Monday, February 24, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: SEELEY JAMES




ABOUT THE BOOK 




Have you ever been betrayed by your government, your best friend, and your fiancé—all at the same time?



Jacob is about to propose to his girl when he discovers the next generation of weapons are being shipped to our enemies. Factions in the government ask him to find the perpetrators while others work to make sure he fails. His intended fiancé does not understand his disappearance and he can’t give an explanation. Can he lose the woman he loves to save the nation? When Jacob sets out to expose the billionaire intending to auction off national secrets, he is fired, expelled, and hunted by the government that once awarded him medals. If he ever wants to return to his homeland, he must insert himself into the dangerous world of technology smugglers. It’s a place where only the aggressive and ruthless survive. In the cutthroat world of modern-day pirates, every breath he takes may be his last. As the bad guys close in and those who could deny him aid, he confronts a terrible choice: to complete his mission or take millions in cash and run. The former is a death sentence and the latter is a lonely future. He must ask himself, can he outsmart the most corrupt billionaires in history before democracy is destroyed?


Book Details


Title: Death and Betrayal: A Jacob Stearne Thriller


Author: Seeley James


Genre: thriller


Series: Sabel Security Series, book 8


Publisher: Machined Media (February 18, 2020)


Print length: 393 pages


On tour with: Partners in Crime Book Tours









LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH SEELEY JAMES


Things you need in order to write: a quiet space with a good view.

Things that hamper your writing: social media.

Things you love about writing: getting to create fascinating stories people enjoy reading.

Things you hate about writing: editing sentence structure.

Things you never want to run out of: my wife’s love.

Things you wish you’d never bought: a television in the bedroom.

Favorite foods: any Mexican food or grilled salmon.

Things that make you want to throw up:  Fois Gras (goose liver pate).

Favorite smell: rain in the desert which is scented with creosote and sage.

Something that makes you hold your nose: last week’s bean and seafood dish that isn’t tightly sealed and is hiding at the back of refrigerator shelf.

Something you like to do: hiking.

Something you wish you’d never done: killed that guy (just kidding!).

People you consider as heroes: the great pacifist including Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

People with a big L on their foreheads: liars and obfuscators.

Things you’d walk a mile for: A great view.

Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: television ads.

Things you always put in your books: humor.

Things you never put in your books: sex.

Best thing you’ve ever done: marrying my wife.

Biggest mistake: marrying my first wife.



EXCERPT

Chapter 1

The man they called Ra stood on the Savannah’s main deck, staring hatred into the eyes of the general’s emissary. The smug bastard needed to learn a hard lesson about respect. Ra took several deep breaths, tamping down his growing agitation without betraying his emotions. The general had a good deal of money to spend. Ra held the emissary’s gaze as he cooled off. He said, “We’re talking about an auction for the most advanced weapon system the world has ever seen. An auction the general could easily win. What concerns could he possibly have?”
Ra resisted the urge to glance over the sea toward Monaco’s harbor. He was dying to see if his darling’s tender was on its way back from town, but he wouldn’t allow himself to be distracted.
“The general does not believe you have what you claim.” The emissary said in his heavily accented English. He gestured with his arms wide, encompassing Ra’s superyacht. “I do not see it here on your little skiff.”
Behind his left shoulder, the emissary’s sycophantic lieutenant made an insolent face to match his boss.
The dig was childish. Ra had the biggest yacht in Monaco, a present to himself after making billions in commodities. Too big to dock in the harbor. Sure, it was post-season, and the Numina would drop anchor due east of him in a few weeks. Until then, the Savannah reigned supreme. He felt like gutting the slimy emissary for his rudeness. Instead, he smoothed his Kiton sport coat and puffed up his thin frame.
“Don’t be a fool,” Ra sneered. “If I kept Alvaria onboard, sleezy generals from around the world would send commandos to take it from me. In case that’s what you’re thinking, rest assured, I have security. We call them ‘the dogs.’ You’ve met two of them.” He gestured to two bulky men in black suits standing close by. “Fido and Rover. Spot keeps watch with a rifle in case someone approaches uninvited. There are more. I have a whole kennel.”
Ra turned his back on his guests and checked the harbor. He couldn’t wait for his darling to return but he needed to conclude this delicate business before then. He didn’t want her to see the kind of men he dealt with. The emissary wore a ludicrous uniform without insignia yet festooned with medals. His black hair was greased straight back with what might’ve been motor oil. The lieutenant dressed and groomed himself to match. The very definition of a toady.
“The general does not believe the system can do what you claim,” the emissary said.
“Oh, my misguided friend. Alvaria is the stuff of autocrats’ dreams.” Ra laid his hands on the railing, keeping his focus out to sea. “Imagine what it can do. At the push of a button, a hundred drones leap into the air, locate their target, and annihilate whoever you choose. Each drone on a single-purpose mission, never stopping until one of them achieves the objective.” He straightened up and turned to face the emissary. “No more political rivals. No more annoying reporters asking inconvenient questions. No more adversaries across your western border. Everyone doing as they’re told, all under the general’s control. As it should be. It’s science fiction—and it’s here today. If your general doesn’t want to bid on it, he won’t get to see the show we have scheduled.”
“The general is skeptical you can obtain this system.” The emissary crossed his arms and widened his stance. “The Americans have impenetrable security.”
“I stand on my reputation. Many times your poor general has failed to pay me in a timely manner, yet I have never failed to deliver what he needs. From rocket launchers to automatic rifles, they arrived on time and under budget. He would still be a lieutenant were it not for me making good on my promises. He knows damn well my word is gold. My plan has been in the works for years. I have all the right people in all the right places. Alvaria will fall into my hands at exactly the right moment. If he does not believe me, he won’t see the demonstration.” Ra paused before making a sympathetic face. “Until his rival uses it to target him.”
To his credit, the emissary didn’t flinch.
“Think about this,” Ra said. “If Iran acquires Alvaria, they could destroy the ruling classes of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in an afternoon. The next morning, they could annihilate Iraq’s parliament. Then, they invade. The price of oil skyrockets because they would control 24% of the world’s production. Sanctions are lifted under threat of an oil embargo. And just like that, the Persian Empire is reborn.”
The emissary thought while he took a long, deep breath. He pressed a finger to his lips and looked at the deck. After a long moment, he lifted his finger and shook it at Ra. “The general does not like the glimpses of the future you have illuminated. He does not want to participate in your auction. Instead of bidding for it, he will report you to the Americans. That way, no one will have this system.” He paused and smiled. “There will be no resurgent Persian Empire.”
Ra flicked a quick glance at Fido, who sprang into action. To the emissary, Ra said, “I am most disappointed to hear you say that. On a different subject, do you recall meeting my man Bonham in a café last month? Bonham is my second-in-command. He offered you money to turn against the general. Ah, I see from your surprise that you do recall the encounter vividly. Well, sport, the problem for you is that when you turned him down, your lieutenant did not.”
As the emissary’s surprise turned to shock, his gaze swiveled to his lieutenant. At that moment, Fido knelt at the emissary’s feet and clamped leg irons on his ankles. In disbelief, the emissary looked down at his shackles, then followed the attached chain to find Rover standing at the railing, holding a very large, very heavy stone. “Do you think you can scare—”
“You’ve been paid,” Ra said to the emissary’s lieutenant. He held out an old, razor-sharp dagger. “Slit his throat.”
The lieutenant stared at Ra in disbelief. “Now?”
“Yes, now. Or die with him. Your choice. Ah. You’ve seen the light. Good man. Right here, above the collar. Stand behind him so you don’t get blood on yourself.”
As the young man weighed the knife in his hand and moved behind his former boss, Ra took out his phone, set it to video, and pressed record. The knife slashed through the stunned and wordless emissary’s neck. Blood sprayed forward. Rover dropped the rock overboard. The chain’s slack disappeared and yanked the emissary’s body with it, over the railing and into the deep.
The young man looked up at Ra, who kept the video rolling. The psychological weight of his first murder began to contort the young lieutenant’s expression. As he pondered his rapidly changing allegiances, he looked down to find Rover placing leg irons on his ankles. Behind him, Fido stood at the railing with another rock. He looked back at Ra and squeaked, “Why? I did what—”
“I think it’s obvious, isn’t it?” Ra asked. “You can’t be trusted.”
Over his shoulder he saw the tender bearing his darling returning from shore. She would be onboard in five minutes. No time for long goodbyes.
He turned back to face the lieutenant as Rover slit the young man’s throat. “There are four more of your kind in the general’s private guard. He’ll be dead by morning, so you’ll be in good company.”
The stone dropped. The chain tightened. The lieutenant’s body flew over the railing into the deep.
Ra looked at the pool of blood covering the deck. He snapped his fingers. A steward appeared. “You see this ugly mess? Scrub it clean.”
***
Excerpt from Death and Betrayal by Seeley James.  Copyright 2020 by Seeley James. Reproduced with permission from Machined Media. All rights reserved.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

His near-death experiences range from talking a jealous husband into putting the gun down to spinning out on an icy freeway in heavy traffic without touching anything. His resume ranges from washing dishes to global technology management. His personal life stretches from homeless at 17, adopting a 3-year-old at 19, getting married at 37, fathering his last child at 43, hiking the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim at 59, and taking the occasional nap.

His writing career ranges from humble beginnings with short stories in The Battered Suitcase, to being awarded a Medallion from the Book Readers Appreciation Group. Seeley is best known for his Sabel Security series of thrillers featuring athlete and heiress Pia Sabel and her bodyguard, the mentally unstable veteran Jacob Stearne. One of them kicks ass and the other talks to the wrong god.

His love of creativity began at an early age, growing up at Frank Lloyd Wright’s School of Architecture in Arizona and Wisconsin. He carried his imagination first into a successful career in sales and marketing, and then to his real love: fiction.

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

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble   

Saturday, February 22, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: ANNETTE DASHOFY



ABOUT THE BOOK


Paramedic and deputy coroner Zoe Chambers responds to a shooting and discovers her longtime friend, Horace Pavelka, has gunned down a man who’d bullied him mercilessly for decades. Ruled self-defense, no charges are filed. When another of his tormentors turns up dead in Horace’s kitchen, Police Chief Pete Adams questions the man’s innocence in both cases…especially after Horace and his girlfriend go into hiding.



While fighting to clear her friend, Zoe is handed the opportunity to finally learn what really happened to her long-lost sibling. What starts out as a quick road trip on a quest for answers leads her to an unfamiliar city in the middle of a November blizzard, where she finds way more trouble than she bargained for.



Pete’s own search for his missing fiancée and a missing murderer ultimately traps him in a web of deception. Face-to-face with one of the most cunning and deadly killers of his law enforcement career, Pete realizes too late that this confrontation may well be his last.


Book Details:


Title: Under the Radar

Author: Annette Dashofy

Genre: cozy mystery 


Series: Zoe Chambers Mystery, book 9


Publisher: Henery Press (February 25, 2020)


Print length: 288 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours






IFs ANDs OR WHATs INTERVIEW WITH ANNETTE DASHOFY

IFs




If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?
My first reaction is to say a writing instructor, because I do teach workshops from time to time as a side gig. But that feels like a cheat. My second choice would be yoga instructor, but I’ve already done that, so again, cheat! If I had to pick something completely different, I think I’d like to be a house flipper. I’ve become addicted to HGTV and love those shows! Of course, I have no design or construction skills, so I’d probably go bankrupt on my first attempt!

If you had to do community service, what would you choose?
I already do some volunteer work with the Alzheimer’s Association, a cause near and dear to my heart. My dad died of complications from Alzheimer’s, and my mom had vascular dementia. I help on their Caregiver’s Conference planning committee every year. I’ve also thought I’d like to help with Meals on Wheels. I remember as a kid visiting my cousin in the summer, I rode around with her and her mom, delivering meals to shut ins. It felt very gratifying.

If you were on the Amazon bestseller list, who would you choose to be one before and one below you?
I’m fortunate in that I have been! I even was on the same line as James Patterson once. I have a screen capture of that somewhere on my computer.


If you could meet any author for coffee, who would you like to meet and what would you talk about?
Craig Johnson. I’m a total fangirl of his writing and while I’ve met him several times, I’ve never been able to sit down for a nice chat with him. I’d like to pick his brain about his books, his characters, the setting. Basically, I’d completely geek out on him.

If you could choose a fictional town to live in what would it be and from what book?
Durant, Wyoming, from Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire series. (See my fangirl comment above!)

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

My husband is nearing retirement age, so this is something we discuss. I love Colorado, New Mexico, and Florida, but I have a hard time narrowing it down. Colorado’s too cold in the winter, Florida’s too hot in the summer, New Mexico dries out my skin. I really think I’d like to travel around and follow the good weather!




ANDs



5 favorite possessions:

    •    my framed photo of our family farm taken in the early 1900s
    •    my antique mantle clock from the same farm
    •    a quilt I made that I’m especially proud of
    •    my very comfortable office chair
and
    •    my Subaru Forester

5 things you love about where you live: 

    •    Spring with all the flowers and buds and warm breezes
    •    our property with its woods and creek and lots of privacy
    •    the green of summer
    •    early autumn when the humidity gives way to a touch of crispness
and
    •    my view of rolling farmland outside of my office window

5 favorite foods:
    •    pizza
    •    chile rellenos
    •    palak paneer
    •    chocolate
and
    •    peach pie

5 things you always put in your books:
    •    horses
    •    cats
    •    coffee
    •    a dead body 
and
    •    cops

5 favorite places you’ve been: 

    •    New Mexico
    •    New Orleans
    •    Long Beach, California
    •    St. Petersburg, Florida
and
    •    Durango, Colorado

5 favorite things to do: 
    •    ride horses
    •    read
    •    travel
    •    have coffee or lunch with a friend
and
    •    sleep!


WHATs


What’s your all-time favorite movie?
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?
People who block the aisles in the grocery store.

What’s the most beautiful sound you’ve heard?
Tie between the chirps of spring peepers (frogs) and the whinny of a baby colt because both mean spring to me.

What’s your all-time favorite picture of yourself?
Me and my beloved old mare, Jenny.

What’s your favorite time of day?
Morning. Oddly, it’s also my least favorite time of day depending on A.) how well I’ve slept and B.) if I’ve had coffee yet!

What’s your favorite song?
Yesterday, by the Beatles. It’s been my favorite song since I was very young. The simplicity and emotion of the piece continues to earn it a top spot in my heart.

What’s your favorite snack?
Potato chips.

What’s your favorite dessert?
Peach pie.

What’s your all-time favorite place you’ve visited?
Durango, New Mexico.

What’s your favorite beverage?

Coffee.

What’s your favorite ice cream?
Chocolate followed closely by pralines and cream.

What’s your favorite hobby or past-time?

Horseback riding.

What’s your favorite thing to do when there’s nothing to do?
Read, of course!

What’s your favorite movie snack?
Popcorn with lots of butter.

What’s your favorite social media site?
Definitely Facebook with Instagram becoming a close second.

What’s your favorite color?

Turquoise.


What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?

Currently, it’s a shot I took at Presque Isle, Lake Erie.


What is your obsession?
HGTV, especially Chip and Joanna on Fixer Upper.



What book are you currently working on?

Til Death, the 10th in my Zoe Chambers Series.

What’s your all-time favorite place in your town?

I don’t live in town, so can I pick my favorite place on our farm? The creek that runs behind our pasture. As soon as we start having warm days in spring, I head down there to listen to the peaceful babbling of the water, to search for green sprouts, and to just relax.

What’s your latest recommendation for:
Food: Chile rellenos at Rubio’s in Aztec, New Mexico.
Music: anything by Christian Kane. (I’m hoping he puts out some new music soon!)
Book: The Enemy We Don’t Know, by Liz Milliron (first in a new series and it’s AWESOME).
Audiobook: I’m currently listening to Rhys Bowen’s The Tuscan Child, and love it.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Annette Dashofy has spent her entire life in rural Pennsylvania surrounded by cattle and horses. When she wasn't roaming the family's farm or playing in the barn, she could be found reading or writing. After high school, she spent five years as an EMT on the local ambulance service, dealing with everything from drunks passing out on the sidewalk to mangled bodies in car accidents. These days, she, her husband, and their spoiled cat, Kensi, live on property that was once part of her grandfather's dairy.



Her Zoe Chambers mystery series includes five Agatha Award nominees including Circle of Influence, Bridges Burned, No Way Home, Cry Wolf, and Fair Game. The ninth in the series, Under The Radar, comes out February 25, 2020.

Connect with Annette:
Facebook  |  Twitter  |   Instagram  |   BookBub  |  Pinterest

Buy links:
Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble  |   Buy Indy




Tuesday, February 18, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: RJ PARKER




ABOUT THE BOOK 


Clint and Corbin are having a weird day. Best friends for life, things are getting a little strange around their town, and at school. When they're followed by a strange man looking for Clint and later attacked by an imp, it makes sense to retreat to the safety of home. But when strangers from another world, Banks and O'Neil, arrive with their medley of allies, things get even weirder. Why are they here? What do they want? And what is The Requiem that everyone keeps talking about? As Clint and his friends and family are drawn deeper into a thrilling adventure, only one thing is for sure. They may not be getting out alive. And class with Mrs. Christenson will seem like a walk in the park after this.


Book Details:


Title: Requiem, Changing Times


Author: RJ Parker


Genre: urban fantasy


Series: Requiem


Publisher: Olympia Publishing (September 26, 2019)


Print length: 462 pages






LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH RJ PARKER


A few of your favorite things: good family moments.
Things you need to throw out: raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, copper kettles, warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings.


Things you need in order to write: time, music, my computer, spell check and Pepsi.
Things that hamper your writing: being interrupted.


Things you love about writing: making other people happy and inspiring them.
Things you hate about writing: how slow I am in writing a story.

Easiest thing about being a writer: having fun with the story.

Hardest thing about being a writer: that I can’t type fast enough to tell a story before I want to tell the next one.

Things you love about where you live: the good people and the beauty around me.
Things that make you want to move: to be closer to the Disney Parks.


Things you never want to run out of: I was going to say my family’s love, but I would have to go with toilet paper, it’s about the priorities of the time.
Things you wish you’d never bought: a child’s phone toy that they love to hit the same button on ten thousand times every day and their sole goal is to improve their score.


Words that describe you: dedicated; too hard of a worker (so my wife says); fun-loving.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: a good shot (that is, for those who wish to date my daughter).

Favorite foods: anything off the grill.
Things that make you want to throw up: anything creamy (other than ice cream).

Favorite music:
uplifting pop.
Music that make your ears bleed: whatever my daughter feels she has to turn up all the way that makes the paint peel off in her room.

Favorite beverage:
Pepsi.

Something that gives you a pickle face: V8.

Favorite smell: my wife’s hair.
Something that makes you hold your nose: whatever toxic waste that even a hazmat suit would fail to protect me from that blew out of the diaper I changed.

Something you’re really good at: making other people feel comfortable and laugh.

Something you’re really bad at: being a backseat driver with my daughter behind the wheel. (I swear she puts a sign up over our car that says, “bumper car, hit me.”)


Something you wish you could do: be more physically active.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: walk with a cane.

Something you like to do: just be with my family and enjoy time together.

Something you wish you’d never done: hurt my back.

People you consider as heroes: everyone who does hard things for a better world.

People with a big L on their foreheads: nose pickers who soon become hand shakers.



Last best thing you ate: my wife’s lips.

Last thing you regret eating: my wife’s lips after she ate frosted mini wheats.

Things you’d walk a mile for: anything my family needed.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: a child with a cold who wanted a kiss.

Things you always put in your books: action and humor.

Things you never put in your books: cursing or erotic themes.

Things to say to an author: are you still in the writing business?

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: are you still in the writing business?

Favorite places you’ve been: Disneyland, Yellowstone, Disneyworld.

Places you never want to go to again: Black Friday shoe sale with my daughter, it’s a no-man’s land.

People you’d like to invite to dinner: George Lucas.

People you’d cancel dinner on: The person who just won the world champion chili eating contest and their friends. (Unless they bring their own gas-x.)

Favorite things to do: be with my family.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: go surfing on a toothpick, while wearing twenty hams through shark infested waters, having to jump through flaming hoops, while singing  "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey.

Things that make you happy: tickling my children.

Things that drive you crazy: when they coordinate their retaliation.

Proudest moment: the day I got away with cheating at Monopoly with President Trump.

Most embarrassing moment: the day I beat President Trump at Monopoly.


Biggest lie you’ve ever told: that I played Monopoly with President Trump.

A lie you wish you’d told: that I never told anyone that I played anything with President Trump.

Best thing you’ve ever done: I got married.

Biggest mistake: that when I got married I had any power, authority or say in anything.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: saying no to my wife.

Something you chickened out from doing: buying a karaoke machine for my ten-year-old daughter’s birthday party and her thousands of very vocal friends, with no bedtime . . .

The last thing you did for the first time: cleaned my nine mm hand gun.

Something you’ll never do again: clean my nine mm hand gun while meeting my daughter’s new boyfriend. I have a shotgun now!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


Russell Parker was born in Bountiful, Utah. As his father was safety manager he had to move around until his senior year of high school, when he came to Cache Valley, Utah to stay. He married the most wonderful woman in the world, and they are the parents of four fantastic kids, with one (now 2) crazy dogs.

Russell played all kinds of sports and was an outdoorsman until an accident brought him to writing. A writer since high school, encouragement brought his stories to life.



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


Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

Friday, February 14, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: R.J. LEE




ABOUT THE BOOK


Reporter and bridge player Wendy Winchester once again plays ace detective when a country club member is murdered in a hot tub . . .

Now an investigative reporter for the Rosalie Citizen in the Mississippi River port of Rosalie, Wendy still likes to unwind over a game of cards. Following the demise of the Rosalie Bridge Club, she’s started her own group at the Rosalie Country Club. During the first meeting of the Country Club Bridge Players, the dummy has barely been laid down when another dummy gets in a scuffle at the bar across the room. Bridge player Carly Ogle’s husband Brent is at it again.
After the club’s new female golf pro breaks up the fight, Brent storms off to soak in a hot tub. But Carey soon finds the bullying Brent dead in the water, clubbed over the head with the pestle the barkeep uses to crush leaves for mint juleps.

Racist, sexist, homophobic, and an all-around lout, Brent made enough enemies to fill a bridge tournament. So Wendy has to play her cards right to get the story—and stay out of hot water long enough to put the squeeze on the killer . . .


Book Details:


Title: Playing the Devil 


Author: R.J. Lee


Genre: cozy mystery


Series: A Bridge to Death, book 2


Publisher: Kensington (January 28, 2020)


Print length: 304 pages


On tour with: Great Escape Book Tours











IFS ANDS OR WHATS INTERVIEW WITH R.J. LEE 


IFs


If you could live in any period of time, what would it be?
It would be from 2050 on. By then, we are supposed to be colonizing Mars and the Moon. I wish I were young enough to volunteer to be a one-way colonist on Mars. Does Mars need writers? Ha!

If you could do anything besides writing, what would you do?

It would be singing and acting. I did musical theater in high school and college and had a trained voice. I played the lead of Billy Bigelow in a production of CAROUSEL. I loved rehearsing and the applause.

If you could do any kind of community service, what would it be?

It would be something to help the homeless. As a country, we need to do better in this regard.

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

It would be in the Hawaiian Islands. But not in a big city like Honolulu. I would prefer Maui or Kauai or Hilo Town on the Big Island. My therapist lived on the Big Island for ten years, and the culture there is so laid back compared to the Mainland.

If you could sit down and have coffee with any author, who would it be?


It would be Harper Lee. To Kill A Mockingbird is my favorite novel, and I read it in high school just after it had come up. I would like to discuss with her how far we’ve come in solving as a country the problems that still haunt us because of slavery and Jim Crow.

ANDs


Five things you need in order to work:
    •    a white noise machine around me 

    •    no interruptions from phones
    •    an achievable goal for that particular writing session, even if it’s just to begin or finish a scene, chapter or number of pages. I remain flexible on all of these because it never does a writer any good to press. 

    •    something to sip on—I prefer Coconut-Pineapple Bai
and
    •    
a sense of time. Writing speeds time up for me. Hours can go by, and I won’t realize that I need to eat or take a bathroom break.

Five things you love about writing:
    •    finishing a synopsis so I have a skeleton to work from; coming up with an ingenious solution for an ingenious murder—I always know who did it and why, and I work backwards from there. I never wait until the end to solve my own mysteries.
    •    I also love working through problems as I move along. Suddenly, something I’d counted on becomes problematical. But I don’t panic. I bear down and come up with a better way.
    •    Three other things that thrill me about writing are the satisfaction that comes from approval from my agent and editor when they have read the final draft
    •    the advance and royalty checks 

and
    •    the book tours. I love interacting with and making new readers.

Five things you love about living in Oxford, Mississippi:

    •    it is a writer’s town because of Faulkner. There must be at least two dozen of us who live here, writing across the genres.
    •    Our indie book store, Square Books received the 2018 Publishers’ Weekly Indie of the Year Award. I love doing talks and signing there and have a great following. 

