Amazing Books That Have Less than 100 Reviews on Amazon–and should have thousands.

This is a new feature I’m starting which was inspired by a post on another blog, Feed The Crime (One Book At A Time. The post here lists books the blogger has loved that have less than 200 reviews on Goodreads. With a tip of the hat to them, I take a look at Amazing Books by Indie/Self-Published Authors With Less Than 100 Reviews on Amazon. This is aimed at telling the world about great books they may not have seen. Indie authors do not have the marketing machine enjoyed by the traditionally published, so it is up to us to share, read, and review these great books. A couple of these books are from small, independent presses, but most are self-published. Please share this post with all of your social media followers, because some of them may find a book they love, and would have otherwise missed.

If you click on the covers, you can go straight to the Amazon link.

I plan to do this feature at least once a month, so please share these great books with others. Let’s get these books the attention they deserve.

Agustina De Aragón by Gail Meath. This is the amazing story of the “Spanish Joan of Arc.” My review is here.

No Ordinary Thing: GZ Schmidt: This is amazing Middle Grade/Young Adult historical fiction–with a time-traveling snow globe! My review is here.

The Robin Hood Trilogy: Olivia Longueville and J.C. Plummer: This is the best Robin Hood retelling I have ever read. My review is here.

TELLING SONNY: Elizabeth Gauffreau: This gorgeously written book will take you back to Vaudeville in the 1920s. My review is here.

Your Words Your World: Amazing poetry book about God and His Creation. My review is here

This amazing Middle Grade/Young Adult fantasy series, The Hamelin Stoop series, is reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia. My review is here.

These are all great books that received 5 stars from me. They just need readers to know about them. If you decide to read any of them, please leave a review on Amazon. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

Blog Tour and Book Review: The German Wife

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Germany, 1939:Annaliese is trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband Hans has become cold and secretive since starting a new job as a doctor at Dachau. Every morning she watches from her kitchen window as he leaves in his car. The sight of him in the dark uniform of the SS sends shivers of fear down her spine and she longs to escape…

When a tall, handsome Russian prisoner named Alexander is sent from Dachau to work in their garden, lonely Annaliese finds herself drawn to him as they tend to the plants together. In snatched moments and broken whispers, Alexander tells her the shocking truth about the camp. Horrified, Annaliese vows to do everything she can to save him.

But as they grow closer, their feelings for each other put their lives at risk. And Annaliese finds herself in grave danger when she dares to fight for love and freedom…

America, 1989: Turning the pages of the newspaper, Annaliese gasps when she recognizes the face of a man she thought she’d never see again. It makes her heart skip a beat as a rush of wartime memories come flooding back to her. As she reads on, she realizes the past is catching up with her. And she must confront a decades-old secret – or risk losing her only son…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Debbie Rix has written seven novels, the latest of which is The German Wife. As an ex-journalist, historical accuracy is key, and she strives to weave her stories around real life events. ‘The research process is vital,’ she says. ‘I work on the principle that if I find something fascinating, then so too will my readers.’

Her novels have been published in several languages – including Italian and Czech and her 5th novel ‘The Secret Letter’ will soon come out in Russia.

Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy and that country is the setting for 5 of her 7 novels. When not traveling she lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, children, chickens and four cats. She began her career with the BBC – initially as the newsreader on Breakfast Time, thereafter appearing as a presenter and reporter on a variety of factual and light entertainment television series. She had a spell as an Agony Aunt and has also written about gardens and gardening – one of her private passions.

BOOK REVIEW

This is an interesting but disturbing German perspective on World War II, both before, during, and after the war. Annaliese goes from a young woman in love with her husband, Hans, to someone married to a monster, a doctor at Dachau concentration camp. When she meets Alexander, a prisoner sent to work in her garden, she learns the horrific truth about Dachau and her husband’s role there.

This is a heartbreaking story of a woman thrust into a situation she never would have chosen and how she responds to it. The character development of Anna and Alex is good, and disconcerting at times, as Anna cannot seem to completely grasp what Alex has been through. There is also a shocking situation between them that Anna doesn’t fully seem to understand. The often cold and calculating, but sometimes conflicted Hans is well written. He is the epitome of someone who gave up humanity for personal gain. Some other German characters in the novel, including Anna at times, seem to want to ignore the past and forget their roles in it. Although this seems cold, it is possibly close to a true portrayal of how Germans were feeling at the time. This is a heartrending novel about an evil regime, the people they used and slaughtered, and the country they tore apart. It is also a look at that time in history through the eyes of a German woman who was left to rebuild her life in the aftermath.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

BUY LINKS

Amazon

AUDIOBOOKS ON AUDIBLE

UK
US

The Last House on the Street

This is a dual timeline novel, set in Round Hill, North Carolina, in both 1965 and 2010. In 1965, Ellie has decided to volunteer for SCOPE (Summer Community Organization and Political Education), which organized students in an effort to help African Americans in the South register to vote. She expected her family to object, but was not prepared for the level of anger aimed her way. In 2010, Kayla has just lost her husband to a tragic accident and is in unbelievable pain, continuing their plans to move into their new house in Round Hill. Then strange things begin happening, and it appears that someone does not want her there.

I enjoyed the description of and research into events in 1965. I was impressed with the character development of Ellie and Win. However, the events occurring in the 2010 timeline were not fully realized. Although there was a surprise at the end, the plot wasn’t completely developed or resolved. So much could have been added to make this a complete novel, such as more representation of the African American community in the 2010 timeline. Also while I loved the 1965 Ellie for the most part, the 2010 version of Ellie was a real letdown.

I was surprised, as I have loved all of Diane Chamberlain’s books prior to this one.

I received a free copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and (London) Sunday Times best-selling author of 27 novels. The daughter of a school principal who supplied her with a new book almost daily, Diane quickly learned the emotional power of story. Although she wrote many small “books” as a child, she didn’t seriously turn to writing fiction until her early thirties when she was waiting for a delayed doctor’s appointment with nothing more than a pad, a pen, and an idea. She was instantly hooked.

Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia. She received her master’s degree in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, she was a hospital social worker in both San Diego and Washington, D.C, and a psychotherapist in private practice in Alexandria, Virginia, working primarily with adolescents.

More than two decades ago, Diane was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which changed the way she works: She wrote two novels using voice recognition software before new medication allowed her to get back to typing. She feels fortunate that her arthritis is not more severe and that she’s able to enjoy everyday activities as well as keep up with a busy travel schedule.

Diane lives in North Carolina with her significant other, photographer John Pagliuca, and their odd but lovable Shetland Sheepdog, Cole

WEBSITE

BUY LINKS

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
IndieBound
iBooks
Google Play
Amazon Audio CD
Audible

My GoodReads Review (“Likes” Appreciated)

Self-Published Saturday: Leora’s Dexter Stories

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help Indie and Self-Published authors with one of the most difficult tasks they have to do–marketing. Indie authors have to do it all, from cover design to editing, marketing, and more. If I can help even a little bit with the marketing, I’m happy to do it. This week’s feature is the wonderful Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression. the second in the Leora Series. This is the story of an American family struggling through the depression in rural Iowa.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

The undertow of the Great Depression becomes poignantly personal as we experience the travails of Leora and Clabe Wilson, a displaced Iowa farm family. Gritty determination fuels this family’s journey of loss and hope, a reflection of what many American families endured during those challenging times.

In this true story the Wilsons slowly slide into unemployment and poverty. Leora must find ways to keep her dreams alive while making a haven for her flock of seven children in one run-down house after another.

BOOK REVIEW

This is a wonderful true story of a family of tenant farmers struggling to survive during the depression years in Iowa. Spanning from about 1927 to 1942, we follow the family as they move from farm to farm, working hard to make ends meet and put food on the table. At the same time, we learn the history of a country as it falls into the Great Depression and then tries to rise out of it. We watch the Wilson family suffer hunger, sickness, and heartbreaking loss in a time of great hardship. We watch them go from farming to odd jobs to unemployment, working hard and finding a way to survive.

When the two oldest go off to join the Navy, they put the family on their shoulders instead of leaving them behind, sending money to help keep them warm and fed. The mother, Leora Wilson, who was not allowed to go to high school, gets to see her children graduate against great odds. Through memoirs, letters, photos, and newspaper articles, we follow this family as they learn of the New Deal, finally accept some help from the government, and eventually go off to war. And through it all, we realize that despite their lack of money, they are rich in love, loyalty, grit, and fortitude. This saga of a family and a country speaks in detail of a way of life that no longer exists and documents it for all time. It is a part of American history that should not be missed.

I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (In Her Own Words)

Joy Neal Kidney


I am the keeper of family stories, letters, pictures, research, combat records, casualty reports, and terrible telegrams. Active on several history and military Facebook pages, I help administer local ones–Audubon County, Dallas County, and Guthrie County, Iowa–the places where my motherline stories originated, as well as Depression Era Iowa. 

Born two days before D-Day to an Iowa farmer who became an Army Air Corps pilot, then an instructor–with orders for combat when the war ended–and an Iowa waitress who lost three of her five brothers during that war. I spent my childhood in an Iowa farmhouse with a front porch. Now I live with my husband, a Vietnam veteran, in a suburban house with a front porch.

I’ve published two books (“Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II” and “Leora’s Dexter Stories: The Scarcity Years of the Great Depression.”) I’m a regular contributor to Our American Stories. 

Awards: 2021 Great American Storyteller Award by Our American Stories and WHO NEWSRADIO 1040

2021 – First place Our Iowa Stories award named for Joy Neal Kidney.

BUY LEORA’S DEXTER STORIES ON AMAZON

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Best Books of 2021 Chosen by Our Readers

The readers of this blog have spoken and provided us their favorite books of the year. The books did not have to be publlished in 2021 as long as they were read in 2021. I have provided the cover, description, and links to buy for some of the books, with more to follow later. The list below is all historical fiction. You can find the link to buy by clicking on the book cover. I will post more of our reader’s favorites tomorrow. Later this week I’ll provide a list of the Top 7 books I’ve reviewed this year.

Historical Fiction (In No Particular Order)

Joan Flower and her daughters enjoy a pleasant and comfortable life in the Leicestershire village of Bottesford, despite Joan’s superior and proud manner, which makes her unpopular with other villagers. When tragedy strikes and the three women find themselves without their only source of income, the comfortable lifestyle becomes a thing of the past.


The women are fortunate in finding temporary employment at Belvoir Castle and, while it lasts, they manage quite well. But a series of incidents and thoughtless deeds result in the three being dismissed, leaving them with only the coin earned from Joan’s meetings with her lover, and the sale of her herbal remedies, to live on.


Joan sees this dismissal as a personal attack on her family by the immensely rich Sir Francis and Lady Cecilia Manners. Joan’s desire for revenge on the people who had brought her family down drives her to do things she would not ordinarily have done…
Whispers of devilish practices soon circulate, eventually reaching the ears of the earl and countess, who are already racked with grief over a seemingly incurable illness plaguing their family. Eventually, Lady Cecilia becomes convinced that Joan and her daughters have cast spells on the family, causing them heartbreak and loss. Is this the beginning of the end for the Flower women?

