Claiming My Hidden Son
HarperCollins UK, Mills and Boon
October 17, 2019
My contract bride’s secret… …is about to turn my world upside down! My marriage to Calypso was simply business. Until our unexpectedly passionate wedding night shook us both! Unwilling to muddy our convenient arrangement with such inconvenient emotions, I reluctantly left. Now discovering the baby in my estranged wife’s arms is mine, it’s about securing my legacy. I will claim my son and again enjoy the one thing Calypso cannot hide—the chemistry that still sizzles between us…
An interesting take on why the story line goes up and down but for me,
it was still a case of macho men and lust but not love.
Love takes time, trust and truth. All 3 of which were largely missing in
the characters and storyline even though they admitted they were required.
Also, why would a 7 month pregnant woman travel to Kenya to volunteer
when she had a potential life altering illness? That would have been better
dealt with back in Switzerland? And which could have made her delivery
problematic? Just didn’t add up.
So (just) a 3 star.
The Mammoth Murders
Minokee Mysteries, Book One and Two
by Iris Chacon
romantic comedy, animals
Delia L. Stewart, Miami
Pub Date: 01 Nov 2019
A blind deejay (Shepard Krausse) and an invisible librarian (Miranda Ogilvy) from a tiny, rural Florida town try to solve a double disappearance connected to a recent canoe trip. It ain't exactly "Deliverance," but there's a heap of trouble brewing fer these folks -- some of it human, some of it animal, and all of it deadly. Shep and Miranda rely on their sense of humor as they face dangerous fossil poachers -- but even that is difficult when their engagement is broken amidst a river of troubles. This is Book 2 in the Minokee Mysteries series.
Shep's Italian friend (Carlo Fratelli - cook, chauffeur, valet, & ladies man) aids the couple in their adventures. Shep's animal friend, Zeus, a huge and independent Maine Coon cat, is so clever, he sometimes seems clairvoyant.
The Coffee Ritual ladies of Minokee add their quirky personalities and folksy wisdom to help Shep & Miranda iron out the bumps in their lives. Martha, Bernice, Wyneen, and Charlotte (average age 74.3) gather every dawn on their front porches to sip their coffee while they wait for the sight of the blond Adonis (Shep) jogging past their Magnolia Street cottages.
Shepard's absurdly wealthy, snobbish, and domineering mother (Hermione Montgomery-Krausse) is always behind the scenes, attempting to direct the course of Shep's career. Hermione wants Shep to become a politician, like several of his ancestors. At the very least, she wants her son to become a television commentator. With his blindness, his noble family connections, and his golden good looks, Shepard would be recognized by future voters - which will not happen if he stays in radio.
The shy Miranda shows a surprising inner strength when confronting Shepard's officious mother, and Hermione has been forced to admire the librarian. Hermione vacillates between trying to separate Shep and Miranda or trying to marry them - on Hermione's terms.
Miranda's difficulties with Hermione are compounded when Miranda's parents arrive unannounced from Miami. Dr. Rosario Ogilvy, Miranda's mother, is a soulmate for Hermione Montgomery-Krausse, while Dr. Ezekiel Ogilvy, Miranda's father, sides with his daughter (and Hermione's son) against the two matriarchs.
The serio-comic family battle continues in the background even while Shep and Miranda risk their future and their very lives attempting to find the killers responsible for The Mammoth Murders.
I fell in love with Miranda. I am reviewing here both books one and two in the series.
I agree her
description of Shepard made him seem hot but a beard – not for me. Apparently a
good set of abs though, I can see why the Ladies of Minokee liked to watch him
I read book 1 and couldn’t wait to get my hands on book 2.
Unfortunately for me, some of the quaintness and curiosity had gone as we now
knew about Minokee and Shepard and Dave and Pietro and Miranda’s parents –
although we only met them in the second book.
But the storyline is about how people should not be judged
by their external appearances. It is their inner being that is important and it
is this inner being of Miranda that Shepard falls in love with and brings out
in her, so she stops being the Librarian Mouse and becomes the Librarian Lion
And in book 2 we meet Zeus. He is a wonder. And I look
forward to reading about his adventures in future books.
