Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Stitch to Die For, Halloween, Special Day {+ Giveaway}

A Stitch to Die For by Lois WinstonToday’s post has a lot going on as I’m delighted to be participating in the book blast for author Lois Winston’s new cozy murder mystery, A STITCH TO DIE FOR; it’s Halloween here in the states; and it’s been 6 years since I stepped into blogdom.

As part of the Great Escape Virtual Book Blast for A STITCH TO DIE FOR, Lois is hosting an awesome tour-wide giveaway. Please see the end of the post for more details.

*Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, Book #5
*Paperback, 240 pages
*Publisher: Lois Winston (July 7, 2015)
*ISBN: 13: 78-1940795300

Here’s a brief synopsis:

      Ever since her husband died and left her in debt equal to the gross national product of Uzbekistan, magazine crafts editor and reluctant amateur sleuth Anastasia Pollack has stumbled across one dead body after another—but always in work-related settings.
      When a killer targets the elderly nasty neighbor who lives across the street from her, murder strikes too close to home. Couple that with a series of unsettling events days before Halloween, and Anastasia begins to wonder if someone is sending her a deadly message.


Author Lois Winston - Thoughts in Progress
Author Lois Winston
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. 

Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. 

For more on Lois/Emma and her writing, visit her website and visit Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers. Follow everyone on tsu, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Twitter. Sign up for her newsletter HERE

A STITCH TO DIE FOR is available at Amazon,clip_image001 Nook, Kobo, iTunes, and Google Play


You can find out more about this charming story by visiting the following blogs that are participating in the book blast.

October 29
Minding Spot
Michele Lynn Seigfried's Blog
Babs Book Bistro
Cozy Up With Kathy
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too !
A Blue Million Books
Frankie Bow
Book Babble
Shelley's Book Case
Tea and a Book
Griperang's Bookmarks

October 30:
Community Bookstop
Girl with Book Lungs
Kaisy Daisy's Corner
Mallory Heart Reviews
Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews
Musings and Ramblings
deal sharing aunt
Laura's Interests
Brooke Blogs

October 31:
Sapphyria's Book Reviews
Books Are Life - Vita Libri
Thoughts in Progress
Christa Reads and Writes
Jane Reads
Teatime and Books
Queen of All She Reads
StoreyBook Reviews
Read Your Writes Book Reviews
Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book


Today is a day filled with superstition and celebration for all ages throughout the U.S. 

Halloween is one of those love/hate holidays that has been the topic of debates for many years. While some see it as a celebration of evil, others see it as a time just to dress up and have fun. Some see it as a celebration for children only, while others see it as a celebration of all ages. It seems more and more are decorating for Halloween each year. Here again, some do it with a scary theme, while others go more for happy ghosts and goblins.

Halloween has a long history and much is written about it. Each year I think businesses are realizing more and more the monetary aspect of the holiday with the sale of costumes (for youngsters and adults), decorations and especially candy.
However you celebrate or don’t celebrate Halloween, I hope you have a wonderful day.


It’s so hard for me to realize it’s been six years since I took my first step into blogdom and found all of you amazing people ….. my friends. Mere words cannot express the how much each of you mean to me and how much I appreciate all the support you have shown me throughout these years.

While I try to keep to a schedule, life has a way of changing things around sometimes. Through this, y’all have always been so understanding.

Currently I am visiting with my best friend in Texas. We haven’t had the opportunity to spend any time together in about 20 years. For this reason, my blogging will be a bit scattered over the next few weeks. Please bear with me if I don’t visit with you for a while. I will be back in full force before too long.

I can’t say THANK YOU enough for the wonderful response y’all have given Thoughts in Progress during these past years. Y’all encourage and inspire me in more ways than you will ever know.


A-STITCH-TO-DIE-FOR-SMALL-BANNERThis tour-wide giveaway is for either an eBook or paperback of A STITCH TO DIE FOR or ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN, the first book in the series. It will be the winner’s choice of which book they receive.

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks again for visiting with me. Be sure to check out the giveaway below and have a wonderful holiday (or just day). Y’all are the best!!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Reading for Pleasure Easy or Difficult for Author?

*This post contains affiliate links.

Pane and Suffering by Cheryl Hollon - Thoughts in Progress I’m delighted today to welcome author Cheryl Hollon to Thoughts in Progress to talk about her latest release, PANE AND SUFFERING, the first book in her new Webb’s Glass Shop Mystery series.

In addition, Cheryl will be talking about if it’s more difficult for her as an author just to read for pleasure. First here’s a brief synopsis of PANE AND SUFFERING.

To solve her father's murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer's carefully constructed façade . . .

      After Savannah's father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs--including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father's trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack.
      As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn't suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it's up to Savannah to piece together the encoded clues left behind by her father. And when her father's apprentice is accused of the murders, Savannah is more desperate than ever to crack the case before the killer seizes a window of opportunity to cut her out of the picture. . .

Now please join me in giving a warm TIP welcome to Cheryl. Welcome Cheryl.

As an author, do you find it more difficult to just read for pleasure?

My reading habits have changed dramatically after I decided to become a full-time writer. Typically, I would read between two and three books a week. Usually, in bed in the last hour before sleep. Reading at that time was a bit of a risk since if a book took hold, I would read far into the wee hours. After I began to write with hopes of publication all that changed. 

As a method for improving the quality of my writing, I participated in an on-line group that analyzed a best-selling mystery each month. The lessons learned were invaluable, but it changed the way I read for pleasure. In fact, I have difficulty turning off my critical eye for examining the story’s pacing, plotting, and character development. I eventually determined that I had to separate analysis mode from enjoyment mode and that has made all the difference.
I have also found that it’s easier than ever to abandon a book that doesn’t draw me in right away. I would never have even considered not finishing a book before I started writing. After all, I had taken the trouble to go to the bookstore, look at the covers and jackets of dozens of books before making my selections. It became easier to stop reading a book after I bought a Kindle and found that I could load up a sample first before I purchased it for reading. Even so, I have more than a hundred eBooks stacked up and waiting. 

As a way to enjoy reading again, I select books from another genre altogether. I’m currently on a Terry Pratchett binge and have been enjoying the books about Tiffany Aching, the young witch. I’m reading the last adventure of the series, I Shall Wear Midnight, and will be sad to get to the end as with Pratchett’s death this spring, no more will be arriving.

While I’m deep in the first draft of a new novel, I find it distracting to read fiction. Not impossible, but I really don’t need to torment myself, so I switch to biography, memoir and books about writing and promotion. Luckily, after that ugly first draft is done, I can slip back into fiction.

The other factor that has changed since I became a published author is that my reading time is now very compressed. I write in the early morning, then attend to my social media and promotion tasks right after that. After lunch, I usually write blogs and start revision on the morning’s writing. Sounds just like a real job, doesn’t it? It is. But, unlike a real job, I don’t really leave the office. I’m working on setting aside some time in the afternoon for reading. 

A sheer delight, however, is reading the books that have been written by the many generous friends that I’ve made over the years of struggling to get published. These are books that I save for vacation and while I’m on a cruise with no internet. Writing is easier with no e-mail distractions and when I’m done, I get to spend some time in one of my friend’s story world. That is heaven for a reader – any reader – even a writer reader.

Cheryl, thanks for joining us today and sharing this insight. Reading is definitely a pleasure for me.

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with Cheryl, here’s a bit of background on her.

Author Cheryl Hollon - Thoughts in Progress
Author Cheryl Hollon
Cheryl Hollon writes full time after she left an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. 

Fulfilling the dream of a lifetime, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating glass art. In the small glass studio behind the house, Cheryl and her husband George design, create, and produce fused glass, stained glass and painted glass artworks.

For more on Cheryl and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by today during Cheryl’s visit. Are you familiar with stained glass? Have you ever worked with glass of any kind?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

From Nonfiction to Fiction in One Easy Trip

Wishing Steps Cover front I’m thrilled today to welcome friend, fellow blogger and author Karen Helene Walker to Thoughts in Progress to talk about her latest release, THE WISHING STEPS.

Karen’s story took hold of her sometime back and won’t let go. She joins us today to tell how she went ‘from nonfiction to fiction in one easy trip.’ Please join me in giving Karen a warm TIP welcome. Thanks for stopping by Karen, welcome.

Thank you, Mason, for hosting me today.

The year 2009 changed my life. In February, my memoir, Following the Whispers, which took 10 years to complete, was published. It was the culmination of a dream come true. I’d quit my 35+-year career in marketing and public relations to write full time in 1999. Writing the memoir was just another step in that nonfiction writing life – from writing press releases, brochures, essays and articles with my client’s name on them, to putting my story down on paper. Easy peasy, right?

Wrong. It took my taking every creative writing course the University of New Mexico had to offer, plus multiple sessions with writing coach/editor Mark David Gerson ( for me to whip my manuscript into publishable form. So when it was finally out in the world, I wanted, no, needed, to celebrate in a big way.

My husband and I had a dream trip planned to go to Machu Picchu (high on my bucket list). Then I had to have shoulder surgery and we couldn’t go. We had a limited amount of time in which to use the airline tickets. The only places we could find to travel during the timeframe were Scotland and Ireland.

Terrified to tackle the narrow, winding roads on our own, and fearful we wouldn’t find any of the sites we were interested in seeing, we hired drivers. Our trip began in Edinburgh, Scotland. On the second day, as soon as I stood amidst the ruins of Balnauran of Clava (a 2000-year-old burial site), I heard an unfamiliar inner voice say, “Tell my story.” Having never heard voices before, I was taken aback and wasn’t sure I heard what I thought I heard. So I said, “Sorry, I’m on vacation.”

The voice came again a week later when I was exploring the Wishing Steps at Blarney Castle in Ireland. This time, the energy I felt was stronger and harder to ignore. We finished our trip and when I came home I thought that was the end of the mysterious voice. But it wasn’t. As I said, I’d never heard voices so when this voice/energy continued to plague, er, speak to me, I knew I needed to listen.
Mark David had written a book called “Voice of the Muse.” I decided to do the exercises in the book and work with him once again. In the first session, I said, “I can’t write fiction.” Despite getting straight A’s and graduating Summa Cum Laude, it was clear to me that I was not a fiction writer. In my mind, you must have a great imagination, write great metaphors, use similes and other writing techniques. Be able to write lush, rich descriptions. That doesn’t come naturally to me. I was used to the who, what, where, when, and why of a press release.

Mark David’s gentle coaching style helped me move past my own limiting beliefs and I began to allow this story to emerge. Believe me, I kicked and screamed the entire six years it took to get this story out of me. I’ve lost count of the number of drafts. It was bare bones after the first draft.

Writing a novel was perhaps the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I am not an analytical thinker when it comes to writing. I write from the heart. So I didn’t think through a character’s motivation or even character traits. They just came through and I wrote it down. I guess it was kind of like automatic writing.

I’m still much more comfortable writing nonfiction. I’m pretty sure that will be my next project – in fact that same voice is now asking me to write a companion piece to The Wishing Steps – one that imparts all the wisdom that came through during the writing of the book. I’ve learned that it doesn’t pay to ignore those callings. Stay tuned…

Karen, thanks again for joining us today and for sharing how you came to write fiction. How the story came about is such a wonderful story in itself.

Now here’s the scoop on THE WISHING STEPS:

Three Women and a Single Story That Unites Them Across the Millennia

      “Totally engrossing. A must-read for today’s wise woman!” Rev. Kathleen McKern Verigin, minister/priestess

      Brighid, Ashleen and Megan: Bound through time by a curious light, a mysterious voice and a call they dare not ignore. Yet in obeying this strange force, the women must face soul-searing trials that call into question everything they know and believe — about themselves and about the world around them.

      “Guaranteed to inspire you to a deeper level of spirituality and a new appreciation for Goddess.” Rev. Clara Z. Alexander

For those not familiar with Karen, here’s a bit of background on her.

Author Karen Helene Walker - Thoughts in Progress
Author Karen Helene Walker
Karen Helene Walker is a widely published essayist and author of the 2009 memoir, Following the Whispers.
When she isn’t writing, you will often find Karen performing in nursing homes and retirement communities as part of the Sugartime or Sophisticated Ladies musical groups, traveling with her husband of 20 years, Gary, or relaxing with a good book at their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

For more on Karen and her writing, visit her website at

THE WISHING STEPS is now available to purchase in both print and eBook versions at: You can also purchase it as an eBook on Kobo, I Tunes, and at Barnes and Noble.

Thanks so much for stopping by today during Karen’s visit. If you have any questions for Karen, just leave them in the comments. Have you ever had something pop in your head that just won’t go away until you did something about it?

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Every Little Kiss by Kim Amos {+ Giveaway}

*This post contains affiliate links.

Every Little Kiss by Kim Amos - Thoughts in Progress 10272015Today is launch day for EVERY LITTLE KISS by Kim Amos, the third installment in her delightful White Pine Novel series.

As part of the special day, Kim and the wonderful folks at Forever are giving away 5 print copies of EVERY LITTLE KISS. Please see the end of the post for more details.

Here’s a brief synopsis:


      Eternal good girl Casey Tanner moved to White Pine for a fresh start. Her mission: to finally have fun. And a fling with a reckless bad boy is the very first item on the to-do list she pretended not to make. After one long, lingering look at a sexy firefighter, Casey has found her man.


      Getting women into his bed has never been a problem for Abe Cameron. Letting one into his heart is an entirely different matter. But just one kiss, just one touch, just one smile from beautiful Casey has this lifelong bachelor flirting with the idea of forever. And Casey's refusal to settle down only makes Abe more determined than ever to win her heart. Now the one woman who can't be caught is the only one Abe can't live without . . . 

EVERY LITTLE KISS is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo and Goodreads.

Here’s an excerpt …..

      “Heard you had some excitement yesterday at your job,” Betty said to her, ladling her plate with food as the dishes were passed around. Betty’s curly blond hair was aglow in the soft light.
      “False alarm, as it turned out. Just low batteries in Robot Lit’s CO2 detector.”
      Casey silently gave herself props for following through earlier in the day on replacing the CO2 detector’s batteries, also buying two smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher.
      “I meant the part where you got stuck in an elevator with a fireman,” Betty said.
      The other women around the table stilled.
      “You didn’t tell me that!” Audrey said, her brown eyes wide. “And you hate small spaces. Are you all right?”
      “I’m fine. It was just an old elevator that stalled out.” She eyed Betty. “How did you even know about that?”
      “Sometimes I tune into the scanner. Sounded like you and the lieutenant were in there for a good long while.”
      “I—” Casey stalled, unsure what to say next. They’d been in there for what seemed like hours, even though it had probably only been twenty minutes or so. She could still feel the warmth of his hand around hers, the steady beat of his heart against her fingertips.
      “The lieutenant is Abe Cameron, right? Stewart’s older brother?” Audrey asked.
      “The serious one,” Willa said. “Stu was so easy-going and fun. I was on student council with him in high school. Abe would pick him up from school sometimes, and I remember Abe being like—one of the faces on Mount Rushmore or something. So stony and serious.”
      “The opposite of his parents,” Betty said.
      “What do you mean?” Casey asked.
      “Julia and Pete Cameron were such free spirits. They both painted, and I always loved their work. Now, they live up in the White Pine Retirement Village. I hear Pete’s memory is going.”
      Casey blinked with surprise. She couldn’t imagine Abe’s parents being artists. Military sergeants, maybe. But not painters.
      Until she remembered how warm and gentle Abe had been in the elevator. He’d been perfect, really, as she’d panicked in the cramped space. Until the light of day had shone on him again, and Casey figured she must have imagined the compassion he’d shown her.
      Or had she? It was maddening to wonder what her addled brain had cooked up and what had been reality.
      “What’s that look?” Audrey asked, reading Casey all too well. “Did something happen in that elevator?”
      Leave it to her sibling to cut to the chase.
      “If it did, you’re in the clear,” Betty said. “Abe is single. At least that’s what I hear.”
      “Abe is always single,” Willa said.
      “The parade of ladies through his life is impressive,” Anna agreed. “Sam knows some of the guys down at the station and I guess he’s got quite a reputation.”
      “Is that good or bad?” Casey asked.
      “Very good while it lasts,” Betty said with a wink, “since apparently he’s quite… gifted in certain ways. But then bad when it’s over.”
      “Didn’t he go out with Maddie Fronting?” Audrey asked. “I was in a book club with her once, and I feel like she was always talking about this guy who turned her into a gymnast in bed. Twisted her up in all the best ways.” She giggled. “That was Abe, right?”
      “Probably,” Stephanie said, nodding. “He might put all that stony seriousness to good work in the bedroom, but at the end of the day, he’s an unreformed serial monogamist.”
      “A what?” Casey asked.
      “Someone who dates one person seriously for a while. Then breaks up with them and dates someone else—wash, rinse, repeat.”
      “Did he ask you out?” Audrey asked Casey.
      She shook her head. “No, nothing like that. In fact, just the reverse. Abe got me thinking that I should pursue the opposite of him. Someone lighter, more fun-loving.”
      “Like his brother?”
      “Stu’s a charmer,” Betty said. “Works at that winter gear store, I think.”
      “I didn’t mean Stu necessarily,” Casey said. “Just someone with similar attributes. Someone playful. Lively.” She bit her lip, unwilling to admit to her rule-bound past, which is why she was thinking about all of this to begin with.
      Betty arched a brow. “You sound like you wrote out a whole list.”
      Casey stared at her untouched casserole. The truth was, she had made some mental notes. Okay, more than a few. She had come to White Pine determined to open her heart to others, and there was a tiny ember inside her that was ready to kindle romance, too. Though, romance was too nice a word for what she really wanted, which was a tumble in the sack. She’d already begun thinking in earnest about a few ways she wanted to jettison her…inhibitions.
      “Oh, you didn’t!” Audrey laughed, staring at her. “You actually made a bullet-pointed list, didn’t you!” Once again, leave it to Audrey to bare her secrets.
      “Not exactly,” she said, “I haven’t put pen to paper, it’s more like I’m thinking about what could be on it.”
      Willa chuckled. “A serious list to achieve a not-so serious goal.”
      “It’s not a list, I haven’t written it down,” Casey protested.
      “It’s in your head though,” Audrey said, grinning.
      “We don’t mean to poke fun,” Stephanie said, perhaps catching the frown pulling at the corner of Casey’s mouth. “We’ve just been around each other so long, we’ve lost some of our verbal filters.”
      Another reminder Casey was the outsider. She set down her fork, no longer hungry.
      Audrey bumped her shoulder playfully. “Come on. You have to admit, it is kind of ironic. A serious list so you can have some fun?”
      It wasn’t serious, though. It wasn’t even a list. More like it was a mortifying set of thoughts about wanting to get some. Casey knew she should probably be talking about finding Mr. Right, just like all these other women had. But the truth was, she didn’t want that. After a lifetime of rule-following not to mention a serious relationship with even unhappier ending, she wanted something she’d never had before, and it sounded an awful lot like hot sex, no strings attached. Forget a ring. She wanted a fling.


Kim Amos is a romance writer whose Midwestern roots run deep. You can usually find her hanging out in a state that borders the Great Lakes. She is married to an artisan ice cream maker, which is a dangerous complement to her enduring love for cheese. 

For more on Kim and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


Here are my thoughts on this charming book.

Small town atmosphere and romance are foremost in the latest installment in the White Pine novel series by author Kim Amos.

EVERY LITTLE KISS pairs a strong-willed practical thinking heroine with a good-hearted, fun-loving hero. While both seemingly want the same thing out of life – steamy sex with no lifelong commitments – they soon realize there is more to want.

Casey Tanner has made some bad choices that almost cost her the relationship with her sister. Now on the road to making amends with her, Casey wants only to have fun with no strings attached. The trouble is, Casey doesn’t really know how to let loose.

Abe Cameron has a 90 day rule about the women he dates. They only last 90 days and then it’s time to move on to the next A dedicated bachelor, Abe doesn’t want any lifelong commitments. He’s too busy fighting fires and loving women.

When Casey and Abe cross paths, sparks fly and the two find life never turns out the way you plan.

This is a feel-good romance with touches of steam and sizzle. The characters are well-developed with flaws and quirks readers can relate to.

The author weaves a tale of romance you won’t be able to put down. Blending the small town atmosphere with the charming characters leads to a tantalizing tale.

Every Little Kiss by Kim Amos, A White Pine Novel (Book #3), Forever, @2015, ISBN: 978-1455557516. Mass Market Paperback, 352 Pages 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.


This giveaway is for 5 print copies of EVERY LITTLE KISS by Kim Amos. To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks for stopping by. EVERY LITTLE KISS hits bookstands today. Hope you’ll check it out. Do you enjoy a series that highlights various people from an area or had you rather the series continue about a certain character?

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Wait For Signs by Craig Johnson {+ Giveaway}

Wait for Signs by Craig Johnson - Thoughts in ProgressDo you sometimes wait for a book to come out in paperback before you purchase it?

If the answer is yes and you’ve been waiting on Craig Johnson’s WAIT FOR SIGNS, then your wait is over. The book is being released in paperback tomorrow by Penguin Books. To celebrate that release, thanks to the lovely Lili and the good folks at Penguin, I have a paperback copy of the book to giveaway. Please see the end of the post for more giveaway details.

Today I’m sharing the review of WAIT FOR SIGNS I did in January. In addition, I’m listing a bit of background on the author, as well as his upcoming tour dates. 

WAIT FOR SIGNS by Craig Johnson
(Originally posted Jan. 18, 2015)

I’ve had author Craig Johnson’s collection of short stories, WAIT FOR SIGNS: Twelve Longmire Stories, on my list to share with you since its release. The author’s birthday was Friday (Jan. 16) and it reminded me that I hadn’t shared the book yet.

If you’re not a fan of Johnson’s protagonist, Sheriff Walt Longmire, this is a good book to start with. While you won’t know all the background on the characters, you will get an impressive look at the world of Longmire. You’ll see the rugged charm, dry wit, dedicated lawman and troubled soul that is Longmire.

WAIT FOR SIGNS is 12 short stories that cover numerous events in Longmire’s career and life. Some stories will have you laughing out loud, while others will tug at your heart strings.

Most of the stories deal with issues around Christmas or New Year’s. Johnson’s first short story, OLD INDIAN TRICK, begins the collection. The remaining stories came about as free gifts for Johnson’s newsletter subscribers who got hooked when he shared OLD INDIAN TRICK and they wanted another story each year.

This collection of shorts is a must have for any Longmire fan. They give a look at Walt’s life not always found in the usual tales. For first-time readers of the Longmire series, don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking for the other books by Johnson.

WAIT FOR SIGNS is a quick read that will have you longing for more of the humorous and cantankerous Wyoming Sheriff of Absaroka County.

Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories by Craig Johnson, Viking Adult, @2014, ISBN: 978-0525427919, Hardcover, 192 Pages 

Wait for Signs: Twelve Longmire Stories by Craig Johnson, Penguin Books, @2015, ISBN: 978-0143127826, Paperback, 224 Pages

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.


Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire mystery series. Johnson’s books are the basis for Longmire, the hit TV original drama that was picked up by Netflix for its fourth season. 

He is the recipient of the Wyoming Historical Award for fiction, the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Rocky Award from Left Coast Crime, and France’s Le Prix du Polar Nouvel Observateur/Bibliobs and SNCF Prix du Polar. His novella, Spirit of Steamboat, was selected by the Wyoming Library Association as the One-Book-Wyoming, the inaugural state read. 

Find Craig’s events at (“Tour of Duty” tab). He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five.

On September 10th, 2015, all 10 new episodes of Longmire Season 4 became available to stream on Netflix. The first three seasons aired on A&E, where Longmire was the highest-rated scripted program in the network’s history. They are also now available from Netflix. It stars Robert Taylor (Matrix, Vertical Limit) as Sheriff Walt Longmire, Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Young Guns) as Henry Standing Bear and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica, 24, Riddick) as Victoria Moretti. Longmire was developed by Shephard/Robin Productions for Warner Horizon. 


Tuesday, October 27 (ON SALE) - Cheyenne, WY - B&N, 6PM
Wednesday, October 28 - Billings, MT - B&N, 7PM
Thursday, October 29 - Salt Lake City, UT - King’s English @ Viridian Center, 7PM
Friday, October 30 - Orange, CA - Book Carnival @ Orange Public Library, 7PM
Saturday, October 31 - Albuquerque, NM - Bookworks @ The Main Library, 3PM
Sunday, November 1 - Denver, CO - Tattered Cover (Colfax), 2PM
Monday, November 2 - Omaha, NE – Bookworm, 6PM
Wednesday, November 4 - Atlanta, GA - Booth Museum, 12:15PM
Thursday, November 5 - Louisville, KY - Louisville Free Library, 7PM
Friday, November 6 - Vero Beach, FL - Vero Beach Book Center, 6PM
Saturday, November 7 - Miami, FL - Books & Books, 5PM
Monday, November 9 - Mechanicsburg, PA - Mystery Bookstore, 6:30PM
Tuesday, November 10 - Philadelphia, PA - B&N Rittenhouse Square, 7PM


This giveaway is for one paperback copy of WAIT FOR SIGNS by Craig Johnson. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. only and no post office box address can be accepted. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and following the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. A winner will be selected by the Rafflecopter widget and I’ll send an email with the subject line “Thoughts in Progress Longmire Giveaway.” The winner will have 72 hours to reply to the email or another winner will be selected. PLEASE be sure to check your spam folder from time to time after the giveaway ends. If you win and you’ve already won the book somewhere else or you just decide for whatever reason you don’t want to win, once again PLEASE let me know.

Thanks for stopping by today. Are you a fan of Johnson’s books and/or the TV show? If you’re a fan of both, which do you like best?

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Silent Creed by Alex Kava

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Silent Creed by Alex Kava - Thoughts in Progress
Search and rescue dogs play such a vital role in our society and author Alex Kava gives us a view of just how those capable animals operate in her Ryder Creek novels.

In her latest release, SILENT CREED, Kava explores how man and animal function when on a mission to a devastating mudslide. She combines the working aspects of a search and rescue unit with mystery, murder and intrigue.

Narrator Graham Winton is put through the paces with the various characters he brings to life. His mannerisms and cadence make each character a unique individual. He projects the varying emotions of the story with great strength.

Called to North Carolina due to a disastrous mudslide, Ryder Creed and his search and rescue dog Bolo are faced with perils of their own. The continuing rain makes the area unstable, hazardous waste brought in by the slide blankets the area, and debris of all types makes it precarious for man and dog to work. However, it’s the top-secret government research facility Creed was brought in to locate that poses the most danger without their knowledge.

When the body of a scientist from the facility is discovered, they realize the mudslide isn’t the only killer. The scientist had been killed by a gunshot to the head. FBI Agent Maggie O’Dell is called in to investigate, but isn’t given all the details she needs to know. Having worked together before, Creed and O’Dell begin to put the pieces together. Working their way through secrets, lies, more murder victims and decades-old medical experiments, they discover some people will go to great lengths to keep the truth buried. 

SILENT CREED is an adrenaline-fueled mystery that captures your attention and never lets go. The pace is quick and action-packed. With mishaps for man and dog, listeners/readers will be holding their breath as the story unfolds. Tensions mount as nature and man battle to do harm.

The author has created likable, well-developed characters listeners/readers will enjoy. Combining protagonist from two of her series, Kava seamlessly blends the two together making a dramatic team. Through her rich descriptions she also gives voice to the talented dogs and the invaluable role they play. 

Dealing with a plausible disaster situation, Kava places the listener/reader in the muck and mud alongside her characters through detailed accounts. The nature elements of the story play out as a secondary character adding depth to the circumstances. 

While this is the second installment in the Ryder Creed novels, SILENT CREED can be read on its own. Also, no prior knowledge of the Maggie O’Dell character is necessary to enjoy this book. However, don’t be surprised if after reading this you’re hooked and have to checkout prior stories.

Being a dog or animal lover is not a necessity to enjoy this novel. Packed with murder, mystery, a touch of romance, and lots of edge-of-your-seat anxiety, this is one novel you don’t want to miss.

Silent Creed by Alex Kava, A Ryder Creed Novel (Book #2), Narrated by Graham Winton, Recorded Books, @2015, ISBN: 978-1490631110, Unabridged, 6 Discs, Run Time: 7.25 Hours 

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Authors Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde Surprise Series

Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde
Dirty Sexy Saint (Dirty Sexy Series Book #1)
January 19th, 2015

New York Times bestselling authors Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde are bringing you a dirty, sexy, smoking hot SERIES featuring three bad boy brothers bonded by shocking secrets and their damaged past. Sinful, addicting, and unapologetically alpha, these men are every woman’s erotic daydream ... And your ultimate dirty fantasy.

Get started with Dirty Sexy Saint and let Clay Kincaid lead you straight into sin!

Cover Reveal Graphic - Thoughts in Progress

Here’s a brief synopsis:

Saint by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde 1 - Thoughts in ProgressAre you ready to get Dirty Sexy with a Saint?

        Clay Kincaid knows he's more a sinner than a saint.  Especially when it comes to women.  With a rough and damaged past that has left him jaded, he doesn't do committed relationships. But he does like sex—the hotter and harder, the better.  He likes it fast and filthy, which is why he refuses to even touch someone as sweet and guileless as Samantha Jamieson.  Until he discovers that she likes it just as down and dirty as he does.  Let the sinning begin . . .

More Dirty Sexy Series coming in 2016!
Dirty Sexy Inked
Dirty Sexy Cuffed

Inked by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde 2- Thoughts in ProgressPreorder Links:

Amazon Kindle:
B&N Nook:

About the Authors:

Carly Phillips:

Cuffed by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde - Thoughts in ProgressCarly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels featuring hot men, strong women and the emotionally compelling stories her readers have come to expect and love. Carly’s career spans over a decade and a half with various New York publishing houses, and she is now an Indie author who runs her own business and loves every exciting minute of her publishing journey. 

Carly is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs (two wheaten terriers and one mutant Havanese) who star on her Facebook Fan Page and website. 

Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find out more about Carly on her website and connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Amazon.

Erika Wilde:

Erika Wilde (aka Janelle Denison) is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 contemporary romances for multiple print publishers.

So, why the new pen name? 

As Janelle Denison I’ve always written sexy books, but lately my writing has taken on more erotic elements that I wanted to keep separate for readers because not everyone likes their reading material on the spicier, kinkier side of romance. However, please be assured that even as Erika Wilde, you will still get an emotionally layered story with characters you’ll care about and fall in love with. That is always my goal, whether I’m writing straight contemporary romances, or more erotically charged stories.

Currently, I’m working on The Marriage Diaries and making sure that Dean and Jillian enjoy exploring the more erotic side to their marriage. The series will be on-going, with no foreseeable ending as of right now, for as long as readers want to be voyeurs to Dean and Jillian’s sizzling new relationship. I’m also planning a spin-off series in the future, featuring the hot military men that work security for Dean at Noble and Associates.

You can find out more about Erika on her website and connect with her on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

Authors Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde - Thoughts in Progress
Authors Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

Thanks for stopping by today. Do you enjoy learning about new series?

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Long and Short of It

0715-9780373269532-bigwI’m delighted to welcome author M.E. May to Thoughts in Progress today to talk about her writing and her road to publishing using a small publishing company, self-publishing and now a large publishing company.

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to M.E. as she talks about ‘the long and short of it.’ Welcome, M.E.

After starting with a small press publishing my first novel, PERFIDY, in 2012, I thought I had it made. Unfortunately, many small presses have difficulties and to continue my series, I had to resort to publishing my own works. I made this decision in order to keep the fan base I had already established as it can take many years to find a publisher. 

Self-publishing is a tough road. Many people still consider independently published novels below standard. However, the changes in the publishing industry have forced many good, if not great, authors to publish on their own. Those of us, who look at our work as art as well as a creation for the enjoyment of others, do not stray from the processes which make our work as close to perfect as we can manage. 

The first and most important person to hire is the editor. A good editor can make or break your novel. They will not just watch for spelling and grammatical errors, but for the flow and content. As a reader, I become quite irritated if I have to flip back pages to try to understand what just happened. Or, if I’m told a character has dark hair and green eyes only to have them described in later chapters as blonde with blue eyes. Of course, one of my biggest pet peeves while reading is having a character completely disappear with no explanation. A good editor would never allow that to slip through the cracks.

A great graphic designer for your cover is also essential as well as having someone complete the formatting for all the versions. Unbelievably, it has to be formatted differently for the printed version, and for each of the different eBook versions. If you can learn to do these things yourself, that’s great. I prefer to hire someone so I can continue to write.

Keep in mind that just because you’re a self-published author doesn’t mean others won’t notice you. Sometimes it will happen when you least expect it. I attended a conference in Chicago in 2014 and an editor from Harlequin approached me. She asked if we could sit together at lunchtime. Apparently, she’d seen the ad I’d placed in the conference’s program and she told me the World Library Worldwide Mystery division was looking for new series. She gave me her card and told me to send the manuscript for PERFIDY if interested, because she’d love to consider it for their mass-market paperback distribution.

I was shocked and thrilled at the prospect. I sent the manuscript to her and six months later, she offered me a contract and asked to see the next two novels in the series. It wasn’t long before she’d sent contracts for INCONSPICUOUS and ENSCONCED. Once the fourth novel, PURGED, was released in November 2014, she accepted it as well. Having this version of the book gives me more flexibility in the distribution of my novels.

Into my fifth month of retirement, I’m finding more time to write and thus am thinking about venturing beyond the Circle City Mystery Series. I may even submit my new works to agents or publishers. Having the confidence of the Harlequin editor is a real boost to this venture. I have a young adult fantasy started and am working on a private detective series set in Chicago. There’s nothing but exciting times ahead.

If you’d like to try the Circle City Mystery Series, please visit my website: and go to Books. You can click on any cover and transported to the site where these novels can be purchased.

Michele, thanks for joining us today and sharing this look at the publishing industry from an author’s viewpoint. Congrats on the Harlequin contracts.

For those not familiar with Michele, here’s a bit of background on her.

Author M.E. May - Thoughts in Progress
Author Michele (M.E.) May
Michele (M.E.) May attended Indiana University in Kokomo, Indiana, studying Social and Behavioral Sciences. Her interest in the psychology of humans sparked the curiosity to ask why they commit such heinous acts upon one another. 

Other interests in such areas as criminology and forensics have moved her to put her vast imagination to work writing crime fiction that is as accurate as possible. In doing so, she depicts societal struggles that pit those who understand humanity with those who are lost in a strange and dangerous world of their own making. 

In creating the Circle City Mystery Series, she brings to life fictional characters who work diligently to bring justice to victims of crime in the city of Indianapolis. Michele also hopes her readers will witness through her eyes, the wonderful city she calls her hometown. 

For more on Michele and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for dropping by today during Michele’s visit. What are your thoughts on the publishing industry?