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Character Interview: Jimmy Wade from Russell James’ horror/thriller ‘Q Island’

We’re thrilled to have here today Jimmy Wade from Russell James’ new thriller, Q Island. Jimmy is a 24 year old career criminal living on Long Island, New York.

Hey, that’s a little, well, pejorative, I think’s the word. I’ve had jobs. They just don’t work out long term.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Jimmy. 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? 

Where do I start? Somehow at the end of this, I end up being the bad guy. The people who weren’t trapped on Q Island don’t know what it was like.

 When the Paleovirus broke out, it turned people into crazed killers. The government quarantined the island, locked millions of people in.

 People needed to survive. I needed to survive. If they were there, in my situation, they would have done all the same things. Maybe even worse.

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

Look, people got infected. I got infected. But I didn’t go bonkers, I improved. I was able to touch people’s minds, direct them to act certain ways. I used it to get control of Mozelle’s syndicate. I mean, they guy wanted to kill me. Who wouldn’t do that? How did that come across in the book as such a bad thing? 

I was the next stage of human evolution, like homo sapiens 2.0. Shouldn’t I do everything I can to keep my evolution progressing, to keep myself alive, to rule the people on Q Island? Sure, but this book twists all that around to make it look criminal.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I’m adaptable. If one plan goes wrong, I can switch to another right then.

Worst trait?

I was probably too tolerant of my goons who screwed up. I should have killed more of them earlier.

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 see it as a Bradley Cooper, Channing Tatum kind of role. But Hollywood would just cast the usual bad guy in it, given the way this book is written.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Nah. I got more important things to do.

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

There’s a scene where I let one of my men turn after he gets infected. I’ve got a plan for how he can help me. It’s a little gruesome, sure, and I don’t want to go all spoiler about it, but it was a real beautiful, transcendent moment. The book just makes it sound disgusting.

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?

Melanie Freaking Bailey. All she had to do was hand her son Aiden over to me. Simple. I would have let her and her friends go about their lives. But no, she has to fight me, fight the infected, fight the government every step of the way. No common sense. No vision of my destiny at all. I’d hate to go through life that blind and ignorant.

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

All I’ll say is, it could have been better.

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

You know, now that you mention it, I could get a love interest. It would let me show the tender side that this book never dives into. Yeah, I could do that.

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

If you do, next time I hope it’s from a writer who knows what he’s doing.

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Title:  Q ISLAND

Genre: HORROR

Author: RUSSELL JAMES

Website: www.russellrjames.com

Publisher: SAMHAIN PUBLISHING

Purchase on Amazon

About the Book

Epidemic! An ancient virus surfaces on Long Island, New York turning its victims into black-veined, infectious, psychopathic killers. Chaos and madness rule.  In desperation, the military quarantines the island, trapping Melanie Bailey and her autistic son, Aiden. Somehow, Aiden survives the infection. He could be the key to a cure—if Melanie can somehow get him to the mainland.

A taut, tense, terrifying thriller that teems with intensity, Q Island is an eerily realistic tale. With a chilling plot, compelling characters, and a pulse-quickening storyline, Q Island will leave readers breathless.  Earning nods as one of this year’s best horror novels, Q Island is an extraordinary story exceptionally well-told.

About the Author

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, Russell James now spins twisted tales best read during daylight. In addition to two horror short story collections, Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness, James is the author of seven paranormal thrillers:  Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, Dreamwalker and Q Island. His next novel, The Portal, is slated for release in 2016. Visit him at www.russellrjames.com.

Character Interview: Doug Landry from John Benedict’s medical thriller, ‘Adrenaline’

adrenalineWe’re thrilled to have here today Doug Landry from John Benedict’s new medical thriller, Adrenaline.  Doug Landry is a 42 y.o. anesthesiologist living in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

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

Thank you so much for this interview, Doug Landry.  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 feel I was fairly portrayed.  The author seems to have a very good grasp of what it means to be an anesthesiologist—perhaps because he is one himself.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?  Yes, the author definitely shows my inner conflict with displaying emotion.  He also does a good job showing my marriage in jeopardy as I struggle with my desire for Jenny, the beautiful new SICU nurse.  I wish I would have done better dealing with my temptation, but then I guess the story wouldn’t have been as interesting.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?  I’m an intelligent, skilled anesthesiologist who cares about his patients. I also care about my wife and three young sons.