Myla Lewis loves kicking demon ass. Sadly, now that she’s the Great Scala as well as Queen of the demon hunting thrax, there’s no time to battle baddies. Sure, it’s great to rule alongside her main squeeze Lincoln―and their baby Maxon is adorbs―but what about some demon killing fun? Then Myla gets a chance to fight tons of evildoers, but it’s in the worst way imaginable. All the thrax disappear, except for Lincoln. Even sweet baby Maxon vanishes.With the demon hunters gone, the worldwide population of big bads goes berserk. Talk about a nightmare. Turns out, the evil archangel Lucifer left behind another magickal trinket that’s causing trouble. This time, Lucifer’s signet ring has changed the past, preventing the thrax from ever organizing in the first place. To bring back the thrax and their son, Myla and Lincoln must travel back in history―to the era called the Brutal Time―and try to convince the pre-thrax peoples to team up. Trouble is, these folks already have a powerful leader, the Red Scourge, and that creep doesn’t want his people hunting down demons. Nope. The Red Scourge has only one goal. Kill Myla and Lincoln, fast.
Brutal Time is the latest in this series and it involves Myla and Lincoln travelling back in time to meet King Arthur.
Now I have always liked the concept of a King Arthur and his Round Table, Camelot and the Knights and so thought it was really cool that here we see the reality of the person on which the concept – ideal – was based. A smelly, drunk, rather nasty man, who made sure he was ‘bigged’ up by his bard!
I thought it was a shame that more was not made of King Arthur and his Knights and that the whole time with Merlin and Nimue was downplayed and really formed quite a short piece in the book. For me this spoilt it, and made the book a 4 star rather than a 5 – which it could have been.
I enjoy this series and the author’s writing and we get some good and unusual themes and additions. I would have also liked to see more time spent with Myla and Lincoln and their interactions. These are the things that make the story for me.
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
Melanie Perkiss Witch Hunter
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Thriller
Publication date: October 31st 2019
A thrilling introduction to the dark mystical world of Melanie ‘Breaker’ Perkiss, Buffalo NY’s most capable witch hunter and spell lifter. In this debut instalment, a dark mage acting on behalf of a vengeful ex has magically removed the genitals of a man and vanished, leaving him wiped clean down there. And unfortunately for the victim, he is set to wed…now imagine saying ‘I do’ while in that deprived state. No wonder when a shell-shocked and heartbroken Casey walks into Melanie’s office to report the incident, the witch hunter immediately goes on a chase, risking her own life as she encounters dark creatures and malevolent spirits in the city’s darkest corners. The pressure is indeed on Mel: the wedding is fast approaching and leads remain few. Will she be able to corner the mage, recover the taken goods and save a doomed marriage, while bringing the conspirators to justice?
Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
chose this particular plot premise because a theft of body parts off a living
person by witches is not something you often encounter in urban fantasy books.
And further, what appealed to me regarding the genital heist is that the victim
is set to wed, which therefore puts pressure on the main character to solve the
mystery and bring it to closure before the day comes.
How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about
it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics
that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?
Answer: I must
say I do take quite a bit of time, thinking about a plot line and weighing whether
it will appeal to readers or not. Although I do not make heavy notes about a
book before writing it, I do outline a little bit so that the writing process
is guided and can be completed faster.
How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for
Answer: I don’t do a lot of research really, since most of the stuff that I put
down is something I create in my head. The plot material for HEIST was never
researched on, except for some minor details about the witchcraft trials of
Salem Massachusetts in 1692—3, which I speak about in one chapter.
What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that
Answer: For HEIST I never used any researched materials,
except for the dates of the small historical event I mentioned before.
How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police,
medics etc when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way
to approach them in your experience?
suppose in situations where one is writing a novel that closely follows
reality, the information you’d get from authority figures would be of great
value since they are the ones who actually work in the field you have chosen to
write about. Fantasy works differently, though, because almost everything is
imagined. Myself I have never approached any authority for background
How many times have you been
rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was
Answer:Yes, I have had some early works of mine rejected, and that didn’t
surprise me. It’s only the fewest authors who can boast that they have never
been turned down. Rejection is all part and parcel of the creative industries.
Did you need to self-publish any
e-books before a publisher took you up?
Answer:Sure, I did self-publish, and still would do so
Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before
approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might
have for the aspiring novelist?
Answer:Without a doubt, I do believe self-publishing
actually offers a viable alternative to the traditional approach. Many authors
have succeeded first as indie writers and then gone on to snag traditional
contracts. Yes, it’s harder to find audiences when writing as an indie, but it
doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The biggest benefit of being an indie is total
control. Everything you put out there, you are responsible for it.
Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did
it take you before this happened?
Answer:To be honest, current trends show that for the
average writer, it’s well nigh impossible to survive solely on royalties. For
that reason most authors have a day job with which to support themselves, and
they will continue to work until such time royalties have built to a
substantial amount. Very few do ever get to that level, though, and I am still
a long way away from quitting my day job myself, unless a miracle happens.
What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour?
Answer: This is
my first virtual tour and I am not very sure what could happen. If there is to
be anything awkward or embarrassing coming however, we will see about it.
What do you read when you are ill in bed?
Answer: I haven’t been ill enough to
stay in bed for a number of years now, and I can count myself lucky in that
regard. What I would read, though, were such a thing ever to happen, would be
something perhaps light and fun, think Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, but
definitely not something with a lot of ghosts and dead people in it like
Darynda Jones’s Charlie Davidson series.
What is your favourite genre?
Answer:Currently my favourite genre is the paranormal
mystery. I have always been fascinated by magic and its elements and at some
point in my life, actually believed it existed. To that end, I have sampled
everything from Ilona Andrews to Jeaniene Frost.
If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead
writer I would never fail to recommend is Dan Brown. He is not perfect by all
means, but it’s no fluke either that he has sold hundreds of millions of copies
of his books. He is definitely the master of the modern day thriller.
A dead author I’d recommend any day is Charles
Dickens—no need for introductions there.
Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing
style? Your writing genre?
Answer: No question, I would say Dan Brown has
been a great influence. He has this ability to get into a story fast and then
keep you hooked till the last word. And you’re left with no idea how much time
has elapsed when your eyes are glued to the pages. With that said, I have found
myself trying to do things like he does. Genre-wise I am not into the same
stuff he is into, though, and I enjoy writing the fantasy story more.
In your opinion, who is the funniest author now writing?
Answer: I would
say two authors compete for that title currently, the first being Janet
Evanovich and the second Jim Butcher. In any instalment of Stephanie Plum’s
series, she gets into many laugh-out-loud funny moments and her banter with her
associates is out of this world. She is quirky and comedic and does things you
might imagine as foolish, but she always gets her way in the end and delivers
on whatever she set out to do. Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden is another funny
character and is very popular for that reason, less so for his ability to work
Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so,
Answer: I certainly did do a little imitation during my
early days. And the author I naturally chose to write like is Dan Brown,
because he is phenomenal and a great influencer. I actually have a novel that
bears the same structure as the Da Vinci Code, though it’s one I never got as
far as publishing.
Recently though, I have grown up and struck out on my own, and
in HEIST you never sense anything Dan Brown-esque at all.
Which of your books are you most proud of?
HEIST is my only published book, I would then say that debut of mine is the one
I am most proud of. It possesses all the elements of what I imagine constitutes
a good story. Its plot premise is one that hasn’t been overly done, its magic
elements are unique and inventive. Also it has got all the suspense,
vulnerability and subterfuge that readers look for.
What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?
Answer: I’d say
following my dreams and doing those things that I love to do is what I am proud
of most. Many people go around with a novel idea in their head but never get
around to actually put it down on paper, but I have been able to do it. And for
that, I’d say I am blessed.
Do you have an unusual hobby?
Probably not at the moment, but some years ago, I really tried to get into
underwear modelling. That’s, of course, not an easy thing to do and the chances
of succeeding are tiny. It’s a fun thing to try though, and when I was at it I
was really serious about it, though now when I look back I realize it’s not
anything I was made for. It did provide a little entertainment and heartaches,
though, while it lasted.
If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would
you choose? And why?
is really many candidates for this, and it’s hard to make a choice. Florida
with its warmer weather and many good beaches would not
be a bad idea, as would be New York City with its variety and bustle.
What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only
take 3 books?
Answer: One Harry Potter maybe, just to have a little magic with me—for in case I need to work some spells. Second, an epic horror from Stephen King, just to make things look as grim as possible, and then a Dan Brown thriller to provide the suspense and quick thrills.
Kezzy Sparks is a Toronto based author and writer. HEIST is his debut fiction in the long form. He enjoys reading as well, and lists works by Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Benedict Jacka, Dan Brown and Kevin Hearne as some of his personal favorites.