The Mystery of Mouta by G.X. Chen Spotlight and Excerpt

July 7, 2014 Leave a comment


The Mystery of Moutai, by G.X. Chen, is a mystery novel that was published April 2014.




A teenager returns home from school to find a gruesome scene: the apartment he shares with his mother, Shao Mei, in Boston’s Chinatown has been ransacked and she is dead. There is a bottle of Moutai—the most exotic and expensive Chinese liquor—left at the scene and traces of rat poison in one of the two shot glasses on the kitchen counter. This was evidently a homicide, but who could possibly be the killer?


Ann Lee and Fang Chen, close friends of the victim, team up with the Boston police to solve this mystifying crime: why would anyone want to murder a harmless middle-aged woman, one who worked as an unassuming mailroom clerk, with no money, no connections, and presumably, no enemies?


Realizing that important clues behind the motive may be buried deep in the victim’s past, they travel to Beijing, where Shao Mei spent more than fifty years of her life. While there, surrounded by the antiquities of China’s rich and complex history, they stumble unwittingly into a cobweb of mystery and danger. Fearing for their lives but determined to press on, they end up unearthing a scandal more deceptive and far-reaching than either could have imagined.


Disclosure: The three main characters and the victim also appeared in The Mystery of Revenge byG.X. Chen.


About the Author:


G.X. Chen is a freelancer who lives in Boston with her husband ( both of her mystery novels are based in Boston). She permanently moved from China to the US after Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Previously published books include The Mystery of Revenge (a mystery novel) and Forget Me Not: A Love Story of the East (a historic fiction/romance) and several other novels in Chinese.








Amazon ebook:


Amazon paperback:





In the spring of 1994, John Chan, an athletic teenager, vaulted up the stairs of an old apartment building on the edge of Chinatown in the city of Boston, taking two steps at a time while carrying a hockey stick and a duffel bag full of shoulder pads, helmets, gloves, and skates. He was tired but very excited because he had just played an important hockey game at his schoolthe winner would go on to the division finalsand he could hardly wait to tell his mother that he had a winning goal in the second period and was congratulated by all of his teammates and his coach. John was starving. Looking forward to a hug; a hot shower; and a hearty, homemade meal, he was rushing toward his apartment, which was located on the third floor of the five-story brick building.

After the door swung open by a touch of the end of his hockey stick, John stopped in alarm. Even if she was expecting a guest, his mother always locked the apartment doorshe was afraid of burglars ever since their next-door neighbor had a break-in several months ago. John dropped the duffel bag, placed the hockey stick against the wall and peeked inside the apartment apprehensively. It was late in the afternoon, but the west-facing apartment was still well lit by the sun, which was sinking slowly on the horizon.

His jaw dropped when he saw what had become of his home, which was always neat and clean no matter how hectic the occupants’ lives were. The living room was in total disarray, the floor covered with bits and pieces of books and magazines, and all the drawers and cabinet doors in the kitchen were pulled open—his home had been turned upside down, ransacked.

His voice echoed as he called out, “Mom, I’m home! Where are you?”

No response; the apartment was eerily quiet. Hesitantly, John opened the door wider and entered, trying not to step on the fallen books because he knew his mother, Shao Mei, loved them. A former physics professor at Beijing University, Shao Mei kept all the books she had brought with her from China, even though most of them were getting flimsy and falling apart.

Among all the messes, a shiny object drew John’s attention almost immediately. Sitting on the coffee table in the living room was a slick and colorful porcelain bottle of Moutai, the most famous liquor in China. His mother had been working as a mailroom clerk for an insurance company in Boston and could never have afforded an authentic bottle of Moutai, which would have fetched more than a hundred dollars on the black market in her native country.

He walked over and stood in front of the battered coffee table, looking down at the exquisitely designed liquor bottle, which seemed empty. Then, he noticed something bulky stuck between the sofa and the coffee table. It was his mother, face-down on the floor. On her partially hidden, painfully distorted face, blood trickled from her nose and her mouth. His legs started trembling violently. John screamed, but no sound came from his mouth. It was seemingly a long time before he was able to control his limbs. He ran to the kitchen, picked up the phone, and dialed 911.

The rest of the day was a blur. Police officers and detectives came and went, along with a team of forensic specialists and an ambulance. Everything in the apartment and around the body was checked, including a fancy gift box in the trash can, two shot glasses on the kitchen counter, and the empty bottle of Moutai. The forensic officers used protective gloves, putting all the items, one at a time, carefully into separate evidence bags.

After the body was taken away, a tall and sturdy man in his early fifties came into the bedroom where John was sitting and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Paul Winder-man,” he said in a soft voice, “detective sergeant from the Boston Police Department. And your name please?”

“John Chan,” John murmured without looking up at the police officer.

“John,” Paul said, kneeling down to face the kid at the same level. “Do you have any relatives in town?”

“No,” John said and shook his head, looking into Paul’s deep and pale blue eyes in despair. What’ll happen to me now? He thought in panic. Where will I go? His mother was the only family he had in the US. He dropped his head and started weeping.

Paul kept his large hand on John’s shoulder. What a pity. The poor lad might have to be sent to social services, he thought sympathetically. “Do you know anyone in the cityyour mother’s friends, for example?” he asked hopefully.

John lifted his head and nodded. “My mom was friendly with Auntie Ann Lee and Uncle Fang Chen,” he told the detective between sobs. According to Chinese tradition, he addressed all of his parents’ friends as “uncles” and “aunties” even though they weren’t blood relations. As far as John knew, Auntie Lee and Uncle Chen visited his mother often when she was alivesometimes they’d take him along to have dim sum in Chinatown, an area he and his mother lived on the edge of, where the rent was cheaper than most places in downtown Boston.

Paul Winderman’s eyes lit up when he heard the names. He had dealt with both of them in a previous murder case a few years ago. He liked Ann a lot, a very capable young woman and a straight arrow, but he didn’t trust Fang Chen because the professor had played hocus-pocus with the police rather than cooperating the last time they met.

Paul processed the facts in his head for less than a minute before placing a few calls. Due to the fact that Ann didn’t own a car, he dispatched a police cruiser to pick her up. Half an hour later, a sober and red-eyed Ann Lee showed up at Shao Mei’s apartment to take John away.

“I’ll pack up everything you need and deliver to you as soon as I can,” Paul told the kid, who had rested his head on Auntie Lee’s shoulder and was crying.

Lifting his head, the kid said nothing but nodded with tears in his eyes. With Ann’s help, he stuffed a few sets of clothes into his duffel bag, picked up his backpack and the hockey stick, and left his home in the US for the last time.


Friday, April 24

Another warm night; the breeze coming from the open windows makes me feel it’s an early summer rather than spring day.

It has been a thrill to know that I will soon meet my old friend who suffered much at the hands of the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to renew our friendship. I don’t have many old friends anymore, having lost all the contacts when I moved. I particularly crave the comrade-ship we forged during the formidable years when we were both young.

It’s fascinating for me to think what this friend of mine will say or what her reaction will be when I show up at her door. I probably should call her first or send her an e-mail, but I’m not sure if she has an e-mail account, or even a computerstill a luxury item for most people. I heard she has fallen on hard times since she left China. The poor thing!

I’m sure I can cheer her up with my visit and my unique gift. It’s only fitting that I should bring her the best.



Earth Sentinels: The Storm Creators by Shaman Elizabeth Herrera Press Release

July 7, 2014 Leave a comment




Visionary Fiction: Earth Sentinels sheds light on global issues with brilliant message of hope!
The newly released novel, Earth Sentinels: The Storm Creators by Shaman Elizabeth Herrera is a “no-holds-barred piece of literary realism that is destined to become a classic model of wisdom for living harmoniously on earth,” according to Mark Champion of, “On occasion, we all read a book that we know will mark the time of our age. Earth Sentinels’ message is every bit as telling and accurate as Animal Farm and Fahrenheit 451. It is a succulent portion of cold, hard truth played out with characters you share affinity with, understand and love.”

“The premise of Shaman Elizabeth Herrera’s novel is a timely one, as evidence is mounting that our over-reliance on fossil fuels, deforestation, genetically-engineered crops and other economically-driven, but environmentally-irresponsible, practices are posing an existential threat to the planet earth,” says Kevin Joseph, Amazon Vine Voice.

Earth Sentinels begins with the fallen angel Bechard somberly observing the world being destroyed by mankind’s greed, corruption and indifference. Realizing drastic measures are needed; Bechard begins searching the globe for people who might join his quest to save the planet.

It doesn’t take long for the fallen angel to find 17-year-old Zachary, whose family’s organic farm is being ruined by fracking; Haruto, living in Fukushima, Japan, where the nuclear meltdown is raging out of control; Mahakanta, a cotton farmer in India, who used GMO seeds with devastating results; the Amazonian tribe members, Conchita and her father, Pahtia, fighting against intruders illegally tearing down their rainforest; and the Bear Claw First Nation Tribe who are dealing with an unstoppable oil spill that is ruining their traditional hunting grounds.

Intriguing blue doors and ethereal mists beckon the characters to the spirit realm where they finally meet the mastermind Bechard to form an alliance. Excitement builds when the world’s Governments are faced with the Earth Sentinels’ demands, sent on behalf of Mother Earth who cannot speak for herself. As events unfurl and countries retaliate, the readers ride a roller coaster through the supernatural!

“Simply riveting! This book is a page turner to the end. Herrera has woven a cautionary tale with threads of history, revelation and hope. Bravo!” exclaimed reviewer Richard O’Shields, channel and media professional, Everyday Connection.

Laine Cunningham, award-winning author stated, “This is one of those books that’s going to stand alongside classics. Drawing from Native American wisdom and the beliefs of a world filled with respect for nature and its spiritual elements, Herrera has created a global book of wisdom for a global world.”

You can get your hands on a copy of Earth Sentinels: The Storm Creators at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine bookstores.

Author Shaman Elizabeth Herrera, is a shamanic healer and author who writes life-changing books. Her stories encourage people to stretch outside their comfort zones and reexamine their own beliefs.
She is also the author of Shaman Stone Soup, and Dreams of Dying.

Earth Sentinels: The Storm Creators, visionary fiction, 270 pages ISBN-13: 978-0692225318
Author website:
Contact Emails:

Winter’s Island by Lillian MacKenzie Rhine Cover Reveal

July 7, 2014 Leave a comment


Today is the cover reveal for Winter’s Island by Lillian MacKenzie Rhine. She will talk a little about the book below then reveal the beautiful cover for us. Keeping reading for a great giveaway.


Winter’s Island is the story of Cay Winters–a young, artist whose only want in life is to not end up like her reckless mother. After being raised by an intrusive aunt, Cay finds it easier to just run free of her fears hoping that the evils of the world will never catch up to her. Well that is all wishful thinking when she arrives in Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands as a mentor to her impressionable cousin.

Her first test is to get through the initial meeting with her cousin’s liaison, William Gatling. He affects her in a way that takes her senses away. Little does she know, he holds a secret that can save her life…as well as end it.

Islands, the pesky, majestic things that they are, don’t allow you to run very far before the demons or in this case…VAMPS…catch up to you, so let’s hope that Cay can make it out alive.

…and now the reveal…








Title: Winter’s Island

Publisher: Hot Ink Press

Release Date: July 16, 2014

Cover Artist: Rue Volley




Lillian MacKenzie Rhine (“Lilly Mac”) writes in several genres ranging from paranormal to historical. She believes that the possibilities of creation should not be limited to just one category, but one should allow the story and characters to dictate where the journey starts. Being a beta reader and avid reviewer for several years has allowed her to write her material with the reader in mind which gives her books a more realistic and relatable approach.

“An open mind expands all horizons, and I don’t want to miss a moment.” ~ Lilly Mac



Grand prize winner ~ $10 Amazon Gift Card

Two winners ~ eCopy of Winter’s Island

<a id=”rc-fcee401″ class=”rafl” href=”;
rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

<script src=”//”></script>



Excerpt from Journeys, Shadow of the Past

June 19, 2014 Leave a comment

So in case you missed it, I got a contract through an author house to take on my entire Journeys series. Some changes have been made to the story. It’s now an erotic paranormal romance. The series will always focus on Landon and Brian, and their love interests. Since this book is likely to be my next release, I elected to give you an excerpt from it. No release date yet, gotta talk to the publisher about that, but it won’t be too long.


