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Sleep With the Lights On (A Brown and de Luca Novel) by Maggie Shayne

Series:
three-half-stars

Sleep with the Lights onPublisher:  Mira Books

Release Date:  October 1, 2013

Pages:  384

About the Book:  Rachel de Luca has found incredible success writing self-help books. But her own blindness and the fact that her troubled brother has gone missing have convinced her that positive thinking is nothing but bull. Her cynicism wavers when a cornea transplant restores her sight. The new eyes seem to give her new life, until they prove too good to be true and she starts seeing terrifying visions of brutal murders crimes she soon learns are all too real.

Detective Mason Brown’s own brother recently died, leaving behind a horrific secret. In atonement, Mason donated his brother’s organs, though he’s kept the fact quiet. Now he wants to help Rachel find her brother, but when he discovers the shocking connection between her visions and his own brother, he suddenly has to do everything in his power to save her from a predator who is somehow still hunting from beyond the grave.

Wanda’s Review:  The premise of this book is exciting and full of mystery and suspense. The tempo moves at a fast pace, never losing momentum. And the storyline, creepy and terrifying, with many graphic scenes, is totally unpredictable.

Rachel de Luca has been blind for 20 years and having her sight restored to 20-20 was a pretty big deal. Rachel is an author who writes about how to create your own miracles, and now she has a miracle of her own. For six weeks after the surgery life was good for Rachel, but then the recurring nightmares begin and life was no longer serene.

Organ recipients are getting more than just the organ donated from the donor. They are inheriting habits, tastes, memories and other tendencies that are not all pleasant.

Detective Mason Brown, a strong and interesting character, is harboring deep, dark secrets. His brother, Eric, who committed suicide early on in the story, was a serial killer, and Mason was covering up this information that could destroy their family. A series of events occur and Rachel is the recipient of Eric’s corneas. The “Wraith” – was he still hunting from the grave? And the story unfolds —

This well written book has an intricate plot that just doesn’t let go and a conclusion that took me by complete surprise. My big disappointment in the book was the vulgar language spoken by Rachel. The “f” word was repeatedly used and in my opinion it cheapened Rachel’s character. I felt this profanity was not necessary to enhance the book. Unfortunately, I never connected to Rachel, not liking her from the beginning to the end. That being said – the author has crafted an engrossing novel – simply a great thriller. My rating is 3.5 stars.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley to read and give an honest review. All opinions shared are my own.

About the Author:  

Sixteen-time RITA Award nominee, New York Times Bestselling author Maggie Shayne has published 53 novels, all for major NY Publishers, in her 20 year career. So far. This past year saw the release of her trilogy, “The Portal Series” and its books include MARK OF THE WITCH, DAUGHTER OF THE SPELLCASTER, and BLOOD OF THE SORCERESS all from MIRA Books.Coming this Fall, the hottest novels yet, a set of thrillers like nothing you’ve seen before. SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON releases September 24th, and WAKE TO DARKNESS at Thanksgiving. Pre-order links are already up. Excerpts coming soon.Maggie has published westerns, category romances, romantic suspense, paranormal romances, urban fantasy, women’s fiction, and just about everything in between. She’s a winner of the RITA Award, the romance fiction industry’s most prestigious prize, and has won countless others including several RT BOOK RREVIEWS “Reviewer’s Choice” Awards, two RT Career Achievement Awards, the Daphne du Maurier Award, The Golden Leaf Award and numerous others.

Maggie’s “Twilight” series of vampire novels, officially known as Wings in the Night, began in 1993 with TWILIGHT PHANTASIES from Silhouette Shadows. The series concluded with TWILIGHT FULFILLED in October 2011. (Printable list and reading order at the author’s website and on her Facebook page.)

Besides being an author, Maggie is a Wiccan High Priestess, Reiki healer, Tarot Card Reader, unofficial Life Coach, Law of Attraction expert, advice columnist, and a licensed minister. Her long running newspaper advice column has been compiled into book form; SHAYNE ON YOU, the author’s first non-fiction book. Her second, MAGICK AND THE LAW OF ATTRACTION, A USER’S GUIDE is a deeply spiritual primer that is changing lives.

Recently, Maggie has begun re-releasing her out of print novels in ebook format. See the full list of her indie pubbed, bargain priced novels at www.maggieshayne.com/ms-classics

Maggie lives with her fiancé Lance in a tiny town called Taylor (phone exchange: Truxton, mailing address: Cincinnatus, tax map: Cuyler. Smalltown folks understand!) in New York State’s little known but sprawling and gorgeous dairy farm & wine country near the Fingerlakes region. Together they have a pair of Old English Mastiffs (Dozer & Daisy,) a chubby little bulldog (Niblet), an arrogant cat (Glorificus,) a come-lately cat who thinks he’s a dog (Butters) two saltwater reef aquariums (aquaria?) and a life of utter contentment and joy.

Maggie has a fabulous team behind her. Her indy books, her contests and promotions, her newsletter, her indy cover art and tons more are handled by Jessica Lewis at The Author’s Life Saver (.com)

Her proofreading line editing and copy editing for her indy works are handled by Jena O’Connor at Practical Proofing (.com).

She’s represented by literary agent Eileen Fallon and her editor for most of the past 20 years at Harlequin is Leslie Wainger (who also has a book doctor business that’s thriving on the side.) LeslieWainger-Bookdoctor (.com)

Her street team is headed up by the unsinkable Chelle Olson of Literal Addiction (.com) and co-piloted by Charity Costa.
Chelle also designs a lot of Shayne Swag at Chelle-Belle Designs.


Summer in the Heart by John McMillan Book Blitz – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


ABOUT SUMMER IN THE HEART


Summer in the HeartTitle:
 Summer in the Heart
Genre: Fiction
Author: John McMillan
Publisher: iUniverse
EBook: 256 pages
Release Date: May 9, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-46200-974-9

“That summer in the heart which is known only in youth.”

Summer in the Heart is a lyrical evocation of the innocence, fun and liberation of growing up in the 1960s. Moving into and through his teens, Jim Mitchell must put his County Antrim village childhood behind him and adapt to the wider world of grammar school and the life of Belfast city.

In the process the reader accompanies Jim on a series of marvellous episodes. There is the self-conscious torture of his first school dance; playing truant from the formidable Cheyenne Bodie’s maths class; and the secrecy and fear that surround the summer love he finds with his country sweetheart June.

Subsequently we follow Jim’s progress through the coffee bars and streets of Belfast, new friendships and the love of city girl Katie, to his first real taste of freedom on a working holiday at an English seaside resort in the long hot summer of 1964. Jim progresses from the self-doubt and alienation of early adolescence to the beginnings of emotional maturity. The disparate settings and characters of the novel are conveyed with equal power, small worlds portrayed in a poetic way, with delicious feeling and humour.

iUniverse

 

ABOUT JOHN MCMILLAN

 

John Kerr McMillan was born in County Armagh in 1948 and educated in Belfast, London and Bournemouth.

His first novel “On A Green Island” was published in 2001 to general critical acclaim. Peter Berresford Ellis writing in the Irish Democrat described it as “a powerful story, a fascinating first novel from a talented writer”; Edward Upward commented “the strength of his love for rural Ireland is beautifully conveyed” and Philip Callow praised “a narrative that grips the reader from the first page.”

Married with two daughters, John now lives in Somerset where his time is occupied with writing, lecturing and his family.

 

Pump Up Your Book and John are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • 1 winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive each of the prizes
  • This giveaway begins April 1 and ends on April 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on April 16, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Interview with Amazon Bestseller Kevin Bohacz


Kevin Bohacz 8I am Kevin Bohacz the bestselling novelist of Immortality and a lucid dreamer… Welcome to my dreams. I am also a writer for national computer magazines, founder and president of two high technology corporations, a scientist and engineer for over 35 years, and the inventor of an advanced electric car system – the ESE Engine System (circa 1978). I was also a short order cook for I-Hop, flipped burgers at McDonalds, and delivered Chicken Delight. All of those careers and more are behind me now that I am a full time storyteller, a catcher of dreams. Thank you for reading my stories and making this all possible.

His latest books are Immortality and Ghost of the Gods.

Visit Kevin’s website at www.kbohacz.com.

