Author Spotlight Saturday with Jody Medland

One thing I love about book blogging is that we meet great authors from all over the world. This week we talk with Jody Medland, author of The Moors (keep an eye out for our review) who is from the United Kingdom. 
Welcome Jody to Genuine Jenn! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and why/what inspired you to write? When did you start writing?

Honestly, I feel like writing is the only thing I've always been able to. I put little effort into school, but it was always my writing that got attention. I had a natural flair and because it never felt like work, I did it consistently. If you do something every day, you're always likely to reach a noteworthy level, and because I have an innate passion for story, it's no real surprise I earn a living through writing now.  

What was your inspiration for ‘The Moors’?

When I was younger I had a summer job delivering bouncy castles to people's homes. You had to drop them off in the morning and pick them up at night. There was one house in the middle of Exmoor, which is a vast expanse of deserted land in South West England, that was beautiful by day by incredibly intimidating at night. I became very aware that if anything went wrong, or if anybody/thing was to turn on me, I'd be in the middle of nowhere and nobody would be able to help. That married with a local fable about an "Exmoor beast" who is supposed to roam the land, and pretty soon the story started writing itself.  

What three words would you use to best describe The Moors?

Gripping, mysterious, disturbing.

Can you tell us if you’re working on anything else at the moment?

SO much! I love to write, so I'm working on my next novel as well as my second screenplay, but I also run my own publishing company, Pen Works Media, so we're currently editing three books for release next year and there are more on the way. If anyone's interested in finding out more, it's probably worth joining our mailing list, which can be found at

What was your very first book that you wrote?

I have no idea what it was called, but I remember I was set a piece of homework when I was about 10-years-old and I came in the next day with a book that was fully written by hand. Once I started writing about the subject, which again eludes me now, I just couldn't stop. The teacher was amazed that I'd taken the project to that level and her reaction triggered something inside of me. I realised I was good at something, and that something had a lot of power. You are probably asking what was the first book I published though, and that was an e-book series I created, titled The Emerging Light Series. The series was made up of 100 short stories, some were written by me, but I also opened it up to receive submissions online. We sold around 5,000 copies and for a starter project, that wasn't too bad.

Other than your own, what are your favourite books?

The first book I ever loved was The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. Jon Ronson is an interesting author, and I'm deeply moved by anything Khaled Hosseini does. I also own a book that's so incredibly good, I won't alllow myself to finish it. That might sound odd, but in my view it's a true masterpiece, and I don't want to lose the feeling of reading it for the first time, which is a real testament to the author. It's called The House of Leaves and it's written by Mark Z. Danielewski.

When you are writing do you like to listen to music? What is on your playlist?

I do. All the time. It has to relate to what I'm working on. Often I listen to Glen Hansard, but I also like my film scores and instrumental music. Hans Zimmer has created some pretty great stuff, and I LOVE the Cinematic Orchestra. Very inspiring! I'm editing a young adult fantasy book at the moment, so the Lord of the Rings soundtrack is coming in quite handy, too.

Who is your favorite character in your books?

I don't have a specific favourite, but for some reason I seem to write great parts for women. It's a comment I hear all the time, and with actresses voicing their frustration at the number of two dimensional female characters there are out there, maybe I can use it to my advantage. I just think any character you write needs to be interesting and full of conflict, possessing good points as well as a fatal flaw. People love conflict, be it internal or external of the character, so I always try to make sure my characters, and my stories, are full of them.

Do you ever take characteristics or nuances from close friends or family when working on character development and if so has that friend or family member noticed and what was their response to it? 

I think it's impossible not to. Sometimes I go out and look for inspiration - a movement, a tone, a characteristic that can become part of the DNA to one of my characters. More often than not though, somebody just says or does something around me, and I always make a note of potentially good material. A few people have noticed themselves in my characters, but I'm surprised not more people pull me up on it!

What’s your favourite treat?

Honestly, my treat is writing. I feel like everything else I do in life - earn money to pay the bills, do the day job, watch helplessly as societies all over the world are torn apart by greed - are things I must tolerate before, at last, I can sit in my office and write. I have viewed writing as some form of escape my whole life, so to me, it's a treat every time I get to do it, and I mean that wholeheartedly.  

What’s your favourite place to read/write?

I've always been inexplicably productive when writing on transport. It seems that having movement around me helps be creative, and writing into a notebook offers so much more freedom than tapping away at a laptop. Having said that, I've just moved into a new house and, for the first time in my life, I have a dedicated office space. I can't tell you how nice it is to read and write in there.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I love Italy and I want to see more of it, but Santa Monica is a bit of a paradise for me. It just seems to have everything, the people are lovely and I find it a very spiritual and creative place to be. If that's not heaven then I don't know what is.
Purchase a copy of The Moors on Amazon

 Thank you for taking the time to chat with us on Genuine Jenn

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Gospel Prism by Gerald Weaver ~ Book Blast

Title:   Gospel Prism
Author:   Gerald Weaver
Genre:   literary fiction
Publisher & Date:  London Wall Publishing,  21 May 2015
Pages:   370-paperback, 338-harcover, 284-Kindle

Book Synopsis:

Alone in his jail cell, Christian receives a midnight visitation from a beautiful stranger. She is the messiah and tasks him with solving a series of spiritual mysteries in order to save his immortal soul...

Atmospheric, dreamlike, unpredictable and wise, Gospel Prism is the dazzling debut novel from Gerald Weaver which brings into focus the relationship between literature, language, truth and religious faith.

'Gospel Prism is a remarkable, charming but disturbing novel with an intriguing premise.' Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities,  Yale University

'Weaver's Gospel Prism is lit by a literary wit and the intricate knowledge that at the end, as in the beginning, there is the word.' Jonathan Levi, author and co-founder of GRANTA

 Purchase a copy on Amazon US / UK / CA  

About the Author: 

Gerald Weaver received his bachelor's degree from Yale University and Juris Doctor degree from Catholic University. He has been a Capitol Hill chief of staff, a campaign manager, a lobbyist, a single father, a teacher of English and Latin, a collector and seller of Chinese antiquities and a contributor to the political magazine, George. He lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC, and travels regularly between the United Kingdom and the US. Gospel Prism is his first novel.

His experience of reading challenging literature in order to survive a dark place served as a provocation for this sensitive, atmospheric, dreamlike, compassionate, unpredictable and wise debut novel which brings into focus the relationship between literature, language, truth and religious faith.

Connect: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook |

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Something in the Water by Ben Starling ~ Book Review/Interview/Excerpt Tour

Book Description: 

The sealed box Teal finds in the street contains more than just a mystery...

What if to be with the man of your dreams…you had to give up your life? On the verge of losing her job, side-lined journalist Teal is forced to travel to the South Pacific to profile a powerful businessman. But with her almost-but-not-quite fiancé Bear discouraging her every step of the way, she may not be able to save her career or her relationship.

When corporate criminals invade paradise, Teal teams up with a former boxer turned marine-biologist to investigate. As she discovers the true intentions behind their new canning operations, she must either accept the plum promotion that will save her career or—with Perry—defend the island with more than her life.

Something in the Water, An Ocean Romance is available on Amazon.


This is book two in the Ocean romance series. I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than the first, Something in the Air. The first was a good story but I felt it was rushed.  This book goes into more of a story, touching a few different topics within the story. I loved learning more about Firefly Bob (I knew it! can't tell you what I knew though), the whales (I've always loved whales), and the Island.

The author did a great job with his characters, you either liked them or you don't. Dan Dragan is one of those characters that I didn't like at all in book two. Perry, what can I say about this man, he is an amazing catch. Teal is likeable right from the beginning, she has had a rough like and finally was starting to have things fall into place. Edward, ouch, I couldn't stand him, nothing nice to say about this man. Right from the beginning he got on my nerves with his better than thou attitude and his haw, haw's.  I loved the couple at the resort, Frank and Nancy. Grandma Lizzie is also another amazing character. If you care a lot of about the ocean and the whales this is a great story about love, determination, doing right for the planet. I will admit to shedding a few tears near the end. There are a few sad times. 

You could read this book as a stand alone but if you are like me, you will want to start the series at the beginning. There isn't a huge tie in with the first book but you will see how over the years Daniel Dragan has changed his attitude.

I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

Interview with Ben Starling:
First of all, tell us a little about yourself. Do you have a pet or pets?

I had a beautiful and brilliant Great Dane named Edington once. She learned every game in a flash, retrieved things I didn’t know I wanted and danced with me with her paws on my shoulders. I lost her many years ago, but I’ll never forget her. I’m sure she’s my guardian angel watching over me. I’ve had a few close calls and I credit my continued existence entirely to Edington.

What have you been working on recently? Can you tell us about your new release?

Something in the Water is fundamentally a love story—with a bit of adventure in the tropics thrown in too. Here’s the blurb: The sealed box Teal finds in the street contains more than just a mystery… What if to be with the man of your dreams…you had to give up your life? On the verge of losing her job, side-lined journalist Teal is forced to travel to the South Pacific to profile a powerful businessman. But with her almost-but-not-quite fiancé Bear discouraging her every step of the way, she may not be able to save her career or her relationship. When corporate criminals invade paradise, Teal teams up with a former boxer turned marine-biologist to investigate. As she discovers the true intentions behind their new canning operations, she must either accept the plum promotion that will save her career or—with Perry—defend the island with more than her life.

Do you ever take quirks or nuances from close friends or family when developing your characters?

Not consciously. But we are really the sum of everything we see around us. I’m pretty sure that all my characters are complex combinations of every person I’ve ever met in life. And once you have that many disparate ingredients in the recipe, a little magic happens, and the character takes on a life of her or his own.

How did you get started writing?

I’m a freelance editor, working on business plans, articles published in specialist magazines and some fiction. After so many years of working on other people’s stories, it felt like the right time to create an original one of my own. My upcoming novel, Something in the Water, was inspired by the loss of my partner at forty-five years of age to ovarian cancer in 2012, just thirteen weeks after her diagnosis. In the aftermath, an old friend challenged me to turn that grief into something positive.

Remembering a conversation with a charismatic Polynesian fisherman (I visited there once) about his people’s vision of death and the afterlife, I began to write. Through the written word, I hoped to explore and capture several extraordinary events that happened around the time of my girlfriend’s death. The novel and the series kind of took off from there…

Do you believe in Destiny?

We are given a hand of cards at birth and the free will to choose how to play them. However, sometimes the Universe delivers the perfect someone at just the right time. And that’s the luckiest moment in a life.

Do you have any other hobbies?

I draw to unwind. Magical realism in black and white is my favorite. Recently, I’ve been exploring marine themes too. I’m always promising myself to branch out and explore color. But I keep coming back to pen and ink. I’ve posted some on my site.

What can we look forward to next from you?

Something in the Water will be supported by a series of short stories that reveal the backstories of the major characters in this world.

The first in the series, Something in the Air, is available now free at my website and on Kobo (and also Amazon) and the second short story in the series, Something on the Fly, will be released in the Spring!

Something in the Water - available on Amazon  
Something in the Air – Available for FREE at and at Kobo & Amazon
Something on the Fly – coming soon!

* * * *
Excerpt from Something in the Water – Chapter 1 begins…

New York, September

He didn’t look like the hotel guests, the business people, or the tourists. He didn’t move like them either.

He brushed past me as I climbed off my Vespa, stilettos in hand, outside the entrance of the Waldorf Astoria. Had he smiled at the radiance of my scarlet ball gown? Or was he amused by my battered Converse sneakers?

As a valet approached to take my scooter and helmet, I spotted my boss, Malcolm, waving hello from the lobby. He was approaching the glass doors that separated us when I noticed a small wooden box on the ground. Two steps later, I had picked it up. Who could have dropped it?

