Saturday, November 29, 2014

Cool Book of the Week: Spellbound

Spellbound: Spellbringers Book One

by Tricia Drammeh

Why is Spellbound cool?

Would your grandmother like this book?

I think she would have liked it. She loved to read anything with romance. 

What is your elevator pitch?
When the Alexander family moves to the small, southern town of Oaktree, secrets and magic collide, and life for Rachel and Alisa will never be the same.

How did you come up with the plot?

I came up with the characters before the plot evolved. I love paranormal romance and fantasy, so I wanted to write a book that had all the elements I enjoy in a book, but also one my kids could read.

How is this book different from other books in this genre?
Spellbound features a cast of multicultural characters, which is a rarity in young adult fantasy. A wide range of teens and young adults will be able to relate to the characters.

Why is your book cool?
My book is cool because it appeals to a variety of readers. There’s romance, magic, adventure, and drama. It’s also cool because it’s the first in a series, but readers won’t have to wait to read the following books. Firebound (book two) is already available and Unbound (book three) is being released on December 5th. How cool is that?

Very cool!

Why Reviewers think Spellbound is cool:

"Ms Drammeh has begun a truly spellbinding series about magic, danger and the empowering force of love. Her characters are well drawn and believable, thanks to her wonderful prose and use of dialogue. I can hardly wait for the next book.

The wonderful Spellbringers series will appeal to lovers of magical fantasy for new adults and even older people who are young at heart." -Juliet B. Madison

"With realistic issues and language, Tricia lifts the veil on a secret world that surrounds us. I cannot wait until the next one comes out to see how the claiming words will protect, bind and enhance these two girls lives." -Michel Prince

"This book is phenomenal and I would recommend it to just about any one. Amazing job, Tricia!" -Maegan Provan

About the book:

The Demon Re’Vel stalks his prey in the forest of dreams, slowly gaining control over the mind of his victim. Rachel doesn’t realize the Demon is real. In fact, she doesn’t believe in magic, Demons, Hunters, or any of the other things the Alexanders have warned her about. She resists their protection, but can’t resist her overwhelming feelings for Jace. 

Alisa has been drawn to Jace since the day she saved him from a Hunter attack. A mere human in a world of Spellbringers, Alisa has been embraced by the Alexander family as a hero, but not everyone is willing to accept her. Jace’s intimidating older brother, Bryce, keeps his emotions and his secrets hidden. When Bryce confides in Alisa, it puts her relationship with Jace and the entire Alexander family at risk. 

Danger, secrets, and betrayal collide, and when the Demon makes his claim, the small, southern town of Oaktree becomes a battleground for Rachel’s life.

About the author:

Tricia Drammeh is a wife and mother of four children who lives in New Hampshire. Her published works include the Spellbringers series, Better than Perfect, The Seance, and The Fifth Circle. She is currently working on her eighth novel. When Tricia isn't writing, she can be found devouring books, chasing cats, or consuming vast amounts of coffee.

Connect with Tricia:
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Website  |  Goodreads

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I'm Thankful for My Readers

Blue Million Books Street Team

Since it's Thanksgiving, I thought I'd let you all know what I am thankful for in my online world. Actually, it's whom I'm thankful for. As a writer, I'm thankful for my readers, of course. I'm thankful for the people who take the time to leave a review, who tweet or retweet about my book, and who send me messages telling me they liked Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. It's readers like that--not sales--that keep a writer going.

But this blog isn't all about me. (Shocking, I know.) This blog is to help other authors promote their work. Toward that end, there are share links at the bottom of each post. Readers can share the blog features with their Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and Google+ circles, or they can pin it to a board on Pinterest. There is a small group of people who share my blog posts regularly on Twitter, and I want them to know I am #thankful and #grateful for them. I have dubbed them the Blue Million Books Street Team. I am thankful for their support. Tweets come and go for various blog features (thank you!), but below are the people who regularly tweet about a feature on A Blue Million Books. Thank you, thank you! Y'all are better than dew right off a honeysuckle. Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

I'm #thankful for:

Colette Saucier @Colete_Saucier
Sandra U. Almazan @ulbrichalmazan
Jon Jefferson @JeffersonJon
Maer Wilson @MaerWilson
Wendy Van Camp @wvancamp
Debra L. Martin @dmartin6
Stacy Juba @stacyjuba
Cheryl Therrien @grandmasdiaries
Teen Readers' Diary ‏@TeenReaderDiary
Feather Stone @FeatherWrites

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Author: Teresa Trent

About the book:

Animal rustling is alive and well in the sleepy little town of Pecan Bayou, Texas--but with a particularly peculiar spin. Only the fake livestock seem to be at risk. First, cowboy legend Charlie Loper's larger-than-life fiberglass horse disappears from the town square, but before the police can get any solid leads, the cow in front of the local steak house gets pinched.

Betsy Livingston Fitzpatrick, local helpful hints columnist for the Pecan Bayou Gazette, is trying keep her mind off of being nine months pregnant in the blistering Texas summer heat. Troubled by haunting dreams, she pursues the odd animal thefts in a case that soon turns into murder. As Betsy closes in on the killer, a hurricane is headed straight for the Gulf Coast sending spin-off storms and tornadoes to the little town of Pecan Bayou. "Hunker down" with Betsy and the lovable characters of Pecan Bayou in the latest Betsy Livingston mystery from cozy author Teresa Trent. Recipes and helpful hints included.

Note: Murder for a Rainy Day will be free on Kindle Nov 25-26 and Dec 4-5.

Interview with Teresa Trent

Teresa, You have a great title. What’s the story behind it? 
On the surface, Murder for a Rainy Day has to do with the hurricane that is headed toward Texas and the resulting tornadoes that spin toward Pecan Bayou. At a deeper level, the concept of waiting and putting things away for a rainy day occurs with many of the characters in the story.

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
Murder for a Rainy Day is the sixth book in the Pecan Bayou series.  These books tell about the life of Betsy Livingston, a helpful hints columnist and her journey from being a single mother to marriage and finally having a second child. This series is part of the "cozy" mystery genre which is often lighthearted leaving graphic violence offstage for the most part. If your readers enjoy Agatha Christie or Murder She Wrote, then they will enjoy reading the Pecan Bayou series.

And if they enjoy those books, I think they would enjoy the Goose Pimple Junction series too. I know, shameless plug-sorry. Couldn't help it!

The books do not have to be read in order, although it does help with Betsy's development. Each book contains its own mystery and visits from all of the quirky characters who reside in Pecan Bayou. If you would like to read the books in order here is a list:
#1 A Dash of Murder  - a Halloween ghost hunting mystery
#2 Overdue for Murder - a library mystery
#3 Doggone Dead - a Fourth of July mystery
#4 Buzzkill - a wedding mystery
#5 Burnout - a Thanksgiving mystery
#6 Murder for a Rainy Day -  FREE on Kindle November 24-26 and December 4-5.

What would your main character say about you?
My main character is a helpful hints writer when she is not solving mysteries, so I think she would constantly be telling me there is a better way to do something! 

How did you create the plot for Murder for a Rainy Day?      
I read an article about somebody stealing a cow statue and putting it in someone's front yard. I remembered somebody (not me) did that very thing in Colorado where I went to high school. From there I just couldn't put away the thought--why? Why would anyone take the time to do such a silly thing? From there I thought about how to develop the theft into my mystery. Of course, Pecan Bayou is full of things like giant chickens made out of soup cans and fake horses, so it was a natural fit.

Of course! Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
Danny, my character with Down Syndrome is a composite of many young people I have met, including my own son. In my last book, Burnout, my daughter immediately recognized my mother in the character of Miss Caroline. I don't think I even realized I had written her in until I reread the description I wrote of her hands. I have been blessed with many strong women in my life, and they all filtered into Aunt Maggie and Ruby Green, the owner of the Best Little Hairhouse in Texas. 

I love that name! Is your book based on real events? 
Being from Houston, my family evacuated for Hurricane Ike and Rita. When I joke about Lester Jibbets and his port-a-potty empire, that comes from my family being stuck in traffic for 24 hours during Hurricane Rita and bathrooms being hard to come by. I never heard the expression "hunker down" until I moved to Texas. That's the Lone Star way of saying "shelter in place." My little town of Pecan Bayou is not on the coast, so the story had to be about the oncoming tornadoes that would trigger from a hurricane. Hurricanes in Texas are a destructive business, and they have a way of taking your mind off anything you might have thought was important a day ago. Into all of this I threw in the story of Betsy's baby coming into the world! 

What a time to have a baby! What book are you currently reading and in what format ?
Welcome to the world of the A.D.D. reader. Right now I'm reading Adam, God's Beloved, a beautiful story of a disabled man in Canada; Avery Aaves' To Brie or Not to Brie - a cozy mystery. You would think from all of that I'm a fast reader, but I actually struggle keeping up with reading at times. I tend to use multiple formats when getting into a story. I listen to recorded books when driving or doing housework, I read paperbacks and read on my Kindle. 

I do the same thing. Do you have a routine for writing?
With me, it is more about not stopping than anything else. I try to write something every day. When I get into editing mode, I try to work on plotting out my next project and edit the old one at the same time. If I put writing away for more than a couple of days, I loose the flow of the story and end up making mistakes.   

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Now you'll know what a lazy writer I am. If you are thinking of me sitting behind a beautifully carved wood desk surrounded by dark cherry bookshelves, then you'd be wrong. I write in a recliner with my laptop. My husband and I share a home office space. He has a desk, but I brought in a comfy plaid recliner and a floor lamp. I keep telling my family there are books running all through the lines of the plaid! As far as when I write, I have always thought of myself as a morning person but have been surprised in the last few years to find that I also love writing from 3 until 7 pm. I can never write past 8 pm because the plot lines and characters refuse to let me go to sleep!

What are you working on now?
I am working on the first book in my next series. My storytelling is moving to the Piney Woods area of Texas so I am bringing in some of the history of the area along with colorful characters from either side of the Texas/Louisiana border! Still though, as cozy as the town might be, there's going to be a murder to solve!

About the author

Teresa Trent writes her Pecan Bayou mystery series from Houston, Texas. With a father in the army, her family moved often, finally settling in Colorado. Living in Texas for the last 19 years, she loves the people and even the weather.  Murder for a Rainy Day includes a hurricane, and having endured Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Rita with her family, Teresa would much rather write about them than evacuate from them. Teresa includes Danny, a character with Down Syndrome in her Pecan Bayou family and in real life is the mother of an adult son with Down Syndrome/PDD. Creating the character of Danny and all of the other inhabitants of Pecan Bayou has been a joy for her. This book is the last one in the Pecan Bayou series, taking Betsy from single mom to mother of three. Teresa is now working on her next series that will take place in the Piney Woods of Texas.

Connect with Teresa:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Dirty Dozen with Paul Anthony

About the book:

It’s 1938. The Spanish Civil War is in its final throes. Franco, Mussolini, Hitler, Chamberlain, Lebrun and Stalin, dominate European politics.

A ship leaves Canada bound for France but there’s a storm at sea and the vessel is wrecked in the English Channel.

Seventy five years later the chess playing detective, Davies King, investigates the connection between the escape of a handful of petty criminals from a prison van; a vicious murder, a sunken ship in the English Channel, a corrupt American politician, and ‘organised crime.'

Will Britain’s most annoying petty criminals outwit the stressed-out detective? Faced with overwhelming odds, the exhausted Davies King must come to terms with failure and re-ignite ‘loyalty.’ On the doorstep of bribery, corruption and kidnap, the detective recognises an emerging catastrophe which is likely to destroy the foundations of an Anglo-American agreement and destroy that special relationship. But loyalty is the last stand and it’s beyond his control.

Paul Anthony Answers the Dirty Dozen

1. What’s one thing that drives you crazy?
    People who promise to do something and then don’t.

2. What is your guiltiest guilty pleasure?
    Red wine (Grenache) and chocolate (dark).

3. What is your most embarrassing moment?
    Chasing a car thief across a field in the middle of Cumbria, losing my slip-on shoes,
    but still catching the thief – I only ever recovered one shoe though. Never wore
    slip-ons again, and I still remember the jibes at work for ages.

4. What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
    A double back somersault from table to floor – result = broken wrist, (not that bad
    though – years later married the nurse who treated the fracture).

5. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
    It’s classified.

6. On what life choices would you like to have a re-do?
    Making a day last 28 hours and not 24 – could enjoy it more then.

7. What makes you nervous?
    Questions by Amy Metz.

8. LOL. I love that answer! What makes you scared?

    Snakes and crocodiles.

9. What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
    That I’m not an alien from quadrant three of the second Iberian constellation.

10. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
      Failing to buy laces for shoes.

11. When was the last time you did something for the first time?
     Yesterday, I drank tea instead of coffee (it was awful).

12. One of your main characters has to die. Which one would you kill off?
     Antonia from MI5 in the Boyd series – she wants to be a main character in her own

Other books by Paul Anthony:

About the author:

Paul Anthony is a writer based in the UK who has recently published his 14th novel which happens to be his 8th crime thriller. It is entitled Breakwater. He is a retired detective who worked in the area of counter terrorism. His Twitter handle is @paulanthonyspen. To find out more about the book and Paul, follow the links to his blog and his Amazon page.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Featured Author: Ognian Georgiev

About the book:

This wasn't the first time Galabin Boevski felt oppressed. He had suffered the atrocious legacy of communism and the lack of support that a talented athlete like him should otherwise expect from his motherland.

It had been a week since his arrest. He'd spent a night in the jail of Sao Paulo's airport, then transferred to another Brazilian prison for temporary detention. Now he was in Itai, a prison for foreigners, full of people from all over the world.

His memories kept rushing in and he kept going over the unfortunate events over and over. What went wrong? He spent his first night in jail with 1500 prisoners who were serving their sentences there - murderers, rapists, fraudsters and thieves, but the majority of them people like him - accused of drug trafficking. "I'm not a mule," he thought, "I am Galabin Boevski. Legendary weightlifter and Olympic champion, not a criminal!"

...based on a true story...

Interview with Ognian Georgiev

Ognian, tell us about your book.
The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski’s Secret Story is a typical non-fiction sports book.  It’s based on the events around the arrest of Galabin Boevski, the famous weightlifter, who was caught with huge amount of cocaine in his suitcases at Sao Paolo airport in 2011. He received 9 years plus sentence and started to serve it in Brazilian prison.

Surprisingly, one day he landed in Sofia airport after been served just two years of his jail time. Nobody believed how he was able to get out of prison. Many versions were put on the news stream not only in Bulgaria, but around the world.

Why “The white prisoner?”
The word white is linked with three things: First, Boevski was sentenced in Brazil, where most of the other prisoners were Latinos or Afro-Americans. Secondary, he was arrested with cocaine possession and the color of the drug is white. Boevski is pleading non-guilty in the novel; this is why the other connection is with pure and white.

His story is secret, because for the first time many things not only around him, but also for the ugly elite sports world are unveiled.

How did you get to know your characters?

As a non-fiction book, it was easy and tough to describe and to present the characters. You know that every person has different dimensions. The characters in my book were related, because all of them were part of sporting life.  I tried to describe every one of them as much as closer to the reality. My base for doing so was all the interviews that I took during the research process.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?
The main one. Galabin Boevski is one of those persons, who put curtains around him. It’s extremely hard to understand his logic and why he acted unconventionally. The mysteries around him were so complicated that for some situation I’ve heard three different stories from three different people, who knew him. The problem was which one was closer to the truth.

What song would you pick to go with this book?
"What You Want" ver 2 by Kevin MacLeod. This is the music that I used for my trailer. You may check it out here:

Why did you decide to self-publish?
The Bulgarian version of The White Prisoner: Galabin Boevski’s Secret Story was traditionally published by “Trud” house, one of the most popular in our country. I took the decision to make a translation and to publish in English. I checked around the possibilities. The feedback of new authors was that it’s very tough to find an agent or a house if you are not a well-known name. John Grisham, for example, was rejected by more than 20 publishers for his first novel – A Time to Kill.

Self-publishing was better selection. I love it, because everything depends on you. You learn a lot of new things around formatting, marketing and publicizing. So guys, if some of you, who аре currently on my position, as I have been before, don’t think twice – go as self-published author.

I agree. What are you working on now?
I am in primary research phase for my second book. Once again, it will be a sports non-fiction story. This time the main character will be a boxer. He is very special and has an amazing story. The guy’s name, Serafim Todorov, is probably not so known worldwide. But he is the last person who beat in the ring the most well-paid athlete in the world – Floyd Mayweather.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria. It’s a 2-milion plus metropolis with a typical Eastern Europe architecture. We’ve got a lot of parks, sweet center, a mountain right next to the city.

I lived for most of my childhood in one of the most populated districts. It was happy times, because I caught some years of Communism. As a kid I didn’t know how limited is that system and how our parents were forced not to do many things. But we kids, were happy to play around all day long without cable television; the computers were still not so popular as in our times. It was very secure times, when the children went alone to school since first grade. Now the parents are scared to put alone the kids to play away from home alone.

Where’s home for you?
My home is where my family is. I’ve got a very sweet daughter, Valeria, and with my partner Ralitza, we are living in a very small suite. But our place is so nice, and I am feeling very happy every time, when I come back from work and my almost 2-year-old girl Valeria hugs me.

Do you have another job outside of writing?
My main job is as newspaper editor of the sports section. I am doing also TV commentary for boxing/MMA events for some national television. In April 2015, I will “celebrate” 15 years in the profession, which gave me a lot of emotions and adventures. I still love it very much, and I am very happy that I was able to find my place in the Universe.

With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?
My favorite football player, Denis Bergkamp, would be one of them. Would be great if I meet him while I am browsing his biography and he would be able to sign my copy. I would be happy to speak in a bookstore with Michael Connelly; he is my favorite crime author. I would like to ask him a few questions for his characters.

What a nice surprise it would be if I met Quentin Tarantino and by a chance to carry with me my book. I would be very happy to make a gift to him.

Let’s see – two more. One of them would be my late grandmother, Valeria. She was always so gentle to me and helped me a lot during my young years. She wasn’t the most avid reader, but I am sure she would be very happy if she saw my book. The fifth probably would be you, Amy, for giving me a chance to do this interview and for having such a nice blog.

Thank you, Ognian! That's quite an honor. What book are you currently reading and in what format?
Currently I am reading The Summons by John Grisham on my Kindle. I just finished a great fantasy book by Jamie Maltman – Brush of Darkness, the first novel of Arts Reborn series. I love when I see such a good production by an indie writer.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
Northern France and Belgium are my best selection. I love those places. It’s such a beauty, fresh air, middle ages architecture...Yeahhh, I start to dream now about Bruges, while I was writing the last paragraph of our interview.

About the author:

Ognian Georgiev is a sport journalist, who is currently working as sports editor at the Bulgaria Today daily newspaper. He covered the Summer Olympics in Beijing 2008 and in London 2012.

The author of the book The White Prisoner - Galabin Boevski's Secret Story specializes in sports politics, investigations and coverage of Olympic sports events.

Ognian Georgiev works as a TV broadcaster for Eurosport Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting group, TV+, F+ and TV7. He is a commentator for fight sports events such as boxing/kickboxing and MMA.

The author was born in the capital city of Bulgaria - Sofia. He started work as a sports reporter in 2000. In the following years Ognian Georgiev covered different sports events in USA, Germany, Switzerland, UK, France, Greece, Serbia, Hungary, Spain, and Italy.

The author lives in Sofia with his partner Ralitza and their one-year-old daughter Valeria.

Connect with Ognian:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Featured Author: Christoph Fischer

About the book:

When Charles and Tony's mother dies, the estranged brothers must struggle to pick up the pieces, particularly so given that one of them is mentally challenged and the other bitter about his place within the family.

The conflict is drawn out over materialistic issues, but there are other underlying problems which go to the heart of what it means to be part of a family which, in one way or another, has cast one aside.

Prejudice, misconceptions and the human condition in all forms feature in this contemporary drama revolving around a group of people who attend the subsequent funeral at the British South Coast.

Meet flamboyant gardener Charles, loner Simon, selfless psychic Elaine, narcissistic body-builder Edgar, Martha and her version of unconditional love and many others as they try to deal with the event and its aftermath.

Excerpt from Conditions

Martha was petite and fragile looking with bleach blonde hair, very light skin and lots of freckles. She seemed lost in her overly large black dress.  When she saw it was a stranger answering the door she trembled, mumbling a barely audible greeting. Charles quickly stuck his head out of the kitchen and shouted:

“Martha, this is my friend Simon.”

She looked puzzled.

“Remember, I said there’d be someone from Torquay. The orchid guy?”

She nodded slightly, hesitantly stepped into the hallway and looked searchingly around.
“Talk to each other while I’m making dinner,” Charles ordered them. “I’ll be out soon. Go, sit in the living room!”

Martha shrugged and gave a little grin, then stood there waiting for Simon to do something.

“You have been here before, haven’t you?” he asked surprised at her lack of initiative.
“Yes, of course,” she said, continuing to stand until he started to walk. Only then did she move towards the living room, following his lead. She sat down on the sofa, put her handbag on the floor and folded her hands over her knees. She remained that way, without saying a further word, her gaze averted towards the floor. Simon sat down on the other sofa and tried to think of the right thing to say, but was stumped. Although she was as shy as Charles had predicted, there was something quite forceful underneath that exterior that didn’t sit comfortable with him. An unspoken pressure surrounded that woman and tensed up the atmosphere. She, too, had very attractive features, he thought. A hint of Meg Ryan maybe, if only her face was more relaxed.

“Can I get you a drink?” he eventually asked, grateful that something had finally sprung to mind.

“No thank you,” she said, her voice cracking halfway through the first syllable. He noticed that her eyes were melancholic and seemed to be continually searching for something. She smiled and shrugged as if to apologise for it. Only then did Simon remember being told about her drinking problem and felt the sting of embarrassment. To add to his discomfort Martha now seemed to have lost some of her initial shyness and looked expectantly at him. The mounting pressure began to feel very uncomfortable.

He remembered her story vaguely from one of Charles’s long monologues. Martha and Charles had met in hospital after his accident at the estate while she was being treated for nasty bruises and fractures - souvenirs from a recent fight with her latest abusive husband. The memory made him even more self-conscious as to what to speak to her about.

“How was the journey?” Simon had finally thought to ask.

“Alright,” she said, repeating her grin and shrug routine.

“Are you still living in…” Simon paused, realising that he couldn’t remember the name of the town.

“I’m still in the same place that I lived in with my ex-husband Clive,” she said eagerly. She had moved to the front of the seat and was leaning towards him. “It has to be sold to complete the divorce settlement and the sale is taking its time,” she added.

“Sorry to hear that,” he said, surprised by her sudden change of attitude.

“Like our marriage, the sale has turned into a tedious and painful affair,” she said, giggling slightly.

“I see,” Simon said, feeling embarrassed by the sudden intimacy. “I hadn’t meant to ask that, of course.”

“I don’t mind talking about it,” she said. “I’m in AA and there we share everything. Clive and I worked at the same firm and nothing about the split has ever been secret. Everyone knows my story and in parts I find that quite liberating. Charles probably mentioned the saga to you. At least he probably told you why I don’t drink,” she added.

Simon was stunned into silence by her forwardness.

“You don’t have to get embarrassed,” she assured him.

“I am embarrassed,” he said, to which she just shrugged her shoulders.

What reviewers are saying:

"Author Christoph Fisher skillfully weaves a tale with a unique cast of characters that are realistic.” 
Thomas Baker

In Conditions he has taken on a very difficult topic - a family dealing with mental illness - and brought his characters to life.” 
Yael Politis

This book gives us a fascinating glimpse into a world that few of us will experience, but many of us are curious about.” 
Purple Violin

"I found the writing captivating as Christoph Fischer gave a storyline with stormy relationships, exploring the fragility of the human spirit from such different angles by giving the characters their own set of shortcomings." -M.C.V. Egan

"Author Christoph Fischer with his latest book "Conditions" has once again produced an amazing read. His passionate words and novel brings one to reality in life - dealing with mental illness - family trials and tribulations - an excellent story line with a cast of realistic characters. Extremely touching, emotional and heart tugging. Lovely read!" -Anna Othitis

Other books by Christoph Fischer:

About the author:

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he is still resident today. The Luck of The Weissensteiners was published in November 2012; Sebastian in May 2013; The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013.
His first contemporary novel is called Time To Let Go and was released June 2014.
He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Connect with Christoph:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cool Book of the Week: Coptales


A Police Anthology
 Available from Amazon Kindle and Lulu in Print
Published by Paul Anthony Associates

Contributing authors:

Paul Anthony, Simon Hepworth, Roger Price, Wayne Zurl, Amy Metz, Marion Tervitt, Ray Gregory, Dave Miller, Hywel Griffiths, David Barker

Would your grandmother like this book?
Yes, probably. She enjoyed reading.

Why is your book cool?
Because it not only donates its profits to a UK based charity providing for police survivors. It also gives previously unpublished authors an opportunity to have their work published, help in the marketing, and enjoy the experience of being a ‘published’ author in print and Kindle. Simultaneously, it gives published authors an opportunity to display their wares to a new and expanding audience.

reached #21 in the Kindle anthology store within 24 hours of publication, so it is doing very well. I loved collecting all the various pieces of work to make the anthology and then reading it complete for the first time. Of course, I am very biased, but I’m also very pleased for the team involved. They should all be very proud of themselves. I’m sure lots of authors would testify to the nervous disposition you can find yourself in when you are first published.

And this is a great time to thank you, Amy Metz, for helping in the marketing of Uncuffed
and contributing some of your work to Coptales. It is very much appreciated.

Thank you for asking me to be involved with this project, Paul. I was honored and very happy to be asked to contribute to this anthology.

About the book:

Enjoy this great Christmas read ... This anthology is brought to you at Christmastime by a collection of police writers from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and their guests. It includes work by authors from Wales, Scotland, Cumbria, West Yorks, Lancashire, Arizona, Washington, Texas, Barcelona, Nerja, NYPD, and Kentucky, with  stories for children, poetry, ghost stories, paranormal, fantasy, and crime fiction. And you'll find that it's not just Christmas that they write about. There are a lot of surprises too. All proceeds from the anthology are donated to UK Cops - a police charity dedicated to looking after survivors. This is the second 'police anthology' and it follows on from Uncuffed which was published earlier in the year. There's something for everyone here. Turn the pages and join the adventure. Written by the police family for the police family.

Why reviewers think it's cool:

A lovely, heart-warming, thought provoking, entertaining and enjoyable read for all the family. -Meg Johnston, author and editor

About Paul Anthony:

Paul Anthony is a retired detective from the UK who specialized in counter terrorism. He is the author of 14 books which include 8 full-length crime thrillers.

Connect with Paul:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Buy the book:
UK Kindle store | USA Kindle store | Lulu (print) 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Featured Author: Lindsay McKenna

About the book:

New York Times bestselling author Lindsay McKenna brings readers back to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for another gripping, edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense!

U.S. Navy nurse Skylar Pascal is struggling to regain control of her life after a traumatic crash in Afghanistan that nearly destroyed her. After losing so much, an ideal job at the Elk Horn Ranch in Wyoming offers Sky something she thought she’d never find again—hope.

Former SEAL Grayson McCoy has his own demons. But something about Elk Horn’s lovely-yet-damaged new nurse Sky breaks something loose. Compassion—and passion. And even as Gray works with Sky to piece her confidence back together, something deeper and more tender begins to unfurl between them. Something that could bring her back to life.

But not even the haven of Elk Horn Ranch is safe from dangers. And all of Sky’s healing could be undone by the acts of one malicious man.

The Jackson Hole series:

•    Book #1: Shadows from the Past
•    Book #2: Deadly Identity  
•    Book #3: Deadly Silence
•    Book #4: The Last Cowboy  
•    Book #5: The Wrangler 
•    Book #6: The Defender
•    Book #7: The Loner  
•    Book #8: High Country Rebel   

Interview with Lindsay McKenna  

Lindsay, what’s the story behind the title Wolf Haven?
Wolf Haven embodies the symbology of the story as well as the characters. Wolves, as you know, are a pack. They’re a team animal, and one works with the other to accomplish a goal. A haven is a place to feel safe, protected, calm, quiet or relaxed. In the story, the hero, Grayson (Gray) McCoy, is an ex-SEAL. His mother is a world renown wolf expert and wildlife biologist. Gray grew up with wolves and puppies as a child. He knows wolves well. When he leaves the SEALs, he eventually lands a job at Iris Mason’s Elk Horn Ranch near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She is putting up a one-hundred acre wildlife preserve for the dude ranch visitors who come to the ranch. Plus, she’s pro environmental, loves wolves and wants to help them out. 

Gray loves being the boss of the new wildlife center, knows wild animals well because he had eighteen years of learning from his world famous mother. And like the SEALs, who always work as a seamless team, the wolves work in a similar way out in the wild.  He has a special connection with them.

The heroine, Sky Pascal, RN, is ex-US Navy. She was in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan with a surgeon flying to an FOB to save a man’s life. She was one of two people who survived it and was captured and tortured by the Taliban. SEALs rescued her nearly two weeks later, but by then, she was badly damaged physically. And she acquired PTSD as a result of her torture. The Navy released her later and she couldn’t hold a job in the States. Finally, she answered the ad for a nurse wanted at the Elk Horn Ranch. And Iris Mason hired her. For Sky, the ranch became her haven. 

Sky is fragile, fighting to be ‘normal’ and hold a job. She never expects to run into Gray McCoy, or find another kind of haven in his arms. Gray wasn’t looking to fall in love, either. Each brings something to the other and something deeper and more tender develops between them. The wolf puppies, caring for them, comes naturally to Sky. Just by her presence, she begins to heal Gray’s past heartache. Only, even in a haven, there can be danger. And Sky’s healing could be undone by the acts of one man.

Tell us about your series. Is this book a stand alone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
Wolf Haven is book number nine of the Wyoming Series that I’m penning for Harlequin/HQN.  Each book is a stand alone book. But you will see characters from other books in them, as well. There are two matriarchs in the valley, Iris Mason of the Elk Horn Ranch and Gus  Hunter of the Bar H, are wonderful older women who are anchors to their family and those who work for them. The abiding power of older women who have a lifetime of wisdom, permeates each book. 

These are stories about people who either come back to the valley where Jackson Hole resides, or are drawn to the area. And regardless, there is suspense, danger and romance in the mix. All the books, including two more in 2015, will be placed in The first nine books, including Wolf Haven, are available. These are books about family and meeting the challenges of today’s world together, rather than individually. Family is the main theme running through this series. And those who have lost their family find a new one when they come to this area of Wyoming. 

How did you create the plot for this book?
Since I was in the US Navy and have a military background (and created the Military Romance genre in 1983), I write about military topics, veteran’s stories, or men/women who have been in the military and are now civilians. I’ve never been for water boarding, which the CIA uses on the enemy to drain them of information. I’ve read a number of reports of men who were water boarded (and were innocent) and how it changed their lives forever. And then to have our U.S. government say that water boarding is not “torture,” put me right over the edge on this particular topic. 

If you are ever water boarded, you will agree instantly that it IS torture. You will also agree that you’ll say ANYTHING to get the water from running into your nostrils and creating mock-suffocation within you. I wanted to illustrate this point so that my loyal readers could really “get it” up close and personal. I created Sky Pascal, a US Navy nurse, who is at the wrong place at the wrong time. She’s taken prisoner by the Taliban and water boarded off and on for two weeks. She is eventually rescued, but comes home a broken shell of her former self. 

The story is about healing from such trauma, how it forever alters a person’s life and their view on life, and that love can provide a new door opening up for Sky through ex-SEAL, Grayson McCoy. 

Which character did you most enjoy writing?
I loved writing about Sky Pascal. She was a good person, broken by war circumstances. Her father was in the Marine Corps, her mother a full blood Cheyenne Indian. She had a strong backbone, but even the strongest person can be brought to their knees and destroyed in the right circumstance. I like to write about people who are under severe stresses, challenges and must call on their most basic survival instinct and fight to live rather than die. It takes nothing to breathe air in and out all day long, never engaging with life. It takes real courage to LIVE your life and mix it up and get in there and fight for yourself. Sky had to do that. And I feel that the readers will find her sympathetic and be rooting for her all the way with each step she takes away from her trauma and begins to heal from it.  

Who are your favorite authors?
Most of my favorite authors are women military veterans who did serve or are currently serving their country. When they write a military romance, it’s the real deal. You know you’re going to get accuracy about the military, the environment and how people act/react in military settings. Toward that end, my favorite authors to read when I get time are: Merline Lovelace, Delores Fossen, Geri Krotow, and Jessica Scott.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
Any author who writes a military romance and doesn’t even know that men and women in the US Navy are called SAILORS, and are not called “soldiers.”  Or they call a Marine a “soldier.” If a Marine was EVER within earshot and heard themselves referred to as a “soldier” they would immediately be in your face and let you know you screwed up (or most likely, far stronger words that that because they get very angry and testy when called a ‘solider’). The only “soldier” is someone who is in the US Army. Period. And by the way? Men and women in the Air Force are called “airmen.” It deeply disappoints me when authors make such basic mistakes. They’re not doing their research. These men and women give their lives for our country, the least they can do is get the basics straight of the military branch they serve in. I can’t tell you how much email I get from readers who are outraged about this basic mistake when they read another author’s military romance.  I always tell the reader to email that author and let them know. 

Where did you grow up?
In the first eighteen years of my life, my parents moved us twenty-two times and in six different Western states. We moved, roughly, every nine months. My father was in WW2, a sailor in the US Navy. He was blown off a gun turret on the USS Fletcher in the Pacific, and suffered horrendous injuries and PTSD. PTSD was not called that at the time. Back then, it was “battle fatigue.” 

My father was also part Eastern Cherokee, and he had the wanderlust in his genes. We seemed to move at least once or twice a year whether we needed to or not. I was born in San Diego, California (a great Navy city), but also saw states such as Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, and Idaho along the way. For a writer, this is a great boon because I got to see a lot of different people of different mindsets and beliefs. You had the Navajo in Arizona and New Mexico, Mormons in Idaho, ranchers in Montana, timber folks in Oregon and so on. I went though schools like people go through a revolving door. I learned a lot of different lingo, slang and heard a lot of different vocalizations, depending what state we lived in. All of this, of course, helps me craft my characters in my book, so it was a good thing. 

What dumb things did you do during your college years?
Actually, I have a high school story that’s about a dumb as they come about college and it’s truly worth telling. In my junior year of high school, I took my SAT test. This SAT test was to determine your intelligence, IQ and of course, whether you were smart enough to go to college. I must say here that I was a poor student. I even had to go through remedial English in the 9th grade, flunked math in the 7th grade and almost got set back to the 3rd grade for a second time. I was NOT a book learner. There are six different types of “learners.”  Among them: Visual, auditory, tactile, kinesthetic, analytic, and  global learners. I’m a kinesthetic type. I like to be physical, move around, loved sports, learned by working with whatever it was (like learning how to take apart a car carburetor and putting back together again), making airplane models, loved gym, competitive in sports and exercise. 

The upshot of my SAT test was that I scored 650 on it. You must remember, 2400 is a “perfect” scores and of course, you’re a genius. So, when you come in with a 650, that’s not really great. You’re kinda looked at as the dumb kid in the high school. Further, I only made “C” grades while in high school, too. And as I went in to see my counselor about my SAT score, I saw that someone had written up in the corner of it: “Not recommended for college.” And I was told that by my sad looking counselor. Never once did they ever consider I was a bright kid, but their teaching methods weren’t reaching my intelligence.  And never mind that currently I have 135 books published in 22 foreign languages, with 23 million in sales. That’s not bad for someone who score 650 on the SAT test. Do you think?  What I really think is that 1 out of 6 kids is a “book learner” type and does well. But what about the other 5 types of kids? They all get left out. And of course, the SAT test is the golden standard in education. Sadly, too many children who had poor SAT tests listened to their counselor, realized they were not bright enough, and so bought the whole message. Fortunately, I did not.

How did you meet your husband? Was it love at first sight?
I met my husband, David, at a fencing class in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the YWCA. He was one of the four fencing instructors to our class of fifteen women who wanted to learn how to fence. I had always been a lover of sports, super competitive and loved a challenge. I thought learning how to fence, to be a “Muskateer” waving her epee around, would be really cool. When I first met Dave, I thought he must be married and have three kids...he was that kind of easy going, patient, laid back kind of personality. Happily, I found out later he was single and didn’t have a girlfriend. Lucky me! We literally crossed swords when we met. And now, we’ve been married 41 years and he’s still my best friend, my confidant, my lover, and we love living our lives together through the ups and downs. At least, when there is a down in our lives, we have each other to comfort one another. When I write about love, I can write definitively about it because I’m very lucky in that I get to live it, day in and day out. I know what makes a good relationship and marriage work.  I put all kinds of info in my books about what makes love work between two people...and what does not.

Would you rather work in a library or a bookstore? 
For three years, I worked in the library of Medford Senior High School, in Medford, Oregon, where I graduated. I loved working in the library and my teacher and librarian was very maternal, an elder with such a beautiful heart and soul. I loved reading from the time my mother read to us when I was five years old onward. And to handle the books, smell them, read a little page or two as I put them back on the shelves, was like dessert to me. I’m an introvert, so I’m much happier in a quiet, gentle environment like a library...not in a busy, hectic, frantic bookstore scene. 

What’s one of your favorite quotes? 
“This too, shall end.” I know we all go through a day, weeks, months, and sometimes, years, where we are being tested, challenged and take on tremendous responsibility for ourselves and others. When I have a day, week or month like that (thank goodness, not too many years, but I’ve had those, too), I just mutter under my breath, “This too, shall end.” And it always does. It helps to say it out loud, however.  

What’s your favorite candy bar?
I love Heath Bars! I love the buttery toffee, the exquisite chocolate mixed in with it.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I travel a great deal. I go where I want to set a future book. We do a lot of individual kinds of adventuring because we go off the beaten track. Also, when we travel, such as to Rome, Italy, we stay seven days down in the heart of the city, walking probably five miles a day, getting to know the people, the food, the heartbeat and soul of the city, and breathing in that monumental historical culture which is to die for. We’ve been to Asia, Europe, Central/South America, all over North America, Australia, and New Zealand. When I put a story somewhere, I’ve already been there and breathed it into my memory, lots of photos, lots of notes, and buy a lot of cookbooks and other types of books about the city/country.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
Right here in the USA because after all my decades of travel, there simply is no place like the United States. People who don’t travel don’t realize this, however and that’s a shame. We live in a very wonderful country. 

About the author:

Lindsay McKenna is proud to have served her country in the U.S. Navy as an aerographer’s mate third class—also known as a weather forecaster. She is one of the original founders of the military romance subgenre and loves to combine heart-pounding action with soulful and poignant romance.

Connect with Lindsay:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Book trailer  

Buy the book:
Amazon | Audible  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Featured Author: Lynn Cahoon

About the book:

The tourist town of South Cove, California, is a lovely place to spend the holidays. But this year, shop owner Jill Gardner discovers there’s no place like home for homicide. . .

As owner of Coffee, Books, and More, Jill Gardner looks forward to the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. But when the mayor ropes her into being liaison for a new work program, 'tis the season to be wary. Local businesses are afraid the interns will be delinquents, punks, or worse. For Jill, nothing’s worse than Ted Hendricks--the jerk who runs the program. After a few run-ins, Jill’s ready to kill the guy. That, however, turns out to be unnecessary when she finds Ted in his car--dead as a doornail. Officer Greg assumes it’s a suicide. Jill thinks it’s murder. And if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, a spoiled blonde wants to sue the city for breaking her heel. Jill has to act fast to solve this mess--before the other shoe drops. . .

Interview with Lynn Cahoon

What’s the story behind the title If the Shoe Kills?
It’s a Cinderella reference. The new store in town is a glass shop and has a glass slipper on the sign. I love the idea of Cinderella getting all feisty and taking care of business.

If the Shoe Kills is the third in the Tourist Trap Mysteries. Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
The Tourist Trap Mysteries follow my amateur sleuth, Jill Gardner, and her adventures in South Cove, a small tourist town on the central California coastline. I love building this town as the stories build and learning more about the friends and enemies surrounding Jill. Each book can be read as a stand-alone. My publisher released three books in the series this year, and I’m contracted for three more next year.   

Do you have another job outside of writing?
I do have a day job. I’m in administration for a large St. Louis leasing company. So if you need to know how to tag or plate your car in Georgia or parts of Canada, I’m your girl.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?
I adore Aunt Jackie. She says what’s on her mind, no matter who’s around to hear. And she’s living her life, even with the challenges she runs into during the story. Sometimes I wish I was more like her.

One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
Oh, this is a great question. For the WIP, (Tourist Trap #5) the victim would chose something up close and personal, like a blade, since I was totally messing with their livelihood and life. I don’t think this person would take kindly to the threat.

With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?
Stephen King (Nuff said.)
Rachel Ray (And hope we have access to a fully stocked kitchen.)
Laura Bradford (My BFF)
Robyn Carr (I’d love to pick her brain on writing.)
Bob Mayer (So he could help me career plan.)

What song would you pick to go with your book?
If the Shoe Kills is a holiday book, happening just before Thanksgiving, so I should pick "Over the River," but I believe the feel is more with the Christmas carol, "Oh Holy Night." Mostly due to the re-birth of one of the characters. The hymn reminds me of hope and the chance of a new day for a new choice.

Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Harlan Coben (Can I add him to the bookstore group too?), Robyn Carr (LOVE her Thunder Point series.) I’m developing a reader crush on Joe Hill too which is a dilemma on loving both a father and a son. Oh, and Jim Butcher.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
Currently I’m listening to Harlan’s Stay Close. In paper, I’ve got several started including Jim Butcher’s Storm Front, Elizabeth Lynn Casey’s Remnants of Murder, and Lori Wilde’s The First Love Cookie Club. And a few more I’ve got opened and started somewhere around the house.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
On my desktop in my office, first thing in the morning. But that doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, so now I write anywhere I can and anytime. Except I’m an early to bed kind of girl, so my brain is mush after 9.

What’s your favorite memory?
Watching the light wheel change the color of the silver Christmas tree in the first house I remember. I began to story-tell at a young age, hanging out in the hall closet where there was an entry to the crawl space below. I believed it was a portal to another world. 

What do you love about where you live?

I live in a historic river town on the Mississippi. I love living near the water and cross two rivers to get to my day job. I love the history that surrounds me every day, but I’m particularly fond of the road filled with antique shops where I love to wander.

Have you been in any natural disasters?
One earthquake so far.

How did you meet your husband?
I met my current spouse in a bar. His girlfriend and my boyfriend (at the time) were on a dart league together. So while they played, we talked. I liked him from the first time we talked, but the thing he did for me was make me question my tendency to settle in relationships. I wasn’t in love with the guy I was dating, and, I wanted to be in love. So I broke it off with the first guy, and a few months later, fate brought us back together. We’re going on fifteen years together now.

If you could only keep one book, what would it be?
Illusions by Richard Bach. Or Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.

You’re published by eKinsington. How did you find them, and how long did your query process take?
I love this question because I’m the poster child for Never Give Up, Never Surrender. I’d had Kensington written on a note card for years because they accepted unagented submissions and published cozy mysteries. I sat in on a couple panels at RWA Nationals the last time it was in New York City and really liked some of the editors. I shopped Guidebook to Murder to a bunch of agents for a couple years with no bites. Then, I found the index card on my desk. I submitted and forgot about it. A few months later, I got an email from my editor asking if I’d thought about a second book in the series. I sent her a partial, and by April of 2013, I had a contract in hand.

What are you working on now?
Book #5 of The Tourist Trap series where Jill and the town sponsor a fun walk/run on The Mission Trail.

Other books by Lynn:

About the author:

USA Today and New York Times best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.

Connect with Lynn:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon author page

Buy the book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Featured Author: D.J. Donaldson

About the book:

Andy Broussard, the plump and proud New Orleans medical examiner, obviously loves food. Less apparent to the casual observer is his hatred of murderers. Together with his gorgeous sidekick, psychologist Kit Franklyn, the two make a powerful, although improbable, mystery solving duo.

When the beautiful Kit goes to meet an anonymous stranger—who’s been sending her roses—the man drops dead at her feet before she even could even get his name. Game on.

Andy Broussard soon learns that the man carried a lethal pathogen similar to the deadly Ebola virus. Soon, another body turns up with the same bug. Panic is imminent as the threat of pandemic is more real than ever before. The danger is even more acute, because the carrier is mobile, his identity is an absolute shocker, he knows he’s a walking weapon and… he’s on a quest to find Broussard. And Kit isn’t safe either. When she investigates her mystery suitor further, she runs afoul of a cold blooded killer, every bit as deadly as the man searching for Broussard.

Louisiana Fever is written in Donaldson’s unique style: A hard-hitting, punchy, action-packed prose that’s dripping with a folksy, decidedly southern, sense of irony. Add in Donaldson’s brilliant first hand knowledge of forensics and the sultry flavor of New Orleans, and the result is first class forensic procedural within an irresistibly delectable mystery.

What reviewers are saying:

"D.J. Donaldson is superb at spinning medical fact into gripping suspense.  With his in-depth knowledge of science and medicine, he is one of very few authors who can write with convincing authority.” -Tess Gerritsen, NY Times best-selling author of the Rizzoli & Isles novels

“CSI meets The Big Easy.”

"Quietly, this series has a carved a solid place for itself among the many New Orleans-based crime novels. Broussard makes a terrific counterpoint to the Dave Robicheaux ragin' Cajun school of mystery heroes: analytical where Robicheaux is emotional, self-indulgent where Robicheaux is Spartan, Broussard proves it's possible to savor your crawfish etouffee without being a tough guy. Thank God for that." -Bill Ott, Booklist

Interview with D.J. Donaldson

D.J., how long have you been writing, and how did you start?
Oddly, the thought that I wanted to become a novelist just popped into my head one day shortly after my fiftieth birthday.  Part of this sudden desire was a bit of boredom with my real job. I was an anatomy professor at the University of Tennessee and had accomplished all my major professional goals: course director, funded NIH grant, teaching awards, and many published papers on wound healing. So I guess I needed a new challenge. And boy did I pick a tough one. 

I wondered, how does a novice like me learn to write fiction? Taking a few writing courses is an obvious answer. But I had the vague feeling that there were a lot of unpublished writers teaching those courses, and I worried that all I’d learn was how to fail. I’m not saying this was the best way, but I decided to just teach myself. I bought ten bestselling novels and tried to figure out what made each of them work. What tricks were the authors using to hold my attention? What made these books so popular? In a sense then, perhaps I didn’t teach myself. Maybe Steven King, Robin Cook, Pat Conroy, Michael Palmer, Larry McMurtry, and James Michener did. In any event, eight years later, I sold my first book.  So, it took me about as long to become a published novelist as it did to train for medical research and teaching.

What’s the story behind the title Louisiana Fever?

Louisiana Fever is the fifth book in a series set in New Orleans and adjacent parts of Louisiana. To help brand the series, my editor decided that each title should relate in some way to the locale. You’d think it wouldn’t be hard to do that, but I usually sit for hours playing with words and rearranging them in what I hope are creative ways. No matter what title I eventually settle on for a book, I have this nagging suspicion that even if I really like the one I pick, there was a much better one I might have used. I just couldn’t find it. I keep thinking about Margaret Mitchell, who originally called her only novel, Tomorrow is Another Day. That’s not a bad title. But it’s not in the same league as the title it was eventually given: Gone with the Wind

Of all my New Orleans books, I’m the most satisfied with the title for Louisiana Fever. Although the title doesn’t specifically mention New Orleans, it lets readers know a lot about the locale. It also strongly suggests that the story involves some kind of contagious disease. The fever part of the title actually refers to Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, a bleeding disease similar to Ebola. Most writers would be thrilled to have written a book that could be related to unfolding world events. Normally, I’d be among them. But in this case, I’d much prefer that there was no reason for Ebola to be in the news every day. I hope this threat is contained soon.

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone or do readers need to read the series in order?
As I mentioned above Louisiana Fever is the fifth book in a series. Even though there were four books that came before Fever, (Cajun Nights, Blood on the Bayou, No Mardi Gras for the Dead, and New Orleans Requiem) it’s not necessary to read them in order. Many readers have said that the books work perfectly well as stand-alones.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

Practically from the moment I decided to try my hand at fiction, I wanted to write about a medical examiner. There's just something appealing about being able to put a killer in the slammer using things like the stomach contents of the victim or teeth impressions left in a bite mark. Contrary to what the publisher's blurb said on a couple of my books, I'm not a forensic pathologist. To gear up for the first book in the series, I spent a couple of weeks hanging around the county forensic center where Dr. Jim Bell taught me the ropes.  Unfortunately, Jim died unexpectedly after falling into a diabetic coma a few months before the first book was published. Though he was an avid reader, he never got to see a word of the book he helped me with. In many ways, Jim lives on as Broussard. Broussard's brilliant mind, his weight problem, his appreciation of fine food and antiques, his love for Louis L'Amour novels... that was Jim Bell.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
Years ago I remember hearing the writer, Elizabeth Daniels Squire (now deceased), talk about how throughout her life she had an extremely poor memory. It was so bad she often prayed to be delivered from that affliction. One day on vacation somewhere in Italy, she visited a shrine in a tiny cave where the ceiling was so low tourists had to enter on hands and knees. There, she prayed again for God to fix her faulty memory. Then, forgetting where she was, she tried to stand up and knocked herself out. Realizing now that she should just accept her problem and learn to live with it, she created Peaches Dann, a sleuth with a terrible memory. I’m now reading one of those books...on a Kindle.  I love how you can change the font size on a Kindle.

What do you love about where you live?
Compared to the price of housing in many other parts of the country, homes in Memphis are a bargain. I watch those real estate shows from other cities and am astounded at what people there have pay for homes I couldn’t stand to live in. 

Have you been in any natural disasters?
My wife and I lived through Hurricane Betsy in New Orleans. It wasn’t as bad as Katrina, but it did peel the bricks off our apartment building and blow out the hall windows so the stairwells became gushing waterfalls.

Yikes! I know you'd like to forget that. What’s your favorite memory?

The phone call I got from my first agent telling me that an editor at St. Martins Press wanted to talk to me about my first novel. (I have a feeling I’d better not let my wife see this.)

I'd say go with that feeling! What is the most daring thing you've done?
Marry a 17-year-old girl when I was 20. It worked out okay though because 53 years later, we’re still married.  

What is the stupidest thing you've done?
I can’t bear to think about it let alone tell anyone else what happened. (It’s also my most embarrassing moment.)

Well, at least you didn't say it was marrying
a 17-year-old girl when you were 20! 
What makes you nervous?
I get very nervous during intense thunderstorms. My wife and I live in a house that’s 110 years old. When we bought it many years ago, it was in a terrible state and there were lots of leaks in the roof. The house is now fully restored and has been for at least a decade. Yet I still dream about that leaking roof and always imagine the worst when it rains so hard we can’t see two feet beyond the front door. (And it seems like those are the only kinds of rains we get in Memphis.)

What makes you happy?
A five star review on Amazon.

How did you meet your wife? Was it love at first sight?
I still remember the first time I saw her. She was a gorgeous young blonde wearing white short shorts and a white blouse. She picked up a little girl who was eating licorice and the girl smeared it all over that white blouse. There was not one sign of irritation in my future wife’s face. She loved that little girl just as much before the ruined blouse as after. I knew then that this was a young woman with a good heart. 

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“The outcome of successful planning always looks like luck to saps." -Dashielle Hammet in The Dain Curse

What would you like people to say about you after you die?
“Oh wait...there he is standing over there. I’ll be damned.”

Other books by D.J. Donaldson

New Orleans Requiem 
Sleeping with the Crawfish
Bad Karma in the Big Easy

About the author:

D.J. (Don) Donaldson is a retired medical school professor. Born and raised in Ohio, he obtained a Ph.D. in human anatomy at Tulane, then spent his entire academic career at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. In addition to being the author of several dozen scientific articles on wound healing, he has written seven forensic mysteries and five medical thrillers.