Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Interview with paranormal romance author R.W. Buxton

Novelist R.W. Buxton is here today to chat with me about his new paranormal romance, Capital Thirst.

During his virtual book tour, RW will be giving away a $20 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 his other tour stops and enter there, too.

Welcome, R.W. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I love a good paranormal read, something about the un-dead haunts the fringes of my mind. Mix in romance, love, loss, and you have a great story.

I voraciously read everything, fiction, and non-fiction but always find myself turning back to the darker stories. I’ve always wanted to write and the dream became a reality with Capital Thirst, and the remainder of the Erin Kingsly novels.

I spend most of my days designing and building websites, but my free time is devoted to my wife, family, and cats. Yes, three grown children and three cats. Things can be hectic.

For fun you might find me driving winding roads with the top down or out photographing nature.

Please share a little bit about your current release.
Capital Thirst is a paranormal romance based on Erin, a lonely female vampire with a horrific life story. She compensates by killing wealthy men intent on taking advantage of women. That is until she meets Gerry. He’s different and she finds herself drawn to him. Only her charms that usually have men swooning at her feet have no impact on him. She finds herself in uncharted territory.

Gerry, a widowed FBI agent is more concerned about leading a task force of local law enforcement agencies searching for a serial killer that is preying on DC’s rich and powerful, and raising his young daughter. A new romance is the furthest thing from his mind.

A chance meeting causes their worlds to collide in unexpected ways. Gerry faces questions he would rather not answer and Erin is forced to consider her past and actions that have led her to her current position.

What inspired you to write this book?
I love reading about the paranormal, creatures of the night. Of course, the majority of this ends up being paranormal romance. I wanted to write something that would be a little different. Not the damsel that falls in love with the sexy vampire, but a strong female vampire trying to find her way in life. Three hundred years is a long time to live hanging on to old anger and hatred.

I wanted to explore things like can we get over old wounds. Can people change their basic nature? Are people inherently evil? All while creating a romance between two unlikely people.

Also, I wanted to pay back something to the world. All the authors that have come before me and allowed me to escape into their worlds. I wanted to give that back to others.

Excerpt from Capital Thirst:

Erin placed Mary back in the crib. A sigh escaped her lips, and her arms hung limply at her sides. Erin felt her chest tighten. What could she do to change things? She was a vampire. There was no going back.

She was a killer. No matter how much she wanted to be a mother, she was nothing more than a vengeful killer, and she needed to remember that before she hurt someone.

Gerry touched her elbow then led the way downstairs.

“She was so comfortable with you. You must love children.”

“She’s beautiful. You’ve no idea how lucky you are. I would give my life to have a child.” Erin’s voice broke as she tried to speak.

Shocked, Gerry stopped and turned. “You’re young enough, nothing is stopping you.”

“Just this condition I have.” Now it was Erin’s turn to be sad. She fought back the tears.

“I need to go.” She needed to leave before tears ran down her cheeks. Her whole body ached for the chance to have a child, and she was denied that for eternity.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m working on the second book in the Erin Kingsly series. I’m excited to say their story continues. This is different from the first in that most of the story is from Gerry’s point of view. He finds himself struggling with his feelings for Erin. Question his core beliefs. But regardless of his questions he knows he loves her and will do anything to save her life. Oh yeah she’s missing and maybe already dead.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t. I feel uncomfortable saying I’m an author. I say things like I’ve written a book but using the author word is intimidating. Tolkien was an author; Agatha Christie was an author. At best I think of myself as a writer. Maybe if I sold a bazilion copies and people said, “Oh there’s that Buxton guy, he’s an author,” I might start to think of myself in those terms. But honestly that’s not my goal. I want people to be entertained by my work and escape the realities of life just for a little while. Maybe even have them think a little about the underlying themes that run throughout the book. But until then I’m just 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 don’t write full-time, although that is a dream. Maybe when I retire. My days are spent developing websites. I guess you could say that’s writing just in another language for computers.

I try to write every day. Although when I’m editing something as I am now it’s far more challenging. I don’t enjoy that part nearly as much. Usually when I first get up around 4:00 I’ll do a little and then while I’m sitting at Starbucks before work, I’ll write some. I stopped writing at lunch because I would get too wrapped up and forget to start working again. I try to wrap up my evenings and fit more in. It’s much easier now since my children have either moved out or are off at college. Prior to that I would wait until they were in bed and then write.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I dream about my characters. When I’m in the middle of a new novel I have vivid dreams about what they do, and conversations they have with each other and me. I’ll be honest some if it’s just crazy and doesn’t make any sense, but some ends up in my writing.

