Who’s That Indie Author? Teri Polen

Barbara Vitelli is hosting me on Book Club Mom today – hop over to read and then hang around to check out her book reviews and interviews with authors and bloggers.

Book Club Mom


Author name:  Teri Polen

Genre:  Young Adult


Bio:  Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium.  She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.  Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, is her first novel.  Visit her online at www.teripolen.com

Favorite thing about being a writer:  I have a couple of favorite things.  I love creating characters in my head, then see them become living, breathing people when I write – they’re real to me, anyway.  My characters are like my kids, so to know that a reader embraced them while reading their story and loved them as much as I do makes all the difficult writing days (when I’m pounding my head against the wall) worthwhile.

Biggest challenge as an indie author

View original post 189 more words

Type and Cross (Cathedral Lake Series #1) by Staci Troilo #TuesdayBookBlog #bookreviews #suspense

Blood defines family. Blood reveals betrayal.

Dr. Royce Keller is no stranger to blood. As Chief of Emergency Medicine at Oakland Regional Hospital, it’s his job, his calling. To Royce, it is the very essence of life—what ties his family, his career, and his world together. Until he learns everything he believes is wrong.

Vanessa Keller has a secret she has kept hidden for almost two decades. It’s her burden, her cross to bear. To Vanessa, the truth is a choice—something best forgotten for the greater good of her family and their future. Until the day it comes back to haunt her. A tale of family dysfunction, betrayal, heroism, and loss, Type and Cross is the story of one family’s journey from devastation to redemption. – Goodreads.com

As a fan of medical shows and thrillers, the beginning of this book especially piqued my curiousity – but I’m not giving away spoilers.  By the time that mystery was solved, these characters had me completely caught up in their family dynamics and secrets.

At times with each character, I alternated between being on their side, then wanting to throttle them on the next page.  The author does an exceptional job of creating realistic, flawed characters, and Royce and Vanessa’s range of emotions after tragically losing their daughter are heartbreaking and genuine.  Once the secrets were uncovered, I appreciated the fact that Royce and Vanessa’s troubled marriage didn’t undergo a quick fix with a fairy tale resolution.

This story is a wonderful portrayal of how things aren’t always what they seem on the surface and secrets can have residual effects for years to come.  Highly recommend for fans of suspenseful family drama.

Indie Author Friday -John W. Howell #IndieAuthors #thriller #suspense

It’s Friday!!!  And I’m so happy to have my friend, John W. Howell, here for Indie Author Friday.  His blog keeps me entertained daily with writerly things, views of his neighborhood, and weekly stories, and his thriller/suspense series with unlikely hero John J. Cannon is not only compelling, it can kick up the heart rate a few notches.  I have to mention his penguin wearing the sombrero question has one of the best answers I’ve seen yet.

The John Cannon Trilogy begins in Port Aransas where San Francisco lawyer John J. Cannon decided to go after taking a live of absence form his firm. He bought a boat he named My GRL with the idea of giving the charter boat business a try. He was unaware that a group of terrorists already targeted his boat to be used on a mission to destroy a symbol of America. He woke up in the hospital to learn he was found unconscious next to the body of the woman who sold him the boat and to further complicate things he was laying on the gun that killed her. This is the beginning of John’s involvement with the terrorists and continues through the three books with each episode more exciting than the last. John finally comes to realize that he is the only one that can put an end to the mayhem but he must do it alone. Each book is a separate story but the characters remain the same.

What’s the most constructive criticism you’ve been given in your writing career?

When I decided to become a writer I took a class that among other famous authors was taught by Elmore Leonard. During the course of the instruction you were given time to meet one on one with one of the authors and talk about your work. My author who will remain nameless loved my work but was very critical of the dialog tags which I included as part of the descriptions. You know, the old “he said over his shoulder while turning to walk out the door.” This author pretty much told me to drop that crap and keep tags to a minimum. “He said, she said” were the ones to use if the speaker was not clear to the reader. I have since dedicated two days a week to dialog on my blog that has no tags at all. I do this to attempt to tell a story with only dialog.

What do you wish you’d known before you were published?

I wish I had known that even though you have a publisher, the work of editing your manuscript should be given to a qualified professional. I was so happy to get a contract with a publisher since it looked like I would not have to pay for editorial, formatting, or other production expenses. Unfortunately, the editor did not take the time to review changes that were made after the first edit and so a number of mistakes made it into the final. It took over six months to get the mistakes corrected since I did not have the ability to do the corrections myself.

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

I received a note from an older lady who had read my first book. She explained that my book gave her many hours of pleasure and thanked me for writing it. It so happened I was at a book signing and the lady’s daughter who had given her the book came in and handed me the note. She explained that her mother was not well and she found my book a pleasant distraction from her problems. She had the book with her and asked that I inscribe it. I read the note and my eyes filled with tears. I was so taken with the fact that my words gave a person a break from their challenges the thought almost overwhelmed me. I wrote a thank you for blessing me with her words and the wish for happiness. I also said she had a pretty terrific daughter.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

My wife an I watch an hour of TV a day. After dinner and after some reading or e-mail time we sit and scroll through the DVR list. We record all our favorite shows so we can fast forward through the commercials. This leaves us about fifteen minutes for local news and weather. The last show we saw as of this writing was Blindspot. It could have been NCIS, The Blacklist, NCIS LA, This Is Us, Criminal Minds, Bull, Fixer Upper, Chopped, The Middle, Modern Family, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones or the Property Brothers.

A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here?

“Excuse me Senior. Do you know the way to San Jose?” He is here asking directions so that he can make his way back to the South Pole. Apparently, he lost his job in Washington when the new administration declared that all residents of the South Pole needed to go back to their homeland and apply for a proper visa. The only other city that he knew in the US besides Washington was San Jose since he was a big fan of Dionne Warrick. He figured San Jose was near Los Angles which was close to Mexico and would get him on the underground express to South America. Once there he planned to work his way to the North Pole on a boat. He thought he could convince the boat captain that if put in charge of procuring fish the crew would never go hungry. All this was explained after the one question, “why the sombrero?”

Book you’d want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?

I think I would want a book titled something like “How to Survive on a Desert Island.” Failing the availability of that title I guess I would have to opt for a big fat ole book that I could read and reread without getting bored. Canterbury Tales comes to mind. (Might even take an eternity to understand it)

Bio john-resized

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016.  All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Social Media

Blog – Fiction Favorites http://johnwhowell.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241
Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave
Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell
LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/
Google +https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell?from_search=true

Purchase link https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

The Old Man at the End of the World: Bite #1 by A.K. Silversmith #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Gerald Stockwell-Poulter couldn’t help but feel it was extraordinary just how 34338410quickly his life had changed. One moment he was earthing up leeks in the West Sussex sunshine and the next he was rooted to the spot as Rodney Timmins from the end allotment ambled towards him, arms outstretched, blood pouring from a hole in his neck and a look in his eye which suggested that he was less after help and more after a helping of Gerald.

Now, as Gerald’s life takes a quick turn for the worse, he must do things he has never done before. After 87 largely well-behaved years as a model citizen, less than four hours into the ‘zompocalypse’ and he has already killed a neighbour, rescued a moody millenial drug dealer and forged an unlikely allegiance with a giant ginger Scotsman. And it isn’t even tea time.

Join Gerald as he and his newfound allies navigate the post-apocalyptic English countryside in their hilarious bid to stay off the menu. – Goodreads.com

This was such an entertaining read!  Gerald is in no way prepared for the zombie apocalypse, and is even oblivious to the fact that it’s happening around him as he works in his garden.  The banter between Gerald and his neighbor, Ham, had me laughing out loud more than once as they beat the odds and fumbled their way through several precarious situations.

Being American, I missed some of the British references, but didn’t feel it detracted from this well-written novella.  This is a humorous take on the ‘zompocalypse’ that isn’t filled with doom, gloom, gore, and body parts (well, not many).  I’ll definitely be looking forward to the second bite.

I received a copy of this book through Rosie’s Book Review Team.


Downsizing the TBR Pile #amreading

So, I have this genius friend who knows her way around a computer (unlike yours truly) and designed bookmarks for Sarah – my own efforts were an epic fail.  Finally getting them done was a huge load off my mind, because I’ve got a couple of events coming up and I had no SWAG.  At all.  She did a fantastic job and I’ll post a pic when they’re ready.  Told her she should free lance – book covers would probably be effortless for her.

I really read out of sequence this time, but I have NetGalley to blame for that.  Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel has been in my TBR for several months, and I just received approval to read and review the second in the series, Waking Gods.  So guess what just got bumped up the list faster than Thor’s hammer (okay, maybe not quite that fast) ?  I’d read some great reviews by some Goodreads friends and knew this was my kind of book.    The story is told in interviews, journal entries, transcripts, and news articles, which may bother some readers, but I’ve read other novels told in this fashion and enjoy that style of writing.  If you haven’t read this book, pieces of a ‘giant robot girl’ are found buried all over the planet, left centuries ago by an alien culture.  The same day I started reading this book, I read about archaeologists discovering the head of a giant 3,000-year-old statue thought to depict Ramses II.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Stranger things have happened.  Whatever the case, I read Sleeping Giants in two days – that should tell you how I felt about it.

I won’t be able to finish Panacea for a few weeks – have 3 books I have to finish for review, a book to read for book club, and another book for a group read.  Oh – and finish the first draft of my WIP.  Anyone have any spare hours in the day they could donate?

That leaves my currently reading the same:





And the same for up next:

TBR:  102

Read:  1

Bought:  0 (again!)

Total:  101




Indie Author Friday – Staci Troilo #indieauthors #romance #suspense


Although I haven’t read either of these novels (yet), I just finished the first book in Staci’s Cathedral Lake series a couple of weeks ago, and can tell you that if romantic suspense is your thing – you need to be reading her books.  And she gets bonus points for being into superheroes.


In the heart of Pittsburgh awaits a secret half a millennium in the making.

After her father’s brutal murder, Franki discovers she and her three sisters are the only surviving, secret legacy of the Medici. The same people who brutally murdered her father now target her and her family for assassination. Unprepared to battle an unknown enemy, she finds her safety depends on the Medici Protectorate, the warriors who guarded her bloodline for centuries, but who failed to protect her father.

Gianni, Franki’s protector, blows his first meeting with her, but knows he must garner the trust of not only Franki, but also her sisters. Without that, he fails too, and that is unacceptable—not only to him but also to the Medici Protectorate. His troubles grow larger, for as he assumes his new role, he also undergoes inexplicable, explosive physical changes… transformations he can’t control. One of those is his uncontainable desire for Franki.

Their worlds collide in passion and violence, and Franki struggles to trust Gianni. When her life is on the line, Gianni will have to conquer both her fears and his own personal demons to rescue her in time.

Bleeding Heart Universal Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/STbleedingheart


Three decades. Two continents. One secret that could cost him everything.

Too. Many. Secrets… and Vinnie Falco is buried in them. He works undercover day and night to keep watch over Jo Notaro, whose fiery temperament matches her boundless energy and unparalleled beauty. Jo is unable to withstand the endless scrutiny and constant surveillance, so when Vinnie’s ever-watchful gaze lingers too long, she can feel his touch—and she doesn’t know if she loathes it or loves it.

Vinnie’s job to watch Jo goes much deeper. He’s a vice president of an international corporation, a front for a secret organization—the Medici Protectorate—which continues a tradition going back nearly 500 years to guard the Medici line. Jo and her sisters are the descendants of the Medici and someone wants them dead. But Vinnie has another secret he’s desperately trying to hide. A secret that could push Jo too far away for even him to save her.

Mind Control Universal Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/STmindcontrol

What are your favorite books in your genre?

I write in multiple genres, but I always seem to prefer a romantic element, so I’ll go with romance and say my favorite books are anything by Nora Roberts, Catherine Anderson, and J.R. Ward.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with?

If we’re talking about Mind Control (or any novel in the Medici Protectorate series), I’m going to have to go with Mike. It’s not because he’s the villain; he’s one of the good guys. It’s because he’s so rigid and formal. He also comes off as superior, whether he truly believes that or not is anyone’s guess, though. And he’s distant. I’m a very emotionally-driven person. I thrive on close relationships, and I have trouble trusting people who are closed off or who keep their distance. So, I’d say Mike and I would clash. Or at the very least, we’d have a strained and distant relationship.

What is something memorable you’ve heard from your readers/fans?

I know they say you shouldn’t read your reviews because you’ll get caught up on every word and agonize over every nuance. But I can’t help it. I read the reviews I get. I’ve heard a lot of lovely things about my writing, and I treasure those comments (and always will). But the comments that mean the most to me are from fans who say they loved the work so much, they’re eagerly awaiting the next release or the people who say they read a sample chapter and liked it so much they downloaded the whole book and read it cover to cover in under twenty-four hours. Those are the people I know I’ve touched in some way, and that warms my heart.

What’s the last thing you watched on TV/Netflix?

The Flash. I’m addicted to superheroes right now.

Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?

Has to be Batman. I’m sure he has a Bat-Gadget in his utility belt that can counteract spider webs.

If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

Belle, from Beauty and the Beast. I know she’s not a superhero, but she and I both love to read. Besides, I have to give it up to a heroine who can see past appearances to what’s inside a person. Vision like that is pretty heroic.


Staci Troilo has always loved fiction, ever since her parents read her fairy tales when she was a young girl. Today, her interests are much more eclectic. She loves getting lost in sci-fi battles, fantasy realms, horror worlds, suspenseful intrigues, and romantic entanglements.

As goes her reading, so goes her writing. She can’t pick a single genre to focus on, so she doesn’t even try. She’s proud to say she’s a multi-genre author.

When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with family and friends, possibly cooking for them, or maybe enjoying an afternoon in the pool. To learn more about her, visit http://stacitroilo.com.

Social Media Links

Web: http://stacitroilo.com
Blog: http://stacitroilo.com/blog
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cimLCD
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stacitroilosnovelidea
Twitter: https://twitter.com/stacitroilo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorstacitroilo
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/stacitroilo
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+StaciTroilo
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stacitroilo
Instagram: https://instagram.com/stacitroilo
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/staci_troilo
Amazon Author Page: https://amazon.com/author/stacitroilo
BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/staci-troilo