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Posts Tagged ‘thriller’

WinterSpring 2008 399Robert Lane’s literary crime noir novels mix humor, action, and ageless moral themes set against the backdrop of the west coast of Florida. Cooler Than Blood is his second stand-alone Jake Travis novel after The Second Letter. His third book, The Cardinal’s Sin, will be released in October 2015.Q:

Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Cooler Than Blood. What was your inspiration for it?

A: I yearned for a classic crime tale, in this case a kidnapped young woman, that, through twists and turns, circles back to my protagonist, Jake Travis. I desired a story arc, that in ways Jake could have never foreseen, threatens Kathleen, the “world’s most important person,” to Jake.  I wanted the story to force him into moral choices that will define and shape him. Where’s the inspiration? Instead of a faceless victim that the reader would have no feeling for, I was intrigued with the idea of a young woman who lost her father at a young age. She relies on the memory of her father and the lessons he taught her while boating, to persevere a kidnapping ordeal. The time she and he spent on the boat is all the fuel she has to survive her captivity. The only thing real, and inspiration, is the boat, but we all know the formula—1 percent inspiration and 99 percent work.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist. 

A: Jake Travis has struggled with who he is and is just now learning to accept himself. He cannot resist the thrills found on the edge of life, but they come with heavy consequences. Unfortunately, some of these consequences are moral ambiguities that are likely to re-occur. It’s the central theme in his life, and central themes do not fade or resolve.

Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way? 

A: My books are character driven—I have little clue as to how they will end. I usually see the end coming somewhere around two-thirds of the way through. That’s good—I think. Hemingway said if you know where your story’s going, so does the reader. Total writing time is about nine months, with half of that time in re-writes and crafting the words. Writing is a bumpy road. Sometimes it comes out smooth and clean, but that’s just the space between the bumps.

Cover ArtQ: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel? 

A: I don’t let myself get bored. Add humor. Conflict. More conflict. Physically move Jake.  In Cooler Than Blood, Jake gets a lead, hops in his truck with Garrett, and the story explodes as he meets other characters who, in turn, lead to the core of the story.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it? 

A: Not really. My secret is I flip open the laptop and hit it hard and fast. If I waited, even a minute, I know self-doubt would gain a foothold.  Also, I usually exercise before I write—let the endorphins meet anxiety at the gate and thrash it away.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time? 

A: I run or swim early in the morning and then write until my mind shuts down. By late in the afternoon, it’s been recharged enough to go a couple more hours. If I had sixteen free hours, the best I could do is write during five to six of those hours, and not congruently. That leaves plenty of time for other activities and obligations.

Q: How do you define success?

A: Doing my best used to be my mantra, my measuring cup for success. After I read Haruki Murakami’s excellent book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, I altered that stance. Success is exceeding my capabilities. Doing better than I thought I could do. Freeing my mind of self-imposed limitation and handicaps. That’s pretty elusive…but so is success.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author? 

A: Get a new a partner? That could be expensive. How about this: forget them. It’s your dream. Since when do you need the outside world to validate your goals and aspirations?

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree? 

A: I suppose I do, but that seems a little heavy, dare I say Orwellian? Lighten up. I don’t drill too deep into my compulsions, who’s got time for that? At some point, during the writing of every book, I’ve sworn off writing and rue the day I ever started. Is that so different than other professions and activities in our lives, or do writers just whine more?

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers? 

A: While reading my books, I hope you laugh, I hope you get choked-up, I hope you turn the page quickly to see what happens next, I hope you come across a mirror and ponder yourself, and I hope that is some small, immeasurable, speck-of-dust manner, all that gobbledygook gives you a better understanding and acceptance of your world.

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EXCERPT GOD’S BANKER by Chris Malburg

       The young SEAL slowly raised his right hand in salute. All 243 of America’s Squadron saluted their President at the same time.

“Oorah, son,” said the President.

The young lieutenant hadn’t expected that from America’s chief executive. “Oorah, Mr. President,” he said back in a loud and proud voice that did justice to any man or woman who ever wore the uniform.

“Oorah,” thundered 243 voices behind him.

The President stood in the summer sunshine of Washington DC. At this moment, he realized there was no place on this earth that he would rather be than right here. The finest examples of courage and bravery in the American people he had the privilege of serving stretched before him. These people had taken time out of their busy lives to come here to the White House to see him. About what the President still couldn’t say. But he could smell the ribs already beginning to smoke next to the hastily erected canopies that shaded picnic tables off to the side near where they land Marine 1, the presidential helicopter.

A White House staffer had already brought a microphone and plugged it into the permanently installed outlet. They often used this spot for events when the weather was nice. The President stepped up and said, “America’s Squadron, I salute you and the American people salute you. I am…” he bowed his head for a moment as it slowly began to dawn on him why they might be here. “…I am humbled that you have taken the time to come here to what is truly your house. You have fought for it and have bled for it. Your families have paid dearly for it. I am just its temporary caretaker. But make no mistake, it is yours and by God always will be yours.”

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

 

God'sGod’s Banker

Publication date: May 14, 2014

Cardinal David Caneman took just three years to engineer his ascension into the CEO’s office of Vatican Bancorp. His cabal of fundamentalist zealots now quickly moves to seize the world’s largest institution. First by publicly assassinating the Pope. Next by replacing him with Caneman. Finally by giving the masses a common, everyday object—unquestionably used by their savior—to rally behind. For centuries, folklore has claimed the sacred item laid in wait sealed within the Church’s lost treasury vault. Caneman races to unearth the vault—if it exists. He has bet everything that he can find the blessed object, surely buried within. He intends using it to sweep the faithful from their ungodly ways and into his personal standards of piety.

The Taliban took just two years to overthrow Kabul. Armed with over a billion faithful worldwide and a $200 billion war chest—and the sacred Broom Of Formia—Cardinal David Caneman figures it will take him just half that time to conscript the hearts and minds first of Europe, then…

Jackson Schilling enjoys his happy, early retirement. He attends minor league ball games near his home in Elkhart, Indiana. He’s an amateur chef. And Jackson Schilling is a hunter. Then the SEC drafts him. Come on, Jack. One last audit. It’s mandatory after an attempt on the Vatican Bank Chairman’s life. But Jackson Schilling is no ordinary auditor. And it was his Commander in Chief who personally ordered him drafted. Schilling exhaustively uncovers Caneman’s deadly purpose. First he must stop a professional assassin from completing his mission against the Pope. Now the hard part—derail a fundamentalist faction led by a brilliant, ruthless [and some would say] saint to over a billion faithful. Jackson Schilling battles a force growing faster and more deadly than the Crusades, the Inquisition or the Taliban ever were. Legitimate governments will surely topple, becoming answerable to one man and his band of strict fundamentalists if Schilling fails.

 

 Purchase God’s Banker

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The Author

Chris’s  Website / Twitter Facebook Goodreads 

Chris Malburg is a widely published author, with work spread over 11 popular business books–includingHow to Fire Your Boss (Berkley) Chris Malburg Photoand Surviving the Bond Bear Market (Wiley, March 2011).  In his other life, Chris is a CPA/MBA, a former investment banker and now the CEO of Writers Resource Group, Inc., providers of professional financial literary content to corporations (www.WritersResourceGroup.com).  That’s the professional side of Chris’ career.  The fun side began when UCLA’s Writers’ school taught him to transition from biz-speak to fiction. GOD’S BANKER and the first installment in the Enforcement Division series, DEADLY ACCELERATION, both combine Chris’ natural talent for story telling with his professional command of the high-stakes investment world and what money and power do to some people.

GOD’S BANKER  came to fruition from Chris’ hospital bed while recuperating from an athletic injury.  As a long-time endurance athlete, Chris is no stranger to the surgeon’scalpal.  Over 130,000 words later,GOD’S BANKER was complete.  “It just poured out me,” says the author.  “I carried my note pad to physical therapy; made plot notes during the hours in the gym doing rehab; even while on my long bicycle rides through the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean where we live.  Slowly endurance returned and with it, GOD’S BANKER.”

Chris Malburg lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Marilyn.  Their hobby is raising service dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind.  As of this writing, they have raised eight Labrador retrievers and have had three make the cut for placement with their disabled partners.

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Don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!
 
 
About the Book
On the fringes of a civil war arise a kaleidoscope of stories of abuse, power, betrayal, sex, love, and absolution, all united by the failings of a dying government. Set in the backdrop during the last years of South Africa’s apartheid, How the Water Falls is a psychological thriller that unfolds the truth and deception of the system’s victims, perpetrators, and unlikely heroes.
The two main characters, one white, Joanne– a reporter, the other black, Lena– a banned
activist, have their lives continuously overlap through the people they know during a thirteen-year period and eventually become friends as a result of their interviews together. Joanne personifies the need to question and investigate apartheid’s corruption from a white person’s perspective. Although her
intentions begin with idealism, no matter how naïve, as the years pass while the system is failing, she crosses the threshold of what it means to be caught up inside the belly of the beast, especially after crossing paths with the Borghost brothers. Lena, who is inspired by her predecessors, such as Steve
Biko and Nelson Mandela, is among the minority of black women to peacefully battle for equality, even if her struggle is indicative of sacrificing her health and safety. Hans Borghost is Johannesburg’s commissioner of police who, like all those before, had a military background before pursuing a law
enforcement career. Violent, manipulative, and controlling, he incarnates the image of South Africa’s perpetrators. Jared Borghost is the younger brother of Hans and, like his brother, has a military background, but unlike Hans, he internally combats between his sense of duty and morality. His inconsistency indicates a conscience that leaves one to ponder whether Jared is either a perpetrator, victim, or both. As his surname suggests, Bor-GHOST represents the “ghosts” that haunt the family’s past. Many other characters play the roles of spies, freedom fighters, lovers, adversaries, and supporters.
This novel is as complex as apartheid was itself, unlacing fabrics of each character’s life to merge into a catalyst downfall. The question of who will survive this downfall will suffice in the courts of truth and reconciliation and whether love is strong enough to preserve peace.
Where to purchase How the Water Falls
 

 

The Author
K.P.’s Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads
Although I’ve been writing since childhood, I have a BA in history. I love studying 

history as much as wanting to evoke stories. I like to believe that after decades worth of introspection we have learned to value our lessons, and the best way to recite our lessons are through storytelling. That’s why I love
history: To learn. To question. To redeem our humanity. Submitting to a moment in time allows us to remember, or to muse even, our society’s past. Although writing can educate as well as entertain, yet what makes art incredibly amazing, to that of paintings, photographs, and music, it transposes emotion
into another form of humanity, and therefore, it is our humanity which keeps all of us striving for an improved future.

I am fortunate to have been trained by one the top ten writing teachers in the US, the late Leonard Bishop, and author of ‘Dare to be a Great Writer.’ I owe my love of writing to him. In addition to writing, I draw, paint, create graphic design, and am an amateur photographer.

 

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Galanti, Donna 2 (1)Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.

Website: www.ElementTrilogy.com
Blog: http://www.elementtrilogy.com/blog/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DonnaGalanti
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DonnaGalantiAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5767306.Donna_Galanti

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, A Hidden Element. What was your inspiration for it?

A: A Hidden Element is book two in the Element Trilogy. The novel that I was stumped on…and a dream. My readers asked for a sequel and I said, never! Then one day I woke up with a vision of that second book. I dropped the psychological suspense novel I had over-plotted and was stuck on, and got to work right away on the sequel. There’s a third and final one planned out, A Healing Element.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A: Caleb lives an oppressed life. He has sons he can’t be a father to, he can’t choose who he loves, and he must carry out despicable acts just to survive. Yet Caleb finds he is pushed to the wall even further and must risk the very things he desires to save those he loves. Caleb is also a Watcher in a way, and Watchers are some of my favorite characters to write. Read an article I wrote about this theme.

Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

A: I wrote this novel in a Write a Novel in 9 Months Class. We met once a week and it kept me accountable to get the story down in a certain time frame. One challenge was completely re-working some of the chapters to be in different voices from the original draft. I had to critically review each scene and really decide which character’s point of view was best to tell that scene.

?????????????????????????????????????????????Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?

A: I look at each chapter as a short story in itself. There is a beginning, a middle, and an end – and I love ending my chapters on cliffhangers that raise a question and (hopefully) beg the reader to keep turning the pages.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it?

A: Each day I sit down is like starting with a blank page all over again, so yes, there is some anxiety. The day before I try to finish writing in the middle of a scene or paragraph, and not end a chapter. This way I can easily re-read the scene’s intro and jump back into finishing it.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?

A: There are many days each week that my alarm is set for 4:30am. Early morning hours are my best writing time when the skies are dark and the world is asleep – and my mind is not yet filled with the details of daily life. During the school year my day ends at 3:30pm when I pick my son up from school but I have a very understanding husband! I often spend a weekend day writing all day at my favorite spot in my local Wegman’s Café.

Q: How do you define success?

A: To me, success in writing is continuing to learn the writing craft, add it to my expanding toolbox, and apply all I learn along the way and see the fruits of that labor. Success in writing can also only truly come when you let go – let go of your ego that is. I believe that this is the biggest reason why I am published, have a wonderful agent as my champion, and have four books coming out in the next year. And this is the biggest reason I see writer’s fail because they do not accept criticism and are not willing to do the hard work to make their writing better. To succeed you cannot think your writing is perfect or that your story can’t change. You cannot take it personal when a developmental editor tears apart your manuscript for you to re-work. I love it! I am like – bring it on! Help me be a better writer. Why? Because I want to write a good book and then a better one and a better one. This writing business is hard. If it were easy everyone would be doing it. This writing business is not going to be easy – it’s going to be worth it!

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?

A: Every writer has times when they hit lows in their writing and think, I can’t do this! Every time I debate whether I should be a writer and tell myself that I should just update my resume and get a real full time job with an actual weekly paycheck so I can support my family better – I remember how I sat down and wrote my debut novel A Human Element without knowing anything about writing a book. And I remember how it came from my heart and came from the deep places inside me where I most love, where I most hurt.

And I know that no matter how much I think I suck at times – I KNOW THAT I AM A TRUE STORYTELLER. And this is what I was born to do. And if you think that, then that’s what you need to follow. No matter how much you suck at times. No matter if others tell you that your writing sucks. Don’t let the negative thoughts – or negative people – stop you from telling your stories. We need your stories. We need to tell our stories. Be the true storyteller you are. Visit my Writers Corner for inspiration and resources to help you keep writing.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree?

A: Yes! If we didn’t have demons chasing us to write, why would we? Knowing what I know now about being an author I have to wonder if I would have gotten in this business at all. If someone told me all I would have to go through to get here I would have said “I can’t do that! It’s too hard and too long!” I’m grateful I was ignorant about it all when I started.

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

A: I truly believe that something wonderful can come of something that threatens to break your spirit. I started writing books to survive the grief of my mother’s death. She died from cancer five years ago. But here’s the thing. If she were alive I would not have finished writing my first book – or any book. I would not be getting published. I took care of her in the final moments and when she passed away I knew I had to make my dream come true. For in passing away my mom gave me her own gift – the gift to follow my dream of becoming an author.

So every once in a while I say these words out loud. “Thank you, Mom.” I let them hang in the air like a gift to her. She defined who I am and who I hope to be. And she was always my #1 champion and now I have be my own champion – like all of us writer so. So, I may have started writing books from grief but eventually my grief turned to peace and then joy at discovering what I love to do. Be a storyteller.

ABOUT A HIDDEN ELEMENT:

Evil lurks within…

When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so?

PRAISE FOR A HIDDEN ELEMENT:

“Chilling and dark…a twisty journey into another world.” —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of When Shadows Fall 

“Fascinating…a haunting story…”—Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath 

“Will keep you up long past your bedtime…a pulse-pounding read.”—Allan Leverone, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Final Vector

BUY THE ELEMENT TRILOGY BOOKS:

Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: http://amzn.to/1p1YD1o

Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element: http://amzn.to/1mNcyCO
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Who and what inspired “Serial Vengeance” – Guest Post by author Melissa Wren

Living in Washington, D.C. and reading James Patterson’s Alex Cross series stirred the idea of a serial killer in the nation’s capital. I liked the fast pace of his short chapters so I could read it quickly on the Metro traveling to and from work. I modeled my chapters after his to create suspense and keep the pages turning.

I also used my journalism background to help me with my main character’s career. A very generous crime reporter for the Washington Post, Carol Leonnig, spent an afternoon giving me the grand tour of the fifth floor where the reporters and editors work. She gave me insights I wouldn’t have known about, which make the details of Olivia’s work authentic in my book.

During the several years I spent writing my book, I lived in several areas in the heart of D.C., including Dupont Circle, Cleveland Park, Woodley Park, Friendship Heights, and Alexandria, Virginia, so I spent a lot of time soaking up details of the city.

I worked two blocks from the White House, and there was always something exciting going on, whether my walk got interrupted to watch the motorcade drive by or the Pope or other VIP came to town. I was fortunate to get a tour of the West Wing and sit in the pressroom during a press conference. I also got to walk through the White House one Christmas, took a beautiful tour of the gardens at Easter, and had the privilege to hear the Pope and President Bush speak while I stood on the White House lawn.

At the end of 2004, my dad was diagnosed with cancer. I was living in California at the time, and I moved home to Texas for three months to be near him before relocating to D.C. I had no control over what was happening to my dad, how sick he got, or how long he’d live.

Looking back, writing this psychological thriller was my way of escaping the reality of losing him and trying to cope, since I got to create the characters and control what happened in their lives. Writing has also always given me a purpose and a voice; it’s in my DNA.

 

 

Serial Vengeance summary

serialIf it were just one or two high-profile adulterers committing suicide in the heart of Washington, D.C., it wouldn’t be much of a story. But it keeps happening. And their suicide notes all say the same thing: “I deserve to die.”

Grieving her stillborn son, and reeling from the mysterious disappearance of her best friend two years prior, Olivia Penn buries herself in her work. She’s a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter for the Washington Post, and if there’s one thing she knows, it’s the scent of a front-page story.

Olivia begins connecting the string of supposed celebrity suicides together, obsessed with breaking the story that there’s a serial killer on the loose in D.C. When the FBI takes over, Olivia knows she’s on to something and has trouble staying out of their way.

A sensational double murder ups the ante in the dangerous psychological game. It’s the first time “The Punisher” reveals himself. Thinking she has nothing to lose, Olivia baits the psychopathic killer with her news stories, putting herself in his crosshairs. Now it becomes terrifyingly personal.

Between her stalker, who is breaking into her home and leaving notes that indicate he knows something about the serial killer, and the strange connections to her best friend’s disappearance, Olivia is caught in a complicated web—and the only way out is to discover why she seems to be the common denominator in this nightmare.

The closer she gets to the truth, Olivia discovers that death is closer than she realized.

 

Where to purchase Serial Vengeance


 

 

About the Author

Melissa’s Website / Twitter / Facebook  

After gaining her B.A. in broadcast journalism from Texas Tech University in 1998, Melissa Wren moved abroad to London, England and began her melissacareer in advertising, which eventually took her to Dallas, Texas and then to Monterey, California. She spent more than four years on the West Coast before relocating to Washington, D.C. to work in communications and with the press for a government agency for four more years.

Wren recognized her God-given passion for creating stories at an early age, finishing her first novel when she was 12 years old. During her time in the nation’s capital, she wrote the psychological thriller Serial Vengeance, joining such organizations as Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, Washington Independent Writers and Thriller Fest.

She curently lives in her hometown of Granbury, Texas, and works as a freelance writer/editor for hire, penning anything from professional business copy, human-interest stories, magazine articles, poetry, creative fiction to non-fiction.

She’s written for Lake Granbury Living, Erath County Living, and Granbury Showcase magazines, as well as for the Hood County News. Currently she’s a member of the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW).

Wren also compiled and published Cancer Chronicles: One Man’s Journey to Glorify God Through Illness, released in 2013.

 

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Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is an International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and the forthcoming Joshua and The Lightning Road.

Galanti, Donna 2An avid reader as a child, Galanti grew up in a nurturing environment, immersed in books such as The Hobbit, Little House in the Big Woods, The Island of the Blue Dolphins, My Side of The Mountain, Call of the Wild and White Fang. “My favorite author was Roald Dahl and my favorite book of his was Danny the Champion of the World,” says Galanti, whose dark imagination ran wild from the start.

From her early years in England to her later work in Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer, Galanti always dreamed of becoming an author. She wrote her first murder mystery screenplay at the tender age of seven. She had a career in writing for marketing and communications and ran her own resume writing service, but it wasn’t until her mother died five years ago that she began writing novels out of her grief. Eventually, that grief turned to peace, when she fully realized what it was she truly loved to do: becoming a storyteller. In addition to being a full-time author, Galanti also works part time as a freelance copywriter for an advertising agency.

“I write from the dark side with a glimpse of hope. I am drawn to writing the hero’s journey – more so the tormented hero, and tormented villain. I enjoy creating empathy for both by blurring the lines between good and evil,” states the author, whose first two books in The Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element (Imajin Books, August 2014) are both full of murder and mystery with a dash of steam, and both have their own tormented hero and villain. “I slay my own demons through my writing – and I highly recommend it!” she says.

A Human Element, just released by Imajin Books, is the thrilling, unrelenting page-turner story of Laura Armstrong. Her friends and family members are being murdered and, despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown, where she eventually unravels a terrifying secret that binds her to the killer.

The book has already garnered excellent praise from New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry and international bestselling author M.J. Rose.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00067]Galanti lives in an old farmhouse – sadly, with no ghosts – with many fireplaces where she often curls up to create her page-turners. Other times she works in her office overlooking the woods. Throughout the year she meets weekly with a women’s writing group at a café where they write together and share advice and their success stories.

“When I am creating a new book I love to sit outdoors overlooking the woods with a pen and notebook and handwrite my ideas. My thoughts are slowed down this way as my brain connects to pen in hand, and it opens my mind up to brainstorm,” says the author, describing her creative process. “There is nothing more freeing creatively to journal story ideas and throw all sorts of ‘what if?’ questions out there to find the kernel of a good story you want to pursue. Then I create character worksheets and type up a ten page synopsis of the book. I do all this before I write that first word of the story. And I always create a title first! It’s what drives my inspiration for the story.”

Galanti began writing A Human Element seventeen years ago from a vision she had while driving to work one day. She wrote two chapters and shelved them for over a decade. When she finally decided to continue the story, she wrote Monday through Friday from 4:30am to 6:30am. After seven months she typed THE END.

All writers have their stronger and weaker points, and for this author, revision is her favorite process. That’s where she can make her story shine. “Knowing how important this process is has been one of my strong points,” she says. “There are many layers to a story to be found after you write that first draft, and that’s what I love to do: peel back the layers.” One area she struggled in for a long time was to slow down her writing. She can be a very fast writer, creating pages and pages of words that often would need to be trimmed down. She has since then learned to slow down her writing and craft her words with care as she writes them, so she doesn’t have to spend so much time on revision.

In an era when small presses, the good, the bad and the ugly, abound, Galanti’s experience has been nothing but positive. “My experience with Imajin Books has been amazing!” she says of her Canadian-based publisher. “Imajin Books is dedicated to working with me to help my books succeed. The owner, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, is a bestselling author in her own right.” Imajin Books was very responsive and provided in-depth editorial guidance as well as marketing plans, not to mention fantastic book cover designs. The publishing industry is notorious for being slow-moving, but in the case of The Element Trilogy, Imajin Books made the process quick and efficient.

As with many authors, Galanti finds starting a new book most challenging. The first blank page can be a scary thing, until the story takes over, propelling your main character into his new unbalanced world toward the ultimate end. However, being an author can be extremely rewarding. “When it comes to readers, there is nothing more thrilling than reading wonderful reviews about your book that you spent months, or years, creating and shaping,” she says. “It’s from that private place in your heart, where you love the most – and hurt the most – that you pour out pages to show the world. And it’s all worthwhile when you discover that others have been touched by your story, just as you were touched while you were writing it. Second, it’s rewarding to pay it forward to up-and-coming authors. There is a wonderful feeling that comes from speaking to writers about your publishing journey and sharing advice and techniques on how to find success as an author, and hope that they do.”

Galanti is currently working on the idea for the third and final book in The Element Trilogy called, A Healing Element, and gearing up to release book 2, A Hidden Element, on August 28th. A native of upstate New York, the author now lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle—preferably with ghosts.

Connect with the author on Facebook Twitter and her Blog.

This profile was originally published in Blogcritics

 

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corneredNew Release – A gripping crime thriller written by award winning Author Alan Brenham.
In Temple, Texas, Police Detective Matt Brady, assisted by FBI Special Agent Steve Casani, is investigating the disappearances of five beautiful women. Desperate, with no leads and the number of missing women growing at an alarming pace, Matt is desperate for answers.
Everyone knows that the person we become in life can be affected in a moment, by a word, or circumstance. The paths we take as a result and their consequences are sometimes, only discovered after the passing of time. These life-changing moments or words, for some people are stamped in their mind forever, silently festering and waiting to emerge, bringing back memories, which cloud the present.
This book is even more enjoyable because, whilst writing it, the author has been able to draw from his wealth and variety of personal experience in police and law, among which is his time as a Temple patrol officer and, Assistant General Counsel for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
A brilliantly written compelling thriller, action packed, clever and with twists and turns which are guaranteed to keep the reader guessing until the very end.
Reviewed by Susan Keefe – http://www.susan-keefe.com
 
Available from Amazon.

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Cover Small - Seed of EvilThis novella begins an entire up-coming saga: The Saga of Evil. In production for about ten years it finally reached the light of day in February of this year and is gradually taking the world by storm. The novella itself combines military Sci-fi and horror and takes it to a whole new level with fast-paced action and more. It’s a book no one should miss out on. The events within the book start a ripple that will in time reach across an entire universe, but right now you just have to ask yourself: Are you ready for what lurks out there? Seed of Evil: An Ancient Evil Rises is a thrilling and intense ride no one should miss out on.

Barbara Garcia from Readers’ Favorite: 

“Seed of Evil: An Ancient Evil Rises by Robert Friedrich takes place in the not too distant future. The moon and Mars have both been colonized, and are being mined. The mining team on Mars has uncovered a structure of non-human origin, and in the process of studying it, have inadvertently released a horrifying evil. Now contact has been lost with the colonists on Mars, and deciphering a corrupted message indicates that something has gone wrong, but no one is prepared for just how terribly wrong. Corey and his elite team of Marines are brought in to investigate, and are confronted with this evil almost right away. As his crew is picked off one by one, Corey finds himself alone to battle the evil that’s been unleashed. It’s an ancient evil with immense power, but Corey gets some help from an unexpected source.”

“It is a fast paced story, but I never felt overwhelmed or rushed through it. Narrated by Corey, I easily got a good sense of who he was, and with good world building and nicely descriptive combat scenes, I was quickly immersed in this story and was rooting for Corey all the way. Being a Marine, Corey kept his cool fairly well when confronting the spawns of this evil, but I was a bit creeped out just envisioning the bloody mess all those bodies made, and most definitely when he had to face the winged creature with all the heads on it. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick read packed with action and a spooky sci-fi kind of feel.”

Blurb

THE SAGA OF EVIL BEGINS…

From a distant galaxy far beyond our time, the most ancient of all EVIL awoke before descending upon our unsuspecting galaxy. The planet it reached never faced such a threat, but didn’t submit to it, either. In a final attempt to survive, a prison between dimensions was built, the last hope to hold the DARK POWER for an eternity. The planet withered and died, and its people found a new refuge among the stars. That planet is now known as: Mars.

But even eternity doesn’t last forever. Ignorance and an infantile arrogance of a nation leads to its release. And once again, it only leaves death in its wake.

Read the fast-paced Sci-Fi/Horror, where the elements of OCCULT meet with an advanced MILITARY thriller, wrapped in a colossal battle between good and evil.

The first part of a new, long-awaited Saga, from the internationally renowned author of “The Darkness Within” will give you a gulp of a SMASH HIT and will leave you wanting more…

Bio

robert foto3miniRobert Friedrich is an Author who writes in a multitude of styles which include Novella’s, Short Stories, Poetry and even Screenplays. His books are famous for taking an unconventional route through the darkest of places and emotions, and are generally driven by fast paced action and direct-from-heart dialogue. His current releases include: The Darkness Within: A Novella, Enlightened by Darkness Anthologies, The Book of Metal Lyrics and Seed of Evil, which is the first part of an entire up-coming Saga. Robert surprises his audience by how different, each of his book’s tone, message is and how they are visually descriptive. He also designs his own book covers and trailers.

“A fictional Dystopia is better than a fake Utopia.” — Robert Friedrich

Website: http://robapexenterprise.wix.com/robert-friedrich

Book links (Excerpt is directly there via Amazon): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IF63J9K

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00IF63J9K

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8N6oMt4tuU

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Chain Reaction 7Title: Chain Reaction
Author: Richard Hacker
Publisher: Champagne Books
Pages: 232
Genre: Thriller
Format: Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

When Nick and his partner in love and business, Theresa, take a client caught in a grudge between competitive bass fisherman, they soon discover he has unknowingly entangled himself in a plot by healthcare magnate, Bruce Reynolds, to take over Texas and secede from the Union. Hoping to pass the case to the Texas Rangers, Nick is instead recruited to head the Governor’s special task force. He learns Governor Fran Adamson’s major campaign contributor and secret lover, Reynolds, has a plan to resurrect the Republic of Texas. Faced with Reynolds’ hit woman killing enemies of the Republic and a remotely controlled drone air force destroying strategic targets across the state, Nick and Theresa make a desperate attempt to prevent civil war, the destruction of the Governor’s political career, and Dillon’s murder, while keeping their love intact. In his scheme for glory, Bruce Reynolds didn’t plan on Nick Sibelius, who wants the wannabe secessionist to know, when he says don’t screw with Texas, he damned well means it.

First Chapter:

Leaning back in the cockpit of a rental sailboat, admiring a very fine, bikini clad ass, death wasn’t on Nick’s mind. Theresa, his partner in business and, over the last few months, in life, made her way across their boat’s sparse deck. With line in one hand, she fed loops until only a few feet remained, then twirled it around the center of her coil to make a neat package. Nick kept them sailing generally on course, but he found the small gold bracelet on her left ankle, the tuck of white bikini panties between those round, muscular butt cheeks and her dark, straight hair tumbling down her back, to be quite distracting. When a wake from a bass boat, racing past at high speed, slammed into their sloop, he initially admired Theresa’s athletic form flipping gracefully overboard. Then she hit the warm water of Lake Travis with a ferocious smack.

Nick yelled over the roar of three hundred Evinrude horses. “WHAT THE HELL! SLOW DOWN!” The boat, lost in its own engine spray, sped away like some giant buzzing water insect.

“Theresa!”

Having focused on the offending boat, Nick had kept sailing on, which meant Theresa was somewhere behind him. He searched the water, making out her head fifty yards away.

“I’m coming around!”

Nick tacked, and the sails fell limp then gathered air, flapping loudly. Theresa, who learned to sail as a young girl, had talked him into going out today. Nick’s entire sailing career consisted of a single outing on a twelve foot Sunfish at camp in high school. Sailing a twenty-eight foot sloop with a mainsail and whatever they call that triangular sail in the front, left him with a steep learning curve. Not the optimum conditions for saving your girlfriend from drowning.

As he turned, he kept an eye on Theresa, and then watched in disbelief as another bass boat raced toward her. Frantically waving, he yelled at the boat. “Stop. Turn away. STOP. STOP!” It missed her by only a few feet, then passed Nick, its wake leaving him grasping for a firm hold.

“Theresa!” I can’t see her. Did he hit her? Oh, god. “Theresa!” He saw a flash of white. Her bikini. Screw this. Nick dropped the sails, and then dove in, swimming in the direction he last saw her. He stopped, treading water to scan the lake.

“Theresa!”

A splatter of water.

He raced toward it, each stroke an explosive splash. Pausing, he looked, seeing part of her head rise above the surface and her arm attempt a weak stroke. He closed the fifteen feet between them, slipping an arm around her chest, and then rested her back on his hip.

“You’re okay. I’ve got you.”

“Nick.” She gasped, coughing. “What…happened?”

“Let’s get back first.”

He got them to the boat’s stern, slipped a life preserver on her and with some effort, hauled her onboard. Blood dribbled down her forehead.

“Goddamn fishermen. Jesus.” Nick pressed a cloth to her head, already imagining the looks of terror and anguish those fishermen would experience from his vengeance.

Theresa smiled, placing a hand on Nick’s. “My own fault.”

“Your fault? You’ve got to be kidding me. Those assholes came through here at a hundred miles an hour.”

“Yeah, but I should have been wearing a life vest. Anyway, I think I hit my head on the boat as I went overboard.”

“Maybe you should be in a life vest, but those guys shouldn’t be racing through here like hell on a hydroplane either. When we get back to the marina, I’m going find those bastards.”

“Nick.”

“What?”

She smiled, then winced. “Thanks.”

He touched her cheek, leaning in to kiss her. “I believe rescue is part of my job description with you.” They never talked about Izzy Zydeco impaling her with spikes to a wall or Nick fighting a blood match against a huge adversary to free her, while Izzy made his escape, but the pain of those experiences left an imprint on both of them.

She pulled herself up, pausing as if to realign her senses, then stepped down into the hold.

“What are you doing?”

“Ice.”

“Let me get it for you.”

She turned, only her head visible. Swollen and bruised skin surrounded the gash on her forehead, still seeping blood. “I’ve got it Nick. Just make sure we don’t get run over by a cigarette boat or something.”

A mixture of relief and anger swirled inside Nick’s gut. If she’d been killed… How could he let his guard down, after all she’d been through? And the jerks on those boats. Clearly they didn’t care about anyone but themselves. Well, he’d make sure they remembered this day.

“Hey, move over.”

Nick, lost in his thoughts, hadn’t noticed Theresa back on deck.

“You doing okay? Maybe you should let me get us back to the marina.”

She pressed a plastic bag wrapped in a towel to her head, taking the tiller from him. “I’m fine, Nick. How about if I steer and you follow my every command.”

Given he didn’t know what to do with the sails, her plan did make sense. However. “Or I could fire up the outboard and you could kick back with your ice pack.”

“We came out here to sail. I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a couple of fishermen mess up my day. Now get ready to come about.”

They sailed up the lake, then tacked their way back to the marina. Theresa expertly maneuvered the boat into a slip. The marina office, a small wood building on a floating dock, held an assortment of fishing, boating, and skiing gear. Stuffed striped bass, blue gill and crappie hung on walls, each posed to celebrate the epic struggle of man versus fish. A grey haired man in his late sixties, wearing a green gimme cap emblazoned with a large mouth bass leaping out of blue water, sat behind a glass counter filled with reels.

“How can I help you young man?”

Nick laid the boat keys down on the counter. “Just turning in our boat. By the way, we had bass fishermen flying around us like they were at NASCAR. Knocked my girlfriend right out of the boat and then almost ran her down.”

He let out a sigh. “Yeah. Striped bass.”

“What do you mean?”

“We’ve got a big striped bass tournament goin’ on this weekend.” He laughed, shaking his head. “Some of these folks will kill their kin to get a lunker. So I’m not surprised. Those ol’ boys put some big engines on the back of them bass boats. Crazy fast, tryin’ to beat each other to the best spots.” He paused, concern etched on his face. “They didn’t damage my boat, did they?”

“Well, no, but like I said, my girlfriend took quite a fall.”

He relaxed, leaning back in his chair. “That’s good. Not good about your girlfriend, mind you. But good about the boat.”

“They were moving so fast I didn’t get a registration number, otherwise I’d call it in.”

The man took the keys chained to a bright yellow float, and turned to hang them on a board crowded with other boat keys.

“Well, the tournament’s being held at the Mansfield Dam Park. I’ll bet if you remember what the boat looked like, then you’ll find the guy there. He’s got to bring his catch in if he wants to win.”

“I tell you what. If I find ’em, that will be the last damned fish he’ll catch for years to come.”

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Ken Malovos photo

Ken Malovos is a mediator and arbitrator in Sacramento, CA . Previously, he was a trial lawyer, as a public defender for 12 years and a business litigator for 25 years. He is a graduate of Stanford University (philosophy) and UC Hastings College of the Law. Ken is a past president of the Sacramento County Bar Association and Legal Services of Northern California. He is a panel member for the American Arbitration Association, a fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators, a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and a member of the California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. This is his first novel. He lives in Sacramento with his wife. You can visit Ken Malovos’ website at www.malovoslaw.com.

About the book

Sacramento trial lawyer, Mike Zorich, is finally coming to grips with the death of his wife from cancer five years ago. There is a new woman in his life.  His son is making his way in the business world. His law practice is going well. And he has a new case that promises to be very demanding.  Members of the Darnoff wine family are at odds with each other, amidst a divorce and partnership dissolution.

Then things go wrong. Mike becomes the target of some unexplained personal attacks.  He is mugged on the bike trail and his house is ransacked. Is it someone connected to the Darnoff case?  Is it an old client from his years in the Public Defender’s Office?  Is it some disgruntled witness from a trial? To top it off, Mike is held in contempt of court and remanded to jail.  The attacks continue and only get worse. The authorities don’t have a clue. Can Mike figure it all out before someone is killed?

Purchase on Amazon.

Interview

Q: Would you call yourself a born writer? 

A: I have never seen myself as a born writer, but I can say that I love to write.  For most of my life I have written non-fiction, either writing essays in college or case summaries in law school.  As a lawyer, it was writing legal briefs and as an arbitrator, it is writing arbitration awards.  There was a creative aspect to all of this, in that I had to learn how to express myself so that someone else can understand it and, in some cases, be persuaded by it.

I have always loved writing and I promised myself that someday I would write a novel.  Of course, writing fiction is a whole different thing from what I had done in the past.  My interest in writing fiction started with reading a lot of novels and marveling at the stories that authors created.  I love trying to imagine events that have not occurred and to put them down on paper in a way that people will enjoy reading.  This is my first novel, so I am learning a lot in the process.

Q: What was your inspiration for Contempt of Court?

A: In thinking of a good story for my book, I thought of a case that that happened a few years ago, when a judge threatened to hold some of the attorneys in contempt of court for not turning over financial documents.  The attorneys stood up in court and told the judge that they would not obey his order because they were under another order from another judge not to turn over the documents.  The first judge was not deterred.  So, the question was how far does an attorney go in standing up in court and telling a judge that he or she is not going to obey the judge’s order?  Isn’t it just easier to give up and avoid the hassle? That was the start of this story.  It is not a common situation in the law, for sure.

Q: What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

A: I like to explore the themes that are common to trial lawyers, such as regret, justice and fairness.  Also, there is the theme of total frustration when a lawyer can do nothing to help someone in need.  I especially like to explore the theme of the personal impact on a lawyer of trying a case in court, whether it is elation, disappointment or failure. What is the impact on the lawyer’s family? I am familiar with all of these feelings, so exploring them seems natural.

I also like exploring ideas that are new to me such as how someone reacts when a loved one dies or how far someone will go to save a loved one in peril.   What does true friendship or love mean?   Another theme that I like to explore is how to handle a huge set back in life, something totally unexpected, maybe something embarrassing.

Q: How long did it take you to complete the novel? Contempt of Court cover

A: This novel took five years and ten revisions.  I did not work continuously on it, as I have an active law practice, working as a mediator and arbitrator.  So, I would find time on a weekly or monthly basis to work on the manuscript.  It was always in the back of my mind and I spent a huge number of hours just thinking about it, thinking of transitions or plot twists or ways to make the novel more exciting.  I wrote a lot of outlines and changed most of them.  I deleted a lot of writing out of a lot of earlier drafts when I realized that some portions just were not needed to advance the story.

Part of the reason why it took me so long was that I was learning how to write fiction at the same time.  I took some courses, both live and online, and I read quite a few books on writing.  I listened to CD’s from lectures by writers.  It was all inspiring but it usually meant that I saw something in my manuscript that needed to be changed, so that brought about a new revision.  I am sure that my next one will not take as long.

Q: Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

A: I am not disciplined.  In fact, I often look for ways to procrastinate.  Whenever I get back into a manuscript, it takes an effort because I cannot write every day, due to my day job.  The effort is to try to remember everything that has happened so far and to not repeat myself or change some fact.  I am getting better at this.  I need to consult my notes a lot, just to be sure that I am being consistent in my story and my character.

When I have a full day, which is not often, I start around 10 in the morning, after I have done my daily internet surfing and after playing a few games of solitaire.  I stop for lunch and go to about 3 in the afternoon, maybe later if I am really on fire.  I will think about what I write in the evening and make some notes about changes or plot lines that I will pursue.  I can think about my manuscript while I am reading other books, jogging, watching television or taking a shower.  It seems as if the story just sticks right in the center of my brain.

Q: What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

A: The biggest challenge for me was creating a believable and interesting story.  I started with something that I knew from personal experience and tried to enlarge it into a complete plot with likable characters.  I added sub-plots and details.  But it took time.

I always asked myself if a reader would be engaged in my manuscript, as I was writing.  Would they find it interesting?  Would they relate to the characters?  It was hard for me to be as objective as I wanted to be, although I think I got better the more I wrote.

Another challenge was making changes to a manuscript.  It is a whole lot harder than it would seem.  If you change something on page 32, you basically have to read the entire manuscript to be sure there are no inconsistencies in the other 250 or so pages.   The internal consistency and logic was a struggle.

Q: What do you love most about being an author?

A: I love most the pure ecstasy when I am alone, sitting in front of my computer and writing, especially when I have figured out exactly what I want to say.  It means that I have given a great deal of thought to the particular passage or chapter and have a clear plan for what will happen.  Even when I have not figured out exactly what to say, there are times when it just comes to me, as I write.  It is obvious and it feels right. There is pure joy in writing at those times.  I have started sometimes in this writing mode in the morning and all of sudden realized that it is 5 p.m., with no recognition of the passage of time.

I have to say that there are other times when it does not come so easily.  Then I have to grind it out.  But as long as I am making progress, it is still very exciting.  I am creating something out of nothing.

Q: Where can we find you on the web?

A: I am at www.malovoslaw.com.  However, most everything at this website is about my legal work.   It does tell you who I am and what I do.  And I have written about my novel and the writing process.   My book is available on amazon.com, in paperback and  kindle and at smashwords.com.

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