Monday, August 20, 2018

Blog Tour: Obake Neko (Ghost Cat): A Pacific Tale by David Michael Gillespie with an Author #interview and #giveaway


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Mystery/Historical Fiction
Date Published: May 31, 2018

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It begins with a disappearance… In the waning days of World War II, the Obake Neko is the last surviving Sen-Toku—a huge secret aircraft-carrier submarine created by the Imperial Japanese Navy. As the war comes to an end, the Obake Neko sets sail back to Japan with a cargo of unimaginable value. In the chaos of Japanese surrender, the clandestine vessel and its crew vanish in the seas of the South Pacific.

Fifty-five years after the war’s end, former U.S. Navy pilot, Bud Brennan breaks into Pearl Harbor’s submarine museum in Hawaii. Bud’s son, Mike, is still raw from the death of his wife and grappling with a new career but still jumps in to help his dad. But when Bud’s antics garner the attention of the Navy’s JAG, Mike realizes his father may possess knowledge about the near-mythical Obake Neko and its fabled cargo—knowledge that is also of great value to the Japanese Yakuza. Now, Mike must scramble to learn the whole truth of his father’s decades-old connection with the legendary Japanese submarine and fight to defend his father from relentless military authorities and deadly Yakuza operatives. Even decades later, the Obake Neko and its legendary cargo are still worth killing over.

Can Mike discover the truth and protect his dad before deadly assailants succeed in silencing Bud forever?



Interview

1.     Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Absolutely! My inspiration is Jules Verne, who’s motivation to write was to bring the world of science to the average person. My message was to highlight the unique, Sen Toku, aircraft carrier submarine the Japanese built at the end of the war.
Also, to bring to light a side of Hawaii and the Pacific islands that most people never see or know.

2.     Is there anything you find particularly challenging in you writing?
Finding the right balance. Balance in describing a location - not too little detail or the reader is left without a clear picture, and not too much or the reader is overloaded.  Same with describing people. Enough description to provide an image of what the character looks like, but not over detailed on clothes, facial features that most likely will not be retained by the reader.

3.     How many books have you written, and which is you favorite?
Only one, but it is my favorite! I really liked how my novel came together. What was originally bits and pieces, then unconnected scenes, and finally into what I believe is a cohesive two-storyline novel with unique characters, locations and plot.

4.     If you had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?
Actually, I used headshots of movie stars as a basis for most of my characters. From the headshot I would modify certain aspects and attributes, so my characters didn’t come off as stereotypes.
For my two leads in my modern Hawaii storyline I would cast Harrison Ford as the father and Jeremy Sisto as the son. For my WWII Japanese leads, I would cast Toshiro Mifune as the ship’s captain and a Japanese Red Buttons (if there is such a character) for his jokester sidekick.

5.     When did you begin writing?
While I have written many business reports and analysis over my business career, I never attempted fiction until about three years ago. I seriously began my first book at that time. I did not take any writing classes or workshops, and while I did buy a lot of books on the craft of writing, I never did the writing exercises in the back of each chapter. I’ve been a heavy reader of fiction all my like. I felt like I had a good idea of how I wanted to write my story.

6.     How long did it take to complete your first book?
About three years. Writing it took about two years. Rewrites, edits, beta reader reviews, rewrites, edits, beta reader reviews, etc. took a solid one year.

7.     Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
Two authors come to mind – Michael Connelly who writes the Bosch detective series, and Truman Capote. Connelly’s style is few frills, clean crisp dialogue, good pacing, good real characters and exciting plots. All attributes I wanted to copy. Truman Capote took what could have been a simple true crime incident and wove the events into a great story – In Cold Blood.

8.     What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I have three parts that I like. I’ve come to enjoy the initial research involved in writing my story, the development of a scene, and, surprisingly, the internal editing process once the story is laid down.
The research I had to perform for my book opened up so many unique things about the places and people I wanted to write about. Every day I learned something new and tried to use it to enhance my story.
Using a scene sheet I developed, I stretch my imagination to make each scene stand out on its own, with a hook, a beginning, middle and a solid ending.
Once I complete a solid draft of a scene, I put on my editor hat and fine-tune my dialogue, description, character movement, plot – everything. I religiously use an editing software (ProWritingAid) that helps me find repeat words and phrases, overuse of initial pronouns, pacing issues and many other variables that tighten up my text.

9.     Describe your latest book in four words.
Unique historical action mystery.

10. Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
I really like the two-story format, with one storyline in an earlier timeframe and then have the current day storyline mesh up toward the end of the book.
For my past historical timeframe, I plan to follow one of Roy Andrew Chapman’s expeditions on dinosaur bone hunting in the Gobi Dessert in the late 1920’s.
For my current time frame, I plan to use many of the cast of characters in Hawaii that I used in my first book, Obake Neko.

An out-of-this-world object is found at one of Chapman’s digs by a young orphaned boy in 1929. This object’s unique powers will be sought by emperors and warlords in China and unknowling wind up in Hawaii in the hands of my last novel’s hero, Mike Brennan, in the year 2001.


About the Author

David Gillespie moved to Hawaii as a teenager, where he attended public schools and graduated with a BBA and MBA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.


Gillespie has had a varied career in Hawaii’s business community. As a consultant with a University of Hawaii program, he traveled to many Pacific Island nations. His experiences in these exotic locales, along with his keen interest and research about the Sen-Toku Japanese submarines, inform and enhance his writing.


Gillespie is retired and has taken up home improvement projects, earned a private pilot license, and works on writing historical adventure novels. He continues to enjoy life in Hawaii, his home, with his family and a tuxedo cat named Tick Tock.



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Saturday, August 18, 2018

PROMO Blitz: Mabel of the Anzacs by Mary D. Brooks #womensfiction #ya

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A Friendship for the Ages
YA/Women’s Historical Fiction
Date Published:  July 2018
Publisher: AUSXIP Publishing

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Two women - one a fiery teenager, the other a cantankerous octogenarian - find their mutual antipathy blossoms into an unlikely friendship in this heart-felt multigenerational story about finding a kindred spirit where you least expect it.

Zoe Lambros meets Mabel Andrews, a mercurial, cantankerous World War I Australian nurse. Zoe's introduction to the fiery octogenarian is an explosive mix of sound and fury. Neither woman wants to give ground and they are determined to be proven right. For Zoe, actions speak louder than words and she sets out to uncover the enigma that is Mabel Andrews. Mabel discovers a kindred spirit that leads to an unlikely friendship. Together the two women forge a close bond that will change their lives forever.

It's a friendship for the ages..


About the Author


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Mary D. Brooks is a geek with too many imaginary friends who speak different languages (knew those language classes would come in handy). She is a historical romance and urban fantasy storyteller and addicted to stories and song about strength and courage. Mary plays well with others (for an introvert) but then retreats to talk and write about her imaginary friends.  She is passionate about lots of things that inspire the mind (art/design, psychology, science and tech) and that sets her muse on fire (she’s a busy lady!).



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Friday, August 17, 2018

Cover Reveal: Still Breathing by E.A. Fouriner

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Women’s Fiction
Date Published:  November 17, 2018
Designer: Damonza
Publisher: Acorn Publishing

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Newly widowed and on the threshold of seventy, Lizzie Warton questions the value of her remaining years. Uncharacteristically, she decides for the first time in her life to do what she wants, instead of what everyone expects.

Against the wishes of family and friends, she sets out for Africa to work at a Ugandan middle school. When she lands at night in the Entebbe airport, her hosts are not there to meet her. Near panic, she hires a local taxi. The driver drugs her, steals everything, and dumps her limp body in a slum. Waking in the dark, she feels someone tugging off her shoes.

Without money, a passport, clothes, or medications, Lizzie is forced to start over and find a way to survive. Soon she learns that nothing in Africa is as it appears. The grind of daily life in the third-world is beyond anything Lizzie imagined. Nevertheless, encouraged by budding friendships in surprising places, and against every sensible instinct she’s ever developed, Lizzie’s own personal search for meaning becomes the grand adventure of a lifetime.



Excerpt



      “Hey, muzungu! Over here!”

“Lady, best prices in Owino!”

 “I have jeans. You want jeans? New styles from America!”

“Hey! Pretty white lady! Over here!”

 “Best quality! Best prices! Today, only for you, muzungu!”

“I have a new shipment! Come and see!”

“Muzungu! Lady, what you need?”

Lizzie was sick of the accented voices shouting at her. She had yet to see another white woman in the claustrophobic market. Warned in advance, she had ignored the hands on her arms, the fingers trailing across her fingers, even the nudges to move her toward their shops, but she was fed up with the vendors’ constant calls aimed at her. Still, she doggedly maintained her wooden smile, even though she was gritting her teeth behind it.

At one point, a vendor called out a question in Luganda and someone else answered it. Lizzie was sure it had something to do with her. Laughter broke out and other voices chimed in with more quips. Grinning faces nodded at her as she walked away.

Lizzie shot a questioning look at Mrs. Birungi, who rolled her eyes, even though a smile tugged at her mouth. “It is nothing - just vendor talk. Ignore it. We need to go over that way.” Birungi pointed to a split in the congested path ahead, and steered them to the right.

Afiya pulled abreast of Lizzie a little later as they bobbed through a brief open place in the moving crowd. “They said they not sure if you are white or Ugandan.”

“What?”

“It was joke. Our people always make jokes.”

“How was it a joke?”

“Somebody said you half Ugandan.” The girl suppressed a grin.

“I don’t get it.”

“They said you have white top but Ugandan bottom.” Afiya smiled broadly as she said the line.

Lizzie looked back at her, puzzled.

“This kind bottom.” Afiya patted her own rump. “Word means both things. They admired your…bottom.” Afiya couldn’t help but giggle as she repeated the word.

Lizzie understood and sighed. “Well, I guess that’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard.” In her mind, a little appreciative thought blossomed at still being noticed in that way, at all. She hastily chided herself and kept walking, but her hips now swayed a tiny bit more, nevertheless.


About the Author

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Originally from South Minneapolis, Gene Fournier earned a BA in Philosophy & Literature from St. Louis University followed by a Masters in Film from USC. Gene is a member of the Writers Guild of America west (WGA) and worked as a screenwriter and editor in Hollywood, but sadly, he never got that big break.

Seeking a return to his roots after twelve years in California, he accepted a Director of Media position with a multinational company headquartered in the Midwest. For thirty years he wrote, directed, edited and distributed corporate video programs around the world, managed live presentations, and orchestrated the creative elements for national and international meetings.

Retired now, with his seven children grown, and a dozen grandchildren to distract him, Gene is finally able to write down the stories he’s been carrying in his head all these years.


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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

PROMO Blitz: Splotch by @kenhicksnyc #fantasy #giveaway #middlereader

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Middle Reader Fantasy
Publisher: MuseItYA a division of MuseItUp Publishing.

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Alice’s parents refuse to let her have a dog, so when Alice sees a paint stain on the sidewalk that looks like a dog, she decides that she will make him a virtual pet. She calls him Splotch and downloads a picture of him to her computer. To her surprise, he escapes from the computer and begins to act as Alice’s self-appointed protector. Unfortunately, he sees most people as potential enemies of Alice, including her teacher and the school principal, and he is not shy about giving those various enemies a bite. When Splotch starts to attack Alice’s best friend, Alice knows there is a big problem. But how will she get Splotch to stop being a guard dog and go back into the computer?


About the Authors

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Anne Rothman-Hicks is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College where, in 1969, at a college dance, she met a student from Haverford named Kenneth Hicks. They have been together pretty much ever since, getting married, having children, writing books, making art, and generally conspiring to live lives that are happy, creative, and good.

Anne and Ken’s most recent novels and stories are set in New York City, where they have lived for most of their married lives.

Their middle reader series, Alice and Friends, features Alice, a 10-year-old girl with a vivid imagination that gets her into and out of trouble. The titles are, STONE FACES, BROWNSTONE FACES, and SPLOTCH.

In Ken and Anne’s tween book, THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM, Jennifer and James find a pigeon in Central Park whose foot was caught in a bit of string attached to a fence. Only this pigeon was actually a man before he was turned into a pigeon over a hundred years earlier. Now he needs some help to be turned back into a man before a certain hawk captures and eats him instead.

A sequel, REMEMBERING THOMAS, has been published by MuseItUp Publishing in March of 2018.



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Friday, August 10, 2018

PROMO: The Murder of Paolo Mancuso


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A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book Five
Crime Mystery
Publisher: Sand in My Shoes
Release Date: August 4, 2018


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This time is personal, very personal. Paolo Mancuso was killed in a bar in Little Italy 20 years ago. To this day, his murder has gone unsolved. A cold-case The NYPD has not paid much attention to in all these years. Enter Antonino "Tony The Hammer" Falcone. Paolo's best friend and co-mafia family member. Tony, in his death-bed, reveals to Joey that the mafia had nothing to do with his dad's murder. Something Joey always believed it had. Instead, with his last breath, Tony whispers only three words to Joey - Barcelona, Wetherly, Stevens. With just those three words, Joey sets off to Barcelona. Is it justice or revenge, Joey seeks? Will he learn things about his dad's past, he wished he hadn't? Is Joey about to go up against one of New York's five mafia families? Will he solve Paolo Mancuso's murder?

Now retired, former NYPD Homicide Detective, with the Midtown South Precinct, Joey Mancuso, had looked at the murder book many times during the time he was with the NYPD. Lacking clues and any evidence, he was never able to pursue the perpetrators responsible for his father's death. Currently a licensed private detective in New York City and half-owner of an Irish Pub in New York's Financial District with his half-brother, Father Dominic O'Brian, the pastor at Saint Helen's Catholic Church in Brooklyn, also a licensed private detective, they set out to solve the murder of Paolo Mancuso.

The brothers, Mancuso and O'Brian have been called by the New York press; - "The Last Advocates of the Victims," for the relentless pursuit of the perpetrators, they exemplified in their last cases, working as consultants for the NYPD or as investigators for criminal law firms.

But, this time is personal, very personal. And, Joey's determination in solving this case, his dad's unsolved murder, could make him do things outside the bounds of justice. Is it justice or revenge he seeks?



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Other books in the Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery Series:



A Murder on Long Island

A Joey Mancuso Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book Two

Published: May 2017






The Manhattan Red Ribbon Killer

A Joey Mancuso - Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book 3

Published: November 2017





The Case of the Antiquities Collector

A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book Four

Published: April 2018






A Murder On Wall Street

A Joey Mancuso, Father O'Brian Crime Mystery, Book One

Published: January 2017





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About the Author

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Everyone loves to solve mysteries, and Multi Award Winning Author, Owen Parr is no different. Taking a page from Agatha Christie's -Poirot series and Conan Doyles' - Holmes series, Parr infuses his thirty years of Wall Street experience into his crime mysteries and exposes its underbelly. His characters come to life in the vividly described locations of his novels. And, you'll need to look beyond the obvious, if you want to solve the crimes.



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Blog Tour: Triangle of Hope by Michael Meyer #interview #giveaway #fiction


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Contemporary Fiction
Date Published: December 1, 2014
Publisher: Pacific Books

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If one person can make a difference, just think what three can do.

Clint Westerly was a success until a fateful choice he makes tears his world all apart. Tanya Wilshire is broke but hell-bent on committing to her mother's final deathbed request. 84-year-old Seamus Harrington needs to right an ancient wrong before time runs out.

Filled with grit and determination, these three people with three different problems, an unlikely trio of unexpected allies, converge in a small Irish town to form a Triangle of Hope against all odds. Together they take a courageous stand that will forever change their world and that around them.


Praise

If you love feel-good reads with happy endings, then TRIANGLE OF HOPE is for you. "If an author can make you cry for his characters then want to hug them close and then want to do an Irish Jig with them to celebrate overcoming that much pain then you know you have read a book that will stay with you forever."- Wanda Hartzenberg, Wanda's Amazing Amazon Reviewers

It is a "fantastic read that will pull at your heart." - Lauren Alumbaugh, Goodreads librarian

SEMIFINALIST FOR THE 2015 KINDLE BOOK AWARD IN LITERARY FICTION




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Interview

Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp? TRIANGLE OF HOPE was written as a testament to the fact that sheer determination on the part of people can bring about hope in even the most hopeless of circumstances.



Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? The most difficult part of the writing process for me is to finally put the words, “The end,” to my book. I thoroughly enjoy the creative process, but, like a parent, I am sad to let go when it is time to send my latest off to its new home at Amazon. My dad used to say that we die in stages, and, the older I get, the truer this statement seems to me. Once my book is finished, one more part of me is put to rest.  As I write, my book is like my baby. I created it, and now it must go off to live life on its own at Amazon.  I am proud of my little one, but I miss the daily interaction with the characters and the plot. I am like a reader as I write, and I always am a bit sad when a good read comes to the end. It is a real challenge for me to have to let go and leave be.



How many books have you written and which is your favorite? I have currently written and published 7 books, two international suspense thrillers, two humorous novels, one set of humorous vignettes, one true romance memoir, and, of course, my latest, TRIANGLE OF HOPE. To pick a favorite would be like picking a favorite child, something which I simply cannot do since I love them all. However, my true romance memoir, THE THREE KITTIES THAT SAVED MY LIFE, has won the most acclaim from others, having been a #1 best seller at Amazon ten times in four different categories.


  
If you had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why? Probably Kevin Costner since he has the ability, I feel, to vividly put forth the character of Clint Westerly true to form, true to how I see him.



When did you begin writing? I began writing at an early age. I sold my first book, the only copy, for a quarter to my parents when I was ten years old. My teachers always applauded my writing, so I was always excited to sit down and put words to paper. My publishing life, however, did not really take hold until I retired from a forty-year career of teaching writing at the college level. Since that date, 2010, I have published my seven books.



How long did it take to complete your first book? Each book that I have written has come from a lot of hard work, covering many months and often years. An idea forms in my mind, and I toss it around each day as I walk for exercise, the time my creative juices really start to flow. Once the idea takes a firm hold in my mind, then I can spend weeks getting the first draft done, but after that comes the hard part: the polishing.



Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer? My father influenced me quite a bit. I wanted to be like him, and, in many ways, I achieved that. We were both college writing professors. We always had books around. My dad loved to read, and he loved to write. He was very instrumental in getting me excited by words, by understanding their nuances, by using them effectively to get my point across to readers. I know that he would be quite impressed by the books I have written since my retirement back in 2010.



What is your favorite part of the writing process? I love interacting with my characters. I never quite know what they will say or do. To me, they are real people with real human needs and emotions. I really enjoy hearing what comes out of their mouths. I am often surprised, which delights me.


Describe your latest book in 4 words. Three heroes with grit


Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing? I am currently working on a book about my lifelong world journeys. These glimpses of my world journeys are poignant, funny, comical, inspiring, and sometimes scary, but one thing is for certain: every word details precisely and truthfully how it all happened  





About the Author

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Michael Meyer is the author of mysteries, thrillers, humorous fiction, and non-fiction: Love and romance, laughter and tears, thrills and fears.
As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, he now lives in Southern California wine country with his wife, Kitty, and their two adorable rescue cats.





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Thursday, August 9, 2018

PROMO: Days of Reign


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Dystopian Fiction
Date Published: June 29, 2018

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Described as Dune meets The Hunger Games, this epic narrative of survival will have you in suspense and intrigue. Set in the futuristic world of Eldon, our hero, Zelenka, is forced to abandon everything she loves for a chance at freedom.

With parallels to today’s global crises, this book will have you questioning; would you risk it all?

It is year 2107 and the planet which was once called Earth (now Eldon), is ruled by a single, oppressive government.  Many of those who suffered under the tyrannical rule of Eldon, have fled to a neighbouring planet, Amaryllis, and attempted to grow a utopian society.

Relations between the two worlds are fraught.  Each believe the other to be evil.  Each believe it is their responsibility to save humankind from the other.

Within this interplanetary political backdrop, lives Zelenka.  The Eldonian teenager is forced to hide her intelligence and knowledge.  Na├»ve and idealistic, she has never fitted into Eldonian life.  She longs to openly be herself but is terrified of the government’s harsh rules and punishments.

“Zelenka is a true hero to me,” says the author, Elisa Hansen. “She has a strength of character that I see in many women facing similar fates today. Facets of the Eldon society mirror the present. Our heroes should not always the ones who succeed, but the people with true intent, and drive, to change.”



About the Author

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Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Elisa Hansen was curious about other worlds. The travel bug bit her young, and she spent her early years with a pack on her back and hiking boots on her feet. Beyond exploring she loves to dance, cook, eat, learn other languages and paint.







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