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What’s Not True by Valerie Taylor (Book Spotlight / Author Interview)

 

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PG-13 + M What’s Not True has several sex scenes and some bad language.

 
 
With her court date set for her divorce and her plans with the younger man in the rearview mirror, Kassie O’Callaghan shifts attention to reviving her stalled career. But things get complicated when she unexpectedly rendezvous with her former lover in Paris. After a chance meeting there with a colleague and a stroll along Pont Neuf, Kassie receives two compelling proposals. Can she accept them both?

But Kassie’s decision process screeches to a halt when her soon-to-be ex-husband has a heart attack, forcing her to fly home to Boston. There, she confronts his conniving and deceitful fiancée—a woman who wants not just a ring on her finger but everything that belongs to Kassie. In the ensuing battle to protect what’s legally and rightfully hers, Kassie discovers that sometimes it’s what’s not true that can set you free.

Though a standalone novel, What’s Not True is the sequel to What’s Not Said (September 15, 2020).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Bio
 
Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She earned a B.S. Marketing degree and an MBA from Sacred Heart University, as well as a graduate certificate in health care administration from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College). She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. Valerie is a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com; and a member of Westport Writers’ Workshop, Independent Book Publishers Association, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator.
 
 
 
 

Tell us about the WHAT’S NOT Series.

 
Currently, the series consists of two books—What’s Not Said (September 2020) and the recently-released sequel, What’s Not True. The series takes the reader on a journey with a middle-aged couple whose marriage has gone well beyond its expiration date. When Kassie, the wife, decides to escape with a younger gent she met in Venice, her husband’s unexpected illness derails her plans. Thus, she must decide whose life to save: her husband’s or her own. Once that decision is made, Kassie switches her focus away from the two men in her life to her career, embracing a dream that she can have it all. Not so fast. A woman from her husband’s past has other ideas, forcing Kassie to fight for what is legally and rightfully hers.

I have made a commitment with my publisher for the third and final book in the series. Release date to be determined. But it’s coming!
 

 

 

What challenges did you face in writing a series?

 
I created What’s Not Said as a standalone novel. It was only after several early readers asked what was going to happen next in the story and to the characters was I motivated and inspired to write What’s Not True. Because I hadn’t planned to write the series originally, I had to go back to What’s Not Said and check some of the details, especially when describing the characters. I also read the first book again to be sure I maintained the character’s voices.
 
Needless to say, I was all in on the series by the time I was writing What’s Not True, and thus, I was able to lay some groundwork for book three.
 
On reflection now, I wonder what would’ve changed in What’s Not Said had I had the forethought to plan a series from the very start? We’ll never know!

 

 

 

What reactions/feedback are you receiving from readers?

 
One thing I’ve learned as a writer is that not everyone loves our books. But there are 85 million mature women in America who are looking to read characters they can relate to. So there is an immense audience out there even if the book isn’t for a handful of readers!
 
I’m gratified, though, that both What’s Not Said and What’s Not True are being well-received. As a series, conventional advice from readers is that people read What’s Not Said first, so they get to know the twist and turns of the plot and the motivations of the very flawed characters. Then, I’ve heard a number say that when they read What’s Not True, it’s like sitting down with your best friends and having coffee or a martini!
 
Most recently, I’ve discovered readers buy both books at the same time, especially because they’ve developed a reputation for being a fast read. Readers want the whole experience in a short period of time! I’m thrilled to have been able to give it to them!

 

 

 

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

 
Between writing sessions, the story is always on my mind. I play out different scenarios of what comes next, so by the time I sit down to write, I’m off and running. So, I’d say writing energizes me and excites me. If you’ve seen Diane Keaton in the movie, Something’s Gotta Give, where she’s a screenwriter, the scenes where she’s jumping up with glee in her chair? That’s me.

