Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem Cover Reveal

February 21st, 2015


Humorous Chick Lit with a dash of Murder/Mystery
Date Published: March 1, 2015
My name is Izzy. I drink too much, am clumsier than a newborn foal, and my brain-to-mouth filter often malfunctions. My daredevil husband killed himself in a parachuting accident five years ago and my best friend Jack has decided it’s time I jump back in the dating pool. He’s perfectly happy to throw me in if I don’t listen. Just when things in the dating world start to heat up, my grandma dies. Only her knitting group of Jessica Fletcher wannabes is sure it’s murder. I’m not convinced but I’m always up for a bit of excitement as long as it doesn’t lead to a night in jail. Well, more than one night anyway. Will I miss my chance at love because I’m chasing imaginary killers? Did someone really kill grandma or am I and my merry band of geriatric thieves imagining things? 

The first ‘date’ starts off well. His name is Ed. He’s not drooling or anything, is talking to me and not my boobs, and seems to be interested in my graphic design work. Maybe Jack was right after all. I need to get myself back into the dating game.

“So,” Ed says after we’ve exchanged the usual pleasantries and some small talk. He leans forward and starts to whisper. “How do you feel about whips and chains?”

Not the appropriate moment to be sipping my wine, but how could I have expected that! I choke and spit a bit of wine into Ed’s face, which seems to excite him. He wiggles his eyebrows. “I take it that’s a yes?” He asks eagerly.

“Um no. That’s a definite no. N.O.” I lift my glass and down the remainder of my wine. The bell rings and I yell loudly “Next!”

Ed looks disappointed as he walks to the next table, but I’ve got my eyes on the prize. A cocktail waitress is headed my way. I snag another glass of wine before turning to my next date. Oh dear lord! The man is older than grandma. He struggles to lower himself in the chair opposite mine.

There goes that annoying bell again. Time to put my game face on. I smile and decide that I’ll check this guy out for grandma. She could use a date. Although to be perfectly honest, I don’t remember her going out with a man – ever. There’s no time like the present.

The old man’s name is Wilbert and the five minutes pass pleasantly enough – as long as I pretend he’s dating grandma and not trying to pick me up. When the bell rings again, I rush from my chair to help Wilbert stand. I take his elbow and guide him to his next date – a girl that could be his great granddaughter.

I sit back down and gather my courage for my next winner. I try to smile at the guy across from me, really I do. But have you ever tried to smile at a man with the biggest comb over ever? Let me tell you, it’s not easy. I may be grimacing a tiny bit.

Mr. Combover leans over and leers at me. Yes, leers at me! His eyes are surgically attached to my boobs. True, I have good boobs, but maybe pay a bit of attention to the person attached to the boobs?

Finally done leering, he leans back and takes in my face. “You’re not the youngest anymore.” Really? That’s the first thing Mr. Combover is going to say?

“I could say the same about you,” I respond in my nasty voice. The voice I’d perfected from nagging my lazy butt husband.

Mr. Combover clears his throat and leans in again. I bend backwards as far as possible in my chair, but he’s undeterred. “So, I’m just gonna get this out there and not waste my time.” At this point, I should raise one eyebrow, but, as we’ve established, I can’t do that so I just stare at him. “Do you put out? ‘Cuz if not, I ain’t got time for you.”

Oh no, he didn’t. “What,” I sputter and grab for my wine glass, which I down in one go. Never said I was a classy lady.

“Do. You. Put. Out?” Yes, he really enunciates it like I didn’t understand him the first time.


I was born and raised in Wisconsin, but think I’m a European. After spending my senior year of high school in Germany, I developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. My flying Dutch husband and I have lived in Ohio, Virginia, the Netherlands, Germany and now Istanbul. We still haven’t decided if we want to settle down somewhere – let alone where. Although I’ve been a military policewoman, a commercial lawyer, and a B&B owner, I think with writing I may have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. That’s assuming I ever grow up, of course. Between tennis, running, traveling, singing off tune, drinking entirely too many adult beverages, and reading books like they are going out of style, I write articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, review other indie authors’ books, write a blog about whatever comes to mind and am working on my fifth book.

Waiting on Wednesday: Skin Of My Teeth by Judith Graves

December 17th, 2014


SOMTfinalV1a (1).jpg

SKIN OF MY TEETH (Skinned Book 3 – Volume 1)

Published by Leap Books, LLC

To be released 12/23/14

Add to Goodreads:

Read an excerpt on WATTPAD:



· draw a card from the deck

· kill or be killed

· and if you’re lucky, repeat…

Hidden agendas, deep, dark secrets, and monsters lurking around every locker. It’s business as usual at Redgrave High for Eryn and her crew of paranorm hunters – they plan to capture and cure Brit’s brother from his tormented existence, Eryn is reunited with her father’s beta, and Redgrave’s origins are revealed.

Although the two guys vying for Eryn’s heart just might have to up their game. Enter hot, wolven guy stage left. Is he the one Alec’s blood magic foretold? He is, if Eryn’s knocking pulse has anything to say about it. The tale-tell sound is driving Wade mad. But it’s Eryn’s move, and everyone is holding their breath.

A little healthy competition soon becomes all-out survival of the fittest as the crew are pitted against a pack of demons trading souls – for keeps. The student population is enamored with a new card game, Boroughs Quest. Kids are desperate to get their hands on gilded cards from a mysterious expansion deck, but when they do…

It’s all fun and games ’til somebody dies. 



Judith Graves has multiple young adult novels and short stories published with Leap Books, Orca Book Publishers, Compass Press, and, under the pen name, Judith Tewes, is also published with Bloomsbury Spark. In addition, Judith is an award-winning screenwriter and playwright, writes freelance articles for literary magazines, and facilitates writing workshops for both adults and young adults. She lives in northern Alberta with her husband and three crazy labs.

Stalk Judith at:



Twitter: @judithgraves

Botticelli’s Bastard

December 9th, 2014

Botticelli's Bastard


Book Synopsis:

Art restorer Giovanni Fabrizzi is haunted by an unsigned renaissance portrait. Obsessed to learn the truth of its origin, he becomes increasingly convinced the painting could be the work of one of history’s greatest artists, which if true, would catapult its value to the stratosphere. But in learning of the painting’s past, he is faced with a dilemma. He believes the portrait was stolen during the greatest art heist in history—the Nazi plunder of European artwork. If true and a surviving relative of the painting’s rightful owner were still alive, Giovanni, in all good conscience, would have to give up the potential masterpiece. His obsession with the portrait puts a strain on his new marriage, and his son thinks his father has lost his mind for believing an unremarkable, unsigned painting could be worth anyone’s attention. Regardless, Giovanni persists in his quest of discovery and exposes far more truth than he ever wanted to know.

Stephen Maitland-LewisAuthor’s Bio

Stephen Maitland-Lewis is an award-winning author, a British attorney, and a former international investment banker. He held senior positions in the City of London, Kuwait, and on Wall Street before moving to California in 1991. He owned a luxury hotel and a world-renowned restaurant and was also the Director of Marketing of a Los Angeles daily newspaper. Maitland-Lewis is a jazz aficionado and a Board Trustee of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York. A member of PEN and the Author’s Guild, Maitland-Lewis is also on the Executive Committee of the International Mystery Writers Festival.

His novel Hero on Three Continents received numerous accolades, and Emeralds Never Fade won the 2012 Benjamin Franklin Award for Historical Fiction and the 2011 Written Arts Award for Best Fiction. His novel Ambition was a 2013 USA Best Book Awards and 2014 International Book Awards finalist and won first place for General Fiction in the 2013 Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards. Maitland-Lewis and his wife, Joni Berry, divide their time between their homes in Beverly Hills and New Orleans.

Photo credit: Nathan Sternfeld
Connect with Stephen: Website  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter
 Where to buy the book: 

Guest Post:

Going Back in Time

By Stephen Maitland-Lewis, author of Botticelli’s Bastard

If I could go back in time to anywhere, I would have a hard time choosing between two particular destinations. My first choice would be 1920-1929, and in the United States. The second, equally alluring, would be Venice during the Renaissance. For a very limited sojourn, of course. Perhaps for just one day and night!

The uniqueness of the city-state, the splendor of the views, the elegance of the couture, the joie de vivre of the population, the gastronomic brilliance, and the ability to meet with all manner of artists who became legendary old master painters, would make a visit to Venice at this time – the Renaissance – fascinating. One might meet Casanova over an aperitif, the Doge over pasta marinara, and Botticelli over Chianti, in any of the bars in Piazza San Marco.

A stay longer than 24 hours in the city-state of Venice, or anywhere for that matter during this time, would not be appealing to anyone who has been spoiled by the creature comforts of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Hot and cold running water, sanitation, refrigeration, communication, medication, safe drinking water, are all aspects of life that we now take for granted. It would be difficult to adjust, other than for a very short period, to a lifestyle without them.

Europe, pursuant to the First World War, was depressed as a result of the carnage, inflation, and general strikes. The United States – notwithstanding, or maybe because of prohibition – was alive with exciting music, Broadway, nightlife, and the emergence and expansion of the movie industry. For many, it was party time up until the Wall Street crash. I think I’d want to leave, however, on October 28th, 1929, before the events of “Black Tuesday” plunged the country, and the entire western hemisphere, into the depths of the Great Depression.

My Thoughts:

I think that anytime you can pick up a book and not really know whether or not you are going to like and start to read it and end up surprised, you’re holding a pretty good book!  The author has a unique way of captivating the reader and incorporating several levels of intrigue.  It’s a little different, but I think that most readers will be glad they took the time to step into a unique writing.  It was a little difficult to find the right words to review, I don’t want to give away too much!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Italy Book Tours Logo jpeg 225 pixels

Kill List

December 4th, 2014

The Kill List

kill listA Jamie Sinclair Novel

Nichole Christoff

Random House Publishing Group – Alibi


Pub Date   

About the Book:

In this taut debut thriller, Nichole Christoff introduces a savvy private investigator with nerves of steel—and a shattered heart.

As a top private eye turned security specialist, Jamie Sinclair has worked hard to put her broken marriage behind her. But when her lying, cheating ex-husband, army colonel Tim Thorp, calls with the news that his three-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, he begs Jamie to come find her. For the sake of the child, Jamie knows she can’t refuse. Now, despite the past, she’ll do everything in her power to bring little Brooke Thorp home alive.

Soon Jamie is back at Fort Leeds—the army base in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens where she grew up, the only child of a two-star general—chasing down leads and forging an uneasy alliance with the stern military police commander and the exacting FBI agent working Brooke’s case. But because Jamie’s father is now a U.S. senator, her recent run-in with a disturbed stalker is all over the news, and when she starts receiving gruesome threats echoing the stalker’s last words, she can’t shake the feeling that her investigation may be about more than a missing girl—and that someone very powerful is hiding something very significant . . . and very sinister.

About the Author:

Nichole Christoff is a writer, broadcaster, and military spouse who has worked on air and behind the scenes producing and promoting content for radio, television news, and the public relations industry across the United States and Canada. Christoff is a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime and the Jane Austen Society of North America. She also belongs to the Private Eye Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and three of RWA’s local chapters where she’s served as an officer and a member of the board. In Christoff’s first year as a member of RWA, her first manuscript won the Golden Heart for Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements. Her second manuscript won a 2011 Helen McCloy Scholarship from the Mystery Writers of America. Her latest work, The Kill List, is a 2014 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense nominee.

My Thoughts:

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gratitude Giveaway

November 15th, 2014

gratitude giveaway**Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Must be over the age of 13 to enter.**

November is the host month to Thanksgiving, a day we set aside to show our gratitude.  Well, in the book blogger world, November 15-30th is a time we set aside to say THANK YOU to all of our wonderful readers and supporters!  As a special thank you, one lucky reader will receive a copy of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and a special holiday bookmark.  They will also get to choose a friend or loved one to also receive a special holiday bookmark.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for your continued support!


Luck On The Line

November 11th, 2014
LOTL.v3Luck on the Line
On The Verge #1
Author: Zoraida Cordova
Release Date: Nov 11th 2014
Publisher: Diversion Books
Genre: New Adult

To turn her life around, she’ll have to stand the heat. To fulfill his dreams, he’ll have to get Lucky.Despite her name, Lucky Pierce has always felt a little cursed. Refusing to settle for less or settle down, she changes jobs as often as she changes boyfriends. When her celebrity chef mother challenges her to finish something, Lucky agrees to help her launch Boston’s next hot restaurant, The Star. Even if it means working with the infuriating, egotistical, and undeniably sexy head chef.

James loves being known as Boston’s hottest bad boy in the kitchen, but if he wants to build a reputation as a serious chef, he has to make this restaurant work and keep his scandalous past out of the headlines. Getting involved with his boss’s spoiled, sharp-tongued daughter is definitely not on the menu.

As the launch of The Star looms and the tension and chemistry heat up in the kitchen, they’re going to need more than a little luck to keep everything from boiling over.

Buy it as an eBook for only $4.99!!
About The Author



Zoraida Córdova was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, NY. She studied English Lit at Hunter College, and The University of Montana before finding a home for herself in the (kinda) glittering world of New York City’s nightlife. She prefers her whiskey neat, her bacon crispy, and her men with a side of chivalry. She is the author of The Vicious Deep Trilogy.

Blog | Twitter




Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships in US/Canada only

3 swag packs that include: bookmarks and postcards with cocktail recipes from Luck on the Line/

1 “Kiss the Bartender” mug

1 “Lick the Cook” mug


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Girl Who Came Back To Life

November 10th, 2014


About the Book:

“When you die, your spirit wakes in the north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold until one of your living loved ones finds you, says “Goodbye,” and Sends you to the next world.

After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits back home with her.

Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to, when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.”

About the Author:

CraigStaufenberg_AuthorImageCraig Staufenberg is a writer and filmmaker living in NYC.





A Post From Craig Staufenberg:

I followed a simple process to develop the characters for The Girl Who Came Back to Life—I just started writing the book, and the characters came along with it. I didn’t use any formal templates or breakdowns of what a character should be. I just started writing the book, and as I did the characters revealed themselves to me. Sometimes a character reveal that showed up later in the book meant going back and making adjustments to how they play earlier in the book, but for the most part the characters came to me whole clothe as I put pen to paper.

What can account for this?

No clue! Psychologically oriented people will say it’s a subconscious thing. Mystical folks us will say the characters are real in some alternate world and I channeled them onto the page. There are a hundred other theories out there attempting to explain where fictional characters come from, and each of these theories has one thing in common— I don’t give a damn about any of them.

Really. Playing with theories offers a superficial level of fun and a false sense of control, neither of which holds much interest to me. And I’m even less concerned with knowing which theory is “right”. I don’t care where the characters come from. I only care that I can find them.

If you’re a writer looking for tips on character development, or a reader who connected with the book and now desires insight into the creative experience, I understand if this isn’t comforting news. I can shed a little more light on my process. But I can’t promise deeper clarity.

Cool? Cool.

So here’s what I did. I had this idea for a story kicking around for a while. (I can hear the subconscious theorists cheering now! Calm yourselves.)

So the story was one I felt in me for a long time. Less than a decade, but not that much less. Over the years I tried to write it, and draw it, and otherwise breathe it into the world, but what came out never felt right and complete. So after taking a year off from making anything, I decided it was time to finally tell this story. I went to a coffee shop and wrote, every day, for about a week. And after about a week I had the story in front of me, and it was much different than the story I thought it would be.

Though one thing stayed consistent, through every iteration, hanging on from the moment the very first inkling of the story crept up inside me—and that’s the tone. It’s emotional core. A feeling of loss. I started writing the book with this feeling of loss, but it soon became a feeling of loss and love. Writing the story I learned there’s no difference between the two. They are twin sides of the same coin. You can’t have one without the other.

