Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SECOND CHANCES SERIES

by Barbara Ellen Brink
Christian Suspense, Romance

Book 1: Running Home


Ivy’s husband is a cheat and a liar, but when he gets caught up in a game of espionage and flees the country with his latest bimbo, Ivy has finally had enough. She packs up the kids and moves back to her hometown to escape the fallout. Trouble is – her problems don’t stay behind in California, but follow her all the way to Omaha, Nebraska.

Home is no safe haven for Ivy Winter. Danger lurks behind every smiling face. The FBI tracks her every move, hoping she’ll lead them to her fugitive husband while evil men threaten her family’s safety to get what they want. 

Agent Samson Sinclair is assigned to keep an eye on Ivy. He is her only ally against threats and suspicions that come from every side. But can he keep their relationship professional when he finds himself falling for the woman he’s supposed to be protecting?

Ivy’s attempt to assemble the broken pieces of her life may prove harder than she anticipated. Especially on her own. Will her husband’s secrets push her over the edge or into the arms of grace?

"Author Barbara Ellen Brink has penned a Masterpiece!"~Amazon reviewer

"...captivating, suspenseful, and fun..."~Amazon reviewer

"I absolutely love everything that is going on in this story! You find yourself cheering, smiling, holding your breath, chewing on your lip, and simply enjoying the book the entire way through!"~Amazon reviewer

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble


Book 2: Alias Raven Black

Seeking redemption in all the wrong places…

Brenna has lived most of her life just left of the right side of the law, but her past is finally catching up. Her father, who she hasn’t seen since she ran away at sixteen, suddenly wants to reconcile, and in exchange for a clean slate, the FBI has a job for her. They want to place her undercover in the home of a known drug lord… as the nanny to his two spoiled children.

Will the secrets she discovers bring absolution from the past she’s tried so hard to leave behind, or simply tear her heart in two? 

"Riveting, absolutely a brilliant read."~Amazon reviewer

"I wanted to BE Raven Black!"~Amazon reviewer

"As the story progresses the author casts a net of characters around Raven, each with their own story and skillfully draws in the net, encircling Raven with men who are strong in their faith."~Amazon reviewer

Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

CIR: What gave you the idea for this series?
BRINK: I wrote Running Home quite a while back, so it’s a little hard to remember if there was something specific that got me started. I have always loved books filled with suspense or mystery and the Second Chances books have a bit of both, as well as a theme of redemption.  Alias Raven Black takes a secondary character from Running Home and puts her in the spotlight. Despite trying to turn over a new leaf, she ends up pressured to go undercover for the FBI. As nanny in the home of a notorious Italian mobster, she searches for evidence to put him away and in the process discovers secrets involving her own father that could get her killed.

CIR: What is your writing process like?
BRINK: I start with a question. With Running Home: What if a woman wakes up one day and finds that her husband’s entire life is a lie and that he has abandoned her to deal with the fallout of his many sins? I decided she would go back to the place she started from. Before him. Her hometown. Of course, trouble follows like a bad case of Meningitis after the flu.  With Alias Raven Black: What if a woman still struggling with guilt over giving away her baby when she was a teenager, suddenly finds herself in the position of nanny to a couple of kids who seem to have everything but lack the one thing they truly desire… a mother’s love?

CIR: What would you compare these books to?  
BRINK: Well, I’d like to compare Running Home to Silence of the Lambs, but it doesn’t have any serial killers, cannibals, human skin collectors, or swearing. Actually, it’s more of a Hallmark movie with sweet romance, lots of suspense, a little espionage, and a single mom willing to do anything to keep her kids safe.  Alias Raven Black is sort of like an episode of La Femme Nikita but without the clandestine underground government agency. I just used the FBI. It was simpler.  

CIR: What do you hope your readers will get out of this book?
BRINK: As Christian suspense, these stories do have a message of hope, forgiveness, and renewal in Christ. I hope readers enjoy the ride, get caught up in the suspense, and are surprised somewhere along the line.

CIR: These two books star different characters.  Can you tell us about them?
BRINK: In Running Home, Ivy is mother to two young children. She’s been terribly unhappy in her marriage long before her husband up and disappears, and regrets many of the choices she’s made along the way. Moving back home is her chance for a fresh start. The experience she’s had with men has led her to believe they are all users and trust is not something that comes easily to her. When Agent Sinclair enters her life, a man of high morals and ethics, he seems a little too good to be true. Also, she loves her children and will do anything to protect them.  In Alias Raven Black, Brenna is a young woman in her mid-twenties who has been on her own since she ran away at sixteen. She has street smarts and has been living the life of a con artist for years. Beneath a smart-mouthed exterior, she’s desperate for the kind of forgiveness Ivy told her about in book one. She wishes to start over, but doesn’t think she really deserves a second chance. Unresolved issues with her father become entangled with the undercover job she’s working on, making her life even more complicated.


Learn more about Barbara Ellen Brink and her writing at www.barbaraellenbrink.com

Monday, April 21, 2014

THE STORY OF JASON GRIFFIN

by Sophie Russell
Metaphysical Fantasy, Serial Fiction


It all began on New Year’s Eve.  The villagers were congregating at their local pub talking about an event that changed the course of their village’s history.  A drunken villager left the pub and got lost inside their surrounding (apparently) haunted and spectral forest ... 

A newcomer arrives at the turn of the new hour in the new year – a baby boy mysteriously brought to a hidden part of the forest.  

It was not long after the drunk wanderer made his way back home that five-month-old Jason Griffin arrived on the scene, along with his new family and new life. 


"The intimate, folksy tone of the narrative is quite pleasant - though still quite effective when it comes to establishing creepy events or circumstances."~Wattpad reader

"Your pacing is perfect--it kept my attention all the way through."~Wattpad reader


"A narrator with an engaging personality."~Wattpad reader

Available to read in serial form for FREE on Wattpad and Authonomy.


CIR: What gave you the idea for this book?
RUSSELL: I was doing a project for secondary school when I was fourteen and a half. One of my 3 story ideas was this story, and it centred around a boy becoming separated from his family by a tragic incident when he was a baby and then growing up and having to be re-acquainted with his old life in his mid teens. I just wrote a first chapter, for the project, but halfway through coming up with the characters and unique storyline, I felt I could take this story further and give it more scope and a more believable ending – so I took up the challenge and continued moulding it into a twelve-part series, until I had something which no longer represented its original self – it became infested with new age metaphysical ideas and the characters took on a life of their own, especially the supporting characters.


CIR: What would you compare this book to?  
RUSSELL: I really shouldn’t compare this book to anything because it is written in my own unique style and stands alone as its own testament to how literature can be ... On the other hand, I see the tone of the first book reminds me of a mixture of David Copperfield, Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and Star Wars (the philosophy which is conveyed through these series is like that which is conveyed in the original Star Wars movies). It is a slow-paced novel and is really more for the reader who likes to kick back and read a book with a cup of cocoa in one hand, at a slow, leisurely pace. It’s not full of action, and it doesn’t try to bombard the reader with it all at once but spreads it out evenly over the course of the twenty-two chapters which make up the first book.


CIR: Are any of the characters like you or someone you know?
RUSSELL: Most of the characters in this series are based on someone in my life, otherwise I would not know how to make each character relate and react to my main character who is like me. I take inspiration from all the people I have around me, however, they didn’t start off that way ... they were originally just ideas for characters in my head, as was Jason, the main character, but then I noticed similarities between such characters and people in my own life I became acquainted with and so I was able to flesh them out more in that respect.

CIR: What is the most unique or outstanding aspect of your story?
RUSSELL: What makes it unique and outstanding is the narrative style. The situations my characters find themselves in have never been written about before in literature; it’s completely my own fantasy, and inspired by true events, masked and over-exaggerated a little to give it an extraordinary zing of flavour.

  
    
CIR: Is there more coming? 
RUSSELL: YES. Indeed, I have written more. It is now a ten part series, but there may be more, depending on whether I come up with more story ideas. And I’ve come up with a possible spin-off series – 2 in fact – so this story and its characters could carry on for years and years. I have written the drafts of the first four books now, and am currently on book five. I’m on a roll!




Learn more about Sophie Russell and her writing at her website.

Friday, April 18, 2014

THE STONE OF VALHALLA

by Mikey Brooks
Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure

13-year-old Aaron was chosen to save their world, but it might come at the cost of losing his own… Breaking into an old lady’s basement was supposed to reward Aaron with new friends. Instead he finds an enchanted amulet that transports him to another world—one at war with magic. Before he knows it, he is accused of witchcraft and invited to a bonfire—where he’s the main attraction. If that’s not bad enough, a goblin army shows up and toasts the town...literally. The good news: Aaron escapes being charbroiled. The bad news: the goblins are after him. They want his amulet and will stop at nothing to get it. Battling to find his way home, Aaron teams up with a not-so-magical-wizard and learns it’s his fate to destroy the amulet and save this new world. But is he willing to sacrifice his own?

"Brooks doesn't just create a world, he puts you inside of it."~Amazon reviewer

"The fantasy elements were fresh and fun, and it's an easy read so I imagine even reluctant readers will be willing to take the plunge... Oh, and it *totally* needs to be made into a movie! Some of the scenes in this are epic excitement!"~Amazon reviewer

"A fast paced, riveting book that will keep your tween completely engaged."~Amazon reviewer 

Available on Amazon and Createspace

CIR: What would you compare this book to?  
BROOKS: This could easily be compared to The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis, or more recent The Beyonders series, by Brandon Mull.

CIR: What do you hope your readers will get out of this book?
BROOKS: Aaron wants what most kids want: to have friends. The sad part is that he is going about it the wrong way. He is trying to be someone he’s not to fit in. I hope kids take away that it’s okay to be themselves. No matter what people think, you were made to stand out. You were meant to be YOU.

CIR: Speaking of standing out, what makes this book outstanding? 
BROOKS: There are lots of books where kids find a gateway to a magical world. So that part I can say isn’t new. What is unique is the fact that Aaron is brought to this world because he is destined to save. However, if he saves this world, he might not ever be able to return to his own. Aaron faces a HUGE decision and learns a lesson about sacrifice and hope.

CIR: What themes do you address in this book?
BROOKS: A big theme is sacrifice. Although this quote is never mentioned in the book, I feel it helped write it. “Never, Ever, sacrifice what you want the most, for what you want most at the moment.” –James A. Owen. I love this quote so much it hangs on the wall next to where I write. I hope every reader can take away a glimpse of what I was trying to relate in writing this book.

Learn more about Mikey Brooks at www.insidemikeysworld.com

Lia London, host of this site, read this book at totally recommends it for adventurous souls 10 to 100!  See my review here.