Thursday, October 20, 2016

One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America's First Witch Hanging Book Blast!

About the Book:

Title: One of Windsor: The Untold Story of America’s First Witch Hanging
Author:  Beth M. Caruso
Publisher: Ladyslipper Press
Pages: 358
Genre:  Historical Fiction

Alice, a young woman prone to intuitive insights and loyalty to the only family she has ever known, leaves England for the rigid colony of the Massachusetts Bay in 1635 in hopes of reuniting with them again. Finally settling in Windsor, Connecticut, she encounters the rich American wilderness and its inhabitants, her own healing abilities, and the blinding fears of Puritan leaders which collide and set the stage for America's first witch hanging, her own, on May 26, 1647. 
This event and Alice's ties to her beloved family are catalysts that influence Connecticut's Governor John Winthrop Jr. to halt witchcraft hangings in much later years. Paradoxically, these same ties and the memory of the incidents that led to her accusation become a secret and destructive force behind Cotton Mather's written commentary on the Salem witch trials of 1692, provoking further witchcraft hysteria in Massachusetts forty-five years after her death.   
The author uses extensive historical research combined with literary inventions, to bring forth a shocking and passionate narrative theory explaining this tragic and important episode in American history. 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:


The infant was soon to enter the world. Alsie’s increased labor pains and a sudden wave of panic made a swift announcement of her baby’s imminent arrival. Gwendolyn, the midwife, motioned with a wise smile and nod to Alsie’s cousin. Mrs. Mary Merwin Tinker and her daughters were to make the final preparations for the newborn. The lines embedded under Gwendolyn’s eyes, eyes still bright after many years of life, were a testament to her wisdom and experience.
“Girls. It’s time. Quickly...Sarah, bring the rest of Gwendolyn’s supplies to the bedside table. She’ll need the string and knives shortly. Little Mary, come and support Alsie’s back. You too, Ellen. Assist Mary. Margaret, make sure the linens are warmed and everything else is ready for the babe! We must all give our support to cousin now,” spoke Mrs. Mary Tinker, their mother.
“Yes ma’am,” they replied in unison as some sisters hurried about making sure everything was in place for the birth, and the remaining sisters stayed at Alsie’s side to comfort her.
Despite the excitement inside, a branch softly and hypnotically continued to hit the leaded glass window of the thatched cottage in a steady cadence. Alsie had already been in a trance for the past hour, the trance a woman’s body and soul become held in toward the end of labor. 

About the Author

Beth M. Caruso grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and spent her childhood writing puppet shows and witches’ cookbooks. She became interested in French Literature and Hispanic Studies, receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cincinnati. She later obtained Masters degrees in Nursing and Public Health.
Working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, she helped to improve the public health of local Karen hill tribes. She also had the privilege to care for hundreds of babies and their mothers as a labor and delivery nurse. 
Largely influenced by an apprenticeship with herbalist and wildcrafter, Will Endres, in North Carolina, she surrounds herself with plants through gardening and native species conservation.
Her latest passion is to discover and convey important stories of women in American history. One of Windsor is her debut novel. She lives in New England with her awesome husband, amazing children, loyal puppy, and cuddly cats. .  



Sunday, October 16, 2016

Book Review: ‘The Stranger’ by Anna del Mar

the-stranger-final-coverThe Stranger is the second book in Anna del Mar’s Wounded Warrior series. However, each book is standalone with new, different characters.
Having read the first book, The Asset, all I can say is that The Stranger is another tour de force from del Mar. Once again, she delivers an addictive romantic suspense read with a compelling, emotionally charged plot and engaging, likable characters whom you will root for—not to mention an explosive, passionate love story filled with dangerous twists and turns.
Treacherous circumstances related to the fact that her sister has gone missing bring sassy, hot-tempered architect Summer Silva to the Alaskan wilderness, only to end up freezing and stranded in the middle of a fast-approaching snowstorm.
Enters former military pilot Alaskan native Seth Erickson, who happens to be passing by in his truck on his way to his cabin when he spots Summer and comes to the rescue. However, it isn’t that easy. From the minute our alpha hero speaks with her, he becomes suspicious of her presence there, and quickly assumes she’s been sent there to spy on his family business. But he’s found a match in Summer, for she’s as quick to deliver comebacks as he is…and as quick to surprise him, too. That same night, as a result of her rare “condition,” Seth ends up having more than he bargains for. Soon after, Summer discovers that someone is trying to murder her.
The Alaskan wilderness, a cold-blooded killer on the loose, and murder bring them together, but they will need to trust each other if they want to get of this alive, something that doesn’t come easy for either of them.
This was a fabulous fast-paced read, simply addictive. Sexy, with a touch of darkness, and humor to boot! But the best are the strong, sympathetic, multi-dimensional protagonists and the way their love evolves. If you haven’t discovered Anna del Mar’s books yet, you’re missing something.
Cover art published with permission from the author. 
Originally published in Blogcritics.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Book Cover Junkie Interviews Suspense Author Gabriel Valjan

Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing as well as numerous short stories,. Born and raised in New Jersey, his education took him from California to northern England, with time spent in several European countries. Gabriel has worked in diverse fields such as consulting, engineering, information technology, and healthcare. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.

·       Twitter: @Gvaljan
·       Facebook:

Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

Bianca, a forensic accountant on the run from her former employer, is back in Boston. She is there to help an old friend who suggests that Rendition is involved in a murder. Bianca will find misdirection and confront her nemesis, while befriending a new ally, who forces her to face unresolved emotional issues. Corporate Citizen, the fifth book in my series, will unveil major revelations for readers of the Roma Series.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?

Winter Goose Publishing is an indie press. WGP and the writer work together on editing and cover art design. Before I hand WGP my manuscript I have two friends, Dean Hunt, who does copy-editing and proofing, and Claudio Ferrara, a native Italian does cultural editing. Editing is a very different process for me because I already know the story, but I have to revisit the text as if I were a different person. Challenging.

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing the story, or did it come later?

The term ‘corporate citizen’ is a new term that ascribes personhood to a company, which means that a company has a social obligation to the community in which it resides, and an employee is a representative of the company. Inherent to the description is an idea that a company has an objective other than profit. Idealistic? Realistic? I don’t know, but I find the practices of some transnational corporations troubling. I began Corporate Citizen with the title in place. The novel deals with a changing of the guard. Bianca has to make a choice.

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?

In my experience, every corporation has a ‘look and feel.’ I guess the proper term is ‘brand.’ I’ve also heard the word ‘culture’ used to describe the workplace. When it came to designing the cover, I thought of bees because worker bees literally work themselves to death for the sake of the hive. Hence, there are honeycombs on the cover. The color blue always seemed to me to be an executive color. The background map of Boston is a recurring image from the cover art for Wasp’s Nest (Book 2). Corporate Citizen is Bianca’s second visit to the city.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?

Winter Goose Publishing has its own designer, so I didn’t need to hunt for one.

How was your experience working with the designer?

Positive. There were exchanges for minor tweaks on font size and choice, but overall the creative process and collaboration has been smooth for all my Roma Series books. Corporate Citizen is Book Five.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

Readers of the ARC liked the shade of blue and the cool (as in cold) appearance of the cover. I have also received compliments on the paper quality and the choice of font, which combine well for readability.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?

Spend the time and effort to find a graphic designer. Look to art schools and ‘word of mouth’. Ask to see a portfolio. I know that there are vendors who have premade cover art, but strive for something original that represents you and your story. If you are doing a series, then think about a set palette of colors, consistent font for both the cover and the inside of the book because each book should be instantly recognizable. Think of the artwork for Hunger Games. Wouldn’t you recognize the color scheme and the Mockingjay image from across the room?

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?

I realized after writing the novel that going forward that it will be hard for me to write the Roma Series as stand-alone books now because of the major revelations in Corporate Citizen.
Please visit Winter Goose Publishing’s website and sign up for their newsletter and you’ll receive a free novella that I wrote. Throughout the year, I will be providing Winter Goose with a novella about one of the Italian characters in the Roma Series. Each story visits a different part of Italy and predates Roma, Underground.

Book Feature: Sick to Death by Greg Levin


Inside the Book:

Title: Sick to Death Author: Greg Levin
Release Date: September 3, 2016
Publisher: White Rock Press
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Dark Humor
Format: Ebook/Paperback


When Gage Adder finds out he has inoperable pancreatic cancer, things really start to look up for him. He leaves his soul-crushing job, joins a nice terminal illness support group, and takes up an exciting new hobby: Beating the hell out of bad guys.

Gage’s support group friends Jenna and Ellison don’t approve of his vigilante activities. Jenna says fighting never solves anything. Poison, on the other hand… When the three decide to team up and hit the streets, suddenly no rapist, pedophile or other odious criminal in the city is safe.

They are the sickest of superheroes. Their superpower is nothing left to lose. But what happens when one of them takes this power too far and puts at risk the lives of hundreds of innocent people? Where does one draw the line when dying to kill?

Meet the Author:

Greg Levin is an award-winning author of dark comedic fiction.

Greg's first novel… meh, nobody but Greg really cares about his first novel.

His second novel, The Exit Man, was optioned by HBO for development into a TV series and won a 2015 Independent Publishers Award (a.k.a., an “IPPY”), earning a silver medal for Best Adult Fiction Ebook.

