Hidden Chamber of Death Book Tour @GoddessFish

Hidden Chamber of Death

by Hawk MacKinney

The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series, Book One

 

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ROOM WITH BOOKS encourages our readers to follow the tour and leave comments.

 

GENRE: Mystery/Suspense

 

About the Book

strong safety deposit box in a retro style

Hidden Chamber of Death is a compelling tale of intrigue, murder, deception and suspense that leads retired Navy SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram in search of the connection between seemingly random murders and a banking conspiracy.  Working with the local homicide investigator, who just happens to be a former Navy buddy, Craige Ingram’s attempts to protect a lonely widow and solve the case before another person dies are only thwarted by a psychotic killer whose motivation is based on pure depraved pleasure.  In this first book of the MOCCASIN HOLLOW MYSTERY SERIES, the instincts and skills Ingram and his buddy acquired as Navy SEALS are tested to their limits.

 

Book Trailer

 

 

Excerpt

The battered, green side door with its peeling, leprosy paint framed one small window with smudged shattered wire-glass. The door cracked just enough for a pair of bright blue eyes to peek out at him.

A voice said, “That you, Mister Craige?” The grey head was hardly visible.

“Yes,” Craige said. “Sallie Mae, that you?” Got no answer, and she didn’t come out.

The door left ajar; rusty hinges squeaked as Craige pushed against it and stepped into a vacuous, black void, the air heavy with a peculiar, stale warmth. He was more than queasy. It had the makings of a perfect ambush layout. Talk about the perfect setup. If Zeb hadn’t OKed the time and place, he would’ve been out of there. Except for jumbled, grimy clutter and vague outlines in a trashed yawning interior, he could make out no details. As his eyes adjusted, Craige found himself facing two frail figures who’d been standing there the whole time.

“Sallie Mae?”

With a fragile movement Sallie Mae said, “Right here. A’gatha Ruth here’s not too pleased about Zeb tellin’ you where to find us.”

“Don’t like this a darn tootin’,” Agatha said. “Nobody’s bizness.” She was testy. “Plenty robbin ‘n ‘killin’ to be took care of ‘stead of cops pokin’ in folk’s private matters. Botherin’ folks what druthers be left alone.”

“I don’t work for the police,” Craige said.

Agatha continued, “Fiddle-de-dee, who you think you’re foolin’? Tain’t a mite of difference twixt you and MacGerald ‘cept he calls it what it be—cop.” She had wizened, bottomless eyes. “Claimin’ we make corn squeezin’s.” Her ire rose. “Don’t try puttin’ no lyin’ to me. I know what the likes of you is after. Them bunch of scallywags wants you to help take away Sallie Mae’s croup potions.” Wiped her mouth with her hand. “That’s what, you’re after Sallie’s makin’s.” She didn’t care for him one bit.

“We been run out from lots’a places,” Sallie Mae said. “Lord knows, these old bones don’t take up much room, and these empty buildings ain’t no use fer nothin’ much.”

Craige interrupted, “Zeb told me you saw the killing in the bank’s garage.”

“Both of us seen it,” Agatha said. “What you want to know for anyhow? We ain’t talkin’ to no cops. Might as well git that out on the table right now. They throw us in jail, say we the ones what did it till we tell where our still wuz.”

“You see who did it?” Craige asked.

“‘Course we seen the man who done it,” Sallie Mae said. “Didn’t see no face, saw his big black car, the kind what rich folks drive.” She shook her head. “Lordy mercy, that poor woman didn’t have no chance.”

Agatha nodded, “Skeer a body plumb to death. Gives me chill blains jus’ thinkin’ on it. Like some animal, like he wadn’t mad. Jes took o’nry mean pleasure beating her.”

Craige asked, “You know it was a man?”

“Jesus my all!” Agatha Ruth spit snuff juice into a paper stuffed big peach can. “You ain’t much good at detecting if you cain’t tell whether a body be man or woman. Maybe you need readin’ glasses. Gettin’ a mite blurry myself, but I don’t have to see a body close-up to tell it was a man, and sure didn’t want that one close-up no how. Tell by the way he hit. He was hefty enough he didn’t have to put much swing to it. Kept whackin’n’whackin’, blood everywhere. Even after she mostly quit moving, he kept hittin’n’hittin’, her legs just’a jerkin’.”

Craige made a mental note to check with Fred if any clothing, gloves, anything showed DNA different from any of the victims.

“Awful!” Sallie Mae shivered. “We hunkered down so he wouldn’t see us.” The filtered light framed Sallie Mae’s dignified, wrinkled face, ancient beyond years with a proud reserve.

Agatha said, “Even after the police got there, we never told them what we seen.”

 

Book Review

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Hidden Chamber of Death, Book One of The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series, by Hawk MacKinney for the purpose of an honest review.

It is my pleasure to have had the opportunity to read and review Hidden Chamber of Death by Hawk MacKinney.

This is the first book of Mr. MacKinney’s that I have read, but not the first I have heard of his writing. He has been a frequent visitor here on Room With Books. And an author that it has been my pleasure to host time and again.

I was not disappointed for a moment with Hidden Chamber of Death. I love the way Mr. MacKinney writes his characters, real enough you can hear them talking in your head as you read along and so alive you could almost reach out and touch them.

The search for a psychotic (no, TRULY psychotic) killer makes this first book in The Moccasin Trace Series an absolute thrill to read. I know I consumed Hidden Chamber of Death without hesitation once I began reading it.

I highly recommend Hidden Chamber of Death, Book One of The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series, by Hawk MacKinney and encourage you to pick up a copy right away. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed with it!

I give Hidden Chamber of Death by Hawk MacKinney five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee (the first cups I’ve given since learning how to use my new Keurig ;-).)

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DIVIDER

©March 9, 2016

Patricia, Room With BooksDIVIDER

Purchase Links

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01APHN1YE/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hidden-chamber-of-death-hawk-mackinney/1123258381

 

Q&A with the Author

Do you have any relation to a homicide investigator?

Not on a regular basis. I do know investigator(s) on specific cases, the `professional’ who eyes the bizarre with a keen mind and keener paranoia/suspicions lurking in the human animal.

Are your characters based on or inspired from real people?

All of them…people-watching is fascinating. Zoo-animals studied in airports, restaurants, malls, shopping centers, rest stops, freeway drivers with their “smart” phones, driving with their feet. Anywhere one can observe Pavlovian behavior that often has to be cleaned up before painting murder & mayhem with words…chaos WAY beyond sordid X-rated.

Which was the hardest character to write?

”Hardest” doesn’t describe the wrap enclosing complex character(s), but they’re the most exciting to bring to life. The more difficult a character is to create, the more the reader enjoys it. Gimme a good character, and I can take a reader anywhere…even across the galaxies. Don’t ever forget the reader.

My most difficult character in Hidden Chamber:

The complexities of the Bergamot character…Zebulon embodied divergences & personality facets that let him turn on a dime, yet ones that couldn’t be loosed to the reckless…a guarded character who never took anything for granted…except Grannie’s kindness & hero-worship of the protagonist.

Which was the easiest character to write?

”Easiest” is simple. The victims of felony foul murder OR the connivers who delude themselves into believe no one knows what they’re doing. It’s the oldest of trip-ups that can derail a PI on the trail/hunt, or trap the most devious.

My easiest character in Hidden Chamber:

It was Terri. Coming from families of strong, voluptuous, warm, fascinating, determined, creative, utterly feminine Southron women, her character was practically pre-written for me before I could walk. With her opposites also part of the gene pool bloodlines, contrasts between polar opposites make great examples. Luved ‘em all…well…most of ‘em.

What is the last great book you’ve read?

Boots On The Ground. Nonfiction, gruff & gritty about the sweat, tears, sordid, sad, success of some of our finest special forces, and how much we ALL owe them, as well as the hog pen stench of cover-ups by the higher-ups…military & civilian.

Do you schedule a number of book signings per year; budget for advertising and marketing; and attend conferences or other writers’ events?

The publishing/marketing/editing team members often suggest things throughout the year–often a year or more in advance. It never becomes a priority with this writer. BUT advance scheduling it’s a good managing road map, mainly for managing time, but for eliminating unexpected time-eaters as well.

 

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About the Author

Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. Following graduation, he served in the US Navy for over 20 years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.

In addition to professional articles and texts on fetal and adult anatomy, Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. This was followed by the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. In a change of direction, October of 2012 saw the release of Hawk’s first science fiction novel, The Bleikovat Event, in The Cairns of Sainctuarie series. Volume II in The Cairns of Sainctuarie series, The Missing Planets, was released in 2014 with Volume III in the works.

Hawk’s latest project focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was just released, and Book 2 in the series, Westobou Gold, will be released in the fall.

Connect with the Author

http://www.hawkmackinney.com

http://hawkmackinney.net/index_htm_files/hidden_chamber_of_death.mp4

 

Giveaway

Hawk MacKinney will be awarding a $20 Amazon/B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

The Mapkeeper and the Rise of the Wardens Book Tour @the_katiecash @GoddessFish

The Mapkeeper and

the Rise of the Wardens

by Katie Cash

 

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ROOM WITH BOOKS encourages our readers to follow the tour and leave comments.

 

GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy

 

About the Book

A teenage girl in future North America discovers that she is heir to a magical map which transports her to another world called Praxis, where her position as Mapkeeper is held in high regard. She is expected to learn to use the map’s magic to help the creatures of Praxis defend their homeland against the dark magic of the Wardens, a group of ancient beings whose magic is stirring again after centuries of peace.

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Excerpt

The walk to school was gorgeous and still. The gentlest snowfall drifted from the gray sky, dusting last night’s snowfall with a fresh final layer of fluff. The padding of snow muffled the sounds of the small town coming to life.

To Lucy’s surprise, there was a large crowd of townspeople gathered around Frostbite High when it came into sight. They spilled into the parking lot, cramming themselves against one another, trying to get a view of someone or something at the center of the outdoor courtyard. Lucy’s curiosity was piqued—nothing interesting ever happened at Frostbite.

“What’s going on?” Luke asked.

“I don’t know… I don’t remember any of the teachers saying there would be an event on Monday,” Mack replied.

The Barnes siblings quickened their pace. The low murmur of excited voices emanated from the crowd. People pointed toward the center of the courtyard and stood on tip-toes to get a better view. An inexplicable apprehension formed somewhere deep within Lucy’s stomach.

The siblings weaved through several parked snow mobiles and reached the edge of the crowd in the parking lot. They shouldered their way in until they had a clear view of the courtyard. There was a group of people seated in high-backed chairs on stage, but Lucy couldn’t make out their faces.

“Who are they?” Mack asked a man who was squeezed up against him.

“It’s Mr. Quincy and his staff!” the gray-bearded man muttered. “He’s supposed to make some special announcement, just for us here in Aglid.” The man’s eyes darkened with mistrust.

Author Interview

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Katie Cash, author of The Mapkeeper and the Rise of the Wardens.

Hi Katie, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background.

I grew up mostly in San Diego, California. While being outdoors, playing sports, and going to the beach have always been a big part of what makes me who I am, I have always loved to read and write, and always knew I wanted to be an author. I am thrilled to have kicked off my career as an author with the publication of my first novel!

What were you like at school?

I always preferred English and Language Arts to math, although I enjoyed science quite a bit too. I ended up majoring in oceanography in college, which was wonderful. I guess you could say I enjoyed things across a wide spectrum at school. I was also a huge doodler and note-passer with my friends 😀

Were you good at English?

I like to think that I was, but English is such a tough language that everyone always has room to improve! There is always more to learn; room to grow.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I hope to finish out The Mapkeeper series with two more novels, then I am considering branching out into different genres—maybe suspense thrillers. Then again, I just might continue to write in the YA fantasy genre. We will see how it goes! Either way, I will definitely continue to write.

Which writers inspire you?

I am constantly discovering amazing new writers to add to my bank of inspiration! Most recently, I read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern and was absolutely enthralled by her clever use of colorful language. She has an incredible gift for crafting magical, imaginative narrative. A.J. Banner’s The Good Neighbor was a suspense thriller I could not put down! She captured my imagination and left me craving answers to the unknowns of her novel. I also find Clive Cussler’s writing to be especially gripping. As far as more classic writers, I am a big fan of Ray Bradbury, C.S. Lewis, John Steinbeck, and even John Donne. There is something to be gleaned from all types of writers, and I just can’t get enough!

Give us an insight into Lucy Barnes. What does she do that makes her special?

Lucy Barnes does not think there is anything especially unique about herself, but she discovers that she is braver than she thought when she is faced with challenging situations. At a young age, Lucy is forced to step into a massive leadership role, and while she is perpetually nervous that she will not live up to expectations, she discovers that she has more to offer than she ever thought possible. She is also exceptionally loyal and devoted to her family and friends. She will go to the ends of the earth to help someone in need, another quality that, never having had to do so before, she did not know that she possessed.

What are you working on at the minute?

Haha- I like the phrasing of the question. At this MINUTE I am working on The Mapkeeper, book two! It is as yet untitled (it will likely be The Mapkeeper and… Something). The title usually unveils itself once the majority of the book is written.

Which actress would you like to see playing Lucy Barnes from The Mapkeeper and the Rise of the Wardens?

I don’t really envision my novel as a movie in all honesty. Of course, it would be incredible if it were to be made into a movie one day, but as this is unlikely, I don’t really bother with thinking about it much. I simply want to share my story with appreciative readers. That is what really makes me happy!

What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing?

As I said before, I have always known that I wanted to be an author. It took me two years after graduating college, but eventually I decided that life wasn’t going to slow down and give me time to write, so I needed to start making time to write. I haven’t stopped since!

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I do not structure my writing time. I generally write when I find I have at least an hour of alone-time, which I am lucky to have most days. There may come a day when I do find the need to structure and schedule my time down to the hour, but for now, I do not need to.

Where do your ideas come from?

I have always wanted to write in the young adult fantasy genre. I usually begin with a set of main characters and then develop the setting. From there, the story grows in my mind around a very general idea of what the plot might be.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I generally outline my stories, but the characters always find a way to surprise me anyway. They take the plots I create and change them, throwing new twists and turns into the story that even I didn’t see coming!

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Devoting time to write can be daunting! Actually sitting down and putting words on paper is surprisingly difficult. I wish I would write more often than I do, but it is sometimes difficult to convince myself that I am in the mood to write, which is silly. I should just write!!!

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.

I am constantly reading! I also listen to audio books in my car, so I generally have anywhere from two to five different books going at once! My favorite authors include C.S. Lewis, John Steinbeck, James Patterson, Clive Cussler, Margaret Mitchell, Mary Higgins Clark, J.R.R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, Aldous Huxley, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dean Koontz, and too many others to name.

For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I prefer traditional hard or paperback books, but I end up reading mostly ebooks because of convenience.

What books are you reading currently?

Currently I am reading The Golden Compass – His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, Paper Towns by John Green, and The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble.

Please tell us about the cover and how it came about.

My wonderful cover designer, Diana Buidoso, was kind enough to work with me on a number of revisions to create the perfect cover design. I am so grateful for her talent and incredible work ethic!

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one?

At this time I do not intend to create a book trailer.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

It certainly helps increase the number of people who have my book in their possession. I did a three-day giveaway, and my number of free downloads in those three days was staggering. Still, I have not seen the reward yet in reviews or purchases. Selling books is a marathon, not a sprint. I do not expect instant gratification and I am still completely satisfied when I engage a reader’s imagination and a able to share my story with someone who appreciates it. That’s all I aim to do at this point in time. Sales are always nice, though! It seems to me that $2.99 is a small price to pay compared to the three years I spent perfecting my work. Of course, consumers are choosy, as they should be, and it will take time and more good reviews to increase my sales numbers. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the ride. 🙂

How do you relax?

I like to run. It gives me time to think about my life and my writing. I sort out all kinds of problems when I’m running—and I’ve even had epiphanies while running that lead to some great portions of book one of the Mapkeeper series! Sleep is also good. I love sleep! 🙂

What is your favorite quote?

It is impossible to pinpoint a single quote as my favorite, but here are two of my favorites:

“Stuff your eyes with wonder… live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds.” –Ray Bradbury

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” –C.S. Lewis

What is your favorite movie?

Again, that is incredibly tough to nail down! I’ll just leave it at this: I love anything with Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, or Melissa McCarthy in it!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Check out www.katiecashwriting.com

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

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About the Author

Katie Cash is an active duty military officer who lives in San Diego with her husband and their cat. She enjoys running, surfing, competing in triathlons, and, of course, writing. She also hosts an annual badminton tournament, rides a 150cc Vespa scooter, and plays the cello. She can most often be found exploring new running trails, at the beach, hunkered down writing in a coffee shop, or sampling a new local craft beer at one of San Diego’s many craft breweries.

Connect with the author

Website: http://www.katiecashwriting.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/the_katiecash

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katiecashwriting?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017CK0T3I

 

Giveaway

Katie Cash will be awarding a $25 Amazon/B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Page Book Tour

The Page

by M. Jonathan Lee

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BLURB

Following a tragic car accident, Michael Sewell is alone for the first time. The loss of his wife, Margaret after thirty years of marriage has left a hole far greater than Michael could have imagined.

Persuaded to go on holiday, by his daughter Jane, a page blown from a book crosses the pool and sticks to his chest. The words from the page resonate with Michael, describing in detail the exact events leading up to the accident.

Now, Michael must delve into his past and face his future, taking him and his family on a horrifying and tragic journey toward the truth.

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EXCERPT

The rain wasn’t falling. It was forcing itself out of the shadow of the moonlit clouds and smashing down to the earth below.

The tall, lean figure of a man exited through the door, leaving the relative warmth of the building behind him. He strode forwards intently towards the scattering of cars part-hidden in the darkness of the car park. From inside the pocket of his trousers he pressed the button on his keys. The car awoke, momentarily lighting the dim scene with a flash and emitting its chirpy beep. The man pulled open the door and sat in the driver’s seat. He removed his gold, half-rimmed glasses and wiped the rain from his forehead.

A few moments later he was followed by a short and very slightly overweight woman. The woman, no more than sixty years of age, looked flustered. From the warmth inside she had swept her belongings into her bag and quickly headed outside after the man. She pushed open the door and stood for a moment, half inside the pub and half outside. Until now she hadn’t noticed it was raining. She stood for a while under the porch, taking in the scene. The car park was fairly quiet with maybe five or six cars dotted around its vastness. Large trees surrounded the area. The heavy rain on the leaves weighed down the boughs, pointing accusatory fingers at her. Across to her right, the brightly lit sign of the pub swayed backwards and forwards, making a repetitive creaking sound. Usually, in this kind of weather she would wait under the canopy, protected from the rain, whilst the man brought the car to her. She knew tonight wasn’t usual. Tonight, if she was going to get in the car at all, she would have to make her own way there. Tonight, it wasn’t going to come to her.

The engine of the long black car began to spew grey smoke which glowed red as it wound itself through the rear lights. To save time she folded the top of her handbag over instead of zipping it and, grasping it tightly in both hands, headed towards the lights. The rain continued to fall, soaking her with each step. Her journey toward the lights was not as fast as that of the man; her high heeled shoes wouldn’t allow that.

The passenger side mirror allowed the man to watch her get ever closer. It was too dark to make out her expression, but it was obvious to him she was struggling to make her journey through the rain toward him. He smiled.

When she was about ten feet away, the man shifted the gear stick into reverse and accelerated at speed. The wet gravel crunched as it was displaced by the wheels. Startled, the woman paused and the man swung forwards, brushing her arm with the wing mirror. Abruptly, the car came to a stop. The woman’s soaking face, lit by the car’s interior lights, was now in his view.

She took a step back and pulled the door handle. The door clicked open and the woman threw her handbag into the passenger foot-well and climbed into the passenger seat. She let out a loud sigh and reached into her bag. From it she pulled a small packet of pocket-sized tissues and pulled down the sun-visor to use the mirror.

The man retrieved his glasses from the dashboard in front of him and looked at her. His face was expressionless.

She was aware he was watching but ignored him and began to remove the make-up that the rain had helped to distribute around her face. She licked the tissue and carefully wiped away the track marks which led from her eyes like black tears. She would not return his stare. This time, for once, she would be strong.

 

AUTHOR Interview

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Jonathan M. Lee author of The Page.

Hi Jonathan, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I was born and raised in a small Northern town in England. I still live in that little town today.

What were you like at school? Were you good at English?

I was a pretty good student and English was my outstanding subject.  Unfortunately, I did also have a tendency to play the class clown so I spent just as long out of the class as in it. I loved English though and it’s really left a lasting mark for me.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Ultimately, I’d like to be able to make a career from writing alone. I feel I have a thousand stories to tell, and to be able to write for a living would be fantastic.  Perhaps one day I’ll give up the day job…

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?

He is awful. Perhaps the most objectionable character that you could hope to meet. He is superior, feels that he alone has worked out what life is about and nothing could ever change that. Until one day, a random page blown from a book changes everything.

What are you working on currently?

I’m writing a book called A Tiny Feeling of Fear – a book that follows a character who can give the impression to the world that everything is okay, yet alone he feels things differently. Then something happens which means that the world can finally see how he feels and his whole life path changes because of that.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I got divorced completely out of the blue. I was suddenly living back with my parents in my mid-thirties and suddenly separated from my kids for half of the week. This was one of the most difficult times of my life, and sitting down to fulfil my dream and write got me through.

Where do your ideas come from?

Great question. The answer is absolutely everywhere. I observe the most innocuous of events and then weave them into stories.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I write one or two sentences as the overall plot. I visualise the characters and then start. By the time I begin writing I already know what I am going to write about although the plot changes sometimes surprise even me!

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Finding time. Five kids and a full time job come first. Then I find time for writing…

For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

Paperbacks. Always. I used to love walking around a pool on holiday and seeing the covers of everybody’s choices. Nowadays I’m afraid that there are kindles galore and this open expression of taste is gone.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

I do. It depends what you want to achieve. I love telling stories and yes, one day I’d like to make a small living from the royalties, but for now I just want my work out there for people to read. You’ll note on my website I’m actually giving up my royalties in a competition for The Page anyway!

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Check out my website at www.jonathanleeauthor.com – there’s lots of information on there and of course, a chance to ‘solve’ The Page and win my royalties. You can find me on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview. I’m sure our readers will agree it’s a pleasure to learn more about you.

 

AUTHOR Bio and Links

A SPECIAL UPCOMING CONTEST FROM THE AUTHOR

The Page has 15 clues which to a lesser or greater extent give away the twist in the final chapter. The clues are inserted into the text and hopefully are well-hidden. To celebrate the release of The Page in February 2015, a competition will be run. We will invite people to identify the clues and enter (when they have ten or more – as some may be so well hidden they are never found) through my website: www.jonathanleeauthor.com. The competition will close 163 days after the release of The Page, and the winner (i.e. the one who identified the most clues – in the event of a tie – at random) will win:

1) One month’s royalties earned from The Page;

2) The original manuscript (of which there is only one);

3) A numbered and signed copy of The Page – review copy – there are only 20 of these worldwide;

4) A signed copy of my back catalogue in paperback or kindle version;

5) The Page promotional mug;

6) A free signed copy of all future novels released by me for life.

The overall winner will win 1-6 above. 2nd/3rd will received 4-6 only.

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Jonathan Lee was born in a small mining town somewhere in the north of England. His first novel, The Radio was nationally shortlisted in The Novel Prize 2012 for new authors, coming second from over 4,000 entries. The Radio was published in April 2013 and has received critical acclaim and sold more than 5,000 copies. His second novel, The Page is published in Spring 2015.

My website is here: www.jonathanleeauthor.comTwitter: @j0n4th4n_lee; Facebook; and Amazon.

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

 

GIVEAWAY

Jonathan will be awarding one (1) of only 20 limited run, signed review copies of The Page and one (1) signed first edition of The Radio to a randomly drawn winner (International) via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.

The tour dates can be found here

 

Fallenwood Book Tour

Fallenwood

by Leslie D. Soule

NBTM_TourBanner_Fallenwood

 

 

About the Book

Fallenwood – where your dreams and nightmares are only a portal away…

Fallenwood—a land where magic is the life force, dragons are sages, and wizards good and evil battle for supremacy. When 23-year-old Ash is thrust into the middle of Fallenwood’s power struggles, she is also forced to face her own inner battles. Life on Earth was hard enough on Ash, who is locked in grief for her stepfather. Now, the fate of Fallenwood rests on her shoulders. She must destroy the Great Crystal—the catalyst for all the land’s magic. As the kingdoms prepare for war, Ash must look inside to find the power to save the world, and herself.

Purchase Link

Amazon

 

BookCover_Fallenwood

 

Excerpt

Ah, that feels better. He yawned. Over the years, he’d become accustomed to the particulars of being a cat. He had not always been one. Once known as a man named Alexander Dorrin in a former life, he had been a royal messenger for the Kingdom of Evendown, and he always wore his favorite white boots trimmed with gold thread—a masterwork. In his messenger days, Alexander knew he just had to own them for himself. They made him feel like a king, and he had been transformed when wearing them. Now, as a cat, he still wore them. He sported other clothes, too, during his transformation, but his boots were the only item that seemed to transfer their colors. Having white paws was one of the only consolations to his change, as they reminded him of his boots and made him feel less naked.

How completely heartbreaking and humiliating his transformation had been! The thought of it still brought tears to his eyes.

 

Author Interview

Today I’m pleased to be interviewing Leslie D. Soule, author of Fallenwood.

Hi Leslie, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Sure! Well, I have an M.A. in English, and I’ve always had an interest in fantasy. I have family who live up in Crescent City, California, and although I’m in the city here in Sacramento, I’ve always loved it up in Crescent City, by the beach and the old-growth redwoods. I feel right at home in the woods, and I think that shows up in Fallenwood.

What were you like at school?

I’ve always been painfully shy and introverted, though I did take drama once, and found that I’m not much of one for dramatic roles. I try to be funny a lot, so everything turns into an SNL skit. I’ve always been a good student, and I think that’s helped me to finish college up so quickly.

Were you good at English?

Yes, although I barely skated by with getting my M.A. in English and it was just about the hardest thing in my life to accomplish. I got a tattoo afterwards, even, and it says “Life’s a battle”. I felt like it was that hard.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’d like to do more in-person promotion of my writing. I’ve done a few blog tours and some online stuff, but I’d really like to venture out into the world more and go to more conventions, maybe some Ren Faires and things.

Which writers inspire you?

Neil Gaiman, Brenda Novak (my local hero – she’s the best), Maureen O. Betita and Robert Roman, who are just a riot, and Stephen King for pushing the status quo and refusing to be put into a genre box.

Give us an insight into Ash, your main character. What does she do that is so special?

Ash is special not so much because of who she is, but what she does. No matter what, she keeps going. She. Keeps. Going. She’s the definition of perseverance, or at least I’d like her to be.

What are you working on currently?

At the moment, I’m working on a sci-fi novel called Hybrid Space, which is the first sci-fi I’ve ever written (I keep needing my friend to remind me that low-tech and sci-fi do not go together. I’m old-school like that.) It’s a story I originally wrote back in my high school days and it’s about human-animal hybrids that are trying to escape the clutches of an evil empire.

Which actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

Well, my most recent book would be the Fallenwood sequel, called Forgetting Fallenwood. I think Ashley Greene would make a fantastic Ash Kensington. For those who don’t know who she is, she played Alice Cullen in the Twilight movies, if that helps.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I was standing up, when I first started writing Fallenwood – for hours, in the same place. I was cashiering in an empty store, with nothing to do for hours on end, and I started writing on scraps of paper, just whatever would come to mind. It was very liberating.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

My days are very busy. I work a full-time job for the state and a part-time job to bring in extra income and help with the student loans. So I really have to squeeze in time for writing whenever I can.

Where do your ideas come from?

They come from a lot of different sources – something that someone said, or I try and capture a certain look, or I’ll remember a person from my past who was interesting, or see a magazine ad that catches my attention. My ideas seem to stem from a lot of sources, really.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I try and outline once I’ve got the basic flow of the novel down, just to keep things in some kind of orderly pattern.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest thing is knowing when you’re done editing. There’s always room for improvement, with any work of writing, so it’s really hard to tell sometimes.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.

I do read extensively, and have many favorite authors: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, George R.R. Martin, Dante, Shakespeare, Brian Jacques, Jared Diamond, Stephen King, etc. etc.

For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I prefer paper/hardback books. There’s something satisfying about turning the page and seeing how far you’ve come.

What book have you been reading?

I’m currently reading Joyland, by Stephen King. It’s excellent.

Tell us about the covers and how they came about.

Well, the original cover was done for the first release by Decadent, and I really liked how it turned out. But for the re-release, I wanted to try something different. Yes, the story is about Ash, but it’s also about the black unicorn and what it symbolizes, so I wanted to go with that. When I saw the cover, I was thrilled.

Who designed your book covers?

Stephanie Flint designed the cover for both Fallenwood books, and she’s done a great job.

Do you have a trailer for Fallenwood?

Yep! It’s up on YouTube and here it is:

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

I’m not opposed to the idea, but I do think that people tend to de-value something that they can get for free, so there’s that, I suppose. We authors really do put our hearts and a lot of work into these novels, so whether money is involved or not, we just want someone to appreciate our efforts I think.

How do you relax?

My way of relaxing is a little different than most, I think. I like to do martial arts, or get outside and do some yard work, or work on a project I’m interested in. That kind of stuff is relaxing to me.

What is your favorite quote?

It’s by Professor Cornel West. I was watching a video for one of my M.A. courses and he said something profound. He said, “You should never confuse your success with your greatness.”

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is a martial arts movie called The Last Dragon.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Visit me on the web, like the Fallenwood Facebook page, or add me on Twitter!

Any final words?

Yes! Be good. Keep writing. Don’t give up!

Thank you very much for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview.

 

About the Author

My name is Leslie Soule (pronounced “soul” like that part of you that is innate). I am an author who loves to try new genres and Sacramento, California is my hometown. I have an M.A. in English from National University and am a member of the English Chapter of the Sac State Almuni Association, and the Sacramento branch of the California Writers Club (as of June 2014).

Connect with the Author

Website

 

Giveaway

Leslie will be awarding $25 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.

Click here to follow the tour

Variables of Love Book Tour

Variables of Love

by MK Schiller

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About the Book

MEDIA KIT Book Cover Variables of LoveMeena Kapoor knows what life has in store for her. She’s in her senior year at Stanford where she’ll graduate summa cum laude, and then she’ll begin her interviews…her marriage interviews. Meena is Indian, and she’s never questioned that she’ll have an arranged marriage like all the generations before her. Not until she meets gorgeous math major Ethan Callahan. Ethan’s sense of humor and free spirit stir feelings in Meena she didn’t know were possible outside of Bollywood movies. It doesn’t hurt that he’s charming and has the uncanny ability to make math sound like poetry, but Meena knows their equation makes no sense in the real world.

Ethan finds himself intrigued by the mysterious, beautiful girl, whose big, brown eyes reflect great pain. His goals are small at first – to make her smile and then to laugh. But he soon wants more, and though Meena is adamant they have no future, he convinces her to share the present. Ethan believes every problem has a solution, but with cultural expectations and family duty among the variables, they will struggle to solve the ultimate equation to find happiness.

Purchase Links

Omnific Publishing  ~~ Amazon  ~~ Barnes & Noble

 

Excerpt

“Why do you have a blanket in your car?”

“In case I need it.”

“Have you ever had sex on it?” I asked, staring at the soft plush material with narrowing eyes.

Ethan laughed. “Of course I have.”

“Oh,” I said, holding the material further away.

“It’s my sex blanket. Whenever I’m in the mood, I just lay it on the ground, take off my clothes, and the ladies line up.”

It took two seconds before his words sank in and I burst out laughing.

“I’ve had sex on it once, but don’t worry—I’ve washed it since then.” His honesty was jarring. Did he always tell the truth? He pulled it over us before crossing his arms behind his head and lying down. Our shoulders grazed each other’s. “Look up, sunshine.”

I gasped. The golden stars appeared to drop right out of the sky like they might fall on us. “It’s beautiful. They look so close.”

“I know. It makes you feel important and insignificant at the same time.”

“That’s a good way to describe it.”

We were silent for a moment, both staring at the magnificent view above us. “Do you bring a lot of girls here?”

Ethan chuckled, turning toward me and resting his head on his crooked elbow. “No, why? You think I should?”

 

Author Interview

It is my pleasure to welcome MK Schiller, author of Variables of Love, to Room With Books!

What do you do when you are not writing?

I read and read and read some more. I’m a reader first so if I’m not writing or hanging with my family, I usually have my kindle glued to my hand.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

This is difficult because there are so many. I’ve always been in love with the idea of love. I suppose as a romance writer that’s par for the course. I am and will always be a reader first. I don’t have favorites per say, but here are a few of my recommendations. I’m thrilled to have read the works of these great ladies.

I love Mia Sheridan because she creates unique heroes. I love Abbi Glines for her innocent and strong heroines. I love Colleen Hoover for creating that sense of emotion when it comes to first loves and the struggle of youth. I love Debra Anastasia for shining a beautiful light in dark places. I love EL James for making me interested in a different side of sex and creating a poignant story from that.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I was very lucky. I joined my local RWA chapter and had the privilege of getting some great advice from some very wise women. I set realistic expectations for myself and had a great support group to pick me up whenever I felt the first pangs of defeat. There were also opportunities for pitching, which I took advantage of. That’s how I got my first contract and the others that have followed.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

To expand time or freeze it so I can get all my stuff done.

What was your first job?

I was a bagger at a grocery store.

What types of books do you write?

All of my books are romances but they span the genre. I have a new adult, contemporary and even suspense. I’m even thinking of trying my hand at a paranormal.

Who’s your main audience?

Lovers of romance like me.

Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?

I can’t choose one. I love them all. Each one is unique and special in his or her own way. For example, I like my female characters to be strong, not just in spite of the suffering they’ve been through, but because of it. The need to write these women yielded a successful yet self‐conscious lawyer; a sassy, sexy, tomboy office assistant; and a talented shy artist. In Variables of Love, Meena is an introverted college student with a fierce loyalty to family and a tragic past. Even though they were different, they are all witty, successful, capable women. But they also all have a vulnerable side.

What does your writing schedule look like?

I write when I can find the time. There is no rhyme and reason to it. Sometimes it’s before the sun comes out and other times it’s well past my bedtime.

Do you use your OWN experiences?

I do, especially in this book. Variables of Love is a very personal story for me. It’s what happens when cultural expectations and personal convictions collide. I’ve borrowed from my own life experiences and culture to create this novel. It’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for some time, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to share it.

Was it easy to pick the title for your book?

I had a few other working titles, but I liked this one as it related to math and Ethan, the hero, is a math major.

If you could pick one profession, other than author, which would you choose if you were not an author?

I’d want to be a professional reader. I’d love to be a literary agent or acquisitions editor.

Fun Facts

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Anything chocolate with a side of chocolate please.
Night owl, or early bird? Both – which is weird but true.
Red, or white wine? Red and sweet.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? I’ve always loved roller coasters but lately I can’t handle them so I’ll go for anything that makes me wet. Oops…that sounded dirty. J
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? A pool please. I have a fear of sharks.
Walking or fitness club? Walking….gives me time to think.

Any last words?

Thank you for having me. I hope your readers will check out the book! Good luck with the contest.

Thank you for chatting with our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!

 

About the Author

MEDIA KIT Author PhotoI am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full time life and two busy teenagers, but in the dark of night, I sit by the warm glow of my computer monitor, reading or writing, usually with some tasty Italian…the food that is!

I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so good at it that friends asked me to create plots featuring them as the heroine and the object of their affection as the hero. You’ve heard of fan fiction… this was friend fiction.

I hope you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.

I love hearing from readers so please write to me!

Connect with the Author

Website ~~ FB author page ~~ FB personal page

Amazon Author page ~~ Twitter – @MKSchiller ~~ Goodreads Author page

 

Giveaway

MK will be awarding three separate prizes: a $20 Amazon or B&N gift card; a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card; and an ecopy of Variables of Love, to the randomly drawn winners via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.

Click here to follow the tour

The Vanishing Wife Book Tour

The Vanishing Wife

by Barry Finlay

NBTM The Vanishing Wife Tour Banner copy

About the Book

Book Cover Colour

How far will a man go when his family is threatened?  Mason Seaforth is about to find out. He is a mild mannered accountant living a quiet, idyllic life in the quiet community of Gulfport, Florida with his wife, Samantha.  At least, it’s quiet and idyllic until Sami, as she’s known to her friends, vanishes the night of their 20th anniversary.

Mason is thrown into a life that is meant for other people as he and their brash friend, Marcie Kane, try everything to find out what has happened to Sami.  A search of Sami’s computer uncovers notes describing a past that Sami has buried for more than 20 years.  Then come the threatening phone calls: to Sami, to their daughter Jennifer at university in Miami, and to Mason.

Mason and Marcie are thrust into a race against a sadistic killer to discover what has happened to Mason’s wife. He reluctantly exchanges his spreadsheets for a Glock 17 and he and Marcie follow a trail left behind by Sami which leads them to a potential confrontation with some very dangerous men in Canada.  Mason is required to make decisions that he could never imagine himself making and each one has deadlier consequences than the last. The wrong one could result in the death of his entire family.

 DIVIDER

Excerpt

Sami never went anywhere without her cell phone, and if she had gone out for a walk, she would certainly have taken the phone with her. He reached for his own phone and dialed Sami’s number. The number rang. And rang, and rang again. Mason held his breath.  “Please, Sami, please, pick up,” he whispered.  On the sixth ring, he heard Sami’s confident voice message. “You have reached Samantha Seaforth. Please leave a message, and I will call you back.”

In a shaking voice, Mason heard himself doing as she asked. “Sweetie, it’s Mason, I’m leaving a message. Where are you?  Please call me back right away.”

It had been two hours since he first noticed Sami was gone.

 DIVIDER

Author Interview

It is my pleasure to welcome Barry Finlay, author of The Vanishing Wife, to Room With Books!

It is my pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.

What do you do when you are not writing?

The biggest part of my life when I’m not writing is taken up with fundraising. My wife and I hold two events a year for two causes. We have a golf tournament for Wounded Warriors Canada and a Variety Show to help the children of Tanzania through Plan Canada. We also have three grandchildren that are a joy to be around and I like to stay active as much as possible. I snowshoe, curl and go to the gym in the winter and play golf and hike in the summer. The days roll by.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I don’t think there is one book or author. I have been influenced by so many. I like to read stories by or about real people and I intersperse them with thrillers and mysteries. I like books that capture your attention in the first few sentences and keep it throughout. That’s what I have strived to do in my books.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I tried a couple of traditional publishers and got the usual rejection letters. I didn’t spend a lot of time with it. I eventually went with a package deal through Dog Ear Publishing. I was quite happy with the result. I have tried other routes. My second was through a small press publisher but I found I was doing all the promotion anyway so I published my third completely on my own under my banner of Keep On Climbing Publishing. I see no need to do anything different the next time.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

I would like to have the power to be teleported. I dislike flying more and more each time I have to do it. There are so many things not to like about flying, including waiting forever in airports. I would be quite happy if I could teleport myself in minutes from one location to another.

What was your first job?

That’s a tricky one. I grew up on a farm so my first work was doing chores. My first paying job, although the owners were reluctant to come up with the money, was helping to set up a carnival. That only lasted a day though, thankfully. I guess my first real job was with Manitoba Hydro running in and out of ditches, spraying chemicals around hydro poles. The purpose was to kill the grass so the poles wouldn’t burn if there was a fire. I didn’t wear any kind of protective clothing as there was no danger foreseen at the time. I would think that has changed now.

What types of books do you write?

I have written in three different genres. My first, Kilimanjaro and Beyond is an inspirational true-life adventure. The second, I Guess We Missed the Boat, is a humorous travel memoir. My latest book, The Vanishing Wife, is a mystery/thriller.

Who’s your main audience?

I think my books appeal to a wide audience. If someone is looking for a little inspiration, Kilimanjaro and Beyond would appeal to them. If a reader wants a laugh, it would be I Guess We missed the Boat. Finally, those looking for a mystery/thriller would hopefully like The Vanishing Wife.

Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?

There are two characters in The Vanishing Wife that are my favorites for different reasons. The lead character, Mason Seaforth, is a mild mannered accountant who finds himself in a very difficult situation when his wife disappears. I think the way he handles the situation is interesting. His wife’s friend, Marcie Kane, is also a favorite because she is brash and a little quirky and erratic but willing to go through a wall for the people she loves.

What does your writing schedule look like?

I am an early riser so I like to write in the morning.

Do you use your OWN experiences?

Definitely. My first two books are basically memoirs so they are completely based on my personal experiences. The lead character in The Vanishing Wife is built on the way I believe I might react in a similar situation. Hopefully, I will never have to find out.

Was it easy to pick the title for your book?

I always have difficulty naming my books. I’m very happy with the names I came up with but I don’t think it’s an easy thing to do. I don’t think I named any of them until they were nearly finished, although I did come up with lists of potential names as I was writing them. I run the potential names by people to see their reaction. The name has to be short, catchy and representative of the content – not an easy thing to do.

If you could pick one profession, other than author, which would you choose?

I worked in the finance field in my previous life and really enjoyed my career. I think my life has pretty much gone the way I would have wanted. I would have preferred being a professional baseball player but that doesn’t mean I could have been. Haha!

What are you currently working on?

Since The Vanishing Wife was just released in November, I’m in promotion mode. However, I have some ideas for a new mystery thriller percolating in the back of my head. People who have read The Vanishing Wife are asking when they will see the next one so that is encouraging.

Fun Facts

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? Strawberry
Night owl, or early bird? Definitely early bird. That’s when I do my best work.
Red, or white wine? It used to be red, now it’s white. I don’t know why I changed but somewhere along the way I decided I preferred white.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides? Water rides.
Swimming in the ocean or a pool? Pool, and the warmer, the better.
Walking or fitness club? Walking in the summer and fitness club in the winter.

Any last words?

Thank you for the interview. I hope your readers will consider checking out my books and please leave a review for any book you read. Positive reviews keep readers buying and encourage authors to write.

Thank you for chatting with me and our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!

 DIVIDER

About the Author

MEDIA KIT BarryIn 2009, Barry Finlay went up a mountain as an accountant and came down as a philanthropist. After over thirty years in various financial roles with the Canadian federal government, he took his life in a different direction and climbed Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro at age sixty with his son Chris. The climb and their fundraising efforts to help kids in Tanzania led to the award-winning book, Kilimanjaro and Beyond: A Life-Changing Journey. He followed that up with the hilarious travel memoir, I Guess We Missed The Boat, which was named Best Travel Book of 2013 by Reader Views. Now, he has completed his debut fiction book, The Vanishing Wife. Barry was named to the Authors Show’s list of “50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading” in 2012. In 2013, he received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for his philanthropic work in Africa. He lives in Ottawa, Canada with his wife Evelyn.

Connect with the Author

Website: www.keeponclimbing.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBarryFinlay

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Karver2

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5213951.Barry_Finlay

Amazon: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/karver2/

 DIVIDER

Giveaway

Barry will be awarding a medium or large t-shirt with the author’s “Keep On Climbing” logo on the front to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour (US/CANADA ONLY).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.

Click to follow the tour

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Eclipse Lake Book Tour

Eclipse Lake

by Mae Clair

NBTM_TourBanner_EclipseLake

About the Book

Cover_EclipseLakeSmall towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

Add ECLIPSE LAKE to your Goodreads List

Purchase ECLIPSE LAKE from Amazon:

Kindle \\ Print

DIVIDER

Excerpt

Ellie stopped walking and turned to face him. “Why are you here?”

Dane picked up a flat stone. With a flick of his wrist he sent it skimming across the lake. It danced effortlessly across the surface as if he’d done the same thing a thousand times before. “You know that skeleton they found?”

She nodded.

“I’ve got more skeletons than a graveyard. I can’t pick up and go to another place…to the next photo shoot.” He turned to face her. “Half of my life is here and half’s on the west coast. I have to make them fit together.”

The revelation reminded her of the family she’d left behind in Idaho, reawakening a familiar tug of homesickness. In an effort to find more comfortable ground, she changed topics. “You told me you’re from San Diego. I did a photo op there four years ago. What do you do for a living?”

“I get by.” He took her hand and started walking again.

She sent a speculative glance in his direction, recognizing evasiveness when she heard it. He was wearing a Rolex, and though dressed casually, clearly had expensive taste. Yet he’d booked an ordinary cabin rather than one of the exclusive chalets higher up the mountain.

She liked the feel of his fingers around hers, warm and firm. The contact sent a pleasant tingle up her arm. What the hell was wrong with her, getting caught up in his touch as if it were magic? As if she’d waited her whole life for that sensation. He had skeletons in his past, a brother who couldn’t stand the sight of him and a sheriff who wanted to run him out of town. Eccentric, or just plain trouble?

DIVIDER

Author Interview

It is my pleasure to welcome Mae Clair, author of ECLIPSE LAKE, to Room With Books.

Hello, Mae. Thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Thank you so much for having me as a guest. I’m delighted to be here!

Would you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

ECLIPSE LAKE is my fourth release, so I’m pretty giddy about the progress I’m making. Although I’ve been creating stories since I was six years old, I didn’t start publishing until two years ago. I work a full time job in the real estate industry, but my heart has always belonged to penning novels. I’m married (to my high school sweetheart) and suffer from OCD—obsessive cat disorder—even though I am presently without a feline to encourage my muse. An oversight I hope to correct sometime this year.

What were you like in school?

Bookish and geeky, at least through my younger years. I loved science and reading, two passions I never outgrew. By high school, I was known for gypsy-style clothing, asking space-oddity questions, and writing speculative fiction. By then I had transitioned from geeky and had acquired the nickname “Star Child.”

Were you good at English?

Not so much in the structural/grammar sense. I did fine, but I wouldn’t say I excelled at it. I can’t even say I liked it, LOL. But I did love creative writing, science-fiction class (yes, we had one) and any subject that allowed me to apply creativity.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Like most writers, I’d love to make a living at it full-time. As I don’t see that happening in the near future, I’d like to be able to continue what I’m doing—releasing 1-2 books a year and building an audience that enjoys reading romantic suspense and mysteries.

Which writers inspire you?

Hands down, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. They’re an author team who writes a series of books called the Pendergast Novels. I’m in awe of their plotting skills, and creating (to me) the most mesmerizing character in fiction. I also like P. J. Parrish, Dan Simmons, Cassandra Clare and C. S. Friedman.

Give us an insight into your main character, Dane Carlisle. What does he do that is so special?

The hero of my novel is a man who has turned his life around after serving time in prison as a teenager. Now, a highly successful business man and philanthropist, Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown to try to make amends with his estranged brother. But he’s left a lot of baggage behind, including a nasty reputation that still resonates, even after fifteen long years. There’s also a sheriff set on linking him to an unsolved crime, a situation that blows up in Dane’s face when freshly discovered skeletal remains bring his unethical past into question.

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m so glad you asked! I have a romantic suspense novel called MYTH AND MAGIC releasing on June 9th through Kensington Publishing. It involves bizarre and ghostly occurrences at a corporate retreat, and is set during Halloween.

I’m also nearly finished with a romantic suspense/mystery that involves the Mothman, a legendary creature rumored to haunt an abandoned munitions site in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Some might remember the movie, The Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere, or a book by the same name by the late author, John Keel. I have a strong side-interest in cryptozoology and the Mothman in particular. I even made a trip to Point Pleasant in 2013 to research information for use in my book.

Which actor or actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

Wow, that’s hard. Chris Hemsworth, as he looked in Rush (trimmed down, longer hair, and clean shaven) would make a great Dane Carlisle. I’m having a harder time relating Ellie Sullivan to someone famous.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

LOL! That part is easy for me. I have a set writing time….every Sunday for 5-6 hours. That’s a discipline I’ve maintained for several years. I never lack for story ideas, so it’s just making the time.

Where do your ideas come from?

They generally start with a character. Someone usually pops into my head and demands to be recognized. Once that happens, I have to start fiddling with a plot to suit them. Usually he or she helps me along and the story develops as I write.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I do a little of both. I start with character worksheets and character background, then develop a bare-bones outline of plot (although I never know the ending). I make a few pages of notes, then let the story build as I write. It usually changes radically from those first hastily jotted pages of notes.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Finding the time. Oh, to have the luxury to write without having to juggle a work schedule and home life around it! I think most writers will agree carving out time is rough, especially when you toss social media into the mix.

I’d also have to say when I reach the last quarter of a WIP, I usually have a few moments of sheer and utter panic. By then, there’s generally a lot of loose threads to tie together and, often at that point, I still don’t know how the story will end. Fortunately, that manner of writing works for me!

Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors.

I read constantly. As soon as I finish one book, I start another. For the last two years I’ve read 65 titles each year. I’d like to bump that up this year if I can. I devour books! 🙂  For favorite authors, once again there’s no question the writing team of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child hold that honor. When it comes to romantic mystery and suspense, I like Nora Roberts and Heather Graham.

For your own reading, do you prefer eBooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

For fiction, I purchase eBooks, with occasional paperbacks whenever I hit a bookstore. For non-fiction, I prefer paperbacks, as I like to highlight sections, and scribble notes in the margins.

What are you reading at present?

I’m currently in the middle of a series by Lynn Austin called Chronicles of the Kings series. It’s set during Old Testament times and chronicles the life of some of the lesser known kings (and wars) after David and Solomon’s rules have ended.

Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

For ECLIPSE LAKE, which is an indie release, I searched for a cover that captured the mood of my fictional setting. I think the artist did a remarkable job! Most of my other releases are through my publisher and the artwork was down in-house.

Who designed your book cover?

ECLIPSE LAKE was designed by Laura Gordon of the Book Cover Machine. She was wonderful to work with, and I couldn’t be happier with the cover she produced.

Do you have a trailer for ECLIPSE LAKE?

I did a trailer for my first release, WEATHERING ROCK, but haven’t done one since. I did enjoy making it, but I’m not sure how popular trailers are with readers. It seems as if some of the glamor has faded. As a reader I rarely, if ever, look at a trailer. Then again, I don’t really care for watching videos, so it could just be me! 🙂

Do you think that giving away free books works?

It certainly seems to bump you up in ratings. I haven’t tried it yet, but I know many authors have had great success with it. I think it’s an ideal way to introduce new readers to your work, who might not select one of your novels otherwise.

How do you relax?

Mostly through reading. In the summer, I love relaxing in my pool. My husband and I also try to take several trips a year, even if a few are only long weekends at the beach.

What is your favorite quote?

I have two. They’re at opposite ends of the spectrum, the first practical, the second idealistic but they work together.

 “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” ~ Stephen King

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ~ Les Brown

What is your favorite movie?

Like most people I have several, but one movie I can watch over and over is Frequency, an older movie with Jim Caviezel and Dennis Quaid. It’s a great father/son story, murder mystery and enchanting tale rolled into one.

Any final words?

Thank you so much for hosting me today. It’s been wonderful to drop by and share my writing journey as well as my new release, ECLIPSE LAKE!

Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

~ Patricia, Room With Books ~

DIVIDER

About the Author

AuthorPhoto_EclipseLakeMae Clair opened a Pandora’s Box of characters when she was a child and never looked back.  Her father, an artist who tinkered with writing, encouraged her to create make-believe worlds by spinning tales of far-off places on summer nights beneath the stars.

Mae loves creating character-driven fiction in settings that vary from contemporary to mythical. Wherever her pen takes her, she flavors her stories with mystery and romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and is passionate about cryptozoology, old photographs, a good Maine lobster tail and cats.

You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:

Website and Blog – http://maeclair.net/

Twitter (@MaeClair1) – https://twitter.com/MaeClair1

Google+  – https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MaeClair/posts

Facebook Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mae-Clair/219356774828949?ref=hl

Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Mae-Clair/e/B009I61ND0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1397572548&sr=8-1

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6468716.Mae_Clair

DIVIDER

Giveaway

Mae will be awarding $20 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.

Click to follow the tour

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Mask of the Verdoy Name Before the Masses Tour

Mask of the Verdoy

by Phil Lecomber

 

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About the Book

MEDIA KIT Cover - high res (2)LONDON, 1932 … a city held tight in the grip of the Great Depression. GEORGE HARLEY’S London. The West End rotten with petty crime and prostitution; anarchists blowing up trams; fascists marching on the East End.

And then, one smoggy night …

The cruel stripe of a cutthroat razor … three boys dead in their beds … and a masked killer mysteriously vanishing across the smoky rooftops of Fitzrovia.

Before long the cockney detective is drawn into a dark world of murder and intrigue, as he uncovers a conspiracy that threatens the very security of the British nation.

God save the King! eh, George?

THE 1930s … thinking debutantes, Bright Young Things and P. G. Wodehouse? Think again—more like fascists, psychopaths, and kings of the underworld. GEORGE HARLEY’S London is a city of crime and corruption … of murder most foul, and smiling, damned villains.

In part an homage to Grahame Greene’s Brighton Rock, and to the writings of Gerald Kersh, James Curtis, Patrick Hamilton, Norman Collins and the other chroniclers of London lowlife in the 1930s, Mask of the Verdoy also tips its hat to the heyday of the British crime thriller—but unlike the quaint sleepy villages and sprawling country estates of Miss Marple and Hercules Poirot, George Harley operates in the spielers, clip-joints and all-night cafés that pimple the seedy underbelly of a city struggling under the austerity of the Great Slump.

With Mussolini’s dictatorship already into its seventh year in Italy, and with a certain Herr Hitler standing for presidential elections in Germany, 1932 sees the rise in the UK of the British Brotherhood of Fascists, led by the charismatic Sir Pelham Saint Clair. This Blackshirt baronet is everything that Harley despises and the chippy cockney soon has the suave aristocrat on his blacklist.

But not at the very top. Pride of place is already taken by his arch enemy, Osbert Morkens—the serial killer responsible for the murder and decapitation of Harley’s fiancée, Cynthia … And, of course—they never did find her head.

Mask of the Verdoy is the first in the period crime thriller series, the George Harley Mysteries.

 

Author Interview

Special interview link

 

Excerpt

PEARSON RETRACED HIS steps as best he could in the smog, chose a slightly different angle and ventured out again, this time managing to find the curved pavement of the crossroads, realizing he must have wandered into the intersecting street. He regained the tramlines and set off in what he hoped was the correct direction.

‘Harley! … Harley!’

There was still no reply from the private detective, so Pearson increased his pace to a quick march, keeping his eyes peeled for any further obstacles that might appear from the gloom.

After a minute or so with still no sign of Harley the policeman stopped to assess the situation. Surely he should have caught up by now? In his confusion had he chosen the wrong way? Was he now travelling back in the opposite direction?

Someone cleared their throat behind him.

Pearson span on his heels to come face to face with the unearthly features of the mask, the wispy tendrils of yellow-green smog adding to the spectral effect.

‘Harley! Christ, man! This is no time for practical jokes! … I was nearly crushed under the wheels of a cart back there, you know! Why the hell didn’t you wait for me? You must have heard me calling … Harley! I’m bloody talking to you! Harley?’

By the time he’d caught sight of the cosh, Pearson had finally realized that the masked man that stood before him was a good few inches shorter than George Harley, and was dressed in a completely different outfit. But of course, by then—as the leather-clad metal hammered into his temple—it was too late.

 

About the Author

MEDIA KIT Phil Lecomber author portraitPhil Lecomber was born in 1965 in Slade Green, on the outskirts of South East London—just a few hundred yards from the muddy swirl of the Thames.

Most of his working life has been spent in and around the capital in a variety of occupations. He has worked as a musician in the city’s clubs, pubs and dives; as a steel-fixer helping to build the towering edifices of the square mile (and also working on some of the city’s iconic landmarks, such as Tower Bridge); as a designer of stained-glass windows; and—for the last quarter of a century—as the director of a small company in Mayfair specializing in the electronic security of some of the world’s finest works of art.

All of which, of course, has provided wonderful material for a novelist’s inspiration.

Always an avid reader, a chance encounter as a teenager with a Gerald Kersh short story led to a fascination with the ‘Morbid Age’— the years between the wars. The world that Phil has created for the George Harley Mysteries is the result of the consumption and distillation of myriad contemporary novels, films, historical accounts, biographies and slang dictionaries of the 1930s—with a nod here and there to some of the real-life colourful characters that he’s had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with over the years.

So, the scene is now set … enter George Harley, stage left …

Phil lives in the beautiful West Country city of Bath with his wife, Susie. They have two sons, Jack and Ned.

Connect with the Author

https://www.facebook.com/GHMysteries

http://www.georgeharley.com/

@GHMysteries

http://www.amazon.com/Mask-Verdoy-George-Mystery-Mysteries/dp/0993047211

http://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1?ie=UTF8&field-author=Phil+Lecomber&search-alias=books-ca

http://www.bookdepository.com/Mask-Verdoy-Phil-Lecomber/9780993047206

 

Giveaway

Phil will be awarding a $40 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour, and a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.

Click to follow the tour

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The Monster Man Book Tour

The Monster Man

By CHAD HUNTER

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BLURB:

MEDIA KIT MM King Fools co ver

A brief summary of the Monster Man – King of Fools – Twenty years ago, as a young boy, he disappeared for two days.  His parents and police searched for the lost child only to have him reappear at the front door of his home with unexplainable scars, a slight amount of growth and a sense of tragedy behind his eyes.  What no one knows is that in the forty-eight hour absence, Damian experienced five years in the colorless world of Sanctuary, a place much like our own world exceptthe monsters that we have seen in black-and-white movies and books are real.  More than that, the monsters in Sanctuary had won.  Mankind was extinct.

In Sanctuary, Malachi discovered a dark prophecy – One of the five green shards of a crystal, the Walestone, enabled him to tap into the stone’s other five recipients – the lumbering Frankenstein’s Monster, the savage Werewolf, the feral Swamp Creature, theenigmatic Mummy and the tyrannical Dracula.  Trained by the poetic and repentant Igor and the now-vampiric Dr. Van Helsing, Malachi became the Monster Man – a chimera of all the monsters and their greatest threat.  After a brief war, Damian returned home and grew up knowing that the old movies and books were not fiction but warnings.  And now, two decades later, in Malachi’s own world, the war with horror has begun again.  Three boys have gone missing in the exact same fashion as Damian did when he was a child.  Additionally, creatures have found their way into Malachi’s home, threatening his wife and son.  Now, Damian must go back to the world that stole him away once and never left him the same.

EXCERPT:

With that, the 100-foot arachnid stormed off and down the side of the cavern crossed by the bridge.

“Is he alright?”  The voice came from the taller man.  It had an accent and was very formal, very educated.  He had a long walking stick that he held as a cane.  More so for look or class than necessity.

“I believe so, doctor.”  The shorter man’s voice had a grunting breath to it.

“We’ll need to get him into hiding.  It’s a miracle one of the Five haven’t been here yet.”

“Maybe they do not sense him,” said the short man.

“No, my friend, they sense everything – especially a living mortal.”

Damian looked up at the two men talking about him.

One was tall, thin – the other short and hunched over.  They removed their hooded faces.

“Luckily neither of us have been alive for some time.”  The taller man was chalk white with red eyes and fangs.  The shorter figure was a more greenish color and one eye was far larger than the other.  His back massively deformed.

Malachi found no scream once again.  But he did find he could pass out.

INTERVIEW:

It is my pleasure to welcome Chad Hunter, author of The Monster Man, to Room With Books!

What do you do when you are not writing? 

I’m a husband and father so when I’m not writing, it’s family time.  When I’m not with them, it’s usually working out, reading, listening to music or playing video games – I’m an avid gamer.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? 

Bradbury left a mark on me at an early age!  His flavor of small town familiarity and timeless horrors and wonder are masterful.  “The Halloween Tree” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes” are like being invited to a feast with monsters in your town square.  Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven use of rhythm struck a chord with me as well.  Poe grabs the reader and takes them on a ride through madness, lucidity and both past and present.  I see that in my writings from time to time.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose? 

Super speed!  I could crank out all my novels in a few days!  Provided the laptop could keep up…

What was your first job? 

I was a lab assistant at a day camp where we taught kids about the environment.

What types of books do you write? 

I write in three genres – self-help regarding relationships, humor with anecdotes about growing up and horror and science-fiction, most lately with The Monster Man – King of FoolsLove, Life, Ultimate Strife – How to Lists from the Innerwife is a book about anticipating your loved one’s needs and reactions for a more considerate and cohesive relationship.  Black Parakeets Only Hatch in December is a collection of anecdotes of growing up in the inner city of East Chicago, Indiana.  The Monster Man – King of Fools puts Damian Malachi, husband, father and shape-shifting savior against the monsters of classic horror for the soul of a world.

Who’s your main audience? 

People who enjoy human connectedness.  Regardless of the genre, I write with realistic and relatable dialogue and emotion.  It could be perspectives from my childhood, communication between a wedding planning couple or Dracula talking to a ten year old Damian – no matter what characters are, they must, underneath everything, have an emotional drive – that drive echoes inside the reader.

Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite?

I’m like a parent – I love them all differently and the same!  Right now, because I’m in the Monster Man mode – I’ll have to say Damian.  He’s not the reluctant, beleaguered hero; he’s there.  He’s mature, trained and aware.  He is this dichotomous blend of family man and monster man.  One second, Damian is kissing his wife and putting his son to bed and the next, he’s weaving the powers of Dracula.  He’s someone I would hang out with – someone I think that readers will like and be concerned for.

What does your writing schedule look like? 

I tend to write in the early morning and late at night.  Once I’m in the zone, I write whenever and wherever.  I keep a little journal with me when a laptop or computer is nearby.  I allow the process to run me after awhile.

Do you use your OWN experiences? 

Definitely.  Even if I don’t intend to, my experiences color my characters, their language, their backgrounds, etc.  I think writers have to let themselves and their experiences come out in their work or they may be denying themselves too much and working too hard on holding back.  The Monster Man literally was born from the experience of our son not wanting to go to sleep and saying there was a monster in his room.

Was it easy to pick the title for your book? 

