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Diane Millsap Has A New Piece Out – “New Orleans Jive”

Sad English Bulldog face courtesy of becuo.com

Reviews coming tonight, but it has been such rainy, gray, thunder/lightning/rain-rain-rainy weather, I have been blue. But, my favorite modern painter, Diane Millsap, sent out a photo of her newest work and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you.

This artwork is the property of Diane Millsap

Diane’s work never fails to cheer me up. I am saving up for prints for over my bed. Honestly, her print are not all that expensive – what I am actually trying to figure out is which ones I want! A 16″ x 20″ Giclee of Outside Pat O Briens Bar is only $54.99, a photographic print only $29.99. You can buy a stretched canvas print for $124.99. But I want to do groupings around the room, so more prints equals more money – and choosing just which prints I want! Pat O’Brian’s, I am sure, but there is the New Orleans Street Car, Night on Royal, A Garden District Sunset, and SO many more…

You can look at all Diane’s New Orleans artwork at Art.com. by clicking  Signs of Bourbon Street to the left to go to Art.com for All Diane’s works.

Or click her logo at right to chttps://i0.wp.com/www.neworleans-art.net/sitebuilder/images/nola_website_banner-686x241.jpgheck out her private site and view her art and her commentary on being a New Orleans Artist.

Until then, I am going to put on some New Orleans Jazz and pull my head together to get some work done.

Painting from the site of the Berkley High School New Orleans Jazz Festival. Click photo to go to site.
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Review: A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice

23082546From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate. – Socrates

Expectations. I think that is always my problem when I read “name” authors. With their fancy publishers, fancy marketing and ‘names’ I expect their work to be bigger, more well written, deeper. And, honestly, after The Vines I had expected more just because that book was better. It had deeper structure, a better story line

I understand Christopher’s thought processes, and I honor them. This time, however, I feel he is trying too hard, pushing instead of leading if that makes sense. Don’t get me wrong. There are good things about the book, things that are important. But the overall issues meant the book simply didn’t work for me. I look forward to seeing what others find to love about it.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. Should you appreciate my reviews please don’t hesitate to click “Yes” for “Was this review helpful to you?” Thanks!

Kindle Scout – Crowd Sourcing For Authors And Readers

Maybe I have just been so busy I haven’t noticed notifications (see how I did that? LOL) That is a definate possibility as I have been scrambling to meet my obligations for year-end so I can start 2015 fresh. Be that as it may, I was reading a post on Becky on Books…and Quilts and I caught this paragraph at the bottom of the page:

Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. With Kindle Scout, Amazon is taking a 21st century approach to publishing, letting readers nominate which books progress to funding. It’s like your favorite reality TV show, except for books. It means you can now read excerpts from hitherto unpublished books and, if you like them, give your thumbs-up.Each book across the romance, science fiction and mystery & thriller genres, has 30 days to get as many votes as possible. After this period, Amazon checks which titles have the most backing, and selects which will be published.So why would you wish to nominate a title? Well, if you like what you’ve read in the short extracts, it means you can read the full novel when it hits publication. But more than that, you also receive a free Kindle edition a week before it’s officially released.

Hum… Well, that sounds Interesting! Apparently the first Kindle Scout winners were announced on December 2, 2014, so I am not too terribly far behind. But the more I look at it, the more I think what a great thing this would be for authors. Here is the link for authors to submit their books: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/submit

The first ten winners are shown here – click the art to go see information on the lucky books.

Readers can learn about the process from their end here: https://kindlescout.amazon.com/about and vote on here:  https://kindlescout.amazon.com/

There is even a handy-dandy video to watch. Although, I couldn’t get the video link to work on the picture, you can see the opportunity to watch at the top of the page when you go to Kindle Scout.

You can keep up to three books nominated at a time, and update your nominations whenever you want.

After looking over the books available for nomination, these were my three:

Barracuda

A vengeful predator returns to New Orleans.

Thirty years ago, 12 year-old David Mathews survived a horrific night deep in the swamps of south Louisiana. Now his predator has returned, seeking his warped sense of revenge. His target: David’s only son. In a race against time, ex-NOPD Detective Evan LeBlanc must uncover hidden secrets and unjust motives, while putting his own demons where they belong; behind him. Through the streets of New Orleans, explore nightmarish evil, and how one man learns to embrace the future ahead.

 

Why I chose this book:  The cover caught my eye immediately. It reminds me of the works of Dianne Millsap and Dianne Parks, two of my favorite New Orleans artists. Next, the blurb kept me interested, then the first sentence of the book grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go:

New Orleans is like a dead bride dressed in beautiful orange flowers.

Definitely got my vote.

Next is:

Drawing Down The Moon

by Joe Clifford Faust

Love. Intrigue. Really great Chinese food.

When Ricky Gold met Kada in the middle of West Texas, he was intrigued by her name, her tattoo, and the way an angry redneck chased her out of the bar. When someone close to Kada turns up dead their flight begins, first from an assassin… then two… then every law enforcement officer in a five-state area. Drawing Down the Moon is equal parts Hitchcockian thriller and romantic comedy as Ricky and Kada lean on each other to survive – and hope to find some really great Chinese food.

Hum… Really great Chinese food. Well, what is not to like (grin). Again, the cover caught my attention, which is is important as we all know. And the blurb is well written.The first line?

The sign said LAST CHANCE GAS – BURGERS AND BEER – ICE AND AMMO.

Winner.

My third choice is:

Whispers: A Westfall Novel

by Barry Napier

An ancient ritual devastates a small town.

A set of stone pillars and two horrific masks appeared in the forests of Westfall, Virginia overnight. As strange as this may seem, Agent Graham Ogden has seen it twice before. And on both occasions, a series of murders took place. Ogden arrives in Westfall after two murders have already occurred. With the help of local Sheriff Travis Mears, he races to solve the mystery of the pillars and masks, trying to prevent more deaths while the town descends into madness around them.

First line?

When Pete Dooley cast his line into the water for the first time that morning, fog was still wafting across the pond.

That first line gives you a feel for the whole book, as well as melding into the cover art. Murder, mystery, rituals. Yep. Definitely the third of my choices.

Here is something I tell my editing clients all the time, in one way or the other. Some say your first eight words must catch your reader’s attention in or to keep their attention, some purport a specific number of seconds, from seven to thirty. Whichever you believe, you must believe that your work is not only important to you, it is important to your readers. Your work is their escape, a world where they can pursue their interests in whatever genre, of course – but more importantly, they can leave this world behind for one that engages their mind and heart. So many things make up a truly good book. Clear writing, character development, world building. And good editing! One of the books on offer interested me in it’s premise, but the immediate problems with editing and writing style turned me off immediately. Whether it was eight seconds or thirty, I wouldn’t consider wasting my precious reading time on sloppy work.

If you check out Kindle Scout and find things you like, please share!

