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Monday, March 25, 2013

Seven Noble Knights Came Home

Grail Knight says, "Thank God! She was insufferable while that novel was away."
I've received Seven Noble Knights (my first novel) back from my editor! Hallelujah!

I tell you all about it on the Seven Noble Knights site. While you're there, be sure to follow for all the exciting updates and history you can stand!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Top Five Bestseller, Highly Rated - Thanks!

No Turning Back is now an Amazon Political Fiction Top 5 Bestseller! Thank you for your support!

We also received our first (five-star!) review, which calls the book "absolutely riveting." See it here.

Amazon Prime members can still borrow the book for free, or you can take part in this great moment of literary history for only $7.99.

I'm not sure readers understand how important reviews are. If you like the book at all, the author, the translator, and the publisher would be thrilled to see a review. Books without review get none of the attention they deserve. So please don't be shy.

And, there's still a chance to win a paperback copy of this highly rated bestseller until May 15:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

No Turning Back by Lidia Falcon

No Turning Back

by Lidia Falcon

Giveaway ends May 15, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

FREE No Turning Back Two Days Only!

Today and tomorrow only, No Turning Back is free on Amazon Kindle. It's a true-to-life story of the leftist factions and women's movement in the '70's and '80's in Spain. You'll be awe-struck and inspired by the harrowing adventures of women just like you and your friends. It's normally $7.99, so this is a really good deal.

Grab it at these links while you can!
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK
Amazon Spain
Amazon France
Amazon Germany
Amazon Italy
Amazon Japan
Amazon Brazil

Check out the chapter-long excerpt and interview here. They'll make you not want to miss out. Don't forget, you can download free Kindle apps for just about any device if you lack a Kindle-specific e-reader.

And hey, not for nothing, but reviews of this book on Amazon and/or Goodreads would be welcomed and appreciated. It's only by the grace of reviews that any books get sold in this digital era. Thank you.

We're also giving away one paperback copy of this finely-produced book at Goodreads! That drawing ends May 15.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

No Turning Back by Lidia Falcon

No Turning Back

by Lidia Falcon

Giveaway ends May 15, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Monday, March 18, 2013

Egg-cerpt Exchange: Tina Gayle's Summer's Growth

Today I welcome fantastic author Tina Gayle for the "Egg-cerpt Exchange." Enjoy a snippet from Summer's Growth here, then hop on over to to see an excerpt about talking rhinos from me!

Summer’s Growth is the first book in the “Family Tree” series.

Blurb –
Forced by the family spirits to get a life, Mattie Winston has to train her replacement Amber Harrison to be in charge of all the workings of the Winston estate. Reluctant to make changes in her life, Mattie forms a bond with Amber, when strange accidents start happening which threaten their lives and an unknown ghost makes an appearance.

After being rescued by an old flame, Quincy Miller, Mattie faces old wounds of rejection. As the general contractor for Amber’s redecoration project, Mattie is in constant contact with Quincy and realizes she still in love with her childhood sweetheart.

Amber, learning her new role in the family, wants to discover the identity of the ghost who keeps appearing. After several appearances, Gwen, Amber’s distance grandmother, shifts the book into more of Amber’s struggle to find out why her grandmother disappeared two hundred years ago without a trace. In a fight to claim her position in the family, Amber searches for clues to solve the mystery.

Mattie and Amber are both challenged when the family spirits decides Amber shouldn’t be the keeper. Battling for Amber, Mattie realizes she wants a life with Quincy outside the Winston estate.

Amber realized the importance of her new spiritual family, and she works to discover how Gwen died. 

Can these two women achieve their goals?

Read the first chapter here

Find it at Smashwords and Amazon.


Standing by the bay window in the front room, Mattie watched the car approach. Her new recruit’s arrival had goose bumps popping out on Mattie’s skin, adding to her anxieties.

She wanted to run, but instead glanced at the kindhearted spirit of Opal, her distant grandmother. Dressed in her best early American gown, the many layers of her petticoat swished with a soft hiss when she moved.

“There’s no reason to be nervous. Once you meet Amber, you’ll see she caps the climax,” Opal voiced in a soothing tone. “Your Aunt Rachel is absolutely thrilled to have a descendant from her branch of the family as keeper.”

Looking beyond her at the rest of the room, Mattie searched for the other members of the family council. They always offered her their support when she faced a big decision. Yet, today they were conspicuously absent. 

“Don’t worry. The whole family is behind you. We just thought it better if we didn’t all hover.”     
Shifting from foot to foot, she wrung her hands together. A simple process of a changing of the guard for them, Amber’s arrival marked the end of the life Mattie loved. 

The beautiful spirits around her didn’t understand how cruel humans could be to each other. What if she screwed up and the girl left? Or the girl hated living with a house full of spirits?

Unease pricked at Mattie’s mind. She had no experience in dealing with strangers. All her business associates understood her likes and didn’t force her to attend any social events. 

A quick glance out the window, and a car rounded the fountain. She wasn’t prepared to entertain Amber. How could she be? She never invited guests to the estate. 

“Now, Pumpkin, there’s no need to worry. It’s time another branch of the family realize what a pain it is to be keeper.” Opal smiled, offering her special form of reassurance. “We’re all here to help with the transition.” 

The high notes of Beethoven’s Fifth sprang from the piano. Mattie jumped in surprise at the sudden noise. She whipped around to see Uncle Samuel, the artist of the family, standing next to the piano. 
“The game is afoot.” He arched his eyebrows and grinned, then disappeared.

“I’d better leave.” Her aunt patted Mattie’s shoulder. “Just remember, the girl is uneasy too.” 
Opal disappeared.

With a deep breath, Mattie turned and gripped the cold metal knob in her hand.

Soon her home would belong to a stranger, and then what would she do?

Find Tina Gayle everywhere:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Hope Factory by Lavanya Sankaran with Giveaway

What a good boy, the old lady would say. The answer to a mother's prayers.

"Yes," Kamala would say, and through her mind would fly this thought: Yes, an answer to my prayers, but did the gods have to let it take this form?

Because of certain life events I've never divulged on this blog, I fancy I know just a tad more about India than the average Anglo-American. I haven't been there, but The Hope Factory gives such a compelling picture of Bangalore it's almost as if I not only traveled there but also got to know two families intimately.

The novel tells two parallel stories that only coincide because Kamala is a maid in Anand's house. While it might appear that Kamala struggles to survive and Anand has only a business man's problems, the socio-political climate they're living in treats them both as expendable, and before the book is over, Anand faces some serious threats that might undo everything he has ever worked for.

I sympathize more with Kamala because she faces such serious threats to her survival on a daily basis. The slightest mood swing of her employer and she'll be back on the street with no hope for ever making her son's life better. She shows incredible courage, hard work and sacrifice and it's painful to see that her victories are so small. And this fictional story is probably a lot more true than anyone would like. But Kamala has hope, and that's what makes the book so hard to put down.

Faced with threats, Anand also has an opportunity to show he can make the corrupt system work, by hook or by crook, without compromising his amazingly uncorrupted values. The most exciting parts of the book are the few times when Anand and Kamala come together. It's like the collision of two different worlds. It's wonderful to see that someone who can help Kamala has enough consciousness of her situation to actually help her. But because of her pride no one will ever really know just how much Kamala deserves the help.

The book is beautifully written, with an excellent ear for the distinct language registers. The story builds slowly at first, but by the middle, it has a momentum that would catapult the most cynical through to the last page. This book is for anyone who ever hoped, lost, or sacrificed.


This book has not yet been released to the general public. Get the jump on everyone else by winning an advanced reader's copy! Because it's an advanced reader's copy direct from the publisher, it does have a few typo-type errors, but they never impede the enjoyment of the story. It's a paperback when everyone else will be carrying around a heavy hardback!

To enter, follow this blog and leave a comment below. For extra points, tell everyone you know about the giveaway on Twitter and Facebook. While you're there, like my author page. One winner will be randomly chosen at 6 pm CST on March 17 and contacted via email for his/her postal address by March 25.

Good luck!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Interview at Korner Kaff

My little, lively, readable, life story as a writer is up at Peter Watson Jenkins's Korner Kaff. It was a really fun interview and it reveals my new Seven Noble Knights of Lara website.

It's the last interview of this type he's doing. Check it out before he takes it down!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

New Author Sarah Kennedy on Love for Tudor England

Today I'm pleased to present a guest post from Sarah Kennedy, whose novel of Tudor mystery and excitement, The Altarpiece, debuts today.

Author Sarah Kennedy
I’m a native midwesterner, originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, and I’ve always been fascinated by history. After completing a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature, I moved to Virginia. I completed an MFA in writing, and I currently work as a professor of Early British Literature and Creative Writing at Mary Baldwin College.

I’m a poet as well as a novelist, and I’ve published seven books of poems. My writing life was originally fairly separate from my teaching life. My first books were autobiographical and I think some of my colleagues were rather shocked the first time they encountered my poems! Then one summer I was researching old recipe manuscripts at the National Library in Wales, and over the course of those weeks I started thinking about the women who had recorded their hopes and disappointments in those private spaces, and my writing changed. I began writing historical poems, short narratives in the voices of these forgotten women.

Suddenly, my teaching and writing lives merged, and out of that sprang a series of poems about historical figures. I felt that I was filling in the blanks of the literature and literary history I loved.  When my sixth book came out, my friend Suzanne Keen at Washington and Lee University said, “Sarah, you should really write a novel.” No way, I thought! I’m a poet!

But the idea must have been brewing in the back of my mind. I read fiction—a lot of it—and one day when my husband and I were in a bookstore (me at the novels, of course) I had an image of a young nun peering through a window as soldiers came up the road toward her. “This day has been coming for years,” I thought—and that’s where the first draft of my novel started.

The Altarpiece is the first of a series about Tudor England—one of my favorite historical periods.  My main character, Catherine Havens, is a young nun who is being evicted from her convent.  She’s devout, but she’s not very orthodox, and the changes in England after Henry VIII’s break from Rome have thrown her into circumstances she never expected. I now get to use Tudor expressions like “how now” and “sirrah” and, my favorite insults, “you villain” “you monkey” without sounding like I’m out of my mind!  There are many novels out there about Tudor women, and I wanted to do something different. Rather than use a historical figure as my main character, I created one out of one of those blanks. There are very few records of what happened to nuns after the convents were closed, and I wanted to “make history” with my novel instead of retelling the history we already have.

My writing schedule changed completely. Where once I worked fitfully, between classes and in small allotments here and there, I now sat down every evening after dinner and disappeared into Tudor England. I usually work for several hours in the evening in my favorite chair in the living room, with my husband reading or working right next to me. He’s very understanding when he asks me a question and I don’t hear him! My husband is also my first and best reader, always, and he will tell me when something doesn’t work or when something isn’t plausible. It took me a long time to break the poet-habit of lingering on a scene much too long, and though I won’t ever give up metaphor, I’ve learned to move things along.

Why Tudor England? I’ve been in love with the Tudors since I read Sir Thomas Wyatt’s “Whoso List to Hunt” as an undergraduate, and my feelings are clearly shared by others. The Tudor period is so resonant because it’s a time when political power and religious devotion were tangled—publically tangled—with love and lust. It’s also the period when two women—Mary Tudor and Elizabeth Tudor—were the monarchs in a very patriarchal country. Everything was being called into question—in much the same way that we now question authority and tradition. Can you imagine being a sixteenth-century person and hearing that the earth wasn’t really the center of creation? As power centers shift and the world becomes more and more “virtual,” the Tudors have become one way that we can make sense of our changing world. 

When I’m not immersed in the sixteenth century, I love to garden and cook. I teach a lot online, and one of my favorite pastimes is to work with my students, my desk pushed up to the window where I can watch my birds while I write. Sometimes when they’re squabbling and scrabbling for bits, they remind me of my imaginary Tudor world.

Thanks so much to Sarah for sharing such interesting work with us!

Visit Sarah's blog and find The Altarpiece here. Check out a reading from the book here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Winner of Shadow on the Crown

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the Shadow on the Crown giveaway! The lucky winner is bookwormsfancy (Erin), who has a great bookish blog herself. Congrats, Erin! Your book is winging its way to you now direct from Viking.

Coming Wednesday: we move some five hundred years into the future with debut author Sarah Kennedy and her Tudor thriller, The Alterpiece.