Thursday, April 30, 2015

Interview with MG mystery/fantasy author Mindy Mymudes

Mystery/fantasy author Mindy Mymudes is in the house today, chatting a bit about her newest dog tale, Tillie’s Tale with MuseItUp Publishing.

During her virtual book tour, Mindy will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Mindy Mymudes sort of hobbles after the English Springer spaniels that make up the Muddy Paws Pack. They live in a small den in Milwaukee, WI. She insists she is alpha, even as the dogs walk all over her. She hunts, cleans the den and keeps them entertained. When she can escape the pack, she enjoys digging in dirt, listening to audiobooks, and weaving the antics of the pack into stories. The pack has been top ranked in many areas, just proving how smart they are, she tends to get in their way. The alpha male, Tall Dude, just shakes his head and stays out of the way. She somehow managed to get a Bachelor’s Degree in horticulture and a Master’s Degree in population genetics. She can’t balance her checkbook.

Welcome, Mindy. Please tell us about your current release.
George is back, telling the world about the hazards of poultry ghosts, a bit of history from the early 20th century, and how even bullies can learn to be kind. This is in addition to his duties as the world’s best basset hound familiar, teaching his Girlpup Karly about the in’s and out’s of being a green witch. This time, though, his newest packmate, the puppygirl basset, Tillie, is helping him. Sort of.

What inspired you to write this book?
This is really a continuation of true stories collected from the Muddy Paws Pack over the last 20 years. I had a dog that climbed trees. Another climbed a ladder to the roof to steal a roofer’s sandwich. I just needed a way to hook the scenes together. While I started the book, I assumed it was about English Springers. Instead, about three pages in, a basset hound stuck his nose in my face and told me that Springers were too stupid to teach a witch-in-training. Obviously it was a perfectly designed basset hound. In fact, it was himself. He then introduced himself as George. He’s been a thorn in my side ever since.

Excerpt from Tillie’s Tale:

Tillie’s tail is spinning in circles. She’s staring at a filmy thing sitting on the steps of an old, rough-brick building. I know it’s really a large Peeps’ den, but since it’s bad to be in the dog house, I assume it’s bad to be in a house. Why don’t they just call it a den if houses are so bad? From the smelltaste of cooking, Peeps, dust, skin, and the other stuff Peeps like, there are many small dens inside. Tillie “wrrrrrtttles” again and adds a soft “wuff.” Her front goes down into a play bow. The thing she’s trying to get to play is shimmery and clear, with thick and thin spots swimming on the surface.

“Snoof. Snuffle” I lick my lips. There’s a disturbing smelltaste of dustmoldlightningozone.

Oh mousefleas.

It’s a ghosty.

What exciting story are you working on next?
The next story in the Magical Drool Mysteries is Phoebe’s Pause (you might notice a trend here: George Knows, Tillie’s Tale, Phoebe’s Pause. I’m running out of body parts). George is trying to get his girlfriend, a basset having a bad hair lifetime, and is put on a diet.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
If you talk to George, he’ll tell you I’m his secretary, and not writer. Sometimes, I think he’s right.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I can’t work anymore, so you’d think I could write all day. Unfortunately, I’m disabled, and sitting at the computer for any length of time hurts. I do my physical therapy, take care of 300 some odd plants (yeah, still a horticulturist), and of course, there are the dogs. I help to do PR for my friend Faith Hunter, of Jane Yellowrock fame. She helped launch Let’s Talk Promotions. My partner, Audrey Salick (Drey’s Library), has a very busy life, so we’re more of a niche for urban fantasy.

On good days, I write. It means I’m the slowest writer ever, and the mysteries aren’t even that long. At least they are quality. George Knows won a gold medal for Children’s books, grades 4th thru 6th.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I prefer to listen to hard rock when the scene is tense, otherwise I listen to alternative. Sometimes I’ll switch to classical.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I thought for sure I’d be a geologist. Jeweler. Hmm, no, a mining engineer. Ended up with a Bachelor’s degree in horticulture and a Master’s in population genetics. It was close.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
George really isn’t just a kid’s book. He appeals to everyone who has had a pet. Of course our pets are smarter than us. After all, who does the cleanup, hunting, and grooming? Hint: it isn’t them. They’re curled up, sleeping.


Thanks, Mindy!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Interview with debut romance author Heidi Loeb Hegerich

Today’s special guest is debut romance author Heidi Loeb Hegerich to chat with me about Love Target.

During her virtual book tour, Heidi will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Heidi Loeb Hegerich, a native of Munich, Germany, has lived in places as varied as Las Vegas, Miami Beach, New York, Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe and Reno. She has worked variously as a showgirl, business executive, entrepreneur, interior designer and real estate developer. She has traveled to six of the seven continents, and vacationed in spots as different as the French Riviera, the Andes and Afghanistan. She counts among her hobbies weight training, shooting assault rifles, and racing sand rails; she found skydiving entertaining but not as much of a rush as other pursuits.

A philanthropist for the arts, among other causes, Hegerich is now embarking on her own artistic quest as an author. The novel Love Target is her first book.

Welcome, Heidi. Please tell us about your debut release.
Love Target
is a memoir novel, partially based on my experiences as an underage showgirl in the early 1960s in Las Vegas, and subsequent adventures and misadventures in life and love in New York and Los Angeles during the swinging 1960s and into the ‘70s. The protagonist, Ingrid Liebschreiber, has run away from home and must grow up quickly on her own — pursued as a “love target” by endless men (from Elvis Presley to other rich or famous or powerful suitors, including mobsters and politicians) and learning to stand on her own two feet. She has her own “love target” — finding a partner with whom to live happily ever after. Love Target is partly a historical novel (Ingrid’s life intersecting with key figures and events in that era), and largely a romance novel, or “chick lit.”

What inspired you to write this book?
From the time I was in mid-20s, people told me: “You need to write a book about your life!” I finally succumbed.

Excerpt from Love Target:
[From Chapter 4. The setting is Las Vegas in 1961]

Elvis sat up. He was excited.

“Y’know, Rascal, I want to do a serious movie, something classic. Something they’re gonna remember me by. Now, the movies I make are all the same. They’re travelogues. Y’know, I’m in Hawaii, I sing to girls and I fight guys. And then I go somewhere else, and I sing to girls and I fight guys. If they put me in a movie on Mars, I’ll be singing to Martian girls who got those antennas, and I’ll be fighting Martian guys with two heads. Y’know, I’d like to do some serious drama roles. I’m tired of the musicals. But my next one is gonna have me as a boxer, and they got some old boxer named Mushy who’s gonna learn me how to box.”

“Muschi? That’s my best friend’s name!”

“Well, this Mushy has a nose like this.” Elvis flattened his nose with a finger. “Does your friend look like that?”

I laughed. “Of course she does not! My friend, she is very pretty. But the movies you are in, they cannot be too bad a thing for you to do. They make you all this money, yes?”

Money, Rascal. That’s all I got is money! I buy whatever I want, and then there’s always something else to buy. The money keeps coming and coming. It’s crazy! It don’t make no sense. I can buy anything I want. But it’s a lot more fun giving what you buy to people, see their eyes light up like Christmas. That’s really all that money means anymore.”

I laughed. I had too much money to spend, too. It just kept coming to me here in Vegas. Men were practically throwing it at me. Elvis and I shared the same secret: Money was a joke. It was horrible to be without it, but once it started coming and coming, in crazy amounts, it became absurd.

All around us, people were slaving for money, gambling for money, growing old for money. And here we were: Elvis the singer and Ingrid the skater, like kids in a candy store with our pockets stuffed with money — more than we could count, more than we bothered to count. Men pursued me and lavished me with jewelry, and bought me whatever I wanted. And when I’d been Major Riddle’s gambling companion when I was a showgirl at the Dunes, I’d made out like a bandit.

We were a couple of spoiled brats, Elvis and I. And because our good luck mystified us, we mocked it.

We lay back on the bed and sighed.

“The hell with money,” Elvis sneered.

“The hell with money!” I scoffed.

We burst out giggling like children.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the sequel to Love Target. It’s an even crazier story.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After the manuscript for Love Target finally was finished – after endless revisions – I decided I technically qualify as a “writer.” It struck me that what separates a “writer” from someone who merely writes something now and then, and aspires to write something permanent such as a book, is the commitment to a) embark on the writing project; b) rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite some more . . . until the project finally is polished and finished. The gulf between “writer” and “aspiring writer” is wider than an ocean.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I am not a full-time writer. That is, when I’m not writing a book! But even then, I take periods of a week or a month off for traveling or to attend to my various business endeavors.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I have a mind for minute details – delving deeply into my memory banks to dredge up recollections from decades ago, so I can recompose scenes and dialogue and characters. However, this is taxing work! I am always mentally drained after conjuring up people, places and events from the past.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a missionary in China! I’d read books by Albert Schweitzer. I also was raised very strictly and conservatively, and expected to become a devoted wife and mother.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
The two reactions I’ve gotten over and over from readers of my book are a statement and a question: 1) The book was a fast, fun read; 2) Is it all true? My responses: 1) Thank you! I’m glad the book kept you engaged and gave you enjoyment; 2) It’s mostly true. I did employ poetic license to construct scenes, and I did change some details and names to protect the innocent (and the guilty!). I also chopped out a number of chapters to maintain the narrative pace — and also (again) to protect the innocent (and the guilty!).