Greg’s third novel, Sick to Death, is out now and is being hailed by critics everywhere as one of the top three books he has ever written. Author Craig Clevenger (The Contortionist’s Handbook)calls Sick to Death “a tour de force dark comedy.”

Greg resides with his wife, daughter and two cats in Austin, Texas, where he reportedly is wanted by local authorities for refusing to say “y’all” or do the two-step. He is currently working on his fourth novel.

Visit him at



Tour Schedule

 Monday, September 26 - Book featured at The Dark Phantom
Tuesday, September 27 - Book featured at Books, Dreams, Life
Wednesday, September 28 - Guest blogging at What Is That Book About
Thursday, September 29 - Book featured at CBY Book Club
Friday, September 30 - Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Monday, October 3 - Book featured at My Bookish Pleasures
Wednesday, October 5 - Book featured at Write and Take Flight
Monday, October 10 - Book reviewed at My Book Addiction and More
Wednesday, October 12 - Book featured at Book Cover Junkie
Monday, October 17 - Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Wednesday, October 19 - Book featured at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic
Thursday, October 20 - Interviewed at Literarily Speaking
Monday, October 24 - Book featured at Mello and June
Wednesday, October 26 - Book featured at Bound 2 Escape
Thursday, October 27 - Book reviewed at Natural Bri
Friday, October 28 - Book reviewed at Fundinmental
Monday, October 31 - Book reviewed at Falling Over Book Reviews

Monday, October 10, 2016

Cover Talk with 'Friend of the Devil' Mark Spivak

Title: Friend of the Devil
Author: Mark Spivak
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Pages: 325
Genre: Culinary Thriller

In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, sold his soul to the Devil to achieve culinary greatness. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

For More Information


Mark Spivak Talks Book Covers

I was fortunate that my publisher, Black Opal Books, gave me the option of designing my own cover---normally, publishers just do it and writers have little or no input. A friend of mine owns the Venue Marketing Group in West Palm Beach, and she offered to do it. We worked with her designers until we got the final version, which I think is eye-catching and arresting. It took about three tries to get it right. Initially they gave me four different versions; my wife and I whittled it down to one, and then we started refining it.

From the beginning, I knew more or less what I wanted. Friend of the Devil tells the story of America’s most celebrated chef, who has cut a deal with the Devil for fame and fortune. I can’t remember if I gave them the idea of the chef’s silhouette coming out as Satan, or if they came up with that on their own; either way, I think it conveyed the essence of the novel. They added the wine bottle in the title, as well as the blood spatter in the corner. Overall, I’m really happy with the way it turned out. Book publishing is an intensely competitive business today, and it’s important to convey to prospective readers that your book is exciting, dramatic and special.


About the Author

Mark Spivak is an award-winning author, specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants, and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 he has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the Food Editor for Palm Beach Illustrated; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog on His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. From 1999-2011 Spivak hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.

Spivak is the author of two non-fiction books:  Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). Friend of the Devil is his first novel. He is currently working on a political thriller set during the invasion of Iraq.

For More Information

Friday, October 7, 2016

Book Feature: Black Jade by Kylie Chan


Inside the Book:

Title: Black Jade
Author: Kylie Chan
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Paranormal
Format: Ebook/Paperback

From the international bestselling author of The Dark Heavens and Journey to Wudang series..

The Heavenly defenses struggle to hold against the combined might of the Eastern and Western demon hordes. The God of War Xuan Wu is now at full strength -- but is his might enough to safeguard the realm when half the Heavens are already in their hands? John and Emma fight a last-ditch desperate struggle to conserve their kingdom and their protect their families.

But will the kingdom ever be the same again?    

Meet the Author:

Kylie Chan married a Hong Kong national in a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony in Eastern China, lived in Australia for ten years, then moved to Hong Kong for ten years and during that time learnt a great deal about Chinese culture and came to appreciate the customs and way of life.

In 2003 she closed down her successful IT consultancy company in Hong Kong and moved back to Australia.  She decided to use her knowledge of Chinese mythology, culture, and martial arts to weave a story that would appeal to a wide audience.

Since returning to Australia, Kylie has studied Kung Fu (Wing Chun and Southern Chow Clan styles) as well as Tai Chi and is now a senior belt in both forms.  She has also made an intensive study of Buddhist and Taoist philosophy and has brought all of these together into her storytelling.

Kylie is a mother of two who lives in Brisbane.

Visit her at


Tour Schedule

 Monday, September 26 - Book featured at Books, Dreams, Life
Book featured at 3 Partners in Shopping
Tuesday, September 27 - Guest blogging at Centeno Books
Wednesday, September 28 - Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Thursday, September 29 - Book featured at A Title Wave
Friday, September 30 - Book featured at Bound 2 Escape
Monday, October 3 - Book featured at CBY Book Club
Tuesday, October 4 - Guest blogging at Voodoo Princess
Wednesday, October 5 - Interviewed at The Writer's Life
Thursday, October 6 - Guest blogging at The Dark Phantom
Friday, October 7 - Book featured at Book Cover Junkie
Monday, October 10 - Book featured at Mello and June
Tuesday, October 11 - Book featured at The Hype and the Hoopla
Wednesday, October 12 - Guest blogging at Tien's Blurb
Thursday, October 13 - Book featured at My Bookish Pleasures
Friday, October 14 - Book featured at The Review From Here
Monday, October 17 - Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight
Tuesday, October 18 - Interviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt
Wednesday, October 19 - Book featured at Harmonious Publicity
Thursday, October 20 - Book featured at Celticlady's Reviews
Friday, October 21 - Guest blogging at Tez Says
Guest blogging at Curling Up By the Fire
Guest blogging at Centeno Books

Book Cover Junkie with Sally Fernandez, author of CLIMATIZED

As with all my book covers, I conjure up my vision, pulling from the storyline. Happily, I never received any pushback from David Dunham, my publisher, and he assigns the project to one of the designers in his stable. I have to admit all my covers are amazing and that is a credit to his team at Dunham Books. However, the cover design for Climatized took an interesting twist. David, who is based out of Nashville, was familiar with an amazing country music artist by the name of Mary Sue Englund, who is also a talented graphic designer, when not touring with Pam Tillis. So David organized a conference call with Mary Sue for us to discuss the cover. This was the first time I spoke directly to the designer. Ironically, minutes before the arranged meeting, my husband, who is also my editor walked into my office with a sketch of an iceberg—on my computer screen was a photo of an iceberg—then the call came through.

I described to Mary Sue the storyline: a fast-paced murder mystery that uncovers the real causes behind global warming and what the world can expect in the future. Of course, there was a bit more detail as I waxed on, displaying my vivid imagination. Then, within a matter of days, Mary Sue presented me with four distinctively different designs. One cover was dark with rain pouring down, another with a scorched earth and a city skyline in the background, the third was an ice flow breaking apart, and the forth is the one you see today. Each cover was amazing in its own right, but I got my iceberg. The only change I made was to darken the sky to make the cover seem more ominous. 


Genre: Thriller
Author: Sally Fernandez
Publisher: Dunham Books
Purchase on Amazon

About the Book:

She’s been an analyst, a spy, an investigator, and the deputy director of the States Intelligence Agency. After resigning her post at the SIA, Max Ford formally declares her independence when she bursts onto the Washington DC scene as a private investigator. While her new incarnation as PI indulges her penchant for sleuthing, her style remains unchanged. Seems Max is still brash, tenacious, tough—and unwilling to bow down to anyone, including elite and powerful politicians. Right out of the starting gate, Max finds herself embroiled in an unseemly web of mystery, murder andintrigue. When Senator Sherman Spark, a prominent Republican from Florida, is found dead in Lincoln Park, the police quickly rule the death a suicide. But Isabelle Spark, the late Senator’s wife, isn’t buying it and hires Max to prove there is something more sinister at work. Max quickly finds suspicious circumstances surrounding the Senator: two world-renowned scientists died days before they were scheduled to testify before the late Senator’s investigative committee on climate change initiatives. But when she realizes the connection to global warming, big money, deceit, and treachery, Max’s investigation accelerates in a most dangerous way.  No sooner than Max starts to unravel the mystery, a third scientist dies under questionable circumstances. Then a fourth scientist goes missing—and this missing scientist could be the key to unearthing the motives behind the deaths. Against the backdrop of a ticking clock, Max and her partner, Jackson Monroe, launch a pulse-quickening quest to find the missing scientist, and find the truth. This twisty, circuitous path leads them to the powerful organization behind the killings.  But Max Ford might find herself on the wrong side of a lot of powerful people, because what she discovers could have devastating, worldwide implications. And when that evidence is presented to the president, he will be forced to make a crucial decision:  cover up a diabolical plot, or bring down a multi-trillion-dollar worldwide economy…

Suspenseful, spellbinding and sensational, Climatized delivers red-hot action, a sizzling storyline, and a scorcher of a plot.   Briskly paced, steeped in facts, and resplendent with political intrigue,Climatized is an extraordinary—and extraordinarily provocative—thriller.  Sally Fernandez turns upthe heat in Climatized, a tale that will leave readers breathless.

About the Author:

Sally Fernandez is a world traveler and political junkie with a vivid imagination. She and her husband divide their time between their homes in Florida and in Florence, Italy.