Friday, May 31, 2013

First Page - Hunter's Find by June Kramin

     Hunt is a small town Sheriff who finds himself in for more than he bargained for when he discovers Mandy beaten and unconscious. 
After repeated attempts of escaping him, he finds himself now her captive instead. Mandy convinces him she’s after her husband who has kidnapped their daughter and will stop at nothing to find her.
     Although his instincts tell him differently, Hunt becomes involved with her and agrees to help. What he doesn’t know is there is no child. Mandy is hiding her involvement with the FBI and the mob, and after revenge. Hunt is in over his head tracking her husband to the isolated cabin and the backlash it causes a year later.

Chapter 1

     Hunt was walking the few blocks home from the Ace Bar. He’d had a few too many beers, but still held himself well. It was too convenient that he could walk home from the bar without worry of driving while drinking.
     A police car stopped and rolled down the window. “How you doing tonight, Hunt?”
     “Just a little unwinding after a long shift.”
     “You going to make it home?”
     “I’m not that bad off. I only had a few. And you know I only have a block to go, jerkweed.”
     “Jerkweed? Don’t make me go all police brutality on your ass, Blaine.”
     Hunt laughed. “Aren’t you off duty yet?”
     “Had a late bust. You know how I love doing paperwork.”
     “You want to go back to my place for a drink?”
     “You trying to pick me up? Your luck would be better on Third and Market
in the city.”
     “Har de har har. Is that where you’re heading?”
     “Been too long of a day. I’m on my way home.”
     Hunt slapped the side of the police cruiser. “Good night, Roy.”
     The officer slowly pulled away from the curb and flashed his lights as a goodbye. With the brief flash of red, Hunt saw something at the base of the hedge he hadn’t noticed before and rushed over.
     A young woman was laying there unconscious. There was blood trickling from her lip and her shirt was torn badly enough that he could see her lacy bra…


Amazon: 

Musa Publishing: 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

First Page - L'immortalite: Madame Lalaurie and the Voodoo Queen

By turns macabre and comedic, T.R. Heinan's 
"L'immortalite: Madame Lalaurie and the Voodoo Queen" 
is drenched in the excesses of antebellum Louisiana and based on the true story of New Orleans' haunted Lalaurie Mansion.


L'immortalite: Madame Lalaurie and the Voodoo Queen
T.R. Heinan

Prologue

      New Orleans was coming alive. The bells of Saint Louis Cathedral chimed seven o’clock. At Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, the gates had closed to visitors four hours ago, but the old sexton voiced no objection to the woman creeping past the grave of Homer Plessy. He’d seen her before.
   
      She slipped between the white parapet tombs and oven vaults of the burial ground, pausing for a moment by a stepped chamber engraved with the name Philippe Bertrand.

      A red-and-white scarf shrouded her face. She paused, allowing the coral pink shades of twilight to silhouette her slender frame before she passed between the graveyard’s whitewashed gateposts. She was leaving this cemetery for the last time, she hoped. The sexton smiled as he closed the squeaky black iron gate behind her.

      Once on Basin Street, the woman set down the lidded basket she was carrying and adjusted the belt on her long grey coat. Her mission now was to find and help a certain young man who made his living as a tour guide. At this hour, she was sure she knew where he’d be.

** 

      Over on Bourbon Street, Carl and his wife were relishing the street performers and sipping slushy hurricane drinks from plastic go-cups.
      
      “Betcha a dollar I can tell you where you got them shoes.”

Find it on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/LImmortalite-Madame-Lalaurie-Voodoo-Queen/dp/0615634710

Buy it Here:
http://www.l-immortalite-madame-lalaurie-and-the-voodoo-queen.com/

Saturday, May 25, 2013

First Page - Front Row Center by Cynthia Ainsworthe

Their attraction was electric, their affair explosive, and their love—devastating to the lives of others.

It all starts at a concert. Taylor Allen, a happily married businesswoman, finds herself attracted to a very popular singing idol. Larry Davis, a world-renowned singer and bachelor, who feels his only love is his music; is drawn to Taylor at one of his concerts. She sits in the front row, center seat when their eyes meet. They both feel electricity pass between them. Is this the beginning of love veiled in lust?

