The Heart of a Texas Cowboy: Author Interview

THE HEART OF A

TEXAS COWBOY

Men of Legend, Book 2

By LINDA BRODAY

  Genre: Western / Historical / Romance

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Date of Publication: May 2, 2017

Number of Pages: 384

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Three Brothers. One Oath.

No Compromises.

The MEN of LEGEND

One bullet is all it takes to shatter Houston Legend’s world. He swore he’d never love again, but with the future of the Lone Star Ranch on the line, he finds himself at the altar promising to love and cherish a woman he’s never met—a woman whose vulnerable beauty touches his heart.

All Lara Boone wants is a name for her baby. The best she can hope for is kindness and acceptance. She never expected to fall in love with her own husband—or any man—after the heartache she’s endured.

In an effort to save the Lone Star Ranch, Houston decides to drive two thousand longhorns up the Great Western Trail to Dodge City. The day before he leaves, the cook quits. When he can’t find another on such short notice, Lara offers to go along and fill in. Over his best judgement, he lets her. Three days out, he notices riders trailing them. Things go from bad to worse and it’s an all-out fight to try to save themselves and the herd.

And when Lara’s troubled past catches up with them, Houston will move heaven and earth to protect his bride…and discover depths to a marriage of convenience neither realized could be theirs to claim.

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Praise for The Heart of a Texas Cowboy:

“Broday brilliantly captures Lara and Houston’s hesitations and growing love. The exciting plot, rich setting, and superb writing will delight fans of historical romances.” ~~Publisher’s Weekly *Starred Review

“This compassionate, poignant marriage-of-convenience love story demonstrates Broday’s ability to bring a wide range of emotions to her characters in a fast-paced plotline without losing a bit of the powerful love story. Add this to your Western romance collection!” ~~Romantic Times

“Ms. Broday’s conclusion of this phenomenal book is heart gripping, blood pounding drama at its finest. This one will keep readers revisiting again and again in years to come.” ~~ Tonya Lucas- Goodreads Review

“One of the best historical Western authors.” ~~ Fresh Fiction

“Broday will appeal to fans of such authors as Georgina Gentry, Leigh Greenwood, and Jodi Thomas.” ~~Booklist

Author Interview : Linda Broday

How has being a Texan influenced your writing?
Someone told me early on to write what I know. I know Texas. I know the plants, trees, landscape and more importantly—how we think. Texans are unique. Most scoff and say we’re nothing but braggers who talk big and carry a pistol on our hip. I beg to differ. We’re proud of our history. We know where we came from and we don’t mind sharing it. We’re all descendants of Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, William Travis, Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett—all those early men who fought for the right to live free and independent. Texans carry the torch for the rest of the world in a lot of ways which isn’t a bad thing. I love our people’s determination to survive and make things better for everyone. Those are the characters in my books. They have this pride and determination embedded deep in their souls. My characters are these early settlers who paved the way for us. They don’t give up. They work until they achieve their goals.

I love Texas and I’m so proud to live here. In what other state do people proudly display their state flag and hang symbols of it on their walls? I have reminders of Texas all over my house. I want my stories to have people with the same type of pride, to know who they are, where they belong, and what matters most.

What kind of writing do you do?
I write historical western romance. When I first started writing, I didn’t know where I fit. I tried various genres but they just didn’t feel right. Then I read several western romances and suddenly everything clicked. I immediately felt at home. And I’ve lived around cowboys most of my life, so it simply made sense to write about them.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I’m a full-time writer, and I approach it as a job. Most mornings, you’ll find me at my desk by 9:00 am. I stop for lunch, then write until around 6:00 pm. And that’s six days a week. I find that keeping that constant connection with my characters and story makes for a top-quality book, and that’s what I always strive for. Also, staying at it allows me to publish two 100k novels a year. I couldn’t do that if I was a part-time writer.

What is your favorite quote?
“Never compare yourself to other writers. Someone will always be better than you, and you’ll always be better than someone else.” Jodi Thomas

I’ve found this to always be true. It’s a waste of time and energy comparing yourself to others. Just be you and worry about how to make your books better. Saves a lot of angst.

How important are names to you in your books? How do you choose names?
Names are so important to me, and I can never begin a story until I have the main character’s name right. In this second book of my Men of Legend series – The Heart of a Texas Cowboy – the protagonist is Houston Legend. I named him and his brother Sam after Sam Houston. And I named the brother who died Travis. Their father fought in the Texas War for Independence, and he idolized those larger-than-life leaders, so it simply made sense.

I always give my characters names that were used during the time period I’m writing in, but I also keep in mind their ancestry as well as nationality. My #1 book to go to when I can’t think of a good one is The Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilynn Kenyon. It’s an excellent Writer’s Digest publication.

A name has to fit the character’s personality in addition to everything else. Often it pops into my head with no thought, and other times I may go through a dozen or more before I decide.

If you could time travel, what time period would you first visit?
I think that would have to be Texas in the 1830s. That was such an interesting time. The fight for independence was going on and the country was changing. I’d love to have met Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis and other notable figures. And it was when the Texas Rangers was beginning to get organized. I’d like to have seen that.

After I visited there, I would go to 1700s Ireland, which is where my ancestors lived.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Cloning myself, most definitely. In this business, writers have to wear such an assortment of hats and are often stretched beyond what is humanly possible. If I could clone myself, I’d put one of me to work doing nothing but social media. Another would answer these darn emails that I never seem to have time for. And another would run errands—grocery shop, go to the post office, etc. Then I’d do nothing but write, which is the part I love. That would be pure heaven.

What’s something interesting, fun, or funny that most people don’t know about you?
I believe in ghosts. Maybe that’s because I’ve seen quite a few. I don’t necessarily seek them out but neither do I shy away from where a ghostly presence is suspected to be. None have frightened me—so far. In fact, I got the feeling they were as curious about me as I was about them. Some ghosts have actually comforted me, and that was pretty darn cool.

Also, I know this sounds silly but…I can’t stand for a plastic shower curtain to touch my bare legs. I simply hate it. I tell myself that’s illogical but I just can’t stand the feeling. For one thing, it’s usually ice cold (and feels like bony fingers) and it just gives me the heebie-jeebies. So when I travel and stay in hotels, I often put the curtain on the outside of the tub then mop up the water once I’m done. What can I say? I’m weird.

What would you want your tombstone to say?
She wrote stories that speak to the soul and made the world a better place.

Linda Broday, Historical Western Romance Author

I’m a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 8 full length historical western romance novels, with another set to release 2017, and 10 short stories. Watching TV westerns during my youth fed my love of cowboys and the old West and they still do. I reside in the Texas Panhandle on land the American Indian and Comancheros once roamed.

At times, I can feel their ghosts lurking around every corner. Texas’ rich history is one reason I set all my stories here. I love research and looking for little known tidbits to add realism to my stories. When I’m not writing, I collect old coins and I confess to being a rock hound. I’ve been accused (and quite unfairly I might add) of making a nuisance of myself at museums, libraries, and historical places.

I’m also a movie buff and love sitting in a dark theater, watching the magic on the screen. As long as I’m confessing…chocolate is my best friend. It just soothes my soul.

 

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Bending Angels: Character Interview

BENDING ANGELS

Living Messengers of God’s Love

By Jack H. Emmott

Genre: Memoir / Inspirational / Faith

Publisher: Carpenter's Son Publishing

Date of Publication: January 1, 2017

Number of Pages: 176

Struck by polio at age six, Jack H. Emmott began learning the difficult spiritual lessons embodied in paralysis, shivering loneliness, and dark despair.

Fortunately, Jack had help― people of all ages he calls his “Bending Angels,” those who have spread their wings of love and inspiration to walk the journey of faith as the devastated little boy became one of Houston’s celebrated attorneys, a loyal husband, and a devoted dad. Each chapter of this book will relate the story of a Bending Angel―from Brownie, the pup, to Mr. Ochoa, the baseball coach who understood how much of a heart it takes to win and how much of a soul it takes to lose your most precious dream. This book will inspire and uplift you as Jack H. Emmott, a life-long Christian, shares his spiritual wisdom and lessons learned.

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PRAISE FOR BENDING ANGELS:

“The power of ‘Let go and let God’ is personified in this inspiring story. Also, that we are given guidance in the most unsuspected forms when we but look, and that a flood of grace is behind every surrender. What a joy.”

— Lindsay Wagneractress, author

“With gentle humor and no small amount of faith, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love tells the story of Jack Emmott’s life and of the angels who have appeared in his life, just when he needed them the most. 

Do I believe in angels? Absolutely.

Was Jack himself an angel to me during the darkest period of my life?  Absolutely.”

— Debbie AdamsPast President, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston;

Chair, Advisory Council UTHealth School

of NursingTrustee, St. Edward’s University

“Bending Angel is a beautiful inspiring book about faith and prayer and the angels that surround us. Jack shared his life journey of trusting in God and drawing strength that was needed to help him. I learned a great deal from this book and have thought about it over and over again since I read it.” 

— Amazon reviewer

“If only I could get through a chapter without crying…very moving and touching stories.”

— Amazon reviewer

PURCHASE LINKS

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* * *

Author Jack Emmott Interviews Donk, His Four-Hoofed Angel

One afternoon as I rolled my wheelchair on the shell road under the canopy of the live oak trees my grandfather, PawPaw, planted in 1930, I ended up sitting in my wheelchair next to an old cottonwood tree. This was the same tree where Old Donk was buried years ago. Old Donk’s cross was the tree trunk pointing to the sky. Its horizontal branches extended out on all sides just as wide as the mark her life left in my childhood.

I thought that was a good time to say a prayer to thank God for Old Donk. “Dear God, thank You for my four-hoofed Bending Angel. Through her, You taught me so many lessons about human nature, the importance of nurture and Your love. Amen.”

As I ended the prayer, I opened my eyes.  In disbelief, I saw and heard an angelic spirit. “Hello, Bubba. How’ve you been?”

In reply, I said, “Old Donk, is that really you?”

“Yes,” Old Donk replied.

Astonished, I said, “Old Donk, seeing you is unbelievable.”

Old Donk said, “Well, Bubba, God does a lot of unbelievable things.”

“You called me Bubba.  I’ve not heard that in years.”

Old Donk said, “I know you go by Jack now. But, Bubba’s how I think of you as my little cowboy.”

I asked, “Where’ve you been?”

Old Donk answered with certainty, “I’ve been at the Lord’s Table.”

With relief, I said, “I always wondered whether God gave heavenly wings to all His creatures great and small.”

Old Donk stated with confidence, “Bubba, now you know that God loves all His creatures. Each and every kind of creature on His Earth has a special place in His Kingdom. That’s one of the messages God wants me to give you today.”

I asked, “Is that why God sent you to me in prayer today?   To give me messages?   I’ve always believed that’s one of the main purposes God has for angels.”

Old Donk said, “You’re absolutely right.”

‘What other messages do you have for me?” I asked.

“God wants everyone to ask for forgiveness of wrongs.  I need to apologize to you for dumping you off my saddle when you were four years old. That wasn’t very nice of me. You could’ve really gotten hurt badly. When I got to Heaven, I had some serious explaining to do to God. I told God that it was just my nature not to be ridden: that I didn’t like anyone riding my back. God said that sometimes creatures have to overcome their natures to do what they want and think about other people. When we do that, we please God.”

“Did God forgive you?” I asked.

“Yes. I asked for God’s forgiveness and I was forgiven. Forgiveness is something God does very well. Forgiveness helps. But, when you got polio and couldn’t ride me anymore, that made me feel even worse. God helped me deal with that too.”

“Old Donk, can I ask you a personal question?  When you threw me off the saddle you ran to the barn. Why did you always race back to the barn after you received your daily bread from the kitchens of my aunts in the neighborhood or when you threw someone off the saddle?”

“Well, Bubba you’re the first person to ask that question of me. I thought no one cared.  When my prior owner gave up on me being useful to him on his farm, PawPaw, took me in.  Soon after I came to Emmottville, I unexpectedly gave birth to two little donkeys.   I named them Softy and Sweetie after the bread I ate in the neighborhood.  Like your mom loved you, I loved my babies. One day I left them alone in the barn to go beg for bread. When I returned, my babies were gone.   I was devastated.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

Old Donk said, “Just as you prayed to God to be cured from polio, I prayed to God to bring back to me my babies, Softy and Sweetie.  Right after they disappeared, I repeatedly raced back to the barn as fast as I could to see if my babies were there.  I guess doing that became kind of a habit.”

I said, “But you never get them back.”

With tears in her eyes, Old Donk said, “Sadly, never in Emmottville.   But guess what.  My prayers really were answered in God’s time, not mine.  My babies were there to greet me at the Gates of Heaven. Now we eat at the same Table with God.  Another of God’s messages for you today is that in His time, all your prayers will be answered too. Your prayers for a cure will be answered. In Heaven, you will be as perfect, healthy and whole as the day you were born and held in your mother’s arms.”

“What a blessing!” I said in reply.

Old Donk proclaimed, “What you lost with polio is like what I lost with my two babies. In God’s time, all wrongs are righted. All losses are restored.”

As Old Donk realized the end of her time with me was near, she said, “Before I go, I want to tell you that I see your mom in Heaven. She had two messages for me to give to you.”

“First, she knows of your regret that when she was ill you could not bathe, clean, feed or clothe her like she did for you for after polio. She said for you not to worry about that. You did all you could. That is all that God expects from His children. Sitting next to her, being with her, and praying with her was pleasing to her and to God. As there was less and less of her due to repeated strokes, there was more and more of you. In your presence, there was more and more of God’s light and love in her ever-increasing darkness and despair.”