 

 

 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

 
One writing quirk I have is that I truly have conversations with my characters as their deeds flow through my mind and fingers onto the computer screen. I constantly ask, “What If?” In that way, they can take me down multiple paths until I, as the author, choose which is best for the story.
The other quirk I have surrounds jewelry. When I write, I can’t wear a watch, rings, or bracelets; but I must wear earrings. Now that’s a real quirk if I ever heard one!
 

 

 

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Here’s how you can reach and follow me:

 
 

And please do subscribe to my newsletter, Behind and Ahead, which I write with readers in mind:

www.valerietaylorauthor.com/subscribe

 

 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: All questions and answers were constructed by the author and/or their representative. 
 
 

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Kissed by Death: Trueborn Heirs Series (Book 3) by Nyna Queen (Book Review)

The stunning finale to Nyna Queen’s original Trueborn Heirs Trilogy.

 

A terrible secret. An impossible choice. And a love worth dying for…

After the horrible disaster at the Summerball, Alexis Harper and her allies are running out of time. Not only has the murder messed up all their careful plans, but Alex is also threatened to become the focus of the investigations. In search of the missing pieces in this enigmatic puzzle, she and Darken embark on a perilous journey to an abandoned prison camp deep in the mountains — and make a discovery more shocking than anything they could have imagined. A discovery that, if revealed, will shake the country to its very foundations.

At the same time, the Spider and the Forfeit find themselves at an emotional crossroads. At this point, it’s all or nothing. But just as they reluctantly admit their feelings for each other, events force them apart and suddenly Alex is faced with a terrible choice: to run and safe her own life or to stay and fight for the truth and the man she loves, even if it may cost her life.

As Alex spins a crazy spider’s trap, one thing soon becomes clear—one way or another, she will end up being kissed by Death…

 

Buckle up for witty banter, steam, and plot-twists that will leave you breathless.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Kissed by Death by Nina Queen far exceeded my expectations, and the bar was set pretty high after reading By a Thread (book one) and Web of Lies (book 2). 

Kissed by Death had suspense, explosions, life and death missions, mic drop moments, pain and torture, and betrayal. Finally, over a long wait, we had Alex and Darken locking lips and other body parts. 😀

These two, in joined or separate scenes, always kept me on the edge of my seat. When Darken made a person wet themself, I laughed because I knew it would happen. I love being right. (Name withheld to avoid spoilers). During the Master’s hissy fit, I could practically see the spit flying out of his mouth and Alex’s shit-eating grin. 

Every bit of this story was spectacular, and I can’t wait to read Josepha’s story; the summary is located in “What’s Next.”

Final note: I love Alex’s spider senses and her ability to run 30 miles without breaking a sweat. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  
❤ 

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About Nyna Queen

Nyna started reading fantasy books at the sweet age of six (in fact, as soon as she could read) and never got out of it. After she finished her law degree, she finally decided to commit herself to a career as an author. When she isn’t reading a book or dreaming up another story, she works as a lawyer, indulges in way too much coffee and enjoys long walks in the sun. If you are looking for Nyna, you’ll likely find her behind her laptop, hitting the keys, writing down her latest novel ideas – careful, if you speak to her now, she might not remember later!

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Kissed by Death: Trueborn Heirs Series (Book 3) by Nyna Queen (Book Showcase)

The stunning finale to Nyna Queen’s original Trueborn Heirs Trilogy.

 

A terrible secret. An impossible choice. And a love worth dying for…

After the horrible disaster at the Summerball, Alexis Harper and her allies are running out of time. Not only has the murder messed up all their careful plans, but Alex is also threatened to become the focus of the investigations. In search of the missing pieces in this enigmatic puzzle, she and Darken embark on a perilous journey to an abandoned prison camp deep in the mountains — and make a discovery more shocking than anything they could have imagined. A discovery that, if revealed, will shake the country to its very foundations.

At the same time, the Spider and the Forfeit find themselves at an emotional crossroads. At this point, it’s all or nothing. But just as they reluctantly admit their feelings for each other, events force them apart and suddenly Alex is faced with a terrible choice: to run and safe her own life or to stay and fight for the truth and the man she loves, even if it may cost her life.

As Alex spins a crazy spider’s trap, one thing soon becomes clear—one way or another, she will end up being kissed by Death…

 

 

Buckle up for witty banter, steam, and plot-twists that will leave you breathless.

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

 

 

  • WOW! This Book is EXACTLY why I fell in LOVE with the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Genre!” — Read Between the Lines

  • “I absolutely loved this book! Once started, I just didn’t want to stop reading.” — Elbcrout

  • “After just a few pages you immediately feel like a part of the world, as you are observing from within, watching the events unfold.” — the_survivor

  • “Nyna Queen does an exceptional job diving deep into the minds of her characters, and her imagery and use of metaphors are at the expert level.” — T&S M

  • “I’ve put Nyna Queen on my author watch list. This is superb storytelling.”Tiella150

  • Ms. Queen has positioned herself as one of the best new authors I have ever read. Excellent work.” — Colleen

  • “I couldn’t put this book down. It has a really unique group of characters and a fresh story.” — Amazon Customer

  • “The story is brought together with seamless writing and world-building. The author brings familiar together with the unfamiliar to where everything seems normal. If you want a book with a mystery interwoven with suspense and a sprinkling of a romance then this book is for you.” — Tabby

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A beam of moonlight broke through the drifting clouds, reflecting from solid black eyes not five feet from him.

Darken’s hand jerked toward his sword, pulling it halfway out of its scabbard before he realized it was Alex.

Mother’s mercy and Jester’s grace! And the Blind Child’s cursed eyes in the dark! If the moon hadn’t chosen to blink through the cloud cover at that moment, he might never have known she was there.

Alex let out a soft, silvery laugh as she stepped from the shadows between the trees, her pale face and blond braid seemingly floating bodiless in the darkness around her.

“Jumpy, aren’t we? Expecting an attack, Forfeit?”

The wind carried over her scent, a floral note of jasmine from the perfume she’d worn this afternoon mixed with a hint of feminine sweat from the run, and something so specifically Alex—both sweet and sharp and slightly musky—it unleashed a stream of lava into his blood, burning through his veins and setting his loins on fire. Need almost swept him off his feet.

Darken clenched his jaw and curled his hands into fists. They were on a mission, for heaven’s sake!

Moving with iron control, Darken sheathed his sword and forced himself to relax back against the wall of the shelter, crossing one foot over the other.

“Actually, I was getting worried about you. What took you so long? I thought you might have gotten lost.”

A sharp smile parted Alex’s lips like the flash of a knife’s blade. She rocked forward on her toes. “Lies! I’m almost half an hour before our scheduled meeting time.”

Darken lifted a surprised eyebrow. “How do you know?”

“Shaper, remember?” She tapped her temple with one finger. “We have an extremely good sense of time, like an internal clock, especially with the help of the sun and moon. Speaking of which”—she nodded up at the sky which was a ragged puzzle of clouds and blinking stars—“we only have a few short hours until dawn. If I want to be back at the Canterbury Estate before sunrise, we should get moving.”

Darken cocked his head to the side. “You seem quite eager for someone who just ran over thirty miles.”

“Oh, that! Phst!” Alex waved a hand. “Not worth mentioning. Please, don’t make any concessions on my behalf, I’m all good to go. Unless, of course, you need some more time to rest your royal footsies from your journey?” 

A honey pie would have wilted in comparison to the sweetness in her voice.

Darken locked his teeth and performed a slightly stiff bow. “I’ve only been waiting for you, milady.”

 

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Buy book 1 and 2 today!


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About Nyna Queen

Nyna started reading fantasy books at the sweet age of six (in fact, as soon as she could read) and never got out of it. After she finished her law degree, she finally decided to commit herself to a career as an author. When she isn’t reading a book or dreaming up another story, she works as a lawyer, indulges in way too much coffee and enjoys long walks in the sun. If you are looking for Nyna, you’ll likely find her behind her laptop, hitting the keys, writing down her latest novel ideas – careful, if you speak to her now, she might not remember later!

 
 

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‘What’s Not Said’ and ‘What’s Not True’ by Valerie Taylor (2 Book Spotlight)

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2021 International Book Awards Finalist in Fiction: Women’s Fiction
2020 Canadian Book Club Awards Finalist in Fiction
Chosen as an August 2021 Pulpwood Queens Book Club selection
Featured by the international NoMo Book Club in May 2021
 
 

What’s Not Said is a story about Kassie O’Callaghan, a middle-aged woman on a mission to divorce her emotionally abusive husband and start a new life with a younger man she met while on a solo vacation in Venice. When she learns her husband has chronic kidney disease, her plans collapse until she pokes around his pajama drawer and discovers his illness is the least of his deceits.

Then again, Kassie is no angel. The separate lives they lead collide head-on into a tangled web of sex, lies, and DNA. As she helps her husband find an organ donor, Kassie uncovers a secret, forcing her to decide whose life to save: her husband’s or her own.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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With her court date set for her divorce and her plans with the younger man in the rearview mirror, Kassie O’Callaghan shifts attention to reviving her stalled career. But things get complicated when she unexpectedly rendezvous with her former lover in Paris. After a chance meeting there with a colleague and a stroll along Pont Neuf, Kassie receives two compelling proposals. Can she accept them both?

But Kassie’s decision process screeches to a halt when her soon-to-be ex-husband has a heart attack, forcing her to fly home to Boston. There, she confronts his conniving and deceitful fiancée—a woman who wants not just a ring on her finger but everything that belongs to Kassie. In the ensuing battle to protect what’s legally and rightfully hers, Kassie discovers that sometimes it’s what’s not true that can set you free.

 

Buy the Book
Amazon Purchase Link ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Indie Bound
Book Depository

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Valerie Taylor was born and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. She earned a B.S. Marketing degree and an MBA from Sacred Heart University, as well as a graduate certificate in health care administration from Simmons University (formerly Simmons College). She had a thirty-year career in the financial services industry as a marketer and writer. Valerie is a published book reviewer with BookTrib.com; and a member of Westport Writers’ Workshop, Independent Book Publishers Association, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association. She enjoys practicing tai chi and being an expert sports spectator.

connect with the author: 
website twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads

 
 

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The Soulweb by Steven M Nedeau (Book Review)

Centuries ago, King Mavius’s spell caused destruction beyond reasoning, weaving a web around and through the souls of his knights. Even now the spell of that long dead king pulls at his descendants and Jaron must trade his books for blades when Mavius, with his knights behind him, returns from beyond the grave to reclaim his throne.

Pushing heavy tomes onto marble shelves and translating archaic text until the wee hours of the night could not prepare Jaron for the trials in store for him. After years of teaching history, he will learn that books do not always tell the truth as he becomes a pawn in a war between kings.

 

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

If you even remotely like The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings trilogy a wee bit, then you’ll love The Soulweb. It possessed some of the same qualities as J. R. R. Tolkien’s works of art. 

  • important mission
  • dwarves
  • elves
  • creatures
  • epic battle scenes
  • magic
  • unique alliances
  • dragons
  • dead people
  • a ring: The Soulweb’s ring wasn’t precious, though. 😀

 

The Soulweb had its unique properties, which kept me engrossed in the storyline. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll attempt to keep things vague to peak your interest: Keepers of the Royal Secret, stone mage, shades, talking lion, secret passages, and lizard riders. 

With everything mentioned above, how could I not be highly entertained?! How could anyone walk away from this book feeling disappointed?! I don’t think it’s possible. 

Do I recommend The Soulweb to others?

OH YEAH! Most definitely!!! 

 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  ❤ 

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My website http://www.StevenMNedeau.com has a contact section that I pay attention to, but I can often be found playing on twitter (@StevenMNedeau), and a little less often at Instagram (@theleastinterestingmanalive). I almost always respond to my fans. You’re the people I write for.

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