Tag Archives: Barnes & Noble

Spotlight on Indie Author @AngelaKaysBooks. The Murder of Manny Grimes.

Today’s Spotlight Author is our very own Angela Kay! A new Indie Author as well as one of our busiest book reviewers here at LWI.
angela-kay
1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel the Murder of Manny Grimes?
I started writing it during my final semester of college. I was taking a writing course where we were to write the first thirty pages of a novel. I didn’t really have an inspiration strike…I just started writing and the plot seemed to unfold. My professor and students alike 8-the-murder-of-manny-grimes-coverloved the beginning of the story. Because of my passion of writing, I continued the first draft with the hopes of getting it published one day.

2. For aspiring writers out there, tell us how long it took you from idea to publishing your novel? Tell us about the process of how it all came about.

It took me seven years to perfect it. I finished the first draft in a year. I was excited because it was the first full length novel I finished. For the most part, I’d only written short stories. After that, I began to edit my book, and it was a major headache. I must have changed the direction of the story three or four times. I took a lot of breaks from it…more than I should have. Finally, by the many rocks God tossed my way, I finished my final draft. And just as I finished, I came across an awesome editor who didn’t mind fixing a few kinks. I played around with the idea of submitting my completed novel to a bunch of agents, but the truth is, it’s a dog eat dog world out there. I didn’t have patience for a bunch of no’s. Even when I was ready to send it off, I was hard on myself about whether it’s good or not. After considering my options, I went the route of starting as an Indie author. My publisher is a long time friend of a friend, so I trusted him. After I got my beloved books in my hands, I knew I did the right thing.

3. What kind of research did you do for the novel?

The setting used to take place in New York, but someone a long time ago told me it sounds as though it’s in Augusta, Ga (where I currently reside). That got me a bit worried because the setting relies a lot on the aftermath of a bad snowstorm. I mean, it is the south, where we hardly see one flake. I went online to see whether it was possible (although I knew it’d be okay since it’s fiction and anything was possible). I was glad to find that in 1973 we were hit with sixteen inches of snow. Although it was a long time, it satisfied me. The other researching I did was try and get the investigation as close to real as possible. I spoke to several police officers, primarily lieutenants, since  my main character is a lieutenant. They were kind enough to answer any and all questions.

4. When I read a book I sometimes like to have a visual of characters. What actors would play your main characters in a movie?

Lt. Jim DeLong: Michael Fassbender. He’s a little older than DeLong, but I think he’d be good for it.
Russ Calhoun: Possibly Dean Winters
5. What are you working on now?
I’m currently editing the sequel to “Manny Grimes,” and plan to release it in a few months. I also have an FBI thriller ready to be edited and another book I’ve almost completed. I’m only doing suspense now, however, I’m starting to dabble with a bit of romance–I already have an idea for a saga.

6. I know you edit the work of other authors, how can people contact you for your services?

7. What do you think is the one thing that drives your main character to do what he does?
Lieutenant Jim DeLong is passion-driven. I think when he gets something in his mind, he can’t seem to let it go. It’s also somewhat of a release while he’s dealing with personal issues outside of work.

8. If you could’ve written any other book than your own, what would it be and why?
Probably “Pride and Prejudice.” I love that book so much. It’s in a complete different era and I get swept away in the character’s lives.

mark-and-krystinaIs there a way people can get an autographed copy of your book?

Sure! They can email me for more information at angelakaysbooks@gmail.com. I sell signed copies of my book for $14 even. That includes shipping and handling. You can check out my book by clicking on these links: Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Like me on Facebook: Angela Kay’s Books

To learn how to receive a FREE PDF copy of The Murder of Manny Grimes, click HERE!

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Magic Unveiled: An Anthology Pre-Order Today! Only .99!

On October 13, 2016

Magic Unveiled: An Anthology

Will be released and I’m part of it.

If you like the genre of Magical Realism, then this anthology of 9 stories from authors including USA Today, Seattle Times, and Amazon bestselling authors.

Not only can you get it on Amazon but Barnes & Noble and iTunes as well. Just click any of those three to pre-order today for .99 cents. When October 13th comes around that .99 cent offer disappears.

Magic Unveiled

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#Interview with @SamMarquisBooks of Bodyguard of Deception.

I recently had the pleasure of connecting with a great writer named Samuel Marquis, a #1 Bestselling Denver Post author, multi-award Samuel Marquis photowinning author, and hydrogeologist. Yes, you read that last one correctly. I think the strength of detail that last one brings to Sam’s personality is what makes his Historical Fiction so great to read. Okay, it’s ONE of the reasons. The other part is the fact he is just that good a writer. Ask James Patterson if you don’t want to believe me. Yes, THAT James Patterson.Bodyguard of Deception by Samuel Marquis image

After reading and reviewing his book Bodyguard of Deception, I just had to ask some questions. I restrained my total historian geek self and didn’t send a book of probing his way. The following are what made it through and back.

One of the things I always find interesting is where the inspiration for a book comes from. What sparked Bodyguard of Deception?

As a history aficionado who has always loved stories of the American West and World War Two, I have long wanted to write a novel that incorporated both of my research passions. That became possible when, several years ago, I read Ben Mcintyre’s Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies (2012) and Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal (2007) along with Arnold Krammer’s eye-opening Nazi Prisoners of War in America (1996). Between these three well-crafted books, I learned about Double Cross and its cast of memorable British-controlled spies, while simultaneously discovering that, between 1943 and 1945, nearly a half million German prisoners were held in 511 POW camps across the United States, many of them in the American West.

Bodyguard of Deception grabbed my attention right from the beginning and never let go. The character development is excellent. Samuel Marquis has a knack for using historic details and events to create captivating and fun to read tales.”
—Roy R. Romer, 39th Governor of Colorado

It wasn’t long after digesting these three great historical reads that I envisioned a WWII spy novel that would be uniquely set in both the European theatre and my home state of Colorado. What came to me in my overactive filmographer’s head was a kind of Das Boot (The Boat) meets Eye of the Needle meets The Great Escape with a hint of Arthur Penn’s classic The Chase as well as The Fugitive thrown in for good measure. But I wanted another important twist that deviated from most WWII books and movies: I wanted my lead German to be a sympathetic character even though he was fighting for Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

I love to research. The amount of research you had to do for this book is staggering. You had to read at least 20x the amount of information just to write the least important real life character. I know you have a very intensive degree, one not related to World History at all, so what you’ve done amazes me, a historian. Do you have an affinity for research, and why history?

I’ve always loved history, especially the underdogs and iconoclasts of American history, and I voraciously read books about military history and intelligence, specifically related to the Golden Age of Piracy, Plains Indian Wars, World War II, espionage, and the War on Terror WWII. But what started it all is I grew up watching classic World War Two movies and Westerns with my dad like The Great Escape, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch, Where Eagles Dare, and Patton. These movies had a profound impact on me and the stories I have come to tell. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that my books have been compared to The Great Escape, Public Enemies, The Day of the Jackal, and old-time Westerns. One reviewer said of my WWII thriller, Bodyguard of Deception: “Marquis throws in everything but the kitchen sink.” I consider that not a criticism, but a badge of honor and tribute to me and my late father and the movies we watched together growing up. Bodyguard of Deception is currently a Top 10 Best World War II Spy Book and Top 10 Fiction Book Set During WWII on Goodreads along with such WWII thrillers as Follett’s Eye of the Needle and The Key to Rebecca, Daniel Silva’s The Unlikely Spy, and Ben Mcintyre’s Agent Zigzag and Double Cross.

“A promising thriller writer with a fine hero, great research, and a high level of authenticity.”
—Donald Maass, Author of Writing 21st Century Fiction

You’ve delved into an area of WWII history many Americans don’t even know existed. Some know about the Japanese-American internment camps, but some have no idea the US had German POWs here. Where did you get your research for that?

I read Arnold Krammer’s eye-opening Nazi Prisoners of War in America (1996), and from there, I read around thirty books and articles dealing with German POWS in America.  As stated in my response to Question #1 above, it is interesting that, between 1943 and 1945, nearly a half million German prisoners were held in 511 POW camps across the United States, many of them in the American West. POW internment camps like Camp Trinidad in Southern Colorado and Camp Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona, were the scenes of exciting mass German escapes and FBI manhunts, forced POW labor to alleviate the drain of able-bodied workers fighting overseas, and internal battles and political murders between Nazi and anti-Nazi German prisoners.

Which character are you most like or identify the most with in Bodyguard of Deception?

Believe it or not, I like Katherine Templeton (the Countess von Walburg) the best. I like strong female characters. But because I am male, I am most like her son Erik, the German spy and escaped POW, and Colonel Morrison, the commandant of the fictional Camp Pershing. In my books, I make sure to care about, and even love, all of my characters, even the villains. You have to love your villains and show their good side, to make your readers uncomfortable and create dramatic tension.

You do a great job with descriptive writing. I can feel the cold of the nights and the heat of the days, as well as see the fanatical moments of some of the characters. I can see the craziness in the eyes of one certain character toward the end. What type of background do you have in writing? What kind of training to give you that touch?

I have written extensively since I was in high school, took several English classes in college at Denison University, and published over twenty articles on oil exploration, hydrogeology, and environmental contamination (I have an M.S. in geology) before I wrote my first novel. But it took me several years and three novels before I could pen professional-caliber thrillers. I have been at this for a few years and have had two New York literary agents. Now my first two thrillers, The Slush Pile Brigade and Blind Thrust, were #1 Denver Post bestsellers, and my first three books received multiple national book awards (USA Best Book Awards, Beverly Hills Book Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year).  In addition, my first four books garnered positive reviews from #1 bestseller James Patterson, Kirkus Reviews, and Foreword Reviews (5 Stars). But it took a hell of a lot of hard work and persistence to become a “bestselling, award-winning author.”

A woman plays a big part in the book. Sometimes we men don’t pull off writing women well. We forget to put in the nuances that make her a woman and not just a female name attached to our male dialogue and narrative. Did you take a lot of care to get that just right? Did you have help with beta-readers, editors, or anyone to tell you that you nailed it?

My wife is a professional book editor, and she is hard on me and makes sure I get my female characters right. The key is to have empathy for your characters and to constantly put yourself in their shoes. If you do that, I think the dialogue and character relationships will come out all right.

What is your novel writing process? By this, I mean from idea to book shelf, do you research, write, put it away, then rinse and repeat. Every author has a different way.

You just described it very well. My problem is that I have too many, not too few, book ideas and not enough time to turn them all into novels.

I love the book cover for Bodyguard of Deception. It is not overdone but gets everything needed across. Once into the story you get the meaning of it even more. How involved were you in its design? Who came up with it? Who did it?

My book cover designer is award-winning book designer George Foster (www.fostercovers.com), and I love what he does for my covers. He is a true professional and one of the best in the business. I give him a book synopsis, we talk about ideas for a half hour, and then I turn him loose and he does the rest.

With your job by day, writing by night, what hobbies does such a busy man indulge in? What shows do you binge watch? What’s the last good book you read?

I am an avid lacrosse player, downhill skier, and movie watcher. I played in the 2014 Lacrosse World Games and play lacrosse every weekend with most of the players half my age. I have a gift for “finishing”, which is another way of saying I can put the ball in the net. So I am a 54-year-old “Laxbro.”

Who would you like to see play your main characters in a movie or even a TV series?

Erik von Walburg – German Spy and Escaped German POW: Armie Hammer

Katherine von Walburg – German-born American ranch owner and owner of Broadmoor Hotel, mother of Erik: Cate Blanchett or Kristin Scott Thomas

Colonel Jack Morrison – American Colonel, Commandant of Camp Pershing: Jeff Bridges

Tam MacGregor – Scottish Colonel, Chief of the B1A counterintelligence section of British Military Intelligence Section 5 (MI5): Michael Fassbender

What was it like writing Hoover, considering all of the history we know about him?

During the war, Hoover actually played a large role in hunting down German spies and POWs. As director of the FBI and as a human being, Hoover was absolutely over-the-top, so I had to write him like that. At his heart, he was an overzealous law-and-order type guy, glory-seeker, and turf-protector, who was driven by an almost religious-like fervor to promote the FBI in any way possible, at the expense of other law enforcement agencies. But he was also crucial to the modernization and technical optimization of law enforcement that we see today on all the CSI shows.

Have you had any feedback from people that experienced the POWs in America?

Yes, Roy Romer, the former Governor of Colorado and DNC Co-Chairman, remembered the old German POWS in eastern Colorado from when he was a boy and said he enjoyed that aspect of the book. He was nice enough to give me the review for my front cover, too. It reads:

Bodyguard of Deception grabbed my attention right from the beginning and never let go. The character development is excellent. Samuel Marquis has a knack for using historic details and events to create captivating and fun to read tales.”

—Roy R. Romer, 39th Governor of Colorado

What is the project you are working on now?

I am beginning to do my final month-long edits on the second book in my Joe Higheagle Environmental Sleuth Series, The Cluster, a childhood cancer cluster mystery set in Colorado. The novel is based on my hydrogeological experience with the Rosamond cancer cluster in California. Think Erin Brokovich, Michael Clayton, and A Civil Action. In other words, my day job as an expert witness in groundwater cases, but with more diabolically-clever corporate bad guys and dangerous gunplay.

What inspires you to write?

I’ve always wanted to write and simply have to do it. I like to create memorable characters and tell wildly implausible stories that actually seem quite real.

 “The Coalition has a lot of good action and suspense, an unusual female assassin, and the potential to be another The Day After Tomorrow [the runaway best-seller by Allan Folsom].”
—James Patterson, #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author

You are on a deserted island and you can take only one book to read, what book would that be and why?

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. Because it’s my favorite book of all time, the best story ever told about the American West, and it’s nice and long.


Now you know a little more about Samuel Marquis. Go get his books. Now. Seriously. I can’t wait for Roman Moon, the next installment of the WWII Trilogy, to come out in January 2017.-Ronovan Hester, Interviewer

Get the next #1 Bestselling book at:

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Visit #1 Bestselling Author Samuel Marquis at http://samuelmarquisbooks.com/.

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NEW BOOK! The Land of Look Behind by @AaronBlaylock

The Land of Look Behind

by

Aaron Blaylock

“I just finished the book during my lunch break and the words that come to mind are incredible and awesome!!! I have been an avid reader of Mystery Novels for more than 40 years. I have read dozens of books from many of the great author’s including Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ellery Queen etc. And I can honestly say that this book is in the same league as anything I have read from any of the greats.”-5 Star Review

“The interesting character development at the beginning made you feel like you knew them personally.” 4 Star Review

The Land of Look Behind by Aaron Blaylock

Book Description

“When Gideon, a former missionary, discovers a mysterious drawing tucked in an ancient journal he returns to Jamaica with dreams of finding a centuries old treasure.  He quickly learns there are those who would kill to keep the treasure secret. This thrilling adventure takes you deep into Jamaica’s treacherous cockpit country and back in time for a spine-tingling mystery you won’t be able to put down.”

Author Aaron BlaylockAaron Blaylock, author of The Land of Look Behind, was born and raised in Arizona. As a child he grew up in the shadow of the Superstition Mountains in the far east valley. Later he attended Mesa Verde High School in Citrus Heights, CA, where he lettered in football. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America and has remained active in the scouting organization for over twenty years.

Currently he and his wife Lola live in Mesa, AZ, and are raising their four children. When not working, writing, or serving at church Aaron volunteers as a soccer and baseball coach for his children and enjoys chasing a small white ball around a golf course.

His storytelling draws heavily on his love of history, adventure, his faith, and his own life experiences.

Order The Land of Look Behind on

Amazon or at Barnes & Noble

 

 

The Judas Apocalypse by @DanMcNeil888 “At times his encounters are humorous, deadly, and explosive.”

the-judas-apocalypse-dan-mcneil-review

He’s been referred to as the new Dan on the block of historical fiction conspiracy theories. I don’t agree. Dan McNeil handles his subject with a better hand than Brown ever has. Yeah, sure, you want to knock him across the room at times but who doesn’t want to read something that gets them on an emotional level at times? If you want a fluff read, skip this review. McNeil isn’t about fluff.

Dan McNeil? You know, I normally have a few ideas to start off with for a review. The problem today is—McNeil throws numerous things into The Judas Apocalypse that are intriguing and varied. And they The Judas Apocalypse by Dan McNeilappeal to me on a DNA level. That meaning he has inclusions which spark my interests.

McNeil gives us a story that spans two thousand years, not year by year or hanging out in that distant past for so long you want to skip pages, and that story threatens to devastate a world, a way of life, and rewrite history. And he does so by piecing together historical facts with bits of legends and myths that are most familiar and some not so to the average layman. He brings some new twists to the saying “everything old is new again”.

I’ll tell you this, I know the legends, the history, and the names of the real people mentioned in The Judas Apocalypse. And McNeil gets them right AND he brings some to life in a most interesting way. Why do I know these things? I was a world history expert and teacher with special courses in Nazi and European History under my belt. I taught delinquents to the point they blew the national average in World History testing away.

History is still a major love of my life. This is why one day, not so long ago, I chose to pick up this book and begin reading for pleasure, yes, a Book Reviewer was going to read for pleasure with no intent on reviewing. But my motto is “Read a Book, Write a Review”.

Then I got either interested or ticked off because McNeil was writing about the same characters I used in a YA book I had written a few years ago. (It’s still in one of the draft stages on my computer.)

Dr. Gerhard Denninger, a Jewish Archaeologist in Nazi Germany is spending his years in of all places the Ahnenerbe, the Heritage Bureau of the Third Reich, headed by Heinrich Himmler himself. This is the department that searches for religious relics in the hopes their power will bring victory to the Third Reich.

He comes in contact with a fellow member of the Bureau, one Otto Rahn and off we go on the adventure of a life time. Denninger’s love of the legend of the Cathars and their missing treasure has consumed his life and now he finds himself doing whatever it takes to find it. This includes lying, cheating, and risking death at the hands of the Nazi regime as he makes his way closer and closer to his dream come true. At times his encounters are humorous, deadly, and explosive.

But what happens when he stumbles across four US Army soldiers, who make modern day Reality Shows look like the cast of My Three Sons, wandering France in search of their unit? It gets even stranger and more nerve racking.

McNeil unites four soldiers that represent a broad range of US culture and forces them to be a close knit unit to survive.

  • Who is good?
  • Who is bad?
  • Who is nuts?
  • Who can be trusted?

Honestly, the answers may not be as clear as you think, not even to Dr. Denninger who gets a ringside seat to the soap opera that occurs as they all continue on the hunt for the Cathar Treasure.

This is one well researched piece of fiction and you don’t feel like you’re reading a research article like you do in some novels who get lost and forget they are writing a story to entertain. There  are times when you completely lose yourself in Dan McNeil’s world. You see and hear things. You feel remorse at times, even surprisingly for characters you can’t stand. McNeil makes you have emotions and thoughts, or perhaps maybe I should say he has you examine things about yourself at times that may make you wonder.

Dan McNeil makes mention at the beginning about the religious content of The Judas Apocalypse.  For those on either side of the hill about their faith, this book need not worry you. Read as it was intended, a good, fun time to let your imagination flow from a man who obviously has some obsession with history and loves to piece together the pieces from different puzzles to make a new picture. I personally was able to read it with no problems and knew enough and felt enough about what I believe to enjoy the story.

Personally, I believe a book that gives one pause at times is a good book. I like to have a think as a result of something I have read rather than have my time and thoughts filled with something I won’t get anything out of. Dan McNeil’s The Judas Apocalypse is a book that will make you think. And at times some of you will shout at him. Don’t worry, he won’t hear you, and if he did, he would laugh and applaud, for that’s what he was hoping for, I’m sure.

Dan Brown? Indiana Jones? Neither. This is a unique story with characters not fitting nicely into anyone else’s pigeon hole. Similarities of feel? Maybe, just so you have that frame of reference where this might genre might fall, and find yourself comfortable in, but the story is its own story.

RECOMMENDATION

I recommend this book for lovers of history, WWII fiction, and some of those archaeological adventure stories.

Character Believability: 4The Judas Apocalypse by Dan McNeil
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4.5
Reader Enjoyment: 4.5
Overall Rate: 4.2

GET THE JUDAS APOCALYPSE

Amazon.com       Amazon.ca        Amazon.co.uk

Visit http://www.danmcneil.ca/ for other outlets.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan McNeilDan McNeil is a born, raised and currently residing Canadian and proud to say so. After a song-writing partnership brought some fame and continued own into a music career, Dan spent many years behind the scenes of television as a camera operator learning the art of storytelling, whether it be good or bad. He became senior editor of the station and often composed the music for many of the local productions. Then it happened.

His first book, “The Judas Apocalypse” was published in 2008. He fully enjoyed the experience and decided to write another. His latest offering is “Can’t Buy Me Love,” a light hearted romp about a heist during the Beatle’s first visit to the United States in 1964, to be released in the summer of 2012. He currently is fending off his friends and fans constant clamoring for more. As if there isn’t more in the works.

CONNECT WITH DAN

 

http://www.danmcneil.ca/

https://www.facebook.com/judasapocalypse

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Ronovan Hester is an author, with his debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling due out in December of 2015. He shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer through his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.com.

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@RonovanWrites

© Copyright-All rights reserved by LitWorldInterviews.com 2015

 

Why Free Ebooks Don’t Sell.

Why does Free not sell?

That’s a question I have seen a few times around the author blogs. Having recently, okay, not too recently signed up for BookBub.com I have been getting a lot of Free Ebooks. But then again I’ve passed on a lot as well—a whole lot. I subscribe to a broad range of genres, from kids to adults, from romance to even horror.

Why do I pass on getting a Free book?

  • First thing is the cover just doesn’t work for me. Yep, the visual hits me first.
  • But, I can move past that if the title works. But then the Title doesn’t work.
  • Then the blurb doesn’t work.
  • Then there is the pen name of the author. The name chosen doesn’t work because it’s an obvious cheese attempt to grab attention. It grabs attention but for the wrong reasons.

I think we all want to believe we can do it all ourselves and for free. Perhaps you are a great book cover artist, creative book blurb writer, and you already have a great name for an author. But for the rest of us I think we need to come to terms that if we want to stand out from the crowd and catch an eye we need to be willing to either put in the effort to really learn how to do everything professionally, which does mean some money and a lot of time, thus meaning a longer time to get that book out there, or we pay professionals to do things for us.

Really, it all depends on what our idea of success is.

  • Do we want to be a million-seller?
  • Do we want to sell enough to do okay living?
  • Do we want to simply have people read and enjoy our work?
  • Do we want the sense of accomplishment that we wrote a book?

If you want to test out what you’ve done, you could put a selection of book covers on your site, without author names and titles, and see which ones work. Use books already out there and mix yours in. That doesn’t mean to actually use their book cover as your own if people like it better. Then do book titles. Then go for book blurbs. Test out what people like. Look at Amazon and see what those top selling people, that aren’t perhaps big names, doing. Big names can almost put out a blank cover with their name on it and people will buy it knowing what to expect inside. Test, test, test.

Much Respect

Ronovan

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We are what we eat…

A Diary of Writing Wisdom (and other nonsense)

#THREE

We are what we eat…

038-001

The Latin proverb simulac hoc, ergo propter hoc, which may be translated, “everything is the product of its environment,” is the basis for this writing theory.

According to this idea authors are like rivers. Rivers do not create water; they receive it from springs and streams. In the same way authors receive their ideas from the streams of thought that are flowing in the corner of the world in which they live. A middle-class Eastern author will receive middle-class Eastern ideas. A working-class Western author will receive working-class Western ideas.

To say it another way, authors “are what they eat.” This idea applies to minds as well as to bodies. It assumes that, just as my body is the product of red curry or pulled-pork BBQ (depending on my background), so also my mind is the product of French ideas or American ideas, liberal ideas or conservative ideas (depending on my background).

Growing authors, however, will realize this about themselves and seek out ways to “alternate” what they eat (every once in a while).

As a step toward becoming more aware of the kind of writer you now are. As a step toward becoming the kind of writer you someday wish to be—take time to consider not only how what you eat may be contributing to your writing, but how what you only eat may also be limiting your writing.

Variety adds spice . . . to writing life.

#Book #Review @RonovanWrites David Janssen-Our Conversations-The Early Years by @MichaelPhelps3

david janssen our conversations volume 1 book reviewTitle: David Janssen-Our Conversations Volume One-The Early Years: 1965-1972
Author: Michael Phelps  michaelphelpsnovels.com
Format: Kindle, Paperback
Price: $5.99, $16.97
File Size: 734 KB
Print Length: 351 pages
Genre: Memoir, Biography
Publisher: Blue Line Publishing House, Inc
Published: 27 Sept 2014
Language: English
ASIN: B00MX6VPYE
ISBN-10: 0988777827
ISBN-13: 978-0988777828
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled

Lending: Enabled
Sold by: Amazon
Barnes&Noble

 

I’ll start off by saying, Mike Phelps is a friend of mine since I interviewed him. You can’t help it. But that doesn’t mean this review will be anything but honest. If I couldn’t give an honest review on the site I created then I would not do the review. 

David Janssen wasn’t just a Star. He was human like the rest of us. He had the same problems but at times magnified with different circumstances but the Exact. Same. Problems. It’s just that his problems were free game for the world to see. Just think, you frown in a picture next to your wife or girlfriend and the next thing you know the world hears there is trouble in paradise. You and your girl find out there is a problem in your life months before there is one. Self fulling perhaps? Who knows?

In David Janssen-Our Conversations Volume One-The Early Years: 1965-1972 we discover just how human David Janssen was. The original Fugitive before Harrison Ford knew what a Wookie was and the reason the movie Ford was in was ever even made. But we also discover how super human he was. His long time non-Hollywood friend Michael Phelps gives us an inside look at just how David Janssen handled some of the toughest moments of his life, including his divorce from his first wife, Ellie Janssen. If you don’t know about that particular part of Janssen’s life, you’ll find out why I call Janssen super human.

David Janssen’s success with The Fugitive series and his problems following its success and its ending while still at the top of the ratings are discussed along with relationship problems with Ellie Janssen, Rosemary Forsyth and the woman he missed out on, as well as his love for the children the women brought into his life.

I like that we see David’s side of things, even these many years after Ellie Janssen’s biography David Janssen-My Fugitive told a decidedly different story about her time with David. A biography in which Michael Phelps was involved with but has clearly stated was Ellie’s story, not his. He typed as she dictated with his filling in blanks one moment while dodging flying glass objects another.

Michael Phelps’ back ground as a police officer prior to meeting David Janssen and then in security and as an investigator comes through in his approach to sharing his memories. As a historian I enjoyed the straightforward way the conversations were presented with small snippets of Michael Phelps’ own life interlaced to give a good passage of time and some parallels of the two friends’ lives that I’m not even sure Phelps realizes. This wasn’t just about a man sitting around waiting for his famous friend to call. Mike had his own life and David was interested in that life. Mike cared about David Janssen just as you care about your best friend. The long distance friendship Janssen and Phelps shared proved to me what kind of man Janssen was more than the words spoken revealed. And Mike’s concern for David throughout is obvious. That’s Mike. That’s Mike then, and that’s Mike now.

I enjoyed discovering David Janssen’s opinions about John Wayne, which I could see as being true. The discussions between Phelps and Janssen about Jack Webb of Dragnet fame who was the creator and executive producer of O’Hara: U.S. Treasury, a one season Janssen series. The people David found to be true friends were at times surprising to me. As you read through the conversations David also reveals more about himself than I think Michael Phelps realizes. In a way I think Mike was living a life that David Janssen wanted, but never realized it was what he wanted. David never actually recognized that was part of the thing that made his friendship with Michael Phelps work.

You move through the book at a good pace waiting for that next communication with David Janssen to find out what was going on in all facets of his life. Parts of conversations at times were just like any other friendship in the world in that things were repeated just like you would to your own friend; Greetings, inside jokes and endearments. You find yourself saying the same things with the nuggets of information mixed in. That was part of the editing agreement Michael Phelps had, don’t touch the conversations. Just think, “Hi, Dave.” “How did you know it was me,” Mike said with a laugh through the phone. “I would kill anyone else calling me at 3 AM.” (my paraphrasing of dialogue) That’s Michael Phelps.

As for the writing itself? Chapters are short so you commit to very small amounts of time reading and you know if you start another chapter it won’t be much to jump into as you are about to head out the door or go to bed.  David Janssen did have a use of language at times that one might would expect from someone in the middle of situations he found himself in, but that adds to the authenticity of the book. I recommend reading this over the course of days as opposed to in one or two sittings. The reasons being there is a lot of information and the repetitive nature of parts of conversations between friends might lead ones eyes to skip forward. If you do, you might miss little moments that are very telling.

Michael Phelps gives the warts and all. Sure, Janssen was his friend but he gives it all to us. We get to make our own opinions.

If you are wanting a book to learn about the behind the scenes world of Hollywood, how actors had to play the game, how they had to worry about things we never need to and learn about a TV Icon Legend, about how a TV series really is made, then this is the book for you. Gift it if you want to.

Overall, this is a recommendation for any fan of old school real acting TV and Movie legends. This isn’t a name dropping sensationalist book, though names are mentioned. What you get is David Janssen, period.

(My Amazon Review)

Michael Phelps Author
https://twitter.com/MichaelPhelps3 http://www.MichaelPhelpsNovels.com http://michaelphelps1.wordpress.com/

Ratings
Realistic Characterization:N/A
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall Enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5

 

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Review by:
Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites

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#BookReview by @RonovanWrites of Jasper Penzey: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis by @MLaSarre

monica lasarre jasper penzey book review banner

Title: Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis
Author: Monica LaSarre  monicalasarre.com
Format: Hardcover
Price: $13.01
File Size: 5430 KB
Print Length: 144 pages
Genre: Detective, Adventure, Middle Grades, Fantasy
Simultaneous Device usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Chalfant Eckert Publishing
Published: 21 Oct 2014
Language: English
ASIN: B00OR2NFXG
ISBN-10: 1633081206
ISBN-13: 978-1633081208
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Sold by: Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Nine year old Jasper’s life changes unexpectedly when his father announces the two of them are moving to Greece because of his work. With a mysterious gift and message left for him on his windowsill Jasper begins an adventure in a new country that takes him in search of the secret to finding the Lost City of Atlantis. Does Atlantis exist? How can he find it? And who is trying to stop him?

With a 10 year old, intelligent and inquisitive son of my own I was looking forward to reading this book. The book is aimed at Middle Grade readers and I can see that through some of the word usage and the thinking processes used by Jasper. Very well done. Very much Recommended on that front. Some of he words will push a young reader just enough to make it a challenge but not take away from the enjoyment.

Being a debut novel I was surprised by the great imagery the book provided. LaSarre really does an amazing job of making you feel like you are in the various environments of the book ranging from Louisiana to Greece. Very good descriptions but not at all over done. Just the right touch.

The characters in the book are mostly believable with only a couple of actions that caused me to pause as to how and why but nothing to take away from the book. The story itself is very easy to follow and the flow is good until right near the end where a few things became slightly confusing because of the action taking place but ultimately it all came together.

For a young reader this would be a great book. It gives just enough to make for an interesting read without being loaded down with a lot of unneeded mythological or archaeological details you would find in an older reader book. My son is the next one to read it. He’s been waiting for it.

Monica_LaSarre_Author.jpg
Monica LaSarre @MLaSarre MonicaLaSarre.com

Ratings
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall Enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.7/5

Review by:
Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

@RonovanWrites

RonovanWrites.WordPress.com

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The Dazzling Darkness @PaulaCappa1 Q&A TODAY!

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GOTHIC READERS BOOK CLUB CHOICE AWARD WINNER
★★★★★  Outstanding Fiction “Dazzling sums up Paula Cappa’s paranormal/supernatural novel … an elegance and grace that seduces you.”

BRONZE MEDAL WINNER, Readers’ Favorite Book Award for Supernatural Fiction, 2014 “Beautiful and high standard writing style from start to finish … a superb and classy supernatural novel.” Readers’ Favorite Reviews

“Paula Cappa is a master of the metaphysical mystery genre…an extraordinary and original storyteller of the first rank. Very highly recommended.” Midwest Book Review.  

 

 

I sometimes find an Author that jumps out at me, no, not in a scary way like from around the corner. Instead they jump out at me with words. They capture the imagination, the senses and give that subtle sense of not quite fear but that classic something. Yes, for a writer I am having a difficult time capturing exactly what I mean here. So instead of continuing to describe an Author that captures a classic style in a modern manner, let me introduce you to . . .

 

Author

Paula Cappa

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@paulacappa1    

RW: Where are you from?    
PAULA: Grew up in Connecticut but now live in New York State.

RW: I know you like to discover new authors, but I think one way to give our readers a feel for who you are in style of writing is to let them know who you admire.
PAULA: Writers that I admire greatly are Susan Hill, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Tolstoy, Lovecraft, MR James, Poe, Chekhov, Gertrude Atherton, Ann Rice, Daphne du Marier.

RW: With those classic influences of admiration, what in turn brings you to writing, writing fiction, a novel, do what you do?  
PAULA: I began writing fiction in college. Then dabbled in it in my adults years, but it wasn’t until I began writing feature articles for community newspapers in New York and Connecticut that I really dove in. I took a summer writing course at Yale and that motivated me to commit and I went back to fiction. I’ve been writing short stories and novels and will continue to stay in fiction.

RW: I think if would be very unlikely anyone would be surprised that The Dazzling Darkness falls into the supernatural mystery/quiet horror/dark fiction genres. Tell us about your novel.  
PAULA: The Dazzling Darkness is about a family. Their son goes missing and there’s evidence that he was inside a locked cemetery near his house. Supernatural powers prevail as the police and the family struggled to locate the child.

The main character is Antonia Brooke, a mom who owns a local bookshop in Concord MA. This is a story about a lost child and so many moms and dads have that fear. And it’s fear that propels the story. Fear of never finding Henry again and that some supernatural power will be stronger than our earthly powers.

Henry Vaughan (1600s) made the term dazzling darkness famous in his poem, The Night, which I quote at the opening of the novel …His line reads, “A deep but dazzling darkness.” Actually, it was originally coined by Dionysius (500 AD). Dionysius says, “Truth lies hidden in the dazzling darkness.” I found this symbolism for what Henry discovers to be a good representation. The poem emphasizes light can only be seen from the darkness. Essentially Vaughan is telling us that we can see more than just surface reality.

The novel actually developed from a line in one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays in his address called Nature. He wrote … “Even the corpse has its own beauty.” Shocking statement, right? The more I read about Emerson’s personal experiences with death, the more the story began to take shape. Emerson lost his young wife Ellen only a short time after they were married. He buried her in the family vault and a year later, still driven by intense grief, he opened her coffin. What a heart-breaking experience! And then twenty-five years later, after his young son Waldo dies at five-years-old, Emerson opened his coffin as well. These images all connected for me: images of a cemetery, images of a boy named Henry suddenly appeared, coffins opening. The story just unraveled in a very exciting way and Emerson was that foundation.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?
PAULA: That we don’t know everything about this world or what may be on the other side of death.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?
PAULA: Not to close off possibilities to answers.

RW: Describe your book in one word.  
PAULA: Mystical.

 

Paula Cappa is currently is published by Crispin Books in Milwaukee, WI. With:
Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural” is about angels and demons. An artist named Kip Livingston paints her dreams. In one of her dreams is a firehawk. What is a firehawk? Probably not what you think. The thing about the firehawk is that it’s not just in her dreams. The entity breaks through into her waking life. And the firehawk has something shocking to reveal to Kip”.

She also has a short story, “Beyond Castle Frankenstein” about Mary Shelly seeking the ghost of her husband out in Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, an anthology of shorts.

You can get her books at: Amazon.com Barnes & Noble. Smashwords.com. Kobo.com and some local bookstores in Westchester County NY.

What’s out next from Paula?

“A novel about the supernatural powers in music. And some short stories (Just got my short story “Magic of the Loons,” published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Ezine on Amazon.)”

 Now for my off the topic questions to delve into your inner being.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?
PAULA: I’m a tea drinker (love teapots!)

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?
PAULA: Take a nature walk, listen to music or watch reruns of Downton Abbey.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?
PAULA: Pierced Heart by Lynn Shepherd.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?
PAULA: Keep studying and practicing the craft. The goal is to be a professional writer, not just get published.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?
PAULA: I wish I wrote Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black. The best ghost story! Hill is a master at writing atmospheric prose and she can plot very tightly.

RW: What is your favorite word?
PAULA: Please.

 

 

Connect with Paula Cappa:
Blog: paulacappa.wordpress.com 
Offers a free classic short story every week, my own published short stories, book reviews, and a contact me page.
Facebook: Paula Cappa
Twitter: @paulacappa1
Google+: Paula Cappa

 

I think everyone can see how Paula might be able to make you jump just with her words. I want to thank Paula Cappa for this interview. I found her influences interesting in being the classics, those many of us grew up with. Who among us did not read Poe and Hawthorne in Lit class in High School? Anne Rice is a classic of the modern era in her imagery. With those authors firing the synapses in Paula’s brain you just know you are in for an interesting and perhaps sleepless read.

 

Get her books, follower her everywhere and as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

 

Much Respect

Ron_LWI

 

 

Ronovan

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Read a Book, Write a Review.

Read a Book, Write a Review.

That’s my new slogan here at LWI.

What many people don’t realize is, reviews have an impact on Amazon and other sites in how a book might show up and of course the more reviews the better chance of a book being purchased.

I’ll have something more about how to write a good review at another point. But really, just write an honest and helpful review for a possible reader. Write what you would be looking for if you were wanting to know about the book, without giving away the story of course. I had to throw that in there because you know some people might give away all the details.

 

Expect to see “Read a Book, Write a Review” a lot.

Much Respect

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

Ronovanfollowmeonbloglovin

 

 

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