Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, My Books, postaday, writing

Indie author of the day: Jackie Phillips

My interview for the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did doing it. 🙂

Scarborough Mysteries

Jackie 2009We’ve gone through the first week of our indie book blog tour, which I am co-hosting with the talented Kate M Colby, http://katemcolby.com, and haven’t we had fun! Today is a writer who likes a mystery as much as I do, Jackie Phillips. JL Phillips is a dreamer. Now she is a writer of stories. Being a dreamer is nice but it’s not perfect until you put those dreams in writing and let other people see them. Here she introduces her book, A Case of Deceit:

Private investigator DeeDee Watson receives a desperate phone call from an old college roommate. Dee can’t turn down a plea for help from a friend, so, along with Tee, her trusty sidekick, she agrees to help. It doesn’t take long for Dee to find herself in the middle of something sinister. The more clues she finds the more she realizes all is not what…

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Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, postaday, writing

Author interview: Helen Jones

And another great author from our 2016 2K Indie Book Tour! Look for ME tomorrow!

Scarborough Mysteries

Helen JonesHalf way through my leg of the indie blog tour, before I hand over to my colleague, Kate M Colby, http://katemcolby.com. Today I welcome fantasy writer, Helen Jones. She grew up in Coventry, England, then moved to Canada and Australia before coming back to the UK. She now lives in Hertfordshire and loves to write, dance, study and paint, seeking pathways beyond the everyday. She’s worked many jobs, from martial arts instructor to photography producer, but writing has turned out to be her absolute favourite one of all. She’s written for several publications and blogs in Australia and the UK. Oak and Mist is her debut novel:

‘The end of everything? Great, no pressure then.’
A young girl witnesses a strange event in the woods at her local park. Five years later, in the same place, she is attacked and pushed between two trees… then disappears. She reappears in…

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Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, postaday, writing

Author interview: Christina Ochs

Another great author on the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour that I am participating in the next couple of weeks! Please join us!

Scarborough Mysteries

Christina2As we continue with our indie book blog tour (co-hosted with Kate M Colby, http://katemcolby.com) today I am very pleased to welcome historical-fantasy writer, Christina Ochs. She writes epic historical fantasy from the passenger seat of a semi truck. At any given time, she, her driver husband and their two cats – Phoenix and Nashville – can be found anywhere in the lower 48. With a bachelor’s degree in History and an MBA, Christina uses her writing to indulge her passion for reading and research. Publishing as an indie author provides an outlet for her entrepreneurial side and she is an avid supporter of fellow authors, both independent and traditionally published.

Rise of the Storm is the first book in the Desolate Empire series, a historical fantasy retelling of the Protestant Reformation and the Thirty Years War. It follows four main characters through the religious and political upheavals triggering…

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Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, writing

Author interview: Zach Chopchinski

The second interview in the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour! Enjoy!

Scarborough Mysteries

On the second day of our 2K international indie book blog tour 2016 (hosted by Kate M Colby http://katemcolby.com http://katemcolby.com & me, Kate Evans). I am delighted to welcome our first indie author for interview, Zach Chopchinski.

LLP_5958Zachary is 27 and lives in Florida with his lovely wife, Layla. The two of them share a home with their four fur-children. Zachary has degrees in Criminal Justice and Criminology. He had two short stories and a poem published by Ohio State University. Zachary has always had two passions in his life, criminal justice and writing. After spending nearly 5 years working in security, Zachary decided it was time to give his other passion a chance. Zachary is very much a family man and when he is not deep in writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing video games or contemplating his next story idea.

He introduces his…

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Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

Author interview: Kara Jorgensen

Here is the first interview in the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour put on by Kate Evans and Kate M. Colby! I will be showcased on Friday the 12th! Come join us as we visit different genres and authors. It’s going to be loads of fun.

Scarborough Mysteries

It is time to kick off our 2K international indie book blog tour 2016 (hosted by Kate M Colby http://katemcolby.com http://katemcolby.com & me, Kate Evans). I am delighted to welcome our first indie author for interview, Kara Jorgensen.

KaraK picKara Jorgensen is an author of fiction and professional student from New Jersey who will probably die slumped over a Victorian novel. An anachronistic oddball from birth, she has always had an obsession with the Victorian era, especially the 1890s. Midway through a dissection in a college anatomy class, Kara realized her true passion was writing and decided to marry her love of literature and science through science fiction or, more specifically, steampunk. When she is not writing, she is watching period dramas, going to museums, or babying her beloved dogs.

Here she introduces her book,  The Earl and the Artificer (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #3), a historical fantasy novel.

What mysteries…

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Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, writing

Author Interview ~~ Laura Cowan ~ Music of Sacred Lakes

Hello People! I hope everyone is going to have a wonderful Easter!

Today I have a special treat for you. Laura Cowan, author of a wonderful book called Music of Sacred Lakes has kindly agreed to an interview.

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Laura writes magical realism. It’s a fantastic and a little known genre that Laura does so very well. Her book Music of Sacred Lakes, is about a man called Peter, who has to come to terms with himself after his carelessness causes the death of a young girl. It’s how he does this and what he goes through that makes this book so beautiful. Laura takes us on a journey of redemption that will stay in your mind long after you finish reading the book.

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It’s available at Amazon…….here.

 

1- What inspired you to write your book?

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of the spirit of place. Why do some places feel empty and others feel weighed down by eons of history? I saw a parallel with the music that comes out of certain countries and places, too. There is a mood to places that soaks into everything about their cultures. I wanted to track down what was going on there, on a spiritual, metaphysical and physical level.

2- What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Parts of this book explored the dysfunctional history of my family, and that tore me up getting it on the page. Why did generation after generation of my family have children that felt unwanted and rejected? It caused mental illness, violence, heartbreak. I was starting to suspect that a lack of love—and a lack of connectedness—was at the root of this legacy. When I realized that disconnect extended to a disconnect with understanding our place of belonging in the world itself in our culture as a whole (the Christian idea of man being a special creature set apart from the rest of creation or the modernist idea of man being able to stand objectively outside of the world to observe it for scientific research gave rise to this terrible loneliness and sense of displacement in western cultures, I was finding, which was changing with the rise of postmodernism and other related movements toward understanding man’s place of belonging in the world), this book really took off, but the whole thing was intense. When I finished, I wondered if I would ever recover my previous level of energy, that was how much it took out of me.

3- How do you find or make time to write?

I have a young child, I’m staying home to raise, and I have even done some freelance journalism on the side. Finding time to write has been a daily struggle, but it was when I realized I wasn’t going to get a better chance than my current schedule that I buckled down and just made it happen. I have been waiting to write for years, and once I figured out how to do the writing, figuring out how to get the time seemed like a very small obstacle by comparison. I think if you want it badly enough, you have to be more careful not to burn yourself out or get your priorities screwed up than you have to worry about not finding time.

4- How did you get interested in writing this particular genre?

I used to shy away from this question, because the answer is pretty weird. But when I started sharing this, people all over the place started telling me they have had the same experiences, so I’ve started to think it’s pretty typical, just something people don’t feel comfortable sharing in our culture. From a young age I had dreams that correctly predicted the future and a very mystical experience of life. It seemed silly to me to debate whether animals had souls, or trees had some kind of sentience. Of course they do! Or else what are they communicating when they express themselves in their own ways? It was when I was older that I realized this is a mystic’s way of viewing the world. Lots of people don’t experience the world this way, but the mystics of all cultures and religions have the same thing to say. Everything is alive. And modern physics is bearing this out, through a new understanding of the energetic basis of all matter. Magical realism is a way of exploring the world that introduces the unexpected, magical, or mystical into the everyday and brings everything alive for the reader. I have always loved books like that as a reader, and I think other people do too. Magical realism is a way to view the universe out of the corner of your eye and catch it jumping around before it presents a more mundane appearance to your direct gaze.

5- What was one of the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book?

How hard it is for people to discuss spiritual topics! I thought people who knew me would be more open to exploring an idea with me because they knew my heart was in the right place, but instead I ran straight up against all kinds of rigid preconceived notions that my beta readers couldn’t even discuss they were so charged for them. I guess this makes sense: the sensitivity of spirituality and related topics is the reason we often don’t discuss these things in public—wars have been fought over them. Still, I had a much more open reception with readers I had never met than people who knew me well, probably because people who had never met me would only pick up the book in the first place if they were interested in these topics. I was actually called a heretic by two people very close to me, which resulted in five extra months of obsessing over every detail in the book, to double triple check that I hadn’t gone all sideways somewhere in a way that would hurt people or make a mess. In the end, I realized that whether I was right or wrong about what I was doing with the book it was definitely where I was at the moment and exactly what I intended the story to be. So, I learned to trust myself a little and I published it.

6- If you had only one piece of advice to give to new writers, what would it be?

Trust yourself. So many new writers want to write so badly they make themselves sick over it, not realizing that strong instinct that they should be writing is the sign that they have the talent to do this. Also, strong self-doubt is another great indicator. If you want to write something totally bizarre and don’t think there’s an audience for it, chances are you would be doing us all a favor by adding your voice to the mix. Go with it, see what happens. Trust me when I say it hurts a lot more to stay stuck not daring to start than it does to try some things and have them not work out. Who knows if anyone will want to read my strange little book? But writing it was a personal revolution for me.

I want to thank you Laura once more for agreeing to an interview. I wish you all the luck in your future writings and book sales.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, nonfiction, writing

Author Interview ~~ Helen Kuusela and Bumble ~~ Confessions of a Rescue Dog

Today I have a special treat for everyone. My good friend tiny (tinylessonsblog.com) and her rescue dog Bumble have written a book.

Bumble is amazing!
Bumble is amazing!

Bumble is a brown toy poodle. He is a rescue dog and he loves to tell stories. All from his vantage point, in first dog, and with a twinkle in his eye. Now at the respectable age of 13 he has gathered enough courage to tell it all: from the trials and tribulations in his first home to his time in the shelter, his rescue and all the adventures that followed. You will discover that Bumble is a skillful observer and a great analyst of human behavior. He has a lively imagination and a very big heart. His story is a treat for pet lovers of all ages! A portion of this book’s sales will go to the local Humane Society shelter in the county where Bumble lives to help homeless animals find loving forever homes.

You can also visit the Firdemonte Press to learn more about Bumble and where he lives. You can buy the book on Amazon here.

1-What inspired you to write your book?

Oh, there are several things. I have written all my life, but my writings have been of the boring, professional kind. I have always wanted to write a novel, but never had the time. When last year’s NaNoWriMo was approaching, friends like you inspired me to empty my plate and give it a go. This particular book has been a long time coming. You see, I used to tell animal stories to my son when he was little. A new story every night. He loved these stories and has been bugging me to write a “story book”. And then, maybe most importantly, we adopted a rescue dog who thinks he’s human. Bumble has done so many funny and wise things that sometimes I think so too 🙂 So he’s really the writer. He tells his heartwarming story quite humorously and in the first dog.

2- Who did the cover and illustrations?

My son Mike did all the artwork (cover and a few illustrations inside the book) despite his busy schedule. He is a skilled graphic artist and it was a great experience to work with him! But I need to say that this is not a children’s picture book.  The target readership is pet/dog lovers of ages 10-100, but parents can certainly read this to younger children as well.

3- What was one of the surprising things you discovered when writing it?

I had a two-prong surprise! The first part was positive: I was able to write 50K words in one month with little advance preparation! The second part was negative: the enormous difficulty I had to come back to the manuscript and edit it several times before it went to the “real” editor. I had given myself a long break from writing in December and over the holidays, but even after the break and when I honestly had the time, I invented other priorities. It was really, truly hard to finalize the book. I had not experienced anything like that in my professional non-fiction writing.

4- Tell us about finding Bumble, the wonderful inspiration for the book.

Finding Bumble is a story in itself. My husband had a very serious incident with his heart and decided to retire almost on the spot at a very young age. He said to me that now was the right time to adopt a dog. And he was specific: a small brown poodle. I remember laughing and asking him why that specificity. He told me he “saw” a brown poodle in our home. Ok, he was still very sick and under heavy medication so I didn’t want to try to talk him out of it. But I quickly confirmed that this would be a difficult undertaking. Very few poodles were available for adoption in the area where we then lived, none of them was brown, and all of them were adopted before I was even able to call the shelter. I continue to monitor several sites after my 12-h working days. No luck. Then, about five weeks later, on the morning of New Year’s Eve, I spotted a small, scared-looking toy poodle on one of the adoption sites. And he was brown! I called immediately and learned that this particular shelter already had lots of inquiries about this dog, but that they would not make a decision on first come basis. I raced to the shelter, spent time with Bumble and wrote an application – the tenth. The rest is history, and Bumble gives his take on it in the book…

5- Is there going to be a second book?

Hmm, probably. I have actually started (just a little bit) writing a novel about my years and adventures in Africa. It is a much more demanding book to write. Hopefully I’ll have the time and the stamina to finalize it. I’m also collecting some poems, so maybe a poetry collection at some point. Maybe.

6- I know you are a busy working woman, tell us how you made time to write.

 When I decided to try the NaNoWriMo, I had just completed a huge, 10 month project in Egypt. I simply said “no” to new projects for November and December last year. It was not easy, but I knew that if I really wanted to write, I could not be focusing on my professional work at the same time. I’m not that split of a personality :). So if I want to continue writing, I will need to do a bit less other work – which I hope I’ll be able to afford.

7- As a new published author, what is one piece of advice you would give other writers?

Honestly? I am still far from experienced, just gotten my feet a little wet. If I dare to say something it would be that a writer has to decide that the hard work s/he is doing is truly important. Every day. Until there’s a manuscript. Then take a break and come back to the revisions energized! And maybe I should add that getting the book out is the easy part… letting people learn about it is definitely much harder. Thanks for helping on that Jackie!

I’m so pleased I can do my small part on that tiny! Thank you for your great answers and doing this interview with me. Good luck on all you want to do in life!

Now readers, another treat for you! If you buy this book this weekend (March 22 -24)  the book will be part of “Kindle Countdown Deal” for 99 cents! So for 3 days only you can get this delightful book for 99 cents! Order a few extra for Christmas/birthday gifts or just as an everyday gift. I know you’ll enjoy it!

Posted in Author Interviews, Fiction, Uncategorized, writing

Announcing the winner of the Maddie Cochere Book giveaway!

Hello people!

Happy Thursday to everyone! I’m just doing a quick post to announce the winners of Maddie Cochere’s new book “Murder Under Construction.”

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If you haven’t read that post, please go here. Maddie has a wonderful new book out.

As promised, Maddie is willing to give away three copies of her new book. I put all the names into a hat, (took me a devil of time to find a hat!). I shook it all up and let Sam my faithful companion dig out three. He’s really good at that! Didn’t even eat the paper. Good dog Sam!

So the winners are!

MC Whispers

Lois Fields

cestlavie22

 

If the winners can contact me via email (jrpbooks (at) mail (dot) com ) and tell me which way they want to receive their books, either Smashwords or Amazon I will send a code out to them or Maddie will for your free copy!

Thank you to all the people who commented and read the post. Maddie and I appreciate it. I may even do more author interviews in the future! You’ve been warned!

 

Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, Guest posts, nonfiction, writing

An Author Interview and A Book Giveaway! Maddie Cochere!

Today I have a treat for you. My first ever author interview and a book giveaway.

My bestest buddy Maddie Cochere has graciously consented to be my guinea pig  first author interview. She’s a wonderful author and a beautiful person.

Maddie is the author of the Susan Hunter Mystery books. She has just published her first book on her new series Two Sisters and a Journalist. “Murder Under Construction” is a fun, great read from the first sentence to the last. And I’m not just saying that because she’s my very good friend. It’s true. Maddie has a way with words that make even murder funny.

Maddie has also told me that she would be more than happy to give away three e-book copies of her new book “Murder Under Construction” to three commentors. These would be given to three people who will be drawn randomly from the comment section. I will notify the winners via email in a few days.

This is what Amazon has as a book description:

Jo Ravens is thirty-two, divorced, and stuck in a rut. She wants two things in life – a new career as a private investigator, and to lose the sixty pounds she packed on after her divorce.

When she crashes her nephew’s bike in a construction site, she lands on a girl with a large knife in her chest. Jo enlists her sister, Pepper, and their journalist friend, Jackie, to help solve the dead girl’s murder. Things become creepy for Jo when the murdered girl appears to her in dreams to offer unusual clues to her death.

Murder Under Construction is a humorous mystery with Jo’s family adding to the antics of the three women. Mama caterwauls, Jackie’s two children offer sleuthing assistance, and her brother, Hank, laughs at all of them from the sidelines. Murder Under Construction is light, easy-breezy reading from Maddie Cochere.

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Yes, did you notice what the journalist’s name is? No? I’ll give you a hint! It sounds a lot like my name! If you want to read how this came about go hop over to Maddie’s blog and find out! You can find her blog at Breezy Books on WordPress.

1. Who’s your favorite character in your books?

Great first question. I’ve never really thought about this before. I love Susan and Mick, and writing Nate into two of the books was a lot of fun, but I’d have to say Darby is my favorite character. He’s the best friend most girls would love to have. He’s understanding, a shoulder to cry on, fun to be with, and he likes to cook. I didn’t have plans to write him into the books, but I can’t imagine the books without him.

2. Who designed your book covers?

My niece, Gillian Soltis,  has provided all of the artwork for my covers. She graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design, and she’s presently a graphic designer for a large retailer. I generally know what I want on my covers. I cobble together horrible artwork with crayons, photos, and clip art. She then turns my mess into something I love every time. I think all of the covers portray exactly what you will find inside – something light, fun, not too serious – easy breezy reading!

3. How do you come up with your ideas for the books?

This question is a little tougher. The first response that came to mind was that I don’t come up with ideas. They come to me out of the blue and at odd times. I’m envious of people who have notebooks full of ideas and storylines to draw from. All I have for my next book is that I want Susan and Jo to meet via a Slimmers Weight Loss. I don’t have any of the details, but I know that little idea will become a book. I’m currently working on Murder Is Where the Heart Is. I went into it knowing who would be murdered, but I had no idea who would commit the crime, how, or why. I think this is something I do unconsciously. I focus on one story and don’t allow myself to think of others until I’m nearly finished with the current work in progress.

4. If you had only one piece of advice to new writers, what would it be? And why?

Have fun. Truly. Have fun writing. Enjoy your own work. Laugh at your humorous moments and cry over your sad ones. I wrote my first three books with no interaction or feedback from others outside of a few family members, and they were mostly laughing with me that I was writing books in the first place. I was having a blast, and I was writing books that would have pleased me if I had purchased them. I’ve read that we should write to please ourselves, and when we do, our work is more likely then to be pleasing to others. So, my advice is to have fun and write the books you want to write.

5. Have you later gone back and just hated something that you wrote in one of your books?

No. My books don’t have controversial topics, and I try to write with humor. I’m happy with everything I’ve published. I still laugh at my over-the-top moments, and I stand behind my particular brand of nonsense.

6. How much of you is in your books? Or is there a big piece of you in any of your books?

There are a considerable number of my life experiences in the books. Upset with a relationship, I really did run off to Florida without telling anyone. I went to the boat races with a guy I met on the beach, and we were run off the road on our way. The conversation Susan has with the first mate on the boat is nearly identical to the one I had when I was deep-sea fishing for shark. I went to New York City twice by myself. I walked and took taxis all over the city, and I met wonderful, lovely people everywhere I went. I did go to Greenwich Village for dinner with two strangers I met at a Broadway play – and yes, one of them was the sexy Chase Connor McLoughlin, III. We went dancing after dinner and closed down The Limelight (it was a disco then). Every book has aspects of my real life. My husband would tell you I was like Susan Hunter when we met, but that I am like Jo Ravens today.

7. What was the one thing that surprised you the most in writing your books?

I’m still amazed by how a story unfolds before me. I don’t outline. I’m not a plotter. I’m a pantster through and through. I write by the seat of my pants, and all I have to do is write a few sentences for the story to take off again. I’ve always said I can’t wait to get back to writing, so I can find out what happens next. I never knew writing would be this much fun.

Thank you for having me, Jackie. I enjoyed your questions, and I appreciate you’re highlighting my new release. I hope your readers will stop by my blog, too. You are the main topic of discussion there today. 🙂

Again, you can find a Maddie’s blog on Breezy Books here on WordPress. Thank you Maddie for a wonderful interview!

Remember people to comment so your name gets put into the drawing for a free e-book copy of Maddies’ book “Murder Under Construction.” And go visit Maddie’s blog!

Also, you find Maddies new book here on Amazon.