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This wonderful little blog has grown up and become a real force on the web! As such, this location will not be able to support our growth. Between November and December, posts will be shifting over to cleanindiereads.com! Yep, we're a dot com! If you're looking for something and can't find it here, please check us out there. We thank you for your patience, and apologize for any inconvenience.

THE CASTLE BLUES QUAKE

by Linda Covella
Middle Grade, Paranormal


12-year-old Pepper Connelly leaves her best friend, Chrissie, behind when her family moves from New York City to Santa Cruz, CA. Pepper discovers a boy, Corey, hiding in her backyard shed. Unknown to Pepper, Corey is a ghost trying to contact his grandfather, Boppie, before he crosses over. He tells Pepper he must locate Boppie before Social Services finds him. Pepper agrees to help.

While Pepper’s communication with Chrissie dwindles, her friendship with Corey grows. She tells Corey about her passion for writing songs, and throughout the story, she composes a song about Corey. Corey teaches Pepper to play the harmonica. Soon, she’s torn between finding Boppie and knowing when she does, Corey will certainly go back on the road with his traveling-musician grandfather.

Other characters help her on her quest: new classmate Ally Cressman, who dresses in an odd-ball, non-mall style; Sawtooth Sam, the mysterious saw-playing street musician; and Madame Mchumba, who performs her psychic readings at the Boardwalk amusement park. Earthquakes, haunted house rides, poltergeists, and crystal ball readings propel Pepper toward the shocking conclusion of her search.


CIR: What gave you the idea for this book?
COVELLA: The Castle Blues Quake takes place in Santa Cruz, CA where I've lived for many years. I grew up in California, so I'm used to the rare earthquake that happens here. These included two big ones: one in Southern California when I was in middle school and one in Santa Cruz, which I experienced as an adult. Both were very scary, but thankfully neither my family, friends, nor I were injured.  These experiences gave me the idea for The Castle Blues Quake. That, and the fact that I love ghost stories.

CIR: What do you hope your readers will get out of this book?
COVELLA: I hope with this story readers are deliciously chilled with ghostly shivers, but also that they are warmed by the friendships they’ll find within.

CIR: What is the main character like?
COVELLA: 12-year-old Pepper Connelly, as her mother says, “lives in her head” quite a bit. Her dream is to be a song writer, and she constantly composes rhymes in her mind. She lacks confidence about her ability to make friends and her looks. But as her friendship with Corey and other characters in the story grows, her confidence also grows, while learning about the give-and-take, the heartbreak and joy, of true friendship.

CIR: Are any of the characters like you or someone you know?
COVELLA: I remember feeling exactly that way, that lack of confidence, when I was in middle school, so I think I wrote a bit of myself into Pepper’s character.

CIR: What themes do you address in this book?
COVELLA: I address themes of self-discovery, self-confidence, family connections, and friendship.

Learn more about Linda Covella at lindacovella.com

PENDLETON PETTICOATS

by Shanna Hatfield
Western Romance, Historical

Book 1: Aundy

Desperate to better her situation, Aundy Thorsen agrees to leave behind her life in Chicago to fulfill a farmer's request for a mail-order bride in Pendleton, Oregon. When a tragic accident leaves her a widow soon after becoming a wife, Aundy takes on the challenge of learning how to manage a farm, even if it means her stubborn determination to succeed upsets a few of the neighbors. 

Born and raised at Nash's Folly, the family ranch, Garrett Nash loves life in the bustling community of Pendleton as the 20th century approaches. When his neighbor passes away and leaves behind a plucky widow, Garrett takes on the role of her protector and guardian. His admiration for her tenacious spirit soon turns to something more. He just needs to convince the strong-willed woman to give love another chance.

"A delightful, traditional romance that lets you escape into another time and place."~Amazon reviewer

"Aundy is an incredible character. I loved knowing her."~Amazon reviewer

"I really liked the grit of this woman who sure did have an 'I can do it!' attitude."~Amazon reviewer



Book 2: Caterina

On the run from the Italian mafia in New York City, feisty Caterina Campanelli travels across the  country to the small town of Pendleton, Oregon, trying to hide her past while she decides what to do  about her uncertain future. Seeking comfort in her cooking, she battles her attraction to one of the  town's most handsome men. 

Kade Rawlings is dedicated to his work as a deputy in Pendleton. Determined to remain single and unfettered, he can't seem to stay away from the Italian spitfire who rolls into town keeping secrets and making the best food he's ever eaten. Using his charm, wit, and brawn to win her trust, he may just get more than he bargained for.

"Gave five stars but would have given more if available--wonderful and touching love story."~Amazon reviewer

"Full of romance, humor and a little suspense, you just cannot help but fall in love and it's a book to read again and again."~Amazon reviewer

"Terrific character development!"~Amazon reviewer



Book 3: Ilsa

One of the most talented seamstresses of her time, Ilsa Thorsen could sell her creations anywhere in the world, but she ends up on her sister’s ranch in the western town of Pendleton, Oregon. Disgusted with the dust, smells, and nearly every aspect of rural life, Ilsa wonders how she’ll survive, particularly with the arrogant Tony Campanelli constantly underfoot. 

Enterprising and hardworking, Tony Campanelli embraces life in the small community of Pendleton with his sister and their friends, especially since Ilsa Thorsen moves to town. The uptight seamstress just needs to learn to have some fun, and Tony’s convinced he’s the man for the job.

"The chemistry is great and clean!"~Amazon reviewer

"I loved the way the story opened with excitement from the very beginning. Filled with adventure, intrigue and a lot of laughter."~Amazon reviewer

"If you think you know what to expect, throw that out of the window! This book twists and turns through history with loads of details and fun, flirting and frivolity, fear and freedom."~Amazon reviewer




Book 4: Marnie

Condemned to a future of shame and regret, Marnie Jones battles herself to keep going one day at a time. Divested of hope, she’s all but given up when a handsome stranger arrives in town. Desperate for the marshal to ride on out of Pendleton, Marnie fears he’ll rekindle the embers of her broken dreams into a roaring flame before he leaves. 

Married to his career, US Marshal Lars Thorsen avoids relationships of any kind. Spending his days transporting prisoners, guarding political figures, and chasing down fugitives, he doesn’t have room in his life for feelings or emotions. Especially not the tender, protective feelings stirred by the woman who wants him or the two orphans who need him.

"Shanna is a master at bringing good 'Hallmark' quality stories to life."~Amazon reviewer

"The best one so far in the Pendleton series."~Amazon reviewer

"I enjoyed the fact that the bad girl ended up being the good girl. It is nice to see families come together no matter what."~Amazon reviewer


CIR: What gave you the idea for this series?
HATFIELD: When the idea for a new historical western romance series began bubbling in my head, I looked at several towns in Eastern Oregon. I discovered, much to my surprise, Pendleton was a happening place to be in the early 1900s. Modern and progressive for its time, Pendleton was a unique blend of Wild West and culture. They had plenty of crime and wild rowdies, as one would expect in a western town. Pendleton also boasted an opera house and theater, a teashop, a French restaurant, and a wide variety of businesses in the early years of the new century.

CIR: What was the research and writing process like?
HATFIELD: I enjoy history and while research can be tedious, I had such fun learning about Pendleton's past. More times than I can count I was surprised by how advanced the town seemed during this incredible time of growth. They were the second city in Oregon to have paved streets in their downtown area and offered city water and sewer services along with telephone service much earlier than one would expect. It was incredibly fun to incorporate many of these details into the stories.

CIR: What do you hope your readers will get out of this series?
HATFIELD: Hope. At the core of the series, it’s about hope, dreams, and opening your heart to the possibilities of what is waiting for you in the future. Aundy is desperate to leave Chicago and better her situation. Caterina is on the run from the Italian mafia. Ilsa needs rescued from a bad situation that’s about to get worse. Marnie is clinging to the last thread of hope she possesses when life takes a big turn. Each of them hold onto the hope that there is something better just around the corner.

CIR: What themes do you address in this series?
HATFIELD: A big theme that is addressed, and carried out through the series, is following your heart and believing in your dreams. Women back then had such defined roles with very clear expectations of what was acceptable and what was not. The women of Pendleton Petticoats push those boundaries and make their own definitions, to some extent. Of course, there's the theme of good versus evil, true love, and life in the Wild West.
   
CIR: Is there more coming? 
HATFIELD: Yes! Lacy will be available in Spring 2015!

Learn more about Shanna Hatfield and her writing at shannahatfield.com

I

by Ray Ellis
Christian Thriller

A cavern of molten heat. Bone jarring cold. A life flashing before his eyes, a sould in eternity. This is his story, will it be yours?

"The plot is shocking and unexpected, striving to stir the reader's mind... 'What will I do?'"~Amazon reviewer

"For a short story this book has a huge impact! It will make you re-think what you believe happens when YOU choose to walk away from eternity!"~Amazon reviewer

"The book was really life changing."~Amazon reviewer

Available on Amazon and Createspace 



CIR: What inspired this book?   
ELLIS: The question of what happens next. The concept of a person's life flashing before their eyes at the point of death has always intrigued me. I is my attempt at the exploration of this moment captured outside of time. Writing I was like sitting in a sauna; I could feel the story oozing out of me.

CIR: What would you compare this book to? 
ELLIS: The closest thing I could relate I is a combination of Edge of Eternity by Randy Alcorn and The Final Battle by C.S. Lewis. As I was writing I, and now especially since I finished, my highest goal for those reading I is that the reader would look inside and ask the question of themselves, "Am I ready to meet eternity?"

CIR: What is the main character like? 
ELLIS: The main character is written in such a way that the reader will be absorbed into the first person's perspective. It is a first person adrenalin rush.  I guess the main the character is a little like me in that I is very much a self-reflective work. The major themes of the book are the same one’s I have wrestled with in my life, "Has my time on earth mattered, and have I fulfilled my life’s purpose?"  

CIR: What makes your book unique? 
ELLIS: What makes this journey so unique, so worth reading is that it takes the reader on a one-on-one with the Lord in asking the life question. All the proceeds from I go directly to assist the ministry of Destiny Rescue, a ministry that labors to free children sold into the sex industry, human trafficking, in the country of Cambodia.

CIR: Is there more coming? 
ELLIS: Yes. Kracken will be released later this summer.