Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Author: Brent Hartinger

About the book:

Brent Hartinger's tenth novel, The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know, tells the story of a young gay guy, just out of college, trying to make sense out of life and love in the boomtown that is Seattle in 2014. The book, his first in the "new adult" genre, will be released December 15, 2014.

In 2003, Hartinger made a big splash documenting the lives of gay teens with his humorous young adult novel Geography Club. It spawned three sequels, one of which won the Lambda Award. Geography Club was eventually adapted as a feature film, released in 2013, co-starring Scott Bakula.

In The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know, Hartinger turns his attention to the lives of gay twentysomethings. The result is a book with plenty of Hartinger's trademark humor, but with a sexier, more contemporary edge, exploring topical issues like online hook-ups, FWBs, and PrEP HIV prevention.

Russel Middlebrook, the protagonist of The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know, is also the lead in Geography Club and its sequels, making him the rare literary character to jump genres (from young adult to adult books). This latest book is also the start of a new series, Russel Middlebrook: the Futon Years.

Like Armistead Maupin's classic Tales of the City books, The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know is set in a very specific place and time—in this case, Seattle in the summer of 2014.

In the book, Russel is twenty-three years old and living in this trendy and completely pro-gay city. But Russel's life isn't keeping up with the hype. Most of his friends have a direction in life—either ruthlessly pursuing their careers or passionately embracing their own aimlessness. But Russel is stuck in place. The only thing he knows for sure is that crappy jobs, horrible dates, and pointless hook-ups just aren't cutting it anymore.

What's the secret? What does everyone else know that he doesn't?

Enter Kevin, Russel's perfect high school boyfriend. Could rekindling an old flame be the thing he needs to get his life back on track? Or maybe the answer lies in a new friend, an eccentric screenwriter named Vernie Rose, who seems to possess more than a bit of the wisdom of the universe. Or what the hell? Maybe Russell will find some answers by joining his best friend Gunnar's crazy search for the legendary Bigfoot!

One way or another, Russel is determined to learn the all-important secret to life, even if it's a thing he doesn't even know he doesn't know.

Brent Hartinger Answers the Dirty Dozen

1.    What’s one thing that drives you crazy?
Self-centered people. I run into people all the time who seem completely oblivious to the fact there are other people in the world. Either that, or they're aware and they just don't care. I'm not sure which is worse.

2.    What is your guiltiest guilty pleasure?
My secret shame is . . . all-you-can-eat sushi bars! In the case of sushi, I sometimes will choose quantity over quality. Maybe even often!

3.    What is your most embarrassing moment?

This may not be the most embarrassing, but I got home from Christmas shopping at the mall yesterday, and I realized that I'd had my fly down the whole time. And not just a little bit down -- it was wide open. Yikes! At least I was wearing underwear.

4.    At least! What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?
Let's just say I've accidentally thrown more than one iPhone into the washing machine and leave it at that, okay?

5.    Yikes. What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
In all seriousness, it might be deciding to become a writer -- although I didn't think of it as "daring" at the time. I was absolutely determined, and I never really had a back-up plan. If I'd known how incredibly impractical it is, I'm not sure I would've done it!

6.    On what life choices would you like to have a re-do?
Yes, yes, if we redo things, then we wouldn't be the person we are, blah, blah, blah. Let's get real. If I had a choice, there's one two-year relationship that never would've happened and an entire website, now defunct, that I wouldn't have founded. Both were complete wastes of my time.

7.    What makes you nervous?
I just produced a music video (for a song based on my latest book, The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know). I had absolutely no idea how much work it would be -- all for a three-minute video.

For days before, I was a complete wreck. But mostly I was nervous that I would disappoint all the people who had put their faith in me, that they would feel like they wasted their time.

Interestingly, it all worked out pretty well!

8.    What makes you scared?
I'm often scared I'll fail as a writer. I've been doing this long enough that I now know that not everything I do works. And I've also been at it long enough to know that my own judgment of my work is sometimes very skewed. Then, of course, everything is complicated by the fact that sometimes the work really is good, but not everyone can see it.

It's the hardest thing in the world, knowing when to stick to your vision in the face of criticism and when to say, "Hold on, wait, I think my vision sucks."

9.    What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
Whenever I teach creative writing, I act like I know what I'm talking about. Sometimes I even feel that way at the time.

But the truth is, I'm not sure writing can be taught, and even if I can, I'm not sure I'm smart enough to do it. Good storytelling is the hardest thing in the world, which is why it's so incredibly rare.

Still, I always do the best I can, so maybe it's not really a lie.

10.    What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?
Other than that two-year relationship?

Yes, other than that!

Honestly, there was a girl in my Catholic high school who was once berated for getting pregnant by a teacher in front of the whole class. It's one my huge regrets in life that I didn't stand up and say to that teacher, "Shut your pie-hole, you miserable, small-minded, pathetic excuse for a human being!"

Even now, it still makes me furious. That might be the exact moment I became a liberal.

11.    When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Wow, good question. Lately, I've been learning type-setting (of books?). There are certain "rules" that aren't supposed to be violated. At the same time, the manuscript itself can't (usually) be altered. So how do you set the type in such a way that you don't violate these "rules"?

Compromises, compromises. In type-setting, as in life, sometimes there simply are no good choices.

12.    One of your main characters has to die. Which one would you kill off?
In my next book, I just killed off all the main characters except one. Which makes sense since it's a thriller. But even so, it was really hard. You spend all this time creating characters, and in some sense you "like" them (or you wouldn't have written them).

Needless to say, there won't be a sequel.

Check out the video: The Thing I Didn't Know I Didn't Know

About the author:

Brent Hartinger is an author, playwright, and screenwriter. His latest book, about a gay 23-year-old trying to make sense of life and love in Seattle 2014, is out now. His first novel, Geography Club, is also a successful stage play and a feature film co-starring Scott Bakula and Nikki Blonsky. He also has a number of film projects in active development.

In 1990, Brent helped found one of the world's first LGBT teen support groups in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington. In 2005, he co-founded the entertainment website, which was sold to MTV/Viacom in 2006. He currently co-hosts a podcast called Media Carnivores from his home in Seattle, where he lives with his husband, writer Michael Jensen. Read more by and about Brent, or contact him at

Brent Hartinger is available for podcast, blog, newspaper, and other media interviews.

Connect with Brent:
"Brent's Brain"  |  Facebook  | Twitter  |  Goodreads

Check out Brent's new podcastMedia Carnivores.   

Subscribe to Brent's newsletter (and get a free book!) 

Buy the book!

Other books by Brent Hartinger

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Featured Author: Sally Carpenter

About the book:

It’s been years since Sandy Fairfax was a teen idol and starred in his hit ‘70s television series Buddy Brave, Boy Sleuth, but he still has his fans. Now it’s 1993 and many of his grown-up fans see a leisurely cruise as the ideal vacation. So, when Sandy’s agent finds him a pleasant gig aboard the SS Zodiac, he jumps at the chance. And, when the offer includes a spot for his musician sister, Celeste, who is blind, Sandy sees an opportunity to re-engage with his estranged sibling. However, the brother-sister duo are barely aboard the ship, when Sandy finds a singer from another shipboard show murdered in his dressing room. When the ship’s security officer does little to investigate, Sandy feels obligated to jump in, even though he isn’t a detective––he just used to play one on TV. Soon he’s grilling potential suspects, including a burnt-out piano bar player, a Southern-fried magician, a blackmail victim, a ventriloquist with a sassy dummy and even a former flame. Will Sandy unmask the killer before the cruise ends? Will he connect with the girl of his dreams? Will he have time to enjoy the sights of Nassau? Or will he end up sleeping with the fishes in the Atlantic Ocean, another victim in this killer’s Cunning Cruise Ship Caper?

Interview with Sally Carpenter

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
The Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series is about a former ‘70s pop star that has been out of the business for too long, but now at age 38, he’s quit drinking and making a comeback. He’s also making amends with his estranged family. There’s a development arc over the series as Sandy regains his confidence on stage and deals with family issues. It helps to read them in order, but each book stands on its own as well. A new reader can pick up the story at any time.

Where’s home for you? Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Princeton, Indiana, a county seat town of about 10,000. I lived in various cities in the Midwest until 2000 when I moved to Southern California. Now I reside in Moorpark, which is considered “small” even thought it has about 34,000 people.

What do you love about where you live?
No snow to shovel and not driving on icy streets. 

Do you have another job outside of writing?

I work a full-time job to pay the bills. I work at a weekly community newspaper, but I’m not a reporter. I use my writing skills for headlines, and photo cutlines, and in editing articles.

What would your main character say about you?
“Stop putting me in so many deathtraps! I also lose my life in every book!”

How did you create the plot for this book?
Research. The plot points arise from what I know about the subject matter. For this book, I took a cruise years ago and saved every scrap of information and took tons of photos from that event. In writing this story, I went through all of that and built my story from there.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people? 
My protagonist, Sandy Fairfax, was inspired by The Monkees. I did plenty of research into teen idols of the 1960s/70s, including reading several autobiographies by various real life pop stars. Sandy is a mash-up of the guys I read about, but he doesn’t represent any particular person.

Is your book based on real events?
It was based on the cruise I took and the fact that some of the older teen idols have performed on cruise ships.
Are you like any of your characters?

I’m a little like Bunny McAllister, Sandy’s biggest fan, and Celeste Farmington, Sandy’s sister. There are a few of my traits in these women, but they are not exactly like me. The fact that Celeste can sing and play keyboards is not a skill I have!

Who are your favorite authors?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (naturally), Robert Levinson and William Link, Rod Serling. 

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
I don’t have a Kindle/ereader. Looking at a computer screen all day strains my eyes, so I go with paper for pleasure reading. I’m re-reading the entire Sherlock Holmes canon in order. I’m enjoying those stories more now than when I was younger. On my next-up list is “Granny Snows a Sneak" by Julie Seedorf.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
I usually read before I go to bed, but by then I’m generally too tired to cover more than a few pages. And if I take too long in reading a book, I forget what I read days ago.

Do you have a routine for writing?
First drafts are always handwritten. I can’t compose fiction on a computer. It feels too much like a job, and I stop constantly to make corrections. I’m trained as a touch typist, so I can’t look at my fingers or the screen when I’m composing. Handwriting helps the story flow better onto the paper. I have a refillable pen I use only for writing. Then I type up the draft into the computer and revise from there.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
At home. I work a day job, so my writing time is limited to evenings and weekends.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
That I made the reader laugh.

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

I’ve lived in various towns, and one of the first things I did after settling in was to get a new library card. I’ve been in many libraries but the most memorable was in the town where I grew up. During the summers mom dropped me off at the library while she shopped, instead of leaving me at home. The library was an old-fashioned brick building with a couple of “nooks” where one could get lost among the books and some chairs for reading. It was quiet, not like modern libraries where people are talking. No computers or activities going on, just paper books to read. In eighth grade, I won the summer reading contest for taking on the most books. I’m sure that library is much different now—-I haven’t been in it for years. But I have fond memories.

Why did you decide to publish with Cozy Cat Press?

Like most authors, when I started out with my first book I wanted an agent and a big advance and nice contract. Reality is, agents/large publishers won’t touch an unknown/unpublished author. Publishers won’t take a chance on an author until she’s a celebrity who will guarantee huge sales. After several agents turned me down, I queried small presses that do not require agents. My first book was with another publisher. After two years, that publisher put my book out of print. Many publishers won’t pick up a series that started with another press, so I was fortunate to find Cozy Cat Press. The publisher, Patricia Rockwell, liked my series and was willing to publish the second book. I got the rights back on my first book and self-published an ebook version to keep it in print.

Are you happy with your decision to publish with CCP?

I have cats, so I love the name! CCP is very encouraging of its authors. Patricia works hard to get books on the market promptly as soon as they’re finished. CCP doesn’t set deadlines so authors can take as much time as they need to write. Authors can give input regarding book titles, book covers, and the promotional copy—-large publishers handle these areas with no regard to the author’s wishes. The other CCP authors support and promote each other.

How did you find them, and how long did your query process take?

I Googled “mystery publishers” and eventually found a list of various small presses; CCP was on the list. The query process went fast—-I think Patricia responded to my query in just a few days! Large publishers take months because they pass queries through several layers of readers, editors, marketing directors, etc.

What are you working on now?

The next Sandy Fairfax book, number four, The Bloody Black Tie Benefit Caper. Sandy’s taking part in a fundraiser to help save his father’s orchestra, and he’s also appearing on a TV game show. He’s handling some serious issues with his kids, and he’s trying to woo his girlfriend. And of course, there’s a corpse or two. I’m also starting on a new cozy mystery series set in the 1960s. I’m still working on the details, but it should be groovy and fab!

About the author:

Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier now living in Moorpark, California.
She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. Common Ground also earned a college creative writing award and Star Collector was produced in New York City.
Carpenter also has a master’s degree in theology and a black belt in tae kwon do.
She’s worked as an actress, freelance writer, college writing instructor, theater critic, jail chaplain, and tour guide/page for a major movie studio. She’s now employed at a community newspaper.
Her initial book in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series, The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper, was a 2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel.
Her short story, “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in,” appears in the anthology Last Exit to Murder.
Faster Than a Speeding Bullet was published in the Plan B: Vol. 2 e-book anthology.
Her short story “The Pie-eyed Spy” appeared in the Nov. 23, 2013, issue of Kings River Life ezine.

Connect with Sally:
Blog  |  Facebook 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Release Day Blitz


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About the book:

Elizabeth Carlson is living in the pits of hell- also known as grief.
Her husband of eight years, the father of her four children and the love of her life, died from cancer. Grady’s prognosis was grim, even from the start, but Liz never gave up hope he would survive. How could she, when he was everything to her?  

Six months later, she is trying to pick up the pieces of her shattered life and get the kids to school on time. Both seem impossible. Everything seems impossible these days.   When Ben Tyler moves in next door, she is drowning in sorrow and pain, her children are acting out, and the house is falling apart. She has no time for curious new friends or unwanted help, but Ben gives her both. And he doesn’t just want to help her with yard work or cleaning the gutters. Ben wants more from Liz. More than she’s capable of ever giving again.  

As Liz mourns her dead husband and works her way through the five stages of grief, she finds there’s more of her heart to give than she thought possible. And as new love takes hold, she peels away the guilt and heartache, and discovers there’s more to life than death.  

About Rachel Higginson 

Rachel Higginson is the creator of The Star-Crossed Series, Love & Decay Novella Series, The Starbright Series, The Siren Series, Bet on Us and the soon to be released, The Five Stages of Falling in Love! She is also the co-creator of the podcast "Zach & Rachel Take Over the World."  

She was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, but came back home to marry her high school sweetheart. Now she spends her days raising four amazing kids. In the few spare moments she has to herself, she is either reading for hours on end or writing her own stories.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Guest Post by Gustavo Florentin

About the book:

Rachel, an 18-year-old Columbia University student descends into the netherworld of runaways and predators to find her sister, Olivia, who has suddenly disappeared. After getting a job in a strip joint where Olivia worked, then doing private shows in the homes of rich clients, Rachel discovers that Olivia has been abducted by a killer who auctions the deaths of young girls in an eBay of agony. As she closes in on the killer who has taken Olivia, Rachel becomes his next target.

Guest Post: The Amateur Sleuth

There are two essential questions that have to be addressed in order to make an amateur sleuth believable. Motivation--why would someone with a regular day job get involved in solving a crime? And how could this person solve a crime where the police could not? The first question rests on immediacy. In The Schwarzschild Radius, my protagonist, Rachel, is an eighteen-year-old Columbia engineering student whose sister disappears. Here is her motivation. She is willing to do anything to get her back. The police investigation is so far fruitless so she must take matters into her own hands. Now comes the second question. What can she do that the police can't do better? After all, they have a gun and a badge, training, court orders and virtually unlimited resources that a single person without law enforcement authority does not have.

In Rachel's case, her advantage is her age and sex. She is vulnerable. She can enter a youth shelter posing as an underage homeless girl to gather information. The police cannot do this. In addition, she is willing to take a job in a sex emporium as a stripper to get more leads. Again, no police investigation will go this far. Finally, because she is so smart and computer-savvy, she can hack into the PCs of suspects and gather more incriminating evidence. The police certainly have the know-how to do this, but evidence gathered in this way without a warrant would be inadmissible in court and undermine the entire case against the suspects. So here again, my amateur sleuth has the advantage over the police.

Finally, it is essential that the amateur sleuth solve the crime herself, and if she gets into trouble, has to extricate herself from it without the cavalry coming to the rescue. Rachel manages to do this as well, using her resourcefulness. In short, a number of difficult criteria have to be in place for an amateur sleuth story to be plausible. In a thriller, there has to be a final confrontation between the protagonist and the antagonist. How does an untrained, 110 pound eighteen-year-old girl prevail against a former special forces mass murderer? Again this has to be made believable by laying the groundwork well before this climax. You can't reveal at that moment that your amateur sleuth is also a world-champion Aikido expert and able to dispatch a 200 pound killer with her bare hands. Everything can fall apart if this confrontation is not believable. I won't give away how Rachel handles this moment, but the reviews would indicate that it was both believable and satisfying to the reader. Obviously, it is easier to write a story where your protagonist is a former cop or martial artist or has some specialized training that makes him a match for the antagonist.

The pluses of writing an amateur sleuth are that right from the start, you can have a very sympathetic and vulnerable character who can also surprise the reader in plausible ways. So all these points have to be worked out before you start writing an amateur sleuth story, especially a thriller, where the hero's life is in the balance.

About the author:

Gustavo Florentin was born in Queens, New York and received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York. He spent a decade in the defense industry working on the F-14 fighter jet and classified electronics projects. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many thought America wouldn't need weapons anymore, so while others waited for the peace dividend, he moved on to the financial sector in New York where he is currently a network engineer. His passions include violin, travel to exotic places and exploring worldwide conspiracies. He lives in New Jersey where he is working on his third novel. His thriller, In the Talons of the Condor, won the following awards: 

WUACADEMIA--Prix d'Or Best Novel

The Verb First Chapter Contest--First Prize

Mount Arrowsmith Best Novel 4th place

The Writing Show--Second Prize best first chapter of a novel.
Second Prize--16th Annual International Latino Book Awards

Connect with Gustavo:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Barnes & Noble


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Spotlight on: Carolyn Arnold

About the book

From bestselling author Carolyn Arnold…
Strap in for an adventure that will take you to the beautiful island of Jamaica and have you wanting a piña colada.

Jimmy finally takes a vacation–and a chance on love–only to be abducted. His female companion originally thinks he had cold feet about their relationship, but Sean and Sara know there’s more to it. Jimmy isn’t the type to just up and disappear, let alone leave a lady stranded.

Setting out on their private jet, Sean and Sara reach the tropical paradise of Ocho Rios, Jamaica with sightseeing as the last thing on their minds.

With a gold coin being their initial tie to Jimmy’s kidnapper, Sean and Sara even speculate about the involvement of pirates. Yet as the hours pass, and there’s no word from Jimmy’s captors, Sean and Sara will need to figure out the real motive before it’s too late.

With help from their friend, Adam, back in Albany, the pieces come together and not a moment too soon.

8th in the Amazon Bestselling McKinley Mystery Series

About the author

Carolyn Arnold is the bestselling author of the Madison Knight series, the Brandon Fisher series, and the McKinley Mysteries. Her love for writing dates back to her teen years, but her passion was reignited in 2006 when a fellow employee said “tell me a story.” Since then Carolyn has never looked back.

Her writing has since been compared to New York Times Bestsellers such as JD Robb, Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Tess Gerritsen, and more.

Carolyn was born in 1976 in a rural town of Ontario, Canada, and she currently lives with her husband and two beagles in a city near Toronto.

For more information on the author visit

Buy the book:
Amazon UK  |  Barnes & Noble  |  iTunes  |  Kobo  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Featured Author: Thomas Maurin

About the book:

This is a story about three smart, successful people who were once fast friends in college and have now been thrust together again in an unlikely, multi-layered investigation with far-reaching international implications and billions of dollars at stake. One is a forensic accountant for the SEC, one beta tests hardware and software for the US Department of Defense and the UK Ministry of Defense, and the third is a wildly successful entrepreneur, software developer and venture capitalist in Silicon Valley.

They get caught up in the hunt for a corrupt Swiss banker intent on finally unloading the last of the gold stolen by his father in World War II; a violent, narcissist leader of a Mexican drug cartel making his move to take over as the head of all cartels in Central America; and the daughter of a murdered Bulgarian arms dealer making the deal that will give her mother financial stability and get them both out of the increasingly unstable arms business. 

The plot unfolds as financial crimes committed by insiders put common criminal activities to shame in a world where technology has increasingly insinuated itself into our lives to good and bad effects.

Interview with Thomas Maurin

Thomas--or should I say Mike and Bonnie, since Thomas Maurin is the pen name for a husband/wife team--where’s home for the two of you?
Mike and Bonnie spend the winter and spring in Venice Florida, an island on the Gulf Coast, and summers and falls at their vacation home in Eugene Oregon.

Where did you grow up?
Mike grew up in Anderson, Indiana.  Bonnie grew up in Pocatello, Idaho.

What’s your favorite memory?
Our favorite memory is our wedding in 2005. At the rehearsal the evening before, a double rainbow appeared. The wedding itself was filled with love, close friends and family, music and poetry, great food and wine, with lots of champagne. We still consider ourselves newlyweds.

What do you love about where you live?
In Venice, we live in a penthouse condo that has 240 degrees of water and faces west.  Pelicans and osprey fly right past our windows and herons and other gorgeous birds nest in the rookery on the Intracoastal Waterway right below us. We see dolphins, manatees and lots of boats that are coming from the Gulf into the Intracoastal Waterway. And the sunsets are fantastic.

In Eugene, we live on a hill that looks out onto hills and mountains. We are surrounded by evergreens and live on the same street with Bonnie’s brother and sister (and their respective spouses). Our vacation home is filled with musical instruments, art and plants. And the sunsets are terrific.

Sounds wonderful! Have you been in any natural disasters?
Bonnie was in a minor earthquake. Mike has lived through several hurricanes and earthquakes.

Do you have another job outside of writing?
Yes, both Mike and Bonnie have worked with wealthy families for 30 years. Mike is an investment advisor and serial entrepreneur who serves as trustee for family trusts.  Bonnie is an educator and advisor to families on family dynamics, governance, and creating entrepreneurial legacies.

How did you two meet? Was it love at first site?
We met in San Francisco during a client engagement in early 2005. It wasn’t love at first site, but there was definitely chemistry. We married several months later and still work with that client.

What brings you sheer delight?
Hanging out with our three grandchildren.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be? 
We love where we live now. We also spend two weeks a year in Grand Cayman. We like the idea of spending a month in the autumn every year in New York. We love spending time in Paris, London, Idaho, Barcelona, Santa Fe, and San Francisco. We could spend part of the year in any of those places.

How did you create the plot for this book?
We first started discussing the idea for the book after we saw an exhibit in the Brussels Museum of Money about Belgian gold that had been seized by the Nazis. Some of it disappeared and has never been found. Some has been in litigation for decades and sits in a vault in New York. Then, we started creating the three characters who would be involved in finding some of that missing gold. After that, we wrote the first several chapters and realized we needed to learn more about writing fiction, so we hired an editor who helped us learn how to create character story arcs and story boards that linked the plot and story arcs we had created in a format that allowed us to continue writing. One of the biggest challenges we faced was that Broken Trust takes place in multiple venues and the characters are constantly moving from one time zone to another. The storyboard (and our editor) helped us manage logistics.

Do you have a routine for writing? Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
We tend to write in bursts. We both work full time, so we dedicate two weeks a year to write in Grand Cayman. Since our work has predictable times when we are less busy, we carve out time to write during those periods as well. Bonnie tends to write most of the dialogue; Mike tends to write the action scenes. We both edit our own and each other’s efforts before we give the manuscript file to our editor. Then she edits it, and we edit it again. We like to write at home, either in Venice or Eugene, but also write in hotel rooms, in the car (but not while driving!), and sometimes on planes. 

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write? Why?
Bonnie: The hardest thing I had to write was my mother’s eulogy. My mother requested that one of her children write her eulogy and speak at her funeral. I was blessed that I was able to discuss it with her and with my siblings before she died. Their insights and suggestions helped me frame how and what I wanted to say. It was even harder to read what I had written at her funeral. This was also one of the best experiences of my life. I was able to understand my mother’s life in a much deeper way and to honor her as a mother, a daughter, a sister, a grandmother, an artist, a musician, and a teacher who loved life and loved us.

Mike: My dad’s eulogy. It was hard because I was trying to do something for a lot of people while emotionally distressed, to perform this duty when I would rather have just been grieving.

Why did you decide to self-publish?  What steps did you take?
We decided to self-publish after spending considerable time looking for an agent or a publishing house. Bonnie had published one book with a major publisher so we were open to that, but also understood realistically that getting a first novel published that way would be challenging.

We already had a small publishing house for our non-fiction books so we knew how to sell on Amazon and iBooks, how to register copyrights, how to pour Word texts into electronic and traditional book formats, how to get book covers designed through 99 Designs, and texts formatted, how to create websites to sell books, and lots of other parts of the publishing puzzle.

Since we travel a lot, live in Florida and Oregon, and work with an editor who lives in California, Mike created an intranet site where we could all save and review files while we wrote and edited Broken Trust. That way everything was saved in one place and we didn’t have to send texts as attachments to emails. Our editor found our independent reviewers and managed that process very well. Mike created a survey for them to track their experience on Survey Monkey. Laura also found the man who formatted Broken Trust for different electronic publishing formats. We didn’t know how to market a novel, but at our editor, Laura Matthews’s suggestion we contacted Penny Sansevieri at Author Marketing Experts. 

Are you happy with your decision to self-publish? 

What are you working on now? 
We are working on the next two books in The Three Musketeers Series, Broken Web and Broken Code. We are also working with our editor on the movie script for Broken Trust.

About the author:

Thomas Maurin is the pen name of husband and wife writing team Bonnie B. Hartley, Ph.D., and Michael T. Hartley, CFP®. They both write non-fiction books and articles regarding financial and family business topics and have delivered talks on those subjects internationally over the last thirty years.

Connect with them:  Website   |  Twitter 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Featured Author: Dianne Harman

About the book:

Kelly pulled into the harbor parking lot next to the pier and noticed that Amber’s car wasn’t in its usual place and there was no sign of her. She was usually standing at the door of Kelly’s Koffee Shop, waiting for Kelly to open up. Wonder what that’s all about, she thought.

The local residents of Cedar Bay come to Kelly’s Koffee Shop for breakfast, lunch, and lots of gossip. Kelly serves it all up as she works to solve the murder of the high school Homecoming Queen. The townspeople can’t believe what has happened in their sleepy little Oregon seaside town. She identifies five prime suspects, but which one did it?

Follow Kelly, her boxer dog, Rebel, and her boyfriend, Mike, the county sheriff, as they try to determine who the killer is in a murder that’s shocked the town.

Kelly’s Coffee Shop is a mouth-watering cozy mystery with recipes!

Interview with Dianne Harman

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
Although the book is part of a series, I always write a standalone book. It’s a personal thing. I don’t like to feel that I have to buy the next book and the next book and . . .

Where’s home for you?

Huntington Beach, California

Where did you grow up?
The Midwest – Denver and Kansas City

If you had $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
More books!

What do you love about where you live?
The ocean is within walking distance!

What is the most daring thing you've done?
Trekking in Nepal and getting within one day of Mt. Everest!

What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?
It really doesn’t matter what people think of you as long as you’re happy in your own skin.

What makes you bored?
Having someone tell me the same thing in a number of different way when I understood it the first time!

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
I don’t think I’d redo anything. Whatever I have done has led me to this time, and I’m very happy where I am now.

What makes you happy?
Having people appreciate what I do.

Do you have another job outside of writing?
No. I am very fortunate to be able to write full time. The children are grown, and I don’t have an outside job. I really admire writers who can do this as well as care for a family and work outside the home.

How did you meet your spouse?
I met Tom in college. We got married six weeks later, and it’s lasted for a long, long time!

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

Probably whatever animal I had at the time.

Would you rather be a lonely genius, or a sociable idiot?
A lonely genius.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“It is what it is!”

What book are you currently reading and in what format?
I have several going at the moment. Just finished Gone Girl Gone and was blown away by it. I have become a huge e-book fan.

What’s one pet peeve you have when you read?
Books that aren’t properly edited with misspellings and other errors.

Do you have a routine for writing?
Yes. I wake up early, put my contact lenses in, make some coffee and try to get a couple of hours in before I do household things.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I think my best writing comes early in the morning. I write at the computer in my office.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
When someone tells me they couldn’t put the book down.

What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
I think the stupidest thing is when someone says they don’t like that genre and then give a book a bad review. If you don’t like the genre, don’t pick up the book, and for sure, don’t review it! My husband was a California Senator for many years, so I’ve developed a pretty thick skin over the years.

Why did you decide to self-publish?
I have control over the book.

Are you happy with your decision to self-publish?
I’m very happy with my decision. A mentor of mine told me to self-publish because he had gone with a publisher and the publisher had taken out bankruptcy. My mentor lost a lot of money and was quite emphatic that self-publishing was the way to go. Unless you’re in the Stephen King league, it seems to me that you’re still going to have to do the marketing, etc., so you might as well get all of the profits rather than giving a large part of a publisher.

What are you working on now?
The second in the Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery series, Murder at Jade Cove.

Other books by Dianne Harman


About the author:

Dianne lives in Huntington Beach, California with her husband Tom, a former California State Senator, and is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post.

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Spotlight on: Twisted Threads (A Mainely Needlepoint Mystery)

What reviewers are saying . . .

The town, the people, most of the relationships, and the crimes all ring true, and the mystery was challenging enough to keep my interest without being unrealistically complex. I’m impressed . . . 
~The Bookwyrm’s Hoard

I adored this book the characters are great working together and they draw you into the book.
 ~Bab’s Book Bistro

You will be drawn in by this crafty whodunit that will keep you wanting to read just one more chapter until the end. What a terrific start to a great series, eagerly awaiting the next one!
 ~Shelley’s Book Case

I really enjoyed this mystery but I’m even more excited to see where the series goes. 
~I Wish I Lived In A Library

I didn’t want to put it down. There were so many things happening in this book, my head was almost spinning.
 ~Melina’s Book Blog

I adored this book! The characters were charming and the settings were delightful. 
~Brooke Blogs

. . . loved this book! It was such a rush of a story, and I loved all of the intricate detail the author put in to it . . . ~Marie’s Cozy Corner

. . . Did I enjoy Twisted Threads, and am I looking forward to the sequel, Threads of Evidence, coming out in August of 2015? Heck, YEAH, I am!
 ~Back Porchervations

I always enjoy a well written cozy mystery and Twisted Threads by Lea Wait is definitely one of them!
~Mysteries Etc.

I loved the characters and relationships . . . ~Community Bookstop

About the book:

After leaving a decade ago, Angie Curtis has been called back to Harbor Haven by her grandmother, who raised her following her troubled mother’s disappearance when she was a child. Her mother has been found, and now the question of her whereabouts has sadly become the mystery of her murder.

The bright spot in Angie’s homecoming is reuniting with her grandmother, who has started her own needlepointing business with a group called Mainely Needlepointers. But when a shady business associate of the stitchers dies suddenly under suspicious circumstances, Gram and Angie become suspects. As Angie starts to weave together clues, she discovers that this new murder may have ties to her own mother’s cold case.

About the author:

Lea Wait lives on the coast of Maine. A fourth generation antique dealer, and author of the Agatha-nominated Shadows Antique Print mystery series, she loves all things antiques and Maine, and she’s learning to do needlepoint. She also writes historical novels for young people set in nineteenth-century Maine. Lea adopted her four daughters when she was single; she’s now the grandmother of eight, and married to artist Bob Thomas.

Visit Lea's website

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Kindle Countdown for Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction

January 18: .99

January 19: $1.99

About the book:

Goose Pimple Junction is just recovering from a kidnapping and a murder, its first major crimes in years, when trouble begins anew. Life is turned upside down in the quirky little Southern town with the arrival of several shifty hooligans: A philandering husband intent on getting his wife back, another murderer loose in town, a stalker intent on frightening Martha Maye, and a thief who’s stealing the town blind of their pumpkins, pies, and peace. Together, they’re scaring the living daylights out of the residents and keeping the new police chief busier than a set of jumper cables at a redneck picnic. Suddenly, he has his hands full trying to apprehend a killer, stop a stalker, and fight his feelings for the damsel in distress. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Featured Author: Jennifer Fischetto

About the book:

Gianna Mancini has chatted with ghosts most of her life. It’s never affected her much.

Until now.

The latest ghost in Gianna’s family-centric, boy-complicated, job-depleted world is Emma Tinsdale, a woman Gianna despises. Wanting Emma out of her apartment and her orbit, Gianna chooses to help her move on, but she doesn’t expect to come across poisonous jam, a vengeful cop, or a group of friendly clowns.

When a relative is framed for Emma’s death, Gianna must dig deeper and faster to find out what really happened that fatal night on the beach. With help from her sister, her cop brother, and her ex-boyfriend, Julian, she gets close to figuring out the truth. But when the killer closes in, Gianna better watch her step unless she wants to become the latest member of the dearly departed.

Interview with Jennifer Fischetto

Jennifer, tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
One Garish Ghost & Blueberry Peach Jam is the first book in the Dead by the Numbers Mysteries series. There is a short story, a prequel to this book, in the Cozy Christmas Capers anthology, called "A Christmas Ghost & Zero Regrets." That collection of short stories (19 shorts total) by Gemma Halliday Publishing authors is available until January 31, 2015. After then, my short will be available separately.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Long Beach, New York. It’s on Long Island and a beach community. I lived across the street from the boardwalk, beach, and Atlantic Ocean the first fifteen years of my life.

If you had $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
Books. Notebooks. Food/snacks. And more books.

What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?
I wish I knew how awesome I am/was. I wish I loved myself. I grew up very insecure and had a lot of negative self-thoughts. It took many years to shake that. I still sometimes hear negative thoughts, but now I know they aren’t true. As a teen though, I believed them. This is one of the reasons I also write young adult mysteries.

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
None. I’ve made many “mistakes,” and I wish I had made some better choices, but I believe everything happens for a reason and everything is a learning experience. I don’t think I’d be where I am now or have the amazing kids I have if I was able to redo anything.

What makes you nervous?
I get anxious doing something, or especially going someplace, I’ve never been before. I’m working on this. 

What makes you happy?
Hearing my kids laugh. It always makes me smile.

What makes you excited?
Brainstorming a new book is very exciting. There are so many possibilities.

If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
Aside from my kids and cat? I’d grab my MacBook. It was expensive.

Would you rather be a lonely genius, or a sociable idiot?
A lonely genius. I have social anxiety so being around people isn’t always easy. It depends on the situation and whether or not I know the people, but I’m fine not being sociable.

What would your main character say about you?
Gianna would say that I spend way too much time indoors and I don’t have nearly as much fun as she does. But she’d also admire my loyalty, my great ear for listening, and my trustworthiness. But if she was in my life, I’d totally be her partner-in-crime.

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?
Haha. I love food, so he’d poison me. Something untraceable and quick in a batch of fudgey-gooey brownies. There is very little chocolate I will refuse.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
Servants of the Storm by Delilah S Dawson. It’s in print, hardcover. I love dark books and young adult, so I read a lot of that.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
I prefer to do it first thing in the morning at my desk. But in the winter, I also love doing it in the evening when it’s dark. It makes sitting at my desk cozy, and I feel like I’m alone in the world. Love that. LOL.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
I was told that I write great characterization and plots. This was said by an industry person whom I admire, so it meant a lot to me. By readers, I’ve loved the comments that say the book had a lot of twists and turns (my YA book, I Spy Dead People).

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
The first Jamie Bond book, Unbreakable Bond, was almost torture for me. LOL. I was so nervous that my co-author (and now publisher), Gemma Halliday, would hate my contribution. I feared she’d regret her choice to ask me to co-write with her, and it made the writing process so hard to do. I second-guessed every single word I wrote. Ugh! But luckily she was impressed.

What would your dream office look like?
Oh, I’ve dreamed of this. Haha. It would be in a sunroom of types. It’s all glass enclosed, but tall, ceiling-to-floor, narrow windowpanes, not big sheets of glass. It’s heated and has central air, so it’s not exactly a sunroom but looks like it. I have two desks, cabinets, bookshelves . . . the works. There’s a huge, oversized armchair and plenty of snacks. And it overlooks the ocean and beach, but it’s a private beach and there are never any people on the sand.

No joke, you just described my dream office! What are you working on now?
I am currently co-writing book 4 in the Jamie Bond series. It should release this summer.

Other books by Jennifer Fischetto

I Spy Dead People
Unbreakable Bond
Secret Bond
Lethal Bond

About the author:

Jennifer Fischetto is the National Bestselling Author of the Jamie Bond MysteriesUnbreakable Bond, her adult debut novel, has received a National Reader's Choice award nomination. She writes dead bodies for ages 13 to six-feet-under. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, singing (off-key), and watching an obscene amount of TV. She also adores trees, thunderstorms, and horror movies—the scarier the better. She lives in Western Mass with her family and is currently working on her next project.

Connect with Jennifer:

Website  | Facebook  | 

 Twitter  |  


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Featured Author: Traci Andrighetti

About the book:

For Franki Amato, life in New Orleans is anything but “The Big Easy.” When she met handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, she knew she’d finally found a man she could trust. But she can’t say the same for his sexy new secretary, who is about as trustworthy as Mata Hari and every bit as seductive. Meanwhile, Franki’s best friend and employer, Veronica Maggio, has named her the lead investigator in the murder of a gorgeous cosmetics CEO who was found lying dead in the master bedroom of a historic plantation home.

Now the pressure is on Franki to figure out what a bottle of pink lip gloss and the legend of a pink diamond have to do with the bizarre killing. The problem is that the plantation is notorious for being haunted, and Franki is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of meeting a ghost. Adding to her stress, her Sicilian grandma is up to her usual meddling antics—this time planning Franki’s engagement to Bradley before he’s even considered popping the question. As Bradley grows distant and plantation employees begin dropping like Southern belles during a sweltering summer, Franki turns to a psychic with a phobia of ghosts to solve the mysterious murders and her own relationship fears.

Interview with Traci Andrighetti

Traci, what’s the story behind the title Prosecco Pink?
All of my books' titles have an Italian liqueur or wine with a color – hence my author tagline “Cocktails, color and crime. With an Italian twist.” So, the first book in the Franki Amato series is Limoncello Yellow, and a short Christmas story I wrote about Franki is called “Rosolio Red” (Rosolio is a liqueur made from rose petals). Of course, my latest release is Prosecco Pink. In all the cases, both the liqueur and the color are tied to the mystery. So, I’d love to tell you more about the title, but that would mean giving away a huge part of the plot!

Tell us about your Franki Amato series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
Prosecco Pink is part of the Franki Amato mystery series. But, if you read my reviews on Amazon, for example, you’ll see that a lot of readers have said that the books can be read out of order.

What do you love about where you live?

There are a lot of things to love about Austin, Texas. For starters, our motto is “Keep Austin Weird,” which really just means that we support our local businesses. Then, of course, there’s The University of Texas (Hook ‘em horns!), amazing barbeque like Franklin’s, the SXSW musical festival (not to mention Austin City Limits), and, most recently, Formula One racing. So, Austin just keeps getting better all the time.

What are your most cherished mementoes?
I have two items that are really special to me. One is a clear, quartz rock that I dug up in an alley when I was twelve (I thought it looked like a giant diamond), and the other is an old-fashioned key I bought from a flea market in Rome on my second day ever in Italy. The quartz ties me to my childhood, and the key reminds me of my personal connection to Italy.

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

Well, besides my laptop, I would grab a huge, original poster of the movie Some Like it Hot from my wall. It’s the Italian version, so the title is actually A qualcuno piace caldo. I love it because Marilyn Monroe looks fabulous in a tight black dress, and because Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are dressed it drag.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?
I recently read a quote by the director Richard Linklater (an Texas original). He was asked about the fact that he had invested a lot of his own money in his last two films, and he explained his decision by saying, “You kind of have to bet on yourself in this world.” It’s a simple statement, but one that I profoundly agree with.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
That’s easy. The Eternal City — Rome, Italy. A lot of people think it’s dirty and noisy, but I think it’s lived in and alive. After all, “Roma” is “amor (love)” backwards. ;)

How did you create the plot for this book?
I was inspired by a visit to Oak Alley plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. I took some friends who were visiting from Rome there, because I wanted them to see something that doesn’t exist in Italy. I’d been there before, but there was something about seeing the place through their eyes that convinced me it would be an intriguing location for a murder. To create the plot, I used a lot of elements from the mansion, itself, as well as elements from my own imagination.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
Yes! Franki, Veronica, David, and Franki’s nonna, Carmela, were all inspired by real people. So, if you think Carmela is too crazy to be real, think again. ;) The only one of my recurring characters who isn’t based on a real person is Franki and Veronica’s aging stripper landlady, Glenda. She was based on a group of strippers I met when I accidentally ended up in their dressing room in New Orleans (long story).

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
Well, I would prefer to do my writing all day long in my house. But, I have a day job, so I have to do it in the middle of the night and on weekends. And sometimes I like to write at a coffee shop down the street from my house. Getting all jacked up on caffeine has its advantages.

What would your dream office look like?
Actually, I just created my dream office in my home, and it looks a lot like a guest bedroom. I like to lie down when I write, so I got rid of my desk and put a day bed in the room. The room is orange, has a giant black bookshelf in it, and it’s filled with knickknacks and treasures from Rome, including a poster of the movie Gidget Goes to Rome with the coliseum prominently featured. I now call my office my “Roman writing room.”

How did you find your publisher, and how long did your query process take?
My story is completely crazy (no surprise there). I had maybe written a third of Limoncello Yellow when a fellow author encouraged me to submit the first 2,000 words of the novel to a contest to win a Kindle and month of mentoring. The next thing you know, I had a two-book deal in hand. I still can’t believe it.

What are you working on now?
Honestly, I’m working on a book in a new series that I’m not yet at liberty to talk about. But watch for it in the summer. It’s going to be big, but not for the reasons you might think. ;)

Other books by Traci:

About the author:

Traci Andrighetti is the national bestselling author of the Franki Amato mysteries. In her previous life, she was an award-winning literary translator and a Lecturer of Italian at the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned a PhD in Applied Linguistics. But then she got wise and ditched that academic stuff for a life of crime--writing, that is.

If she's not hard at work on her next novel, Traci is probably watching her favorite Italian soap opera, eating Tex Mex or sampling fruity cocktails, and maybe all at the same time. She lives in Austin with her husband, young son (who desperately wants to be in one of her books) and three treat-addicted dogs.

Connect with Traci:

Website  | Blog  | 
Facebook  |  
Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:
Barnes & Noble  |  
iTunes  |  
Kobo  | Smashwords 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Featured Author: Alice Loweecey

About the book:   

Giulia Falcone-Driscoll has just taken on her first impossible client: The Silk Tie Killer. He’s hired Driscoll Investigations to prove his innocence and they have only thirteen days to accomplish it. Talk about being tried in the media. Everyone in town is sure Roger Fitch strangled his girlfriend with one of his silk neckties. And then there’s the local TMZ wannabes—The Scoop—stalking Giulia and her client for sleazy sound bites.
On top of all that, her assistant’s first baby is due any second, her scary smart admin still doesn’t relate well to humans, and her police detective husband insists her client is guilty. About this marriage thing—it’s unknown territory, but it sure beats ten years of living with 150 nuns.

Giulia’s ownership of Driscoll Investigations hasn’t changed her passion for justice from her convent years. But the more dirt she digs up, the more she’s worried her efforts will help a murderer escape. As the client accuses DI of dragging its heels on purpose, Giulia thinks The Silk Tie Killer might be choosing one of his ties for her own neck.

Interview with Alice Loweecey

Alice, tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
This book is the first in a rebooted series, but readers can pick up any one of them to start. Relationships progress, of course, but each book stands on its own.

What’s your favorite memory?
My husband and I flew from the east coast of the US to Hawaii in the early fall for our honeymoon. We came off the last plane tired, chilled, and exhausted. After we checked into our hotel, he took me down to the beach, barefoot, and we waded into the water . . . and the water was warm. A band was playing Hawaiian music in a beachfront bar, and the sky was full of stars. It was perfect.

What’s the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made?
[incoming rant] A used Ford Escort from a dealer who turned out to be a lying, cheating you-know-what. That piece of garbage car was a money pit for nearly two years after it passed the six-month ownership threshold. It needed jumps constantly. It loved to stall when I put it in reverse. The repair bills were ruinous. The only good thing it ever did was to cure me from buying a Ford or a used car ever again.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
Publishing is a long game. Ancillary to that lesson is: Go big or go home.

When my first publisher didn’t renew my contract, my agent and I set out to sell the series to a new publisher. It is incredibly difficult to accomplish this. And we did. Publishing is a business and we had to be perseverant, flexible, and remember that the series has an audience. Champagne is made for those moments.

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

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Enter the convent. But after thirty-plus years, I’m finally making it work in my favor.

What makes you bored?
Lectures. I got enough lectures and sermons growing up Catholic and in the convent to last me ten lifetimes.

What makes you happy?
My family. I know, I know: cliché. But I could’ve been an angry, bitter old nun at this point, and instead I have a home and family of my own. Life is good.

What makes you scared?
Spiders. The only good spider is a dead spider.

I'll second that. How did you meet your husband? Was it love at first site?
We were both in a summer repertory company. He saw me in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, and afterward came up to compliment me. I was having some kind of intense conversation at the time and I blew him off. Oops! He was in the next play in rotation, Steambath, and when I complimented him after a show he jokingly blew me off in return. He then invited me to the closing night’s cast party — our first date. We went on a picnic a week or so later — our second date — and he proposed. That was 27 years ago.

What are your most cherished mementoes?
Cliché alert number two: Drawings my kids made for me when they were very little guys. Also the playbills from our years in theater.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
The island of Kauai. Hands down. *sigh*

Are you like any of your characters?
I’m a little like Giulia in that we grow our own veggies and cook from scratch.

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?
My mc's aren’t the killing type, but my favorite villain sure is. Don Falke, AKA Urnu the Snake from Force of Habit would have no problem offing me. He could order one of his sycophants to kill me in a few different ways, but Urnu is really the hands-on type. He’s sick and evil and I wouldn’t want to be caught alone with him for a single minute.

I should bring him back . . .

With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?
This one required some thought.
Graham Norton
Gerard Butler (actually, I’d like to be stuck just about anywhere with Gerard Butler)
Penny Marshall
Steven Spielberg
Jane Yolen

Who are your favorite authors?
Dead: Dickens—the man was a characterization genius; Patricia Wentworth, creator of light and fun mysteries with a touch of romance; Aeschylus, and of course H.P. Lovecraft.

Living: Tracy Groot, Jane Yolen, Brian Keene, C.S. Harris, Kazuya Minekura.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?
I’m currently reading the translated original documents from the Dyatlov Pass Incident. It’s a paperback. I work at a computer screen all day and type my books at night, so I like to switch to paper for my recreational reading.

Do you have a routine for writing?
Butt In Chair every night for at least two hours. Exceptions made only for Christmas and the flu.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your writing?
I’ve received this compliment from more than one fan, and it always gives me warm fuzzies: They read my books in one or two days and are angry that the wait is so long for the next one.

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
Genjyo Sanzo from Kazuya Minekura’s Saiyuki series. Since I read lots of horror, most of the characters I like don’t have lives I’d want to drop into. Not that Sanzo’s life is a Hallmark movie by any means! But he’s fascinating and cool and badass.

What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?
This one is epic. Many years ago I belonged to an online writing group, some of whose members were hard-core Evangelical. We all seemed to get along fine as we posted three chapters of our WIPs for the group to critique.

Until I posted the first three chapters of an early draft of a religious horror novel. I got back from one of the members a full-page, single-spaced diatribe complete with bullet points and red highlights. My work was bad. It was evil. It would “harm baby Christians.” He went into scathing detail on plot points, dialogue, and characterization that in his mind illustrated these points. He concluded with the hope that I never got published and signed it “With love, your brother in Christ.”

I blew him into the group moderator. The moderator explained that this guy had issues with strong women and blocked him from seeing my work again.

Since then, I completely rewrote that book three times. This May, it will be published by Dark Recesses Press.

That’s me you see grinning.

What are you working on now?
The third Giulia mystery, which involves Preppers, adults dropping off the grid, gaming, alpacas, and the quest for an all-natural Twinkie.

Other books by Alice:   

About the author:

Baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for Giulia Falcone-Driscoll, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads