Friday, August 26, 2016

Spotlight: Spotlight: Benjamin's Field Trilogy, by J.J. Knights

BFbanner
Benjamin’s Field TrilogyBy: J.J. Knights
Forward by retired NASA astronaut Jay Apt, PhD, veteran of four space shuttle missions.
BF1Book One: Rescue
Forward by retired NASA astronaut Jay Apt, PhD, veteran of four space shuttle missions.
Benjamin’s Field: Rescue’ has been awarded a five-star review by the literary site ‘Reader’s Favorite’ (readersfavorite.com).
Benjamin’s Field follows a rural farm family over the course of sixty years from the viewpoint of the youngest member, Jeremy Kyner. Beginning with America’s entry into World War I, Jeremy and his family are followed through war, peace, triumph, tragedy, heartbreak, and final happiness as the reader examines the role of family loyalty versus individual need, personal liberty and how it relates to society’s demands, religious prejudice, racism, intolerance, the role of charity, and the overwhelming need for humans to forgive one another. While still in manuscript form, Benjamin’s Field, Book One, Rescue, was advanced to the “Best Sellers Chart” of the peer review website YouWriteOn.com. In Book One, “Rescue,” a widowed farmer suffers an unspeakable loss during World War I. Burdened with grief, he learns from his nemesis, a dogmatic Catholic priest, that his son’s fiance has given birth to their crippled child. Unable to cope with the child’s deformity and confounded by his illegitimate birth, the farmer is battered by those closest to him with accusations of cruelty and intolerance until he finally reveals his true feelings and the reasons underlying his apparent bigotry. Set in a historical context, Benjamin’s Field is a compelling story about human dignity overcoming adversity, prejudice, and hatred. Interwoven with lighter moments, this dramatic and moving tale will take the reader on an emotional and sometimes humorous journey.”

BF2Book Two: Ascent
In Book Two, “Ascent,” Jeremy Kyner, now a teenaged boy, becomes the focus of his teacher’s animosity because of his infirmity. With the help of two dedicated school friends and an unconventional Jewish blacksmith, he takes to the sky, defeating his teacher’s plans to institutionalize him and forcing her to divulge her own, dark, secret.
Benjamin’s Field is a historical novel about human dignity overcoming adversity, prejudice, and hatred. Interwoven with lighter moments, this dramatic and moving story will take the reader on a journey of inner exploration.



BF3Book Three: Emancipation
Book Three, “Emancipation,” opens as America is on the cusp of World War II. Jeremy Kyner, now a man, is barred from military service at a time when America is almost defenseless against marauding German submarines. Finally joining a group of volunteer civilian pilots that represents the country’s best hope to counter the Germans, Jeremy confronts a deadly enemy from an unexpected quarter and is offered a chance of achieving final emancipation.

Benjamin’s Field is a historical novel about human dignity overcoming adversity, prejudice, and hatred. Interwoven with lighter moments, this dramatic and moving novel will take the reader on a journey of inner exploration.

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Author Infojj

J. Knights is a retired FBI Special Agent. His assignments included violent crimes and fugitives, property crimes, civil rights investigations, and foreign counterintelligence. He was a surveillance pilot, SWAT sniper, media representative, and worked in the FBI’s technical investigations program. Knights also volunteered as a Civil Air Patrol pilot, squadron commander and public information officer. He is an emeritus member of the Imperial Public Relations Committee of Shriners International and Shriners Hospitals for Children. A native of New England, Knights resides in southwestern Pennsylvania with his wife and honeybees. He has authored several published articles on law enforcement recruiting. Benjamin’s Field is his first novel.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Paradox Forged in Blood: Interview with Historical Fiction Author Mary Frances Fisher



Mary Frances Fisher, a lifelong resident of Cleveland OH, has spent the majority of her career as a legal nurse consultant and signed with Taxi Modeling and Talent Agency as a commercial print model in 2012. With Germaine Moody and writer contributions from over 100 countries, she co-authored her first published work in 2013, 50 Seeds of Greatness (www.50seedsofgreatness.com).

Her additional writing experiences include several short stories published by Transcendent Publishing: "Earning My Wings" in Touched by an Angel: A Collection of Divinely Inspired Stories and Poems, October 2013; "Mercy's Legacy" in Best of Spiritual Writers Network 2013, December 2013; "Be Careful What You Wish For" in The Best of Spiritual Writers Network 2014, January 2015; and "The Gift" in Finding Our Wings: A Collection of Angelic Stories and Poems, March 2016.

She has written a screenplay based on "Mercy's Legacy" and is working on a Paradox Forged in Blood companion novel, Growing Up O’Malley. Mary Frances lives in a suburb of Cleveland with her family.

For More Information
  • Visit Mary Frances Fisher’s website.
  • Connect with Mary Frances on Facebook.
About the Book:

Title: Paradox Forged in Blood
Author: Mary Frances Fisher
Publisher: Cambron Press
Pages: 300
Genre: Historical Fiction

A murder on Millionaire’s Row.
A killer's chilling words, "Shh. I know where you live.”
A woman tormented by her guilt-ridden past.

A historical murder mystery, Paradox Forged in Blood is set in Cleveland, Ohio, during the late 1930s. Four decades after the murder of socialite Louis Sheridan, the cold case is resurrected with receipt of new evidence that transports detectives back to Nazi Germany. The only living witness, Ellen O’Malley, must confront a haunting secret and her complicit actions. 

For More Information

  • Paradox Forged in Blood is available at Amazon.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I’ve always loved mysteries and while reading a wonderful mystery, the story contained a character attempting to become a published author. I thought to myself, I can do that! I wrote a Prologue for a historical murder mystery and shared it with family and friends. They loved the idea but, then I realized, where do I go from here? I learned to tap into my strengths of life’s lessons and personal interests – family and events in the 1930s to 1940s. The main character, Ellen Grace O’Malley, was my mother and best friend so I drew upon shared family values and experiences. The O’Malleys are truly representative of the Greatest Generation dating back to the 16th century with Grace O’Malley, an infamous Pirate Queen.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

I’d recommend taking a basic course in writing a novel. The next step is to find an editor who will provide valuable advice and tips to polish your manuscript. Throughout the process of writing, keep a table of characters and events as a quick reference tool.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Cambron Publishing, LLC is my publisher and I was referred to them by my editor, Lorraine Fico-White. Traditional publishing was always my goal for two reasons: validation from a professional that my novel was worthy of publication, and guidance with resources to produce a quality book marketable to the public was amply provided by the award-winning author MK McClintock of Cambron.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

I always knew editing would be a large component of getting a book published, but the number of quality edits for a first book was very extensive. However, it produced a first-rate story and was well-worth the editing process.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I’ve been working on a companion novel, Growing Up O’Malley, in between tightening up and revising Paradox Forged in Blood while working my day job. It’s been a challenge but I have no doubt the finished product will be a delightful rendition of the O’Malleys as they struggle though the Depression and WWII with strength, humor, and strong family ties. My goal is publication between 2016 – 2017.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

For younger readers, experiencing first-hand the effects of the Great Depression, World War II events, and the German American Bund. (An organization ostensibly created to promote jobs for Germans in America but in reality it was the birth of the American Nazi. In February 1939 they paraded through the streets of New York with a rally in Madison Square Garden and over 25,000 attendees swore allegiance to Hitler on a stage with the Nazi and American flags flown side-by-side.)

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

The importance of weathering life’s difficulties together as a family and pursuing the truth at all costs.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

The journey toward publication of Paradox Forged in Blood was a wonderful learning experience and I hope the readers will enjoy traveling back in time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cover Reveal: Wild Lavender by Lynne Connolly



Inside the Book:


Title: Wild Lavender
Author: Lynne Connolly
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Format: Ecopy 

A riotous passion and a forbidden love jeopardize the future of the Emperors of London . . .

Ravishingly beautiful and accomplished, Helena has her pick of suitable bachelors—and because she is the only daughter of a powerful duke, her mother is determined she makes a good marriage. But Helena won't marry any of them, because she is in love with the son of her family’s most dangerous enemy. Though she has now been rebuffed by her beloved, she is resolved to win him back—no matter the cost.

Tom’s forbidden love for Helena has only intensified over the years of their separation. But the discovery of his true roots has changed everything. His secret spells danger for his family and everyone he loves. Devoted to Helena, he will sacrifice anything—even his one great love—to keep her safe. And soon, caught between warring factions and hounded by a deadly assassin, the couple will be swept back together in a fight for their lives, and their destiny….
amazon

Meet the Author

Lynne Connolly  

 I write sensuous historical romance as Lynne Connolly, and contemporary and paranormal romance as L.M. Connolly 

I was born in Leicester, England, and lived in our cobbler’s shop with my parents and sister. It was an old house and most definitely haunted, but I didn’t find out until I left that my great uncle had hung himself in the living room! But I think our ghost might have been older than that. It was built on the site of the old Roman cemetery, and the land had been constantly inhabited, being in the centre of town. Then, when the council bought the house from us to build a road, my grandfather retired and my father went and worked for the Post Office. My mother was a sample machinist; that is, she worked with designers on the prototypes (models or samples) of garments. So I was very well dressed! We bought a relatively modern house in the country, and my mother was blissfully happy. It’s all very well living in a large old house, but it’s a dreadful task to keep it clean and warm! 

My mother’s side of the family are Romany gypsies, although sadly we haven’t any of the old trailers that are so astonishingly beautiful. I was taught to read the Tarot cards, and I usually use two packs; the Rider pack for simple readings and the Crowley Thoth pack for the complex stuff. I’ve always had an interest in the paranormal and it’s been a delight to be able to put some of this into my novels.

My other huge interest is the historical. I love all periods of history, but my favorites are the Tudor and Georgian eras. I research and research, because I love it. I will travel miles to see a new variation on the Palladian mansion! I am fascinated in finding out how people lived then, and creating a credible story with people who lived in past ages.
 
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Interview with Rachel Carrington, author of The Early Years

   

 
Inside the Book:
The Early Years

Title: The Early Years 
Author: Rachel G. Carrington 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Biography 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Author Rachel G. Carrington lays no claim to lofty jobs, higher education, nor grand accomplishments except for a love-filled, multifaceted, family-oriented, poverty-to-plenty life. In The Early Years, the first in a series, she shares her story.

As a young teenager, just entering high school in the small town of Denton, Kentucky, Carrington planned to attend college and become a teacher. With coursework geared toward college attendance, she was offered a lucrative scholarship that would help her to attain her goal. However, it took only a single event to send her down a different path. She met a returned World War II veteran who was attempting to pick up the pieces after finding his marriage in irreparable shambles and his children gone. As he struggled, Carrington was there, and they pulled together to clear the many hurdles before them.

In this memoir, she tells the story of their journey and how their love and dedication for each other kept moving them forward. Filled with the joys, disappointments, and struggles of a couple, The Early Years narrates how the love of the heavenly Father was the continuous thread that bound Carrington's life together.

The Interview

How did you come up with the title of your book?

The title of the book, “The Early Years, best describes my life as a young, giddy teenage girl, seeing for the first time what true love was really about. The Early Years, soon would mean a lifetime of growth, compassion and the realization that time passes quickly. I think about the people I love, the ones who’ve come and gone; and then, I am reminded how meaningful the early years…

What is your writing environment like? 

My writing environment is full of peace. Even though, currently, my life is so crazy busy! I long for the time, I can sit down (like I’m doing now), and write. I’m reminded that life is what you make of it. If I find myself too busy, then I need to slow down. When that happens, I can let go and write to my heart’s content.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers? 

One of the best tools today for writers is the computer. Having spell check, the plethora of internet resources, and all the marvelous devices of today to make writing so much easier. What inspires you to write? My life’s experiences, my heavenly Father, and my wonderful family and Christian network of friends inspires me to write.

Did you learn anything while writing this book? 

While writing this book, I realized that I really can write! I realized I would not change anything that happened in this book. I learned more about the writing world, and what it takes to be a good author. I learned most of all that having the great life I have had didn’t just happen, but that I have truly been blessed!

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

My favorite quality about myself is what I’ve been able to accomplish in my life. Having come from a financially poor background, and being able to turn it around by having strong work ethics instilled in me by my parents, having a caring husband who made it happen; and my heavenly Father to guide me and see me through.  

Meet the Author:
Rachel G. Carrington, a transplanted Kentuckian, is a widow, mother of seven and grandmother to three generations. Included with her many other interests, she spends much of her time writing and lives in Hamilton, Ohio and in Honolulu, Hawaii.  

 

Interview with Chris Delyani, author of You Are Here

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Inside the Book:
You Are Here
Title: You Are Here 
Author: Chris Delyani 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Romance 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

All Peter Bankston ever wanted to do was paint.

An aspiring painter, Peter scratches out a pauper’s living in San Francisco, wanting nothing more than to be left alone. Instead, he finds himself getting involved with not one but two very different men.

Like Peter, getting involved with another man is the last thing on Nick Katsaris’s mind. Smart, handsome, and good-humored, Nick’s done more than just survive—he’s positively thriving in San Francisco. But when he meets Peter, what begins as fun and games quickly turns into a game he can’t control.

Miles Bettencourt’s days are filled with longing. For him, San Francisco is haunted by Stuart, his missing ex-lover. Desperate to win him back, Miles wanders the streets in the hope of running into Stuart again. Instead, he runs into Peter—the one man who might hold the key to what Miles is looking for.

These three gay men soon form one very unlikely love triangle. Sometimes, when people break apart and then come together, they learn that discovering that where you are is the key to knowing who you are.  

Question1- Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

My book is the story of Peter Bankston, a young gay painter who moves to San Francisco from his hometown near Chicago to escape a family tragedy. Against his will he winds up becoming involved with two other men, who in turn find themselves more and more intrigued by Peter. I had recently moved to San Francisco myself when I began writing it. I wrote the story as something of a love letter to the city, for being such a lovely place to live out my twenties.

Question2- What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

The biggest challenge, for me, was simply to make the time to write it. I had started writing it without realizing what a big and complex job writing a novel is—a job that can’t be finished without a steady focus on finishing it. I spent most of the latter half of the 1990s writing the first draft, put it in a drawer for several years, and then picked it up again in 2009 and didn’t publish it until 2012. That’s way too long to finish a novel.

Question3- Do you plan subsequent books?

I’ve just finished work on my third novel, entitled “Best Man.” Like “You Are Here,” all the major characters in “Best Man” are gay men, but I think of both these books as more mainstream fiction. I work to write about experiences and emotions that anyone, gay or straight, can appreciate.

I’m currently working on the manuscript for a fourth novel, this one featuring both male and female major characters. I recently made a public pledge to have a first draft of this new novel completed by September 15, or else I will donate $100 to the National Rifle Association, an organization I detest. If I had made a similar pledge when writing “You Are Here,” I’m sure I would’ve finished my work a lot more quickly.

Question4- When and why did you begin writing?

I couldn’t tell exactly when I wrote my first story, but it must have happened a long time ago, probably when I was eight or nine. I never asked why I began writing—it was just something I did. I have always enjoyed the feeling of a word flowing from my pen.

Question5- What is your greatest strength as an author?

I’ve always had a vivid imagination that never seems to rest. That’s not the greatest quality to have in real life, always imagining crazy scenarios that distract me from the truth in front of my face, but that definitely helps when I’m facing a blank page. But my greatest strength is probably my determination to see the project to the end. If I hadn’t made the commitment years ago to get out of bed at 5:30 a.m. every day to write before going to work, then I would never have finished anything.

Question6- Did writing this book teach you anything?

Writing a book means trying to act and think like many different characters, each of them following his or her own truth. The one skill I needed to do that was to cultivate compassion for them. To put aside my own ego and step into the shoes of this person who is not myself and really see the world in the way this person would see the world. I would much rather achieve this skill than the fattest book contract in the world.




Meet the Author:

In 1993, Chris Delyani moved to San Francisco from his native Boston to devote his life to writing fiction—and he’s been at it ever since. His first novel, The Love Thing, was published in 2009. He lives in Oakland, California.    

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cover Reveal: Intoxicating by Heather Heyford




Inside the Book:


Title: Intoxicating
Author: Heather Heyford
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Women's Fiction
Format: Ecopy 
In the second book of Heather Heyford’s series, set in Oregon’s wine country, having a crush takes on a whole new meaning when a lady sommelier teams up with the hottie from her high school days . . .

The Girl Most Likely . . .
to be a waitress at her hometown café. That’s what Clarkston’s high school yearbook said about Poppy Springer ten years ago and that’s where the beauty queen is today. But that’s about to change now that Poppy has been offered a position as a lady sommelier at a cutting-edge new restaurant. Only Poppy has an embarrassing secret that could keep her from landing her dream job. A secret her high school crush seems determined to help her with . . .

The Man Most Wanted
In high school, Heath Sinclair may have been voted most likely to blow something up, but these days the sexy science prodigy is a self-made success story with his popular microbrewery and chiseled good looks.  So why is Clarkston’s most-eligible man so hell-bent on helping Poppy prove that she is more than her reputation? Could it be the enigmatic bachelor has a hankering for the girl who got away?
amazon

Meet the Author

Heather-Heyford
Born in the Northeast, Heather Heyford learned to walk and talk in Texas, and then moved to England. “Ya’ll want some scones?” While in Europe, Heather was forced by her cruel parents to spend Saturdays in the leopard vinyl back seat of their Peugeot, motoring from one medieval pile to the next for the lame purpose of ‘learning something.’ What she soon learned was how to allay the boredom by stashing a Cosmo under the seat. Now a recovering teacher, Heather writes love stories, feeds hardboiled eggs to suburban foxes, and makes art in the Mid-Atlantic. She is represented by the Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA, @nyliterary) in New York City.

 For More Information
Visit Heather’s website.
Connect with Heather on Twitter.   
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Why I Wrote Sci-fi Dystopian Novel 'Floor 21' by Jason Luthor



Why I Wrote Sci-fi Dystopian Novel ‘Floor 21’

It was National Novel Writing Month and I was spending the month chatting with people in the Facebook group. I had no intention to participate. I simply had no interest. However, one day I was watching the Walking Dead. During this particular episode, a girl was being kept on the upper floors of a hospital She was later lowered into the dark, knowing she might have to avoid zombies to leave the building.

So as I thought there, I thought that was terrifying. However, at least she knew what was in the
darkness. I wondered, what if nobody knew what was below? What if nobody had ever been in the darkness? If they’d lived their whole lives at the top of the tower? That was the core idea from which FLOOR 21 was born: an entire society of humanity that has existed for all its living memory at the top of a tower. What lies below? They may never know, given the disease known as the Creep that kills them off as they go lower and lower into the tower.

The idea resonated with some video games I knew of. I draw a lot of inspiration from game narrative techniques. One of the most popular narrative delivery techniques in gaming today is the use of recordings left behind by inhabitants. It lets players choose whether to get into the story, or focus on the game. So, my book features a girl who tells her story by recordings. It also lets me switch to other viewpoints if I want, because if these are all recordings, then it makes a cohesive sense. This is a story told by assembled recordings, like a history drawn together. It had something in its DNA drawn from World War Z in that respect. It also relied on narrative forms such as Black Hawk Down and Into Thin Air, where stories were told with exciting first person perspectives, but set in this dark fictional world.

That world itself was inspired first by the scene from the Walking Dead, but also from a game called Lone Survivor. Lone Survivor deals with the single inhabitant of an apartment building dealing with zombie type creatures and infections along the walls. It draws on zombie clichés to make a thematic point, but again what was important to FLOOR 21 was the use of a single building in which to tell the entirety of the story. Finally, a French surrealist game called OFF heavily inspired the ‘weirdness’ of the novel. OFF is almost a modern Alice in Wonderland with a much darker tone, and deals with incredibly bizarre characters. Those all fed the overall tone of the story, which deals with incredibly strange phenomena and an infection nobody really understands.

As for Jackie, the main protagonist? My college years were defined by Ellen Page and Michael Cera, and I draw thematically on a lot of my own youthful experiences in combination with their mannerisms and means of discussion. More than anything, I enjoy the informality of that duo, and that comes through pretty clearly in the way Jackie speaks as well. Despite being in a dark environment, she is overly casual at times. The resulting contrast is interesting, and provides a unique blend of dystopian horror with young adult delivery. You may find the final result unusual, but I think that’s been part of the appeal of the book, and Jackie herself is typically beloved by almost every reader.

Publication occurred due to my participation in the Amazon Scout contest. I won my contract after several thousand readers voted for my book. I’ve been involved in the agenting and publishing process before, and this was the most straightforward publishing process I’d ever been involved with. After being told I’d won, I was contacted by Amazon, given a contract offer, given a copy edit of my book, and six months later was published. It was a whirlwind, but one I’m grateful for.

About the Author

Jason Luthor has spent a long life writing for sports outlets, media companies and universities. His earliest writing years came during his coverage of the San Antonio Spurs as an affiliate with the Spurs Report and its media partner, WOAI Radio. He would later enjoy a moderate relationship with Blizzard Entertainment, writing lore and stories for potential use in future games. At the academic level he has spent several years pursuing a PhD in American History at the University of Houston, with a special emphasis on Native American history.

His inspirations include some of the obvious; The Lord of the Rings and Chronciles of Narnia are some of the most cited fantasy series in history. However, his favorite reads include the Earthsea Cycle, the Chronicles of Prydain, as well as science fiction hits such as Starship Troopers and Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?
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Monday, August 22, 2016

Cover Reveal: America's Next Reality Star by Laura Heffernan



Inside the Book:


Title: America's Next Reality Star
Author: Laura Heffernan
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Women's Fiction
Format: Ecopy 

SEEKING THE SMART ONE

Twenty-four-year-old Jen Reid had her life in good shape: an okay job, a tiny-cute Seattle apartment, and a great boyfriend almost ready to get serious. In a flash it all came apart. Single, unemployed, and holding an eviction notice, who has time to remember trying out for a reality show? Then the call comes, and Jen sees her chance to start over—by spending her summer on national TV.

Luckily The Fishbowl is all about puzzles and games, the kind of thing Jen would love even if she wasn’t desperate. The cast checks all the boxes: cheerful, quirky Birdie speaks in hashtags; vicious Ariana knows just how to pout for the cameras; and corn-fed “J-dawg” plays the cartoon villain of the house. Then there’s Justin, the green-eyed law student who always seems a breath away from kissing her. Is their attraction real, or a trick to get him closer to the $250,000 grand prize? Romance or showmance, suddenly Jen has a lot more to lose than a summer . . .
amazon

Meet the Author

Laura Heffernan


 Laura Heffernan is living proof that watching too much TV can pay off: AMERICA'S NEXT REALITY STAR, the first book in the REALITY STAR series, is coming from Kensington’s Lyrical Press in March 2017. When not watching total strangers participate in arranged marriages, drag racing queens, or cooking competitions, Laura enjoys travel, baking, board games, helping with writing contests, and seeking new experiences. She lives in the northeast with her amazing husband and two furry little beasts.   Some of Laura's favorite things include goat cheese, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Battlestar Galactica, the Oxford comma, and ice cream. Not all together. The best place to find her is usually on Twitter, where she spends far too much time tweeting about writing, Canadian chocolate, and reality TV. Follow her @LH_Writes. Laura is represented by Michelle Richter at Fuse Literary. Visit her at http://www.lauraheffernan.com
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Cover Reveal: Sweet Southern Hearts by Susan Shild




Inside the Book:


Title: Sweet Southern Hearts
Author: Susan Schild
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Women's Fiction
Format: Ecopy 

Susan Schild welcomes you back to the offbeat Southern town of Willow Hill, North Carolina, for a humorous, heartwarming story of new beginnings, do-overs, and self-discovery…

When it comes to marriage, third time’s the charm for Linny Taylor. She’s thrilled to be on her honeymoon with Jack Avery, Willow Hill’s handsome veterinarian. But just like the hair-raising white water rafting trip Jack persuades her to take, newlywed life has plenty of dips and bumps.

Jack’s twelve-year-old son is resisting all Linny’s efforts to be the perfect stepmother, while her own mother, Dottie, begs her to tag along on the first week of a free-wheeling RV adventure. Who knew women “of a certain age” could drum up so much trouble? No sooner is Linny sighing with relief at being back home than she’s helping her frazzled sister with a new baby…and dealing with an unexpected legacy from her late ex. Life is fuller—and richer—than she ever imagined, but if there’s one thing Linny’s learned by now, it’s that there’s always room for another sweet surprise…

“Charming, funny, feisty. I totally loved this novel.” --Cathy Lamb, author of The Language of Sisters on Linny’s Sweet Dream List
amazon

Meet the Author

Susan has an undergraduate degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree (MSW) from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has used her professional background as a psychotherapist and corporate trainer to add authenticity to her characters. Susan is a wife, a stepmother, and a dog lover. She and her family live near Raleigh, North Carolina where she is busy finishing up the third novel in the Willow Hill Series.
 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Book Review: The Last Wife of Attila the Hun, by Joan Schweighardt

The Last Wife of Attila the Hun by Joan Schweighardt is an ambitious, superbly researched, excellently written novel based on Germanic legends and the true life of Attila the Hun that will mesmerize fans of historical fiction. There isn’t a lot of fiction based on Attila, so being a lover of history I was instantly intrigued about reading the book.
The novel moves back and forth in time, interweaving two stories. In one, we meet Gudrun, a brave Burgundian noble woman with a lethal mission, destroy the infamous Attila the Hun. In the other, the reader travels to the past to learn the overwhelming events that brought Gudrun to this difficult, suicidal undertaking.
From the beginning, Schweighardt’s imaginative storytelling and attention to detail shine through the pages, bringing Attila’s fifth century landscape to life in all its gritty vividness. Characters are deftly drawn, and I found myself instantly sympathetic to Gudrun’s situation, as well as absorbed by the other characters. This was especially true of Attila’s second in command, with whom Gudrun develops an unusual relationship. Attila himself is portrayed in chilling detail.
Needless to say, I love the fact that the story is seen from a female perspective. At times, her focused obsession for revenge propels the tale at a breathless pace. Juxtaposing with her present life as Attila’s prisoner are her memories of her great yet tragic love with Sigurd.
I’m not surprised the novel has won awards and it’s been translated into other languages. Dark, mysterious, and beautifully layered, The Last Wife of Attila the Hun is filled with lust, revenge and passion, and comes highly recommended by this reviewer. If you’re a historical fiction enthusiast, this is for you.
Find out more about Joan Schweighardt here. Read my interview with her on Blogcritics. Purchase the book on Amazon

Friday, August 19, 2016

Press Release: Pump Up Your Book Announces 23 Minutes Past 1 A.M. Virtual Book Tour


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Chincoteague Island, Virginia, August 14 2016: Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Robert J. Dornan’s ’23 Minutes Past 1 A.M.’ virtual book tour starting September 5 and ending November 30.  Robert will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about his phenomenal new historical fiction novel that critics are calling very real and moving.

Robert J Dornan is someone who wishes to leave a better world to his children. He realizes that the odds are slim but he will do whatever he can to increase the probability of success.  He is always
open to discuss new and innovative ideas and hopes someday to see the building of a functional solar city as well as a fair and community-driven compensation system.

23 Minutes Passed 1 A.M. is a work of fiction based on factual events from Chernobyl and villages throughout Ukraine. In the early morning of her sister's wedding day, Mila Kharmalov stared in stunned silence at the coloured sparks streaming from Reactor Four of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant.  At that very moment, her life and the lives of everyone she knew changed forever.

Years later and on another continent, Adam Byrd was writing biographies for everyday people looking to leave their legacy in book form. When the woman he loved phoned from Kiev offering him the chance to write the story of a lifetime, he jumped at the opportunity not realizing that his voyage would be a bumpy ride through a nations dark underbelly. With the help of his friend's quirky cousin, Adam is nudged into a fascinating adventure of love, greed, power and psychotic revenge, culminating with a shocking finale.

If you’d like to follow his tour, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2016/08/01/pump-up-your-book-presents-23-minutes-past-1-a-m-virtual-book-publicity-tour/.  Please leave a comment or question at each of his tour stops to let him know you stopped by!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price.  More information can be found on our website at http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/. While there, check out our Authors on Tour page to see what we have coming up in the months ahead. We’re always looking for new bloggers to join our team.

Contact Information: 
Dorothy Thompson
Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia  23336

Cover Reveal: Wilde Thing by Jannine Gallant


Inside the Book:


Title: Wilde Thing
Author: Jannine Gallant
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Format: Ecopy

  The Wilde brothers are addicted to the rush of adventure. But one of them is about to learn no matter how often you look for danger, you don’t want danger finding you.  

For extreme skier Tripp Wilde, pushing the limits is what he lives for. Unfortunately, the inherent risk takes a toll on his body. After an injury sidelines him, he ends up in the care of his little sister’s best friend, physical therapist Hannah Ryder—who has grown up in all the right ways since they last met.

Hannah doesn’t mix business with pleasure, even though she harbored a maddening crush on the irresistible Tripp years before. So, while Tripp tries every slick maneuver he knows to bed her, Hannah uses her own moves to keep the hotshot skier cooled off while trying to control her own growing desire for him.

After the pair witness what they think may be a murder on the slopes, along with the men responsible, no one believes their story. But when a series of unlikely accidents suggests they are being targeted, the two will have to trust in each other like never before if they are going to survive.
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Meet the Author


Write about what you know. I’ve taken this advice to heart, creating characters who live in small towns and plots that unfold in the great outdoors.I grew up in Gasquet, a tiny town in Northern California, where as kids we swam in the river, ran wild in the woods, and rode our bikes every-where we wanted to go. Now I live in Tahoe City with my husband, two daughters, and dog, Ginger. When I’m not busy writing or being a full time mom, I enjoy taking Ginger for hikes in the woods around our home.Whether I’m writing romantic suspense, contemporary, or historical romance, I try to bring the beauty of nature to my stories.I graduated from U.C. Davis with a double major in history and creative writing. Though I’ve worked in both the restaurant and ski industries, I never wanted to be anything but a writer. After many years of pursuing my passion, I’ve finally achieved success, proof positive that dreams do come true!
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