“The second message is that she loves you and wants you to keep writing about angels. People need to know that angels really exist.”

“Well, Bubba, I must go now. I hear my Father calling me back to His Table. Before I go, I want you to know that although I thought the bread I ate at your mother’s kitchen door was tasty, the bread at the Lord’s Table is truly Divine and Heavenly.”

“Goodbye, my little cowboy. See you one day at our Father’s Table.”

Author Jack H. Emmott contracted polio at the age of six.  Before polio, he knelt at his bedside with his mother Lucile and said evening prayers.  With paralysis, Jack could no longer kneel.  But he could still pray to God for guidance, comfort and healing.  The grace and love of God transformed all the bad from polio and paralysis into good.  Jack is a life-long Christian and successful family lawyer in Houston, Texas.  He is married to his wife of over forty years, Dorothy, who works alongside him in his calling.  Jack is father to two children and grandfather to three grandchildren.

Jack is the author of Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love by (Carpenter’s Son Publishing, 2016) a memoir of the living angels that touched his life.  He wrote Prayerful Passages:  Asking God’s Help in Reconciliation, Separation and Divorce (Outskirts Press, 2016) to help couples in struggling marriages ask God’s help through prayer for the same guidance, comfort and healing he has received from our Almighty Father for over sixty years following polio.

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5-May  Radio Interview Missus Gonzo

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9-May  Author Interview My Book Fix Blog

11-May Review Reading By Moonlight

12-May Guest Post Books and Broomsticks

13-May Sneak Peek Syd Savvy

14-May Review Forgotten Winds

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The Big Inch Author Interview

THE BIG INCH

By KIMBERLY FISH

  Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII

Date of Publication: January 19, 2017

Number of Pages: 344

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Kimberly Fish’s debut novel, The Big Inch, was released in February, 2017 and it reveals the lengths to which Texas oilmen, state, and federal governments would go to get Texas crude oil to the troops fighting their first mechanized war. With Nazi threats (and a steady stream of oil tankers sunk by German submarines) speed was necessary, as was OSS intelligence. The Office of Strategic Services was often staffed with female spies and Longview’s World War II efforts were critical for success. 

Lane Mercer, sent to Longview, Texas in July 1942, is part of a select group of women working undercover for the fledgling federal agency, the Office of Strategic Services. Assigned to protect the man carrying out President Roosevelt’s initiative to build the nation’s first overland pipeline to hurry East Texas crude to the troops, she discovers there’s more to Longview than the dossiers implied. There’s intrigue, mayhem, and danger. Shamed from a botched OSS mission in France, Lane struggles to fulfill her mission and keep from drowning in guilt. Getting involved in local life is out of the question. Between family, do-gooders, and Nazi threats, she’s knitted into a series of events that unravel all of her carefully constructed, plans, realizing that sometimes the life one has to save, is one’s own.

 ***

PRAISE FOR THE BIG INCH:

“With an eye for detail, Kimberly Fish weaves a compelling story of a war widow who finds herself in Longview, Texas in 1942. Reading Kimberly’s novel was a bit like going back to a cloak and dagger time, and I enjoyed the local references. Longview was an amazing place to be during WWII.”   — Van Craddock, Longview News Journal, Columnist

“Kimberly Fish’s unique writing style snatched me out of my easy chair and plunked me down into the middle of her character’s life where I was loathe to leave when my real life called me back. Her descriptive visual writing drew me in on the first page. Can’t wait to read more stories by Mrs. Fish.” — Vickie Phelps  Author of Moved, Left No Address

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Author Interview with Kimberly Fish

What does your perfect writing spot look like? Is that what your ACTUAL writing spot looks like? I have an imperfect writing spot in an upstairs office in our home that I share with my husband (that’s not why it’s imperfect, really,) but its best qualities are proximity to the Internet router and my pantry—which I can raid without judgement. I also like to pack up my computer and drive to our cottage at Lake Cherokee and write there because it has no Internet router and an empty pantry—really better in the long run.

Do you have any strange writing habits or writing rituals you’d like to share with your readers? The process of writing is strange to anyone who doesn’t like to do it, because it involves a lot of staring into space. I have no special traditions beyond the usual obstacles to making myself sit down in a chair, put my fingers on a keyboard, ignore social media, the phone, laundry, possibly dinner, and write.

What book do you wish you could have written? Oh, without a doubt, the Mitford series, by Jan Karon. Or anything by Lauren Willig. Or Pam Jenoff. Or Mary Kay Andrews. Or . . ..

Is there any person you credit for being your inspiration for reading and/or writing? Jan Karon, she showed me that a writer could weave in a whole mixed bag of quirky people, tears, laughter, hope, faith, redemption, animals, art, and betrayal and still have an entertaining series that made sense and that readers would buy.

Who would you cast to play your characters in a movie version of your book? I do tape photographs of celebrities on my inspiration board to help me hear their voice and remember the character’s physical traits, but whether or not Matthew McConaughey or George Clooney would appear in my movie is up to their agents. Unless I stalked them, which, let’s be honest, wouldn’t really help my cause.

How important are names to you in your books? How do you choose names? I spent some time playing with names that I felt suited the people who’d be walking the path I set out for them. I enjoyed going back several generations to dust off names that are no longer in vogue.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it? I don’t read a lot of science fiction or things related to the occult, so I’d probably not write about that. Or vampires.

What do you like to read in your free time? I read books my friends have written, biographies, historical fiction, romance novels, cozy mysteries, travel blogs, newspapers of all persuasions, philosophy, magazines, and cookbooks.

If you were a superhero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear? I’d probably be the one to go obscure but with wings that I had to keep hidden under a coat. I like doing a good deed and then getting out of the way before it’s noticed.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? Australia

If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be? Tell us why. Panda Bear, because seriously, who doesn’t think they’re adorable?

Do you have a mantra for writing and/or for life?  Be kind.

What do you want your tombstone to say? She loved her life.

 

Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won a Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting. She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats, She lives with her family in East Texas.

Author Links

Pinterest | Twitter | Website | Instagram | Amazon Author Page

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3/8 Review Hall Ways Blog
3/9 Author Interview Reading By Moonlight
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3/13 Character Interview CGB Blog Tours
3/14 Review Syd Savvy
3/15 Guest Post Chapter Break Book Blog
3/16 Author Interview Forgotten Winds
3/17 Review Books in the Garden
3/18 Playlist My Book Fix Blog
3/19 Promo Margie’s Must Reads
3/20 Review StoreyBook Reviews
3/21 Author Interview The Page Unbound
3/22 Review Missus Gonzo

 


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Bulletins From Dallas

BULLETINS FROM DALLAS

Reporting the JFK Assassination

By BILL SANDERSON

 Genre: Biography / Journalism

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Date of Publication: November 1, 2016

Number of Pages: 280

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Thanks to one reporter’s skill, we can fix the exact moment on November 22, 1963 when the world stopped and held its breath: At 12:34 p.m. Central Time, UPI White House reporter Merriman Smith broke the news that shots had been fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade. Most people think Walter Cronkite was the first to tell America about the assassination. But when Cronkite broke the news on TV, he read from one of Smith’s dispatches. At Parkland Hospital, Smith saw President Kennedy’s blood-soaked body in the back of his limousine before the emergency room attendants arrived. Two hours later, he was one of three journalists to witness President Johnson’s swearing-in aboard Air Force One. Smith rightly won a Pulitzer Prize for the vivid story he wrote for the next day’s morning newspapers.

Smith’s scoop is journalism legend. But the full story of how he pulled off the most amazing reportorial coup has never been told. As the top White House reporter of his time, Smith was a bona fide celebrity and even a regular on late-night TV. But he has never been the subject of a biography.

With access to a trove of Smith’s personal letters and papers and through interviews with Smith’s family and colleagues, veteran news reporter Bill Sanderson will crack open the legend. Bulletins from Dallas tells for the first time how Smith beat his competition on the story, and shows how the biggest scoop of his career foreshadowed his personal downfall.

***

PRAISE FOR BULLETINS FROM DALLAS:

“So much of what we know about any story depends on how reporters do their work. Bill Sanderson takes us through every heartbreaking minute of one of the biggest stories of our lifetime, with sharp detail and powerful observations. As you read the book, you’ll feel all the pressure and adrenaline rush of a reporter on deadline.” —Neal Shapiro, former president of NBC News, current president of WNET

“The life and work of a noted White House reporter…. Focusing on [Merriman] Smith’s reporting of the Kennedy assassination, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize, Sanderson conveys the tension and confusion after the event, as Smith and other newsmen scrambled to ascertain facts.” —Kirkus Reviews

“To read Bulletins from Dallas is to touch the fabric of history, through Sanderson’s artful weave of many voices, from presidents across the decades to the last words uttered by J.F.K. Swept back through the corridors of time, we hear the urgent bells and clatter of the teletype machine: Merriman Smith’s first report to the world, ‘Three shots fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade today in Downtown Dallas.’ This compelling narrative takes us to that moment when our whole nation cried, and, even now, to tears of primal sympathy that never seem to end.” —Allen Childs, author of We Were There: Revelations from the Dallas Doctors Who Attended to JFK on November 22, 1963

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NY1 “Inside City Hall”Interview:

Errol Louis interviews Bulletins from Dallas author Bill Sanderson on NY1, New York City’s premier cable news channel.

“58 Washington reporters on the trip – one mobile telephone” fist fight.

Bill Sanderson spent almost two decades as a reporter and editor at the New York Post. His work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Observer, and the Washington Post. Sanderson lives in New York City.

Connect with Bill:

Facebook

Twitter

Website

  

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2/21 Scrapbook Page StoreyBook Reviews
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2/23 Author Interview Texas Book Lover
2/24 Book Trailer Forgotten Winds
2/25 Review Kara The Redhead
2/26 Video Interview The Page Unbound
2/27 Review Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books
2/28 Guest Post Byers Editing Reviews & Blog
3/1 Excerpt Books and Broomsticks
3/2 Review Reading By Moonlight


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Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party

Welcome to the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Book Party!

Welcome to the genreCRAVE Science Fiction and Fantasy $1200 Giveaway! We have something really exciting set up for you. First, some KILLER Science Fiction and Fantasy books at a steal, and after that, a chance to enter our $1200 Gift Card Giveaway! Read on for more information, but first, check out the books from our sponsors at the link below!

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Here are a couple of sneak peeks!

Ambassador 1: Seeing Red
I had never been on first-name terms with the president, but while I sat there trying hard not to succumb to jet-lag, he chatted about my father, whom I had just visited, and who had finally retired from Lunar Base to his native New Zealand. Sirkonen opened the drawer of his desk and took something out, which he flipped across the gleaming wooden surface. I could do nothing but catch it. A datastick. I turned it over. The black plastic cover reflected the sunlight.

“What’s on it?”

“You might find it useful. Think of it as some . . . personal advice, from me to you. We’ll talk about it later, when you return for your first briefing.” He shut the drawer with a thud as if closing the subject.

This was highly irregular. “Mr President, can I ask—”

He shook his head, and offered me a drink—Finnish vodka, best in the world, he said. While he poured, his hands trembled.

I should have insisted that he tell me what was wrong, but who was I? An unimportant, sending-out-our-feelers type of diplomat, expendable and twenty years his junior. Not the type of person to draw attention to his problems—with alcohol or otherwise.

We made a toast. The heavy scent of the vodka did nothing to improve my alertness.

“Mr Wilson, when you come back in six month’s time, you must present your report to the general assembly. We need to know in detail what sort of regimes we’re dealing with.”

I didn’t understand why he spoke in such empty generalities; I wondered when he was going to open that folder on his desk and sign the contract. Nicha, my Coldi assistant, was waiting in the foyer. We had a whole heap of work to catch up on. I was annoyed that Sirkonen had changed our meeting time at the last minute—the original meeting had been scheduled for tomorrow morning.

Sirkonen stopped speaking.

I stared at him, realising with embarrassment that I’d been off with the fairies. Was I meant to have said something? Was I breaking rule number one of the diplomatic circle: never show any sign of sleep deprivation?

An attack of dizziness overtook me. My vision wavered, as if the world were painted on a silk flag that flapped in the wind, and all the furniture was rimmed in a red aura. “Mr President, I’m—”

I just managed to put my vodka down. The glass hit the wood with a soft clunk, the only sound in the frozen silence.

There was a small sound from outside, a click.

As if stung, Sirkonen turned to the window; his eyes widened.

“Sir?”

The president opened his mouth, but a sharp crack interrupted his words.

Releasing Rage
She stepped into the firewall square. The door behind her closed and she authorized the interior door to open.

A buzz swept over her. No, not simply over her. Into her. She gasped, her inhalation of air drawing more of this unknown presence inside her.

It was too much, almost suffocating. Joan swayed, lightheaded. “Do not faint. Do not faint,” she repeated to herself, closing her eyes.

The rolling under her feet gradually stopped. She opened her eyes and wished she hadn’t. Crimson spray covered everywhere she looked. Gore was splattered into the farthest corners, hanging from the ceiling. Cleaner bots scrubbed the walls and floor.

This was why she felt dizzy, she reasoned. She smelled and sensed this butchery.

C899321, the being she had been told was responsible, stood in his uploading dock, a cable inserted into his nape, his towering form naked, covered with blood, his long black hair dripping with it.

He turned his head, locked his gaze with hers and she sucked in her breath. There were worlds of agony, of rage, in those bright blue eyes. This was no rational, logic-driven cyborg. This was a man, an animal, crazed by bloodlust and pain.

“They thought to pacify me with the use of a human female?” he thundered, his deep gravelly voice clawing across her skin, awakening parts in her she didn’t realize slept. “I’d kill you before I allowed you to touch me.”

This insult didn’t hurt her the way he’d intended. Joan knew she wasn’t the slim tiny female males desired. She was solidly built, good breeding stock, as her mother had once said.

She discarded his words and focused on the torment in his tones. He hurt. Horrifically. Her fingers twitched, the urge to reach out to him, to comfort him, tremendous. Judging by the flex of his powerful biceps and thigh muscles, by the anger radiating from him, he wouldn’t appreciate that response.

He also wouldn’t listen to any command she issued. A reprimand, verbal or physical, would add to his hostility. Some being had already tried to restrain him and failed. The reportedly unbreakable wrist and ankle cuffs attached to the frame of the uploading dock had been shattered, rendered useless.

Joan discarded four solar cycles’ worth of theory on how to handle malfunctioning cyborgs, realizing now that the academy experts knew nothing.
Her late father, however, had taught her how to deal with wild beasts.

“I would never touch you without your permission.” She lowered her gaze, showing submission, recognizing C899321 as the dominant male he was. He’d seek to harm any aggressor, to protect himself and his territory. If she wasn’t female, she suspected she’d already be dead.

“I also would never hurt you.” Joan stuffed a couple of cleaning cloths into her pockets and dropped to her knees, into a puddle of red. The moisture soaked through her flight suit. “I’m here to serve you, to clean you.”

 

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Tour Host Sign Up Sheet!

Hi Everyone!

Haley and I are so excited to announce that we are a few months away from launching our new website for blog tour services! Right now we are wanting to compile a list of people interested in hosting. The services will typically be for YA and NA genres. If you would like to become a tour host with us please fill out the form below! If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Thank you all so much!

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Set Me Free: Author Interview and Giveaway

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Book & Author Details:
Set Me Free by London Setterby 
Publication date: July 8th 2016
Genres: Gothic, New Adult, Romance
Synopsis:

Miranda Lewis is desperate to get away from her controlling ex–so desperate she leaves him in the middle of the night. She ends up on a remote island off the Maine coast, where she befriends a bubbly shopkeeper, Claire, and becomes fascinated with Claire’s son, big, brooding Owen Larsen, a woodworker who keeps to himself. Even the friendliest locals here are secretive–and Owen is at the center of their secrets.

Still, Miranda loves the salt air, the craggy coastline, and, most of all, the work of the island’s beloved local painter, Suzanna White. Miranda wants to stay–to claim a life of her own, to paint again. But the longer she stays, the more her fascination with Owen increases. Why is there a painting of his stern, handsome face in the art gallery by the beach? And why is everyone so afraid of him?

SetMeFree

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Purchase Links:

Amazon / iBooks

Author Interview:

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing? What inspires you to write?

I started writing and illustrating “books” in first grade or so, usually about girls who were given magical ponies for their birthdays. So, as you can see, I write in part as wish fulfillment (sadly I never did get that magical pony). But mostly, writing is just how I process. Sometimes it seems like I can’t write fast enough to keep up with all of the processing I need to do.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Well, of course, I’m hopeful that lots of people can enjoy Set Me Free. If you like either romance or mystery, you will probably find something to like here. But Set Me Free is also a story for abuse survivors written by an abuse survivor. I wanted to write a engaging, hopeful, and fun story for us, about how strong we are, and about how we, too, can find our happily-ever-afters.  <3

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

I’m actually super thrilled you asked me this, because the title of Set Me Free is a majorly nerdy Shakespeare reference and I’ve been dying to spill the beans about it for ages. So: this book is loosely inspired by The Tempest. And, at the very end of that play, the sorcerer Prospero breaks the third wall, turns to the audience, and asks that they set him free from the island he was stranded on through applause. (“But release me from my bands With the help of your good hands . . .  As you from crimes would pardoned be, Let your indulgence set me free.”)

Which is not to say I’m begging for your approval. 😉 The concept behind Set Me Free is that we can free each other from our burdens through trust and openness; writing the book was freeing for me, and I hope it can be freeing for some of my readers, too.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

 The very sweet and wonderful Ida at Amygdala Designs created my cover. Since I first came up with the idea for Set Me Free, I wanted a cover with my heroine wearing a white dress and standing by the sea, as a callback to classic Gothics. I was really happy with Ida’s design, which kept that Gothic flavor but with a contemporary spin.

 Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Gosh, you know, it feels a bit gauche to admit this, but I actually really like my heroine, Miranda. I think she’s brave as hell. If it helps, I’m not much like her. 😉

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

I’m not sure I have one. I tend to empathize to some degree with even my most evil and horrible characters. Which can be a little worrying.

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?

I always try to remind myself of that quote (alternately attributed to Da Vinci or Picasso) that art is never finished, only abandoned.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

Set Me Free is a standalone, but I have some tie-in short stories on my Wattpad profile (@elsetterby), which might eventually be made available elsewhere, too. There are scenes from Owen’s point of view, and I’m currently writing a short story/novellette about two side characters, Andy and Kaye. I’ve also been toying with the idea of writing a wedding scene, a bit like an epilogue. So readers, if that’s something you guys would like, let me know!

What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?

It’s pretty hard to find contemporary Gothics, which makes me sad. Certainly the book draws on the classics quite a lot, like Rebecca and Jane Eyre. A few people have told me that Set Me Free reminds them of Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven, but I’ve never read it, so I don’t know.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can reach me at my website anytime! londonsetterby.com You can sign up for my newsletter there. I’m also on tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and Wattpad, and would love to chat with you.

What can we expect from you in the future?

This fall, I’m hoping to release the first book in my gritty erotic romance series (writing as L. Setterby). It’s called Breathe and is currently available on the brand-new Radish app (radishfiction.com), where it’s a trending story and one of the top Radish reads.

Meanwhile, I’m writing a new romance called Heart of Stone, which I hope to start putting on Wattpad soon. It’s a romcom about a statue that comes to life and becomes his sculptor’s couch guy.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Leaving a review would be a huge help, on whichever site you like! Telling a friend is always good, too. Word of mouth is the best advertising there is!

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Well, I’m an indie author, and it’s a bit different for us. I would just say: writer, know thyself. I spent a long time agonizing over pursuing traditional publishing, but it’s just not for me. I just don’t enjoy playing someone else’s game. I want to play my own. 🙂

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thanks so much for hosting!

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

 It wasn’t like we’d discussed it. Maybe he’d expected a chaste kiss and goodbye promptly after dinner. Instead, I’d unzipped my dress on his kitchen counter. We’d only just met; we’d only gone on a few dates, if you could call them dates. And yet it had all felt so right. What he’d said to me afterwards had been so sweet… I’d thought he might be falling for me. Even though I knew better.

I slid out of bed and almost stepped on my dress, which was folded neatly on the floor, on top of my shoes. My handbag sat beside the little bundle. He must have gotten my things together before he left for work, so I wouldn’t have to go hunting around his house. He was being nice. He was definitely not trying to get rid of me.

Really.

I pulled on my clothes and tiptoed across his plushy beige carpet. On the landing, I hesitated, staring at the door to the opposite room. The brass doorknob gleamed against the dark wood. Before I realized what I was doing, I’d turned the doorknob as hard as I could.

The door popped open, and I stumbled inside with a gasp. There was no way I could’ve broken it, and he was too careful to ever leave this room unlocked. I jiggled the knob, but it wouldn’t turn. It was locked…still? Again?

I shouldn’t go in. Even though he’d shown me what he kept in here, going into this room without him violated his trust. It was wrong. Beneath me.

Still, I stared into the empty room, biting my lip. The heavy curtain hid all signs of morning light. It was so cold in here I half-expected to see my breath, as if I’d opened a door to the night sky.

 

London

Author Bio:

Hello! I’m London, a writer, lawyer, and life-long New Englander. I write all flavors of romance, from surreal fantasy romances to raw gritty contemporaries. I also write across the gender and sexuality spectrums. Everything I write is a little bit funny, a little bit sad, and probably kind of strange.

You might know me from Wattpad–my Wattpad Featured Read, Set Me Free, a Gothic romance, will be released as an ebook and in print in summer 2016.

My gritty erotic romance, Breathe, is currently being serialized on Radish, a free app. It will be released in ebook/print as well sometime after Set Me Free.

Author Links:

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

Blog Tour Organized by:

Xpresso Book Tours

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Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
2x signed copies of Set Me Free

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Black Water Tales: Author Interview and Excerpt

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Purchase Link:
Amazon

Book Summary:

In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities, but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children. Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted. The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when she discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help…There’s something in the basement.

Interview

 

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing? What inspires you to write?

I have always loved to write, even as a child and I always aspired to become a writer, but the fact is, that like many of us, in my younger years, I lacked the true passion and discipline that was necessary to make that dream a reality.

I find inspiration in the curious and ever changing life that is unfolding around me constantly. I watch and I listen to people, their body language, and their tone of voice. Sometimes the most subtle actions are motivated by the deepest emotions and I never allow those small things to go unnoticed.

 

  1. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

Though I welcome all to read my books, my intended audience is female horror/thriller/paranormal lovers from ages 16-30. These readers should get my books because they aren’t going to find many like them. I wrote the kind of books that I loved and that I wanted to read, but often had trouble finding.

 

  1. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

Trial and error. I knew that I wanted the series to be named after the fictional town that connects all of the stories, but it took me months of mulling over different names and running them by friends and family members who often responded with sour faces. Finally, I came up with the name, Black Water.

 

  1. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

I was just discussing cover art with someone the other day and its undeniable importance. For Black Water Tales: The Unwanted, my second novel, I chose a single image of a headless baby doll, Dolly, who belongs to one of the characters. Not only does the doll appear in the book several times, but her image makes the reader curious about the obscure world of the unwanted children of St. Sebastian orphanage.

 

  1. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

The main character, Blaire. I love her because her heart is pure despite the fact that it has been marred by darkness in the past. She wants nothing more than to help the children of St. Sebastian orphanage, but soon realizes that her good heart may get her killed.

 

  1. How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

Tough question. Despite the fact that some of my characters are cold, uncaring and even murderous, there aren’t any that dislike. It’s hard to dislike a character that you created. It is also difficult to dislike them because I know that despite some of their less than savory characteristics, they are human and their unique personalities evolve from some struggle in their history. If I must choose, I will say, Marko, the Director of St. Sebastian orphanage. In Marko’s business, he has developed quite a thick skin and has become slightly insensitive to the needs of the children in his ward and must be viscerally brought back into the fold in order to understand the depth of what is taking place inside of his facility.

 

  1. If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?

I can’t think of one thing that I would change about my novel. It isn’t perfect, but nothing is.

 

  1. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

The town of Black Water is based on my very real, tiny hometown of Centralia, IL, where every holiday from Christmas to May Fete is celebrated grandly, but you must always keep a watchful eye on your neighbor.

 

  1. What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?

The type of writing that I do is very similar to Dean Koontz and Stephen King. They are alike in the type of horror that they offer. I am not a big fan of jump scares and in my stories, I prefer to give to give the kind of scares that chill one to the core and makes you question, not what’s in the closet but what’s in the mirror.

 

  1. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Connect with me in any of the following ways.

Jeannicolerivers.com

https://www.facebook.com/JNicoleRivers/

@jeannicole19 (Instagram and Twitter)

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832487.Jean_Nicole_Rivers

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOU4nXpJy5vMTkWOhjuS5yQ

 

  1. What can we expect from you in the future?

You can expect many more short and flash fiction stories that can be found on my website and I am currently editing my third novel, The Sandman (working title).

 

  1. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Reviews! Authors love reviews because it gives other readers the confidence to make the purchase. Also, just sharing your enjoyment of the book with friends and family through word of mouth and social media is an excellent way to join the movement.

 

  1. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

My only advice is to keep writing, everything else will come with time.

 

  1. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Read, learn, love!

 

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

The last student filtered out of the classroom as Blaire sat to make notes. A spirited game of Ring Around the Rosie began outside, not too far from Blaire’s open window, the euphoric play filled her with a joy reminiscent to that of being a young child again. She scribbled a few more lines on her notepad before she got up and crossed to the back window where the children were outside frolicking in merriment. Up and down each side of the building she searched for children that were not there.

Blaire listened closely, and she could still hear the game, but it was not outside as she originally thought, it was inside, right here inside of her classroom. Blaire swung her pencil between her fingers nervously as she scanned the room allowing her ears to lead the way. They homed in on the vent in the floor along the wall. The soft singing of the children grew faint, but it was coming from inside of the vent, as she was sure of that. Blaire got down on her knees and peered into the blackness.

“Hello,” Blaire called into the vent. She jumped at the giddy laughter that responded, and suddenly there was a scattering sound, as if a group of people were discovered in a secret hiding place, who then ran for cover. A sound rose up through the opening and into her ears. It was the desperate, undecipherable whispers of hundreds of little voices all moving about, intertwining in and out of one another like snakes in mating. She put her ear closer, trying to make out the words.

There’s suffering in the pavement?

What were they saying? Blaire thought to herself.

Growing louder in each new moment, they all but peaked into a schizophrenic static that felt like it was inside of Blaire, choking up her ability to reason. She felt something moving closer to her and heard whispers that were not just senseless jabbering, but were providing, something tangible, a ladder for something terrible that was crawling toward her, up from the bowels of the building, through the dark vent on the backs of the wicked whispers. The evil was moving quickly up out of the darkness like electricity through a wire, and Blaire couldn’t tear herself away.

There’s suffering in the pavement. The jumbled whispers were closer now. There’s suffering in the pavement. Closer. There’s suffering in the pavement. Here it comes. THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE BASEMENT! It screamed and the words were clear now. JUMP! It belched.

Book Trailer:

About the Author:

Jeannicolerivers

Jean Nicole Rivers is a great lover of reading and writing. Though she loves varied genres, horror/thriller is her favorite. Jean Nicole has been writing poetry and short stories since she was a child, but has always aspired to master the art of storytelling through novels. The Unwanted is the second story in her series of Black Water Tales, following The Secret Keepers.

Jean Nicole was awarded 3rd place in the National Black Book Festival’s 2013 Best New Author competition and she enjoys the honor of having written featured articles for popular reader websites and blogs, such as Digital Book Today and The Masquerade Crew.

Jean Nicole Rivers graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and lives in Houston, Texas.

Become friends with her at www.facebook.com/jnicolerivers. Follow her on Twitter @Jeannicole19. Check out her Instagram @Jeannicole19 or visit her at www.jeannicolrivers.com.

 

Teen Zombie Show Author Interview and Giveaway

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Read before it hits the screen: Teen Zombie Show: Secret confessions of the real characters by David Santo

Teen Zombie Show Book Adaptation Tour
May 2nd-31st, 2016

Teen Zombie Show Script:

 

Top 10 finalist at the Cannes Film Festival in the TV category

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Winner of the 2016 Gold Remi Award for TV writing

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$10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

Teen Zombie Show Cover
TITLE:
Teen Zombie Show: Secret confessions of the real characters (a companion guide to the TV pilot script entitled TEEN ZOMBIE SHOW)

AUTHOR: David Santo

PUBLISHED: January 2, 2016

PUBLISHER: Bad Back Productions

GENRE: Y/A fiction

PAGES: 54

 

SYNOPSIS:

This tell-all companion guide to the TEEN ZOMBIE SHOW reveals secret information and true events that helped shape and inform the creation of the TV series. It is the perfect insider’s guide on how and why the show was created. In short, by reading this, you will know things that others don’t.

 

This book is available exclusively on Amazon Kindle:

Purchase

VIDEOS:

BOOK TRAILER:

3

PILOT TRAILER:

4

 

Topsecret

 

EXCERPT:

CHAPTER SEVEN

There’s nothing like a man / zombie in a military uniform to make you swoon. But, get this – he could talk! This is very different than the TV series.

In the show, Za can’t speak. Now, he did spend months unable to communicate. So, I guess the producers thought this made a better character – or they never did a follow-up on the real people I based the script on. Whatever the case; the guy / zombie I met could speak.

Now, his speech was labored like every word that came out of his mouth required great concentration. So, I dispensed with the chitchat, and got right into it. He does not really remember much before Sugar found him. But he’s certain that he was normal. He pulls out a tattered slip of paper with some kind of official college writing on it like a report card or something. There’s no logo, only a collegiate font. I ask him if he thought that he was a college student. He answers…

Yes. Freshman. I ask how he knows this, and he just shrugs his shoulders. I ask if he’s happy. He holds Sugar’s hand and enthusiastically replies…

Yes!

Now, I know when a man is in love, and trust me, this dude is in love. He’s got it bad. I try to find out any information I can about his past but there’s just not much there for him to remember. And, he’s getting frustrated at my approach. So, I switch up and talk about the things he likes right now.

His favorite Food? Chocolate chips cookies.

Favorite Band? Guns and Roses (because Sugar likes them).

Favorite TV show? Steven Universe.

Then, Sugar asks me if I want to see the most amazing thing ever.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

“Just read this and I have to say, I’m really excited to see this beauty on my TV screen. What’s in this lovely little book is beyond belief!”

Lyndzie P.

“This book and the pilot script, takes a close look at a small town girl named Sugar, who searches for the man of her dreams, but “happily ever after” gets tricky when her Prince Charming turns out to be a zombie.”

Parvati A.

AUTHOR BIO:

screenwriterdave73David Santo

I have won multiple screenwriting awards. Sold 5 scripts. 3 published books. My book on how to write screenplays went to #1 on Amazon Kindle in the performing arts category. You can learn more about me at…

http://ScreenwriterDave.com/
https://twitter.com/TeenZombieShow
https://TeenZombieShow.wordpress.com/

Giveaway:

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When you’re not writing, what do you like to read?

I’m a screenwriter by trade, so a screenwriting book is usually my constant companion.

How do you find your inspiration?

I hate to go all Zen on you, but inspiration is everywhere and everything. I constantly find it to be an unending well to tap into.

What is your writing schedule like?

I write in short bursts every day all day. On an hour. Off an hour. That kind of thing. When I was first starting out, I’d write continuously – straight through the day or idea or assignment until it was complete. But, that’s a quick way to burn out. That’s why I adopted this on-off-on approach. It allows me to go for years and years and not get fatigued.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

Plotter. Panster = unemployment if you’re writing scripts for clients. They want to see a synopsis, treatment, step outline, etc., to insure I’m on course with their ideas.

What inspired your current story?

This book is a companion guide to my pilot script entitled TEEN ZOMBIE SHOW. So, this book was really informed by the creation of the TV concept and series script.

What authors/books influences your work?

Professor Richard Walter is the screenwriting Chairman at UCLA. His books have been most influential to me – notably – ESSENTIALS OF SCREENWRITING.

How does your story stand out from the crowd?

Zombies are ubiquitous. They’re everywhere now – like cell phones. This zombie is a shy, neat freak that likes to eat chocolate chip cookies, and helping people. He’s more of a monk than a monster.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?

Full-time. And, I got the emotional scars, and the lame bank account to prove it.

Which three words would you use to describe this book?

Fun. Fast. Fresh. Interesting. (sorry, this question is so cliché’, I am obligated to mock it).

Do you have any crazy/unusual writing habits?

Nope. I’m boring. I write my pages. Then, I write more pages. Then, I clean the toilet.

What are you working on now?

A female superhero called RAT GIRL. You can find her on the web by googling ratgirlcomic.wordpress. I had a comic book deal for her a few years back. I’m re-booting her franchise by writing a one-hour TV pilot based on the same character.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

Screenwriters can, and do, get fired if they put their nose where it doesn’t belong, and that includes acting like a casting director. So, you’ll get nothing out of me.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

1. Write. 2. Be prepared to suck for prolonged periods of time.

What do you think is the future of reading/writing?

I’m constantly surprised by people that still want to hold a physical book in their hands. Everything is moving to the cloud, yet people still want that kinesthetic tactile experience of holding a book and bending the pages. I do it myself.

What process did you go through to get your book published?

This is the first book that I self-published. It’s such a weird book that I didn’t even try to shop it in the conventional sense.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

The G rated “mom-approved zombie fun” aspect is new. And, the fact that it’s a companion guide that gives the reader a behind the scenes look at the TV pilot is pretty cool.

What is your biggest fear when writing?

Knowing failure is the inevitable result of almost everything I do, waiting to see how it unfolds can be a bit nerve racking.

If you had a superpower or ability, what would it be?

Flying. Naked. With other naked superheroes because it would be more fun with company. Then, we’d force people to listen to 80’s Euro bands like The Smith’s until all of humanity agreed they were the best band ever.

Which character are you most like?

All of them.

What would a reader be shocked to learn about you?

Nothing (other than the naked flying Smith’s thing).

If you could spend one day with a character who would it be and what would you do?

I’d spend a day with the lead character of the book, Sugar Willowick, so I could get more hip to her unique brand of sarcasm.

Which character would you want as your partner in a fight?

Sugar’s mom, Lorraine. She’s actually up for a fight.

Which character would you party with?

Grandma Willowick. She’s done things that would make Burning Man blush.

Leather gear or jeans & t-shirt?

Both.

Blades, guns or magic?

I have no clue what that means? Let me consult with my nerd friends and get back with you.

Books or Sneakers?

Again, clueless. That’ll be question #2 for my homies.

Who is your favorite character any why?

Sugar. She’s so smart and so funny. I wish I was like her.

How about favorite author?

I know this writer – you can find her on Twitter – @therobotjane. She writes great.

How many books do you expect to be in this series?

I would love to write several more – one based on each of the co-leads.

Without giving anything away, what can readers expect from future books in this series?

The depth of Sugar’s intellect will be explored. Her love relationship with a zombie looks pretty juicy to me. And, the interpersonal dynamics of a grandmother-mother-daughter relationship also looks awesome to explore.

Tour Hosted By:

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Triumph of Chaos Blog Tour, Author Interview, and Giveaway

TOCTour

Link to Tour Schedule:

Triumph of Chaos (Red Magic #3)
by Jen McConnel
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books

After the disaster in Europe, Darlena’s starting to get desperate. She knows the only way to
defeat Hecate and the other crazy Red Gods is by banding together with other Witches, but is it any wonder she has a hard time trusting them?

With Izzy’s support, Darlena begins making fragile strides toward repairing the mess she made,
but she just can’t catch a break. As chaos runs rampant around her, Darlena begins to think that things would be better if she’d never become a Red Witch in the first place. But there’s no way to change the past…is there?

The final book in the Red Magic series brings Darlena face to face with impossible odds, and a
terrifying choice.

TOC Cover

Author Interview:

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you begin writing? What inspires you to write?
I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, but what really prompted me to get serious about my writing was my teaching career. I started out teaching in middle school, and I feel in love with YA literature. I’m an avid reader, and I love stories in all forms, whether I’m telling them or hearing (or reading!) them.

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
The Red Magic series is a YA Fantasy series, so my primary audience will hopefully be teens, but I’m a huge advocate of reading whatever you want to read, and I know there are a lot of adults like me who love YA lit as well. I hope whoever picks up my books will enjoy being thrown into the fast-paced, high-stakes world that Darlena inhabits.

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
I went through a number of titles before landing on Daughter of Chaos, Gods of Chaos, and Triumph of Chaos. I got a lot of feedback from various writers and agents early on in the process, and my friend who’s a middle school librarian really helped me brainstorm to get Daughter of Chaos. I always knew I wanted to call the series Red Magic, though, since that’s such a vital part of the story.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
My publisher commissioned the covers for the series, and I love the way each one captures the changes in Darlena, my main character: she begins the series terrified and unsteady, hits a low point of depression and frustration in the second book, and by the final book, she’s really begun to embrace her power…even if that means she’s lethal.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
I love Darlena, the impulsive, 16 year old Witchy protagonist. I love her energy and her loyalty, and her stubbornness and snark were a lot of fun to write.

How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
That’s a tough question! I guess I’ll have to say Samuel, Marcus and Izzy’s uncle; I like him least because I developed him the least, so I never really got to know him.

If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be? Why?
Another tough question! I try not to think about changes I would make once a book is published, so I really don’t know! Letting the stories go is an important part of being an author.

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
When I started writing Daughter of Chaos, I got more than halfway through the first draft before I realized that Darlena needed a best friend (if you’ve read DoC, you know just how important Rochelle became!).

What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike?
There are a lot of awesome witchy YA titles out there, but I especially love the Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. We both draw from contemporary Pagan roots in our stories, but her series is much closer to our reality in many ways, whereas the Red Magic series presents a reality that is totally unlike our own.

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
I’m all over the Internet; if you visit my website at www.jenmcconnel.com, you can sign up for my newsletter and find out where to follow me on social media.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ve got lots of story ideas simmering, but I think next up will be a NA Paranormal Romance series.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
That’s an awesome question! Reader recommendations are super important, whether that means leaving a review at your favorite online retailer or suggesting the book to your friends and family. Readers make the book world go round, and I am so appreciative of everyone who’s fallen in love with Darlena’s messed up life.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Keep writing and reading, and never let anyone tell you to give up on your dreams.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thanks so much for hosting me on this tour! <3

And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:
Since this is the last book in the series, I don’t want to give too much away, but here’s a sneak peek:
I used to scoff at people who preached about the end of the world, but ever since Marcus, I hadn’t been able to laugh off the sandwich-board crazies popping up everywhere. Maybe it would have been funny if I didn’t know the truth.
The world was ending. Or at least it would be if I couldn’t stop it.

 

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Link to Red Magic Series

Purchase Links:

Daughter of Chaos (Red Magic #1):

Google Play / BAM / Chapters / Indies / Amazon / B&N / Kobo / TBD / iBooks

Gods of Chaos (Red Magic #2):

Google Play / BAM / Chapters / Indies / Amazon / B&N / Kobo / TBD / iBooks

Triumph of Chaos (Red Magic #3):

Google Play / BAM / Chapters / Indies / Amazon / B&N / Kobo / TBD / iBooks

About the Author:

A Michigander by birth, Jen McConnel now makes her home in the beautiful state of North Carolina. She writes NA, including the recently released Adventures Abroad series (Bloomsbury Spark), the award winning YA novel Beautiful Curse (Swoon Romance), and various other works. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat or wandering off on another adventure. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. Visit www.JenMcConnel.com to learn more!

Jen McConnel

Author Links:

Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Tumblr / Goodreads

Blog Tour Organized by:

Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours:

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Giveaway Information: Contest ends March 25, 2016

• Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Triumph of Chaos (Red Magic #3) by Jen McConnel (INT)

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