Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Picture Book Review: Five Funny Tummy Men, by Jean Reed


Why does your tummy ache? Why does it make noises? What happens in your stomach after you eat? Why should you eat slowly? 


In this educational picture book, the author answers these questions and more, describing the “five tummy men” that inhabit our stomachs and their specific jobs: 

Mr. Boss, the one in charge 
Mr. Swallow, catcher of food 
Mr. Grinder, most happy when you chew well 
Mr. Piler, sorter of nutrients into piles for different parts of your body 
Mr. Deliveryman, carrier of piles to your body 

FIVE FUNNY TUMMY MEN encourages dialogue between children and adults, making it a good resource for class or homeschooling discussions. Children are told to eat healthy and chew well and not snack a lot between meals, and in a simple, clear and friendly manner this cute little book explains exactly why. Recommend for readers 4-8.  

Available at Amazon and B&N
Multicultural edition on B&N

Product Details 

Publisher: Peppertree Press 
ISBN-13: 9781614937098 
Publication date: June 2020 
Pages: 20 
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 8.50(h)
Age Range: 3 Months to 12 Years

Monday, October 26, 2020

Book Blast! THE WALTZ OF DEVIL'S CREEK by Justine Carver




THE WALTZ OF DEVIL'S CREEK

Justine Carver
Historical Fiction

Judith Campbell is dying, and she cannot take the painful truth about where her son came from to the grave with her. While on her deathbed in Atlanta, Georgia in 1994, Judith tells him the tragic story of his conception, and which of two men his birth father could be: the young man who professed his love to her, or the pastor who assaulted her.

Set in the Deep South in 1947, The Waltz of Devil's Creek digs into the dark crevices of racism and women's rights during a heated political climate in an era of segregation. Combined with Judith's lack of social stature, and at a time when reporting sexual assault was unheard of, every injustice is stacked against her from the very beginning.

But there is a light in Judith's young life: her best friend, Joseph Bird, who has loved her since childhood. Joseph stands up for Judith when no one else will and proves that even in the darkest of times, a light is always burning.

 


Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3d1J3Ax

Link to book on B&N:

https://bit.ly/2I5rVhX

Link to book on Kobo:

https://bit.ly/3lhAIvb

 



“But Mrs. Bird,” I said, looking over at her, “God don’t want people like Pastor Allman.”

She just looked at me for a moment, and then a smile slowly lit up her eyes again.

“YOU COME ON OUT HERE BIRD!”

The voice snapped Mrs. Bird and me from our moment, our heads simultaneously jerking toward the living room.

When we heard Joseph’s feet stomping against the floor as he ran down the hallway, Mrs. Bird and I dropped the dishtowel and the plate and hurried out of the kitchen.

“YOU GET YER DUMB ASS OUT HERE!” a second voice shouted, “OR WE’RE COMIN’ IN TO GET YOU!”

“That’s the Woodson brothers,” I told Joseph’s momma.

“Don’t you go out there,” she warned him as he thrust his big feet into his shoes. “I mean it, Joseph, don’t you go out that door!”

He flung the front door open anyway, and before he could step outside, the Woodson brothers jumped on him in the doorway.

“Joseph!” I screamed.

“Get out of my house!” his momma shrieked.

The whole house shook as the three fought; a small table underneath the window beside the door fell over, shattering the flower vase atop it; fists swung and legs kicked, and cuss words flew.

“You little piece of shit, you burned up my truck!” said the blonde-haired brother.

“I’m gonna kick your nuts right up yer throat!” said the brown-haired one. “What tha hell were you thinkin’ boy?!” Thwap! When his fist pulled back, his knuckles glistened with Joseph’s blood.

“Let go of him! Let go! Let gooo!” I dug all ten of my fingernails into the blonde’s arm, trying to stop him from pulling Joseph out of the house.

His momma was on the other side, screaming as she worked, unsuccessfully, to beat them off with a broom. The blonde shoved me away, and I fell onto my butt on the porch as they dragged Joseph down the steps and into the front yard.

“Don’t you touch my son!” Mrs. Bird roared, and the broom came down hard on the brown-haired one’s back.

He whirled around, seemingly unfazed by the blow, and yanked the broom from her hands and tossed it.

They nearly beat Joseph unconscious.

Mrs. Bird ran next door and called Sheriff Woodson, but he never showed; he’d stayed out of all the incidents between Joseph and his sons. But Joseph wouldn’t have had it any other way.

 






 
 



Justine Carver was born and raised in the Southern United States on a heavy dose of creek-wading, lightning-bug-catching, and Saturday morning cartoons. She is a full-time writer, all-the-time reader, and every now and then, she pulls her head out of the clouds long enough to remember how much better it is up there.

 


Website: https://justinecarver.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_justine_carver/




 
 
http://www.pumpupyourbook.com


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Q&A on Book Covers with A.S. Fenichel Author of Misleading A Duke #misleadingaduke

A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.


A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in historical, paranormal, erotic and contemporary romance, A.S. is the author of the several series, including Forever Brides, Everton Domestic Society, Wallflowers of West Lane and more. Strong, empowered heroines from Regency London to modern-day New Orleans are what really excites A.S., and that’s what you’ll find in all her books.

A Jersey Girl at heart, she now makes her home in Southern Missouri with her real-life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, travel, history, puttering in her garden and spoiling her fussy cat.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: http://asfenichel.com

Blog: http://asfenichel.com/blog

Twitter: http://twitter.com/asfenichel

Facebook: Http://facebook.com/asfenichel

 

 

 

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

Misleading A Duke is book 2 in The Wallflowers of West Lane series. In book one, The Earl Not Taken we meet four ladies who have an unbreakable bond and make a pact to protect each other from men who might harm them.

When Faith is engaged to a man they have never met, the fact that he’s a duke is not important. The Wallflowers set out to discover his character. But Nick is not accustomed to telling his secrets and he has many.

In one final attempt to learn if Nick is of good character, Faith lures him to a remote castle where she intends to convince him to tell her something of his past. However, they are set upon by three French spies from Nick’s past and what was to be a game of wits turns deadly.

Staying alive long enough to find out if they could find love becomes the order of the day.

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

It took me a long time to get published. I had a lot to learn, but after seventeen years and unwavering determination my first book was traditionally published. I published ten books with my first publisher and then they went out of business. When I got my rights back, I self-published those ten books. Since then, I’ve been working with another traditional publisher and together we’ve produced twelve books so far.  

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?

Every time I have to come up with titles, I make list after list of them. I consult my friends, both writers and non-writers. It’s a constant struggle to find titles that please myself and my publisher and will hopefully intrigue readers enough to pick up the book and read the back cover.

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

I absolutely love my covers. Kensington Publishing has a fabulous art department who do a great job. I tell them what I’m thinking and they try to make it happy. Usually, it’s ten times better than what I thought of.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

Readers have really seemed to love the silhouetted covers for The Wallflowers of West Lane. The flowered wallpaper is clever and striking. I’m in love with them

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

Find examples of their work. Make sure they using professional images and software. Make sure they’re willing to work with you to tweak the cover if need be.

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

Thank you so much for having me on Book Cover Junkies. I hope you love the cover of Misleading A Duke and I know you will adore Faith and Nick’s story.


Book Info:



Finishing school failed to turn them into proper society ladies. Now these four friends vow to remain single until they find suitors worthy of their love and devotion…

Betrothed to a man she has barely met, Lady Faith Landon calls upon her three best friends—the self-proclaimed Wallflowers of West Lane—to help uncover the secrets of her mysterious fiancé. Her suspicions are aroused when she learns that he has recently returned from France. Is he a traitor to his country? The truth is quite the opposite. Nicholas Ellsworth, Duke of Breckenridge, is a secret agent for the English Crown who has just completed a risky mission to infiltrate Napoleon’s spy network.

After his adventures, Nicholas craves the peace and quiet of the country and settling into domestic bliss with his bride. Until he discovers Faith’s deceptive investigation. How can he wed a woman who doesn’t trust him? But a powerful spark has ignited between Nicholas and Faith that could bring about a change of heart. Faith seizes her second chance to prove to Nicholas that they are a true love match but his past catches up with them when three French spies come to exact revenge. Surviving rather than wooing has become the order of the day.

Praise for Misleading A Duke

Fenichel’s high-octane second Wallflowers of West Lane Regency romance (after The Earl Not Taken) follows a reluctantly betrothed couple as dire circumstances help them to see past their bad first impression. Lady Faith Landon earns the ire of her fiancé, Nicholas Ellsworth, the Duke of Breckenridge and a spy for the English government, when she and her friends snoop into his past. Faith hopes to explain that she was anxious and trying to learn more about him before their wedding day, but she needs the help of Nick’s friend and fellow spy Geb Arafa to convince him to hear her out. Geb requests Nick meet him at his hunting lodge, Parvus Castle, to discuss an urgent matter that Nick assumes to be of national importance. But when Nick arrives, he finds Faith waiting to plead her case. Her explanation is interrupted when French spies invade Parvus, take both captive, and torture Nick for information about the movement of English troops. Imprisoned together, Nick and Faith form an unshakable bond as Faith tends to Nick’s wounds and Nick witnesses her kindness and unflinching bravery. Fenichel juxtaposes the mannered world of Regency aristocracy with the gritty, life-or-death situation of Nick and Faith’s captivity to excellent effect. This immersive, fast-paced novel will have readers on the edges of their seats.

–Publishers Weekly

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3a99S4d

Thriller Mystery Book Spotlight: THE ANCESTOR by Lee Matthew Goldberg


THE ANCESTOR
Lee Matthew Goldberg
Thriller / Mystery

A man wakes up in present-day Alaskan wilderness with no idea who he is, nothing on him save an empty journal with the date 1898 and a mirror. He sees another man hunting nearby, astounded that they look exactly alike. After following this other man home, he witnesses a wife and child that brings forth a rush of memories of his own wife and child, except he’s certain they do not exist in modern times—but from his life in the late 1800s. After recalling his name is Wyatt, he worms his way into his doppelganger Travis Barlow’s life. Memories become unearthed the more time he spends, making him believe that he’d been frozen after coming to Alaska during the Gold Rush and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Wyatt is certain gold still exists in the area and finding it with Travis will ingratiate himself to the family, especially with Travis’s wife Callie, once Wyatt falls in love. This turns into a dangerous obsession affecting the Barlows and everyone in their small town, since Wyatt can’t be tamed until he also discovers the meaning of why he was able to be preserved on ice for over a century.

A meditation on love lost and unfulfilled dreams, The Ancestor is a thrilling page-turner in present day Alaska and a historical adventure about the perilous Gold Rush expeditions where prospectors left behind their lives for the promise of hope and a better future. The question remains whether it was all worth the sacrifice….

Praise for THE ANCESTOR:

“Lee Matthew Goldberg is an animal—there is no other way to say it. His prose is heavyweight ambitious, as visceral as a sweaty-toothed dog at your throat. He evokes Robert Louis Stevenson as much as he does a modern thriller novelist. And I’ll be honest: I expected a crime novel, but I got a spell-binding epic, an epistolary revelation, a tale as rich as a paying gold mine. The Ancestor is more than a novel. It’s an ode to the rich tradition of adventure storytelling…seasoned with ample spice of love and violence and greed.” —Matt Phillips, author of Countdown and Know Me from Smoke

“In The Ancestor, Lee Matthew Goldberg masterfully weaves together a story involving family and violence set against the backdrop of an unforgiving Alaska of both past and present.” —Andrew Davie, author of Pavement and Ouroboros

“From the icy opening battle of man vs. wolf, you feel yourself in the hands of a master storyteller and that feeling never lets up.” —SJ Rozan, bestselling author of Paper Son

“This thrilling novel is rich in descriptions of the vast, snowy, and deadly wilderness of Alaska; it ably captures the type of person who chases gold.” —Foreword Reviews

“A story that blends the familiar and the supernatural in a manner that calls Stephen King’s work to mind. That said, Goldberg’s book possesses a flavor all its own—a distinctive mélange of the sincere and the strange.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Beautifully written, and capturing the unforgiving grit of Gold Rush Alaska, Lee Matthew Goldberg’s The Ancestor is a thrilling page-turner with an ache in its heart. I’m a huge fan.” —Roz Nay, author of Hurry Home and Our Little Secret

“A suspenseful historical thriller.” —Indie Reader

“One of the year’s best thrillers. Blake Crouch fans will love Goldberg’s Alaskan opus.” —BestThrillers


Amazon → https://amzn.to/31Oays9



1

       One eye open, the other frozen shut. He knows what an eye is, but that other “I” remains a mystery. Mind scooped out and left in ice. Words are hunted, slowly return. Blue sky, that’s what he sees. The sun twinkling like a diamond. Tundra, there’s another recalled word. Packed snow on all sides as if the world succumbed to white. The air a powerful whistle. A breeze blows, not a friend but a penance. It passes right through and chills to the core, this enemy wind. Limbs atrophied, no idea when they last moved. Boil of a sun thaws and prickles. Tiny spiders swinging from leg hairs, biting into flesh. He cries out but there is no sound. For it feels like he hasn’t spoken in centuries.
            Back of throat tastes of metal. Blood trapped in phlegm. A cough sends a splatter of red against the stark land, a streak in the form of a smile. When was the last time he ate? His stomach growls in agony, a good sign. Organs working, or at least attempting to work. His one eye scans to the left and the right, no sign of anyone, not even an animal. No chance for a savior or sustenance.
            He gums his jaw, the first inkling of movement. Aware of his scraggily beard coated in frost. Crystals spiral from his chin, collect in his lap. Now he sees his hands, luckily in gloves except they are a thin brown leather, rather useless. Bones crack as he maneuvers to remove the gloves. Fingers tremble once hit with fresh air and numbness subsides. Massages his legs, gets the blood flowing, an injection of life. The spiders accelerate and then relent, toes wiggle, and he sits up. Around his neck rests a notebook and a fountain pen, the tip crusted in flakes. He feels an object in a front pocket and pulls out a silver compact mirror, the back embroidered with floral patterns, ladylike. This is not my mirror, he decides, but then has a more important realization. Who am I? With trembling hands, he brings the mirror up to his face for a glance.
            The reflection of a stranger. All beard save for some features that emerge. A bulbous but authoritative nose, green eye flecked with gold, a mane of dark hair cascading to his shoulders. Handsome in a grizzled way. Shades of a bear in the roundness of his cheeks and a wolf in his stare.
            “I am…,” his lips try to say, but there is no answer. Often one can wake from a dream and the dream seems real for a moment, but a sense of self never vanishes. Whoever he was has been long gone, unlikely to return anytime soon. At least while he remains freezing in the wilderness.
            I must make it out of here.
            It’s relieving that he thinks of himself as an “I”. Whoever he is, he is someone. A mother birthed and fed him from her breast. A father taught him.…taught him what exactly? Survival skills? How to hunt? If he had a father worth his while, he’d know how to do this.
            And then, a caterwauling from the depths of his soul, a fawn-in-distress call that plants a trap for curious predators. He knows this sound well, meaning he’s lured prey before. His daddy schooled him like a good man should.      
            The waiting game. Another call erupts, a coyote’s howl this time. He can recognize the difference. Then it comes to him that he needs to know what to do should an animal appear. He pats down his pockets, no weapon but his fists. And then, the clinking of sharp nails against the ice sheet. A majestic wolf, eyes like the sky, shimmering coat the color of clouds. Its charcoal nose twitches; the blood he hacked up in plain sight. He and the wolf lock into a dueling stare, neither wanting to be the first to flinch. A vision of death with baring teeth, or the start of his new life if victorious. The wolf doesn’t give him a chance to contemplate, lunging with a mouth full of saliva. He catches it in a brutal embrace and becomes knocked off his heels, slamming his back against the hard ground. They skitter down a slick snowcap, snapping at one another like angry lovers. The wolf is relentless, a worthy opponent, a test of wills. He gets the beast in a headlock, trying to crack its neck, but the wolf is too slippery. Breath fumes from other kills circle into his nostrils—this wolf has never lost a battle before. Blood splashes, no clue which of them has been wounded. They spin in the snow like a tornado. He makes a fist, jams it in the wolf’s mouth. Teeth marks scrape against his knuckles as he rams his fist farther down the wolf’s throat. The wolf heaves, chokes, attempting to chew off his hand but its strategy is futile. It has only come across other animals, never a human mind that can think steps ahead.
            Now he attempts a headlock again with his left arm, squeezing off circulation. The wolf lets out a whimper that reverberates through his wrist. They lock into a dueling stare again, except this time he does not see the many kills of the wolf through its gaze. He visualizes its sadness, its inevitable end. And then, the sound of a heavy branch snapping, the wolf’s neck broken, his blood-soaked fist removed from the back of its throat. Its dead tongue lolling out of its mouth against the icy bed. He pets its beautiful coat, this formidable foe, now a present wrapped with a bow. Delectable to quench his all-consuming hunger.
He needs the clearest block of ice he can find. Using the wolf’s teeth to carve a fine translucent round piece, he creates a magnifying glass. He rubs the dirt away and keeps rubbing until enough moisture flecks off. There’s a bed of whittled grass at the slope he and wolf ended up in, and he holds the ice over the dry grass, propping it against two logs until a brilliant rainbow prism shoots through and ignites a fire. He rips off all the breakable branches he can locate to stoke the flames. While it continues to spread, he procures a rock to blunt out the wolf’s teeth, then uses them for the painstaking task of skinning the fur. He does it carefully so a semblance of a coat remains, which he dips into a nearby brook to wash away any lingering blood and sinew. The sun has mostly dipped behind the mountains and he wears the wolf’s coat to mask the chill, then roasts its carcass over the roaring fire, breaking off legs and gnawing while the true flesh still cooks.
            The meat is a godsend to his empty stomach and also an immediate poison that his body rejects by throwing up. But he sucks on some ice and the queasiness diminishes. By the time it’s fully cooked, darkness reigns and he feels more like a shell than anyone has before. Except with each chew, this lessens and soon he becomes human again. But the loneliness isn’t as easy to fight off. There are souls that feel lonely, he assumes, but at least they have themselves for company. They can rely on memories to help them through cold nights. He searches his mind for a wisp of the past, any nugget, wading through a never-ending sea. The horizon seemingly attainable, but with every stroke just as far away. He’d cry but the tears are frozen in his ducts, and his one eye still sealed shut.
            When enough of the wolf has been eaten so his belly distends like a newly pregnant woman, he feeds the fire with more broken limbs and curls up to its warmth, his only confident in this harsh wilderness, possibly his only companion forever—a lifetime of attempting to be caressed by flames and nothing more. He wraps himself tightly in the wolf’s fur, hoping that when he wakes again he’ll know who he is. The nightmare vanished along with the sun rising like a bride’s pretty little hand on his grizzled cheek.


 


 

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming, along with his Alaskan Gold Rush novel THE ANCESTOR. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press, Monologging and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website: http://www.leematthewgoldberg.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LeeMatthewG
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leemgol
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53472461-the-ancestor


Friday, October 23, 2020

A Chat with Joan Schweighardt, Author of 'River Aria'


Joan Schweighardt is the author of River Aria, which is both a standalone novel and the third book in a trilogy, as well as other novels, nonfiction titles, and children’s books. She is also a freelance writer and ghostwriter. Currently touring the blogosphere, she’s here today to discuss her novel, her series, the themes in her work, and her research conducted in South America. Visit her at www.joanschweighardt.com

Interview:


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

River Aria is narrated by Estela Hopper, who, as a ten-year-old girl living in the impoverished fishing village of Manaus, Brazil in the early 20th century, is offered a twist-of-fate opportunity to study opera with an esteemed voice instructor. During her years of instruction, Estela, who is talented, passionate and dramatic by nature, dreams of leaving Brazil to perform in New York. But as her beloved instructor is not able to convince the managers of the great Metropolitan Opera that they should bring on a mixed-race immigrant who grew up on the banks of the Amazon River to become an elite performer, Estela accepts what they do offer, a position in the sewing room, and leaves Brazil on a ship with her cousin JoJo in the year 1928.

The challenges that befall Estela and JoJo in New York are plentiful. Estela’s father, an Irish American who came to her village nearly twenty years earlier (at which time she was conceived), has a plan for what her life should look like once she is settled. Her relationship with JoJo changes drastically when he learns he was lied to about his own parentage, and again when he takes a dangerous job working for the owner of a speakeasy. And of course her personal challenges of finding some modicum of success in a place like New York are not only enormous but crushing to her once robust sense of self.

River Aria is a standalone novel, but it is also the last book in a trilogy that begins in 1908, in Manaus. Basically what happened, historically speaking, is that after the invention of the automobile, rubber, which had been used previously for things like shoe soles and manufacturing parts, was suddenly in extremely high demand. The Amazon rainforest is full of rubber trees, so entrepreneurs from all over Europe rushed to Manaus, which is centrally located on the Amazon river, and made it their headquarters for the rubber industry. There was nothing there, so they had to build their own mansions, hotels, restaurants, schools, and they built them all with the best materials, imported from Europe. But in 1912, rubber trees that had been planted on British territories in Southeast Asia began to produce, and the industry in South America came to a standstill. All the wealthy Europeans fled, and the amazing structures they had built to accommodate them were left to decay—which happens quickly in a region on the equator surrounded by rainforests. The centerpiece of their architectural achievement was the Teatro Amazonas, a magnificent opera house the rubber barons hoped would entice the world’s most elite performers to come to Manaus. The rubber boom was my inspiration for the entire series, but the Teatro Amazonas inspired River Aria.



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

I have published all three of the books in my “rivers” trilogy with Five Directions Press. Five Directions is a “by invitation only” publishing co-op. I feel very fortunate to be with them. As you might guess, the idea of a co-op is that everyone pitches in to ensure that each author’s book is as good as it can be. Decisions about what books to publish are based not on what the founders feel is likely to be a big commercial success but on the founders’ collective idea for what makes for a great read. All the authors at Five Directions are talented storytellers. I am in great company. 

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?

As noted above, my inspiration for River Aria was the opera house in Manaus, Brazil, and as the story unfolds on or near rivers (the Amazon and its tributaries in Brazil and the Hudson in New York), River Aria seemed like the perfect title. Also, in many ways the story is itself an aria. It has an aria’s characteristics: it’s told in one voice, and it’s quite dramatic. 

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

We have a cover designer at Five Directions Press. I worked with her in the designing of the first book in the trilogy, called Before We Died, and we decided that we could keep the same basic design for all three books, varying the colors. I love the design, which features lush tropical leaves and bird of paradise flowers,  and given that all three books touch in someway on the lushness of the Brazilian rainforest, it’s a good fit.

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

Courtney Hall is one of the founders at Five Directions Press.

How was your experience working with the designer? 

Good; she is very professional. In fact, she has a day job designing covers for a large book company.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover? 

Readers seem to love the covers. A lot of people have commented on them.

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

If you will be overseeing your own cover design, you can take your time and check out the work of multiple designers. But if you are working with your publisher’s designer, remember she or he has a limited amount of time to produce a great cover for you. Go in with some idea of what you want and what you don’t want.

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

I’m grateful for the space you’ve allotted me to talk about River Aria and my publishing process. Thank you.


Monday, October 19, 2020

Book Blast & Giveaway: THE WICKED CRIES WOLF by McKenna Grey






THE WICKED CRIES WOLF

McKenna Grey
Romantic Suspense / Thriller

In the shadow of Alaska’s Chugach Mountains, a darkness lurks and threatens a quiet coastal village in The Wicked Cries Wolf, the third book in the Kyndall Family Thriller series.

A woman desperate for solitude. A man with an enemy he can’t see. A dangerous game neither wants to play.

International bestselling author Meaghan Ryers has gained wealth, success, and fame . . . and all she wants is to be left alone. When her sister suggests she escape to someplace quiet where no one will find her, Meaghan picks a spot on the map and heads for Alaska.

Sheriff Donovan Kyndall of Stewart’s Crossing, Alaska, arrives at the scene of a car fire after receiving a mysterious call. He doesn’t expect a woman from out of town to be at the scene, begging him to believe someone was killed. As clues into the fire emerge, Donovan has to ask himself how she’s connected and how a caller knows details from his own tragic past.

As the truth is revealed, Donovan and Meaghan are entangled in a puzzle of lies, treachery, and clues they must decode if they are to survive.

 


The Dragon’s Staircase is a mind boggling adventure that will keep you guessing until the last page." Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick

"Holy smokes! This is one suspenseful, anxiety-ridden, skin-crawling tale of murder, mystery, and psychological creepiness. Looking for a hard-to-figure-out mystery with a side order of nail biting? Then look no further!"  InD'tale Magazine on The Dragon's Staircase

“McKenna Grey & Everly Archard, I loved this book! I was captured, terrorized, thrilled, and couldn’t put it down. I loved the first book in the Kyndall Family Thrillers, “The Dragon’s Staircase”, and this one ... well I read it in one day! I love all the Kyndall family characters and their love and protectiveness towards each other. Your mix of romance and thriller really is astounding! I cannot wait for book number three about Donovan Kyndall to come out.” —Kindle Reviewer on Shadow of the Forgotten

“I was literally at the edge of my seat. The suspense level is amazing.”

—Donna McBroom-Theriot, My Life, One Story at a Time

“I’m amazed at how smooth these two authors have combined their talents into one fabulous story." –Linda Thompson, Host of www.TheAuthorsShow.com

“THE DRAGON’S STAIRCASE by McKenna Grey and Everly Archard is romantic suspense full of thrills and spine-tingling moments. The twist at the end is as unexpected as it is disconcerting . . . the story keeps you guessing at every turn. This is a great start to a series that promises to be full of wonderful surprises."

Readers’ Favorite

"LOVED! LOVED! LOVED Shadow of the Forgotten, written by McKenna Grey and Everly Archard. A suspenseful story that makes you feel excited or anxious about what is going to happen next. It starts with fast action and it keeps going on until the very end. You won’t be disappointed! These authors have nicely woven endearing characters into a wilderness background that adds a touch of mystery. It's gripping from the start to finish.” —Nicole Laverdure on Shadow of the Forgotten

“Beware, this new series is highly addictive! It’s suspenseful, mysterious, and riveting! You won’t want to miss it!" —Nicole Laverdure on “Blade of Death”

"A well written story and well developed characters . . . give the reader an exciting ride of investigation and the gentleness of a protective loving relationship."

—Lyn Ehley, Book Reviewer

Amazonhttps://amzn.to/3a99S4d

B&N: https://bit.ly/2Dz3wzi

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-wicked-cries-wolf-mckenna-grey/1137085944?ean=2940164339043

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-wicked-cries-wolf

iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1515852075

 


All titles in this series can be read as stand-alone books.

“Blade of Death” – Short Story Prequel

The Dragon’s Staircase – Book One

Shadow of the Forgotten – Book Two

The Wicked Cries Wolf - Book Three

 




Prologue

Fire snaked into his lungs. Suffocating. Debilitating. He couldn’t breathe, his body immobile. He clawed at the air, at the coarse rope binding his feet, at everything his hands managed to reach. Why were his hands free?

Is this how someone feels when they burn?

Helios promised him there would be consequences. It had only been one more fire, one more kill. He had craved it more than he feared Helios’s warning.

One more mistake.

Smoke curled upward from the flames, dancing up the walls in a seductive swirl of lights and sound. The crackling of gunshots echoed somewhere beyond the steel door.

No chance of escape.

He didn’t deserve to die this way. His scream lodged deep in his lungs, so deep it burned his insides. A round of hacking coughs escaped his scorched lips. He desperately wanted water or a beer. Yes, when he got out of this—if he made it—he’d down a whole six-pack of Bud Light and thank whatever powers that be for his salvation.

I’ll be good. If you let me live, God, I’ll be good forever.

Did he hear his name coming back to him from the darkness beyond the flames? Yes, but from where, exactly?

Damian.

It’s only in my head. No. No, no, no!

He heard shouts, or was fear mocking him? He yanked at the ropes around his ankles and brought away flesh covered in his own blood. Why couldn’t he move?

The door pounded. No, someone pounded on the door. The blaze caressed the floor around him, moving closer with a lover’s passion, inch by inch. He heard the loud crash this time and was certain someone stood on the other side of the door. A gust of air whooshed into the room and the fire found new life. It tormented him, licked his skin. A scream escaped, louder now because of the burn. Two strong bodies in masks lifted him away from the center of the inferno. His eyes remained opened, even as the sensation of floating carried him away from the chamber. He’d promised to be good and he would be. No man or woman or creature walking the earth could claim to be so good as he from this moment on and into forever.

Darkness consumed his whispered thanks while a cacophony of sirens trumpeted his fall into oblivion.








 

 


McKenna Grey is the contemporary alter-ego of an award-winning, historical romance author. She writes romantic suspense, including the Kyndall Family series, and heartwarming, small-town romance to break up the murder and mayhem. She enjoys a quiet life in the northern Rocky Mountains.

 

Website: https://www.mckennagrey.com





McKenna Grey is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
  • This giveaway ends midnight October 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on November 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway





 
http://www.pumpupyourbook.com



Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Q&A on Book Covers with Cary D. Lowe Author Becoming American #BecomingAmerican


Cary Lowe is the author of the award-winning book Becoming American: A Political Memoir. He has published over fifty essays on political and civic issues in major newspapers, as well as professional reports and articles in professional journals.

Mr. Lowe is a retired California land use lawyer with 45 years of experience representing public agencies, developers, Indian tribes, and non-profit organizations. He holds a law degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He taught courses in law and urban planning at USC, UCLA, and UC San Diego, and he writes and lectures on land use and environmental issues. In addition to his legal experience, Mr. Lowe is a credentialed mediator affiliated with the Land Use & Environmental Mediation Group of the National Conflict Resolution Center.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website:  https://carylowewriter.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/carylowewriter/?modal=admin_todo_tour

 

 

 

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

My memoir entitled Becoming American chronicles my experience of being transformed from a child of Holocaust survivors in post-war Europe to an American lawyer, academic, and activist associated with many of the most prominent political causes and campaigns of our time.

The book began as a stand-alone story I wrote for relatives and friends about a trip with my daughter to Eastern Europe to visit our family’s places of origin, and particularly to find a hidden cemetery outside Prague containing the graves of my paternal great-grandparents. I subsequently wrote more stories about my life growing up in Europe in the years following World War II, with parents who were Holocaust survivors. After writing a half dozen stories, I realized they were forming a narrative that could become the basis for a book, covering not only my youth in Europe but also our immigration to the United States and my professional and political careers here. That first story became the opening chapter and portions of subsequent chapters.

 My other inspiration was a desire to contribute positively to the national discussion around immigration and American identity. I wanted my book to provide an inspiring tale of how much an immigrant can contribute to the social, political, and economic culture of America while still retaining ties to one’s ancestral roots.

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

I originally hoped to interest a major publisher in my book. That required getting an agent. I soon discovered, in the course of querying agents, how difficult it is to interest such publishers in a memoir written by someone other than a known celebrity. I then began contacting independent publishers directly. Black Rose quickly requested the full book manuscript and subsequently offered me a publishing contract. My inquiries with other writers whose work they had published all yielded positive responses, so I signed with that publisher.

The publishing process itself went smoothly, with release of the book taking place about six months after entering into the contract. During that time, I worked with the publisher on final edits, on the cover design, and on preparations for initial marketing. Unfortunately, the book’s release date occurred in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which upended many of my marketing plans.

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 experimented with several possible titles, seeking reactions from fellow writers, agents, and friends. In the end, I went with one of my earliest choices, which had received by far the most favorable responses. All of that took place while I was writing the book, so I had settled on my preferred title by the time I submitted my manuscript to the publisher.

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

During the entire time I was writing the book, I had no idea what the cover would look like. Once I signed with my publisher, their design staff proposed a cover design. After tweaking that a bit, we agreed on the final design.

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

The cover designer is employed by my publisher and works with all their writers.

How was your experience working with the designer?

That experience was fine. I suggested themes I wanted to emphasize. The designer then produced something attractive that effectively incorporated those ideas. He subsequently made some changes based on my feedback. After publication, when my book won an award, the publisher was happy to add that to the front cover.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?

The responses from fellow writers, friends, and other readers has been very positive, as to the images, the colors, and the reviewer blurbs.

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

I was fortunate in not needing to find a cover designer, as my publisher performed that service in-house. From the experiences of fellow writers, I suggest examining the covers of books in the same genre that have done well and finding out, if possible, who designed them. If you have strong feelings about the design, you should make sure to select a designer who is flexible enough to work with you on the final product.

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

The cover, the title, and the first page(s) are an author’s first and best opportunities to catch a potential reader’s attention. I am happy that I spent the necessary time and effort to make those elements as good as possible.


Book Info:

Becoming American is the inspiring story of the author’s transformation from a child of Holocaust survivors in post-war Europe to an American lawyer, academic, and activist associated with such famed political leaders as Robert Kennedy, George McGovern, Jerry Brown, and Tom Hayden.

Searching for his great-grandparents’ graves in a hidden cemetery outside Prague makes him recall his experiences of becoming American: listening to Army Counterintelligence agents gathered at his family home in Austria; a tense encounter with Russian soldiers during the post-war occupation; seeing Jim Crow racism in the South during his first visit to the United States; becoming an American citizen in his teens; having his citizenship challenged by border guards; fearing for his new country upon witnessing the Watts riots in Los Angeles; advancing the American dream as a real estate lawyer, helping develop entire new communities; and rising to leadership positions in organizations shaping government policies around some of the most important issues of our time.

Becoming American won the 2020 Discovery Award for best political writing from an independent publisher. It features a foreword by bestselling author Edith Eger.

ORDER YOUR COPY

Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3njh97y

B&N:

https://bit.ly/2Gi81Qe