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SEVERED THREADS by Kaylin McFarrenSEVERED THREADS Cover Jpg

Creative Edge Publishing, 330 pages, (paperback) $12.95, 9781475186529 (Reviewed: February 2016)

STARRED REVIEW

A romantic adventure set in the exciting world of salvage diving, treasure hunters, and modern-day pirates, Severed Threads is an action-packed, crowd-pleasing page-turner.

Four years ago, Rachel Lyons’ father died in a mysterious diving accident, ending her love affair with the sea, as well as her love for her current flame, Chase Cohen, who was there when Sam Lyons died. Chase disappeared from Rachel’s life shortly thereafter, with no explanation. Since then, she has buried herself in a new corporate job and new life devoid of treasure hunting.

However, things are starting to get complicated. Rachel’s brother is in deep trouble with some dangerous people, and one of her father’s close friends needs a priceless Chinese artifact to end a deadly curse. In order to save the ones she loves, Rachel must team up with Chase to find the Heart of the Dragon and other promised riches. Their shaky partnership is thrown off balance by secrets, hidden motives, and unmistakable romantic tension.

McFarren expertly blends Chase and Rachel’s personal story with an exciting treasure hunting narrative punctuated by detailed diving knowledge. One moment Chase and Rachel are fending off sharks and discovering ancient treasure; in the next, their sizzling chemistry lights the pages on fire.

The plot develops quickly, while action, intrigue, sensual romance, and surprising twists and turns abound. The author’s descriptions of an underwater world are vivid and breathtaking, and a supernatural edge colors the search for legendary treasure. The main characters, Chase and Rachel, are wonderfully flawed and are surrounded by interesting and well-developed secondary characters that add depth to the story.

Severed Threads is an exciting and engaging read, simply perfect for fans of romantic suspense.

Also available as an ebook and audiobook.

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  • BANISHED THREADS
  • Romantic Suspense
  • Kaylin McFarren
  • 4 stars
  • HOT

USReview Book Image

Readers will get quite a thrill from McFarren’s latest Threads novel! Chase and Rachel are back in this fast-paced romantic suspense, based in an art gallery in England. It’s full of family drama, stolen art, kidnapping and even more exciting sex between the globe-trotting couple. The story moves along at a brisk pace with plenty of peripheral characters to keep things interesting.

SUMMARY: Treasure hunters Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen sail to London looking to secure her uncle’s blessing for their upcoming nuptials. Pregnant, Rachel is starting to have second thoughts about the future. Those doubts take a back seat when they arrive in England and priceless artwork is stolen from Rachel’s uncle’s art gallery. The drama skyrockets once her uncle’s granddaughter is kidnapped and Rachel and Chase are dragged into a dangerous, life-threatening quagmire. (CreativeEdgePublishing, Mar., 259 pp., $9.95)

Susan Roberts, Romantic Times Review Source

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Interested in reading my latest release and providing your honest to goodness review? Much-anticipated Banished Threads  the third book in my Threads series, featuring treasure hunters and adventure seekers Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen, will be coming to Amazon, B&N and independent book stores this spring (Creative Edge Publishing LLC, March 20, 2016). If you’d like to receive an advance copy, please let me know and I’ll try my best to accommodate the hosts of review sites willing to spread the word.

USReview Book Image

Book Summary: While vacationing at the Cumberforge Manor in Bellwood, England, Rachel and Chase attend an elegant dinner party hosted by her uncle, Paul Lyons, and his aristocratic wife, Sara. Before the evening ends, a priceless collection of Morris Graves’ paintings are stolen from her uncle’s popular gallery, throwing all suspicion onto his wife’s troubled granddaughter Sloan, and turning Rachel and Chase into crime-stopping sleuths. Determined to clear Sloan’s name and, in the process, win Paul’s favor, Chase scours the countryside looking for answers. In his absence, the police accuse Rachel’s uncle of an unsolved murder and secrets surrounding her grandmother’s death and the deaths of Sara’s former husbands turn his wife into the most likely suspect.

With the true villains hell-bent on destroying Paul and his family, solving both crimes while ensuring her uncle’s freedom not only endangers Rachel’s life but that of her unborn child. Will Chase save them before the kidnappers enact their revenge or will the ultimate price be paid, as predicted by a vagabond fortuneteller?

Read the book to find to out! Send your request for Banished Threads to Kaylin@kaylinmcfaren.com.

Thank you!

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2 copy 3

SEVERED THREADS – A NOVEL
REVIEWED BY: EDITORIAL BOARD
The Editorial Board of The Columbia Review accepts submissions from authors, publishers, directors, agents, producers and fans. http://www.TheColumbiaReview.com

“Severed Threads” by Kaylin McFarren is the first installment in romantic suspense series. It provides an engaging mix of mystery, action, and drama that readers are sure to enjoy.

The story’s protagonist is Rachel Lyons, who is devastated after her father dies from a terrible diving accident. Rachel copes as best she can by choosing a life path that seems safe and comfortable. Her path soon becomes not so safe and comfortable, however, when she is drawn very reluctantly into an endeavor to recover a priceless relic from a sunken Chinese merchant ship. Because a former love interest named Chase Cohen is involved in the adventure, Rachel strongly desires not to be involved:

“Word had it, Chase Cohen, the renowned treasure hunter, was more determined than ever to leave his mark. He’d rifled ocean plots stretching from Spain to Key West, selling off remnants of other people’s lives. She had hoped their paths would never cross again.”

Despite her adamant hope to stay away, however, Rachel finds herself pulled into the situation as a result of yet another traumatic event. A drug-dealing gangster kidnaps Rachel’s brother and holds him ransom for $2 million. After learning about this horrific situation, Rachel determines that she has no choice but to become involved in the recovery of the ship’s relic…because it also holds the Heart of the Dragon, which she must steal to save her brother. The whole process forces Rachel to relive the circumstances of her father’s death, an experience that she finds incredibly challenging:

“She pulled the covers under her chin and longed to be lulled to sleep by the ship’s rocking motion—to be transported to a peaceful place. However, whether her nightmares were triggered by being aboard Stargazer or in the proximity of the place where he had met his untimely death, they had grown in intensity. They had become so horrifying and real with each passing night that she got little or no sleep at all. She closed her eyes and concentrated on the sound in the room.”

Through this adventure, Rachel must overcome her greatest challenges and biggest fears and ends up learning more than she realized about herself and her father’s death along the way.

“Severed Threads” offers a psychologically thrilling and adventurous story that includes surprising twists and turns sure to keep its readers at the edge of their seats. The novel will delight readers of all ages with interesting characters, clever plotlines, and an engaging combination of romance, villainy, and the supernatural. Highly recommended!

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I’m very excited about the latest editorial reviews I’ve received for Severed Threads and thought I would take a moment to share them. 

“In this romantic suspense novel, a woman and her ex fight to recover a mysterious relic from a wrecked ship—and maybe salvage their relationship along the way.

The last person Rachel Lyons, marine biologist turned foundation executive, wants to see is her former love interest, Chase Cohen. He was working with her father, Sam, as an ocean salvager until Sam’s death in a diving accident, after which Chase disappeared with no more than a scribbled note. Even when a museum director begs Rachel to help finish the business Sam and Chase started and recover an important relic, she declines. But when her brother is kidnapped by drug dealers and held for ransom, Rachel agrees to lend her father’s boat to the task of exploring a 400-year-old ship. It’s said to contain gold, porcelain and the “Heart of the Dragon”—a gift from an emperor’s beautiful concubine to her illicit lover. According to legend, the concubine’s ghost still protects it. As Rachel and Chase work to bring up treasure from the sunken ship, they must fight off dangers, uncover secrets and confront their mutual rekindled passion. McFarren (Flaherty’s Crossing, 2010) offers an exciting, romantic adventure story that’s anchored by well-researched, authentic technical details of boats, scuba diving, salvage law, Chinese history and underwater archaeology.

Watching the characters thoughtfully do their jobs makes them more appealing to the reader and heightens the novel’s boldly erotic love scenes; Chase and Rachel are more than just beautiful bodies. (It’s irksome, though, when Chase treats Rachel like a child, at one point having a crew member send her to bed and doping her against her knowledge when he wants her to rest.) McFarren’s varied cast—from professors to gangsters to salty dogs—feels well rounded; despite a few ethnic clichés, like the Native American “warrior” and a hard-drinking, lusty Irishman, she toys with expectations more than once. Some odd word choices and unfortunate mistakes show that the book could use an editor’s hand, but with plenty at stake, erotic chemistry, dastardly villains, a lost relic, an unusual setting and a touch of the supernatural, this indie novel could stand on any romance publisher’s shelf. The full package of thrills and romance.” • KIRKUS REVIEW

****1/2

“Chase Cohen and Sam Lyons went diving together searching salvage for the elusive riches that come with the perfect find. When Chase realized Sam had not come back up from the dive, he went looking for him. Sam did not make it and Chase, filled with guilt, had to tell Sam’s daughter Rachel.

Years later, Rachel was discussing business with Dr. Ying, the museum director, when Chase interrupted. She was furious and declared that the foundation she worked for would not fund any projects that involved Chase. With the combination of Rachel’s brother, who was in trouble up to his ears, Dr. Ying’s manipulations, and Rachel’s unquenchable need to mend the past, she was had no choice but to search for the Heart of the Dragon.
Dive right in; the water is full of danger, intrigue, and passion. This treasure‑hunting jewel of a story will hold the reader captive to the very last page.” • LAUREN CALDER, Affaire de Coeur magazine

“Sometimes it is only when you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders that you really see what it is you want and what it is you are missing out of life. Such is the epiphany that Rachel Lyons comes to in the ever-suspenseful Severed Threads. Kaylin McFarren’s novel takes the reader through twists and turns as the story navigates romance and adventure, murder and mystery. With a central theme of guilt and deception, throughout all the action of the book, the reader sees the redemption of several of the characters; lessons are learned and bridges are built and crossed.

Believing herself to be the reason for her father’s death, Rachel has withdrawn from the world and the life she once knew to play it safe. With her last words to him replaying over and over in her head, playing it safe still wasn’t bringing her much happiness. She is stuck on this track until an old flame comes back into the picture, with tales of sunken treasure and undersea adventure. Forced into taking part in his quest because of the kidnapping of her brother, who has himself created a world of chaos after the passing of his father, Rachel sets out on a journey to discover hidden secrets, buried treasure, and herself. Throw in a little paranormal activity, curses and ghosts and such, and some strong sexual attractions, and the book will keep you on the edge of your toes throughout.

With so many plot turns and the many characters’ underlying stories, this novel is a true treasure unto itself. As a reader, I couldn’t put the book down because I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next. Many of the ups and downs were not obvious, and I enjoyed the surprise as each revelation was made. The characters are extremely complex but real, and I found myself being very involved in their thoughts and actions. I felt for each character, questioned their reasoning and cheered them on.

It is easy to see through reading this book that McFarren familiarized herself with the information she was presenting in her book. The time and information she put into the history and the undersea world lent depth to the book and helped to present a very genuine story. I enjoy nothing more than a well-researched, thought provoking read, and Severed Threads definitely found itself in that category for me.” • SUZANNE GATTIS, Pacific Book Review

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A Message From Kaylin…
The last three months have been filled with excitement, travel and fun developments. First if all, Severed Threads was officially released on July 18th and continues to receive rave reviews. This first book in the Threads series garnered a number of new awards this season, including:

2012 Indie Book of the Day Award Winner for 22nd of September 2012
2012 Golden Acorn Excellence in Writing Contest – 2nd place
2012 AKRWA’s best Break-up contest – 1st Place
2012 Central Ohio Fiction Writers’ Ignite the Flame Contest – 2nd Place

Next, with the wonderful blessing of having a second home in San Diego, I find myself visiting there at least once a month to enjoy the sights, sounds and incredible food – all within a short five-minute walk. The addition of a new writing desk and internet hook-up will continue to keep me producing all year-long and finding inspiration in the views and from the people I’ve become acquainted with during my stays.

Lastly, if you haven’t had a chance to visit my new website, be sure to do so. You’ll find news about upcoming releases, new excerpts, reviews and trailers…as well as easy-to-buy links. If you’re a new author or have been considering self-publishing your work, also visit my publisher’s website atwww.creativeedgepublishing.com. You’ll find helpful suggestions and details about my journey from concept to print.

