Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Today on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book

Today on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, I will interview Victoria Martinez, author of An Unusual Journey Through Royal History. Join us at 3:30 PT at As always, the show will be archived so you can listen to it later if you miss the live show.

This is not your typical royal history book. The table of contents reads more like a menu at a good restaurant, where there’s something for everyone’s taste. Each of the 18 chapters tells a unique story about an overlooked or unusual aspect of royal history, spanning centuries and countries, but in no particular order. From first to last, they will take you on a journey through royal history you’ve probably never seen or thought of before.

From Amazon:

In few – if any – other books will you find the British Monarchy compared to London’s sewer system, or read of the challenges of finding a suitable husband for a 200-plus pound Victorian princess who was nonetheless a “remarkably light dancer.” Rarely are the lives of historic and modern royals from Queen Victoria and Catherine the Great to Prince Charles and Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark “illustrated” not by paintings but by tattoos. Even more intimate topics, like the practice of circumcision among royals – including Princes William and Harry – are explored for the sake of inquiring minds.

Chances are, even readers who usually find historic royalty boring and stuffy or modern royalty anachronistic and detached will find something to enjoy. Who wouldn’t feel a bit satisfied reading about a celebrated 19th century courtesan being paid to steal the thunder of an old and frumpy queen just to prove that queens are expected to be beautiful? It can also be quite amusing to find that a supposedly formal portrait of the current British Royal Family holds hidden, enigmatic clues to family dynamics and individual personalities that amuse and baffle.

In short (much like the Court dwarfs you’ll read about), this book will leave you with a sense that you not only know royal history – and enjoy it – but that you have also journeyed through it and know the royals personally, from who exterminates their palaces right down to their infamous last words.

Find out more about Victoria on her website at

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This week on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book

This week on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, I will be interviewing best selling author Michaelbrent Collings! He has written several books in the thriller, suspense, and horror genres, including RUN, PERDITION, and THE STRANGER INSIDE, among others. We will talk about his work and his success.

PLEASE NOTE: This week's episode is today, Tuesday the 19th, instead of the usual Wednesday. You can tune in at

RUN: When John meets the new girl in town, at first he thinks his dreams have come true. That is, until everyone in their small town begins trying to kill them...

THE MERIDIANS:  Scott Cowley thought the worst was over. Eight years ago, he lost his wife and child at the hands of a killer known only as Mr. Gray.

THE LOON: A doctor who has lost his child. A woman in an abusive relationship. A man who thinks he is god. A madman who lives only to kill. These are the people who will come together and find that they are not alone. Cut off by a freak storm, they will discover the meaning of The Loon.

To learn more about Michaelbrent and his work, visit

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This week on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book

This week on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, I will interview Judith Marshall, author of Husbands May Come and Go, but Friends are Forever. Tune in on Wednesday, July 13th, at 3:30 Pacific Time at The show will be archived for later listening.

Set in a small town in Northern California, in the spring of 2000 when the dot-com boom was at its peak, the story centers around Elizabeth Reilly-Hayden, a successful executive in her late fifties and a divorced mother of two. Emotionally armored and living alone, she wants only to maintain the status quo: her long-term significant other, her job and her trusted friends— five feisty women who first met in high school. Yet in a matter of days, the three anchors that have kept her moored are ripped away. The group of lifelong pals gathers at Lake Tahoe to attend to the funeral arrangements of their beloved friend, and tries to unravel the mystery of her death. Through their shared tragedy, Liz learns how disappointment and grief can bloom into healing and hope.

Read my review of the book at!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This week's book give-away!

From our friend, Linda Weaver Clarke. If you have a book give-away or other book news, feel free to send it to us and we'll post it for you!

In celebration of the Official Book Launch for Montezuma Intrigue, I am having a Book Give-Away lasting until July 7: Win a mystery/adventure novel with a touch of romance at But that’s not all! There will be more gifts for you! You may also be eligible to receive several free books as part of this contest: 2 children’s books by Sherrill S. Cannon and Lorilyn Roberts, a fantasy by Serena Clarke and much more.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Book Review: Tranquillity Initiative, by Joan Meijer

The Tranquillity Initiative, by Joan Meijer

Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Eloquent Books (August 15, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1609114337
Rating: (1 to 5 *): ****

Tranquillity Initiative Book Review

With a reelection on the line, United States President Charles Anderson's administration knows they have to do something about the war in Astrakhan to bring it to an end in their favor. When Anderson gives them carte blanche to do what they need to do, certain members, known only to themselves as the Medici, move forward with an exceedingly top secret initiative called Tranquillity. Tranquillity bombs are dropped on Astrakhan, releasing thousands of Anthrax spores while the bombs self destruct to leave no trace of their origin. However, before they are loaded, two of the bombs turn up missing, and it isn't long before Astrakhan agents accidentally release the spores in America. Suddenly, Anderson has a lot more to worry about than whether he will win the next election, and people are disappearing from Capitol hill.

Author Joan Meijer has a long history in politics and the medical industry, so it is fitting that she would write medical political thrillers. Tranquillity Initiative is very well thought out, with twists and turns that keep the story interesting. The characters are well developed, although I found some of the dialogue to be unnatural. All in all, a very interesting read for political and medical thriller fans.

Monday, July 4, 2011

This week on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book

This week on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, I will interview Roxanne Harris, author of WHAT EVERY FAT GIRL WANTS. Tune in on Wednesday, July 6th at 3:30 Pacific Time at, or listen to the podcast any time.

