Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2016

Murder at Morningside Banner

Inside the Book:

murder at morningside

Title: Murder at Morningside
Author: Sandra Bretting
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Genre: Mystery
Format: Ecopy

Hat designer Missy DuBois opened her shop, Crowning Glory, along Louisiana’s Great River Road to cater to the sophisticated Southern bride. But bless her heart, who knew creating stylish wedding veils would lead to murder?

Hired to craft a veil for a socialite getting married at Morningside Plantation means Missy can bask in the height of antebellum atmosphere. But when the bride is found dead in a women’s bathroom, Missy the milliner finds herself entangled in one unfashionable murder. With the list of suspects thicker than the sweltering Louisiana heat, including a gaggle of bridesmaids shedding nary a tear and a family with no shortage of enemies, it seems anyone at the mansion may have done away with the bride-to-be. While Missy has Southern charm to spare, she’s going to need more than manners and a manicure to put a hat pin on this murderous affair . . .

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N

 

Meet the Author

SandraBretting_author

Sandra Bretting has served as a freelance feature writer for the Houston Chronicle since moving to Texas in 1996. She received a journalism degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and spent her early career in healthcare public relations at medical centers throughout Southern California. Other publications for which she’s written include the Los Angeles Times and Woman’s Day. Readers can visit her website at SandraBretting.com.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

dad 2Robert V Baynes is concerned about the direction this country is headed. He wrote this first novel as a message to warn people of what could happen here if things continue as they are. In his spare time, he loves to spend time with his family. He also likes to vacation in new places, fish, read, garden and cook.

Twitter / Facebook / Website / Amazon

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Day the Dollar Died. To begin with, can you give us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it.

A: My book is the story of an ordinary farmer and how his life has been very good in this country. Then things begin to change as the financial foundations of this country start to crumble. The main character, John, struggles with what to do and eventually loses everything he has worked so hard to build. He ends up having to make some very difficult choices to try to save his family.

I chose to write this book because I wanted to warn people of some of the dangers I see coming to this country if we do not change the direction we are headed.

Q: What do you think makes a good political novel? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

A: I think one of the most important aspects of a political novel is that it gets a message across. I think the authors’ point of view should be fairly obvious. I also think it is important for the novel to speak to current events. If it is not about current problems, people do not feel compelled to read it. Third, I think a political novel should be fairly easy to understand.

There could be other aspects, but I think these are the three I would narrow it down to.

book cover (1)-1Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

A: I knew the basic story line I wanted to go with when I started the book. However, much of the story came about as I wrote. I felt like I just saw the story unfold and I wrote it as I saw it.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

A: My protagonist came about as a mix between my personality, what I would like to be and just an ordinary farmer. I didn’t do a character sketch prior to writing, but I just wrote what I saw in my head.

Q: In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

A: For the antagonist, I chose a character that has an almost opposite point of view as myself and then tried to picture why they would think that way. This was an interesting exercise to do.

Q: How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

A:I tried to keep the narrative exciting by trying to make everything as realistic as possible. I always tried to think about how a person would realistically react in each situation. I also threw in a few twists.

For tips, I think some of the best writing is as realistic as possible and is descriptive enough that you could picture yourself there.

Q: Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

A: I tried to throw in cues about what the breeze was like or what the character might have heard. I tried to throw in subtle cues about the setting as the book went along.

Q: Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

A: I knew the basic theme of the novel from the beginning. I discovered many of the details as I wrote. I am currently working on my second novel and the theme is similar but changed.

Q: Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

A:I think you need both art and craft to be a good book. They have to work together. A good job of editing would enhance rather than destroy the creative work of an author. A good edit, makes a book easier to read and understand.

Q: What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

A: First of all, they have to be someone who can tell a good story. They also have to be able to stick with one project for years or months until they can get a project finished and to market. Third, I think they have to be able to figure out how to publicize and market their work after that.

Q: A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. What do you think about that?

A: That point of view certainly has a lot of merit. An author is also someone who gets to tell stories for a living. However, being an author does take a lot of work that is not always fuin.

Q: Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

A:I can’t think of any resources I used to learn to write. I have been an avid reader all of my life, so I think that has helped me to be able to write.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

A: Writing is like doing anything else. It take some work when you don’t feel like it and the more you do it and get good feedback, the better you can get at it.

Read Full Post »

Inside the Book:

 

 
Title: Funeral Games
Author: Jay Allan
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Pages: 464
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Format: Ecopy/Paperback

The battle for the unification and rule of the Far Stars Confederation will be decided in this exhilarating third and final book in the swashbuckling space saga begun with Shadow of Empire and Enemy in the Dark.

The Far Stars stands on the edge of a precipice. The forces of Governor Vos have surged forth, conquering worlds and imposing the emperor’s brutal rule over millions. Only one thing stands in the way of total victory: Marshal Augustin Lucerne and his newly created Confederation. Vos has a simple plan: assassinate the marshal, and manipulate his generals to fight over his legacy, destroying each other in the process.

But another threat lurks: Arkarin Blackhawk. The smuggler and mercenary has been the marshal’s ally, working in the shadows and unraveling Vos’ plans. The governor can only hope the mysterious adventurer continues to resist a formal position in the Confederation.

Or he can have Blackhawk assassinated, too.

Because with Blackhawk succeeding Lucerne, the black and gold imperial flags will be stained red with blood. For his is a dark and dangerous past, and if he is put at the helm of the Confederation armies, the brutal imperial general he once had been may rise once again.

The Far Stars are facing the final battle. The Imperials seem unstoppable. But if Blackhawk somehow survives—and can come to grips with the horror deep within him—he just might be able to save the Far Stars from the iron hand of empire.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N 

Meet the Author

Jay Allan is a former investor and the author of the Crimson Worlds series and the first two books in the Far Stars series, Shadow of Empire and Enemy in the Dark. When not writing, he enjoys traveling, running, hiking, and reading. He loves hearing from readers and always answers e-mails. He currently lives in New York City.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Inside the Book:

Title: Hazard of Shadows
Author:Mike Phillips
Publisher: Caliburn Press
Pages: 280
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Ecopy/Paperback

The enchanted creatures of legend still exist, taking refuge from an age of camera phones and government labs in a secret place called the World Below. After leading a revolution against Baron Finkbeiner, the despotic ruler of the World Below, Mitch Hardy has taken the throne. Unknown to him, ancient powers are at work. The Lords of Faerie seek to revenge the death of Baron Finkbeiner and recover the mysterious Blade of Caro. Soon Mitch is fighting for his life against hellish monsters, the likes of which he never imagined.

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N 

 

Make Monsters a Part of Your Reading with the New Book by Mike Phillips                  

 

The new book by Grand Rapids author Mike Phillips promises a cast of creepy characters and nonstop action from beginning to end. With chills enough to keep you awake at night, it’s the perfect addition to your fall reading list.

 

For those not familiar with the Goblin King Series, the new book Hazard of Shadows is a return to the World Below, a place where creatures of myth and legend still exist and magic and mystery rule. Mitch Hardy is the lord protector of this enchanted place, a human given the responsibility for keeping law and order where even the most innocent creatures may possess terrible powers.

 

Helping Mitch keep the peace is a crew of goblins, the nastiest bunch of monsters imaginable. They have a history of lying, cheating, stealing and murder, but are now, or at least temporarily, reformed. Never had a law man a better gang of deputies. With goblins teaching him the ropes, it’s hard to pull one over on Mitch. But things are never as they seem in the World Below.

 

Old enemies gather in the shadows, plotting vengeance for the death of one of their own. They are after Mitch with no regard for anyone who might get in the way. All the while, Mitch is oblivious to the wicked schemes coming to a head around him, and soon he must face a hellish enemy, the likes of which he never imagined.

 

Next time the monsters come knocking, you might just want to let them in. Hazard of Shadows is a tale full of magic and suspense, the perfect addition to your fall reading list.

 

 

 

Meet the Author

Mike Phillips grew up on a small farm in West Michigan, living much the way people did at the turn of the century. Whether it was growing fruits and vegetables or raising livestock, Mike learned the value of hard work and responsibility at a young age.
While his friends spent their summers watching reruns of bad sitcoms, Mike’s father gave him a very special gift. He turned off the television. With what was affectionately referred to as “the idiot box” no longer a distraction, Mike was left to discover the fantastic worlds that only exist in books. When not tending sheep, gardening, building furniture, chopping wood, or just goofing off, Mike spent his time reading.
With all that hard work at home, Mike was always eager to go to school. He excelled as a student and went on to pursue a career in the sciences. Working as a Safety Engineer in the Insurance Industry, Mike soon became bored with the corporate grind. Writing engaged him like nothing else. After a few novels and numerous short stories, he thought getting published would be a pretty neat idea. And so, here it goes…

 

 

Read Full Post »

Hot and Nerdy 2 real banner

Inside the Book:

Hot & Nerdy 2

Title: Hot and Nerdy 2
Author: Shannyn Schroeder
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ecopy

Adam, Hunter, and Free have a lot in common, like geeky passions and not exactly great track records when it comes to dating. But a New Year’s Eve bash will bring everything they’ve ever wanted—and so much more . . .

His Work Of Art

Adam Hayes has never met a girl like Reese. She’s sassy, smart, and loves talking comics, although he can’t see why she’d choose DC over Marvel. He’s thrilled to finally put his artistic chops to use in their upcoming comic project. But when the two combine forces, they churn out magic in more ways than they had planned . . .

His New Jam

There’s something unusual about the sarcastic percussionist Hunter Reed hired for his band. For one thing, she’s impervious to his advances. But when Hunter sees how passionate Sydney is behind the drums, he orchestrates a plan to find out if she kisses like she plays. What he doesn’t anticipate is falling so hard . . .

His Dream Role

Free Mitchell loves the theater. When he’s masquerading as Dr. Who or Sherlock Holmes, he feels he can escape his shy, dorky persona. But nothing’s prepared him to play boyfriend to a gorgeous girl like Samantha Wolf. The more time they spend together, the more they seem to be going off the script, and the hotter everything gets . . .

 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N

 

Meet the Author

Shannyn Schroeder

Shannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.

Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.

After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”

So she did.

That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today—agented with a debut ebook coming out with Kensington in late 2012.

She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.

Shannyn is represented by Frances Black and Jennifer Mishler of Literary Counsel.

 

Read Full Post »


Title: A Sojourn Among the Avatars of Wisdom

Author: Dudley Mecum

Publisher: iUniverse

Genre: Visionary and Metaphysical

Format: Ebook

Chris Cole enjoys aiming for the stars. After he rockets into orbit aboard the space shuttle, his mission is cut short when he is the victim of an accident aboard the International Space Station. Whisked back to earth for medical observation, Chris is eventually released. Before his return flight to Kennedy Space Center the next day, Chris decides to attend a nearby medieval fair with an acquaintance—a decision that will change the course of his life forever. Shortly after the astronaut’s arrival at the festival, the king unexpectedly selects Chris to be a contestant in a tournament. As Chris’s quest to become a knight begins, he learns how to wield a sword, battle foes, and achieve greatness. Unfortunately, villainy, treachery, and a crucible await him. As enemies emerge from the shadows, others use him as a pawn to settle old scores. Guided by a cast of colorful characters who dispense timeless advice, Chris is overcome with self-doubt as he ponders whether it is really possible to change his destiny. In this gripping fantasy tale, wisdom of the world’s greatest philosophers and modern sages is brought to life as one man attempts to escape from a prison of his own making.

ORDER INFORMATION
A Sojourn Among the Avatars of Wisdom is available for order at
amazon

 

 

Dudley Mecum, a trained commercial pilot, earned an MBA in Finance, later working at a defense manufacturer. He currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas, where he enjoys fine art, swimming, and virtual flying.

 

Dudley is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins January 11 and ends on January 22.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 23.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Read Full Post »

Jean-Pierre Noel BalenJean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, wine lover and music lover respectively, came up with the idea for the Winemaker Detective series while sharing a meal, with a bottle of Château Gaudou 1996, a red wine from Cahors with smooth tannins and a balanced nose. The series has 24 titles to date and is a hit TV series in France. So far 10 have been translated. Jean-Pierre Alaux currently lives in southwestern France and Noël in Paris. They both are full-time writers and participate in the TV adaptation of their series.

Translator Sally Pane studied French at State University of New York Oswego and the Sorbonne before receiving her Masters Degree in French Literature from the University of Colorado. She has translated several titles in this series.

And Anne Trager has a passion for crime fiction that equals her love of France. After years working in translation, publishing and communications, she founded the mystery and thriller publishing house Le French Book, dedicated to picking top mysteries and thrillers from France and translating them into English.

Their latest book is the cozy mystery, The Winemaker Detective: An Omnibus.

For More Information

About the Book:

An immersion in French countryside, gourmet attitude, and light-hearted mystery.

The Winemaker DetectiveTwo amateur sleuths gumshoe around French wine country, where money, deceit, jealousy, inheritance and greed are all the ingredients needed for crime. Master winemaker Benjamin Cooker and his sidekick Virgile Lanssien solve mysteries in vineyards with a dose of Epicurean enjoyment of fine food and beverage. Each story is a homage to wine and winemakers, as well as a mystery.

In Treachery in Bordeaux, barrels at the prestigious grand cru Moniales Haut-Brion wine estate in Bordeaux have been contaminated. Is it negligence or sabotage?

In Grand Cru Heist, Benjamin Cooker’s world gets turned upside down one night in Paris. He retreats to the region around Tours to recover. He and his assistant Virgile turn PI to solve two murders and very particular heist.

In Nightmare in Burgundy, a dream wine tasting trip to Burgundy that turns into a troubling nightmare when Cooker and his assistant stumble upon a mystery revolving around messages from another era.

This made-for-TV series is “difficult to forget and oddly addictive” (ForeWord Reviews).

For More Information

  • The Winemaker Detective: An Omnibus is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q&A with Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, creators of the Winemaker Detective

How did you start writing a crime fiction series?

We wanted to explore a specific theme—wine and winemaking—from a variety of different perspectives. In the Winemaker Detective series, it is clear that each wine region deserves a different approach. By having recurring characters that see and observe the different regions and wine estates, we create consistency and a link between the different whodunit stories.

Your characters are very attaching. How do they evolve?

No matter what you do as a writer, characters eventually take over and do what they want. They evolve with the series because they reflect life. Everybody changes because life makes you change, even when you keep your initial values and character traits. So like anybody, our characters mature, become wiser in some areas, more experienced, or let themselves go, or cannot overcome their pain or refuse to face life head on. Since we began writing the series, our central character, the winemaker detective Benjamin Cooker, has grown, become more complex and taken on a life of his own, thanks in part to the French television series in which actor Pierre Arditi embodies him remarkably.

How much reality do you include in your books?

Generally speaking, we do our best to respect the reality of our settings. We go to the various wine regions, take pictures, get a feel for the place, and use local and historical documents. Many of the wines estates, restaurants and even hotels are all real. Sometimes the plot requires that we invent places where crimes have occurred, so that we don’t ruin the reputations of real places. For the plot, the key is finding a rather subtle balance between what is real, what seems real, and what is invented and improbable. But, you must also be wary of reality, as it is often much tougher, crueler and more sordid than anything you could imagine. Curiously, you sometimes need to lighten up reality for it to remain credible in a story.

How do you check your facts?

We do a lot of reading, using specialized books, and online research. We call on experts (winemakers, toxicologists, police officers, ballistics specialists, historians). Experience helps, making it easier and quicker to do the research. We also know many winemakers and winegrowers, with whom we check details. Both of us are careful about verifying our sources.

The Winemaker Detective banner

Pump Up Your Book email

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: