Kim Talks Books does Facebook

kimtalksbooks.comYes, it’s true!

After many years of simply having my little book blog connected to my author FB page, I took the plunge and set up its own page. Yes, that’s right. You can now follow my reviews and book talk on Facebook. Some posts will be the same as here; others will be FB exclusive.

So if you’re on Facebook and you want to find out the latest about the books I write, then go here. But if you want to keep up with the books I’m reading, authors I’m chatting with and all general lit chat, then you should go here. And Kim Talks Books has its own Twitter profile too, which is linked to this page *and* the FB page, so you’ll never miss out on anything there.

Coming Soon: Defined by Others by MCV Egan

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The Trailer for Defined by Others by MCV Egan

A Sneak Peek at Chapter One of Defined by Others

Chapter One

I sat in Pete’s office after the video ended, staring at the screen with her frozen image. The illness that eventually took her life left her looking gaunt and ravaged. When her coffin was lowered into the grave the day before I was left feeling as if with her body, her casket, her illness they were also burying that which makes life an adventure and with that much of my youth and perhaps some part of my future.
As I stared at her face my mouth felt dry, my hands had a slight tremor mimicking my lower lip, and not even in my thoughts could I quite find a word to define this moment, to describe my feelings. I burst out crying in loud, wracking sobs and I heard the door open. Through my heavy tears the contact lenses swam and moved in my eyes, making everything seem a blur. I felt the hand on my shoulder before he handed me the tissues.
“Can I get you something Anne? Anything? Water? Coffee?” he asked.
I blew my nose and composed myself as best I could.
“Water, ice cold water would be nice.”
“It’s a little early, but I can offer you something stronger if you’d prefer,” he said as he walked toward a bar in the back of his office.
“No, thanks. Water with ice will be fine.”
The musical clink of the ice cubes against the glass was the familiar tone made only by fine crystal. I recognized the Baccarat pattern; it was the same as the crystal in my parents’ home. He hesitated and cleared his throat before he spoke again.
“I know speaking ill of the dead is in very poor taste, but Amanda was not a nice person. I am bound, as her attorney, to follow her instructions to the letter. You can watch what is obviously a pretty nasty recording as many times as you wish, but when you are done I need to destroy it, in front of you. Then I am to hand you a box, and again you are to open it in absolute privacy, so preferably not in this office. Can I suggest I destroy it right here and now? I have pliers and I can smash the flash drive into nothing.”
“It really is not at all what you imagine. She was even nice and apologized in it. She could be an absolute bitch, but my tears and sadness are not for her.”
“Oh, I see. How’s your dad doing?”
“Better.”
“We were all surprised to see you at the funeral. I actually expected to fly down to Florida and hand all this to you there. She left a nice expense account for that. How long have you been in town?”
“Just a few days. Mom assumed they’d be flying up for Thanksgiving. They are so afraid Obama will get re-elected after the Romney tape that they wanted to vote in person.”
“He might win you know. Although you would not know it in this town by the Romney signs everywhere.”
“Signs can’t vote.”
“Spoken like a true Democrat.”
“Yeah, yet another choice where I absolutely failed my parents.”
“Don’t knock yourself, I do not think any of us live up to parental expectations.”
I drank the ice cold water and nodded my head at the screen. No words were needed as he closed the file and Amanda’s face disappeared from the screen.
He pulled out the flash drive and reached into a drawer. He crunched and cracked the flash drive so viciously that I knew he too had fallen prey to one or more of Amanda’s nasty games.
“I think it is pretty much done. If you are not sure, why don’t you shoot it?”
“That is not a bad idea.”
We started to laugh in unison. I did not recognize it at the time, later though it became clear that we bonded, laughing over the nasty remains of a common enemy. I gathered my things, including the package Amanda had bequeathed me, and Pete walked me to the car.
“It would only be a conflict of interest to offer help in anything regarding Amanda, so if you need any help with your parents’ home, don’t hesitate to call me. Do you still have the card I gave you yesterday at the funeral?”
“It is such a small town, Pete, even if I lose the card, now that everyone knows I’m here it will be hard to avoid me.”
I stopped at the grocery store on my way home since everyone in town knew I was there, there was no sense in driving into the city to get what I needed. I had already put a nice dent in Mom’s pantry and Dad’s bar. I had been there well over a week, trying to understand what I had missed, how I had not known about Frank. Then Amanda died and curiosity got the better of me. What did Alison say? Her voice echoed in my mind;
‘Enemies always attend each other’s funerals. I guess it is a way of knowing they won …’
Well, we weren’t always enemies, and sometimes it is the good and healthy memories that make someone attend a funeral. Amanda was the first of us to die. At forty-seven it seemed too young to bury a contemporary. Once she was diagnosed, it was only a matter of time. In fact, it was pretty amazing she lasted as long as she did, money it seems, can buy you time if nothing else. And in 2012, time can mean science and technology might just come up with some medication or medical treatment that changes everything.
Unfortunately, it had not worked for Amanda, but so far it had worked for my dad. This last stroke seemed to be the first time he had an untimely health issue, with no easy fix in sight.
Amanda fought hard for a good two years and then lost; the image of her greenish skin color and emaciated body made that perfectly clear. Her beautiful heart-shaped face was gaunt, and her eyes were sunken in the video. However, the voice was the strangest and most unrecognizable trait. Was it karma to go so slowly and with so much suffering? Our shopping carts collided, and I was startled by that as much as I was startled by the tone of her voice.
“Hi Anne.”
“Connie? I did not see you at Amanda’s funeral yesterday. I just thought you were not in town.”
“I don’t like funerals, so I sent flowers, I saw the comments and pictures everyone posted on Facebook.
Frankly I was surprised you were there.”
“Facebook? People posted pictures from the funeral? I have some friends in Florida who use it but I personally avoid social media; I did consider it as a tool to spy on my kids.”
“Most people in town use it in a very public way.”
She looked at me in the oddest way so I had to ask.
“Is something wrong?”
She sighed, loudly the way a parent or teacher does when exasperated that a kid cannot give the right answer or tell the truth.
“You really don’t know do you?”
Small town gossip and now combined with the use of cyberspace, I could only assume was not a great combination. I began to feel uneasy and wondered if it had anything to do with Frank. I decided to disregard the thought. I simply could not imagine that whatever Connie was referring to was of any serious consequence to me.
“You know Connie, my dad is really ill, I am just here getting the house in order for my folks and trying to figure out the best way to help get them settled in
Florida full-time.”
“I am really sorry about your dad Anne. We really need to talk; it’s about Frank and… well it’s about Frank. I can go over to your parents’ house tonight, I’ll bring a nice dinner.”
This time I could easily and clearly find the word, THE WORD that defined the moment; dumbfounded. In a small town gossip travelled like wildfire; at least in this small town it did, but mom had assured me no-one knew about Frank. I was not sure what to say, but Connie’s abrupt manner did not give me much of a chance.
“I…”
“Believe me, this is just as uncomfortable for me as it is for you, but we really need to talk. Simply put, it is about Frank and Mike.”
I learned at a very young age about the moments that define us in life and how sometimes they feel as concrete as a ton of bricks falling loudly and painfully on top of us. This was one of those moments; not at all like the subtle hidden moment when Pete and I laughed together. So my mother was wrong and if my Frank’s problem was involved with Connie’s Mike. Well, there it was and it made sense now the smartphones were clicking away at the funeral. It was my turn to sigh, this one was a sigh of defeat.
“At what time tonight?”
“Is seven okay? Like I said I’ll bring dinner.”
“You really think we’ll be hungry under the circumstances? I asked perhaps in a tone too sarcastic and maybe even with a touch of cruelty.
“Fine, I’ll bring wine she answered.”
“I nodded robotically, I started to pile food into the shopping cart, and as the salesclerk rang it up I noticed that I had chosen all of my husband’s, Frank’s favorite foods.