    •    Oxford also has any number of fine restaurants around its fabled Square. Because I lived in New Orleans for thirty years, I have a point of comparison, and I can attest to the fact that some of these restaurants compare quite favorably to what I became accustomed to in the Crescent City.
    •    the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) has many excellent programs to attend—from Broadway tours to lectures of all kinds to film festivals. 

and

    •    Finally, Oxford has struck a balance between preserving the architecture of the past and realizing new growth in the millennium. It is booming, and I like that energy.

Five things you hope never want to run out of: 

    •    ideas for my writing, of course. Perhaps every author fears that he or she will run dry. But because I enjoy travel, I am always alert to dialogue, and I take pictures with my eyes of certain scenes I encounter. I expect to write until I drop.
    •    I never want to run out of enthusiasm for life. My goal as a youngster was to become a published New York writer, and I have achieved that. But life also throws everyone curves. I lost my husband of thirteen years to lung cancer nearly three years ago, and I have had to reinvent that part of my life. But I haven’t become cynical or abandoned my life’s journey.
    •    Of course, I never want to run out of readers, including constantly making new ones on book tours. Their feedback is one of the great rewards of being a writer.
    •    Every writer hopes they will never get a bad review, but it seems it’s inevitable. So far with this new mystery series, I have been blessed with great reviews from the national journals and the mystery magazines. So I don’t want to run out of the good ones.
and
    •    Finally, I never want to run out of friends and family. I have long-lived genes, but I don’t want to outlive everyone I know and that is dear to me.

Five words that describe you: 


    •    eclectic
    •    mischievous
    •    determined
    •    empathetic
and
    •    affectionate


WHATs


What’s your favorite memory?


My favorite memory of all time is getting married to my husband in June at Biddeford Pool, Maine. Will and I were married by a Unitarian-Universalist minister, using our own, original vows. The most precious moment of my life.

What’s a pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is six-figure sports and news announcer using bad grammar and making up words out of whole cloth. There is no such word as ‘impactful.’ You do not say, “He was impactful on the team.” It is, “He had an impact on the team.” There is also no such word as ‘efforting.’ You do not say, “He was efforting to win that series.” You say, “He was making an effort to win that series.” Or, “He was trying to win that series.” The use of ‘went’ instead of ‘gone’ drives me crazy. You do not say, “He had went to the store to buy groceries.” You say, “He had GONE to the store to buy groceries.” It’s the English major in me. I do not like what some people are trying to do to the English language.

What’s the loveliest sight you’ve ever seen?

The loveliest sight I have ever seen was the water off the coast of the Istrian Peninsula in the Adriatic See. Looking down from high above on the road that hugged the coast, there were gorgeous gradations from light to dark blue. Closest to shore, the water was sky blue, then farther out, peacock blue; then royal blue, then nearly purple. Unbelievably beautiful!

What’s your favorite movie snack?

My favorite movie snack is a conventional one: popcorn. But without butter and not too much salt. That’s the only time I eat popcorn because I watch my nutrition and weight carefully. My paternal grandmother lived to be 101, my paternal uncle to 98; my father to 91. If I’m going to live that long, I want to be sure and take care of myself so I can enjoy it. (And still write!)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

R. J. Lee follows in the mystery-writing footsteps of his father, R. Keene Lee, who wrote fighter pilot and detective stories for Fiction House, publishers of Wings Magazine and other ‘pulp fiction’ periodicals in the late ’40’s and ’50’s. Lee was born and grew up in the Mississippi River port of Natchez but also spent thirty years living in the Crescent City of New Orleans. A graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) where he studied creative writing under Sewanee Review editor, Andrew Lytle, Lee now resides in Oxford, Mississippi.

Connect with Rob:

Facebook
Buy the book
:
Amazon







Monday, February 10, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: RAE KATHERINE EIGHMEY



ABOUT THE BOOK



The Iowa Presidential Caucus is a casserole of finest ingredients—policy ideas, active candidates, determined local politicians dedicated political activists, and hard-working Iowans. Every four years citizens across the state meet to hash out their differences and make a selection. Seldom is one candidate an overwhelming caucus choice. Instead, several winning candidates combine into a single dish of patriotic participation, ready to share with the rest of the nation.

In Lake Livonia, with holiday season fast approaching and the Iowa Presidential Caucus soon to follow, Susan Stewart’s fledgling Potluck Paradise Cafe is humming with the creation of new and delicious dishes to please the appetites of her community.

But then, a mysterious note included in a Christmas card from her friend and mentor, Hazel Romer, who skipped town in the middle of a July night, raises important questions. What was the skeleton in Hazel’s closet that caused her to run away from the town she loved? And why had she left the restaurant to Susan?

When a blizzard traps strangers in town overnight, the stage is set for a series of life-changing events for Susan, her teenaged children, and her friends, as the Presidential Caucus brings Iowa and Lake Livonia into national prominence.

With 30 family and potluck pleasing recipes for main dishes, vegetables, and desserts.


Book Details:

Title: The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole Mystery

Author: Rae Katherine Eighmey

Genre: cozy mystery 


Published: October 31, 2019


Print length: 153 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours








IFs ANDs OR WHATs INTERVIEW WITH RAE KATHERINE EIGHMEY


IFs




If you could talk to someone from history, who would it be, and what would you ask them?
Susan B. Anthony. February 15, 2020 will be the 200th anniversary of this woman’s rights and suffrage activist. She spent more than fifty years working for these causes as well as those of temperance and against slavery. She traveled on trains back and forth across the country giving more than 100 speeches a year. My question: How did she do it?  Where did she find the physical and intellectual stamina to keep going? How did she think she inspired the droves of other strong women who followed her and achieved the right for women to vote in all elections fourteen years after her death. In short, what is it that makes a strong, persuasive, successful woman?

If you could step back into a moment or day in time, where would you go?
I would want to be in Philadelphia when the Constitutional Convention voted to accept the language of the new Constitution on September 17, 1787. It would be something to see so many of the founders in one place and witness the result of their summer of discussion.

If you could be anything besides a writer, what would it be?  

A race car driver.  Not that I have the skills, or the nerve, or ever drive above the speed limit, but it would be wonderful to experience the world moving so fast around you and to have the reflexes to manage the dangers.

If you had to do community service, what would you choose?
I have and would continue to volunteer in public schools.

