William Campbell Powell

Expiration Day Official Blog Tour

Kristi Helvig


Kimberley Freeman

Ember Island: A Novel

Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan


Ali Cross

Blood Crown

William Campbell Powell

Expiration Day

Cara Strand

Lost in Thought

Alex Hughes

Marked (Mindspace Investigation #3)

Carol Weston

Ava and Pip

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Printed Books Giveaway Hop

Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor. Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

You can pre-order Requiem at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
1 Winner will receive an ARC copy of Requiem by Lauren Oliver.

Click the Banner below for my Giveaways:
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The Gleaning by Heidi R. Kling Review

Book Nerd Review
Copy Provided by Heidi R. Kling.

In the second installment of the Spellspinners saga, Lily’s worldview is rocked by fear, mistrust, and heartbreak, as she deals with the fallout from the night of her enchantment.

Someone powerful is determined to keep her and Logan apart. But who? And why?

As the covens prepare to do battle in the Solstice Stones, the lines between good and evil, dark and light, begin to blur. Allegiances are called into question. Trust is broken. And all Lily knows may just be an illusion.

Will the star-crossed lovers unearth the seeds of betrayal before it’s too late? Or will the witches and warlocks of Melas County be forced to say goodbye to their magic—and any chance of reconciliation between the covens—for good?

In The Gleaning, nothing is as it seems. And Lily and Logan will have to tread carefully if they hope to uncover the truth in time to save their love and break the curse.

The second book to Heidi R. Kling’s The Spellspinners of Melas County, The Gleaning, continues the story of Lily and Logan. Raised to fight each other and keep a balance between light and dark magic, the witch and warlock are meant to be enemies instead of lovers. Author Heidi wastes no time in seemingly continuing where the first book ended and presenting an action-packed start to the second installment. Sequels give room for more character development and readers will definitely learn more about Lily and Logan. Back stories are revealed which gave more depth to characters and progresses the plot along quite well.

The magic is more intense and the romance gets hotter. Heidi sure knows how turn the notch up higher, but just enough to not make it feel like it is too much. This remarkable story of witchery rubs off on Heidi’s writing style because it will cast a spell on its readers. It is absolutely spellbinding and her choice of words is truly hypnotic. I found myself having a difficult time putting the book down. The twists and turns she has laid out for her unforgettable characters will have readers glued to the pages trying to guess what will happen to them. The interactive portion of the story is engaging and makes the book intriguing and unique. I think it is an awesome idea of choosing how Lily and Logan’s story will turn out. I think it is more interesting that readers get to see how things could’ve spanned out differently. Putting the story’s power to the readers is enough reason why this book will certainly entertain any book lover. The Gleaning is a highly engaging book with a very intriguing story.

You can purchase The Gleaning at the following Retailer:

SEA (Putnam), a Gateway Readers Award Finalist & Northern California Book of the Year nominee, was a Summer 2010 Indie Next Pick and a Goodreads "Mover and Shaker":

BOOKLIST says, “Kling blends facts about Indonesian culture and the wake of the tsunami with a lyrical story of loss and daring to love again... Sienna’s loss, newfound courage and eventual acceptance of the changes in her life ring true in the satisfying and wholly believable first-person narrative."

VOYA says, "Kling captures the innocence and heartbreak of first romance superbly in this tender love story...this page turner evokes the harshness of disaster as well as the beauty of the young soul."

"SEA is a richly woven story as turbulent and beautiful as the sea itself, plunging us headlong into the depths of loss, devastation, compassion, and hope. A touching and romantic debut about the redemptive power of altruism and the heart's capacity for love. --Sarah Ockler, author of TWENTY BOY SUMMER

"From the first page of SEA, the reader is plunged into a world of love, loss, and hope. The heat between Sienna and Deni is mirrored in the steamy exotic setting of Indonesia...I couldn’t put this book down. Sienna is conflicted and compassionate...I truly loved this book and can't wait to recommend it to all the teenagers I know!" --L.K. Madigan, FLASH BURNOUT (William C. Morris Award winner)

WITCH'S BREW: SPELLSPINNERS 1(Coliloquy) is book one of nine in an "Active Content" new serial about estranged witches and warlocks set in a modern day beach town.

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And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Heidi for making this giveaway possible.
4 Winners will receive an E-copy of The Gleaning by Heidi R. Kling.
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Daphne Benedis-Grab Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Daphne Benedis-Grab, author of The Girl in the Wall, earned her MFA in creative writing from The New School, where she began the thesis that became her first book, Alive and Well in Prague, New York. She has worked a number of jobs including buildings houses for Habitat for Humanity and teaching adult literacy classes. She lives with her husband and their two children in New York City. 

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Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

When I was a kid I was a voracious reader -- lots of Judy Blume, Madeleine L'Engle, Lois Duncan and then this tween romance series called 'Sweet Dreams' that always made my mom roll her eyes. From that came a desire to write though I don't remember one moment where it crystallized; it's more that it was just always there in the back of my mind.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

I have gotten some good advice over the years but I think one of the things I hold closest is to write what you love. It's tempting to want to write to a trend or write what you think someone else might want to read, but if you aren't utterly in love with your own story, if it isn't something that comes from your heart, then the already challenging task of writing becomes nearly impossible. And really boring.

In your new book; The Girl in the Wall, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?

I always have trouble summing up my books in just a few sentences -- I tend to go off on tangents that seem important to include but probably aren't. So here it is as stripped down as I can manage: Ariel's birthday party was supposed to be the event of the year. But moments after a private concert with rock star Hudson Winters begins, the small group of high school students, including Ariel's former best friend Sera, are taken hostage. Ariel flees to the hidden tunnels in her home while Sera forms an unlikely alliance with Hudson as they try to make it through the night. But when the hostage plan goes awry, they soon find themselves fighting for their very survival.

What part of Ariel did you enjoy writing the most?

She is strong and sassy but hiding a lot of pain. I loved writing her voice, which was often sarcastic, one of my favorite things in a character. And I also enjoyed her arc, the very she grew over the course of the story.

For those who are unfamiliar with Sera, how would you introduce her?

Sera has spent the last nine months being ostracized by all her former friends so at the start of the story she is feeling pretty beaten down. But she has a natural optimism and faith in people that has not been snuffed out and that serves her really well over the course of the story, especially in the romance department.

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

I am working on another thriller right now. I had such fun writing The Girl in the Wall that I didn't want to leave the genre!

When asked, what's the one question you always answer with a lie?

I am a pretty honest person but I am not above lying to get out of something I don't want to do, especially if it involves housework or having to go out in the rain.

What's the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?

I think the best advice I can give is the advice I was given: write from the heart and tell the story you want to tell. If you write from an authentic place then the voice of the story will truly be yours.

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

My husband though he forgets to turn his phone on half the time!

What is your favorite room in your home and outside environment? 

We have a small apartment in NYC that is high in the sky and has windows all on sides. It's cozy and quiet and flooded with light and I love every room we have in it!

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?

This morning I talked to my sister- she is the person I call the most and the one I call on a bad day if my husband's phone is off.

Who was your first boyfriend?

In third grade I had a crush on Ritchie Merrel and came up with the idea of starting a detective agency together so that I could be his girlfriend. But after a terrific beginning and a two day stint of officially being a couple, things fell apart over a case that went south and we didn't speak for the rest of the year.

Who was the last person you hugged?

My kids when I dropped them off at school this morning -- they are still young enough that me hugging them outside the classroom is not mortifying.

What is the one, single food that you would never give up? 

Chocolate -- 72% dark chocolate, the French kind that is insanely expensive yet so worth it.

Where can readers stalk you?

Here are all my haunts- please come by and say hi!

Ariel's birthday weekend looks to be the event of the season, with a private concert by rock star Hudson Winters on the grounds of her family's east coast estate, and all of Ariel's elite prep school friends in attendance. The only person who's dreading the party is Sera, Ariel's former best friend, whose father is forcing her to go. Sera has been the school pariah since she betrayed Ariel, and she now avoids Ariel and their former friends. Thrown together, Ariel and Sera can agree on one thing: this could be one very long night.

They have no idea just how right they are.

Only moments after the concert begins and the lights go down, thugs open fire on parents and schoolmates alike, in a plot against Ariel's father that quickly spins out of control. As the entire party is taken hostage, the girls are forced apart. Ariel escapes into the hidden tunnels in the family mansion, where she and Sera played as children. Only Sera, who forges an unlikely alliance with Hudson Winters, knows where her friend could be. As the industrial terrorist plot unravels and the death toll climbs, Ariel and Sera must recall the sisterhood that once sustained them as they try to save themselves and each other on the longest night of their lives.

Daphne Benedis-Grab’s thriller, The Girl in the Wall, is the story of former best-friends who are forced to be together for one night that turns out to be a night they will never forget. The weekend is set for Ariel’s birthday bash headlined by a private concert by rocker Hudson Winters. All of her prep school friends are just as excited as her except her former best friend, Sera. They had a falling out when Sera betrayed Ariel but Sera’s father is forcing her to attend the extravaganza. She’s been avoiding Ariel and her former friends since the fallout, and now the two are pitted together for one night. The party is quickly interrupted by armed thugs plotting against the birthday’s girl’s father. Dead bodies are everyone and the remaining is taken hostage. However, Ariel escapes into the secret tunnels of the mansion. Sera remembers the tunnels and calls for the Hudson to help her find her former friend. Their childhood memories of playing inside these tunnels will now serve as the key to saving themselves and each other on this horrific night.

The beginning of the story seemed like the typical story of two teenage girls who were once best friends. Author Daphne cleverly steers readers into this direction and quickly swerves them into a pleasantly surprising twist. Once the thugs come into play, the story completely takes a 360 turn into an electrifying thriller-mystery. The dual perspectives of hostage and escapee gave a clear understanding of this magnificent plot in two very important, yet different points of view. The writing style of Daphne is clever and even though of the bloodshed, remained joyful. It was a nice chance from the usual paranormal beings being killed. This time is was real people, people who are friends. It couldn’t get any more real. The Girl in the Wall is a heart-pounding thriller that will satisfy any reader. It will naturally have readers on the edge of their seats guessing what the outcome of the main characters will be.

You can purchase The Girl in the Wall at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Daphne for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab.
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Fiona Paul Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Fiona Paul lives in the Midwest but travels a lot since she can't breathe if she spends too much time away from the ocean. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in psychology and spent a year teaching English in Seoul, Korea while she was deciding what she wanted to be when she grew up. Answer: everything. In addition to being a teacher and writer, she's also worked as a saute cook, sporting goods manager, veterinary assistant, and registered nurse. When she's not working, you can usually find her kayaking, reading, or helping turtles cross the road. Her future goals include diving with great white sharks and writing more books, not necessarily in that order. Venom is her first novel.

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What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

I am, like, the biggest tomboy ever. I needed research and help regarding the most basic stuff about dresses and platform shoes, etc. for Venom. The fight scene in the wine room was the easiest scene for me to write because I feel more at home writing about weapons and fistfights than I do about fancy clothes and tea parties.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

You are not your book. It sounds very obvious, but when what was once your private story suddenly becomes public property, it’s easy to internalize the bad reviews as personal failures. If you do that, writing will crush you. Just because someone hates your book doesn’t mean they hate you. Whether or not your book is eventually deemed a success or a failure (by your publisher, by the industry, etc.) has no bearing on your worth as a person.

In your new novel; Venom, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?

Venom is the story of Cassandra Caravello, a wealthy Renaissance girl who lives on one of the outlying islands of Venice. While struggling with the balance of honoring her family and being true to herself, she discovers that a friend’s body has been stolen and replace with a murdered courtesan. Desperate to find her friend’s body and avoid the murderer who is now stalking her, Cass teams up with Falco, a street artist, to investigate the crimes. But Falco has his own secrets and motivations, and even as she begins to fall for him, Cass can’t be certain she can trust him.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Cassandra?

I learned that Cass and I are not as different as I once imagined. Cass frustrates me a lot in Venom because she says things and does things I would never say or do. I kind of want to shake her sometimes J But as she evolves throughout the trilogy, I was surprised to find her becoming someone I could relate to on several levels.

For those who are unfamiliar with Falco, how would you introduce him?

Falco is a seventeen-year old artist’s apprentice working for a lesser-known descendant of Titian. Unlike Cass, Falco is poor so society doesn’t really hold him to many standards. Because of this, and also because he’s male, he enjoys a degree of freedom that Cass doesn’t have. He’s brash but honest, funny but inappropriate.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

So assuming you mean general advice, not writing advice, I’m going to go with a line I heard in a movie once: Unless you’re a hundred dollar bill, not everyone is going to like you. This isn’t license to treat people like crap. It’s license not to second-guess yourself every single time someone seems to disapprove of who you are.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

I love this question so I’m going to be honest, just this once. The question I always answer with a lie is: Do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team? I always say “part of a team,” but the real answer is “it depends.” Of course this question usually comes out in job interviews or college interviews and anything less than enthusiastically declaring your love for teams immediately brands you as

a. difficult

b. anti-social

c. controlling

d. that despised girl on the reality show that says “I didn’t come here to make friends.”

e. a serial killer

f. all of the above

Let’s get real. High school students still hate group projects. Why? The reality is that sometimes the coordination of five schedules, skill sets, and egos is more work than just doing something yourself. So am I a team player? It depends. But if anyone calls you for a reference, hook me up, okay? J

Do you remember your favorite teacher?

My favorite teachers were Mr. Black and Ms. Pickering. I thank them in the Venom acknowledgments. They taught me American Lit, World Lit, Modern Novel, Advanced Comp, and Creative Writing. I remember Ms. Pickering once gave me a C on a short story. To be honest, it was a terrible story involving that awesome “and then I woke up and realized it was all a dream” device. But still, I think it might be the only C I got in my whole high school career and I was cranky with her until I realized she was right, that I could do a whole lot better if I tried.

Where can readers stalk you?

website: www.fionapaulbooks.com
blog: fionapaulbooks.blogspot.com
twitter: twitter.com/fionawritesYA
facebook: www.facebook.com/fionapaulbooks
or www.facebook.com/venombooks

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

Fiona Paul’s mysteriously thrilling first book in the Secrets of the Eternal Rose Series, Venom, follows the story of the very wealthy Cassandra "Cass" Caravello. A discovery at her friend’s funeral yields to an event that eventually changes her perfect little life. While wandering in the cemetery, she notices that another dead girl has been placed in her friend’s tomb. She also meets a young artist named Falco who immediately capture’s Cassandra’s heart. Her attraction to Falco leads her to a journey into the dark substructures of Venice and to solve the mystery of the dead girl. She will learn about love and self-discovery while on this ride.

Set in 1600 Italy, author Fiona does a remarkable job of providing readers with vivid descriptions of this beautiful era in time. The historical details were precise and accurate. The familiar scenes of Venice with its canals and people in fancy dresses are perfectly captured through Fiona’s writing etiquette that showcases this era’s magic and also its dark side. There seems to be action on every page as Cass’s adventure has her facing to make difficult decisions. The love that Cass follows is truly beautiful with the stylish and mystifying artist Flaco.

The mystery that Venom presents is highly fascinating and compelling. Fiona is able to capture readers’ attention right from the beginning and will continue to hold on to it throughout. The plot is unique and delivers an undeniable story that readers will appreciate its enchanting, romantic and dark elements. Venom is a well-written book with outstanding historical standpoint filled with an abundance of rich mystery.

You can purchase Venom at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Fiona & Penguin for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Venom by Fiona Paul.
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Come Back to Me by Melissa Foster Review

Book Nerd Review
Copy Provided by Melissa Foster.

Tess Johnson has it all: her handsome photographer husband Beau, a thriving business, and a newly discovered pregnancy. When Beau accepts an overseas photography assignment, Tess decides to wait to reveal her secret—only she’s never given the chance. Beau’s helicopter crashes in the desert.

Tess struggles with the news of Beau’s death and tries to put her life back together. Alone and dealing with a pregnancy that only reminds her of what she has lost, Tess is adrift in a world of failed plans and fallen expectations. When a new client appears offering more than just a new project, Tess must confront the circumstances of her life head on.

Meanwhile, two Iraqi women who are fleeing honor killings find Beau barely alive in the middle of the desert, his body ravaged by the crash. Suha, a doctor, and Samira, a widow and mother of three young children, nurse him back to health in a makeshift tent. Beau bonds with the women and children, and together, with the help of an underground organization, they continue their dangerous escape.

What happens next is a test of loyalties, strength, and love.

Melissa Foster’s Come Back to Me is a powerful story of love’s loyalty and strength. Life could not have been better for Tess Johnson. With a blooming business and happily married to Beau, she decides to tell her recently discovered pregnancy to Beau after his overseas photography obligation. What she didn’t expect is his helicopter crashing in the desert and never having the chance to tell him. Badly coping with his death, Tess tries to get on with life. Pregnant and feeling alone and vulnerable, a business patron bids more than just business and she’s faced with a decision. On the other side of the world, two Iraqi women discover Beau clinging on to his life within the wreckage of his helicopter. They tend him back to health as he forms bonds with the women and the children. On the horizon will be the ultimate test of Tess and Beau’s love.

Melissa delivers a powerful story about something that is real. The characters within this book are robust and sincere. Melissa describes them in a way that does not feel artificial and makes them likable. The reactions they portray to the real circumstances they are faced with are very real and are what most people would do. Readers will appreciate the theme of this book and what it means to be strong and courageous in times when life seems lost and hopeless. The braveness shown by both Tess and Beau is a perfect example of being true to one’s self and keeping faith intact even when all else seems to point to end. The writing style of Melissa brilliantly captures each heart-rending moment and readers will instantly create a connection with the characters. This is highly gripping and emotionally-charged book. Come Back to Me is a strong and unpredictable reality-based fiction that readers will surely enjoy and have connection with. 

You can purchase Come Back to Me at the following Retailers:

"Melissa Foster is a wonderful connector of readers and books, a friend of authors, and a tireless advocate for women. She is the real deal"--Author Jennie Shortridge

Melissa Foster is the bestselling, award-winning author of three novels, Megan’s Way, Chasing Amanda, and Come Back to Me. She is the founder of the Women’s Nest, a social and support community for women, the World Literary Cafe, and Fostering Success. Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children, she's written a column featured in Women Business Owners Magazine, and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa is currently working on her next novel, and lives in Maryland with her family.

Melissa's interests include her family, reading, writing, painting, friends, helping women see the positive side of life, and visiting Cape Cod.

Megan's Way
Megan's Way
2011 Beach Book Award Winner (Spirituality)
2011 Readers Favorite Awards, Winner (Fiction/Drama), Finalist (Women's Fiction)
2010 Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist (Spirituality)

Chasing Amanda
2011 Readers Favorite Awards, Winner (Paranormal), Finalist, (Women's Fiction, Mystery)
2011 Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards, Winner, (Paranormal)
Top 10 Books of 2011, Pixel of Ink
Amazon Top 100 75+ Days running
Indie Reader's Bestselling List That Counts (8 weeks)
Top Books of 2011, The Write Agenda

Come Back To Me
2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Finalist
2012 Readers Favorite Awards, Finalist
2012 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books Award, Semi-Finalist (Winners TBD Oct. 2012)
2011 Dan Poynter's Global Ebook Awards, Finalist
Top 5 Must Read Books of 2011, IndieReader
Top Ten Books of 2011, Tea Time With Marce
IndieReader Best Reviewed Books of 2011, Huffington Post

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And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Melissa for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Come Back to Me by Melissa Foster.
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Charles Todd Author Interview

Book Nerd Interview

Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother and son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. Caroline has a BA in English Literature and History, and a Masters in International Relations. Charles has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Business Management, and a culinary arts degree that means he can boil more than water. Caroline has been married (to the same man) for umpteen years, and Charles is divorced.

Charles and Caroline have a rich storytelling heritage. Both spent many evenings on the porch listening to their fathers and grandfathers reminisce. And a maternal grandmother told marvelous ghost stories. This tradition allows them to write with passion about events before their own time. And an uncle/great uncle who served as a flyer in WWI aroused an early interest in the Great War.

Charles learned the rich history of Britain, including the legends of King Arthur, William Wallace, and other heroes, as a child. Books on Nelson and by Winston Churchill were always at hand. Their many trips to England gave them the opportunity to spend time in villages and the countryside, where there’s a different viewpoint from that of the large cities. Their travels are at the heart of the series they began ten years ago.

Charles’s love of history led him to a study of some of the wars that shape it: the American Civil War, WWI and WWII. He enjoys all things nautical, has an international collection of seashells and has sailed most of his life. Golf is still a hobby that can be both friend and foe. And sports in general are enthusiasms. Charles had a career as a business consultant. This experience gave him an understanding of going to troubled places where no one was glad to see him arrive. This was excellent training for Rutledge’s reception as he tries to find a killer in spite of local resistance.

Caroline has always been a great reader and enjoyed reading aloud, especially poetry that told a story. The Highwayman was one of her early favorites. Her wars are World War 1, the Boer War, and the English Civil War, with a sneaking appreciation of the Wars of the Roses as well. When she’s not writing, she’s traveling the world, gardening or painting in oils. Her background in international affairs backs up her interest in world events, and she’s also a sports fan, an enthusiastic follower of her favorite teams in baseball and pro football. She loves the sea but is a poor sailor—Charles inherited his iron stomach from his father. Still, she has never met a beach she didn’t like.

Both Caroline and Charles also share a love of animals, and family pets have always been rescues. There was once a lizard named Schnickelfritz. Don’t ask.

Writing together is a challenge, and both enjoy giving the other a hard time. The famous quote is that in revenge, Charles crashes Caroline’s computer, and Caroline crashes his parties. Will they survive to write more novels together? Stay tuned! Their father/husband is holding the bets.

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Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

Caroline: I was about seven years old, and I was sad when our second grade reader ended so I tried to continue the story. 

Charles: I don’t know how old I was, but it was when I realized that some of my favorite movies started out as books.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

Caroline: That I collect book marks.

Charles: That I collect sea shells.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Caroline: Back to question one. :) I can’t say I “finished” it –I just ran out of paper.

Charles: I wrote my first book with Caroline in 1994, A TEST OF WILLS.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

Caroline: That there was more to learn than anyone could manage in one lifetime.

Charles: That not everything had an answer.

Did you learn anything from writing Proof of Guilt (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series) and what was it?

Caroline: That sometimes—and it’s rare—a person glimpsed in passing can stick in the mind and come back as a fascinating character.

Charles: That you can trust the other person’s imagination and build on it.

What do you feel is the most significant change since book one?

Caroline and Charles: When we wrote A TEST OF WILLS, we really thought of it as a stand alone, but we found we couldn’t really walk away from Rutledge. So we wrote WINGS OF FIRE, which gave us a little more insight into him as a character. Perhaps the most significant change was in us, and our growing fascination not only with Rutledge but with the variety of cases he could be asked to solve. Each book is different from the one before it. And that keeps the writing fresh for us and for the reader.

Which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since A Test of Wills and in what way have they changed?

Caroline and Charles: We’d both agree that it’s the way Rutledge has grown and how he is learning to deal with his PTSD. This is a real problem for real people, and we understand it a little more with each book. It’s a challenge to us, not a plot device.

For those who are unfamiliar with Ian, how would you introduce him?

Caroline and Charles: Inspector Ian Rutledge had just begun a brilliant career at Scotland Yard when the Great War started. He enlisted, as most men did, and with his police background was trained as an officer. He spent four violent and bloody years in the trenches of France, and while he survived physically and was able to return to the Yard and his career, his wounds were invisible. What no one but his doctor knew was that he was suffering from shell shock, and carries with him every minute of his waking life the voice of a young Scots soldier he was forced to execute for breaking under fire. It’s how his mind copes with the guilt of having coming back when so many of the men he led into battle died. It’s not an uncommon thing, but in 1918 was seen as cowardice, not as the price of courage. And as he is asked to solve crimes, he must also find a way to solve the burden of Hamish, whom he killed once—and cannot bear to kill a second time, even for peace.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing the Inspector Ian Rutledge Series?

Caroline and Charles: Hamish has to be our first answer, because he’s not a ghost or even a figment of Rutledge’s imagination, and so he must be carefully handled, to enable the reader understands him. The second would be Frances, Rutledge’s sister. She’s quietly interesting.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 

Caroline and Charles: People are always asking us whether Rutledge will meet Bess and fall in love with her. That wasn’t our intention when we created Bess. She’s her own person and just as intriguing in her way as he is. But it would be fun to listen to a conversation between Rutledge and Simon Brandon. Two men of action who also have many other qualities that set them apart.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Caroline: Two writers who shaped my view of historical novels were Dorothy Dunnett and Inglis Fletcher. I was fortunate enough to meet both of them, and they showed me that mysteries set in the past can be full of action, interesting characters, and have a relevance for modern readers that make the history a part of the plot and not just the setting.

Charles: Jack HIggin’s PRAYER FOR THE DYING, one of his earliest books taught me to look for more in casting villains than just the bad guy. And Winston Churchill appealed to my love of words and finding the right one for the right place.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

Caroline :and Charles: Read, read, read. It’s the best training for imagination there is. And open lots of doors. We enjoyed Tony Hillerman as much as Michael Connelly and Julie Hyzy as much as Lee Child. And in the process we’ve found some terrific mysteries we might have missed if we only read one type.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?

Caroline and Charles: What the next book is going to be about. It’s not really superstition, but we always feel that to talk about it too soon spoils the spontaneity of the writing.

What is your happiest childhood memory?

Caroline: Being read to as a child

Charles: Being taken to the beach.

What's the worst summer job you've ever had?

Caroline: Working in the accounting department of a woman’s store.

Charles: Being a bus boy

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?

Caroline: My sister.

Charles: My sister

When was the last time you cried?

Caroline and Charles: When we had to put a beloved pet to sleep.

Where can readers stalk you?

Caroline and Charles: On Facebook and at www.charlestodd.com And at a bookstore near you. Well, maybe not in person, but definitely on the shelves. :)

Scotland Yard's Ian Rutledge must contend with two dangerous enemies in this latest complex mystery in the New York Times bestselling series

"Todd once and for all establishes the shell-shocked Rutledge as the genre's most complex and fascinating detective."--Entertainment Weekly

An unidentified body appears to have been run down by a motorcar and Ian Rutledge is leading the investigation to uncover what happened. While signs point to murder, vital questions remain. Who is the victim? And where, exactly, was he killed?

One small clue leads the Inspector to a firm built by two families, famous for producing and selling the world's best Madeira wine. Lewis French, the current head of the English enterprise is missing. But is he the dead man? And do either his fiancée or his jilted former lover have anything to do with his disappearance-or possible death? What about his sister? Or the London office clerk? Is Matthew Traynor, French's cousin and partner who heads the Madeira office, somehow involved?

The experienced Rutledge knows that suspicion and circumstantial evidence are not proof of guilt, and he's going to keep digging for answers. But that perseverance will pit him against his supervisor, the new Acting Chief Superintendent. When Rutledge discovers a link to an incident in the family's past, the superintendent dismisses it, claiming the information isn't vital. He's determined to place blame on one of French's women despite Rutledge's objections. Alone in a no man's land rife with mystery and danger, Rutledge must tread very carefully, for someone has decided that he, too, must die so that cruel justice can take its course.

Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd is the 15th installment to the Inspector Ian Rutledge Series. With another murder for Rutledge to solve, a body that lies in the middle of the street is without identification. However, inside the coat pocket is a gold watch which indicates that its owner is a gentleman. Although it provided him with some clues, they were all dead ends. He’s coming to find out that he’s dealing with a very smart criminal and his options are slim.

This remarkable murder mystery carries the same caliber that the previous fourteen books have. There are plenty of richly descriptive texts to provide readers with a clear view of this wonderful world. The character of Rutledge is simply appealing. Author Charles has a knack for giving so much life into his characters. Although this is the fifteenth book in the series, first-timers in the series will be glad to know that Proof of Guilt is presented as a stand-alone. Fans of the series and newcomers will appreciate that Charles’ writing style is able to hook returning readers and attract neophytes. The twists and turns presented will get the gears going at full speed as readers will feel anxious to help Rutledge to solve this mind-boggling murder mystery. Readers will enjoy that they are able to slowly untie the murder right alongside Rutledge. It is a powerful mystery challenge and it is one of the facets that makes Proof of Guilt such a wonderful story to read.

You can purchase Proof of Guilt at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Charles for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of The Confession by Charles Todd.
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