Jun 25, 2016


by Alexandra Bracken

Book: Passenger #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pub Date: 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Print
Source: Borrowed
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home... forever.

My Review:  DNF. Could not get into this book. Took too many pages to grab me just a little and overall I just couldn't be grabbed long enough to enjoy the story.

My Rating:

Jun 24, 2016

Entangled Teen Giveaway!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Article - Irrational African Black Magic?

The continent of Africa abounds with stories of black magic and witchcraft. Unlike in Western culture where witch stories have mostly been shelved along with fairy-stories or history, in Africa such tales remain an integral part of the various cultures and belief-systems. 

The idea for "The Witch's List" came from a visit to the Ivory Coast, where I was introduced to the notion of a mysterious list maintained by a witch of obscure identity: if your name is on the list, so they believe, it means you're going to die. As a sceptical European, I was rather surprised how seriously people took this witch's list, even Ivorians like my wife at the time, who'd lived most of her life in France. When someone fell ill in the village people would whisper, "Perhaps she's on the witch's list?" Fingers were pointed at this person or that, suspected of being in league with the witch, of adding someone's name to the list or even of being the witch. If someone received some unexpected money or success, they might be accused of having obtained such good fortune by being in league with the witch.

While in the West, we might laugh at such practices as superstitious nonsense, a few centuries ago in Europe witchcraft was common practise. Under the reign of Louis IV, for example, several members of the aristocracy were implicated in murder using witchcraft in the 'Affair of the poisons'. It caused a huge scandal, with 367 arrests and 36 executions including 'La voisin' - a fortune teller and poisoner, found guilty of witchcraft and burned at the stake. 


1. Who are you and what do you do?
I am a consultant IT Project Manager. I live in the suburbs of Paris with my wife and two daughters. I grew up in Dundee, studied in Glasgow/Nancy/Paris and after working a couple of years in the UK, moved to France where I have worked in Nice and Paris. My first wife was Ivorian and we visited her home country, the Ivory Coast in 1999. THE WITCH'S LIST book is based on some of my experiences and stories which I came across out there.

2. Name of your book and brief description?
"The Witch's List" by Andrew Cairns
Sandy Beech doesn't believe in witches and the supernatural. However, certain strange events occur which put his scepticism to the test: a burning book, a falling crucifix, a mysterious illness, and a fire in a convent which kills all twelve nuns. 
On her death bead, Bernadette, the last surviving nun, warns him to control his lusts and avoid African women. Sandy finds this difficult, since he is attracted to exotic, dark-skinned women and after his hedonistic university exchange year in Paris, marries Rocky from the Ivory Coast. 
Five years later, childless and with the marriage souring, they decide to visit Rocky's home country. Sandy is drawn into a world of strange beliefs and practices: he finds out about the Witch's List - a list of people destined to die, and is attacked by various animals starting with a ferocious dog in Abidjan. He delves further and further into the realm of African witchcraft, but the horrific truth remains obscure...
The Witch's List is the first of a trilogy.

3. What do you hope the reader will get from reading your book?
I hope the reader will get first and foremost the enjoyment of reading a thrilling, interesting story with universal themes of coming-of-age, culture clash, and belief-systems. I hope they will discover a bit more in particular about some of the beliefs and practises of the Ivory Coast in contrast to Western culture (in this case Scotland and France - the other two locations of the story). I want the reader to be taken on a physical and emotional journey as he or she follows protagonist, Sandy Beech as he grows up and encounters another culture with strange beliefs, notably witchcraft.

4. As a child, what did you think you might do with your life?
I thought I might become an inventor or mad scientist! I thought I could put both my intelligence and creativity to full use in such a job. I ended up in IT Project Management, which doesn't leave much room for creativity, so as an outlet I do some writing and play musical instruments in my spare time. 

5. Was there a point in your life where your view of the world/universe changed?
My visit to the Ivory Coast was one such point in my life. It is one thing to see poverty in developing countries on television or read about it, but quite another thing to experience it first hand, living with local people in an African village. This was one of the motivations behind writing the book, to describe the life in a small Ivorian village: the poverty and hardship, the inequalities and divisions, but also the friendliness, the solidarity, and the vitality.

