Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lynn Messina - The Girls' Guide to Dating Zombies - Author Interview

My thanks to Lynn Messina for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for an interview about her book, The Girls' Guide to Dating Zombies.

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
Actually, I didn't. My title was Hattie Cross's Guide to Dating Zombies because the main character is named Hattie Cross and she's the author of a zombie-dating how-to. Then, when I was working on the second draft, a friend left a voicemail saying hi and checking in and signed off with, Hope all is going well with The Girls' Guide to Dating Zombies. And it struck me: Wow. Much better title.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Well, it's delivered a bit tongue-in-cheek but the general message is not to settle or make do. The premise of the relationship guide Hattie writes is: Men are gone and zombies are left so we women might as well make the best of it, like we've been doing for millennia. In many ways, zombies ARE great boyfriends because they're malleable and don't have opinions. They don't complain if you get stuck at work or feel insecure if you make more money. But the point is, that's not enough. Everyone should want an equal partner.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
I would say about half. Obviously, the premise—zombie apocalypse that affects only men—isn't realistic at all. But I like to think the emotions the situation engenders and the way the characters handle it are completely realistic.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Yes! Since it's pubbed, quite a few people have asked about same-sex relationships as an alternative. I address it in the book and say that dating zombies is an option heterosexual women are exploring, but it's in passing and far too subtle. In another draft, I would make that conversation much more central.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The zombie sex scene. I have a hard time writing human sex scenes. Even though my mom died years ago, I still blush at the thought of her reading any sex scene I might write. And, well, writing about zombie sex was squishier (literally!). When I sat down to write this book, it didn't occur to me that I'd have to deal with zombie sex. And when it did, I tried to work around it. But I find most stories have their own internal engines, an inevitability that won't be denied, and it seemed to me that you can't write a book about dating zombies and not address zombie sex. In the end, though, the sex scene was really fun to write because I did it from the point of view of "how can Hattie sentimentalize this?" Plus, my zombies aren't that squishy; they're kind of like 1968 Night of the Living Dead zombies—that is, people with oatmeal on their faces.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have much more respect for the conventions of horror than I realized. I started out intending to tailor the zombies to fit my story, but in the end I felt compelled to stay true to the conventions of zombie-ness. So I wound up tailoring my story to fit the zombies.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes! I was 14 and read a book about a 15-year-old girl who develops a video game, sells it for $40,000 and convinces her parents to let her build her own house in the backyard with the money. The A-frame house she builds is based on the design of a 16-year-old in her school. The premise was so absurd, I thought, Hey, I can do better than that.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Eeek! Toughest question ever because I've had so many different favorites depending on where I am in my life. Tom Stoppard is a particular favorite. His writing is so subtle, precise and clever it makes me feel completely inadequate, which I like. He's a mastermind at expressing complicated ideas in beautiful, accessible ways. He's the only human being on earth who could make me wish I knew more about calculus.

9. Tell us your latest news.
The New York Times just published an essay I wrote. It feels like I've spent half my life trying to get something published in the Times.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
The Girls' Guide to Dating Zombies is really, really fun. (I would say hilarious but I don't want to appear immodest.)

Connect with Lynn

Facebook
Twitter
Website
Blog
YouTube

About the Book

Hattie Cross knows what you're thinking: Zombie sex? Ewwwww. But she also knows that since a virus turned 99.9999 percent of human males into zombies, it's statistically impossible to meet--let alone date--the remaining 0.00001 percent. So she writes "The Girls' Guide to Dating Zombies" to help her fellow single women navigate the zombie-relationship waters.

Her practical how-to impresses the CEO of the largest drug company in the world, and before she knows it, Hattie, a reporter for a downmarket tabloid that specializes in conspiracy theories, is sitting down with the woman who single-handedly invented the zombie-behavioral-modification market. Granted access to the inner sanctum of zombaceuticals, she meets an actual, living, breathing M-A-N.

Now Hattie, the consummate professional, is acting like a single girl at the end of the twentieth century: self-conscious, klutzy and unable to form a coherent sentence without babbling. Worst of all, the human male appears to have impaired her ability to think clearly. Because all of a sudden she's convinced a conspiracy is afoot at the drug company and it seems to go all the way to the top!

