Wednesday, November 15, 2017

MEET THE AUTHOR: MIKE MARTIN AUTHOR OF A TANGLED WEB @mike54martin


Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home.

A Long Ways from Home was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web is the newest book in the series.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK





Title: A TANGLED WEB
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Booklocker
Pages: 338
Genre: Mystery

BOOK BLURB:

Life is good for Sgt. Wind­flower in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. But something’s missing from the Mountie’s life. Actually, a lot of things go missing, including a little girl and supplies from the new factory. It’s Windflower’s job to unravel the tangled web of murder, deceit and an accidental kidnapping that threatens to engulf this sleepy little town and destroy those closest to him. But there’s always good food, good friends and the love of a great woman to make everything better in the end.

A TANGLED WEB is available at Amazon.

 


What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?
I had three older sisters who inspired me to read, which is a prerequisite to being a writer. I learned very early to read and escape into the adventure of a story.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?
I have always wanted to be a writer and in my school days played around with stories and poetry. Once I started working I found jobs that would allow me to write as often as possible. This became full-time commercial writing and later freelance writing on my own. The fiction didn’t come until later in life when I was older and maybe a little less shy about sharing my stories with the world.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?
1.      I would suggest setting a word count for yourself for every day. Try and write in the morning and if you don’t meet your quota, you can pick it up later in the day.
2.      Share your writing with someone you trust. Someone who will be honest, but kind. That way you can gain confidence to share it more widely.
3.      Write for yourself and let that be good enough. If no one else likes it, it will still be okay. But always try and improve so that more people will at least take a look at it.

What hours do you write best?

I write best in the morning. Before the rest of the world floods in and takes over my time and my brain power. I also like to write in the quiet. That makes mornings best for me and also why I could never write in a Starbucks!!

How often do you write?
I write every day. When I am writing my Sgt. Windflower Series, I will write for about an hour in the morning and then another hour during the day. But I also write freelance articles and stories and I set aside sometime every day to research and write these stories as well.

What are you currently working on?
I am currently trying to develop a new series, based roughly about a minor league baseball team and their head of security. And I am doing a lot of promotional work for A Tangled Web, the new Sgt. Windflower Mystery book.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

New release: 'A Deadly Eclair' by Daryl Wood Gerber



National best-selling author Daryl Wood Gerber delivers an irresistible tale in A Deadly Éclair. Brimming with the ingredients of a winning recipe—a to-die-for setting, a captivating cast of characters, fabulous French bistro fare, and sumptuous suspense—A Deadly Éclair marks the advent of a mouthwatering new mystery series.
About  A Deadly Éclair:  It’s always been Mimi Rousseau’s dream to open her own bistro, but it seems beyond her grasp since she’s been chased back home to Nouvelle Vie in Napa Valley by her late husband’s tremendous debt. But when Mimi’s best friend Jorianne James introduces her to Bryan Baker, an entrepreneur who invests in promising prospects, Mimi’s dream becomes a reality and Bistro Rousseau is born. Now, working the bistro and inn until she’s able to pay it off and call it her own, Mimi is throwing the inn’s first wedding ever.

This wedding will be the talk of the town, as celebrity talk show host Angelica Edmonton, daughter of Bryan’s half-brother, Edison, has chosen the inn as the perfect venue for her extravagant nuptials. Anxious, Mimi is sure things are going to turn south—especially when Edison gets drunk and rowdy at the out-of-towners’ dinner—but by the evening, things begin to look up again. That is until morning rolls around, and Bryan is found dead at the bistro with an éclair stuffed in his mouth. And the fingers point at Mimi, whose entire loan is forgiven if Bryan dies.

Now it’s up to Mimi to clear her name and get to the bottom of things before the killer turns up the heat again. Murder, after all, is not a good addition to any menu….

A fresh, fun, and fantastic French Bistro tale, A Deadly Éclair is peppered with charm, wit, and swoon-worthy recipes.  This clever culinary cozy will delight with its tantalizing twists and turns, sizzling storyline, and masterful plotting.  A delicious, decadent and delectable new mystery, A Deadly Éclair is resplendent with flavor, spice, and zest. Written by a true master of the cozy mystery, A Deadly Éclair is a tale to be devoured.   
Find out more on Amazon!

Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the Cheese Shop Mysteries, which she pens as Avery Aames. Daryl has also penned two stand-alone suspense novels, Day of Secrets and Girl on the Run. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line. Visit Daryl Wood Gerber online at: www.darylwoodgerber.com

Lottie Loves Book Blast & Giveaway!




Title: LOTTIE LOVES
Author: Samie Sands
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Pages: 210
Genre: Contemporary Romance



“Will you marry me?”
                                                  
Four words I’ve waited my whole life to hear. Four words which I was sure would change my life forever, and it did. Just not in the way I thought it would.

Finding out that my extremely gorgeous rock star boyfriend was about to propose, had the complete opposite effect I thought it would. Rather than catapult me into a future I’ve always wanted, it plunged me all the way back to a past I tried to forget.

Now I can’t get him out of my head. I can’t help but wonder what could have been, how our lives would have ended up if he didn’t leave me behind a shattered mess.

All these memories of the past are dangerous. It’s bringing my past back to ruin my future. And worst of all, it’s taking me right back to him, my childhood sweetheart, my first love…my biggest regret.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon





"Will you marry me?"
It was the words that I'd wanted to hear my entire life. Didn't every girl fantasise over the perfect man going to buy the perfect ring and getting down on one knee in the most romantic way possible, before telling them that they loved them so much, they wanted to spend the rest of their life with them?
I knew that I certainly had.
Me and my best friend Cici used to talk about it all the time. We used to plan our dresses, the music, the flowers—every part of the ceremony down to the very last detail. Of course, the man didn't really matter. We were young enough and naive enough to believe that we would magically meet the perfect man without even trying.
And I really thought that I had. I really, truly believed that my dream had come true.
Me and Danny had begun our love story in a very typical fashion—our eyes had met across a bar, where we'd had long, lingering eye contact, sparking all kinds of emotions within me. The only difference between my story, and that of every other rom-com ever, was that Danny was a genuine up-and-coming rock star, playing on a fairly big stage, and I was a fan who already felt a lot of love for this man. I'd been admiring him from afar ever since I first heard their album a year or so before.
I certainly hadn't expected it to ever go any further than that moment, so when he came and joined me at the bar later on for a drink, despite being mobbed by other members of the audience, I felt like my entire life had been leading me up to that moment. I felt like everything that I'd experienced was all drawing me closer to Danny, the love of my life. Here was a gorgeous man who was destined to be famous, and who could have any girl in the world hanging off of his arm, talking to me, asking me questions, and actually showing me interest.
It seemed like a dream—one that I was terrified to wake up from.
As he flicked his messy auburn hair from his warm, chocolaty eyes and he gave me that smile that had already melted the hearts of the nation, I thought for a dreaded, wonderful second that he was going to kiss me in front of all of those people. But after a few beats of pure terror, he didn't. Instead he handed me his phone number, and he asked if I would like to go on a date with him.
Me—boring old Charlotte (Lottie) Jones—on a date with Danny Boreom, bassist of the (now very) famous band Jax. It didn't seem real.
Yet, it was real, and it did happen.
It was the start of my real life.
After a night out on the town where he well and truly wined and dined me, he walked me home to my tiny flat which must have looked ridiculous compared to the mansion that I now know he lived in with the rest of the band at the time, and he finally kissed me. As his lips met mine, I felt myself flying on top of the world—he was an amazing kisser, and there seemed to be an endless chemistry between us. One that I never wanted to end.
Breathless and turned on by the power of his mouth, I invited him inside. Although he coolly and calmly turned me down, it was still the best night of my entire life, made even better by a phone call the next day to say that he only didn't come inside with me because he wanted to be something real. He didn't want our love to end at a one-night stand, he actually wanted us to develop and for him to become my boyfriend.
Fast forward three and a half years and we were blissfully living together, grazing by every day happily and easily. Although he was away for a lot of the year touring, it didn't seem to bother us. We were so strong and so solid with what we had, that nothing would get in our way.
It was perfect, still a dream come true and that intense chemistry hadn't burned down one bit.
Which made it even weirder that my reaction to Cici telling me that Baz—another member of the band—had just told her that he'd been engagement ring shopping with Danny, wasn't one of pure joy.
"What...what do you mean?" I asked, my heart racing frantically in my chest. I could tell that my voice was breathless and kind of terrified, but my mind was spinning too fast for me to be able to do anything about it.
"Aren't you happy?" She giggled, "I thought that you'd be over the moon to finally be Mrs. Boreom."
"No, no, I am," I half lied. The idea had always been at the edge of my thoughts. I knew that Danny was the one for me, and despite all the car crash relationships around us, we'd even managed to survive the fallout of him becoming mega famous. It helped that I had no interest in the spotlight and that I did everything I could to avoid it, but even despite all of that, I felt like it proved that we could go the distance, and be together forever. So why wasn't I excited for us to take the next step? "It's just a bit of a shock, that's all."
But that was normal, right? Everyone freaked out at first when they learned that they were going to become someone's wife...didn't they?
Of course, I already knew that wasn't true. I'd already been proposed to once in my life before, and that time, I didn't hesitate one bit. Panic didn't even come into the equation, I was happy, over the moon at the thought of becoming his wife. This was nothing like that had been. I felt completely different.
For the first time in a very long time, I allowed myself to think about Joe again, and almost the second that I allowed that vault to open in my mind, I felt myself fall into a tailspin. As his face filled my brain once more, it was almost as if the last five years hadn't happened at all, and that I was still his proud girlfriend, waiting to be his wife.
As the wound reopened, I could barely hear what Cici was saying to me. I felt like I was gaping, exposed, and extremely vulnerable all over again, and I did what I'd always done when I was younger, when things got too difficult for me. I started to talk to Joe in my mind.
Where are you now?
What became of you?
What happened to your life?
It was so strange to have gone from the closest people in the world, to absolutely nothing, and I struggled to imagine that he'd changed one bit. Of course I had, my life was completely different, but I couldn't think of Joe without viewing him as the other half of me. The boy that I'd adored, and the one that I never thought would leave my side.
"I...I've got to go," I finally announced to my friend. "I'll speak to you later, okay?" And then I hung up the phone, without even waiting for her to answer. I knew that I was being rude, acting more than a little strange, but I needed some time. I needed to be alone with my thoughts to try and process all of this.
So quite how I found myself sitting at my computer with my fingers running along the keys, I wasn't quite sure.
Don't press anything, I willed myself. As soon as you do, everything will change.
Since we had gone our separate ways, I hadn't contacted Joe once, and with the uprising of social media I hadn't looked him up either. I just couldn't face it. He was like an imaginary fantasy in my mind now, and I wasn't sure that I wanted to ruin that with reality. What if he was married now? Or into drugs or something? His life could have gone in any direction, and I wasn't sure that I really wanted to find out which one.
Plus, my life really was amazing now. Why would I want to even consider risking that? I had a gorgeous, passionate man who actually wanted to be with me forever, even though he was about ten leagues above me, I had a teaching job that I loved, and friends that would do anything for me. That was a hell of a lot more than most people had!
In the end I forced myself to stand up and to move away from the computer screen before it lured me in. I couldn't do it; I just wasn't willing to take that step into the unknown. It terrified me far too much. But as I wandered aimlessly from room to room, I realised that I couldn't just do nothing either. I needed to calm this beast within me, which meant delving into my past whether I liked it or not.
I stood at the bottom of the attic ladder, wondering what awaited me up there. When me and Danny decided to buy a place together—well, he put the most money in of course, but we still classed it as 'ours'—I shoved everything related to my old life away, not wanting to even consider it. But it was always a comfort, knowing that it was there, knowing that I could access it at any moment if I really wanted to.
And I could feel myself finally taking that step.
I creaked up the ladder, feeling my heart thump and my palms sweat with nerves. This was a mistake, I knew it was, but at the same time I couldn't stop.
There would be no way for me to get married without taking this step anyway. Right now, things were comfortable, but if I was ever going to have a future with Danny, I needed to consult my past first. At least, that was my excuse and I was sticking to it.
Danny knew about Joe anyway. Well, he'd been told some of it, the very basics, so I supposed that I was probably going to have to confess all before we finally took the plunge. With that thought in mind, I tore open the first box I stumbled across, and I ended up looking at the few photographs that I had of me and Joe when we were very young, when we very first met...





Samie Sands is the author of the AM13 Outbreak series; Lockdown, Forgotten, and Extinct. She has also had stories featured in best-selling anthologies.

Her latest book is the contemporary romance, Lottie Loves.

For more information, exclusive competitions, and free content, please connect with Samie via social media:

Newsletter: eepurl.com/bRjtkf
Website: samiesands.com
Twitter: @SamieSands
Goodreads: @SamieSands
Instagram: @SamieSands
Wattpad: @SamieSands




 

Samie Sands is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of LOTTIE LOVES!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • 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!


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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Circumvent Cover Release





Title: CIRCUMVENT
Author: S.K. Derban
Publisher: Touchpoint Press
Genre: Mystery



Imagine living in a quaint, beach front cottage on the Hawaiian island of Maui. You have an amazing job, combined with the pleasure of working from home. Lunch breaks become a daily picnic on the sand. Dessert is always included because of your marriage to a famous pastry chef. Life could not be any better. Or so it seems... When French born, Nikki Sabine Moueix travels to Hawaii for a special work assignment, her job of writing an article about a famous Swiss pastry chef generates more than a magazine piece. They fall in love, get married, and Nikki becomes Mrs. Ruggiero Delémont.

When another assignment calls for Nikki to spend three weeks in France, Ruggiero’s schedule prevents him from joining her. She travels alone, advancing straight into danger. After a threatening confrontation, Nikki wakes up in a French hospital with no knowledge of her past. When she fails to check in, Ruggiero panics and pushes for an immediate investigation. But as he closes in, Nikki’s new found friend moves her to another city. It becomes a game of hide and seek with Nikki as the prize.

CIRCUMVENT allows readers to form a bond with Nikki as they yearn for her to remember. They will cheer for Ruggiero and his relentless determination to locate his beloved wife. This is a story about two people who never lose their faith in God, and find amazing friends to help them along the way.  



When the plane leveled at a cruising altitude, Nikki reclined her seat back and reopened her novel. Her seat mate appeared to be napping, and Peter Safin was busy preparing his work area. Nikki’s curiosity flourished when she realized her reclining position provided a clear view of his laptop screen. But, as his fingers danced along the keyboard nothing on the illuminated display made sense. She was reading a combination of letters and numbers that appeared to be some sort of code. Maybe he’s a spy, Nikki amused herself in thought. A Russian spy. No, wait! Her mind raced. Maybe he’s a mole, or even a double agent.

Nikki almost laughed aloud as she refocused on the book within her hands. It was the latest spy novel, written by one of her favorite authors. Maybe I should switch to romance.



Born in the United States, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her mother was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, S.K. Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries. 

Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. S.K. Derban has smuggled Bibles into China, and has been to Israel on seven missionary trips. When writing, she relies on all aspects of her life, from a strong faith in the Lord, to her unique combination of professional experience. The many personal adventures of S.K. Derban are readily apparent as they shine through into her characters. Circumvent is the third mystery novel for writer S.K. Derban.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Interview with Sheila Lowe, Author of 'Written Off'

Like her fictional character Claudia Rose, Sheila Lowe is a real-life forensic handwriting expert. As the mother of a tattoo artist and a former rock star, she figures she’s a pretty cool mom. Sheila lives in Ventura, CA with Lexie the Very Bad Cat, where she writes the award-winning Forensic Handwriting series. But despite sharing living space with a cat, Sheila's books are psychological suspense, definitely not cozy. So if you are offended by profanity, some violence and a sprinkling of sex, they are probably not for you. On the other hand, if you enjoy delving deep into the psyche and motivations of the main characters, give them a try.
Sheila also writes non-fiction books about handwriting: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Handwriting Analysis, Handwriting of the Famous & Infamous, and Sheila Lowe’s Handwriting Analyzer software. Stop by the dedicated website and sign up for notices: www.claudiaroseseries.com. For information about handwriting analysis: www.sheilalowe.com
Find out more on Amazon.
INTERVIEW:
Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about Written Off, and what compelled you to write it.
Author: It’s the seventh book in the series. I start with a title and build a story around it. This time, I wanted to write about a female serial killer in prison and what brought her there. I decided to set it in Maine in winter, which seemed to be an appropriately bleak setting to tell the story of Roxanne Becker.
M.C.: What is your book about?
Author: In the dead of winter, handwriting expert Claudia Rose journeys to Maine to retrieve a manuscript about convicted female serial killer, Roxanne Becker. While searching for the manuscript written by Professor Madeleine Maynard, who was, herself, brutally murdered, Claudia uncovers a shocking secret: the professor’s explosive research into a group of mentally unstable grad students selected for a special project and dubbed “Maynard’s Maniacs.” Was Madeleine conducting research that was at best, unprofessional—and at worst, downright harmful, and potentially dangerous? Could that unorthodox research have turned deadly?
Claudia finds herself swept up in the mystery of Madeleine’s life—and death, soon realizing that Madeleine left behind more questions than answers, and no shortage of suspects. The professor’s personal life yields a number of persons who might have wanted her dead—and her academic success and personal fortune clearly made her the envy of fellow faculty members.
The University anticipates being the beneficiary of Madeleine’s estate—but when a charming stranger, claiming to be Madeleine’s nephew, turns up, brandishing a new will, all bets are off. The local police chief prevails upon Claudia to travel into town to examine the newly produced handwritten will. Later, rushing back to Madeleine’s isolated house to escape an impending storm, Claudia becomes trapped in a blizzard. With a killer.
M.C.:  What themes do you explore in Written Off?
Author: The underlying theme seems to be what happens to children who have had a bad start in life. There are so many paths an abused child might follow. Despite similar backgrounds, one might develop a multiple personality, another becomes a serial killer. Yet another might use their bad experiences to propel themselves into success.
M.C.:  Why do you write?
Author: Writing is a compulsion. When people say, “oh, that must be fun!” It’s sometimes hard to answer politely. They often don’t recognize that writing is a job, like being a doctor, lawyer, or, yes, a handwriting examiner. So, I am lucky enough to have two careers. I can’t say that I like writing, but I do love having written.
M.C.:  When do you feel the most creative?
Author: Honestly, I don’t feel creative at all. But I guess making up characters and the world they live in is a form of creativity.
M.C.:  How picky are you with language?
Author: I can be very picky when it comes to word usage. I go into my editor mode when I’m reading a book that uses wrong words or spelling. But here’s an irony—I came to the US from England when I was fourteen, and many of the word choices I make even now tend to be Britishisms that my publisher asks me to change.
M.C.: When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
Author: I wish! Actually, now that you mention it, there are times—not very often—when I’ve written something and wondered “where did that come from?” I would love for it to happen more.
M.C.:  What is your worst time as a writer?
Author: Time, as in time of day? Or process? I tend to write late at night, after I’ve done the paid assignments for my handwriting examination practice, and then frittered away the rest of the day on Facebook or other websites. It’s often ten pm by the time I think, Oh! I’d better get some work done on the book. Hey, maybe I’m improving, it’s only 8:30 tonight.
If you mean process—the worst time for me is the beginning—coming up with the right plot. I wish I were like my friend, Raul, who can churn out ten ideas in an hour. For me, I need to get A Big Idea, and then work it out in my head until I finally, weeks or months later, get it down in an outline.
M.C.:  Your best?
Author: Process-wise, it’s writing The End, and then going back to edit and expand and make sure everything makes sense.
M.C.:  Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
Author: I’m 67 and so far, nothing has.
M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
Author: Opening a box of my first published book from Penguin. And even better than that, opening a box of my second published book! Seeing them on the shelves at Barnes & Noble was pretty cool, too.
M.C.:  Is writing an obsession to you?
Author: Writers have to write. Is that an obsession? Maybe. It’s just something I do. Because I have a day job as a forensic handwriting examiner I don’t work on my books all the time, but I am always writing something.
M.C.:  Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
Author: My character’s work mirrors my own. Claudia is not me, but she takes the same kinds of assignments that I do. Of course, I’m not as brave (or foolhardy in some cases) as she is. In the first four books, the stories do have some connection to actual events in my life. They are not about those events, but they started with a kernel of truth and grew out of that.
M.C.:  Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Thoughts?
Author: I only wish I had a scintilla of Bradbury’s talent. I’m unfortunately far too pragmatic to allow reality to destroy me—and trust me, it has tried. I do become very involved with my characters in my head and heart, but in the life I live, I have to maintain some separation. Otherwise, it would be difficult to get on the witness stand and testify in court!
M.C.:  Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
Author: Yes, and I would love readers to visit and sign up for my infrequent—once or twice a year—newsletter: www.claudiaroseseries.com or contact me with comments: sheila@sheilalowe.com