Rants/Raves | September 9th, 2014

The Gift of Cancer by J.S. Foote

J.S. FooteCancer has its benefits. For one, you don’t have to shave. That’s a big one. The sudden disinterest in food also helps. But what is the best thing about having cancer? The inevitable reorientation. What used to matter so much to you, suddenly seems trivial. Now the only thing on your plate is to survive—for yourself and your loved ones. And then having survived, to live a better life.

Book Buzz | September 8th, 2014

New Releases 9.8.14

Our motto is back to school, back to books! But it’s even better knowing that we’re reading for fun. Here are the new titles we’ll be checking out this week.

Virtue Falls

Virtue Falls by Christina Dodd

Virtue Falls is the small town in Washington where four-year-old Elizabeth Banner witnessed the murder of her mother. After her father is convicted of the crime, Elizabeth is raised by relatives and eventually grows into a smart, beautiful young woman.

Book Buzz | September 7th, 2014

The Story Behind ‘Good Sam’ by Dete Meserve

Good SamOne night while flipping through the network newscasts on television, I was dismayed to find that nearly every story was about a senseless murder, natural disaster, tragic accident, people perpetrating large-scale fraud, or the dark side of the American Dream. I looked through newspapers and magazines and found the same thing: fiery crashes, Ponzi schemes, shooting sprees in schools, and dead bodies found in dumpsters. As I delved further, I realized the obsession with stories about gruesome crimes, strange deaths and mysterious disappearances wasn’t just confined to news reports. It had also taken over our entertainment in prime-time television, movies, and on our bookshelves.

Rants/Raves | September 4th, 2014

Amazon the Conqueror by Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins

I’m sure you’ve heard about the Amazon/Hachette Book Group battle, but in case you’re in the dark, Amazon wants to set the price for Hachette e-books. Hachette believes that the publisher should make that decision, and Amazon has responded by delaying shipment on Hachette books, as well as disallowing pre-orders. So who gets hurt? Hachette authors, of course. Sure, J.K. Rowling and James Patterson can take it in stride. But what about debut authors? As Sherman Alexie said on his Colbert appearance, “Presales determine the sales of a book . . . [without preorders] the book is dead.”

Book Buzz | September 3rd, 2014

Outlander: The Next Book to Find Success on the Small Screen? by Spencer Blohm


In the 26 years since the first book in the Outlander series was first published, author Diana Gabaldon has been famously protective of the story she refers to as “Big, Fat, Historical Fiction.” Gabaldon claimed sole ownership of her brainchild and, despite being willing to share it with the literary world, railed against fan fiction and, until recently, never even considered allowing her story to be adapted to television.

Several writers had attempted to bring her sprawling story to the small screen, but it wasn’t until Battlestar Galactica creator Ronald D. Moore‘s version that Gabaldon felt any of them did her work justice.

Book Buzz | June 25th, 2013 | 39 responses

Warning: This Book Will Change Your Life by Kelly Watts

Kelly Watts

I am beginning to think that books should carry warning labels, like cigarettes and alcohol. Several years ago, I bought a seemingly benign book for my depressed husband and after he read it, he announced that we should quit our jobs and sail around the world. Now that book – Tania Aebi’s Maiden Voyage – should come with a “Reader Beware” sticker. And if books need warnings, perhaps life should come with flashing lights and a siren because we actually did it. We quit our jobs, sold our house and set sail – but we weren’t sailors.

Rants/Raves | September 22nd, 2013 | 38 responses

Too Bad Romantic Suspense is Dead By Dana Marton

Dana Marton

In a recent interview, I was asked how I felt about romantic suspense being dead. This was new to me, since I published six romantic suspense novels in 2012 and will be publishing six again in 2013. In fact, I have a new book out every month from August to December.

But yes, if someone really looked at the last couple of years, the star of romantic suspense appears to be waning. After the genre became a huge trend a few years ago, publishers decided that the market was now glutted and did not sign new romantic suspense authors. This meant, if you looked on review sites or in review magazines like Romantic Times Book Review, you saw the romantic suspense reviews page shrink, then disappear.

Rants/Raves | April 5th, 2013 | 36 responses

What Is A Good Read Worth? by Laurie Stevens

Laurie Stevens

I’m primarily an author, but I enjoy working in business, too. My husband and I buy closeouts from major U.S. manufacturers and resell them to discount stores.

Book Buzz | November 14th, 2012 | 27 responses

Fall is a Great Time for a Lowcountry Boil

Lowcountry BoilSusan M. Boyer’s Lowcountry Boil is the first in a delicious new mystery series featuring private eye and modern Southern Belle Liz Talbot. When Liz’s beloved grandmother is murdered, she hightails it back to South Carolina to find the killer – and things get even more complicated when her long dead best friend pops up. Liz took a break from detecting to pop by Shelf Pleasure and share her recipe for a true Lowcountry Boil. 


Book Buzz | March 27th, 2014 | 20 responses

Newport, Rhode Island – a Love Story! by Alyssa Maxwell

Murder at the Breakers

The first book in Alyssa Maxwell’s Gilded Mystery Series, Murder at the Breakers, features 21-year old Emma Cross who is reporting on a grand ball at the Vanderbilts’ summer home for the society page of the Newport Observer. But that takes a backseat when she witnesses a murder and her black sheep brother is framed as the killer. Emma must find out what really happened no matter what the cost. The author fills us in on her love for Newport, the setting for this fabulous and fun new series.

Nightstand | October 25th, 2012 | 19 responses

Toby Neal’s Picks


I’m a mystery/suspense writer and diagnostic mental health therapist, and I began my “profiling” of people very early—as an 11-year-old babysitter.