Yes.  It’s a subconscious process that I just let happen.  Sometimes I’ll know if I want a biblical phrase or wording from another language so I know where to start looking.  Then I decide if it’s going to have a certain type of gravitas to it (e.g. dark and ominous, futuristic, hopefully, threatening, etc.)  Finally, I let several titles come to me and I imagine hearing it said over the phone as it’s requested from a book store.

What one profession would you choose if you were not an author? 

Archaeologist – It’s that human connectedness that defines the ages.  They’re like the ultimate reader – combing over time’s tales and stories.  Plus they always look sexy with their gloves, hat and leather coats and whip.

What are you currently working on? 

The rough draft of the second Monster Man novel; my first full graphic novel comic and a Black Parakeets Christmas book for children.

FUN FACTS:

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Cookie dough – a technological feat / divine miracle.
Night owl, or early bird?  Both, drives my wife up the wall.
Red, or white wine?  Red.
Roller Coasters or Water Rides?  Oh God, roller coasters are terrifying.  Water rides and even then, slow ones!
Swimming in the ocean or a pool?  Pool.  Read too much Lovecraft to go in the ocean.
Walking or fitness club?  Fitness club.

Any last words? 

Find out what being a writer means and go do it.  Never stop anywhere short of exactly what you want.  Bradbury once said “You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”  Take that to heart.

Thank you for chatting with our readers and for allowing Room With Books to be part of your tour!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

MEDIA KIT Author PhotoChad Hunter was born in East Chicago, Indiana. Raised by a single mother in the city’s Harbor section, he is the youngest of four. Growing up in the Midwest and a proudly self-proclaimed “Region Rat,” Hunter has written and published several books and novels. He has written for magazines and newspapers throughout North America and has been published in several languages. His writings have been called sophisticated yet humorous, sharp witted and unrelenting.

Most often, Hunter’s writings have been considered so wide and diverse that they span a scale that would include multiple writers with multiple forms.

How To Lists from the Innerwife intimately discusses the subtle internal conversations that can greatly improve relationships.

Black Parakeets Only Hatch in December walks readers with poetic imagery through a lifetime in East Chicago, Indiana.

Finally, The Portray Protocols grip with horrific vivid detail, supernatural terror and mesmerizing intensity. If anything binds his varied styles, it is Hunter’s theme of the human condition, humor and family closeness – all to the backdrop of romantic love, vibrant remembrance and even monsters themselves.

www.hunterchad.com

http://www.hunterchad.com/media.html

https://twitter.com/hunterchad

http://www.pinterest.com/hunterchad/the-monster-man/

https://www.facebook.com/Chadhunterauthor

www.monstermanworld.com

GIVEAWAY Details:

A Monster Man package with a signed copy of the book, signed original artwork and several Monster Man related products from Zazzle.com (e.g. keychains, coffee cup, etc) to a randomly drawn commenter via rafflecopter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment.

Click the tour banner below to follow the tour.

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Losing Touch Book Tour

Losing Touch

by Sandra Hunter

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About the Book

MEDIA KIT losing final frontAfter Indian Independence Arjun brings his family to London, but hopes of a better life rapidly dissipate. His wife Sunila spends all day longing for a nice tea service, his son suddenly hates anything Indian, and his daughter, well, that’s a whole other problem. As he struggles to enforce the values he grew up with, his family eagerly embraces the new. But when Arjun’s right leg suddenly fails him, his sense of imbalance is more than external. Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, he is forced to question his youthful impatience and careless cruelty to his family, until he learns, ultimately, to love them despite — or because of — their flaws. In a series of tender and touching glimpses into the shared life of a married couple, Sandra Hunter creates strikingly sympathetic characters — ones that remind us of our own shortfalls, successes, hypocrisies, and humanity.

Excerpt

When the body no longer operates, the self disappears. He feels this diminishing, a gradual receding of who he is, what he likes how he dresses, where he goes. And he can go nowhere. A short trip to the back window and he is tired enough to have to rest for a while on the sofa before he makes the trip back to the safety of his amchair. He longs to walk with his grandson by the seashore and go searching for treasure. Let’s dig for gold, Sami. And he would slyly drop in a few polished pennies so that Sami shouts with delight.

Interview

It is my pleasure to welcome Sandra Hunter, author of Losing Touch, to Room With Books.

Please tell us about Losing Touch and what inspired you to write it?

The story opens in the 1960s. Arjun Kulkani has brought his family to London after Indian Independence.

He’s appalled by how eagerly Sunila and his children, Murad and Tarani, embrace the customs, idiomatic language and food preferences of this new country. His attempts to control his children demonstrate his loss of identity. This identity loss is compounded when he discovers he has Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a neurological degenerative disease. He’s forced to question his impatience and cruelty to his family and eventually learns to love them.

My inspiration: Back in 2005, I wrote a short story about Arjun and Sunila that won a Glimmer Train award. I kept writing stories around this couple and finally decided, “Hey – maybe this might be a novel.”

It’s set in North London, where I grew up. Arjun has the disease my father had. I wanted to explore loss of identity first through immigration and then through degenerative disease. Okay, so this seems a bit cruel But even so, Arjun also develops other characteristics such as patience, humor, and a redeeming self-awareness.

It was also fun to revisit places I knew, especially the toy village of Beconscot. If you visit to England you must go. It’s magical!

Toy Village

When you start writing a new novel, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?

With my novel-in-progress I have my new tool—the storyboard! I’m a born-again story-boarder. I love how I can see what’s going on at a glance, and it even looks pretty.

Story Board Photo

Occasionally, the characters tend to run off with the story. I usually follow along because you never know what may happen.

Do you ever have arguments with your characters and who usually wins?

I’ve learned not to argue with them. It’s their story and they can be quite insistent. However, during rewriting, I’ll  try to be more objective about story elements such as arc, continuity and so on.

What is something about you your readers would be surprised to know?

I have a secret love of motorbikes. A hog-lover! How cool would it be to cruise along Angeles Crest Highway on a Harley D?

If you could write with any other author who would it be any why?

Alissa Nutting (Unclean Jobs for Girls and Women). She examines what it’s truly like to be humanly naked. That is, being stripped of all the comfortable clothing of manners and the niceties that keep us safe in unfulfilled relationships or mind-numbing jobs. “We smell great despite the pain,” she says of being boiled alive in a stew. I’d love to write a joint short story with her, our voices going back and forth. I know we’d create quite different rhythms and tensions.

When you were little what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?

I wanted to be a ballet dancer. I’d go to sleep with one arm above my head, one arm out to the side, in some inaccurate imitation, and one foot tucked behind the other knee. I was so sure I’d wake up as a ballet dancer!

Ballerina

I had a book of ballet and was enchanted by the pictures of the dancers in their tutus. They were the most beautiful creatures in the world. I’d totter about on tiptoe with my arms spread wide, feeling this was the nearest thing to flying.

When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?

I kept shelves of journals when I was in college. But it was when I went to Kenya that I started writing stories. Coming from England’s grey skies and monochrome palette, Kenya was like a child’s paint box had been upended over the world.  The intensely blue sky, the ridiculously green maize plants and banana trees, the deep red of the earth. Everything was so vivid: the language, the storm clouds relentlessly stalking across the valley in the rainy season. They even shook hands more vigorously. After that, I did a creative writing degree at San Francisco State and began sending out short stories. It took a lot of submissions before one “stuck”. Acceptance: it’s a matter of timing and persistence. Really.

What music inspires your writing?

All sorts. Golijov, Jeff Buckley, Palestrina, Gorecki, Annie Lennox, the Mahotella Queens, Los Van Van, Active Child, Chopin. I can’t listen to music while I’m writing, though. Too easily distracted!

Fun Facts:

What is your favorite breakfast? Home-made granola with almonds and fresh blueberries and peaches. I’m hungry now.
What is your favorite color? Indigo. Actually, indigo clouds with sunshine. Love that color combo.
What is your favorite movie? Spirited Away, and Totoro. And Porco Rosso. Okay – anything by Miyazaki. And anything by Satiyajit Ray. And Wes Anderson. Got a theme going here.
What is your dream car? This is awkward. I don’t have a dream car. I’d love to ride in a Rolls Royce – just for the amazing suspension, and I’d love to race a Camaro. But I don’t want to own either.

How can our readers find you?

Author page at Amazon: Losing Touch

Fiction website

Portfolio website (photo-text art)

About the Author

MEDIA KIT hat shot3Sandra Hunter’s fiction has been published in a number of literary magazines and received awards including the 2014 H.E. Francis Fiction Award, 2012 Cobalt Fiction Prize, 2011 Arthur Edelstein Short Fiction Prize and three Pushcart Prize nominations. Her debut novel, Losing Touch, was released in July (OneWorld Publications). She lives in Simi Valley, CA, with her husband and daughter, and is always on the look out for the perfect gluten-free cupcake.

Connect with the Author

Website: http://sandrahunter.strikingly.com

Amazon.com: http://ow.ly/zDmuH

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sandra.hunter

Twitter: @sandrajhunter

Giveaway Details

Sandra will be awarding a Losing Touch luggage tag, mini book necklace and a $15 Starbucks GC. (International Winners)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Room With Books encourages our readers to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

Follow the Tour

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