Tag Archives: women’s fiction

What’s Not True by Valerie Taylor (Book Spotlight and 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

 

 
 
 

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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.

 

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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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Ellipsis by Kristy McGinnis (Book Review and Giveaway)

Ebook (2)

Paperback : 293 pages

 

The future looks promising and it’s supposed to come easily.

Smart, determined and beautiful; college student and art model Nell seemed to be the girl who had it all. A passionate relationship with one of the art students leads to an unplanned pregnancy that threatens to change everything though, and she must build a very different life than she envisioned. For thirteen years Nell and her son Charlie are a unit and their world is complete. That world will stop spinning though, when there’s a shooting at Charlie’s school. As Nell reaches out via text in desperation, only the words and the animated ellipsis on the phone screen offer a buffer between life and death. Can she save the person on the other end of the messages in time, and in the process can she save herself too?

Ellipsis isn’t a romance, but it is a love story.


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I received a complimentary copy of this book from R&R Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Ellipsis by Kristy McGinnis centered around many sensitive subjects. As a parent myself, I would never want to walk a mile in Nell’s shoes.

Nell has experienced love, but she also faced a parent’s worse nightmare—the loss of a child. How she lost her child is relevant to today’s world and how people reacted was realistic: marches and calls for reform.

There was an abundant amount of heartache, but a simple text proved the saving grace for two people. Everything changed in an instant. Then and there, I became more engrossed in the story, the outcome. No matter if you are a parent or not, your heart will go out to the person texting Nell. (Being vague on purpose)

After reading Ellipsis by Kristy McGinnis, I’m sure you’ll have the same compulsion as I did…I immediately hugged my daughter, thankful I still could.

 

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

 
 
SIGNED COPY OF BOOK (INTERNATIONAL)
 

 


About the Author

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Kristy spent her childhood as a Navy “brat” and her adult years first as a service member and then as a Coast Guard wife. A lifelong wanderer and now emptynester, she’s set permanent anchor in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband and that most rascally of rascals- her cat Percy. When not plucking away at her keyboard or eagerly devouring every book she can get her hands on; she enjoys theater, beach combing, hiking, wine tasting, and obsessively planning the next journey.

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The Unexpected Inlander by Kellyn Thompson (Book Showcase)

Agent Christopher Rockford has been the best assassin in the agency for eight years, and he loves his job. He loves his solitary lifestyle. He loves keeping the world safe by getting rid of anarchists who threaten their orderly society. He loves his comfortable life as a member of the wealthy Coastal upper class.

But in pursuit of a target, he meets Jenna, a mysterious civilian who belongs to society’s lowest and most shunned group. Meeting her is a life-changing experience. She makes him feel for the first time, and he is instantly captivated.

She boldly stands in the face of everything he has ever known and was taught to believe. He begins to see the world through her eyes, causing him to question his job, his lifestyle, and The Order he so obediently serves. It’s not long before he can’t imagine his life without her.

There’s just one problem: He knows she would leave him if she ever found out about his job. He knows this because he asked her how she felt about assassins in their government, and she was utterly disgusted with the idea, even though she believes their existence is just a myth.

As their relationship grows and intensifies, he knows he cannot keep the truth from her for long.

But Jenna has her own secrets to keep.

Set in an orderly world of near-perfect surveillance, genetically modified humans, and extreme socioeconomic divide, The Unexpected Inlander will take you through Chris’s journey of self-discovery and learning that change begins within.

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With his phone still set to alert him when Adam moved, Chris decided to go to a bookstore he had seen the previous day. It was just beyond the Coastal District but still in walking distance. As Chris left the familiar blocks he had walked with Jenna, the tension in the atmosphere increased. Even in the Coastal District, the air and attitude were more uptight and anxious than anywhere on the Coasts, but citizens looked at him more suspiciously here, and their clothes were noticeably ragged and worn. The officers walking among the citizens were constantly checking hands and bags. Chris also noticed that officers here carried a baton in addition to a firearm. At one corner was a group of riot police with helmets and shields.

