Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Interview with Christiane Banks, author of Amelia's Prayer

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Inside the Book:

Amelia's Prayer

Title: Amelia's Prayer 
Author: Christiane Banks 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Religious Fiction 
Format: Ebook/Hardcover/Paperback

Sebastian Lavalle is just fifteen when he leaves home in 1934 to join the navy. Seven years later, Sebastian unfortunately knows all too well about the horrors of World War II and what it is like to fear the unknown. When repairs force his ship to the rugged shore of Newcastle, the young French naval officer is invited to a tea dance to celebrate Bastille Day. He seizes the opportunity, hoping to find comfort and a small taste of the home he misses so much. Amelia Sullivan, the daughter of Irish immigrant parents is thrilled to be attending the tea dance. When Sebastian's eyes find her in the crowd, he drinks in her exotic beauty. Moments later as he draws her into his arms for a dance, there is no doubt in his mind that he has just met the woman of his dreams. Days later, Sebastian professes his love and marries her, sending them both on an unforgettable journey through betrayal, survival and forgiveness. The saga takes the reader from England's coast, to the French Riviera and also to America. Their soul searching journey explores the many facets and depths of love leading to the realization of what true happiness means.. Amelia's Prayer is a tender and moving saga spanning forty years after two young souls are flung together during World War II.  


ORDER INFORMATION
Amelia's Prayer is available for order at
amazon


The Interview:

How has your upbringing influenced your writing?

My upbringing influenced my writing because of the people I met and talked to and spent time with over the years and of course my own personal experiences. I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most interesting people - young and old; wise and not so wise. Everyone has a story. The human touch. The simplicity, truths and writing about what I know and understand came from growing up with that amazing diverse background has been one of my greatest influences.

When and why did you begin writing?

I can only tell you that over the years I’ve always felt the need to write short stories and I also have the gift of storytelling. It seemed as it was one of my passions and I came to the stage of my life when I had raised my children and had more energy to dedicate to the things that I wanted to accomplish like writing a novel. it was inside me, waiting to come out. It took several years to produce Amelia’s Prayer and now it is here and published for good. That gives me a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in achieving that goal. It’s probably one of the greatest rewards and my main reason- no regrets.

What do you consider the hardest thing about writing? 

The execution of the book. I have the ideas for the story but I am a dyslexic, transferring the ideas from my mind and imagination onto paper was very difficult. I made notes recorded those notes and the story on to a cassette, gave the cassette to a friend of mine who typed every word. I read it back several times and eventually turned it into a manuscript after many attempts. Amelia’s Prayer has 17 manuscripts!

Do you intend to make writing in career?

I would certainly like to consider it as a part-time career and I am currently launching Amelia’s Prayer very seriously with the intention of walking it out into the marketplace with passion and determination. Along with the help of my husband, one book at a time!

Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, I like to think I do. I write as I speak. When I am storytelling I try to keep it simple and honest in order for my readers to identify with both the story and the characters within the book.

Meet the Author:

Christiane Banks lives in Ontario, Canada, with her husband. Amelia's Prayer, which took six years to write, is her debut novel.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Save The Last Dance by Eric Joseph & Eva Ungar Grudin



Title: Save The Last Dance
Author: Eric Joseph & Eva Ungar Grudin
Publisher: Hargrove Press
Pages: 360
Genre: Literary Fiction

A tale of the power and peril of first love rediscovered.
           
Adam Wolf and Sarah Ross were teenage sweethearts who grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in the late 50’s and early 60's. They set a wedding date when they turned fifteen. The day came and went. For most of their lives the two were out of contact.
With their 50th high school reunion approaching, Adam and Sarah reconnect. Email exchanges - after the first tentative "hi", then a deluge- five, ten- by the end of the week twenty emails a day. Soon Sarah admits, "All my life I've been looking for someone who loves me as much as you did".

Written entirely in email and texts, Save the Last Dance allows the reader to eavesdrop on Sarah and Adam's correspondence as their love reignites. It also permits the reader to witness the reactions of significant others, whose hum-drum lives are abruptly jolted by the sudden intrusion of long-dormant passion. Can Sarah and Adam's rekindled love withstand the pummeling they're in for?

For More Information

Book Excerpt:
From: Adam Wolf <adam.wolf1402@gmail.com>
To: Paul Bishop <Paul.R.Bishop@dewey.com>
October 12, 2014 4:54 pm
Subject: Finally saw Sarah, virtually
Oh Paul — “L’avventura” continues. No pauses for breath or thought. Since the last email, this thing with Sarah has detonated. We are now writing each other all day, every day, sometimes at night, on the way to work, at work, lunch, at intersections, on the back porch. I spend my days longing for her messages and panic when an hour goes by without. No more tentative phrases and innuendo. No more stuff about vague ambiguous longing. It’s full blown, Paul. Jesus H — it’s sweet passion and sexy -particularly exciting because we never had the chance in our first go-round way back when.
The day came. We decided it was the right time to finally see each other — to Skype. I was in Cleveland, alone. Sarah picked a time when I would call. I brought three changes of clothes and tried each of them on before we Skyped — stood back from the mirror and rejected them all. I finally settled on a button-down light blue shirt with one of those newfangled small-ish collars, and a dark blue crew neck. (I remembered that Sarah doesn’t like V-necks.) The pants, Izod chinos with the pleated front and room to grow. I was now prepared with my best Belmondo charm to woo Sarah into bed.
            It wasn’t like that, though. I don’t know what it was, Paul. Maybe it was modesty, perhaps fear about what we must look like now to people who last saw us when we were young. The mask of age. Anyway, whatever it was, when the time came we both sat in the shadows in our respective rooms and just peered at the camera. First there was giggling over nothing. Eventually, I decided to thrust my face forward into the light, regardless of the consequences. Sarah leaned forward herself for a moment, her hand over her face, just briefly let her eyes show and stared at me nervously. Later she said she thought me so handsome still. I told her I would recognize those beautiful baby blues anywhere, if only she would let me see them clearly.
            I couldn’t really see her face. The light was arranged so only a silhouette was visible. For a while she resembled someone being interviewed in the witness protection program. I expected her voice to sound shrill and electronic. “I foist met Vinnie da Butcher Bugliosi in 1946 at a pizza parlor in Passaic. He showed me a good time. His last words to me were ‘keep your mouth shut’.”
            As for the rest of her, I conjured up the worst — telling myself I will love her no matter what. I had visions of Sarah Ross now — cauliflower ears and 7 teeth, four of which dangled precipitously. I feared her neck would show signs of some old rope burns from 10 years ago, when she tried to hang herself in the mental ward.     
            When Sarah finally spoke, her voice was soft. Softer than I remembered, sweet, more confident, deeper. At first she spoke out of the darkness. She said, “It’s you. It’s really you.” The conversation deteriorated from there. And I said, “It’s you, really you,” but I wasn’t sure. Except for the voice it could have been Golda Meier there, for all I knew.When she finally leaned into the light, I must have lost my breath. I saw her — and despite the few wrinkles, the face more set in place, she was immediately my girl, her smile now even sweeter. Her gestures were more refined and confident. She was dressed elegantly for me — a silky salmon top and a paisley shawl. The years dissolved, and the fears about age were gone. My Sarah and she beamed at me.    We talked softly, nothing sexually charged about it, just soft remembrance. We imagined that we were back in her sunroom, with the low red love seat — tamely making out — her hand caressing my belly but- ton, just under the belt — how we slept together at 15, quite literally, in that hot room, napping together in the heat — or about her head on my lap when we watched The Twilight Zone Friday nights — or the path we took through Cain Park when I carried home her books after school — or the people we routinely met along my paper route.    At some point, Paul, we stopped talking and simultaneously touched our fingers to our lips and reached toward the screen.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Scapegoat: A Flight Crew's Journey From Heroes to Villains to Redemption by Emilio Corsetti III



Title: Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption
Author: Emilio Corsetti III
Publisher: Odyssey Publishing, LLC
Pages: 472
Genre: Nonfiction Narrative

"This is the kind of case the Board has never had to deal with-a head-on collision between the credibility of a flight crew versus the airworthiness of the aircraft." NTSB Investigator-in-Charge Leslie Dean Kampschror

On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of 7 rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing were it not for the crew's actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at that time.

While the crew's efforts to save TWA 841 were initially hailed as heroic, that all changed when safety inspectors found twenty-one minutes of the thirty-minute cockpit voice recorder tape blank. The captain of the flight, Harvey "Hoot" Gibson, subsequently came under suspicion for deliberately erasing the tape in an effort to hide incriminating evidence. The voice recorder was never evaluated for any deficiencies.

From that moment on, the investigation was focused on the crew to the exclusion of all other evidence. It was an investigation based on rumors, innuendos, and speculation. Eventually the NTSB, despite sworn testimony to the contrary, blamed the crew for the incident by having improperly manipulated the controls, leading to the dive.

This is the story of an NTSB investigation gone awry and one pilot's decades-long battle to clear his name.

Scapegoat: A Flight Crew’s Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption is available at Amazon and B&N.

Book Excerpt:
When TWA 841 departed JFK on April 4, 1979, no one onboard had any idea of the drama that would soon unfold. One passenger, travelling with her husband, wrote in a journal about the smooth takeoff. She had been keeping a personal journal of her travels to share with her children on her return. She documented everything down to the most inconsequential detail such as her ears popping as the aircraft climbed. Days, weeks, and years later, after TWA 841 had become the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations in the agency’s history, investigators would scrutinize every minute of the flight in a similarly detailed manner. Much like a criminal investigation, the movements, actions, and whereabouts of each crew member were documented. Routine tasks such as when and where the meal trays were exchanged between the cockpit and cabin crew would take on added significance. Unraveling the mystery of TWA 841 was a monumental puzzle that needed to be solved. But unlike any accident investigation before or since, the same evidence investigators would use against the crew would be used by others to challenge the theories put forth by Boeing and the NTSB. Readers can draw their own conclusions as to which version is correct.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Fairly Safe by Deborah Ann Davis

Title: FAIRLY SAFE
Author: Deborah Ann Davis
Publisher: D&D Universe
Pages: 356
Genre: New Adult

When Mistaken Identity collides with Secret Identity, who wins?

JACOB HAS COME A LONG WAY FOR AN ORPHANED FOSTER KID. He has a mentor, a great job, and has finally fallen in love. Granted, she mistook him for a stalker when they met, but every relationship has its little problems. Unfortunately, for the past few years, as the object of his affection pops in and out of his life, she has refused to share any personal info, like where she’s from, or her real name. Regardless, Jacob is ready to take their relationship to the next level. Now, if only he can locate her so he can tell her.

CASEY’S FAMILY IS IN THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. Safety has to be their only priority. Their cover has been blown before, so Casey knows at any given time they could be forced to disappear again. Obviously, a shy young man with hopeful eyes cannot possibly be added to the mix. You cannot build a relationship like that. Now, if only she can stop thinking about him.

JACOB’S AND CASEY’S WORLDS UNEXPECTEDLY COLLIDE when Jacob inadvertently helps hide her family. Exposed to their 24-7 vigilance, Jacob realizes he must come up with a plan to keep them out of harm’s way, because this time if Casey disappears, she will be taking with her Jacob’s heart, and his hopes of finally having a family of his own.

For More Information

  • Fairly Safe is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:

Wipeout!

Jacob Kent stepped out of his car as he scanned the fair on the other side of the parking lot, his heart pounding. As with many country fairs, the parking lot was no more than an abused pasture. This one was about the size of two football fields. Fair employees decked in bright yellow directed the early trickle of cars to their temporary berths. Jacob ignored them, choosing instead a parking spot near the exit. Anticipating the possible need for a quick getaway outweighed a pimply teen’s futile attempts to redirect him.
He regarded the rides twirling and spinning above and around the strolling families. Despite the morning sun, the lights flashed merrily, beckoning to all. At 11 a.m. it wasn’t crowded, but he knew that would soon change. Locking his car, he slowly picked his way through the beaten grass, combing all directions for a clue the girls were there. As the unmistakable sound of carnival music floated toward him on the warm summer breeze, he reviewed his plan.
First, he would walk through the fair to familiarize himself with the layout they had printed out. Then he would adjust their escape route to where he parked the car. After assessing the grounds, he would plant himself somewhere along the concourse, and watch the crowd. That’s how he had always found Casey in the past, and that’s how he was going to find her again.
A voice came over the loudspeaker, momentarily dimming the carnival noise. “Would the owner of a red ford truck, license plate AIP537, please return to your vehicle? Your lights are on.”
Jacob tensed. Was that some kind of clue? He looked over the parking lot. No, he could see the lights of the red truck from here. He smiled ruefully to himself.
Get a grip, Kent, he thought as he watched a portly balding man march exasperatedly toward the truck.
He sighed. Intellectually, he had to acknowledge they might have pieced together a bunch of randomly forgotten items into a fantastical story, but emotionally, he couldn’t help but believe the items served an ultimate purpose. If The Herd was here, he was going to find them. He also knew if he wasn’t careful, he could spend the entire day jumping at shadows and following dead ends.
Like that little commotion over by the edge of the fair. To his over-active imagination, that game of tag could look like a child trying to escape from the evil clutches of—
“HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, WIPEOUT!” sang out over the loudspeaker.
His head jerked up. As the pounding drums from the familiar song drowned out the carnival music, all doubt was erased. The loudspeaker was sending out a warning. His eyes darted back toward the commotion he had noticed. That was no game of tag. That was a child trying to escape a man in hot pursuit. Jacob couldn’t be positive at this distance, but it sure looked like Robin.
With his heart in his throat, he broke into a run, zigzagging between cars, trying to intercept the fleeing child as it headed toward the side of the parking lot. In this surreal moment, the same song they had used for obstacle course training was being piped out like background music to a scene in a movie. But this scene was real, where a real menace was gaining. Caught in his own nightmare, Jacob was watching Robin run for her life, and he was not close enough to help.
As the predator and prey crossed the area between the fair and the parking lot, the longer legs of the adult closed the gap between them, but once they reached the cars, the advantage became hers. Robin’s small size and training put some distance between them as she dodged around vehicles. However, her constant change of direction made it difficult for Jacob to maintain a course of interception.
Watching Robin’s progress, Jacob realized she was trying to head back toward the fair. Silently applauding Robin’s decision to get closer to other people who could help her, Jacob altered his course accordingly.
So did Robin’s pursuer.
Suddenly, her stalker eliminated the space between them by clambering up and over two pickup trucks, and landing an arm’s length away. Skidding, Robin veered around another vehicle with the man on her tail. As Jacob frantically tried to reach her, a brunette Sam suddenly popped out from behind a car and neatly took the man out with one magnificent sweep of a skateboard to the head.
Where did she come from? A stunned Jacob skidded to a stop, gasping for breath, his chest burning.
With a quick high-five, the sisters raced back to the fair. Jacob tried in vain to get their attention, but he hadn’t quite recovered enough breath to formulate sounds louder than gasps. He shook his head as he tried to calm the burning in his lungs. He was a wreck, but they were able to run off.
And I was going to save them? He weakly chuckled. What was I thinking?
Sobering, he trotted over to the man who was staggering to his feet. With rage marshalling all of his strength, Jacob drew back and smashed his fist into the man’s face. The unexpected pain in his fist was nothing compared to the satisfaction of watching Robin’s former threat drop like an anchor.
Shaking the pain out of his hand, Jacob aimed a vindictive kick at the ribs of his girls’ attacker. Any qualms he might ordinarily have about hitting a man when he’s down were nonexistent when it came to someone threatening his family.
Satisfied the man was no longer a danger, he took off in the direction he had seen his girls disappear, trying to calm the fear rising in his chest. He doubted this man had come alone. The girls probably knew that, too, and would be hiding. How was he going to find them before their pursuers did?
The light glinting off the speaker perched atop a telephone pole caught his eye. Jacob skidded to a stop and stared at it. Of course. When Robin had been trying to escape, that speaker had been blasting out WipeOut, but now he only heard carnival music. With a grin, Jacob decided it was time to stop believing in coincidences. Someone at the fair must be helping them. If he found that person, he’d be able to find the fugitives.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Interview with Ralph William Ausman, author of Saving Jesus

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Inside the Book:

Saving Jesus

Title: Saving Jesus 
Author: Ralph William Ausman 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Alternative History 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

The canvas of history provides a complex pattern of culture, change, and conflict. Colorful individuals were often the driving forces behind the progression of history. Was there a grander purpose behind these developments, beyond the individual people, locations, and events? History often turns on a simple thought or decision by those in a position to have a significant impact on the ultimate course for humankind. What influence did some of the most significant personages in human history unknowingly contribute on the world stage, even beyond their own individual stories and experiences? Was his story truly the driving force of history, the basic thread that ties the global human experience together? Author Ralph William Ausman's novel, Saving Jesus: Resurrecting John the Baptist takes us on a journey through history, from the Holy Land, to China, India, Greece, and ancient Persia. It follows the origins of religious thought as world empires play out across the globe in preparation for the defining moment in world history: the birth of Jesus and the subsequent emergence of Christianity that would define world growth and development for the next two thousand years. Ausman looks at such questions as what would have happened had the wise men followed Jesus and his family or if John the Baptist had become Jesus's first disciple. Saving Jesus: Resurrecting John the Baptist is not intended as a refutation of the Bible. Instead, it invites you to take an interesting-and different-look at the most important events and people of history.

The Interview:


Can you tell us why you wrote your book?

I wanted to express how God so loved the world. Not just that He sent His Son, but how much He prepared the world for that event. I felt many people look at Jesus only through the Old and New Testament and a relatively small area of the world. However, God was working in China, India, Persia, Greece, and Rome to develop cultures and traditions that would prepare people all around the world to receive the messiah.

Which part of the book was hardest to write?

Keeping track of multiple historical plotlines and how they fit together with respect to maintaining the historical pieces in some measure of coherency. There were many moving parts. In addition to the religious/philosophical figures (Confucius-China, Buddha-India, Socrates-Greece) who lived at approximately the same time, I also wanted to connect them with the political leaders who built their empires approximately 200-300 years later based upon these same ideas: Emperor Wu (Confucius), Ashoka the Great (Buddha) , Alexander (Socrates). I did not want to develop any one sub- section too much and yet I wanted to make sure the reader had an understanding of the different cultural circumstances without confusing them all together. I am not sure to what extent I succeeded.

Does your book have an underlying message that readers should know?

 The environment for receiving new ideas requires two things: 1. A strong moral foundation and 2. A political climate that includes a respect for other ideas and a willingness to listen. These are represented by The Ten Commandments and The First Amendment to the US Constitution. We often do not appreciate how significant these are to individual freedom and liberty. It is essentially the difference between the American Revolution and the French, Russian and Chinese revolutions and their outcomes.


Do you remember when the writing bug hit?

I have always been interested in writing. It was not until a few years ago that the basic concept for the project developed. From there it just kept growing and once I started writing progress came pretty quickly, even though there were times when I had to pay attention to other things before I could go back to writing.



 
Meet the Author:
Ralph William Ausman earned a degree in computer science from California State University, Northridge. He then lived and worked in Europe and Singapore with his wife and daughter before returning to the United States. Ausman has always had an interest in different religions and their effects on culture and history.

Interview with LaVera Edick, author of Four Score and More

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Inside the Book:

Four Score and More

Title: Four Score and More 
Author: LaVera Edick 
Publisher: Trafford 
Genre: Biography 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Statement from Author I was born in 1925. This is my story of growing up on a farm and following the oft-times bumpy road of life. It is the story of my family and ancestors, those pioneers who cut the trails and paved the roads for our journey through life. Several major events helped shape the lives and attitudes of those born before 1940. It was a struggle raising a family in the thirties: not only was the nation in a financial crisis, Mother Nature was in an ugly mood. When people reminisce, they often talk about the “good times” they had during the “bad times.” There was a shortage of money but an abundance of love and family togetherness. A product of hardy pioneer stock, at an early age, I gained satisfaction from a hard day’s work well done. From managing a trucking business and selling brushes, I became first lady of an insurance company and pursued my dreams of becoming an artist. Statement from Jackie Glen, editor: If your grandparents, great-grandparents and their relatives lived in the 1800’s and early 1900’s in the Midwest, you will want to read this book that describes in detail what life was like on the farm. Personal anecdotes about the author and her family will put you in stitches or bring you to tears, but every tale will cause you to wonder how our ancestors survived. Their stories of hard work, sacrifice, and determination not only will remind you of where you came from, but provide a road map of the future.

“Flanked by the colorful stories of several generations before and after her, Edick shares her life journey through the often turbulent, historically and personally, 20th century – a genuine, heartfelt memoir.” –US REVIEW of BOOKS

The Interview:

Can you tell us why you wrote your book?

I always wanted to write, but it was after a near-fatal auto accident that God seemed to be telling me that I was left on earth for a reason. It was then that I started thinking about writing my first book.

Which part of the book was hardest to write?

The part about unhappy family situations was the hardest to write.

 Does your book have an underlying message that readers should know?

I hope that readers will get the message from my book that more time should be spent with family and talking to God.

Do you remember when the writing bug hit?

The writing bug hit when I was a college student at age 40 and started writing short stories in a writing class.But,it hit in earnest after a near-fatal auto accident and a message from God .

Besides books,do you write anything else?

Besides books,Iwrite poetry and do a lot of corresponding with family and friends.

Meet the Author:

LaVera and her faithful canine companion, a Westie named Tousie, are snowbirds these days. They spend their summers in Bismarck, North Dakota, and winters in Mesa, Arizona.

 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

PUYB Chats with Sean Dow, author of 'A Leafy Green World'



Sean Dow is a pulmonary and critical care physician in Great Falls, Montana. He started writing thriller novels in 2011, and has three titles, one of which, Debridement, is in its second printing and is being made into a feature film.

Sean was born in Iowa City, but was raised on a small farm in Kansas before leaving for medical school, and the adventures beyond. His career was largely in Klamath Falls, Oregon, a town that still feels like home. He did a brief stent in Las Vegas before moving to the paradise of Montana. When not working or writing, Sean can be found in the kitchen perfecting his New York cheesecake, or on the mountain streams with Bailey, his beloved (and perfectly behaved) Mastiff and his favorite 2 weight fly rod-a parting gift from a dear friend and patient.

His latest books are A Leafy Green World and Al-thar.
For More Information
About the Book:

Title: A Leafy Green World
Author: Sean Dow
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Pages: 449
Genre: Thriller

A Leafy Green World is a fast paced, action packed thriller set in the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Brent Holcomb has moved to Portland in hopes of resurrecting his life and his career. There, he meets Robyn-the girl from his dreams. All is going smoothly until he realizes Robyn and her friends are not what they seem. Now, wrapped up in the murder of an innocent man, and with nowhere to turn, Brent forms a bold plan-a plan that will put him on a dangerous course, aligning himself with domestic terrorists and ultimately, a deeply hidden cell of Islamic terrorists. 

For More Information


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

I did extensive internet research on eco-terror groups, doubtlessly putting me squarely in the sights of NSA. I joked about that, until the Edward Snowden revelations, now I look for black Suburbans and stealth helicopters!

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

After hearing horror stories from others who had spent months trying to go the traditional route I decided to self-publish. Very glad I did, though the marketing of an established publisher would be nice.

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 did my own formatting, using the guidelines put out by Smashwords. Not being very computer literate, it was an adventure, but there is a sense of accomplishment when achieving something that doesn’t come naturally to you.

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

I set my price to be as low as possible without losing with each sale. When faced with competition from well known and loved authors with major publishers behind them, who can sell thousands of books at $7.99 or $8.99 it seems foolish for an unknown author to charge two or three times that, and hope to sell any books.

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

No, I was eager to get it out as soon as possible. I had hoped to have it out in time for Christmas shopping, but missed by about a month.

How did you choose your cover?

For A Leafy Green World I wanted a cover that would reflect the natural scenes of the story, and yet be a little sinister. For Al-thar I searched for weeks for the right idea. Nothing seemed right until I came across a stock image of a turbaned head with a hidden face-it was perfect, the hidden, mysterious terrorist inviting the reader to question what was within. A little tweaking by a favorite graphic artist, and it was done.

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

I wrote the story and then went back and revised several times before sending off for a detailed edit, then revised again with those well thought out recommendations.
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 am thinking of making book marks for my next event, but so far have not ventured in that direction.

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

I have done a few giveaways. Have gotten some feedback and a few reviews, hard to say if they have made any appreciable difference in sales. Discount pricing through Amazon Kindle, however, has been quite successful.

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

1-Buy the best quality edit you can afford.
2-Use social media to alert friends of the upcoming release
3-Have a marketing plan in mind, including a good quality website.

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

1-Join Goodreads, it is a great resource for exposing your book to the reading public.
2-Make in person visits to local books stores in your area, especially independents.
3-Don’t be afraid to bring your work to people’s attention, be proud of your accomplishment and give them a chance to know it is out there. Some will want to read it, others won’t, but word of mouth has been my best advertising, and odds are good you will come across others who have written, or would like to, and who would be happy for advice and encouragement.

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

I had an audience built up after my first novel, Debridement. That made it easy to use social media to promote A Leafy Green World and Al-thar before their release.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

I am still exploring marketing options, looking for ways to gain more exposure. So far, no plans for further sequels, but who knows…?

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

Thanks for reading my stories, and I sincerely hope I have provided a few smiles.



Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Feature: Four Score and More by LaVera Edick

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Inside the Book:

Four Score and More

Title: Four Score and More 
Author: LaVera Edick 
Publisher: Trafford 
Genre: Biography 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Statement from Author I was born in 1925. This is my story of growing up on a farm and following the oft-times bumpy road of life. It is the story of my family and ancestors, those pioneers who cut the trails and paved the roads for our journey through life. Several major events helped shape the lives and attitudes of those born before 1940. It was a struggle raising a family in the thirties: not only was the nation in a financial crisis, Mother Nature was in an ugly mood. When people reminisce, they often talk about the “good times” they had during the “bad times.” There was a shortage of money but an abundance of love and family togetherness. A product of hardy pioneer stock, at an early age, I gained satisfaction from a hard day’s work well done. From managing a trucking business and selling brushes, I became first lady of an insurance company and pursued my dreams of becoming an artist. Statement from Jackie Glen, editor: If your grandparents, great-grandparents and their relatives lived in the 1800’s and early 1900’s in the Midwest, you will want to read this book that describes in detail what life was like on the farm. Personal anecdotes about the author and her family will put you in stitches or bring you to tears, but every tale will cause you to wonder how our ancestors survived. Their stories of hard work, sacrifice, and determination not only will remind you of where you came from, but provide a road map of the future.

“Flanked by the colorful stories of several generations before and after her, Edick shares her life journey through the often turbulent, historically and personally, 20th century – a genuine, heartfelt memoir.” –US REVIEW of BOOKS

Meet the Author:

LaVera and her faithful canine companion, a Westie named Tousie, are snowbirds these days. They spend their summers in Bismarck, North Dakota, and winters in Mesa, Arizona.

 

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Second Chance Book Blast & Win $10 Amazon Gift Card!


We're happy to be hosting Dana K. Ray's A SECOND CHANCE Book Blast today!  Enter to win $10 Amazon Gift Card below!
About the Book:

Title: A Second Chance
Author: Dana K. Ray
Publisher: eLectio Publishing
Pages: 352
Genre: YA/New Adult/Inspirational
A past she can’t forget…

Raven will do just about anything to forget a horrific event from the past that still haunts her. Forced to attend church because of a promise she made at a party, she is immediately attracted to the young, handsome preacher but is unconvinced of his promises of a better life.

A future he refuses to accept…

Matthew has everything planned out until Raven walks into his church and turns his life upside down. Repulsed by her lifestyle, yet fascinated by her beauty and charm, he finds himself drawn to her by a force he can’t explain.

Raven and Mathew’s unlikely friendship leads them through escalating troubled waters that threaten to doom their growing relationship. Will they survive to learn valuable lessons of grace, forgiveness and love?

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Book Excerpt:
Raven staggered into her bedroom and fell on the bed. Darkness pressed into her on every side. A shard of light sliced through the room. She tried to focus on the ceiling, but the room spun around her. She slid to the edge of the bed until one foot lay flat on the floor. It was supposed to stop the spinning. It didn’t.
Oh, God. If You keep me from puking, I swear, I’ll never drink again.
It was an empty promise, as deceiving as the alcohol. The numbness was too short. All too quickly, she’d end up in the same position, praying the same stupid prayer, talking to a God she didn’t know.
Teresa appeared. Raven smiled and reached out to her best friend. Teresa came closer. Her face was white and her lips were blue. Raven’s smile faded as terror filled her.
“I’m sorry,” Raven whispered and blinked away the tears, then gave her head a gentle shake to rid herself of the ghost. Wrong move. Teresa vanished like a vapor, but her stomach churned in protest. She looked back at the ceiling, pushed the thoughts of Teresa out of her mind, and focused on not puking.
Teresa was back with a vengeance, haunting her this time, calling to her...
“Raven.”
Raven rolled on her side and pulled the pillow over her head to muffle the girl’s voice. The shrink said the memories would fade. They didn’t.
“Raven.”
Startled, she sat up and tried to focus on something. Her heart pounded as hard as her head did. She must’ve been dreaming.
“Raven.” There was pounding. “Get the door,” her sister yelled.
Raven turned. Hailey stood in the doorway of her room. Is it morning? Did I sleep? Am I still buzzed or hung over? She sat motionless for a moment. Her head throbbed. Cotton mouth. I’m hung over.
“The door?” Raven asked, but Hailey had already disappeared.
Raven crawled across the bed, peeked out the window, and looked down at the front porch. Travis, the preacher boy, pounded on the door again.
“I’ll kill him.” The doorbell shrilled through the house, intensifying the pounding in her head.



About the Author

Dana K. Ray has been writing gutsy, true to life stories since she became a teenager. She and her husband reside in the Midwest with their four children and four dogs. She loves writing, mochas and Oreo’s. A Second Chance is her first published novel. Absolution, the first in the Luciano Series, is scheduled to be published in July, 2017. Dana loves to connect with her readers and other aspiring authors at www.danakray.com.

For More Information


Giveaway

Dana K. Ray is giving away a $10 Gift Card!


Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive $10 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • This giveaway begins July 5 and ends on July 29.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on July 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Paris Runaway by Paulita Kincer



Title: Paris Runaway
Author: Paulita Kincer
Publisher: Oblique Press
Pages: 256
Genre: Women’s Fiction

When divorced mom Sadie Ford realizes her 17-year-old daughter Scarlett has run away to Paris all she can imagine are terrorist bombings and sex slaves. After learning her daughter chased a French exchange student home, Sadie hops on the next plane in pursuit. She joins forces with the boy’s father, Auguste, and the two attempt to find the missing teens. The chase takes Sadie and Auguste to the seedier side of Marseille, where their own connection is ignited. Since the divorce, Sadie has devoted herself to raising kids and putting her dreams on hold, but when her daughter needs her most, Sadie finds that concrete barrier to life beginning to crack. In her journey, she learns the difference between watching the hours pass and living.

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Book Excerpt:
I knocked on one apartment door that had a wreath hanging on it. It could still be his door, I justified. Maybe Monsieur Rollande liked to decorate. Avoiding the wreath, I rapped my knuckles against the worn wood. Maybe Monsieur Rollande remarried and his new wife chose the wreath of dark-green leaves topped by lily of the valley with its tiny white, bell-shaped flowers. When I got no response, I walked to the door opposite. No wreath and no sounds from within. I knocked three sharp thumps and waited, but heard no squeaking of the floor as someone moved toward the door. I sighed. No one home again.
There are worse places to wait, I thought as I heard a louder crack of thunder from outside. The sky had been threatening rain all morning, and apparently the clouds now delivered on their threat. I imagined myself standing outside the gate without buttons to push as the rain soaked me through the t-shirt, jeans and thin cardigan.
I assessed the landing where I could be waiting for most of the day. A thick wool rug covered the floor and a small table fit flush against the wall with a flat back. The other half curled out in a semi-circle. On the table sat a round fishbowl with aqua-colored rocks in the bottom. A goldfish swished back and forth in the dim light. How strange, I thought, as I became entranced watching the fish make his circles, pausing to open and close his mouth in my direction a few seconds before swimming around again.
I sank to the floor with my back against the wall, like the little table. I would be able to hear or see either door if it should open. I might as well rest my tired feet. I debated undoing those ankle straps. But I decided to simply rub at the sore spots while leaving the sandals buckled. Who knew when I’d have to make a dash to catch someone?
I sat where I could gaze at the fish, and his endless rounds made me feel calm. I could feel my breath becoming slower and deeper. I knew I’d find Scarlett today; I just needed to be patient. Slow and steady, I told myself as I became more mesmerized with the striking orange fish.
Suddenly the fish ducked inside one of his faux coral hiding spots. I hadn’t moved or startled him. I glanced around, moving only my eyes, and I saw the reason for the fish’s abrupt disappearance.  A handsome black-and-white cat crawled stealthily up the stairs. His front paws perched on the top step, and his nose and eyes just peeked between the paws. The rest of his body must be poised on the stairs below, ready to pounce on the table and snatch up the fish.
The cat moved only his eyes too, but they found me, and he froze. I was going to ruin his attempt at breakfast. I smiled. I missed my own cat Puck. His warmth on my lap, the way his purring could put me into a trance of well-being. This cat on the stairs seemed to have accepted the fact that an actual person sat in the stairwell. His eyes locked with mine, and I saw his body relax. He would not need to pounce after all. He turned to look at the fish bowl, but the wise goldfish remained hidden.
“It’s okay,” I said. I held out my hand, palm up, toward the cat. “Here, kitty. Come see me.” I didn’t have anything to offer him, but if he smelled my hand, he might let me pet him, rub my hand over his soft fur, gain some sort of relief from contact with another living creature.
“Come on, boy,” I said, making an assumption about his gender. It didn’t matter because the cat probably didn’t understand English anyway. My voice was soft and soothing as I tried to coax him. Suddenly, a desire overwhelmed me to hold a cat on my lap, stroke his soft back, and feel his purr kick in and vibrate against me. Even a cat that didn’t understand English must sense distress and want to comfort a human. To feel some sort of release from the past two days would be such a respite.
“It’s okay; you’re safe,” I said. “Come on.” I had moved from sitting on the floor to perching on my knees as I held my hand closer to the cat. Suddenly, the cat streaked past me. I expected it to stop abruptly at the closed door of the apartment, but it continued to zoom through the legs of a man and down the hallway beyond. The door stood open now when it had definitely been closed the whole time I waited.
I looked up from the floor, drinking in the man whose brown leather Lacoste shoes stood before me. The little alligator near the heel marked them as Lacoste, and I couldn’t decide if I would adore or detest the pomposity of the shoes.
Brown jeans encased the man’s long legs, and he wore a white broadcloth shirt unbuttoned at the top. A loose cotton scarf with blue and gold draped loosely around his neck.
“Are you trying to seduce my cat?” The timbre of his deep voice, still thick with sleep, mixed with the French accent on the English words sent a quiver through me. His words sounded like a promise and a warning.
“Seduce?” My voice rose at the end of the word and came out like an irritating crow’s caw, in comparison to his smooth accent.
I jumped to my feet, feeling the blush rise from the v of my t-shirt up my neck to my face. “Bonjour,” I mumbled, not quite meeting his eyes. I couldn’t believe he’d seen me talking to the cat – so naked and vulnerable. This man observed me being, well, me.
I remembered why I sat on his doorstep as I turned toward him. “I’m looking for Monsieur Rollande.”
“That is me,” he said, in his slight French accent. A little thrill and relief suddenly washed over me.
“Oh, Monsieur Rollande, I’m so pleased to meet you. I’m looking for your son, Luc. I think my daughter Scarlett is with him, at least, I hope she is. She ran away from home. In Florida … in the United States. She said she was going to stay with her dad, but then he called, and he hadn’t seen her, and she had these strange charges on her credit card, and we found out she had flown to Paris to follow Luc, and I hadn’t even ever met Luc, so I had no idea. I just got on a plane and came right here, but I couldn’t find anyone at your wife’s apartment, I mean, your ex-wife, I guess, and I’ve been so afraid.”
Monsieur Rollande reached a hand forward and put it on my arm to stop my ramble. His firm hand against my bicep steadied me, like the vibrating cat purr I had imagined. I took a deep breath. I couldn’t collapse. 
“Come inside,” he said. And if the situation were reversed, I didn’t know if I would have invited this crazy lady in, the one talking to cats and watching goldfish and then chattering a mile a minute about sons and flights and runaway daughters.
But he led me into his apartment. We stood just inside the entrance in a hallway that had doors to the left and right.
“It will be okay,” he said. And his words buoyed me, making me think that maybe it all would be fine, as if I had shifted part of my worry about Scarlett somewhere else. And then, before I could blink them away, tears started to drip from my eyes faster than I could keep up with them.
“I’m so sorry,” I said mopping at my face. “I don’t know why I’m crying. I’ve just been so worried, and I haven’t had anyone to help me find her.” I took a deep, shuddering breath and resolved to both stop talking and stop crying.
“Come. Here is the toilet. Go refresh yourself, then we will talk.”
And his description was literal. The long narrow room held a toilet and a sink along with a mirror on the wall. No windows. No decorative pictures. No ornamental doilies on the toilet tank. I blew my nose into some toilet paper and dabbed at the tracks of tears along my face.
I inhaled deeply to get control. “I am getting closer to finding Scarlett,” I told myself in the mirror.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with 'Girl in the Air' Tyler Pike



Tyler Pike is an up-and-coming voice in the thriller genre, earning many accolades for his newly launched thriller series. Before turning to novels, he was a sinologist, lived in China for many years, and eventually earned a PhD in Chinese poetry and lectured at the University of Sydney in Chinese. He and his wife also spent many years studying Hindu philosophy, traveling in India and running a yoga studio in Sydney, before it all came down on their heads.
        
When he is not writing, you’ll either find him down at the beach with his young family or out on the open road. He is an avid ocean swimmer and long distance runner.

Tyler Pike lives with his family in Australia and the US.

Tyler is different from most popular writers in that he endeavors to respond personally to every email and loves sharing his journey with his readers.

For updates on work in progress and free book offers, join Tyler’s “reading group” on his website:
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About the Book:

6'3" 200LBS, AIRBORNE AND ANGRY. ARE THEY SMART ENOUGH TO LEAVE HER ALONE?

A teenaged loner who sees more than she should, Alice Brickstone’s mission in life is to find out who or what killed her twin brother a decade earlier. All her parents will divulge is that he died on a
family trip to an ashram in India, a place impossibly far from her remote ski town in Colorado. When she begins to see faces from her childhood nightmares, Alice buries her fear and pounces on the opportunity to hunt for information…and revenge. She works alone and observes no caution. Her simple mission is complicated when a strange Himalayan hermit shows up in the woods near her house telling her that she has paranormal abilities. Skeptical but determined to use any advantage to end the threat against her, she is shocked to suddenly become the hunted. There is only one way out—Alice must master her newfound skills and fly before tragedy takes over again.

GIRL IN THE AIR is the first book in a series of page-turning, fast-paced magical realism thrillers set in the Rocky Mountains. Be transported into Alice’s low-tech world of ancient yogic supernatural abilities, modern teenaged angst and post-modern world problems. Readers interested in Asian mythology will love discovering subtle allusions to the Mahabharata, and yoga practitioners will twist and writhe in their seats. If you like your heroes big like Jack Reacher, weird like Carrie, or scarred like Harry Potter, you’ll love Tyler Pike’s character, Alice Brickstone.

Buy GIRL IN THE AIR today and join Alice on her harrowing ride.

“It’s good, and wackily funny, and mostly ridiculously believable…An unstoppable magic realism action thriller.” – Tom Flood, Award-winning Author

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

My book, GitA, is set in a fictional town in the Colorado Rocky Mountains called “Hardrock.” Much of my research involved the creation of Hardrock and its natural environment. I used the area of Steamboat Springs, CO as a model. I have spent a lot of time in that area, but I still needed to thoroughly research the Steamboat area to refresh my memory and create a very believable and exciting place for my character Alice to have her adventures in.

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

I always wanted full creative and marketing control of my work, so I never bothered to approach any traditional publishers. I’m very pleased with how things are working out for me as an indie author.

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 did all that myself. It was not fun.

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

I worked out pricing based on other thrillers pitched at audiences that seemed similar to mine.

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

No, I just published when the book was truly ready for the world.

How did you choose your cover?

I love my covers. They were designed by a fantastic cover designer in Chicago named Carl Graves (Extended Imagery)

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

I am a perfectionist and am constantly writing and rewriting. The compulsion to constantly edit is like a disease. I would have loved to just breeze through a draft and edit later but alas it’s not physically possible for me to do so.

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? 

Nothing yet ….

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

I am considering a simple video suitable for a FB ad.

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

I published another book in the same series called The Feeling of Water that is permafree, and is designed to create interest in the paid books in my series. As for giving away copies of GitA, I’m happy to do so if someone really wants it and can’t afford it, or if someone wants a free copy to help me reach a larger audience. When it comes down to it, I’m not a very good businessman, and I give away a lot of books. I do it because I feel so grateful to people who are keen to read them.

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

1.      Understand who will be buying your book,
2.      learn how to best reach and persuade them to buy,
3.      make a detailed marketing plan. (and I recommend getting professional help on all of these steps.)

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

1.      spend half of each working day fine-tuning marketing efforts,
2.      Spend the remainder writing new books,
3.      Don’t obsess over success and failure

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

As this was the first book I self-published, I spent most of my time setting up a system for signing readers up for my reading group/mailing list. It’s a standard setup used by most indie authors:  I give away a free book to people who wish to sign up. The system was fun to setup. There was quite a lot of copyediting and technology involved to get things working well for potential reading group subscribers. I made sure that the system was up and running well before I launched, and I hope that the next time I launch a new book, I’ll have a substantial mailing list, which will hopefully make things easier to reach my fans.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

I just hope that people love it and all of its sequels as much as I do. I don’t have specific plans to take it to a traditional publisher or get a movie deal or anything like that. I do, however, hope to organize an audio version.

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

If you have already picked up a copy of GitA and read it, I just want to let you know how grateful I am. It has always been my dream to reach readers with a fun novel like this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading it and making my dream come true!