Thursday, October 27, 2016

Book Tour & Giveaway ~ When Glass Shatters by J.P. Grider

When Glass Shatters
by J.P. Grider
Book Type: Fiction
Genre: New Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Fated Hearts Publishing
Publication Date: October 1, 2016
 The deaths of her mother and new stepfather leave eighteen-year-old Lorraine Mattina with many challenges. 

The first?
Telling her twelve-year-old siblings their worlds are about to shatter.

The second?
Asking her estranged stepbrother for help.

The deaths of his father and his father's new wife mean practically nothing to nineteen-year-old Noah Mack—until the stepsister he barely knows comes begging for help. His response? Pretty much—"Get the hell lost."

But when he can't get his new stepsister out of his mind, he goes to the extreme and gives up the NCAA Wrestling Championship title and his college education.

That's when the real problems begin.

Lorraine and Noah face many obstacles when picking up the pieces of their parents' deaths, but none as big as the secrets they keep.

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 Lorraine sat on the couch in the back of the room, as far away from the caskets as she could be. She hadn’t yet taken a close look at her mother. That would take courage. Mimi was up front greeting everyone the whole time, but near the end, she came to check on her granddaughter. “Come on, Rainy. I’ll go with you.”
Lorraine shook her head. “Not yet.”
“It’s almost the end of the first session. Come on.”
Not budging from the seat, Lorraine asked, “Where’s Grandpa? I thought he was coming.”
“He is. His flight comes in at five. He has a car picking him up at the airport. He had to take care of the condo and stuff, since it’ll be empty for a while.”
“Grandpa and I are going to live with you for a while.”
Lorraine was relieved. “Thank God,” she whispered.
Mimi squeezed Lorraine’s knee. “Your mother left you kids to me in her will, and Norah's father left Norah to Tatum if something happened to him, so it makes sense for your grandfather and me to move into your house.”
“Yes. Don't worry. That’s why Grandpa is making arrangements.” Mimi patted Lorraine's knee. “Come on now. Let’s go see your mother.”
Lorraine did not want to see her mother. Not like this. She wanted to remember her the way she was when she was alive, not lying lifeless in a casket in a funeral home. “I really don’t want—”
“Rainy. Come on. Carter did it.”
Lorraine did notice Carter standing at the casket earlier. He stood there almost as still as his mother was lying in the casket. “Where is he now?”
“I don’t know.” Mimi took Lorraine’s hand and walked with her up to the caskets.
Lorraine stopped in front of Brick’s casket first. Her grandmother didn’t protest, but she did let go of Lorraine’s hand and back away. At least her mother and Brick were together. They could comfort each other, she thought as she looked at Brick, but it was getting difficult for Lorraine to breathe. She’d look at Brick and then side-eye her mother. She knew she had to do it, but how? Breathe, Lorraine. Breathe. One side-step to the right, and then she stopped. Inhale, exhale. Inhale. Exhale. If Lorraine didn’t remind herself how to breathe, she’d run out of air. She tried to take another side-step to the right, but before she did, a hand took hers. It wasn’t her grandmother’s; it was too large and not very soft. Noah. He didn’t say a word. He pulled her to the right with a gentle tug and brought her to her mother. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. Her heart was pounding, her chest was tight, and it was getting even harder to breathe.
Still holding her hand, Noah took a step forward and knelt on the bench in front of them. Lorraine had no choice but to do the same; he was still holding on to her hand. Noah remained quiet as he exchanged one of his hands for the other, never disconnecting from Lorraine’s. With his right hand now in Lorraine’s, his left hand was free to run slowly up and down her back, a tender touch of encouragement. Lorraine didn’t know why, but this last gesture caused her heart to stop, her breath to halt, and her tears to gush. With her free hand, she covered her mouth as she let out what sounded like a grunt and a yelp.
“Breathe, Lorraine,” Noah whispered right into her ear. “Breathe.”
She wiped at her wet face, then reached out her arm to touch her mother. Her fingers lingered just above her mother’s shoulder, but she couldn’t bring herself to actually touch. The mint blouse. She should have picked the coral one. Maybe she wouldn’t look so pale. More of Lorraine’s tears leaked from her eyes. Noah’s hand was still on her back, and she could feel its heat through to her chest. “How am I going to live without you, Mom?” she whispered. “What am I supposed to do?” Her fingers never actually touching her mother, Lorraine brought her hand back to her face and wiped at the wetness again. “Please don’t leave me, Mom. Please come back. Please. Please come back, Mama,” she barely uttered out loud. She dropped her head onto the wooden stand and sobbed. Noah’s hand came up on her shoulder, while his other hand squeezed hers. She was sobbing so hard that it hurt in her belly. Noah let go of her hand and placed two fingers beneath her chin to raise her head, and without hesitation, Lorraine leaned into Noah and cried into his chest. It hurt so badly that her body felt paralyzed, yet all she wanted to do was scream and run and disappear into thin air. She couldn’t be here anymore. Lorraine didn’t know how to move on from here. The next minute scared her, never mind the next week, or month, or year. Her mother was her everything. How could she exist without her? How could she move on?
After soaking Noah’s shirt with her tears, for she hadn’t an idea how long, Lorraine pulled back only when her grandmother’s hand cupped around her arm. “Rainy,” she whispered.
“Oh, Mimi,” she cried as she got up and hugged her grandmother, a new set of tears pouring from her eyes.
“Come on. We’re going home.”

Prize ~ One winner: When Glass Shatters (signed paperback) by J.P. Grider - (international)
Date ~ October 24 – 29, 2016

J.P. Grider is a New Adult and Young Adult author who is a sucker for a good love story - whether it's reading one or writing one. And when she's not reading or writing a fairy tale, she's living one. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Review & Release Blitz ~ Heated Pursuit (Alpha Security #1) by April Hunt {Giveaway}

Heated Pursuit
(Alpha Security #1)
by April Hunt
Paperback, 304 pages
Publication date: October 25th 2016 by Forever

The first in an all-new romantic suspense series from debut author April Hunt, perfect for fans of Julie Ann Walker, Lora Leigh, and Rebecca Zanetti!

Penny Kline didn't come to Honduras on a pleasure trip. She's here to rescue her kidnapped niece, the only family she's got left. What she didn't plan on was walking into a covert ops mission---or being wrapped up in the hard-muscled arms of Rafe Ortega. The cool-as-ice operative's touch may get her all hot and bothered, but no man can have a hold on her heart until her niece is home where she belongs.

Even in the tropics, Alpha Security operative Rafe can take down the bad guys without breaking a sweat. Hostage extractions. Clandestine missions. Those are the things he's been trained to handle. Relationships? Not so much. But one look at this strong, sexy redhead and he's seized by a fierce urge to protect her at all costs. Now Penny and Rafe will have to up their game because they're about to go into a master criminal's lair without backup, and the danger---and passion---is about to explode . . .

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Allow him?” Penny’s gentle tone froze all five men to their spots. Instead of shrinking as she kicked off her heels, her stature grew. She glanced pointedly at each of them before landing on Trey, and never once raised her voice. “If Rafe had insisted on bringing any kind of security, it would’ve made it look like he had something to hide.”
“Yeah, but he didn’t need to agree to letting you tag along,” Trey argued.
She shrugged. “Fuentes likes women. Isn’t that why we thought sending me into the club with Rafe was a good idea to begin with? We got his attention. We got in. I’m not going to question why, and having been after this guy for months, neither should you.”
“We shouldn’t, but we are,” Stone interjected. “Too many innocents have been affected by Fuentes. We’re not eager to add to the tally.”
“My name was added to that list the moment the bastard took the only family I have left!”
As the rest of the team focused on Penny, Rafe’s gaze cut to his best friend. If he didn’t know Trey so well, he would’ve missed the minute twitch of his left eye. Faint, quick, and only happening once before Trey pulled himself back together, the brief flicker was his friend’s only physical show of weakness.
Rafe treaded carefully, clearing his throat. “I think what Stone means, Red, is that playing arm candy for a few hours is a hell of a lot different than having you under Fuentes’s roof—literally.”
“Then I won’t do it.”
“Thank fucking God,” Trey mumbled.
When Penny folded her arms across her chest, fluffing up the already impressive view, Rafe knew there was more. “If you can tell me right now there isn’t the slightest chance Diego will rescind his invite if I back out, then I’ll stay behind.” No one could make that claim, and the grim smile on her face indicated she knew it. “No? Then I’m going.”
Stone perched on the edge of the couch. His gaze was stern, but his voice surprisingly gentle. “You have to understand something, sweetheart. We have no idea where the Fuentes compound is. The entire international alphabet-fucking-soup has been trying to track the bastard down for years. We’re their last line of defense before they have to tuck tails and admit they’ve fucked up.”
She tossed her hands up in the air with a growl. “Which is why it doesn’t make sense that you’d be willing to risk the chance of Fuentes telling us to bug off! You’ve never gotten this close before.”
Trey intervened. “You’d be going into this op dark, Penn—no backup if things go to shit. No support. We can’t send you in with wires or run-of-the-mill tracking chips, because the paranoid bastard has the capability of finding them. It’ll just be you and Rafe. And if things go to hell, it’ll be the two of you and the Honduran rain forest.”
“Good thing I was a Girl Scout, then, huh? I wasn’t blowing smoke up your skirts when I said I’d do anything to get Rachel back. The question is are you going to let me?”
Fuck no. The red-blooded man in Rafe wanted her sweet ass on a plane. Out of sight. Out of mind. And out of danger. But the trained operative grudgingly admitted that she had a point. Her leaving at this juncture in the game would make their job more difficult than if she stayed.
Still, it wasn’t Rafe’s call to make—thank fucking God.
Stone, looking a hell of a lot like a gargoyle, went quiet. That alone wasn’t what alarmed Rafe, because the Alpha head often kept his thoughts under a tightly sealed wrap. What had Rafe holding his breath was the way Stone tapped his fingers against his thigh…as if he was in deep thought.
And then his boss’s gaze shifted to him. Fuckin’ A.
“The decision’s yours, Ortega.” Lips pressed into a thin line, Stone’s expression looked anything but thrilled. “You’re the one going on the inside with her. I know I don’t have to remind you that you’re going into this deaf and blind. Bail enforcement or not, Penny’s not Alpha trained. That means on top of everything else you’re responsible for, you need to add her to the list—and right at the damn top.”
“He doesn’t need to—”
“Yeah, he does. Though you can hit a target and inflict a fair amount of damage, you’re green. You’ve never been on this kind of an op. Hell, even Ortega hasn’t.”
But no fucking pressure. Dealing with Taliban leaders in the middle of the desert had nothing on the expectant stare Penny slid his way. On the exterior, she looked the poster girl for calm and cool. Direct gaze. Back straight. But the subtle bite to her lower lip identified it as a carefully controlled ruse.
He wanted to say what his team expected him to—no fucking way. But the words wouldn’t come.
Though he didn’t have family in the true sense of the word, everyone associated with Alpha was his family—even their ball-buster analyst, Charlie. If he were in Penny’s shoes, he’d turn over every rock in the Afghan desert, search every damn block of ice in the Arctic, and make a deal with the devil if it meant the safe return of his family. That same brand of loyalty was etched on every feminine curve of Penny’s face.
Lives counted on their success, and not just their own, but Rachel’s and the countless others being subjected to Freedom and God only knew what other nasty drugs Fuentes pedaled around the globe.
Meeting Penny’s gaze, Rafe mentally relived the last week—Penny sparring in the training room, the too-close-for-comfort scuffle in the alley, and the professional ease with which she handled the meeting with Fuentes. Hell, she’d been the one who remained casually aloof while he nearly reached across the table and throttled the sick fuck with his bare hands.
He couldn’t believe he was going to fucking say it. “Don’t make me regret agreeing to this, Red.”

Hang on to your seats dear reader because in Heated Pursuit, we are introduced to some really hot, sexy alpha males and a spunky heroine who can kick some major butt any day. Mix in a hunt for a missing friend that leads right smack in the middle of a drug ring, and you know that you are in for an intense and sexy ride. 

The plot for Heated Pursuit was engaging and the characters complex and well-developed.  Although this masterfully crafted story had most of the elements I crave in a romantic suspense, I would have like to have seen a lot more suspense and a lot less sex. Not that the sex is bad, heavens was intense and hot!  Sadly, I found myself skipping the hot and steamy parts just because there were too many and I found myself wanting to get to the heart of the story. Rafe and Penny are all over each other A LOT and I just became exhausted reading about it.  Put all the sex aside though and Heated Pursuit was a wild and intense reading experience that left me wanting more.

Heated Pursuit was an amazing introduction to the Alpha Security series, and a spectacular debut by the talented April Hunt.  It was exciting and engaging, and it had me hooked from beginning to end. I can’t wait to see where this series goes!

3 1/2 stars

April blames her chocolate addiction on being born near the country chocolate capital in Hershey, Pennsylvania. When April's not busy raising her husband and two young children (yes, that's worded correctly), she can be found writing about her next brooding alpha hero and the woman he never knew he needed, but now can't live without.

Release Day Celebration & Giveaway ~ In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Release Day Celebration for the
In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales Anthology
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Happy Book Birthday!
In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher:  Month9Books

In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books. 

IN THE BEGINNING, ed. Laureen Cantwell and Georgia McBride

Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements
A troubled orphan named Habakkuk dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to mind-breaking evil until his master's zealous defiance of the king's law seals their fate.

Babylon by Nicole Crucial
Far above the earth, in Second Eden, where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer, the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she'll fulfill her destiny, she and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live.

Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays
A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world will be shaken.

The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson
Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he's meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.

The Deluge by Marti Johnson
A non-believer shares the story of Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness, and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom.

Condemned by Elle O'Neill
Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life.

First Wife by Lora Palmer
In a first-person retelling of the saga of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah's sister Rachel.

Emmaculate by Christina Raus
Based on the story of Mary's Immaculate Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.
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In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales
Publication Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher:  Month9Books

From THE DEMON WAS ME, by Sharon Hughson: 
The ghastly black fog overtook me. Icicles pierced my back. Every muscle in my body spasmed. I plunged face-first against the ground. Something sharp gouged my cheek. Shivery tingles pervaded my insides. A vile presence pressed against my mind.
            “Get out!” I rolled to my back, arms outstretched. I wanted to fight, throw the intruder off me. But how can you resist something as ethereal as air?
            Laughter rang in my ears. Sinister. It shuddered against my soul. Terror and hopelessness collided in my chest. A foreign power clutched at my mind.
            I screamed. I rolled to my side and squeezed my eyes shut. If only I could disappear.
            Another dark wave of laughter echoed through my skull. Convulsions gripped me.
Against my will, my limbs flailed in every direction. A spike pressed into my mind. I cradled my throbbing head. My body, a tumbleweed in the wind, spun on the ground.

From EMMACULATE, by Christina Raus:
The Ten Commandments are pretty straightforward. Killing? Bad. Lying? Nope. Adultery? Don’t even think about it. But is real life really that straightforward? If you tell your boyfriend that you’re going golfing, when really you’re going out to cheat on him, is the lying or the adultery worse? What if you stab the guy you’re having an affair with? Isn’t being a murderer worse than being a cheater? I think the stabbing is worse than the lying and the cheating combined. So, it was kind of unfair for God to group killing, lying, and cheating all together under one umbrella. They all seemed really different.
I was an adulterer. I couldn’t deny that. I was also a liar. A very, very good liar. But I wasn’t a murderer.

From THE DELUGE, by Marti Johnson:
The stench of mildew and mold is heavy in our nostrils, and my lungs feel as though they are on fire. My breathing is audible in the lulls between the thunderclaps. My mother huddles, shivering, propped between two rocks. She is coughing painfully, and I can hear her teeth chattering.
It is hard to breathe because the air itself is full of water.
A deeper shadow has fallen across the side of the mountain on which we are sheltering. I pull aside the brambles, and gasp in amazement when I realize what it is. “Look!” I call to the others, and point at the sight. The ark has risen with the water, and now bobs up and down. It sits high in the water. We hear nothing from it but the creaking of the wood timbers and the sound of the branches and rocks on the hillside scraping against its hull.

From DANIEL AND THE DRAGON, by Stephen Clements:
Your god is a liar!” roared the wizened man in thin black robes, as he pounded his breast with his fist.
Habakkuk stood by the gates of the temple as his master picked a fight with a sanctuary full of the slavish followers of Bel, a bloodthirsty demon god. A fire raged in the fanged maw of a giant, stone head sunken into the back of the temple, there to receive the offerings rendered unto Bel. He had seen this before in other temple raids with his master, though not on such a massive scale, and not at the heart of the demon cult in Babylon itself. The fire raged as the greatest offering that the Babylonians—who adored Bel above all other gods—could sacrifice to their deity was their own newborn children, rolled their screaming, helpless bodies down a stone, handshaped altar into the fire. They offered the fruit of their wombs to their dark god, who devoured the innocent souls sacrificed to him in eldritch rituals.

Stephen Clements
To tell you a little about myself, I've been there, done that, and tried not to get run over or shot. I'm big on travel, having made it to four continents, 18 countries (two of which involved a war), and I'm always going to more. I earned my Bachelor's and Master's in Political Science at the University of Memphis. Being a Memphian means there's a certain amount of dirty you can never scrub off your soul, no matter how much you try.
My greatest literary inspiration was Lord John Julius Norwich, who changed my life forever when I read his Byzantium trilogy as a teenager. His writing was so brilliant, and the subject matter so inspiring, that I've been a Byzantophile ever since, and it has shaped everything involving my brain. When I got the pleasure of sending him a copy of To Save A Life, my already large ego expanded exponentially. Here I was, a new author, and my literary hero said he wanted to read my book!
I enjoy good history books, political commentary, and good fiction. I make my own wine, smoke the hookah, and believe you should never trust someone with no vices.
I once drank liquor out of a hobo's jacket in Transylvania and Red Bull from a Turkish cabbie. I've lived.
Nicole Crucial
Nicole Crucial (Nikki) has spent most of her life in central North Carolina with her family and furry friends. She is a writer, social media aficionado, feminist, and cat lover, among other things. She is also a student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (even though she's ambivalent about the beach), studying creative writing, communication studies, English, German, and publishing.
In addition to blogging about eclectic topics, she writes short stories, young adult novels, and poetry. Nikki's work is featured in the 2015-2016 Second Story Journal, Runestone Journal vol. 2, and Month9Books's In the Beginning anthology.
Mike Hays
Read. Write. Repeat.
I like stories. Reading them, writing them, watching them and researching them. I like stories.
Mike Hays is a husband, father, and microbiologist from Kansas. Besides writing, he has been a high school strength and conditioning coach, a football coach and a baseball coach. He writes from a boy point of view and hopes to spread his particular style of stupid-funny inspiration through his books, blogs and social media.
His debut upper middle grade historical fiction novel, THE YOUNGER DAYS, was released by the MuseItYoung imprint of MuseItUp Publishing in March of 2012 and was the recipient of a 2012 Catholic Writer’s Guild Seal of Approval Award. He is a member of the Catholic Writer’s Guild, has published three football coaching articles, co-authored several scientific papers and is the co-inventor of two US patents.
Sharon Hughson
Nurtured through a troubled teen-hood by Aslan in Narnia, Sharon Hughson has long appreciated the power of the written word. As soon as she learned to read, Sharon devoured every book she touched. Eventually, she discovered that fantasy stimulated her “creative brain.” The more “real-to-life” a story was, the less she enjoyed it. Reading was her portal to elsewhere.
As the years rolled on, the words beckoned to her. She wrote skits or articles, and still the make-believe stories clawed for escape. To release the beast, Sharon finished her English literature degree and started writing fictional stories.
When she isn’t writing, Sharon works as a substitute teacher in local middle and high schools, and enjoys outdoor activities when it’s sunny and scrapbooking family memories when Oregon sunshine (rain) makes its appearance. She lives near the Columbia River with her husband and three cats.
For more information: visit her Author page at Roane Publishing or Amazon.
Marti Johnson
Elle O'Neill
Lora Palmer
I'm a YA writer and avid fan of fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and dystopian stories. My debut novel THE MIRRORMASTERS, a YA sci-fi/fantasy, is now available from Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press). I live in beautiful Bucks County, PA, with my wonderful husband and our mischievous cat. In my spare time, I sing in a praise band, Chalice Sounds.
Christina Raus
Christina Raus is an MFA student with a focus in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College, where she is working on her first novel.
Her short story "Emmaculate" will be published in the YA charity anthology IN THE BEGINNING (Month9Books), out October 2016.
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Book Review ~ Unspeakable by Sandra Brown

by Sandra Brown
Expected publication: October 25th 2016
by Grand Central Publishing
(first published January 1st 1998)

Carl Herbold is a cold-blooded psychopath who has just escaped the penitentiary where he was serving a life sentence. Bent on revenge, he's going back to where he began--Blewer County, Texas... Born deaf, lately widowed, Anna Corbett fights to keep the ranch that is her son's birthright, unaware that she is at the center of Herbold's horrific scheme--and that her world of self-imposed isolation is about to explode...

Drifter Jack Sawyer arrives at Anna's ranch asking for work, hoping to protect the innocent woman and her son from Herbold's rage. But Sawyer can't outrun the secrets that stalk him--or the day of reckoning awaiting them all...

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It’s been awhile since I picked up a book written by Sandra Brown and from what I recall from previous novels, her writing and stories were amazing.  With that being said, I was somewhat disappointed in Unspeakable.  It’s not that it was bad per say, it was just extremely slow going for me with a lot of drawn out fluff that almost made this a DNF.  I’m glad that I stuck it out though as the ending to me was most exciting part of the book where all the action occurred and questions were finally answered.
There is a lot of violence in Unspeakable and not a ton of romance, so if you are looking for the romance part, this book probably won’t satisfy you.  But if you are looking for a suspenseful mystery, then give this one a try.  Stick with it though and don’t give up because the ending is what makes this book shine.
3 ½ stars

Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including FRICTION (2015), MEAN STREAK (2014), DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), & TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010).
Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.
In 2009 Brown detoured from romantic suspense to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving historical fiction story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.
Brown was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.