Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Book Blast: The Lunchtime Club Detective Agency and the Mystery of Strangway Tower by Michael A. Gilby



 

Inside the Book:



Title: The Lunchtime Club Detective Agency and the Mystery of the Strangway Tower
Author: Michael A. Gilby
Publisher: AuthorHouse UK
Genre: Juvenile Fiction/Mystery
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Everyone in Austrey, Kansas, believes their high school is just like any other good high school around the country. Its staff inspires good grades, its sports teams are enthusiastic and its student body is comprised of all round nice kids. But just how normal is it? To everyone who knows Professor Weiss, he is a normal, well-liked, and knowledgeable teacher who has been heading the Lunchtime Club for several years. Everyone believes the club is a group of students who meet every lunchtime recess to chat and complete homework, assignments, and class projects. Although some are a little ‘geeky’, they seem like normal students. But what no one knows is that there is nothing ‘normal’ about Professor Weiss or his Lunchtime Club. As the shadowy and powerful Strangway is about to discover, they’re actually a detective agency - the best. They are the only ones who can stop a ruthless man and his empire from carrying out an evil mission. In this adventure, this group of high school sleuths and their teacher must solve a shadowy mystery before a powerful man achieves a dark vision that will change the world.

Purchase Here

Meet the Author:
Michael A Gilby is a former teacher with thirty years of experience in education. He has written and produced several award-winning learning materials as well as educational copy for a range of products across multiple platforms. Michael now works as a technical writer and journalist. He lives in the Channel Islands in Jersey. The Mystery of Strangway Tower is his first novel.

Giveaway

Michael 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 December 23 and ends on January 3.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway >

Tour Schedule

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Book Blast: Disease is an Expiation of the Sins by Dr. Mira Bajirova



 

Inside the Book:



Title: Disease is an Expiation of the Sins
Author: Dr. Mira Bajirova
Publisher: Partridge Singapore
Genre: Religion
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Disease is an expiation of the sins. Every sin is a disobedience to God. The sins involve the evil jinn (demons). When a person commits the sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents, asks for the forgiveness, gives up with the sins, restores the people's rights and honor, who were wronged, and follows the Qur'an and Sunnah, Almighty Allah will purify his heart. But, if a person continues with the sins, his heart will become black and he will be doomed. "... Indeed, there is in the body a piece of flesh which if it is sound then the whole body is sound, and if it is corrupt then the whole body is corrupt. It is the heart." (Bukhari) "Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured." (Qur'an, Ar-R'ad 13:28) Sins remove God's blessings: life, health, fertility, wealth, provisions, knowledge, memory... Refraining from the sins is more important than performing good deeds. "Whatever is good is from Allah, while evil and sin are from ourselves and satan" (Fatwas of Ibn Baz) The only one God, Allah, the Creator of the heavens and earth and everything between, seen and unseen, sent the Noble Qur'an and His last messenger to all mankind, as a healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and mercy, and warning about the day of judgment and hellfire. "No calamity has descended except by disobedience, and no calamity is repelled except by repentance." (Ali Ibn Abi Talib) "Know, for certain, that when you break no one will heal you except you." (Ibn Al-Qayyim) More than 90% of the diseases are caused by the evil jinn, but doctors have no knowledge. Healthcare needs serious reform as went astray, instead of healing, it contributes to the progression of the disease and death, as it excites the hidden evil jinn and excited jinn spread more the disease. Satan can be cast out only by Ruqya and Negative Ions; both in the Noble Qur'an. The Ultimate Cure from all diseases is with Almighty God: Ruqya, Negative Ions and Prophetic Medicine. "Whoever abandons the Qur'an would abandon treating sickness and seeking healing through it." (Ibn Al-Qayyim).

Purchase Here

Meet the Author:
Dr MIRA BAJIROVA, Associate Professor, Consultant Ob-Gyn, IVF from Paris, has obtained 14 University Diplomas and Certificates and widely published. She has received "WOMEN ACHIEVERS AWARD 2018" With the recent guidance by Almighty God, she received the beneficial knowledge about the Ultimate Cure from all diseases: Ruqya, Negative Ions and Prophetic Medicine. She has published by the grace of Almighty Allah the book "Infertility Caused by Decreased Oxygen Utilization and Jinn (Demon)" She is an International speaker and has worked in many countries.