Kaylin’s Best Review Contest:

From September 1st – 30th, I hosted a Book Review Contest on Amazon.com. My congratulations to “WaFire” (aka Jay Farrell) for the best review of the month. Hope you enjoy your new Wi-Fi Kindle and gift certificate! They’re on their way…

And here’s his winning review:

“Severed Threads – an exciting action adventure into the world of salvage diving, treasure hunting, gangsters and Chinese art history is also my first foray into the literary genre that includes ‘romance’. The story grabbed my attention from the first air bubbles on the tragic initial dive excursion resulting in the untimely death of Rachel Lyon’s father. Author Kaylin McFarren then has your attention wrapped tightly by the throat like the gangster Pollero torturing Rachel’s brother Devon. Explosions, wild seas and unexpected character revelations layer the action, and, yes romance, further into the story like thermal layers on a hundred foot dive.”

Now be sure to visit my website home page at www.kaylinmcfarren.com for new, upcoming contests that you can participate in as well!

Kaylin’s Work In Progress:

At this time, I’m working diligently on the next book in the Threads series: Buried Threads 

Here’s the summary and a fun excerpt to enjoy:

With news of their recent success spreading, Rachel Lyons and her deep-sea diving crew accept a contract to recover a lost sacred treasure in the Sea of Japan. Arriving in Tokyo, she and her partner Chase Cohen soon learn their romantic exploration is more complex than they originally believed and are determined to break their agreement – until the Buddhist monk who hired them turns up missing. In order to rescue him from certain death, Rachel must depend on her buried instincts, form an alliance with one of Japan’s most feared mafia leaders and convince her partner to dive into shark-infested waters to search for the Heart of Darkness.

Excerpt:

Rachel arched a brow. Who the hell was this guy anyway? And why would he refuse first class when given the choice? As Helen stepped away, she eyed the stranger, more mystified than ever.

“I don’t know why you would order food for me when I don’t intend to eat it. That’s a very odd thing to do, Mr. Shinji,” she said.

He shrugged a shoulder. “I suppose I am a bit odd. But I guarantee you’ll change your mind.”

She huffed. “Not likely.” She considered standing up and halting the stewardess’ progress but the drink cart was blocking the aisle.

Within seconds, Helen returned with an assisting attendant holding two filled trays in her hands. More than anything, Rachel wanted to issue a verbal protest, but it seemed she’d already drawn the attention of the Asian couple seated across from her who were glowering for some unknown reason.

The petite blond leaned down, draping napkins across Rachel and Shinji’s laps. She waited for them to lower their tabletops before setting down two plates filled with cheese omelets, blueberry yogurt cups, croissants and strawberry jam. Then she returned again with a fresh pot of coffee and requested mango juice.

Unbelievable. Rachel stole sideways glances at the peculiar man. He picked up his fork and shoveled bread and a sizeable portion of omelet into his mouth. Her cheeks warmed at the practically pornographic noise that came out of her seatmate, as Shinji threw his head back and munched gratifyingly, his eyes closed in contentment. She noticed a spot of jam on the corner of his mouth and looked away determinedly.

“There’s nothing better than warm bread and eggs in the morning,” Shinji said, recovering from his omelet orgasm. “I suggest eating your meal before it gets cold, Miss Lyons. You’re going to need every ounce of strength you can muster to get your job done.”

Rachel glared at the impertinent stranger, willing him be sucked out the window. But then she’d never know his whole story – why he felt entitled and insisted on behaving so inappropriately.

“You’re not a private investigator, are you, Mr. Shinji?” she quipped.

He picked up his torn roll and smeared it with more jam. “I never said I was.”

“But you inferred as much.”

“That was never my intent. If you recall, I didn’t tell you what I actually recover.”

“So, what is it then? If you travel all over the world to find these things, they must be valuable or have some significance.”

“I think you’d have a hard time believing me if I told you.”

“Try me,” she said then inwardly cringed on her insistence.

After another well-chewed mouthful, he gazed deep into her eyes and answered in a calm, matter of fact tone. “Souls.”

