Belated Review: Go With the Flo by Lillian Grant

Nineties girl Florence Spring joined Avon to find her Edward Scissorhands but instead needs to rescue his porno alter ego.

When Florence notices her eccentric ex-boyfriend, Eddie, isn’t putting on his usual show in the front window on Friday night she decides to investigate. She asks her best friend, Nelson Tyler, to help but he seems more interested in seducing Florence than in finding her personal flasher.

Florence has no idea when she embarks on the adventure she will accidentally shoot an undercover policeman, or that her actions will lead to Nelson’s kidnapping. Now with two men missing she has no choice but to continue and thwart the plans of a psychotic soon to be divorcee. She needs to rescue Nelson because life without him is unbearable, especially since she’s discovered his long sensitive fingers are far more erotic than scissorhands.

Usually, I am very punctual, so I must apologize for the lateness of this review posting. Some of you may know that I no longer had internet, and for other reasons that I won’t mention here, I was unable to connect until today. That being said, on with the review!

Go With the Flo was a downright entertaining mix of Romance and Suspense. I loved every bit of it. Florence’s character is easy to relate to. She has a job she doesn’t like, a creepy flasher giving her unwanted attention, and a best friend– soon to be boyfriend –whom her parents don’t approve of. When the flasher disappears, she decides to track him down, concerned that something awful might have happened to him.

Meanwhile, her long-time friendship with Nelson deepens. She tries to ignore his advances in an effort to find Eddie before it’s too late, but how much longer can she resist him?

With the majority of books that I read, my “editor brain” kicks in, and I find issue with plot points, errors, or other such things– even when it comes to novels published by big publishing houses. Go With the Flo had none of the weaknesses I have spotted in other novels. I think that it deserves more recognition, and I hope the author is able to reach wider audiences. What a delightful book! The author’s sense of humor is especially prevalent, and readers will find themselves smiling and giggling throughout Florence’s adventures.

Buy a copy for your Kindle | Visit Lillian’s website | Facebook Fan Page

Check Out Time on Kickstarter

Marketing is the most costly aspect of publishing a book. Due to this fact, I have been unable to market my latest novel, Check Out Time, as effectively as I would like to. So I decided to try Kickstarter! An author friend, Kate Policani, had great luck with it, so I am following her example.

Kickstarter is a wonderful website where dreams are funded. Through Kickstarter, and the kind donations of friends, readers, and writers, I hope to raise $500 to market Check Out Time.

If I reach my goal, I plan to book a blog tour through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. Whatever is left over will be put toward other online book tour companies.

For more information, and to help back my project, please click here.

Backers will of course be rewarded with wonderful goodies!

I truly appreciate your help. If you cannot donate, please tell your friends. Thank you, everyone!

The Hero Blog Hop: Alexis Nevid tells it like it is

Meet Alexis Nevid, private detective, and somewhat reluctant hero. Here she is, sitting at the Coral Reef Tavern, enjoying her favorite refreshment, whiskey on the rocks.

Alexis is a loner, but she has one good friend: Frank Gibson of the Witchfire Police Department. In Check Out Time, she is introduced as a somewhat mysterious woman of Native American descent, with a penchant for Cuban cigars.

She spends a lot of time in her little rented office, her feet propped up on the scratched surface of her desk, amid stacks of papers and piles of books. This is where she is introduced to readers, calmly waiting for an investigation to “fall into her lap”. When Spencer Whellaby, wealthy store owner, bursts into her office and asks for her help, she is thrown aback to discover that he wants to her to investigate a suicide.

Interestingly, I never meant for Alexis to become an important character. But I absolutely love her– she is tough, and she tells it like it is. She is reluctant to get involved in the lives of others, but she is strangely drawn to Naomi Vogler, the main character of Check Out Time, whose sad story touches Alexis’s heart.

Meet Alexis Nevid in my latest Mystery release, Check Out Time. I have a feeling she will be returning in future works. After all, although Alexis has a habit of disappearing when she wants to, she tends to reemerge when we least expect it.

Buy Check Out Time on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Available in print and e-book

Enjoy this short excerpt of Check Out Time . . . .

When Alexis didn’t want to be noticed, she had a talent for disappearing. As the sounds of the night settled in and bats fluttered in the overhang, Alexis sunk into the bench and became a statue—a part of the shadows. When the time came, she would be ready.

No one seemed the notice the dark shadow on the corner of a bench until it began to move, straighten, and become a human being. The night crew turned collectively and saw Alexis emerge from the darkness, smooth and snake-like, much like some denizen from another world.

“Where’d you come from?” Keith asked.

“I’ve been here,” Alexis explained. “I’ve been waiting.”

“Not for this . . . I mean, you didn’t know the power was going to go out, did you?”

“You’re quick, Mr. Ryan. I had a pretty good idea something was going to happen, but I didn’t know what. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” Alexis pulled a nine-millimeter out of a holster on her belt. “I believe there’s something in there waiting for me.”

“What’s going on?”

“I’ll tell you later.” Alexis walked toward the front door.

Thank you to my dear friend Brian’s father, Michael, for taking the Halloween photo of me and immortalizing Alexis.

Who’s your favorite hero? Reply to this blog post with your name and email. You will be entered to win a digital copy of Check Out Time. Good luck!

Beginning July 27 and ending on the 31, over 100 authors and bloggers will share their favorite things about heroes. And everyone is doing a giveaway, including me!

We have THREE grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 100 times!

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
2nd Grand Prize: A $50 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
3rd Grand Prize: A fantastic Swag Pack!

Enter to win! Remember to leave a comment.

Author Blog-In: Check Out Time by Rosa Sophia

Kate Policani, author of The Lustre, is hosting this fantastic blog-in! Today, I’m sharing an excerpt from my latest release, Check Out Time. Buy Check Out Time on Amazon, and remember to “like” my author page on Facebook.

Check Out Time: Retail is Murder

A Mystery novel by Rosa Sophia

Naomi Vogler blames herself for her mother’s tragic death, continually reliving the accident in her nightmares. When she reconnects with her estranged father, he invites her to live with him in a little town called Witchfire. A simple job stocking shelves overnight at a local grocery store seems a perfect distraction. But when the manager of the store is found dead in the boiler room, Naomi’s boring job becomes something much more complicated. No matter how she looks at it, one thing is certain: retail is murder.

Harmless admirer, or worse . . . ?

“Somebody busted my car window.”

“What?” Roy exclaimed.

“I don’t know why or what happened; I guess they were trying to find something to steal.” Even as she said this, Naomi was staring into the car windows. The stereo was still there. This struck her as odd, because she had recently installed a brand new system. Even her CD collection remained, which she had left on the passenger seat.

“I’ll get the tow truck and be there in a few minutes,” Roy said. “Will you be okay?”

“Yeah. Oliver said he would hang out with me until you got here.”

“All right. See you soon.”

Naomi hung up her cell phone and slipped it into her pocket. “I can’t believe this,” she mumbled brokenly. “I just got this thing fixed and somebody broke into it. It must have happened when hardly anyone was here. We wouldn’t have heard anything from inside. My God—I can’t believe nobody heard the window break.”

Oliver walked over to the car and peeked in the window. “If you broke into a car, wouldn’t you try to steal an expensive stereo system?” he asked, echoing Naomi’s thoughts.

She shrugged. “Maybe it was just before the cops got here last night. Maybe whoever it was saw them and freaked out.”

“Can you think of anything else you might have taken with you to work?”
Naomi thought for a moment. “Not really. Except . . . .”

“What?”

“The photo album I was going to show you.” The night had been so busy, she had forgotten about it.

“Oh!” Oliver exclaimed. “Your vacation pictures.” Oliver looked into the back seat.
“Where’s the album?”

Naomi spent the next few minutes looking under some things in the back seat, searching underneath the seats and even checking the trunk, but she didn’t find the photo album. She thought of the man in the blue shirt. She thought of the date she had made for Saturday night. Naomi gulped. “Oh my God,” she mumbled. “The album’s gone.”

“Did you forget to bring it?” Oliver asked nervously.

Naomi slammed the back door. Some pieces of glass fell from the remains of the driver’s side window. “No, I distinctly remember putting it on the seat next to me when I got in the car,” Naomi stammered. “Whoever broke into my car must have stolen my photo album! Don’t you see what this means?”

“Oh, shit.” Oliver didn’t want to say it, but he was thinking it. Maybe she really does have a stalker.

Writers: What’s the most annoying question you’ve ever been asked about your work?

For me, the most annoying question is, “How much of your novel is autobiographical?”

If Taking 1960 were autobiographical, I would be a tormented artist with psychotic relatives, and an apparent talent for solving decade-old serial murder cases.

If Check Out Time were autobiographical, I would be a somewhat homely girl with admirably large biceps, grease stains under her fingernails, steel-toed boots, and a dog named Diesel.

I am not either of these characters, and it grows tiresome when people continually confuse my life with my fiction. I know this happens to other authors. I attended a book talk once where the author was discussing her stories, which were loosely based on events in her childhood. In the book, the character’s father was a negligent drunkard (or something to that effect) and people in the author’s family were wondering if she was slyly revealing long-kept family secrets.

In a way, the confusion can be a compliment. Perhaps I have created such a believable world that people can’t help but think it’s an expression of my own life.

It does cause problems, though. When my mother first read the book, she was very upset, and wanted to know why I had killed her off. It took a lot of explaining to make her realize that Naomi is not me, and Naomi’s mother is not my mother. I pointed out some very large differences: Naomi’s mother is curvaceous, short-haired, and enjoys baking cookies. My mother is none of these things.

How much of Check Out Time is real?

Well, mostly just my experiences. Initially, I came up with the concept when I was working overnight in a grocery store, and when I had just met my dad again in 2008. I made up Naomi, gave her some of my interests, and gave her a few situations that I was familiar with.

To me, “write what you know” means “write the sorts of things that you’re familiar with.” I think some people take the phrase too seriously. Especially with fiction, people wonder if the author experienced the same things as the main character, or if the main character is based on them.

For example, the latest gossip centers around E.L. James and Fifty Shades of Grey. Everyone keeps whispering, “You’d have to know a lot about that stuff in order to write it.”

So, does E.L. James have a BDSM dungeon in her basement? Maybe.

Did anything in Check Out Time really happen? Most of it didn’t.

Writers: What’s the most annoying question you’ve ever been asked about your work? 

Have you ever written anything with a particular goal in mind, only to have readers interpret it completely differently? How did this affect you? 

Leave a comment: I would love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Fourth of July!

Simply leave a comment in this entry, and you will be eligible to win a digital copy of Check Out Time. Click here to visit The Blog Hop Spot and check out more authors who are giving away some great stuff this week!

Naomi Vogler blames herself for her mother’s tragic death, continually reliving the accident in her nightmares.  When she reconnects with her estranged father, he invites her to live with him in a little town called Witchfire.  A simple job stocking shelves overnight at a local grocery store seems a perfect distraction.  But when the manager of the store is found dead in the boiler room, Naomi’s boring job becomes something much more complicated.  No matter how she looks at it, one thing is certain: retail is murder.

What the readers have to say . . . .

“Ms. Sophia weaved the events of the story together well, constantly keeping me guessing how things would end. Although I would have enjoyed more character development, the idea behind the book was very good. Ms. Sophia is a promising young author who has a talent for developing a story.” — Author Shelly Hickman

“Absolutely recommend this to any mystery lover.” — Author Jamie Woodhead

Remember to leave a comment! You may win a digital copy of Check Out Time.

Happy Fourth of July!

Readers: I’d love to hear from you!

I am currently looking for readers who may be interested in reviewing Check Out Time. I am in need of reviews posted on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you are interested, please leave a comment on this post, or email me at: author.rosa.sophia@gmail.com

I will provide you with a FREE digital copy of Check Out Time if you are willing to review it.

I would love to hear what my readers think!

My book tour at Shades of Rose Marketing began this week. Check out my Author Spotlights on Ella Jade’s website, and Patricia Bates’s Of Ink and Quille.

Book Tour: Check Out Time

My virtual book tour for Check Out Time begins today! Check out the author spotlight on Love to Read Romance!! I will be continually updating the Appearances page (which can be found under the “About Rosa” menu at the top of the page) as the tour progresses. There will be interviews, spotlights, and reviews, so keep coming back!

Also posted today: Interview with Rosa Sophia on Woody’s Writings, author Mike Woody’s website.

Check Out Time: Retail is Murder

Naomi Vogler blames herself for her mother’s tragic death, continually reliving the accident in her nightmares.  When she reconnects with her estranged father, he invites her to live with him in a little town called Witchfire.  A simple job stocking shelves overnight at a local grocery store seems a perfect distraction.  But when the manager of the store is found dead in the boiler room, Naomi’s boring job becomes something much more complicated.  No matter how she looks at it, one thing is certain: retail is murder.

Buy Check Out Time through Oaklight Publishing

Available on Amazon’s Kindle

Check Out Time is also available in print on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and through order from your favorite book store.

Check Out Time is also available to libraries, so ask your Reference Librarian to order Check Out Time today!

How my father inspired Check Out Time

As I sit here, still sick, still grieving from the loss of my father, I am thinking about how this loss was the devastating force behind so much of what I have done over the last year or so. Since yesterday was Father’s Day, I write this in his honor, just as I created the character of Roy Vogler, in Check Out Time, for my dad.

If I remember correctly, Dad’s accident was on January 23, 2010. I was determined to believe that he would recover, despite the stroke, and that things would continue as they had. I pictured myself moving back to Pennsylvania, driving over to his house and visiting Dad and my sisters, having dinner with him, all of us echoing the same sentiment: “Dear God, we came so close to losing you.”

This fantasy didn’t come to fruition. I lost Dad, for the second time in my life. I had three years to get to know my father all over again. I cannot even begin to describe how grateful I am for those three years. I try not to think about the what-ifs and the maybes. There have been a lot of moments where I have thought to myself, “If only I had contacted him sooner.” But the fact is, we reconnected when we did, and I have to accept that fact. In reality, things were the way they had to be.

But, oh! To be sitting across from him and realize how much we had in common. It was a mind-boggling experience. I tried to make Roy Vogler as close to the character of my father as possible, but I probably didn’t succeed %100. After all, the circumstances in my book are different, and Roy’s daughter isn’t completely me. There are aspects of Naomi Vogler that match my personality, but there are many things about the two of us that are different. Fact versus fiction– a novel doesn’t have to be accurate, it just has to entertain. But in my case, Check Out Time is not just a piece of entertainment fiction; it is an expression of how much I miss and love my father, the real Roy Vogler– Dennis Godshall, Sr.

Those of you who know me well enough will ask me if I’ve seen him. Yes, I have. I can get ready for bed at night and firmly ask, “Dad, I would like to see you in my dream tonight. Please visit me.” He will be there.

I know that I am not alone. He is far away, and it’s not easy for him to visit, but he manages it. It usually happens when I’m driving. I get the distinct impression that I am not alone. Very shortly after his death, on February 17, 2012, I was in school and I kept hearing people say things that sounded like something Dad would say. The feeling grew stronger when I heard someone whistling the theme to the Andy Griffith Show; that was something that Dad did well. When I went outside that night, there was no one behind me in the dark parking lot, and I felt a distinct tug on my sweatshirt. I knew it was Dad.

Our loved ones never really leave us. I know that Dad watches over me. The last time I saw him in the nursing home, I held his hand. When I cried, his forehead crinkled, and he stared fixedly at me the whole time. His lips parted as if he wanted to speak, but he couldn’t. I told him, “Dad, if you come to visit me, I will know it’s you. I will see you. We’ll never be all that far from each other.”

I am not well. As I try to recover from my physical sickness, I feel the hurt in my heart. The only photograph that I have of Dad and I, taken months or a year before his accident, is sitting by my laptop. I see his face every day. And I consider how this heartbreak drove me to change my life in some very large ways.

I remember standing in Dad’s house and saying excitedly, “Dad, I’m writing a book with you in it! You’re going to be one of the characters.”

Now, I want to say to my father, “Dad, I wish you could be here to see this book with you in it. I miss you more than I can say.”

I solved my own personal Mystery when I was reunited with my father. I saw how alike we were, and it was an eye-opener for me. In Check Out Time, Roy says to Naomi, “Like father, like daughter.” It’s the same in real life. After Dad’s accident, I made a concrete decision to go to school for Automotive, and decided that, one day, I would open my own automotive repair shop. Dad has influenced my life so much. I am always thinking, “I wish he were here to see it.”

But then I remember– He is here. And he always will be.

PWC Book Club: Now reading Taking 1960

The PWC Book Club is reading my Paranormal Mystery novel, Taking 1960, for the month of June. I am honored! Click here to view the e-Book on Oaklight’s website, and read more about my first Mystery novel.

About the book club:

The Pagan Writer’s Community book club reads and discusses one pagan themed book each month. Our affiliation with Pagan Writers’ Community means that most members are writers as well as readers (but this isn’t a requirement for membership.) We may post discussion topics or study questions of our own or borrowed from other sources, but all participation is optional. Feel free to discuss each month’s book as much or as little as you like, post your own questions, or link to relevant articles or files elsewhere. When possible, we hope to direct members to free or discounted e-books or online texts of our chosen books. If you’re searching for a place where intelligent pagan writers discuss pagan books–this is it.

What are we reading next?

July — The Magic of Findhorn by Paul Hawken
August — Stalking The Goddess by Mark Carter

How can I participate?

Click here to visit the PWC Monthly Book Club on Facebook. Join the group, pull up a chair, and you’re in! We would love to have you.