So when I sat down to write, I sank into my heart. I had some tea and listened to some music and let myself feel as much love and loss as I could. When I hit a point of depth and alignment with those feelings I started to write. And when I wrote, I wrote about Sophie.

Why Sophie? It’s a simple equation. I started with a feeling. Then I found a character who embodied that feeling perfectly. This young girl Sophie loses her parents and refuses to let their spirits go. Her entire journey is the journey from loss to love. (Or from love to loss, depending on how you look at it.)

She was a natural fit. The hero of a story is the person who best embodies it. Who drives the feeling forward. And along the way, the other characters that hero meets are the people that best embody the journey’s current step. For this book, that meant Sophie had to form relationships with people who had been through roughly what she had been through, and who could thus help her take the next step forward. Sometimes physically. Always emotionally.

So if you want a recipe for a story’s characters, there you have it. The hero embodies the full story. The side characters embody their own corners of it. Simple.

It does get a bit more complicated when your story has more than one hero, as my book does. I know, I know… I just told you Sophie is the hero. And she is. But those who read the book closely will see that Sophie’s grandmother is also the hero of the story. Sure— we follow Sophie. But if you don’t let yourself be too distracted by my almost single-minded focus on her journey you’ll notice that her grandmother goes on a quest of her own. One as mythic and transformative as her own.

Just as love and loss are two sides of the same feeling, Sophie and her grandmother are two sides of the same hero. Sophie could never have made the journey without her grandmother, and her grandmother could never have made her own journey without Sophie. Physically and emotionally. And at the end, they both wind up changed from their journey together.

Note: I’m not talking about the rigid “Hero’s Journey” theory here. I’m not offering a templatized way of thinking about how characters come to be. Just offering some loose guidance related to what worked for me here:

  1. Find a feeling. One or two words. This is what your story is about.
  2. Your main character embodies that feeling, and her journey is an exploration and transformation of that feeling.
  3. Your side characters do the same thing and embody their own corner of the story. They’ve probably been through the larger story before so they can provide some insight on how your main character could step forward.
  4. Two heroes is fine, but remember—they’re two sides of the same coin, as they’re both embodying the same feeling that the story is about, just in their own unique ways.
  5. At the end, your hero is different than when she started. A good rule of thumb—take where she starts, think up its opposite, and you’ve found where she is at the end.

Simple, but effective, and loose enough you can follow them and still feel your heart. And your character’s heart. Which, hopefully, beat about the same.

Thank you Craig!  I love to hear about the development of characters!  I hope you enjoyed it as well!

My Thoughts:

Original, enjoyable, unique, creative, and quick read.  During my reading, my mind often wandered off to thoughts of those I have lost.   What would I do?  Do I worry about where they are?  Or should I worry more about where I am?  What can I learn through this ‘journey’?  So much to ponder!  I really think that after reading Craig’s post for Cici’s Theories, I have a new appreciation for Sophie.

Great read!  Thank you for stopping by Cici’s Theories and thank you for including me on the tour!



Giveaway is open internationally (ebook).  Print is open to the U.S. and Canada only.  Must be 13 years or older to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Hunting Desire

October 31st, 2014

Paranormal Romance
Date Published: October 23, 2014
Gavin Kincaid and the other Guardians have protected the Shattered City for centuries. But now he faces the one threat even his werewolf strength can’t overcome alone: demons are attacking the city from within. His superior calls in elite Hell Hunter Nerine. 

Gavin doesn’t want outside help. But to his shock, he discovers he wants the beautiful tracker like no other woman he’s ever met.

Nerine carries a secret that might just kill her. To protect it, she keeps everyone at arm’s length, but her desire for Gavin may make that impossible.

Together, they fight the demons determined to destroy the Shattered City and seize the powerful, mysterious artifacts it holds, until a hidden enemy strikes. Now Nerine must face the demons within her to save Gavin, the city…and the world.