What Every Fat Girl Wants express the heart and desires of a huge part(no pun intended) of today's society. What Every Fat Girl Wants is a book that you will read and laugh outloud. You will want to share it with your friends. Even the skinny ones. Its OK.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Author Interview: Judy Serrano

Our interview today is with Judy Serrano, author of Easter's Lilly.

Jennifer Walker: Where can we find out more about you and buy your book?

Judy Serrano:
Simply go to All the information about purchasing my novels in on there. Easter’s Lilly is available in paperback, Kindle and in Nook. Please follow me on twitter at!/AuthorJSerrano and my Facebook fan page at

Jennifer Walker: Tell us about your book.

Judy Serrano:
Easter Sunday is the day when everything in her life gets turned upside down. Lilly falls in love with a low ranking drug dealer and finds herself married to the head of the Mexican cartel after her boyfriend abandons her.

Lilly tells the story of her life, and the lives of her children. She is an innocent with no idea of the situation she has gotten herself into. After she marries the handsome Diego Montiago, she meets his very striking and charming brother, Max. Their very flirtatious and inappropriate relationship leads them down a road of betrayal and intrigue. The syndicate takes over their lives, as the Montiago family almost destroys each other over the love of a woman. Easter's Lilly takes you down a road that twists and turns full of passion and forgiveness that will surprise you. You won’t be able to put it down!

Jennifer Walker: Tell us about your previous work.

Judy Serrano:
Easter’s Lilly is my first published novel. Brother Number 3 is my latest release and it is a sequel to Easter’s Lilly. The third book of the series is scheduled for release January 2012 and is titled, Relatively Close.

Jennifer Walker: What other projects do you have coming up?

Judy Serrano:
I am currently working on a young adult spin off to the adult series, featuring one of Lilly’s children. I am also working on book number four of the series, which is almost completed.

Jennifer Walker: Do you write full time? If so, tell us how you manage it. If not, what is your day job?

Judy Serrano:
I am a substitute teacher at a high school. I love my job because it gives me freedom to write, to promote my novels and there is no homework. I love working with the kids and although it is usually not full-time, I suspect if I did work a 40-hour job, my writing would suffer.

Jennifer Walker: What is your writing process like--do you outline first or just start writing, etc.?

Judy Serrano:
I have heard that many amazing authors spend a considerable amount of time outlining first. Although that would probably be easier, I have never done that. I throw my characters in the situations that be and let them take me where they want to go. I sometimes wonder myself how they got there.

Jennifer Walker: What was the hardest part: writing the book, getting it published, or marketing it? Why?

Judy Serrano:
Writing the book was easy. It flowed and became an obsession that I simply could not put down. Getting it published took me a little time. There is a methodical process that must be followed to find a worthwhile publisher and it takes some critical time to accomplish such a feat. Once I found him, and I use Black Rose Writing, he made it easy. Marketing has been difficult. Probably the most difficult adventure of the entire process. Promoting your own accomplishments can be difficult for people who are not comfortable pushing their own products. There are some basic things to learn to get you started and I think the rest is really just a learning experience. Fortunately for me there are quite a few authors and experts out there who are generous with their knowledge and experience. I hope to be able to do the same someday.

Jennifer Walker: What have been your most successful marketing techniques?

Judy Serrano:
My most successful marketing technique has been handing out the first chapter. Once people read the first few pages, they want to read the book. It was my husband’s idea after watching me do a reading at the Dallas Library. We have even gone as far as posting teasers on my web site, which I understand is pretty common practice.

Jennifer Walker: Tell us a little about your non-writing life. Family? Pets? Hobbies? Is your family supportive of your writing?

Judy Serrano:
My family is amazing. My boys watch me from over the top of my MacBook and never complain. My husband promotes my writings whenever possible. We are also a very musical family. I play guitar, write songs and sing. I have one son who plays conga drums, one who plays a little piano and one who plays a little guitar. The youngest will be asking about drums any day now.

I do find it quite uplifting when my boys close my computer screen and say, “Come on mom. Time to throw a football around.” They are so supportive of leaving me alone when I have writing to finish, yet never let me forget the most important thing in the world is family. We have five dogs and live in the country. Although I am more of a city girl, as long as I am with my family, I am home.

Jennifer Walker: When and why did you decide to become a writer?

Judy Serrano:
I went back to college as an adult and met a teacher who said I wasn’t giving it my all. At first I was very angry with her for giving me such a hard time but at some point I realized that she was right. I had a handful of books just hanging out on my flash drive. I finally decided it was time to try to get them out there. Scariest thing I ever did but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Jennifer Walker: What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

Judy Serrano:
I love to read either romance or romantic suspense, which is the same as what I love to write. I enjoy reading about strong male characters and the women who love them. I encourage non-traditional styles of writing. Books about women, who are so strong that they make their men look weak, do not catch my attention.

Jennifer Walker: Who is your favorite author of all time, and why?

Judy Serrano:
Nora Robert has been my favorite author thus far. I truly enjoyed The MacKade Brothers because of the dominant yet vulnerable male figures. Her romance is classy and steamy all at the same time.

Jennifer Walker: If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?

Judy Serrano:
I would tell you it’s French food and how much I enjoy expensive, pretentious food. But if you ask my children, they will reveal the truth. Give me a bucket of hot wings, some blue cheese dressing and a beer and I’m good to go.