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Archive for February 2nd, 2016

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Inside the Book:

GoingandComing Cover Promo

Title: Going and Coming
Author: Christopher Stone
Publisher: MLR Press
Genre: Mystery/Metaphysical
Format: Ecopy/Print

For gay, metaphysical sleuth Dr. Minnow Saint James, the workplace spans time, space, dimensions, and the entirety of the vast, incomprehensible affair that is God’s Creation.

At forty, Dr. Minnow Saint James, “Minn” to his friends, is a gay, metaphysical sleuth who, through Past Life Regression therapy, spans time, space, dimensions, and the entirety of God’s Creation to discover the past, or future, life origins of his patient’s most challenging present day problems.

Minn did not always hold his current beliefs. He was born into an affluent, atheistic, Republican family in Beverly Hills, California, and raised to believe only what his five physical senses reported.

In 2001, after receiving his doctorate from UCLA, Minn opened a highly successful traditional Hypnotic Regression therapy practice in Beverly Hills.

For six years he enjoyed his life, until a patient spontaneously regressed herself to a past life in Eighth Century Coba, turning Minn’s world upside down. Soon he was questioning his entire worldview.

Now Minn is hoping that his past just might save his future.

 

 

Meet the Author

Born in Bronx, New York, and raised in Fresno, California, Christopher Stone’s early years were dominated by school, watching television and motion pictures, bicycling, skating, and reading avidly. Summers were spent swimming, and doing whatever it took to survive the oppressive San Joaquin Valley heat. But he also remembers fondly the yearly summer trips to New York, to visit family and friends – and to see Broadway shows.

Christopher left Fresno, for Hollywood, California, during his college years after being accepted into the Writers Guild of America’s Open Door Program, a two-year, scholarship, training ground for aspiring screen and television writers. As it happened, rather than a teleplay or screenwriting gig, his first professional writing job was in journalism – as the Los Angeles Editor for Stage Door, at that time, Canada’s equivalent of the U.S. entertainment trade weekly, Variety.

Christopher would later use his Writers Guild of America training to co-author and sell the original screenplay, The Living Legend, with Jon Mercedes III, to the Erin Organization, and later, and also with Mercedes, to write two seasons of The Party Game, a Canadian TV game show.

As a young freelance entertainment journalist, he contributed to many Los Angeles-based publications, among them The Advocate, for which he wrote a breezy film column, “Reeling ‘Round,” and the Los Angeles Free Press. During this time, he became a member of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.

Christopher dipped his toes into the world of motion picture advertising and publicity, as assistant to the West Coast Director of Advertising and Publicity for Cinerama Releasing Corporation, in Beverly Hills. At the same time, he also did special advertising and publicity projects for 20th Century-Fox. Christopher went on to become an Account Executive for David Wallace & Company, a public relations firm specializing in entertainment accounts – and located on West Hollywood’s legendary Sunset Strip.

Returning to his first love, writing, Christopher became a full time freelance contributor to national consumer publications including Us, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, McCall’s, In Cinema, and The National Enquirer, among others. Many of his stories were syndicated worldwide by the New York Times Syndication Corp.

Another important area of endeavor for Christopher Stone was Re-Creating Your Self. A Blueprint for Personal Change that he first developed for himself, the journalist went on to teach the principles and processes of Re-Creating Your Self to others – first, in private sessions, later, in workshops and seminars, and, finally, for California State University Extended Education. Eventually, one of his students suggested he write a book version.

Re-Creating Your Self was first published in hardcover by Metamorphous Press, and subsequently published in a trade paperback edition by Hay House. It has since been published in Spanish, Swedish and Hebrew language editions.

When not writing, Christopher used his longtime interest in, and study of, metaphysics, to teach meditation and psychic development classes – first in Beverly Hills, then later, in Manhattan Beach.

He went on to co-author, with Mary Sheldon, four novellas for a Japanese educational publisher, and then, also with Mary Sheldon, the highly successful The Meditation Journal trilogy of hardcover books. Subsequently, he returned to journalism, this time, contributing hundreds of print and online entertainment features, columns and reviews to magazines and websites. For eight years, Christopher was the Box-office Columnist for MatchFlick.com, a popular online motion picture site.

In his private life, Christopher Stone met David M. Stoebner on May 17, 1994, and they have been together ever since. 
In 2008, they were married in Los Angeles.

They share a home with their three pets in Coastal Los Angeles County.

In 2013, Christopher’s pet project has been transforming their rarely used kitchen table area into a killer, retro 1950s Diner Nook, complete with a 1952 Seeburg Table Top jukebox, a neon diner sign, and a malt machine.

Christopher’s first novel, Frame of Reference was e and print published, in fall 2012, by MLR Press. A short story, Sweet Homo Alabama was published by MLR Press, December 19, 2012.

Stone spent much of 2013 writing Frame of Reference 2: The Dark Side of Stardom, a sequel novel to Frame of Reference, as well as, Abracadabra, and a short story, published at Halloween. But the indefatigable scribe also found time to contribute weekly reviews, columns and interviews to Queer Town Abbey.

As 2014 begins, Christopher looks forward to the publication of The Dark Side of Stardom, and he is developing a short story, Camelot Conundrum, as well as a metaphysical mystery novel, Going and Coming.

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Address to Die For

Inside the Book:

ADDRESS TO DIE FOR

Title: Address to Die For
Author: Mary Feliz
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Genre: Mystery
Format: Ecopy

For professional organizer Maggie McDonald, moving her family into a new home should be the perfect organizational challenge. But murder was definitely not on the to-do list . . .

Maggie McDonald has a penchant for order that isn’t confined to her clients’ closets, kitchens, and sock drawers. As she lays out her plan to transfer her family to the hundred-year-old house her husband, Max, has inherited in the hills above Silicon Valley, she has every expectation for their new life to fall neatly into place. But as the family bounces up the driveway of their new home, she’s shocked to discover the house’s dilapidated condition. When her husband finds the caretaker face-down in their new basement, it’s the detectives who end up moving in. What a mess! While the investigation unravels and the family camps out in a barn, a killer remains at large—exactly the sort of loose end Maggie can’t help but clean up . . .

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Meet the Author

MaryFeliz

Silicon Valley is my home. I love its foibles and the easy access to some of the most beautiful coastal and mountain terrain anywhere. The traffic? Not so much.

It hasn’t always been home—I’ve lived in five states and two countries. Traveling to other areas, I’m frequently reminded that what seems normal in the high-tech heartland can seem freakish, odd, or even alarming to the rest of the country.

I’m a big fan of irony, serendipity, diversity, and quirky intelligence tempered with gentle humor, and I strive to bring these elements into my writing. My characters, however, tend to take my manuscripts in directions I’ve never imagined. It can be a wild ride, but I love it when Maggie and her friends take charge.

While there are always traits that writers share with their characters, I assure you that Maggie is thinner, fitter, braver, funnier, and wittier than I am. Maggie is also more organized, efficient, poised, and better at thinking on her feet. We both love animals, a strong cup of coffee, cookies, and a cold glass of California chardonnay.

I’m a firm believer in professional organizations and am a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Authors Guild (which sounds like it should confer robes, wands, and the ability to do magic). I particularly adore the Writers’ Police Academy, where I’ve met lifelong friends who share my excitement about learning the best ways to murder someone and get away with it.

When Maggie told me she was a professional organizer, I joined the National Association of Professional Organizers and was delighted to meet organizers who generously shared their experiences stumbling on damning evidence amongst ordinary household clutter.

I’m a Smith College graduate with a degree in Sociology and a broad smattering of other subjects. I guess that makes me well suited to examine and catalogue Silicon Valley’s unique anthropological customs. I live with and have raised excellent examples of the indigenous nerd.

Before my career as a mom, volunteer, and writer, I worked in Corporate Communications, which taught me to write compelling copy about vacuum tubes and other items of limited interest to the general public. Outside the world of the Fortune 500 and nonprofits my writing credits include first-place recognition from SouthWest Writers for a young adult short story and finalist status in contests run by Writer’s Digest, Pacific Northwest Writers, and Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. My personal essays have been published in anthologies published by Mothers At Home and Mothers of Preschoolers.

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Inside the Book:

Blood of Innocents

Title: Blood of Innocents
Author: Mitchell Hogan
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Format: Ecopy/Paperback/Audible

A novice sorcerer may hold the key to saving his world—or be the instrument of its destruction—in this second book in The Sorcery Ascendant Sequence, a mesmerizing saga of high fantasy that combines magic, malevolence, and mystery.