Thank you for this interview! I’d like to know more about you as a person first. What do you do when you’re not writing?

Are you trying to tell me there is something other than writing? I beg to differ. Why does a bird fly or a fish swim? It is the essence of their being. Writing is my essence, my passion. It is my very life. To me writing is like breathing—it is vital sustenance for my Immortality 7soul. A day without writing is… well… unimaginable. I never have writer’s block and writing without exaggeration has actually saved my life. Not very long ago I was widowed at a young age. My wife, my best friend of 17 years died in my arms while we looked into each other’s eyes. In the time that followed when I was drowning in grief I could hear my wife whispering to me, “Write my love… Write.” So I wrote. I wrote so hard that my arms grew sore. I wrote so hard that I gave myself tendonitis but the pain in my arms did not slow me a bit. My writing saved me from grief that was dark enough to crush the life from me. I completed my forth novel Ghost of the Gods in an amazingly short period of time while also simultaneously working on two new novels.

So back to your question, what I do other than writing and breathing is walk two hours a day and dreaming. Dreaming is a very big part of my life. I am a lucid dreamer and my dream life is wildly prolific. In the past three years I have recorded over 5000 dreams in my journal, and well over 300 of them were vivid hyper-real lucid dreams. I’ve had as many as 17 dreams in one night. I never try to control my lucid dream journeys. I let them unfold and develop on their own. To me controlling a lucid dream is like trying to control life instead of fully experiencing it here and now. I literally feel like I have two lives. One life in this material reality and a second life in dream reality.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I am currently on a quest for just that place… Almost everything I own is in storage or given away. I have simplified my life. I have sold our home and so I am homeless. For many months I have been wandering up and down the California coast living in magical oceanfront vacation homes for a month at a time looking for the best place to dream and write. I have been letting intuition lead me from place to place. I find that my intuition is far more reliable than my left brain in these decisions. This quest is exciting, creative, and beyond my comfort zone. I feel I am in one sense homeless and in another sense at home. I am uprooted… and this is all very good…. very creative. Pushing beyond my comfort zone causes all sorts of emotions to bubble up to the surface and those emotions are then infused into the written pages of my stories. I am currently working on what will be my greatest novel.

What do you find fascinating about the techno-thriller genre?

I write in two different genres: techno-thrillers and supernatural-thrillers. I really kind of bend both these genres. Thrillers are supposed to be action first and foremost but I take the time to do a great deal of character development. For me the stories are all about the characters, the people. If the characters are not 100% real and true to whomever they may be then the story stumbles. If a reader has strong emotions for the characters whether it is hate or love then the story soars. This does not mean my characters are perfect. They are flawed like all real people.

The other thing I enjoy about my slightly bent genres is that for me everything has to be scientifically possible. Making everything possible leads to greater levels of suspension of disbelief in the reader. I feel this makes the stories more compelling.

When I am reading a story nothing can cause me to stumble quicker then reading something portrayed as fact for which I know is not possible. Whether it’s something simple like a real street described incorrectly or a scientific device that is highly unlikely it all equals the collapse of my suspension of disbelief. The same is true for the characters. I stumble reading a story if a smart character does something stupid just to move the plot along or vice versa. So the bottom line is that I write the kinds of stories than I love to read and my bent genres allow me to do this.

When was the adrenalin rush – writing that first chapter or the last and why?

The short answer to your question is the rush begins with the first word and ends with the last. The reason for this is that the stories come from my muse, not me, and so in the process of creation I am experiencing the novel firsthand as if reading it instead of writing it. I am taking the same ride as my readers, so the rush is from beginning to end.

The longer answer is that my novels come from daytime dreams as well as nighttime dreams. When I am writing it really does not feel like I am creating the material. It feels like I am watching daydreams which come from somewhere other than me and I am merely typing as fast as I can to capture the daydream that is unfolding before my eyes. For all four novels I have written, I first created thousands of pages of meticulously detailed background material. Once I feel the characters have become like friends to me, I sit down and start writing. Invariably in a short time the characters stage a revolt and the story takes on a life of its own veering off in directions I never planned. In the end I typically use about 1% of the meticulously detailed background material. Thousands of years ago the Greeks and Romans thought that all creative people were merely channels for muses. I truly cannot figure out where my stories come from. Out of a process of elimination I have decided they come from some Jungian collective awareness that we might as well call a muse!

