has its twists and turns. Lucy’s life took a sharp turn. Nevertheless, her journey’s end was filled with love and a new outlook on life. Readers who decide to take the journey and read this book will receive their reward at the end and a few surprises along the way.

Alice Saunders, Editor

Follow me on Twitter: @LyricalTempest

http://www.lyricaltempest.com