Anasoma, jewel of the Mahruse Empire, has fallen.

As orphaned, monk-raised Caldan and his companions flee the city, leaving behind their hopes for a new beginning, horrors from the time of the Shattering begin to close in.

With Miranda’s mind broken by forbidden sorcery, Caldan does the unthinkable to save her: he breaks the most sacrosanct laws of the Protectors. But when the emperor’s warlocks arrive to capture him, Caldan realizes that his burgeoning powers may be more of a curse than a blessing, and the enemies assailing the empire may be rivaled by more sinister forces within.

And soon, the blood of innocents may be on Caldan’s own hands.

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Meet the Author

When he was eleven, Mitchell Hogan was given the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings to read, and a love of fantasy novels was born. He spent the next ten years reading, rolling dice, and playing computer games, with some school and university thrown in. Along the way he accumulated numerous bookcases filled with fantasy and sci-fi novels and doesn’t look to stop anytime soon.

His first attempt at writing fantasy was an abysmal failure and abandoned after only one page. But ideas for characters and scenes continued to come to him and he kept detailed notes of his thoughts, on the off chance that one day he might have time to write a novel. For ten years he put off his dream of writing until he couldn’t stand it anymore. He knew he would regret not having tried to write the novel percolating inside his head for the rest of his life. Mitchell quit his job and lived off dwindling savings, and the support of his fiancé, until he finished the first draft of A Crucible of Souls.

He now writes full time and is eternally grateful to the readers who took a chance on an unknown author.

A Crucible of Souls won the 2013 Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel.

Mitchell lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, Angela, and daughter, Isabelle.

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Giveaway

Harper Voyager is giving away a print copy of Crucible of Souls – US Only

 

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 a copy of Crucible of Souls
  • This giveaway begins January 25 and ends on February 12.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on February 13.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Earning a Ring
Title:
 Earning a Ring
Author: Kristina Mathews
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

For Rachel Parker, covering the San Francisco Goliaths is the perfect opportunity to launch her career as a serious reporter. But she didn’t bargain on Bryce Baxter, the team’s star shortstop, tempting her more non-professional aspirations. After tearing up the base paths with him, she finds herself with a little problem, and Bryce might be the only man who can save the game.

Bryce Baxter should be living the dream. His team just won the World Series and he just signed the multi-year contract of his career. But his field of dreams has been overtaken by a fiery redheaded reporter, who’s bearing a news flash that will change both of their lives forever…

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Krista-Matthews

Kristina Mathews doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn’t until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing.

While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she’s remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, parent club member, or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books. She proudly tells her students she writes romance novels that they can read when they’re older.

Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. As a veteran road tripper, amateur renovator, and sports fanatic, she hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors, and someday throw out the first pitch for the San Francisco Giants.

 

Fixer Upper
Title: Fixer-Upper
Author: Ines Saint
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

Spinning Hills, Ohio sure is sweet, which might be why the Amador brothers are not only renovating the town’s lovely houses, but settling down in them. Because there’s nothing more blissful than coming home to a houseful of love…

Masquerade parties were not exactly Johnny Amador’s thing—until he found himself captivated by a witty, dark-eyed young woman in a peasant costume. Even her mask couldn’t obscure her beauty. Only after a disastrous case of mistaken identity did he discover that his mystery woman was none other than Marissa Medina, his best friend’s youngest sister—which brings a whole new set of challenges.

Marissa never forgot the night she and Johnny kissed—the feelings that flared to life. Not that she’s going to give the too handsome, too sexy charmer a chance. She knows how dangerous Johnny is and she can’t surrender to him at any cost. But that’s a tall order now that he’s showing how dedicated he is to turning his own fixer-upper—and his life—into the stuff of her dreams.

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Ines Saint

Ines Saint was born in Zaragoza, Spain. She’s bilingual and bicultural and has spent the last ten years raising her fun, inspiring little boys and sharing her life with the man of her dreams, who also happens to be her best friend and biggest cheerleader. Her greatest joys are spending quality time with family and close friends.

Unwanted GirlTitle: Unwanted Girl
Author: MK Schiller
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

When a man loves a woman

Recovering addict Nick Dorsey finds solace in his regimented life. That is until he meets Shyla Metha. Something about the shy Indian beauty who delivers take-out to his Greenwich Village loft inspires the reclusive writer. And when Shyla reveals her desire to write a book of her own, he agrees to help her. The tale of a young Indian girl growing up against a landscape of brutal choices isn’t Nick’s usual territory, but something about the story, and the beautiful storyteller, draws him in deep.

Shyla is drawn to Nick, but she never imagines falling for him. Like Nick, Shyla hails from a village, too…a rural village in India. They have nothing in common, yet he makes her feel alive for the first time in her life. She is not ready for their journey to end, but the plans she’s made cannot be broken…not even by him. Can they find a way to rewrite the next chapter?

“This smoothly written cross-cultural romance…evolves into an in-depth study of strong emotions and underlying motivations. Schiller has a fine talent for describing cultural conflicts, and the characters are multifaceted and endearing.” – Publisher’s Weekly, starred review.

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I am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full time life and two busy teenagers, but in the dark of night, I sit by the warm glow of my computer monitor, reading or writing, usually with some tasty Italian…the food that is!

I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so good at it that friends asked me to create plots featuring them as the heroine and the object of their affection as the hero. You’ve heard of fan fiction… this was friend fiction.

I hope you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.

 

 

Hell on Heels
Title: Hell on Heels
Author: Victoria Vane
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

Place Your Bet

The Hotel Rodeo in Las Vegas has seen better days, but managing partner Ty Morgan has come up with a way to return it to its former glory. His plan looks promising until the unthinkable happens. Suddenly Ty is working for the boss’s daughter. And Miss Monica Brandt, hot as she may be, doesn’t share his vision…

Roll The Dice

She left a fabulous career and a frustrated fiancé in New York to move to Vegas and save her father’s investment. But now Monica is locking horns with a sexy cowboy-turned-businessman. What does Ty think he can do that she can’t? All Monica knows is that she doesn’t dare trust him—or is it herself she doesn’t trust?…

And Win

The battle lines are drawn. The stakes are high. And the attraction can’t be denied—especially the more closely Ty and Monica have to work together. Some odds are just meant to be played, and with chemistry this electric, it may be time to grab life by the horns…

Praise for Victoria Vane

“Erotic and sexy.” —Library Journal on the Devil DeVere series

“For erotic passion and one-liners, the first book in Vane’s new series will satisfy… Vane’s latest gets a big yee-haw.” —RT Book Reviews on Slow Hand

 

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Victoria Vane

Victoria Vane is an award-winning author of smart and sexy romance. Her work includes everything from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Her historical romances have received more than twenty awards and nominations to include the 2014 RONE Award for Treacherous Temptations and Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 for The Devil DeVere series. She is now making waves in contemporary romance with her critically acclaimed Hot Cowboy Nights series from Sourcebooks (Slow Hand, Rough Rider, Sharp Shooter, Silver Tongue). Look for her scorching hot Hotel Rodeo series coming from Kensington early 2016.

 

 

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I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books. My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa. I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream. I write three different series. My paranormal romance series is called, Knights in Time. My romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters. The newest is The Bloodstone Series. Each series has a different setting and some cross time periods, which I find fun to write.I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband and four wild and crazy rescue dogs. 

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, In Time For You. To begin with, can you gives us a brief summary of what the story is about and what compelled you to write it? 

Sisters, Electra and Emily are horseback riding in the English countryside with Electra’s fiancé, Roger. The sisters go off to collect flowers and find themselves caught in a time warp. When no clue to their vanishing turns up, Roger, learns a disturbing truth about the specific area the women disappeared from: that there has been past incidents of a time passage opening and there’s a link to specific place and time. He realizes what has occurred. What neither sister knew, was Roger is a time traveler himself. He was brought forward in time from a medieval battle he was engaged in.

He knows he must go back and search for the sisters who face grave dangers in the medieval world they’ve been transported to. Complicating his search is the fact that they are in a time that England was a war with France and Roger is French. He was fighting the English when he was transported. If he is caught while searching for the sisters, he will face death as an enemy on English soil or imprisonment as a prisoner of war.

It’s the story of how the two sisters use their intellect and resourcefulness to survive and adjust to a very alien world. It’s about how in the craziest and most frightening of circumstances, love can make its way into our hearts.

*Roger was the antagonist in my previous book in this series, Knight Blindness. Although he was the antagonist, he was not a villain. He was a French nobleman fighting for his king and country. I liked Roger as a person and a character and at the end of Knight Blindness decided to give him a story of his own. Electra and Emily the two female heroines in In Time For You are sisters to the heroine in Knight Blindness.

In Time for YouQ: What do you think makes a good romance? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

For any genre, I’d say compelling characters. The author must be passionate about creating well-rounded fulfilling characters in order for the reader to be and that includes the antagonists. For romance, the story must show a genuine relationship between the hero and heroine. To me, it can’t be he’s so handsome and she’s so beautiful and the two are carried away by just the sight of the other. The two need to laugh and respect each other, more than making love in the story. Those scenes are a lovely addition but the story must show the love grow and develop. Third, I’d say a good romance has a well-rounded world for the characters to occupy. Whether it’s terrible or beautiful or both, they have friends and family and enemies, all sorts of people they come into contact with. They shouldn’t function in a vacuum, so to speak. I love giving a story a variety of characters. I also like to use setting as a character at times.

Q: How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

I start with an outline. I’m not married to it. I usually veer far from what I originally put down and will let a storyline take me to a natural progression. I like being surprised by my characters and how they react. They don’t always do what I thought they would at the start.

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?

I have four protagonists in this story, which is unusual I know. Originally, I planned on the story surrounding Electra and Roger. I didn’t have to do much on them prior, especially on Roger, as he had a great deal of page time in Knight Blindness and a lot was known about him. Electra had several scenes in it as well. What I found was I couldn’t ignore or downplay Emily. I had not done a lot with her prior to the book, in fact, almost nothing. She grew in personality as I wrote. I needed to give her a hero and I gave her Simon. Simon was the best friend to Stephen, the English knight who came forward in time with Roger, in Knight Blindness. Simon is seen a great deal in Journey in Time. He became the perfect hero for Emily. They were the unlikely couple. Simon wasn’t always very nice in Journey in Time and he’s a bit of a tough customer. Emily is the youngest sister and is rather naïve and sweet natured compared to Electra. They both have a steep character arc, which I enjoyed giving them.

Roger and Electra are powerful characters from the start. For her, I was able to show how someone in her position (a modern woman) might handle being dropped in such an alien world. Medieval times were not kind to women. With Roger, I used the situation to show his intellect and resourcefulness.

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

In Time For You hasn’t a antagonist/villain per se. It is the time and place that are the enemy of the hero and heroine. When I’ve written villains in the past, I generally don’t write a straight up evil person with no likeable features. I think the most interesting villains are those we occasionally find ourselves liking, men like Tony Soprano come to mind.  I like to give the villains a setting as well. They have associates, likes and dislikes, often they are men and women of great taste-think of the James Bond villains.

I will mention odd quirks they might have. In my book, Silk, the killer couldn’t stand to be around people when they were eating. The sound of people eating drove him bananas. In Golden Chariot, I named some of the music the villain listened to and the heroine, to her disgust, discovered she listened to some of it as well. I also gave him a surprise scene where, even though he’s a brutal killer, he shows extreme kindness to a down and out war veteran of his country who is begging.

In Knight Blindness, where Roger, the hero from In Time For You was the antagonist, I wanted to present a man who believed in his cause. He saw the hero as his country’s enemy and it was his originally intention to kill him.

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

The first thing I do when I start a chapter is decide what event is going to happen that in some way changes the story, it has to change the character(s) in some way or change the world around them. That is a great way to keep up the pace as they, the characters, must react.

Second thing I do is ask whether a scene is really needed. What am I accomplishing? Not every scene will be action packed but again this plays to number one, if the two people or more are interacting then there must be a reason. If idle talk must be used, then it is only while I’m moving them from one point to another. That said, I try to limit those moments. Those are good places to add a line of humor or a romantic observation, if the story is a romance.

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?

As I mentioned in those same words, I see setting as a character. I like to bring in weather. With weather you get smells, sounds, feel, sight, and sometimes taste. If they’re in the woods, I use the trees: is there a canopy from the lush trees in bloom or is it winter? Does ice cover the bare branches and moonlight reflect off them or is it fall and the leaves are like an orange blanket, slippery when wet. Does the forest embrace the characters or drive them to find a clearing?

Are they on the water with a spray of salt hitting them, stinging them as they’re trying to escape somewhere? Is it making their desperation worse?

I like to bring in medieval architecture when doing time travels. The mix of natural light with torchlight, the smell of smoke from the torches and candles, the tall fireplaces with carved surrounds of mythical creatures, the imposing tapestries, this can be very intimidating to a person not used to that world. Does the room reek of body odor or smell like fresh cut grass from newly laid rushes on the floor?

Throughout my stories, I try to continually bring in the environment. I think how it affects the characters really helps bring the book to life for a reader. I want them to feel cold when the characters do and scared when the heroine is walking down a torchlight corridor of a strange castle. I want the reader to wonder along with the characters why the birds suddenly stopped chirping as they stepped from one place to another.

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?

I honestly don’t think of myself as writing a “theme.” I just will have a story in my head that I want to tell and hope to do it in an entertaining way. If there’s a theme, and I’m not sure this counts, my theme is about writing heroines with great strength of character, they all have a lot of intestinal fortitude. They aren’t women who cry and sob and do nothing while they wait for rescue. They’re proactive. I like to write women who are equal to the heroes in intelligence and courage.

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

Tough question. I don’t write for a major NY publishing house. I know some who do and an author friend has her stories deeply “redone” after editing. To me, and this is just me, that dances a little too close to stepping on an author’s creative process.

I’ve also seen writers who are slaves to rules. I like to follow them up to a point, but at the end of the day, to me, I think many can be broken if done well. If the reader isn’t confused and the story isn’t harmed, then I don’t see the purpose to slash and burn rules. Sometimes a sentence fragment is a creative choice! I think it’s okay to start a sentence (once in a while) with ‘and’ or ‘but’.

One of my favorite authors is a major violator of head hopping. She does it very well. I wouldn’t do it. That is one of the rules I do tend to take heed of but she’s exceptional. I believe editing her out of her stylistic approach would have her craft.

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

Commitment: be willing to sit your butt in a chair for hours and hours and write when there’s so many more fun things you might want to do.

Diligence/Learn the craft: diligence in doing research when it is needed and not just writing something off the top of your head and hoping it’s historically or otherwise correct. Diligence in learning the craft and learning what is lazy writing and what make compelling story telling.

Acceptance: accept that you must promote. Amazon has hundreds and thousands of books listed. You must promote to get your name out. Acceptance that not everyone will love your book and you will get bad reviews. Move on. Don’t lose heart.

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?

I like Oscar Wilde’s comments on writing. One of my favorites is: “I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning and took out a comma. In the afternoon, I put it back again.”

I also like Hemingway’s: “All writing is rewriting.”

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

I like Stephen King’s “On Writing.” As far as workshops and books, Donald Maass has the best workshops IMO. I’ve been to his several times and they’re incredible. His books are available also. One is “Writing the Breakout Novel” and another is “The Fire in Fiction.” Another good workshop is taught by Bob Mayer. One of the best conferences I’ve been to if you write thrillers or mysteries etc. is Thrillerfest. They always have a great lineup of authors.

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

I would strongly suggest to all that you get into a critique group. You really need to have other “eyes” see your work. Your story will often not be coming across the way you want and having the group look at it can help.

Read a lot. Definitely read books in the genre you want to write in to get a “feel” for what reader expectation is.

When you read a scene you find especially well done and compelling, dissect it. By that I mean, as a reader look at it and figure out what it is you like the most, what makes this scene special for you and keep those qualities in mind for your own stories.

Develop a tough skin. There’s a lot of rejection in this business. There’ll always be people who dislike your book and there’ll be bad reviews. It’s the nature of the beast. Let it go and move on and don’t let the negative aspects get you down.

IN TIME FOR YOU is available on:

http://www.amazon.com/Time-You-Knights-Book-ebook/dp/B019JKXR5G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-time-for-you-chris-karlsen/1123235174?ean=9781522714033

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/in-time-for-you-1

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/606238

 

 

 

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Tearing Down the Statues banner

Brian BennudritiBrian Bennudriti has degrees in Physics and Business. He’s taken a nuclear reactor critical, piloted a destroyer, slept in the Omani desert, negotiated multi-million dollar acquisitions, run two companies, provided strategic and management consulting across the United States and traveled around the world in every hemisphere. He’s a plankowner on the aircraft carrier, USS Harry S Truman and has made a lifetime study of religious beliefs and mythology. Brian lives in Kansas City with his wife, two children, two dogs and a lizard. His first book, Tearing Down The Statues, was published in 2015.

For More Information

  • Visit Brian Bennudriti’s website.
  • Connect with Brian on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Find out more about Brian at Goodreads.

About the Book:

Misling is a Recorder, having perfect memory and expected to help build a seamless record of history. That’s what the Salt Mystic taught us two thousand years ago when she came stumbling from the flats with her visions. Unfortunately he’s probably the worst Recorder ever. So when he meets a joker with an incredible secret, the two of Tearing Down the Statuesthem are soon on the run from swarming lunatics and towering assault troops in the heart of a city under siege.

As it has for three generations, the horrible Talgo family is the spark of this swelling world war; and their wily generals and scheming counselors clash their fleets in battles of shrieking steel-entrained tornados, cannonballs of lightning, and tanks the size of cities. But it’s the joker’s secret that is the most powerful weapon of all…a trigger set by the Salt Mystic herself in myth, to save the world from itself.

For More Information

  • Tearing Down the Statues is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Being a writer to me implies dedication to the craftmanship, studying the word choices, pacing, mood and syntax of its masters, and massive chunks of time alone honing the skills. No, I probably wasn’t born to that part of it. I’m the kid that wore his sweatband bracelets watching ‘Space Ghost’ or ‘Thundarr The Barbarian’ Saturday morning, living in the dreams that thrilled me. Taking the ‘Space 1999’ Eagle ship apart to use it for a force field generator instead was a way for me to plug and unplug, rewire and reshape things to better tell the story in my head I thought needed told. Somewhere I still have embarrassing notebooks overstuffed with short stories and novellas, scribbled in the margins with sketches and concepts because I’ve been at this a very long time. My dad keeps in a box two murder mystery stories I wrote him in pencil or crayon or whatever, which honestly were probably just reworked Scooby Doo episodes, but precious to him. That’s awesome that some of us grew up like me, shaping our thought-life as boundless and full and something that can strike out and shape the world around us because we nurtured dreams for so long. Is that a ‘yes’, then?

What was your inspiration for Tearing Down The Statues?

I was in the US Navy for a while; and particularly one summer and fall serving as assistant navigator on a Destroyer in the Persian Gulf. I’d been watching John Wayne westerns like ‘El Dorado’ and ‘Rio Bravo’ and ‘True Grit’ and reading the first three ‘Dune’ books. A couple of guys went with me out to go swimming in a rock gorge in the Omani desert; and a daydream popped into my head full of all those influences and God knows what else: a haggard guy in a Civil War-era uniform busting through saloon doors and everyone staring in fear at him, even though he was entirely unarmed. It got me thinking who this guy was, what history had put that look on his face, and most of all – what was everyone afraid of? I sort of figured it out later in the swimming pool of a hotel near Dubai called, ‘Al Bandar’ or something like that. That was the first image that turned ultimately into a complex novel full of the things I love in a book.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

This betrays just how much of a geek I really am; but back when hardbound encyclopedias were a thing, I would sit for hours and read through them. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, right? So stumbling across things like ‘Andorra’ in the Pyrenees or ‘kite fighting’ or cool holidays like lantern festivals took the place of traveling. I could picture it as well as being there and captured some of that with my net to place on the shelf should I ever need them. Probably the rest of my life, in my writing, reading or otherwise, I’ll be trying to recapture that sense of wonder and being there in fantastic places seeing those sorts of things.

I also travel some in my day job; and one thing that especially unnerves me is how disconnected our parenting is, and how unrestrained is our self-love. (Says the guy droning on in an interview about himself!) It is my opinion that we are born with a craving for spirituality no different from our need for food, water, sex and companionship, but that we routinely starve ourselves when we’re sold a bill of goods on how naïve and unnecessary it is. I’m not pushing any one approach here, just saying it’s there as a gap that drives people to desperate acts we have no business being shocked about. I believe tragedies like September 11th and the Boston Massacre bring out the best in a nation’s character; but that our core selflessness and integrity are perhaps only a generation or two away from dying out. In Tearing Down The Statues, I wanted to poke at the question of what happens to people in such a generation in tragedies at that level, so I built a world, filled it with people I love dearly, and mercilessly started tearing it apart.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

The core ideas were there stewing a very long time; but it took almost seven years of earnest writing to get to the book as it is now. I made the classic mistake everyone warns against of plotting the novel up-front. Don’t do that. Please listen when they tell you not to do that. I even had a detailed outline of every chapter and bits of dialogue, revelations for each, even props I wanted in the background materials by chapter. I’d have been better off making paper airplanes of all that noise. When I felt the dialogue begin to pop and the characters start breathing, they had entirely different ideas about what they’d do next, thank you very much.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I rewrite as I go, and have to build momentum to get into new territory. That means I always begin in the morning after coffee when everyone’s gone to school or work for the day with the previous chapter or whatever’s done in the chapter I’m to meet in battle. Words have to change; and pacing may have been too fast in my zeal to get to the meat on the bone, so there’s always some editing happening before the blank page shows back up. I especially love the warmer weather months when I can take the laptop down to the lake and have something beautiful to look at when the smells and sights start to slip for me. I also tend to act out scenes myself and test out conversations to make sure they sound real or funny or threatening or whatever, so sometimes the door has to close at home with the dogs well stationed in the corner watching the madness. It’s incredibly rewarding for me when someone I’ve entirely dreamed up or patched together from grotesque or hilarious folks I’ve encountered whisper in my ear that they politely disagree with what I’m asking them to do next, or what to say.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

There are three main storylines in the novel that parallel and touch obliquely at first and finally collide, which brings with its architecture the need to pace them similarly. You can’t have a day pass or a week with one guy and the guy in the next chapter is still running for his life. Neither can one story fulfill itself and drop the curtain on the big mystery when the other guys are still digging up clues. I worked very hard to bring everything to a simmer together before jacking up the burner on everything at once.

What do you love most about being an author?

Great question. For me, it’s an incredible pride when I’m holding a physical copy of something I built from the ground up and had complete control over. Even the ebook thrilled me – I chuckled like a kid whose dad just farted when I saw my book on the Barnes & Noble website that first time. It’s an incredible amount of work; and the marketing part – just getting yourself noticed – can be tedious and draining. Still, what a fantastic way to make your mark on the world and say something only you can say!

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I gave a very brief shot at submitting to a couple of publishers who specialize in science fiction, and a handful of literary agents. Universal advice was to stick with it; and there’s only so many times people can tell you how long J.K. Rowling submitted Harry Potter before you get it, that it’s part of the game. Agents say very nice things – all very nice people, the ones I dealt with, and especially flattering about writing style and whatnot. All dead ends, unfortunately, at least in my case. I read extensively the posts of people even with contracts who received precious little marketing or other support, who surrendered substantial chunks of profits for the privilege, before going out of print in no time at all. There is no judgement from me on those channels; and I believe the publishing business may yet figure itself out and crawl from the squalid swamp it’s in right now; but I said, ‘screw it’ and jumped off the cliff the other direction. I started Grailrunner Publishing for myself and maybe a small select group of fellow authors looking to leverage First World marvels like Print On Demand, collaborative audiobook services, social media marketing and Adobe’s Creative Cloud to make it happen for ourselves with control and profits in the right place. Happy call so far.

Where can we find you on the web?

Have a look at www.grailrunner.com where we’re keeping the art celebration for the novel and news about Tearing Down The Statues as well as news on an upcoming, mind-melting horror novel coming out this summer to be titled, The Line Of Them.

On Twitter, it’s @grailrunner. For Facebook, just look for my name. Send emails to press@grailrunner.com. I’d especially love to hear from anyone who feels like talking about pop culture or mythology…or good places to eat in airports…or

…why not just go get the book? www.amazon.com

She left tripwires in the stories we tell. Come meet one. Tearing Down The Statues

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