What is the most important thing about your book that we as a reader should know?

I am a storyteller. My books are first and foremost created to entertain. My stories come through my heart from my muse. They can be scientific or supernatural. They contain a lot of action and suspense and are often epic in scope. But at their essence they are about people and so they are about love, triumph over adversity, and the human spirit.

All my novels have deep philosophical underpinnings or subthemes but since the essence of any novel is to be a thrilling read, the ideas remain an integral part of the mosaic and so do not detract from the entertainment as attested to in the professional reviews of my novels. Example: Publisher’s Weekly STARRED review: “Bohacz provides mind-bending portrayals of factions vying for power and reflections on the essence and fragility of humanity. But philosophical concerns never obtrude on the fast-paced plot…”

In these philosophical subthemes I grapple with the big questions: what are we, where did we come from, and is there a purpose behind existence. I also grapple with the fallout from these themes and the great contradictions such as why society as a whole displays this self-destructive seeming disregard for life, our fragile environment, love, and sprit—while if you ask any individual in the same society they will tell you they regard all these things as important and in fact try to act accordingly in their own lives.

Your best friend is an aspiring author and his book really sucks.  What would you say to him or her?

This has happened to me (though it was not my best friend, that would be my wife)… First of all just because I think the book sucks does not make it a bad book. If a reader thinks in similar patterns and rhythms as a talented author they will likely get the story and like the writing. If the reader thinks in dissimilar patterns and rhythms they will likely hate the story. This is one of the big reasons why one person can love a story and another person hate it. The story could also touch a hot button be it political, dredging up an old trauma, or even stepping on some Jungian archetype. This could make the story unbearable. For example if you are an environmentalist (as I am) and the story is poking fun at global warming, you may hate the story but that does not mean it’s a bad story or that millions of people will not love it.

The point is that a good story is like fine wine. I like red. You like white. Even if I am a famous connoisseur of red wine, I may think a kickass white wine sucks. If you are not a professional critic of all wines equally then you must not assume your opinion is universally true. Many people make this mistake when judging a book and think because they hate it therefore it must be bad. I am not crazy about many forms of poetry but does that make it bad poetry. Hell no…

So what I am getting at is that if I think my friend’s book sucks, I would not tell them it sucks. That’s rude, and worse, it could be wrong. What I would do is ask them if they would like me to hook them up with an editor that specializes in their style of writing. Now that I have thrown out all those caveats… If my friend’s book was a techno-thriller or something in a similar genre to what I write then in addition to offering to hook them up with an editor, I would tell them that for me their book has problems and needs work.

You’re sitting at a dinner party and seated next to NY bestselling authors.  They are intimidating indeed and one of them remarks that your book sucks.  What would you say to him or her?

I am not easily intimidated… One person’s opinion does not shake me, though it can frustrate me if it is an opinion made widely public. My first thought would be this person is rude. My second thought would be that rudeness is always ego driven which means they could very well be threatened by my success.

So my response might be that I take pity and ignore them but more likely, just for fun, I might confess that I’ve never read any of their novels and then thank him or her for buying and reading mine. I might then get out my pen and ask if they would like an autograph.

You catch someone sitting on a park bench reading your book whether on a e-reader or the real McCoy and you walk over to him or her and what do you say?

I would not tell them I am the author. I would ask them something about the philosophical subthemes that run through my stories. I am always curious about what people take away from my novels. Most people say my stories are thought-provoking. So I would see this person as a litmus test of how thought-provoking my stories are to them. After words, I might tell them I am the author or I might not.

You’ve just been offered the Pulitzer Prize.  Who do you thank?

First and foremost I would thank my wife, my muse, Mazelle, and then every reader in alphabetical order. It will be a very long speech. I would then thank the judges for accepting my generous bribes and honoring me with this prize. I would then wake up and realize it was a dream in which I failed to become lucid.

Any final words?

Just thank you and to everyone please take Immortality and Ghost of the Gods for a test drive! I promise it will be a wild and winding road that will keep you guessing until you reach the very last word of the very last page!