Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Interview of Ed Lin featuring Snakes Can’t Run w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @robertchow

Snakes Can’t Run

by Ed Lin


GENRE:   FICTION/Mystery & Thriller



Set in New York City in 1976, Snakes Can’t Run finds NYPD detective Robert Chow still haunted by the horrors of his past and relegated to tedious undercover work. When the bodies of two undocumented Chinese men are found under the Brooklyn Bridge underpass, Chow is drawn into the case. Most of the officers in his precinct are concerned with a terrorist group targeting the police, but Chow’s investigation puts him on the trail of a ring of ruthless human smugglers who call themselves the snakeheads. As Chow gets closer to solving the murder, dangerous truths about his own family’s past begin to emerge. Steeped in retro urban attitude, and ripe with commentary on minorities’ roles in American society, this gritty procedural will appeal to fans of George Pelecanos and S.J. Rozan.


Excerpt Two:

By the time I got to Henry Street under the Manhattan Bridge overpass, one black-and-white and one unmarked police car were already there.

Peepshow was standing at the edge of the crime scene, twirling his baton, the one thing he could do without fucking up. “Keep moving, keep moving!” he yelled to the murmuring Chinese people. He touched his cap when he saw me. I nodded back.

Two bodies, Asian men in their twenties, lay on their sides. Both had their hands tied behind them with wire. They didn’t look fresh, and one man’s tattoo behind his ears stood out in sharp contrast to the white bloodless flesh of his neck.

I walked up to English, but before I could say anything he put a hand on my shoulde.r

“These fucking bag monkeys won’t let me past the tape,” he said, pointing out the forensic team collecting samples around the bodies.

“They’re just trying to do their job right.”

“I’ll do their job for them right now. These guys died from gunshot wounds and the bodies were dumped here. You can analyze for blood type all you want, but you can’t find the criminals looking down a microscope.”

“I hear you.”

“You know what solves crimes?”


“Shoe leather. Walking around and asking questions.”

“All right.”

“Chow,” he said, coming in closer. “You see the guy in the crowd in the red knit shirt smoking a cigarette?”

“Yeah,” I said, knowing better than to look immediately.

“I don’t like his face. Too smug.”

“I’ll follow him.”

Welcome Ed Lin! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

Hello, good to be here! Well, I was a punk-rock kid and I had wanted to get something like a new Velvet Underground band together but I could never find the right personalities to stick it out, so here I am writing books! I love spicy foods but I’m allergic to seafood. I like cold weather but I also like walking barefoot in the grass. Chunky’s better than creamy.

Is Snakes Can’t Run a single title, or part of a series?

It’s a part of a series that follows the life and evolution/devolution of the narrator, NYPD detective Robert Chow.

What were your inspirations for the story?

I was thinking about issues of immigration and documentation and I transferred part of the conversation to New York’s Chinatown in the 1970s. Nothing was PC among cops then. They said and did anything they wanted to.

Please share your setting for Snakes Can’t Run. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

New York City in the 1970s. It’s shortly after the city nearly went bankrupt. Garbage is piling up in the streets, cops are facing public charges of corruption even as their ranks are thinned by dwindling city coffers. Crime is rampant. Who knows what’s going on in Chinatown? Only Robert Chow.

When did the writing bug first bite?

I’ve wanted to write since I first learned to write. I’ve always wanted to tell and be told stories.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

Decorum dictates that I restrict my answer to dead authors! Dashiell Hammett, Chester Himes, Norbert Davis, Charles Willeford, James T. Farrell, Shirley Jackson and Dorothy B. Hughes all come to mind,

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

Lou Reed, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, Bob Mould and Iceberg Slim. I sure wouldn’t say much, I’d want to listen to them talk about their habits, what they like to read and their favorite foods.

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy using and souping up old Apple Powerbooks. I install solid-state drives and increase memories. It’s sorta like a guy who works on cars in his garage.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

I’ve experienced a ghost! I lived one summer in a haunted farmhouse all by myself. A big snoring sound would come out of one of the empty bedrooms opposite mine. It didn’t happen every night but when it did it was a peaceful entity. If it had said, “Get out!” I woulda been so outta there!

What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

Don’t try to rush to publication. Take as much time writing and revising as possible. Make it the best story/novel you can before you even tell anyone else about it.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards and is an all-around standup kinda guy. His books include Waylaid and This Is a Bust, both published by Kaya Press in 2002 and 2007, respectively. Snakes Can’t Run and One Red Bastard, which both continue the story of Robert Chow set in This Is a Bust, were published by Minotaur Books. His latest book, Ghost Month, a Taipei-based mystery, was published by Soho Crime in July 2014. Lin lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung, and son.


Twitter: https://twitter.com/robertchow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ed-Lin-80513225734

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/edlinforpresident/

Website: http://www.edlinforpresident.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/112827.Ed_Lin

Buy Links: https://www.harpercollins.com/cr-123754/ed-lin-1






Ed Lin will be awarding a limited edition print copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews

Author Interview & #Review of Spooning Daisy by Maggie McConnell w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

Spooning Daisy

by Maggie McConnell


GENRE:   Contemporary romance (romantic comedy)



Her mango chutney is exquisite; her blueberry sauce to die for. But Chef de Cuisine Daisy Moon is a woman without a kitchen after a “bit of trouble” at her last job. Now blacklisted from Seattle to San Francisco, Daisy’s sole job offer is from Wild Man Lodge in Otter Bite, Alaska, where the end of the road is just her beginning.


Excerpt One:

Max cocked his head at her. No siree, Bob. Daisy Moon was not easy. She was like a 1500 piece puzzle, where all the pieces are really tiny, and similar in shape and color, but are nonetheless different, and it would take weeks, maybe even months, just to get the edges put together.  

“Don’t look so surprised,” she said. “I know I’m not exactly laid back. Okay, maybe that’s being kind,” she responded to Max’s smile. “But I’m an incredible cook. And a really good speller. Not to mention having a humongous vocabulary. I came in fourth in the national spelling bee championship when I was fourteen.”

Without meaning to, Max pictured Daisy at fourteen, in a prim white blouse and a demure plaid skirt with her hair tied back in a ribbon, triumphantly spelling words like…concupiscence.

“Do I know what men want, or what?” Now Daisy smiled…at herself.

Taking the cue, Max leaned into her and spoke sincerely, but resisted the urge to cup her hand.

“Somewhere there is a man who wants a pretty redhead who’s difficult and a great cook with a really humongous vocabulary who can spell…and next time it won’t be a cross-dressing felon.”




Welcome, Maggie. Please tell us a little about yourself.

My bio contains the official (nutshell) version of me. But here are some things not mentioned. During college, I worked as a go-go girl. About that same time, I made bi-weekly appearances on an ABC children’s show called Cactus Pete’s Funny Company. I would bring an adoptable dog or cat from the humane shelter where I volunteered and find homes for them. I once organized a fundraiser with pool great, Minnesota Fats. Before moving to Alaska, I owned a women’s weightlifting gym called The Body Shop. In Alaska, I waitressed at the legendary Mr. Whitekeys’ Fly-By-Night club before I found a “professional” job. I once served 18 months on a Federal grand jury. I adopted my first horse when I was 38; when we went out on trail, I strapped “bear bells” around one of his legs so the bears could hear us coming. I dislocated my right shoulder from a fall while skiing. I’m a (retired) marathon runner. I’ve been a blonde (natural color), brunette, and redhead. I can operate a John Deere tractor. I can relocate rattlesnakes without harming them. I love jewelry and art.  I don’t have a tattoo, but I really want one. Can anyone give me encouragement/advice?

Is Spooning Daisy a single title, or part of a series?

It’s the first in a series of books set in Otter Bite, Alaska. The series is a little unusual in that the setting is as equally important as the characters. You might say, the setting is a character as well. While we see some of the same people/animal characters from book to book, the stories aren’t necessarily related (as they might be in a series about a specific family or group of friends).

What were your inspirations for the story?

The original idea (and opening scene) was inspired by my own garage sale, right down to the sheets covering the makeshift plywood tables and the silver-plated chafing dish. As the day progressed, I started thinking “what if…” and the book was born. The primary location of the story, Otter Bite, Alaska is inspired by the very real Kachemak Bay village of Seldovia where I spent summers during my 23 years living in Anchorage. Anyone interested in learning more about this special place can visit Seldovia.com .

When did the writing bug first bite?

Around seven, with a very short story about a donkey, which I also illustrated. So even then I had a Gemini’s inclination for diversity. I haven’t been blessed with a “singular purpose” in life although I do have a few “constants.” That 7-year-old has never stopped writing. Over the years, I’ve taken writing courses, completed manuscripts, attended conferences, entered contests—You Had Me at Habari, set in Kenya, was a 2012 Golden Heart finalist. Now I take one page at a time.

You mention a few “constants” in addition to writing. What are they?

As early as I can remember, I’ve had an affinity with animals. In my family, I was the one who had the menagerie—birds, mice, fish, turtles, hamsters, bunnies, dogs, and cats. If I could get it at Woolworths (I’m dating myself now!) I had it. But that love grew and changed into a philosophy that today I live by. The more I learned about the exploitation of animals, the less I could be complacent and participate in that abuse. Peter Singer’s eye-opening book, Animal Liberation, was a huge influence. Forty years ago, when I became a vegetarian, there was so little public awareness about the cruelty of factory farming; I had to constantly explain why I wasn’t eating animals.

Through the years, I’ve witnessed a positive shift in the public consciousness about animals and also the environment. Two years ago, I became a vegan, which means no dairy. Now, my life has come full circle; living on a ranch, I again have a menagerie—two horses, a dog, a cat and a cornucopia of wild critters.

Do animals influence your writing?

My main characters always have some connection to and affection for animals. In Spooning Daisy, both Daisy and Max have animal companions—revealing more would spoil the surprise. I also like to include a variety of animal characters—domesticated and wild—so that the same dog and cat aren’t always showing up. My animal characters have a role to play; they aren’t there for decoration. Just as I learn from my animals, my hero and heroine learn from theirs.

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

I’m a PBS junkie, although between ranch and writing I don’t have much spare time. I’m a sucker for everything English, Scottish, and Irish (In fact, I’ve visited England, Scotland, Ireland, and Australia). I’m currently hooked on The Great British Baking Show, which sadly, is about to end. Also LOVE Grantchester (not your mom’s vicar!), Call the Midwife, Nature, A Place to Call Home, Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries, Father Brown, The Coroner, and Murder in Paradise, Last Tango in Halifax, My Mother and Other Strangers, Home Fires, and assorted documentaries that catch my interest AND are often the source of the trivia that appears in my books. If I ever have real spare time again, I love to travel, probably a carryover from my childhood overseas.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

I suppose it would be a rattlesnake climbing a tree. While there are snakes that live in trees, rattlesnakes don’t normally go there. I was in awe. I took a video of this one and posted it on my personal Facebook page.

Any ironies in your life?

I’m not keen on flying and yet I’ve been flying, in all types of aircraft, for over 50 years. For some reason I’ve been surrounded by pilots from my father to boyfriends and finally a husband, son-in-law, and stepson. I can even pilot a plane and yet, I’m not happy in the air.  

When you look at your life, what do you think will be your greatest accomplishment?

I hope it will be that I lived courageously, without regrets, and I made a positive contribution.

Thank you for hosting Spooning Daisy!


This book is not what I was expecting.  Nope, not all.  The tropes are there for me;  boss/employee, enemies to lovers (?), and opposites attract but at times I felt like the romance wasn’t there.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved Daisy and Max in spades but at times, their romance seemed a little off to me.  The comedy is there.  The tragic comedy, oh my, is in spades, too.  But I felt like the ending is a bit rushed.  I would have liked a more solid ending to their romance.

Let me explain…when I read opposites attract or for that matter, an enemies to lovers story, I expect some romance from them.  Now, the scenes on the ferry, at least to me, are the true romance parts of the books.  This is where Max and Daisy get to know each other and its enduring.  Daisy has got some quirks.  Like some serious quirks but Max isn’t without his, too.  But we don’t get see his until later.  True that Max does something that I almost couldn’t forgive him for and for awhile Daisy doesn’t.  I loved that she really gave it to him afterward but in the end, Max truly did romance Daisy on the boat.

The tragedies that Daisy had to endure were almost too much.  The garage sale and bar scene were PERFECT.  I loved that not only was her ex-involved but his new girlfriend, too.  Which happened to be Max’s ex-flavor of the month.  The dialogue between the four of them is priceless and unfortunately, it doesn’t end well for Max or Daisy.  Or when she thought Elizabeth as on a plane.  Honestly, my heart was in my throat during that.  And yes, I won’t tell you about Elizabeth and I loved her.  Again, I expected something else.  Nice touch, Ms. McConnell.

Charity, Rita, and Maeve are great secondary characters.  They rounded out Max and Daisy when they were having problems with one another.  Otter Bite is a character within itself.  I can’t wait to get to know it better in future books.  I would be totally remiss if I didn’t mention the inn that Max owns.  Wow…once it is revealed to the extent of what the inn means to Max and his guests, I was totally blown away.  I just wish I knew about it sooner.  I felt like if Daisy knew about it, her feelings would have changed sooner, too.

Overall, I loved Daisy and Max.  The book flowed really well and the sex is off the page.  Oh, we get the build up but then fade to black.  This story didn’t need it.  Daisy and Max had some major “growing up” to do in the book for it to work out for them in the end.  Daisy especially with all of her quirks and the robbery.   Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.  You won’t be sorry.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Golden Heart nominee Maggie McConnell spent her childhood overseas as the daughter of US diplomats. Attending college in Illinois, she earned a BA in Art and an MBA while working at the local humane shelter. At 26, she packed her dog and cat into a Ford truck and drove the Alcan Highway to Alaska, where she spent 23 years exploring The Last Frontier in a single-engine Cessna. A vegan and animal rights advocate, Maggie provides a sanctuary on her Arizona ranch for all creatures great and small, but her immediate family includes dog Molly, cat Sara, horses Quinn and Teena, and an ever-growing dynasty of chipmunks. Every year, like the Gray Whale, Maggie returns to Alaska.



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Amazon Buy Link:


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Maggie McConnell will be offering 1) Nordstrom “Daisy” vegan leather clutch, 2) Nordstrom turtle pin, or 3) Rebecca Minkoff star pendant/necklace to 3 randomly drawn winners (US only; international winners will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC).

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Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews, TWRP

#Review of Second Chance in Laguna (Finding Forever in Laguna series #1) by Claire Marti w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @clairepmarti

Second Chance in Laguna

by Claire Marti


GENRE: Contemporary Romance



When Sophie Barnes’s fiancé jilts her at the altar, her carefully planned life implodes. Considering her ex’s betrayal to be a rude wake-up call, she leaves everything she knows in San Diego and flees to Laguna Beach. She vows to transform her life by avoiding men for a year and by fulfilling her dream of writing a wildly successful novel.  

Sophie’s new landlord, Nicholas Morgan, is a gorgeous, successful architect with a player reputation. He makes it tough for Sophie to remember that she’s sworn to be single. Nick’s avoided the intimacy of a long-term relationship–until Sophie’s independence, courage, and beauty touch his guarded heart. Both Sophie and Nick are terrified of being hurt again, but can they resist the pull of true love?


Excerpt One:

Nick arrived right on time, looking gorgeous in faded jeans and a plain white t-shirt. How did he always manage to start the butterflies fluttering in her stomach? Just by standing there with the setting sun framing him? She was in trouble.

“Hi beautiful, ready to go?” He clasped her face in his hands and planted a soft kiss on her lips.

Returning his kiss, Sophie wound her arms around his neck and deepened it. She couldn’t resist. His strong arms wrapped around her waist, hugging her close to his broad chest.

“Mmmm, feel free to greet me like that every time I come over,” he said, lips curved up into a sweet smile.

Heat washed her cheeks and she returned his smile. “Let’s go. Prepare to be blown away by the movie snack of the century.”

Determined to keep things light and enjoy the movie before “the talk,” Sophie thrust down the lick of panic bubbling in her gut. She’d accomplished next to nothing all afternoon, instead wrestling with whether she needed to tell him about Doug.

The angel on her shoulder whispered to tell him because if they were going to have any kind of relationship, even a friends-with-benefits one, honesty and trust were vital. The devil urged her to zip it. They’d only known each other a few weeks. What if he lived up to his “Player of Laguna” reputation and expected only a fun fling? Even though he seemed deeper than that. What if she scared him off with a premature talk?

Welcome Claire Marti! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.


My name is Claire Marti and I live in Encinitas, California, a sleepy beach town about twenty-five miles north of San Diego. I’ve been writing stories since I was a child. I majored in English at the University of Virginia, practiced law briefly, and transitioned into teaching yoga and writing full-time over the last few years.

My debut novel, Second Chance in Laguna, launched on March 31, 2017. The story grew from themes of starting over, carpe diem, and of living life to the fullest.

Is Second Chance in Laguna a single title, or part of a series?

Second Chance in Laguna is the first in the Finding Forever in Laguna series. It’s a contemporary romance set in, surprise, Laguna Beach, California. At Last in Laguna, the second book in the series will release later in 2017, and Sunset in Laguna, the third book should launch in early 2018.

What were your inspirations for the story?

Taking a negative experience like learning that the person you love is a serial cheater and turning it into an opportunity to transform your entire life. I love the idea of a new door opening when another one closes. Life is a cycle of growth—we’re always changing and learning. My heroine in Second Chance in Laguna, Sophie Barnes, is jilted at the altar and it’s a wake-up call for her. She realizes she isn’t living her most authentic life and takes a risk to follow her dreams.

Please share your setting for (book title). Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

As you might guess from the title, the setting is Laguna Beach, California. I chose the setting because of its romantic atmosphere. With its gorgeous green hills, charming architecture, breathtaking beaches, and proliferation of art galleries, Laguna feels like a sanctuary. The first time I visited the tiny beach enclave, I felt transported to a magical new world.

On a personal note, Laguna holds a special place in my heart: I got engaged on the beach there. My passion for Laguna fuels my writing and hopefully sparks the same enthusiasm in readers.

When did the writing bug first bite?

I was a voracious reader at a young age. Writing came naturally for me and I started writing stories in elementary school. We rescued a baby squirrel and I fell in love with Squeaky. Naturally, he deserved a book. My cat Tom and my brother’s boa constrictor, Napoleon Bonaparte, each also starred in a book. Second Chance in Laguna features a rescue dog named Bailey and cat named Zack.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

Nora Roberts: Gallagher’s of Ardmore trilogy, Irish Born trilogy, Key trilogy, Three Sisters trilogy—did I mention I love her trilogies?

Kerrigan Byrne: Victorian Rebels series,

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast and The Sun Also Rises,

Jane Austen, Ayn Rand, Julie James, Lisa Kleypas, Sarah Maclean

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

Nora Roberts, Ernest Hemingway, Oscar Wilde, Kerrigan Byrne, J.R. Ward, Sarah MacLean, and Anne Rice.

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

I love walking on the beach every day, reading, listening to live music, traveling every chance I get, practicing and teaching yoga, and spending time with my husband and friends. I love delicious food, as long as someone else prepares it!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

A few years ago, we visited The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. It’s the place that inspired Stephen King’s terrifying story, The Shining. You can feel otherworldly energy in the hotel and I have the shadows of nightmares to prove it.

What is the one thing that you would tell an aspiring writer to do?

Never give up. Keep writing. Trust your voice. Here’s one of my favorite quotes: Don’t forget-no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell. Charles de Lint

First of all, congratulations on your debut.  I remember when my one an only book came out.  I was over the moon and also in disbelief that someone took a chance on me.  But enough about me; on with the review.

This book starts off fast and doesn’t let up.  I like that when reading a new/debut author.  Ms. Marti doesn’t bog down the story with unnecessary details and since this is the first book of a series, I feel that we will get more of the Morgans, including Nick’s sister, Alyssa.  In fact, I feel like she has only scratched the surface with Alyssa and Brandt, Nick’s BFF.  I mean like, WTH?  Denial, denial, denial with those two.  I loved it but I’m sure there is much more going on.  That’s what I truly liked about this story.  It has a sense of family surrounding Nick and Sophie.  Sophie’s mom is a piece but she does love her daughter.  Sophie has Kelly, her BFF.  Nick has Brandt and Alyssa.  The turn to each other through the tough times but also through the fun.

Sophie’s ex, Doug…OMG!  What a douche and it didn’t help that Heather, Nick’s office manager, just acerbated the romance between Nick and Sophie.  I don’t think that Heather is through with her quest but we will have to see.  Too bad that Doug and Heather didn’t realize that Sophie and Nick’s love for each other is stronger than what those two tried to do.  Ugh!  But that makes for good drama in a romance book and Ms. Marti nailed it.

Zack, the cat, and Bailey, the dog were great, too.  Ms. Marti makes good use of all the characters that she has created in this book and also in the series.  I believe in love at first sight and while some might think that the book is full of instalove, I don’t think so.  Nick had to figure out why he could never settle down and Sophie had to realize that men like her dad and Doug were just stupid.  She is lovable and finding Nick made her finally stand up for herself to everyone around her and to fight for what she and Nick had.  I won’t give you exactly what Nick finally figured out with his lack of commitment but I will say…AWWWWW!  He’s such a sweetie.

Overall, I really liked Ms. Marti’s writing, her characterization, and the plotting of the book.  It’s fast with no filler.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the series later this year.  Bring on Alyssa, Brandt, and Kelly.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Claire Marti started writing stories as soon as she was old enough to pick up pencil and paper. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English Literature, Claire was sidetracked by other careers, including practicing law, selling software for legal publishers, and managing a non-profit animal rescue for a Hollywood actress.

Finally, Claire followed her heart and now focuses on two of her true passions: writing romance and teaching yoga. Her debut releases from The Wild Rose Press on March 31, 2017 and is the first in the Finding Forever in Laguna series.

Website:  www.clairemarti.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ClaireMartiAuthor/

Twitter:  @clairepmarti

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8203678.Claire_Marti

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2kafVLW

The Wild Rose Press, Inc.: http://bit.ly/2jk8iQY

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2mpGgq9

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/second-chance-in-laguna

iBooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/second-chance-in-laguna/id1196981760?mt=11



Claire Marti will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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