Excerpt from Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I had heard a lot of good things about Neil Gaiman’s books; I knew they were hugely popular. But I had never read any of his work before. So when I saw Neverwhere, I decided to pick it up and give it a go. It is a slow start, and I just about gave up on it before things started to get interesting, but I was sure it had to pick up, and it did! What can I compare Neverwhere to? Tim Burton meets Inkheart and Monty Python? That might about cover it! Here is my teaser:

He’s a little bit dodgy in the same way that rats are a little bit covered in fur.

Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere

Neverwhere is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young London businessman with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he discovers a girl bleeding on the sidewalk. He stops to help her—an act of kindness that plunges him into a world he never dreamed existed.

Slipping through the cracks of reality, Richard lands in the Neverwhere—a London of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels that exists entirely in a subterranean labyrinth. The Neverwhere is home to Door, the mysterious girl Richard helped in the London Above. Door, a noblewoman whose family has been murdered, is on a quest to find the agent that slaughtered her family and thwart the destruction of this underworld kingdom. If Richard is ever to return to his former life, he must join the journey to save Door’s world—and find a way to survive.

Kick-Ass Girls in YA Fiction

I have been asked to contribute a blog post toward Libby Heily’s Kick-Ass Girls in YA blog tour event. Hop to the other blog posts at the end of my post!

I love writing about strong female characters, and few of my girls are shrinking violets. They do have different kinds of strengths; some of them would literally kick your butt, such as Kelli in Making Her Mark or June in June & Justin. Others are not so strong physically, but have the internal strength to find their way out of tragic or challenging situations, like Nadie in Questing for a Dream, Chloe, and Justine in Stand Alone. Still others have the quiet strength and compassion to support and sustain friends in crisis. Since I can’t choose one of my gals over the others, I thought I would introduce you to a few of them!

Breaking the Pattern

Appearing throughout the Breaking the Pattern series, Sandy is a hooker and junkie who is given up by her mother and traded by her father. Despite her somewhat loveless upbringing, Sandy has compassion for Henry and no pretenses about who or what she is in Deviation. Diversion sees her trying to break away from her life and make a new place for herself in the world against incredible odds. And in By-Pass, she is a mother, supportive and wise, trying to help Bobby find his own way.





Between the Cracks

The title-character girls in the Between the Cracks series battle to overcome the effects of sexual abuse and predation in their lives, to rise above their abusive pasts and poverty-stricken upbringing to become something better and find some semblance of happiness and family. All of them battle homelessness, continued violence, mental illness and personality disorders caused by their histories, and trying to understand their own feelings and reactions toward the men in their lives. Chloe especially just blows my mind with her dauntless strength in the face of so much evil. I can’t leave the Between the Cracks series without mentioning Marty, a support character in Ruby who is wise beyond her years and beloved of many readers.

Don’t Forget Steven

In a book almost completely filled with boys and men, Sasha plays a quiet supportive role in Don’t Forget Steven. Adopting Steven as her best friend in kindergarten, Sasha has provided Steven with food and shelter from the storm countless times. Despite the fact that Steven can’t return her affection the way she would like, she is his staunch supporter and advocate before, during, and after the events covered by the book.

Stand Alone

There are few characters with stronger, more stubborn minds than Justine Bywater in Stand Alone. No matter what anyone else has to say, Justine’s sense of self overwhelms everything else in her life. Up against incredible odds, she is determined to be the person she really is inside.

Tattooed Teardrops

Tamara in Tattooed Teardrops is often seen as a weak, wishy-washy, easily-influenced girl who would have no place in a blog about kick-ass girls. But you really do need to know where a person has come from before you can make judgments about them, and Tamara has survived abusive caregivers and juvenile detention with a sadistic cell-mate. She has learned to fight back against those who would hurt her, and really only has one more person she needs to escape.

Cynthia Has a Secret

Cynthia, having lived a sheltered life, suddenly finds herself out on the street and fending for herself. She’s no fighter, but she’s lived with illness all her life, and she’s a lot stronger than she or anyone else thinks she is.

Questing for a Dream

Growing up in the direst poverty, Nadie has been a strength in her community and helping with the other children in her home. But devastated by the death of her cousin, she sets out to find a life elsewhere. She will need more strength than she thinks she has if she’s going to survive.


Intersexion is filled with strong girls and women. While I prefer not to give any spoilers; like Justine, the main characters in this story must reach deep down inside for the courage to protect and maintain their identities in a world that does not easily accept differences.

Medical Kidnap Files

Renata, one of the main characters in the Medical Kidnap series lives a life with severe physical and mental illness. But in spite of all she has gone through, she reaches out to others who are sick and oppressed and goes to extreme lengths to rescue them and give them a better life.

Making Her Mark

Jujitsu-trained Kelli Munroe is one of the girls who is physically as well as mentally strong. She has a strong sense of self-preservation, or she wouldn’t have made it as far as she has.

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Click here to seee the rest of the posts in the blog hop!

Excerpt from Finders Keepers

I am finished my Camp Nano project with the first draft of the third book of my upcoming cozy mystery series. Here’s a little sneak peak:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

My current read is Finders Keepers by Belinda Bauer (there are, as it happens, a number of other books entitled Finders Keepers, so make sure you’re looking at the right one. A rash of kidnappings baffle the townspeople, media, and police. Multiple viewpoints converge to bring you closer to the kidnapper’s identity, and then you’re left wondering how the police are going to catch him. All of the right ingredients for a good thriller! Here is my teaser:

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Jonas knew the stages of grief by now. He knew them backwards. He could juggle them like plates. It didn’t mean he knew how they felt.

Belinda Bauer, Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers is a spine-tingling, edge-of-your-seat thriller about an alarming spree of kidnappings in the southwest of England. The eight-year-old boy had vanished from the car and—as if by slick, sick magic—had been replaced by a note on the steering wheel: “You don’t love him.” At the height of summer a dark shadow falls across Exmoor, as children begin to disappear, with each disappearance marked only by a terse, accusatory note. There are no explanations, no ransom demands, and no hope. Policeman Jonas Holly (a character returning from Bauer’s first two novels) faces a precarious journey into the warped mind of the kidnapper if he’s to stand any chance of catching him. But—still reeling from a personal tragedy—is Jonas really up to the task? There are some who would say that, when it comes to being the first line of defense, Jonas Holly may be the last man to trust.

Freebie thrillers!

Are thrillers your favourite? Or do you prefer free books? If you #lovetoread thrillers, check out these instafreebies, including Loose the Dogs!


The Girl in the Morgue available for Preorder

I have been keeping this project under wraps, but now I am in a position to announce my first cowriting project, The Girl in the Morgue. This is the fourth book in D. D. VanDyke’s California Corwin P. I. Mystery Series.

Thirty-something ex-cop-turned-P.I. Cal Corwin faces her most puzzling murder case yet. When a friend of a friend dies in suspicious circumstances, the police believe it’s open-and-shut. As Cal digs deeper to get to the bottom of the mystery, she finds herself a target for those who want the truth to stay dead and buried.

The Girl in the Morgue is the fourth novel in the Cal Corwin series of hard-boiled neo-noir mystery-thrillers.

The Girl in the Morgue is available for pre-order now.

You can also get the rest of the series here. Book 1 is free!

Excerpt from Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Things are really hopping around here for Easter! I have two sales on, with The Life of Our Lord, by Charles Dickens and Enemy of Light, a collection of four or my suspense books, both on for $0.99 for a limited time, as well as a contest to win 16 ebooks about new beginnings.  Stock up now!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

It has been a couple of years since I read Veronica Roth’s Divergent, and I have finally gotten around to reading the rest of the series, Insurgent and Allegiant. Today’s quote is from Allegiant, the last book in the trilogy. I have just started it recently, and I’m interested to see where the plot is going to go. Things are just beginning to get interesting…

I didn’t know that idiocy caused people to just start spontaneously bleeding from the nose.

Veronica Roth, Allegiant

What if your whole world was a lie? What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything? What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

It’s a Kindle Surprise for Easter

Those of you who are in the US may not know what “Kinder Surprise” is, since it is not allowed to be brought into the country. It is a German product (kinder means children,) a hollow chocolate egg containing a plastic egg with a toy to assemble inside it.

But, since you are not allowed to have a Kinder Surprise this Easter, the bunny has instead brought you a Kindle Surprise!

Enemy of Light is a mystery/suspense ebook collection on sale for just $0.99 for the Easter season. After that, the price is going to go up, so get it while you can.

Enemy of Light contains these four books:

Looking Over Your Shoulder

Pursued by the Past

In the Tick of Time

Loose the Dogs


Spring into a fresh start with these great reads!

I haven’t held a contest for a little while, and it’s time!

Enter to win 15 16 free eBooks!

It’s spring! Time for planting gardens, hatching chicks, and going for long walks after being cooped up all winter. Easter is a time for renewal and rebirth.

And it’s time for fresh starts in your reading!

All of these books, including Making Her Mark, are about new beginnings and fresh starts. Enter now to win all fifteen. Here are the books that you will get:

Making Her Mark, by P.D. Workman

Secrets and lies

When everything changed, Kelli thought she would be happy. But nothing really changed.

Kelli’s life has never been easy. She’s always faced her problems head on. She’s strong and savvy and in charge of herself. All of that is about to change.

Her life is turned upside down when she discovers the secret that her mother has been hiding from her for years.

Kelli thinks this is her one chance at happiness. But is it?

Praise for Making Her Mark

“Another amazing read. The way [Workman] writes makes me feel like I’m living the story through the main character … I love [Workman’s] writing so much I build this relationship with the characters and it makes me think about them even outside of reading about them.”

Rebirth, by Aaron Hodges

When eighteen-year-old Chris is accused of treason, his world is changed forever. Abducted in the night, he wakes in a facility hidden deep in the Californian mountains. There he is subjected to the depraved experiments of the Praegressus Project – a government led initiative to enhance the human race. Unfortunately for Chris, the chances of survival are slim. But only the lucky get to die.

Second Chances, by Lincoln Cole

Nichole is caught in a tough position. She is juggling too many responsibilities as her world falls apart. She isn’t sure where she can turn to for help, and she is facing a lot of harsh realities about just how much society can hold her back.

Richard is a corporate lawyer who lost his way. He wants to help Nichole through this heartbreaking situation, but he makes mistakes and loses her trust. He discovers that he’s been doing the right things for the wrong reasons for a long time. Everything begins to fall apart as he realizes he’s swept problems under the rug for so long he might no longer be able to fix them. After meeting an alcoholic who is struggling to take control of his life, Richard wakes up to just how far off-course his life has become and attempts to right it.

The Newcomer, by Alasdair Shaw

From a young couple struggling to look after their baby to a new captain’s reluctance to take command of her ship, and from a sun-addled stranger’s appearance in town to the emergence of a sentient AI, the twelve tales presented here explore the central theme of an arrival by someone or something new.

There’s even an alien puppy.

Spare Me the Drama, by Karen Tomsovic

For two decades, Martin Leon and his wife blissfully penned a daytime soap together while growing their large family before real life took a melodramatic turn…

Sexy star Roxanne Hunter parlayed her role on the show into a thriving luxury bedding business and never looked back. Just when she was on the brink of having it all, the universe pulled the rug out from under her, leaving her with a secret heartache…

When Roxanne accepts Martin’s invitation to a family birthday party, it’s only to check up on an old friend in grief, not fall for him again…

Beneath the Skin, by Kyla Stone

For eighteen-year-old Sidney Shaw, life pretty much sucks. Her mom’s a drunk. Her dad’s worse. At school, she’s bullied by her ex-best friend. And cutting no longer brings the relief she craves.

When Sidney is forced into group counseling, she meets perfect, popular Arianna, the type of girl who grieves over a broken nail. But Arianna has secrets of her own. She might prove herself a friend–if Sidney can let her guard down. Then there’s Lucas, the sweet and funny new guy who sees straight through her tough, snarky façade.

Old Baggage, by Toni Kief

It took most of her life, but Elizabeth Donovan has finally had enough. Years of a difficult marriage, she has finally fought back. She had no choice but to leave the life behind and face the secret from her youth. The old life doesn’t want to let go, as she stumbles into the mystery that involves her deeper than she ever could imagine. Old Baggage is the overdue coming of age for a woman learning to stand on her own.

Hushed, by Joanne MacGregor

When she saves her celebrity crush, superstar Logan Rush, from drowning, Romy is offered a job as his personal assistant. She strikes a deal to reinvent herself in exchange for entering the exciting world of the movies, and love sparks between her and this prince of Hollywood. But Romy soon discovers that she has traded her voice and identity for an illusion of freedom.

When she discovers a dreadful secret with the power to destroy Logan, Romy must choose between love, revenge and finding her own, true element.

City of Skies, by Farah Cook

Nora Hunt has just joined the deadly quest to discover the ancient Viking legend of the hidden Shadowislands. Her post-apocalyptic dystopian world, Triangle of Peace, is the only home she’s ever known. But at sixteen years old, the skilled young warrior joins an elite band of Raiders called Jarls. Her mission? Merely to win the perilous battle for Shadowislands and avoid falling in love with the mysterious boy who just happens to be her worst enemy–and she’s not quite sure which task is more difficult…

Enjella Uprooted, by Jane F. Collen

This is the story of an adolescent Fairy who overcomes teasing, low self esteem and another Fairy’s meanness to become a first class Tooth Fairy. But while conquering these obstacles she realizes she needs something more to make herself complete. Join her in her journey to become an empowered, self-made Fairy.

Air and Ash, by Alex Lidell

After a lifetime of training, seventeen-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission—and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battleworthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

To Kill for Land, by Ryn Shell

Do you crave a good, old-fashioned rural yarn?

This novel from the author of To Kill for a Ghost is exactly that: an engrossing story of love and adventure in Australia, complete with gorgeous landscape. That it is also the best kind of contemporary historical novel – the kind that teaches you something about the real people and events of the time as a bonus.

Don’t Throw in the Trowell, by Melinda R. Cordell

At last, help for home food gardeners. The simple, month-by-month layout of Don’t Throw in the Trowel will help gardeners grow a bounty of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Grow luscious tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, melons, and more, and enjoy all the fresh produce (and give the surplus to family and friends) that your garden grows using these easy tips. Don’t Throw in the Trowel: A Month-by-Month Vegetable Gardening Guide is a fun read for every locavore who wants to cart tomatoes out of the garden by the wagonful.

Save an Angel’s Kiss for Me, by Joanie Chevalier

After 12-year old Mar’s father unfortunately dies in a car crash during the Christmas holidays, she not only has to recuperate, but also has to live with her mentally ill mother without the calming presence of her beloved dad. Fast forward three years and Mar is now 15-years old. Because Mar had blocked out her dad’s death, she’s never really admitted to herself that he’s gone forever, let alone acknowledged or visited his gravesite. She suddenly decides to take a 14-hour journey on a Greyhound bus to finally visit her dad’s grave and to face the truth: that her dad is really gone. Will Mar finally get the closure she so desperately seeks?

Aldo the Dragon, by Tania Giguere

Aldo is an old and wise dragon that came to nest upon a rock overlooking a small village. Aldo being of great kindness sees the need of the villagers and their children. So Aldo begins caring for them and teaching the men how to become more excellent hunters. For when the cold wind sets in food will be plenty and their families will not go hungry. Aldo also teaches the women of the village how to grow their gardens in all types of weather and how to love the seed and mother earth.

Moristoun, by Kevin McAllion

McSorely has had enough. His life has spiralled out of control and nothing has gone his way. There seems to be only one option open to him, one last thing he can do to take control of his fate. All hope is lost.

But far away on the mysterious island of Moristoun, Buchan is charged with the task of dissuading McSorely from this drastic course of action. Moristoun is where people like McSorely might end up, having exchanged one kind of hopelessness for another.


Excerpt from Command Authority

It’s April, and that means I’ve started work on a new book. I am working on book three in my new cozy mystery series. 10,000 words and counting!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme. Read the rules and more teasers at The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along.

I’ve just started on another Tom Clancy/Mark Greaney book in the Jack Ryan series, Command Authority. Like all Jack Ryans, it is raw, fast paced, with a complex political background and lots of historical interest. And of course, if you are familiar with the series, the characters are as familiar as family members. As a warning, I do think this one has a few more f-bomb in it than previous books…

I might not see the iceberg in our path, but when those in charge are looking for the … lifeboat, I’m smart enough to pay attention.

Tom Clancy & Mark Greaney, Command Authority

Decades ago, as a young CIA analyst, President Jack Ryan Sr. was sent out to investigate the death of an operative—only to uncover the existence of a KGB assassin codenamed Zenith. He was never able to find the killer…

In the present, a new strongman has emerged in the ever-chaotic Russian republic—the enigmatic President Valeri Volodon. But the foundations of his personal empire are built on a bloody secret from his past. And none who know of it have lived to tell. For he has set a plot in motion—a plot to return Russia to its former glory.

But when a family friend of Ryan’s is poisoned by a radioactive agent, the trail leads to Russia. And Jack Ryan Jr.—aided by his compatriots John Clark and the covert warriors of the secretive Campus—must delve into an international conflict thirty years in the making, and finish what his father started.

With President Ryan fighting the political battle of his life, and his son fighting a silent war against a ruthless foe, global conflict becomes imminent—and the possibility of survival may soon be lost for all…

More freebies this weekend

Here is one last opportunity to download Chloe, Between the Cracks #4 for free April 1-2. Chloe is book number four in the series that started with Ruby, Between the Cracks, which made the Top Ten Books for Teens list put out by In The Margins Committee of School Library Journal in 2015. (You can also download Ruby for free for a limited time.) However, you can read Chloe as a standalone.

I have also pulled together a few other weekend freebies for you. Keep scrolling down to find more.

Download Chloe now, or keep reading!

About Chloe

Chloe had always been the perfect daughter. Diligent, obedient, good at caring for the other children when Mom wasn’t home. She always worked hard and did everything she was asked.

But she couldn’t please her mother and the parade of stepfathers. It seemed like the harder she tried, the worse the abuse got.

Chloe had known for a long time that she was two people. The Chloe who watched and the Chloe who experienced. She had been watching for so long, she wasn’t sure she could feel anything anymore. But if she can’t overcome her past and start living in the real world, she knows she will lose herself forever.

Praise for Chloe

— I love that P.D. Workman takes you into the darker sides of life and makes you realize after reading one of her books that you shouldn’t judge someone by how they act or look because you don’t know all that they have been through. Chloe is a very shocking and riveting story about all the risks one girl will take just to try and keep a part of her family together, no matter what it costs her. This book will have you not wanting to put it down until the end because you can’t bear to not know what is going to happen next.

—This is one of the more disturbing stories I have ever read… I don’t think I will ever forget Chloe’s story.

—It feels like I’m reading about my best friend or a family member. I’m thinking about the characters even when I’m not reading the book. [P.D. Workman’s] writing style captivates me like no other.

—I could never be as strong as Chloe, the way she grows throughout the book with her strength and learning how to overcome the tragic things that took place in her life. I kept wanting to know more… [it] made my heart happy. Thank you so much for another great read!

More freebies for you!

Be Mine, by Rick Mofina

A personal message written in human blood is left for crime reporter Molly Wilson at the murder scene of her boyfriend, San Francisco Homicide Inspector, Cliff Hooper.

The horrific death of a revered cop shocks the San Francisco Police Department’s Homicide Detail. Shaken to the core, his grieving fellow detectives go flat out to find his killer under the glare of the city’s news media.

Fyre, by Katherine Bogle (Instafreebie)

Haven has always hated royal gatherings, and jumps at the chance to sneak away for a race through town on horseback. But when the young princess is injured, her ancestry is brought into question.


Gone to Green, by Judy Christie

Will a big-city journalist find love and happiness in small-town Louisiana? An ambitious newspaper editor trades her corporate life at a large paper for the ownership of “The Green News-Item” in rural Louisiana — and finds friendship with an unlikely group of people. Ready to fight for right, she is unexpectedly drawn into new causes — and attracted to an appealing high-school coach who raises catfish part time.

Bitten: Resurrection, by Tristan Vick (Instafreebie)

Amid the rising dead and ensuing chaos, Rachael Ramirez searches for her missing son. Teaming up with a young veterinarian named Alyssa Briggs, the two of them search for survivors while trying to escape Newcastle City. Little does anyone know, however, that Rachael holds a shocking secret to the “Resurrection Virus” that may prove to be humanity’s salvation. She was bitten on day one but never turned.

Beyond Cloud Nine, by Greg Spry

Ace fighter pilot, Brooke Davis, is speeding through Jupiter’s orbit, dreaming of becoming the first human to fly faster than light. Instead she is drawn into a criminal conspiracy— involving terrorists, aliens, and the highest level of government, including her boss at the U.N. — that threatens not only her shot at history, but the future of the solar system.

The Scarecrow & Lady Kingston, by Tristan Vick (Instafreebie)

John Scarecrow is a living, breathing, talking scarecrow with a heart of gold and has joined the LAPD to fight for truth and justice. Julie Kingston, a beautiful yet emotionally volatile cop with a penchant for bending the rules, is his partner. She doesn’t mind the fact that her partner is a scarecrow. In fact, she prefers it that way.

A Fall from Yesterday, by Norah Wilson

Ocean Siliker has come back to Harkness, New Brunswick in defeat, after failing to set New York on fire with her playwriting. The first item on her agenda? Climbing White Crow Cliff, where her best friend Lacey Douglas died six years ago. If she conquers the mountain, perhaps she can rediscover her courage. But the only thing she finds herself is … lost.

Magick, by Mira Monroe (Bookfunnel)

Willow and her best friends, Emily and Lucy, are making plans for a great senior year and daydreaming about life away from sleepy Chepstow, Massachusetts. Willow tries for a life under the radar, where her biggest adventure is dating Daniel – voted best all-around guy.

Her life is perfect, until a long-lost grandmother reveals that not only does she come from a long line of Wiccans, but she’s also part of the royal family – and next in line for the crown! Not everyone is happy to discover this outsider is about to take the throne, and Willow’s life is in danger – along with those around her.

The Enforcer, by Nikki Worrell

Lacey Benoit is in need of a fresh start. Her best friend, Dr. Zoe Millis, has been begging her to make the move from Maine to California. Taking a leap of faith, Lacey does just that.

Living in San Diego definitely has its perks, such as, sunshine and beaches. The best part of moving to the west coast, however, is that Steven is still on the east coast. Catching your almost husband having sex with one of your bridesmaids on your wedding day would make even the strongest woman jaded. Therefore, Lacey has sworn off men for a while, especially men who travel a lot that have easy access to loose women.

Endless Evil, by Amanda Feyerbend

Peaceful life in a small Georgia county is shattered when women’s bodies begin turning up on the side of the highway; the women raped and then strangled to death.

At first Detective Alex Gray does not realize these cases are related, but then Megan Crawford survives. Suspected of being an accomplice to a string of rapes in the past, Megan falls under suspicion again. Is she the key to solving this case, or is she part of the deception? With no evidence and no leads Alex must try everything he can to stop this killing spree, even if it means involving the one person who may be hiding secrets of her own.

Vernal Equinox, by Lincoln Cole

A collection of short stories by Kindle Press published authors set in the worlds of their novels, themed around the idea of redemption, rebirth, and new beginnings. Check out these stories and then find your way into their books, published through Reader Powered Publishing on Amazon’s Kindle Scout program!