In 1972 North Việt Nam launched the Easter Offensive against South Việt Nam. One of its main objectives was to capture the city of An Lộc and declare it the capital of a Provisional Revolutionary Government.While many accounts of the military battle exist, this novel is the first to describe it through the eyes of the soldiers and civilians who underwent over three months of fighting and surviving in the wartime inferno created by North Vietnamese artillery and tank-led attacks.While carefully weaving historical facts with vivid descriptions of daily life, the author has crafted a page-turner involving a young Regional Forces Lieutenant and the daughter of a rubber plantation owner. Through it all, readers are given a detailed look not only at how generals and commanders planned and fought the battle, but perhaps more importantly, at how the soldiers and civilians of An Lộc managed to endure and survive their hellish ordeal

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summons a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.


Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?


After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

Katie Jones is committed to fighting for the cause of woman’s suffrage. She has no time for romance, especially not with her best friend Ben Rafferty. But when Katie’s column in Ben’s newspaper stirs things up, sparks begin to fly. Ben is set on winning Katie over, but Katie is just as determined to stay true to her 1916 feminist ideals. With such strong obstacles in the way, their relationship can’t possibly progress. Unless somehow love finds a way…

“You can run all you want, Katie. You still can’t run away from your feelings or from my love. Not today. Not ever.” With determination in his voice, he added, “I will catch you, Katie.”


While Catching Katie entertains us with an appealingly feisty heroine and a tender love story, author Robin Lee Hatcher is not afraid to challenge us with thought-provoking issues and valid spiritual insights. A truly enjoyable read! — Cindy Swanson, host of Weekend Rockford radio show.

Barcelona, Spain, 1803. Agustina Saragossa, the youngest daughter of a bladesmith, sneaks around the military barracks, yet not to snag a husband as everyone thinks. Stubborn, hot-tempered and fiercely devoted to her country, like her grandfather before her, she is far more interested in learning about the ensuing war between Britain and France than the lazy, arrogant Spanish soldiers at the compound.

When Sergeant Juan Roca, a handsome officer with a troubled past, is relocated to the barracks, he is instantly struck by Agustina’s beauty and fiery spirit. Despite her heated rejections and open mistrust, he relentlessly pursues her. Will he ever win her heart?

As the war progresses between their neighboring countries, Napoleon Bonaparte deviously orders the invasion of Spain, thinking it will be an easy task. But Agustina and Juan join the fight first as guerillas then soldiers in their valiant effort to crush the enemy and regain the freedom of their country.

A dynamic and heartfelt story based upon true events that takes place during one of the most devastating wars in Europe. It captures the strength of unity and family and is known as one most powerful love stories in history.

“A rip-roaring good historical mystery with Agatha Christie’s astute detecting skills, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s eye for the 1920s New York lifestyle.” – Historical Fiction Company

It’s all fun and games, until someone gets killed.

Meet Jax Diamond, a sharp, sophisticated, skilled, no-nonsense private detective. Or is he? Glued to his side is his canine partner, Ace, a fierce and unrelenting German Shepherd whose mere presence terrorizes criminals into submission. Well, maybe not.

But the two of them are a whole lot smarter than they look. And they have their hands full when a playwright’s death is declared natural causes, and his new manuscript worth a million bucks is missing.

Laura Graystone, a beautiful rising Broadway star, is dragged into the heart of their investigation, and she’s none too happy about it. Especially when danger first strikes, and she needs to rely on her own ingenuity to save their hides.

Join Jax, Laura and Ace on a fun yet deadly ride during the Roaring Twenties that takes twists and turns, and a race against time to find the real murderer before he/she/they stop them permanently.

Book Review: A Christmas Legacy #Christmas #VictorianMystery

Gracie Tellman, former maid to Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, is enjoying her home and family in Victorian-era London and looking forward to Christmas with her daughter, Charlie, when a knock sounds at the door. Millie, a young maid in the Harcourt household, has come with disturbing news. High-quality food is disappearing, and it won’t be long before the mistress of the house finds out. The servants are scared that somebody will be accused of theft, and nobody knows the culprit. Gracie decides to take Millie’s place for nine days leading up to Christmas in order to solve this mystery. Gracie soon learns that all is not as it seems, and reveals that sometimes evil can parade about in fancy clothes.

This satisfying Christmas novella combines mystery, suspicion, upheaval, acts of kindness, and a Christmas miracle together to create a captivating story. The perils of servant life in a Victorian household are well described, and the young age of some of the servants at the time is shocking. The rich also had the ability in those days to completely ruin the lives of their servants by sending them to the street, homeless, with no reference. The fact that some homeowners held this power over the heads of those in their employ in order to terrorize them is disturbing. But despite the tumult, a sense of truth, loyalty, and fairness is also woven into the story, and it ends with a miracle so wonderful that it could only happen at Christmas. Anne Perry has once again created a Christmas tale that will captivate the reader and transport them straight to Victorian London during the holidays.

I received a free copy of this book from Ballantine Books for Historical Novels Review Magazine. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anne Perry is the bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Dark Assassin and The Shifting Tide, and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including The Cater Street Hangman, Calandar Square, Buckingham Palace Gardens and Long Spoon Lane. She is also the author of the World War I novels No Graves As Yet, Shoulder the Sky, Angels in the Gloom, At Some Disputed Barricade, and We Shall Not Sleep, as well as six holiday novels, most recently A Christmas Grace. Anne Perry lives in Scotla

BUY LINKS

AMAZON

BARNES AND NOBLE

APPLE BOOKS

Blog Tour and Review: Death in the Last Reel

BOOK DESCRIPTION

‘Stop standing in the way of bullets.’

‘I will if you will.’

Does the camera ever lie?

1911: After the violent murder of three policemen in the line of duty, tensions between London constabulary and Whitechapel anarchists simmer. Meanwhile accusations and counter accusations of espionage further weaken relations between Germany and Britain. Can Margaret Demeray and Fox find out which potential enemy is behind a threat to the capital before it’s too late?

In the shadow of violence in the East End, just as Dr Margaret Demeray starts to gain recognition for her pathology work, a personal decision puts her career at the hospital under threat. Needing to explore alternative options, she tries working with another female doctor in Glassmakers Lane. But in that genteel street, a new moving-picture studio is the only thing of any interest, and Margaret’s boredom and frustration lead to an obsessive interest in the natural death of a young woman in a town far away.

Meanwhile intelligence agent Fox is trying to establish whether rumours of a major threat to London are linked to known anarchist gangs or someone outside Britain with a different agenda. When another mission fails and he asks Margaret to help find out who provided the false intelligence that led him in the wrong direction, she can’t wait to assist.

BUY LINKS

Amazon UK

Amazon US

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paula Harmon

Paula Harmon was born in North London to parents of English, Scottish and Irish descent. Perhaps feeling the need to add a Welsh connection, her father relocated the family every two years from country town to country town moving slowly westwards until they settled in South Wales when Paula was eight. She later graduated from Chichester University before making her home in Gloucestershire and then Dorset where she has lived since 2005. She is a civil servant, married with two adult children. Paula has several writing projects underway and wonders where the housework fairies are, because the house is a mess and she can’t think why.

BOOK REVIEW

This is a compelling mystery/thriller set in the United Kingdom in 1911, prior to Word War I. Margaret Demeray is a strong female protagonist–a pathologist who helps determine suspicious means of death. Intelligence Agent Fox is a spy, and the relationship between the two of them is full of sparks. The dialogue between our two protagonists is witty and fun, and they are not afraid of an argument. There are multiple storylines in this book, and they all progress well, with twists, turns, and surprises. The limits and constrictions put on women of that time are made evident. Real events from history are woven expertly into this story as the world appears about to begin The Great War. This is Book Two in the Margaret Demeray series, but can be read as a standalone.

Self-Published Saturday: The Ruby Brooch

Self-Published Saturday is my attempt to help self-published and independent authors with one of the many tasks they have to handle on their own–marketing. Today I’m looking at a review I did years ago, back in 2013, and it’s my actually my most popular review on Amazon. The Ruby Brooch is the first book in Katherine Lowry Logan’s extremely successful Celtic Brooch series. I must explain myself before I post my review. I love time travel books, but I prefer those that lean more towards the historical than romance/sex. This one is definitely heavier on romance, and the heroine is a little (a lot) over the top, so I poked some fun at it, still giving it 4 stars. Hopefully you all won’t mind my humor, because it’s a great series and has made Katherine Lowry Logan a very successful independent author. This post today is not necessary to help with marketing, because it’s made a lot of sales, but to show self-published/independent authors all the possibilities for success, plus hopefully give everyone a chuckle. There are what could be construed as spoilers, just as a warning. Again, although I poked a little fun at this book, it is very successful.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

As the sole survivor of the car crash that killed her parents, grief-stricken paramedic Kit MacKlenna is stunned to learn her life is built on lies. A legacy from her father includes a faded letter and a well-worn journal. The journal reveals she was abandoned as a baby 160 years ago. The only clues to her identity are a blood-splattered shawl, a locket with the portrait of a 19th-century man, and a Celtic brooch with magical powers. Kit decides to continue her father’s twenty-five-year search for her identity, and solve her birth parents’ murders.

Scotsman Cullen Montgomery, a San Francisco-bound lawyer who resembles the ghost who has haunted Kit since childhood, helps her join a wagon train heading West. More dangerous than the river crossings, bad water, and disease encountered on the trail, is Cullen’s determination to expose her lies and uncover the source of her unusual knowledge and life-saving powers.

Kit is convinced if she can survive the perilous journey and Cullen’s accusations, as well as thwart his attempts to seduce her, she might solve the mystery of her heritage and return home without leaving her heart on the other side of time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Katherine Lowry Logan couples her psychology degree with lots of hands-on research when creating new settings and characters for her blockbuster Celtic Brooch series. 

These cross-genre stories have elements of time travel, sci-fi, fantasy adventure, mystery, suspense, historical, and romance and focus on events in American history. Katherine is the mother of two daughters and grandmother of five—Charlotte, Lincoln, James Cullen, Henry, and Meredith. She is also a marathoner and lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her fluffy Goldendoodle, Maddie the Marauder.

BOOK REVIEW

See my four-star review below ****

SPOILERS: I love a good time travel novel. This one has a good premise and takes us to the Oregon Trail. The means of time travel is obviously a ruby brooch. Although the history of the brooch is not really explained in this first installment, there are other books in this series and we may learn more about it later. I enjoyed the overall story, although I am much more interested in the time travel and historical period than the sex. Now here’s to the criticism: I don’t mind a good romance but can do without the play-by-play description of the sex. You’ve seen one nipple, you’ve seen them all. Except for the heroine of course. I’m sure her nipples are the best! Because this heroine is not only a time traveler. She’s also an expert horsewoman and jockey, brown belt in karate, an expert in classical music and literature, a trained paramedic, AND she even performed vascular surgery even though she’s not a surgeon. Oh yeah and she’s a sketch artist too. And beautiful. And rich. So, in other words way over the top. She’s Super Woman. And thank goodness she brought a pregnancy test with her on the Oregon trail. Because of course she knew she would need that although her fiancé was dead and she had no romantic prospects to her knowledge.

Now with all that being said, I did enjoy the overall story and the look back at a fascinating time in American History. I will try the other books in the series and see where the brooch takes us next.

BUY LINKS

LINK TO BUY THE RUBY BROOCH

LINK TO ALL ELEVEN BOOKS IN THE SERIES

**Remember whenever you buy a book from a self-published author or any author, be sure to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. It is very important to the book’s success. It does not have to be a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines will do.

Blog Tour & Interview: Songbird #AuthorInterview #GermanShepherds #HistoricalFiction

To celebrate the blog tour for Gail Meath’s Songbird, we sat down and talked about the book, the series to come, and the editing process, because I was fortunate enough to get to edit this book. And of course, we discuss Ace, the star German Shepherd. See our interview below.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Meet Jax Diamond, a sharp, sophisticated, skilled, no-nonsense private detective.  Or is he?  Glued to his side is his canine partner, Ace, a fierce and unrelenting German Shepherd whose mere presence terrorizes criminals into submission.  Well, maybe not.

But the two of them are a whole lot smarter than they look.  And they have their hands full when a playwright’s death is declared natural causes, and his new manuscript worth a million bucks is missing.

Laura Graystone, a beautiful rising Broadway star, is dragged into the heart of their investigation, and she’s none too happy about it.  Especially when danger first strikes, and she needs to rely on her own ingenuity to save their hides.

Join Jax, Laura and Ace on a fun yet deadly ride during the Roaring Twenties that takes twists and turns, and a race against time to find the real murderer before he/she/they stop them permanently.

INTERVIEW WITH GAIL MEATH

Gail Meath

What is unique about this stop on the book tour is that you and I know each other.  We became friends online, and then you gave me the opportunity to edit Songbird.  I thought the readers might want to know a little bit about what that was like.    

I had done reviews of your books, and we became friends.  I had nonfiction editing experience, but was looking for some experience editing fiction. I asked you if I could do some editing for you in order to get that experience, and you agreed. I had the privilege of editing Songbird.  It has been so enjoyable.   You definitely make the process easier because the copy you give me is very clean and I’m able to do more content editing.  You send me little research gems as well, which is very fun.  I truly enjoy working with you.   

Tell me how you feel about the editing process so far?

A good editor is worth their weight in gold to an author, and you have been a blessing to me, Bonnie.  Since we became friends first, working with you is so comfortable and fun!  From finding missed words to run-on or unclear sentences to overall content and help with research, especially, you make sure the manuscript isn’t just clean, it’s polished.  It never occurred to me that hamburgers weren’t a household staple in 1920s!   

Tell us about this series, the Jax Diamond series, and where you see it going?

Well, the first book, Songbird, was released this November.  It is set in 1923 in New York City on Broadway.  Jax Diamond is a private investigator and Ace is his German Shepherd sidekick.  The other main character,  Laura, is a Broadway actress and singer.   I am working on the second book, Framed, right now, and it is also set in New York City.  I have an idea for a third book that will take the characters to a small town temporarily.  There is also a prequel in the works that I will release at some point.  It is about how Jax and Ace met.

In the first book, we are of course introduced to Jax, Laura, and Ace.  You have told me that Ace was inspired by your own dog, who has since passed away.  Tell me about her.

Her name was Gretchen and she was the most amazing German Shepherd.  She actually belonged to someone else, and when I met her, we just hit it off right away.  She began to follow me as I was leaving and I just decided to buy her from her previous owners.  They were well paid, and I was rewarded even more by having this amazing friend in my life. She is truly missed.

Ace, though inspired by Gretchen, is a male shepherd.   Why did you make him a male instead of a female like Gretchen?

 I had already decided on the name Jax Diamond for the lead character in the book, and I wanted his dog to follow the playing card theme and be named Ace.  Ace sounded more like a male name to me at the time, so Ace is a boy.  But Gretchen is definitely the inspiration, and Ace has many of Gretchen’s unique traits. 

Tell me about the writing process.  You were sending me chapters to edit very quickly.  I couldn’t believe how fast Songbird was coming out.  From my perspective, you had it written in  no time.  Is this faster than normal for you?

Songbird is my first cozy mystery, and while it definitely needed research, I did not have to do as much as I have for my more in-depth historical fiction, such as Agustina De Aragon and Countess Jacqueline.  That did make the process go faster.

Your books are so well researched.  Is research your favorite part of the process?

Yes.  I love learning about different people, places, and events in history that I never knew about before.  That’s why I love writing about lesser-known heroines such as the heroine in Agustina de Aragon.

