Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘blog tour’

Title: SCENE OF THE CRIME (Book 2 of Chip Palmer Forensic Mystery Series)
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 300
Genre: Mystery Suspense

BOOK BLURB:

A calculating cold-blooded predator closes in…

When a community has barely recovered from a ruthless serial killer six months earlier; now two more horrifying murders hit the radar again. It leaves police burdened with two of the most shockingly contaminated crime scenes ever documented in California’s law enforcement history. The Slayer works behind the scenes as a sinister puppet master, precisely pulling the strings, taunting the police without leaving any viable evidence, and orchestrating his killer hit squads.

The sheriff and district attorney bring in the best investigators. Reunited again, Dr. Chip Palmer, a reclusive forensic expert, joins DA Inspector Kate Rawlins to sort through the crime scene aftermath in search of the truth—all without a probable suspect or a solid motive. Complicating the investigation—sparks reignite between the two.

Ratcheting up the suspense, Chip suffers a nasty fall hitting his head, impairing his perception and giving him a mind-blowing ability for specific detailed recall. Palmer and Rawlins assemble an unusual team including a rookie detective, a forensic supervisor, and an ex-military operative turned bodyguard. After one of their own is kidnapped and the investigation is taken over by the FBI, the now rogue team must pull together their own resources—alone—with a killer waiting to take each one of them out. Scene of the Crime takes no prisoners and leaves everyone fighting to stay alive.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Chapter 1

NOTHING CAPTURED HIS ATTENTION. IT wasn’t as if he wasn’t looking for anything specific or that he didn’t care about anything, but everything became like white noise. Looking down, he spotted a couple squashed beer cans, which had resulted from the constant compression of car tires repeatedly running over them. Now they lay in the gutter unnoticed—as discarded litter. Out of boredom, he kicked the aluminum pancakes with his worn out running shoes. The compressed disks clattered a ways before landing back in a different part of the same gutter, just as his life.

Roger Case was in one of those moods where everything seemed futile. It was a time when his temperament plummeted; he entertained the spirit of defeat, which was becoming more common these days. His concentration slipped farther into the dwindling mindset of drugs and crime to the point of mania. Rationalizing his motives, he preferred to enact self-medication.

He needed something strong to take away his thoughts of negativity. The repetitive movements of his hands and arms worsened. He wanted anything that would take away his fears, his depression, and his unrelenting obsession for the next quick fix. Roger knew that even when he felt the most empowering high that there was a high price to pay—and it was predictable and inevitable—the hard, downward crash.

Roger hadn’t always been teetering on that slippery slope, dangling over the life of crime; in fact, he still remembered when things were normal and even mundane. He grew up in a typical middle class family with his mom and dad, along with his older brother and sister. Reflecting on those memories now, he would trade just about anything to have those times back.

Now he waited with anticipation for his contact. It was going to make everything better—at least for a while. He convinced himself that just a little bit of crystal meth would help him get back on track—to see things clearly again. It wasn’t as if he was a full-blown addict, he just needed something to help motivate and push him in the right direction.

He heard a hollow scraping noise and stopped to listen. Standing quietly, still straining to hear, but that sound never repeated. He looked around. Curious. The sound seemed to resonate in his head instead of around the street. Upon further inspection, he realized it came from inside the cement structure.

The old water treatment plant had been decommissioned by the county some time ago, now outdated, and was nothing more than an eyesore gathering the grime and deteriorating aspects of time gone by. Something loomed in Roger’s vision and waited in darkness—he strained his eyes looking into the long structure that seemed to lead to nowhere.

Maybe his connection made a change of plans and the meeting place was at the cement sinew, and out of sight from any onlookers, or cops happening by on their route. It was possible. At this point in Roger’s life, anything was possible.

Roger contemplated his options for a moment and then decided to check it out. He turned toward the water treatment plant and headed inside. The first thing he noticed was the temperature difference—cold and damp compared to the warmer street areas.

He slowed his pace, unsure if he should call out or announce his presence. Fidgeting nonstop with his hands, pressing his fingers tighter and then releasing them, Roger moved farther into the tunnel.

A shuffling sound came from the other end.

“Hello?” he finally said, his voice weak and tinny which made him unconsciously twitch.

A muffled dragging sound was the responded answer. It resonated from the back-left area.

“Hey, I don’t have time for this… you either want the money or not.” He tried to sound tough but his nerves were frayed. It wasn’t something he was used to feeling. In fact, Roger couldn’t remember the last time he felt scared, frustrated, angry or anxious.

The damp cement tunnel seemed to pull him closer to the heart of it—into the bowels of no return. Instead of turning around and leaving, Roger slowly moved deeper into the cavern. It was as if someone or something else had control over his body. His insatiable curiosity had put him in troubling situations throughout his life. It contributed to him getting into deep trouble with a growing rap sheet to prove it.

Most memories had a calming effect on Roger, which had initiated his fidgeting to cease and his hesitation to subside. He didn’t understand many people’s fears and phobias, most things were just benign and didn’t amount to anything remotely scary or debilitating.

There it was again—a dragging sound followed by what he thought were hushed whispers.

Kids.

He would smack a kid if they jumped out at him or gave him any crap. Most likely, they were tagging gang symbols and looking to get into trouble.

There was the distinct sound of two people whispering to each other.

Roger tried to sharpen his vision but the darkness played tricks on him with weird shadow figure apparitions. He blinked his eyes quickly trying to concentrate on the area and where the kids were hiding; his eyes began to water from the extreme effort. Wiping away the aggravated tears, Roger felt his surroundings close in tightly around him as his perception changed. The darkness seemed to give a strange rippled effect.

The voices became louder. There was nothing sinister about the voices, but they were speaking faster with more of an urgent tone.

“Hey, you little maggots, I know you’re here,” stated Roger.

He stopped and stood still.

The darkness still loomed around him, but there was a quietness that overcame him.

A brief hundredth of a second, a peculiar whizzing noise filled Roger’s ears and then a brutal blow struck his head and knocked him off his feet. With a ringing in his head and a groggy consciousness, he tried to sit up but more savage blows pummeled his body. It sounded as if a tree splintered just before it fell in the forest. His breath caught in his lungs. Everything went dark.

The anonymous whispers stopped.

All buzzing in his ears stopped.

Roger Case’s heart stopped too.

About the Author

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

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and the recently released, A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG

Would you call yourself a born writer?

I’m not sure I would say I am a born writer as much as I have always felt called to write. It’s important to me to make sure of my God-given talents. Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed.

What was your inspiration for Amos Faces His Bully?

Like my first book, Little Shepherd, this story places fictional characters in a Biblical setting. My first inspiration was to continue with the format of my first book—make it a series of unrelated, yet similar, stories. There are others planned.

My primary reason for writing Amos Faces His Bully, however, is very personal. I was bullied as a child; teased from the day I entered elementary until the day I graduated high school. Yet, with all the awareness of bullying and the anti-bullying programs that exist in our cities and towns today, bullying still exists. As I’ve worked hard to prevent my own child from being bullied, I wanted her to know God could provide her—and other victims of bullying—with peace and strength.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Faith often plays a role in my books. Whether it be a young shepherd boy who must trust that God will keep his sheep safe while he visits the newborn King, or a bullied child seeking courage to deal with his tormenters, reaching out in faith has many rewards. A Christmas Kindness, while not faith-based, has themes in it that some might consider Christian values. Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and A Christmas Kindness show young people as problem solvers.

How long did it take you to complete this picture book?

The first draft of Amos Faces His Bully took a few days…but that’s the easy part. It’s the editing process that takes a while. You’re not only looking for typographical or grammar errors. You’re looking to trim away the unnecessary words. You’re clarifying your meaning. You’re seeking out repetitive words or phrases. Even after a book is published, it’s not uncommon to wish you had done something differently.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Um…no. Total panster who waits until there is a fair amount of time to sit down uninterrupted to write. Usually that means once a month at writing group, but I’ll take what I can get.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Writing a book about a youngster being bullied when you were bullied and friendless for most of your childhood tends to bring up bad memories. Thankfully, as many of us discover, the years after high school bring with them a level of maturity the bullies—and you—didn’t have in school.

What do you love most about being an author?

It’s amazing to be able to go to Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com or other online retailers and find my books there. Have to admit that is a special feeling.

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?

All my books are published by independent publishers. After the manuscripts were accepted, the process—while not exactly short—was fairly painless. I’ve been blessed to work with wonderful people at both publishing houses. That’s why I keep going back with each new book.

Where can we find you on the web?

My friends say I am all over the Internet. Having worked in online book promotion and using social media for my current job means they probably aren’t too far off. I am out there a lot. The best places to find me are:

Website: http://ccmalandrinos.com

Blog: https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cheryl-C-Malandrinos-170542359697682

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccmalandrinos

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ccmalandrinos

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4341623.Cheryl_C_Malandrinos

 

About the Book:

Title: AMOS FACES HIS BULLY
Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 20
Genre: Christian children’s picture book

 

BOOK BLURB:

Amos is targeted by the town bully because he is so small. When word reaches Amos of his friend David’s battle with Goliath, he thinks back to what David told him about putting his faith in God’s protection. Perhaps the same God can help Amos face his bully too.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Guardian Angel | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Indiebound.org

 

Read Full Post »

Robert Parker is a new exciting voice, a married father of two, who lives in a village close to Manchester, UK. He has both a law degree and a degree in film and media production, and has worked in numerous employment positions, ranging from solicitor’s agent (essentially a courtroom gun for hire), to a van driver, to a warehouse order picker, to a commercial video director. He currently writes full time, while also making time to encourage new young readers and authors through readings and workshops at local schools and bookstores. In his spare time he adores pretty much all sport, boxing regularly for charity, loves fiction across all mediums, and his glass is always half full.

