Thursday, December 15, 2016

Deborah Brown's PARADISE SERIES BOOK BLAST!


We're happy to host Deborah Brown's PARADISE SERIES Book Blast today! Please leave a comment to let her know you stopped by!



Title: Paradise Series
Author: Deborah Brown
Publisher: Paradise Books
Pages: 626 (total in series)
Genre: Mystery/Humor

Crazy in Paradise: Dying in the middle of the summer in the Florida Keys is sweaty business. Welcome to Tarpon Cove. Madison Westin has inherited her aunt's beachfront motel in the Florida Keys. Trouble is she’s also inherited a slew of colorful tenant's - drunks, ex-cons, and fugitives. Only one problem: First, she has to wrestle control from a conniving lawyer and shady motel manager. With the help of her new best friend, whose motto is never leave home without your Glock, they dive into a world of blackmail, murder, and drugs.

Deception in Paradise: Madison Westin is back!! The Florida Keys are hotter than ever.
With Madison's never-say-no style she's smarter and packing an attitude not to mention her Glock. This time, trouble rolls into Tarpon Cove in the form of Madison's ex-husband, Jackson Devereaux, whom she hoped to never see again. His arrival brings unparalleled chaos and an uninvited corpse. Teaming up with her hot friend, Fabiana, the two women go from chasing the usual cast of misfits and weirdos to hunting down a murderer. The action turns deadly serious when they stir up a nasty enemy as they try to stay one-step ahead in a game of cat and mouse that threatens their lives.

Trouble in Paradise: What is big news in small town Tarpon Cove? An accidental drowning or perhaps a ruthless murder? When a dead fisherman rolls up on shore, Madison cannot resist jumping into her new role as Private Investigator. But she soon discovers the people in The Cove who normally gossip about everybody's business are unusually tight-lipped. The bad tenant radar still not working, the cottages continue to be full of riffraff. Madison gets arrested, shot at, and outsmarted. She teams up with her best friend – the Glock carrying Fabiana. Together they take on cases no other investigators would ever touch!

Purchase:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:
There should be a law in South Florida that a person can’t die during the summer. The death of a loved one was hard enough without the added humiliation of sweat. I felt it rolling down my back, like a stream trapped by the belt of my dress with nowhere to go.
My name is Madison Elizabeth Westin, and I’m seated at the funeral of my favorite aunt, people watching, of all things. Most of the mourners looked ready for a pool party, some of them in shorts and bathing suit cover-ups. I was the only one dressed in black; even my brother wore khaki shorts.
The minister began, “We are gathered here today to give thanks for the life of Elizabeth Ruth Hart, who shared herself with us. It is in her memory we come together and, for all she meant to us, we are thankful.”
My mother had named me after her older sister. Elizabeth was like a second mother to my brother Brad and me. We spent summers with her in Florida, running and playing on the beach, building sandcastles, and she was a regular visitor to our home in South Carolina.
After five years of not seeing her, I had packed for a several-month stay and planned to spend the summer with her. That’s when I got a phone call from her lawyer telling me she had died. I still found it difficult to believe it had happened so suddenly.When I walked into the funeral home earlier, the heat had smothered me; this main room was suffocating. The air conditioning wasn’t working and it felt as though it was more than one hundred degrees. The director, Dickie Vanderbilt, had apologized for that, telling me that the central unit had gone out earlier in the day. He informed me he had all of the ceiling fans on high, which, in my opinion, were only circulating hot air.
Dickie Vanderbilt gave me the creeps. He had a slight build, pasty white skin, and long skinny fingers. When he reached out to touch my arm, I tried hard not to squirm.
I’m not a big fan of shaking hands. I find people only want to shake your hand when they can see you’re not interested. A friend suggested I perfect the dog paw shake for those who insist. I extend my hand like a paw and let it hang loose. Often times, they jerk their hand away and give me an odd stare, which makes me want to laugh every time.
The minister rambled on. I found him to be uninteresting, his speech dry. He talked about Elizabeth as though she were a stranger to him and everyone here. Apparently, Elizabeth’s jerk attorney, Tucker Davis, hadn’t given the minister any information about her. I didn’t understand why my aunt left all of the details of her funeral to Tucker. Why would she exclude the people who loved her and knew her best from having input? I wished I had one more day to walk along the beach to laugh, talk, and collect shells with her.
On Sunday, Tucker called to inform me that Elizabeth had died in her sleep from a heart attack. “The funeral is Wednesday, 1:00 p.m. at Tropical Slumber Funeral Home on Highway 1 in Tarpon Cove,” he told me.
“I want to help plan the funeral.”
“All of the arrangements have been made.” He sounded impatient, emphasizing his words. “If you want to, you can call anyone else you think should be informed.”
“My aunt would’ve wanted her family to be involved in the decision-making for her funeral. After all, my mother, brother, and I are the only family she had.”
“Elizabeth appointed me executor. She left me written instructions for everything she wanted done after her death, including her funeral.”
I didn’t believe him. Elizabeth loved us. She never would’ve excluded her family in this way, knowing how important it would be to us.
“I oversaw all of the arrangements myself. I’m sure you’ll be satisfied. If you have any other questions you can call my assistant, Ann.” He hung up the phone.
My aunt never once mentioned Tucker Davis to me or anyone else in the family. Here he was, a stranger, handling her estate.
The next day, I called the lawyer back to tell him that Elizabeth’s sister Madeline, her nephew Brad, and I, would attend. He refused to take my phone call, and I was frustrated.
“This is Madison Westin. May I speak with Tucker Davis?”
“I’m Ann, Mr. Davis’s assistant. He’s not accepting calls at this time. Can I help you with something?”
“I wanted to ask again if there was anything I could do in preparation for Elizabeth Hart’s funeral? Surely, you can understand how her family would want to be involved in any final decisions.”
“Mrs. Hart wanted Mr. Davis to make those arrangements, and he has. She didn’t indicate that she wanted anyone else involved in the planning. I can assure you he’s seen to all of the details. He worked directly with Mr. Vanderbilt at the funeral home.”
“I’ll be arriving later today. Would you tell Mr. Davis I’m available to help with anything that needs to be done? He can reach me at Elizabeth’s house.”
“Does Mr. Davis know you plan to stay in Mrs. Hart’s house?”
“I don’t need Mr. Davis’ permission. I’ve never stayed anywhere but the Cove Road house, and this trip won’t be any different. If Mr. Davis has a problem with my staying there, he can call me,” I said.
“Any more messages?” Ann sniffed and, without waiting for a response, hung up on me.




About the Author


Redhead. Long legs. There's nothing like a strawberry-lemonade in summer. Favorite activity: Filling my pockets with seashells. An avid rule follower when eating Animal Cookies: Broken ones get eaten first, match up the rest, duplicates next, line them up favorite to not, least favorite go first. South Florida is my home, with my ungrateful rescue cats, and where Mother Nature takes out her bad attitude in the form of hurricanes.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK




http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

5 Questions with Jane Jordan, Author of 'The Beekeeper's Daughter'

Jane was born in England, and grew up exploring the history and culture of London and surrounding counties.  After some time spent in Germany in the 1990’s she immigrated to Detroit, USA, eventually settling in South West Florida. She returned to England after a fifteen-year absence, to spend six years in the South West of England living on Exmoor.  Here, inspired by the atmosphere, beautiful scenery and the ancient history of the place, she began writing.
Jane is a trained horticulturist, and also spent time working and volunteering for Britain's National Trust at Exmoor's 1000-year-old Dunster Castle.  Gaining more insight into the history and mysteries surrounding these ancient places, and having always been intrigued by the supernatural, inspiration came for her fourth novel, The Beekeeper's Daughter, a supernatural thriller. 
Jane Returned to Florida in 2013, and lives in Sarasota.
Q: What’s inside the mind of a Dark Romance author?
A:  My work is a blend of dark romance, the supernatural with just a bit of horror thrown into the mix.  I like to write about forbidden and dangerous aspects of my characters, but the situations have to be believable, and I often draw on local myth and legend for inspiration.  I am not a fan of blood and gore for the sake of it, and in real life I would be as afraid as the next person to find myself alone in a remote ancient house at midnight.
As a writer I draw on happenings that are sometimes based on personal experiences, or from the stories I have been told to create ambitious stories with my own particular twist. I like my stories to bring an element of surprise.  To my mind romance and horror are perfect companions, and the supernatural is part of real life.
I have always been fascinated by haunted places and paranormal experiences. Storylines meander through my head all the time, and underneath the main story, subplots emerge.  When I am writing one book, I am generally working on another, or a short story.
Writing in this genre is a roller coaster of emotions.  My characters are real to me and I can imagine every conversation, every thought pattern that might emerge.  I have to see through their eyes and feel their passion. Connecting with each and every character on some level is important, as is finding a degree of compassion and understanding for even the darkest and most evil character. They are often the greatest characters to write about.
Writing allows me to unleash light and dark in equal measures.  My characters are memorable, some are moral and good, others dark and dangerous.  I like the juxtaposition of the two.  If the situations or characters I write about have a positive, negative or emotional impact on me, then, I know my reader will feel the same way.  
Q: Tell us why readers should buy The Beekeeper’s Daughter.
 A: This novel is a dark historical romance and thriller, a story where the horror creeps up on you, but by the time you realise, you are already hooked.  My stories never just fit one genre completely, and that is part of what makes them unique.
The Beekeeper’s Daughter is set on Exmoor in Victorian England.  For readers that have never visited or know nothing about Exmoor then, they will find a delightful insight into this beautiful part of South West England. Even in modern times it has aspects that are wild and untamed.  From deep wooded coombes (a narrow valley or deep hollow) to vast expanses of moorland covered with purple heather and golden gorse bushes. Towering cliffs plunge down to the water’s edge and rivers that meander under clapper bridges and through ancient forests. Exmoor is enchanting, a place of moods, where dense mists can quickly roll in from the sea and cocoon everything in an icy breath. 
Annabel is ‘The Beekeeper’s Daughter’.  She is also a bee charmer, although, her connection with the bees is both intriguing and alarming.   She has grown up surrounded by the beauty of wildest Exmoor, and her relationship with the blacksmith’s son, Jevan, is sensual and dangerous. Soon after Alex, a wealthy land owner, comes between them, a complex love triangle develops that pushes the boundaries of romance.
Annabel will do almost anything to save Jevan’s life, and soon finds herself in the midst of a haunting legacy. The witchcraft element is powerful and intriguing throughout the book.  This novel begins back at a time in history when they still burnt witches in Scotland, although, it was rare to burn a witch in England, instead of hanging them. Setting that first vital scene of a witch burning at the stake, is unforgettable, and the start of the mysterious legacy.  
Writing this story took me on a compelling and creative journey full of unexpected twists and turns.  I hope my readers will feel the same way.
Q: What makes a good Dark Romance?
A:  Strong, passionate characters that focus on the tragic or darkly emotional aspects of their love interest.  Dark romance often features aspects of the supernatural, such as vampires and witchcraft, it is a genre in which to explore the darker side of human nature.

I like to use an influence of gothic – either in architectural style prevalent in western Europe in the twelfth to sixteenth century or evocative of something gloomy and horrifying.  By combining these ideas and moods, I can create a darkly romantic story. 

Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?
A: Chaotic.  I write when I can.  I have business commitments in the mornings, so I mainly write in the afternoons, although, I have been known to get up in the middle of the night and write.  Sometimes a storyline will keep me awake, even wake me up, and I just have to write it down.
Q: What has writing taught you?
A: To write as much as I can, and to write for myself.  If I believe in my work, then, my readers will as well. Never follow trend, unless it’s what you want to do anyway. I write about the things that mean something to me and in the genre that most interests me, not because it’s fashionable. 
It is not a reflection on me as a writer if someone does not like my work, that is just personal preference. The same goes for reviews. I believe in reading only the good reviews and don’t give a second thought to a bad one, better still, don’t bother reading them.
 ///////////////////////////////



ABOUT THE BOOK

Title:  The Beekeeper’s Daughter
Genre: Thriller
Author: Jane Jordan
PublisherBlack Opal Books
Find out more on Amazon and B&N
Beekeeper’s daughter Annabel Taylor grows up wild and carefree on the moors of England in the late 1860s. A child of nature and grace with an unusual ability to charm bees, Annabel follows in the footstep of her mother Lilith, a beautiful witch.  With her closest friend and soulmate Jevan Wenham by her side, Annabel’s life is a life filled with wonder and curiosity. But Jevan, the son of a blacksmith, lives his life on the verge of destruction, and his devotion to Annabel probes the boundaries between brutality and deep desire, passion and pleasure. When Jevan leaves Exmoor to pursue an education in London, Annabel’s world shatters.  Devastated without Jevan, Annabel is sure her life is ending. But everything changes when she crosses paths with Alexander Saltonstall. The heir to the Saltonstall legacy and son of Cerberus Saltonstall, the wealthy landowner of the foreboding Gothelstone Manor, Alex is arrogant and self-assured—and enamored of the outspoken Annabel.  Even though the two are socially worlds apart, that doesn’t stop Alex from asking, or rather demanding, Annabel’s hand in marriage.  But when Annabel refuses, she is forced into an impossible situation. To further complicate matters, Jevan is back—and so are those same desires, that same passion and intensity. But nothing is as it seems, and Annabel and Jevan are in grave danger.  At risk of being ensnared into the dark legacy of the Saltonstall family, Annabel faces the ultimate test.  Will her fledgling powers be enough to save those she loves most? Can she even save herself? 

Christina Nicole Smith Talks Books



Christina Smith is an entrepreneur, consultant, mother, and published author. "Joseph's Journey" is her first children's picture book.

Born and raised in the Bay Area, she grew up in a house with 3 children, WITHOUT the white picket fence and no dog! However, there was lots of love and laughs to go around. When she was about 10 years old, she thought she was going to be the "next coming" of Whoopi Goldberg! Well, "life happened" and "that" did NOT happen, but in 2014 she was able to cross ONE ITEM off of her bucket list and perform stand-up comedy in front of a live audience.

When she's not homeschooling her son or driving him all around town to his various activities, some of Christina's favorite things to enjoy are: PEET'S COFFEE, the local library, a throw-your headback, "that brought tears to my eyes" kinda laugh; organic, gluten-free, dairy free, non-gmo food (did we mention she's from the BAY AREA?) and good music.

Christina is a certified graduate/alumnus of, certified professional speaker/author, George Ramirez' "Present with Purpose" (2008) & two-time student of his "The Miracle in the Mirror" programs. She has received a Certificate of Recognition from California State Assembly in Honor of Graduating from the Women's Initiative for Self Employment and dedication to empowering the quality of her life and her community (2007). 

Additionally, she is a student of Certified Rebirthing-Breathwork Practitioner, Iris Nelson. She holds an Associates degree in Legal Administration/Paralegal Studies from
Heald Business College.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | YOUTUBE


About the Book:

As a mother, how do you explain an absentee father to your child without blame, anger or resentment? Empower them! Seven-year-old Joseph shares his story about when he first learns about
the POWER of choice he possesses after his father leaves and doesn't come back. His mother teaches him the difference between his father’s choices and his own. Do Joseph and Mom become angry with Joseph’s father? Well, a belief is just a thought you keep thinking over and over...find out what happens on Joseph’s Journey!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Welcome, Christina! Do you have a day job aside from writing?

You could say that. It’s not a traditional “9to5” and I don’t get paid…

What do you do? 

I’m a homeschooling mother. My son is in 6th grade.  I’m also pregnant with my second child, a girl.  I am married to her father and he has been a wonderful father to Joseph also!

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

I’d be happy to!

1.      If you are getting into the children’s book arena, and you want to self-publish, you don’t always need an illustrator. You can use high quality, royalty-free graphics to illustrate your book. Sometimes, we indie authors are on a budget but still want to produce a high-quality product.  It is possible! As a matter of fact, the book cover of the 2nd edition of Joseph’s Journey was created using a high-quality, royalty-free graphic!
2.      Fiverr.com can be your “best friend” for finding a service provider for converting your PDF print book into an ePUB version so you can sell it in online outlets like Amazon and iTunes.
3.      If you want to get your book into libraries, I suggest publishing through Ingram Spark and making sure that you include a Publisher’s “Cataloging-In-Publication” block on your copyright page. If you don’t know how to do this yourself there are online service providers that will do this for you at an economical rate.


Are you an avid reader?

YES!!

What are you reading now?

A book by a fellow indie author, “Black Bart: The Search is Over” by Robert E. Jernigan & Wiley Joiner.  I enjoy non-fictional literature over any other genre!


Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

No. Writing has not always been a passion, but reading was.  I always loved to read since I was a young child.  However, when I was in school, I had to learn to write essays about things that I was not particularly interested in so, writing was more like a chore back in those earlier years.  But, later in life, in my late 20s, I discovered I was a wonderful writer!  People was always asking me to help them with their writing.  For example, I have a degree in Legal Administrative Assistance, so people I knew would ask me to help them word & write business letters and help them prepare legal documents. I truly enjoyed writing and preparing legal documents because not only was I confident in my ability to do so, I enjoyed it and I saw that I was truly helping people formulate their words into a document that could assist them in a huge way personally.  I also found my voice with comedic writing.  I loved to write jokes and performed my own material on stage in 2014.  I got some laughs and it felt great! I never thought about writing children’s books until I became inspired to write one through experiencing what some may call a tragedy in life…when a father leaves their child and doesn’t return.

