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Character Interview: Des Fairweather from Jane Tesh’s fantasy novel, Butterfly Waltz

character interviewWe’re thrilled to have here today Des Fairweather from Jane Tesh’s new fantasy, Butterfly Waltz.  Des is a 27 year old musician living in Parkland, North Carolina.

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

Butterfly_C1_2Thank you so for this interview, Des.  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 very glad you invited me!  I do feel I was fairly portrayed in this book, although I wish I had been braver at the beginning and willing to take more chances.  But it all worked out in the end.

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

When you talk about colorizing personality my author actually works with colors.  She tells me my name is a combination of gray, blue, and green, while Jake’s, my best friend in the story, is a contrasting black, red, and yellow.  I thought she might be a little out there with this, but she discovered there is a condition called synesthesia, which a lot of writers have, where they see letters as colors. She likes to have a balance of colors in all her books.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I like to think I can help people who are in trouble.

Worse trait?

Sometimes I wish I could refuse Jake when he pesters me to join him tracking down his wild tabloid stories, but it’s hard for me to say no when a friend asks for my help.

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!)?

This is a very hard question!  I’ve been told I have soulful eyes, so an actor who looks like a younger Robert Downy, Jr., might be the one.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

In this story, I fall in love with an amazingly beautiful young woman who inspires me to write music. But she’s a magical creature, and I have a great fear and distrust of magic.

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

I was okay until I walked into this perfectly innocent-looking forest that abruptly closed around me, and I was attacked by a huge snake.  I didn’t know how I was going to get out of this situation.  I’m still not sure exactly what happened.

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?

Jake’s lifestyle would drive me crazy.  He’s brash, loud, and believes in everything: UFOs, ghosts, zombies, you name it.  He lives his life at high speed and doesn’t mind breaking the rules.  I’m a rule-follower who needs peace and quiet.

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

I don’t recall much of the ending, except that I’m writing more music.  I think you’ll see why when you read the book.

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

My author has told me my story is over, but if she ever decided to write another, I’d ask her to help me stop worrying.  Of course, she’s a big worrier, so I know where that comes from!

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

I appear briefly or I’m mentioned in my brothers’ books.  Jerry’s having all sorts of adventures with his wife, Madeline, in the Madeline Maclin Mystery series, and the author’s at work on Tucker’s story, which will be another fantasy.

I’ve enjoyed this!  Thanks for having me on Beyond the Books.

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Visit Jane’s website at www.janetesh.com and her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GraceStreetMysterySeries.  You can also find her on Goodreads, Amazon’s Author Central www.amazon.com/author/janetesh, andwww.twitter.com/janetesh.

Her blog is www.janetesh.wordpress.com

ABOUT THE BOOK

When he helps his friend Jake Brenner, a tabloid writer on the hunt for a big supernatural story, Des Fairweather is swept up in a world of mystery and intrigue.  Despite his skepticism of the validity of the stories Jake is seeking, Des reluctantly accompanies Jake on his latest adventure—all with the promise that Jake can help Des secure an audition with the city symphony, a break Des desperately needs.

When Jake’s search takes the two out to the country to investigate an unusual phenomenon at the Snowden estate, Des encounters a startlingly beautiful young woman who claims to be magical.  That young woman is Kalida, a mysterious creature who has escaped from the people of the Caverns and renounced their evil ways.  But when Kalida is discovered, her people will stop at no end to get her to return to their world. Will Des be able to cast aside his fears in order to save Kalida….before it’s too late?

A mesmerizing tale that blends music, mystery and magic, Butterfly Waltz charms with its enchanting storyline and compelling characters. Resplendent with adventure, intrigue, and the allure of the supernatural, Butterfly Waltz is delightful.

Get your copy now on Amazon

Character Interview: Joseph Halderman from Jonathan Raab’s military novel ‘Flight of the Blue Falcon’

character interviewWe’re thrilled to have here today former Staff Sergeant Joseph Halderman from Jonathan Raab’s new military novel, Flight of the Blue Falcon.  Joseph Halderman is a 28 year old veteran living in Denver, Colorado.

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

Thank you so much for this interview, Joseph.  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? 

Well, Raab did a pretty good job capturing what it’s like to be a grunt and serving in a chewed-up unit. The book’s a quick read, and it covers about a year or more of our lives. There was a lot of stuff he had to cut out, so I’d point out that there’s a lot more to a deployment than can fit in a book. But overall, I feel like he got the important details right.

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

I just wish he had left out the parts where I was drinking too much… And sometimes I come across as a Grade-A asshole. Then again, I kinda was a Grade-A asshole sometimes, so I guess that’s alright.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

I’d say my flexibility. Being in the Army means the situation changes all the time, and you gotta be ready to go from zero to sixty in a flash. You’re never able to rest.

Worst trait?

You’ll see this in the book, but sometimes I get an attitude problem. I can blow up or get snarky when I should just shut my mouth and drive on. I’m working on it with those headshrinkers at the VA.

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!)?

Who’s the most handsome dude out there? Preferably someone with big muscles. One of those guys.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Yep, and I’m still with her. We moved to Denver after the deployment. She puts up with a lot of my crap. I couldn’t make it without her.

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

I’d say the first time I show up. I’m not shown in the best light. It’s honest, sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to read about yourself being a jerk or making bad decisions. But there’s good in there, too.

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? 

Good question. I’d say LT Gracie. Him and I had a lot of differences, and there’s a few decisions he made that went the wrong way. But now that I’m home and the uniform is off, I can appreciate how tough he had it, and how he had a lot of pressure on him at the time. I should give him a ring and tell him that.

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

That’s the thing – the ending is somewhat open-ended, because we’re still going through things. We’re still dealing with what happened in the desert. Us—and everybody else who served overseas. These problems and issues don’t just get resolved like some stupid movie. We’ll be dealing with this shit for the rest of our lives. I’m not trying to tell you a sap story or anything, and most people don’t want to hear that. They want to hear that veterans come home and things are all squared away and prim and proper. That’s bullshit. War isn’t neat and clean. It’s a goddamn mess, and it jacks people up, in ways big and small. I’m gonna be alright, sure. I’m a survivor. We all are. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still dealing with all this.

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

I’d tell him to move on to another character, another subject. You can only be in the headspace of war for so long before it makes you crazy. We all have to try to move on, best we can. He shouldn’t be one of those guys that rides his service for his whole writing career. War doesn’t go away, and it’ll always be there for guys like him and me, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t talk about or think about or write about other things. But I think he already knows that. 

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

Yeah. Yeah, I’m afraid you will. As long as we keep fighting wars, guys like me will always be around. I hope one day that isn’t the case—but I’m not holding my breath.

Stay frosty.

Title: Flight of the Blue Falcon

Genre: Fiction – Adult

Author: Jonathan Raab

Website: http://www.warwriterscampaign.org

Publisher: War Writers’ Campaign, Inc.

Watch the Trailer

Purchase on Amazon

About the Book:

FLIGHT OF THE BLUE FALCON

By

JONATHAN RAAB

“Jonathan Raab is not only a genuine advocate for veteran causes, he is a preacher of their tales; both fiction and nonfiction. His writing will immerse you into a combat environment that parallels the imagination of those who have never had the pleasure.”

—Derek J. Porter, author of Conquering Mental Fatigues: PTSD & Hypervigilance Disorder

“Jonathan Raab uses his experience to illustrate the raw world of the common soldier. His masterful use of edgy humor and intellectual commentary creates a space for discussing the military culture.”

—Nate Brookshire, co-author, Hidden Wounds: A Soldiers Burden

In FLIGHT OF THE BLUE FALCON (War Writers’ Campaign; July 2015; PRICE), a chewed-up Army National Guard unit heads to a forgotten war in Afghanistan where three men find themselves thrust into the heart of absurdity: the post-modern American war machine. The inexperienced Private Rench, the jaded veteran Staff Sergeant Halderman, and the idealistic Lieutenant Gracie join a platoon of misfit citizen-soldiers and experience a series of alienating and bizarre events.

Private Rench is young, inexperienced, and from a poor, rural, broken home. He’s adrift in life. The early signs of alcoholism and potential substance abuse are beginning to rear their ugly heads. He wants to do right by the Army, but doesn’t quite know who he is yet.

Staff Sergeant Halderman has one previous combat tour under his belt. He got out, realized his life was going nowhere, so re-enlisted to serve with the men he knew, and to lead the inexperienced guys into combat. He is manifesting the early signs of post traumatic stress, but is too focused on the upcoming mission to deal with it. He sees the Army for what it is—a big, screwed up machine that doesn’t always do the right thing—but he doesn’t think all that highly of himself, either.

Second Lieutenant Gracie is fresh, young, excited to be in the Army, and trying to adjust to the new to the military and his life as an officer. Although he faces a steep learning curve, he is adaptable and has a good, upbeat attitude. As he tries to forge his own path, he nonetheless turns to the experienced NCOs in his unit for guidance and support. He must continually make tough decisions that have no “right” or textbook answers. Yet these decisions are catalysts enabling him to grow in maturity, experience, and wisdom.

Preparation for combat is surreal: Rench is force-fed cookies by his drill sergeants. Halderman’s “training” is to pick up garbage in the blistering heat of the California desert for four days straight. Gracie contends with a battalion commander obsessed with latrine graffiti.

Once they reach Afghanistan, things really get weird.

FLIGHT OF THE BLUE FALCON is the story of three men who volunteer to serve their country. It’s about what it means to be a soldier, to fight, to know true camaraderie—and to return home.

This is a war story. This is their story.

Only the most unbelievable parts are true.

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About the Author

Jonathan Raab is a veteran of the Afghanistan war, where he served as an infantryman assigned to a combat advisor team. He is the editor-in-chief of Muzzleland Press and an editor for the War Writers’ Campaign. His work has appeared in The New York Times’ At War Blog, CNN.com, the Military Success Network, Literati Presents, The Stars and Stripes, and many others. His second novel, The Hillbilly Moonshine Massacre, will be available in late 2015. He lives in the Denver metro area with his wife Jess and their dog, Egon.

Connect with Jonathan Raab on the Web: Website Facebook /Twitter 

Profile: Christine Amsden, Author of ‘Madison’s Song’

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“Writing has taught me the importance of self-confidence in becoming good at anything,” says Christine Amsden, who, in spite of having been diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision, has gone on to become the award-winning, bestselling author of the Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective fantasy/mystery series published by Twilight Times Books.

“My parents encouraged reading a LOT,” says this speculative fiction writer, who grew up gobbling up The Chronicles of Narnia, The Baby Sitter’s Club, andFlowers in the Attic. “I know they read to me too, but I was an advanced reader at an early age and preferred to read on my own when I could. I have memories of staring at picture books, making up stories about the pictures though I couldn’t understand the words.” At the tender age of 8, she wrote her first short story, about Cabbage Patch Dolls going to Mars. From then on, she wrote fairly consistently until 2003, which marked the beginning of her professional career when she attended a workshop with Orson Scott Card.

Amsden may be legally blind, but she hasn’t allowed that part of her life to stop her from becoming a prolific author, and nowadays she splits her time between writing, freelance editing, and coaching — with a keen focus on writing. She loves to write about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations, giving special attention to people and relationships, her way of making science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone. “I will continue to marry romance with speculative fiction because I simply love both genres,” states the author. “I love a good character story. I think character is more important than just about anything else, and a great character will have me reading any genre at all and loving it. I get a lot of people telling me that they like my books even though they ‘don’t normally read stuff like that.’ I think it’s because of the characters.”

In what she describes as her messy, cluttered desk, and with a special arm attached to her monitor to help her eyes and back, Amsden creates her stories rich in characterization and world building. Her latest book, Madison’s Song, a companion to her Cassie Scot series, is about a shy young woman who has suffered more than her fair share of betrayal in the past. A friend of Cassie (the only ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers), Madison now gets a chance to prove that she can be more than a plump, shy sidekick. When her brother’s life is in danger, she faces her greatest fear with head held high to save him. The story is equally about Scott, a werewolf who has fallen in love with a woman he doesn’t believe he deserves.

MadisonsSong_medAmsden’s writing style is straightforward and conversational, which is probably why most readers and reviewers describe her work as highly entertaining and fast paced. “I’m not the sort to hide the story behind flowery prose,” she says. “I like the words to get out of the way of the story.” She’s a fast writer as well, finishing the rough draft of the book in only two months, though she then put it aside for a year before revising it, a process that took her five additional months. Her writing process, though fluid, is different with each book. “My best story ideas are the ones that come to me while I’m doing something else, although this doesn’t excuse me from putting in my hours of conscious effort. No two projects that I’ve worked on have developed in exactly the same way, either. I like to try new strategies, mix things up, so life doesn’t get boring.”

Like the Cassie Scot series, Madison’s Song will also be available in audiobook format, which is how Amsden “reads” most books these days. “It was important to me, when I became an author, to make my books available to listen to as well as read, and not just for others with disabilities. Audiobooks are a terrific way to enjoy books for busy people whose reading time can be combined with a daily commute, or with housework.”

Like most authors, Amsden loves sharing her creative ideas with the world, something which can be understandably challenging. “Nothing is universally liked,” states the author. “I try not to read negative comments or reviews, but it’s almost impossible to avoid all of it. When someone ‘gets me’ I feel an almost euphoric connectedness to the world; when someone doesn’t, (in a really big way), it almost makes me feel isolated.”

The definition of success varies from writer to writer. For Amsden, it has changed since she started writing. “At one time (not too long ago), I had an unrealistic expectation of success that involved becoming a bestseller and making an upper-class living off of my books,” she confesses. “When the Cassie Scot series came out, I sold thousands of books but still didn’t make the kind of money that would let me ‘earn a living’ off of it. It made me rethink my definition of success, becauseMessyDeskby all measurable standards my books are doing well – I’ve got great reviews, I’ve won several awards, I’ve sold many thousands of books, and I’m making money. I feel most successful when I connect with readers who love my books. So maybe that’s what success is. I’d love to connect with more readers, sell more books, and make more money, but I’m becoming satisfied with who and what I am now. (Like Cassie.)”

At the moment, the author is waiting for her next book, Kaitlin’s Tale, to be released by Twilight Times Books. She’s also hard at work on a new series set in a completely different world and with a new cast of characters. Though it’s way too early to say much about it, readers can count on it being filled with romance and the paranormal.

A native of St. Louis, Christine Amsden now lives in Olathe, Kansas with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success, and their two beautiful children.

TouchofFateSigningBibliography:

Touch of Fate (Twilight Times Books, 2006)

The Immortality Virus(Twilight Times Books, 2011)

Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective (Twilight Times Books, 2013)

Secrets and Lies (Twilight Times Books, 2013)

Mind Games (Twilight Times Books, 2014)

Stolen Dreams (Twilight Times Books, 2014)

Madison’s Song (Twilight Times Books, 2015)

Connect with Christine Amsden on the web:

Character Interview: Crown Prince Ashamet from Terry jackman’s fantasy adventure: ‘Ashamet, Desert-Born’

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Prince Ashamet from Terry Jackman’s new fantasy adventure, ‘Ashamet, Desert-Born’.  The handsome prince is 30 this year, a soldier and heir to the throne of Kadduchan.

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

Thank you so for this interview, your highness.  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? 

That’s a good question. I’m sure some of my father’s courtiers would describe me very differently. But since their versions wouldn’t agree either I’ll be gracious, and allow that Terry probably got as close as a female could.

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

A female could hardly truly understand a warrior-type. It’s amusing how complex she’s tried to make me appear though. Everyone who really knows me will tell you I’m just a simple soldier. I leave the devious stuff to my father. And of course to my team of eyes and ears.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

My sword arm? All right, if we’re to be serious I suppose Terry did get that part right; I am pretty stubborn. I don’t back down. Ever.

Worse trait?

Some would tell you it’s my sense of humour – only they don’t necessarily phrase it like that. But is it my fault the world around me is so often ridiculous? At least it spices up the boredom between battles.

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!)?

What the gods is a “movie”? Oh, a street performer? Any such who pretended to be me would quickly find themselves whipped raw, or in a dungeon while my father’s questioners enquired who had paid him to, and with what motives.