Price: $2.99 ebook, $12.95 trade paperback
Pages: 242 pages
Genre: zombie chick lit, paranormal chick lit
Publisher: Potatoworks Press
Release Date: February 14, 2012

Buy Links

Amazon
Barnes&Noble.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Desperately Wanting Wednesday

Desperately Wanting Wednesday is not only for releases that I’m waiting on, it’s also for already released novels that I just haven’t purchased yet, or gotten to.

Night Sky
by Jolene Perry
Publication Date: March 1, 2012

After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.

As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums - she's way more than distraction. Jameson's falling for her fast.

But Sky’s need for honestly somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.

GoodReads link to Night Sky

Bernard Mooney - Tough Care - Guest Post

My thanks to Bernard Mooney for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for a guest post about his book, Tough Care.

Guest Post

I recently self-published a book called Tough Care. It's the story of how my wife Celia and I struggled through a very tough four-year period during which she was stricken by serious illnesses. Celia was a young-at-heart and vivacious woman, former soldier, wife and mother. We were married 39 years. Celia now rests proudly and peacefully in Arlington National Cemetery where our sons and I have interred her with full military honors.

Unfortunately, there are a huge and growing number of fellow baby boomers who will inevitably face very similar circumstances. Both academic and industry studies have determined that homecare has been more prevalent than one might imagine in the US, and that future caregivers will not only be older, but will also have to simultaneously cope with ailments of their own.

During your seemingly endless time as a caregiver, you will experience many occasions when you will want to halt and reverse the movement of time. As you watch a bright, strong, energetic person make the slow, steady slide of physical, mental and emotional deterioration you will curse the hands of time. Hour by hour, day by day and year by year you will have to minimize your loved one’s discomfort and pain. But you cannot change time. You cannot stop it. You cannot reverse it. You must survive it.

You must also take all estimates about the time that is left in a person’s life with a grain of salt. People who are at the end of their lives choose their own time. At some point they realize that it is the end game. I saw Celia resolve within herself that it was time to go. I am convinced that she took control and left before the people she held most dear could see her in her deteriorated state.

Perseverance is key. You will have any number of occasions when you will want to just quit and run away from the situation. Picture yourself supporting the weight of an adult with one arm while changing their soiled diaper with the other. All this while they scream and holler at you and try and bite chunks out of your chest. Quitting and running away just is not in the cards, however. They need you, whether or not they realize it. You do realize it. You must do what is right for them just as a parent does for a small child. The ends of our lives have many similarities to the beginning.

You will be compelled by your own sense of duty and responsibility to ‘soldier on’ through what will seem to be an endless series of difficulties. One of the most difficult things to learn is that arguing with someone suffering the effects of dementia (of any form) is absolutely futile. Confrontation does not work. You will be arguing with someone whose mind is no longer capable of rational thought. You will need to endure and continue to care for them, no matter how ‘tough’ it gets.

About the Book
Tough Care

Book Details:
Genre: Memoir

Publisher: self-published
Publication Date: January 1, 2012
Pages: 130
Format: paperback & ebook
Price: $15.95 paperback, $8.99 ebook
Buy Link:
Amazon, Kindle

Synopsis:
Tough Care is a tender and candid account of the time one veteran spent caring for his dying spouse (also a veteran), in which he offers advice and support to those in, or about to face, similar situations. The number of fellow baby boomers about to face these situations is huge and their time is fast approaching. Tough care is derived from the concept of tough love. My wife, Celia, proudly served in the US Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during the Vietnam Era. Years later, however, she was stricken by serious illnesses that caused her to deteriorate from a young and vivacious woman, soldier, wife, and mother, to a severely incapacitated homecare patient. In ‘Tough Care’, I explain how her downfall stemmed from Type 2 Diabetes, which ultimately led to physical paralysis, dementia, and stroke before she died (far too early) at age sixty-four. I was born in 1951, so I believe that there are many of my fellow baby boomers that will benefit from the open sharing of my experiences as the lone caregiver for all but a few weeks of Celia’s last years on this earth. I was assisted by home nursing and home hospice professionals during her last few weeks. The whole process proved to be a long, painful, and arduous ordeal for a couple who had been life partners for thirty-nine years. Unfortunately, there are many who will inevitably face very similar circumstances. Both academic and industry studies have determined that homecare has been more prevalent than one might imagine in the US, and that future caregivers will not only be older, but will also have to simultaneously cope with ailments of their own. This compassionate and touching memoir reveals the many lessons a dedicated and devoted spouse learned in a marriage that was filled with love, respect, sadness, and joy. Readers are sure to find comfort in the advice that is offered, and will find references and online links to valuable resources such as the AARP, American Legion, VFW, Military Women’s Organizations, Diabetes Foundation, Hospice Care Foundation, and Home Care Foundation particularly helpful.

About the Author
Bernard Mooney

I am a retired Army Officer. During my military career, I attained a BS in business administration at Athens State College, Alabama, and an MBA at New Mexico State University. I also served as the principal training developer and senior instructor on automated and manual administrative systems for the US Army Reserve and National Guard. I culminated my Army career as the director of operations for a large mainframe computer facility in the Pentagon. After my retirement form the Army, I co-founded and served for sixteen years as president, CEO, and as a senior automated systems architect of DINA, Inc., a twenty-five-person computer system integration firm. I simultaneously served as technical project manager for several large Department of Defense-distributed processing projects. I am now retired for a second time, and currently live either in Las Vegas, Nevada, or at my secondary home in Arlington, Virginia.

Connect with Bernard
Blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Help Ethiopia Reads and save 25% at GoneReading.com

Go to www.GoneReading.com and receive 25% off of any purchases (except bookends) with coupon code:
TRIBUTEBOOKS25
*expires March 11, 2012

A Message from Brad Wirz
Founder & CEO
Gone Reading International, LLC


Let me tell you about an amazing program run by Ethiopia Reads, one of the two main recipients of our funding. Their work first caught my attention when I heard about their “Donkey Mobile Libraries,” a phrase which would catch any book lover’s attention. It gets to the heart of how real and difficult their challenges are from the “problems” we experience in the developed world: How do you create a culture of reading where no infrastructure exists? How do you actually distribute books and keep them from the elements and make sure they are accessible to even the most remote corners of an undeveloped country such as Ethiopia?

In 2005 Ethiopia Reads faced this very problem. When someone realized that the area actually had a surplus of donkeys, the Donkey Mobile Libraries were born. Oddly similar to the “bookmobile” model in the West, these donkey-pulled libraries (click here to view more pictures) arrive in each village on a pre-determined date, with the local schoolchildren anxiously awaiting its arrival.

The kids spend the day experiencing – many for the first time – the magic of books, perhaps under the shade of some trees, always with the presence of a trained librarian. The kids can’t get enough, as they spend the day mesmerized by what they’ve seen, read and heard.

In the developing world, especially in rural areas, kids typically learn to read from their teacher writing on a blackboard; there are no books. Can we even imagine? Without books in their lives, their reading skills quickly diminish, and often disappear completely by adulthood.

Helping to fund the Donkey Mobile Libraries – and other library programs around the world – is exactly why I launched GoneReading. We’re just getting started, but over time (and with the help of people like you!) we’re going to bring large-scale funding to these amazing programs. No one should have to grow up without books and reading in their lives!

Jake Farrow - The Chroma - Guest Post

My thanks to Jake Farrow for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for a guest post about his book, The Chroma.

Guest Post

I was only 8 years old when the power went out that night in the trailer. It was supposed to be a typical summer vacation in Upstate New York. My family’s presence comforted me—but that feeling dissipated as soon as I looked out the window. I couldn’t see it, but I felt it. As everyone scampered about, trying to figure out what killed the power, I sat entranced by the window, focused as an owl tracking a field mouse. The interior darkness granted me an adequate view of the moonlit woods. It didn’t take me long to spot it, but the relative distance meant that I saw it very faintly. But clear enough. One of those trees out there had a bloodshadow.

I felt like I was having an asthma attack. My heart thumped under the influence of demonic terror. The vague shadow grew more lucid as it held my eyes captive. Somehow I felt that it revealed itself to me while obscuring itself from the rest of my family. I knew that it would have been useless to point out the ominous shadow—they would never have seen it. In fact, it would only have jeopardized their lives. I felt this thing communicating with me via some extrasensory means. I had to remain silent. And I did. The power suddenly came back on. I couldn’t see the ominous shadow against the glare of the interior lighting, but that didn’t matter; I felt that it was no longer there. Its presence had vanished as quickly as the power in the trailer did.

