Friday, February 27, 2015

books I Have Read

What You Wish For
Janet Dawson
History professor Lindsey Page has a quiet, well-ordered life, but it's about to get complicated. Her daughter, with whom she has a troubled relationship, shows up on her doorstep. The immigrant woman Lindsey is interviewing for a book asks her for help in reclaiming the son taken from her during a massacre in her Salvadoran village. And her closest friends, the three women Lindsey has known since their college days in Berkeley where they witnessed the kidnapping of Patty Hearst, are hiding secrets that will forever change those friendships. Lindsey must grapple with questions of family identity, nature vs. nurture, truth in wartime, the ethics of power for latter-day robber barons in the US and Central America, and the law of unforeseen consequences. Moving back and forth from the 1970s to the present, from the San Francisco Bay Area to El Salvador this sprawling saga follows Lindsey, her friends, and family through tumultuous political, social, and cultural changes and choices.


Janet Dawson has written nine novels featuring Oakland private investigator Jeri Howard. Her first, Kindred Crimes, won the St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America contest for best first private eye novel. It was nominated in the best first category for three mystery awards, the Shamus, the Macavity and the Anthony.

In the past, Dawson was a newspaper reporter in Colorado, and her stint as a U.S. Navy journalist took her to Guam and Florida. As an officer in the Navy, she was stationed in the San Francisco Bay Area. After leaving the Navy, Dawson worked in the legal field. She is now on the staff at the University of California in Berkeley, and resides in Alameda, California.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Featured Author

Lady Elinor's Escape
Linda McLaughlin


Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.

There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled by guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with the secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.

Interview with character Stephen Chaplin by author Linda McLaughlin

I recently visited barrister Stephen Chaplin, Esquire at his offices in London’s Lincoln’s Inn to interview him from Lady Elinor's Escape.

LM: Mr. Chaplin, thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? For instance, are you originally from the London area?

SC: No, my family is from Lincolnshire. I grew up on a small estate with my elder brother and my younger sister, Olivia.

LM: Where did you attend university?

SC: Cambridge, of course. The men of my family have done so for several generations. Then I came to Lincoln’s Inn to read for the law.

LM: Did you always want to be a barrister?

Not as a child, of course. Boys always have dreams of being brave warriors or finding one’s fortune at sea. But Father said I wasn’t cut out for the military--not obedient enough--though he thought I would do well in Parliament, since I seemed to enjoy arguing.

LM: You do think for yourself. What do you like most about the legal profession?

SC: I find it most gratifying when the law and justice align, which doesn’t always occur. Many of our laws are unnecessarily harsh, and I’d like to do something about that one day. In the meantime, I do what I can to help those in need of protection.

LM: What are your reading tastes?

The Times, of course; all the London newspapers, for that matter. I rarely have time to read for pleasure, unlike my sister, Olivia, who devours every Gothic novel she can get her hands on, no matter how ridiculous. She even has hopes of publishing her own romantic novel one day. I’ve told her in no uncertain terms that she may not use my life experiences as fodder for her novel, or she will be very sorry!

LM: Hmm. What is the oddest thing that’s ever happened to you?

SC, with a smile: That would have to be the day I met the mysterious Mrs. Brown, a.k.a. Lady Elinor Ashworth. I was in the West Country, having a peaceful breakfast when a madwoman in widow’s weeks came bursting through the door, demanding immediate passage to London. She appeared to be in need, so naturally I volunteered to assist, not knowing she would disrupt my life, destroy my peace of mind and make me fall madly in love with her.

If you want to know exactly how Lady Elinor turned Mr. Chaplin’s life upside down, the answers are in Lady Elinor’s Escape.


He pulled on tan leather gloves, then stood and walked toward the lady in black.  “Excuse me, madam, but I could not help overhearing you say that you must leave for London immediately.  Allow me to introduce myself.  Stephen Chaplin, Esquire, at your service.”

          Elinor turned to face the gentleman who had suddenly appeared.  She stared at him through a haze of black, taking advantage of her veil to get a closer look at this tall, dark-haired, seemingly well bred gentleman.  He was above average height, with finely chiseled features, and while he could not, strictly speaking, be deemed handsome, there was something in the intense scrutiny of his light brown eyes that drew her to him.  By the cut of his bottle green Superfine coat, which emphasized his broad shoulders, but was not so tight as to hamper movement, and his casually tied neckcloth, she surmised he was no society dandy.

          “How do you do?” she said politely, extending one black-gloved hand.

          “Fine, thank you.” 

          As he took her hand and bowed over it, Elinor savored the warmth of his touch for a moment.  It had been a long time since someone had touched her out of kindness.  Suddenly realizing she was clutching his hand, she withdrew hers.  He studied her, his gaze seeming to penetrate the veil, and she could only stand like the veriest lump under his scrutiny. 

          “I beg your pardon, madam, but what did you say your name was?”

          “Eli—” Elinor broke off and feigned a cough, panic bubbling up inside.  Her name.  Dear heavens, she needed a new name.  If she told him who she was, he would never agree to take her to Mimi.  She stared down at the gentleman’s yellow nankeen trousers and shiny brown boots.  “Brown,” she stammered.  “Ellie Brown.”

          “Mrs. Brown, may I offer my assistance?  I’m heading for London myself and would be pleased to convey you as far as Chippenham, where you may pick up another stage coach.” 

          Relief flooded through her at his offer, but could she trust him?  No proper young lady rides in a closed carriage with a gentleman who is not related to her.  The words of her governess rang in her ears.  “I do not think—”

          “Of course, you are cautious,” he interrupted smoothly.  “Any genteel lady would hesitate to trust a strange gentleman.”

          “But I am not a lady,” she blurted.  If Aunt Sarah learned that a ‘lady’ had been here, she would know where to look for her.  “I am merely a seamstress.”

          “Really,” he drawled, doubt evident in his tone.

          “Yes, I have a position awaiting me in London.”  She was surprised, and a bit uncomfortable, at how easily the lies flowed from her lips, but they were necessary.

          “Then you had best accept my offer, lest your position go to someone else.  Miss Wainwright can vouch for me.  We traveled here together from London.  Nancy,” he called out.  “Over here.”

          A young serving woman who was obviously in the family way approached them.  “What can I do fer ye, Mr. Chaplin?”

          “I have offered to convey Mrs. Brown to London, but she is not sure I can be trusted.”
          Nancy giggled.  “Oh, ma’am, ye’ve naught to fear.  Mr. Chaplin’s the finest gentleman I’ve ever met.  And we gets quite a few gents here at the Horse and Cart.”

          “Yes, I expect you do.”  And not all of them honorable, Elinor thought with a glance at Miss Wainwright’s belly. 

          Elinor pondered her choices.  It was either Stephen Chaplin in a closed carriage or back to Aunt Sarah’s cottage where, at best, she would be locked in her bedroom after today’s escapade.  And at worst... 

          She remembered Aunt Sarah’s pistol and promptly made up her mind.  Stephen Chaplin was undoubtedly the lesser of two evils. 

          “Very well, sir, I accept your escort.” 

          “Would you care for some breakfast first?”

          The inn was warm and she’d like nothing better than to settle near the fire and break her fast.  Her stomach felt like it was stuck to her backbone, but she shook her head, afraid to stay a moment longer.

          Scant minutes later, Mr. Chaplin led her outside to a closed traveling carriage standing in the inn yard.  He must be a gentleman of some means, she mused, to have his own carriage.  He supervised the loading of their luggage then held out his hand to help her into the carriage.  As she stepped up, the wind caught her veil and blew it upwards.  For a second she had a clear glimpse of his startled face.

          He had seen the bruise. 

Buy links:

Linda McLaughlin grew up with a love of history fostered by her paternal grandmother and an incurable case of wanderlust inherited from her father. She has traveled extensively within the United States and has visited Mexico, Canada, & Australia. A lifelong dream came true with a trip to England where she was able to combine sightseeing and theater with research for her novels. A native of Pittsburgh, she now lives in Southern California with her husband. Linda writes historical and Regency romance. She loves transporting her readers into the past where her characters learn that, in the journey of life, love is the sweetest reward.

You can find her online at

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Friday's featured Author

The Dream Sequence Series
J.J. (James) Di Benedetto's

What if you could see everyone else’s dreams?  That’s the question that my Dream Series novels answers.  But the whole series began with a different question:
Why do people in mystery stories decide to try and catch the bad guy themselves, instead of going to the police like any normal person would do? 
Obviously the first answer to that is, “because then there wouldn’t be a story!”  But I wanted an answer that made sense within the story.  And what I came up with was that you’d have to have proof that only you could see, and that no one else would believe.  Psychic proof.  If you could see the crimes through the eyes of the criminal, you’d know who they were, and who the victims were – but what could you possibly tell the police?  If you saw the crimes replayed in the nightly dreams of the criminal, you’d be the only witness, and there wouldn’t be a thing you could do to stop the next crime – except investigate it yourself.
With that answer, the Dream Series was born.  Sara, the main character, came into being right along with the basic idea.  She was there from the beginning, as was her boyfriend (later husband, as the series goes on).  And the setting for the first book (back when I had no idea there would be anything past that!) was always college, and in the spirit of “write what you know,” Sara’s college is a very thinly veiled version of where I actually went to school.
I wrote the story – and then let it sit on my computer for a decade.  When I finally came back to it, I still liked the idea, but not the actual writing.  So I went back and rewrote the whole thing from page one.  I made two big changes: I told the story entirely from Sara’s first-person perspective; and I set it in the winter of 1989-90.  Why?  First, because, again, “write what you know.”  That’s when I was in college.  Second, it’s a time before Google, cell phones and all the other technology we take for granted today (and which would make solving the mystery in the book far too easy).
That’s the story behind the story of the first book in the series, DREAM STUDENT.  But there’s plenty more to the Dream Series.  I’ve collected the first three books into a mini box set called DREAM SEQUENCE.  Here’s what’s in it:

It’s bad enough that, thanks to her supernatural talent, Sara is learning more than she ever needed to know about her friends and classmates, watching their most secret fantasies whether she wants to or not. Much worse are the other dreams, the ones she sees nearly every night, featuring a strange, terrifying man who commits unspeakable crimes. Now Sara wonders if she’s the only witness to a serial killer – and the only one who knows when and where he’s going to strike next. 

Medical school and life as a newlywed would be enough by themselves for anybody to handle. But Sara’s got another problem – her dreams have started up again. Almost everyone at the medical school is dreaming about the death of the school’s least popular teacher, Dr. Morris, and once again, Sara finds herself in the role of unwilling witness to a murder before it happens. But this time, there are too many suspects to count, and it doesn’t help matters that she hates Dr. Morris every bit as much as any of his would-be murderers do. 

Sara thought she had made peace with her dreaming talent, but she’s got a surprise coming: her four-year-old daughter has inherited it, too. Unraveling a mystery with lives on the line is difficult enough under the best of circumstances. But when Sara has to view all the evidence through the eyes – and dreams - of a toddler, it may be an impossible task. 
It’s also available as one big Audible audiobook!
Buy links: (Amazon - all countries)
Social Media links:

J.J. Di Benedetto's fans would swear he's got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing into the minds of others and often wonder if his stories could possibly be fiction. He enjoys suspending disbelief with suspenseful paranormal tales that are a perfect blend of reality meets fantasy.
His popular Dream Series continues to delight readers with each and every exciting installment.
Born in Yonkers, New York, he currently resides in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and a cat he is sure has taken full advantage of its nine lives. When it comes to the cat, he often wonders, but then again it might just be his imagination.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Friday's Featured Author

Saving Grace
Shifter Chronicles
Anita Cox

Already struggling with her royal status, Lycan Princess Grace McGovern faces the challenge of accepting a mate. The very sexy Roman LaRossa, is already infatuated with Grace. He’s also her pack’s Beta. As Grace’s was raised in the human world, she is determined to bring Lycan women’s rights up to speed, bringing them equality and protection for the violence they face from the Scottsboro pack’s supernatural puppy mill. Can Grace succeed in her goals or will the Scottsboro pack win by kidnapping her and using her to breed her royal blood into their pack until there’s nothing left of her?

Jagger Merrell, Alpha of the Scottsboro pack, takes great pride in his need to bring an end to the Lycan Clan and will do anything and everything he can to bring it and their too independently minded Princess, Grace McGovern to her knees. Will he finally rule the Kingdom of Lycan and tame this odd Alpha Princess once and for all?

Roman, the Belfast Pack’s Beta, has always loved Grace but will his chauvinist and controlling ways cause her to refuse him as her King? 

Can Grace find love with Roman? Can Roman save her from Jagger? Who will win this battle of wills to rule the Kingdom of the Lycan?  

Roman spotted Grace pulling into the drive and walked to the back of the house. He stood at the tree line gazing at the forest when he heard heavy footprints—too heavy for a Lycan female—crunching toward him. He spun around to see Grace, her jaw set, moving with such determination it made him brace himself.
“Can I have five minutes of your time?” she asked, hands on her hips, her tone filtering in on the spicy side. Something was bothering her.
He smiled in hopes of brightening her mood. “You can have ten.”
“Where can we talk? Privately?” Her brows pulled in and her head was pointed slightly forward.
“Our princess looks determined!”
 Roman held in his laugh. “We might be in trouble.”
“We might be breeding.”
He tried not to roll his eyes. “Patio.” He led her over to the veranda and took a seat next to her on the bench. “What can I do for you?”
“Oh you can do a lot for me. First, we’re about to have a very frank discussion. I realize it’s not a very Lycan thing to do, but we’re going to put all of our cards on the table. Right here. Right now.” She crossed her arms over her chest.
Roman tried hard not to look at how her arms squeezed her boobs together. “Um…okay?” He was Beta. Why was he taking orders from her?
“So you want to be mated to me?” Her eyes narrowed at him as her soprano voice sank into an accusing tone.
His heart thundered in his chest. “What? I’m sorry.” He shook his head. He couldn’t have heard her right. “What?” She couldn’t possibly believe he had planned out her future without her consent. His lips curved down at the very thought.
“You heard me. You have plans or hopes to be mated to me?” She leaned in and squinted her eyes. The pressure in his chest increased, and his stomach burned in unison. Her look was so stern, so accusatory. How could he make her understand?
“Well,” he started. How do I answer her?
His wolf made a sound that somewhat resembled a laugh. “Start with the truth.”
He pulled his shoulders back, sitting a little straighter. He had to make her understand, but he didn’t want to make his position seem worse than it apparently had. He wanted her, he wanted all of her, but he wasn’t going to force it on her. “Yes.” One word answer. That can’t get me into trouble. Can it?

International best-selling author, Anita Cox has been writing general fiction as Kim Mullican, for nearly a decade. In 2012 she strapped on a new name for a new genre and jumped head first into writing erotic romance.

Anita Cox's erotic debut series Dirty White Candy was picked up by Liquid Silver Books in 2013. In 2014, she became a Director for the Erotic Author's Guild. Her altruistic nature found its purpose, assisting other erotic authors with issues specific to the genre.

You can learn more about Anita and her books at