Longer version: I nearly failed history in high school, and I was a good student!  I started researching on my own and found history so fascinating! I determined it was the way the teacher taught it that didn’t hold my interest.  I’ve been researching ever since, just on my own.

Do you know how many books you want to write in the Jax Diamond series? 

I am not sure right now.  As I mentioned, in addition to Songbird, I have three more planned out, including the prequel novella, and the we’ll see what happens.

Do you know when the second book in the series, Framed, will be published?

I have the book release date as April 1 (April Fool’s Day), but I will probably release it sooner, in March of 2022.

Thanks so much, Gail, for taking the time out for this interview. 

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Blog Tour and Book Review: The Lady and Her Quill

*Book Review at the bottom of the page

The Lady and Her Quill by Ruth A. Casie

Publication Date: November 16, 2021 DragonBlade Publishing Genre: Historical Romance Series: The Ladies of Sommer by the Sea, Book 1     Her mind kept telling her to stop loving him, but her heart couldn’t let him go. Renowned author Lady Alicia Hartley has lost her muse after a bad review. She blames it all on the author JC Melrose. A chance encounter with a handsome, witty Justin Caulfield has her heart racing, and her muse seemingly back. Is he her savior or her worst nightmare? He didn’t see the turbulent ocean. He was too busy dealing with a different tempest. The recently retired Captain Justin Caulfield is facing his own demons. As gifted author JC Melrose, his stories honor men who died at the hand of one man. His only focus is to avenge their deaths, that is until he meets and falls in love with Lady Alicia. The two authors take on a writing challenge to determine the better writer. While researching the story, she is captured by Justin’s nemesis. Can Lady Alicia turn this mystery into an award-winning story? Can Justin save his own real-life heroine? Can they both overcome their own challenges for a happily ever after?

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Hi – I’m Ruth A. Casie and I write historical and contemporary romance. You might be wondering what I’m about. Sit back and let me tell you. I’m happiest when I’m telling stories either chatting in a group or writing them down. I love to put my hero and heroine in tough situations and dare them to work it out—together, always together. They haven’t disappointed. Oh, they complain but in the end their love and relationships are stronger than ever. My stories feature strong women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. They will keep you turning the pages until the end. I hope my books become your favorite adventures.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 29 Guest Post at Novels Alive Excerpt at A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog Tuesday, November 30 Excerpt at Bookworlder Review at Anna’s Book Blog Wednesday, December 1 Review at Bonnie Reads and Writes Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit Thursday, December 2 Excerpt at Triquetra Reviews Review at Gwendalyn’s Books Friday, December 3 Review at Novels Alive Excerpt at SplendeurCaisse Review at With A Book In Our Hands

Giveaway

US Giveaway (2 winners): $10 Amazon Gift Card + signed paperback for any book in Ruth’s backlist (winner’s choice). UK Giveaway (2 winners): eBook of any book in Ruth’s backlist (winner’s choice). The giveaway ends on December 3rd. You must be 18 or older to enter. The Lady and Her Quill https://widget.gleamjs.io/e.js

BOOK REVIEW

This first book in The Ladies of Sommer-by-the-Sea series is a great start to what promises to be an enjoyable and intriguing series. The premise drew me in right away. Two authors, a man and a woman in London, 1814, are told in a review that they could each benefit from the other’s writing. While Lady Alicia Hartley writes romances, Justin Caulfield writes about adventure and war under the name JC Melrose. When they collaborate on a story, they find both their genres coming to life, not just on the page but in the real world. This is a romantic adventure with slow-building suspense that readers will enjoy. This is definitely a historical romance, but there is also a case of hidden identity that reminds me a little of the contemporary movie “You’ve Got Mail.” The cast of characters is well-developed and the story is engaging. Fans of historical romance and slow-burning suspense will enjoy this mashup of both. I received a free copy of this book via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.