Monday, July 6, 2020

A LOOK AT THE MENU BY STEVEN MANCHESTER



#1 Bestselling author, Steven Manchester, is excited to announce the release of his long-anticipated, soul-awakening novel, The Menu.

ABOUT THE BOOK



Blessed with a high emotional IQ, Phinn Reed enters the world with the promise of finding his soul mate. With heaven’s memories erased, his romantic quest teaches him that the heart often sees clearer than the eyes—and that not everyone has ordered the same items from The Menu. Evidence that love stories come in many different forms, The Menu is a spiritual journey involving more than just a man and a woman; it is a modern-day tale that reaches far beyond the boundaries of reason.


Book Details:

Title: The Menu

Author: Steven Manchester

Genre: literary fiction

Publisher: Luna Bella Media, Incorporated (June 2, 2020)

Print length: 318 pages







Early Reviews:

“If you liked The Shack, then The Menu is a must read.” – John Lansing, Bestselling Author

“Congratulations on The Menu. Continue to use your gifts to glorify God!” – Matthew West, Christian Singer/Songwriter

“Steven Manchester writes like Nicholas Sparks on steroids.” – Jon Land, USA Today Bestselling Author

“The Norman Rockwell of Literature, Steven Manchester has bared his soul in the intense story, The Menu.”  – Shannon Gonzalez, Book Blogger, Literarily Illumined



EXCERPT FROM THE MENU


“It’s important that I know compassion,” Phinn said.
“It’s yours, but not before experiencing pain and suffering,” God answered.
Glancing up at his Father, Phinn gave it some thought. “Sure, I’ll accept pain and suffering for compassion.”
God nodded.
“I also wish to have commitment and wisdom and…”
“Good choices, Phinn, but not before conquering trials and tribulations,” God said.
Phinn looked up from the menu again. “And courage?” he asked.
“After overcoming fear.”
“Honor?”
“Once you have faced shame.”
“Success?” Phinn asked.
“Much failure,” God answered.
Phinn stared at his master before closing the menu and handing it back. “I can’t have any of the good without the bad, can I?”
“Sure, it’s called love; and no matter what you do, I’ll always love you,” God promised. “Pretty clever design, don’t you think?”




Check out past features of Steven on A Blue Million Books:
November 27, 2019
July 27, 2018
May 30, 2018
December 23, 2017
February 21, 2017
May 17, 2014



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steven Manchester is the author of the #1 bestsellers Twelve Months, The Rockin' Chair, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island; the national bestsellers, Ashes, The Changing Season and Three Shoeboxes; the multi-award winning novel, Goodnight Brian; and the beloved holiday podcast drama, The Thursday Night Club. His work has appeared on NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, CNN's American Morning and BET's Nightly News. Three of Steven's short stories were selected "101 Best" for Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He is a multi-produced playwright, as well as the winner of the 2017 Los Angeles Book Festival and the 2018 New York Book Festival. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.


Connect with Steven:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon

Thursday, July 2, 2020

GUEST POST BY KEVIN DOYLE




ABOUT THE BOOK



When private detective Sam Quinton sets out to solve the murders of a stripper and small-time gambler, he ends up in the middle of an organized crime war, testing Quinton’s loyalty to an old friend and making him the killers’ next target. While working to stay one step ahead of the killers, Quinton also has to safeguard the life of an elderly couple, who unwittingly hold the key to solving the murders and ending the war.


Book Details:


Title: Squatter’s Rights

Author: Kevin R. Doyle

Genre: mystery

Series: Sam Quinton

Publisher and date: Camel Press, March 2020

Print Length: 213 pages








GUEST POST WITH KEVIN DOYLE




A Day in the Life 



Describing a typical day in my life is a bit complicated, mainly because I have two distinct phases to the year. As a high-school teacher, for nine months I follow one pattern (though said pattern got a tad disrupted this spring), and for the other three months (eleven weeks usually) there’s a completely different pattern. And while a lot of people may look at those three summer months and imagine them to be nothing but playtime, that’s only how it used to be. Not so much anymore.
I work like the dickens all through the school year. I teach English, so by the time you factor in lesson prep and grading papers, you’re easily talking a total of fifty-five to sixty hours, on average, per week. I remember when I was younger thinking that teachers had such a cool job because they were done by three in the afternoon.

Uhm, no.

Not that way at all. 

On top of that, totally through my own choice, I have about a forty-minute commute to and from work. I’m usually up about 6:30 in order to get out the door by 7:00 and be to school by 8:00 (classes start at 8:30 each morning). 

The day usually goes non-stop until a little after three, and most days I’m on the road home by 3:45 or so. During the morning, I don’t mind the commute, as it’s a straight shot on the highway, mostly against traffic, and allows time to sort things out and plan the day in my head.

Driving the same distance back home is another matter. When the day’s over, I want it to be over and done. I just want to be home. So that commute home can be a bear some days.

Nighttime work usually begins right after dinner, and continues, off and on, till around ten or so. If this sounds excessive, you should have seen my first year. Nothing, but nothing that anyone said could have prepared me for that first year of teaching. I went about seven months straight rarely getting to bed before 1:30, if not later, including weekends. Things didn’t ease off until somewhere around the end of April.

(Several folks told me to just hang in there, that the second year would be easier. Which it was, though what shocked me was just how much easier it was. I’m talking something around the order of a third as much work the second year as the first.)

To put this in total context, for most of the time I’ve been writing it’s been mainly short stories. For years and years I pounded away at short stories, considering myself fortunate to have one or two see print during a given year. With that consideration, the teaching load didn’t impact my writing a whole lot because I wasn’t doing anything that took long, intense concentration.

However, as time went on my fiction began stretching longer and longer, resulting in now, where most of my work is in the 80,000 word range. This is when balancing the writing with the day job has become a bit of an effort. 

Even with my work load, I generally look for time to write during the school year. How much I do depends on what stage of work I’m involved with. If I’m doing the first draft of a book, where I have to spend a lot of time thinking things out, I generally shoot for about fifteen pages (more or less 3,600 words) a week. If I’m doing heavy revision, maybe twenty pages a week, and if I’m just doing edits I shoot for twenty-five pages a week.

Keep in mind, those are aspirations. Some weeks, especially when the grading is really intense (hello, senior research papers), I find it difficult to crank out even five pages. Most of the writing is done during the week, in the few hours between dinner and hitting the sack, with the weekends reserved mainly for grading and lesson prep.

It probably goes without saying that my schedule during the summertime is a bit more relaxed. Even so, more and more, I find myself longing back to the days when summer vacation meant actual vacation. Back when I was only writing short stories, I’d manage to churn out four or five during the summer, but it never felt like work. If an idea came to me, I’d sit down and hammer away at it until I finished, but there was never any rush or pressure. These days, with two series started up for two different publishers, things are quite a bit different.

My usual day during the summer involves getting up around six, a little earlier than I do during the school year, and if the weather’s good I pull off a couple of miles walking along the trails in town coupled with half an hour or so in the swimming pool. Then it’s time to sit down and get to work.

I’m usually writing off and on during the day, ending up somewhere around 9:00 at night. Obviously, I’m not writing this entire time. I take breaks, run errands, watch a little TV, and hit the pool every chance I get. I also manage a fair amount of traveling, usually doing two or three long trips during the summer break. 
 But the work is fairly scheduled. For instance, this summer I’m working on edits for the second Sam Quinton book, waiting to begin edits on a book for my Canadian publisher and trying to complete the third (final?) draft for a new standalone novel.

All fine and good, and it’s kind of gratifying to have this much opportunity presented to me. Sometimes, however, despite best laid plans and with no job to keep me on a tight schedule, I find myself drifting away, especially as the weather heats up and the pool beckons just a few feet away.

That’s why I keep an old-fashioned wall calendar next to my work space. To remind me that the time until the next school year begins (it is hoped) is ticking away, and I have to get to work.



OTHER BOOKS BY KEVIN DOYLE

The Group


When You Have to Go There


The Litter 




Coming in November 2020:
And the Devil Walks Away





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A high-school teacher, former college instructor and fiction writer, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of two crime novels, The Group and When You Have to Go There, published by MuseItUp Publications, and one horror novel, The Litter, published by Night to Dawn Magazine and Books. This year also saw the release of the first book in his Sam Quinton mystery series, Squatter’s Rights, by Camel Press. He has had numerous short horror stories published in small press magazines. Doyle teaches high-school English in Missouri and is currently planning his retirement to the Gulf Coast.

Connect with Kevin:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble

Check out Kevin's interview from May 15, 2020 here.

Friday, June 26, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: KELLY IRVIN




ABOUT THE BOOK


A serial killer bent on revenge . . . and striking too close to home.

Teagan O’Rourke has always loved murder mysteries. In her job as a court reporter, she has written official records for dozens of real-life murders. She’s slapped evidence stickers on crime scene photos. She’s listened to hours of chilling testimony. But she’s never known the smell of death. And she never thought she might be a victim.

Until now.

A young police officer is murdered just inches away from her, and then a man calling himself a serial killer starts leaving Teagan notes, signing each with the name of a different murderer from her favorite mystery novels.

Panicked, Teagan turns to her friend Max Kennedy. Max longs for more than friendship with Teagan, but he fears she’ll never trust someone with a past like his. He wonders how much of God’s “tough love” he can take before he gives up on love completely. And he wonders if he’ll be able to keep Teagan alive long enough to find out.

As Teagan, Max, and Teagan’s police officer father race to track down the elusive killer, they each know they could be the next victim. Desperate to save those she loves, Teagan battles fears that once haunted her in childhood. Nothing seems to stop this obsessed murderer. No matter what she does, he seems to be getting closer . . .


Book Details:


Author: Kelly Irvin


Genre: romantic suspense


Publisher: Thomas Nelson (June 9, 2020)


Print length: 343 pages








LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH KELLY IRVIN


A few of your favorite things: my grandkids, chocolate, reading mysteries, hubby.
Things you need to throw out: old magazines, research for previous books.


Things you need in order to write: my computer and time.
Things that hamper your writing: my health, not sleeping well, too much noise.


Things you love about writing: when characters simply show up and start talking.
Things you hate about writing: when my behind starts to ache from sitting too long!

Easiest thing about being a writer: making things up for a living.

Hardest thing about being a writer: trying to always write better, wondering if the story is any good.


Things you love about where you live: it’s quiet, peaceful, lots of wildlife, lots of trees.
Things that make you want to move: poor internet connection.

Words that describe you: introvert, creative, Christian, wife, mother, grandmother.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: stubborn, socially awkward, cancer patient.

Favorite foods: my husband’s homemade pizza, pie, cookies (any kind of dessert).
Things that make you want to throw up:  hominy, kale, grits, eggplant.

Favorite music or song: faith music, country music.
Music that make your ears bleed: rap, heavy metal.

Favorite beverage: iced tea.

Something that gives you a pickle face: soda.

Something you’re really good at: writing.

Something you’re really bad at: math.


Things you’d walk a mile for: a frosted brownie.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: TV shows like The Bachelor.

Things you always put in your books: pets, especially dogs.

Things you never put in your books: graphic bedroom scenes.

Things to say to an author: What you do for a living is hard. I respect it.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: You’re just writing romances. It’s not like you’re writing the great American novel.

Favorite things to do: write, read, play with my grandkids, sit in the yard at dusk & watch fireflies.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: going to a party where I don’t know anyone, going to a party where I know people.

Best thing you’ve ever done: marry my husband.

Biggest mistake: too numerous to mention.





EXCERPT FROM CLOSER THAN SHE KNOWS

“We’re almost there, Ms. O’Rourke.” Officer Moreno came to a full stop at the corner of Park and Academic Court, where the glass-covered police department recruitment center and property room facilities glinted in the late-afternoon sun.
A smile brought out dimples on Moreno’s cherub-cheeked face. Her assignment to escort a court reporter and the evidence to the property room was almost to the halfway point. Teagan had told Moreno to call her by her first name, but the patrolwoman couldn’t seem to manage it. “I’ll get us through security, we’ll stow the evidence, and I’ll have you back to your car in a jiffy.”
Did people still say “in a jiffy”? Teagan’s grandma might, but this woman was no more than twenty-four. A couple of years younger than Teagan. She studied the officer’s face as she turned onto Academic Court and accelerated. The woman was for real. A straight shooter determined to be successful in a man’s world.
Teagan smiled, but Moreno had already returned her gaze to the road, hands at the proper ten and two positions on the wheel. “I know there’s plenty of other things you’d rather do than babysit evidence—”
The driver’s side window exploded.
The force knocked Teagan’s head against her window. Sudden pain pricked her face. Fragments of glass pierced her cheeks and forehead.
The car swerved, jumped the curb, and crashed into the wrought-iron fence that protected the academy.
Was this what Mom felt the day she died? The inevitability of it?
Air bags ballooned.
Teagan slammed back against her seat.
I’m sorry, Max.
I’m sorry I never said it.
A second later the bag deflated. The smell of nitrogen gases gagged her. Powder coated her face. The skin on the back of her hands burned.
Time sped up in an odd, off-kilter tick-tock.
Teagan struggled to open her eyes. Pain pulsed in her temple. Her stomach heaved. Waves of adrenaline shook her body as if she’d grasped a live electrical wire.
I’m alive. Today’s not my day to die.
The evidence. Protect the evidence.
***
Excerpt from Closer Than She Knows by Kelly Irvin.  Copyright 2020 by Kelly Irvin. Reproduced with permission from Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Bestseller Kelly Irvin is the author of eighteen books, including romantic suspense and Amish romance. Publisher’s Weekly calls Closer Than She Knows a “brisk, smoothly written thriller.” She’s also the author of Tell Her No Lies and Over the Line. The two-time ACFW Carol finalist worked as a newspaper reporter for six years writing stories on the Texas-Mexico border. Those experiences fuel her romantic suspense novels set in Texas. A retired public relations professional, Kelly now writes fiction full-time. She lives with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin, in San Antonio. They are the parents of two children, three grandchildren, and two ornery cats.


Connect with Kelly:
Website Facebook  |   Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: LEE MATTHEW GOLDBERG




ABOUT THE BOOK


How far would you go to make your dreams come true? For budding writer and filmmaker Noah Spaeth, being a Production Assistant in director Dominick Bambach’s new avant-garde film isn’t enough. Neither is watching Dominick have an affair with the lead actress, the gorgeous but troubled Nevie Wyeth. For Noah’s dream is to get both the film and Nevie in the end, whatever the cost.






Book Details:


Title: Slow Down

Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg

Genre: thriller

Publisher: All Due Respect (May 22, 2020)

Print length: 239 pages

On tour with: Pump Up Your Book







INTERVIEW WITH LEE MATTHEW GOLDBERG


What’s the story behind the title of your book?
Slow Down is the theme of the book. The characters are moving and too fast a pace, which will ultimately get some of them killed. They have to learn to slow down to save their lives.

Where’s home for you?
New York City.

Where did you grow up?
New York City.

What do you love about where you live?
NYC is greatest place to live. There is so much to do all the time that you can never get bored. It truly never sleeps.

What is the most daring thing you've done?
Skydiving.


What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Skydiving.

What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?
That rejection will happen, and you need to get a tough skin to make you a better writer.

What makes you nervous?
Driving a car.


Do you have another job outside of writing?
Adjunct Professor. Editor-in-chief of Fringe Press.

What would you like people to say about you after you die?
I made them laugh.

How did you create the plot for this book?
It came to me after getting fired from my first job after college.

Are you like any of your characters?
I’m a little bit like my main character Noah, or at least I was when I was 23. But I’m a much better person. I’m like Noah’s best qualities, not his bad ones.

One of your characters has just found out you’re about to kill him off. He/she decides to beat you to the punch. How would he kill you?
Probably slip something in my drink like Noah does in the book.

What book are you currently reading and in what format?
I’m currently reading Circe by Madeline Miller in paperback. I’m also reading Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts but it’s 1,000 so I’m putting it down a lot.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
Bad writing. Terrible dialogue.

Do you have a routine for writing?
I write at a tree in Central Park when the weather’s nice.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

Central Park in the afternoon.

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

The New York City public library on 42nd Street. It’s an amazing place.

What would your dream office look like?

Somewhere with access or views of nature.

What are you working on now?
I just finished a draft about a family of bank robbers in the 1980s. I think it’s my favorite book I’ve written so far.


OTHER BOOKS BY LEE MATTHEW GOLDBERG


The Mentor
The Desire Card 
The Ancestor 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels The Desire Card, The Mentor, and Slow Down. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, Prey No More, is forthcoming, along with his Alaskan Gold Rush novel The Ancestor. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press, Monologging and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City.

Connect with the author:

Website Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Down and Out Books


Friday, May 29, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: CARL HARE




ABOUT THE BOOKS



Odysseus: On the River of Time, book 1


Odysseus begins where Homer's Odyssey leaves off, and recounts the Greek hero's final quest to settle his debt with the god Poseidon. He must travel to many cities carrying a wooden oar, find a land that knows no salt, and offer a sacrifice to the god on the site where a stranger asks the purpose of the oar. During his perilous journey he becomes involved in the intrigues swirling among the great Trojan War veterans and their heirs, and must also protect his own family and kingdom. Written in a poetic style reminiscent of the Homeric past, Odysseus is Book One of the epic trilogy, On the River of Time, which examines three figures - one mythical, one historical, and one fictional - from different time periods spanning almost three thousand years: Odysseus in Greece; Spenser, the poet, in Ireland; and Archer, a renegade actor/director in Canada.

Spenser: On the River of Time, book 2

Spenser portrays the last four turbulent months of Edmund Spenser’s life as he and his family are caught up in the Munster Revolt in Ireland in 1598. As he fights to survive the invasion of his home, his life as a refugee in Cork, and his return to England, his memories and thoughts trace through the sweep of his life, he continues to work on the last book of The Fairie Queene, and a treatise he writes about the Irish rebellions turns out to have far-reaching consequences.

Written in the form of his own Spenserian stanzas, Spenser evokes the sense of the Elizabethan Period and is Book Two of the epic trilogy On the River of Time, taking us to the second time-period of the three thousand years spanned in the trilogy and the second figure of the three—Odysseus, the mythical hero, in ancient Greece; Spenser, the poet, in Ireland, and Archer, the fictional renegade actor/director in present-day Canada.

Through their journeys and struggles we explore the nature of human perceptions and drives, our use of the Mask in our lives, encounters with the Other, acceptance or denial of the consequences of our actions, and the continuity over the millennia of the universal human attributes.


Book Details:


Title: Odysseus, book 1, Spenser book 2


Author: Carl Hare


Genre: ancient and classical poetry, epic poetry


Series: On the River of Time


Publisher: Quattro Books (April 1, 2017)


Page count: 550 pages







LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH CARL HARE


Things you need in order to write: my workbook, one of a variety of Sharpies, no distractions.
Things that hamper your writing: too many other things to do, including emails, etc.

Easiest thing about being a writer: letting the imagination take over.

Hardest thing about being a writer: editing what I’ve written.



Things you never want to run out of: that wood product that was bought up in the early days of the plague.
Things you wish you’d never bought: a carton of cans of chick peas.


Words that describe you: pleasant, witty, imaginative, loquacious.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: old (88 in 2020), fixated, story-ridden.


Favorite music: any music by Mozart.
Music that make your ears bleed: heavy metal.


Something you’re really good at: talking.
Something you’re really bad at: talking.

Something you wish you could do: swim a mile in my pool, play the piano.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: never learned to shut my mouth.


Something you like to do: listen to classical music.

Something you wish you’d never done: spent more time with P.K. Page.


Last best thing you ate: blueberries in maple syrup.

Last thing you regret eating: burnt toast.

Things you always put in your books: the meaningful sounds of words together.

Things you never put in your books: racism.


Things to say to an author: “I want to read you work again.”
Things not to say to an author: “So why is she the main character?”


Favorite places you’ve been: Jasper, Banff, Victoria.

Places you never want to go to again: Disneyland, Disney World.


People you’d like to invite to dinner: Stephen Fry, RH Thompson.

People you’d cancel dinner on: Doug Ford.

Favorite things to do: read, watch good things on TV or elsewhere.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: killing an animal, laughing at a disadvantaged person.


Things that make you happy: my family, writing.

Things that drive you crazy: my family, writing.


Proudest moment: Seeing my children graduate from university.
Most embarrassing moment: when I forgot to mention that it was my wife’s birthday when I received an award.


Best thing you’ve ever done: marrying my wife.
Biggest mistake: not finishing my thesis before I went to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


The last thing you did for the first time: write an epic trilogy.

Something you’ll never do again: write an epic trilogy (I don’t have another twenty-seven years, which is what the first trilogy has taken).



BOOK TRAILER






ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Carl Hare in his long career has been a professor, actor, director, playwright, and poet. Odysseus, Book One of his trilogy On the River of Time, was published in the spring of 2017. Other work includes performances of his play The Eagle and the Tiger and his adaptation of Ibsen’s John Gabriel Borkman; the setting of six of his children’s poems to music by Canadian composer Malcolm Forsyth; a commissioned poem for Forsyth’s A Ballad of Canada, performed by the National Arts Centre Orchestra;  A Weathering of Years, a collection of poetry published in 2015; Odysseus, Book One of On the River of Time in 2017;  and Spenser, Book Two of On the River of Time, in 2019.  


Connect with Carl:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads


Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: KIRSTEN WEISS



ABOUT THE BOOK



Abigail and Hyperion uncork a murder . . .

Tea and Tarot room owner Abigail Beanblossom is used to running interference for her socially-awkward former boss, tech billionaire Razzzor. So when he invites her on a stakeout to investigate the sale of counterfeit wine from his latest venture – an upscale winery – she barrels on in. But the two stumble across the corpse of a wine merchant, and new wine in old bottles is now the least of their problems.

Good thing amateur detectives Abigail and her partner, tarot reader Hyperion Night, have a nose for murder. Their investigation takes them from elegant wine cellars to chic tea parties on the California coast. But just as the investigation starts to get its legs, Abigail discovers there’s more than wine at the bottom of this crime . . .

Hostage to Fortune is book 2 in the Tea and Tarot cozy mystery series. Start reading this hilariously cozy caper today!

Tearoom recipes in the back of the book.


Book Details:

Title: Hostage to Fortune

Author: Kirsten Weiss

Genre: cozy mystery


Series: Tea and Tarot, book 2


Publisher: Misterio press (May 21, 2020)


Print length: 200 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours








IFs ANDs OR WHATs INTERVIEW WITH KIRSTEN WEISS


Ifs


If you could talk to someone (living), who would it be and what would you ask them?
I have a mild addiction to self-help books, so I’ll say Marie Forleo. She’s always got good advice, and she seems like a nice, fun person.

If you could live in any time period which would it be?
The modern era, definitely. The past sounds romantic, but lack of vaccines and indoor plumbing and women’s rights? Nope. No, thank you.

If you were on the Amazon bestseller list, who would you choose to be one before and one below you?
Charlaine Harris and Donna DeLeon – they’re both wonderful writers with great female characters. But don’t ask me who should be above or below!

If you could choose a fictional town to live in what would it be and from what book?
I’d love to live in San Borromeo, from my Tea and Tarot series. It’s on the beach, it’s small, it’s charming, and it’s based loosely on Capitola, California.


If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?

I’m pretty happy where I’m at, in Colorado Springs, CO!





Ands



5 things you need in order to write: 
    •    my laptop
    •    my highlighter pens
    •    my printer
    •    my thesaurus   
and 
    •    a good coffeeshop

5 things you love about where you live: 
    •    the view of Pikes Peak
    •    the hiking
    •    the deer that ramble through my yard
    •    my wonderful neighbors 
and 
    •    the more relaxed pace of life

5 favorite foods:  
    •    Mission-style burritos
    •    guacamole
    •    pizza
    •    chocolate
and
    •    capellini pomodoro

5 favorite places you’ve been:  

    •    Tbilisi Georgia 
    •    the Florida Gulf coast 
    •    Yosemite 
    •    Bryce Canyon 
and 
    •    Zion (I’m a big fan of national parks)

5 favorite things to do:  
    •    writing
    •    sleeping
    •    hiking
    •    tai chi
and
    •    reading


Whats


What’s your all-time favorite author?
Carlos Ruiz Zafon.


What’s your all-time favorite city?
Prague.

What’s the loveliest sight you’ve ever seen?
The drive down Interstate 70, west of Denver, in the spring.

What’s your favorite time of day?
Twilight.

What’s your favorite vacation spot?
The California Sierras.

What’s your latest recommendation for:
Food: Guacamole on toast with a poached egg on top. I know, it sounds weird.
Music: Kerli – she’s an Estonian pop singer with a really magical sound.
Movie: I finally saw Bohemian Rhapsody and cried through the last 30 minutes.
Book: The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
TV: Lodge 49. It only had two seasons, but it’s a magical little show with heart. (You can find it on Hulu)
Amazon Prime: Bosch



BOOKS BY KIRSTEN WEISS


Tea and Tarot Mysteries

Wits’ End Cozy Mysteries

Pie Town Cozy Mysteries

The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Cozy Mysteries

Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mysteries

Witches of Doyle Cozy Mysteries

Sensibility Grey Steampunk Suspense




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.

Now based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.

If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Tea and Tarot, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.

Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com.


Connect with Kirsten:
Twitter  |  Facebook

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Apple Books  |  Kobo  |  Google Play 





Friday, May 22, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: LENA GREGORY



ABOUT THE BOOK


Cass Donovan is reminded that you can’t believe everything you hear, especially when it comes from the dead . . .

When stories begin circulating of a centuries-old ghost haunting the Bay Island lighthouse, Cass is caught up in mystical happenings of her own, with countless voices from the beyond all clamoring for her attention with dire warnings. But before she has a chance to learn whether there’s a connection between the rumored ghost and her restless visitors, the lighthouse keeper mysteriously falls to his death, and Cass’s reputation for communing with the dead lands her right in the middle of the police investigation.

Cass knows the victim was no saint, as he made little effort to hide his philandering ways from his wife or anyone else, and often acted out with no thought for the feelings of others. But had he finally gone too far, or were there more menacing motives behind his murder? As Cass begins building a list of suspects, including the man’s supposedly grieving wife and a mysterious new woman in town, she also turns her ear to those otherworldly voices, hoping for a clue. And as she begins to close in on the culprit, she realizes too late that if she’s not careful, she’ll soon be communicating with the dead in person . . .



Book Details:

Title: Grave Consequences


Author: Lena Gregory

Genre: cozy mystery


Publisher: Beyond the Page Publishing


Print length: 310

 pages
On tour with: Punp Up Your Book






GUEST POST WITH LENA GREGORY


8 Things You Might Not Know About Lena Gregory


I always enjoy getting to know my readers, so I figure what better way to start than to share a little about myself. I’d love for you to leave a comment below sharing some things people don’t know about you and telling me if you share any of my interests!

1. I grew up on the south shore of eastern Long Island. My husband and I recently relocated to Clermont, Florida with our daughter, son-in-law, two sons, and four dogs. I am extremely family oriented. I enjoy nothing more than spending time with my husband and kids.

2. I absolutely love big dogs. At the moment, we have an Akita, a Weimaraner, and two Australian Shepherds. I would love another Bernese Mountain Dog, a Leonberger, or a Rhodesian Ridgeback. What do you think?

3. I am a master at procrastination. I don’t have a lot of writing time, but sometimes, when I do sit down to write, I just can’t seem to get going. So I tell myself there are important things I have to do before I can start writing. The first of those is usually facebook, because there might be something interesting I “need” to know. I love to chat with readers, my agent, and other authors, so I often hang out there for a bit. Then I check all of my emails, because, you know, something really important that wasn’t there five minutes ago, might be there now. And then I head for twitter. By the time I finish all of that, I’m usually hungry so, I grab a snack, then finally sit down to get started.

4. I am addicted to Diet Pepsi and chocolate!

5. I have worked many jobs, some I loved, others not as much. I was a dance teacher and choreographer for more than twenty years. When my daughter was in high school I choreographed and co-directed several high school musicals. I also worked in a deli, which will feature in a mystery I’m currently outlining. And I cleaned houses in the Hamptons, which gave me more material than you could imagine for a future cozy mystery series.

6. I am painfully shy. As much as I love socializing and even meeting new people, I do much better one on one than I do in a group.

7. I believe in ghosts, and they do feature in my first series, as well as a second series I am currently outlining.

8. I am very high strung and rarely relax. I go from the time I get up around 6:30 am until the time I go to bed, anywhere between 1:30 and 3:00 am. I talk fast, I move fast, and I always have a list a mile long of things I have to get finished in a day. Of course, I usually forget or misplace the list, so it doesn’t always help much.

Don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know if you share any of those same traits.


EXCERPT




 A worn book sat on a stand beneath a glass case. A card beside it read “Kitty Garrison’s Journal—the life of a lighthouse keeper’s daughter.”
“It doesn’t look like much.” Bee crossed the rope barrier set up to keep patrons from getting too close, then leaned close to the glass and squinted.
“It looks like a diary.” Cass tilted her head to try to read what was inside the book but to no avail.
Bee opened the case.
“What are you doing, Bee? You can’t open that.” Stephanie shot out a hand and pushed the small door closed.
“Well, then, how am I supposed to know what’s in it?”
“Easy,” Stephanie said. “You wait for Amelia to come back and ask her if she’ll let you read it.”
“Yeah, but your way, she might say no. At least my way I can just apologize after the fact. And then we would have seen the inside of the book, maybe gained valuable information on how to find the treasure.” He grinned. “Much better to apologize later than to ask permission now.”
“Is that what this is about, Bee?” Cass wouldn’t mind having a peek in the book, either, but she wasn’t about to upset Stephanie. “You want to find the treasure?”
“You bet I do.”
And somehow Cass had a feeling Levi had counted on that when he’d shared the story. “Question is, if Fred is trying to find the treasure, what does Levi have to gain by making sure everyone under the sun—or at least those living on and probably visiting Bay Island—know about it?”
Bee shrugged off her concern. “Maybe he doesn’t want to see Fred find the treasure? Not that I can blame him. Fred DiCarlo is not a nice man.”
“I suppose, but still.” Cass looked in the direction Levi had gone.
Voices carried into the museum, and Bee deftly hopped the security rope, then propped a hand on his hip and leaned against the railing, possibly going for a nonchalant pose that ended up looking more like I just got caught doing something I shouldn’t have been doing.
When the group headed past the museum entrance and up the stairs, presumably toward the third floor, Cass tugged Bee’s arm. “Come on, we’ll climb the lighthouse before it gets too late. We can always come back here afterward, if there’s time, and talk to Amelia. Maybe she’ll let you read some of the book once everyone’s gone.”
Bee stared longingly at the journal, then sighed. “Sure thing. Whatever you say, Mum.”
They headed out of the museum and followed the concrete walkway toward the lighthouse. The salty sea breeze rustled the bushes lining the path. The mild wind carried the softest hint of a whisper, tantalizingly close, yet just out of reach.
Cass paused. An illusion created by the wind funneling along the walkway? It had to be. It’s not like she was giving a reading, and that’s the only time the voices called to her, assailed her as they competed for her attention. At least, that’s the only time they’d reached out to her so far.
Stephanie looked over her shoulder. “Are you coming, Cass?”
Bee stopped and turned, then frowned. “Is something wrong?”
Shaking off whatever apprehension had stopped her, Cass moved on. “Sorry, daydreaming, I guess.”
“It’s a beautiful day. I bet you’ll be able to see for miles.” Stephanie dug through her bag and pulled out her phone.
“Oh, definitely.” Bee pointed past the bushes and over the choppy waters of the bay. “Look, you can see the south fork of Long Island from here.”
The height of the bluff the lighthouse stood on offered an amazing view across the bay. A foghorn sounded from somewhere in the distance, seagulls circled and dove, occasionally coming up with a prize, and the ferry chugged toward Long Island, only about half full from the looks of it.
They entered the tower and started up the circular staircase, the clang of their shoes against the iron steps echoing off the sandstone walls.
“Not what it seems . . .”
“What do you mean?” Cass studied Bee’s back as he climbed a few steps ahead of her, though how he did it in his signature platform shoes was beyond her.
He paused and looked back at her over his shoulder. “Huh?”
“You said something, but I didn’t quite catch—”
“Stop.” The man’s voice seemed to come from all around her at once.
This time she’d been staring straight at Bee, and he’d been in the middle of saying something else when the male voice had interrupted him.
A woman’s voice joined the man’s. “Why don’t you . . .”
A chorus of voices answered in unison.
Cass shook her head, willing the voices to retreat. “Nothing, Bee. Sorry, I thought you said something.”
Though the scowl remained firmly imprinted on his features, Bee turned and resumed his trek up the stairs, seemingly content to ignore whatever was happening with her. Probably for the best, anyway. If he thought for one minute ghosts haunted the lighthouse, he’d probably plow both Cass and Stephanie over in his haste to leave.
“Watch . . . go . . . stop . . . please . . .” The voices continued unsolicited, demanding, insistent.
“What do you want?” Cass yelled and covered her ears.
Bee stopped again and looked back. “Are you sure you’re all right?”
“Yes, please . . .” She lowered her hands, taking a firm grip on the railing to steady her shaking hands. “Just go.”
Bee shook his head and picked up the pace.
Fear skittered along Cass’s spine as she tried to open herself up, make sense of what the voices wanted from her. She focused intently on one voice, that of a man, more demanding that the rest, just a bit louder. “. . . lighthouse . . . rocks . . . look . . . back . . .”
Look back? Look back where? Did he mean literally? She glanced over her shoulder at Stephanie bringing up the rear. She seemed okay. Maybe figuratively? Look back. But at what? The past? The story of the lighthouse keeper, maybe. Is that what the voice was trying to tell her?
They stepped onto the observation deck, the wall of windows opening up an even more incredible view than offered from the bluff. She closed her eyes and concentrated.
“You know,” Bee said, “you could try to block the voices out, ignore them. That’s what I do when I don’t feel like hearing what people are saying.”
“Bee!” Stephanie’s mouth dropped open.
He held up a hand, his eyes wide, as if just realizing what he’d said. “Other people, I mean. You know, when I don’t want to hear what other people are saying. Never you two.”
Stephanie pointed a finger past Cass at him. “That had better be what you meant, buddy.”
Bee grinned and held up both hands in a gesture of surrender. “Of course that’s what I meant.”
“Uh-huh.” Eyeing him out of the corner of her eye, Stephanie returned to admiring the view. She snapped a few pictures with her phone.
Cass tried to ignore the bickering. She massaged her temples. If she didn’t relax, she wasn’t going to get anything.
Bee continued offering advice. “And if ignoring the voices doesn’t work, you can try doing what I do when I walk into the diner, or the deli, or Tony’s Bakery when there is an undeniable undercurrent of excitement rippling through the air, and I know before I take another step there’s really good gossip to be had.”
“What’s that?” At that point, she’d try anything to shut them up.
He turned his back to the view, leaning against the railing that would keep anyone from falling through the circular wall of windows. “Narrow them down one at a time, eliminating those that don’t seem to know anything, those who are just hanging out trying to make sense of what’s going on the same as you are, and continue to whittle away at them, ignoring those you dismiss in favor of those who seem to have knowledge, then focus in on them until you get the message.”
Cass moved to the railing lining the circular platform and leaned her hands on it. Choppy waves battered the coastline, washing up onto the large boulders lining the bluff and beach, sea foam bubbling over between crevices.
“Lighthouse . . . away . . . back . . . push . . .”
She couldn’t grab it. Something, though, so close. Like something just at the edge of her awareness, something she should be able to . . . She closed her eyes, allowing the voices to wash through her.
“Stay . . . back . . . stay away . . .”
Her eyes shot open. “I’ve got it. I know what the voices are trying to tell me.”
Bee folded his arms over his chest, no doubt over any talk of the paranormal. “Oh, and what’s that?”
Cass tried to swallow, her mouth gone to paste, and glanced from him to Stephanie and back again. “Stay away from the lighthouse.”
Bee groaned and returned his attention to the view of the bay.
Stephanie studied her. “Do you think—”
Movement in her peripheral vision caught Cass’s attention. Her gaze shifted to the third floor of the keeper’s house just as someone tumbled out the window toward the rocks below.
A silhouette backed away from the window, barely noticeable, a shadow among shadows as it slid away into darkness. Was the vision real? Or was she witnessing some past tragedy that had played out time and time again over the past couple of centuries? Hadn’t Levi said Samuel Garrison had been found dead on the rocks below the lighthouse, the very same jetty someone had just fallen from the keeper’s house onto?
Muffled screams in the distance assured her the man lying on the rocks was real enough, but what of the silhouette she’d seen as the man fell?


Excerpt from Grave Consequences.  Copyright © 2018 by . Reproduced with permission from Lena Gregory. All rights reserved.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lena Gregory is the author of the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries, which take place on a small island between the north and south forks of Long Island, New York, and the All-Day Breakfast CafĂ© Mysteries, which are set on the outskirts of Florida’s Ocala National Forest.

Lena grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island. She recently relocated to Clermont, Florida with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, jigsaw puzzles, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.


Connect with Lena:
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Buy the book:
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