Thursday, December 27, 2018

Weekly Coffee Chat - #Ten Things I Wish I Knew in the Beginning

Hi gang, 
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  Since the new year is almost upon us, I decided to look back and share what I learned about blogging. I just started back in August, but between a couple of switching around and such, it's more like I started in late September.
Here are the top ten things I wish I had known in the beginning about being a book blogger. They are not in any particular order.

Edit: Apparently someone took offense to one of mine, and I had not meant to offend anyone. These are my opinions, not facts! I realize they may not be your opinion, and I'm fine with that. I just wish people would understand what an opinion is these days. *sighs*
  1. Blogger is better than Wordpress. I wish I had known that, Blogger is easier too use, so I wouldn't have wasted a month trying to figure out Wordpress. Now that it's changed, I'm really glad I moved to Blogger.
  2.  I wish I hadn't done the request thing. I thought it would be easy that way, but it just made it feel more like work. This is supposed to be a hobby and a way for me to practice my writing.  I always felt bad when I didn't like their book, too.
  3.  I wish I had known about netgalley and booksprout, now I mostly use them to get my books.
  4.  Also, wish I had known about asking Publishers for free books. Now, I use that too. In fact, my all time favorite tv writer has a biography coming out next year(been waiting years for him to make one), I wrote to his Publisher and was accepted in the arc readers list.  I'm so excited. Once I got over the nervousness of asking, it's so much easier than being asked.
  5.  Wish I knew how to do a welcome page, since I am not sure it gets read. I get quite a few requests that don't follow the guidelines, one time they didn't even get my name right. lol That is another reason why I don't do requests anymore.
  6.  I wish I knew exactly how to write a book review. There seems to be quite a few different ways, and I'm still trying to find my "voice".  I was hoping to get a job at a magazine someday, so trying to be professional without being dry.(If anyone has tips on this, please comment, I would be much obliged).
  7.  I wish I knew how fun this is, and done this years ago, might have a business by now. 
  8.  I wish I knew that I didn't have to do just book reviews, I would have had more blogs by now, and maybe that would equal more viewers?
  9.  I wish I had known that I can be picky with my genres. I feel I wasted a lot of time reading books that I normally don't read, and couldn't finish them. So, I decided to be a bit more picky and only do my 3 favorite genres. Having a lot more fun now, tho maybe less of an audience.
  10.  Last but not least... I wish I knew not to stress over this. I made it feel like work instead of a hobby. Now, I know not to do that anymore, my health can't take it. So, I don't put myself on any schedule, unless it's for a book tour, and I make sure to give myself plenty of time for those.

Those are the main things I have learned. I'm looking forward to next year, and learning more things about book blogging, like how to do SEOs, and read faster. lol

So, how bout you, have you learned anything new this past year? Please feel free to share in the comments, maybe I can learn some more new things that way.

Happy Blogging!

Monday, December 24, 2018

#Bookreview - A #Christmas Treat

I was lucky enough to receive a Christmas Cake Murder from the Kensington Publishing Company for free for an honest review.

 I think is a prequel to the Hannah Swensen Mysteries. We get the background as to how she got her bakery shop called the Cookie Jar. We also get a lot of yummy recipes and a twist to the story.

I absolutely love the recipes in here, and will share one at the end of my review.  I liked how she put her own personal touch to them. There was a neat little story within the story and it added a unique twist at the end. I also thought it was cool that the  "murder" happened near the end, I'm used to seeing it at the beginning. I thought that was a nice change of scenery, so to speak.  I did think it was odd that there wasn't any romance or even any flirting in it, which I love in a cozy. And the writing was a bit off, it seemed more like her 1st novel instead of the 23rd?  But it was a neat way of learning more about Hannah and how she got her bakery shop. I definitely want to read more of this series now. Yes, I will admit this, I haven't read any others, and this was actually a good one to start with, imo. Definitely adding her to my tbr authors.
Oh and at the end it shows you which pages the recipes are on, and it even has a conversion chart, which is great for us baking novices.

Here is a recipe from the book:

Cool Whip White Chocolate Frosting
This recipe is made in the microwave

8-ounces(by weight) tub of FROZEN Cool Whip(do not thaw)
6-ounces(by weight) bag of white chocolate or vanilla chips(she used Nestle & said a half of a 11 ounce bag will work too)
1 teaspoon of coconut or vanilla extract

Hannah's 1st Note: Make sure you use the original Cool Whip, not the sugar free or the real whipped cream

Place the Cool Whip in a microwave safe bowl.
Add the chips to the bowl.

Microwave the bowl on HIGH for 1 minute then let it sit in the microwave for an additional minute.
Take the bowl out of the microwave then stir to see if the white chocolate chips are melted. If they are not then heat them in 30 second intervals with 30 seconds standing, until it is melted.

Stir in the extract and let the bowl sit on the coutertop or on a cold burner for 15 minutes to thicken frosting.

When the time is up stir the frosting and retrieve the cake from refrigerator.

Frost the cake.

Hannah's 2nd Note: While your frosting is still soft and sticky, you can decorate your cake with more candied pineapple and red and green candied cherries if you wish. The top looks great if you make a circle of the red cherries on the outside of the top, a circle off candied pineapple just inisde the red candied cherries, and then a circle of green candied cherries inside the candied pineapple. (this is her Christmas cake)

Return the cake to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

See, this is what I mean by more personal, I like how she writes notes to explain things.

All in all I thought this was a nice heartwarming Christmas story with a neat twist.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy or is it Merry Yule!

Hi gang,
I just wanted to wish everyone a happy or is it a merry Yule! I just recently realized that I am wiccan, and have been having fun learning all I can about the religion and this holiday in particular. I knew for a long time what I believed in, I just had no idea there was an actual religion for it, I must have cried for a good ten minutes when I figured it out.
I was actually researching for my novel, of all things. lol

I've already been hooked on witches, thanks to Joss Whedon, but now even more so.

So, I have a huge huge request for all of you.

I know there are many Christmas theme novels out there, but I can't really find any wiccan themed or Winter Solstice themed novels.

If you know any, could you please let me know in the comments.
And of course any good witch novels works too. I've got quite a few on my tbr, but can never have too many. Heck, I'm even writing one. lol
Thanks bunches!

Also, do you celebrate this holiday, if you do how do you celebrate it? Unfortunately, I'm broke, so hoping next year to be able to do something for it.

Have a wonderful Holiday and weekend!


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Janet Evanovich's 24th and 25th Stephanie Plum novels

I just finished listening to the last two of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series on audible. As usual, she doesn't disappoint. Not only do I love the names, Hardcore Twenty-Four and Look Alive Twenty-Five, but she brought in characters from her Charmed series(which I really love). I just love crossovers.
What I love is also what I hate, I love that all the characters are so lovable, but I hate it when someone asks who is my favorite, cause I can't choose. Well, ok, Ranger would be my top choice if I had to choose.
Lula and Grandma Mazur are such a hoot, they have so much spunk and not afraid to carry a gun and say what they think. You'd think they'd be the last person you'd want on a heist, but turns out they would be just what you needed.
I'm always sad when it ends, especially when it's dealing with Ranger.
Only part I don't like is Stephanie, when will she see the truth? I thought she did in the twenty third novel. Maybe someday? Hey a girl can dream, can't she?
I would make  recommendation tho, I think the narrator is having an identity crisis or something, some of the characters she reads is different at times. I can't imagine how she remembers all of them. I prefer reading them instead, because of that.
If you love mysteries with a bit of humor(tho I wouldn't read it in public, cause people might look at you funny cause you are laughing out loud) I would highly recommend this series. I also like the fact you don't have to read them in order to understand, but it helps.

PS- Does anyone know what the rules are for using book covers on blogs? Thanks. I was afraid to use one from googling.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Weekly Coffee Chat - Ebooks vs. Hard Copy Books?

Hi gang,  I had a recent scare this week, my tablet crashed. Thankfully, my best friend is a tech geek and was able to help me via phone text. But, I realized I lost a lot of ebooks. Only ones that got saved are the ones that I had on Kindle and Kobo. But the ones on Aldiko and the universal reader are all gone. That got me to thinking how I prefer real books. Here are my pros and cons.

Hard Copy - you don't have to worry about losing it if your computer crashes
Hard Copy - you can retake a photo, when you lose your photos after a computer crash.

Hard Copy - you can use them as decorations
Hard Copy -  easier to donate

Ebooks - takes up less space

Hard copy - worry about them getting damaged or lost
Hard copy - can't use a highlighter(well most people don't)
Hard copy - can get lost in mail
Ebooks - no smell
Ebooks - needs electricity or long battery

I'm sure there are more, maybe you can let me know?
So, this is my question, which do you prefer hard copies or ebooks?
Oh and do you give hard copy or ebooks for gifts?

Have a great week!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

#Blogtour - Fukushima Dreams

Fukishima Dreams by Zelda Rhiando
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Unbound Digital (19 Dec. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1911586882
  • ISBN-13: 978-1911586883

BLURB Sachiko and her husband Harry live in a village on the North-east coast of Japan. They are both struggling to adapt to life as new parents to their infant son Tashi. In the aftermath of the tsunami, Sachiko wakes alone. Her family is missing. She begins a desperate search until radiation fallout from the Fukushima power plant forces her to leave the area. She moves to Tokyo, and a different life. Harry has fled to a refuge on an isolated mountain, abandoning his family. He lives there, haunted by guilt and hovering on the edge of sanity. Will they find each other and confront the question of their missing son?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Zelda Rhiando was born in Dublin and read English Literature at Cambridge. She lives in South London with her husband, two daughters and four cats, and is one of the founders of the Brixton BookJam. She is the author of two novels, Caposcripti and Fukushima Dreams.

Twitter : @badzelda

I'm so sorry, I did not have time to read this, as my health has gotten worse.
I am hoping to read it soon, since it sounds intriging, and will post the review separately.


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Weekly Coffee Chat - #HolidaFun

Hi gang, sorry behind again. I'll be glad when I can find out what's wrong with me, this being tired all the time is getting old.

Who'd like to play a game with me?

This is my version of the 12 days of Christmas song.
In case you don't know the song, here is one on youtube.
Btw, this is my alltime favorite version of it, I grew up having a crush on John Denver. hehe

12 Days of Christmas

12 Books of Christmas.....

12 books of Christmas

Do you know the song the Twelve Days of Christmas? Well,
here is my version of it.

On the first day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me…
Curius Minds by Janet Evanovich.

On the second day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me…
the second book to Lauren Elliott’s Murder by the Book series.

On the third day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me…
the Third of the Gobling Crown Trilogy by Robert Hewitt Wolfe.

On the fourth day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me…
the fourth of the Charmed series by Janet Evanovich.

On the fifth day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me…
all five of Miranda James’ a Cat in the Stacks Mysteries.

On the sixth day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me..
the six books of the Succubus series by Richelle Mead.

On the seventh day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me..
Seven Up by Janet Evanovich.

On the eighth day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me..
eight Outlander series books by Diana Gabaldon.

On the ninth day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me..
nine Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

On the tenth day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me..
ten Christmas cozy mysteries.

On the 11th day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me..
Lord(11 lords a leaping) of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien.(Yes, I do reread books)lol

On the 12th day of Christmas I wish Santa would bring to me..
the first twelve of Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton.

So...who'd like to play? lol
If you do this as a blog, could you please post your link on my comment,
so that I can read them. Much obliged.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Bookish Blog Hops-What Fictional Character Would You Like to Kiss Under the Mistletoe?

Hi gang, I'm doing something different, and have never done these before, I hope I'm doing this right?

I'm in a wonderful facebook group called Bookish Blog Hops.
The do blog hops with themes. This time around it's Christmas related.

I absolutely loved this question....
What fictional character would you like to kiss under the mistletoe? *grins*

That's an easy one. Ranger aka Ricardo Carlos Minoso(sp). He's from the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Most people seem to like Morelli best but not me. Ranger started out as a bounty hunter who becomes Stephanie's mentor. He has a shady past and was married at one time, so Stephanie doesn't think he'll ever marry again. I hope that's not the case. He's a Cuban American, with lots of muscles. (In the movie, Daniel Sunjata played him, and was spot on.)
You'd always feel safe with Ranger around.

Here are a couple of other answers from the people in this group.

5th December A fictional character you’d like to kiss under the mistletoe
Holiday Hop
5th December
A fictional character you’d like to kiss under the mistletoe
Hosted by


My answer is kind of Christmas themed. I thought about Mr. Darcy or Mr. Rochester but neither is Christmassy… Now… while never a romantic lead in the series, I have ALWAYS crushed on a certain elf that you would know as Legolas from Lord of the Rings. Full name: Prince Legolas Greenleaf of the Woodland Realm. What’s not to love? Fine Elvish features. Wisdom. Humor. Honor. Compassion and a humanitarian, cause let’s face it, he didn’t save Middle Earth for his kind. Yep. Have to go with Legolas the CHristmas Elf tee hee.
As you might know, I read mostly Romance. But I have to say, many Romance heroes are just too broody for my taste. So I have to go in an entirely different direction to pick my fictional character to kiss under the mistletoe. Who I would absolutely enjoy kissing is Capt. Jack Harkness. I'm listening to the Torchwood audiobooks now and he was, is and will always be the absolutely awesomest!

My reply: OMG...yes to Captain Jack Harkness!!! I'm so ashamed I didn't know that Torchwood had books? Thanks Eline!

I agree on Legolas as well, excellent choice Brandy. He was one of my favs in LoR.

So....who would you like to kiss under the mistletoe?


Monday, December 3, 2018

Spells and Silver Bells by Lucy May mini review

I thought this was a fascinating and delightful read. The world building was done really well, made me wish I lived in that small town. The characters were a lot of fun too. I loved how she used Salem's witch trials to explain how this town came to be. The use of their lighthouse was fascinating as well and the mystery of how it got broken. And the main character's destiny, was a great part of the story.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

#Blogtour-Cindy Fazzi(My MacArthur)

This is for a blog tour from Women on Writing. I want to thank Nicole Pyles for giving me a chance to do this, and all the help.
This is my first author interview.

Cindy Fazzi’s
My MacArthur

Tour Begins November 5th
Book summary
The year is 1930. The place: Manila. Douglas MacArthur is the most powerful man in the Philippines, a United States colony. He’s fifty years old, divorced, and he falls in love at first sight with a ravishing young Filipino woman. He writes her a love note on the spot. Her name is Isabel Rosario Cooper, an aspiring movie actress. One glance at his note and she thinks of him as my MacArthur.

MacArthur pursues his romantic obsession even though he’s breaking numerous taboos. She reciprocates his affection because he could open doors for her financially struggling family. That MacArthur happens to be handsome compensates for the fact that he’s as old as her father.

When MacArthur is appointed the U.S. Army chief of staff, he becomes the youngest four-star general and one of America’s most powerful men. Out of hubris, he takes Isabel with him to America without marrying her.

Amid the backdrop of the Great Depression, MacArthur and Isabel’s relationship persists like “a perilous voyage on turbulent waters,” as she describes it. In 1934, after four years of relationship, MacArthur leaves Isabel for fear of a political scandal.

The general goes on to become the iconic hero of World War II, liberating the Philippines and rebuilding Japan. Isabel drifts in Los Angeles unable to muster the courage to return to Manila.

Print Length: 285 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Sand Hill Review Press
ISBN: 9781937818968

My MacArthur is now available to purchase on as an e-book (and print) as well as at Barnes and Noble.

About the Author

Cindy Fazzi is a Filipino-American writer and former Associated Press reporter. She has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. My MacArthur, published by Sand Hill Review Press, is her literary debut. She writes romance novels under the pen name Vina Arno. Her first romance book, In His Corner, was published by Lyrical Press in 2015. Her second romance novel, Finder Keeper of My Heart, was published by Painted Hearts Publishing in 2018. Her short stories have been published in Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.

You can find Cindy at -

Author Website:






--- Blog Tour Dates

November 5th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Stop by Women on Writing's blog and read an interview with the author Cindy Fazzi and enter to win a copy of the book My MacArthur.

November 6th @ Coffee with Lacey
Get your coffee and stop by Lacey's blog where she share her thoughts on the book My MacArthur. 

November 7th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Stop by Beverley's blog and find out what she thought about Cindy Fazzi's book My MacArthur. This book is sure to entice historical fiction readers everywhere!

November 8th @ The Frugalista Mom
Stop by Rozelyn's blog and catch her thoughts on the historical fiction book My MacArthur.

November 9th @ The Frozen Mind
Grab a blanket and stop by the blog The Frozen Mind and read their thoughts on the incredible historical fiction book My MacArthur.

November 11th @ Bring on Lemons
If life hands you lemons, read a book! Come by Crystal's blog Bring on Lemons and find out what she had to say about the book My MacArthur.

November 13th @ Mommy Daze: Say What??
Want to know what this mom had to say about the book? Stop by Ashley's blog and read her thoughts on the historical fiction book My MacArthur.

November 16th @ Amanda's Diaries
Find out what Amanda had to say about Cindy Fazzi's historical fiction book My MacArthur in her review today.

November 16th @ Chapters Through Life
Stop by Danielle's blog where she spotlight's Cindy Fazzi's book My MacArthur.

November 19th @ Madeline Sharples Blog
Be sure to catch today's post over at Madeline's blog author Cindy Fazzi shares her tips for writing fiction about a famous person.

November 20th @ Let Us Talk of Many Things
Visit today's blog where you can catch Cindy Fazzi's post on overcoming prejudices against romance writers.

November 21st @ Mam's Rants and Reviews
Stop by Shan's blog where she shares her thoughts on the historical fiction book My MacArthur.

November 25th @ The World of My Imagination
Catch Nicole's review of the book My MacArthur and find out what she had to say about this fantastic book.

November 26th @ Break Even Books
Stop by the Break Even Books blog and read Cindy Fazzi's article on the pros and cons of using a pen name.

November 28th @ Charmed Book Haven Reviews
Visit Cayce's blog and check out her thoughts on the book My MacArthur by Cindy Fazzi.

November 29th @ Memoir Writer's Journey
Start your journey today at Kathleen's blog Memoir Writer's Journey where author Cindy Fazzi talks about the challenges of writing different genres.

November 30th @ Joyful Antidotes Blog
Want a joyful way to start your day? Stop by Joy's blog where she reviews the incredible historical fiction book My MacArthur.

November 30th @ The Uncorked Librarian
Make sure you stop by Christine's blog and read what she thinks about the book My MacArthur.

December 1st @ Charmed Book Haven Reviews
Visit Cacye's blog again and read her interview with author Cindy Fazzi.

December 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Start your morning out right by reading Anthony Avina's review of the book My MacArthur. 

December 2rd @ 2 Turn the Page Book Reviews
Visit Renee's blog when she reviews Cindy Fazzi's book My MacArthur and interviews the author.

Q:  Have you always wanted to be an author, if not what else did you want to be?
Cindy Fazzi: Not always. I’m a late bloomer. I thought I’d be a news reporter forever. I was already a professional journalist when I first thought of writing fiction. I took a break from work by pursuing a master’s degree in journalism at Ohio State University, where I finally had the time to read, write, and think. As a journalist, I’m assigned the stories I write. I have to follow very specific rules in writing to be objective and credible and to avoid libel. In other words, I don’t have a voice. It’s only in fiction that I get to write stories that mean a lot to me. Nobody assigns me any topics or tells me how to write my novels. In fiction, I have a voice.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for this novel?
Cindy Fazzi: My MacArthur has a long gestation period because it’s based on real people. I first became interested in Isabel Rosario Cooper, my novel’s heroine, when I was a college student in Manila. Whenever I read a history book about General Douglas MacArthur, there was usually a footnote mentioning his relationship with her, and I wondered, “Who was Isabel Cooper?”
In the Philippines, we read quite a bit about MacArthur because he played a prominent role in our history. Finally in 2003, I began a systematic research about MacArthur and Isabel while I held a day job and raised a family. After a few years, I started writing My MacArthur but continued researching. I finished my novel officially in 2013, though I continued to tweak it up until the manuscript was acquired by Sand Hill Review Press in April 2018.
It doesn’t always take me that long to write a novel. I finished writing my first published book, a romance called In His Corner, in four months. My second published novel, also a romance, Finder Keeper of My Heart, took two years to write and rewrite.
Q: How do you like to spend your downtime, assuming you have one?
Cindy Fazzi: My day job is writing marketing materials for a software company. As soon as I’m off work, I write fiction. My downtime is spent reading, hanging out with my family, and watching films. I devour books; I read up to three books at a time. I believe that reading is a prerequisite for good writing, so I read as much as I can. I also allot time and money for leisurely travel at least once a year.
Q: Would you be willing to share any advice for newbie writers like me?  
Cindy Fazzi: We’re all newbies at one point. There are many paths toward publication. I “graduated” from being an aspiring writer to traditionally published author by writing a lot. My first published book was my fifth manuscript. Writing is part talent, but largely a skill that you develop through practice. Storytelling is definitely a skill. Some people cultivate their skills by pursuing an MFA. I didn’t. I honed mine through journalism. So, find a way to write regularly, either by getting a writing job of some kind or by attending graduate school. If you can’t do those things, set aside a time every day to write and attend writing workshops whenever you can so you’ll get feedback and learn from other people.
Reading is essential. It should go hand in hand with your writing. Last, and this is especially true if you want traditional publishing, you have to be resilient and persistent. Writing is full of rejections, but once you get accepted and published, it’s really worth all the heartaches.  

Thank you Cindy Fazzi for your time and the wonderful answers.
I'm sorry I could not read the book(personal reason).

If you are a fan of Historical novels, then I would highly recommend it. It is beautifully written, from the part I could read.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Weekly Coffee Chat - Top 5 favorite childhood books

Hi gang, sorry a bit behind, had the blog tour this week. Since this is the Holiday Season(for those of us in the States, at least), I got to thinking about past holidays.

When I was a child, I loved books. I was reading 3rd grade books in kindergarten, from what my parents told me. They wanted me to play sports, but I hated sports, I preferred hiding in the library and reading books. I loved series, even back then. I always considered books and the library as my safe haven, from an abusive situation.

There were so many books that I loved, but here are my favorite books that were series.  Not in any specific order.

1)Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys
2)Anne of Green Gables
3)Little House on the Prairie
4)Tales of Narnia(I was jealous of my Brother as he had the set, but I could not have one for some reason, luckily he let me borrow his.)
5)Agatha Christie

Yes, even then I was into mysteries. I've been obsessed with Sherlock Holmes for as long as I can remember, I think Nancy Drew was the book that started that tho.

What about you, did you have any favorite books as a child, what were they? I know I have a lot more, but I'd end up writing a book. haha

Have you ever thought of rereading them as an adult? I admit I thought about it, but haven't had a chance too yet.

Till next week!

Monday, November 26, 2018

My First Blog Tour-Sean Heary the Concordat

This is my first official blog tour. Sadly, I was not able to read the book, I had technicality issues.

This novel sounded really cool, maybe I'll be able to read it someday soon.

The Concordat by Sean Heary
  • Paperback: 406 pages
  • Publisher: Troubador Publishing (19 Jun. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1789013445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1789013443

BLURB Since his rise to power, Russian President Alexander Volkov has increasingly engaged in hostile activities as he attempts to rebuild the Russian Empire. In support of his tactics, the Russian FSB has forged a Concordat dated 1939 in which the Vatican supposedly agreed to cease all opposition to the Nazi government in return for being appointed the official state religion of the Third Reich.

Planting the counterfeit in a Berlin apartment, the FSB engineer a plan to blackmail the Vatican via the son of a murdered former East German Stasi colonel. The Vatican reluctantly agrees to acquire the counterfeit to prevent it falling into the hands of the Church's enemies, sending the head of the Vatican Police, Lorenzo Rossi, to Germany to negotiate with the blackmailer. But Rossi's flight is delayed and by the time he arrives the blackmailer is dead and the Concordat has vanished.

Rossi follows a deadly trail to Paris and onto Moscow, where he meets Cathy Doherty, a CIA Agent with a passion for all things Russian. Together they set out to establish the origins of the Concordat, and its intended purpose. Armed with information provided by a CIA informant, the forger is identified. Will Rossi be able to recover the Concordat and flee Russia with his life?

Sean Heary lived for many years only a stone’s throw from the Kremlin. No wonder he writes political thrillers. He also worked for several years in Tashkent, Uzbekistan where he met his wife. Born and raised in Australia, Sean now makes Germany his home.

Twitter @Sean_Heary

Goodreads :

My journey to The Concordat

I grew up in Perth, Western Australia where I spent most of my youth surfing. Although I did English Literature at school, I wasn’t a big reader. More into maths and physics.

It wasn’t until I was at university I read. I stumbled onto Jude the Obscure and I was hooked. I thought Thomas Hardy should write all books.  Then I saw a poster of great literary figures in an Irish pub. Discovered James Joyce. Started with his thin works before tackling Ulysses. I’ve read the first 400 pages twice. Still not sure how it ends.

At this point in my life, I figured only the English and Irish could write. That led me to Evelyn Waugh. I read them all with a smile on my face. Such humour.

Later I travelled. Lived in the former Soviet Union. I came of age during the Cold War. But it wasn't until my first winter in Moscow I comprehended the significance of the time and place. First thriller was Gorky Park. I loved it. Can you imagine how I felt when I stepped through the towering gates of the Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure into Martin Cruz Smith’s book.

Red square, Kremlin, Arbat, I lived them all. Murmansk, Norilsk, Magadan, Moscow, St Petersburg, Tashkent, Almaty, Kiev - a new city every month.

Then came John le CarrĂ©. And a move to A Small Town in Germany (Bonn for those who haven’t read the book). Walking the streets of the Spy Who Came in From the Cold, I’d found my calling.

The Concordat took three years to write because I didn’t know what I was doing. Had spent a lifetime writing business reports, so I knew where to put a comma, but writing a thriller required a complete retooling.

I hope you agree the outcome is excellent and augurs well for the sequel which I am halfway through. I’m aiming for a publishing date around the first anniversary of The Concordat (August 2019).