Tuesday, November 20, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: MINDY TARQUINI




ABOUT THE BOOK


"Tarquini spins a haunting lyrical fantasy dealing with love, loss, and political turmoil..." ―Publishers Weekly

For fans of Paulo Coelho and Neil Gaiman comes a magical story by critically acclaimed author Mindy Tarquini.



In Panduri, an enchanted city seen only at twilight, everyone's path is mapped, everyone's destiny decided, their lives charted at birth and steered by an unwavering star. Everyone has his place, and Matteo, second son of Panduri's duca, is eager to take up his as Legendary Protector--at the border and out from under his father's domineering thumb. Then Matteo's older brother pulls rank and heads to the border in his stead, leaving Panduri's orbit in a spiral and Matteo's course on a skid. Forced to follow an unexpected path, resentful and raw, Matteo is determined to rise, to pursue the one future Panduri's star can never chart: a life of his own.



Brigadoon meets Pippin in this quirky tale of grief steeped deep in Italian folklore and shimmering with hope--to remember what helps, forget what hurts, and give what remains permission to soar.





Book Details: 


Title: Deepest Blue, A Novel


Author: Mindy Tarquini

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: SparkPress, (Sept 25, 2018)

Print length: 303 pages







INTERVIEW WITH MINDY TARQUINI


Q: What’s the story behind the title of your book?

A:
Deepest Blue
is a fairytale based on folklore. In Italian folklore fairies are majestic. Their favorite color is indigo, associated with the twilight, and also the color of grief. In the story, the color comes into play in various forms, from the time of day to mood to even the color of a woman’s dress. Deepest blue represents the protagonist, Matteo’s, undoing, yet it is also associated with those emotions and events from which he draws strength.

Q: Who are you?

A:
I am of good peasant stock. If I were born in any time other than the modern, I’d be planting tomatoes, stirring stew by the fire, and rolling out pasta on a marble counter.

Q: Where’s home for you? 

A:
Home is with my family and always will be. My daughter just moved to Colorado, so a lot of my heart is there right now.

Q: What’s your favorite memory?

A:
It turns out to be the same as my daughter’s–we both remember jumping into the pool and having our dads catch us.


Q: What’s the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made?

A:
An expensive piece of glass from Murano, Italy that I Pretty-Womaned at one store because another store thought that my Target clothing wasn’t upscale enough to be shopping there. The glass is magnificent, so magnificent I’m afraid to put it on display, lest a pet or a child send it crashing. Hence, it’s been sitting in a closet, packed in straw, for a decade.


Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

A:
Never buy expensive, breakable pieces of random art.

Q: Who would you pick to write your biography?

A:
My daughter. She would get it entirely wrong, but it’d be funny.

Q: What do you love about where you live?

A:
I don’t have to shovel my driveway, and groceries are cheap.



Q: Have you been in any natural disasters?

A:
My twins started puberty at the same time. Does that count?

Q: Absolutely! What is the most daring thing you've done (besides having twins)?

A:
Having twins was great, but if I were going to have twins again I would space them out a couple of years.

Q: LOL. What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now? 

A:
Stuff doesn’t matter. People do. Let your hurts go and move on.

Q: What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?

A:
Beautiful writing is great, but without structure every story will fall flat.


Q: What is your most embarrassing moment?
A:
You mean aside from the incident with the ketchup, correct?


Q: What makes you happy?

A:
My children, my husband, and my lemon tree.

Q: What makes you scared?

A:
Bears.

Q: What makes you excited?

A:
Innovation! Precise thinking! Intelligence! Really good gelato!

Q: How did you meet your husband?

A:
Over the internet, back in the caveman days when it was called the intranet, used only by nerds, and all forums were local.

Q: If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?

A:
Aside from my family and pets, I’d save my grandmother’s hand-embroidered bedspread because if I didn’t, she’d come back to life and kill me.

Q: What brings you delight?

A:
When someone tells me something interesting that I didn’t know. Especially when it sparks an engaging conversation.

Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes? 

A:
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” -Lao Tzu

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

A:
A large property on the Italian countryside, where I can cook cannellini in the kitchen and watch my grandkids play hide and seek among the fig trees.

Q: What would you like people to say about you after you die?

A:
She never gave up. She never gave in. Not once, not ever.

Q: What’s your favorite line from a book? 

A:
“To survive, you must tell stories.” ― Umberto Eco, The Island of the Day Before

Q: What would your main character say about you?

A:
“She’s just so damn practical.”

Q: How did you create the plot for this book?

A:
Painstakingly.

Q: Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
A:
All are inspired by real people, and I’ll take those identities to my grave.

Q: Very wise. Is your book based on real events?

A:
All my writing is based on real events from my sojourns to fairyland. Keep an eye out for my autobiography: The Accidental Novelist: Because Nobody Would Believe Me.

Q: Excellent title! Are you like any of your characters?
A:
I’m like all the smart, good-looking ones who never make mistakes. Okay, that’s not true. I’m probably the character who can’t get her foot out of her mouth.

Q: 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?

A:
By running into the future to get the drop on me, but it wouldn’t work because she’s my character and I know what she’s going to do, so I’d erase all those paragraphs.

Q: Diabolical. With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?

A:
Peter Mayle makes me laugh. Unfortunately, he’s dead. Italo Calvino inspires me. Unfortunately, he’s dead too. If they have to be alive, Margaret Atwood, Cormac McCarthy, and Daniel Pinkwater- because he makes my entire family laugh and he’s actually alive.

Wait, I just realized it didn’t have to be authors. So… Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Michelle Obama, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and whoever invented the show Drunk History.

Q: What’s one pet peeve you have when you read? 

A:
When every character gets a name, a nickname, a name used only by inhabitants of one locale, another name used only by inhabitants of another locale, a sword with three names, a horse with two, and a backstory that the author insists on informing me in a deep and detailed prologue. When I see a glossary, I get nervous.


Q: Do you have a routine for writing? 

A:
Generally, I try not to cry.

Q: Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

A:
Anywhere that I can look at something pretty. I love a good view.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?

A:
That the characters are so real, it feels like they’re following the reader around.

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

A:
At the seashore in New Jersey, because they have tons of events and workshops. I used to be there with my kids every few days, and they loved carrying my books,

Q: You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be? 

A:
Landroval, the eagle in Lord of the Rings so I can take that stupid ring to Mount Doom and save everybody a lot of trouble.

Q: What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?

A:
That she or he has to pay attention to every word to follow the story. There’s not much I can do about that. It’s called reading. Although, I will confess that I put all the words there on purpose, but I limit them to only the words the story needs. I compost the rest.

Q: What are you working on now?
A:
Officially, I think it will be classed as a humorous Contemporary Women’s Fiction. Unofficially, I suspect there will be time-travel and resonating Crystal Worlds and good-looking guys named Sven.



OTHER BOOKS BY MINDY TARQUINI


Infinite Now 
 

Hindsight






ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Mindy Tarquini grew up convinced that there are other worlds just one giant step to the left of where she’s standing. Author of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Hindsight (SparkPress 2016) and The Infinite Now (SparkPress 2017), Tarquini’s writing has appeared in Writer’s Digest, BookPage, Hypable, and other venues. An associate editor on the Lascaux Review and a member of the Perley Station Writers Colony, Tarquini is a second-generation Italian American who believes words have power. She plies hers to the best of her ability from an enchanted tower a giant step left in the great Southwest.




Connect with Mindy:

Website  |   Facebook  |  Twitter 
Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  SparkPress





Sunday, November 18, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: NANCY COLE SILVERMAN




ABOUT THE BOOK


Carol Childs is in the middle of one of the biggest stories of her life. Her daughter Cate has returned from college with a boyfriend in tow. A photographer who police suspect to be The Model Slayer, responsible for the murder of three young women.

Not since the Hillside Strangler has Los Angeles been so on edge.

And when the police arrest Cate's boyfriend, Carol's personal life and professional worlds collide. A tattooed cocktail waitress calls the radio station and asks to speak with Carol off the record. She knows the true identity of the real Model Slayer because she says she killed him.

Tensions mount as the clock ticks. The police are convinced they have the right man. Mother and daughter aren't talking. Carol can't reveal to investigators all she knows, and unless Carol can find the real killer before the trial begins, an innocent man may spend the rest of his life in prison or be executed for a crime he didn't commit.


Book Details:

Title: Reason To Doubt

Author: Nancy Cole Silverman

Genre: Cozy mystery

Publisher: Henery Press (November 6, 2018)

Print length: 256 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours








INTERVIEW WITH NANCY COLE SILVERMAN


Nancy, what’s the story behind the title of your book? 
I’m glad you asked. Years ago, when I was still working in radio, we had a story on the air about the murder of a young model/wannabe actress. It was believed she may have agreed to meet with a photographer for a photo shoot at a remote location and that the photographer murdered her. The police questioned a number of local photographers – my brother-in-law included – as both he and others had all done shoots with the girl in the past. Ultimately, the police arrested a man who had been impersonating a  photographer and charged him with the girl’s murder. The idea that I might have actually known one of the suspects stuck with me over the years. So when I was thinking about a plot for Reason To Doubt, this idea was ripe and ready.  And adding to the suspense just had to be the idea that Carol’s daughter would return from her freshman year at college with a photographer boyfriend in tow.

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
All of the Carol Childs Mysteries work as standalones. There is a cast of characters, Carol, her best friend Sheri, Carol’s boss Tyler, and several others that return in each book. But each book is its own complete mystery.

Where’s home for you?
I was born in Seattle, Washington and moved to Arizona, via Colorado when I was a little girl. After college, I lived in Europe for four years before coming to California, but I’m a west coast gal, and California’s in my blood.

What do you love about where you live?
I enjoy the diversity of the people and the climate. I’m a warm weather type of person. 



Have you been in any natural disasters?
I live in California! That’s synonymous with earthquakes. I’ve been through a few. Shake. Rattle and roll is what we do.

If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
My dog. I’m an animal person, so if anything were to happen to our home, she’s the first thing I’d go after.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
I would have to quote my grandmother. She was always making up quotes for us to live by. "When in doubt, don’t!" was one of her favorites, and it was the basis for which I took the titles for the Carol Childs books.

What are you working on now? 
I’m working on a new series with Misty Dawn, a character I’ve pulled from the Carol Childs Mysteries.  When I finished Reason To Doubt, Misty kept coming back to me, as my character do, and asking for a series of her own.  As a former Hollywood Psychic to the Stars, and an aging senior who hadn’t planned for the future, because – psychics can’t read themselves and she never anticipated living to be a septuagenarian – she must now reestablish herself, and in doing so finds in the middle of a criminal investigation. 



OTHER BOOKS BY NANCY COLE SILVERMAN:


Shadow Of Doubt
Beyond A Doubt
Without A Doubt
Room For Doubt
Reason To Doubt

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nancy Cole Silverman’s realization that she and Edgar Allen Poe shared the same birthday sparked her lifelong interest in mystery fiction. After a very successful career in the radio industry, she turned to writing, and her crime-focused novels and short stories have attracted readers throughout America. Her Carol Childs Mysteries series (Henery Press) features a single-mom whose "day job" as a reporter at a busy Los Angeles radio station often leads to long nights as a crime-solver. Silverman lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a thoroughly pampered standard poodle.


Connect with Nancy:
Website
  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble




Friday, November 16, 2018

SPOTLIGHT ON AUTHOR D.J. ADAMSON



ABOUT THE BOOK


Murder, Betrayal, Love Gone Wrong




With her ability to present clues without giving away the endings and offering surprising twists encouraging the reader to the next page, D. J. Adamson delves into a family tragedy ending up in murder and a teenage daughter missing. When Lillian Dove finds herself involved in the police investigation, she realizes the daughter holds the key to unravel who killed her mother.

It is three days before Christmas when Lillian Dove comes across Dr. Conrad standing out in front of his house, covered in blood. When going inside the house to help other members of his family, she finds his wife killed, his son seriously injured, and his teenage daughter, Peyton Clayton, missing. Even more shocking, the police suspect Dr. Conrad. Understanding how emotional dilemmas have strained the family emboldens Lillian to help Detective Jacque Leveque, Major Crimes Detective for the Frytown Police Department, find the prime witness to the Conrad truths.

Let Her Go is a nerve-wracking exploration into a family lost, and the extent love elicits both the good and the bad. In this Third Step in Personal Recovery Lillian works to find Peyton Clayton, while battling the worse arctic freeze in Frytown’s history, untangling human frailties, and confronting the ghosts of Christmas.



Book Details:


Title: Let Her Go

Author: D. J. Adamson

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Publisher: Horatio Press (Nov. 6, 2018)

Page count: 444 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours






ABOUT THE AUTHOR

D. J. Adamson is an award-winning author for both her mystery novels and her science fiction novel. She is the editor of Le Coeur de l’Artiste, a newsletter which reviews books, and a blog, L’Artiste with offers authors the venue to write on craft, marketing, and the creative mind. D.J. teaches writing and literature, and to keep busy when she is not writing or teaching, she has been a board member of Sisters in Crime Los Angeles and Sisters in Crime Central Coast, a member of the Southern California Mystery Writers Organization, California Writers Club, and Greater Los Angeles Writer’s Society. 

Connect with the author:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


Buy the book:
Amazon





a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: TERRY AMBROSE




ABOUT THE BOOK



All ten-year-old Alexandra Atwood wants for Christmas is to get her dad and the B&B’s cook Marquetta under the mistletoe. After all, how can they get married if they don’t kiss first?

When murder strikes in Seaside Cove, bed-and-breakfast owner Rick Atwood is asked to help find the killer. But this will not be an easy case to crack. Not only did the killer contaminate the crime scene, but there are suspects all over town. And they all received the same Christmas sweater from the victim.

Alex hears rumors about the murder and decides that since she’s on Christmas break, she has time for a little multitasking. She launches her own investigation even as she continues her efforts to get her dad and Marquetta together.

Just when Rick thinks he’s identified all the suspects, he discovers a new one—his estranged wife. With the days until Christmas ticking down, Rick feels pressured from all sides. He needs to solve the case. He needs to send his wife back to New York. But the one thing he doesn’t need is for his daughter to be one step ahead of him and the cops.


Book Details:

Title: The Killer Christmas Sweater Club

Author: Terry Ambrose

Genre: Cozy mystery

Series: Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries, book 3

Publisher: Satori (November 8, 2018)

Page count: 275 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours








INTERVIEW WITH TERRY AMBROSE


Q: Terry, what’s the story behind the title of your book?
A:
Last year in December, I was doing a presentation at a local mystery reader’s club. Many of the people showing up were wearing Christmas sweaters. At the time, I quipped, "What a great idea for a mystery." They all thought it was funny, so I filed the idea away. When it came time to launch the book, The Killer Christmas Sweater Club felt like the best suited title.

Q: I love it! Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
A:
The Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series is about Rick and Alexandra Atwood, a father and daughter who move from New York to the small town of Seaside Cove after Rick inherits the B&B from his grandfather. Seaside Cove is located on the California coast, which is littered with shipwrecks. In this series, the wreck that is drawing in strangers is the San Manuel, a fictional 400-year-old Spanish galleon with a very rich cargo just waiting to be plundered. The books do not need to be read in order, but there are character-development arcs that span from book-to-book.

Q: Where’s home for you?
A:
For now, home is North San Diego County. When I was a kid, we moved about every two years, so for me to stay in one place feels unusual.

Q: Where did you grow up?
A:
I grew up in Southern California at a time when the freeways were wide open, but the air was continually fouled by smog. There were days when we could, quite literally, watch the smog bank roll in. 



Q: Have you been in any natural disasters?
A:
I’ve been through two major earthquakes—the first was the 1978 Goleta earthquake that shook Santa Barbara; the second was the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake which hit the San Francisco Bay Area. In both cases, we were fortunate to not suffer any severe damage or injuries.

Q: How did you meet your wife?
A:
I met my spouse while I was dating her roommate. It wasn’t until months after I’d broken up with her roommate that we crossed paths while I was skip tracing for the County of Santa Barbara.

Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes?
A:
While driving down the freeway in Santa Barbara one day, I saw a license plate frame that read, “This is not a rehearsal.” That phrase really struck home for me. I even had my own license plate frame made up at one point.

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
A:
If I had my choice of locations, I would probably move to the island of Kauai. Even though it’s grown tremendously over the years, I still love it there.

Q: How did you create the plot for this book?
A:
My plots begin with the characters. In this case, I had the idea for the use of Christmas sweaters as a clue but needed a way to integrate that into the plot. I also had a character in mind to be killed off.

Q: Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
A:
The victim was inspired by a real person. There’s a description in the book about him given by Marquetta, who says, “He’s a peculiar man, a slow man, the kind who will spend extra time at a traffic light when it turns green just to be sure no traffic is coming.” That description popped into my head after I’d spent an inordinate amount of time waiting in line at the business where he worked.

Q: Is your book based on real events?
A:
The Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery series is inspired to some degree by current-day events in the treasure hunting industry and by real shipwrecks, including the San Jose in Cartegena.

Q: What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
A:
I get really annoyed by writers who spend an inordinate amount of time providing backstory in what can only be termed an “info dump.” This pet peeve stems from my days of coming home from lunch to find my wife watching her favorite soap opera and hearing characters say things like, “Do you remember when you were here yesterday and we talked about your cousin Fred who married Edna, the girl with all those tattoos, and they went off to Vegas…”
I try to follow two rules when I provide backstory: 1) do it in increments, and 2) do it naturally. I just wish more writers would try a little harder to not make their backstory so obvious.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your work?
A:
If an award can be considered a compliment, then it would be winning the 2014 San Diego Book Awards for Best Action/Thriller. If an award isn’t really considered a compliment, it would be the Kirkus Review in which they said, "Ambrose touches on high-finance malfeasance, adultery and drug dealing with the kind of snark that will remind readers of Elmore Leonard.”

Q: That is quite a compliment. What are you working on now?
A:
The next book I’m working on has the working title, Shadows from the Past, and is the third (and probably final) installment in the License to Lie thriller series.



OTHER BOOKS BY TERRY AMBROSE


Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries
A Treasure to Die For
Clues in the Sand 

McKenna Mysteries
Photo Finish 
Kauai Temptations 
Big Island Blues 
Mystery of the Lei Palaoa 
Honolulu Hottie 
North Shore Nanny  
A Damsel for Santa 
Maui Magic 
The Scent of Waikiki 

License to Lie Series
License to Lie 
Con Game 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Once upon a time, in a life he’d rather forget, Terry Ambrose tracked down deadbeats for a living. He also hired big guys with tow trucks to steal cars—but only when negotiations failed. Those years of chasing deadbeats taught him many valuable life lessons such as—always keep your car in the garage.

Terry has written more than a dozen books, several of which have been award finalists. In 2014, his thriller, Con Game, won the San Diego Book Awards for Best Action-Thriller. His series' include the Trouble in Paradise McKenna Mysteries, the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mysteries, and the License to Lie thriller series.

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

Buy the book:
Amazon






Sunday, November 11, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: LESLIE JONES




ABOUT THE BOOK


At the dawn of the 1960’s, Frank Armstrong had it all: a flash car, smart clothes, a good job with career prospects. With his foot firmly on the corporate ladder, rapid promotion seemed certain. Of course, winning the affections of the Boss’s daughter, Helen, went some way to providing a leg up - but Frank is a man of charm and wit, someone for whom doors will always open.


If only he’d realised what he had! Unfortunately, contrary to his carefully manicured persona, Frank has a flawed side to his character, one anchored in a past he can never quite let go of. He has a liking for booze, and a wandering eye – a lethal combination! He makes rash decisions, each one his last – at least that’s what he promises himself. But an apparently well-intentioned act of bravado sets him on a course for disaster, one that will see him losing everything: his wife, his son, his job – his self-respect.


Ever the optimist, he plans his way back. But is it too late?


With several interconnecting sub plots, the reader will follow Frank’s journey against the backdrop of the emerging recreational drug culture and the attitudes of the time – a time when phone calls were made from call boxes and social networking meant going to the pub.
 Spiral is a tale of love and betrayal, obsession and addiction, good and evil. Ultimately, it is a story about human fallibilities, self-awakening, and the realities of life at a time very different from the one we live in today.




Book Details:


Title: Spiral

Author: Leslie Jones

Genre: Family saga

Publisher: Amazon: (April 29, 2018)

Print length: 550 pages








GUEST POST BY LESLIE JONES



An exploration of love, betrayal human fallibilities set against the backdrop of the southern England in the early 1960’s

Spiral is a story written for those who lived during the 1960’s, who can remember what is was like, and probably feel a sense of nostalgia for that time. However, a younger generation, for whom the Sixties is a largely unknown and forgotten period, might be curious to know what it was like to live at a time when no one possessed a mobile phone, and social networking meant going to cafés and pubs where people talked face-to-face and not electronically!

Set in the early years of the decade in a small coastal town in southern England, the key character, Frank, is introduced as a man ‘on the up.’ A self-made success story, who lives by his wits, the doors to the Promised Land beckoned. He has the car, the smart clothes, the girl – who happens to be his boss’s daughter. With his foot firmly on the corporate ladder, life seemed good, very good indeed. But Frank is far from perfect – he has a fondness for booze and an eye for women. Then, one day, he loses everything and finds himself homeless. Ever the optimist, and acknowledging the ‘wake up’ call, he is determined to win his life back. But is it too late?

I lived through the 1960’s, born in the first month of that decade, which is where the story starts. There is a well-known saying: ‘If you can remember the Sixties then you weren’t there.’ My own recollections of sights, sounds, how people talked, what was on the TV – these are all still crystal clear even though it was so long ago. I wanted to record these before their vividness begins to fade – and that was how Spiral evolved. The story, fortunately, is not based on personal experience, although many of the scenes are memorised; for example, I have centred a key part of the story in a lido – remember them? I used to go regularly to the one in Lee-on-Solent (near Portsmouth southern England) – how cold the water was! The emerging recreational drug culture – the justification for the cliché quoted above – is of great interest to me. I studied the ‘Counter-culture’ as part of my degree at Manchester University, which also features in the early part of the story.

This is my first novel – hopefully not my last. It took nearly four years to produce from inception to publication. I live in beautiful West Sussex in the south of England but spend a great deal of time in The Middle East where I teach Human Resources and Leadership & Management. Much time away from home provided the opportunity to write. My approach to writing has been structured and systematic, starting with research in how to write a novel. Although an avid reader, I had no idea how much I didn’t know about the writer’s craft. One of the key considerations in writing fiction which I noted very early, is the need to ensure the story creates an emotional reaction. Frank’s behaviour, the key thrust of the story, is intended to do that. There in no intentional underlying moral message – I want the reader to make her/his own mind up about how much Frank is to blame for what happens to him.

For a free copy of Spiral, offered to readers of this post in the hope you might enjoy the book and provide a review, no matter how brief, click here.



A DAY IN THE LIFE OF FRANK, FROM SPIRAL





Thursday 24th January 1963




Frank squeezes his eyes closed as the familiar intensifying light of the Goblin Teasmade penetrates his eyelids. He knows the persistent buzzing indicating the tea was ready would follow and, his eyes still shut, he leans across and switches off the alarm, avoiding the unwelcome intrusion to his waking moments. A dull throb towards the back of his head reminds him of the "lock in" at the Stag's Head. If only he'd avoided the invitation to stay for one more.





Helen is already up and about, he notes with no surprise - she would be downstairs preparing breakfast. He wonders if he's in trouble. Perhaps a tad - after all, he didn't get in 'til 1 pm, and he probably woke her despite his efforts to be quiet. But things were going well - and Helen acknowledged he was working hard to provide a secure and prosperous future for her and Peter. A late night might be forgiven every now and then.





After pouring himself a cup of tea, he sits up in bed, reaches for his packet of Rothmans, lights one and lays his aching head back on the pillow. The first drag on his cigarette makes his head spin - but a few sips of over-strong tea helps to calm that down. He smiles contentedly.





'Peter! Come on, your breakfast is ready!'





This was Helen. He imagines her standing at the foot of the stairs, holding a pan of Quakers Porridge Oats, staring impatiently upwards towards their son’s bedroom door. Seconds later, Frank hears the door across the landing banging open followed shortly after by the sound small feet tapping rapidly down the stairs. Peter had roused. Frank grins, knowing his son would be eager to administer the ritual swirling of Tate & Lyles syrup into the grey glutinous mass that represented his breakfast.



The smell of cooking bacon drifts upstairs. Despite his hangover, Frank realises he is hungry. He climbs out of bed and lurches uncertainly to the bathroom across the landing. 'Bloody hell it's cold!' he mutters, hoping Helen had lit the fire downstairs.





'Come on Frank, you're going to be late if you don't get a move on!' Helen yells up the stair.



'Well 

'I'm getting dressed, darling! Be down in a minute!'





Frank studies himself in the mirror as he adjusts his woolen tie, a recent birthday present from Helen. He smiles at his reflection, admiring the "rugged but handsome," Helen's description, face staring back at him. He grabs his tweed jacket from the back of the chair where he had placed it with surprising neatness, given his inebriated state the night before, scoops up his packet of Rothmans and zippo lighter from the bed side table, and heads downstairs.



***



He stares at his empty plate, full only a few minutes ago with bacon, two crisp rashers with rind on, two fried eggs, slightly runny, the way he likes them, a pork chipolata, black pudding and, his favorite: fried bread.





'That was smashing darling, just what the doctor ordered,' he says. He sees that Peter, having demolished his bowl of porridge, is now mashing egg soldiers into his mouth.





'Well, no wonder you're so hungry - you didn't make it home for supper last night and . . . '   



'I did tell you I wouldn't be home 'til late. I couldn't let old Fred down. He's been with the company since before the War.' 



Frank's good humour vanishes in anticipation of the nagging he thinks he’s about to receive. He fumbles in his pocket for his cigarettes and lights one.





'Well, you might have called. I didn't expect you to be that late. I take it you'll be back early today? Oh Frank, didn't you agree you wouldn't smoke at the table when Peter's around?'





'You're right, I did. Sorry. Look, I'd better be off. See you later.'





'Aren't you forgetting something?

'



Frank leans down and brushes the top of Helen's head with a brief kiss, ruffling Peter's hair as he passes his high chair. Peter grins up at him, his mouth plastered in egg yolk; Frank hopes his son would not insist on kissing him goodbye.



'Don't be late tonight, Frank, I'm cooking 'Mixed Grill."



*** 



The saloon bar in the Avondale is full of the normal throng of lunchtime drinkers.



'One more?'





Frank glances at his watch. 'I shouldn't really - I'm interviewing at three - the new sales position.'





'Go on, one more won't hurt. I'll drop you back at the depot by quarter to.' This was Bob, one of the depot van drivers and a regular drinking acquaintance.





'Aren't you supposed to be in Guildford this afternoon?'





Bob grins. 'No problem, I'll put my foot down. Never been late before.'





'What if the Police stop you? Come on, Bob, you've necked four pints so far!'




'They'll have to catch me first! Oh, stop worrying Frank - a few pints won't affect my driving. Why would the Police want to stop me?'





'Suppose you're right. Okay, but only one more!'



***



Frank studies the young woman sitting across the other side of his desk. 'Not bad, not bad at all,' whispers his inner voice, as his eyes appraised with the expertise of a serial womaniser.





'Well, you do have an impressive record - at least on paper. But how do you think you'll cope in this type of work? After all, most of our sales reps are men, and the customers you would be dealing with are as well. You might find it a bit . . . '




'Oh, I don't think that would be an issue. I can handle men and . . . '





'I'm sure you can,' Frank replies, grinning back and trying hard not to stare at her cleavage. 'Anyway, I'll be in touch.'





A few minutes after the young woman had left, Bob, the Managing Director, stands framed in the doorway.





'Don't tell me you're taking her on, Frank,' he says, lighting his pipe.





'I've not decided yet, Bob, there's a few more to interview yet. But she seems very capable and I reckon if . . . '





Bob waves his pipe, cutting him off. 'She'd be with us for five minutes before she's pregnant - and where will that leave us? Are the other applicants all men?'





'Yes, they are, but shouldn't we . . . ?'





'Oh, stop being so gallant, Frank. We've got enough women working here doing what they're good at: administration. Round pegs, round holes, eh Frank?'



Frank stares at the empty doorway for several seconds after Bob made his exit. He frowns, wondering if it was Bob's pre-emptive overruling of his employment decision, which undermined his authority, or the fact he had lost a possible prospect for a dalliance.



*** 




Frank takes a circuitous route home. Helen's instruction that he should not be late plays repeatedly in his mind. But he needs to make a phone call, one that could not be made from the office in case it was overheard, and not from somewhere where someone might see him and wonder what he was up to. He drives to the next town and stops at the Red Lion where he knows a coin operated phone booth outside the gents offered the prospect of a private conversation.









ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leslie Jones is an avid reader but new to the writing game – Spiral is his first novel.  His job, which involves teaching leadership & management and HR qualification programmes in the Middle East, means that he is abroad for a week or two most months. Using down-time productively opened the door to writing.

Leslie is a baby boomer – and aimed Spiral at that generation, writing in such a way as to appeal to those who can remember the joy of reading library books – perhaps a slightly old-fashioned style – or perhaps retro!

After a lengthy career as a naval officer, Leslie’s career followed an erratic path through event management, management consultancy, operational management, and finally learning and development.

Leslie is married and lives in beautiful West Sussex with his wife, Jean, and their (adult) daughter Chloe, who has learning difficulties, as well as their Golder Retriever, Darcie. He enjoys staying fit, sailing his veteran dinghy on the local reservoir, and coarse fishing.

Connect with the author:
Facebook  |  Goodreads


Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Completely Novel



Friday, November 9, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: JOANNE GUIDOCCIO




ABOUT THE BOOK


While not usually a big deal, one overlooked email would haunt teacher Gilda Greco. Had she read it, former student Sarah McHenry might still be alive.

Suspecting foul play, Constable Leo Mulligan plays on Gilda’s guilt and persuades her to participate in a séance facilitated by one of Canada’s best-known psychics. Six former students also agree to participate. At first co-operative and willing, the camaraderie is short-lived as old grudges and rivalries emerge. The séance is a bust.

Determined to solve Sarah’s murder, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers shocking revelations that could put several lives—including her own—in danger. Can Gilda and the psychic solve this case before the killer strikes again?


Book Details:


Title: A Different Kind of Reunion

Author: Joanne Guidoccio

Genre: Cozy mystery
Series: Gilda Greco Mystery Series, book 3

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press (April 23, 2018)

Print length: 236 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours







INTERVIEW WITH JOANNE GUIDDOCCIO


Q: Joanne, tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
A:
A standalone book, A Different Kind of Reunion is the third book in the Gilda Greco Mystery Series. Based in Northern Ontario, these cozy mysteries feature a fifty-something Italian woman, her meddling relatives, deserving and undeserving men, food, and murder. These books do not have to be read in any particular order.

Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
A:
There is a morning after. Regardless of the many storms in my personal and family life, among them a breast cancer diagnosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, the clouds finally did lift. What got me through—praying and putting one foot in front of the other as I faced each day.

Q: What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?
A:
Use your “waiting time” effectively. While querying, start writing the next book in the series or an entirely new project. Alternatively, you could take an online course or sign up for a series of workshops. Keep your skills sharp!


Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes?
A:
"We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can't have both. Not at the same time.” ― Brené Brown (Rising Strong)



Q: Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
A:
Having lived and taught in different cities throughout the province of Ontario, I felt free to “borrow” characteristics from former colleagues and students to create composite characters. To date, no one has recognized himself/herself.

Q: Are you like any of your characters?
A:
While imagining the protagonist of the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, I realized she could easily be my literary twin. In fact, I like to tell people that Gilda Greco is 70 percent of me. As to how I came up with that particular number, let’s just say my well-honed left brain did all the work. Our similarities . . . Italian Canadian, born and raised in Sudbury, relocated to Southern Ontario, mathematics teachers, career development practitioners, yoga enthusiasts, non-foodies.
One major difference–Gilda won a $19 million lottery. I’m still hoping!

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A:
I admire late-blooming authors who have launched successful second acts. Two favorites come to mind: Maeve Binchy and Louise Penny. Their novels and writing journeys have inspired me to launch my own second act as a writer. From Maeve, I’ve learned that success is not a pie where only a select few have access to the slices. I’ve taken several pages out of Louise’s disciplined approach to structure my own writing practice.

Q: What book are you currently reading and in what format?
A
: I’m reading Grit by Angela Duckworth (hardcover).

Q: Do you have a routine for writing?
A:
After some experimentation, I came up with a daily regimen. Nothing too dramatic, but it works for me. I like to sleep in each day and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. But after my second cup of coffee, I start writing. My goal is 1,000 words a day. After I reach that quota, I’m free to meet with friends for lunch or coffee and plan other outings.

Q: Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
A:
When I first retired, I assumed I would be writing in my den. Everything was in place: desk, new computer, bookshelves crammed with novels and craft guides, and inspiring Monet prints on the wall. But after several frustrating attempts, I realized the den was too small. While the room could easily be a second bedroom, it was not spacious enough for my creativity to flourish. So, I relocated to a corner of the living/dining area of my condo. With over 900 square feet of space and easy access to my kitchen and balcony, I no longer feel constrained.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
A:
Here is one of my favorite reviews: English teacher Colleen McConnell describes Between Land and Sea as “a classic wisdom tale with a twist . . . reminiscent of Jane Austen.”



BOOK TRAILER





OTHER BOOKS BY JOANNE GUIDOCCIO

A Season for Killing Blondes 
Too Many Women in the Room
Between Land and Sea
The Coming of Arabella



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In 2008, Joanne  Guidoccio took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes paranormal romance, cozy mysteries, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.


Connect with Joanne:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Indigo  |  iTunes  |  The Wild Rose Press






Tuesday, November 6, 2018

FEATURED AUTHOR: SHELLY FROME




ABOUT THE BOOK

For tour guide Emily Ryder, the turning point came on that fatal early morning when her beloved mentor met an untimely death. It's labeled as an accident and Trooper Dave Roberts is more interested in Emily than in any suspicions over Chris Cooper's death. For Emily, if Chris hadn't been the Village Planner and the only man standing in the way of the development of an apartment and entertainment complex in their quaint village of Lydfield, Connecticut, she might have believed it was an accident, but too many pieces didn't fit.

As Emily heads across the pond for a prescheduled tour of Lydfield's sister village, Lydfield-in-the-Moor, she discovers that the murderer may be closer than she thought.


Book Details:

Title: The Secluded Village Murders

Author: Shelly Frome

Genre: Cozy mystery


Publisher: BQB Publishing (September 1st 2018)


Print length: 339 pages


On tour with: Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours







INTERVIEW WITH SHELLY FROME


Q: Shelly, what’s the story behind the title of your book?
A:
The secluded villages are, in point of fact, the sister villages of Litchfield, Connecticut and Litchfield, U.K. As it happens, at one time they exchanged visits and my late wife covered the festivities for the regional Connecticut paper.

Q: Where did you grow up?
A:
I spent my formative years in Miami, Florida.

Q: What’s your favorite memory?
A:
My favorite memory is seeing my wife for the first time on the grounds of the Green Mountain Theater in Vermont.

Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
A:
To put aside everything people have tried to foist on me and trust my inner voice and experience.

Q: What do you love about where you live?
A:
Surrounded by and nestled in the Blue Ridge.

Q: What is the most daring thing you've done?
A:
Taking off for the Mexican border in an unknown roommate’s MG as he tells me he’s on parole after holding up the same New Mexican town Billy Kid escaped from holding a saw-offed shotgun.

Q: Yikes! What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?
A:
That I had the makings of an incurable storyteller.

Q: What makes you nervous?
A:
Some upcoming trial or cause for tribulation.

Q: What makes you excited?
A:
A prospect that might have untold possibilities.

Q: Who are you?
A:
A former New York starving actor and a professor emeritus of dramatic arts at the University of Connecticut.

Q: If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
A:
My goldendoodle Baxter.

Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes?
A:
“All art is the result of having been in danger. Of going as far as one can go and beyond.” -Rilke

Q: What’s your favorite line from a book?
A:
“The world breaks everyone. Some are strong in the broken places.” Hemingway

Q: Is your book based on real events?
A:
The attempt of a rapacious developer from New Jersey to destroy a verdant high meadow adjacent to my home in order to build a condo complex.

Q: Who are your favorite authors?
A:
Hemingway, Mark Twain, Harper Lee, James Lee Burke, Ray Bradbury, P.D. James.

Q: What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
A:
When crime writer Donald Westlake declared that my Hollywood novel Tinseltown Riff was captivating.

Q: What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing?
A:
Someone said my saga centering on a drifter was pretentious. Since I had put my whole heart and soul into it, I finally just discarded the notion.

Q: What are you working on now?
A:
A crime story with the working title Miranda and the D-Day Caper.



EXCERPT FROM THE SECLUDED VILLAGE MURDERS


Picking up speed, she passed the rows of Victorian houses with their pilastered front porches and attached shutters in homage to last century’s Colonial Revival. She’d grown up here, always lived here except for college and her transatlantic jaunts. But at this moment, her village might as well be a scattering of old photos.
Before she knew it, the rain was beating down harder, her wiper blades barely able to keep up. Among the nagging questions flitting through her mind was how could Miranda Shaw have suddenly gotten wind of her leaking roof? Or did somebody just put her up to it, to get Chris rushing pell- mell in the rain so he would...
Emily eased her foot off the pedal, barely able to see through the downpour. She switched the wipers on high and kept her eyes on the road, intent on avoiding an accident.
Minutes later, she pulled into Miranda Shaw’s place at a slow but steady crawl. As she reached the circular drive, straining her eyes through the thwacking blades, she peered up two stories above the stone archway.
There she caught sight of the familiar gangly figure climbing higher toward the peak of an eight-sided turret. At a point where the grayish-blue slate, copper flashing, and a mullioned window merged, the figure suddenly became a shuddering blur.
Emily honked her horn, blasting as loud as she could. But it was too late. The figure flopped over and slid down the turret, glanced off the aluminum ladder and toppled like a broken doll.
***
Excerpt from The Secluded Village Murders by Shelly Frome.  Copyright © 2018 by Shelly Frome. Reproduced with permission from Shelly Frome. All rights reserved.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also a features writer for Gannett Media. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, and Murder Run. Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. Moon Games is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Connect with Shelly:
Website  |  Twitter Goodreads

Buy the book:

Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble