Join a Facebook Party to celebrate #New #LeiCrimeKW books #Prizes

I’m celebrating the release of Charade at Sea – my third book in the Lei Crime Series for Kindle World.

Charade at Sea follows A Snake in Paradise and SEAL of a Monk. They are stand-alone books although I’d recommend you read them in order. It’s the best way to understand the symbolism woven throughout.

3 lei crime books

Charade at Sea will be live on Amazon US shortly, however, there’s no time like the present to have a party!

FB party page

Join me with other Lei Crime Kindle World authors, including Toby Neal who started the terrific Lei Crime series.

When? June 27, 6 PM – 8 PM EST.

I’m giving away books and a $20 Amazon gift card.

Come by for your chance to win!

FB partypack

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Charade at Sea is a romance/mystery that tackles the important issue of stolen valor.

Find out more from the summary below.

Hope to see you at the Facebook partyJust drop by, say hi to authors, and have fun! Easy to win free books and great prizes!

cas_HR4_lite

Charade at Sea

A luxury cruise is ideal for a budding romance … or is it?

Lainey Lee and ex-Navy SEAL, Max Scott, shared an incredible experience when they met in Kauai. A romantic cruise around the Hawaiian Islands seems perfect for discovering if they can become more than just friends.

But mystery abounds.

Lainey meets a fifty-something newlywed on her honeymoon. The chatty woman speaks highly of her husband and his secret missions abroad. Lainey is intrigued but her intuition tells her something is not right.

Even while her feelings for Max grow, Lainey can’t help wondering about the charade being played at sea.

 

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Filed under Important Announcements, Lei Crime Kindle Worlds

Eden’s Exchange talks to author @MarsDorian #scifi

I first connected with Mars Dorian on Twitter some years ago, not long after I started writing. We’ve been friends ever since.

Each exchange, no matter how brief is always a treat for me. Mars is a delightful human being who deserves every success because he works so hard at it.

And yet, he makes it look effortless. His presence on social media is superb and few people do it as well as he does—we can all learn from him!

It’s a pleasure for me to finally welcome Mars to my blog and highlight his work as a science fiction author.

Be sure to connect to him. He’s definitely worth your time.🙂

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Mars, welcome to Eden’s Exchange. Thrilled to have you here. Please tell my readers where you live.

Berlin. And I’m love-hating it. Love, because it’s an open-minded city with affordable rent, grrreat creative events and unique people. Hate, because it’s getting more criminal, dirty and dark. Sounds like hokus-pokus, or maybe I’ve lived here for too long, but the city seems to suck my creative energies, I need change.

I’d love to visit you. Don’t leave yet! If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I was more business-savvy and entrepreneurial-spirited. My parents are both creatives, and their chaotic daydreaming spirit has wandered over to me. It’s fun and fulfilling, but it also leads to many decisions that are dumb from a biz point of view. So less introvert daydreamer, more outgoing business man. But maybe it’s DNA. I’ll tell you in a year.

Please do.😉 What profession other than your own would you like to try?

In my early twenties, I wanted to become a movie director in Hollywood, but then I realized I hated waking up early and working with people. I still would love to see a movie made by me, I just hate all the steps it would take to get there.

Mars, at least you know yourself well! Do you have a motto you live by?

I stole this one from Mark Schaefer this year, a writing mentor and popular marketing blogger over at http://www.businessesgrow.com/.

The wise man said, “Growth and comfort can’t coexist.”

It’s my motto for 2016, to try things that challenge my comfort and hopefully grow my personality, finances and overall life.

Challenging your comfort zone is always a good thing, though I think your personality is already HUGE. Let’s learn more about your writing. What motivates you to do it?

I love telling stories, ever since my mother bought the first comic edition of Ghostbusters when I was seven years old. From that day on, I used comic-drawing, type-writng (remember that?) and conventional painting to tell stories.

As an adult, I find writing to be the purest and most accessible style to heart-reach a human being on the other side of the planet.

What a wonderful way of putting it. How do you market yourself?

I’ve built up an email list with over 1300 peeps that I write to once my new book comes out. I also have regular readers who give me honest reviews for new books, which helps build up social proof for the launch. I use Amazon’s marketing tools such as the Kindle countdown deal or the temporary free option to shoot up the sales ranks, or try to. Recently, I’ve started learning more about book promotion sites but I need more experience and knowledge to properly understand their merit. Other than that, it’s the good old ‘constantly ship quality books for your target audience.’

Quality. Yes. Name a few authors and books, and why you like them.

As a sci-fi writer, I try to avoid reading too much sci-fi to avoid idea incest and samey samey stories. So years ago, when I was looking for different authors to admire, I stumbled upon Don Winslow, a SoCal thriller writer. His book Savages, about two guys setting up a cannabis empire in California and pissing off a major Mexican cartel, inspired me. The man writes in a way that I hadn’t seen before: Don breaks the fourth wall, berates his characters in the middle of a paragraph, writes staccato minimalist prose with the beauty of a lyrical song text. And then you read his witty dialogue, bam. I’ve since read ten books penned by Don and it has deepened my literary love for his unconventional prose and storytelling.

Don sounds amazing. I must add him to my list. How much research do you do for your books?

I watch science videos every single day on Youtube, ranging from how space rockets work to how terraforming Mars could look like. I also use the online tool Evernote to collect and save articles about any technology I want to include in my stories, such as nano-medicine, miniature robots, AI, FTL-traveling and genome engineering. Even though I put characters and stories always first, I want to make sure that the worlds I create are based on (possible) science.

attack planetVery cool way of doing it Mars. How would you define your style of writing?

Minimalist, fast-paced, short-chapter-ish prose with the occasional word play and witty dialogue. Don Winslow, don’t sue me.

Ha! Don Winslow is lucky to have you as a true fan, Mars. Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?

I write a character sheet for the protagonists and antagonists, where I clarify their wants, their voice and unique traits slash skills. Based on that, I craft a thousand word treatment that shows what must happen in each act of the story (I follow the trusted three act structure). The main parts of every story are: opening scene, premise, mid-point, mirror moment, showdown, and of course resolution. Once I’ve finished all that, I start writing the first draft. This sounds very plott-y, but there’s still a lot of making-things-up-on-the-go. I for example don’t outline my scenes, because that would take away any surprise on my end. So sixty-five percent plotting, thirty-five percent pantsing.🙂

Do you have a set schedule for writing? Tell us about your typical writer’s day.

I write during the day while listening to video game soundtracks and/or J-pop. Since I use the writing software Scrivener, I can track my daily writing goal in the form of a status bar that fills up the more you write. My goal is to write at least 2K words a day, 1K being the absolute minimum.

fear the liberator

What are some of your “must-have” tools for writing? 

The writing software is the most important part in my creative arsenal. Back when I wrote in Word, writing was less than half the fun it’s now. Scrivener, available for Mac and Windows, is in my opinion the best writing software for authors who write non/fiction. It’s organization of chapters is a dream, the options for writing and tracking your goals are amazing, and the possibility to formate any digital book file (epub, mobi, PDF, etc.) without coding experience makes it the perfect tool for self-publishing authors. I know I sound like a double-used car salesman, but I simply love products that drastically help my career.

I agree you need good tools. Writing in itself is hard enough. What is the name and genre of your latest book?

Vanguard Galaxy. It’s about an ambitious ex-military captain taking a cybernetic ship crew to the rim of the known galaxy to establish contact with a sentient life form. I guess some people call that genre space opera, but it does sound cheesy, that’s why I call it galactic sci-fi.🙂

Here is the cover and blurb.

Vanguard-Galaxy_Flattened

Buy links: Amazon US | UK | Canada | Germany

Vanguard Galaxy

Rising cruiser captain Tellride fails a secret asteroid assault and kills his military career. Fortunately for the captain, one of the solar system’s biggest corps hires him to lead an elite ship crew billions of kilometers across the mysterious space.

The mission: initiate contact with the first advanced alien known to mankind.

Sounds simple, especially when equipped with a biomorphic spaceship, hi-tech arms and elite members with cybernetic skills. But when deceptive aliens and archenemies from past battles collide, the question of success becomes one of survival.

“Vanguard Galaxy is filled with twists and turns, cool new tech, witty dialogue and epic space encounters…” ~ Ioangu

“If you’re into future tech, epic space battles, and a nice twisty plot, then this is the book you were looking for.” ~ Brandon Stewart

 

Why should people read Vanguard Galaxy?

If you’re open to sci-fi and want to read fast-paced, future-packed rides with diverse characters, cool new tech, and witty dialogue, you should check Mars Dorian out. There’s also a sense of wonder I want to instill in readers.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing it?

That you have to keep your target market in mind. My first books flopped abysmally because I told stories no one cared about and used weird comic covers trying to (desperately) sell them. Nowadays, I’m very conscious of my audience and how to reach them, e.g. through adequate covers, targeted stories (that still end up unique and weird), and the proper promotion. Self-awareness is by the far most important skill here—knowing yourself, and the market where you want to position yourself.

What makes your books stand out from the crowd?

My unique storytelling style, the diverse set of characters, definitely the dialogue and the world-building. Once you read a Mars Dorian book, you will recognize my style because no one writes the way I do. I want to believe readers who dig that style keep coming back because they can’t get that experience anywhere else.

I read an early book of yours and I agree. Your style is uniquely YOU. What inspired you to write Vanguard Galaxy?

I often dream about the future and wonder how humanity would act as an advanced, spacefaring civilization. If we had the technology to travel and colonize much of the solar system, what would we discover in far away galaxies, which I call the Rim. And who would explore this ‘new’ frontier—governments, the military or even corporations in their future form? How would alien discoveries change our race? So many far-flung questions I wanted to jam-pack into a tight galactic sci-fi thriller.

What is next for you, Mars?

I want to explore the concept of exoplanet colonization, and how it changes us from a mental and genetic point of view. If we on Earth already differentiate between nationalities (German versus Canadian), how would that differ if humans evolved on different planets (Earthling versus Martian?). I believe we would turn into different humanoid species with vastly different cultures, and that’s a fascinating opportunity for stories.

It is indeed. Your science fiction is like nothing I’ve read before, and everyone should try it. Let’s finish with a fun lightning round!

Name a food you can eat everyday. Pho soup. I almost hit my local vietnamese snack bar daily for the necessary fix.

Salty or sweet? How about bitter? Lemon, especially.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? I love the former territories of the Queen—Australia and America. Canada is next on my list, I’m going there for at least 6-12 months beginning in 2017. There’s something fresh about these countries, opposed to ancient Europe which comes with a stale flavor.

Coffee or tea or something else? I love a German ice-tea brand that makes (somewhat) unique combos, such as green tea mixed with cactus pear. They produce two liter packages only, and in my weaker moments, I down them on a single day.

Your most guilty pleasure. Sounds trivial, but my doctors told me to trim down on the sugar intake. I’ve managed that goal somewhat, but I’m still hooked to a Bavarian Hipster-Drink based on the Mate flower from South America called Club Mate. It comes with only one third the sugar of a regular coke, someone told me. Or maybe that’s what I wish to believe.

Favorite style of music? I love Japanese pop and indie electronic music with video game elements, such as Lapfox who’s Canadian by the way.🙂

Favorite season. Autumn. I like the melancholic and morbid atmo it often brings when the wind blows the dying leaves from the tree-crowns. Autumn is also an excuse to stay inside, cuddle up and do work in front of the computer while enjoying hot chocolate.

Name something you cannot go a day without. I’m training myself to be emotionally independent from pretty much every object and thing, including the Internet.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers? Follow me on Twitter @marsdorian if you have any questions or just want to connect.

Mars, I knew you would be a fascinating subject and you did not disappoint. When you come to Canada, you must visit me, okay? 

Readers, please find Mars on his incredible website and connect to him! You will learn SO much. 

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Connect to Mars

MarsDorian2014

Website | Twitter @marsdorian | Amazon Author Page

Facebook | Goodreads

Mars Dorian is a recovering world traveler, a web-based illustrator and an indie sci-fi author.

He’s created artwork for startups and popular podcasts such as The Unmistakable Creative and written viral articles for renowned marketing blog ‘Grow’ by Mark Schaefer.

He loves telling compelling stories using words and pictures, dealing with future technologies and how they impact human lives…forever. His books tackle futuristic topics such as privatized military, human/alien contacts and cybernetic humanity.

When Mars is not busy getting lost in the worlds he has created, he can be contacted via his website www.marsdorian.com/contact

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Filed under Author & Artist Interviews

Multi-genre author @BRChitwood releases PHOENIX FIRE

Multi-published author, Billy Ray Chitwood, has just released another book, and I’m very pleased to spread the news! He writes in multiple genres, and this book will surely appeal to the romantics in all of us.

Let’s learn more about Phoenix Fire in a short interview, along with a FREE chapter to whet your appetite! 

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Chatting with Billy Ray Chitwood

You’re known for your mystery/suspense books. Many of them are based on real life stories. What is it about Phoenix Fire that makes it unique and romantic?

Phoenix Fire is the result of a reworking and editing of another manuscript. The book was originally published with a different cover, but I was not pleased with it. It failed the ‘first impression’ test as the image did not convey that it was a romance. I consider the book a very good read, so I’m extremely pleased with the new cover.

When you add in the fact that I’m a ‘romantic’, I like love tales, and Phoenix Fire is a great love story.

What is the inspiration for Phoenix Fire?

My twin granddaughters: beautiful of body and soul – both now happily married. They were cheerleaders for the Baltimore Ravens for several years, and the great news is they’re coming to visit me. The book’s dedication belongs to them.

Of all the different books you’ve written so far, which is your personal favorite and why?

Phoenix Fire and my best selling book, Mama’a Madness. Mama’s Madness was inspired by true events, which were awful to imagine and write about. It was gut-wrenching in the penning, and hopefully of some value. There are 52 reviews on Amazon.

Thank you, Billy Ray! Find all book details below, including the buy links for Phoenix Fire.

phoenix fire

Buy Links

Amazon Kindle: US | UK | Worldwide

Paperback: Amazon US |  Amazon UK

 

Phoenix Fire

A Phoenix, Arizona entrepreneur and an ad agency director fall in love in a most unusual way. Their relationship is interrupted by sibling clashes, a gambling addiction, a murder, and a matriarch’s secret that ultimately causes emotional chaos and disorientation. This is a book that will draw the reader into the story and compel them to stay glued until the end. The gripping climax to PHOENIX FIRE is powerful, and tissues are recommended. Treat yourself to a marvelous romance, mixed with some suspense and a desert odyssey to save one’s soul. A truly great read.

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Read the latest review

I received an advance copy of “Phoenix Fire” to review because I have read many of Billy Ray Chitwood’s books. He clearly is an author who loves to write because his genres range from suspense to crime to memoir to political opinion to psychological thrillers to “Phoenix Fire,” a a blend of romance and suspense, heavy into characters’ psychology and psychopathology. I am admittedly a fan—especially enjoying Chitwood’s frequent dips into depraved human psychology and behavior—and “Phoenix Fire” does not disappoint. The sibling rivalry is perverse yet believable, and the protagonist’s inner-demons are understandable, deadly, yet something to be risen above. Bravo, Mr. Chitwood, for another enjoyable two-day read (I read quickly wanting to see what would happen next.).

— Timothy M. Tays

Chapter One

She was lost in the brightness, a magnificent static whiteness, alluring and warm. It was an easy place to be, if it was a place. Perhaps it was a state, a bright and new awareness, a safe and final destination.

She only knew that her essence was etched in the great luminous energy and she did not wish to leave it. The light seemed to be transporting her outward, expanding some awesome truth, recently possessed, and she wanted only to remain and to become whatever the promising ecstasy.

Then, there came a shimmer of interference, vaguely emanating from the mystic fringes, slowly fragmenting the weightless pool of white. There was a rippling which nudged her new awareness, gently precluding her anticipated oneness with the expanding light.

Then came sound, soft and beckoning, like a bird chirping in slow motion, becoming stronger and more strident. She resisted the sound and the fragmenting but she could not pull herself onward into the radiant void. Like a swimmer urgently breast stroking against a strong noiseless tide, she felt herself dipping, sinking, then free-falling from the disintegrating brilliance.

She became conscious of her head shaking in sidelong negation of the interference, her lips silently murmuring, ‘no, no, let me stay! Please let me stay!’

Then she acknowledged the inevitable full immersion back to a solid, contoured reality. The bird chirps became loud concerned voices. The ripples became caring and caressing hands.

The hard ground was cold.  She began to shiver, felt the urge to rise, but was somehow constricted. Her mind made some adjustments and she suddenly knew where she was, how she had gotten there.

Finally, she slowly opened her eyes with a fluttery acceptance of her immediate environment. A man’s face came into focus, hovering two feet above her own. She felt pinned down and quickly discovered that the man was astride her. There was a momentary sense of panic but something about the man’s face made her relax.

A light rain fell, and she was conscious of wet hair matted to her face and forehead. The sky was a dull gray, and skinny treetops came to her peripherally as some surreal apparitions. The man’s concerned face gave her a final focus. She remembered what had happened.

The lightning! She recalled an awful clap of thunder, so jarring and harsh, so totally upon her, instantaneously enveloping her in its loud and splintered brightness. She remembered the searing, exquisite pain that had so consummately wracked her body and mind.

She had been jogging and she must have been struck by lightning. As she blinked from the raindrops and the accounting of the lightning strike, she felt lethargic and without purpose. She had been struck by lightning, yet there was no panic, no real sense of urgency.

The man’s hands left her chest and he studied her with a tender and squinted concern. She felt the weight of his body leaving her, felt a great rush of air fill her chest. The man lifted himself from her but his soft blue eyes remained upon her face.

They were beautiful eyes, shrouded by dark cavernous brows. Wisps of his black hair was pasted about his forehead, and he made odd movements with his lips as though making an adjustment.

Her own lips felt strangely tender to the touch of her tongue, and, in a moment of clarity, she understood: the man had given her mouth to mouth resuscitation.

The man then spoke, softly, his voice conveying a cultured refinement and pleasant resonance. “Can you move your arms and legs?”

She understood the question and lifted her head tentatively, feeling her hands, arms, and legs slowly move to her inner commands. She nodded to the handsome stranger who knelt above and to her side. She managed a small, sad smile of gratitude.

“And can you speak?” He returned her smile.

“Yes, I think so,” came her weak reply.

She noticed for the first time a small group of people standing off to her right, near a park utility shed. She heard a siren off in the distance, its sound increasing in volume. She attempted to rise from the ground.

“Maybe you should stay where you are until you’ve been medically checked. Are you feeling much pain?” The man lightly touched her shoulder.

As her powers of observation became more keen she noticed how the man was dressed. He wore faded red denim shorts, a powder blue sweat shirt which matched his eyes, white athletic socks, and Adidas jogging shoes. Her own ensemble of white shorts, blue top, white socks, and Nike shoes merged nicely with the man’s attire.

She answered the question. “No, I don’t think so, not pain so much. It’s sort of dull aching almost everywhere about my body. I think I’m okay. You’re very kind to help me. Thank you.”

“No ‘thanks’ necessary. It was kind of freaky the way that cloud exploded above us. You just got unlucky, and I suppose we could be faulted for jogging when a storm was brewing …”

The man stopped talking as he saw the flashing lights and heard the diminishing siren whirr of an approaching ambulance.

Uniformed EMTs rushed from the ambulance to the woman’s side, their faces intent and focused. She watched as they quickly set up equipment and prepared for various medical checks. She was beginning to feel confident that her body had not sustained any permanent damage, although some tingling sensations remained in her legs.

After all the medical tests were run, she heard an attendant announce that her vital signs were normal, that she was stable.

The visage of the handsome stranger stayed with her, after the ambulance attendants had displaced him. The image of his dark hair wet against the brow stayed with her, even when he became a blur on the gray fringe of the rainy day crowd. His face stayed with her even beyond the hospital’s emergency room where she was pronounced hale, hearty, and lucky to be alive. His soft smile stayed even when she had returned to her spacious Scottsdale condominium.

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Connect to Billy Ray

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Filed under Author Promotions

Author and Poet @LorenKleinman releases THIS WAY TO FOREVER #NewAdultRomance

Poet Loren Kleinman, whom I’ve met and interviewed on numerous occasions is releasing another book – a romance novel this time! I’m happy to give her space to tell you about  This Way to Forever. It’s scheduled for publication August 14, 2016, but is currently available for preorder.

Learn more about Loren and her road to publication with her latest book.

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Chatting with Loren Kleinman

Loren, you are an accomplished poet, known for your books of poetry. What made you decide to write a romance novel?

I love, love. Not in the cheesy sense, but love that’s empowering, love that inspires us to be our best selves. Sometimes what I thought was love wasn’t love, and its taken lots of dating, lots of writing, and lots of reading (and lots of heartbreak) to begin to understand love.

I was also  thinking about this story for years. The characters started to rear their heads, and it was time to write out their lives, their loves.

What was the inspiration behind This Way to Forever?

TWTF is inspired by a true story, which is my first love. It was a very powerful and heartbreaking romance that taught me so much about myself. The whole time I was in this relationship I just wanted him to love me, see me, but I wound up loving myself more in the end. This book is about strong female voices, the kinds of voices that want to be heard, that want to speak up for what they believe in and not what’s socially predetermined.

Are there any similarities between you and your protagonist, Sara Brody?

Yes! We’re both writers, and a bit chubby in the sexiest ways of course. Did I mention she’s a curvy gal?

But really Sara is this mix of so many women I know as well as a portrayal of the many phases of myself while dating, while journeying to stay true to myself.

I’m hoping TWTF empowers young women to be true to themselves, and live their lives regardless of dating and marriage standards, reflect on what “forever” means to them.

Has poetry helped influence your prose? If yes, how?

It has. Sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes it’s a curse. Moving from poetry to fiction was one of the hardest things I’ve done because you have to let the dialog drive story, and sometimes ‘pretty’ language does’t do a character or a scene justice. However, I do feel that poetry has aided me when writing description, which seemed to flow rather nicely. Dialog took me way longer to write, and I’m still learning.

What do you consider more difficult to write? Poetry or narrative?

Both are so different and require discipline. I think one can seem harder than the other when you’re starting out, but the point is to not think about how “hard” something is. It’s a matter of committing yourself to the process and opening yourself up to its challenges. It took me over four years to write this novel. I had many times where I wanted to just give up, but I learned to pace myself and take it day by day.

What is next for you as an author?

Right now, I’m outlining the second novel, which is a companion novel to TWTF. I’m also finishing up the companion screenplay for TWTF and starting my fifth poetry collection.

Regardless of how any book does, I have to keep writing, keep going, look ahead.

Thank you, Loren! Find all book details below, including the buy links. You can preorder now! 

this way to forever

Buy Links

Amazon Kindle: US ~ UK ~ CA

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BOOK SYNOPSIS

Sara Brody thought she had met her soulmate in Tad Bolak, a charming exchange student. Their whirlwind romance includes nights staring at the stars, declarations of love, and promises to talk often when Tad must return to his native Poland to complete his Master’s Degree. But Sara’s idealistic view of Tad and plans to be together when he gets his degree come to a shattering halt when he admits to having a fiancee back home.

Heartbroken, she vows to keep her heart safe from men and and focuses on her own studies. Until she meets Ethan.

Sara discovers that no relationship is perfect, especially when one still mourns past loves. Tad never gives up on her. Ethan wants her to give their relationship a chance. And Sara wonders what will become of her sense of self if she gives in to either man.

EXCERPT

He leaned in, his mouth inches from mine. Our lips brushed once, and he held my jaw, his thumbs caressing my cheeks. He gazed down at me as though he’d discovered beauty I couldn’t fathom anyone could see in my skin, my lips, my pale widow’s peak. Soft fingers stroked my neck, slipped into my hair, loosening my ponytail. Unable to glance away, I lost myself in his blue eyes, seducing me like a clear sky on a chill winter’s day. We fell into a temporary kiss, losing ourselves–and our balance–as we stumbled to the floor. Laying beside me, he found my hand, his gaze melting my apprehension.

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Connect to Loren

loren kleinman

Amazon Author Page  | Website and Blog  | Facebook 

Twitter @LorenKleinman | Pinterest | Newsletter

Loren Kleinman’s poetry has appeared in journals such as Drunken Boat, Nimrod, Wilderness House Literary Review, Paterson Literary Review, Narrative Northeast and Journal of New Jersey Poets. Her interviews appeared in IndieReader, USA Today, and The Huffington Post. She edited Indie Authors Naked, which was an Amazon Top 100 bestseller in Journalism in the UK and USA.

Kleinman is the author of four collections of poetry, and her memoir The Woman with a Million Hearts released 2016 with BlazeVOX Books. She also blogs for The Mix (Hearst), where she publishes personal essays in Good Housekeeping, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Woman’s Day.

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Scott Bury reveals DEAD MAN LYING for #LEICrimeKW (@ScottTheWriter)

Author Scott Bury is releasing Dead Man Lying, his third book for the Lei Crime Series on Kindle Worlds!

Last year, he launched Torn Roots and Palm Trees and Snowflakes.

Dead Man Lying will be added to the growing list for the Lei Crime Series on Amazon US by the end of the month, so be sure to look for it!

Dead Man Lying - 529x800

Buy Link on Amazon US

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Excerpt for DEAD MAN LYING

Vanessa paused at the edge of the forest to try to rub some of the dirt off her shoes. “Steve Sangster. I can’t believe I’m investigating his death. Did you like his music, Detective Texeira?”

“Call me Lei. Yeah, I love all that folksy rock stuff. I even had one of Steven Sangster’s albums as a girl. Did you?”

Vanessa could not repress a smile. “I was a big fan. I had all his old CDs — still do. I had such a crush on him when I was 16. He was so handsome.”

Lei smiled back. “The blue eyes and the square chin, huh?”

So this is the famous Lei Texeira, Vanessa thought, looking at the slender detective with her peripheral vision while appearing to study the heiau. She was small for a cop, but athletic, with beautiful big brown eyes and a sprinkle of freckles across her cheeks and nose. Her features spoke of a mixture of Hawaiian, Asian and European extraction. Her dark brown curls rippled to her shoulders, and Vanessa wondered briefly how much of the curling was due to the incredible humidity of Hana, on Maui’s rain coast.

“Is this where it happened?” said an unfamiliar voice. Vanessa and Lei turned and Vanessa’s shoe slipped again. Her knee buckled and she almost went down, but Lei’s small hand grabbed her arm, steadying her. Vanessa was impressed — Lei was stronger than she looked.

Steady again on the wet lava, she looked up to see a short, balding man letting the yellow police tape down behind him.

“Don’t the words ‘Do not cross’ mean anything to you?” Lei demanded, stepping toward the man.

“I’m Simon Sangster. He — the victim … I mean, he was my father,” the man stammered. He did not step back, but actually put a foot up on the lava rock.

“I’m sorry for your loss, Mr. Sangster, but you still cannot step past the yellow tape.”

The man scowled, straightened his back and puffed out his little chest, which did not protrude nearly as much as his belly. “Now that my father is — I mean, this is now my property,” he said, but his voice did not match his posture.

“I’m not sure that’s quite true, but even so, this is a crime scene and you’ll have to step back past the yellow tape,” Lei retorted. She lifted the tape for him.

“It’s so that no one inadvertently compromises the investigation,” Vanessa offered, trying to make her tone conciliatory. “Please, step back.”

“In-investigation?” he said, seeming to deflate. “I thought it was an accident?”

“We’ll have to wait for the coroner’s final report to know that,” said Lei. She stepped off the heiau and took the younger Sangster by the arm, directing him into the path back down the hill.

Vanessa had one foot off the lava platform when koa tree beside the path exploded, wood chips flying through the heavy air propelled by the shotgun report that rolled up the slope. Lei threw herself off the forest path, pushing the pudgy Simon Sangster down. Behind her, Vanessa dropped to the ground and rolled, tearing her jacket on ragged volcanic rock. They held still, barely breathing, counting the seconds as the top half of the koa tree slowly toppled.

No shots followed. Vanessa lifted her eyes above the long, pointed leaves of ground-hugging bushes. She counted to ten before lifting her head. Her face was wet from the bushes and covered with bits of shredded wood. She could see the corner of a building a hundred yards down the hill, but no shooter, no glint of low sunlight on a barrel, nothing but the suddenly silent rain forest of Maui. The birdsong had stopped. All Vanessa could hear was her own pounding heart. She made an effort to breathe.

No more shots.

“Agent Storm, are you okay?” said Lei from her hiding place among the trees.

“I’m fine, but my jacket is ruined. You?”

“I’m good.” Lei rose to a crouch, extending her arms to aim a Glock toward the house, then down the path.

Vanessa drew her Walther PPK from its shoulder holster, checking in the opposite direction. “What about Sangster?”

* * *

You can also learn more about DEAD MAN LYING on Scott’s blog.

flourish

Connect to Scott

scott bury

Website and Blog | Twitter @ScottTheWriter

Facebook | Google + | LinkedIn

Amazon US – UK

Scott Bury can’t stay in one category.

After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. “Sam, the Strawb Part,” a children’s story, came out in 2011, with all the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short story for grown-ups, “Dark Clouds.”

The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.

Army of Worn Soles, published in 2014, tells the true story of Maurice Bury, a Canadian drafted into the USSR’s Red Army to face the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

Invited to participate in two Kindle Worlds, he published Torn Roots: A Lei Crime Kindle World Novella and Jet – Stealth: A Jet Kindle World Novella. Both came out in July 2015.

In between writing books and blog posts, Scott helped found an author’s cooperative publishing venture, Independent Authors International. He is also President of author’s professional association BestSelling Reads.

You can find more about Scott Bury, and contact him through his website, http://www.writtenword.ca, his blog, Written Words, and on Twitter @ScottTheWriter.

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Filed under Author Promotions, Lei Crime Kindle Worlds

Music Monday moves with The Tragically Hip ~ In A World Possessed By The Human Mind (@thehipdotcom)

“In A World Possessed By The Human Mind” is the first single from the Hip’s new album Man Machine Poem, which became available June 17, 2016.

I bought the album but haven’t had a chance to listen to all the tracks. If the entire album is like this song, then it should be a very strong collection. Perhaps, there is even a hint of of what Gord Downie has been experiencing in these lyrics.

Just give me the news
It can all be lies
Exciting over fair or the right thing at the right time
Everything is clear
Just how you described
The way it appears, “A world possessed by the human mind” …

One piece of good news to report, the Hip’s final concert in Kingston will be broadcast and streamed — commercial free — on CBC Television, CBC Radio One, CBC Radio 2, cbcmusic.ca and CBC’s YouTube channels.

Save the date – August 20th at 8:30 PM EST.

Have a great week, and I hope you’ve enjoyed The Tragically Hip’s music over the past weeks. Sending healing, good vibes to Gord Downie and the band for their upcoming tour.

~eden

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Filed under Musical Mondays

Introducing a new #LeiCrimeKW book ~ CHARADE at SEA

It’s been a while since I released a new title, and I’m so proud to do so with my third novella for the Lei Crime Series on Kindle Worlds.

Charade at Sea follows A Snake in Paradise and SEAL of a Monk. They are stand-alone books although I’d recommend you read them in order to understand the symbolism woven throughout.

Snakes and strength prevail in A Snake in Paradise, where I introduce the main character, Lainey Lee.

Dhamma and endurance weave through SEAL of a Monk, and introduces ex-Navy SEAL Max Scott.

In Charade at Sea, Lainey and Max meet again in Hawaii.  It’s a romance/mystery and tackles the important issue of stolen valor.

Look for its release end of the month, kicking off with a Facebook party June 27th.

Join me with other Lei Crime Kindle World authors, including Toby Neal who started the terrific Lei Crime series. Lots of books and great prizes to be won!

In the meantime, my other two books are only 99 cents. I don’t set the price so grab them while they are on sale!

And now … here is the cover … I love it and hope you do too!

As always, huge thanks to award-winning designer, JB Graphics for his vision and hard work!

cas_HR4_lite

Charade at Sea

A luxury cruise is ideal for a budding romance … or is it?

Lainey Lee and ex-Navy SEAL, Max Scott, shared an incredible experience when they met in Kauai. A romantic cruise around the Hawaiian Islands seems perfect for discovering if they can become more than just friends.

But mystery abounds.

Lainey meets a fifty-something newlywed on her honeymoon. The chatty woman speaks highly of her husband and his secret missions abroad. Lainey is intrigued but her intuition tells her something is not right.

Even while her feelings for Max grow, Lainey can’t help wondering about the charade being played at sea.

 

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Filed under Important Announcements, Lei Crime Kindle Worlds

Eden’s Exchange talks to author Anna Celeste Burke (@aburke59)

I know Anna Celeste Burke from several writing groups. Her friends and family call her Celeste, and so will I.😀

An award-winning author and a fascinating woman, Celeste has written numerous series of cozy mysteries. They are bound to please readers of the popular genre.

Please welcome Celeste to Eden’s Exchange.

* * * *

Thank you, Eden, for the invitation to drop by your lovely blog! I’m grateful for this opportunity to meet your followers and tell them more about myself and my writing.

You’re welcome! Thrilled to have you here, Celeste. Please tell readers if you have a motto you live by.

An interesting question. I find it a bit uncomfortable writing about myself, but here goes! That discomfort probably stems from an early upbringing in a hell fire and brimstone tradition that warns: “Pride goeth before the fall.” Pride was not just about taking pleasure in your accomplishments but included the vain glory of looking at yourself in a mirror, bodily adornments, and any desire for more than the simplest things in life. My roots reach back into the Amish/Mennonite tradition, although by the time I was born my paternal grandparents, both ministers, had left the reclusive sects in which they were raised. Perhaps, I’m still influenced by those early admonishments. My motto is something like: Dream big, work hard, stay humble.

Great answer. I believe humility is so important. What part of the world do you live in?

Maybe geography is destiny. At six, my more liberal and adventurous parents left the Midwest for California. That changed everything. By the time I turned ten those earlier religious tenets were old news. I experienced the physical beauty of California as wildly flamboyant. Even the Spanish Catholic heritage appeared to fly in the face of that more austere vision of life. Gleaming white-washed mission walls, strewn with magenta bougainvillea, set against the backdrop of blue skies—stunning.

The culture felt edgy and unbounded. Dreaming big, wanting more, seeking new and novel experiences all seemed part of the package. Think Hollywood, Baby, as the Old West gave way to the new. Of course, there were larger influences, too, given that my move west coincided with coming of age as a baby boomer: Space Race, as well as Civil Rights, Women’s and Peace movements. The place and time defined many things about life for me, as it did for many who grew up in the same era.

Is it any wonder that, at 17, I ran off with a high school dropout and rock and roll musician I met in San Diego and married in a Tijuana lawyer’s office? Not that my parents or the police agreed with my decision. I got as far as LAX before the police picked me up as a runaway. It wasn’t all about the California dream run amok—I had other reasons to run–good ones. Lucky for me, the guy I married turned out to be a keeper. I left California for decades, but the place stayed with me.

When it came time to retire from our jobs as professors at the Ohio State University, my ex-rocker husband and I returned to California. To the desert near Palm Spring, not San Diego where I grew up, and we met. I love most everything about this valley, even the triple-digit heat, although I’d gladly take fewer of those days!

Wow, Celeste … I’m happy you and your husband made it work despite the initial challenges! And I LOVE the heat! Is there another profession you would have liked to try?

Growing up in a large family, money was scarce. I started doing odd jobs early. Babysitting at age 7—mostly with moms nearby, but not always. At eight, a neighborhood teenager paid my younger brother and me a nickel for each snake chased out by running ahead of him through the brush in a nearby canyon. By the time I left home at 17, I had worked as a tutor, delivered papers, cleaned houses, sold Avon, and worked in a genetics lab breeding fruit flies.

My first real job was at Walt Disney World. At 18, I had completed basic training as a cook and started as a culinary assistant in one of the theme park restaurants. A couple of years later, Disney offered me an opportunity to enter the Walt Disney World University chef school where I continued my training and became a chef. After graduation, I became a Preparation Chef at the Polynesian Hotel, one of two or three women in that role in the Disney corporation.

Most of my professional life I worked as a professor, behavioral health researcher, and research administrator. As part of my training for that work on the way to my Ph.D., I earned a clinical degree in social work [MSW] and spent more than five years working as a therapist in substance abuse and mental health settings. I continued to supervise students in those settings for my entire career along with my other professorial duties.

During high school, I sang in the choir and smaller choral ensembles. I was encouraged by our music director to consider a career in opera. That might have been an exciting alternative career path, although I’m not sure I had “the chops” to cut it in that challenging profession. I also dabble in painting and wish I had more formal training in that area.

It’s great to learn of your diverse talents, Celeste. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d like to have a tougher hide and a better sense of humor about myself. I tend to be a serious person even though the absurdity of the world doesn’t elude me. That’s often brought home to me by my acts of hubris. Oh my, here we go back to that pride goeth before a fall thing. I have taken some spectacular pratfalls in my lifetime. Eventually, I can have a good “yuck” about it, but I’m a not always a good sport at first. My husband, on the other hand, has a terrific sense of humor and helps me find that laugh out loud moment sooner than I might otherwise.

You two were definitely meant for each other.🙂 Are you a full time writer now?

I write fiction full time, now, with the aim of spending 3 or 4 hours a day, 4-6 days a week, writing and editing. I spend that much time, or more, marketing the books I write. Like most indie authors that includes the work done by publishers: PR, book promotion, etc. Mornings are spent writing. Afternoons editing, blogging, creating materials for promotion, and evenings are spent tweeting, posting, and sharing elsewhere like on Facebook and Google+.

It is a lot of work, and you do it so well. Tell us what motivates you to write.

At this point in my life, writing is a lark. It’s an adventure, pure and simple. Much of my professional life I wrote nonfiction in the context of the “publish or perish” world of the university. I do still enjoy exploring some of the topics I dealt with teaching social work practice and doing research on poverty, addictions, and mental health problems. Social relationships, problems of living; drug addiction and mental health issues all figure into my stories. My lead characters are women so that worldview drives the way in which these subjects come up. I still have lots of questions about why people do what they do and how to anticipate or respond to troubled people—many of the same questions that drove me into social and behavioral science with a bent toward improving policy and practice.

How would you define your style of writing?

The tag line I use for my website is: Snooping into life’s mysteries with fun, fiction, & food–California style!

I write mystery fiction with a dash of romance and humor. That’s closer to what’s regarded as “cozy” these days than to the thriller end of the continuum.  When Agatha Christie wrote there was no such thing. It was just called “mystery” then.  The three series I write all feature “amateur” or “accidental” sleuths—women pulled into sleuthing by murder and mayhem. All three series are set in California so that setting is a backdrop—another “character” in many ways. Because of my background as a chef, and the fact that food is integral to California culture, “foodie” is part of the package and shows up in my writing. I have a “What’s Cooking” page on my website and have started to include recipes in my newest series featuring Georgie Shaw, a character trained as a chef.

montagesmaller

Very cool! What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? 

I consider my stories “character-driven,” so character development is fascinating to me. The women are very different in the three series that I write. The rich, 30-something lead in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series is a child of wealth and privilege. When she’s delivered a big dose of “money can’t buy you happiness,” she keeps trying to console herself with shopping binges. An anxious sort prone to panic attacks, she has to search elsewhere for answers to the questions that bother her. She’s often preoccupied not just with “whodunit” but “why?”

Kim Reed the 20-something sleuth in my Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery series is a streetwise young woman we first meet when she’s rescued by Jessica Huntington in A Dead Sister. Life surprises this cynical survivor with, of all things, love! She falls for another over-the-top character in the Jessica Huntington series, Brien Williams—a surfer dude stranded in the California desert. In Corsario Cove, he’s in his element and on his honeymoon with Kim. Murder and mayhem ensue, of course, and these two take to it like bees to honey. In my mind, at times, I react like I’m watching one of those old 1950s monster movies. “No, don’t go down there!” You know, that sort of thing?  Then, as I write, off they go, diving right into the middle of murder and mischief!

georgie shaw #1

Georgie Shaw, lead in the Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery Series, is a 50-something corporate exec who started out at Marvelous Marley World as a chef.  In book 1, Murder at Catmmando Mountain, she’s working in public relations for a Disney-like entertainment conglomerate and her life turns upside down by a murder in the Arcadia theme park. A capable, intelligent woman, sleuthing isn’t part of her life until she’s framed for murder and forced to consider whodunit. The biggest bombshell in her life isn’t the murder. Georgie Shaw has a tragic past and never married. When the handsome detective, Jack Wheeler, sweeps into her life, he challenges her with new possibilities.  A new mystery brought them together. Will an old one drive them apart? Those questions get answered in book 2, Love Notes in the Key of Sea.

I also enjoy writing dialogue, and plotting out the murder and mayhem. I have a good laugh at the situations in which my characters are placed [by me]. They get back at me in surprising ways, and one of the things I find most challenging, at times, is writing my way out of a corner!

Why do you write your books as part of a series?

The character arc has a more realistic time frame in which to unfold in a series rather than in a single book.  There’s more room for characters to grow and change which is part of that character development that I find interesting. That often involves a lot of humor, too. Each of these amateurs, equipped with different skill sets, have to stretch as people to cope with the problems they encounter when plunged into the unpredictability of a murder investigation.

Good reasons! What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?

Some version of “don’t get it right, just get it written.” I forget now, who told me that. I’m sure it was while I was still writing for my university career where getting it right did matter. You have to back up claims made in your writing with evidence, but also have to recognize that the data you have to work with is never going to be perfect. So, the key for me, even now, is to write it then hammer it to bits—separate the creator from the critic. That’s the best advice I can give to someone just starting out, too.

Let’s learn about your upcoming books, Celeste!

Love Notes asymmetrical 6 x 9

Love Notes in the Key of Sea, Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery #2

Georgie Shaw and Detective Jack Wheeler have a second chance at love—despite the fact they met during a murder investigation. Decades earlier, Georgie lost the love of her life in an attack on the beach that left one man dead and two others missing including her fiancé, Danny Farrell. When Georgie returns to Corsario Cove, more than memories haunt her as a song Danny wrote just for her echoes in the air: Love Notes in the Key of Sea. Who else, other than she and Danny could know that song? A new mystery brought Georgie and Jack together, will an old one drive them apart?

 

I have two new cozy mystery releases that will be available for preorder in May and purchase in June. Love Notes in the Key of Sea, book 2 in the Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery Series, will be included in a summer beach anthology of short reads: Stories of Sun, Sand, and Sea. The stories in this collection combine mystery, romance, and suspense, all set during the summer months but on different beaches. With 11 beaches…anything can happen. 

Stories of Sun, Sand, and Sea is available for preorder May 16th, for release June 28th.

sun sand and sea

Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea

A summer breeze, sandy shore, and sparkling waters. Is it the perfect setting for love or something more dangerous?
First loves, second chances, mystery, and intrigue, even murder.
Drift away with this collection of stories about Sun, Sand and Sea to 11 beaches…where anything can happen.

 

romantic sea beach. Women's Glasses and Champagne cork on sand

 Gnarly New Year – Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery #2

The honeymoon’s not over yet! Kim and Brien’s excellent adventure at the swanky Sanctuary Resort & Spa continues when an unwelcome visitor drops in on New Year’s Eve. An elusive marine GPS device, found and lost again, unleashes another wave of murder and mayhem in Corsario Cove!  What is it about that thing? Stooges, Krugerrands, and monks—oh my! Will it be a Gnarly New Year for Kim and Brien?

 

Book 2 in the Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery series will be out soon, too. Kim and Brien’s excellent honeymoon adventure continues in Gnarly New Year. My two love birds are swept up into more murder and mayhem even though they vowed to stay out of it at the end of book 1, Cowabunga Christmas!

So much going on Celeste, congratulations! What is next for you after these books?

Next up in the queue is A DEAD MOTHER, book 4 in the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series. There’s more on relationships between mothers and daughters in this book, as there was in book 3, A DEAD DAUGHTER . Jessica’s saga with her dysfunctional mother continues, but the story revolves around the death of Beverly Windsor, a client in Jessica’s newly reinstated law career. Why would anyone kill the wealthy woman, a pillar of the Palm Desert community, active in the homeowners’ association in her gated community, and on the charity circuit in the Greater Palm Springs area? Oh, let me count the reasons and the suspects.

Why should people read your books?

I want to entertain readers. The books are meant to be romps, with a mystery at the heart of each story. I hope they’ll be intrigued by my characters and will return to find out what’s up next for them. The blend of mystery, humor, romance, and women’s fiction is a bit different in each series, but present in all of them.

What is the best way for someone to support your books?

FEEDBACK! I’m fortunate that my husband and several readers will give me feedback early on, but gathering input is vital. Reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are so important when it comes to increasing the visibility of books. They also clarify what a book is about for other readers, and help other readers make more informed choices about the suitability of the book for them. I’m still learning, and feedback is critical to my growth as an author. Leaving a comment or suggestion on my website, blog, Goodreads, or Facebook, are all greatly appreciated as well as reviews.

Feedback is always helpful. Let’s finish with a fun lightning round.

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? MY LAPTOP—the “death” of my old one in December taught me how hard it is to live without one!

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? Maui!

Name a food you can eat every day. Salads—not exciting, I know, but I love them!

Salty or sweet? Sweet.

Coffee or tea or something else? COFFEE—fresh ground beans brewed in a French press!

Cat/dog/other pet? Mouthy Siamese cats.

Favorite style of music? Jazz fusion a la John McLaughlin and my hubby.

The best gift you’ve ever received? Spa Day at the La Quinta Resort.

Your most guilty pleasure. Chocolate.

Favorite season. Spring.

Name something you cannot go a day without. Why love, of course!

Thank you Celeste for sharing with my readers. It was wonderful to learn more about you.

Readers, please find Celeste at all her virtual homes and discover her books! 

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Connect to Celeste

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WebsiteBlog | Twitter @aburke59 | Amazon Author Page

Facebook | Goodreads

Anna Celeste Burke is an award-winning and bestselling author who enjoys snooping into life’s mysteries with fun, fiction, & food—California style! Her books include the Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery series set in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, the Corsario Cove Cozy Mystery series set on California’s Central Coast, and The Georgie Shaw Cozy Mystery series set in Orange County, California–the OC. Coming soon: The Misadventures of Betsy Stark that take place in the Coachella Valley. Find out more at http://www.desertcitiesmystery.com.

BUY LINKS for Celeste’s books in ebook and print

The Jessica Huntington Desert Cities Mystery Series

Amazon

A DEAD HUSBAND JESSICA HUNTINGTON DESERT CITIES MYSTERY #1

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

A DEAD SISTER JESSICA HUNTINGTON DESERT CITIES MYSTERY #2

Amazon | Barnes and Noble   

A DEAD DAUGHTER JESSICA HUNTINGTON DESERT CITIES MYSTERY #3

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

LOVE A FOOT ABOVE THE GROUND: (PREQUEL TO THE JESSICA HUNTINGTON SERIES)

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

COWABUNGA CHRISTMAS CORSARIO COVE COZY MYSTERY #1

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

MURDER AT CATMMANDO MOUNTAIN GEORGIE SHAW COZY MYSTERY #1

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

ANTHOLOGIES

Happy Homicides 2: Thirteen Cozy Mysteries (Crimes of the Heart) 

Mother’s Day Magic with Love

Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea

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Music Monday moves with The Tragically Hip ~ Bobcaygeon (@thehipdotcom)

If you have access to cottage country in Ontario, then you’re probably familiar with Bobcaygeon.

It’s a community within the City of Kawartha Lakes. Tourism is the chief industry, mainly recreational fishing.

It’s Canadiana, and the lyrics of “Bobcaygeon” are rich with it.

I hope you enjoy,

~eden

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Eden’s Exchange talks to author Don Massenzio (@dmassenzio)

I’m happy to introduce Don Massenzio. He is a new author to me, so I followed his blog to learn more about him, and … WOW!

He has excellent posts and resources for writers, and I’m thrilled to give him space here to tell you more about himself.

In fact, he returned my interview in record time AND chose to answer every question on the list. Given that, I’m posting the interview in its entirety because I’m a firm believer that hard work deserves an audience.

Please welcome Don Massenzio to Eden’s Exchange.

* * * *

Great to have you here, Don. How would your best friend describe you in 20 words or less?

I believe I would be described as loyal to a fault, driven, humorous and intolerant of lies.

Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job? 

I have a demanding day job that takes up about 50-60 hours per week and requires about 40 weeks per year of travel. I use the travel time, airport time, and hotel time to write. It keeps me on a schedule and makes me more productive.

Great to use that “down” time for something creative. Where do you live?

I live in Northern Florida where I’ve been for the past 20 years. I grew up in Upstate New York where we suffered through endless winters. Because my job demands so much travel, I feel like I’m going on vacation every weekend when I come home, especially in the winter.

Nice! What is your biggest extravagance?

My home workstation has two 26 inch monitors attached to it. I’d like to say it makes me more productive, but the second monitor is often displaying Netflix.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

The age at which I started writing. I published my first novel at 51. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

You got it done and that’s the most important thing. What profession other than your own would you like to try?

Well, writing comes to mind as a full-time job. Also, I enjoy arranging music and would love to be an orchestrator/composer.

What is one thing you want to do before you die?

I would love to see my eight-year-old daughter established as an adult. I’d also like to write a lot more books and travel to Italy again.

Do you have any favorite curse words?

My current favorite is ‘asshat’ which I love to apply to various presidential candidates and other people I encounter. I generally don’t use a lot of curse words as I believe they are a lazy substitute for creativity.

I agree, but there are times when a good curse nails it! Do you have a motto you live by?

As you get older, move away from those around you that hold you back or pull you down.

That’s a wise one. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

Convincing my beautiful wife to marry me and raising a family.

Sweet🙂. What makes you laugh, and I mean, REALLY laugh?

Besides the current presidential race, my eight-year-old makes me laugh very hard. I knew she was going to be a person that likes to make others laugh at a very young age. At age three, she asked for help getting dressed and I assured her she was a big girl and could do it on her own. She came back stark naked with her underwear on her head and said, “See Dad, I told you I couldn’t do it.”

No comment about your presidential race, except that it is definitely fodder for comedy. Let’s find out more about you as the writer. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from everywhere. I’m an avid observer and I am always people watching when I travel. I draw stories from things that happen to me and others and from the news.

What motivates you to write?

The creative process and the validation when a reader tells me they enjoyed my work. It’s the best feeling in the world.

It is! What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?

This came from Stephen King through his book On Writing. To paraphrase, he said that if you don’t read regularly then you shouldn’t be writing.

That is a profound book. Name a few of your favorite authors and books, and why you like them.

My all-time favorite is To Kill a Mockingbird. I read it in high school and related to Scout. I recently read it again and related to Atticus as an older dad trying to keep up with his kids. I’m also inspired by Stephen King’s books. His book, It, was one of the scariest things I’ve ever read. He has truly mastered the horror genre. I also like Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series. He has brought the same characters through 20+ years of novels and has allowed them to age and grow.

I’ve enjoyed Kellerman’s writing as well. How do you market yourself?

Interviews, blogging, social media, book signings, telling everyone I know, shamelessly using family members and various other techniques. My eight-year-old recently came to a book signing and it was pretty quiet. She picked up one of my books and started walking around the room telling everyone, “Buy my Daddy’s book.” No, I did not tell her to do this.

blood orangeWhat a precocious girl, you need to hire her! How much research do you do for your books?

It depends on the book. When I wrote my terrorism thriller, Blood Orange, I used the Internet to research the effects of radiation and dirty bombs. I kept waiting for the black SUVs to pull up in front of my house. I also use experts like military people that I know along with police officers and others. One thing I’ve learned is that readers will call you on bad information. I had a police officer that read an advance copy of my book tell me that the gun my character used doesn’t have a safety even though I said it did in the book. I was able to change it before the release and avoid the potential embarrassment.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of being a writer?

My favorite part is being able to escape into the lives of the characters. Sometimes I’ll go back and look at dialog and not even recognize that I wrote it. My least favorite part is everything outside of the writing; the editing, marketing, promoting, etc. I see the importance of those things and I do them, I just don’t like them.

How would you define your style of writing?

It’s very stream of consciousness driven. I do a pictorial outline at the beginning, but the scenes and chapters just flow. I don’t edit at all until the first draft of the entire book is done.

What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? 

I enjoy getting started. It’s like having a blank canvas where you create the world and the people in it. By the time I get to the editing, however, I’m usually sick of the story and anxious to get it published.

frankly speakinglet me be frank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it important for you to know the title or ending of a book before you write it?

For my detective series, the main character’s name is Frank. The first book was Frankly Speaking. Then came Let Me Be Frank, Frank Incensed and Frankly, My Dear. My fear is that I’ll run out of Frank titles before I run out of ideas. I had someone at a writers’ conference come up to me after a panel I was on and hand me a list of about 20 titles with ’Frank’ in them. Some of them weren’t usable, but it did help. I have about 10 potential titles with story ideas attached to them. That should keep me busy for a while. I don’t always know the ending when I start a new book. In fact, sometimes I think I know the ending and it changes as I complete the journey to it.

I love the branding with the name, Frank. Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?

I use a hybrid method where I diagram out the chapters of the novel and then plot them out in Scrivener. I don’t want to lock myself into an outline, but if I write without my pictorial view, there’s no telling what rabbit hole I’ll venture into.

frank incensed Tell us about your typical writer’s day.

I don’t have a set schedule. My typical writer’s day is centered around maintaining my blog in the very early morning hours and then writing whenever there are holes in the day. Planes, trains, airports and hotels are my usual writing environment and I write when I can.

Do you have advice for new authors?

Keep writing every day. Listen to advice objectively. There are those who are snobbish about writing and view it as a privilege only to be enjoyed by those that pass the publishing gate keepers. Don’t be intimidated by them. Whenever an aspiring traditionally published author turns up their nose at the idea of independent publishing, I always ask them how many books they’ve sold and how many they have in print.

What are some of your “must-have” tools for writing? 

My brain is the only real tool I need. I wrote my first novel longhand in notebooks and then typed it in page by page. I do like using Scrivener to draft the novel and then switch to Word for editing so we can track changes and insert comments.

Don’s latest book is Frankly, My Dear.

frankly, my dear

Buy Links: Amazon US | UK | Canada

 

Book blurb: Frankly, My Dear

Frank Rozzani, a transplant to Jacksonville, Florida from Syracuse, New York, has left his tragic past as a police officer behind for life as a private detective. Frank and his partner Clifford “Jonesy” Jones work with the local police to solve crimes that are virtually unsolvable.

In Frankly My Dear, the fourth in the Frank Rozzani Detective Series of novels, Frank and Jonesy are at it again and this time the case is one of the most bizarre that they have faced. Their latest client, arrested for domestic abuse, swears that he is the victim of one of the most vengeful women on the face of the earth.

Frank and Jonesy must determine if their client is telling the truth. As they investigate the case, they again pay a personal price for their involvement. Is their client trying to get away with his crime or is his ex-girlfriend continually coming up with new ways to damage him and his reputation?

Follow them as they navigate the twists and turns in this exciting new installment in the series, Frankly My Dear.

You classify the book as part of the detective/mystery genre. Tell us why we should read it. 

People should read my book by the millions so I can quit my day job. Short of that, I think it’s a fun story and they will enjoy escaping into the world that I created for a while.

How long did it take for you to write it, and what was the inspiration behind it?

From the pictorial view to publishing took about six months. The readers of the previous book wanted the series to continue. This is the fourth in my Frank Rozzani detective series.

How are you marketing your book?

I’m marketing it through interviews, my blog, select social media ads, author events, radio and television interviews, newspaper blurbs, smoke signals and shameless plugs.

Don’s video for Frankly, My Dear.

How did you publish the book?

It’s a pretty simple road. Amazon and CreateSpace make the publishing process very easy. Publishing a book is not the hard part. Publishing a book of quality that people want to read and then telling them about it, now that’s hard.

Well said, Don. How did you celebrate when you finished your book?

I started the next book almost immediately.

Great way not to lose momentum! What has the reception been to Frankly, My Dear?

Thanks to advance reader copies, it was released on Amazon and received 20 reviews the first day on Amazon and Goodreads. The reviews have averaged around 4.8 stars.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing it?

I’m always learning and thinking of ways to improve the next one. One thing I learned from this book is to begin publicizing it earlier in the process.

What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

That’s a hard question. I hope the quality and the sincerity of the story are part of it. It’s in a genre that is pretty crowded so any recognition I get that differentiates it is positive.

How can people support your book?

Every indie author will tell you that reviews and word of mouth are the biggest help. My first book just passed the 50 review threshold on Amazon and I’m seeing more movement with it. Several people have let me know that Amazon has sent them emails recommending it. That’s a positive sign from reviews. The book itself is free.

What is next for you, Don?

I’m already 20,000 words into the next one which should be out in the September/October timeframe.

Excellent, something to look forward to! Let’s finish with a lightning round.

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My computer, of course. It’s where my writing lives.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? I went to Italy back in high school and would love to take my family for a long, leisurely trip there someday.

Name a food you can eat everyday. Not to perpetuate an Italian stereotype, but it would be pizza.

Salty or sweet? Mixed. I love salted caramel.

Coffee or tea or something else? Coffee.

Cat/dog/other pet? Dogs. I’m allergic to cats and other pets aren’t as fun to play with or as cuddly as my 80-pound black lab.

Favorite style of music? Depends on the mood. I like to play jazz and listen to jazz and classical, but sometimes hard rock fits the mood.

The best gift you’ve ever received? My family. I always tell my wife I’d be living in a box under a bridge without her. She thinks it’s a joke.

Your most guilty pleasure. Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream.

Favorite season. Spring – rebirth.

Name something you cannot go a day without. Hugging someone in my family or seeing them via facetime or Skype when I’m traveling.

Thank you Don for sharing with my readers. Great to learn more about you. Readers, please visit Don at his virtual homes and say “Hello!”

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Connect to Don

Don M

Web Site | Blog | Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page | Goodreads Author Page

Google+ | Twitter @dmassenzio

Barnes and Noble | Smashwords

Don Massenzio was born in Syracuse, New York, to first generation Italian American parents. He is an avid reader. Some of his favorite authors include Harlan Coben, David Morrell, Stephen King, and Hugh Howey. His favorite book of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird.

Don began writing as a way to combat the long hours of travel and numerous hotel stays that are part of the ‘glamorous’ world of corporate travel. He uses writing as a therapeutic outlet. He recently took the jump to sharing his work with others.

His first published long work was the novel, Frankly Speaking, published in April, 2014. It was the first in a series of books focused on the character, Frank Rozzani, a Florida private detective. The book is a throwback to the days of pulp detective novels with a tip of the hat to Jim Rockford from 70’s television and The Rockford Files. Don’s second book in the series, Let Me Be Frank, was published in October of 2014. The third book in the series, Frank Incensed, was released April 24, 2015.

He took a break from his detective series and published the terrorism thriller, Blood Orange, in November of 2015 followed by his latest book, Frankly, My Dear, the fourth book in the series in April of 2016.

He has also released a collection of short stories called Random Tales that is available for your Kindle or as an eBook on Amazon. Also, look for Don’s first non-fiction book, The Ultimate Guide for Independently Published Authors: Tips for improving quality and selling your work, available on Amazon.com as an eBook or in paperback

He now resides in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife, children, and two dogs.

 

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Music Monday moves with The Tragically Hip ~ New Orleans is Sinking (@thehipdotcom)

Last week, I tried buying tickets for The Hip’s final concert tour.

No luck.

I wasn’t able to get them on Day 1 of the presale, nor Day 2 when they added three more shows. There were no tickets available when I tried with my AMEX “Front of the Line” code on Day 3, and unfortunately, I missed the start time when the tickets went on sale to the general public. There were none left by the time I logged in an hour late.

If you’re a fan who just wanted to pay a fair price to attend a concert, chances are you got shut out.

There’s been a lot of venom aimed at Ticketmaster, the company that sells tickets for the majority of venues hosting concerts. Within minutes after Hip tickets went on sale on the first presale day, they were appearing on sites like StubHub at double, triple, sometimes four times the price!

It’s a shame the pleasure of listening to live music is now reduced to a money-making scheme for some. There were always ticket scalpers, but even they cannot compete with the bots who scoop up all the tickets.

On a positive note, there is talk the CBC may televise The Hip’s final concert in Kingston.

Let’s wait and see. In the meantime, enjoy “New Orleans is Sinking” and have a great week.

~eden

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Music Monday moves with The Tragically Hip ~ Ahead by a Century (@thehipdotcom)

Last week delivered devastating news for the music world, yet again.

Gord Downie, lead singer and songwriter of the iconic Canadian rock band, The Tragically Hip, announced he has terminal brain cancer. He is 52, married and with four children.

I cried upon hearing the news. I knew of a friend who died from the same type of cancer. Life can be so unfair it makes me want to scream at times.

Despite the diagnosis, the band has announced it will do one more Canadian tour following the release of their new album Man Machine Poem dropping June 17. Tickets go on sale shortly.

I’ve been listening to their music and will feature them over the coming weeks.

This is my favorite.

~eden

 

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Eden’s Exchange talks to author @Shawn_McGuire

I’m happy to introduce readers to Shawn McGuire, whom I met while writing for the Lei Crime Series of Kindle Worlds. Along with her own series called The Wish Makers, Shawn has written two books for Kindle Worlds so far. Her latest novella released May 18th called Out of Her League.

Please learn more about this lovely author and her books.

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Welcome to Eden’s Exchange, Shawn. Tell us a bit about where you live.

I live in Colorado, outside of Denver. The weather is beautiful, the scenery is jaw-dropping (nothing restores me like a weekend in the mountains), however it’s getting really crowded here which makes it harder and harder to enjoy the mountains. And, it’s too far away from the rest of my family in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

It must be tough to be far from family.😦 If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I could stop worrying so much about the future and live more in the now. There’s a lot of great things happening now, and if I’m not careful I miss them.

Here and now is definitely worth it. What profession other than your own would you like to try?

I’ve thought lately about opening a bed and breakfast, one where once or twice a year I could hold retreats for writers.

Great idea, I would come! What is one thing you want to do before you die?

Travel! The world is such a huge, wonderful place, I want to see more of it. I’ve never been to Europe and I’d love to see Bali. Also, I’d love to sail with my husband. Before we moved to Colorado, he used to sail on Lake Michigan. He misses that and it’s something I’d love to do with him.

Travel is wonderful. I’ve been to Bali and it’s a must-see. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

 My two sons. They are fine young men and they make me so proud. I’m grateful every day that I was able to stay home with them while they grew up.

What a sweet thing to say about your sons, Shawn. Let’s turn our attention to your first book for Kindle Worlds—ONE OF HER OWN.

one of her own

Book blurb: One of Her Own

Maui is the perfect place… for murder.

Gemi Kittredge, rising MMA star, is facing the fight of her career. She hasn’t heard from her flighty sister in two weeks. And, she’s just come across the body of a fellow boxer during her morning run.

While her friend, Consuelo Aguilar, helps Gemi stay focused on the match, Detective Lei Texeira is hot on the trail of the killer. But the closer they get to the truth, the more Gemi starts to fear the killer could be one of her own.

One of Her Own takes place after Shattered Palms, book 6 in the Lei Crimes series.

Excellent blurb, Shawn. What motivates you to write?

When an idea really starts to gel, or when the new world I’m trying to create starts feeling real, that’s when I start getting itchy to get words on the page. Then, as I’m writing there will come a moment when everything comes together and I can see the real story. It’s usually a sentence or a short scene during the first draft phase and I go, ah, that’s what my story is about.

I love when a story reveals itself that way. What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?

To turn off my internal editor and just write. My best first drafts happen when I just blitz my way through and get the words down. Sometimes the story goes a little off-track, but if I stick with it, everything works out in the end. I call it “trusting the process” and it took me a while to be able to do that.

How much research do you do for your books?

That depends on the book. For my YA fantasy series, there wasn’t a lot since I was basically making things up. I did a lot of research for my two Lei Crime novellas, because I wanted to get details about Maui and the Yakuza right.

What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most and least?

I hate the first draft. That’s the other reason I blitz through it, because it would take me forever to write otherwise. I love the revision process. By the time I’ve got the first draft done, I really know the characters and the plot. During revisions is when the story truly comes to life.

I love the revision process too. Is it important for you to know the title or ending of a book before you write it?

The ending, yes. Sometimes the journey changes along the way, but my ending almost always stays the same from the start. I use that big scene at the end as almost a treat. I won’t allow myself to write that scene until the rest is done, it’s like a treat for me that keeps me motivated. Titles? I hardly ever know my title before I start.

Me neither. Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?

I outline the big plot points and then let the characters take me on a journey as we head from point A to B, B to C…

Screen shot 2016-05-27 at 12.02.18 AM

Book blurb: Out of Her League

Paradise has a dark side, and Gemi has seen it.

One month ago, life for Gemi Kittredge meant college classes and mixed martial arts title fights. Now, her sister is missing, and Gemi is prepared to do whatever it takes to find her, including putting on a cocktail dress and cozying up to Yakuza crime bosses.

Thankfully, she’s got Detective Lei Texeira on speed dial, because when violence breaks out between the two rival factions, even Gemi, a woman capable of taking a man out using only her thumbs, is going to need backup.

Out of Her League takes place after Shattered Palms, book 6 in the Lei Crime series.

Buy Links on Amazon

ONE OF HER OWN | OUT OF HER LEAGUE

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Tell us more about your second and latest book for the Lei Crime Kindle World, OUT OF HER LEAGUEWhy should people read it?

This novella completes the mystery of what happened to Gemi’s sister. It’s fast-paced and, I think, takes the reader into a world they’ve probably never gone or possibly even known about – the Yakuza crime organization.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing it?

The lesson came from the first Gemi Kittredge novella, ONE OF HER OWN. Don’t end a mystery on a cliffhanger! While some readers were okay with that, many others really hated it. I had no idea!

Great lesson! What is the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?

Leave an honest review and tell all your friends about it!

What is next for you, Shawn?

I’m working on a new project that will sort of marry my long-standing love of fantasy with my new love of mystery. As the ideas and the world start coming together, I’m getting really excited about it.

I’m sure your readers are excited too! Let’s finish with a fun lightning round.

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? The box in my office that’s stuffed with memories.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? I’ve never been overseas, and I’d love to go… anywhere.

Name a food you can eat everyday. Dark chocolate-covered almonds.

Salty or sweet? Salty and sweet. I’m Gemini and can never choose just one thing.

Coffee or tea or something else? Coffee in the morning, tea (hot in winter, iced in summer) in the afternoon. Did I mention the Gemini thing?

Cat/dog/other pet? We lost both of our kitties in the last year. I think someday I’d love a dog.

Favorite style of music? Depends on my mood.

Your most guilty pleasure. Being with my husband. I feel complete with him.

 Favorite season. Spring. Fall is right on Spring’s heals.

 Name something you cannot go a day without. Taking a few moments for myself.

Thank you Shawn for sharing with my readers. So great to learn more about you. Readers, please visit Shawn at her virtual homes below and say “Hello!”

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Connect to Shawn

headshot 1.1

Website | Twitter @Shawn_McGuire | Amazon Author Page

Email: Shawn@Shawn-McGuire.com

Facebook | Instagram | Newsletter | Pinterest

Colorado-based author Shawn McGuire started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid. She couldn’t wait for the next installment to come out so wrote her own. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then. Her young adult novels deal with harder issues—dating violence, death of a family member, bullying, and teen suicide. Since those topics can be hard to handle, she infuses a good bit of humor as well because she believes that laughter can help you get through just about anything.

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Music Monday moves with Kings of Leon

I love when a teacher can pair contemporary music to a yoga class.

This remix of “Closer” from Kings of Leon is a great example of an atmospheric song that works well with intense Hot Flow movements.

There is some peculiar instrumentation that sounds like buzzards or the vuvuzela. I’m not sure what it is, but I like it.

Hope you do too, and have a great week,

~eden

 

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Eden’s Exchange talks to author @DuncanWhitehead

I’ve seen Duncan around the interwebs for a long time, and we are part of several writing groups. He’s a hard worker with an “off the wall” sense of humour. You have to love a  man who’s a quick wit and doesn’t take himself too seriously.

He will have you in stitches.

Enjoy Duncan’s answers. I sure did.🙂

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Welcome to Eden’s Exchange, Duncan. Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job?

Yes, I have a day job. I own a yacht management company – luckily I can work remotely and though I’m on 24 hour call – I really only go into the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

reluctant jesusWhat a sweet deal! What part of the world do you live in? 

I live in Fort Lauderdale which is in South Florida. Very close, if not now merged into Miami. I enjoy it because it is lively, vibrant and exciting, The only thing I don’t like is the heat in summer!

Seriously? Summer and heat go together! What is one thing you want to do before you die?

Die? I won’t die. Will I?

Umm … there’s an old saying about death and taxes … What are some of your favorite curse words?

Are you sure? I’m from the North of England…..

Okay, please send me a list privately.😉 Do you have a motto you live by?

If at first you don’t succeed – hire a ghost writer.

Good one, you’re joking, right? Okay, never mind! What makes you laugh, and I mean, REALLY laugh?

The noise cats make while making love. Its hilarious.

I can’t say I’ve had the pleasure! Let’s talk about your books, Duncan. I want to highlight The Gordonston Ladies trilogy. 

duncan book 1

Book blurb: The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club (Book 1)

Little is what it seems to be in a leafy Savannah neighborhood as members of an afternoon cocktail and dog walking club mourn a neighbor’s death. Jealousies surface when friends vie for the widower running for mayor. An old woman with an infamous uncle plots to avenge a wrong. Memories haunt a once successful children’s writer. And a model has won the trip of a lifetime.

But a killer lurks and secrets unfold, as does a web of deceit. Is anyone really who he or she seems to be? A mysterious South American, a young Italian count, and a charitable nephew add suspicion and intrigue, as do an enigmatic organization linked to organized crime, a handsome firefighter, and three widows with hidden agendas. What’s a retired accountant’s secret, and why did a former showgirl really have plastic surgery?

The plot thickens, the Georgia temperature rises, and someone is destined for an early unmarked grave. The truth contorts to a climax that leaves readers breathless.

And here are books two and three of the series. 

duncan book 2 duncan book 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUY LINKS on Amazon

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Duncan, what is the name and genre of your latest book?

Mystery – Murder at the Fourth.

murder at the fourth

How long did it take for you to write it, and what was the inspiration behind it?

8 months. I wanted to do something no one had done before – two parallel stories involving the major character that merge together at the conclusion.

Are you marketing your book now?

Actually, I’m not – when Part 2 is ready I will begin marketing. I send the odd tweet – that’s it.

I’m doing less of it myself. Writing takes up enough time. Tell us about the road to publication for your book.

Structure, Draft, Proofread and Editor, 2nd Draft send to assistant for comments, 3rd Draft, then to editor, back to me 4th Draft, back to editor.

To the point. How did you celebrate when you finished your book?

I never do.

What has the reception been to Murder at the Fourth?

Good reviews but limited sales.

Hopefully it will pick up when you release book two. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing your books?

EDITING!!!

Agree! What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

It is different than anything else out there.

Why should people read your books?

So I can go on vacation this year!

That’s honest! What is the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?

Tell people about it.

What is next for you after this book?

The sequel!

I’ll let you get to it then! Let’s finish with a fun lightning round.

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? The insurance policy.

Name a food you can eat everyday. Cornflakes.

Coffee or tea or something else? Tea.

Cat/dog/other pet? Cat.

Your most guilty pleasure. Not saying.

Favorite season. English football season!

Name something you cannot go a day without. Again, not answering that one!

Thank you Duncan for sharing with my readers! Your succinct answers definitely cut to the chase!

Readers, please find Duncan at all his virtual homes below. Friend him on Facebook to read his funny quips. They will make your day!

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Connect to Duncan

duncan whitehead

Website | Twitter @DuncanWhitehead | Amazon Author Page

Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn

Award Winning Writer, Duncan Whitehead, was born in England and is the author of the best-selling and award-winning GORDONSTON LADIES DOG WALKING CLUB Trilogy. The series, inspired by the quirky characters and eeriness in the real life Savannah neighborhood in which he once lived is a humorous mystery, which boasts an assortment of characters and plot twists.

He has also written over 2,000 spoof and comedy news articles, under various aliases, for a variety of websites both in the US and the UK.

He has written further novels; a comedy set in Manhattan, THE RELUCTANT JESUS, published in April 2014 and republished in July 2015 & three short stories.

Duncan is well known for his charity work, kindness to animals, children and old people; and, of course, his short-lived bullfighting career and his hideous hunchback.

In February 2045, he invented time travel and now spends much of his time in either the future (where he has won the lottery an astonishing 117 times) and the present day.

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How to write for @KindleWorlds if you don’t live in the USA

When bestselling author Toby Neal invited me to write for her Lei Crime Series on Kindle Worlds last year, I knew nothing about the new platform. I soon learned it was the licensed fan fiction arm of Amazon.

Months later, I was excited to launch my novella, A Snake in Paradise for the series, but it almost did not happen.

ASiP_new

At the 11th hour, the Author Acquisition Manager at Amazon told me I could not upload my book to the Kindle Worlds platform.

Why?

Because I was a foreign author—foreign because I lived outside the U.S.A., that is.

You see, Kindle Worlds does not accommodate any of the international Amazon markets, only the US one. I’m in Canada, so that meant I was not eligible to publish to Kindle Worlds.

Imagine you’ve written a book that you can’t publish! It was a stressful time, especially as I was part of a group of motivated authors who had worked hard to co-ordinate a successful release. With book covers, graphics, and author interviews set to go on launch date, I couldn’t let this unexpected turn sabotage my contribution to the series. Luckily for me, I persisted and received some good information that allowed me to continue.

It’s almost been a year since I released my second Kindle Worlds title, SEAL of a Monk. 

soam_kw

Since then, a dozen or so non-US authors have contacted me about what they should do to publish on Kindle Worlds.

I recently contributed to an article that Toby Neal wrote called: Writing for Kindle Worlds – the Good and the Ugly, in which I opined about the limitations of Kindle Worlds for foreign authors. Toby’s post is a must-read for any author considering writing for Kindle Worlds.

With my third novella for the Lei Crime Kindle World releasing next month, I thought it timely to blog about what you need to do if you live outside the USA and want to write for Kindle Worlds.

lei crime series

Because Kindle Worlds operates out of the US, non-US authors cannot access their site, neither to create an account, nor to upload a book to it. I have a third party American administrator who does it all for me. Her name is Jessica Lewis, and I have her permission to share her information in this post.

Jessica created an account under her own name and uploaded my files to it. In essence, she took over as “me.” Once we both agreed to the terms, I sent her my manuscript, book cover, book blurb, keywords, etc., and she uploaded them to her account. A contract was signed stating that she had no claim to any rights or ownership of my work, even though she was the one sending the information to Kindle Worlds.

The other part concerns payment.

author central

The royalty reports for Kindle Worlds’ titles are not emailed to the owner of the account. The only way to access these reports is through Author Central. It’s ironic that although I can see my royalty statements, the money is not sent to me. It is sent to Jessica in USD. I had two choices on how to receive my payments. I could either give Jessica access to my Author Central account to pull my reports, or I could pull them myself and send them to her. I chose the latter.

Payment can be made via Paypal, (fast and easy), but the amount would be converted to the currency of the author’s country.

Personally, I prefer to be paid in USD, so I gather up three months’ royalties and send Jessica a statement. She then sends me a USD cheque via snail mail.

I also signed a W8BEN form for Jessica to keep on record in case she is audited by the IRS. Of course, this entire arrangement requires a certain level of trust. For her trouble, Jessica receives 5% of my earnings. Before I signed up with her, I also talked to two other authors who used her services. They spoke highly of her work. In dealing with her for more than a year now, I tend to agree. She is a professional, and I have recommended her to several other authors who have used her services.

kdp

Most authors have become accustomed to how easy it is to publish and make changes to their books on KDP. Unfortunately, you won’t have this freedom with Kindle Worlds if you’re a foreign author. For instance, if you need to make a change to your file after it is uploaded, you will have to go through your third party. All this requires time, so the immediacy and control you have with KDP is lost. It is unfortunate that Kindle Worlds and KDP don’t talk to one another, but each has different systems and sets of rules for pricing and acceptance.

Overall, my experience with Kindle Worlds has been a positive one for many reasons. With respect to the limitations around publishing as a foreign author, I weighed the options and considered it a worthy venture for me. I’ve developed a relationship with Jessica that works for both of us. This would be no different than finding the right editor or proofreader or another professional to help with my book. Having said this, just because it’s possible to publish to Kindle Worlds as a foreign author does not mean everyone will do it. With its current restrictions, it may not be worth it for some. It’s a decision every author needs to assess for themselves.

My hope is that as more foreign authors consider their options to join KW, it will serve to encourage the platform to expand its operations. It would appear that KDP is the perfect model to build off.

As an author who wants to reach the widest market possible, it is frustrating that readers in countries outside the US cannot purchase my Kindle Worlds’ titles. I’m not sure what it will take for KW to grow its operations, but as per Toby’s articleWe’ve been assured by Amazon for over a year that they will be going international, but so far it hasn’t happened.

In the meantime, I’d like to share Jessica Lewis’ information if you are interested in using her services to publish your Kindle Worlds books.

Email: jessica@authorslifesaver.com

Website: http://www.authorslifesaver.com/meet

Unfortunately, there are no other “Jessicas” in the marketplace that we are aware of. It would be so great to clone her!

If you know of someone who is doing this role, feel free to list their contact information in the comments. For now, this is the only way I know in which non-US authors can publish to Kindle Worlds.

I’d be more than happy to discuss your experience with Kindle Worlds, good or bad. Comments are always welcome!

~eden

 

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Music Monday moves with @Pink

May is supposed to be the month of summer, which means lots of fun in the sun.

Although … yesterday, we had frost, snow, and hail all before noon!

We’ve had ever-changing weather. Hopefully, warmer temperatures prevail.

This upbeat song by P!nk is part of my weekly Body Tone yoga regime. It makes me move and it’s sure to make you move too.

Enjoy and have a great week!

~eden

 

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Filed under Musical Mondays

Eden’s Exchange talks to author Brenda Perlin (@BrooklynandBo)

I’m very excited to introduce author, Brenda Perlin. When I first connected with her, I admit she intimidated me … just a little. She was well read, über cool, and she had a wonderful network of friends and authors. Add to that — she is an incredibly beautiful woman, both inside and out.

Her book  LA Punk Rocker is ranked as the #1 BEST SELLER in both the PUNK and PHOTOJOURNALISM categories. I learned so much about the punk era by reading it.

I’m thrilled to finally have the opportunity to interview her, especially since the sequel, PUNK ROCKER drops May 15th!

