Thursday, April 8, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: JEFF MARKOWITZ


 

ABOUT THE BOOK


When you’re twenty-one years old, it can be hard, under the best of circumstances, to balance the expectations of your father and the desires of your girlfriend. For Ben Miller and his girlfriend Emily Bayard, circumstances are far from perfect. Emily’s mother has been murdered. Ben’s father, a detective in Dutch Neck, catches the case. It’s not long before evidence suggests that Emily’s father may be responsible for the death of his wife. Set against the backdrop of the cultural and political unrest associated with the war in Viet Nam, Emily and Ben find themselves attracted by the politics and lifestyle of the counter-culture. As Detective Miller conducts the homicide investigation and Dr. Bayard attempts to keep an affair with his secretary secret, everyone else in the town of Dutch Neck that summer of 1970 has the same question. Who is responsible for the death of Rosalie Bayard?

Book Details:
Title: Hit Or Miss
Author: Jeff Markowitz
Genre: mystery
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (December 2020)
Print length: 278 pages

 



TWENTY QUESTIONS/ONE WORD INTERVIEW WITH JEFF MARKOWITZ


1.     Where is your cell phone? Misplaced.
2.     Your hair? Misplaced.
3.     Your workplace? Home.
4.     Your other half? Fabulous.
5.     What makes you happy? Vaccine.
6.     What makes you crazy? Crowds.
7.     Your favorite food? Baigan bharta.
8.     Your favorite beverage? Scotch.
9.     Fear? Quicksand.
10.  Favorite shoes? Barefoot.
11.  Favorite way to relax? Poolside.
12.  Your mood? Subjunctive.
13.  Your home away from home? Beach.
14.  Where were you last night? Home.
15.  Something that you aren't? Troubled.
16.  Something from your bucket list? Orient Express.
17.  Wish list item? Enlightenment.
18.  Where did you grow up? Long Island.
19.  Last thing you did? #18.
20.  What are wearing now? Fedora.





EXCERPT FROM HIT OR MISS

Thousands of young people were on the mall, and more were streaming in by the minute. Willow, and her hippie friends staked out a spot near the Lincoln Memorial. Emily wandered the length of the National Mall, from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capital Building and back again, determined to take it all in. There was a buzz in the morning air. The President appeared unannounced on the Ellipse at dawn and chatted with a small group of demonstrators. He wished them an enjoyable stay in the nation’s capital. Everyone Emily met on the Mall claimed to have seen him. The day was hot; the Mall was dry and dusty. There were crowds of people everywhere, an uneasy mixture of antiwar protestors, soldiers and police units, newsmen and onlookers. Protestors flashed peace signs and sang the fish cheer. Young Republicans responded with middle-finger salutes.

Emily didn’t know most of the speakers at the demonstration, but she like the message. End the Cambodian incursion. End the war in Vietnam. She located a pay phone and used her spare change to call Ben.

“It’s amazing. You should be here.” She had to yell to be heard. Demonstrators continued to pour into the Mall. “Is anything happening in Dutch Neck?”

“You need to come home.”

“Don’t be like that.”

“That’s not what I mean. It’s your mother.”

“What about my mother?”

Ben didn’t answer right away. The phone line crackled with static.

A scuffle broke out on the Mall. Police moved in quickly, weapons at the ready, cutting the small group of protestors off from the larger crowd. The confrontation pulled Emily’s attention away from the phone call.

“Your mother is dead.”

Later, the news would report that there were more than one hundred thousand demonstrators on the national mall, but at that moment, amidst the pushing and shoving, Emily felt like she was alone in the world. Without more change to feed the phone, the line went dead. She dropped the pay phone and turned, nearly bumping into a cop.

“Stay back,” he ordered, his hand on his weapon.

“She’s dead,” she replied and kept walking.

He pointed the gun at Emily’s head. “Who’s dead?”

She could feel anger in the policeman, but also restraint. Days removed from Kent State, it was as if no one wanted to provoke the next shooting. The policeman holstered his weapon. Shouts of “pig” were replaced by prayers for peace. Emily breathed a sigh of relief and answered the officer’s question.

“My mother.”

“Do you have a way to get home?”

Emily told the officer about Miss Cooper and the apartment on C Street. He offered to give her a ride. If anyone saw her in the patrol car, she would tell them that she had been arrested.

No one answered when she knocked on the apartment door. The apartment manager was polite, but firm. She would have to leave.

“Do you need money for a bus ticket?” The officer reached for his wallet. “I’ll drop you off at the bus station.”

When Emily left Dutch Neck, her mother had been alive. If she got on a bus, she would be admitting that her mother was dead. She wasn’t prepared to deal with that. Not yet. So she decided to spend another night in DC. As long as she remained in DC, she told herself, she could pretend that nothing was wrong at home. And maybe, just maybe, she could help end the war.

With no place else to go, she retraced her steps.

The crowd at the National Mall was smaller. There was a chill in the air, the midday heat a distant memory. It was a tough night, out on the mall, trying not to think about her mother. Instead she thought about the American boys who were spending the night in rice paddies on the other side of the world, probably trying not to think about their mothers too, and she knew that this was a small price to pay to end the war. At four in the morning, an older man approached. He was dressed like an off-duty policeman heading out to play a round of golf.

“Are you here to end the war, miss?”

“Yes, I guess I am,” She took a closer look at the middle-aged man and jumped to her feet, “Mr. President?”

President Nixon chuckled quietly.

“But, what…”

“I couldn’t sleep. I thought some fresh air would do me good.”

“But…”

“You know, sometimes I think you young people actually believe that I like being at war.”

Emily didn’t know how to answer the Commander in Chief. “Begging your pardon sir, but it does sometimes seem that way.”

“Let me tell you something miss… by the way, we haven’t been properly introduced. My name is Richard Nixon and yours is?”

“Emily Bayard.” She started to raise her fist in protest, like Bug, during the demonstration, but couldn’t extend her arm, not while she was standing face-to-face with the President. She looked around, grateful that Willow and her friends weren’t there to see her pitiful attempt at protest.

“Well, Emily, let me tell you something. I think I hate this war more than you do. But sometimes war is the necessary thing to do.”

“But you could end the war, sir. You could end the war today.”

“General Westmoreland tells me we need two more years to achieve our goals. You wouldn’t want us to leave now, without achieving our goals. Give me two more years Emily, and I’ll end the war. You have my word on it.”

“I don’t think I can do that, sir.”

President Nixon shook his head in sadness. “You young people can be so impatient.”

“In a few weeks, I’ll be graduating from college.”

“Congratulations. And then?”

“I don’t know. But I have classmates… friends… They’ve been called up. In two years’ time, they could be dead.”

President Nixon didn’t have an answer at the ready. “I’d best be on my way.” The sun was beginning to peek over the horizon. “Before my Secret Service detail realizes I’ve slipped out.”

President Nixon turned to leave. He took a few steps and then turned back to face Emily. “I’ve just had an idea. Are you hungry? Would you like to have breakfast with me?”

“You mean, like, in the White House?”

The President grinned. “I have the best chef. What would you like? You can have anything, anything at all. After all, I am the President.”

“This isn’t some sort of photo op, is it? You know what I mean, antiwar activist sees the error of her ways after breaking bread with the President.

“I see what you mean. It would sure look good in the papers. Lord knows I could use a good story in the papers.” The President chuckled. “No. No photos. No press release. You have my word.”

And so it came to pass, on Sunday morning, before taking a bus back to Long Island to bury her mother, Emily had breakfast with the President. Mr. Nixon had poached eggs and corned beef hash with a cup of coffee, black. Emily had blueberry blintzes and a cup of chamomile tea. And all the while, they argued about the war.

“Would you like seconds?”

But she had put it off long enough. “I’m needed at home.”

***

Excerpt from Hit Or Miss by Jeff Markowitz.  Copyright 2020 by Jeff Markowitz. Reproduced with permission from Jeff Markowitz. All rights reserved.




 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Markowitz is the author of five mysteries, including the award-winning dark comedy, Death and White Diamonds. His new book, Hit Or Miss, was released in December 2020. Part detective story, part historical fiction, part coming of age story, on its release, Hit Or Miss was an Amazon Hot New Release in political fiction. Jeff spent more than 40 years creating community-based programs and services for children with autism, before retiring in 2018 to devote more time to writing. Jeff is Past President of the New York chapter of Mystery Writers of America.


Connect with Jeff:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble




Sunday, April 4, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: ELEANOR KUHNS



ABOUT THE BOOK


September 1800, Maine. Will Rees is beseeched by Tobias, an old friend abducted by slave catchers years before, to travel south to Virginia to help transport his pregnant wife, Ruth, back north. Though he's reluctant, Will's wife Lydia convinces him to go . . . on the condition she accompanies them.

Upon arriving in a small community of absconded slaves hiding within the Great Dismal Swamp, Will and Lydia are met with distrust. Tensions are high and a fight breaks out between Tobias and Scipio, a philanderer with a bounty on his head known for conning men out of money. The following day Scipio is found dead - shot in the back.

Stuck within the hostile Great Dismal and with slave catchers on the prowl, Will and Lydia find themselves caught up in their most dangerous case yet.


Book Details:

Title: Death in the Great Dismal

Author’s name: Eleanor Kuhns

Genre: historical mystery

Series: Will Rees Mystery Series
, book 9
Publisher: Severn House (January 5, 2021)

Print length: 218 pages



    


LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH ELEANOR KUHNS


Things you need in order to write: music and a cup of tea.
Things that hamper your writing: people talking to me.


Things you love about writing: creation of a world.
Things you hate about writing: it is so solitary.

Easiest thing about being a writer: having ideas.

Hardest thing about being a writer: getting published.


Things you love about where you live: yard with a lot of trees.
Things that make you want to move: very close to my family.


Things you never want to run out of: eggs and coffee.
Things you wish you’d never bought: jalapeno potato chips.


Words that describe you: blonde, creative.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: overweight.

Favorite foods: any kind of bread.
Things that make you want to throw up: mac and cheese.

Favorite beverage: coffee.

Something that gives you a pickle face: beer.

Favorite smell: lavender.

Something that makes you hold your nose: mold.

Something you wish you could do: snowboard.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: clean.

People you consider as heroes: Mother Teresa.

People with a big L on their foreheads: liars.

Last best thing you ate: lobster.

Last thing you regret eating: doughnut (but it was good).

Things you always put in your books: I also include one of the professions common at that time, usually that no one does anymore. (Barrel stave maker, coppicer.)

Things you never put in your books: graphic sex or violence.

Things to say to an author: I love your books.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: Why don’t you do this in your next book?

Favorite places you’ve been: Crete/Greece.

Places you never want to go to again: so far every place has been interesting.

Favorite books: mysteries, SciFi and fantasy are my favorites.

Books you would ban: as a former librarian, I don’t believe in banning any book. But I don’t read Erotica.

Proudest moment: winning the 2011 MWA/Minotaur prize for best first mystery.
Most embarrassing moment: when I talked over another presenter at a conference.


Most daring thing you’ve ever done: zip lining in Costa Rica over seven mountains.

Something you chickened out from doing: skiing one of the taller mountains as Belleayre.

The last thing you did for the first time: zip lining in Costa Rica.

Something you’ll never do again: It may be zip lining. I was terrified.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR


A lifelong librarian, Eleanor Kuhns is the 2011 winner of the Mystery Writers of America/Minotaur First Crime Novel competition. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and dog.

OTHER BOOKS BY ELEANOR:
Circle of Dead Girls


Connect with Eleanor:
Website Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter Goodreads

Website:
Blog:
Facebook:
Twitter:
Goodreads: 

Buy the book:

Amazon Barnes & Noble




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Tuesday, March 30, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: LORI DUFFY FOSTER



ABOUT THE BOOK



Lisa Jamison has done well for a single mom who got pregnant at fifteen.

She’s a reporter at a well-respected newspaper, and her teenage daughter is both an athlete and honors student. Though their relationship is rocky these days, Lisa has accomplished what she set out to do. She has given her daughter the kind of life she never had.

But all that changes when Lisa sees her daughter in the eyes of a dead man.

The cops call it a drug killing, but Lisa doesn’t believe it. She knows her ex-boyfriend was no drug dealer even though she hadn’t seen him in sixteen years. Lisa ignores warnings from her medical-examiner friend. She fails to heed barely veiled threats from the sheriff of a neighboring county. Instead, she risks her life and the lives of her daughter and their closest friend on a dangerous quest for answers.

The investigation leaves Lisa fighting for her family in a morbid, black market world she never knew existed. She learns that trust is complicated and that she, despite her cynical nature, has been blind. She trusted the wrong people, and now she might have to pay with her life.


Book Details

Title: A Dead Man’s Eyes

Author: Lori Duffy Foster

Genre: mystery/suspense

Series: The Lisa Jamison Mystery Series, book 1

Publisher: Level Best Books (April 13, 2021)

Print length: 228 pages






LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT INTERVIEW WITH LORI DUFFY FOSTER


Things you need in order to write: I need either silence or the din of a café. Once I really get into the writing, I tune everything out anyway. So, it no longer matters. I once wrote eight hundred words a napkin in a McDonald’s play area, surrounded by bunches of kids and the smell of ketchup. I hate the smell of ketchup, but I wrote anyway.
Things that hamper your writing: guilt is my greatest obstacle—guilt over not spending enough time with the kids, guilt about dirty dishes, guilt about not exercising enough. I am good at feeling guilty.

Things you love about writing: I love exploring human nature through writing, but I also the love craft of it. The rhythm of writing soothes me—manipulating and shaping voice, tone and pacing. It is the same kind of sensation I get swimming underwater. A sense of lightness, of freedom.
Things you hate about writing: I hate that I can’t do it all the time. I hate that sometimes I get stuck and can’t make forward progress. I hate that no work is every really done. There is always something that can make it better.

Things you love about where you live: we live on more than one-hundred and fifty acres amid rolling hills, old hayfields, and forest in a timber frame hybrid house with a wraparound porch. I can garden, hike on my own property, spend days in my PJs without worrying that anyone will see me, and sing as loudly as I want to when no one is home without fear that neighbors will hear my horrid voice. I often watch the deer while I write, sometimes spotting a bear or a bobcat. My husband has set up a campfire movie theater in the woods for summer evenings with the kids. I love where we live.
Things that make you want to move: I miss cafés, where I can write, and the variety of take-out foods in urban areas. The nearest café that is suitable for writing is forty minutes away. And I miss Target, but I am probably saving a lot of money by being an hour away from the nearest store.



Favorite foods: I am a rice fanatic. It’s the one food can’t live without. I also love most all vegetables and cheeses along with Indian, Mexican and Thai foods made with chicken or that are vegetarian.
Things that make you want to throw up: eggplant and shellfish make me ill. I have tried to like both, but they always make me sick to my stomach.

Favorite smell: I love the smell of a pine forest in late summer after a rainstorm. It takes me back to my childhood in the Adirondack Mountains of NY State. 

Something that makes you hold your nose: raw beef. Yuck!

Something you like to do: I would like to run again. I ran six marathons before I had kids, but life gave me a bunch of extra weight and two foot surgeries that have hampered my running ability. I am hopeful though. I might even register for a 5K this summer.

Something you wish you’d never done: I “borrowed” my oldest sister’s bike once when I was a kid to visit a friend who lived in a mountainside neighborhood. Unfortunately, the brakes were broken. On the way home, I flew down the hill and over a ten-foot wall, landing in intensive care for four days. So, I guess I wish I had never “borrowed” that bike.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lori Duffy Foster is a former crime reporter who writes from the hills of Northern Pennsylvania, where she lives with her husband and four children. She was born and raised in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, where a part of her heart remains. Her short fiction has appeared in the journal Aethlon, and in the anthologies Short Story America and Childhood Regained. Her nonfiction has appeared in Healthy Living, Running Times, Literary Mama, Crimespree, and Mountain Home magazines. A Dead Man’s Eyes, the first in the Lisa Jamison mystery/suspense series, is her debut novel. Look for book two in the series, Never Broken, in April of 2022. Her first standalone thriller, Never Let Go, releases from Level Best Books in December of 2022. She is also author of Raising Identical Twins: The Unique Challenges and Joys of the Early Years. Lori is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, The Historical Novel Society, International Thriller Writers and Pennwriters She also sits on the board of the Knoxville (PA) Public Library.



Connect with Lori:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble 


Friday, March 26, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: MARGARET MORGAN


 

ABOUT THE BOOK


MrsMcKeiver has lived in the Hills for over twenty years, enough time to be the approved midwife. The Hills is a remote area of limestone outcrops, difficult to travel through and its people taciturn and stubborn. However, by 1799 sweeping changes everywhere saw land enclosed and people plunged into destitution. Mrs McKeiver is pivotal in providing the contents for huge dumplings, delivered and shared out by the sainted Reverend Reeves. She not only cares for and delivers babies, but takes on the role of matriarch of the area, despite being impoverished herself.  Her crippled adult son, Clement, depends on her for everything, making her realise she needs to marry again.  She accepts her farmer friend’s proposal and becomes a farmer’s wife. With the Reverend Reeves she arranges the marriage of mysteriously pregnant Hester Walters, his cook, to farm foreman, Edward Wainwright. The union is successful from the start, thanks to her.
 

Book Details

Title: The Complete Works of Mrs. McKeiver            

Author: Margaret Morgan

Genre: historical fiction    

Publisher: Publishing Push

Print length: 780 pages





LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH MARGARET MORGAN


A few of your favorite things: cats, animal protection, reading and writing.  
Things you need to throw out: anxiety.     


Things you need in order to write: computer, comfortable seat.
Things that hamper your writing: excess noise, feeling ill.


Things you love about writing: it’s my world.
Things you hate about writing: the effort needed, as I have MS.

Easiest thing about being a writer: having ideas.   
Hardest thing about being a writer: actually doing it.


Things you love about where you live: the peace of a seaside suburb.
Things that make you want to move: I like the countryside.

Things you never want to run out of: puddings and cake.
Things you wish you’d never bought: silver long jacket.


Words that describe you: dogged, reliable, honest.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: critical, blasé.

Favorite foods: spaghetti, thai food.
Things that make you want to throw up: thick pizza, offal.   

Favorite song: "Little Sister," Ry Cooder.
Music that make your ears bleed: Heavy Metal.

Favorite beverage: tea.

Something that gives you a pickle face: malted drinks.

Favorite smell: coffee.

Something that makes you hold your nose: boiled cabbage.

Something you’re really good at: making up silly poems.
Something you’re really bad at: maths.


Something you wish you could do: go for a walk.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: become a teacher.

Something you like to do: read.

Something you wish you’d never done: sailing.


Last best thing you ate: chocolate pudding.

Last thing you regret eating: smoked fish.

Things you’d walk a mile for:  apricot brandy.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: childbirth on TV.

Things you always put in your books: anecdotes.
Things you never put in your books: overmuch cruelty.

Things to say to an author: you are great.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally: you can’t write novels.

Favorite places you’ve been: Paris.

Places you never want to go to again: Africa.

Favorite things to do: go to cafes.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: swim.

Things that make you happy: love.

Things that drive you crazy: bad TV.

Proudest moment: when my form won a Carlton TV Competition for Local History. Met Prince Edward.
Most embarrassing moment: knickers falling down at school.


Biggest lie you’ve ever told: I love you.

A lie you wish you’d told: that suits you.

Best thing you’ve ever done: passed A levels.

Biggest mistake: marrying wrong person.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: climbing a very difficult climb.

Something you chickened out from doing: parachute jump.

The last thing you did for the first time: caught Covid in hospital.

Something you’ll never do again: go into hospital.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Margaret was a toddler on a farm which did not have any modern conveniences in the house or in the farm buildings. Everything was original 1750’s. Electricity came in 1954, and later still a bathroom and steel kitchen sink. Tractors and other machinery gradually emerged too, until they had all the required modern machinery. She gained ‘A’ levels and trained as a PE teacher, teaching the subject until symptoms were identified as MS.
 Changing to EFL she accompanied her husband overseas on various contracts until 1985, when she taught in prep schools in London for sixteen years. Retiring in 2002, for health reasons, she began to write about Mrs McKeiver.



Buy the book:
Amazon UK  |  Amazon US  

Monday, March 22, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: KATHLEEN SHAPUTIS


 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Independent Rogue Bruce enjoys running a Scottish bed-and-breakfast with her Aunt Baillie from America. They specialize in hosting romantic Elizabethan-themed weddings, complete with resident ghost, Lord Kai. But love is something Rogue is not the least bit interested in. Content with her work, she requires no male accompaniment for happiness. Then Bruce MacKenzie, a Thor look-alike in plaid and denim, suddenly begins bringing more than the usual number of deliveries from town, while Jonathan Olson, a snobbish Rhett Butler type, arrives at the castle to teach a writing seminar to aspiring authors. With two men after the heart she’d thought safely locked away, Rogue is torn. But when things start to take a sinister turn, danger befalls Rogue and those dear to her. The musical soundtrack of Rogue’s life flares from complacent, to dizzily romantic, to heart-pounding scary in this sizzling triangle.



Book Details:

Title: His Kilt Dropped Here

Author: Kathleen Shaputis

Genre: magical realism romance

Publisher: Clutter Fairy Publishing (February 18, 2021)

Print length: 240 pages





INTERVIEW WITH KATHLEEN SHAPUTIS


Kathleen, what’s the story behind the title of your book?

Originally, this book was published by Crimson Romance, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, with the title His Lass Wears Tartan. The title and the cover image, I felt, were bland, unappealing. Sales were dismal. I ask for the rights back and immediately gave it a title with more of a hook for my audience. The drop of a kilt brings to mind a tantalizing picture of pleasure, does it not? The title of a book is almost as difficult as naming a newborn, lol.

Tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?

His Kilt Dropped Here is the second book in the Baillie Castle Trilogy and can be read as a standalone. The series is set in a Scottish castle during contemporary times with a gorgeous ghost, Lord Kai, and each includes various magical realism adventures and sometimes, murder. There are the castle characters, both staff and owners, and the delightful Diva Squad from Seattle. I’ve enjoyed living among them over the years and miss their frivolity and mayhem. Which leads me to say, there might be a fourth book sometime in the future.

Where’s home for you?
I lived in a two-acre forest in western Washington. Close enough to towns and civilization to be comfortable shopping, but far from constant noises of traffic and people. I adore rainy days and chasing the horizons for rainbows. Looking out any window, I’m surrounded by fir trees and maples, providing evergreen colors throughout the year, and splashes of vibrant hues during the spring and fall. It’s a Patch of heaven on earth.

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?
So many interesting plots come to mind – if I’d made this choice or that, how different life would be. One belief I held for a long time was what if I hadn’t married shortly after high school. My childhood dream to be a guide dog instructor had been crushed as it was a male-only job in those days and, broken in spirit, I fell for a young’s man’s pursuit. It was a mentally and physically abusive two years, though it produced my daughter. You learn even the darkest times can produce a diamond now and then.  

If someone gave you $5,000 and said you must solve a problem, what would you do with the money?

Funny, after that last question, my first thought is to set up a scholarship for young women to follow their heart’s desires. There is much to be said in helping a fresh mind begin a new journey into the world. I’d want the scholarship to help open doors into schools of medicine, science, politics and literary arts. Assisting the next JK Rowlings or president of the United States, oh the possibilities.


If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?
Ooh, that’s an easy one, Scotland – somewhere just outside of Edinburgh. I’m 48% Scot in my DNA from the Baillie and Bruce clans, so the moors call me often. However, living in the Pacific Northwest is almost the same longitude or latitude as that beautiful island. So I plant white heather and snuggle into a cardigan sweater with a hot cup of tea and call it home.

How did you create the plot for this book?
I had the marvelous pleasure of traveling to a week-long writers conference held at Hevers Castle in England back in 2012. I found a group on Facebook called Abroad Writers Conference, and they listed a chance to study and write while staying at an English castle. Since my trilogy is set at a Scottish castle, I used the concept of having a group of writers come to Baillie Castle. None of the characters are based on the original group, lol, most of whom came down with colds during the week.

Are you like any of your characters?
I think I find a little of myself in many of my characters. Similar to an actor digging into emotional memories or events to draw out a tear, I find certain foibles of my own blossoming in various characters. Even the Diva Squad, my girls, make me laugh at their antics as I can see myself reflected in some of their snarkiness.

Who are your favorite authors?
One in particular is Jane Porter in southern California. I’ve followed her books from the years she lived in Washington, writing The Frog Princess, Odd Mom Out and Flirting with Forty, to now having her own publishing house, Tule Publishing, with a stable of excellent authors. The quality of her characters and storylines never fails in making me feel good.  


What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
I am working on a memoir, a dark year in my life during the pregnancy and loss of my great grandson. The working title is Less Than Three Months. It’s a story of teenage pregnancy that I hope will touch others to the roller-coaster adventure of bringing a new life into the world. It’s been six years since we lost him, but every time I sit at the computer to add to the story, it’s as if a fresh blade has scratched across my heart.

What steps to publication did you personally do, and what did you hire someone to do? Is there anyone you’d recommend for a particular service?
I have a wonderful cover designer, Steven Novak of Novak Illustrations, who has been able to take my blurbs and ideas into delightful book covers. I’ve seen his work with other authors as well, and the professionalism is unmatched. Another important person, of course, is an editor. Hiring Sandra Sookoo, a USA best-selling author who contracts for editing on the side, has been an educated delight. A good editor must not only point out the weaknesses and typos but understand your voice as well.

What are you working on now?
My next book to come out is a women’s fiction, Twinkies and Tranquilizers. A single working mother during the disco, swinging Seventies, cruises in the middle-class lane with her precocious daughter as sidekick. For seven years, she tucked in her red cape and headed for her clerical job. Taking a new position in the production company begins an avalanche of back-stabbing and gaslighting from her misogynist boss and others. Her confidence and health are shattered in their efforts to destroy her as an employee, a mother and most of all, a woman. I hope to publish this summer.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kathleen Shaputis, author/ghostwriter, lives in the glorious Pacific Northwest with her husband, Bob, a clowder of cats, two pompously protective Pomeranians with little social aptitude, Brugh and Miss Jazzy, and an overgrown adolescent blue tick coon hound, Juno. 

If not writing during her lifestyle in an acre of forest, she keeps busy reading from her never-ending, to-be-read pile and watching romantic comedies. Her hygge in the woods.

Connect with Kathleen:
Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads



Buy the book:
Amazon  


Friday, March 19, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: ELIZABETH PANTLEY


ABOUT THE BOOK


Hayden fell through a mirror and was thrust into an alternate, magical place. Destiny Falls is not on any map and is home to a family she never knew she had. The town is enchanted and charming, but something is amiss. She gets an ominous warning, and the promise of a package. Once it arrives, someone turns up dead and there are too many other suspicious episodes to call them coincidences. All signs point to the mysterious disappearance of her mother – way back when Hayden was just two days old. Can she identify and eliminate the threat before another person in her life is stolen away?

Book Details

Title: The Disappearance of Emily 

Author’s name: Elizabeth Pantley

Genre: cozy mystery

Series: Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic, book 2

Published: March 15, 2021

Print length: 250 pages






LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT WITH ELIZABETH PANTLEY


A few of your favorite things: a crackling fire in my fireplace, a good book, and a big bowl of popcorn.

Things you need to throw out: a million yellow sticky notes with ideas, character traits, dialog, and some scribbles that I have no idea what they even mean!

Things you need in order to write: my laptop and a cup of tea.

Things that hamper your writing: interruptions!!!

Things you love about writing: creating an enchanted world that I’d love to visit.

Things you hate about writing: having a whole book floating around in my head that needs to be sorted, organized, and put down on paper.

Favorite beverage: sweet tea.

Something that gives you a pickle face: anything with bubbles. (Even champagne.)

Something you’re really good at: raising children.

Something you’re really bad at: raising a garden.

Things you always put in your books: a happy ending.

Things you never put in your books: devils.

Things to say to an author: I couldn’t put it down!

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: You know, one thing I would change in your (already published) book…

Favorite things to do: writing fiction!

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: bookkeeping :-(

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: climbed a mountain to the summit!

Something you chickened out from doing: scuba driving. No thanks…


Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic, book 1

Falling into Magic   




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Elizabeth Pantley is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and eight other books in the No-Cry Solution series of books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She is also the author of well-received Destiny Falls Mystery and Magic book series. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is the mother of four and Nana to one.



Connect with Elizabeth:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:

Amazon


Wednesday, March 17, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: S.C. MERRITT


 


ABOUT THE BOOK


It's wedding week, and as mother of the bride, Glory wants her daughter’s wedding to be a day she’ll never forget. But when her address is found in the pocket of an unidentified body in a car crash, Glory’s biggest nightmare becomes reality. The past has followed her to Sweetwater Springs, and it’s not going away without a fight. Can she solve the mystery and maybe even her husband’s two-year-old cold case murder in the process? 

Book Details
:
Title: Cake and Corruption
Author’s name: S.C. Merritt

Genre: cozy mystery

Series: Sweetwater Springs Southern Mystery series, book 6
Published: March 4, 2021

Print length: 184 pages




LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT INTERVIEW WITH S.C. MERRITT


A few of your favorite things: flamingos, Chex Mix (homemade).

Things you need to throw out: unused kitchen gadgets.

Things you need in order to write: quiet, solitude, coffee.

Things that hamper your writing: noise, interruptions.

Things you love about writing: creativity, freedom.

Things you hate about writing: plotting, writer’s block.

Easiest thing about being a writer: brainstorming ideas.

Hardest thing about being a writer: turning the ideas into full length stories.

Things you love about where you live: friends, new home.

Things that make you want to move: sense of adventure, meeting new friends.



Things you never want to run out of: toilet paper.

Things you wish you’d never bought: clothes off Facebook sites.

Words that describe you: social, adventurous.

Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: control freak, judgmental.

Favorite foods: pizza, sausage, bacon, most breakfast foods.

Things that make you want to throw up: beef tongue, sushi, poke.

Favorite music: classic 70’s, Rat Pack.

Music that make your ears bleed: Country, Rap.

Favorite beverage: Starbucks Double Shot on Ice (Venti).

Something that gives you a pickle face: unsweet tea.

Favorite smell: plumeria, cocoa butter suntan lotion.

Something that makes you hold your nose: old kitchen garbage/dumpster smells.

Something you’re really good at: singing, planning events.

Something you’re really bad at: delegating (like I said, control freak).

Last best thing you ate: filet prepared by my son-in-law.

Last thing you regret eating: chicken salad (too many WW points).

Things you’d walk a mile for: to help my kids.

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

Things you always put in your books: food, classic cars, pets.

Things you never put in your books: profanity.

Things to say to an author: Your book sucked me right into the story.

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: Your book sucked.

Favorite places you’ve been: Hawaii, London, California.

Places you never want to go to again: New York City.

Favorite things to do: hosting parties, relax by a pool.

Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: join a gym.

Things that make you happy: family, friends, tropical locales.

Things that drive you crazy: living in limbo with no plan of action.

Proudest moment: seeing both my children happily married and doing what they love.

Most embarrassing moment: getting kicked up onto a beach body surfing in Hawaii with my bathing suit top off.



Best thing you’ve ever done: becoming a Christian.

Biggest mistake: choosing the wrong college major.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: jumped off a bridge into a river.

Something you chickened out from doing: jumping off an Olympic high dive.

The last thing you did for the first time: published a book.

Something you’ll never do again: ride up to Glacier National Park with a driver I don’t trust.





OTHER BOOKS BY S.C. MERRITT

SWEETWATER SPRINGS SOUTHERN MYSTERY SERIES

Potluck and Pandemonium (book 1)


Lakefronts and Larceny (book 2)


Reunions and Reckonings (book 3)


Moonshine and Murder (book 4)


Fruitcakes and Fatalities (book 5)


Cake and Corruption (book 6)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

S.C. Merritt writes cozy mysteries featuring female sleuths, plots with a twist, lots of humor, and a little sprinkle of romance. Her Sweetwater Springs Southern Mystery Series is set in a small, Alabama town full of quirky characters, delicious restaurants, and lots of murder. Recipes are included in each book.

When not writing, she is traveling, watching classic movies and TV shows, or collecting flamingos. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and miniature Schnauzer, Izzy and dreams of living in a tropical locale someday.



Connect with the author:

Website  |   Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  BookBub

Buy the book:
Amazon





Monday, March 15, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: AVERY DANIELS

 



ABOUT THE BOOK


It all began when a dying man with an arrow in his chest grabs her ankle.


During a heat wave at a Santa Fe resort, Julienne has the resort owner pressuring her to solve the murder.
The victim is a high profile business man who made enemies rather than friends, leaving Julienne with a roster of suspects. She was supposed to be training the staff and spending quality time with Mason rather than investigating a murder. The heat turns up when an old girlfriend of Mason's checks in and is determined to get back together.



Arrowed
is the fourth book in Avery Daniel's Resort to Murder series and is an exciting contemporary cozy mystery. If you like Cleo Coyle, Maddy Hunter, Duffy Brown, Lynn Cahoon, and Annette Dashofy, then you'll love this series with a strong intelligent sleuth, lavish settings, and tantalizing mysteries.



Buy this spunky clean cozy mystery and start enjoying Julienne's adventures today!




Book Details:
Book title: Arrowed
Author’s name: Avery Daniels
Genre: cozy mystery
Publisher:  Blazing Sword Publishing, Ltd. (March 1, 2021)
Print length: 266 pages





INTERVIEW WITH AVERY DANIELS

What’s the story behind the title of your book?
I name all my books in the Resort to Murder series after the murder weapon, so a bow and arrow are used in this book.

Is this book a standalone, or do readers need to read the series in order?
It is a progressive series, but each book can be read by itself. The series follows Julienne who is a manager-in-training at a five star luxury resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Some books are at her “home resort” and others are at resorts located elsewhere. The reader gets to live vicariously the luxury life as Julienne solves the mysteries.

Where did you grow up?
Colorado Springs is my home town.  It is the home of a five star resort that I grew up enjoying, so it was natural to write a mystery series based at that resort under a fictional name.

Where’s home for you?
Colorado Springs, Colorado at the base of Pikes Peak. Denver (60 miles north) is known as the Mile High City, but Colorado Springs is actually higher in elevation at 6050 feet high compared to Denver’s 5300.  Altitude sickness is real for visitors!

What do you love about where you live?
I love the relatively mild winters, not scorching hot in the summer, low bug population, and great outdoors.



Have you been in any natural disasters?
I have come close to a wildfire evacuation a couple of times (fire came within a few blocks) and saw a tornado swirling and forming directly over my head. Fortunately the funnel didn’t come close to the ground in my area. The fires destroyed many homes on the east side of town and a few people I knew lost everything.

If you had an extra $100 a week to spend on yourself, what would you buy?
Craft supplies from scrapbooking and card making to canvasses and paints. It is addicting and can be pricey. But then the practical side kicks in and says save it.

What is the most daring thing you've done?


I am an introvert. At the cat shelter where I volunteer, I dressed in a baggy cat costume for fundraising efforts. I had to be outgoing and sociable. For me, that was really putting myself out there.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

I hate even telling this. Here goes. When I was working at a large corporate 200-level company in their accounting department, the ladies were required to were a dress/skirt Monday-Thursday. One summer morning I’m walking in from the parking lot and didn’t realize in my groggy daze that getting dressed I had the back of my dress tucked into my pantyhose. As if that weren’t bad enough I walked in with my manager who opened the door for me, and I rode up in the elevator with other people. It wasn’t until I got to my desk that somebody told me. I’m still mortified just thinking about it.

If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?
My cats, Dani and Codi. I love them so much and will do everything to save them.

Would you rather be a lonely genius, or a sociable idiot?
A lonely genius. First, I’m an introvert anyway so the lonely part wouldn’t be that lonely. Second, we need more genius in the world. Geniuses don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Are you like any of your characters?
Julienne is a little like me in that she yearns to travel, plays clarinet (although she is much better than I), and is a bit self conscious. She is training people on the hotel software in this book, and I used to be an adult trainer.

With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?
JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Sherry Thomas, Gayle Lynds, and Victoria Thompson.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
I write thrillers under a pen name (C.G. Abbot), and I had to write a violent scene. The villain is a seriously evil man, and I needed to show how brutal he was to emphasize the danger to the heroine. I had a very hard time writing that scene.

Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?
I love libraries. In my city we have a great new library built just a few years ago with a computer lab for classes to support the community and a maker space with classes for all kinds of crafts and shop activities.  
But I am starting to compile a list of historic libraries throughout the world that I would love to visit such as the Library National Assembly Paris. 

You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be?
It’s hard to narrow down to just one. Here are four: Phyrne Fisher from the Miss Fischer Mysteries, Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie (34th in line for the throne of England) of the Her Royal Spyness mysteries, Charlotte Holmes of the Lady Sherlock series, or Maggie Hope of the Maggie Hope Mystery series.

What would your dream office look like?

There is an office building in town that I’ve always thought would be amazing to have an office there.  Here are a few of the things I love about it: a marble entryway with 20’ ceilings; large, private executive suites (office sizes average 19’X 19’); fireplaces with mahogany wood & marble surrounds in all executive suites; furnished with executive desk with glass top, custom bookcases and credenza; fireplace with Italian marble and mahogany wood surrounds; wall sconces above fireplace; elegant wall hangings including paintings, artwork & mirrors; offices are surrounded by lush woodland and breathtaking views of mountain scenery, and acres of Ponderosa pine trees surround the property.

You can see why I write about luxury resorts!  My mother always did say I had Champagne taste on a beer budget.

What are you working on now?
I am plotting a brand new cozy series. This will be a cozy paranormal mystery series with a self-help reading newbie vampire. First Bite is the title for the first in the Accidental Vampire PI mysteries. I’m also slowly laying the groundwork for the next Resort to Murder book, Stoned. Then there is the next Elizabeth Grant thriller I’m also compiling research for. I stay busy. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration, and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units. She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her spirited companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books at the dinner table.

Connect with Avery:
Website  |  Blog  |   Facebook  |  Goodreads
 

Buy the book:

Amazon  |   Barnes & Noble 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: KEVIN DOYLE


ABOUT THE BOOK

Released from prison for one murder, only to be arrested for a second, Sheila Hampton has no one to turn to save Sam Quinton, local private eye, who sets out to prove her innocence and uncover the knot of corruption that entangled its victim for over two decades.



Book Details:

Title: Heel Turn

Author: Kevin R. Doyle

Genre: mystery (private eye)

Series: Sam Quinton, book 2
Publisher: Camel Press (March 9, 2021)

Print length: 202 pages






TWENTY QUESTIONS/ONE WORD INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN DOYLE

1.    Where is your cell phone?  Nowhere.

2.    Your hair? Vanished.

3.    Your workplace? Home.

4.    Your other half? Non-existent.

5.    What makes you happy? Music.

6.    What makes you crazy? Students.

7.    Your favorite food? Pizza.

8.    Your favorite beverage? Dr Pepper (does that count as one word).

9.    Fear? Poverty.

10.    Favorite shoes? Rockports.

11.    Favorite way to relax? Swimming.

12.    Your mood? Sporadic.

13.    Your home away from home? Beach.

14.    Where were you last night? Home.

15.    Something that you aren't? Organized.

16.    Something from your bucket list? Scuba.

17.    Wish list item? Retirement.

18.    Where did you grow up? Kansas.

19.    Last thing you did? Grade.

20.    What are wearing now? Shorts.





OTHER BOOKS BY KEVIN DOYLE

Squatter's Rights


The Group


When You Have to Go There


And the Devil Walks Away


The Litter




ABOUT THE AUTHOR


A high-school teacher, former college instructor and fiction writer, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of three crime thrillers, The Group, When You Have to Go There, And the Devil Walks Away, published by MuseItUp Publications, and one horror novel, The Litter, published by Night to Dawn Magazine and Books. Last year saw the release of the first book in his Sam Quinton mystery series, Squatter’s Rights, by Camel Press. Doyle teaches English and speech at a high school in central Missouri.

Connect with Kevin:
Website Facebook  |  Goodreads  

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble

 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

FEATURED AUTHORS: CENDRINE MARROUAT & DAVID ELLIS


 

ABOUT THE BOOK


The medium of limitless possibilities that is photography has been with us for almost 200 years.

Despite its great advancements, its early days still influence and dazzle a majority of professional photographers and artists. Such is the case of Cendrine Marrouat, Hadiya Ali, and David Ellis, three members of the PoArtMo Collective.

The result? Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography. This unique collection of artistic styles brings together different innovative concepts of both gripping writing and stunning visual imagery.

In the first part of the book, photographer and painter Ali introduces us to two of her favorite photographers by reimagining and recreating images in the nature of her photographic idols — Irving Penn and Karl Blossfeldt.

In the second part, photographer, poet, and author Marrouat shares a selection of her reminigrams, a digital style that she personally created to honor and pay homage to the early days of photography.

Author and poet Ellis rounds things off with a series of pareiku poems (the poetry form he co-created with Marrouat), offering fresh outlooks for his sincere, heartfelt adoration of photography of the past.

A fascinating and compelling book, Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography will leave you with a deep sense of appreciation and a greater understanding of photography.

PoArtMo Collective is a gathering of inspirational artists, writers, and photographers that combine their talents to produce positive, mixed media projects that stimulate the minds of the people who delve into them.





INTERVIEW WITH CENDRINE MARROUAT AND DAVID ELLIS




1. What is your book, Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography, about, and why did you decide to publish it?


Cendrine Marrouat: Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography is PoArtMo Collective’s new book. As the title indicates, this co-authored project (authors: Hadiya Ali, David Ellis and Cendrine Marrouat) pays homage to old photography, which has greatly influenced us as artists.

The book is divided into three parts. In part 1, Hadiya has “recreated” the timeless photographic styles of Irving Penn and Karl Blossfeldt. Part 2 features some of my reminigrams, a type of digital image that I created years ago. Finally, in part 3, David shares a series of pareiku poems, our own visual poetry form. Each piece is inspired by archival images.

The beginnings of photography were mostly marked with the documentation of the minutiae of everyday life. Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography looks at that triviality with a refreshed and positive outlook. That’s what makes our project unique and why we wanted to share it with the world.


2. What type of reader do you hope to appeal to with Seizing the Bygone Light: A Tribute to Early Photography?

David Ellis: We hope to capture the attention of a wide variety of readers. The ultimate goal for us when we created this project was to have an amalgamation of artistic influences, along with a blending of visual and written material. You get to appreciate the skills of the photographers of the past and we try to frame that with homage, inspiration and poetic nuance that celebrates the uniqueness of all that is around us.

These frozen-in-time capsules are magnificent in their stature, I sincerely hope that any reader will take the time to have a detailed look and find themselves bathed in magical nostalgia. Perhaps they will be motivated to take pictures in a similar fashion or write poetry themselves and that would be a really wonderful outcome for the book!


3. Tell us about PoArtMo Collective.

Cendrine Marrouat: I co-founded PoArtMo Collective in 2019 with photographer Isabel Nolasco, who left last year.

PoArtMo Collective currently has four members: Hadiya Ali (photography and paintings), David Ellis (poetry), Azelle Elric (drawings), and myself (photography, poetry and digital art).

Despite our diverse backgrounds, we believe that good art is all about memorable storytelling. Our goal is to create and release inspirational, positive and uplifting art and artistic projects, including ebooks.


4. In 2019 you founded Auroras & Blossoms. What is its purpose?


David Ellis: The purpose of Auroras & Blossoms is to provide a platform for positive, inspirational art across a variety of mediums. We are encouraged to share the wonderful gifts that people have submitted to us with people who are keen to be uplifted constantly by the art that they read, write and create. It is through our magazines, anthologies, guides, journals, poetry forms, marketing books, artistic movements, and support of the artistic community that we genuinely hope to bring joy and happiness to people when they need it the most.

Auroras & Blossoms is about everyone, about giving people a chance to express themselves and ultimately about making the world a better place through our art and our utmost respect for it.  

5. How did Auroras & Blossoms come about?

Cendrine Marrouat: In early 2019, David and I were discussing the frustrating process of submitting to magazines and journals. We were getting tired of the way many publications heavily factored an artist's credentials and publishing credits into their selective processes. Further, positivity in the arts was not encouraged enough.

We wanted to change the status quo, so we decided to create a platform that would promote positive, uplifting and inspirational written and visual art; and give artists (ages 13 and over) of all levels a place where they could showcase their work and build their publishing credits.

Auroras & Blossoms officially launched in October 2019 and has grown by leaps and bounds since then. We run a magazine, regular submission calls for anthologies, a monthly show, an artistic movement (PoArtMo), PoArtMo Collective, and a series of guides for authors and artists. We have also created several poetry forms. Also, we pay ongoing royalties to artists whose work has been selected to appear in our magazine and anthologies.


6. What is Auroras & Blossoms looking for in submissions?

David Ellis: We are looking for any material that is positive, uplifting in nature and leaves the reader in a better place than when they first started admiring the art.

Our submission guidelines are extremely detailed and specific, so you will be able to find all of the different art types that we accept in our general submission FAQ.
 
Our anthologies sometimes have specific themes when it comes to submissions, but we will accept any regular submissions that take us on a journey (it can be sad or nostalgic) that winds up giving us a positive overall message.

Finally, I can definitely tell you what we don’t want! We are a family-friendly platform, and do not want any swear words or dirty words. We also do not want any erotica or anything to do with politics.


7. What is included in your Auroras & Blossoms Creative Literary Journal?

David Ellis: In our Auroras & Blossoms Creative Literary Journal, we accept poetry all the time, but we are giving priority to six-word stories, short stories, flash fiction, essays, drawings, paintings, and photography, which we would like to see more of in the future.


8. What is included in your guides and workbooks?

David Ellis: In our guides and workbooks, you can find a myriad of ways to market yourself as an artist, plenty of writing/art prompts to stimulate your creative juices, social media tips and how to improve your own efforts in your given craft too!


9. How did the two of you meet?

Cendrine Marrouat: We met online in the mid-2010s. At the time, I was looking for blogs to promote one of my books. David’s warm and (very) professional response impressed me.

After he had interviewed me for his blog, we stayed in touch and developed a friendship. David has great business ethics and acumen. He is also the best business partner I have ever worked with.

 
10. What’s next for you as a team?

David Ellis: So many things! We would love to recruit more members into our PoArtMo Collective and create artistic projects with them where they can earn royalties and be proud to be associated with fellow artists.

Cendrine & I are constantly looking at new genres for us to be able to release books into. We are both still extremely passionate about our writing and poetry but we want to continue putting our positive, inspirational philosophy out into the art/writing communities in as many different ways that we possibly can!


11. Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you, your site, or your book?

Cendrine Marrouat: David and I have more than three decades of combined experience as authors, writers, artists, and marketers. Our goal has always been to educate and inspire people, as well as encourage artists to create meaningful work.

We believe that Auroras & Blossoms and PoArtMo Collective offer much needed alternatives to many of the online platforms focusing on the “15-minute fame” motto. And we are confident that you will agree.



ABOUT THE AUTHORS


Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born Canadian photographer, poet, and the multi-genre author of more than 30 books. In 2019, she co-founded the PoArtMo Collective with Isabel Nolasco, and Auroras & Blossoms with David Ellis. A year later, Ellis and she launched PoArtMo (Positive Art Month and Positive Art Moves) and created the Kindku / Pareiku, two forms of poetry. Cendrine is also the creator of another poetry form (the Sixku) and a type of digital image (the Reminigram).

Cendrine writes both in French and English and has worked in many different fields in her 17-year career, including translation, language instruction, journalism, art reviews, and social media.


David Ellis lives in Tunbridge Wells, Kent in the UK. He is an award-winning poet, author of poetry, marketing
workbooks/journals, humourous fiction and music lyrics. He is also a co-author and co-founder of Auroras & Blossoms, and the co-creator of PoArtMo (Positive Art Month and Positive Art Moves) and the Kindku / Pareiku.
David’s debut poetry collection (Life, Sex & Death) won an International Award in the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards 2016 for Inspirational Poetry Books.

David is extremely fond of tea, classic and contemporary poetry, cats, and dogs but not snakes. Indiana Jones is his spirit animal.


Hadiya Ali is a 19-year-old Pakistan-born artist who now lives in Oman. A keen observer of people, she noticed at a very young age how talented market workers were at what they did – but that they seemed unaware of their own talent. So she decided to capture their stories with her camera. Before she knew it, her project had attracted attention and she had been booked for her first professional photoshoots, suddenly realizing that she, too, had been unaware of her own talent all this time.

Hadiya works on projects that capture unique stories and themes. Some of her photography is featured in The Auroras & Blossoms PoArtMo Anthology: 2020 Edition.


Connect with the authors:
Website   |  Blog  |   Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  YouTube   |  Goodreads

*Buy the book:
Books2Read

*Book to be released mid-March

TRAILER



Wednesday, March 3, 2021

FEATURED AUTHOR: EDWARD STANTON


ABOUT THE BOOK

A wayward descendant of Mexico’s national hero, a femme fatale who recites poems in cantinas, a Tunisian prostitute in Barcelona, a Spanish psychiatrist who fights brave bulls, the wise owner of the world’s oldest restaurant. They are just a handful of the characters portrayed in VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain, the first memoir to capture Mexico and Spain from the perspective of an American and the knowledge of an insider. VIDAS explores subjects as diverse as the art of blasphemy, the cult of the Virgin Mary, superstition and witchcraft, the bordellos of Mexico, Spain’s paradise of drink and food, the bullfight and the running of bulls in Pamplona, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Every chapter of this vibrant travel memoir depicts a different person or place, which combined create a cross-section of the most populous Spanish-speaking countries in the New and Old World. VIDAS is a passage from childhood to adolescence and maturity, a tribute to nature and the open road, an exaltation of love, food and wine, a journey from the tender, mortal flesh to the luminous world of the spirit.

Filled with photographs, this engaging and unique memoir provides a sensory travel experience many of us are craving today. VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain offers the opportunity to learn about faraway lands and striking events while never leaving home. This timely "armchair travel" memoir is for anyone searching for an escape during our troubled time.


Book Details:
Title: VIDAS: Deep in Mexico and Spain
Author: Edward Stanton
Genre: nonfiction, travel, memoir, culture
Publisher: Waterside Publications (March 1st, 2021)
Print length: 178 pages






LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT INTERVIEW WITH EDWARD STANTON


A few of your favorite things: books and bonsai trees. These may seem like very different things, but of course paper is made from wood. Not the wood from my bonsais, however.
Things you need to throw out: books I’ll never read again.

Things you need in order to write:
I’m a graphomaniac, so I need things to stop me from writing.
Things that hamper your writing: watering, fertilizing, pinching, pruning, and repotting bonsai trees.

Things you love about writing: the solitude.
Things you hate about writing: the loneliness.
 
Easiest thing about being a writer: is there anything easy?
Hardest thing about being a writer: knowing when to stop.

Things you love about where you live: clean air and old trees.
Things that make you want to move: Republicans.

Things you never want to run out of: books, wine, and trees.
Things you wish you’d never bought: anything that runs on gasoline.
 
Favorite foods: Chiles en nogada and the dozens of moles from Puebla, Mexico.
Things that make you want to throw up: all fast food.
 
Favorite music: Corridos and rancheras from Mexico, cante jondo from Spain.
Music that makes your ears bleed: Garth Brooks spoiling an otherwise musically perfect Inauguration.
 
Favorite beverage: the wines of La Rioja and Ribera del Duero, Spain.
Something that gives you a pickle face: all fast food.
 
Favorite smell: Hawthorn blossoms in May, with memories of Marcel Proust.
Something that makes you hold your nose: Trumpty-Dumpty and the suckers who actually believe him.
 
Something you’re really good at: editing someone else’s work.
Something you’re really bad at: editing my own work.

Something you wish you could do: surf the giant waves at Nazaré, Portugal.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: nothing.
 
Something you like to do: spend time with Melissa Ann.
Something you wish you’d never done: trying and failing to install apps on my computer.

Last best thing you ate: a perfect dal with a garlic nan.
Last thing you regret eating: fast food (about 30 years ago).

Things you’d walk a mile for: to see an ancient tree.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: people who actually believe Trumpty-Dumpty.
 
Things you always put in your books: tricksters.
Things you never put in your books: Republicans.

Things to say to an author: I read your last book twice.
Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: Cherchez la femme.

Favorite places you’ve been: Nayarit, Mexico; Moutrás, Galicia, Spain.
Places you never want to go to again: I’d go anywhere again in the right company.

Favorite things to do: write, care for bonsai, spend time with Melissa Ann.
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: creating a new password.

Things that make you happy: ancient trees, good wine & company.
Things that drive you crazy: I’ve already mentioned those.

Proudest moment: my parents seeing me receive an award at their alma mater.
Most embarrassing moment: after a certain age nothing should embarrass you.

Biggest lie you’ve ever told: I’ve never told a lie.
A lie you wish you’d told: “I’m a conscientious objector” before being sworn into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

Best thing you’ve ever done: marry Melissa Ann.
Biggest mistake: an earlier marriage.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: surf waves that were too big.
Something you chickened out from doing: surfed even bigger waves.






OTHER BOOKS BY EDWARD STANTON

Wide as the Wind

Culture and Customs of Spain (Cultures and Customs of the World) 

Hemingway and Spain: A Pursuit 


The Tragic Myth: Lorca and Cante Jondo (Studies in Romance Languages)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in Colorado and raised in California, Edward Stanton has lived in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Spain. He’s the author of twelve books, some of them translated and published in Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese. Road of Stars to Santiago, the story of his 500-mile walk on the ancient pilgrimage route to Compostela, was called one of the best books on the subject by the New York Times; Stanton’s environmental novel Wide as the Wind, the first to treat the tragic history of Easter Island, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Young Adult Fiction and three other international prizes. While teaching at colleges and universities in the Americas and Europe, he’s also published short stories, poems, translations and essays. The Fulbright Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Spanish Ministry of Culture have supported his work with grants and fellowships. Recently his students and colleagues published This Spanish Thing: Essays in Honor of Edward F. Stanton.

Connect with Edward:
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