No one was close by, so I turned. The only man who’d passed me was already a half block away, gliding beside the cars that waited for the lights to change at the end of the block. Was it his?

What I knew for sure was that now wasn’t the time to be tracking down the little box’s owner. I should hand it in to reception and concentrate on the evening ahead. For a few seconds, I relaxed as I studied the hotel’s confident, soaring opulence—a world unknown to me before my arrival from Nantucket four years ago. The smooth texture of the box, however, drew my thoughts back to it. Was there something valuable inside? What if it did belong to that man, and he never returned to collect it? I turned the box over—and caught my breath.

“How on earth…?”

Malcolm emerged in front of me. “Hello, darling, you look absolutely—are you okay?”

I thrust my sparkly evening shoes into his hands, and hitched up my shawl. I was about to give chase when a convertible Ferrari lurched to a stop beside me.

“Going my way, babe?” its driver shouted, over the thrum of the engine.

But my dress was redder, and I got the better start.

You can find the rest of Something in the Water, Chapter 1 at

* * * *
About the Author: 

Ben Starling is passionate about marine conservation and boxing, both central themes in his upcoming novel. His interest in marine life has taken him across three continents over the past three decades. He is Oxford’s only ever Quintuple Blue (varsity champion five years running), was Captain of the university boxing team, and coached and boxed competitively until about five years ago. He is 6’3”and 185 lbs. Ben graduated from Oxford University with a Master of Arts and an M Phil. He was born in the USA but has lived in the UK since childhood.

Connect with Ben at 

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~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

The Moors: Some secrets are better left buried by Jody Medland ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

The call was disturbing, but as far as investigatory journalist Amanda Connors was concerned, it had to be fate. Inadvertently, it was the years of abuse during her childhood that led her into journalism and to now receive an anonymous tip-off claiming negligence within a children’s care home offered the chance to finally put the past behind her. It was the winter of 1972 when she journeyed from London to Devon to pursue the lead, though she would only learn one thing: some secrets are better left buried.

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Author: 

Jody Medland is an award-winning writer who has worked successfully across the advertising, education, film, gaming, literary and television industries.

His debut feature film, The Adored, was released in the States in 2013 and has since enjoyed worldwide distribution, including territories such as the UK, Germany, Poland and Uganda. It won Best Film at the Durban Film Festival in South Africa and earned three official selections in Wales, Germany and the US.

Jody is deeply passionate about his literary work and from 2011-2012 he produced and published ten short story books, titled The Emerging Light Series – a project that encouraged new writers to create and submit short stories.

It is the ability to wield strong, original concepts that Jody is renowned for among his peers and he is a great fan of dramas, thrillers and mystical stories, which are his genres of choice when writing.

Connect: Goodreads | Twitter |


I knew I was going to enjoy this book as I love books set back in the '70/80's. I also find it interesting to read story about mental illness or disabilities. This book delivered. I started reading it late one night, giving myself 30 minutes to read but almost an hour later I was about half way through the book. I only put it down because I couldn't keep my eyes open longer. The next day I finished it. I can't wait for the next book.

The characters are all well developed. The author gives us enough about the characters to build interest and wonder really who they are. Who is the mean one and who really cares for the children in the house. What is happening at this house and who is doing it. The story moves at a steady pace and keeps you on the edge of your seat. I really enjoy Amanda and found the beginning helped a lot to get to know her better. I was surprised at the end of this story. It doesn't have a happy ever ending and keeps you wondering what will happen in book two. It is one creepy creepy read.

I give this book a 5 stars.

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received the above book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Writing Wednesday ~ Short Story ~ Love at First Sight


This weeks story was inspired by a writing prompt in a Goodreads group I am part of. The prompt was to write a scene in a driveway and include a blue scarf. Keep on reading to see what I came up with. Would love some feedback if you are enjoying these post. Please leave a comment below.

Title: Love at First Sight
Word Count: 1031
Written by: Jennifer Levac
     Annabelle pulls back the giant black and white floral curtain as she looks out the big picture window, keeping a close eye on the driveway. A light dusting of snow is has been falling for most of the making the long two lane driveway a winter wonderland.

     "Mommy, when will Daddy be home?" Annabelle asks her mother for the millionth time.

     "He will be home in twenty minutes," Vivian tells her five year old daughter, Annabelle. Mark, Vivian's husband works many hours each week. He also does a lot of traveling with his big cooperate job. Vivian doesn't enjoy the times Mark is away but she knows they couldn't enjoy the life they live without this job. Mark wants his ladies to enjoy life without any worries.

     Vivian is a stay at home mom to just Annabelle, that is at least for the next seven months. Vivian is due with bay number two, a little boy by June. When Mark gets home, he and Vivian will be telling Annabelle about her little baby brother. Mark also has another surprise for Annabelle, one that Vivian is quite excited to see.

     "Mommy, I can't wait any longer! I want to see Daddy and get my surprise!" Annabelle said jumping up and down while looking out the big picture window.

     "I know sweetheart, twenty minutes is a long time at your age. Why don't you go play and Mommy will call you when Daddy arrives, okay?" Vivian runs a hand down Annabelle's silky soft brown locks. She has a petite frame just like her mother, but she bares Mark's facial features and brown hair. She looks just like her Daddy.

     "But Mommy I want to see Daddy right away!" exclaimed Annabelle.

     "Okay, you can hang out here. Mommy is going to go put the chicken in the oven for dinner. I'll be in the kitchen if you need me," making her way to the kitchen.
     Annabelle stands looking out the window silently wishing for her Daddy to hurry up and come home.

     "MOMMY!! DADDY'S HOME!!!" Annabelle squeals and runs for the front door, grabbing her winter coat and boots before rushing out of the house.

     "Don't forget to do up your coat Annabelle, its cold outside," Vivian calls to Annabelle, as she wipes her wet hands the dishtowel and heads for the front hall to meet Mark.


     Mark looks over the edge of the brown cardboard box on the passenger seat beside him at the sound of whimpering. He smiles at the big brown eyes looking up at him from inside the box. His daughter, Annabelle will be so excited to see what he has as a surprise for her. Mark has been on the road for the past week with work but promised Annabelle a surprise when he returned home. Vivian and Mark had come up with the idea of a new puppy a about a month ago when they thought it was about time to give Annabelle her own pet and a bit more responsibility.

     Mark turns onto Maple Steet and can see his driveway from the corner of the street. Annabelle is likely waiting at the window in their living room, this has become her ritual when Mark is traveling for more than a day at a time. He can't wait to get in and see his family, it has been a long and exhausting week.

     "Almost there little one, you will soon meet the best little girl that will love you to pieces," Mark says as he pats the puppy on the head. The pup affectingly starts to lick at Mark's hand with its big wet tongue.

     Putting on his right flasher, Mark turns the car slowly into the driveway, noticing the curtains in the front window falling back into place. Mark smiles to himself as he sees Annabelle opening the front door and charging down the steps as she is trying to do up the zipper on her big puffy winter coat.

     Mark puts his car in park and looks quickly for something to wrap the new puppy in to keep it hidden. Spying one of Vivian's scarves in the back seat, he reaches for the dark blue fabric. Wrapping the puppy in the Vivian's scarf, Mark reaches for the door handle and gets out of the car. Mark gently holds the puppy in his arms, bending down to Annabelle's height as she approaches her father.

     "Daddy! I am so happy to see you," Annabelle says with a huge smile on her face, showing off her sweet dimples.

     "Come quietly, Annabelle. I have something special for you," Mark says and pulls back the dark blue scarf revealing the tri-coloured beagle puppy, watching Annabelle's face light up with excitement.

     "Oh Daddy, she is so cute!" Annabelle exclaims as she puts her face right up to the puppies black wet nose. The tri-coloured beagle gave Annabelle's a sloppy wet kiss all over her face. Annabelle started to giggle, "Can I hold her Daddy, can I?"

     "Sure but you need to be very careful and quiet with her as she is just a puppy and getting to know us," Mark replied.

     Annabelle reached out her tiny little arms and Mark passed the tiny puppy to his daughter.

     Hugging the puppy close to her tiny chest, Annabelle looked up as Vivian approached them in the driveway.

     "Mommy, looked what Daddy gave me! Isn't she soooo cute? I think I will call her Molly. She will be my bestest friend ever, I just know it! I can't wait to tell Sarah about her. Mommy, can Molly sleep with me tonight? Can she, PLEASE!!" Annabelle squealed as she tried to stay still with her new puppy in her arms her excitement rising with every word.

     "Sure, she can sleep with you tonight, Annabelle," Vivian said as she reached down to pet the new puppy. Annabelle headed back to the house with her new best friend, Molly.

     Vivian smiled at Mark and said, "Looks like it is love at first sight."

     Mark reached for Vivian, giving her a tight hug and a gentle kiss. They headed into the house behind their daughter holding each others hand.

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. This is a work of fiction. Copyright of Genuine Jenn. *~

Multicultural Children’s Book Day ~ Book Review of Maya's Blanket/La Manta de Maya #ReadYourWorld

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCCBD) team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.

For your information: The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.
Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Host

Help spread the word on our  Classroom Reading Challenge. This very special offering from MCCBD offers teachers and classrooms the chance to (very easily) earn a free hardcover multicultural children's book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well. 

What we could really use some help with is spreading the word to your teacher/librarian/classroom connections so we can get them involved in this program. There is no cost to teachers and classrooms and we've made the whole process as simple as possible. 

You can help by tweeting the below info: ​ Teachers! Earn a FREE #Multicultural Kids Book for Your Classroom! #teachers, #books #teacherlife

The Classroom Reading Challenge has begun! Teachers can earn a free diversity book! #teachers, #books 
My daughter and I had the opportunity to review Maya's Blanket/La Manta de Maya by Monica Brown

About  Maya's Blanket/La Manta de Maya

Little Maya has a special blanket that Grandma stitched with her own two hands. As Maya grows, her blanket becomes worn and frayed, so with Grandma's help, Maya makes it into a dress. Over time the dress is made into a skirt, a shawl, a scarf, a hair ribbon, and finally, a bookmark. Each item has special, magical, meaning for Maya; it animates her adventures, protects her, or helps her in some way. But when Maya loses her bookmark, she preserves her memories by creating a book about her adventures and love of these items. When Maya grows up, she shares her book-Maya's Blanket/La manta de Maya-with her own little daughter while snuggled under her own special blanket. 

Inspired by the traditional Yiddish folk song "Hob Ikh Mir a Mantl" ("I Had a Little Coat"), this delightful story puts a child—focused, Latino spin on the tale of an item that is made into smaller and smaller items. Maya's Blanket/La manta de Maya charmingly brings to life this celebration creativity, recycling, and enduring family love.

Purchase a copy on Amazon

Our Review:  

My daughter was really excited to read this book as she also has a favorite blanket that she has had since she was a baby. She liked that when Maya's blanket was starting to fray they made it into a dress, then a skirt, a shawl, scarf, a hair ribbon, and a book mark. The story was a lot of fun with a magic blanket. My daughter found the words hard to pronounce but enjoyed learning a new language. We tried out best to read Spanish words in the book. 

My daughter gives this book a 3.5 stars out of 5. 

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Something in the Air (book #1) by Ben Starling ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

Daniel thought war was tough. That was till he fell in love.

What if it's true that you can never really go home? Returning from a soul-crushing war, Daniel Dragan is determined to put the past behind him. But with his beloved uncle dead and the town’s economy in a slump, there may not be much to keep him in San Prospero, California.

That is till he is startled by veterinarian Willow Dixon at the roadside lookout above their hometown’s new factory.

A desperately needed job offer there may offer Daniel the chance he needs - but all is not as it seems at the factory and Willow, determined to save the inhabitants of her animal sanctuary, wants the factory's operations stopped. Sometimes the road home is neither the one we expect. Nor the one we left behind...

Something in the Air is the first short story in the soul-stirring series from Ben Starling. The journey continues with the novel Something in the Water, to be released on January 21, 2016. 

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Author: 

Ben Starling is passionate about marine conservation and boxing, both central themes in his upcoming novel. His interest in marine life has taken him across three continents over the past three decades. He boxed competitively until about five years ago and continues to coach. Ben graduated from Oxford University with a Master of Arts and an MPhil.


If you like to read novella's or short stories this is a great little story of love. This story feels like it picks up where another book may have left off. We are meeting the two main characters who knew each other years ago. I was a little confused how many years it was since they last seen each other, in the end I think it was around 3 years. Their romance advances and Daniel decides to find work and stay at his uncles place.

I found it was a fast paced story and it was over before I knew it. I was a little upset with the ending as I would have loved the story to continue a little longer. I also wish we would have learned more of a back story to Daniel's post traumatic stress disorder. We can only assume that he has it as he doesn't want to spend the night asleep with Willow.

I give this book a 3 star out of 5. 

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. I received a copy of the above book in return for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Author Spotlight Saturday Part 2 ~ Kate James & Elizabeth Heiter

Welcome to Part #2 of our Author Spotlight Saturday with Kate James and Elizabeth Heiter. Check out the first part from yesterday! We had a lot of fun interviewing these ladies! 

Do you ever take characteristics or nuances from close friends or family when working on character development and if so has that friend or family member noticed and what was their response to it?

Kate: I read an article some time ago that referred to fictionalizing facts. I believe every author does this to a degree. I certainly do.

Writing about what I know or have experienced leads to a more genuine, believable story, in my opinion. My background and experiences provide a wide variety of ideas and perspectives, and I hope they serve to enrich my writing. Although I don’t do it consciously, I’m certain I’ve taken characteristic and nuances from people I now and given them to my characters. No one has called me on it yet!

Elizabeth: While I’ve never straight-up tried to write a person I know, I have definitely borrowed characteristics and traits of people and blended them into characters! I think it’s natural – writers are observers by nature, and part of what we see ends up finding its way into our books. No one has called me on it either…except for with Evelyn! I’ve had people tell me they see pieces of me in her! (I choose to believe they’re talking about her determination and not her social skills! )

Kate: I can definitely say that your social skills are far superior to Evelyn’s! You raise a good point, though, because my friends have said that they see pieces of me in my heroines!

What’s your favorite treat?

Kate: Anything with chocolate in it!

Elizabeth: I’m with you, Kate! If it involves chocolate, I’m there.

What’s your favorite place to read/write?

Although we sold it recently, my husband and I were fortunate to own a beautiful cottage in Lake of Bays in Ontario on the shore of a small lake. We had a guest suite on the main floor overlooking the lake. It was one of my favorite places to read or write.
Another favorite spot—weather permitting—is our gazebo in the backyard of our house. You can probably appreciate why this view would be inspiring! That’s me in the picture with my critique team, black Labs Harley and Logan!
Finally, when the snow if falling outside, I like to read or write in my office at home. I love to curl up in a comfortable recliner facing the fireplace with my laptop actually on my lap. As you can see in this picture, my trusted critique team is again close by, even if they are less engaged! This is one of my all-time favorite places to read and write!
Elizabeth: Your writing views are definitely inspiring!! I used to sometimes drive out to my mom’s house and write next to her pool with a cup of coffee and (you guessed it!) some chocolate! There, I’d have a goofy Newfoundland to “supervise” my writing.
At home, I generally deal with marketing and business items in my office, and take my writing into my dining room. I get a lot of “help” from my birds (and by help, I mean sitting on my shoulder, running across the keyboard or flying around the room and making me laugh!).

Kate: Oh, the running-across-the-keyboard reminded of the time Logan became a little too enthusiastic about his critiquing, and I had to buy a new laptop. Yes, that’s a tooth mark on left center of the screen!

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Kate: I’ve been fortunate to live in a number of countries and visit many more. Although I love to travel, I’m very happy living right where I am!

Elizabeth: I have to say the same! Although it would be lovely to live closer to the ocean (the sound of the waves rushing ashore inspires me) or somewhere with a little less cold (Michigan is covered in a lot of snow as I write this), I’m close to family, and that makes it the perfect place to be!

Thank you, again Jennifer, for hosting us on your blog, and a very special thanks to all our readers who make it possible for us to do what we love.

Happy reading! 

About the Authors

Kate James Bio
Kate James spent much of her childhood abroad before attending university in Canada. She built a successful business career, but her passion has always been literature. As a result, Kate turned her energy to her love of the written word. Her writing has been recognized with a number of awards, including first place honors for Silver Linings in both the First Coast Romance Writers’ Published Beacon Contest and Ancient City Romance Authors’ Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award. Her November 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release, A Child’s Christmas, received first-place honors from Southern Magic, the Birmingham Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, for the 2015 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, placed second in the Ancient City Romance Authors’ Heart of Excellence Readers’ Choice Award, and was a finalist in RWA’s Desert Rose Chapter’s Golden Quill Award and the Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence. Finally, her October 2015 release, When the Right One Comes Along, the first book in her K-9 trilogy, has received a Best Book of 2015 award in the contemporary category.

She and her husband, Ken, enjoy traveling and the outdoors with their beloved Labrador Retrievers, Harley and Logan.

Kate would love to hear from you. You can connect with her by e-mail (, through her website (, her Facebook page (, Twitter (@katejamesbooks) or mail at PO Box 446, Schomberg, ON, L0G 1T0, Canada.

Keeping her safe at all costs

Could their backgrounds be any more different? Rick Vasquez, a K-9 unit sergeant with the San Diego Police Department, fled drug-related violence in Mexico as a boy. Madison Long, who recently became primary veterinarian to the SDPD's canines, is the privileged daughter of a judge. Rick has dedicated his life to curtailing cross-border drug trafficking and preventing other young boys from being drawn into the dark world of the cartels. But everything Rick and Madison value, and the growing love between them, is threatened by the dangers of Rick's job, and the risks he's determined to take…

Buy Links for When Love Matters Most:

Chapters (Kobo) 

Elizabeth Heiter - Bio
Critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Heiter likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists, and a little bit (or a lot!) of romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. 

Elizabeth graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Romance Writers of America. Elizabeth is also a regular columnist for International Thriller Writers at The Thrill Begins as part of "Murderers Row."

Elizabeth's novels have received praise from Lee Child, J.T. Ellison, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, R.L. Stine, Allison Brennan, Laura Griffin, Suzanne Brockmann, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Zoë Sharp. Fresh Fiction called the heroine of her Profiler series "one of the most amazing characters created in print."

Elizabeth loves to chat with readers! You can find her at her website at, on Facebook at, on Twitter at or via email at
Danger is all around her… 

What should have been a routine investigation for FBI profiler Evelyn Baine turns ominous when she's kidnapped by a dangerous cult of survivalists. As her worst nightmares become a reality, she begins to question what she's seeing. Because the longer she's inside their compound, the more she realizes this group is not what it seems to be. 

The next terrorist threat is right beside her… 

As the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team closes in, Evelyn suspects she's stumbled onto an emerging terrorist threat—and a cult leader who has a score to settle with the FBI. If Hostage Rescue breaches the compound, Evelyn's dead for sure. If they don't, the cult may unleash a surprise attack that could leave the whole country shattered.

Buy Links for Seized

Thank you ladies for taking the time to have some fun with us on Genuine Jenn! 

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

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