Friday 30 August 2013

Don't Make Me Beautiful Blitz

A ROMANTIC SUSPENSE NOVEL. No one knew a woman lived there or that she even existed. A monster, living in darkness...
At twenty-six, Nicole doesn't even look human anymore. The beast made sure of that. So she hides. A monster consigned to a life of fear and solitude. This is all she deserves, she is quite sure of that.
And then one day out of the blue, the autographed baseball caught by Brian Jensen at the latest Marlins game enters her prison and manages to turn her world completely upside down.

Temptation comes in the form of pity at first, and then perhaps something more.

Does she dare to believe the things she's told, that this is not the life she was meant to live? That being a monster is not her forever-fate? And will she be willing to risk everything, to reach out and accept the helping hands around her? She knows only too well that hands can hurt. Finding out whether they can also heal is a risky proposition, especially when the beast is still out there. Looking for her.

**This story was inspired by true events. If you liked the movie "Sleeping With the Enemy", then you might like this story too. CONTENT WARNING: Violence, foul language, and adult situations. Not meant for younger readers.**

Buy on Amazon
Buy on iTunes:

Buy on Barnes & Noble

Liam’s mother reverses out of the driveway, their young son strapped into the back seat and waving like a maniac out his window.  “Bye, Dad!  See ya later!”

“Bye, Li-Li!  See ya Wednesday!”

“I’ll bring him back before school,” his ex-wife says.  “I have early meetings.”

“Sounds good,” says Brian, still waving to his son.  He waits until he’s out of Liam’s sight before he puts his hand down.  It’s nice to be alone for a few days, but he already feels the pangs of missing his child creeping in.

Standing in the driveway, Brian considers his next move.  There’s an antique armoire in his workshop that needs a final coat of stain and then some clear-coat to protect it.  It took a week to repair and refinish, but he scheduled two. He could do something else if he wanted to…

It can wait.  The issue of the monster lady is weighing too heavily on his mind to let it go.  Ignoring the warning bells going off in his head, he walks to the bottom of the driveway and turns left to go down the street.

“What am I doing?” he mumbles under his breath.  “The guy obviously doesn’t like visitors.”  The fact that the guy also looks like a Bantam rooster spoiling for a fight is not making Brian’s misgivings any fewer.

“Hey there, Brian.  Going for a walk on this fine morning?”  Ethel, his next-door neighbor is out trimming her bushes again.  They dont need trimming; they’re just a prop to give her a reason to be standing outside, waiting for passersby.

Brian waves.  “Yep.  Just getting some fresh air, I guess.  Seemed like a good idea.”

“Little Liam gone for the week?”

She must have seen him drive by.  She sees everything that happens on this street.  “Just for a few days.  He’ll be back on Wednesday.”  Brian keeps walking, although slower.  If he stops, he’ll be stuck there for an hour and probably end up in her kitchen having an iced tea.  She’s the nicest, most talkative neighbor he’s ever had.  He doesn’t usually mind it; in fact, he’s happy to indulge in a neighborly chat now and again - it’s why he moved to this area - but today, he’s on a mission and he doesn’t have time for gossip or an hour-long discussion about the upcoming weather and whether Mrs. Grandston down the street will ever start recycling.

“Tell him to stop by and see me when he gets home,” she says, poking her clippers vaguely in Brian’s direction.  “I bought some new cookies at the store and I think he’s going to like them.  He’s my official cookie taster.”

“I’ll tell him.  He’ll be really happy to hear that.”

She waves with a gloved hand as he reaches the far side of her property line, and he waves back.

Maybe I should ask Ethel about the guy around the corner.  Brian’s not sure that Ethel knows anything beyond the business of those living on Lodi Street.  She stays pretty close to home, taking care of her husband who’s slowly going downhill with dementia.  Brian’s not looking forward to the day she’ll have to put him in a nursing home.  He has a feeling it will take the spark from her, and she’s fun just the way she is, even if she is a little nosy.

The house comes into view.  As he gets closer, he sees that the window is still broken, but now there’s a piece of cardboard taped over it.  The house is still, with no sign that anyone’s home.  The large black truck that was in the driveway last night isn’t there.  Maybe it’s in the garage.

Brian walks up to the porch, taking the steps slowly as he looks around.  He’s not sure what he’s looking for, but everything seems to be in order.

“What the hell am I doing here?” he whispers to himself.  What am I going to say if that guy comes to the door again?  I’ll ask him for the bill, that’s it.  Tell him I want to pay right away.  Be a good neighbor.  Brian shakes his head at his ridiculous thoughts.  He already told the guy to leave the bill in his box.  Showing up again and ringing the bell when the sign on it says not to feels almost like harassment.  He looks at the sign again, reading the heavy scrawl.


Brian frowns.  He can’t get past the feeling that it’s just a weird thing to do, to put a sign up like that warning people away.  It’s like something he would have done as a kid on a clubhouse to keep other kids from discovering his secret hiding place.  It’s so ridiculous it almost begs people to discover whatever it is he’s keeping inside.

Brian laughs nervously at himself.  Dont be stupid.  You’re a grown man and so is he.  This is his house.  If you trespass he can shoot your stupid ass.

Brian steps back away from the door, prepared to leave and never come back.  But then the sound of his son’s voice and the vision of him standing on their own front porch the night before comes back to him.  “She’s not sick, Dad.  She’s just really ugly.”

Brian doesn’t want to see a really ugly woman.  That’s not what’s motivating him to stand her on this porch and risk pissing off this neighbor.  It’s just that … he’s a math guy.  Brian has always been strong in math, from the time he was Liam’s age.  He uses it every day with his work at restoring furniture, both in the actual hands-on stuff and the figuring he has to do later when he does his billing.  Everything always has to add up in his world, and this situation with the monster lady?  It wasn’t adding up.

Brian glances over at the cardboard covering the hole.  Maybe I’ll just take a look at the damage and make a call to a glass company myself.  Then I can go get some cash out of the bank and be ready to pay the guy when he gives me the bill.

Brian takes a few tentative steps down the porch towards the front window.  A car comes down the street and he freezes, waiting until it’s a few doors down before continuing.  Once in front of the window, he looks around the neighborhood.  No one is outside, and he sees no faces in any other windows.  These people need an Ethel.

Turning to look at the cardboard, he notices it’s stuck to the still intact frame with duct tape.  “That’s going to be a problem when the sun melts that adhesive onto the PVC,” he says out loud.  He runs his finger along the edge, hoping he can find a loose spot so he can pry up the cardboard a little to see the actual damage.  It’s stuck on too tight, though.

His eyes roam up.  A set of white, gauzy curtains are right in front of him, obscuring his view of the house’s interior.  This house has the same basic layout as his, so he knows there’s a large living room of sorts on the other side of the glass.  He wonders what the woman was doing when the ball came through her window.  Was she sitting in the living room reading a book?  Was she in the kitchen making cookies?

He blinks his eyes a few times as they adjust to looking through the white curtain.  There’s a couch in the center of the wall facing him with side chairs on its left and right, its dark, burry contours getting clearer the longer he stares.   A small coffee table rests in the middle of the conversation area.  His eyes roam the walls, wondering what the pictures in frames look like.  It’s too difficult to see.  He steps back and stands straighter, embarrassed when he realizes he’s being worse than Ethel, staring into people’s houses like this.

It’s then that something inside the house catches his eye.  Brian stops moving for a moment as he focuses his attention on the dark shape on the floor.  He steps closer to the window, going so far as to press his face up against the glass and cup his hands around his eyes, trying to see better.  What is that?  A carpet on the floor?  No.  It’s not a carpet.  It’s too bulky.  It looks like…

He bends down, a sense of urgency overtaking his good sense.  He scratches desperately at the edge of the duct tape, finally getting a corner of it to peel away from the window frame.  He draws it down, careful not to let it tear.  Once it’s free on one side, he grabs the cardboard and pushes it sideways, like opening the cover of the book.

What the hell am I doing?  This is nuts…  He ignores his own concerns, needing more than anything else right now to just confirm that what he thinks he’s seeing on that floor is not what he’s seeing.

The hole in the window is finally revealed, and it’s big enough for his hand to fit through.  Thank you, Liam.  Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think he’d thank his son for breaking someone’s window.

