Category Archives: Fiction

Welcome Iris Blobel

 

Join me in welcoming Iris Blobel to Highlighted Author!

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London, as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper only emerged a few years back, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her beautiful two daughters as well as their dog. Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

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NEW BEGINNINGS

The chance to start life all over with the help of a stranger.

Twenty-two-year-old Sophie Levesque has been guardian to her eight-year-old sister Mia since their mother’s death a few years ago, and it hasn’t been easy. Luck comes their way when they inherit a small house in Hobart. Problem is, though, they don’t know and have never heard of Clara Bellinger, the testator. Settling into their new life, Sophie is still afraid it’s all a mistake.

Mark O’Connor, attorney in Hobart and the bearer of the good news for Sophie and Mia, curses himself for the lack of information about the testator. However, researching the questions gives him an opportunity to see Sophie again, and the more time he spends with the two, the more he realises that his life is missing something. And it’s not his casual lover Linda.

But then there’s Zach, Sophie’s sexy neighbour from across the road… and a very good friend of Clara’s.

Will unravelling the mystery unravel Sophie and Mark’s promise of a future?

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What they’re saying:

“NEW BEGINNINGS is a very emotional read, one that is heartwarming as well as heart wrenching. It gives you hope in the act of human kindness and that good things do happen to good people. I highly recommend this book.” — Danita Moon, The Romance Reviews

Excerpt

Sophie Levesque stared at the attorney in front of her, waiting for some answers. She and her little sister, Mia, had been quietly sitting in Mr. O’Connor’s office for more than half an hour, learning about the details of their inheritance.

Once he was finished, silence hung in the air before she asked with raised eyebrows. “Who?”

“Clara Catherine Bellinger.”

Mia leaned closer to her elder sister and gave a soft tug on Sophie’s shirt. “Who is she?”

Sophie shrugged. “I wouldn’t have a clue.” Then turned her attention back on Mr. O’Connor and asked the same thing. “Who is she?”

The handsome attorney on the other side of the massive desk leaned forward and rested his elbows on it before he started to repeat his earlier speech. Although hearing his words, Sophie still found it all very hard to comprehend. Here she was in this old office, furnished with heavy antique oak furniture, the curtains in a pretty shade of aubergine, and the carpet beneath her shoes thick and warm in a matching shade, hearing about an inheritance from someone she’d never even heard of.

Startled by the subtle sound of the clock chiming across the road, Sophie’s gaze turned to the window, where she saw the post office building across the road. It looked impressive and old. It’d been only a few hours since they’d arrived in Hobart, the most southern capital in Australia, but she already liked it. A lot more than Sydney, the place she’d lived all her life.

Hauled back from her thoughts, she heard Mr.O’Connor say, “I believe she was a distant relative of yours. I’m afraid I don’t have any further details.”

Sophie arched an eyebrow in disbelief, doubting the accuracy of it all. Not only did she try not to question his competence as a lawyer, but she also hoped it wasn’t a dreadful misunderstanding.

With a slight shrug of her shoulder, she asked, “Why not?”

 

SWEET DREAMS, MISS ENGLAND

Sometimes we meet people but not to share the rest of our lives with them, but merely for them to guide us onto a different path.

Set in London and Dublin we follow the life of Beth, a young mother of two who is married to Shane, an actor whose work requires him to be in Los Angeles. When Beth meets Daniel, a fun-loving, spontaneous man from Ireland, she realises how much joy and passion are missing from her marriage, and consequently her life. Beth is torn between her marriage to Shane and her love for this Irish charmer.

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What they’re saying:

“Overall, a very well written novel from a very talented writer. My Rating: 4”--Cheryl Mash

“Loved it. I really like the way this author writes. will be keeping an eye out for more by Iris Blobel!”--Ena, Goodreads 

Excerpt

As Beth woke up, she adjusted her eyes to the sunshine, which made itself comfortable in her bedroom. She looked outside and noticed the world was starting to breathe. Summer was close and the days were starting earlier, as well as getting warmer. She loved the sun crawling into her bedroom in the mornings and embracing her with its warm rays. She turned over and looked at the letter which was now framed and on her bedside table. Live your sweet dreams it said. Beth smiled. Still deeply in her thoughts, she heard the phone ring. She glanced at the clock and quickly answered – it just had to be important at this time of the day.

“Happy Anniversary, Beth.”

Beth smiled when she heard her friend’s familiar voice. “Good morning. I can’t believe you remembered.”

“Of course I did. Who would have ever thought?”

“Yes, it’s strange how life sometimes works out.”

“We’re having dinner at my place tonight. Will you come as well?”

“I’ll be there. And thanks for remembering,” she said quietly and hung up.

Beth took the letter and held it close. It’s been a year already, she thought – and what a year it had been. She remembered each day so vividly as if it had only been yesterday.

 

 

 

 

Welcome Linda Burson

Join me in welcoming Linda Burson and her Marcy series to Highlighted Author.

ThePastReturnsMarcy and Brad’s marriage is back on track even with the major changes at play.

A new wedding is planned for New Year’s Eve. This wedding is a complete surprise to everyone, and an unexpected pregnancy may interfere.

The men in Marcy’s life become even closer, and a true bond is formed.

 

Note from the Author

 

“The Marcy Series, which at this point includes Rage, Confusion, Agony & Ecstasy, The Agreement, and The Past Returns, is a continuing story. It is a story about three people and how their lives intertwine. There are other characters involved with the three, but the focus remains on them throughout the entire series. It is an easy read, but it can be intense, as well as light-hearted. It is a love story, with a thriller/suspense aspect to it.

When writing this story, I truly fell in love with my characters. At first, two of them seem quite flawed, and one seems perfect. It isn’t until we delve into their lives, that we realize they have more to their personalities. I try to make each novel as satisfying as possible while continuing the story to the next book.

This story is fiction, but there’s more realism to it than most may know. Hopefully, whether it touches the readers in a familiar way, or is completely out of their realm, I hope it takes them to another time and place and into others’ lives. I hope it brings an escape for as long as they are reading, and gives what it gave me…a satisfying ending and closure after spending many hours with my favorite people: Marcy, Liam, Brad, and their friends and family—even when they annoyed me, made me laugh, cry, or roll my eyes.”

Rage | Confusion Agony and EcstasyThe AgreementThe Past ReturnsPaperback editions

 

Excerpt

The tears are pouring down my cheeks. I can’t believe this. This man was in  love with me from the moment he saw me, and he knew nothing about me.

I understand it because I seemed to feel a sense about him from the beginning. I let him in my home late at night, a perfect stranger, but I felt it was all right. It’s like my soul was speaking to me as well. Maybe I’m as crazy as he is.

What I don’t understand is if we were meant to be together, why did I meet Brad? Why am I in love with two men? I’m so confused. No wonder he doesn’t mind coming here and staying. This place is his sanctuary. It’s our place…a place where no one can take me away from him.

About the Author:

LIndaJBurson copyLinda Burson is an author from Connecticut.

After years of writing and editing for others, raising a family, and over twenty years of running her own businesses, Linda decided to tackle her first fiction novel entitled Rage, which began as a single book. Eventually, the novel became a trilogy, and finally a much longer series. All the books are a part of The Marcy Series, a romantic suspense series.

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Welcome Joe Cosentino, Paper Doll in Audio

Please help us welcome back Joe Cosentino as he discusses Paper Doll, the first Jana Lane mystery, from ebook and paperback to audiobook narrated by Charissa Clark Howe.

“I was an actor and playwright with an obsession over murder mystery romance novels. Reading three a week, I couldn’t get enough of them. Could I write one myself? I decided to give it a try. Using my insider knowledge of show business, quirky sense of humor, interest in romance and beautiful locations, love of plot twists and turns and exposed secrets, I gave it a try. Fascinated with child stars as a kid, I decided my first novel would be the story of an ex-child star making a comeback as an adult, personally and professionally. And I wanted the ending to be a spine-tingling shocker!

PaperdollPaper Doll is the fictitious story of Jana Lane, America’s most famous child star until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. Now a thirty-eight-year-old beauty and mother of two living in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York, Jana’s flashbacks from her past turn into murder attempts in her present. The local suspects include Jana’s down-on-his-luck husband with a dislike for living off the fruits of his wife’s young labor, Jana’s sister and male friend (who both have eyes for Jana’s husband), Jana’s show business father, her deranged loyal fan, and Jana’s young Guy Friday who covets her fame and shares an uncanny resemblance to Jana. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana visits the California movie studio she once called home. This sends her on a whirlwind of visits with former and current movie studio personnel. It also leads to a romance with the son of her old producer—Rocco Cavoto—the devilishly handsome filmmaker who is planning Jana’s comeback both professionally and personally. With Rocco’s help, Jana uncovers a web of secrets about everyone she loves, including the person who destroyed her past and threatens to snuff out her future. Through the course of the book, Jana not only solves the mystery of her past, but also reclaims the courage and fortitude she had as a child. This is an important message for all of us.

