A Lover of Books

Book Launch – ‘Round and Round’ by Terry Tyler

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Today sees the publication of ‘Round and Round’ by Terry Tyler, a romantic/paranormal story.  Her ninth published work, this is a 36K word novella, i.e., between a third and half as long as a full length novel.

 

Four Valentine cards – from four different men!

Sophie Heron’s fortieth birthday is looming, and she is fed up with her job, her relationship, her whole life – not to mention her boyfriend’s new ‘hobby’, in which she definitely doesn’t want to get involved…

Back in 1998 she had the choice of four men, and now she can’t help wondering how her life might have turned out if she’d chosen differently.

The person to whom Sophie had always been closest was her beloved Auntie Flick, her second mother, friend and advisor.  Before her death in 2001, Flick said, “when I’m up there having a cuppa with St Peter, I’ll have a word with him about making me your guardian angel, shall I?”

As Sophie’s fortieth birthday draws near, she visits her aunt’s special place: a tree by a river, hidden from the world.  Here she calls on Auntie Flick to show her the way forward – and help her look back into the past so she can see what might have been….

 

‘Round and Round’ is available on Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Round-Terry-Tyler-ebook/dp/B00M17PHGW/ref=sr_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1406099356&sr=1-11&keywords=terry+tyler

 

‘Hearts of Green’ by John Marsh

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I was kindly sent a copy of ‘Hearts of Green’ by Percy Publishing to read and review.  John Marsh served 22 years in the Royal Corps of Signals and wrote this book when he left the Army.

Chris Carter has seen the posters and watched the TV ads.  It all sounds so good, so very tempting.  If he joins the British Army he’ll be able to live his life to the full and he’ll be the best.  Chris signs up and goes happily on his way leaving behind the traumas of a broken home.  He can’t wait to meet his new family.

After nearly a year’s worth of training Chris discovers much to his shock and dismay that army life is nothing like he expected it to be.  He is given a posting with 4ADSR in Germany.  A new life?  More like hell!

A compact book, I was able to fit it easily into my handbag.  Although ‘Hearts of Green’ didn’t take me overly long to read, I also had other books on the go and so took my time with it.  It was easy to go back to.

I found the sex and porn in ‘Hearts of Green’ to be a bit too graphic at times, but realise that it is a male orientated story.

I felt really sorry for Chris.  He was treated in an absolutely appalling manner.  That said, I couldn’t help feeling that at times he didn’t exactly do himself any favours but still he didn’t deserve to be treated the way he was.

‘Hearts of Green’ is fast paced, gripping and exciting.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

‘Hearts of Green’ is up for The People’s Book Prize.  You can vote for it here:-

http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1121

Interview with Linda Bolton

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Linda Bolton writes contemporary romance.  She has just recently published her second book and I was interested in learning more about it.

 

What genre of book do you write?

Contemporary Romance mostly. I am dabbling in memoirs, a true life murder story, and some erotica.

Can you tell me a bit about your second book which was released on the 25th June.

In my first book, TAKE 2, you meet a character called Tristen Bane. My second book, Incantation, is Tristen’s story. He’s a magician in Las Vegas and he meets Christina, a reporter, that steals his heart. She’s worried her attraction to him is only a hypnotic spell and she fights him every step of the way.

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How long did it take you to write?

It took about 11 months to complete. I don’t write full time so sometimes its hard to pin down a moment to write.

Where did you get your ideas from?

All around me. Since my stories are contemporary, everyone becomes an idea. Movie stars, entertainers, artists, my friends and co-workers…..everyone has a story.

Did you have to do much research?

Tristen Bane is framed for a famous magician so I spent hours watching dvd’s of him performing, learning his personality. I, also, research the locations quite a bit. Usually, I’ve been to a few locations in my books but I don’t want the reader to be able to tell which ones are all research and which I have actually been to. The research, to me, is the best part!

Can we expect more books from you?

Oh, yes. You meet an artist in Incantation, Ethan Hawk – he’s my third book. My goal is to have it out before Christmas or right after. I’m also working on a true life murder story. I hope to have that out in a year.

Describe a day in your life.

Well, I work 8-5 at an office, doing customer service. When I’m off, I try to work out, maybe write a bit and I might catch a movie.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love Marvel movies, any kind of movies actually, I love to read all kinds of books, I love to cook and I spend a lot of time with my granddaughter.

 

Links

‘Incantation’ is available to buy on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Incantation-Linda-Bolton-ebook/dp/B00L8A3DF0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403566223&sr=8-1&keywords=incantation+by+linda+bolton

Linda Bolton’s blog – www.lindabolton.blogspot.com

Facebook Pages – http://www.facebook.com/lindaboltonauthor and http://www.facebook.com/linda.bowersbolton

Twiiter – www.twitter.com/!#/lindalou42

Interview with G. Mitchell Baker

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G. Mitchell Baker lives in the Deep South, but also enjoys living out west, from the southwest United States to western Canada. Having practiced law for more than twenty years, Baker enjoys researching and writing projects that draw him into the many genres, to include contemporary fiction, science fiction, and paranormal works.

Mitch was keen to take part in an interview for my blog.

 

Mitch, what types of books do you tend to write? 

Traditionally published in genre of Science Fiction (ANNT: Axiom, 2011); Paranormal/Greek Mythological (Lethal Believers: The Innocents, 2012)(Lethal Believers: DVM, 2013); Contemporary Adult Fiction (The Involvement of Emerson, 2013); and, Contemporary Young Adult Fiction (Kerby ‘Webb’ Webster & Kinny the Rodeo Hound, 2012) and (Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies, 2014), I tend to write in these genres.

 

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Tell me a bit about your latest novel.

Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies’ was released from Master Koda Select Publishing on July 1, 2014. This release in Kindle and paperback is about skunks, tornadoes, soccer, Frisbees, and baseball. All the town’s championship teams have to figure out, is how to compete hard for a meaningful home field advantage. What more could young readers aged 10-14 ask for…? Check it out Jhttp://t.co/1Yh4AIKbZM

My last novel released in 2013 was ‘Lethal Believers: DVM’, published by Master Koda Select Publishing. This novel has attracted Five-Star reviews to include ‘Lethal Believers … a real brain teasing thriller to give Stephen King a run!’ http://tinyurl.com/cseokmn

 

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Where do you get your ideas from?

I appreciate this question. The process of ideas or inspiration is something I enjoy working with on many levels. Often interviewed and having contributed articles to an e-magazine called ‘Inspiration Unlimited’ (Bangalore, India), I pursue this question when asked many different kinds of questions and when considering assignments. In my latest book, ‘Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies’, I made an effort to describe some of the back-story leading to the ideas or inspiration for this story, and so the reader may gather some insight prior to reading through the first page. The ‘Acknowledgement’ published in the formatter reads as follows:

 

Acknowledgement

I played a lot of baseball when I was a kid. My appreciation begins with the Baseball Moms (and Dads) who attended the many games on the way to our teams competing in national tournaments.

I played on championship teams that produced National Hockey League stars (Lindy Ruff, David Babich), one Olympian (Terrence Danyluck) and we played against the likes of Wayne Babich (NHL hockey), and Tim Chen (World Champion Baseball). Tim actually played/pitched against me along the way and helped me become a decent hitter. In my estimation, there were at least three other ball players who could have played Major League Baseball. It remains my honor to have competed with such talented athletes. They continue to inspire through their proven competitive drive and sportsmanship.

It was on a sunny Saturday in San Diego that Tim (pitcher for the Taiwan National Baseball Team and design engineer for the World Champion Nissan GTP racing team), Jeff (front Office of the San Diego Padres), and I broke away to play some pick-up baseball…

Oh, and there was Kinny (1996-2012) as well. My Border Collie played hard, chased and shagged baseballs usually hit out into the middle of nowhere. She played with all her heart and for as much, my remembrance is fond.

Tim, Jeff, and I expected to play some pick-up and went to our usual park soon to look on as a little league baseball team squared off with a girls’ soccer team. They haggled over whose field it was to practice on that morning. The title ‘Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies’ immediately came to mind, and the story was soon written as a feature length screenplay.

Years later, I must thank Jane Carroll, Author ‘On Becoming Bertha’ (Master Koda Select Publishing, 2014) for helping me adapt this young adult story from screenplay to middle-grade novel. I have to admit, Jane helped me deal with a lot of called strikes and yellow cards an author writing about baseball, and soccer and tornadoes in the same book can experience along the way. There is also Kim Mutch-Emerson, Author ‘Digitus 232’ (Master Koda Select Publishing, 2013) to thank. There are no others, who I have learned more from when it comes to writing young adult fiction.

A major purpose, when writing this story was to encourage kids to continue to play, and be decent to others, despite all the distractions that can happen along the way. Through this fun loving tale about kids and towns overcoming tragedy, I hope kids learn there is more to ‘winning’ than simply posting ‘W’s’ in the ‘Win Column’. I am thankful for all who have put up with me through the years, and hope this story brings fond memories back to those who have already made theirs, and, for those who are about to make their own. May you always be, ‘Where you are supposed to be’, and ‘Doing what you are supposed to be doing.’

Cheers,

GMB

May 26, 2014

 

I provide this example of where some of the ‘ideas’ for ‘Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies’ came from, to extend to those interested some insight into my process for considering, writing and ultimately working to publish stories/novels that may be original and interesting. Moreover, as you may see … If there is some value, some good lessoning to pass along, I seem inspired by that opportunity as well.

 

Where do you write?

I used to write in dedicated space (i.e., writer’s cave), but more and more I like writing in open, diverse settings that have the potential to inspire. By inspiration, I mean an environment that has people with character and attribute coming and going. It can also be the setting itself that naturally inspires. A fresh environment works for me when writing original material, however, the ‘Cave’ is always open when a less stimulating environment is required for editing…

 

What are you working on at the moment?

Now I am working on the third novel in the Paranormal/Greek Mythological ‘Lethal Believers’ series entitled ‘Cave Ravens’. In this story Danta, Lamia and the Chorus of Peregrine investigate and confront an unexpected version of Mantid Tranquil in unexpected places.

Master Koda Select Publishing acquired the publishing rights to the ‘Kerby’ Young Adult series of novels (Aged 12-16). They will re-issue the ‘Rodeo Hound’ novel when I feel it is ready. I am thinking it will be ‘ready’ when the second novel, ‘Tevus Cup’ novel will be released either late 2014 or early 2015.

The ‘Kerby’ series begins with a dumb-luck, hard-nosed loner cowman who takes up his orphaned, ultra urban grandson. Together get through trials and tribulation enough to keep one another going and a growing in all the right directions. Eventually, the grandson starts meeting friends and competing in the kind of extreme sports Kerby could never have imagined.

 

Describe a day in your life.

This question reminds me of a Cheech & Chong comedy routine from years ago … I got up. I went to school. I went to class. I sat down. (Ahem, it gets wild from there on …)

For me, I have to wake up prepared to be flexible. I can be writing, promoting, working with editors, art teams … working on contracts … The travel at times. This notion of getting a book published, marketed and selling can be a complicated, unpredictable endeavor at times. Then there is the life that goes on around this rather egocentric endeavor of being an author/novelist. Thank goodness for the opportunity to get out to a jazz club once in a while … maybe a folk festival or two … and I love urban hiking and street festivals when in season. I guess I can be a regular guest on any edition of ‘Where’s Waldo…’ when I get going. Sometimes it is very nice to extract myself from the computer, so these are some of the things I would consider doing in the course of my day.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time is rare if I factor out writing and promoting my work. When I do get away from the computer, I enjoy cycling (Fat Tire). I love the exercise … to explore urban settings and getting into the backcountry once in a while … The other day I was (what I call) ‘Toodling’. Others may call it puttering or something like that … Riding nice and easy … Cruising … I enjoyed it a lot … Cycling is always something I’ve enjoyed and to finds ways to ride given the feeling for the day can be very nice.

 

You have to live on a desert island for a week and you are only allowed to take three items with you. What would they be?

I think I answered this question once with, “I sez to myself self-I-sez … I’ll take with me a good dose of ‘Me, Myself, and I…’

As I think on this question for this interview, I would add … “And then I would begin to look for whatever else would be kind enough to float on by…” *wink wink*

Sounds like island living to me … At least for a week or so…

 

Links

Soccer Tommies Baseball Mommies Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/SoccerTommiesBaseballMommies

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/GMitchellBakerAuthor

Twitter – @G_MitchellBaker

Website – http://www.gmitchellbakerauthor.com/index.html

Author (Having fun on Pinterest) – http://www.pinterest.com/1gmbdelta505/

 

Amazon Links for books in print/live …

Lethal Believers: The Innocents (Kindle) – http://www.amazon.com/Lethal-Believers-The-Innocents-ebook/dp/B00BXRUU4K/ref=sr_1_1_bnp_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363972312&sr=1-1&keywords=%27G.+Mitchell+Baker%27

Lethal Believers: DVM (Kindle) –  http://www.amazon.com/Lethal-Believers-G-M-Baker-ebook/dp/B00DTJ9NT8/ref=pd_sim_b_6?ie=UTF8&refRID=1M30PZPBWCMTCGNJ9CDK

The Involvement of Emerson (Paperback Out of Print) (Kindle Available) – http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Emerson%20INvolvement

Interview with Maggie James

 

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Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol, a city featured in her first three novels.  She writes psychological suspense novels.  Maggie kindly took the time to answer my questions.

 

Tell me a bit about your latest book.

I’m writing my fourth novel at present, which examines Stockholm Syndrome. For those who don’t know, victims become emotionally dependent on their abusers in this fascinating psychological condition. Stockholm Syndrome is best known for occurring in hostage situations, but it can also explain domestic abuse and other such circumstances. The novel is provisionally entitled ‘Training Room’ and focuses on an abduction of a young woman. My antagonist, Dominic Perdue, is not someone to mess with, although he’s far less of a tortured soul than Adam Campbell from my novel ‘Guilty Innocence’.

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Where do you get your ideas from?

They can come from anywhere. Conversations I’ve had, news items, or even courses I’ve done – the basic premise for ‘Sister Psychopath’ arose from a writing workshop I took. Anything that gets me thinking about the psychology behind people’s actions will grab my attention. Although I don’t write crime fiction as such, crime tends to feature in my books because it often engenders strong emotions. Once I get an idea, I file it away on a list, ready for future use. Forthcoming themes? I’ve long had it in mind to write a novel centred on near-death experiences, given my own interest in the subject.

Do you have to do a lot of research?

For some areas, yes, for others, no. For example, so far all my novels are set in Bristol, my home city. That makes life easier because I know the area so well; I don’t have to do lots of research, leaving me free to concentrate on the plot and characters. For other research topics – yes. With ‘Guilty Innocence’, I spent ages investigating self-harm; for ‘Sister, Psychopath’ it was traumatic injury. ‘His Kidnapper’s Shoes’ meant I delved into eye colour and genetics.

How do you feel after each book has been published?

I experience an immense rush of satisfaction once it’s done, but getting there is hard! I tend to agonise over whether the book is ready, does it need another round of editing – procrastination, big time! Once the hard part is over, though, and I swing into marketing mode, I get a tremendous buzz.

When is your next book due out?

I’ll finish the first draft by mid-June, with publication scheduled for later on this year, probably August or September. For me, the editing part is always the longest, although I love it. However much fun I’m having, it still takes ages to get from the first draft to the final product, though. I won’t publish a book until I’m sure I’ve polished it as much as I can. I’ll also write my fifth novel, or the bulk of it, before the end of 2015. For that one, I’m doing something a little wacky, by offering readers the chance to become one of my characters. Details are on my website!

What advice do you have for anyone wishing to write their first book?

It’s rather like the well-worn analogy of eating an elephant – one bite at a time. To those who’ve not yet done it, the idea of writing a novel can seem overwhelming. A hundred thousand words, or even more? No way! It’s less hard than you imagine, though. Remember the elephant. Keep writing, day after day, and before long, you’ll have the first draft done. Fifteen hundred or so words a day is very achievable, meaning you’ll be finished in a little over two months for an average length offering. Also, plan your novel; make notes for the structure, plot, characters, everything. You’ll find it keeps the dreaded writer’s block at bay like nothing else! Finally, believe in yourself. You’ll always get doubters, negative Nellies who’ll tell you you’re chasing rainbows by wanting to write a book. Ignore them and do it anyway. Who are they to crush your dreams?

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’m a confirmed travel-holic and although I’ve not been abroad for a while, I’m hatching plans as to how and when that will change. For me, nothing, apart from writing, holds the same appeal as travel. These two loves are my main passions in life, closely followed by animals and anything culinary. I’m one of those people who go all gooey over anything with four legs, and as for food, I can’t walk past a restaurant without checking the menu. Healthy living has been a priority for the last two decades; I do several yoga classes a week along with a couple of gym sessions. What else? Well, like most writers, I read voraciously, and my love of all things fictional extends to regular cinema visits. I also love driving, and have a couple of long road trips planned.

Which types of books do you like to read?

Most things really; it might be easier to list what I don’t read! I’m not into romances or chick lit, but apart from that, any other genre is fair game. Lately, I’ve been reading way too much crime fiction – the psychological component fascinates me – so I’m doing my best to rectify my addiction to Lee Child novels. To my shame, there’s a plethora of wonderful classics, both old and modern, which I’ve yet to enjoy, which is odd because at one time I read a lot of classic novels. I also devour a fair bit of non-fiction. I’ve found an interest in all matters spiritual has come to the fore recently – a surprise to my former atheistic self – so I’ve been checking out books in that area, with frequent side trips into philosophy.

 

Links

Website and blog: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com

Facebook: http://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Maggie-James-Fiction/191644207648375

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maggie-james/64/381/727

Google+ : https://plus.google.com/101511690389687930651

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/maggiejamesfict/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Maggie-James/e/B00BS9LVMI

Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/mjamesfiction

‘The Tea Chest’ by Josephine Moon

The Tea Chest

‘The Tea Chest’ is Josephine Moon’s debut novel.  It was published by Allen & Unwin on the 3rd July 2014.  I was lucky enough to be sent a copy to review.  This was a fantastic opportunity for me as I love discovering new authors.

Kate Fullerton is a talented tea designer known for her creativity.  Now the co-owner of The Tea Chest, she finds herself flying all the way from Brisbane to London to save the business she loves from the woman who wants to shut it down.  Kate knows she could be risking her young family’s future.

Leila Morton has just lost her job and doesn’t know what to do, whilst Elizabeth Clancy gets a very nasty shock.  Both women need a fresh start.

When the three women’s paths unexpectedly cross, they throw themselves into realising Kate’s vision for the London branch of The Tea Chest.  However, it’s as if each time success is within their grasp something or other happens and increasing tensions damage their trust in each other.

With the looming possibility that The Tea Chest could fail, Kate, Leila and Elizabeth must decide what is important to each of them.  Are they willing to walk away or can they learn to believe in themselves?

The cover of ‘The Tea Chest’ really caught my eye with its beautiful design.  It makes you want to delve into the book straightaway.  I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.  The descriptions of the shop were wonderful and the various tea blends were just amazing, almost orgasmic.  I also enjoyed reading about each character and learning about their lives.  Kate and Elizabeth were my favourites.

If I hadn’t of known that this was a debut novel I would never have guessed it.  Josephine Moon writes so confidently.  There are flashbacks throughout the story which I thought worked well.

A magical read, I live in hope of coming across a place just like The Tea Chest.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

Interview with Deborah Bogen

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Deborah Bogen is a poet and a novelist. Her poetry books, Landscape with Silos; Let Me Open You a Swan; and Living by the Children’s Cemetery are all prize winners. Her new book THE WITCH OF LEPER COVE is YA novel set in 13th Century England.

Bogen grew up in Montana and North Dakota. At 15 she moved to San Francisco where she was exposed to a lively art scene that was engaged with both the personal and the political.

Deborah Bogen expressed an interest in being interviewed for my blog.

 

Can you tell me a bit about your latest book please?

The Witch of Leper Cove, a tale of 13th century England

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When their parents disappear, sixteen-year-old Lily and her younger twin brothers are farmed out to three different households in the small English village of Aldinoch. Grappling with grief, loneliness and even guilt they finally come to terms with their new lives and each one is sure that nothing worse can happen to them.

Lily is apprenticed to Alice, the village healer who cares for both Aldinoch’s sick and the lepers who live downstream. Her hard-won knowledge of herbs and poultices has saved many lives.

But it’s early in the 13th century. Fearing heretics, Pope Honorius has just launched the Inquisition, sending the Dominicans out into Christendom to root out heretics. Even the good and useful are not safe. When Alice is accused of witchcraft and imprisoned in an ancient dungeon, Lily and her brothers are forced into action.

 

Where do you get your ideas from?

I have always loved reading about the Middle Ages, the time when much of western culture had its start. Whether you look at medicine or architecture or government, you will find the roots of much we take for granted today.  This particular book was prompted by two students who asked me to write an adventure tale that would also teach them with this period of history. I hope that’s what Witch does.

My other books have been poetry volumes and those are prompted by my own life, and your life, and the greater world.

 

How long does it take you to write a book?

The time varies. Poetry books take years.  This novel took about 8 months to write and re-write – but I had also been researching the time period for decades.

 

How long have you been writing for?

I started writing late – at age 47. Now I’m 64! So the past 15 years have been dedicated to writing.  But I have been a reader since I was 5 and that teaches you a lot. If you have been reading all your life you have seen a lot of examples of good writing, and less-good writing.  The experience enriches your own writing practice.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

Right now I’m writing the sequel to The Witch of Leper Cove. My characters aged two years in that book so in the new book they are fully functional adults (in the middle ages teenagers did not really exist as an idea. You were a child till you were an adult – which happened between 15 and 18.) One of the main characters, Edric, was training to be a priest in Witch but now he has changed his mind as has taken to find out what he wants to do.

 

Describe a day in your life?

Days are varied when you do not have a full-time day job.  I have periods when I write for long hours each day, but many times I am thinking of new ideas for the book or reading other books I love or doing research.  Some days I do work to promote Witch – and that is real work and like most writers I do not love it.  But I also work out, play music and see my family.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

We have a pretty fine family band in which I sing and play ukulele. I love jazz and most Thursdays my husband and I can be found at CJ’s – a jazz club in Pittsburgh with truly amazing musicians. I do mosaic work, read, garden, bake, and do all the chores you do.

 

If you were only allowed to keep three books which would they be?

Let’s see….since I began as a poet I own hundreds of books of poems. I would not want to be without at least one Robert Bly book, one W.S. Merwin, and I’d have to have Anne Carson’ s The Economy of Loss, and then Kurt Vonnegut is a must have so already I am over your limit.

 

Links

The Witch of Leper Cove

Deborah’s Amazon Author Page

Deborah’s website 

 

All proceeds from Deborah’s books fund medical research for Crohn’s Disease and Lupus.

 

Interview with Marie Lavender

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Marie Lavender has written 19 books so far.  She expressed an interest in participating in an interview for my blog.  Below you can find out all about her latest book.

 

Tell me a bit about your latest book.

My newest release is Upon Your Honor, a Victorian romance that also has quite a bit of suspense in it.  The story covers Chloe Waverly’s journey as she stows aboard a clipper ship in an attempt to flee from the nightmare at home.  A handsome, mysterious gentleman offers to help her, but he doesn’t know the real reasons for why she escaped.  As you can probably guess, her past comes back to haunt her ​in many ways. I’ll leave it there for now, as I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

Where do you get your ideas from?

My ideas can come from anything – out of the blue or I can be inspired by current events, things that are happening to me or to other people I am close to, films or books I read.  Anything small can spur an idea.

Roughly how long does it take you to write each novel?

Well, that really depends on the book.  Some of what I have written is only stories or novellas so I would say not too long at all.  For my longer pieces, my novels, it can take months to years.  Upon Your Return, my first historical romance, which is also book one in the Heiresses in Love trilogy, came to me in 2002.  I finished writing it around 2010 or 2011.  I received a contract for it in 2012 and it was published in February of 2013.  Upon Your Honor, the second book in the series, came to me in 2012, or at least the idea did.  From the time I fully concentrated on writing it to when I was done, it took about a year.  I don’t know how long the third book will take.  I think a lot of it just depends on how much research has to be done and how much time you have to write it.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment, I am finishing up a paranormal romance novella titled Second Nature.  It is about a woman who stumbles into the world of vampires.  Her life drastically changes, and in the process she learns more about herself than she ever imagined.

What advice do you have for anyone wishing to pen their first book?

Read anything you can on writing, on the craft.  Take writing classes.  I definitely encourage that you do workshops or have critique partners to look at your work.  And don’t forget to read books.  As you read them, you’ll start to pick up how the authors write, what styles or elements are used.  You want to read as many books as you can, especially those in the genre you’re planning to write.  This helps familiarize you with how things are usually done, though in some cases you can break the mould if you like.  Most of all, never give up.  Be persistent with your goals.  And try to organize yourself so that you’re always making progress, whether writing, editing or researching.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I read a lot.  Of course, I do a lot of writing.  But, I also love shopping.  I like to cook as well.  Sometimes I make up recipes.  I like to go out and see movies now and then.  My idea of a fun time is to just unwind with my fiancé ​for the evening with a nice meal, a great conversation and a good cuddle later on.

Who are your favourite authors?

I love reading books by Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, Tessa Dare, Emma Wildes, J.R. Ward, P.C. Cast, Kerrelyn Sparks, Chloe Neill and Kris Tualla.  I read other authors as well, but these are the ones I can name off the top of my head.

 

Upon_Your_Honor

Book blurb

Deception is a dangerous path… New York City, August, 1891 – Orphaned after the death of her father, Chloe Waverly stows away on La Voyageur to escape the clutches of her cruel fiancé, Lamonte Beckett. Gabriel Hill, a strange and compelling gentleman, comes upon Chloe and promises to protect her without knowing the true circumstances of why she is running away. During their journey, Gabriel doesn’t bargain on being distracted by her fair beauty or succumbing to her many charms. As their attraction to each other grows, so does the danger and Gabriel suspects things are not as they should be.

Both are determined to get to New Orleans, where she can start a new life. But, once they reach their destination, events spin out of their control and Chloe is captured by the fiancé she escaped. Gabriel is left wondering if he can overlook her betrayal. Soon he finds himself in a race against time, to reach her before Beckett can exact revenge.​

 

Purchase links

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00JTKTODG

http://www.amazon.com/Upon-Your-Honor-Marie-Lavender-ebook/dp/B00JTKTODG/

http://www.amazon.com/Upon-Your-Honor-Marie-Lavender/dp/1625260423/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/upon-your-honor-marie-lavender/1119268362

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/430789

https://www.createspace.com/4762748

http://solsticepublishing.com/upon-your-honor/

 

Author Bio

Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 18 other books. Finalist and Runner-up in the MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.

At the tender age of nine, she began writing stories. She majored in Creative Writing in college because that was all she ever wanted – to be a writer. While there, she published two works in a university publication, and was a copy editor on the staff of an online student journal. After graduating from college, she sought out her dream to publish a book.

Since then, Marie has published nineteen books. She has published books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry.  Lavender just released Magick & Moonlight, a paranormal romance, in March. Upon Your Honor, released in late April, is her second historical romance. Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.webs.com/ for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

 

Author links

Marie Lavender’s Blogs:-

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook Pages:-

https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

https://www.facebook.com/UponYourHonor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/marielavender1

Google Plus – https://plus.google.com/u/0/104926404745289477307/posts

LinkedIn Page – http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a

Goodreads Page – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

Authors Directory – http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender

Amazon Page – http://www.amazon.com/Marie-Lavender/e/B00C10Q94I/

‘The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81′ by J. B. Morrison

Frank Derrick

‘The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81’ was published by Pan Books on 5th June 2014.  I liked the sound of this book and was very kindly sent a copy to read and review.

This is the story of Frank Derrick who lives in the British town of Fullwind-on-Sea with his cat.  Frank has just been run over by a milk float, which leads to a broken arm and fractured foot.  His days normally consist of watching DVDs, buying things he doesn’t really need at his local charity shop and avoiding cold-callers who seem to keep targeting him.  It has been hard enough for Frank to fill the hours of each day as it is, so how is he going to manage the next few weeks ahead.

His daughter who lives in America arranges homecare for him.  Frank is totally against the idea.  But when his front door opens and assistance comes in the form of the lovely Kelly Christmas, Frank has a change of heart.  Kelly is like a breath of fresh air for him.  She reminds him that there is life beyond the four walls of his flat and that people of any age can have adventures.

This was a lovely book to read.  It is a story which I am sure lots of people will be able to relate to.  It takes a good look at both loneliness and friendship.  ‘The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81’ is touching, funny but also very sad at times.  I loved Frank’s wit throughout and how he could keep himself entertained with his impressions and all the ideas he had.

Well done to J. B. Morrison for writing this story.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

Interview with Lorraine Devon Wilke

LDW_author_pic

Lorraine Devon Wilke recently published her debut novel ‘After the Sucker Punch’.  She was interested in being interviewed for my blog.

 

I see you have just published your first novel.  Can you tell me a bit about it please?

The book is titled After the Sucker Punch; it’s contemporary literary fiction about a woman finding her father’s journals on the night of his funeral and discovering he thought she was a failure. What follows is an existential crisis that takes her on a wild ride of introspection, discovery and, ultimately, reinvention and forgiveness. At its heart it’s the journey a daughter takes to understand a father when all that’s left are his inexplicable words.

For a more thorough synopsis, the book jacket blurb follows; you can find After the Sucker Punch at Amazon in both ebook and paperback at this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K2L71V8

 

AfterTheSuckerPunch_cover

Book Jacket Synopsis:

They buried her father at noon, at five she found his journals, and in the time it took to read one-and-a-half pages her world turned upside down… he thought she was a failure.

Every child, no matter what age, wants to know their father loves them, and Tessa Curzio – thirty-six, emerging writer, ex-rocker, lapsed Catholic, defected Scientologist, and fourth in a family of eight complicated people – is no exception. But just when she thought her twitchy life was finally coming together – solid relationship, creative job; a view of the ocean – the one-two punch of her father’s death and posthumous indictment proves an existential knockout.

She tries to “just let it go,” as her sister suggests, but life viewed through the filter of his damning words is suddenly skewed, shaking the foundation of everything from her solid relationship and winning job to the truth of her family, even her sense of self. From there, friendships strain, bad behavior ensues, new men entreat, and family drama spikes, all leading to her little-known aunt, a nun and counselor, who lovingly strong-arms Tessa onto a journey of discovery and reinvention. It’s a trip that’s not always pretty – or particularly wise – but somewhere in all the twists and turns unexpected truths are found.

Author and longtime Huffington Post contributor, Lorraine Devon Wilke, takes an irreverent look at father/daughter relationships through the unique prism of Tessa’s saga and its exploration of family, faith, cults, creativity, new love and old, and the struggle to define oneself against the inexplicable perceptions of a deceased parent. Told with both sass and sensibility, it’s a story wrapped in contemporary culture but with a very classic heart.

 

Where did you get your ideas from?

This was a story sparked by a real life incident: My father kept journals and, many years ago, one was brought to my attention that was particularly focused on me in a somewhat, shall we say, critical way. I had my understandable reaction, but it was when I shared the event at a women’s group I was in at the time, and saw the reactions of those listening, that the idea of fashioning a story around that main plot point came to be.

I was so fascinated by the varied reactions from the other women in the group, some of which were very emotional and far beyond what I felt, that it became clear this was a hot-button issue and one that deserved some exploration. So I took the question – “how would you feel if you found your father’s journal and he said you were a failure?” – to a number of others, both men and women in a spectrum of age ranges. I received so many interesting and varied responses that I incorporated most of those into the lives of the various characters in the book. And once I had that main plot point upon which to build the story, the rest just naturally followed.

 

Did you have to do any research?

The only research I did was taking the prompt – “how would you feel if you found your father’s journals and discovered he though you were a failure?” –  to other people and observing and noting their reactions. There are also some sections in the book where we read “excerpts from articles” the protagonist is writing for a father/daughter series for a magazine she works for; I used research I’d personally done for similar articles I’d written on women’s issues and, though all the excerpts in the book are all fictional, that earlier research gave me good material from which to draw for those sections. Beyond that, and as most writers do, I tapped into my own imagination and life experience, as well as my observations of the life experiences of others, to create a world and a collection of characters who would bring the story to life in the way I envisioned… all of which I thoroughly enjoyed creating!

 

How did you feel once your book was published?

It was a fabulous sensation of completion; of personal accomplishment… with a big dollop of “finally!”

See, I’d originally pursued traditional publishing, which basically meant – at least for me – an endless series of query letters, chapters sent, the occasional full manuscript requested, but, mostly, no response at all. I found this process wearying, one followed in the attempt to secure an agent to then, hopefully, get my book to a publisher, who would then do what they do before publishing it… layer upon layer of activity before any real connection was made with readers. And that was only if I got an agent interested! Ultimately, after too many years of little meaningful progress in this pursuit, I was overcome by the sense of limbo, the endless “auditioning” for agents rather than communicating to actual readers, and a tipping point was reached. I decided this was not the road I wanted to travel. I also became very clear about the fact that I’d worked too hard and believed too strongly in my book – the narrative, the title, the cover, the general sense of what the story conveyed – to cede control of those elements to others who’d have the power to decide which version would ultimately be published. I not only trusted my own voice, I wanted to put out the book I’d created, not one reconfigured to meet the demands of a publisher.

So the choice was made in late 2013 to independently publish and I’ve had no regrets about the decision since. The version of After the Sucker Punch that’s on sale at Amazon is exactly the book I wrote – for better or for worse – and that was an important creative choice for me as a writer.

As for my perspective on the overall independent publishing trend; I wrote a piece for The Huffington Post on the rapidly changing paradigms in the industry and, in the event your readers might be interested, here’s the link: Is Self-Publishing Killing Books? My Journey With After the Sucker Punch Answers the Question

 

Can we expect another book from you soon?

“Soon” may be a relative word, but I am currently working on another novel and, hopefully, I can have it ready for publication by the end of 2014. After that I’ve got two other novels plotted out, as well as a non-fiction piece on brain injury, something I’ve experienced as the spouse of a man who’s dealt with the injury. So I’ve got quite the roster of work to service – along with my journalistic writing – all of which keeps me sufficiently busy!

 

What got you into writing?

Oddly, it was both music and growing up without a TV!

Music, because I was one of those kids who just loved music; I used to lay on the floor and listen to my new albums while reading the lyrics and singing along with the vocalist. I was particularly drawn to story songs with their lyrical statements and narrative content. Even from a young age I was moved by the power of words… though certainly having a good beat didn’t hurt either! :)

Growing up without a TV influenced my love of writing because it brought books into my life in a big way! Our family TV broke when I was in early grade school and my father took the opportunity to make a major paradigm shift in our entertainment choices: no more TV, he announced, but he would bring home boxes and boxes of books from the Chicago library. Once we stopped whining about not being able to watch our favorite cartoons on Saturday morning, my siblings and I dived in and discovered we were in a sort of literary heaven, with enough books to keep us entertained and intrigued for the entire, long summer ahead!

From there, I read non-stop throughout my childhood and that immersion gave me a profound affinity and appreciation for the written word in all its forms and with all its magic, emotion, and narrative adventure. There was never a doubt in my mind I’d be a writer, and I have been… from my high school literary magazine (with my contribution of some very dubious poetry!) to the various mediums in which I’ve been involved as an adult: a songwriter, playwright, screenwriter, essayist and journalist, and now a novelist. In fact, I’m known to write even very literary emails (something not every recipient particularly appreciates!).

 

What advice do you have for anyone wishing to write?

First of all, read. Read everything. Reading engenders both a conscious and subconscious absorption of the elements of good writing (presuming you’re reading good writing!): rhythm, flow, pacing, dialogue, narrative, etc., and over time, and with enough reading, that absorption creates an innate sense in the reader of what works and what’s needed to tell a successful story. It also develops a great depth of vocabulary and an ease with verbal richness, both good things for writers.

Next, of course, is writing. Just doing it. In whatever form, and whatever medium, is at hand. I’ve suggested to writers I’ve worked with to even see texts and emails as opportunities to develop their writing skills: make yourself write fully-formed sentences and flesh out every thought. Learn to use words creatively; experiment with form and flow, see your correspondence, essays, articles; whatever you’re writing, as works of creative expression. Take every opportunity to work your craft. It all contributes to the greater whole… and it makes people very excited to get your greeting cards!

And lastly, be the writer you are, honestly and authentically, and know THERE ARE NO RULES. There is no one process that works for everyone, that defines what a writer is or isn’t, or even produces the desired result for every single person. It doesn’t matter if you write one book or twenty; if you write a thousand articles or five; if you write every day or once a week, even once a month. If you are honestly a writer, you’re a writer. And anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. I’ve seen young writers (even older ones) stopped in their tracks by this kind of rule-oriented nonsense and I’ve always been compelled to counter it (maybe because I’ve always been a bit iconoclastic in my own approach!). Certainly learn the craft, be humble, take good critique to heart, but don’t let anyone talk you out of your voice or browbeat you into thinking your process – whatever it is – is wrong. Find what works for you, what gets you to the page and expressing yourself, and leave the formulas and mandates to others. (For more on “the writing process,” interested readers can access a blog hop I participated in called Blog Hop: The Writing Process…What’s Mine?)    

 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

Music and photography are two of my other favorite muses; if you go to my site (www.lorrainedevonwilke.com) you’ll find plenty of links and information about both. I also love traveling, spending time with my family, and getting out into the natural world whenever I can. Hiking and power walking are big activities in my life and given the incredible places I get to spend my time, there’s always opportunity to do either somewhere near an ocean or mountain!

 

If you want to get in touch with Lorraine you can do so by emailing her at info@lorrainedevonwilke.com, , via Twitter (@LorraineDWilke) or at her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lorrainedevonwilke).

Be sure to check out her site for all her other online pages: www.lorrainedevonwilke.com

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