Character Interview: Ana Opaku Belén from Eleanor Parker Sapia’s historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN

character interviewWe’re thrilled to have here today Ana Opaku Belén from Eleanor Parker Sapia’s historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN. Ana is a forty-year-old, Afro-Cuban midwife currently living in 1900 Barrio Playa de Ponce, Puerto Rico.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Ana.  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? 

BOOK COVER SEPT 2014 (2) (1)When A DECENT WOMAN begins, I am a 40-year-old, Afro-Cuban midwife who was born into slavery on a sugar plantation in Cuba. At 20, my parents hid me in the bowels of a steamer ship and I arrived in Playa de Ponce, Puerto Rico in the middle of the night. I had no family or friends on the island, and yes, a dark secret is the reason I fled Cuba. I fear this secret will ruin me, my reputation, not to mention, my livelihood as the only midwife in the Playa de Ponce. 

Eleanor has worked with refugees as a Spanish-language case worker and a counselor in Belgium; and in the United States as a Staff member at a residential treatment center for children; and also with women who entered the US illegally, hoping for a better life for themselves and their children, as a Spanish-language Family Support Worker. Eleanor understands what it means to live on the fringes of society as an illegal born into poverty and repression with few rights. I believe she portrayed me exactly as I should have been portrayed–with sensitivity, dignity, and a good understanding of what women went through in history because millions of women today still suffer at the hands of men, government, and society in many parts of the world.

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

Yes, Eleanor did a great job portraying me. She understood what it must have felt like for a woman born into slavery to react to male-dominated, 1900 Ponce at that time—women knew their places in society and all women needed male support and protection to survive to some extent, even the women of society. For the most part, I was frightened of authority because I was poor, uneducated, and black, but I was happy Eleanor had me fearlessly forging ahead with my work. Despite many challenges involving the Catholic Church and male doctors, who’d entered the birthing room for the first time, I was feisty and determined to continue working as a midwife. My love for my midwifery clients and their children shows in the novel. 

My unlikely friendship with Serafina, a member of Ponce high society, and my later friendships with prostitutes and women—white, black, brown, mulattas, creoles—all labeled as indecent by society, were challenging, but I grew from these experiences. I became a role model and mentor to younger women, but I didn’t realize that until later. When Eleanor broke down my emotional walls, I became naive, hopeful, more trusting, which was highly uncomfortable, but I found love as a result. But would this love survive because of my choices and decisions? 

What do you believe is your strongest trait? 

I have many strong traits, and I can’t pick just one! I am a hard-working, tough as nails midwife, and tender and loving with my clients and their children. Despite hoping to appear stoic and serious, I have a fun side that is shared with a select few. I am highly intuitive, courageous, a loyal friend, and I recognize that a good working relationships with the male doctors and obstetricians who have entered the birthing room for the first time, is critical, but I don’t like it. I’m a spiritual woman who practices the Yoruba tradition side by side with Catholicism with a good dose of superstition mixed in. I am stubborn and courageous.

Worse trait?

Must I pick only one? I have many traits that get me into trouble! My childhood of slavery and the abuse I went through as a young woman, make me secretive, leery of men, and distrustful of authority. Because I had no one to rely on at an early age, I assume I know it all, and don’t make friends easily. I am judgmental, stubborn, opinionated, and a bit naive with friendships and men. I’m cautious, rebellious and at times, can appear unfeeling, but I am loyal to a fault. Near the end of my story, I could lose the love of my life, and in the end I could make the ultimate sacrifice for a dear friend who has betrayed me. I am impulsive and reactive, you see.

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!)? 

Eleanor has enjoyed thinking of this question for years, and Eleanor and her readers say A DECENT WOMAN would make a great film! She would love to see the talented actress Wunmi Mosaku play my younger self, and the great Viola Davis as the older Ana.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Why yes, I do. My friend, a medium named Doña Fela, predicts I’ll meet a man, a healer, who I will work side by side with. I believe I’m too old for love, but Fela insists that he will be good for me. I cannot imagine it, as I don’t trust men. Who would want a forty-year-old woman with no money and such crippling emotional baggage from her past? And what about my secret? If the man found out what I had done in Cuba, he would surely turn his back and leave me. I can’t fathom another great loss in my life, but I do meet such a man. Eleanor picked the perfect man for me!

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

When I am forced to move from Barrio Playa de Ponce to Barrio San Anton, I meet two young prostitutes and their pimp. I begin to worry that I should move because the man frightens me, and reminds me of the overseer in the Cuban plantation of my youth. The young women take huge risks, and sometimes I am involved. Near the end, I wrestle with feelings of anger and hatred when my friend Serafina is harmed, and I hatch a plan that could go very badly for me when I involve the young prostitutes.

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? 

A reader might think I’d love to trade places with my best friend, Serafina, who marries into a prominent, wealthy Ponce family, but I wouldn’t. Although I love Serafina, she suffers greatly at the hands of her husband, Antonio. I dream of a family and the love of a good man, but I can’t imagine living Serafina’s life.

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

Eleanor’s editor and a few advanced readers were concerned with the original ending. Eleanor thought long and hard about it…and came to a conclusion. You will have to read the book to know my outcome!

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

Eleanor is researching for the sequel to A DECENT WOMAN called Mistress of Coffee. At the moment, she is wrestling between writing her second historical novel, also about colonial Puerto Rico, or diving back in with the sequel, which begins in 1920, in the mountains of Yayuya in Puerto Rico. She is close to making a decision.

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

Well, I might be in the sequel, Mistress of Coffee, and because of my advanced age, I would be in the role of counselor, mentor, advisor, and always with my signature humor, courage, and clarity. Serafina and I have been through a lot together, and in the sequel, we might watch as Serafina’s daughter Lorena and her three, younger brothers forge the way for a new Porto Rico in opposition of the United States’ control of the island. Stay tuned to see if I’m in the sequel! 

Thank you very much for this interview, Beyond the Books! Please watch for the release of A DECENT WOMAN in March 24, 2015 with Booktrope!

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profile-pic (1)Puerto Rican-born novelist, Eleanor Parker Sapia, was raised in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Eleanor’s life experiences as a counselor, alternative health practitioner, a Spanish language social worker, and a refugee case worker inspire her passion for writing. When Eleanor is not writing, she facilitates creativity groups, and is making plans to walk El Camino de Santiago a second time. A Decent Woman is her debut novel. Eleanor is the mother of two adult children, and she lives in West Virginia.

About the Book 

Ponce, Puerto Rico, at the turn of the century: Ana Belén Opaku, an Afro-Cuban born into slavery, is a proud midwife with a tempestuous past. After testifying at an infanticide trial, Ana is forced to reveal a dark secret from her past, but continues to hide an even more sinister one. Pitted against the parish priest, Padre Vicénte, and young Doctór Héctor Rivera, Ana must battle to preserve her twenty-five year career as the only midwife in La Playa.

Serafina is a respectable young widow with two small children, who marries an older wealthy merchant from a distinguished family. A crime against Serafina during her last pregnancy forever bonds her to Ana in an ill-conceived plan to avoid a scandal and preserve Serafina’s honor.

Set against the combustive backdrop of a chauvinistic society, where women are treated as possessions, A Decent Woman is the provocative story of these two women as they battle for their dignity and for love against the pain of betrayal and social change.

Find out more on Amazon.

Book Trailer Spotlight: A Decent Woman, by Eleanor Parker Sapia

Originally posted on If Books Could Talk:

Title: A Decent Woman

Author: Eleanor Parker Sapia

Genre: Historical Fiction/Hispanic

Publisher: Bookthrope

Find on Amazon

BOOK COVER SEPT 2014 (2) (1)

Ponce, Puerto Rico, at the turn of the century: Ana Belén Opaku, an Afro-Cuban born into slavery, is a proud midwife with a tempestuous past. After testifying at an infanticide trial, Ana is forced to reveal a dark secret from her past, but continues to hide an even more sinister one. Pitted against the parish priest, Padre Vicénte, and young Doctór Héctor Rivera, Ana must battle to preserve her twenty-five year career as the only midwife in La Playa.

Serafina is a respectable young widow with two small children, who marries an older wealthy merchant from a distinguished family. A crime against Serafina during her last pregnancy forever bonds her to Ana in an ill-conceived plan to avoid a scandal and preserve Serafina’s honor.

Set against the combustive backdrop of a chauvinistic society…

View original 120 more words

Cover Reveal: Two Princes The Biker and the Billionaire by Victoria Danann

About The Book

Title: Two Princes: The Biker and The BillionaireAuthor: Victoria Danann

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: dba7th House Publishing, Imprint of Andromeda LLC

Publication Date: June 16, 2015

 

Brigid Roan is a graduate student at the University of Texas. She had no trouble getting her thesis approved, but finding a Hill Country motorcycle club willing to give her access to their lifestyle had started to seem impossible. Then she got a lead. A friend of a friend had a cousin with ties to The Sons of Sanctuary.
What she wanted was information to prove a proposition. What she didn’t want was to fall for one of the members of the club. Especially since she had set out to prove that motorcycle clubs are organized according to the same structure as primitive tribal society.
Brash Fornight was standing in line at the H.E.B. Market when his world tipped on its axis. While waiting his turn to check out, his gaze had wandered to the magazine display and settled on the new issue of “NOW”. The image on the cover, although GQ’d up in an insanely urbane way, was… him.
After reading the article, Brash threw some stuff in a duffle and left his club, The Sons of Sanctuary, with a vague explanation about needing a couple of days away. He left his Jeep at the Austin airport and caught a plane for New York, on a mission to find the guy who was walking around with his face.
Two brothers, one a player, one a playboy, are on a collision course with destiny and a woman who thought she won a prize when she was allowed a look inside the Sons of Sanctuary MC.

About The Author

Victoria Danann
Victoria Danann is the USA TODAY Bestselling Author of The Knights of Black Swan, which has won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES TWO YEARS IN A ROW (2013, 2014). Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.
Victoria writes cross-genre with uniquely fresh perspectives on paranormal creatures, characters, and themes. She is making her debut into contemporary romance with publication of the SUMMER FIRE ultimate romance collection anthology. It contains a novella intro to the Sons of Sanctuary MC series. The first full novel of the series will be released June 16, 2015.
Contact Victoria at:

Interview with Miguel Lopez de Leon, author of Galadria: Peter Huddleston and the Knights of the Leaf

Miguel Lopez de LeonMiguel Lopez de Leon is a prolific fiction writer with over 30 short stories published in a variety of international literary magazines and anthologies. De Leon, who prefers to write in the mornings, began working on his first novel as a hobby. That first book blossomed into the Galadria trilogy. “One part of the writing process I really enjoy is writing the first draft of a novel…For me, it’s the time when you can lose yourself in the story the most.” De Leon lives in Los Angeles and enjoys reading historical biographies and collecting vintage comic books.

His latest book is the fantasy novel, Galadria: Peter Huddleston & The Knights of the Leaf.

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

 Thank you for having me on Beyond the Books! Yes, my work has been published before.

Galadria 2Q: 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?

Before I started writing fantasy novels, I wrote short stories. Over thirty of them were traditionally published in various literary magazines and anthologies. When I wrote the first novel of my fantasy trilogy, Galadria: Peter Huddleston & The Rites of Passage, I was traditionally published as well. For the first edition of this novel, I went the usual route and sent a list of publishers a query letter. One publisher was interested, and after they read the whole manuscript, they offered me a contract and published the book.

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

A little less than a year.

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

It felt great to have my first novel published! I was happy to have the opportunity to get my work out there to as many people as possible. How did I celebrate? When the first book of the trilogy was published, I was already writing the sequel, which for me, was the best possible way to celebrate!

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

On the day the first edition of my first novel came out, Galadria: Peter Huddleston & The Rites of Passage, I remember I was booked to be interviewed on a local television show. Before filming, the host of the show walked up to me and was holding a paperback copy of my book, it was the first time I ever saw it!