Everyone walked swiftly and kept to themselves. Several people bumped into him without apologizing. One citizen tried to reach into one of Chris’s pockets when he bumped into him, but Chris blocked his arm before he could do it. An officer saw the incident and immediately arrested the man, who argued, “He can afford to be robbed.” The officer, without any acknowledgement to Chris, put the man in handcuffs. Chris kept walking without looking back. He heard the man say “Coastal scum” and spit on the sidewalk, earning him another citation from the officer.

He reached the bookstore, and an officer at the door pointed to a sign, which reminded citizens that no bags were allowed in the store, to keep their hands where the officers could see them, and specifically for Coastals to keep their hands out of their pockets. Chris nodded to the officer to acknowledge that he saw the sign and walked into the store. The clerk at the register did not acknowledge him, continuing to frown as she stared out the window. The store was small and had a rank smell to it of old water damage that had never completely been cleared away. There was only one other customer in the bookstore, a Coastal, and he looked nervous in the unfamiliar territory. He smiled at Chris and greeted him in the Coastal custom, grateful to see a fellow Coastal.

Chris probably had more books in his own house than were on the shelves in this bookstore. Education was strictly enforced in The Sectors, and everyone was taught reading and writing in the emerging Common Language. But books were strictly censored, and most Inlanders worked for most of their waking hours and thus did not have time to read. All the books in the store were in the Common Language. When he saw one he had not read before, he took it off the shelf. It was used, as all the books in the store were, but it did not look like it had ever been opened.

Chris took it to the counter, and the clerk scanned the book without looking at him or saying a word. She flipped through it and stopped at a page. It had a note in the margin written in a language she did not recognize. Chris saw that it was written in Spanish, but he did not have a chance to read it before she marked over it with a thick black marker and threw the book in the trash can. Still without meeting his eyes, she waved him away, indicating he needed to choose another book. He did, and this time she scanned it, flipped through it, took his card, charged him, and put the book on the counter for him to pick up—all without looking at him or speaking to him. He took the book and left without acknowledging her. The other Coastal in the store quickly got a book and caught up to Chris walking on the street, staying a few paces behind him. When they got back to the blocks where more Coastals were, the man said, “Have a good day,” to Chris and walked away with ease. Chris got lunch to take back to his hotel room, and he resumed his position on watch.

 

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A few things about me:

  • Yes, Kellyn Thompson is a pen name. Why? Because I write non-fiction science articles and am into SciComm, for which I use my given name. I thought it would be best to keep my fiction writing separate from the non-fiction science writing, ergo I used a different name when I decided to write fiction.
  • I do love writing (hence my first blog post, titled, “Why I love writing“), but I hate writing about myself. Maybe this blog will help me on that front. But I much prefer the solace I find in the objectivity of science or the dreamy unreality of fiction.
  • I reside in the great Pacific Northwest in the United States.
  • I have a dark sense of humor. My whole family does.
  • I need at least two cups of coffee to get going in the morning. It’s not a good idea for me to try to do anything substantial before finishing that second cup.
  • I love animals and biology and the magic (er…science) of life in general and, of course, books and cats.
  • I loooooooove being dramatic in my fiction writing, haaaaate being dramatic in real life.
  • And, finally, in case it’s not obvious, I am very new to blogging–Thank you for your patience! and any tips you have 🙂

 

You can find me on: 

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The ‘Being Me’ Series by Tricia Copeland (Author Showcase)

📚BOOK ONE 📚

Have you ever chosen a path that led you astray?

Amanda has no trouble choosing a college or picking a major. What she does have a problem with is what she would have least expected, a guy. Smart and sexy, Doug is focused on school responsibilities and post-graduation plans. Their paths intersect and Amanda must accept his help or risk losing her scholarship. Determined to maintain appearances, Amanda begins to lie to family and friends. The ease at which she repeatedly deceives those closest becomes disturbing and leaves her questioning: “Is this me?” 

Can Amanda find her way out of her contrived world?

 

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📚BOOK TWO 📚

After the happily ever after…

Did you ever wonder what the family thinks when the girl rides away with her prince? Amanda’s parents think she’s abandoned her friends, goals, even morals to be with Doug. The assessment is ludicrous, but Amanda can’t convince them otherwise. Their disapproval undermines her self-confidence and she is determined to prove them wrong. To make things worse, Doug has a huge roadblock thrown in his path. Amanda isn’t able to talk about the situation with anyone except Zack, her ex-boyfriend. Can she endure the strain of keeping Doug’s secret? Can her already fragile psyche survive a whole summer with parents who condemn everything she does? Amanda begins to doubt she can, and there’s no castle, no fairy godmother, no magic wand to rescue her.

 

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📚BOOK THREE 📚

 

March 20
This isn’t fair! Isn’t it enough that I see his image every time I close my eyes? That I hear her words echo in my dreams? Now his face is immortalized on a front page? How much worse can it get? My rage and guilt are just as raw as if it were yesterday. I can’t let him control my feelings. He can’t win. I won’t let him.

–Amanda
 
Amanda’s first year of college is fraught with drama and parental scrutiny. With her relationship secure and a clean break from her parents, all she wants is a normal term. But fate steps in and deals a shattering blow. You Don’t Know Me will keep you guessing from the first chapter.

 

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📚BOOK FOUR 📚

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”-The Great Gatsby

In attempt to manage her rage and shame after a violent assault, Amanda loses touch with reality. Her spiraling physical state forces her to act or die. To face her demons, she must revisit the emotions she ran from in the first place. Still unsure of what life she wants, but determined to pick up the pieces, she seeks out the right path. Can she mend broken bonds with her friends and family? Will her epic love survive? Find out in this roller coaster finale of the Being Me series.

 

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Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado. She not only draws from personal experiences, but creates adventures and fantastical journeys for her characters. She feels it is important to portray bravery in the face of turmoil and challenge.

Her contemporary romance Being Me Series includes the novels Is This Me?, If I Could FlyThink You Me, and the finale,Being Me. These new adult books follow a college co-ed named Amanda, from her freshman year to her senior year, as she navigates a huge crush, first love, and an intense personal tragedy. More than just romance novels, the series chronicles a young adult’s journey, diving into coming of age, personal growth, and recovery themes.

Tricia also writes in the young adult space. Her first YA paranormal work, entitled Drops of Sunshine, features Nina who hopes to escape her family drama at a summer camp for the visually-challenged. Problems ensue when she realizes the campers can hear her thoughts. This novella is available free in Spellbound, a summer themed anthology of YA stories. Tricia’s second YA work, a dystopian tale featuring Jema and Troy, is entitled Lovelock Ones: Native One, and can be found in The Butterfly Box. In addition to Native OneThe Butterfly Box includes seven adult healing themed novellas. All proceeds from this anthology benefit Doctors Without Borders. A follow up to Native OneBred One, will be available January of 2018!

Copeland’s latest books are the YA paranormal fantasy romance, Kingdom Journals Series, including Kingdom of Embers and Kingdom of Darkness. In the first journal, you read a first-person account of a modern-day vampire-witch hybrid named Alena who finds her soul-mate, Hunter, who realizes he is a witch. The second, gives a glimpse into the mind of a girl who believes she suffers from schizophrenia. Camille discovers, she is the witch of the trinity, destined to break the curses put on the witch and vampire species. The third and fourth books of the series, Kingdom of Honor and Kingdom of War, are due out in September of 2017 and June of 2018, respectively.

An avid runner and paranormal fan, Tricia enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find all of Tricia’s books on her website at www.triciacopeland.com!

 

 

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