Friday, November 22, 2013


The low clouds hang like heavy rolls of sooty cotton on the horizon and above the hills wisps of fog tangle in the naked limbs. I hear the wind whistling through the trees. Leaves twirl and crunch as they brush against each other and dance across the yard.  There is a certain beauty in the stark browns and faded gold of the remaining oak leaves stubbornly clinging to the our trees despite the wind. The crows are calling out a warning of worsening weather on it's way and the cardinals are huddled together on the swaying feeders. The autumn rains are here this week and the temperatures are steadily dropping and soon we'll have snow and sleet. This is the sort of weather that makes me want to snuggle up by a warm fire with a good book.

I'm working my way through my TBR list. Some 4 star books I've enjoyed recently.

A new author for me is Mike Wells. He writes a fast paced suspense/thrillers that keeps you turning the pages. He's very visual in his writing and it reflects his screenplay skills. I've always enjoyed stories by Sidney Sheldon and Steven Cannell. Mike Wells reminds me of their way of telling a story. I'll be reading more of his books. A word of caution, he is giving away book one as an incentive to checking out his series. Buy the Lust, Money, & Murder edition that has book 1-3 in one book. The free book one leaves you hanging and that ticked me off--even though I understood promotional methods he used. I'll be the first to tell you I don't like cliffhangers in a book. I want resolution in one story with questions to lead you to the next. The full edition moves smoothly from one section to the next.


This book begins with a young and naive Elaine Brogan as she initially pursues her dream of a career as a photomodel. 

After becoming entangled with a sleazy modeling agency, she decides to become a Secret Service agent, struggling through the arduous training academy. 

After her first disastrous assignment, she is transferred to Bulgaria. There, she meets Nick LaGrange, the love of her life.

Another new to me author, is paranormal romance author, Thea Harrison. I really enjoyed the fresh take on the supernatural world. Love the kick butt take names sentinels and the adventure in the other world just beyond the borders of our modern world. It was a fun story as was the second book in the series. I liked the ancient creatures--like dragons and thunderbirds--interacting with the modern world. It's fast paced but the author does take the time to fill you in on the world and gives the reader insight into the creatures she features by inner dialog. That especially works for seeing how these ancient ones developed human qualities as well as the ability to shapeshift into human form. 


Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. 

But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful-and passionate-of the Elder races.

My hot toddy is calling me as are the new characters in the current book I'm reading, Priceless: A Rylee Adamson Novel. I'll tell you more about that another time.

  • So, what books have you read recently that you could recommend?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Today’s writer rarely has the perfect time and place to write.  For most, it’s a matter of carving out the necessary time while taking care of their responsibilities to family and job. It’s a tough juggling act. 
My guest, Jennifer Walkup, talks about some things that have helped her stay on track and overcome the negatives.

  • How do you juggle working and family obligations with your writing career?
This is a tough one! I have a job, two young kids, a husband, a dog and a house. Plus I freelance edit for a few publishers and a literary magazine. I’m pretty good at multitasking but there is still only so much time. There are some things I won’t cut corners on - like family time with my husband and kids – but other things I have no problem slacking off on. I’m looking at you, housework! Ha! I’m not saying I completely ignore it, but there may be a few more weeds in my garden and a bit more dust in my house than there should be.

Many of us working mom types think we can do it all, but throw writing into the mix and it becomes literally impossible to get it all done. The sooner I let go of getting it ALL done, the better I felt. In other words: don’t sweat the small stuff! 
  • What does your writing day look like?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a typical writing day. Being a mom to two young boys, my day is often upside down and backwards. Between that and working, I sneak in writing where I can. I try to write every night when the kids go to sleep, and can usually fit in a few hours. I’m a much more efficient writer early in the day, however, so when I can sneak in some morning writing hours, I’m a happy girl! 
  • How do you handle negatives?
I try really hard not to let them bring me down. I’d like to say I don’t read reviews – I know some authors don’t – but I’m not that strong. I read them from time to time. When a reader doesn't agree with (or downright doesn't like) something about my book, I try not to absorb it. And it mostly works. Not every book is for everyone. And that’s okay! It’s just like when we writers are querying agents and submitting to editors and publishers. Not every agent or editor is going to love our work. Same with readers. As long as I’m entertaining some readers, I take it as a win! 
  • How has associating with other writers helped you?
In all my years of writing and trying to get published, the writing community has helped me more than anything else in the world!

I have learned so much from fellow writers about the craft itself. Without the writing community I never would have gotten my manuscripts in shape to try and publish, and certainly never would have gotten published. The writing community is amazing – supportive, understanding and after all these years, filled with wonderful friends. Love my myriad critique partners and writing buddies! 
  • What do you still struggle with as an author?
Everything! Ha, it’s funny, but true! Every single novel I write has its set of challenges. And every single story, every new character has the same approach. Is this interesting? Is this real enough? Will this grab the reader? Will this bore people? Will they like this character? Hate this character? Will this keep them guessing enough? All the fears I've had since book one are still the same. 

Now it’s a little scarier, actually. Since Second Verse came out, I've had people emailing to ask: “I loved your book! When’s the sequel?” It’s amazing feedback and it makes me feel great! But I’m terrified too. What if the sequel doesn't deliver? What if these readers don’t love it as much? So those fears, I think, they are always there. The key is channeling that into productivity, which I am slowly but surely learning how to do. 
  • Second Verse is a ghost story—a bit dark and definitely on the scary side—with a rich portion of romance stirred in. What inspired this series or characters?
Second Verse is a mystery/thriller with paranormal elements. Not one bit of the story was inspired by anything in real life. Like most writers, I have a huge imagination and like many, I get inspired by seemingly innocuous things that cross my path. The inspiration for Second Verse was one of those instances. To make a long story short, it was inspired by the 30th anniversary of a famous musician’s death. The whole story can be found on my site
  • I’m always curious to see how people respond to the question of personal heroes. Who is your real life hero? Why?
My real life hero is my oldest son. He’s 7 years old and is the strongest, bravest boy I know. He was diagnosed with epilepsy a few years ago and even though things aren't always easy for him, he works so hard at everything he does and deals with so much that I wish he didn't have to. But he takes it all in stride and just keeps going. 
On that note, this would be a good time to mention that I’m donating a portion of all book sales in November to fund epilepsy research in honor of Epilepsy Awareness Month
So if you are interested in my book or know someone who’d like one as a holiday gift, if you purchase this month, part of the sale will go to epilepsy research!

Thanks so much for having me on OVER COFFEE today! I really appreciated getting to hang out here and chat with your readers!



Bad things come in threes. In Shady Springs, that includes murder.

Murder Now
Lange Crawford's move to Shady Springs, Pennsylvania, lands her a group of awesome friends, a major crush on songwriter Vaughn, and life in a haunted, 200-year-old farmhouse. It also brings The Hunt: an infamous murder mystery festival where students solve a fake, gruesome murder scheme during the week of Halloween. Well, supposedly fake.  

Murder Then
Weeks before The Hunt, Lange and her friends hold a séance in the farmhouse's eerie barn. When a voice rushes through, whispering haunting words that only she and Vaughn can hear, Lange realizes it's begging for help. The mysterious voice leads Lange and Vaughn to uncover letters and photos left behind by a murdered girl, Ginny, and they become obsessed with her story and the horrifying threats that led to her murder.  

Murder Yet to Come
But someone doesn't like their snooping, and Lange and Vaughn begin receiving the same threats that Ginny once did. The mysterious words from the barn become crucial to figuring out Ginny's past and discovering how their own past is connected to hers. They must work fast to uncover the truth or risk finding out if history really does repeat itself. Excerpt


When Jennifer Walkup isn't writing or reading, she’s spending time with her husband and young sons, listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and coming up with costume ideas for Halloween. She’s obsessed with good coffee and new recipes and likes broccoli on her pizza, flowers in her hair, flip-flops on her feet, and the number 13. A member of SCBWI and RWA, Jennifer also serves as fiction editor for The Meadowland Review and teaches creative writing at The Writers Circle. Second Verse is her first novel. 

You can find Jennifer: Website, Blog, Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter.