Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Interview with thriller author Ian Walkley

Today we have thriller author Ian Walkley to tell us a bit about himself and his novel No Remorse.

Ian is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commentor during this virtual book tour. If you want to be entered in the drawing, make sure to leave your e-mail address with your comment below. And to increase your chances of winning, follow his tour and comment at other stops.

Prior to becoming a novelist, Ian Walkley was a social and market researcher, managing a successful market research agency and a regular contributor to a national marketing magazine. He co-authored and edited two publications on small business.

Ian began writing No Remorse in 2008 and it was published in January 2012 by Marq Books. He is currently writing his second novel and planning the sequel to No Remorse. He continues to undertake marketing consulting part-time.

Ian enjoys applying experience from consumer research to the motivations and behavior of characters, and researching the locations, weapons and other technical aspects of his stories.

He lives in Brisbane, Australia with his wife and three children.

Welcome, Ian. Please tell us about your current release.
No Remorse is a fast paced action thriller. The independent Kirkus Reviews described the book thus: “Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.”

A top Amazon reviewer said of No Remorse: "It has more action, more adventure and more thrills per page than any novel I have recently read." 

While it is primarily a plot-driven romp, the novel also considers a number of topical themes, from slavery to corruption in the global financial system, terrorism, and the illegal arms trade.

The story follows Lee McCloud, an ex-soldier and Tally, a female computer geek, in the search for two teenage girls kidnapped in Mexico. They find themselves caught up in a global network of slave traders and terrorists, and a conspiracy that sees them as disposable in a much broader plot.

What inspired you to write this book?
I used to travel a good deal for work, and frequently bought a book at the airport to read on the plane. I wrote this book for people who are usually too busy to read. It's not meant to be deep, just a book you can’t put down. It appeals to both male and female readers who like action thrillers. And while it is plot driven, its themes about the mistreatment of women, human trafficking, and the manipulation of the financial system have been described as a reflection of reality, but at times confronting.

The long journey had been a nightmare, bouncing along in trucks and noisy cargo planes. First, they had thrown Sophia and Danni into the back of a truck filled with crates of vegetables, barely enough room to move, struggling to breathe in air that reeked like steamed cabbage. Crammed in with them were two others, Jeanette from Toronto, and Erika, from Sweden, who explained in stilted English that she was an exchange student, taken in Mexico City. Jeanette cried as she told them three men grabbed her as she was walking through the grounds of her hotel to the pool. The two bottles of water they’d been given were soon empty, and they sucked water from the lettuce leaves in one of the crates. Sophia tried to reassure the others, to talk her own confidence up. Air trickling in through a small ventilation grill couldn’t disperse the heat and fumes, and after a while Jeanette began to retch. The stench was revolting, and soon all four of them had emptied their stomachs into a plastic bucket they found in the corner.

"I'm so sorry, Sophe." Danni said, as the truck lumbered along. "I wish I'd never suggested we go shopping by ourselves."

Sophia shook her head and held Danni close and said words she was not so sure of herself. "They'll get us back, I'm sure of it." Still, she cursed herself for nagging their parents to let her and Danni go shopping. It should have been safe, only ten minutes from their hotel. But it wasn’t.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on a crime thriller set in Australia. There’s a preview at the end of No Remorse. It is about a woman vigilante Kasey who acts as bait to catch bad guys. When she goes to a country town called Deception Crossing to look after her dying husband she encounters an American she was in love with several years before she met her husband. There are lots of bad things happening in Deception Crossing and soon Kasey and the American find themselves and their loved ones under serious threat.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Good question. I guess because I always wrote reports in my job I thought I was a writer all my life. But after finishing the first draft of No Remorse I realized I was only just a babe in the woods as far as creative writing goes. I learned a lot in the three and a half years it took to get No Remorse to a publishable condition. But I’m still learning every day, and I am years from being experienced.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Because I work as a consultant, I tend to have short-term projects. Which means I divide my time between marketing the first book (25%), writing (50%) and consulting (25%). And I do housework and walk the dogs too.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I'll get up at odd hours in the middle of the night to write for an hour or two. And after reading someone else’s novel I sometimes find myself writing in their style. But the editing brings it back to my hard-boiled, fast paced style.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A pilot in the air force. Unfortunately, my hearing wasn’t good enough when I went for the tests.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
The two best things I did as an aspiring writing were to attend writing courses, and to employ an editor to help improve my manuscript. I would recommend those things to anyone else with ambitions to become a writer.

What are some way readers can connect with you?

Thanks, Ian. Readers, remember to leave your e-mail addy with your comment if you want a chance at the $50 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Interview with debut novelist Kalen Cap

I'm happy to introduce another debut novelist. Today's guest, Kalen Cap, is here to talk about his novel Tangled Ties to a Manatee and how his interest in the environment makes its way into his writing.

