Beyond the Books

Character Interview: Madeleine Bacon from David Armstrong’s historical romance novel ‘The Rising Place’

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Madeleine Bacon from David Armstrong’s new historical romance novel, The Rising Place. Madeleine is a 39-year-old print shop owner, living in Hamilton, Mississippi.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Madeleine.  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?

I guess David Armstrong portrayed me pretty well, but I feel like he made me fatter than I really am. And that restaurant scene at the end of the novel—there’s no way anyone could have eaten as much food as David had me eating. Personally, I thought this was cruel of him to do so. If I had been with David when he was writing about me, eating like a pig, I would have cracked my walking cane over his head, too! 

TheRisingPlace_w14312_ibDo you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

He definitely did with that, and I’m a very colorful character. The only way I would have liked to have been portrayed differently is that I really did love my husband, Will Bacon, but this was never brought out. In fact, I loved Will a whole lot more than I did any of my three, previous husbands. I do wish David had shown this part of me, but it probably wouldn’t have been believable. Love didn’t seem to fit my character. It is what it is. 

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My inner strength. I grew up with an older brother who loved to tease me about how fat I was, so I learned young how to defend myself—with both my words and my fists! 

I’m not afraid of anyone. I’d stand up to the devil himself and spit in his eye, if I could.

Worse trait?

I’m afraid to reveal who I really am to others. I’m afraid they’ll see right through me—like Emily Hodge did. I’ve never wanted anyone to see my soft side. I’ve always been terrified of that. That’s probably why I never had any true friends, until Emily came along. Emily taught me how to open up, and thank God that she did! 

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!)?

Well, the book has already been made into a movie, and in it I was portrayed by Beth Grant, who is an excellent actress. But if there’s ever a remake of the film—which does happen, you know—I think I should be played by Lady Gaga. Lady is as colorful as me.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Yes. I love my husband, Will Bacon, though David never developed this—for some dumb reason. I also loved Emily Hodge—the best and only true friend I’ve ever had. 

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

That’s an easy one. I thought David was never going to write me into the story. I kept on trying and trying to get his attention to make me Will’s wife so we could complement each other’s character. At first, I thought David was going to portray Will as a confirmed sissy, who never wanted to get married, and leave it at that. But, finally, he listened to me and wrote about how Will was floundering after he came back from the War and in need of a job. Then I reminded David I was a rich widow, looking for a challenge as much as I was another husband. He finally got the message and brought Will and me together. I just wish he had done it sooner in the story, though, because I had such a great time with the other characters in the book who I got to meet—even Eddie Scruggs! 

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?

I wouldn’t have wanted to be Harry Devening. What a fool he was to have not loved Emily Hodge back. I can’t even conceive how Harry couldn’t have loved Emily—as beautiful and tender as she was. And then to have finally realized, like Harry did, what a great mistake he made in not returning Emily’s love—I would have rather died. Harry might have lost a leg after his plane crashed during the War, but he lost far more than that when he lost the love of a fine woman, like Emily Hodge. What a pity. 

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

I like how David ended the book, but I would have liked to know what, if anything, happened between Emily and Streete Wilder. Also, who was the old, gray-haired stranger at the start of the book? Was that Harry, Streete, or someone else? I hate it when authors tease us like that—makes me want to crack my cane over their skull!

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

Write me in at the beginning of the book. I’m a great character! 

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

You’ll have to ask David Armstrong, that one. Getting through to a hard-headed author like him was difficult enough, the first time around. 

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David Armstrong was born and raised in Natchez, Mississippi, where he was a former mayor and candidate for the United States Congress. He received an undergraduate and master’s degree in political science from Mississippi State University, where he taught American and local government. He also received a law degree from the University of Mississippi, graduating with honors. In addition to The Rising Place, David’s debut novel, he has written two other novels, one of which will be released this summer, and four screenplays. David has also taught screenwriting at the college level, and he has spoken at several literary and film festivals about writing novels and scripts.

David is the father of two grown sons, William and Canon. When he isn’t working on his fourth novel, he serves as the COO for the city of Columbus, Mississippi. He and his cat, Butch, live in one of the oldest and most haunted antebellum homes in Columbus.

David’s website is therisingplace.com. He may be reached at dmatyro@outlook.com. 

About the Book:

What if you found a hidden box of letters from World War II that belonged to an old maid spinster who had just died—would you read them? And what if you did read them and discovered an amazing story about unrequited love, betrayal, and murder that happened over seventy years ago in a small, southern town?

After a young attorney moves to Hamilton, Mississippi to practice law, his first case is to draft a will for Emily Hodge. “Miss Emily” is a seventy-five-year-old recluse who is shunned by Hamilton society, but the lawyer is fascinated with her and can’t understand why this lovely lady seems to have lived such a solitary and forgotten life.

When Emily later dies, the lawyer goes to her hospital room to retrieve her few possessions and bequeath them as she directed, and he finds a sewing box full of old letters in the back of her nightstand drawer. He takes the box of letters back to his office, and after he reads them all, he learns why Emily Hodge was ostracized by Hamilton society and why she died alone—though definitely not forgotten by those who loved her.

The purchase link is The Rising Place by David Armstrong.

 

 

 

 

Character Interview: Willard Bean from Paul Martin Midden’s novel, ‘Riley’

character interviews logo

We’re thrilled to have here today Willard from Midden’s new Novel, Riley.  Willard is a middle-aged man living in Washington D.C.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Willard.  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?

I do think I was fairly portrayed overall. This was important to me, since I was in hot water with a lot of the other characters around me. But I thought the author did well by me. There were some rocky times, but I think in the end he treated me fairly.

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

Riley FRONT COVER hi-res            I think so. He may have dwelled a bit too much on the OCD that some think is such a prominent part of my personality. It’s not debilitating, mind you, and it can be a useful part of my life.  But still . . . I think some people will think it’s . . . I don’t know . . . embarrassing a little. It is for me. But really, who cares how neatly I keep my apartment?

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Doggedness. When I get a case, I am on it like the proverbial dog with a bone. I can’t stand loose ends—there’s that OCD again—and it is just natural for me to follow all leads until I am satisfied. And I am not easily satisfied.

Worse trait?

Sometimes I trip over my own feet. Not physically so often, but I tend to overthink things sometimes and make . . . um . . . ill-advised choices. For instance, there was a time when I talked myself out of being with the woman I loved. It’s hard to get over that. [Shakes his head.] The things I do to myself sometimes . . .

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 somebody with gravitas combined with a capacity for nuance. Jude Law or Colin Firth perhaps, or Johnny Depp.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

YES!

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

Just between you and me, I was worried about another character harming himself; killing himself even. I worried about that for a long time. There are lots of ways to hurt yourself, and I could not stop thinking about all the bad things that could happen.

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?

The one I was just talking about. Truthfully he reminded me of myself when I was younger: smart, responsible, but a little . . . um . . . untested. A little anxious. A little fragile. It was hard going through my younger years; I have never had a desire to repeat them.

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

I could not be happier. For me it worked out as well as could be expected. It was tough going for a while, but I was dogged and did my part. You know: you can’t really control other people. There was some tragedy involved, but it was not my doing…

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

Be nicer to me.

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

Don’t know. That’s not up to me.

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Paul Martin Midden is the author of five previous novels, each of which explores different writing styles. He practiced clinical psychology for over thirty years. Paul’s interests include historic restoration, travel, fitness, and wine tasting. He and his wife Patricia renovated an 1895 Romanesque home in 1995 and continue to enjoy urban living. Visit his website: http://paulmidden.com/

About the Book:

            When Riley Cotswald, a writer at work on her second novel, finally leaves her husband, she gets way more than she bargained for. Her characters’ lives echo her own dilemmas, and she feels a kinship to them as they come alive on her desktop. Her best friend Jennifer does not understand this but loves Riley. Maybe too much.

​After a particularly infuriating conversation with her husband Cameron, Riley impulsively gets involved with Edward, a socially-challenged man who had asked her out once, only to be rejected. When Riley runs into him again, she takes out her rage and frustration in a way that delights and intoxicates Edward but was a one-time event for Riley. Edward looks for ways to pursue the relationship but is frustrated at every turn. He begins to stalk Riley and then resorts to the Dark Web to find ways to retaliate against her. What follows is complicated, intense, and completely unforeseen.

Find out more

Character Interview: Karen Wilkes from James D. Bell’s legal thriller, ‘Maximilian’s Treasure’

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Karen Wilkes from James D. Bell’s new legal thriller, Maximilian’s Treasure.  Karen is a 26-year-old paralegal living in Jackson, Mississippi.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Karen.  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?

Karen:  Judge Bell is not going to read this, is he?  I don’t want him to think that I believe he fell short in his description of me.  He really did about as good a job as a man can do describing what I was thinking and feeling.  But any woman can tell you a man has no idea what we are really thinking!

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Maximilian’s Treasure is such an emotional rollercoaster, so many highs and lows.  Just imagine what you would be thinking when you know deep in your heart that you have found the perfect man, and you hear him fawning over another woman.

Excuse me.  I still get emotional just thinking about it.

I know John and I were never an item, but I thought it was just a matter of time before he would discover the truth that he couldn’t live without me.  After all we are not just a good team; we are the best.  He didn’t win all those cases by himself you know.  I just couldn’t believe he would be so foolish as to fall for some blond bombshell reporter. How could he be so shallow?  I decided to leave before I said something I would regret.  I moved to another city, hoping he would never find me.  I can’t wait to tell you what happened next. …

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

Karen:  I’m a strong, smart, fiercely loyal woman with a passionate desire to help others.  That’s why I became a paralegal.  I really feel for the people who seek our help.  They bring us their biggest problems and they count on us to find solutions.  Nothing compares to the feeling I get when I know we’ve truly helped someone.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Karen:  I’m loyal to a fault and I’ve learned to trust my instincts.  For instance, that new guy in the office, Peter; I felt there was something odd about him.  I didn’t trust him.  When you read the book, let me know if you think I was right about him.

Worse trait?

Karen:  Like I said, I’m loyal to a fault.  That, along with my passion to help people, gets me in trouble.  My heart is in everything I do.  That helps me do my best, but it exposes my heart to being broken, do you know what I mean?  Oh, and I do have a temper.  My dad always blamed it on my red hair.  I blame it on John!  He is too blind to see true love!

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!)?

Karen:  I’m thinking Rachel Bilson, or Emma Stone, or maybe Rachel Brosnahan.  It’s got to be someone smart with a strong personality, and she must be drop-dead beautiful, of course.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Karen:  Well, I don’t want to say too much, but let me tell you about B.H. Sutton!  That’s a real man.  He is smart, loyal, good-looking, strong, and he knows a good thing when he sees it.

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

Karen:  You probably would think I would say when we were run off the road, or when the deputy arrested us, or when John’s houseboat blew up.  But the time I was most nervous was at the wedding.  B.H. and I were holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes when John burst into the room.  That took the cake.

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?

Karen:  I can tell you it wouldn’t be Sandy.  I thought we were friends, but not after the way she went after John.  I would trade places with Natalia.  She is smart, brave, dangerously beautiful and lives a life of adventure, traveling around the world with a mysterious secret agenda.   She casts a spell over men with her exotic looks.  When the need arises, she is ready to step up and be a leader.  I could do that!

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

Karen:  I haven’t caught my breath yet.  So much happens so fast.  Everything is so interconnected.  It’s proof that we don’t live in some protected little bubble surrounding our own little world.  What happens far away matters here and what happened long ago matters now.  Everything you do has impact, for good or for bad, further and longer than you can imagine.

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

Karen:  Each of Judge Bell’s stories has a purpose, a moral to the story.  I hope he continues to write with purpose.  And he should emphasis me in his next book!

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

Karen:  Of course!  Everyone knows that the paralegal is the essential character in any law novel or law office.  Frankly, if Judge Bell doesn’t give me a leading role in his next book, I may write my own.  By the way, here’s some inside information.  Be on the lookout for the next novel, Whom Shall I Send?  It’s a romantic adventure.  I bet you can’t guess who he’s sending.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James D. Bell is an award-winning author and retired Judge who received the highest bar association approval ratings ever given to a Mississippi Circuit or County Judge. He is listed in Preeminent Lawyers, Outstanding Lawyers of America and Top 100 Attorneys of North America.  He is the author of two novels, Vampire Defense and Maximilian’s Treasure.  His short story, The Adventures of Sherlock Hound, was published in Dog Stories for the Soul, alongside stories from Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Willie Morris and others.  The son of a Choctaw mother and a Mississippi businessman, Judge Bell is devoted to his wife, Joanne.  They live in Brandon, Mississippi and have four children.  Judge Bell practices law in Jackson, Mississippi, but is frequently called back to the bench by the Mississippi Supreme Court for short term assignments. Visit the author’s website at www.judgebell.com.

The Story behind ‘Fortunate Son: the Story of Baby Boy Francis’ by Brooks Eason

The Story Behind the Book

Sometimes a person knows he wants to be an author but has a hard time deciding what to write. Sometimes it’s just the opposite, and a person who has no intention of becoming an author learns a story he feels compelled to write. In my case I was already an author and then  a story came along that I felt compelled to write. I had written one book, Travels with Bobby – Hiking in the Mountains of the American West. I knew I wanted to write another one, and an amazing true story that demanded to be written fell into my lap.
I was adopted as an infant, had wonderful parents, never searched for my birth mother, and never would have. But fifteen years ago I learned that Julie Francis was my birth mother as a result of litigation that lawyers pursued in four courts in two states in…

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TETRASTATUM by Dr. Richard & Tim Smith

Title: TETRASTATUM
Author: Dr. Richard & Tim Smith
Publisher: Epigraph Publishing
Pages: 300
Genre: Time Travel Thriller

BOOK BLURB:

In their debut novel TETRASTATUM, authors Dr. Richard and Tim Smith combine heady concepts about the universe with a thrilling science fiction story about the search for a new kind of time travel. The result is a stunning mixture of dense cosmology and old-fashioned storytelling that will appeal to a wide readership, from science professionals to lay fans of science fiction.

“Dr. Richard” and “Tim Smith” are the pseudonyms of Dr. Richard Connor and Marcus Rodriguez, respectively.

TETRASTATUM (‘the fourth state’) is the culmination of my 30 years working in the field of photonics,” Dr. Richard says. “I am an avid reader of sci-fi, and I wanted to create a new type of work that is both educational and entertaining in the genre. TETRASTATUM gives the reader a unique understanding of the existing laws of physics and extends them to provoke further thought from novice readers as well as advanced experts in the field.”

Kirkus Reviews notes that “authors Dr. Richard and Smith … tell their cerebral story with a heady mix of dense theory and absurdist humor.”

The Independent Review of Books declares:  “TETRASTATUM is like nothing you have ever read before. This is an impressive work of science fiction …”

The San Francisco Book Review adds that, “These recurring themes of characterization and distortion feed into the concern that is being voiced over the current state of our political climate…The layering of these themes is ultimately what gives TETRASTATUM a relevance that will keep readers turning pages and asking questions.”

“The book ultimately explains how human perceptions alter the future and puts forth a model based on quantum physics to explain ‘reality’,” Dr. Richard continues.  He calls science fiction “the perfect genre to explore socio-political ideas within the context of futuristic technologies and scientific theories.”

Dr. Richard and Smith are currently working with Norith Soth on adapting TETRASTATUM into a screenplay. Mr. Soth has penned work for Justin Lin (“Fast and Furious”), Stephen Chin (“War Dogs”), and Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”).

★★★★★ORDER YOUR COPY★★★★★

Amazon → https://tinyurl.com/y6tlmpbj

Book Excerpt:

“Well, Dr. Smith, your colleague…uhm, whom you claim is watching us on some monitor-type device, has quite an imagination.  Images, imagination, create that which brings wonder into the realm of understanding.  I concede that I didn’t contemplate the idea of two spheres and two sets of waves when I derived my equations.  I missed the duality, nature’s constant.  But I confirm that this appears to be mathematically accurate and a plausible theory as to the nature of reality, itself.”  –Dr. Erwin Schrödinger

About the Author

Dr. Richard has been involved in the field of Photonics for over 30 years. He received his BA in physics (honors) from the University of California Fullerton. He was in a full scholarship PhD program in physics at the University of California Irvine and a PhD program in philosophy at Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Richard completed his two dissertations (involving human interpretations of laser and electro-optical images) while under top secret clearance. He also has an advanced placement teaching credential, an advanced certification (from the University of Wisconsin) in laser and optical design; and other advanced certifications in fiber optics, computer programming, technology business development, financial products, dance, anatomy and physiology.

★ WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS: ★

WEBSITE → https://www.tetrastatum.com

TWITTERhttps://twitter.com/DrRichard_ISTAR

FACEBOOK → https://www.facebook.com/istarsfx

Character Interview: Josie Kendal from Michael Bowen’s political thriller ‘False Flag in Autumn’

character interviewWe’re thrilled to have you her today, Josie, from Michael Bowen’s new political thriller, False Flag in Autumn.  Josie is a twenty-eight year old political communications specialist living in Washington, D.C.

It’s a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Josie.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight without your readers?

I think Bowen pretty much nailed me.  I’m not a saint.  When I die the topic of canonization will not come up.  But I’ve only done one thing that I’m truly ashamed of, and he let me show my remorse for that.  I didn’t realize that I used naughty words as freely as I apparently do, but I have to admit, when I saw them there on the page they sounded like me.  It’s kind of a lazy habit that I fell into almost casually when I started working in Washington.  Bowen seems to think False Flag in Autumn is a redemption story, but to tell you the truth I’m not sure I need redemption all that much.  A lot of politics is like a spikes-high slide into second base:  it ain’t pretty – but that’s the way the game is played.  You can play the game that way, or you can sit on the sideline polishing your halo.  I want to be in the game.

False Flag in Autumn.jpgDo you feel the author did a good job of colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

Well, I do like cocktails (especially when my husband, Rafe, makes them), and even though I’ve been (mostly) smoke-free for three years now, sometimes it’s a struggle to hang onto the “mostly.”  I like having to think fast and I like getting it right when I do.  And I do desperately love Rafe, and cherish both our intellectual sympatico and our sexual intimacy.  Bowen is right about all that stuff.  Bowen seems a little judgmental about me at times – I’m sure I picked up a subtly disapproving tone when he had me refer to “casual hook-ups that I got over when I was 20”.  I guess that’s because deep down he’s as crazy about me as Rafe is – and who could blame him for that?

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Self-awareness.  I’m spunky but I’m not particularly brave, and I know it.  My mind is fast but it’s not deep, and I know that, too.  I’m pretty smart, but I’m not wise, at least not yet.  All I have to do to excite male sexual desire is breathe, and I’ve been known to use that gift teasingly. 

Worst trait?

I sometimes fall into the trap of kidding myself.  I spend all day spinning politicians and reporters, and sometimes when I look back on something that didn’t go well, I realize that I was spinning myself without realizing it (until it was too late).

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

Nicole Kidman.  With a glossy black wig and a little Creole make-up, she could play me perfectly, and even flashback to my student days at Tulane and my early internships in Washington if she had to. 

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Absolutely:  my husband, Rafe.  Charm, good looks, brains, guts – he’s more than twenty years older than I am, but he’s the whole package.  Rafe’s first wife died while she was pregnant with what would have been their first child, and I think that tragedy really deepened him.  When I first started working full-time in D.C., I treated the available males as a buffet.  Then, when I met Rafe, I realized that I’d been playing triple-A ball.  Rafe was my introduction to the major leagues.

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

When a White House aide showed me two personnel files with CI (“Congressional Influence”) stamped on them, and then winked at me.  I knew he wanted to use me as an unwitting pawn in a scheme that had “special prosecutor” written all over it, and I had no idea what the scheme was.  I knew right then I should just walk away – but I’m hard-wired not to walk away from heavy duty political action.

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?

Hank Sinclair, the White House aide.  He’s so breathtakingly handsome that he’s always had his way with women, and that has led him into some very bad habits.  Much, much worse, he’s book-smart but not gut-smart.  That’s a bad combination almost anywhere, but in Washington it can be fatal – literally fatal.

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

Bittersweet.  I found out something important about myself that maybe I’d rather have not known.  I guess it’s good to know, but there are times when I miss the illusion.

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

Maybe treat my occasional introspection the way you treat sex between me and Rafe:  just a hint here and there, and leave the rest to the readers’ imaginations.  Readers are smart.  They won’t have any trouble connecting the dots.

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

Let’s see what happens between now and November, 2020.  Depending on how things turn out, Bowen may be working with characters who sip sherry with the village vicar by then.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Bowen is a retired trial lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School who has published nineteen mysteries, ranging from Washington crime stories to plucky couple puzzle mysteries (and sometimes  both at the same time).  www.michaelbowenmysteries.com.

About your book and purchase link:   False Flag in Autumn is available as both an ebook and in hard cover from amazon.  Fine bookstores can also order it through Ingram – and who knows, maybe some of them already have.

Character Interview: Enid Carmichael from Susan McCormick’s new cozy murder mystery, The Fog Ladies

We are thrilled to have here today Enid Carmichael from Susan McCormick’s new cozy murder mystery The Fog Ladies. Mrs. Carmichael is an 80-year-old busy body with good hearing living in an elegant apartment building in San Francisco where old ladies start to die.

It’s a pleasure to have Mrs. Carmichael with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so much for this interview, Mrs. Carmichael. 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?

Hmph. Well. I was certainly well portrayed in the chapters I wrote myself, the chapters in my own words. But I was sorely disappointed to read what some of my so-called friends had to say. I’m more than a little miffed, for instance, to learn that Harriet Flynn thinks I’m a lush. I’m not a lush. I have sherry with my tea. But that’s common place. She just has an attitude about alcohol. That’s what her problem is.

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

There is far too much emphasis on my apartment’s perch over the street. My window does let me see what goes on, but that’s not a bad thing. Someone has to watch the comings and goings of the building, especially with what’s been happening. We don’t want to all end up dead.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Well, I believe it is accurately mentioned in the book that I have good hearing. My hearing is sharp, much sharper than people give me credit for, because I am eighty. There are benefits to getting old. I overhear a lot of things people don’t intend.

Worse trait?

Hmph. You probably want me to say that knowing everyone’s business is my worst trait. Well maybe it is. But who’s alive and who’s dead? Hmm? Hmm?

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?

Julia Child. But I outlived her didn’t I? Darn. We look alike. We are both tall and my hair used to be brown. Before it was red. Plus, I love her spark. And I believe she liked sherry, or at least she had it on hand for cooking.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Me. No. I’m eighty. But I suppose that didn’t stop Alma Gordon. Who saw that coming? Not me. See, I don’t know everything. I’m not a snoop.

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

You mean the part where I was on life support?

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?

Well, that’s easy. Muriel Bridge. She’s dead. Head cracked open. Fell off a stool cleaning bugs out of her kitchen light. But I don’t believe that for an instant. She was pushed.

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

I am very pleased that I am here to give you this interview. But, so as not to give too much away, I will add that I might be speaking to you from beyond the grave. I believe in ghosts, you know.

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

Left less emphasis on my height. What’s all this “big woman” stuff?

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

Hmph. Of course, I’m a Fog Lady, aren’t I?

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TheFogLadies_w13428_cover

The Fog Ladies is a cozy murder mystery set in an elegant apartment building in San Francisco where old ladies start to die. Mrs. Bridge falls off a stool cleaning bugs out of her kitchen light. Mrs. Talwin slips on bubbles in the bath and drowns. The Pacific Heights building is turning over tenants faster than the fog rolls in a cool San Francisco evening.

Young, overworked, overtired, overstressed medical intern Sarah James has no time for sleuthing. Her elderly neighbors, the Fog Ladies, have nothing but time. Sarah assumes the deaths are the natural consequence of growing old. The Fog Ladies assume murder.

Sarah resists the Fog Ladies’ perseverations. But when one of them falls down the stairs and tells Sarah she was pushed, even Sarah believes evil lurks in their building. Can they find the killer before they fall victim themselves?

Author Photo

About the Author

Susan McCormick writes cozy murder mysteries. She is also the author of Granny Can’t Remember Me, a lighthearted picture book about Alzheimer’s disease. She is a doctor who lives in Seattle. She graduated from Smith College and George Washington University School of Medicine, with additional medical training in Washington, DC and San Francisco, where she lived in an elegant apartment building much like the one in the book. She served nine years in the military before settling in the Pacific Northwest. She is married and has two boys, plus a giant Newfoundland dog.

Website:

https://susanmccormickbooks.com

Goodreads / Bookbub

Find out more about THE FOG LADIES:

Amazon / B&N

Social media:

https://www.facebook.com/susanmccormickauthor/

https://twitter.com/smccormickbooks

https://www.instagram.com/susanmccormickbooks/

 

Character Interview: Peggy Nahoe from Rosemary and Larry Mild’s ‘Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i’

character interviewWe’re thrilled to have here today Peggy Nahoe from Rosemary and Larry Mild’s mystery short story collection: Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i. Peggy Nahoe (pronounced Na-ho-ay) is a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl living in Honolulu. It is a pleasure to have Peggy with us today at Beyond the Books! Thank you so for this interview, Peggy.

Now that the book has been published, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

Cover ARtPEGGY: The Milds live in Honolulu, they’re like locals. They nailed me pretty well and what I’m up to most of the time. The many stories I’m in start when I’m only nine, and they usually take place on Sundays when my daddy, Kamuela—that’s Sam in Hawaiian—has visitation rights. Sigh! He and my mom, Kianah, are split and I get bounced back and forth like some old volleyball. They fought all the time on account of him getting distraught after being medically pensioned from the Honolulu Police Department. You see, he’s got a bullet in his spine and needs Cane and Able, his two canes, to walk. Daddy drives a cab now and was very lonely until I suggested that he get a pet. He chose a golden retriever named Goldie, and I’m glad he did. Goldie’s smart and rides in the shotgun seat of his cab while they drive all around the island of Oahu picking up fares. I shudder to think how many bad guys and gals they’ve encountered. I only hope they know how to handle them.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?

PEGGY: Oh sure. They let me speak the king’s English with only a skosh Hawaiian or pidgin tossed in like a jalapeno for flavor. Not like some of the other characters. My daddy’s taught me to be proud of my Hawaiian heritage. I turned out to be a really sensitive and caring person. Mom says I argue with her too much. Rosemary and Larry made me tall for my age, athletic, with sun-dark island looks, and long dark hair that just won’t behave. It seems like I’m always washing or brushing it. I just wish my authors wouldn’t put me in harm’s way so much.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

PEGGY: That’s a tough one. I think maybe it’s somewhere between cleverness and loyalty. I’ve gotten myself out of some pretty tight jams—like the time the kidnappers held me captive in the barn. As for loyalty, I could never choose between Mom or Daddy when they’re fighting. I suppose there’s a lot of kindness in me too—like I’m always feeling sorry for the bad guys and gals after they’re caught. I have to ask Daddy what’s going to happen to them.

Worse trait?

PEGGY: Anger that I sometimes can’t suppress. Those strange pictures that turn up in my camera, a birthday gift from my daddy. I even hid in my room when he came over to apologize. I wouldn’t speak to him. Also, my friends sometimes say I’m too bossy.

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!)?

PEGGY: If I left it to the Milds they’d say Margaret O’Brien, but I don’t even know who that is. But I saw an old rerun of Hawaii Five-O with Londyn Silzer, a kid actress, the other night and she looks a little bit like me. She even talks like me.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

PEGGY: No. Unfortunately, I’m kinda young for that stuff. I might have had a crush on the red-headed haole boy in geography class, but don’t you go telling Mom now. Honest, my big love is for my dog, Goldie.

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

PEGGY: I never let myself cry, but I start to wonder whether I’ll ever have my family together again. I know they still love each, but they haven’t found out yet. Ohana—that means family in Hawaiian, and ohana is the most important thing in my life.

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?

PEGGY: I wouldn’t want to be Carly Adams. She didn’t want to hurt anyone, but she stole a whole lot of money and now she’s going to jail.

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

PEGGY: I’m itching to tell you the endings to all my stories, but the Milds won’t let me—especially when the bank robbers kidnapped me. Rosemary threatened to take away my loco moco if I do. That’s two sunny-side-up eggs on top of a huge hamburger amid a whole plateful of sticky white rice, all immersed in dark brown gravy. Yum!

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

PEGGY: They don’t need any words of wisdom—they’re a real cool couple, and if and when they publish a sequel, I want to be all grown up in my thirties, and married with a baby, and be the boss of my own detective business just like Daddy. Then again, I could be a lawyer just like Mom. I can’t decide.

Thank you for this interview, Peggy.

PEGGY: And mahalo (thank you) to you too for having me.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS 

mild5ROSEMARY AND LARRY MILD, cheerful partners in crime, coauthor mystery, suspense, and fantasy fiction. Their popular Hawaii novels, Cry Ohana and its sequel Honolulu Heat, vibrate with island color, local customs, and exquisite scenery. Also by the Milds: The Paco and Molly Murder Mysteries: Locks and Cream Cheese, Hot Grudge Sunday, and Boston Scream Pie. And the Dan and Rivka Sherman Mysteries: Death Goes Postal, Death Takes A Mistress, and Death Steals A Holy Book. Plus Unto the Third Generation, A Novella of the Future, and three collections of wickedly entertaining mystery stories—Murder, Fantasy, and Weird Tales; The Misadventures of Slim O. Wittz, Soft-Boiled Detective; and Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i. 

ROSEMARY, a graduate of Smith College and former assistant editor of Harper’s, also delves into her own nonfiction life. She published two memoirs: Love! Laugh! Panic! Life With My Mother and the acclaimed Miriam’s World—and Mine, for the beloved daughter they lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. On her lighter side, Rosemary also writes award-winning humorous essays, such as failing the test to get on Jeopardy; and working for a giant free-spending corporation on a sudden budget: “No new pencil unless you turn in the old stub.”

LARRY, who was only called Lawrence when he’d done something wrong, graduated from American University in Information Systems Management. In 2019 he published his autobiography, No Place To Be But Here: My Life and Times, which traces his thirty-eight-year professional engineering career from its beginning as an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy, to a field engineer riding Navy ships, to a digital systems/instrument designer for major Government contractors in the signal analysis field, to where he rose to the most senior level of principal engineer when he retired in 1993.

Making use of his past creativity and problem-solving abilities, Larry naturally drifted into the realm of mystery writing, where he also claims to be more devious than his partner in crime and best love, Rosemary. So he conjures up their plots and writes the first drafts, leaving Rosemary to breathe life into their characters and sizzle into their scenes. A perfect marriage of their talents.

THE MILDS are active members of Sisters in Crime where Larry is a Mister in Crime; Mystery Writers of America; and Hawaii Fiction Writers. In 2013 they waved goodbye to Severna Park, Maryland and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they cherish quality time with their daughters and grandchildren. When Honolulu hosted Left Coast Crime in 2017, Rosemary and Larry were the program co-chairs for “Honolulu Havoc.”

Over a dozen worldwide trips to Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Great Britain, France, Italy, Israel, Egypt, and more have wormed their way into their amazing stories. In their limited spare time, they are active members of the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival committee, where Larry is the statistician and recordkeeper for their film ratings.

 Website: https://www.magicile.com

First Chapter: LOVE NEVER QUITS: SURVIVING & THRIVING AFTER INFERTILITY, ADOPTION, AND REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER by Gina Heumann

Title: LOVE NEVER QUITS: SURVIVING & THRIVING AFTER INFERTILITY, ADOPTION, AND REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER
Author: Gina Heumann
Publisher: MadLand Press
Pages: 246
Genre: Memoir

WHACK… At three in the morning Gina was sound asleep, yet somehow she was smacked in the head. She looked over at her husband, thinking perhaps he accidentally rolled over and flopped his arm on top of her, but he was sleeping soundly and facing the opposite direction. She turned to the other side and glaring back at her was her eight-year-old child.

“Did you just hit me?”

“Yes, and I’d do it again.”

“Whyyyy?”

“Because you took away my video games.”

“That was EIGHT HOURS AGO. And you’re still mad about it?”

“I wish I could kill you.”

This is the true story of the hell one family lived through parenting a child with reactive attachment disorder, a severe diagnosis related to children who experienced early-childhood trauma.

This inspirational story covers over a decade of daily struggles until they finally found resolution and made it to the other side. The family remained intact, and this once challenging son is now achieving things never thought possible.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

First Chapter:

The Beginning

“I think I want to be a mom,” I declared one day.

This came as quite a shock to my husband, Aaron.

Marriage itself wasn’t part of my original plan. After going through my parents’ contentious divorce and living with one of my mom’s abusive boyfriends, my view on “happily ever after” was a bit tainted. I wasn’t going to do that. I had dreams of being one of those Sex in the City girls—with a successful career, girlfriends, travel, and a closet full of designer shoes. Marriage and kids seemed so mundane and expected. So it was quite a surprise to me when I met Aaron and realized that the plan had changed.

It happened on our first date.

In college, I went out with one of my best friend’s brothers. I knew the entire family except him, as my future in-law’s home was a hangout spot for us in graduate school. My father-in-law was a professor and had a computer at home, which he generously allowed us to use. This was the early ’90s, so laptops hadn’t been invented and writing a paper for college meant waiting in line for the computer lab to type up the final copy and print. Visits to the Heumann house often meant dinner with the family and sometimes even a load of laundry. Aaron wasn’t living there, so I knew his mom, dad, brother, and sister before I knew him. I loved them all and was starting to see that “successful and single” wasn’t the only way to go. They were a pretty amazing family.

On our first date, we weren’t quite sure if it was a date or not. He thought I was going out with him as a favor to his sister, because he needed a date to a fraternity party that would feature a somewhat big-name band, and he already had two tickets. I thought he thought I was doing his sister a favor and just needed a date. I had met him several weeks prior and thought he was awfully cute, so I was secretly hoping it was a date. Turns out, we both really liked each other the last two times we had met, but each thought the other was dating someone. That first date was magical. I had found my soulmate.

After the party, the hot tub, and a two-block walk in subzero temperatures back to his apartment, he asked me to spend the night to avoid driving me home on black ice. He was gentlemanly, offering me some sweatpants and his bed while he slept on the couch. I took the sweatpants but shared the bed … but I knew in the back of my mind that whatever happened on that date would most likely get back to his sister. So it was a reasonably innocent night together. The next morning, we ordered pizza and watched a football game, and when he dropped me off, I had a somewhat panicked thought that I couldn’t shake:

“Crap, there goes my plan.”

I knew I would marry him and the Sex in the City dream would die. Or change. Or morph into something different.

So the new plan was now marriage to the coolest guy ever, a successful career, couple friends, travel, no kids, and a closet full of designer shoes.

About the Author

Gina Heumann is a true Renaissance woman: wife, mother, architect, designer, instructor, author, speaker, and sales rep for an award-winning Napa Valley winery. She and her husband, Aaron, adopted Landrey in 2001 from Guatemala and then went back for Maddox three years later. Gina’s love of learning and dedication as a mother inspired her research of different treatments and therapies that eventually led to this inspirational success story about conquering Reactive Attachment Disorder.

Her latest book is Love Never Quits: Surviving & Thriving After Infertility, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website Link: www.ginaheumann.com

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/loveneverquits

 

 

Interview with Lee Matthew Goldberg, Author of The Desire Card

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @LeeMatthewG.

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

Multi-published. I’ve had three books published.

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?

It was a small press called New Pulp Press.

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

About a year and a half, pretty standard.

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

It was amazing. I definitely had a few drinks! It’s always been my dream.

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

Set up a book launch and a small tour.

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

I’m a better writer, I’m faster and I’m more understanding of the business.

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

It can be glacial and take too long for a book to come out. It’s part of the reason why I’m working on starting my own press.

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

When you get fan mail and they love your book.

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

Be dedicated, edit a lot, trust in your writing, someday it will happen!

About the Book:

Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That’s the promise the Desire Card gives to its elite clients. But if the Card doesn’t feel like they’ve been justly compensated, the “price” will be more menacing than the clients could ever imagine.

Harrison Stockton learns this lesson all too well. Harrison has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street along with a fondness for alcohol and pills, and a family he adores, yet has no time for. All of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his executive job and discovers he has liver cirrhosis with mere months left to live.

After finding himself far down on the donor list, Harrison takes matters into his own hands. This decision sparks a gritty and gripping quest that takes him to the slums of Mumbai in search of a black market organ and forces him under the Desire Card’s thumb. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and put a stop to the Card.

THE DESIRE CARD is a taut international thriller that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires. It’s the first book in a series followed by PREY NO MORE that focuses on other people indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.

PRAISE:

“Careful what you wish for, especially from a nefarious shadow organization, in this gripping start to Lee Matthew Goldberg’s fast-paced, highly compelling, buzz worthy new series. If you love characters morally compromised, richly drawn, and constantly surprising, you’ll love THE DESIRE CARD. I burned through the first book and can’t wait to get my hands on PREY NO MORE to see where this endlessly exciting story takes me next! Loved it!” – Daniel Palmer, critically acclaimed suspense author

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

 

 

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