Sunday, July 29, 2012

YA Authors Ray East & Sam D on 'Voluspa Virtual Blog Tour' + Win FREE Kindle Fire!

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to announce Ray East & Sam D's Voluspa Virtual Book Publicity Tour beginning August 6 and ending on October 26 2012. Ray and Sam will be on hand during their nationwide tour talking about their book in candid interviews and guest posts! As an added bonus, Ray and Sam's tour is also part of a Kindle Fire Giveaway! To find out more details visit their official tour page at http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2012/06/24/pump-up-your-book-presents-voluspa-a-magical-world-virtual-book-publicity-tour-2012-kindle-fire-giveaway/.

Voluspa long bannerAbout Ray East & Sam D

Ray East and Sam D has moved to Voluspa and live in the Forest of Skotos with their 5 year old daughter and a pet Typhon. They visit Earth with the help of an Empath from time to time. Ray East did her masters in Phsychology from Univeristy of Sussex and has worked as a counselor for adolescents. Sam D used to teach at a SPJC before he moved to Voluspa.

Their latest book is Voluspa: A Magical World. To get your copy of VOLUSPA: A MAGICAL WORLD by Sam D & Ray East at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/VOLUSPA-A-Magical-World-Sam-D/dp/0985681608/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_t_1

To get your e-copy of VOLUSPA: A MAGICAL WORLD by Sam D & Ray East for your Kindle at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Voluspa-A-Magical-World-ebook/dp/B008BCZBTE/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Order your copy of VOLUSPA: A MAGICAL WORLD by Sam D. & Ray East at B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/voluspa-a-magical-world-sam-d/1111523622?ean=2940014770675 To learn more about Sam D and Ray East, visit their website: www.magicalworldofvoluspa.com

Visit Sam D & Ray East on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/voluspa

Like Sam D & Ray East on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/worldofvoluspa

Follow Sam D & Ray East at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15592516-voluspa

About Voluspa: A Magical World

Centuries ago, war between aliens and humans almost destroyed the world. To prevent such a war from happening again, a mighty ruler then formed a secret society of nine powerful humans and aliens called the Bramhas. These Bramhas each wrote a book imparting ancient wisdom and knowledge. The possession of these books could bring about untold power and success. The nine books were hidden but the desire to possess those books, still cause men to fight wars and turn against each other. One such war was fought in the realm of Voluspa decades back; the consequences of that war still resonate in this magical land. Two young lovers get caught in this tussle and it changes their destinies forever. Amy’s humdrum life takes a complete 180’ turn with the death of her stepfather. She goes to live with her grandmother – her only living relative, though she hasn’t seen her in the last five years. Among her mother’s childhood memorabilia, she finds a book ‘Legends of Voluspa’ that captures her imagination. She becomes so engrossed in the book that she starts dreaming about the places in the book till one night she finds herself inexplicably transported to the new world – Voluspa, as described in the book. Here she meets Drake, who unknown to her is a shape shifter. Chemistry cackles between the two from the very first and as they discover that they share a lot in common, a tenuous bond forms between the two. ‘I’ll keep you safe’ vows Drake and he remains true to his word as he befriends her and saves her from various troubles that befall her over the next couple of months. In Voluspa, Amy discovers a new way of life. It’s a magical world inhabited by primarily four clans – Empaths, Morphus, Mendens and the Pulchrous. The Empaths have the power of mind, the Morphus are the shape shifters, Mendens are the healers while the Pulchrous possess physical perfection and strength. With the help of an old family friend, Amy takes her rightful place in the Empath clan. This marks a new chapter in Amy’s life. She realizes her own powers and subsequently starts going to a school to enhance the same. With Drake by her side, she makes some wonderful friends. However, her life is not all smooth sailing; trouble comes when she learns the truth about her biological parents. She realizes that her very existence is against Voluspan law which forbids the union between individuals belonging to two different clans. History threatens to repeat itself as she realizes that her predicament was not that different from what her mother had faced, decades back. She is totally in love with Drake, who belongs to the Morphus clan. The enchanting world of Voluspa is far from Utopic; it has barely recovered from a devastating war fought twenty years back when the peace of the land is once again threatened by Gangrels, the evil army of aliens. The two young lovers soon realize that besides contending with forbidden love, they have to deal with other impediments. Ancient enmities, a past war, a much coveted book, all conspire against the two lovers. Gangrels reappear in Voluspa and Drake falls in the clutches of one such evil being who would stop at nothing to realize his fiendish ambitions. Amy and her friends cross realms, face enemies, deal with challenges, solve riddles and brave possible destruction, as they set off on an adventure to rescue Drake. The ‘Force of Sutra’ clashes with the ‘Elemental Force’ of the Gangrels as Amy and her friends are faced with an indomitable enemy. They use strategic warfare, pit adversaries among themselves and use every last drop of strength, skill and courage as they take on warriors far more ruthless and skilled than themselves. As Amy embarks upon a quest to save Drake, her love for him is tested at every turn but she never wavers from her objective. Braving imminent death she manages to reach Drake – only to find a changed person. Gone is the man she is in love with, instead a dangerous stranger stood in his place. This Drake was teetering at the edge between becoming completely evil and retaining his own soul. He almost harms Amy but stops himself at the very last minute. His love for Amy proves to be stronger than the evil entity threatening to overpower him. However when chips are down, Drake comes through. He sets aside his personal well-being in order to save Amy, one last time. Drake is perhaps lost forever but hope dies last – Amy is determined to get back Drake, no matter what the cost.

About Pump Up Your Book

Pump Up Your Book handles all the aspects of virtual book touring from pre-buzzing your book before the tour starts to making sure buyers will find your book long after the tour is over. If you are the author of a newly published book, have an upcoming release or just want to give a previously published book new life, a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book is the answer. We welcome traditionally published, electronically published and self-published authors. Our esteem list of clients include Claire Cook, Caridad Pineiro, C.W. Gortner, Barbara Bretton, Cody McFayden, James Hayman, Karen White, Kathleen Willey, Lisa Daily, Lisa Jackson, Mary Burton, Nancy Thayer, Randy Sue Coburn, Ray Comfort, Sandi Kahn Shelton, Sheila Roberts, Therese Fowler, Hope Edelman, Wendy Wax, Jon Meacham, Shobhan Bantwal, Pat Williams, Jane Green, Judge Glenda Hatchett and cook show personality Paula Deen. We also represent Random House, Abingdon Press, Zumaya Publications, WND Books, Sheaf House Publishers, New Hope Publishers, Guardian Angel Publishers, Genesis Press, and Moody Publishing. Contact us to find out what we can do for you and your book!


If you’d like to interview Ray or Sam or review their book, contact Dorothy Thompson at thewriterslife(at)gmail.com. Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion for authors. Visit us at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Author Interview: Victoria Pendragon & SLEEP MAGIC: SURRENDERING TO SUCCESS

Victoria Pendragon was born and raised in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is the oldest of eleven. Her life has been defined, as are most of ours perhaps, by conditions that would seem to have been beyond her control. Eighteen years of various sorts of abuse and two diseases that should have killed her rank among the most outstanding of those. Her study of metaphysics began in early childhood as an attempt to validate the lessons she’d been learning from the earth and the trees whenever she left her body. She has been working as a professional in the field of spirituality since 1995, has read tarot since 1964 and created in 2007, Sacred Earth Seven Element Tarot, a tarot deck designed to bring the world community together. Victoria began training in art when still a child, eventually acquiring a BFA from The Philadelphia College of Art. Her work hangs in numerous corporate and personal collections, among them The Children’s Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Moss Rehab and Bryn Mawr Hospital Rehab. She has two children by her first marriage, a son and a daughter, both of whom amaze her. She is currently married to her third husband, a man whose kind soul has created for her an atmosphere of clarity and creativity in which she dances, writes, creates art and helps when asked.

 Her latest book is Sleep Magic: Surrendering to Success.

The author may be contacted through her website: http://site.heavenisinyourheart.com.

Blog: http://blog.heavenisinyourheart.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/victoria.pendragon  

Thank you for this interview, Victoria. Your book certainly fascinates me. You bring up The Law of Attraction. How does The Law of Attraction pertain to your book?
Victoria: (laughing) Well, not in the way it pertains to most books on the market, that’s for sure. Most available material on The Law of Attraction tells you that, in a sense, you are what you think; that if you set your mind to a specific goal and direct your thoughts that way that you will draw to you what you have been focusing on but there’s a flaw in that reasoning. Your mind is generated by your brain; your brain is a part of your body and your body began being programmed with information while you were still in utero. We know this. Candace Pert’s work on the molecules of emotion is a good place to begin learning about how this happens. So your brain, which contains, physically, the very same cellular information as the rest of your body, can only generate from what it has been ‘made’ with. Consequently, if you were surrounded, in your early – and for the most part, very unconscious – life by stressful or abusive situations or by information that was counterproductive to the goals that you think you have in mind, then merely thinking something is not going to change that vibration and you will continue to attract what you are, in a sense, made of…unless you can, at a physical level, change the emotional charges that locked that information and energy into your body. So the thinking thing can work for those whose cellular information is clear and lovely and without hurdles to be overcome but for the rest of us, The Law of Attraction means that we have to change at a cellular, physical level if we want to improve our circumstances.
That makes a lot of sense. When did you discover this?
Victoria: It discovered me. In 1988 I acquired a disease process – progressive systemic sclerosis – that by 1989 began rapidly turning my body, inside and out, into scar tissue. My doctors projected that I might live another 6 months. I was in more pain than I could have imagined possible, crippled by my ever-tightening skin and almost totally disabled. I had a very difficult time sleeping because of the pain but in the few hours I got I was often transported to a state of being that felt glorious. I was absolutely confounded by that. My waking life was so challenging and so dispiriting that I was actually considering how I might end my life but when I slept, I was in heaven and I’d awaken with a sense that I could do anything. Years later, after I actually did do the unthinkable and healed almost totally from the disease – only my hands remain crippled – I happened to meet a man who taught me a little formula for accessing the wisdom of the body while it was sleeping and even as he was telling me about it, I knew what had happened to me, knew how I had healed. That’s when I began studying up on early childhood psychology and the brain and when I began to put down in writing the basic tenets of Sleep Magic, expanding the simple formula I’d been given with what I’d learned – and continue to learn – about the brain and cellular consciousness.
How has your book helped others? Can you give some personal examples?
Victoria: Oh my, yes! In fact the information in the book – which I used one-on-one with numerous people from 2003 through, well, now – has changed lives. I know that for a fact because they write me! Even people who read it years ago write to let me know that they are still using it. I certainly am. Once I began using it consciously, it changed my life in totally unexpected ways. My favorite comment from a Sleep Magic student was the woman who told me that she’d made more progress in using Sleep Magic in one year than she had in 20 years of therapy! One woman, with a very challenging life situation, told me that working with it had saved her life. This was particularly moving coming from her as I knew that a) she had been both depressed and suicidal and b) her life situation – a challenging family dynamic – remained the same; she changed enough to be able to handle it! Personally, I have an interesting story around it too. As I began sharing the work with my clients I enlisted my then husband to edit the work for me as he’d been a professional editor at one time; in fact, that’s how we met. He became so intrigued by the work that he decided to do it also. So we were both actively engaged in this process which effectively changes you at a cellular level and what happened was that as each of us became more clear it became apparent that our relationship was not what it needed to be. We had about the best divorce on record. We helped each other find places to live; helped with the moving; it was amazing.
Who would benefit the best from your book?
Victoria: Anyone who is either dissatisfied or uncomfortable with some part of life would benefit. That said, using the technique – which is, by the way, as easy as pie and takes about 2 minutes a day – requires a certain amount of discipline. The work doesn’t do itself and one must learn – which the book elaborates on – how to be acutely self observant. Sleep Magic is also a fabulous tool for both creators – artists, writers, those kinds of people – and students. It is the absolute best tool for integrating information into the body that I’ve ever encountered. I’ve twice blown people away with the amount of information I was able to learn overnight.
If you had to pick one of the most inspirational lines out of your book, what would that be?
Victoria: The clarity you seek will arrive as soon as your Body Intelligence is able to allow it. I love this line because it sums up life itself: we can only perform that which we have been, in a sense, designed to perform by the information we carry in the cells of our bodies. If your body knows that money is a problem because it grew up in a home where financial struggle was a way of life, then you are apt to view finances as an issue throughout life and because you do, there will be stress and/or problems around money and even if money is good and easily available, your relation to it will be stressful or filled with doubt. Either condition can end up causing dis-ease at the physical level.
I would love to read an excerpt from your book. Can you pick out one?
Victoria: Sure! You have no doubt heard the term, “Mastery.” More completely put, the term is Self-Mastery. If you do not have mastery over yourself and your behavior, then your mastery over any other aspect of life is worth little. I mention this because the regular use of SleepMagik can bring you to a place of Self-Mastery. SleepMagik is giving you the tools you need to create new behavior patterns and a new way of living. It is preparing you to surrender to your Spirit Self and, by doing so, to achieve contentment in your life. Whenever you find yourself in situations you would rather not be in, with people you would rather not be dealing with, or doing things you would rather not be doing, you can know without a doubt that there are, lurking within you, attractors that drew that experience to you. It cannot be otherwise. We draw to us that which we are programmed to attract. That programming was installed, for the most part, during the early years of our lives. So, when you find yourself in less than satisfactory circumstances, feeling less than wonderful, you can know that you are there because something inside your Body Intelligence is still hanging onto something you may wish it weren't!
Thank you for sharing your book with us, Victoria. What’s next for you?
Victoria: I’m thinking about dying…as a subject, that is. (laughing) My body knows more than a little about it from personal experience and I think it’ll help me out with the writing…while I’m sleeping. Sleep Magic works wonders for that sort of thing too! Thanks so much for having me! And sweet sleep!
 

Interview with Susan Wingate, author of YA fiction 'Spider Brains'


It is a pleasure to bring you an interview from one of my new BFFs, Ms. Susan Wingate, author of the YA fiction Spider Brains!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Most recently, Susan Wingate’s novels, SPIDER BRAINS and DROWNING each reached Amazon Bestseller status in 2012. DROWNING won the 2011 Forward National Literature Award for Drama. She would love for you to read her books. You can find them all under the tab on this site labeled “Books”. SUSAN has written eleven novels, two short story collections, a few plays, one screenplay and tons of poems. Her latest 2011 novel DROWNING  (contemporary women’s fiction), won 1st place in the 2011 Forward National Literature Award and also won a finalist award for the category of Women’s Fiction/Chick Lit in the 2011 International Book Awards. A vibrant public speaker, Susan offers inspiring, motivational talks about the craft of writing, publishing and marketing, and how to survive this extremely volatile (e-)Publishing industry. She presents these lectures for private groups and at writing conferences, libraries and bookstores around the country.

To get your copy of SPIDER BRAINS by Susan Wingate: http://www.amazon.com/Spider-Brains-Love-Story-ebook/dp/B007KDAS0C/ref=la_B003CMMERK_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1339336080&sr=1-6

To view all books by Susan Wingate: http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Wingate/e/B003CMMERK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

To learn more about Susan, go to her website: http://www.susanwingate.com

Visit Susan Wingate on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/susanwingate

Like Susan Wingate on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susanwingate.author

Follow Susan Wingate on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/susanwingate/susan-wingate-s-books/


ABOUT THE BOOK:

If one were to bake the story SPIDER BRAINS into a cake, they should sprinkle in Charlotte’s Web, toss in one Jellicle Cat, then stir in a little Spiderman—but as a girl and not in that goofy latex outfit! A tale of hope, transformation, transition and inspiration.
After her father’s death last year and, now, in the throes of a gnarly teacher’s whim as she thinks ahead to college (or really just dreams of getting into college), a small black arachnid bites fifteen-year-old Susie Speider on the finger. The bite sends her nights into fantastical dreams about taking revenge on a teacher who, ultimately, holds her college aspirations in the palm of her cold calloused hand. But, after Susie figures out the dreams are real, she ups the ante by visiting the teacher regularly… as the spider! And, oh, by the way! Who is that boy spider munching on flies, hiding over there in the corner? A story of loss and forgiveness, tolerance and kindness, Susie Speider deals with the death of her father while Matt Ryder–the new neighbor boy–has just lost his mother. Ultimately, SPIDER BRAINS poses some important questions about how to treat Attention-Deficit-Disorder.


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?

One night in bed, I noticed something strange. It was very early in the morning. My husband had gotten up for work and flipped on the bathroom light switch. The brightness shone against the ceiling and there, not too far from the bed, was a spider making its way across the ceiling. I thought about retrieving it and then setting it free outside but before I could set one foot on the floor to do so, a story flashed across my mind. For about an hour I wrote notes covering the over-arching idea which resulted in the novel Spider Brains: A Love Story.

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 don't think writing Spider Brains was necessarily difficult. However, a tricky aspect of voice comes to mind. The entire novel is written in first person and although the story literally tumbled out of my fingertips, first person isn't always the easiest point of view for writers to write in.

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

My publisher is Roberts Press and they're a small press in the Pacific Northwest.

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

My first book published was The Bobby's Diner Series and I always think that the first time getting published is one spent on cloud nine. That publisher had headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Q: Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

With all of my books, each time you hold it in your hand, it's like holding up a winner's cup. It feels so great. But after the feeling wanes, it's back to work on the next one. SPIDER BRAINS is book no. 10 for me. I have written book 11 and I'm working now on books no. 12 & 13.

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

I'm working on another young adult fantasy, my twelfth book which is the companion book to Spider Brains: A Love Story. That book will be titled "Chicken Brains" and the third book is "Ant Brains." The entire series idea will remain central around the theme of high school science projects with Susie Speider as one of the main characters in each.

I'm also working on another adult novel which will be an apocalyptic thriller.

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

Spider Brains is about a fifteen year old high school girl. If one were to bake the story Spider Brains into a cake, they should sprinkle in Charlotte’s Web, toss in one Jellicle Cat, then stir in a little Spiderman—but as a girl and not in that goofy latex outfit! A tale of hope, transformation, transition and inspiration.

After her father’s death last year and, now, in the throes of a gnarly teacher’s whim, a small black arachnid bites fifteen-year-old Susie Speider on the finger. The bite sends her nights into fantastical dreams about taking revenge on the teacher who, ultimately, holds her college aspirations in the palm of her cold calloused hand. But after Susie figures out the dreams are real, she begins visiting the teacher regularly… as the spider! And, oh, by the way! Who is that boy spider munching on flies, hiding over there in the corner?

A story of loss and forgiveness, tolerance and kindness, Susie Speider deals with the death of her father while Matt Ryder–the new neighbor boy–has just lost his mother. Ultimately, Spider Brains poses some important questions about how to treat Attention-Deficit-Disorder.

  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I'd love to say thank you! Thank you for your time and your effort at getting my book information on your blog. I'm honored to be featured here on The Writer's Life.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Interview with Suzanne Jenkins, author of 'Pam of Babylon'


Suzanne Jenkins lives at the west Michigan lakeshore with her husband, two dogs and two sheep.  Her latest books are Pam of Babylon, Don’t You Forget About Me and Dream Lover.

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?

Thank you so much. As odd as it may sound, the idea for Pam of Babylon began with the title.  I immediately opened a word document. As I began writing in earnest, the inspiration to tell a story about an older woman who discovered her beloved husband’s infidelity after he died came from out of nowhere.  Pam of Babylon simply appeared in my consciousness and I wrote it as I thought of it.  Later, a quote by E.L. Doctorow would confirm my writing style was not unusual.  He said, “Writing is like driving a car in the dark.  You only see as far as the headlights go, but you can make the whole trip that way.”  Those words validated me.

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?

Because it was my first book, I did struggle with issues like tense, and keeping the story in the correct chronological order. There are many characters and twists and turns that I had to keep straight.
          My advice would be to tell writers to write! The more you do it, the better you get.  And by all means, when you think of something, quickly write it down. I’m over sixty and I have to be careful not to let a brilliant thought slip away thinking it will wait.  I did lose something that was quite wonderful by waiting and when I sat down to put into the story, it was gone!

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

I chose self-publishing, simply because I didn’t want to wait.

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

Writing the book and having it published may be considered the easy part.  I was surprised at how difficult it is to proofread your own work. Pam of Babylon is being reedited because I want it to be as perfect as it can be. Also, even authors who are represented by agents and have publishers must market their own books. Marketing is extremely important and I devote a good part of my day to it.

Q: Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

Seeing my book in print was thrilling!  I love the covers and seeing the book covers for the first time confirmed that I was doing the correct thing by putting forth the effort to write and self-publish.

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

I currently have the three Pam of Babylon books in print; Pam, Don’t You Forget About Me and Dream Lover. The fourth book in the series, Prayers for the Dying, will be out this summer, and the fifth and final, Come Back to Me should be released next fall.
            The Greeks of Beaubien Street, a story about a Greek family from Detroit, will also be out this summer and is going to be a series, as well.

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

Although I didn’t set out to give a message, one has yelled loud and clear to women.  Make sure you know what is really going on in your house! As a reviewer from Kirkus Newsletter said about Dream Lover, “[Sends] a gritty, realistic portrait of the aftermath of deceit.”

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I would simply tell writers not to censor themselves, to quote my son! Thank you!

To get your copy of PAM OF BABYLON by Suzanne Jenkins at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pam-Babylon-Suzanne-Jenkins/dp/1461135923/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310645577&sr=1-1
To get your copy of DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME by Suzanne Jenkins at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Forget-About-Book-Babylon/dp/1466219009/ref=pd_sim_b_2
To get your copy of DREAM LOVER by Suzanne Jenkins at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Lover-Book-Three-Babylon/dp/1468126237/ref=pd_sim_b_1
Pick up your copy of PAM OF BABYLON by Suzanne Jenkins at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/pam-of-babylon-suzanne-jenkins/1104205831?ean=2940013633056
Pick up your copy of DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME by Suzanne Jenkins at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dont-you-forget-about-me-suzanne-jenkins/1108113721?ean=2940014047722
To learn more about Suzanne Jenkins, visit her website: http://suzannejenkins.net/
Drop in at Suzanne Jenkins’ blog: http://2sheepinthecity.com
Visit Suzanne Jenkins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/suzannejenkins3
Like Suzanne Jenkins on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/suzannejenkinswriter

Friday, July 20, 2012

Interview with Giacomo Giammatteo, author of "Murder Takes Time"



Giacomo GiammatteoAbout Giacomo Giammatteo

I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Cleland Heights, a mixed ethnic neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware that sat on the fringes of the Italian, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. The main characters of Murder Takes Time grew up in Cleland Heights and many of the scenes in the book were taken from real-life experiences. Somehow I survived the transition to adulthood, but when my kids were young I left the Northeast and settled in Texas, where my wife suggested we get a few animals. I should have known better; we now have a full-blown animal sanctuary with rescues from all over. At last count we had 41 animals—12 dogs, a horse, a three-legged cat and 26 pigs. Oh, and one crazy—and very large—wild boar, who takes walks with me every day and happens to also be my best buddy. Since this is a bio some of you might wonder what I do. By day I am a headhunter, scouring the country for top talent to fill jobs in the biotech and medical device industry. In the evening I help my wife tend the animals, and at night—late at night—I turn into a writer. Go check out the website: www.giacomogiammatteo.com. Look around, click some links, and, if you’ve got time, tell me what you think. Contact me at jim@giacomogiammatteo.com.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? 

Optimism. My mother was the most optimistic person I have ever known. Absolutely nothing could keep that woman down. I guess some of it rubbed off on me, and I’m glad about that.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? 

 Impatience. For a lot of things, I have all the patience in the world. Like for little kids, or people just learning. But for others, including myself, I don’t. I work on it, but as my wife would be happy to tell you, I’m nowhere close to getting there.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? 

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” *Mahatma Gandhi

My wife and I run an animal sanctuary. We have 41 loving “friends,” and they are now our family. Our kids are grown, so we had to have something to spoil.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? 

I hope you weren't expecting a lot about writing in these answers. If so you better ask some more. The thing I am most proud of is our marriage. My wife and I got married young. She was almost 17, and I had just turned 17. That was 43 years ago. And we’re still married–to each other!

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? 

I grew up in a large Italian-American family. We had lots of Irish mixed in with relatives too. The neighborhood itself was predominantly Italian, Irish and Polish, so there were big celebrations, and at all of them, lots of storytelling. I loved the storytelling and learned from the best ones. The big families also gave me a huge cast of characters to draw from, characters that I knew very well. I am constantly going back to that pool and picking up a character or two for each book I write. Of course it is probably also why my books tend to have a lot of Italians and Irish in them. Or Polish.

What inspires you to write and why? 

I love to share stories. When my kids were growing up, my wife was the one who read to them, all the time, every day. But when it came time to go to bed, I told them stories. I didn’t read them, I made them up, or told them mythology stories until they fell asleep.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I love writing mystery/thriller, but I also love fantasy, and I’m playing around with children’s books. For the mysteries I draw on my childhood, and growing up in the city. They tend to be gritty and filled with language of the streets. For the fantasies, I let my imagination run wild. I have three epic fantasies written and I don’t think there is a curse word in any of it. So it is very different writing, with a different voice.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

My son and I were reading books together—fantasy books—and then we would discuss them. We found ourselves constantly analyzing plot and character development and discussing what we would have done differently. So we both kind of agreed to try writing a fantasy novel. It started as more of a father/son project to get him interested in writing, and it ended up with me falling in love with writing.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? 

I think it’s letting go of the emotions. I try to draw on real-life experiences for character emotions. Either mine, or someone close to me. It is often difficult to bring them out.

What is your greatest strength as a writer?

Storytelling. People tell me that I develop great characters, but I think that storytelling is it.

About Murder Takes Time

Print
A string of brutal murders has bodies piling up in Brooklyn, and Detective Frankie Donovan knows what is going on. Clues left at the crime scenes point to someone from the old neighborhood, and that isn't good. Frankie has taken two oaths in his life—the one he took to uphold the law when he became a cop, and the one he took with his two best friends when they were eight years old and inseparable. Those relationships have forced Frankie into many tough decisions, but now he faces the toughest one of his life; he has five murders to solve and one of those two friends is responsible. If Frankie lets him go, he breaks the oath he took as a cop and risks losing his job. But if he tries to bring him in, he breaks the oath he kept for twenty-five years—and risks losing his life. In the neighborhood where Frankie Donovan grew up, you never broke an oath.

~ ~ ~ iPad 3 GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~

Pump Up Your Book and Giacomo Giammatteo are teaming up to give you a chance to win an iPad 3!

ipad

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour.  If your blog isn't set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This iPad 2 promotion will run from June 18 - August 31. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 1, 2012. Each blogger who participates in the Murder Takes Time virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com. What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~ ~ ~ KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~

Pump Up Your Book and Giacomo Giammatteo are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

Kindle Fire

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour.  If your blog isn't set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This Kindle Fire promotion will run from June 18 - August 31. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 1, 2012. Each blogger who participates in the Murder Takes Time virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com.  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~ ~ ~WIN $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE ~ ~ ~

One lucky person who comments the most on the Murder Takes Time's blog stops will receive a $50 gift certificate.

If you would like to be a host, email Tracee at tgleichner (at) gmail.com.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pump Up Your Book & Crime Fiction Author Llindy S. Hudis announce nationwide blog tour

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to announce Lindy S. Hudis' Crashers: A Tale of Cappers and Hammers Virtual Book Publicity Tour beginning August 6 and ending on September 28 2012. Lindy will be on hand during her nationwide tour talking about her book in candid interviews and guest posts! As an added bonus, Lindy's tour is also part of a Kindle Fire Giveaway! To find out more details visit her official tour page at http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2012/07/19/pump-up-your-book-presents-crashers-a-tale-of-cappers-and-hammers-virtual-book-publicity-tour-2012/.

Crashers long banner 

About Lindy S. Hudis

Lindy S.Hudis is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied drama. She is a former actress, having appeared on such television shows as “Sunset Beach” and “Married with Children”. Her romantic murder mystery, Weekends, is currently available from Lachesis Press. She is also a filmmaker, her independent short film “The Lesson”, which she wrote, produced and directed, screened at the Seattle Underground Film Festival. She is co-owner of an independent production company called Impact Motion Pictures. She and her husband Steve, a Hollywood stuntman, have just completed the screenplay adaptation of Charmaine Hammond’s best selling book, “On Toby’s Terms.” She lives in California with her family. Visit Lindy on the web at www.crashersbook.com. To get your paperback copy of CRASHERS: A TALE OF CAPPERS AND HAMMERS by Lindy S. Hudis at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Crashers-A-Tale-Cappers-Hammers/dp/1936332272/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338825994&sr=1- To get your ebook copy of CRASHERS: A TALE OF CAPPERS AND HAMMERS by Lindy S. Hudis in the Kindle Store: http://www.amazon.com/Crashers-A-Tale-Cappers-Hammers/dp/1936332272/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338825994&sr=1-1 Visit Lindy S. Hudis’ publisher’s page: http://www.bettieyoungsbooks.com/authors/LindyHudis/index.htm Like Lindy S. Hudis on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=736712042 Follow Lindy S. Hudis on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Lindyscribe Follow Lindy S. Hudis at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10311165-lindy-hudis Like Lindy S. Hudis at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=17714000&trk=tab_pro Visit Lindy S. Hudis film production company: http://www.impactmotionpictures.com/

About Crashers: A Tale of Cappers and Hammers

Fraudulent car accidents is a multi-million dollar racket, involving unscrupulous medical providers, personal injury attorneys, and the cooperating passengers involved in the accidents—and who also receive a portion of the illegal proceeds. Such is the fate of newly engaged, Nathan and Shari, whose joy is tempered by the dark cloud of mounting debt. A chance encounter with a stranger in whom Shari confides her troubles proves fortuitous: he tells her of a get-rich-quick scheme that will put her and her fiancé on easy street. Seduced by the chance to move from hard times to good times in no time, Shari takes the carrot offered her, and finds herself acting as a “stuffed passenger”—the “victim” in a staged auto accident. The act goes according to plan and Shari gets her payday, but getting out and breaking free of the insurance fraud underworld will take nothing short of a miracle. A modern day cautionary tale, Crashers is a true-to-life novel that uncovers how the innocent get lured into the scheme of “cappers” and “hammers.” A riveting story of love and desperation, greed and redemption.

About Pump Up Your Book

Pump Up Your Book handles all the aspects of virtual book touring from pre-buzzing your book before the tour starts to making sure buyers will find your book long after the tour is over. If you are the author of a newly published book, have an upcoming release or just want to give a previously published book new life, a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book is the answer. We welcome traditionally published, electronically published and self-published authors. Our esteem list of clients include Claire Cook, Caridad Pineiro, C.W. Gortner, Barbara Bretton, Cody McFayden, James Hayman, Karen White, Kathleen Willey, Lisa Daily, Lisa Jackson, Mary Burton, Nancy Thayer, Randy Sue Coburn, Ray Comfort, Sandi Kahn Shelton, Sheila Roberts, Therese Fowler, Hope Edelman, Wendy Wax, Jon Meacham, Shobhan Bantwal, Pat Williams, Jane Green, Judge Glenda Hatchett and cook show personality Paula Deen. We also represent Random House, Abingdon Press, Zumaya Publications, WND Books, Sheaf House Publishers, New Hope Publishers, Guardian Angel Publishers, Genesis Press, and Moody Publishing. Contact us to find out what we can do for you and your book!
If you’d like to interview Lindy or review her book, contact Dorothy Thompson at thewriterslife(at)gmail.com. Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book promotion for authors. Visit us at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

SEVERED THREADS: Interview with Romantic Suspense Author Kaylin McFarren


As many people know, Kaylin McFarren wasn’t born with a pen in hand like so many of her talented fellow authors. However, she has been involved with business and personal writing projects for many years. Her careers have taken her in all directions, ranging from fashion modeling and interior design to office manager and art gallery director. Yet her love of reading and interest in creative writing has remained ever present. As a result of her tapping into her imagination and utilizing her own life experiences, she has earned more than a dozen literary awards. Her first novel, Flaherty’s Crossing was a 2008 finalist in the prestigious RWA® Golden Heart contest and her second book, Severed Threads, has already garnered two first place awards.

Kaylin is a member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers. She received her AA in Literature at Highline Community College, which originally sparked her passion for writing. In her free time, she also enjoys giving back to the community through participation and support of various educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest, and is currently the president of the Soulful Giving Foundation – a non-profit she and her husband formed to fund expanded research, and the care and treatment of cancer patients and their families.

Her latest book is a romantic suspense titled Severed Threads.

You can visit Kaylin online at www.KaylinMcFarren.com.
Twitter: www.twitter.com/4kaylin
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kaylin.mcfarren
Blog: http://kaylinmcfarren.wordpress.com/

About the Book:

Believing herself responsible for her father’s fatal diving accident, Rachel Lyons has withdrawn from the world and assumed a safe position at a foundation office. When called upon by a museum director to assist her former love interest with the recovery of a cursed relic from a sunken Chinese merchant ship, she has no intention of cooperating – until her brother is kidnapped by a drug-dealing gangster. In order to save him and gain control over her own life, Rachel must not only overcome her greatest fears, but also relive the circumstances that lead to her father’s death.

_________________________

La Interview:

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 literately dreamed it up from beginning to end, which often happens with the stories I write. But I’ve also been involved in the business of collecting and selling Asian antiques for more than fifteen years. Due to my interest in this field and my fascination with the undersea world, I was inspired to write a story about the recovery of a Chinese concubine's cursed treasure from a sunken ship, which aids in healing a woman's damaged soul. Over the course of four months, I researched scuba diving, trade routes, famous battles, and the natural disasters that befell Spanish galleons during the 15th-17th centuries. My strongest recommendation to any new author: Know your subject well. If you don’t, readers will instantly recognize your inaccuracies and look for inconsistencies in your story.

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?

 If you have a vivid imagination, the time to do extensive research, and are open to constructive criticism from fellow authors and critic partners, you have the building blocks necessary to construct a strong, viable story. However, a successful journey depends on your willingness to dedicate your time and energy into perfecting your craft and being aware of your target audience and their specific interests.

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

Creative Edge Publishing LLC. I’ve gone the route of soliciting to large publishing houses, worked with a small publisher on my first book, and have now elected to self-publish a new romantic suspense series with my own publishing firm.

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

 I was honestly surprised as to how much time and money an author must be willing to commit, even with a large publishing house, in order to gain exposure and shelf space for their novels. They don’t sell themselves and quite often an author’s unrelenting dedication and their personal relationships are the keys to noteworthy endorsements and marketing opportunities.

Q: Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

Thrilled and panicked at the same time. It was great to see my words and thoughts in print but I wasn’t prepared for the cover art my publisher selected. With time I grew to love it but am delighted that I now have complete control over my literary work.

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

 I’m currently working on the second installment in the Threads series – Buried Threads – that takes my treasure hunters on a wild adventure in Southeast Asia. I’m hoping to have this book finished and available before Christmas 2012.

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

We’re all capable of overcoming obstacles in our lives if we have faith, strength and the willingness to do so.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Be sure to pick up your copy of Severed Threads on Amazon.com or www.kaylinmcfarren.com today! Thank you.
Watch the Trailer!



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

ANGER MASTERY: Interview with Kevin B. Burk

Kevin B. Burk has been helping people around the world to improve their lives and relationships since 1996 through his astrological counseling and relationship coaching practice. His humor, wisdom and compassion are always present, in his books (ten so far, including Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart, The Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life, and his newest book, Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy), his classes and workshops, and his interactions with his clients and students. Kevin’s focus is always on the practical, exploring how we can actually use astrology and spiritual practice on a daily basis to transform our lives.

In the astrology world, he is best known for making Classical Astrology accessible to everyone, taking complex and abstract concepts and showing how they can be used to create concrete, specific and practical interpretations. Kevin’s website, The Real Astrology with Kevin B. Burk is one of the premiere astrology resources on the Internet. His book, Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart is a textbook used at Kepler University in their Undergraduate Astrology Degree program, and has been translated into Russian, and is currently being translated into Bulgarian. Kevin’s articles have appeared in The Mountain Astrologer, the Australian publication,Well Being Astrology, and in Llewellyn’s Moon Sign books.

In the non-astrology world, Kevin is best known for his unique approach to understanding and improving all human relationships through The Relationship Handbook andThe Relationship Workshops.

Kevin has released a series of DVDs of his Law of Attraction workshops: the self-contained Prosperity & The Law of Attraction, and Astrology & The Law of Attraction, a series of 7 DVDs recorded live in Houston, TX at a weekend workshop for the Gulf Coast Chapter of NCGR.

Kevin has developed a revolutionary program for spiritual growth called Archetypal Astrology: The Hero’s Journey. This intensive program guides participants through the process of meeting and moving into Right Relationship with each of the seven Astrological Archetypes (you may know them as the seven personal planets).

Kevin is currently synthesizing astrology and spirituality into his next series of books: Astrology & The Law of Attraction, Prosperity & The Law of Attraction andRelationships & The Law of Attraction.

You can visit Kevin’s website at www.GetAngryGetHappy.com.
To get your paperback copy of  ANGER MASTERY by Kevin Burk: http://www.amazon.com/Anger-Mastery-Kevin-B-Burk/dp/0975968238
To purchase a copy of ANGER MASTERY at Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/anger-mastery-kevin-b-burk/1104012568
Buy the book directly from the author at www.GetAngryGetHappy.com
Like Kevin Burk on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AngerMastery

______________________


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kevin. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, Anger Mastery: Get Angry, Get Happy

I suppose my first book was my senior honors thesis in college. All I needed to do was write a brief essay around my acting project. Instead, I turned in a 400-page, in-depth exploration of Farce. My advisor said it was the first thesis he had to grade by the pound.

I began writing my first published book in 1999. It was accepted for publication by Llewellyn, and released in 2001 as Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart.

The path to Anger Mastery began in the summer of 2006. I had just finished teaching the last series of workshops based on my Relationship books, and I was asking myself, “What’s next?” I decided I wanted to revisit basic astrology and make it even more practical and accessible.

During this time, I was going through intensive training as a spiritual counselor, expanding my counseling practice, and immersing myself in the consciousness research of Dr. David Hawkins. I began to synthesize this material, and spent the next three years writing a new book, Astrology & The Law of Attraction.

Astrology & The Law of Attraction presented a very powerful, practical system of spiritual development that helps people to get from wherever they happen to be right now, to “happy.” The manuscript itself, however, was quite long; it wasn’t a good fit for Hay House at the time, and I decided to set it — and my now former agent — aside.

I realized that the concepts in Astrology & The Law of Attraction were too advanced for most people. What I needed instead was to create a book that was accessible to everyone: a book that could help people to move out of Victim Consciousness, which is the first critical step to becoming happy.

After more than four years of writing, exploring and teaching this material, I was finally comfortable enough to have fun with it, and I was able to complete the entire book in less than 2 months (if you don’t count the four years of preparation that it took to get to that point).

Although my sense of humor is evident in all of my books, in Anger Mastery, it’s front and center. I decided the best way to get people to look at subjects that might not be comfortable is to make sure they’re laughing out loud while they’re doing it.

Q: How did you choose your title and was it your first choice?

The title showed up organically. I knew I wanted to focus on the power and energy of Anger as the subject of the book. I also wanted to make sure I made it clear that this isn’t your typical book on anger—and it’s certainly not a book about anger management.

As popular as “anger management” is, it doesn’t do very much. When you manage your anger, you still experience it in painful, negative ways. The purpose of anger management is to teach you how to keep your anger to yourself, so it doesn’t bother other people. Anger management doesn’t help you to take back your power, it doesn’t help you to move out of Victim Consciousness. But most importantly, managing your anger won't help you to get happy.
And besides—anyone who’s ever worked in an office knows first-hand that “management” is a colossal waste of time and energy.
When you master your anger, however, you take back your power. You’re no longer at the mercy of your anger. In fact, when you master your anger, you make anger your bitch. The surface results are the same as with anger management—others see you as nicer, less aggressive, and less prone to inappropriate expressions of frustration and rage. That’s all on the outside. On the inside, you’re no longer miserable. You feel empowered, you feel energized, and you feel infinitely happier than you did before.


Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author.  What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

Since I’m both the author and the publisher, it comes down to me, either way, and I’m still coordinating things. From the start, I knew that I wanted to create a series of videos promoting the book. In addition to the book trailers, I also filmed and produced an episode of the game show, “Whose Business Is It?” that demonstrates how to use one of the most important tools in the Anger Mastery toolbox. You can watch all of the videos at http://www.GetAngryGetHappy.com.

I’ve also created a free book study facilitation guide, and plan to begin marketing the class to spiritual communities around the country.

Q: Open to a random page in your book.  Can you tell us what is happening?

It’s talking about the appeal of “Other People’s Business.” In order to master your anger and become completely happy you have to learn to stay in “My Business,” and out of “Other People’s Business.” This section explores why that’s so challenging, and what, precisely we get from being in “Other People’s Business.” (Spoiler alert: we get to feel Anger and Pride — and recognizing why those negative feelings are so attractive to us is a key component of mastering your anger.)

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

At the moment, my subsequent books are my previous books. I’m planning on splitting Astrology & The Law of Attraction into two different books. Archetypal Astrology: The Hero’s Journey will address the practical spirituality, and would be the next step for people who have mastered their anger and are ready for more. The second book would be primarily for people who would like to be able to speak the language of astrology, but find the traditional methods and options too complicated and not practical enough.

Q: What is the one thing you learned about your book AFTER it was published?

I really manage to push people’s buttons in Chapter 1! My intention in the first chapter is to make you feel angry, because that will give you the motivation to actually start to improve your life and become happy. What I didn’t expect was how polarizing the first chapter would be. Everyone experiences it through his or her own, personal filters. I sometimes have to convince people to keep reading—but when they do, they’re usually glad they did.

Q: What is your most favorite time of the day or night to write?

Generally, I find it easier to stay focused in the mornings. If I haven’t gotten my writing done by lunchtime, it’s more of a struggle.

Q: What is usually better – the book or the movie?

The book.

Q:  You’re about to write your next book.  What did you learn from your previous book to help you write your next book?

Limit the scope. I’ve had to learn that it’s okay not to address every possible question and every possible scenario. I don’t have to provide my readers with a complete toolbox. It’s enough to provide a few tools and techniques, and give people time to use them.

Q: Finally, what’s your best tip you can give to writers who want to be published?

Be absolutely clear why you want to be published. What is it that you really care about? What do you hope your book will accomplish? In my experience, “money” and “fame” are not good enough reasons to do anything. When you’re clear about the why, then you can explore your options about the how. Going with a traditional publisher is not necessarily the best choice anymore, but that really depends on your objectives and your subject matter.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, Kevin.  Do you have any final words?

Sure: Get angry, get happy!