Who’s That Indie Author? JP McLean

Who's That Indie Author pic


Author name:  JP (Jo-Anne) McLean

Genre:  Contemporary Fantasy – Thrillers

Books:  The Gift Legacy Series: Awakening, Revelation, Redemption, Penance, Betrayal

:  The west coast of Canada is my home and inspiration. The sandstone beaches of the Pacific are outside my front door, and they seem to find their way into all of my writing. Before I started writing full time, I had a successful career in human resources, but I’ve got to tell you, writing fiction is so much more interesting than writing job descriptions. When I’m not writing, I attempt to tame a neglected garden, though Mother Nature usually wins. Scuba diving is a sport I enjoy, but I’m rather woosy about water temperature – only warm will do, so I don’t indulge as often as I’d like.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  Writing feels like an indulgence, and it’s one I get to do without guilt or apology. Well, maybe a little apology when the writing keeps more than just me awake at night.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  Balance. When inspiration hits, it’s hard to put the brakes on and do other things, like cook a meal, or answer the phone.

Favorite book:  Good question, but with so many to choose from, I’ll have to go back to the beginning, and the book that got me hooked on fantasy, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham.

Noteworthy:  The first book of the Gift Legacy series, The Gift: Awakening, earned Honourable Mention at the 2016 Whistler Independent Book Awards. It recently hit #11 on Amazon. The newest release, which came out on November 15, 2016, is The Gift: Betrayal, which is a re-telling of Awakening from another character’s point of view. It’s Jackson Delaney’s story. Jackson’s character was controversial, and his role pivotal in Awakening. You may not forgive him after you turn the last page, but you won’t forget him.

Contact Information:  I love to hear from readers. They can reach me here:

Website:  jpmclean.net
Blog:  The Gift Legacy
Twitter:  @jpmclean1
Facebook:  @JPMcLeanBooks
Goodreads: J.P. McLean

Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Why not get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author?

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details, and follow along on Book Club Mom to join the indie author community!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Who’s That Indie Author? Sarah Brentyn

Who's That Indie Author pic

Author name
: Sarah Brentyn

Genre: Short Fiction/Flash Fiction

Books: Hinting at Shadows

: Sarah Brentyn is a woman who finds talking about herself in the third person odd.

I wrote my first story when I was nine years old and have never looked back. My work has appeared both online and in print in lit mags, newsletters, websites, newspapers, and anthologies. I have a master’s degree in writing and have taught all ages, from Kindergarteners to adults. When other girls dreamt of being a ballerina, I dreamt of scribbling my thoughts in a notebook and turning them into a book. I bleed ink.

Favorite thing about being a writer: I kind of love everything about being a writer. The feel of a pencil, the smell of paper, the click of a keyboard, the words in my head appearing on the page. It’s magical. I suppose the best part is that the characters, who feel so real to me, tell me their stories and I get to give them a voice.

Biggest challenge as an indie author: Promotion. I am an extreme introvert as well as a person who loathes talking and/or writing about herself. Well, I do enjoy chatting on my blog but it’s the promotional stuff that gets to me. I’m advertising myself. It’s very uncomfortable. Like wearing an itchy wool sweater. In summer. But slightly worse. (Oh, another challenge is that I love using fragments and those aren’t everyone’s cup of cocoa. Maybe if I add marshmallows…)

Favorite book: I wish I had an answer to this question available at all times. It would make dinner parties and author interviews so much easier. The truth is, I don’t have a favorite book. I mainly read YA but they’re not my favorite books. Bear with me. I’m a complex gal and my tastes are varied. I’d have to list the ones that speak to me or stay with me in some way: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, and lots of short fiction including “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and assorted stories by Kurt Vonnegut, Ernest Hemingway, and Edgar Allen Poe. I love any tales that are heart-wrenching, dig into a character’s psyche, and let me inside. These leave my mind spinning with possibilities about how they became who they are, why they think and act the way they do, and what might happen to them. This is what I’ve tried to accomplish in Hinting at Shadows.

Contact Information:
Amazon: Hinting at Shadows & Amazon Author Page
Blog: Lemon Shark
Twitter: @SarahBrentyn
Google+: Sarah Brentyn
Pinterest: SarahBrentyn
Website: SarahBrentyn.com

Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Why not get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author?

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details, and follow along on Book Club Mom to join the indie author community!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Blog views and other obsessions – back up that blog!

Source:  brainsonfire.com
Source: brainsonfire.com

“You’d better make a back-up.”  How many times have you given and received that worthy piece of advice?  Backing up important things is always a good idea, but did you ever think about backing up your blog?


Think about all the time you have invested in your blog.  Would you want to lose that?  Although WordPress already backs up your blog, lots of unusual things can happen.  Think hacking and crashes.  I like to be in charge of my files and I feel better when I know I have a backup right here at home.

WordPress has a built-in tool to export and download a backup to your computer, so why not take advantage of this free utility?   If you ever switch to a different blog, you can also use this tool to export your content to your new blog.

Here’s how:

  • Go to your Dashboard, highlight “Tools” and select “Export” from the side menu.
  • You will be asked to choose between “Export” and “Guided Export”.  WordPress charges a fee for the Guided Export, so select the free “Export” and you will see the following screen:


  • Choose “All content” or customize your backup by selecting the options listed.
  • Click on “Download Export File” button.

WordPress will email you a link to download a .zip file backup to your computer.  Open the email and click the link.  Select “Save File” and the backup will be sent to your Downloads folder.


The link remains available for 7 days.  I just made my backup.  It only took a minute and I feel a lot better!

Many thanks to Hugh’s Views and News for opening my eyes to this utility!

Click here to view this WordPress Support page on backing up your blog.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Guest Post – Noelle Granger “A Little History of Pilgrim Husbands and Wives”

Women have come a long way since the Mayflower. Read Noelle’s description of marriage, solving marital disputes and other interesting marriage facts:

Book Club Mom

ushistoryimages.com ushistoryimages.com

I recently caught up with Noelle Granger, author of the Rhe Brewster Mystery Series, Death in Red Canvas Chair and Death in a Dacron Sail. Noelle has some great ideas for her first historical novel, based on the early Plimoth Colony. In the following guest post, Noelle talks about her idea and about the history of Pilgrim marriages.

As an author, I think you are always looking forward to the book you’re going to write next. A plan of mine for the next few years is to write my first historical novel. The subject of the book will be Mary Allerton, who came to the New World on the Mayflower when she was a child of four. She lived a long life, eighty years, and saw the many changes in the Plimoth Colony from the time of its establishment by the Pilgrims in 1620. This will be something…

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Who’s That Indie Author? John W. Howell

Who's That Indie Author pic

Author name
:  John W. Howell

Genre:  Fiction Thrillers

BooksMy GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice

my-grl     his-revenge     our-justice

Bio:  John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016.  All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Favorite thing about being a writer: My favorite thing about being a writer is being allowed to be responsible for the quality of my work. I do not have to rely on others in bringing a project to conclusion. To be able to work hard and to be dedicated to the task to its finish is highly rewarding.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  The biggest challenge is reaching readers. In today’s indie environment there are about 4000 books published each day. Rising above this population and being chosen to be read is a daunting task. It is especially hard if there are not unlimited funds available for promotion.

Favorite book:  My favorite book out of thousands of favorites is On the Beach by Neville Shute. It was the first book I could remember reading where the ending was not “classically” happy. I was stunned by the circumstances and the quality of the writing. The book deals with the world is ending due to nuclear war and the last humans are living in Australia waiting for their inevitable fate.

Contact Information:
Blog:   Fiction Favorites
Facebook:  John Howell
Twitter:  @HowellWave
Amazon Author:  John W. Howell

Click here to read more about John Howell in this recent author interview on BlondeWriteMore.

Are you an indie author?  Do you want to build your indie author network? Why not get your name out on Who’s That Indie Author?

Email bvitelli2009@gmail.com for a bio template and other details, and follow along on Book Club Mom to join the indie author community!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!


Merging genres – it’s all good!

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

Is it my imagination or are genres starting to merge?  When is a mystery just a mystery and when is a suspense only a suspense?  And when did historical fiction sneak in?  No matter, the good books keep coming and that’s all we want!

Here’s a list of some quality mystery/suspense/historical fiction that are sharing space on my bookshelf.

blood of the prodigalBlood of the Prodigal by P.L. Gaus – 3 Bookmarks:  Light Amish mystery set in Ohio

Brooklyn on FireBrooklyn on Fire by Lawrence H. Levy – 4 Bookmarks:  Intriguing historical mystery in 1890s Brooklyn

Child 44

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith – 3 ½ Bookmarks:  Someone is murdering children in Joseph Stalin’s Russia.

Anyone else remember this cover?Coma by Robin Cook – 3 Bookmarks:  Creepy throwback medical thriller from the 70s

Death in a Dacron Sail coverDeath in a Dacron Sail by N. A. Granger – 4 Bookmarks:  Amateur sleuth Rhe Brewster solves a murder in Maine

Death in a Red Canvas Chair coverDeath in a Red Canvas Chair by N. A. Granger – 3 Bookmarks:  Rhe Brewster’s first case

defending jacobDefending Jacob by William Landay – 3 Bookmarks: What do you do when your teenage son is a murder suspect?

Eating BullEating Bull by Carrie Rubin – 4 Bookmarks:  Medical/psychological thriller that tackles obesity and the food industry

Elizabeth is Missing picElizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey – 3 ½ Bookmarks:  An old woman with dementia is sure her friend is missing.

frank mary shelleyFrankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – 4 Bookmarks:  Classic monster story about good and evil

gonegirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn – 4 Bookmarks:  You can’t believe your spouse in this creepy thriller.

Jane Eyre picJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë  – 5 Bookmarks:  What are those noises upstairs at Thornfield Hall?

reconstructing ameliaReconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight – 3 Bookmarks:  Teen secrets and cover-ups after a classmate dies

Second Street StationSecond Street Station by Lawrence H. Levy – 4 Bookmarks:  Brooklyn’s first female detective solves a high profile murder.

the girl with the dragon tattoo pic           The Girl who played with fire pic           The girl who kicked the hornet's nest pic           The Girl in the Spider's Web

Stieg Larsson Millennium Series – Lisbeth Salander Novels – 4 Bookmarks:  Suspenseful series about an enigmatic but kick-ass heroine

The Good NeighborThe Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner – 3 Bookmarks:  Questions emerge after a neighbor’s house burns to the ground.

the caged graves picThe Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni – 5 Bookmarks:  A mystery about two caged graves outside a cemetery

The DinnerThe Dinner by Herman Koch – 4 Bookmarks:  Twisted murder tale about a family cover-up

the-farm-by-tom-rob-smithThe Farm by Tom Rob Smith – 3 Bookmarks:  Who is telling the truth, Daniel’s mother or father?

The ImmortalsThe Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky – 4 Bookmarks:  A modern day Artemis solves a murder in Manhattan

The RackThe Racketeer by John Grisham – 3 Bookmarks:  Clever crime story about a murdered judge

The Silent Wife picThe Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison – 4 Bookmarks:  Marital twists and turns in this psychological thriller

What are your favorites in this new literary amalgam?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!


Rhett Butler’s People by Donald McCaig

Rhett Butler’s People
Donald McCaig

3 book marks

Great characters live on long after the final pages of our favorite books, subject to our wild imaginations.  In the final pages of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, our minds are already working on what could happen next when Scarlett vows, “I’ll think of some way to get him back.  After all…tomorrow is another day.”

For decades, we wondered if Rhett and Scarlett would get back together.  To answer our curiosity, Alexandra Ripley wrote Scarlett in 1992.  Then Donald McCaig wrote Rhett Butler’s People in 2007 and Ruth’s Journey in 2014.

Gone With the Wind has inspired other books as well, including The Wind Is Never Gone:  Sequels, Parodies and Rewritings of Gone With the Wind by M. Carmen Gómez-Galisteo; Scarlett’s Women:  Gone With the Wind and Its Female Fans by Helen Taylor; Frankly, My Dear:  “Gone With the Wind Revisited” by Molly Haskell; and the parody by Alice Randall, The Wind Done Gone.

Rhett Butler’s People is a saga of the Butler family in Charleston, South Carolina before, during and after the Civil War, and is a companion piece to GWTW.  It begins with a fateful duel of honor and jumps back to Rhett’s boyhood days on the family’s rice plantation.  It’s no surprise that Rhett is a rebel and McCaig takes the reader through Rhett’s many clashes with his controlling father, Langston Butler.  The back story ties into what the reader already knows about Rhett from GWTW and the author fills in the plot with new characters to interact with some of GWTW’s main characters, including Melanie Hamilton, Ashley Wilkes and Belle Watling.  Some new characters are Rhett’s little sister, Rosemary, school companions Andrew Ravanel and Edgar Puryear and Belle Watling’s bastard son, Tazewell.

Although Rhett and Scarlett meet under the same circumstances at Twelve Oaks, McCaig tells the story from the Butler angle and follows Rhett through his blockade running days during the war and as he meets up with Scarlett in Atlanta.  McCaig, who also wrote Canaan and Jacob’s Ladder, is a Civil War expert and, in his story, he describes the major conflicts between the north and south, slavery and the war’s impact on the southern way of life.

While no story can compare to a classic like Gone With the Wind, McCaig fills in a lot of nice details about the Butler family.  The story is at its strongest between McCaig’s original characters and the complicated dynamic within the Watling family, and less so, however, when he retells scenes from GWTW.  It’s always risky to pick up characters from another book and the author’s portrayals of Melanie and Belle, in particular, will seem a little off to GWTW fans.  In addition, Rhett’s character seems too soft and too understanding to be the swaggering, dangerous and irresistible Rhett we swoon over in GWTW.

Rhett Butler’s People is a well-told story, however, with lots of interesting side characters and plots, painting a vivid picture of the south during the war.  In addition, readers are rewarded with a wild and satisfying finish.  A fun read inspired by a great classic!

If you love historical fiction about the Civil War, check out my review of Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!