Monday, August 30, 2010

~Guest Post~ Author Linda Weaver Clarke: Romance VS Mystery!

Today's post is by historical romance author Linda Weaver Clarke. She is here to talk about her new mystery series, The Adventures of John and Julia Evans and to celebrate the release of her newest mystery, Mayan Intrigue. Take it away, Linda! 

Romance VS Mystery! 

I have written five historical romance novels but have changed to mystery. The writing process between romance and mystery is quite a change with a completely different mind set. It’s so different from telling a love story. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you write, you develop some sort of charisma between the characters, making the reader feel excited that one day they're going to hit it off and fall in love. You, as the reader, know what the outcome will be. But with a mystery, the reader is in the dark. The author has to come up with a plot that no one knows about until towards the end of the story and hope they haven’t figured it out. In a mystery, you may or may not allow your reader to know who the bad guys are, according to whether it’s just a mystery or mystery suspense. Do you know the difference between a mystery and a mystery suspense novel? In a mystery, when a knock is heard at the door, the reader doesn't know who's behind it. With mystery suspense, the reader knows who's behind the door and yells to the heroine, "Don't open the door!"

Anasazi Intrigue is the first book in a mystery adventure series called “The Adventures of John and Julia Evans.” It’s about a devastating flood that takes out several homes in a small town, the importance of preserving ancient artifacts, and a few puzzling and mysterious events. Julia is a reporter, and when she finds out about a possible poison spill that kills some fish and neighbor's pets, she has a feeling that something isn’t quite right. Before she realizes what is happening, Julia finds out that this incident is much bigger and more dangerous than she thought. With dead fish, a devastating flood, and miscreants chasing John and Julia, they have their hands full.

Artifact theft is a very intriguing subject. That’s why I call it the Intrigue series. In my research, I found that archaeological thievery is becoming more and more of a problem every year. Did you know that looting is only second to selling illegal drugs? While researching the second book in this series, Mayan Intrigue, my eyes were opened to the problems they have in southern Mexico. When an ancient ruin is discovered, it doesn’t take long for thieves to take it apart. The reason why is because the Mayas used astrological alignments when planning their city. Looters have learned the layout of the Mayan cities so they know where to dig. With this knowledge, they can loot a sacred temple in a few days. I also found that artifact theft in Mexico has been taken over by drug dealers from Columbia. In other words, since organized crime has taken over, there is also an increase of violence.

Mayan Intrigue will be released on August 30th and I’m having a week long celebration with a book give-away at my Blog at Mayan Intrigue is about the discovery of a priceless artifact that puts Julia’s life in great danger. While on assignment for the newspaper, John and Julia try to enjoy a romantic vacation among the Mayan ruins, but when Julia accidentally comes upon a couple suspicious men exchanging an item, she quickly turns and leaves but it’s too late. Before John and Julia realize what's going on, they find themselves running for their lives through the jungles of the Yucatan. To read an excerpt from each of my books, you can visit

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

~Book Review~ "The Naked Duke" by Sally MacKenzie

The Naked Duke (Zebra Debut) The Naked Duke by Sally MacKenzie

My rating: 2.6 of 5 pearls

(Reviewed in January 2010) 

Synopsis: The heroine and hero are caught in a compromising position and must marry. Meanwhile, someone is trying to kill him and prevent their marriage. 

My two cents: The book started out rather silly, as other reviewers have pointed out. Then the villain made his memorable debut in a scene that turned my stomach. The hero and heroine were lovely characters and their interactions highly entertaining, but I was too distracted by the nasty, nasty villain to enjoy the romance.

I give this book 2.6 pearls because it was funny at times. I mean, laugh-out-loud, make-everyone-in-the-room-stare-at-you, funny. It was that funny. However, I can't, in good conscience, recommend it to anyone. The villain was way too evil for such a funny romance and the love scenes were quite graphic. While I enjoyed parts of this book, I won't read it again and I probably won't read the rest of the series.

This review is based on the paperback I purchased. I was in no way paid for this review.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

HUGE "Sweet" Romance Giveaway on Goodreads

Every hundred members or so, we hold a giveaway in our Clean Romances group on Goodreads. We've reached the 400 member mark and are celebrating by giving away books. Many group members generously offered prizes for this event, bringing the total number of prizes to 19.

