Thursday, December 03, 2009

Review: Doubleback by Libby Fischer Hellmann

Title: Doubleback
Author: Libby Fischer Hellmann
Publisher: Bleak House Books
ISBN: 978-1-60648-052-6 (hardback)
978-1-60648-053-3 (paperback)
Pages: 344 (ARC)

Doubleback is a thoroughly satisfying stand-alone thriller and the sequel to Easy Innocence which features single-mom and video-producer Ellie Foreman, and introduces her friend—former cop, now licensed PI—Georgia Davis.

In Doubleback, Georgia takes center stage when she’s hired by the husband of Chris Messenger, recently-deceased IT manager of a large Chicago bank who died under suspicious circumstances mere days after their young daughter had been kidnapped—only to be returned, unharmed—three days later. Odd enough circumstances. Then Chris’ boss is found dead.

Following leads means following the bank’s missing $3 million, without much help from the Chicago police or the bank. From Wisconsin to southern Arizona, Georgia does the travel while Ellie sleuths deeper into the money trail locally.

Georgia runs head-on into the bigotry and racism, corruption, poverty, human trafficking, mercenaries and drug cartels that are the southwestern America border towns. She must rely on her cop-instincts, because nothing is as it seems.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Treasure of Eden

Title: Treasure of Eden
Author: S. L. Linnea
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
ISBN: 0-312-94216-8
EAN: 978-0-312-94216-8
Pages: 351

Army Chaplain Jaime Richards plans to take a much needed R & R from her tour of duty in Iraq. But first she must tend to the spiritual needs of a wounded soldier and then thwart an attacker on her way to the plane.

From the Judean wilderness to Switzerland to Paris, she is chased, shot at, and then tortured by ruthless rogue CIA political officer and black-market antiquities trader Frank McMillan. McMillan believes that “he who rules Eden rules the world”.

Through it all Jaime gives up neither her faith, her love of Country, nor her angst for lost-love Yani.

As the clock ticks down on an eBay auction for a bejeweled box held by a Bedouin tribe in the hills of the Judean wilderness, the box—first discovered in 1954 and thought to bring good fortune to the tribe—disappears.

The race to find the box is fouled with the kidnapping of the young bride of the Hajj, misappropriations of Israeli military equipment and personnel, and murder.

From the wealthiest and most power-hungry moguls attending the invitation-only World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to an aging rock star’s haven in Paris, to the Judean wilderness, to Eden, Jamie is pursued at every turn.

Treasure of Eden is a suspense-filled thrill ride, impossible to put down! Although it is the third in the Eden series, it possesses all the flavor and texture of a stand-alone. Each character is multi-dimensional serving a duality of purpose.

Heartily recommended for the adventurous mystery/suspense reader, although romance lovers will find it just as delicious.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Review of Safe House by Christine Duncan

Reviewer's Choice

Reviewers do a service to writers that I think needs to be more appreciated. They help us get feedback on our work. And what more can anyone want?

I stopped by CrimeSpace the other day to see what other mystery writers are doing.

I was struck by a discussion started by Patrick Balester--"101 Things to do Before You Die (for Crime Writers)." Some of the list was applicable to all writers ("number 7: This year, query three agents a week until you snag one.") some of the list was an inside joke aimed at mystery writers by taking swipes at a couple of famous mystery folks (shake literary agent Janet Reid's tentacle???) Although the list didn't actually make it to 101, it did mention getting a review in your local paper, but that was it. For me, the review itself matters. I want a review where the reviewer gets it.

Oh, my books have had some nice reviews along the way, don't get me wrong. I love when that happens. But if I were doing the 101 list, it would be item 10 and item 21 and maybe item 33 and... See, there is a deal that we writers forget often as we pound out our work. We're writing for an audience. I love it when the audience likes my work.

I've done a lot of the things on Patrick's list. I've gotten books published, spoken at conferences, attended the famed Bouchercon, given talks about my books at the library, been on panels at writer's cons and taught fellow writers some of the little I know. Frankly, except for being published, none of it was on my to-do list before I die. (Don't get me started on speaking in public--but really why would ANYONE want that?) Again, with the exception of being published, none of it measured up to getting a review (either from a reader or from a published reviewer) where they "got" the books. Isn't that really why we write?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

VBT--Christine Duncan, June 1st

Christine Duncan is the featured guest at a virtual book tour stop on June 1st. Her latest book, Safe House, isn't quite out yet due to some unfortunate delays. However, Christine will be stopping by to respond to reader's comments, so please check back often.

Thanksgiving is coming up fast and the snow is starting to fall, plunging Colorado into a winter wonderland.

But who has time to celebrate? Certainly not battered women's counselor Kaye Berreano. With two teens, a job that tends to claim all of her attention and a new relationship with police investigator Pete Farrell, Kaye is more than a little overwhelmed.

When a kid she has known since birth turns up dead and her own son, RJ becomes a suspect, Kaye is forced into an investigation that leads her from the safe house to her own house.

An excerpt is available at, where you may also snag your own copy for a most reasonable price.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Review: The Olive Horseshoe

Title: The Olive Horseshoe
Author: Ben F. Small
Publisher: Night Shadows Press
ISBN: 978-0-9799167-2-4
Pages: 357

Depth of character and exotic locales keep the action rolling at a clip which allows us license to accept that Denton Wright had become a billionaire at such a young age, that his insecurities were the driving force behind his martial arts training, and that he’d been on an extended kayaking—and soul-searching—trip through Maine when his father was murdered.

The prologue, which depicts the torturous murder of the senior Mr. Wright and a fellow traveler on a seniors’ excursion through Spain and Morocco, gives us as few clues to work from as it does Denton and his assistant, Mandy. Enter Jenna Rogers, daughter of the second ill-fated traveler and her California winery foreman Carlos, to rub raw the tangled mass of emotions.

The killer(s) left one signature calling card: The Columbian Necktie.

Add to the mix Howard Wright’s Manhattan law partner and his son, travel snafus, language barriers, break-ins, subsequent and supposedly unrelated murders, alpha-male personality issues, high-end surveillance gadgetry, an international drug cartel, and sheer gut instincts—and it’s one hell of a ride!

Will Denton find his soul as he grapples with the twisted minds of those intent on destroying him—and every other life he touches?

Delightful mystery/suspense/thriller. A very satisfying read.

Linda J. Hutchinson

Monday, May 04, 2009

The BOOKHOUSE Author Live Chats!

The schedule is up for the Bookhouse Chatroom author series! You'll notice MY chat on Thursday, June 11th. (Please notice that...)

Time: 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. Eastern US

Author Chat Schedule

Tuesday - May 5th - Author Frank Say

Tuesday - May 12th - Author J. E. Braun

Tuesday - May 19th - Author Andrea Kulman

Tuesday - May 26th - Author Elaine Charton

Tuesday - June 2nd - Author Donald James Parker

Tuesday - June 9th - Author Martha Jette

Wednesday - June 10th - Author Madelyn Lorber

Thursday - June 11th - Author Linda J. Hutchinson

Friday - June 12th- Author Lyn Armstrong

Tuesday - June 16th - Author Elizabeth J. Van Amelsvoort

Tuesday - June 23rd - Author Jean Harrington

Tuesday - June 30th - Author Deanna Jewel

Tuesday - July 7th VACATION - NO CHAT

Tuesday - July 14th - Author Arlene Radasky

Tuesday - July 21st - Author Linda Ciletti

Tuesday - July 28th - Author Charlotte Holley

Tuesday - August 4th - Author Nancy Kaiser

Tuesday - August 11th - Author Heidi M. Thomas

Monday, March 02, 2009

"Aphrodisiac" Preview

I'm currently reading Aphrodisiac by the husband and wife team Allyson Roy, thanks to my friend PJ Nunn at Breakthrough Promotions.

Sex therapist and Do-Me-Good sex toy distributor Saylor Oz and her so-far still-living best friend lead us on a 'race to the finish or die' romantic suspense. I'm half-way through this thrill-ride. Will give a full review later, but I'll say it now, "BUY THIS BOOK!". Very well written, with a realistic plot, an abundance of humor, and sexual innuendo to spare - or share.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Publicist Sandra Beckwith's Quotes and Info For Writers

Sandra Beckwith puts out a quality newsletter twice per month to help writers promote their books, appropriately titled Build Book Buzz. She also provides potential ideas for books.

A former publicist, Sandra knows the ins and outs of the publishing industry.

The current newsletter features NYT bestselling author John Scalzi, who is also gearing up to build his Big Idea Authors website - opening on my birthday, April 20th. Take a look to see if you're interested in being interviewed or showcased.

"Build Book Buzz is a free e-newsletter published monthly by
Beckwith Communications, Please forward
this newsletter to anyone. To subscribe, visit We do not share our mailing list with any
individual or organization for any reason."

I wouldn't recommend any site that sells, or rents, or distributes, or shares, their mailing list. That's a spammer's network. I won't promote spamming. Ever. (It's akin to my loyalty to Ann Landers - who hated having drop-in company as much as I did - and do.)

Sandra has an interesting survey going on, but it closes on March 1st. If you'd like to take part, time is running out.

Check it out and then drop me an email at linda at lindajhutchinson dot com to let me know what you think. Or leave a comment here.

Are you interested in reading about other sites on my recommended list? Let me know what you're looking for and I'll find it.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

T. Jefferson Parker and Pen on Fire

I had the pleasure of interviewing Barbara and love what she's doing for authors and writers. If you are in California, check it out. Should be a fun evening. Send me feedback if you have the chance to attend. linda at lindajhutchinson dot com

An Evening with T. Jefferson Parker and
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett

We have a very special evening coming up on February 10 with T. Jefferson

T. Jefferson Parker¹s new book, The Renegades, is being published this
month, so next Tuesday night, at 7 p.m., we¹re holding a launch party at the
Student Center on the UC Irvine campus. We¹ll discuss Jeff¹s new book,
he¹ll read, take questions, and sign books provided by the UCI Bookstore.
There will also be refreshments. No charge.

This launch party also heralds ³Pen on Fire: A Speaking Series,² which
intends to bring literary events to Orange County on a regular, monthly
basis. Authors, magazine editors, literary agents and poets.

The show will be recorded for a future broadcast on "Writers on Writing,²
KUCI-FM and will also be podcast.

The New York Times Book Review said this about The Renegades: ³Another
insanely imaginative thriller from T. Jefferson ParkerŠthe wondrously weird
characters [take] this lurid plot to its outer limits.²

Unfortunately, reservations cannot be made (seats are free) so please get
there early. Here are directions:

If you have any questions, email me at
Please forward this email to your reading and writing friends.

Please join us for a wonderful evening.


p.s. Please let me know if you received duplicate emails, and apologies if
you did.

Author, PEN ON FIRE: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within
(Harcourt, 2004), honored with a 2005 ASJA Outstanding Book Award

Host, "Writers on Writing," Wednesdays at 9 a.m. KUCI-FM, on iTunes (click
on Public Radio), and podcast at An Evening with T. Jefferson Parker and
Barbara DeMarco-Barrett



Recommended reading.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Review Super Bowl Ads?

If you'd prefer to watch (and review) the Super Bowl ads without having to watch the Super Bowl, check out this link:

Feel free to post your reviews of the Super Bowl commercials in the comment section here.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Currently reading The Obama Nation

Currently reading The Obama Nation by Jerome R Corsi. Very interesting, fully annotated, biblio'd, and fact checked. It was written to make U.S. citizens fully aware so as to not vote for Obama for President. (Of course, I did not, even without reading this book.)

That didn't work, obviously. However, it does make us aware of what might happen in the Obama oval office.

Tears apart the un-truths, barely truths, and straight-out lies of Obama's Dreams from My Father, which he published in 1995 - which was written to prepare the voting public for his run for the presidency.

Interestingly, Mr. Obama has not sued Mr. Corsi for slander.

To track just how many of the nearly-500 campaign promises Mr. Obama made, snatch the link for the Obameter on my writer's blog.

Friday, January 23, 2009

See Barbara DeMarco-Barrett in California on Sunday

Just in from a writer I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing a couple of years back. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello. Tell her I sent you.

(And if you'd like to post your review of one of her books here, let me know. linda at lindajhutchinson dot com)

Hi from rainy Orange Co., CA.... (gratefully so!),

This Sunday, Jan. 25, at 3 p.m., join us for a reading at Laguna Beach
Books, 1200 South Coast Hwy., in Laguna Beach. My students, including my
"Writers on Writing" co-host, Marrie Stone, Ben Peters, who recently had a
wonderful essay in Orange Coast Magazine and Phil Doran, author of The
Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered my Inner Italian, will be reading. Please
come by to join in the festivities.

And on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at UCI's Student Center, I'll interview T.
Jefferson Parker whose new book is The Renegades. He'll read and sign books
as well. (No charge.)

Feel free to forward this to your friends. Hope to see you there!

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett


Contributor: "Knitting: My Urban Escape," in the new anthology, KNITTING
THROUGH IT: Inspiring Stories for Troubled Times (Voyageur Press, 2008).

Author, PEN ON FIRE: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within
(Harcourt, 2004), honored with a 2005 ASJA Outstanding Book Award

Host, "Writers on Writing," Wednesdays at 9 a.m. KUCI-FM, on iTunes (click
on Public Radio), and podcast at

"There is nothing like a dream to create the future." - Victor Hugo

New FR*E Classes for Writers

I'll be away for a couple of days - finally getting to celebrate Christmas with the grandkids. My recent surgery and the g'kidlet's illnesses made it impossible to do in December.

Just added new links for FR*E classes for writers at Check under the "Classes" heading on the Links for Writers page.

Also... Added new items to my pride and joy gift store, Linda's Gifts and Decor:

I recently had the privilege of critiquing a fiction manuscript for Ms. Hope Clark of Funds for Writers. She had the sweetest way of saying Thank You! Her verbal TY was quite enough payment for reading an enjoyable and satisfying mss, but the surprise delivery of the Edible Thank You was over the top!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Bruce Cook/Brant Randall VBT Happening NOW

I've had the pleasure of reviewing two of the books by these/this author(s). Bruce Cook writes suspense/thrillers and Brant Randall has written an historical novel based on a story his grandmother told him regarding the KKK in the New England states in the early 1900's. Both were well written and enjoyable reads. In fact, if you scroll down quite a ways, you'll find my reviews of both books; Philippine Fever and Blood Harvest.

I also had the opportunity to interview Bruce, and then Brant while on staff at The Writer's Chatroom. Great fun both times.

Today marks the one-month anniversary since the extreme makeover of my spine/neck and I'm still in a neck brace (only two more months to go!!), with limited mobility and energy. However, I would happily have joined in on this VBT if physically able.

Even though Bruce/Brant lives and works in CA and I'm in OH and we've never met, I consider him a friend and will continue to support him in his writing career.

Print out this post, pop into one of the virtual stops and leave a comment. Guaranteed to be fun.

"Stop by to see the author mercilessly skewered. Add comments of your own!" Bruce/Brant

January 5 - - review
January 6 - - guest post -
January 9 - - excerpt
January 12 - - interview
January 13 - - review
January 14 - - review
January 15 - - interview -
January 16 - - review
January 19 - - review
January 20 - - review
January 21 - - interview
January 22 - - interview -
January 23 - - interview -
January 24 The Village Bookstore in Glendora, CA 7:30-9 pm. IN PERSON reading and signing

January 26 - - review
January 27 - - interview -
January 28 - - review - review
January 29 - - guest post - - interview - will follow with her for the questions
January 30 - - review

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

This morning's social media events!

If you're a writer - or if you have expertise in a field like PR, social media, marketing, life - join HARO. Peter Shankman's Help A Reporter is a must-sign-up-for three-email-per-day must-belong-to experience. If you're looking for sources, post your request at Read the list on the morning, afternoon, or evening emails to see if you can contribute. Often, if you contribute to a story, you'll get a mention and some will even include your website address. (My ENT is being featured in Good Housekeeping because I responded to a query for input.)

Another reason to sign up for HARO is that you'll get to see what others, as in those names that appear in all the places you want your name to appear as the author, are querying and to which publications. This point is often overlooked by the newbie writer.

And, you'll have the opportunity to email back and forth with, or talk on the phone with, published writers if your response to their query fits their needs.

MY WEBSITE is FINALLY back up and running after the final encounter of the raging 4+ year-old war with my former webhost. The final blood-letting scene had them shutting down my site on two day's notice - NINE days after my very serious spine surgery. (I'm chronicling my recovery at Living With Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis blog site. All of my blogs are listed on my website.)

I'm now with GoDaddy, which is The Writer's Chatroom recommended webhost of choice. (Use TWC's affiliate link to sign up. It helps support the chatroom.)

Oh, and I'm building my entire Linda's Gifts and Decor store within my writer's website. Many less hassles on both sides. Just click the link about half-way down the menu on the left.

If you don't Twitter, you're losing out! You'll meet so many who can contribute to your writing career. While checking out PodCast 2009 in Ohio's website (I follow them at Twitter), there was a link to Words to Mouth. What an excellent site for writers and readers! It's definitely worth the stopover. I'll be following them SOON, as in today.

HARO, GoDaddy, The Writer's Chatroom, Linda's Gifts and Decor, Linda J. Hutchinson, Living with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis, Twitter, Words to Mouth, and PodCast 2009 in Ohio were all mentioned in this post. And many of those listed here will be included in other blogger's and website owner's sites.

See how social media works?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

E-book stats

And you think e-books will never become much to shout about... Go here for the stats: