I am used to associatingToni Pike’s writing with crime and thrillers, not this delightful modern feel-good women’s fiction and so it was a surprise for me to see it on her post.
The first part of the novel is about Linda’s marriage to Ron, a horrible man.
He was the sort of person who brought joy whenever he departed, a feeling of peace and freedom that lasted until the moment of his return.
Ron is constantly criticizing Linda, especially her weight, treats her like his servant and is often going out at night coming home smelling of alcohol. Linda stays in the marriage because she doesn’t know what else to do and likes her home when her husband is at work or playing golf. As much as Linda is the glass half full type of person Ron is eternally pessimistic.
Aside from her marriage, Linda also hates teaching although there was a time when it was her passion but things have changed.
She had once been a great teacher, popular with students and respected by other staff members. Every year, a little gloss had been wiped away and now only a dull, rusted undercoat was left. It was so hard to look forward to a day at school when a riot could break out at any moment and every lesson was like trying to tame a herd of wild beasts.
Linda has a breakdown (or perhaps a breakthrough). She spends a great deal of her time in bed eating chocolates and gaining weight something which Ron doesn’t let her forget.
If you’re not better tomorrow, then I’m leaving. I’m not taking care of an invalid for the rest of my life. There’s nothing wrong with you, apart from being too fat and too lazy to go to work.
When Linda doesn’t change Ron asks for a divorce and off Linda goes gaining enthusiasm, energy and the will to take care of herself.
The remainder of the novel is sweet and reminiscent of the Television show I used to watch as a kid: Leave it to Beaver. It has that kind, family feel to it. Beneath her submission towards Ron, Linda is a very astute woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Her character adds a fun, easy relaxing and pleasant read.
We see Linda thrive through the obligations of life: getting a house ready to sell. Finding an apartment. Moving to a different city, closer to her sister. Quitting her job. Finding work in fashion. Taking care of herself. Embarking on a new and loving relationship and writing.
Linda was an English teacher who once loved to write, but life with Ron had dulled her inspiration and melted the muse.
The book also contains some heartwarming sentences:
… your heart matches your lovely face. Said by new boyfriend, Dennis.
Linda uses her struggles with weight to write inspiring articles for The Canberra News Magazine which motivates her in setting goals for her own weight loss program.
She loved trying to write with clarity, transposing the thoughts in her brain to paper and then polishing them carefully.
As the stain of verbal and psychological abuse fades, Linda becomes more confident and someone you’d love to hang out with.
It’s an upbeat novel and Pike shows that there are happy endings even for those in mid-life.
An enjoyable read that is bound to take you out of any morose mood you might be in.
Carrie isn’t alone in using a pen name. In fact, she is in good company. Can you identify the well-known writers who wrote under these pen names? (answers are at the end of the post – no cheating!).
Back to Carrie and her pen name. Here are some questions which Carrie so graciously accepted to answer.
What made you write this book under another name?
I decided to use a pen name for the cozy mystery because it’s a different genre than what I normally write. Readers develop expectations from a writer in terms of style and plot elements, and using different names for different genres can be helpful to avoid steering a reader down the wrong path. For example, while someone might enjoy the light and clean style of my cozy mystery, they might be put off by one of my thrillers, which tend to be dark and sometimes contain violence and profanity. So, I thought it made sense to differentiate the two genres by using different names.
Has this led to any confusion or marketing difficulties?
Marketing is always difficult and definitely not my strong suit, but I think it’s actually made it easier in the sense that my website still presents me as a writer of genre-bending medical thrillers. If I add a humorous cozy mystery to my banner of books, it might be an odd contrast. That being said, my various profiles across the internet (e.g., on Amazon, on Goodreads, on my website) mention that I also have a cozy mystery written under a pen name, and Morgan Mayer’s profile mentions she also writes thrillers under my name, so hopefully any interested readers will find their way from one author name to the other.
Are you planning to write other books under Morgan Mayer?
