Excerpt from Dead Ringer

In case you haven’t yet picked it up, check out my pre-release promotion for Loose the Dogs! Just click on the graphic in the sidebar. This promo will only be available for a few more days until Loose the Dogs is released.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

I am just about finished reading Dead Ringer (Rosato and Associates Series) by Lisa Scottoline. This is not my first read by Lisa Scottoline. I previously read Accused, the first book in the Rosato and DiNunzio series. Same characters, but from a different lawyer’s perspective. Cool to see the same characters again from a different perspective. Lisa Scottoline writes good suspense with lots of tongue-in-cheek humour.

“No, I have to get ready for the meeting,” Bennie said, but she wasn’t sure she could stand anyway. The control-top waistband bisected her ovaries like a do-it-yourself hysterectomy.

Dead Ringer, Lisa Scottoline

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Bennie Rosato is fighting the battle of her life — against her own twin. The action starts innocently enough, with a stolen wallet, but in no time events escalate and the twin wreaks havoc that can be created only by a dead ringer. Her twin tries to destroy Bennie’s law firm, Rosato & Associates, and then strikes at her very heart — which just happens to be otherwise engaged by a handsome, hunky stranger with the perfect amount of chest hair. But when a brutal murder occurs, Bennie realizes that the stakes have turned deadly. And the face of evil looks like her own.

Book Review In the Tick of Time

tick mockupMy sweet hubby has posted a review of In the Tick of Time. Reblogged from Flamestr’s Thoughts.

Are you afraid of insects?  Well, I think Matt Malloy can relate to you,  Until now, Matt Malloy figured he had all pretty sound knowledge of infectious diseases.  Well… hold the phone; not so fast, Mr. Malloy.

Matt finds himself trying figure out what is going to cause a cluster of infections at Buffalo Head.   The further he investigates, the more suspicious he becomes.  Matt puts his knowledge of infectious diseases into action.  Matt furthers reviews a suspicious death, with symptoms he has never seen before. He just can’t quite put his finger on it. Then he has to put his finger on it, or he becomes a suspicious case.

Is Matt going crazy? He begins to doubt himself.  He develops more symptoms.  People start to question his professionalism.  He is obsessed with it, and he cannot sleep at night. His health begins to deteriorate; he becomes more and more paranoid. He is constantly trying to find a cure and locate the person who infected him in the first place.  Someone is trying to kill him, stopping him at every corner.  Will he be able to stop them?  Or will become another casualty?  This book will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.  You won’t be able to put it down, and it will give you a new respect for infectious disease departments everywhere!

Excerpt from Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

I had a great time this weekend at Calgary’s “When Words Collide” writer’s conference. Had fun presenting on several panels, made some new friends, met a few I had previously only met online, and was even on a panel with Angela Ackerman, one of the writers of the Emotion Thesaurus, a great writing resource!

In case you haven’t yet picked it up, check out my pre-release promotion for Loose the Dogs! Just click on the graphic in the sidebar. This promo will only be available until Loose the Dogs is released.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

I am currently reading Nerve by Jeanne Ryan. This young adult novel has been adapted into a motion picture currently in theatres. An online game of truth or dare gets out of control! The tagline is “to survive this game, choosing dare is your only option.”

“I’m not doing any dare.”

He types something into my phone. “I know you won’t. Just messing with ya ‘cause you’re so cute when you blush.”

Nerve, Jeanne Ryan

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A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it’s exhilarating–Vee and Ian’s fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they’re directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they’re playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?

Excerpt from Best Boy

In case you missed it, check out my pre-release promotion for Loose the Dogs! Just click on the graphic in the sidebar.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

My teaser today comes from Best Boy by Eli Gottlieb. This is a novel written in the first-person point of view of an adult with autism who is living in an assisted living facility. A quick look at Twitter reveals that Eli Gottlieb’s brother is autistic. I enjoyed Todd Aaron’s journey through the progress of the story.

Until recently, I was very happy at Payton, where I live with the other “villagers” in cottages with painted numbers on them arranged in a circle on a big plate of grass.

Best Boy, Eli Gottlieb

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Sent to a “therapeutic community” for autism at the age of eleven, Todd Aaron, now in his fifties, is the “Old Fox” of Payton LivingCenter. A joyous man who rereads the encyclopedia compulsively, he is unnerved by the sudden arrivals of a menacing new staffer and a disruptive, brain-injured roommate. His equilibrium is further worsened by Martine, a one-eyed new resident who has romantic intentions and convinces him to go off his meds to feel “normal” again. Undone by these pressures, Todd attempts an escape to return “home” to his younger brother and to a childhood that now inhabits only his dreams. Written astonishingly in the first-person voice of an autistic, adult man, Best Boy—with its unforgettable portraits of Todd’s beloved mother, whose sweet voice still sings from the grave, and a staffer named Raykene, who says that Todd “reflects the beauty of His creation”—is a piercing, achingly funny, finally shattering novel no reader can ever forget.

Pre-launch Promo Offer—3 Free books!

dogs mockupLoose the Dogs is going to be released later this month. In anticipation of the release, I am offering you three free suspense-filled ebooks! Click here or on the graphic below or in the sidebar to get yours now!

This offer will end when Loose the Dogs is released, so sign up now!

You will receive free Kindle or ePub copies of Looking Over Your Shoulder, Pursued by the Past, and In the Tick of Time (a recent release—it just came out in June!)

pre-release offer

Reading List: Young Adult Fiction about Mental/Psychological Abuse

I have previously posted reading lists for physical abuse and sexual abuse, and it’s high time I published one about mental, emotional, or psychological abuse. Mental abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse, but is harder to recognize , and not likely to get the same kind of attention and treatment as physical abuse. There are a number of studies and stats available on mental abuse; it would appear that somewhere between 30 and 43 percent of adults have experienced some form or mental or psychological abuse as children or in their intimate partner relationships.

As usual, my YA books featuring characters who experience primarily mental abuse are on top, followed by some other choices in popular literature.

My books that include main characters who are (primarily) mentally abused:

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By-Pass, Breaking the Pattern #3

It’s better when she’s happy.
Bobby is a geeky teen who is convinced that his new foster home is everything he has ever hoped for.
His foster mom Katya is so different than any he has ever had; but as her behavior becomes more and more unpredictable and disturbing, he comes to realize that both he and Katya’s daughter Zane are in trouble.
The crazy thing is, Bobby doesn’t want to leave her, and new revelations from Bobby’s own forgotten past throw his quest for a real family into further turmoil.
Is Justine crazy?
Everyone thinks so…
Her mother. The kids at school, and the teachers and administrators too. Even the police who pick her up from her night rambles. Maybe them most of all.
Justine’s therapist says she is ‘troubled’, but it means the same thing. He thinks that her vivid, reoccurring nightmares and atrocious behavior point to some trauma in her past; but Em, Justine’s mother, can’t explain it.
Justine used to have Christian, her best friend and skateboard partner. He was the only one who accepted her. Maybe because skating is the only time that Justine is really free to be herself. Now that Christian is gone… Justine keeps thinking things can’t get any worse.
Even as she sees her life spinning further and further out of control, Justine can’t give up her sense of who she is—someone far different than the loving daughter Em expects her to be—to just fit in and be happy. She is sure that Em secretly holds the key to who Justine really is. But if she does, Em isn’t talking.
These signs shall follow those who believe…
On the run from Social Services and others who do not understand their beliefs, Nathan and his mom, faith-healer Billie Ashbury move into yet another a new town.
Nathan again faces the challenges of making new friends and of keeping his family’s secrets. But what he really struggles with is his wavering faith and reconciling his actions with what his devoted mother has taught him from the cradle. Could disobeying her ever be right?
His very life could depend on the answer.

Other books on Mental/Psychological Abuse:

Finding YA books that were more about mental abuse than physical abuse is difficult. Most of the book lists out there combine physical and mental abuse into the same group. Here, then, is my attempt at books that focus more on the emotional abuse:

In If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, a broken-down camper hidden deep in a national forest is the only home fifteen-year-old Carey can remember. The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.

Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 
To his friends, popular and handsome sixteen-year-old Nick Andreas has led a charmed life. But the guys in Nick’s anger management class know differently. So does his ex-girlfriend Caitlin. Now it looks like the only person who doesn’t realize how far from perfect Nick’s life has become is Nick himself.
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When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole — a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her — she can’t believe she’s finally found her soul mate . . . someone who truly loves and understands her.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her close friend Zack, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all her time with another boy? As the months pass, though, Alex can no longer ignore Cole’s small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats.

As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose “love” she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose — between her “true love” and herself.

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Everyone is entitled to making their own choices in life, but a decision can make or break you. For Jacinta Kelly, hers came in the form of running away from everything that reminded her of her roots. 
Living in rural Ireland was hard enough, but living with her mother’s mental illness and her obsession with her garden took its toll. One winter, the world as she knows it changes. Jacinta becomes aware of her own mortality, and how fragile her existence truly is. 
Alone and frightened; to live or die, the choice is hers.

Excerpt from Paperweight by Meg Haston

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

My teaser today is from Paperweight, by Meg Haston. A book about loss and eating disorder, very gritty and real. A really great book that takes the reader into Stevie’s mind and gradually reveals her past and the progression of her disease and therapy. Realistic relationships and character development.

I slide my right hand across my stomach and count the ribs on the left side. Once, twice, three times. They’re not as sharp as yesterday. I have to get out of here. This was such a mistake. I told Dad this was a mistake.

Paperweight, Meg Haston

 

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Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert. Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at meal time, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid. Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn’t plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she, too, will end her life.

Paperweight follows Stevie’s journey as she struggles not only with this life-threatening eating disorder, but with the question of whether she can ever find absolution for the mistakes of her past…and whether she truly deserves to.

Excerpt from Lee Child’s Make Me

Survey question for you (answer in the comments): Who is your favorite thriller author?

[  ] Lee Child

[  ] James Patterson

[  ] Someone else…?

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

I love Lee Child’s Jack Reacher books, and just finished Make Me. It is classic Jack Reacher, sensitive yet hard-hitting, lots of tension  and clever dialogue. A fresh and intriguing puzzle. If you’ve read Lee Child, you know what to expect!

At which point the motel keeper’s twelve-year-old grandson ducked into the general store, to the pay phone on the wall just inside the door. He dumped his coins and dialed a number, and when it was answered he said, “He’s searching the town. I followed him everywhere. He’s looking all over. He’s doing it block by block.”

Lee Child, Make Me

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“Why is this town called Mother’s Rest?” That’s all Reacher wants to know. But no one will tell him. It’s a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, and sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes him for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal.

Reacher has no particular place to go, and all the time in the world to get there, and there’s something about Chang . . . so he teams up with her and starts to ask around. He thinks: How bad can this thing be? But before long he’s plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix, and San Francisco, and through the hidden parts of the internet, up against thugs and assassins every step of the way—right back to where he started, in Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine.

Walking away would have been easier. But as always, Reacher’s rule is: If you want me to stop, you’re going to have to make me.

Excerpt from The Builder

I announced last night that I have finished the first draft of my Camp Nanowrimo novel! 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules at Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along!

I am currently reading The Builder (The Young Ancients Book 1) by P.S. Power. It is a young adult fantasy/magic book and has been quite interesting so far. Lots of effort has been put into explaining the ‘science’ of the magical systems in this world. I have been surprised a few times by the use of modern language in what would normally be a historical setting. No attempt has been made to find historical euphemisms for words like bathroom and sex. The main character is not a naive  eleven-year-old, but a scholarship student of three years, I would guess around fifteen years old. He is a hard-working student with a sometimes snarky tone:

Count Thomson. Freaking hell. The guy wasn’t just a giant, but one of Kolb’s best fighters. If he decided to beat Tor to death, not only could he get away with it—legally since he was a Count—but there was nothing the much smaller Tor could do to even slow him down, much less stop him.

P.S. Power, The Builder

[*update – I would not classify this as YA. It is at least mature/upper YA.]

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Tor Baker is a builder. A person that creates the magic that makes the kingdom of Noram function.

At least he will be one, if his first project hasn’t failed miserably, and if he manages not to be expelled from school for taking unscheduled time off to try it.

What Tor doesn’t know is that his innocent little project has caught the attention of some very powerful people, and the world he thought he knew his whole life, is a lie.

Between his own innocence, and a world filled with royalty and power, the humble little baker’s boy from the backwoods is going to have to scramble if he doesn’t want it to all fall apart, or end up in the gallows for making a few simple mistakes.

 

First draft of Camp Nanowrimo project complete!

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Draft 1 COMPLETE!

  • Goal was 100,000 words.
  • Rang in at 100,913.
  • Fifteen writing days, averaging 6,700 words per day.

My shoulders tell me that next time I’d better dial it back to 5,000 per day, do yoga every day, or use dictation software part of the time!

Teaser:

“Mrs. Gable is really nice. I’m glad she offered you a place to live.”

“Me too.”

“You think it will work out there?”

“How do I know?” Dakota challenged. “I don’t usually stay anywhere for very long. People promise to take care of you… and then they don’t.”

 

Synopsis:

Parker’s mother always said he jumped into things without thinking first, and that’s exactly what he did when he saw Dakota, cold and hungry, fending for herself on the city streets. How could he ignore the pain and fear in her dark eyes? Dakota was eager to go to school and she made friends quickly, eager to make up for a dismal childhood full of deprivation and abuse by enjoying every moment she could.

But there was something wrong with Dakota. It wasn’t just the hollowness in her eyes or her traumatic past. Others sensed it too and warned Parker not to get too close to Dakota. But despite his questions, Parker just can’t help falling for her.

Dakota holds her secrets close and Parker is worried that if he pushes too hard for answers, she’ll just run away.