December 9 2013

Hightower, Babs: Public Relations for Authors, Taking Hold of Your Own Promotions

PR for Authors cover


Print Length: 29 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Publisher: Babs Hightower (October 22, 2013)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.


Getting help to promote your book just got easier. Public Relations for Authors Take Hold of Your Own Promotions will help you locate that special publicist who will help you promote your book the right way. A Publicity Director for two publishers Babs brings knowledge to this book.

Public Relations teaches you why you need a publicist and how to find the right one for you. To understand what you need she covers:

  • How publicity can help sell books
  • What you need to know about publicity
  • Writing Pitches
  • Media Kits
  • Press Releases
  • Where to find a PR agent
  • What to send to your PR agent




The knowledge shared by Babs Hightower really shines in this book. Her lengthy resume in the field of Public Relations began in 2000 when she began helping authors. She own Babs Book Bistro – a book review blog, worked her way up to Public Relations Director over the Scandalous Imprint of Entangled Publishing and is also the publicist for World Castle Publishing.


Ms. Hightower’s insider knowledge of how and when a publicist and public relations is needed comes from working within the public relations community for a number of years . . . and Babs is also a published author herself!


Had Public Relations for Authors been available [to me] when I first began blogging and promotion authors on social media, nearly two years ago, my leisure pursuit of blogging would have been much easier!


Babs answers questions beginning with how public relations works in bookselling and also lays out a basic publicity plan and media kit. She emphasizes throughout her book the obvious fact that “Books do not sell themselves; they need help and a push.” Surprisingly, Babs also stresses that during book tours, when you are asked to provide something as a giveaway, “DO NOT give away your book for the prize. You want people to buy your book, not give it away for free.”


I know I will be keeping this gem nearby as a public relations guideline that will help me in my wanderings to assist authors getting public attention for their latest writing endeavor.


~Patricia, Room With Books~© December 9, 2013



About the author:

Babs HightowerBabs Hightower has been helping authors since 2000. She owns a book review blog Babs Book Bistro which got her started in PR and helping authors promote themselves. In 2012 she started working for Entangled Publishing and worked her way up to Publicity Director of the Scandalous Imprint. She is also the publicist for World Castle Publishing. She is also known as Morgan Kincaid writer of Historical Romance.

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December 9 2013

Poirier, Solange: Catch, Assassins #1

Catch - SolangePoirier - TourBanner

Welcome to my stop for the Catch blog tour,

organized by Grapevine Book Tours.

About the Book


by Solange Poirier

Series: Assassins #1

Publication: September 12th, 2013

Category: Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance


Catch - SolangePoirier - CoverSometimes, being in the wrong place at the wrong time is where you need to be for the good things in life to fall into place.

Max Brady is a 25 year old, fresh out of college, ambitious woman that doesn’t take crap from anyone, and often uses men before tiring and disposing of them. She’s landed her dream job at the internet search engine company Fiddle. Unfortunately, she is stuck working as an assistant to the company’s CEO, but she’s hopeful that if she plays nice, one day she’ll be promoted.

Catch is an assassin. He’s been working this job for twelve years and now with his family taken care of he is ready to retire. All he wants to do is complete his last assignment, collect his large sum of cash, and then disappear to a nice, quiet place in another country.

When Max makes the huge mistake of sleeping with her boss, she decides to copy some files from his computer to hold as leverage in the event that he may try to fire her. Little does she know, the files hold secrets that can take down her boss and the entire Fiddle company.

That decision changes the course of both of their lives.

Catch is hired to kidnap and kill Max, but instead he chooses to save her life. They go on the run as he tries to formulate a plan to remove the hit on Max, because he believes that she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. As they spend more time together, Catch’s motivation for saving her life changes with his realization that if anything happens to Max he may be unable to live without her.



3D 5 Gold StarsCatch, by Solange Poirier is one of the most exhilarating books I’ve read in quite some time. Ms. Poirier has classified it as an adult, contemporary romance, but I would definitely change that to romantic suspense or thriller!

Catch has been hired to carry out a kidnapping and, ultimately, an assassination. But there is something about her that draws him in. He never allows himself to connect to his targets, but this once, he has no choice.

Max, or Blaze as he calls her, is the mark. She has no idea why she is being targeted, unless it’s the conversation she overheard at work when she was standing outside her boss’s office.

Together they go on the run as she tries to figure out what she knows and he tries to figure out a way to keep her alive.

These characters are strong and well written. The plot of this book is very unpredictable and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I will be eagerly awaiting the next installment of Solange Poirier’s Assassins. But in the mean time, I highly recommend you read this book!

~Patricia, Room With Books~© December 9, 2013

About the Author

Author bio:

SolangePoirierSolange Poirier is married and lives in southern Louisiana. She have the utmost privilege of being the mom to a 6-year-old and a 2-year-old. They test her sanity on a daily basis. She loves to read and write. She also loves dogs, cats, flowers, wine, dirty martinis, chocolate, sushi, family, friends, tattooed men, rock music, rock stars, laughing, video games, horror films, and the list could go on and on.

She writes because she loves to create characters and make stuff up. She just hopes that the readers enjoy her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.


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Prize: One (1) $20 Amazon/B&N gift card {INT}

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End date: December 29th, 2013

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December 6 2013

Harper, Paulette: Living Separate Lives

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Living Separate Lives

by Paulette Harper

Genre: Christian Fiction, Novella

Publisher: Thy Word Publishing (November 10, 2013)

Hosted by: WLN Book Tours:



Living_Separate_Lives_FINAL frontFour Friends, One Secret and The Weekend That Changed Their Destiny

Candace Walker, Kaylan Smith, Jordan Tate, and Tiffany Thomas have their share of sorrows, but neither of them realizes how deep the sorrow goes.  What happens when they agree to meet for a weekend of relaxation in beautiful Napa County? Which one will leave the same or worse?

For Candace Walker, life has left her battered and bruised.  Kaylan Smith has struggled with prejudice from her in-laws. After fifteen years of marriage, bitterness is trying to raise its ugly head for Jordan Tate, whose husband wants to call it quits. And for Tiffany Thomas, dealing with rejection has never been one of her greatest feats.

Although they have been friends for years, they thought they knew each other well. But will a secret destroy their relationship and bring the sisterhood to a complete halt? Will they be able to forgive and allow God to mend that which might be torn?





Unfaithfulness, dishonesty, shame . . .


The lessons learned from this beautifully written novella, Living Separate Lives, by Paulette Harper, are lessons I struggle to live in my own life.


Love and forgiveness are the lessons taught by my Savior, Jesus Christ, and are lessons I read about every day. They are the lessons that are taught from the pulpit of the church I attend and by the pastor I admire.


To be able to live a life love and forgiveness is shown so eloquently by the characters in Paulette Harper’s, Living Separate Lives.

3D 5 Gold Stars

~Patricia, Room With Books~ © December 6, 2013


About The Author:

Author picPaulette Harper is an award-winning and best-selling author. She is the owner of Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours and is passionate about helping authors succeed in publishing and marketing their books. Paulette has been writing and publishing books since 2008.  Paulette is the author of That Was Then, This is Now, Completely Whole and The Sanctuary. Her articles have appeared on-line and in print.

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December 2 2013

Sloate, Susan & Finn, Kevin: Forward to Camelot

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Forward to Camelot

by Susan Sloate and Kevin Finn


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On the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination comes a new edition of the extraordinary time-travel thriller first published in 2003 with a new Afterword from the authors.

On November 22, 1963, just hours after President Kennedy’s assassination, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President aboard Air Force One using JFK’s own Bible. Immediately afterward, the Bible disappeared. It has never been recovered. Today, its value would be beyond price.

In the year 2000, actress Cady Cuyler is recruited to return to 1963 for this Bible—while also discovering why her father disappeared in the same city, on the same tragic day. Finding frightening links between them will lead Cady to a far more perilous mission: to somehow prevent the President’s murder, with one unlikely ally: an ex-Marine named Lee Harvey Oswald.

Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition brings together an unlikely trio: a gallant president, the young patriot who risks his own life to save him, and the woman who knows their future, who is desperate to save them both.

History CAN be altered …

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It was a famous photograph, one I’d seen many times. In the center of the photograph was a tall, burly man, with thinning hair slicked back, a large face, big flappy ears, right hand raised piously, facing a small brisk woman with dark hair and glasses. On the man’s right, crowded next to him, seeming crushed by his vitality, was another small dark woman, her face blank with conflicting emotions.

But the man, for all his bulk and heartiness, was not the magnetic force in the photograph. The woman on his left was. Younger than anyone else, with dark glossy hair, in a bulky light suit, her profile regal even in her anguish, blood spattering her clothes, she stood watching sightlessly. Her beauty and grief drew all eyes. Her pain was almost visible on the photo itself.

“This is the swearing in of Lyndon Johnson as president on Air Force One in Dallas, on November 22, 1963. His wife is on his right. Jacqueline Kennedy stands on his left. Sarah Hughes is the judge administering the oath. John F. Kennedy had been assassinated only a couple of hours before.”

“I know the photograph, George.”

“Good for you. Look here.” He pointed carefully at the almost invisible edges of the book under Johnson’s massive hand. “Johnson, of course, needed to be sworn on a Bible.  Here it is, being held by Mrs. Hughes.”

“You want the Bible Johnson took the oath on?”

“I do. That Bible belonged to President Kennedy.”

I looked up in surprise. “It was Kennedy’s Bible? I didn’t know that.”

“It was the only Bible on Air Force One. Kennedy supposedly traveled everywhere with it. When they were scrambling to find a Bible—Johnson insisted on taking the oath before he left Dallas—they remembered Kennedy’s Bible and used that.”

“Well, can’t you buy the Bible from the Kennedy family? Even though I can’t imagine they’d give it up.”

“Well, now, that’s a problem. The Bible disappeared right after this picture was taken.”

I hated to admit it, but that intrigued me. It was getting harder to remember that I’d just lost my job a few hours before. “How could it disappear?”

“Well, the story goes that Sarah Hughes actually had it in her hands when she left Air Force One in Dallas. You have to understand—that day, the whole country was in a state of shock, and people did crazy things without realizing it, half the time. Coming down the ramp, Mrs. Hughes met a man dressed in a suit and tie and sunglasses, a man she believed to be a Secret Service agent. He asked her for the Bible. I don’t think she even realized she still had it in her hand. She gave it to him immediately; she thought he would return it to the Kennedy family.”

He paused. I was riveted. “At least, that’s what she said. But the Bible disappeared that day and was never seen again.” George paused again and gave me a devilish grin. “JFK’s own Bible, used to swear in Lyndon Johnson on Air Force One… what do you think an item like that would be worth?”

I shook my head. I couldn’t imagine.

“Nobody can,” he said softly. “Do you understand now? As a piece of history, part of one of the twentieth-century’s most pivotal events… that Bible would be beyond price. And I intend to have it.”

“You want me to find the Bible?”

“Not exactly. I know where it was on November 22, 1963. Sarah Hughes had it at Love Field.”

“Well, a fat lot of good that’s going to do!” I exclaimed. “Unless you’re somehow going to travel back in time and pick it up—”

 “I’m not,” George said reasonably. “You are.”

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I’ve spent years fascinated by President John F. Kennedy, his time in office and his death, supposedly at the hands of Lee Harvey Oswald. My father and I spent hours reading about his history and discussing the infinite possibilities of what may have really happened that fateful November day in 1963 when this country lost its most beloved President. Now, I have had the opportunity to see, close up and through seemingly first-hand accounts, exactly what was planned and how, by changing just one moment in history, one changes the outcome of an entire nation.


Forward to Camelot is a fascinating tale of time travel that takes us back to November of 1963, several days before President Kennedy was assassinated. It is an account of the journey taken by Catherine “Cady” Cuyler, her meeting with her parents, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and President and Mrs. Kennedy. Through her time travel, Cady is tasked with only one assignment, retrieving President Kennedy’s Bible, ultimately used by Lyndon B. Johnson for his swearing in as the 36th President of the United States of America.


The characters written into the life and times of President and Mrs. Kennedy are so rich and filled with life that they, and this story, became incredibly real in my mind. This feeling was enriched by the fact that I was actually in Dallas on November 22, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.


Ms. Sloate and Mr. Finn spent an inordinate amount of time and effort in researching the assassination of President Kennedy and the 1960’s. The sounds, the feel, the sights painted by their words in Forward to Camelot are amazingly real. They are an extraordinarily talented writing duo, and I highly recommend Forward to Camelot to any person taken with the would haves, should haves and could haves of November 22, 1963.


~Patricia, Room With Books~ © 2013

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

MEDIA KIT Susan_SloateSUSAN SLOATE is the author of 20 previous books, including the recent bestseller Stealing Fire and Realizing You (with Ron Doades), for which she invented a new genre: the self-help novel. The original 2003 edition of Forward to Camelot became a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in three literary competitions and was optioned by a Hollywood company for film production.

Susan has also written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including the children’s biography Ray Charles: Find Another Way!, which won the silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Awards. Mysteries Unwrapped: The Secrets of Alcatraz led to her 2009 appearance on the TV series MysteryQuest on The History Channel. Amelia Earhart: Challenging the Skies is a perennial young-adult Amazon bestseller. She has also been a sportswriter and a screenwriter, managed two recent political campaigns and founded an author’s festival in her hometown outside Charleston, SC.

MEDIA KIT Kevin_FinnAfter beginning his career as a television news and sports writer-producer, KEVIN FINN moved on to screenwriting and has authored more than a dozen screenplays. He is a freelance script analyst and has worked for the prestigious American Film Institute Writer’s Workshop Program. He now produces promotional trailers, independent film projects including the 2012 documentary SETTING THE STAGE: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE, and local content for Princeton Community Television.

His next novel, Banners Over Brooklyn, will be released in 2014.

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For updates and more information about

Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition,

please visit

November 18 2013

Clark, Carlyle: The Black Song Inside

The Black Song Inside Button 300 x 225Atticus Wynn and Rosemary Sanchez, newly engaged private investigators, have seen the dark and violent side of life. Nothing, though, has prepared them for an explosive murder investigation that threatens to tear their relationship apart as they struggle to solve a case that could leave them in prison or dead.

Atticus’s manipulative ex-girlfriend bursts back into their lives wielding a secret about Rosemary’s family that she exploits to force the couple into investigating the execution-style slaying of her lover. The case thrusts Atticus and Rosemary headlong into the world of human trafficking and drug smuggling, while rendering them pawns in Tijuana Cartel captain Armando Villanueva’s bloody bid to take over the cartel.

The Black Song Inside is a vivid crime thriller rife with murder and madness, melded with gallows humor and the heroism of two flawed and compelling protagonists who, if they can save themselves, may learn the nature of redemption and the ability to forgive.


3D The Black Song Inside PB



 BARTOLO AGUILAR SQUATTED beside a rutted dirt road in the Anza-Borrego Desert, two hours east of San Diego, and savored the emotional and spiritual insanity of the woman who was watching the dying girl spasming in the sand, gurgling and frothing, her bloodshot eyes rolled up in her head so that they looked like a pair of crimson moons.

Bartolo favored dawn in the desert for these birthings. Dusk would work, but there was nothing like the biting crispness of daybreak, the dark sky marbled with orange light, the desert awash in the smoldering winds sweeping off the mountains–like amniotic fluid, bathing all three of them in the warm righteousness of the womb: the unknowing convert, the sacrifice, and of course himself, the man of God.

That this dying birthing had been not the result of careful choice on his part, but rather a fortuitous order from his current employer, Armando Villanueva, made it no less sacred. The Tijuana Cartel captain hadn’t ordered the birthing nor was he aware of Bartolo’s faith; Villanueva just wanted a problem to disappear. He would be furious to discover Bartolo, on divine impulse alone, had brought the woman to witness. Villanueva didn’t understand that the will of the Lord came before worldly duties.

Bartolo had founded his own religion according to three words on an aged and scorched parchment he had carried every day since discovering it squirreled away in an ancient hut next to a jungle-shrouded temple, just before he and his comrades roped the shack’s occupant, a wizened shaman, to his cot and set the hut ablaze. Now, decades later, Bartolo Aguilar was the sole surviving member and self-anointed High Priest of the Church of the Aloned, and it was baptism time.

The dying girl was nothing as a person but everything as a sacrifice, a vessel whose perfect suffering could draw into the light that which hunkered in the shadows of the woman’s soul, of everyone’s soul. The girl wasn’t even worthy of being a floor scrubber in his congregation. She was just another throwaway who’d fooled herself into thinking that a high school dropout, who couldn’t even handle the pressures of the fast-food industry, could earn the respect of drug cartels by allowing herself to be exploited in perhaps the world’s highest-risk, lowest-reward job: drug mule “swallower”.

Her belly held twenty condoms filled with highest-grade heroin. Had she made it to the drop, they’d have given her laxatives and waited until she shit out fifty thousand dollars worth of product, and then paid her only five hundred. But one of those condoms had ruptured. Maybe her stomach acid had eaten through it. Maybe the guy who filled the condoms had been tripping on his own product and fucked up. Didn’t matter. Not to Bartolo. Not to the guy who loaded the condoms. Not to the man who ran the whole thing. Not even to the girl–now.

So the girl didn’t count. Was she Aloned? Certainly, but she had started near the bottom. Died at the bottom. A little tumble like that didn’t warrant membership. To sit in the pews in the Church of the Aloned, you must have tasted the dizzying heights of the exalted, been respected and admired, yet have cast it all away for the basest of reasons, which were, as far as Bartolo was concerned, the hidden truths of everything. Hidden that is, until Bartolo came striding into your life, clutched the nape of your neck, and forced you to stare long and deep into the mirror to see what you could do. Would do. Will do. Are doing. Have done.

The woman was in that most precarious of moments. She was doing nothing to help the girl. That the girl couldn’t be helped was both the least and most critical element.

“She’s dying,” the woman said again, her hands tucked under her armpits as if she were cold despite the ninety-degree desert morning, her feet shifting as if she had to urinate.

“A cock-sized hit of heroin will do that to you,” he said, his voice quiet but ragged, like the sound of saw cutting bone behind a closed door. He stood up, wiped his wet and grimy face with a black-and-white checkered bandanna, and adjusted his sweat-darkened cowboy hat.

“I only came with you because you said there was a way to help her. So what do we do? Why not take her to a hospital. We have to do something.”

“She’s got enough pure H in her now to kill a fucking rhino. There’s a drug you could give her that might counteract that, but I don’t have any. There’s nothing to do but wait until she dies, and then we cut the rest of the product out of her belly.”

“You don’t know that. You’re not a doctor.”

“You can always call 911.” He stepped back and leaned against his white pickup, thick arms crossed over his barrel chest, the old truck creaking with his added bulk.

“Like you’d let me.”

“Sure, I would. I wouldn’t stick around after, of course. You might as well, though. You use your cell phone, and they’ll know you were here anyway. When someone dies during the commission of a felony–your felony–that’s first-degree murder. You ready to ride the needle when it wasn’t even your fault? For a girl who’s going to die anyway?” He let that sit out there for a while.

It’d be easy to reel the woman in later. Give her a few news stories about mules who had survived. Hell, maybe it would be easier than that. The girl might survive the overdose, only to die of dehydration alone in the desert. If the woman saw that story, he would fucking own her. Perhaps she would be his first acolyte. It was time to branch out anyway. Why not start with a pretty woman like this one was? On the outside, anyway. Ugly inside now. A perfect match. The things they could do together. But first they needed to cherish this moment. Worship the girl’s birthing.

“Bullshit. You’d never let me call 911,” the woman said. “You’d be afraid that I’d . . .” She balled her fists and finally looked him in the eye. “That I’d tell them about you.”

He shook his head slowly, grinning when she looked away–probably unable to bear seeing her twin, miniature, distorted selves in his mirrored sunglasses. “I got ten guys,” he said, “All solid citizens, who’ll swear I was chasing tail with them down in Mexicali.”

“You still wouldn’t take the chance.”

“Bigger chance they’d do something to you. For a nothing like the girl, as long as it looks like what it is, they’ll sleepwalk through the motions, then head to the bar early for beers and baseball. That’s why we’re going to wait awhile after she dies to cut her open. So there’s no doubt it was the drug that killed her. But, for someone like you, they’ll break out all the CSI forensics shit to find you. Maybe try to make it go federal. Not worth the risk. Don’t pretend like you haven’t thought of that.”

She flinched. “Wha . . .what do you mean?”

“You see the girl is suffering; you know we aren’t going to do anything.” He patted the pistol in his waistband. “And you haven’t asked about this, because you know the difference. Now we can walk away from it, and only we know that we were ever here. If we put her out of her misery, that’s not manslaughter. It’s murder. No statute of limitations. The rest of your life waiting for the knock on the door. Let’s get it flopping around on the table. She’s going to die, and we ain’t gonna do shit about it.”

“You fuck! You fuck! You fuck! You lied when you told me there was something I could do for her just to get me out here, you twisted freak.”

“No, you’re doing something for her right now.” The priest’s voice deepened and thrummed as though he spoke in synchronicity with something dark and unseen; his westward gaze seemed to stretch beyond her, chasing the darkness around the rim of the world as it fled the rising sun. “You are bearing witness to her end. You are grieving for the loss of her. Is that not doing something for her? Would it be better to let her die out here alone and unmourned with no one to remember? Now, she will be remembered, won’t she? That is something I have given unto you for her. She will be as much in your thoughts as any child from your womb. She will have a mother who wakes screaming with the vision of her lost child still floating before her eyes in the darkness. What better homage to a dead child than a mother’s endless grief?”

The woman gaped at him. “What are you?”

The priest shook his head, his gaze returning to normal, his voice again seeming harsh and whispery and human. “Look, this is just one shit day. You put it behind you. You make up for it by doing good. What good can you do rotting in prison? What good will going to prison do for all the people who look up to you? Trying to do what would make you feel better would just be selfish on your part. You need to look at the bigger picture here. You’ve got to suck it up and do the hard thing.”

Bartolo stopped, luxuriating in the words he would say next, which even now seemed almost like a caress in his throat. A revelation. He now knew who should be his acolytes. Who knew the greatest height of human purpose? Mothers. How easily that purpose could be diverted? Perverted? Bent to the will of the Church of the Aloned? That had to be why the Lord had inspired him to bring the woman, so he would come to just that epiphany. Mothers would be the foundation of his church.

His body alive with zeal, words rolled out–not from him, but from the one true God using him as He should use his prophet–fashioning a lifeline that was a noose around the neck of her old self. “So the question is,” he said, “are you going to throw away a whole life and reputation, and all the goodwill you’ve built up, just so you can feel better? Think of your children.”

The woman collapsed into the sand, sobbing.

How he loved these rare moments when God spoke through him and blessed his desire to step free of the roles society forced him into–to speak the stark truth and watch the comprehension of it rip away the flimsy masks of humanity that society demands people wear.

In these quickening moments, when the convert was accepting the baptism, washing her old self away with the burning tears of the Aloned, he thought of the truth he’d first learned from the old map he’d carried next to his heart as a child soldier for the FARC rebels in the jungles of Colombia. The very same map he carried now.

After a day of dog-trotting through the jungle, or machine-gunning villagers, or dismembering refugees, or beating a man unconscious only to wake him up with a pail of fetid swamp water and start over, or being forced to hold girls down while older boys grunted and thrust atop them, he would sneak away with his penlight–careful to keep his tears, blood, and sweat off the yellowed and wrinkled parchment–and study the ancient map.

Those sessions, hunched in darkness, swarmed by mosquitoes and the cries of the damning and the damned, were when he founded the Church of the Aloned with the certainty that, like the prophets of old, the suffering he’d felt and inflicted had revealed to him searing truths of human instinct that were his burden and privilege to share.

The exquisite nautical and geographical details the long-dead cartographer had so painstakingly sketched held no appeal for him. What riveted him was what the man had scrawled on the other side of the line that marked the end of the known world: Beyond Here Be Monsters.

It was the child soldier Bartolo Aguilar, alone, his body wracked with sickness and exhaustion, his physical and spiritual suffering forging him into something new to the world, who realized the ancient cartographer had inserted an extra word that rendered the whole phrase backward.

Now, immersed in the languid heat of the coming day, ensorcelled by the brilliance of the orange-fingered dawn spreading across the lightening sky, Bartolo looked first at the dying girl, then the weeping woman, and finally, nodding, studied himself in the side mirror of his pickup, his face a blank shadow, his head haloed by the rising sun. Not Beyond Here Be Monsters, but simply Here Be Monsters.


Chapter 1

ATTICUS WYNN’S GAZE locked on the distorted twin reflections of himself in Detective Meadows’s sunglasses as he prepared to spur himself toward an action that had, for countless people, led to immediate and violent death.

The two men stood in Atticus’s driveway, facing each other a body length apart. Bloated clouds riddled with darkness, threatening to add to San Diego’s record summer rainfall, bunched and rolled across the noon sky as though something large and better unseen moved restlessly inside them. The moisture and heat conspired to transform the air into the breath of a beast.

Detective Meadows stood spread-legged in a pair of khakis, his palms upturned, fingers hooked. His gray golf shirt bulged across his waist, but his arms and shoulders were humped with muscle. His smile was as unnatural as his gel-spiked hair. “Are you going to help us out or not” he asked. “We’re just looking for some professional courtesy here.”

Atticus, back to the wall of his Spanish-style stucco home, hands jammed beneath his armpits with the thumbs skyward, narrowed his eyes. Professional courtesy? That meant Meadows knew Atticus was a private investigator. The subtext was also clear–tell us what you know or lose your license. What had Claire gotten him into? No way to know but to go with Meadows. Before he did however, there was one ploy he could try. It was risky, perhaps fatal. Like every other African-American man, Atticus’s elders had jack-hammered into him the need to never surprise a cop, and he never had, until now.

Atticus lunged into Detective Meadows’s personal space, his face wrangled into a grin. His hand darted up to clutch and squeeze the tall man’s shoulder as he said, “I’d be glad to help.”

The detective flinched, shoulder flexing under Atticus’s palm, fair-skinned cheeks roaring with redness. Atticus stepped back, hands dangling at his sides. He gauged Meadows’s reaction, expecting threats, a tirade, a freckled fist crashing into his jaw–anything but a conciliatory nod and a thin-lipped grin like a slit in an overripe peach.

The black-veined clouds felt very close then, their shadows obscuring the rules of the world Atticus knew. In his experience, men like Meadows considered every encounter a confrontation and would have it no other way. What could motivate him to meet Atticus with such a commitment to faux friendliness?

The detective stepped over to his gray, unmarked cruiser; its buggy whip antenna, fastened into an arc like a scorpion’s tail, quivered with the opening of the door. The back door.

“What happened to professional courtesy?” Atticus said.

Meadows held the smile, the tendons in his neck as taut with potential as the power lines overhead. “Regulations”.

“Of course,” Atticus said, walking toward the cruiser. “What other reason could there be?”

An hour later in police headquarters, Atticus had spent forty-five minutes alone in an interrogation room that reeked of ammonia and fear, with no idea whether his wait was to last seconds or hours. He expected that. It’s part of how they break you. The waiting and wondering make you feel powerless even when you know that’s what it’s supposed to do. If it were important, they’d talk to you immediately, right? So it’s probably no big deal. No need to keep your guard up. By the time they finally come for you, you’re desperate to talk yourself out of your situation. And getting you anxious and talking is what interrogation is all about.

In the age of the smartphone, the isolation ploy doesn’t work as well with a cooperative witness like Atticus. But smartphones create problems too. Like trying to explain why you didn’t call your fiancee, who’s also your partner in your PI business, the moment you had a chance. Pondering Rosemary’s reaction, Atticus shook his head.

No way could he actually talk to her. She’d hear the stress in his voice before he finished his first sentence. And what could he say? “Why am I stressed, honey? Well, the cops are questioning me. Why you ask? Well, it’s like this. Remember Claire? That’s right–my ex, Claire. You know, the sister of your former fiance who killed himself after you dumped him? The one who despises you, swore she’d never forgive you. Well, funny thing, hon. Guess what! She’s blackmailing me into helping her beat a murder charge. What has she got on me, you ask? What could she possibly blackmail me with? Oh nothing. Nothing at all. Actually, the person she’s got something on is you.”

He compromised and texted Rosemary, asking her to shoot him as much info as she could on Meadows ASAP.

Meadows shoved the door open and marched in with a man he introduced as Detective Morales, his partner. Morales stood behind Meadows, thumbs hooked in his belt, and smiled vaguely at Atticus. He seemed to be trying for harmless, but stocky and clad in a bright-banded shirt, his dark-skinned face spattered with nodules and pockmarked, black-pebble eyes measuringly cold, and a bald head, he looked like a Gila monster eyeing a wounded rabbit.

Meadows sat at the head of the table and plunked down a tape recorder. “We’re going to play a 911 call. Please tell us if you recognize the voice of the caller or have any idea what she’s talking about.”

Atticus nodded, suspecting the real reason they wanted to play it for him without a hint of what it was about was to keep him from having the chance to guard his reaction. That didn’t worry him. His childhood had trained him to hide his feelings well. The question was how was he going to glean more information than he gave?

“911, what’s your emergency?” the dispatcher said.

“There’s a girl,” a woman said, choking back tears. “She needs help.”

“Is she there with you?”

“No, no, oh God help me. I left her out there.”

“Left here where, ma’am?”

“In the desert. She was dying and I . . .I just left her there. You have to understand! She was already dying. There was nothing I could have done. It was hours ago. She’s dead by now anyway.”

Meadows leaned toward Atticus. Morales seemed to stop breathing, but who can tell with a Gila monster?

Then came the sound of five quick thwacks that sounded like the receiver was being banged against something while the woman repeated “fuck” over and over.

“Listen, ma’am,” the dispatcher said, “you need to calm down and tell me who you are, where you are, and where the girl is. We can send people to give you whatever help you need.”

The woman was suddenly back, her voice tight and venomous. “You can send me whatever help I need? That’s so wonderful. Can you send someone who can tell me how to get my soul back?”

“Ma’am, I–“

“It’s a very simple fucking question! Can you send me someone who can help me get my fucking soul back, or can’t you?”

“Ma’am, you need to calm–“

“GOD HELP ME!” the woman shrieked.

There was banging again, but this sounded different, not something hard against something hard, but soft against hard. The woman’s crying grew fainter, along with the sound of footsteps walking away, and then came the roar of a car engine and the squeal of tires. The tape ended.

“What was that at the end there?” Atticus asked. He hadn’t recognized the voice or had a clue what was going on, which was good, for him at least. For that woman and that girl, the moon was closer than good.

Morales and Meadows glanced at each other. Morales shrugged. Meadows said, “She was calling from one of those three-quarter phone booths. We’ve got a witness who said she went crazy at the end, banging the plastic with her fists, palms, elbows, her head, everything. Then she staggered away crying, got into a car, and drove away.”

“Was she alone?”


“Do you know what girl she was talking about?”

“The question is, Atticus, do you?”

“Not a clue.”

“When was the last time you saw Clarice Rousseau?”

Atticus blinked, paused, blurted too late, “About two hours ago.”

Morales tilted his head, his brow furrowing, a caricature of confusion.

Meadows leaned forward and said, “Took you awhile to remember. Weird, isn’t it?”

So much for not giving anything away, Atticus thought. Damn. He had been foolish to think he could spring a trap laid by professionals, snatch the bait, and spring away unscathed. Now they had him on the ropes, and the way to get off them was by swinging. “I wasn’t remembering. Just found it quite a coincidence that you would ask about her right after the first time I’ve seen her in years. You were following her, huh? Then you followed me. The timing’s about right. You ran my license, pulled my files, and then decided to drag me in here. But you came to see me alone, Detective. Isn’t that a break with your beloved regulations?”

Meadows’s blue eyes were almost as unreadable as his sunglasses were. “Was your meeting with Claire planned?”

“My lawyer said she wanted to see me. I met her there.”

“Why did she want to see you so bad?”

“Claire didn’t really want to see me,” Atticus said, skating the rim of a lie. “She was just hoping I would clean up her mess like I used to.”

“Mess?” Meadows asked.

“She said you guys think she killed her boyfriend, and the Tijuana Cartel thinks she has the drug money her boyfriend supposedly had.”

When the detectives heard “drug money”, their gazes sharpened. Atticus couldn’t tell if he had surprised them or confirmed something they suspected.

“How much money?” Meadows asked.

“You guys don’t know?” Silent stone cop faces was the reply, so Atticus said, “Don’t know. Way she talked, it sounded like a lot.”

“Why come to you?”

“We dated in college. Maybe she thought I was still carrying a torch for her and would be eager to help her out.”

“Will you?” Meadows was poking around, feeling out whether Atticus was a broken-hearted puppet awaiting the return of his puppeteer, a pathetic man who would murder on command for a lover who’d scorned him.

Atticus shook his head. “Seeing her was the best thing that could have happened to me. Now I know I’ve moved on. I don’t wish her any ill, but she’s on her own.”

Meadows’s expression told Atticus that the last line sold it–the jilted lover taking a smidgen of pleasure in his ex’s pain, but not enough to be suspected of being the cause of it. Pettiness can be useful.

“Do you know a Steven Delacroix from Morgan City, Louisiana?”

“No, but I know he’s the victim,” Atticus said. Claire was from Morgan City, but she had never mentioned Delacroix back when she and Atticus were together.

Meadows and Morales eyed him expectantly. When you’re innocent, they expect you to proclaim it loudly and passionately, to anyone who will listen, but to Atticus that felt like begging, and begging he would never, ever do. But show emotion? That he could do, just by cracking open the bottle he kept it in. Instead, he stared into the space between the detectives, keeping his face pleasant and quizzical, knowing that few could bear a charged silence like the detectives had created. Atticus let the moment stretch.

What were the detectives really up to? Too many things from the moment Meadows stopped him in his driveway didn’t make sense. They were too loose with information without knowing what he knew. Like they needed him to know certain things. Could the interrogation be a ruse? If so, why? What did the girl and woman on the tape have to do with the murder of Claire’s boyfriend and the missing drug money?

Atticus knew that despite what primetime TV might say, cops never turn to civilians looking for Sherlock Holmesian feats of investigation. They use civilians as informants, willing or unwilling, knowing or unknowing, pawns pushed into battle with knights, bishops, rooks, and queens. As for the fate of the pawn, that’s on him. It’s a blame-the-victim world.

Books 4 for Patricia copy


The Black Song Inside is a vivid crime thriller rife with murder and madness, melded with gallows humor and the heroism of two flawed and compelling protagonists who, if they can save themselves, may learn the nature of redemption and the ability to forgive. 

A weather piece of parchment, Beyond here lie Monsters . . . is this the beginning, or the end? Bartollo Aguilar, The Priest of The Church of the Aloned. A child soldier, an enforcer, a dark and terrifying being. Ultimately, a glimpse of reverse evolution, knuckle walking away.

Atticus and Rosemary are an unlikely pair but meshed deeply in love. Each carries the trauma of a past that has left them categorically damaged but in different ways. They will challenge each other to conquer their terrors. She helps him quiet the black song. Rosemary knowing “If you want everything, you have to give everything.”

The Tijuana Drug Cartel and the corrupt cops, or are they? Families estranged by secrets, and Atticus involved in a murder case by his ex’s machinations. Atticus is compelled to investigate by his intrinsic knowledge of what is right and what is not. Young girls in danger? A contract for murder?

The Black Song Inside by Carlyle Clark will lead you from page to page, asking repeatedly what will be reveal. This book gives you histories revealed, mysteries solved, criminals captured or killed. An outstanding novel! I give Carlyle Clark 3D 5 Gold Stars

3DThe Black Song Inside HB


White ShirtCarlyle Clark was raised in Poway, a city just north of San Diego, but is now a proud Chicagolander working in the field of Corporate Security and writing crime and fantasy fiction. He has flailed ineffectually at performing the writer’s requisite myriad of random jobs: pizza deliverer, curb address painter, sweatshop laborer, day laborer, night laborer, security guard, campus police, Gallup pollster, medical courier, vehicle procurer, and signature-for-petitions-getter.

He is a married man with two cats and a dog. He is also a martial arts enthusiast and a CrossFit endurer who enjoys fishing, sports, movies, TV series with continuing storylines, and of course, reading. Most inconsequentially, he holds the unrecognized distinction of being one of the few people in the world who have been paid to watch concrete dry in the dark. Tragically, that is a true statement.







November 17 2013

Cresswell, Kim: Lethal Journey

Lethal Journey333x500


A killer lurks in the shadows of Hyde Park, New York . . . waiting.

Manhattan District Attorney, Lauren Taylor, is about to take on the most important case of her career, prosecuting Gino Valdina, acting mob boss of New York’s most influential crime syndicate.

For three decades, Gino Valdina led New York’s Valdina crime family. Since his recent indictment for murder, the leadership of the family is in turmoil and appalled by the death of one of their own, Gino’s wife, Madelina. Without the support of the family behind him, Valdina will do anything to save himself. 

But Lauren soon discovers, things aren’t always as they seem when she’s tossed into a mystery, a deadly conspiracy that reaches far beyond the criminal underworld and a journey into the past makes her a target . . . and anyone she’s ever loved.

Books 4 for Patricia copy


The cops. The mob. The district attorney. Lethal Journey is an intricate and suspenseful thriller that offers an action packed thrill-ride with stunning revelations and a nail-biting conclusion!


I wasn’t very far into the story when I became so totally engrossed in my reading. I became absolutely riveted and couldn’t put it down! It was a process of reading and stopping to re-read . . . catching a different nuance every time I turned a page of Lethal Journey. 


Lethal Journey is a short crime novel and a romantic thriller. The story of Lauren Taylor, Troy Granger, Gino Valdina, Eric Brennan and the indomitable Lucy is one that takes many twist, then a sudden turn to the right and will leave you guessing “who dunnit” every step of the way!


~Patricia, Room With Books~ © 2013


Books 4 for Patricia copy


You can pre-order this book for only 99¢ at these locations

Kobo | iTunes | B & N | Indigo



September 1997

Rain pounded down.

Lauren Taylor squinted through the windshield, a backwash of water battered the glass. She flicked the wipers on high and tightened her hands around the steering wheel. With a quick glance in the rear-view mirror she noticed headlights behind her. The vehicle appeared to speed up, fall back, and then speed up again.

Her muscles tensed. “That driver behind us seems to be in a big hurry.”

Her father leaned forward in the seat and peered into the side mirror. “He’s all over the road. Might be drunk or something.”

“He’s crazy driving like that in this weather. I’m letting him go by.” She downshifted the Jaguar and steered onto the side of the road and rolled to a stop.

As the van raced by. A giant wave of water pelted the side of the car.

Her father watched out the window. “Christ, he’s flying”

Taillights flickered and quickly faded ahead into the blackened night.

With a quick glimpse in the mirror, Lauren steered the car back onto the road, her grip relaxed around the wheel. “That’s better.”

Her father repositioned himself in the leather seat and stretched his legs. “The Law Society’s dinner is next week. You going?”

God, the dinner. She’d bought an expensive navy and white designer dress for the occasion and even toyed with the idea of having her hair cut into something more sophisticated and polished for a New York district attorney.

“I’ll have to check my schedule.”

“Not good enough. I want you there, Lauren. My chance to show you off. Do some bragging, big time.”

She couldn’t help but smile. “Okay, Dad. Okay.”

“And don’t forget to bring a date for protection. Don’t want a bunch of drunken seedy lawyers groping you on the dance floor. And by the way, I heard Eric was back in town.”

Her smile faded as she remembered the annual dinner years before. She’d never forgotten a single detail of that night—how Eric held her in his arms and how his mouth devoured her willing lips then pulled away and left her mouth burning for more…

“What else did you hear about him?” she blurted out.

“Not much. Can’t even remember where I heard the news. Thought you didn’t want to talk about Brennan?”

“I don’t. I just wondered when he got back.”

Her father’s jaw tightened. “Don’t know.” His voice turned hard. “Just heard he’s back.”

At one point in their relationship, Eric begged her to come with him and start a new life in Florida. She didn’t have the courage to leave her father and walk away from her job. Four years later, she was taking on the most important case of her career—prosecuting Gino Valdina, head of New York’s crime family, just like her father had done a decade before. But this time would be different. Gino Valdina wasn’t going to get away with murder.

The sky split and lightning lit the wet road. Lauren eyed the exit sign to Hyde Park.

The whining squeal of an engine roared from behind.

Lauren glanced over her shoulder. “God, that van is back.” She clicked on the turning signal and steered onto the off-ramp. Her eyes darted back to the side mirror.

Headlights swerved from side to side.

A shiver drove up her spine. She clutched the steering wheel.

“I’m calling the police.” Her father grabbed his cell phone out of the glove box and turned it on. “Damn it. I can’t get a signal.”

“Keep trying.”

The van’s driver gunned the engine.

The grill came into view, massive and powerful.

Close. Too close.

Metal connected and scraped against the bumper.

The van shoved the Jaguar ahead on the road.

High-beams from the other lane blinded her.

Lauren blinked and turned her head.

The van rammed the back of the car. Metal popped as the back window disintegrated into the back seat.

The seat belt snapped across her shoulder. Her head slammed back on the head rest then forward. “Oh my God!”

The cell phone flew from her father’s hand. “What the—”


Like a slingshot the Jaguar shot down the slick road.

Lauren slammed on the brakes.

The car slid a half circle and spun out of control. A massive tidal wave of water washed over the roof.

Her father clutched the dashboard with both hands. “The tree!”

She yanked the steering wheel hard to the left.

Wood splintered. Metal buckled, squealed and cracked. The air bag struck her body like a fist, and smacked her head against the side window. She pushed at it, viciously. With every move, fiery pain shot through her face and down her neck. The sickening sweet stench of gasoline and smoke filled her nostrils. Her head clouded.

Lauren heard her own voice, pinched and muffled, cry out. “Dad!” until her words drifted into silence.

 Books 4 for Patricia copy

You should also purchase her book Reflection



You can buy Reflection at these locations:

MuseItUp Publishing | Amazon | Kobo | B & N | iTunes


Books 4 for Patricia copy

Author Bio:

kim cresswell

Trained as a legal assistant, Kim has been a story-teller all her life but took many detours including working for a private investigator, running a graphic design business, teaching computer classes at a local business school. After becoming disabled with Fibromyalgia and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, Kim returned to her first love, writing.

Her debut thriller, REFLECTION, won numerous awards including UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner (2013), Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner (2004) and an Honourable Mention in Calgary’s (RWA) The Writer’s Voice Contest (2006).

LETHAL JOURNEY (December 2013) was a finalist in From the Heart Romance Writers (FTHRW) Golden Gate Contest (2003).

Her action-packed thrillers have been highly praised by reviewers and readers. As one reviewer said, “Buckle up, hang on tight!”

Kim Cresswell can be found at:

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blog


Now it’s time for a GIVEAWAY!

Kim is giving away

two Signed e-book copies

of her first full-length novel, Reflection

a Rafflecopter giveaway

November 16 2013

Parker, Morgan: non Friction

non Friction

non Friction

Morgan Parker’s first novel, Non Friction, tells the story of a man whose wife just walked out on him. Faced with an empty house and emotional turmoil, he turns to writing a novella, which introduces him to the fast and furious lifestyle of indie literature stardom… and Emma, a woman who comes on a little strong but turns out to be the one sliver of sunshine in his otherwise dark and devastating life.

Now that he has enjoyed a bit success and attention, his wife (Jennifer) comes back and suddenly decides that they should pursue marriage counseling. Eager to win her back, the main character agrees to anything and the counselor asks them to create something beautiful for each other. Our main character decides on Our Story, a love story that will not only win his wife back, but can also double as his next novel.

Over the course of writing Our Story, the main character realizes that winning Jennifer back might not be the smartest thing for his heart. In fact, he starts to appreciate the true meaning of the word love, which he finds in Emma.



After 12 years, 4 months and 1 and 1/2 weeks of marriage, his wife packs up and leaves with their daughter. So he writes an Indie novel. And it becomes a bestseller. Well, sort of.

His fame brings him the lifestyle of a rockstar, and he has the fan mail (i.e. female undergarments, probably clean) to prove it. 

But seeing his fame, his wife suddenly believes in marriage counseling. Their homework: to create something beautiful for each other.

So he writes Our Story, his literary secret-weapon that will win his wife back. But in the process he discovers that true love is more than just ticking the right boxes on a checklist. It starts with… well… }i{ .


Morgan Parker has a sensational wit and uses it to his advantage in writing the story within a story that is non Friction.

It has taken me several days of not thinking about non Friction to be able to sit and actually write a review. I had to decide how I truly felt about this novel. Several days later I am now looking at the book through a different set of eyes, and looking on it much more favorably.

This poor man, Morgan, loses everything in his life in one fell swoop. His wife, whom I think he thinks he loves, his daughter, his dignity . . . then he has a hit on the indie author circuit with a quickly thought up book of texting. With this notoriety, and potential for fame and fortune, comes his wife, suddenly desiring marital counseling.

Both Jennifer (Princess B*tch) and Morgan begin counseling from a place of hurt, anger and bitterness, not from love. Through their counseling sessions, and homework each week, they begin to unravel the cloth of what exactly went wrong in their marriage and what role each of them played in its demise.

There is a tone of autobiographical writing in non Friction, though I’ve been assured that this author is nothing like his character. The entire cast of characters is entirely, well mostly, believable. They behave in a manner I see consistent with today’s society, from the self-absorbed running from man to man by Princess, to the seeking of self-affirmation by Morgan.

The language is a little tough at times, but again, it represents the situation the author in the book finds himself. Mr. Parker does warn his readers of the adult content, and actually counted the number of f-bombs his characters dropped.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and will be looking for some extra time over the upcoming holidays to enjoy Textual Encounters and Textual Encounters 2, also by Morgan Parker.  This book garners four stars and a hope for further writing by Mr. Parker.

Author Bio:

Morgan Parker is the pen name of a shy and introverted banker. He currently calls Toronto, Canada his home where he lives with his wife of 10 years and two children, a 9-year old son and a 4-year old daughter (who provided the foundation for Evelyn in non friction).

When he’s not writing, Morgan enjoys double-espresso cappuccinos (non-fat of course) at his favourite coffee shop, hiking and travelling.  He also enjoys sleeping, a lot.

Advanced Praise For non Friction

  • “Hilariously tragic.” Leslie Fear, author and co-founder of The Indie Bookshelf
  • “4.5 Stars . . . Way better than Textual Encounters.” Nikki Hardie, Blissful Book Blog

non Friction Media



The silence between us seemed to last an eternity. As we stared at each other, her fingers reached toward mine and traced long lines on my hand. We didn’t hug, didn’t really say anything else until it was goodbye. No happily ever after, not today.

“I wasn’t wrong about us,” she said, her voice hard and determined. But because there were words attached to that voice of hers, I didn’t place a whole lot of trust in them. “Morgan, I love you. No matter what happens, whether you hate me and never speak with me or see me again, I will always love you and the time we shared. And because of this love, I will always be waiting for you, just like Olivia waits until the end of time for Oliver. I’ll be there, always waiting, always for you.” She smiled at that point, and the sadness and doubt from earlier was gone.

“Goodbye, Emma.”

“Bye, Morgan.”


Other Novels by Morgan Parker

Category: Book Review, Featured Author | Comments Off on Parker, Morgan: non Friction
November 12 2013

Cox, Chloe: Lie to Me, Redemption #1


November 11 – 22, 2013


 Title – LIE TO ME, Redemption #1

Author – Chloe Cox

Genre – NA/Adult Contemporary Romance

Release Date – November 7, 2013

Books 3 for Patricia small copy


lietome_FINALThe man who saved her is also the man who destroyed her… or is he?

Seven years ago, I decided I wanted to be a fighter. Marcus Roma showed me how.

Six years ago, my parents died in a car accident. Marcus Roma picked me up off the ground and held me until I could stand on my own two feet.

Five years ago, I fell in love with him.

And then Marcus Roma disappeared. No warning. No explanation. Just gone.

Yesterday, he came back.

And now I have to decide who’s telling the truth, and who’s lying. Who wants something from me, and who wants…


If I guess wrong, I could lose everything. I need to think clearly. But Marcus makes that impossible. Marcus makes me weak. Marcus makes me want, in a way I’ve never felt before.

Marcus Roma will make me fall. The only question is—will he be there to catch me this time?

**LIE TO ME is a new adult / adult contemporary romance novel about truth, lies, and redemption.

It is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**


Books 3 for Patricia small copy



Lie to me . . . to have the love of your life leave with no explanation generates turmoil in every corner of your world.


Lie to me . . . finally you learn to live again, one moment at a time, one breath at a time, you move on, you begin to rebuild, you get tougher.


Lie to me . . . when the love of your life appears again with no warning, you learn that the time you spent rebuilding your life wasn’t living at all.


The love between Harlow and Marcus builds slowly first as teacher, friend then the love you never thought you’d find. She doesn’t trust easily, but when she does, it’s with her whole heart…her entire being. Marcus gets sucker punched, loves Harlow completely against all odds and walks away, to keep her safe.


Five years have passed and Marcus returns to Harlow’s life, no warning, no explanation . . . to keep her safe, again.


“Lie to me” is a theme that runs through the book and a most appropriate title. Harlow faces the hard truths in her life by asking Marcus to “lie to me”.  When Marcus tells her a lie, she knows the truth.


“Lie to me. Tell me I won’t have to love you for the rest of my life.” This is one of the most heart-wrenching moments of the entire book for me.


This book is written with great depth of character and emotion.  Lie to Me by Chloe Cox is a captivating story that held my attention from beginning to end. Lie to Me is a wonderfully written story from a truly skilled novelist. Chloe Cox is new to me but I will keep her at the top of my TBR list! I’ll take the time to catch up on the things she has already written, hopefully before she has a chance to get anything else released.


~Patricia, Room With Books~ ©2013

 Books 3 for Patricia small copy


Amazon  /Barnes & Noble


I am so angry I can barely see, and I want him so badly it actually, physically hurts. Like the absence of him inside me aches.

I’m pulling at his shirt now, twisting it, and Marcus’s fingers are digging into my waist, pushing under the waistband of my shorts, almost like they have a mind of their own. They must, because Marcus himself is rock solid and rigid, his body riddled with tension, his muscles working with restraint.

“Lo,” he whispers, shaking his head.

“I don’t want to have to think about this anymore,” I say. “Please just help me to feel something else. Please.”

His thumb sweeps along the inside of my waistband, coming around the front, dipping low so that I shudder, even while the muscles in his shoulders pop and it looks like he’s struggling.

I want to scream.

I do.

I rip at his shirt; I go for the buttons on his jeans. I say, “I don’t want to be scared of being broken forever because you fucking broke me…”

I think he’s about to snap and finally take me when his hands move, lightning fast, and grab mine, pinning them to the table. Marcus is breathing heavy, his whole body hard and alive and pulsing between my legs as I sit on this stupid table, and when he looks at me, it’s with a fierce hunger.

“Not until you tell the truth,” he says. “Not until you say why.”

I know exactly what he means. He can still see through me.

“Because I hate that it’s you that does this to me,” I say. “Why does it have to be you? I hate that it’s you that makes me feel this. I hate you, Marcus, because I…”

Because I love him. But I can’t say it.

He’s leaning into me now, his head close to mine. He’s smelling me. I can feel his lips move along my jaw, my ear, my neck…

“Please don’t make me say the rest,” I say. “You already know the truth, you bastard.”

One hand moves to the back of my head, the other to my hip, and I can already feel the complete control he has over my body. Like he’s just deciding. Feeling it out, the way he does.

I hate him so much for making me love him.

“Marcus, I need you to—”

He doesn’t let me finish. With a growl, he threads his fingers through my hair and pulls my head back, his face hovering just above mine. For a beat his eyes pierce mine and I see what I feel echoed there: a wild need, a fierce, burning fever, the desperation of needing someone you can’t have.

And then when it happens, it happens all at once: his mouth crushing mine, his hand pushing into my shorts, beneath my underwear, his fingers sliding between my wet folds, and then his hand gripping me there. He stops for a moment, as though just wanting to establish ownership, and his tongue parts my lips savagely. I moan into his mouth and grapple at his shoulders, trying to get him to move, to just do it already, because I feel like I might burst, but he’s the one in control, and that drives me even higher. His other hand tightens its grip on my hair, and he takes what he wants, kissing me deeply until I yield to it, until I’m not thinking about anything at all.

 Books 3 for Patricia small copy


I love to tell stories. I especially love romance, only with all the good and sexy parts left in, and sometimes with a little kink, too. I cry at the dumbest commercials, I hide behind the nearest person during scary movies (and then make them tell me what’s going on), and I spend way too much money sending my friends gag gifts. (Amazon Prime free shipping is a dangerous, dangerous thing.)

So aside from feeling compelled to sit at my computer and make stuff up all day, I’m an otherwise normal gal navigating life, family, love and the rest. I am also a voracious, omnivorous reader, a disastrous cook (recipes are at best just suggestions), and the human who belongs to two bat%$&! insane cats.



Books 3 for Patricia small copy



Kindle Fire HDX 7” Tablet

$100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

5 Ebook Copies

3 Signed Paperbacks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions

The Kindle Fire HDX giveaway is international unless excluded.  If your country is not on the list that Amazon delivers to, you will not be eligible win this prize.

The signed paperbacks are international.

Room With Books is not responsible for damage to the Kindle in transit.  All issues regarding this must be addressed to Amazon.

All accessories for the Kindle Fire HDX must be purchased by the winner – the prize is the Kindle Fire HDX only and does not include the power adaptor.

Entrants must be 18 or over.

Category: Blog Tour, Book Review | Comments Off on Cox, Chloe: Lie to Me, Redemption #1
November 10 2013

Salter, Aimee L.: Breakable

Cover - BREAKABLE - Digital


by Aimee L. Salter

Released Monday, November 4th! Breakable, by Aimee L. Salter, is the unique and compelling story of a young woman learning to value herself when no one else does. Oh, and she can talk to her future self…


If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?


When seventeen-year-old Stacy looks in the mirror she can see and talk to her future self. “Older Me” has been Stacy’s secret support through the ongoing battle with their neurotic mother, relentless bullying at school, and dealing with her hopeless love for her best friend, Mark.


Then Stacy discovers Older Me is a liar.


Still reeling from that betrayal, Stacy is targeted again by her most persistent tormentor. Only this time, he’s used her own artwork to humiliate her – and threaten her last chance with Mark.


She’s reached breaking point.




Books 4 for Patricia copy

“Original. Authentic. Heart-breaking. BREAKABLE has officially become one of my favorites!” -New York Times Bestselling Author, Cora Carmack


“…I wish every single high schooler (and their parents!) could read this book.” – Jen Strand, Reviewer, Fictitious Delicious


Read the opening chapters at Goodreads.


Books 4 for Patricia copy

Author Bio and Links:

Author Photo - ALS - Small formatAimee L. Salter is a Pacific North-Westerner who spent much of her young (and not-so-young) life in New Zealand. After picking up a Kiwi husband and son, she’s recently returned to Oregon.


Aimee is the author behind Seeking the Write Life, a popular blog for writers at You can also find her on Twitter ( and Facebook (


Aimee’s debut novel, Breakable, released November 4th for Kindle, Nook and in paperback. You can add Breakable to your to-read list on Goodreads.





We all have been subjected to bullying in one form or another . . . or been the bully ourselves.


In Breakable by Aimee L. Salter, young Stacy is bullied by a nasty elitist crew from school. The hardest part of being bullied by them is she once considered them her friends.


Add to Stacy’s angst her not-so-secret love for Mark who begins dating the nastiest of the crew, but he is blinded to Karyn’s true nature by her “perceived” beauty.


To recount more would definitely be a spoiler . . . but one more little twister, Stacy communicates with “Older Me”, her future self, by looking in a mirror. And “Older Me” isn’t nearly the person she appears to be.


Breakable is a fast-paced book filled with raw emotions and a host of interesting characters.


For a debut novel, Ms. Salter has tapped into an issue at the forefront of too many tragedies on the front page of our newspapers today. She is a clever wordsmith and very perceptive into the world of YA readers.


Breakable kept me engage and I only put it down because I reached the end. I highly recommend Breakable to all readers and I look forward to reading and reviewing more of Ms. Salter’s books in the future!


~Patricia, Room With Books~ © 2013


Books 4 for Patricia copy



I’d been expecting another text from Mark. I’d just assumed when the phone went again so soon…


I didn’t check the sender before I opened the text.


The words screamed at me from the glowing screen:






My ears burned. I could just see them, all gathered around Belinda’s phone, cackling. I’d learned a long time ago it wasn’t worth opening anything that came from her, or Karyn, or Terese.


Why hadn’t I checked the stupid phone?


With shaking fingers, I deleted the text. My stomach hardened into a knot, the bitter taste of bile rising in my throat. I drew the straighteners through the last strands of my hair without really paying attention.


Oh, gawd. Was Older Me right? Should I stay home? If they’d started taunting me before we even got there, then it was going to be one of those nights. They’d make it hurt.


But… Mark.


Mark had grabbed my elbow as I ran from art that morning. Told me we needed to talk. He’d run his hand through his sandy hair. His blue eyes wouldn’t quite meet mine. He’d been nervous. Twitchy.


Mark was never nervous with me. And I’d only ever seen him twitch when he was talking to whatever girl he had the squeeze for.


When he left, I’d almost danced on the spot.


So, I had to go tonight because I thought – I hoped – Mark was finally going to ask me out.


But if the vultures were already circling…


I stared at the phone in my hand and swallowed hard. Then realized Older Me was still talking.


“…seems hard to believe, but your friendship with him is probably more fun than anything else you could have right now. And who knows what will happen later? Wouldn’t it be better not to risk that?”


Ignoring the irony of my future self asking rhetorical questions about the future, I dropped the phone onto my bed and picked up my bag. Picking through items one by one, pretending I was listening, I made sure the condoms I’d bought that afternoon were still safely hidden under my wallet and make-up bag, stifling the shiver that ran down my spine.


If I was right and Mark asked me out, would I have the courage to invite him back home? To sneak him in? How many of these would I need if… if it came to that?




After giving her my best we’re done here expression, I turned back to my bag.


Would it be better to put them in the zip pocket so there was no risk of them falling out and embarrassing me? Or would that make them too hard to find in the dark?


“Are you listening to me at all?”


I groaned and dropped everything but my keys back in my bag. “I’m leaving.”




“I’m sure I’ll see you in the car,” I called back over my shoulder as I left the room.


She gaped at me from the surface of the mirror, but I kept walking.


Tonight was a turning point. I just knew it.


Books 4 for Patricia copy


I’ll be doing three giveaways – a signed and inscribed paperback, and two copies of the e-book of BREAKABLE.


Readers can enter the drawing all week in one of three ways:


– Add BREAKABLE to their to-read list on Goodreads


– Tweet the promo of any cover reveal post during the week using the hashtag #BreakableBook (i.e. if you’re a blogger, they can tweet a link to your post, but must include that hashtag in it)


– Share my cover reveal status from my author profile page on facebook (or your author profile page, if you link the status to my blog and tag me here:




1. One winner will be drawn from each social media outlet, then a winner of the paperback drawn from those three.


2. Readers are welcome to enter on all three sites.


3. Entries are counted between Monday at 4:30am PST, and Thursday at 11:59pm PST.


4. Every tweet or share gains an entry (though an individual can only win once).


Friday morning I’ll draw three winners, one from each social media outlet. One will get the BREAKABLE paperback, the other two will get free e-books. I’ll announce the winners on my blog next Monday (14th).


To make one entry easier, here are some easy tweetables you can use.


I can’t wait to read #BreakableBook by @AimeeLSalter. Check out this cover: #yareads #amreading


I just entered to win a signed paperback of #BreakableBook by @AimeeLSalter. Cool cover: #amreading #yalitchat


The gorgeous cover reveal of @AimeeLSalter’s book Breakable is here: #breakablebook #yareads #yabooks


I love this cover! Can’t wait to read Breakable by @AimeeLSalter: #BreakableBook #yabooks #yalitchat

Category: Blog Tour, Book Review | Comments Off on Salter, Aimee L.: Breakable
November 6 2013

Whitney, Mary: Disclosure of the Heart (Beside Your Heart #2)

Disclosure of the Heart Banner 

Title:   Disclosure of the Heart (Beside Your Heart #2)

Author:  Mary Whitney

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publication Date:  November 5, 2013

Publisher:  OmniFic Publishing

Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.



Book Cover ~ Disclosure of the HeartSixteen years is a long time to wait for your true love to reappear, and, anyway, Nicki Johnson couldn’t wait for the impossible to happen. Hard life lessons have taught her that fairy tales are children’s stories, and fate is cruel. Burying her hopes, she’s spent the last sixteen years focused and driven toward her career, and it’s landed her with a job at the White House with a gem of a boyfriend. But when her high school love, Adam Kincaid, walks into the White House as a BBC reporter, Nicki’s world is thrown into turmoil as she relives their past. Adam has come back for her, but has he arrived too late?

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Let me begin by admitting that I have not read the first book in this series, Beside Your Heart, and I regret not doing it before reading Disclosure of the Heart.

We all wonder what it would be like if only. . . There is someone in the past, whether a first love or another love that leave us wondering if we could only get back together what would it be like. Nicki Johnson gets a chance to find out in Disclosure of the Heart.

Nicki seems to have the world at her feet, working at the White House as the Deputy Press Secretary. But on that first morning, there he sat . . . Adam Kincaid, now a BBC correspondent covering the Washington DC office.

Adam Kincaid, the one that got away. Adam Kincaid, who Nicki already knows is involved with someone else, even though Adam and his girlfriend find an ocean between them at this point in their lives.

Adam had been her first love, her anchor during the storm. He’d also left her, broken hearted, even though his leaving was inevitable, it seems.

At first site, again, Nicki admits “I was seventeen again, with a scarred body and a shattered life.”

Enter Juan Carlos, the next level of complication. Juan Carlos is Nicki’s loving, wonderful “Latin lover” of a boyfriend. And we all know about jealous Latin men, as her boss points out.

Nicki has it all, a solid career, a boyfriend with whom she can envision a future . . . and then it all comes unhinged with a dance, one slow dance.

I won’t spoil the entire book, although I definitely could. I have learned to love Nicki and Adam in one volume of Mary Whitney’s Heart Series. There are some disappointing moments for me, but that has to do with my view of the world rather than anything in Ms. Whitney’s writing. Ms. Whitney writes to wring every drop of emotion out of you as you read. She had me talking out loud to myself, yelling at the book’s characters, all the while hoping and praying  for the ending to be what I want it to be, a wonderful happily-ever-after.

I give Mary Whitney Fives Stars (all gold) for Disclosure of the Heart. I will be reading Beside Your Heart before the next volume is released!

~Patricia, Room With Books~©2013


About the Author

Author Pic ~ Mary WhitneyEven before she graduated from law school, Mary Whitney knew she wasn’t cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she’s spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.

Connect with Mary Whitney

Blog |Twitter | Facebook |Amazon Author Page | Pinterest | Goodreads


Tour-Wide Giveaway 

Kindle (US Only) signed paperbacks, ebooks, and gift cards.

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Tour Schedule

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More from Mary Whitney

Beside Your HeartTitle: Beside Your Heart ( Beside Your Heart #1)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published: June 17th, 2013

Publisher: OmniFic Publishing

“It’s an emotional story that will take the reader back to those feelings that made the late teen years such a powerful time.”

Late one night Nicki Johnson plays with emotional fire and Googles her high school love, only to find his name splashed across the British gossip columns. Back in his native England, Adam Kincaid is successful and dating a woman from an aristocratic family like his own. With a career in politics, Nicki’s no slouch, but she knows Adam is living a world away from her life.

Yet there was a time he was no farther than the next locker. Nicki will never forget their year together in high school—the year of her sister’s death, the year her mother checked out. Adam helped Nicki through suffocating grief, and she led him through a coming of age. Was it just high school, or was it something more?



Forever Your HeartForever Your Heart (Beside Your Heart #3)

Forever Your Heart is due out in early 2014. The story of Adam Kincaid, it’s the last in the Heart Series.