Lynn Kear Has Done It Again

Here’s a new Amazon review for Killing Rosa.

“Lynn Kear has done it again!

Killing Rosa is the 2nd book in the Kell Digby Crime series, and this offering takes us deeper into the underground noir world of the femme fatale. I love a great crime drama, especially when the words and dialogue sizzle from the page, an adult adventure through and through.

Kell is a fascinating and sexual personality, and her journey is as much about self discovery as it is about her exploits and tumultuous career path.

If you enjoy candid realistic language, trysts and affairs, and a rollicking good story, I would recommend this book from Lynn Kear and the first in this series, Black Hearted Bitch.”

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Why Haven’t I Read This Writer Before?

There’s a new review for Black-Hearted Bitch by Rose M. Griffith:

“Hard boiled” truly kept going through my mind as I read this much weaving and face-paced action mystery. I am a huge Raymond Chandler fan and make my way through his books every couple of years.

…I loved this book. I hated the heroine, Kell, and I loved her. That’s always a good sign for me of a character worth reading about. I liked that the book is segmented in an absolutely purposeful way with three distinct stories and tie nicely in with each other. It’s the first in the series and I kept thinking why haven’t I read this writer before? That’s the time I backtrack and see what else she’s published so I can dive in.”

Read more here:

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Gardein Sizzling Szechuan Beefless Strips Review

Wow. This is freaking excellent! One of the best meals we’ve had in a long time.

Publix recently had a BOGO on Gardein products. There was only one package of Sizzling Szechuan Beefless Strips left–and I can see why.

Make sure you follow the cooking instructions because this will be key to get the ideal texture. We went with the toaster oven instructions and used a little extra browning time (broiler setting) at the end. The result was crunchy, tasty beef strips that were outstanding.

We steamed basmati rice and threw the strips over the rice. The package says it has three servings, but it’s two generous servings.

I wish there was more sauce, so I could soak the basmati rice in it. As it was, the sauce packet was intense and flavorful.

This tastes like a menu item from a great vegetarian restaurant. Next time we’ll throw in broccoli and cauliflower in the steamer with the rice.

Five out of five stars.

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Spotlight On Amy Dawson Robertson

Amy Dawson Robertson is a friend and an excellent writer. She graciously agreed to be interviewed for my Spotlight series.

Cape May Photo

Let’s say you’re hosting a viewing party at your home. What music is playing when your guests arrive? What food and beverages will you provide for your guests and which TV shows, movies, excerpts, etc. would you show?

Hi Lynn — thanks so much for having me! What a great opening question. Let’s see, music-wise I usually have jazz on. I like stuff that has a very chill feel to it and I am drawn to the West Coast or Cool jazz period. So that would be early Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, Paul Desmond, Stan Getz, Modern Jazz Quartet (love that vibraphone!). As to food and libation, I would likely do the standard fruit and cheese selection. A good cheddar, a Stilton and something soft and decadent. I’d have a selection of crackers including my favorite whole grain cracker by 34 Degrees. Fruitwise, I would probably try to do whatever was fresh and in season. For drinks, I’d have red and white wine and a craft beer, mostly likely an IPA since that’s what I’ve been into lately. As for content, I think I would stick to TV since we are in such rich period for good TV. Some recent favorites are Breaking Bad, Mad Men, 30 Rock and Community. I’m always trying to get people to watch Breaking Bad so I have someone to talk it over with.

What’s the last great book you’ve read? What is one of your favorite passages from it?

I’ve read two books this year that I really enjoyed. The first is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. She wrote one of my favorite books of all time, The Secret History. I didn’t relish The Goldfinch in quite the same way but it was equally unputdownable. And there were definitely memorable passages that I wish I had marked — she is amazing with language, ideas, character. And masterful at plot. The other book I’ve just read that I thoroughly enjoyed is Dave Egger’s, The Circle. I guess you could say it is dystopian fiction, which I have a weakness for. It is also quite funny. His use of language isn’t particularly interesting so I wouldn’t have any passages to pull out but I would recommend it all the same. Some friends and I torture ourselves with a classics book group. At the last meeting we discussed Medea and Electra. There was a passage from Electra, a way of describing empathy, that really sticks with me:

“And poor laboring Orestes, my brother in law in name–

I suffer his grief, I think his thoughts…”

Name three of your favorite writers. Write a one word description for each.

Henry James — thorough

Emile Zola — devastating

Ruth Rendell — delectable

Name some popular writers who you don’t get.

I’ve tried but failed to get into Zadie Smith. She seems wicked smart and very interesting but so far she hasn’t grabbed me.

I don’t get Suzanne Collins. I found The Hunger Games to be very thin in every way.

What are some pet peeves you have as a reader?

I dislike it when you can feel the unintentional presence of the author. I guess this never really happens in great books but it isn’t uncommon in average ones. I’m thinking specifically of descriptive passages, usual of places, that you just know the writer has witnessed first hand and has lost sight of how much detail to provide. For the same reason, I think it is an extraordinary talent to write a decent memoir — know just what to leave in or out.

Do you have any pet peeves about your own writing that you catch when you’re editing?

See above.

