Wednesday, September 28, 2016

One-Way Ticket Home by K.C. Hardy



Title: One-Way Ticket Home
Author: K.C. Hardy
Publisher: Casbury Lane Press
Pages: 262
Genre: Christian Inspirational Fiction

Days before boarding the plane to Italy for her daughter’s wedding, Julie Whitaker receives an unexpected phone call from her past. The memory of Mark Jennings, a handsome and charming Top Gun pilot, had haunted her for decades. Their fairy tale wedding was everything she’d ever dreamed of, but it quickly turned into her worst nightmare.

Starting a new a life without Mark proved to be much harder than Julie had imagined. But in her darkest hour, God revealed Himself in a miraculous way, giving her the strength she needed not only to battle depression, but to face a diagnosis of breast cancer that threatened to cut her life short.

Now, amidst the splendor of the Italian Alps, on the eve of her daughter’s wedding, Julie’s thoughts are catapulted back to Mark and the reason for his call.  After thirty years, will Julie have a chance to see him once again? And would she even want to?
Based on true events, One-Way Ticket Home will take you on an unforgettable journey of love, loss, hope and forgiveness. With grace, candor and an indomitable wit, K.C. Hardy reminds us that it is often in our darkest hours, that the strength of the human spirit shines the brightest.

For More Information

  • One-Way Ticket Home is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:

An out of the blue and totally unexpected call from Mark the following week, only served to punctuate the tumultuous feelings I’d been experiencing over the past few months.  It had been five years since I’d last heard from him and I was surprised by how quickly old wounds were ripped open.  Wounds I thought had healed so well that the scars were now invisible to the naked eye. Those first couple of years after leaving San Diego there hadn’t been a day that passed by without thoughts of Mark.  And yet, after marrying Tony, he’d almost become a rare afterthought.  A memory only conjured up when Roberta Flack’s soulful voice carried across the radio waves or when I subconsciously detected a faint hint of Mark’s favorite aftershave, English Leather, as a stranger breezed by in the mall.  But now I realized that the wounds hadn’t completely healed after all.  The countless shaky first steps in my new life—as a wife, a mother—now seemed futile. Just as an earthquake can level in seconds a grand old city that was centuries in the making, just the sound of Mark’s voice was enough to erase the last three years.

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Anokhi Dosti Book Blast



We are excited to be hosting Subhash Kommuru's ANOKHI DOSTI Book Blast today! Leave a comment or a question in the comment section of this blog to let her know you stopped by! 

About the Book:

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Title: Anokhi Dosti (The Magic of Friendship)
Author:  Subhash Kommuru
Publisher: Kommuru Books
Pages: 42
Genre: Children’s Fiction

Mom's Choice Award GOLD Recipient

Does a smile or a laugh have trans-formative power? It does in a special place called Tadoba. Anokhi Dosti is a book written in Hindi and is a remarkable tale of the trans-formative power of companionship, particularly for someone who is lonely and never really had the gift of laughter.

Guaranteed to get a giggle out of kids, Anokhi Dosti also provides plenty of opportunities for readers to connect with the characters in richly detailed, mesmerizing illustrations.

This Award Winning picture book is perfect for read-aloud fun and is also appropriate for beginning readers. This book is written in Hindi using Hindi script.

BUYING INFORMATION:

Annokhi Dosti is available at Amazon or pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble


About the Author

Subhash and Sujata hail from India. They migrated to the United States along with their memories of childhood and youth. Now that they are parents, just like every immigrant they crave to introduce their child to the culture and values of their upbringing. Yet it is challenging to teach something while you are in the midst of adjusting to a different culture yourself.
Subhash and Sujata both work in different disciplines and have different styles and backgrounds, but it is the upbringing of their son that brings them on the same page. That exact place where they meet is captured and reflected in their stories, where Subhash can express in words, and Sujata can illustrate them beautifully. Where he puts it in black and white, she adds color to it. You get the idea!
These stories are their attempt to share a glimpse of their childhood days with their son. He is their inspiration to write short stories that have meaning to them and provide teaching in some shape or form.

Shobhan’s latest book is the children’s book, Anokhi Dosti (The Magic of Friendship).
For More Information

 
http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with S.P. Aruna, author of 'Girl Within Girl'



Half French, half Khmer (Cambodian), I'm a woman whose head is filled with fantasies and intriguing stories, and who wants to share them with others.

S.P. Aruna’s latest book is the erotic thriller, Girl Within Girl: An Erotic Thriller: Book 1: Unraveling.

Visit the author on Facebook.
About the Book:

Katrina is never alone. She is bound to others inside her, tighter than
any Siamese twins could ever be: Cherry, the freewheeling photojournalist, Anisa, the covert spy-assassin, and others as yet unknown, all sharing her body and mind as she goes about her work in a psychiatric hospital. But she is starting to unravel, and her sole hope is the handsome Dr. Sean Paisley, the only one who can make her whole again.

Girl Within Girl is a dark erotic thriller that wanders through a sensual maze of mind control and torture.

For More Information

  • Girl Within Girl is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

Since my book centers on a woman with multiple personalities, I was compelled to read books on this subject. Not only did I find out that this condition can be induced through trauma, but I also discovered that many psychiatrists and doctors associated with hospitals and universities were conducting cruel experiments on people using funds from the CIA. This program was called MKULTRA, so I had to read up on that as well, including books written by survivors of such experiments. The key book which prompted me to write Girl Within Girl was The Control of Candy Jones, a story of a famous model and pin-up girl who was hypno-programmed to be a spy under a different personality.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

Because my book is dark erotica, I felt the best route to go was to self-publish.

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

I used the BookBaby publishing platform and they do everything from formatting the book to distributing to all the major eBook vendors.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

The book is just under 200 pages, and I wanted to make it affordable since it is part of a series. I also did some research on other eBooks on Amazon and came up with the price of $2.99.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

I originally wanted the publication date to be mid-September, when the kids go back to school since I anticipate that my audience would be stay-at-home moms, but I fell behind schedule. It will be published in mid-October instead, not really good timing since it is too close to the holidays, but I'm anxious to get it out and since it is the first book in the series I can always publish the second one at a more favorable date, perhaps during the dead of winter to warm up those cold nights.

How did you choose your cover? 

I worked with a guy called Cal Sharp of Caligraphics, and we came up with a design that visually evokes the concept of ghost-like alter egos emanating from a central character.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

I usually write a chapter or two then revise, revise, revise. At some point I had to stop editing what I had written or the book would never have been published. Despite that revising, I'm sure I'll read the published version and say to myself, gee, I wish I could change that.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I feel this is a must because I believe word of mouth is the ultimate selling device.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

Publicize, expose, promote, market.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

Publicize, expose, promote, market again. At the same time, start writing the next one.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?  

I setup an FB page and a Goodreads page. I plan to be quite active on Goodreads. Now, I'm getting involved in blog tours, which will last for two months.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

This book, Girl Within Girl Book One: Unraveling, is the first of the series, so I plan to write at least two more novels in the series before it ends.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

The book is dark erotica, yet a thriller at the same time, and the story weaves in and out of three lives of the same woman, each one full of unknown consequences, keeping the reader on edge as to what is going to happen next. In short, there is an entertainment element above and beyond the sex scenes in glamorous situations - there is a strong plot, something not easy to find in erotica novels.

Another aspect of the story which would appeal to many readers is the ability to escape out of the ordinary humdrum of our lives.
Each of us has multiple sides to our personality. On top of that, many people have fantasies of being someone else and of doing things that go outside the boundaries of our day-to-day existence. For Katrina Novak, she can accomplish these things through her alter-egos of Cherry Cummins, the freelance photojournalist who travels to exotic places and meets many famous people, and Anisa Grant, a kick-ass spy assassin who succeeds in her missions through cold calculation and ruthless execution.

I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I did writing it.

Friday, September 16, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with 'Friend of the Devil' Mark Spivak



Mark Spivak is an award-winning author, specializing in wine, spirits, food, restaurants, and culinary travel. He was the wine writer for the Palm Beach Post from 1994-1999, and was honored by the Academy of Wine Communications for excellence in wine coverage “in a graceful and approachable style.” Since 2001 he has been the Wine and Spirits Editor for the Palm Beach Media Group, as well as the Food Editor for Palm Beach Illustrated; his running commentary on the world of food, wine and spirits is available at the Global Gourmet blog on www.palmbeachillustrated.com. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Men’s Journal, Art & Antiques, the Continental and Ritz-Carlton magazines, Arizona Highways and Newsmax. From 1999-2011 Spivak hosted Uncorked! Radio, a highly successful wine talk show on the Palm Beach affiliate of National Public Radio.

Spivak is the author of two non-fiction books:  Iconic Spirits: An Intoxicating History (Lyons Press, 2012) and Moonshine Nation: The Art of Creating Cornbread in a Bottle (Lyons Press, 2014). Friend of the Devil is his first novel. He is currently working on a political thriller set during the invasion of Iraq.

For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Friend of the Devil
Author: Mark Spivak
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Pages: 325
Genre: Culinary Thriller

In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, sold his soul to the Devil to achieve culinary greatness. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

For More Information


Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

Friend of the Devil contained a great deal of autobiographical material, so research wasn’t necessary to get the story primed. As I progressed, there were lots of historical references that I needed to verify. Thank God for the Internet!

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

The book was released by a small, boutique press in the Pacific Northwest---my first two non-fiction books had been brought out by a mainstream publisher, and I wanted a kinder and gentler publishing environment. I don’t believe in self-publishing, except in certain unusual circumstances.

If published by a publisher, what was your deciding factor in going with them?

As stated above, I was fed up with larger publishers---generally, they seem to feel that publishing would be a wonderful business if they didn’t have to deal with writers. I was seeking an environment where I would have more input and feel more valued.

If published by a publisher, are you happy with the price they chose?

Amazon is selling the book for $13.49. I think that’s about right for a trade paperback.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

I didn’t have as much control over the release date as I would have wanted (it was May 27), but it turned out not to matter much. I think writers tend to get hung up on whether they have a spring or fall release. In fact, unless the publisher plans a heavy promotional campaign, I don’t think the date is very important.

How did you choose your cover?

Black Opal Books allowed me to design the cover, which I really appreciated---with the larger houses, writers typically aren’t involved at all. I had some definite ideas of what I wanted it to look like. A friend of mine who owns a marketing and PR company volunteered to do it, and we worked with her designers. I think the finished product is eye-catching, and it reflects the culinary theme.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

Friend of the Devil went through numerous drafts over a period of 7-8 years. It was a difficult story to deal with, for many reasons. It also went through two rounds of editing at the publishing house, which I was grateful for.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book?

No, I haven’t done that yet. I’m not sure that bookmarks or t-shirts really help get the word out.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?

I did have a trailer for my first non-fiction book, and it was well done, but it didn’t have a lot of impact. I thought the money could be spent more effectively elsewhere.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I’m open to it, but don’t quite see how giving books away would stimulate sales.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

It’s really helpful to sit down and draw up a comprehensive marketing plan on paper. Black Opal required one as part of the submission process, and I refined it as I went along. Obviously you need a website, and in today’s world a strong social media presence is crucial.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

I’m a believer in blog tours, because that’s where the eyeballs are. If you’re fortunate enough to know people involved in radio/tv/newspapers/magazines, harass them until they either give you some publicity or run away from you. Sticking to the plan is important, since book promotion is a marathon rather than a sprint. You have to promote relentlessly on a daily basis.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?

I wasn’t able to do as much pre-promotion as I wanted to, since I didn’t have a firm publication date until shortly before the book was released. I set up the Facebook page and made sure the website was up to date, and otherwise just kept honing the marketing plan.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

I’ll always be promoting Friend of the Devil.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

One of my readers said she had never read anything quite like Friend of the Devil, and that may be true. The Faust story certainly isn’t new, but the twist is unique---it tells the story of America’s most celebrated chef, who has cut a deal with the Devil for fame and fortune. To anyone who liked the book, I’d recommend reading it twice. There are a number of layers that don’t come through the first time around, particularly if you’re reading for plot.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Cover Reveal: A Honeyed Light by Freddie Milano


Inside the Book:


Title: A Honeyed Light
Author: Freddie Milano
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal

Kunal, relative newcomer to the strange town of Harmony, has his hands full preparing for Diwali. That should be enough to keep anyone's mind pre-occupied, but Kunal can't really ignore that he's nearly thirty, single, and still buried in the closet.

Out of town at a gay club one night, he bumps into Oscar, proprietor of Harmony's only sex shop, and figures his secret is now officially out. What he doesn't expect is a slow seduction, or to have to decide what it is he really wants in life.

Links: 
Cover design: http://www.aisha-o.com
 

MEET THE AUTHOR

freddie-author-photo
Freddie Milano lives with her partner-in-crime, two adorable and devilish cats, and far more ideas than she really has time to set down on (electronic) paper. She's been writing since she could hold a pen, though most of the embarrassing stories thankfully never made in onto the internet, and can stay safely buried.

She loves wine, Korean pop music, tea, chocolate, coffee, mythology, and both video and tabletop gaming. An ESFJ surrounded by introverts, Freddie has learned the art of socialization in moderation. Besides, staying in just leaves her more time to write. Find more at freddiemilano.com.
 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Friend of the Devil by Mark Spivak



Title: Friend of the Devil
Author: Mark Spivak
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Pages: 325
Genre: Culinary Thriller

In 1990 some critics believe that America’s most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, sold his soul to the Devil to achieve culinary greatness. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the 25th anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.

Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant’s silver jubilee. He quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer’s hostess, unwittingly transforming himself into a romantic rival of Avenzano. The chef invites Fox to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography. David gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant’s vortex: shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef’s original partner; the chef’s ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As his lover plots the demise of the chef, Fox tries to sort out hallucination and reality while Avenzano treats him like a feline’s catnip-stuffed toy.

For More Information

Book Excerpt:
Several years after the opening of Chateau de la Mer, the triumvirate of Avenzano, Walsh, and Ross appeared to be one big happy family, although there were rumors of strains in the relationship.
One night, at the height of the Festival of Champagne, there was an incident. Ross, a notorious womanizer, was sipping Cristal with a redhead at the restaurant’s corner table.
His wife slipped through the front door of the mansion, unannounced. Walking slowly through the dining room, past the Medieval memorabilia and dramatic cast-iron griffins, she strolled up to Ross’s table, took a revolver from her evening bag, and calmly shot him through the heart.
The ensuing chaos did more to establish Joseph Soderini di Avenzano in the American imagination than his designer pasta, his Bedouin stuffed poussin, his recipes transposed from Etruscan or Old Genoese, or his library of ten thousand cookbooks.
This was more than a good meal, after all. This was sex and death in Palm Beach. Even more intriguing was the chef’s refusal to comment on Ross after his death, except for informal and effusive eulogies in his famous baritone.
“Watch that Cristal,” David’s friend Bill Grimaldi told him before he left Manhattan to do an assigned story on the twenty-fifth anniversary of Chateau de la Mer. “It’s a killer.”

Thursday, September 8, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with 'Killer Pursuit' Jeff Gunhus



Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.

His latest book is the thriller, Killer Pursuit.

For More Information
About the Book:

When a high-society call girl is murdered in her Georgetown home, investigators find two cameras hidden in the walls of her bedroom. One has its memory erased, presumably by the murderer. The second is connected to the Internet through an encrypted connection...and no-one knows who's on the other end.

Special Agent Allison McNeil is asked by beleaguered FBI Director Clarence Mason to run an off-the-record investigation of the murder because of the murder's similarity to a case she worked a year earlier. Allison knows the most direct path to apprehending the killer is to find the videos, but the rumors that the victim's client list may have included Mason's political enemies has her worried about the director's motives. As she starts her investigation, she quickly discovers that she's not the only one pursuing the videos. In fact, the most aggressive person racing against her might be the murderer himself.

For More Information

Killer Pursuit is available at Amazon.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

Killer Pursuit takes place in and around DC and I enjoy weaving in historical facts and stories into my narrative. For this story, I knew I wanted to set a meeting in Arlington National Cemetery, one of my favorite sites to visit. I’d been on tours before but online resources gave me even more details to use. For a scene with a tattoo being cut out of a dead body, I called a local tattoo parlor. The tattoo artist on the other end was a little too into the conversation!

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

I self-pubbed this book even though the first was through Thomas & Mercer. I really enjoyed designing my own cover and working directly with my editor.

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

This is my 10th novel and I’ve self-pubbed many of them. I used to outsource the conversion but a few books ago I started to use a program called Vellum. It’s easy, intuitive and creates a great looking ebook.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

It’s the same price as book #1. $3.99 is still a value to the reader while still valuing the work. The .99 promotion price for this tour is a fun way to get more people introduced to the series.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

I try to space my books for adults in the alternative 6-month period to my books I publish for kids. It helps me wear a different hat and and keep them separated.

How did you choose your cover?

I worked with Carl Grave of Extended Imagery. We worked on several ideas and wanted to give both a sense of place (Washington, DC) and a sense of the sensuality and danger in the book. I like how it turned out.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

I typically do a first draft straight through, allowing myself to be as bad as I want. I was once told that the first draft is the pile of manure out of which good things will grow. The fertilizer draft. Then I write a second, send to my editor, write another draft, let friends read it, then copy edit, then other friends… and then out into the world.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book? 

I did some signed giveaways and blog tours to reach out to new readers.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I’m happy to give copies of my books to people willing to give my them an honest review. I’m in this to be read. I’ll even take negative reviews as long as it’s something they didn’t like about the book because it means the work still got them thinking. (Reviews like: “the book arrived two days late” drive me a little crazy.) I think folks who check out one of my books do tend to read the others so I think it’s a valid way to get the word out.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

1)      Perfect editing. Pay for talent to catch all the errors. After than, offer your beta-readers a candy bar for every typo they find. There are always a few that sneak through even the pros.
2)      Love your cover. Test it with your readers. Give them options.
3)      Reviews. Whether a blog tour, your most avid readers or a local book club, make sure you have 25+ reviews ready to go. They can post on Goodreads until your book is live on Amazon. 

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

1)      Write the next book.
2)      Limit your social media “marketing efforts” to less than an hour a day.
3)      Write the next book.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out? 

Author page, splash page, FB ads, blog tour.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

I hope you enjoy spending time with Allison McNeil. If this is your first time meeting her, you can start here or read Killer Within first. I think you will enjoy it either way. Please reach out to me and let me know what you think. I respond personally to emails and Facebook messages. Talk to you soon!