C.M. Dahl

C.M. Dahl has been writing romances since she was eight years old and wrote the story of forbidden love between a stuffed crocodile and a plastic doll in pink magic marker. The crocodile helped the doll cross a dangerous puddle in the backyard and earned the doll’s respect. They fell in love after fighting off a legion of green army men.

Her storytelling and her writing tools have grown more sophisticated over the years, but her love for romance has only deepened. She loves writing strong, capable men and women, who have a burning hot attraction between them, learn to respect each other, and fall in love, all while fighting evil and saving the world, of course!

Currently, C.M. writes paranormal romances in the Shattered City series, including Hunting Desire (October 2014), Demon’s Dance (November 2014), and Ian & Lilith’s story (December 2014). Visit C.M. at her website,, and sign-up for her mailing list to be the first to hear about her new releases here:




Amazon: (pre-order)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

An Interview With Dawn Dalton

October 28th, 2014

I’d like to give a warm welcome to Dawn Dalton!  I am so glad she was able to stop in and let us get to know her a little better.

I snagged this photo from her website and just thought it was awesome!  I hope you all enjoy getting to know a little bit more about Dawn and take some time to enjoy her writing!

dawn dalton

Q:  Why did you begin writing?  

My “how I started writing” story is borderline cliché—, as a kid, I stayed up late reading (everything I could get my hands on) every night, and then started making up stories in my head before jotting them down in notebook after notebook after notebook. My parents still tease me about my notebook obsession. Then, in Grade 5, an exceptional teacher pulled me aside and gave my parents the “she’s got talent” spiel, and even paid for some out-of-school creative writing courses. Now when I write, I think of that teacher, and am grateful she steered me toward what truly is the best career in the world.

Q:  What process do you use when beginning a book?  (Storyboard, just sit and write, outline, etc)

I would have answered this question so differently even just a couple of years ago because I used to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of writer. This led to dozens of three-chapter manuscripts — as in, I’d get to about the third chapter and get stuck, or realize the idea wasn’t that great. Now, I like a rough outline that at least tells me WHERE the story should go, and some of the key checkpoints. If I invest the time to outline, chances are, the story has legs. I still prefer to flush out the characters as I go, and allow them to guide me — to a point. I’m slowly learning to reign them in a bit.

Q:  What inspired your paranormal novel?

I’ve always been a fan of paranormal fiction, but before Judith Graves and I wrote KILLER’S INSTINCT, we’d brainstormed a whole series of non-fiction monster-hunting survival guides for the young adult market. The characters, and a plot, evolved from there. Even though I love the survival guides concept, I really enjoyed writing about these characters and being able to infuse some of the paranormal lore throughout the story.

Q:  Have you had a real life spooky experience?

I wish I could say yes. But aside from my well-known fear of spiders, and a few pranks my friends have pulled on me, I haven’t been genuinely spooked. It takes a lot to scare me. However, my husband and I have a lot of fun at Halloween, where we create a very spooky graveyard in our front yard for the trick-or-treaters. My husband even made a coffin he hides in to scare the older kids. Plus, we always put on a Halloween feast for family and friends, complete with ghoulish appetizers and treats. THIS truly is the most spooktacular time of the year!

Q:  Is there a character that you’ve created that you have a special bond with or that you can really relate to?

I love creating characters and find I bond with all of them on some level. I think to spend as much time with them as you do when writing a book, you have to love pieces of them—even the bad guys. Each character has a bit of me in them—a shared hobby, a character trait, etc. The protagonists often have traits I WISH I had. In KILLER’S INSTINCT, for instance, I love Hope’s courage. She’s pretty kick-ass.

Q:  If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

Thinking about writing. Wishing I was writing. I go through spurts where I don’t write for a few days, and by the end of the week, my husband is locking me in the office and ordering me to write…something. I’m not “me” when I’m not writing — I become irritable and almost depressed. But it’s tough making a living writing fiction, and so I’ve always had back-up plans (thanks, Mom!) that include elements of writing. I’m a Journalist, Editor, and a Communications / Public Relations professional. Because these are still creative pursuits (to some extent), this is where you’d most likely find me.

But if you’re asking for dream jobs…

  1. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be an astronaut.
  2. I wish I could be a painter / illustrator. I am in awe of those who can draw.
  3. Take me to a race track and teach me how to race cars!
  4. And, if I could be a professional reader of books I enjoy, I’d be in heaven.

Q:  Aside from writing, what other talents or special gifts do you have?

I don’t think anyone would consider them special gifts or talents, but I do enjoy crafting, cooking, gardening, and driving sports cars.

Q:  Which characters are the most fun to create, good or evil?

There are definitely merits to both, but I LOVE the challenge of creating evil characters with redeeming qualities. It’s a fine balance.

Q:  If you could be any character from a book, who would you choose?

Alice, from Alice in Wonderland. What an adventure she went on! That story is one of the reasons I wanted to be a writer, and to this day, my mom still calls me “Alice” (her little dreamer).

Q:  What would you like to write next?

I’m working on an Alice-inspired short story for a new anthology LEAP is publishing next year. Given how much ALICE IN WONDERLAND has impacted my career, I’d be overjoyed if my story was selected for the anthology.

I’m also under contract with Teen Pulse, a Simon & Schuster imprint, for two contemporary YA novels. My first, ANNE & HENRY, the story of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn re-told as a high school romance, debuts Fall 2015 under the pen name Dawn Ius. I’m working on final revisions to that, and have outlined the second book, which is a high-octane YA thriller pitched as a cross between THE HEIST SOCIETY and the movie Gone in 60 Seconds. I’m so stoked to get writing!

I also write scripts, adult thriller, and educational graphic novels for the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. So far, I’ve written eight books, and I am contracted for at least two more. There never seems to be a shortage of IDEAS…only time.

I’m still working on my website, but you can currently keep in contact with me via these social media platforms:


Twitter: @dawn_dalton




Twitter: @dawnmius




Dawn Dalton wrote her first book at the age of eight when she discovered writing about monsters was way less scary than looking for the beasties under her bed. Since then, she’s still leery of things that go bump in the night, but she’d like to think her storytelling skills have improved. After earning a degree in journalism, Dawn ventured into corporate communications, marketing, and public relations. She is the co-editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal.

But her heart belongs to fiction.

Though she’ll always be a BC girl, Dawn now lives in Edmonton, AB with her husband, teenage stepdaughter, and three bullmastiff hounds. You know, just skulking around.

killer's instinctKILLER’S INSTINCT

Where there is NO life – there’s Hope…

Hope has always been a bit of a freak. But when her mother crawls from her grave and her undead corpse goes MIA, Hope’s last thread of normal snaps with a vengeance.

Enrolling in a militia-style school for monster hunters seems her best bet for tracking down Mommy-dearest and putting what’s left of her mother to rest. But the stakes are raised when she’s partnered with three unique male recruits – each with their own personal demons to slay if they want to survive basic training.

But does Hope have a true killer’s instinct? If she finds her mother, will she have the guts to do what must be done to save her soul? In a place like Le Manoir, all bets are off.

Killer’s Instinct

Dawn Dalton & Judith Graves

ISBN 13: 978-1-61603-024-7
ISBN: 1-61603-024-0

Order Now!

LeapBooksAmazon, and Barnes & Noble  


Anthology edited by Kat O’Shea

Contributing authors include: Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, Shannon Delany, Jill Williamson, Linda Joy Singleton, Heather Kenealy, Judith Graves, Kitty Keswick, Dawn Dalton, Carmen Tudor, John W. Otte, Halli Dee Lilburn, and Mark Finnemore

Augmented Reality by Karl Gee

All proceeds from the sale of SPIRITED will be donated to 826 National.

Print book available only from the Leap Books store.


Edited by Kat O’Shea
“Threads of the Past” by Dawn Dalton

Order Now!

LeapBooksAmazonBarnes & Noble and Smashwords

Thank you Dawn for taking the time to stop by and thank you fans!  Y’all rock!

Cici ♥


The Castle Blues

October 21st, 2014

castlebluesquakebanner (1)


castle-blues-quake-cover 300ppiAbout the Book


Children’s, Young Adult – Sci Fi / Fantasy

Tour Dates: October 14 – October 24, 2014

Blog Tour with Giveaway

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.



A Special Post From The Author

The Kinetic Energy of Creativity

First, I want to thank the Cici’s Theories for having me on this blog and for being a part of my Castle Blues Quake blog tour. And thank you to the readers for stopping by!

Kinetic: moving, energizing, dynamic.

To be creative, you must get your mind—and sometimes your body—moving. It takes energy to create something, and often the hardest part is getting going, taking that first step. You might have to really push yourself, but you can’t move forward until you start moving. I have to do this when I write my first drafts; for me, that’s the most difficult part of writing a novel.

To be creative, you have to be energized. Be excited about your project. The more energy you put into it, the more ideas you’ll produce and the more satisfaction you’ll have. That initial energy will also compound itself—as you get more involved in your work, you’ll become more excited and more energetic.

To be creative, you must be dynamic. Being dynamic is related to energy and motion, but it’s also characterized by continuous change, activity, or progress. You have to keep moving forward, but you also have to be willing to change if something isn’t working out for you. Remember, there’s never one solution to creativity. Your first attempt isn’t always your last. If you want to be dynamic, that is, if you want to progress, you have to be open to new ideas, new methods, open to change.

How do you get moving to unleash your creativity? 

About the Author 

Linda Covell Author PicLinda Covella’s varied job experience and education (associate degrees in art, business and mechanical drafting & design, a BS degree in Manufacturing Management) have led her down many paths and enriched her life experiences. But one thing she never strayed from is her love of writing.

A writer for over 30 years, her first official publication was a restaurant review column in a local newspaper, and as a freelance writer, she continued to publish numerous articles in a variety of publications. But when she published articles for children’s magazines (“Games and Toys in Ancient Rome” and “Traveling the Tokaido in 17th Century Japan,” in Learning Through History magazine, and “Barry’s Very Grown Up Day” in Zootles magazine), she realized she’d found her niche: writing for children. She wants to share with kids and teens her love of books:  the worlds they open, the things they teach, the feelings they express.

Yakimali’s Gift, a historical novel for young adults published by Astraea Press, and middle grade paranormal The Castle Blues Quake published by Beau Coup Publishing are her first novels.

She’s a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

No matter what new paths she may travel down, she sees her writing as a lifelong joy and commitment.

You can find Linda at these links:

Linda’s Website     |     Facebook     |     Twitter

Goodreads     |     Pinterest



As I started to close the door, I looked down and gagged. On the doorstep lay a stiff dead rat, so big I pictured it running around the house slamming doors with its pointy nose or long tail. Its tiny black eyes stared at nothing, and its legs, stretched straight out, ended in open claws as if it had fought whoever or whatever had taken its life. The insides of my stomach were about to erupt when Dad looked over my shoulder and made me jump.

“Someone has a sick sense of humor,” he said. “The police are on their way. Now please, let’s go tell your mother and Sage everything’s okay.” He headed out of the kitchen.

Before shutting the door, I peered into the back yard. The fog had thinned a little. I could just make out the thick trunk of the tree and the swing hanging next to it. Then I froze. A face. A white face with black holes for eyes. Staring at me from behind the tree. I tried to call Dad, but my mouth and throat were dry. My voice wouldn’t work. I gripped the doorknob. Don’t run, I told myself. Don’t be afraid. Afraid, bade, fade…fade, fade, please go away whoever you are. Whatever you are. It hadn’t budged an inch. Maybe I was seeing things. Maybe it wasn’t a face. I squinted then blinked. And it was gone. Just the fog and the tree and the swing.

Then the hairs on the back of my neck prickled when I noticed the ropes and the seat swaying as if from a breeze.

The only thing was, the air was as still as could be. There was no breeze.

a Rafflecopter giveaway