On the Lighter Side:

Stuffed deer heads on walls are bad enough, but it’s worse when you see them wearing dark glasses, having streamers around their necks and a hat on their antlers. Because then you know they were enjoying themselves at a party when they were shot. (Ellen Degeneres)

A newlywed couple moves into their new house. One day the husband comes home from work and his wife says, “Honey, you know, in the upstairs bathroom one of the pipes is leaking, could you fix it?” The husband says, “What do I look like, Mr. Plumber?” A few days go by, and he comes home from work and his wife says, “Honey, the car won’t start. I think it needs a new battery. Could you change it for me?” He says: “What do I look like, Mr. Goodwrench?” Another few days go by, and it’s raining pretty hard. The wife finds a leak in the roof. She says, “Honey, there’s a leak on the roof! Can you please fix it?” He says, “What do I look like, Bob Vila?” The next day the husband comes home, and the roof is fixed. So is the plumbing. So is the car. He asks his wife what happened. “Oh, I had a handyman come in and fix them,” she says. “Great! How much is that going to cost me?” he snarls. Wife says: “Nothing. He said he’d do it for free if I either baked him a cake or slept with him.” “Uh, well, what kind of cake did you make?” asks the husband. “What do I look like,” she says, “Betty Crocker?”

Kaylin’s Favorite Recipe:

Butternut Squash Apple Soup Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

Note that the smaller you chop your vegetables, the faster they will cook. We like to finely dice the onion. celery and carrot, and cut the squash and apple into 1/2-inch chunks. For a variation add a couple dashes of smoked paprika and/or swirl in a little sour cream at the end (off the heat).

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, chopped
1 tart green apple, peeled, cored, chopped (squash and apple should be at a 3 to 1 ratio)
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian)*
1 cup water
Pinches of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper

*If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free broth.

DIRECTIONS:

1 Set a large saucepan over medium-high heat and heat the butter for 1-2 minutes. Do not let it turn brown. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes, taking care to turn the heat down if the vegetables begin to brown.

2 Add squash, apple, broth and water. Bring to boil. Cover, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until squash and carrots soften. Puree, and return to a clean pot.

3 Add salt and spices to taste, and garnish with chives or parsley.

Yield: Serves 4-6.

*******

Well, hope you enjoy our late summer weather and have an awesome, productive autumn!

All my best wishes,
Kaylin

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So excited by the new 5-star review I received today for my latest release – Severed Threads. When authors receive positive feedback like this, it only encourages us to return to the typewriter to conjure up more adventures and dramatic story lines. So I thank you, Suzanne Gattis, for your non-basis appraisal and vote of confidence in my writing ability. Kaylin

“Sometimes it is only when you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders that you really see what it is you want and what it is you are missing out of life.  Such is the epiphany that Rachel Lyons comes to in the ever-suspenseful Severed Threads.  Kaylin McFarren’s novel takes the reader through twists and turns as the story navigates romance and adventure, murder and mystery.  With a central theme of guilt and deception, throughout all the action of the book, the reader sees the redemption of several of the characters; lessons are learned and bridges are built and crossed.

Believing herself to be the reason for her father’s death, Rachel has withdrawn from the world and the life she once knew to play it safe.  With her last words to him replaying over and over in her head, playing it safe still wasn’t bringing her much happiness.  She is stuck on this track until an old flame comes back into the picture, with tales of sunken treasure and undersea adventure.  Forced into taking part in his quest because of the kidnapping of her brother, who has himself created a world of chaos after the passing of his father, Rachel sets out on a journey to discover hidden secrets, buried treasure, and herself.  Throw in a little paranormal activity, curses and ghosts and such, and some strong sexual attractions, and the book will keep you on the edge of your toes throughout.

With so many plot turns and the many characters’ underlying stories, this novel is a true treasure unto itself.  As a reader, I couldn’t put the book down because I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next.  Many of the ups and downs were not obvious, and I enjoyed the surprise as each revelation was made.  The characters are extremely complex but real, and I found myself being very involved in their thoughts and actions.  I felt for each character, questioned their reasoning and cheered them on.

It is easy to see through reading this book that McFarren familiarized herself with the information she was presenting in her book.  The time and information she put into the history and the undersea world lent depth to the book and helped to present a very genuine story.  I enjoy nothing more than a well-researched, thought-provoking read, and Severed Threads definitely found itself in that category for me.” • SUZANNE GATTIS, Pacific Book Review

http://www.kaylinmcfarren.com

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