Evidently, I had quite an imagination as a boy. But even as an adult, I still ponder, what if that thing was real? What if there really was a bloodshadow out there that night? Holy God…That harrowing thought inspired the visceral tale of the “Chroma” and its bloodshadow.

The Chroma is based on both psychological and survival horror. A small group is stranded in the woods, which are inhabited by natural predators and an unearthly psychological terrorist. John, haunted by the guilt of abandoning his younger brother, embarks on a getaway with the hope of reconciling the past. The Chroma feeds on John’s guilt like a parasite, determined to destroy him through deception and chaos. The unprecedented Chroma translates into an unpredictable plot, and the action is fast, intense and realistic. As with my “encounter,” you won’t be able to forget the Chroma.

About the Book
The Chroma

Book Details:
Genre: Psychological Thriller
, Horror
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Publication Date: January 6, 2012
Pages: 207
Format: paperback
Price: $13.95
Buy Link:
Amazon

Synopsis:
The Chroma is a psychological horror story involving a Chroma, which inhabits trees and casts bloodshadows that create unpredictable and unthinkable horror for two brothers and their friends trying to survive in the Canadian wilderness. This novel centers on the adventures and misadventures of John who, haunted by the guilt of abandoning his younger brother Michael, embarks on a getaway in in the Canadian outdoors in an attempt to reconcile with him. En route, John encounters the Chroma, in the form of a a a tree with a bloodshadow. The Chroma latches onto John’s guilt like like a parasite.

The Chroma cannot be seen while its bloodshadow is visible and, conversely, the bloodshadow cannot be seen while the Chroma is visible. Characterized by such contradictions, the Chroma generates reactive panic.

The Chroma capitalizes on everything from the habitant predators to the traitorous member of the group to achieve its unprecedented purpose – to sever the bond between brothers with the use of deception but without the use of coercion, to patiently acquire the demise of the senior brother.

About the Author
Jake Farrow

A train operator with a bachelor’s degree in English, Jake Farrow is also a flight enthusiast, who has created a tale of psychological horror for the countless readers of his first book, The Chroma.

A native of New York City now living in Brooklyn, Farrow earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Brooklyn College in 2010. To pay his way through school, Farrow first became a school bus driver and then moved up to transporting adults, performing several functions as an employee of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

Farrow has been interested in aircraft since he was a boy and his subsequent interest in military history led to a passion for combat aircraft. The author also has a passion for movies, UFOs and horror stories, especially horror films and books based on a psychological/survival premise.

In his free time, Farrow enjoys taking long walks along quiet streets or in parks when he can exercise his mind by letting his imagination breathe in the fresh air and think of new ideas or plot details while observing people and nature.

The Chroma is a psychological horror story involving a Chroma, which inhabits trees and casts bloodshadows that create unpredictable and unthinkable horror for two brothers and their friends trying to survive in the Canadian wilderness.


Connect with Jake
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Night Sky
by Jolene Perry
Publication Date: March 1, 2012

After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.

As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums - she's way more than distraction. Jameson's falling for her fast.

But Sky’s need for honestly somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.

GoodReads link to Night Sky

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Joe Montaperto - The Edge of Whiteness - Author Interview

My thanks to Joe Montaperto for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for an author interview about his book, The Edge of Whiteness.

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
I came up with the title because growing up and then moving from a close knit Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn, to a lily-white New Jersey suburb in 1970 (and looking Puerto Rican), I felt like I never really fit in with the locals. Then when the racial integration of our high school happened and I was kind of in between the black kids and the white kids, I literally felt on "the edge of whiteness".

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, I think the message is that no matter how hard it is at times, you have to take a stand in your situation, and also open up to different cultures and races because you never know what changes it will bring to your life.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
Well, just about all of it, considering it is a memoir. The incidents didn't follow in the exact same sequence in real life that they did in the book, some were moved around to keep the story moving, a couple of events were slightly exaggerated, one or two of the events happened while I was with different people, a couple of the characters were composites, and all the names were changed, but the book followed a very real situation of a very important period in this country's history.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Honestly, I probably wouldn't change anything. It was as true as I can remember form the perspective of a 15 year old.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Well, it was my first book, I had never written one before, I wrote it over a five year period on a stack of notebooks big and small, that I carried around with me in a plastic bag while I went back and forth from New York to Ecuador. Peru, Colombia and an island off Vancouver, British Columbia. I was doing a lot of soul searching and spending alot of time in the Amazon, had no computer/technological skills at all, and no back up for my notebooks, and once, one of my notebooks got stolen from an internet cafe in Quito, Ecuador, and I had to rewrite the whole chapter or two from memory. Then when i was finally finished writing, I had to make sense of five years worth of different notebooks, and give them to a couple of guys to try to type up. one of the guys, Paul Olsen, really saved me, going above and beyond the call of duty and practically editing the whole book.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Writing the book was such an emotional experience for me, I would always write in diners and particularly Panera in Hoboken, New Jersey, and would often find myself tearing up while I was writing it. I really learned to forgive those people in my book, and myself, too.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Well, I was a comedian and performance artist in New York in the 1980's ( I wrote and performed my own characters), had been in acting school and performed plays before that, so I was always writing. i always had a journak since I was a teenager. Then I wrote a screenplay in the early 90's, but the real writing for me was when I wrote and perfomed four divergent characters in my one man show, Four Degrees Of Disconnection, which I performed in theaters all over the New York City area for years in the late 90's - 2000. That set the tone for the book.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
There are so many authors that I love, particularly memoir authors, Nick Flynn and Junot Diaz come to mind at the moment. Probably the one that had the most profound effect on me, though, was The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

9. Tell us your latest news.
Well, the really exciting news is that my book has recently been optioned for a screenplay and is being shopped around New York/LA as we speak for a production company!

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would love it if people could take a look at mu book, I believe they would find it both really humorous, very edgy, compelling, and kind of sad all at the same time. A history lesson about those days from a first hand perspective for younger people, and a reminder of that time for people of that era.

About the Book
The Edge of Whiteness

Book Details:
Genre: Memoir

Paperback Publisher: self-published/CreateSpace
Ebook Publisher: Oak Tree Press
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
Pages: 348
Format: paperback & ebook
Price: $12.60 paperback & $5.95 Kindle
Buy Link:
Amazon, Kindle

Synopsis:
1969 - as Brooklyn smolders in the aftermath of the past summer's race riots, the family of young Joey Montaperto flees their beloved Italian neighborhood to start anew in a painfully white New Jersey suburb.

Ironically, the high school there is then later forcefully integrated and the sensitive Joey is confronted with another brutal racial conflict. When he is unexpectedly rescued from a hallway ambush by a murderous yet artistic loner however, he subsequently is introduced to an exciting new world of hip black culture. Finding his soul and "soul" in the writings of Malcolm X, he also experiences a doomed first love with a sizzling but heroin plagued Puerto Rican hairdresser, and finally a spiritual foray into the teachings of Islam. This, of course, creates a major conflict within his Catholic family and the local Mafia restaurant he is employed at.

About the Author
Joe Montaperto

Joe Montaperto, a native of Brooklyn, studied acting and improv in New York, graduating to stage and film work before embarking on the comedy circuit in the edgy, crack riddled New York City of the 1980’s.He later applied his training to his one man show, Four Degrees of Disconnection, performing in theaters in and around the city in the 90’s before burning out and heading to the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle for some serious soul searching. An avid traveler and spiritual seeker, Joe also prides himself on having lived in some of the worst places in the world, and still thoroughly enjoys making prank phone calls. The Edge of Whiteness is his first book.

Connect with Joe
Web Site
Facebook
YouTube

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ryan Collins - Narrative Loserdom - Author Interview

My thanks to Ryan Collins for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for an author interview about his book, Narrative Loserdom (from Journal One).

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
When the book started to take some shape, I compiled a group of words and phrases that I thought best represented the overall picture. ‘Loserdom’ was an easy choice because I had taken it from one of the chapter titles. For ‘narrative’, I drew upon a lesson from elementary school in which the teacher had us trace our hand and label each fingertip with a type of writing style (persuasive, descriptive, and so forth). Thinking back to that lesson, the narrative seemed most applicable when considering what to call this thing. Put together, the phrase ‘Narrative Loserdom’ beat out the rest in terms of representation. So there you are!

