In Andrew Mayne’s new novel, THE GIRL BENEATH THE SEA (Thomas&Mercer), Sloan McPherson is a badass. She comes from a family of scandalous treasure hunters, but has chosen a different path.
“Something is in the water.”
She’s an auxilary police officer, but not just the regular kind. She’s the go-to diver when the Lauderdale Shores PD need a diver to recover evidence in canals. There are thousands of canals and enough crimes happening to keep her busy. One day she’s on a dive to find artifacts for her Archeology class. But while underwater a woman is killed and the body tossed into the canal Sloan is diving in. Sloan retrieves the body and calls for the police, but not only are the cops there; DEA, FBI and other jurisdictions all show up. The time of death is placed when Sloan was underwater. When Sloan packs up to leave, she realizes her driver’s license is missing, meaning the killer stole it. She recognizes she’s stepped into something bigger than a regular DOA and the killer knows who she is.
Mayne takes us on a thrilling ride as Sloan is stalked by an assassin and drug cartel, while under the watchful eye of cops who know the family she comes from. Mayne’s descriptions are so realistic I felt as if I was on a dive with Sloan. He has created a strong, smart and sarcastic protagonist in McPherson – a tough woman! I Love her and I think you will too!
Andrew Mayne is an Edgar nominated author, Thriller Award finalist, star of Shark Week and A&E television’s Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne.
A best-selling novelist and magician, Andrew Mayne has performed his unique brand of illusion on five continents, his YouTube videos have millions of views and he’s cultivated thousands of fans for his magic, books and podcasts calling themselves ‘Mayniacs’.Taking magic in a new direction, Andrew created his own style of magic called “Shock Magic”; combining the impact of large scale illusion with the in-your-face approach of street magic. It’s fun, it’s irreverent, it’s the next evolution in magic. Andrew’s effects range from making ghosts appear on cell phones, shrinking himself to one foot tall and making a town think they were besieged by UFOs. His magic has even been performed for astronauts on the International Space Station! Andrew has invented over 400 magic effects and published 45 books and videos on the art of illusion. On the leading edge of magic and pop culture, he was among the first to invent magic for the iPhone (even before there were apps) via his website iPhoneTrick.com – that’s since been performed on millions of people.
Andrew is the author of over a dozen novels and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original (Black Fall) and the Thriller Award for Name of the Devil. His recent novel, The Naturalist is an Amazon Charts best-seller and spent six weeks at the number one spot for all books on Amazon.
We have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us if you’ve ever gone diving, and if you haven’t, share what you think it might be like. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.
Bestselling author, Sonja Yoerg is out with her new suspense novel, STORIES WE NEVER TOLD (LakeUnionPublishing). It’s a psychological thriller filled with well developed compelling characters and the breathless prose we’ve come to expect from Sonja. At it’s heart is jealousy and revenge, which is the perfect combination for evoking a powerful reaction. It certainly hooked me.
I’m always excited when one of Sonja’s new books is published. I’ve been a fan since her first novel, HOUSE BROKEN. STORIES WE NEVER TOLD is a story with trust and truth questioned throughout.
Jackie dated Harlan for five years before marrying Miles, because Harlan wouldn’t commit. They remain friends because they work together at the same university. Harlan shows up for a dinner with a woman, who happens to work on Jackie’s research team. It quickly becomes evident that Jackie is not completely over Harlan. Is Harlan over Jackie?
The narrative switches between the four characters putting readers firmly inside the characters’ heads. Each character is carrying deep secrets which are the stories never told. I was always questioning what was real and what wasn’t. STORIES WE NEVER TOLD kept me flipping pages through one sitting. It has a surprising and very satisfying ending.
STORIES WE NEVER TOLD will be published tomorrow, May 1st.
I grew up in Stowe, Vermont, a wonderful place to be a child. I earned a Ph.D. in Biological Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley and published a nonfiction book about animal intelligence, Clever as a Fox (Bloomsbury USA, 2001). I now live with my husband near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Thanks to Sonja we have one signed copy to giveaway. Just tell us what you know about jealousy … have you ever been jealous of someone? We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.
Heartbreak and hope are at the center of Alison Hammer’s debut novel, YOU and ME and US (HarperCollins). Alison takes some time to share about her novel.
Alexis Gold knows how to put the “work” in working mom. It’s the “mom” part that she’s been struggling with lately. Since opening her own advertising agency three years ago, Alexis has all but given up on finding a good work/life balance. Instead, she’s handed over the household reins to her supportive, loving partner, Tommy. While he’s quick to say they divide and conquer, Alexis knows that Tommy does most of the heavy lifting—especially when it comes to their teenage daughter, CeCe.
Their world changes in an instant when Tommy receives a terminal cancer diagnosis, and Alexis realizes everything she’s worked relentlessly for doesn’t matter without him. So Alexis does what Tommy has done for her almost every day since they were twelve-year-old kids in Destin, Florida—she puts him first. And when the only thing Tommy wants is to spend one last summer together at “their” beach, she puts her career on hold to make it happen…even if it means putting her family within striking distance of Tommy’s ex, an actress CeCe idolizes.
But Alexis and Tommy aren’t the only ones whose lives have been turned inside out. In addition to dealing with the normal ups and downs that come with being a teenager, CeCe is also forced to confront her feelings about Tommy’s illness—and what will happen when the one person who’s always been there for her is gone. When the magic of first love brings a bright spot to her summer, CeCe is determined not to let her mother ruin that for her, too.
As CeCe’s behavior becomes more rebellious, Alexis realizes the only thing harder for her than losing Tommy will be convincing CeCe to give her one more chance.
YOU and ME and Us is an emotional, life-affirming rollercoaster of a book that’ll make you laugh and cry. I’m still trying to fully process it. Once I started reading the novel, I couldn’t put it down. It’s really amazing that this is Alison’s debut novel.
Alison took some time to answer our questions!
1. It took you many years to write YOU and ME and US, what kept you motivated?
I actually wrote the first draft of YOU AND ME AND US in two months, thanks to National Novel Writing Month—an international writing program where people around the world are challenged to write 50,000 words in the month of November.
But the first manuscript that I wrote (one that’s currently in a drawer!) took me 15 years to finish writing. Part of the reason that it took so long is that I lost motivation more than once. That’s why I’m so grateful to NaNoWriMo. Having a deadline and competition, even against myself, helped me power through the first draft. It got me in the habit of writing every day, and that’s made a big difference.
2. There are so many books being published daily. Why/how did yours stick out and get buzz?
I hope it’s getting buzz! It’s funny, I’ve heard from a few people that they’ve seen my book all over the place which makes me so happy to hear. I feel kind of like I’m in the eye of the hurricane, so I don’t have a good view of what’s happening around me.
But you’re right, there are SO many good books coming out every day, and it’s difficult to stand out! I think a good cover definitely helps. I love how mine turned out—the physical distance between the characters gives a sense that something’s not right, and I hope it draws people in.
Another thing that helps books stand out is reader support. When people post and share about books they love, it’s the best thing ever. My favorite posts about the book are when readers review and share their pictures and thoughts with the friends. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, especially with social media!
3. How did you come up with the premise for your novel?
The story of YOU AND ME AND US goes back to the first book I ever wrote. That currently-in-a-drawer manuscript also featured Tommy and Alexis, just 15 years earlier. At the end of that book, I knew a secret that Alexis didn’t even know. She was pregnant. And that’s what sparked the idea for YOU AND ME AND US.
In that first book, there are flashbacks to Alexis when she was a young teenager, and I thought it would be interesting to show her with a daughter the same age she had been in the flashbacks. But that was all I had, and I knew it wasn’t much of a story. One day, I had the realization that Tommy would be sick, and the story honestly unfolded before me.
4. Do you write with music playing? What kind? Eat any special treats?
I do listen to music when I’m writing! And I have a very specific playlist that I listen to in order—it can’t be on shuffle. It’s my “Saved at Starbucks” playlist, and it’s exactly what it sounds like, songs that I have saved to Spotify through the Starbucks app.
My favorite place to write is at a coffee shop, usually Starbucks. It’s got the perfect balance of white noise for me. If a place is too loud, I get distracted. If it’s too quiet, I look for distractions. And the playlist of songs I saved at Starbucks has become like that white noise for me when I’m writing at home or at my office. I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s become a habit, so much so that when I hear the first notes of that first song, it’s like a switch goes on and I’m officially in writing mode!
5. Who would you cast for the movie of your novel?
I’m terrible at this question! A friend who read the book had a great idea for Tommy—Chris Sullivan who plays Toby on This is Us. I still haven’t found the right Alexis or CeCe yet. But I get this question all the time, so if readers have any ideas for me, I’d love to hear them!
6. What’s next?
My next book, Little Pieces of Me, will be coming out next Spring. It’s the story of a woman who finds out through a DNA website that the dad she adored was not her biological father. It’s a dual-timeline story that takes place in present day and back in 1975. The heart of the story is really about identity—how we define ourselves, and how that changes (or not) throughout our life experiences.
Founder of the Every Damn Day Writers, Alison Hammer has been spinning words to tell stories since she learned how to talk. A graduate of the University of Florida and the Creative Circus in Atlanta, she lived in nine cities before settling down in Chicago, where she works as a VP creative director at an advertising agency. You & Me & Us is her first novel.
Anika Scott’s new novel, THE GERMAN HEIRESS (HarperCollins) tells a different story of WWII – the story of a German Heiress on the run in post-World War II Germany.
Clara Falkenberg, once Germany’s most eligible and lauded heiress, earned the nickname “the Iron Fräulein” during World War II for her role operating her family’s ironworks empire. It’s been nearly two years since the war ended and she’s left with nothing but a false identification card and a series of burning questions about her family’s past. With nowhere else to run to, she decides to return home and take refuge with her dear friend, Elisa.
Narrowly escaping a near-disastrous interrogation by a British officer who’s hell-bent on arresting her for war crimes, she arrives home to discover the city in ruins, and Elisa missing. As Clara begins tracking down Elisa, she encounters Jakob, a charismatic young man working on the black market, who, for his own reasons, is also searching for Elisa. Clara and Jakob soon discover how they might help each other—if only they can stay ahead of the officer determined to make Clara answer for her actions during the war.
Propulsive, meticulously researched, and action-fueled, The German Heiress is a mesmerizing page-turner that questions the meaning of justice and morality, deftly shining the spotlight on the often-overlooked perspective of Germans who were caught in the crossfire of the Nazi regime and had nowhere to turn.
ANIKA TOOK SOME TIME TO ANSWER OUR QUESTIONS:
Can you please explain the popularity of WWII novels?
The era is perfect for stories! It has high stakes, tragedy, drama, dilemmas, sacrifices. Perfectly normal people wrestled with these things all over the world. The era is familiar to all of us one way or the other, and it’s exciting to imagine ourselves swept up into such a huge, global conflict. We’re living in a very different, but still turbulent moment in history, and I think this brings us closer to the generation that lived through WWII. The novels can show us great ways to cope with some of the big issues we face today.
2. What makes your novel unique?
I love WWII novels, and I get especially excited about ones that show the war from a different perspective. THE GERMAN HEIRESS is about a German woman suspected of war crimes. That’s not a perspective typical for main characters in the genre! But I wanted to explore the moral ambiguity of the war for so many people. They didn’t always make the right decisions, and I wanted to think about why. What drives us to do things against our conscience? THE GERMAN HEIRESS also focuses on the consequences of war. The postwar era when Germany was completely destroyed and occupied by the Allies is a fascinating time.
3. Guilt is powerful. It can either motivate one or paralyze a person. How does this emotion work with your main character?
Clara’s guilt definitely drives her to action. It gives her the strength to endure a lot of the hardship that was a fact of life for Germans after the war. She’s determined to become a different woman than she used to be, but that can only happen if she has the courage to face who she really is and what she’s done.
4. Did being a journalist help you with the process of researching your novel?
Definitely! Journalists get a lot of flak for how they select the facts, but it’s an absolutely necessary part of the job. We always know a lot more than we can put in an article. That’s even more true when researching a historical novel. I probably left 90% of my research out! Journalism has also taught me to just talk to people, get them into a conversation. I did that with German retirees who were children after WWII.
5. If your book was turned into a film, cast the characters.
I have to use some actors from classic film because I love them! I love film noir, and thought a lot about it while I was writing THE GERMAN HEIRESS. I always saw Gene Tierney as Clara Falkenberg. As Jakob Relling. . .maybe a slightly less handsome Alain Delon when he was very young. And make him blonde. Willy is hard; I don’t know that many teen actors.
6. What’s next?
I’m finishing up another postwar novel, this time set in 1947. It stars two Soviet sisters who are swept up into the crimes of a German who’s in the business of blackmailing allied officers in occupied Berlin. The Cold War is starting up, and it’ll force the sisters to wrestle with their loyalties, loves and betrayals. It’s been fascinating to research how Soviet army and military government officials lived in Berlin at that time, and how they felt about the new Cold War.
Anika Scott was a journalist at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chicago Tribune before moving to Germany, where she currently lives in Essen with her husband and two daughters. She has worked in radio, taught journalism seminars at an eastern German university, and written articles for European and American publications. Originally from Michigan, she grew up in a car industry family. This is her first novel.
Bestselling author, Kay Bratt’s new novel, TRUE to ME (LakeUnionPublishing) tells the breathtaking story about the secrets that families keep and one woman’s search for the truth.
Quinn Maguire has a stable life, a fiancé, and what she thinks is a clear vision for her future. All of that comes undone by her mother’s deathbed confession—the absentee father Quinn spent thirty years resenting is not her real father at all. With that one revealing whisper, Quinn embarks on a journey to Maui, her mother’s childhood home, a storied paradise that holds the truth about her mother’s past and all its secrets Quinn is determined to uncover.
But settling on the island has its complications, and with the fiancé she left behind questioning every choice she makes, Quinn’s quest for her truth is even more difficult than she expected. As time passes and she digs deeper into her family history and her own identity, one thing becomes clear: Maui is as beautiful as she’d always imagined, and its magic is helping uncover the woman that Quinn was always meant to be.
As a writer, Kay used writing to help her navigate a tumultuous childhood, followed by a decade of abuse as an adult. After working her way through the hard years, Kay emerged a survivor and a pursuer of peace—and finally found the courage to share her stories. She is the author of more than a dozen full length books, with ten of those published by Lake Union Publishing. Kay writes women’s fiction and historical fiction, and her books have fueled many exciting book club discussions.
As a rescuer, Kay currently focuses her efforts on animal rescue and is the Director of Advocacy for Yorkie Rescue of the Carolinas. As a child advocate, she spent a number of years volunteering in a Chinese orphanage, as well as provided assistance for several nonprofit organizations that support children in China, including An Orphan’s Wish (AOW), Pearl River Outreach, and Love Without Boundaries. In the USA, she actively served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children in Georgia, and spear-headed numerous outreach programs for underprivileged children in the South Carolina area.
As a wanderer, Kay has lived in nearly three dozen different homes, on two continents and in states from coast to coast in the USA. She’s traveled to Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Philippines, Central America, Bahamas, and Australia. Currently she and her soulmate of more than 25 years enjoy life in their forever home on the banks of Lake Hartwell in Georgia, USA.
Kay has been described as southern, spicy, and a little sassy. Social media forces her to overshare and you don’t want to miss some of the antics that goes on with her and the Bratt Pack. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and then buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Many of us recognize the name Marcia Clark from the OJ Simpson trial. She was the lead prosecutor. A decade plus later, she’s a successful author. In the fourth installment of her suspenseful Samantha Brinkman series, FINAL JUDGEMENT (ThomasMercer), a murder investigation draws attorney Samantha Brinkman into her boyfriend’s past.
When it comes to relationships and self-preservation, defense attorney Samantha Brinkman has always been cut and run. But it’s different with her new lover, Niko, an ambitious and globally famous entrepreneur. Sam is putting her faith in him. She has to. He’s also her new client—a suspect in the murder of an investor whose shady dealings turned Niko’s good life upside down.
He had the motive: revenge. As did many others who banked a fortune on the wrong man. That’s a point in Niko’s favor. So is his alibi for the day of the slaying. Until that alibi mysteriously disappears. As Sam’s feverish search for another viable killer begins, the investigation only leads deeper into Niko’s past and its secrets.
From the darkest suspicions to final judgment, fighting for Niko is Sam’s job. To do it, she must risk everything on a man who could make all her worst fears come true.
Marcia Clark is a bestselling author and a criminal lawyer who began her career in law as a criminal defense attorney and went on to become a prosecutor in the L.A. District Attorney’s Office in 1981. She spent ten years in the Special Trials Unit, where she handled a number of high profile cases, including the prosecution of stalker/murderer Robert Bardo, whose conviction for the murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer resulted in legislation that offered victims better protection from stalkers as well as increased punishment for the offenders. She was lead prosecutor for the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
In May of 1997 her book on the Simpson case, Without a Doubt, was published and reached #1 on the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Publishers Weekly bestsellers lists. In February 2016, Clark re-released the book with a new foreword.
Clark’s crime fiction series centering on criminal defense attorney, Samantha Brinkman, debuted in 2016 with the publication of Blood Defense, a #1 Amazon bestseller. ABC Studios optioned the book and NBC purchased a pilot script for a one-hour drama series based on the book. Moral Defense, the second book in the series, which was published in 2016, made the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. The third book in the series, Snap Judgment, was published in 2017.
Marcia Clark has been interviewed on Dateline NBC, NBC Nightly News, Ellen, Today, The View, The Early Show, Good Morning America, and Entertainment Tonight, among many others and has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, People, Vulture, Vogue, Elle, and many other media outlets in the United States and around the world. She gives lectures across the country on a variety of topics, including how celebrity and media attention continue to impact criminal cases, the gender bias of the media and the workplace, and the ways in which those attitudes are changing among the millennials.
Thanks to Megan Beatie Communications, we have one copy to giveaway. Just tell us the latest TRUE crime novel you’ve read, and your thoughts about it. We’ll announce a winner soon. Good luck.
In Lori Neilsen Spielman’s new highly anticpated novel, THE STAR BROSSED SISTERS of TUSCANY (Berkley) Emilia Fontana lives a very ordinary life in her small Brooklyn apartment, surrounded by the family and friends she has always known, earning her keep at the Fontana family bakery—and that’s how she likes it. She is a second-born daughter—and the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse dictates that second daughters will never find long-lasting love or amount to much, anyway. So Emilia is content to spend her days quietly, living out the only life she’s ever known.
Enter eccentric Aunt Poppy, the black sheep of the family. Emilia knows she’s not supposed to speak to the woman who betrayed her nonna many years ago, but when Poppy calls out of the blue and offers an all-expenses-paid trip to Italy for Emilia and her cousin, Lucy—the 20-something generation of Fontana second-born daughters—she can’t exactly turn down the opportunity of a lifetime.
It’s not long before Emilia and Lucy learn that the vivacious Aunt Poppy, who dresses in colorful scarves and lives life to the fullest, has ulterior motives for this trip. The real reason for their adventure: she’s determined to break the Fontana Second-Daughter Curse once and for all and live out the rest of her days with the man she fell in love with many years ago.
Lori Nelson Spielman is a former speech pathologist, guidance counselor, and teacher of homebound students. She enjoys fitness running, traveling, and reading, though writing is her true passion. Her first novel, The Life List, has been published in thirty countries and optioned by Fox 2000. Her second novel, Sweet Forgiveness, was also an international bestseller. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their very spoiled puppy.