Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Crisis of Serenity by Denise Moncrief (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Crisis of Serenity by Author Denise Moncrief!

Author Guest Post

Last night, after I had spent a long day with a stubborn geriatric convalescent, I opened my work in progress and began to get back into the story. I hadn’t written anything new all day and I was in some major withdrawal. My fingers itched to tap out more riveting plot. As I sat down and opened my Mac, it smacked me right between the eyes. I still hadn’t decided who my villain was and the obvious choice had literally been right at my fingertips all along. I should have sighed with relief, but I had a big problem. I had written this character too nice. Yeah, that’s right. The villain had too many redeeming character traits. So what’s a writer to do? Of course, I had to go back and scan my manuscript looking for places where I needed to nasty him up. After that, the plot began to shine with the sparkle of suspense that had been lacking.

Don’t get me wrong. I often let my characters get by with murder. Literally. A lot of them have killed at least one person, maybe more. I like to add a little depth to my villains. I love to give them just one redeeming quality so they aren’t so one-dimensional. To make them a little more, you know, human. But this guy? He was just way too nice and understanding and helpful. Something had to give. So you know what I did? I gave him a gun. Yep. That changed him into a detestable SOB pretty fast. Once he had the weapon in his hand, he didn’t hesitate to draw it on my heroine. Ah, did the universe just realign into proper balance? I think it did.

I’m a pantser. I decide where my story begins and where it ends when I start a manuscript. But after that? I fly by the seat of my pants. Or rather sit at my makeshift desk, which is really just my coffee table pushed up close to my sofa. My “office”. Since I quit that horrid day job the living room has become my favorite place to play…um…I mean work. Anyway, I digress.

Here’s my long-winded point… In between the beginning and the end, I allow my characters to develop their own personalities and character as the story progresses. I allow the action of the plot to proceed according to what my characters would do next based on their personalities. The story feeds my characterization. My characterization feeds my story. They feed each other. A symbiotic relationship. So I let my characters get by with a lot, even murder.

Can you imagine how a story could get all janked up if one of the characters isn’t fulfilling his or her proper role? Heroes should be heroes, albeit sometimes a wee tad flawed. Heroines should be heroines, even if they have one or two character flaws they need to work on. I love letting my characters decide how they want to act and who they want to be, but sometimes I have to smack one around and make him (or her) play nasty.

So if you want to read what kind of nasty my villains can get into, check out Crisis of Serenity, a story with several villains written in varying shades of nasty.

About The Author

Want to know a little bit more about Denise Moncrief? She's a Southern girl who has lived in Louisiana all her life, and yes, she has a drawl. She has a wonderful husband and two incredible children, who not only endure her writing moods, but also encourage her to indulge her writing passion. Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys traveling, reading, and scrapbooking.

Accounting is a skill she has learned to earn a little money to support her writing habit. She wrote her first story when she was a teen, seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she had read. She's been writing off and on ever since, and with more than a few full-length manuscripts already completed, she has no desire to slow down.


Book Review

Crisis of Serenity by Denise Moncrief
Book 2: Crisis Series
Publisher: 5 Prince Publishing
Publication Date: July 14, 2014
Format: Paperback - 332 pages
              Kindle - 464 KB
              Nook - 818 KB
ISBN: 978-1631120480
BNID: 2940149736607
Genre: Romantic Suspense

BUY THE BOOK: Crisis of Serenity

BUY THE SERIES: Crisis Series
Book 1: Crisis of Identity
Book 2: Crisis of Serenity
Book 3: Crisis of Security - Publication Date: TBA

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Tess Copeland lives a quiet life in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Thanks to the government’s witness protection program, she enjoys the freedom of never having to glance over her shoulder to see if someone is following her. Life has become safe, serene...and boring. Her heart longs for something more than just existing...until a ghost from her past shatters her serenity.

Once upon a time, Tess was caught between the FBI and the men the feds were trying to take down. Jake Coleman is the U.S. Marshal who extracted her from the jam she was in with the FBI, a man she could have fallen for...hard...if she had let herself. It’s been a year since she last saw Jake, and in all the months that have passed, he’s never tried to find her. The longer he keeps his distance, the more she wonders why his absence hurts so much.

When a stranger comes to town searching for her, all of Tess’ old fears are resurrected. Asking Jake for help with her current crisis might lure him into a dangerous trap involving murder, kidnapping, and revenge. When Jake and Tess come face-to-face with the past, they will have to use all their wits to survive.

Book Excerpt:

The late afternoon sun warmed my face as I trudged down the street toward the trolley stop. The atmosphere held the pleasant promise of fall and color. I arrived in Tennessee last year just as the trees were turning gold, crimson, orange, and yellow, a gorgeous autumn. I hadn’t yet had the chance to indulge in a trip into the mountains, something I longed to do, but I didn’t own a car. That’s why I had to bum a ride to work every morning. The trolley didn’t start running until eight, sometimes ten, depending on what time of year it was.

Autumn had turned to a hard winter last year. The necessities of settling into a new life had consumed my waking moments until the first hard freeze. The ground had frozen and so had my heart. That’s when my thoughts had turned toward Trevor again. Snowbound landscapes always reminded me of him. His memory heated my core, and I wished with all my heart he hadn’t left me cold.

I missed him, missed him like crazy. As good as I was at running, he was even better at leaving. The last time was more than I could take, and I’d asked my handler to move me out of Arizona. No, more like begged him to send me somewhere else—anywhere Trevor would have a hard time finding me.

We were no good for each other.

I’d had too many men in my life tell me they cared only to take what they wanted and then leave me with nothing but loneliness and pain. My relationship with Trevor had developed so fast, and I had assumed he was no different than any other man.

I was wrong.

He was different, but his differences were not enough to keep him by my side when he had the urge to indulge in adventure wherever he could find it. He was a private investigator, a bounty hunter, and a solver of mysteries, and he couldn’t be tied to one spot too long. When I first went into witness protection, he stayed three months with me in Tucson and then one night he left without saying goodbye. I ranted and raved, then settled down into being a single, pseudo-mother for Joyce, my sister’s child. When Trevor had showed up at my front door four months later, I let him in, hoping he was back to stay.

I was wrong again.

I pulled my mind back to the present. With the advent of spring, my heart had thawed a bit. Then right before tourist season kicked in, I took the job at Sadie’s. Summer kept me hopping from one Hiker’s Breakfast Plate to the next with no time to dwell on what pained me. Autumn had made an appearance after the last cold snap. My favorite season. This year, the expectation of crisp days and cold nights failed to cheer me. All the vibrancy drained from me when I recalled the police officer at the stoplight and the icy cold stare as his eyes met mine across the roadway. What was Iverson doing here? How had he gotten another job in law enforcement?

I glanced over my shoulder. No one trailed me down the street. At least, I didn’t think so. Was that man staring at me? Did that car slow as it passed? Was there a hint of malice in the air?

My Book Review:

Crisis of Serenity is a fast paced romantic suspense thriller that grabs the reader's attention from the start, and doesn't let go until the last page has been read. Written in the first person narrative, the reader catches up with Tess Copeland as her quiet life in the federal witness protection system in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is turned upside down when her niece is kidnapped, and Tess seeks the help of sexy U.S. Marshall Jake Coleman.

In Crisis of Serenity, the second book of the Crisis Series, author Denise Moncrief weaves another intriguing tale that keeps the reader on their toes as Tess and Jack's story unfolds. The reader was originally introduced to Tess and Jack in Crisis of Identity, the first book of the series, and now in Crisis of Serenity, the author recounts Tess and Jack's complex backstory and smoothly interweaves it with their troubled past that comes back to haunt them with danger lurking around every corner as they search for Tess' kidnapped niece.

Crisis of Serenity is an intense, action packed, and multi-layered story that has enough intrigue, danger, tension, drama, and suspenseful twists and turns that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seat, and guessing what will happen next. And if trying to stay alive while searching for Tess' niece isn't enough, the author throws in an emotional romantic twist between Tess and Jack that jacks up the exciting storyline another notch. This is a riveting story that will take the reader on an exhilarating roller coaster ride, leaving them wanting more!

If you are a fan of thrilling romantic suspense novels, then Crisis of Serenity is the book for you!


Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour 

Tour Schedule:

October 13 – Chick Lit Plus – Review 
October 14 – A Blue Million Books – Q&A & Excerpt
October 15 – What Shall We Blog About Today – Excerpt
October 15 – Chick Lit Club Connect – Guest Post
October 16 – Doorflower – Guest Post
October 17 – Ai Love Books – Review
October 20 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt
October 22 – A Cup of Tea and a Big Book – Review, Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
October 23 – Reading in Black and White – Guest Post & Excerpt
October 23 – What’s Beyond Forks – Review, Guest Post Q&A & Excerpt
October 24 – Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
October 27 – The Book Obsessed Mama – Review & Excerpt
October 27 – Ski-Wee’s Book Corner – Review


  1. Thank you for hosting me on the Crisis tour and for the wonderful review!

    1. Hi Denise! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)

  2. I haven't read this book before but it sounds promising!