6. What do you hope to be remembered for most?
I hope I will be remembered for my openness and fearlessness in exploring other cultures/beliefs.

7. With whom, living or dead, would you most like to have a conversation?
I would like to have a conversation with Tahir Shah, one of my favourite authors who kindly endorsed "The Witch's List" and gave me some advice on writing and publishing via email. His books such as The Caliph's House, Sorcerer's Apprentice, Beyond the Devil's Teeth, Trail of Feathers, In Search of King Solomon's Mines, House of the Tiger King... give fascinating insights into the magical beliefs and strange practices of other cultures, as he goes off on quests like looking for Solomon's Mines or for the bird-men of Peru. He makes bridges via his writing between East-West, North-South, sceptics and believers, and the conventional and non-conventional. An inspiration for my own writing and voyage in life!

8. What key piece of advice would you give to your 16-year-old self?
Don't be too influenced by other people and notably the conventional behaviour of your immediate entourage.  You can follow alternate paths, explore unusual interests and passions, be original!

9. Has there been a key teacher in your life?
It would have to be my Chemistry teacher from Saint Saviour's (who inspired one of the characters in the first part of the book). While being a great, enthusiastic Chemistry teacher, he also ran the chess-club and was an accomplished guitarist. He had a very manic personality and zany sense of humour. I think most of all he encouraged people to work hard and excel. He marked many of us who attended that school (for example Paul Motwani who became Scotland's first chess grand master).

10. What do you hope to achieve next in life?
I hope to achieve success with my first novel, "The Witch's List", and to continue to be inspired to write the next two parts of the trilogy. I am currently working on the second book, which will be based largely in North-Africa and will further explore witchcraft and beliefs.

11. Do you think thrillers and politics can make good bedfellows?
Yes, the proof being in some of the great political thrillers such as THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE by Richard Condon or THE CONSTANT GARDENER by John le CarrĂ©. My own book also touches on the politics of the Ivory Coast with its recent military coups, assassinations and civil war. I think even if the book isn't about politics it can be interesting to look at what politics are going on in the background and how they influence the characters in the story, for example the political divisions  in the Ivory Coast, heighten ethnic tensions and increase the exploitation of migrant workers.

12. What drew you to this genre?
"The Witch's List" is a mixture of some of the genres which I enjoy reading - coming-of-age, supernatural, thriller. I was initially going to write a more classic horror book, just based on the beliefs in the witch's list in the Ivory Coast, but I thought it would be more interesting to make it more personal and draw on my own experiences from growing up in Scotland, moving to France, and discovering the culture and beliefs of the Ivory Coast.

Jun 23, 2016

Brawlers Baby

Brawlers Baby
by Holly Hart

Book: Stand Alone
Publisher: Red Cape Romance
Pub Date: May 2016
Genre: New Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Publisher
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon   

I broke his heart. Then he came to rescue me.


I'm going to make her scream my name, and tease her until she begs me to fill her up, inch by filthy inch. Mikhail Antonov stole his daughter from me once, but fate's given me a second chance and this time he doesn't get a say. 

Her dad's a fucking bully. The rest of this crooked town might be terrified of him, but not me. Not now I've found Maya. Mikhail doesn't know it yet, but if he lays a hand on my woman, he's dead. I'm going to make her mine again, and he's not going to stop me – even if he does run the Russian mob.

If he stands in my way, I'll burn his town to the ground.


Conor Regan saved me twice before he even said hello. He made me happy for the first time I could remember. But then my mobster dad took it all away. When I saw Conor fighting in that cage four years later, it was everything I’d always wanted…and everything I’d ever feared.

Now we're balanced on a knife edge, with danger lurking on either side. Conor's like a drug to me, but every time I let him inside me, I'm risking everything I hold dear. I want him more than life itself, but I've got a secret that might ruin everything…

He's a dad.

My Review: Oh my! This book was crazy good! Steamy romance, secrets, mobs, and everything you could want in this romance. Two people fighting to be with each other. They were so strong with their feelings, knowing that no matter what, nothing will stand in their way. Not even the mob, that right, they will deal with the mob if they even dare try to keep Maya away from Conor again. 

From the start I was hooked. So many twists and secrets reveled at the perfect moments. Making the story all the more amazing. The steam was on point and you will swoon and feel for these characters. Their emotion is raw and strong. I really enjoyed every single word and can't wait to read more by Holly!

My Rating:

Broken Crowns

Broken Corwns
by Lauren DeStefano

Book: Internment Chronicles #3

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub Date: March 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Print
Source: Borrowed
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

War rages everywhere and Morgan is caught in the middle in the haunting conclusion of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.

The city is falling out of the sky…

Morgan always thought it was just a saying. A metaphor. The words of the dying. But as they look up at the floating island that was their home, Pen and Morgan make a horrible discovery—Internment is sinking.

And it’s all Morgan’s fault.

Corrupted from the inside by one terrible king and assailed from the outside for precious resources by another, Internment could be destroyed because Morgan couldn’t keep a secret. As two wars become one, Morgan must find a way to bring her two worlds together to stop the kings that wage them…

Or face the furthest fall yet.

My Review: Now the series is moving! In the final book, my attention has been grabbed throughout the whole book! Which is a big thing for me, since I had my issues with the first two books.

But anywho…

Things are now moving, plans are being made, and a king may lose his place. The Internment is sinking. A plan needs to be made fast. The prince also comes down. Things are moving fast, not everyone will agree, but in the end they will come together to finally make things right.

I was really happy with the way this series ended. The author has been one of my favorite for while and I can't wait to see what's next.

My Rating:

Jun 22, 2016

Walk the Edge

Walk the Edge
by Katie McGarry

Book: Thounder Road #2
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub Date: April 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Print
Source: Borrowed
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds.

Smart. Responsible. That's seventeen-year-old Breanna's role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully's line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas "Razor" Turner into her life. 

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don't belong. But when he learns she's being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it's time to step outside the rules. 

And so they make a pact: he'll help her track down her blackmailer, and in return she'll help him seek answers to the mystery that's haunted him—one that not even his club brothers have been willing to discuss. But the more time they spend together, the more their feelings grow. And suddenly they're both walking the edge of discovering who they really are, what they want, and where they're going from here.

My Review: Katie has done it again! Every single book by her has me hooked instantly and the emotions are always strong.

Breanna is a shy girl. She is normal in every way, goes to school, siblings that drive you nuts, friends, oh and she is crazy smart. Her mind is amazing and she has mastered everything. It's at the point where is ready to finish school and go to another one that can actually give her a challenge. But her parent's won't let her. So it looks like her senior year will take place at an ordinary high school. A real bummer for her. However, it will be so worth it. Once she meets Razor, she starts to come alive and I loved it.

When it comes to Razor, hes that hot guy that you'd like to have, however he's part of the Reign of Terror and has a lot of rumors and baggage attached. In the end, everyone keeps their distance from him. On the inside, Razor is fighting his demons and is actually not what everyone thinks. 

When Razor and Breanna talk for the first time, I knew something would develop. Razor ended up being a body guard for Bre. Because some fool decided that she is going to write his papers. Tries to blackmail Bre and things just kept on moving from there. For Razor it went from a simple job, to needing Bre in life. To having her all to himself. He feel in love, she feel in love back. Together they are perfect. Bre gets through to Razor in ways no one else could. She got him to trust, find answers he always needed. 

Razor also gave Bre reasons to break out of her shell more. She stayed out late, rode on a bike, snuck into the club to see Razor. The way she went at the code that Razor needed her help with, it just showed how crazy smart she is. 

Overall, it was another masterpiece by Katie. I had all the emotions you could expect, and I can't wait for more!

My Rating:

Secrets of the Gargoyles

Secrets of the Gargoyles
by Rebecca Chastian

Book: Gargoyle Guardians Chronicles #3
Publisher: Mind Your Muse
Pub Date: June 22, 2016
Genre: Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Auhthor
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon   

I place the lives of all gargoyles into your hands with what I am about to tell you…

In her brief career as a gargoyle healer, Mika Stillwater has faced some daunting challenges, but none have stumped her—until now. A strange sickness infects a handful of gargoyles in Terra Haven, rendering them comatose and paralyzed. Worse, the cure she seeks is shrouded in the gargoyles’ mysterious culture and the secret they guard with their lives.

Gaining the gargoyles’ trust is only the first step. To save the sick gargoyles, Mika must embark on a perilous mission into the heart of deadly wild magic to a place no human has ever survived...

The captivating conclusion to the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles trilogy, Secret of the Gargoyles will charm readers of all ages, especially those who love extraordinary magic and endearing gargoyles.

My Review:
I can't believe this series is over. Such an amazing journey with Mika, and I'm so excited that I was able to read these books. Rebecca has got serious writing skills!

Anywho....Mika has faced a lot of challenges. She has managed to face each challenge and win, though this latest one is actually stumping her. Gargoyles are getting sick, but why? How? Is there a cure? All kinds of questions will be asked and when she find that there is a cure, things are going to turn. Getting the cure will not be easy. Heck, many haven't survived this journey. But Mika is amazing. She will do anything she can to help these Gargoyles survive. 

Once she has gained their trust and head on this journey, I had no idea where it would go. But the magic really came to life in this last book. You will be in a trance, enjoy every second of it, and root for Mika as she fights to get this cure and make the Gargoyles better again. Then lay back and wonder what the next challenge will be! 

Overall, an amazing read. Full of magic that will entice any reader. 

My Rating:

Secret of the Gargoyles

I place the lives of all gargoyles into your hands with what I am about to tell you…

In her brief career as a gargoyle healer, Mika Stillwater has faced some daunting challenges, but none have stumped her—until now. A strange sickness infects a handful of gargoyles in Terra Haven, rendering them comatose and paralyzed. Worse, the cure she seeks is shrouded in the gargoyles’ mysterious culture and the secret they guard with their lives.

Gaining the gargoyles’ trust is only the first step. To save the sick gargoyles, Mika must embark on a perilous mission into the heart of deadly wild magic to a place no human has ever survived...

The captivating conclusion to the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles trilogy, Secret of the Gargoyles will charm readers of all ages, especially those who love extraordinary magic and endearing gargoyles.

Amazon, Everywhere:  http://smarturl.it/SecretGargoyles

Rebecca Chastain’s bio:

Rebecca Chastain is the international bestselling author of the Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer series and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles, among others works. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in Northern California with her wonderful husband and three bossy cats.

Here are a few places you can find Rebecca on the Internet:

Twitter: @Author_Rebecca or https://twitter.com/Author_Rebecca

Jun 21, 2016


by W.E Lawrence

Book: Stand Alone
Publisher: Createspace
Pub Date: December 2015
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Print
Source: Publisher
Book Links: Goodreads  Amazon  Book Depository

Chakana is a historical romance novel filled with action, adventure, suspense, and intrigue.

In 1939, before the start of World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in imminent danger.

But this is no ordinary treasure hunt. The Incas have proven their cunning and intellect in not only how they hid their treasure, but how they protected it. Fleming joins forces in the remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode, interpret the clues, and face the challenges of the Chakana on their hunt for the treasure.

If this wasn’t difficult enough, the group is hounded throughout their search of the ancient Sacred Valley by international artifact smugglers, familiar with the Chakana and working with the Nazis, who are determined to acquire the treasure to help finance their war effort. Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, adventure, and even romance abound in this brave band’s quest to save the free world.

My Review: Another great book by Lawrence! 

First off, I'm not a fan of world wars or anything similar to that. But since I liked the other book by this author I had to try it. Plus I do love the adventure that takes place.

James gathers a bunch of people and take on the adventure of finding the lost treasure. Its either get it in their hands or see what happens if the Nazi's got it first. I wasn't sure what would happen, but I loved that you're given so many ways to learn from this story. History, the Chakana, finding the king that belonged to a king, clues, decoding. It was actually much better than I thought and the details were done really well.

When the smugglers are added to the mix, things move quickly. After all, having so many people going after you, it ought to kick you in gear and win. It was written very well, having it take place many years in the past. It seemed as if you were in that time, part of the world and racing along with everyone. Overall, this was amazing. The author really nailed it and I can't wait to see what's next!

My Rating:

Jun 19, 2016

UnmatchableThis is What Goodbye Looks Like

This is What Goodbye Looks Like
by Olivia Rivers

Publication date: June 17th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Lea Holder watched a boy die in the same DUI accident that ruined Lea’s legs and threw her little sister into a coma. As the only eye-witness to the accident, if she tells the truth in court, the drunk driver will go to prison and the dead boy’s family will have justice.
But Lea lies.
If she had told the truth, Lea would have put her own mom in prison for causing the accident. With the trial over and her mom set free, Lea attempts to rebuild her shattered life as she waits for her little sister to wake from her coma.
When Lea transfers schools, she finds herself in the same senior class as Seth Ashbury, the brother of the boy her mom killed. As Lea gets to know the person buried underneath Seth’s grief, she quickly falls for his quick wit and passionate soul. But Seth remains completely oblivious that Lea is the same girl who robbed his family of justice.
As their relationship deepens, Lea finally gets a taste of the love that’s been missing from her life since the accident. But soon she’s faced with a choice: she can continue her lies and accept the comfort it gives them both. Or she can tell Seth the truth about everything, and risk destroying both her family and her newfound love.

Every reasonable thought in my head disappears at the sound of his voice. It’s slightly different now—deep and strong, instead of choked with grief and dread. But the smooth tone is mostly the same as I remember it, and my gut twists painfully as a new set of footsteps approaches.
A sharp noise breaks through the sudden quiet, and I flinch, thinking for a split second that it’s the sound of tearing metal. But then I realize it’s the bark of a dog, and I squeeze my eyes shut.
I can’t do this. I have to do this, but I can’t do this.
“Seth!” Brie calls out. “Dude, you’re totally late. Again.”
He makes a low, disbelieving noise, something between a scoff and a chuckle. Now he sounds even closer. I take a deep breath and clench my hand tighter around my cane. If I don’t turn around and greet him, it’ll be obvious that I have an issue with him, but I can’t get my body to move.

“I’m fashionably late,” Seth tells Brie. “There’s a difference.”

“Yeah, there is,” Hannah says. “One is on time, and one isn’t. And only one is annoying, too.”
“Agreed,” he says. “You punctual people get so irritating.”
Hannah tosses a curse at him, but laughs to soften the impact. Then the footsteps stop, and something cold and wet nudges my wrist, right where my mitten ends. At first, I think someone’s pressing snow there, but then I feel a warm tongue lick the same spot.
I jerk back just as I hear Seth say, “Koda! You know I can hear that, you bad girl. No licking.” Then he says to the others, “Who’s she licking? She never does that to you guys.”
“That’s Lea,” Brie says. “She’s the new senior we got. Lea, this is Seth Ashbury. Seth, this is Lea Holder.”
My heart pounds a million beats per minute, and the adrenaline makes me strong enough to peel my eyes open. Looking down, I find myself staring right at Seth’s seeing eye dog. She looks just like she did at the trial, a regal German Shepherd mix with a glossy coat and wagging tail.
The dog nudges at me again with her nose, clearly expecting me to pet her. But instead I focus on the light-weight vest strapped to her back, letting my eyes follow the slim handle attached to it until I find myself staring at the guy gripping it.
Seth Ashbury stands right there, right in front of me. He also looks the same as he did during the trial—tall with lithe muscle, shaggy blond hair, and tan skin. He’s the spitting image of his older brother, right down to the sharp jawline and the way one side of his mouth lifts slightly higher than the other as he smiles.
A slim pair of sunglasses hides his blind eyes, but I’m betting they’re the same color as his brother’s. Parker’s eyes were shockingly blue, like a tropical sea, and their bright color contrasted sickeningly against the blood that dripped down his forehead after the accident.
I’m frozen. Maddie and Hannah giggle, probably thinking I’ve been stunned by Seth’s good looks. I’m sure any normal girl would consider him gorgeous, but I haven’t been normal in months, and nothing about Seth is beautiful to me. He’s just a reminder of crunching metal and squealing tires and my sister’s scream, her scream that seemed to echo and never, never, never end…
“Hey,” Seth says, holding out a hand in my general direction. “Nice to meet you.”
This is the part where I need to slap on a smile, recover from my brief awkwardness, and let myself go into robot mode. Shut down my emotions, boot up automatic functions. I reach my hand forward a little, and for a single moment, I think I’m going to pull this off.
But then I notice the slim chain around his neck, the one that has a small, silver medallion dangling from the end. The same medallion his brother was wearing when he died just feet away from me.
My gut twists, and my hand falls away, and I vomit all over his shoes.

Author Bio:
Olivia Rivers is a hybrid author of Young Adult fiction. Her works include the independently published novels “This is What Goodbye Looks Like” and “In the Hope of Memories,” along with the traditionally published novel “Tone Deaf” (Skyhorse 2016.) As a certified geek, she enjoys experimenting with new publishing technologies, and her online serials have received over 1,000,000 hits on Wattpad.com. When Olivia isn’t working as a writer, she’s a typical teen attending college in Northern California. Olivia is represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary, and nothing thrills her more than hearing from readers.


Jun 18, 2016

Fated Memories

Fated Memories
Joan Carney
Publication Date: April 1, 2016
GENRE: Romance, Time Travel, Women's Fiction, Historical

As a timeslip saga blends with a girl's struggles to gain meaning from her life, Fated Memories brings with it a unique brand of time-travel lessons as it uses a journey into the past to reveal not just romance and war, but how meaning can be gleaned from everyday life, choices, and circumstances

A woman, a war, a vision of the future past...
Burdened with the scars of a tortured childhood and a shattered romance, Kitty is being forced to resign from the dull, anonymous job she’s been hiding behind. With her life in shambles and her friends moving on without her, she jumps at her cousin, Maggie’s, invitation to visit. However, Maggie’s new boyfriend, Simon, has a secret that accidentally hurls the trio a hundred and fifty years into the past. Trapped in the midst of the bloodiest war in American history, the events that unfold will require more mettle than Kitty’s ever had.

Kitty’s hands shook and her vision blurred with tears. It didn’t matter. After having read the short note three times, the words ‘… transfer to the second floor’ had been engraved on her brain. She’d found the letter in her mail slot at the hospital where she worked, just this morning. That’s Richard’s floor! The wound from their breakup still scarred her heart. What do I do now? Quit my job?
 The elevator doors opened and Richard Delaney stepped off surrounded by his physical therapy staff, who were tittering at one of his clever quips. Kitty wheeled around, making a beeline for the restroom. She couldn’t let him or those bitchy nurses see her cry. In her haste to become invisible, she miscalculated the corner of the wall and, smacking her shoulder against it, bounced back flat on her ass. Silence washed over the unit as everyone’s eyes turned to her.
 Flushed with embarrassment, she scrambled to her feet, faced her audience and curtsied. “I’m here all week, folks, don’t miss the show!” Then she burst through the lady’s room door.
Kitty locked herself in the stall, working to salvage her dignity while dialing her cell phone for her pillar of strength; the one who always knew what to do.
 “Ma?” Despite her efforts to control it, her voice still shook.
 “Kitten, honey, are you crying? What’s the matter, are those silly boys in school teasing you again? Should I go speak with the principal?”
 “Funny, Mom, no I only need to talk to someone. Remember when I told you the hospital makes the ward clerks reapply for their jobs every few years so they can weed out the ones they no longer want? Well, it’s that time again. I got my take-it-or-leave-it offer today and it says they’re bumping me from the step-down unit, to the pits of the med/surg dungeon. If I don’t accept it, I’ll be out of a job. I don’t know what to do.”
 “Mom, are you still there?”
 “Yes, I’m here.” She blew out a long breath. “Kitty, you’re a smart lady, but if you don’t respect yourself enough to stand up and take charge of your life, you’ll always be at the mercy of others. Remember, the choices we make follow us and decide our fate.”
 “I know, Mom, but…”
 “The best advice I have for you, sweetheart, is to move home with us so you can go back to college and learn more marketable skills.”
 Kitty had battled with them before over this. In her mind, living with her parents at her age was the same as having a big red letter “L” tattooed on her forehead. “I see, okay. Um, I have to get back to work now. I’ll talk to you later, Ma. Thanks for listening.”
 As she washed off the mascara tracks from her tears, she studied her reflection in the restroom mirror, mulling over the misery that was her life. You’re almost thirty years old, Kitty Trausch, what have you got to show for it? A man? Not since Richard dumped me last year. A career? More like a crappy job that’s become unbearable.
 Kitty remembered her mom’s mantra “When the world gets rough,” she’d say, “remind yourself of the good things you have.” She thought hard for a positive slant, but only came up with her prized closet full of shoes and salvation from her acne plague. Great, at least that and two-seventy-five will get me on the subway. Oh, and one more good thing. Rooming with Sonia allowed her to walk the short distance to the hospital and not have to ride the train from Tuckahoe to Manhattan. Wow, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.


Tell us about your book? How did it get started? 
Fated Memories is a story of time travel, romance and one woman’s journey to self-realization. When I researched my father’s family tree, I was thrilled to find ancestors who had fought in the Civil War. After reading everything I could find on the daily lives of the soldiers and their families, I wondered how a woman of our time—albeit a neurotic, emotionally scarred one—would fare if dumped there, unprepared. Coming from a society of empowered women, could she survive in a world where women have no status? With a transport method devised, two companions to keep her on track, and a few opportunities for romance, a novel was born.

How much research was involved in writing your book?  How did you go about it?
It was important to get the circumstances of the era right, so I used a variety of resources. I read books and consulted old newspapers on the conditions of the camps and battle strategies as well as personal accounts from Civil War nurses and soldiers. The internet provided a wealth of material on medical practices, battle maps, uniforms and the exploits of the Bucktails unit that Simon joins. An excellent resource turned out to be the genealogy websites where people posted letters and newspaper accounts of their ancestors depicting their daily routines and special accomplishments.

What do you like to read? 
My reading tastes are at all ends of the spectrum. Like my character, Kitty, I’m a sci-fi nut. I’ve read almost everything Stephen King has written. Other worlds, black holes, wormholes and other time vortexes fascinate me, but I’m not above curling up with a steamy romance novel or an action packed spy thriller. As long as the players speak to me and transport my imagination to wherever they are, the genre doesn’t matter.

What is your favorite part of writing? 
Constructing the characters is by far my favorite part. To make them believable and relatable, I make a sketch of each one’s personal life, dreams, successes, failures, family ties, etc. I try to imbue them with a few of the traits displayed by my own acquaintances. Knowing how they will react to each other and to what I have in store for them helps me develop the story.

Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks)? 
The window in my office faces a serene lake with ducks and seagulls squawking in the distance. When I’m stuck for the perfect word or phrase, I gaze out at the light sparkling on the water and allow the alpha brain waves to flow. If that doesn’t work, I do the opposite and munch on chips, crackers, anything chocolate or high in carbs to stimulate my creativity. The calories are balanced out with long walks around the lake or, if I’ve been especially brilliant, I reward myself with a couple hours trolling the department store racks.

What would your advice be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing? 
Jot down every idea for a story that comes into your head so you don’t forget it. Your list will be invaluable when you come up dry or just need inspiration.

I wrote my first draft entirely by the seat of my pants and wound up having to slash off about a third of the manuscript. From this experience I can tell you to outline as much of the book as you can. It’s worth taking the time up front to ensure a well-developed and structured book in the end. Once the outline is complete and weak points and any areas where the pace lags are defined, the story practically writes itself. 

About the Author

A transplant from the concrete sidewalks of New York City to the sunny beaches of Southern California, Ms. Carney enjoys writing stories about women who are strong—whether by nature or circumstance—and the men who love and respect them for who they are. Things that make her happy are rainy days (too much sun is a bore), writing the perfect first line, family get-togethers, reading books that grab her heart, and finding new connections in her genealogy research. Bold coffee and dark chocolate fuel the artistic fire inspired by her family, friends, and psycho, lizard hunting cat.