Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, among the barbecues, picnics, and parades, let's take a moment to stop and remember our loved ones who've gone before us.  Celebrate those around us.  But most importantly, let's honor those who fought for and sacrificed their very lives for the freedoms we hold dear.

God bless America - let freedom ring!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Reviewing A Guilty Mind

My apologies for being tardy with today's review.  After a late night power outage and a "you don't want to know what else happened" kinda day, I'm finally able to get logged back into the blog and write this belated review.  Forgive me, Kellie, for not being able to give a full day promotion of your great book. 

Sometimes life throws us a bit of a curve around which we must drive. 

That summary also applies to the contents of Kellie Larsen Murphy's A Guilty Mind.  Join me in exploring this intriguing psychological mystery!

Book Summary:
George Vandenberg is a broken man with a volatile temper, haunted by the memory of the young woman he once loved and "accidentally" killed.  Wrestling with the guilt and pushed by his psychiatrist to confess the circumstances of her death, he teeters on the edge of a nervous breakdown.  The past collides with the present when the doctor turns up dead, brutally stabbed to death in his office.  Stunned and confused, George emerges as the primary suspect even as he becomes a target himself.  To prove his innocence, George must face the police, his manipulative wife, and the past he's been unable to forget.  When the truth is finally divulged, no one, including George, is prepared for the collateral damage or the shocking identity of the killer.

My Review:
The opening scene immediately grabbed my attention and made me want to explore "who done it" even further.  Dr. Michael is on the cusp of a breakthrough in helping one of his most troubling patients, staying in his office late at night to review audio recordings of his recent sessions.  Then the unthinkable happens as someone the good doctor knows sneaks in and murders him.

Several patients are immediately suspect, and Detective Cancini has his work cut out for him - particularly when the widow points a finger toward those patients who transferred over to her husband's care after the "murder" of her psychiatrist brother a year earlier.

One man eventually makes the top of the suspect list - one George Vandenberg, a successful, wealthy family man on the surface.  Underneath is a dark and painful past he attempts to placate with booze.  His marriage to his controlling and pretentious wife is a sham, as he pines for his younger days and the only woman he ever really loved.

The one he killed.

I found this story to be an intriguing read.  Pacing is at times fast and then slows down as we get to know the players on the field, but it never feels bogged down.  The characters are well developed with back stories full of secrets that have shattered them into the jagged-edged people they've become.  It's at times heartbreaking.

There are plenty of red herrings in the story, so don't expect to be able to pin-point the perpetrator right away.  However, if you're paying close attention, you'll probably figure out the "who done it" before the end.

And what an end!

I'd pretty much figured things out by the time of the unveiling - but I was unprepared for the completely unexpected twist at the end.  I'm still not sure how I feel about that one, but it DID take me by surprise.

That's something rather difficult to do, in my experience.  But it's also something that makes me like a book even more.  I enjoy being surprised in the end because it doesn't happen very often.

And that's where I give this novel very high ratings indeed.  So if you're looking for a great Memorial weekend read, pick up a copy of Kellie Larsen Murphy's A Guilty Mind.

Author Bio:
Kellie Larsen Murphy is a freelance writer who has worked in both the banking and publishing industries. In recent years, she has written on a variety of subjects and been featured frequently in several mid-Atlantic magazines. Her debut novel, A Guilty Mind, is the first in a series featuring Detective Michael Cancini. The second in the series, Stay of Execution, will be available in 2013. Kellie lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two dogs. She would be happy to hear from readers through her website,

Amazon Kindle eBook $2.99

Amazon Print $11.44 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

EBook Versus Print - Why the Battle?

There's been ongoing discussion for years now in the publishing world concerning the validity of print books versus digital.  The debate continues and remains fluid, but I rather like my guest's viewpoint.  Why not enjoy a bit of both?  Please join me in welcoming to the blog author Kellie Larsen Murphy!

I read recently that printed books are for people who love printed books and digital books are for people who love digital books. It was written as though it was an either or decision. I disagree with that idea. Wholeheartedly. Yes, I know a few people who have turned to digital exclusively. I also know people who have never read a digital book in their life and don't intend to. But I truly believe most people will and do read both.
However, with the steady growth in ebook sales, there is growing concern that the printed book will disappear.  While I don't know the exact numbers of ebooks sold by Amazon so far this year, I do know that there are well over a million available. I know this because Amazon tells me every time I'm looking at a print version of a book. For a company like Amazon, digitally delivering the product is clearly more profitable than packing and shipping a physical item. It's no wonder the ebook is a favorite product.
Out of curiosity, I recently went to the website of a large publisher to see how they packaged or sold their ebooks. It came as a surprise to me that they didn't sell ebooks at all. You could purchase the hardcover version directly from the publisher but if you wanted the ebook version, you were directed to a list of 8 or 9 sellers including Amazon. I just couldn't understand this. The costs (minimal as they were) of producing that ebook had already been incurred. Why send your customers elsewhere? I do know, however, this is not true with all major publishers.
As a self-published author, I recognize the ease of e-publishing. A writer can use KDP exclusively or use Smashwords or employ a service to format their book. Either way, the process is relatively painless and within minutes after publishing, the book is available for sale. For the reader, hitting the "buy" button means you have a new book to read in minutes or seconds. Who doesn't love that? Of course, the popularity of ebooks is growing among readers and here's why:
·        Instant gratification (mentioned above).
·        No storage issues. You won't be on Hoarders because you have too many books.
·        Lower costs. Even best sellers are significantly lower than their hardcover counterparts. I do find it more difficult to buy a $12.99 ebook, however, than to pay $23.95 for a hardcover I really want. Why is that?
·        Easy to transport. It's easier to pack one Kindle on vacation vs. 5 paperbacks.
As an author, producing a digital version of your book is obviously a no-brainer. Yet, self-published authors still grapple with whether or not to publish a print version. Because I believe print books are not going away (at least not during the remainder of my lifetime), it wasn't a difficult decision for me. I love books and that includes printed books. Of course, like many other writers, I have a mother who would not be satisfied with showing all her friends the digital version.
The truth is, however, there are many practical reasons to publish in print:
·        You can keep signed copies in your bag or car to distribute and expand your audience. Several friends read my book last year and then ordered copies for me to sign as gifts.
·        Having a printed book lets authors participate in more book gathering events. In May, I will be participating in a "Celebrate With a Book" event that draws almost two dozen writers. Printed books are often necessary for conferences, too.
·        Speaking at book clubs is a pleasure and while many readers will download your book, some book clubs prefer printed books.
·        A printed book with a gorgeous cover (and the author's name in big bold letters!) is beautiful.
·        Your local independent bookstore might be willing to let you launch your book or hold a book signing there. That counts as publicity.
·        Nobody wants to get sand all over their Kindle, iPad, phone, etc. Sometimes print is the best option.
Although it's true that some famous authors have taken to advertising about saving printed books, the death of reading is not an issue. I know parents who have told me the Kindle and Nook are the reason their child is reading. The youth of today live in a digital world. They play games digitally, produce schoolwork digitally, and network digitally. Reading in a digital format is natural to them. The important thing is they are reading. And for me, that is really the point as a writer. Surely no writer of the past laments the death of tablets, or scrolls, or quill pens, or even the typewriter. The tools and instruments of publishing are only that.
The future of publishing as it exists today may be unknown, but reading is here to stay.
Many thanks, Kellie, for your insight into the realm of publishing.  For additional information, please visit her website at  It will sure be interesting to be a part of what the next ten years holds for authors and readers alike. 
And speaking of readers, be sure and pick up a copy of Kellie Larsen Murphy's excellent book, A Guilty Mind.  I'll be posting a review of it in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned!