What I’m Reading…

HAUNTED CRUISE COVER (jpg)

This is going to be one unforgettable journey across the deep, blue sea. No member of the crew could have ever imagined it. Will they survive the upcoming terror or will they be so frightened that they’d opt to find an easier way out?

Dellie Hayworth has landed a job with one of the largest shipbuilding companies after years of unemployment. She is sent off to sea with her marriage in shambles and seemingly beyond repair. For two weeks, she will reside in the luxury vessel, ‘The Caesar’, in anticipation of what awaits her when she returns home. However, neither she, nor any other member of the crew can fathom what awaits them in the middle of the ocean.

eBook Review: Breaking a Legend by Sarah Robinson

Breaking-a-Legend_Robinson-2Synopsis: As one of the big names at his family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get his life back into fighting shape.

 

Clare Ivers doesn’t think she’ll be able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.

My thoughts: Robinson’s prose is sumptuous. Robinson’s storytelling is unequivocally spellbinding. The way Robinson creates gut-wrenching, fall on your knees, richly constructed raw emotion is absolutely flawless.

Clare and Rory are magic, mesmerizing and memorable. Robinson sketched legendary characters who harken back to unforgettable lovers of remarkable timeless literary fiction.

Even the most stoic of readers cannot escape shedding warm tears from the beautifully crafted introduction to the Kavanagh family the proficient Robinson has created with Breaking a Legend.

 

Breaking a Legend is a masterful narration brimming with courage, excitement, hope, redemption, spice, and spectacular, heart-wrenching, gripping prose that leaves you breathless!

Sarah Robinson’s writing is liquid velvet.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

 

Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.

Writers on Writing: Sarah Robinson

SarahsWritingSpace“Aside from being a Top 10 Barnes & Noble and Amazon Bestseller, Sarah Robinson is a native of Washington, DC and has both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in psychology. She is newly married to a local police officer, who is just as much of an animal rescue enthusiast as she is, and together they own a small zoo of animals and volunteer with animal shelters.”

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

If I don’t feel it, my readers won’t feel it. That’s the lesson I’ve learned that I’ve found most valuable.

 

How has this helped you as a writer?

Whether a scene is happy, sad, sexy, or angry—I need to be feeling it in order to convey it onto the page. This is why I believe that having empathy is so important as a writer. We often write about people, places, and scenarios we’ve never experienced ourselves, so we need to be able to empathize with those who have, or even with our characters, to be able to get into their heads and allow readers to do the same. My writing is often called emotional from readers and reviewers, and I think that mindset is the reason for it.

Author Photo - Sarah Robinson

Mac or PC?

Definitely Mac! I’ve had the same MacBook Pro for 8 years now and somehow, it still works like a charm. It’s a bit slower and randomly dies, but it chugs along and does what I need it to, so that’s what matters. I’m able to sync with iBooks and all kinds of other programs for writers that PC’s just don’t have access to.

 

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

Both. I use Scrivener for the first draft and keeping track of characters. Once the first draft is done, I export it into a word document and edit it, make it pretty, and send it off to my publisher!

 

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

Nope, I’m pen and paper in that regard, with one exception. I have tons of post-its covered in random notes that are scattered over my desk and shoved into notebooks. The exception is that I do “write notes”, more like jot down quick inspirations or ideas, by texting them to myself on my iPhone. If I’m out and about and something great comes to my mind, I text it to myself. Once I open up my Mac, I have iMessages on my computer and can scroll right through the texts on my laptop and easily copy/paste. It works for me, even though it’s a bit odd!

FINAL Saving a Legend Cover

Do you have any writing rituals?

I need either silence, or white noise (like a coffee shop background) to write, and something to drink. Normally water, plus coffee. Sometimes wine, or a beer. Every once in a while, I’ll add in some healthy snacks to keep my energy up, like almonds! Other than that, there’s nothing super specific about my routine.

 

Do you start by writing or researching first?

Writing. Since most of my stories are character driven, I can usually get the first chapter or two out before I hit research phase. The reason I do this is it helps me get an idea in my mind for what I want to write. Even if I plan or outline ahead of time, once you start writing, it changes a bit. Once I have a feel for that, then I have a better idea what to research!

 

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

My couch. Cuddly and warm!

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Favorite spot to write in the summer?

Starbucks. Or any cute coffee shop or café.

 

Visit Sarah’s website for all the latest news.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

 

Interview first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.

eBook Review: Amaretto Amber by Traci Andrighetti

SPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000031_00001]ynopsis: Private investigator Franki Amato has just turned thirty, and she feels anything but festive. For starters, she can’t have cake because she’s given up sweets, and one of her teeth is torturing her. To add insult to birthday injury, she has to investigate a surreal strip club homicide—with her sixtyish ex-stripper landlady. Then her Sicilian grandma crashes the New Orleans non-party and insists that she steal a lemon to land a husband. Unfortunately for Franki, the man she has in mind has his mind somewhere else, and their relationship seems to have soured. Adding to her troubles, she has to figure out what a missing amber pendant and a mysterious amaretto bottle have to do with the murder, not to mention why she’s being followed. When a second dancer goes down and a third is threatened, Franki turns to a weird witch to crack the case and cancel a curse before someone blows out her candles for good.

 

My thoughts: Look out world, our enchanting, uproarious leading lady is celebrating the big three-o! Yes, our gal, Franki Amato has entered her third decade and she is not feeling celebratory at all. Again, look out world…and readers.

 

Andrighetti’s Franki Amato series gets crisper, smarter and wittier with each installment. Her storytelling skills are superior, her characters are so vivaciously sketched they jump off the page, her dialogue is authentically carved, her setting is accurately designed, and the way she delivers a mystery is brilliantly sculpted.

Andrighetti’s third outing cements her firmly as the newest heir to the comedy mystery throne. In fact, not since 2002, when Laura Levine released This Pen for Hire, has there been a mystery scribe who impeccably fuses the flawless mix of comedy, mystery and prose like Andrighetti.

Amaretto Amber deftly glides along without losing its sidesplitting momentum as it reaches its action-filled, ingeniously crafted and unforeseen climax.

 

Amaretto Amber is deliciously addicting, wickedly exciting, skillfully well-written, and her best Franki Amato outing to date.

 

Amaretto Amber authenticates Andrighetti is one of the best mystery writers of all-time.
 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco
Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.