Friday, September 28, 2018

Book Review: Malayan Enigma by Nicholas Snow

Title: Malayan Enigma: An Andrew Bond WWII Adventure
Author: Nicholas Snow
Publisher: AuthorHouse UK
Genre: Military/History
Format: Ebook


Malaya, 1941 – a fool’s haven from the devastating war raging elsewhere in the world Sent to Singapore towards the end of 1941 to evaluate the intentions of the Japanese Empire, Lieutenant Andrew Bond finds himself embroiled in a series of events accelerating towards all-out war in the region. The city, a heady, exotic blend of cultures teeming with intrigue, is oblivious to what lies ahead. Facing betrayal, incompetence, Japanese spies, and the Yakuza underworld, Bond manages to gather a band of trustworthy companions, including the striking beauty Liu-Yang. In a desperate race against time, he must force his way through enemy-infested jungles and seas to bring home a device that will help change the course of the war – the Malayan Enigma!


Sometimes you start to read a book and just know it is going to be good. Malayan Enigma was one of those books. I am a believer in making sure that you follow up with research if you are going to write a historical fiction book, and while reading this it was evident the author did just that. I am not familiar with this part of history too much - I will admit that I was never a big history fan but when reading books like this it makes me want to find out more. 

Andrew Bond reminds me a lot of someone with the same last name - adventure, cunning, skill, he has it all. He is a character I hope will return in more books as he is very fun to follow. The plot moved smoothly and kept me turning page after page. I would highly recommend this book!

Nicholas Snow is the pen name of Nicholas C. Kyriazis, who holds a diploma and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Bonn, Germany. He has acted as visiting professor at Harvard and at the University of Trier. He has worked as a consultant to the Directorate General of Research of the European Parliament, to the National Bank of Greece, and to the Ministries of National Economy and of Defence, and has served as secretary general of Public Administration. Professor of economics at the University of Thessaly, he is a member of the board of Alpha Trust Investment Fund (listed on the Athens Stock Exchange), vice president of Ergoman Telecommunications, and vice president of the Kostas Kyriazis Foundation. He has contributed more than sixty papers to academic journals and has published eight books on economics, history, and strategy as well as a volume of poetry. Poems of his have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Maltese. As a novelist, he has published eighteen books in Greece, several of which have been translated and published in English, including Themistocles (Kosbil Publications, 2004), The Shield (AuthorHouse, 2005), Assassins (AuthorHouse, 2007), and, in collaboration with Guy Féaux de la Croix, Last Love (Plato’s Last Love) (AuthorHouse, 2014).

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Book Feature: Planetary Project by Aleksandr V. Bezgodov

Title: Planetary Project
Author: Alexsandr V. Bezgodov
Publisher: XLibrisUK
Genre: Political Science
Format: Ebook

This monograph discusses current global economic and social issues. It describes the essence of the Planetary Project, based on the critique of the Concept of Sustainable Development. A model is proposed for solving global problems through global human unification aimed at saving the planet Earth from future cataclysms and catastrophe for present and future generations. The Planetary Project is in essence a paradigm of the world’s harmonious development. It is based on an integrated economy and rent incomes from planetary and intellectual resources held in planetary ownership. The Planetary Project provides solutions to globalisation problems caused by unrestrained economic growth and one-sided development of some national economies. The Planetary Project proposes a just system of world income distribution including rent revenues from planetary resources. This distribution system will work in the interests of all countries, including Asian and African countries, some of which experience serious socio-economic problems. New planetary economic resources and mechanisms will be able to: save the Earth’s biosphere; improve its ecology; and free humanity from hunger, epidemic diseases, and the threat of a Third World War. They will help people unite in the name of universal values of life, the harmony between civilisation and nature, and the welfare of present and future generations. Developing Planetary Project ideas could lead to creating a serious research tradition and a wide life-affirming and peace-loving social movement.


The author of this research monograph is Dr Aleksandr V. Bezgodov, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, who holds a Ph.D. in Political Science and a Doctorate in Economics. Born in Northern Russia in 1960, Aleksandr Bezgodov worked for companies specialising in innovation and high technology, as well as for organisations engaged in developing parliamentary democracy and civil society. Over the last 10 years, he has been involved in interdisciplinary research in macroeconomics and social issues at the world level using a systemic approach. He is not only a theoretician but also a practical researcher and research administrator. He is involved in both developing and implementing research-based technologies. Aleksandr Bezgodov is the author of over fifty scholarly publications proposing new original economic and sociological solutions to business administration. He is the founder and General Director of the Institute of Planetary Development in Dubai, UAE. In line with its logo “Serving humanity”, the Institute develops and disseminates the ideas spelt out in the monograph “Planetary Project: From Sustainable Development to Managed Harmony”. The Institute’s research activity is intended to provide solutions to the world’s pressing economic, social, environmental, political-legal, and cultural problems.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Darkest Before the Dawn by Mike Martin

Darkest Before the Dawn by Mike Martin, Mystery, 280 pp.

Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Ottawa Press and Publishing
Pages: 280
Genre: Mystery

Darkest Before the Dawn is the latest adventure of Sgt. Winston Windflower, a Mountie who finds himself surrounded by a new family and a new life in tiny Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There are signs of trouble that may disturb his pleasant life, including a series of unsolved break-ins and the lack of supports for young people in the most trying time of their lives. But there are always good friends, good food and the sense that if we all pull together, we can find a way to get through even the darkest days.

Ghosts, mysterious deaths, and a new character enliven the pages as Windflower and Tizzard and the other police officers awaken the secrets that have been lying dormant in this sleepy little town. The deeper they dig the more they find as the criminals they seek dive deeper behind the curtains of anonymity and technology. But more than anything, this is a story of love and loss, of growing up and learning how to grow old gracefully. It is also about family and community and looking after each other. Of not giving up hope just before the dawn.

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the Darkest Before the Dawn.




Sunday, September 23, 2018

Interview with 'Killing the Rougarou' Shawn M. Beasley

Author Shawn Beasley was born and raised in small town Louisiana. She has a BSRN and has traveled the world only to return to the same small town where she was raised. Shawn has three grown children, one girl and two sons. She lives with her oldest son and grandson and has three other grandchildren that she adores. She has two fur babies, Pete and Taz. Killing the Rougarou is her debut novel and is the first book in a series of five. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.



Thanks for this interview, Shawn.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint? 

Shawn M Beasley is a mom to three, grandmother to four and has two fur-babies. She holds her BSN from Northwestern State University. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and likes to take pictures and travel.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun? 

I love to travel and take pictures.

Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?
            Being from South Louisiana, you hear a lot of folklore. You never actually believe the old tales. You pass the stories on down to your babies and so on. You never quite believe in them until you meet a monster. Maybe then, you wonder: Could these stories be true?
            It was the Louisiana State fair in Shreveport, October 13, 1972—Friday the thirteenth, for the superstitious. The sky was cloudless and the weather perfect for a night out. The lights from the rides twinkled and it seemed they competed with the stars in the clear sky with their brightness. It was cool and crisp, the temperature in the mid-sixties. All that was needed to keep warm tonight was a light jacket.
            A handsome family of six was enjoying the sights and sounds of the fair. They had driven up this morning from Sulphur and would stay at the Holiday Inn downtown. Matthew Robert Gauthier (pronounced “Go-shay”), the father of the family, had picked this hotel because it was rumored the king himself, Elvis Presley, had stayed here during his Louisiana Hayride days. He fancied himself to be “the coon-ass Elvis,” and was the only one who did. He loved to sing and would often sing as loud as he could, mostly off-key. It drove his family crazy. His wife often joked that Matthew couldn’t sing, so he had to work in the oilfield. Music had always been in their home and was a big part of their community.
            Matthew almost always had a big smile on his face and a song on his lips and so if Matthew was singing, he was dancing. It didn’t matter to him when or where he performed. He truly loved to dance and sing, and if it embarrassed his kids, well, that made it even better.
            Matthew and his wife Jessie had been married for just over sixteen years and he

was still crazy about her. They had four children, three boys and a girl. The baby girl was

his world. He loved his boys with all his heart, but “the Girl” as he called her, wrapped

him around her little finger.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey? 

The story idea came quickly and it took me a little over a year to write. The editing has been the hardest part for me and deciding to finally publish.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be? 

Love always wins.

What makes your book stand out from the rest? 

My story could be true. You see it every day on the news. There are monsters out there hurting children but my characters are human and I tried to give each a story, even my Rougarou.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why? 

Halloween, It has moments of terror and suspense, boo stuff!

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done? 

Yes, and is already in the works.

What’s next for you? 

I hope to have part two The Patron Saint of Travelers written by Christmas and maybe a part two published next year.

About the Book:

Author: Shawn M. Beasley
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 492
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author Shawn Beasley captivates readers with the enthralling saga of two southern families-the Gauthiers from the South Louisiana bayou country and the Thomases from rural Texas-and the nightmare that will ultimately touch them both. In her sweeping and richly evocative novel, Beasley unfolds two remarkable family histories, populated by unforgettable, deeply human characters, and then rocks their worlds with tragedy and true horror. A novel that succeeds brilliantly on many levels, Killing the Rougarou is, at once, moving and terrifying, tense and thrilling, while capturing the sights, sounds, and vibrant life of Louisiana's Cajun country and Brazos County, Texas.


Amazon / iUniverse / B&N

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Interview with 'Mortal Foe' Marty Roppelt @martyroppelt

Marty Roppelt was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His original profession was acting on stage, in local commercials and training films and in film. This means that he has experienced life through a wide variety of day and night jobs, from barista to waiter and bartender to security guard, amongst many others. He lives in Illinois with his wife, Becky, and their eccentric cat, Fritz. Mortal Foe is his debut novel.




A picture is worth a thousand words… But what if that image can only be seen through the lens of one camera? What is the snapshot can only be seen by a select few? What if the photo has its origins in the pit of Hell? What is
that face belongs to an enemy bent on destruction? This is Buddy Cullen's fate when he first dreams of his grandfather's death and then inherits his grandfather's antique camera and captures an image that haunts him and seeks his death. Can Buddy survive the curse that he sarcastically dubs "Popcorn"—a curse that no one wants to believe exists and stalks the city of Cleveland, beginning with its baseball team—a mortal foe?



Thanks for this interview, Marty.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

Thanks for having me! I suppose it was inevitable that I would be drawn to the paranormal / horror genre. I'm a Christian. The two might seem dichotomous, Christianity and the paranormal. But what could be more horrifying than piles of dried bones re-connecting and coming to life? Or a living mist that kills tens of thousands of sleeping soldiers in one night? The Bible is a treasure trove of the paranormal. Then there is my family history. My parents immigrated from Transylvania, Rumania—yes, for those who don't know, there is such a place. A simple and deeply superstitious people live there. And a real man known as Dracula did exist, but he did things far worse than anything Bram Stoker dreamed of in his worst nightmares. My mother read to us some nights from Grimm's Fairy Tales when we were very young. Again, for the uninitiated, that stuff wasn't cutesy. Growing up, my mom always borrowed the latest horror from our local library, novels from James Herbert, Steven King, T. E. D. Klein, several others. I had easy access to a lot of great work that shaped me as a writer, though I tend more toward the paranormal aspects than to outright horror. I have always loved reading thanks to my mother, who took me often to our library. That love of reading fed my desire to write.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I most love to quietly hang out with my wife, Becky, and our cat, Fritz, and watch crime shows. She calls them Justice In One Hour shows. I also enjoy creating videos. I studied film making in Atlanta in the '90's, and still exercise those creative muscles when I can.

Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?

My eyes snap open wide.
A shadow faces me from beyond the foot of my bed. I shiver, holding my breath. The tall, bulky intruder seems oblivious. My sleep-hazy mind tells me to lie still. I'll make myself smaller that way, so the invader won't see me.
I'm making myself small…
My brain stirs slowly. A minute passes, then a few more. My eyes take their time adjusting to the darkness. Across the room, the sinister hulk takes the shape of my antique cherry-wood armoire.
My girlfriend, Kelly, lies next to me, undisturbed. She faces away. Her chest rises and falls with each breath, her body radiating warmth.
I don't move. Dread still freezes me in place. A voice in my head, my own voice, whispers a warning to me. The warning is so primal it would wear a bearskin if it had a life of its own.
Don't show the darkness any fear, any weakness.
A familiar neon green beacon, my alarm clock, demands my attention. A quarter past midnight. The glow helps me shake off the drowsy panic. My eyes scan familiar, dark shapes around me—the armoire, the dresser, the doors to my closet and to the hallway, the rumpled down comforter covering my girlfriend.
Despite the need for rest, my eyes won't stay closed. This irritates me. The frustration of not being able to sleep keeps me awake even longer. I can deal with the frustration. But I can't shake this sense of dread.
A dream. Just a weird, stupid dream.
The clock's digits change without remorse, mocking and exasperating me. Twelve forty-seven, eight, nine… Tomorrow won't be good. I risk coming off like a yawning zombie. Twelve fifty-five… I consider pummeling my pillow. My legs swing out of bed instead. The cold of the hardwood floor against my bare feet chases away the last of my drowsiness.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

It has been quite a journey for Mortal Foe. I took a couple of courses with the Long Ridge Writers Group in the mid '00's. Mortal Foe began as a short story I'd written as an assignment, a piece called Popcorn, in which a man and his son run into a paranormal entity at a baseball game. My mentor, author Anne Underwood Grant, suggested it should become a novel. I finished the first draft a year or so later, and spent several months editing. I submitted the manuscript to a few agents and publishers, but the effort was admittedly half-hearted. I wasn't comfortable with the book. Then I posted the novel one chapter at a time at The Next Big Writer, a writer's forum. Author Janet Taylor-Perry read and critiqued every chapter. In 2017, she started her own independent publishing company, Dragon Breath Press. We had stayed in touch after TNBW, and she said she remembered Mortal Foe. I submitted a portion to her, and she said she was interested in publishing the book. And, here we are.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

A young journalism professor tracks a paranormal entity, and veers onto an unexpected and harrowing path.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

I once describe Foe as Christian Baseball Horror. I suppose I could leave it there, but that
description begs its own. I won't write anything that dishonors my Maker. So, though there is sex in the story, it's no stronger than anything in Song of Solomon—a book which, by the way, is pretty intense. And the game of baseball plays a central role, but I was careful not to go so deeply into the intricacies of the game that I would lose readers who aren't lifelong baseball fans.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

Halloween would be the most appropriate holiday. Foe takes place in late October of 1995. The Cleveland Indians have just lost the World Series to the Atlanta Braves. And it's the time of year when, traditionally, people see the last living leaves wither and fall from the branches, and feel the approach of death. There is no Dead of Summer, or Dead of Spring. We don't call it the Dead of Winter for nothing.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

I hadn't thought of a series when writing Foe; I assumed it would be a "one-off." But I've already begun planning a prequel.

What’s next for you?

Granted, these will be out of order, but in addition to planning Foe's prequel, I've begun writing a sequel. The son of one of Foe's major characters is a Cleveland Police officer dealing with racial tensions stoked by another paranormal entity.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Character Interview with Detective Allira Rose from M.T. Ellis' AZRAEL

Our guest character today is Detective Allira Rose from M.T. Ellis' crime thriller, Azrael. Enjoy the interview!

What is your name?

Detective Allira Rose.

What do you look like?

I have dark skin and black hair that is cut into a wavy bob that is a little longer at the front.

You come face to face with your worse enemy. How do you react?

My worst enemies are the murderers I’ve been chasing for months on end. I try and contain myself but I’ve been known to blow my stack and throw an offender down and handcuff them.

You keep a photo album of memories from your lifetime. If you could only keep one photo, which one would that be?

The photo of me in the foyer of the FBI headquarters after completing some training with them.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

I’ve learnt to become a night owl. That’s when most of the murders I get called to happen.

A police officer stops you for a minor violation. What violation is that and how do you react?

I certainly wouldn’t be breaking any laws!

What is your favorite piece of clothing?

Jeans. Smart, casual and you can get things done in them.

Do you have any phobias? What are they and how intense are they? How have they impacted your life?

I don’t like heights or the feeling of falling. It’s not too bad, but I would never skydive or bungee jump.

Open your wallet, purse, or briefcase. What do you find?

A whole bunch of cards and receipts wedged in there.

You move into a new home. What's the first thing you buy for it?

A comfy bed.

How do you feel about mortality?

I’d be fine with being dead but I’m scared of the dying bit.

How would your parents describe you?

Determined and self-motivated. Also a little bossy.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?

Mull over the cases going around my head, trying to solve the last piece of the puzzle.

Who is your best friend?

My partner Detective Calvin Todd. He’s there when I need him and can always cheer me up with a joke.

Are you faith-oriented?


Are you married or in a relationship?

Single. It’s probably for the best. My career as a detective doesn’t leave much time for personal relationships.

Do you have children?

No. I’d like to have kids one day.

You are at the zoo. What is your favorite animal?

A lion. They wait patiently for their prey and catch them unawares.

You just woke up to find that war has been declared. What’s the first thing you would do?

I’d grab my gun and get down to the station. I’m sure I’d be needed to help with the civil unrest that is about to unfold.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A cop. No doubt.

If there was one thing you could change about yourself, what would that be?

I’d want to be faster at solving crimes. That way we’d catch the bad guys before they could attack again.

About the Author

M.T. Ellis is a Brisbane/ Lockyer Valley-based author. Her debut crime thriller, Azrael, won Bronze in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards, Suspense/Thriller Catagory. Her short story, The Ballerina in the Box, was short-listed in the Australian Writers’ Centre Furious Fiction Competition. Two of M.T. Ellis’s stories made it onto a billboard during the Queensland Writers Centre’s 8 Word Story competition.
Her dogs, Opal, Zeus and Matilda, occupy a lot of her time. She would write books about their adventures if she thought people were even half as interested in them as she is.
M.T. Ellis is an Australian Writers’ Centre graduate, freelance writer and journalist. The second novel in her Detective Allira Rose Series will be out on October 1, 2018.
Her latest book is the crime thriller, Azrael.



About the Book:

Author: M.T. Ellis
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 340
Genre: Crime Thriller


Emily thought her ordeal was over after she escaped a brutal kidnapping. She’s wrong. He’s coming for her again.

The body Detective Rose is looking at bears a striking resemblance to Emily, a woman who survived a horrific, sexually motivated abduction five years ago. Her fear is confirmed when Emily goes missing again.

When another woman, Grace, is abducted, Detective Rose finds herself doubting the instincts that tell her the disappearance is the result of intimate partner violence. She connects the cases and recruits Grace’s partner, Ethan, to help in the search. Together they must find Grace and Emily before it’s too late.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Interview with 'Taking Control: Rick's Story' Morgan Malone @mmaloneauthor

Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her judicial robes to write romantic memoir and sexy contemporary romance, which always features silver foxes and the independent women who tame them.

Morgan fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab. She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local hostelries, but look for her most often in independent book stores and the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance, history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she retreats to her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her pleasure and for yours. Remember: love, like wine, gets better with age.

Her recent novel is the contemporary romance, Taking Control: Rick’s Story.



About the Book:

Author: Morgan Malone
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 170
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Summer on the Jersey Shore and all Rick Sheridan wants is some solitude at his beach house. Then he spots a lean, leggy blonde coming out of the surf and his plans are shot to hell. And the dangerous looking knife strapped to her arm tells him this is no damsel in distress. As a not-so retired Marine, at 51, Rick’s learned that nothing is for certain, plans can spin out of control and shit happens.

Wounded and weary from one too many wars, Britt Capshaw thought a summer at the Shore, hanging out in her family’s beach cottage, would help her heal. And figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Out of the military, disillusioned and distrustful of any two-legged male, Britt’s one love is Alex, the yellow Labrador retriever she rescued from Afghanistan.

Rick and Britt are immediately attracted to one another, but after years in combat, they are wary of letting down their guard, of giving up control. The summer heats up and fireworks are flying between them even after the Fourth of July. But, ghosts from their pasts haunt them and finally bring them face to face with some dark secrets that may destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

Can Britt trust Rick with her dangerous past? Will Rick be able to let go of the rigid control he needs to keep Britt and himself safe from more heartbreak? These two brave souls fight against surrendering their hearts and finally finding love. Who will win?



Thanks for this interview, Morgan.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

Thank you so much for letting me join you. I’ve been writing romance for ten years, since I retired from a thirty-year career as a judge and attorney. I write “Seasoned Romance”- my main characters are all over 35 and some are in their forties and fifties. My stories are steamy, contemporary, second chance romances about mature, men and women. I am both traditionally and indie published.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I’m an avid reader – of all genres of romance and I also love spy thrillers! I also love painting with watercolors. The most fun I have these days is chasing my two-year old grandson around – then I take a nap!

Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?

Chapter One
The tang of the salt air hit Rick before he saw or even heard the Atlantic Ocean. He rolled down the window of his battered green Jeep and took a deep, cleansing breath. A calm he hadn’t felt in months began to spread through him—almost, but not quite, reaching his troubled soul. Nine months since he had been down the Shore. Nine months of running away, nine months of searching.
Springsteen was singing about glory days on the radio. Rick sang along for a few bars then abruptly switched off the radio. His glory days were long behind him. Not that any of my days were glory days. Hard to glorify any of the campaigns, missions and damn stupid forays the government had sent him on over the last twenty-five years. Mud, dust, dirt and blood comprised most of his memories. The silence in the Jeep was filled by the crashing of waves and the ocean breeze. Cool air flowed through the window, blowing away the heat and humidity of the July evening, washing some of the bitter regret from Rick’s face. He glanced in the rearview mirror before he put on his turn signal to leave the highway and cut toward the shore. The man who stared back at him looked weary and old. The highlights in his strawberry blond hair appeared golden in the light but he guessed it was probably just more gray hair. His dark tan seemed to emphasize the wrinkles that creased his forehead and fanned out from the corners of his eyes. Years of facing bright sun and fierce winds were embedded in those lines.
Zipping down Long Beach Boulevard, Rick caught a few glimpses of the water between the houses. The moon hung low in the summer sky, casting a glittering path across the waves and brightening the road ahead of him. With a great sigh of relief, Rick turned down First Street, then pulled the dusty Jeep into the sand-covered drive of a three-story house facing the Atlantic. Built into the dune, the garage faced the street; access to the front of the house was up a flight of wooden stairs. Rick swung his long, jean-clad legs out of the Jeep. With dusty cowboy boots planted in the drifting beach sand, he paused for a moment. Home. Reaching into the back seat, he pulled a worn green canvas bag out and slung a leather computer case over his shoulder. Traveling light meant only one trip up the long flight of stairs to the ocean-facing deck. He paused by a loose brick to feel around under it for his spare key. Hmmm, not precisely where I left it the last time. What’s up?

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

The journey has been long and full of detours. Taking Control: Rick’s Story is a sequel to my first full-length romance novel, Out of Control: Kat’s Story. I had not intended to write a sequel to Out of Control; once it was published in 2015, I immediately moved into another, stand-alone, full-length romance. But, Rick, one of Kat’s romantic interests, the one “who got away” kept popping up in my head while I was crafting other heroes. And readers continued to ask me when Rick was going to get his own HEA. The problem was that I could not imagine the woman who could breach Rick’s defenses. My “adopted” son, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, gave me Britt, the heroine of Taking Control, when he told me about an Army nurse who he knew when he served in Kandahar. That led me to a lot of research into women serving in combat. In the meantime, the original publisher of Out of Control went out of business and the rights reverted to me. So, I decided to re-issue Kat’s story (originally titled Katarina: Out of Control) with a new title and a new cover, to be followed by Taking Control: Rick’s Story. Trust me, I made my editor and my cover artist crazy for months!

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Two wounded warriors finally let down their defenses and risk broken hearts and more to find the love that will save them both…and there is a yellow Labrador Retriever.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

It is a contemporary romance about a man who is 51 and a woman who is 42. Most romances today feature main characters in their twenties. Both my hero and heroine are veterans with visible and invisible battle scars. There’s lots of hot romance and some humor, and as I just mentioned, a wonderful yellow Lab who steals every scene he’s in. But, what I love most about Taking Control is how my main characters struggle against the attraction they feel for each and then how they both surrender, gracefully and grudgingly, to love. It took me a long time to figure out how they would overcome the trauma they had suffered in war, the after-effects of which were keeping them apart. Then I discovered an amazing organization virtually in my own backyard: Saratoga WarHorse Foundation. The Foundation matches veterans suffering from PTSD with retired thoroughbred race horses in a unique program that has helped 1000 veterans. Britt’s experience with Saratoga WarHorse provides the pivotal point in my book. I am so grateful for the help with my research that I received from the Foundation and for the incredible work they do with veterans that I am donating 25% of my proceeds from the sale of Taking Control to the Foundation.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

Independence Day. The book opens on the eve of the Fourth of July, the hero’s birthday. Freedom and the price our veterans pay for us to enjoy that freedom is a central theme of Taking Control. My book is definitely a summer on the Shore and end of summer story and I feel summer really begins on the Fourth of July.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

Taking Control: Rick’s Story is the second book in what has become my Love in Control series. Out of Control: Kat’s Story is a stand-alone story and so is Taking Control: Rick’s Story. But, while writing Taking Control, a secondary character who I had not plotted when I outlined the book appeared out of nowhere. I just love him - his name is Mick and he’s Rick’s friend and former comrade-in arms. So, I have to give him his own book. Losing Control: Mick’s Story should be ready for publication in the spring or summer of 2019. And that is how a series is created: the characters in your books just demand it!

What’s next for you?

I also write romantic memoir. My first published book was Cocktales: An After-50 Dating Memoir. I was widowed at 35 and did not date until I turned 50. Cocktales was about my adventures in online dating. I just finished editing the memoir I’ve written about my late husband’s valiant struggle to survive a fatal accident. It’s based on the letters I wrote him each night he was in the hospital. It’s called The Dance and it is the prequel to Cocktales.
And I just started writing Treasure, the first of four books in a series about pirates off the coast of Maine and Florida in the years following the American Revolution. I hope readers will not mind too much that I am veering off from contemporary romance for awhile to give them some sexy pirates who are looking to retire...I’m just bringing seasoned romance to the 1800’s.
Remember: Love, like wine, gets better with age!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

{First Chapter Reveal} Unlawful Desires by Sassy Sinclair

UNLAWFUL DESIRES by Sassy Sinclair, Erotic Suspense, 198 pp., $10.99 (paperback) $3.99 (Kindle)

Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing
Pages: 198
Genre: Erotic Romance

Sparks fly when a handsome lawyer falls hard for a smart, seductive woman who thinks like a man and acts like one too.

Sharla Ratliff is done with having her heart broken. Her new dating rules are simple. No emotion. No expectation of commitment. Sex purely for her own physical enjoyment. Then she meets Marcel Dennard. The attractive lawyer has all the trappings of success: a thriving career, women at his beck and call, and enough money in the bank for the finer things in life.

Their lust for each other doesn’t just create sparks, it sets off explosions. The sexual attraction between them is so passionately erotic they behave in ways that can only be called reckless. After a shocking series of events place both of their careers in jeopardy, can they restrain their sexual desires long enough to keep everything they’ve worked for from going up in smoke?