If you could meet any author for coffee, who would you like to meet, and what would you talk about?
Mark Twain. As the boy Samuel Clemens, the man who would later invent himself as globe-trotting, white-suited author, lived in small town Missouri in a struggling family. He took off for California, sailed to Hawaii, and then returned to New York. He had a reporter’s eye for detail and frequently used food as a way to bring readers into the scene of his story, or to explain his characters.  I would ask how he selected those real details and if he saw a metaphorical role for them. I would ask him to expand on his famous list of memorable American foods he wrote about while in Europe, and I would ask him what his favorite food was . . . really.


ANDs



5 things you need in order to write: 

Before I turn to the laptop I need:
    •    number 2 pencils
    •    yellow tablets
    •    research materials with post-it notes
    •    a comfy chair
and
    •    quiet

5 things you love about writing: 

    •    the opportunity to learn
    •    to discover new things
    •    to see familiar surroundings in a new light 
    •    to find the best way to convey those ideas and emotions
and
    •    to see the way others react to them


5 things you always put in your books:

I write both non-fiction and fiction. In all my books I try to have:
    •    a sense of humor
    •    a sense of wonder
    •    decent back stories
    •    lively characters
and
    •    food    

5 favorite books:
    •    Jack Finney’s Time and Again
    •    M.F.K. Fisher collected works
    •    Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales
    •    Eleanor Roosevelt’s My Day
and
    •    Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield    

5 favorite things to do:
    •    garden, especially the vegetable patch
    •    read
    •    cook
    •    find “new” recipes from old sources
and
    •    share those “discovered” foods with others 

5 things that drive you crazy:
    •    not being able to find my glasses
    •    weeds that seem to sprout right after you’ve weeded the garden
    •    inconsiderate people
    •    not having enough hours to do all I want to do
and
    •    that great food has calories!        


WHATs


What’s your all-time favorite movie?  

Shakespeare in Love.

What’s your all-time favorite author?   

Charles Dickens.

What’s your all-time favorite library? 

University of Alabama library. When I had the privilege of doing research there the open stacks were filled with just the resources I needed to track down recipes across the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The special collections department contained the papers and other books I needed to understand the lives of the people in early Tuscaloosa, when it was the capital of the state. And the library and collections staff were among the best.


What’s your favorite time of day? 
The three hours before dawn – which are much easier to enjoy in the winter. In the summer I’d have to cut that time frame back to just half an hour as, at the height of the simmer, the sun is up a 4.

What’s your favorite ice cream? 
Impossible to pick one! Has to be seasonal: in the winter, clearly peppermint; in the summer our local ice cream shop makes fresh peach, and there is the wonderful lemon ice cream I discovered when researching foods Benjamin Franklin served when he was American’s envoy to France during the Revolution. It is easy to make without an ice cream freezer.

Ben Franklin’s Lemon Ice Cream
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 ½ cups half-and-half or heavy whipping cream

Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the syrup is clear.
Set aside to cool.
Combine the lemon zest, juice, and simple syrup. Stir mixture quickly into the cream.
Pour into a 1-quart zippered freezer bag and put in the coldest part of your freezer.
Take it out and knead a couple of times during the few hours it takes for the mixture to turn into ice cream.
Makes about 3 cups. 
Adapted from Lemon Ice Cream Frederick Nutt, The Complete Confectioner, 1780


What book are you currently working on?
Working on the second book in the Potluck Paradise Café series.

What’s your latest recommendation for:
Food: I’ve started working with a “Dyspepsia Bread” that is made largely of whole wheat. The recipe dates back to the 19th-century health food movement.  I’ve used it in my Susan B. Anthony blog
Here’s the recipe if you want to use it. I’m attaching a picture as well:

Dyspepsia Bread

¼ cup warm water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 package active dry yeast

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup additional warm water

¼ cup molasses
½ teaspoon salt, optional
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour

In a large mixing bowl combine the water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and stir gently. Set aside until this mixture begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Stir ½ cup flour into this mixture. Pour the ¾ cup warm water into the bowl. Do not mix in. Set this “sponge” aside until it is bubbling, about 10 or 15 minutes in a warm room. Do not rush these two steps. At the end it should look like a mound of whipped cream floating on water.

Next, stir in molasses, optional salt, and then 2 cups of the whole wheat flour into this sponge. You may need an additional half cup flour or so to yield a soft non-sticky dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Lightly butter a clean bowl. Put the dough into the bowl and turn it over so there the buttered side is upright. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set in a warm space to rise until double in size. This may take as long as 3 hours. 

To make the bread:
Punch the dough down, knead quickly,  and put in a greased bread pan. It will fill a large 9- x 5- x 4-inch bread pan. Or for smaller and taller loaves divide between two 8- x 3- x 3-inch pans. Once again allow the bread to rise until doubled. This may take a half hour or an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake until the bread is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on top, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove from bread pan and let cool thoroughly on a baking rack.

Adapted from The New Family Book or Ladies Indispensible Companion and Housekeeper Guide  E. Hutchinson, 1854.
Music: Dave Brubeck Time Out – It is an old album, but I heard one of the pieces used in a commercial recently. Pulled it out and played it and rediscovered how wonderful it is.
Movie: Little Women.
Book: Where the Crawdad’s Sing, by Delia Owens
TV: CNN’s recent biography of Linda Ronstadt The Sound of my Voice is outstanding


OTHER BOOKS BY RAE KATHERINE EIGHMEY


Stirring the Pot with Benjamin Franklin


Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen
Food Will Win the War

Soda Shop Salvation

Potluck Paradise: a collection of recipes from community cookbooks  (With Debbie Miller)

Hearts & Homes

A Prairie Kitchen




ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


Rae Katherine Eighmey writes both non-fiction and fiction. Food plays a significant role in the books and the way she works. She often says that her work is like making Jell-O. When the ideas first come it is like picking the box off the shelf. As she develops the plot, or collects the recipes for one of the cookbooks it is like adding the hot water. And at the final stages the cold water and fruit go into the mix. Some pondering and editing and Presto! The dish is ready to unmold and share. Eighmey currently lives in north Iowa, the setting for her new series of Potluck Paradise Café books of which The Great Iowa Caucus Casserole is the first.  


Connect with the author:

Facebook

Buy the book:
Amazon




Thursday, February 6, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: DOROTHY ST. JAMES



ABOUT THE BOOK


Join Penn and Stella on their latest adventure!

There’s a legend in the Sea Islands that before a hurricane hits the Gray Lady can be seen walking down the beach warning of doom. Penn doesn’t believe in such silly stories, but she does believe weather forecasters. A powerful hurricane is heading their way. Everyone on the island of Camellia Beach is busy boarding up windows and securing valuables to upper levels of buildings. Joe Davies, a local treasure hunter with an unquenchable sweet tooth, claims to have seen the Gray Lady walking toward him just that morning and is terrified for his life.

After the storm passes everyone returns to survey the damage. As Penn walks her little dog Stella on the beach, she finds Joe Davies’ body washed up onshore. Not only that, it looks as if an exploding transformer caused Joe’s seaside shack to burn to the ground. Did the Gray Lady claim another victim? Many on the island believe that is exactly what happened.

Penn is sure there’s another explanation. She follows the clues and hints of lost gold to discover that the truth behind the treasure hunter’s death is as much of a maze as the boating channels winding their way through the local marshes.



Book Details:


Title: Bonbon with the Wind

Author: Dorothy St. James

Genre: cozy mystery


Series: A Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery, book 4


Publisher: Barking Dog Press (December 9, 2019)


Print length: 251 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours








IFs ANDs OR WHATs INTERVIEW WITH DOROTHY ST. JAMES


IFs



If you could talk to someone, who would it be and what would you ask them?

If I could, I’d take Agatha Christie out for tea and dessert. I’d love to ask her what happened when she went missing for 11 days in 1926. Did she have a mental breakdown? Was she escaping from writing pressures? Or did she do this in order to make us all wonder about her and talk about her? It’d be fun to find out the truth behind her disappearance. Of course, after learning her secret, I’d write a tell-all book about it.

If you could time travel for an infinite period of time, where would you go?
If I could travel through time, I’d go everywhere! I’d like to be there for the big bang. I’d ride on the back of a gigantic dinosaur. I’d grunt with cavemen. I’d visit with ancient Egyptians. I’d want to visit Jane Austen and tell her how much I enjoy her novels. I’d also dive into the future and use what I see to help mankind make better decisions.

If you had to do community service, what would you choose?
I’m going to start fostering dogs this winter. I’m looking forward to experiencing the challenges of bringing home a dog that needs some special attention. I think it will be a joy to share this experience with my young daughter.

If you could meet any author for coffee, who would you like to meet and what would you talk about?
Oh my goodness, if I could, I’d so enjoy sitting down and having tea with one of my favorite authors, Jenn Mckinlay. I love her books. She seems so friendly online. Even though I’d be nervous and awkward, I feel like she’d be easy to talk with. I’d want to know how she approaches her writing process. How does she make her books so wonderful? Plus, I’d ask her to sign a book for me.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
This is SO hard. There are so many great places to live. I do love living in Charleston, South Carolina, with its historic downtown and beaches nearby. I’ve lived here my entire life. However, lately, I’ve been thinking about how much fun it would be to live in a small English village on the trainline and being able to take the train to explore the England and European countryside. I would love to do that for a year or two and then return to live in a big city, like New York City, for a year or two. I have a growing desire to explore new areas.




ANDs




5 favorite possessions:
    •    Kindle Paperwhite
    •    the pretty purple laptop computer
    •    my used but wonderfully reliable electric car
    •    my cell phone
and
    •    my favorite warm knit blanket

5 things you need in order to write:
    •    tea
    •    chocolate (for courage)
    •    quiet
    •    my purple laptop computer
and
    •    my ideas notebook

5 things you love about writing:
    •    having written (two words I love writing the most are “THE END”)
    •    the moment when a scene or a book starts to come together and everything feels great
    •    discovering new things about myself
    •    surprises that my characters throw at me
and
    •    the thrill (and terror) of inviting others to read what I’ve written

5 favorite things to do:

    •    sneak away and read
    •    talk about books with others who love books
    •    craft projects
    •    dog training
and
    •    trying new foods (preferably while traveling to new places to try them)


WHATs


What’s your all-time favorite place? 

The beach. When I gaze out into the vast ocean, I’m humbled. Things slow down at the beach. My thoughts slow down when I’m at the beach. It’s my happy place.

What’s your all-time favorite place in your town?
That’s easy. The beach is my happy place. And my favorite beach in Charleston is Folly Beach. Here’s a picture of its fun downtown.

What’s your all-time favorite author?
Elizabeth Peters. Her mysteries are always page-turning fun. I loved everything she wrote. There will never be another writer quite as special as her.

What’s your favorite time of day?
Nighttime. After putting my young daughter to bed, I get ready for bed in cozy pjs. And if I don’t need to write, I lose myself in whatever book I’m reading. This is my time to catch my breath and recharge.

What’s your favorite candy bar? 

Small batch, bean-to-bar dark chocolate bars made from criollo cacao beans take me to my personal nirvana. Once I’ve discovered these candy bars, everything else pales in comparison.

What’s your favorite social media site? 

For good or ill, I spend most of my time on Facebook. I’m comfortable there. And the cozy reader groups are filled with people who are fun to get to know.


What’s your all-time favorite place you’ve visited?
One of my favorite towns to visit is Washington, D.C. Most of the museums are free. Fun things are always happening there. And Malice Domestic, the cozy mystery fan convention, takes place close by every year. This is a picture of me visiting the White House gardens while collecting research material for my White House Gardener Mystery series.

What’s your favorite color?

Blue. Light blue, dark blue, teal blue, and—my, my, my— beautiful aqua blue. The color makes me happy. I make purchase decisions for kitchen appliances on whether it comes in blue. I buy clothes that are blue. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to the calming color.


What book are you currently working on? 

I’m writing the second book in my new series, the Secret Bookroom Mysteries. It’s set in a small town library that has been modernized. Printed books have been replaced with electronic versions. My intrepid librarian, in an act of rebellion, has created a secret bookroom in the library where lovers of the printed word can still access their favorite books. What she doesn’t realize is that protecting the printed word would turn out to be so dangerous.

What’s your all-time favorite picture of yourself? 

This picture was taken several years ago. It’s a picture of my first experience participating in a dog show. Iona was still a puppy! And I was quite the novice. Actually, I still am a novice when it comes to dog shows. We only lasted one season. But it was great fun talking with the other dog owners and spending the day with my best dog.

What’s your latest recommendation for:
Food: Criollo Chocolate. It’s a chocolate made with a bean variety that is more difficult to grow than the Forastero chocolate that most common chocolates are crafted out of. Criollo chocolates have a sweeter, more tropical flavor. It’s my favorite!
Movie: Knives Out. There’s a cameo appearance by the Agatha Award teapots (the mystery novel awards given at the traditional/cozy convention Malice Domestic) in the movie, which is reason enough to see the movie.
Book: Besides my books? (Kidding!) I read and reread everything Elizabeth Peters has written. She’s a master of the cozy mystery genre. I especially adore her Vicki Bliss series. I enjoy so many books in the cozy mystery genre, it is difficult to pick one to recommend, so I’m going to simply tell you which book I’m reading and enjoying right now: It’s Dead Eye by Alyssa Day, a Tiger’s Eye Mystery, which is a new series for me. And it’s different from most of the cozies I read. There’s a strong paranormal element in the story. But, so far, the writing is funny and the mystery is making me think. I look forward to reading more of the series.
TV: I don’t watch much TV. There are too many books to read. But I have been enjoying The Good Place.
Netflix/Amazon Prime: On Netflix, I’m a huge fan of Lucifer, a show that explores what might happen when the devil decides he wants to play detective. On Amazon Prime, my daughter and I have enjoyed the documentary series, First Peoples. It traces the evolution of the human race and spread of our species across the world. It’s a fascinating look at the rise of civilizations in the world.
Miscellaneous: Drink herbal tea and give tai chi a try. Herbal teas are my go-to stress relievers. And practicing tai chi (offered free at my local library) is a great way to stretch and strengthen my muscles without straining anything. I highly recommend it!

What books do you currently have published?
The Southern Chocolate Shop Mysteries
Book 1: Asking for Truffle
Book 2: Playing with Bonbon Fire
Book 3: In Cold Chocolate
Book 4: Bonbon with the Wind

The White House Gardener Mysteries
Book 1: Flowerbed of State
Book 2: The Scarlet Pepper
Book 3: Oak and Dagger

Aloha Pete Mysteries
Birds in Paradise (Novella available exclusively on Amazon.)

The Secret Bookroom Mysteries
Book 1: The Broken Spine (Available September 2020)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mystery author Dorothy St. James was born in New York but raised in South Carolina. She makes her home on an artsy island community in South Carolina with her husband, a crazy dog, and fluffy cat. Though writing has always been a passion for her, she pursued an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and a graduate degree in Public Administration and Urban Planning. She put her educational experience to use, having worked in all branches and all levels of government including local, regional, state, and federal. She even spent time during college working for a non-profit environmental watchdog organization.

Switching from government service and community planning to fiction writing wasn't as big of a change as some might think. Her government work was all about the stories of the people and the places where they live. As an urban planner, Dorothy loved telling the stories of the people she met. And from that, her desire to tell the tales that were so alive in her heart grew until she could not ignore it any longer. In 2001, she took a leap of faith and pursued her dream of writing fiction full-time.

* Dorothy St. James is the alter-ego of award-winning multi-published author, Dorothy McFalls. She enjoys writing in several different genres. Her works have been nominated for many awards including: Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, Reviewers International Organization Award, National Reader's Choice Award, CataRomance Reviewers' Choice Award, and The Romance Reviews Today Perfect 10! Award. Reviewers have called her work: "amazing," "perfect," "filled with emotion," and "lined with danger."



Connect with Dorothy:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  |  Indie Bound







Tuesday, February 4, 2020

FEATURED AUTHOR: EAMON BERNARD




ABOUT THE BOOK


On the ancient, endless Savanna that Nuru was raised, life was hard but simple. He and his tribe traversed the land driving their herd from the ocean in the west to the mountains in the east. Everything changed in a single night when monstrous creatures out of legend attacked Nuru and his family and transformed his life forever. Now he must find a way to survive in a hostile world and find a way to warn others about the evil forces marshaling in the silent darkness.

A fantasy series with African cultural influences, designed for young adult to adult readers. Warnings include some language, violence, and gore.


Book Details:


Title: Nuru

Author: Eamon Bernard


Genre: fantasy


Published: March 31, 2020


Print length: 355 pages




LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH EAMON BERNARD


Things you need in order to write: snacks, caffeine, and frequent breaks.
Things that hamper your writing: distractions, work, and my two cats.



Things you love about writing: I love the creative process, bringing something to life and the thrill of finding solutions to problems.
Things you hate about writing: I hate the tediousness and the fact that sometimes you need to write when you just aren’t feeling up to it.

Things you love about where you live: I live in Michigan, and it has the best autumns, friendly people (the Midwest is basically Canada Lite), and the best local beer.
Things that make you want to move: go through rush hour traffic in the middle of a blizzard once and Florida starts looking pretty good.


Words that describe you: creative, optimistic, helpful, and sincere.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: easily frustrated, easily distracted, and somewhat oblivious.

Favorite foods: pasta, chicken casserole, and steak.
Things that make you want to throw up: hot dogs, cucumber, and olives.

Favorite music: classic rock, punk, alternative, and garage.
Music that make your ears bleed: metal, hair bands, prog rock, country, and modern pop.

Favorite smell: grilled chicken.

Something that makes you hold your nose: green olives.

People you consider as heroes: those who devote their lives to helping others like nonprofit workers, doctors, clergy, and so forth.

People with a big L on their foreheads: greedy and selfish people, habitual liars, and pessimists.



Things to say to an author: give them an honest opinion of their work, and tell them why you feel that way. Obviously, positive feedback is better, but don't lie to us.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: giving a one-word answer when an author asks you your opinion of something they wrote. "Good," "bad," and "fine" are not helpful.

Favorite places you’ve been: Yosemite National Park, London, the Bay Area.

Places you never want to go to again: I don’t want to name the town and give it a bad rap, but I was a local reporter for a small town in northern Michigan. It was very boring, with no amenities and a small population.

Things that make you happy: campfires on fall nights, a new book, and cats in general.

Things that drive you crazy: online ads with video or sound, pollen, and cats in general.

Biggest lie you’ve ever told: "I don't have feelings for you anymore."

A lie you wish you’d told: I had a friend tell me some life-changing news once, and I wish I had just accepted it and moved on. Instead I tried to discuss it with them and only made things worse.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: moved away to start a job hundreds of miles away from home.

Something you chickened out from doing: moved away for college.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


Eamon Bernard is an author and journalist living in the Detroit area. His passions include everything that probably got you beaten up in middle school. In his free time he enjoys writing (duh), gaming, reading, seeing his enemies driven before him, and hearing the lamentations of their women.



Connect with Eamon:
Website  |  Twitter Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon