Tuesday, October 17, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'Summer on Earth' Peter Thompson



Peter Thompson grew up in Illinois, and lives near Chicago. He remembers how excited he was when the first astronaut stepped on to the moon. He has had an appreciation of space, and all its possibilities ever since. His love of children’s books developed while reading to his three sons. His first novel, Living Proof, was a thriller published by Berkeley Books. Summer on Earth is his first book for younger readers. It will be released in August of this year.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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What’s inside the mind of a middle grade sci-fi author?

Curiosity and empathy. I think it all comes down to that sense of wonder, and imagining what things would be like, if something was different. By asking What if questions, and trying to put myself in the shoes of the character experiencing this situation, I get a chance to live life from a new perspective. My novel, Summer on Earth, is the story of Ralwil or Will, an alien who is forced to land on a farm to fix his broken spaceship, and his relationship with Grady, the 11-year-old boy who lives there. It was a lot of fun writing from the perspective of Ralwil, an alien from another galaxy. To him, everything here is new and exotic. Things we take for granted and think of as dull and boring, are fresh and exciting to him. Grady’s perspective was challenging in another way. It has been a long, long time since I was 11 years old. Remembering back to how I was at that age, and trying to make it authentic, was very satisfying in the end.  

What is so great about being an author?

It is a wonderful feeling to have an idea, and to start writing, and to see how the story takes shape. I love how characters come alive and go off in their own direction. When a story works, it feels like I am a stenographer, just trying to keep up and write down the story as it flows out of me. I think we all have creative impulses, and it is a wonderful feeling to start with just a germ of an idea, and to see it grow. When my writing flows, it is exciting for it to come together, surprising me at times as the story finds its way, and ends up as a finished novel, telling a story that has never been told in that way before.

When do you hate it?

I don’t think I ever hate it, but writing can be frustrating at times. Every day you start with a blank page. Sometimes the story flows and it feels great. Other times it is a struggle. I try to push through when it isn’t flowing, but there are times where I don’t like any of my ideas, and nothing is working the way I want it too. I just try and relax and keep going. It always comes back if you keep on putting in the time.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

I do most of my writing early in the morning. I try and get up at five thirty, and write for a few hours before going to work. I usually read what I wrote from the day before, say may affirmations, then put on my headphones and listen to some instrumental music, set the timer and start to write. On a good day it will flow effortlessly. Sometimes it doesn’t, but if I keep it up, the story comes through.

How do you handle negative reviews?

There is always a sting when you read a bad review, and I wonder sometimes, maybe they are right? But the truth is, a review is only an opinion. I’ve had enough good response to know that my stories are working, even if they don’t work for everyone. You have to believe in what you do. Our stories are all personal, even when they are fiction, and as an author we need to have confidence that we are telling the story the best way that we can tell it, even when someone else doesn’t get it.

How do you handle positive reviews?

It is a good feeling to know that someone really connected to my story, and I immediately think that they are obviously very intelligent, beautiful and well respected human beings. I’m only partially kidding when I say that. In my heart I send out thanks and gratitude. It feels good and I do get a boost from good reviews. But, like a bad review, it is still only one person’s opinion. I read them, enjoy them, and move on. 

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

Surprise, mostly. I don’t bring it up as a rule, so they are more likely to hear about it when someone else tells them, or they read an article, or now, it might be because of social media. People see you in the way they know you, or were first introduced to you. We all have many facets, and people who know me through my work, or from family connections or any other relationship, think of me based on how they first came to know me. I know I feel the same way when I find out something new about a friend or acquaintance that I didn’t know before. I recently found out that someone I’ve known for years was a painter. I thought that was so cool, and it made me look at her in a new light. When people find out I am an author, they are surprised, but it rounds me out as a person to them. They see me for more than the one role they might identify me with. Most people don’t know many authors, though, so when they ask me for my autograph, or to sign a copy of my book, I sometimes feel like a minor celebrity. 

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I try and write every day, but some days I am very productive, and other days, not so much. I do take breaks from writing, but if I am working on a project and it doesn’t flow, I keep pushing. I’ve found that inspiration comes reliably when I push through and put in the work.

Any writing quirks?

I usually sit in the same spot and listen to music when I write. I also say my affirmations before I start, and find that this helps put me in the right head space for writing.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

I’ve been very lucky in that my family and friends have been very supportive of my writing. And that does make a big difference. But ultimately, I write for myself. When I write it is a form of self-discovery, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Early on, the people I share my work with are those who I know will take it seriously. Sometimes there are stories that I get excited about, and my early readers don’t see it the same way. When that happens I listen to their opinion, and then decide whether I want to accept it, or not. As a writer you have to have a pretty thick hide, because criticism is part of it, and good criticism can make you better.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Absolutely. I love to write, and when it is flowing I have a real sense of joy and accomplishment. But there was a long period where I stopped writing entirely. At the time, my life was busy and I had a lot of stress from other sources. I kept getting stuck with my writing. I felt blocked and discouraged and trying to write was just adding more stress. I put everything away and just stopped.  I missed it, but writing was too painful at the time. Since then, I have come to appreciate the process more, and now I try and keep writing even when I don’t feel like it is working. In the long run I have faith that what needs to come out, will come out.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

I don’t. Money is important to the extent that it gives you validation. Knowing that a publisher believes in your story enough that they are willing to pay for it, is a great feeling. I remember when I saw my first novel in a book store the first time, it gave me a real rush of excitement. I have to admit, I do fantasize about my book becoming a runaway best seller, and I am looking forward to the movie premier (take note, any movie producers in the audience). But I don’t write for the money. If I was given a choice of having a whole bunch of readers reading my book for free and loving it, or having someone pay me a ton of money not to publish the book, I would always go for more readers. Like most authors, I work a full-time job, and that’s where most of my money comes from.


What has writing taught you?

That’s a great question. I have learned a lot about myself in the process of writing. I know that I can take on a big project, and see it through to completion. I have learned not to take myself too seriously, and I try and separate the process from the outcome. I’ve learned that I have more fun when I write for my own enjoyment, then when I try and write for some potential audience. I know that writing is almost like praying or meditating. I am the one typing on my keypad, but when the writing flows, I connect with something else, and I am often surprised and delighted by what comes out on the page.


Leave us with some words of wisdom.

When writing, especially in the beginning, don’t write for other people, write for yourself. I try and amuse myself. I know things are going well if I’m laughing while I write, or feel tears come to my eyes. I try to turn off my editor, let it go and just have fun.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Feature: Dead Cold by Jennifer Chase



We're really excited to be part of Jennifer Chase's DEAD COLD Blog Tour! 



Title: DEAD COLD
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 326
Genre: Crime Thriller
What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.

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ESCAPE WAS IMPOSSIBLE. TEARS STREAMED down her face as she sat in the darkness and waited for the man to return. There was no other choice—but to wait.
She hadn’t eaten anything in three days and had only a limited amount of water—her strength continued to fade with every hour. With her wrists and ankles secured with duct tape, her skin stung with pain every time she struggled to move. At least the man had peeled the tape from her eyes and mouth so that she could see something besides pitch-blackness.
Even if she could escape, the only way to safety was jumping into the frigid water, but she could not swim and would drown before ever reaching the shore.
The only thing thirteen-year-old Kayla Swanson thought about was home. Fond memories flashed through her mind of her parents, her little brother, and her dog Charlie. She was never going to see them again. Their smiling faces were forever etched in Kayla’s mind, and she constantly held them close to her heart.  
The boat rocked, and seemed to sway more violently as the tide flooded in and out of the harbor. Kayla could hear a consistent clanking noise above her as the boat rolled back and forth. The sound had a hypnotic quality, and kept her mind on something else besides when the man would return and what he would do next. 
Her lips were dry and cracked as she bordered on dehydration. Even her tears dried on her cheeks, leaving her skin stiff and drawn. Her body began to shake, not only from fear, but also because of the extreme exhaustion and the constant dampness all around her.
The boat rocked more, but this time it shifted from the opposite sides. Kayla heard soft footsteps above, which she knew wasn’t her captor’s heavy walk. She strained her eyes in the darkness and thought she saw a thin shadow stealthily move along the upper deck.
Was it a ghost?
Kayla remembered a television series where a team of people hunted ghosts and they had said that ghosts could occupy any type of space, house, property, and even a boat.
She blinked her eyes several times and hoped that she could catch a glimpse of the ghost again. With every ounce of declining strength, Kayla scooted her body closer to the narrow stairs leading to the upper deck.
Painfully craning her neck, she strained to see something up in the darkness.
The dark shadowed areas played tricks on her eyes—it was there, then it wasn’t.
She waited for several minutes.
Nothing appeared.
The only sounds she heard were the usual boat noises she had grown accustomed to hearing. Whatever she thought she heard was gone now. It was most likely her imagination trying to give her some hope and a few moments break from her dire circumstances.
As she relaxed her shoulders and leaned back against the wall, the reality of her world pressing down hard. Tears streamed down her face. She tasted the saltiness that settled around her mouth. Her last moments were approaching, and there was nothing she could do.



Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

Her latest book is the crime thriller, Dead Cold.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Book Blast! A Shape on the Air by Julia Ibbotson




Title: A SHAPE ON THE AIR
Author: Julia H. Ibbotson
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Pages: 267
Genre: Medieval Timeslip Romance
Unlocking a love that lasts for lifetimes … and beyond …
Dr Viv Dulac, a lecturer in medieval studies, is devastated when her partner walks out (and with her best friend too) and it seems that she is about to lose everything. Drunk and desperate, her world quite literally turns upside down when she finds herself in the body of the fifth century Lady Vivianne. Lady V has her own traumas; she is struggling with the shifting values of the Dark Ages and her forced betrothal to the brutish Sir Pelleas, who is implicated in the death of her parents. Haunted by both Lady Vivianne and by Viv's own parents' death and legacy, can Viv  unlock the mystery that surrounds and connects their two lives, 1500 years apart, and bring peace to them both? Can the strange key she finds hold the truth? A haunting story of lives intertwining across the ages, of the triumph of the human spirit and of dreams lost and found.

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Amazon


Prologue

1500 years before

Lady Nymue, her mother, is rising from the mere like a spirit: tall, slow like a dream, over-gown falling in slim folds from her waist. Vivianne sees her in a haze of mist, like magic, an illusion. She feels it, that enchantment, and it is enfolding her, but making her shiver, too. Her life-giver, robes dry despite the water, is coming towards her as she stands anxiously on the bank, waiting impatiently, calling out urgently, hopping from one foot to the other, tangling her feet in her earth-sweeping kirtle, longing to rejoin her playmates who are chasing around the village pretending to be Roman soldiers. Her mother, reaching out a hand to her, is shaking her head, but laughing. Be more patient, my little Lady Vivianne, she says, I have not completed my rituals, but let me wrap you in my cloak, for I must return to the mere. But she is only a little girl and something is making her feel cold, frightened. No, she calls, sticking out her lower lip, I want to play! I want to be Honorius this time! They promised! Eleanor will play my wife - or maybe my lady servant.
Her mother is ruffling her soft curls. Well, then, she smiles, I will return later to finish. She is lifted onto her mother’s horse, in front, held close. Dry, warm, comforting. Riding back to the village. Her care-giver is taking her back to play with her friends again. Her mother turns to the special hall which her father, Sir Tristram, called “sacred” and where she is only allowed to go sometimes.
And then, fire, flames, the acrid smell of smoke. Looking across to the great hall, terror strangling her heart, stealing her breath. Running towards the wooden building, through the ash and cinders and the roaring, screaming now, choking. Someone holding her back, pulling her.
Darkness.
Waking up in her little bed. A big red-faced man in the shadows, haloed with a fair unruly beard and thick wild hair, telling her that her parents were dead, burned in the fire. Her mother and her father, both of them. An accident with tallows. She knows those tallows; they are always on the altar in the sacred hall. They are only spoken of in whispers. But this man is speaking in a strange way, loud, too loud, and it seems to her, sneering, as she peers at him through the darkness.


Julia Ibbotson is giving away a PDF copy of ‘Drumbeats’!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter
  • This giveaway ends midnight September 29.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is obsessed with the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana) specialising in medieval studies, and has a PhD in linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a teacher, lecturer and researcher, and a single mum.  Julia has published four books, including a children’s book S.C.A.R.S (a fantasy medieval time slip), a memoir, and the first two novels of her Drumbeats trilogy (which begins in Ghana).  Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga, and walking in the English countryside.

Her recent release is A Shape on the Air.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Trailer Blast! Don't Call Me Crazy! by Swiyyah Woodard






Title: DON’T CALL ME CRAZY! I’M JUST IN LOVE WITH GOD
Author: Swiyyah Woodard
Publisher: Swiyyah Productions, Inc.
Pages: 229
Genre: Inspirational / Motivational / Romance / Christian




BOOK BLURB:
Because of God, nothing will stop Anika from marrying the love of her life, not even paranoid schizophrenia. You don’t want to miss this spiritual journey filled with inspiration and power.
This book is insightful and perceptive. Inspired by a true story. Few people consider the God factor in mental health. Join Anika and journey with her as she receives revelations from God while on her walk to overcome mental illness and naiveness towards religion. Required reading for High schools and colleges.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble




     Anika begins to lose her mind. While continuing to stare at the television set, Anika sees a vision of Jesus. He appears to her in just as perfect form and image as the paintings on Mary’s wall. She then hears Jesus speak, “I am the son of God.” Then just as fast as he appears, he leaves her vision.
     “Did you see him? Did you see Jesus?” Anika turns and looks at her friends. Words are stuck within their throats.
     “Did you see him? Did you see Jesus?” Anika repeats once more.
     “Anika, you’re really scaring us. I thought you were Muslim?” Mary says.

Anika then feels as if someone was controlling her thoughts. “Forgive yourself.”  

She then begins to ramble, “Atoms are neither created nor destroyed. There was always an existence. You have to take baby steps to understand how this existence works, where we came from, how it started. Don’t jump from A to Z. No, you must go from A to C. Take a break. It has been painted. First there was nothing; it was blackness, pitch blackness. There was first the black hole. A plumber can understand the black hole. There was a white light. The creator is positive energy. We all have a little bit of positive energy. A person of positivity can change your life without saying a word. We try to increase positive energy which is the same as increasing spiritually. Once we are of that same positivity as the creator, we become one with him. Only a few souls have reached this level of existence. The rest of us are growing spiritually so we can reach that level.“

     It appears to Anika that she is making sense as she began to explain herself, justifying her words.

   “Positive times positive equals positive. Negative times positive equals negative. Therefore, if you have any negativity in you, you cannot become one with positivity.”

   “The creator is all positive energy. Negative times negative equals positive. If you learn from loads of negativity you will learn from your mistakes and become all positive. It’s mathematics. Everything stems from mathematics. Less than a cup of wine is what I need to rest. Don’t want to scare away this beautiful spirit controlling my thoughts.” While holding the sides of her head trying to rid her racing thoughts, she runs into the kitchen and pours herself a cup of wine. She then thinks, “no one will ever have to go through what I went through again!”

Anika takes a look at her past to see how in the world she got to this point in her life.



Swiyyah Nadirah Woodard was selected as a Bay News 9 Everyday Hero, which was seen by two million viewers, for publishing a book and teaching the community about her own battle with mental
illness. She was hospitalized six times and misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her first book, Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just in Love, became required and suggested reading in Reading, Writing, Abnormal Psychology, and General Psychology classes at a four year Institution. 

She was born in the housing projects of
Saint Petersburg, FL. Her father left when she was three so she was raised in a single parent home. At the age of five she was
molested by her eight year old brother. She later started school, she had slurred speech and didn't care to make friends so she was bullied by her peers. At the age of eight, she wanted to kill herself because a girl wanted to fight her. She looked into the medicine cabinet for medication. Thank God, she couldn't find any.

As a teenager she was physically abused by her step dad. The abuse was so severe, God blocked it from her memory. At the age of 20 the brother that molested her committed suicide, which was devastating to her and the entire family. Swiyyah has always viewed herself as normal. She never received any disciplinary problems in school, made good grades, and received her BA degree in Psychology from the
University of South Florida.

When the doctors misdiagnosed her with the most debilitating mental disorder known in mental health, paranoid schizophrenia, she denied it. She questioned their expertise. She refused to take medication. She was then hospitalized six times. Her family took a picture of her at her worst and that's when she knew she needed help. She has been taking medication now for ten years without a relapse.

She is now a published author and a National Inspirational Speaker. Her first book is entitled, “Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm just in Love,” and is inspired by her true story. 

She was raised Muslim and the revelations she received from God and placed in her books, didn't make any since until she meet her Christian husband 14 years after her first relapse. 

Please contact Swiyyah to book speaking engagements, life coaching, author and speaker coaching, radio and TV interviews, or to purchase her books at 727-495-3217, Swiyyah@swiyyah.com.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Caridad Pineiro's ONE SUMMER NIGHT Available for Pre-Order!


You can order ONE SUMMER NIGHT right now! ONE SUMMER NIGHT by NY Times Bestselling Author and USA Today Bestselling Author Caridad Pineiro isn't officially released until October but you can order your copy now to make sure you're the first to get your copy! Oh wait - while you're looking over her book info below, be sure to sign up to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card! Good luck!




Title: ONE SUMMER NIGHT
Author: Caridad Pineiro
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Romance
An offer that’s impossible to accept . . .
Maggie Sinclair has tried everything to save her family’s business, including mortgaging their beloved beach house on the Jersey Shore. But now, she’s out of options.
The Sinclair and Pierce families have been neighbors and enemies for almost thirty years. That hasn’t stopped Owen Pierce from crushing on Maggie, and he’s determined to invest in her success. Now he has to convince her that he’s more than just trouble with a capital T…



PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon Kindle | Amazon Paperback | B&N | iBooks

 

 
Tracy Parker was in love with being in love.
That worried her best friend and maid of honor Maggie Sinclair more than she cared to admit.
In the middle of the temporary dance floor, Tracy waltzed with her new husband in a satin-and-lace designer gown, gleaming with seed pearls and twinkling sequins. But the sparkle dimmed in comparison to the dreamy glow in Tracy’s eyes.
The sounds of wedding music competed with the gentle rustle of seagrasses in the dunes and the crash of the waves down on the beach. The fragrance from centerpiece flowers and bouquets battled with the kiss of fresh sea air.
Connie and Emma, Tracy’s two other best friends and members of the bridal party, were standing beside Maggie on the edge of the dance floor that had been set up on the great lawn of Maggie’s family’s beachfront mansion on the Jersey Shore. Huddled together, Maggie and her friends watched the happy couple do a final whirl.
“She’s got it so bad,” Maggie said, eyeing Connie and Emma with concern past the rim of her rapidly disappearing glass of champagne.
“Do you think that this time he really is The One?” Connie asked.
“Doubt it,” Emma replied without hesitation.
As the DJ requested that other couples join the happy newlyweds, Maggie and her friends returned to the bridal party dais set out on the patio. Grabbing another glass of champagne, Maggie craned her neck around the gigantic centerpiece piled with an almost obscene mound of white roses, ice-blue hydrangea, lisianthus, sheer tulle, and twinkling fairy lights and examined the assorted guests mingling around the great lawn and down by the boardwalk leading to the beach.
She recognized Tracy’s family from their various meetings over the years, as well as some of Tracy’s sorority sisters, like Toni Van Houten, who in the six years since graduation had managed to pop out a trio of boys who now circled her like sharks around a swimmer. Although the wedding invite had indicated No Children, Toni had done as she pleased. Since Tracy had not wanted a scene at her dream beachfront wedding, Emma, who was doing double duty as the wedding planner for the event, had scrambled to find space for the children at the dinner tables.
“Is that Toni ‘I’ll never ruin my body with babies’ Toni?” Connie asked, a perplexed look on her features.  At Maggie’s nod, Connie’s eyes widened in surprise, and she said, “She looks…happy.”
A cynical laugh erupted from Emma. “She looks crazed.”
Maggie couldn’t argue with either of their assessments. But as put-upon as their old acquaintance seemed, the indulgent smile she gave her youngest child was positively radiant.
Maggie skipped her gaze across the gathering to take note of all the other married folk. It was easy enough to pick them out from her vantage point on the dais where she and her friends sat on display like days’ old cakes in the bakery. They were the last three unmarried women in an extended circle of business and college acquaintances.
“How many times do you suppose we’ve been bridesmaids now?” Maggie wondered aloud. She finished off her glass and motioned for the waiter to bring another.
“Jointly or severally?” asked Connie, ever the lawyer.
“Way too many,” replied Emma, who, for a wedding planner, was the most ardent disbeliever in the possibility of happily ever afters.
Maggie hadn’t given marriage a first thought, much less a second, in a very long time. She’d had too many things going on in her life. Not that there hadn’t been a few memorable moments, most of which revolved around the absolutely worst man for her: Owen Pierce.
But for years now, she’d been dealing with her family’s business and its money problems, which had spilled over into her personal finances. As she gazed at the beauty of the manicured grounds and then back toward her family’s summer home, it occurred to her that this might be the last time she hosted a celebration like this here. She had mortgaged the property that she had inherited to funnel money into the family’s struggling retail store division.
Unfortunately, thanks to her father’s stubborn refusal to make changes to help the business, she spent way too much time at work, which left little time for romance. Not to mention that none of her casual dates had piqued her interest in that direction. Looking down from her perch, however, and seeing the happiness on so many faces suddenly had her reconsidering the merits of married life.
“Always a bridesmaid and never a bride,” she muttered, surprising herself with the hint of wistfulness in her tone.
“That’s because the three of us are all too busy working to search for Prince Charming,” Connie said, her defense as swift and impassioned as if she were arguing a case in court.
“Who even believes in that fairy-tale crap?” Emma’s gaze grew distracted, and she rose from her chair. “Excuse me for a moment. Carlo needs to see me about something.”
Emma rushed off to the side of the dance floor, where her caterer extraordinaire, Carlo Teixeira, raked a hand through his thick brown hair in clear frustration. He wore a pristine white chef’s jacket and pants that enhanced his dark good looks.
Emma laid a hand on Carlo’s forearm and leaned close to speak to him, apparently trying to resolve a problem.
“She doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but her Prince Charming is standing right in front of her,” Connie said with a sad shake of her head.
Maggie took another sip of her champagne and viewed the interaction between Carlo and Emma. Definitely major sparkage going on, she thought.
“You’re totally right,” she said with an assertive nod.
Connie smiled like the proverbial cat, her exotic green-gold eyes gleaming with mischief. “That’s why you hired me to represent your company as soon as I finished law school. Nothing gets past me.”
“Really? So what else do you think you’ve seen tonight?”
Raising her glass, her friend gestured toward the right of the mansion’s great lawn where some of the fraternity brothers from their alma mater had gathered. One of the men slowly turned to sneak a peek at them.
“Owen has been watching you all night long,” Connie said with a shrewd smile.
“Totally impossible, and you of all people should know it. Owen Pierce has absolutely no interest in me.”
She set her glass on the table to hide the nervous tremble of her hand as her gaze connected with his for the briefest of moments. Even that fleeting link was enough to raise her core temperature a few degrees. But what woman wouldn’t respond like that?
In his designer tuxedo, Owen was the epitome of male perfection—raven-black hair, a sexy gleam in his charcoal-gray eyes, broad shoulders, and not an ounce of fat on him, which made her recall seeing him in much, much less on a hot summer night on Sea Kiss Beach. She had been staying in the quaint seaside town on the Jersey Shore with her grandmother that summer, much as she had all her life. As they also had for so many years, the Pierce boys had been residing next door for the entire season.
The two beachfront mansions had been built side by side decades earlier, before the start of the Pierce and Sinclair rift. The cost of waterfront real estate had escalated so drastically since their construction that neither family was willing to sell their beloved home to put some distance between the warring clans.
Well, make that the warring fathers, because as far as Maggie was concerned, she had no beef with Owen. They had played together down on the beach as kids. She couldn’t count the many sand castles they’d built or the time they’d spent out in the surf.
But after her mother had died, things had changed, and the carefree spirit of those halcyon days had disappeared. The Pierce boys had stopped coming down to the Shore for the next few years, and combined with the loss of her mom, it had created an emptiness inside her that hadn’t really gone away.
By the time the Pierce brothers returned years later, the feud had gotten worse, and Owen and Jonathan had been instructed to stay away. But an ill-timed and half-drunk kiss with Owen on a moonlit summer night had proved that staying away was impossible. It had also helped the emptiness recede for a bit. Since then, fate had seemed to toss them together time and time again in both their business and personal lives, keeping alive her fascination with him. She felt not quite so alone when he was around, not that she should get used to that.
Owen Pierce had left her once before when she’d needed his friendship the most: right after her mother’s death. His on-again, off-again presence in her life proved that she couldn’t count on him.
Owen stood next to his younger brother, Jonathan, who couldn’t be more different. While Owen was clean-cut and corporate, Jonathan had the scruffy hipster look going on. It was appealing in its own way, but not to her.
“Trust me, Maggie. Your families might be at war, but Owen would clearly love to sleep with the enemy,” Connie said.
She blew out a frustrated sigh. “More reason to avoid him. You know I’m not the kind to sleep around.”
Emma returned, color riding high on her cheeks, but not in a good way.
“Something wrong?” Maggie asked.
Emma kneeled between the two of them and whispered, “It seems the groom had a bit too much to drink and Tracy caught him being hands-on with an old flame.”
“Not Amy? Tracy always lost it if she spotted him with Amy,” Maggie whispered.
“Definitely Amy. Now Tracy is refusing to come out and cut the cake. I have to say, this takes the cake, literally. Married a few hours, and already there’s trouble.”
“Ever the hopeful romantic, Em,” she kidded.
“If you think you can do better, why don’t the two of you come help me talk Tracy off the ledge?”




Caridad Pineiro is a transplanted Long Island girl who has fallen in love with pork roll and the Jersey Shore, but still can’t get the hang of tomato pies. When Caridad isn’t taking long strolls along the boardwalk to maintain her sanity and burn off that pork roll, she’s also a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author with over a million books sold worldwide. Caridad is passionate about writing and helping others explore and develop their skills as writers. She is a founding member of the Liberty States Fiction Writers and has presented workshops at the RT Book Club Convention, Romance Writers of America National Conference as well as various writing organizations throughout the country.

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Caridad Pineiro is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
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Monday, September 18, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'San Francisco Nights' Greg Messel



Greg Messel has spent most of his adult life interested in writing, including a career in the newspaper business. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist and has contributed articles to various magazines. Greg lives in Edmonds, Washington on Puget Sound with his wife Jean DeFond.

Greg has written ten novels. His latest is "San Francisco Nights" which is the seventh in a series of mysteries set in 1959 San Francisco. "Shadows In The Fog," "Fog City Strangler," "San Francisco Secrets," "Deadly Plunge" are sequels to the first book in the series "Last of the Seals." His other three novels are "Sunbreaks," "Expiation" and "The Illusion of Certainty." For a more detailed summary of Greg's novels go to www.gregmessel.com 

Greg is currently working on his eleventh novel "Dreams That Never Were" which is not part of the mystery series.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book:

Title: SAN FRANCISCO NIGHTS
Author: Greg Messel
Publisher: Sunbreaks Publishing
Pages: 232
Genre: Mystery / Suspense

The wife of a wealthy San Francisco shipping magnate leads a secret life but someone is threatening to expose her.  Private eye Sam Slater and his wife and partner, Amelia, meet a mysterious woman in a large red hat during a train trip. The woman approaches him pleading for help because she‘s receiving anonymous notes quoting Bible verses which are becoming more and more ominous with each passing day. Her secrets have been discovered but by whom? What really happens behind closed doors in Room 505 in a swanky downtown hotel?

Sam is willing to take the case but Amelia warns that this woman is nothing but trouble. What does the woman really want? She’s been watching Sam for months and has a scheme to pull him into her world. 

Find out in the latest Sam Slater Mystery “San Francisco Nights” set in the fall of 1959. It’s the seventh book in the series but is a heart pounding stand alone whodunit. 

Watch the book trailer at YouTube.

ORDER YOUR COPY AT AMAZON


As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?

It’s the seventh in a series of mysteries and I feel that each book has added another layer to the character development and the history  behind them. The original idea for the series came on a trip to San Francisco. I grew up in the Bay Area and spent much of my youth in San Francisco. I got to thinking about the world we lived in during the 50s and 60s. I had been looking for a character I could base a series on and also wanted it to be mysteries. I found what I was looking for when I imagined Sam Slater in 1958 San Francisco. I began revisiting venues in San Francisco and thinking about mysteries for my private eye to solve. 

Can you tell us what your book is about?

The title is “San Francisco Nights.” A rich woman has a secret world that she fiercely guards. However, someone has discovered her private world and now she’s receiving anonymous notes quoting Bible verses which are growing more ominous with each passing day. Sam and Amelia Slater encounter the mysterious woman in the large red hat, while riding on a train. The woman pleads for them to help her. She’s sure someone is following her and plans to kill her. Meanwhile, a ruthless ex-con, who blames Sam and Amelia for putting him in prison, escapes and vows revenge. 

Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?

Sam is a former baseball player for the San Francisco Seals and as his baseball career comes to an end, he is invited to become a partner in a private eye business with his longtime friend, Jimmy Jankow. But Jimmy is murdered by a ruthless gangster and Sam’s first case is to find out who killed his friend. Meanwhile, he begins a romance with TWA stewardess Amelia Ryan. She has a knack for solving mysteries. Amelia is forced to resign as a stewardess when she marries Sam and then joins him in the private eye business.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

I should have been more self confident. I was better than I thought. 

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks? Quirks? Me?

I’m normal. I’m sure I have some. I like to listen to music while I’m writing but mostly I like for it to be quiet. I can’t multi-task when writing. Nothing too crazy.


Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

I do and that’s one of the best things about being an author. My readers have been very complimentary and love Sam and Amelia. Everyone loves a good whodunit and I try to deliver. 

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

In the course of writing ten novels there have been a couple of times that I’ve had editors say “throw out this entire chapter, it adds nothing to the story.” That came as a jolt but I rewrote sections to blend things together after eliminating those chapters and I concluded my editor was right. Sometimes you can get too in love with your own writing or your own research. That’s why you need a good editor and other eyes to review your book.

What has been your best accomplishment?

I think writing ten novels and having two more in development is a major accomplishment. I feel this body of work allows me to truly say that I’m an author. 

Do you Google yourself?

Of course. I wonder what pops up when someone does a search on my name. It also is a way to check your search words. I want all of the information about my books to come up when my name is typed. I also do a search on YouTube and Amazon to see what is displayed. I want my book trailers to appear on YouTube and they do. 

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Two or three. They are mostly novel-like books telling stories from my family history. One is a story of my grandparents trying to survive in the 1930s during the Depression in rural Indiana. I’m turning over in my mind how to make it into a novel. It’s a very compelling and unique story. 

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

I love creating a new world for me and my readers to inhabit. I love the writing process and am driven to try to get better and better with each novel. 



Greg Messel is giving away three of his books!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway ends midnight September 29.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



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