Sunday, 10 November 2013

Three excellent writers – Tom Winton, Donna Fasano and MP McDonald.


Have you heard of Tom Winton?

If not, this is where you do, and afterwards are properly grateful to me for the introduction, I'm quite sure.

Today Tom has released another marvellous book, Second Chance in Paradise, which is right up there with his other bestsellers. You won't want to miss it!

This is the link: 

http://www.amazon.com/Second-Chance-Paradise-Tom-Winton-ebook/dp/B00GM2IR64

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Second-Chance-Paradise-Tom-Winton-ebook/dp/B00GM2IR64

And here's an introduction to the story:


Long Island salesman Sonny Raines has had it. He’s sick and tired of living in a world where wrong always wins over right. Then, on his thirty-ninth birthday, when he loses his job and comes home to the most devastating shock of his life, that’s it. He’s dropping out. 



With nothing left to lose, and little in his pocket, Sonny chucks it all and drives his aging van fifteen-hundred miles to the lower reaches of the Florida Keys. All he wants is to get over his recent losses and simplify his hectic life, and that’s exactly what he thinks he’s doing when he settles on a paradisiacal speck of an island known as Wrecker’s Key. While surrounded by the warm aquamarine waters of two tropical oceans, he not only falls in love with the key but also establishes a close bond with the free-spirited locals who call it home. 



But all isn’t blue skies, swaying palms, and coconut oil on Wrecker’s Key. There’s trouble wafting in the warm breezes that caress the island. Although Sonny certainly isn’t looking for romance, he finds himself falling for his next door neighbor. 

Ex-model Julie Albright just may be the kindest, most beautiful woman to ever grace his eyes, but there’s a snag. She has a small physical flaw that, no matter how hard he tries, Sonny can’t overlook. And his feelings are no secret to Julie. She can read them, and they weigh as heavy on her heart as they do on his. 

Then things get even worse. One night, under the cover of darkness, danger drifts up the deep, silent currents from the lower keys—serious danger—life and death danger. And Sonny Raines finds himself right in the middle of it. 

Writing with his usual style and panache, Tom Winton gives us characters we can relate to; a gripping plot; and romance, nostalgia, and humour. What more do you want?



I first 'met' Tom on Authonomy where he, like me, was slogging it out in the long battle which was supposed to lead to a publishing deal with Harper Collins. Of all the thousands (yes, literally) of books of which I read the first part on that site, Tom's Beyond Nostalgia stood out among a tiny handful of books which were ones any publisher with any sense should have grabbed. (And he was kind enough to say something similar about my own Belfast Girls.)

Tom, unlike me, didn't feel obliged to stick it out until the end, a disappointing review which, in my case, said nice things but definitely didn't offer a publishing deal unless I rewrote the book as either a romance or a thriller. Instead, he pulled out, and went on to achieve great success on YouWriteOn. Meanwhile, he found that Tim Roux of Night Publishing was only too happy to publish Beyond Nostalgia; and the sales have been in the thousands.
Beyond Nostalgia starts by going back to the sixties, when the main character, Dean, was a teenager, in New York, and the love affair which he remembered even through the happy but poverty-striken marriage of his adult years with Maddy. I don't intend to spoil the story for you, but although this book has mainly been pushed as a romance it is much, much more.  The slummy background of New York years ago is beautifully presented and springs to life from the beginning. The financial struggle of Dean and Maddy to live is realistically detailed.The characters, especially the narrator, are immediate, real, vivid. The social background, the poverty and its effect on the characters, is of major importance, and the relationship between this man and his wife is delicately and poetically drawn. The twist in the plot is gripping and page-turning.

It's no surprise that so many have wanted to read this book.

But now Tom Winton has surpassed himself. In his second book, (just out when this post was first written), The Last American Martyr, Tom has taken his writing 'to infinity and beyond.'  This book has all the detail, the gritty reality, the living characters, of the first, but in its theme Tom Winton plunges yet deeper again.

The main character, another Tom, Tom Sales, has won a Nobel prize for his first and only book, which exposes the corruption and greed of the world's economy, and moves millions all over the world to rise up in protest to bring about change. But this has put Tom Sales in fear of his life, so that he has been forced to hide out, after some horrific experiences, from his enemies in Big Business.

The brutal truth, the up close reality, of Tom Winton's writing on this very important subject, should make his book as equally influential and successful worldwide as that of his character, if there's any justice. One thinks of books like Salinger's Catcher in the Rye or Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, and it's instinctive to place The Last American Martyr beside them, as one which will impact a generation.

This may seem an extreme thing to say. But to me, Tom Winton stands out as a writer to be remembered.

Already I'm looking eagerly to see what this amazing man will have for us next.

That was what I said then, and now there are three other books, the latest being Second Chance in Paradise.

You can buy Tom's books on Amazon as either paperback or Kindle, on either the USA or the UK sites.


http://www.amazon.com/The-Last-American-Martyr-ebook/dp/B005GFM764

http://www.amazon.com/Four-Days-Hemingways-Ghost-Winton-ebook/dp/B008FBXENQ

http://www.amazon.com/Within-Mans-Heart-Tom-Winton-ebook/dp/B00B29JHR0

If you enjoy good, enjoyable writing, you'll get them!



This is a short addition to my Hoppin' the Boxes blog. Donna Fasano has had her book Reclaim my Heart taken up by Montlake Publishers, and the new edition is out today! If you enjoy romance writing, you'll love this!

Book Title: RECLAIM MY HEART
Author name: Donna Fasano


About the book:

Sixteen years ago, Tyne Whitlock cut all ties to her past and left town under the shameful shadow of a teenage pregnancy. Now her fifteen-year-old son is in trouble with the law and she is desperate for help. But reaching out to high-powered attorney Lucas Silver Hawk will tear open the heart-wrenching past in ways Tyne never imagined.
Forced to return to the Delaware Indian community where Lucas was raised, Tyne and Lucas are tempted by the heated passion that consumed them as teens. Tyne rediscovers all the reasons she found this man irresistible, but there are scandalous secrets waiting to be revealed, disgraceful choices made in the past that cannot be denied. Love is a powerful force that could heal them both—if the truth doesn't rip them apart.

About Donna:

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Donna Fasano is a three time winner of the HOLT Medallion, a CataRomance Reviewers Choice Award winner for Best Single Title, a Desert Rose Golden Quill Award finalist, and a Golden Heart finalist. Her books have sold nearly 4 million copies worldwide and have been published in two dozen languages. Her books have made the Kindle Top 10 List, the Nook Top 10 List, and the iBooks Top 10 List.
So well worth looking into, don't you think?

What others are saying about Donna's books:

"...complex, funny, and realistic..." ~Wilmington News Journal
"Excellent!" ~Bookreview.com
"Could not help myself from reading excerpts to my husband and friends. This book is well written, the characters are real, everyday folks. It is very easy to identify with them. Donna Fasano is a talented author." ~Elizabeth M. Caldwell on Amazon
"...a fast paced riotous look at family life today. Donna Fasano is right on target!" ~Donna Zapf, SingleTitles.com

And now, on to the Hoppin' the Boxes part, featuring Mary McDonald!




 photo HopBoxFina_zps6d0ffea8.jpg
Welcome to my stop for Hoppin the Boxes Today I'll be featuring M.P. McDonald 
But -
There are Over 60 stops - with plenty of excerpts, information and a giveaway!
These Eight Authors are presenting their Boxed Sets with Excerpts, Character Bios, and Prizes
Barbara Silkstone with the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set
Cheryl Bradshaw with the Sloan Monroe Boxed Set
Christy Hayes and the Golden Rule Bundle
Donna Fasano and the Single Daddy Club Boxed Set
Faith Mortimer and the Diana Rivers Mystery Set
M.P. McDonald and the Mark Taylor Omnibus
Melissa F. Miller and the Sasha McCandles Series
Sibel Hodge and the Sibel Hodge Box Set
This tour will run from 11 – 18 November
Giveaways!
Reader drawing is international
Grand Prize Winner : $60 Giftcard to Amazon or Barnes and all eight boxed sets
First Prize Winner: $40 Giftcard and all eight box set
Second Prize winner - 4 (winner’s choice) boxed sets (see the giveaway tool at the bottom of the post!)
  And now.. I present  photo McDonaldBOX_zpsc70586f2.jpg
Mark Taylor Omnibus Boxed Set ~ Purchase Now:  Amazon
This is a collection of all four books in the Mark Taylor Series.
Mark Taylor: Genesis: Prequel   Mark Taylor's life changes forever when he finds an antique camera in an Afghan bazaar. Back home in Chicago, he discovers that the camera has a strange and unique ability--it produces photographs of tragedies yet to happen. What else can he do but attempt to save lives and thwart catastrophe? No Good Deed:  Book 1  Mark Taylor discovers first hand that no good deed goes unpunished when after the unthinkable happened and everyone ignored his frantic warnings, thousands died. Suddenly, the Feds are pounding on his door and the name they have for Taylor isn't urban hero. It's enemy combatant. And, it means they can do anything they want to him. Anything at all. March Into Hell: Book 2
Mark's life takes a dark turn when his heroism becomes the subject of a newspaper article. The media attention and a harrowing encounter while saving a young woman, puts him in the sights of the ruthless cult leader who covets the secret to Mark's power. Uncomfortable in the public spotlight, Mark suspects he's being tested by the force behind the camera's prophetic magic. Battling his own self-doubt, he must maintain the secret or risk certain death. Deeds of Mercy: Book 3
An unexpected visitor from Mark's past brings him unwanted attention from the authorities. Unable to decide who is friend and who is foe, Mark becomes a fugitive from the law, but with thousands of lives at stake, he is forced to put aside his fear of capture, and instead, seek help from his pursuers.
 About M.P. McDonald
M.P. McDonald grew up the fifth of eight kids--and was the baby for the first eight years of her life until her little sister came along and ruined it all. Okay, she didn't really ruin it, but M.P. went from being the baby to being a middle child and all that entails. Always an avid reader, she could be found curled up on the couch or in a chair reading a book because chances were, she wasn't going to get to watch what she wanted on one of the four channels on TV.  The competion was too fierce. After an average high school career, she went on to study respiratory therapy and still works in the profession more than twenty-seven years later. Last, but never least, she is mother of three wonderful kids--two grown and one just entering the teen years.
Follow M.P. McDonald:  Website  §  Blog  §  Facebook §  Twitter §  Pinterest
Mark Taylor: Genesis: Prequel Purchase Now:  Amazon
“Good morning, Mo,” Mark said as his friend waved him into his apartment. “I brought some coffee and donuts.” He raised a bag of donuts and balanced a cardboard tray with the coffee cups and an assortment of creamers in his other hand. “Thanks. Just set it on the kitchen table. Be careful of the papers and photos though.” Mark complied, angling his head to see the picture peeking out from beneath the papers. It was the blue color that had caught his eye. It was the color of many of the burqas that the women in Afghanistan had worn. He had seen a few other colors like black or gray, but blue had been the most common color. He started to reach for the photo, but Mo grabbed his arm. “Hold on. I have them numbered and stuff. I don’t want to mess it up.” “Sorry.” He tried not to take offense at the reprimand, but there was something about Mo’s tone that bugged him. Taking a coffee from the tray, he shrugged off the annoyance and peeled the plastic tab back on the lid. Ignoring the creamers—they were for Mo, he took a sip. Maybe his own feeling of anxiety about his dream and his irritation with Mo was simply a lack of caffeine. “So how does this all work?” Mo shrugged. “I have a few connections. In fact, our trip was paid for by a sponsor.” “Really?” Mark grinned. It had bothered him that his friend had paid for the tickets and accommodations, such as they were, but he reminded himself that he hadn’t been paid for his work while over there either and he had taken time from his own business to go. “Who’s the sponsor? A women’s organization?” It made sense to him. Instead of answering, Mo narrowed his eyes. “It doesn’t concern you.” Taken aback, Mark set his coffee down and spread his hands. “Did I piss you off somehow?” The hostile look dropped off Mo’s face and although a smile replaced it, it didn’t quite reach his eyes. “No. I just have a lot on my mind.” “Look, I’ve got a lot on my mind today too, so why don’t we do this another time?” “But you might forget the details.” Thinking back to the circumstances surrounding the photos, Mark shook his head. “No way.” Mo scowled, made a shooing motion and said, “Then go. I know this means nothing to you. I might just throw all your photos away.” Stunned at the reaction, Mark remained rooted to the kitchen floor for a moment, but then spun for the door ready to slam it on his way out, but instead, he stopped with his hand on the knob and turned to face Mo. “You know, I was honored when you asked me to go to Afghanistan with you. It was an opportunity to do some good and I wanted to be a part of it, but I have to admit that I was also eager to get my photos in your book.” His face heated at the admission as he avoided Mo’s eyes. “Most of my jobs are ads in magazines or catalogs. Basically, my photos sell stuff. That wasn’t how I envisioned my career when I started out. I looked at this as my big chance to make an impression—you know, like those iconic photos in Life or Time.” He paused and blew out a deep breath as he tried to put into words the frustration he felt, his hand tightening on the knob. “But after seeing that woman beaten, it just seemed like I wasn’t able to do enough—that I won’t ever be able to do enough—but I still gotta try. So, you do whatever you want to do with the photos, but you are dead wrong when you said the book meant nothing to me.” The anger had eased from Mo’s expression, but he remained silent. With a firm nod, Mark left, pulling the door closed behind him with a soft click.
No Good Deed:  Book 1 Purchase Now:  Amazon
“Good morning, Mo,” Mark said as his friend waved him into his apartment. “I brought some coffee and donuts.” He raised a bag of donuts and balanced a cardboard tray with the coffee cups and an assortment of creamers in his other hand. “Thanks. Just set it on the kitchen table. Be careful of the papers and photos though.” Mark complied, angling his head to see the picture peeking out from beneath the papers. It was the blue color that had caught his eye. It was the color of many of the burqas that the women in Afghanistan had worn. He had seen a few other colors like black or gray, but blue had been the most common color. He started to reach for the photo, but Mo grabbed his arm. “Hold on. I have them numbered and stuff. I don’t want to mess it up.” “Sorry.” He tried not to take offense at the reprimand, but there was something about Mo’s tone that bugged him. Taking a coffee from the tray, he shrugged off the annoyance and peeled the plastic tab back on the lid. Ignoring the creamers—they were for Mo, he took a sip. Maybe his own feeling of anxiety about his dream and his irritation with Mo was simply a lack of caffeine. “So how does this all work?” Mo shrugged. “I have a few connections. In fact, our trip was paid for by a sponsor.” “Really?” Mark grinned. It had bothered him that his friend had paid for the tickets and accommodations, such as they were, but he reminded himself that he hadn’t been paid for his work while over there either and he had taken time from his own business to go. “Who’s the sponsor? A women’s organization?” It made sense to him. Instead of answering, Mo narrowed his eyes. “It doesn’t concern you.” Taken aback, Mark set his coffee down and spread his hands. “Did I piss you off somehow?” The hostile look dropped off Mo’s face and although a smile replaced it, it didn’t quite reach his eyes. “No. I just have a lot on my mind.” “Look, I’ve got a lot on my mind today too, so why don’t we do this another time?” “But you might forget the details.” Thinking back to the circumstances surrounding the photos, Mark shook his head. “No way.” Mo scowled, made a shooing motion and said, “Then go. I know this means nothing to you. I might just throw all your photos away.” Stunned at the reaction, Mark remained rooted to the kitchen floor for a moment, but then spun for the door ready to slam it on his way out, but instead, he stopped with his hand on the knob and turned to face Mo. “You know, I was honored when you asked me to go to Afghanistan with you. It was an opportunity to do some good and I wanted to be a part of it, but I have to admit that I was also eager to get my photos in your book.” His face heated at the admission as he avoided Mo’s eyes. “Most of my jobs are ads in magazines or catalogs. Basically, my photos sell stuff. That wasn’t how I envisioned my career when I started out. I looked at this as my big chance to make an impression—you know, like those iconic photos in Life or Time.” He paused and blew out a deep breath as he tried to put into words the frustration he felt, his hand tightening on the knob. “But after seeing that woman beaten, it just seemed like I wasn’t able to do enough—that I won’t ever be able to do enough—but I still gotta try. So, you do whatever you want to do with the photos, but you are dead wrong when you said the book meant nothing to me.” The anger had eased from Mo’s expression, but he remained silent. With a firm nod, Mark left, pulling the door closed behind him with a soft click.
March Into Hell: Book 2 Purchase Now:  Amazon  §  Audible
"Fine. You don't have to convince me anymore. I'll see you tomorrow." Mark gathered his trash and deposited it in the garbage can. Now that he was on his way to his loft, the fatigue that he'd kept at bay by sheer willpower swept through him. Maybe he'd just go straight to bed. He glanced at his watch. It was only seven o'clock, but he was beat. Before he could put the plan into motion, his cell phone rang. He glanced at the number and groaned, wanting to ignore it, but knew he couldn't. He'd agreed to this arrangement. "Hello, Jim." "Why aren't you carrying the phone I issued you? I tried calling you earlier." Mark entered the loft and kicked his shoes off. "Now you're starting to sound like my mother. Yeah. I guess I forgot to grab it this morning. I had a lot on my mind." He refused to apologize -- not when he'd never wanted the damn secure phone to begin with. "Yes, I saw that. All the more reason to keep the other phone handy. You're supposed to avoid attracting attention. I would hardly call this article as keeping a low profile." "I had nothing to do with the article. I spoke briefly to the reporter, but I told her nothing that she didn't already know." He eased down on the couch and let out a sigh as he relaxed. His back was still sore from yesterday's adventure. "Why didn't you tell her to forget the story?" "Listen, Jim, the last time I checked, the press had the right to free speech, or is that is that not true anymore?" Jim was silent for so long, Mark pulled the cell from his ear and checked to make sure they were still connected. He knew it still rankled Jim that judicial process hadn't been followed with the enemy combatant thing, but Mark didn't care. It was nothing compared to the anger he'd been forced to bury away. "Nobody is talking about taking away any rights. It's not even about free speech, it's about maintaining national security. Do you have any idea how valuable your 'gift' could be? But that's beside the point. If you didn't cooperate, where did she get the photo of you? It's an old one, so someone had to give it to her." Mark stifled a yawn and scrubbed his fingers against his scalp. "I have no idea. It's kind of funny, actually. The picture is one of the first taken with the camera." "You mean the special camera? I thought only you used it." "Not long after I came back from Afghanistan, I had the camera sitting on a counter in the studio while I was doing a commercial shoot with a few kids for an ad. One of the kids picked up the camera and caught me off guard. I meant to send that picture to my mom because she complained that I'm a photographer, but she never had pictures of me." He shrugged even though Jim couldn't see him. "I never got around to giving it to her though." He put his feet up on the coffee table, crossing them as he searched for the TV remote in the cushion of the couch. "So how did the reporter get it? Damn, Jim was like a dog with a bone. "How the hell should I know? I haven't seen the picture since I got out. I figured it disappeared with just about every other thing I owned." He couldn't resist that last dig. "Mark, I'm sorry if this is coming off like I think this is your fault. I know it's not. It just makes me really nervous to have one of my guys in the spotlight."
Deeds of Mercy: Book 3 Purchase Now:  Amazon  §  Audible 
"While you were getting patched up, we combed through every file we had on Mohommad Aziz. According to the records, he was sent back to Afghanistan in December of 2002." Mark couldn't stifle the wave of resentment that rose within him. "He was released before I was?" Jim's eyes were unreadable as he tapped his pen against the pad twice before nodding. "Yes. He held dual citizenship, and so his American citizenship was revoked and he was sent back under the condition that he never return. His last known residence was with his uncle in Afghanistan." He glanced at his notes and continued, "The uncle holds office in Kundunz province and has some political connections, apparently." "You've got to be kidding me." It was ludicrous. Mark had been released only after he had nearly been broken. He'd returned home to nothing. No home, no business, and his personal life in shambles, while Mohommad had no doubt returned to a hero's welcome from his extended family in Afghanistan. Anger heated a path from his chest to his head, and his face burned. "I guess I didn't have enough connections to get released sooner." Jim bowed his head in acknowledgement. "I'm sorry. I tried." Mark pushed out of the chair and paced a few steps. His instinct was to leave--to get away before he exploded with rage. It was as if everything he'd tried to forget, the anger, frustration and resentment that he'd quashed and locked into a vault in his brain, had suddenly sprung free to run amok. It was barreling around inside his head, crashing into the barriers he'd carefully constructed. He stalked halfway to the couch, halted and faced Jim. "You've known this for how long?" "Since shortly after Mohommad was released. I received a memo." He tossed the pen on the pad of paper and spread his hands. "What difference does it make? It's not like I personally set him free. I only questioned the man one time before he was sent to another facility." Mark gave his head a little shake, trying to comprehend the last bit of information. "You interrogated him? Were you the one who told him about the camera? For some reason, I thought it was another team. I mean, it wasn't like he was held in the same brig as I was...or was he?" Mark had to know. Jim stood and approached Mark. "I can't discuss this with you, Mark. You know that." "Like hell you can't! It's not like there’s some kind of interrogator/interrogatee confidentiality clause, is there?" Mark knew he wasn't being rational, but he couldn't stop. "Do you all take classes on interrogation ethics?" He flung his arm toward the bookcase, pointing. "In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if you have Torture Methods for Dummies as some of your lighter reading." Jim flinched almost imperceptibly. "Settle down." He put his hand on Mark's shoulder in a manner meant to calm him. Mark shrugged the hand off, ready to do more if Jim tried to resist. "Don't tell me to settle down. I'm pissed off and I think I have a right to be. You kept me locked up for over a year. I can't get that time back. I came to terms with it, but only because I thought justice had finally won out, but it didn't, did it? Because if it had, Mo would still be locked up and everyone would be safer."
Please be sure to check the other tour stops where you will see .... Miller book Banner photo MillerBooks_zps807a3ca1.jpg Melissa F. Miller and the Sasha McCandless Series  photo HodgeBooks_zps21ee1fd8.jpg Sibel Hodge and the Sibel Hodge Box Set  photo SilkstoneBOOKS_zps57371d1f.jpg Barbara Silkstone with the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set Bradshaw books banner photo BradshawBooks_zps02409aed.jpg Cheryl Bradshaw with the Sloan Monroe Boxed Set Hayes books Banner photo HayesBooks_zps02cb4b16.jpg Christy Hayes and the Golden Rule Bundle  photo FasanoBooks_zpsd61048bf.jpg Donna Fasano and the Single Daddy Club Boxed Set Mortimer book banner photo MortimerBooks_zps0b2b635c.jpg Faith Mortimer and the Diana Rivers Mystery Set
Giveaways!
Reader drawing is international
Grand Prize Winner : $60 Giftcard to Amazon or Barnes and all eight boxed sets
First Prize Winner: $40 Giftcard and all eight box set
Second Prize winner - 4 (winner’s choice) boxed sets
Follow the HOP - Using THIS LINK  

6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting me! I really appreciate it.

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  2. As always Gerry, thank you very much for your support. Not a word of what you said in the feature got by me, and some of the older ones are part of the reason I'm still banging keys. You're terrif, hon.

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    1. Tom, writers like you deserve all the support I can give them! Thanks for commenting.

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  3. Gerry is a much loved, wonderful reviewer.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your very kind comment, Barbara!

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