The characters become very real and have thoughts of their own I suppose.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A college history professor. I wanted to get a PhD in History. Of course, my parents thought I was crazy and they weren’t about to pay for that so I ended up being a programmer. I’m a firm believer in a strong liberal arts education. Even though I have a BS I tried to always fit in as many English and History classes as I could.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Be bold and pursue your dreams. Life slips away faster than we think. If you don’t grab your dream today it will be gone tomorrow.


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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Interview with romance author Trisha Harley McCarthy

Author Trisha Harley McCarthy is here today and we’re chatting about her sports romance novel, On Ice, A Hockey Romance.

During her virtual book tour, Trisha will be awarding a $20 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!

Trisha Harley McCarthy is a certified Life Coach and prolific romance author specializing in fantasy, paranormal and contemporary genres.

Loving history, Trisha was captivated by being introduced to historical romance then became enamored with contemporary romance novels. Coming across fan-fiction and falling in love with the concept, Trisha began writing stories about characters in her favorite movie, Bridget Jones's Diary. After receiving several positive reviews, she caught the writing bug and published her first standalone novel, Just As He Is, A Romance in 2012 followed by the Astral Realm Series, Written Among the Stars and the sequel, Beneath the Stars released in 2014.

In 2015, release of Dimensions, a paranormal romance novel featuring other world encounters takes the readers on a fantastic journey of ordinary collides with extraordinary. Also, in a new direction, Trisha also wrote Indescribably Blue, a fictional account based on Elvis Presley's death hoax conspiracy.

On a personal note, Trisha resides in Independence, Oregon with her husband Michael and their rescued chocolate lab, Elle. In her spare time, Trisha loves spending time on social media, travelling and reading her favorite authors!

Please share a little bit about your current release.
On Ice follows the relationship of Zoe Simmons and Ki Connery. Zoe is the assistant to the general manager of the NHL team The San Jose Otters. Ki is the star defenseman and team captain. Their wedding day is called off and they both go their separate ways and Ki is traded to the Detroit Steels. Fast forward three later, in a shocking player trader, Ki is back in San Jose and back in Zoe’s world. They discover the truth about the wedding being called off and a looming scandal about to hit the tabloids. The story unfolds as Ki and Zoe discover the truth of their parting. This is a book about lost love, betrayal, forgiveness and love conquers all.

What inspired you to write this book?
I read my first hockey romance a few years back and got hook. Maria Luis’s The Blades Series inspired me to write On Ice.

Excerpt from On Ice:
Ki smiled and closed the distance between us. The heat from his body sent shivers up my spine. He reached out and tucked a wayward piece of hair behind my ear. My knees went weak, and the lack of pouncing prowess was probably the only thing that kept me from throwing myself at him. I was sure he had lots of eager puck bunnies at his beck and call. All he had to do, was crook his finger, and they would come running. My gaze landed on his sensual lips, curved into a hint of a smile. I wondered what they would feel like against mine. He pulled back and the spell was broken.

“Would you consider going out with me sometime?” he asked.

Who—wha— ? I nodded mutely, shocked by the turn of events.

“Is that a yes, Zoe?” My name rolled off his tongue like fine wine—smooth and heady. Fire shot through my veins. Before I could stop myself, my mind was drifting in and out of fantasies involving me and that tongue of his.

“Yes, Ki, I’ll go out with you.” I blinked rapidly.

He pecked my cheek. “I’ll be in touch.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently working on two romance suspense thrillers. One about a couple who break it off after trying desperately to conceive. The title is Taboo.

The second title is The Staircase in the Woods. It’s about a serial killer survivor who finds out the serial killer is still on the hunt laced with a supernatural theme. In the fall of 2020, I am putting together a dark romance anthology with other authors.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s a great question! This newest release On Ice is receiving a lot of buzz. After releasing several books, I feel I am coming into my own as an author. It’s an exciting feeling!

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 do not work full time. I just received a part time gig as a brand ambassador and I also do dog daycare in addition to being a life coach and blog talk radio podcaster. Currently my writing is on hold while I market and promote On Ice. Soon, I will begin writing and completing Taboo.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I must listen to Nickelback while writing.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An ice skater.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Thank you for having me on your blog and I hope you’ll read my books! Happy New Year!


Buy links:

On Ice will be $0.99 during the tour.

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Interview with humorous short story writer James Robinson, Jr.

Writer James Robinson, Jr. joins me today to chat about his book of humorous short stories, Jay Got Married.

During his virtual book tour, James 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 his other tour stops and enter there, too!

James Robinson, Jr. is an award-wining author who has written 6 books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His first book, Fighting the Effects of Gravity: A Bittersweet Journey Into Middle Life, was an Indie Award winner for nonfiction. His first foray into fiction, Book of Samuel, was a Readers’ Favorite Award Winner. His latest book—Jay Got Married—is a collection of 9 humorous, satirical essays which often speak to ironies and inconsistencies of life.       

Jay Got Married is not just the title of the book, but the lead essay of the same title and an amusing look at love and marriage in the year 2020.

Mr. Robinson began to foster his writing career at age 45 when the Effects of Gravity kicked in and his children began to grow up, affording him the time to write. It was also then that he began to hone in on his sardonic wit.

Mr. Robinson resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife of 43 years. He is the father of three daughters ages 37, 38, and 40 and the proud owner of six grandchildren.

Welcome, James. What do you enjoy most about writing short stories?
Essays work better for me because I can say what I want to say better in short non-fiction vignettes than in a long story. When I write I rely upon my own experience rather than telling a story.

Can you give us a little insight into a few of your short stories – perhaps some of your favorites?
All my essays are written in a humorous and tongue-in-cheek in style, but I also tend to slip into real-life issues from time to time. In a chapter of the book called, All Hail the Jetsons, for instance, I talk about how we all secretly harbor a wish for the futuristic type flying cars but can’t even deal with driving in regular traffic—killing each other in simple road-rage accidents.

My Current Release –
Jay Got Married is a book of 9 humorous, satirical, tongue-and-cheek essays. I write about the ironies of life, my twisted views on societies’ ills, and combine it all with a healthy dose of my own experience. I use clipart and pictures of my own handsome visage to accentuate my point. Like this one:
Here, I discuss my nemesis. (You have to read it to figure out why I’m holding up black jellybeans.)

In one chapter titled: Big Brother Isn’t Among Us, I dispute George Orwell’s classic 1948 book, 1984. Orwell insisted that: Big Brother is Watching. But I contend that, in 2019, even though we have cameras pointed at us at all times, we don’t have to worry as long as we behave ourselves. Cameras at stoplights, at ATM’s, in Sam’s Club parking lots harbor no ill-will to us good people. We, in fact, are our own big brother. We monitor ourselves with the ubiquitous cell phone. Here it is:

In a quote that I think sums up my style pretty well, a Reader’s Favorite Reviewer said, “Sometimes the attempt at humor inevitably touches a few real-life issues but it is quickly diverted again back to humor, so as not to linger or get too serious and forget the main genre.”

What genre are you inspired in to write the most? Why?
I’m inspired to write non-fiction because, in a way, I’m telling a story. I guess I’m at my best when I’m kicking out an essay that consists of my own life experiences coupled with a healthy dose of satire and wit. I throw in a little social commentary for good measure.

What exciting story are you working on next?
My first book was entitled: Fighting the Effects of Gravity: One Man’s Journey Into Middle Life. Now 67 years old, I’m working on a sequel to that book tentatively entitled: Old Age Sucks. It could also be titled: And I Thought Middle Age Was Bad. I’m discovering that middle age was a mere storm cloud for old-age thunderstorm on the horizon.

When did you consider yourself a writer?
Interesting question. Actually, I wrote an essay on this topic. It was about people asking other people the question: “What do you do.” I never really had a marketable skill—doctor, lawyer, chef, engineer—I always had it in the back of my mind that I was going to write. But even though I’m writing seriously now, I hesitate to flat-out say that I’m a writer when asked because I don’t make much money at it. I usually say “I’m retired.” Wow, that’s boring. So, I consider myself a writer now. I just don’t tell anyone unless it come up in conversation.

How do you research markets for your work, perhaps advice for writers?
What’s research? What’s a market? I barely have time to write. I’m raising two ninety-year-old parents. I do blog tours, promotions like Kindle Nation Daily, offer free promotions, lectures at libraries, and wonder why my books don’t sell. Kids, don’t try this at home.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I write in my underwear.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
The typical things that kids want to be: policeman, fireman, alligator wrestler. Just kidding about the fireman.

Thanks for joining me today!

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Interview with mystery author Edgar Swamp

Mystery author Edgar Swamp is here to help me wrap up the week by chatting about his new novel that has elements of horror and fantasy, Amber Hollow.

During his virtual book tour, Edgar will be awarding a $10 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 his other tour stops and enter there, too!

**This book is only $0.99 on Kindle.**

Edgar Swamp is the author of the Gyre Mission, Glitch in the Machine, and Blackout. His short stories have appeared in Alienskin, Macabre Cadaver, and Urban Reinventors. When he isn’t holed up in his office playing online poker, he likes to dig up the recently deceased and make furniture out of their skin. He lives and works in San Diego, California.

Welcome, Edgar. Please share a little bit about your current release.
This is my fourth self-published novel, one that I intended to write for a wider audience than my previous three books, which means it is for “all-audiences” (I’d say it’s roughly PG-13). This novel is a mystery but not in the traditional sense, although it does follow a whodunit format stylistically. The elements of horror and fantasy, however, keep it from being conventional, and it was my intention to write a page-turner because the reader simply must know how it ends.

What inspired you to write this book?
I am from a small town in Wisconsin (DePere, a city next to Green Bay) and to my overactive imagination it was a creepy place, full of bullies, town drunks, weirdos…you name it. I swear there was a guy like Norman Bates on my paper route, this strange older man who lived with his elderly mother in a ramshackle house next to an abandoned barn at the edge of town. Every time I went to collect and he invited me in, I figured it was going to be the last thing I’d ever do! The place was straight out of a Hitchcock film. That said, I wanted to write a story about a creepy little village where an event of mass hysteria occurs and kills everyone except for five people practically overnight. The story would be the mystery of finding out what happened the night of the tragedy, and what was behind the horrific events.

Excerpt from Amber Hollow:
    “Ms. Albright?” Sadie asked from the threshold, and the woman jumped as if jolted with a stun gun. When she looked from Sadie to Jeremy her eyes grew wide and her nostrils flared.
    “Yes?” she asked in a meek voice, the spoon frozen halfway to her mouth, the Jell-O precariously perched there, looking in danger of spilling on her hospital gown.
    Sadie took a step forward. “I’m Detective Conrad, and this is my partner Detective LeFevre. We’d like to ask you some questions about what happened on Sunday night.”
    The woman sat very still, her eyes a startling shade of green. They darted back and forth from Sadie to Jeremy, the spoon forgotten in her hand. Gravity finally won out and the Jell-O fell off and onto her hospital gown, however she didn’t appear to notice.
    “May we come in?” Sadie asked, pitching her voice low, trying not to startle the poor woman any further, but she surprised them by uttering a deep, guttural laugh.
   “You guys are detectives and you have to ask? Does that mean I can say no?”
    “Afraid not,” Jeremy said, walking into the room and taking a small recording device from his pocket. He’d had the presence of mind to preload a fresh cassette beforehand. “We are both very sorry for what happened to you, to your entire town. Please accept our most sincere condolences. However, we need to ask you some questions. We’re hoping that you can help us.”
    Sylvia Albright of Amber Hollow, Wisconsin, eyed the two of them thoughtfully before noticing she was still holding the spoon. She set it down on the nightstand next to her, then the cup of Jell-O. She still didn’t notice (or didn’t care) about the gelatin on her gown.
    “What do you want to know?”
    Sadie and Jeremy exchanged a quick glance. What did they want to know? The entire town was gone, burned to the ground, her family and friend’s dead, and she asked them what they wanted to know? It was becoming apparent why she was in the psychiatric ward and not the burn center. Sadie wondered if the woman’s answers could be considered relevant, given the nature of the circumstances.
    “What we want,” Sadie said softly, “is to figure out what happened that night. Are you aware that you survived a massive tragedy?”
    The brief smile that had played across the woman’s face was gone, exchanged by an expression of fear that was seemingly boundless. She again looked from one face to the other, licking her lips nervously. She began to mutter, but it was too low for either of them to hear.
    “What was that Sylvia?” Sadie prompted. “What are you saying?”
    She broke off her muttering and stared at Sadie for so long the detective began to feel uncomfortable. It was something in the woman’s eyes, some secret she wasn’t sure she should share. She took a deep breath, exhaled, and then eyed them with something akin to wonder.
    “You have no idea what happened.” A statement, not a question. “Am I the only survivor?”
    Sadie opened her mouth to say ‘no’ but a quick glance from her partner stopped her from even forming the word with her lips.
    “Tell us what happened,” Jeremy said instead of answering her question, and their silence seemed to calm her even more. She closed her eyes, leaned back into her pillow, and exhaled again even more sharply, this time with an air of resignation.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Every day I wonder what the follow-up to Amber Hollow will be because every day I feel like doing something different. I have a sequel in mind for Amber Hollow, but I’d only write it if people enjoyed the first one enough to merit it. I literally have half a dozen ideas at any given time. Here’s one, inspired by The Stepford Wives: In a small town in Anywhere, America, the men have been replaced by perfect replica robots. They make the money, they clean the house, and they give their lovely wives everything they need…without requiring a single thing in return. The women there are very happy, until they find that they can’t properly reproduce; scientists are unable to make serviceable synthetic semen, so real men are cultivated in large Superfarms on the outskirts of town to collect their manhood for breeding purposes. The hook is, mutants were created from the synthetic sperm, and at one point, the robots all run amok and the women need the men from the “semen farms” to help control the problem of the both the mutants and the robots. Please tell me, seriously, does that sound like something you would read? I’m really on the fence about this one!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer when I received payment for an article I wrote in 1997. It was for a website called Foamation, the designer of those funky cheese wedges Green Bay Packer fans wear on their heads during the games (I think you know what I’m talking about if you watch football). I met one of their sales reps at a guitar store where I worked, and I told him how many aspects of my life were connected to the Green Bay Packers organization through various channels, and what it was like to grow up with them being considered such a great team, when during the course of my life all they’d done was lose. It would be like being a Patriots fan in the ’80s! The reason for the interest in the story was because Green Bay was finally going to the Super Bowl after a 29- year drought, and the sales rep thought fans of the website would like it because of all the names I referenced (star quarterbacks, coaches, other players, etc.) whom I had known or worked for. My payment? Had I known at the time I would have met him at the restaurant with a bigger appetite because my remuneration was my meal and parking, and all I ordered was French fries!

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?
My lifelong goal is to be a full-time writer. In fact, I’ve given some of the best years of my life chasing that dream. Honestly, I’ve catered my working life completely around being able to have time to write. I worked in dozens of industries, then literally chanced into the veterinary industry when I was 30, and trained to be a vet tech in Austin, Texas. I later moved to Carlsbad, California (near San Diego) and at a clinic I worked at, I began taking pet sitting jobs for extra income and soon enough it became my occupation, the demand for pet care is that great out here. So, what I mean is: I became a full-time pet sitter so that I didn’t have to work a “real” nine-to-five job so that I would have more time to write. It worked great at first, until my business became so busy that I was working more than 40 hours a week. Fifteen years later and I am still a pet sitter, and what I do is budget my time, make myself write when I don’t want to, and take advantage of creativity whenever it strikes. I bring my laptop with me everywhere so that if a moment arises and I can get something done, I can.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am sarcastic to an almost ludicrous point. In fact, with “Amber Hollow,” I had to dial it out because all of my previous books were considered to be very snarky. I can’t help it; for some reason, I have a very skewed perception of the world, and the way it comes out in my writing is simply overwhelming. I’m still somewhat cynical, but I try to sparingly dole out the sarcasm and only use it when necessary.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Three things, and this is the reason I am still a pet sitter:
1)     An actor, movies mostly, but I’d consider doing TV
2)     A rock star; I sing, play multiple instruments and write songs. Kurt Cobain and David Gilmour are my heroes.
3)     A writer, books, short stories, lyrics, poems, and essays. I seriously didn’t want to be anything else but those three things, NOTHING else. And it’s a shame, really, because I dropped out of college because I didn’t know what I was doing there, I didn’t have any kind of traditional trade in mind. Zero. I figured I was wasting the loan money so I tried touring with rock/grunge/metal bands and when that didn’t pan out, I turned my attention to trying out for plays at local theatres, and when that was a bust, I redirected all of my energy into writing. I do not advise anyone to take this career path; stay in school and at least get a bachelor’s degree in something. You’ll thank yourself when you are 50 and you are alone with four cats on Christmas and your latest book is brilliant but being all but ignored because of the glut of books available thanks to self-publishing. I should have gone into marketing — that would have been a smart move!

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Firstly, I know how difficult it is to pick up a book by a writer you’ve never heard of. Without great reviews from reputable sources adorning the back cover plus a few celebrity endorsements, it’s hard for me to even check one out from the library. Not kidding! To the readers of your blog, I’d say this: Take advantage of all the free content that you are being given via book giveaways and promotional campaigns by indie writers because you just might find a diamond in the rough! Here are a few popular writers who began by self-publishing: Edgar Allen Poe (seriously, he didn’t receive any commercial interest until he wrote “The Raven”), Matt Groening (the creator of “The Simpsons”) and Edgar Swamp…whoops, I said “popular”…my bad!


**This book is only $0.99 on Kindle.**

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Thank you so much for having me, I appreciate it!

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