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Interview with new adult novelist Amelia Swan

Welcome, Readers.

I’d like to introduce you to romance author Amelia Swan. She’s here chatting with me today about her new adult novel Drawn Together.

During her virtual book tour, Amelia with be giving away a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Amelia Swan writes contemporary, paranormal, new adult, and erotic romance. She’s interested in characters that are smart, sincere, and somewhat artistically inclined. All of her heroines are girls she could totally see herself being friends with.

Welcome, Dawn. Please tell us about your current release.
Drawn Together is about a girl named Hailey who returns back to her hometown after four years of college in NYC. At first, she’s disappointed to find herself back in the small town of Medford, PA and she’s actively planning her return to New York. Things change when she runs into Cody West, the boy she had a crush on all throughout high school. Hailey has to decide whether she’s going to return to the city to pursue her blossoming career as a children’s book writer or stay back in Medford to explore her relationship with the boy she’d always wanted.

What inspired you to write this book?
At the time I started it, I was reading a ton of new adult romance. I really wanted to write one of my own. With that in mind, I started piecing together this story. I usually do a lot of my brainstorming when I’m walking my dog, and that’s precisely when I came up for the idea for this story.

Excerpt from Drawn Together:
Backing off, Callie plopped onto the cushioned stool as her eyes glazed over and her jaw hung open. “It’s kind of crazy, don’t you think? You’re back in Medford for two days after being gone for four years, and you run into Cody West.”

I looked into the mirror lining the wall to my left. I was still a little surprised every time I looked into the mirror and actually thought the girl looking back at me was kind of hot. I looked pretty much the same as I did when I left town, but I was definitely exuding a whole new air of confidence, and it seemed to be attracting positive things. I was finally the girl I’d always wanted to be.

“A book coming out next month and a date with Cody West. I must be a lucky girl.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the sequel to Drawn Together. We’ll find out what happens with Cody and Hailey, and we’ll see if the second part of their story takes place in Medford or NYC.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t know if there was a specific moment in time when I first considered myself a writer. I guess it started to feel real after I got my first acceptance. I think that’s when I really started telling people that I was 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’m a dog walker and pet sitter, so I work whenever my clients need me. I handle daily dog walks and vacation care for pets whose owners are away. Luckily, I only service areas that are close to home, so I get to spend a fair amount of time writing. Usually, I write whenever I can during the day and then I write more after dinner.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I sigh a lot when I write. I think it’s my way of releasing frustration.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A bunch of things. A meteorologist, a teacher, a figure skating choreographer… and a writer.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Hopefully you’ll be reading some of my books soon!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Excerpt from contemporary romantic comedy Perfect Fit by Lynda Simmons

We’re kicking off the week with a special excerpt from the new contemporary romantic comedy novel, Perfect Fit, by Lynda Simmons.

During her virtual book tour, Lynda will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

A little bit about the author:
Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two-story mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!

A little bit about Perfect Fit:
Fast-paced, funny and incurably romantic

Rachel Banks has never believed in magic or moonlight, but if she’d thought that putting a piece of wedding cake under her pillow would conjure up a nightmare in the form of blue-eyed charmer Mark Robison, she’d have stuffed that cake into her mouth instead! Mark is only in Madeira Beach for some much needed R&R and his new neighbor is not the kind of woman made for vacation memories. But there’s something about the incurable romantic that just keeps drawing him back.

Jennifer Crusie. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Lynda Simmons? Oh, yeah!

Excerpt from Perfect Fit:
Amanda snapped on her gear and opened the front door. “That was chance. But this.” She picked up a couple of bags. “This is fate.”

Rachel stopped in the doorway. “Do you really believe that? Do you think it’s possible for two people to be destined for each other? Like soul mates.” She shook her head. “Forget it. Let’s go.”

Amanda blocked the way. “Who did you meet?”

“No one, and I’m late.”

Amanda planted her skates sideways. “You cannot do this. Not after I told you about the real estate broker.”

Rachel looked through the fringe of Amanda’s bangs into her frank green eyes and wondered if she should take a chance. “Let me ask you this. Have you ever heard of dreaming on a piece of wedding cake?”

“Sure, it’s an old custom. Like walking to church because it’s lucky and passing on a green wedding gown because it’s not. But most people serve the cake for dessert these days.”

Rachel tried a smile. “Not all.”

“Someone gave you cake to dream on?” Rachel nodded and it was Amanda’s turn to laugh. “Don’t tell me you did it.”

When Rachel didn’t answer, Amanda’s mouth dropped open and her voice rose. “You did, didn’t you?” She put the bags down. “Okay, I need details. Did you have a dream?”

It was on the tip of Rachel’s tongue to say no, to deny that anything out of the ordinary had occurred. But she found herself nodding and watched Amanda’s eyes grow even rounder.

“Did you see him? The man you’re supposed to marry?”

Rachel took comfort in the fact that her friend had been sucked into the fantasy as easily as she had and nodded a third time.

Amanda stepped closer. “Alright, this next part is really important. Where exactly did they get this cake?”


Friday, April 24, 2015

Book excerpt feature for action-adventure-romance novel Gideon by Cherry Adair

The spotlight is shining on the action adventure romance novel Gideon by Cherry Adair, today.

If the cover isn’t enough to pique your interest, Cherry will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance at the gift card, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

New York Times/USAToday Bestselling author Cherry Adair’s innovative action-adventure novels have appeared on numerous bestsellers lists, won dozens of awards and garnered praise from reviewers and fans alike. With the creation of her kick butt counterterrorist group, T-FLAC, years before action adventure romances were popular, Cherry has carved a niche for herself with her sexy, sassy, fast-paced, action adventure novels. She hates first drafts, has a passion for mentoring unpublished writers, and is hard at work on a new T-FLAC trilogy. Cherry loves to hear from readers.

A bit about Gideon:
T-FLAC is back in an exciting action-adventure romance filled with danger, subterfuge and steamy, red-hot attraction.


Powerful cartel leader Sin Diaz lives a dangerous life filled with secrets and lies, and surrounded by people who claim to have known him all his life. Yet flashes of another life, totally unrelated to the jungles of Cosio, hang tantalizingly on the edges of his memory. He'll trust no one until he recalls his true past.


T-FLAC operative Riva Rimaldi's mission is simple. Go undercover, learn terrorist Escobar Maza's agenda, then kill him. But when the helicopter she's on crashes deep in the jungle of the small, volatile country of Cosio, she finds herself in the wrong hands. Is the sexy as hell leader of the ANSL, Sin Diaz, the enemy of her enemy, worse than Maza himself? Or is he someone entirely different than his reputation – and will he become her lover?


Sin and Riva must work together to stop a madman who will go to any lengths to attain his terrifying goal. But can they unravel the truth in time? The timer is ticking.

What they don’t know could get them killed.

Excerpt from Gideon:
Her visions were never wrong. They always came true. Could the circumstances leading up to them be changed, and would that change negate the outcome? Possibly. Problem was, she didn't have visions for herself. This vision was Sin's future.

It told her no matter how much she resisted, how much she fought him, they were going to have sex. Not only were they going to connect, she was damn well going to enjoy it. The future image was so powerful she almost reached an orgasm, as her vision of the future merged with what was happening in the now.

Her fists unfurled. Her fingers gripped the soft, damp hair on his hot, naked chest as his fingers dug into the balls of her shoulders. No room to move, no way other than to stand on her toes to better reach his mouth. Eyes squeezed tight, Riva lived a duel sensation as he kissed her in the now, and her mind showed her their future in sensual Technicolor.

The morning sunlight flooding the small hut faded. Cave-like darkness surrounded them, and there was nothing but the feel of him surrounding her. No, damn it. That was the vision. It didn't have to happen. She, like the prisoners, could zig instead of zag. She'd make different choices. Make damn sure that never happened.

In the now, he was only kissing her. His hands were on her shoulders, holding her in place.

It was just a kiss.


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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Interview with filmmaker and debut novelist Richard A. Lester

Debut thriller novelist Richard A. Lester is my guest today. He’s talking with me about The Check Out. You’ll quickly see that Richard isn’t new to writing by any stretch.

Richard A Lester is an American writer of short stories, screenplays, and novels. He has worked on productions for Azbest Films and Piano Man Pictures. His debut novel, The Check Out, was nominated for a Southern Independent Booksellers Award in 2014. The audio version of the novel received the award for Best Narration, Male in the 2014 Television, Internet, and Video DC awards for narrator Steve Ember.

Richard's first independent film will have clips featured in an upcoming program on The Weather Channel. He has a short form documentary, as well as a noir inspired short film coming this year. In addition, Richard and his music will make an appearance in the horror film I Filmed Your Death in 2015. The film stars Micheal Horse, Lloyd Kaufman, and The Monkees' Peter Tork.

Welcome, Richard. Please tell us about your current release.
The Check Out is a “satirical thriller,” similar in style to Carl Hiaasen or Christopher Moore. It’s about a group of shady employees at a failing grocery store who become mired in their own bizarre circumstances. They each decide to steal $10,000 worth of prize money from the store on the same night. As you can imagine, things don’t go so well for some of them.

What inspired you to write this book?
I actually worked at a grocery store for a while, and I would get bored rather easily. I know it’s hard to imagine that a grocery store wouldn’t be the most exciting place to work! To pass the time, I would come up with crazy scenarios that could happen. I’d look at a customer and create a back story for him or her. I’d catch a line of a conversation that would make me laugh, and riff on that in my head for a while. I had written scripts for a number of years, and worked on a few films, so I always kept these ideas around for a future project. One day, they all clicked in place, and I decided to try my hand at a novel.

Excerpt from The Check Out:
The flow of smooth jazz overhead was shattered by the booming voice from the Megasaver’s intercom. It was gruff, proud, and threatening. All around the store, employees stopped and raised their heads like obedient dogs. They abandoned customers and tasks alike as they awaited their master’s command. Everyone that is, except for Maxine Watkins.
            Maxine walked toward her cash registers with deliberate ease and stared straight ahead. She nodded and said hello to everyone that she passed, and even stopped a few times to give directions. She showed absolutely no sign of acknowledgement when she heard her name ring from the overhead speakers. She smiled and kept walking at her own pace, refusing to be disturbed by the little man above her.
            Maxine stood at five feet two inches, about the same size as the chip on her shoulder. Her curly, dark hair was pulled back, and she peered out at the world through large, dark lenses in frames that were twenty years old. She found no reason to update her style of dress, nor had the money to do so. In the five years she had worked at the MegaSaver, she had amassed just enough money for a small apartment a few miles away, a used Pontiac Grand Prix that barely got her back and forth to work, and the paperwork that finalized her divorce. Though it wasn’t a lot, and she wanted better, she was proud of what she had, and protected it fiercely.
            “Miss Maxine!” a short, chubby woman in a MegaSaver polo shirt exclaimed as she trotted up to her supervisor. “Mr. Larry just paged you! Didn’t you hear?”
            Maxine huffed with indifference and walked up to her nest at the customer service desk. Her eyes scanned the counter as she mentally took inventory of her clipboards, staplers, tape dispensers, paperwork, and various other items.
            “Miss Maxine!” the chubby cashier repeated with panic, as if Maxine had missed it the first time.
“Yeah, I heard him.” Maxine idly replied as she began rubbing cocoa butter lotion over her dark skin. She massaged her elbows and arms until her skin gleamed in the fluorescent light.
            The chubby girl’s breath grew more forced as she stared at Maxine, waiting for something to happen. Maxine continued kneading herself, purposefully ignoring the office above where she could feel Larry’s eyes blazing towards her. A wry smile crossed her face as she set the lotion down, only to pick up a pencil, and begin writing something unnecessary on a sheet of paper.
            “But Miss Maxine!” the chubby girl protested.
            Maxine lowered her pencil and turned towards the chubby girl.
            “Listen, child. If you jump just one time when a white man tells you to, he will own you the rest of your life. You understand that?” Maxine’s voice held more anger than she meant for it to.
            The chubby girl took a shocked step backwards.
“But, I’m white…” she stammered.
“Hmm,” Maxine said as she resumed her needless scribble. “I guess that’s your problem, sweetheart.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am putting the finishing touches on a short that I directed last year. I hope to have that in some festivals late this year and next. As for writing, I have started on my second novel. It is connected to The Check Out, as a sort of prequel. It can easily stand alone, so you don’t have to read both to understand the story. It’s a different type of story with a darker tone. I’m really excited about how it is going so far.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have written stories and things since I was a child. I wrote and directed an independent film about 12 years ago or so. Since then, I’ve written numerous scripts, short stories, and now novels. I suppose I considered myself a writer most of my life. Now that I have a novel out, it does feel more “official.”

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?
At this point, I do work a regular 8-5. I also work a lot in independent film. When I have a novel that I’m working on, I spend a long time gathering ideas and working them into a loose outline. When I feel that I have enough of an idea of where things are going, I start writing the first chapter. I make sure to schedule at least 3 or 4 days where I have a few hours to write. Weekends are usually spent writing for most of the day. I try to take a break from film while I write and vice versa. They are such different ways of telling stories, and I enjoy all the different aspects of both.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure. I use a lot of flashback in my writing. I like starting in the middle of a situation and then showing how the character got to that point. Usually, the path is a strange, crooked one.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
That changed every day. Some days, I wanted to teach. I also wanted to be a famous rock musician. Once, I even wanted to be a seismologist!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
If readers enjoy The Check Out, I would invite them to visit my web site ( or to see all of the movie projects that I am involved in. We have produced a couple of exploitation themed shorts, a documentary about a car museum, music videos, and my film noir short. We have a lot more scheduled for the future, including a space hero web series.


Thanks, Richard!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Interview with non-fiction spiritual writer Marie Saint-Louis

Today's special guest is clairvoyant and spiritual writer Marie Saint-Louis. She's chatting with me about her first book in a new series, RSVP from Heaven.

Marie Saint-Louis is a psychic medium with an international cliental that includes celebrities and she has read at functions sponsored by major corporations. She also frequently appears at events in the Phoenix area and at private parties.

“My story all began at a radio station sponsored swap meet located in a casino parking lot. Just months earlier, I won a large jackpot on a nickel slot machine and decided to bring my gift of talking to the dead and guiding people on their lives through reading at parties and events. The jackpot allowed me to pay the vendor fees to get started. I’ve never looked back since.”

She believes that “no event is too small or location too far” for her to share her gift.

“Since childhood, I’ve talked to the deceased and was able to tell people very detailed things about their lives that couldn’t be explained. I’ve never read a book, or studied how to be a psychic medium….I was born this way.”

Marie lives in Mesa, Arizona with her two cats, numerous houseplants, and visiting spirits.

Welcome, Marie. Please tell us about your current release.
The book tells my story. Here's a blurb:
Marie Saint-Louis is a psychic medium who has spent years sharing guidance and communicating with the deceased for her clients from the comforts of her home. Now, she yearns to bring her spiritual gifts to the public.

Of course, it won’t be easy.

The stakes are high as Marie battles anxiety, rejection, and skeptics along the way at the most amazing parties and unique events around.

You’re invited to sit table side during readings at an Arizona casino swap meet and have front row seats with costumed guests during three nights of dazzling Hollywood Halloween parties. You never will know where Marie will show up next!

Told in a down to earth and often intimate style, Marie shares true tales of the compelling people she meets who are searching for direction in love, career, family, relocation, and other topics. In the midst of busy fairs and festivals, she passes messages on from deceased loved ones to the individuals seated at her vendor table.

RSVP from Heaven is a fresh new approach in spiritual books that will entertain and captivate readers around the world. A remarkable timeless tale about the shared emotions we experience as people and our quest to find answers while living our personal journeys.

What inspired you to write this book?
My clients were constantly asked when I was going to write a book. Through the years, I’ve shared many of my true stories with them, but never thought of writing a book.

My brother encouraged me to begin taking a journal with me and writing about my experiences. So, I stocked up on notebooks and pens from the 99 Cents Only store and began taking them with me everywhere. I kept notes on everything going around me, the people I met, and the spiritual readings which were the basis for the book. Authenticity is key to everything written for my readers.

Excerpt from RSVP from Heaven:
(Chapter Seven Halloween: Hollywood Style)

She looked ferocious.

Ten airbrushed black jagged stripes on each leg, plus two diagonally on her butt made it twelve. Multiple shades of orange liquid latex covered a sculpted body and a tousled mane of long wavy golden brown hair hung down. My eyes traveled the length of her back stopping at the stripe encircled tail.

When she turned, an intricately painted tiger’s face smiled back at me. Jagged stripes crossed a white painted chest, traveling down to her navel followed by a barely there, black string bikini. Finishing off her unbelievable costume was a pair of stilettos covering her feet, resembling feline paws.

She was truly a work of art.

I was given the best seat in the house; an elevated raised area, where arriving joyful costumed guests glided along the red carpet among flashing bulbs as photographer’s cameras captured the excitement.

The attendees were adorned in spectacular costumes, apparently created by professionals; Mad Scientist, Circus Ringleader, Warrior Princesses, Knights, and an assortment of sexy storybook characters. Last but not least, recognizable horror figures and superheroes from popular movies.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m presently writing the next book in the RSVP from Heaven series. The second book, will take readers on more exciting journeys.

One chapter will be about my experiences sharing psychic medium readings with guests at a Tattoo and Motorcycle event. My vendor table was alongside tattoo artists, piercers, and a seamstress sewing on various types of patches on the leather jackets for bikers.

Readers will once again be introduced to people seeking guidance or longing to be connected guests to deceased loved ones.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I never set out to be a writer. In 2008, I began a hobby of entering contests and sweepstakes. I happened to win two essay contests within six months of each other. My clients continued to ask me to write a book for them so I finally sat down and finished the first one.

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?
At the time of writing my book, I was teaching students (16-21) at an alternative high school. At night, I had client appointments. Writing had to been done in between scheduled sessions and often did not end until 1am-2am in the morning.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write most of my books using sharpened number 2 lead pencils and notebooks from the 99 Cents Only store. I find my best ideas come from writing on the back of store receipts, paper plates, and restaurant napkins.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had several careers I was interested in as a child growing up. A park ranger, race car driver, fashion designer, and a teacher. After college, I ended up being a special education teacher in both juvenile correctional facilities and alternative school campuses.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I want to connect with readers as much as I can through social media and there are several messages I hope readers take with them after finishing my book.

Here are two of them.
“We all have uncertainties about our life direction and purpose.”

I’ve have the pleasure to meet and guide people from all walks of life; college students, teachers, accountants, police officers, surgeons and even adult film stars. All of my stories make for a more interesting experience for my readers.

Throughout the book, readers will witness people coming to me when they are searching for direction and needing hope. We all have been there before; when our relationships are breaking apart, we are unfulfilled in our careers, family members causing havoc, and wondering if relocation will give us new opportunities and a new lease on life.

There are many people having a similar struggle within their own lives. It may not be the exact situation, but they are hurting as much as you or even more.

“Value your time with loved ones and make peace with them if you need to”
What I hear from clients is that they wished they had spent more time with loved ones before they passed. I love the part in the book where I read at a festival for a young man from Detroit, Michigan.

Dion was unsure about having his first psychic medium reading but once he sat down, I read for him for over an hour. I still remember when I connected Dion to his deceased brother Bernard. At one point during the session, Dion looked at me and said. “Damn the last time I saw my brother we fought over something real stupid. I wish I could take it all back because weeks later Bernard was murdered.”

Readers can discover me on the following social media sites:

Thanks for being here today, Marie!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book excerpt for paranormal suspense novel Metamorphosis: The Trey Parker Story by R.W. Reels

I’m shining the spotlight on the paranormal suspense novel Metamorphosis: The Trey Parker Story by R.W. Reels.

As R.W. does a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, he will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice) to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Welcome, R.W. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My infatuation with writing was born before I ever took my first breath, somewhere on the rural plains of Eastern North Carolina, nourished by the adventures of my grandmother’s childhood. From the time I was only four or five years old, her memories gave flight to my imagination and fuel to my curiosities. Her stories widened my eyes to the fascinatingly bizarre in the everyday.

As a young girl, my grandmother would bring her puppy with her to stalk rabbits every morning. The two of them would chase an unlucky long-eared rascal until it escaped into a hollow at the base of a tree, and she would run a stick around the inside of the opening as though churning butter. The spell of the sound and vibration would lure the rabbit out of the tree and into her hands.

Good fiction, inventive and provocative fiction, reverberates in readers and spellbinds them. It can spur surprise, delight, discomfort, and revelation and defy reason. As a storyteller, I strive to help others solve their problems by sharing things that I have read about, heard about, and seen. But I also prize the look on people’s faces when they hear the brilliant punch line of a joke, or when they experience an epiphany that knocks the logical wind out of them. These are the reactions that I live to inspire in my audiences when I write paranormal thrillers.

My obsession with the extraordinary in my writing might also, ironically, stem from my 20-year career in the U.S. Army. I can allow my mind to wander in the extraterrestrial sphere while my love for my country keeps me grounded in domestic affairs. Of all of my accomplishments, serving as a paratrooper in a Special Forces Group and a Field Artillery outfit during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm claims high rank. Few situations force a person to confront his humanity as painfully as going off to war, and this experience taught me both to accept accountability for my actions and to trust others. Eventually, I became a successful Army Recruiter and Station Commander, earning the Top Recruiting Station awards in Dallas and Seattle Recruiting Battalions. North Carolina Central University granted me a Public Service Award for my work in the local community. And currently, I serve fellow veterans as an HR Specialist for the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Other passions of mine include playing chess, traveling, and indulging in my contrarian nature by instigating debate. Spending time with my wife tops the list of my life’s privileges, however. Whether I am entertaining her with my emulation of Laurence Olivier as Marcus Crassus or protecting her from an elk during one of our photography excursions in the wild, I treasure her companionship and affection.

When I was twelve years old, I announced to my Aunt Becky and Cousin Tony that I wanted to write a book. They stared at me in astonishment. The world of publishing was an enigma to simple country folks in Beaufort, North Carolina in 1982. These days I am achieving my dream with the ebook, a medium through which I can express my individuality without sacrificing my voice to expectations of marketability, popularity, and deadlines. My goal is to create an opportunity for escapism that is bold and absolute.

A little bit about the novel:
Metamorphosis: The Trey Parker Story, the first novel in a three-part paranormal thriller series. A young male is forever changed after a near death experience. His incident invites the attention of a covert government agency. A gritty detective remains diligent in discovering the facts of the incident and encounters opposition from the unlikeliest of places.

Excerpt from Metamorphosis:
Ten years have passed since Trey’s question went unanswered, the sacred practice of attending church Sunday mornings now a distant memory. On a cool fall Saturday night, Trey’s thin, six-foot frame stands in the doorway of their small apartment. His mom is asleep on the brown suede couch, and he can overhear the faint sound of arguing neighbors next door. The aroma left from a well-cooked pot roast lingers and competes with Tracey’s smoldering cigarette in an ashtray on the floor, inches from the remote control—another failed attempt at quitting. While the ceiling fan does a poor job circulating warm air throughout the dimly lit apartment, it works wonders for the smoke.

Red, green, and blue lights from the television flicker on and off Tracey’s face while she curves into a ball in her blue scrubs. Above her on the wall is the blown-up picture of Nana and the family when it was still together: Toni still in Tracey’s stomach and James’s arms holding his wife and son tightly, Nana beside him.

Laughter from a discontinued sitcom cries out from the television—another episode of Three’s Company and Chrissy misunderstanding something she overheard.

Trey decides to go through with his plan. He pushes his silver-framed glasses up on the bridge of his nose. Heart pounding, he sneaks into the kitchen in search of his mother’s gun, bumping the table and almost knocking over a glass of water beside Tracey’s nursing books.

Plowing from right to left through the wood-finished cabinets, one after another, the anxious Trey can barely breathe from the pain in his chest. Finally, in the last cabinet above the refrigerator, he finds a scratched and dented blue coffee can without a lid.

Trey pulls the coffee can down with two trembling hands and peeks inside, then glances at his mom through the cutout to make sure she is still asleep. He sets the can on the counter. He grabs hold of the cold pistol—his shaky hand causing him to almost drop it in the process.

Trey fumbles with the right-handed pistol and is unable to shake the awkwardness since he is left-handed. He holds the pistol in his right hand and struggle to hold it firmly as he uses his left hand to pull the slide and peer into the half-cocked chamber to check if it’s loaded—it is. Another glance at Tracey. She pulls the red throw closer to her face and rolls over on the couch.

The pistol’s magazine is full and several loose bullets tumble over into the can. The refrigerator’s icemaker clanks out a few more cubes, which breaks Trey’s gaze on the bullets. Trey packs the gun at the small of his back. After a half-stride, the gun slithers down onto his buttocks. He goes perfectly still, repositions the pistol, and tightens his belt.

Trey scampers out of the kitchen and across the living room. He stops at Toni’s bedroom door. Shaking, he pushes it open, and get enough light from her night-light to make out her ten-year-old silhouette. Trey sees his sister curled under the butterfly-covered blanket Nana spent her last days on earth stitching. When Nana found out she was dying and would not see Toni grow up, she organized a box of gifts for her granddaughter, to be given at special occasions. The first gift was that butterfly-covered blanket and Toni cherishes it.


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