Archive for February, 2012


Book Tour Day!!! Featuring Aubrie Dionne

   Posted by: Faith    in Rye Thoughts

*clears throat*

*taps microphone*

      *winces at feedback*

tundra 37“Welcome, welcome, everyone… grab a coffee, have a cookie or two, and sit right down! Today we have the delight of hosting author Aubrie Dionne on her virtual book tour—some of you may remember her from last August, when she stopped in to promote her first full-length science-fiction novel, Paradise 21.

And guess what? It’s sequel time! And, if that’s not enough for you, we have a prequel novella to celebrate as well! It’s a two-in-one release celebration—something for long-time readers, and something for those of you new to the series.

But that’s enough talk from me, you want to meet the author!

Thanks for joining us today, Aubrie! It’s great to have you back here at Literary Coldcuts on Toasty Buns.

So tell us: a novel and prequel novella both released this month… how does it feel? Do you have an elated sense of accomplishment, or do you just want to lie down and sleep for a month?”

“I’m very excited! I wrote them at different times (thank goodness) But, Entangled thought it would be great to release them at the same time, since they are companion novels following one of the characters in each book. I’m hoping to draw in readers to the series by offering a cheaper ebook as a prequel.”

”I like the way you think! Sneaksy, I say! Plus, everyone loves prequels. That said, in terms of putting together a sequel, when it came to the writing process was there anything you found easier or more difficult when it came to writing the Tundra 37? How did the process compare to writing Paradise 21?”

hero rising“I wanted to make it even better than Paradise 21. You know what they say about sequels not being as good. So, I tried to delve deeper and go further with the plot and all of the characters in it. This book is longer and more complex, but still has the action, adventure, and romance that the first one did.”

*sips coffee*

*nods sagely*

“Of course, of course. But let’s cut to the chase: Inquiring minds want to know—which of your heroines do you think you’d get along with best, Aries or Gemme? Or maybe Skye?”

“Gemme, of course, because she’s the tamest one of the bunch. The other two might just dominate my personality or scare me! Gemme is sweet and kind-hearted and would be a great person to take to the mall on a day off!”

“A nice person on an ice planet? That seems almost cruel! Though I haven’t read it yet, I’m looking forward to reading your description of the ice planet, and I’m wondering… are you the kind of author who gets really into character while writing? I guess what I mean is, did you find yourself feeling sympathetically cold during the writing process?” paradise 21

*shivers just thinking about being cold*

*looks at Faith like she’s crazy because she lives in Canada and is supposed to be used to the cold*

“Living in NH, I’m cold from November until March! I wear pants underneath my dress, long underwear, two sweaters, gloves, a hat…you name it. and I’m still cold. So, I have a lot to draw on for Tundra 37!”

“Well, I’m just glad your fingers haven’t fallen off yet… er, anyway, what’s up next in the New Dawn series? Will we see a return of familiar characters, or meet new faces, or should we just hold our collective breath and be surprised?”

“I’m editing the next novel in the series: Haven 6. This one ties in everything from the first three books. You’ll get to find out what happened to Aries and Striker, meet the bird-alien people that hatched from the eggs, and get answers to the mysterious golden swirls in the orb in Tundra 37. The final battle is epic, and I hope the conclusion is satisfying!”

“Fantastic! Who doesn’t love epic battles???”

*stares around the room*

“Just one more question for today, Aubrie, since I’m curious and like to know these things: What are you reading right now?”

lockdown furnace“I just finished an awesome book called Lockdown: Escape from Furnace about a boy who’s incarcerated for a murder he didn’t commit. It’s like the Shawshank Redemption crossed with a horror movie all in one. I loved it.”

”Oooh! I haven’t heard of that one! I’ll have to look it up. Well, thanks so much for joining us today, Aubrie, and best of luck on the rest of the blog tour… and with those edits!”

“Thanks for having me here today, Faith! Great questions!”

*taps mic*

“If anyone here today is interested in obtaining a copy of any of Aubrie’s books, just go ahead and click the links below—and stay tuned for reviews of Tundra 37 and A Hero Rising in the coming weeks!”

Paradise 21 (A New Dawn, Book #1)

Tundra 37 (A New Dawn, Book #2)

A Hero Rising (A New Dawn, Book #3 Prequel)

About Aubrie

Aubrie_DionneAubrie is an author and flutist in New England. Her stories have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, A Fly in Amber, and several print anthologies including Skulls and Crossbones by Minddancer Press, Rise of the Necromancers, by Pill Hill Press, Nightbird Singing in the Dead of Night by Nightbird Publishing, Dragontales and Mertales by Wyvern Publications,A Yuletide Wish by Nightwolf Publications, and Aurora Rising by Aurora Wolf Publications. Her epic fantasy is published with Wyvern Publications, and several of her ebooks are published with Lyrical Press and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, she plays in orchestras and teaches flute at Plymouth State University and a community music school.


Book Review: ‘Chasing Mona Lisa’

   Posted by: Faith    in Tasty Tomes

Chasing Mona Lisa

by Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey

Historical Fiction

Release Date: January 2012


ChasingMonaLisaOne enigmatic smile. Two passionate protectors. And a relentlessly ticking clock.

August 1944. Paris is on the cusp of liberation. As the soldiers of the Third Reich flee the Allied advance, they ravage the country and steal countless pieces of irreplaceable art. In fact, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will stop at nothing to claim the most valuable one of all—the Mona Lisa—as a postwar bargaining chip.

But the woman with the mysterious smile has some very determined protectors. Can Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler rescue Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece before it falls into German hands?

With nonstop action and intrigue, Chasing Mona Lisa is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as you join the chase to save the most famous painting in the world. From war-ravaged Paris to a posh Swiss chateau, the race is on–and the runners are playing for keeps.

My Thoughts:

I received this book for the purpose of a review, otherwise it’s unlikely I would have picked it up. I don’t typically read books set during either World War (I’m not sure why, but I just don’t find them enjoyable), but I thought this one sounded interesting. It’s a story about the liberation of art from the Germans after the occupation of Paris, specifically the flight of the Mona Lisa ("La Joconde") from Paris to Amsterdam and back to Paris as a team of individuals struggled to keep it out of the hands of a German officer.

The story focuses on two couples — a pair of Swiss spies who get wrapped up into the drama on a medical-supply delivery mission — and a Resistance fighter and a museum curator. They’re likable enough characters, but I can’t say I particularly connected with either couple. I found the Swiss couple much more realistic in their motives and actions, and if I remember correctly, there’s another book by this writing team that continues their story.

The other couple — Bernard and Colette — don’t have quite the expected ending, and things are left a little unresolved (but if I say why, I’ll give away some crucial information, so I’ll let you read that for yourself). As a result, I found the book less compelling than I’d hoped.

Because I don’t have a lot of experience with WWII novels, I don’t have much to compare it to in terms of quality or storytelling. It was a fast read with decent plot & characters, and plenty of historical detail. I think people who look for historical detail in this kind of fiction will be pleased, but I wish the authors had included a note at the end (as some authors do) explaining which parts were based on true events and which were creative license. I know that there were problems with precious pieces of art falling to the Germans (and efforts to keep other pieces out of their hands), but was this book based on a true story? I have no idea.

Either way, not bad. Not wonderful, but probably a fair read for someone interested in the period and the subject matter.


About the Authors

Yorkey_MikeGoyer_TriciaTricia Goyer is the coauthor of The Swiss Courier as well as the author of many other books, including Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights, both past winners of the ACFW’s Book of the Year Award for Long Historical Romance. Goyer lives with her family in Arkansas.

Mike Yorkey is the author or coauthor of dozens of books, including The Swiss Courierand the bestselling Every Man’s Battle series. Married to a Swiss native, Yorkey lived in Switzerland for 18 months. He and his family currently reside in California.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Taking My Owls

   Posted by: Faith    in Rye Thoughts

…no, I didn’t actually receive an acceptance to Hogwarts. Too bad, though.

owlBut I’m going to be attending the next best thing: A workshop about owls! Yes, a full day of learning and quizzes and questions and charts about OWLS. Yes, the ones that go “hoot” or “skreeeeee!” or any other manner of owl sounds.

And then, my friends, THEN… I will go on an OWL PROWL for two hours on a wintery Friday night with 8 complete strangers, where we’ll search the darkened skies and trees for a hint or a shadow of these elusive winged ones.

What does this have to do with anything?

Well, it doesn’t, really. I just like learning about things. It just so happens that a nearby university offers the occasional nature course, and I have a free day, so… why not?

But I’m not just writing to talk about owls. Rather, let me ask you this:

  • Is there something you’re interested in, but have never had the chance to learn about?
  • Is there a type of cooking, or crafting, or technology you’ve always wanted to try?
  • Do you wish you knew a little more about nature, or gardening, or the butterflies that flit around your window every spring?
  • Have you always wanted to learn a new language?

…so… why haven’t you? What’s stopping you? I bet if you Google your area of interest, and your location (or the biggest city near you), you’d find an upcoming course or workshop that’s exactly what you’re looking for.


Is your excuse:

“I don’t have enough time!” – Make time. Book a day off work. Get a babysitter. At the end of your life, do you want to feel like you spent a life fulfilled, or do you want to spend your final years regretting that you wasted time on Facebook instead of taking a moment to enjoy the wonders that this world has to offer?

“I don’t have enough money!” – Birthdays? Christmas? Anniversary? Valentine’s Day? If your family does gift lists, put your course or class or interest on the list! Let people know that you want to experience something difference! Tell your significant other or best friend—these are the kind of people who’ll be excited for you, and encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and do something different.

“I’d suck at that. I know I would.” – You literally DO NOT KNOW that until you try. And, what are you basing that on? A bad grade in French class twenty years ago? An embarrassing line-dance incident at your sister’s wedding? Being human is about learning and growing and failing and then trying again. Just because a rabbit bit you when you were seven doesn’t mean all lagomorphs are evil—maybe you’d be a great foster parent for an animal rescue!


All of these excuses SUCK. Yes, that’s right. They SUCK.

Especially if you’re a writer.

If you want to learn something, or try something new, and you’re a writer, why wouldn’t you get out of your comfort zone and do it??? If you never step out of your comfortable little bubble, how can you create realistic human emotions and interactions in your characters? How will you know what to feel or sense or how to react, if you can’t do it yourself? Hearsay is one thing. Real-life experience is another…


The fear of sitting in a classroom for the first time in fifteen years.

The frustration of caring for an injured animal.

The excitement of making your first successful Pad Thai with authentic ingredients.

The satisfaction of knitting a scarf for the first time.

The delight and joy of discovering the wonders of nature.


At the owl workshop, I’m going to be surrounded by biologists and wildlife experts and agriculturists and birders and academics and when we introduce ourselves and explain why we’re there I’m going to stand up and proudly exclaim “I’m here because I’m a writer and I like birds and I love to learn new things.”

barn owlIt’s going to be awkward. I don’t like strangers. I don’t like talking to other people in new environments. But if I don’t go, I’ll never get to learn about these amazing, mysterious creatures from someone who has make studying birds their life’s work.

I’ll be scared and excited and amazed and nervous and I might want to throw up just a little bit when I step into the room for the first time.

But I’m a writer, and a human being, and that means I need to make the most of the life I was given. I don’t want to be 95-years-old and wishing I’d done more with my life.

So today, I’m encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone… and if not just for the sake of getting excellent fodder and realistic experiences to plug into your writing, then for the sake of your growth as a human being. Let’s say “no!” to becoming stagnant, and “yes!” to everything this incredible world has to offer.


What do you want to learn or try or do that you’ve always been afraid to or just “haven’t got around to it yet”? Why not look into it TODAY? Open-mouthed smile