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

Since the first edition of my first novel was published, a lot has happened. After the completion of the initial run of the first edition of Galadria: (Book 1) Peter Huddleston & The Rites of Passage, I then published the entire trilogy myself, including Galadria: (Book 2) Peter Huddleston & The Mists of the Three Lakes, and Galadria: (Book 3) Peter Huddleston & The Knights of the Leaf. Once I took over the handling of my fantasy trilogy, I really learned a lot about book design, promotion, pricing, eBooks, and all the details that come with publishing and marketing a book. In the last few years, the publishing industry has changed so much. These days, publishing your own books isn’t a cliche anymore, in a lot of ways, for a lot of writers, it’s more practical. For myself, I enjoyed the process of taking control of my own books, just as much as being traditionally published. One is not better or worse than the other, it just depends on what you want, and what you are able and willing to do.

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

 What constantly surprises me about the publishing industry is the way it is constantly changing. With eBooks, POD, online retailing, the evolving of social media, and the way most people are completely dependent on technology (Their phones!) for everyday life, the way books are thought of has changed as well. Books need to be just as convenient to find and buy online as any other product, which has led to a growing shift to eBooks, online editors, online book promoters, and every other online author service you could think of. The playing field between self published authors and traditionally published authors is evening out considerably.

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

Simply doing work that I love is really its own reward. I love writing fantasy novels, and whenever I meet a reader who has enjoyed the books I’ve written, I am all the more grateful.

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

Don’t give up! If what you want is to be traditionally published, then go for it! Write the best query letter you can, and be patient in terms of agent or publisher response time. If you have the inclination, check out all the opportunities to self publish. Either way, just know that their are a lot of options for writers out there, it just depends on what you want.

 

Interview with Vince Aiello, author of Legion’s Lawyers

Vince AielloVince Aiello grew up in upstate New York before moving to Southern California where he attended California Western School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in both New York and California.  LEGION’S LAWYERS is his third novel.  His earlier novels, LEGAL DETRIMENT and THE LITIGATION GUY, were both acclaimed bestsellers.

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About the Book:

Legions Lawyers 3Title: Legion’s Lawyers
Author: Vince Aiello
Publisher: SarEth Publishing
Pages: 296
Genre: Thriller
Format: Hardcover/Paperback/Kindle

LEGION’S LAWYERS, the latest thriller by Vince Aiello about the Legion law firm, dissects, in Aiello’s signature punchy style, the driving ambition within the firm and its deadly consequences. The firm’s head, Roger Legion, has appeared in Aiello’s previous books about the firm, LEGAL DETRIMENT and THE LITIGATION GUY. Readers have developed mixed reactions to Legion, who is both a brutal taskmaster and a great litigator. Love him or hate him, all look forward to his appearance in the story. Legion believes the courtroom is like a gladiatorial arena, where he will do whatever it takes to win.

Previous Legion books have dealt with a heist by lawyers and a terrorist attack on the Coronado Bay Bridge, in San Diego. In LEGION’S LAWYERS, Roger Legion finds himself the target of a drug cartel and more than one team of assassins.

Aiello writes books that are “screenplay-ready,” with tight scenes, strong dialogue, and a three-act structure. “I am drawn to authors who have also written for the screen,” Aiello says, citing such writers as Rod Serling, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Peter Blatty.

Aiello also writes a song for each of his books, which is featured in the story. The complete lyrics appear at the end of the books.  For a scene in LEGION’S LAWYERS, Aiello composed a song titled “All I Know.” A music video is pending, but the song can be heard on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y11j7biCGus

The author’s combination of hard-boiled legal action accompanied by its own, built-in soundtrack makes for an irresistible reading, listening – and potentially viewing – experience.

For More Information

Please tell us a bit about your book and what you hope readers take away from reading it?

Legion’s Lawyers tells the story of the fictional, San Diego insurance defense law firm of Legion & Associates. The head of the law firm, Roger Legion, rules the law firm with an iron fist and he views the courtroom as an arena to slay an adversary. His methods are ingrained into his lawyers. A Mexican drug cartel tries to persuade him to provide them with assistance and when he refuses, it incites retaliation. The cartel is aided in their efforts by at least one of the lawyers in the firm.

Who are your favorite characters in the story? 

Roger Legion is the ultimate anti-hero. He is a military leader and a father figure. He will do whatever it takes to win, regardless if it is honest. In anger, he will throw a punch. He is fearless.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?

“I realized that a law firm is like a principality. And I’m the guy who leads the army. I have to be cruel, because that’s the only way I can command my lawyers’ absolute respect.”

If your current release were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why?

Roger Legion is extremely complex, but I am asked this question often. I believe Russell Crowe could play Roger Legion. For Rolf Adler, a sophisticated assassin, I believe that Chris Evans would be good. I would like Anna Kendrick to play Lisa Nastasi.

What are your favorite aspects of writing?

I love the idea of creating a world that you can control. The challenge to me is making the storylines intersect in a cogent way to make the story exciting and interesting.

You’re least favorite aspects of writing?

Doing the publicity for the book. The competition is fierce. It becomes easier as you build a fan base.

Who are some of your favorite authors/books?

I read authors who have also written for the screen, like Rod Serling, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Peter Blatty, and Gillian Flynn.

What are you reading right now?

No time to read right now. I just completed my forth book and I am in the editing process. I am also beginning the outline for my 5th book.

If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors – dead or alive – who would they be and what would you serve them?

Ernest Hemingway, Rod Serling, H.G. Wells, Mario Puzo, and Herman Miller. I would serve meat and pasta, served al dente.

What is a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?

Fifty Shades of Grey for its sales (not content). With sales of that magnitude, your life as an author is changed forever. Plus, the clout in Hollywood is enormous.

What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?

Do what you like and the money will follow.

Character Interview: Emily Tyles from Anne K. Edwards’ Dystopian ‘Dark of the Heart’

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Emily Tyles from Anne K. Edwards new Dystopian, Dark of the Heart.  Emily is a nine-year-old child living in Bogden, Pennsylvania.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Emily. 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’m glad to meet you. My new foster mom, Mrs. Bradley, told me to mind my manners and not be afraid. I don’t know what that big word means, but I’m glad not to live at home anymore. Ma didn’t like me and she was mean. My cousin, Ted, says I’m a little backward, but Mrs. Bradley says I’m just shy and need to be around normal people to get over it.

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

DarkoftheHeart_ebookcoverI don’t know what that word colorizing means either, but I like having that story about me and Ma and Pa told. I’m sorry they hated everybody too. I wish Ma liked nice things and didn’t drink all the time. Pa and Joey and Bud did too, and they all hated everybody, like Ma. They had fights all the time. Ma liked to hit Pa. And me. I still got scars on my back and arms from the belt buckle. I wish Ma liked me a little, like Lorie did before the State took her away. She’s a beautician now and has lots of friends. She writes me letters and says she’s going to come see me soon. I hope she does. I want to be like her when I grow up. She won’t go see Ma though.

What do you believe is your strongest trait? 

What’s a trait? I am strong because I always had to do work at home. Ma didn’t like to wash dishes or do house stuff and Rita who was married to my brother, Bud, made me clean after Cooger. Ted says that’s why I got muscles like him. Is that what trait means?

Worst trait? 

I guess the worst thing I did was run away a lot. I was afraid of Ma whipping me with the belt, even when stuff wasn’t my fault. She didn’t whip nobody else because they was big like her. When I run off and police or Bud would bring me home, she always hit me with the belt. But the last time, when I saw that girl get killed, nobody took me back. They let me go live with Mrs. Bradley after that and she’s nicer’n anybody I ever knew.

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!)?

Do you mean if I could be in a movie, who would I want to be me? I don’t know. I never got to see movies or television until I lived with Mrs. Bradley. Are there many little kids in them? I saw a book in the library about some girl named Shirley Temple and it said she was in movies. Do you think she’d like to be me in a movie?

Do you have a love interest in the book? 

No. If that means do I like boys, no, I don’t. Most of them are mean like Bud and Pa. I like Ted and his friends who talked to me before I lived with Mrs. Bradley. The boys that Lorie knew mostly think about sex like Pa did. I had to put a chair against the doorknob like Lorie taught me to keep him out when he was drunk. He scared me a lot.

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

I don’t know what that means. I was scared all the time when I lived with Ma. Is that what you mean? A nice policeman said I didn’t have to go home no more and that was before Pa and Bud and Joey died. Ma didn’t like me living with somebody else, but some man called a judge said she could go to jail for how she beat me. She lives over by the railroad tracks now and still gets money for beer. She always said Bud would have to do for her if Pa left her, but he’s gone too and she’s all alone. Ted says she got what she deserved. That judge guy said I didn’t have to see her no more and I’d get over being scared.  Maybe he’s right.

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 want to be Ma or Pa or Rita or Bud or Joey. They were all mean to me and I hate them and got in fights all the time. Ma and Rita hit me a lot, and Ma, Bud, and Pa were drunk a lot and mean.  Joey didn’t get drunk, but he started some fights and hated them all too. So I don’t want to be any of them. But I would  like to be Lorie who isn’t in the story. I would like to be her or like her. She moved to a town called Minnefer somewhere out west. She says the sun is out most every day. I’d like that. She told me in a letter there’s no junk yard to play in either like I used to do. I’d like to be Lorie because she’s all grown up and don’t got to see Ma. There’s some man who knows Ma says I might have to see her or maybe even live with her, but nobody can make Lorie see her. I’ll run away again if they make me see her. I will. I will.

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

I’m sorry about Joey and Cooger, but not Ma or Pa. I didn’t like Bud much, but he was nicer’n Pa. But I’m happiest for me because I got a new home where there isn’t any belt. I never get hit no more. I hope nobody makes me go live with Ma again.

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

I don’t think I can be wise because I’m a kid. I like to read but I don’t want to be in any more books. It’s scary when you don’t know what’s going to happen and what if that writer decided she didn’t like me? I don’t want to be scared no more.

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

I don’t think so. I want to live with Mrs. Bradley forever and ever until I get my horse ranch. Then I’ll live out west and nobody will want to write a story about that. I won’t tell them where I live. Only Ted and Lorie and Mrs. Bradley.

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anne-k-edwards

Anne K. Edwards enjoys a life shared with her husband and several cats who rule the household and lives of its inhabitants. She is an avid reader, reviews ebooks, writes in several genres, and enjoys meeting other writers. She’s currently touring the blogosphere to promote her latest book, Dark of the Heart.

About the book

A runaway son has returned to the Tyles family fold after an absence of several years.  A frightened boy when he left, Joey Tyles has returned a bitter man bent on revenge on the family that made his childhood a hell.

Find out more on Amazon.

Book Spotlight: Terror Never Sleeps by Richard Blomberg

Terror Never Sleeps - Updated

 

ABOUT THE BOOK
 

Terro Never Sleeps (updated)

TitleTerror Never Sleeps
Book 2: Jack Gunn Thriller Series
Author: Richard Blomberg
Publisher: Beaver’s Pond Press
Publication Date: February 15, 2015
Pages: 337
ISBN: 978-1592988952
Genre: Military Thriller / Suspense

Format: Paperback, eBook (.mobi / Kindle), PDF
Navy SEAL Jack Gunn’s life is turned upside down when terrorists kidnap his family and disappear without a trace. While Jack and his team search frantically for clues in Virginia, half-way around the world, his wife, Nina struggles to survive the terrorist’s daily persecutions as his hostage.
Terror Never Sleeps is an action-packed tale of Nina’s transformation into a warrior who is fighting for her life, and Jack’s relentless pursuit of the terrorists from Mali to Diego Garcia to Pakistan. A military coup, propaganda, dirty bombs, and the launch of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal with one target—Israel—is all part of the terrorist’s master plan, who are hellbent on blowing the world back to the eighth century. The non-stop action keeps the reader constantly off balance with the bizarre and unexpected.
Book Excerpt:
 
Chapter 1
Dawley Corners, VA
“I’m scared, Mommy.” Barett sat back up in bed, clutching his
dinosaur pillow under one arm and his frayed security blanket under the other.
“Don’t cry, honey. Daddy will be home tomorrow.” Nina brushed her
son’s tears aside with her fingers, cupped his tender face in her hands, and
gave him a kiss on the forehead. She inhaled the scent of baby shampoo from his
tangled wet hair and snuggled him to her chest. Barett’s Mickey Mouse
night-light cast a buttery glow across the carpet. A constellation of
fluorescent stars and planets were already glued to the ceiling of
his brand-new bedroom and floating like luminous jellyfish in the dark above.
“But what if the bad guys kill Daddy?” Barett chewed on the fringe
of his blanket.
“Nobody’s going to kill Daddy,” Nina quickly answered for the
umpteenth time as she stroked his black hair. Barett nodded, locked on Nina’s
eyes. She closed the bedtime storybook and put it back on the nightstand.
Barett’s lower lip quivered. “What if you die, Mommy? I heard you
and Daddy talking.” He started crying again.
Nina gasped. “You don’t need to worry anymore, sweetie. Mommy’s
cancer is all gone.” She crossed her hands across her chest and threw them up
into the air. “Poof! And Daddy is a brave Sioux, just like you.” She poked
Barett in the chest. “If the president of the United States trusts Daddy to
protect his country, I don’t think we need to worry.”
Sorrow instantly overwhelmed Nina, sad that Barett’s last thoughts
before falling asleep were to fear for his mommy’s and daddy’s lives—even though
Nina frequently cried herself to sleep with those same fears. Barett, Nina’s
angel throughout her chemotherapy, reached up and brushed her tears away with
his baby-soft fingers as he had done so many times before.
If Jack was Nina’s soul mate, Barett was her heart mate. Nina’s
first pregnancy ended horribly with a devastating and unexpected miscarrage.
Her second ended the same way. So after nine months of living on the jittery
edge of sanity, wondering what would go wrong the third time around, Barett was
her gift from God who miraculously joined the world on Nina’s twentysixth
birthday. She loved her little bear more than anything. She
loved Barett more than Jack.
Trying to stay strong and keep up a good front for Barett while
Jack was away, Nina snatched the dreamcatcher hanging from a tack in the wall
above Barett’s pillow and fanned his face with its eagle feathers as if she
were trying to start a fire.
“Remember, Uncle Travis had a very special medicine man make this
to protect you from bad dreams.” She tickled his chest until he giggled.
“He’s funny.”
“Now go to sleep, honey. Daddy will be home tomorrow.” She leaned
over and gave him one last kiss.
Nina left his door half open, just how Barett liked, and went
downstairs to lock up for the night. Everything in their condominium smelled
fresh and new. The paint on the walls, the polish on the floors, and the carpet
on the stairs. It was their first home and their first mortgage. Nina smiled,
thinking of her husband, Jack, and how he had gone over the top to buy the most
expensive door and window locks.
Being a Navy SEAL and the head of the Counterterrorism Task Force
(CTF) made it nearly impossible for Jack Gunn to trust anyone. The only people
he trusted were the other SEALs on his Ghost Team and Native Americans, like
Nina and him.
“I’m not going to be a prisoner in my own home, Jack. Spend all
the money on locks and guns and whatever else you think we need, but take a
look around. We’re not living in Afghanistan.” Nina had opened the blind so
Jack could look out and see their front yard of new sod, their one-inch elm
sapling held vertical by three posts and gardening wire, and the empty lots
across the street staked out for new construction. No one else had even moved
into their
building yet. They had first pick in the new ocean-view community
in Dawley Corners, south of Virginia Beach.
“This is what I’ve always wanted, Jack,” Nina had told him. “I
know it’s not Montana, but there’s no place I’d rather be.”
“The perimeter is secure,” she could almost hear Jack saying.
Her smile vanished as she pulled back a corner of the curtain and
watched a windowless panel van slowly cruise past their condo. It was the type
of hammer-and-nail-laden van construction crews drove through their
neighborhood on a daily basis, but not after dark at nine thirty on a Saturday
night.
There was something about the van that sent a shiver up her spine
as it crawled around the cul-de-sac and came back. She let the sheer curtain
fall back into place and watched the headlights. They stopped at the end of
Nina’s driveway. With a growl of the engine, smoke puffed from the tail pipe
into the chilled air. Now hiding behind the front door, she began to
hyperventilate as she fought off the suffocating feeling of panic.
Nina felt guilty for cowering like a scared little girl. She knew
if Jack were home, he would have put one of his patented kill looks on
his face, stomped out the front door, and challenged the guys in the truck. He
did stuff like that all the time. Most of the time, the other guys took off
before he got close enough to do any harm; he looked that intimidating. Far
from being politically correct, Jack was the man who backed down to nobody. Who
feared nobody. Who suspected everybody.
Nina swallowed hard, checked the lock, and glanced up the stairs
to make sure Barett was still in bed. Fingers trembling, she fumbled to get her
cell phone out of her pocket to call Jack, but dropped it. Pieces of plastic
and glass blasted in every direction, like a grenade exploding in the dark, when
it hit the porcelain tile.
“Oh my God!” she gasped. That was her only phone. The van still
rumbled in the street, not moving. She made out the silhouette of a
stocking-capped, bearded man in the passenger seat. Her brain swelled like an
expanding water balloon between her ears.
“Think, dammit. Think.” She heard Jack’s words reverberating in
her head. It was late Saturday night, her phone was trashed, their home
Internet was not scheduled to be activated until Monday, which had not been a
big deal because her smartphone functioned as a mobile hot spot for her laptop.
All that had changed the instant her phone crashed.
Her feet felt as if they were stuck in cement, nailing her to the
floor behind the door.
“The gun. I’ve got to get the gun.”
She looked through the curtain at the van one last time, then
stumbled up the stairs, went into their bedroom closet, and turned on the
light. The gun safe still had the manufacturer’s stickers on the anodized steel
door.
She dialed three numbers stuck in her head. Nothing. She tried
again. Nothing. The combination to the safe lay splayed across the entryway
floor downstairs in a worthless cell phone microchip.
A noise outside spooked her. Her fingers trembled on the dial.
She tried the lock one last time and prayed. “Hallelujah!” The
door opened. She grabbed the loaded shotgun. Jack always said it was the best
gun for home protection. Point the scattergun in the general direction of your
target and pull the trigger. It would blow a hole in the door the size of a basketball.
Nina had pulled the trigger on a shotgun once before. She blasted
tin cans and beer bottles with her brothers back at the reservation garbage
dump in Montana when she was a kid. The gun kicked like a mule and knocked her
on her butt. It seemed funny at the time.
She flipped the safety off, racked a shell into the chamber,
turned off the light, and tiptoed back out of the closet. The gun went first,
with Nina’s slippery finger on the trigger. Her eyes dilated to adjust back to
the dark.
The condo was too new. Nothing looked familiar. Every shadow,
every noise made her jump. The furnace kicked in. The bedroom curtain fluttered
over the heat duct. She heard a noise in the hallway. Nina opened the door with
the gun barrel.
“Mommy.”
“Barett. Oh my God. I almost . . .” She covered her mouth,
overcome by a sudden wave of nausea. Nina swallowed hard to push the bile back
down as she propped the gun up against the wall behind the door, out of
Barett’s sight. She grabbed Barett, hugged him hard, and carried him back to
his room. “Stay in bed, honey. Mommy will be right back.”
Nina snatched the gun with her shaking, sweaty hands and quickly
crept back down the carpeted stairs, trying her best to keep quiet.
The front door was still locked. The van was gone. She held the
shotgun against her chest and fixed her eyes on the doorknob, dreading movement
of any kind. Her heart raced as she waited in the dark.
The wind blew. The furnace kicked off. The doorknob did nothing.
She turned on the entryway light and scraped together all the
pieces of her phone.
I can’t call the police. The phone lines are down till Monday. I
can’t call or text Jack. He’ll be pissed. It was probably nothing. No need to
get all worked up. Just go to bed. Get a new cell phone in the morning before
Jack gets home. And put that stupid gun away before you shoot someone.
***
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  Book Publication Date: February 15, 2015

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About The Author
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Dr. Richard Blomberg has practiced anesthesia in the land of 10,000 lakes for twenty years. He grew up in an Iowa farm town, the oldest of ten, before serving as a Navy hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War. For generations, Richard’s family has proudly served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and currently lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and family, where he is working on his next Jack Gunn thriller.
To learn more about the author, sign up for his newsletter, read his blog, or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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