About the Author

Screen Shot 2014-12-23 at 07.20.23M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan the author of The Bridge of Deaths in two versions as well as the soon to be released Defined by Others.
Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family. Communication in such a large family fueled her desire and need to find a voice and write.
She only spent her childhood in Mexico. Her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. From the early 1970s at the age of 12 she moved with her entire family to the United States.

Catalina was already fluent in Southern English as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award; ironically being the only one who had English as a second language in her class. In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977.

She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France at the Catholic University for two years. In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (The Swedish kind, not the football player kind) Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish business people. She returned to the USA in the late 1980s where she has been living ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.

Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son, who together with their five pound Chihuahua make her feel like a fulltime mother. Although she would not call herself an Astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in Astrology. This is one of her many past times when she is not writing or researching.

Get in touch with MCV Egan 

On Facebook

Blogs + Amazon

THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS

4covert2overt A Day In The Spotlight

Is History The Agreed Upon Lie?

 AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE 

Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Wallbanger_Cover-e1352210304296I’m always on the lookout for books that speak to me. Now, of course, I realise books are inanimate objects that won’t literally speak to me, but you know what I mean. You read the blurb, it sparks something inside you and you just know you must read that book. Well, that is exactly what happened with Alice Clayton‘s novel, Wallbanger.

I first heard about it on Facebook. I was on a book blog page (I think it was Novel Grounds) and some people were raving about it. Now, I usually avoid books people rave about because they don’t always live up to the hype. I glanced at the cover on Amazon every now and then, read the blurb, thought it sounded interesting but still didn’t buy it.

Finally two friends in the US read it and loved it and, since our taste in books is similar, I finally caved in and bought it. It took another few months before I finally read it, which I did last weekend while en route to London for the London Author Fair.

Was I disappointed? Absolutely not! Wallbanger is a fun read and the repartee between Simon and Caroline is quick, sexy and just a little silly (in a good way). And I rather liked Clive the cat. His antics made me laugh and snort a few times on my flight from Stockholm to London. 🙂

I think the only thing that didn’t work for me in Wallbanger were the text messages from her friends–since the entire novel was from Caroline’s POV, it felt a bit strange that there would suddenly be text messages between other characters and Caroline wasn’t a part of these conversations.

Still, that didn’t deter me from reading. I thought Wallbanger was nice, fluffy fun and, even though I’d figured out a few things halfway through the book, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment.

So now I’ve decided to read a few more Alice Clayton novels. That should take me through the weekend, especially since I have a cold now and feel like I need something to cheer me up. 🙂

Let’s get Snowbound on the bestseller list! :)

dfw-kg-sb-cover-2-3d-nologoSnowbound has been live now for around two weeks and, so far, I’ve had two reviews on Amazona four-star review (paperback) and a five-star review (Kindle edition). Thanks so much to Tamekia and Erni for posting your reviews! It really means a lot to me to hear from readers who enjoy the stories I write.

Now I’m trying to spread the word about my book. I made a flyer, which I posted on my Facebook author page, and I would love it if my readers here could share it and help others who like holiday-themed love stories or who want a fun book to pass the time discover Snowbound.

We managed to keep Choose Me on Amazon’s Top 50 bestseller list for Women’s Fiction and IR Romance for close to a month and that was a novella. Let’s see if we can get Snowbound to skyrocket up the charts as well! 🙂

In the meantime, I’m trying to get my book in local bookshops. I don’t write for the money–even though it would be wonderful to be able to write fulltime. I can’t imagine a life without writing. It’s what fulfills me and it gets me through the rough times in my life.

I have a dream that within the next two years, I will be able to support myself solely through my writing, and I hope you’ll join me for the journey.

And remember–if you’ve already read Snowbound and enjoyed it, please post a review on the site where you purchased it. Thank you so much for your support!

Happy reading (and writing)!

Can’t wait to read Nancy Barone’s The Husband Diet…coming soon!

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I love the cover for Nancy’s book!

I love it when one of my friends gets their big break! In a few weeks a book written by fellow Matera Brainstormer Nancy Barone will be published by Bookouture. And what’s really cool is that it’s a book she brainstormed with our group.

I think it was during our first brainstorming session that Nancy first told us about the story that would become The Husband Diet. I loved the premise and couldn’t wait to read it. Well in May I’ll be able to do just that! Intrigued? Well check out the back cover summary…

The Husband Diet

 Erica Cantelli’s life feels more suffocating than a size 4 dress.

 On the surface she’s maintaining the image of successful career woman, perfect wife and a doting mother with two wonderful children.

In reality she’s running out of hours in the day; 6 dress sizes bigger than she wants to be; and the only man who shows her any affection is her gay best friend.

In fact fantasizing about how to kill her increasingly disinterested husband is just about all that keeps Erica sane.  That and a whole different type of fantasizing about the incredibly handsome new school principal, Julian Foxham.

 When her husband jokes about trading her in for two size tens, Erica knows something has to change.  But is another diet really the answer?  Or is getting rid of him the fastest path to happiness?  Now if she could only stop thinking about the gorgeous Mr Foxham…

 For any woman who’s ever felt under-appreciated, or thought about giving up on their dreams.  Erica is a laugh-out-loud breath of fresh air.

I hope you’ll show Nancy some love by clicking ‘Like’ on her Facebook author page and then head over to her website to find out more about her writing and The Husband Diet. And don’t forget to buy The Husband Diet in May!

 Congratulations, Nancy! Can’t wait to help you brainstorm the next book! 😀

Gearing up for Nanowrimo 2012

What I will be doing 1-30 November…

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know I’ve been gabbing about Nanowrimo for a while. For the uninitiated, Nanowrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month and it’s like a big love-in for writers–we all become maniacs together and try to write 50,000+-word novels in 30 days. Now, granted, it’s become international–people around the world participate in Nanowrimo–but the name remains the same. And every year, there are people who frown upon Nanowrimo or who don’t see the point in doing Nanowrimo if the participant isn’t “serious about writing”. Sometimes I read these posts; often I ignore them. I don’t really care if someone else thinks Nanowrimo is stupid. I think Spinning is stupid but I don’t try to dissuade others who love it from doing it. Just don’t try to force me into a Spinning class with you. 😉

Many years, I’ve tried to finish Nanowrimo by being a “pantser”–one of those people who write without an outline, with no clear idea of where they want their story to go, they just write and let the words come to them. I only succeeded in that once and even then I finished one day late. Last year, I wrote a pretty detailed outline–though initially I’d planned on only writing a 3-sentence per chapter outline–and I finished early.

This year, I have an outline–not as detailed as last years but enough to keep me on track. My story is set in Copenhagen and Stockholm. Later this week, I’ll update my Nanowrimo page here on kimtalksbooks with a blurb so you’ll know what my story is going to be about. I’ve already posted a link on Facebook to my Nanowrimo 2012 Spotify playlist. If you’re interested in hearing what’s inspiring my writing this year, here’s the link. And just like last year, I’ll post a few excerpts so you can see what I’ve been working on and keep you updated on my progress. 🙂 If I can figure out how to upload my word count wideget, I’ll add that too.

November 1 can’t get here fast enough…:)

 

I have an author page

Just a quickie: since I am now self-publishing, I figured I needed an author page. I have 2–one on Facebook and one on Amazon. Soon, I will have an ebookstore on CreateSpace (will let you know when it will be live).  So, my lovely readers, if you like me here, please like me on Facebook and Amazon. 🙂

My author pages are works-in-progress–I need a better author picture (must ask a photographer friend to help me with that) and I am trying to think of what sort of goodies should be on these pages aside from info about my book(s). 

I’ve started planning covers for my next publishing forays. I think I may share them with you later this week and we can vote on which are best….