Behind the Book: Naming a World

In my new double header Saviors I decided to start from scratch. As in, really scratch. Let’s build a city from nothing, a location that can be anything I want it to be, shaped to fit the stories rather than the other way around. Go back to day one, when the city was founded a thousand years ago, and then pick forward through history, marking all the changes such a place would make on the world around it. Small, sometimes curious, sometimes unexpected, differences that shape its culture. Among the clearest signs of a location’s history are names, both of people and places, and that brings all the joy of picking them. As a crime writer I was...

INTERVIEW WITH MAISEY YATES

Cowboy to the Core and Lone Wolf Cowboy by Maisey Yates are the latest in the “Gold Valley series.”  What these novels have in common, a Yates specialty, is showing how individuals make their own choices and can choose love over being broken. Both books delve into the lives of the Dalton brothers and how their father’s imperfection affected them regarding relationships. Jamie Dodge is the heroine in Cowboy to the Core. She is the only girl in a male dominated life. During delivery, her mother dies leaving Jamie, her brothers, and father to be without a mother and wife. No one ever made her feel that it was her fault but she is guilt ridden....

INTERVIEW WITH JOSHILYN JACKSON

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson is an entertaining tale of betrayal, deception, temptation, and love. Although the story starts out a bit slowly, after the third chapter it takes off and soars, never descending.  With secrets, lies, betrayals, and the sins of someone’s youth, Jackson pits two women against each other.  It begins when a new neighbor, Angelica Roux, invites herself to a book club. She takes over the book club and shifts the focus to playing a scandalous version of “Never Have I Ever,” a game of spilling secrets after drinking too much. Some think the game is fun, some refuse to play and leave, while...

INTERVIEW WITH JACK CARR

True Believer by Jack Carr begins where the first in the series, The Terminal List, left off. Former Navy SEAL James Reece still has his skills, cunningness, and unfortunately his brain tumor. The question throughout the first half of the book, what is he going to do with his life, while the last half is where the action ratchets up. While sailing across the Atlantic, Reece undergoes an introspection of his life. He reflects on how he is now America’s most wanted domestic terrorist because he sought revenge on those in the US government who cost him everything he loved and cared about: his wife, their daughter, his teammates, and his...

GOLDIN’S GOLDENS

Sometimes, when I terrify myself writing murder scenes in my dark, creaking house in the middle of the night, I have to give the lab puppy by my side a little pat. I’ve adored labs and their golden retriever cousins since I puppy-raised Jiny, a Golden Retrieve/Labrador cross. Jiny was bred to be a guide dog for the blind. I puppy raised Jiny from the time that she was 8 weeks old. I am still recovering! As anyone who has ever had a Labrador puppy knows, they eat everything. And I do mean everything. I couldn’t leave books lying around the house as Jiny would eat them. Quite literally. I’d leave a book on the sofa or on a...

BOOK REVIEW OF SMOKE SCREEN BY IRIS JOHANSEN

Smoke Screen (Eve Duncan Book 26) Iris Johansen Grand Central Publishing 7/30/19 Smoke Screen by Iris Johansen brings to life a realistic page-turner. Readers will be reminded of the genocide in Rwanda through some of the descriptions in this plot. Women empowerment are always a part of the stories that Johansen writes.  “I like writing strong women.  In this one I had a bunch of them.  They showed the world what they could do.  One quality they all had in common was independence.  They are talented and bad ass.  I think they complement each other and their male counterparts.” The plot begins with Journalist...