Murphy’s Law (Law #2) by Lori Foster-a review

MURPHY’S LAW (Law #2) by Lori Foster-a review

Murphy's Law / / B&N / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Re-Release April 25, 2017


Nothing is going to go wrong. Ashley Miles has worked too hard for her independence to let some Bentley-driving hunk named Quinton Murphy interfere with her plans–or her freedom. Yes, the chemistry is phenomenal. Kind of scary, actually. But that’s it. NO emotional commitments.

. . .WILL

But he’s SO wonderful–a woman could fall in love . . . How did that happen? That wasn’t part of the plan! But can she trust him? Really trust him? The man is just so mysterious. There’s only one solution: put it all on the line and see what Quinton does when she tells him how she feels. And hope everything that can go wrong. . ..won’t.


REVIEW: MURPHY’S LAW is the second installment and re-release in Lori Foster’s contemporary, adult LAW romance series. This is waitress/student/cleaning person Ashley Miles, and successful businessman Quinton Murphy’s story line. MURPHY’S LAW can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty although some of the premise is predicated on the events of book on. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary. The reader is first introduced to the couple in book one-Jude’s Law.

Told from several third person perspectives including Ashley and Quinton MURPHY’S LAW focuses on the building relationship between thirty three year old successful and wealthy businessman Quinton Murphy, and twenty seven year old, struggling student and waitress Ashley Miles. Ashley is part of the cleaning crew in the office building where Quinton’s family owned consulting firm leases space, and Quinton’s attraction to Ashley is compounded by her refusal to trust the man who is offering her the world. With her best friend’s wedding only days away, Quinton offers himself as Ashley’s plus-one hoping for a chance with the spunky cleaning lady who has caught his eye. But someone is stalking our story line heroine, and the threats against her life are becoming more dangerous and personal. What ensues is the romantic relationship between our leading couple, and Quinton’s struggle to protect the woman with whom he is falling in love.

The relationship between Quinton and Ashley begins as a mutual attraction although Ashley struggles with issues of money, trust, and low self-esteem. The trust issue comes into play several times throughout the story when Quinton’s actions prove that, he too, struggles with Ashley’s less than stellar background and upbringing. As a virgin our heroine has very little experience with men but Quinton has offered to take it slow in his relationship with Ashley Miles. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

The colorful secondary and supporting characters include former MMA fighter Denny Zip, Jude Jamison, May Price and May’s brother Tim from book one JUDE’S LAW. Ashley’s friendship with May finds our heroine the target of revenge when someone from Jude’s past returns for vengeance.

MURPHY’S LAW is a sweet story with a little bit of mystery, suspense and romance. The story line is predictable; the conflict resolution is quick and with very little fanfare-I was hoping for a little ‘more’. The premise is heartwarming; the romance is encouraging; the characters are animated and spirited. MURPHY’S LAW is an engaging story line with a happily ever after.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy


Midnight Target (Killer Instincts #8) by Elle Kennedy-Review and Giveaway

MIDNIGHT TARGET (Killer Instincts #8) by Elle Kennedy-Review and Giveaway

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Killer Instincts #8
by Elle Kennedy
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Genre: adult ,contemporary, erotic, romantic, suspense

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 25, 2017

Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a super soldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.

When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.

As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.

Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach…but first they have to make it home alive.


REVIEW: MIDNIGHT TARGET is the eighth (and final?) instalment in Elle Kennedy’s contemporary, adult KILLER INSTINCTS romantic, suspense series focusing on an elite group of highly trained men and women-mercenaries for hire. The focus is on the search for a notorious drug lord, once thought to be dead, who has threatened Cate’s life, and on two on-going relationships: Cate Morgan and David ‘Ash’ Ashton, and Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port-both relationships struggling with unrequited feelings and emotions. MIDNIGHT TARGET can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story lines is revealed where necessary.

WARNING: If you have never read Elle Kennedy’s Killer Instinct series be forewarned, MIDNIGHT TARGET contains graphic scenes of violence, death and blood shed, and may not be suitable for all readers. The mercenaries and assassins are hired to do a job and cannot let emotions and personal feelings get in the way. These men and women do NOT kill the innocent –they are hired to take down the evil within our societies and sometimes the evil may be family, friend or someone caught up in a bad situation.

NOTE: MIDNIGHT TARGET contains graphic scenes of M/M sexual situations, language and text.

Told from several third person points of view including memories from the past, MIDNIGHT TARGET follows Jim Morgan’s elite team of mercenaries as they set out to rescue his daughter Cate, a woman caught in a South American country on the verge of civil war. As a photographer Cate follows the stories including the very real possibility that the notorious leader of a vicious drug cartel is alive and well in Guatana City, Guatana. Capturing the evidence that she needs, Cate finds herself targeted by the very man she was hoping to find, and is in desperate need of a rescue on the run. Enter David ‘Ash’ Ashton, the man that Cate has always loved but the man that broke her heart one too many time. What ensues is the search for the man in question, and the rebuilding of a friendship and romance between Cate and Ash.

Most of Jim Morgan’s mercenaries play secondary and supporting roles including several soldiers who are battling with personal issues of pain and loss. Liam and Sully’s bromance struggles with misperceptions, and the possibility of preconceived notions. Sully and Liam’s return to the team is a welcome reception but the couple in question continue to struggle with the rift in their one-time friendship.

MIDNIGHT TARGET is a story of second-chances, of sorts, for two couples pulled apart by unrequited love. Ash tries to keep his distance from the woman he loves-a woman who happens to be the boss’s daughter and off limits in the eyes of her father. Cate is a strong, independent young woman whose over protective father has pushed our heroine too fast, and too far but her need to be included yet independent is the catalyst to much of the story line premise. Sully and Liam’s relationship struggles with their bi-sexuality, past indiscretions, Sully’s months in captivity and abuse at the hands of his captors, and the fear of rejection and judgment by family and friends. Jim Morgan’s mercenaries are willing to risk everything for the people they love but sometimes risking it all means not succeeding to survive.

Elle Kennedy is never afraid to step over the line as it pertains to the violence and blood shed that surround the former Special Ops, Marines and warriors. Some readers may have difficulty with the gruesome ‘images’ including a perceived lack of conscious in some ‘do or die’ situations. The requisite evil has many faces.

MIDNIGHT TARGET is a detailed and complex story line that follows several paths to fruition-two struggling relationships, the loss of family and friends, a hero’s battle for his life, and the take down of evil incarnate. The premise is intriguing, engaging and fascinating; the characters are colorful, animated, passionate and tormented; the romances are seductive and fated.

Killer Instincts

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Midnight Rescue
Midnight Alias
Midnight Games
Midnight Pursuits
4.5 After Midnight
Midnight Action
Midnight Captive
Midnight Revenge
Midnight Target

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Young sexual couple of handsome serious man with bare muscular chest standing undressing pretty blonde woman standing and touching breast in studio, square picture


The Reading Cafe and Elle Kennedy’s publisher are offering a finished copy of MIDNIGHT TARGET to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

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Provocative (White Lies Duet #1) by Lisa Renee Jones-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

PROVOCATIVE (White Lies #1) by Lisa Renee Jones-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

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White Lies Duet #1
by Lisa Renee Jones
Genre: adult,contemporary, erotic, romantic,suspense
Release Date: April 18,2017

PROVOCATIVE  2 covers / / B&N / KOBO / ibooks /

There are those moments in life that are provocative in their very existences, that embed in our minds forever, and sometimes our very souls. They change us, mold us, maybe even save us. But some are darker, dangerous. If we allow them to, they control us. Seduce us. Quite possibly even destroy us.

The moment I walked into Sonoma’s Reid Winter Winery and Vineyard and made eye contact with Faith Winter for the first time was one of those moments. Provocative because I know at least one of her secrets, of which, I suspect she has many. Provocative because she believes I was a stranger to her when we met, but I am not. Provocative because I sought her out, with no intention of touching her. But now I have. Now I want her. Now I have to have her. But that changes nothing. It doesn’t change why I came for her.

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 18, 2017

REVIEW: PROVOCATIVE is the first instalment in Lisa Renee Jones’s contemporary, adult WHITE LIES erotic, romantic suspense duet focusing on attorney Nick (Tiger) Rogers, and artist/ winery owner Faith Winter.

NOTE: There is a slight cross-over between Lisa’s WHITE LIES series and her INSIDE OUT SERIES including several appearances by Sara and Chris Merit, Rebecca’s lost journals, and the connection to our story line hero.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Nick and Faith) PROVOCATIVE focuses on Nick Rogers search for the truth. Nick and Faith are strangers, never having met one another before Reid Winter Winery and Vineyard open house, but connected to one another through secrets, lies and a past shrouded in betrayal, mystery, and possible scandal. What ensues are Nick’s seduction of a woman he hopes to destroy, and Faith’s battle to keep the creditors from foreclosing on her family’s winery and vineyard.

Lisa Renee Jones weaves a tale of mystery, suspense, betrayal and the search for the truth. Nick Rogers is out to prove that Faith is no innocent bystander in a series of events that unfolded months before but Faith’s innocence or guilt is protected by a lack of information both to our leading hero and the reader, as well. The slow build up of clues, messages and research forces Nick Rogers to dig a little deeper in the hopes of revealing the truth-one way or another. In the end, Nick wants to believe that the woman with whom he is falling in love, is not the woman he suspects of horrendous crimes against two families drawn together by power and greed. The premise is dramatic, tense and startling; the characters are colourful, determined and energetic; the romance is seductive, provocative, and has the potential for emotional heartbreak and pain. Lisa Renee Jones’s PROVOCATIVE will captivate and fascinate; seduce and draw you into a story of mystery, suspense and revenge.

Copy supplied for review.

Reviewed by Sandy


Hi everyone!

I’m so excited that PROVOCATIVE is available now! Just a few notes: if you order PROVOCATIVE this week only you will get $1 off and it will only be $2.99 – I will be increasing this price at the end of the week! You’ll also receive the FREE novella Rebecca’s Forgotten Journals (these are NEW journal entries) in the back of your copy!

PS – if you missed your chance to receive any of my bonus scenes from Amy & Liam, Chris & Sara, or Ella & Kayden, this is your last chance to get them! Register your order of PROVOCATIVE here – and you’ll receive them early next week!

Check out the Trailer:


Provocative teaser

About the Author

Lisa Renee Jones

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today lists.

Watch the video on casting for the INSIDE TV Show HERE

Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.

Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at on her website and she is active on twitter and facebook daily.

Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her through her website and she is active on twitter and facebook daily.

STALK HER: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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What’s Become of Her by Deb Caletti – a Review

What’s Become of Her by Deb Caletti – a Review


What's Become of HerAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

“Guilty people keep secrets.”

Isabelle Austen returns to her hometown on a small, isolated Pacific Northwest island to take over the family tourism business after the death of her mother, a disapproving parent and a hard woman to love. Feeling lost, Isabelle is also struggling with a recent divorce and wondering if she’ll ever come into her own. Then her life takes a surprising turn: The mysterious Henry North arrives on Parrish Island, steps off a seaplane, and changes Isabelle’s world forever. From the beginning, their relationship is heady and intense—then Isabelle learns of Henry’s disturbing past, involving the death of a fiancée and the disappearance of a wife. Suddenly Isabelle is caught between love and suspicion, paranoia and passion, as she searches for the truth she may not want to find—and is swept into a dangerous game she may not survive.




What’s Become of Her by Deb Caletti is a Psychological thriller. I enjoyed the story line, but I also had mixed feelings about this book, which I will go more into later in this review.

Isabelle Austen has recently returned home to Parrish Island after the death of her mother.  She takes over the family seaplane travel business; and seems content being back and spending time with her friends including Jane, Joe, Eddie. One day, a tourist arrives on the island and almost immediately, both Isabelle and Henry, the tourist have a strong attraction.  Isabelle is a divorcee, and finds Henry, charming, handsome and extremely easy going.  They both are falling love with each other, and Isabelle moves in with Henry, but soon her world is about to change. 

In a short time, the local police warn her of his past, two deceased or missing wife/fiancée.  Isabelle knows Henry, and refuses to believe those lies.  Her friends strongly advise her not to become serious. Henry tells Isabelle about the first wife, who died in a fall and the missing fiancée.  He swears that he is innocent of any wrongdoing, and professes his love to her, which she accepts. Soon Isabelle starts receiving packages from an unknown source, forcing her to begin her own research into the women in Henry’s lives, the investigations.

Throughout the story, we also get the pov of another character named M. Weary, who was a friend to the missing fiancée, and who privately keeps an eye on Henry, on the internet and other means to watch for him to find another woman. Weary is obsessed with Henry and concern for his new lady, Isabelle. 

What follows is an exciting tense adventure where Isabelle, despite warnings from her friends, continues to believe in Henry.  The packages she receives makes her take further steps to find out the truth, which will put her life in danger. What will Isabelle do?   Who does she believe?

My mixed feelings:  I thought the beginning was nice, with a slow build romance. Then for a period I thought the story was slow & a bit redundant with switching focus on Isabelle and Weary.  Once we enter the halfway point or beyond, the story picks up drastically and it becomes an exciting thriller. I loved the intense last ¼ of the book, which had major surprises that I did not expect.  Overall, this was a very good psychological thriller.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher




Remnants by Carolyn Arnold – a Review

Remnants by Carolyn Arnold – a Review


RemnantsAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

All that remains are whispers of the past…

When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.

With no quick means of identifying the deceased, building a profile of this serial killer is more challenging than usual. How are these targets being selected? Why are their limbs being severed and their bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this person to murder?

The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: The killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…



Remnants by Carolyn Arnold is the 6th book in her Brandon Fisher FBI series.  The FBI team of Jack, Brandon, Paige and Zach are sent to Savannah, Georgia on what will be a very difficult case of floating body parts found in the river by a plantation.  Jack is the leader of this team, and Brandon has now escalated to being full agent, having finished his probationary period.

As we have come to know about this series, the cases are usually violent, squeamish and at times difficult for the agents, especially Brandon.  I like the team, but I still do not like Brandon that much, as I look at Jack as the one who pulls them together.  I do like Paige and Zach.

When the story started, we saw someone drug  a man in the men’s room of a mall, and kidnap him.   The body parts discovered is from different people, some perhaps there for a long time.  During the investigation, Paige and Zach will question those who found the parts, while Jack and Brandon will question others.  Clues are difficult to come by, and the body parts continue to surface, which leads the team to believe that a serial killer is on the loose.  From various conditions of the body, such as blue paint, and heart extractions, it will lead them to suspect that the killer (s) is performing some kind of Mayan cult sacrifice.  Nadia, who is an analyst from Quantico, is able to use her special skills to generate a list of missing people within a radius from Savannah for them to work with.  Other clues are found that makes a local resident a suspect and the race is on to find the culprit, which begins to show that perhaps there is more than one person involved.  There are some twists and surprises and the suspense becomes very exciting and tense. 

This series is always intense, and exciting, as Arnold is an expert in police procedurals and writing amazing crime stories.  However, that being said, I found it difficult to read some parts where the killer was torturing the victim.  Remnants is an intense mystery, with an excellent FBI team, and if you enjoy murder, bad villains and exciting stories, you should be reading this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy supplied for review



Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen – a Review

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen – a Review


Gone Without a TraceAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

No one ever disappears completely…

You leave for work one morning.

Another day in your normal life.

Until you come home to discover that your boyfriend has gone.
His belongings have disappeared.
He hasn’t been at work for weeks.
It’s as if he never existed.

But that’s not possible, is it?

And there is worse still to come.

Because just as you are searching for him
someone is also watching you.




Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen is a psychological thriller.  I had mixed feelings about this book, which I will explain a bit later in this review.  The premise of the story was a good one, which catches your attention from the start.

Hannah Moore has just received good news on her job, with a promotion possibly upcoming.  She buys a bottle of wine to celebrate the wonderful news with her boyfriend, Matt.   When she arrives home after being away for a couple of days, she is shocked at what she sees.  Matt is gone, and everything in the house that they shared is missing, and replaced with all her old stuff before he moved in with her; even her computer emails &  phone messages, etc were erased.  It was just like Matt never existed; which was a great start to this story.  Needless to say, Hannah was upset, not knowing why Matt left.

We get to meet Hannah’s friends Kate and James, who are the ones she goes to for help.  Both of them try to understand why Matt would have left, asking Hannah questions about them having problems.  Hannah insists nothing was wrong. It is here the story escalates to Hannah spending all her free time trying to find Matt, which will affect her job, which begins to suffer.  Hannah becomes obsessed with researching on the computer, calling his old job or friends to no avail.  A short time later, she begins to get texts on her phone from a strange number “I am Home now”, which leads her to believe Matt is coming home.  He didn’t, but someone was coming to her house leaving hints.   As we get to the last 1/3 of the book, things change drastically, with multiple twists; which was exciting.

