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Book Reviews, by Renee' Barnes

Mar. 30th, 2008 02:11 pm "Launch" P-A-R-T-Y! is Today at 7p.m. Eastern

Posted with permission...

The "Show--Not Tell" Virtual Book Tour will finish up tonight at
the "Launch P-A-R-T-Y!" at The Writer's Chatroom.

There are prizes galore--including THREE freshly minted ink-and-paper
genre-bending copies of--NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM!

Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern

No membership required.

The virtual bar will be open, but feel free to BYOB.

Come by for the party and see how Jordan Dane sold SIX books to
Avon/HarperCollins before the first one was printed!


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Mar. 27th, 2008 01:06 am Next Stop On Jordan Dane's Blog Tour

Don't miss Jordan's next stop on this tour! 

WHEN: March 29 

WHO: TWC founder
Glenn Walker 


Be there or...well, you'll miss out on some of the fun and another chance to WIN those great prizes! 


Don't miss the Launch P-A-R-T-Y! 

WHEN: March 30

WHO: TWC Presents Jordan Dane


Mark your calendar now!


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Mar. 25th, 2008 08:35 pm Jordan Dane Interview

Renee': Jordan, thank you for the opportunity to interview you. I thoroughly enjoyed your book, "No One Heard Her Scream" and am thrilled to be included in this blog tour.

Jordan: Thanks so much for hosting TWC’s Virtual Book Tour for me, Renee’. It’s an honor for me to be here.

I read on your site that your series has been selected "as featured alternatives in the Doubleday, Mystery Guild and the Rhapsody Book Clubs." First off, huge congratulations, what a coup! Now, how did that come about? I assume your agent must have had a lot to do with it, but did YOU do anything to boost the odds in your favor? (I mean aside from writing such incredible books.)

Jordan: Actually, these sub rights stayed with the publisher (to help boost the initial value of my advance in the auction) and Avon/HarperCollins negotiated this, along with my audio rights and foreign sale. For a new author, this can be a good thing to leave certain rights with the publishing house if they are particularly strong in certain arenas.

As far as my contribution, I have a strong online presence that may have contributed. But as for selling into the Book Clubs, I think it came on the strength of the work, which is the only thing I have control over. (grin) 

According to your interview with Alice Collingsworth at EdmondSun.com, the television show, "Witchblade," is in part, what actually inspired you to get serious about writing. I'm sorry that I never saw the program, apparently it was really something to see *wink* Could you describe the show a little and then tell us what about that program whetted your appetite to write?

Jordan: The TV show was about a New York City woman detective whose search for justice brings her into contact with an ancient, intelligent, living weapon so powerful it can battle the world's darkest forces. A Celtic bracelet with magical powers transforms her into a powerful woman warrior. Originally the concept came from a comic book.

But the one thing that influenced me off the show was a dark assassin held in servitude to his master and presumed father. The character’s name was Ian Nottingham, a genetically enhanced man with military training who protects her, but also serves his master’s needs in watching the detective and doing his bidding. Secretly, Ian is torn between his duty, his growing love for her, and his love for a father who doesn’t deserve his loyalty.

Nottingham was only on TV for short segments each episode, not usually longer than 5-10 minutes total per show but the actor Eric Etebari was compelling to watch. Since the TV producers never placed as much importance on the triangle between the woman detective, Nottingham, and his father—I wanted to write the show as I saw it. I found an online fan club for Eric Etebari and the fan club president – Jessie Smith – directed me to Fanfiction.Net for the writing part. I developed a small fan base and circle of friends out there online and attended a conference to meet the other FF.net writers and the actors. But the real revelation was that I could spin a compelling story and I loved writing. When the show got cancelled after two years, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I started writing original manuscripts. (BTW, Jessie Smith and I are still good friends and she is now trying to write screenplays and maybe some fiction. We still help each other when we can. She’s an amazingly talented person that I wanted to keep in my life.)


Renee': In your interview with Jackie Sue on Internet Voices Radio, you mentioned that part of your research involved reading the personal stories of human trafficking victims you found online. I believe I saw how that research shines through in the book, but how do you believe it reflected on the page and how did this experience touch you as a person?

Jordan: Human trafficking is the modern day slave trade and an appalling crime. And although most people are aware of the sex trade angle, it can also be forced labor for migrant workers and/or domestic help. And it happens in other countries but also in the U.S. too. It’s about coercion and torturing/brainwashing people into believing they have no choice but to do as their captors ask. And the men/women perpetrating such crime usually select the weak, the young, and the powerless to dominate them.

It’s frightening and I wanted to show the crime as it is, taking the reader to the brink of my graphic descriptions to show the ugly face of it. It was not an easy task for me to write about, but I felt a need to do it. The main influences for my writing stems from real crime and I like shedding light on particularly heinous ones that take advantage of the weak and disenfranchised.

You do quite a bit of research for your stories and not all on paper or in cyberspace. For instance, training with the police force. What other things have you done to get a real feel for your characters and to prepare yourself to write?

Jordan: This changes from story to story. And even within a story, sometimes I don’t know everything I will need going in since I don’t really plot. I always have technical advisers on every book—many times more than one. And a favorite of mine is a guy who’s an EMT paramedic, fireman, and a former hostage rescue guy in South America. He’s also a weapons expert. In exchange for his expertise and reading of my work for authenticity, I read his writing, critique it, and am working with him on plot structure and storyboarding. He’s a very talented writer who I hope gets pubbed someday. He’s got a great voice. He’s added an enormous amount of technical details to my writing, things I wouldn’t have included without his expertise behind it. But even with an expert, I do my own research and verify what I learn in a number of ways—and yes, sometimes I choose to ignore an expert’s advice for the sake of storytelling or fiction.

I’ve also lived a life full of adventures when I lived in Alaska for ten years. Many times I draw from my life’s experiences to create characters, their point of view and my voice. I also spend time with online classes in forensics, have a small but effective resource library, and hope to tour our new crime lab that just opened near me. And I belong to various online crime scene discussion groups or mystery suspense focused groups.

In addition, my local writers group has monthly meetings where we bring in speakers for research. When I was program director, I liked including many topics on crime fiction and even had someone speak who was a criminal profiler and had met Charles Manson, for example. Whether I use his experience with a serial killer in a book or not, I can still imagine the eerie feeling of standing in front of someone who isn’t human and can recite the bible backwards.

 What advice would you offer those writers coming behind you?

Jordan: Learn to trust your voice and don’t worry so much about whether something will fit into a particular genre. Write the story YOU want to read and are most passionate about. For me, writing is a journey that didn’t culminate when I sold my first book. It’s a journey I was driven to take whether I’d sold or not—a path I had no choice but to follow. 

Renee': Thank you, Jordan. You've been a wonderful and informative guest! 

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Mar. 25th, 2008 12:33 pm


No One Heard Her Scream
by Jordan Dane
Avon Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780061252785
Becca Montgomery, Detective for the San Antonio Police Department, is reeling from the kidnapping and apparent murder of her sister when she's assigned to the case of an arson that uncovers the body of a murdered young girl.
During the investigation she uncovers facts that may or may not be related to her sister's disappearance. Is it just her grief that keeps drawing correlations or is she on the right path? Have these murders been going on, unchecked, for decades? And is her sister among the pitiful women and young girls who've been enslaved for the lustful and disgusting pleasure of the very rich and terribly depraved?
If she is to get to the truth, her only option is to trust the one person her instincts tell her she should run from. Deeply entrenched in the criminal world, the Latin Lothario, Diego Galvin, is a man with no past, a very secretive present and who may just wipe out her future...or he may be able to help her find the answers to all the truths her heart has longed for.
Jordan has written this story as no one else could. Her enviable writing talents clearly shine through, leaving no one to wonder why her first three books are scheduled to come out as they are, one in each of the months of April, May and June 2008. Nor will any reader find it hard to believe that this author has an incredible career ahead of her.
This reviewer only hopes to be allowed to review each galley in this series!

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Mar. 25th, 2008 12:25 pm WHAT A TRIP!


If you’ve been reading these announcements you’re aware that we have been conducting a Virtual Book Tour for debut author Jordan Dane for over a month.

We’re down to the final stretch—and who better to bring it home than The Writer’s Chatroom’s own—Renee’ Barnes and Glenn Walker!

Stop by these last two stops on the tour to find out even more about our featured author—who sold SIX books to Avon HarperCollins before the first one hit print.

Jordan is a dynamo! She not only writes well but understands the publishing industry and knows how to market herself. Learn from her while imagining yourself in her position. She is one to watch, one to learn from, and one to emulate if you want to be a successful novelist.  “If you can see it and believe it, you can achieve it!”

Every comment you leave at a tour stop enters you to win one of many fabulous prizes!

March 26 Renee’ Barnes at http://msqtpi.livejournal.com/  (that's me!)

March 29 TWC founder Glenn Walker at http://www.monsura.blogspot.com/

More opportunities to win prizes:

 The Browse Inside Link: http://tinyurl.com/28nd9x)

 Jordan’s contest page: http://www.jordandane.com/contest.php

And then GET READY TO P-A-R-T-Y! Sunday, March 30th is the date and you are invited! The party starts at 7:00 p.m. Eastern US time.  http://writerschatroom.com

If you’ve missed any of the tour stops, please stop in before the P-A-R-T-Y! to read the interviews with Jordan. Be ready to L-A-U-N-C-H your burning questions at her this coming Sunday.

Billie Williams at http://printedwords.blogspot.com

Linda J. Hutchinson at http://reviewhutch.blogspot.com

Kim Richards at http://kim-richards.livejournal.com/

Lisa Haselton at http://lisahaselton.tripod.com/reviewsandinterviews/

Cricket Sawyer at http://www.Cricketshearth.blogspot.com

Diana Castilleja at http://dianacastilleja.blogspot.com

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Mar. 20th, 2008 03:04 pm A Word From Jordan Dane

3-Ways to Win Contest

HarperCollins has graciously offered a wonderful incentive to promote the debut of my suspense novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM, upcoming release March 25th. By going to my website contest page, you get an exclusive sneak peek inside my book-up to 20% of it. And to celebrate my first release, my publisher is giving you three different ways to WIN MY BOOK or OTHER BOOKS from HarperCollins. Click on the links below for more details.


And here is a link for a contest on my website to promote the Browse Inside
post, listing the three ways to win.

Jordan Dane -
Avon HarperCollins - No One Heard Her Scream, No One Left to Tell, & No One
Lives Forever - Apr-Jun 2008
".a dynamite debut. Dane's smooth style, believable characters and intense
pacing will remind readers of Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner and Tami Hoag."
Publishers Weekly 12/10/07

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Mar. 19th, 2008 11:56 pm WIN! WIN! WIN!



  • Visit each stop of the Jordan Dane Virtual Book Tour and leave a comment (with your name). Each stop enters you into the drawing to be held at the live “Launch P-A-R-T-Y!” on March 30th. (Up for grabs are FIVE $20 gift cards to B&N bookstores.)
  • Stop by Jordan’s website:  Jordan Dane says, “By going to my website contest page, you get an exclusive sneak peek inside my book-up to 20% of it. And to celebrate my first release, my publisher is giving you three different ways to WIN MY BOOK or OTHER BOOKS from HarperCollins. Click on the links below for more details.” 
  • The Browse Inside Linkhttp://tinyurl.com/28nd9x)
  • Visit Jordan’s contest page:  http://www.jordandane.com/contest.php
  • Show up for the live “Launch P-A-R-T-Y!” on March 30th! Who knows what might be up for grabs there! After all is said and done, this is TWC.

Next up on the tour:

March 19 Cricket Sawyer at http://www.Cricketshearth.blogspot.com

March 22 Diana Castilleja at http://dianacastilleja.blogspot.com

March 26 Renee’ Barnes at http://msqtpi.livejournal.com/

March 29 TWC founder Glenn Walker at http://www.monsura.blogspot.com/

Jordan has had plenty to say in our TWC interviews. If you haven’t already done so, visit these previous stops for some first-hand info on how to succeed as a novelist:

Billie Williams at http://printedwords.blogspot.com

Linda J. Hutchinson at http://reviewhutch.blogspot.com

Kim Richards at http://kim-richards.livejournal.com/

Lisa Haselton at http://lisahaselton.tripod.com/reviewsandinterviews/

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May. 18th, 2007 01:26 pm Cap'n Billy "The Butcher" MacDougall's Guide To Pirate Parenting

By Tim Bete
Copyright 2007 Tim Bete
Published by Cold Tree Press
Our hero, Tim Bete, sits at the bar where he meets, Cap'n Billy "The Butcher" MacDougall.
While Cap'n Billy regales him with stories of high sea adventure, and bilge rat extermination, Tim let's it slip that he's a writer.
Our favorite diaperless father is offered the chance of a lifetime.
"I'm going to tell you how to raise kids to be pirates and you're going to put it all in a book."
While the offer doesn't immediately show great promise, Tim's alternative of walking the plank is a most effective stimulant to accept.
What ensues is a hilarious evenings read.
Leave it to Tim to convince me we missed a great opportunity to raise our kids as pirates. Thank goodness we now have grandchildren to correct the transgression.
Not having the minivan mentioned in Tim's book, we're making plans to convert the deck to a pirate schooner. I can't wait to see the look on Preacher's face the first time Joshua "Pink Eye" Barnes calls him a land lubber.
You'll love this funny take on child rearing. I just have one warning, set the rum aside as you read, especially if you are near any open flames. Spit-takes can be dangerous.
Renee' Barnes

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Jul. 1st, 2006 08:22 pm Relative Dreams

by Emery LaRue, (author of "Handyman" and "Feeling Lucky")

"Relative Dreams" is a hot and riveting read.

The writer sweeps you up for a ride with, Elizabeth Shelton, high fashion model, who is tormented by the malevolent Countess Bathory and her nurse, Iloona, each time she closes here eyes.

Evil invades her sleep and drags Elizabeth from the 21st Century, to the year 1610 where she is forced to witness atrocities inside the cursed Castle Csejthe.

Her dreams have been pure horror for weeks, but when she experiences that same horror during waking hours she begins to question her sanity. In desperation she seeks the help of Dr. Ethan Richards.

Do nightmares come true? Elizabeth Shelton's nightmares ARE true. True enough to endanger her own life, and anyone she loves.

It doesn't take the good doctor long to realize this is not just another case of paranoid anxiety disorder. In true "Love at first sight" fashion, they find comfort in each other. He vows to see her to safety, and finds that he is a major part of the solution...if their love can only be strong enough.

I thank Emery LaRue for a wonderful read, and offer kudos for a job very well done!

Buy Relative Dreams at: http://www.forbiddenpublications.com/book_pages/relative_dreams.html

Renee' Barnes


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Jun. 30th, 2006 08:29 pm Velvet Seductions

By Sabrina Luna

Velvet Seductions

Anna Holmes lives with her sister, Lucy, in their quiet little home town. She helps take care of her nephew while Lucy works, during the day. But at night, Anna's alter-ego, Velvet, is one of the top operator actors at the STEAMY4U sex-lines.

Her boss, Queenie, insists Anna be interviewed by reporter Lance Arden, for a story in Chitter Chat magazine. Billy Thorn, her ex-fiance, sees Anna and Lance together, and responds with threats of violence.

She starts having feelings for Lance, who pretends to be client caller, Lee, and awakens fantasies that she has long suppressed. She is more perplexed than ever.

Velvet Seductions is a steamy and well written story. I enjoyed the read and am looking forward to Sabrina Luna's next book.

Buy Velvet Seductions at: http://www.forbiddenpublications.com/book_pages/velvet_seduction.html

Renee' Barnes


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Jun. 22nd, 2006 03:11 am Say The Magic Words

In her story, "Say the Magic Words", Marianne Lacroix, author of "Lady Sheba" and "Beast In My Bed", answers a question that has hung in the air since the '60's. Namely, "What would happen if you mixed I Dream of Jeanie with Kama Sutra?"

Logan runs across a glass lamp while cleaning the attic. When he buffs it's dusty surface, Jeanine appears and hot djinn romance ensues.

Go ahead, read it. I know you always wanted to know how it would be. We all did, and now "I" do.

You can buy it at: http://www.forbiddenpublications.com/book_pages/say_the_magic_words.html



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Jun. 19th, 2006 09:50 pm Review "Seven Ways To Seduce A Martian"

Title: Seven Ways To Seduce A Martian
Author: Cynthianna Appel
Publisher: Triskelion Publishing
ISBN: 1-933471-88-3
Pages: 150

Written by Cynthianna Appel --author of "Scrambled Eggs" and "Beautiful Dreamer", "Seven Ways To Seduce A Martian" is a delightful, humorous and steamy read...definitely for adults only.

After being dumped at the altar, Jodi Baker takes a time out to lick her wounds, and heal her broken heart. She puts her dreams of a higher education on hold, and takes a dead end office job.

The all female staff is titillated by the new blood in the office, the quiet, but handsome, Mr. Brent Davison. When a girls night out results in a serious wager, (Who will bed the new guy first?) Jodi wants nothing of it, but still has to stand by and watch her friends make fools of themselves. Before the bet is won, she's wondering if she isn't the biggest fool of them all?

"Seven Ways To Seduce a Martian" is written in a light and easy style, and is full of enough steam to fill a sauna. I highly recommend it.

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Jun. 19th, 2006 09:47 pm Review "Crimes Against Commerce"

Title: Crimes Against Commerce
Author: E.D. Easley
Publisher: Cloonfad Press
ISBN: 0-9769404-3-4
Pages: 243

Written by Pulitzer-prize nominated author E.D. Easley, "Crimes Against Commerce", is a cynical and hilarious look at life.

Stretch, an atheist, travels back and forth between heaven and hell. Sharing his journey are, both God and Devil, Elvis, aliens, a mob killer, gang thugs, an IRS agent, a lieutenant governor, and more. Despite the fact that there isn't a trailer dweller in the whole crazy bunch, I found it to be a very enjoyable, giggle provoking, over the top, read.

If gritty language is not a barrier for your reading pleasure, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It is written in an "every man" style --no pretense here.

By the time you reach the last page, you will have a profound understanding that, shit does indeed happen.

Crimes Against Commerce, may be purchased at www.amazon.com, www.bn.com or www.cloonfadpress.com

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