I’d love to, but I’m not sure how soon because it’ll depend on what happens on the traditional publishing front. Although my agent was wonderfully accommodating and accepted my desire to go indie with The Cruise Ship Lost My Daughter (much quicker path to publication than the traditional route), she currently has one of my unpublished manuscripts on submission and she’ll put another one on submission soon, so if they get deals, I’ll be busy with that for a while. Plus, I’m currently working on the third book in my Benjamin Oris thriller series. But if I get some downtime in between, it would be a lot of fun to write another cozy mystery!
What are advantages to writing under two names?
Aside from what I mentioned above, writing under different names gives an author a chance to experiment a bit. Allows them to write something they haven’t before without clouding the image of their usual line of work.
Here’s what to do if you’re thinking of using a pen name?
Here are the answers to the famous authors pen names.
Finally, I have my e-books into paperback and it was a frustrating journey. First, the technical designer I hired didn’t work out after three months of back and forth with her. Then, the second technical consultant wasn’t able to put two of my e-books into paperback either because the one of the original e-book cover no longer existed or the owner of the other e-book was asking an exorbitant amount of money to use it. Then, there was the problem of Kindle’s size requirements, which luckily my technical consultant was able to deal with.
In the end, I ended up having to choose different covers for two of my paperbacks. So, three months later, here are my paperback novels.
About the Getting to Mr. Right Series
The series starts off by focusing on Campbell Jones –an award-winning relationship-therapist at the peak of her career. Friendship and support shared between the characters of Campbell’s focus group evolves as the novel progresses.
The underlying theme throughout the original Getting to Mr. Right and the four novellas which follow is “being true to oneself.” The novellas are all expansions of the main story – dating adventures for Missi, a café for Suzy, dealing with an uprooted life for Felicity and an unexpected pregnancy on the edge of mid-life for Campbell. The series has gone beyond the original premise of “Getting a man” and in true women’s fiction style, deals with the issues that come after “happily ever after.” Although all these women are now in romantic relationships, it’s more the by-product of living their lives fully than a pursuit for finding a partner.
Campbell’s research into the father/daughter dynamic and how it affects a woman’s personal choices proves that Prince Charming is nothing but a myth. In a few months, she will receive international recognition for her work.As part of her study, Campbell gives workshops to help women still seeking Mr. Right. Her latest group is made up of three women: Missi Morgan, who can’t seem to let go of a philandering spouse; Suzy Paradise, a self-proclaimed queen of online dating; and Felicity Starr, whose life and career are dictated by a controlling father.In the midst of her study, a charming and personable man enters Campbell’s life, putting her theories in shambles. Not only does she now question the validity of her research, but she must choose between her career and having her own Prince Charming. This personal dilemma makes it difficult for Campbell to give these women advice, as she encourages them to find their own paths to happiness and helps them set themselves free.
Missi Morgan is your everyday middle-aged woman who is suddenly thrust into an online dating world after years of married bliss. After learning to let go of Max, her husband who dumped her, Missi explores the world of online dating. Through one disastrous date after another, Missi learns lessons that help her discover what she truly wants. She may not find the perfect match but she finds the perfect self.
A romantic comedy for anybody having to tackle online dating and letting go.
Book 3: Not By Design
Ever since she first appeared in Getting To Mr. Right, Felicity Starr has been struggling to find her own kind of contentment. Now, at thirty-five and living in Rome, Felicity is about to break into the world of fashion design, and caught in a flurry of plans for her wedding when calamity strikes. Her father’s sudden death brings into question the whole meaning of success. Then Marco, the man she’s about to marry, leaves her when he learns of her Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. Forced to return to Montreal, Felicity finds her life thrust into unexpected turns. As she confronts the on-going challenges presented by her disease, she gains the strength to let go of old beliefs and face her inner truths. Love, friendship and rewarding work come in different forms and Felicity finds it all in ways she never imagined – in a life that’s not by design.
Most of Suzy Paradise’s dreams died along with her son over twenty years ago. One thing has re-ignited her passion for living – running her own café, which specializes in home-baked donuts. For Suzy, this is a long-cherished dream come true. Her business is starting to flounder when Donuts-A-Million, a giant chain, opens across the street from her. Her unexpected attraction to Coen Walsh, a regular customer at her café, creates more tension when she learns of his affiliation with her competitor. Café Paradise is about Suzy’s fight to save her business in spite of the odds. Sometimes, she realizes, dreams have an expiration date and it takes just as much courage to let them go. Along the way, she must re-define the meaning of work, family and romance so she can find her own formula for happiness.
In Getting to Mr. Right, Campbell debunked the Prince Charming myth, only to meet a special man who turned all her assumptions upside down. Now she’s married to Chand. But Happily-Ever-After turns out to be another illusion. Campbell deals with job burnout and struggles to find her place in the world. An unexpected pregnancy and its complications undermine her relationship with Chand and take her to a difficult crossroad. No matter which way she decides to go, nothing will ever be the same!
A psychological crime novel about obsession. Eugene’s research into his criminal mind is not about the why, but how to prevent his horrific crimes. Angie, a young woman starving for passion sees Eugene as her savior from a lonely life of caring for her heroin addicted mother. How far is she willing to go in order to save her relationship with Eugene and his promise for a future together? Detective Van Ray is on a vindictive mission as he attempts to solve the murders of young girls in Youth Protection. Their lives collide in a mixture of mistrust, obsession and ignoring the warning signs. A psychological crime novel about human frailty and loneliness.
Mourning Has Broken offers a moving and poignant look at grief and loss. In this collection of narrative non-fiction essays, the author speaks from the heart not only about the death of a dear sister but also about the mourning of a mother, a father, a dear friend, a career and a religion. Readers who have known loss will find much to relate to in this book, and will particularly appreciate the author’s ability to be frank and open and at times humorous about feelings that might be difficult to acknowledge.
I love a good romance and in her latest novel Jill Weatherholt delivers. The romantic partners in question are Joy (appropriately named) and Nick who were once high school sweethearts.
The author sets her story fourteen years later, though this time, in a professional setting. Joy and Nick are both vying for the position as principal of a mountain community school. Joy has had her heart and future set on that position, hoping “to fulfill her dream of following in her father’s footsteps,” while becoming principal is why Nick came back to this town in the first place.
After suddenly leaving Joy cold, Nick returns to town as a widower with his twin boys and a ton of guilt on his shoulders. It was truly refreshing to read of a male character who is in touch with his emotions and questions his parental role as much as his professional one.
As for Joy, I found that the author captured well what it is like to come home to the emptiness of a house, to cook just for one, to long for the security of a family and to acknowledge that “… there was no such thing as a happy ending.”
The author skillfully reveals what happened during that fourteen year separation as she goes back and forth from past secrets to present scars: “both carried shameful secrets from their past that they were unable to escape.”
What makes A Mother for His Twins stand out is the depth of the characters dealing with contemporary issues. Think of the Me Too Mouvement, sibling jealousy and past wounds that have been shoved under the carpet.
The author has a knack of keeping the reader hooked. This is an engaging and enjoyable novel and I loved the unexpected ending.
This is simply to let you know that some updates have been made on The Longest Nine Months and, if it hasn’t already been updated for you, you can download the update through your “Manage Your Content and Devices” page.
To receive updates to your eBooks automatically:
Turn on the Annotations Backup* for your Kindle device or Kindle reading app. This will sync your notes, highlights, eBookmarks, and furthest page read
Go to the Manage Your Content and Devices page
Select “Automatic Book Update” under the Settings tab
If you’re downloading to an IPad You cannot purchase content through the Kindle app due to Apple Store restrictions; you’ll need to use Amazon’s website instead and scroll down to Part 3: Purchasing New Kindle Content on Your iPad.keep reading.
This promotion is good from October 6, 2017 to October 10, 2017. Don’t miss this free book offer!