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Campbell-author-400Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best this year when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.

Melodie got her start writing comedy (stand-up and columns.)  In1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference.  She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories and 4 novels. Her fifth novel, a mob caper entitled The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books) will be released Oct. 1. She has won 6 awards for fiction, and was a finalist for both the 2012 Derringer and Arthur Ellis Awards.

Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. Her humour column ‘Bad Girl’ appears in The Sage.

Connect with Melodie on the web:

www.melodiecampbell.com

www.funnygirlmelodie.blogspot.com

Facebook: MelodieCampbellAuthor

Twitter: @MelodieCampbell

Q: Welcome to the Dark Phantom, Melodie! Tell us why readers should buy ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD.

A: Need a laugh? Want to escape? That’s what I’m all about. I’m a former comedy writer who has gone over to the dark side of writing comic fantasy. ROWENA AND THE DARK LORD is a rollicking adventure novel, with romance, adventure, magic and sex…and hopefully you will find it ‘Hot and Hilarious” as many reviewers called the first book in the series.

Q: What makes a good comic time travel novel?

A: Fast and lean writing. A protagonist you like and want to be for a little while. OH, and maybe a few attractive warrior men to bring up the heat. But really, I think the trick to writing any novel is to provide the reader with an entertaining escape.

I write in first person. I like the reader to *become* the protagonist, to be pitched into Rowena’s head and experience what she does.  That’s entertainment.

Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?

A: I’m the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada, so I have a day job. My writing, like many authors, is done mainly at night, from 8 until midnight, and on weekends.

I tell my writing students that writing takes time, and you have to give up something if you want to write. So I gave up the gym. And housework. I’m quite happy, really.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?

A: I’ve won six awards for fiction – BUT – have to admit – the most rewarding day of my writing life was very recent, when a reader found my email address and wrote to tell me that ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL (first in the Land’s End series) was the best book she had ever read. I actually cried. That’s the best reward I can imagine. And readers like her are the reason I continue to write.

Q: What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received that you’d like to pass to other authors?

A: Writing is work – hard work. Be prepared for that. We all think it should be easier, but it’s not. Sometimes, in those magic moments, it doesn’t seem like work, and that is grand. Those are the moments we live for.

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Dark magic…dark passions….

When Rowena is abducted from Arizona and taken back to medieval Land’s End, one thing is clear: she must learn to control her powers of magic. It isn’t easy being a modern girl in an archaic land, and when Rowena accidently conjures up a Roman Legion in mid-battle, Land’s End is on the brink of a war that could jeopardize everything and everyone she loves.

The stakes are raised when the Dark Lord reappears and traps Rowena in a cyclone of lust and passion. Once again, she is torn between the man she loves and the mage who fires her desire.

Purchase the book on Amazon.

Currently #2 Timetravel in Canada!  Top 100 in US!

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M.R. Dowsing lives in London, where he writes for the music magazines R2 and Bucketfull Of Brains, performs original songs under the name Hungry Dog Brand, and puts on a regular music night called Dogfishtrombone. He holds a BA in Studies In Contemporary Writing. By day he works as a bookseller.

The Assassination Of Adolf Hitler is his first novel. He quit his bookselling job in order to have time to research it properly and, luckily, managed to get his job back a year later before starvation set in. He hopes to be able to quit again soon in order to complete a sequel.

His first name is Martin.

Your book has a fascinating premise. How did you come up with the idea? 

I don’t actually remember what triggered the idea, but I do remember that around five or six years ago something made me think that it was strange that no-one had used the idea of travelling back in time to kill Hitler as the basis for a novel. It seemed like an obvious winner to me, so I filed it away in my head and kept my mouth shut about it. Every now and again I would give it some thought and, at first, I began to feel that perhaps it was not so strange that it hadn’t been done, because it was quite a problematic concept; it could involve years of research to do it well, and there were so many different directions it could spin off into… Eventually, though, I felt that I was beginning to see a way in which it could be contained somewhat and, three or four years after I first had the idea, I finally talked myself into writing it. 

I’ve very recently found out that Stephen Fry used a similar premise in Making History, a book that I was unaware of, but it seems like a completely different approach to mine, so I don’t think it’s a problem. 

Time-travel and Hitler is an interesting combination. Does that make your novel a historical fantasy?  

I suppose you could call it that. I think of it as a historical thriller which happens to use a science fiction device. 

What type of research did you have to do for the novel? 

Lots of research about Hitler and the beginnings of the Nazi party, in particular. Quite dark stuff, some of it, and it was a bit of a relief when the book was finished and I could read about other things. Also, quite a bit of general research on the periods in question. Some of the research was quite enjoyable, though – I enjoyed my visits to the British Library to look at old maps and such. I also visited quite a few of the locations used in the novel, which was both interesting and valuable. I had to keep thinking about what would have been there when the story was set and what wouldn’t. One trip was a bit rough though – the weather was brutal and I came down with the worst cold I’ve ever had so that I couldn’t even sleep at nights! 

How long did it take you to write it? 

Well, I should point out that I left my day job as a bookseller in order to write it. If I’d been working as well, it would have taken much, much longer – if it had have happened at all. I forced myself to write a thousand words a day and, after about three months, I had something like a first draft. I then spent another three months rewriting it over and over again and adding detail. After this, I still occasionally went back into it and changed a few things. 

Did you plot the book in advance? If yes, how did you go about it? 

I actually just had what might be called the “arc” of the story in my head, and then just worked it out as I went along. I think if I had have planned it all out in advance I would have ended up deviating considerably from the plan anyway. I think in some ways you have to follow the characters and discover what the story is yourself rather than writing characters to fit into a pre-conceived plan. 

What was the most difficult aspect of writing the book? 

Probably making the time travel aspect work. It gave me headaches and I’m still not satisfied with it! I read a book called How To Build A Time Machine by Paul Davies, which is about how a real time machine might work. I realised that I couldn’t possibly use any of it or I would get bogged down in scientific gobbledegook.  

What is your favorite scene in the novel? 

I’m not sure I have a favourite scene as such, but I think the section set in Munich is the best part. I have a favourite character, Steiner, who was created on the spur of the moment. I still feel like I want to find out more about him, so I’m hoping to feature him more prominently in a future book. 

Tell us about your main character and what makes him compelling. 

Michael Lear is a well-intentioned man who has suffered a personal tragedy in the loss of his parents. In some ways he’s very well suited to the task of going in back in time to kill Hitler but, in other ways, he’s completely the wrong kind of person. This means that during the course of the story he has to become a different person, and adapt to strange and unexpected situations very quickly. 

I understand you also write for magazines. What is a typical writing day for you and how do you balance your two types of writing? 

Well, I’m back working as a bookseller again now and I don’t have time to write every day. I have to steal hours when I can. Reviewing music for a magazine means that I receive a bunch of CDs through the post, often only a week or so before the deadline, and I’ve somehow got to get my head around all this stuff enough to write something intelligent about it. I think you have to listen to an album at least twice before you can do that – more would be better, but it’s not always possible. I’ve actually just spent most of my Saturday banging out reviews for R2 magazine. I’m not complaining though, as the standard of the music has been very high. 

Is there a second novel in the works? 

There’s a second novel in my head which I have made a few notes for, but it’s not really “in the works” yet. 

Where can we find you on the web?

http://mrdowsing.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/MrDowsing

https://twitter.com/MRDowsing

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6538086.M_R_Dowsing

http://www.myspace.com/hungrydogbrand (for my music). 

The book, which is eBook only at the moment, is available from Amazon, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Sony Reader Store and more.

 

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Shakira Constantine is a beautiful, independent, successful London attorney. One night she meets handsome Alex Lancaster. There’s no denying that the sparks are mutual, even though she isn’t impressed by his riveting good looks and acting career.

Then fate plays a trick on her when he is unjustly sued for sexual harassment and she ends up representing him. Of course, now that he’s her client, they get to spend a lot more time together.

Risking venturing into the boundaries of unethical behavior, she accepts his invitation to spend a weekend in the countryside. He promises to behave and also swears that the weekend will be strictly professional.

Nothing, however, prepares her for what happens next…

Walking in the woods one day, they experience a moment of abrupt, strange disorientation and find themselves in front of a Norman medieval stone castle. Everyone around them is dressed in medieval fashion and speaks in an archaic way just like in The Canterbury Tales.

Unable to believe her eyes, Shakira thinks the setting is for one of his movies. But nothing prepares her for the truth…

Journey in Time is a steamy, time-travel romance story with a strong, independent heroine and an irresistible, warm and caring hero. Karslen does an excellent job with the historical setting and characters. I really felt myself transported in time and enjoyed all the historical details.

There’s also a lot of good humor at times to balance the serious segments. Abundant love scenes spice up the prose and there’s enough tension to keep readers turning pages.

I look forward to reading more novels from this talented author.

Find it on Amazon or visit the author’s website to find out more.

My review originally appeared in Blogcritics. 

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The Author:

I have been writing for almost fifteen years. I wrote 4 horrid novels when I was younger…until someone asked me why I didn’t write cop stories, since I had been one way back in the dark ages. I fought that urge, not being a mystery reader at the time and because police work was not a match for me. Instead, I took my Masters in English to education and I have been a teacher for the majority of my life. I prefer to touch young lives rather than arrest them. Nonetheless, one day, Delta Stevens sprang into my head, as well as my heart, and so I wrote. And wrote. And the next thing I knew…there she was, and there a publisher was, and there was the beginning of my writing career and my love of the irascible Delta Stevens. Like a love affair that sneaks up on you, Delta and her cast of characters came into my life, changing me forever. Perhaps it was Delta, maybe it was writing itself, but my life transformed dramatically.

Pulishers have come and gone as the industry has changed dramatically. With Borders and Barnes and Nobles pushing out the smaller bookstores, smaller presses went with them…and so ended my publishers and Delta.

But I kept on writing…and now, I have 6 novels in a variety of genres ready to go…if only I could find an agent!

To learn more about Linda, visit her website.

Read my interview with Linda at Blogcritics Magazine.

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The Book:

Jessie Ferguson’s life is going nowhere. She’s tried drugs, alcohol—and even sex, to fill the emptiness and void that has no name. But nothing seems to quench the dull ache that visits her each night. Then when Jessie moves into a restored Victorian Bed and Breakfast, all of that changes the instant she hears a call from the past.

A call from her past.

A past life two thousand years ago from a place she knows nothing of, from a woman she’s seen only in her dreams. It is a past that needs her, a past that has burst through the boundaries of time in order to ask for her help.

If you believe in soul mates… if you just know you’ve had a past life… if you’ve ever wondered who you might have been long ago and who you might have loved, then join Jessie in the first of a series of adventures that takes her Across Time.

Read my interview with Linda Kay Silva at Blogcritics Magazine.

Purchase the book here.

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