Monday, May 22, 2017

Musing Monday - May 22


Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION: Not posted yet

Happy Monday! It was a nice weekend around here. The weather allowed me to work out in the yard and it was a productive working Sunday in real estate. Other than that I've been trying to get back into a blogging schedule. I truly miss it.

Here are a few book reviews I've posted lately

Organizing for Your Lifestyle
Food Junkies
The Joyful Business Planner
Creating a Life Worth Living, Volume 1


I will also be posting my review of Annie's Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker this week.






Three young Amish women, each gifted with a hand-carved hope chest, find that one by one, with patience and faith, their most blessed dreams for the future can come true...

Annie Mast and Levi Miller were best friends until his father was shunned by the church. Now, ten years later, Levi has returned to Arthur, Illinois, for a brief visit, and he and Annie discover their bond is as strong as ever. Spending as much time together as possible, Annie finds herself dreaming of a future with Levi. And Levi is soon dreaming of building a home on a beautiful local hillside--to live in with Annie. Yet their longings are unlikely to become reality...

Levi is part of the English world, and while Annie cannot see herself there, she knows she must reveal her heart's truth to him. And Levi, strongly reminded of his Amish roots, knows he must heal the bitterness of the past. And together, with love on their side, they just may find their way to an answered prayer...

I just started reading...






Somewhere in the Embers Lies the Truth

A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone—Amish and Englisch alike.

When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor, Emma, encourages Henry to follow God's leading.

Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more?

What the Bishop Saw is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.

As a light rain takes over the morning I wish you a wonderful week. Hope you'll share what you're reading.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Book Review: The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin

Where has this business planner been for the past three decades of my life? The Joyful Business Planner by Kate Martin is unlike anything you've probably seen before--which is why the author says she put it together.

Broken down into five sections--Business Overview, Marketing, Yearly Tracking, Calendars, and Wish Lists and Aspirations--this planner has the systems to get you organized and on track to meet your goals.

What I love about this book (everything really, but...):
  • It's less than 100 pages (perfect for busy small business owners like me);
  • It is short on narration and long on helpful templates to put the right systems in place;
  • There is one sheet that is a look at your current year at a glance that you can complete and hang in your office to stay focused;
  • One chapter focuses solely on social media marketing (including blogging);
I could go on and on about The Joyful Business Planner, but in the end all I need to say is this: if you are a small business owner, The Joyful Business Planner is an essential tool for success. 

Paperback: 92 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (October 13, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1539141810
ISBN-13: 978-1539141815

I received a digital copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Review: Food Junkies by Vera Tarman and Phil Werdell and Read by Lisa Bunting


This is one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. Food Junkies: The Truth about Food Addiction by Vera Tarman and Phil Werdell and Read by Lisa Bunting is an in-depth look into food addiction with accounts from struggling addicts, a look into the shame of the addiction, and offers practical advice for people struggling with problems of overeating, binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia.

As someone who has struggled to eat healthy, Food Junkies was an eye-opening read. Learning about a variety of addictions and also how our bodies interact with what we eat is certainly helpful. Even when you know the health concerns, it isn't always easy not to over-indulge. Imagine how much more difficult it must be to cope with a food addiction and the shame that can come with it. There are stories of addiction in this book that will be tough to read, but if they help someone it will be worth it.

Audible doesn't always work well with my device, so I purchased the Kindle version. I did, however, download the audio version on my PC and thought Bunting's tone and inflection good for this topic.

If you're dealing with food addiction or know someone who is, Food Junkies is definitely worth reading; though I think it's a fascinating read for anyone interested in food and your body.


Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 8 hours and 20 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Audible.com Release Date: July 7, 2016
Language: English

I received an audio version of this book from the authors through Goddess Fish Promotions. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Book Review: Creating A Life Worth Living Volume 1 by Debbie N. Goldberg

If you're looking to start on the journey of self-discovery, Creating A Life Worth Living Volume 1 by Debbie N. Goldberg can be a resource for you. As a therapist for close to two decades, Goldberg helps others along their spiritual journey. In this first volume, she shares her own awakening and then provides the framework for the reader to begin their own journey.

The author shares insights on the importance of reflection and discovering for yourself your purpose in life--not what someone else has told you it is; the importance of spending quiet time and pulling away from the chaos of life; and how we truly are self-sufficient. She has a soothing, conversational style that is perfect for this type of book.

If New Age spirituality is of interest to you, Creating A Life Worth Living Volume 1 should be added to your reading list.


Paperback: 156 pages
Publisher: BalboaPress (September 27, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1504358791
ISBN-13: 978-1504358798

I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Book Spotlight: Creating Stories by Hank Quense

My recently published Creating Stories has everything I’ve leaned about writing stories over the last twenty years.  Below is an extract on setting.




BOOK EXCERPT

Setting can do much more than describe the backdrop for the story.  It should convey and define the time period and customs of the characters.  It can set up the reader's expectations about the type of story he is about to read.  It can start the reader's image-building process.
Consider your characters acting out the story on a stage.  Behind the characters, instead of the scenery typical with plays, there is nothing but white panels.  The people who paid money to see the play would be dismayed by the lack of scenery, so too your readers will not like it if your story doesn't have the appropriate setting to back up the characters.
As with the plot and other story development elements, the setting must dovetail with the overall story design.  As an example, a Medieval setting won't work if the bad guy uses an automatic pistol (unless the bad guy is also a time traveler).  Thus the setting places limits on what the author can do and can't do, so it's best if the author has the setting developed before the work gets too far along.
The setting used in your story has to be accurate.  Don't try to set a story in Manhattan's Central Park if you haven't been there.  Likewise, the French Quarter in New Orleans is unique and shouldn't be used by anyone who hasn't walked the narrow streets.
Here is an example of what can happen.  I've lived and worked all my life around New York City.  The Hudson River is over a mile wide here and the East River is nearly a half-mile wide.  If you haven't been to Dublin, you may assume the Liffey River, which runs through that city, would be of similar size.  It isn't.  The Liffey is rather small compared to the rivers around Manhattan.  Making the Liffey a wide river will destroy your credibility with those readers who have seen the Liffey. 
On the other hand, if you develop an imaginary location, you can make the city's river as wide as you want.  Similarly, if you use a backdrop of a historical period in the distant past, none of your readers will have been there, but you'll still have to do research to get the setting accurate. You can't use St. Paul's Cathedral with its great dome in London right after William the Conquerer became king of England.  St Paul's wasn't built yet.
The setting of the story should be conveyed early to the reader, the earlier the better.  Ideally, the opening paragraph in a short story or the first few pages in a longer work should give an indication of the type of story the reader is about to encounter.  Is it a mystery set in Victorian London?  Is it a story of survival set in war-torn Iraq?  Are those vicious aliens on their way to Earth?  The reader expects and has a right to know this stuff as early as possible.  Don't disappoint the reader.  She may put the book down and never open it again.
An effect of establishing the setting is the placing of limitations on the author and the characters.  For the author, a space ship means he shouldn't have the characters using swords and landline phones since these artifacts are from bygone eras.
Your characters are also limited.  A character in the Old West can't have knowledge of computers or smart phones, unless he's a time-traveler.
If you write a story that uses weapons from a different era or knowledge not available at that time, you’d better have a good reason why it makes sense.  You don't have to convince yourself, you have to convince the reader.
~ ~ ~


Praise for Creating Stories by Hank Quense

Mary Blowers: author and blogger
Hank Quense has penned a masterpiece in Creating Stories.
~ ~ ~
Joylene Butler: Author of Matowak Women Who Cries:
This book is a true treasure and needs to be in the library of every writer worldwide.
~ ~ ~
Mark Cain, best-selling satirist, author of the CIRCLES IN HELL series
Developing a method for writing a successful story -- a system that can be understood and utilized by another writer -- is an intimidating challenge, yet Hank Quense has managed it. There are other ways to approach story writing, but none likely are better or more understandable than Quense's methodology. Creating Stories is highly recommended as a how-to guide for the novice writer and as a reminder of best practices for the experienced author.
~ ~ ~
Mark Henderson: British author of Cruel and Unusual Punnishments
Hank doesn't purport to tell reader how to produce creative ideas, but offers guidance on how to turn those ideas into readable fiction.
I recommend Creating Stories unreservedly to fiction writers everywhere.
~ ~ ~
Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite: 5 stars
For the wannabe writer who doesn't know where to start, this is the book for you.
A good story must be told with care and this requires consideration and planning on the part of the author. The whole point of writing a story is to capture the attention of readers. Hank helps novice and experienced writers perfect their writing and tell a good story.





Hank Quense writes humorous and satiric scifi and fantasy stories. He also writes about fiction writing and self-publishing. He has published 18 books and 50 short stories along with a few dozen articles. He often lectures on fiction writing and publishing and has a series of guides covering the basics on each subject. He is currently working on a series of two humorous novels that take place in the Camelot era.

He and his wife, Pat, usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe. They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.

Social media links:

Hank's blog: http://hanquense.com/wp
Strange Worlds website: http://strangeworldspublishing.com/wp
Follow him on twitter: http://twitter.com/hanque99
Facebook fan pages: https://www.facebook.com/StrangeWorldsOnline

Monday, May 15, 2017

Interview with Daniel A. Blum, Author of The Feet Say Run


Daniel A. Blum grew up in New York, attended Brandeis University and currently lives outside of Boston with his family. His first novel Lisa33 was published by Viking in 2003. He has been featured in Poets and Writers magazine, Publisher’s Weekly and most recently, interviewed in Psychology Today.

Daniel writes a humor blog, The Rotting Post, that has developed a loyal following.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:


WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


Where did you grow up?

I hail from the exotic hinterlands of Long Island, New York.

My father is a pscyhoanalyst and my mother is a psychologist. If that does not drive one to distraction, and a bit of reflection, I don’t know what would. I currently live outside Boston with my family.

When did you begin writing?

I tried writing in high school, but those efforts have thankfully been lost to the ravages of time.

My first passably decent piece of writing was actually letter I wrote to in college to a girl who I was interested in. It was a long, rambling, comic description of a train ride I was on, and it was something of an “aha” moment about how to inject life and wit into descriptions of the everyday world around you. Thinking back, it is not really surprising that my best early bit of prose was born of an effort to impress a girl. The good news is, the letter itself was definitely a success with its target audience. Unfortunately, the ensuing love affair was rather less successful. It lasted all of a month. Yet my love affair with the written word is still going strong.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I have no particular pattern. I am neither nocturnal nor diurnal. I’m an omnivorous reader and a restless scavenger as a writer.

What is this book about?

The Feet Say Run is not an easy book to describe or classify. It’s really the story of the twentieth century told through a single, long, extraordinary life. The narrator, Hans, is an eighty-five year old castaway, reflecting on his past.

Hans grows up in Nazi Germany and falls in love with Jewish girl. He fights for the Germans on two continents, watches the Reich collapse spectacularly into occupation and starvation, and marries his former governess. After the war he goes on wildflower expeditions in the Alps, marries a Brazilian chambermaid in order to receive a kidney from her, and keeps reliving his war experiences. There are many, many interwoven stories.

I think of it as a literary novel that is also a page-turner - full of comedy and tragedy and suspense.

What inspired you to write it?


I wanted to the kind of novel I most like reading. I read mostly literary fiction, but I often find the stories way too slow, lacking in passion and humor and life. I wanted to write something that was gripping and hard to put down, that hit the reader on an emotional level, but also had beautiful prose.

As a Jewish writer I also became interested in the German experience of the Nazi era, and how little that story had been told. The more I read, the more universal I felt the story was. We used to learn that caricature of Nazi Germany peopled by killer robots, people entirely unlike us. It was a comforting sort of myth, but a myth nonetheless. So I wanted to tell it in a way that made it real and human and understandable.

Who is your biggest supporter?

I have a number of regular readers and supporters, and have been through a few different agents. My wife is both an avid supporter and an exacting critic – but that has driven me to be a better writer. But for this book my biggest supporter has been my publisher, Gabriel’s Horn Press, who really fell in love with it and pushed to see it in print.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

I am not. I have tried that experience and find giving and receiving criticism – the hidden competitiveness, the false-praise, even the the cliquish little subgroups within the group – to be extremely uncomfortable.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

It was more a roller-coaster ride than a road.

This is actually my second novel. My first novel was Lisa33, which was published by Viking over a decade ago. I actually went from a long string of rejections to having publishers suddenly in a bidding war for my novel. That was quite surreal. In the end, for reasons I still don’t fully understand, the book was not promoted at all by the publisher. They took a financial bath on it, and I soon returned to obscurity. Ironically, my agent, who had assured me I would be famous, later came out with his own memoir and found fame with it.

For years after that experience I ceased writing fiction entirely and even reading it. Yet one day I found myself working again, crafting this new story, and before I knew it I was in deep and – as they say in a military campaign – the only way out was forward. When The Feet Say Run was completed, I had few connections left in the publishing world. But I had posted a few poems to a public website, and my publisher had read an admired them there. She emailed me and asked what else I wrote, and I sent her the manuscript.

In a way I feel I am one of the few writer to be “discovered” twice.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Amazon and  Barnes and Noble. We may be getting it into bookstores but for now it is online.



Monday, May 8, 2017

Musing Monday - May 8


Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you like to read when you are feeling under the weather?

Happy Monday! It seems like forever since I was able to participate in this meme. Without going into too much detail, we were traveling through a valley for a period of time and blogging was the last thing on my mind. Thankfully, God has seen us through and we appear to be on the uphill climb.

I've been trying to sneak a bit of reading in. My review of A Mother's Love by Charlotte Hubbard appeared here on April 28. I have a couple more reviews to post as well. I'm now reading Annie's Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker.



Annie Mast and Levi Miller were best friends until his father was shunned by the church. Now, ten years later, Levi has returned to Arthur, Illinois, for a brief visit, and he and Annie discover their bond is as strong as ever. Spending as much time together as possible, Annie finds herself dreaming of a future with Levi. And Levi is soon dreaming of building a home on a beautiful local hillside—to live in with Annie. Yet their longings are unlikely to become reality…

Levi is part of the English world, and while Annie cannot see herself there, she knows she must reveal her heart’s truth to him. And Levi, strongly reminded of his Amish roots, knows he must heal the bitterness of the past. And together, with love on their side, they just may find their way to an answered prayer…

As for this week's random question: I tend not to get sick too often, but when I do it's usually so awful sleeping is all I can accomplish. When I am on the mend, but still not top notch, I'll definitely squeeze some reading in.

How about you? Do you read when you're under the weather? Speaking of weather, over the next seven days at least five of them will have rain up here. Hope your weather will be a bit sunnier. Enjoy the rest of the week.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Interview with George Finney, ESQ, Author of No More Magic Wands



GEORGE FINNEY, ESQ., has worked in Cybersecurity for over 15 years and is the author of No More Magic Wands: Transformative Cybersecurity Change for Everyone. He is currently the Chief Information Security Officer for Southern Methodist University where he has also taught on the subject of Corporate Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. Mr. Finney is an attorney and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional as well as a Certified Information Security Systems Professional and has spoken on Cybersecurity topics across the country.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:


WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the suburbs outside of Dallas. I always say Dallas since most people have heard of Dallas. I loved growing up in Texas, I feel like there is this mythical identity you develop as a Texan. You grow up watching rodeos, going to the Alamo, and watching football. And everybody knows that’s how you grew up, so when you meet new people you have this instant connection.

When did you begin writing?

When I was in the 5th grade, we had an assignment to write a story for Halloween. Most people took the whole hour to write one. I ended up writing over 20 different stories. That was the year I caught the bug to be a writer. Several of my classmates wrote a play in that same class that we put on in front of the class. We paired off into teams and wrote commercials and made those for the class. I wrote a science fiction story that was had to be longer than 5 pages. I remember it being one of my favorite times in school.

What is this book about?

No More Magic Wands is a kind of case study about a company that has been hacked. This company just happens to make magic wands. I wanted to explore the idea of how a company would respond if they could use magic to solve all their problems like we sometimes jokingly say at work. While there is some magic involved, ultimately the enchanted forest creatures have to work together to fix their company. Each chapter is a kind of fable focusing on a particular security concept.

What inspired you to write it?


I get a lot of my story ideas while I walk my dog at night. I remember seeing this tree that I thought looked like the one from the Keebler Elf picture, and I started wondering what they would do if they got hacked. What if instead of cookies, they made magic wands and were used to solving their problems with magic? How would they change?

How is it similar to other books in its genre? How is it different?

No More Magic Wands lays out some of the basic principles that security practitioners follow and how businesses can implement them. Rather than just tell you those things, what makes No More Magic Wands different is that it shows you how a fictional company might do through short stories or fables. There aren’t always clear answers when it comes to security in the real world, so I wanted my readers to be able to walk away and ask the right questions when they go back to their office.

What is the most important thing readers can learn from your book?

Security is a team sport. If something isn’t your job, you expect someone else to do it for you. But security is a part of everyone’s job and everyone has a role to play. To be successful, we need everyone to understand what role they play on the team.

What is up next for you?

My next project is a series of several choose your own adventure style stories for cybersecurity training. A lot of people learn through experience and it's too late to learn after you've been breached. Being able to play in a choose your own adventure style world will help people recognize the common ways that hackers are exploiting people without the consequences of learning the hard way.

Is there anything you would like to add?

I love hearing from my readers. Look up my blog and let me know what you think, www.strongestelement.com.



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Interview with Laura Foley, Author of WTF


Laura Foley is an internationally published, award-winning poet, author of six collections. She won the Common Goods Poetry Contest, judged by Garrison Keillor; and the National Outermost Poetry Prize, judged by Marge Piercy. Her poetry collections include: WTF, Night Ringing, The Glass Tree and Joy Street. The Glass Tree won a Foreword Book of the Year Award; Joy Street won the Bisexual-Writer’s Award. Her poems have appeared on The Writer’s Almanac, in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Atlanta Review, Lavender Review, The Mom Egg Review, in the British Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, and many other journals.

A certified Yoga Instructor and creative arts facilitator in hospitals, she is the mother of three grown children, grandmother to two granddaughters. She and her partner Clara Gimenez live among the hills of Vermont with their three big dogs.

Follow her on GoodReads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Manhattan, the Upper East Side of New York City.

When did you begin writing?

I began writing creatively only when I was 45.

What is this book about?

This book is about my relationship with my father. It reflects also on his experiences as a prisoner of war in China and Japan during World War Two.

What inspired you to write it?

I was inspired to write this book as a way to get to know and understand him, even though he has been gone for over twenty years; to reflect back on childhood memories and re-see them as an adult. I also began to understand who he was in the years before I was born.

How is it similar to other books in its genre?

Books of poetry often reflect back on a poet’s childhood.

How is it different?

This one is different because of its focus on one parent’s remarkable war experience, and remarkable service to his patients (he was a doctor); it is also different because of the consideration and tone of hard-won forgiveness around the father-daughter relationship.

Here is an excerpt from a recent review of WTF: “The poems reflect a father who might have been a more invested and attentive mentor, but their tone is sympathetic and demonstrates an inner strength in dealing with resentment. Even when the poems very directly describe abuses and coldness, they treat Foley’s father with kindness. They do not forgive, but they do attempt to understand.”
Sara Budzik, Clarion Foreword Book Review

What is the most important thing readers can learn from your book?

Readers can learn that they too can re-think their own relationships to people from their past, and find healing from that inner work. They also may find their own life experiences reflected back to them through these poems.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

It is available from my website and on Amazon.

What is up next for you?

I am working on a new full-length collection of poetry tentatively titled: Why I Never Finished My Dissertation.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for having WTF on your blog site!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Interview with Darin Gibby, Author of Chasing Hindy

In addition to a thriving career as a novelist, author Darin Gibby is also one of the country’s premiere patent attorneys and a partner at the prestigious firm of Kilpatrick Townsend (www.kilpatricktownsend.com). With over twenty years of experience in obtaining patents on hundreds of inventions from the latest drug delivery systems to life-saving cardiac equipment, he has built IP portfolios for numerous Fortune 500 companies. In addition to securing patents, Gibby helps clients enforce and license their patents around the world, and he has monetized patents on a range of products.

Darin’s first book, Why Has America Stopped Inventing?, explored the critical issue of America’s broken patent system.  His second book, The Vintage Club, tells the story of a group of the world’s wealthiest men who are chasing a legend about a wine that can make you live forever. His third book, Gil, is about a high school coach who discovers that he can pitch with deadly speed and is given an offer to play with the Rockies during a player’s strike. Gil soon discovers, however, that his unexpected gift is the result of a rare disease, and continuing to pitch may hasten his own death.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree, he is highly regarded in Denver’s legal and business community as a patent strategist, business manager, and community leader. He is also a sought-after speaker on IP issues at businesses, colleges and technology forums, where he demonstrates the value of patents using simple lessons from working on products such as Crocs shoes, Izzo golf straps and Trek bicycles.


An avid traveler and accomplished triathlete, Darin also enjoys back country fly-fishing trips and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He lives in Denver with his wife, Robin, and their four children.


WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:


WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My day job is actually being a patent attorney. I am a partner with the firm of Kilpatrick Townsend. I help inventors get patents on things like drug delivery systems and life-saving cardiac equipment. I also help clients enforce and license their patents around the world.

In addition to Chasing Hindy, I’ve written three other books: Why Has America Stopped Inventing? (that explored the critical issue of America’s broken patent system), The Vintage Club (that tells the story of a group of the world’s wealthiest men who are chasing a legend about a wine that can make you live forever) and Gil (that is about a high school coach who discovers that he can pitch with deadly speed and is given an offer to play with the Rockies during a player’s strike. Gil soon discovers, however, that his unexpected gift is the result of a rare disease, and continuing to pitch may hasten his own death).

I also travel quite a bit, run triathlons and enjoy back country fly-fishing trips and skiing in the Rocky Mountains.

When did you begin writing?

I started writing about 12 years ago. I wrote several “practice books” before Why Has America Stopped Inventing? was published.

What is this book about?

Chasing Hindy is about a patent attorney who thinks she's landed her dream job with a company who has invented a technology to let cars run on water only to discover that there are other interests who are poised to make sure it never comes to market.

What inspired you to write it?


The genesis behind Chasing Hindy came from a surprising source—a hypnotist. When I was in high school, we had an assembly where a hypnotist put a group of volunteers under hypnosis. One of the questions he asked them was what would be the fuel of the future. What fuel would people pump into their tank? Almost without exception they all said, “water!” The hypnotist then told the audience that every time he asked that question he received the same answer.

That was several decades ago, but I’ve always wondered whether that could possibly be true—and why all these people thought we’d all be driving cars that used water. In the following years, I realized that a car wouldn’t run on water per se, but from hydrogen that is extracted from water. The question, of course, is that if we know how to produce hydrogen, why aren’t there hydrogen cars? The answer is quite simple. As an engineer and patent attorney I know the science behind extracting hydrogen from water. The problem is that it takes more energy to do this than to just run a car on gasoline, or even electricity.

But what if somebody invented a way to make it happen? That’s the germ of an idea that led to Chasing Hindy.

Who is your favorite author?

I think it would be John Grisham. He has inspired me the most. He came out with The Firm when I was a first year law student. One of my classmates had a copy and we all read it in the first week it came out. I’ve read all of his books since then. Unfortunately, his last few haven’t been so great, but in his day he certainly produced some great stories.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

My agent recently retired, so for my next book I will be looking for a new one.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I would have started writing when I was younger, and I definitely would have taken more creative writing classes in college.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Chasing Hindy is available at most on-line retailers. Here are some links for Amazon and B&N.

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Hindy-Invention-Darin-Gibby-ebook/dp/B06VXJ796N

Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Hindy-Invention-Darin-Gibby/dp/1633933660

B&N Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/chasing-hindy-darin-gibby/1125815721

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Learn how to write well. That was the hard lesson I had to learn. I even hired a coach to help me.

What is up next for you?

I am currently working on a piece of historical fiction based in the mid-18th century. I was just at the New Jersey Historical Society doing research. I’m going to tell about an important and fascinating part of American history that has somehow been overlooked.

Is there anything you would like to add?

As Stephen King is fond of saying, as long as you can wake up and write, life is going to be okay.


Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
• This giveaway ends midnight June 30.
Good luck everyone!
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Friday, April 28, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway: A Mother's Love by Charlotte Hubbard

Revealed secrets, love and forgiveness swirl through this superb new novel from Charlotte Hubbard.

A Mother's Love tells the story of Widow Rose Raber, who lost her father and husband in a sawmill fire. Raising her daughter Gracie while caring for her sick mother has been challenging. Then when on her death bed Lydia reveals Rose was adopted and she is not to seek out her birth mother because that woman has too much to lose if the secret comes out, her world is turned upside down. As Rose struggles to reconcile the truth with her faith, newcomer Matthias Wagler is another unexpected surprise in her life.

When her birth mother unexpectedly shows up at Rose's new job, their bond is instant and unmistakable. But Saul Hartzler isn't a man to be reckoned with. He soon realizes his wife's deception and is appalled that she bore a child he knew nothing about. Now this truth threatens Matthais' livelihood and Rose's future. Rose and Matthias must place all their faith in God and trust He will provide a miraculous resolution.

A Mother's Love is a captivating story. From the very first moment the reader is drawn into Rose's life: the ache of the loss of her family, her uncertainty and anger over learning about her birth mother, the challenges of being a single parent, the desire to find her birth mother, the need to carve out a new life for Gracie and her, and so much more. This story will tug at your heartstrings as much as it will comfort you in realizing that God works out all things for the good of His people.

With each new novel I read from Charlotte Hubbard I think, this is the best story she has ever written. Then she amazes me by writing another fabulous story that is even better. If you haven't read anything by Hubbard before, you're missing out on one of the best names in Amish fiction. Pick up a copy of A Mother's Love today and find out for yourself.

Excerpt:


“How was your morning with Jerusalem and Vernon?” Rose asked as she managed a smile for the bishop’s wife. “I hope you were a gut little guest?”

“The best company we could’ve asked for,” Jerusalem replied. “We gathered the eggs, and Gracie counted the new chicks in the barn—”

“Thirty-eight!” Gracie exclaimed.

“—and then we made French toast—”

“And I ate two whole pieces!” Gracie crowed. “With maple surple and fried apples.”

Jerusalem stopped at the edge of the tilled garden spot, and when she held out her hand, Gracie raced over to grab it. “And we played hide-and-seek with Vernon, too, didn’t we, dear?”

“Jah, but I found him every time!” Gracie replied. “He thought I wouldn’t see him under that tarp, but his big butt was stickin’ out!”

“Gracie,” Rose chided. “This is our bishop you’re talking about. Be polite.”

Jerusalem chuckled. “She speaks the truth. Hiding isn’t Vernon’s best talent, I’m afraid. But he was a gut sport about it when Gracie found him right off.”

“See, ‘Rusalem?” the little girl said, pointing to the mounded rows in the garden. “We put the lettuce on this end, and the peas down this way. Mamma said we could plant an extra long row of those, coz they’re my favorite.”

Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Kensington (March 28, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 149670844X
ISBN-13: 978-1496708441

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.



Click on these links to buy this book now!


Ebook: 

Charlotte will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.

Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

WEBSITE www.CharlotteHubbard.com

Facebook www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1


Monday, April 24, 2017

Guest Blogger: F.M. Meredith, Author of Unresolved (Rocky Bluff P.D. Series)


Rocky Bluff P.D. is underpaid and understaffed and when two dead bodies turn up, the department is stretched to the limit. The mayor is the first body discovered, the second an older woman whose death is caused in a bizarre manner. Because no one liked the mayor, including his estranged wife and the members of the city council, the suspects are many, but each one has an alibi.

Copies may be purchased from Book and Table by emailing bookandtablevaldosta@gmail.com with a 10% discount and free shipping.

Books may be ordered from all the usual places as well.

One of My Favorite Characters in the Rocky Bluff P.D. Series

Cheryl asked me to tell about my favorite character in this series, but instead, I wanted to tell you about a fairly new character that I’m growing fond of, the new Chief of Police, Chandra Taylor.

Chandra, the second African American on the RBPD, came to Rocky Bluff from the San Francisco Police Department. She knew her chance of advancing beyond lieutenant were nil. Though the small beach town of Rocky Bluff certainly didn’t compare to San Francisco, it didn’t take long before Chandra began to enjoy her job, the police officers who worked under her and the community itself.

In A Crushing Death, Chandra’s life was threatened by a man she’d arrested in the past and Detective Milligan and his wife, Officer Stacey Milligan, not only protected her but became friends in the process.

When the mayor is murdered and the other members of the city council all become suspects, Chandra finds herself attracted to the man who has become the new mayor, Devon Duvall. Whether or not this attraction will develop, of course, depends upon Devon’s innocence.

It’s always fun for me as an author, when new and interesting characters become a part of the Rocky Bluff series. I hope that readers will enjoy this new twist as well.



F. M. Meredith lived for many years in a small beach community much like Rocky Bluff. She has many relatives and friends who are in law enforcement and share their experiences and expertise with her. She taught writing for Writers Digest Schools for 10 years, and was an instructor at the prestigious Maui Writers Retreat, and has taught at many writers’ conferences. Marilyn is a member of three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 21, 2017

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray

Her Secret

by Shelley Shepard Gray

on Tour April 17 – 28, 2017



Synopsis:

Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray begins a new series—The Amish of Hart County—with this suspenseful tale of a young Amish woman who is forced to move to a new town to escape a threatening stalker.

After a stalker went too far, Hannah Hilty and her family had no choice but to leave the bustling Amish community where she grew up. Now she’s getting a fresh start in Hart County, Kentucky…if only she wasn’t too scared to take it. Hannah has become afraid to trust anyone—even Isaac, the friendly Amish man who lives next door. She wonders if she'll ever return to the trusting, easy-going woman she once was.

For Isaac Troyer, the beautiful girl he teasingly called “The Recluse” confuses him like no other. When he learns of her past, he knows he's misjudged her. However, he also understands the importance of being grateful for God’s gifts, and wonders if they will ever have anything in common. But as Hannah and Isaac slowly grow closer, they realize that there’s always more to someone than meets the eye.

Just as Hannah is finally settling into her new life, and perhaps finding a new love, more secrets are revealed and tragedy strikes. Now Hannah must decide if she should run again or dare to fight for the future she has found in Hart County.

Book Details:

Genre: Amish Fiction

Published by: HarperCollins Publishers

Publication Date: March 14th 2017

Number of Pages: 272

ISBN: 006246910X (ISBN13: 9780062469106)

Series: The Amish of Hart County #1

Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 



Read an excerpt:


CHAPTER 2


Someone was coming. After reeling in his line, Isaac Troyer set his pole on the bank next to Spot, his Australian shepherd, and turned in the direction of the noise.

He wasn’t worried about encountering a stranger as much as curious to know who would walk through the woods while managing to disturb every tree branch, twig, and bird in their midst. A silent tracker, this person was not.

Beside him, Spot, named for the spot of black fur ringing his eye, pricked his ears and tilted his head to one side as he, too, listened and watched for their guest to appear.

When they heard a muffled umph, followed by the crack of a branch, Isaac began to grow amused. Their visitor didn’t seem to be faring so well.

He wasn’t surprised. That path was rarely used and notoriously overrun with hollyhocks, poison oak, and ivy. For some reason, wild rosebushes also ran rampant there. Though walking on the old path made for a pretty journey, it also was a somewhat dangerous one, too. Those bushes had a lot of thorns. Most everyone he knew chose to walk on the road instead.

He was just wondering if, perhaps, he should brave the thorns and the possibility of rashes to offer his help—when a woman popped out.

The new girl. Hannah Hilty.

Obviously thinking she was completely alone, she stepped out of the shade of the bushes and lifted her face into the sun. She mumbled to herself as she pulled a black sweater off her light-blue short-sleeved dress. Then she turned her right arm this way and that, frowning at what looked like a sizable scrape on it.

He’d been introduced to her at church the first weekend her family had come. His first impression of her had been that she was a pretty thing, with dark-brown hair and hazel-colored eyes. She was fairly tall and willowy, too, and had been blessed with creamy-looking pale skin. But for all of that, she’d looked incredibly wary.

Thinking she was simply shy, he’d tried to be friendly, everyone in his family had. But instead of looking happy to meet him or his siblings, she’d merely stared at him the way a doe might stare at an oncoming car—with a bit of weariness and a great dose of fear.

He left her alone after that.

Every once in a while he’d see her. At church, or at the market with her mother. She always acted kind of odd. She was mostly silent, sometimes hardly even talking to her parents or siblings. Often, when he’d see her family in town shopping, she usually wasn’t with them. When she was, he’d see her following her parents. With them, yet separate. Silently watching her surroundings like she feared she was about to step off a cliff.

So, by his estimation, she was a strange girl. Weird.

And her actions just now? They seemed even odder. Feeling kind of sorry for her, he got to his feet. “Hey!” he called out.

Obviously startled, Hannah turned to him with a jerk, then froze.

Her unusual hazel eyes appeared dilated. She looked scared to death. Rethinking the step forward he’d been about to do, he stayed where he was. Maybe she wasn’t right in the mind? Maybe she was lost and needed help.

Feeling a little worried about her, he held up a hand. “Hey, Hannah. Are you okay?”

But instead of answering him, or even smiling back like a normal person would, she simply stared.

He tried again. “I’m Isaac Troyer.” When no look of recognition flickered in her eyes, he added, “I’m your neighbor. We met at church, soon after you moved in. Remember?”

She clenched her fists but otherwise seemed to be trying hard to regain some self-control. After another second, color bloomed in her cheeks. “I’m Hannah Hilty.”

“Yeah. I know.” Obviously, he’d known it. Hadn’t she heard him say her name? He smiled at her, hoping she’d see the humor in their conversation. It was awfully intense for two neighbors having to reacquaint themselves.
By his reckoning, anyway.

She still didn’t smile back. Actually, she didn’t do much of anything at all, besides gaze kind of blankly at him.

Belatedly, he started wondering if something had happened to her on her walk. “Hey, are you okay? Are you hurt or something?”

Her hand clenched into a fist. “Why do you ask?”

Everything he wanted to say sounded mean and rude. “You just, uh, seem out of breath.” And she was white as a sheet, looked like she’d just seen a monster, and could hardly speak.

Giving her an out, he said, “Are you lost?”

“Nee.”

He was starting to lose patience with her. All he’d wanted to do was sit on the bank with Spot and fish for an hour or two, not enter into some strange conversation with his neighbor girl.

“Okay, then. Well, I was just fishing, so I’m going to go back and do that.”

Just before he turned away, she took a deep breath. Then she spoke. “I’m sorry. I know I’m not making any sense.”

“You’re making sense.” Kind of. “But that said, you don’t got anything to be sorry for. It’s obvious you, too, were looking for a couple of minutes to be by yourself.”

“No, that ain’t it.” After taking another deep breath, she said, “Seeing you took me by surprise. That’s all.”
Isaac wasn’t enough of a jerk to not be aware that seeing a strange man, when you thought you were alone, might be scary to a timid girl like her.

“You took me by surprise, too. I never see anyone out here.”

Some of the muscles in her face and neck relaxed. After another second, she seemed to come to a decision and stepped closer to him. “Is that your dog?”

“Jah. His name is Spot, on account of the circle around his eye.”

“He looks to be a real fine hund.” She smiled.

And what a smile it was. Sweet, lighting up her eyes. Feeling a bit taken by surprise, too, he said, “He’s an Australian shepherd and real nice. Would you like to meet him?”

“Sure.” She smiled again, this time displaying pretty white teeth.

“Spot, come here, boy.”

With a stretch and a groan, Spot stood up, stretched again, then sauntered over. When he got to Isaac’s side, he paused. Isaac ran a hand along his back, then clicked his tongue, a sign for Spot to simply be a dog.

Spot walked right over and rubbed his nose along one of Hannah’s hands.

She giggled softly. “Hello, Spot. Aren’t you a handsome hund?” After she let Spot sniff her hand, she ran it along his soft fur. Spot, as could be expected, closed his eyes and enjoyed the attention.

“Look at that,” Hannah said. “He likes to be petted.”

“He’s friendly.”

“Do you go fishing here much?” she asked hesitantly.

“Not as much as I’d like to. I’m pretty busy. Usually, I’m helping my father on the farm or working in my uncle’s woodworking shop.” Because she seemed interested, he admitted, “I don’t get to sit around and just enjoy the day all that much.”

“And here I came and ruined your peace and quiet.”

“I didn’t say that. You’re fine.”

She didn’t look as if she believed him. Actually, she looked even more agitated. Taking a step backward, she said, “I should probably let you get back to your fishing, then.”

“I don’t care about that. I’d rather talk to you.”

Her eyes widened. “Oh?”

“Jah. I mean, we’re neighbors and all.” When she still looked doubtful, he said, “Besides, everyone is curious about you.”

“I don’t know why. I’m just an Amish girl.”

He thought she was anything but that. “Come on,” he chided. “You know what I’m talking about.”

Looking even more unsure, she shook her head.

“First off, I’ve hardly even seen you around town, only on Sundays when we have church. And even then you never stray from your parents’ side. That’s kind of odd.”

“I’m still getting used to being here in Kentucky,” she said quickly.

“What is there to get used to?” he joked. “We’re just a small community in the middle of cave country.”

To his surprise, she stepped back. “I guess getting used to my new home is taking me a while. But that doesn’t mean anything.”

Aware that he’d hurt her feelings, he realized that he should have really watched his tone. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. I was just saying that the way you’ve been acting has everyone curious.  That’s why people are calling you ‘The Recluse.’ ”

“ ‘The Recluse’?”

“Well, jah. I mean you truly are an Amish woman of mystery,” he said, hoping she’d tease him right back like his older sister would have done.   

She did not.

Actually, she looked like she was about to cry, and it was his doing.

When was he ever going to learn to read people better? Actually, he should knock some sense into himself. He’d been a real jerk. “Sorry. I didn’t intend to sound so callous.”

“Well, you certainly did.”

“Ah, you are right. It was a bad joke.”

“I better go.”

Staring at her more closely, he noticed that those pretty hazel eyes of hers looked kind of shimmery, like a whole mess of tears was about to fall. Now he felt worse than bad.“Hey, are you going to be okay getting home? I could walk you back, if you’d like.”

“Danke, nee.”

Reaching out, he grasped Spot by his collar. “I don’t mind at all. It will give us a chance to—”

She cut him off. “I do not want or need your help.” She was staring at him like he was scary. Like he was the type of guy who would do her harm.

That bothered him.

“Look, I already apologized. You don’t need to look at me like I’m going to attack you or something. I’m just trying to be a good neighbor.”

She flinched before visibly collecting herself. “I understand. But like I said, I don’t want your help. I will be fine.”

When he noticed that Spot was also sensing her distress, he tried again even though he knew he should just let her go. “I was done fishing anyway. All I have to do is grab my pole. Then Spot and I could walk with you.”

“What else do I have to say for you to listen to me?” she fairly cried out. “Isaac, I do not want you to walk me anywhere.” She turned and darted away, sliding back into the brush. No doubt about to get covered in more scratches and poison ivy.

Well, she’d finally said his name, and it certainly did sound sweet on her lips.

Too bad she was now certain to avoid him for the rest of her life. He really hoped his mother was never going to hear about how awful he’d just been. She’d be so disappointed.

He was disappointed in himself, and was usually a lot more patient with people. He liked that about himself, too. And this girl? Well, she needed someone, too. But she seemed even afraid of her shadow.

***
Excerpt from Her Secret by Shelley Shepard Gray.  Copyright © 2017 by Shelley Shepard Gray. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.




Shelley Shepard Gray



Author Bio:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.


Catch Up With Ms. Gray On:





Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Wendy Corsi Staub and William Morrow. There will be 2 winners of one $25 Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 15th and runs through May 2nd, 2017. This giveaway is for US residents only. Void where prohibited by law.
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Interview & Giveaway with Shelley Schanfield, Author of The Mountain Goddess

Shelley Schanfield’s passion for Buddhism and yoga arose sixteen years ago, when she and her son earned black belts in Tae Kwon Do. The links between the martial arts and Buddhist techniques to calm and focus the mind fascinated her. By profession a librarian, Shelley plunged into research about the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500 years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some form, has a role in all of these traditions. Its transformational teachings soon prompted Shelley to hang up her black belt and begin a yoga practice that she follows to this day.

Because she loves historical fiction, Shelley looked for a good novel about the Buddha. When she didn’t find one that satisfied her, she decided to write her own novels based on the spiritual struggles of women in the Buddha’s time. She published the first book in the Sadhana Trilogy, The Tigress and the Yogi, in 2016 and will publish the second, The Mountain Goddess in early 2017.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS

Where did you grow up?

I grew up near Minneapolis on beautiful Lake Minnetonka. Summers were filled with swimming, canoeing, and water skiing; winters with ice skating and skiing. Our house was filled with books, so when it was too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter, I never ran out of reading material.

What is your fondest childhood memory?

I had a fortunate childhood and lots of good memories, but in a way they blur together so I wouldn’t single out just one.  I did have a rather mystical experience when I was maybe eight or nine, which both exhilarated and terrified me in a way that only began to make sense when I began Buddhist meditation and my yoga practice. It even figures in my second book, The Mountain Goddess. It happened when I stretched out on the grassy hill that overlooked the lake we lived on and looked up at the sky. It was a favorite pastime, but on this warm summer day as I gazed at the constantly changing clouds, the overwhelming sensation that I was falling up and would keep falling (or was it flying?) until I flew through the clouds and out of earth’s atmosphere into dark, infinite space entirely seized me. I felt huge and unbounded, truly like I was part of the universe, but at the same time tiny and insignificant. I could never call up the feeling but sometimes it struck me unawares. Even nowadays, it will sometimes come in my meditation practice, but it takes focus and concentration.

When did you begin writing?

I began writing fiction seriously in about 2000, seventeen years ago. It was around the time my husband’s father died. He was a very accomplished man, an aerospace engineer, a wonderful father-in-law and grandfather. Not long before his death he encouraged me to follow my dreams, whatever they might be. I took his advice to heart and signed up for my first writing class.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I love to get up around 1 or 2 a.m., when the world around me is asleep, and either take up a journal and write with black ink on a pristine white page or else sit at my computer and fill the screen. That’s the best time to create new work. I can pretty much edit any time of day.


What is this book about?

The Mountain Goddess is about the young woman who became the wife of Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. She’s a fierce warrior and a spiritual seeker in her own way. It’s the second book in the Sadhana Trilogy, which follows the transformational journeys of women of the Buddha’s time. The first book, The Tigress and the Yogi, takes a Buddhist legend about a man who becomes a vicious outlaw and gives it a feminist twist—the outlaw is a woman who escapes life as a low cast slave to seek vengeance as the ruthless leader of her own army.

What inspired you to write it?

An interest in Buddhism from childhood was reawakened when my son and I were earning out black belts in Tae Kwon Do. Did you know that Prince Siddhartha and many of his followers were warriors? Many Asian martial arts have links to Buddhist techniques for calming the mind and centering concentration. The more I began to read about the Buddha, the more the women of his time and place (2500 years ago in Northeastern India) began to interest me.                                                                                  
Who is your biggest supporter?

My bemused and patient husband.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

Yes, I have a fantastic critique group with which meets weekly and gives honest and helpful feedback. Sometimes it hurts; sometimes I don’t implement it; but I always listen to them and consider their thoughtful input.

Who is your favorite author?

Impossible to pick one. I’m a voracious reader—historical fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, literary fiction, as well as books on history, philosophy, and religion, and that’s just a sampling of my interests.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

I had one for a year. It meant a lot when I signed with her that someone thought they could sell my book. We parted ways when she didn’t, and by that time self-publishing was well-established and made complete sense for me.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Fairly smooth sailing to publication. The tough part is discoverability: getting the word out when there are hundreds of thousands of titles published every year is daunting.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

Oh, of course. But I’m not sure my experience would be useful for others. Everyone’s path is different. The main thing is just to keep writing.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Both my books are available in paper and e-book editions now from all major on-line retailers. Bookstores can also order paperbacks from Ingram or directly from my distributor, Thomson-Shore. Links to all are on my website.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

My website has links to some interesting resources and brief bibliographies that include a small selection from what I used while writing.

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

I’m not the greatest promoter, but one thing I knew was that I had to put a quality product out there. Many experienced publishing gurus say that word of mouth is what really sells a book, so you should write the best book you can. Viewed that way, I would say that the best investment I made was in a great developmental editor, Jane Ratcliffe, and Meghan Pinson , a great copyeditor. Next to that, it was a really talented book designer, Glendon Haddix at Streetlight Graphics.
           

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Trust your own gut about your story.

What is up next for you?

Right now I’m working on Book Three of the Sadhana Trilogy. Sign up at my website to get updates!

Is there anything you would like to add?

Keep writing!




Terms & Conditions:

By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
Five winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to win one free e-copy of The Mountain Goddess.
This giveaway ends midnight April 28.
Good luck everyone!