Now for my mixed feelings:  Once I was ¼ into the book, I did not like Hannah; not at all.  She was obnoxious, obsessive, hysterical, nasty at times and totally a disaster. At first I understood her boyfriend left her, but she was an adult (30’s) who after the initial shock, should have moved on. If he didn’t want her to find him, that should have been enough.  She didn’t even care or do anything on her job; she treated her friends bitterly.  It got to the point that I couldn’t stand her, and this went on for too long. When we got to the twist, which was sort of a surprise,  her behavior was that of a wacky crazy women. Then as things come to a climax (no spoilers), we get some more answers and twists; but the epilogue ending left me with a bitter taste.

This book was promising, the writing was good, a good thriller storyline, with some surprises and at times exciting.  But I could not sympathize with the lead character, to the point of disliking her so much, it affected my take on the book. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher


Saving Mercy (Fatal Truth #1) by Abbie Roads-Review,Guest Post & Giveaway

SAVING MERCY (Fatal Truth #1) by Abbie Roads-Review, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Fatal Truth #1
by Abbie Roads
Genre: adult, contemporary, psychological, thriller, romantic suspense
Release Date: April 4, 2017

Saving Mercy / / B&N / KOBO / BAM / ibooks

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 4, 2017

First in a chilling new paranormal romantic suspense series from award-winning author Abbie Roads

He’s found her at last
Cain Killion knows himself to be a damaged man, his only saving grace the extrasensory connection to blood that he uses to catch murderers. His latest case takes a macabre turn when he discovers a familiar and haunting symbol linking the crime to his own horrific past-and only one woman could know what it means.

Only to lose her to a nightmare
Mercy Ledger is brave, resilient, beautiful-and in terrible danger. The moment he sees Mercy, Cain knows he’s the one who can save her. He also knows he’s beyond redemption. But the lines between good and evil blur and the only thing clear to Cain and Mercy is that they belong together. Love is the antidote for blood-but is their bond strong enough to overcome the evil that stalks them?


REVIEW: SAVING MERCY is the first instalment in Abbie Roads’s contemporary, adult FATAL TRUTH paranormal, romantic suspense series. This is FBI profiler Cain Killion, and Mercy Ledger’s story line.

NOTE: SAVING MERCY contains scenes of graphic violence, blood shed and murder, and may not be appropriate for all readers.

Told from several third person points of view including Cain and Mercy SAVING MERCY focuses on Cain Killion, the son of a serial killer, and Mercy Ledger-one of Cain’s father’s victims -a woman who survived but finds herself victimized over and over again. Twenty years earlier Mercy’s entire family was brutally slaughtered by Adam Killion and in the ensuing years, Mercy has struggled to find her place in society until the day she found herself locked in a mental institution against her will. Enter Cain Killion, Adam Killion’s son, and the man who will fall in love with one of his father’s victims. What ensues are Cain’s attempts to save Mercy from a potential copy –cat killer; a stalker who uses Mercy for his own perverted pleasure; and the fall out from a killer’s need for power and control.

Cain Killion has the ability to ‘read’ blood-a killer’s thought and ideas whenever he touches the blood of one of the victims. His psychic abilities leave our hero in a world of hurt and pain, and not without some difficult side effects he’d rather not endure but as an FBI profiler Cain’s ‘powers’ can be used as a positive when on the hunt for the criminally responsible, making amends for his father’s past. His connection to Mercy Ledger comes on the twentieth anniversary of her family’s murders, and a string of killings linking directly back to Mercy and Cain find our couple on the run, not knowing whom to trust or where next to turn. The overwhelming darkness and demons continue to ride Cain Killion-a man whose own father destroyed everything he touched. Mercy is not without some psychic abilities of her own, and together they will form a powerful team but not before Mercy is targeted by someone from her past.

SAVING MERCY is an intense, tragic and alarming look at one man’s ability to destroy everything in his path. There are moments of passion and romance, atrocious violence and abhorrent acts, betrayal, redemption and vindication. The premise is suspenseful and disturbing; the characters are broken, destructive and tormented; the romance is fated, profound and heartbreaking. SAVING MERCY is a dark, deadly, fiery and tense story; a well written psychological thriller about a tortured hero, and the woman with whom he will fall in love.

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

Guest Post=Black and Red

Developing the hero/heroine with Abbie Roads

I’m a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants author. That means I don’t plot out my books and I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen from one scene to the next. I’ve tried plotting and planning and the thing I’ve discovered… If I know what’s going to happen, then I don’t want to write it. I get a weird writer’s high from all the unexpected things that happen on the page.

And I’m the same way with developing my heroes and heroines. I’ve sat down and filled out complicated character development forms. I’ve spent weeks exploring every single facet of a character and you know what happened when I tried to write that character? I couldn’t write him. I couldn’t force that character to be the things I said he was going to be.

I wish I could plot a story. I wish I could plan out my characters. But it’s just not how my process works.

Here’s how I develop my characters:

I write. And write. And write. I keep writing until I feel that spark that interests me. Then I delete all the crap I wrote before. I follow that spark and let it guide me. It doesn’t always lead me in a good direction, so I delete a lot.

The first one hundred pages of my books are always the hardest for me. It takes me a long time to find my characters in writing and re-writing—usually six to eight months to get those pages right. The rest of the book comes easier after that. Thank God.

A weird thing I’ve noticed about my heroes and heroines is that they all tend to be introverted and crave to live isolated lives. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but those are purely Abbie Roads traits. I’m a super-deep introvert, but I can become extroverted sounding when I’m excited about something—it just exhausts me. I yearn to live in isolation from other people. I want my home to be in a place where I can walk outside naked and there’s no one around for miles to see. Not that I’m a nudist or anything. It’s just the idea of being able to do that that appeals to me! Lol.


I have a question for the readers: What kinds of heroes/heroines do you like best? Are they a reflection of your own personality?


Fatal Dreams giveaway

Abbie’s publisher is graciously offering a two-book bundle of Race the Darkness and Hunt the Dawn (Fatal Dreams 1 & 2) to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

NOTE: If you are having difficulty commenting after logging onto the site, please refresh the page (at the top of your computer).

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9. Giveaway runs from April 10-14, 2017

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Sabotage (Under Covers #2) by Jessica Linden-Review, Interview & Giveaway

Sabotage (Under Covers #2) James Patterson’s Bookshots Flames by Jessica Linden-Review, Interview & Giveaway

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Under Covers #2
by Jessica Linden / James Patterson
Release Date: April 20 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, romantic, suspense

Sabotage / / B&N / KOBO / BAM /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 20, 2017

The Most Dangerous Kind of Love

Secret Agent Abbie Whitmore is used to putting her life on the line, but she’s never endangered someone she loves. And now, Congressman Jonathan Lassiter is embroiled in a political scandal–and it could be all her fault.

BookShots Flames
Original romances presented by JAMES PATTERSON Novels you can devour in a few hours Impossible to stop reading


REVIEW:  If I have to describe this book in one word it would be the word: Like. There was just a lot to like about the book, the big things and little things about the book. I mean where do I begin on what I liked about this book?

One thing I really appreciated about Sabotage was how both Abbie and Jonathan are able to keep their professional identities but still maintain their relationship. Being a secret agent and congressman can no doubt be time consuming careers but it endears me to the couple that they can make time for each other. Let’s just be honest here but in this time and age often times it feels we are unable to have both a romantic relationship along with the winning career. Often times we feel we can have one but not both. So in all honesty I feel when couples split due to one or both are concentrating on their careers is utter BS. Their downtime together whether they are having lunch at a restaurant or lounging around watching a Star Wars marathon at home was all the more endearing.

Another element I really enjoyed about the book was how the story just kept you on your toes about who the bad guy or girl is and why they are bent on revenge on Abbie. You also get glimpses of what’s going on in the head of the villain as they are implementing their actions in their ultimate plan. Sometimes it’s interesting to get in the minds on the villain to see them mentally justify the evil actions they are doing. It really was a fun journey following the mind of the villain but also Abbie following close on the villains heels to put a stop to the evil plan to screw over her love, Jonathan.

The thing is considering that the book was not very long, the character development and growth was satisfactory as well. Abbie is able to hand over the reins and control to others trusting them. While I can understand Jonathan’s feelings about being the man wanting to protect his woman even though she is very capable, he respects her fighting abilities.

A story that keeps you engaged and on your toes, positive career and relationship aspects, great character development, soft romantic scenes and the very best good triumphing over evil; for such a shorter book this book packs an awesome punch. Highly recommend and highly enjoyed.

Copy supplied by the publisher for review

Reviewed by Xtina

Interview-Black and Deep Rose

TRC: Hi Jessica and welcome to The Reading Café.

Congratulations on the release of SABOTAGE

We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

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JESSICA LINDENJESSICA: I live in Virginia with my husband, two sons, two rescue dogs, and various other pets. I was a high school and college English teacher for thirteen years, but I gave that up nearly two years ago to focus on my writing. I don’t necessarily miss the teaching, but I definitely miss the students. Spending my days with teenagers was a lot of fun.

TRC: Who or what influenced your career in writing?

JESSICA: I’ve had a lifelong love of books, so I can’t point to one specific influence. Mostly, I think it’s the pure joy I feel when I’m lost in a great book. I want to create that joy for my readers.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties have you encountered writing and publishing your stories?

JESSICA: The publishing business is full of rejection, which sometimes makes it difficult to keep a positive outlook. Also, it’s tough when a reader leaves a negative review. Sometimes the bad stuff is easier to believe, you know?

SabotageTRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of SABOTAGE and the UNDER COVERS series?

JESSICA: I got the idea for Abbie’s character when I was driving to pick up my sons from TaeKwonDo. I thought it would be cool to have an agency similar to Angelina Jolie’s character’s agency in Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Women tend to be underrepresented in law enforcement type jobs, but sometimes you need a woman to get the job done. Thus, the Cartwright Agency was born.

TRC: How do you keep the plot(s) unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

JESSICA: This is a tough one and something that all authors face. I play the “what if” game when I’m writing to try to put my characters in unusual situations. Often I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen until the words land on the page.

TRC: There is a fine line between romance, erotic, and erotica in many of today’s popular contemporary fiction. What do you believe accounts for the differences between the sub-genres in today’s romantic stories?

JESSICA: I don’t write erotic romance or erotica, but this is how I understand it. The focus of romance is the developing romantic relationship between a couple. Sex may or may not be part of that. In erotic romance, sex is an integral part of the relationship development and if it were taken out, there would be a huge hole in the story. However, there is still a developing romantic relationship. Erotica is more about the sex than the relationship.

TRC: Where should authors draw the line when writing romance vs erotic vs erotica story lines?

JESSICA: I don’t think there necessarily needs to be any line drawn, as long as it is communicated to the readers what they’re getting with a particular book.

TRC: Do you believe the cover image plays a deciding factor for many readers in the process of selecting a book or new series to read?

JESSICA: Yes. The adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” is totally bogus. No matter how excellent a book is, readers won’t pick it up if it has a horrible cover.

TRC: When writing a story line, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

JESSICA: The characters direct the writing for me. I usually have a general idea where I want the story to go, but I don’t always know exactly how the story is going to get there until I get to know the characters in the first few chapters.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writers fail in this endeavor?

JESSICA: I think this comes from making the characters relatable. Often in fiction, things happen that 99% of us will never experience in real life, but emotions are universal. So if the character is relatable and believable, then his/her emotions should translate. I think writers sometimes fail in this endeavor by not fully developing characters.

TRC: Do you listen to music while writing? If so, does the style of music influence the storyline direction? Characters?

JESSICA: I actually don’t listen to music while writing because I find myself singing along instead of writing. It’s quite the show. LOL.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

JESSICA: It depends on the situation. My husband is helpful, especially when it comes to technical or “manly” things, like the different kinds of guns and ammo. My author friend Marnee Blake is usually my go to for overarching plot and character issues. I’ll also turn to my agent and editor. I’m lucky to have a plethora of people I can call on.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception people have about authors?

JESSICA: Most authors can’t support themselves on their writing alone. I think a lot of people assume that if someone has a book published, they are rolling in money. That’s simply not the case.

TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

JESSICA: I actually have a section like this on my website, so it’s hard to come up with another random obscure fact. I’ve recently become obsessed with my Happy Planner, and I even make my own stickers for it.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

JESSICA: I’m currently in the final stretch of writing the third book in my Fight for Me series.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

JESSICA: Nope! This interview was pretty thorough.


Favorite Food

Favorite Dessert
Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate

Favorite TV Show
I don’t watch TV. I seriously can’t remember the last time I turned it on.

Last Movie You Saw
The Lego Batman Movie

Dark or Milk Chocolate

Secret Celebrity Crush
Theo James

Last Vacation Destination

Do you have any pets?
Two dogs. My sons have guppies and a hamster.

Last book you read
It’s top secret—it was a book I judged for the RWA RITA contest.

TRC: Thank You Jessica for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulation on the release of Sabotage. We wish you all the best


Jessica’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of
SABOTAGE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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