Saturday, March 31, 2012

Anne Brear - To Take Her Pride - Guest Post

My thanks to Anne Brear for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for a guest post about her book, To Take Her Pride.

Guest Post
Bringing the Past to Life

Being a descendant from Yorkshire parents, my books are mostly set in Yorkshire, England.
Some of the places in Yorkshire that I have set my books are York, Gargrave, Hebden Bridge and Leeds.

York is one place where I have set a couple of my books. My latest book, To Take Her Pride is also set in York.

York is a city in North Yorkshire, England. It is located at the confluence of the River Ouse with the River Foss. With a history spanning two thousand years, York is a city rich in history and heritage.

Below are a few pictures taken of York in recent months of the cobbled streets of York and York Minster.



Traditional Yorkshire Pudding recipe

We had Yorkshire puddings every Sunday when I was growing up. It accompanied a full roast lamb dinner.


Equipment and preparation:

You will need a solid roasting tin measuring 28x23cm/11x9in.

Ingredients:

• 175g/6oz plain flour
• 2 eggs
• 175ml/6fl oz milk (whole or semi-skimmed)
• 110ml/4fl oz water
• 2 tbsp beef dripping
• salt and freshly milled black pepper

Preparation method:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.

2. Begin by placing a sieve over a large mixing bowl, then sift the flour in, holding the sieve up high to give the flour a good airing as it goes down into the bowl. Now, with the back of a tablespoon, make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Add the salt and pepper.

3. Now measure the milk and water into a measuring jug. Then begin to whisk the eggs with an electric whisk and as you beat them the flour around the edges will be slowly incorporated. When the mixture becomes stiff simply add the milk and water mixture gradually, keeping the whisk going. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula so that any lumps can be pushed down into the batter, then whisk again till all is smooth. Now the batter is ready for use and although it's been rumoured that batter left to stand is better, I have found no foundation for this - so just make it whenever is convenient.

4. To cook the Yorkshire pudding, remove the meat from the oven (or if it's not ready place it on a lower shelf) and turn the oven up to the above temperature. Spoon two tablespoons of beef fat into the roasting tin and allow it to pre-heat in the oven. When the oven is up to temperature remove the tin, using an oven glove, and place it over direct heat (turned to medium). Then, when the fat begins to shimmer and smoke a little, pour in the batter. Tip it evenly all round and then place the tin on a high shelf in the oven and cook the Yorkshire pudding for 40 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Serve it cut into squares presto pronto.

My latest historical novel release, To Take Her Pride, is set late in the Victorian era of England. To Take Her Pride is available March 8, 2012 in paperback and soon in ebook from all normal stockists such as Amazon.

About the Book
To Take Her Pride

Book Details:
Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing
Publication Date: March 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Price: $15.99
Buy Link:
Amazon

Synopsis:
1898 Yorkshire - Aurora Pettigrew has it all, a loving family, a nice home, a comfortable life. She’s waiting for the right man to offer her marriage, and the man for her is Reid Sinclair, heir to the Sinclair fortune and the love of her life. But, Reid’s mother, Julia, is against the match and her ruthlessness unearths a family secret that will tear Aurora’s world apart. Unwilling to bring shame on her family and needing answers to the allegations brought to light by Reid’s mother, Aurora begins a long journey away from home. She leaves behind all that is familiar and safe to enter a world of mean streets and poor working class. Living in the tenements of York, surrounded by people of a class she’d never mixed with before, Aurora struggles to come to terms with the way her life has changed. By chance, she reconnects with a man from her past and before he leaves with the army to war in South Africa, he offers her security through marriage. Aurora knows she should be happy, but the memory of her love for Reid threatens her future. When tragedy strikes, can Aurora find the strength to accept her life and forget the past?

About the Author
Anne Brear

Born to Yorkshire parents, Anne Brear loves history and the beauty of England. She is a keen genealogist and one of her greatest loves, apart from her family, is creating exciting fiction characters.

Connect with Anne
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jennifer Krey - The Hollow of Mont Noir - Author Interview

My thanks to Jennifer Krey for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for an author interview about her book, The Hollow of Mont Noir.

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
The title of the book - "The Hollow of Mont Noir" - is the name of the fictional town in which the story takes place. It is a very tiny town in the Adirondack Mountains in New York State, tucked away in the middle of nowhere and isolated from the rest of civilization. "Hollow" means "small valley" and "Mont Noir" means "black mountain," and I chose this name because the town exists amid some dark forces, in some ways as a safe haven and in other ways, holding empty (or "hollow") promises.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The main themes of the book are about hope, love, loss and family. At the beginning, the reader learns that Allison is struggling with the concept of hope. She wants to have hope that her brother will be found alive, but she's afraid that hoping will only bring crushing disappointment. I don't want to give away the ending, but she starts to learn that there is both unbelievable goodness and unimaginable evil in the world and that the best way to navigate through it all is to hold on to hope.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
Very little of it. First of all, it's about supernatural creatures, so that kind of shoots any realism in the foot right there. Plus, the towns mentioned in the book are fictional, with only a few larger cities noted for geographical reference. I tried to make the interactions between people and the emotions realistic, based on my own experiences, but nothing in the book is actually "based on a true story."

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I think I would re-order some of the events and descriptions in the first few chapters of the book. There is a fair amount of backstory in Chapters 1 through 4, and it starts off a little slow. I think it really picks up from there, and if I were to re-write it, I would begin with more action and sprinkle in the background information later in the book.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part for me was just finding the time to write. I am a stay-at-home with two little boys (5 months and 2 1/2 years old), so I'm pretty busy during the day, but they're both great sleepers, so I have been able to get a lot done while they are asleep.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I had a hard time getting started because I kept trying to start at the beginning, and it was just a mess. It was going nowhere and barely made sense. I finally gave up on that and worked on the middle and then came back to the beginning later. That was so much easier for me! I learned that it's best to just start writing whatever part of the book you feel like writing at the time and then put it all in order later.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I never thought of myself as a writer before I wrote "The Hollow of Mont Noir." I'd wanted to write a book for a long time, but the thought of writing an entire book seemed too intimidating until I actually started doing it. When I was pregnant with my second son, I had insomnia for the entire first trimester, where I was only sleeping an hour or two per night. That gave me a lot of time to just lie in bed and think. I started fleshing out the characters and making up dialogue to entertain myself while my husband slept, and I ended up writing "The Hollow of Mont Noir" in my head while I should have been sleeping.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My all-time favorite author? Wow, that is really tough to answer because there are so many great writers, past and present. I am more into individual books than authors - I absolutely love one or two books by each of hundreds of different authors. Growing up, I was really into reading the classics, and my favorites were Emily Brönte's "Wuthering Heights," Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina," and Charles Dickens's "A Tale of Two Cities." What really struck me about those books was how timeless they are. They are truly works of art that will never go in or out of style. As far as contemporary authors, I'm always into something different and changing my favorite thing of the moment. I enjoy Charlaine Harris because her stories are consistently entertaining and captivating. Right now, for some reason, I'm really into Kate DiCamillo's work. Her writing style is very poetic and beautiful. I just get sucked into her simple stories and they really stick with me. I just re-read "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane," and it still makes me cry.

9. Tell us your latest news.
My next book release will be called "Ochre Sky," and it will be Book #2 in the HOWL Series. It will be set in Ochre Sky, Pennsylvania and will pick up where "The Hollow of Mont Noir" left off. The themes of this book will be about growing up and finding out what you really want vs. what you think you want. I don't want to say too much more about it because (a) I don't want to give away the ending of "The Hollow of Mont Noir" and (b) I haven't finished "Ochre Sky" yet, so it's still subject to change. I am also working on a short story that is a fairy tale with a paranormal twist. I'm not sure whether I'll complete that or the book first... I just need a good case of insomnia so I can do both!

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Many thanks to all of my readers! I really appreciate all of the support that my readers have given me so far. It was kind of scary publishing my first book, but everyone has been so nice and so positive that it's taken the anxiety out of it. Now I can't wait to finish the sequel to "The Hollow of Mont Noir"!

About the Book

Allison Spencer was no stranger to the paranormal. An animal empath, she had the unique capacity to sense the feelings of animals around her - an ability she liked to call "Crittervision." She had never met anyone else with unusual powers and had gotten used to the fact that she was just an eccentric in a world full of normal people.

Allison lived an otherwise ordinary life and was looking forward to finishing high school along with her friends and her boyfriend in her hometown of Ocean City, Maryland. But when her older brother, Logan, suddenly disappeared from a small college town near the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, Allison's entire world was turned upside down.

Logan still hadn't been found after several months, so Allison's parents decided to move the family to the Hollow of Mont Noir, New York to look for him themselves. In addition to leaving behind her home and her friends and being dumped by her boyfriend, Allison suddenly had to deal with life in a small town, a strange creature that seemed to be stalking her, a new school full of cliques and cattiness, parents who were preoccupied with her missing brother, and an illogical fascination with an outcast boy who didn't talk to anyone at school.

As Allison settled into her new home, she began to realize that not everything - and everyone - was what they seemed. She soon learned of the existence of supernatural creatures living side-by-side with humans and was faced with a whole new set of questions - and some shocking answers - about herself and her family.

Price: Paperback $7.99, ebook $2.99
Pages: 222 pages
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Publisher: self-published
Release Date: March 2012
Buy Links: Amazon, Smashwords

About the Author

Jennifer Krey resides in New York State with her wonderful husband and two adorable little boys. She is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys swimming, cooking, and reading, and her favorite things include ice cream, sharks, thunderstorms, and ebooks. Jennifer also likes to write in her free time.

Connect with Jennifer
Twitter
Smashwords
Email

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tendai Huchu - The Hairdresser of Harare - Author Interview

My thanks to Tendai Huchu for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for an author interview about his book, The Hairdresser of Harare.

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
The title came to me just as the idea for the book sprung in my head on Christmas day 2009. I just heard Vimbai’s voice spinning round in my head, and all I knew at the time was that she was a hairdresser, in Harare, Zimbabwe, so voila – The Hairdresser of Harare. I also knew she would lose her crown to Dumi, a male hairdresser who is a very important character in the story so it becomes ambiguous as to which of them actually is Hairdresser of Harare.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If there is any particular message in book, it is one of tolerance. Tolerance for people different to ourselves, whether it is their gender, race, sexuality, class and so forth. The salon as a setting brings people from all walks of life together who normally would never meet and yet somehow they all find a common humanity.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
A lot of the scenery and setting for the book is realistic. I tried to capture the essence of Harare as a modern African city. The book is set in the middle of the last decade when Zimbabwe was undergoing serious political, social and economic problems so I hopefully represented that atmosphere and the things people had to do to adapt to their situation.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
It’s my first published work and I would NOT change a thing.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I’d say it was working with Irene Staunton, my editor from Weaver Press, as we were doing the revisions. She has such a critical eye and really had some crucial input into the final version of the book. As an author, you are protective of your work but working with her was an eye opener because every time she came to me with a suggestion I was like, ‘Why didn’t I think of that.’

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It has given me an immense amount of confidence in my abilities as a storyteller. I have learnt that you must revise, revise, revise and revise again. I have also learnt that the romantic idea of the author as a lone ranger is nonsense. Once you get involved with your editor, copy editor, proof readers, marketing people, cover artists, booksellers, book bloggers, reviewers etc, you realize you are part of a large literary community.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

I’d say it was when I was living in Reading, England (what a name for a town in which a writer starts writing, hey!!!). I was reading a lot of Russian Literature which blew my mind, and I thought, ‘This is my passion, this is what I want to do’.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I always used to say Dostoevsky and he remains for me the towering giant in my development but thinking of contemporary authors, I’d say David Mitchell, in fact I am a Mitchellite. The breadth of his imagination is mindblowing, his versatility and chameleon like ability to capture any voice in any genre is unique. Nothing I say could ever really do him justice. You have to read him for yourself to get what I mean.

9. Tell us your latest news.
I’ve also got an ebook entitled An Untimely Love, a thrillerly, suspency, romancy, actiony type novel about a terrorist who falls in love on the day he is supposed to martyr himself. It is very different in terms of style, setting and content to The Hairdresser.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
THANK YOU – Writing is a solitary activity and nothing warms the heart like the odd email from a reader to get your spirits up. Seriously at times when a manuscript isn’t working, nothing perks you up like the support of your readers. So, thank you all.

About the Book

In a country where homosexuals are condemned by their president as being “lower than pigs and dogs”, where one could be prosecuted and imprisoned for committing “homosexual acts”, comes a story of a young man forced to lead a shadow of a life to avoid the harsh consequences of living openly.

Vimbai, the self proclaimed number one hairdresser in Harare is livid with jealousy when the good looking, smooth-talking Dumisani joins the esteemed Mrs. Khumalo’s Hair Salon and snatches the number one spot. Against her better judgement Vimbai soon falls under his infectious charm not knowing that Dumisani holds a shocking secret, one that will turn her views of the world upside-down. The Hairdresser of Harare catapults us into the world of Zimbabwe’s elite society, where stereotypes and prejudices are as abundant as the lavishness. It tactfully tackles the issue of homosexuality that most African literature shies away from.

Price: Paperback $21.95, ebook $11.43
Pages: 200 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Weaver Press
Release Date: October 2010
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle, Kobo, Barnes&Noble.com

About the Author

Tendai Huchu was born in 1982 in Bindura, Zimbabwe. He attended Churchill High School in Harare and from there went to the University of Zimbabwe to study a degree in Mining Engineering. He dropped out in the middle of the first semester, found work briefly in a casino and from there drifted from one job to the next. Four years later he returned to university and is now a Podiatrist living in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Connect with Tendai
Website
BBC Audio Interview

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Tina Martin - The Baby Daddy Interviews - Author Interview

My thanks to Tina Martin for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for an author interview about her book, The Baby Daddy Interviews.

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
The title was just something that I came up with in a brainstorming session. I was basically looking for something that had never been done, and The Baby Daddy Interviews was born.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I try to add a message in all of my novels. In The Baby Daddy Interviews, I stress how important it is for the main character, Breonna Morris, to find a father figure for her child. I think it’s important for children to have a male role model in their lives; especially considering the statistics of children from fatherless homes.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
None of the novel is realistic, though it reads like a real-life drama.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I would not change a single thing. I love the emotions of the characters, the setting as well as the attitudes of the men Breonna interviews.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing was determining the fate of the characters.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I had fun writing this novel. I remember looking forward to every day I got to work on it.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I began writing poetry fresh out of high school, then after taking a creative writing class in college (that I loved) I began novel writing. I have been writing for over 10 years.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have a lot of favorites. One of them is Emily Giffin. I love her books because she writes about everyday life and issues that I think most people can relate to.

9. Tell us your latest news.
My novel, The Baby Daddy Interviews, was just released March 1, 2012! It is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and also on Kindle and Nook. I am currently working on my fourth novel and will have more details about that on my website: www.tinamartin.net

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I would like to take this time to say thank you to all readers who support indie authors. Also, I look forward to your comments and reviews on The Baby Daddy Interviews.

About the Book
The Baby Daddy Interviews

Book Details:
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Xpress Yourself Publishing
Publication Date: February 29, 2012
ISBN: 9780985248420
Format: Paperback and ebook
Pages: 252
Price: $14.95 paperback, $5.00 ebook
Buy Links:
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, Nook

Synopsis:
A funny, yet touching story of one woman’s determination to find a father for her baby…

Breonna Morris thought her marriage to Tyler was perfect. Never mind all the hours she spent at work. Never mind the time she wasted shopping and partying with her best friend, Courtney. Never mind being a wife. She was living the married life as a single woman, while Tyler slowly drifted away.

Breonna’s world turns upside down when she wakes up one morning to find that Tyler is gone. Desperate to find meaning in his disappearance, she reaches out to him but Tyler makes it very clear that he wants nothing else to do with her, that he’s tired of being a single, married man. He’s moved on. Breonna is devastated, realizing that not only is she suddenly husbandless, but she’s also pregnant.

Courtney gives her a crazy idea to put an ad in the local paper to search for a father figure for her baby. Breonna follows through with the idea and is excited with the responses she receives. She even conducts interviews with the most qualified candidates. One in particular catches her eye, Vaughn Ramos – a sexy, tall Puerto-Rican papi who wants to play daddy in more ways than one. There’s only one problem – Tyler doesn’t know that she’s pregnant.



About the Author
Tina Martin

Tina Martin resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband. A lover and writer of poetry since her teens, she uses her creativity to pen novels. When she’s not writing, Tina enjoys blogging, photography and spending time with her family.

Her debut novel, Secrets On Lake Drive, was released July 2010 by Xpress Yourself Publishing. In March 2011, Another Man’s Treasure was released for publication. Her newest novel, The Baby Daddy Interviews, was released March 2012.


Connect with Tina
Web Site
Blog
Facebook
Twitter

Kick-Butt Characters Giveaway Hop

Congratulations to our winner!
Lisa Richards/alterlisa
alterlisa [at] yahoo [dot] com

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

1) Add Jolene Perry's upcoming May 2012 release, Knee Deep, to your Goodreads to-read list. Click here for the direct link.

2) Leave a comment with your email address.


***


Night Sky
by Jolene Perry


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 honesty 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.

http://night-sky-book.com/



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Debbie Viggiano - Flings and Arrows - Guest Post & Giveaway

Congratulations to our winner!
FireStarBooks
scatchingashootingstar [at] hotmail [dot] ca

My thanks to
Debbie Viggiano for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for a guest post about her book, Flings and Arrows.

Giveaway

Win the lovely pendant (shown at left) and an ebook of Flings and Arrows. Ends 3/18/12.

1) Add Flings and Arrows to your Goodreads to-read list. Click here for the direct link.
2) Leave a comment with your email address.

Guest Post

I love my new novel, Flings and Arrows, because the story unfolds at the start of summer when flowers are blooming and romances blossoming.

Here in the UK, Spring has sprung. Blossom is already bursting forth. The weather makes me want to spend all my free time in the garden. However, following a recent operation and being unable to lift my steamroller of a lawnmower, my hubby said he’d take care of the lawn. I was a bit twitchy about this. The garden is my domain after all and I like the lawn to have that manicured look. My husband assured me it wasn’t a problem, so I left him to it and set about digging over a flowerbed and planting 180 mixed bulbs.

One hour later I’d finished planting. My other half had long since disappeared. He’d put the lawnmower away but left an extension lead out. It resembled a ball of tangled wool.

‘What happened to the extension lead?’ I asked incredulously.

‘I haven’t the faintest idea,’ my husband scratched his head. ‘It somehow got all knotted up.’

Like many husbands, mine does one job but makes another. Fifteen minutes later I’d sorted out the extension lead and put it away in the garage. And that was when I discovered all the bags of grass cuttings dumped on my little ornamental wheelbarrow. I lifted the heavy bags off to find the wheelbarrow – awaiting a tray of seedlings to bloom – quite broken.

My husband runs a company, is logical about money, wise about our kids’ teenage tantrums and rarely loses his temper. It never fails to amaze me how some people can be so good at certain things, and...well...not so good at other things. I’m not the cleverest of people, but like to think I’m practical – that what I lack in brain power I make up for in common sense. I tried not to let irritation get the better of me, took a deep breath, told myself the extension lead was useable again and possibly the wheelbarrow could be repaired. At least it wasn’t like the time when my hubby had taken a video tape from my bedside drawer and used it to record a football match. And erased every single filmed memory of the children growing up. Feeling a bit more soothed, I walked past the lawn and stared in amazement. Yes, quite moth eaten.

I decided to go in and make a cup of tea. The door to the kitchen had been left open as it was such a beautiful day. I stepped into the kitchen and encountered my dog, an awful lot of mud and several flower bulbs. Turning on my heel I went back to the flowerbed I’d not long since finished working on. Yes, completely dug over by my pooch with bulbs all over the place.

Gardens are lovely places but, like new romances and long marriages, not necessarily Paradise. I sighed and went back to the kitchen to make my cuppa...

About the Book
Flings and Arrows

Book Details:
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Lulu.com
Publication Date: March 6, 2012
Format: Paperback & ebook
Pages: 309
Price: $15.46 paperback, $4.99 ebook
Buy Links:
Lulu, Kindle

Synopsis:
Steph Garvey has been married to husband Si for 24 years. Steph thought they were soulmates. Until recently. Surely one’s soulmate shouldn’t put Chelsea FC before her? Or boycott caressing her to fondle the remote control? Fed up, Steph uses her Tesco staff discount to buy a laptop. Her friends all talk about Facebook. It’s time to get networking.

Si is worried about middle-age spread and money. Being a self-employed plumber isn’t easy in recession. He’s also aware things aren’t right with Steph. But Si has forgotten the art of romance. Although these days Steph prefers cuddling her laptop to him. Then Si’s luck changes work wise. A mate invites Si to partner up on a pub refurbishment contract.

Son Tom has finished Sixth Form. Tom knows where he’s going regarding a career. He’s not quite so sure where he’s going regarding women and lurches from one frantic love affair to the next.

Widowed neighbour June adores the Garveys as if her own kin. And although 70, she’s still up for romance. June thinks she’s struck gold when she meets salsa squeeze Harry. He has a big house and bigger pension – key factors when you’ve survived a winter using your dog as a hot water bottle. June is vaguely aware that she’s attracted the attention of fellow dog walker Arnold, but her eyes are firmly on Harry as ‘the catch’.



But then Cupid’s arrow misfires causing madness and mayhem. Steph rekindles a childhood crush with Barry Hastings; Si unwittingly finds himself being seduced by barmaid Dawn; June discovers Harry is more than hot to trot; and Tom's latest strumpet impacts on all of them. Will Cupid's arrow strike again and, more importantly, strike correctly? There's only one way to find out....


About the Author
Debbie Viggiano

I have written for as long as I can remember. From pages and pages of diarised angst as a teenager, through to short stories for my children and ultimately writing novels. I'm at my happiest when creating characters and playing God to their fictitious lives. I write most evenings. As a result I never watch television, can't hold a decent conversation about the soaps or Simon Cowell on American Idol, and burn the midnight candle long after everybody else has gone to bed. This plays havoc with one's sex life but whilst I still have a passion for my husband, I am mistress to the written word. My long-suffering husband took up with his own mistress by way of revenge - she's called 'Golf'. In exchange for him tolerating my keyboard caresses, I put up with him stroking woods and irons and getting terribly excited about bogeys. Together we have three stroppy teenagers and a devoted dog who never plays loud music or bangs doors.

Connect with Debbie
Web Site
Blog
Facebook
YouTube

Wednesday, March 14, 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:

Spectral
by Shannon Duffy
Publication Date: April 10, 2012

Convinced she’s a part of the witness protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling gypsies. After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman, she begins to question who she can even believe—the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along.

As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals who she is. With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday alive.

GoodReads link to Spectral

Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop

Congratulations to our winner!
Katrina (Kindred Dreamheart)
studiokd3 [at] gmail [dot] com

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

1) Add Jolene Perry's upcoming May 2012 release, Knee Deep, to your Goodreads to-read list. Click here for the direct link.

2) Leave a comment with your email address.


***


Night Sky
by Jolene Perry


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 honesty 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.

http://night-sky-book.com/



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Maggi Andersen - The Reluctant Marquess - Author Interview

My thanks to Maggi Andersen for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for an author interview about her book, The Reluctant Marquess.

Author Interview

1. How did you come up with the title?
I have to thank my former editor for The Reluctant Marquess. I knew I wanted Marquess in the title and she came up with the rest.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not intentionally, but I suppose my opinions on life in general come through the work.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
I haven’t found people relate to each other very differently throughout history. That’s what I think readers look for in a story. We look for a different take on the familiar. The Reluctant Marquess is a marriage of convenience story. These marriages still take place today in certain cultures, and I’m sure there’s a period of adjustment as the couples get to know each other.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
I don’t think so, although writers are often tempted to improve their stories if given the opportunity to meddle with it.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Researching the era was consuming, the different usage of language from the present day, the fashions, the architecture and the interiors of the beautiful houses. Plus the way society operated at that time. But I enjoy all of that. I also enjoy the way my characters interact, and how the dialogue just flows. The hardest thing would have been editing it, improving the language, capturing the nuances of the story, strengthening the plot line.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned more about the life of Georgian women. My books are usually set in the Regency and Victorian eras. The period of George III encompassed an enormous amount of change, the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars and the king’s illness. Women were not quite as constrained by society’s rules as George IV’s Regency. But by modern standards they were still extremely limited in what they could achieve, even down to their artistic pursuits. Charity Barlow in The Reluctant Marquess takes up carving figures out of wood. It is a small act of defiance. Women were not seen as serious artists and were not permitted to follow the same artistic path as men. I’ve written a more detailed blog on this.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When I was sick in bed at eight years old, I’d read all my books over and over, and decided to write my own. The love of writing caught fire and I’ve enjoyed it ever since, although it was some years before I took it up as a profession.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Historical author? Georgette Heyer for her beautifully wrought characters and the fascinating worlds she creates.

9. Tell us your latest news.
I have a three book series coming to Knox Robinson Publishing. The Spies of Mayfair Series. Book One: A Baron in her Bed is released in September, Book Two: Taming a Gentleman Spy, Book Three: What a Rake Wants.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy The Reluctant Marquess if you get a chance to read it. I’d love to hear from you. To learn more about my books I have a newsletter: http://www.maggiandersenauthor.com/contact.html

About the Book
The Reluctant Marquess

Book Details:
Genre: Georgian Romance

Publisher: Knox Robinson Publishing
Publication Date: March 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 183
Price: $15.95
Buy Link:
Amazon, Knox Robinson

Synopsis:
Charity Barlow wished to marry for love. The rakish Lord Robert wishes only to tuck her away in the country once an heir is produced.

A country-bred girl, Charity Barlow suddenly finds herself married to a marquess, an aloof stranger determined to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. She and Lord Robert have been forced by circumstances to marry, and she feels sure she is not the woman he would have selected given a choice.

The Marquess of St. Malin makes it plain to her that their marriage is merely for the procreation of an heir, and once that is achieved, he intends to continue living the life he enjoyed before he met her.

While he takes up his life in London once more, Charity is left to wander the echoing corridors of St. Malin House, when she isn’t thrown into the midst of the mocking Haute Ton.

Charity is not at all sure she likes her new social equals, as they live by their own rules, which seem rather shocking. She’s not at all sure she likes her new husband either, except for his striking appearance and the dark desire in his eyes when he looks at her, which sends her pulses racing.

Lord Robert is a rake and does not deserve her love, but neither does she wish to live alone. Might he be suffering from a sad past? Seeking to uncover it, Charity attempts to heal the wound to his heart, only to make things worse between them.

Will he ever love her?

About the Author
Maggi Andersen

Maggi Andersen fell in love with the Georgian and Regency worlds after reading the books of Georgette Heyer. Victoria Holt's Gothic Victorian novels were also great favourites.

She has raised three children and gained a BA and an MA in Creative Writing. After husband David retired from the law, they moved to the beautiful Southern Highlands of Australia.

Maggi's free time is spent enjoying her garden and the local wildlife, reading, movies and the theatre. She keeps fit swimming and visiting the gym.

Maggi is a multi-published author, and writes mysteries and young adult novels as well as her Georgian, Regency and Victorian romances.


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Wednesday, March 7, 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.

Spectral
by Shannon Duffy
Publication Date: April 10, 2012

Convinced she’s a part of the witness protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling gypsies. After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman, she begins to question who she can even believe—the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along.

As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals who she is. With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday alive.

GoodReads link to Spectral

Lunar Love Giveaway Hop

Congratulations to our winner!
Stephanie Parent
thaliansmhc [at] yahoo [dot] com

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

1) Become a Google Follower of this blog.

2) Leave a comment with your email address.


***


Night Sky
by Jolene Perry


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 honesty 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.

http://night-sky-book.com/



Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lisa Winkler - On the Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America - Guest Post

My thanks to Lisa Winkler for stopping by Tribute Books Reviews & Giveaways for a guest post about her book, On the Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America.

Guest Post

Growing up in a rural Connecticut town, I rode horses. There was a stable up the street from my house that I rode by bicycle to for weekly lessons. I remember loving the animals, the riding and grooming of the horses. By the time I entered high school, I stopped horseback riding as sports, clubs and boys took over my interests.

By the time I met Miles Dean, I was working as a literacy consultant in Newark, NJ. During my first year of this five- year grant position, he had embarked on his epic journey; riding his stallion Sankofa from New York to California to celebrate the contributions of African Americans in US history.

I taught middle school students, mostly in urban areas. For these students, horses were something they saw infrequently in parades and I knew they hadn’t heard of the many heroes Miles had honored with his journey. Fascinated by Dean’s childhood dream to ride a horse and his mission to follow the trail of African American ancestors, I offered to tell his story.

Since I didn’t go on the journey, I created some scenes. However all the people mentioned- both in present day and historical, are real. I had traveled with my family as a child and remembered the diverse geography of the nation. I further informed my writing through reading and research, particularly about the black jockeys, cowboys, US Deputy marshals, and others. Miles kept a diary, however it was inconsistent and without many details. He joked, “Had I known there’d be a book, I’d have written more.” So I pulled as much information as I could from him, interviewing him again and again and also talked to others involved with his journey.

The more I read, wrote, revised, edited and rewrote, the more convinced I became that this story reveals elements of our country’s history and reinforces how our history is one that is shared by many cultures. It’s my hope that this little book will enlighten others about these unsung heroes. Miles Dean dreamed of riding a horse from a young age. His story shows how dreams can come true; though it’s not overnight. He suppressed his dream well into adult life, not thinking he’d ever be able to ride a horse.

On the Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America became my dream. The book transformed many times. I began writing in first person then switched to third, finding that perspective enabled me to bring the story to life beyond a recapping of his diaries. I bounced around many titles, playing with the various key words. I think this one, albeit long, combines the dream with the mission. I’m now writing an educators’ guide to accompany the book that will be available free on my website. (also in progress).

About the Book

Miles J. Dean, a Newark, NJ schoolteacher, rode his horse from New York to California to celebrate the contributions African Americans made in the settling of the United States. During his six-month, 5,000-mile journey, Dean, a 57-year-old African American, addressed people along the way at schools and colleges, community organizations, and penal institutions. He met hundreds of Americans through informal encounters at campgrounds, Wal-Mart parking lots, restaurants, and country stores. With each, he shared his reasons for the journey and inspired others to fulfill their dreams. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Dean first learned about cowboys from watching television. Like any boy at that time, he wanted to be like those heroes and pretended to be a cowboy. He galloped through the streets on his bicycle, ambushing outlaws on street corners. Although Hollywood helped keep his dream alive, the cowboys on TV didn’t look like Dean. At age 23, he saw Sidney Poitier play a cowboy in the 1972 film, Buck and the Preacher, and realized he too could be a cowboy. He deferred his teenage dream another 10 years before he could afford riding lessons and eventually bought his first horse. But the film inspired him to explore the African American history he never learned in school, specifically the contributions made during the 1500-1800s when horses were the primary means of transportation. He knew he wanted to make a cross-country journey and retrace the steps of these early pioneers; it was just a question of when. On September 22, 2007, Dean brought his horse, Sankofa, a 12-year-old Arabian stallion into New York City and rode to the African Burial Grounds, in lower Manhattan to begin his journey. Granted an unpaid leave of absence from his 5th grade social studies position, he embarked on this odyssey he had dreamed about for nearly 35 years. Six months later, Dean completed the trip with a celebration at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. In between he visited several historical monuments, paying homage to history’s forgotten heroes, including the black jockeys at Kentucky’s Churchill Downs and soldiers at Tennessee’s African American Civil War Cemetery. His travels through Memphis and Little Rock evoked his own memories of growing up during the Civil Rights Movement. His ride through the harsh deserts of the Southwest and across California’s formidable Chocolate Mountains allowed him to re-enact the conditions and perils faced by early cowboys and marshals. On the Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America recounts how one man followed his childhood dream. Dean’s commitment to his journey helped him battle a brain tumor; his gratitude to his ancestors fortified his resilience; and his integrity to honoring heroes in history via his horse kept him on road. This book chronicles Dean’s cross-country journey and introduces readers to people from all cultural and social backgrounds. Dean’s many encounters with strangers who assisted him, his meetings with students, his participation in local community parades and other events as he traveled bring to life the complex tapestry of the country. As Dean travels from state to state, the reader learns about African Americans who contributed to US history. Dean’s relationship with his horse Sankofa provides insights about what it is like to ride a horse for six months. Whether navigating dangerous terrain and city traffic, riding long distances, handling medical problems for him and the horse, or facing the challenges of acquiring the four relief horses, his anecdotes regale readers with the visceral pleasures and difficulties of such a journey. Dean’s story demonstrates that an ordinary person can accomplish the extraordinary.

Price: $2.99 ebook, $12.95 trade paperback
Pages: 150 pages
Genre: black history memoir
Publisher: self-published
Release Date: February 11, 2012

Buy Links

Amazon
Kindle

About the Author

While enjoying dual careers as a journalist and then educator, Lisa Winkler had no plans at all to become an author – until, at least, she met Miles Dean. That chance meeting resulted in Winkler writing the most recent and enthralling Black History memoirs – On The Trail of the Ancestors: A Black Cowboy’s Ride Across America.

Earlier in April 2009 Winkler had written an article titled “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” about African-American jockeys for the Smithsonian Magazine website. That interest in black history ramped up 1000 percent when she met Miles Dean and he began to share with her just part of his adventures riding a horse from New York City to California. The subsequent agreement to write a book led Winkler through several exhaustive interviews with Dean, a mountain of research, and discussions with several black scholars – culminating in publication of her first book in March 2012.

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Winkler lived in London from 1982-87 before moving to New Jersey where she now resides. She earned her BA degree from Vassar College in 1978 and an MA in Education in 1992 from New Jersey City University.

A former freelance journalist and reporter for the Danbury News-Times in Connecticut, she has written several magazine articles, essays for book anthologies, several study guides for Penguin Books, and still writes for Education Update, an education newspaper based in New York City.
Winkler was a middle school language arts teacher for more than 10 years and has just completed a five-year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, New Jersey.

The author has three children, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. She serves on the Board of Trustees for the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey as head of the education committee. She is an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader and loves the theater, museums, and yoga.

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