Please welcome the lovely Brenda Perlin. You’re going to love her.

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It’s wonderful to have you here Brenda, tell us how your best friend would describe you in 20 words or less.

Quirky but loyal. Goofy but has a serious side. Someone you would want on your team. (I am just guessing so please don’t gag!)

No gagging here! I’m sure it’s all true. What is your biggest extravagance?

Time. I don’t work, other than what I do with my books so I have the luxury of spending my days how I choose. That is a bigger extravagance than most people can imagine. I feel fortunate in this way because I know from having to make a living and that comes with plenty of stress.

I’ve never had this answer but TIME is definitely a luxury. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

It’s not so much about change but what I lack. I have always wanted to be able to sing yet I can’t carry a tune. Music is important to me. In another life. I pray I have the talent to be a rock singer.

Yes! You have excellent taste in music. What profession other than your own would you like to try?

Friends have always told me I should be a therapist. I do like working out people’s problems. Always have. I believe I get that from my mom. Everyone went to her for advice.

We have that in common.😉 What are some of your favorite curse words?

I do like saying fuck-everyone. Yes, FUCK is an old standby.

Love it! Do you have a motto you live by?

Fuck-everyone. Ha-ha.

Haha! What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

I was able to complete my life story in a trilogy before the age of fifty. Now it’s all fun stuff from here on out.

That’s an amazing feat, Brenda—truly. Let’s learn a bit more about the writer in you. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Life. I write from my own experiences. Some things you can’t make up and I don’t even try.

shattered reality burnt promises

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And what motivates you to write?

Usually I write when there is big drama in my life. I wrote Shattered Reality and Burnt Promises at lightning speed because flames were flying!

Of course! That makes a lot of sense. I can see the drama in the great book trailers too. 

 

What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?

More than anything I have learned the valuable lesson of making sure I have read the proof completely looking for typos and such before publishing the book. Reading the book out loud is one of the best ways to catch errors.

I agree with you there. I write regularly for a podcast, and I always catch mistakes when reading my stories aloud. Tell us about your favorite and least favorite parts of being a writer.

I do enjoy the process of writing. There is something mighty therapeutic about it. I love when people respond well to my books and I have enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. What I don’t appreciate as much are the headaches that come with publishing. And there are plenty. Also, it can be very frustrating trying to sell a book as an unknown author with no one representing your work. It is daunting.

And yet, you always appear so calm.🙂 How would you define your style of writing?

I am a memoirist. It’s conversational and yet there isn’t too much dialog. I am like the reality TV version of writers. I like giving away all my secrets and exposing the truths that lay hidden.

What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? 

I enjoy the writing part when the story is flowing. That is the best feeling in the world.

What don’t you enjoy?

The worst part is relying on other people to get things done. That can be very frustrating and disappointing.

fractured vowsI agree. It’s always harder when you don’t have full control, isn’t it? Is it important for you to know the title or ending of a book before you write it?

For me, not at all. I was writing Fractured Vows, my third book in Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles while the charades were still going on. From one day to the next I didn’t know how the book would end or where the story was being led. That was stressful and at the same time a bit exciting. Could have gone any way. I was prepared for the worst.

 

Yes, I feel the hints of uncertainty from the excellent book trailer.

 

What is your best advice for new authors?

I have learned quite a bit since I signed a bad seven year book contract with a fraudulent book publishing company. Now I would advise people to never sign a contract without legal counsel. Also, hire a professional editor and find some beta-readers to read the finished product as well. Some of the mistakes are just silly ones and make the author appear unprofessional.

Wise words indeed. Let’s learn more about your books. How would you classify them?

All my books are listed as fiction though they are more fact than fiction. I change names and places to protect the identities as well as myself.

Why should people read your books?

I do share a different slice of life. Some of the things I have experienced are unimaginable. It’s always fun to step in someone else’s sneakers.

la punk rocker

What inspired you to write the best-selling LA Punk Rocker?

I can put the blame entirely on British author Mark Barry. He thought writing about my punk days would be interesting. At first I was opposed to the idea but then I began listening to the old tunes and saw the wisdom in sharing those stories.

I’m so glad Mark talked you into it! What has surprised you the most about writing the book?

I didn’t expect to find so many people that were still so enthusiastic about the music.

I haven’t been involved in punk rock for more than thirty years but I have reunited with some of the friends I had from that time period. The interest in the music is still going strong. And who knew Billy Idol still had so many admirers?! I’ve even joined up with his fan club the #BIFFWW. These gals always have your back, so it seems.

That’s terrific Brenda, and now you have the sequel, Punk Rocker officially releasing May 15th! I admit I’ve already bought my copy since I saw it pre-released a few days early. I’m very excited to read it! Let’s learn more from the blurb.

Punk ROcker

PUNK ROCKER is now available on Amazon! 

US | UK | Canada

 Book blurb for Punk Rocker

Punk Rocker is the much anticipated sequel to “L.A. Punk Rocker”: top author Brenda Perlin’s best-selling punk anthology.

Here you will find a collection of short stories from those who were there in the early days. Hard core musical anarchists who saw it all, heard it all, did it all – and survived to tell their stories.

Along with Brenda and the West Coast punks, Punk Rocker features rebels, writers, commentators and street kids from all over America – talking about the music, the fashion, the attitude, the passion, the lifestyle and, of course, the bands who made it all happen.

Meet people who discovered punk’s new dawn – and those who were there for its sunset, in the ramshackle mausoleum of the Chelsea Hotel.

Backstage, in the clubs, in the gigs, in hotel rooms with the band, on the streets –Brenda was there. She saw it all. And so did her friends.

Punk Rocker. If you missed it…what are you waiting for?

What is the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?

Of course, reviews are a pleasure. For me, I have made it my mission to jot down notes when I am reading new releases to help the author. And I do believe it helps. Who wouldn’t want to erase the overused words or typos, if possible? I am starting to do it less because it’s often a thankless job but that is another subject for another time possibly.

I know you’ve helped me with your copious notes, and I so appreciate it.  Let’s  finish with a fun lightning round! 

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? A framed drawing of my first dog Alex. The artist in Venice Beach only charged $5 to do the portrait but it’s my favorite possession. I’ve even considered having a tattoo done from the drawing but as of now I have put that thought to rest.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? Kauai is where I feel the most connected. There is just something about the water that touches me.

Name a food you can eat everyday. Mangoes

Salty or sweet? Sweet Sweet Sweet!

Cat/dog/other pet? I am a dog person.

Favorite style of music? Is David Bowie a style? Ha-ha. I like classic rock, rock and alternative.

The best gift you’ve ever received? I was sick in 2007 as was told I might not ever walk again. I am blessed with the gift to walk. That is not something I take for granted. Ever.

Your most guilty pleasure. Papa John’s pizza delivery and reality TV.

Name something you cannot go a day without. Exercise and music. I am officially addicted.

Thank you Brenda for sharing with my readers. I learned many new and interesting things about you—all the more to admire.🙂 Congratulations on your accomplishments and the upcoming release of Punk Rocker. I look forward to reading and reviewing it.

Readers, please find Brenda at all her virtual homes below. She’s as amazing as she sounds.  

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Connect to Brenda

brenda perlin

Author Website | Website (Blossoming Press) | Blog | Google+

Twitter @BrooklynandBo | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

Facebook Pages

Blossoming Press | Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles

Alex the Mutt | Ty the Bull

Additional book trailers

Ty the Bull | Alex the Mutt: From Death Row to Cozy Home

Brenda Perlin is an independent contemporary fiction author of five titles and numerous short stories. From novels to illustrated books, Brenda’s provocatively unique writing style evokes passionate responses in her readers. Ever since she was a child, Brenda has been fascinated with the writing process. She draws her biggest inspiration from Judy Blume who sparked her obsession with pursuing personal expression through prose. Brenda has always lost herself in the world of literature.

Her first series, the highly-acclaimed Brooklyn and Bo Chronicles, captures the soul-wrenching conflicts of a couple struggling for emotional fulfillment against those who would keep them apart. Next, Brenda ventured into the realm of graphic novellas with Ty the Bull, a story about a young boy who overcomes bullying, and Alex the Mutt, which explores the journey of love and loss of a beloved dog.

Her latest, Punk Rocker comes after L.A. Punk Rocker, both are anthologies where authors write about the music scene in the late seventies to the early eighties: a time when she was in Hollywood meeting famous bands and enjoying the new music scene.

Now that Brenda has just released Punk Rocker, the second book in the punk series she is contemplating whether or not she will forge ahead with another book to complete the series, along with a photo book, L.A. Punk Snapshots. While she is still listening to her favorite bands from the eighties, Billy Idol remains the ultimate King Rocker and music is just as important to her as ever. All her works are available through Amazon.

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Filed under Author & Artist Interviews

Guest blog by Christoph Fischer (@cffbooks) on PUNK ROCKER

I’m very happy to announce an upcoming release, which will include two stories from author and friend, Christoph Fischer.

PUNK ROCKER, a new book dropping May 15th is the brainchild of author, Brenda Perlin. You will recall I read and reviewed her first book, LA PUNK ROCKER last year. Keep your eyes on this space for an an interview with Brenda Perlin this Friday.

In the meantime, please welcome Christoph and learn about his involvement with punk rock. I was surprised by Christoph’s diverse background, and you may be too!

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I’ve recently contributed two short stories to Punk Rocker, the much anticipated sequel to L.A. Punk Rocker by top author Brenda Perlin’s best-selling punk anthology.

I’m so proud that my stories have been chosen for this. LA Punk Rocker was one of my favourite reading pleasures last year and brought back a lot of vivid memories of those exciting times.

Many people were surprised when I told them about my involvement in the new project. You – a punk? Never! You are always so ‘clean cut’…

Well, maybe now I am (I couldn’t possibly comment). Back then, I was young and rebellious.

Nena for example was part of a New Wave of German artists that changed the music landscape of my youth. Visage, The Clash, The Cure, P.I.L. – they were the air that we breathed.

Outrageous and provocative hair and fashion, uncompromising attitudes and a hunger to live… I’m glad I was able to witness it all, even if I wasn’t the full monty…

Punk Rocker is a collection of short stories from those who were there, in the early days of Punk and New Wave. Hard core musical anarchists who saw it all, heard it all, did it all – and survived to tell their stories.

Along with Brenda and the West Coast punks, Punk Rocker features rebels, writers, commentators and street kids from all over America – talking about the music, the fashion, the attitude, the passion, the lifestyle and, of course, the bands who made it all happen.

Meet people who discovered punk’s new dawn – and those who were there for its sunset, in the ramshackle mausoleum of the Chelsea Hotel.

Backstage, in the clubs, in the gigs, in hotel rooms with the band, on the streets –Brenda was there. She saw it all. And so did her friends.

If you want to know how I fit into the picture – I won’t tell you here. Read the book😉

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punk rockerPUNK ROCKER is now available on Amazon! 

US | UK | Canada

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Connect to Christoph

christoph w/ dog

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales. He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and ‘The Black Eagle Inn’ in October 2013 – which completes his ‘Three Nations Trilogy’. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions”, another contemporary novel, in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015, his latest historical novel “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and his latest thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

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Filed under Author Promotions

Music Monday moves with @FosterthePeople

Here’s another song from my Hot Body Tone yoga class.

Sit ups, obliques, bicycles. It’s a great song to sweat to.

Enjoy “Pumped Up Kicks” and have a fun-filled, active week,

~eden

 

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Filed under Musical Mondays