Category Archives: Books

The Newcomer – New Release

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here and for that I apologize. It’s been a crazy busy year so far but I’ve still been writing. I’ve got a writing challenge planned for January that will have me writing and publishing a lot more. In the meantime I have a short story in a new anthology that releases today! It’s called The Newcomer and I hope you check it out.

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

There’s even an alien puppy.

Tithe by Griffin Carmichael
When the world is nothing but a dry husk of itself, a man must choose between a thriving town and keeping on walking. Jacob Heinlein has lost his home, everyone he knew, and hope. He is on a journey to the mythical ocean, an unforgiving sun beating down on him. Delirious and near death, Jacob finds himself in a town with a source of fresh, clean water.

He’s welcomed and given the opportunity to become a productive member of the community, but everything comes with a price. For Jacob, it will call upon everything he believed about himself to make a decision, and either stay under the obligation to give of himself, or to be put outside the walls.

Exodus by Alec Hutson
The orphaned children of Old Earth are scattered across the solar system, protected from the darkness by god-like beings fashioned from lost technologies.

But something has changed. Ancient rules have been broken, and after centuries of isolation one of these beings approaches Mars with overtly hostile intent. A defence must be marshalled, and the coming conflagration could result in the destruction of one of the last bastions of man.

First Bonding by Tom Germann
Humanity had aimed for the stars and a glorious future in space. The alien’s arrival had tarnished that shiny dream. Now the first AIs are fully coming online, even while the government tries to block their use, and humanity is once again looking to the future.

The illegally created level 8 AI known as Genghis is locked down in the basement of the corporate building being researched for future use. Powered down so that it can be studied safely in sleep mode everything was fine.

Then the meteorites hit damaging the area. That was followed by the robotic invaders that were looking to establish a beach head.

Now Genghis is awake and figuring things out. He is no longer asleep and he is angry. Robotic soldiers closing in looking for technology to loot and a hated human soldier falling into his prison dying from wounds are upsetting all his plans.

What’s an insane AI to do and what should he target first?

Ice Dreamer by J J Green
Lab technician Prussis has dreamed all her life of reviving someone from the past. Whilst no-one understands why she keeps trying, she works long hours defrosting heads. In her latest attempt, what happens is the last thing she expects.

The Nanny by Cindy Carroll
The first natural birth in over two hundred years brings a new life to Cardea’s family. Despite the risks, she and her husband are determined to raise a family the old fashioned way. But social habits die hard.

Right Hand by Jonathan C. Gillespie
The war with a forgotten conqueror has been over for decades, but that doesn’t mean the Earth has recovered, and life in the American Midwest is only getting more dangerous. His town besieged by hunter-killer drones left over from the conflict, gifted high school senior Daniel Bell is determined to make the Army believe that the machines are somehow not being harmed by their operations.

But to do that, he won’t just have to deal with his cautious family, nervous friends, and sceptical officers. He’s going to have to take a secret journey outside the town’s walls, into the teeth of a wilderness both alluring and deadly. And the most important season of his life might also be his last.

What Make is Your Cat? by Richard Crawford
Welcome to London Atlantis where, after the tsunami, your cat has higher social status and earning power than you do, and evolution is an elite, designer trend you can’t afford to join.

Kaxian Duty by Cherise Kelley
Three-month-old Clem faces his first day of “Kaxian Duty” with anxiety. He is keen to find out what his assignment will be, but runs into distractions on the way to headquarters. Training will be hard. Mistakes will be punished.

Oh, and his tail has a mind of its own, which doesn’t help matters any.

Lessons Learned by J. Naomi Ay
Ary had known he was destined to be a starship captain his whole life. After all, his mother was Captain Sandy and his father was the guy who was supposed to be Fleet Admiral. However, the prospect of attending the Spaceforce Academy was daunting. Enough to make Ary question his future.

The Humra by Laura Greenwood
Bounty hunter Braillen takes a new job on The Humra to get close to her mark. When the crew discover her identity she is whisked in front of the captain. She must face her nightmares if she wants to finish the job and realise her deepest desire.

The Hawk of Destiny’s Fist by James S. Aaron
Asarik Leah is sent to replace ShipLord Till and lead his InquiryShip on a dangerous new mission. Tradition demands she proves herself fit to take his place.

Repulse by Alasdair Shaw
Newly-promoted Commander Olivia Johnson is posted to the destroyer Repulse. Most of the officers are dead and the remaining crew are exhausted. Johnson must step up to the mark and lead them back into battle despite her personal misgivings.

Buy it on:

Amazon | Kobo | Apple | Google Play | Barnes and Noble

Don’t forget to sign up for my mailing list. Just for signing up you get a copy of my horror short story Reflections for free.

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Cozy Mystery for Coffee Lovers – Feature Friday

Cozy mysteries are light and fun but I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love the cozy mystery TV shows and thought I would love cozy mystery books. So when I picked a few up I was surprised that I didn’t love them as much as I thought I would. Mostly it was because they were in first person. And if you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know I hate reading first person. At least I thought I hated it. Turns out I only hate it when it’s done poorly but I still shy away from first person stories. So colour me surprised when I picked up some cozy mysteries recently, written in first person, that I liked. A lot.

Once a month I will be doing a feature Friday where I highlight a book I’m reading or have read and enjoyed. I hope others check them out and enjoy them too.

Expresso Messo is the sixth story in a series but I think you can still enjoy it if you haven’t read all the books in the series. I’ve read the first two and then jumped to this one because it has a Valentine’s theme and that day is just around the corner. Plus it takes place in Florida. With it being -12C as I write this and getting colder the idea of escaping to a warmer climate even through a book appeals to me a lot.

I like the small town feel of cozies and the Sweet Home stories have that in spades. It’s a tight knit community and I like all the characters. They feel like people I would like to spend time with. The main character owns a coffee shop with her aunts and I love coffee. I wish the coffee shop near me had the Valentine’s Day drinks the Cabana has.

If you like cozy mysteries check it out!

A missing redhead, a secret admirer’s column, and special syrup

When one of Sweet Home’s residents goes missing, Lily decides to put her sleuthing cap on. With her fiancé Eli and his father away on a fishing trip, it’s up to Lily to unearth the how and why of the disappearance. But not before she and Jules discover some odd goings on at Reva’s café. A secret admirer’s column in Jules newspaper is also causing quite a stir at the local hair salon where Lily finds a nemesis of the porcelain kind.

Find out what happens when Lily dives deep into all sorts of crazy mischief.

Caffeine and sugar warning: This book contains visions of red velvet hot chocolate and raspberry lattes.

 

Until next time…

 

Cindy

A Reading Challenge Mashup

Magic of reading

From Bigstock photo – copyright Sergey Nivens

Before I talk about reading I want to tell you about music mashups. I love song mashups. My husband got me into them and they’re a lot of fun and can be very creative. There are music mashups I’ve listened to so many times that when I hear one of the songs on the radio I automatically go into the second song at the appropriate places. The songs just don’t sound right anymore unless they’re mashed together. What do song mashups have to do with a reading challenge? I’m getting to that.

So one of my goals for the year is to read more. It’s always a goal and I usually set my target at twenty-five books read for the year. I originally was only going to do the Read Harder Challenge but then I found the Alphabet Soup Challenge. So I’m doing both! Before you think I’m completely crazy the Read Harder Challenge allows you to double up categories. Demon Seed that qualifies for a horror novel also fits the criteria for book published in the decade I was born. And that means for the Alphabet Soup Challenge I have my D novel. With no crossover books the mashup will mean reading fifty books. But with the crossovers I’m hoping it will be around thirty. It will depend on how many books I can add to the Read Harder list with different letters.

Last year out of the twenty-five books I wanted to read I actually read six. Yes, six. I can blame the horrible things that happened last year. I can blame work. I can blame a lot of things but the truth is I didn’t make time for reading. As a writer I need to read to keep on top of the market, not to mention the pure enjoyment factor of plunging into different worlds. I schedule time for writing but I didn’t schedule time for reading. My eight year-old niece reads like I used to read. At every opportunity. She will be my new reading role model.

A new year means a new chance to accomplish goals. When I told someone my reading goal for last year and what I actually read she asked me why I was doing this mashup this year. If I know I can for sure read six books why not make the “challenge” six books? But where’s the challenge in that? The purpose of a challenge is to push yourself to do more than you thought you could, expand your horizons. I achieved that in spades with the writing last year. And there was a time when I could read two books a weeks. Other writers manage to read one hundred books a year and still write, still have a family who remembers them. I can too!

So this year the goal is between thirty to fifty books. Check out my Goodreads Challenge Shelf to follow along.

First book up (because it’s the January book for book club) is A Wise Man’s Fear. It satisfies the book over 500 pages criteria.

Any suggestions for books for either challenge? Throw them at me!

Until next time…

 

Cindy

Par-tay with Mimi Barbour

Before I get to the actual par-tay and a chance to win books and more below let me introduce you to Mimi Barbour’s book, My Cheeky Angel (1st book in the Angels with Attitudes series).

Annie is naïve and love-starved, she’ll soon to be celebrating her big 3-0. Something needs to be done! Celi, her ‘down-to-earth’ guardian angel appears to help kick-start Annie’s big change—her looks, her job, her whole life. By taking a managerial position with a sophisticated shoe manufacturer, Annie becomes embroiled with her new associates and hooked on the power of big business. Unfortunately, her exhaustion from overwork forces her to ignore old friends, and her lapse places someone she cares about in terrible danger.

Tyler, a Social Worker and a woman-hater previously hurt in two relationships, only wants Annie in his life as a good buddy. Oh yeah! And to help with his mixed-up street kids. Perversely, once her life alters, he misses her like hell. In one sweet night of loving everything changes. But, due to an overabundance of nightcaps, she doesn’t remember the night he can’t forget.

Announcing:

Lucky Days Free Par-Tay

Discover over 40 amazing ebooks: Romances, Thrillers, Mysteries, Humor, Fantasies, and more!

All FREE at Amazon.com

Fantastic ebooks, many by award-winning and best-selling authors.

There’s a genre for every reader’s taste.

Romance from sweet to HOT, suspense, paranormal, humorous, historical…we have an awesome range.

If Mysteries and Thrillers are your thing you can’t go wrong. Police action, murderous mayhem, amateur sleuths and more.

You’ll also find Horror, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Woman’s Fiction…. A fantastic selection!

Got kids? We have books for elementary school age and teens alike.

Don’t miss out! Soon these amazing ebooks will be back to their usual prices. Grab them while they’re FREE! March 14th-18th.

Who says you can have too much of a good thing. You can never have too many great books. Load up your Kindle and tell your neighbors to do the same.

The FREE Par-Tay is a BLAST!

Some Examples of the Great Books Available:

You like Romance? Find them here.

Don’t miss Mimi Barbour’s “My Cheeky Angel” or Virna DePaul’s “Chosen by Sin.” Rita Herron will make you smile with “Marry Me Maddie.” Stephanie Bond’s “I think I Love You” and Denise Domning’s “Almost Perfect” are perfect for the addicted romance reader. Debra Burroughs “Three Days in Seattle” and Nina Bruhns’s “The French Detective’s Woman” add a splash of mystery and suspense to their romance.

Excited by Thrillers? Ecstatic for Mysteries? Scared by Horror? Tweaked by Sci-Fi? You’re in the right place!

Ron Kierkegaard’s “The God Particle” stretches the boundaries and Michael Shean’s “Shadow of a Dark Star” will open your eyes to new worlds. Michael Paneush’s “The Stein and Candle Detective Agency” is a fantastical take on mystery and fantasy abounds in Jack Albrecht’s “Osric’s Wand” and Vicki Keirie’s “Worlds Burn Through.”

“Liquid Lies” By Lois Lavrisa dives into secrets, lies and murder, while Shannon Mayer will lead you through ten Horrifying stories in “Ingredients of a Caldron.” Nathan Yocum investigates a post-apocalyptic future in “The Zona” and Katherine Owen digs deep in a story of love and loss in “Seeing Julia.”

And don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter. You’ll automatically be entered to WIN $100 in Amazon Gift Cards.

Five down – twenty-seven to go

So, the reading resolution isn’t going that well. Settling into the new house after National, plus dealing with work, two on-line courses and revisions of my futuristic don’t leave much time for reading. But I did finish the book I started on the plane way back in July on the way home from National. Jordan Dane’s No One Heard Her Scream.

Next book up was Angel with Attitude by Michelle Rowen. With the exception of the Jordan Dane book, I’m reading the books from National in alphabetical order by title. That way I get a good variety of genres. Plus there’s no trying to decide what book to read next. The only exceptions I might make are books that are not the first in a series if I haven’t read the first book. After Michelle’s book I was supposed to read an Alyssa Day book. But it’s the second in a series. So I skipped that one for now until I can get the first book. Instead, I read Michelle’s book Bitten & Smitten. Now, I can’t say I’ve been converted to the first person train but I really did like the book. So much so that I forgot it was in first person most of the time. It looks like I might not detest first person as much as I thought if the author is talented enough. WTG Michelle. After that was Blackout by Annie Solomon. Really good book. But I love spy novels and that’s what it was essentially. A female Jason Bourne. After reading Count to Ten by Karen Rose I started another of her books. Die for Me.

But now the National books will have to be put on hold. My Daphne books arrived today so I will dive into those. I hope they’re as good as the ones I judged last year.

I know I have no shot at getting 32 books read by July so I’ll have to amend it to 32 books by December. Now that reading two books a month is part of my New Year’s resolution I hope I can stick with it. So far, not so much. And now, I’m off to read before I go to work.

Until next time…

Cindy

Post conference high

I’m back from San Francisco. What a crazy, busy, productive week. Conference was amazing as usual. I attended some great workshops. Blake Snyder was amazing. If you haven’t seen him speak you really need to. He had some very interesting things to say.

The booksignings were crowded but very fruitful. Of course I brought back way too many books. And I was actually selective this year, only picking up books I thought I would actually read. I guess only time will tell if I get through them all. I started reading Jordan Dane’s book, No One Heard Her Scream on the plane so I’m off to a good start. I have a conference resolution. By next conference I hope to have at least half of the 64 books I brought back read.

I love conference. It’s a chance to meet people I’ve known online for ages. A chance to see friends I haven’t seen for a year. Catch up with chapter members I haven’t seen in a while because I hardly ever make it out to meetings.

I need to go and catch up on e-mail and homework now. I’ll be posting more later this week.

Until next time…

Cindy