THE SPACE BETWEEN by Brenna Yovanoff


Duncan M. Hamilton

DRAGONSLAYER Official Blog Tour

Sean Penn


Cathy Cash Spellman


Ashley Eckstein


Jane Alvey Harris

RIVEN Official Trailer Reveal

William L. Myers Jr.


Jessica Pennington

WHEN SUMMER ENDS Official Blog Tour

Bradley P. Beaulieu


Ava Morgyn


Lisa Edelstein


Josh Duhamel


Sarah Porter


Bianca Marais


Rachel DeWoskin


Alex Dahl


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Alex Dahl Author Interview

Photo Content from Alex Dahl

Half American, half Norwegian, Alex Dahl was born in Oslo. She graduated with a BA in Russian and German Linguistics with International studies and went on to complete an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, followed by an MSc in Business Management at Bath University. Alex has published short stories in the UK and the US as well as a novel, Before I Leave You, in Norway in 2013. Alexandra is a serious Francophile and currently lives between London and Sandefjord.

Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Oslo to a Norwegian father and an American mother. Having lived in lots of places, home has been an elusive feeling, but at the moment I split my time between Sandefjord, Norway and London. 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a life in writing?
Persevere. And don’t take one person’s opinion as indicative of your abilities as a writer. If you wish to make a living from writing, grow some thick skin, read everything you can get your hands on, and…write.

Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby for you?
I never wanted to do anything else, but when I had kids young and then studied for a Master’s Degree in Business Management, I realized I’d slowly removed myself from the career I truly wanted. That was when I got really serious, and started to carve out non-negotiable writing time from an already jam-packed schedule.

Please tell my Book Nerd community a little about your new release, THE HEART KEEPER.
The Heart Keeper tells the story of Alison Miller-Juul, an American living in Oslo, whose only child, Amalie, drowns in tragic circumstances. Amalie’s organs are donated and several months later, Alison finds out who received her heart after becoming obsessively interested in cell memory―the notion of a person’s memories and experiences being transferred to the recipient through organ donation. Kaia Berge is a girl of seven who received Amalie’s heart, and as Alison strikes up contact with her mother Iselin, worlds and lives collide… 

Which character did you enjoy writing the most?
I really enjoyed writing both Alison and Iselin in this book, they both resonated with me at different stages of my own life. Young Iselin, feeling trapped by mothering a sick child while trying to establish a career, while also being consumed by love and worry for their child. And Alison, who is struck still by grief, who begins to increasingly remove herself from her life and loved ones to pursue her obsession―they were both psychologically interesting characters to explore.

What book would you recommend for others to read?
I recently read The Perfect Nanny by Leïla Slimani and felt profoundly affected by it. It is a very dark book, but also a fresh take on the thriller with psychological, social and political undertones, giving a hugely interesting insight into modern French family life. 

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
I am very excited for the release of The Heart Keeper this summer! I am also working on another thriller at the moment, which is now at the late stages of a first draft―that lovely stage when you can see an actual novel emerge! It’s a (hopefully) original take on abduction, weaving in my favorite themes and components―motherhood, dark secrets, manipulation, lies, and psychologically complex characters.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I would place narcissistic, ruthless, broken Cecilia Wilborg from The Boy at the Door into a traditional love story. She’d break all the rules and provide an entertaining anti-heroine.

What are you most passionate about today?
My kids, writing and travel. I am also reading a lot of psychology, tentatively considering pursuing that further―who knows how far I will go with it! It is extremely interesting, in any case. 

Where can readers find you?
At home or at a café in Wimbledon, working. Or, on my days off, I like to go for long walks. I love being in nature to think, clear my head, and, of course―plot! 

I love exploring different places, so had to choose this one.
  • 1. Norway. Norway is a great location to write from and about, as it is seemingly small and safe―the perfect place to think up underlying horrors.
  • 2. London. I would love to write London into one of my future projects. It is a great, diverse city and I loved the role it played in Girl on the Train, for example. 
  • 3. France. France is my favorite country on the planet, so any excuse to drop a little frenchness into my books, I’ll take it. 
  • 4. Ariège. The book I am currently working on is partially set in this remote, beautiful corner of France and I have been doing lots of research on the physical geography and cultural history. I can’t wait to visit later this spring! 
  • 5. Paris. Because Paris is always, always a good idea. I used to live there, and would write from my tiny attic room in the 5th arrondissement, just behind the Pantheon. 
  • 6. San Francisco. My American hometown and the first big city I truly loved. Would love to set a future novel here, it would be the perfect excuse to spend more time there.
  • 7. Oslo, because it is so familiar to me. I like a combination of familiar locations and unknown ones that prompt research. It is such a joy to discover new places and learn about them through research.
  • 8. The Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall, UK. One of the best kept secrets in Europe, in my opinion. These stunningly beautiful, sub-tropical islands have an incredible history and would lend themselves perfectly to setting a novel.
  • 9. Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France. If I were to write a romance novel I would set it here because it is just so fairytale perfect.
  • 10. Key West. Because I really, really want to go and need a good excuse! I would set a domestic noir mystery here―I like the contrast between beautiful places and dark storylines… 

Critically acclaimed author Alex Dahl explores how love can turn darkly sinister when a desperate mother looks to reconnect with her lost daughter in this riveting Norwegian set psychological suspense novel.

Two mothers. Two daughters. One heart.

When Alison's beloved daughter Amalie drowns, her world turns impenetrably dark. Alison tries to hold it together throughout the bleak Fall, but in the darkest days of the Norwegian Winter she completely falls apart.

In another family, Amalie's passing is a new beginning. After years of severe health problems, young Kaia receives a new heart on the morning after Amalie drowns. Her mother Iselin has struggled to raise Kaia on her own and now things are finally looking up. She's even made an affluent new friend who's taken a special interest in her and her daughter.

Alison knows she shouldn't interfere, but really, she's just trying to help Iselin and Kaia. She can give them the life they never had, and by staying close to them, she can still be with her daughter. Kaia is just like her, and surely, something of Amalie must live on in her. As her grief transforms into a terrifying obsession, Alison won't let anything stop her from getting back what she has lost.

You can purchase The Heart Keeper at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you ALEX DAHL for making this giveaway possible.
Winner will receive a Copy of The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Bianca Marais Author Interview

Photo Content from Bianca Marais

Bianca Marais is the author of the beloved Hum If You Don't Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh. She holds a certificate in creative writing from the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies, where she now teaches creative writing. Before turning to writing, she started a corporate training company and volunteered with Cotlands, where she assisted care workers in Soweto ​with providing aid for HIV/AIDS orphans.

She runs the Eunice Ngogodo Own Voices Initiative to empower young black women in Africa
to write and publish their own stories. Originally from South Africa, she now resides in Toronto with her husband.


Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I had a reader who loved my first novel, ‘Hum If You Don’t Know the Words’ and who was then diagnosed with cancer. When it looked like she wasn’t going to be able to conquer it, she reached out and asked if there was any chance she could read ‘If You Want to Make God Laugh’ months ahead of publication. I got her an advance copy and it was the last book she read before she passed away. I was told it meant a lot to her and I can tell you, it meant the world to me.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
It helps us live so many lives that we could never live, have experiences we’d normally never have and it connects us to one another. It both takes us away from every day life and anchors us in it. For me, it’s an essential as food and water.

What were your inspirations for the character development?
I spent a lot of time in South African squatter camps in the 2000s and met so many women there. Zodwa was a composite of those resourceful and resilient young women. Ruth was very loosely based on an ex-stripper in South Africa who was famous in the 1970s, but the rest of her was taken from people I’ve personally known. And Delilah was inspired by all the women I know who have survived sexual assault.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?
Absolutely! I know that I’m very drawn to book covers and will often judge a book based on the cover. LOL. This is why writers don’t get to choose their book covers because the experts in sales and marketing at the publisher know the demographic they’re targeting and what will appeal to them. I’ve been very lucky that I loved both of my book covers!

In your new book; IF YOU WANT TO MAKE GOD LAUGH, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
The book takes place against the backdrop of South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as headed up by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the onset of the AIDs pandemic.

Three women, Zodwa, Ruth and Delilah, are each at a personal crossroads. In a squatter camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg, seventeen-year-old Zodwa lives in desperate poverty, under the shadowy threat of a civil war and a growing AIDS epidemic. Eight months pregnant, Zodwa carefully guards secrets that jeopardize her life.

Across the country, wealthy socialite Ruth appears to have everything her heart desires, but it's what she can't have that leads to her breakdown. Meanwhile, in Zaire, a disgraced former nun, Delilah, grapples with a past that refuses to stay buried. When these personal crises send both middle-aged women back to their rural hometown to lick their wounds, the discovery of an abandoned newborn baby upends everything, challenging their lifelong beliefs about race, motherhood, and the power of the past.

Are there authors that you’re excited to engage/work with?
I unfortunately don’t get to work with other authors in terms of writing a book together but I love engaging with authors on social media and at events, etc. Writing is such a solitary endeavor that it’s always great to meet other people who spend their lives making stuff up!

What part of Zodwa, Ruth and Delilah did you enjoy writing the most?
With Zodwa, it was walking a mile in the shoes of someone who is so very different from myself: a young, black woman who is impoverished and hasn’t had many opportunities. I believe that as writers and readers, we gain so much more empathy by exploring worlds so different from our own. Seeing the world though Zodwa’s eyes was a deeply humbling experience.

With Ruth, I loved her irreverence. She’s a very flawed person but she lives out loud without any apologies for who she is. I wish I could be like that.

With Delilah, it was seeing her development as a character and seeing her come into her own that I most enjoyed. She’s such a damaged person and seeing her find her way back to herself and reclaim her life was extremely satisfying.

What book would you recommend for others to read?
If they’d like to learn more about this time in South Africa’s history, I’d recommend Jim Wooten’s ‘We Are all the Same’ which is a wonderful book about Nkosi Johnson, who was the face of South Africa’s struggle against the AIDs pandemic.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d personally love to meet Professor Minerva McGonagall from Harry Potter so that’s who I’d choose. I think she’d be able to talk sense into every single one of my characters though I think she’d have the most fun with Ruth.

If you could leave your readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?
We really are all the same. No matter our race, background, culture, sexual orientation or religion, we can always find commonality in our shared humanity. If we can set aside our prejudice or preconceived ideas about one another, and try to understand rather than change one another, the world would be a much better place for it.

What event in your life would make a good movie?
Probably my time spend in Soweto volunteering there. Not because of me or my life but because I came into contact with amazing, strong, resilient and astounding women over that time. Their stories would make a good movie.

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
Tarantulas keep tiny pet frogs. I’m not lying. Look it up!

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I’m the person who has thousands of regrets. Things I said, things I shouldn’t have said, things I should have done, things I wish I hadn’t done. It’s probably just as well that I can’t go back because, with everything I’d change, I’d probably change the entire course of my own life and everyone else’s that I know.

What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Visit South Africa. It’s a beautiful country filled with wonderful people. It will change you.

  • 1. I was once bitten by a giraffe.
  • 2. I adopted a serial killer’s cat.
  • 3. Coffee goes with peanut butter but tea goes with jam
  • 4. I’m such a huge Harry Potter fan that I’ve named four pets in honor of it: Muggle, Dobby, Wombat and Mrs. Norris.
  • 5. I’d rather do just about anything than go clothes shopping (book shopping is entirely different!)
  • 6. I once almost accidentally ran over Archbishop Desmond Tutu with my car. Probably the scariest moment of my life.
  • 7. I run the Eunice Ngogodo Own Voices Initiative in South Africa to empower black women to tell their own stories. The initiative is named after my childhood caregiver.
  • 8. I’ve jumped out of planes, off of cliffs and white water rafted twice on the Zambezi
  • 9. I suffer from claustrophobia
  • 10. I belonged to a quiz team called ‘You Can’t Make Sh*t Up, Stephen’. My husband is the Stephen in question.
From the author of the beloved Hum if You Don't Know the Wordscomes a rich, unforgettable story of three unique women in post-Apartheid South Africa who are brought together in their darkest time, and discover the ways that love can transcend the strictest of boundaries.

In a squatter camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg, seventeen-year-old Zodwa lives in desperate poverty, under the shadowy threat of a civil war and a growing AIDS epidemic. Eight months pregnant, Zodwa carefully guards secrets that jeopardize her life.

Across the country, wealthy socialite Ruth appears to have everything her heart desires, but it's what she can't have that leads to her breakdown. Meanwhile, in Zaire, a disgraced former nun, Delilah, grapples with a past that refuses to stay buried. When these personal crises send both middle-aged women back to their rural hometown to lick their wounds, the discovery of an abandoned newborn baby upends everything, challenging their lifelong beliefs about race, motherhood, and the power of the past.

As the mystery surrounding the infant grows, the complicated lives of Zodwa, Ruth, and Delilah become inextricably linked. What follows is a mesmerizing look at family and identity that asks: How far will the human heart go to protect itself and the ones it loves?


“Set against the backdrop of the Mandela presidency, the Afrikaner Resistance Movement, and the burgeoning AIDS epidemic, the story offers a look into the staggering emotional cost of secrecy, broken family bonds, racism, and sexual violence. Marais once again showcases her talent for pulling beauty from the pain of South African history with a strong story and wonderfully imperfect characters.” —Publishers Weekly

"A moving portrait of the choices women can make--and the ones we can't. Beautifully crafted and powerfully drawn, this book had me in tears." —Jill Santopolo, bestselling author of The Light We Lost and More Than Words

"A story of three remarkable women at crossroads in their own lives against the backdrop of South Africa at the moment of stunning transformation that will keep you reading late into the night. Marais deftly completes a writer's hat trick, leaving you gutted, smiling through tears and soaring with hope." —Steven Rowley, bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor

“You will absolutely love this book. You will. Why? Because Bianca Marais’s heart is immense and full of love. With unsparing insight into the human condition, she unspools a tale that is at once heartbreaking as it is merciful, validating our frailty while eulogizing our endless capacity for generosity and love. We all need the deep refuge of Bianca Marais’s exceptional voice.” —Robin Oliveira, author of My Name is Mary Sutter and I Always Loved You

“Radiant…A stirring ode to a country’s painful maturation.” —O, The Oprah Magazine on HUM IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE WORDS

“Richly drawn…[The characters’] journeys and eventual love poignantly demonstrate that nothing is simply black or white.” —USA Today on HUM IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE WORDS

“With its vivid, emotional scene-setting, alternating narration and tense plotting, this novel is a thoughtful, compelling page-turner.” —Good Housekeeping on HUM IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE WORDS

You can purchase If You Want to Make God Laugh at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you BIANCA MARAIS for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Monday, July 15, 2019

Cathy Cash Spellman Author Interview

Photo Credit: Dakota Cash

Multiple New York Times and International Bestsellers, a Paramount Movie, book sales in 22 countries, Cathy Cash Spellman writes stories about love, friendship, adventure, and history. Known for her big sprawling sagas and memorable characters, Cathy writes the kind of stories women like to lose themselves in, and then remember long after the book is done.

Her books range through several genres: contemporary, historical, mystery, mystic and romance. Several take place in two time-frames, both current and historical.

Bless the Child was a Paramount movie in 2000, starring Kim Basinger and Jimmy Smits, and Paint The Wind has been optioned for film and TV.

Cathy is an Astrologer, Martial Artist (Black Belt Goju Ryu Karate) and has expertise in Chinese Medicine, several alternative healing modalities and many metaphysical disciplines.

She has written for Self, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, Mademoiselle, Cosmo, Penthouse, Mode, Kung Fu and many other magazines about women, health, empowerment, sexuality, spiritual philosophy and Astrology. She blogs for The Huffington Post and The New York Times.


Print Length: 410 pages
Publisher: The Wild Harp & Company, Inc. (July 16, 2019)
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English


"Family ties tighten and bonds of affection grow stronger as a family is trapped between ruthless forces struggling for the highest stakes: control of a world to be subjected to unimaginable evil. As.parents, children and loved ones risk all to protect one another, events accelerate towards a conclusion that is in doubt until the last page is turned. A terrific read!" Richard Gid Powers author of The Mystery of the Trinity

"A MURDER ON JANE STREET is a gripping summer thriller filled with history, adventure, and an intriguing mystery. Cathy Cash Spellman will keep readers on the edge of their seat" 
Charles Brokaw, New York Times Bestselling author of The Atlantis Code

Cathy paints a picture with the most radiant phrasing and colorful words! I’m a fan of her books and have read every one of them, always wishing that she’ll write more! That hope was answered with A MURDER ON JANE STREET. This compelling gem of a mystery is also a history, a conspiracy, and a modern-day morality tale rolled into one. Yes there is a murder, deadly secrets and treachery, but at its heart, it’s also about family, friendship and having the courage to do the right thing in the face of nearly insurmountable odds. This brilliant author has created yet another home run! Her narrative, coupled with an edge-of-your-seat contemporary mystery thriller, have characters that warmed my heart and an unexpected ending that I absolutely LOVED! Adria de Haume, author of Cross Purpose

"Do NOT read this book unless you are willing to be seduced by a dozen incredibly keen people without whom the world as we know it might cease to exist." K.T. Maclay author of Beginners Guide to Death and Dying in Oaxaca

Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in New Jersey and am currently in Florida, but I think of home as Manhattan and Connecticut!

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Write, write, write! Even if it’s 15 minutes a day! Be consistent. Eke out your time and stick to it. I wrote So Many Partings from 4:30 to 6:30 every morning for 4 years before it got to the New York Times Bestseller list. I got up with the chickens because that was the only time of day that belonged only to me alone (I had a business to run and young daughters. Was the lost sleep worth it? You bet it was!

And don’t edit yourself! Leave that for later, after you’ve gotten your best and freshest ideas onto paper.

Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby?
I knew from the time I could first hold a book in my hands that a life as a storyteller was all I desired.

What was your unforgettable moment while writing A MURDER ON JANE STREET?
The moment I realized I’d woven the character of FitzHugh Donovan from my memories of my wonderful father and grandfather. I was so happy to think I’d be spending time with those I love while writing this series, I sat down at my desk and cried happy tears. My beloved daughter and sister are tucked in there, too!

What part of Fitz did you enjoy writing the most?
My father had the gift of laughter and uncommon common sense. I really admired both! No matter what life threw at him, he would accept it and make the best of it, loving life, all the while. I’ve tried to imbue Fitz with these lovely character traits. “This too shall pass…” my dad would say about adversity and I know Fitz would say the same!

Fitz also echoes my father in his love of poetry, his unfailing code of honor and his immense heart.

In your new book; A MURDER ON JANE STREET, can you tell my Book Nerd community all about it?
I’d love to! Here’s the bare bones version of the story:

A brutal murder.
A heinous secret.
A deadly conspiracy.
An adversary who’s above the law.

The brutal murder of the little old lady next door puts retired New York City Police Chief FitzHugh Donovan on the case. Fitz knows a cover-up when he sees one and he’s on the hunt for answers.

What he doesn’t yet know is that conspiracy, power and corruption at the highest levels of government stand in the way of justice for this cipher of a woman, who was so much more than she appeared.

When Fitz gathers his beloved family and friends to tell the story, they dub themselves The Bleecker Street Irregulars and volunteer to help him ferret out the truth. But family, friendship, courage and conscience will be tested to the limits as they all are propelled into the bizarre life of a heroic female spy in WWII, and a current day conspiracy that could kill them all.

I’m hoping the shocking secret she died to protect, the current day willingness of ordinary people to do the right thing, and two intertwined love stories will clutch at my readers hearts as Fitz races to find a way to keep the ones he loves alive in the fact of the odds.

What book would you recommend for others to read?
I’m currently crazy about Mind to Matter by Dawson Church. It uses new scientific evidence found in brain-mapping technologies to show how our brains rewire themselves depending on our thoughts, so thoughts become things and can actually alter the realities of health, prosperity and well-being.

I’m also excited about Mika Brzezinsky’s Know Your Value. It’s full of very helpful info about how we women have difficulty asking for the recognition and salaries we deserve, and what to do about that.

On the novel front, I’ve just finished the Deborah Harkness trilogy, A Discovery of Witches. I loved every minute of it!

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
I learned this long ago and it’s my favorite thing about writing stories! I start out putting meticulous and emotional thought into the creation of each character, imagining all I can about their lives. Then I start to write. Magically, the characters begin to show their own identities! It’s as if they reach out and lead me by the hand to their stories and their evolution as they grow with every page.

I’ve had characters fall in love, get sick or die, change horses in midstream – sometimes much against my will – but miraculously the characters are always right in the context of the story.

What are some of your current future projects that you can share with us?
My reader friends have really embraced Lark’s Labyrinth and are clamoring for a sequel. I’m more than halfway done. After that, comes the sequel to A Murder on Jane Street and after that, I hope, a sequel to all three of my historical novels, Paint the Wind, So Many Partings and An Excess of Love. I envision a book in which the next generation of all three stories are intertwined. I can’t wait to see what happens to my old friends and their children.

If you could introduce one of the characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one. I’d really like to introduce the whole next generation of characters from my three historic stories to each other! I can easily see love stories (and great enmities) being generated. Their time would be the 20th century and the scope of their lives would be worldwide, which would give me an exciting broad palette to paint on!

Choose a unique item from your wallet and explain why you carry it around.
I carry an amulet given to me by Guruji the head of the Jain Monks. He told me always to keep it with me, so I do. He was believed by his 15 million followers (and by me!) to be a saint.

Last Halloween Costume you wore and when?
I usually dress as a wizard of some kind, going back to my magical roots. I come from a long line of mystic Celtic women and my daughter Dakota says I have the best wizard wardrobe in town!

How would you like to spend a Sunday morning?
Reading, reading, reading… and maybe writing, too. Leisure is something I currently have little of, so my book pile (and newspapers, too) is massive!

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
I’ve lost two daughters and my parents to terrible illnesses. I’d go back to any time spent on a summer back porch with them, or in front of the Christmas tree and hearth, or in Kennebunkport, Maine, my favorite place. To be with them all again and with my daughter Dakota and my sister Conny… that would be perfect happiness.

  • · I adore Fitz because he reminds me so much of my father.
  • · In Paint the Wind, I was madly in love with Hart – sadly I never met a man like him. …honorably complex, brimming over with strength and heart.
  • · In So Many Partings, Tom Dalton’s life touched my heart with his tribulations and courage.
  • · In So Many Partings, I admired brave Andrew Furuseth, a character who really lived and changed the fate of Seamen forever. I was also very fond of Jack.
  • · In An Excess of Love, I loved several of the men: Tierney, Seaneen, Tahg, Derek and of course, the heroes of the 1916 Rising, starting with Mick Collins.
That’s weird, no lights. Rory navigated her phone app to confirm she’d completed the ride, then stood staring at her pitch-black house, which was more than a little ominous-looking in the snow. Or maybe it was just the idea of being alone on a deserted 119th Street at this hour in an only half-gentrified neighborhood that was spooky. Besides, Carlos was inside. He’d said he was calling from inside the house, hadn’t he?

Rory fitted her key in the lock and pushed the heavy old door open, calling the man’s name. Nothing. No sound but the wind and the creaking noises old houses excelled at. Light switch, she told herself. Flip the light switch. She thought This is the part in the horror flick when the heroine is blithely traipsing down the darkened basement steps where the axe murderer is lying in wait and the audience is screaming “turn on the fucking lights, you idiot!” She laughed out loud at herself and fumbled for the light switch—which produced nothing at all. Shit!

Rory stood stock-still. Maybe Carlos had to turn off the electrical because of the water problem. That could make sense. She took the heavy-duty flashlight out of the tool bag she’d grabbed on her way out of her apartment and switched it on.

“Carlos!” she shouted again, as she flashed the light around the room and moved tentatively forward. “Carlos! Where the hell are you and why aren’t the lights working?” There wasn’t time for more than that before the world fell in on her.

Copyright © 2019 by Cathy Cash Spellman

A brutal murder.
A heinous secret
A deadly conspiracy.

The brutal murder of the little old lady next door puts FitzHugh Donovan on the case. A retired New York City Police Chief, he knows a cover-up when he sees one and his Irish Cop conscience can’t let that happen.


Now, Fitz, his family and his quirky band of Bleecker Street Irregulars are ensnared in the bizarre secret the woman died to protect.

Is this a 75-year-old cold case turned hot again, or an unspeakable crime-in-progress that could alter the course of the world?

Fitz doesn’t yet know how high the stakes are, that failure isn’t an option, and that the little old lady was so much more than she appeared. But he’s trying to keep everyone alive long enough to find out.

Characters you’ll care about, dark shocking secrets, and disturbing similarities to today’s political scene, will keep you turning pages to an ending you won’t see coming.

You can purchase A Murder on Jane Street at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CATHY CASH SPELLMAN for making this giveaway possible.
4 Winners will receive a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card. 
JULY 19th FRIDAY Movies, Shows, & Books EXCERPT 

JULY 22nd MONDAY Stephanie's Life of Determination REVIEW & GUEST POST
JULY 23rd TUESDAY J.R.'s Book Reviews REVIEW
JULY 24th WEDNESDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW
JULY 25th THURSDAY For the Love of Fictional Worlds REVIEW
JULY 26th FRIDAY Gwendalyn's Books REVIEW & EXCERPT

JULY 29th MONDAY Book Queen Reviews REVIEW & EXCERPT
JULY 29th MONDAY Sabrina's Paranormal Palace GUEST POST
JULY 30th TUESDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW & EXCERPT

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Bradley P. Beaulieu Author Interview

Photo Content from Bradley P. Beaulieu 

Bradley P. Beaulieu began writing his first fantasy novel in college, but in the way of these things, it was set aside as life intervened. As time went on, though, Brad realized that his love of writing and telling tales wasn’t going to just slink quietly into the night. The drive to write came back full force in the early 2000s, at which point Brad dedicated himself to the craft, writing several novels and learning under the guidance of writers like Nancy Kress, Joe Haldeman, Tim Powers, Holly Black, Michael Swanwick, Kij Johnson, and many more.

Brad and his novels have garnered many accolades and most anticipated lists, including two Hotties–the Debut of the Year and Best New Voice–on Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist, a Gemmell Morningstar Award nomination for The Winds of Khalakovo and more:

* Top Ten Book and Debut of the Year for 2011 on Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist for The Winds of Khalakovo
* Best New Voice of 2011 on Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
* 2011 Gemmell Morningstar Award Nomination for The Winds of Khalakovo
* Top Ten Debut for The Winds of Khalakovo on The Ranting Dragon’s Best of 2011
* Top Ten Debut for The Winds of Khalakovo on Mad Hatter’s Book Review Best of 2011
* Honorable Mention for The Winds of Khalakovo on LEC Reviews Best of 2011
* Top Five Book for 2012 on Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist for The Straits of Galahesh
* 2012 Most Anticipated for The Straits of Galahesh on Staffer’s Book Review
* 2012 Most Anticipated for The Straits of Galahesh on The Ranting Dragon
* 2013 Most Anticipated for The Flames of Shadam Khoreh on The Ranting Dragon

In addition to being an L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award winner, Brad’s stories have appeared in various other publications, including Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future 20, and several anthologies from DAW Books. His story, “In the Eyes of the Empress’s Cat,” was voted a Notable Story of 2006 in the Million Writers Award.

Brad continues to work on his next projects, including The Song of the Shattered Sands, an Arabian Nights epic fantasy, and Tales of the Bryndlholt, a Norse-inspired middle grade series. He also runs the highly successful science fiction and fantasy podcast, Speculate, which can be found at


What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
For college, I went to an engineering school for computer science and engineering (MSOE in Milwaukee, WI, for the curious-minded). The greatest thing I learned there was to think critically, to not take things for granted, to question what you hear and read. And don’t just assume that one way is the best way to solve a problem. Look for others. After all, just because something works doesn’t mean it’s efficient.

It helped me endlessly during my career in IT, but also in writing. Ernest Hemingway said, “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector.” And it’s true! When building a world or when crafting plot, it helps greatly to look at things in this critical manner, ensuring that the world feels whole, that the plot makes sense. This isn’t to say that all things are logical and ordered in my books. They aren’t. But when they aren’t, I’m making a conscious decision about it. It’s because of things like emotion, tradition, sometimes religion—things created for reasons other than pure logic.

Looking at your writing critically is a thing that pays endless dividends during the brainstorming phase, plotting, writing, and revising, and is absolutely something new writers should cultivate.

What was your favorite book as a child and why?
One book that really stands out to me is How to Eat Fried Worms. I honestly don’t remember much about the book anymore, other than a kid falls into a bet of some sort and ends up having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days and ends up liking it by the end, but I recall it being the first book that really sucked me in. Maybe it was the gross factor. It was probably the gross factor.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
I once heard an established writer give a keynote speech at a convention (I’m forgetting her name at the moment). She was talking about her career and that she’d known plenty of other writers that were brilliant, better than she was, who never made a career of it. Why not? Because they didn’t stick it out.

For me, persistence is by far the greatest trait needed by the career writer. Persistence is the key to it all because it takes time to learn how to write. It takes time to build your career. Hell, it takes time to write each book!

Want to write? You’ve got to be stubborn.

For those who are unfamiliar with your series; THE SONG OF THE SHATTERED SANDS, how would you introduce it?
The Song of the Shattered Sands is a sweeping, epic fantasy that focuses on the desert city of Sharakhai. Twelve cruel kings have ruled over Sharakhai and the desert for over four hundred years, but things are changing. There are hints that the power the kings have commanded for so long is weakening. The neighboring kingdoms sense it, and are closing in, each hoping to take the desert’s Amber Jewel for their own.

Enter Çeda, the primary character in the series. Çeda is a pit fighter when we first meet her, but she has long harbored a desire to bring down the kings, who killed her mother when she was young. Through clues left to her by her mother in a book of poems, Çeda begins to see ways that the kings rule might be broken forever, but it won’t be easy—the kings haven’t ruled for over four centuries for no reason, after all.

What follows is a deep and expansive tale that shows Çeda infiltrating the ranks of the Blade Maidens, the protectors of the kings, and works to destroy their rule with allies both new and old.

Your newest book is BENEATH THE TWISTED TREES. Can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about the novel?
Beneath the Twisted Trees is the fourth installment in The Song of the Shattered Sands. Çeda has grown throughout the books. She’s been an assassin. She’s been a warrior. She’s fought the kings with guile and courage. And she’s grown. She’s become a leader in the desert. As the book opens, she’s ready to use her newfound position of power to help free the asirim, Çeda’s cursed ancestors, from the chains that bind them.

Beneath the Twisted Trees marks a change in the series. Çeda has been on the run for much of the previous books. But now she has become a force in the desert, and she’s ready to wield that power to achieve her ultimate aims.

She has more to worry about than the kings alone, however. War has come to the desert. The neighboring kingdoms, as feared, are moving on Sharakhai, each hoping to take it for their own before the others do. Making matters worse, the desert gods have become more involved and are working against Çeda.

What began as a personal tale of revenge for Çeda in Twelve Kings in Sharakhai has become a story that spans five kingdoms. The face of the desert is about to change forever, and Çeda is at the very center of it.

Which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed?
The main character, Çeda, has certainly grown. But I would say her love interest, Emre, has grown the most. When we meet him in Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, he’s a callow youth who’s hiding a secret. He pretends to be tough—there’s really no other way to survive in the city’s west end—but deep down he fears he’s a coward. Çeda is always saving him, from himself, from others.

He’s long suppressed those feelings, but goes through a transformation in the first book. He becomes something dark, overcoming his fears but only by becoming ruthless and unfeeling at the same time. It was heart-wrenching to write about Emre at times, because deep down he’s a good person, but he found some pretty terrible ways to overcome his fears.

Fortunately, Emre has grown since then. He’s learned that cruelty is no way to live. He felt adrift for much of his life, a man without a tribe, but he comes to love the thirteenth tribe, a tribe the desert forgot about but that is reborn through his and Çeda’s efforts. He sees community for the first time and embraces it. He’s becoming the man he might have been had some of the tragic events of his youth never happened.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Hmm. Good question! I’d probably have Çeda meet Frodo Baggins. Both of them are lovers of stories, and I think they’d have a grand time sipping araq or quaffing beer while telling their tales to one another.

What do you feel is the most significant change since book one?
Years back, in the early days of working on Twelve Kings, I was sitting on a panel with Scott Lynch, a writer I’ve really come to admire. He was talking about how a few different series—from Lois McMaster Bujold and Steven Brust—looked at different aspects of a world in each of the books in a series. In other words: the books in the series were not simply one long arc broken up artificially by book covers, but rather, different prisms through which the world was viewed. Scott said he’d adopted that same approach for his Gentlemen Bastards series (a series I highly recommend, by the way). In the first book, he has a major heist, a la Oceans Eleven, in the second book it’s piracy on the high seas, the third book is about cheating in politics, the fourth book is about espionage and war, and so on.

That approach really spoke to me, so I’ve been using it as the series has progressed. In the first book, Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, I’m trying to show the heart of the city of Sharakhai, what it’s like now and why someone like Çeda would want to bring the Kings down. In the second book, we see more about the Kings and the Blade Maidens who protect them. In the third book, we head deep into the desert and learn more about the desert tribes who gave birth to Sharakhai.

Book Four, Beneath the Twisted Trees, explores Çeda and her transformation into a leader, even a figurehead. I have plans for Book Five and Book Six as well, but I’ll save those for another interview. ;)

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

My current project is Absynthe, a decopunk novel set in a parallel universe Roaring Twenties Chicago. It tells the story of Liam Mulcahey, a veteran from the Great War who survives an attack on a speakeasy only to discover that the war he thought he fought in Europe was in fact fought on American soil. How he could have forgotten he has no idea, until Grace Savropoulis, a wealthy heiress, enters his life and reveals the truth: that he was involved in a military experiment during the war that had devastating consequences for the country after war’s end, and that he, Liam, is one of the few people who can do anything about it.

I also have a sci-fi thriller trilogy waiting to be written called The Days of Dust and Ash, which tells the story of a broken world, a world where once-great cities have been reduced to isolated pockets, enclaves that fight to survive against a semi-sentient plague known as the ash. Ash devours the landscape, remaking it in its own horrific image. What’s worse, it creates demons, twisted creatures born from the fears of the humans who have survived. A powerful substance known as dust helps to fight the darkness, but the only real way to defeat it is to learn of its origins, a thing that becomes possible when an ash mage known as Blue discovers a mysterious girl named Xioka, who may have the ability to unlock the past and find a way to save the world.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
You know, I think I’ll stick with the 80’s. I was there for the rise of the arcade and the personal computer. I got to play all the fun games, from Zork to Ultima to Robotron, when they first came out. Looking back, it really was a wonderful time to be a teen!

What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?
Truth to tell I was playing Overwatch. The game is really intense, a first-person shooter but team-oriented. Blizzard has done a really good job of making it light. There are a lot of comedic elements, like the unique dances each of the twenty-some characters has that you can use during games or in the “ready room” before a match begins.

I won’t lie, one of my favorite parts of the game are the “environmental kills,” which are when you knock people off the edges of the map and into pits, off buildings, or what have you. It’s kind of hilarious to see these badass characters get “booped” off an edge by characters like Lucio, who has a serious sonic blast. It’s even funnier when the opponent has just released their ultimate, which has about a one-second warning before it’s unleashed. Seeing Lucio boop someone who’s just announced their intention to slay everyone… Well, what can I say? It tickles my funny bone.

Thank you for having me by!.

The fourth book in The Song of Shattered Sands series--an epic fantasy with a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action.

When a battle to eradicate the Thirteenth Tribe goes awry, the kingdoms bordering the desert metropolis of Sharakhai see the city as weak and ripe for conquest. Çeda, now leader of the Shieldwives, a band of skilled desert swordswomen, hopes to use the growing chaos to gain freedom for Sehid-Alaz, the ancient, undying king of her people. Freeing him is only the beginning, however. Like all the people of her tribe on that fateful night four centuries earlier, Sehid-Alaz was cursed, turned into an asir, a twisted, miserable creature beholden to the kings of Sharakhai--to truly free her king, Çeda must break the chains that bind him.

As Sharakhai's enemies close in and the assault on the city begins, Çeda works feverishly to unlock the mysteries of the asirim's curse. But danger lies everywhere. Enemy forces roam the city; the Blade Maidens close in on her; her own father, one of the kings of Sharakhai, wants Çeda to hang. Worst of all, the gods themselves have begun to take notice of Çeda's pursuits.

When the combined might of Sharakhai and the desert gods corner the survivors of the Thirteenth Tribe in a mountain fastness, the very place that nearly saw their annihilation centuries ago, Çeda knows the time has come. She was once an elite warrior in service to the kings of Sharakhai. She has been an assassin in dark places. A weapon poised to strike from the shadows. A voice from the darkness, striving to free her people.

No longer.

Now she's going to lead.

The age of the Kings is coming to an end . . .


“Çeda and Emre share a relationship seldom explored in fantasy, one that will be tried to the utmost as similar ideals provoke them to explore different paths. Wise readers will hop on this train now, as the journey promises to be breathtaking.” —Robin Hobb, bestselling author of Fool’s Assassin

"Fantasy and horror, catacombs and sarcophagi, resurrections and revelations: the book has them all, and Beaulieu wraps it up in a package that's as graceful and contemplative as it is action-packed and pulse-pounding." —NPR

"The Song of Shattered Sands series is both gripping and engrossing." —Kirkus Reviews

"Beaulieu's intricate world-building and complex characters are quickly becoming the hallmarks of his writing, and if this opening volume is any indication, [this series] will be one of the next great fantasy epics." —B&N SF&F Blog

"The city of Sharakhai and surrounding area is a living, breathing thing and I revel in it. Beautiful writing, a deep and exciting story and characters you care about." —Shelf Inflicted

"[Beaulieu's] writing is more an immersive experience than anything else; he draws the reader in with such great skill. The first novel was an electrifying start to the series, providing a spectacular introduction to a multi-layered and captivating character living in a world whose layers match her own." —SFF World

"[With Blood Upon the Sand] is an ambitious sequel, larger in scope than its predecessor – and it pulls it off magnificently. It’s intelligent, well drawn and a lot of fun to read – and so I’d recommend it wholeheartedly." —Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews
You can purchase Beneath the Twisted Trees at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you BRADLEY P. BEAULIEU for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Beneath the Twisted Trees by Bradley P. Beaulieu.

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