Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Dusty Pages Review: The Doll House

A young woman wakes up in a cold, dark cellar, with no idea how she got there or who her kidnapper is. So begins her terrible nightmare.
Nearby, the body of another young woman is discovered buried on a remote beach. But the dead girl was never reported missing - her estranged family having received regular texts from her over the years. Someone has been keeping her alive from beyond the grave.
For Detective Inspector Helen Grace it's chilling evidence that she's searching for a monster who is not just twisted but also clever and resourceful - a predator who's killed before.
And as Helen struggles to understand the killer's motivation, she begins to realize that she's in a desperate race against time . . .

Another Helen Grace mystery under my belt and I am still really enjoying the cast of characters and the fact that I can't guess who is committing the crimes until the police do. The authors throws out a lot of red herrings so just when you think you've worked out who it is and there motivation, it turns out not to be them because they have an alibi or were in police custody when another crime was committed. In fact there are so many of them I get a little frustrated.

I was also pleased in this book to see a certain character get their just desserts as they'd been trying to ruin Helen Grace for no reason other than their own vanity. However I do get a little irritated with the short sharp chapters and jumping from person to person. It was also odd to see the diversion from what I thought was the normal personality of the Jake character and getting him the boot. This leaves Helen Grace without any foreseeable love interest which isn't necessary I suppose in the Thriller genre but it gave her some feminine appeal to me as a woman reader, that she did like me crave more than her career.

I give it

Monday, 17 July 2017

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

... Tracy Gilmore

1. Tell me about your book, In Exchange for Jackie, and where you got your inspiration for it? 

We were moving and the idea came to me. I started writing that very night and had to stop every so often to help finish packing. In the story Jackie is a ‘plain Jane’ type woman. In the beginning she felt like most women when finding an attractive man to marry and thought the loving way Mitch treated her would never end. She had it all. A stately home, two grown children in college and a loving husband. It wasn’t until over 20 years pass that she knew it was a mistake. When he informs her he doesn’t love her anymore and has a new woman, she didn’t raise a fuss. Which was what he wanted. She agreed to part ways and move on. When she was taken from her doorstep and the kidnappers called Mitch for a ransom he refused to pay and said if they were going to kill her, then do so and let him know where to dump the body. When Jackie hears this over the speaker phone she is shocked.

The kidnappers are stumped as to what to do with her since the ransom won’t be paid but then that’s where the action begins. Jackie may be a plain Jane but when she has to fight her kidnapper she could become the woman she was meant to be.

2. Have you ever danced in the rain? 

Yes I have. I also included the scene in one of my books. Hypnotik: The Curses of Ashley Peyton.

3. What is the longest you’ve gone without writing? 

I had writers block for about 3 months. It was a nightmare. I sat and stared at my laptop for a while and wouldn’t have an idea. I would then either read a book or do some crochet. It helps me to think. If I have an idea or a line I keep a notebook beside me to make notes on.

4. Mountains or the beach? 

I have always had this vision of a large cabin with a fireplace made from stones by a lake with a view of snow-capped mountains.

5. In what ways do you hold yourself back? 

I second guess myself. When reading over a book I start from the beginning every time and I have doubts about lines and phrases believing they don’t sound as good as I think they do or that a scene doesn’t bring out the emotion I created.

6. What motivates you to succeed as a writer? 

I can be the first to admit promoting my work is a hard job on top of all else I need to do. My motivation comes in spurts. I could write all day and night if that was the only thing I had to do. My brain functions differently so having to advertise and market and other things to get my book out there are a distraction to me writing.

7. What genre do you write in and what draws you into this genre? 

It took some time to discover what genre I write in. There are so many categories. As a Contemporary Erotic Author I just write what comes to me but as I read more I can write in any genre. Erotic SciFi is my newest creation. Paranormal will be next and I will keep going from there.

8. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day? 

I never aim for a set of words. I never know how long or short a book will be. I type until the voices stop talking. I don’t work on just one book. I have several I work on at the same time so I am always adding to each of them.

9. Do you let a book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? 

This is an important part of writing. When I finish a story, I let it sit for a while before I send it to the editor. There may be a line or two I need to add or remove or just to see if the story flows as it should. Although I have proof readers I still like to make sure the book is as good as I believe it to be.

10. Do you think the cover plays an important part in the buying process? 

Yes. The cover is an important part of the process. It is what draws the readers attention to wanting to read they synopsis for the story but there are some covers that were appealing and the story itself was lacking what the cover led you to believe was an exciting story.

11. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? 

I have nothing against a bad review. If anything the reader can shed some light on what I may have missed as a writer. I have received one bad review so far and the readers complaint was there was too much sex and not enough action in the story. But when asking other readers about the story they complained it took too long for the characters to have sex. People are entitled to their opinion. As an author I just look forward to getting a review. They are hard to come by.

12. Have you written any other books that are not published? 

Yes. I am constantly thinking of new story ideas which I jot down on paper and then when I have filled enough pages I add it to my laptop story pile. Do you intend to publish them? IT is my intention to publish all I have and to republish a few that are a few years old.

13. What has your experience been like as a new Indie Author? Bruises, Highlights, and lessons? 

Being an Indie author is hard work. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking this is an easy process. Some people have the knack for organization and keeping fans abreast of their activities and keeping upbeat 24/7. Not all Indie Authors are the same. Given the option I would rather hire someone to do marketing for me so I can focus on writing. But in order to get myself out there and have a company pick me up I have to do the leg work and build my own following. Every day is a learning lesson as an Indie Author.

14. Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story? 

Alex from Hypnotik was the roughest character I had to deal with. He woke me at 4 am every day to write and then had me up until midnight.

15. Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day? 

I do have a full time job. I am a Quality Lab tech. When you look at your laptop, cellphone or anything that requires assembly. I am the one that measures each and every part to make sure they all fit together. All the screws, the holes, the size of the casing.


Jackie has the perfect life. A loving husband, two successful boys, and a beautiful stately home. With her calm expressions and soft voice, she gives into the indulgences of her husband Mitch, and for a long time, they are very happy.

Meanwhile James has had a hard life, never knowing where his next meal will come from or his next job. His short tempered flares keep him from having anything worth of value for too long. But all of that is about to change. After spending nights watching home after home, James comes across what he believes is the perfect plan. An abduction.  What's the worst that can happen?

Jackie does what she can to stay alive, using skills she never had to rely on, doing things she never thought of. When she is confronted with the worst of her fears, her husband doesn't want to pay the ransom, she does the unthinkable.

James didn't have enough to take care of himself, let alone a woman he had no intentions of keeping, what will he do now that he cant let her go? Unexpected alliances are made, betrayals of epic proportions are discovered and when the dust settles, will Jackie survive the onslaught of James with his explosive temper or will she be able to turn the beast of a man into a beauty she would want to keep for herself?


About Tracy

Tracy has always had a love of writing and often wrote on whatever she could find but many of her stories were beginnings and not full stories. The concept of publishing a book was not something that she considered until there was so much of it to read. Through trial and error she came across a method to allow others to enjoy the reading of her work as much as she loves to write. She married her High School sweetheart and together they have two children.


Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Dusty Pages Review: Two Captains, One Chair

Rocking sparkly purple toenails under a pair of steel-toe boots, Suzy is a river barge captain in the Alaskan Bush. She’s a tiny gossip with big problems: her able-bodied barge boy just left her high and dry, she can’t sleep, her best friend Helly is getting all the action… and now, someone’s stolen her gold nugget.
Ed is a nice guy. He’s a bushrat with a big beard, a knack for fixing things, and a wardrobe consisting of flannel… period. He’s the only man who can help Suzy with all of her problems, but he’s also her most likely suspect. And Ed has a secret, one which Suzy will go to great lengths—even if those lengths are measured in rope—to uncover.
Enter Helly’s brothers, who rob Suzy of orgasms, harass her wildlife, and break her roof. Then, Ed’s wicked sister, who insists Suzy’s nugget is hers. Add in a whole Passion Party’s worth of tipsy women, a pet goat bent on revenge, conniving fishing guides… and Suzy’s belligerent dad, who’s got a hard-on for the law.
In the resulting madness—amongst big criminal acts, little criminal acts, and ones that are juuuust right—will Suzy have a fighting chance of finding her gold nugget? Or will she get sidetracked by the tantalizing mystery that is Ed, and in doing so, discover just how bad Ed can be?

This is the second in this series of Alaska based Rom-Com titles and I have to say that its as hot as the first. It lets the tension build till it explodes into a plethora of erotic games. This time we are following around Suzy (Helly's Best friend) as she tries to tackle the mystery of who stole her nugget as well as the Mystery of what Ed's secret could be.

I enjoyed this one a little more than the first because there was more of a power play/struggle going on than in the first and I enjoy that much more than the whole pranking business.

I also enjoyed that you still got to see the characters from the original story playing a part in this one. Helly's brothers for example are pure comic relief. I find it impossible to take them seriously as they pose no real threat to the budding romance between Suzy and Ed. Its a good sequel, not at all in the shadow of the original book and could in fact be read on its own - though if you did I am pretty sure you'd soon be dying to read the first one as well.

I give it

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Dusty Pages Review: Last Sacrifice

The final heart wrenching episode at St Vladimir's Academy.

Rose is on trial for high treason and the death of Queen Tatiana. Someone is trying to frame her and it looks like even Dimitri might not be able to save her now.

This book has it all. A jail break, fugitives, political maneuvering, loves triangles and long lost siblings. Its by far the best in the series, just proving that you do indeed save the best for last. I wasn't the least bit surprised by who had framed Rose or their reasons for doing it.

I was very pleased to see Dimitri and Rose finally getting over things and being together - though there is obviously going to be some fall out from that considering their age gap and the unusual circumstances surrounding their relationship. However, with that said, I am gutted for poor Adrian. Even if I do think she was with the right person in the end, I feel for the guy and completely understand his upset.

Once again Lissa become a better, much more rounded character in this book, but it feels to me just a little too late.

I give it

Monday, 3 July 2017

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Grace L Sutherland

1. Tell me about your book, Next Year In Huntsville, and where you got your inspiration for it?

I'm really not sure where the inspiration came from. I was visiting my younger son and his family, and something came up about birthdays. I thought, What if three people found they had the same birthday? From there it trundled around in my head for about four years before it finally landed on paper last year.

2. What is the longest you’ve gone without writing?

I don't think I've ever gone completely without writing. My Dad was a writer, and I don't remember a time when I didn't write. When I was young, writing poetry was a primary emotional outlet through some very difficult years. One of my earliest jobs was in the publicity department of a television studio, which involved writing for press, TV and radio. Over the years I've been publicity officer for a slew of different organizations, I've written as part of my ministry, I've maintained various blogs and written for other online sites. One way or another, writing is always part of my life.

3. Mountains or the beach?

Probably mountains. I like the ocean, but I hate hot weather and these days I'm not too fond of sand between my toes.

4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

I would love to do the railway journey through Russia. When I was a kid, one of my great ambitions was to be a ballerina, and I read just about every ballet book in the local library. Many of them were set in Russia, and I have been fascinated with the country ever since.

5. If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?

Past. There are so many fascinating people that I would like to meet and whose stories I would like to hear.

6. What motivates you to succeed as a writer?

Even though I have always written, I have never actually wanted to be a writer. I write because I am egotistical enough to think that I have something to say that others will find helpful, challenging or entertaining.

7. What makes you cry?

I'm a real sook. Sad movies, I cry - even if I've seen it a half a dozen times before. Sad books, I cry. I even cried when reading my own book.

8. What genre do you write in and what draws you into this genre?

Next Year in Huntsville is a saga spanning nearly 50 years, and I had fun weaving the characters' lives around the true details of history. I will probably write more like this in the future. I have also dipped one little toe into speculative fiction, and enjoyed the experience of being able to create my own world, so I would like to write more in that genre too.

9. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages a day?

No, I am a terribly undisciplined writer, and my life tends to never run in an orderly pattern. I write what I can when I have the opportunity.

10. Do you let a book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

Yes. A great deal of my “writing” takes place before it ever hits the paper. I get an idea and it runs round in my mind for some years. Once it is written, I think it is important to give it a little time to air before going back to it.

11. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

Obviously, any writer wants good reviews. However, bad reviews are not necessarily bad news. If someone just says, “This book stinks,” then clearly that is not particularly helpful. However, if he says, “The characters are one-dimentional and the plot is flat,” then that gives the writer some idea of where he/she can improve.

12. Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

Because Next Year In Huntsville ranges over 50 years, and I needed to fit everything in with actual historical events during that time, I started out with a spreadsheet listing each major character and the events in her life for every year of the story. However, as I wrote I did at times find myself thinking, “Hold on, Tess wouldn't do that,” or, “No, that's not what Mel would say.”

13. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

The main characters are loosely based on people, but no character is based on a single individual. Sarah, Tess and Mel each have a bit of me in them, and I have borrowed bits from a whole range of different people to sew together into the characters.

14. Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day?

I have been in Christian ministry for over 40 years, although I am not currently doing much in that area. I also work part-time as CEO of a local charity supporting people with mental illness.

Sarah, Melanie and Theresa are three very different girls, each in her own way a misfit. A shared birthday binds them together in a friendship that spans almost fifty years and three continents. Set mostly in a country town in Gippsland, Australia, and against a backdrop of actual world events, Next Year In Huntsville is the saga of their intertwined lives as they share their ups and downs, joys and sorrows, the dramatic and the mundane, all building to a stunning climax.
 You can read the first two chapters HERE


About Grace

Grace L. Sutherland is the fiction-writing alter ego of Lynn Fowler. Lynn's father was a writer, and she couldn't escape the gene pool. She had a children's picture book published in Australia and USA in 1990 under her then-married name, Lynn Cox, and has published several Christian non-fiction books and a book of poems as Lynn B. Fowler. Lynn lives in a tiny country town in Victoria, Australia. She has two adult sons who live in other states, and five grandchildren ranging in age from 23 down to 11.

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