Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Spotlight: "A Burning Truth" (Historical Romantic Suspense)

Today, we're spotlighting a Historical Romantic Suspense author, Joyce Proell, and her recently published a novel called, A Burning Truth. It is the second book in A Cady Delafield Mystery series.

Excerpt


Doyle sat in the carriage, his brain frozen and his limbs unable to move. He watched Cady run up the steps and disappear into Ophelia’s impenetrable stone manor. When the front door boomed shut with the noise of a cannon blast, he jumped. He lurched forward and exploded out of the vehicle. She wasn’t getting rid of him so easily. In fact, she wasn’t getting rid of him at all. He had a voice in the matter. He intended to be heard.Just as soon as he thought it, his steps faltered and he ground to a stop.“Damn!”Now was not the time to try to reason with her, not when she was in a cold fury. He pumped a fist against a thigh and stared at the mansion’s rock fa├žade, aware her current state of mind was as solid and unshakable. Even if he managed to get beyond the front door, she wouldn’t listen. Not now.His head fell back. A piercing ache tore through him, as if his heart and soul had been shredded and tossed aside. Gunmetal storm clouds reeled over the sky, bleak and threatening. The bite in the air made his cheeks sting. Inside he was hollowed and gutted. His fingers curled and uncurled. Muscles coiled, he pivoted with a fierce twist, snapped an order to Phelps then threw himself back into the carriage. His next move must be deployed with utmost care. The carriage jolted forward and thrust him back against the seat cushion. She needed time to cool. Then he’d be back, and she’d listen to what he had to say.

 

Synopsis



In 1881, the air in Chicago is rife with worker discontent, yet business titan Doyle Flanagan is hopeful for the future. He looks forward to a lifetime of peaceful bliss with Cady Delafield and leaving the wretched past behind. But his life is once again thrown into disarray when his office is vandalized and the night watchman viciously murdered. Clues lead to a powerful organized labor movement. Targeted in the press as anti-labor and with a big rally staged next door to his offices, Doyle must uncover the culprits before his wedding plans and his livelihood go up in smoke.
Plagued by memories of four brutal deaths, school director Cady Delafield is determined to drive the recent tragedies from her mind and enjoy being courted. Although his commanding personality threatens to overshadow her, Doyle Flanagan is the most dynamic man she’s ever met. When another tragedy unfolds placing him at the center, she takes action—action that could shatter her future dreams.
 
 

About Joyce

 
Joyce grew up in Minnesota and attended college and grad school in Chicago. After working in mental health as a clinical social worker, she retired to write full-time. Her first book, Eliza, was published in 2012. A Burning Truth is the second in the Cady Delafield series. When she isn’t writing historical suspense or romance, she loves to travel, winter in Florida, swim, read and walks almost every day. She loves chocolate almost as much as crossword puzzles. She and her husband make their home in rural Minnesota in her very own little house on the prairie.

 


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

White Collar Ends: No More Matty Blue Eyes

I'm saddened to hear White Collar is ending, but upon reflection I think it's time. Burke has the DC gig, his agency dream come true, and Elizabeth is already on her way out. But most importantly, there isn't much left for Neil. He started out as a CI just to get out of jail. Then, it seemed like he was going to try to be an honest man after Burke talked him into staying instead of going off with Elizabeth (I'm still unclear as to why if he went he'd always be "running" because I thought the point was he had been given agency clearance to go start over). He ended up stealing the treasure later and disappearing not too long after.

So, he already went from bad to good to bad. Then, he returned and made a serious effort to be a good guy. That damn therapist got into his head and convinced him he was actually a bad guy, and then...well, he seemed to be leaning towards being a law abiding citizen. We don't think he would have gone off with Rebecca. But that could have been because she killed his handler. Had she not been a killer maybe he'd have been tempted. There just isn't much left to explore there. He has to make a final decision: law-abiding, reformed citizen or con man criminal mastermind. Looks like he's got 6 episodes to figure it out. We'll get a 6-episode final season. At least we get that.

There is one thing for certain though, I will miss watching Neil operate. Not to mention the string of hot lady love interests.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Game of Thrones: Two Swords Recap (The New Daario Sucks!)

Admit it, ladies, you want her hair more than the throne.
The highly anticipated new season of Game of Thrones started with a solemn opening scene of a man hammering a sword under the watchful eye of the most evil man of all time, Tywin Lannister, who has committed every vile act known to man, except perhaps the sexual perversions his grandson is so fond of. But then we don't see everything Tywin is up to. For those who aren't interested in blacksmiths, this scene is rather dull. Where's Dany already? And Sansa? And Ayra? I didn't wait all these months to see what Tywin was up to, and I never enjoy seeing him handle dead animals. Does he ever not kill things?
At least they didn't change the amazing opening. Same cool map, same cool theme song.
We switch to a scene at King's Landing where Jaimie Lannister sports a new haircut and a welcome lack of filth for the first time in a long while. I do miss the pretty blond hair though. He and Twyin say something about why his new sword is special that doesn't really matter. Valerian steel, blah blah blah. Tywin admits that he made two of these special swords, which explains why Jaimie has one. No way would Tywin the Tyrant give even his favorite child something that he himself did not possess. Though Jaimie will still have to learn to use the sword with his left hand after his right hand had been chopped off last season. I admit, that was probably the most surprising thing that happened since no one saved Ned Stark. I thought for sure he wouldn't die. I admit, I haven't read the books.
Tywin tells Jaimie he's to return to Casterly Rock. They argue. Jaimie refuses, saying stuff all about his honor and needing to remain in the King's Guard because of his vow. I imagine it has more to do with not wanting to leave Cersei, but then I'm a romantic.  
Tyrion Lannister awaits some important people on a road. Prince Doran, whoever that is, isn't there. Mention is made of a royal wedding. Apparently, the prince's brother, Oberyn, arrived ahead of the party and Tyrion is now tasked with finding him before he kills anyone.
Switch to a whore house to provide an opportunity to show off two sets of breasts. Prince Oberyn and some self-proclaimed female bastard are choosing which girl to procure, and they decide to take the male procurer too. Of course, despite twice ordering the man to remove his clothes, he doesn't. We just saw two naked girls, but the male actors get to keep their clothes on in true GOT's fashion.
Prince Oberyn hears singing and runs off to start a fight with some Lannisters in another room. Oberyn stabs one of the men in the wrist, but thankfully Tyrion walks in before the violence escalates.
Tyrion and Oberyn take a walk and commiserate on the difficulties of being ludicrously wealthy and powerful second sons. Oberyn reminsces about his sister's marriage to the last dragon, Rhaegar Targaryen. Apparently, Rhaegar left Elia Martel for another woman and she was then raped and cut in half by "the Mountain" on orders of Tywin. That does sound plausible. 
Moving on to Rhaegar's little sister, Daenerys. Finally! And the dragons. Dany gets spooked when one of the dragons turns on her momentarily while fighting for food. She's warned they'll never be tamed. Dany meets with her army and is told that Grey Worm and Daario are not there because they are gambling. And here we see the new Daario, who is NOTHING like the old one. How did a huge, blond, muscular, clean shaven man with passion and wit get replaced by a man of average height, slim frame, brown hair, and a beard? Who looks much older? Dany puts a stop to the gambling, we see no sexual chemistry with her and Daario, and we move on to catch up with Sansa.
Shae is still with the new Mrs. Lannister. 
Sansa isn't eating. She confesses to having nightmares. Not surprising since she heard about the slaughter of her mother, brother, and her sister-in-law. Well, she doesn't mention her sister-in-law, but I imagine somewhere inside her head Sansa is thinking about her unborn niece or nephew. Sansa runs off to hide in church.
Tyrion returns to his bedchamber to find Shae on his bed. He chastises her, saying it is too dangerous for her to visit him there. She says it's been too long and tries to seduce him. She fails, but Tyrion assures her that he doesn't love Sansa. She confronts him about the misunderstanding last season where she thoguht Tyrion was trying to make her leave, which he knows nothing about. A servant sees Shae storming out of the room.
Jaimie gets a gold hand, a gift from Cersei. She's such a giver. Mention of mysterious "symptoms" Cersei made. She refuses to tell Jaimie what symptoms they are. The two recap all the horrible things Cersei has suffered, which really isn't that bad. Jaimie tells her that their father disowned him. He basically admits he's staying for her and tries to seduce her. She pushes him away and blames him for leaving her. The servant who spotted Shae interrupts their argument.
Ygriette and some scruffy guy argue about whether to attack Castle Black or wait. Allies from north of the Wall arrive, not ones anyone seems to like. Everyone measures the size of their balls before we go inside Castle Black and see how Jon and Samwell are doing. Jon bitches about being jealous of RObb. Samwell admits that he feels the same about Jon. Jon faces a counsel to explain why he killed his fellow Crow to get in with the Wildlings. He informs them that 100,000 Wildlings are on their way with giants. They plan to attack both from the north and the south. Jon escapes beheading, though at least one guy wants him dead for breaking his vow of chastity and killing the Crow.
Margaery Tyrell and her scary grandmother work to choose a necklace for the wedding. Brienne of Tarth shows up to speak with Margaery. She tells her about the death of her beloved Renly at the hand of Stannis.That seemed like so long ago.
We see Joffrey, Jaimie and his counsel discussing whatever. Joffrey looks through the Book of Brothers and brags about how he saved the city while Jaimie was busy getting captured. He finds Jaimie's page and taunts him about how there are no greet deeds written about him. I wish Jaimie had backhanded him with his new gold hand.
Dany and her translator stand talking until Daario interrupts, and again, there is no heat between then. He presents her with flowers. She shoots him down. He lectures her on how to win people over, an excellent strategy when you've already annoyed a woman, tell her what she's doing wrong. She ultimately accepts the ugly flowers and seems pleased. I'm not buying it. The army marches and comes upon a dead girl tied up next to the road. Dany is told that there's one at every mile point from there to their destination. Lovely. In total, there are 163.
Sansa sits in meditation, while Jaimie and Brienne watch her and argue. Renly reminds him of his promise to return the Stark girls to their mother. He points out that Cat is dead, Sansa is married to Tyrion, and Arya is missing. Brienne persists. Someone may have been listening in. Sansa didn't appear to hear, but as she walks alone back to wherever she is followed by a drunk man. She doesn't recognize him at first. It's the man who Joffrey almost killed on his Name Day but Sansa saved him. He gives Sansa a necklace as a thank you. Sansa agrees to "wear it with pride."
Arya and the Hound are riding through the woods, past some dead bodies with flies. Arya asks when she's getting her own horse. The Hound points out that if she got her own horse she'd ride away and she's the only thing of value in the world. He tells her that he plans to sell her to her rich aunt. They come upon 5 men with horses. Arya recognizes one of the men, who apparently killed her friend with her sword Needle. Which he still has. Arya charges ahead to get her sword and they end up inside where one of the men appears ready to rape a woman. Could we have one seen where a woman is not dead, raped, or disrobed. The Hound gets recognized by one of his brother, The Mountain's, men. The solider mistakes Arya for the Hound's bitch. The Hound gets invited to join the murderous, torturous, raping band of "king's men." The Hound replies with, "F*** the king." The Hound is offered a chicken for some time with Arya. Even though they'd just talked about being ravenous, the Hound doesn't agree. A fight ensues. Shocker. The Hound kills everyone while Arya does her normal thing where she watches and smirks as if the victory was hers. At the very last second when the Hound almost gets his throat slit she...still does nothing. He kills the guy and Arya finally joins in, bashing a man over the head and stabbing him a sword before killing the man who killed her friend and took her sword. She watches with a disgustingly happy look on her face. They ride off together, Arya on her new horse and the Hound eating chicken. All I can think is at least the innocent woman didn't get raped.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Revolution: Priscilla Gets Pregnant, Aaron the Nano Baby Daddy

Priscilla Queen of the Nano has been acting strangely lately, and she finally admits to why in Season 2 Episode 18 (Austin City Limits). Well, partially. She isn't really Priscilla. She is the nano. Apparently, the real Priscilla is stuck inside her brain making pancakes for her kids. Okay... The nano has control over her body for the purposes of learning how to be human. She gives some speech about how hearing about eating an apple isn't the same as experiencing eating an apple, and how hearing about having sex isn't the same as actually having sex. Okay, Eve, you need to take your apple and back away from Adam, I mean Aaron.

Except isn't that exactly what "Priscilla" is up to, creating new life? Part nano, part human. Why else would she jump Aaron's bones the first chance she got? If the nano wanted to experience good sex, there are plenty of hotties around. No reason to go to Aaron or only go to Aaron. I think Miss Pris wants to create life and experience being human from the point of conception. And who better to donate the sperm than Aaron, the nano's unwitting "father" the first time around (when he accidentally gave it life)? And the guy who was the only who could fix the nano's code problem. He's the smartest guy in the world as far as the nano are concerned, and Priscilla was already their "mom," so why not make it real with a baby?

I guess the only real question is would the baby have a normal human life cycle or would the nano hurry along the process?


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Grey's Anatomy Season 10 Episode 8 (S10E8): Why Dr. Burke Comes Back

Tonight's episode sets up the return of Dr. Burke, Cristina Yang's ex-fiance who left her at the altar after convincing her to marry him. Better or worse than Owen leaving her for kids he knew she wouldn't want? Yang has bad luck with men.

Anyway, in the beginning of the episode Yang and Ross get diverted from their conduit trial thing that no one fully understands to save the life of a little girl with cardiomyopathy. The woman who played Lacey on the sabotaged show The Client List guest stars as the girl's mom.

Later in the episode, the girl's father bring his other daughter to the hospital. Her heart isn't doing so well either. The odds of this happening to two siblings is apparently miniscule. Owen and Yang look at family history and do a biopsy, but nothing indicates a viral cause. In simple terms, it's not something one gave to the other like the flu, which ironically is taking out everyone else in the hospital.

By the end of the episode, all Yang can offer the parents is the reassurance that they're treating both girls even if they're clueless as to what is causing the heart issues. In the last seconds, the girls' little brother hacks up something awful. He asserts that's he's okay and not sick, but obviously he is. So, three kids mysteriously developing a serious heart issue for no good reason...Who ya gonna call? Gay bashers. I mean, Ghost Busters. Wait no, Dr. Burke. 

Of course, there's also the Harper Avery award thing. I hope he isn't the one to present her the award and then offer her some amazing job she can't turn down.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"Heiress, P.I." Spends a Week as a Bestseller

The young adult mystery Heiress, P.I. dominated the teen mysteries best seller list on Amazon from March 25 to March 31. It peaked at #8 and held strong toward the top of the list for several days. The novel's author, Amanda Mahan, is the Creative Director for Clorox. She's worked on two NBC sitcoms and on comedic online games. She's also won a People's Choice Award for her now defunct "Green Mommy" blog. 

Check out Heiress, P.I. for Kindle.

Monday, March 31, 2014

How I Met Your Mother Finale Recap

I had low expectations for the finale of How I Met Your Mother only because the show was just so amazing, I didn't see how they could wrap it all up in a one hour finale without having to make decisions that would upset some people. The rumors about whether the mother dies and who would end up with whom...well, some viewers were bound to be pissed because the ending wasn't a surprise *spoilers*

Here's why I did not like the ending, but I think it could have been amazing had it happened later. This entire last season was all about Robin and Barney's wedding. We were waiting on the edge of our seats to see the damn wedding. Did we get to see it? NO! And then, they broke up! Had Barney and Robin gotten married and then we had a season to see the two of them enjoy some good times before a slow degeneration, it would have been different. There would have been a fulfillment of the reason we sat through an entire season counting down to the wedding.

Instead, we see their reception and then we see them break up. It all led to some cool resolutions, but it didn't feel right, nor did we get enough time with the mother to accept her deep and impactful role in Ted's life. Had we had a season with her as a series regular, we would have felt some satisfaction that Ted got to have this true love affair with the mother of his kids.

So here's what happened:


Barney and Robin get married and then divorced three years later. Robin became a big shot with World News, and the traveling destroyed their marriage. Had Robin been as career-focused in the last season, this would have been easier to accept: that she'd choose her career over her marriage. As it stood, viewers might not accept the decision as easily because it's been a long time since we saw Career Robin.

Barney knocks a girl up and they co-parent, we assume. The birth of Barney's daughter, Ellie, tames him and he becomes a good guy. It's nice Barney got to be a parent. But, since we never saw that he was the parenting kind, it wasn't like we felt that the daughter made up from him walking away from his marriage.

Ted met Tracy (the mother) on the train platform. She had the yellow umbrella. The two realized it had been hers all along. He actually saw her first on stage, but left without meeting her because he was moving to Chicago. He didn't move after the platform meeting. They had the two kids. They actually dated for 5 years before tying the knot because Typical Ted wanted to do everything HUGE and with her getting preggers and then their jobs... there was never time. The two had a small ceremony some random Thursday. It was nice.

Marshall and Lily went to Italy and came back. They ended up with 3 kids and Marshall eventually became a judge. He decided to run for the state supreme court. We assume he wins. Nothing is mentioned of Lily's career, you know the one Marshall selflessly chose to support by opting to turn down the judge position and go to Italy. You sort of wonder why now since Lily's career was no big.

The episode ends with a brief mention of Tracy getting sick and dying. We learn that Future Ted is speaking to us 6 years later. The kids push Ted to call Robin. Instead, he goes into the City and stands outside her window with the French horn. This would have been sweet had I been rooting for Ted and Robin, but I'd just spent the entire season rooting for Barney and Robin, and being happy that Ted finally found his soul mate in Tracy. As Lily said, it was different how Ted fell for Tracy. I wanted to be happy about that, but it turns out it wasn't different in a good way because, as Robin said, Ted was the man she was supposed to be with all along. There are just too many contradictions too close together to feel satisfied with this ending. Sorry.

About the Author

Sarka-Jonae Miller is a journalist and novelist who thinks HIMYM is one of the best shows ever made. Her debut funny women's fiction novel, Between Boyfriends, is a #3 Amazon best seller. The sequel, Between the Sheets, was just released by Booktrope. Preview Between Boyfriends free on Wattpad.

"Between Octobers" Cover Reveal

Today, we're giving you a first look at the new cover for the upcoming novel, Between Octobers by AR Rivera. We are big fans of books with the word "between" in the title here at the Between Boyfriends Blog.

 

Between Octobers

 
Grace Zuniga, a yearling widow, is convinced she could never fall in love again. She has surrendered to her quiet life on a quiet street in a world that revolves around her two young sons—until the moment she steps into an elevator. 
 
Evan, also known as Rhys Matthews, is a typical Hollywood playboy. He’s used to women falling all over him, but Grace is different. She makes him believe in love at first sight and in himself. She’s thoughtful, beautiful, and intelligent—the opposite of his usual type and the woman he never knew he always wanted.
 
It’s an ordinary October day when the two meet in an elevator and embark on a romance that is anything but ordinary.
 
The following October, Grace is living out a normal day until she suddenly finds herself trapped and struggling to get away from a faceless woman. Terrified, Grace can think of nothing but her motivation—her sons, Evan, all the mistakes she thought she had time to make up for, and a love she will give anything to keep. Stumbling through her bleak circumstances, Grace relives the past year and thinks of all that has happened between Octobers.