Saturday, November 26, 2016

Spotlight: 'UNEXPECTED PRISONER: Memoir of a Vietnam Prisoner of War' by Robert Wideman



Title: UNEXPECTED PRISONER: Memoir of a Vietnam Prisoner of War
Genre: Memoir
Author: Robert Wideman
Websitewww.robertwideman.com       
Publisher: Graham Publishing Group
Find on Amazon

About the Book: 

When Unexpected Prisoner opens, it’s May 6, 1967 and 23-year-old Lieutenant Robert Wideman is flying a Navy A-4 Skyhawk over Vietnam.  At 23, Wideman had already served three and a half years in the Navy—and was only 27 combat days away from heading home to America. But on that cloudless day in May, on a routine bombing run, Wideman’s plane crashed and he fell into enemy hands. Captured and held for six years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam, Wideman endured the kind of pain that makes people question humanity.  Physical torture, however, was not the biggest challenge he was forced to withstand.  In his candid memoir, Unexpected Prisoner, Wideman details the raw, unvarnished tale of how he came to understand the truth behind Jean-Paul Sartre’s words: “Hell is other people.”

A gripping, first-person account that chronicles the six-year period Wideman spent in captivity as a POW, Unexpected Prisoner plunges readers deep into the heart of one of the most protracted, deadliest conflicts in American history:  the Vietnam War. Wideman, along with acclaimed memoirist Cara Lopez Lee, has crafted a story that is exquisitely engaging, richly detailed, and wholly captivating. Unexpectedly candid and vibrantly vivid, this moving memoir chronicles a POW’s struggle with enemies and comrades, Vietnamese interrogators and American commanders, lost dreams, and ultimately, himself.

With its eye-opening look at a soldier’s life before, during and after captivity, Unexpected Prisoner presents a uniquely human perspective on war and on conflicts both external and internal. An exceptional story exceptionally well-told, Unexpected Prisoner is a powerful, poignant, often provocative tale about struggle, survival, hope, and redemption.


About the Author: 

Robert Wideman was born in Montreal, grew up in East Aurora, New York, and has dual U.S./Canadian citizenship. During the Vietnam War, he flew 134 missions for the U.S. Navy and spent six years as a prisoner of war. Wideman earned a master’s degree in finance from the Naval Postgraduate School. After retiring from the Navy, he graduated from the University of Florida College of Law, practiced law in Florida and Mississippi, and became a flight instructor. Robert Wideman holds a commercial pilot’s license with an instrument rating, belongs to Veterans Plaza of Northern Colorado, and lives in Ft. Collins near his two sons and six grandchildren.

Connect with the author on the web: Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Book Blast: An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco

 

Inside the Book:

an-enlightening-quiche
Title: An Enlightening Quiche
Author: Eva Pasco
Release Date: August 22, 2016
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Dysfunctional. Deceptive. Demure. More than meets the eye at face value, Augusta Bergeron, stuck in a holding pattern, engages in morally destructive behavior she attributes to maternal abandonment. In for a rude awakening upon eggs-huming her mother's quiche recipe, she unravels its significance and forsakes erroneous assumptions. Enlightened, Augusta feels compelled to redress all the havoc she's wrought in the aftermath of a tragedy.

Augusta:Tarry in northern Rhode Island with us unpretentious French-Canadians, eh?

Tried-and-true friendships tested. Quest for Mr. Right. Impoverished mill. Unleashed secrets.  Enriched by geographic entities, historic references, and regional culture--Blackstone Valley beckons.

PURCHASE AT: AMAZON|BARNES &NOBLE

Excerpt:

Augusta: Just as a note from Mrs. Blais had enticed me to sift through stowed away sagas inside a leather crypt and revived my dormant flair for writing, Tante’s recent memoir had me scrambling inside the keepsake box for the index card bearing the brunt of a quiche recipe whose basic ingredient of spinach packed a Popeye punch to knock the wind out of a brute. I glided my fingers over the scanty fragments of my mother’s legacy, absorbing her wretchedness through parched ink still resolute in its faded glory.

Genetically endowed with Simone’s temperament, exotic features, and allure, I followed in her footsteps. Both of us derailed off righteous paths and marginally skirted brinks of disaster from having suffered the scourges of maternal abandonment.

Tante’s memoir illuminated the significance of a recipe I intended to follow exactement in revival for my birthday gathering.  Though a breakthrough for me at the time, it hadn’t yet sliced all the way through the custard as to why Monique felt compelled to salvage this from a trash basket at my mother’s last known whereabouts for me to warrant its reclamation an enlightening quiche with far-reaching effects.

 ***
 An arrow’s fly shy of America’s fowl tradition, a presidium of pulchritudinous birds of a feather flocked together at my place to feast and frolic in observance of my birthday sans gifts per my request, same as last year and every year since turning the screws past thirty. Engraved-in-stone inductees Estelle and Paul held court at the heavyset dining room table while Noel and Jenny set up camp in the adjoining parlor, away from the adults and in control of the television set with chips and dip all to themselves. The honorable Marchands, add-ons by ultimatum as in “you’re coming or else,” seated themselves accordingly according to chivalric order with Norm and Oncle prevailing as heads of state at opposite ends of the mahogany ball & claw.  Though Lindsay made the A-list of invitees, she reserved weekends for spending time with her dad whom she affectionately tagged an absentminded professor. Monique, permanently exiled from attending family functions, prevented Tante from squaring off with the gal she squarely blamed for exerting her libationary influence on me through our pigs-in-a-poke camaraderie.

Oncle prefaced the sit-down repeating aloud his last year’s wish for me to make an honest woman of myself by getting married well in advance of my setting down chocolate mousse cake with dulce de leche cream and truffle ganache, another triumph by Pâtisseries Évocatrices.  Everyone with the exception of Norm let his comment slide by rewinding their stalled conversations.

Crediting my landlord with the memory of a non-Republican elephant and a disposition to get even, I believe he expelled an untoward remark as overdue payback for my having bested him in front of Lindsay when I divulged his struggles to squeeze into an army uniform and blabbed about his scrapbook.  While placing a serving platter of bite-sized slices of French bread hors d’oeuvres alongside a large bowl of salade verte, his jab stopped me in my tracks en route to the pantry for the quiche, stingily allocating a split second for me to reload and fire back a retort of last resort.

“The other day Bernard Paquin mentioned he saw you and some fella leavin’ Chuggers by the light of the moon makin’ a run for it. Maybe he’s the one!”

Well, if that didn’t divert their attention again! “Oh, was Bernard oot and aboot making one of his special deliveries at the Post?”

My Vancouver Canuck slapshot summoned the hokey expression, “the eyes have it” through the blank stares of those dumbfounded and confounded by an innuendo.  Norm’s eyes threw daggers at me, confirming his wife hadn’t confronted him about the girlie mags.  Yolande’s eyes darted everywhere and ultimately fixated on her hostess. “Tabarnak!  What are you waiting for? Bring out the quiche!”

Meet the Author:

eva-pasco
Undergoing a midlife renaissance, Eva Pasco rekindled her passion for storytelling by featuring flawed and feisty women over forty who grapple with, confront, and overcome their personal dilemmas to become empowered in making profound life changes for the better.

 VISIT HER AT: AUTHORS DEN|GOODREADS

VIEW THE BOOK TRAILER

Book Feature: Ghost Hampton by Ken McGorry



We're excited to be part of Ken McGorry's GHOST HAMPTON blog tour this month!  Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!



Title: GHOST HAMPTON
Author: Ken McGorry
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 450
Genre: Paranormal Thriller
Lyle Hall is a new man since his car accident and spinal injury. The notoriously insensitive Bridgehampton lawyer is now afflicted with an odd sensitivity to other people's pain. Especially that of a mysterious young girl he encounters outside a long-abandoned Victorian house late one October night. “Jewel” looks about 12. But Lyle knows she’s been dead a hundred years. Jewel wants his help, but it’s unclear how. As if in return, she shows him an appalling vision—his own daughter's tombstone. If it’s to be believed, Georgie’s last day is four days away. Despite Lyle’s strained relations with his police detective daughter, he’s shocked out of complacent convalescence and back into action in the real world.

But the world now seems surreal to the formerly Scrooge-like real estate lawyer. Lyle’s motion in court enjoining the Town of Southampton from demolishing the old house goes viral because he leaked that it might be haunted. This unleashes a horde of ghost-loving demonstrators and triggers a national media frenzy. Through it all strides Lyle’s new nemesis in high heels: a beautiful, scheming TV reporter known as Silk.

Georgie Hall’s own troubles mount as a campaign of stationhouse pranks takes a disturbing sexual turn. Her very first case is underway and her main suspect is a wannabe drug lord. Meanwhile, Lyle must choose: Repair his relationship with Georgie or succumb to the devious Silk and her exclusive media contract. He tells himself seeing Georgie’s epitaph was just a hallucination. But a few miles away the would-be drug lord is loading his assault rifle. Berto needs to prove himself.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Book Excerpt:

He heard her here. She was one of the whisperers. It seemed weirdly flattering at first.
           Ensconced in the MediCab that exhausted evening of the detour, Lyle had the windows down, allowing in fresh air and the angling rays of the setting sun. Commuter traffic from the train station had been annoyingly redirected onto Poplar Street. Fred crept forward, foot on the brake, with eight more cars ahead of them. Wrung out after his wrongheaded foray to Southampton, Lyle’s arms and shoulders ached; muscles, joints, his hands too. And he felt the onset of what Dr. Susan Wayne called “free-floating anxiety.” In Lyle’s case, a blob of uneasiness that could intensify into inchoate dread.
He was slumped in his Mr. Potter when the imposing shambles of a house came into view on his right. Everybody called it Old Vic. Sporting dumb old “No Trespassing” signs as long as anyone could remember, it was commonly held that Old Vic was once a brothel. Long ago, when Bridgehampton was part of the East End’s whaling industry, before it grew into a high-end summer getaway, real-estate bonanza and snob haven.
            Then there’s the suburban legend that Old Vic was haunted. Who says? No one and everyone, whether they believe it or not.
            The MediCab was crawling by Old Vic when Lyle first heard the whispers. He rose on his elbows, his chair secured to the van’s floor, and listened. Cats in heat. No, wait. This was more subtle, conversational. A furtive murmur that piqued his curiosity. He needed to listen again.
            “Hey Fred, make a right at the corner, please?”
            “Course correction, Mr. Hall?”
            “I want to circle back for another look at the old house. And Fred, call me Lyle, okay? Lyle is fine.” It had been six months with the same driver.
            Fred made the turn. Any such whim of Lyle Hall’s, he knew, was good for a crisp off-the-books twenty. It was even worth a twenty to stop at the ATM—Lyle would entrust Fred with his debit card and pass code to avoid the hassle. He also let Fred smoke.
            Fred drove around the block clockwise. From each side street Lyle got a view of Old Vic’s battered cupola poking above the trees and roof lines of summer homes. It was unsettling—the cupola, a little booth standing atop the third story, was Old Vic’s most exposed and weather-beaten feature. Any paint was scabby and vestigial. The cupola’s large oval oculus suggested a blinded Cyclops, its leaded glass shattered by determined boys with BB guns long before Lyle was born.
            They turned onto Poplar again, and approached the house.
            “Slow down, please, Fred? Actually, could you park?”
            Fred did so. Odd request, but Mr. Hall is, or was, a real estate tycoon.
            “And roll down the windows, please? And mind turning off the radio? ...Thanks. Cut the engine too, please, Fred? ...Thank you.”
            If Mr. Hall wants to smell Old Vic, Fred figured, this could be worth more than one folded twenty. He glanced at Lyle through his mirror, lit a butt, and texted his wife.
            To the west, clouds glowing orange and pink were eclipsed by the hulking old house. It grew darker. The last of the traffic was now gone. Lyle strained to hear. He tried to listen harder, if that’s possible.
            Quiet. Listen.

 



About the Author


Ken McGorry has been writing since third grade. (He learned in first grade, but waited two years.) He started a school newspaper with friends in seventh grade, but he’s better known for his 23 years as an editor of Post Magazine, a monthly covering television and film production. This century, he took up novel-writing and Ghost Hampton and Smashed are examples. More are in the works, like the promised Ghost Hampton sequel, but he’s kinda slow.

Ken lives on Long Island with his wife and they have two strapping sons. There are dogs. Ken is also a chef (grilled cheese, and only for his sons) and he enjoys boating (if it’s someone else’s boat). He has a band, The Achievements, that plays his songs (try https://soundcloud.com/ken-mcgorry). Back at Manhattan College (English major!), he was a founding member of the venerable Meade Bros. Band. Ken really was an employee of Dan’s Papers in the Hamptons one college summer, and really did mow Dan’s lawn.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

Battle for Cymmera Book Blast & Win $25 Amazon Gift Card - ends tonight!



We’re happy to host Dani-Lyn Alexander’s BATTLE FOR CYMMERA Book Blast today! Dani-Lyn is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  Enter below.  Giveaway ends tonight!

Title: Battle for Cymmera, Kingdom of Cymmera Book Three
Author: Dani-Lyn Alexander
Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington
Pages: 226
Genre: YA Fantasy

With Chayce Maynard on the run, Ryleigh and Jackson can finally begin rebuilding their kingdom. But when a cryptic message suggests Chayce was seen in Argonas, chaos creeps back into Cymmera once more . . .

Jackson knows Cymmera will never be safe until Chayce, guilty of treason, is detained and executed. After ordering Cymmeran guardsmen to scour the land, he and the Death Dealer team brave wild Argonas in search of the informant who spotted his foe. And in his absence, Jackson not only leaves the throne empty, but the kingdom vulnerable to attack . . .

As a vicious army descends on Cymmera, Ryleigh is forced to flee to an uncharted realm with a small group of survivors—a place Jackson has no chance of discovering. Alone, but for the few people she was able to save, Ryleigh must decide whether to reclaim her kingdom or remain in the new realm forever, forsaking all she left behind . . .

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Book Excerpt:

As she slid past her throne, Ryleigh’s sword caught on the arm, and she took a step back and untangled it. She’d never get used to wearing the stupid thing everywhere she went. If not for Jackson’s insistence, it’d probably be stuffed under her bed beside the baseball bat she kept hidden there.
She pulled open a drawer on the side table behind her throne and rifled through the papers she’d stuffed in there in search of her leather appointment book. If she couldn’t find answers, may as well get some work done. It was either that or dwell on Jackson’s mission and the terror it brought. She pressed a hand against her heaving stomach. No. She couldn’t think about that. She had more immediate problems she might actually be able to do something about.
Several meetings had to be scheduled, and without writing them down, she’d never keep track of where she was supposed to be. Especially with her mind so jumbled with images of Jackson going up against Chayce.
She snatched the book, shoved the drawers shut, and turned to leave.
Ryleigh’s vision blurred. The air shimmered in the center of the throne room, and her ears popped.
She ripped her sword from its sheath even as the portal opened.
A seven-foot-tall beast built of solid muscle tore through the portal. A triple headed flail swung from one massive hand.

About the Author


Dani-Lyn lives on Long Island with her husband, three kids and three dogs. She loves spending time with her family, at the beach, the playground, or just about anywhere. In her spare time, which is rare, she enjoys reading and shopping—especially in book stores. Some of her favorite things include; Bernese Mountain Dogs, musicals, bubble baths and soft blankets. She’s an incurable insomniac, and she has an addiction to chocolate.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



            Giveaway Details:

Dani-Lyn Alexander is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • This giveaway ends midnight November 22.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on November 23.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 18, 2016

Book Blast: In Jesus' Arms by Mary E. Keenan

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Inside the Book:

in-jesus-arms
Title: In Jesus' Arms 
Author: Mary E. Keenan 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Religion 
Format: Ebook

What if you could literally see Christ and listen to Him answer some of your deepest spiritual questions: Who receives eternal life, and why? Are we still “us” after death? What happens in heaven? And is there an unseen dimension here on earth?

In In Jesus’ Arms: One Woman’s Trip to Heaven, author Mary E. Keenan shares here amazing journey being in the arms of Jesus Christ. Opening with the story of her life as an unworthy sinner who once rejected God’s forgiveness—but who found restoration through a relationship with Christ—she reveals her experience of being held and carried by Jesus as she and Christ walked together on the earth and ascended to heaven. There, Mary receives Christ’s lessons and is able to offer a glimpse into the inner workings of heaven, the mind of Christ, the preparations for the second coming, and the important messages God wants individuals and churches to heed today about the difference between faith and religious practice.

Whether you are a curious and skeptical unbeliever, a believer who avoids the church, or an active church member involved in the pastorate or other Christian organizations, In Jesus’ Arms will compel you to delve deeper into the scriptures and provide you with a joyous, hopeful account of a victorious Christ—where His lessons from the past are still current, where His plans are being carried out, and where heaven is still very much involved in our lives.  

Meet the Author:
Mary E. Keenan was born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and she has a master’s degree in adult and technical education from Marshall University, West Virginia. Now retired from a career in nursing administration and education, she loves to paint and lives with her husband, Dale, in Weirton, West Virginia.  

Giveaway

Mary is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins November 14  and ends on November 25.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on November 26.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Book Feature: I, Angus by Mike Hartner



We're happy to host Mike Hartner's I, ANGUS (THE ETERNITY SERIES BOOK 4) virtual book tour today! Please leave a comment to let him know you stopped by!


Title: I, Angus
Author: Mike Hartner
Publisher: Eternity 4 Popsicle Publishing
Pages: 260
Genre: Historical Fiction

During a time of civil strife and purging the North has lost more men to Wars then it ever did to Nature.

Angus has grown up learning that his life is better off with only him and a family. But is that really in the Grand Plan.

The North needs someone to build community.

But first, Angus needs to be forged... beaten, shaped, bolded and trained.

Watch as Angus hits both lows and highs across the lands of England, Scotland and France, before meeting a challenge of new land.

BUYING LINKS:



Book Excerpt:

Using my hunting knife, I clean the fur away from the meat. Then I cut the rabbit meat into strips and put it into the smaller pot of water. I add some carrots Alice had stashed away, and a few turnips that I have found on my own, and an onion. While everything is cooking, I take a large pail of hot water to where Angela is sitting on a bench in the kitchen and help her clean her legs and knees. Yes, I’m more than a little curious.
She startles me when she asks, “Why are you doing this?” I say nothing and she asks again, “Why are you doing this?”
All I can say is, “What do you mean?”
“What I mean is, why are you helping me? Why are you tending to my scrapes and my hurt ankle? Why are you cooking food for me? Why are you the first man who hasn’t tried to beat me? Or worse?”
“Is there a problem with my taking care of you, lass?”
She hesitates. “I don’t know. Nobody has ever taken any notice of me like this. Not even Da’. He’s been too busy grieving Mother to pay attention to me except to take out his anger. If my own da’ won’t pay attention to me, then why should you?”
This strikes me to my core, and I stand up in shock. The blow of those words is akin to being kicked in the gut by a horse. How can anyone so young be so wrong about life? The look of discomfort and disbelief on her face is just as hard to understand. I search for the necessary words but they escape me.

About the Author

Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

Mike’s latest book is I, Angus (The Eternity Series Book 4).

For More Information


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lena Gregory's DEATH AT FIRST SIGHT Book Blast Today! Win $25 Amazon Gift Card!


We're happy to present to you Lena Gregory's DEATH AT FIRST SIGHT Book Blast today! Lena is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Enter below!


Title: Death at First Sight
Author: Lena Gregory
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 304
Genre: Cozy Mystery
It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that something’s not right on Bay Island...

Since she left her psychiatric practice in New York City to open up a psychic shop in her hometown on Bay Island, Cass Donovan has given her fair share of readings to conflicted customers. But what she sees in Ellie Callahan’s future doesn’t bode well.

When Ellie’s mother, Marge, publicly confronts Cass about the reading, the embarrassment makes her want to curl up and die. And when she later stumbles across Marge’s body—and is a suspect in her murder—Cass is suddenly the star of Bay Island’s rumor mill.

Cass is determined to prove her innocence and save Ellie from meeting the fate in her unfortunate vision. But even with the help of her friends Bee and Stephanie, Cass will have to channel some serious sleuthing instincts to find the real killer...

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Book Excerpt:

Cass sucked in a breath, the gasp audible in the silence of the small room. Oh no . . . The walls pressed in on her, loomed over her, threatened to suffocate her. This cant be
happening again.

Is everything all right?

Umm . . . sure. Darkness encroached, tunneling her vision. She forced it back, counted to ten, took deep breathsanything to fight back the blackness. She struggled against the urge to push the glass ball away from her. Sorry. I must have zoned out for a minute.She averted her gaze, hoping the other woman wouldnt catch the lie.

The womans eyebrows drew together, a frown creasing her forehead.

Are you sure you didnt see anything bad?Cass forced a laugh as she shoved her chair back, stood, and moved away from the table. Of course not. I told you

I would only allow good spirits to enter.Liar.


About the Author

Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

* * *  GIVEAWAY * * *

Lena Gregory is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card
  • This giveaway ends midnight November 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on December 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



Monday, November 14, 2016

Book Feature: The Weaver by Emmi Itaranta

 

Inside the Book:


Title: The Weaver
Author: Emmi Itaranta
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Genre: Dystopian
Format: Ebook

The author of the critically acclaimed Memory of Water returns with this literary ecological tale in the vein of Ursula K. Le Guin and Sheri S. Tepper, in which an innocent young woman becomes entangled in a web of ancient secrets and deadly lies that lie at the dark center of her prosperous island world.

Eliana is a model citizen of the island, a weaver in the prestigious House of Webs. She also harbors a dangerous secret—she can dream, an ability forbidden by the island’s elusive council of elders. No one talks about the dreamers, the undesirables ostracized from society.

But the web of protection Eliana has woven around herself begins to unravel when a young girl is found lying unconscious in a pool of blood on the stones outside the house. Robbed of speech by her attackers, the only clue to her identity is one word tattooed in invisible ink across her palm: Eliana. Why does this mysterious girl bear her name? What links her to the weaver—and could she hold Eliana’s fate in her hand?

As Eliana finds herself growing closer to this injured girl she is bound to in ways she doesn’t understand, the enchanting lies of the island begin to crumble, revealing a deep and ancient corruption. Joining a band of brave rebels determined to expose the island’s dark secrets, Eliana becomes a target of ruthless forces determined to destroy her. To save herself and those she loves, she must call on the power within her she thought was her greatest weakness: her dreams.

 

Meet the Author:



Emmi Itäranta (b. 1976) was born in Tampere, Finland, where she also grew up. She holds one MA in Drama and Theatre Studies from the University of Tampere, and another from the University of Kent, UK, where she began writing her debut novel Memory of Water as a part of her Creative Writing masters degree. She later completed the full manuscript in both Finnish and English. The novel won the Fantasy and Sci-fi Literary Contest organised by the Finnish publishing house Teos. It was published to enthusiastic reviews in Finland in 2012 under the title Teemestarin kirja. In 2015 the English language version, Memory of Water, was nominated for the Philip K. Dick award in the US and the Arthur C. Clarke award in the UK. Translation rights to the award-winning novel have been sold in 21 territories to date. Itäranta’s second novel Kudottujen kujien kaupunki was published in 2015, and it won her the Tampere City Literary Award. In the UK the novel is known as The City of Woven Streets, and in the US as The Weaver. Itäranta’s professional background is an eclectic blend of writing-related activities, including stints as a columnist, theatre critic, dramaturge, scriptwriter and press officer. She lives in Canterbury, UK.

Connect with Emmi: Website | Facebook | Twitter
 

——————

Tour Schedule

 Monday, November 7 
Guest blogging at Books, Dreams, Life
Book featured at The Dark Phantom

Tuesday, November 8
Book featured at Literal Exposure
Book featured at The Literary Nook

Wednesday, November 9
Book featured at A Title Wave
Book featured at As the Pages Turn

Thursday, November 10
Book featured at Voodoo Princess

Friday, November 11
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Book featured at All Inclusive Retort
________
Monday, November 14
Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Tuesday, November 15
Book featured at My Bookish Pleasures

Wednesday, November 16
Book featured at Mello and June
Book featured at Harmonious Publicity

Thursday, November 17
Book featured at CBY Book Club
Book featured at Write and Take Flight

Friday, November 18
Book featured at Bound 2 Escape
Book reviewed at Cover2Cover

Book Confessions of Sam Reed, author of 'Fair to Hope'



Sam Reed is a born and bred southern girl who grew up reading Toni Morrison, Archie Comics, Christopher Pike, Octavia Butler, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. When she’s not thinking of what to write, she is napping or eating, going to church, wishing she could sing, trying to perfect her Grandma’s biscuit recipe, watching A Different World reruns, sitting in the sun—or reading a book.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


About the Book:

Title: FAIR TO HOPE
Author: Sam Reed
Publisher: North Loop Books
Pages: 222
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Velma had lived two lives: her first as a former foster kid, and her second as an unlikely recruit into a secret order that satisfied her need for retribution. Her fifteen-year-old self had given up on hope, but after three years with the Taram, she’d found her life’s purpose.

That is, until she is surprisingly named Kachina, the fabled chosen empowered to fight the last battle for the fate of the world. Having to kill someone she loves was never part of the bargain, even if it means saving everyone else from damnation.

Building a normal life free from the pull of the Taram—seems like the only answer to her prayers. Except her best friend, the other Kachina, is coming. The legend is clear that one of them must die.

Velma will have to weigh the cost of her life against a world that’s constantly betrayed her and quite literally decide if she’ll be damned in dying, taking the whole world with her.

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What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

My mom, she was a writer but let it go when she had kids in order to provide for us. But she had notebooks of short stories and poems and reading them was confidence for me, because they were good, and I would think, some of that lady is in my DNA - so I should be able to do that, too. And then all the writers who I felt like were amazing at showing the subtle savagery of people coupled with our unbelievable ability to rally, and hope, and show up - folks like Stephen King, and Octavia Butler, Toni Morrison, Dean Koontz, Christopher Pike (his young adult books for me growing up were epic, always such strong female characters that had very little to do with a girl navigating a life around a boy, which was prevalent and still is in some sense, that ‘relationship’ defines you - you weren’t okay until you met him, you won’t be okay without him, that is so short-sighted for not just girls but boys too - relationships are beautiful, love is a blessing, but love yourself first), George Orwell, Zora Neale Hurston, Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I was really young, probably around 6 or 7. I would write poems and share them with my mom, they were horrible, but I thought they were amazing, lol. I was probably around 12 when I started carrying around a 3-ring binder to write my first book, it was like the 1980’s version of a laptop. But I could never finish it. I would have an idea and get a few pages in, but then the reality of having to write so many pages more would become daunting, so I would feel overwhelmed and give up. Because of that, as I got older, it got easier and easier for me to decide that writing wasn’t a real career, especially being a fiction writer. The responsible thing to do was to go to college, get a degree, and then get me a good ole’ job with a nice retirement plan. But that never felt right, I always felt completely unfulfilled. It wasn’t until I was in my early 30’s, and picked up a leather bound journal, and said I was gonna give this whole writing a book thing one more try, that stuff started to click into place. Then all the sudden that little journal was full and I thought, I just might be able to do this.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

Not systematically. What I do find is I’ll see a movie or read something and think, what would that idea look like if it was turned on its head? Or, man, I’d love to write something that makes me feel the way I’m feeling right now, that has the ability to engage someone the way I’m engaged right now. Or I’ll see something that just blows me away so creatively, (like the first time I saw the Matrix, or the first time I read Beloved), where I’m just sort of stunned into this place of reflection, this idea that the best stories are just about people – how with the right push and pull, those stories can completely blow your mind! 

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

Kinda? Lol, I can name the things that have really helped me, and sort of freed me to work in a way that allows me to get words on the page:
1.      1.         Write consistently but not necessarily every day. There are folks who say you should write everyday, but that doesn’t work for me, some days the words just won’t come and trying to force them either makes me feel completely defeated, or I end up erasing 100’s of words the next day when I go back and realize it was all garbage. So instead, I promise myself that I’ll write consistently, which for me means at least a few days a week. I’ll also set monthly word count goals, and as long as I meet those goals then I know I’m staying on track, but it also gives me the liberty to write voraciously when the words are flowing and to take a break when they’re not.
2.      2.         You don’t have to write your story linearly. This was huge, huge, huge for me! When I first started writing I would spend so much time stuck because I didn’t know how to get one scene to progress to where I wanted it to go. I’d know what needed to happen in chapter 10, for example, but hadn’t yet figured out how to get there from chapter 3. Then one day I was reading an article in a writing magazine and an author was saying how she never wrote her story in order, she wrote the pieces as they came to her; and it was like someone had given me the keys to the kingdom. I didn’t even finish reading the rest of the article, just jumped on my computer and wrote all of chapter 10, and then chapter 5 and then the book’s closing scene, before being struck with the inspiration for what chapter 3 needed. Now, writing that way is my norm. I write the parts that are eager to reveal themselves, and wait for those that need to be coaxed out, knowing in the end I’ll b able to fit it all together.
3.      3.         Celebrate the small victories. Writing is such a solitary practice, and it can be hard to relate it to others who have more traditional jobs. They may have had a hard day at the office, while, in the same day, you may have had the last 4,000 words feel like they were clawing their way out of you. That may be something that will be hard for non-writers to understand, so you may have to recognize those things for yourself. It’s not just writing a book that’s an accomplishment, often getting the first chapter finished is an accomplishment, or making it through your 5th round of edits, and when it’s over, realizing you still love your book, is an accomplishment. So find ways to pat yourself on the back for those things. For me, that’s single malt scotch and some shortbread cookies, or an hour to read a book that I’ve been dying to dig into. I think it can be anything that brings you some joy and peace, and I think it’s necessary. If you only celebrate sales, or rankings or anything judged by other people it can become really easy to be disillusioned, so commit to celebrating what you create on the page as it comes to life. You’re a writer, it’s not an easy thing to do, so bravo to you. 

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

I try not to, but it happens. I find that when I’m distracted it can be hard for me to flip that creative switch in my brain, and focus on getting lost in the story I’m trying to tell. Schedules can help with that, when things run smoothly, it means my time blocks are accounted for, I can check my boxes once things are done and then settle down to write without distractions. Of course, life being life, it doesn’t always work that way, but then it would be too easy right? Life is what makes things interesting.

What hours do you write best?

I write best whenever it’s quiet, when I can feel like I have the house to myself; so that’s either early morning or late night. Then I have little rituals that I do to settle in – make some coffee or tea, find the right music to play, put out the right snacks, (I tend to favor stuff like grapes in the morning, salty things like pretzels or chips at night), sit in my chair with my fuzzy blanket, open up the computer and try to fill up the white space as best I can.

What are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading Night Film by Marisha Pesssl, and am amazed by the weaving of the story, and the suspense. I’m halfway through and have no idea how it’s going to resolve itself, plus it’s just spooky enough to be a perfect Halloween read at the same time.

What are you currently working on?

I’m actually currently trying to shop my second novel for an agent, it’s a completely different animal than Fair to Hope. It’s a adult literary fiction called Gray Salt. I actually recently pitched it on Twitter as part of #DVPit which is an amazing opportunity for diversity authors, so fingers crossed it’ll lead to something exciting. I’m also working on grinding out my next book…which is in such an early stage I’m still not entirely sure what it’ll be about, hopefully it’ll let me know soon, lol.