So how do you enter?

First, you have to join Goodreads. It's fun and free. If you are already a member of goodreads, you're halfway there! Then, you have to join the Clean Romances group. Also free. There is a sign-up thread in the group under Contests & Giveaways. Throw your name in the hat and you're all set. Entries will be accepted until 11:59PM (PST), August 31. Winners will be announced September 1st.

Hope to see you there!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Free eBook Download & a Paperback Giveaway

A free eBook anthology of young adult fiction was released today and two of my short stories are in it.

Unlocked is ten tales by nine authors; the only thing that binds them is a "key."

Back cover blurb:

Treachery in old London, a crop circle mystery, and a cyborg punished for gazing at the night sky open this collection of new stories that will intrigue teens and adults alike.

Fantasy, sci-fi, mystery, and fanciful versions of school life--the motif they share is a key. Which key will unlock a mystery, free the trapped, comfort the rejected, or bring new resolve to a boy who has taken a wrong path? What treasures can we discover if we only find the right key?

Assassin's Keeper by Jaimey Grant
Crop Circles by Wendy Swore
Symbiote by Rita J. Webb
Where They Belong by Paige Ray
Survival by Jaimey Grant
Unlocking William by Jeanne Voelker
Shoshanna by K.G. Borland
The Key to a Good Education by Gwendolyn McIntyre
The Bookseller by Katrina Monroe
Her Father's Eyes by S.M. Carrière

To download, visit and click the "download" button.

To go along with that, Wendy Swore, one of the lovely authors/editors of the anthology, is giving away three paperback copies on her blog, Goddess of the Corn

Later, perhaps in September, I'll be hosting my own UNLOCKED giveaway. Besides a paperback copy of the book, I will be giving away a charm bracelet featuring a replica of the key the character, Sable, would have had in my Regency story Assassin's Keeper. I haven't worked out all the details of that giveaway yet but I'll keep you posted. :o)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Currently Reading...and Other Tales of Woe

Disclaimer: Pictures in this post relate to the books I'm enjoying, no woe entailed. Just FYI. :o) 

My "currently reading" list has gotten out of control. Several are nonfiction, research for whatever book I'm writing at the moment, and that's OK. A few are ones I started a long time ago and for one reason or another lost interest. Will I finish them? Yes. I always do. My reading is more effected by my moods than it should be. If I give up, it's only because I'm not in the mood for that particular novel, author, or genre. Some are ones I've recently started and for whatever reason, I'm not into them. Again, probably my mood.

So what am I reading that I'm enjoying?

Margaret's Rematch by Farida Mastek is entertaining and reminds me so much of Jane Austen that I find myself chuckling as I read. The characters are lively and interesting and the Regency picture Ms. Mastek paints is vivid. Am I attached to the characters? In a way, but not as much as I'd like to be. I do care what happens to them but at the same time, I'm not losing sleep over them.

At this point, about 110 pages in, I have one big complaint. The whole concept of this story is a gentleman who falls in love with and ultimately marries (I assume) his late wife's sister. My own Regency research has shown that this was not possible, as the sister-in-law was, by law, considered immediate family even after the wife's death. Now, these marriages were accepted by most but if someone wanted to cause problems for such a couple, they could easily do so. I've been able to suspend disbelief and enjoy the banter between the two MCs but I was hoping for at least a mention of this Regency "quirk" (for lack of a better word). If the topic is not addressed at some point, it's OK. This is still an enjoyable read and I look forward to how it all ends up.

I'm also reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I'm only 45 pages in so I'm not sure what I think of it. I loved the movie but it's not often a good idea to read the book after viewing the movie. Ms. Funke is good at painting a picture through the eyes of the preteen MC. I like the aunt and can relate to her in a rather frightening way. Other than that... *shrug*

So that's my reading woes for the moment. I've been trying to break into the YA genre (as a reader) but haven't found a book yet that grabs me and whisks me away. Disappointing, but I wonder if my mood is more to blame. Perhaps I'm just picking up the "wrong" YA book. I'm not sure.

What do you think? Which YA book would you recommend? (Preferably not paranormal...)


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