Saturday, April 30, 2016

GUEST POST BY ANNETTE DASHOFY





ABOUT THE BOOK

Paramedic Zoe Chambers and the rest of rural Monongahela County’s EMS and fire personnel are used to wading into the middle of trouble to rescue the sick and the injured. But when someone with an ax to grind seeks retribution by staging accident scenes and gunning down the first responders, Zoe finds herself forced to not only treat her own brethren of the front lines, but also, in her role as deputy coroner, seek out whoever is killing her friends.

At the same time, Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams races to track down a gun, a mysterious all-terrain vehicle, and the sniper before Zoe goes back on duty, placing herself—and Pete—firmly in the gunman’s crosshairs.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), book club recommendations, audio books for download, police procedurals series, amateur sleuth books.

Books in the Zoe Chambers Mystery Series:
• Circle Of Influence (#1)

• Lost Legacy (#2)

• Bridges Burned
(#3)

• With A Vengeance (#4)




GUEST POST BY ANNETTE DASHOFY

A Little Murder, A Little Romance


I once tried my hand at writing romantic suspense. That pitiful effort is filed away on a CD somewhere, never to see the light of day again. It soon became apparent to me that I don’t “do” romance. I kill people. It’s so much more fun!

Except . . . I guess I do do romance.

When I started writing the Zoe Chambers mystery series, I had Zoe and Chief of Police Pete Adams set up to be friends. Both sucked at relationships, so I imagined them as being attracted to one another, but determined to remain just friends. Romantic tension. Nothing more.

Then The Kiss happened. It was one of those scenes that took me by surprise as I wrote it. Wow. I didn’t see that coming. Neither did some of my beta readers of an early draft. Too out-of-the-blue, they said. So I went back and added a few hints that these two liked each other. Still, they resisted the idea of being a couple. I write murder mysteries, not romance. Right?

In the second book, I introduced Harry Adams, Pete’s father who suffers early stage Alzheimer’s. The disease frequently leaves him at a loss to come up with someone’s name, and he’s lost his ability to edit his thoughts before speaking, but not to see some things darned clearly. He’s the one who asks Pete “When are you gonna marry that girl?”

But I think the moment I realized just how much readers were vested in Pete and Zoe as a couple came when I attended an event for another author. The bookstore owner pointed me out in the crowd prior to the author’s arrival. At that point, a bearded gentleman wearing camo and a ball cap covered in fishing lures trudged up to me and gruffly demanded to know, “When are Pete and Zoe gonna get together?”

First off, this guy was not whom I pictured as my target audience. Secondly, if he was hooked by Pete and Zoe’s romance-that-wasn’t-a-romance, what were my female readers thinking?

The third book in the series, Agatha nominated Bridges Burned, Zoe’s eye wanders just a bit. She finds herself attracted to another man, but doesn’t act on it. I got my most scathing review ever. Reading between the lines, I finally figured out, this reviewer was mad at Zoe for her treatment of Pete in the book!

Wow.

I told you, I write murder mysteries. Not romance.

Anyhow, in With a Vengeance, there are no outside attractions, and Pete and Zoe are on stronger footing as a couple, deeply concerned about the danger they each face with a sniper who’s killing emergency responders in Vance Township. And they end up in a very interesting place.

You’ll have to read the book to find out where.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. Circle Of Influence, published by Henery Press, was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and for the David Award for Best Mystery of 2014. Lost Legacy, was released in September 2014 followed in April 2015 by Bridges Burned, which has been nominated for the Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel. With A Vengeance, the fourth in the series, will be available May 3.

Connect with Annette:
Website  |  blog  |   Facebook  |  Twitter 

Buy the book:
Amazon   |   Henery Press



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Friday, April 29, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: D. ALYCE DOMAIN




ABOUT THE BOOK

Lucifer - At eighteen months out of law school, six months on the job, and four weeks before his BAR exam, Luce has arrived. He’d been playing by other people’s rules all his life and now, poised on the brink of success, he will not let anyone stand in his way…especially not the junior-partner jerk at the office giving him and his assistant a hard time. On his way to give the creep a piece of his mind, he bumps into the infamous ‘Calamity Jones’. . .

Calamity – is tired of enduring her boss’s unwanted sexual innuendos. When his fingers start to roam, Calam decides she’s had enough. It’s time to fight fire with fire. So she devises an ingenious, if risky plan, to get Perkins off her back, keep her Job, and strike a blow for his numerous other victims around the office . . . only, things don’t go exactly as planned.

All Hell Breaks ‘Luce’ – After finding the loopy ingénue jack-knifed atop the archival files, Lucifer knows something is up. Calamity knows the jig is up. So, she comes clean. Turns out, they both have the same problem . . . Perkins. But, sparks fly when they decide to team up to bring down the boss. The Hitch? He’s a straight arrow . . .  She’s a loose cannon. Can they work together to achieve a common goal?  Or will they both lose in the end?


INTERVIEW WITH D. ALYCE DOMAIN


How did you get started writing?
I started writing out of frustration. I was in college and totally hooked on daytime soaps, and every time I got attached to a character or a super-couple, one of the actors would leave or the writers would decide to “go a different way”. The result . . . death, divorce, or a damaged character. I got into writing fan-fiction to “fix” some of the mess that Daytime writers did to my favorite heroes, heroines and couples.

Do you write every day? 
I try to, yes. I find this is the best way to keep ideas fresh in my mind, and to stay sharp and to keep my writing style consistent.

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?

Pre-writing, research, and preparation. I do a plot summary, an outline, timeline of events, and in some cases, scene notes that I have collected along the way. This takes time, organization and a lot of work.

What books do you currently have published? 
Dominic’s Nemesis, my first publication. When Lucifer Met Calamity will be my second . . . though its unrelated.


Is writing your dream job? 
Not in the way that you mean. I love writing and being creative, but my attention span will never permit me to do just one thing for the rest of my life no matter how much I love it. Burnout. I prefer to split my time doing 2-3 things that I really like . . . and writing is one of them.

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
Don’t make your book free. I think this is a bad trend that de-values writing, books, and authors. A better, more effective option (in my humble opinion) is to do a small giveaway of a set number of copies (1 to 5) and to use this to increase awareness, recognition and interest in reading the book. The readers who enter the giveaway should be required to give an e-mail, or like your FB page or something and write a review or something.  Nothing is free and certainly not a book which requires months of time and effort to write. Making it a free download for any and everybody, is just selling your self short. 

How do you feel about Facebook? 

Love it!

What’s one thing you never leave the house without. 
Earrings in my ears. hate a naked lobe.

What do you love about where you live? 
The mild winters! I hate being cold. I hate cold weather. I hate winter colors. You get the picture.

I do! What's your favorite treat for movie night? 

Caramel popcorn

What’s your favorite beverage? 

It’s a toss up between Ginger Ale and hot chocolate.

What is one of your happiest moments? 
When I finally finished with school . . . for good. *Happy Dance*

What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
Read/Write/watch a movie . . . not TV, a movie.



Do you give your characters any of your bad traits? 
They have some of my traits . . . I’m not sure I would classify them as bad traits, just quirks of mine.

What’s your favorite/most visited Internet site?
 

Internet Movie Database, love it . . . visit everyday.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
Essays for college and grad school applications. *ugh* I didn’t like the topics most of them force me to write. They just seemed so phony.



How do you like your pizza? 
On a wheat crust, with only veggie toppings, and made by a real pizzeria. I don’t do fast food pizza.



What’s your favorite color?
It’s a toss up between purple and red.



What’s your biggest pet peeve about writing? 
First person narrative. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I don’t like it unless it's done right. I’ve found that very few books really benefit from this point of view.   I, myself, would never write in first person. I just can’t give up the versatility of third-person omniscient.



What is your favorite movie? 
It’s a toss up between Dead Again and LA Confidential. They never get old.



What are you working on now? 
The sequel to Dominic’s Nemesis, which will be book 2 in The Ambrosi Legacy Series.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D. Alyce Domain. Is a long-time lover of creative fiction.  She learned to read with Dr. Seuss, grew up reading Sweet Valley High, James Howe, and Lois Duncan, and graduated to category romance with Harlequin and Silhouette in her teen years. Ms. Domain started out writing fan-fiction after her favorite fictional characters met with death and cancellation on network television. Inspired by the entertaining, multi-layered storylines created by so many female romance, young adult and television writers, she began to experiment with her own characters.  Coupled with her own unique brand of genre-bending romantic fiction, Ms. Domain was able to create a whole new world within the pages of her books.

Ms. Domain was born and raised in Houston, Texas, the youngest daughter of Charles and Eunice Domain. She has one older sister. She earned a BS in Biochemistry and a MS in Biomedical Sciences. She worked in Patient-Based Biological Research before switching careers and opening her own fashion boutique, The Aesthetic Domain. In addition to fashion apparel and accessories, she sells her own original jewelry creations and runs the Boutique & Blog website, which is based in Houston, Texas. Ms. Domain also has avid interests in inspirational music, art/entertainment, and history.

Connect wtih the author:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest  | 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  iBook  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  Createspace

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: LARRY D. THOMPSON



ABOUT THE BOOK



Dark Money is a thriller, a mystery and an expose’ of the corruption of money in politics.

Jackson Bryant, the millionaire plaintiff lawyer who turned to pro bono work in Dead Peasants, is caught up in the collision of money and politics when he receives a call from his old army buddy, Walt Frazier. Walt needs his assistance in evaluating security for Texas Governor Rob Lardner at a Halloween costume fundraiser thrown by one of the nation’s richest Republican billionaires at his mansion in Fort Worth.

Miriam Van Zandt is the best marksman among The Alamo Defenders, an anti-government militia group in West Texas. She attends the fund raiser dressed as a cat burglar---wounds the governor and murders the host’s brother, another Republican billionaire. She is shot in the leg but manages to escape.

Jack is appointed special prosecutor and must call on the Texas DPS SWAT team to track Van Zandt and attack the Alamo Defenders’ compound in a lonely part of West Texas. Van Zandt’s father, founder of the Defenders, is killed in the attack and Miriam is left in a coma. The authorities declare victory and close the case---but Jack knows better. The person behind the Halloween massacre has yet to be caught. When Walt and the protective detail are sued by the fund raiser host and the widow of the dead man, Jack follows the dark money of political contributions from the Cayman Islands to Washington to Eastern Europe, New York and New Orleans to track the real killer and absolve his friend and the Protective Detail of responsibility for the massacre.





INTERVIEW WITH LARRY THOMPSON


Larry, how did you get started writing?

I think I was always destined to be a writer, only it took a while to meet that destiny. I started as a trial lawyer and tried civil cases in Texas for more than forty years. When my youngest son graduated from college and the nest was empty, I decided to start writing.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
I love when a character does something that had not even occurred to me until I started writing that day. Truly, some characters take over scenes and chapters in books and I have to convince them that I’m the creator, not them.

Do you have a writing routine?

I usually write in the mornings when I am fresh. Up until recently, I was still a full-time trial lawyer and would write two or three hours in the morning and head to the office. On weekends I expand my writing time to five hours or so.

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?
It’s the re-writing that is drudgery. After I finish the first draft, I re-write the complete story 12 to 15 times. Once I get to the last 2 or 3 re-writes, I’m looking for just words that I can improve.

What’s more important – characters or plot?
Characters are critical. If the reader cannot identify with the protagonist, feel his agony and revel in his joy, then she will never finish the book.

How often do you read?
I read every day. My bedtime routine includes reading a novel for about a half an hour. On weekends I try to read a couple of hours a day. I tell people that I would much prefer reading a good book than watching a television show.

What is your writing style?
I call it old-time radio writing. For those who have listened to those old radio dramas, they were carried by dialogue. And the listener had to use his imagination to fill in what he was hearing. If a door slammed, someone left in a hurry. If it creaked, something bad was about to happen. I didn’t realize until I had written a couple of books that Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing very well describe my writing style, particularly rule number ten, “Cut out the parts the reader is going to skip anyway.”

Good advice. What books do you currently have published?
So Help Me God, The Trial, Dead Peasants, The Insanity Plea and Dark Money.


Is writing your dream job?
Absolutely. I can’t think of anything I would rather be doing now. 


What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

Doing construction in the hot days of summer in Texas.
What did it teach you? It made me realize that I needed to get an education to avoid that kind of work.

Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?

I think that book tours like this one are excellent to promote a book. Certainly, they are the best bang for the buck, and I thank you.

You're welcome! For what would you like to be remembered?

That I was a good writer, a great lawyer, and, most importantly, a successful father of three great children.

Would you make a good character in a book?

Only as a lawyer, and particularly as a trial lawyer. I know my way around a courtroom (or did I already say that?).

What do you love about where you live?
We live on three acres with horses and dogs. I love the space, and I particularly love the two and three hundred-year-old giant oaks that surround our house. 


What’s your favorite fast food?
As a Texan it would have to be Tex-Mex or barbecue. Personally, I would probably say Tex-Mex.


What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
All I need is a book and I’m set until something more important comes along. 

Where is your favorite place to visit?

Vail, Colorado. My youngest son lives there. We’ve been spending two months each summer in a house on a mountain top in Vail for about a dozen years.  The majesty of the mountains across the valley is indescribable. I play golf with my son. We hike. We go to concerts. We eat in some world class restaurants. And I write. The mountains inspire me.

What is the most daring thing you've done?
The most daring and spectacular was rafting through the Grand Canyon. It was so spectacular that I have done it twice.

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?

The Fort Worth Public Library. I grew up in a different era. At the age of six, my mother would let me walk a block to the bus stop in the summer, clad in shorts, a T-shirt but with no shoes. I rode the bus downtown and walked three blocks to the library where I would return five books and check out five more. I did that every summer for years. That library was instrumental in the development of my love of books and reading.


What are you working on now?
This is interesting and somewhat different from what I usually write. My brother was a best-selling writer of true crime in the eighties. He died way too young. His best book was Blood and Money, the true story of murders in the ultra-expensive River Oaks section of Houston. Because it was true, the characters were real. He and Doubleday were sued for libel three times. I successfully defended all three cases. The trials were fascinating. Now after 30 years, Blood and Money is to be made into a television series (things move slowly in Hollywood). In conjunction with the series, I am going to write Blood and Money, The Libel Trials. It will read like fiction but will be completely true.



EXCERPT FROM DARK MONEY


Jack Bryant turned his old red Dodge Ram pickup into the driveway of the Greek revival mansion at the end of the cul-de-sac in Westover Hills, an exclusive neighborhood in Fort Worth. He was amused to see Halloween ghosts and goblins hanging from the two enormous live oaks that fronted the house. The driveway led to wrought iron gates that permitted entry to the back. A heavy set Hispanic man with a Poncho Villa mustache in a security guard uniform stood beside the driveway near the gates, clipboard in hand. He was unarmed.

Jack stopped beside him and lowered his window. “Afternoon, officer. Fine autumn day, isn’t it?”

The guard sized up the old pick-up and the man wearing jeans and a white T-shirt. “You here to make a delivery?”

Jack reached into his left rear pocket and retrieved his wallet from which he extracted a laminated card. “No, sir. Name’s Jackson Douglas Bryant. I’m a lawyer and a Tarrant County Reserve Deputy. My friend, Walter Frazier, is part of the Governor’s Protective Detail. Said Governor Lardner is attending some big shindig here tomorrow night and asked me to lend a hand in checking the place out before he hits town. My name should be on that clipboard.”

The guard took the card, studied it closely and handed it back to Jack. He flipped to the second page. “There it is. Let me open the gates. Park down at the end of the driveway. You’ll see another wall with a gate. Walk on through and you’ll find your way to the ballroom where the party’s being held tomorrow. I’ll radio Sergeant Frazier to let him know you’re on your way.”

The gates silently opened, and Jack drove slowly to the back, admiring the house and grounds. The house had to be half a football field in length. Giant arched windows were spaced every ten feet with smaller ones above, apparently illuminating the second floor. To Jack’s right was an eight foot wall. First security issue. Not very hard to figure out a way to scale it. Fortunately, cameras and lights were mounted on fifteen foot poles that appeared to blanket the area.

Jack parked where he was directed and climbed from his truck. Before shutting the door, he took his cane from behind the driver’s seat. He flexed his left knee. It felt pretty good. He might not even need the cane. Still, he usually carried it since he never knew when he might take a step and have it buckle under him. Better to carry the cane than to fall on his ass.

He found himself in front of another wall. He was studying it when Walt came through the gate. Walt was ten years his junior, six feet, two inches of solid muscle. He bounded across the driveway to greet Jack. They first shook hands and then bear-hugged each other like the old army buddies that they were.

Walt pulled back and looked at Jack. “Damn, it’s good to see you. Been, what, about three years since you were in Austin for some lawyer meeting?”

“Could have been four. I think I was practicing in Beaumont then.”

“Still carrying the cane. That injury at the barracks causing you more problems?”

“No worse, not any better. Every once in a while the damn knee gives out with no warning. I may have to put an artificial one in some day. Meantime, the cane does just fine. I’ve got a collection of about twenty of them in an old whiskey barrel beside the back door of my house. This one is my Bubba Stick. Picked it up at a service station a while back.”

Walt’s voice dropped to just above a whisper. “Follow me into the garden. There are some tables there. We can sit for a few minutes while I explain what’s coming down.”

They walked through the gate. Beyond it was a garden, obviously tended by loving hands. Cobblestone paths wound their way through fall plantings of Yellow Copper Canyon Daises, Fall Aster, Apricot-colored Angel’s Trumpet, Mexican Marigold and the like. Walt led the way to a wrought iron table beside a fish pond with a fountain in the middle, spraying water from the mouth of a cherub’s statue. The two friends settled into chairs, facing the pond.

“This is what the help call the little garden. In a minute we’ll go around the house to the big garden and pool that fronts the ballroom. You know whose house this is?”

“No idea.”

“Belongs to Oscar Hale. He and his brother, Edward, are the two richest men in Fort Worth. Their daddy was one of the old Texas wildcatters. The two brothers were worth a few hundred million each, mainly from some old oil holdings down in South Texas and out around Midland. Life must have been pretty good.

Then it got better about ten years ago when the oil boys started fracking and horizontal drilling. Counting proven reserves still in the ground, word is they’re worth eighty billion, well, maybe just a little less now that we have an oil glut.”

“Edward still around?”

One of the servers in the kitchen had seen the two men and brought two bottles of water on a silver tray.

“Thanks…Sorry, I forgot your name.”

“Sarah Jane, Walt. My pleasure. Let me know if you need anything else.”

Walt took a sip from his bottle as Sarah Jane returned to the house. “Yeah. His legal residence is still in Fort Worth, and I understand he and his wife vote in this precinct, only they really live in New York City. He always kept an apartment there. When the oil money started gushing, he upgraded to a twenty room penthouse that I hear overlooks Central Park. He’s big in the arts scene up there, opera, ballet, you name it. He’s also building the Hale Museum of Fine Art here in Fort Worth.”

Jack nodded his head. “Okay, I know who you’re talking about. My girlfriend is thrilled about another museum in Fort Worth. She’s into that kind of thing. When I moved here, she took me to every damn one of them. The western art in the Amon Carter museum was really all that interested me. So, the Hales play with the big boys, and the governor’s coming. From what I read, Governor Lardner travels all over the world. Never seems to have a problem. What’s the big deal here?”



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Larry D. Thompson was first a trial lawyer. He tried more than 300 cases throughout Texas, winning in excess of 95% of them. When his youngest son graduated from college, he decided to write his first novel. Since his mother was an English teacher and his brother, Thomas Thompson, had been a best-selling author, it seemed the natural thing to do.

Larry writes about what he knows best . . . lawyers, courtrooms and trials. The legal thriller is his genre. Dark Money is his fifth story and the second in the Jack Bryant series.

Larry and his wife, Vicki, call Houston home and spend their summers on a mountain top in Vail, Colorado. He has two daughters, two sons and four grandchildren.



Connect with Larry:
Website  |    Facebook  |  
Twitter   |  
 Amazon

Buy the book:

Amazon 


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:


Larry D. Thompson is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
•    By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
•    One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card
•    This giveaway begins March 1 and ends May 27.
•    Winners will be contacted via email on May 28.
•    Winners have 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!



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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: BLAIR HOWARD


ABOUT THE BOOK

Harry Starke is the first novel in the Harry Starke series of murder mysteries.

Why Did Tabitha Willard Throw Herself off the Walnut Street Bridge?

It's almost midnight, bitterly cold, snowing, when a beautiful young girl, Tabitha Willard, throws herself off the Walnut Street Bridge into the icy waters of the Tennessee. Harry Starke is there, on the bridge. Wrong time, wrong place? Maybe. He tries, but is unable to stop her. Thus begins a series of events and an investigation that involves a local United States congressman, a senior lady senator from Boston, a local crime boss, several very nasty individuals, sex, extortion, high finance, corruption, and three murders. Harry has to work his way through a web of deceit and corruption until finally . . . Well, as always, there's a twist in the tale, several in fact . . .

Harry Starke is a hard-boiled private detective, an ex-cop, a tough guy from right side of the tracks with finely tuned senses, good instincts, and friends in high places. He’s single, successful, well educated, and yes, he will hurt you if he needs to.




EXCERPT FROM HARRY STARKE


“So, whaddaya want, Starke?” 

Phuttt. The seat cushion almost exploded as he dropped his fat ass down into the chair behind his desk and ran his fingers through his greasy brown hair.

I sat down in the only other chair in the room, one of those steel-framed folding things.

“You been to bed yet, Benny? You look like shit.”

“Yeah, well. I got lots to do, and no time to do it. I’ll maybe take a nap when Lorie gets here. Nothin’ much happens till after ten, as you well know. Come on, Starke. Spill it. What do you want?”

“I was in here last night, Benny. Remember?”

He nodded. “How could I forget?”

“Do you remember the girl in the black dress and white coat?”

“Come on, Harry. There were lots of girls in here last night. You know that. You were here, for God’s sake. The place was packed.”


“Yeah, I was here. And so were you. This was around midnight. She had dark red hair and an expensive white coat. She was with a couple of brothers. Nasty-looking types.”

“Oh yeah, I remember her. Who wouldn’t? She was hot.”

“Yeah, well, she’s not so hot now. She’s pretty cold. She’s dead. What do you know about her?”

“Dead? Dead? How? I don’t know nothin’, not a thing. I ain’t never seen her before. Who killed her?”

“Nobody killed her, Benny. She threw herself off the bridge. So. What about the brothers?”

“Killed herself, huh? Wow! Um . . . ” He hesitated. “Nothing. I ain’t never seen ‘em before either.” He looked away as he said it.

I said nothing. I just sat there and watched his face.

“What?” he said, when he had gathered up enough courage to look me in the eyes again.

“You’re about as transparent as that window, Benny. Maybe more so. It’s filthy. Now tell me the truth.”

“Screw you, Starke. I don’t have tell you nothin’. Get the hell out of my office, and stay outta the bar, too.”



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Blair Howard is from a small town in England, near Stratford-upon-Avon, on the edge of the English Cotswolds. He is Kentucky Colonel, an honor bestowed upon him in 2008 by the then Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Steven L. Beshear. Until 2015, he wrote sweeping historical epics, and is the author of five historical novels. In July of 2015 he decided to try his hand at writing mystery novels, thus we have Harry Starke. The first in the series, Harry Starke, was released in mid-September 2015. The second novel, Two for the Money, was released October 19 the same year, Hill House, in mid-December 2015, and Checkmate in February 2016, and there are more to come.

Blair is the author of more than 40 books, including the Harry Starke series and five novels of the American Civil War. More than 4,500 magazine, newspaper, and web articles. His work has appeared in many national and international publications, including Delta's Sky Magazine, PHOTOgraphic magazine, The Mail on Sunday, The Walking Magazine, Petersen's Hunting Magazine, The Boston Herald, The Detroit Free-Press, The Anchorage Times and many more.

Connect with Blair:
Website Facebook  |   Twitter  |   Blog  |   Amazon Author Page  

Buy the book:
Amazon

Saturday, April 23, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: ROSA TEMPLE



ABOUT THE BOOK

Career minded, Natalie Spencer, had never been in love. She could never understand what all the fuss was about. But when she met Jackson Humphries during Fresher’s Week at University, that all changed.

Utterly infatuated, Natalie quickly discovers the meaning of love and, before she knows it, she's heading up the aisle – for the first time, that is.

This is a tale about four wedding dresses, a runaway groom and a girl who got so carried away, she couldn’t see true love staring her right in the face.



INTERVIEW WITH ROSA TEMPLE


Rosa, what's your favorite thing about the writing process?
It has to be the feeling of freedom it gives me when an idea comes to mind and I can just run with it and let my imagination go wild. It’s one of the best ways I have of winding down. Even if I start a story and I don’t finish, it’s okay because I had a surge of creativity and for the time I was writing I might have been anywhere in the world and meeting people (albeit on paper) I could never hope to meet. How great is that?

Pretty great! What books do you currently have published?
I have a novella called, Sleeping With You Best Friend which was published last year. Natalie’s Getting Married will be my first full length novel to be published.


Is writing your dream job?
Yes it is. It took a while to get here, but I’ve finally found the thing that makes me want to get out of bed in the morning, even though the money is awful.


How often do you tweet?

I’m a fits and starts tweeter. I’ll think I have something important to say and I’ll say it again and again on Twitter. But then I’ll go a week to ten days and never tweet at all. I think that’s bad practice but I never said I was a good tweeter. I do re-tweet as much as I can though.

What five things would you never want to live without?
Music. There is no such thing as a world without music. I listen to all kinds but my favorite is jazz and soul. Books. What would life be without some stimulating material to sink your teeth into? Chocolate. But only the good kind; dark with 80% cocoa. I’ll take Belgian or Swiss, thank you. Red wine. Need I say more? And lastly, floss. Did you know plaque can cause heart attacks?

Good to know! What’s your favorite fast food?
I’m a Londoner, so it’s good old fish and chips without a doubt. But it has to be bought in the right place. My favorite chippy is always busy on a Friday evening. I’m talking queues out the door. But please don’t get me wrong, I don’t have fish and chips every Friday – my skinny jeans wouldn’t allow it.



What do you wish you could do?
I wish I could get to grips with social media and technology. I manage to have a blog, a Twitter account and a Facebook page and that’s it. Some people have endless on-line platforms and I wonder: a) how do you even use things like Pinterest and Instagram? and b) how do you find the time?

I don’t even know how to use half the functions on my phone – any picture I take is dark and foggy. Seriously, I could have an album full of complete strangers for all the good I am at technology. Yes I wish to be more technologically minded.

What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?

Easy. Watch terrible films on television. That’s what Channel 5 and all its sister channels were made for. A cup of tea and an awful, predictable, badly acted film with a lousy cast is somehow really refreshing to me. Do you know the type I mean? The ones that went straight to television because who in their right mind would pay good money to see them at the cinema? I go for the love story dramas, they’re the best kind. They have titles like: The Girl He Met On Line, Her Biggest Mistake or Dangerous Lessons. I’d love to be in one of those films.

Would you rather be a movie star, sports star, or rock star?
This is mean, why can’t I be all of them? Okay I choose rock star. If I were a rock star, chances are I’d be pretty fit so I looked good in music videos making the sports star option a waste of time. Also, as a rock star there’s a pretty good chance I might get asked to do a movie. Yes! I can have it all.


Brilliant! Do you procrastinate?
Oh yes! You know how many fitness regimes, healthy eating plans, learning of new languages etc I’ve put off? Only about a million. If I hadn’t procrastinated I would have been a saxophone playing, roller-blading, ballet dancer who tap dances and plays the bongos, is fluent in five different languages, and is very often seen in the lead role of the local amateur dramatics society production and has read War and Peace.

I see your point. What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Right, just had a quick check. It’s the end of the week so not much in there right now. I have a bowl of apples – should have been having an apple a day but only managed two. Chicken breasts defrosting for my casserole tomorrow. Half a punnet of blueberries for my healthy, daily smoothies – of which I managed to make one this week. Rice milk, low fat and mine; cow’s milk, full fat and everyone else’s. The dregs of some juice in a bottle – don’t know why my son couldn’t have just finished it. Garlic, ginger. Two kinds of spread, one low fat one heart attack packed. Fast acting pain relief gel and some satsumas.

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
This might be shallow but I wish I’d never given up piano. I don’t know why I stopped. I began taking lessons as an adult and I bought myself an electric piano. Maybe it was lack of time but my piano now sits in the corner of my writing room, gathering dust. I have lots of musician friends who come over to my place and sit and tinkle out a tune on my piano, and I’ve forgotten how. I think, somehow, it would have been a nice interlude between writing to sit and play a tune, don’t you? Maybe I’ll start again . . .

I think you should! What’s one of your favorite quotes?

I did come across some writing quotes that helped to inspire me whenever I might have been blocked or running out of steam. In particular this one struck a chord because of how tough writing can get sometimes:
“It is perfectly okay to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.” - C J Cherryh

Very true. You have a personal chef for the night. What would you ask him to prepare?
In the UK there is a program called Masterchef (probably there are versions all over the world). If I’m not too busy I’ll watch the series, and for some reason I am transfixed by people cooking in a kitchen. Why? I don’t know, but I get fascinated by cookery terms like: friccasee, compote, en croute, and jus! So my personal chef would cook a fish dish – because I never cook fish well – using any of those fancy styles. But I’d simply have to have a dessert that involved masses of chocolate, or should I say chocolat?

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Beautiful, multi-talented, super-fit, ambidextrous . . .  and a big fat liar.



Good one! What is your favorite movie?
This is hard to pin down. I always claim that this is Breakfast At Tiffanys, but then I might watch another firm favorite, like one of the ‘Before’ Trilogy, and swear blind that this is the one. I guess the answer changes depending on what sort of mood I’m in.



Understandable. What are you working on now?

Right now my brain is working overtime on new stories I’d love to write. I’ve already started two new books. The first is an idea for a Christmas novel which came to me at (guess when?) Christmas, and I had to start scribbling away. I more or less have the whole outline mapped out in my head and just need to get it down. Alongside that, I started writing the novel I’d like to publish next year. Both are romantic comedies but with serious undertones. I was struck by comments of Natalie’s Getting Married when reviewers said they laughed and cried along with my heroine, and I’d love to re-capture those emotions in my next books.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rosa Temple began writing romantic comedies and chick lit because of her passion for what she calls the 'early chick lit films', like: Sabrina, Barefoot In the Park and Breakfast at Tiffany's. She honed her skills as a ghost writer, gaining experience writing romantic novellas, both sweet and on the slightly steamy side. In her notebooks, she constantly jotted down story ideas of her own, and she eventually completed her first novella Sleeping With Your Best Friend and now, the full length novel, Natalie's Getting Married.
Rosa Temple is a Londoner and is married with two sons. She is a reluctant keep fit fanatic and doer of housework and insists that writing keeps her away from such strenuous tasks. She spends her days creating characters and story lines while drinking herbal tea and eating chocolate biscuits.

Connect with Rosa:



Website  |   
Facebook  |   Twitter  |   Goodreads  

Buy the book:
Amazon US   |  Amazon UK  

Friday, April 22, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: M PEPPER LANGLINAIS




ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1960s London, British Intelligence agent Peter Stoller falls in love with a cab driver and his life goes off the road. When his lover is accused of being an enemy agent, Peter manages to extract them both, but the seeds of doubt have been planted. Is ignorance truly bliss or merely deadly?




INTERVIEW WITH M PEPPER LANGLINAIS


How did you get started writing?
Oh, the pat answer is to say I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. Which is true. I used to make magazines for the kids in my neighborhood and fill them with made-up stories and crossword puzzles. In middle school I wrote a book based on characters my best friend and I had made up—a pair of sleuthing sisters called the Hemlock Sisters. In high school I used to write in this notebook—it was an ongoing soap opera story, and it would get passed around and then returned to me so I could write the next chapter. So I’ve really just been writing forever.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?

Living as a lot of different, interesting people. I love exploring character. And I love building their worlds for them, their lives.

Do you have a writing routine?
I should be more disciplined about it. Mostly I faff about online and then finally feel guilty enough to start working. I do better when I know people are excited about it, when I have them cheering me on. Then again, that adds a lot of pressure, too.

Do you write every day?
Yes, despite my procrastination. There are very few days I don’t write at least a little. I start to get cranky and unpleasant if I go very long without writing.

What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
Been more patient. I still wish that. We all want to be done as soon as possible, but the truth is, in order to have a good book you have to take your time with it. It’s not perfect after one draft. You can’t type “The End” and then immediately start sending it out, or immediately self-publish it. Not if you want it to be the best possible work it can be.

What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?
The actual sitting and writing is difficult for me. If oral storytelling were still a thing—if I could make a living that way—I’d find that much easier. The thing is, once the book is published, it becomes a static thing. I know you can always go revise an e-book, but in general there is a sense of permanence that . . . It makes me want to get it right, get it perfect. And putting the words on paper (or computer screen), I know it will never be perfect. It can be damn good after lots of work, but once it’s done, it’s done. When you tell a story verbally—this is like live theatre versus something filmed—it’s living and breathing and can change a little every time you tell it. You can always make it better, closer to perfect. I’m not sure I’ve answered your question, but in a nutshell, the pressure to get it right is one of the hardest things about writing.

What’s more important – characters or plot? (You cannot say both!)
I’m a character writer. I believe character informs plot. My books are about people and how they act and react to situations. So I begin with character, with knowing a person, and then test them with plot.

How often do you read?

Every day, even if only for a few minutes over my lunch.


What do you think makes a good story?
I think it’s subjective. And I think it depends on what you’re looking for at any given moment. A good story is any story that suits my mood or serves my need at the time.

What books do you currently have published?

I have three Sherlock Holmes stories, an anthology of short stories, and an odd duck novel about reincarnated Greek gods on a film set. And then my latest is The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller, which is a British spy novel set in the 1960s.

Do you have any secret talents?
I don’t know if it’s a talent, but I read Tarot cards and astrology charts as a hobby. I’m also the person my friends come to when they need a dream interpreted.

Is writing your dream job?
I think if I had my druthers I’d be in a more social situation. Which is funny because I really do like to be alone and can’t work with other people even in the house. But I miss some of the camaraderie of working with others. I wouldn’t say no to being on a film set again, or in a writer’s room.

How often do you tweet?
Almost every day, I think, and sometimes two or three times a day if there’s anything interesting going on.

How do you feel about Facebook?
I resisted getting a Facebook author page for a long time, but now that I have one, I find I enjoy it. I’m still trying to get people to Like it, though. And I think Facebook has some underhanded practices in burying posts if you don’t pay to promote them.

For what would you like to be remembered?
I’d like to be remembered as a good author, plain and simple.

What scares you the most?
Failure. The idea that I’ve put in so much time and effort and it still wasn’t good enough.

Would you make a good character in a book?
No, I’m too boring. I think I’m good at dinner parties, good in short bursts, but not interesting enough to sustain a novel.

What’s one thing you never leave the house without?

Sunglasses. (I live in California.)

What do you love about where you live?

No snow! I can do cold, I can do wet, but I don’t do snow.


What’s your favorite thing to do/favorite place to go on date night?
I like fondue, or going bowling or miniature golfing. I like museums, too.

What's your favorite treat for movie night?
Buttered popcorn. Classic.

What’s your favorite fast food?
Wendy’s.


What’s your favorite beverage?
Dr Pepper.

What drives you crazy?
I have low tolerances for just about everything: noise, stupidity, a**hole drivers . . .

What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
I get bored really easily. If there’s nothing to do, I’ll hop in the car and drive around while listening to music really loud. Or go for a walk with my headphones in.

Where is your favorite place to visit?
London. My goal is to have a flat there one day. But I also love New Orleans, which is where my family is, and Savannah.

What would you name your autobiography?
Coloring My Roots.

What’s your least favorite chore?

Cleaning the bathroom. Because ew. But I do it. Because if you don’t . . . ew. It’s just ew all around.


Would you rather be a movie star, sports star, or rock star?
Movie star. Or an actor at any rate. I loved being on stage.


Do you give your characters any of your bad traits?

Probably, but not consciously.

What’s in your refrigerator right now?
All kinds of things. A lot of cheese, and some pork chops and bacon and sausages. Brussels sprouts, carrots, berries (for the kids; I’m allergic). Refried beans, black-eyed peas, yogurt, chai, milk, soda, apple juice, eggs, and a massive collection of salsas.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
There’s a line in a Tabitha’s Secret song: “All is nothing in moderation.” It took some noodling for me to understand that, but now that I do, I really like it.

What would your main character say about you?
I have no idea. Peter is very reticent, can be somewhat inscrutable. One might never know what he honestly thinks of you. That’s great for his work as a spy, but it makes getting to know him difficult and causes real trouble in his relationship with Charles.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?

A paper for school maybe? Or I was once commissioned to write a screenplay for an indie director, and I found it very difficult to write because he wanted something that was outside my usual realm. It took me a long time, but it turned out well, I think. He plans to make the movie when he can get funding.

Where is your favorite library and what do you love about it?
We have a beautiful library in our town, and I love the café they have there—I meet friends there from time to time. They also have a great little used book shop.

Who is your favorite fictional character?
I guess I should say Sherlock Holmes since that’s what I’m known for. He’s fun to play with, has so many layers. But if we’re talking about something completely outside of anything I write . . . I like Peter Grant (from Ben Aaronovitch’s series).

If you had a talk show who would your dream guests be?
Rob Thomas, Robert Downey Jr. . . . Just people named Rob in general, I guess. Oh, except also David Tennant. But we’d call him Rob just to keep from confusion.

What’s one thing that very few people know about you?
Well, if my kids are to be believed, I’m actually a dragon in human form. (This was actually the inspiration for a young adult fantasy novel I just finished writing.)

You have a personal chef for the night. What would you ask him to prepare?

I like comfort foods. Down-home stuff. I’d ask for some chicken fried steak with gravy, some sausage jambalaya. Fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls or something.

How do you like your pizza?
New York style with lots of pepperoni.

What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
A painting of Westminster in London (Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament).

What’s your favorite song?
Do I have to pick just one? I’m sure it changes with my mood, but I’ve recently enjoyed rediscovering Steve Winwood’s “Roll With It.”

What’s your biggest pet peeve about writing?
That it takes so long. The process of getting something from my head to paper, and then getting it sorted so that it makes sense to readers . . . It’s exhausting and takes a long time.

What would you do for a Klondike bar?
I wouldn’t. I don’t mind Klondike bars, but I’m not any huge fan of them.

What is your favorite movie?
Young Sherlock Holmes. I used to come home from school every day and—no exaggeration—pop it into the VCR and watch it while doing my homework. Every. Single. Day. And I still love it.

Do you have a favorite book?
There’s not any one book I’d call my favorite. I’d say Richard Adams’ Watership Down and Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Changeling have had the biggest impact on me though.

If you had to choose a cliché about life, what would it be?
It isn’t fair. It’s not a meritocracy, you know. That’s been a big let down in life. Sometimes you work really hard and you still don’t win. Sometimes people who didn’t work as hard, or whose work wasn’t as good, still get ahead. The best way to keep that from bothering you is to only focus on doing the best you can. Don’t compare yourself to others because you’ll only find reasons to be unhappy.

What are you working on now?
As I mentioned above, I just finished a young adult fantasy novel, so I’m looking for agents or publishers for that. I anticipate it being the first in a trilogy. And now I’m writing a Regency romance because I needed something light and a little silly after Peter and the YA novel, both of which have a lot of weight to them. I’ll be writing more Sherlock Holmes in the future, too, and possibly another book in the Peter Stoller series; I have an idea of making his assistant Simeon the center of the next one.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M Pepper Langlinais is best known for her Sherlock Holmes stories. She is also a produced playwright and screenwriter. She lives in Livermore, California.


Connect with the author:
Website   |  Blog  |   
Facebook  |   
Twitter  |   
Goodreads  |  

Buy the book:

Amazon (US)   |    Amazon (UK)   |    Smashwords   |     iBooks   |   Kobo   |   Nook   





Thursday, April 21, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: D. ALYCE DOMAIN



ABOUT THE BOOK

Lucifer - At eighteen months out of law school, six months on the job, and four weeks before his BAR exam, Luce has arrived. He’d been playing by other people’s rules all his life and now, poised on the brink of success, he will not let anyone stand in his way…especially not the junior-partner jerk at the office giving him and his assistant a hard time. On his way to give the creep a piece of his mind, he bumps into the infamous ‘Calamity Jones’ . . . 

Calamity – is tired of enduring her boss’s unwanted sexual innuendos.  When his fingers start to roam, Calam decides she’s had enough. It’s time to fight fire with fire.  So she devises an ingenious, if risky plan, to get Perkins off her back, keep her Job, and strike a blow for his numerous other victims around the office…only, things don’t go exactly as planned.

All Hell Breaks ‘Luce’ – After finding the loopy ingénue jack-knifed atop the archival files, Lucifer knows something is up. Calamity knows the jig is up. So, she comes clean. Turns out, they both have the same problem…Perkins. But, sparks fly when they decide to team up to bring down the boss. The Hitch? He’s a straight arrow . . . She’s a loose cannon. Can they work together to achieve a common goal?  Or will they both lose in the end?





EXCERPT FROM WHEN LUCIFER MET CALAMITY


Lucifer! She’d know his long-limbed strides anywhere. He was probably taking the file room as a shortcut on his way to somewhere. Rarely did the lawyers and higher-ups lower themselves to doing their own case research. That dirty little job generally got relegated to paralegals, legal secretaries, and legal assistants, such as herself. She observed him from above.   He seemed intent on his destination, so maybe he wouldn’t notice her dangling precariously from the top tier just adjacent to the north entrance.

Oh please, don’t let me make a fool of myself, Calamity begged. She so much wanted to make a positive impression. If she came tumbling down on top of him, no doubt that would squelch him seeing her as anything other than a kook. Who was she kidding? She was a kook!  Why else would she go through so much hassle to get retribution and keep her job when she could just request a transfer or let her resignation stand? Too bad either option would limit, if not sever, her contact with the object of her affection, the man who was at present ten feet away and closing.


It looked as if he wasn’t going to spot her, thank heavens.  But just then, a tiny tearing noise marred the silence.  The split of her skirt gave way under the pressure, and ripped upward a good three inches, exposing both her presence and her left thigh in the bargain.

“Ms. Lowe?”

Bull’s eye.  He zeroed in on her like a homing device.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D. Alyce Domain. Is a long-time lover of creative fiction.  She learned to read with Dr. Seuss, grew up reading Sweet Valley High, James Howe, and Lois Duncan, and graduated to category romance with Harlequin and Silhouette in her teen years. Ms. Domain started out writing fan-fiction after her favorite fictional characters met with death and cancellation on network television. Inspired by the entertaining, multi-layered storylines created by so many female romance, young adult and television writers, she began to experiment with her own characters.  Coupled with her own unique brand of genre-bending romantic fiction, Ms. Domain was able to create a whole new world within the pages of her books.

Ms. Domain was born and raised in Houston, Texas, the youngest daughter of Charles and Eunice Domain. She has one older sister. She earned a BS in Biochemistry and a MS in Biomedical Sciences. She worked in Patient-Based Biological Research before switching careers and opening her own fashion boutique, The Aesthetic Domain. In addition to fashion apparel and accessories, she sells her own original jewelry creations and runs the Boutique & Blog website, which is based in Houston, Texas. Ms. Domain also has avid interests in inspirational music, art/entertainment, and history.

Connect wtih the author:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Pinterest  | 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  iBook  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  Createspace

Monday, April 18, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: S.K. DERBAN



ABOUT THE BOOK

Like fire and ice, Alexandra Callet’s life runs hot and cold. 



At the age of thirty-three, Alexandra owns a stunning home and a successful interior design company. But she is in love with her business partner, Jake Taylor, and he doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a woman. She should be on top of the world, but instead she feels dragged down by the void in her heart. Hoping for answers, she decides a trip to Mexico might soothe her soul. 



Jake Taylor only pretends to be a confirmed bachelor.



Jake has been entranced by Alexandra’s determination and exotic beauty since the moment they met, but she has no idea how he feels. He considers confessing his love, but fears jeopardizing their friendship and business. He’s caught in a web of pretending he doesn’t care, and doesn’t see a way out of it. 



Alexandra is recruited for a dangerous mission. 



Following her trip to Mexico, her resemblance to a member of an assassin’s family leads Alexandra to be recruited by the DEA. Her training leaves her distracted, and her business begins to suffer. Jake notices her sudden change, and feels her slipping both personally and professionally beyond his reach. Should he finally take the chance . . . before it’s too late? After all, he has nothing to lose. 



However, when Alexandra returns to Mexico for her mission, things go terribly wrong. 



Will she be able find the strength to fight and escape the peaceful haven that has now become her prison? Or will Jake lose Alexandra forever . . .



INTERVIEW WITH S. K. DERBAN


How did you get started writing?

From the moment I started to read, I wanted to be a writer. I would make up story after story, and kept telling everyone that I was going to write a book. Unfortunately, life got in the way. One day, when I was so tired of merely thinking about writing a book, I came home from work, turned on my computer and started typing.

What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
It is so fun to lose myself in the story. I feel as if I am going on holiday without having to pack. I have to be careful though. Sometimes when I get caught up in a particular emotion, I find myself feeling the same emotion after I stop writing for the day.

Do you write every day?
My goal is to write a minimum of one page per day so the storyline remains fresh in my mind. On the days I miss that goal, I never try and make up for it the following day. I write what comes to me, and sometimes end up writing twenty plus pages per day.

What do you wish you’d done differently when you first started the publishing process?
Had more completed manuscripts. When I finished my first manuscript, I stopped writing while trying to get published. I should have kept writing. There is so little time in the day, and marketing a published book steals even more time. I would love to have at least three more completed books ready to go!

How often do you read?
When I first started writing, I thought it was not a good idea to read at the same time. Was I wrong! First, I missed reading, as it is one of my passions. Second, I did not realize how important reading is to writing. Now, I always have a book in progress, and read a little before bed each night. As for non-fiction reading, I read the Bible each morning.

What books do you currently have published?
For No Apparent Reason was my first book published. Uneven Exchange is my second. If all goes well, I would like to release a new book each and every year. Time will tell!

Do you have any secret talents?
Yes I do, and thank you for asking. I am an organizing nut! I might even go as far to write that I am an organizing genius!

Is writing your dream job?
Yes, yes, yes! I simply adore writing! There is nothing else I would rather do for a living.

If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?

This is a tough question to answer because I have some favorite shows on a variety of channels. Downton Abbey is my all-time favorite, so I will choose KPBS as my one station. Even though this was Downton Abbey's last season, I will be able to watch again, beginning with episode one. KPBS also runs the BBC news, which is my favorite news to watch.

For what would you like to be remembered?

My faith in God is extremely important to me. I would like to be remembered for not only my faith, but how that faith caused me to treat other people with love and kindness.

What five things would you never want to live without?
How fun! The first is distilled water! I am a water freak, and prefer distilled. If you hand me a bottle of Fuji water I definitely will not turn it down. Second comes coffee. Oh my how I long for my morning cup of coffee. We brew it fresh each morning, but Starbucks in the next best thing. I will take a Flat White any day. Next comes fresh fruit. You name it, I like it. Mangos are probably my favorite. I must have a tennis racquet, as tennis is my favorite sport. I cannot live without books, with the Bible being my most important.

What’s one THING you never leave the house without (besides your phone).
This is such a great question because I never really care if I have my phone. I care about a bottle of water, if you didn’t already guess that one!

What do you love about where you live?
The weather is near perfect! My mother and father were married in England after the Second World War. Since my father was a war hero, the Navy gave him the option of relocating to any naval base in the United States. He turned the choice over to my mum, who based her decision on weather. As much as she enjoyed England, she was tired of the rain! As a result, we moved to San Diego, California, and I have lived here ever since.

What’s your favorite thing to do on date night?
My husband and I strive to go on a date night once per week, but at least every other. We alternate between five of our favorite restaurants, turn off our phones, linger over a glass of wine, and then enjoy a delicious dinner.

What is your superpower?

Flying! Just think about it. Wouldn't that be amazing?

Yes it would. What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Distilled water, fresh squeezed orange juice, and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Oh, and always a bottle of champagne!

What is the most daring thing you've done?

My husband and I were blessed with the opportunity to smuggle Bibles into China on five separate occasions.

Awesome! How do you like your pizza?

Loaded! Fortunately we live within walking distance from Little Italy in San Diego. It is called "The Works" at our favorite pizza restaurant.

You and I would get along fine! What are you working on now?

Presently, I am working on another mystery romance with the working title of Circumvent. I am hoping for a publication date of Christmas 2016.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her father, an American citizen, was a decorated veteran of the second world war. Derban's mother, born and raised in the United Kingdom, was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, Derban's life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries.



S.K. Derban has always remained passionate about writing and is thrilled to finally share her work with others. Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. When writing, S.K. Derban relies on all aspects of her life, from her faith in the Lord, to her love and knowledge of the arts.

Connect with the author:

Website  |  Blog  |  
Facebook  |  
Twitter  |  
Goodreads  

Buy the book:

Amazon

Saturday, April 16, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: WILLIAM BURCHER



ABOUT THE BOOK

The music is haunting. It pulls at you, at your insides, with a force born of some indescribable, primal recognition. The music is directed by that strange man on the stage, dancing the dance of a warrior, his face shrouded, masked. The musician stops suddenly, his action choreographed to the alien song and before the eyes of thousands, in an act of horror heralded only by the terrified scream of a woman in the back of the theatre, takes his own life with a flash of blood and steel.

Only one in the audience responds—a woman, beautiful, athletic, confident. She ascends the stage quickly and tries to stop the blood gushing from the musician's arteries. She doesn't yet know, but this moment will come to define the rest of her life. Fleur Romano is a detective. She investigates the man whose act has shocked the world, and discovers that he once belonged to a hidden, influential group whose sole purpose is to protect an unbelievably ancient secret with the power to change everything.

In his landmark debut, William Burcher gives us a story of rare intensity. He's willing to pose questions of universal significance. What do we lose, as we separate ourselves from the earth and each other? What would the future hold if suddenly something changed with that most fundamental of relationships—the one we have with our own planet?


GUEST POST BY WILL BURCHER

On Writing. Internal Resistance and An Author's Admission


I have a confession to make. I suffer from a not altogether curable disease. The symptoms are highly irregular, though their manifestation is specific. Inevitably they surface under similar circumstances (usually in the presence of a laptop or desk) and include bouts of incessant knee bouncing, biting and chewing of small handheld objects, abnormal craving of caffeinated beverages, and most insidiously, an easily distracted and mercurial affect.

Sound familiar? No? You're lying.

Writers and creative types all suffer from this malady at one point or another. Some call it block, writer's block, artist's block, creative's block—I call it resistance. Because fundamentally this is what I think it is; one part of ourselves resisting another part, an inherently greater part than the resister. The "symptoms" I speak of are some of the more benign variety, as resistance comes in all shapes and sizes, a complete spectrum of obstructive mental patterns that can prevent us from producing our best stuff. None of this is any kind of new, and the best explication of it that I've seen has to be in a series of short books by Steven Pressfield—the author of the Legend of Bagger Vance and Gates of Fire (which is now required reading at West Point, the point being that he knows what he's talking about).

In The War of Art, Do the Work, and Turning Pro, Pressfield says that anytime anyone anywhere tries to better themselves, tries to do something really good and from the "better angels of our nature" (A. Lincoln), he or she encounters resistance, resistance within. This could be anything, really. A new diet, a new workout plan, a New Year's resolution, the attempt to break a negative mental pattern or end an addiction—all of these things are going to bring the devil out, so to speak (for he arises when he sees something lighter and purer than he, shining on him in his dank hole). Creatives encounter the same thing, the same internal reaction, because what we do (create!) the devil knows is better than itself and fears it. And so that darker part distracts and avoids, makes excuses, procrastinates and in extreme cases drives its owner to self-harm.

I just finished a novel, my first, The GAIAD. It took me about a year, though the first four or five months of that year were spent in alternating states of resistance. I was traveling, and my mind told me that this was a legitimate excuse. "You're at the beach! Explore a little! Have fun . . . You've earned it!" And these things were true, but they weren't legitimate excuses. Deep down I knew I should be writing, I should be living, breathing, eating to write. But the resistance was overpowering. Until I called it out.

Call it out. Look at it, and accept that it's there. Don't fight it, because that never works. Haven't you ever been in the throng of an ugly bout of block and tried to WILL yourself out of it and write, despite it? Yeah, the stuff that came out was crap, wasn't it? No, direct confrontation is what the resistance wants—in other words, something to resist! When you look at it, accept it, see it for what it is, it'll fade, like morning mist in the sun. And that separation, that realization, that "there it is, and this is me, and I am not it" experience is the end of block's hold on you. It's de-energized, lessened, weakened and no longer in control. Sure, it'll be there still (a part of me thinks it might always be there, spinning like a flywheel)—but there's space, between it and those Better Angels—and it's from this space, I think, that really cool creative and original stuff climbs up and out of and onto that computer screen.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A former cop who enjoys sitting quietly by mountain streams and looking up at the night sky, Will has always known that writing would be his life's work. Toward that end he sought out diverse experiences, professional and otherwise, to enable a style of writing both gritty and real. He writes on topics of wide influence—the current state of our modern malaise, the importance of an expanded presence in space, and our relationship with the earth. He believes that all writers are burdened with the most serious of responsibilities—to lead the minds of their readers to positive places; metaphoric fields both green and golden. He lives in Colorado, USA with his two dogs, Taurus and Sterling.

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