Tagged: Romance Suspense

Beyond Circumstances – Interview with Gloria Joynt-Lang

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn sits down with the author of Beyond Circumstances, Gloria Joynt-Lang

Thrice Read Books participated in the original blog tour for Beyond Circumstances, by Gloria Joynt-Lang. In March 2020, Gloria re-rereleased Beyond Circumstances and we are so happy that Jenn sat down with Gloria to update our interview!

Interview March 6, 2020

Jenn: Alrighty! Let’s talk about your new contemporary romance novel, Beyond Circumstances. Is this your first novel?

Gloria: Yes, Beyond Circumstances was the first full-length novel I wrote. It was initially published in 2018. A few months after its release, the publisher went out of business. I received my rights back and took some time to decide if I wanted to republish Beyond Circumstances myself or try another publisher. While contemplating this, I queried another contemporary romance novel and I was lucky enough to sign a contract with a publisher for Braking Hard which hit the shelves a few weeks ago, (February 12, 2020). Inspired by other authors, I decided to take the plunge and self-publish Beyond Circumstances. I like the idea of doing both the traditional and self-publishing route simultaneously.  Both have their advantages.   

Jenn: How long was Beyond Circumstances in the making?

Gloria: I started writing it in 2016 and I believe the storyline is even more relevant today as it was then. 

Jenn: Beyond Circumstances is a romance with some serious twists and I imagine there was considerable research? Maybe “twists” isn’t the right word… You’ve tackled some big topics in the novel, and done so with exquisite finesse. How did you approach the research?

Gloria: Each time I went over it, I saw something I wanted to change. Numerous revisions are part of the creative process, but there was a point where I needed to take a break, so I started on another project before I finished Beyond Circumstances. It helped me to recharge my batteries. In regards to research, I love digging into various subject matters. For Beyond Circumstances, I listened to Opera music and absolutely fell in love with it.  Other parts of the research dealt with talking to people who went through traumatic experiences.  That was a bit more difficult, especially on an emotional level.

Jenn: As a PTSD survivor, I appreciated the honesty in Zak’s experience. I’ve read so many stereotyped “wounded warrior” romances, where love just fixed the problems. It doesn’t work that way for most of us, much as we might want it to.

Gloria: Yes, I agree. Love doesn’t cure mental health any more than it does cancer. My husband is a PTSD survivor and I can’t just hug the nightmares out of him. He’s doing better than when he was first diagnosed, but there will always be triggers. He avoids movies with a lot of violence, but sometimes graphic scenes pop up.  

Jenn: Right. Managing the triggers is a chore sometimes. What inspired Zak and Lexie’s story?

Gloria: Zak and Lexie’s story was inspired by both PTSD and policies that are centered on stereotypes. One of my taglines for the novel is: Heroes walk among us all the time. We think we know who they are, but sometimes we have no idea. Unfortunately, we live in a society that judges people without even knowing them. 

Jenn: Could you tell our readers a little about the book?

Gloria: Beyond Circumstances takes place within a setting of a small rural town in Illinois. The type of place where everyone knows each other and there’s a lot of shared history. It centers around Zak, a man of Middle Eastern descent, and Lexie, the town’s new doctor. Although Zak’s been residing in the community for a couple of years, he’s still an outsider in many respects. When a relationship emerges between the two, a local businesswoman along with her son, the town’s Sheriff, caution Lexie to stay away from Zak. Initially, Lexie ignores their ambiguous warnings, but when Zak vanishes for several months, she begins to reconsider how she sees him—torn between her own experiences with the man and the rumors surrounding his disappearance. 

Beyond Circumstances explores bigotry, and the underlying issues of fear, grief, and isolation. It’s about healing from one’s past and the power of communities who band together to help their neighbors. It addresses Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and its impact on not only the person afflicted but those around them. I don’t mean to be vague, but I also don’t want to give away too much.

Jenn: Right! I am trying to phrase my questions so we don’t get inadvertent spoilers!

Living in a small town myself, I can vouch for the quirkiness you’ve created, but those characters have to be experienced. I can’t imagine trying to explain them (well, I can, but it was explaining them to Brian, and giving him parallel personalities that we deal with in our little town!).

Gloria: I spent my childhood in small communities and, after a couple of decades in the city, I returned to rural living. I love the friendliness of the people in small towns. I don’t think the people are any quirkier than city folk, but you get to know your neighbors better. On some level we all have idiosyncrasies. For example, I’m the opposite of Willow in Beyond Circumstances as I actually fear birds…except for Penguins.  Penguins will never swoop down on you.

Jenn: Lol. I can understand that! Did you always know you wanted to write professionally or was this more of a later-in-life decision?

Gloria: I’ve always loved writing and in a way, I did get paid for writing when I wrote reports at work. As a parole officer, you spend a lot of time assessing risk and formulating reports to justify your assessments.  When I retired, I missed the writing, so I started doing it again. But this time I wanted to write stories that ended with a happily-ever-after.

Jenn: What an awesome transition!

Gloria: It wasn’t planned, it just evolved this way.

Jenn: Sometimes, the best things happen that way.

Gloria: True.  I’m not big on planning.

Jenn: I take it then, that you are a pantser when it comes to your writing style?

Gloria: Yes, for the most part.  I do jot down ideas as they come to me and then try and organize them into a scene. But there are plenty of times where it just flows as I type. Every time I start a new novel, I vow to be more organized. Well…I guess there’s next year.

Jenn: That’s always a wonderful experience when it becomes more channeling the story than trying to “write” it.

Gloria: Yes, but I end up doing months of self-editing and revisions as I have a tendency to write too much.  For example, Beyond Circumstances started off at 120,000 words and by the time I finished I shaved off more than 20,000 words. As I learned from various editors, less is often better. 

Jenn: Haha! I know how that goes.

Jenn: So, Beyond Circumstances is now available on Amazon and with Kindle Unlimited, but you mentioned that you have another one in the works. Are you far enough along with the second book (I’m guessing it’s the sequel to Beyond), that you can give us an idea of when we might be able to anticipate that one?

Gloria: Yes, the second novel in the Out of the Darkness Series is Escaping Circumstances. I’m aiming for a release later this year.  Like Beyond Circumstances, it’s a stand-alone novel.  It tells the story of Scorp, who appears in Beyond Circumstances. He’s a lot rougher around the edges than Zak, but his background is just as interesting.

Jenn: I have to admit, I’d love to get his story. Scorp reminds me of a number of soldiers I met and interacted with during Brian’s enlistment and my own time as a military-civilian.

Gloria: Yes, I’ve worked with a few Scorps myself.

Jenn: So, we have Beyond Circumstances that readers can (and should!!) grab and we won’t have a long wait until book 2 comes out. It sounds like an awesome deal to me.

As we wrap up, is there anything else you would like our readers to know?

Gloria: I’ve done the third novel for this series. This time I’m focusing on a Beta man as opposed to an Alpha man.

Jenn: Oh my! Suddenly I have ideas of who that might be about, but I’m keeping my mouth shut. 

Gloria: Thanks, I appreciate that. 

Jenn: You bet! On behalf of Thrice Read Books, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to talk today, and for this wonderful romance novel!

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Jenn sits down with the author of Beyond Circumstances, Gloria Joynt-Lang

Join Gloria on social media: Facebook     Twitter     Website


Books by Gloria Joynt-Lang

Beyond Circumstances

Braking Hard

Total Bravery

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews Piper Drake’s Total Bravery

About the Book

Total Bravery; Piper J. Drake
Adult; Romance; 305 Pages

Publisher – Forever (April 24, 2018)

True heroes will do anything to protect the women they love…

As the newest recruit at Search and Protect, Raul has a lot to prove. Luckily, he’s got the best friend and partner a man could ask for: a highly trained, fiercely loyal German Shepherd Dog named Taz. Together, Raul and Taz make an unbeatable team. But their first mission in Hawaii really puts them to the test when an international kidnapping ring sets its sights on the bravest woman Raul’s ever met . . . 

Mali knows her latest job has put one hell of a target on her back. And on this small island paradise, there’s nowhere to hide. With a service dog like Taz, Mali feels safe. Sharing close quarters with a smoldering muscle-for-hire like Raul, she feels something else – an unexpected wave of desire. Raul feels it too. But when the kidnappers make their move, he’s got to turn that slow-burning passion into hard-hitting action – and save the life of the woman he loves.

About the Author

Piper J. Drake is a bestselling author of romantic suspense and edgy contemporary romance, a frequent flyer, and day job road warrior. She is often distracted by dogs, cupcakes, and random shenanigans.

Jenn’s Review

Action, suspense, kidnappers, and service dogs merge with spectacular results in Piper Drake’s romantic suspense, Total Bravery.

Raul is the new guy on the team and is still settling in with his new K9 partner, Taz. He’s certainly not looking for a fling, let alone a relationship.

Until he runs into Mali.

Her research brought her to Hawaii. It’s also brought some unwanted attention from a top sex-traffic ring. Can she let go of her objective long enough to let Raul and his team keep her safe?

I absolutely loved this book. Drake weaves a fascinating plot full of emotion, tension, and steamy attraction. Two thumbs up and four-stars.

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Jenn reviews Piper Drake’s Total Bravery

Buy the Book

This book is available in Kindle, audiobook, and mass market paperback here.

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Head Games

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

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Jenn reviews Nancy E. M Miller’s Head Games

About the Book

Head Games, Nancy E. Miller 

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 350 Pages

June 20, 2019

Mental health counselor Kate Ainsworth received the call from Det. Rayder summoning her to the beach. Never did she guess that the trip involved a client’s head washed up on shore. Murder and mayhem ensue with Kate in the crosshairs. Ben Rayder is set to protect the woman he loves and track down the murderer, hoping it is her pesky ex-husband just so he can arrest the rich bum. Can he convince her to give love a second chance after devastating betrayal? But first, he must protect her from becoming shark bait.

About the Author

Nancy E Miller

 Greetings and thanks for visiting my author’s page. As you can tell from my biography on the book page, I am a complete sap for any four-legged creature. My husband and I live in Illinois near St. Louis, MO with our four dogs, 2 pygmy goats, and partial interest in a horse (Achilles boards here). Crystal Unicorns came out in 2011 and Shark Bait in May 2017 in multiple venues/formats. Desperate Overtures, debuted in July 2018. It is the first in the Alice Gentry series. All are romantic suspense novels…heavy on the suspense. 
I truly hope you enjoy my books. It’s been a long time coming. Feel free to contact me thru my email nancyemiller57@gmail.com or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Nancy-E-Miller-Author-894245750641373/?ref=bookmarks

Jenn’s Review

I’ve read Nancy E. Miller’s two other suspense/romance novels, and by far, Head Games was my absolute favorite and falls firmly in the Romantic Suspense category.

Kate Ainsworth is a mental health counselor. She mostly enjoys her job, though her boss is a chronic headache. Unfortunately for Kate, one of her clients has washed up on the beach. In pieces. With two dead sharks. Enter Det. Ben Rayder, who is in the unfortunate position of having to call Kate to identify her client’s remains.

The situation grows more and more complicated as Ben and Kate reconnect and the danger to Kate becomes increasingly apparent. The pair has a history that didn’t end well, and Kate’s ex-husband is on the prowl to seemingly get himself back into her good graces. Can Ben keep her safe when more than her heart is on the line?

As I mentioned, this book falls squarely in the romantic suspense category, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I read the entire book in two sittings and had to rearrange my calendar just so that I could sit and enjoy this fast-paced adventure.

Ms. Miller’s characters are well developed and multi-faceted. It was difficult to hit the end of this book because I really wanted to continue following their journey. Her world-building in this novel was superb. I think only one or two moments gave me pause enough to pull me out of the story for more than a moment. Plot twists were mostly surprises, though one or two were visible from a long way off.

Considering the plot of the book, I also give props to Ms. Miller for her deft handling of what could be very disturbing and graphic moments in the story. She’s handled potential triggers with a deft hand and dialed down the “gross”.

In short, if you only read one of Miller’s novels this year, start here. By far the best indie-published romantic suspense I’ve read in a long time.

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Jenn reviews Nancy E. M Miller’s Head Games, Adult Romantic Suspense

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle format here:


Also by Nancy Miller

Desperate Overtures

Crystal Unicorns

The Long and Short of It All

Desperate Overtures: An Alice Gentry Novel

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Thrice Read Books reviews Nancy E. Miller's suspense (with romance) novel, DESPERATE OVERTURES.
Thrice Read Books reviews Nancy E. Miller’s suspense (with romance) novel, Desperate Overtures

About the Book

Desperate Overtures: An Alice Gentry Novel, Nancy E. Miller

Adult, Romantic Suspense, 224 Pages

Published  July 21, 2018

Dr. Alice Gentry is not telling the whole truth. Despite her evidence files full of torture, murder, and fire, there is more to the story than the hunter now becoming the hunted. She pulled in every favor to get the FBI involved. Now it’s SSA Chris Jensen’s job to clear up the facts before she ends up dead. He isn’t thrilled about working with an academic but learns she is more than he ever imagined…much more. Sam Richardson, the one person she trusts, thinks she is in over her head but he will defend her to the death. That’s what you do for the woman you love.
A tidal wave of emotion threatens to engulf her. Fear, guilt and shame work to cripple her. Anger and hate drive her on. She remembers a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche, “Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss… the abyss gazes also into you.”

About the Author

Nancy E Miller

 Greetings and thanks for visiting my author’s page. As you can tell from my biography on the book page, I am a complete sap for any four-legged creature. My husband and I live in Illinois near St. Louis, MO with our four dogs, 2 pygmy goats, and partial interest in a horse (Achilles boards here). Crystal Unicorns came out in 2011 and Shark Bait in May 2017 in multiple venues/formats. Desperate Overtures, debuted in July 2018. It is the first in the Alice Gentry series. All are romantic suspense novels…heavy on the suspense. 
I truly hope you enjoy my books. It’s been a long time coming. Feel free to contact me thru my email nancyemiller57@gmail.com or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Nancy-E-Miller-Author-894245750641373/?ref=bookmarks

Jenn’s Review

Nancy Miller’s Desperate Overtures is tense, riveting suspense with elements of romance. While it exceeded my expectations, I can’t firmly place it in the realm of romance fiction.

Dr. Alice Gentry is a survivor. She lost both parents when she was a young woman in the aftermath of her abduction and torture at the hands of a budding serial killer. She’s spent years studying and tracking the man who haunts her nightmares, and she finally has access to the FBI, the only people that can bring down the monster.

SSA Chris Jenson doesn’t make the best first impression, but when he realizes what Dr. Gentry left out of the initial interview, his view of the petite woman shifts 180 degrees. Her notes, case files and first hand account prove invaluable as tensions and the body count rise.

Sam? He’s been at Dr. Gentry’s side from day one. The day he drove her parents to the hospital and watched her father collapse, dead, at her bedside. In all the years he’s watched over her, he’s fallen in love with her, but has never given his feelings a voice.

Desperate Overtures isn’t a highly graphic story, though there are elements that might trigger some folks (I’ll be dealing with the images left over for a while, I think), so be forewarned. This is definitely a novel worth sinking your teeth into; the plot twists aren’t plentiful but I found them unexpected all the same.

I hesitate to call this a straight forward romance, though. The heroine’s love interest is muddled through the first half of the book, and overall, the book seemed to be missing some of the requisite plot beats necessary for the book to be satisfactory as a romance – this is not to say that the book wasn’t satisfying, it certainly was. However, some readers may be disappointed if they are expecting strictly a love story. This is definitely more about Dr. Gentry’s resolution of a long-standing wound. This also is the first book in a series, and I’m hoping that book two explores the romance/love story between Alice and Sam more.

In the final tally, Nancy Miller’s Desperate Overtures is worth a read. I was pleasantly surprised, it’s been a while since I had an indie book roll across my Kindle of this quality. I have Ms. Miller’s previous novels, Crystal Unicorns, and Shark Bait, and look forward to reading those as well.

Thrice Read Books reviews Nancy E. Miller's suspense (with romance) novel, DESPERATE OVERTURES.
Thrice Read Books reviews Nancy E. Miller’s suspense (with romance) novel, DESPERATE OVERTURES.

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:


Also by Nancy Miller

Crystal Unicorns

Shark Bait

The Long and Short of It All

Crystal Unicorns: Innocence is so very fragile

**Note: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that when you click one of the links in this post and make a purchase, Thrice Read Books receives a small commission from the seller. We do not charge authors for our reviews and this does not cost you anything additional and does not impact the author’s royalties – it does allow us to continue bringing you ad-free content, and we thank you in advance for your support.**

Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller's romantic suspense CRYSTAL UNICORNS on the Thrice Read Books blog

About the Book

Crystal Unicorns: Innocence is so very fragile, Nancy E Miller 

Adult Romantic Suspense, 324 Pages

Published November 17, 2013

Now out in paperback as well! Alexis made a fatal mistake. Her new book is about an act of evil and its aftermath, all true and graphically detailed. Now a psychopath wants his due and makes a game of the hunt. Her marriage is dying, and hubby is more than willing for her past love to protect her when Alexis arrives in her hometown. There are more secrets than answers and passion may prove reckless. Innocence is so very fragile. Protector, survivor, and hunter are all victims of shattered lives. They are–Crystal Unicorns. 
Crystal Unicorns is an 80,000 word romantic suspense novel that provides a fast paced, intense psychological journey where cruelty destroys innocence and crushes the human spirit. It is a novel of redemption and renewal against staggering odds.. 
Nancy E. Miller lives near St. Louis, Missouri with her husband, six incredibly spoiled dogs, three cats (not spoiled– entitled), and a tribe of unsociable pygmy goats. She holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Sociology and has worked with endangered youth and those dealing with mental illness as an educator, case worker and crisis intervention counselor

About the Author

Nancy E Miller

 Greetings and thanks for visiting my author’s page. As you can tell from my biography on the book page, I am a complete sap for any four-legged creature. My husband and I live in Illinois near St. Louis, MO with our four dogs, 2 pygmy goats, and partial interest in a horse (Achilles boards here). Crystal Unicorns came out in 2011 and Shark Bait in May 2017 in multiple venues/formats. Desperate Overtures, debuted in July 2018. It is the first in the Alice Gentry series. All are romantic suspense novels…heavy on the suspense. 
I truly hope you enjoy my books. It’s been a long time coming. Feel free to contact me thru my email nancyemiller57@gmail.com or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Nancy-E-Miller-Author-894245750641373/?ref=bookmarks

Jenn’s Review

Another fantastic Nancy E. Miller suspense novel. Unlike Desperate Overtures, Crystal Unicorns is more romance than suspense, though the mystery still takes center stage.

Alexis is a successful author, and her latest release is another big hit, even though it’s much darker than her previous novels. She’s not fond of going on a book tour, and would love to get out of going, especially to Orlando, where deeply buried secrets and feelings are lying in wait for her. To add to her mounting anxiety – her husband is pushing her to contact an old friend. Alexis would rather swallow broken glass than go there.

As her tour launches, though, her book triggers a chain of events that will force her hand in more ways than she can fathom, and when the body count starts to rise, she’s forced to go down that path of memories and broken hearts to lean on a man she hasn’t spoken to in years.

Crystal Unicorns is still not fully what I would consider romance, but it’s dang close. The tension is high, both in terms of mystery and attraction, and the story is well executed. I had a bit of trouble with a plot point or two (won’t dive into them here, to avoid spoilers), but they were not out of place in the context of the story. A solid four-stars and I’m a Nancy Miller reader.

Jenn reviews Nancy E. Miller's romantic suspense CRYSTAL UNICORNS on the Thrice Read Books blog

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:

About the Author

Nancy E Miller Greetings and thanks for visiting my author’s page. As you can tell from my biography on the book page, I am a complete sap for any four-legged creature. My husband and I live in Illinois near St. Louis, MO with our four dogs, 2 pygmy goats, and partial interest in a horse (Achilles boards here). Crystal Unicorns came out in 2011 and Shark Bait in May 2017 in multiple venues/formats. Desperate Overtures, debuted in July 2018. It is the first in the Alice Gentry series. All are romantic suspense novels…heavy on the suspense. 
I truly hope you enjoy my books. It’s been a long time coming. Feel free to contact me thru my email nancyemiller57@gmail.com or on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Nancy-E-Miller-Author-894245750641373/?ref=bookmarks

Reviewer’s Review

 

Buy the Book

 This book is available on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback formats here:

 


Also by Nancy Miller

Desperate Overtures

Shark Bait

The Long and Short of It All