Worse trait?  Sometimes in medicine, patients have bad outcomes—it’s the nature of the beast.  Nowadays, I tend to bury my emotions and detach from my patients, owing to past bad experiences where I’ve been burned by caring too much. Unfortunately, this conflict is spilling over into my personal life and causing problems.  I also have a bit of a wandering eye and struggle now and again with this affliction.  Nothing serious—until . . .

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!)?  Matthew McConaughey or Matt Damon or Tom Cruise

Do you have a love interest in the book?  I love my wife, Laura, but we’re going through a bit of a rough patch in our 20-year marriage.  We’re fighting more now and did I mention I have a wandering eye.  So as luck would have it, after a particularly nasty fight, I run into a new co-worker nurse—Jenny—at the gym and she sure seems to be coming on to me.  I am flattered, but confused.  And of course she’s gorgeous.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?  Right after I meet Jenny, the SICU nurse at the gym.  I know she’s trouble for me and I do my best to avoid her at the hospital, but she has other ideas.

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 definitely wouldn’t want to be Mike Carlucci, my best friend and colleague.  As much as I have problems, he has real difficulties. I catch him doing drugs in the operating room and I really worry about his future.  Should I turn him in?  He’s likely to hurt some innocent patient.  But, he’s my best friend.  Guess what—Laura and I fight about this too.

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

I like it!  It’s very exciting and it’ll keep you guessing what’s going to happen and who’s going to survive, right up until the end.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?  He needs to focus more on my relationship with my wife Laura and how we can make it better.

Thank you for this interview, Doug Landry.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?  Well, I have it on good authority that I’ll be back—this time in a spooky, dark medical thriller called The Edge of Death.

////////////////////////////////////////////////

JOHN BENEDICTDr. John Benedict graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and entered medical school at Penn State University College of Medicine.  While there, he also completed an internship, anesthesia residency and a cardiac anesthesia fellowship. He currently works as a physician/anesthesiologist in a busy private practice in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Benedict has been writing stories since high school, but his creative side was put on hold to pursue a medical education and start a family—he now has a wife and three sons.  Finally, after a 15-year pause, his love of writing was rekindled and his first novel, Adrenaline—a gritty medical thriller with a realism borne of actual experience—was born.

Besides creating scary stories, the hallmark of Dr. Benedict’s writing is genuine medical authenticity—something in short supply these days in thriller fiction.  He draws on his 25+ years of experience as a board-certified anesthesiologist to infuse his writing with a realism that renders it both vivid and frightening.  As one of only a handful of anesthesiologists throughout the country writing fiction, he gives readers a taste of what really goes on in the operating room, the human drama inherent in this high-stress, high stakes environment where lives are continually on the line.  Readers will find out what it’s like to hold a patient’s life in their hands, as the author provides an illuminating glimpse into the fascinating, but poorly understood realm of anesthesia.

Title: ADRENALINE

Genre: THRILLER

Author: JOHN BENEDICT

Purchase on Amazon

About the Book: A sensational, skillful and highly suspenseful tale, Adrenaline introduces anesthesiologist protagonist Doug Landry. About Adrenaline: When patients start dying unexpectedly in the O.R. at Mercy Hospital, Doug Landry finds himself the focus of the blame. Is he really incompetent or is there something more sinister going on? As Doug struggles to clear his name and untangle the secrets surrounding these mysterious deaths, it becomes exceedingly clear that someone is serious—dead serious—about keeping the devastating truth from ever seeing the light of day. As he launches a pulse-quickening race against time to prevent more deaths, Doug soon finds that the lives of his patients aren’t the only lives at stake.  Seems that someone will stop at nothing to keep Doug from revealing the truth. Could it be that murder is the ultimate rush?

About the Author: Pennsylvania native John Benedict graduated cum laude from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and entered post-graduate training at Penn State University College of Medicine, where he completed medical school, internship, anesthesia residency and a cardiac anesthesia fellowship. Benedict currently works as an anesthesiologist in a busy private practice in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Links:  http://johnbenedictmd.com/  https://twitter.com/johnbenedictmd https://www.facebook.com/groups/253647318120087/

Character Interview: Caleb Madroc from Donna Galanti’s paranormal suspense, ‘A Hidden Element’

?????????????????????????????????????????????We’re thrilled to have here today Caleb Madroc from Donna Galanti’s new paranormal suspense novel, book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element.  Caleb is 25 and an Elyon Community cult member living in the wilds of Oregon in a secret community his father created.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Caleb. 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 am not as saintly as the author makes me out to be. I train our community to kill people with their minds, and I cannot save all the lost souls hurt by my father’s oppression. I should do more to escape his evil rule, and stop him! He believes I’m weak and I can never be as strong as he, and I think he may be right. But I should still try to stop him, even while he threatens to kill my sons if I don’t obey him! And I know I’m weak, because I’ve never tried to stop my father’s hateful leadership because he is my father. Even while I hate him, part of me still loves him and yearns for his fatherly love that I once had as a child.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I help others in my community. I save them from severe punishment, and even death, and in doing so put myself in the position to be punished by whipping. I can stand the whippings—if it means sparing the punished some pain. Those scars I can bear. The scars of my lost love, Rachel, and not knowing my sons sear my heart forever.

Worse trait?

Not having the strength to fight my father and stop him from his evil oppression of our people. I fear he will kill my sons if he does.

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!)?

Sam Winchester from Supernatural! He is strong and tormented and on a dangerous mission like me, yet has a full heart ready to give away if he only had the chance.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

In my community we are forced to breed as dictated by my father. This sickens me and so for years I pretended to be impotent, but lost my will just once at nineteen. She had been such a beautiful, sweet female. Rachel was her name and she pleased me across a sea of soft nights. I fell in love with her from that first night, possessing her body, soul, and mind. But our bond was soon severed. She was sent to mate with another…and then another and another. But she was already pregnant then with our twins I would never know, raised by a community of women. And I would never get to touch her again, until the day I led her to her death. You can read about my first love interest before I came to Oregon in The Dark Inside.

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

When I was betrayed by an evil whore, my father was taken away, and I thought I’d lose my sons forever. I grew so weary of helping everyone else and never helping myself. All seemed lost.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really want to be and why?

Ben Fieldstone. He and I are very much alike. We both are willing to sacrifice all for our families, and for love. Yet he’s lucky as he got to be a father to his son, unlike me who’s been separated from my own sons. He also gets to love Laura, who is beautiful inside and out. I will always keep close in my heart the secret night I spent with her where we were forced together in an intimate space. We did not betray Ben, though it was difficult to not make love to her. My desire for her was – and is – very strong.

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

Torn. I get a sense of hope, but what I also know about normal society drives fear in me that all may not go well. I am afraid of going from one prison to another prison of a different making.

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

Please give me someone to love of my own choosing. Live has been so full of ugliness and loneliness these past few years. And let me watch my sons grow to become the amazing men I know they will become.

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

I am hopeful I can assimilate into regular society and that the world can accept me, even with the terrible things I’ve been forced to do. Don’t judge me by what I’ve done through oppression rather judge me for what’s in my heart.

ABOUT A HIDDEN ELEMENT:

Evil lurks within…

When Caleb Madroc is used against his will as part of his father’s plan to breed a secret community and infiltrate society with their unique powers, he vows to save his oppressed people and the two children kept from him. Seven years later, Laura and Ben Fieldstone’s son is abducted, and they are forced to trust a madman’s son who puts his life on the line to save them all. The enemy’s desire to own them—or destroy them—leads to a survival showdown. Laura and Ben must risk everything to defeat a new nemesis that wants to rule the world with their son, and Caleb may be their only hope—if he survives. But must he sacrifice what he most desires to do so? 

PRAISE FOR A HIDDEN ELEMENT:

“Chilling and dark…a twisty journey into another world.” —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of When Shadows Fall

 “Fascinating…a haunting story…”—Rebecca Cantrell, New York Times bestselling author of The World Beneath

 “Will keep you up long past your bedtime…a pulse-pounding read.”—Allan Leverone, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Final Vector

Donna GalantiABOUT DONNA:

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts.

Website: www.ElementTrilogy.com

Blog: http://www.elementtrilogy.com/blog/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/DonnaGalanti
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DonnaGalantiAuthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5767306.Donna_Galanti

BUY THE ELEMENT TRILOGY BOOKS:

Purchase Book 2 in the Element Trilogy, A Hidden Element: http://amzn.to/1p1YD1o
Purchase Book 1 in the Element Trilogy, A Human Element: http://amzn.to/1mNcyCO
ON SALE NOW THROUGH 8/31 FOR JUST $.99cents!

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY! 

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Profile: Donna Galanti, Author of ‘A Human Element’

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is an International Thriller Writers Debut Author of the paranormal suspense novel A Human Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and the forthcoming Joshua and The Lightning Road.

Galanti, Donna 2An avid reader as a child, Galanti grew up in a nurturing environment, immersed in books such as The Hobbit,Little House in the Big WoodsThe Island of the Blue Dolphins, My Side of The Mountain, Call of the Wild and White Fang. “My favorite author was Roald Dahl and my favorite book of his was Danny the Champion of the World,” says Galanti, whose dark imagination ran wild from the start.

From her early years in England to her later work in Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer, Galanti always dreamed of becoming an author. She wrote her first murder mystery screenplay at the tender age of seven. She had a career in writing for marketing and communications and ran her own resume writing service, but it wasn’t until her mother died five years ago that she began writing novels out of her grief. Eventually, that grief turned to peace, when she fully realized what it was she truly loved to do: becoming a storyteller. In addition to being a full-time author, Galanti also works part time as a freelance copywriter for an advertising agency.

“I write from the dark side with a glimpse of hope. I am drawn to writing the hero’s journey – more so the tormented hero, and tormented villain. I enjoy creating empathy for both by blurring the lines between good and evil,” states the author, whose first two books in The Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element (Imajin Books, August 2014) are both full of murder and mystery with a dash of steam, and both have their own tormented hero and villain. “I slay my own demons through my writing – and I highly recommend it!” she says.

A Human Element, just released by Imajin Books, is the thrilling, unrelenting page-turner story of Laura Armstrong. Her friends and family members are being murdered and, despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown, where she eventually unravels a terrifying secret that binds her to the killer.

The book has already garnered excellent praise from New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry and international bestselling author M.J. Rose.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00067]Galanti lives in an old farmhouse – sadly, with no ghosts – with many fireplaces where she often curls up to create her page-turners. Other times she works in her office overlooking the woods. Throughout the year she meets weekly with a women’s writing group at a café where they write together and share advice and their success stories.

“When I am creating a new book I love to sit outdoors overlooking the woods with a pen and notebook and handwrite my ideas. My thoughts are slowed down this way as my brain connects to pen in hand, and it opens my mind up to brainstorm,” says the author, describing her creative process. “There is nothing more freeing creatively to journal story ideas and throw all sorts of ‘what if?’ questions out there to find the kernel of a good story you want to pursue. Then I create character worksheets and type up a ten page synopsis of the book. I do all this before I write that first word of the story. And I always create a title first! It’s what drives my inspiration for the story.”

Galanti began writing A Human Element seventeen years ago from a vision she had while driving to work one day. She wrote two chapters and shelved them for over a decade. When she finally decided to continue the story, she wrote Monday through Friday from 4:30am to 6:30am. After seven months she typed THE END.

All writers have their stronger and weaker points, and for this author, revision is her favorite process. That’s where she can make her story shine. “Knowing how important this process is has been one of my strong points,” she says. “There are many layers to a story to be found after you write that first draft, and that’s what I love to do: peel back the layers.” One area she struggled in for a long time was to slow down her writing. She can be a very fast writer, creating pages and pages of words that often would need to be trimmed down. She has since then learned to slow down her writing and craft her words with care as she writes them, so she doesn’t have to spend so much time on revision.

In an era when small presses, the good, the bad and the ugly, abound, Galanti’s experience has been nothing but positive. “My experience with Imajin Books has been amazing!” she says of her Canadian-based publisher. “Imajin Books is dedicated to working with me to help my books succeed. The owner, Cheryl Kaye Tardif, is a bestselling author in her own right.” Imajin Books was very responsive and provided in-depth editorial guidance as well as marketing plans, not to mention fantastic book cover designs. The publishing industry is notorious for being slow-moving, but in the case of The Element Trilogy, Imajin Books made the process quick and efficient.

As with many authors, Galanti finds starting a new book most challenging. The first blank page can be a scary thing, until the story takes over, propelling your main character into his new unbalanced world toward the ultimate end. However, being an author can be extremely rewarding. “When it comes to readers, there is nothing more thrilling than reading wonderful reviews about your book that you spent months, or years, creating and shaping,” she says. “It’s from that private place in your heart, where you love the most – and hurt the most – that you pour out pages to show the world. And it’s all worthwhile when you discover that others have been touched by your story, just as you were touched while you were writing it. Second, it’s rewarding to pay it forward to up-and-coming authors. There is a wonderful feeling that comes from speaking to writers about your publishing journey and sharing advice and techniques on how to find success as an author, and hope that they do.”

Galanti is currently working on the idea for the third and final book in The Element Trilogy called, A Healing Element, and gearing up to release book 2, A Hidden Element, on August 28th. A native of upstate New York, the author now lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle—preferably with ghosts.

Connect with the author on Facebook Twitter and her Blog.

This profile was originally published in Blogcritics

Character Interview: Mike Zorich from Ken Malovos’ Legal Thriller Contempt of Court

We’re thrilled to be talking to Mike Zorich, a trial lawyer from Sacramento, California whose story is told in Ken Malovos’ legal thriller, Contempt of Court.

Contempt of Court cover Thank you so for this interview, Mike.  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 feel that I was accurately portrayed, although there is so much more to me than was stated in the book.  I realize that most of my life is pretty boring, so it was good that that not everything was included.  But I do love to cook and would love to have you and others over to my house to share a meal, a good glass of Chardonnay or Zinfandel and to talk about writing fiction.  I love the outdoors, as you might guess from my running.  I love reading books when I have the time. I really care about others, especially those in my life.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My strongest trait is my desire for justice.  I feel that I need to do my absolute very best for all of my clients, and I will fight for them and do whatever is needed.  This desire keeps me going when it is darkest or when I have suffered some setbacks.  When I was a kid, my father always encouraged me to be for the underdog.

Worse trait?

I get too personally involved in the sense that I sometimes lose my objectivity.  I identify with my clients.  As a result, I don’t do my best for them.  I constantly have to work on stepping back a bit and looking at the big picture.  This is true not just for my law career but for my relations with others in general.

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!)?

Matthew McConaughey who played Mickey Haller in The Lincoln Lawyer (book by Michael Connolly), is like the lawyer I would want to be, but he doesn’t look like me at all.  Maybe, Richard Gere would be a better fit.  Anyway, I come out better on this deal.

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

I was nervous from day one.  When I got mugged on the bike trail when I was out for a morning jog, I was very concerned. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen to people in their normal lives.  When the mugger told me that I wasn’t such a big shot lawyer, I instantly knew that he knew who I was. That scared me.  Then when my car was stolen, my home was ransacked and my office was burglarized, I knew I was in big trouble.  As bad as that was, the order by the judge to hold me in contempt of court and to throw me in jail took the cake.  I was in way over my head.  Then everything got worse and I was really worried that I was going to be killed.

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 don’t think I could be Robert Cannes, the opposing lawyer in the Darnoff case.  He went along with the system and took advantage of another lawyer.   That was just wrong and he knew it but did it anyway.   I don’t like to look at life or at the practice of law that way.

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

I liked the ending.  For me, it meant that I had no regrets and that I could live with myself and with those I love.  Maybe there was a bit too much excitement for my rather boring life.

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

Be true to my character and don’t make me out to be someone I am not.  I have my faults, for sure.  I am not perfect.  I still have not quite figured out how to resolve my feelings for my wife who died six years ago and I don’t quite know what to do with this new woman that I think I love.  I could probably learn how to handle alcohol a bit better.  I know that, but easier said than done.

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

Yes, I understand that I will be next appearing in Fatal Reunion.  I am asked to represent an innocent man, who is accused of killing his old girlfriend when they hook up at a 20-year high school reunion.   The evidence is weak and winning the case should not be a problem.  It makes it so much better that the man I am representing is a likable high school English teacher with no prior record, but I do hate the cases when the defendant is obviously innocent. They are the hardest and put a lot of pressure on me.  Oh well.

About the book: Sacramento trial lawyer, Mike Zorich, is finally coming to grips with the death of his wife from cancer five years ago. There is a new woman in his life.  His son is making his way in the business world. His law practice is going well. And he has a new case that promises to be very demanding.  Members of the Darnoff wine family are at odds with each other, amidst a divorce and partnership dissolution. Then things go wrong. Mike becomes the target of some unexplained personal attacks.  He is mugged on the bike trail and his house is ransacked. Is it someone connected to the Darnoff case?  Is it an old client from his years in the Public Defender’s Office?  Is it some disgruntled witness from a trial? To top it off, Mike is held in contempt of court and remanded to jail.  The attacks continue and only get worse. The authorities don’t have a clue. Can Mike figure it all out before someone is killed?

Purchase on AMAZON! Ken Malovos photo About the author: Ken Malovos is a mediator and arbitrator in Sacramento, CA. Previously, he was a trial lawyer, a public defender for 12 years and a business litigator for 25 years. He is a graduate of Stanford University (philosophy) and UC Hastings College of the Law. Ken is a past president of the Sacramento County Bar Association and Legal Services of Northern California. He is a panel member for the American Arbitration Association, a fellow in the College of Commercial Arbitrators, a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and a member of the California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. Contempt of Court is his first novel. He lives in Sacramento with his wife. You can visit Ken Malovos’ website at www.malovoslaw.com

Character Interview: Dr. Bruce Starkman from Allen Malnak’s historical thriller, Hitler’s Silver Box

ATT00002We’re thrilled to have here today Dr. Bruce Starkman from Allen Malnak’s new historical thriller novel Hitler’s Silver Box. Dr.Starkman is a thirty year old ER physician living in Chicago, IL.
It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!
“Thank you so for this interview, Dr. Starkman. May I call you Bruce?”  
“Please do.”
“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 don’t view myself as a hero. All I wanted was to be allowed to pursue my profession. To me working in an ER is not heroic, and what I did in the novel I needed to do not only to protect the life of my loved one and myself but to prevent a worldwide tragedy.”
“Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?”
“Except that Allen made me a tad too charming and much better looking, he did an OK job.”
“What do you believe is your strongest trait?”
“My ability to think and react quickly when bad things are happening all around me.”
“Worse trait??
“That damned claustrophobia when I’m in a confined space, especially a dreaded tunnel, when it’s dark. Just can’t breathe or think clearly.”
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? 
“I’d pick Ben Affleck.”
“Do you have a love interest in the book?” 
“Miriam is the love of my life. I’d do anything to keep her safe and by my side. She’s also a wonderful human being and a true hero.”
“At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?”
“There were several times. The worst was when I was stuck in the tunnel. The other was near the end when we both were fighting for our lives.”
“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 would not want to be Gerhard. To me he will always represent unadulterated evil.”
“How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?” 
“I’ve often been disappointed with endings. This one was close to perfect with all the loose ends tied up.”
“What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?”
“Don’t let any of my favorite characters be murdered by sadists.”
“Thank you for this interview, Dr. Starkman.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?”
“You’ll have to ask Dr. Malnak, but I hear he’s working on a sequel. Unlike me, he’s gotten kind of lazy.”
Purchase the book on Amazon and B&N.
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ATT00001After completing his medical residency and liver disease fellowship, Dr. Malnak practiced as a board certified internist. He served as Chief of Internal Medicine at the US Army Hospital, Fort Sill, OK., and was medical director of several organizations. Dr. Malnak was also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Stritch School of Medicine of Loyola University.

Dr. Malnak’s father emigrated to the US from Lithuania when he was sixteen, leaving behind a large family. They were all subsequently sent to a Nazi death camp during World War II and were exterminated. As a result of that tragic familial history, Dr. Malnak developed a keen interest in the Holocaust and has read widely on the subject. He and his wife, Patricia, live in Florida with their whippet, Paige, and parakeet, Kiwi. Hitler’s Silver Box is his first novel.

Purchase the book on Amazon and B&N.

 

Character Interview: Madam from Allison M. Dickson’s psychological thriller, STRINGS

Strings_Cover_253x391We’re thrilled to have here today Madam from Allison M. Dickson’s thriller, STRINGS.  She’s coming to us all the way from the great state of New York.  It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Madam.  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?

It’s as truthful a portrayal as one can ask for. It was brutal and I wish people hadn’t seen some of the things that had happened, particularly with Victor, but I hope people can understand how trapped I felt.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I’m a survivor, through and through. Dante, my chosen father, taught me well in that regard.

Worst trait?

I crave power and control.

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!)?

Frances Fisher or Tilda Swinton would be wonderful.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Oh Benny Rosen… I wouldn’t call him a love interest necessarily, though he nearly had me fooled.

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

I had a feeling it would all go south with Nina. There was always something about that girl…

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?

As poorly as I have things, I don’t know that I could survive any length of time a captor in the Ballas house.

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

Some endings satisfy you. Others make you crave more.

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

I suppose I could ask for mercy, but given my life up to this point, I should know better.

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

I don’t think I’ll be staying put for long.

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Allison Author Photo1Allison M. Dickson is a writer of dark contemporary fiction living in Dayton, Ohio. Though STRINGS is her debut novel, she has been writing for a number of years, with several short stories (including “Dust” and “Under the Scotch Broom”) available on Amazon. Two of her stories were featured The Endlands Volume 2 from Hobbes End Publishing. In 2014, Hobbes End will also be releasing her dystopian science fiction novel, THE LAST SUPPER, and she is independently producing her pulpy dieselpunk noir novel, COLT COLTRANE AND THE LOTUS KILLER to be released in November of 2013. When she isn’t writing, she’s one of the co-hosts of the weekly Creative Commoners podcast.  She might also be found gaming, watching movies, hiking the local nature preserve with her husband and two kids who also serve as willing guinea pigs for her many culinary experiments.

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Character Interview: Pat Tierney from Rosemary McCracken’s suspense thriller, Black Water, the second book in the Pat Tierney series

We’re thrilled to have you here today, Pat Tierney, from Rosemary McCracken’s new suspense thriller, Black Water. Pat is a 47-year-old financial planner in Toronto, Canada. In Black Water, the second book in the series, she leaves Toronto and heads out to cottage country north of the city.

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

Thank you for this interview, Pat. 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?

BlackWater smallerBlack Water is narrated in the first person, which means that I told my story to Rosemary, and she wrote it down, just as she did with Safe Harbor, the first book in my series. And I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way! It’s my story and I couldn’t trust anybody to tell it, other than myself. I related the events in Black Water, and how I felt when they were taking place. At times, I was absolutely terrified. At other times, I was uncertain what to do. And I was beside myself with worry when those horrible bikers threatened to take little Tommy from me. I just couldn’t let anything happen to that child.

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

As I said, Black Water is my story, and I told it exactly the way it happened and presented myself exactly as I am. But Rosemary could have held back a bit and edited certain parts. When you’re telling your own exciting story, you sometimes get carried away and say things that are better left unsaid. Like that phone sex scene with my beau Devon Shaughnessy. Why Rosemary had to keep that in, I certainly don’t know. It didn’t add anything to the story because Devon wasn’t in this book at all. He was hundreds of miles away in Connecticut where he lives.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I try do give people the benefit of the doubt, and err on the side of generosity even if there is a chance that I may be wrong. In Safe Harbor, I brought Tommy, my late husband’s son, into our family. My daughter, Laura, calls me “the world’s biggest pushover.” And she’s probably right.

Worse trait?

I’m a worrier. I worry about everything, which makes bad situations twice as bad. I worry about them beforehand, and then I have to live through them.

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!)?

Nicole Kidman. She’s now 45, a little younger than I am, but by the time the movie comes out, we’ll be the same age. She’s very convincing in portraying feisty, strong women. I think she’d do a good job telling my story on screen.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Devon Shaughnessy is the current man in my life, although he doesn’t show up in Black Water—apart from the phone sex scene. But just between the two of us, I don’t think Devon is Mr. Right. But he’s a perfectly acceptable Mr. Right Now.

At what point did you start getting nervous about the way your story was going to turn out?

At one point in Black Water, I was being held by two members of a biker gang. They were convinced that I was involved in a drug operation and wanted me out of the way. Permanently out of the way, if you get my meaning.

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?

This would be my housekeeper, Farah Alwan. Farah came to Canada from Iraq a few years ago. She’s a romantic young woman, filled with thoughts of finding a rich husband, having a beautiful home and lovely clothes. She’s the kind of woman I am trying to raise my daughters not to be.

But I have to remind myself that Farah comes from a different world. If her family hadn’t had to flee their country, her life would have been very different. Her parents would have arranged a good marriage for her, and that may not happen in Canada. I’ve tried to talk to Farah about going to school and building a career. But, so far, she’s not listening.

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

The book ends exactly as my adventures in cottage country did. A killer is unmasked, other bad apples are rounded up, and peace is restored to paradise.

What words of wisdom would you give your author when she writes another book with you in it?

I certainly hope Rosemary will show me the next manuscript before it is published. And that she’ll delete any scenes I tell her to.

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

I’ve started relating another set of adventures to Rosemary. It will be a while before it’s finished as we both have very busy schedules. It’s also set in cottage country.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout the Author:

RosemaryMcCracken’s first mystery novel, Safe Harbor, was shortlisted for Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger in 2010. It was published by Imajin Books in 2012. Its sequel, Black Water, has just been released.

Visit Rosemary’s website at http://www.rosemarymccracken.com/.

Follow Rosemary on http://rosemarymccracken.wordpress.com/. And on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RCMcCracken and on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/rosemarymccracken?ref=tn_tnmn

BLACK WATER can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/Black-Water-Tierney-Mystery-ebook/dp/B00CWF2X8S

Book Review: Blood Moon, by Alexandra Sokoloff

 

Blood Moon.jpg 250 x 375

Book Description

Book II of the Huntress/FBI Thrillers

Twenty-five years have passed since a savage killer terrorized California, massacring three ordinary families before disappearing without a trace.

The haunted child who was the only surviving victim of his rampage is now wanted by the FBI for brutal crimes of her own, and Special Agent Matthew Roarke is on an interstate manhunt for her, despite his conflicted sympathies for her history and motives.

But when his search for her unearths evidence of new family slayings, the dangerous woman Roarke seeks – and wants – may be his only hope of preventing another bloodbath.

Purchase BLOOD MOON

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon DE

My thoughts…

This novel was a hell of a ride. Sokoloff has a gift for creating engrossing plots and heart-racing thrillers. I read the first book in the series, Huntress Moon, and although I loved that first instalment, this second one was even better.

First of all, the whole thing about the female serial killer–actually, a vigilante–is quite compelling, especially because our protagonist, Roarke, develops torn, conflicting feelings toward her. And we can’t help but do the same! Sokoloff has done her research well and she incorporates lots of information about the mind of the serial killer. She does this skillfully, however, without including long information dumps like some other authors do. Roarke is a sympathetic hero with a high sense of honor and justice. There are lots of twists and turns, yet the story evolves organically, with the right balance of quiet moments between the thrills. Lots of atmosphere, lots of interesting setups.

If you haven’t read Sokoloff’s novels yet, I highly recommend you do. She’s one of my favorite authors these days and her stories never disappoint. One more thing, although Moon Blood is the 2nd one in the series, it holds well as a stand-alone book, as the author incorporates bits of backstory here and there to quickly draw readers right into the central plot of the series. In sum, if you’re a fan of suspense and thrillers, I strongly recommend you pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed.

Read my interview with Alexandra Sokoloff HERE.

Character Interview: Special Agent Matthew Roarke from Alexandra Sokoloff’s Huntress/FBI thrillers series

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Special Agent Matthew Roarke from Alexandra Sokoloff’s new thriller, Blood Moon, Book II of the Huntress/FBI thrillers. Roarke is a 35-year old FBI agent living in San Francisco, California.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Agent Roarke.  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?

Roarke: There are things that I would do differently, personally. I deeply regret the course of action that led to the events at the end of the book.  Lives were saved but at a terrible cost.  I would give anything to do it over.

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

Blood Moon.jpg 250 x 375Roarke: I cringe at the obvious ambiguity of my feelings and motives. I can’t blame the author for that, though.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Roarke: Relentlessness.

Worst trait? 

Roarke: Relentlessness.

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!)?

Roarke: The author is the expert as far as the film business is concerned. She says Kyle Chandler or Viggo Mortensen.  I defer to her.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Roarke: If I’m to be entirely honest, I have two.  One would almost certainly be fatal. One might be saving.

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

Roarke:  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve been apprehensive since the first book. This case is unlike any I’ve ever experienced. There’s no criminal precedent for a female serial killer. There’s no psychological precedent for Cara Lindstrom, period.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really want to be and why?

Roarke: I deeply admire my team member, Special Agent Epps. I wouldn’t say I’d trade places with him, but I would be a better person if I had his balance and moral certainty.

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

Roarke: It’s not over. I’m not going to leave it this way.

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

Roarke: Don’t get in my way.

Thank you for this interview! Will we be seeing more of you in the future? 

Roarke: I’m afraid so. The third book, Wind Moon, is unfolding now. As I said, it’s not over.

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Purchase BLOOD MOON

Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon DE

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AlexSokoloff bwABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, and THE SPACE BETWEEN, and the Top Ten Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI thriller series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON), which has also been nominated for a Thriller Award for Best E Book Original Novel. The New York Times Book Review has called her a “daughter of Mary Shelley,” and her books “Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre.”

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written two non-fiction writing workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog, and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.

Find the author on the Web: 

Website: http://alexandrasokoloff.com

Blog: http://www.screenwritingtricks.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/alexandra.sokoloff

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AlexSokoloff

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/axsokoloff/

 

 

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