Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shawn Underhill - Silver-White - Book Blast & Giveaway


Silver-White by Shawn Underhill

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
~ Robert Frost

*Evie’s family has been holding out on her …

Big time.

On an unexpected visit to her grandparents’ house in New Hampshire’s secluded North Woods, the sixteen-year-old literally runs into the truth of the long-hidden family secrets, and finds herself thrust without warning into the clandestine world of the Great North Pack—a wild and exhilarating world of rugged beauty, heart-pounding adventures, and long nights running under a sea of stars … but as she’s set to discover, a world also fraught with potential dangers lurking in the shadows.


Praise
 "Simply put, this book was amazing. I've read more fantasy novels than than I can count, but this one is certainly one of the best. The heroine isn't some wishy-washy pansy that screams at everything, and the focus of the story isn't on some unbelievably beautiful teenage girl who suddenly becomes the biggest, baddest member of her species falling in love with some big, bad, sexy member of her newfound species. It's about a girl becoming something she never knew existed, finding her place within the pack family she values more than ever before, and an age-old feud that threatens everything she loves." ~Morgan


Purchase ~ just .99 cents



Author Shawn Underhill

Shawn is a part-time writer from New Hampshire, where he spends his free time hiking in the mountains, camping, racing dirt bikes, or anything else that keeps him outdoors. Dogs are his very favorite people. He is also the author of the novel All Things Different.










BookBlast $100 Giveaway
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 2/13/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

G. Gordon Dean - Scam Factory - Guest Post & Giveaway



Congratulations to our winner!
bn100candg [at] hotmail [dot] com

About the Book

Whoever said 'white-collar crime doesn’t pay' never lived in Washington D.C. TierGroup is a business consultancy firm located in the heart of DC. Its Division Heads have a very cold and calculating unorthodox approach to conducting business. Protecting and serving their clients is the only thing that matters. Nevertheless, loyalty can swing both ways in this journey through greed, corruption, and absolute lack of accountability.

As a former Las Vegas Casino Surveillance Director, Michael Crayter, a straight shooter, becomes an unaware, almost, employee of TierGroup in mid-2001. His transformation takes many shapes from idea man to fraud guru. He embarks on a journey to Iraq, through Hurricane Katrina and eventually takes part in one of the biggest scams in the history of the United States - the TARP funding program. His boss, Charles “The Czar” Zarin, is the ultimate manipulation mentor. Michael Crayter’s experience will last for more than eight years and will make his old Vegas job seem like child’s play.

The investment opportunities the United States has to offer during this timeframe are seemingly endless and the public joins in on the greed. The whole country is riding high on the inflated value train with careless abandonment. There are no regulations followed or laws unbroken by the Mortgage Lenders, Stock Brokers, and Bankers. The bubble is getting bigger and the clock is ticking. It's every man for himself. Divide and conquer. Borrow and spend. No one sees the tsunami coming, except for Charles Zarin. Capitalism will be turned upside down and the money spigot will run dry.

By late 2007 the bubble bursts and our country’s economy is left in ruins. The Treasury is sent in to bail out the white-collar thieves. While losing most of its clients TierGroup and Michael Crayter are left to fend for themselves. The tables are turned on the fat-cat bankers who caused the meltdown. Michael Crayter uses his hard gained experience to get even with the fake bastards. Almost everyone loyal to TierGroup gets away with highway robbery and the American taxpayer is left holding the bag. Michael Crayter begins to tell his story, in this Four Part first-person narrative, during a 2005 interview at FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.


Guest Post

I figured that using a first person narrative was the best way to tell the story. There are many subjects involved in this story so I divided SCAM FACTORY into four parts to further make it easier to read and understand. Loyalties are lost and revenge is certainly in the plot, but figuring out how to write about it was the key to the story. There is no mention of any existing, or real life, companies-only industries and fictional business entities. Another challenge was making the fictional writing seem realistic. Several of the initial book reviewers were asking if some of the events in the story actually took place. The answer is probably yes, except that only a hand full of people knows how those events really took place.

The consulting firm in (TierGroup) in this story, that represents the seventeen major industries, is politically neutral. The idea is that if your money is green then TierGroup, and its clients, do not really care what your political affiliation is. This is also very relevant in the real world, but it seems to be changing for the worst. Although SCAM FACTORY contains many dark sides, it strongly reflects a ‘behind the closed door’ characterization of the reality we have faced over the last six years. The lessons we are still learning as a country are obvious and it may take many more years to recover. Control, perception, manipulation, and greed are still the number one driving forces in the business world today, but on the other hand, there are always two sides to a coin. Only time will tell.

***

Scam Factory can be purchased at:
Kindle, Nook


Price: $4.99 ebook
Pages: 263
Release: October 15, 2012


About the Author

G. Gordon Dean is a Real Estate agent and Business Consultant currently living in Arizona. He has been a media buff for over two decades. As a media buff he has kept himself well aware of past and current events in business, government, and politics. He lived in Las Vegas, Nevada for over 30 years. This is his first novel.

Links to connect with G. Gordon:
Facebook
Goodreads
Blog Tour Site


About the Giveaway

Leave a comment with your email address to enter to win an ebook of Scam Factory
Ends January 31, 2013.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Young Adult Giveaway Hop

Enter to win an ebook of Owlet: Society of Feathers #1 by Emma Michaels.

***


Owlet: Society of Feathers #1
by Emma Michaels


Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.

Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.


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Monday, January 28, 2013

Jeff Gunhus - Jack Templar: Monster Hunter - Book Blast & Giveaway


Jack Templar: Monster Hunter

Orphan Jack Templar has no memory of his parents and only the smallest details from his Aunt Sophie about how they died. The day before Jack's fourteenth birthday, things start to change for him. At first it's great: A sudden new strength helps him defend his nose-picking friend "T-Rex" from the school bully, and even his crush, Cindy Adams, takes notice. But then a mysterious girl named Eva arrives and tells him two facts that will change his life forever. First, that he's the descendent of a long line of monster hunters and he's destined to be in the family business. Second, that there's a truce between man and monster that children are off-limits...until their fourteenth birthday! Jack has only one day before hundreds of monsters will descend on his little town of Sunnyvale and try to kill him.

As if that weren't enough, things get even more complicated when Jack discovers that the Lord of the Creach (as the monsters are collectively known) holds a personal grudge against him and will do anything to see that Jack has a slow and painful death. To stay alive and save his friends, Jack will have to battle werewolves, vampires, harpies, trolls, zombies and more. But perhaps the most dangerous thing he must face is the truth about his past. Why do the other hunters call him the last Templar? Why do they whisper that he may be the "One?" Why do the monsters want him dead so badly? Even as these questions plague him, he quickly discovers survival is his new full-time job and that in the world of monster hunters, nothing is really what it seems.



Author Jeff Gunhus

Jeff Gunhus grew up in Cyprus, Greece, and Saudi Arabia where there was a distinct lack of television. He quickly found books were the gateway to incredible adventures, fascinating characters and unbelievable discoveries. Now, with five children of his own (all who watch too much television, in his opinion), he has enjoyed revisiting his old books and reliving those adventures all over again.





Kirkus Reviews

"Gunhus brings young readers a monster-filled romp to read at their own risk. In the first few pages, Jack, the storyteller and main character, warns readers not to read about these real-world monsters that would seem to only exist in fiction. The tone is set--sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek and likable; rooting for Jack is easy...Gunhus masterfully introduces fully realized characters with whom readers can connect almost instantly. The pacing is quick but not rushed, and events seamlessly progress, complete with action, cliff-hangers and surprise reveals. "

Amazon Reviews

Watch out Percy Jackson here comes Jack Templar
Move over Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, there's a new kid in town - Jack Templar, and he will take you on a wonderful adventure of good vs evil, with friends and enemies at every turn. The twists and turns keep the reader on a roller coaster of entertainment in the way of JK Rowling and Rick Riordan. ~ Penny Brein

Fast paced adventure through and through
Written for middle school aged students, this book is action-packed from the beginning and will hold the attention of young readers. Not only that, as an adult reader, it was hard to put down, so parents will enjoy it as an easy read. ~ bluejellybean

Kids will love it!
Not only will kids love it, adults will too! I don't want to give the plot away but this is a book worth reading. This book is creatively written drawing in the reader to be a participant in the story. There is lots of action with enough blood and guts to be interesting without being gross. Girls will like it too with the strong female role models and the hint of romance. Even though this is a children's book, I couldn't put it down. I will definitely be adding this to my classroom library. I am looking forward to reading the book in this series and sharing it with my students. Awesome book! ~ pixiep


Purchase


Book Trailer




WARNING

Yeah, you read it right. I’m a monster hunter. Back before I actually became one, I would have thought that sounded totally awesome. And don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways it is. But most of the time, I’m either running for my life or hiding in the shadows, praying the monster chasing me doesn’t pick up my scent. And I’m almost always scared to death. In a few pages, I think you’ll see why.
     But there are a few things I need to warn you about before I tell you my story.
     First, this isn’t a cartoon. These are bloodthirsty creatures who will stop at nothing to kill. They are scary. Very scary. Second, the only way to stop them is to kill them first…and that gets gross and messy. Third, this is all real.
     You think I’m kidding, don’t you? I can almost see you smirking as you read this. But this isn’t a joke. Monsters are real and the story I’m about to tell you really happened. If you’d rather walk through life believing that monsters are only found in books or on the movie screen, then you should shut this book right now and go do something else.
     I give you these warnings because the story I’m about to tell you isn’t for everyone. Not everyone can handle it. The blood. The gore. The monsters.
     This life was thrust onto me. I had no choice but to take up a sword and fight. But you can still walk away and pretend this dark world doesn’t exist. Or you can walk through the door that I’m about to open and find out the truth about the world around you.
     But I warn you (and this is a big warning), if you read this book, if you learn about the monsters that roam among us and the hunters who fight them, if you decide to learn the truth, then you will become fair game for the monsters to chase.
     Make sure you understand what I’m saying.
     If you read this book, you will be part of this world and the monsters will come after you too. You will start to see things that no other humans can see. The shadows will move when you walk near them. The creatures of the night will seek you out, testing the doors and windows of your house, looking for a way in.
     And, at some point, they will find you, just like they found me, and you will be forced to defend yourself.
     So, think carefully before you turn the page, because once you do, there’s no turning back.
     Ever.
     Once a monster hunter, always a monster hunter.
     See you on the other side.
     If you’re brave enough.


Tour Schedule






Book Blast $50 Giveaway
Ends 2/15/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Malve von Hassell - Rennefarre - Guest Post and Giveaway



Congratulations to our winner!
parisfan_ca [at] yahoo [dot] com

About the Book

Imagine riding on the back of a blue heron across time and space. Imagine befriending crows, being kidnapped by magpies, and being given a lift on the back of a kindly stag. Imagine experiencing life as an outcast from human society, encountering spirits and mythical creatures from the world of legends, experiencing the plague in Dresden, and being chased through Berlin by Frederick the Great.

Dott is a twelve-year old girl. She lives in the countryside east of Berlin in an unspecified time between the two world wars. When Dott sneaks out to see the bonfire at the edge of her village on the evening of the midsummer night festival, she has no idea what will happen next. In the dark of night, the magical Rennefarre flower falls into her shoe. It not only makes her invisible, but also allows her to see things no one else could see. No longer able to stay with her parents and her young brother and sister, she begins her search to find a way out of her predicament.

Her quest to return home to her family winds its way through the cities and countryside of 20th century Germany—and beyond. As she befriends the local animals, they help her on her way with gifts of food, shelter, and—through the help of a kind spirit—a magical cup which allows her to become small and ride on the backs of the birds.

Flying across the country on the backs of crows and herons, Dott finds herself seeing the country not only as it is, but also as it used to be. She lives through moments in history others can only read about—meeting historical kings and fanciful spirits along the way. But, even with all of the excitement of her travels, she always has one goal in mind: returning home to her family.

Part coming-of-age story, part fantasy, and part social-cultural portrait of Eastern Germany in the early part of the 20th century, the book covers real ground. That is, one could follow Dott's travels on a map of the area. Seamlessly blending elements of fantasy and history, the book contains a fascinating array of details of day-to-day life in rural and urban areas in eastern Germany. Dott’s adventures are interwoven with folklore and myths as well as vivid accounts of different eras and the diverse cultural and ethnic strains that have formed the basis for a rich and complex history of Germany and Eastern Europe. Written on the eve of World War II, the book offers a sobering perspective on the human potential for causing devastation. At the same time it is filled with hope. In one scene, Dott gets a glimpse of the future — an utterly destroyed cityscape; it inspires her to look to her own responsibilities and actions in life.


Guest Post

When rereading Rennefarre as an adult, I began to appreciate the amount of research Tamara Ramsay must have engaged in. Alongside an emotionally compelling story of a girl’s attempt to return home to her family, the book offers a wealth of factual detail, vivid descriptions of geography, plant, and animal life, a rich fabric of history and historical figures, and a colorful tapestry of legends and myths, doubly attractive for being rooted in concrete places and events.

For instance, the legendary Frau Harke, protector of nature and animals, appears today in the name of a mountain in Lower Saxony, and she is still celebrated in some local traditions. I searched for information about the plants that Tamara Ramsay mentions and discovered that these plants are not imaginary, but rather real plants that have potent properties and feature in homeopathic and folk remedies. Hence, the Springwurzel, given by the giant spirit Rübezahl to Dott as a remedy for her little sister, is the caper spurge. The caper spurge (euphorbia lathyris) has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent and to treat a variety of medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis.

In one of my favorite scenes in the book, Dott and her friend Klaus spend an evening in the cemetery of the church St. Anna in a town called Rosenberg. Today, this town is called Olesno, and it is in Poland. The children, who had been conflicted about their journey, are transported into a moment in deep winter. The children watch pilgrims from all over the county travel to the church for a service. The first wave of pilgrims consists of animals, among others, horses from the mines in Silesia, bent and blind from their labors. Men, women and children dressed in their finest follow. The children watch this procession and decide to go along; and the experience helps them to resolve some of their doubts. When I researched St. Anna, I found that this church had indeed been the site of regular pilgrimages since the 15th century.

In another scene, Dott encounters the bridge builder Matteo Foccio, thought to have built the first stone bridge in Dresden in the 13th century. Matteo Foccio shows Dott a sculpture in one of the pillars of the bridge, claiming that it was his self-portrait and that he carved it himself. I was able to track this down and verify that until 1813, one of the original pillars of the Augustus Bridge featured a stone relief sculpture of a man in a sitting position and dressed in the style of the period. According to local lore, it was a portrait of the Italian architect Matteo Foccio. The bridge was dynamited in 1813 and rebuilt; the figure was lost in the process. This is one of many such instances in the book where Dott’s personal story is linked in seemingly effortless fashion with real history as well as the shifting ground in the way in which we experience and rethink history.

***

Rennefarre can be purchased at:
MyBookOrders.com


Price: $13.99 paperback
ISBN: 9781938690389
Pages: 297
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Release: December 11, 2012


About the Author

Malve von Hassell is a freelance writer, researcher, and translator. She holds a Ph. D. in anthropology from the New School for Social Research. Working as an independent scholar, she published several books and journal articles, in particular, The Struggle for Eden: Community Gardens in New York City (Bergin & Garvey 2002) and Homesteading in New York City 1978-1993: The Divided Heart of Loisaida (Bergin & Garvey 1996). She has also edited her grandfather Ulrich von Hassell's memoirs written in prison in 1944, Der Kreis schließt sich - Aufzeichnungen aus der Haft 1944 (Propylaen Verlag 1994). She has taught at Queens College, Baruch College, Pace University, and Suffolk County Community College, while continuing her work as a translator and writer. She has published a children’s picture book, Letters from the Tooth Fairy (Mill City Press, 2012), and completed a manuscript for a historical fiction book set in the 13th century for young adults, Falconello. She is working on a historical fiction novel set in Jerusalem in the time of the crusades.

Links to connect with Malve:
Web Site
Facebook
Goodreads
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

Leave a comment with your email address to enter to win a PDF ebook of Rennefarre. Ends January 31, 2013.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Daniel Milstein - 17 Cents and a Dream - Author Interview

Author Interview 

1. How did you come up with the title?
I really wanted something that would capture what it was all about for me. I literally came to this country with just 17 cents in my pocket that's it. I had nothing else but that and a dream and a hope that somehow we'd make it; somehow all those naysayers who told me I'd never amount to anything would be wrong. Looking back it was crazy but sometimes that's all you have; just a dream.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I really hope they walk away from reading it feeling inspired that no matter what they're going through, they can pull through it. It doesn't matter what anyone says they can or can't do, they can rise above it all and make their dreams happen. There were times when my body was aching from sweeps those floors at McDonald's when I wanted to shut down and cry because so many people were making fun of me, the fact that I smelled like French fry grease, the fact I could hardly speak any English, the fact that nobody else believed in me but something kept me going. I hope this book can be that extra bump in someone's spirit to encourage them to keep going.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
99% of it. I had to add dialogue to it so that people understood what was going on and although it was written verbatim of what they said, I hope it captured the essence of what happened. It was a hard journey but it paid off in the end.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
A writer is never finished with his or her book. I'm sure there are things I'll think about 20 years from now that I'll wish I'd added but all and all, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. 


5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I think one of the hardest parts was going back to the painful memories. The times when people wanted to kill us because we were Jewish. The times when we had to escape from the country without anybody knowing what we were doing. Chernobyl was horrific for me as a boy, seeing my grandfather, the one that gave us hope that we could somehow make our life better and move to America pass away from sickness related to the Chernobyl explosion was painful to write about. But I hope that it really helps people think that if they are going through any difficult times, they can pull through it.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yeah, I learned how much discipline it takes. Writing my first book, which was a nonfiction book about sales, was nothing compared to writing my own memoir. To write what happened to you and at the same time write it in such a way that will be interesting the reader is not easy. My hat is off to anyone who does this every day. Everyone says they'd love to write a book but I don't if they realize how much work it takes to get it done.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It was something that's always been in the back of my mind but I'm so busy running my company, managing 500 employees and raising my kids is not easy. But if I can find the time to write, then I think anybody can if they really want to. I wasn't the strongest reader growing up, I wasn't all that great at school either but with enough passion and help from those that support you, anything is possible.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
One of my favorites actually is Donald Trump of all people. I know he's not known for his books, he's more known as the billionaire tycoon but there's something about how he tells it how it is that I really admire.

9. Tell us your latest news.
I'm really excited about the release of my memoir 17 Cents and A Dream. We're getting some amazing feedback from readers and it really feels great to know all the hard work of putting the book together is paying off. When I hear that people were touched by my story or that they laughed or cried reading it, it really warms my heart.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I just want them to know whatever you might be going through, no matter what anyone might say to you, you have to keep moving forward with your dreams, you have to keep pushing, even if all you have literally is 17 cents and dream.


About the Book

Daniel Milstein, founder, president, and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group, described his recipe for business success in his international bestseller ABC of Sales: Lessons from a Superstar (Gold Star Publishing, 2011). Now, on a more personal level, Milstein–who has been recognized as the number one mortgage originator in the U.S.–describes his personal path to success in a new memoir, 17 Cents and a Dream: My Incredible Journey from the USSR to Living the American Dream.

17 Cents and a Dream begins with a candid, gripping account of the Milstein family’s tough life in Kiev, Ukraine under the oppressive government of the former Soviet Union. He recalls how he and his family were affected by the 1986 explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant: Daniel was ten years old, and the disaster took place only 78 miles from their home, killing 100,000 people and spreading poisonous radiation throughout the environment. A few years later the family, struggling against poverty, government oppression, and anti-Semitism, made a secret plan to flee to America. After a narrow escape, the family arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan with no understanding of English and few belongings. Young Daniel had only seventeen cents in his pocket, given to him by a friend to cover the expense of a postage stamp so that Daniel could send him a letter. In the ensuing years, Daniel endured extreme poverty, endless hunger, relentless bullying from his new classmates, and cruel mistreatment while working long hours mopping floors and cleaning toilets.

“The never-ending sense of hunger in the pit of my stomach,” he writes, “became a part of me and manifested into the drive to do more, to be more, so my family could eat without worry.”

That hunger, plus the work ethic instilled in him by his grandfather, fueled Milstein’s determination; after graduating from college, he worked for various financial institutions and was consistently promoted because of his strong work ethic.

But perhaps most inspiring is Milstein’s courage and sheer willpower as he began to build upon his success in the world of finance, working harder and longer than anyone else until eventually opening and growing his own multimillion-dollar company, Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group.

17 Cents and a Dream: My Incredible Journey from the USSR to Living the American Dream is both a dramatic autobiography of a true American success story, and a manual for anyone who dreams of becoming successful in today’s competitive world of finance and sales.

Prices/Formats: $0.99 ebook
Pages: 189
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Gold Star Books
Release Date: January 5, 2013
Buy Links: Kindle


About the Author

DANIEL MILSTEIN is founder, president and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group. He has been recognized as the #1 loan officer in the United States; has achieved more than $3 billion in personal mortgage originations; and is one of the top 40 finance professionals in the nation, ranked by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Milstein led the company to the Inc 500 list and one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Gold Star has over 500 employees in 43 offices across the U.S. and has been named a Top Workplace in Michigan for three years by the Detroit Free Press. Milstein holds an honorary doctorate and BBA in business management from Cleary University, Ann Arbor, from which he graduated with honors. He is the author of The ABC of Sales: Lessons from a Superstar, which in March 2012 sold 10,000 copies and became the #1 sales book on Amazon.com and the thirty-first top seller of all ebook sales.


Links to Connect with Daniel:
Facebook
Twitter
YouTube







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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Eileen Barish - Arizona Territory - Author Interview

Author Interview 

1. How did you come up with the title?
When I lived in Arizona, I subscribed to ARIZONA HIGHWAYS, a wonderful publication that deals with Arizona's beauty and history. I was reading an article about Colonel Powell and his expedition down the Colorado River. Historically, three men left the expedition and were later killed by Native Americans. My supposition was what is one had actually lived. At the time of the expedition, Arizona was known as the ARIZONA TERRITORY. It had yet to become a state. Hence the title.

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
One of the main messages I wanted readers to understand was the important role that women played in the West. Most of the time, it is the men who are portrayed as heroes or bandits. However, many women had a pioneering spirit and contributed much to Arizona's history, actually, the history of the West.

3. How much of the book is realistic?
Many incidents in the book are based on historical events and my references to the various Indian tribes was researched at great length to assure that my facts about the tribes and the events would be as accurate as possible.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
If I had it to do over again, I would probably end up with the same book. 


5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing the book was the research. The next hardest part was trying to understand the mindset of each of the characters. How women felt about their role in the West. How lacking in civility many of the "bandits" were. And trying to understand the attitude the American Indians had about the "white" man and his effect on their lives.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned a great deal about the west and about Arizona in particular. My research also educated me in the thoughts of the Indians, the forces that sought to eliminate or contain them and the wildness of the west.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Although this is my first work of fiction, I have written ten non-fiction books, mainly travel related. Six of the books related to traveling with your dog. The first book was titled VACATIONING WITH YOUR PET. Written in 1994, and modesty aside, it began the trend of hotels advertising their dog policies, animal boutiques, animal travel services, etc. It won the Dog Writer's Association Award 60th annual award the most prestigious award given by the AKC and was the best selling "animal related" book of 1994, 1995 and 1996.

After writing an additional five books on dog related travel, I began a series of books on lodging in Europe's monasteries. I have been called "the queen of monasteries" by the NEW YORK TIMES. There are four books in the series, one on Italy, Spain, France and the last on Britain.

8. Tell us your latest news.
My latest news is the avenue I am going to pursue in my next writing project. Totally different from the fiction of ARIZONA TERRITORY and totally different from my travel books, I have decided to continue writing stories of erotica, something I have done for years.

9. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
As far as what I would say to readers, I would us a recent review of ARIZONA TERRITORY as follows:

"This is a gripping well researched historical novel that enlightens the reader to an important influence in the 'taming' of the American West. The role of smart adventuous women in the development of the West has not received the recognition of more aggressive male counterparts. In this novel Barish highlights that power and influence was not simply gender specific. Although care was taken within the historical context of the time the novel is at basis just a good, enjoyable, and stimulating read."


About the Book

Based on true facts and incidents that shaped the west, ARIZONA TERRITORY is at once a story of passion and adventure, of love found and love lost. Spanning the years from 1851 to 1877, one of the most turbulent eras of Arizona history, the intertwining stories of each character will engender feelings of compassion, hatred, betrayal and love.

The main characters, Tom Riordan, a young adventurer from St. Louis determined to follow Major Powell’s exploration of the Colorado River and Rising Sun, a pioneer child rescued from an Apache massacre and raised by peaceful Hualapai Indians, come of age as their lives are intersected by a cast of remarkable characters. Belinda, the seductress who beds every man except Joshua, her sexually repressed husband.

Jean-Claude, the elusive Frenchman who steals her heart. Tom’s outlaw brother William, a brute of a man who lacks even the barest trace of humanity and creates havoc in the lives of everyone in his path. And finally, during the violent twilight of the Indian Wars, Wassaja’s Indian marauders clash with General Swope’s battle weary calvary troops.

Prices/Formats: $9.99 ebook
Pages: 285
Genre: Saga, Romance, Adventure, Historical
Publisher: Anacapa Press
Release Date: November 30, 2012
Buy Links: Kindle


About the Author

Eileen Barish is a multiple award-winning author who has written more than a dozen books on unique travel experiences. A regular guest on CNN, Eileen Barish has been a contributing writer to National Geographic Traveler, Guest Informant, Newsweek and other publications. Her books have been favorably reviewed by more than 500 major publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Men’s Health, Gourmet Magazine, Library Journal, Travel & Leisure, USA Today, Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle.


Links to connect with Eileen:
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Megan Thomason - Daynight - Book Blast & Giveaway


daynight by Megan Thomason

Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex.

Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.

Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.

Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.

Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is Megan Thomason’s debut young adult dystopian novel and first in the daynight series.


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Praise

“Sure to win over YA readers looking for a dangerous, dystopian adventure story” —Kirkus Reviews
“Gripping young adult dystopian novel; compelling conflicts; high stakes; powerful narrative; surprises keep coming; strong writing; page-turner; engaging characters; Readers will be hungry for the sequels.”—BlueInk Review (starred review)

“The writing is impressive and the story is a real page-turner. So many twists and turns… I’m hooked… I can’t wait for the next installment to come out…4.5 out of 5 stars”—Self-Publishing Review

“Delicious humor, intelligence, and sparkling dialogue” —Amazon reviewer

“Strangely brilliant and imaginative”—Amazon reviewer

“Grips you from the first page and keeps you wanting more”—Amazon reviewer

“Plot twists kept me reading till late at night”—Amazon reviewer

“Every page a thrilling experience”—Amazon reviewer

“Hooked from the first chapter and could not put it down”—Amazon reviewer

“It's like a CW fantasy TV show in a book with a really interesting environment.”—Amazon reviewer

“I'm a little tired of dystopian novels, but Daynight has a unique and fresh story line that didn't have any trouble keeping my interest.”—Amazon reviewer



Author Megan Thomason

Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn't typing away on her laptop, she's reading books on her phone—over 600 in the last year—or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac. Daynight is Megan's first published novel, but fourth written one.









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Book Blast Giveaway
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Ends 2/3/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Alan S. Blood - Once Upon a Castle - Guest Post

Guest Post
Capturing the Castle
(How “Once Upon a Castle” was born)


On a bitterly cold, November afternoon, I found myself stranded near Bamburgh Castle on the wild Northumberland coast whilst the local, old fashioned garage, with tall petrol pumps, repaired my broken-down car.

The delicate, somewhat bright, late autumn sunlight created an eerie, pastel coloured scene, albeit tempered by a biting breeze, yet quite magical, certainly ancient, and almost ethereal.

Vikings have landed here,’ I told myself scanning the unique white beaches below the hazy castle ramparts. It was one of those strange experiences that triggered the imagination and I could see a Scandinavian longship coming ashore, disgorging horned-helmeted warriors seizing the beach before storming inland to ravage the sparse Saxon populace. I could feel that there was a tale to be told.

With the genesis of a story in my mind, I conducted research into Northumbrian castles and was intrigued to discover there was another ruined castle along the coast. This gave me a plot basis involving two castles, one of which was real and the other a phantom! Ideas built as I thought this was an area to where children were evacuated during World War II.

Things shaped towards an exciting novel for young adolescents involving twelve-year-old twins, Tom and Mary (to appeal to both sexes) who dread being sent from southern England to Aunt Victoria’s Northumberland farm. Yet she proves to be young, and fun, until lessons are arranged with a terrible private tutor, Miss Urquart. Their London Uncle Toby had said: “There will be castles to explore with ghosts and things.” Teenage rebelliousness ensues as the twins escape and riotous, scary adventures involving castles, Vikings and even the Royal Navy begin.

“Once Upon a Castle” is republished by USA publisher GMTA Publishing under their imprint, Mythos Press.


About the Book

Uncle Toby had said that there would be castles to explore, with ghosts and things. This helps to cheer up the glum twelve-year old Lovell twins, Tom and Mary, leaving their schools and loving parents to be evacuated to wild Northumbria during World War II. Then the adventure begins.

They live with their Aunt Victoria and Uncle Leslie, meet the loveable ‘Mrs M’, a strange dog called ‘Scamp’ and, worst, the terrible private tutor, Miss Urquart, from whom they run away to find a mysterious castle seen through an old telescope. Now they are drawn into bizarre supernatural events of a time-warp between the war itself and ancient warfare. They encounter dark forces, as the story twists and turns, and are even rescued by the Royal Navy. Yet, this is only the beginning of more unexpected tragedies before the twins begin to escape from it all.

Prices/Formats: $6.00 paperback, $2.99 ebook
Pages: 74
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: GMTA Publishing
Release Date: July 24, 2012
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Kobo


About the Author

Alan S. Blood worked in the British Civil Service, Advertising and journalism (edited three publications) before qualifying as a Teacher from the University of Reading, England. He enjoyed a long, distinguished career in the Teaching Profession, in both Primary and Secondary levels of education, in several parts of the UK - which eventually led to Senior Management. His main subject area was English and, at one time, he was Head of English and Drama. Throughout, he gained considerable knowledge of literature that children and adolescents enjoy.

Alan now devotes his time to writing novels, plays, screenplays and poetry. He won top award in the ‘Hastings International Poetry Festival’ (2003) with his controversial ‘litter’ poem ‘CONTRITE CAN CANNOT’. The paranormal genre features in much of his prose work.

‘ONCE UPON A CASTLE’ is a ghost story written for young people (but also enjoyed by adults) set in World War 11. It concerns both a real and a phantom castle based upon Alan’s experience of strange castles on the wild Northumbrian coast of England on cold, dark wintry afternoon.

Alan Blood has widely travelled the world and undertook research in Chile where some of his supernatural crime thriller ‘CRY OF THE MACHI A Suffolk Murder Mystery’ is set. He was previously a Cotswold Morris Dancer and the novel is a conflict between the forces of good and evil linking a Chilean ‘Machi’ and ‘organised crime’ to murders in a Suffolk Morris Men side.

Alan enjoys wildlife photography in the Welsh countryside, painting and scraperboard engraving. He lives in a Victorian (1873) house below the Cambrian Mountains of Mid-Wales.

Links to connect with Alan:
Web site
Facebook (author)
Facebook (book)
Twitter
Goodreads





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Enter to win an ebook of Owlet: Society of Feathers #1 by Emma Michaels.

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Owlet: Society of Feathers #1
by Emma Michaels


Somewhere between falling and flying… there is a girl.

Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing but the more she learns about the past the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her she will have to decide which means more to her; the truth or her life.


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Julia Crane - Freak of Nature - Book Blast & Giveaway


Freak of Nature

Donate Body to Science. Check.
When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was.

Kaitlyn finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a handsome, brilliant scientist who can’t get over the guilt he feels knowing she was once a vibrant, beautiful young woman. He never expected a science project to affect him the way she does. As he tries to help her rediscover her past, he finds himself falling for the brave girl struggling to find her place and acceptance between the human and computer worlds.


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Author Julia Crane

Julia Crane is the author of the YA paranormal fiction novels: Keegan's Chronicles, Mesmerized, Dark Promise and Eternal Youth. Julia was encouraged by her mother to read and use her imagination, and she's believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Julia has traveled far and wide to all the places her grandmother told her about, gaining inspiration from her journeys to places like Nepal, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Italy, France and many more. And who knows? Maybe the magical creatures she writes about are people she met along the way.

Julia Crane has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Although she's spent most of her life on the US east coast, she currently lives in Dubai with her husband and three children.

Links
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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/27/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kerry Copeland Smith - The Boogie Trapp - Author Interview

Author Interview 

1. How did you come up with the title?
When I first began writing the book, I had another title in mind.  I would periodically read my wife scenes I had written. One, in particular, she said blew her mind.  She laughingly said, you should call this book the “Boogie Trapp.”  That play on words did it.    

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Have the courage to stand up against evil and never make promises lightly.  The day will come when you must honor them.  A promise should never be broken, especially when God is involved!

3. How much of the book is realistic?
I would say all of it.  Child molesting, sadly, is very real.  Children are molested every day and as my book points out, it’s been going on for years.  It’s something we seem to just expect and accept.  We take no definite action to stop it.  Why?  I can’t  understand.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
No. 


5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Writing some of the more graphic  and racial scenes in the book.  Some of them even made me cringe.

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
What someone can accomplish if they are put to a test and are determined to succeed.    

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
From my mother, who was an avid reader, and my dad, who was a great story teller, which encouraged me to be the same.  I had thoughts about writing a book for years, but never seemed to find the time until I retired.  After that, I had a promise to keep.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It would be hard to narrow it down to one, because there are so many great writers out there today.  For their ability to turn historical facts into epic novels, I admire Wilbur Smith and Bernard Cornwell.  For current day mystery and suspense, I love Michael Connelly and John Sandford.  Then, there’s Elmore Leonard, who never fails to entertain.

9. Tell us your latest news.
I am currently working on a new novel, completely different from the “Boogie Trapp.”  But, I find myself wanting to further expand on the adventures of “Boogie” from time to time.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
It’s never too late to realize your dreams: Go for it;  Life is too short.


About the Book

The Boogie Trapp is the story of two young boys—Charles Edward “Trapper” Trapp and the aptly-nicknamed, born-under-a-bad-sign Boogie Smith, the novel’s narrator—and that day, decades ago, when time almost stopped for the boys.

When the novel opens, it’s over a half century later and time finally has stopped—at least for one. Protagonist and narrator Smith, now 72, recounts the day he receives word that his old friend Trapper has passed away. But there is more—far more—than simply grieving the loss of his friend. Weeks later, just as he knew he would, Smith receives a letter from Trapper reminding him to complete what Trapper calls “the last and most important mission” of his life.

Completing that mission means rewinding to April 1949 in Black Creek, Alabama, a small coal mining town just north of Birmingham. Like most of the mining towns of its day, Black Creek has long since vanished, but a dark memory remains. And what follows is the story of that day, April 9, 1949. The day when everything changed.

Friends since the age of five, inseparable since the age of 12, Boogie and Trapper, now 13, had a friendship that went deeper than most, probably because the two were so much alike. Not only did the two look alike and have similar interests, but both boys felt superior to everyone, including each other. Egotistical, overbearing, crude in the way that only 13-year-old boys can be, Boogie and Trapper argued and fought with each other constantly. But they were friends---friends who deep down may not have even liked each other. Even still, life was good for the two. But bad things, as anyone knows, can happen when least expected…

On that day—a day that would be painful to remember, impossible to forget--one choice sets into motion an unspeakable chain of events. A predator. Two unsuspecting kids. An unconscionable and shameful act of brutality, violence, and rage. A choice.

In the end, two men are dead. And two lives—at least two lives— will never be the same.

A page-turning thriller about secrets, promises, justice, and redemption, The Boogie Trapp is a chilling story about the choices made in those moments where life hangs in the balance. A gripping and agonizingly-real story, The Boogie Trapp will leave readers wondering where—or maybe if—the lines between fact and fiction blur within the pages of this extraordinary novel.

Prices/Formats: $29.95 hardcover, $4.99 ebook
Pages: 358
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Peppertree Press
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble


About the Author

Kerry Copeland Smith is an Alabama native who calls Florida his home. The Boogie Trapp is his first novel.






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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Anne Elisabeth Stengl - Starflower - Book Blast & Giveaway


Starflower

When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission...and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?



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Excerpt


The Kiss by the River:

The girl did not stir when Eanrin lifted her into his arms; her sleep was profound indeed. Her head lolled over his arm, and he was obliged to part her thick hair to uncover her face. It was an uncommonly beautiful face for a mortal.
However, this girl’s beauty was different from any he had ever before seen. For one thing, her skin was rich dark brown, and her hair glossy black. For another, she was imperfect. Her teeth, visible between gently parted lips, were a little crooked. Mud stained her skin, making it darker still, and her brow, even in sleep, was puckered with anxiety or fear. Her dreams must be wicked indeed.
Eanrin grimaced at the sight and almost put her down again. After all, a princess with dreams like those probably had a tale of woe to match. She would certainly wake with expectations of a handsome hero to aid her. As far as Eanrin was concerned, a dash of heroism was one thing, but commitment to a cause? Never. Rushing off to the rescue of Lady Gleamdren was different, for he had determined that she must be his wife and the sole inspiration to his life’s work. Besides, he loved her.
This creature meant nothing to him.
But blood oozed from the abrasions on her wrists. And her body, mortal and vulnerable, lay in his arms. Eanrin rolled his eyes heavenward as though to seek some holy aid. Then he braced himself and wiped the mud off her lips with the edge of his cloak. She frowned in her sleep and stirred, but did not wake.
“Nothing for it,” he muttered. Closing his eyes and trying not to smell her any more than he must, he leaned in and kissed her . . .




Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of HEARTLESS, VEILED ROSE, MOONBLOOD, and STARFLOWER, with DRAGONWITCH due to release in 2013. HEARTLESS and VEILED ROSE have each been honored with a Christy Award.





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BookBlast Giveaway
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Ends 1/31/13
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



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Monday, January 14, 2013

Carla Neggers - That Night on Thistle Lane - Author Interview & Giveaway

Author Interview 

1. How did you come up with the title?
I was actually in New York, having dinner with my editor. She was asking me about the book, which I'd only just started, and I realized that a night on Thistle Lane is at the heart of the story. It hit me that had to be the title. I think that's the first time I've come up with a title while having wine with my editor!

2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Most of all, I hope readers enjoy the story, and if there are aspects of it that resonate with them on different levels, that's great. 


3. How much of the book is realistic?
Well, I have met a billionaire! Seriously, although the little town of Knights Bridge is fictional, the Swift River Valley is a real place. Four small towns were wiped off the map there in the 1920s and 1930s to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Everything had to go – people, homes, businesses, shops. Even graves were moved. I grew up on the western edge of Quabbin and its watershed. My mother still lives on our family homestead (she just broke her leg hanging bird feeders but is on the mend!).

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
No, I wouldn't. The story is what it is, and I loved writing it. I can "see" Phoebe O'Dunn in her Edwardian gown and Noah Kendrick in his swashbuckler outfit at the masquerade ball in Boston! 


5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
April! I got sick with the stomach bug from hell (is there any other kind) and then, as I was getting back on my feet, had a dental emergency. So much for my May 1st deadline! Fortunately my editor was understanding and it all worked out. I can write anytime, anywhere, but sometimes we all just have to crawl under the covers for a bit!

6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Like Phoebe O'Dunn, I have three sisters who mean the world to me. My sister Hilda raises goats and she and her daughter make goat's milk soap, which play a role in Phoebe's life and her relationship with her mother and sisters. That allowed me to learn more about this aspect of my sister's life. (She and her daughter are also both nurses!) Goat's milk soap is fabulous. I'm not sure how goats, Hollywood gowns and a high-tech California billionaire end up in the same story but it's a lot of fun.

7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I've always loved reading and storytelling. I grew up in the country, with six brothers and sisters and lots to do on the 18th century carriage house we moved into when I was seven. I'd go off by myself and climb a tree with a pad and pen. I had a favorite sugar maple. I had a number of writing getaways but my tree branch was my favorite.

8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I can't name just one favorite author! I have so many, but I remember as a kid discovering Mary Stewart. That was the first time I had to read everything an author's written. I loved the atmosphere of her stories. When I meet other Mary Stewart fans, we often point to similar passages describing sunlight, sea, the specifics of the setting. Her work endures. She started writing before I was born and now my daughter is reading her, too.


9. Tell us your latest news.
I'm so excited about 2013! THAT NIGHT ON THISTLE LANE comes out in late January, and in late May, Harlequin is reissuing BEWITCHING, one of my early (funny) romances. Then in July, I'll have my first e-novella original published, ROCK POINT, a prequel to my Sharpe & Donovan series. The story features Finian Bracken, the enigmatic Irish priest who appears in SAINT'S GATE and HERON'S COVE. He plays a role in DECLAN'S CROSS, too, the third book in the series, due out in late August. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends…and, of course, we'll be off to Ireland again! Nothing like hiking the Irish hills to relax and nurture the creative spirit.

10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I couldn't do what I do without the support of readers. Reading's one of my great pleasures and I just love being part of the world of books.

11. Tell us About your Library Contest, what a great idea!
Thanks! The “My Favorite Library Contest” gives people a chance to win $1000 for their favorite library as well as a collection of my books. All the details are on my website: www.carlaneggers.com. If we select your entry (100 words or less telling me about your favorite library), you also receive books and a gift basket of some of my favorite New England goodies. Libraries have meant so much to me and I've heard from countless readers over the years who feel the same. The contest runs until April 1 but please enter today!


About the Book

Two strangers who meet at a costume ball work out the other’s identity only to be faced with an even greater mystery, in THAT NIGHT ON THISTLE LANE, the second book in New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers’ Swift River Valley contemporary romance series.

When Knights Bridge, Massachusetts, librarian Phoebe O’Dunn uncovers a tiny room hidden in the attic of the town’s library, it is as if she is stepping into a time capsule. Not only is the mysterious space filled with perfect reproductions of dresses from famous films up through the 1960s, but it’s also overflowing with elaborate gowns from myriads of different historical eras.

So even though sensible, uneventful Phoebe had initially declined to attend a gala masquerade in Boston with her sister and friends, she thinks better of it at the last moment and decides to secretly attend dressed as a princess. Surely no one—not even her sister—will recognize Phoebe in an intricate Edwardian gown with a wig and mask? It’ll be Phoebe’s secret.

As soon as she enters the ball, Phoebe attracts the attention of a charming masked swashbuckler. The two strangers make an instant connection and all eyes are on the striking couple as they glide across the dance floor. However, while her gallant swashbuckler is distracted, Phoebe is forced to flee the ball before she is recognized. Once home, she scolds herself for being so reckless, hides the gowns and vows to keep her escapade a secret.

However, that proves difficult when Phoebe’s charismatic dance partner follows her back to Knights Bridge. It turns out the masked swashbuckler is Noah Kendrick, billionaire founder of high tech company NAK, Inc. Noah’s wealth has made him wary, especially of women. But the spark he felt with his princess was genuine and—even better—she has no ulterior motives. The only problem is now he has to find her.

After Phoebe meets Noah, she begins to suspect that he is her swashbuckler. However, she is too afraid to reveal herself to him. What will the reaction of this billionaire jet-setter be when he realizes that his feisty, exciting princess is actually a boring small-town librarian?

But events may force the dance partners to drop their masks and reveal their true identities. Noah is being followed by a mysterious stranger. This elusive man has been on Noah’s tail since San Diego, and when he appears in Knights Bridge, Phoebe is suddenly drawn into a situation that has her worrying for her family’s safety.

Prices/Formats: $7.99 paperback, $7.99 ebook
Pages: 368
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: January 29, 2013
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle


About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers is always plotting her next adventure, whether in life or for one of her books. Her fertile imagination and curious nature make her ready for anything. These qualities sparked her love of reading as a child and continue to drive her passion for storytelling today.

With her trademark blend of action, adventure and down-to-earth, realistic characters caught up in extraordinary circumstances, her novels never fail to take her readers on an exciting journey.

Growing up in rural western Massachusetts, the third of seven children, Carla would grab a pad and pen and climb a tree to spin her stories. Just before she was born, her Dutch immigrant father and Southern-born mother had packed up the car with two kids and all their belongings and headed north to start a new life. They’d settled in an eighteenth-century carriage house on 90 acres and begun a long process of renovation.

After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class, Carla studied music at Boston University and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in journalism. She enjoyed a brief stint as a freelance journalist, then turned to writing fiction full-time and now has more than 60 novels of romantic suspense and contemporary romance to her credit. Her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in more than 30 countries.

Travel and research play a large part in Carla’s writing. “It’s part of the fun of being a writer— you never know what will spark an idea. For example, I wasn’t thinking about writing on my first trip to Ireland. Then I stepped into the ruin of the cottage where my son-in-law’s great-grandfather was born…and I knew a story had started percolating. I just didn’t know what it was!”

Once a plot is hatched, the real research begins. Carla’s novels have taken her atop New England’s highest peaks, onto a shooting range with a police academy instructor and across the world as she scouts out locations and seeks the authenticity that imbues her novels.

The author’s greatest pleasure comes in those moments when she feels she’s gotten the story just right—when it all comes together on the pages of her book, exactly the way she’s envisioned the tale in her mind. Then, when readers connect with the story, her satisfaction is complete. “I love to hear from readers,” says the author. “When they tell me that a story resonated and they had a great time with it, I know I’ve done my job and done it well.”

A distinguished member of the writing community, Carla is a founder of the New England chapter of Romance Writers of America and has served on the boards of Novelists, Inc., and International Thriller Writers.

When she’s not working on her next book, Carla enjoys traveling, hiking and kayaking. She’s always planning the next trip and the next adventure—either of which just might inspire a new story.

Carla and her husband, Joe, are the parents of two grown children. They live in Vermont, not far from picturesque Quechee Gorge.

Links to connect with Carla:
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Friday, January 11, 2013

Kathleen Gerard - In Transit: A Novel - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

WINNER!
Best Romantic Fiction
New York Book Festival 2011


Can a rookie cop survive the men who cross her path in the NYPD?

When a psychic in a shopping mall tells Rita Del Vecchio that she is "destined for greatness," and she will "marry a man in uniform," the restless, wet-behind-the-ears, 22 year-old decides to finally take control of her life. Rita sets out on a quest to become a New York City Police Officer. But can a spry, feisty, single woman thrive in the gritty world of New York's Finest?

Leaving behind the suburbs of New Jersey and a job as an under-tipped waitress, Rita Del Vecchio hangs up her apron and ballet slippers for a bullet-proof vest. But will she wear it? And if she does, will it protect her on the mean streets of Manhattan? Can it also protect her from Cupid’s arrows if they should land amiss?

Rita is assigned to the New York City Transit Police Squad and gets more than she bargained for. Riding the Lexington Avenue Subway Line, Rita winds up meeting not one man in uniform, but many. Whom will she love?

In Transit is a woman-in-jeopardy story, a post 9-11 novel, that delves into the ordinary lives of NYPD career cops and how their fates are often determined by people who hold secrets as dark and as labyrinth-like as the New York City Subway System.

My Review

"Nana always used to say a girl needs to spend all four seasons with a man before she says I do." Smart advice from the mom of Rita Del Vecchio. If only she listened to it. Award-winning author, Kathleen Gerard, offers her readers this dire warning in her gritty, yet romantic, cop thriller, In Transit: A Novel: look beyond the surface, don't settle for appearances. Getting swept off your feet (like her main character) can be dangerous.

At the beginning, Rita is an idealist. Call her naive, she's a hopeless romantic. Sick of waitressing at a diner in Jersey, she puts undue emphasis on an impromptu psychic reading that her destiny lies with a man in uniform. Hearing that the NYPD is seeking new recruits, she struggles through the boot camp conditions of officer training with a bulldog of an instructor, Sergeant Gary Hill. She makes it all the way to graduation only to lock eyes with crooked cop, Billy Quinn.

Gerard knows how to paint a picture of working the beat of an inner city cop. When assigned the subways to patrol, Rita falls into a steady routine of riding the rails and talking about the Yankees with her sweetheart of a partner, Franko O'Malley. They are like two peas in a pod until Billy makes a grandiose play for Rita's affections.

The novel operates around two simultaneous story lines. The majority of events are told through Rita's point of view, but there's also a concurrent thread depicting Billy's secret life. Gerard weaves the plot into a seamless whole, and a sense of foreboding builds as Rita unknowingly becomes more entangled in Billy's web of lies.

The characterization shines in the ethnic divide between the Italians and the Irish. Rita's mom is the classic example of an Italian matriarch. She's a pasta-cooking force of nature. She senses Billy is a no good Irishman when he shows up late, drinks more than he should and offers her daughter a hand-me-down wedding band. Her instincts are right on the money, but her high-handed way of expressing her concerns to her daughter go unheeded. As Rita responds, "No, you're passing judgment. That's what you're doing. No one is ever going to be good enough for me. Are they, Ma?"

In a brutal scene, Billy's true nature is finally revealed to Rita when he drags her into the woods during their wedding reception. The threat of violence shocks the reader into grasping the full measure of Billy's depravity. He progressively worsens through the second half of the novel, but this tipping point is graphic in nature serving to fully illustrate the ever-changing nature of their relationship. Jealousy. Possessiveness. Paranoia. Alcoholism. Drug addiction. All of Billy's demons are revealed one by one.

The supporting cast is also restructured as Billy begins to drive the narrative. One character is murdered. Another becomes a pillar of support for Rita as a new - and unexpected - love interest. While another comes out of the closet and reveals his homosexuality to Rita. All of these narrative twists are handled with care and grace as Gerard infuses her secondary characters with as much complexity and level of detail that she bestows upon Rita and Billy.

For a woman tough enough to choose employment as a post 9-11 cop, Rita is someone who never expected to become a victim in her own home. Her inner strength slowly re-emerges, even after she is dealt some crippling set-backs. Gerard creates a female protagonist who is easy to root for. Rita's choices at times may be questionable, but her resolve to make the most out of life never wavers. In Transit: A Novel may revolve around cops, but it is centered around the workings of a woman's heart.


Excerpt

It was a blood bath at Grand Central. By the time Franko and Rita arrived on the scene, commuters were scrambling, trying to get away from the pandemonium. The victim was flat on his back, face up and unconscious on the cold tile platform. It was obvious that life was quickly draining from him. The tails of his tie were flung back over his shoulder, and the lapels of his suit jacket were parted like a curtain that revealed a bull’s-eye of blood right at the center of his starched white business shirt. Papers that had spilled from a leather briefcase were strewn around the lifeless-looking body and sopping up the growing pool of blood.

“Freeze! Freeze!” came the shouts of Rita and Franko, who raised their weapons in order to corner three Latino men wearing leather jackets and holding switchblade knives.

“Drop your weapons. Now!” The commanding shrill of Franko’s voice echoed in the terminal. The two men in the rear of the group did as they were told. They threw down their knives. But there was one holdout—the pack leader, the guy heading up the trio. He waved a bloody knife in front of him, itching for a fight.

A spike of fear rose up in Franko. He stared into the man’s face. The image of those wild eyes, his thick nose and taut lips seared into Franko’s brain as he firmed his grip on his weapon, tight and damp, and ordered, “C’mon, man. I said drop it. Drop your weapon and put up your hands.”

“But I ain’t done nothing,” the pack leader said. He had a well-defined V-shape to his body that made him appear the most muscular-looking of the three. He kept his feet firmly planted. He didn’t blink. Perspiration was raining down from beneath the fringe of his black hair.

“Don’t be stupid,” one of the other men said, his voice rising from behind the group. “Just give ’em what they want. It’s over.”

The pack leader yelled something incoherent in Spanish that sounded like a bark.

Every muscle in Franko’s body was tense, but he could feel his hand, his fingers wrapped around the gun, beginning to quake. Locked in this standoff, Franko couldn’t see a way out of this, but he tightened his bicep so that his arm might feel stronger.

You’re the one in control here, spouted Franko’s internal dialogue. Keep your hand steady and your mind even. Finger on the trigger. Be cool. You’ve got this guy.

With his piece still aimed on the defiant pack leader, Franko took a step closer and said, “Get against the wall.” Franko could feel his adrenaline rushing, even through his eyes. “I said, put your hands up and drop your weapon.”

The two men in the rear backed up toward the wall of the terminal. But brazenly, the pack leader stood his ground. He brandished the knife in front of him like a shield, ready for Franko’s attack.

Franko kept his aim on the leader and again moved closer. One step… Then another. The perpetrator moved from side to side. He wouldn’t back down. Rita, creeping alongside Franko, kept her own weapon drawn and followed Franko’s lead. But as Franko took his fourth step toward the perp, Rita’s and Franko’s police radios hissed and crackled with static. The sound must’ve jarred the man with the outstretched knife. He lunged for Franko.

Pop!

A bullet, a single shot, released from the chamber of Franko’s gun. It echoed like the roar of a cannon. The assailant collapsed onto the platform. Franko had lodged a bullet in the man’s leg.

The perpetrator looked stunned, and so was Franko. His arm was outstretched, and he kept the gun pointed straightaway. For a terrifying instant, a light, gauzy feeling filled Franko’s head. Everything in the cold, desolate terminal looked and sounded muted, except for the bloodied knife-edge. The shiny part of the blade glimmered on the ground next to the perpetrator, and Franko saw it as clear as if he were holding it in his own hand.

“Franko, you all right?” Rita asked.

He couldn’t speak. Have I imagined this? Have I really just shot a man? Franko could feel his face flush. He felt as though he’d just showered with his clothes on.

When the back-up team arrived, along with paramedics, the adrenaline of the scene finally began to drain from Franko. And on he went, business as usual.

The injured businessman, who’d been lying unconscious, was quickly put on a stretcher and rushed out of the terminal. After the victim’s wallet was recovered from the pack leader, Rita and Franko discovered there was only one hundred dollars inside.

The two other assailants were handcuffed. They were read their rights and whisked away. As the wounded aggressor was being carted off on a stretcher, the medical crew worked hard to restrain him. But what they couldn’t restrain were his words.

“I’ll be back to get you, you fat pig,” he wailed.

“Aw, I bet you say that to all your arresting officers,” Franko chimed, trying to act nonchalant while a sick feeling shivered through him.

Through the barrage of paramedics and police, the aggressor defiantly craned his neck. When he found Franko through the crowd, he raised his hand in a gesture of an imaginary gun.

“Bang, bang,” he said, taking aim and firing a make-believe shot in the direction of Franko’s head.

When Franko turned away, his gaze landed on Rita. He saw his own horror reflected in her pale face.


***

In Transit: A Novel buy links:

Hardcover (U.S.):
Amazon U.S.
Barnes and Noble

Hardcover International:
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK

eBook:
Kindle
Nook
Untreed Reads

Price: $4.99 ebook, $25.95 hardcover
Pages: 246 ebook, 284 hardcover
ISBN: 9781594149665
ASIN: B009RR815S
Hardcover Publisher: Five Star (Gale-Cengage-Thorndike Press)
eBook Publisher: Untreed Reads
Hardcover Release: May 2011
eBook Release: October 2012


About the Author

Kathleen Gerard writes across genres. Her fiction has been awarded The Perillo Prize, The Eric Hoffer Prose Award and was nominated for Best New American Voices, all national prizes in literature. Her prose and poetry have been widely published in magazines, literary journals, anthologies and broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR). Several of her plays have been staged and performed regionally and off-Broadway.

Links to connect with Kathleen:
Web site
Blog
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog Tour Site


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