Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Cover Reveal for Melhara by Jocelyn Tollefson

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Witches. Demons. Angels. Ancient prophecies and eternal wars.Kyra Parker seems to have it all: a successful career woman, wife, and mother; she's living the life she always wanted. But appearances are deceiving. In reality, she's a witch who has forbidden herself from using magic—at least the powers she has control over. Only two of her closest friends know her secret—one they share.

Kyra can no longer ignore her destiny when she is exposed as the key to the end of the world. She transforms into a dark witch after reluctantly surrendering her soul to the demon, Alastor, to save her loved ones. 

With her friends, Alexis and Axel, chasing her across the country in an attempt to free her from the demon's influence, Kyra ventures ever closer to the point of no return. Her family and friends need to work together before it’s too late to save her—and the rest of the world—from the demon apocalypse. 

There's just one problem—she doesn’t want to be saved.

If you want to buy Melhara, check out Amazon.ca
For more abut the author check out Jocelyn Tollefson

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Interview with author of 'Bailey's Law' Meg Lelvis

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My interview with Meg Lelvis, author of Bailey's Law about all things writing, her process, and what we can expect from the poet turned novelist. 

-       What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve enjoying writing stories since grade school, and after teaching English I wanted to try it out, first as a hobby. Then I joined writers’ groups and wanted to fulfill a life-long dream to publish a book.
When did you complete your first piece of writing? What was it? How was that process?
Eight years ago I wrote several free verse poems and short stories which I shared in critique circles.
It was a humbling experience because I didn’t realize how much I needed to learn!
What is your favourite genre to write? Why?
I’ve always been interested in psychology and characters’ motivations, and found that the
crime/mystery genre worked well to bring my characters to life and to send a message.

What kinds of sources do you take inspiration from?
I am inspired by established writers, both present and past. Charlotte Bronte and Tami Hoag are two examples. I read all the time; sometimes two books concurrently.

Do you model characters after real people?
Yes, sometimes I do. For example, Erna Baumgartner in Bailey’s Law is Jack Bailey’s meddling,
but good-hearted housekeeper. She’s patterned after my own Aunt Erna, who was a real character!

What does your writing process look like? Did it take you a while to develop?
I use the process which works best for me, and don’t adhere to exact rules or advice. Unlike many writers, I don’t outline for instance. I draw my own rudimentary story arc which looks like a lop-sided hill. I keep a running hand-written log of notes I jot down about the main events and characters introduced in each chapter. It may not work for others, but it’s what I know!

What does you editing process look like? Do you allow others to read your writing?
Yes, I spend a lot of time reading and re-reading my pages. I’m in a couple critique circles, and after they’ve given their suggestions, I later use the changes I agree with, and ignore the ones I don’t. Critique groups are essential to me because of the feedback and it urges me on to write.

Do you take criticism hard or do you have a thick skin? Have you ever received criticisms that you felt were unjustified or too harsh? Are you your worst critic?
I think I have a thick skin. Years ago I sang in a chorus and quartets where we had to accept constructive criticism or else give it up. It’s not easy being told you’re flat or hit the wrong note! My critique groups are all in the same boat; we want to become better writers, and they are quite diplomatic for the most part. At times certain people are ‘nitpicky’, but I hide my irritation and go on with my life, ha! Only once did I secretly disagree with someone’s criticism of a scene I’d worked hard on. I thought it was damn (you can omit this word if you’d like) good, and this person had problems with it. But I still like it!

Have you ever felt like quitting writing? If so how did you overcome those feelings?
There are times I need a break from writing, especially if I’m stuck on a scene I don’t want to write. Rewarding myself with reading good books or streaming episodes of UK detective stories help, and then I’m ready to return to the keyboard.

Do you have favourite characters from your own writing? What made them so special to you?
Yes, I do love Jack Bailey, whom I made a Liam Neeson look-alike. He has that brooding, tragic look about him that I like in Irish or Nordic men. Beneath a stony exterior, he has a good heart.
I also like Denise Williams, a patrol cop who’s smart and sassy. These characters are not passive personalities, which makes them special to me.

How do you keep motivated to finish a writing project?
I like to set realistic goals for myself; small enough so I can accomplish them. Some writers have a certain number of words or pages per day. I have to adjust my goals to my life in general, like trips, book club meeting, etc. Some days I have more time than others.

Have you ever written something you didn’t like, but felt necessary for the overall story?
If you mean involving research, yes. I’m not interested in nor know anything about guns, but I had to include information about them because my main characters are cops. There were one or two scenes involving investigations that I didn’t care for, but were essential for a realistic plot.

Is there any question you are tired of getting as an author?
Yes. After having my book published, people ask how my sales are going, which annoys me no end! Or how much did I pay an editor or publicist when the price is tailored to each writer’s own needs. As Dear Abby would say: MYOB. Why can’t they ask about writing or characters or themes?

What do you wish people knew about life as an author?
I wish they knew how many thousands of books are out there, and how many writers. I’m happy to say, though, that most of my friends and acquaintances respect what hard work it is to write, even though it’s a labor of love.

What would be your advice for aspiring authors?
Read a lot and write a lot. Read established authors in your genre of interest with a critical eye. Join a critique group, but it that’s not feasible, find someone who will be brutally honest in their comments about your writing. Show them a few pages or if you prefer, the entire first draft. Stephen King has his IR (Ideal Reader) who has always been his wife.
Is there anything you wish you knew before you became an author?
It’s a difficult balance between the joy and challenge of writing and the practical publishing process. The entire process of submitting to publishers, signing a contract, going through the timeline of publishing, like edits, cover design, etc. Then marketing expectations. Of course, it was a whole new world and learning curve, and it’s been a fun ride. Writing for me is a passion which I hope will always stay with me.

If you want to buy the book, go to Amazon.ca
To learn more about the author, click here

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Teaser for 'Bailey's Law'

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Bailey’s Law
Meg Lelvis

© 2016 by Meg Lelvis
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the publishers, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review to be printed in a newspaper, magazine or journal.

The final approval for this literary material is granted by the author.

First printing

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

ISBN: 978-1-61296-772-1
PUBLISHED BY BLACK ROSE WRITING www.blackrosewriting.com

Printed in the United States of America
Suggested retail price $

Bailey’s Law is printed in Book Antiqua

For Gary, Kristin, Rebecca


Special Thanks to:

Reagan Rothe and his staff at Black Rose Writing.

To editor Roger Leslie.

To HWG leaders Roger Paulding, Fern Brady, Lynne Gregg.

To special critique friends: Barbara Andrews, Connie Gillen, Mark Pople, Jim Murtha, my sister, Carole.

To Tom Williams for cop advice, Gail, Kaye, Monica, and book club.


 Chicago, 1990

First week in homicide. The supervisor, beefy, seasoned detective from the old school, takes him aside. Don’t ever forget, Bailey, the person you work for ain’t me, it ain’t the chief, ain’t even the citizens of this town. You work for the victim. He’s your boss. You break your ass getting justice for him, you gotta be his voice, cuz he ain’t talkin. ’ You got that?
He got it all right. Know your victim, what makes him tick, and you got motivation. Only problem, what if your victim is your enemy? Sometimes whoever killed so-and-so did society a favor. Know your victim, but you might not like what you learn. Truth is, most victims are victims, and deserve to be treated with respect.
The best cops don’t always follow the letter of the law, they enforce the law. They navigate in gray areas of human morals, ethics, scruples. A good cop interprets the law according to his own conscience and understanding of decency and fairness, with public safety the ultimate goal.
From time to time the rules must be bent. The crucial part is knowing the time when you see it.
Jack Bailey’s most life-defining time is yet to come.

Chapter 1

Twenty Years Later

The minute Lt. Jack Bailey walked through the door of the Richmond, Texas police station, he felt buzzing tension in the air. The entire atmosphere was on high wattage. Several people scurried by him on their way out the door, nodding in hurried greeting.
Detective Hector Reyes approached him. “Just got the call. Big accident out on Warren Road. At least two dead. Head on collision.
Fire department was first responder.”
“Let’s take a look. Hope it’s not school kids this time of morning.”
Jack didn’t bother with accidents unless the department was short staffed, but this sounded more urgent than the regular fender benders that prevailed in Richmond. A salty, fifty-eight-year-old man of solid build, Jack was tough, hardened, and did not mince words. No one could accuse him of impersonating Mr. Rogers. Dark hair streaked with gray crowned a chiseled face that reflected the brooding, tragic image of a film noir actor. Many people called Jack a dead ringer for Liam Neeson. At least they were both Irish.

.   .   .   .   .

As the two men headed south out of town, Hector spoke to the dispatcher. Jack’s cell phone rang, and he turned it on speaker mode.
“Yeah, Moose. I’m on the way with Hector. What’s the latest?”
“God, Jack, it’s a bad one. Don’t have ID’s yet, but one guy, he’s…”
“It’s unreal. He’s all mangled. Got cut in two.” “Jesus,” Hector muttered.
“Yeah, a couple of our guys lost their breakfast. So be prepared.”
“Right,” Jack said. “Is Nolan there?”
“Yeah. She’s right here looking green around the gills and shaky, but holding up.”
Kathleen Nolan joined the squad a couple years ago. Young, blond, and attractive, she earned the respect of her colleagues through hard work and attention to detail. She was still the target of good natured teasing, but developed a thicker skin as a matter of survival.
“OK, Moose, see you in about five.” Jack turned off the cell. “May need a barf bucket for Nolan,” he chuckled.
They arrived at the scene, parked behind another cruiser on the shoulder of the two lane road, and emerged from the car. August’s early morning heat and humidity shrouded Jack’s body and crept into his bones. After six years, he’d learned not to fight it, but he still missed the climate of Chicago on days like this.
The odor of gasoline assaulted their nostrils as their shoes crunched over shards of shattered glass and sidestepped chunks of metal strewn over the road and shoulder areas. Spilled gas blanketed the pavement and glistened in the unrelenting sun. Several patrol cars, two ambulances, and a fire truck parked haphazardly along both sides of the road, their flashing lights invisible against the bright morning sky.
“Anybody figure out what happened?” Jack asked several officers standing about five yards from the crumpled mess of what used to be two cars. A white van had reduced what may have been an Audi to a heap of scrap metal for a junk yard. Another vehicle lay upside down in a ditch alongside the wreckage, its front squashed like an accordion. A tall, stringy-haired photographer in worn jeans darted about, bobbing here and there, camera clicking away, with an attitude of self-important urgency.
Asshole’s looking for the most gruesome shot. Probably hoping for a Pulitzer, Jack thought.
He’d never been able to stand the arrogant prick.
“Jesus,” Hector said looking around. “I hate the word, ‘surreal’, but this is fuckin’ surreal.”
“We don’t know anything yet, Lieutenant,” Kathleen said as she joined the group from behind the ambulance. She looked shaken. Her blond hair was held back in a ponytail, and beads of perspiration dotted her forehead.
“Wait till you see the one body. Remains is more like it. Don’t plan to eat anytime soon,” another cop warned Jack and Hector.
Jack wasn’t worried about himself as they approached lead detective Moose Gustafson and several EMT’s, hovering over two covered bodies on the shoulder of the road. Jack had seen plenty of gore when he worked gang-banger and drug-infested neighborhoods in Chicago’s turbulent south side.
Moose led the group to a shallow ditch of tall grass beside the over-turned mound of metal.
“Son of a bitch,” Hector muttered.
“Hell, in twenty years I’ve never seen anything like this poor bastard,” Jack admitted.
“He must’ve been in his sixties, maybe seventies.”
“What a way to end up,” Moose said. “Looks like a magician took a saw and—”
“Well,” Jack paused. Waited. “I think it’s safe to say he ain’t half the man he used to be.”
There was dead silence, then the officers broke out in raucous laughter. All except Kathleen, who stood there with an incredulous look on her face.
“That’s an awful thing to say, Lieutenant. How can you say something like that?” her voice indignant. “This is no joke. He’s probably somebody’s father.”
“Come on, lighten up, Nolan,” Jack said. “I’ve waited my whole career to use that line. Don’t steal my thunder.”
Kathleen jammed her hands on her hips. “Excuse me if I don’t think it’s funny.” She turned on her heel and marched away in a huff.
The officers were still snickering. “We told you not to hire her,” someone chuckled.
“Well, we need our token blond chick,” another cop joked. “Gotta get our laughs somewhere.”
“All right, stifle it and get back to work,” Jack said.
“I’ve never heard Nolan speak up like that.” Moose smiled.
“Maybe she’ll get out of kindergarten after all.”
“Better not tell her any Ed Gein jokes,” Jack said.
“Ed who?” Hector asked.
“Never mind. I’ll save it for another time.” Jack wiped his face with a white handkerchief and proceeded to work the scene with Moose and Hector, stepping aside so the two CSI guys could complete their tasks. The sun continued to smother their bodies as they examined the wreckage. The grease-ball photographer appeared out of nowhere like an annoying fly.
“You still here? Not enough blood and guts for you yet?” Jack growled.
“Now Lieutenant, you know I’m only here to report the news,” the guy sneered, his matted hair stuck to his neck.
“Okay, here’s some news to report: you’re an asshole,” Jack said. “Now get the hell out of here.”
“I second that,” Hector added. The man backed away, holding up his hands in mock defeat.
“Prick.” Moose kept wiping his brow, attempting to keep his straight blond hair out of his eyes. Navy-colored half-moons stained the underarms of his pale blue shirt.
Moose Gustafson, whose stature bore no resemblance to his nickname, was lead detective in the Criminal Investigation Division. Richmond was a small city, with only seven members in the CID, including Jack, who supervised the group. Moose, with his tall, Nordic good looks and amiable personality, was a popular figure in the RPD. He harbored a sweet tooth, ate like a horse, and remained lean as a rail.
“Wanna wrap it up, Jack?” Moose asked after what seemed like an hour. His ruddy face glistened with sweat.
“Yeah, let’s go.” Jack wiped his forehead with his handkerchief, by now a drenched, wadded up ball. “Heat’s a bitch. Need some AC.” “And a shower,” Hector added.
No one in the squad knew much about Jack Bailey, except that he relocated from Chicago six years ago. He never spoke of family or anything close to a personal nature. His only real friend, Moose, knew nothing about Jack’s background. He sensed his colleagues wondered about him, but that was their problem. They’d never understand his past. Jack chose to remain a closed book.
That afternoon, Kathleen ran into Jack in the hallway near his office.
“Nolan,” he smiled. “Glad to see your color is back. That shade of green didn’t suit you.”
“Very funny. You know, I’d heard about your gallows humor before, but that comment this morning was—can’t think of a word. Anyway, I’ll get over it.” She walked away, yellow pony tail swinging.
“Wait,” Jack called. “I’m not the hard ass you think I am. I have a lot of sympathy for that poor guy. In fact, I hope he rests in pieces.” “Not funny,” Kathleen retorted, still walking. At least she was starting to show some balls.

.   .   .   .   .

Several days later, the accident victims were identified and paperwork completed. The unlucky dismembered gentleman was from out of state visiting relatives. Forensics guys surmised he was speeding, lost control, and hit the oncoming van head on, causing a third vehicle following the van to crash into it. Another fatality was an eighty-year-old woman, and three other adults sustained non-lifethreatening injuries. The case was wrapped up, but no one in the department would forget the grisly scene anytime soon.

.   .   .   .   .

Things were tedious at the station the rest of the week, and Jack was restless. Lately he felt more depressed with his life. Downright bored. He missed the pulse of city life. True, Richmond was only thirty miles from Houston, but on weekends he was too lethargic to make the tiresome drive into town for quality restaurants, museums, and theaters. He hadn’t been to the Alley since King Lear two years ago. Jack told no one about his cultural interests. Didn’t want to ruin his image. But they were diversions from the root of his problems. All things considered though, relocating to Richmond as an escape seemed like the best answer six years ago. Now? Who the hell knew.

 Chapter 2

The next morning started out like any other. Jack unlocked his office, surveyed the clutter, retrieved his Chicago White Sox mug from a pile of papers on his desk, and headed for the kitchenette for his jumpstart for the day. Freshly made coffee was always ready, and today, some kind soul had brought doughnuts. Jack grabbed a couple before they disappeared.
“Leave some for Moose,” Hector said as he reached for a blueberry filled.
“Yeah, if only he’d gain a pound.” Jack chomped into a glazed one.
Hector, who made detective last year, was about Jack’s height, but could afford to drop twenty pounds. At age fifty, he sported a thick head of black hair and a heavy mustache. A Richmond native with a large extended family, he bristled when people asked where he was from. He informed them that his great-grandparents emigrated from Mexico in the 1800’s, and he was as American as anyone else who worked and paid taxes.
“All right, chocolate icing!” Moose joined his friends. “Surprised there’s any left.” All three wore short sleeved cotton shirts and khaki’s, their standard summer uniform. They kept ties on hand for meetings and such. As a lieutenant, Jack should be wearing his uniform, but he bent the rules and got by with it.
“Anything on board for today?” Moose bit off half his doughnut as they walked toward their desks.
“Just usual paperwork and maybe tie up loose ends on the bust on
Second Street last week.”
Jack entered his office as the others walked on. His phone buzzed.
“Yeah, Jill. Just walked in.” He placed his mug and extra doughnut on his desk and listened in silence to his long-time office assistant. “Got it. We’re on our way.”
He pressed another button on his phone. “Moose let’s go. We got a body.” Finally, some excitement around here.
As the men emerged from the station, suffocating heat once again engulfed them in its grip.
“Another sauna,” Moose muttered. “I should move back to Wisconsin.”
“How many times have I heard that?” Jack unwrapped a stick of gum and put it in his mouth.
They hurried through the parking lot and into the cruiser, while Jack relayed what information he knew. “The vic is a young guy, probably in his twenties, single gunshot to the chest. Roommate found him a little while ago. Don’t know the exact time. It’s a house in the west part of Pecan Grove.”
“Did Jill say anything else?” Moose asked.
“That’s about it. Hector’ll stay put to question the roommate.”
Jack sped east down Preston Street away from the downtown area. The AC kicked in, bathing them with cool relief. He darted in and out of traffic and eight minutes later entered Pecan Grove, an area known for its upscale homes, tasteful landscapes, and Christmas light displays. However, in the older section, property values had declined over the years. Although yards and houses looked shopworn, it was still considered a safe, comfortable place to live.
Jack followed the GPS onto America Court, a cul de sac with five houses in close proximity.
All were small, one story homes painted in light colors, most in obvious need of enhancement. One patrol car sat in front of a pale blue residence with shabby white shutters and a faded wooden door.
Jack parked the car behind the cruiser, and the two men hurried up a cracked sidewalk, past overgrown hay-like grass and dying shrubbery. He pounded on the door and yelled, “Bailey here, open up.”
He jerked the handle, pushed inside, and was met by Denise Williams, a veteran patrol officer, who chimed in a jocular voice, “Bailey, about time you showed up.” Her dark skinned, smiling face showcased a set of gleaming pearls. “He’s over there on the sofa.
Taking a siesta.”
Moose followed Jack through the dim, gloomy entryway to the living room at the right. It lacked even minimal decor. Nothing on the colorless walls, no end tables or lights except a plain black pole lamp beside a brown threadbare easy chair. A faded gold sofa sat against the far wall, a clump of stuffing peeking out of torn fabric on an arm rest.
A male body slumped forward at the other end of the couch. An average-sized young white guy with wavy brown hair, he sat with his chin resting on his now crimson white t-shirt, as if he were taking a snooze. His left side leaned into the arm rest with his wrists crossed over his upper thighs.
Ragged tan cargos were splashed with dark red blotches, and black rubber flip flops halfway rested on his long feet. The sweet metallic tell-tale odor familiar to all cops permeated the room.
“Holy shit,” said Moose. “Made more mess than I thought from a single shot.”
“Shame to ruin this nice sofa,” Jack said as he took in the copious blood stains. “Any ideas, Williams?” He reached in his shirt pocket, retrieved another stick of spearmint gum, and popped it in his mouth. Damn, he missed smoking.
“Not much. I got here about eight minutes ago. Heard it on dispatch on my way in.” Denise tried to smooth down her wiry black hair. “Roommate was all shaky. Couldn’t talk straight. Claims he spent the night at his girlfriend’s apartment. Found the body like that this morning.”
“Where’s the roommate now?”
“Fitch was here right on my heels and took the kid to the station for further questioning. Wanted him gone before the scene got crowded. Looked about twenty to me.” After another futile attempt to smooth her unruly hair, Denise took a red scrunchy from her pocket and created a make-shift bun.
“Okay, the team’ll be here any minute,” Jack said as he leaned in, observing the body from different angles, careful not to touch. “Looks staged, almost sitting up with the wrists crossed.”
“Yeah, that’s what first struck me,” Denise added, still fiddling with her hair.
“I agree. I’ll start searching now,” Moose said. “Doesn’t look like robbery.” He fished out latex gloves from his pocket, pulled them onto his large paws, and headed left toward the kitchen. Jack frowned as he noticed darker splotches of blood on the corpse’s groin area. A sex crime? Hmm…
“No evidence of forced entry or struggle. Here’s more info.” Denise flipped open a small notebook. “Roommate’s name is Derek Walls. Deceased was Todd Kaplan. Both worked at the Olive Garden at Brazos Mall. Worked last night till 10:00 or so, and roomie and girlfriend left together. Todd supposedly went home.”
“Okay,” said Jack looking toward the front door. “Here’s the team.”
“Coming in,” shouted a voice at the front door as five squad members descended on the scene, including Kathleen. Two forensics guys opened their black cases, donned latex gloves, and retrieved instruments and cameras, while Jack pointed out the body’s private area to the team. Kathleen’s face turned a rosy pink. Another detective and a patrol officer listened as they glanced around the room.
“Secure the perimeter,” Jack instructed the officer, who immediately headed outside to cordon off the yard with yellow tape. Several neighbors congregated on the street and sidewalk, gawking with curiosity at the blue house and appearing to speculate amongst themselves.

Jack hoped one of them might have information about why someone would bump off young Todd Kaplan. The autopsy report would also tell its tale in the next day or two and explain the extra blood below Kaplan’s waist. Who was this guy? 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Review for "Echo" by Lorena Glass

Echo by [Glass, Lorena]

Echo by Lorena Glass

Echo by Lorena Glass is an epic love story spanning centuries and places, detailing the eternal connection of two souls bound by love, and suffering, and destined to be joined and separated over and over again. Themes of relationships, love, duty and honor are woven together using threads of time travel and drama to create a powerful story that speaks to a part in all of us, however small, that delights in true connections between people that can transcend our understanding of what love is.

Now initially I was skeptical about this book, as I am with all romance books or stories with strong themes of love, but the other aspects of this book, time travel, experiencing different cultures from different time periods, made me intrigued, and I do try and push outside of my comfort zone. I took a chance on this book and as not disappointed. We first meet Karissa, a girl who time travels to find her lost love, and the depths of her devotion to him, to what they had, is so poignant in the book, so beautifully articulated that even the most cynical can emphasis with her. As the story develops, the characters are well flushed out and so relatable I felt my heart break along with theirs, and swell when their love was at its height.

The first iteration of this relationship was magical, it was so well thought through and enough time and care was given to grow their intimacy naturally, however as these two souls continue to travel through time to find each other again the following relationships are given less and less time to season organically, instead I felt as if they were rushed quicker and quicker as the narrative went on. This was really my only criticism, and its because the first relationship was so well developed I wanted to know and understand each subsequent one in the same way, but their stories felt rushed. Of course there was purpose in this, Glass has set this up as a trilogy and obviously a certain amount of progress had to be made before the book could end, however I wish I could have gotten to know the other characters as well as I knew the first two.

Saying so, though, does mean that Glass has achieved what all authors crave; for their readers to connect with and become invested in the characters they create. The story is simple, but compelling, rich in the breath of human emotions, and their capacity to love, and this is coming from someone who is contemptuous of the genre. This book is highly worth the investment, and I look forward to the rest of the trilogy. 

To buy the book through Amazon.ca click here

Friday, 27 January 2017

Teaser for "Mistakes of my Past" by Emily James

Displaying MOMP Teaser.jpg

What do you do when your relationship destroys everything good in your life?It’s simple, right? You escape - by any means necessary. 
Amber knew that leaving Tommy was going to be hard and quite possible deadly. After all, she has things that he will stop at nothing to get. 
When Amber flees England to start fresh with her estranged father in Ohio she starts the process of rebuilding her life.  
Will is recovering from his own disastrous relationship, which has left him mistrusting of high maintenance women. And when he meets Amber, she seems just that. 
Getting off to a rocky start, Amber and Will soon realize they have more in common than they thought
Can Amber ever really free herself from the mistakes of her past?
Or are they only ever one short step behind her?

The Mistakes of my Past is a stand-alone novel. 
It is only recommended for readers aged over 18 due to dark, abusive and sexual themes.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Cover Reveal for Mistakes of my Past by Emily James

Mistakes of my Past by Emily James

Displaying Mistakes of My Past Cover.jpg

What do you do when your relationship destroys everything good in your life?

It’s simple, right? You escape - by any means necessary. 

Buy the book on Amazon.ca here

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Review for "Top 18 ways to Promote your Music in 2015" By Donavon Parker

Image may contain: 1 person
Section of 'Alfred the Saxon King (Disguised as a Minstrel) in the Tent of Guthrum the Dane by Daniel Maclise

Review for “Top 18 Ways to Promote Your Music in 2015” by Donavon Parker

“Top 18 Ways to Promote your Music in 2015” is a quick start guide on how to navigate the huge world of music promotion. Parker specifies in the title it is designed for the year 2015 but many of the tips and advice are about mass social media and online venues which extend beyond 2015.

Alright, let's first deal with the elephant in the room; its 2017 now and I am reviewing a book about the music industry in 2015, don’t worry though as the author has made sure to make this relevant for the next few years by addressing new and up and coming technology. I also have to start off by mentioning to anyone purchasing or thinking of purchasing this book, do not click on the embedded link the author has included to his own website, because it is just ads, annoying page ads and as far as I can tell, any links you can find out there in the web verse all lead to annoying ads. I tried to reconcile this issue with Parker but as of the posting of this review the author has not been able to contact me.

Parker starts by dispelling some long held beliefs about the modern music industry and makes it clear that how artists and bands operated and shot to stardom 10, 15 or 20 years ago doesn’t cut it today; musicians who want to adequately promote themselves have to take full advantage of modern media, and recognize not everyone will become the next big thing, but that acquiring a good fan base is always important. Parker also analyzes cost, time and output, making sure new artists know how much time to spend on particular aspects, and what kind of result they can expect from that, so that artists know what is worth spending time on doing and what is not. The biggest benefits to this book are the links Parker provides, to advertising platforms, free music sources and pretty much anything you could think of. It means of course this book only really works within an online format, but Parker starts off by saying its condensed online format was designed to make the book as cheap as possible to allow anyone to be able to afford it, (hence the lack of a cover page) and who can fault him for that? (In case it doesn’t translate, that was a rhetorical question, of course no one can fault Parker for thinking of struggling artists’ wallets).

My biggest issue with the (very short) book was the tone. Parker used an extremely formal tone throughout, that made the writing feel stuff and stilted. I have zero experience in the music industry, apart from being what Parker refers to as ‘a consumer’ but something that is designed for use in a young person’s game such and music can afford to be a little relaxed, easy going and informal with the reader. Of course that’s not to say that older artists and bands don’t deserve assistance in getting their music out there, or that they don’t need help too, in fact there are times when Parker described social media platforms assuming you have never heard of Facebook or Twitter or how to use them. And really Kudos to Parker for trying to widen his audience for this work, difficult to achieve in 13 pages.

Apart from my inability to stick to a strong schedule and review this on time, I actually really enjoyed the break from the norm. It was concise, to the point and not overly technical, which meant a noob like myself to the ways of the music industry could easily understand what Parker was talking about. Overall though the book had some problems, firstly the fact that it wasn’t really a book, or what I would consider a book, more like a booklet. I understand the authors desire to make it short, to keep it affordable, but perhaps he could do a follow up, or maybe publish a more in depth book for those who want to learn more. Perhaps he could do a series, including books on how to record and refine recorded music, how to produce albums etc. My only advice to Parker if he did like the idea of continuing the advice he gives is not to worry so much about the formality of language, you aren’t speaking to congress, you can relax and let your experience in the industry speak for itself.

To buy this book click here.