Brian reaches through and grabs the curtains on the other side, using both hands to pull the bottom of them out through the hole.  As soon as he has the entire bottom seam through the broken window, he lifts it up and looks into the small space that’s remaining.  Now there are no curtains in the way and he can see into the living room as clear as if he were standing inside the house.

“Holy Mary mother of Jesus,” he whispers.  He raises his voice.  “Ma’am … ! Miss … !  Are you okay?”

There’s what he assumes to be a woman lying on the floor in the middle of the room.  All he can see is the back of her head and blood on her one exposed hand.  “Ma’am!  Are you okay?!”

No response.

“Fuck!” he yells, hurriedly shoving the curtain back through the hole and pushing the cardboard into place.  He cuts the back of his hand on the glass, but he ignores the blood, the pain, and everything else as he struggles to get his cell phone out of his front pocket.

“Nine-one-one, what’s your emergency?”

“Hello, this is Brian Jensen and I’m standing on the front porch of …” He leans out and looks at the number on the front of the house near the door, “…thirty-two Fresno Street, and there’s a woman inside her house who’s passed out and there’s blood.  She needs an ambulance.”

“Are you the homeowner, sir?”

“No, I’m a neighbor.  Can you please send someone quick?  I’m afraid she might be … dead.  I’m not sure.  She’s not moving.”

“Can you check for a pulse?”

“No, I’m outside.  But just wait a minute.  I’m going in.”

“Sir, is there anyone else at the home?”

“I dont think so.”

“Hold the line while I call the house,” the operator says.

Brian’s at the front door when the woman comes back on the line.  “They dont appear to have a home phone on record.  Have you tried the doorbell?”

“No.” Brian realizes how ridiculous it is that he hasn’t bothered to do that first.  Surely the guy who lives here needs to know his wife is passed out on the floor.  She’s obviously sick.  Maybe she hit her head or something when she fell.

Brian rings the doorbell several times and bangs on the door with his fist.  “Is anyone home?!” he yells.

No one answers.

“I dont think anyone’s home but her,” Brian says to the operator.  He tries the handle, but the door is locked.  “I’m going to see if they have another open door somewhere.”

“Sir, I dont recommend you break into the home.”

“I hear ya, but I’m doing it anyway.”

Brian runs around to the back and tries the door he finds there.  It’s locked up tight as well.  “The back door’s locked too.  I’m going back to the front.”

“The ambulance is on its way along with a police officer.  Can you stay on scene until they arrive?”

“Of course.”

“Do you want me to stay on the line with you?”

“No.  Thanks for your help.”  Brian hangs up without waiting for a response.

Going back to the front, he scrambles to pull the cardboard off and the curtain through the hole again.  He leaves blood on the curtains in his attempts to see inside.

“Ma’am, an ambulance is on its way, okay?  Ma’am, can you hear me?”

He’s about to look away when he sees her first finger move.  It’s just the slightest twitch, but he’s sure he saw it.  “I see you moving!  I know you’re alive!  They’re coming, okay!  They’re coming!”

A low moan comes from inside the house, from the woman.  Brian’s breath catches in his throat as her hand moves again, this time to slide out across the carpet.  It leaves a smear of blood behind.

She moans again, this time an agonizing sound that makes Brian’s skin crawl.  “You’re going to be okay.  I called nine-one-one.”

Her moaning turns to a strange keening, like a growl and a sob blended together into something almost animalistic.  The sounds of a siren in the distance reach Brian’s ears.  He’s frozen in place, holding up the curtains and peering inside, as her head slowly turns.

The ambulance turns into the driveway as her face comes into view.  Brian needs only one second to take in the sight of the horror before him before the blood in his veins goes cold and the words fall out of his mouth unbidden.

“Oh my god … what happened to your face?”

About the Author

New York Times Best-Selling author Elle Casey is an American girl living in southern France with her husband, three children, and several furry creatures. She writes in a variety of genre including YA Fantasy, YA Action/Adventure, New Adult Romance, and Adult Contemporary Romance. She's a little on the wild side, usually busy making people laugh, and always in the mood for adventure. There's not much in this world that she loves more than reader interaction, so feel free to drop her a line.


Wednesday 28 August 2013

Review of Silent Swan: the unexpected heart-clencher

As part of the Silent Swan Tour hosted by Itching for Books here is my review of Silent Swan by Lex Keating

Once upon a time – better known as “now” - Gabriel Pritz reigns as king of his high school. Easy grades, perfect baseball season, a pretty date for prom—he's coasting into a golden future. Until his parents demand he cook dinner once a week. Caught between kitchen fires and ballpark withdrawal, Gabe is thrown into Tam Swann's orbit. Hostile, friendless, and stubborn, she's exactly the sort of person he'd prefer to avoid.

Tam's sphere of influence expands beyond Gabe's sad domestic skills, rapidly invading everything from his favorite game to parts of his soul he didn't know existed. It's uncomfortable, it's hard work, it's...making him a better man. And that's just what she does to people she doesn't like. The better he gets to know her, the more he has to face the truth: this sharp, heart-breaking outcast is worth fighting for. How many families, fairy tales, and felons will he go through to ride to the rescue of the bravest person he's ever met?

Purchase: Amazon

Lex Keating has been engaged in a passionate affair with books ever since the Velveteen Rabbit wanted to be real. She graduated from a liberal arts college with a BA in literature, and currently resides near Charleston, South Carolina, in a swamp full of barbarians and all their cats. She has been a teacher, a paralegal, a computer programmer, and a hospice caregiver. She currently divides her time between studying old fairy tales and making up new ones.

All In Book Blitz

On the picturesque island of Martha's Vineyard, there are two kinds of residents. Locals and Stays.
Local boy, Lane McCarthy, plans on spending his summer working at the country club to save money for college in the fall, while summer stay, Ashley Whitmore, and her elite group of friends are only there to play.
As the summer heat goes up on the island, so does the ante, when both Lane and Ashley must decide what they’re willing to wager in order to follow their dreams… and their hearts.

With stakes as high as the surf, and hopes as high as the midday sun, will they risk everything and go all in?


Monday 26 August 2013

Review of The Prince of Earth by Mike Robinson

From Goodreads:

The Prince of EarthIn 1988, young American traveler Quincy Redding is trekking across the misty terrain of the Scottish Highlands. She is destined for the infamous peak Ben MacDui, the summit of which soon finds her inexplicably debilitated and at the mercy of a malevolent entity.

The book spans twenty years, alternately following Quincy in her 1988 ordeal in Scotland as well as Quincy in 2008, when, as an adult, she begins experiencing abnormalities that threaten her family and her life – phenomena that may be related to what happened all those years ago.

As both older and younger Quincy learn more of their situation, and as their worlds further entwine, she becomes increasingly uncertain of the perceived temporality or reality of each period

Monday 19 August 2013

The second coming of the dreaded resolutions

Summer is coming to a close which means it's time to start thinking about all those gross, awful things that come with September like school and change and *cringe* responsibility.

Okay I'm exaggerating...mostly... but this is about those little steps you take to growing up. I'm the girl that likes to make grand plans that make a lot of sense on paper. Unfortunately we don't live our lives on paper.

The real world sucks. That's not news, nor is it something I leaned recently. But especially around this time of year when it's about turning over a new leaf and making a fresh start, it's very easy to make those big plans that usually fall through or I can't follow through on. And this is one of those times; I'll probably continue to make grand plans until I'm in a retirement home.

So I make do.

I create little plans to go with those big plans and figure it out as I go. That's as far as I've come.

I was looking through some past posts and I found these two. My initial New Years Resolution 2013 and my Bucket List. Both of these are about big, grand plans and not about how to get there. The end of summer is also when I remember that there is no roadmap to life; you can't always stop and ask for directions and sometimes when you get scared there isn't always a safe place to pull over so you have to drive through the night.

Metaphors aside, what I'm trying to say is: I have no idea what I'm doing. And sometimes I feel disconnected in a world that is all about connecting.

Sometimes all you have are the big, grand plans. Plans to be bigger, faster, stronger, better, and 9/10 times there is no map to the stars.

You know, this post was originally supposed to be about my new short story series starting in September but I started thinking about all the things that are changing and will continue to change. The truth is I'm scared and I'm hoping that I'm not alone.

And I'm starting to think...maybe those big, grand plans don't need roadmaps more than they need someone in the passenger seat...