Giveaway

Dr. Mira 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 December 23 and ends on January 3.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on January 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway >>

Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Book Feature: Spirits of the Western Wild by David Schaub and Roger Vizar



Title: Spirits of the Western Wild
Authors: David Schaub & Roger Vizard
Publisher: Independent
Genre: Adventure / Mystery / Comedy

This mystical adventure follows a young adventure-seeker named Luther McCleron on a westward journey to learn more about his Grandfather. A series of fateful missteps take Luther far from his destination to a disheveled little town under the tyranny of a crooked sheriff named Big Willie. It’s here that Luther comes face-to-face with the legendary ghost of Monty: a curmudgeonly ghost who refuses to believe he’s dead. Luther just wants to get back to his quest, but Monty thwarts his plans by using Luther to take out his vengeance on Big Willie.

Through a catastrophic string of events, Luther and Monty find themselves hopelessly entangled in a combative partnership that escalates to the breaking point. Only by reconciling their differences are they able to uncover the profound connections that weave their fates together.

A mysterious book of premonitions, an ominous crow, and ancient Indian drive the mystical tone of this world; conjuring spiritual forces to help steer Luther on his journey through this western “twilight zone.”

All the loose ends resolve in a satisfying story of redemption, loyalty and ascension while exploring the mysterious nature of fate and destiny. Was all of this a coincidence? Or are we guided by ancient “spirits on the wind” that nudge and steer us along our path to assure that we arrive safely at our intended destination in the end?

5 out of 5 stars
 A fantastic and Immersive adventure for everyone. 
What a wonderful audio book and what a pleasure it was to be on this journey. Not only the adventure was captivating but also everything around it. The sounds effect and voices really bring it all together, you almost feel like you are right there witnessing all this first hand. The production quality is something I have never heard before. Very well done and I highly recommend it.

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2qsxtKC

______________________

TEASER




______________________

EXCERPT

It's eerily quiet here, aside from the monotonous sound of a squeaking windmill, long detached from the rusted pump that feeds the wooden water
tower.
Dilapidated wooden structures are mixed with colonial Spanish architecture.  Ominous religious relics are awash in the orange glow of twilight -- home of the classic Spaghetti Western.
 
Jasper leads the way, mumbling nonsensical gibberish to himself.   
Luther tags along cautiously -- unaware of a stoic old Indian watching from the shadows of the abandoned post office.  This is Kickapoo -- eyes barely discernible inside the ancient crevices of his face.  From under his poncho, Kickapoo radiates the calm tranquility of an ancient spirit.  All-knowing -- silent and still -- moving only as much as required to breathe.
A small flourish twists overhead -- a remnant of the storm -- and a page from Luther's lost book swirls in and settles at Kickapoo's feet.
PUSH IN on the header:  “CHAPTER 2: THE DELIVERANCE.”
Kickapoo gives an appreciative nod skyward.  The plan is unfolding...

 

______________________

TEASER




ABOUT THE AUTHORs


David Schaub is a writer and Academy Award ® nominated Animation Supervisor working in the film industry for more than 25 years. In 2019 he produced and directed the audio adaptation of SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN WILD.  He also developed STORY COMPASS® smartphone app for screenwriters (www.moviemethods.com) in 2017.

Schaub received Oscar nomination for animation in Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Disney), along with nominations for BAFTA Award, Saturn Award and Critic’s Choice Award, and won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Visual Effects for his team’s work on the film.

HEAD ANIMATION on Sony Picture’s SURFS UP – recognized with two Annie Awards among its ten nominations including Academy Award nomination and four Visual Effects Society (VES) award nominations.

ANIMATION DIRECTOR on AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 (2014), CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (Disney), I AM LEGEND (Warner Bros.) and LEAD ANIMATOR on STUART LITTLE 1 & 2, EVOLUTION, CAST AWAY, GODZILLA, PATCH ADAMS and more.

ANIMATION DIRECTOR – Universal’s award-winning JURASSIC WORLD EXPEDITION (2019) VR EXPERIENCE. Exploring cinematic potential of virtual reality.

website & Social links

Website → https://www.dschaub2.com/

Facebook → https://www.facebook.com/dschaub2writer

Goodreads → https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19662596.David_Schaub


Roger Vizard is a writer and self-taught artist. He was accepted into the animation program at Sheridan College in1987, then worked at Sullivan Bluth Studios in Ireland, then as an animation apprentice on “WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT” at Richard Williams’ studio in London.  He later became Williams’ assistant animator on “THIEF AND THE COBBLER.”

After several years working in Europe at studios like Gerhard Hahn in Germany and A-films in Denmark, he moved to Los Angeles in 1993 to work as a story board artist on the first season of Sonic the Hedgehog, then rolled back into animation again after that.  He successfully made the transition to from 2D to CGI on “STUART LITTLE 2” in 2001, and since that time have worked non-stop at animation/VFX studios in Los Angeles.

website

Website → https://www.rvizard.com/


 

Book Feature: 'Twas the Night by Marin

'TWAS THE NIGHT

Marin

* Children's Picture Book *



Title: ‘TWAS THE NIGHT
Author: Marin
Publisher: Fontreal
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

BOOK BLURB:

‘TWAS THE NIGHT is a wordless book that “tells” a heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story. The illustrations gift each reader, young and young at heart, the opportunity to reimagine the Season’s wonder, and the freedom “to script” (if they choose to) their own lines to go with the images. Keep dreaming big!
______________________

TEASER





______________________

EXCERPT

'TWAS THE NIGHT is a wordless book that "tells" a heartwarming
and inspirational Christmas story. The illustrations gift each reader, young and young at heart, the opportunity to reimagine the Season's wonder, and the freedom "to script" (if they choose to) their own lines to go with the images. Keep dreaming big!

______________________

TEASER


______________________

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My name is Marin and I was a child a very long time ago. My father passed away when I was one year old. My mother remarried and I was raised by my loving (but strict!) grandparents. After losing their son, they were terrified by the thought of losing their grandson. For this reason, they didn’t let me play on the street, swim in the nearby pond or explore the forest with the rest of the kids. This was also the reason I learned to read and write long before I went to school. My grandparents surrounded me with books. Books became my imaginary parents and my fictional friends. Apart from my genetic building blocks, books also came to be the main component in my development as a creative, compassionate and competitive individual.

I studied nuclear physics, art, and literature, but I enjoyed art the most. As a young artist, I was eager to succeed, winning prizes from various countries. I later became a partner in an advertising agency and switched my attention to serving clients. My last award was somewhere in the early nineties – The Best in the West by Corel Draw Corporation.

Oh, a few more boring things about me: I do not drive, I do not drink carbonated beverages, I have never consumed food from McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC or any other fast food restaurant, I do not have a mobile phone, I have never used legal or illegal drugs (except Gravol when I fly), and I have never visited my GP (much to the disapproval of my wife).

I read. I read every day. I am what I am today because of books. This publishing house is my little “thank you” to all of them.

website & Social links

Website  → http://www.fontreal.com

Twitter  → http://www.twitter.com/fontralbooks

Facebook  → http://www.facebook.com/fontreal/



http://www.pumpupyourbook.com
 

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The Lies She Told 99 cents!



The Lies She Told

By N.L. Hinkens

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

Not all bad deeds can be undone...

Brilliant and beautiful Haley Burrows has just landed her dream job at a prestigious law firm, but someone is stalking her. When she finds her tires slashed, and a menacing message scrawled across her windscreen, she quickly realizes the situation has become a deadly game for her anonymous stalker.

But she can't involve the police because sh ...

0.99

Pick up your copy at Amazon

Friday, December 13, 2019

Book Feature: A Lady's Past by A.S. Fenichel


A LADY'S PAST
A.S. Fenichel
* Historical Romance *


Title: A LADY’S PAST
Author: A.S. Fenichel
Publisher: Kensington Books/Lyrical Press
Pages: 223
Genre: Historical Romance




The greatest risk—for the sweetest reward…

His fiancĂ©e’s betrayal nearly cost Jacques Laurent everything. Despite his resolve not to trust anyone again, he can’t abandon the young woman he finds alone on the road to London. In the brief hours they spend together, the enigmatic Diana touches his heart in a way he can’t explain. Even after bringing her to the Everton Domestic Society for safekeeping, he can’t get her out of his thoughts. And when he next encounters her, working as assistant to a renowned scientist, he becomes even more intrigued…

The Society’s kindness is especially welcome after everything Diana endured in a French prison, but she fears for the safety of those who get close to her. French spies are on her trail, convinced that her scientific knowledge can help them win the war. As peril draws them irrevocably together, Diana and Jacques succumb to mutual desire. But love may be the most dangerous pursuit of all, when a lady guards her heart even more carefully than she guards her life . . .



______________________




______________________


Book Excerpt:

Chapter 1


Wet roads, a carriage that needed new springs, a relentless drizzle, and still Jacques Laurent had enjoyed one of the best days he’d had in a long time. Seeing his parents safe in England, after worrying about their fate in France all these years, was a relief beyond measure. If not for an important meeting in London the following morning, he would have stayed a few more days in the country.
Now that he had their well-being to worry about too, he could ill afford to miss an opportunity to increase his accounts.
His small covered carriage did little to protect him from the drizzle, and even less as it turned to a light snow. One never could predict November. He pulled the collar of his coat tighter.
Something large and gray darted into the trees on the side of the road. Pulling back on the reins, Jacques squinted into the dense woods. “I saw you, so if you have plans to attack me, you may as well show yourself.
I am well armed and not the least bit worried about dispatching a villain tonight, though it would ruin a perfectly good day.”
The leaves rustled, and someone cleared her throat.
Jacques’s curiosity was piqued. He’d never met a female highwayman. Would they be called a highwaywoman? He would give it thought, but later. Her gun barrel preceded her out of the shadows into the dusk of evening.
Hair the color of the richest coffee tumbled around her shoulders as her cape caught on a low branch. “I am also not afraid to shoot. Are you a spy?” Her question was not unusual. His French accent had provoked the notion more than once. It was the times, and nothing could be done about it until the unrest passed. “Certainly not. Spies do not dress well, and they keep terrible hours. The question is, why would a lady such as  yourself be traveling alone at night and on foot? More importantly and far more interestingly, why do you concern yourself with spies rather than highwaymen and murderers?”
She raised the barrel of her shotgun and looked at him through the threads. “I’m not in a position to answer any of those questions. You should be on your way.” She motioned down the road with the weapon while keeping her cheek against the butt and her finger on the trigger.
Chest tight, he sighed. “I’m afraid I cannot leave you here, madam.” “Why on earth not?” Her nose scrunched up in the most adorable way.
Wishing he could discern the color of her eyes, he squinted to try to make them out. Blue, perhaps, but the light was dim with the late hour and persistent snow. “I am a gentleman.”
“And that means you can’t leave a total stranger to her own devices?” A hint of amusement filtered into her voice.
There was something compelling about the low, raspy tone. “Were you running into or out of town?”
She huffed. “I’m not running.”
“I suspect this is a falsehood, but it is none of my business.”
“That much is true.” She pressed the gun’s butt tighter to the crease of her shoulder.
Laughing, he said, “If you are willing to stop pointing the dangerous end of that weapon at me, I would be happy to convey you into London and drop you wherever you wish.”
She lowered the gun, her bravado faltering. Her eyes cast down, she pursed her lips. “I will bash you on the head with this if you so much as look like you will attack me.”
“Noted.” He took both reins in one hand and offered her the other to climb up. Once she was seated, he clucked to Midas and the horse trotted on. “You may leave me at Parliament or Piccadilly, whichever is more convenient to you.” Weapon across her lap and no luggage, now her bravado failed, and she might have been a lost puppy rather than the bold woman
of a moment before.
It tugged at something inside Jacques that a woman with an education, from the sound of her voice, had come to be alone on the road several hours outside of London with nothing but a shotgun. He had a suspicion. “If you have no place to stay tonight, I can offer you my townhouse or perhaps take you to the home of one of my married friends. The Duke and Duchess of Middleton would be happy to take care of you this evening.”
Shoulders back, she stared straight ahead. “That is very kind, but unnecessary. I will be fine.”

The snow came down harder. “I am sure that is true. What is your name?” The silence stretched out until he was sure she would refuse to answer.
Then, her voice barely a whisper on the wind, she said, “Diana.”
Why her name should make him grin, he  had  no  idea.  “Yet there is no moon.”
“I beg your pardon?”
He kept his attention on the road but felt her looking at him. “Your name. Diana, goddess of the hunt and the moon.”
“Yes, well, my father was fond of mythology.”
A tiny noose tightened around his heart. It was absurd. “And your father is no longer with you?”
It was a straight bit of road, and he turned his head in time to see her frown and the tightening of her full lips. She reached up and pulled her hair back, twisting it into a knot at her nape. “My father died a year ago.” “I’m very sorry. I am Jacques Laurent. Have you any family to whom
I might deliver you this evening?” Already sensing the answer, he wanted her to say something positive and comforting. The idea of her being alone in the world gnawed at him.
“No. I have no family. You may drop me at one of my previously stated locations.” Her back was straight as an oak, and she stared ahead into the waning gray day. Snow speckled her dark hair. Pulling her hood up, she hid her beauty.
It wouldn’t do to pull the hood back and demand she let him see her. He sighed. The places she’d requested to be left were both heavily frequented. She chose spots where she would not be alone. Obviously, she needed the crowd for protection. But who was she afraid of?
None of his business was the mantra he repeated in his head. He would drop her in the city, go to bed, attend his meeting in the morning and then head back to the country with his friends. The Duke and Duchess of Middleton were anxious to visit with his parents. Preston had been his friend since birth, as their fathers had attended school together. They would collect the dowager duchess and head back to Crestwood, the small estate he’d purchased for his parents. He’d left them with a competent staff, but he hated the notion of them being alone after their long journey.
His friends had recently married after meeting when Millie was hired through the Everton Domestic Society to be Preston’s matchmaker. It was no time at all before the matchmaker became matched. Jacques liked Millie; she was smart and funny and the perfect wife for the serious Duke of Middleton.

It was an early first snow. The wind picked up and the chill seeped through his coat. He imagined Diana was freezing in that light cape.
She pulled the edges closer around her neck, and her teeth chattered together in cadence with the rumble of the wheels. The snow was making it harder and harder to see, and the horse misstepped, pulling the carriage sideways.
Diana gave a short yelp and grabbed the seat.
Jacques couldn’t blame her. They had come inches from running off the road. “I think there is a small inn or a farmhouse up ahead. I assume you will not be keen on the idea, but we have to stop for the night and hope the weather clears by morning.”
Her shoulders lifted then sank with a long sigh, and she gave him a nod. The inn was indeed small, and a bit worse for wear. Jacques immediately doubted the wisdom of stopping at such a place with a lady, but they had
little choice. Neither he nor Midas could continue.
As soon as they stopped, a round-bellied man in a robe and nightcap rushed into the yard. “Lord, what a night. I expect you two got caught up. Come in. Leave the horse. I’ll have young Robbie take the beast for feed and shelter. He’ll give him a good rubdown as well. Come in, come in out of the cold. Mrs. Tinker has water boiling for tea.”
Jacques secured the reins and turned to Diana. “It seems we are welcome for a bit of an adventure.”
The smile she graced him with nearly toppled him from the seat. “It would seem so.”
He was going to have to get himself under control. This woman was nothing to him, and he would do well to remember that. Offering his hand, he helped her down from the carriage. He leaned close to her ear. “I shall have to give him a false name and tell him we’re married. I assume you have a reputation to protect regardless of your current situation, and you would not wish to be forced to marry me.”
“Heavens, no.” Wide-eyed, she truly looked horrified.
“You wound me with the quickness of your reply.” He joked, but her decisive rejection gnawed at him.




 

______________________









A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful IT career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in Missouri with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.

★WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS: ★



http://www.pumpupyourbook.com
 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Book Spotlight: Phantom Audition by Simon Dillon




Title: Phantom Audition
Author: Simon Dillon
Publisher: Dragon Soul Press
Pages: 300
Genre: Psychological Thriller

Small-time actress Mia Yardley, recently widowed wife of renowned actor Steven Yardley, discovers her late husband’s secret acting diary. The diary details appointments made with a psychic medium, who advised Steven on which roles to take. It also raises questions about his mysterious and inexplicable suicide. Seeking answers, Mia speaks to the medium, but in doing so is drawn into an ever- deepening mystery about what happened to her husband during the final days of his life. Eventually, she is forced to ask the terrible question: was Steven Yardley murdered by a vengeful evil from beyond the grave?
______________________

TEASER




______________________

EXCERPT

Mia sighed. None of this was really news to her, and after reading a few similarly unremarkable entries, she was tempted to ignore the rest of the journal. All this was doing was make her miss Steven more than ever. However, she caught sight of Etta’s name at the beginning of the next entry and her interest was piqued once more.
Etta made a quite singular suggestion today regarding Bingley that she is
convinced will land me that long overdue Oscar. I am a little apprehensive about what she is asking, but also quite exhilarated at the prospect. Etta has never been wrong before, and even though certain aspects of what she is asking worries me, I think I will take the leap. Perhaps it will all prove
ridiculous, and much ado about nothing.

The next entry was brief, and equally cryptic.

It’s happening with Etta today. Very nervous.



 

______________________


ABOUT THE AUTHOR




The spirit of Simon Dillon took human form in 1975, in accordance with The Prophecy. He kept a low profile during his formative years, living the first twenty or so of them in Oxford, before attending University in Southampton, and shortly afterwards hiding undercover in a television job. In the intervening years, he honed his writing skills and has now been unleashed on the world, deploying various short stories and novels to deliberately and ruthlessly entertain his readers. He presently lives in the South-West of England with his wife and two children, busily brainwashing the latter with the books he loved growing up.

website & Social links


Website:
Blog:
Twitter: 
Facebook:



 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Interview with James D. Bell, Author of 'Maximilian's Treasure'



James D. Bell is an award-winning author and retired Judge who received the highest bar association approval ratings ever given to a Mississippi Circuit or County Judge. He is listed in Preeminent Lawyers, Outstanding Lawyers of America and Top 100 Attorneys of North America.  He is the author of two novels, Vampire Defense and Maximilian’s Treasure.  His short story, The Adventures of Sherlock Hound, was published in Dog Stories for the Soul, alongside stories from Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Willie Morris and others.  The son of a Choctaw mother and a Mississippi businessman, Judge Bell is devoted to his wife, Joanne.  They live in Brandon, Mississippi and have four children.  Judge Bell practices law in Jackson, Mississippi, but is frequently called back to the bench by the Mississippi Supreme Court for short term assignments. His latest book is Maximilian's Treasure. Check it out at www.maximilianstreasure.com.
Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about Maximilian’s Treasure, and what compelled you to write it.
James Bell:  Maximilian’s Treasure is a dramatization of a real life experience I had forty years ago.  A grizzled old Choctaw man told a friend and me that he believed that Civil War gold was on his farm in Mississippi.  He believed that the Emperor of Mexico sent gold to support the South’s war effort, and that none other than Jesse James, then a member of the Confederate Cavalry, was in charge of the shipment.  The war ended when the shipment was near his farm and was hidden there.  He asked us to help him look for the gold.  This was too far fetched to believe, but my friend and I said, “Why not?”  We travelled with him to his farm and had a great day listening to his old stories while we searched with him.  You might think this unusual.  It’s not.  It’s just another day of law practice in Mississippi, where the unusual and outrageous can sometimes seem pedestrian.
This was one of many stories from over forty years of law practice that I am desperate to tell.  I have a passion to write great adventures inspired by these experiences.  I knew that all I would have to do is change the names, take liberties with the facts and tone down the drama a bit to make it more believable.  
M.C.: What is your book about?
James Bell:  Rumors of treasure fuel a battle over possession of a Choctaw family farm.  Two young lawyers, John Brooks and Jackson Bradley, agree to help the family keep their farm.  Early legal success prompts the drive-by murder of the patriarch of the family.  The grandson chases the suspects whose bodies are found on the farm, scalped.  At the same time, clues to a vast treasure are found on the farm.  Jackson, pursued by fortune seekers, adventurers, an exotic beauty and a homicidal maniac, follows the clues to a Caribbean reef and the Chiapas jungle.  John stays behind to defend the grandson and continue the fight for the farm.  His efforts are complicated by arson, murder, race riots, and the realization that he lost his one true love.  The adventures of John and Jackson rush toward an intertwined triple climax.
M.C.:  What themes do you explore in Maximilian’s Treasure?
James Bell:  1. What happened five hundred years ago, two hundred years ago, and last year matters today.  2. What happens in distant places matters everywhere.  3.  Things are not always what they seem.  4.  There are many kinds of treasure, some far more valuable than gold. 5.  Christians can work with and be friends with people who do not share their faith without being “judgmental”.  6.  God actively intervenes in our lives.
M.C.:  Why do you write?
James Bell: I have many great stories to tell, but for decades I lacked the proper motivation to write. Every book and every movie used to have a purpose, a “moral to the story.”  I feel that we have lost that purpose with some of today’s entertainment.  I am motivated to bring back the moral to the story.  That is why I write.  Maximilian’s Treasure is packed with hidden treasures for the reader to discover.
M.C.:  When do you feel the most creative?
James Bell:  When I start writing, the story begins telling itself. 
M.C.:  How picky are you with language?
James Bell:  I get picky during editing.  It’s important to get the story out of my head and on the page as fast as I can.  Once the story is on the page, then I can get picky with the details.
M.C.:  When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
James Bell:  Every time, and I am grateful.  I agree with those who believe that we tap into a river of ideas.  I start with prayer, and Jesus makes that river of ideas available to me.
M.C.:  What is your worst time as a writer?
James Bell:  Finding dedicated time to write.  Like most writers, I have full time jobs that demand my full attention.  Sometimes weeks or months go by before I get back to writing.  Starting again after a dry spell of any length is my worst time.
M.C.:  Your best?
James Bell:  It’s a rush when I learn that someone has really enjoyed my story, but the best is when someone tells me they were inspired by the story.
M.C.:  Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
James Bell:  Not until I am through.  I have four more stories that have to be told.  I can’t wait to get them out of my head and into my computer.
M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
James Bell:  My wife inspired me to finish my first book.  I dedicated the book to her but didn’t tell her.  My happiest moment was when I saw her read the dedication in our first published book.
M.C.:  Is writing an obsession to you?
James Bell:  I have four more stories that have to be told.  Four of them!  They have to be told!  All four of them, don’t you see?  Did I tell you there are four of them?
M.C.:  Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
James Bell:  Absolutely.  John is the person I would like to be. I drew upon my actual experiences to bring life to Maximilian’s Treasure.  I participated in many of the conversations; I’ve been shot at; I watched the riots; dove the reefs; crossed the river; travelled the roads; climbed the cliffs; hung by my fingernails over the precipice; entered the cave behind the waterfall; cross examined difficult witnesses; obtained the confession; just as described in the book. Ultimately, I found my Maximilian’s Treasure.  If you persevere, you will too.
M.C.:  Ray Bradbury once said, “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” Thoughts?
James Bell:  I love Ray Bradbury.  When you’re at your creative best, you enter an alternate reality.  You report what you see and hear in that universe.  What is awesome is you get to travel backward and forward in time while you create and move characters and events toward your predetermined climax.  But, sometimes the story takes a turn that not even the author expected.  You ask yourself, “Where did this come from?” and “Where is this taking me?”  You have to keep writing to find out.  I think that’s when you’re “drunk on writing.”
M.C.:  Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?