March 2017

M.N. reads… #carolinareads

What’s the first book you remember reading?
The children’s books Rackey-Boom and Rootie Kazootie.

What’s the most recent book you have read or what are you reading right now?
I’m currently reading three books, although that’s unusual. I’m pretty much a one book at a time reader. I’m rereading Valhalla by Jere Peacock. I’m also reading The Gentleman From Japan, an Inspector O novel by James Church. I’m not enjoying it as much as I did the first couple of books in the series. And Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami. All three of these books are outside of my usual reading genres, which tend toward Speculative Fiction, Magical Realism, Urban Fantasy, some Sci-Fi, and Post Apocalypse.

Why did you choose that book?
I read Valhalla multiple times years ago, when I was in the Marine Corps, and I wanted to see what I thought of it now. It’s bringing back memories, but positive and negative, so I don’t know if I’ll continue reading it. I have read the previous Inspector O novels. I find North Korea interesting for some reason. And the Murakami book just caught my eye on the New Releases shelf at my public library in Key West.

If you could meet one book character or one author, who would you like it to be and why?
Bad Basil Harwar or Percy Snow, characters from Sterling Hayden’s book Voyage. They were such strong, but flawed, personalities. And, of course, Stephen King. I like to see if his real-life voice is similar to his “writing” voice. If it is, he speaks my lingo and the lingo of the people closest to me my entire life. It’s a voice, and a way of expressing things, that I benefit from being around. I mean his “voice” not his oft-used New Englander accents.

You can only choose five books for your bookshelf. What are they?
I have read each of the following books multiple times, and would again. The first one I’ve probably read seven times! The Stand, by Stephen King. Voyage: A Novel of 1896, by Sterling Hayden. Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein. The Drifters, by James Michener (although I haven’t read this one in years, so I don’t know how it would hold up for me) I can’t think of a fifth book that has been instrumental in my reading life, but a book that has stuck with me, even though I’ve only read it once, is Evolution by Stephen Baxter. I should probably read it again. Wait a minute, here’s a taste of non-fiction that I just thought of! It’s another book I’ve read multiple times and would read again: Dear Mom, I’m Alive–Letters Home from Blackwidow 25 by Randolph Mains. And, of course, Catcher in the Rye was important to me too, but Good Times, Bad Times, by James Kirkwood, may have had an even greater impact on me at the time. (I guess I can’t follow rules, but I had to mention more than five books. Please don’t let me come back and add to this or I surely will!)

I am a mix of contradictions: a combination of creative/neurotic type and Marine Corps NCO. I truly love being lost in a good book, and I love being lost singing a song.

Join the movement!
I want to promote reading. I know there are so many out there who have read a book and thought, this is something others need to know about. Reading encourages a lifelong passion for learning. #carolinareads is a movement that will give readers a chance to share what they are reading. There is a five question interview. I will share it on my website and give you a chance to not only promote your love of reading but also to promote yourself as you can include a website in your two sentence biography. Don’t live in the Carolinas? Well, do you know someone who does (hint: the person who created this form) you can still participate. Submit the form and I’ll let you know the date of your spotlight. Spread the word! Join the movement. Please email a picture if you would like it to be included.

The Mad Hatter by Yvonne Mason


The concept behind this book is deliciously evil. I’ve listened to Yvonne Mason’s podcast for awhile. Now. Ya’ll she’s crazy fun so I had no idea what to expect from her book. The idea for this story is one I haven’t seen before. I had to finish it just to see how it would end. I the fast moving plot moved the story and kept me coming back to read “just one more chapter”. It was easy to imagine the well-rounded characters acting out their roles in my head. She did a great job sharing the factual information needed without boring the reader. If you enjoy something a little different than the norm, read this book.



The year is 1888. The Place is the East End of London. Dead and mutilated bodies are popping up all over the east end from Stamford to Whitechapel.
Jack the Ripper is making his mark in the East End in ways that puts the city on edge, so to speak.
Johnathon Rhoades has been exposed to mercury since he was a boy of sixteen working in his father’s hat factory, which he now owns due to his father’s unexpected death. The hats that are created at the factory are in such demand that he almost cannot keep up with the orders.
Young Elizabeth, who happens to be in the employ of Johnathon Rhoades manages the storefront on Whitechapel road.
As the body count climbs and all of the East End is quaking in their shoes, the hat factory is booming. Everyone who is anyone wants a creation from the Rhoades Hat Factory including Sam Flanghan, the local coroner.
Who is the Ripper? Why are these hats so much in demand? Is the Hatter really mad?



The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.
Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia.
After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006.
Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major.
Beta Sigma Phi Sorority
Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County
The Dream:
Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006.
The Inspiration:
Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up
Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life – “Pay it Forward”:
“In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple concept. By helping three people, those three people help three more people and soon that becomes nine. Those nine people each help three more people and the giving continues. As you see, it is the power of three. Our giving comes back to us ten-fold. So one could say it is three to the power of ten. We all started out with nothing. By using this philosophy we can help one another and share the goodness of life’s wealth.”
Speaking Engagements:
Yvonne is an accomplished motivational speaker and is available for speaking engagements. Previous engagements include:
April 27,2009 Martin County Member of Panel on Being a Victim
April 6,2009 Book Signing in Vero Beach at Business Block Party
March 7,2009 Brevard Authors Book Fair – Speech on Gerard Schaefer, Florida’s First Serial Killer
December 2008- “Commemorative Speech on Gerard Schaefer’s Victims – IRSC Vero Beach, Fl
November 2008 – “How to write different genres” Lewis Carroll Sixth Grade Merritt Island, Fl.
April 2008 at IRCC – “How to Sell One’s Self in the Business World” presentation to the student body.
April 2008 at The Palm Glades Girl Scouts Council Sixth Annual Luncheon as the featured keynote speaker – “Dreams, Goals and Aspirations” presentation.
May 2007 at Lanier Tech – “Succeeding in Life” Power Point presentation to the student body using the concepts of Stan’s Story.
May 2007 at Blackshear Baptist Church – Power Point presentation entitled “Acceptance of Self and Others”.
May 2007 at IRCC – “How to Reach Your Goals – It’s Never Too Late” presentation to adult women returning to school to become professionals in different fields.
Personal Appearances’:
Yvonne has appeared on Blog Talk radio shows:
Now that’s what I ‘m talking about with Louise Aveni
The Odd Mind with Angel Lesa
She will be appearing on the Cliff Roles show out of Sarasota on Oct 10,2008
And several other shows in the upcoming months
Personal Appearance Circle Books Sarasota, Florida Nov 8,2008
Appeared in The Fort Pierce Tribune, Vero Beach Press, Stuart News and Port St Lucie News
Lewis Carroll Middle School – the Sixth grade class
Contacting Yvonne:
All inquiries should be directed to Yvonne
Yvonne’s Online Bookstores –


Chasing the Dollar by Ellie Ashe


I received the audiobook version of this in exchange for a review.

I love a good cozy. I love a snarky female lead. I love a hot man that adds some steam. This book has all three. I listened to this book while on a road trip and there were so many times I found myself paying more attention to the story than the road (ha!). It’s a great story with fun characters and a fast paced plot. I actually stayed in my car a little longer when I got home so I could finish it. The narrator does a great job with the voices and seemed to capture each of the unique personalities.


Miranda Vaughn has spent the last year and a half fighting for her freedom. Arrested for a fraud scheme involving her supervisors, she’s lost her job at a prestigious investment firm, her fiancé, and her reputation. She walks out of the courtroom a free woman, only to find that life has a few more curve balls to throw her way. The jury may have found her not guilty, but Miranda is broke, in debt to her beloved aunt, and can’t find a job because of the cloud of suspicion still swirling around her.
She’s not going to be able to move forward with her life until she finds out who set her up. Buried in the evidence against her, Miranda finds a larger scheme, one involving far more money than the $37 million her boss fleeced from unsuspecting investors. Determined to uncover the truth, Miranda begins her own investigation—leading her to Macau and Belize, and into the arms of one sexy FBI agent, who may or may not prove to be trustworthy. When the danger heats up, Miranda finds herself in a race against time to find the person behind it all. Before he finds her…


Ellie Ashe has always been drawn to jobs where she can tell stories–journalist, lawyer, and now writer. Writing quirky romantic mysteries is how she gets the “happily ever after” that so often is lacking in her day job.
When not writing, you can find her with her nose in a good book, watching far too much TV, or trying out new recipes on unsuspecting friends and family. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats, all of whom worry when she starts browsing the puppy listings on
To learn more, visit or sign up for her newsletter at


Talk About It Tuesday- Terry Maggert


Terry Maggert has three series, Halfway Witchy, Heartborn, The Fearless. 

Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I’ve had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of– well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You’ve been warned.


He shared two pieces from his current work in progress, Moonborn:


Livvy Foster has a new heart, home, and a place in the powerful halls of House Windhook. The fall of Sliver was only the beginning of a civil war that sees angels from across the sky challenge each other to lead a world in which the past and the future are connected by a storm crafted from time, ambition, and power.

When House Selinus attempts to bend the light of days in order to become the supreme power in an apocalyptic future, they confront a goddess who is older than time itself– and she’ll stop at nothing to get the one soul who escaped her deadly grasp: Livvy.

With deceit, war and love swirling in the clouds above a shattered world that was once Livvy’s home, she’ll be asked to do something a girl with a broken heart never thought possible.
Fight for Windhook. Fight for her world.
Take wing with Livvy, one heartbeat at a time.


Chapter Four: Answers

Breakfast consisted of berries so sour that Livvy almost choked.

“They’re an acquired taste,” Saiinov said through a smile. He was in high spirits since all of his children would be filtering in and out as the day wore on. Habira, Prista, and the twins, Banu and Vesta were busy doing the quiet work that House Windhook needed to position itself as a regional power. There was a vacuum opening across the greater skies, and Windhook would be ready to fill it. When she pressed him for details, Livvy was met by a shrug.

“Am I a member of this family?” Her question brought Saiinov up short. Seated around the table, Vasa, Cressa, and Garrick watched the interplay between Livvy and the man who would now assume a role not unlike that of her father. After a long moment, he simply nodded. “Then tell me what’s going on.” There was no negotiation, or pleading. She stated her needs, and sat back, hands folded in her lap like a judge waiting to hear the story of an accused criminal.

“She needs to know, even if the context isn’t clear.” Vasa sipped something from a tall glass and inclined her head toward Saiinov. The tiny signal was only possible after years of marriage; like many couples, they had visual code that spoke more clearly than any words ever could.

He wiped his mouth with care, stalling for time. When he spoke, it was with the voice of a teacher. “Contrary to my hopes, Sliver didn’t fall through the clouds. It still exists, and it will remain a center of power, but reduced. We aim to gather allies and tools to make certain there is no rebirth of the Crescent Council. Our children are eminently able, and we all know our roles. Even you have a part to play, and I hope you’re ready. I know we’re asking a great deal of you so soon after your surgery.” He looked askance at Vasa, who shrank for a moment, awash with the remembrance of Keiron.

Livvy’s fingers traced her scar, but not from shame. She felt too good to let regret rob her of the vitality that hummed in her body. “You still haven’t answered my question.”

Saiinov chuckled, shaking his head at her tenacity. “You’re right.” His sigh was long and shallow. “You’re more than a part of this family, Livvy. We gave something precious so that you might live, and now we’re going to ask you to give it all back. And more.” His eyes were hard.

“I figured this wasn’t a sightseeing trip.” She sounded resigned, but in control. The girl who left earth was gone, but vestiges of her practicality lingered on.

“That’s actually true. At least for the next three days or so. You’re going to learn a great deal in a short span of time, and Garrick is going to help you.” Saiinov’s tone matched his expression, and Livvy saw the light of command in his eyes.

“She’ll do more than that.” Vasa looked outward, where a shadow indicated someone wheeling in to land on the aerie. “But that must wait. Livvy, I’ll speak to you tonight. For now, I’ve left something for you in your room. You’re going to need proper equipment for tomorrow.”

“What am I learning?” Livvy burned with curiosity. Everything about her newfound life was a revelation that wavered between joy and fear.

Vasa’s smile was bland. “We’re going to teach you how to be an angel.”


Thanks, Terry!

Check out his website and all his books on Amazon



Each Tuesday, I will feature a current WIP (work in progress). To qualify, like my Facebook page and post your WIP. I will randomly share the following week.

Blood of the Warden by M.A. Nichols

Another great book in this series. The action driven plot made me race to the end so I could figure out what happened. Now, of course, I have to wait until the next book comes out to get more of this story. I like these characters and this story. I think the author did a great job of giving us more of the current story line but introduced a few new twists so it seemed like a new story.

Annie is struggling to correct her mistake. She wants to be tough and independent and struggles with trust. Her friends want to help but struggle with knowing how. This story is building to a crescendo which I can’t wait to read.




Two years ago, Annie faced an agonizing choice–save her family or unleash an evil into the world. Weighed down by the dark memories of her past, Annie is a shadow of the person she once was. With fervent determination, she desperately seeks to save countless souls from suffering the repercussions of her choices. But at what cost?
The Dark Knights are on the hunt, slaughtering whole families in their quest to open the Drogue, but when they go after Emma Shaw, Annie sees a chance to atone for her past and save her friend. In this compelling sequel to The Drogue, M.A. Nichols brings us back to the enchanted world now cursed by darkness–but all the magic in the world is no match for Annie Morgan’s relentless quest for redemption.



Born and raised in Anchorage, M.A. Nichols is a lifelong Alaskan with a love of the outdoors. As a child she despised reading but through the love and persistence of her mother was taught the error of her ways and has had a deep, abiding relationship with it ever since.

She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in landscape management from Brigham Young University and a master’s in landscape architecture from Utah State University, neither of which has anything to do with why she became a writer, but is a fun little tidbit nonetheless. And no, she doesn’t have any idea what type of plant you should put in that shady spot out by your deck. She’s not that kind of landscape architect. Stop asking.


Christopher H. reads… #carolinareads

What’s the first book you remember reading?
My mom was a reading teacher, so I was swimming in books when I was young. Some of my favorite memories are when my mom read to me. I can’t remember any one book, but I remember a lot of the juvenile fiction I read: Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, The Phantom Tollbooth, the Great Brain, the Hardy Boys mysteries, the Island of the Blue Dolphins, and Narnia.

What’s the most recent book you have read or what are you reading right now?
I was recently in India and I went to a bookstore and bought a stack of young adult fiction written by Indian authors. So I’ve been reading through them. The most recent one I read was Horrid High by Payal Kapadia.  The next book I’m planning to read is The Green Ember.

Why did you choose that book?
Word of mouth from someone I trust. The Green Ember is the favorite book of an eleven-year-old boy I know.

If you could meet one book character or one author, who would you like it to be and why?
Ah, there are many. Today I’ll choose Dickens. I’d love to talk with him about a grand assortment of things. If he was game, we’d be chatting for weeks. It would be fascinating to understand how he wove so many characters so seamlessly into his novels.

You can only choose five books for your bookshelf. What are they?
What!!! Only five books? What kind of dictator is making me do this? Boy, things in the world must have gotten pretty bad for this to happen.  Choosing five would be hard. If I only had one it would be easy. 1. The Bible. (But this is kind of cheating because the Bible is made up of sixty-six books.) As to the other four. 2. The last page of the Last Battle, which is the last book of the Narnia series. I love the whole book, but it’s the last page that always gets me. I cry every time I read it. This page would be particularly valuable if I was forced to only choose five books for my bookshelf. Why? Well, if some dictator is sticking a gun to my head forcing me down to five books, it would mean The End was certainly nigh. And in really bad times its good to have some perspective that what appears to be the end of the story may not in fact be the end. 3. A good survival handbook, cuz, well you know, End Of The World. 4. The Lord of the Rings, cuz it’s got Hobbits and Volcanoes and it’s really long (in case I get bored waiting around for the actual End). 5. And finally, The Princess Bride, cuz you can’t take everything so seriously, even if everything’s looking really-really bad.

Chris is an author, mentor, dad, husband, friend, and Wonder seeker. He recently published a young adult fantasy novel called The Magician’s Workshop. He enjoyed writing it so much, there are already two volumes, and hopefully more to come. You can find more information.

Join the movement!
I want to promote reading. I know there are so many out there who have read a book and thought, this is something others need to know about. Reading encourages a lifelong passion for learning. #carolinareads is a movement that will give readers a chance to share what they are reading. There is a five question interview. I will share it on my website and give you a chance to not only promote your love of reading but also to promote yourself as you can include a website in your two sentence biography. Don’t live in the Carolinas? Well, do you know someone who does (hint: the person who created this form) you can still participate. Submit the form and I’ll let you know the date of your spotlight. Spread the word! Join the movement. Please email a picture if you would like it to be included.

The Angel Alejandro by Alistair Cross

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review**

When I read a book, I want to forget all the boring parts of my life and enjoy a little escape.  I love reading books that make me want to serve my family cereal because I am too busy reading the next chapter. This book does that. The story of an angel who forgets and a demon who wants to take advantage of the situation. The whole town suffers. The characters are solid and completely believable as real people. The action in this story drives the plot forward. I didn’t feel like there were any down times. Bottom line- I enjoyed this book.




Angel or Demon?
Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro, and Madison O’Riley has no clue what to do with him. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes the mysterious man who saved her life harbors deep, otherworldly secrets that will put her in grave danger.
The Devil is in the Details
Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a price, he’s willing to make a deal. Walking the streets in top hat and trench coat, he tempts the citizens with nefarious wares from his shiny black briefcase. But buyer beware: All sales are final – and fatal.
A Scorching New Terror Has Come to Town
The townspeople are changing in appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …


________________________________________________________________________________Alistair Cross was born in the western United States and began penning his own stories by the age of eight. First published by Damnation Books in 2012, Alistair has since published several more novels. In 2012, he joined forces with international bestselling author, Tamara Thorne, and as Thorne & Cross, they write the successful Gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, is an Amazon Best Seller, as is Alistair’s solo novel, The Crimson Corset.

In 2014, Alistair and Tamara began the internet radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! Haunted Nights LIVE! premiered to great acclaim and has featured such guests as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro of the Saint-Germain vampire series, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels that inspired the hit television series, Jay Bonansinga of the Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels, and New York Times best sellers Christopher Rice, Jonathan Maberry, and Christopher Moore.

Alistair is currently at work on several projects including a solo novel and a new Thorne & Cross collaboration. His influences include the works of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Ira Levin, and William Peter Blatty.

Learn more about him at his website:


Away from Shore by Mary McCormak Deka

**I received a copy of this in exchange for a review**

These poems are a beautiful melody exploring the evolution of a love interest. The emotions expressed in this first collection of poems moved me and made me think twice about what I read. I appreciate her willingness to open up and share her joys and pain throughout this relationship. I think it takes a lot of guts to do something like that.





Falling in love makes you vulnerable. For all the joy, there is danger, too, and heartbreak. Lyrical and full of imagery, the poems are bittersweet, both beautiful and haunting.




Mary McCormack Deka has been published in India and the US. Her poems have appeared in the Goodreads newsletter, Railonama, and The Mystic Nebula. She won the Bare Hands Poetry and Photography Postcard Competition of 2013 and was a recipient of the Quinn Award for Poetry in 2012.

She’s inspired by everything—oceans and forests, sardines and tangerines, stained glass and kizomba dancing. She likes to travel, read, write, and tell stories.

Descent Birthright Book 3

I love reading series. I hate reading series. I love reading series. No, I actually hate reading series. Ya know why? Because they are more addicting that reading a stand alone. I came across The Birthright series through a book review request website. I was HOOKED. Amy Saunders does an awesome job creating an original story that keeps me on the edge of my seat and honestly, I have yet to figure out how it is all going to end.

In this third installment, Roz has come way more into her powers and is beginning to accept who she is and use what she is to help those around her. There was one detail, that I won’t spoil for you, that I did not see coming, but I loved it. I had hoped this installment would not leave any questions. But it only left more. I have already contacted the author and told her I NEED TO READ THE NEXT BOOK.


Rosamund knows that she’s an heir to an ancient throne. But accepting it is another matter.

As she and her family and friends try to peel back the layers of the “bad seed” mystery, it’s clear that she can’t ignore her mark or the responsibilities it comes with. Or the fact that someone is searching for the heir–for her. And she doubts he or she has good motives.

With her father shedding his façade and a bigger threat making its presence known, Rosamund may need to embrace her destiny sooner than she expected.

Other Books in the Series:
Inborn (Book 1)
Marked (Book 2)
Bequest (A Short Story)



Amy is a sci-fi/mystery addict with a soft spot for humor and romance. She lives in Massachusetts, and loves to bake and watch movies. Learn more about Amy and her books at

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