Thursday, January 23, 2020

Book Feature: We of the Forsaken World by Kiran Bhat



WE OF THE FORSAKEN WORLD
By Kiran Bhat
Literary Fiction/Metaphysical Fiction


The Internet has connected – and continues to connect – billions of people around the world, sometimes in surprising ways. In his sprawling new novel, we of the forsaken world, author Kiran Bhat has turned the fact of that once-unimaginable connectivity into a metaphor for life itself.

In we of the forsaken world, Bhat follows the fortunes of 16 people who live in four distinct places on the planet. The gripping stories include those of a man’s journey to the birthplace of his mother, a tourist town destroyed by an industrial spill; a chief’s second son born in a nameless remote tribe, creating a scramble for succession as their jungles are destroyed by loggers; a homeless, one-armed woman living in a sprawling metropolis who sets out to take revenge on the men who trafficked her; and a milkmaid in a small village of shanty shacks connected only by a mud and concrete road who watches the girls she calls friends destroy her reputation.
Like modern communication networks, the stories in, we of the forsaken world connect along subtle lines, dispersing at the moments where another story is about to take place. Each story is a parable unto itself, but the tales also expand to engulf the lives of everyone who lives on planet Earth, at every second, everywhere.

As Bhat notes, his characters “largely live their own lives, deal with their own problems, and exist independently of the fact that they inhabit the same space. This becomes a parable of globalization, but in a literary text.”

Bhat continues:  “I wanted to imagine a globalism, but one that was bottom-to-top, and using globalism to imagine new terrains, for the sake of fiction, for the sake of humanity’s intellectual growth.”

“These are stories that could be directly ripped from our headlines. I think each of these stories is very much its own vignette, and each of these vignettes gives a lot of insight into human nature, as a whole.”

we of the forsaken world takes pride of place next to such notable literary works as David Mitchell’s CLOUD ATLAS, a finalist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for 2004, and Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT WEST, which was listed by the New York Times as one of its Best Books of 2017.

Bhat’s epic also stands comfortably with the works of contemporary visionaries such as Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick.

Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2Lqe9Fi


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TEASER




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EXCERPT

“My people. Now speaks the man destined to make the great cats bow to feet, now speaks the man who will lock eyes with the sun. I have found our new land. Take your canoes and follow me. A new time for our tribe has come.” 

Not a single man found it in himself to raise a weapon, nor did a single wife open her mouth. The eyes of the eternal shone not from the skull but from the eyes of our chief’s first son. We believed that the spirits had bestowed him with our future. He had the eyes of life and death and life once more.

(Bhat, we, of the forsaken world… p. 191)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR




Kiran Bhat was born in Jonesboro, Georgia to parents from villages in Dakshina Kannada, India. An avid world traveler, polyglot, and digital nomad, he has currently traveled to more than 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Website  → http://iguanabooks.ca/



 





 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Book Feature: 'Twas the Night by Marin

Title: ‘TWAS THE NIGHT
Author: Marin
Publisher: Fontreal
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

BOOK BLURB:

‘TWAS THE NIGHT is a wordless book that “tells” a heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story. The illustrations gift each reader, young and young at heart, the opportunity to reimagine the Season’s wonder, and the freedom “to script” (if they choose to) their own lines to go with the images. Keep dreaming big!
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TEASER





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EXCERPT

'TWAS THE NIGHT is a wordless book that "tells" a heartwarming
and inspirational Christmas story. The illustrations gift each reader, young and young at heart, the opportunity to reimagine the Season's wonder, and the freedom "to script" (if they choose to) their own lines to go with the images. Keep dreaming big!

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TEASER


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My name is Marin and I was a child a very long time ago. My father passed away when I was one year old. My mother remarried and I was raised by my loving (but strict!) grandparents. After losing their son, they were terrified by the thought of losing their grandson. For this reason, they didn’t let me play on the street, swim in the nearby pond or explore the forest with the rest of the kids. This was also the reason I learned to read and write long before I went to school. My grandparents surrounded me with books. Books became my imaginary parents and my fictional friends. Apart from my genetic building blocks, books also came to be the main component in my development as a creative, compassionate and competitive individual.

I studied nuclear physics, art, and literature, but I enjoyed art the most. As a young artist, I was eager to succeed, winning prizes from various countries. I later became a partner in an advertising agency and switched my attention to serving clients. My last award was somewhere in the early nineties – The Best in the West by Corel Draw Corporation.

Oh, a few more boring things about me: I do not drive, I do not drink carbonated beverages, I have never consumed food from McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC or any other fast food restaurant, I do not have a mobile phone, I have never used legal or illegal drugs (except Gravol when I fly), and I have never visited my GP (much to the disapproval of my wife).

I read. I read every day. I am what I am today because of books. This publishing house is my little “thank you” to all of them.

website & Social links

Website  → http://www.fontreal.com

Twitter  → http://www.twitter.com/fontralbooks

Facebook  → http://www.facebook.com/fontreal/



http://www.pumpupyourbook.com
 

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Q&A with David Schaub Co-Author Spirits of the Western Wild

David Schaub is a writer and Academy Award ® nominated Animation Supervisor working in the film industry for more than 25 years. In 2019 he produced and directed the audio adaptation of SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN WILD.  He also developed STORY COMPASS® smartphone app for screenwriters (www.moviemethods.com) in 2017.

Schaub received Oscar nomination for animation in Tim Burton’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Disney), along with nominations for BAFTA Award, Saturn Award and Critic’s Choice Award, and won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Visual Effects for his team’s work on the film.

HEAD ANIMATION on Sony Picture’s SURFS UP – recognized with two Annie Awards among its ten nominations including Academy Award nomination and four Visual Effects Society (VES) award nominations.

ANIMATION DIRECTOR on AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 (2014), CHRONICLES OF NARNIA (Disney), I AM LEGEND (Warner Bros.) and LEAD ANIMATOR on STUART LITTLE 1 & 2, EVOLUTION, CAST AWAY, GODZILLA, PATCH ADAMS and more.

ANIMATION DIRECTOR – Universal’s award-winning JURASSIC WORLD EXPEDITION (2019) VR EXPERIENCE. Exploring cinematic potential of virtual reality.

Website → https://www.dschaub2.com/

Facebook → https://www.facebook.com/dschaub2writer

Goodreads → https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19662596.David_Schaub


Roger Vizard is a writer and self-taught artist. He was accepted into the animation program at Sheridan College in1987, then worked at Sullivan Bluth Studios in Ireland, then as an animation apprentice on “WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT” at Richard Williams’ studio in London.  He later became Williams’ assistant animator on “THIEF AND THE COBBLER.”

After several years working in Europe at studios like Gerhard Hahn in Germany and A-films in Denmark, he moved to Los Angeles in 1993 to work as a story board artist on the first season of Sonic the Hedgehog, then rolled back into animation again after that.  He successfully made the transition to from 2D to CGI on “STUART LITTLE 2” in 2001, and since that time have worked non-stop at animation/VFX studios in Los Angeles.

Website → https://www.rvizard.com/



Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN WILD is a paranormal adventure in the spirit of a Twilight Zone episode, written as a screenplay for an animated feature.  From there it was adapted as an audio drama, along with an illustrated Kindle release.  It was Roger [Vizard], my story partner who originally pitched me the idea for a buddy film with a young cowboy and a crotchety old ghost who refused to believe he was dead.  It was mostly a character premise with some great drawings and situational gags.  We kicked ideas around between ourselves about where the story could go, and ultimately decided to join forces to see if we could shape it into a fully executed screenplay that would sustain itself as an animated feature.  It was the characters that inspired us, and that’s what drove everything down the story path.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?

I should start by saying that there was never really an intention to publish at all.  This project was written as a screenplay, destined to making its rounds through the Hollywood pitching circuit.

When Roger moved onto another animation gig, I decided to keep chipping away at the next steps toward production.  I had the crazy idea of producing it as an audiobook to make it super-easy for studio execs to absorb on their commute.  No reading required -- just straight-up entertainment for the listener.  Self-funding the film wasn’t an option, but since I was looking for something to direct, I figured I could certainly produce an audio drama!  It was also a great opportunity to demonstrate my directing chops with actors, bringing the story to life in a way that the written page alone could never achieve.  Call it a “movie for your ears.”  The task was more than I bargained for, but I’m happy to say that the movie is all there… minus the visuals  ;-)

Once the audio was completed, I was informed by Amazon that a print (or Kindle) version had to be released before the audio version could be approved.  So that put me into another tailspin… Unfortunately, Kindle doesn’t offer a solution to display screenplays in their native format, which is a strict standard by industry definition.  But I came up with a formatting solution that seems to work pretty well. 

Now that the Kindle version is out there, I’m happy that it is.  Not only can you follow along with the audio version, but you also get a first-hand account of how the audio adaptation evolved from the written screenplay.  It’s also a convenient way to share some of the artwork that Roger and I have collaborated on along the way.

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing it, or did it come later?

There have been several working-titles for this production along the way.  We settled on SPIRITS OF THE WESTERN WILD after the title itself weaved its way into the fabric of the story.  But having worked in the studio system for so many years, I’ve learned to stay flexible and open to new ideas and suggestions as they come. With that said, I’m perfectly happy to adopt a new title as we keep pushing this down the road toward production.  It is certainly not the “perfect title,” so I’m open to suggestions; perhaps something that isn’t quite so “on the nose.”  Maybe I’ll set up a contest for that – with a bounty for a winning title that we can’t resist!

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?

I always had the general concept in mind.  I think the cover is a really important element for marketing a book, especially since people absolutely judge books by their covers.  And movies are judged by their posters and one-sheets.  That’s why we produced a “movie-poster” for our screenplay long before talks of a movie deal or a production plan of any sort.  With so much content out there, I believe that you’ve got to do everything in your power to grab the audience by the throat and not let go.

Our poster spells out everything you need to know about the characters, spirit and tone of the film.  I’m a huge fan of the Drew Struzan movie-poster art.  While our poster doesn’t even touch on his artistic brilliance, the layout is certainly inspired by the composition of his posters.  Having the poster on display also makes it seem “real” somehow.  And in a studio pitch, it’s really easy for execs to envision what the final product could be.  Conveniently, it’s also the same aspect for a book cover, and easily adapted to a square format (like a CD) for the audiobook.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?

It was designed between Roger and myself.  I did the basic layout based on the Drew Struzen compositions, and Roger fleshed out the line drawings of the characters. Then I picked it up again to do final painting and rendering.

How was your experience working with the designer?

We were pain-in-the-butt perfectionists!  I can’t tell you how many versions we went through until we captured the spirit of the film in its simplest form. The important thing is to capture the essence and tone of the work, with the important beats of the story represented or hinted at in some way.  That is the goal of any good movie poster.  There are some quirky and elusive representations embedded in there.  No spoilers - just subtle hints that become illuminated after you hear the story.  I say HEAR it – because that’s the best way to experience it.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

We’ve been getting lots of queries and thumbs-up on social media.  Of course it is very stylized, and specifically suited to the animated feature that we are offering here.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?

We never really considered looking elsewhere for a designer.  We had already produced so much artwork in the form of beat-boards and story-panels – which are all published in the Kindle Edition of the screenplay. The cover design was just a logical extension of what we had already done.

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?

While this story is certainly framed up as a “Western,” that’s really just the package for a deeper story of loyalty, redemption, and the final ascension that occurs when our destiny is done.  [Sergio] Leone said the same about his films – “they are westerns only in their exterior aspects.  Within them are truths that belong to all parts of the world… not just the American West.”  Using the Western genre as our backdrop, we can strip away modern distractions and focus on the simpler, deeper story at the heart of it all.  I always like to remind people that even Star Wars is nothing more than a John Ford western at its core.

We are going to keep kicking this project down the road, with the goal of eventually making this film.  I started an Instagram feed for anyone interested in following that journey:
I thought it would be entertaining to post the twists, turns and writing inspiration as we go. I’m sure there will be lots of discoveries, insights and takeaways on the bumpy road ahead.   Please follow, and enjoy the ride! 
 

 About the Book

This mystical adventure follows a young adventure-seeker named Luther McCleron on a westward journey to learn more about his Grandfather. A series of fateful missteps take Luther far from his
destination to a disheveled little town under the tyranny of a crooked sheriff named Big Willie. It’s here that Luther comes face-to-face with the legendary ghost of Monty: a curmudgeonly ghost who refuses to believe he’s dead. Luther just wants to get back to his quest, but Monty thwarts his plans by using Luther to take out his vengeance on Big Willie.

Through a catastrophic string of events, Luther and Monty find themselves hopelessly entangled in a combative partnership that escalates to the breaking point. Only by reconciling their differences are they able to uncover the profound connections that weave their fates together.

A mysterious book of premonitions, an ominous crow, and ancient Indian drive the mystical tone of this world; conjuring spiritual forces to help steer Luther on his journey through this western “twilight zone.”

All the loose ends resolve in a satisfying story of redemption, loyalty and ascension while exploring the mysterious nature of fate and destiny. Was all of this a coincidence? Or are we guided by ancient “spirits on the wind” that nudge and steer us along our path to assure that we arrive safely at our intended destination in the end?

5 out of 5 stars
 A fantastic and Immersive adventure for everyone. 
What a wonderful audio book and what a pleasure it was to be on this journey. Not only the adventure was captivating but also everything around it. The sounds effect and voices really bring it all together, you almost feel like you are right there witnessing all this first hand. The production quality is something I have never heard before. Very well done and I highly recommend it.

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2qsxtKC

 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Book Feature: Tetrastatum by Dr. Richard & Tim Smith




Title: TETRASTATUM
Author: Dr. Richard & Tim Smith
Publisher: Epigraph Publishing
Pages: 300
Genre: Time Travel Thriller

In their debut novel TETRASTATUM, authors Dr. Richard and Tim Smith combine heady concepts about the universe with a thrilling science fiction story about the search for a new kind of time travel. The result is a stunning mixture of dense cosmology and old-fashioned storytelling that will appeal to a wide readership, from science professionals to lay fans of science fiction.

“Dr. Richard” and “Tim Smith” are the pseudonyms of Dr. Richard Connor and Marcus Rodriguez, respectively.

TETRASTATUM (‘the fourth state’) is the culmination of my 30 years working in the field of photonics,” Dr. Richard says. “I am an avid reader of sci-fi, and I wanted to create a new type of work that is both educational and entertaining in the genre. TETRASTATUM gives the reader a unique understanding of the existing laws of physics and extends them to provoke further thought from novice readers as well as advanced experts in the field.”

Kirkus Reviews notes that “authors Dr. Richard and Smith … tell their cerebral story with a heady mix of dense theory and absurdist humor.”

The Independent Review of Books declares:  “TETRASTATUM is like nothing you have ever read before. This is an impressive work of science fiction …”

The San Francisco Book Review adds that, “These recurring themes of characterization and distortion feed into the concern that is being voiced over the current state of our political climate…The layering of these themes is ultimately what gives TETRASTATUM a relevance that will keep readers turning pages and asking questions.”

“The book ultimately explains how human perceptions alter the future and puts forth a model based on quantum physics to explain ‘reality’,” Dr. Richard continues.  He calls science fiction “the perfect genre to explore socio-political ideas within the context of futuristic technologies and scientific theories.”

Dr. Richard and Smith are currently working with Norith Soth on adapting TETRASTATUM into a screenplay. Mr. Soth has penned work for Justin Lin (“Fast and Furious”), Stephen Chin (“War Dogs”), and Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”).

order your copy below

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teaser




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EXCERPT


“Well, Dr. Smith, your colleague…uhm, whom you claim is watching us on some monitor-type device, has quite an imagination.  Images, imagination, create that which brings wonder into the realm of understanding.  I concede that I didn’t contemplate the idea of two spheres and two sets of waves when I derived my equations.  I missed the duality, nature’s constant.  But I confirm that this appears to be mathematically accurate and a plausible theory as to the nature of reality, itself.”  –Dr. Erwin Schrödinger




 

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meet the author


Dr. Richard has been involved in the field of Photonics for over 30 years. He received his BA in physics (honors) from the University of California Fullerton. He was in a full scholarship PhD program in physics at the University of California Irvine and a PhD program in philosophy at Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Richard completed his two dissertations (involving human interpretations of laser and electro-optical images) while under top secret clearance. He also has an advanced placement teaching credential, an advanced certification (from the University of Wisconsin) in laser and optical design; and other advanced certifications in fiber optics, computer programming, technology business development, financial products, dance, anatomy and physiology.

website & social links

WEBSITE → https://www.tetrastatum.com

FACEBOOK → https://www.facebook.com/istarsfx




 

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Book Feature: WIDOW'S RUN by TG Wolff




Title: WIDOW’S RUN
Author: TG Wolff
Publisher: Down & Out Books
Pages: 236
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

One night in Rome. One car. One dead scientist. Italian police investigate, but in the end, all they have are kind words for the new widow. Months later, a video emerges challenging the facts. Had he stepped into traffic, or was he pushed? The widow returns to the police, where there are more kind words but no answers. Exit the widow.

Enter Diamond. One name for a woman with one purpose. Resurrecting her CIA cover, she follows the shaky video down the rabbit hole. Her widow’s run unearths a plethora of suspects:  the small-time crook, the mule-loving rancher, the lady in waiting, the Russian bookseller, the soon-to-be priest. Following the stink greed leaves in its wake reveals big lies and ugly truths. Murder is filthy business. Good thing Diamond likes playing dirty.

"TG Wolff's novel is for crime-fiction fans who like it action-packed and hard-edged. Written with feisty panache, it introduces Diamond, one of the most aggressive, ill-tempered, and wholly irresistible heroines to ever swagger across the page." --David Housewright, Edgar Award-winning author of Dead Man's Mistress

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2NgYhGg

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Teaser:




Excerpt:

“Dixon.” It was the resigned statement you used when a kid straight up beat you at your own game.
“Hey Diamond.” Chips crunched in my ear. “How’s Italy?”
“How’d you get this phone number?”
“I called myself from it last night.” A bag crackled in the background.
“When and where was I?”
“When you went to the bathroom. You said make yourself comfortable.”
I wasn’t gone three minutes, not three minutes. “And you took it as an invitation to steal my phone number?”
“You know, for emergencies and stuff.” Either he had shoved another fistful of chips into his mouth or he had wadded up the bag into a ball and was gnawing on it.
“Dix, you put one more chip in your mouth and I’m going to swim across the Atlantic and give you a chip bag colonoscopy.”
He laughed. “That’s something old people get, right? Something like a camera up the butt?”
It’s hard to physically intimidate someone who lived day in, day out with violence. You know. Been there, done that, got the black eye. The one he’d gotten for his birthday still had days until it would fade.
“Yeah, Dix. I hear it comes with good drugs though. So, who is she?”
This time he glugged liquid, finishing it with a sloppy lip slap. “Who is who?”
“You know who.”
“Do who know you?”
I pinched the bridge of my nose. “Dix, you’re making my head spin. You texted me you know ‘who she is.’ Tell me who she is while I’m still young enough to care.”
“Oh. Her. Ilsa Dumanovskaya. I’m not making it up either. Musta sucked to spell her name in kindergarten. Least her parents gave her a short first name.”
I leaned against an ice-cold plaster wall, prepared to commence head pounding. “Why should I care?”
“Because of Doc.” Doc. That was the nickname the kids at the YPF gave Gavriil. He liked the stories I brought home and showed up one afternoon. It wasn’t even “take your husband to work day.” I found him arguing with the science teacher over a chemical equation. They got past their chalkboard differences, created a bouncy-ball polymer, then had contests to see which formula bounced higher. The kids loved it. Gavriil came in once a week for lecture and the occasional spontaneous laboratory experiment.
“She’s the woman he met in Rome.”
My chin snapped up. My heart beat in double time. I had her face, now I had her name. I signaled Carlo for pencil and paper. “Give it to me.”
“She owns a bookstore. I have the address for her store and her apartment. Do they call them flats?”
“No idea. Give me the address.” My mouth watered with the taste of deep-fried quarry.
“Three-twenty-one valle Didochachiata.”
My pencil stayed still. “That can’t be right.”
“Maybe I’m not saying it right. Three-twenty-one Vya Deedoshakiata. Better?”
“No. Carlo? Can you figure out this address?” I handed over the phone and recommenced pacing.
Carlo alternated between speaking and listening. Then he laughed. Of course, he and Dix would understand each other. Gibberish was an international language.





 

Teaser




About the Author



TG Wolff writes thrillers and mysteries that play within the gray area between good and bad, right and wrong. Cause and effect drive the stories, drawing from 20+ years’ experience in Civil Engineering, where “cause” is more often a symptom of a bigger, more challenging problem. Diverse characters mirror the complexities of real life and real people, balanced with a healthy dose of entertainment. TG Wolff holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Website → www.tgwolff.com

Twitter → @tg_wolff

Facebook → www.Facebook.com/tina.wolff.125

 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Q&A with 'Christmas in Newfoundland' Mike Martin

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the series.is Darkest Before the Dawn which won the Bony Blithe Award in 2019. A new book in the series, Fire, Fog and Water is being released in October.
Mike is currently Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers.

website & social links

Website → www.sgtwindflowermysteries.com

Twitter Link: → http://ww.twitter.com/mike54martin

Facebook→https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkerOnTheCapeReviewsAndMore/



Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

Christmas in Newfoundland is a collection of stories and mysteries, some fictional based on the character in my mystery series, Sgt. Windflower and some personal memories and recollections.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?

I have always been an indie person. I am not opposed to traditional publishing but I am too impatient to wait for their timelines and other processes.

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing it, or did it come later?

The title always comes last, for me. I don’t even think about it until the book is finished the first major draft.

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like? 

We used a class of high school students who are in a visual arts program to produce illustrations for the book and choose one for the cover which embodied the essence of the stories.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?

Mag Carson came to me via my publisher, Ottawa Press and Publishing.

How was your experience working with the designer?

I enjoyed working with her because she tries to capture the story behind the story in the cover.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

People who see it absolutely love it. It calls the reader to come inside and visit. That’s the whole purpose of the book.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?

Find someone who will help you think about the story behind the story, and not just try and give you a cookie-cutter design

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?

I hope you enjoy it!!

about the book


From the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mysteries comes “Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries,” a welcome addition to the Sgt. Windflower family of books.

Christmas in Newfoundland is a special time. In the depths of long winter nights memories are made and stories are told. Of Christmas by candlelight and horse and buggy rides to church. Of shopping on Water Street in St. John’s before malls and the Internet.

In later years, Sgt. Windflower came to work and then to stay in the quiet town of Grand Bank by the Atlantic Ocean where the salt air froze in the wind and the Mounties were welcomed to warm themselves by every fire.

Come and warm yourself by the fire and hear their stories. Some memories and some mysteries. Enjoy some holiday time with Sgt. Windflower and all the familiar characters that you’d come to know and love. Good food, good friends and always another chair at the table.

order below

Amazon → https://amzn.to/32hC9zY



Thursday, November 21, 2019

Q&A with James D. Bell, Author of 'Maximilian's Treasure'



James D. Bell is an award-winning author and retired Judge who received the highest bar association approval ratings ever given to a Mississippi Circuit or County Judge. He is listed in Preeminent Lawyers, Outstanding Lawyers of America and Top 100 Attorneys of North America.  He is the author of two novels, Vampire Defense and Maximilian’s Treasure.  His short story, The Adventures of Sherlock Hound, was published in Mardi Allen’s collection, Dog Stories for the Soul, alongside stories from Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Willie Morris and others.  The son of a Choctaw mother and a Mississippi businessman, Judge Bell is devoted to his wife, Joanne.  They live near Jackson, Mississippi and have four children.  Judge Bell returned to law practice but is frequently called back to the bench by the Mississippi Supreme Court for short term assignments. 
Interview:
Tell us about your book, Maximilian's Treasure! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
A stately Choctaw elder told my friend and me that he believed Civil War gold was buried on his farm in Mississippi.  He believed that Maximilian, the Emperor of Mexico, sent gold to support the South’s war effort, and that none other than Jesse James, then a member of the Confederate Cavalry, was with the shipment.  The war ended when the gold was near his farm and was hidden there.  He asked us to help him look for the treasure.  This was too far-fetched to believe, but my friend and I said, “Why not?”  We travelled with him to his farm and had a great day listening to his stories while we searched with him.  You might think this unusual.  It’s not.  It’s just another day of law practice in Mississippi, where the unusual and outlandish is an everyday occurrence.
This was one of many stories from forty years of law practice that I am desperate to tell.  My best friend and I were young lawyers defending citizens charged with crimes in Mississippi.  We attracted a bit of attention because we kept winning cases.  Jack was a loyal friend, an intrepid investigator, and a great researcher.  Together we regularly accomplished what at first seemed impossible.  Jack died twenty years ago; too young; too soon.  I miss him.  I brought him back to life in my novels.
In Maximilian’s Treasure rumors of hidden gold inspire a battle for possession of a Choctaw family farm.  Two young lawyers, John Brooks and Jackson Bradley, agree to help the family keep their farm.  Early legal success prompts the drive-by murder of the patriarch of the family.  The grandson chases the suspects whose bodies are found on the farm, scalped.  At the same time, clues to a vast treasure are found on the farm.  Jackson, pursued by fortune seekers, adventurers, an exotic beauty and a homicidal maniac, follows the clues to a Caribbean reef and then to the Chiapas jungle.  John stays behind to defend the grandson and continue the fight for the farm.  His efforts are complicated by arson, murder, race riots, and the realization that he lost his one true love.  The adventures of John and Jackson rush toward an intertwined triple climax.
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
I went with a small publisher, which permits me to have a close working relationship with the publisher.  I took a course, How to Sell What You Write, at Millsaps College taught by a successful author and publisher, James Dickerson of Sartoris Literary Group.  I followed his formula and he offered to publish my first novel!  That novel, Vampire Defense, became Sartoris’ best-selling fiction and Sartoris was happy to publish my second novel, Maximilian’s Treasure.
How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing it, or did it come later?
I had a different working title at first, but it was soon obvious that Maximilian’s Treasure is the right title for this story.
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
I started with an enlarged photograph of a gold Maximilian coin before I hired an artist who designed a beautiful, exciting cover that captures the essence of the book.
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
Eric Summers (eric@thatsummersguy.com) designed the cover and did a great job.  He was recommended by my publisher.
How was your experience working with the designer?
Great!  He read the book and picked a scene that captures the essence of this romantic adventure.  The characters Jackson and Natalia, an exotic beauty, are in an embrace near a waterfall.  Jackson is peering through a waterfall trying to discover what is concealed behind it.  Natalia in ceremonial garb, dagger in hand, is looking over his shoulder, confidently ready to confront an approaching threat. 
What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
Everyone says, “Wow!  I want that book!”
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
Readers will judge your book by the cover.  Be creative.  You want your cover to communicate relevant information about your story in a powerful way to the prospective reader.  Find a gifted artist like Eric who is willing spend the time necessary to understand the story.
Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
Maximilian’s Treasure is packed with hidden treasurers to be discovered.  So, if you love mystery, adventure, romance, justice, belly laughs and hidden treasures, it’s all waiting for you in Maximilian’s Treasure. You’ve got to read it!