“The novel released two years ago in ebook and paperback. Readers and reviewers loved it, and demanded more Jana Lane mysteries. I complied with four more Jana Lane mystery novels published by The Wild Rose Press.”

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What They’re Saying:

“Mr. Cosentino has produced a masterpiece of mystery. … The story gripped me from the start and there were enough twists and turns, with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure, to keep hold of me until the end of the book. … Great book, can’t wait for book 2.” –Readers’ Favorite

Paper Doll is a superbly crafted mystery with an eclectic cast of characters that will engage you and elicit some very emotional responses as you are completely caught up in the events that unfold in these pages. Everyone has secrets and the people in Paper Doll have them in spades!” –Fresh Fiction

“If you like novels that are filled with new and old Hollywood, and a range of sub-plots, you are going to love this!” –Saguaro Moon Reviews

“In Porcelain Doll, Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, America’s heartthrob Jason Apollo. The other suspects include Jana’s James Dean type young co-star, her older John Wayne type co-star, her children’s Eve Harrington type nanny, the film’s gossipy makeup and hair artist, a local reverend trying to stop the film’s production, and Jason’s agent.”

“In Satin Doll, Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a flirtation with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. Jana rubs elbows with senators on both sides of the aisle, a lobbyist, and a Washington reporter.

“In China Doll, Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off.

“In Rag Doll, Jana stars in a TV murder mystery series and once again life imitates art. She is also reunited with Chris Bruno, the detective who got away.

“Many readers told me the series should be on television. I went back to the first novel and wrote a pitch, treatment, and teleplay pilot for a television series. As I waited for television producers to make an offer, I decided to do an audiobook of Paper Doll. It was like coming home again. I realized, as my parents did about my older sister, the first is the most special. In thinking back to all the colorful characters, humor, drama, plot twists and turns, hidden secrets, and shocking ending in Paper Doll, I realized I needed a very strong actress as audiobook narrator.

Charissa Clark Howe captured the essence of Jana Lane perfectly, and she also did a fine job with all the other characters in the novel: Brian (Jana’s husband), Rocco (Jana’s producer), Jackson (Jana’s best friend), Mark (Jana’s greatest fan), Tamara (Jana’s sister), Scott (Jana’s father), Simon (Jana’s agent) and more. Balancing humor, romance, and mystery perfectly, she hit every beat. I couldn’t wait for the ending, and when it came I was totally surprised! Since the novel takes place in 1980, Charissa’s delivery evoked that wonderful period. I could see the hairstyles, makeup, jewelry, fashion, as well as hear the music of that era. When listening to the audiobook, make sure you have a good block of free time before beginning. Once you start, you will be listening until you finish this captivating mystery/romance. Charissa’s narration will put you smack in the middle of the action.

“BTW, I have three other books on audiobook. Drama Queen, the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), is narrated by Michael Gilboe. It’s a comedy mystery about a college theatre professor (like me) who uses his acting skills to impersonate others and uncover murder mysteries. It makes me laugh every time I hear it, and I continue to marvel at how well Michael performed all twenty-three characters! The surprise ending shocks me each time too. Drama Queen was voted Favorite Mystery of 2015 in the Divine Magazine Reader Poll. The second book in the series, Drama Muscle, received a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention. Drama Cruise, book three, released on December 1, 2016. Drama Luau will follow.

“Also, the talented actor Joel Leslie, who has quite a following in the audiobook world, is narrating my The Naked Prince and Other Other Tales from Fairyland (releasing in November, Dreamspinner Press), and A Home for the Holidays (releasing in December, Dreamspinner Press) which takes place on the gorgeous island of Capri.

“So grab the popcorn, curl up in your movie seat, and enjoy the audiobook of Paper Doll, the first Jana Lane mystery. Go back with me to where it all started.”

 

About the Author:

B&N2Bestselling author Joe Cosentino won Divine Magazine’s awards for best mystery novel, best humorous novel, and best contemporary novel of 2015. He is the author of the Jana Lane mysteries: Paper Doll, Porcelain Doll, Satin Doll, China Doll, Rag Doll (The Wild Rose Press); the Nicky and Noah mysteries: Drama Queen, Drama Muscle, Drama Cruise (Lethe Press); the Cozzi Cove beach series: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back, Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward, Cozzi Cove: Stepping Out (NineStar Press); and the romance novellas: In My Heart anthology (An Infatuation & A Shooting Star), A Home for the Holidays, and The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press). As an actor, he has appeared in principal roles in film, television, and theatre opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. Upcoming novels are Drama Luau and Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings.

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