If I wanted an imposter though, a body double to allow me to sneak off unnoticed… there’s a commoner of yours called Alan Rickman who might do; he’s not unlike, and has a face that promises a wicked sense of humour.

Do you have a love interest in the book? 

Gods, no, I just like sex. Lots of. Well, maybe it’s not always entirely physical. I mean, I might get interested in someone because they’re… interesting, or a puzzle. But there’s definitely no sighing, or poetry or anything embarrassing like that. Definitely not.

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

Hells, I spent most of the book nervous about one thing or another. That and cursing it. I didn’t mind the assassination attempts but the rest… I tell you, I don’t want anything to do with priests. Let alone magic. Give me problems I can throttle!

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

That has to be old Sil. Well, the look of him is enough to put you off your food, don’t you think? Of all the High Priests he’s always been the one I liked least. The other two have some redeeming features but Sil… that one’s all about number one. I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

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

I’ll tell you one thing: I was seriously worried there; I’ve never slept so badly. And I doubt I’m out of the storm even now.

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

Less magic would be nice, but alas Terry seems to like making my life complicated. But then she’s a writer and my spies say writers don’t always know what they’ll write next. In fact, according to her we write all this stuff. That’s obviously a lie. I mean, I’m certainly no writer, and how could I know what’s in my future?

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

As I said, ask Terry. Assuming she knows. Rumour is she’s been meeting up with some very different types recently but as usual she’s not talking to anyone about her writing. Just my luck my author turns out to be one of the shy ones. That’s one thing she didn’t get from me!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Ashamet, Desert-Born

Genre: Fantasy/adventure/romance/paranormal

Author: Terry Jackman

Website: www.terryjackman.co.uk

Publisher: www.dragonwellpublishing.com

Find out more on Amazon

A desert world. A warrior nation that worships its emperor as a god. But for Ashamet, its prince, a future filled with danger…

Ashamet is confident his swordsmanship, and his arranged marriage, will be enough to maintain the empire’s peace. But when a divine symbol magically appears on his arm, closely followed by an attempt on his life, he no longer knows who to trust. Worse, the strange attraction he feels toward a foreign slave could be another trap. As events unravel, too fast,Ashamet must find out if this innocent young male is a tool for his enemies–or the magic key to his survival.

“Ashamet, Desert-Born” is a debut adventure fantasy with an exotic Arabian-style setting and elements of same-sex romance.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Terry Jackman was christened Teresa, and is married with kids. She’s not pretending to be a guy just for the book. It’s just that nobody, but nobody, calls her anything but Terry, so Terry is actually the most honest name to put on the cover.

To go with her two names she inhabits two worlds. In one she’s a mild-mannered lady who tutors children and lives in a pretty English village, called Lymm. [It’s not far from the Manchester United football ground. You can take a peek at it onwww.lymmvillage.co.uk/gallery If you look carefully at the picture of the old stone cross in the village centre you might see the ancient stocks below, where villagers would have thrown rotten eggs etc at local miscreants – but we don’t do that now, honest.]

In the other, she’s written articles and study guides, is secretly on the committee of the British Science Fiction Association, coordinates all their online writers’ groups, writes a regular page for Focus magazine and reads submissions for Albedo One magazine in Ireland. Oh, and has been known to do convention panels and some freelance editing.

When Ashamet goes public the two worlds will finally collide. She suspects there’ll be some raised eyebrows so she’s stocking up on fortifying tea and biscuits – and lots of chocolate!

Character Interview: Josh Fulton from Jordan Ekeroth’s ‘The Fulton Incident’

We’re thrilled to have here today Josh Fulton from Jordan Ekeroth’s new book, The Fulton Incident. Josh is an auto shop owner from Long Beach, California.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Josh.  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?

 Thanks for having me. I think that’s a great word: fairly portrayed. Jordan showed me in an even and balanced way. But it sure as anything wasn’t in a glamorous way.

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

Hard as it is to admit. Yes. While it’s painful reading for me at times, Jordan, I think, showed the real me, not just the me that I saw myself as. If I had gotten to choose how to be portrayed, I think I would have come across far more dashing and clever. However this probably wouldn’t have been entirely accurate.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

 After everything I’ve been through, I would say, ultimately, my desire for truth over anything. It definitely isn’t my physique!

Worst trait?

 Does a complete lack of athletic ability count? Maybe my laziness, desire for comfort, selfishness. I’d better stop before I invite too many more guests to this pity party.

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!)?

 Ryan Gosling, without a doubt. Someone told me I sort of look like him. Once.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

 I do. Sort of. Her name is Angelica. It’s hard for me to talk about her though. She haunts me.

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

 Probably the first time I thought someone was trying to kill me for no good reason. Or the second time. Or third. I never thought of myself as a particularly nervous guy, but you know… staring down the barrel of a loaded gun tends to affect you like that.

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 might not be the answer you’re looking for, but the person I fear becoming more than anything is the person I was when this adventure began. I went through an incredible rebirth once I discovered the truth, but it would be far too easy to turn my back on this truth and pretend like none of this ever happened.

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

 I feel like it’s a challenge that I want everyone who reads it to respond to. I made some dramatic decisions in the wake of the book’s climax, and I don’t expect everyone to think I made the right choices, but I do hope everyone who reads it takes a good, hard look at their own lives.

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

Maybe tell people I have a six pack? I kid. I hope I never have to do anything exciting enough to become the subject of another book. One international conspiracy was enough for me, thank you very much.

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

 I’ve now chosen a home away from the world’s spotlight, but life has a habit of dragging us into new adventures. I no longer pretend to know what the future might hold.

—————————————————–

The Fulton IncidentInternational intrigue rooted in a secret history.

Mysterious and unlikely allies.

The memory of a lost love.

A race against time.

Josh Fulton is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame after catching a charismatic leader in an act of infidelity. But when he finds himself alone and hunted through the dark streets of a foreign city, he is forced to face the truth that he has found himself embroiled in a far deeper conspiracy than he’d ever imagined.

As his search for truth takes him across continents, he will be forced to confront inner demons that have been locked away for years.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON

—————————————————–

Jordan EkerothJordan Ekeroth is a young man with a clear voice, wisdom beyond his years, and always a story to tell. From a young age, you could find him either buried in books or bearing the adventure of his imagination into the great outdoors. He’s met some people and seen some things that have given him a radical desire to impact the world in a positive way. A person of deep faith, his dream in writing is to take people along on the adventure of a lifetime, while simultaneously creating a space for them to learn about themselves and the world around them.

His latest book is the adventure/suspense, The Fulton Incident.

You can visit Jordan Ekeroth’s website at www.jordanekeroth.com.

Connect & Socialize with Jordan!

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE

Character Interview: Cedric, the Dark Lord, from Melodie Campbell’s Rowena and the Dark Lord

character interviews logoWe’re thrilled to have here today Cedric, the Dark Lord, from Melodie Campbell’s new fantasy novel, Rowena and the Dark Lord, book 2 in the Land’s End series.  Cedric is a 35 year old Earl, master mage, and ruler of Huel in Land’s End.

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

Thank you so for this interview, Cedric.  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? 

Damn right, I want to set things straight. They have me portrayed as the villain, the Dark Lord. That is utter nonsense.

Rowena_and_the_Dark_Lord_Front_Cover (1)I am the Earl of Huel. And yes, I am a powerful mage. Rowena is my wife. Everything I do is to protect her and our unborn child. How can that be villainous?

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

I should be the hero in this book! Twice, I have rescued Rowena from certain death, and have killed the villains who dared to kidnap her. Yes, one was my worthless brother, a fool who would have risked her life among depraved men. The other was the King, an abusive tyrant who struck Rowena in front of the whole court. Of course I had to kill him. So why I am considered the villain?

What do you believe is your strongest trait? 

I never give up. It’s to the death. And I have never lost a battle yet.

Worse trait?

My weakness for Rowena. We are destined to be together, whether she believes it or not. She is my heaven, and without her I am in hell.

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? 

That fellow who plays Eric in True Blood…Alexander Skarsgard. He is strong. He looks like me.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Rowena, of course. Our telepathic bond becomes stronger with each passing day. Soon, we will not be separated.

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

When I had to leave my body and take on another. It was the first time I had done that. Luckily, I chose well. Ha! Wait until you read the sex scene that results from my invading another body. Rowena will feel the lust of two men for her…

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? 

Why would I want to be anyone else? There is no need. I cannot be killed. Yes, you heard me right. I cannot be killed.

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

Pah! This is not the ending that should be. I will be back in book three to make it right.

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

She has no choice. She must write another book. My power will influence her. I am a powerful mage, you see.

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

Look for me in Rowena and the Viking Warlord, book 3 in the Land’s Ends series, coming in fall 2013.  The battle begins…

about the book

Dark magic…dark passions….

When Rowena is abducted from Arizona and taken back to medieval Land’s End, one thing is clear: she must learn to control her powers of magic. It isn’t easy being a modern girl in an archaic land, and when Rowena accidently conjures up a Roman Legion in mid-battle, Land’s End is on the brink of a war that could jeopardize everything and everyone she loves.

The stakes are raised when the Dark Lord reappears and traps Rowena in a cyclone of lust and passion. Once again, she is torn between the man she loves and the mage who fires her desire.

Purchase the book on Amazon.

Currently #2 Timetravel in Canada!  Top 100 in US!

about the author

Campbell-author-400Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best this year when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.

Melodie got her start writing comedy (stand-up and columns.)  In1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference.  She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories and 4 novels. Her fifth novel, a mob caper entitled The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books) will be released Oct. 1. She has won 6 awards for fiction, and was a finalist for both the 2012 Derringer and Arthur Ellis Awards.

Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. Her humour column ‘Bad Girl’ appears inThe Sage.

Find Melodie on the web:

www.melodiecampbell.com

www.funnygirlmelodie.blogspot.com

Facebook: MelodieCampbellAuthor

Twitter: @MelodieCampbell

Interview & Review: SEVERED THREADS, by Kaylin McFarren

Please welcome my special guest, romantic suspense author Kaylin McFarren. I recently had the chance to read and review her latest novel, Severed Threads, and I have to say it is an entertaining, thrilling read. Kaylin was generous enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions about her book and her writing. I hope you’ll enjoy the interview!

About the author

A native of California, Kaylin McFarren has traveled around the world and is now settled in Oregon.

As the director of a fine art gallery, she assisted in developing the careers of numerous visual artists who under her guidance gained recognition through promotional opportunities and in national publications. Eager to unleash and develop her own creativity, she has since channeled her energy toward writing novels. As a result, she has earned more than a dozen literary awards and was a 2008 finalist in the prestigious RWA® Golden Heart contest. She is a member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers.

Thanks for this interview, Kaylin! Do you consider yourself a born writer?

Definitely. Since the age of eight, I’ve loved to write stories and have been filled with an active imagination.

What compelled you to start writing professionally?

Like many authors, I was originally inspired to write my first novel after reading a great book and seeing an amazing movie. Mine happened to be Memoirs of a Geisha and The Notebook, which will always be my favourites.

Severed Threads is full of romance, suspense and danger. What was the most challenging aspect of writing this romantic thriller?

The most difficult task to writing a suspense story is to keep the action moving while revealing character traits and emotions along the way. Severed Threads contains an array of characters and each serve their purpose in revealing a twisting and turning plot that ultimately leads to a pleasant resolve. However, keeping the voices of each person unique also proved to be a challenge.

Tell us something about your hero and heroine that my readers won’t be able to resist.

Chase Cohen is a handsome, womanizing, thrill-seeking treasure hunter who has found his greatest challenge and true love in Rachel Lyons. But she doesn’t trust Chase for good reasons and won’t be easy to win over.no matter how hard he tries.

What did you find most fascinating while researching underwater archaeology and ancient Chinese treasures?

I had no idea how much gold had been lost at sea. According to Greg Stemm, co-founder and co-chairman of Odyssey, there’s billions of dollars scattered beneath the ocean. However, much of the ocean floor is unexplored and unmapped and global imaging shows crushing depths ranging up to six miles. And there could even be gold or diamond mines that far surpass what anyone on earth could imagine. Since trade included priceless collectibles and dishware from China as well as gold and silver, these were lost along with ships that sank during storms and battles hundreds of years ago and many will never be recovered.at least not in our lifetime.

How long did it take you to write the novel and did you work from an outline?

It took me close to two years to write Severed Threads. This included the time needed to research details and edit my final manuscript. I typically create a synopsis and then write by the seat of my pants. I’m not big on storyboards and planning, as I’m too anxious to get my stories on paper.

What was the editing process like?

Although I tend to edit as I go, I eventually asked three published authors and two experienced readers to assist with my initial editing before hiring a professional editor to review my manuscript. After taking all of their advice into consideration, I fine-tuned my writing and sent it in for publication, hoping I’d done my best in creating a fast-paced, entertaining tale.

What advice would you give to first-time novelists who are just starting to market their books?

Spend a little extra time in researching your options. If you chose to approach a publishing house, be sure the agents you contact are experienced in your genre and have a great track record. If you decide to self-publish, be prepared to spend a little extra money and time in promoting your titles as well as yourself.

What’s on the horizon for Kaylin McFarren?

I’m currently completing the second book in the Threads series – Buried Threads – and will be following this with a third – Banished Threads. I’ve enjoyed my characters so much in my first installment that I decided to take them on adventures around the world and have been urged to do so by readers who follow my stories.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers?

Keep reading and if you enjoy the work created by an author, be sure to let them know. Your praise and support encourages every author to write!

Thanks, Kaylin!

Find out more about Severed Threads on Amazon.

View the original article on blogcritics.org

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Review of SEVERED THREADS

ImageThe story opens during a diving salvage operation with experienced divers and treasure hunters Sam Lyons and Chase Cohen. Though they’re working on the Griffith wreckage, Sam believes the site also contains the wreckage of none other than the Wanli II—the Ming Dynasty Emperor’s lost dragon ship containing an ancient figure head, a fierce dragon in gold leaf and preserved in resin for all posterity—the gift Mai Le intended for her lover.

Unexpectedly, however, things turn bad for Sam while he’s underwater: he suffers cardiac arrest for no apparent reason. Indeed, the circumstances surrounding his death appear more than a little mysterious.

Chase, who had loved him like a father, feels responsible and doesn’t know what to make of it. Did something malfunction or did something scare Sam down there? He’d been an experienced diver with over 20 years of experience under his belt. What had Chase missed? Sam was the only man Chase had allowed himself to trust. He and his daughter Rachel were the only two people he really cared for. But now all had changed: Sam was dead, and Rachel would forever blame him for his death.

Move four years forward. Rachel Lyons, Sam’s Daughter, is working at a grant foundation. All is pretty quiet and routine in her life…until she’s approached by a museum director asking for a grant to conduct another diving salvage operation, run by none other than Chase’s Trident Ventures.

Though Rachel has no intention of helping Chase, Chase is set on convincing her. Since the operation focuses on discovering the Wanli II, if they succeed, her father would receive his long overdue reward and the museum would fund a permanent exhibition to honor his memory.

Yet, Rachel is still hesitant. Then, a twist of fate puts Rachel’s brother in danger, forcing her to change her mind about funding Chase’s project.  Chase is more than suspicious about her sudden change of heart, but he isn’t about to say no to this opportunity which could help him leave his mark upon the world as a renowned treasure hunter.

Thus, she grants him the money and insists on joining the underwater expedition. Can she put aside pride and work with Chase on a daily basis?

Severed Threads is an engaging, entertaining read! I’ve always enjoyed stories about lost treasures and underwater archaeology and this one didn’t disappoint. The hero and heroine are realistic and sympathetic and there’s a sizzling chemistry between them. The plot is believable with a fair share of exciting twists and turns. I found the workings of a grant foundation and a diving salvage operation quite interesting and informative. Pacing is fairly quick with a nice balance of action, dialogue, description and the inner thoughts of the characters.

In short, Severed Threads is an exciting novel featuring danger in the high seas, romance, action and adventure, murder, and even a sprinkle of the paranormal for good measure. Recommended.

Purchase from Amazon.

Visit Kaylin McFarren’s website.

 

Interview with Chuck Waldron, author of ‘Tears in the Dust’

U.S. born, Canadian novelist Chuck Waldron is currently working on his fourth novel, a thriller about an investigative blogger who uncovers more than he ever imagines…and has no idea what to do with his discovery.

His first novel, Tears in the Dust, is a mystery set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War in 1937.  When Alestair Ferguson volunteers to fight in the International Brigade he doesn’t realize the true price he will have to pay.  Chuck’s second novel, Remington and the Mysterious Fedora, is a quirky fantasy, a story about what happens when a young man sits at the keyboard of a manual typewriter and puts on an old fedora.  When the fedora and its mysterious power begins to whisper a story to him, the young man has a strange adventure indeed.  His third novel, Served Cold, spans decades and stretches from the countryside of rural Ontario to a quiet artists’ studio in Tucson, Arizona.  With lots of murder and mayhem in between, the story is what happens when a long-standing feud erupts into hot-blooded vengeance.

Chuck wrote over thirty short stories before setting out to write novels that are affordable and entertaining.  He has attended writing workshops in Iowa, Florida, Georgia and Ontario, Canada.

“I grew up,” Chuck said, “listening to my grandfather, an Ozark Mountain story teller, spinning tales of the caves on his farm, describing them as hiding places once used by the Jesse & Frank James’ gang.  It didn’t matter if the stories were true or not.  Those legends set fire to my imagination, creating images that emerged slowly over the years, finally igniting as my short stories and novels.”

Now, thirty-plus short stories and three novels later, ideas keep coming, with more novels under development.  Do they share anything in common?  Each has its own unique voice and tale to tell, yet, at their heart, his stories tell about the human condition – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Chuck adds, “stored images that echo in my writing include train whistles in the night, Norman Rockwell childhood scenes, U.S. Army memories, blue collar jobs, university, a professonal career, and finally retirement.  Many of my images are drawn from this pool of memories: places visited, sights seen, and people met.  The rest I filled in with my imagination: dreams of places yet to be visited, sights yet to be seen, and people yet to be met.”

His literary roots were planted in the American Midwest and thrived when transplanted – over thirty-nine years ago – to the rich, cultural soil of Ontario.  He and his wife, Suzanne, spend their summers in Kitchener, Ontario and are warmed by a winter sun in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

You can visit Chuck at http://www.writebyme.ca and at www.chuckwaldron.com.     Visit him at Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/writebyme and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/wordstir.

About Tears in the Dust

Tears in the Dust is a contemporary novel with gleams of hope intertwined within the despair of life. This is a story which serves to lift the reader up, only to take him back down into the darkness that lurks around the corners of one man’s life. Alestair “Alec” Ferguson beings a journey as a young man, off to enlist in the Spanish Civil War in 1937. Samuel T. Harrison is a dark and warped detective with a deep hatred of communism. He is the dark and violent nemesis who makes his way into the ranks of the detective agency where his boss uses his violent talents. People disappear whenever Harrison comes to town. The story chronicles Alec’s journey to Spain to fight in a war filled with personal loss and disillusionment. While in Spain, Alec falls in love with Tamarah, a convoy drive for the International Brigade. The war takes a heavy toll on Alec, and he learns just how high the cost of war can be. Disheartened, Alec fights on despite the damage done to his once strongly held beliefs. When Alec returns to his home in Vermont, seeking healing and the redemption of his ideals, what he finds there instead, causes him to flee to Canada and live the rest of his life under a false identity. But, no matter how far he goes, Alec cannot outrun Harrison, who pursues him through years and countries, only to catch up with him in a stunning conclusion to the story.

Q. Thank you for this interview, Chuck. Can we begin by having you tell us why you chose to write action adventure novels over another genre?

I didn’t choose the genre, it chose me.

The inspiration for Tears in the dust was a book about Canadians who volunteered to fight in the Spanish Civil War.  My character, Alec Ferguson, was such a man.  Given the back-drop of war, I came up with an evil Character to hound him throughout Alec’s adventure.  It fell naturally into a novel that would feature action and adventure.

Q. Did you outline before you wrote your book or did you just go with the flow?

I’m a ‘pantser”, writing by the seat of the pants.  I did have a general outline in mind, but my characters often have a way of taking different directions than I intended.  I have learned to get out of their way when that happens.

Q. Who was your favorite character in Tears in the Dust and why?

It’s a tie.  My protagonist, Alec Ferguson, had to find out the price he would pay for his convictions.  Did I put a bit of ‘me’ in Alec, probably?  But I found myself delving into the darkness to come up with his adversary in Samuel T. Harrison, a man who did things I would never dream of doing.  So how could I imagine those things?  I like to keep the answer to that locked away in a secret part of my mind.

 Q. Who was your least favorite character?

The man who recruited Harrison as a detective and used his talent for evil, knowing the harm it caused.

 Q. Can you tell us about the setting and why you chose it?

I wanted to combine U.S., Canadian, Spanish settings to portray the international character of the thousands of men and women who joined the Republicano cause between 1936 and 1939.

Q. What was the hardest part to write?

The horrible things my antagonist, Samuel T. Harrison did.

 Q. What was the inspiration behind the story? Where were you when you came up with the idea?

The Gallant Cause: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War, by Mark Zuehlke.  I read his book and realized I had written a short story years ago, about a day and night in the life of a man on his way to fight in that war.  My novel created a back-story for that day and night, and concluded with what came after.

 Q. Do you plan on writing more action adventure novels?

 I have written Served Cold, a story that begins in the quiet countryside of Ontario, Canada, moves to an artist studio in Tucson and back.  There’s lots of murder and mayhem as Sean Parker has to choose the form his vengeance will take.

I am currently working on The Lion’s Head Deception, a dystopian thriller about a blogger who uncovers a conspiracy and has to decide if he has the courage to go public.

Q. Thank you for this interview, Chuck. Do you have any final words?

I write for myself first.  If the story lives up to my standards I love sharing it with readers.  The link between writer and reader happens when someone buys, borrows or steals the book.  I would prefer the buy choice.  Take a leap and buy Tears in the dust.

Thanks,

Chuck Waldron, author

Tears in the Dust

Served Cold

Remington and the Mysterious Fedora

Giveaways, Contests & Prizes!

In celebration of his new release, Chuck will be attending Pump Up Your Book’s 1st Annual Holiday Extravaganza Facebook Party on December 16. More than 50 books, gifts and cash awards will be given away including a paperback copy of Tears in the Dust! Visit the official party page here!

Recipe for Writing a Great Science Fiction Novel by Valmore Daniels

We have a special guest today!  Valmore Daniels, author of the science fiction novel, Forbidden the Stars (Mummer Media) , gives away secrets for writing great science fiction novels!

Recipe for Writing a Great Science Fiction Novel

by Valmore Daniels

There are many elements needed to create great fiction, and for science fiction, you need only a few additional ingredients.

All fiction can be boiled down to a simple chemical formula:  T+P+Co+Ch+D+R = St.  Theme, Plot, Conflict, Character, Dialogue and Resolution cover the basic elements of a Story. A writer must master all of these elements and combine them in mathematical proportion in order to create a great story.

For a science fiction story, you must include at least two other primary elements: the first is science or some aspect of science, and the second, which I feel is the most important and also the most difficult to master, is suspension of disbelief.

First of all, a science fiction story could not exist without some element of science, whether through existing technology or future technology, possible or imagined. This can be hard science, such as machines, computers, space ships, robots or other technical themes.  A writer can also deal with the social sciences, which include biology, extraterrestrials, dystopian futures, or alternate realities. Science fiction without science is simply “fiction.”

Even with a great scientific theme, however ingenious or revolutionary the idea, the story cannot be great unless the reader can accept the science as real or possible. In order to create this suspension of disbelief, the science fiction writer must craft very specific rules for their fictional universe and be extremely careful not to step outside the boundaries of their imaginary system. If you break your own rules, that will jolt your reader out of the story. Trying to lure them back into the narrative will be next to impossible.

So the scientific formula for great Science Fiction is to remember the three S’s: Story plus Science plus Suspension of disbelief.

In true nomadic spirit, Valmore Daniels has lived on the coasts of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans, and dozens of points in between.

An insatiable thirst for new experiences has led him to work in several fields, including legal research, elderly care, oil & gas administration, web design, government service, human resources, and retail business management.

His enthusiasm for travel is only surpassed by his passion for telling tall tales.

Valmore’s latest book is Forbidden the Stars, a sci-fi novel set at the end of the 21st century.

Visit his website at www.ValmoreDaniels.com

 

Forbidden The Stars is available at the following retailers:

Paperback: Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Barnes & Noble

eBook: Amazon US / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

 

Interview with Paul V. Stutzman, author of Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail

Paul Stutzman spent twenty-five years in food service, but left that career after his wife died of breast cancer. At 58, he hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, seeking healing and answers to questions about grief and God’s relevance to his life. His book, Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail, chronicles his hiking journey and his spiritual journey. His website is www.hikingthrough.com.

 

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

That’s an easy one. This is my first venture.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

Hiking Through is my very first book. For many years, I dreamed about writing a book about “life”, but I was too busy living to get it written. Then my wife died, and this hike gave birth to a book that was entirely different than what I had planned to write.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

I guess I never gave anyone the pleasure of rejecting me. I went straight to self-publishing, because I had a message I needed to get out there. I already had a following and an audience from my online trail journals, and I didn’t want to wait a year or more to get the book out.

 

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

I’m sure rejections would have been hurtful, but I also know I would have persevered until I found a publisher.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

Synergy Books, a division of Book Pros. The reason I picked them was that it was as close as I could get to traditional publishing in that they offered book distribution, something I was happy to have someone else cover.

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

How did it feel?  It was amazing to hold that first book when it came in the mail. I celebrated by going to my knees and thanking God, then calling my children and telling them the story of their mother’s bravery was going to be published.

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

We let the local newspapers know; they did press releases. I did a radio interview in the first few days after publication. Word of mouth in my small community is pretty effective.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

No. I’m very satisfied with the route I took.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

No, no more publications. Very busy promoting this one. I’ve certainly learned a lot about the publishing business. I know there’s another book coming, though, just waiting for me to put the words down.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

Since I’d quit my job to do the hike and then write the book, I pretty much devoted my whole life to getting this book in print.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

I’m happy that the book is selling well, but even more pleased that people are responding to the message, and I’ve been able to connect with others who have been through the loss of a loved one.

 

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

I guess that now I’m a writer. That’s what has filled my life for the last year and a half. But if I would do something else, I’d go back to food service. I miss the people. Yes. I’d go back to food service, and run a little hot dog stand.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

I don’t have to. I could easily run a little hot dog stand and write! I can be a purveyor of wieners and still hear people’s stories.

 

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

Well, I will have at least three more books out. They’re in the pipeline right now.

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

Be persistent. If you have a story or a message that you feel is helpful to somebody, with the resources available today you can definitely be published.

Paul V. Stutzman will be on virtual book tour March & April ’10 to promote his new book, Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail.  To find out where he’ll be touring next, click here!

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