Book Excerpt: THE BEEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER

the-beekeepers-daughter-book-coverTHE BEEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Jane Jordan / Dark Romantic Thriller / Released Nov 24, 2016 by Black Opal Books

His nearness was excruciating. She could feel him, even though he wasn’t touching her. She sensed his eyes boring into the back of her head, and a sudden memory of that day so long ago in the schoolroom flashed through her mind. Again, she was waiting for something to happen. Taking a deep breath, she turned and looked up at him.

“Jevan—”

Whatever she had been about to say flew from her mind as his mouth covered hers and stifled the words. His kiss was powerful, and he clasped her so tightly to him that she could scarcely breathe. It did not matter. She didn’t need to breathe. She threw her arms around his neck, pulling him even closer, while her heart and head said yes, this was right. This was everything she wanted. This was who she loved and always would.

Eventually, Jevan slackened his hold, and their lips parted. She breathed again as his dark eyes looked into hers.

“I came back for you.”

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Interview with Jane Jordan author of the historical thriller THE BEEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER

jane-jordanJane was born in in England, and grew up exploring the history and culture of London and surrounding counties. After some time spent in Germany in the 1990’s she immigrated to Detroit, USA, eventually settling in South West Florida. She returned to England after a fifteen-year absence, to spend six years in the South West of England living on Exmoor.  Here, inspired by the atmosphere, beautiful scenery and the ancient history of the place, she wrote her first novel Ravens Deep.  The next two books Blood & Ashes and A Memoir of Carl completed her gothic vampire trilogy.

Jane is a trained horticulturist, and spent time working and volunteering for Britain’s National Trust at Exmoor’s 1000-year-old Dunster Castle.  Gaining more insight into the history and mysteries surrounding these ancient places, and having always been intrigued by the supernatural, inspiration came for her fourth novel, THE BEEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER.  Combining the age-old struggle between good and evil with the passion and romance of the characters she creates.

Jane returned to Florida in 2013, and lives in Sarasota with her family.

Tell us about your new release.

the-beekeepers-daughter-book-coverTHE BEEKEEPER’S DAUGHTER is a historical thriller that primarily takes place in the late Victorian period. The story is set on Exmoor, the South West Coast of England. It tells the story of Annabel who is a talented bee charmer, she also inherited far more complex powers, for her mother was a witch.

Annabel grew up knowing that she was different from other people, and that she could manipulate more than just the bees. Living in harmony with nature, her abilities seemed like a natural way of life, but when faced with adversity, she summons these inherent powers to protect the ones she loves. Not only does she discover the extent of her own gift, she soon realizes that another, and possibly a far more powerful witch has a hold over her destiny.

Jevan is her childhood friend and sweetheart, and her heart is broken when he is forced to leave her and Exmoor. During his absence, she forms a friendship with Alex, the son of a wealthy landowner. Alex becomes besotted with her, and surprisingly Annabel feels a rare connection with him. Soon Alex’s attentions take a sinister turn. Although puzzled by his sudden change in character, she discovers that his father, Cerberus is the driving force behind many of his actions.

Unexpectedly, Jevan returns, and Annabel’s world turns upside down, but when Jevan is falsely arrested and condemned to death, she knows the only way to save him is to pledge her hand in marriage to Alex.

For Annabel, this marriage is a recipe for disaster, she begins to despise Alex, while she and Jevan are unable to stay away from each other. Thus ensues a devastating love triangle. As jealously intensifies, each man wants the other one dead. Annabel not only has to contend with this destructive relationship between Alex and Jevan, but she is in danger from the wrath of a spirit that refuses to rest in the foreboding Gothelstone Mansion. At the same time, her father-in-law seems intent on making her believe a diabolical truth.

In this dark and intriguing gothic tale, Annabel must unravel the Saltonstall legacy, save the life of the man she loves and destroy the source of evil that has plagued generations of the family before her.

What led you to write this book?

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Book Excerpt: STORMY WEATHER by Glen Ebisch

51kjwnjlqhl-_sx311_bo1204203200_STORMY WEATHER by Glen Ebisch / Mystery / Released Jan 18, 2017 by The Wild Rose Press

“There’s something you have to see,” he said

He turned and got down off the porch. I remained in the doorway, certain there was nothing that this guy could show me so essential to my wellbeing that I had to trot outside before finishing breakfast. The guy must have sensed I wasn’t following, because his ponderous body slowly swung back to face me.

“You really do want to see this.”

Reluctantly, I climbed down from the porch and followed as he lumbered around the side of the house. Fortunately the April morning was fairly warm, since all I had on were a sweater and jeans, but I could already feel my sandaled feet getting cold and wet from the heavy dew. A small man sat on top of the backhoe, staring at the ground in front of the machine. He quickly leapt off the equipment and ran toward me.

“You’ve got to see this,” he said, dancing from foot to foot with excitement. That seemed to be the message of the day.

Over the years I’ve come to doubt people when they tell me that. I remembered Bobby Miller saying exactly the same thing to me when I was eight, then waggling the largest dead rat I had ever seen in front of my face. Some things stay with you. This guy even reminded me a bit of Bobby, having the same ferrety grin.

I hung back as the two men walked up to the trench they had started to dig not ten feet from my kitchen wall. They both stood on the edge of the hole staring at something. Reluctantly, I joined them and took a quick glance. The body was face down in the dirt, which, for one crazy moment, made him seem even deader. I caught my breath and glanced away, absorbing what I had seen. A second later I found my courage and looked back at the body.

“The ground was a little sunken,” the small man was saying. “Somebody hadn’t tried real hard to put the dirt back. So I knew there must have been some digging here recently. But I never expected to find a body.”

“I wouldn’t think so,” I said.

I found that focusing on the conversation made me calmer. I’ve always prided myself on being analytical, not giving in easily to my emotions.

“What’s that?” the big guy asked. He grabbed a long branch and reached in the hole, turning over a dirty object near the body’s head.

“A shame. He was a fan,” the man said, as we all recognized the muddy Red Sox logo on the cap.

“Why don’t we roll him over and see who he is?” the little guy said, almost jumping up and down with eagerness.

“I think we should wait . . .” I began, but realized I might as well have been humming Mozart, as the munchkin jumped into the hole to follow his own suggestion.

The body rolled over and stared at the sky.

“Don’t know him,” the big guy said.

“Neither do I,” his friend added.

“I do,” I said through clenched teeth, looking into the dead eyes of Travis Lambert.

 

Interview with Glen Ebisch author of STORMY WEATHER

ebisch-photoTell us a little bit about yourself.

I have been a professor of philosophy for over thirty years. Most recently I retired from teaching at a small university in western Massachusetts. For much of that time I have also written mystery and suspense fiction, starting with books for young adults and moving on to writing for adults. I have had twenty-five books published, twelve of them in the last fifteen years as time has allowed me to write more. All are cozy in nature and suitable for any reader.

I live in western Massachusetts with my wife. My hobbies include reading (of course) and going to the gym. We also look forward to traveling to Maine and Cape May, New Jersey for our needed dose of the beach.

Tell us about your new release.

STORMY WEATHER, my latest mystery, is about Stormy McCloud, a meteorologist at a local television station who runs into trouble when the body of Travis Lambert, the senior meteorologist at the same station, is found in a shallow grave next to her house.  Although the police do not have enough to charge her, she is definitely their prime suspect. When the station hires private detective Chance Malone to investigate the murder, her situation doesn’t improve.  Malone is attractive, charming, and funny, all qualities that Stormy’s past experience with men has led her to avoid.  It also doesn’t help that Stormy has little background or interest in religion, while Malone is the unusual private detective who has a Bible in his desk drawer rather than a bottle of scotch.  As they work together to solve the murder, surprising aspects of Travis’ life come to light, and Chance and Stormy find their relationship deepening much to Stormy’ dismay.  When Stormy’s estranged mother appears on the scene, Stormy also must decide whether to have a relationship with the woman who deserted her as a child.  As the story proceeds, Stormy is forced to reconsider her view of men, her mother and her future.

51kjwnjlqhl-_sx311_bo1204203200_What led you to write this book?

Like most people who watch the weather report on their local television station, it has occasionally crossed my mind that this is a job, like all reporting, that turns a person into a local celebrity. I wanted to examine the problems that can arise with this kind of notoriety, and how conflicts can develop as people compete for a limited amount of fame.  As with many crime novels, it also focuses on how your life can be instantly turned around once you are suspected of having done something wrong.  I also wanted to have a subplot that dealt with the conflicts that can arise when people with different attitudes toward religion are attracted to each other, which is a common issue today.

What is more important: character or setting?

Usually my stories are highly character driven with the personality of the protagonist the-bad-actorbeing as important as the plot.  If you don’t care about the main characters, why would you care about what happens to them?  However, in this novel the setting was very important because I was concerned to create a realistic depiction of a small television station.  Where Stormy works is an important aspect of who she is, and why she’s in trouble. The small city setting is also important because it shows that serious crime can take place in relatively bucolic environments.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I am a recently retired professor of philosophy, and I still teach occasionally.  Although I don’t intentionally add philosophical concepts to my novels, I’m sure some slip in.  Since I the-black-dogthink a sound body is essential to a sound mind, I also exercise frequently, and my wife and I like to travel. I am also a fairly active reader, and I belong to several organizations for writers.

Do you read the same genre that you write?

Yes.  I think it is essential to enjoy reading the kind of books you like to write.  If you try to write a type of book you wouldn’t read just because you think it will sell, you are unlikely to be successful.  The reader will know that your heart isn’t in it.  However, it is also important for a writer to keep expanding his or her horizons, and this means that you must also read widely outside of your genre.  You can learn new things about style, character, and plot by studying novels that you might never write.  These can always be incorporated into the kind of writing you actually do.

What’s next for you?

I am planning to try something new by writing a romantic suspense novel with a heist/caper theme.  My heroine will be put in danger when she steals a valuable diamond from a powerful Russian oligarch. She and the hero must then come up with a plan to save her from the oligarch who is bent on revenge. I hope it will be an exciting combination.

 

 

 

 

 

Review of CLIMATIZED by Sally Fernandez

front-coverClimatizedA Max Ford Thriller / by Sally Fernandez

Released Oct 2016 by Dunham Books

Review by Heather Haven

It’s not often one comes across a genre novel which causes the reader to think long and hard about just what’s going on in the world today. However, Climatized is just such a novel. Filled with detailed information about politics, the environment, and global warming, author Sally Fernandez forces us to try to separate fact from fiction, truth from lies, and to consider the ramifications of what the human race faces in going toe-to-toe with Mother Nature. The watch word in that long sentence is ‘try’. Weaving real players in with fictional characters, Ms. Fernandez has created a taut fabric of a thriller.

The protagonist, Max Ford, has just opened her offices as a private investigator. Having recently left the States Intelligence Agency, she takes on her first case, that of investigating the supposed suicide of a U.S. senator. Put your roller skates on at this point in order to keep up. We have murder, chicanery, love, loyalty, deception and honor at every turn. Ultimately, what is introduced within the pages of this book are often mind-blowing. Be prepared.

Interview with Sally Fernandez

headshotSally Fernandez, a novelist of provocative political thrillers, wasn’t always twisting facts with fiction. Heavily endowed with skills acquired in banking, she embarked on her writing career. Fernandez’ focus on computer technology, business consulting, and project management, enhanced by business and technical writing, proved to be a boon. Her books of fiction also reflect the knowledge garnered from her business experiences, while living in New York City, San Francisco, and Hong Kong. Fernandez’ foray into writing fiction officially began in 2007 when the presidential election cycle was in full swing. The overwhelming political spin by the media compelled her to question the frightening possibilities the political scene could generate. As a confirmed political junkie, she took to the keyboard armed with unwinding events and discovered a new and exciting career. A world traveler, Ms. Fernandez and her husband, also the editor-in-residence, split time between their homes in the United States and Florence, Italy.

Tell us about your new release.

front-coverCLIMATIZED is my fifth novel and the first in the “Max Ford Thriller” series, featuring Maxine Ford as the female protagonist. Max debuts in her role as a private investigator and right out of the starting gate she is hired by the wife of a prominent senator to determine the cause of his untimely death. During her investigation, she discovers that three world-renowned scientists had lost their lives days before they were scheduled to testify before the late senator’s investigative committee on climate change. Meanwhile, a fourth scientist has gone missing. Max determined he is the key to unearthing the motives behind the deaths. Following the many twists and turns, Max uncovers a powerful organization responsible for the killings. Cogent evidence is provided to the president, forcing him to make a crucial decision—to cover up a diabolical plot—or bring down a multi-trillion-dollar world-wide economy.

What led you to write this book?

While conducting research for two earlier novels, I discovered that there is a disconnect between the scientific data and the public policy as it pertains to climate change. And I am sure we could all agree that climate change is a topic up there with religion and politics, one that creates not only heated conversations, but much confusion. As with all my novels, I weave fact with fiction, holding to the words of Francis Bacon, who said, “The truth is hard to tell, sometimes it needs fiction to make it plausible.” Therefore, using this style of writing, I believe Climatized will help the reader put to rest much of the confusion and shine a light on the real science.

Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book?

Tackling an area of science where I had only a peripheral peripheral knowledge level was challenging and provided an unexpected education as I delved heavily into the science behind the causes of global warming. It also forged some interesting acquaintances. With Climatized, I altered my style slightly by incorporating a few real-life experts in my fictional plot, unbeknownst to them. One happened to be a New York Times bestselling author and the others where NASA Apollo Space Mission veterans and members of The Right Climate Stuff research team. After the manuscript was completed, I decided out of courtesy, to contact these experts and offer them a copy of the manuscript to fact-check to substantiate my research. I’m proud to say that the scientific data I weaved into my plot was spot on and I received their acclimation and full endorsement. Their continued support has been invaluable and has opened other avenues.

Which is more important characters or setting?

For my storylines to be plausible, everything between the pages must be believable, especially my characters. They tend to develop alongside me, like any relationship—notwithstanding my vivid imagination as I thrust them into various situations. But most important, the characters must stir emotions, good or bad, leaving the reader to want to learn more about them. The scenes are as important and must be vivid, transporting the reader to that place and time. Often I’ll use locations and real characters where I’ve shared experiences as a basis, but I also use locations, hotels, restaurants, or streets where I’ve never ventured. In those cases, I believe it is crucial that they be described accurately to add to the realism. Thanks to the Internet and satellite maps there is no reason not to make them as real as possible. Given my reel-to-reel writing style the reader always has a clear vision of the local scene.

Do you have a favorite fictional character by another author you’d like to meet?

I am a tad embarrassed to admit that I tend to read the works of my male counterparts, attempting to step in the shoes of Thor, Baldacci, Silva, et. al. And while their plotlines stir me, I’ve never been overly carried away with their female characters. Maybe that is why I was so compelled to give Max Ford a stage of her own in this new series. But going through my “guilt” pile of books I’ve started reading Janet Evanovich and I’m loving her Stephanie Plum character. While Max may be my alter-ego, Stephanie is definitely Max’s.

What do you hope readers take away from your work?

With all my novels, I have the same three goals: to create an entertaining read, to inform the reader, and to challenge the reader to ask the ultimate question, “What if?” In Climatized particularly, it is to arm the readers with the facts, so they can make an intelligent decision about a topic that is here to stay for some years to come.

Do you have a favorite writing place or writing rituals?

My writing environment may vary with the offices in my home in the United States and another in my home in Florence, Italy. And while these locations may somewhat inspire aspects of my plot, they primarily provide a quiet haven for creating. Then comes the hotel room somewhere in the world, when my husband, who is also my editor, and I need a change of venue. What does not change is my ritual. Each day starts with a morning workout to clear my head to prepare me for six to seven hours of steady writing and/or research. At the end of each day, I’m greeted with a glass of wine from my husband. That’s when we discuss the status of the book, what I am working on, what he is editing, or what is in the offing. Both of us are retired from our corporate careers, so we’re fortunate to be able to ignore the phones and the daily disturbances. And he cooks the dinners. It’s an amazing collaboration with our days being filled with all aspects of writing and publishing books. The only downside—is when we are not—my husband calls it our Post-Partum Publishing Syndrome. Overall, call me incredibly blessed!

Do you have a reoccurring theme to your books?

To quote another luminary, Pericles said, “Just because you don’t take an interest in politics, doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” As a long-standing political junkie, I take contemporary political events and weave them into a fast-paced, fictional, suspense thrillers. And you won’t be able to keep yourself from learning along the way.

Book Excerpt FOR WOMEN ONLY by Kayelle Allen

For Women OnlyIn this scene from FOR WOMEN ONLY, Khyff has just walked in the door after a month away working. Like many of us, he’s not the best at using tech, so when his electronic security system greets him, humor ensues.

“Welcome home, Mr. Antonello.”

Khyffen Antonello flinched at the disembodied android voice. He let out a frustrated sigh. “I am never going to get used to that. IdBot?”

The home security system pinged in response.

“Didn’t I ask you to call me Khyff?”

“Yes, Mr. Antonello. Would you like to know the dates of your requests at this time?”

“No, I would not. Just change the greeting. Call me Khyff.”

“Yes, Mr. Antonello. Greetings and welcome protocols are found in the home security system settings in the main system. Would you like to adjust them at this time?”

“No.” His shoulders sagged. “Remind me later. I’ve been away for a month, okay? I’m a little tired.”

“Yes, Mr. Antonello. A reminder has been scheduled.” Locks activated with an audible click, and a slight increase in pressure on his ears told Khyff the flat had been sealed. “Premises secure.”

Khyff dropped his travel bag. The long commute had left him stiff, and he rolled his shoulders. In the living area, he swiped two fingers across a table and frowned at the dust. The cleaning droids had been skimping again. Not every machine was as efficient as idBot.

“Might be a good thing.” Khyff stretched, working out kinks. “IdBot, play music.” The blare of hard rock made Khyff jump. He clamped both hands over his ears. Drums thundered and boomed behind a wailing voice he’d heard on tour every day for the past month as security liaison for Wind and Thunder. “End music.”

The silence made him groan with pleasure. “That’s better.” He lowered his hands. “IdBot, how did that music get on my setup?”

“Music added by roommate Senth Antonello.”

“My brother is back.”

“Affirmative.”

That meant trouble.

“You could’ve warned me my brother was home when I got in the door.”

“Yes, Mr. Antonello. Greetings and welcome protocols are found in the home security system–”

“Never mind.” Khyff rubbed his temples.

Publisher Romance Lives Forever Books This book is free on Kindle Unlimited Amazon http://amzn.to/1f7Ge0P Amazon (print) http://amzn.to/2eFKee5 CreateSpace (Print) http://bit.ly/bro-women-csp The prequel for this book is AT THE MERCY OF HER PLEASURE, also available on Amazon http://amzn.to/1f7FQ2h