Friday 16 August 2013

Interview of Ari Harper and Scavenger Hunt

As part of the Witchling Tour hosted by Itching for Books here is my interview with Ari Harper

Nera is a normal teenage girl living in Ireland-or so she thought. Her world is forever changed when she discovers that she is descended from a long line of witches. To her horror she finds she is the one that is supposed to stop the curse that has taken the life of every girl before her. As if that isn't enough, she must learn to use magic and her trainer is a man named Bones. He is the son of Mari, Queen of the Witches, and a god. It is Bones that has been entrusted to teach her the skills she needs to stay alive, which wouldn't be so bad if he didn't have an uncanny knack for pushing her buttons. Can Nera learn what she needs while staying immune to the charms of the man that gets under her skin at every opportunity?

Ari Harper never wanted to grow up.
To offset the limitations of aging ungracefully, she created her own set of unique worlds where she can be and do whatever she wants.

Gods, witches and demons surround Ari while she spins her magic, doing mainly what they tell her to do. Given a chance, she prefers to work amongst chaos, which is good because she is constantly surrounded by children, all clamoring for attention. Some of them end up in her stories, some of them even get to die grisly deaths or be cast away to another realm.


The Dirty Secrets of Markham Savoy Tour

As part of the Dirty Secrets tour via Itching for Books, here is a blurb and excerpt from The Dirty Secrets of Markham Savoy

Re-Release: August 6th 2013
Author: C.C. Dalton
Publisher: Twist Literary
Purchase: Barnes & Noble

Even though he safeguards the secrets of his classmates, Markham wouldn't be caught dead sharing his own, and he never lets romantic entanglements get the best of him. But when Piper Harrington marches into his life, he’s forced to give her something in exchange for her cooperation in his schemes--his very own Colebrook Confession. And that's not the only time Piper brings out an unexpected side of himself. 
Will the dirty secrets of Markham Savoy be his crowning glory...or his undoing?

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Review of Even In Darkness

This is a repost from Aiden's Angels as part of the Even In Darkness Tour from several weeks ago.

I finally, finally, found a spare moment to sit down and read Cyndi Tefft’s third book in her series ‘Between’: “Even in Darkness"

I thought it was over, that all our troubles were behind us.

We had a fairytale castle wedding surrounded by family and friends. Aiden wore a dress kilt, looking so handsome it made my heart squeeze, and I floated on air in a white version of the ball gown he’d cast for me in Versailles. Flower girl, ring bearer, Scottish ceilidh afterward—check, check, and check. It was perfect.

We were supposed to live happily ever after.

But that was before I walked in to find another woman in his bed, a demon with blood red eyes who’d disguised herself as me in order to get what she wanted most: a child from a heaven transporter.

And it was in that moment—watching my entire world crumble to the ground—that I knew.

This was not over. Not by a long shot



Monday 12 August 2013

Review of Ember (Faylinn #2): aka I'm a puddle

Earlier this month I posted my review of Kaleidoscope by Mindy Hayes for the blog tour but as soon as I finished I needed more so I went out and bought book two and devoured that in less than a day so here is my review of Ember.

One decision changed her life forever. One choice could seal her fate for eternity.

By accepting her destiny, Calliope entered the enchanting world of Faylinn. What she wasn’t prepared for were all the compromises she would be forced to make. After being thrown into her duties as queen, it’s clear she must pick her battles wisely or risk loosing the respect of her kingdom.

With Kai and Declan by her side her confidence rises, but they can’t protect her from everything. When Faylinn is threatened Calliope is forced to face an even greater reality than she was prepared for. Haunted by the truthfulness of Favner’s last words, she realizes she has no idea what she’s gotten herself into.

Will Calliope be able to hold true to Faylinn’s beliefs while still following her heart or will she be forced to sacrifice a part of herself in order to save her kingdom?

Buy: Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Friday 9 August 2013

Forensic Fridays Part Six: Bullet Wounds

This month in forensics we're talking Bullets! Good old fashion bullets. Let's get started.

From the Canadian Series "Murdoch Mysteries"

Firearms account for 32% and 60% of homicides in Canada and the United States respectively.

Gunshot wounds are separated into different categories based on range and type of weapon (caliber of bullet etc.)

·         Contact wounds appear when the gun is pressed against the skin when fired. A black, round wound will appear on loose skin (chest, abdomen) and may appear in areas where the skin is tighter against the skeleton like the head but bruises and stellate-shaped wounds can also appear. Soot often appears on contact wounds along with muzzle imprints and lacerations of the skin from the effects of gases.

·         Near contact is when the gun is held a short distance away from the skin. The wound that appears is black and circular.

·         Intermediate can appear from a variety of ranges but is marked by the stippling that appears around the entry wound caused by unburned powder causing pinpoint abrasions on the skin.

·         Distant also produces stippling and also round wounds with an abrasion ring on the surrounding skin. They will typically produce a hole roughly the caliber of the projectile fired.

·         In contact wounds to the head with center fire rifles, there is massive tissue damage to the skin, skull, and brain. Full metal jacketed bullets have less tissue damage and usually travel through the body undamaged. In half-jacketed bullets the jacket peels back as it travels through the body releasing several small lead fragments.

·         Shotgun shellscontain numerous pellets. At close range the entry wound is singular and round but as the range increases the central wound becomes smaller and the number of surrounding pellet holes becomes larger. The further away the weapon is when fired, the wider the spread of pellets, causing multiple entry wounds.

·         In flat bones like the skull, entry wounds are round and show internal beveling in which the inner table of the skull is more eroded than the outer producing a cone shape in the bullet’s path, sometimes carrying fragments of bone with it. Numerous fractures may also appear on the skull due to rapidly increasing pressure as the bullet travels through the skull. Bevelling can be used to determine the direction of the bullet passing through bone.

·         Shoring occurs in an entry wound when the bullet passes through a firm object before breaking the skin such as wood, glass, metal. Shoring produces as a greater wound diameter and greater marginal abrasions.

Exit wounds usually create an irregular shape and don’t show the same signs as entry wounds: muzzle imprints, stippling, black bruising, etc. They are typically larger than the entry wound and can also be numerous due to fragmentation. Entry wounds do not occur during every shooting. The bullet or projectile may remain inside the body or object that it hits.

Gun powder residue is a good way to distinguish between a Contact and a Distant wound through many factors:

1.       Firing distance

2.       Length and diameter of the firearm barrel

3.       Angle between the firearm barrel and the target

4.       Characteristics of the cartridge

5.       Environment (wind, rain, heat)

6.       Type of clothing

7.       Intermediate targets

Different types of guns use different calibres of bullet or even different types of projectiles eg shells.  These will leave different marks. Admittedly I know very little to absolutely nothing about guns so I’ll just leave this link here for you to read:

You can read the rest of the Forensic Friday series here:
  1. Body Decomposition
  2. Human Anatomy
  3. Blood Spatter
  4. Asphyxiation
  5. Stab Wounds

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Review of Kaleidoscope by Mindy Hayes

As part of the Kaleidoscope Tour hosted by Itching for Books, here is my - rather gushy - review of Kaleidoscope by Mindy Hayes

“Was I still a human? Gosh, I still wanted to be human. Even just to keep a sliver of whom I thought I was. But as I thought about being human, standing in the shade of the forest, I felt less human than ever. The trees fought for my allegiance."

It starts in her chest. The change Calliope doesn't see coming. It pulses like a second heartbeat, urging her to give in to the need to be in the depths of the forest. She's compelled to fight the pull, but the more she denies it the stronger it becomes until she finally surrenders and is pulled into a secret world of enchantment.

Kai and Declan need her to accept what she is, but with everything left unsaid, acceptance may be the least of their worries. Knowing their fate lies in her hands, they’ll stop at nothing to protect and prepare her for what lies ahead.
Will Calliope be able to accept what Kai and Declan reveal or will her desire to be normal keep her from acknowledging her true destiny?
Released: March 8th 2013
Series: Faylinn #1
About the Author
Mindy grew up in San Diego, California exploring her interest for singing and playing the piano. Mindy first discovered her passion for reading when she had to make her first flight alone to South Carolina to visit her, then, fiancé. Mindy's love for writing followed shortly after. She and her husband have now been married for five years and live in Summerville, South Carolina.


Friday 2 August 2013

After Tuesday Blog Tour

Check Out the After Tuesday Tour

Released: May 5th 2013
Publisher: Renee Ericson
Purchase: Amazon
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Family really is a pain…especially when your father is an addict. 
For the last two years, high school senior Ruby has been her own rock and solace. She has learned to depend only on herself and hides her family's issues by keeping herself somewhat unnoticeable. Despite her isolation, Ruby has intrigued the affections of someone unexpected. Finding herself loving life once again as his persistence sparks a romance awakening a well-protected heart. 

While Ruby’s relationship with her father is constantly teetering, her new-found affection continues to blossom into something more than she ever thought possible. Soon, Ruby comes to realize that opening up your heart means being susceptible to love and disappointment.

YA-M: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language.

Renee Ericson

About the Author
Renee loves to wear hoodies, is fluent in Yoda speak, and likes to make videos with Lego figures. She is a long time insomniac, but doesn't have the energy to start an underground Fight Club so she settles for writing stories about the characters who plague her mind. She grew up in the Midwest and currently resides in the Boston area, but sounds nothing like Ben Affleck or Matt Damon.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Interview with Cyndi Tefft

Cyndi Tefft was among the first be Interviewed by the Madame (that's me) and as part of the Even In Darkness Blog Tour she's back for more with some hard-hitting questions from the Writer of Wrongs. Check it out:

Cyndi Tefft lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest where the weather is overcast and rainy, much like the Highlands of Scotland. So she was right at home when she got the chance to visit Eilean Donan Castle.

A self-proclaimed Scot freak, she loved every bit about the trip to Scotland: the people, the kilts, the accents, the fish & chips, the haggis...well okay, not the haggis.

Links to connect with me!

1. What is your dream cast for Even In Darkness?
Ooh, tough question. Truthfully, I think I'd prefer to have a bunch of young, gorgeous, unknown actors. That way, people would fall in love with them and associate them with the Between series, rather than already having preconceived notions. However, Aiden and Eagan would have to be equally hot. LOL

2. Favourite place in Seattle?
There's a local bookstore called Third Place Books where I can often be found. The bookstore has an attached food court and stage area where they often host big name authors, but they allow lesser-known authors (*cough*) to come do signings, too. It gives me a thrill that I've done a signing at the same bookstore as Diana Gabaldon and Cassandra Clare. How cool is that?

3. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?
Aside from Lindsey (because she would, of course, be my top pick, but that's cheating), I would have to pick Claire Randall Fraser from Outlander. She doesn't have it easy, but Jamie makes it all worthwhile. He was my inspiration for Aiden's character and still holds a special place in my heart.

4. Three facts about your childhood.
I tried to sneak in a kitten I got for free from a local house when I was in grade school. When it meowed from inside my bedroom, my mom asked "What is that?" and I tried to pass it off like I didn't know what she was talking about. Luckily for me, we got to keep him (I named him Butterscotch).

I've always been extremely outgoing and liked talking to strangers as a kid. I remember telling the guy at Les Schwab who changed our tires that I would miss him when we left.

I used to have recurring nightmares about a villain with a handlebar mustache chasing me on a flying chicken leg. True story. I don't eat food with bones in it (probably as a result of these dreams).

5. Movie that always makes you cry.
Somewhere in Time. Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour were meant to be together. And go for long walks along the lake. In coattails and a parasol. *swoon*

6. Favourite smell?
Chocolate chip cookies baking. Also, my least favorite smell since I'm trying to lose weight!

7. Dear Teenage Cyndi:
Boys suck, especially that one who you think likes you but really doesn't. Drop him like a stone and move on. There is a fantastic guy waiting for you who will light up your world.

8. What language have you always wanted to learn?
I took five years of French in school (two in high school and three in college) and I loved it. That was a long time ago, but I still have a passion for languages. If I had a superpower, it would be that I'd be able to speak all languages fluently. Oh, and be able to pick out the 5-star books while scanning bookshelves. One more- invisibility. Wow, I want so many superpowers!

9. Two secrets about Lindsey that no one knows.
When she was little, she had a pet fish that died and she insisted on a proper funeral, so her dad buried it in the backyard and they had a service.

She knows all the words to Barry Manilow's Copacabana. And made up a dance to go with it.

10. If you could only paint your nails one colour for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pink, of course! I love pink, especially when it's shiny and perfect on my toes. Can't beat it for making me feel feminine.
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