“PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK – Today’s RRBC Author – Jenny Hinsman

Hello readers – today on THE GUNDERSTONE REVIEW, as well as on ALL of my social media sites, I am going to spotlight, promote, and propel one of my fellow authors from my online book club – #RaveReviews BookClub ( #RRBC )

I have volunteered three days in total this week for our “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK” effort which will showcase three different Rave Reviews Book Club authors.

If you are an author and want this kind of support, you can get in on “that action” via membership to the #RaveReviews BookClub.

Today I am spotlighting – Jennifer Hinsman, author of Angel of Death and Souls: A Novel

Author Bio: Jenny graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in business. She currently resides in Michigan with her husband, two sons, a furry son (pet dog) and a furry daughter (pet cat). Jenny is an avid reader and loves to escape with a great book. She is a huge animal lover and supports rescue organizations that help save all kinds of four-legged family members and more. All of her family pets have been rescues.

AngelaAngel of Death – BOOK BLURB: Friends from college, Tancy and Audrey love one another like family. They grew up in very different worlds, one poor, with absent, drug-addicted parents, the other with wealth and privilege. As roommates, they delve into the seedy world of escorts as they try to solve a cold case murder from Tancy’s childhood. Chance meetings and twists of fate alter both their lives. Romance, steamy sex and danger await the women, as everything about the murder is uncovered. Shocking details emerge that change their lives forever and reinforces the bond of true friendship.




SoulsSouls: A Novel – BOOK BLURB: Souls is the unforgettable story of Ann, and the painful death of her twin sister, Celeste. Ann sets out on a quest to find the killer of her womb-mate following the subsequent death of her parents and after depression nearly kills her.

Ann finds herself in California seeking out a Hollywood producer as the perpetrator and while there finds her soul coming back to life when she meets a young actor, Tyler Peters. She cringes at the idea of dating someone younger and becoming a ‘cougar’, but she may be able to use him for his Hollywood connections. An astonishing electricity between the two turns to a passionate and deep love that is tested by an unpredictable twist that comes when Ann figures out who is behind her sister’s death.


Social Media links

Email: hinsmanj@gmail.com
Blog/Website: http://hinsmanj.wordpress.com
Twitter: @JennyHinsman1
Facebook Page URL:

THE BLOG TOUR – starring “SPOTLIGHT” Author Janelle Jalbert #RRBC #RaveReviewsBookClub

“SPOTLIGHT” Author Janelle Jalbert from the Rave Reviews Book Club

BW Headshot Preferred PRelease

Writing Therapy Meets Life Purpose

There have been two constants in my life. First, I knew I wanted to be a writer. I love books. I mean I really love them (but not in a disturbing kind of way). I tend to gobble them up like a chocoholic on Valentine’s Day. In fact, it was my love of reading that made me first shout “I wanna do that!” when it came to writing. I was addicted to a Y.A. series that I clamored for as each book was released. One day it dawned on me that my favorite character’s desire to be a writer was also what I wanted for myself.

During that angsty pre-teen/teen time, I was also dealing with some incredibly serious circumstances in life…the kind no one should have to contend with. The way I coped was through writing. First it was stories that helped me process events and the aftermath. Eventually the joy I got from writing and seeing others enjoy what I created led me to start writing serialized stories for my school friends. In that way, the second constant in my life emerged: writing is my therapy.


Then, life got in the way

My enthusiasm for writing hit a roadblock of sorts when I proclaimed my desire to write (to a family filled predominantly with teachers and blue collar workers). I was told that was “nice” but I really needed to focus on something practical since one day I would have bills to pay.

I caved and became a cliché. I became a teacher. I found ways to let my inner scribe out through the years. When I wasn’t teaching or grading seemingly endless stacks of essays, I made time to follow my other passions such as travel and started a few side businesses. All of that doubled back to writing. My first book was an educational guide, SUCCESS SKILLS FOR MIDDLE & HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. Then I got a chance to contribute to business books thanks to my entrepreneurial streak.

In 2009 and on a whim, I was reporting on education when I pitched the idea of a motorsports post to my editor, who put me in contact with a sports editor. It may have seemed completely random, but I’ve always loved racing. The move paid off and within a week I was officially a motorsports reporter. Within a year, I was traveling the country, covering events in articles and photographs.

It was a busy and exciting time. I was juggling two online teaching positions, graduate studies, a fledging college admissions consulting business, and three reporting posts (one in education and two in sports). I even made the jump to move from California to North Carolina in 2010.

The day I moved into my apartment in Charlotte, I looked out over the woods and thought about my long ago dream of writing (as in fiction). I put it out there that I wanted that period in my life to resurrect that somehow and thought nothing more about it with all of my other activities.

When I returned to California a year later, I went through the most challenging years of my life. In the space of 4 years I had to leave my doctoral studies. My teaching career evaporated. I lost 5 loved ones, including my dad and my sister, and the list goes on.


Blessings and Lessons

The colossal life reboot taught me that life is full of blessings and lessons, and sometimes lessons and blessings come in the same package. I had all but given up on any form of writing except for an occasional addition to a would-be memoir about my time in Charlotte. It was more about therapy and processing things personally than it was about “writing a book.” Again, it was my love of writing and need for writing therapy that emerged.

In the fall of 2013, I was anxious and adrift. A month before the really big blows of from that dark night of the soul, I took the step to rededicate myself to writing when the idea for my first novel TRIANGULATING BLISS seemed to come as a gift from Heaven.

In the month that followed, I plowed through drafting. I was about 80% done when my dad was diagnosed with multiple advanced cancers. Dad was the one who gave me my passion for the written words, and ironically, he was the loudest voice from my youth about pursuing a more practical career. I jumped in headlong and began ghostwriting and copywriting in the months following his death as well. That momentum put me in the right spot at the right time to pitch a book concept for another one of my hobbies, wine, that led to WINE FOR BEGINNERS. The day that my wine book went to the publisher was the day that my sister died at the age of 38. Like I said…blessings and lessons.

While I do believe that you have to live life in order to write about life, it has to be balanced with understanding that life is short and you have to seize your dreams, your purpose. Ultimately, my quiet, almost fleeting request, on the day I moved to Charlotte – the one to reignite my writing – was what changed the course of my life forever. The experiences that I had during that time in North Carolina led to my current release, WINGDOG: SOUL PUP, and ultimately jump-started my writing career with numerous books published both as a ghostwriter and as a published, award-winning fiction and non-fiction author under my own name.

WINGDOG: Soul Pup: A Magical Mutt Memoir

Wingdog Soul PUP ebook cover FINAL 300 dpi

Excerpt from Wingdog Soul Pup

First Date

Yes, I slept with him on our first date. It felt so good to have his warm body against mine. He was gorgeous and sweet as slumber set in, and I couldn’t help but curl up closer. We were already doing our own version of spooning, just hours after meeting. Everything was once again right with the world thanks to his warmth by my side. It was a case of love at first sight that grew deeper in the darkness of the bedroom around us.

I couldn’t help but run my fingers through his fur as his brindled coat rose and fell with deep, sleep-filled breathing. His fur was the perfect texture, not too course but without fluff. The hairs behind his bouncy ears were already my favorite, so silky fine. He sighed as I continued rubbing up and down his side before once more scratching behind his ear. With the ear rubs, he pushed closer into me. His sixteen pound body firmly tucked at my hip.

Ah, I’m home.

I wasn’t sure if it was my thought because it could have easily come from the pup at my side. For the first time in weeks, I began to doze off, peaceful and content. The neighbor problems that plagued my previous weeks faded away with his comforting presence.

Sometimes it does all work out. Bad things can lead to great opportunities.

The stress of moving from California to North Carolina evaporated. The distress that plagued me eased. It was what I’d been craving: a chance to forget and to enjoy life again. It was what my soul needed. I sighed and let go. All was good, at last.

The day started like most of late when I got sidetracked by my inbox after clicking on the message. A small, brown puppy snuggled face-to-face with a tabby kitten appeared. The expression in the picture wasn’t curiosity. It was more like a big brother protecting a younger sibling. The other picture was of the same puppy looking up at the camera. His brown ears were as big as his head. The look in his eyes was that of questioning intelligence, and only the slightest hint of his blue left eye opposite the brown one showed. He seemed to know it was not simply a picture being taken.

It took less than thirty seconds. I was in love.

Immediately, I hit reply. He’s adorable. I’d love to meet him!

With that, a flurry of emails was exchanged. I rushed out into the silvery, fall day, filled with clouds. I stopped at the ATM before getting on the highway for the trip down to Rock Hill from Charlotte. It felt odd to pull money out to buy a dog. Granted, I rescued pups before, but this felt different. Then, it hit me. There’s something not all together right about exchanging money for a living creature’s spirit, and that thought caught me off guard.

“What’s that all about?” I muttered as I turned down the onramp to Highway 85, heading south. I shook off the feeling with the thought that it helped pay for his care rather than buying him per say.

As I made the transition to the 77 near uptown Charlotte, I started thinking of names for the pup. Angie named him ‘Ace of Spades’ or Ace for ease, but that wasn’t right. I knew that instantly. My dogs have always named themselves. He’ll let me know. I thought, but still names flitted through my mind.

What do I want from all this? That made me laugh. It’s a dog adoption, not a marriage. The truth was already apparent. This was going to be bigger than a simple custody transfer. The anxiety over recent events with neighbors at my apartment complex threatened to rear up again. I needed someone…something…to help watch my back. I wanted a right-hand man…a wingman…or, in this case, a ‘wingdog’.

That’s it! Goose. Like the wingman in Top Gun, he’d be my extra pair of eyes and ears. I loved it immediately and settled on it before remembering that the dog does the choosing.

“Okay, just keep it in mind,” I mumbled as I got off the highway and made a convoluted trip to the apartment. I texted Angie from the parking lot because I couldn’t make sense of the numbers in the complex, so she agreed to bring him down to meet me. I waited in the car for a few minutes, laughing at myself for having a bit of ‘first date’ jitters about meeting a puppy.

They seemed to appear out of nowhere and stopped at the end of the walkway.

I got out, and as soon as I cleared the bumper, he spotted me. It was magic – a connection in an instant – as he leapt towards me despite his leash. His eyes lit up like I’m sure mine did. With a big smile and open arms, I walked up to him at Angie’s side and said hello. He barely reached my kneecap, but his eyes were wide and bright. I dropped to my knee. Given my earlier thoughts about marriage, I chuckled and shook my head to clear the whole proposal analogy from my head. He nuzzled into me immediately and toppled me onto my rear.

Who are YOU? I haven’t seen you before. He did a once over with his nose. Yep, you smell nice. You’re a good one. How ya doin’?

I smiled ear to ear as I situated myself, sitting cross-legged so the little guy could sniff away at will. If that isn’t an enthusiastic yes, I don’t know what is. My heart swelled as his furry little body shivered with excitement. His wild tail matched the leaping in my chest. I looked into his wide, trusting eyes: one brown, the other blue. It was a match. You choose me too! I thought as I wrapped my arms around the brindled bundle showering me in warm wet pup kisses.

“We found him on the highway. He was in bad shape, but we nursed him back to health. He’s been dewormed too.”

He sat listening to the conversation like he would chime in at any time, sneaking glances at me as Angie debriefed me about his circumstances.

How could someone be so evil to such an adorable boy?

“Several people have come to look at him, but the brindle coloring gives the impression of a pit bull.” Angie sighed. “He’s incredibly friendly, but the people who’ve come to see him have scared him as well as my husband and me. It’s like he knows they’re not right. My husband and I figured they were looking for fighting dogs, or even bait dogs, when they start asking about his bloodlines.”

A chill traveled down my spine at the thought of people looking to sacrifice a loving creature for a blood sport.

Angie continued, “That’s why we’ve been saying that he’s a Jack Russell mix. We’re not sure though, and we can’t keep him anyway.” Angie went on to explain about their impending move as Goose scanned the yard of the apartment complex.

Hold on. His name isn’t Goose yet. I thought as my mind and heart made the leap. He gets a vote. Remember?

“He’s big into sticks,” Angie stated as she reached up into the branches of a small, almost bare tree near us and broke off a branch for Goose. He immediately plopped down to tackle his new toy. “I was going to name him Lucky, but that’s too common. So, I thought that the Ace of Spades is a lucky card. That’s how he got his name.”

I noticed that he wasn’t too fond of the name either, since he didn’t even twitch when he heard her say it. Good boy! You’re definitely a smart one. I thought. I could tell Angie was stalling a bit with her continued chatting.

“He’s still damp. I was cleaning the bird cage in the bathtub, and he jumped right in too. He loves water.”

“Perfect! I’m a surfer girl who needs to be around water all the time.” I said with a laugh and smile. “Yeah, I know Charlotte’s not near the ocean, but we’ll be at the lake a lot.” I felt like I was selling myself to win favor.

“He loves going for rides too. My husband has to take him every time he goes to the store or wherever.”

“That works out perfectly too. Though I am teaching online classes fulltime, I’m a bit of a road warrior right now with a side gig as a motorsports reporter. That’s what brought me to NC. We’ll be going to California in a couple of weeks for the Phoenix race, Thanksgiving, and Champ Week. He’ll get the ride of his puppy life.”

Angie’s shoulders slumped as we transferred his things to the car, and I handed Angie a hundred dollars for both the pup and all of her supplies. There wasn’t much: a used cat collar, a small leash, some food and a bowl, but it was a start. The supermarket dog food was going to be replaced immediately.

You’ll be eating way better than that. I vowed silently. I could tell that Angie was both happy and sad. I passed the test. He was going to a good home, but it meant that he was leaving her.

Whether it was Angie’s demeanor or plain puppy energy, he grew restless, starting to explore the yard as much as he could while still on a leash. After Angie ran out of things to chit-chat about, I opened the passenger’s side door and cradled him in my arms. His warmth traveled to my core as the soft bundle of brown, black and white fur rested close to my heart. A sigh escaped as I held him to my chest before placing him on the seat.

Shotgun! He perked up and sniffed the interior, which was already filling with the smell of kibble.

His investigation stopped abruptly and he stared at Angie and me. He knew something was different. This wasn’t a casual, meet-someone-on-a-walk encounter anymore. It was a strange new car. He looked at Angie. Thank you. I’m happy. She’s a good one.

Angie sighed. “Bye, Ace. You’re a good boy.”

He seemed to smile as he stretched, puffing out his puppy chest. Then he got distracted by the straw to my iced coffee. He was at ease, and inside of two hours, I became a pup mom. Life wasn’t going to be the same again.


Website: www.janellejalbert.com

Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/JanelleJalbertRRBC

Twitter handle: @JustJJWriting

Facebook: Facebook.com/janellejalbert.author

WINGDOG: Soul Pup has been released on Amazon, as of March 7, with full release across most major retailers in June 2016

THE BLOG TOUR – starring “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Jan Hawke #RRBC #RaveReviewsBookClub

Tall ships and stars…

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

Sea-fever by John Masefield


There’s a lot to be said for being self-sufficient, especially if you’re a solitary ‘seafaring’ author. 2015 was a terrific year for me in all its meanings, including the negative. For the first time in my life, and after 39 years of relatively calm marital waters, I found myself living on my own after my husband, Pete, did not survive major cardiac surgery.

We only had about 10 days to come to terms with the gravity of his condition, but, as he’d come through several other serious medical procedures in the past 5 years with flying colours, were fairly hopeful. Our luck ran out basically. The day Pete was in surgery, I was driving home from another hospital appointment, when I heard on the radio that my great literary hero, Terry Pratchett, had also died peacefully at home that morning, after a very public struggle with early onset posterior cortical atrophy dementia.

I lost both my heroes within 24 hours. I like to think that the day after, Pete and Terry met up on the newcomers’ orientation tour of the ‘better place’ I know they both went to, and had a little chinwag at the bar. They both loved a pint of ale and a good brandy. This whimsy, thankfully, set me off on a more positive terrific track, after I emerged from the usual state of numb shock that comes when the hub of your world is taken away. My family and friends were wonderful in helping me cope with the ‘arrangements’ – I know that Pete would have loved his funeral, and his final resting place, out in the garden beside the pipe fountain that he never quite found the time to move from the garage, where it had been gathering cobwebs since we bought it over 10 years ago.

That was us really – mañana; pole, pole (slowly, slowly); smell the roses… So, facing life without Pete has been a terrific challenge. For the most part I’ve come through pretty well, but of course I’ve had to make some changes. Most have been towards getting practical matters in order so I don’t have to worry about them, which includes some major changes to the house. That hopefully will be finished this summer with the installation of a new extension that will incorporate my ‘dream’ study and library.

Which is why I’m facing 2016 with lots of positive terrific feelings, because I’m so proud and confident of doing more than just surviving the last 11 months. My health isn’t great, but I’m gradually making improvements, and some of the building work will help towards that as well. I’ve kept my mind busy too – RRBC was been at the forefront in that respect, with all the different new activities that have been introduced this year, not to mention my joining the governing board, having a MoW and a BoM slot and getting my act together on my blog (janhawke.me) and on the social networks. As an author, I’ve grown my platform, my audience and been getting great reviews; have a solo anthology-memoir to be published in the Spring, and generally ‘got myself out there’. The one thing I haven’t done is much original writing (the anthology’s a collation of previous work) – but this is about to change! Having been beavering away at all these facets of my life, I’ve finally got to the place where I can draw a deep breath, having cleared all the decks, and walk onto my terrific new vessel to set out on an awfully big adventure. The work in progress beckons mightily, and I couldn’t be happier as I slip my moorings and set out to sea, following a star of my own making!

You’ll find out more about that later in the week!



Author Bio: I live near Launceston in Cornwall, UK with Toby and Benji the Springer Spaniels – it’s a tie between us all as to who’s maddest, but as I outrank them in being weird anyway it’s not open to debate really. I’m physically lazy with things that don’t hold much interest for me (so that’s mostly housework and, increasingly, cooking…), but I love where we live, mainly because I chose it for being so quiet and off the beaten track, very close to the moors and quite near to the sea. I also love books, both to write and to read, the latter of which can be very eclectic (I enjoy Julian Barnes, Kate Atkinson, Jeanette Winterson and will happily admit to Jilly Cooper too) but in the main I’m heavily into SF&F, particularly Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and Julian May, although I can pass on Zombie Apocalypses fairly easily… …how I’ve chosen to write about Africa for my first novel may be something of a surprise to my friends, but if you read it you may find that all of the above information manifests in there somehow!



Book Blurb: Milele Safari back blurb – Milele Safari – An Eternal Journey …twines around a single day, in an unremarkable border village that snuffs out the lives of four people and shatters many others, only to draw the survivors back to a different time and, perhaps, a hope of atonement and peace. Step out on the journey and discover an Africa that could have been, is and might one day come to be.

Book linksAmazon (print & eBook) – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0992747201/

Barnes & Noble (print only) – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/milele-safari-an-eternal-journey-janette-mary-hawke/1117529970?ean=9780992747206

Milele Safari blog http://milelesafari.blogspot.co.uk/p/taster-1.html

Social Media links

Twitter – @JanHawke

Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jan-Hawke/386239624841750

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=254177051

Author blog – Jan Hawke INKorporated http://janhawke.me/


ONE YEAR Anniversary with Rave Reviews Book Club

It seems like just yesterday I had published my first work of fiction, “Another Sunset” (released in November of 2014) and a month or so afterwards I had joined the Rave Reviews Book Club.

Getting into the world of writing and becoming a published author was no small task for me with everything else going on in my life over the past few years:

  • I am a father of four children, all under the age of 11.
  • I work in information technology in New York City.
  • I live in Wallingford, Connecticut; 90 miles away.
  • I commute 2.5 hours each day – one way.
  • I served one term on the Wallingford Town Council.
  • I ran for Mayor of Wallingford (I lost).
  • I ran to get back on Town Council (I won).
  • I administer a number of Wallingford based Facebook groups dealing with news, information, what is going on with the Town of Wallingford, and the Wallingford school system (combined memberships equal over 10,000 members).
  • I am President of the Wallingford Fireworks Fund; we have successfully fundraised to restore our Independence Day celebration for six consecutive years, raising more than $25,000 a year on average to do so. (We’ve raised over $150,000 in total over six years).

With all that, I added “author” to my resume and then came the really hard part; how do I get my title “out there”? That question was what led me, in part, to join Rave Reviews Book Club.

One year later, on my anniversary in the club, I look back from that start and where I have gone, propelled by my own will, but with a lot of peer support from the club, the members, and beyond.

  • I have sold over 500 copies of “Another Sunset”
  • I released my second book, “I, Hero: The Beginning” in May of 2015
  • In half the time of release of “Another Sunset”, I sold over 500 copies of that title.
  • I released four more books through the end of 2015, for a total of six published works.
  • I have eight more planned for 2016; two novels and six novellas.
  • I created an author page on Facebook and I now have 1,393 followers
  • I had a Twitter account with less than 2,000 followers (at the time mostly Wallingford based folks that followed my civic activity); I now have 6,566 followers
  • I received a #PUSHTUESDAY award
  • I was the #RRBC MEMBER OF THE MONTH! in March 2015
  • “I, Hero: The Beginning” was chosen as a #RRBC Book of the Month
  • “I, Hero: The Beginning” was chosen as “The President’s Pick”.
  • I won the LETTER TO MY FUTURE SELF Writing Contest for my “LOOKING FORWARD BY REFLECTION” entry.
  • My submitted entries to the RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology, 2nd Edition publication, have been selected and will be included in that upcoming release.


“Gee – you’re awfully lucky.”

Nah – I get out of life what I put into it. That and I get by with a little help from my friends.

Anniversary Badge Year 1
So to all those new friends and the RRBC, thank you for making 2015 and my first year in the club so very special to me.

THE BLOG TOUR – starring “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Maureen K. Howard #RRBC #RaveReviewsBookClub

“World, Meet Maureen K. Howard”
~by Maureen Kovach



Bio Pic

“World, Meet Maureen K. Howard”
~by Maureen Kovach

The End. “Woo hoo! We did it. We wrote a book. It’s a good book. We know it. At least we think it is. Is it? Maybe it sucks. It definitely sucks.” Does this sound familiar? As any author knows, writing is like a roller coaster–the peaks are high and the valleys are low. Real low. And as any Indie Author knows, there’s no one standing by to boost your morale, kick you in the pants, or hold your hand and let you cry. You come to the realization that writing the book was the easy part.

After basking in the glow of personal accomplishment for five or six minutes, reality rears its ugly head. Who is going to read our masterpiece? How will anyone know how awesome our story, our setting, and our characters are if no one even knows the darn thing exists?

That was the million-dollar question, and I didn’t have a million dollars to discover the answer to it. So I did the next best thing. I opened up my dresser drawer, pulled out my big-girl panties, dressed for action, and got down to business. My daughter and I, under the pen name, Maureen K. Howard, had written a book, and it was a good book. Now it was my mission to make sure others would have the pleasure of discovering it.

To my credit, I did have the good sense before this point to read as much advice as I could get my hands on about how to write a good book, and make sure it was market-ready. I had identified my target audience, purchased the services of a professional editor and a cover designer, and signed up for Kindle Direct Publishing and a print-on-demand service.

But that only took me so far. After all of my family members and friends had downloaded their e-books or ordered their print copies, the party, such as it was, was over. It was time to move on to a new action plan. How did I connect with new people who would want to read our book?

I thought of a book I had finished recently by an author I had never even heard of before. I had discovered the book through one of the many services that offer e-books at free and discounted prices. I am an avid reader, so I figured there were probably other people like me out there, willing to give an unfamiliar book a try if the stakes weren’t too high. This author’s style was right up my ally. The mystery was fun and fast-paced, the characters were smart but quirky, and the writing itself was impeccable. So, I wondered, how did she do it? Not write the book, because I felt mine could hold its own. But how did she get it in front of me?

I did what any techno-savvy consumer would do. I googled her. Thus began my journey into the unknown world of self-promotion. I studied her web page and used it as a guideline to create one of my own. But wait. She had a Facebook Author Page. Okay. I could do that. I began discovering on-line groups dedicated to specific genres–some were geared toward writers, others toward readers, while others joined both sides for lively, eye-opening conversations and recommendations, which led to…sales! I never felt out of place or stupid among these members and have made some dear friends who I look forward to chatting with regularly.

And next there was Twitter. I was utterly clueless. I’m still not sure I comprehend that landscape. It must be that little bird. I’ve always hated birds. But I do it. Little by little, I’m discovering its advantages.

Blogs baffle me. I have one. I’m writing one. I even enjoy reading them. My resistance to them, I hate to admit, is most likely due to my age. I stubbornly refuse to enter into a friendly working relationship with something called a blog. What kind of a word is that?

I know I’ve just uncovered the tip of the iceberg. I stepped outside my comfort zone and fell off a cliff. What I have decided is that success is out there. I am part of things now that one year ago, I did not know existed. I have a mailing list. My book is available in public libraries. I even have a street team, advance readers, and dare I say it? fans.

If you’d like to stop by and meet us (Maureen Kovach and Brigette Howard, aka Maureen K. Howard), you can find us at @mhowardbooks, www.facebook.com/maureenhowardauthor, www.lakeeriemysteries.com, www.mhowardbooks.wix.com/lake-erie-mysteries.

Author Bio:
Maureen K. Howard is the pen name of mother/daughter writing partners, Maureen Kovach and Brigette Howard. They both live in Findlay, Ohio. Maureen recently retired from a long career as a high school English teacher and now focuses her time on spoiling her three granddaughters, spending long weekends at the lake with her husband and their golden doodle, and making friends with fellow mystery writers and readers across the globe via social media. Oh yeah, she also writes books. Brigette works full time managing multiple national restaurant franchises. She enjoys taking her charcoal lab on running adventures and spends her free time reading, gardening with her husband, cooking, and planning the perfect murder.

Maureen Online:
Twitter: @mhowardbooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maureenhowardauthor
Website http://mhowardbooks.wix.com/lake-erie-mysteries

Book Links:
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Side-Lake-Erie-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00Q79DB90/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434554136&sr=1-2&keywords=sunny+side+up

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sunny-side-up-maureen-k-howard/1121262131?ean=9781634432887


The evening sky made me think of rainbow sherbet as I watched the sun set over picturesque Kelleys Island. The sound of waves lapping against the side of my small skiff as I steered toward the lakeshore had a cathartic effect—my breathing and heart rate were finally returning to normal. From a hundred yards off shore, it was a postcard perfect scene. Idling past the breakwall, past the pier and the beach, I envisioned the fingers of charcoal smoke curling their way through the pastel clouds, clutching and twisting, distorting the idyllic scene. I could almost smell it, faint at first, but increasing in intensity, a foul odor like hot summer asphalt mixed with the sweetly noxious smell of burnt cupcakes. It would make your eyes water and your nostrils burn.

Increasing my speed, I glanced over my shoulder then focused once more on the shoreline, imagining the result of my handiwork and the thrill that would course through me when my mission was complete and my trophy, the charred remains of my victim, was discovered.


Three BOOKS OF THE MONTH over at Rave Reviews Book Club

I wanted to drop a quick note out to everyone with a quick update from things over at the #RRBC as I take a break from my four kids (they are leaving next week for ten weeks in Poland and I think they are trying to jam what will be all that missed time into one afternoon – THEY ARE GOING TO KILL ME- SEND HELP!)

I first quick thing – if you’re not a member, you should be; such great help there from readers and fellow authors. They will really make you feel like a rock star when you’ve hit one out of the park and they will help you better understand those time where you swing and miss because they WANT to see your next “at bat” be the next hit out of the park.

This section IS a shameless plug for the group – please consider joining (and tell them Jason Zandri / @GUNDERSTONE sent you).

Above and beyond that, we have THREE (3) BOOKS OF THE MONTH that I wanted to highlight:

Silevethiel (The Vaelinel Trilogy Book 1) by Andi O’Connor 



Nikki Magee by Peter Wendt


The One Enlightened: Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 2 by Yvette M Calleiro


I am going back out into the yard so the four kids can kill me now; before I pass on to another realm I wanted to give my fellow authors and RRBC members th shout out – ROCK ON!

New sales peaks for Another Sunset

Kindle sales for Another Sunset jumped Tuesday February 17th (likely from sales the day prior) and these jumps shattered all prior sales records. New reviews have been posted on Amazon and Goodreads and some of these sales are the likely result of those.

Also, my membership and aggressive participation in the Rave Reviews Book Club is also adding to the visibility and promotion of the book in the reading community. (You can join HERE – be sure to let them know Jason Zandri / @GUNDERSTONE sent you). 

It is always exciting to reach new highs. Generally after hitting the new peak the number drops off but so far it’s been higher lows and then the sales swing up to new highs.

The Kindle title has been out just ten weeks and I am really excited over the momentum.

Today at the highest point the Amazon Best Sellers Rank was 37,581 in the Paid Kindle Store.

Full stats

We added the book to a new category over the weekend All Books > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction and it jumped on the sales to 1,357.


In the ALL BOOKS rank it clipped the old number of 81,965 to reach as high as 58,194.

All books 58194

Below are the rest of the stats in the other categories:

Kindle ebooks

Kindle ebooks 2

Kindle ebooks 3

Another Sunset – Amazon Ranking; ALL records fall

Dec 12, 2014 fell after the 2PM EST update today. All of my prior rankings have been eclipsed.

This is likely due to the release of “Before Another Sunset” which is the prequel novella that takes place just before the events told in the story of “Another Sunset.”

In addition to that, my membership in the Rave Reviews Book Club has gotten me A LOT of attention to my release in a very short period of time that I would have needed to work WAY harder to get organically.

Whichever the catalyst, (one, the other, or both) I couldn’t be happier.

All Books > Books > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary > 3,945

All Books > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > 3,888

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