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Maybe not a message, but more of a way to approach—as if you have found a 16-year-old boy’s journal, if such things exist.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
This question elicits a sort of spasm in my eye as I respond "It's all fiction." More than my own, I would be extremely curious of a reader's answer.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
After a year-long editing process, giving an automatic “no” would be satisfying. Structurally, however, I may have added and deleted certain entries, or cut the story so that it didn't extend beyond the one-year mark.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
With respect to my eye spasm, remembering the details of adolescence—the faces, feelings, and backdrops. Particularly, the creation of surnames for 'real' people, according to ancestry and syllables, took a good portion of the ‘post-production’ effort. Whining too much would be blasphemy, though, because these processes were also some of the most enjoyable.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
As a writer, it helped me to recognize my affection for little moments of realism sprinkled into fiction.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
In elementary, grammar and reading were the most natural subjects. These, along with the slew of teachers (and my mother) who read aloud to me, fostered a need to create. Around third grade I remember writing beyond an assignment-a story about being a centimeter tall-and getting frustrated with myself for taking so long to complete it. I was undeniably attracted to the freedom that creation granted.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Without a doubt, F. Scott Fitzgerald. I have always admired the command he had over his subject, due in part to the autobiographical influence. I try to check my own writing against a similar baseline—making sure I have an intimate knowledge, or at least a large body of research, for whatever I attempt.

9. Tell us your latest news.
Well, Narrative Loserdom is soon to be an official Kindle book on Amazon, which is neat because I can finally shred the price by about two-thirds of the print edition. I am also in the process of setting up some sort of local book reading/signing, so that's sure to be an experience (due to my fear of public speaking).

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you, wonderful people, for enduring my long-winded (and perhaps narcissistically-inclined) explanations, and always for reading my stuff. I would also like to thank tributebooksreviews for this amazing opportunity of ideal proportions.

About the Book
Narrative Loserdom (from Journal One)

Book Details:
Genre: Young Adult, General Fiction

Publisher: self-published/CreateSpace
Publication Date: December 1, 2011
Pages: 204
Format: paperback & ebook
Price: $13.95 paperback & $2.99 Kindle
Buy Link:
Amazon, Kindle

Synopsis:
Justin Taggart doesn’t know anything (about being a loser). He likes girls and plays sports and has some friends. Unfortunately his fear of rejection outweighs his ability to deal with these well. Mostly there’s Sterling, the girl of his dreams who knows how to stop his heart by not knowing he likes her. Another thing is trying to get money with Adam, who’s rich anyway so it’s more about hanging out. As for Justin, he makes ends meet by mowing people’s yards with Adam, and sometimes by breaking into vending machines and selling late-night cable programming to peers (also with Adam). But it’s not like he doesn’t feel bad about it, since Jesus died for his sins. School is pretty terrible with all the work and practice, but there are a few people there worth mentioning. Anyone who picks up his journal will be in for something if they feel like getting through a lot of grammar and spelling problems. They’ll probably end up seeing that they shouldn’t have looked at it anyway, because this is someone’s private anthem of girls, grass, and loserdom.

About the Author
Ryan Collins

Ryan Collins was born in Texas in 1985. While attending Texas State University he earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in writing, and moved toward a post-graduate degree in computer information systems. In the company of a few unpublished short stories, Narrative Loserdom represents his first self-published novel. Ryan works for a local communications company in Austin, Texas, where he resides with his girlfriend and pugs.

Connect with Ryan
Facebook

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Melanie Milburn - I Love You More Than Chocolate - Author Interview

My thanks to Melanie Milburn for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for an author interview about her book, I Love You More Than Chocolate.

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
I love chocolate, but I love my children more. It has been a way to express my love for them in a way that was simple for them to understand. It just had to be the title for first, the song, and now the book.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
All children want to know that they are loved and this book makes it easy for parents to do just that. I want parents to cherish their time with their children, take the time to cuddle with them, express their love for each other. Make forever memories.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
All of it. When my daughter was little, I loved to read to her. I looked forward everyday to our special “cuddle time”. When we were through reading we played the “I Love You More”, game. It only had 2 rules - It had to rhyme and it had to be something we loved. I would always end it with well, I love you more….than chocolate! My daughter knew I was a chocoholic so she knew she was really, really loved! My nightly ritual became a song, and now, many years later…a book!

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I don’t think I would. I am very happy with how it all turned out.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The book was originally a song so it wasn’t hard at all to turn it into a book.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes I learned that the writing is the easy part. It is the placement of your books into the hands of the public that is hard.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
English composition was my favorite subject in school and as I got older I also enjoyed doing a lot of journaling. When I became a preschool teacher, I spent so much time using music to teach that a lot of children’s songs just started popping into my head. Children love music and respond so well to it. I began using my songs in class and a preschool mom thought I should do more with them. So I did. I now have 2 children’s CD’s as well as my first children’s book.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have so many favorites. I love Jan Brett. Her illustrations are so beautiful. I love fun rhyming books that make children laugh, Dr. Seuss, and also books that teach children life skills, like “The Rainbow Fish”, by Marcus Pfister and “The Giving Tree”, by Shel Silverstein.

9. Tell us your latest news.
I am busy! I have the blog tour coming up and we are working on a book signing tour. I have been in the studio working on another children’s CD. I have several library appearances coming up and a few family concerts scheduled. I also have 2 other children’s books which I am anxious to get started on. And I continue to teach preschool full time. So much to do, so little time!

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would encourage parents to remember to keep life in perspective. We have the tendency to get so busy with life that we forget to slow down and make sure our children know how much we love them. Children need to hear that they are loved. Cherish your time with your little ones. They grow up so fast. They really are not little for very long.

About the Book
I Love You More Than Chocolate

Book Details:
Genre: Children's

Publisher: InstantPublisher
Publication Date: December 2010
Format: Hardcover
Price: $16.95 - Valentine's Day special
Buy Link:
Amazon

Synopsis:
This book was originally a song, and inside the back cover, you have a CD of Melanie singing the song. When Melanie would tuck her children into bed at night, she made sure they knew how much they were loved. She told them she loved them more than anything even chocolate! Her children knew she was a chocoholic, so they had no doubt, they knew they were loved! Every child wants to know they are loved, and this book conveys what parents want their children to know in a way that speaks clearly and impressively to the child's mind and heart.

My childrens' eyes lit up when I read them Melanie Milburn's book, I Love You More... Than Chocolate. As many times as I've told them I love them, in what I've said and what I've done, they've never been as delighted as they were to hear that I really did love them more than chocolate.
--Amy McClellan

My five year old and I love this beautiful book! All children want to know how much they are loved and this special book puts that into words that children can understand and remember. My five old is always asking me if I love her more than chocolate and of course I tell her yes!
--Cindy McLean

About the Author
Melanie Milburn

Melanie is a gifted musician, award winning songwriter and a dedicated preschool teacher. Her children’s concerts are fun with music that is jazzy and entertaining. The lyrics are inviting and relate to the everyday experiences of a young child. You will find yourself humming, tapping and clapping right along with your little ones as Melanie shares her children’s songs.

Melanie’s family concerts will touch your heart in many ways. Her original songs are about real life experiences such as letting go of your children, healing from a miscarriage and falling in love with Jesus. Her songs will make you laugh and cry.

When not writing songs, performing concerts or teaching preschool, Melanie can be found living in beautiful Durango, Colorado with love of her life, her husband, Joe.


Connect with Melanie
Web Site

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

Congratulations to our winner -
Misty@KindleObsessed.com

Enter to win the two latest young adult ebook releases from Tribute Books.


1) Become a Google Follower of this blog.

2) Leave a comment with your email address.


***


Until Next Time:
The Angel Chronicles, Book 1

by Amy Lignor


How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul?


Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache.


When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans.


From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart.


http://www.the-angel-chronicles.com



***

The Priest and the Peaches
by Larry Peterson


Historical fiction novel set in the Bronx in the mid-1960s


Take a seven day journey with the five, newly orphaned Peach kids, as they begin their struggle to remain a family while planning their dad's funeral.


They find an ally in the local parish priest, Father Tim Sullivan, who tries his best to guide them through the strange, unchartered and turbulent waters of "grown-up world." A story that is sad, funny, and inspiring as it shows how the power of family love and faith can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.


http://www.ThePriestAndThePeaches.com