Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Her Honor's Bodyguard by Johnny Ray

Do first loves ever really die? While reunions can take many forms, there is always one question that has to be answered sooner or later—what happened?

Vance had always been extremely proud of Noella, and just because his life had been ruined, he saw no reason why she had to have the same faith. When his dad died, leaving him and his mother penniless, he dropped out of law school and ended his relationship with Noella, but in doing so, he stopped a scandal that could have ruined her family. These secrets he would never let her know. Ironically, years later, he would have never guessed she would be instrumental in ruining his career with the Tampa police force.

After Noella finished law school and started pursuing her goal of working up the ranks in judgeships, she never considered inviting another guy into her life. As such, when someone attempts to threaten her into vacating her seat on the bench, and by force if necessary, she knows of no one else she really trust as much as Vance, who now has a successful bodyguard and private detective business.

She knows that Vance might hate her for her part in having him dismissed from the police force, but what he will never know is that she actually saved him from going to prison. Additionally, she now thinks he was framed, and perhaps by the same people who are threatening her. She had to talk him into taking her on as a client . . . but would he agree to her request?

As the number of attacks on her life increases, Vance soon has no choice but to offer her his protection, and in spite of everything, when they see each other again their old attraction for each other returns. She wants the truth. He wants the truth. However, making the ultimate sacrifice is not always easy to understand, whether given or received. Ultimately . . . could they now trust each other with these secrets? While their lives depend on discovering the truth to their past, these truths are locked in deep secrets that could also destroy them.

Johnny Ray's writing tip:
My one tip to writers is very simple. You will always need readers and friends. It is never to early to build both and keep good records on how to stay in touch with them. It is never about how many words or books you can write, but it is always about how many friends you build along the way. Since these people will usually share your love for reading, it should not be hard to make friends, but learning how to keep up with them can be a challenge, especially when at a conference, for example, you meet hundreds of people per day. Also, with social media as it is, you can run into the thousands per day. Build you a system early and keep it updated regularly.
Johnny Ray

 Johnny Ray's Bio:

Johnny has a passion, a thirst, for life and adventure that he loves to share with his readers. In addition to writing many novels under his name, he has written many novels under various pen names and ghostwritten for others.
He is a graduate of Auburn University with post graduate work at the Birmingham School of Law, The University of Alabama, The University of Tennessee, UCLA, New York University, Wil-Var Institute and The American College. He has received the following certifications: Certified International Property Specialist, Certified Residential Specialist, Certified Managerial Accountant, Certified Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant.

He lives in St Petersburg, Florida where he works full time as a writer. He belongs to the Florida Writer Association, the Romantic Writers of America, the Mystery Writers Association, and can be found attending various national conventions as well as supporting several local writing groups. His novel THE SALSA CONNECTION won the Royal Palm Literary award for best thriller. Johnny Ray has several popular blogs he maintains and is the most popular writer on twitter with over 75,000 followers.

HER HONORS BODYGUARD is sold on Amazon at
Author page on Amazon is

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review of Red Cell by Mark Henshaw

My Review of Red Cell by Mark Henshaw

This up-to-date spy story never lets up. From page 1, Rookie CIA case officer, Kyra Stryker (what a great name for a female spy) starts on a spiraling adventure that takes her from Venezuela to China with many stops in-between and after. Kyra is not the only point-of-view character, but she is the one the reader gets to follow the most.

What I liked about this book the most, was that it seemed highly possible with all that is going on today. One of the promotion sheets that accompanied this book was a list of what is really true in the book because the author was a part of some of what goes on, including the Red Cell CIA unit. I’m sure the author’s experience and knowledge is what added to the authenticity of the story. 

Anyone who would like to read what real spies do—whether they are US spies or those of another country—should read this book. Though every bit as exciting as any spy movie, it rings true. The action is all possible—because it probably happened close to how it is depicted for the story.

In any case, if you love thrillers and spy stories and a strong female heroine with moral and integrity, Red Cell is the book for you.


(This book was given to me by Simon and Schuster with no obligation to give a review--good or bad.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memoriial Day Remembrance

Granddaughter Genie and her husband Mark paid for a flag honoring my husband Hap's 20 years in the Seabees and his three tours of duty  in the Vietnam War.

This was a couple of years ago, but the array of flags was stirring and he was thrilled. In fact it was thrilling to all of us.

Do remember all those who died for us and our country today, and all those who are still serving.

Thank you to all of them.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Strange Phenomna That Often Happens at a How-to Presentation

Over the years I've given many writing presentations on all sorts of subjects form Self-Editing Tips, Blogging and Blog Tours, Characterization, Setting, Dialogue and most recently e-publishing and Marketing.

What I've seen happen too many times, is someone in the audience who doesn't want to ask a question, but take over the talk and tells what he or she knows about the subject. (Usually it isn't much.) I've not only had this happen to me, but I've seen it happen to other writers who are presenting.

What I don't understand is when someone with credentials has been asked to give a talk on a subject, why the person in the audience isn't eager to learn what the speaker has to offer.

Most recently, after I spoke about the different ways to get published that are available today, a gentlemen stood and started talking about how much he'd paid a vanity press to publish him and how he'd been able to sell a goodly number of books to his friends and others. Of course I was polite and let him talk for a few minutes, but I could see that he wasn't going to stop on his own. I interrupted and continued with my talk, going on to tell all the different ways one could market in-person and on the Net.

Another person later told me that he too had paid a publishing company a huge amount of money to publish him, was not edited, and now had a garage full of books he couldn't sell. This makes me know that the fundamentals of writing and getting published still need to be taught. 

Once I went to a gathering where a really famous mystery author had been invited. She gave her talk, and when it was time for questions, the first person with a hand up started telling about the book she'd written and how could she get it published. The author answered graciously. Fortunately, the rest of the questions pertained to the author and her books.

I have another presentation coming up on June 1 at 7 p.m. in Sedona AZ at the Well Red Coyote Bookstore. My topic is going to be "Write What You Don't Know." It'll be interesting to see what kind of questions that will bring.

Anyone else experienced or seen inappropriate questions from the audience when an author was making a presentation?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ann Gimple Tells About Her Transformation Series

Hi Marilyn,

Thanks for inviting me to guest blog on your site.

You’d asked about what inspired me to write the Transformation Series. It’s not accidental that the main character in Psyche’s Prophecy, Psyche’s Search and Psyche’s Promise is a psychologist. Since that was my chosen vocation for many years, it’s something I can write about with a great deal of familiarity. I’ve been pleased when reviews of Psyche’s Prophecy and Psyche’s Search have found them eerily close to real life.

Because I write genre fiction—in my case contemporary fantasy—the psychologist in question has psychic abilities. Lara McInnis has the sight. She also reads auras. I’ve had a lot of fun applying her expanded sensory abilities to the practice of psychology.

Another strong interest of mine is ecology. It’s no surprise that my novels and short stories often have a green twist. The Transformation Series is set in a dystopian near future where we finally managed to run fossil fuel supplies dry. Society is imploding because of shortages of everything from food to gas for people’s cars.

I prefer contemporary fantasy to high fantasy. There’s something about a real world setting that makes the addition of magic grittier somehow. Readers expect magical things in alternate worlds, but when a main character is flattened by a vision in the middle of her daily jog around Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, it feels far more powerful to me. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of the unexpected against a life that looked normal until just a couple of pages ago. If it’s skillfully woven, I think a modern world with magic is far more interesting than one without.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written my share of high fantasy, and science fiction, too. Genre fiction opens many possibilities. Its relative popularity speaks to readers’ desire to have books transport them outside themselves to a new, plausible reality. The very best books suspend disbelief while you hold them in your hands flipping pages (or clicking buttons!).

What have some of your favorite books been and why do they loom large in your memory?

(This question is for the readers of my blog--and be sure and check out the information below about the books and Ann herself.)

Psyche’s Prophecy
Book One of the Transformation Series
By Ann Gimpel

What if your psychotherapist could really see into your soul?  Picture all those secrets lying hidden, perhaps squirming a bit, just out of view.  Would you invite your analyst to take a peek behind that gossamer curtain?  Read your aura?  Scry your future…?

Classically trained at the Jung Institute in Zurich, Doctor Lara McInnis has a special gift that helps her with her patients.  Born with “the sight” she can read auras, while flirting with a somewhat elusive ability to foretell the future.  Lara becomes alarmed when several of her patients—and a student or two—tell her about the same cataclysmic dream. 

Reaching out to the Institute for answers, Lara’s paranormal ability sounds a sharp warning and she runs up hard against a dead end.  Her search for assistance leads her to a Sidhe and ancient Celtic rituals blaze their way into her life.  Complicating the picture is a deranged patient who’s been hell bent on destroying Lara ever since she tried to help his abused wife, a boyfriend with a long-buried secret and a society that’s crumbling to dust as shortages of everything from electricity to food escalate.

ARe        Books on Board

Psyche’s Search
Book Two of the Transformation Series

Born with the sight, Laura McInnis is ambivalent about her paranormal ability. Oh it’s useful enough some of the time with her psychotherapy patients. But mostly it’s an embarrassment and an inconvenience—especially when her visions drag her to other worlds. Or into Goblin dens. In spite of escalating violence, incipient food shortages and frequent power blackouts, Lara is still far too attached to the comfortable life she shares with her boyfriend, Trevor, a flight attendant who lost his job when aviation fuel got so expensive—and so scarce—his airline went out of business. Forced to seek assistance to hone her unusual abilities in Psyche’s Prophecy, Book I of this series, Lara is still quite the neophyte in terms of either summoning or bending her magic to do much of anything.

Reluctantly roped into channeling her unpredictable psychic talents to help a detective who saved her from a psychopathic killer, Lara soon finds herself stranded in the murky underbelly of a world inhabited by demons.  The Sidhe offer hope, but they are so high-handed Lara stubbornly resists their suggestions.  Riots, death on all sides, a mysterious accident and one particular demon targeting her, push Lara to make some hard decisions. When all seems lost, the Dreaming, nestled in the heart of Celtic magic, calls out to her.

Short Bio:
 Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent.  Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing.  A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies and she has published two novels, Psyche’s Prophecy and Psyche’s Search. Psyche’s Promise, last book in that series, is slated for release during the summer of 2012. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.

The Transformation Series is about finding out who we truly are when the chips are down. About what is real and what is illusory. About what matters and what doesn’t. It’s easy to show our best side when everything is going well. How about when the world is disintegrating around us? What happens then?
The remote location that was supposed to solve all Lara and Trevor’s problems has done anything but. Still dogged by Goblins, Lara looks to the Sidhe for help, only to find them less than available. Though she works diligently, her crash course in magic proves woefully inadequate. With Brad’s love for her finally coming to the fore and Trevor captured by demons, Lara curses her decision to leave Seattle. “If only I’d known,” she cries, knowing she can’t go back. Or can she?
In this final book of the Transformation Series, Lara and Trevor’s relationship undergoes stresses that threaten to annihilate them. Constantly hungry, besieged by dark forces, they need every resource they’ve developed as a couple to keep from ripping each other apart. With Lillian and Raven— two ancient Celtic mages— off fighting their own war against Goblin hordes, Lara has only herself and her half-baked magic standing between survival and certain death for both her and her unborn  child. After Lara is shanghaied by a Goblin lord, Trevor plays a risky game, calling up magic not meant for mortals. Will he be able to rescue his love? If so, what will be the cost to himself?