His latest book is the crime/thriller, A WANTED MAN.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Would you call yourself a born writer?

No, I wouldn’t at all. I’d say I was a fairly imaginative kid that was exposed to lots of fun stories when he was young, and all I ever wanted to do from then was the same thing.

What was your inspiration for A WANTED MAN?

All sorts of things, in truth! Eighties action movies, fatherhood, the futility of war, disillusionment with government, crime stories, my home city of Manchester, mob movies. It started as a terrible action movie screenplay when I was 16, and I went back to it when I was 30 and thought ‘hey, I can do something with this finally!’.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

The ordinary smashing up against the fantastic. The real versus the outlandish. Normal splashed with amazing. Anything that surprises and satisfies in equal measure. Aside from that, I find myself writing about fatherhood a lot, but with two young kids and a third imminent, I suppose being a dad is never far from my daily thoughts!

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

Well, after I picked it back up as a screenplay out of the drawer, and started a first draft, it was 6-7 weeks. Then after that a further three years of rewrites, so that draft 46 is the one you have in your hands.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I try to be as strict with myself as I can, but I love the fact that being a writer lets be spend a lot of time with my kids, and they always come first. But usually, I’ll be up early doors with the sprogs, they’ll go off to school, then it’s coffee and writing the rest of the day, breaking for lunch, the gym and errands. Family time again 5 until 7pm, then if we’ve got a quiet evening planned, I’m straight back at it until my eyes fuzz.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The patience I suppose. I’m fit to burst with my next book, and the next and the next, so that when I kept having to rewrite (and then because it’s actually a book and it takes a fair bit of time to read) it felt like it took longer and longer to get there. But now I’m so glad it did, because the book is literally the best I could make it, thanks to all the time it took me to get it here.

What do you love most about being an author?

The ability to create everyday, and the joy and freedom that comes with that. That and the fact that it lets me spend a lot of time with my family, which is a complete blessing I know how lucky I am to have.

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 self-published originally, until I hooked up with my agent, then we went hunting a publisher. Then it was a question of taking the best offer. I’d have got nowhere if I didn’t self-publish though, and would recommend it to anyone who is struggling to find an audience like I was. I loved that process, and I really enjoyed the thrill of self-publishing – people look down on it, but I know it was how I got started. I’ll always be grateful to it.

Where can we find you on the web?

All over!

https://www.facebook.com/robertparkerauthor/

https://twitter.com/RobertRParker45

www.robertparkerauthor.com

https://www.instagram.com/robertparkerauthor/

Read Full Post »

Andi O’Connor is the award-winning author The Dragonath Chronicles, The Vaelinel Trilogy, and The Legacy of Ilvania. She’s written multiple books, including the critically acclaimed Silevethiel, which is the 2015 Best Indie Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy, and the 2015 New Apple Official Selection for Young Adult. Silevethiel was also named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2013. Andi’s short story collection, Redemption, is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semifinalist.

You can frequently find Andi as a ​guest panelist at Comic Cons throughout the country including the Rhode Island Comic Con, Philcon, Conclave, WizardWorld, and Chessiecon. Andi also writes for Niume where she provides writing tips, advice, and insight on her career as an author. You can connect with Andi on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information, visit Andi’s website.

About the Book:

Darrak’s adventure concludes with this thrilling finale of The Dragonath Chronicles!  

Following the betrayal of two of his trusted companions and a devastating battle in Mystandia, Darrak’s talents are desperately needed by the citizens of both Earth and Dragonath. Torn with the decision of where his loyalty should remain, he finally decides to confide in Andillrian. Together, they craft a plan they hope will save Darrak’s home planet, but their optimism is short-lived.

The Hellborn’s army has begun the march to war.

With less than two weeks of preparation remaining, their weaknesses become unavoidably apparent. Planning for defeat suddenly becomes as important as planning for victory. Darrak’s insecurities continue until the moment the first arrows begin to fly. He can only hope that help from a few unlikely sources will be enough.

For if they fail, Dragonath will fall.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Definitely! It comes naturally to me! I’ll even let you in on a little secret: I have absolutely no formal training. I’ve never taken a creative writing class in my life or attended any workshops. I’ve had a few authors and an editor (none of whom had read a word of my writing) tell me that I should get formal education in writing because that’s the way it should be done, and I politely said ‘thanks, but no thanks.’

Here’s the thing, I don’t think I need it. Whatever I’m doing is working for me. I have my own style that just came naturally, and I roll with it. I’ve won six awards to date, and the majority of my reviews are positive. I feel like if I took a formal class or workshop, it would screw with whatever is currently going on in my brain, so I’m content to leave well enough alone!

That being said, I don’t want it to sound like I don’t work to improve my writing. I do! Every author should. I just don’t do it in the traditional manners!

What was your inspiration for CALL TO WAR?

Call To War is the third and final book in a series, so the inspiration came from the previous two books in The Dragonath Chronicles. It picks up right where Awakening ended and deals with the main character, Darrak, essentially torn between two worlds. He’s tormented by the fact that he doesn’t truly belong anywhere but not wanting to turn his back on anyone.

There are some great twists and turns in Call To War, and characters’ secrets are finally revealed, making it all the more exciting. The main conflict is the final battle between Darrak’s supporters and the Hellborn who is seeking to destroy Darrak’s bloodline and claim rule over all of Dragonath.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

There is absolutely nothing I refuse to write about, and I have included many controversial topics in my writing such as abortion, religion, rape, abuse, suicide, and global epidemics. Call To War alone deals with rape, abuse, global terrorism, and environmental destruction. I write about these issues because they’re relatable. They’re things that affect many of my readers and can help them think and reflect on their own lives and societies. I’m a huge proponent of talking about and facing issues and learning about both the issues and their consequences. Ignoring something doesn’t make it go away.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

About a year from writing the first word to holding the printed book in front of me.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

You have to be disciplined to be a writer, even if it’s not what you do full-time. It’s easy to get distracted by other things, particularly if you write at home. I write full-time, so a typical day for me starts at 8 in the morning and goes until 6 or 7 at night. I’ll take the morning to work on marketing, promotion, accounting, organizing personal appearances, and preparing for any upcoming events. The afternoons and evenings are set aside for writing or editing, depending on the stage of my work.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The most difficult thing in writing Call To War was writing the love scene. I’d written rape scenes before, but never a love scene, which was challenging in itself, but the book as a whole is extremely dark and violent, with the characters being in dire situations. A love scene felt right between two of the characters, but writing it, and writing it so it wasn’t out of place with the rest of the story, proved difficult.

What do you love most about being an author?

Touching people in ways I never thought possible. It’s truly incredible to me that my books have helped people get through some of the most difficult times in their lives, and it’s the most rewarding feeling imaginable.

I had one reader write to me saying she had cancer. What got her through her chemotherapy sessions was visualizing my elf city of Silverden from Silevethiel. Every time she went in for treatment, she would picture herself in the world I’d created, and it would help to calm her enough so she could forget where she was and why she was there.

Another woman told me that the relationship between Irewen (a human) and Silevethiel (a lion) perfectly captured the love and friendship she had with her cat. Re-reading scenes from Silevethiel helped her recapture the memory of that bond after her pet’s death.

Hearing such personal stories of how my work has affected people and brought hope into their lives makes being an author tremendously worthwhile. They vanquish all of the frustrations that come with the job and are what make being an author amazing. They’re why I’ll continue to write until my last breath.

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?

My first book, The Lost Heir, was originally published through a small press. I hated the experience and the amount of control I lost. I have since self-published all of my books, including Call To War, and re-released The Lost Heir under my imprint, Purple Sun Press.

I am extremely happy with my decision to switch to self-publishing; however, it takes a great deal of work and money and can at times be quite frustrating. I essentially follow the process of a traditional publisher and hire editors, a cover designer, a printer, and a distributor so it is done professionally and available to all major stores/retailers, libraries, indie bookstores, and distributors. The best compliment I had when I was still unsure of whether I’d made the correct decision to self-publish was before I’d re-released The Lost Heir. Someone thought that was the self-published book and Silevethiel, the first one I’d actually self-published, was the one that had gone through a traditional publisher. It was at that moment I knew I’d made the right decision.

Where can we find you on the web?

Website: www.andioconnor.net

Twitter: www.twitter.com/oconnorandi

Facebook: www.facebook.com/oconnor.andi

Instagram: www.instagram.com/andi_oconnor

Read Full Post »

THe Zombie Game banner 2

What makes thriller authors tick?  We’re happy to have on board Glenn Shephard, author of the thriller novel, The Zombie Game.

Glenn ShepardGlenn’s first novel, Surge, was written while he was still a surgical resident at Vanderbilt. In the following years he wrote The Hart Virus, a one-thousand-page epic about the AIDS crisis, as well as three other novels. In 2012, he created “Dr. Scott James,” his Fugitive-like action-hero. The first volume of the series was The Missile Game, followed shortly afterward by The Zombie Game. Born on a farm in eastern Virginia, Dr. Shepard lives and maintains a thriving surgical practice in Williamsburg.

