Monthly Archives: November 2011

Author of the Week: Shawn Lamb, THE HUGUENOT SWORD

This week author of the week is Shawn Lamb author of The Huguenot Sword.
Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.

I asked Shawn a few questions:

Q: How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
A: Think only Dumas has Musketeers? Think again for swashbuckling adventure.

Q: What was your happiest moment as an author?
A: A mother told me how her daughter waited a whole year to see if I would return to a home school convention. As soon as the daughter saw my name on the list, she circled it to be the first booth to visit and buy my other books.

Q: What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
A: I gear all my books towards those who want good, stories about memorial characters without all the sex, language and inappropriate material becoming so pervasive in books. There are more people – kids and adults – who want to read clean books than publishers are willing to acknowledge. That doesn’t mean I don’t tackle hard issues, because I do, I just don’t cross the line.

Q: When did you know you are going to be an author?
A: I’ve wanted to be an author for years. I began writing when I was a teenager. In fact, The Huguenot Sword is the first book I ever wrote when I was 16. I got my first professional break back in the 1980s when I wrote for the Filmation animated series BraveStarr. This was the same studio that produced He-Man and She-Ra. I learned a lot that translated well to my fiction writing style.

Q: If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
A: Enjoy.  Stories should be enjoyed and, if done well, leave a lasting impression.

Q: Which author influenced you the most?
A: Where The Huguenot Sword and historical fiction is concerned, Dumas, naturally, but also Taylor Caldwell, John Jakes and Mary Stewart. I love the style where the characters are so immersed and involved it is hard to tell them from the real people.

Q: Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
A: I trained for the Olympics under Ralph Faulkner, the once Hollywood fencing/fight master for such stars at Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn. I was also considered as the fencing stunt double for Bo Derek in a pirate movie, which unfortunately got cancelled.

Q: What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
A: Nigel was antsy.  It’s from the Allon series and seems to get a chuckle from those who read it.

Q: What’s next?
A: In 2012, I plan to release 2 more in the Allon YA fantasy series and another historical fiction for adults set during the English Civil War.

Thanks Shawn for your answers.
Learn more about her book here:

http://www.allonbooks.com/huguenot_sword.html

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Author of the Week: John Zunski, Shangri-La Trailer Park

This week author of the week is John Zunski author of Shangri-La Trailer Park and Cemetery Street .
Please also make sure to visit previous authors of the week if you didn’t do that yet.

If an author falls in the woods, can he write a book about it?

John likes to hear comments from potential readers,  so he’s  going to give a free copy of Cemetery Street or Shangri-La Trailer Park (your choice) for anyone who leaves a comment!

Let’s check the Blurb before we get some answers from John:
If an Indian falls in the woods, can you hear him scream? Dora Shear did, and her life was about to get interesting. After Maistoinna Standing Bear tackles a tree, Dog Shear Dora – as she’s known in the trailer park – is left to pick up the pieces. Only she’s up to no good.
Uncover the secrets of a Jewish love triangle, why the IGA checkout lady trashes a car, why a trip over the coffee table is better than Novocain, and more importantly, the difference between a Canadian Passport and a Kentucky Waterfall. Hop on board with Maistoinna for a crazy forty-eight hour ride through the world’s most dysfunctional trailer park.

WARNING! Don’t read if your are: A) easily offended B) politically correct C) like everything nice or D) believe in the Easter Bunny!

And now for some answers from John:
John Zunski

Q: If you could choose one super power, what would it be and why?
A: Instantaneous transformation of thought into perfect sentence structure. How cool would that be? You could think a story and it would be composed perfectly upon the page. Imagine, every thought for a story, character, being clear, concise, and aesthetically  pleasing.  Prolific doesn’t begin to describe the results or how I’d feel.

Q: What was your happiest moment as an author?
A:  Without a doubt, the moment I finished the first draft of Cemetery Street. The feeling was rapturous. At that moment I knew the story was trapped upon the page. It wasn’t going anywhere. I no longer worried about not completing the story. I even remember the date – 5/3/01 at 4:44 AM.  With each successive title the feeling is more a sense of relief.  Seeing Cemetery Street go life was up there, but not as high as getting good reviews, which, still don’t top that initial magical moment.

Q: How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less?
A: In my best Mobster voice: “You read-a my book or I –a  break – a your legs, capisce?
– oh wait, I can’t say that, they’ll find out I’m really in the witness protection program.    I’m only joking…  “Readers need to do the talking, otherwise I’ll sound like a used car salesman. I hope that readers connect and form relationships with my characters and their stories.”  Inside the quotes rest 137 characters.  I sweated that one out.

Q: What can you tell me about your ideal reader?
A:  Again, I’ll let the ideal reader speak for themselves.  This quote was taken from Publicbookshelf.com    “wow it’s so powerful and moving. I laughed out loud I cried silently. I prayed with james and became carefree with shannie. I saw what my life would be like in her eyes she encouraged me. I feel in love with Count and mourned his passing. I skydived with James. I felt his sorrow and rejoiced at the burning of the monument. I loved it, such a powerful touching novel. probably the best I have ever read thank you -Jennifer ” The characters and story resonated with this reader.  That’s what I wish for every time someone reads either Cemetery Street or Shangri-La Trailer Park.

Q: If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them?
A: Absolutely nothing. Talking would do the story a disservice. I’m already speaking to readers via the prose.

Q: Which author influenced you the most?
A: Can I copout and claim three?   1) Stephen King – because it’s about the story  2) John Irving – because I love his characterization    3) Carl Hiaasen  – because he makes the absurd seem plausible.   But, if you held my feet to the fire, I’d have to say Stephen King.

Q: Tell me one unique thing about yourself that no other author in the world (as far as you know) shares.
A: My perspective of the world – be it my occasional, rampant cynicism, my insane optimism, my experience and my ability to take a metaphorical hiccup in my life and translate it into a heart attack upon the page.  I like to think that within the confines of my stories, no one lies as well to their readers – but, I know that is a pipe dream.

Q: What’s the funniest line you ever wrote?
A: That’s a pressure packed question… and it’s so flippin’ subjective.  I have many, put it depends on my mood.  Not to mention it’s a dangerous question, since I have such a cracked sense of humor.  I’ll share two and let the reader decide.
The first is from Shangri-La Trailer Park:  “Native American, Indian, it’s all the same to me,” she said.
“Indians wear turbans and ride flying carpets,” Maistoinna snapped. “Native American’s wear baseball caps and drive pick-up trucks.”
The second is from Dirty Bum for President:  (The Dirty Bum’s (Robert) running mate is Irving Richard Knightly. This is a slogan from the campaign.) “Vote for Robert and get Dick Knightly.”

Q: What’s next?
A: For someone who hasn’t read my work, I hope they find their new favorite Author. For those who’ve read Cemetery Street, I hope they read and enjoy Shangri-La Trailer Park.   For the eBook world I’ll be releasing Dirty Bum for President on July 4th 2012.  In early 2012, Cemetery Street will be released in paperback. In the realm of writing, I’m working on Cemetery Street’s sequel – Montana Rural.

Check out John’s books on Amazon:

We’ll finish this week with a Snippet:  
Eyes ablaze, a bear came at night. It lumbered into camp, earth shaking under claw. In the light of a crackling campfire its shadow flickered upon the trunks of conifers. Its breath swirled about its snout before rising into the night. Fast asleep, Maistoinna (My-stween-a) Standing Bear was oblivious of the ursine’s presence – or maybe he wasn’t. Either way, he turned his back on the bear.
Maistoinna wasn’t concerned about a bear invading his camp. He was experienced camping in bear country and took precautions. The Blackfoot Indian was fond of saying: “If a bear’s crazy enough to slash his way into my tent, I’m crazy enough to have a nasty surprise waiting for him.” This night, Maistoinna didn’t pitch a tent, choosing instead to sleep under the stars.
The cinnamon bear nosed closer, firelight betraying a deep gash upon its shoulder. Around the wound dried blood matted its fur. A normal bear might pause to paw at this rock or that, maybe uncovering a tasty treat. This bear seemed different; slowly, deliberately, he moved toward Maistoinna. Hovering over the sleeping Blackfoot, the bear paused, studying his quarry as its steamy breath belched skyward.
When Maistoinna rolled onto his back, the bear pounced. With a primordial grunt, it nudged Maistoinna with a giant paw, startling him from sleep. The echo of Maistoinna’s bellow rolled over the treetops.
The bear pinned Maistoinna and lowered its snout. “Shut up!” the bear growled, engulfing Maistoinna with putrid breath. “Sweeny, Shut up! It’s me,” the bear shook Maistoinna’s shoulders.
Terror filled Maistoinna’s eyes as he struggled to free his arms, his breath rapid and shallow under the bear’s weight.
“Calm down, calm down, it’s me.”
Maistoinna squinted, recognition settled over him.
“Sorry to scare you, cousin, but it’s the only way I can get your attention,” the bear said. “It’s happening again,” it warned. “Do something about it! This time, do something! Don’t let another eagle fall.”
Maistoinna awoke with a start, his heart pounding. Next to him, embers from the dying fire glimmered. “A dream, only a dream,” Maistoinna mumbled. Confused and weary, he sat motionless, scrutinizing the tree line. Far from his Browning, Montana, home, Maistoinna was camping along the Appalachian Trail in northeastern Pennsylvania, in the midst of a solo quest at conquering the two thousand-mile trail.
Shaken, Maistoinna snuggled into his sleeping bag. For the first time in his adult life, he didn’t feel at home in nature. He suddenly feared the dark and what lurked within; he wished to be in a motel room, in a comfortable bed under a warm blanket, watching this week’s million-dollar movie.
Somewhere in the night an owl hooted; Maistoinna jumped. He gave up his attempt at sleep and climbed out of his bag. Sitting before the campfire, he watched morning light chase darkness across the sky. His mind grappled with the bear. What was he saying? Did the eagle mean what he thought? What was with the bear’s wound?
These things once would have been intelligible to Maistoinna, but lately—ever since his nephew’s accident —many things seemed incomprehensible. Maistoinna was frustrated that he didn’t understand the bear. He related to bears better than women. He knew bears—women, well… he understood bears.
As a boy, his grandfather told him that their clan was directly descended from the great bear. Even then Maistoinna admired the bear’s arrogant swagger. “They’re always smiling,” a young Maistoinna told his grandfather. Unknown to Maistoinna, his own smile resembled that insolent smirk.
Real-life encounters with bears didn’t shake him the way this dream had— not even the time a black bear caught Maistoinna with his pants down. The sun shined brilliantly upon the jagged Mission Mountains as Maistoinna answered nature’s call. He was squatting behind a stand of brush when he heard the bear lumber nearby. It swaggered across an opening in the trees, busily foraging with its snout to the ground. Not until Maistoinna moved for his pepper spray – set upon a stump five feet away – did the bear notice him. With teeth clacking, the bear moved towards Maistoinna.
In his excitement, Maistoinna forgot to pull up his pants and fell over himself. He hit the ground with a thud—pepper spray out of reach. Snorting, the bear closed. It caught whiff of Maistoinna’s scat and lowered its snout. After a brief investigation, the bear scampered away.
Maistoinna never told a soul, he found zero humor in the story. That’s not to say that Maistoinna didn’t possess a blistering wit, he did, as long as others were the target.
As the sun rose above the Appalachian forest, Maistoinna dumped his remaining coffee on the fire and closed camp. He faced the long day ahead of him with a sigh. Hiking was an ordeal in the Mid-Atlantic summer time soup.

Author of the Week: Linda Hawley, The Prophecies book series

This week author of the week is Linda Hawley author of The Prophecies book series.

And this week we are going to have a 5 eBooks giveaway!!
Linda decided to give you 5 eBook copies of her book 1 in the series (Dreams Unleashed) for free!
All you have to do is to visit The Prophecies Series Facebook Fan Page, click the “like” button, then come back to my blog and leave a comment that you did it. 5 of you will get a free ebook!

Dreams Unleashed

Dreams Unleashed

I’m almost done reading the first book in the series, Dreams Unleashed, and I can’t wait to read the other 2 books in the series. The way this author combines past, present future and dreams pulls you into the story. You will not be able to put down this multilayer thriller. Sometimes because you must know what is going to happen next. And sometimes because you must know what happened before. Every time I thought the author can’t surprise me anymore, something new happened, adding to my joy of reading. I highly recommend reading it, and you have a chance to win a free ecopy.

Linda Hawley  was kind enough to answer a few questions:

Q:  Your book series takes on a future world in 2015 where the government controls the people.  Why write this dystopian topic?
A:  Look around at the unrest here in America, and around the world.  Things are falling apart.  Worldwide, we can’t trust politicians, lawmakers, and others in power.  I simply wrote about things that I see happening right now, and what they will become in 2015, if we don’t change our path.

Q:  As a follow up to this last question, tell us about the tracking technology in the series.  Is it real?
A:  Yes.  All the technology I’ve written about in book one is real.  I’m a very good researcher, and I dug in to write accurately about the technology that’s tracking humans in 2015.  Almost everything in the series is real, except the characters, and their actions.  I wanted to ground the series, so that my readers would learn about what’s really going on in the world, as they read this fictional story.

Q:  There is a lot of drama and discord between citizens around the world and the governments in The Prophecies series.  Do you believe in conspiracy theories?
A:  No.  But here is what I am…I’m a news junkie.  I read from five news sources every day–and not all of them are based in the USA.  I get a global perspective, and then write in my stories about what I learn.  There are many *buried* truths that not a lot of people know about.  I am proud of the fact that if you read The Prophecies, you’ll learn about how we got in the shape we’re in as a people.

Guardian Of Time

Guardian Of Time

Q:  There is drama in your series, but in the book reviews, your characterizations stand strong.  Tell us about writing & developing the characters of the protaganist of The Prophecies.
A:  Honestly, I think my gift as a writer is in my characterizations, not my plot and subplots.  My characters are so well known to me that I feel they are living in my house with me.  The heroine, Ann Torgeson, is who I created first, and by the time I had fully developed her, she came alive and I knew I was writing more than one book.  As I wrote Dreams Unleashed (book one in the series), I was about one third of the way through the manuscript when I realized that something just wasn’t quite right.  I then went back and changed the entire manuscript to first-person.  When I did that, the story came alive, and I knew I had things moving in the right direction.  Some book reviewers have said that they generally dislike books written in the first person, but in this series, it really works.  That made me happy.

Q:  Who’s the reader of The Prophecies?
A:  Age 40+, people who think about things, ponderers, news-watchers, adventurers. Although I will say that there are many young people who are really enjoying the series–even teens.

Q:  Tell us one message about The Prophecies series.
A:  It’s about hope.  If you need a little hope in your life, read it.

Q: Where can I buy your books?
A: BOOK 1 – Dreams Unleashed, 2nd Edition
Amazon:  http://amzn.to/vd0fjb
B&N:  http://bit.ly/uCECdo
Smashwords:  http://bit.ly/uk1MGe

BOOK 2 – Guardian of Time
Amazon:  http://amzn.to/vZVAox
B&N:  http://bit.ly/tWV4WR
Smashwords:  http://bit.ly/t1EDQu

Linda Hawley

Linda Hawley

The Prophecies book series synopsis:
It’s the near future, and society is government-controlled.  Technology tracks everyone, and personal privacy does not exist.  The hope for freedom lies in the operations of an underground organization, GOG, which fights against worldwide oppression.  Their most powerful weapon is Ann Torgeson, a paranormally-gifted operative.  It’s her powers that release the seal of The Prophecies, changing the world forever.
The Prophecies Book Trailer:  http://bit.ly/sUEkxM
Author’s Website:  http://www.lindahawley.com/
Author’s Fan Page:  http://www.facebook.com/ThePropheciesSeries
Author’s Twitter Page:  http://twitter.com/LindaHawley/

Margaret A. Millmore, Doppelganger Experiment

This week author of the week is Margaret A. Millmore author of Doppelganger Experiment

Doppelganger Experiment

Doppelganger Experiment

 

Doppelganger Experiment

After more than four weeks in a coma, Jane woke up to find several things wrong; she didn’t remember the last three years, she was married to a man she didn’t know, and frightening dreams were infiltrating her sleep. But were they dreams or memories? As she struggles to recapture a life she doesn’t remember she discovers clues that lead to flashes of memories and the discovery of horrific experiments that end in murder… and something worse than murder.  A psychological thriller based in San Francisco.

 

 

 

I asked Margaret a few questions:

How would you convince someone to read your book in 140 characters or less? As an avid reader of thrillers, I am always looking for a fresh new voice and story. My goal in writing Doppelganger Experiment was to present a villain that was new and unusual and to surprise the reader with the twists and turns, and of course the ending. I want to keep the reader up late at night, unable to stop turning page after page. Based on the feedback I’ve received, I think I achieved that goal.

What was your happiest moment as an author? I’d have to say having a publisher offer a contract on the book.

What can you tell me about your ideal reader? Someone who enjoys thrillers and suspense filled novels.

When did you know you are going to be an author? I don’t think I ever did, I wanted to be writer when I was quite young, but things changed, life changed and I went in a different direction. Now that I am writing and I’m published, I’m still surprised it’s happening.

If you could talk to your readers while they are reading your book, what would you tell them? I couldn’t do it, I’d give the whole story away and that would just ruin it…

Which author influenced you the most? Stephen King and Ray Bradbury were certainly the most influential writers for me. But it’s more of  what than a who, books in general influence me and because I read so much, I feel each author brings something new to my perspective.

What’s next? I have a novel that I wrote three years ago, I’d put it away for a variety of reasons, but I’m hoping to revisit it soon and possibly have it ready for publication in the next few months. I’m also working on another manuscript, but I’m afraid it’s too new to really discuss at this point.

 

Margaret A. Millmore

I was born and raised in Southern California; I moved to San Francisco in 1991 and currently reside there with my husband.  Reading is an addiction for me, and one I’ll never give up.  I’ve had an active imagination since childhood and often made up stories that I only told to myself.  After ending a successful career, I found myself with the time to pursue those stories, and the floodgates opened.  I love just about every kind of story, but especially fiction, throw in some supernatural or paranormal overtones and I’m in heaven.  I am the grandniece of Irish author Benedict Kiely and the second cousin of Irish author Sharon Owens.

www.margaretmillmore.com

http://www.margaretmillmore.com/featured_authors

http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100002915649470

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/margaret-millmore/4/a6b/6a9

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/margaret-millmore?store=book&r=1

http://www.amazon.com/Doppelganger-Experiment-Margaret-Millmore/dp/1937593207/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318857839&sr=8-1#_