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Archive for July, 2011

Mystery Monday – A Cold Day In Paradise

Monday, July 18th, 2011

A Cold Day In Paradise by Steve Hamilton

Review by Susan R. (Sue-in-AZ)



Story Synopsis

Alex McKnight is an ex-cop from Detroit.  During his final days on the police force, he was shot and nearly killed in an incident that killed his partner.  The attacker is convicted and sentenced to life in prison, but Alex’s career is over due to his injury and resulting nightmares. He’s retreated to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to start over in a simple cabin in the woods.

In the U.P., a local attorney recruits Alex to act as a part-time private investigator. Expecting some routine easy work, Alex agrees.  He’s still recovering from his physical and mental wounds, but things seem to be looking up.

Very shortly though, Alex acquires an enemy – the attorney’s previous P.I. who is now out of a job.  On the very same day, Alex is drawn by a friend into an unsolved murder. And it appears that the murder is just the first in a string of murders, and Alex is being framed for the crimes – and the local police seem willing to believe Alex is guilty.  And if that’s not enough, it appears that his assailant from Detroit has somehow escaped from prison and is now stalking Alex.

Alex is unwillingly drawn into the role of solving the murders just to clear his own name, but at the same time he has to dodge local enemies, the police and a madman from his past.


My Review

This is an older book (1998), but I picked it up because it is an Edgar Award winner (annual award for the best mystery of the year).

I greatly enjoyed this book. I was kept guessing about who was responsible for the murders, why would anyone want to set Alex up, and just how did his attacker from Detroit get out of prison?  I found the book to be a real page-turner!

The character development for the main character (Alex McKnight) was pretty good.  By the end of the story, I felt a little bit like I knew Alex personally.  Since this is the first book in a series about the same character, it makes sense that some effort would be put into defining that character.  Other characters in the book were a little less well defined, but still believable and realistic.  The book also gave an accurate picture of the setting – the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the winter is very well described. I almost felt cold just reading the book.

I enjoyed the twists and suspense in the story.  While I always try to figure out what’s going on and who the culprit is, I’m always disappointed if I can predict the ending.  In this book, I was able to see some of the “reveal” coming, but not all of it.  I was very satisfied with the ending – all the loose ends tied up.


National Ice Cream Day!

Sunday, July 17th, 2011

We All Scream For Ice Cream!!!

James L. ( JimiJam)


Summer is a season lived in defiance of the sun. The air conditioner gets its daily workout, cold beverages become mandatory, and places in the shade become the most valuable real estate.  Whether you’re on vacation or staycation, in the pool or at the beach, nothing says summertime like a frosty scoop of ice cream!

Be it hard or soft serve, cousins sherbet and sorbet, or neighbors ice and gelato, there’s no denying the value of a cold confectionary treat on a scorching summer’s day.  We love our ice cream on cones of all sorts and sizes, in bowls loaded with toppings, of flavors as many and varied as can be.

For those who enjoy each of the 31 flavors, and those who partake of only a few, July is National Ice Cream Month, and the 17th is National Ice Cream day!  As if you needed a reason to run out for a pint, here’s your chance to celebrate without shame!


Here are some interesting ice cream statistics to consider over your next cone:

More than 90% of American households purchase ice cream!

Over the course of a year, the average American consumes over 23 quarts. That’s almost 150 scoops each! 

More ice cream is eaten on Sunday than any other day of the week. Sundae Sunday!

In 2009, more than 1.5 BILLION gallons of ice cream were produced nationally! 

The 5 most popular flavors, starting with the favorite, are Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Chocolate Chip, and Butter Pecan 

The first ice cream parlors in America opened in New York city back in the 1770s 

The oldest ice cream company still in operation is Bassett’s, which was founded in Salem, NH back in 1861 

The Guinness World Record for the largest ice cream cake belongs to Dairy Queen, whose winning entry weighed in at staggering 22,333 lbs! 

The official consumption record for an individual belongs to Patrick Bertoletti, who managed to eat 1.75 gallons of Brooklyn Vanilla in only 8 minutes!



From the city that brought Good Humor into the world, let me be the first to wish you all a happy Ice Cream Day.  May your sundaes be cherried, your cones slow to drizzle, and may your hot summer days be both frosty and sweet!












The Joy of Ice Cream by Matthew Klien


We All Scream for Ice Cream by Lee Wardlaw


The Ice Cream Maker by Subir Chowdhury


Ice Cream for Breakfast by Leslie Levine


The Ice Cream Diet by Holly McCord


Sundae My Prince Will Come by Catherine Clark


Rocky Road Trip by Catherine Clark


Banana Splitsville by Catherine Clark







Author Interview with Sarah-Kate Lynch

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

Author Interview with Sarah-Kate Lynch by Victoria K. (dolfynstar)


Victoria: How are you inspired to write a novel?

Sarah-Kate: Generally it is a collision of ideas that come together for a variety of reasons about the time I am needing to start thinking about a new book. With Dolci di Love, one of the ideas was about secret families, as years ago I heard of one that appeared at a funeral then more recently I found out a friend of mine was part of a secret family which got me thinking about it from a more sympathetic angle. Separately, I had been deeply affected by seeing a friend of mine have her heart broken over a failed adoption when the biological mother wanted her baby bake. Finally, I discovered the gorgeous hilltop town of Montepulciano in Tuscany and once I had my setting, the overall idea of the book fell into place.


Victoria: Generally speaking, what is your writing technique?  Do you work from an outline or just start with an idea and let it grow organically?  Type vs. long hand?  Do you write from the same location? In a short time frame or over several months?

Sarah-Kate: I start with the idea, as above, then work out an outline, then take it from there although often the finished product has little to do with the outline but because I have worked as a journalist my whole life, I like to know where I am headed when I start out, even if I end up deviating for a different end result. I type, because I’m a fast typist and my fingers can keep up with my thoughts which is actually pretty helpful. We have a city apartment and a beach house and I have an office in both, which I like to keep quite tidy, and I need it to be quiet. I seem to write in bursts because that’s how life works out. Working on a novel you can’t do it for half an hour at a time, or I can’t. I need to have at least half a day if not a whole day where nothing else is required of me so I tend to block out months at a time, over a year, generally, to write a novel.


Victoria: Food is a common theme in your books, almost a character in itself.  Why?

Sarah-Kate: I really like food. I worked as a newspaper food editor for a couple of years before being made redundant at which point I decided to take what had recently inspired me so much and turn it into something else.

Victoria: How do you decide what culinary delight will be the focus?

Sarah-Kate: I generally think about this years in advance. I stumbled upon Irish artisan cheese, which featured in Blessed Are The Cheesemakers, and then I literally thought, what goes with cheese? I came up with sourdough bread for By Bread Alone. My next book, not published in the US, was about a restaurant critic, which I used my own experience to develop, and then I developed a terrible thirst for champagne. In fact, for a year I drank only champagne. Then I looked into why it was so expensive and found out what a unique product it really is, which inspired House of Daughters.



I next wrote a book about a woman who runs a tea rooms in London (also not published in the US), and then I went to Italy and discovered cantucci, the biscotti peculiar to Tuscany, which features in Dolci di Love. Basically I am always on the lookout for a food story that will reflect a personal story. The book I am writing now is about a woman who keeps bees on her Manhattan rooftop so I’m all about honey!


Victoria: How do you research your novels?  Did you spend time in Tuscany for Dolci di Love?

Sarah-Kate: I went twice, once when I discovered the town of Montepulciano on which the fictional town of Montevedova is based, and again when I was half way through the book to fine tune my research. I love traveling to the places I write about. Not only is it a true joy if you have wanderlust like I do, but I think the more you can describe the sights and sounds and smells, the more you can transport the reader there too.

Victoria: Infertility is a central theme to the relationship between Lily and Daniel.  How did you learn the sometimes devastating effects of infertility on marriage?

Sarah-Kate: I’ve watched a lot of people battle infertility and as an observer of human nature, I’ve seen just how devastating it can be and what havoc it can wreak. I have a very close friend who had to give her baby back when the biological mother changed her mind and her heartbreak had a huge effect on me. But also, I have seen how for some people what they do not have has become the sometimes obsessive focus, when what they do have is still sitting there quietly waiting for them to notice.

Victoria: The relationship between sisters is also key.  What draws you to familial relationships in your novels?

Sarah-Kate: I am one of five children and we all get along fantastically, plus we have a wide network of cousins and second cousins and indeed, old family friends. You can’t be part of a network like this and feel lonely. Loneliness is my biggest fear and one way or another, most my books are about avoiding it. I have two sisters and we pretty much prefer each other’s company to anyone else’s. Actually we used to laugh at our mother and her sister for talking on the phone 10 times a day and then catching up at night too but now we are like that! I sat next to someone at a dinner recently and she was one of four sisters and she and I got on like a house on fire because I think women with sisters love the company of other women. Actually we were dressed a little alike too, and agreed we could indeed be sisters. It’s such a lovely relationship I am always sad when I hear of one that has gone awry, the way Lily and Rose’s has. But in a book, I can fix it.


Victoria: In both Blessed Are the Cheesemakers and Dolci di Love, the husbands were unfaithful and had children with other women while being married to the heroine – was this coincidence?

Sarah-Kate: Yes, totally. It’s 10 years since I wrote Blessed Are the Cheesemakers and those characters and their stories are well behind me, especially the cheating husband in Blessed Are because he was such a nincompoop. Daniel is a far more developed character, I think, and a main character whereas Martin was almost a throwaway. It’s actually quite funny how much a writer can forget. The honey book I am writing now involves someone fleeing a wedding, which actually happened in my very first novel Finding Tom Connor but I don’t even see it in the same light. Each book is a world to me and exists totally on its own. Either that or I am the world’s best recycler!


Victoria: Also in both books, the heroines reinvented themselves in new environments.  Why the need to completely abandon their prior lives?

Sarah-Kate: I think it’s a wonderful dream to reinvent yourself although these two characters are going about it in very different ways. Abbey, who is more of a victim, is returning to her spiritual home in Blessed Are The Cheesemakers, and Lily, more of a warrior, is discovering a new one in Dolci di Love. In both cases though the women are accepting new families, maybe not the ones they dreamed of, but the ones that are sitting there quietly waiting for them to notice.


Victoria: What do you think of the notion of women wanting to ‘have it all’ – marriage, career, children?

Sarah-Kate: I think that in many cases a lot of “some” is better than a little bit of “all” but to each her own.

Victoria: What is next?  Are you working on another book?

Sarah-Kate: I am working on quite a romantic book now, about a mysterious woman from the American South who turns up in Manhattan with nothing but a hive of bees and an insistence on good manners. She uses honey to help and heal all she meets, while her own heart remains broken until her bees take charge and find her someone to love.


Victoria: Do you have a blog or website for members to get more information about you and your books?

Sarah-Kate: Yes, my website is www.sarah-katelynch.com and I also have a blog at www.sarah-katelynch.blogspot.com and I have a facebook page, which is Sarah-Kate Lynch – Writer, and I am a haphazard Tweeter.


Thank you Sarah-Kate and Victoria for a wonderful interview!

It’s all because of a book…….

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Interview with PBS Member Ivy (PBSmaven).

Ivy will appear on ABC’s 20/20 tonight, July 15, 2011 as a part of an episode about Kathryn Stockett’s book, The Help.

PBS:Books often have a tremendous impact on our lives, but rarely is such impact so significantly apparent as has been the case with The Help and our very own Ivy (PBSmaven).

Thanks for asking me to do this interview. I feel like an actual celebrity! lol

Back in Dec. 2010 I read the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The premise of the book is about the women down south and the maids or “help” they had and how they treated them. This took place in the 1960s just before and during the civil rights movement.

The book made me think about my childhood in NY also in the 1960s and a maid that we had growing up back then. Her name is Dorothy and she’d been with my family since my great grandmother…for three generations. The book made me think about how much she meant to me and still does and how much of an influence she had on my life. The book prompted me to write a letter to Dorothy and let her know.

After I wrote the letter I went onto Facebook and looked up the page for the book and movie. I made a comment on the page about how much I enjoyed the book and how it prompted me to write the letter to Dorothy. Soon after I was contacted via Facebook by a producer from ABC’s 20/20 show, Denise Martinez – Ramundo. She asked me if she could speak to me about the letter and the book The Help and of course I said yes. As the producer heard the story of my relationship with Dorothy she asked if I’d be interested in having ABC fly me back to NYC to have a reunion with her. At this point I should mention that Dorothy is now 85 years old and not in great health and due to my own health issues I’m not able to travel much. However, this was a once in a lifetime chance so I knew I had to take it or I’d never see Dorothy again. So on June 15, 2011, ABC flew me back to NY for my reunion with Dorothy. I was interviewed by two of the producers from ABC, Denise Martinez – Ramundo and Lynn Redmond as well as correspondent Deborah Roberts. You’ll have to watch the show which airs this Friday, July 15, 2011 to see how it all turned out!

PBS:  The Help by Katheryn Stockett has been a book that has had lots of people talking about it since the day of its release. Did you have it Wish Listed?

Ivy: No, actually I was so interested in the book that I have to say I went out and actually bought it! That’s the first time I’ve actually bought a book in years! lol I always get my books on PBS but this one I just had to read as soon as I could.

PBS: Did you enjoy reading it because of your life experiences and/or because it was a great book?

Ivy: Both. The Help was easily one of the best books I’ve read in the past year. However, having grown up in the 1960s and having the life experiences that I did brought the book to life for me.

PBS: Can you tell us a bit about the person you were reunited with?

Ivy: Dorothy is one of the most amazing people I’ve ever known. She was my guardian angel, my protector, my second mother…she was and still is family to me. Dorothy is very religious and always taught me right from wrong. Most of all, she taught me how to love. That even if someone has wronged you to still try to be good to them because you don’t know what they’re going through. So basically she taught me compassion. She is truly an inspiration. She also has a fantastic sense of humor and her laughter was contagious!

PBS: Can you share a memory with us?

Ivy: One of my favorite memories was having lunch with Dorothy. As a little girl I’d sit with her and we’d have lunch and just talk. I honestly can’t remember specifically what we talked about but I remember she would teach me right from wrong and how to be “proper”. To this day, that’s stuck with me.

PBS: How does your experience parallel the book?

The only real thing I can think of that relates to the book (not really a parallel story here) is that I kind of relate to the character Skeeter. I’ve always been the kind of person that can’t stand to see injustice or suffering and the way I grew up was that there was no black or white. People are people, plain and simple. Dorothy and her family are black, I and my family are white, yet I’ve always considered Dorothy and her family my family. To me, we’re all blood. The book made me think about how Dorothy and her family may have been treated by the world back then and it made me really sad to think that they might have been treated any differently then my family and I had. Recently I had a conversation with one of Dorothy’s daughters, Jacqueline about this and she told me that when they had gone down south back in the 60’s they did encounter situations with separate bathrooms for black people and white people, and her being a little girl she didn’t know what it meant and she went into a white bathroom. She said her father scolded her when she came out but she didn’t understand why. It still amazes me to think that people could have been, and in some cases still are, so ignorant and prejudiced. People are people. We all have a heart, we all go to bed at night, we all go to the bathroom, we all love. We’re all the same person.

PBS: This must have been quite emotional for everyone involved in the reunion. Did you cry?

Ivy: OMG did I ever!! I warned the ABC crew that I was a crier and to have tissues handy! I lived up to my promise! lol

At one point when I was reading the letter I had written to Dorothy, there wasn’t a dry eye in my house. lol My Mother, who hadn’t heard about the letter, was crying buckets, the producer was crying, I think even the camera man was crying! lol

PBS: Would you share an excerpt from the letter?

Ivy: Here is an excerpt from my letter to Dorothy:
“…For the last 15 or so years…I’ve kept a picture of you next to my computer and look at it every day. It’s a picture that was taken of you at the luncheon after my grandmother’s funeral. It’s the only picture I have of you but it’s priceless to me. However, I know that with or without that picture, you’ll always be in my heart and prayers as the woman I looked up to, the woman who loved me, the woman who protected me and the woman who never failed to make me smile.”

PBS: Was it difficult to locate Dorothy?

Ivy: Dorothy’s lived at the same address for the last 50 or so years. I had her address still in my address book and ABC contacted Dorothy’s daughter’s Barbara and Jacqueline to set this reunion up. Dorothy had no idea it was going to take place until the minute she saw me.

PBS: Are you planning on seeing the Movie?

Ivy: I’m definitely planning on seeing the movie!

PBS: Have you kept in touch with Dorothy and her family?

Ivy: Yes I have. I’ve spoken to both Dorothy and Barbara by phone and I’m in close contact with Dorothy’s daughter Jacqueline both on Facebook and phone. We’re closer now then ever. We used to play together as little girls and it’s such a blessing to be able to talk as adults. I’m so very thankful for ABC setting up this reunion. I never thought I’d see Dorothy or her family again. This has reunited me with my “long lost family” and it’s been such a huge blessing to me!

Dorothy's daughter Barbara, Ivy and Dorothy

PBS: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Ivy: Just two things;
Watch the episode of ABC’s 20/20 on The Help tonight, July 15th so you can see it all for yourself and….you never know where a book will lead you. Reading a book can change your life in ways that you never could have imagined!

PBS: Thank you Ivy, for sharing this wonderful experience with us!

Don’t forget, there’s still time to enter to win free passes to advance screenings of The Help in select cities before it hits theaters nationwide August 10th! Members have until July 20th to submit their entries.

Just click here, complete the 4 questions and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to receive passes to a local showing prior to the August 10th release date.

Author Interview with Marie Sexton

Thursday, July 14th, 2011


Author Interview with Marie Sexton by Mary (kilchurn)

Mary: I will shamefully admit that Promises sat on my bookshelf for MONTHS.  I would occasionally pick it up and start the first page and then put it down.  *shudder* written in first person *shudder* After some arm twisting by a good friend of yours, I huffed and puffed grumpily to my bookshelf and picked it up and began to read.  In the ensuing hours, I fell in love with Matt and Jared.  A lot of the readers I know have similar feelings about 1st person narratives, so I have to ask, why 1st person?

Marie: I’m always surprised when people say they don’t like 1st person. I’m exactly the opposite. As a reader, it’s absolutely my first preference. I’m really not a fan of 3rd. I only enjoy reading 3rd if it’s nice and tight and very specific, like Harry Potter, but frankly, that’s hard to find. The very minute the POV starts jumping around (which seems to happen way more often than not), I put the book down and never go back. Omniscient 3rd drives me up the wall. To me, it makes the book feel very distant, like I’m not actually engaging with the characters or the story at all. When I read, I like to be completely immersed in the thoughts and life of the main character, so when I started writing, it never even occurred to me to write in anything other than 1st.

That being said, I did break my cycle. Between Sinners and Saints and Song of Oestend are both written in 3rd. In Saints, we really needed to see both Levi’s and Jaime’s POV. It was funny, because I kept emailing Heidi saying, “It’s all messed up! I’m doing it wrong! I hate writing in 3rd!” And she’d read it and sort of pat me on the head and tell me, “It’s fine. Keep going.” And for the most part, I think it worked. Oestend is written entirely from Aren’s POV, though, and in hindsight, I kind of wish I’d used 1st. ~shrug~ Oh well. 🙂

Also, for the record, writing a m/m (or m/m/m) sex scene in 3rd person is much more difficult than writing it in 1st!


Mary: Your “Coda” series is set in a fictional town called “Coda”.  Is it based on a real town?

Marie:  Not quite. It’s sort of a combination of Lyons and Allenspark. But mostly, it’s fictional.


Mary: Who has been your favorite character to write? Why?

Marie:  Probably Angelo, because he’s so damaged, but also so tough and angry and outspoken. He’s very much the voice of my petulant inner-child.


Mary: Which character has been the most challenging for you?

Marie:  Jon was really hard, because he was just so uptight and dry. I tried at one point to write Strawberries from Cole’s POV, but he’s too verbose. I wrote about half a chapter before giving up and going back to Jon. But Jon really is such a straight man (no pun intended). I had to add George and the emails from Cole to Jared to lighten that book up a bit.


Mary: There are some critics out there who think that it is impossible for women to write “authentic” Male/Male romances.  As a woman writing in the genre what are your thoughts?

Marie:  I would say, I get emails from gay men all the time telling me otherwise.


Mary: Song of Oestend is due out in August 2011.  Until now you’ve written “contemporary” novels.  What was your reason for approaching another genre?

Marie:  I think a few different things converged here. First, I’ve always been a fantasy reader. I read fantasy almost exclusively for many, many years before I found m/m romance. I was only reading romance for about a year when I decided to try writing one. My one unfinished novel (which I started between A to Z and The Letter Z) is also fantasy. I think I was just longing to do something new. Truthfully though, what I really wanted to write (for some reason I can’t really explain) was a haunted house story.

Song of Oestend started because I was at a little house concert. I’m sorry to say I don’t even remember the name of the musician, but she sang a song called Barbed Wire Men. Suddenly, I wanted to write a story about a cowboy and an artist. But I also still had the haunted house bug, and I couldn’t figure out if cowboys in a haunted house would be contemporary (which made the haunted house seem like less fun) or historical (which presented other problems I didn’t want to deal with). Then, I read Warded Man by Peter Brett, and I was really intrigued by this idea of very dangerous things running around in the night. And somebody (maybe Heidi, or maybe my husband) said, “Put them all together.” It seemed sort of crazy, but in the end, that’s what I did. I set it in an alternate universe, and voila!


Mary: What made you start writing?

Marie:  It was a whim. I woke up one morning with a vision in my head of two men in a hallway. I sat down and started writing it, and it turned into Promises.


Mary: Do you write in a structured environment, i.e. an office or do you start writing wherever the mood strikes you?

Marie:  I generally move all over the place, although I think I’m most productive when I make myself stay in my office.


Mary: You have a partner in crime these days, Heidi Cullinan.  How did you meet and do you think you will ever collaborate on a project?

Marie:  Sometime in early 2010, Heidi sent an email to the Dreamspinner author loop saying she wanted to host a booth at Des Moines Pride, and asking if anybody would like to join her. I checked the drive time from Colorado to Iowa and said, “Why not?” The first time I met her was when I showed up on her doorstep in June of 2010. After that, we were emailing or chatting almost every day. A few months later, she said, “I don’t suppose you’d want to drive to McAllen, Texas with me?” And again, I said, “Why not?” So we embarked on a massive roadtrip together.

Suffice it to say, once you’ve peed in a ditch together, or been lost in the bowels of a downtown Memphis parking garage and emerged again into the light, you form a bit of a bond.

Will we ever collaborate on a project? Hmmm…. How to answer that…. Let’s just say, anything could happen. 😉


Mary: What does Marie do for fun when she isn’t writing?

Marie:  I watch a stupid amount of TV these days.


Mary: What was your favorite book as a child?

Marie:  I was a huge fan of the Great Brain books. I think that’s where I learned to love 1st person narrators – especially ones who aren’t entirely reliable.


Mary: What has been your favorite book as an adult?

Marie:  Harry Potter, and the Doctrine of Labyrinths series by Sarah Monette. The first two Labyrinths books, Melusine and The Virtu, just blew me away. I absolutely love Felix and Mildmay. They’re so messed up and damaged and unbelievably codependent. They’re amazing.


Mary: Many of the male/male romance books are primarily available in eBook and it seems like portable reading devices are taking over.  Do you own a kindle/nook/kobo/other?  Why or why not?

Marie:  I do own a Kindle. It was my present to myself when I received my first publishing contract. It’s convenient, but I’m not a total ebook convert. What I am is CHEAP. If I can get the paperback cheaper (or better yet, free from PBS), I’ll still choose to do that rather than pay for the ebook.


Mary: How did you find PaperBackSwap and how long have you been a member?

Marie:  I had to check my profile, and it says I’ve been a member since October 2006. I’m trying to remember how I first found PBS. I have a really horrible memory. I do remember being VERY excited to find it. My daughter was two at that time, and going to a book store with her was completely out of the question. Plus, I had shelves and shelves and shelves of paperbacks to trade. I do remember it as being sort of love at first sight. (Love at first site? LOL. Sorry. Bad pun.)


Mary: What book(s) are at the top of your To-Be-Read pile?

Marie:  On PBS, the ones at the top are:

Amazonia, by James Rollins

Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany

Best Served Cold, by Joe Abercrombie

Honestly though, I haven’t been reading nearly as much since I started writing. I used to be a voracious reader, but these days, I tend to start lots of books and never finish them.


Mary: How has PaperBackSwap impacted your life?

Marie:  The biggest impact has been the people I’ve met. Back in early 2009, I met a girl named Amy via PBS, and we became very good friends. We’d swap m/m books, and she was my biggest cheerleader as I wrote Promises. And then a few months later, we contacted Troy via PBS. Since that time, I’ve unfortunately lost contact with Amy, but Troy and I still talk almost every day.


And now for some fun things –

Onion Rings or French Fries?

French fries, with ranch dressing. I don’t like ketchup.

Coke or Pepsi?


M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces?

M&Ms, but my favorites are the peanut butter ones.

Anchovies or No Anchovies?

I’ve never had a pizza with anchovies on it, but I’d absolutely be willing to try it.

Bugs Bunny or the Flintstones?

Bugs Bunny

Early Bird or Night Owl?

Early bird, but not by choice. It’s all my daughter’s fault. I was a night owl until she came along.

Steak or Chicken?


Red Wine or White Wine?


Folgers or Maxwell House?

Either one, as long as I have some of that CoffeeMate flavored creamer to go in it.


Marie Sexton was always good at the technical aspects of writing but never had any ideas for stories. After graduating from Colorado State University, she worked for eleven years at an OB/GYN clinic. She quit the clinic at about the same time she started reading M/M romances. At some point in the ensuing months, the static in her head cleared, and her first story was born.

Marie lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Matt and Jared often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Visit Marie’s web site at http://www.MarieSexton.net or find her on Facebook.


Marie’s Books:

The Coda Series:

  1. Promises
  2. A to Z
  3. The Promise and The Letter Z  [ebook only] (doesn’t matter which one you read first – they take place at the same time)
  4. Strawberries for Dessert and Putting Out Fires [ebook only] (also take place at the same time)
  5. Paris A to Z [ebook only]


Other Stories:

One More Soldier [ebook only]

Between Sinners and Saints


UpComing book:

Song of Oestend (due August 2011)

Marie Sexton has generously offered an autographed copy of one of her print books to a member who comments on this interview. The winner will get to choose which book!


Thank you Mary and Marie for a great interview!!

Embrace your Geekness Day – July 13, 2011

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

By James L. (JimiJam)


When I really think about it, I have to ask: Do we really need a day to celebrate our geekness?  Every day seems dedicated to one geeky endeavor or

Geek Squad

another.  Whether we know the difference between Java and Javascript, we’re all computer geeks to a degree, and we certainly rely on geeks when it comes to building, selling, or maintaining our computers.  Who doesn’t have that one friend or family member who always knows just how to straighten things out when the PC doesn’t seem to be running right?


It’s probably likely that most everyone seems to know at least one geek, if not an entire pack of geeks, of almost limitless varieties, shapes, and sizes:

Tekkoshocon 2010

Star Trek Convention

Maybe you’ve got a father who can’t get enough star trek, or a brother who dresses like a Wookie on the weekends; maybe it’s a son who can’t be bothered to pause video games long enough for a proper bathroom break; perhaps it’s a brother in law who tinkers with computers both on the job and off; Or maybe, just maybe, it’s you yourself, fascinated by any given subject to a degree that the average passer by would clearly identify (and quite possibly admire) as geeky.


Of course, it wasn’t always this way.  When I was a kid, being called a “geek” wasn’t exactly a good thing.  Along the lines of “spaz” or “dweeb”, “geek” was the kind of thing that got thrown at you during recess, when they weren’t throwing dodgeballs (with less than playful intent).  In the term’s early years, a geek was even worse than a simple insult; once upon a time, the “geek” was the circus performer who sat in a cage, behaving like a primitive proto-human beast, biting the heads off of chickens and growling at passers by.  Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since then.


Dungeons and Dragons

Gone are the days of lamenting the label; here are days in which people not only wear the mantle of geekhood gladly, but boldly and proudly as well.  Geeks are no longer tormented, but celebrated.  We have entire catalogs, collections of some of the oddest and yet coolest items imaginable, dedicated to the Geek Culture.  We have t-shirts that proudly brandish our geek status.  We have conventions at which we may join other geeks in celebrating the specific branch of geekness to which we ascribe.  Geeks, with all their awkward foibles and oft-neglected attention to the fashionable, have suddenly risen to levels of recognition formerly reserved for the dazzling and glamorous.  It’s no longer uncommon to see celebrities walking the red

Tenth Doctors

carpet not in designer and expensive couture, but sporting what is now known as “Geek Chic”.  Somehow, against steep odds, geekness has managed to work its way into the mainstream.  From business to entertainment, from the specific to the common, these days geeks are just plain cool.


Geekness seems to have become as accepted as sunshine, and as normal as rain.  And yet, despite its now dominant role our lives, an entire day has been set aside, presumably for those still unaware that geekness is not only allowed but encouraged.  July 13th is Embrace Your Geekness day, a day on which any of us and all of us can and should let our Geek flags fly!






The Help – Movie Pass Contest

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

© 2011 DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC

We know you’ve read and swapped Kathryn Stockett’s best-seller The Help, so PaperBackSwap.com wants to help you be among the first to see the new film in theatres!  A limited number of complimentary advance screening passes are available to PBS members in select cities.  See the list below to find out if you live in one of the designated cities and can attend on the specified date and time.



07/26  7:30pm

Austin, TX  78746


07/27  7:00 pm

New York, NY  10003

La Jolla, CA  92037

Milford, CT 06460


07/27 7:30 pm

Washington, DC 20001

Orange Park, FL  32073


07/28 7:00 pm

Montgomery, AL 36117

High Point, NC  27265


07/28 7:30 pm

Campbell, CA  95008

Atlanta, GA 30363

If you do, lucky you!  Just click here, complete the 4 questions and you’ll be entered in a random drawing to receive passes to a local showing prior to the August 10th release date.

Fine print:  No purchase necessary.  Entries must be received by 7/20/2011.  10 lucky members in each participating city will be randomly selected and contacted via email to receive an admit-two pass.  Full screening details and admission information will be on the pass.