Review: A Masquerade of Saints by Nicole Loughan

23160642Disease, insanity, and death were the angels that attended my cradle, and since then have followed me throughout my life. – Edvard Munch
Psychopaths know the technical difference between right and wrong – which is one of the reasons their insanity pleas in criminal cases so rarely succeed; they just fail to act on that knowledge. – Jeffrey Kluger
Life is filled with goodbyes, Eve, a million goodbyes, and it hurts every time. – Mozelle Batiste Delacroix
Back in August of 2013 I picked up a copy of To Murder A Saint. Honestly, what caught my eye about it was the cover – to murder a saintthe oaks dripping Spanish Moss, and the poignant angel, who you know is weeping the loss of what can only be a child within the tiny crypt. I knew it had to be set in the South, where else? And it was, in the bayous of Louisiana, a place the author, Nicole Loughan, had been drawn to after her brother moved to New Orleans after Katrina.
Honestly, I wasn’t all that kind in my first review, pointing out how the ‘journalistic’ feel of the book was rather off-putting, though the story did have good bones.  Honestly, I am spoiled to tell the truth. The south runs through my blood, and I lean heavily toward the slow cadence of James Lee Burke, hot southern nights, and the heartrending cadence of blues guitar blowing in over the water when reading anything set in the south.
allsaintsNicole was a dear, and we talked quite a few times after my review. I read her second book, and in my second review I wrote, “Nicole, being the sweetheart she is, took my in input like a true lady.” Her second book cover shares the same eloquent vision as her first, drawing you in and giving you full notice that what you will read between its pages is both heartbreaking and uplifting. Her second entry into the field of Southern Gothic writing far outstripped her first entry into the field in terms of language and characterization, leading me to the sure knowledge that her craft would only continue to grow.
Now, with her third entry into the Saints’ series, Nicole had fulfilled her promise. Oddly, she does it with the same tight, scholarly style that she offered in the first book, as well as the second. But this third novel pulls in a Southern warmth that pulled me into the story and caressed me with the warm winds and sometimes-sour, sometimes-sweet redolence of  the bayou, keeping me turning pages at a frantic rate as I continued to follow the Fanchon’s journey through the terror which continues to stalk her.
After losing her best friend to a sadistic serial killer, then her adoptive family to madness and death, à la the best of William Faulkner, Fanchon’s life is still a nightmare. Killers stalk her, she has been accused of murder, and the man she had thought was her boyfriend, the cop from New York, Banyan, may not be a boyfriend at all – in fact, he may be something a whole lot worse. Or is someone else the author of all of her troubles?
Betrayal and heartache, terror and hope, clairvoyants and sociopaths all come together into an explosive ending that fulfilled that promise I hoped for when first reading Nicole’s works. This is the wrap-up of the series, though it does leave some tiny threads hanging which give access to another Fanchon story in the future, which I look forward to. For now, Nicole will be writing The Divine Hotel, a novel set in her home of Philadelphia. From her description:
One woman watches over the children of Philadelphia, until she gets the biggest assignment of her life, to go back in time to save the entire city. Philadeplhia’s epic landmark, the Divine Hotel, is the setting for this high-stakes mystery that brings one woman back to a time when the city was teetering on the brink of greatness and gives her a chance to tip it one way or the other.
You can learn more about Nicole and her books at her website and you can purchase her books at Amazon or your favorite retailer. I received a copy of each of Nicole’s books in return for realistic reviews. All thoughts are my own.
About The Author:
 An image posted by the author.You may know her as the syndicated humor columnist “The Starter Mom.” Nicole is a graduate of Michigan State University and an award winning Journalist, recognized by the Michigan Press Association as a top feature writer. She writes for two daily newspapers in the greater Philadelphia area. “To Murder a Saint” is the first book in the Saint Series. “All Saints’ Secret” released in August. It is recommended that the books are read in order.

Nicole loves a mystery. Her favorite female sleuths were dreamed up by Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich. She draws inspiration from the classics too such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allen Poe. She said she has to mention her first experiences with New Orleans came from the venerable Anne Rice.

New Release by Deanna Chase

I just received the following and had to share it with you. I didn’t realize I was so far behind on the Jade Calhoun Series. This one is on my list – now I just have to find time to read it… oh, and catch up on Jade’s goings-on… and everything else on my reading list!
Intoxicating Magic is here!

Hi Everyone,
Just a note to let you know the third book in the Crescent City Fae series is now available on all retailers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
Buy links for Intoxicating Magic:
Willow Rhoswen is finally coming to terms with the fact that Talisen—the healer she thought was the love of her life—has left town and is trying to move on when a rogue vampire poisons three of Allcot’s guards. With his most trusted security team on the verge of death, the notorious Cryrique leader orders Willow to bring Talisen back to New Orleans before it’s too late.But when she gets to her hometown of Eureka, California, Willow once again finds herself the target of her brother’s murderer. And suddenly no one is who they seem. With spies, secrets, and undercover missions to navigate, Willow’s determined to not only survive but to do whatever it takes to protect the ones she loves, all while hopefully getting her happily-ever-after.
Thanks for reading,
Deanna!
Influential Magic is free:Get the eBook for FREE on 9/3-9/6


New Release Dates:
Accepting Fate (Destiny series book 2) – Nov 2014
Incubus of Bourbon Street (Jade Calhoun Series, book 6) – Dec 2014
Shattered Souls (Destiny series book 3) – Early 2015

 

Audio!
The audio version of Defining Destiny is available! Now on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon. It’s narrated by the amazing Andi Arndt and Jeffrey Kafer.
In case you missed it, the first five Jade Calhoun books are here:
And this first two Crescent City Fae books are here:
Deanna Chase, PO Box 352, Independence, LA www.DeannaChase.com

To Murder A Saint – Win An Audible.com Copy!!!!

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Click to Win!!!! LINK NOW UPDATED AND WORKS CORRECTLY!

murder

Now is your chance to WIN a copy of To Murder A Saint by Nicole Loughan!

 

Nicole just published her Audio version of her book at Audible.com. Read by Suzy Lexington the story leads from the swamps of Louisiana to New York City, and back to Louisiana again as Fanchon, one of two lovely girls from the swamps, searches for her best friend Josephine’s murderer. A tightly written story imbued with ambiance, it is a wonderful beginning to the Saints Series!

Blurb:

The ground is too wet…If you bury the dead here, they can come back.” Her father always warned her that the bayou was a mysterious and dangerous place. She never suspected that the greatest danger of her life was lurking in New York City. Before their bags are unpacked one of two Cajun girls in fresh from Louisiana is found savagely murdered in New York. All the clues point to a wild animal, a perplexing development for a third floor apartment. Lacking a suspect the police accompany the murdered girl’s French speaking roommate back to her reclusive Southern Louisiana town in search of a lead. They are met with a warning that the killer is not finished yet and learn that this is not the first mysterious death in the family.

Excerpt:

It’s probably a bad sign on a first date that my mind wandered to how best to bury somebody. Namely it wandered to burying Jason Stepwald: lumpy, chubby, balding insurance salesman, Jason Stepwald. Not handsome, full head of hair, marine ‘Semper Fi Jason’ as advertised on his My Date profile page.

I think I started picturing Jason dead when he would not stop talking about insurance rates while his mouth was stuffed with oysters. The shining grey and white matter swirling around on his tongue as he talked about tort reform set a picture in my mind of him buried in the wet soil of my parents’ front yard. I remember my father telling me when I was young, “The ground here is too wet, cher. If you bury the dead here, they can come back.”

With those words in my mind I saw Jason lowered into the ground, a respectable burial, and then his decayed corpse bubbled back to the surface, his tongue sticking out. It was the very color of the gelatinous goo currently occupying his mouth.

My attention came back to living Jason when I inhaled a pungent fish smell. Jason decided that I might try one of his half shell delicacies if it was swirled within an inch of my face.

“You want one?” he asked. “Clams are an aphrodisiac, you know.”

“Where I come from we call ‘em oysters,” I told him, pushing his hand away. I noticed that his hands were soft. My dad always said nobody dates a man with soft hands.

Jason recovered from my slight and said, “So, Fanchon. That’s an interesting name.”

“Well,” I said. “A name like Fanchon in Louisiana helps people separate poor bayou trash from just plain regular white trash.”

His eyes grew wide and some of his red wine dribbled down his chin. The red wine glistening on his neck was just too much for the dead Jason image in my head. I had to turn away from him or I was going to lose it.

“I didn’t mean to upset you or anything like that,” he said.

While looking away I suppressed a smile and turned back to face him. “It’s fine. If you really care to know it’s a Cajun name. I am from a French parish town near New Orleans. It comes from…”

He interrupted me. “You know what’s interesting about New Orleans?”

“I have no idea,” I said resting my head on my hands, giving up on getting a chance to speak.

“Well it’s interesting because the whole city sits below sea level, you know. What happened with Katrina, it was just a matter of time,” he said chewing with his mouth opened yet again. “That’s the risk of being below sea level; they don’t even offer flood insurance there. I have been to a place in even worse shape called Kiribati. It is so low they will be underwater in the next two years. Talk about an insurer’s nightmare. They are mostly savages in little huts though, so it’s not like they would even have anything to insure.”

After he steered the conversation to insurance yet again I couldn’t take it.

“I have to use the restroom,” I said, walking away before he could reply.

Once safely locked away in the bathroom I sat on a yellow chaise, facing a full-length mirror by the door. I took a deep breath and examined my reflection. I thought I looked pretty good that night, not like my usual self at all. I thought back to how excited I was getting ready with my roommate, Josephine. She sweetly brushed my unruly dark hair, taming it with all her gels and curlers. She pulled out her best red dress and stuffed me into it. It was so tight on me we had to buy stockings that sucked me in from my knees to my chest. I remember I told her, “I hate tight clothes.”

She replied with her usual pseudo French cadence. “Men here drawn to tight clothes and red like flies to honey, cher. Deese men won’t be impressed dat you know how to gut a fish,” she said as she pushed a stray hair out of my face. “You my beautiful friend, cher. It time you act like it.”

And don’t miss Nicole’s second volume in the Saints Series! All Saint’s Secrets is out NOW!!

Blurb:

allsaints“After her death the kids used to say her ghost haunted the plantation.”

The bayou holds many secrets. One of them is what really happened to Lisette, a beautiful Creole teenager who died on the last day of school. Everybody in Fanchon’s reclusive bayou parish knows Lisette died in a boating accident, but when the police take a closer look, they unearth the dead girl and find a surprise in her grave.

All Saints’ Secrets is the sequel to To Murder a Saint. It is highly recommended that the Saint books be listened to in order.

 

About The Author:

new-orleans-maskYou may know her as the syndicated humor columnist “The Starter Mom.” Nicole is a graduate of Michigan State University and an award winning Journalist, recognized by the Michigan Press Association as a top feature writer. She writes for two daily newspapers in the greater Philadelphia area. To Murder a Saint is the first book in the Saint Series. All Saints’ Secrets released in August. It is recommended that the books are read in order.

Nicole loves a mystery. Her favorite female sleuths were dreamed up by Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich. She draws inspiration from the classics too such as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Edgar Allen Poe. She said she has to mention her first experiences with New Orleans came from the venerable Anne Rice.

About the Narrator:

Nicole and LizThe daughter of an American diplomat father and a model mother, Suzy Lexington has been traveling the globe since she was born.

Currently, Suzy is working as a journalist and living in NYC.

Click the Audible logo to see Suzy’s other works. audible

 

The Returns Are HAPPY!!!!

 

 

thereturns
The Returns!
The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers
The Returns 2 ~ Showstoppers

Free Today! Haunted on Bourbon Street (Jade Calhoun Series, Book 1) By Deanna Chase

 

bourbonHaunted on Bourbon Street (Jade Calhoun Series, Book 1)
By Deanna Chase
Jade loves her new apartment—until a ghost joins her in the shower. When empath Jade Calhoun moves into an apartment above a strip bar on Bourbon Street, she expects life to get interesting. What she doesn’t count on is making friends with an exotic dancer, attracting a powerful spirit, and developing feelings for Kane, her sexy…
Free!

Bring on the CHOCOLATE!!! Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic Cover Reveal!

 

Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic!

TREASURES_cover treasures_coverreveal_stockchocolate_comingsoon

OH, yummy! Now I am going to have to go make rich, gooey DARK Chocolate cupcakes, then find my athame and have a party! Yippee, skippee, Rah Rah YUM!!!!

 

Biography

Meghan Ciana Doidge is an award-winning writer based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She has a penchant for bloody love stories, superheroes, and the supernatural. She also has a thing for chocolate, potatoes, and sock yarn.

Novels – After The Virus, Spirit Binder, Time Walker, Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic – Dowser #1, Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic – Dowser #2, Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic – Dowser #3

Novellas/Shorts – Love Lies Bleeding and The Graveyard Kiss

WARNING: author has been known to manipulate characters with chocolate, sex, and fantastical plotting. Readers beware http://author.to/meghancianadoidge

 Linkscupcake

Blog, www.madebymeghan.ca

Twitter, @mcdoidge

Facebook, Meghan Ciana Doidge

NEW RELEASE MAILING LIST

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

meg

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