Author Spotlight: Emelie Schepp

July 13, 2017

Click to purchase in the UK

The paperback release of the international bestselling Marked For Life by Crime Writer of the Year 2016, Emelie Schepp, just came out in June in the UK! I’m excited to be part of her blog tour.

“Schepp couples an insightful look at the personal and professional lives of her characters with an unflinching
multi-layered plot loaded with surprises.” –Publishers Weekly

“A fast-paced thriller with a good blend of police procedure, the draw of a ninja-strong female lead, and enough adrenaline to make a good night’s sleep a near impossibility.” -Booklist

When the head of the migration board is shot dead in his living room, the last thing the police expect to find at the crime scene is a mysterious child-sized handprint in the childless home. The young and brilliant but emotionally cold, public prosecutor Jana Berzelius steps in to lead the investigation, unintimidated by the hysterical widow or the threatening letters she tried to hide. Jana is steely, aloof, impenetrable… until more bodies begin to surface.

On a deserted shoreline a few days later, the bruised and heroin-riddled body of a young boy is found along with the original murder weapon, and the sinister underworld of the migration board’s dealings begin to unravel.

Berzelius is drawn more deeply into the case when she recognizes something strangely familiar about the scarred and beaten boy – a name carved deep into the flesh of his neck that triggers flashes from the night terrors she’s suffered since childhood. As memories begin to emerge of her own violent, fear-ridden past, Berzelius must trace her connection to this boy in hopes of finding out what happened to her.

Now, to protect her own secrets, she must find the suspect behind these murders, before the police do. Read an excerpt below!


EMELIE SCHEPP is an international bestselling Nordic crime author with Marked for Life published in 29 countries. From a background in marketing, publicity and project management Emelie was last year awarded Crime Writer of the Year 2016 as voted by Swedish readers, and won The Specsavers Readers’ Choice Award. She lives with her husband and two children in Sweden.


It was inevitable that the media would seize upon the story. As soon as the TT national wire service reported that a young boy had been found murdered, the Norrköping police press officer found himself fielding calls from dozens of journalists eager for more details. Since it involved a minor shot to death, the entire nation was gripped, and on the morning TV shows various experts were invited to give their views. The presence of a weapon near the body led many to assume the boy was involved in criminal activity, which sparked discussions about the level of violence among today’s youth, and the tragic consequences.

When the phone rang with the news, it woke Jana Berzelius from her sleep. She got out of bed and took a shower, hoping it would wake her up. Thanks to Per, she had a dreadful hangover.

They’d ended up having three glasses of Scotch – more than she could handle. And before that they had shared a bottle of wine with their meal and ignored the advice about drinking one glass of water for every glass of something stronger.

Feeling a little better after her shower, she swallowed a painkiller for her headache and stretched out on the bed for a few moments, her hair still wet. She counted slowly to twenty, then got dressed, brushed her teeth and looked for a packet of peppermint-flavoured gum. Only then was she ready for the meeting at the police station.

‘We are here to summarize what we’ve been able to discover about the boy who was found dead out at Viddviken this morning.’

Gunnar used a magnet to put up the photo on the whiteboard before continuing.

‘Anneli, who is still at the scene, says the boy had been shot. She estimates that he died between 19.00 and 23.00 on Sunday night, though we’ll need to wait for the medical examiner to confirm that. According to Anneli, broken vegetation around the body indicates that the boy was in motion, and his injuries are consistent with having been shot from behind.’

Gunnar took a sip of water and cleared his throat.

‘At present we don’t know whether the victim has other injuries or if he’d been sexually assaulted. Again, we’ll have to wait for the autopsy – the medical examiner has given his word the report will be with us as soon as possible, hopefully tomorrow. The boy’s clothing has been sent to forensics.’

He got up and went to stand by the map on the whiteboard.

‘We’re still combing the area, but as yet we haven’t found any footprints or trace evidence left at the murder scene by the perpetrator. The only thing we can be relatively certain about is that the dead boy at Viddviken is the same boy who was seen on CCTV footage from Östanvägen.’

‘And the murder weapon?’ said Henrik.

‘We don’t yet know whether the weapon found near the body was used to shoot him. All we can say for certain is that the weapon found near the boy was a Glock, and Hans Juhlén was killed . . .’

‘. . . with a Glock.’ Henrik completed the sentence.

‘Exactly. The serial number is as yet unknown. The weapon’s been sent to the national lab. They’ll examine the bullets still in the gun and let us know whether they’re a match for the ones that killed Hans Juhlén. If they are, it supports the theory that this boy was somehow involved in Juhlén’s murder. We’ve taken his fingerprints too.’

‘And?’ said Mia.

‘They matched. The handprints and fingerprints in Hans

Juhlén’s house match the boy’s,’ said Gunnar.

Emelie Schepp’s Marked for Life is out 6th July (HQ, £7.99)

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Author Spotlight: Emma Straub

July 8, 2017

Books Are Magic: Author Emma Straub’s new bookstore | Signature Views Mini-Doc – Author Emma Straub gives a tour of her new bookstore Books Are Magic, which recently opened in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill neighborhood, and discusses its origin.

Emma Straub is the New York Times-bestselling author of Modern Lovers, The Vacationers, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, and Other People We Married. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, and Elle. Her work has been published in fifteen countries.

Visit Emma Straub’s Amazon page

Author Spotlight: Ken Segall

July 2, 2017

Author Ken Segall on the worldwide phenomenon of simplification

Ken Segall (former ad agency creative director for Apple, and author of THINK SIMPLE) discusses why society is trending toward simplicity, from both a business and personal standpoint.

Click to purchase

THINK SIMPLE: How Smart Leaders Defeat Complexity by Ken Segall

Simplicity is arguably the most potent weapon in business—attracting customers, motivating employees, helping outthink competitors, and creating new efficiencies. Yet rarely is it as simple as it looks.
Ken Segall’s first book, Insanely Simple, was based on observations gained from twelve years working as Steve Jobs’s advertising agency creative director, first with NeXT and then with Apple. He saw firsthand that Jobs looked at everything through the lens of simplicity. His obsession with simplicity was not just visible in Apple’s products. You could see it in the way the company organized, innovated, advertised, sold at retail, and provided customer service.

In practice, simplicity was Jobs’s most powerful business weapon. It helped Apple distinguish its products and create entirely new product categories, and it put distance between Apple and its competitors. But, while Apple is a terrific example of a company that has been propelled by the power of simplicity, it is hardly alone.
Inspired by the ways Apple has benefited from the power of simplicity, Segall set out to find other companies that were traveling this path. He wanted to learn more about the thinking of their leaders. He felt that if he could chronicle the experiences of those who have successfully simplified, it would be an invaluable guide for everyone who would like to do the same.

This book is the result of his journey into simplicity in companies around the world.
Many of the “heroes of simplicity” profiled in this book are probably not on your list of usual suspects. Segall had conversations with over forty men and women from a wide range of industries, in companies big and small, established and up-and-coming, famous and below under the radar.

Each leader has a fascinating point of view about how simplicity has helped improve his or her company and set it apart from competitors. Each is unique, yet, as you’ll find, many display interesting similarities.

From Jerry Greenfield, you’ll hear how Ben & Jerry’s grew from local to global without losing its focus and simple values. From the CEO of one of Australia’s biggest banks, you’ll hear how simplicity is attracting new customers. From former Apple Senior Vice President Ron Johnson, you’ll hear how a simple idea aligned the team creating the worldwide network of Apple Stores.

You’ll discover how simplicity influences the CEOs of The Container Store and Whole Foods. You’ll get insights on simplification from the worlds of fashion, automobiles, entertainment, and technology. You’ll even get inside the blue heads of the Blue Man Group, who developed a business strategy to defeat complexity before it could take root.

No principle is more important for businesses today than simplicity. In this insightful and often surprising book, you will learn how to harness the power of simplicity to build lasting, profitable organizations.

THINK SIMPLE by Ken Segall.  Portfolio (June 7, 2016). ISBN: 978-1591847502. 256p.


Alan Alda at Random House Open House

June 19, 2017

This is great – enjoy!

Alan Alda tells stories and speaks about the importance of communication and empathy. Filmed at the Random House Open House, 5/12/17.


Author Spotlight: Terry Brooks

June 17, 2017

Author Terry Brooks on bookstore shopping and his ideal writing spaces | Author Shorts – Author Terry Brooks (THE BLACK ELFSTONE) discusses his approach to bookstore shopping and his particular requirements for a writing space.

Click to purchase


The Fall of Shannara (Book 1)

The first book of the triumphant and epic four-part conclusion to the Shannara series, from one of the all-time masters of fantasy.

Across the Four Lands, peace has reigned for generations. But now, in the far north, an unknown enemy is massing. More troubling than the carnage is the strange and wondrous power wielded by the attackers—a breed of magic unfamiliar even to the Druid order. Fearing the worst, the High Druid dispatches a diplomatic party under the protection of the order’s sworn guardian, Dar Leah, to confront the mysterious, encroaching force and discover its purpose.

But another crucial journey is being undertaken. Exiled onetime High Druid Drisker Arc has been living in quiet seclusion, far from the politics and power struggles of his former life, until two brutal attacks by would-be assassins force him to seek out an infamous murder-for-hire guild—and find the hidden enemy who has marked him for death. At his side is Tarsha Kaynin, a young woman gifted with the wishsong and eager to be schooled in its formidable power by a master. She, too, is pursuing a mission: to locate her wayward brother, whose own magic has driven him to deadly madness and kindled his rage for vengeance . . . against his sister.

In their darkest hours, facing dangerous adversaries, the lives and quests of Dar Leah, Drisker Arc, and Tarsha Kaynin will be inextricably drawn together. And the challenges each confronts will have resounding consequences for the future of the Four Lands.

Praise for Terry Brooks

The Sword of Shannara is an unforgettable and wildly entertaining epic, animated by Terry Brooks’s cosmically generative imagination and storytelling joy.”—Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia!

“If Tolkien is the grandfather of modern fantasy, Terry Brooks is its favorite uncle.”—Peter V. Brett, New York Times bestselling author of The Skull Throne

“I can’t even begin to count how many of Terry Brooks’s books I’ve read (and reread) over the years. From Shannara to Landover, his work was a huge part of my childhood.”—Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author of The Name of the Wind

“Terry Brooks is a master of the craft and a trailblazer who established fantasy as a viable genre. He is required reading.”—Brent Weeks, New York Times bestselling author of The Night Angel Trilogy

“The Shannara books were among the first to really capture my imagination. My daydreams and therefore my stories will always owe a debt to Terry Brooks.”—Brandon Mull, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Beyonders series and the Fablehaven series

THE FALL OF SHANNARA: THE BLACK ELFSTONE by Terry Brooks. Del Rey (June 13, 2017). ISBN 978-0553391480. 336p.

Full panel videos from BookCon!

June 14, 2017

I couldn’t go and in case you missed it too, here are some of the panel discussions including the fabulous Margaret Atwood, “proud to be a geek” Mayim Bialik, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Krysten Ritter,  and lots more. Enjoy!

RT Booklovers Convention 2017 – Part 3

June 12, 2017

This is really interesting, especially for aspiring romance writers!

Spotlight on Berkley Publishing Panel | RT Booklovers Convention 2017 – Join members of Berkley Publishing’s editorial and publicity teams to learn the secret sauce of Berkley’s romance program. Berkley publishes many bestselling print authors as well as bestselling e-book authors under its InterMix imprint. Learn what individual editors are interested in acquiring and how the company promotes its print and digital titles.

RT Booklovers Convention 2017 – Part 2

June 10, 2017

Heroines: You Can Have It All Panel | RT Booklovers Convention 2017 – Join best-selling authors who are known for crafting multidimensional, beloved heroines as they discuss how they create readers’ favorite book girlfriends. Featuring HelenKay Dimon, Alisha Rai, and Sonali Dev.

Balancing Romance and Suspense Panel | RT Booklovers Convention 2017 – Bestselling authors discuss their forays into Romantic Suspense and the unique qualities that make this genre so popular. Featuring Jennifer L. Armentrout (aka J. Lynn), Shayla Black, and Lexi Blake.


RT Booklovers Convention 2017 – Part 1

June 8, 2017

If I couldn’t be there, (and I couldn’t,) this is the next best thing!

Seven Steps to Sensual Tension Panel | RT Booklovers Convention 2017 – Authors Christi Barth and Laura Kaye discuss building the simmering attraction that keeps the readers furiously flipping the page. They look at not only creating moments, but stretching them, teasing both the characters and readers.

Romantic Suspense: Compelling Stories Panel | RT Booklovers Convention 2017 – Join some of the biggest names in Romantic Suspense for a lively panel on one of the hottest genres in publishing right now. Featuring Laura Kaye, Rebecca Zanetti, Julie Ann Walker, Karen Rose, Liliana Hart, and Eileen Dreyer.

More to follow so check back soon!

Author Spotlight: Jennifer Ryan 5/17

May 29, 2017

Jennifer Ryan (author of THE CHILBURY LADIES’ CHOIR) | 8 Great Questions – Jennifer Ryan (author of THE CHILBURY LADIES’ CHOIR) answers 8 Great Questions about books, words, and characters.

Click to purchase


For readers of Lilac Girls and The Nightingale, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir unfolds the struggles, affairs, deceptions, and triumphs of a village choir during World War II

As England becomes enmeshed in the early days of World War II and the men are away fighting, the women of Chilbury village forge an uncommon bond. They defy the Vicar’s stuffy edict to close the choir and instead “carry on singing,” resurrecting themselves as the Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. We come to know the home-front struggles of five unforgettable choir members: a timid widow devastated when her only son goes to fight; the older daughter of a local scion drawn to a mysterious artist; her younger sister pining over an impossible crush; a Jewish refugee from Czechoslovakia hiding a family secret; and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past.

An enchanting ensemble story that shuttles from village intrigue to romance to the heartbreaking matters of life and death, Jennifer Ryan’s debut novel thrillingly illuminates the true strength of the women on the home front in a village of indomitable spirit.