Also, using the same words or phrasing repeatedly. Returning again and again to similar images and metaphors.

If you could live in any book, which one would it be?

I’m not sure why but I am finding it impossible to answer this question. Probably because so many of my favorites books might not be fun to be in.

Do you play any musical instruments? Which musicians do you listen to?

I played the violin for many years growing up and would like to have time for it now. I listen to a lot of pop — I’ve always liked dance music so this is a great time in pop for me. If music is on in the house, it is jazz. I also like stuff like LCD Soundsystem and RJD2. I will give just about anything a try but singer-songwriters and folk are hard from me to wrap my head around.

Do you have pets? Where are they when you’re writing?

Though they aren’t mine I do have two dogs in my life (Hi Hannah! Hi Russell!) — a golden retriever and a border terrier. While I love them, dogs and people are nothing but a distraction.

You’ve published thrillers (Miles to Go, Scapegoat) and romances (Midnight in Orlando and Midnight on a Mountaintop). Does your writing approach differ depending on the genre? Provide short excerpts that you’re proud of.

It differs very much. I get much deeper into character in my thrillers. I think the writing is at a different level too. The romances are in first person POV and, I guess, are just sort of breezy. And I try to keep things light in the romances.

It’s good of you to ask for passages that I liked how they turned out.

I always liked this bit from Scapegoat, a description of how Rennie feels after the events of Miles To Go:

“Her guilt felt like an entity that had taken up residence in her body. An unexcisable and malevolent twin. She shook her head, wishing she could just stop thinking. She drained her beer and went into the studio to sleep.”

This is from Scapegoat too. I love doing multiple points of view like this. Getting into the heads of minor characters might be my favorite thing:

“Massoud Akbari sat on the balcony of his tiny garden apartment smoking and drinking weak tea. He had nothing to do. Once well-off, he now had a bank account into which a thousand dollars was deposited each month. His other bills, his rent, his utilities, his car were paid for by the American government. The thousand dollars was his to do as he pleased. Each month he converted it into cash and spent only a fraction of it on food and necessities, stowing the rest in a large zippered leather wallet. His only joy in life was to convert the smaller bills into larger ones as time passed, watching the money accumulate and hoping for what he didn’t know.”

What are you working on?

I am trying to work out the plot for book one in a new series. It’s going to be a PI crime thriller. It is based in DC and the main characters will be a female ex cop from a small Virginia town and a man whose background I’m not ready to discuss. I hope to be able to explore current issues that I find interesting.

Thanks, Amy.

You can find out more about Amy through Facebook and on her website.

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“Another Well Written, Great Story in the Kell Digby Series”

Terry Baker has written a review of my newest book, Killing Rosa.

Here are some highlights from the review:

“It’s full of ups and downs and twists and turns throughout, ensuring a gripping, thrilling, exciting and steaming hot read….

Kell is a wacky, multidimensional character, who under normal circumstances should not be liked and her actions abhorred. But, I really like her….Kell is backed up by a great cast of secondary characters, some good, some bad, but all essential to the progression of the well laid out plot…. The plot is written with a tongue in cheek sense of humor….It certainly amused me and I enjoyed the story. It’s light hearted and a black crime thriller/comedy with a raunchy bit of action thrown in for good measure.

I’m hoping there will be more adventures with Kell soon.”

The complete review can be read here:

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Enter to Win a Signed Copy of Killing Rosa

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Killing Rosa by Lynn Kear

Killing Rosa

by Lynn Kear

Giveaway ends May 27, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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“Lynn Kear Could Write a Shopping List and I Would Enjoy Reading It”

Stacey Darlington has written a new review of Killing Rosa on Amazon:

“Lynn Kear could write a shopping list and I would enjoy reading it. This was the second in a series, the sequel to Black-Hearted Bitch. Killing Rosa offers the same pacing and style that makes Kear’s writing so unique. She doesn’t waste words. I love the characters and their vocations and avocations. The main character, Kell Digby, will steal your heart. I look forward to the next installment.”

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Vegan Athlete Cookbook: 101 Flavorful Plant-Based Recipes For Health, Strength, and Athletic Performance Review

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00097]I’ve been reviewing vegetarian food for a while and have decided to occasionally review cookbooks too.

Zoey Sampson contacted me for a fair and honest review, and since I really liked her Kindle book, her book will be the first.

Zoey explains in the Foreword that she went vegan because of her feelings about food and animal cruelty. Since she was an athlete, she worried about her new diet’s effect on her stamina and energy. Fortunately, she found the diet improved her workouts. “In fact, I wasn’t just doing well, I honestly felt damn fantastic.”

While I am not vegan (I love dairy way too much), I don’t mind eating vegan meals and would like to try new recipes.

The book is quite substantial and divided into logical sections: Sports Drinks & Smoothies, Energy Bars and Food On The Go, Noodles, Quinoa and Rice; Pizza Perfect; Tofu and Tempeh; Beans, Peas, and Lentils; Soups; Burgers & Not-Meat Meals; Wraps and Sandwiches; Salads, Veggies & Sides; Sauces & Dips; and Power Packed Puddings & Cookies. According to Zoey, “The key to my power packed diet is variety. Fruits, vegetables, plenty of leafy greens, whole grain products, nuts, seeds, and legumes are only a part of what gives me my incredible energy.”

In looking through the book, I saw many recipes I definitely wanted to try (Choconut Butter Shake, Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup, Chili Lentil Soup with Pineapple, Cinnamon and Corn Cookies, Chocolate Coconut Quinoa Slices, Raw Pad Thai, Adzuki Bean Pizza, Sloppy Joes, Curried Tofu, Sweet Potato Curry with Caramelized Shallots, Pistachios and Beans, Vegan Bacon, Saucy Wheatball Subs, Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes, and many more), and I was also pleased to see nutritional information (including calories, fat, carbs, fiber) included with all recipes.

While there are no pictures in the book, each recipe is clear and easy to read.

The Kindle book is only $3.79 on Amazon.

Five out of five stars.

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Killing Rosa Is Now Available For Purchase

rosa cover

The sequel to the award-winning crime novel, Black-Hearted Bitch, is now available for purchase at Amazon. Like Bitch, Killing Rosa is a fast-paced thriller with violence, sex, and profanity (lots of it).

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Spotlight on Kelly Spillman

I met Kelly Spillman years ago when both of us were teaching at a for-profit college. We’ve been friends since. Curious about how improv might improve her skills in the classroom, Kelly jumped right into classes and almost immediately started performing stand up in Atlanta.

kelly spillman1

You have a master’s in Counseling. Was there anything funny about grad school?

The main things that stand out as funny were how eccentric some of the professors were. Also, most students in my programs were slackers and never did the readings. I hope slackers make good counselors!

You have taught college courses for years. What are some of the funniest things a student has said to you?

I routinely have students claim we need to bring back spanking to solve all of society’s problems. I don’t think Panera and Target can spank employees! I had a student recently add punchlines to test questions. That is the first time a student has done that.

You have just met someone who will teach college for the first time. What’s your best advice?

Make sure you have clear policies and guidelines on your syllabus. Have high expectations for all of your students and have fun in the classroom. Show them you are passionate about your subject area.

You have traveled a lot. What’s a destination you think everyone should visit at least once.

My favorite city is London and I highly recommend everyone visit. Most of the museums are free. There is so much diversity there that you can eat any type of food. You can go see a play every night and can take public transportation everywhere. It is easy to take day trips by train to quaint British villages.

Why stand up? 

I started out as an improviser and I realized that I needed to have more opportunities to be seen performing comedy so I transitioned over to stand up.  You are on your own with stand up so that is empowering. It is thrilling to be on stage by yourself with a mic and earn the respect of a crowd.

Tell me something that recently made you laugh out loud.

I was doing a show over the weekend. I noticed that another comic was talking to a lot of women in the crowd. He was wearing those big ear phones around his neck the whole time. I talked to him after his set and he pulled the cord to the headphones out of his pocket to show me that they were not attached to anything! That cracked me up.

What is the best response to a heckler?

Unfortunately, this strongly depends on the environment. There is no one set way to handle these obnoxious people or comedy “helpers”. You need to come back at them in a funny way because if you come at them too aggressively, the audience will turn on you or the energy of the room will change.

Let’s say you are hosting a viewing party at your home.  What music is on when your guests arrive?  What food and drinks would you have?  Which TV shows, movies, excerpts would you show?

I used to run a catering department so I would probably be pretty particular about the food and drinks. Lots of colorful fruits and veggies, meats and cheeses and LOTS of alcohol. Martinis and margaritas for everyone! I would probably play awesome, cheesy 80s songs or current music.

Which comic(s), living or dead, would you most like to see perform?

Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Phyllis Diller, Gilda Radner, Elaine May, Del Close, Carol Burnett.

Name some comics, living or dead, who you don’t get.  Gallagher, Three Stooges, Tosh, Lisa Lampanelli.

What’s your dream gig?

Hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner.

What’s the best stand up advice you’ve received?

Make sure to always have fun every time you are on stage. It seems like a no-brainer but I have to remind myself this is supposed to be fun every time!

Who is ruder? A class full of undergraduates or a comedy club audience?

It’s a tie.

In terms of stand ups, actors, etc., who do you think is underrated?

I am going to list amazingly talented people who should be household names: Lizz Winstead, Rob Stapleton, John Roy, Baron Vaughn, Mark Duplass, Aubrey Plaza, Rebel Wilson.

You appear to be fearless. What scares you?

It is true that I am not a very fearful person. I do worry about the extent of apathy I see in some students especially since most of them want to go into healthcare! I also worry about my financial future as a single person. I have not had a raise in 6 years and it is very difficult to earn money performing comedy in Atlanta.

Any books you’d recommend?

Satiristas by Paul Provenza, On Writing by Stephen King, South of Broad by Pat Conroy, Human Stain by Phillip Roth, Lizz Free or Die by Lizz Winstead, Bossypants by Tina Fey, Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Thanks, Kelly. You can follow her on twitter @Gressivegirl. She will be the resident comic at Laughing Skull Lounge in April. Her website will be up soon–


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