Month: September 2015

Cold Coffee Press Book Review for On The Hook: Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1 by Cindy Davis

On The Hook
Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1
by Cindy Davis

A Picasso painting, worth a hundred million dollars, disappears en route from Chicago to New Hampshire. Literally-en route. The painting goes missing while the truck is moving. The painting is there, then it’s not. It’s gone, but it can’t be. Kendra Jean Valentine, underwriting agent for the policy, is on the hook. She scrapes together enough to hire two women to work the case.

Westen Hughes owns a failing pet shop. With creditors phoning daily, she jumps at the chance to earn a bundle of easy money, even though the offer comes from her old nemesis KJ Valentine, who stole everything in high school: head cheerleader, homecoming queen and the star quarterback. KJ pairs her with Westen’s total opposite: Phoebe Smith, a snake-loving, underwear-hating, tuba player with more baggage than Logan Airport.

Ten percent of a hundred million is…well, it’s a lot so Smith and Westen join forces on a rollercoaster ride to find one of the world’s most valuable paintings.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review for On The Hook:
Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1 by Cindy Davis

Transporting hundred million dollar valuables by vehicle presents many challenges as Kendra Jean Valentine, agent for NH Property and Casualty Insurance well knows. Her job requires that she covers all bases. This job was no different from the others. She chose the trucking company, interviewed the two truck drivers and handpicked four security guards to drive in two separate vehicles, one in front and one behind the truck to assist her in driving from Chicago to Buffalo and then non-stop from Buffalo to Concord, New Hampshire.

Arriving at their destination Kendra is relieved to arrive and more than happy to turn Picasso’s The Old Guitarist painting over to the curator, Henderson McGee. The painting was secured and padlocked in a six foot cube wooden crate. Only Kendra and the curator in Chicago had the keys. When the crate in opened the painting is not inside and Kendra is on the hook. Her exact thought “How was it possible for so many things to go wrong for one person at the same time? She must’ve done something really awful in a past life.”

With strong characters and good dialog the reader is submerged into a fast paced mystery that is led by two untrained, inexperienced and incompatible women named Smith and Weston. Out of their league these two sleuths find themselves in many situations. I quote one from page # 103 in my copy.

“Smith and Westen started up the walk side-by-side. Westen twisted the antique glass doorknob and they went in, footsteps thudding on the bare hardwood floor, stained by at least fifty years of shoes and boots. The place smelled like a combination of pine cleaner which obviously hadn’t been used in the hallway and vanilla scented candle. They climbed the steep stairs. Westen tried not to touch the railing. She hadn’t brought any hand sanitizer.”

Well written mystery by Author Cindy Davis that will keep you guessing until the end.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses On The Hook (Volume 1) in the Smith and Westen Mysteries. After you read On The Hook, Just Smashing (Volume 2) and Two Million Reasons (Volume 3) are waiting for you to solve. I reviewed this book from a Kindle/PDF format and the review was completed on September 29, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcofeepress.com

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link

Kindle Purchase Link
Purchase Through The Author

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4 Other  Featured Selections

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Just Smashing
Smith & Westen Mysteries Volume 2
by Cindy Davis

Snake-lover Phoebe Smith and Susie-homemaker Westen Hughes, the Northeast’s most mismatched investigative team, is at it again. During the preliminary unveiling of a local college’s Egyptian exhibit, a vase worth $1.75 million disappears in front of seven people. Well, six people and the thief, because sure as shortcake has strawberries, the vase is there one minute; the next, it’s gone.

Usually clues clog a case but this time secrets are causing more trouble than fifty Dennis the Menaces. Smith disappears for hours on end. Is she tired of Westen 24/7? Or is there a man in her life? Westen can’t ask; she has a secret of her own: she’s taking shooting lessons. Sergeant “Charlie” Bartowski’s secret: without that vase, her promotion will be squashed—again.

Somehow, nemesis Kendra Jean Valentine convinces them to take the case. KJ’s secret: find the vase, collect the 10%. Nothing new there.

Will anyone find the vase? Will any secrets cause irreparable trouble?

Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link
Purchase Through The Author

************************

Two Million Reasons
Smith & Westen Mysteries Volume 3
by Cindy Davis

A mad king. An escaped slave. One warrior to save the realm… When Asherah, stripped of both her memory and her dignity, learns that King Sahlgren is responsible for her torment it nearly breaks her. Instead, she leads her fellow slaves to freedom. More prisons are scattered across Parthalan, and Asherah vows to burn them all.

Caol’nir, a warrior descended from the gods, is sworn to serve and defend the king. Then a priestess is murdered, and Caol’nir learns that Sahlgren is to blame. Determined to stop the king, sacred oath or no, Caol’nir joins Asherah’s rebellion. What Caol’nir doesn’t know is that Sahlgren has promised the demon lord a woman of rare and singular beauty, a woman whose abilities are rumored to rival the sun god’s themselves…a woman Caol’nir knows all too well.

Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link
Purchase Through The Author

************************

A Page From The Past
by Cindy Davis

The first warning is swift and to the point, but bookstore owners Glenn and Lindsay Reade don’t ‘get it’ until their lives are threatened a second time. All they’ve done is read a young girl’s diary and attempt to locate the owner. Just because the journal describes the girl’s rape and subsequent murder of the rapist is no reason for anyone to want them dead, is it?

The book is obviously more than forty years old. Who in the tiny Berkshire town of Paris, Massachusetts could still care?

But someone does. And that someone is willing to kidnap and murder to protect their long buried secret.

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link

Kindle Purchase Link
Purchase Through The Author

************************

A Little Murder
Angie Deacon Mysteries Volume One
by Cindy Davis

A day of fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee sounds like just the medicine for Angie’s overworked husband’s birthday. In spite of inherent seasickness, she happily goes on the tour with him. How is she to know that by the end of the day they’ll both be suspects in the boat owner’s death?

As police and the forensics team storm the boat, Angie comforts the distraught widow, who quickly becomes the chief suspect. Which makes sense; besides Valerie, why would any of the five strangers want the insensitive Nolan Little dead?

Fearful Val begs Angie to help clear her name. Angie says no, it’s too dangerous. But Val’s determined, and Angie goes along to keep her from getting killed—despite the fact that she just caught Will cheating; despite the fact that her brother-in-law has just run off with every penny of their money; despite the fact that black duffle bags are appearing and disappearing more often than Houdini.

She should, but doesn’t ask herself, “Could any of these events be related?”

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link

Kindle Purchase Link
Purchase Through The Author

************************

Author Cindy Davis’ Published Books

Women’s Fiction:
Cold As Ice

Mystery Novels:
A Page From The Past
Lethal Dose Of Love
Murder Beyond Reason
Take The Money and Run

Smith & Westen Mysteries:
On the Hook (Volume 1)
Just Smashing (Volume 2)
Two Million Reasons (Volume 3)

Angie Deacon Mysteries:
A Little Murder (Volume 1)
Checkmate: Murder (Volume 2)
Hair Of The Dog (Volume 3)
Drama Queen (Volume 4)
Rest In Pieces (Volume 5)

Nonfiction:
Cheap Thrills
More Cheap Thrills
You Have The Power

Amazon Author’s Page

Author’s Professional Websites:
http://www.cdavisnh.com/index.htm
http://www.fiction-doctor.com

Related Links:
https://www.facebook.com/authorcindydavis?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
https://twitter.com/CindyDa53585853
https://plus.google.com/112680455248236620917/about

Cold Coffee Café Author’s Page
Cold Coffee Press Author’s Page

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Cindy Davis

Cindy DavisCindy Davis is originally from the Cape Cod area of Massachusetts. In 1989, she and her family moved to the four season state of New Hampshire, amid the mountains, lakes and year-round views. She’s always enjoyed writing—even began her first novel at the age of 9. The book took place in Egypt and was titled “The Pyramid”. The experts say “Write what you know” and that’s probably why she never finished the story—until then, she’d never been further from home than Rhode Island!

When her second husband, Bob, encouraged her to go back to school, she enrolled in a Journalism & Short Story course. It’s been a whirlwind since then. She wrote her first novel Final Masquerade–republished as Take the Money and Run, and never looked back. Now, after 14 novels and a number of non-fictions, she’s still going strong. Cindy’s just completed the sixth in her Angie Deacon mystery series set in upstate NH—Stone Cold Sober will be out before Christmas.

In 1998 she began freelance editing. That endeavor has spiraled into a full time business. She works mostly with fiction, but a lot of non-fiction also. She recently edited a memoir of a retired mafia don and, at the same time, a memoir of a retired dominatrix. Talk about diversion! She’s edited for a number of publishing houses, but the freelance is her favorite because she can pick and choose the most interesting and unique stories to work on with the author.

July 1, Cindy took two life-altering trips. One to Italy where she soaked up the rays and the ambiance. Will a new book be forthcoming? Of course. The second lift-changing situation: she packed up and moved to Florida to soak up more rays and hike with her miniature Dachshund Montana.

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Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Florida? Having only been here three months, I’m still settling in, but I look forward to writing some books based here. How I’ll get Angie Deacon out of NH, I have no clue, but book seven in the series will surely be set here.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? My second husband. He encouraged me to do something I loved. I took a few courses and finished the first draft of Final Masquerade in three months. I typed THE END and burst into tears. Poor guy that was the moment he came home from work. Naturally he thought I’d crashed the car or something.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I think it was in the back of my mind when I began Final Masquerade. None of my family cares about reading so it wouldn’t do any good sitting on the coffee table. LOL.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? No, I don’t think so, but I believe bits of my past appear in each story. They DO say “write what you know”.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? Depends on the story. Some are a struggle even after the book is written like with Final Masquerade. I didn’t know the title till the last sentence. With Rest in Pieces–I heard that phrase on an episode of The Sopranos and decided it would make a good mystery story. Mine’s not about dismemberment though, the theme revolves around jigsaw puzzles.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? Most of my books are mysteries. I cut my teeth on the Bobbsey Twins, graduated to Nancy Drew, then Agatha Christie, and never looked back. I love constructing complicated plots like in the Angie Deacon series, and making the reader work to solve them.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I’ll answer this for the book I’ll be working n next because I’ve just finished the sixth in the Angie Deacon series. The next book, tentatively titled What Happens in Rome…was inspired by a vacation there back in June. I’m going to take one of my single titles A Lethal Dose of Love and use the characters for a romantic suspense that culminates in Rome.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I’ve had a lot of good things happen but I think it’s the perpetual encouragement I got from my second husband Bob. He passed away a little over a year ago, but if I stop writing, I know he’ll shoot lightning bolts at me.

Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? Definitely. More than one. I think the most memorable one was when I PAID an agent to take my book. At that time, I’d been shopping it myself and received a contract offer from a small publisher. He encouraged me to take the deal, which turned out really bad. It wasn’t all his fault; the publisher was a crook. But I wanted him to shop it for a better deal and he didn’t. Anyway, it’s made me wary ever since.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The kudos. The friends and followers of my books in New Hampshire. The positive book reviews.

Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? That would be the publisher mentioned above who had a 10 year contract that my agent encouraged I sign. Things were going okay for about two years, but then the publisher decided not to pay royalties any more. When asked, they said, they had some major business things and they had to pay a lawyer and used the royalties for it. I never received another penny from them. Finally convinced them after seven years to give me back the rights or I was suing them.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Never give up trying to improve your craft.

Who is your favorite author and why? So many. If I have to choose one–Ruth Rendell. She passed away last year but she had the best, deepest, most well developed characters I’ve ever seen. She had one story about a serial killer as told from his point of view. It was amazing to ‘see’ inside his head. You hated him but felt apathy for him at the same time.

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Author Cindy Davis’ Published Books

Women’s Fiction:
Cold As Ice

Mystery Novels:
A Page From The Past
Lethal Dose Of Love
Murder Beyond Reason
Take The Money and Run

Smith & Westen Mysteries:
On the Hook (Volume 1)
Just Smashing (Volume 2)
Two Million Reasons (Volume 3)

Angie Deacon Mysteries:
A Little Murder (Volume 1)
Checkmate: Murder (Volume 2)
Hair Of The Dog (Volume 3)
Drama Queen (Volume 4)
Rest In Pieces (Volume 5)

Nonfiction:
Cheap Thrills
More Cheap Thrills
You Have The Power

************************

5 Featured Selections

************************

On The Hook
Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1
by Cindy Davis

A Picasso painting, worth a hundred million dollars, disappears en route from Chicago to New Hampshire. Literally-en route. The painting goes missing while the truck is moving. The painting is there, then it’s not. It’s gone, but it can’t be. Kendra Jean Valentine, underwriting agent for the policy, is on the hook. She scrapes together enough to hire two women to work the case.

Westen Hughes owns a failing pet shop. With creditors phoning daily, she jumps at the chance to earn a bundle of easy money, even though the offer comes from her old nemesis KJ Valentine, who stole everything in high school: head cheerleader, homecoming queen and the star quarterback. KJ pairs her with Westen’s total opposite: Phoebe Smith, a snake-loving, underwear-hating, tuba player with more baggage than Logan Airport.

Ten percent of a hundred million is…well, it’s a lot so Smith and Westen join forces on a rollercoaster ride to find one of the world’s most valuable paintings.

Cold Coffee Press Book Review for On The Hook:
Smith and Westen Mysteries Volume 1 by Cindy Davis

Transporting hundred million dollar valuables by vehicle presents many challenges as Kendra Jean Valentine, agent for NH Property and Casualty Insurance well knows. Her job requires that she covers all bases. This job was no different from the others. She chose the trucking company, interviewed the two truck drivers and handpicked four security guards to drive in two separate vehicles, one in front and one behind the truck to assist her in driving from Chicago to Buffalo and then non-stop from Buffalo to Concord, New Hampshire.

Arriving at their destination Kendra is relieved to arrive and more than happy to turn Picasso’s The Old Guitarist painting over to the curator, Henderson McGee. The painting was secured and padlocked in a six foot cube wooden crate. Only Kendra and the curator in Chicago had the keys. When the crate in opened the painting is not inside and Kendra is on the hook. Her exact thought “How was it possible for so many things to go wrong for one person at the same time? She must’ve done something really awful in a past life.”

With strong characters and good dialog the reader is submerged into a fast paced mystery that is led by two untrained, inexperienced and incompatible women named Smith and Weston. Out of their league these two sleuths find themselves in many situations. I quote one from page # 103 in my copy.

“Smith and Westen started up the walk side-by-side. Westen twisted  the  antique glass doorknob and they went in, footsteps thudding on the bare hardwood floor, stained by at least fifty years of shoes and boots. The place smelled like a combination of pine cleaner which obviously hadn’t been used in the hallway and vanilla scented candle. They climbed the steep stairs. Westen tried not to touch the railing. She hadn’t brought any hand sanitizer.”

Well written mystery by Author Cindy Davis that will keep you guessing until the end.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses On The Hook (Volume 1) in the Smith and Westen Mysteries. After you read On The Hook, Just Smashing (Volume 2) and Two Million Reasons (Volume 3) are waiting for you to solve. I reviewed this book from a Kindle/PDF format and the review was completed on September 29, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcofeepress.com

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link

Kindle Purchase Link
Purchase Through The Author

*************************

Just Smashing
Smith & Westen Mysteries Volume 2
by Cindy Davis

Snake-lover Phoebe Smith and Susie-homemaker Westen Hughes, the Northeast’s most mismatched investigative team, is at it again. During the preliminary unveiling of a local college’s Egyptian exhibit, a vase worth $1.75 million disappears in front of seven people. Well, six people and the thief, because sure as shortcake has strawberries, the vase is there one minute; the next, it’s gone.

Usually clues clog a case but this time secrets are causing more trouble than fifty Dennis the Menaces. Smith disappears for hours on end. Is she tired of Westen 24/7? Or is there a man in her life? Westen can’t ask; she has a secret of her own: she’s taking shooting lessons. Sergeant “Charlie” Bartowski’s secret: without that vase, her promotion will be squashed—again.

Somehow, nemesis Kendra Jean Valentine convinces them to take the case. KJ’s secret: find the vase, collect the 10%. Nothing new there.

Will anyone find the vase? Will any secrets cause irreparable trouble?

Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link
Purchase Through The Author

************************

Two Million Reasons
Smith & Westen Mysteries Volume 3
by Cindy Davis

A mad king. An escaped slave. One warrior to save the realm… When Asherah, stripped of both her memory and her dignity, learns that King Sahlgren is responsible for her torment it nearly breaks her. Instead, she leads her fellow slaves to freedom. More prisons are scattered across Parthalan, and Asherah vows to burn them all.

Caol’nir, a warrior descended from the gods, is sworn to serve and defend the king. Then a priestess is murdered, and Caol’nir learns that Sahlgren is to blame. Determined to stop the king, sacred oath or no, Caol’nir joins Asherah’s rebellion. What Caol’nir doesn’t know is that Sahlgren has promised the demon lord a woman of rare and singular beauty, a woman whose abilities are rumored to rival the sun god’s themselves…a woman Caol’nir knows all too well.

Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link
Purchase Through The Author

************************

A Page From The Past
by Cindy Davis

The first warning is swift and to the point, but bookstore owners Glenn and Lindsay Reade don’t ‘get it’ until their lives are threatened a second time. All they’ve done is read a young girl’s diary and attempt to locate the owner. Just because the journal describes the girl’s rape and subsequent murder of the rapist is no reason for anyone to want them dead, is it?

The book is obviously more than forty years old. Who in the tiny Berkshire town of Paris, Massachusetts could still care?

But someone does. And that someone is willing to kidnap and murder to protect their long buried secret.

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link

Kindle Purchase Link
Purchase Through The Author

************************

A Little Murder
Angie Deacon Mysteries Volume One
by Cindy Davis

A day of fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee sounds like just the medicine for Angie’s overworked husband’s birthday. In spite of inherent seasickness, she happily goes on the tour with him. How is she to know that by the end of the day they’ll both be suspects in the boat owner’s death?

As police and the forensics team storm the boat, Angie comforts the distraught widow, who quickly becomes the chief suspect. Which makes sense; besides Valerie, why would any of the five strangers want the insensitive Nolan Little dead?

Fearful Val begs Angie to help clear her name. Angie says no, it’s too dangerous. But Val’s determined, and Angie goes along to keep her from getting killed—despite the fact that she just caught Will cheating; despite the fact that her brother-in-law has just run off with every penny of their money; despite the fact that black duffle bags are appearing and disappearing more often than Houdini.

She should, but doesn’t ask herself, “Could any of these events be related?”

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link

Kindle Purchase Link
Purchase Through The Author

************************

Amazon Author’s Page

Author’s Professional Websites:
http://www.cdavisnh.com/index.htm
http://www.fiction-doctor.com

Related Links:
https://www.facebook.com/authorcindydavis?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
https://twitter.com/CindyDa53585853
https://plus.google.com/112680455248236620917/about

Cold Coffee Café Author’s Page
Cold Coffee Press Author’s Page

Cold Coffee Press Book Review for Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Sprig of Broom is a coming-of-age novel about Geoffrey Plantagenet, a count, who at the age of 15 marries King Henry’s daughter, Empress Matilda, and fathers the dynasty of Plantagenet kings. The story begins with the count on his journey to Rouen in Normandy to become a Knight of the Bath. From Rouen, he and the king’s entourage travel to LeMans where Geoffrey is wed to Matilda. And the loathing begins . . . Sir Geoffrey Plantagenet has much to learn, and over the course of his life’s journey he develops a better understanding of himself, fathers a long line of kings, endures adversaries—especially his own wife—and boldly faces the world of chaos around him. Written by a lineal descendant of Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knighted, invested 1127 during the reign of Henry I, Knighthood of the Bath.

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Cold Coffee Press Book Review for Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Author Susan Whitfield’s exquisite storytelling will escort you back to medieval European history to the grand LeMans Cathedrale on June 10, 1127 where Henry Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, gives his daughter Empress Matilda Maud Alice in betrothal to Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knight of the Order of the Bath and Count of Anjou, son of Fulk V, King of Jerusalem.

Fourteen year old Count Geoffrey finds himself in the bedchamber of his lady wife Matilda who had been married before and encounters a rigid, irritable woman who preys on his youthful innocence.

The count throws himself into his royal duties for the sake of the kingdom while the King insists on offspring and sends a young maid servant named Annique to teach him the fine art of love.

As reviewer it is my pleasure to whet your appetite with this quote from Count Geoffrey.

“The first day of winter roared in with a strong cold wind whipping trees and bushes and tents and merchant stands in town. Pastured horses ran briskly with tails high, some tagging others as they romped. I was thankful to have fine shelter and plenty of firewood, although more would be needed to keep fires burning throughout the castle before winter ended. Castle stores were filled with harvested crops, among them corn meal and flour, dried apples and other fruits, lard and herbs. Meats from hunts hung in smoke. We would fare better than most of the country’s people until planting season returned in spring.

Darkness crept in early and lingered long. The moon often hid itself from us. Loneliness accompanied me to my bed chamber at night. I found myself staying up late to play chess or throw darts alone or with anyone willing to pass time with me.

Daily jousting and warlike games of hunting amused me and kept me occupied away from Matilda and tempered thought of Annique. Some nights were spent besting fellow knights at chess or checkers. I welcomed distance and time spent with other knights outside dark cold castle walls when time allowed. I lost myself in preparing strategies to outwit the older and more experienced knights. My horse, Warrior,—the color of a cloud whitened by sun—was powerful and easily held me even in full armor.”

Let me tell you a funny story. Late last night, my husband and I were lying in bed talking before going to sleep and I started telling him the story, Sprig of Broom. I started at the beginning and was telling him all about it. Half way through my re-telling the story, he stopped me and said, “WAIT” don’t tell me the end, let’s watch it together. I laughed and told him he would have to wait to see Sprig of Broom in movie format because for now it is Susan Whitfield’s historical fiction book. This is a testament to Susan’s great writing skills.

I invite you to relive the story of Count Geoffrey (later known as Geoffrey the Handsome) and step into his shoes as fate will determine if his lady wife Matilda will assume the throne upon her father’s death. Walk the royal Castle halls, smell the stench of common places, cross the English Channel, and observe a proud father as he swaddles his offspring with no knowledge of how history will write about the Plantagenet Kings of England.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses Sprig Of Broom by Susan Whitfield as a historical fiction woven with threads of history and story telling that draw the reader back to a harsh and mystical time in medieval European history where Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses rule, where Dukes, Duchess, Knights, Counts, Princes and Princesses are born and history is written. Sprig of Broom needs to be shared in movie format someday. We reviewed this book from a Kindle/PDF format and the review was completed on September 23, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcofeepress.com

Amazon Customer Reviews
Amazon Print Purchase Link
Kindle Purchase Link

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Susan Whitfield’s Published Books

Logan Hunter Mystery Series
Genesis Beach (A Logan Hunter Mystery Book 1)
Just North of Luck (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 2)
Hell Swamp (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 3)
Sin Creek (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 4)
Sticking Point (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 5)

Historical Fiction Novel
Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Slightly Cracked

Cookbooks, Food & Wine
Killer Recipes

Contact Information
Susan Whitfield’s Professional Website
Susan Whitfield’s Blog
Cold Coffee Press
Cold Coffee Café

Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Mystery and Historical Fiction Author Susan Whitfield

Susan Whitfield 2015Award-winning multi-genre author Susan Whitfield is a native of North Carolina, where she sets all of her novels. She is the author of The Logan Hunter Mystery series: Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, Sin Creek, and Sticking Point. She also authored Killer Recipes, a unique cookbook that includes recipes from mystery writers around the country.  Slightly Cracked is her first women’s fiction, set in Wayne County where she lives with her husband. Their two sons live nearby with their families.

Susan’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Carolina Conspiracy, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, North Carolina Writers Network, and National Association of Baby Boomer Women.  Her books are available in print and eBook formats. Susan is currently researching a medieval ancestor for an historical mystery. Learn more at www.susanwhitfieldonline.com

About The Cover Design: Jason Penland is an avid self-taught photographer, with a focus on nature and landscapes. The product of generations of mountain folks, Jason’s love of his western North Carolina home is evident in his beautiful work. He expresses a love of his heritage through playing banjo, dobro and guitar, and passes that love on to his two young sons. He also specializes in portraits, wedding photography, bridals, and family-oriented settings.

Susan’s an avid blogger and promotes authors at http://www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com

Her website: http://www.susanwhitfieldonline.com

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Booktown.ning.com and http://www.trianglesinc.com

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Interview:

Tell us what makes you proud to be a writer from Dudley, NC? I have lived in North Carolina my entire life, visiting it from stem to stern, loving both the mountains and the sea. I’m proud to be the only mystery writer in my county. I enjoy being involved with Carolina Conspiracy and the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and other organizations around the country.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I guess it just came naturally when I was a child. Once I was a freshman in college and my English professor told me what a good writer I was, I began to believe that someday I could write and publish.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Only after I retired from my high school principal ship.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? It certainly contributed as far as setting my novels somewhere in the state. We have so many wonderful dialects, such beautiful scenery, and I have so many fond memories of going to the mountains once a year and to the beach much more often. We lived near a river, so that became a focus for a book as well.

Do you come up with your title (s) before or after you write the manuscript (s)? So far I have decided on the setting before I begin. Two of my titles, ‘Just North of Luck’ and ‘Hell Swamp’, have settings straight off a state map! I already had a story in mind for ‘Hell Swamp’, and when I found that name, I knew I’d found my title. The publisher loved it.

Tell us why you write the genre (s) that you write? I began as a mystery write, but now I’m considered multi-genre. I write mystery, women’s fiction, and also authored a cookbook. They say write what you loved to read and I love a good mystery and a good women’s fiction.

Tell us your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? That surreal feeling as words flow down my arms through my fingers and onto the screen. When I’m in that state of mind, nothing else matters but getting it down. Also, holding each “baby” in my arms for the first time is quite rewarding.

Tell us your most negative experience while in the writing process? Interruptions of any kind!

Tell us your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? I queried L&L Dreamspell with Hell Swamp and fifteen days later they offered me a contract. They picked up ‘Just North of Luck’ and ‘Genesis Beach’ and went on to publish ‘Sin Creek’. Unfortunately the publisher died and the company closed before ‘Sticking Point’ was released.

Tell us your most negative experience in your publishing journey? Rejections especially with the first book.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Persevere! And make certain that you hire a professional editor to get top quality work out there. Don’t settle for less than your best!

Who Is Your Favorite Author? James Patterson rocks with the Cross Series. I also love Gerrittsen, Scottoline, Sandford, Connally, and North Carolina’s Hart.

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New Release
Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Sprig of Broom is a coming-of-age novel about Geoffrey Plantagenet, a count, who at the age of 15 marries King Henry’s daughter, Empress Matilda, and fathers the dynasty of Plantagenet kings. The story begins with the count on his journey to Rouen in Normandy to become a Knight of the Bath. From Rouen, he and the king’s entourage travel to LeMans where Geoffrey is wed to Matilda. And the loathing begins . . . Sir Geoffrey Plantagenet has much to learn, and over the course of his life’s journey he develops a better understanding of himself, fathers a long line of kings, endures adversaries—especially his own wife—and boldly faces the world of chaos around him. Written by a lineal descendant of Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knighted, invested 1127 during the reign of Henry I, Knighthood of the Bath.

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Cold Coffee Press Book Review for Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Author Susan Whitfield’s exquisite storytelling will escort you back to medieval European history to the grand LeMans Cathedrale on June 10, 1127 where Henry Beauclerc, King of England and Duke of Normandy, gives his daughter Empress Matilda Maud Alice in betrothal to Sir Geoffrey V Plantagenet, Knight of the Order of the Bath and Count of Anjou, son of Fulk V, King of Jerusalem.

Fourteen year old Count Geoffrey finds himself in the bedchamber of his lady wife Matilda who had been married before and encounters a rigid, irritable woman who preys on his youthful innocence.

The count throws himself into his royal duties for the sake of the kingdom while the King insists on offspring and sends a young maid servant named Annique to teach him the fine art of love.

As reviewer it is my pleasure to whet your appetite with this quote from Count Geoffrey.

“The first day of winter roared in with a strong cold wind whipping trees and bushes and tents and merchant stands in town. Pastured horses ran briskly with tails high, some tagging others as they romped. I was thankful to have fine shelter and plenty of firewood, although more would be needed to keep fires burning throughout the castle before winter ended. Castle stores were filled with harvested crops, among them corn meal and flour, dried apples and other fruits, lard and herbs. Meats from hunts hung in smoke. We would fare better than most of the country’s people until planting season returned in spring.

Darkness crept in early and lingered long. The moon often hid itself from us. Loneliness accompanied me to my bed chamber at night. I found myself staying up late to play chess or throw darts alone or with anyone willing to pass time with me.

Daily jousting and warlike games of hunting amused me and kept me occupied away from Matilda and tempered thought of Annique. Some nights were spent besting fellow knights at chess or checkers. I welcomed distance and time spent with other knights outside dark cold castle walls when time allowed. I lost myself in preparing strategies to outwit the older and more experienced knights. My horse, Warrior,—the color of a cloud whitened by sun—was powerful and easily held me even in full armor.”

Let me tell you a funny story. Late last night, my husband and I were lying in bed talking before going to sleep and I started telling him the story, Sprig of Broom. I started at the beginning and was telling him all about it. Half way through my re-telling the story, he stopped me and said, “WAIT” don’t tell me the end, let’s watch it together. I laughed and told him he would have to wait to see Sprig of Broom in movie format because for now it is Susan Whitfield’s historical fiction book. This is a testament to Susan’s great writing skills.

I invite you to relive the story of Count Geoffrey (later known as Geoffrey the Handsome) and step into his shoes as fate will determine if his lady wife Matilda will assume the throne upon her father’s death. Walk the royal Castle halls, smell the stench of common places, cross the English Channel, and observe a proud father as he swaddles his offspring with no knowledge of how history will write about the Plantagenet Kings of England.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses Sprig Of Broom by Susan Whitfield as a historical fiction woven with threads of history and story telling that draw the reader back to a harsh and mystical time in medieval European history where Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses rule, where Dukes, Duchess, Knights, Counts, Princes and Princesses are born and history is written. Sprig of Broom needs to be shared in movie format someday. We reviewed this book from a Kindle/PDF format and the review was completed on September 23, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcofeepress.com

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Sticking-Point-by-Susan-WhitfieldFeatured Selection:
Sticking Point: A Logan Hunter Mystery
(The Logan Hunter Mysteries)
(Volume 5) by Susan Whitfield

Volume 5 In The Logan Hunter Mysteries Logan Hunter and Gabriel Farris “Crack” McCracken are both messed up, complicated SBI agents who can kick butt, but can Logan conquer grief and work alongside the gorgeous brooding agent she intends to despise forever?

Cold Coffee Press Book Review for Sticking Point by Susan Whitfield

Sticking Point by North Carolina Native Mystery Writer Susan Whitfield is her fifth and final book in her Logan Hunter Mysteries. Each book in stands alone, but starting at the beginning of the series will bring more clarity.

The author draws the reader into the mystery and into the lives of her well-developed characters. Reading Sticking Point will whet your appetite for more, however the author and I suggest that you read her entire series from start to finish.

North Carolina SBI Agent Logan Hunter is struggling to move forward after the death of her husband Chase and his child whom she was carrying. Work is the furthest thing on her mind when her supervisor Ken Poletti not only calls with a new assignment, but he teams her up with Agent Farris McCracken, “better known as Ass Crack”.

The investigation sends these two polar opposite agents to the small town of Beaufort, NC. It’s not just any case, it is the death of a high school teen named Bobby Purdew. Carteret County Coroner, Dr. Milton has ruled this a natural death and release his body for burial. Even though there is no evidence of foul play and the toxicology screen comes up clean, the agents not only wonder how this well-known school bully ends up dead.

It turns out that there are a lot of students, teachers, parents and members of the community who were uncomfortable and even afraid of Bobby. Then there is the whole issue of the punch dagger that Bobby wore around his neck and the Belladonna plant, sometimes called Nightshade.

I share with you a quote from the book to show the author’s writing style.

“I looked around the interior rooms on the first floor, taking my time to absorb porcelain antique dolls, many hats with gorgeous pins in them, doilies on the arms of every chair and sofa, and plenty of lace. No wonder McCracken was uncomfortable here. The only lace he’d ever been around was women’s panties, probably plenty of them. Women and panties. I took several deep breaths to calm my demeanor while noticing a young girl with a backpack overflowing with books, standing in the doorframe behind the woman. I followed Geraldine Moffatt-Gage to the stairs.

“Chelsea, why aren’t you studying?”

“I need some of Papa’s old medical journals for research, Gram.”

“Very well. Get them and don’t tarry.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

The proprietor focused her attention back on me. “Do you know Charity Grace Davis? She once owned The Carriage House a few blocks over.”

“Yes, she lives near me,” I answered.

“She and I were once rivals for tourists.” I detected a hint of terseness in her voice.

“She seems like a nice enough lady. I think she misses the bed-and-breakfast though.”

“I would imagine so. She had to tend to an elderly aunt, I believe, but she sold so quickly. Had she been more patient, she’d still own it. However, she was quite unsuited to direct a bed-and-breakfast, if you want my honest opinion.”

I didn’t. I had no intention of getting into Charity Grace’s business although she probably wouldn’t do the same for me.

“Agent McCracken is at the far end of the hallway, Agent Hunter. And again, I’m sorry for my bluntness.”

“Thank you.” I started up.

“Enjoy your meal,” she uttered with a slight wave of her hand.

I tapped on the door which was ajar, and eased it open enough to study the man at the bay window, his mind somewhere else, an empty glass tinkling in his hand. My breath clinched at his shirtless physique. The man was toned, tanned and….”

I invite you to join Agent Logan as she seeks answers in Bobby Purdew’s death and how to put her life back together. Will she find peace and perhaps love again?

Author Susan Whitfield is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Carolina Conspiracy, Coastal Carolina Mystery Writers, North Carolina Writers Network, and National Association of Baby Boomer Women. Susan’s historical fiction Sprig of Broom is due to be released in the Fall.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses Sticking Point by NC Native Mystery Writer Susan Whitfield. The Logan Hunter Mystery series: Genesis Beach, Just North of Luck, Hell Swamp, Sin Creek, and Sticking Point are all set in the beautiful state of North Carolina from the Ashville/Blue Ridge Mountains to the pristine beaches. She also authored Killer Recipes, a unique cookbook that includes recipes from mystery writers around the country. Slightly Cracked is her first women’s fiction, set in Wayne County where she lives with her husband.

This book was given to us to review in a PDF format. This review was completed on August 16, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com

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300_Genesis_Beach_by_Susan_WhitfieldGenesis Beach (A Logan Hunter Mystery Book 1)
by Susan Whitfield

SBI Agent Logan Hunter tracks a murderer at Genesis Beach, North Carolina. When the lifeless body of Rick Teater is discovered, Logan is thrust into a high-profile crime scene. The inexperienced intern needs to prove herself and embarks on a quest for justice. The search for Teater’s killer is complicated by a hurricane and Logan’s battle with personal demons. Her investigation comes to a frustrating standstill until her intense search leads to a shocking discovery.

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Purchase Link

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Just-North-Of-Luck-by-Susan-WhitfieldJust North of Luck (Logan Hunter Book 2)
by Susan Whitfield

SBI Agent Logan Hunter ends up just north of Luck, on the trail of a sociopath. Can she stop the bloody killing spree? In the mountains of North Carolina a high school custodian is found suffocated in plastic. A music teacher is beaten to death a few weeks later. Agent Hunter is already in the area working on another case when she’s assigned to help Madison County detective Chase Railey track down the killer. Logan rents a room in the home of art teacher Taryn Kosterman, in the community of Trust. Over the next few months she deals with quirky characters and frustrating dead ends. As she spends time getting to know Chase she also has a chance to experience some unusual local festivals, and her first taste of love. Murders of school system personnel continue and get increasingly gruesome. Evidence is hard to come by but soon Logan has enough to search the main suspect’s home. After a wild chase a mudslide dumps Logan and the killer into the French Broad River—only one of them will walk away…

Amazon Customer Reviews
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Hell-Swamp-by-Susan-WhitfieldHell Swamp (Logan Hunter Book 3)
by Susan Whitfield

Agent Logan Hunter’s cast iron stomach and steeled nerves are put to the test in Hell Swamp, a place where snakes, skulls, and sinister secrets abound. Called back into action from her personal leave to track down a sadistic murderer, Logan travels to a location in the backwoods of North Carolina, not far from where she grew up. At Beatty’s Bridge, the familiar Greek revival mansion named, The Black River Plantation, now holds a crime scene beyond anyone’s worst nightmare: a gruesome mess with blood tracked everywhere and key evidence already obliterated. With the SBI seriously shorthanded, Agent Hunter has the daunting task of finding the killer on her own. She questions a strange assortment of suspects, including deer hunters, and soon discovers the seemingly harmless victim had numerous enemies. Which one committed the heinous crime?

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Sin-Creek-by-Susan-WhitfieldSin Creek (Logan Hunter Book 4)
by Susan Whitfield

A Gruesome murder leads Agent Hunter into wicked waters… The Cape Fear River snakes through eastern North Carolina, past the stunning port city of Wilmington. But there’s a sliver of water called “Sin Creek” by some, where wickedness and decadence take precedence over decency. Logan Hunter battles evil on her quest to find a co-ed’s killer and keep her marriage to another agent from falling apart. Even though she succeeds in finding the killer, the investigation changes her life in ways she never could have imagined.

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Slightly Cracked - by Susan WhitfieldSlightly Cracked by Susan Whitfield

Sugar Babe Beanblossom and Daisy Marie Hazelhurst are lifelong friends, sharing happy and sad times, enjoying outrageous antics, and enduring hot flashes. When Daisy gets sick, Sugar Babe encourages and protects her friend, and DRIVING MISS DAISY takes on a whole new meaning.

Amazon Customer Reviews
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Killer Recipes - by Susan Whitfield (2nd Edition)Killer Recipes by Susan Whitfield

Susan Whitfield joins with a variety of authors to offer Killer Recipes, a book of scrumptious recipes to help raise money for the American Cancer Society. From simple to elaborate, recipes range from Devilish Desserts, Insane Soups, Salads and Sauces, to Breads and Breakfasts to Die For, Criminal Bites, Dips and Beverages, Shameless Sides, Suck-ulent Main Dishes, and much more. Whip up Murderous Sour Cream Muffins, Meat Cleaver’s Taco Dip, Evil Chocoholic’s Pie, Illegally Easy Salad, Freaky Fried Apples, Perverted Pineapple Casserole, Guilty Greek Shrimp, Shotgun Chili, Murder by Potato, and more. A great gift for the cook who also loves mysteries. Recipes are delicious but not deadly.

Amazon Customer Reviews
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Nook

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Susan Whitfield’s Published Books

Logan Hunter Mystery Series
Genesis Beach (A Logan Hunter Mystery Book 1)
Just North of Luck (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 2)
Hell Swamp (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 3)
Sin Creek (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 4)
Sticking Point (Logan Hunter Mystery Book 5)

Historical Fiction Novel
Sprig of Broom by Susan Whitfield

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women’s Fiction
Slightly Cracked

Cookbooks, Food & Wine
Killer Recipes

Contact Information
Susan Whitfield’s Professional Website
Susan Whitfield’s Blog
Cold Coffee Press
Cold Coffee Café

Cold Coffee Press Book Review for I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis

I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis

This is a collection of poems written by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis.
They are meant to inspire or encourage.
Life can be challenging, and, perhaps, these poems can bring a smile or give comfort.
Nobody walks through life alone.

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Cold Coffee Press Book Review for I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis

Dawn and Maria are poets with message of hope and encouragement. Some of these 50 poems that fill this book are based on real life events and others are “what if’s”. They write each poem to inspire you in your daily life.

The best way to begin this review is to tell you about the poets, so I quote their Introduction as it says it best:

Dawn Huffaker is “from New Mexico where the turquoise sky meets the rugged mountains and carves poetry alongside the chimes of nature. Living in a home where books have always been adored, Dawn, the eldest of two daughters, fell in love with literature. Over time, she also responded with great passion to Computer Science in which she obtained a degree and founded a computer store which she ran for sixteen years.

Her inspirations are nature, her parents both retired teachers and the world. This has made her write poetry with a very calm but still exotic intricacy. Poetry and her love of Computer Science are like breathing to her. These gifts that God has bestowed upon her life have brought her pure happiness.

This is Dawn’s third book of poetry, having also written Flights of Fancy: Volume 1 published in 2007 and Flower Escapes: Book 1 published in 2009.

Dawn welcomes you to this book of collaboration with her friend, Maria and hope it gifts each reader a touch of happiness, hope and love.”

“Maria Kontaxis was born in Australia. She came into Dawn’s life via a mutual friend named Chase Von. Maria was living in Greece at the time. The internet made this possible through MySpace. There, Maria and Dawn exchanged poems and got to know each other. They found out that they had a lot in common.

Maria has loved to write since she was a small child. She has written poetry, lyrics, and stories. Many of these have been about nature, the ocean and animals.

Her talent and gift for interior design has been her lifeblood for many years. It has given Maria a chance to study life and see the colorful patterns all around her. This is also a component of poetry.

Maria’s philosophy is peace and harmony among mankind. She has lived in parts of the world were hate has reared its ugly head. Her greatest hope is that love will prevail. These themes are reflected in her poetry in this book.”

I invite you to put the cares of life aside and come fly with these two Poets and see the world from their vantage point. It has been an honor to be associated with Dawn Huffaker for years. Her gentle loving spirit, e-cards and words of friendship has made my world a better place.

The cover art is designed by Debbie Kontaxis.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis as they touch each reader with heart felt verse that brings with it a well of emotion for both them and the reader. Poetry is the song of love and expression which these two poets have mastered. They love the world around them, every part of nature and wants the best in everything to shine through, be immortalized and passed on. This book was given to us for review in a PDF format and the review was completed on September 7, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com

Amazon Print Purchase Link

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Flights of Fancy – Volume 1 (SE) by Dawn Huffaker

This first volume covers a selection of Dawn’s poetry from the past twenty-five years. The poems capture special moments in nature or about life. Most are happy. A few are sad. Many of Dawn’s poems describe the amazing beauty that is found in the mountains of southwestern New Mexico. Together, with her unique outlook and style, this book makes a wonderful read.

Amazon Customer Reviews
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Flower Escapes (Book 1) by Dawn Huffaker

This book showcases Michele’s incredible floral photography, and Dawn’s inspirational poetry. Together, they bring the reader into God’s garden. Once there, the poems bring nature alive. Each plant has a voice. Even the insects share their wisdom. While traveling through the garden, life is viewed through another’s eyes. Ultimately, one comes away with a new appreciation of God, and His presence in each of our lives.

Amazon Print Purchase Link
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Dawn Huffaker’s Blog

Cold Coffee Press Author Dawn Huffaker
Cold Coffee Cafe Author Dawn Huffaker

Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author and Poet Dawn Huffaker

Dawn Hiffaker 2015Dawn Huffaker lives in the mountains of the southwestern corner of New Mexico. She is the eldest daughter of two educators.

At the age of eight months, Dawn became mysteriously ill and never learned to walk. She has had to learn to deal with her world from a wheelchair. With the help of her family, she is leading a productive life.

In junior high, Dawn discovered her passion for poetry. Some very special teachers took the time to show her the beauty of words. From that point on, she wrote poetry for family and friends, and published works in the school newspapers.

In college, she received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, and minors in English and Biology. Dawn went on to found a local computer store. The store operated for seventeen years. Then, she spent two months in the hospital dealing with a health concern, and had to close her business.

When Dawn returned home, she spent several months recuperating. During this time, she began exploring the idea of publishing her first book of poetry, and selecting her very best poems to put in volume one. That was how Flights of Fancy came to be.

Flights of Fancy became available in 2008. It is available through Amazon.

Dawn published her second book Flower Escapes in 2009. The collaboration is with Michele Duncan who has provided her amazing floral photography. This book is available through Amazon.

The two new books will have her latest poetry. The first one is titled Poetry to Ponder. It will be a collection covering a wide variety of topics including nature and faith.

The second book is being collaborated with Maria Kontaxis. They are writers from different countries who have a passion for poetry. The Internet has allowed them to share their work and inspire each other. Their collaboration is entitled I Will Fly. This book is intended to inspire people who have had rough patches or tragedies in their lives. The authors want to share encouragement and understanding to let the readers know that they are not alone. Others have had their lives turned upside down, but, with faith and courage, have made it to a brighter day. The book will be available through Amazon.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from New Mexico, USA? I am proud to be a writer from this area because it is a small mountain town where I get to live out my dreams.  Having lived here for over 40 years, I am still amazed by all of the beauty that surrounds me.  Living in the mountains, I have an endless source of inspiration for my poetry.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Words have always fascinated me.  When I was in junior high, two of the English teachers (Mrs. Nolan and Mrs. Thomas) introduced me to poetry. I saw how it influenced them.  They would share the poets that they enjoyed, and I saw their eyes light up.

When it was our turn to write verse for them, I fell in love.  It was such a beautiful form of expression.  I could capture a moment out of time, or share a precious feeling from my heart.  Later, these teachers continued to encourage me to keep writing, and I did.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? My friends had asked me to give it a try.  Had thought about it for a couple of years, but my workload would not allow me to get very far.  It was in the fall of 2006 that I got started.  I was home recuperating from a serious illness. On the good days, I sorted through the poems that I had written over the years, and typed them into a manuscript.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? Being exposed to famous poets in school was the spark for my career.  Also, I did a lot of reading as a child, so I learned about word craft, and how words could be used expressively.  Both were important.

Do you come up with your title (s) before or after you write the manuscript (s)? I come up with my titles after I write the manuscripts, unless I have been collaborating. Often the title is created before the book is written.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My genre is poetry. The preferred form is free verse. Rhyming can easily take away from the subject of a poem. I carefully choose my words, and use them for rhythm and impact.  One can express a lot in a few words, and that is why I find it so satisfying.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write your books? Friends encouraged me to organize my poetry and create a book of my best work. That is usually the inspiration for each of my books.

Collaborating with another author or photographer gives additional inspiration. In Flower Escapes, Michele would email her lovely photography to me, and I would compose a unique poem for each photo. The final book does not have all that I wrote for that project. There were over 100 poems created for the book. Unfortunately, the cost to print it in color made the book too pricey to sell. It was decided to break it up into four volumes. If the first was a success, there would be three additional volumes.

I Will Fly is a book that showcases each of our poetry. Maria and I have written poetry that encourages the reader to stay strong and work their way through whatever has befallen them.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I paint with words.  When I’ve captured my subject as I intended, the poem comes alive in the mind of the reader.

Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? My most negative experience is when the inspiration turns to dust.  It takes much work to try to bring it back, if ever.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? My most rewarding experience on this publishing journey has been the freedom to create my own book.  I enjoy doing the layout and artwork for each book.  It allows me to showcase what I love to do. The final product is a beautiful book that I would either want to give to someone that I care about, or to treat myself.

Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? Yes, I have had a negative experience in my publishing journey. It has been with promotion. Getting my name and work out to the public. Have tried many avenues.

Cold Coffee has been one of the bright spots, but most advertising is too costly and often does not bring about positive results. You can work very hard to create an enjoyable book, but if no one knows it’s available, there is a wall that you cannot get around. The book gathers dust. I’m not able to spend time out on the road doing book fairs or poetry readings. My illness has left me housebound. Hiring an agent is too costly and they do not usually promote poets. Going through a publisher is difficult and time-consuming. If you are not writing on a hot topic, they really don’t want you as a client. Also, they do not see a new author as profitable for them.

While this may sound discouraging, I have changed my outlook. I write for fun. There is the occasional promotion on different websites like Cold Coffee, but I am collecting my fans by word-of-mouth. It will take time, and I doubt I’ll ever be as famous as JK Rowling or Robert Frost. During this journey, I hone my craft and learn along the way. That is what life is all about.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Don’t write to get famous. Write because you have a voice that wants to express an idea. Your voice is unique and is a gift that only you can use.

Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite author is Robert Frost. His poetry inspired me to write about nature and life. The poems were thought-provoking and very imaginative. One of my favorites is The Road Not Taken. Thought I would share it with you:

The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

 

The last three lines have been my motto for many years. It is easy to go the way that everybody else does, but it is more rewarding when you choose the less traveled path.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Yes, I would like to share a poem that will appear in each of the new books that will be coming out in 2015.

Here is a poem from Poetry to Ponder:

 

Capture That Moment

Capture that moment

In words, rhythm, and rhyme!

Paint a perfect picture.

Compose a compelling concerto line by line.

Feel the elusive emotion.

Discover the eternal divine.

Make it incredibly memorable.

Make it so subtly sublime.

Tickle the reader’s imagination.

Expand his curious mind.

Put it down on paper

For all time.

2014 © Dawn L. Huffaker

All rights reserved.

 

Here is poem from I Will Fly:

You Are Not Alone

You are not alone.

No matter where you go,

Or how far you flee,

You cannot escape Me.

I am here to keep you company.

I am here to free you from mistakes.

I am here to show you the way home.

I am here to help in any way.

The world does not think I exist.

They try to substitute idols for Me.

They think they don’t need Me.

They think they can handle everything.

Don’t let them convince you.

Don’t let them substitute idols to worship.

Don’t let them put fear in your heart.

Don’t let them guide you astray.

You are not alone

Because I created you.

I want the best for you.

Share this life with Me.

I am forever yours.

Have faith. Trust Me. Pray.

Walk with God.

Thank you!

2014 © Dawn L. Huffaker

All rights reserved.

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 Dawn Huffaker’s Published Books
I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis
Flights of Fancy – Volume 1 (SE)
Flower Escapes (Book 1)

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I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis

This is a collection of poems written by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis. They are meant to inspire or encourage. Life can be challenging, and, perhaps, these poems can bring a smile or give comfort. Nobody walks through life alone.

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Cold Coffee Press Book Review for I Will Fly
by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis

Dawn and Maria are poets with message of hope and encouragement. Some of these 50 poems that fill this book are based on real life events and others are “what if’s”. They write each poem to inspire you in your daily life.

The best way to begin this review is to tell you about the poets, so I quote their Introduction as it says it best:

Dawn Huffaker is “from New Mexico where the turquoise sky meets the rugged mountains and carves poetry alongside the chimes of nature. Living in a home where books have always been adored, Dawn, the eldest of two daughters, fell in love with literature. Over time, she also responded with great passion to Computer Science in which she obtained a degree and founded a computer store which she ran for sixteen years.

Her inspirations are nature, her parents both retired teachers and the world. This has made her write poetry with a very calm but still exotic intricacy. Poetry and her love of Computer Science are like breathing to her. These gifts that God has bestowed upon her life have brought her pure happiness.

This is Dawn’s third book of poetry, having also written Flights of Fancy: Volume 1 published in 2007 and Flower Escapes: Book 1 published in 2009.

Dawn welcomes you to this book of collaboration with her friend, Maria and hope it gifts each reader a touch of happiness, hope and love.”

“Maria Kontaxis was born in Australia. She came into Dawn’s life via a mutual friend named Chase Von. Maria was living in Greece at the time. The internet made this possible through MySpace. There, Maria and Dawn exchanged poems and got to know each other. They found out that they had a lot in common.

Maria has loved to write since she was a small child. She has written poetry, lyrics, and stories. Many of these have been about nature, the ocean and animals.

Her talent and gift for interior design has been her lifeblood for many years. It has given Maria a chance to study life and see the colorful patterns all around her. This is also a component of poetry.

Maria’s philosophy is peace and harmony among mankind. She has lived in parts of the world were hate has reared its ugly head. Her greatest hope is that love will prevail. These themes are reflected in her poetry in this book.”

I invite you to put the cares of life aside and come fly with these two Poets and see the world from their vantage point. It has been an honor to be associated with Dawn Huffaker for years. Her gentle loving spirit, e-cards and words of friendship has made my world a better place.

The cover art is designed by Debbie Kontaxis.

Cold Coffee Press Endorses I Will Fly by Dawn Huffaker and Maria Kontaxis as they touch each reader with heart felt verse that brings with it a well of emotion for both them and the reader. Poetry is the song of love and expression which these two poets have mastered. They love the world around them, every part of nature and wants the best in everything to shine through, be immortalized and passed on. This book was given to us for review in a PDF format and the review was completed on September 7, 2015. For more information please visit Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress.com

Amazon Print Purchase Link

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Flights of Fancy – Volume 1 (SE) by Dawn Huffaker

This first volume covers a selection of Dawn’s poetry from the past twenty-five years.

The poems capture special moments in nature or about life. Most are happy. A few are sad. Many of Dawn’s poems describe the amazing beauty that is found in the mountains of southwestern New Mexico.

Together, with her unique outlook and style, this book makes a wonderful read.

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Flower Escapes (Book 1) by Dawn Huffaker

This book showcases Michele’s incredible floral photography, and Dawn’s inspirational poetry. Together, they bring the reader into God’s garden. Once there, the poems bring nature alive. Each plant has a voice. Even the insects share their wisdom. While traveling through the garden, life is viewed through another’s eyes. Ultimately, one comes away with a new appreciation of God, and His presence in each of our lives.

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Cold Coffee Press Author Dawn Huffaker
Cold Coffee Cafe Author Dawn Huffaker

Cold Coffee Press Book Review for Afaq: I’m Trapped In India by Timothy Reinhardt

 

Afaq: I’m Trapped In India by Timothy Reinhardt

Sid Lund just woke up from a convoluted nightmare to discover his waking life is even more complicated. For one thing, the young American pharmaceutical executive has no memory of how he wound up in a remote Indian hospital. No one knows him, except for fellow patient Afaq, who seems to be insane. On the plus side, his nurse, Pretti Dey, can only be described as gorgeous.

When an anonymous phone call warns Sid to get out of the country, he discovers the police are after him. Without any idea of how he became a fugitive, Sid has no choice but to go along with Afaq’s nutty plan to secure him a passport and plane tickets—a plan that leads Sid and Afaq on a comically crazed trip to Mumbai, with Pretti in tow.

Sid’s not sure what he did or even if he did it. He’s only certain of three things. He doesn’t want to get arrested, he wants to spend more time with Pretti, and Afaq is the craziest man he’s ever met.

A lighthearted comedy about one man’s search to find himself—or at least regain his memory—Afaq: I’m Trapped in India is Timothy Reinhardt’s madcap debut novel.

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Cold Coffee Press Book Review for Afaq:
I’m Trapped In India by Timothy Reinhardt

Here it is: Only readers with a sense of humor should read this theatrical comedy.

Allow yourself to get wrapped up in character Sid Lund’s nightmare when the rickshaw taxi ride through the crazy crowded streets of India starts an adventure this American businessman was not prepared for.

“The sound of sirens echoing against the side of the building woke Sid from his deep slumber. As Sid gingerly raised his head from his pillow, he heard the loud buzz of vibration from his cell phone rattling against the thin, cheap metal bedside table. He looked about the room. Timeworn furniture, chipped paint peeling from the walls and a broken chair decorated his hospital room. A strange smell hung in the air, which seemed to be a mixture of mildew and body odor. Several large insects buzzed in the sunlight as they circled above a pile of debris in the corner.”

Join the mystery to unravel what “Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey” and “If you run at the monkey” means. Try not to let Afaq (Ah-f-u-c-k) drive you completely insane or nurse Pretti give you a sponge bath.

Author Timothy Reinhardt sets the stage in such a way that the reader experiences the cultural differences between U.S. and India with humor that parallels the best Hollywood comedies.

Search the pages for how this reviewer’s strawberry eating male cat named Wolf living in North Carolina, America can possibly discover a link in his feline lineage in India?

I always quote a passage in my reviews to show you the author’s writing style, so I quote from page 149 in my copy of Afaq: I’m Trapped In India.

“As though he were a moth moving from the dark to a bright bulb, Sid started toward the liquor store. He was driven by the desire to forget the troubles he just discovered. The alcohol could wash away the sting of this recovered memory. Then Sid realized he had no money. He ran his hand through his pant pockets, but there were no rupees there. He plopped down to sit on the warm black pavement near a small bush.

From his secluded position in the corner of the parking lot, Sid listened to the constant barrage of sounds emanating from the city. It was a chorus of car horns, revving engines, and the clang of vibrating metal as all types of vehicles navigated large potholes. Everyone headed somewhere. Everyone had a purpose. Everyone had something to do except Sid. Like a dry leaf on a stream, Sid was at the mercy of a current outside of his control.”

Cold Coffee Press Endorses Afaq: I’m Trapped In India by Timothy Reinhardt as an hysterical comedy that should be played out on the silver screen. We reviewed this book from a Kindle/PDF format and the review was completed on September 13, 2015.For more details contact Cold Coffee Press. http://www.coldcoffeepress

Book Excerpt Link
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Audio Book Purchase Link: The audio-book is being recorded and will be available in the future.

Professional Website

Other Links:
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12307210.Timothy_Reinhardt
https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=AAIAAADjKSkBM8YnEYUk5jEmbN-4R-7ma4BKNbo&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

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