Monday, May 29, 2017

A spotlight on author Cable Pirtle III

Hello, Friends!

Today as I began reading a new book, Secrets of the Dead (Ambrose Lincoln Series book 1), by Caleb Pirtle III, I realized how much I liked his clean, crisp style of writing and decided to spotlight him on my blog. 

About Caleb:

Caleb Pirtle III began his career writing about history and travel. He learned quickly, however, that what happens is never as important as those who make it happen. Many of those people have made their way into his novels. Pirtle is the author of more than 70 published books, including his newest noir suspense Ambrose Lincoln series, which I'm spotlighting today. 

He earned a journalism degree from The University of Texas and became the first student at the university to win the national William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. As a reporter for the Forth Worth Star-Telegram, Pirtle received both the Texas Headliner's and Associated Press Awards. He served as travel editor for Southern Living Magazine, and his travel writing was given the National Discover America Award three times. For more than two decades, Pirtle was editorial director for a custom publishing company in Dallas.

Caleb has written three teleplays for network television, including "Gambler 5: Playing for Keeps," a mini-series for CBS and "The Texas Rangers" for John Milius and TNT. Because of the success of the CBS mini-series, Pirtle was asked to write two novels, Jokers Are Wild and Dead Man's Hand for Berkeley. His blogs appear regularly on

Now that we know a bit about Caleb, let's discover a little more through the first book in his Ambrose Lincoln series - 
Secrets of The Dead 


Ambrose Lincoln is one of the government's prized operatives, a trained assassin, a man whose past is continually erased by mind control tactics and shock treatments. His days have no meaning. He no longer fears death. As far as he is concerned, a man without a memory is a man who's already dead.

From Germany come rumors of a mad man threatening to rule Europe and maybe the world. On the Night of Broken Glass, his brown shirts and storm troopers move into Baden-Baden and begin their methodical termination of the Jews.

In America, so far away, the violence is nothing more than a protest over a Jewish boy who murdered a German diplomat because the Third Reich had removed and maybe killed his family. It is simply a case of vandalism that got out of hand. No one is concerned, and the American government wants to keep it that way. No one in Washington wants to go to war with Hitler, and President Roosevelt continues to preach neutrality. But word is leaked that one Jewish photographer took pictures of the rampage of brutality and murder that night. He was killed, but his daughter is in hiding with the film.

Ambrose Lincoln is dispatched to Baden-Baden with one charge. Find the film and bring it back. It will tell the truth. It will uncover the lies. The photographs will reveal to the world the sadistic threat that exists for everyone if Hitler's mad march isn't stopped. His mission is to uncover the deadly secrets that his own government doesn't want him to find, secrets that can change history.

Reader review:

5 stars from Jackie Taylor Zortman - A Magnificent Work! 

The very first line of this historical fiction novel grabbed my attention and the rest of the book kept me fascinated. Caleb Pirtle III writes a magnificent story illustrating man's atrocities to man in Germany and the political unrest it was creating in America just prior to WWII. Ambrose Lincoln's adventures and his elusive, but often deadly behavior speaks of a tortured soul that no longer has control of his own life, through he functions beautifully in particular areas when necessary. There is humor, horror and heart break in this book, softened often by love. Just a few pages before the end, I was delighted and surprised to find a second, very similar sentence to the opening and captivating one of this book. I am an avid reader and this may very well be the best novel I've read in a really long time. 

*** There are four books so far in this series, all available at Amazon:

Secrets of the Dead - book 1

Conspiracy of Lies - book 2

Night Side of Dark - book 3

Place of Skulls - book 4

You can follow Caleb Pirtle III here:

Venture Galleries




Amazon Author Page


Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Desert Series by Lisette Brodey

The desert is a fascinating place. It could be the arid landscape or the many types of cacti, that draws my interest. It also might be the danger and endless questions as to how anything could survive there. I've recently read Lisette Brodey's, Desert Series. She used the desert as her backdrop and made it come alive in her three-book YA paranormal series.  

In my humble opinion, I feel that each story has incredible depth. Lisette wasn't afraid to expose some real-life issues through her characters. She made me feel their struggles and their happiness. I became invested in who they were and how they dealt with things. 

I decided the best way to present the books in this series was through my reviews: 

My thoughts for book #1 - Mystical High:

The friendship between Jinxy and Jessie is awesome. They're true blue to each other and to those they love. Lots of serious issues come to light in this book. How Ms. Brodey has her characters deal with everything that's thrown at them is what kept me hooked. I could feel the characters' turbulent emotions, but also their joy. There were twists and turns I didn't see coming and I'll admit to getting misty-eyed when the author tied everything together in the end. 

My thoughts for book #2 - Desert Star:

I loved book one, so I knew I would feel the same about book two - Desert Star. The author didn't disappoint. Ms. Brodey gave us two main characters, Larsen and River, who you can't help but care about right away. There's also an amazing cast of secondary characters that add to the conflict and to the joy in this story. Larsen's world spins out of control when he is bullied for being gay and when his own mother turns her back on him because she can't deal with who he is. River comes to his defense and they become great friends. The trials of being teens in high school seems to multiply by the day. On top of it, there's a paranormal element that fits into the story perfectly. In my humble opinion, this is a well-thought-out tale that brings to light -- bullying, the difficulties of being LGBTQ, insecurities, starting over in a new school, the haunts of your past, parents who don't support their children because they don't agree with their lifestyle, and how great friends can make all the difference in your life.

My thoughts for book #3 - Drawn Apart:

I wondered how Ms. Brodey would spin Avalon and River's story. I finished reading the book before I went to bed. When I woke the details were still with me. I absolutely loved how Lisette gave Avalon a best friend and soul mate in Stephanie (they affectionately call each other North and South). Steph is in an accident and ends up in a coma. The real story starts from there. I think Lisette did a great job with the flashbacks and current situation of their friendship. While Avalon tries to handle the tragedy, she also tries to deal with her feelings for River. She fears losing the love of a dear friend to an accident and the love of River to another girl. Avalon is stressed to the max. One scene in particular made me cry. In the midst of all that chaos, Lisette tossed another heart-tugging issue out there - a selfish mother who tries to manipulate Avalon. The twists and turns in this book kept me intrigued. The paranormal element tied everything together perfectly in this story and the series as a whole.

All three stories are unique, but each one contains paranormal elements as well as romance, mystery, serious issues, friendship, strong characters and some seedy ones as well. 

If you'd like to check out this amazing series, click on the links below:

Be sure to visit Lisette at...





Did I mention she has an adorable dog named Bentley?


Saturday, May 20, 2017

And those lips... (small snippet from Keeping Kylee)

From KEEPING KYLEE (book #2 in my Texas Boys Falling Fast series)

Kylee puffed out a small breath. She would never understand men. They were complicated and frustrating and she was of the strict opinion that every last one of them qualified as a pain in the butt. Her father was a huge pain who broke away from the family to start a new life with a much younger woman. Asher Hutten, the man who fathered Kylee's three-year old daughter Gabbi, definitely was a pain. Without reading all the things printed in the newspapers about Quinn Randel, her instincts pegged him to be a pain too; a dangerous one with blue-grey eyes capable of stripping her naked with just a glance. All three men were well-known skirt-chasers. Two of the three had already turned her life upside down. Quinn's remarkable blue-grey orbs said he'd do it too if given the chance. The steamy looks passing between them promised paradise between the sheets, nothing more. She quietly scoffed, "Been there, done that. With Asher." Maybe she should be upfront with Quinn and let him know that he stood an ice cube's chance at the equator of hooking up with her. No way could she risk her heart and sanity with another meaningless liaison, especially with someone who would toss her aside before he put his clothes back on. Kylee tried not to stare but the man lassoed her attention the second he entered the reception hall. It was hard not to stare at the infamous millionaire. Quinn Randel was drop-dead handsome. There was no other way to describe him. Mischief and lust radiated from his every pore. And those lips...

* I just love Kylee and Quinn's story because just about every girl who has ever struggled emotionally over her bad decisions and wrestled with her finances to make ends meet, has daydreamed about hooking up with a guy who can fix everything. At the same time, if that guy can work wonders with your life, he still might be a risk to your heart. Do you take the chance? Or keep him at arm's length in the name of self-preservation? 

If you'd like to check out how Kylee deals with Quinn and vice versa...


Loving Lindy - 7 sentences

I was recently combing through some stored Word documents and ran across this...

7 Sentences from LOVING LINDY.  

These sentences made me snicker when I wrote them and just now too. They're from a humorous scene in the book, but also a tender one. 

     "You want me to do what?" Lindy swallowed a chunk of asparagus at the same time she asked for clarification. She gasped and clutched the arms of the chair when the asparagus stuck in her throat.
     Gunther yanked her up and wrapped his arms around her from behind.  He placed his fists just above her navel and with quick upward thrusts dislodged the asparagus. It torpedoed into the fire.
     Lindy was embarrassed all the way to her core. She stood trembling for more reasons than having her life flash before her eyes.

In this scene, Gunther delivered a wild request and it caught Lindy by surprise. Have you ever had someone ask something so bizarre they startled you to where you knocked over your drink? Fell off the side of your chair? Or choked on asparagus? (Probably not, but hey, in my mind this stuff happens. *Grins*) 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Doing it all wrong!?

I've been a published author for a while now, yet lately I've wrestled with the question -- Am I doing it all wrong? I'm a fairly confident person, so it isn't doubt in myself as a writer. It's more of an inquiry into how I promote myself and my work. Networking with other authors is an amazing thing. You learn what works and what doesn't. I've come to realize, I fall short when it comes to promo. I've dug deep into my personality for the reasons why. I'll share them later in the post. Here are some of the things I either do too much of or not enough: 

I don't put out a newsletter.

I've never done a blog tour. 

I don't have a separate author page on Facebook and use only my personal page.

I blog when the mood strikes me. 

I tweet or retweet on Twitter a lot. (Way too much according to some)

I don't actively pursue an agent.

I believe in a sense of community, yet in the big scheme of things I'm a lone wolf.

I have no street team to put the word out about my books.

When I get cover art for my next book, I don't do an awesome reveal to build anticipation. I get so excited I share the art right away.

I have a LinkedIn account I don't know how to use.

I'm on Goodreads, but have never done a giveaway there.

I have an Instagram account going to waste.

I don't post a lot of selfies.

I don't post my books regularly in all the different Facebook groups for authors and readers.

I've never done a Thunderclap campaign for my books. I've been involved in one though for the box set I'm part of.

I don't take advantage of all the programs Amazon offers (Kindle Scout, Kindle World, etc.) 

Okay, so that's some of the things that sets me apart from other authors. Do I need to step up my game? Probably. Do I need to follow their road map? I don't see that happening. As much as I hate to admit it, there's a small rebel in me. (I imagine my sisters and brothers rolling their eyes and saying 'Ya think?' Ha.Ha. Love them.)

Am I doing it all wrong? Nope. Everyone has to do what they think is right for them. I occasionally like to step out of my comfort zone, so in the future I may try the Kindle Scout program or rev up my activity on Instagram and Pinterest. (Don't hold your breath. LOL) For now, I'm happy to connect with readers and fellow authors the way I do. You can count on me to over-tweet and get all giddy when I get cover art. But that's just me.

Big love to all of you!

~ Jan