First Chapter

Sharla Ratliff finally figured it out. The key to protecting her heart turned out to be rather simple: think like a man and act like one too.
All that Steve Harvey crap about not giving up the cookies hadn’t worked out for her. Her last serious boyfriend wasted three years of her life. Five months after dumping her, Paul the Prick married some skank he met at the Starbucks on La Cienega and Centinela.
Every guy after him heaped on more hurt, though in much smaller doses. Sharla blamed her dating disconnections on the overabundance of phony, self-centered, knuckleheads in L.A. After taking herself off the market for an entire year, she was now ready to dip her baby toe back into the dating pool.
At 34, she was determined not to repeat the mistakes of her past. Her new dating rules were simple. No emotion. No expectation of commitment. Sex purely for her own physical pleasure. Guys enjoyed sex for what it was without hopeful thoughts of a relationship or even a call the next day. So would she.
And in just a matter of minutes, Sharla planned to put herself to the test with the man sitting inches away from her.
As Derrick steered his Escalade into her driveway, she leaned over and started massaging the bulge in his lap.
 “Girl, you’re something else.” Derrick’s hand instantly tightened around the steering wheel. “I can’t wait to get with you.”
      Sharla winked. “Good things come to those who wait.”
Derrick’s hazel eyes pinned her with a look so hypnotically lustful Sharla had to bite her lip to choke back a whimper. His titillating gaze would’ve melted the old Sharla right out of her red lace panties. Thank goodness that girl no longer existed.
 “I like kickin’ it with you, Sharla.” Derrick’s voice had a raspy smoothness to it.
“Is that right?” She daintily cocked her head to the right. “Tell me more.”
“All through dinner I kept telling myself how lucky I was to even be in your presence. You’re beautiful. You’re smart as hell. You’re only nine years out of law school and you’re already at the top of your game. You’re every man’s dream.”
Sharla turned to peer out of the passenger window so Derrick wouldn’t see her eyes cross in skepticism.
“I bet you say that to every woman you date,” she teased.
Derrick’s strong fingers squeezed her thigh, just above the knee. “No way. I’ve never met a woman like you before. I swear.”
Normally, Sharla would’ve swatted away a hand landing that close to her goody bag on only the second date. But tonight, New Sharla was in charge.
Not that Sharla discounted everything coming from Derrick’s lips. She was pretty darn amazing. At five-eight, her body was tight and toned from years of competitive-level tennis. She dressed with the flair of a fashion model and enjoyed showing off legs even Beyoncé would envy. Her annual income topped six-figures, she owned her own home, and already had enough cash in her 401K to dump her day job if the desire ever arose. But the legal profession was a big part of her identity. She wouldn’t be giving that up anytime soon.
Derrick cut off the car, then leaned over and pressed lips as soft and sweet as a glazed donut against hers. The man deserved an A-plus in the lip-locking department.
“Let’s go inside.” He threw open the door and jogged around to help her out of his SUV.
Sharla’s feet had barely grazed the ground before Derrick curled his arms around her body like an over-anxious octopus. The firm tube jutting from his mid-section pushed against her stomach.
 They kissed long and slow for several minutes before Derrick pulled away. “We better get inside or your neighbors are going to witness an X-rated show.”
Sharla giggled as he took her hand. When they reached the front door, she handed him her keys. It was important to allow Derrick to be in control. Or at least think he was.
 Her best friend Reese didn’t believe she would be able to go through with this. Sharla wasn’t that kind of girl. She hungered for true love and longed to find her soul mate. But that hadn’t worked out. It was time to try something new.
So here she was about to get laid with no expectations whatsoever. If she never saw Derrick again, so what? At least she would have a night of fun under her belt.
Once they’d entered the house, Derrick pulled her into his arms again. He was much thinner than she liked her men. Although she found him attractive, he wasn’t her kind of attractive. Sharla preferred thick, well-built guys with a manly, not manicured style. Derrick was a pretty boy with light eyes, thin lips, and a shaved head.
For her first attempt at acting like a man, Sharla had intentionally selected a guy she wasn’t physically wild about. That, she assumed, would help keep her emotions in check.
      “I swear I’ve been dreaming about getting with you,” Derrick mumbled, brushing her ear with those cottony-soft lips. “No female has ever got me this horny before.”
Probably because your cute behind never had to wait two weeks to get some.
Sharla made the bold move of calling Derrick the day before and inviting him to spend the night at her place. The man had become so tongue-tied with excitement he could barely form the words to accept her invitation.
Taking Derrick’s hand, Sharla led him down the hallway toward her bedroom. She turned on the crystal lamp on the nightstand and a soft, blue haze bathed the room with a sexy, nightclub ambiance.
Standing on her tiptoes, Sharla whispered into his ear. “Tell me what turns you on. I want to give it to you exactly the way you like it.”
“Damn, baby,” Derrick panted. “Everything. Everything turns me on.”
Sharla set him down at the foot of the bed, then stepped back and did a slow strip tease, sliding the spaghetti straps of her black dress off her shoulders and down her smooth arms. Once her dress, bra and matching red panties lay in a puddle on the floor, she stood with her hands on her hips, allowing Derrick to admire her nakedness.
No matter what her other issues were, body image wasn’t one of them. Her D cups stood as erect as twin doorknobs, hovering over a waist so tiny Derrick could encircle it with both hands. Her proudest attributes, her legs, were as long and sturdy as a prize stallion’s.
“I can’t believe I’m about to get with you,” Derrick muttered as he unbuttoned his shirt and unzipped his pants. Still sitting, he ripped open a condom. His hands moved so fast he had trouble unrolling it and barely got it on.
What? No foreplay?
After a year of celibacy, Sharla deserved a lover with some sensitivity, not to mention skills. He hadn’t even had the decency to ask what she liked. Did he even care about her feelings?
Old Sharla was trying to resurface, but New Sharla fought her off.
Just do it. For once in your life, experience an orgasm with no expectation of anything except fun.
New Sharla was right. She should just go for it. She was about to get busy with a man for whom she felt no emotional connection whatsoever. And that was progress.
Or was it?
Derrick gazed up at her, his tongue wagging like a thirsty German Shepherd. “C’mon, baby. Big Daddy is ready. Bring it on.”
She closed her eyes and tried to psyche herself up just as Old Sharla popped back into her subconscious. Shame on you! You’re acting like a slut.
It wasn’t a good sign that her gift box was as dry as the Sahara Desert.
“C’mere, girl.” Derrick licked his lips as he reached out for her. “I’ve been dying for some of this.”
 The second his fingers grazed her waist, Sharla pushed his hands away and took a giant step backward, out of his reach.
“Um, I—I changed my mind,” she blurted out.
Snatching her dress from the floor, she covered her nakedness with a curtain of regret.
“I’m sorry. I just can’t do this!”


Sassy Sinclair, AKA Pamela Samuels Young, is an attorney and award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers. Unlawful Desires is her first foray into the erotic romantic suspense genre. Her mystery Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction and was a Top Ten pick by In the Margins, the best books for at-risk teens. Her novels #Anybody’s Daughter and #Abuse of Discretion are young adult adaptations of two of her most popular adult mysteries. Prior to embarking on a full-time writing career, Pamela was an associate at O’Melveny & Myers, LLP and Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law at Toyota. A former journalist, she also worked as a television news writer and associate producer for WXYZ-TV in Detroit and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles. Pamela received her bachelor’s degree from USC and earned graduate degrees from Northwestern University and UC Berkeley School of Law. A natural hair enthusiast, Pamela wrote Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide to educate women about the true beauty of their kinky coils. The Compton native is a frequent speaker on the topics of child sex trafficking, teen sexting, self-empowerment, independent publishing and fiction writing.