I’m working on my next children’s picture book called the ABC’s of Social and Emotional Intelligence.  As a homeschooling mother, I interact with many parents and educators online as well as offline.  One of the major concerns of parents and educators alike is how to incorporate social and emotional intelligence learning into the classroom seamlessly. Social and emotional intelligence is learning about your feelings and how to navigate those feelings to make choices for one’s highest good.   Choices that not only effect you, as an individual, but others as well.  Remember that old manager you had at work who just seemed like they didn’t have good communication or social skills? Almost all of us have experienced one of those!  Now, just imagine if this person had been taught social and emotional intelligence at a young age and practiced those skills into adulthood.  I sincerely, hope to make a difference by publishing this book.

Interview with 'Your Body, Your Style' Rani St. Pucchi



Thirty years ago, Rani St. Pucchi took the bridal world by storm, despite having no formal training in fashion. She is an award winning couture fashion designer and founder of the world-renowned bridal house St. Pucchi. A passionate and dynamic entrepreneur who launched her global empire in the United States in 1985, Rani’s vision was to create an avant-garde bridal and evening couture line with modern styling and classic details. That vision has been realized today.

Renowned for infusing her creations with touches of magnificently colored jewels, exquisite hand embroidery, delicate beading and sparkling crystals on the finest silks and laces, these inspired designs with innovative draping evoke the timeless elegance every woman desires. As one of the foremost designers to introduce exotic silk fabrics and hand embroidery, Rani is applauded for being a pioneer in bringing color to the United States bridal scene, having learned that white does not flatter everyone.

Rani has been recognized and nominated on multiple occasions for her design talent and won numerous awards as a Style Innovator. In addition, she has been honored with the Best Bridal Designer Award at the prestigious Chicago Apparel Center’s DEBI Awards (Distinctive Excellence in Bridal Industry).

Rani is famous for designing the wedding dress worn by “Phoebe” as she captured the hearts of millions when she said “I Do” in a unique St. Pucchi Lilac corset bodice A-line gown on the finale of the hit television show Friends. 

Her range of avant-garde designs are worn by the world’s most discerning brides, including celebrities and style icons such as New York Giants’ player Aaron Ross’ wife, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards; Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback Tony Romo’s wife Candice Crawford; Actress Tara Reid; Jason Priestley’s wife Naomi Lowde; actress Candice Cameron and Grammy Award winning country music singer Alison Krauss, who donned a specially designed Chantilly lace and silk gown at the Country Music Awards.

Rani has enjoyed much media attention. Her signature designs have been recognized in high profile media such as Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Brides, Inside Weddings, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot.

Rani’s real passion other than the world of design is to help women who have suffered abuse and those who are struggling to find themselves. On her quest to empower women to be their best selves, she is passionate about helping them find their voice through building their self-confidence. She believes that confidence must start with a woman’s love and acceptance of her body.

Renowned for her savvy knowledge of a woman’s form and fit, Rani is eager to share her knowledge of more than three decades with all women so they can make better styling choices. In addition to the book you are reading now, Rani is the author of four upcoming books: The SoulMate Checklist: Key Questions To help You Choose Your Perfect Partner; Seven Types of Men To Avoid: Recognizing Relationship Red Flags; Designing with Heart: A to Z Guide to Bridal Designing; and Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story, a Memoir of her Life Journey.

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Rani now happily lives in Los Angeles, California.


WEB & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE


About the Book:

Title: Your Body, Your Style
Author: Rani St. Pucchi
Publisher: Koehler Books
Pages: 150
Genre: Nonfiction

Rani St. Pucchi, a trend-setting designer whose designs have been recognized in Entertainment Tonight, Harper’s Bazaar, WWD, Town and Country, Bride’s, Cosmopolitan Bride, Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot, can help define the style that flatters you most no matter what age or stage of life you are in or what your body type is.

Women from all over the world have clamored to have a private consultation with Rani so they may benefit from her expertise and regain their self-confidence and shine.

In Your Body, Your Style, Rani shares with you her knowledge of the female form and guides you to find simple solutions to your most pressing body concerns. The focus is on you — and how you can make yourself more confident and appealing in almost every situation — simply by making a few changes and different choices in planning your wardrobe.  

Once you embrace your unique attributes and dissolve your bad relationship with your body, you’ll be amazed to find how irresistible you are to others!

This simple and friendly guide reveals:

* What clothes and silhouettes are best for your specific body type
* Simple techniques to determine which colors flatter you most
* Solutions to common lingerie issues and the importance of fit
* The one dress that is a chameleon, and how to transform it into different looks
* How to travel stress free by planning your wardrobe well
* 101 styling secrets, professional tricks and fashion tips

RANI ST. PUCCHI  is an award-winning fashion designer, an author and relationship expert. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post.

PURCHASING LINKS:

AMAZON   *   B&N


Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

As an English major, it was always my dream to be an author. Somehow my love of fashion took precedence and after having won many awards in the design world, I decide to take a sabbatical to write my memoir, and many other books followed.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I’m the designer and founder of the world-renowned Bridal house St. Pucchi which was established in 1985.

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

Being an author is so much more than just writing a book. I believe that as soon as you start writing you must have a clear plan in place on how you will be promoting your book. Plan ahead for blog tours, prepare your e-mail list and keep adding to it so that when you have a firm release date you can let others know about it, and lastly I think a book trailer is a very effective tool, because visual imagery is very powerful so do consider having someone on standby to create this for you.


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

No, I’m actually very disciplined and once I get into the flow of writing time just flies by!

What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Paulo Coelho’s book, Aleph.


What are you currently working on?

My next book, The SoulMate Checklist, will be released on November 15th, 2016. Other books that I am working on are Your Body, Your Bridal Style; 7 Types of Men to Avoid; and my memoir, Unveiling: A Celebrity Fashion Designer’s Story. All three books are scheduled for release in 2017.

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Bookish Conversation with Mark Connelly, author of 'Wanna-be's'



Mark Connelly was born in Philadelphia and grew up in New Jersey.  He received a BA in English from Carroll College in Wisconsin and an MA and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  His books include The Diminished Self: Orwell and the Loss of Freedom, Orwell and Gissing, Deadly Closets:  The Fiction of Charles Jackson, and The IRA on Film and Television.  His fiction has appeared in The Ledge, Indiana Review, Cream City Review, Milwaukee Magazine, and Home Planet News.  In 2014 he received an Editor’s Choice Award in The Carve’s Raymond Carver Short Story Contest; in 2015 he received Third Place in Red Savina Review’s Albert Camus Prize for Short Fiction. His novella Fifteen Minutes received the Clay Reynolds Novella Prize and was published by Texas Review Press in 2005. 

Mark’s latest book is the literary fiction/humor/satire, Wanna-be’s.

Connect with Mark on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Book:

With his new girlfriend – a soccer mom with a taste for bondage – urging him to “go condo,” failed screenwriter Winfield Payton needs cash. Accepting a job offer from a college friend, he becomes the lone white employee of a black S&L. As the firm’s token white, he poses as a Mafioso to intimidate
skittish investors and woos a wealthy cougar to keep the firm afloat. Figure-skating between the worlds of white and black, gay and straight, male and female, Jew and Gentile, Yuppie and militant, Payton flies higher and higher until the inevitable crash. . .

Praise for Wanna-be’s:

This book right here! What can I say about Winfield Payton...is he the most unlucky pasty or most unlikely fall guy...what a schmuck...I laughed so hard at this,for this guy....with this guy....every character described in this book will immediately remind you of a real life joker in the in the 24 hour news cycle on all of the Major networks and cable television channels regurgitating skewed facts benefiting them and lining their pockets....it's hip and fresh writing which could easily become a HBO series....or Starz..maybe..anyway get this book....I laughed so hard...almost popping my recent stitches from surgery...Mr. Connelly...thanks for making my recuperation fun...this book is not for the faint of heart..or PC sensitive readers...

-- Lynda Garcia Review

For More Information

  • Wanna-be’s is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

      I loved reading stories in school, and I just wanted to make up my own.  I loved the
      Hardy Boys and at one point dreamed of coming up with my own mystery series.
      Later I was inspired by writers like Orwell, Isherwood, and Bellow to pursue
      something more literary.

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

      When I thirteen I read All Quiet on the Western Front, a book that really stunned me
       with its brutal honesty.  It was the first book I read that did not have a happy ending.
       It showed me that literature could say something meaningful.  I wanted to write
       books that inspired and moved people.  I began reading plays and tried drama for
       a while, but returned to fiction.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?


     If something strikes me as memorable.  Having written a book of film criticism, I
     developed a shorthand method of making notes while watching a film, keeping an eye
     on the counter, so I could locate a scene if needed.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

        It has been a passion.  If I let a day go by without writing, I feel guilty.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

        I teach college English.  I’m also a franchise writer for a textbook company and
        spend a lot of time writing and editing.

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

        Write to your reader – make sure you visualize the people you are trying to reach.

        Write realistic dialogue – create a distinct voice, vocabulary, and rhythm for each
      character. Too many writers simply put quotation marks around their own words so
      all the characters sound alike.

      In editing, read your work aloud.  It is easier to “hear” than “see” grammar mistakes,
      missing words, and awkward phrases.

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

      I try not to.  Sometimes when I am stuck on something I will deliberately focus on
      household chores to give my mind a rest.

What hours do you write best?

      First thing in the morning.  I get up at four-thirty and write a few hours before
      working out and heading to school.

How often do you write?

      Almost every day.  Of course, some of my work is academic or freelance.  It’s
      writing work and often pays well, but it is not as creative as fiction.

Are you an avid reader?

      I really don’t have time to read for pleasure.  I am writing a series of literary
     companion books, so I have to focus on my topic.  Last year I read everything Saul
     Bellow wrote to complete a book about him.  Now I am rereading Orwell for the
     next volume.

What are you reading now?

      Orwell’s first novel Burmese Days.

What are you currently working on?

      My most important project right now is a novel called Newman’s Choice.  Two years
      ago I received an editor’s choice award in the Raymond Carver short story contest.  I
      decided to turn that story into the first chapter of a novel.  Two other portions have
      been published, one of which received an award.  I’m anxious to finish it.  I plan to
      send out sections to other contests.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

INTERVIEW: Suzanne Eglington, author of 'Beckham 101'


Suzanne Eglington is the author of the Kate and Robert Chronicles series. The three-book series follows the unfolding romance of top cop Robert Beckham and the ravishing Kate Quinn. The titles in the series are Inceptions, You and I, and the recently released Beckham 101. A fourth book in the Kate and Robert Chronicles series is forthcoming.

Suzanne currently resides in Central Massachusetts with her family.
 

WEBSITE 


About the Book:

BECKHAM 101 is the third installment in the Kate and Robert Chronicles by author Suzanne Eglington. Eglington invites readers into the intimate inner world of the newly wedded duo as they learn to navigate life as a committed couple. Settling down brings new perspectives and people into Kate’s and Robert’s lives, along with the exposure of more of Robert’s mysterious past. For Kate, being married to a top cop means managing both desire and reality.
Following a one-week courtship, Kate submits to her love for Robert, an intense super cop who has been patiently waiting for his opportunity to seize the one women he truly desires. Their quick marriage means frequent amorous entanglements, but it also means that Kate’s knowledge of her new husband’s personal history is limited. Kate must steady herself to cope with the slow unveiling of her husband’s past.
Being the wife of an influential and respected police officer means a change in lifestyle for Kate. Robert is fiercely protective of his wife and enjoys spending as much of his free time with her as possible. Marriage to Robert means Kate has inherited a family of high-performing cops who not only open their hearts for her but also provide protection when ghosts from Robert’s past threaten to harm her.         
In BECKHAM 101, the author introduces new characters into the series, including Robert’s best friend, Jimmy and Kate’s wise and skilled Uncle Jack. As with the two previous books in the Kate and Robert Chronicles, Eglington’s mission is to offer readers a respite from their daily lives. “First and foremost,” Eglington says she wants her readers to feel “I have entertained you with my characters and possibly left a lasting enjoyable impression that fed the passion and intensity of the love between Kate and Robert. Second, that I was able to take you away from your everyday routine to enjoy some downtime with a story you are falling in love with.” Beyond the steamy intimacy and the thread of danger embedded in her stories, Eglington’s books also highlight the lives of cops. “My stories are about the lives cops lead away from the police department. I want readers to think of the men behind the badge and the people who could be in their lives.”
By gradually revealing some elements of Robert’s past in BECKHAM 101, Eglington is priming readers for the fourth book in this sexy and suspense-filled series.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

I was inspired to write upon going through my own personal divorce at the time. I needed a diversion to “take me away” from what I was personally going through and that is how The Kate and Robert Chronicles came to fruition.

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

My first attempt was when I was pregnant with my first son at the age of 34. I never even finished that story.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

Never took notes, I only started reading about six years ago when a friend of mine suggested I read Stephenie Meyers “Twlight”. I complained to her daily from the first 4 chapters as she encouraged me to keep reading. It was the 5th chapter that hooked me and the first book away from school that I finished cover to cover. As far as movies those I strictly enjoy when I the time allows for it.


Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

I discovered it much later in life and it truly has become a passion.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

Oh yes, I do have a day job. I am the Director of Operations for a roofing company. My father, a successful man in my eyes, always said that work was the biggest interruption of his day… So true dad!

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

Yes tip number 1: Start!
Tip number 2: Do not weigh yourself down by keep going back and changing or correcting as you write. This will cripple you.
Tip number 3: Finish your story. You can go back after.

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

Never! And sometimes I don’t even let the important things get in the way. I have been known that sometimes caffeinated beverages can replace several meals for me and that the house work can wait a few days…

What hours do you write best?

For me there are no set hours. Like right now, I have been up since 2 am writing.

How often do you write?

As much as my life lets me. Like right now I am writing a Y A fantasy/sci fi
Kind of like Clash of the Titans – Fantasy. This is a whole genre I do not know about so the story is constantly playing in my head and I am writing as much as I can away from my day job.

Are you an avid reader?

Unfortunately not at this moment, with writing and learning this book industry has taken up a lot of time. I hope to get back to my favorite authors and their works when I get some down time.

What are you reading now?

Roofing Contracts…


What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on the final phase to getting my 4th installment  She’s got the Jack: The Kate and Robert Chronicles out and available. I am also polishing up the 5th book from the series to submit for editing and This new Fantasy/ Sci Fi story.

INTERVIEW: Cheryl C. Malandrinos




Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd and A Christmas Kindness. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


About the Book:

Ten-year-old Macy is waiting for her grandparents to arrive on
Thanksgiving. When the front door swings open, Grandma and Grandpa are covered with hugs and kisses. Crash! Everyone rushes in to find the dog gnawing a meaty turkey leg. Can Macy’s quick thinking save dinner?

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What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

Writing has always been a part of my life. It’s as natural to me as breathing. Now I just do it with the goal of publication.

If I had to think of anyone one in particular, it would be my middle sister, Terry. She began writing when we were kids and had a poem published in the local newspaper. I’ve always been impressed by her ability to get her work out there so early in life.

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

My plan growing up was to be a teacher or a writer. As a mom, I’ll always be a teacher. With three books to my credit and a fourth under contract, contributions to numerous blogs, and the writing I do for business, I’ll lay claim to being a writer too.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

Only if I’m reading nonfiction. I’m a character-driven reader, so I totally lose myself in the characters’ lives and in figuring out why they act the way they do. The psychology of characters is fascinating—especially villains. Plot heavy stories are tough for me to read.

Since I’m a visual learner, movies are an excellent way for me to see how characters react. That helps when I have to show not tell in my work.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I’m a real estate agent licensed in Massachusetts. It’s a wonderful career and I love what I do. My specialties are first-time home buyers and military relocation. My father, one of my brothers, and my father-in-law served our country. Helping active and retired military personnel find what they are looking for brings me great pleasure and is something I am passionate about. They deserve the best this country has to offer.

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

1.      Learn deep point of view. One of the best workshops I ever took was on how to write deep point of view. I’m definitely no expert on it, but it can transform writing and I am conscious of it when I write.
2.      Find a good writing time and place. If I tried to write when I get up in the morning it would be a disaster. My most creative time is after 9 pm. While sometimes you must take whatever time you can grab, learning when you are most creative and adjusting your schedule is more ideal. The same thing with where you write. I’ve trained myself to write just about anywhere, but the best spot is at the desk in my office where I can look out over the backyard into the woods and feel calm and enjoy the inspiration nature provides. Find that special place that works best for you.
3.      Attend at least one conference or workshop a year. No one except another writer understands what it’s like. You need to meet others who can appreciate your struggles, share in your triumphs, and inspire you to move forward. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself.

Are you an avid reader?

Always. Even when life gets overwhelming, I carve out time to read. Though I’ve always read for pleasure, now I also read to learn the market. Doing this helped me to land my first book contract without a single rejection.

What are you reading now?

The Ghostwriters by Mickey J. Corrigan. It’s about a writer who is asked by a famous author’s ghost to write a sequel to his classic novel. I’ve ghostwritten before and this one sounded like a blast. It’s been great so far. Complex characters intrigue me.

What are you currently working on?

A middle grade novel that has taken me way too long to finish. I’m a slow writer. Historical fiction also requires research. This story is set in Reconstruction Era New England. I’ve had to look up fashion, learn more about female seminaries, and create a little town of my own for this story. For someone who flies by the seat of their pants, that’s tough. With everything else in life I am so organized. Writing is the one area my brain prefers to have less structure.