Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hide and Seek Book Blast

Blurb:
Anything can happen when you let your guard down . . .

After receiving a violent threat on the heels of her father’s disappearance from the town of Arrowhead Bay, Devon Cole fears for her life—until Vigilance, a local private security agency, steps in to shield her from danger. Although she isn’t usually quick to surrender her freedom, she has no problem stripping her defenses for her new sexy bodyguard . . .

Tortured by the painful memory of lost love, Logan Malik is determined not to fall for a client again. So when he’s tasked with watching over Devon day and night, he’s focused on doing his job. Day is no problem, but as tensions rise at night, nothing can protect them from giving in to unbridled passion.


Excerpt:
“And we’re working on the backgrounds of the Cole International execs. Do you have everything there you need?”

Logan had his own personal weapons with him—a Glock 19, a Ruger LCP and his Kabar knife—but on the remote chance of an invasion he wanted to be covered on all fronts.

“More firepower. I’ll text you the list as soon as I hang up. How are you coming with the phone?”

“We’ve just gotten started with it. First of all, it’s not an ordinary cell phone. It’s made by a company like the one that makes ours.”

“So it’s ten times as hard to crack.”

“That’s right. We got past the factory restore and there’s data on it, but it also seems to have multiple passwords.”

Logan snorted. “Can you say paranoid? Now I’m sure there’s shit on it we need.”

“I’ve got Del on it. He’s got it hooked up to a bunch of different programs at the same time. If anyone can break it, that would be him.”

“Okay. Keep me in the loop on that.”

“Ginger’s been digging into Graham Cole with an electronic shovel. I want to know everything from the past ten years, personal and corporate. There’s a clue somewhere and I mean for us to find it. I’ll bet we find a lot of unpleasant crap there.

“I hope we find something soon,” he told her. “I don’t think they’re near done with her.”

“And that’s why you’re there, Mr. Marine.”

“Ooh rah.”


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Author Bio and Links:
Desiree Holt is the world’s oldest living published author of erotic and spicy romance. A graduate of the University of Michigan with double majors in English and History, her earlier careers include agent and manager in the music industry, public television, associate vice president of university advancement, public relations, and economic development.

She is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, a USA Today Bestselling author and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature.

She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times, The Huffington Post and numerous other national and international publications. She is also the Authors After Dark 2014 Author of the Year.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

In Over Our Heads Release Day Blitz

Blurb:
Anthony Vallen is the life of any party. Full of energy and fun, Anthony adores romance and enjoys playing matchmaker for his friends while dancing the night away with a series of Mr. Right Nows. But he’s given up on his own happy ending. A bad breakup years ago made him a secret cynic about love… until he runs into Walter Elkins—the boy who broke his teenaged heart—on a scuba-diving vacation in Key West. Suddenly, Anthony’s reasons for shunning romance no longer hold much water. Being with Walter again forces Anthony to get serious—about himself, his worth, and his heart’s desires.

Brilliant and self-contained, scientist Walter Elkins prefers deep thoughts to other people. He’s a good boss and a model citizen, but Walter doesn’t let anyone get close. After a tragedy drove him out of his science career, Walter landed in Key West and became owner of a dive shop and a bar. Things are fine until Anthony Vallen—the only person who ever penetrated his defenses—shows up, and Walter’s calm, controlled life capsizes. He and Anthony have a second chance for love, but Walter must confront the old fears that threaten to torpedo their happiness.


Excerpt:
The door burst open, and Sophia sailed in with my morning cappuccino. She was humming under her breath and had that telltale postsex glow about her. I tried not to hate her too much.

“What’re you doing in here with me, doll? Don’t you have a sexy dive instructor to entertain?”

“She had to leave early.” Sophia handed me the mug. “She’s taking her group out on the ocean dive too, and she had to go to Back Bay to get the boat ready.”

I took a restorative sip of cappuccino. “Ahh. Well, I hope you didn’t tire her out too much last night. Or vice versa.” I winked at her, even though I didn’t feel very winky.

“Guilty on both our parts, I’m afraid.” Sophia smirked, then perched on the side of my bed. “Can we talk more about what’s going on with you and Walter?”

“Going on?” I blinked and buried my nose in the cup. “I mean, I told you guys last night. What more do you need to know?”

“Whatever it’ll take to help you and him figure yourselves out, because second chances like this don’t come around often.”

“God, not you too. You and Jonny need to start a group for incurable romantics.”

She straightened, her dark eyes snapping with intensity. “Caro! You’re the one who talks about destiny. This is your destiny!”

I sighed. She was so over the top sometimes. Must be her Italian blood. “Maybe my destiny is to be reminded to never let a guy walk over me the way Walter did.”

“I…. Look, Marco has a good point, and I agree with him that Walter needs to apologize. It was awful of him to drop out of sight. You so don’t deserve to be treated that way.”

“Right.” I put down my cup, having lost my taste for the cappuccino.

“But you two were barely out of high school. So young! People change. It certainly doesn’t seem in character with how he is now.”

“Doesn’t it?”

“Well, I mean, Walter seems so conscientious and thoughtful. Yes, a little gruff, but not someone who would knowingly hurt you. But maybe… safety seems to be a huge concern to him. And maybe he couldn’t stand that you almost drowned, and he couldn’t face you after that? Did he ever explain it to you?”

“No. I begged him to tell me why, and all he would say is ‘I’m not good for you. I don’t want to hurt you anymore.’ I guess the safety thing is the most plausible explanation. Because other than that, it’s bizarre that he would walk away and throw away a great thing. We were….” I paused, hit by an unexpected wave of grief. “Damn it, Soph, we were really good together. Yes, we were young, but we complemented each other so well. Like, I brought him out of his shell, and he calmed me down. And he took me seriously. He listened to me in a way no one but Jonny ever had before.” My eyes betrayed me by welling up.

“Oh, Anthony. That’s lovely. I can tell he still does. Take you seriously, I mean. He hasn’t been able to stop staring at you the whole time we’ve been around him. It’s obvious he still cares.”

Sophia’s words threw little daggers at my silly heart. Jonathan had said essentially the same thing. If they both thought Walter still cared for me, maybe it was true. And God, if it was true, I was in deep waters. I knew I should stiffen my backbone and armor myself with outrage. But I couldn’t. Still hung up on Walter Elkins? Guilty as charged. Convicted. Lock me up and throw away the key, because I had no hope of rehabilitation. I put my face in my hands for a moment. What a hopeless sentimental fool!

Luckily for my humiliation factor, Marco came barging in with a brilliant grin. “All right, darlings! Today’s the day! Scuba diving or bust! Get ready for the adventure of your lives.” He stopped short and peered at me. “You okay?”

Pulling myself together, I returned his smile. “Fabulous, doll! Off to the reefs we go to swim with the fishies!”

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Celebrate the release of In Over Our Heads with a special sale: All the Way to Shore is on sale for 99 cents at Amazon through October 24 with that price matched at the Dreamspinner Press store October 16-24. 
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Author Bio:
After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook

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Deadspeak 2 Book Blast

Blurb:
DEADSPEAK2. The chilling new entry in the Deadspeak Mystery Series

Things look different when you're dead.

It’s Halloween and a group of teens throw a party at Harbinger Falls’ most celebrated haunted estate. It’s all fun and games until a session with a Ouija board guides the partygoers to the body of a young girl hidden in the attic.

Detective Kimberly Trent is assigned the case and quickly discovers that all is not as it seems. First, there’s the connection between the death and a string of petnappings terrorizing the neighborhood. Then there’s the suicide note that only leaves more questions than answers. A visit from Kimberly’s ghostly friend Griff Lindon sheds an unwelcome light. It seems she’s had a run in with the newly deceased who tells her she’s been murdered.

This is the second in The Deadspeak Mysteries. The entries are meant to be read in sequential order and do not standalone. In each book, you’ll find a new murder for Kimberly Trent to solve. You’ll also find the continuing search for who murdered Kim’s sister Elizabeth. Each book will take you closer and closer to finding out the identity of The Hex Killer, the serial killer who ended Elizabeth’s short life. It will also bring you to the heart of the evil that’s come back to life to wreak revenge. 


Excerpt:
“No, you can’t come over to explain! I know what I saw!”

Mia Chaukes, the pleasant girl with the quiet demeanor, was shouting. It was unusual for the sixteen-year-old to raise her voice or be this upset, but she wasn’t backing down. She couldn’t. Not after what she’d witnessed.

It went against everything she believed in.

Her eyes traveled the length of the pink walls. It had been her favorite color when she was younger and always put her in a good mood, but would it still work today?

She sought comfort from the color—and from the shelves lined with the vestiges of her past. Unicorns, teddy bears, and other stuffed toys were there with sunny smiles and arms outstretched for a hug, but they only served as a reminder that things had changed and would never be the same.

“Don’t you dare tell me that!” she blasted as more desperation came through the receiver … desperation and elaborate excuses.

Anything but the truth.

She wouldn’t be lied to … not anymore.

“Don’t you dare tell me I’m imagining things! I’ll hang up … I mean it!”

What would have happened if she hadn’t taken that way home? Or if she’d left earlier or later? Endless possibilities, one worse than the other, shot through her mind, each making her sick to her stomach. But before the nausea disappeared, an equally disturbing question rose to the surface.

What did happen?


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Author Bio and Links:
Born in the idyllic, sleepy town of Ithaca, NY, Ruth Bainbridge has been a lover of mysteries for her entire life.

Ever since a child, she has consumed detective stories at regular intervals, becoming enamored with all the superstars of crime. She loved nothing more than to match wits with the likes of Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Thomas Pitt, Lord Peter Wimsey, Richard Jury, and Edward X Delaney, becoming inspired by their brilliance. Hoping to emulate her writing idol’s achievements in dreaming up such characters, she started composing her own short stories.

However, life interfered with her plans of becoming the next hopeful to try a life of crime—on paper at least. Devoting herself to her marriage and the raising of four children, the empty nest syndrome gave her the impetus to return to her first love—murder.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Shadow of a Thief VBT

Blurb:
Combining his pitch perfect voice for the characters who live in New York's underbelly with a compelling new protagonist, Norm Green’s Shadow of a Thief grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go

In a previous life, Saul Fowler was a thief-for-hire with an impressive client list, including the US government. When he seeks shelter from his addictions up on the coast of Maine, his past come back to haunt him in the form of his estranged stepfather, Reverend McClendon. “Someone killed my daughter,” says the rev. “Find out who did it Saul, I know you can help me. Please?” None of this would be Saul's problem, except that the girl might be his half-sister.

Back in NYC, a place he never thought he’d see again, Saul delves deep under the surface of the dead girl’s life. Before long he finds himself contending with gangs, pimps, prostitutes, the NYPD, and just maybe, the fifth fundamental universal force. Finding the truth will either change his life forever, or end it.

Gritty and unputdownable, this is perfect for fans of James Lee Burke and Robert Crais.


Excerpt:
The safest time to walk lower Manhattan’s Avenue D, in Corey Jackson’s opinion, was early in the morning.  Early in the morning, chances were, the ghouls who ruled the projects at night would be passed out somewhere, not roaming around looking for entertainment the way they were now.  Half an hour to midnight, Avenue D, a white kid from South Carolina with his African girlfriend, even the cops would tell you that you were asking for it, and for no good reason.  But at the tender age of twenty-three Corey already knew enough about women to know that there were some arguments you weren’t gonna win.  “Babe,” he said.  “Babe, where the hell are we going?”

“This way,” she said, and she kept on walking.

Corey could not wait to get back to Batesburg. 

Two more semesters, that’s what he kept telling himself, two more semesters and he would be a real teacher, with the degree to prove it, and that would allow him to move out of the purgatory otherwise known as New York City.  A degree would give him a leg up, a toehold in the middle class, a degree and a job teaching high school science and he just might be the first of the Batesburg Jacksons not to live in a trailer since the damn things were invented...  It sounded like a good plan, it had always sounded good and sometimes you had to take a shot, but you never knew when you were gonna hit a pothole somewhere.  You never knew when you were gonna wind up walking down a sidewalk in a neighborhood where you and everybody else knew you didn’t belong.


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Author Bio and Links:
Norman Green reports this about himself: "I have always been careful, as Mark Twain advised, not to let schooling interfere with my education. Too careful, maybe. I have been, at various times, a truck driver, a construction worker, a project engineer, a factory rep, and a plant engineer, but never, until now, a writer." He lives in Emerson, New Jersey, with his wife, and is hard at work on his second novel.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Daughter of Aithne NBtM

Blurb:
Betrayed by her own prodigy, Eolyn stands accused of treason. As power-hungry nobles dismantle her life's work and honor, the desperate queen forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. Determined to defend her son's claim to the throne of the Mage King, Eolyn prepares for her last and greatest battle, this time against her own sisters in magic.

Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the schemes of a shrewd uncle and the mysterious ambitions of the wizards of Galia, Taesara struggles to assert her own destiny, even as she takes up arms to defend her daughter's inheritance.

In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war.

"An enticing and elegant series finale, filled with magic and turmoil." -KIRKUS REVIEWS


Excerpt:
Eolyn shifted in her seat. A thousand words stood poised upon her lips, of which only a handful could be chosen and delivered. Each conversation in the coming days had to be undertaken with great care, especially when it came to this mage.

“Why did Thelyn come for us, and not you?” she asked.

“I was needed to track down the magas still residing in the City,” Corey replied. “Besides, Thelyn was the better mage for that task.”

Mariel, she thought. He would not have had the heart to bind Mariel.

A small sign, perhaps, that Mage Corey could yet be counted among her friends.

“I understand you are to oversee their interrogation,” Eolyn said.

“It is true, my Lady Queen.”

“I have expressed my concerns about this to the King. He assures me that you and your mages will not be permitted to—”

“My Lady Queen, if there is one thing you have learned in the years of our friendship, it is that I will do whatever must be done in the moment at hand, and I will harden my heart to see it through.”

“That may be the case, Mage Corey. Yet I also know that words are your most effective tool. You have never resorted to violence to obtain what you require.”

Corey let her statement hang in the air.

Eolyn averted her gaze, suddenly aware of the icy tension in her hands.

I, too, am being interrogated.

“You did not bring a scribe,” she said quietly.

“What need have I for a scribe, my Lady Queen?” He softened his tone. “We are, as of yet, simply conversing.”



The Making of a Villain

What’s the secret to crafting a good villain?

How can we craft characters who, despite their nefarious acts, invoke some level of sympathy and understanding?

The answer lies in perceiving your story from the villain’s point of view. Like all major characters, villains must have dreams they seek to fulfill; ambitions that justify who they are and the actions they take. They may even believe they are working toward a greater good, and that their dream would ensure a better future for everyone concerned.

To illustrate these points, let’s have a look at three of the villains of The Silver Web trilogy: the wizard Tzeremond, Prince Mechnes of the Syrnte, and Princess Taesara of Roenfyn.

Tzeremond appears in Eolyn, Book One of The Silver Web. A wizard of the Old Orders, Tzeremond honed his craft in an era when both men (mages) and women (magas) freely practiced magic. Tzeremond’s intolerance of magas has deep roots, but the final straw for him was when women of magic rose up against his student, the Mage King of MoisehĂ©n. After that long, bitter war, Tzeremond decided his people’s only hope for peace lay in eliminating all women of magic. On behalf of the Mage King, he and other wizards systematically hunt down and burn magas like Eolyn. Tzeremond is a villain who commits awful acts for what he truly believes is a noble cause. He never once doubts his actions are right in the eyes of his gods, and this is what makes him so dangerous.

Book Two of The Silver Web features the series’ most nefarious villain: Prince Mechnes of the Syrnte Empire.  Brilliant and ruthless, a conqueror of nations, Mechnes is master of violence, manipulation, and sensual pleasures.  He sees into the thoughts of others and uses their hopes, fears, strengths, and weaknesses to serve his own designs. To Mechnes, life is a blood-soaked game that he is destined to win; all others must serve his ambitions or be eliminated. He is a truly hedonistic villain, and the only north on his moral compass is himself. Does Mechnes have any redeeming qualities at all? You’ll have to read Sword of Shadows to find out!

In Daughter of Aithne, the final installment of The Silver Web trilogy, Taesara of Roenfyn takes center stage as Eolyn’s most important antagonist. Of the villains in this series, Taesara is the most sympathetic. Once queen in her own right, she now wages war to defend her only daughter’s claim to the throne. Due to the beliefs of her people, Taesara eschews all magic. Yet she faces many of the same challenges as Eolyn as they both assert their fate in a world ruled largely by men. Taesara has a dash of Tzeremond’s dogmatism, but she is a woman of honor and compassion. She sees herself as a servant of her people. Readers of Daughter of Aithne will probably like this villainess very much. In fact, they may have a hard time deciding who to root for before the novel ends!
Those are some of the star villains of The Silver Web, each one illustrating a different approach to making a character readers love to hate.

Tell me about the villains you have read about or written about. What made them stick in your mind? What do you think makes a successful villain?


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Author Bio and Links:
Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands all her life. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.

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DAUGHTER OF AITHNE, Book Three

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Lust, Lace and Lingerie Blurb Blitz

Blurb:
I love managing Red Light Lingerie, a sexy boutique in Dallas. I get to spend my days talking to people about bedroom wear, sex toys, and enhancement lotions for all occasions. But by far, my favorite erotic job perk is my sexy British boss, Maxwell Penn.

Max is a Matthew McConaughey look-alike who’s equal parts dreamboat and domineering pain in the neck, and I regularly fluctuate between “I want to bed him” and “I want to strangle him.” But still, yum.

The paradigm of our relationship, however, changes irrevocably when a lingerie designer, a friend of Max’s from Britain, comes to town, and I have to stand in for a no-show lingerie model. Before I can say G-string, I find myself sandwiched between Max and his dark-n-sexy friend.

I’d be in total heaven if it weren’t for the guilt swirling in Max’s blue eyes. I have no idea why it’s there, but I’m bound and determined to find out.

Publisher’s Note: This book contains descriptions of consensual activities, including eroticism and discipline. If you object to these elements, please do not read this book.


Excerpt:
Max strolled in like he owned the place, which was appropriate, considering he did own the place. But did he have to do it looking sexier than any man should be allowed to be?

I clutched my hand over my heart. “Max, you scared the living shit outta me! I thought a maniac had stuck around after hours.”

“My apologies, Ms. Jennings,” he said.

Bree. Bree. Bree. I wished he’d stop with the formalities and go back to calling me Bree, the way he used to before our relationship had gone sideways.

“It’s okay,” I said, readjusting the strap of my travel bag. “My mind was…elsewhere.”

Max nodded, looking me up and down with the Texas-sky-blue eyes that fueled my fantasies, and my heart kicked up a few more beats per minute. That time, however, my reaction had nothing to do with fear.

Why’d he have to be so damned sexy?

Tanned, muscular, and topping six foot, he was a walking wet dream, and the stimulating hum between my legs, the one that had been driving me crazy all night, morphed into a high-powered tingle. I doubted even my trusty Rabbit could ease the ache.


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Author Bio and Links:
Brandi Evans was raised by a caravan of traveling Gypsies. She spent her days learning the ways of her people and her nights lost in legends as old as time. Okay, not really, but that's way more interesting than the truth!

In reality, Brandi grew up the oldest child of an ordinary family. Grade school, middle school, high school. Nothing extraordinary happened until she left the nest. She joined the military, went to college, got married, and became a mom. And somewhere along the way, she discovered she liked to read—and write!—stories hot enough to melt eReaders.
  
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Snakes Can't Run VBT

Blurb:
This epic of Chinatown Noir is the riveting sequel to This Is a Bust.

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:
The mind is a funny thing. After I got on the wagon and fell in love with a girl, I started seeing my father out in the streets. I didn't literally see his ghost walking around, but I'd see his nose in profile on another guy's face. Sometimes I'd be walking behind someone who had his slouchy shuffle, his spotted ears, or the back of the head that looked like an elderly porcupine with spikes gone soft and white.

One time, a hand reached out to my shoulder and touched me exactly where he used to touch me from his chair after dinner to ask me to get him a beer from the fridge.

Of course it wasn't my father. It was an older guy who wanted to know if I was the guy whose pictures used to be in all the Chinese newspapers. The man was almost completely bald and had two light brown spots on the top right of his head that looked like an imprint from a woman's high-heeled shoe.

He called me the Sheriff of Chinatown. I tried to get away from him as soon as possible, but he was one of those people who liked to say good-bye and then ask another question just when you're about to part. The guy ended up grabbing both of my hands twice before I was able to make the corner and get away. I checked that my wallet was still in my pocket, though, just in case he had been working me with a partner. I guess he was genuinely glad to meet me.


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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.

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