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PUYB Blog Tour: The Sexiest Drink on Earth by Mark Spivak

The Sexiest Drink on Earth

By Mark Spivak

How did a something that tastes like castor oil flavored with tree bark become the sexiest drink on earth?

Iconic SpiritsGaspare Campari invented his famous potion in 1860 by infusing sixty herbs, spices, barks and fruit peels in a mixture of alcohol and distilled water. It became a sensation, and Campari turned into an entrepreneur. There’s only one problem: Campari is bitter, and human beings have taste receptors for bitterness that function as an early warning system, alerting us that we are about to consume something that might be toxic or poisonous.

Imagine the dilemma for your brain as you take a sip of cold, refreshing Campari and soda. Part of your mind is saying, “Don’t drink this—it might kill you!” In another sector of your cranium, though, the drink is perceived to be sophisticated and desirable. Given that more than 27 million bottles of Campari are sold each year, the brain has obviously found a way to disregard the potential dangers of bitterness. In researching my book, Iconic spirits: An Intoxicating History, I spoke to scientists doing research on the physiology of taste, and they all had a theory on how this conflict was resolved.

More importantly, though, how did Campari come to be regarded as the sexiest drink on earth?

The shimmering red potion may be infused with dozens of herbs and spices, but the advertising images have always contained a strong dose of forbidden fruit. In its marketing materials, the company describes Campari as a “symbol of passion” and goes on to say that this passion “expresses itself in terms of seduction, seduction and transgression…”

The famous 1920 poster by Marcello Dudovich is a good example. Two lovers are locked in an embrace that can only be described as smoldering, balanced precariously on the edge of a sofa and enhanced by a background of soft crimson light. Two glasses, one half-filled with Campari, sit on a nearby table. The woman’s hand rests on the man’s cheek in a classic gesture, pushing him away and embracing him at the same time.

In 1998 Campari began working with the celebrated Indian director Tarsem, who created the series of “Red Passion” ads. The campaign was the first in Italy to present female homosexuality in a straightforward yet compelling way; from there it went on to target other social norms. In a 2005 commercial, a man stands at the bar during a reception when he spots a tall, beautiful woman on the other side of the room. They exchange looks. The man obtains a Campari on the rocks from the bartender and follows the woman to a secludedpart of the building. His hand slips as he approaches her, and hesplashes Campari on her dress and cleavage. Slowly and tantalizingly, the woman removes her top and reveals herself to be a man. The man then takes off his shirt to display his bra and the fact that he’s actually a woman. The ad blends mystery and intrigue, explores repressed desires, and blurs the lines of gender identity—all in sixty seconds.

So relax and enjoy a cocktail made with Campari, whether it’s a Negroni, Americano, Garibaldi (Campari and orange juice) or a classic Campari and soda—but make sure that someone you care about is there to enjoy it with you.

Mark Spivak smMark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the restaurant critic for Palm Beach Illustrated. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Ritz-Carlton, Continental, Art & Antiques, Newsmax, Dream of Italy and Arizona Highways. From 1999-2011 he hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.

Mark began writing Iconic Spirits after becoming fascinated with the untold stories behind the world’s greatest liquors. As a writer, he’s always searching for the unknown details that make his subjects compelling and unique.His latest book is Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History.

Visit Mark’s website at http://www.iconicspirits.net.

Become a fan of Mark Spivak at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mark.spivak.3

Pick up your copy of Iconic Spirits at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Iconic-Spirits-Intoxicating-Mark-Spivak/dp/0762779268/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344434224&sr=1-1&keywords=iconic+spirits

Character Interview: Jasmin “Psycho” Kramer from Richard Blunt’s fantasy novel ‘Lucas Trent 3: Grand Theft Magic”

We’re thrilled to have here today Jasmin “Psycho” Kramer from Richard Blunt’s fantasy novel, Lucas Trent 3: Grand Theft Magic,. Jasmin is a 20 year old Administrator living in Dunstable, England.

It is a pleasure to have Jasmin with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Jasmin.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Grand Theft MagicIn a book like this it’s hard to be portrait fairly. Unless of course your name is Lucas Trent. *laughs* I think everyone from the “Mages of the round fireplace” would have loved to get more frontline attention, but I guess my time will come when Lucas finally gets to interact a bit more with some girls. Our beloved author tries to dodge that bullet pretty rigorously, but he can’t do that forever.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Oh, I definitely feel that my personality is colorful enough. The problem only is that Lucas is so bad in reading personalities… And mostly this story is written from his point of view, so his misreads are what you see as well. But under the wraps I think I am doing OK. And it might even be an advantage that nobody really knows who I am.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My tits of course. Nobody has bigger ones or better formed ones in the entire story. Oh, sorry, you were asking for traits, not trademarks… *grins* Well, seriously, I am the Psycho, so I am the one who deals with human emotions. I think my strongest trait is my capability to calm everyone down. Although… Is this a trait? Or is this part of my magic? Damn…

Worse trait?

I talk too much. But I think you can tell that by now, can’t you?

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

I think Richard once said that the perfect fit for me would be Katherine Hicks. Don’t know why he said that, I don’t even know who that is. I would call for Bonnie Wright. Although… She might need some graphics editing to fit…

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Yeah, but only a very short one. And I think it’s only there because Richard wanted to annoy me. How could I fall for such a dickhead in the first place?

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

I don’t get nervous. Ever. Well… Except when I am in a hospital. But that’s another story.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

That would for sure be Cedric Mason. The others might not have noticed it yet, but deep down he is pretty evil… And while that might have turned out to be an advantage for us so far I would never want to be like that.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I feel great about it. I am a little afraid though… I know that there is a fourth part coming up, and knowing the ending of this one I am not sure if I will like the next one.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

Richard, next time you better give me the central role. Otherwise I will make your life miserable.

Thank you for this interview, Jasmin.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

I don’t think Richard will let me roam freely again after what I just said, but let’s see.

 

Publishing under a pen name to keep his personal life separate from his writing life, Richard Blunt was raised in the heart of Europe, in a nation where English is not the native language. Like his heroes, Richard blunt is nothing more than a shadow – a specter that whispers a story for everyone to hear.

His latest book is Lucas Trent 3: Grand Theft Magic.

You can visit his website at http://www.lucastrent.com/ and his blog at http://richardblunt.blogspot.com/.

After a field trip suddenly turns into a near catastrophe Lucas and the others shift into high gear to avenge their injured friend. But when an unexpected foe arrives at the scene they quickly find themselves in a life or death situation that not even their extraordinary skills can solve. Realizing that they have bitten off more than they can chew Lucas desperately starts looking for trustworthy allies, just to find out once again that things are never as easy as they appear at first.

Can they survive the battles at hand? Will they be able to tell friend from foe? Or will the epic quest they have stumbled into be too much for them to handle?

Follow Lucas Trent and his friends through an action-paced story of mysteries, secrets and deceptions and find out…

 

Character Interview: Dev Haskell from Mike Faricy’s crime fiction ‘Bombshell’

We’re thrilled to have here today Dev Haskell from Mike Faricy’s new crime fiction novel, Bombshell.  Dev is a thirty-something Private Investigator living in St. Paul, Minnesota.
It is a pleasure to have Dev with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so much for this interview, Dev.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

First off, thank you for having me, it’s a real pleasure. Yes, I guess I was fairly portrayed, more or less, I mean it is what happened. I would like to set the record straight on a couple of matters. On those assault charges, everything was dropped so technically that’s no longer an issue. Of course I shouldn’t be blamed for the night my date Heidi Bauer was deliberately over served I mean it really wasn’t my fault. After all she’s an adult. What? Oh yeah, sorry, didn’t mean to cut you off, but I know the way Faricy wrote the book I sort of goof things up and a woman saves the day, okay not just one woman, Heidi in one part. Yeah, I suppose Linh Trang in another and maybe Justine saves the day, too, now that I think about it. Come to think about it, they all did their bit, but I was the guy hired to protect that team of English roller derby girls. I know things didn’t quite work out that way, maybe a few surprises, but I’m only human. You know just maybe I’m not the screw up Faricy made me out to be. Ask any of those women, I can be fun, I like to party, we can go out and I’ll get up the next morning and go get caramel rolls for breakfast. I’m sensitive and caring… sort of, I think.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Did he do a good job? Yeah, sure, what’s not to like about me. Although now that you mention it, I’m not so sure I liked the part where Linh looked at my outfit, my favorite golf shirt with the Jameson logo by the way and Faricy writes ‘Linh made a mental note.’ Come on I was dressed for comfortable, besides I know he really wants a golf shirt just like that. Then that part where Heidi asks me, ‘Is that what you’re wearing?’ I suppose Mr. Dull the author would have preferred me in a suit and tie. I’m not so sure he had to go into my failings, the scene where I’m hauled up on assault charges by that rent-a-cop at the Veterans Auditorium; did he have to make that public? I was thinking maybe I could have just lined the suspects up and picked the one who was twitching, then again I suppose that would have made a pretty short story. I’ve been lobbying to get a new car, maybe a Jaguar or a Mercedes 640, he didn’t seem too hot on that idea. I guess the good news is he gave me a couple of dates with some very nice ladies and well you’ll just have to read to find out the rest.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Tough to say I have so many, the way things seem to go it would have to be my sense of humor. Faricy and I talked about this over a couple of beers down at The Spot bar. He’s not that bad if you get him one on one. I told him I could see myself as a sort of a muscular Special Forces type, speak six or seven languages a Jason Bourne sort of guy and of course sensitive and caring, the ladies like that. He said he wanted someone believable, maybe a little earthy. He gets into all that realistic stuff with flawed characters and believable individuals. Hey look, I just want to have some fun. I took that Bombshell gig because I figured how tough could it be doing security for a bunch of girls from England in town for two days? I might have misjudged things a little… Okay, okay, a lot. My strongest trait seems to be at heart I’m a pretty nice guy. I make some mistakes, I guess we all do. But I would never intentionally hurt someone. I’ve seen enough bad in life not to do that intentionally. Unless the guys a real jerk, hopefully then I’d just have the good sense to walk away.

Worse trait?

Me? Gee that’s really tough. I guess sometimes I tip too much. Oh yeah, I have a tendency to misjudge and maybe jump to the wrong conclusion on the very rare occasion. Well yeah, I guess I occasionally put the beer goggles on, you know thinking someone is just right for me and well, maybe we shouldn’t go there just now.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

Can’t say myself? Too bad, I’d be almost perfect. Maybe Matt Damon, of course we’re back to Jason Bourne and I already mentioned Faricy won’t listen to reason. Matthew McConaughey or Ben Affleck, maybe, but maybe not. Arnold’s getting way up there and I don’t have a German accent so he’s out. Bieber’s way too young and I don’t really have Bieber fever anyway. If you could somehow mix Jeremy Renner with Daniel Craig, give the guy dark hair like me, of course my usual charm, maybe John Travolta’s dance moves that would probably do it.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

In Bombshell? I think I have a love interest in just about every chapter. Let’s see; Carol, Justine, Heidi, not Fiona, Heidi again, Linh of course. I like the ladies but, well, I think they’re looking for a little more than I’m able to give just now. I’ve known a lot of really great girls, I don’t know, they always seem to throw up there hands and eventually change their phone number or block my calls. I hear this ‘Don’t ever call me again, ever!’ stuff. Heidi put’s up with me, and Sunny Einer too, although I’ve never been romantic with Sunny.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Maybe page two, things start to not go my way right then and there. Of course I meet Justine on page one and that works pretty well, for a while any way. I still get goose bumps thinking about the interrogation at the Veteran’s Auditorium. It’s hard not to shudder remembering the SWAT team incident. Things weren’t really working our way when I was trying to get Heidi back safe and sound. Of course the whole scene in the hotel room, I don’t know, why does Faricy continue to do these things to me? You ask me, I think the guy has a lot of issues for an author. I suggest picking up a copy of Bombshell and see for yourself if you don’t agree with me.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Not even a contest, the city’s crabbiest police detective, Norris Manning. The guy is bald, perpetually mad at someone, usually me. He’s over worked, stressed out, probably under paid and hates me. You know how many times I’ve bought that guy coffee? He never offers to pay. Ever see him chew that gum? The guy is nuts. Things never seem to be good enough for him and he’s always trying to play things straight by the book. Come on, stray a little bit, bend the rules, have some fun, man. Course he won’t. But at the end of the day, he’s not that bad a guy, like I said over worked, under paid. No, I wouldn’t want to be Detective Norris Manning.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Bombshell’s ending is fantastic. Let’s just say it’s sort of like a second ending, out of no where, a real surprise. Things seem to be all wrapped up, but there’s still some pages left, no it’s not a cross word puzzle back there. See, I meet this cute little police woman, Linh Trang and, oh yeah sorry, don’t give it away. Let me just say Faricy did a pretty decent job with the whole deal, and no one got hurt, especially me. Of course Detective Norris Manning gets mad, surprise, surprise.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?

If he decided? He’s already writing it. The title is Tutti Frutti, due out toward the end of 2012. Yeah I know, I can’t figure out where he came up with the title either, but he won’t listen. Well, actually I do know, but if I told you I’d have to kill you, just kidding. Words of wisdom, let’s see I’d tell him to give me a sports car, plenty of money in the bank, maybe a helicopter, but then, that’s not how life really works is it? And one thing about Mike Faricy’s books, they’re closer to the truth then maybe you or I really want to know.

Thank you for this interview, Dev. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

You bet you will. You can check out my face book page for starters, while you’re there give me a like, please. Of course I’m down at the Spot Bar most nights for at least one. Oh and check me out in Mike Faricy’s other books, I’m in at least four. Like I said, his next book with me is Tutti Frutti, I know, I know, I already tried, but he won’t change his mind on the title. Anyway, it’s due out before the first of the year. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Bombshell and then tell two to three hundred of your closest friends what a great read it is.

Hey, thanks for the time, I really enjoyed the interview. You know, I hope I’m not being too forward, but I’m finding you very interesting. I can do a pretty mean steak and I happen to have two marinating at home as we speak. Do you like Cosmopolitan’s?

Mike-FaricyMike Faricy is the award winning author of mystery suspense thrillers woven together with a rich strain of humor and even some romance. He and his wife live in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Dublin, Ireland.

His entertaining tales are populated with the sort of quirky, oddball characters we’d all like to know more about, but wisely prefer to keep at a distance. They serve not so much as examples as they do warnings to the rest of us. None of his characters will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or coups to topple the government. Rather, they’re individuals inhabiting a world just below the surface of polite society. The difficulties they find themselves in are usually due to their own bad decisions, but then, bad decisions make for interesting tales.

All of his books are stand alone, read them in any order you wish. Russian Roulette introduces the bizarrely devilish Devlin Haskell as a PI with a foot on both sides of the law. Dev’s adventures continue in Mr. Softee and the soon to be released Bite Me. Mike is currently working on his latest top secret project. He graduated High School from St. Thomas Academy and earned a BA in history from St. Norbert College.

His latest book is the crime fiction, Bombshell.

Connect with Mike: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Purchase Bombshell: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

BombshellDysfunctional, bumbling, crazy babe-magnet Dev Haskell, P.I., becomes the envy of every guy with a heartbeat when he’s hired to watch over a team of gorgeous English roller derby stars. Though he’d rather be standing guard in the shower room, he suddenly finds himself under arrest and found guilty before he’s even charged. He’s got an attorney who drinks too much, a beautiful woman with a bad attitude, a feisty team of females ready to kill him – and no answers. Bombshell is another fast paced, engrossing suspense thriller from Minnesota’s master of the bizarre, Mike Faricy.

Interview with Mike Faricy, author of ‘Bombshell’

Mike-FaricyMike Faricy is the award winning author of mystery suspense thrillers woven together with a rich strain of humor and even some romance. He and his wife live in Saint Paul, Minnesota and Dublin, Ireland.

His entertaining tales are populated with the sort of quirky, oddball characters we’d all like to know more about, but wisely prefer to keep at a distance. They serve not so much as examples as they do warnings to the rest of us. None of his characters will be saving the world from terrorism, international banking conspiracies or coups to topple the government. Rather, they’re individuals inhabiting a world just below the surface of polite society. The difficulties they find themselves in are usually due to their own bad decisions, but then, bad decisions make for interesting tales.

All of his books are stand alone, read them in any order you wish. Russian Roulette introduces the bizarrely devilish Devlin Haskell as a PI with a foot on both sides of the law. Dev’s adventures continue in Mr. Softee and the soon to be released Bite Me. Mike is currently working on his latest top secret project. He graduated High School from St. Thomas Academy and earned a BA in history from St. Norbert College.

His latest book is the crime fiction, Bombshell.

Connect with Mike: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Purchase Bombshell: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

BombshellQ: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Mike.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

First off, thanks for having me, it’s great to be here. I’m multi published, my most recent release Bombshell is my tenth book. All my books are indie published. Bombshell is the fourth in my series featuring Dev Haskell, Private Investigator.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

All my books are self published. I attempted to get the attention of traditional publishers and I think I led the league in rejections from every publishing house in North America. When you submit a book you typically don’t send the manuscript or even the first three chapters. You send a query letter. The query letter is one page consisting of three paragraphs. The first two paragraphs describe your work, some character detail and the plot of your soon to be award winning tale. The third paragraph consists of a sentence or two about your wonderful self. This is mailed with a desperate prayer and a self addressed stamped envelope so the publisher doesn’t have to pay to tell you no.

Typically I would mail out fifty or sixty query letters on a work. In return I would receive a form letter, often just a 4 x 5 index card printed with some sort of polite rejection line and no signature. After submitting three or four books over the course of some years I was drowning in rejections. One day I had one of my query letters returned. I’d mailed it to one of the big six publishers in New York, it was stamped crookedly across the front in purple ink ‘Return to Sender’. On the back of my unopened envelope was a hand written note that read; “This does not fit our needs at this time”. They never even bothered to open the envelope and read my query letter. I suppose I should have been thankful some poor fool took the time to hand write a note.

A dim light suddenly went on in my thick skull; Mike Faricy from St. Paul, Minnesota doesn’t have a snowball’s chance with these guys. The difference is, in today’s world there’s a side gate into the publishing yard, it’s called eBooks and self publishing. I haven’t looked back since and I still have that unopened envelope.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

I didn’t sign a contract, I self publish, but it took a few years to get to the point where I realized self publishing was and is a viable option. Not only is it viable, I think it’s the only way to go. Would I talk to Random House or Penguin if they called? You bet. I’d crawl across a busy street on my hands and knees to get to them. But I would be able to sit down and do a pretty cold comparison. I talked with a publishing house a while back, they told me if they accepted my manuscript that very day it would be twelve to eighteen months before the thing would be an ink on paper book or an eBook, and then all the promotion would be up to me at my expense. They would hold all the rights to the work and I would gross fifteen percent. Really? You have to be kidding, it sounds like slave labor. That’s a business model that simply is not viable today. I have fans all over the world able to download my eBooks. If they don’t have an Ereader they can order a print on demand copy that is shipped to them in twenty-four hours. I don’t have to warehouse anything. I don’t have to pay for a large print run. I can make a change to my format or fix a missed typo in minutes from the comfort of my desk. Twelve to eighteen months on a completed, edited manuscript in today’s market is simply not of benefit to me. It’s truly amazing the possibilities that exist today for authors.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

I was really proud of the fact, win, lose or draw, it was out there. We, my wife and I, didn’t tell anybody for a couple of days. I had a website going up at the same time as my first book, Russian Roulette, was released. We had my siblings and my mom over for Strawberry shortcake and some wine on a Friday night. My laptop displaying my new website was centered on the dining room table. I gift wrapped an autographed copy of my book for everyone. About a week later my mom was on line showing my website to a friend and Googled my name. A romance writer out of Colorado, Deb Stover had used my name as the romantic hero in one of her books in about 1997, she didn’t know me. Anyway, my mom lands on an article posted on Google comparing the hero with my name to the likes of Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson. By this time Mel Gibson was having some pretty serious marital problems. So, I get the phone call telling me “It’s all over the internet. You are being compared to Mel Gibson. You have to do something about this.” Yeah right, let me stop everything and I’ll just call Google and tell them to make a correction. I contacted Deb Stover via face book and told her about the phone call. We both had a great laugh. We periodically check in to see how one another are doing. I’m not sure my mom has recovered yet.

Q: What was the first thing you did as far as promotion when you were published for the first time?

I’m usually pretty organized, but I wasn’t on my first release. Once it was up on Amazon I probably checked a half dozen times that first day to see how many books had been sold. It dawned on me that you could have a Pulitzer worthy work out there, but if no one knows about it, well? So I began to slowly contact and learn my way around the promotion trail. It’s very easy to become a pest on social media. A lot of people use social media to contact friends, comment, and perhaps support a special cause. They don’t necessarily want to hear from me and a million other writers that we’re offering our third in the series of Cat’s Who Solve Mysteries for half off during the next forty-five minutes and if you just click this link then leave your phone number and home address you might win an autographed copy with a lipstick kiss.

I think what I learned is that the process is basically slow, methodical and has to be built. Occasionally there are exceptions that seem to explode on the scene, maybe Fifty Shades, Hunger Games or the Da Vinci Code, but those are the exception rather than the rule. My experience is slow and steady wins the race. Today we have an opportunity to interact with readers, learn what they like or God forbid, don’t like and then possibly adjust. I had comments from two women on one of my books, the first emailed and said; “I’m just not sure about some of your sexual intonation.” The second said; “One hundred and thirty-five pages and this is all the sex I get?!” That suggested to me I was just about where I needed to be.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I’ve become much more disciplined, you simply have to be if you’re really serious there simply is not enough time in the day. I write every day and at base writing is a solitary endeavor. You have to sit there and tap keys and while doing that I can’t really interact. My television has virtually been off for a couple of years, not really a complaint. I do not have that additional hour or two to watch whatever I would like. When I’m not writing I read, constantly. I read for enjoyment, but I’m also analyzing style, structure, character development, and plot. I carry a notebook with me at all times and jot down something that strikes me. It might be a story, maybe just one line, perhaps a name or something that grabs my attention. When we go for walks my wife will say something like, “You’re a bit quiet.” Of course I reply with some line about how my guy is tied to an office chair hanging out a fifth story window by a phone cord with a hungry squirrel gnawing on the cord… She usually picks up her pace and leaves me in the dust.

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

The industry as a whole is really in a state of turmoil. This seems to be a version of what the music industry went through a few years back when suddenly there were other options besides just having to pay $18 for a CD. I came out of the lithographic trades a million years ago. We had highly trained and skilled people make very expensive changes to a magazine ad or the image of a model in a catalog. Clients paid a lot of money to get just the right shadow definition, match a color or whatever. We employed hundreds of thousands of people in an industry that for all practical purposes does not exist today. The task that not so long ago took us two or three days and one thousand dollars to complete can now be accomplished by a ten year old in twenty minutes using Photoshop.

I’m not sure the traditional publishing industry as a whole has gotten the message yet, they seem to be circling the wagons. They’re telling me 12-18 months before my book is made into ink on paper? They have eternal rights to my work, even after my death and oh by the way, they’ll pay me 15% twice a year and can’t afford to give me a promo budget. That is just not the world we live in. I’m self published and I’m blessed to have great fans. None of that could have happened as recently as five years ago. The fact that someone can download one of my books at two in the morning in about forty-five seconds while they’re in bed or order a print on demand book at a competitive price, with a full color front and back cover and it’s delivered the next day is nothing short of amazing. I’m not sure a traditional publisher would be able to bring that much to the table; still I’d certainly listen to what they had to say.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

I love what I do. It’s a labor of love, that should be capitol ‘L’ on both words, but I’m very lucky. My teachers would probably say I’ve always been a good liar and now it would seem I get to do it for a living. I’m able to meet really nice, wonderful people from all over the world. I hopefully bring some joy and entertainment into their lives with my books, maybe even the occasional laugh out loud moment. What’s not to like?

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Follow that dream. Sit down and start tapping keys. You don’t have to write a thousand pages, maybe do a short story or a novella. But start. I run into a lot of people who say they’re going to write a book or should write a book. But only a handful sit down and actually begin the process, even fewer finish. Most of those folks wouldn’t think about an editing process. Write just one page today. Write a second page tomorrow, but begin and then stay at it. Make it as perfect as possible, that means edit and re-edit so many times you lose count. Gee, I’m sounding dull even to me, but it’s what you have to do. Many thanks for having me, I hope you’ll have me back. Best of luck to everyone. I hope you enjoy Bombshell, please don’t forget to tell two to three hundred of your closest friends.

Character Interview: Samuel Roberts from Scott A. Lerner, Paranormal Suspense Thriller, Cocaine Zombies

We’re thrilled to have here today Samuel Roberts from Scott A. Lerner’s new paranormal suspense thriller, Cocaine Zombies.

Sam is in his thirties and is an attorney living in Urbana, Illinois.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Mr. Roberts. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Let’s face it; the story is pretty incredible. If I didn’t live it I wouldn’t believe it. Yet, the world is bigger than we pretend it is. It offers us both wonderful nightmarish things. I feel I was fairly portrayed most of the time. Although, I wasn’t really as scared as the author makes me out to be. I also never cried during Finding Nemo. Wait! Never mind, the author never said that.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

He could have made me profound and handsome. It would have been a lie but it would probable increase my chances of getting a date. Don’t tell Susan I said that. Could we erase that bit?

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I do what I need to do even if I am afraid.

Worst trait?

Sometimes I am afraid.

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

That’s tough. Johnny Depp would be good. Daniel Craig, too. Either would work.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Her name is Susan. We have been friends for a long time. It practically took a club to the head to realize we were more than that.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

Finding a severed head on the shelf above your crisper bin has a way of changing one’s perspective. Although, “nervous” may not the right word. Perhaps scared to death would be better. I kind of assumed things would not turn out well at that point.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

Thomas Traver. I would like to avoid being gutted and beheaded. I am not fond of severe pain. I prefer to avoid pain, period. I don’t even like to go to the dentist.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

Tremendous. Let’s just say there is a sequel coming out called Ruler of Demons. I am in the sequel, which means that the ending turned out better than I deserved. Yet, as in all things, the world is not safe. The world may never be safe but at least it is still around.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?

I may sound like a psychic but he already did. Although, I have not read it yet. I would suggest he make me better looking, smarter and richer. I know he won’t, though. He feels my character should reflect a real person and not some Hollywood version of what a hero should be. If a movie is made I bet he would reject the whole Johnny Depp or Daniel Craig thing.

Thank you for this interview, Sam.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

As I mentioned earlier in the interview Ruler of Demons should be coming out soon. I often wonder if I am cursed. I eat my vegetables and I am kind to animals. Why is everyone trying to kill me? Sorry I don’t mean to complain. I would like to thank you for this interview. After all everyone interviews the author. All he does is sit on his rear end typing while I actually put my butt on the line. Who knows, maybe we could all get together and talk about Ruler of Demons—if I survive it.

Author and attorney Scott A. Lerner resides in Champaign, Illinois. He obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and went on to obtain his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is currently a sole practitioner in Champaign, Illinois. The majority of his law practice focuses on the fields of Criminal law and Family Law. Mr. Lerner lives with his wife, their two children, and their cat Fern. Lerner collects unusual antiques and enjoys gardening, traveling, reading fiction and going to the movies. Cocaine Zombies is his first published novel. Coming soon, the sequel: Ruler of Demons.

You can find Scott online at scottlerner.camelpress.com.

Samuel Roberts, a small-town lawyer in Urbana, Illinois, is contacted by a prospective client accused of selling cocaine. Nothing Sam hasn’t handled before. Or is it? Thomas is accompanied by a mysterious and exotic beauty named Chloe. Who is she, why is she paying for Thomas’s defense, and why is the accused so antsy around her?

Soon after Sam takes on the case he is plagued by terrible nightmares. Only, in these nightmares, when he dreams of death, people die. Realizing that he is out of his depth, Sam enlists the help of his friend, Bob Sizemore. Bob is oddly insightful about the supernatural and deeply suspicious of big business and the government. Sam and Bob soon discover that a major German pharmaceutical company has been using human guinea pigs to test a highly addictive and dangerous derivative of cocaine first developed in Nazi Germany. Combined with ancient herbs provided by a Voodoo priest, the substance has become increasingly addictive and dangerous.

After Thomas’s head shows up in Sam’s refrigerator, suspicion naturally falls on him. Now he has no choice but to face the forces of evil head on. But how do a small-town lawyer and a computer geek defeat an enemy with the power to enslave mankind?

 

Interview with Mark Spivak, author of ‘Iconic Spirits’

Mark Spivak is an award-winning writer specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and since 2001 has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the restaurant critic for Palm Beach Illustrated. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Ritz-Carlton, Continental, Art & Antiques, Newsmax, Dream of Italy and Arizona Highways. From 1999-2011 he hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.

Mark began writing Iconic Spirits after becoming fascinated with the untold stories behind the world’s greatest liquors. As a writer, he’s always searching for the unknown details that make his subjects compelling and unique.His latest book is Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History.

Visit Mark’s website at http://www.iconicspirits.net.

Become a fan of Mark Spivak at Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mark.spivak.3

Pick up your copy of Iconic Spirits at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Iconic-Spirits-Intoxicating-Mark-Spivak/dp/0762779268/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1344434224&sr=1-1&keywords=iconic+spirits

Find out how you can win a Kindle Fire HD by clicking here!

Welcome to Beyond the Books, Mark.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

This is my first book to be handled by a mainstream publisher.

When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

In this case (Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History), I had a terrific agent who sold the book in record time. My previous experiences didn’t go quite so smoothly. I think every writer probably wants his or her book to be handled by a mainstream publisher, and that’s the first path we take.

How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

I signed the contract in June 2011, and the book will be published in November 2012.

How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

It’s a feeling you can’t put into words, even if you’re a writer. I celebrated by sharing a special bottle of wine with my wife.

What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

For this book, I’m focusing most of my efforts on publicity that will be effective and not cost too much to generate. I’ll be doing a great deal of radio, and I have three separate blog tours planned (the publisher is doing one, I’m doing a second and paying for a third).

Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

I’ve become more self-confident

What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

I’ve done a lot of newspaper and magazine work, and the first thing I noticed was that the book editors were on a totally different level in terms of professionalism and competence.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

The feeling of knowing that you’ve created something that will last—not forever, perhaps, but hopefully long enough to have an impact on a number of people.

Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Don’t give up. You need to be focused, driven and have a high level of belief in your own destiny. You may go through years or even decades or rejection, but it’s more than worth it if you persevere.

Pump Up Your Book Chats with Hollywood Book Publicist Charlie Barrett at Facebook Tonight!

Well known, experienced, professional Hollywood book, TV and movie  publicist Charlie Barrett and vice-president Barbara Wall will be appearing live at Pump Up Your Book’s Facebook  page on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. eastern to discuss book publicity, media relations and their experiences working with stars and celebrities.  The Barrett Company can help authors get their books launch off the ground.  If you are an author serious about selling books, you need to join in on the chat tonight!

Pump Up Your Book December 2011 Virtual Book Publicity Holiday Tour Special

1111Pump Up Your Book is happy to announce a very cost-saving special for December to help you promote your book during the holidays. Because we want to give back to the community and we know how everyone is strapped buying presents and getting ready for the holidays, we are offering a 2 week special only applicable during the month of December. If you are an author with a new release or a book that was published years ago and you want to give it new life, read on!

The December 2011 Virtual Book Publicity Holiday Tour Package includes:

  • Full publicity included but not restricted to daily postings about your book on social networks and other online media outlets before and during your tour.
  • You will receive one personalized reviewer’s page which will announce your book to our over 500 reviewers.
  • You will receive one personalized tour page which will include your book cover, author photo, book summary, book excerpt, purchase information, book trailer if applicable and other relevant information about your book. All of our tour pages implement SEO for more exposure to potential buyers looking for your kind of book in the search engines. This tour page will be your guide telling you and your readers where you are appearing on any given day.
  • You will receive one personalized tour banner used to advertise your tour and can be placed on your website, blog, even email signatures.
  • You will be included in our revolving book banner on the first page of our site as well as other blogs and media outlets.
  • You will be included in our December Tour Trailer which will be uploaded to YouTube and other video media outlets.

This special is only good for the month of December with a deadline of October 30. The tour will run December 5 – 16 and will consist of 10 “stops.” You will appear on blogs geared specifically for your book, with possibilities of appearing at Reuters, USA Today, Chicago Times, Washington Post and other high profile news sites.

No other discounts apply during this promotional special.

So what does all this book publicity cost?

We are offering the December 2011 Virtual Book Publicity Holiday Tour FOR THE LOW PRICE OF $149!

After October 30, the December tour will increase to $249 for the same amount of stops, so reserve your spot soon! Payments can be made via Paypal (Paypal accepts most major credit cards). Space is limited so sign up soon!

PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE ONLY OPEN DECEMBER 5 – 16 TO GIVE OUR WELL-DESERVED STAFF MEMBERS A LITTLE HOLIDAY BREAK BEFORE THE NEW YEAR STARTS. IF YOU ARE REQUESTING A GOLD TOUR FOR NOVEMBER & DECEMBER, THE PRICE WILL BE $549.

Christmas WreathHere’s what our past clients have to say about their Pump Up Your Book Tour:

“I invested in a three month virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Books promotions for my noir thriller, Moonlight Falls. Not only did the marketing campaign work wonders for spreading the word about the new novel, in the very last month, on the very last day of the tour, Moonlight Falls became an Amazon Kindle bestseller!”

–Vincent Zandri, author Moonlight Falls and The Remains

Dot, I just want to let you know that your book tour is the greatest I’ve ever imagined! You just do a most awesome job. I feel like I’m all over the internet! Thanks so much for all your care and brains! This is an author tour with heart!

- Lilian Duval, author of YOU NEVER KNOW: TALES OF TOBIAS AN ACCIDENTAL LOTTERY WINNER

“I finished a two week mini virtual tour with Pump Up Your Book that ended on the 14th. It was a very positive experience consisting of guest blog posts, interviews, and reviews. The reviews for Schooled In Lies have been excellent so far, although I still need some Amazon reviews…hint…hint! Click here for the links to my stops. I highly recommend Pump Up Your Book virtual tours. Dorothy Thompson is a sweetheart and made the entire process painless.”

–Angela Henry, Schooled in Lies

“…This has been an awesome experience!!!”

–Dolen Perkins-Valdez, author of WENCH

“…I’ve really enjoyed working with you these past 2 months. Your encouraging comments and always funny upbeat personality has been the highlight of each and every day we prepared for this tour. I’ll be sad when it’s all over. :( I highly recommend you to any author looking for an online publicist.”

–Victoria Simcox, author of THE MAGIC WARBLE

The “good press” about you is no lie! I’m very happy about the mention in the Chicago Sun Times! Yay!”

–Joanne Sundell, author of Meggie’s Remains

“The world of publishing has changed so dramatically that it’s imperative to go where people are reading and talking about books and buying them – which is online. Dorothy Thompson came highly recommended and she has been great!”

–Gary Morgenstein, author of Jesse’s Girl

“This tour has been wonderful as was the first – I hope you are booked solid for August. Your presentational data is so well done and professionally presented – you truly represent us so individually and in the best light. I hope all of your clients really understand and appreciate what you provide and what it takes to bring it all together. You personalize each person (client) and really extend yourself in every way. And you are so honest and basically very up-front in fulfilling all of your activities. As I always say, “You are such a sweetheart!””

–Angus Munro, author of Full House But Empty

I have absolutely loved touring with Pump Up Your Book because they have been a pleasure to collaborate with and I can´t imagine a way to make the process simpler than they have made it. I take off my hat to Dorothy Thompson and her staff!”

–Dr. David Gruder, The New IQ

“I’m so pleased every day when I look at Google Alerts and see our titles all around the blogosphere, so thanks for that!”

–World Ahead Media

“Dorothy Thompson is the Queen of the Virtual Tour. She knows her business. Dorothy has gotten me more publicity in a shorter time than all of the other pr people I have worked with put together. In addition, she has opened a new world of internet marketing to me. She has definitely moved me up the search engines. And that’s what we authors want, isn’t it?”

Judi Moreo, author of YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH: EVERY WOMAN’S GUIDE TO PURPOSE, PASSION, AND POWER

“…thank you for such a wonderful job – can’t even begin to tell you how impressed I am…”

Jane Green, NY Times Bestselling author of SECOND CHANCE

“The Pump Up Your Book staff is a remarkable group of professional people who baby sit you through your entire tour. I highly recommend them. They treat your book like it’s their book.”

Garasamo Maccagnone , St. John of the Midfield

I’m so thrilled—Why God Matters: How to Recognize Him in Daily Life won the CSPA Book of the year! This is a popular award, so publicity played as big a role as quality of the book. I want to thank you for all the hard work you did arranging this book tour back in June. It helped immensely to get the word out, and to get reviews and interested readers.”

Karina Fabian, author of Why God Matters

“I don’t think people realize how much work it is to promote your book. Jeez, writing the book is the easy part!!! I really thank Dorothy for putting my virtual tour together. I’ve had a few other writers ask me if I did this. My writing mentor was very impressed. But I told them I wouldn’t have even known where to start. Sure you can ask a few friends to host you, but how do get the schedule together without going crazy? There’s no way I could have done the tour by myself.”

Kim Baccellia, author of EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA

“When I began promoting the release of “Only Moments” I contracted a very high image Public Relations company. I got a few radio interviews but not one review, and no web exposure whatsoever. I only wish that I had met Dorothy Thompson and her “Pump Up Your Book Promotion” a few months earlier. Her tireless commitment gave me exposure beyond my expectations and at a tenth of what I paid one of the best Public Relations firms in the country.”

Nick Oliva, author of ONLY MOMENTS

“Dorothy is a wonderful resource for promoting your book. I highly recommend her blog tour for authors who want to get the most out their publicity dollars.”

Yvonne Perry, author of RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America

“Dorothy is amazing! She’s taught me so much about promoting books on the internet and she’s got a heart of gold.”

–Kathy Holmes, author of REAL WOMEN WEAR RED

“Get in touch with the Pump Up Your Book people…they are the best!”

–Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

“It’s been great working with you! You’ve made the book marketing process fun. I’d recommend your service to any newly published author.”

Deborah Woehr, Prosperity: A Ghost Story

 

“I have shared your site and services with all of the authors at Bella Books and Spinsters Ink, and I hope some of them take advantage of your services. so far, I am really pleased, and I have had nothing but rave reviews about my trailer. I love it!”

Linda Kay Silva, Across Time

“First of all, the virtual world is entirely new to me, and discovering it has been a great adventure. And then Dorothy Thompson has been wonderful, working so hard on my behalf, getting me reviews, and interviews like this one, giving me an opportunity not just to talk about my book, but to meet a world of new and interesting people. And I’ve been so touched by how welcoming and kind and interested you (Rebecca Camarena) and other hosts have all been.”

 

Camille Marchetta, author of The River, By Moonlight (as quoted on Rebecca Camarena’s blog at Paperback Writer)

“This has been a wonderful experience. Dorothy Thompson and her whole team are very committed to each author, take each author’s tour very seriously, and work towards maximum exposure in the right places. This is the best book promotion expenditure I’ve made in terms of return on investment. I highly recommend Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller, author of MRS: LIEUTENANT

“This past month has been just amazing. Thank you so much for all you did to get the word out there…I loved your emails, always sprinkled with good humor and good sense…I look forward to VBTing with you again in October for Breast Cancer Awareness month.”

My best,
Linda Merlino, author of BELLY OF THE WHALE

“The tour’s going really well – my amazon book sales are up and the blog postings are storming up the google search pages…”

Gabriella Goddard, author of GULP!

“I have found my virtual book tour experience to be thought provoking and illuminating. It has made me think my book and my writing in much more thoughtful manner. I truly believe that virtual book tours help writers and inform readers, and I know that I will be doing one for all of my future novels.”

Bernadette Steele, author of THE POETRY OF MURDER

“(The tour)…was 10 times harder than writing the book. Would I do it again? Sure. It was challenging but it was fun.”

Tony Robles, author of JOEY GONZALEZ, GREAT AMERICAN

“My publisher just told me that JANEOLOGY is going back for a second printing. That means sales are going strong! I’m sure much of this has to do with my blog tour. Woo hoo! I’m having fun and I guess you can’t ask for more than that!”

Karen Harrington, author of JANEOLOGY

“I want to thank you for all the great work you did for my first virtual tour. You were a delight to work with!”

Sean McCartney, author of THE TREASURE HUNTERS CLUB: THE SECRETS OF THE MAGICAL MEDALLIONS

“That went really fast! I am so glad I signed up for this tour as it has really helped to spread the word about Fifo, and that helped to win the Mom’s Choice Award…so thank you very much, Dorothy!”

– Hayley Rose, author of FIFO ‘FIFTY STATES”

Click here to find out where to sign up!

Ghost Hunter Susan Kronick on ‘Sarah, They’re Coming for You Virtual Book Tour 2011′

Susan KronickJoin ghost hunter Susan Kronick as she tours the blogosphere April 4 – May 27 2011 with Pump Up Your Book to talk about her new autobiographical paranormal, Sarah, They’re Coming For You (Wild Child Publishing).

Susan will be on a nationwide online book publicity tour giving interviews, giving away copies of her books and meeting and greeting new and old fans! Susan will take part in a Facebook party on April 29 and May 27 where she’ll be available for chat plus will be giving away copies of her books. In May, she’ll be talking LIVE on Barry Eva’s Blog Talk Radio Show ‘A Book and a Chat’ plus will be participating in the Literarily Speaking Book Forum discussing today’s publishing as well as stopping off at other blogs giving interviews, writing about the paranormal and having her book reviewed.

Susan Kronick’s background is the perfect backdrop leading up to her latest paranormal novel, Sarah, They’re Coming for You. She has a Master of Science in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University and a Ph.D. in Paranormal Studies/Psychology from Union Institute and Graduate School, as well as being an adjunct psychology professor at Barry University and Palm Beach State College. A psychic and a medium, she has the gift of seeing the dead since she was a child. She also has taught parapsychology classes through the Palm Beach County School Board, as well as at Palm Beach State College. Susan has extensive experience in the area of investigations of haunting and the paranormal. She lives with her husband and her four spoiled rescue dogs in south Florida. You can visit her website at www.susankronick.webs.com. “Like” her page at Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/susan-kronick/156870670886.

Sarah, They're Coming for You KindleSarah, They’re Coming for You centers around Susan’s own experiences with the paranormal using a fictitious character named Sarah. Sarah must confront the ghosts who have haunted her throughout her life by journeying back to her family’s ancestral castle in the Alpine town of Meiningen, Austria. When a mysterious woman—a link from the past—enlightens Sarah of her journey, every thing falls into place. Sarah has a connection between her ancestral family and her own haunting from the rogue ghosts in the after life. They seek her in order to claim two family members with a single soul. One thing left to do for Sarah. Go to the family home in Austria and face the ghosts head on, or lose her soul forever.

Literary Nymphs says “Ms. Kronick has impressed me with her creative storytelling of ghost, mediums and evil spirits. She did a great job on the detailed research in this story and of the country of Austria. This really has me adding it to my list of places to go. The story is very well-plotted and the surprise towards the end of the book may shock you, but I won’t give it away here. If you enjoy a story with a good haunting story, I am sure you will enjoy this one!

For more information on Susan Kronick’s Sarah, They’re Coming for You Virtual Book Tour, you can visit her official tour page here.

Sarah They're Coming for You

Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in online book publicity for authors looking for maximum online promotion to sell their books. Visit our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com to find out how we can take your book to the virtual level!

Women’s Fiction Author Shana Mahaffey on ‘Sounds Like Crazy Virtual Book Tour’ Dec. 6

Shana MahaffeyJoin Shana Mahaffey as she tours the blogosphere December 6, 2010 to January 14, 2011 to promote her new women’s fiction novel, Sounds Like Crazy (Penguin Books).

Though she doesn’t remember the trauma that caused it, Holly Miller, the main character of Shana’s novel, has Dissociative Identity Disorder. Her personality has fractured into five different identities, together known as The Committee. And as much as they make Holly’s life hell, she can’t live without them. Then one of those identities, the flirtatious, southern Betty Jane, lands Holly a voiceover job. Betty Jane wants nothing more than to be in the spotlight. The rest of The Committee wants Betty Jane to shut up. Holly’s therapist wants to get to the bottom of her broken psyche. And Holly? She’s just along for the ride.

The San Francisco Chronicle says, “Mahaffey documents a realistic setting and progression of psychotherapy…both funny and poignant, Sounds Like Crazy celebrates resilience as an essential element of the human condition.”

Sounds Like Crazy“Mahaffey has infused the book with keen insights into human nature and the complexities of life that challenge all of us,” says San Franscisco Book Review. “Sounds Like Crazy is a novel that should appeal to anyone who has ever wondered about the little voice in the back of their head.”

Tish Cohen, author of The Inside Out Girl, says “Tender, fresh, and darkly comic, Sounds Like Crazy is a sweet and poignant debut. In exploring the reality of a lonely woman living with dissociative identity disorder. Shana Mahaffey has created an honest and compelling character that will both touch your heart and have you laughing out loud.”

Shana Mahaffey lives in San Francisco in an Edwardian compound that she shares with an informal cooperative of family, friends and five cats. She’s a survivor of Catechism and cat scratch fever, and is a member of the Sanchez Grotto Annex, a writers’ community. Her work has been published in SoMa Literary Review and Sunset Magazine. She welcomes all visitors to her website www.shanamahaffey.com, and is happy to meet with book groups in-person or in cyberspace (phone/webcam/the works).

If you’d like to find out more about Shana during her virtual book tour, visit her official tour page here.

You can purchase Sounds Like Crazy at Amazon.

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