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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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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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Following the release of Severed Threads, I’m happy to report two upcoming additions in the Threads series.

Book 2 – Buried Threads

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With news of their successful venture spreading, Rachel Lyons and her deep-sea diving crew accept an international contract involving a lost sacred treasure in the Sea of Japan. Arriving in Tokyo, she and her partner Chase Cohen soon realize they’ve been misled and their salvage project is more complex than they originally believed. In the midst of breaking their agreement, the Buddhist monk who hired them turns up missing. In order to rescue him from certain death, Rachel must depend on her governed intuition, 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 elusive Heart of Darkness.

Book 2 – Banished Threads (the final chapter)

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While enjoying a much-earned vacation in England, Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen are introduced to a secret mystical society by her jet-setting uncle and shortly after, a collection of priceless Morris Graves’ paintings turns up missing. Drawn into the mystery, the lovers and their salvage crew members take up residence at the Lyons’ stately manor. However, acquiring the cooperation of locals and the Fraternal Brotherhood seems improvable, convincing Rachel to end their involvement – until she discovers the secret her uncle has been harboring for years.
Be sure to pick up your copy of Severed Threads at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or Powell’s Bookstore and enjoy the continuing saga!
Kaylin

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Spring is when life’s alive in everything. —Christina Rossetti

Greetings Readers and Good Friends:

Months have slipped away in the blink of an eye and left me with so much to catch up on, and since this is the third year anniversary of my first newsletter, I felt it appropriate to begin my new quarterly updates with a Spring edition. Keeping this in mind, I’m excited to announce some wonderful, new developments. After a two-year pregnancy and excruciating labor, I’m proud to announce the delivery of my latest novel, Severed Threads. The last typed words in this novel were met with a box of Turtle chocolates and my favorite bottle of Merlot, which has become my routine after writing projects cross the finish line. This first attempt at romantic suspense has already been met with several first place awards, including the Utah RWA 2009 Great Beginnings Contest and Music City Romance Writers Melody of Love Contest. (Egad! That’s how long this one’s been in the mixer!!) In any event, it’s time to turn this baby loose (July 1st, to be exact) and move on to Book Two in my new adventure series…hopefully, at a much quicker pace.

The second bit of good news is the fact that my only unwed daughter is exchanging vows with her best friend and fiancée, Sam Watson, on Cinco de Mayo. I couldn’t be happier for Erika and, as her non-conformist beliefs remain consistent in all manners of her existent, we will be traveling to a remote town at the most southern tip of Mexico to witness her nuptials. Such fun! Especially when it comes to transporting loved ones and my 86-year-old mother to four airports before arriving at our final destination.

Lastly, I now have a second home in beautiful San Diego where I love to write and have opportunities to squeeze out my raincoat from rainy Portland weather on a regular basis. Located above Mission Bay, I’m blest with the ability to enjoy all the activity in the harbor and the amazing skylines in the evening. This location originally inspired me to write Severed Threads and is definitely keeping me sane…and considerably drier.

Now it’s time to take notes, as I’m about to recommend some great Spring reading – all of which I’ve personally enjoyed.

The Long Song by Andrea Levy – This novel was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and long listed for the Orange Prize – and for good reason. Set in Jamaica during the last turbulent years of slavery and the early years of freedom that followed, The Long Song is breathtaking, hauntingly beautiful, heartbreaking and totally absorbing. You will not be able to put this book down!

In the Place of Justice by Wilbert Rideau – In 1961, at the age of nineteen, young, black, eighth-grade dropout, Wilbert Rideau, despaired of the dead-end and small-town future his life held for him. He set out to rob the local bank and in an ill-conceived out and bungled robbery he killed the bank teller – a young, white female. He was arrested and gave a full confession at the local police station while angry mobs chanted ‘kill that nigger’ outside. From this beginning, where we meet Rideau, newly sentenced to death row, he starts on an extraordinary journey. One that begins in the most violent prison in America, where brutality, years spent in solitary confinement, sexual slavery and local politics govern and confine many in ways that bars alone cannot. The ending to this compelling book is like nothing you will have read before, full of breathtaking suspense and gripping, gritty realism, a heartbreaking, emotionally wrought and magical ending to Rideau’s prison life is skillfully and vigorously evoked. This is a powerful and inspirational memoir unlike any other, one that is sure to question our expectations of prisoners and the role of jails in rehabilitating them.

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth – Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the1950s.The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humor. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction. Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer’s stories bring to life the colorful world of the East End in the 1950s.

LOST IN TRANSLATION?

The Dairy Association’s huge success with the campaign “Got Milk?” prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico. It was soon brought to their attention that the Spanish translation read “Are you lactating?”

Coors translated its slogan “Turn it Loose” into Spanish, where it read “Suffer from Diarrhea.”

Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following wordage in an American campaign: “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.”

Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick” – a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that “Mist” is slang for manure.

An American t-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market, promoting the Pope’s visit. Instead of “I saw the Pope (El Papa), the shirts read “I saw the Potato (La Papa).

Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” in Chinese.

Frank Perdue’s chicken slogan “It takes a strong man to make a tender chicken” was translated into Spanish and read “It takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”

When American Airlines wanted to advertise its new leather first class seats in Mexico, their slogan “Fly in leather” campaign literally meant “Fly naked (vuela en cuero)” in Spanish.

Hunt-Wesson introduced Big John products in French Canada as “Gros Jos” and later found out that in slang it means “Big Breasts.”

The Coca-Cola name in China was first read as “Kekoukela” meaning “Bite the Wax Tadpole” or “Female Horse Stuffed with Wax” depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to arrive at “Koku Kole” which translate into “Happiness in the Mouth.”

And last, but not least, Parker Pen marketed a ballpoint pen in Mexico and its ads were supposed to read, “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” The advertising company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad actually read “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

How bout a little research folks?!?

KAYLIN’S SPRING RECIPE:

CARROT SOUFFLE

1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced
½ cup melted butter or margarine
3 eggs, beaten
¾ cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cook Carrots in a little boiling water and drain after checking for tenderness with a fork. Combine carrots and butter in an electric blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients. Blend well. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased (or Pam-sprayed) 9” x 13” casserole or soufflé dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until firm.

Okay, folks…here’s hoping your Spring brings wonderful memories and makes way for a toasty, prosperous year!

Best wishes and remember…keep reading!

Kaylin

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From Pacific Northwest’s award-winning author Kaylin McFarren comes a powerful novel about love, loss, and the power of forgiveness…

Successful yet emotionally stifled artist Kate Flaherty stands at the deathbed of her estranged father, conflicted by his morphine-induced confession exposing his part in her mother’s death. While racing home, Kate’s car mishap leads her to a soul-searching discussion with a lone diner employee, prompting Kate to confront the true reasons her marriage hangs in the balance. When her night takes an unexpected turn, however, she flees for her life, a life desperate for faith that can only be found through her ability to forgive.

Champagne Books
ISBN: 978-1-926681-19-1
Publication Date: February 2010

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