FRONT ROW CENTER
IPPY Award-Winning Novel
By Cynthia B. Ainsworthe

Chapter 1

            “How many major cities in the U.S. does your Farewell Tour cover, Larry?”
            “Quite a few.” America’s sexiest heartthrob sat with ease in the guest chair.
            The large, flat screen television over the ornate marble fireplace broadcast “Morning Now” and piqued Taylor Allen’s interest immediately.
            “Larry, you’re known the world over as a superstar singer and composer, famous for haunting melodies and dramatic lyrics, not to mention your overwhelming sex appeal with women. Your performances are never short of explosive, generating a wealth of emotions from the audience.” Kimberly Johns was warm and approachable; the perfect interviewer to represent the interests of his female fans. Kimberly looked Larry over as if he’d be the main course as well as dessert. The effect he had on women was incomparable.
            “Thanks for the compliment. I’m just another singer who writes music.”
            His humility was rewarded with oohs and aahs from the live audience. Larry smiled in response.
            “You’re very modest, but you’re far from just another singer. You’re Larry Davis. What are some of those cities on your tour?”
His smile made Kimberly giggle.
“The tour is called ‘Larry Davis—A Night to Remember’ and, it’s really quite extensive. I have scheduled performances in thirty-five cities.” His voice defied his New York roots and spoke as a person well-traveled. “To name a few … I have already performed in fifteen cities in Great Britain. I toured New England … now, I’m here in New York at Madison Square Garden. Next the East Coast, including Tampa and Miami, many cities in the Midwest and the West Coast; ending in Las Vegas.” Larry handled interviews with the style and grace of a trained public speaker, the same qualities that he demonstrated during his performances. “We purposely chose an arena venue for these concerts, to allow as many fans as possible to see the performance.”
            Larry exuded charm and an easygoing manner. Taylor was intrigued. She turned away from her laptop and the weekly July sales’ reports for GĂ©rard’s clothing stores, stood up, and walked to the television for a closer look at the amazing entertainer with his breathtaking good...

Thursday, May 23, 2013

First Page - The Speed of Dark Horror Anthology

Published by Clayton Bye, the Speed of Dark is a 334 page horror anthology. The short stories are strangely different and disturbing. There are 27 tales written by 19 talented authors from around the world--authors who were included by invitation only. We have done our utmost to provide the horror fan with hours of fantastic reading.





What About Mom?
E. J. Ruek

 A little boy pleads his hope-filled question until Grandpa finally knows the harmful truth.

James Warfield watched his son stalk down the corridor, the sharp click-clicking of his heels puncturing the quiet. The smell of stale beer and cigarettes lingered.
Susan Lee, his secretary, looked toward him, eyes all sympathy. "Everything's signed," she said. "I'll drop the paperwork off at the courthouse myself."
James nodded, gave her a grateful smile, then retreated back into his office. From the far corner, little Jimmy watched him, his small, thin body stiff and ramrod erect. The child's hands gripped the arms of a chair that was too big for him, his face stark white with holes for eyes and mouth, a blackened, pulpy bruise ripe upon his cheek. "Do I have to go home?" the boy asked.
"No, you don't. You're coming to live with me and Grandma, now."
"What about Mom?"
James didn't have the heart to tell the boy. Not yet.
Heavy eyelids made James long for home and a nap, but the day's appointments denied that solace. He had one in less than twenty minutes, then a lunch date with a new client and her contract negotiator. "I'm going to have Grandma come pick you up," he said.



Monday, May 20, 2013

First Page - Get Down to 150 - Clint Evans


This one is Especially for women - 


Get Down to 150 lives because of a conversation between certified fitness trainer Calvin Barber and nutrition expert Clint Evans. Calvin mentioned “most of my client’s dominant thought is ‘Get Down to 150’. That’s the new benchmark”. So we took that and ran with it creating the book to give you and other women a guidemap to achieve this outcome.

Introduction


He saunters toward you...then glances down. "Nice. I don't normally see THOSE jeans except on the catwalk."

You smile demurely. You think to yourself, I just dipped under 150, even though every fiber of your being cries out, demanding you shout it from the rooftops. If he only knew what you were thinking…Instead of blushing you slyly say, "Like what you see?"

Your goal probably has nothing to do with being a model. But you deserve to be noticed, finally lose the weight with a system that works, sleep soundly and have more energy. Getting into your skinny jeans is just 1 benefit of succeeding in your weight loss journey. You’re becoming healthier at the same time.

You can do this because we’ve laid out the plan for you and provided the support community you need when times get tough. Thank you for committing to go on this journey with us. You've made a wise decision to get this simple system.

Now it’s time to imagine a stairwell. I know you probably hate walking up flights of stairs. Like 99.5% of Americans you probably ride the elevator. If only weight loss and a return to optimum health were this easy.

It is simple but not easy. You achieve your health and weight loss goals by taking 1 step up your "health stairwell" at a time. You didn't fall off the stairwell one day and plummet to overweight status. You took a series of steps that degraded your health and ballooned your weight. Maybe it was neglect or lack of knowledge. Maybe genetics, big bonedness, the corrupted food supply or environmental factors.

Whatever caused your weight gain and past weight loss failures, it no longer matters because your world changes now.

Just this once you can instead visualize your own "health escalator" because…

Grab the book at Amazon

Questions? Or Join the community, lose weight, win prizes at:


Friday, May 17, 2013

Interview with Diana Hawkins - Shadows Along the Zambezi


Today's featured author, my friend Di Hawkins, is not only a helping to get the word out about the desperate  plight of the elephants in Zimbabwe, but has to deal with a crippling disease at the same time. 


Di, first please tell us a little about your writing

Good morning, Trish.
So far, I’ve written a children’s picture book, a number of nonfiction short stories published in Rhodesians Worldwide magazine and a romantic suspense novel. I have a journalism background and confess the switch to fiction writing took some adjustment.

Are you a pantser? (You write by the seat of your pants and the story is all there in your head.) Or are you a plotter? (You prefer to create a plot first?) If you plot, what method do you use?

I wish I could say I’m a pantser, but it took me more than three years to write my first novel because I first needed to work out the plot on paper. Also, because I wanted the story’s background to accurately reflect the situation on the ground in Zimbabwe exactly as it was back in 2008, it entailed my doing quite a bit of research. More than anything, I wanted the elephants and their behaviors in the story to ring true. I therefore also read and thoroughly digested the writings of elephant experts including Cynthia Moss, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Joyce Poole, Delia and Mark Owens, Lawrence Anthony and Dame Daphne Sheldrick.

Do you think it's important to write a detailed list of your character's habits, likes, dislikes and family members?

Many authors do this, but for me it is imperative. Back in 1993, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which among other things tends to really mess with one’s short-term memory. I, therefore, created a separate sheet for each of the characters, along with a photo, that detailed their history and personal characteristics to ensure that I kept them true to character throughout the book. I must add I am truly blessed that MS has far from incapacitated me – prescription drugs help with the sometimes debilitating fatigue, and I’m, thankfully, still able to get around on my own two feet with the aid of a walking stick to deal with balance issues.

Wow! A great way to keep your characters consistent and it sounds like you have overcome a lot and are a strong person. Writing in first person, present has been controversial in the past, but now it seems to be the trend for best-selling authors. Do you think it is more powerful than other tenses?

I believe it depends on the story you are writing. In my novel, Shadows along the Zambezi, I used third person limited, which allowed me to tell the story from the perspective of several characters. First person would have been too limiting in this case, I believe.

Tell us about your book. 


Shadows along the Zambezi a romantic suspense novel.  Zimbabwe in 2008 is a land beset by violence and corruption. At the center of the turmoil are Piet van Rooyen and Jessica Brennan, a couple bound together by their love for each other and devotion to protect Africa’s elephants. Fighting for both their love and the safety of the elephants, they are propelled on a perilous journey that pits them against poachers, international ivory traffickers, and corrupt government officials.

Please tell us about your ideal reader – your target market.

Although this book may be categorized as a romance, I trust it will attract readers of both sexes. I’ve noticed a few men posting reviews on the book’s Amazon page, which certainly pleases me. Although I suspect that it will be read by those with ties to Southern Africa, I’m hoping the novel will have worldwide appeal.

Romance writers – romance readers want steamy love scenes. Do you agree? Do you think your book will meet their expectations?

The love scenes I wrote are plenty steamy enough for me, thank you very much! Personally, I don’t read books like Fifty Shades of Gray. This book, in particular is reportedly not only pornographic, but poorly written. Sorry, call me old fashioned.

Yes – there is romance and then there is erotica and they are not the same. Does your book have a message? Please explain.

Yes, it does have a message about Zimbabwe’s poor governance and its lack of any rule of law.  There’s also a message condemning the international trade in ivory and rhino horn and its catastrophic effect on Africa’s elephant and rhino populations.

Even if I hadn't come from Zimbabwe, I think I would consider this a very important cause and I applaud you for getting the message out. Please choose one character from the book and tell us what he/she would say to you if he/she was to meet you.

I believe Jessica Brennan, a wildlife biologist and doctoral candidate, who was born and raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia, where I live now, would thank me for publicizing the plight of the African elephant.

Did you self-publish or query and hope a publisher would accept your work and how did that work out for you?

Since publishers, nowadays, rarely accept queries from unknown authors, I approached several dozen literary agents, following their submission guidelines very closely. Some sent their rejections promptly, others took their sweet time, and approximately 25 percent of them never did respond.  Since the book’s topic was timely, I felt some urgency to get the book published, so after nine months I decided to go the self-publishing route.

A story I hear over and over, but I do believe the power is shifting out of the hands of traditional publishers and into the hands of the writers. What do you do to promote your writing?

Part of my print-on-demand (POD) publisher’s deal was to make the book available online at many retail booksellers including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, as well as other international sites. This included the important U.S. wholesalers Ingram and Baker & Taylor. In addition, iUniverse created a web site and Facebook page to be used to promote the book. My own marketing efforts have included scheduling book signings at local book stores, and because the African elephant is featured in my novel, I have also arranged for a book signing at our local zoo. As a promotional tool, I created a business card with the cover of the book on one side, and on the back, a brief summary of the book, a web link containing an independent book review, a list of online booksellers advertising the book, and lastly its web site. I also use various social media.
  
Sounds like you're doing everything you can. What advice do you have for your fellow writers/authors?

Keep writing, be persistent, and never say never. We all dream that our book might one day make it onto the silver screen. Well, I was recently contacted by a South African film producer, who has expressed interest in Shadows along the Zambezi.  At time of writing he was putting together an initial 'investor topsheet” to send to some key people in his network. “The process,” he said, “is to see if we get any interest and to evaluate the responses. One never knows in this industry - Africa still holds great appeal and right now the plight of  elephants is making world headlines. Perhaps we can capitalise on that.” This of course may never come to pass, but it sounds exciting.

Tell us about your next project.

I have a historical novel in planning stages. It is based on my Scottish grandmother’s solitary 1911 sea voyage to Cape Town in search of her true love. His family had dispatched him to the colonies in order to break up their romance. However, if a Shadows along the Zambezi movie deal materializes, I will more than likely write a follow up to Jessica and Piet van Rooyen’s continuing fight to save Zimbabwe’s elephants.  

Can you give us a good reason to buy your book?

If Africa fascinates you and you love animals, then this book is for you.  Reviewers tell me the first page grabs you and won't let go, while subsequent pages keep you spellbound, while educating you about the wildlife of Zimbabwe, especially elephants. The love story is just the gravy!

Tell us a little about yourself:


I grew up and was educated in Zimbabwe during the years when the country was still known as Rhodesia. From the time I was in the second grade, pecking out stories on my mother’s old Remington typewriter, I knew I was destined to be a writer. My father was a tobacco farmer who later bred thoroughbred race horses. My mother graduated from Rhodes University in South Africa, but died too young, passing away shortly after my 21st birthday. After high school I shunned the idea of going on to university and instead joined the airlines. For the next seven years, I traveled throughout Europe and the Far East.  Later I moved to the United States, where I attended college, and pursued a career as a journalist. I joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1993 and became an environmental writer. Following retirement in 2005, I began writing short stories, and published a children’s picture book, Lumpy the ElephantLumpy’spublisher, however, declared bankruptcy and any royalties I might have received from the sales of the book were dust in the wind. I then began writingShadows along the Zambezi, my first novel. I have two brothers in Africa and a sister in Arizona. Today, I reside in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and my husband, Scott, and I have four grown daughters, a son, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. We enjoy traveling, movies, and our favorite TV shows areSurvivor and Amazing Race (in which I hope to catch periodic glimpses of today’s Zimbabwe); National Geographic specials about Africa, Whale Wars,Deadliest CatchBlue BloodsChicago FireNCISVegasNashvilleNASCAR motor racing, and ESPN coverage of the Triple Crown and other important horse races. I am an animal lover and I support wildlife conservation and no-kill shelters for pets and horses.

Where can we find out more about you and your work?



Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Page - MTK Sewer Rat by Delinda McCann


             When young Jake Jaconovich lived with his parents in Wulfton, the industrial area of the city, Emperor Vanderholm had no idea that the person who would one day overturn his power and set the whole country on its tail lived and breathed the foul air of the slum.
            Jake’s earliest memories are of the death of his sister and his beloved mama’s illness.  He remembers fleeing to the coast to live with Mama’s family.  He will never forget the smell of rotting fish in the northern fishing village.

           
 Jake was five when his family returned to the city where Papa worked for the railroad.  They moved into an apartment in M’TK, the worst slum in the city.  Jake remembers how he soon became aware of other young children too drunk to play with him.  After he got beaten-up the first time, he began the study of martial arts under Mr. Wu, the most powerful crime boss in the city.
            Jake’s life changes again when Emperor Vanderholm orders the army to burn M’TK.  Once again his family flees their home.  While Jake stood on a ridge outside the city and watched as the army burned the slum, Emperor Vanderholm was still unaware of Jake’s existence.   He could not know that his own actions intended to weaken owner of the railroad, Mr. Rouseff, have moved Jake one step closer to bringing about the demise of the empire.  The burning of M’TK brings Jake and his family to the attention of Mr. Rouseff, who will do anything to thwart the Vanderholms.
            Jake grew up to become a charismatic young man.  After attending university under false credentials, he started his career as a lowly prosecutor, charging and fining drunks and prostitutes week after week.
            The murder of a fisherman’s daughter in a northern village catapults Jake to the center of the political arena when the local fishermen ask Jake to prosecute the case against the emperor’s cousin Leon Fortenac.
            The Fortenac case becomes the catalyst for change when the courts rule that the nation must adopt a constitution to reflect the true demographics of the country.  

M'TK Sewer Rat: End of an Empire

CHAPTER 1

 In my earliest memories the sky was yellow.  I could see a sliver of it from our window.  I lived with my

parents in the industrial area of the city.  The borough was called Wulfton.  Both of my parents worked in the factories.  I stayed with an old woman while they worked.  I called her Nanna, but I didn’t think she was my real grandmother. 

             Nanna lived in a one-room apartment just like ours.  Her apartment was one floor down near the toilet.  We didn’t have a toilet on our floor.  Mama said that was good because she didn’t like the smell.  Several children stayed with Nanna. 
             I don’t remember much about Wulfton because I was young.  I remember when my sister was born.  I stayed with Nanna the day she was born.  Mama stayed home for some time because of the new baby. 
             I remember looking at my sister.  She was bald and wrinkled.  I said to Mama, “Not pretty.  Will a man love her like Papa an you?”
              Mama laughed, picked me up, and hugged me.  “All babies look like that.  She will grow up to be very beautiful and smart and she can have her pick of the men.” 
             My sister didn’t grow up.  She got a cough.  I got it too.  I remember being sick.  I remember staying on my pallet on the floor all day long.  I remember when my sister stopped coughing.  I remember how Mama cried.  Most of all I remember my Papa.  Big tears ran down his face and he blamed himself, using words I’d never heard before for not keeping his family safe. 
             “How do you keep us safe from the sickness?”  Mama asked.  “It is everywhere.  You cannot see it but it is here, everywhere.
             “You are wise.” Papa looked around him. He looked out our window at the small piece of yellow sky.   “Yes it is everywhere around us.  We can smell it.  It makes the sky yellow.”
            I knew I could ask Papa questions.  “I thought you said God made the sky.”
             My Papa picked me up.  I thought he was a big man.  He was very strong.  “Son, God made the sky blue.  Men have turned it yellow.  It is a sick sky.  They have made even the sky sick.” 
             I could tell he was angry, but he acted gentle with me and treated Mama like a precious piece of glass.

 Autographed Paperback $17.00

Amazon Paperback http://www.amazon.com/MTK-Sewer-Rat-End-Empire/dp/1938586328


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

First Page - Tip of the Iceberg by D.C. Lozeau


D. C. Lozeau hails from northern New England and now lives in Richmond, VA with his wife and three cats. This novel is a crime mystery set in the windy city of Chicago. I hope this first page will entice readers to  want more...


Tip of the Iceberg
D.C. Lozeau

Prologue
                Standing in the midday sun, dozens of people are huddling together, arms folded tightly, shoulders shrugged against the chilly arctic breeze. Suddenly, a loud horn blows.
            "Two degrees to port," an officer shouts from the bridge of a large luxury cruise ship. The ship turns ever so slightly and begins to slow down.
            Among the crowd on the deck, a man stands with his arm around his wife's waist, hugging her tightly. "Warm enough, dear?" he says.
"Yes, this is all worth it," she says. "The view is spectacular!" Just then, their warmth is broken apart as a fourteen-year-old pries his way in between them.
            "What's all the cheering about? Is there a whale out there? Where is it? I don't see anything but ice cubes,” the young boy says.
            The man looks at his wife and grins ever so slightly. "There is no whale, son. And those are icebergs."
            "Look more like ice cubes to me," the boy says. "I thought icebergs were supposed to be huge and be able to sink ships. I could row a rowboat out there and not get hurt."
            This time, the wife puts her arm around her son's neck, looking at her husband with a sympathetic look. "Dear, those are icebergs, but you can only see the top of them. The rest of it is below the water," she says to the boy. "That's where the saying the tip of the iceberg comes from."
            "Son," the father says, " things don't always appear to be what they really are."


Chapter One
            It is mid July, and everyone is fanning themselves to get a little breeze. The rows of folding chairs, some tipping slightly from the feet sinking into the soft, fresh-cut grass, are filled to capacity. All eyes are fixed on the platform stage in front of them where about fifty-two young men and women are all sitting, backs straight, hats down to their eyebrows, and their hands placed ever so neatly on their laps. They are the next graduating class of young officers from the police academy. Among the class are a half dozen men and one young lady with special emblems on their lapels, meaning these few have gone through a special training class to become detectives.
            Anthony Thomas is one of these few. He sits there, eyes fixed forward as if he is in basic training for the military, not wanting the drill sergeant to catch him looking astray. He pans the crowd ever so slowly to see if he can get a glimpse of his wife, Melissa. He finds her sitting next to her mother.
            A smartly dressed announcer steps to the podium. "Ladies and gentlemen, honored guests, and the graduating class of 2009. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you...

Buy the book to see more:

Website -- http://dclozeau.tateauthor.com/
Blog -- http://www.dclozeau.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Series Pilot -- First Page

I'm excited to introduce my new blog series "First Page". As the name suggests, I'll be posting the first page of lots of books you may like to read. If the author has done their job right you'll be hooked.


I'm starting the ball rolling with my own newest release, KICK ASSITUDE.


An unsolved murder, a secret code, a romantic dilemma. All in a day's work for a redneck P.I. with attitude. 

Small town redneck P.I. Twila Taunton is hell-bent on solving her mother's murder. Accompanied by her canine companion, she follows the trail of a cold murder case and discovers a secret code on the skeletal remains--Cyder Hill 1952.
Sexy cowboy Tanner Ferrano makes a concerted effort to seduce her and drive a wedge into her relationship with long distance boyfriend, hunky Harland O'Connor.
When hard-drinking, weed-smoking Great Aunt Essie cracks the code, they head to a haunted mansion in the dead of night, mindful of the man-eating wild boars that patrol the grounds…
Twila is not certain whether she'll succumb to Tanner's advances or end up rolling in the hay with Harland. She does know one thing, though. It's gonna be wild and passionate.


KICK ASSITUDE


PROLOGUE

Strangers who happened to pass through Quisby, Alabama, were often  heard  to  express  their  curiosity  about  the  property  on  the south road. The weathered sign hung crookedly on one of the imposing stone pillars; the faded words "Cyder Hill" still just legible. A strong padlock and thick chain barred access through the heavy iron gates.
Their questions always remained unanswered—hanging there like the fog hangs over a swamp on a fall morning…



CHAPTER 1

The dog days of summer had drawn to a close, and the slight crispness in the air hinted at a future without heat, humidity and bugs. I stood in the doorway of my new office, watching the sexiest man in the world ride away into the morning mist on his Harley. That I would see him again, I knew for sure, but how soon it would be was not so clear. I had returned to my home town of Quisby, Alabama just a few days ago. Harland and I had ridden here on our Harleys from Boston, Massachusetts, where I had been living for the past year.
A bunch of mixed emotions ran through me. Sadness at seeing Harland go, fear that I had done the wrong thing in letting him go, excitement and anticipation at the prospect of starting my new venture, and an eagerness to bring my mama's murderer to justice.
            Looking back, I realized this past summer ...

Buy the book to read more:

Enjoy!!

Any writers who want to participate, please contact me at trishjax at yahoo dot com.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Interview with Greer Noble -- Author of Erotic Thrillers set in Africa

My guest today has a deep love of Africa and its wildlife, which shows in her writing. Greer comes from the same country as me, and although we have never met, we have a special bond that only those who grew up there can develop.


Greer, your books seem to have one common thread, that being Africa, although they are quite diverse in genre. Yes. My fiction encompasses romantic murder mystery & erotic thriller, while my non-fiction work in progress is about African wildlife.
Are you a pantser -- you write by the seat of your pants and the story is all there in your head -- or are you a plotter? (You prefer to create a plot first?)

A little of both. I live, eat and sleep the storyline while I’m writing, but I'm continuously plotting too… scheming... the mind never stops!

Do you use any kind of method?
Typical skeletal... beginning, middle, end.. but integrated with twists and turns.. so the plot can change and dive, like a contortionist, into an unexpected angle.  

Do you think it's important to write a detailed list of your character's habits, likes, dislikes and family members?
Very definitely
Why?
Often a character is complex, may have traits from two or more persons, friends, enemies, so this is essential to avoid confusion. It’s also important for the attention to detail aspect, idiosyncrasies, peculiarities, charisma, annoying, happy, hateful, loving personalities… to avoid duplication… their appearance... so many reasons.

Sounds like you have that under control. You'd be surprised how many authors don't really know their characters. Writing in first person, present has been controversial in the past, but now it seems to be the trend for best-selling authors. Do you think it is more powerful than other tenses?
Personally no... I find it irritating... but each to his own.  It also depends on the plot as to whether one needs the changing of tenses.

What do you think today's readers want and how does it differ from readers of the past?
For starters, I don’t believe readers really know what they want until they read it!  But the norm today would probably be something topical or any form of escapism from the monoty of everyday living... but at the same time different. Humor is important. With the leaps and bounds in the advancement of technology time is more valuable than ever before so if anything, I feel one’s writing should be more succinct and less waffle or flowery fillers.

I agree. People don't have time for the frills anymore. What book do you want to feature in this post?

VEILED MADNESS 

Erotic, romantic murder mystery: Sanya, a hauntingly beautiful teenager, the epitome of her mother so cruelly plucked from her at the tender age of five, is destined to attract the opposite sex like bees to a beautiful flower. Both good and evil. But nothing, not even O’Hara, her devoted father and fearless hunter can protect her from this unseen enemy. Tentacles not unlike the roots of the wild fig tree, invisible, waiting to strangle... as unstoppable as the mist creeping in over the lake, veiled by the darkness of night. Never has O’Hara felt so helpless. There's not a weapon in his entire arsenal that can fend off this unfathomable predator... or is it predators?
A series of events unfold, too chilling, too calculating to lay the blame on anyone... until everyone is to blame. Everyone has motive... even Sanya herself. Lost, devastated, all hope dashed, Sanya is at her lowest ebb when one glimmer of hope comes to her like a falling star... but can it last?

Wow!! That would make anyone want to read it. What kind of readers do you think would most enjoy this book? 
Adventurous, thrill-seeking adults wanting to lose themselves and treat their minds to an exciting and unpredictable sojourn. Those who have a love of or fascination for Africa.

Romance readers want steamy love scenes. Do you agree? Yes, I agree
Do you think your book will meet their expectations? Yes, very definitely

Does your book have a message? Please explain.
If it has a message it is that not everything appears as it seems! Be careful who you trust.

Choose one character from the book and tell us what he/she would say to you if he/she was to meet you.
But that would be giving my story away... let’s see... Mugadza.. “I'm so lucky to have such a good job and I love my boss... and Miss Sanya... too much." 

Did you self-publish or query and hope a publisher would accept your work and how did that work out for you?
Yes I did try to first go the traditional route but was turned down, told the market was flooded and that I should try to re-submit in three years! That’s when I decided to self-publish. It was a great thrill of course to see my titles in print but it’s been pretty slow going... then again I’ve been travelling for some time now and have done very little or nothing to try to promote my books.

What are you doing now to promote your writing?
I’ve only really started to promote my work in the last few months in between trying to write short stories for my new title so again have a lot on my plate and know there’s a lot more I could be doing to promote my books... need a secretary!

Don't we all? What advice do you have for your fellow writers/authors?
1.     Decide on your audience and genre... and try to stick to that
2.     Write what you mean and be sure to do your research
3.     Be concise and to the point
4.     Work on your characters... make them come alive. If you can use real people you know it’s a lot easier than trying to configure/make up a character.
5.     Don’t be in a hurry... go over your story 10 or 20 times if necessary. Attention to detail remember.
6.     Make sure every page is a page turner
7.     Find yourself a professional editor (not a friend, bless their hearts!), it’s worth it in the long term – one that doesn’t charge – if they do they’re charlatans!
8.     Make sure it’s an editor who specializes in your genre... and be sure, before you commit yourself, to find out who and what titles that have been published the traditional way... over what period and how recently?
9.     Keep trying... even if it takes years, through reputable editors to get published the traditional way... publishers don’t like to accept work directly from authors.
10.           I would not recommend self-publishing for profit, but if you do, there are many satisfying options on offer.

That is probably the best advice anyone has ever given on my blog. Why should we buy your book?
VEILED MADNESS is a unique window into the Africa of old we all once knew and were lucky enough to have been a part of... it is this Africa that I want to share, that I wanted the world to know about. There have been so many non-fiction books written about that very special part of Africa known as Rhodesia and mainly about the bush war. Wonderful, heartening memoirs, mostly beautifully written by fellow countrymen who, like myself, lost not only their homes, their way of life but their country too. It was with this in mind that I chose fiction. I wanted to portray the excitement and even the fun of it all, before and during the bush war. To spice it up to make it the unpredictable romantic murder mystery that it is. There is a lot of fact and a lot of poetic license... and for those who were there, go figure which is real and which is fiction!
I’d say you should buy this book because it’s a compelling read, or so I’ve been told, that will take you back into that era, on an unforgettable safari of life so typical of that time. Its intrigue and suspense will keep you going to the other side of midnight while the steamy love scenes and sheer terror of the unexpected around every corner will have you gripping the sheets until the birds announce the break of day.
                                         
Tell us about your next project.
MY FUNNY AFRICA is a collection of short stories from people all over the world who have lived in Africa or who've had a funny or even terrifying wildlife experience in Africa. Having said ‘don’t self-publish for profit' you might wonder why I’m doing so again. This is a very unique non-fiction book. I had to get the cover done first because of the very nature of it, i.e. attracting others to write about their wildlife and or bush experiences... and it’s working. Also very hard work... a lot harder than if I were writing it myself... firstly to get people, nag would be a better word, to actually write in and secondly to then edit their work or, in many cases, send their story back encouraging them to embellish... quite a daunting task but still very encouraging. I’ve already had tremendous response... and stories. Now need to approach a lot more people... mainly ones I don’t know--- if anyone reading this blog has a funny story about Africa I'd love to see it. So MY FUNNY AFRICA is underway – a collection of enthralling authentic anecdotes... which, once published, I will also try to channel the traditional way.

MINI BIO
Please include a paragraph about you, your family, your interests... anything you’d like people to know about you.
If I told you I’d be lying so I’d prefer not to talk about myself other than to say I’m a very private person. Like all Rhodesians my family is scattered, thanks to the black Hitler who has for too many years ruled the roost. I’ve seen my family maybe once in twenty years so there’s not an awful lot to say other than we’ve grown apart, not out of choice but circumstances. What I am blessed with is a man who puts up with me, two extraordinary children, one a pilot turned home executive and one a professional student and skate board enthusiast, as well as two gorgeous and equally talented grandsons... our health and our unquenchable thirst for adventure.

What made you decide to be a writer/author?
I’ve always wanted to write. I started when I was 16... then life intervened. But what ultimately got me started was escapism... if I’m honest with myself I could never write if I were blissfully happy. It took me a while but eventually I discovered this wonderful place called ‘the mind’ where all sorts of amazing things take place... where no one can reach you... a very private place. I’ve come to love that place... and from it flows my writing like a river in full flood. Sometimes I hit a few rapids but mostly it flows... for without it I know not what I’d do. Problem is there are just not enough hours in the day.

What are your hobbies/passions/pastimes?
Hobbies... writing... dreaming about what I’m going to write next.
Passions... a deep love for the wilds of Africa and all its creatures... wildlife expeditions both on the ground and under the sea. I adore eccentric people, those who don’t care to conform much and with a deep sense of adventure. I enjoy exotic food, exotic places and exotic music, designing and decorating my homes with exotic ‘finds’. My treasures are driftwood and shells, authentic African artifacts and tapestries.
Pastimes... alas I do not have such a luxury as time to pass. But the little I do have is spent reading... and if I had more it would be all of the above.

Is there a key cause you support?
I support conservation of wildlife and Greenpeace... and now, of course, the Born Free Foundation and for those less fortunate... where I can, the Salvation Army and Red Cross.

Where can we find out more about you and your work?
Mainly on my website.

WEBSITE     http://greernoble.com/
BLOG            http://greernoble.com/blog.html