Janice Spina – Reading Recommendation Revisited

Janice Spina has been a guest on Reading Recommendations several times – first in May 2014, then she returned for two updates in Dec. 2014 and Oct. 2015. I’ve now invited Janice to become part of the Reading Recommendations Revisited group of Authors, because of her enthusiastic promotion of me, my work, this blog, and the many other Authors who are writing and publishing independently – from around the world! Janice is a valuable member of this writing community and I thank her for the support she’s given to “all a we”, as they say on Bequia!!

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RRR: Since your first promotion on RR, what have you been doing?

JS: Before I answer this question I want to express my gratitude to Susan Toy of RR who has been a wonderful support to me. She has tirelessly continued to post updates about my work. For her kindness and unending support I am truly grateful!1f44d

Since my first promotion on RR I have published three more children’s books, PS-Grade 3, Jesse the Precocious Polar Bear, Broose the Moose on the Loose, and Sebastian Meets Marvin the Monkey.

I am currently working on a paranormal/mystery/romance, How Far Is Heaven, which I hope to publish this month or next. My husband, John, who is my illustrator, is working on my new children’s book about a cat. Book 3 of Davey & Derek Junior Detective Series is in its early stages as is a mystery/romance novel. I plan to publish Davey & Derek books 3 & 4 this year and the novel in 2017. I have a YA fantasy that needs serious editing which will be another project that I will undertake in 2017. A girl’s detective/mystery series is running around in my head for 2017 also.

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Writing keeps me quite busy but I do spend time posting on my blog JemsBooks writing about my books, helpful tips for authors, guest posts, author interviews, supporting authors, and my travels.

On my website I offer copy editing services for authors. My credentials and references are listed at my website.

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I am an avid reader and book reviewer on Amazon and Goodreads. If you look me up there you will see that I have read extensively and gave myself a reading challenge of 125 books for 2016. In the past few years I have surpassed each of my goals. My reading preferences are eclectic, from children’s books to mystery, thrillers, fantasy and historical fiction. Since I have a long list at present on my TBR list (to be read) I cannot promise to take on any more books for review at this time though.

RRR: What else have you been doing, outside of the writing?
JS: Hobbies: When I can I crochet hats, scarves, afghans, cowls, and amigarumis (animals & other characters) for my grandchildren during the winter months. This gives me a break from my writing and makes my grandchildren happy. That is what makes me happy too.

I plan to keep writing, entertaining and educating children about the importance of reading while teaching them important life lessons and family values.

Children are my main goal in my writing. I have donated my books to libraries and as gifts during Christmas. I recently blogged when asked for help obtaining books by the Civitain group in Arizona that helps special needs children to get up to their reading levels. This post was extremely well received and many authors have donated books to the Civitain group – 31 books at this time. I was thrilled to send copies of all my books to these children. It was a sincere pleasure to assist this group in procuring the books they needed. I thank all my fellow authors for their kindness and generosity in taking part in this needy cause.

I am happy to help any group that needs assistance in spreading the word about their group if it aids children in any way.

RRR: Is there one marketing tip or trick you discovered while promoting your own books that worked particularly well and that you’d like to share with other authors?
JS: I did a guest post on Chris The Story Reading Ape‘s blog about social media needs for authors. Here is the link in case you want to read the complete post.

I have found that when new or aspiring authors are just starting out they need to get their names and work out there on social media. That means starting a website and blog, signing up for FB, Twitter and other sites. Visit, follow and leave comments on other blogs and you will find that these bloggers will respond in kind and follow back. Helping others to promote their work will bring more followers to your blog. I have met so many wonderful people online through social media and many have become good friends and my wonderful support system, such as Susan Toy. It has been a joy to work together with other authors on group promotions and blog hops, etc. I have learned and grown with each new interaction. I look forward to many more rewarding experiences.

RRR: Please recommend three other authors whose work you have “discovered” or rediscovered this past year.
JS: Being an avid reader I have been fortunate to have met some creative and talented authors. There are so many of these authors’ books I have enjoyed and find it difficult to choose just three. If you will indulge me I will list three but also others that I have enjoyed.

These authors I list have many books to choose from and I have read a few of each of theirs. I have a good feel as to their distinctive writing styles. Here are my thoughts.

Robert K. Swisher, Jr. is a creative author who incorporates his wonderful sense of humor into his entertaining stories. His stories are eclectic and unforgettable. Robert’s Facebook Page.

Robert Thornhill is a talented author of the Lady Justice Series who mixes mystery/detective stories with humor. His characters are fascinating, well defined, memorable and fun to read. Robert’s Amazon Author Page.

These two authors I have recently discovered and only read one of each of their books.

Christoph Fischer is a talented storyteller of epic proportion. I read his incredible book, The Luck of the Weissensteiners, that tells an unforgettable tale of life during wartime for a family trying to survive. He reminds me of best-selling author Jeffrey Archer. Christoph on Amazon.

Mae Clair is a creative author who knows how to weave a tale of mystery and suspense. I look forward to reading more from her. Mae on Amazon.

Some more of my favorite authors are Sally G. Cronin, Nicholas Rossis, Peter Cimino and, Don Massenzio. I could go on and on about many more wonderful authors. (Sally, Nicholas and Don have all been featured on Reading Recommendations!)

Thank you, Susan Toy, for inviting me here today to your fabulous blog. A special thank you for all that you do for me and other authors to help promote our work.

My slogan is: Reading Gives You Wings to Fly! Happy reading everyone!

Blessings to all!
Janice

Thank you, Janice!

Gail Bowen – update on a new Joanne Kilbourn novel

Photo credit: Carin Makuz

Photo credit: Carin Makuz

Gail Bowen was featured on Reading Recommendations in March 2015 when she released the 15th book in her Joanne Kilbourn mystery series set in Regina, SK. She’s back now, almost a year later, to tell us of the next book in the series just being released today! Yay! Gail! It gives me great pleasure, after 25 years (gasp!), to still be your cheerleader!

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What’s Left Behind
by Gail Bowen
Published by McClelland & Stewart

From the “Queen of Canadian crime fiction” (Winnipeg Free Press) comes the 16th installment of the much-loved Joanne Kilbourn series.

The latest novel in the Joanne Kilbourn Shreve series opens in the month of May, a time of beginnings when all things seem possible. Joanne’s husband, Zack, recently elected mayor of Regina, is optimistic that he can garner the public support necessary to make Regina a city that works — not just for the few, but for the many. Their oldest son Peter is marrying Maisie Crawford, a woman as clever and forthright as she is lovely. Their lakeside wedding is a dream come true, but when a former lover of a member of the bridal party shows up, the dream becomes a nightmare. Before the bride’s bouquet has wilted, there’s an act of sickening cruelty; soon afterwards, there’s a murder.

Devastated, Joanne and Zack search for answers. As it becomes increasingly unclear whether political agendas, shattered romance, or a secret buried deep in the past have motivated the crimes, the loyalties of the Shreve family are tested. A gripping mystery with a social conscience, this is a novel of high stakes and innocence lost.

Where to purchase copies of this and all Gail’s books:
Penguin Random House Canada

Here are some of the events planned over the next two weeks to launch Gail’s book in Saskatchewan, Victoria and Vancouver:

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Eileen Bell – an update on the second book in a series

Eileen Bell has been previously featured on Reading Recommendations two times, once as part of The Apocalyptic Four and again as E.C. Bell with an update on the first novel in the Marie Jenner Mystery Series. Here she is now to tell us about the next book in the series.

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Drowning in Amber
by E.C. Bell

The second in the Marie Jenner Paranormal Mystery Series.

Marie Jenner is at it again!

In this fast-paced paranormal mystery, the second in the Marie Jenner Mystery Series, amateur sleuth Marie Jenner tries–one more time with feeling–to pull her life together. She takes on the case of Honoria Lowe, a woman of interest in Eddie Hansen’s gruesome murder by crucifixion.

Since Marie knows where Eddie Hansen’s spirit is, she figures it will be a slam dunk. All she has to do is ask him who nailed him to the tree, and she’d have one in the win column for her more or less boss, James Laval. But, she can’t find Eddie. He should have been right by the crucifixion tree where he was killed, but he wasn’t. Of course.

Why is there never a ghost around when you want one?

Available at:

Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Tyche

Oh! And can I tell you my good news? The first book in the series, Seeing the LightVers la lumière – is available in French!! I’m so excited! Tyche link

Mike Martin – a Holiday Special

Mike Martin was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Nov. 2013, May 2014, and April 2015. He’s back now to tell us about the Holiday Special he’s offering to Readers!

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It’s Good to Give Back

Of all the promotions I do each year, my favourite is the one that makes me the least money. In fact it usually costs me some. But I still love the Annual Windflower Holiday Book Sale. For the last years I have been donating a portion of the proceeds from the November and December sales of all Windflower books to a great community cause. It’s a great way for me to give back a little to people and organizations who need so much, especially this time of year.

This year during the months of December and November, I will be donating $5.00 from the sale of every Windflower book to the Minwaashin Lodge in Ottawa. Minwaashin Lodge is a healing centre in Ottawa that provides a range of programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Metis women and children who are survivors of domestic and other forms of violence, and who may also be suffering the effects of the residential school system.

The mission of Minwaashin Lodge is to provide wholistic programs and services for grandmothers, women, children and youth impacted by family violence and residential schooling. All programs and services are provided in the context of cultural beliefs and values as part of the healing journey.

The money donated will go to support First Nations, Inuit and Metis women and children to have a good meal and presents from Santa under the tree on Christmas morning.

Special Offer
If you make a donation to Minwaashin Lodge I will donate an additional $5.00. Just let me know that you’ve made a contribution. In addition I will send a signed copy of the latest Sgt. Windflower Mystery, A Twist of Fortune, to you, or a friend or relative of choice, anywhere in the world.

E-mail me at mike54martin (at) yahoo.ca and I’ll send the other book along. And of course, add my additional donation to the cause.

For more information about Minwaashin Lodge and to make your own donation please visit their website.

Here is the link to the Sale on my website.

The Windflower books are available in Chapters/Indigo stores across Canada and at Chapters.ca
You can also find them online:
In Canada on Amaazon.ca
In the United States from Amazon.com
In the United Kingdom at Amazon.co.uk

Thank you for supporting Minwaashin Lodge.
Mike Martin, Author of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series
Twitter
Facebook

Gary Phillips – update on a new novel

Gary Phillips was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Oct. 2014. He’s back now to tell us about the publication of a new book in which he is involved.

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Beat, Slay, Love: One Chef’s Hunger for Delicious Revenge
by Thalia Filbert
Genre: Thriller, humorous mystery

This hot culinary thriller will burn off a few extra pounds — or so we can hope!

Like your barbeque and your sex extra spicy? Your murders saucy and done to a turn? Plunge into the fascinating and competitive world of food media culture, in this wry, witty crime story where cutting edge takes on a new meaning when celebrity chefs across America start dying.

“An incredibly sly mystery, it has everything you’d want when you bite into a dish: suspense, spice, and a new take on an old classic.”
— New York Times bestseller, Charlaine Harris

About the author: Thalia Filbert was born in a one room lean-to in the Painted Desert, was a Bingo manager on a Seminole reservation, a sommelier at an upscale taxi dancer joint, an MMA underground fighter, and an asphalt highway repair inspector. Or she could be acclaimed veteran crime fiction writers Taffy Cannon, Kate Flora, Lise McClendon, Katy Munger and Gary Phillips.

Book may be purchased from:
Amazon

Kristina Stanley – an update on a new novel

Kristina Stanley was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in August, 2015, promoting Descent, the first book in her Stone Mountain Mysteries series.

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Blaze (A Stone Mountain Mystery Book 2)
by Kristina Stanley
Published by: Imajin Books
Genre: Mystery

Instead of exchanging vows, Kalin Thompson spends her wedding day running from a forest fire near Stone Mountain Resort, and the pregnant friend trapped with her has just gone into labor. Meanwhile, Kalin’s fiancé, Ben Timlin, hangs from the rafters of a burning building, fighting for his life. Can the situation get any hotter?

When the fire is declared as arson, finding the firebug responsible becomes Kalin’s personal mission. In the course of her investigation as Director of Security, she discovers that some people will go to extreme measures to keep her from exposing their secrets.

Where to purchase Kristina’s book:
Amazon

Gail Anderson-Dargatz – an update

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Playing With Fire
by Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Genre: Playing With Fire is a mystery for literacy learners. Reading level: 2.8 (Part of the Rapid Reads adult literacy series published by Orca Books)

Quick description: Small-town journalist Claire Abbott has a sixth sense, what the fire chief calls a “radar for crime.” When a string of suspicious fires breaks out in town, Claire thinks she knows who the firebug is. Or does she? She finds there is much more to the story than she imagined. Worse, no one will believe her. The firebug is getting bolder, and the fires he sets more dangerous. Claire is now in a race against time to catch the arsonist in the act before he takes a life.

Playing with Fire is the second in a series of mysteries featuring journalist and sleuth Claire Abbott. The first, Search and Rescue, was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in Sept. 2014.

Gail’s book may be purchased from:
Orca Books
Amazon
Chapters/Indigo

About Rapid Reads (from Orca’s website)

Author Ian McEwan once wrote that “the novella is the perfect form of prose fiction.”

In our increasingly fast-paced world we believe there is a need for well-written, well-told books that can be read in one sitting. Rapid Reads are short books for adult readers. They are intended for a diverse audience, including ESL students, reluctant readers, adults who struggle with literacy and anyone who wants a high-interest quick read.

The Rapid Reads series includes titles by best-selling authors Gail Bowen, Reed Farrel Coleman and William Kowalski, among many others. Visit the Authors page for a full list.

Rapid Reads focus first and foremost on strong writing and storytelling.

We are committed to providing books that will help adults achieve their literacy goals in an interesting and accessible way. Each novel in the Rapid Reads series is written between a 2.0 and 6.0 reading level. The plots are contemporary and entertaining, with adult language and themes.

Rapid Reads in the Classroom
Are you an educator? To purchase Rapid Reads titles for your classroom, please contact us at rapidreads@orcabook.com. Reading guides with plot summaries and discussion questions are available for free download.

Kristina Stanley

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What is your latest release and what genre is it? Descent is a mystery and popular in the women’s sleuth category.

Quick description: When Kalin Thompson is promoted to Director of Security at Stone Mountain Resort, she soon becomes entangled in the high-profile murder investigation of an up-and-coming Olympic-caliber skier. There are more suspects with motives than there are gates on the super-G course, and danger mounts with every turn.

Kalin’s boss orders her to investigate. Her boyfriend wants her to stay safe and let the cops do their job. Torn between loyalty to friends and professional duty, Kalin must look within her isolated community to unearth the killer’s identity.

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Brief biography:
Kristina Stanley is the author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. Her books have garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated her Descent for the 2014 Unhanged Arthur Award. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated Blaze for the 2014 Debut Dagger. She is published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Before writing her series, Kristina was the director of security, human resources and guest services at a resort in the depths of the British Columbian mountains. The job and lifestyle captured her heart, and she decided to write mysteries about life in an isolated resort. While writing her first four novels, she spent five years living aboard a sailboat in the US and the Bahamas.

Links to buy Kristina’s book:
Amazon

Kristina’s promo links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook

What are you working on now?
Avalache, the third in the Stone Mountain Mystery series is just about ready to submit to Imajin Books, and then I’ll cross my fingers that they like it. I’ve the opportunity to meet with an avalanche forecaster and rescuer this week to review some key scenes and make sure I have the details right before I’m ready to send this one off. After that, I’m 20,000 words into the fourth in the series and need to keep writing. Look the Other Way is a standalone murder mystery that takes place in the Bahamas and needs a little fine-tuning before submitting anywhere.

Kristina’s reading recommendation:
Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of Hanged Man’s Noose published by Barking Rain Press, July 2015. It’s an amateur sleuth with an edge.

Axel Howerton

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What is your latest release and what genre is it? AB Negative – Crime anthology, fiction

Quick description: AB Negative is an anthology of Alberta-based crime stories, by Albertan authors. This is a labour of love for crime writers from across the province, focusing on our beloved home province with stories ranging throughout time, geography and stylistic bent. There are dark noirish tales of sin and revenge, drug deals gone wrong, homey stories about neighbourhood killers, humorous tales of bumbling mafiosa, detectives on Stephen Avenue, and futuristic visions of sexbot domination.

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Brief biography:
Axel Howerton is the author of the darkly funny detective novel Hot Sinatra, a finalist for the 2014 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Axel is a former entertainment journalist, award-winning poet, and editor. His short fiction has recently appeared in such weird and wonderful publications as Fires on the Plain, Steampunk Originals, Clones Fairies & Monsters in the Closet, Big Pulp, Night Shade, Dark Eclipse, and Sleuth Magazine. He is the editor of the anthologies, Death by Drive-In, Tall Tales of the Weird West, and AB Negative.

Axel is a member of the CSFFA, Calgary Crime Writers, The Kintsugi Poets, and serves on the board of the Crime Writers of Canada. He recently brought the “Noir at the Bar” #NoirBarYYC event to Calgary, Alberta, and he is the owner and publisher of Coffin Hop Press. Axel spends most of his time roaming the untamed prairies of Alberta with his two brilliant young sons and a wife that is way out of his league.

Links to buy Axel’s book:
All the links can be found on the Coffin Hop Press website.

Axel’s promo links:
Coffin Hop Press
Axel Howerton website

What are you working on now?
After having produced, edited and published two anthologies this year, as well as publishing new fiction in great new venues like Sleuth Magazine, I’m going to take a little time for myself and get back to some novel-length projects. One is a humorous action-adventure-style historical look at Fort Whoop-up and the formation of the NWMP in Alberta. The other is a sprawling crime saga involving several characters that have appeared in some of my short fiction.

Axel’s reading recommendation:
The Friends Of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins, which was a formative influence on the crime writing of Elmore Leonard. It’s very quick and snappy writing, a lot of dialogue and very little in the way of descriptive prose. Solid crime-writing and excellent criminal characterization from a man who was, at the time, an assistant US Attorney.

Randy McCharles, who has previously been featured on Reading Recommendations, has written one of the stories included in this anthology.

Roy Dimond – an update on a new novel

SaC_Draft4Silence and Circumstance
by Roy Dimond
Publisher: Untreed Reads

Genre: Mystery Novel/Non-Fiction

About the book: Agatha Christie, pawn or puppet-master?

For eleven days in December 1926, that was the question all of England was asking. Was she kidnapped, or possibly a pawn trapped in an international mystery? Or could she actually be the puppet-master, secretly manipulating an entire nation from behind her typewriter?

Did one of the most disciplined writing minds the world has ever known really just “black out,” only to somehow reappear eleven days later, feeble and disorientated at a spa hotel? And what really was written in her missing diary regarding those eleven mysterious days?

Through a weaving of facts and fiction, the adventure unfolds through the perspective of her governess, Charlotte “Carlo” Fisher. Having accepted the role of confidante to the great writer, and ignited by the receipt of a mysterious letter, Charlotte embarks on a sinister and harrowing quest.

In her exploits, Charlotte is aided by many of the famous and elite of the twentieth century. While Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his protégé, Ian Fleming, speed towards Istanbul on the Orient Express in search of Agatha’s diary, Charlotte discovers clues that dispatch her to Berlin where she stumbles into a world gone mad.
Mysterious societies emerge from the shadows, and it appears something dark is rising…

Goodreads

Amazon

Published by Untreed Reads

Comments and reviews for Roy’s Book:
“Never heard of this spin before, really, really interesting.”
“Intriguing cover.”
“Love this book, great story.”
“Really an ultimate original concept… this is really, really special.”
“Tons of fans will want this.”
“Awesome wicked cool book… someone will turn it into a movie.”
“Thank you for having an original idea!” … … Webb Weaver Books Blog, Talk Radio, C. K. Webb

“With talk about a screenwriter creating a TV series with Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini, I shouldn’t be surprised that someone thought about making Agatha Christie a fictional character as well… Silence and Circumstance, by Roy Dimond, could be the meta-mashup of the year. According to a Florida newspaper, Dimond has stuffed this thriller with every boldfaced name of the 1920s:”
“ Give Dimond credit: It’s a high-concept ‘what if’ that I’ve never seen before.”… Planet Peschel

“The style of the writing is a meandering, twisting and turning of the reader’s mind creating a great long mystery with its unraveling of clues and ultimate finale”… by Roses are Amber

“It’s the quintessential mystery – a mystery writer goes missing for 11 days.”
“Dimond turns to fiction and begins a lively romp through the literary salons of the time”
“Dimond’s vivid imagination”
“This book is entertaining.”… Jan DeGrass Arts and Entertainment Writer for The Coast Reporter

“It’s one of the best stories around.” Arthors’ Curtilage by Darmie Orem

“Mystery buffs will find very interesting.” Ann Everett

“Imagination is a wonderful thing. Roy Dimond has it.”
“It’s the kind of world Agatha Christie would create. Now Dimond has done it as well.”
“This is one journey you definitely want to take. You’ll be glad you did.”… Venture Galleries

Roy Dimond was previously featured on Reading Recommendations in May, 2014.