Visit Glenn’s website at www.glennshepardauthor.com.

About the Book:

ISIS terrorists are plotting to kill the Pope during his visit to America.

The Zombie Game KindleFireTheir plan: Hijack a hospital ship in Haiti, convert it to a missile launcher, and cruise into Miami Harbor, unnoticed.

Their only obstacle: Dr. Scott James is a volunteer on the ship, and he’s recruited a squad of Haitian zombies to stop the attack. But nothing adds up … until the last seven minutes.

MEET JAKJAK, DEAD MAN

Jacques Jacobo, “Jakjak,” is the Haitian Finance Minister’s personal bodyguard. He’s just taken two bullets in the chest trying to stop an assassination attempt on his boss.

SCOTT JAMES, TARGET

Dr. Scott James is a volunteer surgeon on a hospital ship anchored off the coast of earthquake-ravaged Haiti. He’s got his share of personal demons.

OMAR FAROK, MASTERMIND

Omar Farok wants to rule ISIS, and the world. He’s just taken over the hospital ship and converted it into a launch platform for a nuclear strike on Miami.

SANFIA, VODOUN BOKOR

Sanfia is the most powerful Vodoun priestess in Haiti. Omar Farok will pay her big money to turn Dr. James into a zombie.

ELIZABETH, THE WILDCARD

Beautiful Elizabeth is one of the most notorious freelance operatives in the world. She’s come to Haiti to defuse the bomb.

They’re all about to play The Zombie Game.

For More Information

  • The Zombie Game is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

The Zombie Game

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Definitely. I write whether I like it or not! I’ve been writing novels for years as a source of enjoyment. I really didn’t think too much about the publishing process until I had amassed an enormous amount of work. Right about that time was when I created the character of Dr. Scott James, and I knew that the game had changed.

What was your inspiration for The Zombie Game?

My inspiration for The Zombie Game was Wade Davis’ true story of story of experimenting with Zombie drugs, The Serpent and The Rainbow. I really loved how he portrayed Zombie-ism in a realistic light. That’s what I have tried to do in my book. Of course I was also deeply inspired by my forays into Haiti after the earthquake. I went there to do volunteer surgery. While I was there I became thoroughly enamored with the people and the culture.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I like to take real stories in the headlines and put an unexpected spin on them. The theme here, I guess you could say, is a regular guy caught up in extraordinary circumstances.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It takes about six months, from beginning to end. A lot of that is research time. I research as much as I write. Also, there is the thought-time. I spend a lot of time working out the stories in my head. My novels move from one location to another, and quickly, so I have to think a lot about the twists and turns through before I can write them.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I start slowly, whether I like it or not. The early stages are mainly about researching, so it’s hard to produce a lot of pages, regardless of how disciplined I try to be. But as the story progresses and I get more and more research behind me, I speed up and write a lot of pages. It’s not a matter of discipline as much as I have a lot to write about—and I get excited as the book builds to the big explosion at the end (or gun shot, or …)

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The hardest thing is getting around people’s perception of what a Zombie actually is. A Zombie is a person who has been drugged and perhaps physically conditioned to do whatever their masters suggest. This is hard for people to believe, so I had to be very meticulous in the portrayal of the Zombies in the book.

What do you love most about being an author?

Tough to say. The reviews have warmed my heart. The email and comments by the readers have been really great to see. I would say, though, that the writing itself, especially when I’m near the end, has been the biggest thrill.

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 started my own firm, Mystery House Publishing, and hired some talented people to do all of the cover designs, typesetting, editing, what have you. The process is indeed lengthy, though. And expensive. We have ended up spending a lot more time on editing and proofing than I would have ever thought possible. I’ve been pretty happy with the whole thing. We’ve sold about six thousand books so far, and have been on the bestseller list over at Amazon Kindle. We’re building a readership, you can’t really ask for more.

Where can we find you on the web?

http://www.glennshepardauthor.com

Read Full Post »

Wild Within banner

Wild WithinTitle: WILD WITHIN
Author: Christine Hartmann
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Pages:
Genre: Romantic Suspense

A year after a family tragedy, Grace Mori embarks on the journey of a lifetime…

Two thousand, six hundred miles of blistering heat, wilderness, and soul searching—that’s what Grace signed up for when she decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s not a voyage for beginners, but with no husband and her family still recovering from her bother’s death, Grace is more alone than ever.

This trail meant something to her brother, and she’ll hike it in his memory, but she can’t do it alone. So with her brother’s gear and a small group, Grace takes the most important first steps of her life.

Grace finds something more than peace and magic on the trail…

When her first day of hiking ends in heat stroke, Grace is rescued by a handsome, red-haired hiker who calls himself Lone Star. Grace has an immediate connection with him, and their brief encounter leaves her fearing her soul mate has slipped through her fingers. Although he vows to keep in touch, Grace doubts she’ll ever see him again.

When fears become reality, the only people Grace can rely on may be killers…

Grace is surprised to find notes left at supply posts along the trail. Lone Star’s eloquent letters keep Grace going, clinging to the hope she’ll find him—and happiness—at the end of her journey. But as the trail becomes more perilous, menace grows within the group. And when Lone Star’s letters mysteriously stop coming, Grace fears the worst.

As tensions flare and a killer emerges, Grace must battle to survive…and reunite with the man she’s sure is her future.

For More Information

  • Wild Within is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

First Chapter:

Early morning sun scorched the grimy car hood and forced its way through the window to burn Grace’s bare arms. She fidgeted as she watched the arid plane of sagebrush and light brown dust roll past. The landscape differed completely from the grassy hills, eucalyptus trees, and fog around her native San Francisco. Occasional yucca plants shouldered their way between low scraggly bushes with more branches than leaves. Small boulders peppered the area, looking like enormous grey cottage cheese curds among rolling, sere hills.

This countryside puts the wild in wilderness.

The car bounced past dry pastures and scruffy woods.

Maybe I should have spent more time reading those trail guides?

A glimpse of the Mexican border made her sit up straight.

Who cares? I’m here.

Grace bounced in her seat with excitement.

This is it.

Grace and her friend Celine were the only people at the five square wooden posts that marked the southern terminus of the 2,665-mile Pacific Crest Trail, a route leading from Mexico to Canada. A few yards away, wind forced its way through the steel border fence like the sound of screeching tires. Celine snapped a few pictures as Grace removed the spiral hiker register from its protective metal box. On the first empty page she wrote: Kenji, you’re with me.

She signed with more bravado than she actually felt.

Grace spurted back to the car. “I want to get going.” But her backpack, resting in the backseat, was in less of a hurry. She coaxed it onto her shoulders with much grunting and straining and stood, slightly bent, for one final snapshot.

“I’ve never lifted anything this heavy. What was I thinking? It’s not a trip to Macy’s where I can throw all the heavy stuff into the trunk.”

“You were thinking you might need some supplies.” Celine surveyed her. “Because you’re going to be in the middle of nowhere. For months.”

“Thanks for the reminder.” Grace straightened with effort. “I’ve been waiting almost a year for this. They say your pack gets lighter as you get used to it. So where’s the trail?”

Celine shrugged. Grace searched the monotonous sand and brush.

“I’ve got the map on my cell.”

But the phone wouldn’t turn on. Grace depressed the controls repeatedly. The screen remained as black as its case.

Come on. My paper maps are buried in my pack.

She took a mental inventory of what lay above them: a one-person tent, a sleeping bag and mat, a wide-brimmed sun hat, extra socks, the head of a toothbrush, all-weather matches, a travel-size deodorant stick, her mother’s homemade rice cakes, and Kenji’s apartment key fastened with a twist tie to the zipper of a first aid kit. The idea of spreading everything out at the base of the monument made her ill.

She pushed more buttons.

Don’t die now.

The screen flickered. She fiddled more and the contrast increased.

“Typical me.” Her hands shook a little as she pinched the trail map to zoom in on her location. “I turned down the brightness last night to save energy. For a second there, I thought I was going to faint. That would’ve made a good Facebook post. Grace Mori’s one second thru-hike of the PCT.”

Celine grinned and poked Grace’s arm. “It’s good to get all the mistakes out of the way at the beginning. Now try to make it through the rest of the day without any more.”

Grace stepped into the sparse brush.

“I already miss you as much as I miss your brother,” Celine called after her. But the wind whipped away her words.

On the trail, Grace’s pent up excitement gave wings to her hiking shoes. They floated across baked earth that meandered through scrub and around boulders. She raced securely down descents and sailed up ascents.

This is so easy.

She covered the next two miles in under an hour. Her initial destination was Lake Morena County Park, eighteen miles away. But her thoughts were of the Canadian border.

Twenty miles a day, for the next four months, before the northern mountains become impassable with snow. In this heat, that idea feels like a mirage.

She looked at her watch.

Nine thirty. Ten more hours of daylight. So I’ll get to Lake Morena with time to spare.

At first, the white circle rising in a cloudless blue seemed a happy part of the scenery. But bit by bit, the sun blazed an ever fiercer hole in the sky. Her short black hair melted into her head and burned her fingers when she touched it.

I should never have given up lightening my hair. Apparently blondes do have more fun, even in the desert.

Her legs pistoned in long strides that searched for cover. But nothing afforded shade.

A tree. A bush. A houseplant, for goodness sake. I’ll take anything.

The trail eventually crossed a highway and meandered through a grove of cottonwood trees. There, Grace slung off her pack, dropped beside it, and dug through her gear.

She squashed a cream-colored hat onto her sweaty brow. Her parched lips drained a water bottle. A rough trunk supported her back.

My shoulders ache. My feet hurt. And this pack weighs a ton. Why did I throw in everything I thought might come in handy? Pre-moistened body wipes? Am I really going to need those out here?

The previous night, she and Celine had discussed her strategy. “I read somewhere a person hiking in direct sun needs at least a gallon of water for every ten miles.” Grace laid out her water containers on the hotel bed. “But one gallon weighs eight pounds. I’ve got a two-gallon collapsible water container and two one-liter bottles. Do you think I should fill them all? That’s close to twenty extra pounds.”

“I think you should follow the rules.”

“That’s a lot of extra weight.” Grace hefted a container from the hotel sink. “Maybe I’ll fill two bottles and leave my larger container partially empty. I’ll drink a lot before I start. And Hauser Creek is on the trail. I can get more water there.”

Celine pursed her lips contemplatively and tossed an empty bottle to Grace. “What if there’s no water in the creek?”

“Then they wouldn’t call it a creek.” Grace chucked the bottle back at her. “It’ll be fine. Like I said, I’ll hydrate like crazy before we set out.”

In the morning, after a brief rest under cottonwoods, Grace continued her hike. She chased lazy clouds in search of shade. They vaporized before she reached them.

Why did I wear pants?

She longed for the hiking skirt in her pack. Then the trail narrowed, and waist-high chaparral brush clung and tore as she battled through. Rough, aggressive limbs and thick, unforgiving leaves pulled at her hiking poles. Grace held them above her head, unable to see her feet. After five minutes of struggle, she reached the other side. Her face dripped with sweat. She looked down.

I love you, pants.

Grace drained her second water bottle as she climbed. At the top of the hill, she paused. Perspiration dripped into her eyes and mouth, but she was too hot to care. In the distance, the border wall and Mexican mountains were still clearly visible. She thought of fishing out her phone for a picture.

Too much effort.

The path leveled out. Her pace slowed. The heat irritated her.

I should have had my hat on from the beginning. Why didn’t I start hiking earlier in the day? Where the heck is Hauser Creek? I need more water.

She wiped a hot tear from her cheek.

What a mess. But there’s no point in crying. Come on Grace.

Grace was the kind of person who prided herself on being someone people could count on. When her mother’s first attempt at baked Alaska set the kitchen window curtains aflame, teenage Grace doused the inferno in chocolate syrup, then helped her mother take down the gooey mess.

“People in Alaska originally lived in igloos. They probably didn’t have window curtains.” She wiped the counter with a Lysol-soaked dishrag. “Some desserts don’t translate well across climate zones.”

As an adult, Grace volunteered her services as a psychologist for the Friday overnight shift at the Berkeley women’s crisis hotline. There, she comforted agonized rape victims, beaten girlfriends, and conflicted housewives with a sympathetic ear, sensible advice, and a list of referrals she’d personally vetted.

“You’re ready to move out? Don’t forget to take his Rolex. He owes you big time.”

And when tragedy struck her family a year ago, it was Grace who negotiated with the funeral home and the florist. Phoned relatives in San Diego, New Brunswick, and Tokyo. Late at night, in bed alone, she lay exhausted but sleepless.

“How am I going to get through this by myself?”

That blistering day on the trail, she began to lose faith. The merciless, prodding sun became her enemy. It evaporated her enthusiasm, diminished her stamina, and gnawed at her judgment. Her feet dragged along the sandy path without any of their initial eagerness. She refilled her water bottles from the large container in her pack and ignored the voice that told her she would soon run out of fluids.

After another mile, the trail merged with a Jeep road. In the distance, Grace saw a disappearing cloud of dust.

That was a car. I could have asked them for a ride. Maybe they had air conditioning. Some extra water. Maybe they were on their way back to San Diego and would have taken me to a hotel. I could have started the trail again in a few days, when it’s cooler.

She checked the phone’s GPS. Four miles to Hauser Creek.

I’ll make it if I ration my water.

By the time the trail dove into Hauser Canyon’s shaded grove of oaks and sycamores, Grace hated the sun more than she’d ever hated anything. She squinted at the wooded valley. But the only hint that a creek had ever flowed across the parched land was a strip of slightly darker sand meandering through a pile of rocks. Grace’s knees wobbled.

Even in the shade, sweat poured down her face.

It’s past noon. I should eat.

She felt nauseous. Her head pulsed like molten lava in a live volcano crater.

I need to rest.

Her shoulders shrugged out of the pack straps and she sank to the ground. Before thinking better of it, she drank the rest of her water. A small Japanese folding fan, the parting gift from her sister, offered some relief. The hot desert air drew out the fan’s sandalwood scent. The breeze evaporated her perspiration.

She kicked off her shoes and socks, then changed into her skirt. But after thirty minutes of inertia, sweat still dripped from her chin. Sitting made her dizzy, so she lay down. The violent sun tortured her through the leaves, shafts branding her face and body like flames.

I need more water. Have to keep going. A road’s not far ahead. If I lie down in the middle, somebody will find me.

But the idea of crawling out of the partial shade into the glaring sun was too much.

Bees droned near her head.

What’s that? Airplane? Maybe they can see me down here. Call in a rescue.

Her mind drifted up, into the sparse tree branches. It hung there briefly. Then ascended into the smoldering, cloudless sky.

Later, another idea broke through her confusion.

I’m going to die. On my first day on the trail. Kind of a waste. All this equipment. All that money. Geez, I could have spent it on those cell phone-operated blinds for the living room instead. There was that coupon in the Saturday clipper magazine…

Her tongue ran along dry lips.

Hmm. I’m licking a lizard. I wonder if he’ll lick back.

Then Grace thought of nothing.

Giveaway!

Christine is giving away 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards & 20 Wild Within Coffee Mugs!

Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card & twenty winners will be chosen to receive one Wild Within Coffee Mug
• This giveaway starts April 4 and ends June 30
• Winner will be contacted via email on July 1.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Read Full Post »

Piers PlattPiers Platt is the New York Times bestselling author of “Combat and Other Shenanigans,” a memoir of his year-long deployment to Iraq as a tank and scout platoon leader. Piers grew up in Boston, but spent most of his childhood in various boarding schools, including getting trained as a classical singer at a choir school for boys. He joined the Army in 2002, and spent four years on active duty.

When he’s not writing or spending time with his lovely wife and daughter, Piers works as a strategy consultant in New York city.

His latest book is the sci fi/thriller, Rath’s Deception.

For More Information

About the Book:

Rath's DeceptionOn the cut-throat streets of Tarkis, orphaned teens like Rath end up jailed … or dead. So when the shadowy Janus Group offers Rath a chance to earn riches beyond his wildest dreams, he seizes it. But the Janus Group is as ruthless as the elite assassins it controls. Rath will have to survive their grueling, off-world training, and fulfill all fifty kills in his contract before a single cent comes his way. And ending so many lives comes with a price Rath can’t anticipate. It’ll certainly cost him what’s left of his innocence. It may well cost him his life.

For More Information

  • Rath’s Deception is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Rath's Deception teaser 1

Would you call yourself a born writer?

Yes and no. I would say I’ve always loved to read and write. But saying I was “born” to be a writer doesn’t give enough credit to my parents, who taught me to love reading, and my teachers, who first introduced me to creative writing and then pushed me to be better at it.

What was your inspiration for Rath’s Deception?

It’s based on a short story called Last Pursuit [available for free wherever ebooks are sold, here’s the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Pursuit-Piers-Platt-ebook/dp/B00JFXTW84/] that I wrote some time ago – Last Pursuit is the same concept / setting, it just focuses on a single mission for one assassin. Readers really enjoyed the story, but many said they wished it was longer…so I expanded it into a full book…and then a trilogy!

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I think each of my books has a different theme. But now you’ve got me thinking – are their common themes across my work?? Hmmm. I’ll have to think about that! In Rath’s Deception, the main themes are the challenge of living up to expectations, living with yourself after making bad decisions, and ultimately triumphing over adversity. But it’s mainly a thriller – less about themes and more about a gripping, action-packed ride.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

I wrote Book 1 in about 8 months. Books 2 and 3 I finished in about 4 months.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Yes, I am. I believe that discipline is one of the things that separate successful people from dreamers. I’m a dreamer, too! But I have concrete goals and a detailed plan to reach those dreams. I have a day job, too – so writing for me means getting up early to knock out some marketing tasks at home, then I write during the two hours each day I spend on the train getting to/from work. Honestly, it makes the time pass a lot faster than watching a show, so I don’t mind at all.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Balance! Aside from Rath, the protagonist, I have three secondary characters who each get their own chapters. I wanted to flesh them out (they play key roles in the later books), but not take too much away from Rath’s arc.

What do you love most about being an author?

Hearing from my readers! I love talking with fans who’ve found my books and enjoyed them. That’s what makes it worthwhile, for me.

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 published it myself. I’m absolutely happy with that decision – it gives me much more flexibility and control over the entire process.

Where can we find you on the web?

My website: www.piersplatt.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Piers-Platts-Books-260070717516391/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/piersplatt

Thanks again for having me!

Rath's Deception banner

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: