Tag Archives: new release

IN THOSE FIRST BRIGHT DAYS OF ELVIS by Josephine Rascoe Keenan

I’m sure those who know me can imagine how excited I am about today’s guest…I admit, I haven’t read the book yet, but with a title like that, you can bet I’m going to. Please help me welcome Josephine, with an intriguing book and a truly fascinating interview….

One trivial decision can change a whole life.

In Those First Bright Days of Elvis, Book I of the YA series, The Days of Elvis. 

When fifteen-year-old Julie Morgan makes a casual decision to attend a concert at the football stadium of her Arkansas hometown her life is irreparably changed. At the concert she encounters three strangers: a lookalike, who could pass for her twin; a college boy, who will be the love of her life; and Elvis Presley, with whom she forms an unlikely friendship as his “good luck charm,” before his meteoric rise to fame. Julie, a small-town girl bound by the social code of the 1950s, makes a serious mistake in in her attempts to cope with her broken home and bolster her damaged self-esteem. One misstep leads to another, and another, and yet another, ultimately catapulting her into a terrible dilemma with no apparent way out.

In Those First Bright Days of Elvis weaves a story of human anguish and betrayal, love and loss, recrimination and regret, and shows how choices, once made, can change one’s life forever. The book meticulously recreates the “golden days” of drive-in movies, screen wire petticoats, and flashy American cars, when the world seemed brighter and more innocent than today. But was it?

After working many years in theatre and film as a director and as a professional actress, Josephine Rascoe Keenan retired to focus on writing novels and short stories for young people.  In May of 2016 Pen-L Publishing launched her debut novel, In Those First Bright Days of Elvis, Book I of a series entitled The Days of Elvis, about a young girl with an absentee father.  Book II, In Those Dazzling Days of Elvis, launches in June of 2017. Two of Josephine’s stories have appeared in the teen magazine, Cricket, and her poem, A Ride on Grandpa’s Foot appeared in Modern Maturity magazine. Her plays have toured with Artreach Touring Theatre; and one was chosen as a winner of Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati’s New Play Contest.

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I was born and raised in Arkansas’s oil patch, El Dorado, city of “black gold,” where In Those First Bright Days of Elvis is set. We make it more southern and call it El Duh ray duh. I now live in Cincinnati, Ohio with my husband Frank and two feline princesses, Katie Katherine Kalico and Molly Underfoot.

Where did you get the idea for In Those First Bright Days of Elvis?

I have always preferred historical fiction to dull history books we studied in the classroom. I wanted to give young people of today a glimpse of what life was like in the middle of the 20th century—how it was similar, and how it was different.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

The most difficult thing for me was finding information about how to actually write a book. I wrote two other books, yet unpublished, before writing In Those First Bright Days of Elvis. Just because you may be good at English grammar and love to read, doesn’t mean you have the know-how to construct a plot and create characters your readers will love. The first thing I learned about writing novels was that without trouble for the main character, a book is not interesting. This led me to the next step, the creation of a compelling plot and characters that people could relate to. I strongly believe that my work in theatre has helped me to write convincing dialogue for my books.

What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

With regard to this book, the most difficult part was doing the volumes of research necessary to give authenticity to a work of historical fiction, even though the story stems principally from the imagination.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

The only real person in the books is Elvis Presley, and his dialogue and letters are fictional. All of Elvis Presley’s concerts, recording dates, and appearances used in the book were thoroughly researched. The Hillbilly Amateur Show, which occurs in Chapter One of In Those First Bright Days of Elvis really did take place on October 17, 1955, at the War Memorial Stadium in El Dorado, Arkansas. According to eye witnesses who attended the concert, he wore the clothes described in my book.

All other events and characters, no matter how much they may remind you of someone you know or knew, are totally fictional. Naturally a writer draws on human characteristics to create a credible character, but it is more fun, in my opinion, to make up a character than to describe someone real.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

In those days there was no Drivers Ed in the schools; parents taught kids to drive. The first thing I learned about driving was to back down the driveway. The idea was if you could back up, it was a piece of cake to go forward. In the small town of El Dorado we got our learner’s permits as young as age 12. By age 14 we were fully licensed to drive, when and if our folks would let us have the car.

The only drugs we knew of were prescriptions from the doctor, or aspirin for headaches, and coke syrup for upset stomachs. Our teachers could give us a hug to show they valued us and a whipping if we didn’t “sit down and shut up” when told.  It went without saying that if you got a whipping in school, you got another one when you got home. Parents backed the teachers and Principal. In spite of threats, few kids were ever whipped in school. The presence of the wooden paddle with holes in it lying on the teacher’s desk was enough to deter most misbehavior. We were full of energy and found it difficult to sit still and study all day, but we did so, rather than take the consequences. School was interesting and fun, once you bit the bullet and realized you had no choice except to knuckle down.

When I grew up, there were no cell phones, no computers, and few families had televisions. I was fourteen years old before we got a TV in our home. Kids today don’t know how lucky they are not to have to sit at home and wait for their boyfriends or girlfriends to call. Another tidbit: Girls did not call boys in those days. They had to wait for the boy to call them.

What book have you read that you wish you had written?

I would have to say A Year Down Yonder, by Richard Peck—a brilliant writer. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it, as well as the two companion books, A Long Way from Chicago, and A Time of Giving. All three books will touch your deepest emotions, bringing tears as well as side-splitting laughter. These books, though written for kids, must surely attract a huge crossover readership, for they so accurately and humorously reveal human nature and devoted family life.

What is your favorite book of all time? What is your favorite childhood book?

My favorite book of all time must be Gone with the Wind, although I have read and delighted in many books. To name a few: Anya Seton’s Katherine; Mary Stewart’s  Merlin Trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, The Last Enchantment); Désirée by Annemarie Selinko. I’ve enjoyed many classics, including Eliot’s Silas Marner, Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd, Hemmingway’s The Sun Also Rises, and Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I adore Gary Schmidt’s middle-grade books, especially Okay For Now and The Wednesday Wars, and how could I omit the great Harry Potter series?

My favorite childhood books were the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. When needing comfort, I still turn to Laura’s stories.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

I have had many jobs in my life, for acting and directing theatrical productions do not provide steady work. In New York, I worked for Goodson-Todman Television Productions on To Tell The Truth (daytime), a game show. I taught speech and drama for three years in the D. C. area, and I have worked with temporary employment services, such as Kelly Girl. For many years I supplemented my work in the entertainment industry as a realtor. But I always knew in the back of my mind that someday I would focus entirely on writing. In 2006 that day came. Somewhat regretfully, I abandoned my lifelong career in theatre and film to write fulltime for young people. Regretfully because I adored being in the world of entertainment and played some intriguing roles that brought me enormous gratification, as well as awards for excellence in both acting and directing.

Who is the most famous person you have ever met?

The most famous person I have ever met was Johnny Cash. We met when I was fortunate enough to be chosen for a feature role in his movie, The Pride of Jesse Hallum. During breaks when the film crew was busy lighting our stand-ins, Johnny and I sat on a log and talked about Arkansas, where we both hailed from. He was a truly admirable person. Over the course of my years in theatre, I’ve had the priviledge of working with many famous people. To name a few: Karen Grassle (known for Caroline Ingalls in the Little House on the Prairie television series) in As You Like It at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival; Daniel Davis (known for The Hunt for Red October and the sitcom The Nanny) in the Cincinnati Playhouse production of Hamlet; Robert Townsend (known for The Five Heartbeats) in the PBS Ket television series Another Page; major league Cincinnati Reds baseball star Johnny Bench in a Fifth Third Bank TV commercial; Patricia Neal narrated a PBS special I appeared in for KET called This Other Eden; Soupy Sales (known for What’s My Line and other TV game shows) in Tomboy Productions film This Train.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I want readers get in touch with their emotions as they read not only this first book in The Days of Elvis series, but also the next two, In Those Dazzling Days of Elvis, (coming out in June 2017), and In Those Glory Days of Elvis, (coming out in the spring of 2018.) I hope that they will laugh, cry, and relate to the characters. I hope the book will stir their emotions and touch their lives in such a way that they will see that people are pretty much the same today as they were in that historic time period known as the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Most of all I hope they will find answers to their own problems through the characters and their choices.

What actors would you like in the main roles if your book were made into a movie?

This is the most fun question of all, because I look forward to the three books in The Days of Elvis series being made into a movie. (I believe if you believe it will, it has a much greater chance of happening.)

I would invite the following actors to audition. In my own directing of theatrical works, I never precast a show. It is so important to evaluate how actors sound and look together as an ensemble.

For the following roles:

Julie/Carmen – Emma Stone and Rooney Mara

Mama – Amy Adams, Julia Roberts, and Julianne Moore

Claudia – Cameron Diaz and Kara Sedgwick

Scott (the father) – Matt Damon and Russell Crowe

Farrel – Sterling Knight and Shia La Beouf

Engene Hoffmeyer – Jamie Bell and Rupert Grint

Maylene – Jennifer Lawrence

Frances Latimer – Hollan Roden and Blake Lively

Mamaw (in book III) – ME! (-:

Papaw – Billy Bob Thornton

What is your favorite:

Movie – Pretty Woman

Music – Classical and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Place you’ve visited – the American west

Place you’d like to visit – DeSmet, SD

TV show from childhood – As the World Turns

TV show from adulthood – The Duchess of Duke Street

Food – Hot Water Cornbread and turnip greens

Sports team – The Arkansas Razorbacks

I prefer television to board/card games

What is your favorite quote?

“Of all the sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.’” John Greenleaf Whittier

Thank you, Alicia, for your support and thanks to your readers.

Follow me on Facebook: Josephine.Keenan1

and Twitter: FJKeenan1

Visit me at www.KeenanNovels.com, and sign up for my blog.

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, Elvis Presley, New Release, Uncategorized

Author Interview with Jacki Renée ~ New Release: Necessary Lies ~ #Giveaway

Please help me welcome Jacki Renée…(Be sure to check out her AWESOME giveaway!!)

 

Happy to have you here, Jacki. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

Born and raised in sunny Southern California, I live minutes away from the construction site for the LA Rams football stadium. I’m a single mother of two amazing daughters, ages 24 and 16 (the age difference is a blessing and a curse). We have 3 dogs, 2 bunnies, and 1 turtle.

Where did you get the idea for Necessary Lies?

NECESSARY LIES started as a short story for a post on a free social publishing site. One morning, while driving to work and listening to Ryan Seacrest on KIIS-FM, the first two lines of Stay With Me by Sam Smith made me ask myself, ‘what if Bryan felt that way?’ and the seed was planted for the story to grow into a full-length novel with plot twists and turns and a secret backstory. One evening I was watching Dancing With The Stars and heard Leela James sing Fall For You live. Her soulful voice gave my story its journey of trust and love. I was sitting in the car in front of my daughter’s middle school waiting for them to return from grad-nite and heard Not A Bad Thing by Justin Timberlake on the radio. My hero now had a voice and a purpose, and the one book turned into a trilogy.

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

I can’t really say I chose to write romantic suspense, the theme of my storyline just happens to fall in that subgenre with a high heat level.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

I like to use industry standards as guidelines for being different. I don’t want my stories to fit neatly in any box.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

For me, the most difficult thing about writing a book is sending my baby [book] off into the world to be read and judged. Liked or disliked. Hoping everyone loves it, yet remaining open minded when someone doesn’t.

Are there any tricks, habits or superstitions you have when creating a story?

When I’m having a difficult time writing, I go sit in the car with my laptop. Being out of the house gets me over the hurdle and knowing the closest electrical outlet is just steps away allows me to enclose myself for a few hours.

Do you collect anything?

I collect tote bags. It is an obsession. If I’m at an event and vendors are handing tote bags, I have to have one (or two).

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Necessary Lies?

I’m fascinated by the way the brain processes words and use that knowledge to my advantage by intentionally using double entendres to hide the truth in plain sight. I want my readers to come away with feeling challenged to think outside the box when reading the Lies storyline.

What is your favorite quote?

The dirt always comes out in the wash.

If you could spend time with a character from your book, whom would it be? And what would you do during that day? (PG-13 please :))

I would want to hang out with Max. He is funny and carefree. Flamboyant and quick witted. I can picture us going shopping and him convincing me the dress doesn’t make my butt look big even though the mirror says differently. He would make me buy the highest heels I can stand in, then teach me how to stomp the runway in them.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

The very first writing contest I entered, a judge wrote: ‘You need to read more books in your genre and follow those examples. It’s obvious you are clueless about what romantic suspense is’ [copied directly from the scoresheet]. Little did that judge know, I do read romantic suspense, but I believe there is more than one way to spin a suspense tale.

What has been the best compliment?

I asked a critic partner, if she would provide a quote for my press release. She wrote: Necessary Lies is an intriguing story told in an intriguing way. The use of two first person POVs kept me totally engaged and it will you, too. – Michal Scott

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

The brotherhood and bond between the Men of Phantom is based on the friendship my nephew has with his friends. They have known each other for 20+ years. These young men are ‘ride-or-die’ friends and all successful in their own way. I try to capture that bond in each story of the series.

How did you come up with the title?

Sometimes it is necessary to tell a lie to protect a loved one.

Your favorite…

Movie – The Color Purple, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

Music – All genres except heavy-metal and gangster rap

Place you’ve visited – Boulder, Colorado; Tempe, Arizona

Place you’d like to visit – Washington D.C.; Chicago, Illinois,

TV show from childhood – Good Times, What’s Happening, The Brady Bunch, The Love Boat, reruns of The Munsters, The Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy, Gidget

TV show from adulthood – Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless, Baby Daddy

 

Thank you, Jacki. Wow, fun interview. That judge needs a lesson in etiquette and courtesy. Ha, I LOVE Justin Timberlake. And Baby Daddy. You’re the only other person I’ve heard of who watches. 🙂

Jacki is giving away a fabulous prize: An I Am Jacki Renée Tote Bag filled with, (1) Men of Phantom T-Shirt, (1) Rubber Book Mark (made out of recycled tires), (1) Pen, (1) Mini Journal, and (1) $25 Amazon Gift Card.

To enter, answer this question: On her wedding day, what borrowed item was Danielle given? – (A name will be drawn from the correct answers)

Author’s Bio:

Dare to Take a Risk and Stand out From the Crowd.

I am Jacki Renée. If you see me behind the wheel—lips moving, no one else in the car—don’t be frightened. I’m having a conversation with one of the many characters who live in my mind. But if I’m bobbing my head and snapping my fingers, getting into the beat of the music and the lyrics to the song, do not disturb. I’m developing a story or a character.

Music sparks my inspiration to write and I listen to a variety of music. I credit my story ideas to the emotions I sense when listening to music. It’s the tone of the artist’s voice mixed with the sounds coming from the instruments that sends my literal mind into another dimension. I play songs on repeat until I can put into words how I want my characters to be perceived.

Reading is my Passion, writing is my Pleasure. An avid reader, I pick up a book to escape everyday life for a few hours. And if the story is exceptionally good, I’ll escape reality for twenty-four hours. Reading novels since high school, from timeless literary masterpieces to today’s mainstream fiction, I’ve found both passion and pleasure in the written world of books. I divide my “me time” between my daughters, writing, and reading. It started as an after-work hobby until a follower encouraged me to try writing on a professional level. I nurtured my gift into an obtainable dream.

A web search for information on a teen soap opera series tapped into my pleasure for writing. My first adventure happened when I stumbled upon FanFiction. After months of following many aspiring writers on the website, I worked up the courage to submit a one-shot story. The feedback and comments I received encouraged me to write more. It didn’t take long before the one-shots turned into short stories. Then one day, a short story turned into my first full-length novel, which expanded into a trilogy and now a planned series of trilogies. Even after a two-year break from posting on the site, my stories are still getting views, favorites, and comments. I look back on those posts to measure how much I’ve grown. The redundancy, grammar, and punctuation errors are criminal acts for which I could be prosecuted, but those stories are my beginnings. My babies. When I give pep talks to author friends, I always start with, “you have to crawl before you walk; walk before you run; then run so you can leap over the hurdles and cross the finish line as a published author.”

My approach to writing is to draw the outline and allow the imagination of the reader to color in the blanks. Meticulously chosen words can outline the plot yet still hide the truth in plain sight. Emotional words invoke the images and colors, sounds and scents, tastes and touch of the story. Words are the clues used to visualize the story. I strive to create a portal to a different reality, so my readers see the story through the eyes of the characters. Call me sinister, but I love keeping my readers confused to the end, then shocking them when I point out the obvious. If you commit to traveling the road, you get to experience the peaks and valleys and walk with the characters into the arms of a “Happily Ever After.”

My goals as an author are to… always finish what I start, be it a book written by a fellow author, or a manuscript I worked on but put aside. Expand my reading palate by finding new authors and “paying-it-forward.” Stay true to my beliefs, yet open myself to a world seen through the eyes of others. Always find the positive in the face of differences because my stories may not be for everyone, but they will entertain someone.

 

 

Necessary Lies Book Blurb:

What do you do when your whole life is a lie?

Single mother, Dr. Danielle Edwards, never imagined her happily-ever-after ending so soon. But now her world has been shaken off its axis. Orphaned and raised in foster care, Danielle learned early in life to be independent. The only emotional attachment she had in childhood was to her friend and now-dead husband, James. The only emotional attachment she has now, is her daughter. That was until Bryan came into their lives…

Everything about Colonel Bryan K. Hawk IV is devised to draw Danielle to him—from the way he dresses, to his motherless child. On the surface, Bryan is a successful global businessman, but he’s hiding the real purpose for his relationship with Danielle. For nine-years, he’s been investigating James Edwards. His assignment, to recover stolen information from an anti-American organization—information that exposes a centennial government secret that could start World War III. And Danielle is unknowingly caught in the middle.

Bryan is trained to get answers by any means necessary, even seduction. But the government didn’t train him how to resist someone like Danielle. Not even when he’s falling in love… not when the truth will rip them apart forever.

 

Necessary Lies Excerpt:

On the way to the grocery store, a catchy song plays on the radio and I turn up the volume. The lyrics ignite a yearning in my heart and the emotion in the singer’s voice speaks to my soul. I know what it’s like to want to give yourself to someone, but to be uncertain if they will take care of your heart. It takes ultimate trust to drop my guard and make myself vulnerable to anyone. I wanted that with Bryan. I wholeheartedly gave him something James never had. The most valued piece of me. We have history. I didn’t realize how lonely I’d been until we moved here. My world has been shaken off its axis.

 

Contact Links:

https://www.iamjackirenee.com

facebook.com/iamjackirenee

twitter.com/iamjackirenee

instagram.com/iamjackirenee

Buy Links: (ONLY 99 cents!!)

Necessary Lies is available for purchase on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Lies-Men-Phantom-Book-ebook/dp/B01LY3FGYA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492433685&sr=8-1&keywords=necessary+lies+jacki+renee

Also on: B&N, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Scribd, Inktera, 24symbols. A personally autographed copy can be purchased through my website.

Very proud of this book cover created by Kim Killion of The Killion Group, Inc.

The hawk tattoo was designed by Terry of Terry Didum Designs.

I had never been to Boulder, Colorado. I spent a few days there to experience, firsthand, the city I fell in love with via internet research. The real came close to the fiction.

I didn’t know about this sculpture of a red-tail hawk until I walked through the courtyard of the courthouse. That is the moment I knew writing was my true life’s journey – April 2016.

Walking Pearl Street was surreal – April 2016

The tulips on Pearl Street were in full bloom – April 2016

Aww… the faces in the pansies on Pearl Street – April 2016

 

Breathtaking view of the seasons changing in Boulder, Colorado

April 2016

April 2016

April 2016

 

Thank you, and please feel free to reach out to me via my website or on any of my social media platforms.

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Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway, New Release

Author Interview with Izzy Szyn ~ New Release: Resurrection of Artemis

Please help me welcome today’s guest, Izzy Szyn with an interview and her latest release…

Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets? 

I’m from Detroit, live in Oklahoma City. My mom and brothers still live in Detroit and I have a sister and niece that lives here. I have dog named Misty that is Chihuahua/terrier mix.

Where did you get the idea for RESURRECTION OF ARTEMIS Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)? 

I was in a chat one night with Candi Fox and Bobbi Romans and we talked about getting together and doing a boxed set together. We decided to do superheroes/villains. I’d never written one before, but I always had this germ of an idea for one.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

I work in a call center for iphone tech support, (not Apple) and one day our phones went crazy because there was a big outage in Texas and people were going crazy? So Artemis was born.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

Finding time to write.

What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

Trying to find a superhero and villain name that hadn’t been used before.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

Yes. I work in a call center helping people who have problems with their phones. It’s okay, but want to write full time.

What do you dislike that most people wouldn’t understand?

Cheese. I like it on pizza and spaghetti, but hate grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese.

Do you collect anything?

I guess you can say flip flops, it’s my fav shoe, I think I have more of them then regular shoes.

What was your first job?

Working in a cafeteria in a Montgomery Wards. It lasted a month.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

If I could afford it, my job

What’s your favorite book of all time and why?

I think it has to be Sue Barton, Student Nurse. It’s a really old book, but I read it when I was ten. I had to do a book report for school and it’s the book that turned me into a bookaholic.

What’s your favorite childhood book?

Hmmm, Wizard of Oz? I would definitely redo it one day, but of course it would be hotter.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Resurrection of Artemis?

I hope they want more, I’d write another if there was enough interest.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

I don’t mind a bad review as long as they say why they didn’t like the book. If they just put this book sucks and nothing else then I’d rather them not leave one.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

Erotic suspense thriller

If you were stranded on a deserted island and you could have 3 (inanimate) objects, what would they be?

Pepsi, food and a bed

Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yeah, I’m currently working on three others. I can’t seem to write just one at a time.

Thank you, Izzy…it was nice getting to know you. I will have to say, I find it VERY odd that you dislike cheese. It’s one of my very favorite foods! 😀 I love that you wrote about a super hero. I started a series years ago that was sort of a mixture of super hero and paranormal romance. I’ll dig it out and finish it one of these days. Thanks again for visiting with me today!

Izzy has a giveaway, and then, we’ll hear more about her latest release…

Izzy will be awarding a $10 Amazon to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here. http://reviewsbycacb.blogspot.com/p/resurrection-of-artemis-izzy-szyn-izzy.html

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blurb:

Once known as the infamous hacker Artemis, Amy Wilson now works in a coffee shop. With only months until the end of her probation from working in the technological industry that she loves, Amy is determined to keep Artemis dead and buried.

When incidents similar to the ones Amy did start occurring all fingers start pointing in Artemis’ direction, and three people that want Artemis to come out of retirement.

Quail City’s super heroes Dark Master and Calypso aka as multi-billionaire Noah Adams and his assistant Vanessa London know Amy’s secret, and also know that she is being set up. Having spent months in a flirtmance with Amy, they are tired of waiting and want both her and Artemis in their bed.

Hinderer wants to hold technology hostage, but in order to do that he needs Artemis’ assistance, and he will use any methods necessary to gain her cooperation.

 

Amazon Buy link http://amzn.to/2nAFqKe

Also on Amazon Unlimited

Excerpt

“People have been mentioning Artemis,” Calypso said. “You wouldn’t have heard anything?”

They knew, Amy thought. Somehow they knew. “No, Artemis isn’t here anymore. At least from what I heard.”

“Damn shame, too,” complained one of the customers in the shop. “Not the Artemis that is playing with the lights and stuff. But the Artemis who liked to help people with their problems.”

“Yeah, I think if someone is behind it, it’s someone pretending to be Artemis, or trying to shift the blame on her,” said another customer. “She may have done some things, but she’d never deliberately set out to get people hurt.”

Amy smiled at the person that made the comment. “I’ve been here all day. But it’s more than the traffic lights. Didn’t I hear that the other day the Financial District was shut down because the money showed at zero?”

“That is something that Artemis had fun with,” Dark Master commented. “Or had in the past.”

“I’m sure that whatever has been happening in Quail City has nothing to do with Artemis,” Amy replied.

“Hope for Artemis’ sake it’s true,” Calypso said. “Williams is ranting and raving in Commissioner James’ office asking for her to be arrested.”

Just bet he is, thought Amy. “Is there anything else I can get you?” Amy asked them. She saw that it was almost six and the last bus going towards her apartment would be there any minute.

“You in our bed,” Calypso said in her ear. “Your blue hair will look glorious on our pillows.” Then out loud stated, “That’s all for now.”

Author Info:

New York Times Bestselling Author Izzy Szyn was born in May of 2014 when a friend dared her to write. Born and raised in Detroit, Mi. Izzy now lives in Oklahoma City with her furchild Misty, the friendliest Chihuahua/Terrier you will ever meet. Currently works in a call center, where she writes in between phone calls.

Izzy loves to keep in touch with her readers. Email her at izzyszyn@gmail.com.

Find her on Facebook 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/Izzy-Szyn-379714942215154/timeline/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/izzySzyn

Blog: https://izzyszyn.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13836241.Izzy_Szyn

Google Plus link: https://plus.google.com/100905614042668276073

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, giveaway, New Release

The American Civil War – The Way the Brits Saw It by Linda Nightingale ~ New Release: Her General in Gray

Please help me welcome fellow AHA author, Linda Nightingale, with an intersting article & a new release!

 

The American Civil War – The Way the Brits Saw It

Brit’s Eye View:  The Northern States denied the right of secession, claiming that the union was a “federal” one, in which case the attempt at separation is rebellion. The Southern States claimed that the Union was a “confederation” from which any member is entitled to separate itself. The British Government under Henry John Temple (3rd Viscount Palmerston) declined to judge between them.

Yet, popular sentiment was passionately divided. The violent feelings against slavery won many to the Union cause, but the political advocacy of the right of self-government won sympathy for the Confederacy from many another. Since the South fought against heavy odds, the sporting British people were drawn to the Confederacy.

Palmerston’s government was determined to maintain a strict neutrality. This, to most intents and purposes, it succeeded in doing though their cotton industry suffered direly. The blockades of the Southern ports cut off supplies of raw cotton upon which the Lancashire cotton industry was dependent. The cotton famine deprived many Lancashire operatives of their means of livelihood.

The Trent Affair increased sympathy with the South in England and very nearly involved Great Britain in the war. The Southerners dispatched two commissioners, one to England and one to France. The commissioners reached a neutral port and embarked on a British vessel, the Trent. A Union warship boarded The Trent and the commissioners were carried off. A declaration of war was only averted when President Lincoln gave way to the demands of the British Government and released the commissioners.

Yet, the Union had cause for complaint. Ships were built and fitted out in British docks and sailed from British ports with apparently harmless intent, to be employed as cruisers by the Confederates, having been cleverly concealed. The most notorious instance was the Alabama. The British Government flatly repudiated the charge that it did not display due diligence in preventing such action. When the war ended with the Union the victor, claims were brought for damages done by the cruisers.

If Britain had entered the war on the side of the South, how might history have been different!

Her General in Gray was inspired by the Ghost & Mrs. Muir, not by the Civil War.  Here is the blurb and a short excerpt.  See what you think of this Confederate General.

BLURB:

Autumn Hartley purchases Allen Hall at a steal, but the northern lass gets far more than a beautiful plantation in the South Carolina Low Country. The house comes complete with its own ghost, a handsome and charming Civil War General—for the Confederacy. The stage is set for another civil conflict.

John Sibley Allen died in battle from a wound in the back, the bullet fired by the turncoat, Beauregard Dudley. The traitor’s reincarnation is Autumn the Interloper’s first dinner guest. Sib bedevils her date and annoys her with fleeting, phantom touches, certain he can frighten her away as he did previous purchasers. As time marches on, her resident ghost becomes more appealing while her suitor, Beau, pales in comparison. Autumn finds her ability to love didn’t perish in the divorce that sent her south seeking a fresh start.

After over a century in the hereafter, Sib discovers he is falling for none other than the feisty Yankee girl, but what future could a modern woman and an old-fashioned ghost possibly hope for?

EXCERPT:

“Did you have slaves, General Allen?”

“I did, Miss Hartley. They were an extended part of my family. None left the plantation when the war began. Unfortunately, I was killed in battle, as were my other two brothers, and they were forced to accept freedom. My estranged brother inherited and basically sent them packing with no more than the clothes on their backs. Perhaps Hell is his new habitat.”

“Why are you still here?” She glanced around the room.  “I mean why didn’t you go wherever dead people go?”

He laughed.  “To torment you, I suppose.”

“You’re doing that grandly.” She flung a shooing gesture.  “Leave.  I’ve no need of a ghostly…whatever.”

“I’m not a whatever, Miss Hartley. This is my house, and you’re the intruder—along with the coward who murdered me.” He removed his coat, hanging it on the back of a chair. “With all due respect, I take offense to your tone and the fact that you served Beauregard on my mother’s fine china.  She loved those pieces.”

“I’m the intruder? You’re dead. You have no claim on this place.” She braced her hands on her hips, glaring at the arrogant spirit.

Buy Links:

https://www.amazon.com/Her-General-Gray-Linda-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B06W9HFMBM/

http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/

 

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From the First ~ New Release by Alexa Padgett ~ Giveaway!!

Sharing a new release by Alexa Padgett…and, she has a great giveaway!! She’s giving away 5 free ebook copies of From the First…

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e8c6095a2/

I’m a news junkie, so when I read a sweet story about frat boys writing messages in their windows back to a young girl who was hospitalized for a chronic illness, I knew I wanted to share that story somehow.

Kai was the logical choice. From the previous book in the series, Many Sounds of Silence, we knew Kai had issues. And what better way to work through those challenges than through sacrificial love? I have to admit, I’m a sucker for sensitive men, and Kai’s sensitivity gets him in to all kinds of trouble.

I’ve wanted to write about a female scientist–I have a daughter who’s fascinated by science and engineering, and I wanted to do my part to normalize women in such roles for her–and here was my chance. Granted, Evie’s childhood is more traumatic than my daughter’s, but that suffering makes Evie more empathetic, more nuanced (and with a history I’d never want for my child–ever!).

The question was, how to get these two adults into the hospital to meet the little girl? And, then, once they met, how could they not need each other and deserve their own HEA?

About the book…

Sudden Impacts

The car that slammed into Evangeline Mercer knocked her life apart. Her body will recover, but when she looks at the orphaned girl from the other car, she’s lost in memories of her own awful time in the foster system. Evie won’t let little Paige go through that nightmare, and she finds an unlikely ally in Kai Luchia, Paige’s newest friend and champion…

Hidden Fears

At 22, Kai is the lead singer in a chart-climbing band. He’s got frontman good looks and cash to burn. But fame and fortune don’t quiet the demons of his past. Or maybe it’s just that shy, sultry Evie has given him something better to desire…

Hurried Hope

When Paige’s case comes to a crisis, Kai and Evie have one reckless shot to take her future into their hands: get married, and fast. They’ll keep her safe. They’ll sate the lust that taunts them. And they’ll have each other, without any messy feelings to sort out. Unless racing away from the truth just leads to a bigger crash…

Only 99 cents!!

Find Alexa Here:

Amazon Page

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Brrr… give me something warm to eat! ~ Luanna Stewart’s New Release ~ #Giveaway

Author Luanna Stewart is sharing an article, a yummy sounding recipe, and her latest release…

Thank you, Alicia, for inviting me to visit with your readers.

Brrr… give me something warm to eat!

Here in the far northeast of the US, Maine to be exact, we’re ready for winter to be done. These last few mild days, with temperature hovering in the upper 40’s, may be a harbinger of spring, or, given the vagaries of the climate, they may be a mean and spiteful tease before another Nor’easter dumps a pile of snow and ice on us poor souls. I’d like to believe the former but I’ve lived here long enough to expect the latter. I’ll leave my cotton cardigans packed away for a few more weeks at least. And my meal planning will include hot comfort foods to warm my belly and my kitchen as I cook.

I use any excuse to turn on the oven, roasting rather than steaming the veggies. Baking rather than mashing the potatoes. Baking a loaf of bread not only warms the house it also perfumes the air with the most delectable smell. So when the freezing rain clatters against the windows, or the snow piles high enough to block the door, my kitchen is a warm room in which to dream of the coming spring.

Here is my go-to recipe for plain white bread. It is super easy, so even if you’ve never tried making yeast bread before, you should have success with this one.

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? Are you longing for spring, or are you already enjoying balmy days? Do you plan your meals based on the season?

GIVEAWAY!!

One commenter will receive a hand-knitted (by me) washcloth and a bar of handcrafted soap. (USA and Canada only.)

 

UPDATE 03-22-17 *** Congratulations to Sandy Tilley – Winner of the awesome hand-knitted washcloth and handcrafted soap. Congratulations, Sandy!

 

A mysterious letter and an enchanted keepsake promise to lead Miranda to her heart’s desire. Or does her heart secretly yearn for more than a sexy earl?

Blurb:

When a mysterious note directs Miss Miranda Large to a tiny village in Cornwall to find her heart’s desire, she has no choice but to go. An enchanted keepsake heightens her curiosity. A snowstorm forces her to accept the hospitality of a sullen, albeit sexy and handsome, earl and Miranda’s wish doesn’t seem so out of reach.

Edward Penhallion, the 12th Earl of Claverlock, is not in the mood to start his search for a new wife. He wants to be left alone with his books and his dreams of revenge. But the arrival of a headstrong, sharp-tongued spinster forces him to play the charming host. Not a difficult task, given her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, he’s not terribly eager for her to leave.

But as the snow falls and the winds blow, Edward discovers there’s more to Miranda than a lively wit and a lovely face. And Miranda wonders if the trappings of wealth are enough for true happiness.

Buy links for:  If Wishes Were Earls

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N0QJSHA/

Nook: http://bit.ly/2ifWvXO

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/if-wishes-were-earls-2

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/if-wishes-were-earls/id1184695145?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

All other retailers: https://www.draft2digital.com/book/209375

 

Luanna’s bio:

Luanna Stewart has been creating adventures for her imaginary friends since childhood. As soon as she discovered her grandmother’s stash of romance novels, all plots had to lead to a happily-ever-after.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Luanna now lives in Maine with her dear husband, two college boys, and two cats. When she’s not torturing her heroes and heroines, she’s in her kitchen baking something delicious.

Writing under the pen name Grace Hood, she has two novellas published with The Wild Rose Press.

Luanna Stewart
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Author Interview: Krysta Scott ~ New Release: Shadow Dancer #TWRP

I am beyond delighted to host my friend and share her debut novel, Shadow Dancer, which is an excellent paranormal romance.

Welcome, Krysta! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Hello my name is Krysta Scott. I grew up a mid-western girl in the suburbs of Chicago. After I graduated from college, I relocated to Oklahoma with my husband. I have been in Oklahoma ever since and consider Oklahoma my true home. Chicago is a nice place to visit but it is too anxiety provoking. I prefer the slow calm pace of a fifteen minute rush hour to and from work. Also, my daughters are native Oklahomans and they would have it no other way.

Where did you get the idea for Shadow Dancer and what was the most difficult thing about it?

I am a family law attorney who does some work as a Guardian Ad Litem. When I started writing again after law school I was encouraged to write about being a lawyer. Much of what I do is wade through the muck of emotional turmoil caused by tearing a family apart. It’s bad enough when I represent the parent. They fight about past wounds and injuries that have nothing to do with the child. Yet somehow the child gets pulled into their battles. It is especially painful from the child’s perspective. When I am a Guardian Ad Litem, I try to keep the child out of the middle of the dispute as much as possible. It is not an easy task. So you can imagine my reluctance to write about the heartbreak I deal with all the time. But then I thought, what if I could change how parents behave? That’s how the idea for Shadow Dancer emerged.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

I am an attorney. Most days I like it a lot. Some days it can be very stressful. Writing is a very good way to relieve that stress. That is probably why I took to writing again.

Do you collect anything?

I collect Star Trek ornaments. It started when I got the shuttlecraft ornament as a birthday gift. It all got out of hand. I have almost all of the Star Trek ships, Star Wars ships and the Dr. Who Tardis. I have so many ornaments they have their own tree. I bought a black Christmas tree with white lights so my ships could hang in space during the holiday season. This is a good thing for the rest of my family so they can have their own more traditional Christmas tree.

What was your first job?

I worked at Burger King. When my daughters were little they thought that was cooler than being a silly old attorney.

What’s the main thing that you could get rid of in your life that would give you more writing time?

Well that’s not hard. Stop watching TV. Not going to happen but I would certainly have more time on my hands.

What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Escape to Witch Mountain. These books took me to another world where fabulous things like magic and flying cars were possible.

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Shadow Dancer?

Having the power to change things is a huge responsibility. There are consequences to misusing power even if you have the best intentions.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

I would rather have a bad review than no review. There are many reasons a reasons a reader likes or dislikes a book. That’s why there are so many different types of books. There is something for everyone.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

Romantic Suspense or thriller.

What is your most prized material possession?

My Raggedy Ann dolls. Why? When I was a child I created voices and personalities for my Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. I would control them for my sister. They are a big part of my childhood. Like the characters in my favorite books, they have stayed with me.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

My favorite author is probably Joan D. Vinge. She is a very skilled world builder. Her descriptions are pure poetry, her character three dimensional and her concepts are breathtaking.

Tell us your favorite…

Movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Music: Pop and Rock & Roll
Place you’ve visited: Scotland
Place you’d like to visit: India and Italy
TV show from childhood: Lost in Space
TV show from adulthood: How to Get Away with Murder
Food: Sushi
Sports team:  Cubs and Bears
Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television? I would say board games but I think the more honest answer is television.

And now, Krysta has a question for readers. And, she’s giving away a $5 Amazon gift card to one commenter. To enter, answer this question:

Would you rather read about characters facing problems in the real world or a world far far away? Why?

 

Blurb:

As an attorney for children, Guardian Ad Litem Nikki Angelus’ priority is protecting innocents caught between warring parents in custody proceedings. Her job proves almost impossible, until she discovers the power, through dreams, to alter the past and transform people into loving parents. But devilishly attractive attorney, Garrett Nightshade, seems to know what she’s trying to do, and is determined to stop her.

Garrett Nightshade isn’t happy about his position in the Guild of the Celestial Night. Especially when he’s given the task to find and destroy the Shadow Dancer—a Guild member with the ability to unleash dangerous power. His duty becomes even more distasteful when he learns that the lovely, enigmatic Nikki Angelus might somehow be involved.

Will their growing love survive the showdown between the shadowed dream world and reality?

Excerpt:

Nikki leaned against the sink contemplating her next move. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t characterize what the Hanover family needed.

She stopped Parker from beating his wife, but something still remained…off. Especially since he was using his powers again. She spread toothpaste onto her toothbrush and scrubbed her teeth so hard her gums bled. Not once during the time she was mucking around in Parker’s head did she stop to consider his parents might have been right to strip him of his gifts. She’d focused on Parker’s pain, not on the reasons for his parents’ actions. She spat into the sink. She had to make this right. But where to begin?

Parker would have his guard up. Resistance would make her task more difficult if not impossible. In truth, she wasn’t quite sure how to go about mending such egregious errors. Perhaps focusing her efforts in strengthening Amy’s defenses against Parker’s wishes would net better results. She wrapped Amy’s velvet scrunchy around her wrist, the one Lori had given her.

Nikki glanced up in the mirror again, pressing her lips together. She wouldn’t be deterred from her mission until she fixed this situation. She stalked to the bed, crawled in, and pulled the covers to her neck. She closed her eyes and drifted into oblivion. She raised an arm toward the slip stream. Before she was caught up in its electrical surge, steel fingers wrapped around her arm and yanked her around. She looked into Garrett’s hard gaze.

“You’ve done enough damage. I won’t let you cause anymore.”

“And how are you going to stop me? I’ve evaded you before.” She was getting weary of his pestering. Didn’t he understand she was trying to fix her mistakes?

“Like this.” He moved closer. The heat of his breath trailed her skin, tickling the back of her neck. He kissed her, sending shockwaves of need charging to her most private places. The smell of cinnamon and cloves drove her to a frenzy. Fire coursed through her veins. The charge sizzled on her lips. She fell into him, kissed him back. Her traitorous arms circled his neck. His hands locked against her spine, sending warm shivers through her.

She dragged her lips from his, gasping for air. Her heart ached but she willed herself to stay put. This was all a game to him. A desperate ploy. “I know what you’re trying to do. It won’t work.” Her mind reeled.

He smirked. “If you knew what I was trying to do, we wouldn’t be in your head. You’d be in my bed.”

“I told you this would not happen again.” She balled her fists, refusing to give credence to the pleasure of his words. Oh, to fade into oblivion, here, with him. So easy to give in. But the bastard was only trying to distract her like she had him. Did he think her that stupid?

BIO:

Krysta Scott has always been a daydreamer, imagining worlds far away with happy endings. When she was in fifth grade, she was so caught up in fantasy she earned the dubious distinction of being named the girl who daydreams the most. The award for this questionable honor was a colorful transparent plastic poster made to look like stained glass. It was very cool. Given her flights of fancy, it came as no surprise to her family when she announced she was going to be an actress. Unfortunately, her pursuit into theater didn’t last long, because she was too withdrawn and shy to exhibit any talent in this area. Left with no other choice but to pursue a more practical avocation, she decided to major in psychology and then go to law school. Not able to let go of the worlds she created in her head, she returned to writing and was very excited when the Wild Rose Press contacted her first book.

 

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