During the night, Landon felt his dreams shift. He knew he was no longer in a dream. His spirit was being called home. He could not resist. An order from a Fey King was absolute, especially in the weakened state of sleep. In seconds, he stood before a large silver throne. On it sat a beautiful man, appearing closer to middle aged, with long black and silver hair. The head rested on the right hand and piercing emerald green eyes stared at him passively. The broad shouldered male was quite a bit larger than Landon and muscular. His beauty was almost painful to behold in the eyes of mortals. He was dressed in a simple, long silver robe, and knowing him he most likely wore nothing else underneath it. His full, red lips curved into a smile at the sight of Landon. The king of Avalon, Damien Adaire, was in a strangely amused mood.

“My lord?” Landon questioned, silently hating deferring to the older male.

“Your escapades with that mortal are most entertaining to watch. You have such prowess. It’s a shame I could not get you to lie with me in such a way.”

Landon scowled. “Firstly, that’s perverse that you’d be watching that. Secondly, I’m sure that’s not why you called me here when I could be waking up and doing it again.”

The king laughed. “Of course it isn’t, but I can always hope you’ll cave in. Besides, you are my warrior. I am always watching.”

“No offense, but don’t you have a queen to take up time with instead of watching me?”

Damien shrugged. “Yes, I do. And I will most likely take her once I am done with you. You have a task to do and you’re not moving about it fast enough.”

“It was my understanding that I was to live my own life as well as guard your son. He’s only half Fey. I can’t rush him into his heritage.”

“I’m aware of the terms of your time in the mortal world, but remember this. You owe me for covering up your dirty little secret.” Damien waved a hand and the normally dulled beauty Landon himself possessed came to the full surface. His eyes changed from their usual brown to a deep ocean blue. Cool energy flowed through his body, sharpening his muscle definition. His cheekbones were slightly higher and more pronounced and his skin held a slight sheen to it, almost a glow.

“Did you just release my power?” Landon asked.

“I released some of it, yes. It’s been so long since you’ve had it that you’ve forgotten how powerful you truly are. The fiercest of my warriors. Though this body you inhabit is young, you yourself are so much older. Your reincarnation into this form has been pleasing, but even reincarnated, you have innate beauty. Not the same as my own. You have more of a rugged look. Even released from the bonds you appear more human. That is why I chose you to bring my son to me.”

“I’m well aware of what you want me to do. But why the release?”

“Because the past will always catch up with you. I can’t have you dying on me. Try not to be a self-sacrificing fool this time.” The King rose from his throne. “There are other forces at work in the area. I need you to be able to face them. But keep the human at your side. He intrigues me.”

“You’re meddling. Do you know something more than what I know about this relationship?” Landon asked.

Damien chuckled. “So suspicious. I see no grand destiny, if that’s the type of answer you’re looking for. But he will be a source of strength for you.”

“He’s a mortal. No mortal, no matter how close I may be to him, will be a source of strength to me.”

Damien shook his head. “Do not try to act so cold and uncaring with me. I know better. My enemies are on the move and at some point you will need to return here. First, you must protect my son and his mother at all costs. Your past and mine endanger them. You’d do well to remember that.”

Before he could respond, Landon suddenly had the sensation of falling, right before his spirit slammed back into his body, shaking the bed in which he lay. Fortunately, Kevin remained asleep, merely pulling him closer. Landon sighed and waited for sleep to claim him again.


Gave you a taste of the paranormal side there. Hope you enjoyed. There’s a lot to this story and this series.

Torii (To Rule the Universe Book 1) by Amanda Marie

June 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Synopsis: Tara just wanted to fit in, but she hated school. When the weird talking dog shows up in her room, Tara is convinced she’s studying too hard, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s wrong. When her best friend is killed, Tara finally decides to listen to the dog, and finds herself in a world she only thought existed in books and movies. So just who is she? And who is the mysterious man with the hypnotic green eyes? Are myths really reality?


Review: Took me a few to get the flow here, but once I did, I was pretty hooked. First off, major point for me due to personal preferences is the fact that Tara is a red head. Red heads rock. Now, as for the actual story, Tara starts off feeling like a normal teen. Has no clue what she really is. She knows she’s adopted, but she wasn’t more than a year old at the time. She has a brother that she was found with, and she’s had a pretty privileged upbringing. She quickly finds herself thrust into a world she’d never have been able to imagine before, and now she’s got far bigger worries than getting passing grades in school. She’s a pretty important person.
The ending leaves me with a cliffhanger. Not that I didn’t see it becoming a problem, but it makes things so much more interesting later. So the only question is, where’s the next book?

Categories: Reading

Character Interview: Vladimir Dracula

June 12, 2014 1 comment

So, I love doing character interviews. I’m biased, but I’m in love with most of my primary characters. But I’ve got the vampire enforcer back for another interview, and I have to say, being around him is not for those with a weak heart. So let’s get to know Vlad a little better, shall we?


Drako: So your book is out next. What’s the big problem with you in this one?

Vladimir: It’s not just my story. it’s high time to resolve the issue with Vacker and Deidre. It’s time for the gods to get out of our spotlight. Vampires and Fae come together to make life interesting, to say the least. And with the Fae come the angels.

Drako: I don’t think you get along with angels, do you?

Vladimir: *laughs* Hell no. I’ve fought my fair share of them. i’m no better than a demon to most of them. i was created as a result of Jarel killing a Demon God.

Drako: I’m familiar with the history. but my real interest is in your mate. I know you’ll find your soul mate in this story.

Vladimir: True, but I was told not to spoil anything.

Drako: I know the rules. i also know who your mate is, so we’ll talk around it.

Vladimir: In other words, we’re teasing the hell out of your fans.

Drako: Wouldn’t be an author if I didn’t tease every now and then. So, were you as surprised as I was when you figured out who your mate is?

Vladimir: Of course. I never had intentions on finding a mate. I’ve been alive longer than most. When you fail to find a mate in that first century or so, you expect to remain alone. To find my mate born in this modern era was a shock.

Drako: So how are you adjusting to mated life?

Vlad: *glares* I have a mate who constantly challenges me. It’s difficult to be someone who always gets his way through either fear or sexual appeal only to end up with a mate that can resist both tactics with relative ease.

Drako: It was fun for me to write it.

Vladimir: Yeah well, I had to live it. I hope you find your soul mate just as frustrating.

Drako: *humorless laugh* Let’s not get into the state of my love life here. It’s not nearly so interesting. Anyway, since we can’t spoil too much, let’s focus on you. You haven’t been around much in the other books. Where have you been?

Vladimir: I take periods of rest or hibernation. It’s been several hundred years since I last walked the earth. With such a long life, we vampires occasionally get overwhelmed. A break is necessary to process the changes of each era in time. It also keeps us from getting feral and perhaps breaking Jarel’s laws.

Drako: I assume that explains the difference in your appearance between Heir of Mjolnir and Blood Monarch. Your skin is darker now.

Vladimir: *nods* Yes. We can’t feed during hibernation. Our skin loses color as we sleep and blood ceases to circulate normally through our bodies. So when you first saw me, I hadn’t fed at all yet.

Drako: With you being the enforcer, I assume you can elaborate on rules a bit. What’s the deal with blood for you?

Vladimir: We crave it because the god’s blood soaked into us. That particular child of Desdemona loved the taste of blood.

Drako: What about dragons? They also drink blood.

Vladimir: They are beasts at heart. Wild and carnivorous. In the old days, dragons hunted like any other animal when in dragon form. They hunted wild animals, never humans.

Drako: So you are allowed to drink from animals? That’s not just a TV vampire thing?

Vladimir: Yes, we are allowed to but it’s not a preferred source. I prefer to drink from enemies or on rare occasions, Jarel.

Drako: He does allow you to do that after all?

Vladimir: Only the eldest of his subjects are allowed to. It’s a significant boost in power to drink from a primordial god with the raw power he has. A few drops of his blood sates the bloodlust for years, provided we’re not seriously injured at some point afterward.

Drako: What’s the deal with human blood?

Vladimir: It’s always been off limits. I’ve never been given an exact reason but I think part of it is that human blood isn’t very filling. Your blood is much thinner than that of an immortal or paranormal creature, whichever title you prefer to use. However, it’s a form of drug to us, which I think is because humans are the favored race of the gods. To sate our lust, it would require us to completely drain a human. In one as old as myself, I’d have to drain several humans dry. The mot important thing to remember is that Jarel expressly told us not to drink from them, and unless one wants to spend eternity in Tartarus, they obey.

Drako: So, you’re called the enforcer. What exactly does that entail?

Vladimir: I do what Vacker and Deidre don’t have the heart to do. I have no attachments that hold me from dealing with rogues. If their death is ordered by my god, I carry it out without hesitation. I’ve been ordered to go after other races as well. I am simply an enforcer of his laws, and not just for the race over which I rule.

Drako: Reminds me of Andreas.

Vladimir: I’m similar to him in that regard. However, he’s the general. He out ranks me. But you’ll find in his next story that I’ve helped him on some of his tougher and less favorable assignments.

Drako: Getting ahead there.

Vladimir: My apologies.

That was actually sincere. By the way, I should mention, being around this guy is a special kind of thrill. He towers over you and no matter what he wears you see those broad shoulders and those muscles. He’s dark haired and from a distance you might think brown eyed. Up close, they’re actually red, but I think they change color. He’s the type that oozes predator and raw sexual energy. Don’t know how or why his mate resisted him for so long.

Drako: Nice to know we’ll see you more often.

Vladimir: You’ll see everyone you’ve met so far again in Andreas’ next story. He’s older than me and his life as been a bit more difficult. He’s the eldest of Jarel’s children and the general of his forces. He’s more powerful than has been let on and has done a lot for Jarel, a great deal of which he didn’t agree with but he’s nothing if not loyal. Jarel is a god you don’t want to piss off in any way, and when you do, Andreas is who you might end up answering to. Frankly, if you were to piss him off, you’d better pray that he sends anyone else. A focused and alert Andreas is a dangerous one.

Drako: So, you’re saying he could take you in a fight.

Vladimir: *shows a bit of fang in a smile* I’m saying I wouldn’t want to get on his bad side. His first story showed you only a taste of what he can do. When he truly let’s loose, there aren’t many that can stop him.
Drako: You’re pretty lethal yourself, when you get serious.
Vladimir: Glad you noticed. Just remember that I’m also the sexiest thing you’ll ever meet. I can kill someone and make them swoon as I’m doing it.
Drako: I’m going to assume that’s a joke.
Vladimir: You shouldn’t. Face it, I’m gorgeous.
Drako: You’re a flirt, and your mate won’t appreciate it. Neither will I if it gets me vaporized.
Vladimir: *laughs* I think I’d catch it first. Plus side is, I’d have to be resurrected.
Drako: Yeah well, the rest of us are human and don’t have soul mates with an in with the gods. Go away, flirty.

Five Mistakes KILLING Self-Published Authors

June 6, 2014 Leave a comment

sound advice for us self published authors

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Rise of the Machines Human Authors in a Digital World, social media authors, Kristen Lamb, WANA, Rise of the Machines

When I began writing I was SO SURE agents would be fighting over my manuscript. Yeah. But after almost thirteen years in the industry, a lot of bloody noses, and even more lessons in humility, I hope that these tips will help you. Self-publishing is AWESOME, and it’s a better fit for certain personalities and even content (um, social media?), but we must be educated before we publish.

Mistake #1 Publishing Before We Are Ready

The problem with the ease of self-publishing is that it is, well, too easy. When we are new, frankly, most of us are too dumb to know what we don’t know. Just because we made As in English, does not automatically qualify us to write a work spanning 60,000-100,000 words. I cannot count how many writers I’ve met who refuse to read fiction, refuse to read craft books, and who only go to pitch agents…

View original post 1,494 more words

Categories: Other