Thursday, September 26, 2013

Reader's Favorite 5 Star Review

Guess I wasn't done with the self-promtion after all.  But who could resist sharing such a wonderful review?  Not me, that's for sure . . . besides, I had to have a reason to display the awesome badge!

Book Review
Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite

Stutter Creek by Ann Swann is a romance, brilliantly hidden within a suspense-filled tale of a psychotic, sociopath serial killer with a chip on his shoulder. It is also a classic tale of young love lost, and a life of regrettable what-ifs. Beth Evans is recently divorced, her husband having traded her in on a younger model. Her daughter, Abby, eloped and moved to Italy. Then, her father – the only parent she had ever known – died. Beth Evans had no one left to lean on. Needing to get away by herself for a while, Beth decided to revisit her father’s old cabin in the woods; well, HER cabin in the woods, now. Some of her best memories were tied to that cabin. One particular memory, which she liked to embellish a bit, was of the summer she was 14, and had met “Big John,” an 18-year-old, sun-tanned Adonis who was staying at a nearby cabin that year. She had often wished she were closer to Big John’s age; she had wanted him to think of her as a young woman, rather than a pesky little kid. In spite of all her many visits to the cabin, she had never again seen Big John.

Meanwhile, sociopath Kurt Graham was released from prison after serving five years. Kurt had hatched a plan while in prison: he was going to kill five young women who resembled the prosecutor who had gotten him imprisoned, one for each year of his life she had taken from him. Then he was going to let her know what he had done, so she would live in horror the rest of her life. Over the course of five years, he had considered and reconsidered every aspect of his plan, and he was certain it was now a fail-safe plan. Stutter Creek will grab you on page one, and not let you go until several hours have passed, and you finally read “The End.” Ann Swann has published several stories, in the romance genre as well as the supernatural. She has won numerous awards for her short stories. I will be surprised if she doesn’t win an award or two for Stutter Creek; this is one expertly crafted story, and one I recommend most enthusiastically.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Little Spoon ~ Children's Fiction ~ Now on Kindle!

Little Spoon ~ Children's book by Historical Romance author Sara Barnard (mom of four)

The KINDLE version is here ~ from 5 Prince Kids Books 

19th Century Navajo preschooler Walks With A Stumble wants nothing more than to be a great chef someday, but as his name says, he walks with a stumble. After trying to help only to lose most of his family's food stores for the winter, Walks With A Stumble learns that in order to achieve your dreams, the first step is being true to yourself.

Only 2.99 on Kindle! The print version is releasing sometime this weekend!
Little Spoon on Amazon
Little Spoon
19th Century Navajo preschooler Walks With A Stumble wants nothing more than to be a great chef someday. The only problem is, well, he walks with a stumble. After trying to help only to lose most of his

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wild Thing Drowned Yesterday

My hubby, Dude, found him on the bottom of the swimming pool and scooped him out with the net.  He was just a young turtle, or perhaps a tortoise (I've never been able to figure out the difference), and he wasn't very big.  He had made his home first beneath the deck, and later, in a tiny opening beneath the patio.

Dude, was the one who had named him Wild Thing because he was, well, very wild. When we would approach him--usually bearing cantaloupe or dog food--the little guy would panic and run for cover.  Once, he ran straight off the edge of the deck.  When I finally found him, deep down in the vinca vines, he was all right.  I was afraid he'd be on his back, little turtle toes wiggling helplessly, but he had landed, cat-like, on his feet.

The very first time I saw him, I assumed he was our other turtle, Piggie.  She is very calm and will eat anything you give her.  She lives under the deck but often makes the arduous journey from the back yard to the front, to visit with us under that patio, too.  I think she is Wild Thing's mother, but I'm not certain.  There could be a whole passel of turtles under the deck for all I know; but if so, they're sharing space with a stray mama cat named Oscar, and her half-grown, half-wild baby, a tortoiseshell named Mittens.  (No, I don't think there's a connection between the color of the kitten and the herd of turtles, LOL.)

I just wonder what frightened little Wild Thing and made him run off into the pool.  It could have been Rocky, the dog, or one of the aforementioned cats, or even Maggie Mae, the indoor cat who is learning to use the doggie door.  I suppose it could have been a large bird that plucked him out of the yard and dropped him in the pool.

Whatever it was, I just wish we had spied him before his little turtle legs gave out and he quit swimming.  But that's what panic and exhaustion will do.  Even to a turtle.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

3 Phantoms in One Volume!

Hello again,
Just wanted to share my latest conglomeration with you ~ Deborah at Tugboat Design combined all three of my Phantom books into one volume.  Now you can read them straight through, without stopping.  And it's still only $2.99 ~ of course, if you've already read one or two of the tales, you can still purchase them separately for just .99 each.  I've listed the links at the bottom of the blurbs.
Happy reading!

All three phantom books included!

Book One: Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot
No matter who dares you, no matter what lures you, do not go in the spooky old house…

When a small planes crashes behind Jase's rural home, strange things begin to happen. But no one believes him. After all, there's no such thing as a ghost, right?  Then he sees his pretty, quiet schoolmate, Stevie-girl, about to enter the legendary haunted house, and he knows if anyone can help him solve the mystery, she's the one.  
Book Two: Stevie-girl and the Phantom Student
Bullies, freaks, and phantoms inhabit the abandoned elementary school.  Would you go inside to help out a friend?

Stevie asks Jase to help her find out why the ghost of a girl keeps appearing in her mirror. They think it has something to do with the new student at their school, a boy who has Tourette syndrome.  Both the new kid and the new phantom seem to need some kind of help. When the new kid falls prey to the school bullies, Stevie knows they must act. But will they be too late, or will a tragic moment in their school's history be repeated on Halloween night?
Book Three: Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge
Stevie-girl and her best friend, Jase, are phantom magnets. Whenever they are together, the doorway between this world and the next swings slightly open.

The summer his parents treat them to a camping trip in New Mexico, the two friends can’t wait to visit the legendary Crybaby Bridge.  Right away, they hear the crying baby.  Is it a phantom, or is someone playing tricks on them?

As the two friends scour the campgrounds for answers, they discover that phantoms are not the only secrets the nearby town has kept hidden for over 60 years.  They also discover things about each other, and about Stevie’s family history, that will force their relationship to a whole new level—a level from which there may be no return.

Afterthought: Have you ever encountered a ghost?  I'd love to hear about it!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Romantic Suspense ~ Stutter Creek ~ "One Hell of a Thriller" Review

Hey Everyone ~
If you are in the Midland, Texas area tomorrow (September 14th), stop by the Midland Farmer's Market between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.  It's Author Day!  Whoohoo!  Kimberly and the gang at MFM are such a great, accommodating group, and the place--outside, on concrete, under metal awnings--is awesome.  So if you are around, come by and say hello!

Now for the blog:
I usually try to avoid posting my own work simply for shameless self-promotion, but my will power is at an all time low today, so here goes...

STUTTER CREEK, romantic suspense from 5 Prince Publishing.  A snippet and some reviews...

Suddenly, Beth made a decision. She rammed the Camaro's gearshift into first and stepped on the gas. Fishtailing back onto the road, she shifted up to second, and then third, keeping her eyes trained on the highway ahead. She knew the boy was no longer there, but what if he appeared while she was moving? What if he was somehow hanging onto the car like that old urban legend about the killer with a hook? What if he appeared while she was driving?

She thought if that happened, it might be the end. It would send her right over the edge of sanity into the cavern of insanity. One hand crept back up to her face, wanting to shield her eyes. She was afraid the boy wasn’t human. His face had seemed so pale, almost translucent. A little phantom.

No, no, no. It was her mind. It was playing tricks on her. That had to be it.

Staring straight ahead, she pressed the gas harder and harder, shifting up into fourth without even thinking, years of experience guiding her.

Beth began to feel like an idiot, a complete, dyed-in-the- wool idiot. Did I fall asleep while driving? Did I pass out? Maybe the counselor was wrong; maybe I’m stark raving mad! 

She drove on, running on instinct and adrenalin, terrified that she’d seen a real boy, even more terrified that she hadn’t.

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping! 
Format:Kindle Edition
This story grabs you from the first page around the neck with a tight grip and doesn't let go!

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply AMAZING. 
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
One of the best books I've read to date. Relatable, wonderful characters. Exciting plot line that keeps you reading to the very last word. Love the touch of supernatural as well. Extremely well-written and never loses momentum for a second. A definite MUST-READ.

5.0 out of 5 stars One hell of a thriller
By jk82
Format:Kindle Edition
Just as my title says.

Wow, just wow. This little thriller had me wanting to read it all in one night then wanting to read between my fingers.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriller from Ann Swann
This review is from: Stutter Creek (Paperback) Thank you, Ann Swann, for a beautifully crafted thriller. This book has it all, suspense, tension, romance, beautiful ladies, and an "I hate him immediately serial killer." If you love thrillers, this book is a must read. You will be hard pressed to put this book down until you turn that last page.

5.0 out of 5 stars Well-crafted, captivating suspense novel!
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Stutter Creek (Kindle Edition)
Ann Swann is a talented author whether she is writing a scary, suspense middle grade novel or a contemporary romance novel, but she outdid herself when she combined romance with suspense in her latest novel, Stutter Creek.

Ann knows how to craft a captivating suspense story. I became immersed in the novel immediately, and couldn't wait to find out what the next chapter held. 

Stutter Creek is a beautifully written, expertly crafted suspense novel. If you enjoy a novel that will keep you glued to its pages, you will love this novel.

I want to say thanks to everyone for the lovely reviews, I didn't print them all but I wanted to! *wink*  However, now I've got the challenge of writing another rom-sus.  Ahhh, this is the life ~ guess I'd better hop to it!  Till next time...

Afterthought:  This book is available on Amazon (click the pic), B&N, Smashwords, Kobo, and at the 5 Prince Publishing website.  And you can walk into any brick & mortar and ask them to order it if you don't want to do the Amazon 1-click (I'll admit it, though, I'm a one-click addict!).

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Review ~ A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas

This short memoir (197 pages), published by Houghton-Mifflin, started off as a page turner, and it kept my attention the whole way through.  I loved the un-sentimental retelling of the narrator's life after her husband was hit by a car.  He suffered grievous brain-damage--to the point that he was never able to live at home again--and the way she learned to cope, and finally come to terms with her new life, was inspiring indeed.

I won't give away the title, but suffice it to say that I completely understand the three-dog analogy, and admire it.

And although I said I admired the unsentimental retelling, in retrospect, I think delving a little deeper into the pain might have made me slow down and appreciate it even more.  In places, I felt as if the truth had received a glossy finish, one that might crack if exposed to sunlight.  On the other hand, she did say that she loved her life without her day-to-day husband, so perhaps the finish wasn't all that superficial after all.

The biggest flaw in the book, in my humble opinion, is one that I am guilty of in my own writing, and that is, a rushed ending.

I couldn't believe how abruptly it ended!

Later, attempting to make sense of why the story ended the way it did, I ruminated on the idea that this is how tragedy often occurs, abruptly, out of the blue . . . but is that what the author was trying to say?  I hope so.  I hate to think she simply ran out of things to say.  Am I the only one who felt this way?

Read it for yourself, then leave me a comment.  Please.

Afterthought:  Loved it, but ending was abrupt.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fight Princess, Romantic Suspense by M.S. Kaye

Ann, thank you so much for allowing me to be your guest!

You're very welcome, M.S.  Best of luck with the book ~ I love that title!

Book title: Fight Princess
Author: M. S. Kaye
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Purchase at:
Price: $5.99
Contact M. S. Kaye at:

Things aren’t what they seem. Don’t get involved.
Celisse is too headstrong to listen. Her best friend’s boyfriend is dead, and she does not heed Cullen’s warning, slipped to her in a note as he’s being arrested for the murder.
Cullen tries to keep Celisse out of danger and also tries to avoid her, both unsuccessfully. He can’t deny his feelings for her anymore, but he knows he can’t have her. If she ever discovered the truth about his past, she’d surely hate him.
While struggling with her intense feelings for Cullen, Celisse uses her skills as an ex-prosecutor to investigate, all while continuing to fight for Ogden, the organizer of an underground fight ring. She eventually realizes things are connected—the ring, Ogden, Cullen, the murder, and herself. She races to uncover the truth before she’s arrested or becomes the next victim—or perhaps, the next culprit.

Through the peephole she saw Cullen staring her down, as if he could see through the door. “I know you’re in there, Celisse. Your car’s outside.”
Celisse grumbled under her breath. Then she spoke loud enough for him to hear. “How do you know where I live?”
“It’s not that hard to get a person’s address—as you damn well know.”
Crap. How did he know? “What are you talking about?”
“You made it downtown so quickly because you were already in my apartment.” His jaw flexed as he continued to glare at the door. She was almost impressed he was able to maintain that intense, pissed-off posture and expression when she saw in his eyes that he was barely hanging on through the exhaustion. Like riding a bike, if he stopped, he would probably fall down.
She turned the bolt and opened the door. “How would I have gotten in your apartment—and why would I want to?”
“You flashed a beautiful smile at Alfie. Don’t tell me you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.”
Celisse hesitated. Hearing him say that… She wasn’t sure how to react.
He pushed the door open a bit further and slid past her into the apartment. She didn’t think to stop him until he was already past her. She turned and looked at him standing in the middle of her little living room, like a storm cloud in her usually calm and cloudless space. This small, cheap apartment was the first place she had ever lived where she felt completely comfortable.
She realized he was looking at her, not at her eyes. She crossed her arms over her chest. “What do you want?”
His jaw tightened again, and he met her eyes like lightning flashing across the sky. “Don’t ask me why in the hell you’d want to be in my apartment.”
It took her a second to realize he was answering her previous question.
“What did you think you’d find?” he asked.
“Certainly not stacks of hundred-dollar bills.”
“It’s none of your goddamn concern how much money I have and why. Stay out of my business.”
“Excuse me?”
“My best friend’s boyfriend was murdered, and then the accused slips me a note that says things aren’t what they seem. What did you think I was going to do?”
He paused, and the glare in his expression that had about blinded her a few seconds ago dulled to the glower of the moon in a clouded sky. He turned and looked around her apartment—her TV stand with a couple movies on top, the potted plant next to the sliding glass doors, her one pathetic attempt at gardening, and then over to the bookshelf where he started reading titles.
She stood next to him. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“Does it annoy you?” He took a book from the shelf and flipped through its pages. “Someone going through your things, invading your privacy?”
Celisse snatched the book out of his hand, before he realized what it was.
“Are you pissed yet?” he asked.
“I wonder how it would look to the court if the police were called on you the same day you posted bail.”
He took a step toward her, and she backed up with her hands in guard position.
He stopped, and his voice was inside out from what it had been. “I would never hurt you.”
“You were arrested for murder today.”
His expression sobered, like fog pulling across a jagged cliff face. “I’m sorry. I never meant to scare you.” He walked across her living room, out the door, and down the stairs.