Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Join Fiona and the gang for a hot whodunit on the sandy beaches of Presque Isle, Pennsylvania!
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Waves Of Murder is a fun one for your summer reading. Check put the book. Enjoy the author intervew. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
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Enjoy the interview with author C.S. McDonald
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If you were to compare Fiona Quinn Mysteries to a book or a TV mystery series, who would you compare it to?

I think Fiona is a unique individual being a kindergarten teacher from Pittsburgh, who possesses a huge heart—not to mention her ghostly grandmother who lives in the attic apartment. I’ve been asked (especially by parents) if I would compare her to Nancy Drew. The answer: No. The Fiona Quinn story lines are more exciting than a Nancy Drew mystery. If I had to compare to anyone it would be Jessica Fletcher/Murder she wrote—except for the fact that Fiona is much younger than Angela Landsbury’s famous character. Again, I believe the Fiona stories are more electrifying than Fletcher’s mysteries, but it is a better comparison.

What actress would you choose to portray Fiona Quinn?

Kaley Cuoco hands down! Every time I watch Big Bang Theory I think—Wow! She would make the perfect Fiona!

Did you write Waves of Murder specifically as a beach read?

chuckle No, not really, but I must admit that I’m hoping that it is very popular as a “beach read.” The stories are quick clean reads, so you could definitely read the entire book, or at least most of the book, while baking on the beach.

What is the difference between writing mystery and writing suspense?

When writing a mystery, the author holds their cards close to their chest, only feeding the reader clues as to whodunit bit by bit so as not to give away the murderer. In turn, the reader is trying to piece together the clues to try to figure it out before the last chapter.

When writing a suspense novel, the author reveals who killed the poor widow who lives on the hill, and then forces the reader to sweat it out as to whether the widow’s daughter who has come to clean out the house will be killed by the charming, helpful young man who lives next door—who, of course, killed her mother. Or will the detective working the case figure out who the killer is in time to rescue the widow’s beautiful daughter before she becomes the next victim? Yikes!

Which is easier for you to write mystery or suspense?

I love writing the Fiona Quinn Mystery series—really I do, that said, I truly enjoy and find it a tad bit easier to write the suspense novels. Yes, it takes me longer to write the suspense novels—as much as a year, but I do so love to make my readers sweat—and the characters too. Even though Fiona Quinn is a mystery series, I think I do manage to give that touch of suspense to her stories—I can’t help myself!

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Book Title: Waves of Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery
Author: C.S. McDonald
Category: YA Fiction, 190 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publisher: McWriter Books
Release date: April 11, 2017
Tour dates: May 15 to 26, 2017
Content Rating: G (The Fiona Quinn Mysteries are for everyone–adults love the books and they are appropriate for teens and tweens too!)

Book Description:

School’s out for the summer!

Kindergarten teacher, Fiona Quinn is looking forward to spending some quality time in her yard and with her boyfriend, Detective Nathan Landry. However, Fiona’s plans get squelched when her mother volunteers her to edit a manuscript for famous romance author, Wyla Parkes.

What’s so bad about that? The author insists Fiona must work on the manuscript at her beach cottage on Presque Isle–three hours away from her yard and Nathan. Spending six weeks in an adorable cottage on a private beach doesn’t really seem all that bad until people start turning up dead—beginning with the author! Fiona’s summer of sun and sand is instantly transformed into a murder investigation. Can Fiona and Nathan crack the case or will the murderer get away on a wave of deceit?

Join Fiona and the gang for a hot whodunit on the sandy beaches of Presque Isle, Pennsylvania!

Buy the Book: 
 

 

Meet the Author C.S. McDonald


For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, she writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. Now she adds the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series for her young granddaughters, and has found that so many adults love them too.Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bill, and her poorly behaved Cocker Spaniel, Allister.Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

 

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Enter the Giveaway!
Ends June 3
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BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR:

May 15 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 15 – Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama – book spotlight / giveaway
May 15 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
May 15 – Corinne Rodrigues – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 16 – Reviews in the City – book spotlight / giveaway
May 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 16 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight / giveaway
May 16 – Blooming with Books – book spotlight / giveaway
May 17 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
May 17 – Sleuth Cafe – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 17 – Zerina Blossom’s Books – book spotlight / giveaway
May 17 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post
May 18 – FUONLYKNEW – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 18 – The Book Drealms – book spotlight / giveaway
May 18 – Laura’s Interests – book spotlight / giveaway
May 18 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 – Babs Book Bistro – book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 – Brooke Blogs – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 19 –100 Pages a day – book spotlight / giveaway
May 19 – Puddletown Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 – Hall Ways Blog – book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 – Books for Books – book spotlight<br
May 22 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
May 23 – Kristin’s Novel Cafe – book spotlight / giveaway
May 23 – Katie’s Clean Book Collection – book spotlight / giveaway
May 23 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 23 – Travelling Through Words – book spotlight / giveaway
May 24 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 24 – Seasons of Opportunities – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 24 – Bookworm Cafe – book spotlight / giveaway
May 25 – JBronder Book Reviews – book spotlight
May 25 – Carole’s Book Corner – book spotlight /
May 25 – Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / giveaway
May 26 – 3 Partners in Shopping Nana, Mommy + Sissy, Too! – spotlight / giveaway
May 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
May 26 – Jessica Cassidy – book spotlight

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Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

For a list of my reviews go HERE.

For a list of free eBooks updated daily go HERE

To see all of my giveaways go HERE

Special Offers by M. L. Ryan

Special Offers Cover

I was curious about this story after reading the synopsis. I don’t usually use one in my reviews but I’ll let you read this one.


Synopsis from Goodreads

Hailey Parrish is quick-witted, irreverent, and hasn’t had a date in three years. She only wanted an eBook reader because her collection of paperbacks threatened to take over her small living space. Little did she know that the “special offers” that prompted the purchase included much more than a reduced price in exchange for a few ads. The device came pre-loaded with the essence of Sebastian Kess, an erudite womanizer with magical abilities from a parallel dimension. When she inadvertently releases him and he inhabits her body, she finally has a man inside her, just not in the way she imagined. And soon her predicament introduces her to yet another supernatural, the handsome could-be-the-man-of-her-dreams Alex Sunderland. Can Alex and Hailey find a way to return Sebastian to his own body, stay one step ahead of the criminals who want to keep him where he is, and not lose their sense of humor?

It’s something new for me and naturally I had to read Special Offers. I really like the title. It ties in neatly with the book.

The first thing that popped into my head when I read it was a genie in a magic lamp!

magic lamp photo: A magic lamp topmaqnipulationmagik.jpg

I thought, Wow, a new take for an old tale. I thought it was quite creative. Don’t know if that was the authors basis, but it works for me.

From the beginning I knew I liked Hailey. She is so normal and genuine. I could relate to her, right down to her eating habits. I too stand at the kitchen sink and chow down sometimes. When you are cooking for one, why make a mess at the table to clean up. And her daily routines. I also feel like a robot going through the motions half awake.

Her life is anything but routine when she purchases the Kindle and presses the on button. It came fully loaded. Loaded with the essence, or spirit, of Sebastian, a Coursodon from another dimension. And now he’s inside her. She can hear him in her head.

Along comes Alex. He’s another Coursodon and he has been tracking Sebastian, trying to return him to his body. He comes clean about who and what he is to Hailey. He’ll be needing her help. This part made me laugh!

I knew you were too good  looking to be in insurance,” I remarked flippantly and he shot me a reproachful glare. “Hey, when I get nervous, the smart-ass just comes cascading out of my mouth,” I shrugged. “It’s a character flaw. Get over it.”

What Hailey lacks in size, she makes up for with her snarky, tough as nails attitude.  I ‘d enjoy hanging with her.

Sebastian and Alex can communicate with each other when Alex is in physical contact with Hailey. They will be holding hands a lot. The plan is to find where Sebastian’s body has been taken, and return his essence to it. That means Hailey will have to be present.

Hailey adjusts to having Sebastian in her head, but she doesn’t have to like it. He is a very sexual male and his frustrations are very front and center at times.  Hailey’s have none of his suggestion that she bed someone to satisfy his needs. She’s not going to be his “psychic f!!k buddie.”

Hailey is slow in trusting Alex. She had a shitty marriage with a low down cheating husband and her heart took a major hit. She is very attracted to Alex, but will take it slow and easy. I like how the author keeps the heat of their relationship for the end. I thoroughly enjoyed the getting to know you parts.

My connection to Alex was gradual, but became very strong near the end. His revelations to Hailey made me want to hug him. And this scene is just to heart melting:

Alex was already in my bed under the covers, and I paused for a moment when I saw he had claimed the left side. Since as far back as I can remember, I’ve always slept on the left side of any bed bigger than a twin. It’s probably just habit, and after my initial hesitation, I started over to the opposite side, because, really, what’s the big deal about one side over another? As I pulled back the covers, however, Alex stopped me.

“Wait,” he said as he scooted over to his right. “I was just warming up your side for you.”

He held up the covers in the spot he had just vacated and I dutifully moved around the bed and climbed in. The sheets were, indeed, warm and cozy, a far cry from the chilliness that winter usually imparts to bedding.


That is the most considerate thing anyone has ever done for me,” I said softly. “I really don’t deserve you.”

Alex is a keeper.

As their feelings for each grow so does the danger and intrigue. Sebastian’s body is being held as a trophy by his nemesis and it won’t be easy to get it back.

Thumbs up to Special Offers. M. L. Ryan has a winner for originality and her quality of writing. She took what could have been heavy reading and made it light and fun.  Throughout the book, tidbits of everyday things in life made it very real.

And the comedy kept me laughing. I had many laugh out loud moments, like when Hailey teases Sebastian with a view of her sexy friend Rachel, and about her job – she milks Chinchillas. And the back and forth with Sebastian, in her head, is too funny!

Special Offers came along at a low point, and it was a perfect cure for my blues. It will make you laugh and smile, cheering you up.

Here are some scenes I really cracked up at:

“By the way, how did you get my number?”

“Men’s bathroom wall, second stall,” he stated matter-of-factly.

“Excuse me?”

“Just trying to lighten the mood…”

And this one:

I really had enough of Sebastian at the moment. “Hey Sebastard,” I sputtered. “Yumago! Do prdele! Haista paska! Jabiesz jeze! Foda-se!”

“What was all that?”

I stood and huffed out, Korean, Czech, Finnish, Polish and Portugese!”

I started this book with a peek. Next thing I knew I was on Chapter 4. I fell asleep reading it the first night. Couldn’t stay awake. Tried to finish it the next night, and so tired from work I fell asleep again. Getting frustrated! I had a surprise day off the next morning and finished it while my son was in the dentist’s chair. People were giving me funny looks when I chuckled. I ended up talking to two women in the waiting room, and they said they were going to check it out.

You should check it out too. It’s a perfect book to lighten your mood and make you smile.

  I loved it and so did my Kindle!

5 STARS

The girl on the cover is the perfect choice to represent Hailey. I have two men who popped into my head to represent Sebastian and Alex.

Here is Alex

And here is Sebastian

Melissa has sent me a picture of who she sees Alex as!

I’m excited to tell you that M L Ryan has accepted my request for an interview and she’s also offering one paperback and two e-books for a giveaway!!

I’m so happy to have you here today Melissa! I loved Special Offers and I want everyone to get to know the author behind the story. Let’s get started shall we?

1) What “possessed” you to write this story and where did the idea come from?

*Laughing*  I had just purchased my full-priced Kindle when I saw Amazon was selling less expensive versions that came with “special offers.”  For some reason, my warped brain thought it would be amusing if what made the cheaper Kindles special was that they came with some fiendish spirit.  Originally, I imagined something like a havoc-wrecking poltergeist, but that quickly changed into the annoying, yet ingratiating Sebastian Kess.

2) I laughed so much reading Special Offers and fell in love with Hailey. Was it your plan all along for her to be so funny, and does she resemble you in any way?

 When it comes to snark, Hailey and I have a lot in common.  No matter what’s happening – good or bad – I seem to always find something humorous in the situation (often to the consternation of those around me).  Because humor is so much a part of who I am, I don’t think I could write something without it.  Aside from that, Hailey and I share the same out-of-control hair, a love of tequila and the tendency to swear like a sailor.

3) Where did the idea for Coursodons come from? I’m always curious when I discover new beings.

 The magically-inclined folks from a parallel dimension developed easily from the main premise that Hailey’s eBook Reader came with a little something extra.  It didn’t make sense for the inhabitant to be a vamp or a werewolf, and a demon or a witch wasn’t exactly right either.  So, I came up with a whole new world instead.  I’m really enjoying the world-building, it’s one of the most satisfying parts of the process.

4) I loved the ending and I’m so happy this is going to be a series. Can you tell us when we might expect book two and how many books there may be in the series?

 The second book should be out in another month or so.  I have ideas for five books in this series, and hopefully I will get a chance to write them!  Unfortunately, the day-job tends to get in the way.

5) Your book has travelers from other dimensions in it and it’s made me curious. Do you like to travel and if you could go any place you wanted, where would it be?

 I love to be someplace different, but I despise traveling. If I could just snap my fingers and instantly be transported, I’d be hopping all over the world.  The thought of flying, however, makes me crazy.  I do it, but it’s a struggle every time.  That said, I’ve always wanted to go to Nepal.  I think it’s because I like the sound of Katmandu.

6) Do you prefer reading print or digital books and what kind of e-reader do you have?

 I have a Kindle, and when I first got it, I was concerned that I would miss the feel of a real book.  Was I wrong!  I love almost everything about the eBook format; the ease of obtaining books, the ability to change the font size, having thousands of books crammed into one, compact device.  The one aspect that annoys me, however, is how traditional publishers charge the same amount for an eBook as for a print book.  Really?  What a rip-off.

7) You mentioned you adopted two desert tortoises. Did you name them, and if so, how did you choose their names? I love turtles.

 I inherited my mother’s tortoises when she moved to a much smaller home, so they came pre-named.  Spurge – she’s 30 years old – got her name because she loves to munch on the eponymous weed which grows abundantly here.  Dunny, 25, got his moniker because my mother thought another tortoise was “redundant”.  They have very distinct personalities – Spurge comes when she’s called and Dunny loves to climb.  Because they are so long-lived, I expect that one day,  my son will inherit them from me.

 

Five fun shorts!

1) If you could be any creature in the sea, what would you be? 

A nudibranch.  They have such beautiful colors.

 2) What is your favorite movie to watch on Halloween? 

I love the original Bela Lugosi Dracula movies.  Something about the bad acting and the lack of color makes them really creepy.

 3) If you could have dinner with a sexy movie actor, who would you choose?

  Ryan Reynolds.  He’s sexy and funny.

 4) Are you an early riser or do you hit the snooze button?

I hate getting up. That’s where the comment in Special Offers – If god wanted us to get up when it was dark out, he wouldn’t have given us eyelids – came from.

 5) What is your birthstone? 

Topaz.

Thanks so much for doing this interview with me Melissa. It’s been really fun getting to know you. And a huge thank you for allowing me to host this giveaway.

To Enter The Giveaway

For todays giveaway there will be three winners. I have one paperback and two e-books of Special Offers to giveaway!

Entry is easy. Just leave your email address along with the answer to this question: Who would you like to find in your Kindle?

While it’s not required, it makes me smile when you follow me on twitter and my blog. You can find Melissa’s contacts below. Thanks so much and good luck everyone!

This contest ends on November 1st.

You can purchase Special Offers by clicking on the image below.

Other Purchase links:

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131930

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/special-offers-ml-ryan/1109231583?ean=2940033051014

CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/3940235

For more about M L Ryan and where to find her:

Author’s web site: http://www.coursodondimension.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CoursodonDimension

Twitter:  @MLRyan1

Email: MLRyan@coursodondimension.com

I really do like to be scared. I have always loved books that make me jump at every little noise.  I have read so many books and watched so many movies, that it takes something to really scare me.

When Diane Wing asked me if I would be interested in reading and reviewing her collection of scary stories, I was all for it. Nothing like a good fright to get those endorphins pumping!

Thorne Manor: And Other Bizarre Tales

Diane is being very generous. She has one paperback copy of her book to giveaway on my blog! AND she has agreed to an interview! Just keep reading:)

My thoughts and ramblins

Thorne Manor is the longer story in this collection.

Heather has finally found the strength to leave her abusive husband and start out on her own. She has always wanted to run her own business, and when the house of her dreams seems to call out to her, she ignores her friend’s advice and buys it. Thorne Manor has been empty for five years. It’s dark history has many people believing its haunted. That doesn’t worry Heather. The mansion, with its three levels will be perfect.

The house needs some TLC but no major reconstruction. While the workers are doing the repairs and adding the cosmetic touches, Heather sets out to get some tenants to rent the available rooms. Her plan is to make Thorne Manor a place of psychic entertainment and she needs to find various occult practitioners to provide  services to the clients. Kind of like a psychic smorgasbord.

There is one major problem with the old manor. It comes with some very unwelcoming inhabitants. Gypsy, a trance medium, suggests a good cleansing ritual. It’s going to take more than that. Heather needs to clean house of these nasty spirits  before her tenants move in. It proves much more difficult and dangerous than she thought.

My thoughts

This was a really creepy haunting. Diane knows how to create an atmosphere that makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. I was almost looking over my shoulder while reading it. With a limited amount of words, she got me engaged with the characters. I felt protective  and proud of Heather, and her psychic friends were my kind of people. Someone I would want on my side when things got bad.

Don’t get too comfortable. This story moves fast and the scares are many and intense.

By Invitation Only

Loretta is lost without Toby. He was her constant companion for 15 years.

Five years have passed and  her grief is just as heavy.  She really should move somewhere so she isn’t constantly reminded of Toby, her silken haired dog, but she fears losing the good memories.

Something strange starts to happen. There is something in the wall of her bedroom. Something trying to get out, chipping away at the plaster.

My thoughts

I would have moved. If something was pushing, trying to get out of the wall, slowly making a bigger and bigger hole, I would be so out of there. Curiosity killed the cat, people!!

This was an eerie tale, making me edgy and fearful of what was going to come out of that wall!

Dream State

Judith has a problem. A big one. There are living things in her mouth. Worms! Then she wakes up. It was only a dream. Or was it?

My thoughts

The title of this book says …and other bizarre tales. Well, this one is very bizarre. It is also kind of gross, which makes the creep factor high. For some reason, maybe I’m bizarre, I liked that.

Good Riddance

That’s it! Justin has had it with the mangy cat that keeps sneaking up onto his porch, covering his expensive furniture with its hair. The hair was everywhere. Finding out where it lived proved impossible and it just kept coming back, night after night. Something would have to be done.

This went on for months and Justin began to fantasize a gruesome ending for the nasty feline. He should have been more careful what he imagined.

My thoughts

This was a goodie!  What Justin conjured up in his imagination is unspeakable and the ending was not what I expected to happen.

Guardian of the Gate

Anzuth makes the long, grueling climb from the bowels of Hell to Earth’s surface, but he is not where he expected to be.  Spotting a beauty salon that’s still open, he decides to get cleaned up there, knock the stink off of him.

He gets a makeover straight out of The Twilight Zone!

My thoughts

Loved this. It was so different. I don’t know where Diane found this idea, definitely from left field. I think we need more beauticians like the one you meet in this story.

The Black Sheep

Amy can’t explain it. It’s a mystery to her. Why is she so drawn to The Black Sheep. It’s just a restaurant, isn’t it?  Given, its outside is coated in red paint and there is a skull of a ram, complete with horns, displayed in the window, so maybe that’s where her sense of foreboding comes from.

She seems unable to stay away from the building, despite repeated warnings from her guardian spirit to stay clear. Each time she passes the building, the pull to enter is stronger.

My thoughts

I would have never entered that building. If something made me uneasy, I would avoid it, not seek it out. I don’t know, maybe she was meant to enter.

The Quiet Neighbors

Ever since Henry lost his job, it seems all Emma does is clean up after him. He stays glued to his chair, stuffing his face with Cheese Doodles, chasing them down with sweet tea, and watching endless TV. She longs for the future that should have been theirs. Not this.

Then she finds this book, Manual of Retribution – A Guidebook for the Oppressed. What she finds in it just might be able to make her life better.

My thoughts

Good for Emma. No one should have to put up with a loser like Henry. I don’t know if I could have done what she did, but since it’s a story, I say go Emma.

My overall review

Excellent writing. Diane quickly lays out the plots and gets right to the heart of each story. There is something for everyone here. Each story has its own atmosphere or flavor.  She makes you connect with the characters. I was surprised at which characters I was drawn to. I felt a slight nudge towards them by the author. I got everything I hoped for out of this collection, and more.

     Very Scary Good!

A special treat today! Diane is here to answer a few questions.

Welcome Diane. Thanks for agreeing to answer a few questions. It gives us a chance to get to know you.

 1) Most of my readers know I love to read and review short stories and collections. I find them very challenging to review without giving too much away. Can you explain your writing process when doing short stories?

I start with a scenario and let it run from there.  I get into a zone where I am experiencing the story as it unfolds and love to see where it takes me.

2) Where do your ideas come from?

Inspiration comes from many places and can happen at any time.  I carry a notebook with me, for the idea can strike while having dinner with friends, walking in the woods, or looking at an object, person, or situation and asking myself what if?  People-watching can trigger all sorts of ideas.

3) What do you think makes for a good story?

Atmosphere, intriguing characters, and the strange and unusual introducing itself into daily life.  Having an out-of-the-ordinary component that brings about a mental or emotional reaction is important to keep my attention.

4) Do you have a favorite story in this collection, or perhaps a favorite scene?

Guardian of the Gate is the one I had the most fun writing. It’s hard to say more about that without giving away the plot.

5) Did you draw on anything from your own life when writing Thorne Manor… and other bizarre tales?

I think every writer draws a piece of themselves into their writing.  Even in fictional works, a writer’s underlying philosophy is exposed, albeit taken to the extreme within the storyline.  By Invitation Only was written while grieving the loss of my own beloved pet.  Thorne Manor incorporated experiences from a controlling relationship and an actual business idea I had.  A house that was in severe disrepair where I live sparked the idea for The Quiet Neighbors.

6) What is your favorite thing you like to do when not writing or working?

I like walking in the woods and going to concerts – a wide variety from classical music to classic rock.  They are such opposite types of activities – one peaceful with few people for contemplation and rejuvenation and the other loud and crowded, to stimulate new ideas.  Each of these activities serve to move thought in new directions – one internally and one externally.

7) Are you writing something now, and if so, can you tell us something about it?

Right now I’m working on The True Nature of Energy: Secrets of Energetic Consciousness.  It is an exploration of the energetic dynamics between the physical and the divine and ways to interpret the energies we are exposed to, as well as the energies we create ourselves.  By increasing energetic awareness, it increases the ability to see things objectively, reduces drama, and enhances personal growth.  My vibrational scale and associated quiz are included, so readers can determine their energy level and find ways to raise their vibrational level.  Target date for release is early 2013.

The other manuscripts I’m working on include five new short stories, a book of tarot combinations, and Coven II (sequel to Coven: The Scrolls of the Four Winds).

Now for Five Fun Shorts!

1) What psychic power would you wish for?  To hear the thoughts of all living things

 2) What is your favorite animal?  Hawk in the wild; dog in the house
 3) Have you ever had a supernatural encounter?  Many!
 4) What is the scariest book you’ve read?  The Shining and Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
 5) What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?  I’m still looking for the movie that is the scariest.  There is a 15-second scene in Exorcist III that creeps me out and stays with me.
 I really enjoyed this opportunity to get to know you Diane. Thanks so much for everything!

And now for the giveaway! Giveaway is over. Thank you.

I have one paperback copy of Thorne Manor…and other bizarre tales to giveaway. US and Canada only.

To enter just leave your email address along with a comment, Do you like to be scared?

Not required, but you’d make me smile if you followed my blog and twitter.

Giveaway end September 26th.

You can find Diane here:

dianewing@forestwitch.com and www.forestwitch.com

More about Diane

Diane Wing, M.A. is an author, teacher, personal transformation guide, and intuitive consultant. She has a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and has been providing valuable insights for the highest good of her clients for over 27 years.

Diane is the author of the books “The True Nature of Tarot: Your path to personal empowerment,” a collection of short fiction titled “Thorne Manor…and other bizarre tales,” and the novel, “Coven: The Scrolls of the Four Winds.”

Diane works her clients to find meaning and fulfillment in their lives by helping them find their Inner Magick and empowering them to create the lives they really want.  Her website is www.forestwitch.com.

You can purchase Thorne Manor by clicking on the image below.

Do you like a good mystery? Do you like a good romance? Dangerous Waters has that and much more! Mystery , loss and love on the Isle of Guernsey.

Before I go into my review, what do you think of this cover art?

Dangerous Waters



Wonderful! I really like it. When you get your chance to read the story, you will see how well it compliments it.

I have some great news for you! Anne has offered two e-book copies of her debut novel Dangerous Waters for me to giveaway to two lucky winners. She has also taken time away from her busy schedule to answer a few questions.  So settle in and enjoy yourself. To enter the giveaway, look for the beautiful cottage at the end of the post.

On to my review

After breaking up with her boyfriend and having a miscarriage, Jeanne is barely hanging on. Then she receives a phone call informing her that her grandmother has died and she is the sole heir to her holdings.

Her return to the Isle of Guernsey was supposed to be brief, say goodbye to her beloved gran, sell the cottage, and get off the island.

She left the island when she was 16 years old, vowing never to return. She was the only survivor of a boating incident that killer both of her parents. She still, 15 years later, can’t recall what happened. The case was never solved and her parents killer was never caught. Nightmares and flashbacks return to haunt Jeanne and she is more determined than ever to regain her memories of that day. Memories that have stayed hidden in her mind. If she can remember, the killer will be revealed.

Jeanne decides to stay on the island and modernize the cottage, renewing old friendships and making new ones.

While cleaning out the cottage and looking for old family recipes, she stumbles across some mysterious letters from a German soldier, written to her gran during the German occupation in WWII. They looked to be love letters.

An idea begins to form. She  could combine her long ago family recipes along with her ancestors history into a cookbook. Calling it “Recipes for Love.”

Dangerous Waters is a story in a story, in a story. It led me down the garden path.

You will see Jeanne grow and become strong again, regain her sense of self, and just maybe find love.

Follow her as her book idea becomes reality and she begins her journey of research and discovery. I loved reading the whole process of concept-to agent-to publisher and editor.

Discover the buried secret of the “cold” room in the cottage. Why is Jeanne the only one that feels the chill? What happened there?

And last but not least, find out what really happened when her parents were killed. You may think you know who the killer is, but don’t be too hasty.

Dangerous Waters started out like a leisurely walk on the beach. Anne’s writing, with its English flavor, blends the past and present easily and I got more and more drawn into the book.

My rating went from a 3 at the beginning – a bit slow to hook me. To a 4 as the story revealed its many layers. And finally to a 5 – this because of the brilliant writing by Anne Allen.

Footprint : Footprints on the wet send on the beach Footprint : Footprints on the wet send on the beach Footprint : Footprints on the wet send on the beach Footprint : Footprints on the wet send on the beach Footprint : Footprints on the wet send on the beach 

Now let’s get to know Anne.

Hi Anne. Thanks for hopping across the pond to answer a few questions for your readers. Shall we begin?

Please, tell us about yourself.
My home is in Devon, by my beloved sea. I have three children and my daughter and two grandchildren live nearby. I was born in Rugby, to an English mother and Welsh father. As a result I spent many summers with my Welsh grandparents in Anglesey (now famous for being the home of Prince William!) and learnt to love the sea. My restless spirit has meant a number of moves which included living in Spain for a couple of years. The longest stay was in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years, after I fell in love with the island and the people. However, I contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns!
By profession I’m a psychotherapist but have long had creative ‘itches’, learning to mosaic, paint furniture, interior design and sculpt. At the back of my mind the itch to write was always present but seemed too time-consuming for a single mum with a need to earn a living (my husband died while young). Now the nest is empty there’s more time to write and a second novel is gestating, but novels take a lot longer than children to be born!

From first idea to completion, how long did it take to write Dangerous Waters and what was your inspiration?
It took six months to write the first draft and, being naïve, I thought that was it! After taking some professional advice I realised that I had a lot of re-writing and drastic editing to complete. I ended up cutting about 15000 words! Eventually it was six years before the book was finally published.
The island of Guernsey was the initial inspiration and I wanted to write a romance with a twist – some mystery. The story covers love and loss, which can and does happen to most of us, meaning it’s something everyone relates to. Both my own experience and my clients’ stories offered examples of how people overcome tragedy. This was the central theme – that whatever, or whoever, we’ve lost, we can always love and live again. There is a parallel story concerning Jeanne’s grandmother which flags up events from the Occupation which actually occurred. So there’s a mixture of fact and fiction with the characters and their stories being pure fiction of course! I also knew that there had to be an old house hiding a secret.

There is more than one story being told in Dangerous Waters. Did you plan it that way or did it evolve as you wrote?

I knew I wanted to feature the grandmother but initially didn’t know in what way. The full story developed as I wrote. I always felt that there would be parallels between Jeanne’s story and her Gran although their lives were very different.

Your main character Jeanne is also a writer, working on her first full length book. I really enjoyed how you incorporated the writing process into your book through her. Do Jeanne’s experiences resemble yours?

I wish they had! Particularly her publishing contract!! But the process of an idea, the research and writing are similar. The big difference is that Jeanne’s book is non-fiction so that she has a lot of ‘fixed’ information to incorporate.

What is the biggest challenge about your writing?

Knowing when to edit! It’s so easy to just write and over-describe events and situations and it’s only when reading back that you recognise this. I like to give the readers a sense of place as well as enough description of the main characters so that they can visualise both people and situations, but it’s also important to leave a lot to their imagination. I also find that, like most writers, I can get ‘stuck’ and find it hard to move the scene/chapter on.

The delicious entrees and desserts mentioned throughout the book made my mouth water. Do you cook up any of these scrumptious dishes?

No, I’m not actually much of a dessert person. The starter and main course usually fill me up! But if I’m in a restaurant I can be tempted

Could you tell us something about what you are currently working on?

Another novel, Finding Mother, the story of a young woman’s search for her natural mother. Along the way family secrets are revealed going back to the Second World War. It’s based primarily in Guernsey but has excursions to England, Spain and Jersey. It’s another story of lost love but it will have a happy ending! I’m hoping to see it published next year.

If I were to visit Guernsey, where would you recommend I start my tour? Do you have a favorite place?

Well, the whole island is lovely but everyone has to spend some time in St Peter Port – the ‘capital’. It’s a quaint old town, with some windy cobbled streets full of interesting shops and bars and restaurants. My favourite place is a bay on the north- west coast where it’s usually quiet and I can just lay on the sand and listen to the sea. As it happens, I’m just about to go back to Guernsey this month and I’m looking forward to chilling out on the beaches – weather permitting! And a trip to the magical island of Herm is a must

Thanks so much Anne. This was fun. I hope we can do this again when your next novel is ready. It would be my pleasure.

And now for the giveaway. It is International. Everyone is welcome.

Anne has generously offered two ebooks for me to giveaway. Thanks so much Anne!

To enter please leave a comment or answer this question, Do you prefer a slow blooming romance or do you want it to knock you on your butt at first meeting?

Please remember to leave an email address so I can contact you if you win:)

It isn’t required, but it would make me happy if you followed my blog and twitter. To follow Anne, just click on the links below.

Contest ends September 17th.

After you read Dangerous Waters you will understand what I meant about Anne Allen’s ability to capture the essence of this beautiful Isle. Visit Guernsey and see for yourself. Watch this video.

 

Anne Allen

Biography

Anne was born in Rugby to a Welsh father and an English mother. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. Now she is based in Devon to be near her daughter and 2 small grandchildren. Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves, the longest stay being in Guernsey for twelve years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns. Her younger son is based in London – ideal for City breaks.
By profession Anne is a psychotherapist but had long had a desire to write and Dangerous Waters is her first novel.
She is currently writing Finding Mother, another book set predominantly in Guernsey.
 
 
You can find Anne here:

Oh My! Do I have a fun book for you! Las Vegas, casinos, steamy romance and mystery!  Fair Play by Janna Shay has everything to offer!

And to make it even better, I have Janna here for an interview and she has offered two e-books of Fair Play for my giveaway.

Keep reading and enjoy. To enter the contest, look for the  Kiss at bottom of the post!

I have so much to tell you. I had such a good time reading FAIR PLAY! This story starts out hot and gets hotter and hotter. The sexual and emotional radar pings frequently.

Dani is enjoying some time alone at the rooftop pool. Her new job as a waitress at the Diamond Hotel & Casino starts soon.  She drifts off to sleep under the warm touch of the sun.

In her dream, cool hands linger on her skin, caressing her body. She awakens slowly, her eyes focusing on a man’s muscular legs standing next to her. Her gaze moves upward to lock on a pair of hazel eyes looking into hers.

Jace noticed Dani lying by the pool and went over to meet the new waitress for his casino. As he got closer, he took his time admiring her body, slim and shapely with curves in all the right places. He couldn’t resist touching her silky skin.

Dani sat up but continued to lock eyes with the handsome man before her, returning his smile. As his eyes travel downward and lock onto her body, Dani is mortified to realize her top was still on the lounger and her breasts were bare to his gaze.

A primal, sexual attraction pulls them to each other, and if not for the distant sound of a door shutting, they may have given in to their desires. Both are left wondering what had happened. Things had almost gotten out of control.

Dani is embarrassed and quickly turns defensive, spurning his comments that she had responded as willing as he did. She makes a quick exit.

What Dani doesn’t know is, Jace is the owner of the casino and her new boss and he is not done with her yet. His pursuit of Dani is relentless, his alpha male attraction to her (not paranormal) sends his blood racing whenever she is near.

Let me give you a taste so you’ll see what I am talking about!

Jace watched Dani until she left his office. There was a latent sensuality about her that was intriguing and pulled at him. It wasn’t just her body, although he’d have to be dead not to appreciate it. She was intelligent, principled, and had a temper. He liked a woman with spirit, and had every intention of pursuing her on a personal level. She may not admit it, but he knew she was interested in him. “Until the next time.”

Dani was having troubles of her own. Her body hums when Jace is near. She can’t have a relationship with her boss. She needs this job, and knows it’s always bad to mix business with pleasure. Still, her body betrays her at each encounter, pulling her towards him. She vows to keep this strictly professional. But Jace will not be denied.

“You can lie to yourself all you want, but there’s something between us, even if you won’t admit it. Ignoring it isn’t going to make it go away.”

This is just a small tease of what you are in store for. This hot and cold romance is full of steamy, sensual encounters and fiery dialogue. Whenever these two get together it is fireworks!

I can’t wait for you to read about Jace’s plan to break down Dani’s denials. It is so devilishly sexy and charming. I laughed in delight. I want me a Jace!

There is more to this story than just romance. Dani has a secret. A big one, that keeps her on the move. All the more reason to not get involved with Jace, despite her growing emotional attachment to him. Her secret, if revealed, could land her in jail. So, no relationships allowed. She is truly caught between a rock and a hard place.

I really like Dani. She is strong-willed and intelligent, but still has her insecurities. That makes her very real for me. I can relate to her fears of  falling in love and forming a commitment. Aren’t we all afraid to have our heart crushed. She is also not afraid to tell it like it is and gives as good as she gets and this makes for some fun, laugh out loud moments. She also discovers her own sexuality and I liked how her confidence grew in the bedroom.

Jace. Oh Wow! He has this sarcastic wit which is a big turn on for me. Nothing sexier! I can just see his lips curve into that sardonic smile. And his tenderness with Dani makes your limbs weak. He can really set your head and heart spinning.

Set in Las Vegas, the city of all that glitters, FAIR PLAY sparkles like a diamond. With lots of entertaining characters and laugh out loud moments along with Dani’s mysterious past, this book will keep you rapt and eager to continue.

Janna really knows how to write erotic, pulse racing, beyond the bedroom door sexual romance. Spicing it up with some mystery and comedy. The pace of the story is fast and fun to follow, and her placement of pivotal scenes is right on.  A few small typos, but nothing that breaks the flow your reading.

Now let’s learn about Janna. Enjoy the interview!

Fair Play was so fun to read Janna. Thanks so much for coming by to talk with us.

 I know everyone is waiting to learn more about you, so lets start by having you tell us something about yourself.

I have 7 grown children, 23 grandchildren, and one very romantic husband, who is the love of my life. And no, I did not want 7 children – I wanted 9. I figured since my husband was drafted by a major league baseball team, I’d start my own team. But instead of a baseball team, I ended up with a cheer squad who support and encourage me in my writing career. I consider myself extremely blessed to have them in my life.

I’m a voracious reader, who reads at least one book a day. I started reading at a very young age and spent most of my youth at the local library pouring through books. I find my laptop, kindle, and smart phone are items I cannot live without.

  Books are listed under different genres depending upon what site you are visiting. What genre would you say Fair Play is?

I’d say Fair Play is a contemporary romance with a little bit of suspense, though most sites classify it under contemporary romance.

 I have never been to Las Vegas, but if Jace were available I’d be tempted. How did you choose this city as the setting for your story?

I knew I wanted to write a romantic novel about a devastatingly handsome alpha male and a beautiful, sexy woman who had an overabundance of chemistry between them. While contemplating my story, I saw an advertisement for Las Vegas that stated, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. The wheels in my head starting turning and I thought I’d put the two together and maybe create some fireworks.

 I really liked Dani. Does her character resemble you?

That’s a difficult question to answer. I’d have to say to a degree. My sense of humor spilled over into Dani, although I don’t have the insecurities she had in the beginning. As far as her strong beliefs, loyalty, and compassion, I’d say we’re similar.

 Was it easy or hard to write your bedroom scenes? You had some steamy ones!

It was actually easy to write my bedroom scenes. I am a person who believes in love and all the feelings that go with it. To me sensuality and passion are a big part of those feelings. To put into words the visceral emotions combined with the physicality came naturally to me.

 Are you currently working on something, and would you care to share with us?

I’m currently working on the second novel in my Diamond series, Fair Play being the first. It takes place in Vegas also, with the continuation of Jace and Dani’s story….the story of their son, Nicholas. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to spoil the fun. It should hopefully be released sometime at the end of this year or beginning of next.

Thanks Janna. I’ll be waiting!

Now for some fun flash questions!
1) How do you like your man?
a) tender and catering to all of your needs
b) strong but fair
c) no words, all action

How about all of the above? If I have to pick then it’s b) strong but fair. I have a weakness for strong men.

Is there such a thing as all of the above? I want one! Great choice Janna.

2) How do you like your relationship to start?
a) slow and easy
b) knock your socks off, don’t waste time

Knock my socks off all the way and don’t dare waste time. I love a man who knows what he wants and goes for it.

3) If you were stranded on a tropical island and could have one sexy actor there with you, who would it be?

I can only have one? You’re killing me, Laura. If I must choose, then I’d have to say Johnny Depp. Afterall, who’s a better choice than Captain Jack Sparrow with his knowledge of tropical islands?

My choice also. Johnny is a juicy bad boy!

 This has been so fun. I know I threw some wild questions at you. Thanks for playing along and for the opportunity to read and review Fair Play.

 

GIVEAWAY

I have two e-book copies to giveaway today. To enter, please leave a comment along with your e-mail address.

While it is not required, it would be very much appreciated if you would follow my blog and follow Janna at the links provided below. Also, if you liked this post please hit that twitter and Like button:)

Contest ends on September 12th

About Janna

Janna Shay is a native Californian who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and miniature schnauzer.  She is a mother of seven grown children and has twenty-three grandchildren, with all her children living in nearby Northern California communities.

Janna was introduced to books at the age of five, which began a lifelong love of reading.  As a child she would spend endless hours at the local library pouring through all genres of books.  It wasn’t until her teens that her love of romance novels blossomed.

When Janna isn’t following her dream of writing or enjoying her love of reading, she can be found engaging in her other love, which is activities with her family.

Janna is a member of Romance Writers of America and San Francisco Area Romance Writers of America.

Contacts

Website – http://JannaShay.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/JannaShayAuthor

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/@jannashay

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13651928-fair-play

I was given this book for an honest review. Thank you Janna.

To purchase your copy of Fair Play, click on the cover below or in the sidebar.

Lets talk about in the midst of darkness by Nicole Bailey. After my review read further to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed paperback and one of Nicole’s pretty bookmarks, and I have a BONUS for you. Nicole is stopping by for an interview. So keep reading and get to know the author behind this story.

For the giveaway details, just look for the BOOKWORM at the bottom of the post.

In the Midst of Darkness (Book 1)

Waverly grew up in Yachats, Oregon. A small town. A really small town, Population: 617. As soon as she graduated high school she got out of there and landed in Portstewart, Ireland, close to the university she would be attending.

One day, while following her usual routine of heading to the beach for a walk, she quite literally bumped into Finn O’neill.  They both felt the rush of electricity between them upon contact.

They quickly became inseparable, feeling as if they had known each other for a long time.

But Finn is hiding a secret, a secret that if revealed could  put both of their lives in danger.

To complicate things, Waverly’s best friend Jess comes to visit and is caught up in the deadly game of cat and mouse between Finn and his cousin Kieran.

Will they risk all to be together and can they survive what is coming?

You’ll have to read the book to find out:)

I found this book to be fun and quick to read.  There is no love triangle here but there is some instant love. I found it to be believable as we all experienced this “puppy love” as young adults. For some, it lasted, for others, it faded with time. The attraction between Waverly and Finn goes beyond this, is almost spiritual and meant to be. It brought back a rush of tenderness.

As for Jess. She is the friend we all had that we called complicated. She is young and brash, diving headlong into whatever interests her at the moment. Sometimes she behaves selfishly, but didn’t we all when we were younger? She is also very loyal and steps up when needed.

Kieran is just plain bad. Selfish and cruel, he is  always about self-gratification and doesn’t care who he crushes in that pursuit. There is not one redeeming quality in him. His character is well written.

in the midst of darkness is what I would call a YA Fantasy or YA Paranormal Romance. I feel it is written for mature teens to adults and would recommend this to the young ladies out there.

The only thing that put me off was the use of the word Love. It was used as a term of endearment by Finn, and it was used often. But that is a small detail and maybe in Ireland, that is the norm. It did not take away from an enjoyable reading experience.

The story is a little slow in the beginning but once the characters and plot are established it gets rolling and builds to some interesting predicaments and the author wraps it up nicely, with an ending that leaves you wondering what comes next.

This is Nicole’s debut novel and she is hard at work writing the sequel. We will be hearing (and reading) more from this author. I look forward to the next chapter in the lives of Waverly and Finn.

  I really liked it and recommend it.

REceived this book from the author for my honest review. Thanks so much Nicole.

Please welcome Nicole Bailey

Hi Nicole. Thank you for stopping by. Lets get right to it!

What genre do you classify in the midst of darkness as, and is there another genre you would like to write?

I would consider it to be Young Adult Paranormal Romance. I don’t really think it’s for younger teens though, although it is pretty clean compared to a lot of the other stuff out there in my genre. I don’t know if I could ever write another genre. This genre has always been my favorite, so it’s what I’m most familiar with. My friends and family have told me I should write a book about the adventures of living with all boys after reading our family blog. Maybe one day.

Could you explain your writing process? Do you start with a character or does the plot come first?

This book actually started by itself one night. A friend on facebook posted, “So there I was…” That’s it. For some reason, that sparked an idea and within a few minutes, the prologue came to be. I wrote a couple of chapters within the next couple of weeks, and then it just sat there. I never really dreamed that it would turn into a book, though. After the prologue, I had to figure out some names. I have always loved the name Finn, and I researched names for Waverly. I wanted a three syllable name because when he’s calling to her in the prologue, that’s the way I imagined it. In the beginning, I had no plot. It literally came as I was writing. I had a few ideas of what I wanted to happen, but not a set plot. Last summer, I decided that I wanted to work on it, and I ended up writing the entire book during summer break.

I always want to ask this and keep forgetting. How do you choose the names for your characters?

As far as the other characters go, I wanted authentic Irish names, so I went online and looked up some names that sounded cool. Kieran’s name actually means “dark one,” so I thought that fit his character well. Jessie just popped in my head while I was writing. I’ve always liked those boy names that can be girl names also.

Where do you like to write, and do you use pencil and paper or write on the computer?

I wrote the book in my kitchen at our computer desk. The night I wrote the prologue, I grabbed a pen and paper quickly to write it down before I forgot and then put it on the computer.

What do you do for fun when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I enjoy hanging out with my family. I love to watch my boys play baseball and football. I like to scrapbook, but haven’t done any in forever. I enjoy watching movies with my husband as well.

I know you are very busy writing the sequel to in the midst of darkness. Is there anything you can share with us, perhaps a tease about what’s coming up?

I’m planning on posting the prologue to Return to Darkness on my blog soon. I will let you know that Jessie meets someone and there is a trip back to Ireland. We haven’t heard the last of Kieran or his father, Darcy either.

Now I am going to throw in some fun questions.

What is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation is Ireland of course! I always wanted to go to Paris. I dreamed of it for years. But then I started writing this book and fell in love with Portstewart. I would love to make enough money from the book sales to travel there with my husband someday.

What scares you?

I’m terrified of sharks. I grew up in California going to the beach. I saw “Jaws” as a young girl and have been afraid of them ever since.

Do you prefer watching movies or TV shows?

I love to watch both movies and TV. But if I had to choose, I would probably pick movies. My favorites are 80’s movies and Romantic Comedies.

Do you like swimming at the beach or a pool?

I love the beach. Waverly has a lot of my characteristics, including a love of the beach. I actually grew up going to Newport Beach all summer long. I loved to swim in the ocean and just got back this summer for a day during our vacation. It’s never long enough for me to get my fix.

What’s you favorite holiday?

Favorite holiday has always been Halloween. I love to dress up and who doesn’t love candy. But the last couple of years, I have decided I love Thanksgiving more. I love my husband’s fried turkey!

Thank you for stopping in Nicole. I know you are busy writing and I appreciate you taking time out from your schedule to share with us.

Thanks again Laura! I enjoy talking about the book and how it came to be. And I appreciate all of your help and interest.

And now for the giveaway!

Nicole has offered one Signed Paperback and one lovely bookmark of in the midst of darkness.

Isn’t that awesome!

 

As always it is easy to enter. Just leave your email and a comment for Nicole, or say something about the interview or this post.

Contest ends September 8th.

While it is not required, it is much appreciated if you would follow my blog.

Also you can follow Nicole here:

http://www.inthemidstofdarkness.blogspot.com

https://twitter.com/MidstofDarkness

Contact: Nicole Bailey penquilla@gmail.com

Get to know Nicole

Nicole is a stay-at-home mother of four busy boys. When she isn’t at sporting events and chauffering the boys, she finds time to write. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Boise State University, and she recently rediscovered her passion for writing. In The Midst of Darkness is Nicole’s first novel and she is currently working on the sequel.

To purchase her book, just click on the cover image.

GOOD LUCK!!  If you liked this post please hit that twitter button.

Information about the giveaway for Tiger Paw is included after the interview. Thanks so much.

As you all know by now. I absolutely loved Tiger Paw by Charles A. Cornell.

Tiger Paw

I asked him to take some time out from his busy schedule for an interview and he graciously agreed. So grab your favorite Tiger Paw Beer Shake and some popcorn or pretzels and enjoy the show!

How about you tell us something about yourself as that is the way these things usually start.

I’m what they call a ‘TransAtlantic’ – born in England, raised in Canada, now living in the Detroit area. I have a degree in Metallurgy from the University of Sheffield in the UK and an MBA from a college in Michigan. I’ve been happily married to the same person for over 35 years (the formula will be bottled and on sale at my website soon). Our one and only son is a talented rock guitarist which means he is one notch above poverty until he gets discovered.

Your book trailer for Tiger Paw is top-notch. I want to see the movie! Where did you come up with the artwork for the Goddess and could you tell us about your process in creating the trailer?

In Tiger Paw, I created a fictional Hindu Demon-Goddess, called Dvaipa which is Hindi for ‘from a tiger’. In the book, I called the antagonists – a cult of devil worshippers – the Temple of Dvaipa. I chose to create both of these as a work of fiction out of deep respect for the followers of Hinduism. They will know that Dvaipa is a work of fiction. Tiger Paw is full of references to Hindu scripture and legends. It also contrasts Hinduism with Christianity in my humble attempt to explore the similarities which bind us as a human race, rather than the issues that divide us.

The ancient art in the Tiger Paw video is actually of Narasimha or Narasingh, an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. See Wikipedia for more… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narasimha  Half-man/half-lion, with a lion-like face and claws, Narasingh is a force for good. In the artwork, he is shown destroying a demon. It was my inspiration for Dvaipa – my fictional Demon-Goddess, half-woman/half-tiger. I just reversed the ideas to make Dvaipa the incarnation of evil.

I paid for licensed photos for my book cover, website, blog and video from iStockPhoto. I also use free license photos available from Wikimedia Commons. Link… http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page  I follow their licensing guidelines closely.

One of the cool mini-videos I paid for is the bullet that flies through glass. It has no sound attached to it, so I also licensed a breaking glass sound effect and then had to splice the sound into the video to match it with the exact moment that the bullet crashed through the glass. I use Magix Movie Editor Pro 17. It has some great transition effects that can make still images look like they’re moving. Examples in the video are the fog (it’s a still photo that scrolls and fades), the New York City skyline (a panorama scroll) and the final shot of the tiger coming out of my book cover which is a combination of an ‘earthquake’ special effect with a ‘zoom-out’. After much experimenting, I got pretty dangerous with effects. Just wait until you see my trailer for the sequel, Lucifer’s Key!

There are some excellent sound tracks available from Shock Wave Sound. (Link… http://www.shockwave-sound.com/  ) The music is called ‘Cool City’. With Magix Movie Editor it was easy to splice the sound track so that I could match the drama of specific musical sections with each set of images. Check out the point where the video reveals ‘A Mystic Symbol’ to see that.

When the idea for Tiger Paw first began, which came first, The Temple of Dvaipa and her followers or your protagonist, Scott Forrester? I am curious as to which you used to build the story around. Or was it written around current shenanigans going on with Wall Street?

What an incredible question! I looked back in my archives and pulled up my first chapter outline of Tiger Paw from 2003. Tiger Paw was not my first novel. The year before that, I had finished an espionage novel about a Navy SEAL recruited into the CIA to stop a nuclear terrorist attack. It was OK, but in hindsight it needed some work. It remains unpublished. One of the biggest problems I had was that I’m neither an ex-Navy SEAL nor an ex-CIA agent, so my author’s bio didn’t resonate with agents. Instead of re-writing this spy novel to make it better, I decided to start over and write a murder mystery set in Wall Street, a topic which is definitely in my resume as a businessman and investor.

I’d really forgotten how Tiger Paw originally started until you asked me (that happens when you get older!). There was no Temple of Dvaipa. That idea came later. So the answer is… Scott Forrester came first. Also, well over half of the characters’ names changed from my initial selections for a variety of reasons, some practical and some because I didn’t like the way they sounded!

Tiger Paw is built around the following ‘what if’ question… ‘What if Wall Street defrauded the wrong investors? People who could really fight back?’ I did a lot of research on psychopaths and sociopaths. I wanted my serial killer to be driven by the same sense of revenge that everyone else who has lost money in the stock market feels. I also read the book, ‘Snakes in Suits’, written by a psychologist. It’s about how sociopathic personalities can be very successful in business. You may have a sociopathic manager or executive working in your company and not realize it. They may not act out their value system in a murderous way but evil can take many other forms. So Tiger Paw evolved into sociopaths being murdered by other sociopaths. And us ‘little guys’ get to watch!

But there had to be more to the motive than that. That’s when I came to the realization that sociopaths have value systems which seem ‘right’ to them. But what kind of thought process is this? I studied the concepts of karma and reincarnation, and from that I developed the killer’s warped sense of justice. It’s a form of religious fanaticism that is another current headline maker. The introduction of Hinduism, and the demonic cult behind the killings, hopefully creates a motive that will give readers a new world of mysticism, danger and diversity to escape into.

The final manuscript for Tiger Paw was completed in 2005 which was three years before the 2008 financial crisis and Occupy Wall Street. The ‘shenanigans’ of the moneyed elite have been going on for some time! An agent in New York liked Tiger Paw but passed on representing it. It lay dormant for three years. When the financial crisis hit and Occupy Wall Street was in the news, I knew I had a story that matched the mood of the 99%. So I updated the first chapter to add OWS and self-published it.

How hard was it to keep the killer’s identity hidden while writing Tiger Paw? I don’t recall one clue all the way to the moment of discovery! I know it couldn’t have been easy.

I really love these questions! You’re right, there are few direct clues. I actually had one that I removed because it was too obvious and would spoil the surprise at the end. There’s a way in the novel to figure out what that clue was… but I’m going to keep that secret until after the sequel, Lucifer’s Key is published.

There are actually more red herrings in Tiger Paw than clues. That is deliberate. It’s the ‘mystery’ in mystery thriller!

As you know, Laura, the reveal at the end is preceded by evidence of the exact opposite conclusion. But if I said any more, it would be a spoiler. It’s also the biggest problem I have in promoting the book. Because I can’t really say too much about the plot without diminishing the impact of the ending!

The sequel, Lucifer’s Key will have a surprise ending too.

Tiger Paw touches on some sensitive issues that are going on right now. Will the other two novels in this series have a specific theme?

Absolutely! Tiger Paw has many layers. The surface is entertainment… thrills and chills. Then there is information… about Hinduism, the danger of cults, the mechanisms of sociopathic killers, various interesting geographic locations, the history of Wall Street. Then there is the deepest layer… one that involves the psychology of evil and how it translates into our everyday world. As the Hindu protagonists in Tiger Paw state, “asuras (demons) walk all around us.” Corruption on Wall Street is the current lightning rod for this idea. But there are many other examples.

So many demons, so little time! Here are two world exclusives for Laura Thomas:

The sequel, Lucifer’s Key will involve the concept of the monetary value of human life. What do you think your life is worth? Read Lucifer’s Key to find out.

The third book, Black Venom has the potential to be the most controversial thriller ever written. I’m going to explore a political taboo, something that is whispered about in the corridors of power but never spoken about in public. As an author, this could be very dangerous. But I’m going to try. In literature, questions are often asked, ‘why do wars start?’ and ‘how can they be prevented?’ But ask yourself this, ‘once started, why are some stopped and others aren’t?’ And history has a nasty habit of repeating itself. The plot of Black Venom has already been written in the history books, it just needs to be brought into today’s world.

Tiger Paw is the first of a three novel arc. Scott Forrester’s journey starts with tracking down a demonic assassin. In Lucifer’s Key, it progresses with a prophecy from an Obeah sorceress that is a destiny he cannot escape. In Black Venom, will it be the end of the Temple of Dvaipa? Or will it be the end of the world as we know it?

World Exclusive!
Let’s talk about that missing prologue for Tiger Paw. Why did you not include it in the novel?

Another world exclusive? How greedy!

I’m going to blog about this soon, so I’m going to give you the short answer. The prologue was the original first chapter but since it didn’t include the main protagonist, it violated the genre ‘formulas’ that are prescribed. As a reader, I’m also not a fan of prologues. There’s a purpose for some, typically those that need to provide the historical context of an event that has happened maybe centuries ago. Most other prologues get in the way of starting the story. I actually recommend reading the Prologue to Tiger Paw after reading the novel because when you know who the killer is, and what their motive was, it has an extra chilling meaning.

I know you are anxious to tell us about your other passion – Saving the Tiger! Please share with us.

I don’t know what they teach about extinction in schools these days, but when I was little we were taught about the Dodo Bird. Now this was one butt ugly looking creature that had the unfortunate condition of a bird that couldn’t fly. Man introduced various predators into its environment and the ungainly avian became a toddling buffet. Too bad, eh? It’s gone now. Nothing we can do about it.

But when I was confronted with the following facts… that a hundred years ago there were 100,000 tigers in the wild and now there are fewer than 3,200… and that there are almost as many in captivity (2,500) as there are in the wild… well, it sealed the deal for me. This creature was beautiful! It’s a cultural icon everywhere around the world (it’s on cereal boxes for goodness sake!) And it’s at the very top of its food chain. So why is it going extinct? Look in the mirror to find out. If we can’t save the tiger, nothing’s safe.

For more, please visit the World Wildlife Fund’s campaign to Save the Tiger at http://www.savetigersnow.org/

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

I like bulldogs but unfortunately they don’t fit into our lifestyle at the moment. So I have a low maintenance fat cat instead.

I have one fun question for you. Which Tiger Paw Beer Shake is your favorite?

The Siberian (double chocolate stout & vanilla ice cream). My two favorite flavors, chocolate and vanilla, plus beer. What’s not to like about that!

Thank you Charles. I enjoyed this interview so much I hate for it to end. I do want to share with all of you a favorite poem of mine. Please enjoy!

The Tiger – a poem by William Blake

Tiger, Tiger burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye.

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies.

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand, dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art,

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat.

What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain,

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? what dread grasp.

Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears

And watered heaven with their tears:

Did he smile His work to see?

Did he who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, Tiger burning bright,

In the forests of the night:

What immortal hand or eye,

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

For more about the Charles:

http://www.CharlesACornell.com

http://www.facebook.com/CharlesACornell

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768487.Charles_A_Cornell

Three ways to win Tiger Paw!!!

To enter a giveaway to win your own copy of Tiger Paw: http://wp.me/p27ipo-k0 

For another chance to win a copy of Tiger Paw: http://wp.me/p27ipo-lq

And for another chance to win, go to Sherry’s blog: http://wp.me/p2uiv4-28

If you are an Amazon Prime customer, Tiger Paw is currently free for Kindle until August 31. Just click on the image at top of the post.

To purchase your own copy, click on this cover image.