Kalen will award a $25 Green Gift Card from http://green.icardgiftcard.com/ -- redeemable for gift cards from hundreds of your favorite merchants to one randomly drawn commenter during his virtual book tour. If you'd like to be entered, please leave your e-mail address along with your comment below. You can also visit other tour stops and leave a comment to increase your odds of winning.

Kalen Cap is a writer living in Columbus, Ohio. Active in environmental and other causes, he often brings such concerns into his fiction writing. Tangled Ties to a Manatee is his debut novel.

Welcome, Kalen. Please tell us about your current release.
Tangled Ties to a Manatee is a humorous crime thriller with environmental themes. It is a great story with interesting characters. The storyline's threads progress and interweave to a denouement connecting all involved.

The following is the novel’s description:
A pregnant manatee is rare at any zoo, and a first for the Grove City Zoo in Ohio. Ankh is a delight to zoo patrons, a concern to its staff, and the unintentional victim of two con men. She has no idea how many human relationships, problems, and dreams tangle around her.

Jerry is a young developmentally disabled man who happily follows Ankh's pregnancy on the zoo's webcam. He has a shy crush on Janelle, a pretty college student who volunteers for his group home’s outings to the zoo.

Jerry's Aunt Vera also loves nature and runs an environmental retreat center. But all is not well, with Vera or the center. The center needs money and is under investigation as a cult.

Amid their college studies, Janelle and her friend Cecily try to help. Instead, Janelle re-awakens an old obsession in Vera when an innocent tarot reading hints at how the center might be saved.

Two bumbling con men are attempting to sabotage the region’s electrical grid as part of a lucrative scheme. But, Jerry accidentally gets in their way and becomes their captive.

When the con men surprisingly succeed in bringing the grid down, it spells danger for Ankh, her unborn pup, and the many people tied to them both. With investigations of their own, Cecily and Janelle try to untangle it all to find Jerry, save a manatee’s life, and rescue Vera from herself.

Excerpt: Stan

“What we gonna do with him?” Craig asked.

Stan held the door open, motioning for Craig to carry their intruder inside. I’m glad we’re at this site.

Another retired hub station was a few miles away. That station’s maintenance was scheduled for Monday and Thursday, and Stan originally planned to use that location. But, with the forecasted weather, the current station, with its maintenance on Wednesday and Friday, was proving the better choice. Particularly now, since it had a second building where they could stow their intruder. The retired grid hub station was used for remote relayed processing, so there wouldn’t likely be any surprise visits by the electric company before Wednesday. Stan figured they’d be long gone by then.

Craig took the load inside and turned back to Stan.

“We’ll put him in the basement,” Stan said.

“There’s a basement?”

“No, I’m going to dig one while you hold him. Of course, there’s a basement.” Stan flipped the light switch and led the way down the steps inside. The basement had a storage area and what had been a break room, complete with a cot, and adjoining bathroom. Craig followed him into the break room, and Stan motioned to the cot. Craig let the guy fall there with a thump.

“Easy! Let’s get the sack off him,” Stan said. The two men pulled the burlap off their surprise guest. They both leaned over, peering at him.

“I know him,“ Craig said.

“You think you know everybody.”

“No, really. Can’t remember where I saw him, though.”

Stan handed his partner a couple lengths of cord. Craig set the intruder upright and proceeded to bind his hands and feet.

What inspired you to write this book?
I’m inspired creatively by many things, particularly art, music, and people volunteering to do extraordinary things to help others. Particular circumstances also inspired me for this specific novel.

After getting a sense of audience response as a local playwright, I wanted to explore some themes and storytelling methods more in-depth. I was told I had a knack for group dialogue, and revealing a threaded story with multiple points of view appealed to me. Dramatic events in real life are likely to involve more than one person’s experience and I wanted to mirror that in a story with entangled relationships.

I also had a good deal of personal experience with nonprofits and college-aged folks. Generally, nonprofits are underrepresented in fiction, but the environmental and animal protection movements are populated largely via these nonprofits. Other than stories emphasizing partying or romance, college-aged protagonists are also underrepresented in fiction. So, I found an opportunity in combining these elements to provide something unique in a novel.

I’ve found people like my light humor. So, when the storyline for a humorous crime thriller came to me, I jumped into the story. With developmentally disabled characters, another concern addressed by nonprofits with limited fictional exploration, the storyline with two core threads came together for the novel’s structure and I developed it from there.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m writing another crime thriller with the working title, “The Peace Cipher.”  While it also emphasizes college-aged protagonists, it is rather different from Tangled Ties to a Manatee. The main setting is in Ottawa County, Ohio, and includes a fictional Sandusky Bay Community College. Artifacts are stolen from a museum exhibit, and the protagonists find themselves in the midst of competing parties vying for them.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
While I had a few things published before then, I truly felt like a writer when I had plays produced. I could hear and see the audience’s response to the work more than I had in previous publications of mine. So, the audience response is really what clinched it for me.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No, my full time job is in retail. While writing the novel, I often had two part-time jobs simultaneously. Like many, I fit the writing in around my work schedule. I do tend to have time off the hourly job while others are working. That limits distractions so it is easier to focus on the writing. Also, being part of a local writer’s group that meets regularly helps me maintain that accountability for keeping at it.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know how unusual it is, but I find when I’m writing fiction, I tend to read more nonfiction. When I’m writing nonfiction, as I do with newsletter articles for nonprofits, I tend to read more fiction.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A game show host. Winners seemed happy and excited to be on game shows – much different than how busy adults appeared in everyday life. Thankfully, I outgrew that notion.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Hope everyone enjoys the novel. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Goodreads are currently the best social networking sites to connect with me about Tangled Ties to a Manatee and my other writing.

Thanks, Kalen. Readers, don't forget about the gift certificate giveaway - leave a comment here and at other blog stops to be entered to win!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Live chat/interview with cozy mystery author Lois Winston

The Writer's Chatroom presents cozy 'crafting mysteries series' author Lois Winston.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Eastern USA Time.....7-9 PM

Not sure what time that is wherever in the world you are? http://www.worldtimeserver.com


The Writers Chatroom at: http://www.writerschatroom.com/Enter.htm

Scroll down to the Java box. It may take a moment to load. Type in the name you wish to be known by, and click Sign In. No password needed.

Please note: The chatroom is only open for regularly scheduled chats.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Interview with debut novelist Justin E. Geary

Today's guest author is debut epic fantasy novelist Justin E. Geary to share a bit about his book Midnight’s Cloak, Book One Of The Age Of The Wrath Series. He's at the start of virtual book tour with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe.

Justin E. Geary lives in western Maryland, where he spends his time reading various authors and exploring different subjects. In addition to fiction, he enjoys history and some science. He is the nephew of 1942 Pulitzer Prize winner Laurence Edmond Allen. 

Justin’s hobbies are chess, pool, and writing epic fantasy. He started reading Edgar Allen Poe with interest at the age of sixteen and started writing screenplays at the age of nineteen. Screenplays were unfulfilling for Justin because they lacked depth. 

Later on, he wrote his first novel at twenty-one and Midnight’s Cloak, his second at twenty-four. After finishing the rough draft, Justin decided that fantasy was his escape from the world. Without a college education, Justin decided to seek editorial help, sinking twenty-one hundred dollars of his own money into the editing and proofing of his manuscript. Justin calls the expense a small price for something he loves so dearly.

Welcome, Justin. Please tell us about your current release.
Midnight’s Cloak is an Epic Fantasy novel about a Prince named Raziel, who becomes a very powerful Clonan. Raziel’s magic is tainted and very strong. He leads an army to the city of Quenendor to conquer it. The first battle of the world war is in Quenendor. You will be introduced to the key players of the story in the first novel and you will see them start to grow and develop as characters. I have humorous characters and situations to lighten the story up a bit. To better help readers zero in on my work, I would say that my series is similar to Robert Jordan’s books. I really don’t want people to buy the novels who are not interested in the genre. It’s as important to me that you enjoy the book as it is getting paid. I want to get paid but I want readers to get what they want for the money as well. Sample chapters are available on Amazon.com if you’re curious.

What inspired you to write this book?
I don’t know if anything actually inspired the book so much as the words just started coming out. I can’t really explain where they came from. While my work is influenced by Jordan, I try to stay creative.

After a half hour of travel Aramina woke up.
“You okay sweetheart?” Lot asked.
“I think so,” Aramina said. “I take it the Cael are dead.”
“Yes. Why didn’t you use your magic?” Lot asked.
“I started to, then one of them jumped me from behind. After that everything became hazy,” Aramina said.
“You’re not dizzy or anything?”
“I feel fine,” Aramina said softly. She looked to the right where Clophues rode the gelding and had Snowflake’s reins.
“His name is Clophues. I don’t think he would have shot you. He was just scared.”
“The Cael were chasing him?” Aramina asked.
“Could you let me down so I can ride Snowflake. This saddle is a bit uncomfortable.” Lot stopped Tracker and Aramina climbed down. Clophues stopped his horse as well. She went to Clophues.
“May I have my horse back, please?” Aramina asked.
“Maybe I’ll give her back to you, but I’d like a kiss first,” Clophues said, simpering. Aramina stuck her hand out, expecting it to be filled with Snowflake’s reins. “I’d prefer a kiss on the lips,” the West woodsman said, perking up.
“I’d be careful with her?” Lot warned. Aramina dropped her hand and looked back at the samurai. Her look told him to shut up. Lot watched the two of them intently. She turned back to Clophues. “I can’t kiss you from up there,” Aramina said. Clophues bent sideways to get closer to her. When he got close Aramina grabbed his ear hard and yanked him from his gelding. The West woodsman hit the ground, grunting. Lot chuckled.
“Would you like another?” Aramina asked angrily.
Clophues stood up and brushed off his coat. “You’re mad,” he said.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have already started Shadowlance, the second novel in the Age of the Wrath series. I would like the next novel to be longer. This one was only about three hundred and sixty pages including Appendix and Glossary. The second book will focus on Clophues’s perspective, who is a character in the first novel, and a new character Clio. While my plot is often character driven, Shadowlance focuses on the staff and the struggle to get to it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I wrote "Wall Climbers," which was my first short story, I was shocked at its potential. I’d written hideous screen plays at seventeen, but they were so bad, it’s embarrassing.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
It’s my dream to write full time but I don’t. Right now I’m collecting unemployment and looking for work. People don’t seem to understand the amount of work that goes in to writing a good novel. I have to write it, get it edited, proofread, double check the proof because I’m obsessive compulsive, submit to a publisher, and pay them to put it in print. It’s a lot of work and lots of money goes into preparing it. I promised myself I’d give this novel two years of marketing efforts, if I don’t make it by then, I’m going to find a job and say to heck with it. 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My obsessive compulsive behavior during the proofing phase is my quirk. I suffer panic attacks at this time because I try and make the manuscript absolutely perfect. I have to expect a hundred and ten percent from myself, because I have to know I’ve given it my all. I have to know I’ll never stop writing the books but if there’s no demand for them it’s like walking into a brick wall.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an Indian (Native American.) I used to go to the Pow Wows in the area and get my face painted, and always loved visiting the Indians in front frontier town when I was a child. I can remember one time where I saw this authentic plains Indian chief headdress at a Pow Wow. It was ninety dollars and I had eighty from my birthday. I begged mom for that headdress but she wouldn’t bend. I settled for a Dream-Catcher. Reflecting on it now I’m glad she didn’t buy it because I would have ruined it while playing.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If you like my novel please keep an eye out for the next one. While I’ll do my best to promote, it’s more difficult for self published authors because we do all of the work ourselves. My Kindle is $2.99 and is free in the lender’s library for Amazon Prime members.
Thanks for stopping by, Justin. Happy virtual book touring!

Readers, you can follow Justin on Twitter and purchase his book through Outskirts Press.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Interview with historical romance author Danelle Harmon

Danelle Harmon writes historical romances. She's touring her de Montforte Brothers series of books and is here to give us the scoop. The four novels are: The Wild One, The Beloved One, The Defiant One, and The Wicked One.

She's also going to be awarding a digital copy of book two, The Beloved One to one randomly drawn commentor at EVERY stop and a $25 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commentor during the tour. So, leave an e-mail address with a comment to be entered to win. And visit her other tour stops for more chances to win.

Bestselling, multi-award winning and critically acclaimed author Danelle Harmon is the author of ten books, previously published in print and distributed in many languages throughout the world. 

Though a Massachusetts native, she has lived in Great Britain and is married to an Englishman; she and her husband make their home in New England with their daughter Emma and numerous animals including four dogs, an Egyptian Arabian horse, and numerous pet chickens. Danelle welcomes e-mail from her readers and can be reached at danelle@danelleharmon.com.

Welcome Danelle. Please tell us about the de Montforte Brothers series.
The de Montforte Brothers series is set largely in Georgian England during the 1770s and follows the love stories and adventures of four gorgeous aristocratic brothers, headed by the eldest, Lucien, who is the fifth Duke of Blackheath. Each brother has been given a nickname by the locals which is also the title of his book: Lord Gareth, the ne'er do well black sheep of the family, is The Wild One; Lord Charles, the brave and noble soldier, is The Beloved One; Lord Andrew, the gifted, reclusive inventor, is The Defiant One; and the duke, who spends the series matchmaking and manipulating his brothers into marriage with cunning delight, finally gets his comeuppance in his tale, The Wicked One. Though each book can be read as a stand-alone, I think they are best enjoyed read in order in the series.

What inspired you to write this series?
I got the idea for the de Montforte brothers while my husband and I were still living in England. We were married in, and lived, in a little town named Abingdon-on-Thames, and it figured into the setting for The Wild One. At the time, I had just finshed another book for my publisher and was casting around for a new storyline, and the idea of a handsome quartet of brothers came to me. I went into this venture with some definite ideas -- indeed, one of the brothers was supposed to be, and remain dead, but he surprised me (much as he did some other members of his family) when that proved not to be the case at all! But isn't that half the fun, to be surprised?

What exciting story are you working on next?
During my long sabbatical from writing, I received many emails from readers who wanted to know if, and when, Lady Nerissa de Montforte (the youngest of the de Montforte siblings) was going to get her own book. When we last saw her and Perry, the earl of Brookhampton, it might have appeared that the two were going to have their happily-ever-after … but Perry's ordeal in The Wicked One has left him dark, dangerous — and damaged — and Nerissa's brother the duke no longer wants his little sister marrying this man. Will Perry's need for revenge against the duke overpower his abiding love for Nerissa? That's something even I have yet to find out! In the meantime, I'm in the process of re-releasing (with some light revisions and editing) my entire backlist of ten books for e-readers; look for a new title to be available every six weeks or so, with updates and news posted on my website and Facebook page.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Becoming an author was never, for me, an actual, focused intention -- I wanted to be a veterinarian. But I loved to write stories as a child and as a teen — horse stories, usually — and in my 20s I became fascinated with the local story of pirate Captain "Black Sam" Bellamy and his ship, Whydah, which went down in a storm off of Cape Cod in 1717. Bellamy died in the shipwreck, leaving his lady-love mourning him from the windswept cliffs that overlooked the wreck site, and the story haunted me … I ended up doing volunteer work for Barry Clifford, who found and is still salvaging the Whydah, and during that time, fulfilled Sam's and Maria's unrequited love story by writing my first "real" book, which was eventually published under the title Pirate in My Arms by Avon. It went on to be a national bestseller and I guess it was then that I actually first considered myself a "writer."

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I can write full time, but I don't, as I'm not a regimented person and have never been able to sit down and keep to a tight schedule of either page count or hours put in. Instead, I try to write something every day, and there are days where the words flow, and others … not so much. On the good days, I may write for hours on end, but even that is hard to do, as I'm also a full time mom and also have four dogs and a horse, so it can be hard to find solid blocks of uninterrupted time to "get in the zone" and write. Subsequently, I probably do my best (that is, most uninterrupted!) work late, late at night after the rest of the house (including the four dogs!) have gone to bed.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I'm not sure I have any, though I do find it fun to try and envision actors, both present and past, who might best play the role of each of my heroes if ever any of my books made it to film. But I don't usually share that information (though I have my own very definite ideas!) because part of the magic of reading is that it allows each person's imagination (whether that person is the author or the reader) to envision a character exactly as they wish to envision it. I may paint a word picture, but when it comes to hard visuals, it's probably best left to the reader's imagination!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I'm still waiting to grow up! But in my younger years, I wanted to be a veterinarian! I've always surrounded myself with animals, and love them dearly!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all of you who have stopped by to visit me on this stop on my blog tour, who have taken the time to buy and read my books, and to let readers know that I love hearing from you! Don't forget to stop by my website or "like" me on Facebook to be kept up-to-date on news and new releases! Have a wonderful summer, and thank you, Lisa, for hosting me! It has been a pleasure and an honor!

It's been a pleasure, Danelle. Happy touring!

Readers, don't forget to leave your e-mail with a comment if you'd like to be entered for either of the giveaways!

The first book in the series, The Wild One is priced at $0.99 at all outlets. Here are the buy links:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Interview with suspense author P.M. Terrell

Today's guest is multipublished suspense novelist P.M. Terrell. She's doing a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish. Today, we get to learn a bit about her newest novel,Vicki’s Key and about an organization she co-founded to battle illiteracy.

There's also a giveaway! For (US/Canadian) commentors who leave an e-mail address, you'll be entered to win a gift basket from the real town of Lumberton, where Vicki's adventure takes place. So leave your e-mail addy with your comment, and to increase your chances of winning visit other tour stops and comment there.

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 17 books, including River Passage, which won the 2010 Best Fiction & Drama Award and Vicki’s Key, a 2012 International Book Awards finalist and 2012 USA Best Book Awards nominee. Also the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation (www.bookemnc.org) whose slogan is “Buy a Book and Stop a Crook” and which raises money to increase literacy.

Welcome, P.M. Please tell us about your current release.
In Vicki’s Key, Vicki Boyd is a psychic spy who decides to leave the CIA after a botched mission. She takes a summer job assisting an elderly woman but when she arrives, she finds that Laurel Maguire has suffered a stroke and is confined to a third floor bedroom in an old, rambling house. And her nephew Dylan has arrived from Ireland to care for her. Vicki quickly falls in love with the charming Dylan Maguire. But when the house comes alive with secrets long hidden, she finds that everything is not as it seems. And when the CIA find her for “one last mission”, she finds that her past and her future are about to collide—in murder.

What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve been asked for a long time to write a series but I wanted to make sure I would not be resorting to a predictable formula. When I discovered recently declassified information about the CIA’s and Defense Department’s psychic spy programs, I knew that was what I needed. By having a main character as a psychic spy, it allows me to place her missions anywhere in the world. She can even travel back and forth through time. The possibilities are endless. And I discovered while writing the book that other characters captured my readers’ imagination and attention, so the series will have about five main characters. Depending on the plot, one character may come more to the forefront than the others.

Vicki continued into the bathroom and groggily brushed her teeth. Grabbing a washcloth and splashing water over her face, she leaned into the sink to soak up the cool water as it poured from the tap.

She turned off the tap and tried to fully awaken as the water dripped off her face. Rising, she reached for the hand towel along the wall, catching a glimpse of her profile in the bathroom mirror.

Her eyes caught a shadow rippling in the mirror and she froze, her arm suspended in mid-air as she watched the shadowy figure undulating against the shower curtain just behind her. It was thin—far thinner than a human being; perhaps only four feet tall and just inches wide. Yet, two arms extended past the body, moving jerkily like a creature walking and yet it remained fixed in the center of the tub. The torso parted into two legs that were stick-like and lurching.

Then the shadow stopped and turned toward her, as though just realizing she was watching. The head emerged from the body like a person jutting his neck forward, growing as it neared the shower curtain. It swelled in a black intensity while two pits where eyes should have been grew more prominent.

She whipped around to face the shower curtain, her heart pounding, and her breath shallow.
There was nothing there.

She swung back toward the mirror. Her own face stared back at her, her eyes wide and chest heaving. The curtain hung behind her, motionless.

What exciting story are you working on next?
The next book in the series is Secrets of a Dangerous Woman, in which the Irishman, Dylan Maguire, returns to work for the CIA. In his first mission, he must interrogate recently captured Brenda Carnegie. But when she escapes again, it’s clear she had help from within the CIA’s own ranks. With Vicki’s help, Dylan captures her again. Now he must find out what she knows and why some in our government want her dead while others are willing to risk all to help her. And when he finds out Brenda’s true identity, his mission has just become very personal.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I began writing in the 4th grade and when I walked across the stage to receive an award I won for a writing contest at the age of 9, I knew that’s what I wanted to be! But Life has a way of throwing things into it that we didn’t expect so I fell into the computer industry, where my specialty became white collar computer crime and computer intelligence. I began writing books about the use of computers in the 1980s. But I decided in 1999 that I had always wanted to write suspense so I began to concentrate on leaving the computer industry behind and writing full-time.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like?  If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I have been writing full-time since 2002. I generally spend my mornings answering e-mails and doing research for my books. Then I spend my afternoons and evenings writing. I follow this routine 6 days a week and often 7 days a week. It helps that I have definite due dates for each of my upcoming books (usually 2 or 3 are in various stages of production at a time) and I know if I don’t make my deadlines, it throws a lot of people off schedule. I always marvel at the perception some people have of writers and how they only write when inspiration strikes them! I work harder at this career than I’ve ever worked in my life.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I always dream every scene before I write it. I trained myself to think about the next part of my book before I go to bed, especially if there is some element that is lacking that I know I will need to address. By morning, it’s all there. As a result, I never have writer’s block.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a writer, from the time I was 9 years old. Before that, I wanted to be a teacher. I have, fortunately, been able to do both. I’ve taught writing classes and classes about the publishing industry and the way it works. But my real love has always been writing.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I also co-founded The Book ‘Em Foundation to raise awareness of the link between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates. We have an annual event called Book ‘Em North Carolina the last Saturday in February in which we bring together more than 75 authors, publishers, literary agents, and book promoters. The event is free and open to the public and includes a writer’s conference and book fair. For each book sold at the event, the authors or publishers agree to donate at least 40% to literacy campaigns in the area. Our next event is February 23, 2013 and our website is www.bookemnc.org. We have New York Times bestselling author Mary Alice Monroe headlining the event along with Hollywood producer Chuck Williams, who will be discussing how books are made into movies. I hope your readers will join us!

Thanks, P.M.!

Readers, don't forget about the giveaway! For (US/Canadian) commentors who leave an e-mail address, you'll be entered to win a gift basket from the real town of Lumberton, where Vicki's adventure takes place. So leave your e-mail addy with your comment, and to increase your chances of winning visit other tour stops and comment there.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Interview with contemporary romance author Jamie Salisbury

Contemporary romance author Jamie Salisbury is visiting today. She's touring her new novel, Timeless Sojourn and is going to be giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commentor during the tour.

All you have to do is leave your e-mail with a comment below, or at any of her other tour stops, to be entered.

Jamie Salisbury cannot imagine a time when she did not write. A skill that has served her well throughout her diversified professional career that encompassed public relations in and around the entertainment industry, photography, editing, and special event planning.

An avid reader of history, biographies, and romance it's only natural that she prefers to write historical romances with characters said to be "so authentic they spring forth from the page and shake the reader's hand." No stranger to life threatening situations Jamie pulls from life experience when she creates her stories. Such as when her family had to escape Chile when she was a teen because of the unstable political climate.

 Unable to walk great distances  as a result of  several foot surgeries, she started writing once again as a way to pass the time. With the completion of her first novel Perpetual Love she dove head first into the eBook and digital publishing paradigm. She couldn't be happier with her decision to grab the publishing industry by the shoulders and force it to pay attention to all she has to offer.

Welcome, Jamie. Please tell us a bit about Timeless Sojourn.
"It wasn't supposed to be like this!", has become the mantra in Anne Harrison's head since her recent divorce. She was too old to be here...to be single. Melancholy and unsure about anything Anne takes her long time friend Kat's advice and gets back to her roots...in Seattle. There she hopes to connect with that long ago girl from her childhood and find her confidence again.
Devilishly handsome, arrogant, and cocky Geoffrey Quinn is a man of success. He's also a man of layers and most people can't get past what he portrays. No one until Anne.
The last thing either of these people are looking for is a relationship. Anne finds Geoff highly irritating (and young!) at his best, while Geoffrey finds her magnetic and wise.
Seemingly unsuitable and unplanned attractions lights a fiery passion this duo never expected.
Will they take a chance on passion? If they do what happens when the blaze recedes? What will be left ashes or embers?

What inspired you to write this book?
It is sort of based on true facts, and I took it from there and started writing it out into a manuscript.

Kat and I are just finishing up the dinner dishes and getting ready to sit and solve the problems of the world when the phone rings. Kat answers. “Of course, she’s right here. We just finished cleaning the kitchen.”

Geoffrey she mouths to me, handing me the phone.

“Hey, how are you? I asked.

“Great, thanks. I was wondering if you’d like to come over for dinner Friday night. I grill a mean steak.”

“That sounds great, Geoffrey. Can I bring anything, oh, and what time?” I smile at the thought of that killer body slaving over a grill.

“How about if I pick you up at seven, and bring something for dessert, if you don’t mind.”

“That sounds great. I’ll see you Friday.”

I hang up the phone and Kat is standing there with a huge grin on her face.

“You’re going to have dinner at Geoffrey Quinn’s?” she cackles. “You do know he’s falling hook, line and sinker, don’t you? He never invites women to his place.”

“Enough already, Kat! Geoff is young enough to be my son. We simply enjoy each other’s company.” I replied, hoping to shut her up.

“Oh no, Anne, he’s taken with you and you are quite smitten with him, although you’d be the last to admit it. Don’t play the age game crap with me because I know better.” She’s still smiling like a match maker as I turn away, my face warm from blushing.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on something titled Last of the Wild Ones – the sequel to Tudor Rose. I’m also working on a historical fiction piece based in England and Scotland in the late 19th century.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
High school is probably the earliest. I had a Creative Writing teacher who really encouraged me to write.

Do you write full time?  Yes

What is your work day like? I try and spend my mornings returning emails, sending emails, checking blogs, doing PR, that sort of thing. Once that is finished I take a break and after that spend the afternoon writing.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 
Hmmmm, that is something best kept to myself!

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a young child I wanted to be a teacher. Then as I became a teenager it changed and I wanted to be a singer or an actress.

How about some ways readers can connect with you?
Website | Blog | Twitter | FaceBook

Here are buy links for Timeless Sojourn:

Great, thank you, Jamie. And Readers, don't forget about leaving an e-mail address with a comment if you want a chance at winning the Amazon gift card!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Interview with mystery author Richard L. Hatin

Today's guest is debut mystery author Richard L. Hatin. His novel Evil Agreement just released and he's here to talk a bit about that, his connection to Stephen King, how involved his family is with his writing career, and more.

Richard L. Hatin is married and lives with his wife Anne Marie Hatin in Hooksett, New Hampshire. Together they have three sons, and three granddaughters.

Richard was born in Burlington, Vermont where he attended area schools graduating from St. Michael’s College in 1971 with a B.A. in English Literature. He went on to a successful career in local and state government until 1974 when he was recruited to join the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He worked for the New England Office of Community Planning and Development.  He retired as the Deputy Director of the New England Office of Community Planning and Development in 2010. During his government career, Richard wrote several articles for regional and national publications serving the interests of those involved in Community Renewal.

In his personal life, Richard served on the boards of many local, state and national organizations as well as served as an active volunteer in the community. He has received numerous local and state awards for his service to youth. He has also contributed numerous articles to state, regional and national youth sports publications. 

Richard also plays several musical instruments and volunteers for several local and state wide organizations.

Recently, he has undertaken a serious pursuit of creative writing. He has completed five novels. The first to be published is entitled Evil Agreement. The other four novels await release in the upcoming future.

He is currently a member of the International Thriller Writer’s Association; the American Mystery Writers Association, and the New Hampshire Writer’s Project.

For more information about Richard, you can visit his website at www.richardhatin.com.

Welcome, Richard. Please tell us about your debut release.
The hard cover release date for Evil Agreement was July 15. The e-book [Nook & Kindle versions] releases were June 30.

What inspired you to write this book?
Approximately 40 years ago my wife and I were walking to the summit of a remote mountain in Vermont when near the summit, well beyond any paths, trails, or roads we came upon a small fenced in cemetery. Curious, we entered the cemetery and proceeded to read the inscriptions on the headstones and discovered that an entire family died on the same date in 1843. The following day, I called local and state officials to look into this mystery.  No one had any information about the cemetery nor were there any marriage, birth or death records for this family.

After years of being puzzled by this oddity I decided to develop a fictional story to explain how a mystery such as this might have occurred.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Actually, I have finished four other novels and I am working on my 6th one now. The other four completed novels have the following working titles: Digging Up the Past; Knights of St. Michael-The Recruitment; The Visitor at Janet’s Mountain, and the K-List. Currently, I am writing the second part to the Knights of St. Michael trilogy. 

As a writer, I find the trilogy format to be very challenging and exciting at the same time. The story line I am exploring takes my main characters around the world while placing them in precarious and deadly situations.  Consequently, I find that I must do quite a bit of research to help me add credible texture to the locals and settings I am placing my characters in. 

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
For me it all began many years ago when I met up with Steven King one day when he was in Manchester, NH.  He was having lunch at a downtown restaurant on a snowy winter day. He was in town to make a campaign appearance for a candidate he was supporting in the NH Presidential Primary. He was alone and so I worked up the courage to approach him. He graciously invited me take a seat. I ended up spending 45 minutes with my favorite author. We talked about many things and I found he and I had some things in common. We both liked the same rock and roll music, and as kids, we read the same comics and novels. We also liked the same grade “B” movies and shared the same sports interests. Finally, I decided to pitch a story idea to him. Since this meeting was early in his career he was more accessible than he naturally is today.

He listened patiently and then held up his hand. He told me that while the idea was very interesting; it seemed to him that I had a unique passion for the story. He went on to say, that with my passion I also seemed to have an ability to “tell the story” in such a way that holds one’s interest. He told me I should write the story. I responded that I didn’t see myself as a writer. He corrected me and told me to try and not give up. He offered other advice, too. He told me to never get in the way of the story and to always get the readers attention as early as possible and to never, ever let go of the reader.
As it so happens, the story I pitched to him that day is the novel, Evil Agreement

While I didn’t actually start writing that book right away, I did spend time writing professional articles in connection with my job and articles for regional and national sports magazines which catered to youth sports.  I also developed a regional youth sports newsletter which I maintained for several years.

Do you write full-time?
I try to write every day.

If so, what's your work day like?
When I am writing I don’t pay attention to time. If the story flows well and the research fits in so it contributes to the pace of the story I may well write for six to ten hours straight without taking a break. Yet there have been times when I spend only a couple of hours. Usually when I spend that little amount of time it is because I am struggling with the story. I find if I take a break and go off for a 4 or 5 mile walk I can think things through and come back ready to move the story along.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My wife and children would all agree that since I type with the use of one, four, or five fingers I tend to pound the keys. They can hear my typing from most anywhere in the house.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I dreamed about being an anthropologist, a geologist, a teacher, and a writer, all rolled into one.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My writing career is supported by my family in several ways. My wife Anne serves as my first reader, editor and critic. She also took my publicity photo for my website and my book. My oldest son Joel, is my webmaster and oversees my social media projects. He also filmed my Evil Agreement promo video and added the sound. My middle son Aaron, lined up the voice actor for the promo video, he also edited the video. In addition, he has designed all my book covers. My youngest son, Brady offers his artistic input and ideas for my social media initiatives.  

Great to have you join my blog, Richard. Congratulations on the first book being published, and I wish you great success for all the others!