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Showing posts from June, 2012

The Last Refuge: Review and Giveaway

The Last Refuge by Ben Coes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Iran Has a Nuclear Bomb!

The Last Refuge
is a political thriller spanning from the US to Iran. The plot is intricate, plausible, and gripping. This is my first read by author Ben Coe but it won't be my last.

The story revolves around two men: Dewey Andreas, former US military, and Kohl Meir, Israeli special forces commander. Dewey is the whole package--hard, intelligent, and competent. Kohl, the grandson of Golda Meir, helped saved Dewey's life once. Now, Kohl's the one with his life on the chopping block, and only Dewey to save him.

Iranians kidnap Kohl in the US and secret him away to an Iranian prison, where they torture him with methods that will make your skin crawl. When the CIA finds out, they're furious:

"What is it with these f-ing Iranians and their hostages?" asked Calibrisi. "It's like an industry over there. It's the only thing they're good at."

Though humorous, that comment …

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Blog Hop

Major props to Victoria Smith and Jaycee DeLorenzo for hosting the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Blog Hop!
Once I saw the instructions for this hop, I knew I had to join:

Interview a heroine of your manuscript, novel, or WIP by a fellow female counterpart also from one of your written works.  Your featured heroine can be interviewed by her best friend, a heroine from another one of your written works, a sister, the opportunities are endless!

My heroine is Sophie Taylor from The Conduct Series. She's an ex-psychologist who just got out of prison due to an improper relationship with her psychotherapy client, who turned out to be a Mafia man. Sophie is wary of trusting men until she meets fellow parolee Grant Madsen. Sparks fly between them!

Sophie's best friend from grad school, Kirsten Holland, interviews her today.

Kirsten: Hey, roomie!

Sophie: Hola, chica.

Kirsten: As you know, I coined the nickname "McSailor" for your boyfriend Grant Madsen. How would …

International Short Story Day

June 20th is International Short Story Day!
Do you like short stories? I tend to read and write novels, but one of my favorite reads is a collection of short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri titled Interpreter of Maladies.

So when Omnific Publishing asked its authors if we wanted to write short stories for a charity anthology, I jumped at the chance. Besides trying to rein in my bloated word count, I also tried to stretch myself by writing a Young Adult short story from first person POV.

That story is Swim Recruit, available for FREE.

Not long after Abby Donahue’s family falls apart, she escapes on an airplane to Chicago for a recruiting trip. A talented high-school swimmer, Abby hopes to score both a college scholarship and some distance from her parents' recent divorce. But is this university for her?

Her first encounter with freshman swimmer Reese McGowan makes her nervous. He’s a tall backstroker with a mess of blond hair, glittering aqua…

Love Struck Giveaway Hop (International)

Thank you to Laurielu from Bona Fide Reflections as well as Suz, Annie, Francesa, and Angela from Under the Covers for hosting the Love Struck Giveaway Hop!
Is there a book or a series that you have read which has left you completely smitten? A hero/heroine that makes other heroes/heroines pale in comparison to the feelings you have for your “true” love?
Yes! And that series is The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. 

It's a historical romance taking place in Russia during WWII. The hero Alexander is soooo swoon-worthy. He's a tall, dark soldier (my favorite), quiet and brooding with a quick wit, and utterly in love with the heroine Tatiana.

“Tatiana said. "Go on with Dasha. She is right for you. She is a woman and I'm-" 
"Blind!", Alexander exclaimed. 
Tatiana stood, desolately failing in the battle of her heart. "Oh, Alexander. What do you want from me..."
"Everything", he whispered fiercely.

A bus came. The soldier turned aw…

Five Ways to Keep Writing No Matter What

Readers, are you tired of waiting for your favorite author’s next book? Writers, are you struggling to stick to your timeline? I know I’m not progressing through my WIP On Best Behavior as quickly as I’d like.Time for a helpful guest post from writer Samantha Gray!Take it away, Samantha…5 Ways to Keep Writing No Matter WhatWriting is not for the faint of heart. We confront feelings that are powerful and sometimes very complicated. We bare our souls for the world to see. We offer this gift to the world, perhaps secretly terrified of rejection. No wonder so many writers are suicidal, or alcoholics, or dry up and become reclusive hermits, never to be heard from again. But it doesn't have to be that way. Below are some heartfelt suggestions for how to keep going in those moments where you just want to give up on your dream:1. Drop what you're doing. No, really. If you're having a genuine morale problem, AKA writer's block, it's less important that you make progress on …

All Series, All Summer

Smash alerted me to an informal reading challenge this summer: the All Series, All Summer Challenge hosted by Amanda from On a Book Benderblog and Kelly from Reading the Paranormalblog.

The goal of the challenge is to make progress on or finish some series that you've started. It's an informal challenge...Kelly states “You’re welcome to join us. There is no sign up, no pressure, no check-ins, no anything except a driving need to have a reason to push these books to the top of our respective TBR piles."

Here are some series I plan to work on this summer (thereby making progress on the Romantic Suspense and YA Reading Challenges as well):

Black Ops by Cindy Gerard (Romantic Suspense):
3. Whisper No Lies
4. Feel the Heat
5. Risk No Secrets
6. With No Remorse
7. Last Man Standing (I have signed copies of the last two from RT!)

I-Team by Pamela Clare (Romantic Suspense):
1.5 Heaven Can't Wait

MacKinnon's Rangers by Pamela Clare (Historical Romance):
1. Surrender
2. Untamed
3. De…

Insecure Writers Support Group

It's my first meeting of the Insecure Writers Support Group!

Me: Hi, everyone, I'm Jen.

Insecure Writers: Hiiii, Jen!

Me: (mumbles) I've been stalking my Goodreads author profile for almost two years now, ready to pounce on a new review.

Insecure Writers: *nod*

Are YOU a review whore? I know I am. A positive review makes my day. A negative review bums me out. Thankfully I'm learning not to react as strongly, but it's still a challenge.

How do you handle negative reviews? YA author Beth Revis gives some great advice for dealing with haters HERE. (And hear about her friend who *gasps* HATES PUPPIES).

Now go check out what the rest of the insecure writers have to say by visiting founding member Alex Cavanaugh's blog HERE.

Purpose of the Group: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all…