Saturday, April 28, 2012


Mother's Day Book Giveaway

(*If any non US or Canada winners were chosen, please let us know so we can select someone new for paperback portion only of the prize)
Happy Mother’s Day, ladies! We at QBR along with some very generous authors believe that you deserve something special.
Today you will have a chance to win a ton of books for your Kindle and even a few paperbacks. Win for yourself, your mother, or any special woman in your life. And guys, feel free to join in as well. This is the easiest contest to enter. Just see below for details. Note, all the books featured below will be sent directly to your kindle (unless otherwise noted as a UK author).
*You may need to disable ad blocking software to see books


1) "LIKE" the Quickie Book Review Facebook page here  ☛ ☛☛ ☛  

2) Subscribe to this blog using "follow by email" on the top left of this page. (QBR only posts 2 or 3 times a month with reviews, author interviews, or reader top 10 lists)

3) Comment below that you entered. (HERE'S A CATCH: I need to be able to contact you for your prize. So, either include your email or plan on coming here on/after Mother's Day to see if you won.)


GRAND PRIZE:  One winner will receive all these titles delivered to their kindle! WINNER IS MARTH E.


**US and Canada winners only for paperback

FIRST PRIZE One winner will receive all these titles for their Kindle: WINNER IS MARIANA

                                                               *UK Author so title
                                                                 will be via Smashwords.


Paperback version to US
residents only

SECOND PRIZE:  One winner will receive all these titles delivered to their Kindle: WINNER IS DARCY'SMOM

BONUS PRIZE: If at least 50 people enter and comment below then one more winner will be chosen to receive these signed print copies** from C.J. Ellison: WE DIDN'T MAKE THIS BUT I DREW ONE MORE NAME AND WILL FIND A CONOLATION PRIZE FOR NA.

                                                             Print version Big Game
                                                             available mid May

**For paperback versions: only US and Canada winners can receive paperback copies. If a winner from another country is drawn, then a new winner from the US or Canada will be selected.

Deadline to enter Saturday, May 12 at midnight (pacific time) Winner announced on Mother's Day.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How Two Authors Jumpstarted My Career

By: Candy Ann Little

 I was 15 when I first read Come Love a Stranger, by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. This book sparked my love for historical romance. I loved the suspense that she weaved into the plot. The characters were so vivid I thought they were real. She wrote the historical elements so descriptively that I felt transported into the past. Her words and sentences were beautiful and poetic. Although, I have to admit that I sometimes didn’t know or understand some of the big words.
I used to read for hours, racing through her books, anticipation building with each page as I tried to figure out how the story would end. Then, when I finally finished, disappointment washed over me because now I was done. I’d reached the end and had no more to read. I’d read another book, but it was never the same feeling. Over the years I have read many romances by different authors but no other author had that magical power that Ms. Woodiwiss held over me. 
After I got married and had kids, I’d stopped reading. I just didn’t have the time anymore. Then, one day my sister-in-law brought me 2 Silhouette books. The one titled A Wedding For Maggie, by Allison Leigh, caught my attention. I’m always a sucker for a wedding. My kids were 7 & 4 so I decided to try and read it. Amazingly enough I got through the book in 3 days. I was excited to see that I could make time for my long forgotten, but favorite hobby.
A Wedding For Maggie was the third book in a series, so I promptly ordered the first 2 and anxiously waited for the last 2 to come out. Although I loved all 5 books by this author, Maggie’s story touched me personally.
In the book Maggie had suffered a miscarriage, and now, was dealing with a complicated pregnancy. I understood the panic that she felt as I’d had a miscarriage four years earlier. And, at the time, I was in the second year of grieving for my stillborn daughter. Reading her thoughts fears mirrored my own.
I felt such a personal connection to this book, I decided to write my own story. I’d been devouring books for months as I felt starved from the years of no reading. So, I started noticing sentence structure, dialogue, and character development as I read. Soon I drafted my outline, named my characters and sat down to type out the conversations in my head. Two years later I had my first romance, Unforgiving Ghosts deals with my real life tragedy but in a fictional account. 
After that I decided to try my hand with an historical, since that is my first love. Although, I’m very happy with The Unwilling Bride, my writing falls way short of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.
These two authors, each in a different way, not only stirred my imagination and started me on my path to writing, but also helped heal my heart.
For more info on Candy Ann Little visit her website at

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Crime Fiction Author Libby Fischer Hellmann

With A Little Help From My Friend

One of the most common questions crime fiction authors are asked is whether we outline our stories or write “without a net”, i.e. not knowing what’s going to happen next.

My answer is “Yes.”

I’ve done it both ways, but I lean toward the “without a net” camp. That’s not to say I haven’t outlined. The first two novels I wrote were carefully outlined, down to each chapter. The problem was they read that way. I ended up writing the outline instead of the story. The outline was in charge of what, where, when, and how my characters behaved, rather than the characters themselves. There was no room for them to change their minds or try something different; consequently, in the end some of their actions didn’t make sense. Those books were never published, btw, and they should never be.

Then a very wise editor encouraged me to write without a net. We had a long conversation about how I needed to trust my characters, that if they were truly fleshed out, they wouldn’t let me down. My first reaction was: “Are you nuts? I created them. They do what I tell them to.”

“Actually, they don’t,” she replied in a serious voice. “Try it.”

Imagine my surprise when I discovered she was right. It took me a while to get over my panic and actually sit down without a plan for what was going to happen, but eventually it started to percolate. Characters did things I never planned. Say things I didn’t expect.  Some even said they weren’t involved in the crime, and why was I trying to implicate them. At times, the process was so baffling that I felt like Shirley MacLaine, channeling spirits from the other side. I was even more puzzled when I’d introduce a character or write a scene without knowing why I was doing it or why it was important.  Part of my brain would ask myself what in the world this had to do with my story? The other part of my brain said not to worry. Sure enough, about 150 pages later, the answer would come. My subconscious had been working on it all that time. It was almost spooky.

Eventually I adopted what I call a “modified netless style.” I would start out knowing the crime and the victim. I also thought I had an idea who the perpetrator was, and I would have in mind two or three “tent-pole” scenes, where important information is revealed, that I’d write toward.

The risk of this style of writing is that you start to like the perpetrator, or you find so many redeeming qualities that you decide he or she couldn’t have done it. Then what? How do you resolve the story?

That’s what happened in A BITTER VEIL. Although it’s written on the large canvas of Revolutionary Iran, in some ways VEIL is really a locked room mystery. There are only 4 or 5 characters who could have committed the crime, and in the process of writing the book, I toggled between each one. At first I thought the villain was Character A, but then I started to like A. So I turned to character B. Then B did a noble thing. So I switched to C, but they couldn’t have done it because...

You get the picture. This went on through the entire first draft. In fact, when I got to the place where I had to reveal the culprit… I didn’t have one! I’d written myself into a corner.

I panicked. I’d written an entire book without a villain. At that point the only thing I could think to do was call my friend and fellow author Cara Black, who, for the one or two people in the world that don’t know, writes the award-winning Amy Leduc Investigation mysteries set in Paris.

“Cara!” I cried when I got her on the phone. “I’m at the end and I don’t know who did it!”

“First of all,” she said, “Calm down. Take a xanax.”

“But – but…”

 “We’ll figure it out.”


Here’s how: We spent ninety minutes on the phone, going over each major character: their behavior, their possible motivations, their conflicts. How they related to the victim, each other, and the revolution. Slowly, the villain began to emerge. Yes, I did have to go back and rewrite a few things, but not as much as I thought. The most surprising part was what I call the “inevitability factor.” In making revisions, I realized that, of course the killer was this character. It couldn’t have been anyone else.

So, will I continue writing without a net? Absolutely. I loved that the villain was as much of a surprise to me as I hope it will be for you. I’m not sure about Cara, though. The conversation was more valuable than therapy (at least for me) and she had to be just as exhausted as I was afterwards. She’ll probably charge me a fee next time. I don’t mind. It was worth it.

I hope you enjoy A BITTER VEIL. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Review Contest Winners

On Quickie Book Reviews you will find Reviews for Readers by Readers. We share reviews of books we've read and learn about new books from our friends. Here are two featured reviews from QBR fans:

Cruel Justice by Mel Comley 
(Review by QBR fan Linda) 

This book introduces DI Lorne Simpkins and her team, as they race against time to find a serial killer who is kidnapping and killing women. I truly enjoyed getting to know Lorne, but even more so her interaction with her team made the book much more enjoyable. As a woman I could empathize with her problems coordinating a full-time, high intensity career along with a marriage and difficult teenager. A tough cop, but also a sensitive woman with needs, desires and the need to be needed.
I'm quickly becoming a Lorne Simpkins/M A Comley fan.

Cruel Justice by Mel Comley is available on Amazon US and Amazon UK

Deeds of Mercy by M.P. McDonald (Review by QBR fan Donna)

"I really enjoyed this book in the series. There is more interaction between the characters than the other 2 books had, which I liked. Mark seems stronger and more capable of dealing with everything that comes along with using the camera. The story moved at a good pace and was just overall a really good read. I would definately recommend giving this book a try, you won't be disappointed."

Deeds of Mercy by MP McDonald - Book 3 is FINALLY here! US: UK: