Sincerely Me…

sinsundaySo I thought since I have interviewed hundreds of authors over the years on this blog, that you would enjoy hearing me answer some of the questions I have posed to them over the years.

Each week I will answer one or two questions, if you want you can leave your own questions for me in the comments and I will try and answer them in a future blog post!

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Do you write full-time or part-time?

At the moment I write part time, here and there between working, raising my kids, training the dog, and being a wife.  That doesn’t always mean the muse cooperates. Sometimes she buttons up on days when I am footloose and fancy free. Some days shes babbling like a brook on a hundred different ideas, while I’m running around being an adult.

It really depends on the day with her.

If I could I think I would be very happy to write full time. Who wouldn’t to have their passion be their job? I however am very lucky, I work for a wonderful boss who knows I write and fully supports the muse (so long as my work gets done first of course!)

Q&A with Maria E Schneider

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Please give a cold dead welcome to the lovely Maria Schneider to the blog this week!

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maria_schneider_authorpixWhat were you like at school?

Oh, you know how it is. You get involved in undercover work early. Plotting, making sure the bad guys are caught and keeping up a veil of innocence at all times!

Were you good at English?

I thought I was at the time, but passing an English test is a lot different that writing stories. There’s so much more to a story than mere words.

Which writers inspire you?

Elizabeth Peters because she wrote some of the funniest and entertaining books ever. Patricia Briggs because she writes intense character-driven stories.

So, what have you written?moonshadowboxbook20

I tend to stick to three genres in my writing. I write cozy mysteries (Sedona O’Hala humorous mysteries), urban fantasy (Moon Shadow series) and fantasy romance (Dragons of Wendal series). I’ve veered off this path now and then with Soul of the Desert (Coming of age crime novel) and Catch an Honest Thief (futuristic mystery). I’ve also experimented with different styles by writing short stories (Tracking Magic and Sage). (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest.)

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

I like strong characters—this includes male and female characters. Family elements often play a part in my writing as well. None of my heroines or heroes are alone in saving the world—no, they have baggage—mom, dad, brothers who get in the way, and aunts and uncles to make the job harder! I like to make sure that the hero not only gets the bad guys, but he or she learns to recognize the strengths in other people.

How much research do you do?

I research constantly. I’m a reader before a writer and every topic under the sun interests me. You never know when my research into “Communicating with cats” will come in handy! And, of course, my research is never done. I still can’t convince my cat that he does NOT need to go outside at 3 in the morning!

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

I wish I could work from an outline, but I’m a seat of the pants kind of writer. If I don’t just let the ideas flow, they turn into sludge. I call it the hummingbird approach. I zip in and out of a story, adding scenes, characters and details. Eventually, I have to stitch everything together, but the bulk of the writing is done free form.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I’ve learned to focus better and build on a single theme.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Writing. It’s supposed to be fun, but it’s work. THINKING about writing and THINKING up ideas is easy. Sitting down and turning them into a cohesive, fun story is a lot like tilling the garden. You’re sweating up a storm, dirt is spattered everywhere and your leg muscle cramps just when you need it most. Instead of a calm, scholarly person, you look like a deranged, muddy fool. If you’re very lucky, you avoid running the tiller over your foot.

What are you working on at the minute?

I just finished up Executive Dirt, the fourth book in the Sedona O’Hala mystery series. I plan to work on either another Dragons of Wendal book OR begin a new series. I’m freewheeling at the moment. (Translation: Goofing off.)

DragonswendalCoverWhere do the your ideas come from?

I have no idea. They are like the miracle of a flower blossoming. You start with compost and water and for the longest time you have smelly mud. Then, if you’re lucky, you get this green sprout. If you’re really lucky, it isn’t a weed. There are a lot of weeds and thorns in a writing career (Marketing. Bad reviews. That time you showed up for an interview and they thought you were Maria Schneider, the jazz artist.) If you take care of the details of writing long enough, you get a few blossoms.

Where can we buy or see them?

You can find my books at most retailers. Executive Lunch, the first in the Sedona O’Hala series is on sale right now for 99 cents. Under Witch Moon, the first in the Moon Shadow series is on sale for 1.99.

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Thank you so much Maria for joining us this week on the blog! Please be sure to follow Maria and check out some of her books!

Website: http://www.BearMountainBooks.com

Blog: http://www.BearMountainBooks.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maria.schneider.3382

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002M3FL16/?tag=bearm-20

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/BearMountainBooks?ref=BearMountainBooks

Book Links:

Kobo: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=c*Rz*soY0y8&subid=&offerid=290193.1&type=10&tmpid=9309&RD_PARM1=http%3A%2F%2Fstore.kobobooks.com%2Fen-us%2FSearch%2FQuery%3Fquery%3DMaria%2520schneider%2526fcmedia%3DBook

Apple: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/sedona-ohala-mysteries-boxed/id1028174720?mt=11&at=1000l9Vq

SCRIBD: https://www.scribd.com/search?query=maria+e+schneider

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3235992.Maria_E_Schneider

WIP Wednesdays: Only The Willing

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There are a lot of things that go into the plots of my books, and one of which is reality. A lot of the crimes I write about are based, in part on other cases, some of which remain unsolved.

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“So what do you think Jane? Boyfirend or husband?”

“Not likely sir. A husband I mean. She didnt have any wedding rings on her fingers and we didnt find any pictures of her with any men in her wallet. Most women if they are married have at least one picture of them and their beloved. She had nothing. Which also leads me to believe that there is more than likely no boy friend either. Again for the same reason. Most women like to show off the fact that they have a significant other in their lives. Same goes for women who have children. I dont think this lady had any. We will be able to confirm that once Doc Williams gets through with his end of things.”

“Ok thats good. Always good to be able to try and narrow things down a bit.”

“That doesnt mean that we wont be looking into a boyfriend or even a husband angle. But we both agree that its unlikely.” Stan added.

“Well I tend to put a lot of faith in Jane and your judgement as it usually turns out to be fairly accurate. I wouldnt be surprised that you are right again here.”

“Well as I said we will be double checking, you never know she could have been one of those private type people who just didnt want the world to know anything about her or her life. It wouldnt be the first time that we have come across someone who went against the gereral sociaital norms.”

“Thats right. Then again this whole thing could have somethign to do with her profession.”

“That again is true, she could have been having an affair with one of her coworkers and that may have turned sour. Maybe a jealous wife?” Stan said without thinking as he made notes in his notebook.

“I was more thinking along the lines of prostitution Stan, but you are right I could be wrong about what she does for a living.” Tony said with a grin as Stan looked up and realized how dense his last statement had sounded.

“Yeah there is that too. Sorry wasnt entirely paying attention to the conversation, was trying to work my head around a few things, thats all.” Stan replied as he felt the blood rushing to his cheeks.

“Stan has a point thought. We could have this all wrong. She might be a regular there like the motel manager, whats his name said, but he doesnt know what it is that she is doing with the room. He could be the one who is all confused.”

Teaser Tuesdays: Sacrifice of Innocence

teaser tuesday

So rather than tease you with upcoming releases, I figured I would invite you all to enjoy some of the first Stan Brookshire novels… this month we will start with Sacrifice of Innocence.

This prologue was designed to evoke feelings in the reader. I have fought long and hard with my own internal debate at its existence. It is not for everyone so please keep that in mind but I do what I do to shed light on the victims, in the hopes that one day.. there isn’t anymore to write about.

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The man in the corner listened in the darkness, the wind whistling through the crack in the window frame, billowing his hair around him. The child in the room with him was invisible in the darkness. Even the power of the sun, let alone the light from the full moon, could not dampen the gloom hidden behind the boarded windows.

Hearing a sound, the man stiffened. It was the child; the sweet, young child.

“Very soon, my precious, very soon,” Joseph whispered, his breath coming in short gasps. Excitement filled his belly; time was drawing closer for the boy.

Footsteps in the hallway caused the boy to whimper in fear, lighting the man’s loins on fire. Desperately wanting the forbidden, to touch and to play with the boy, he tried to force the urge back down. He wasn’t allowed that pleasure, yet. The priests would come soon and the boy would have to be pure. The man’s needs would have to wait. The boy would have to wait.

Dreaming of the day he would finally be able to have his way with the boy, the man fixed the delicious whimpers in his memory. The boy would no longer be able to cry and plea.

It was coming soon. So close now.

On the other side of the room, he heard the ominous creak of the door opening. Blinding light silhouetted a figure dressed in long robes.

He hurried over and retrieved his boy-child, his breath coming in gasps so ragged that he thought his lungs would cease to function.

A whimper was all that escaped the gag when the boy tried to scream. Cringing at the man’s touch, he fought against the bonds, causing the man’s groin to harden once more.

The man smiled. He tightened his grip upon the boy as he tried to wiggle free. The door stood open, waiting for him and the boy.

Suddenly, the door swung closed behind him, plunging the room into darkness once again.

Sincerely Me…

sinsundaySo I thought since I have interviewed hundreds of authors over the years on this blog, that you would enjoy hearing me answer some of the questions I have posed to them over the years.

Each week I will answer one or two questions, if you want you can leave your own questions for me in the comments and I will try and answer them in a future blog post!

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

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

Her name is Lisa. She is the reason behind ALL of this, which is something I consistently remind her of. While I joke about it being all of her fault (especially in those moments when I can’t think straight to save my soul.) it was a simple question that she asked one night when we were sitting on our favorite coffee shop patio watching the cars and people go by.

The conversation went a little like this: (Its paraphrased as well it was over 10 years ago)

HER: “What is one thing that you wanted to do as a kid that you have not done.”

ME: “Write a book.”

HER: “So why don’t you?”

ME: “Kid, work, life?”

HER: “So why don’t you?”

ME: “I’m not very good at it?” (after reiterating a short story how my grade eight English teacher trashed my first attempt at a detective novel)

HER: “So why don’t you?” (When she gets an idea in her head she doesn’t stop.)

ME: “I don’t know” (I remember being all out of excuses at one point)

The first few months were slow and tough, but she would nudge me and ask how it was going. Slowly but surely it started a snowball, that is still rolling strong a decade later.

Somehow she knew this was what I needed to be doing. She is my best friend for a reason and I love her. Thanks Dude.

NEW RELEASE: Bodyguard

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00066]

BODYGUARD

Gunshots ring out on a bright sunny morning and Olivia Wood’s perfectly neat and tidy life is turned upside down. With her life suddenly in danger and desperate to regain control of her shattered life, she is forced to accept help to ensure her safety.

When ex army ranger Bo Jackson was asked to join DOT as weapons specialist he believed he had found a great place to hide from his past. A place he could be useful and stood no chance anyone getting hurt because of him again. Being asked to protect another human being was not what he ever planned on.

Tempers flare and sparks fly as the two work against a faceless enemy in an unlikely partnership. Will he be able to overcome his past be her knight in shining armor? Will she be the one to mend his broken heart? Will they survive to see the future?

Grab your copy today for 99 cents! http://amzn.to/1SqhBMW

Q&A with Elizabeth A. A. Wilson

q & a

Author photo squarePlease give a cold dead welcome to the lovely Elizabeth Wilson to the blog this week!

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What are your ambitions for your writing career?

In short: to spread the light.

Look, they told me being an author would be hard, but it’s only been three years since I picked up a pen. The decision to become an author was instantaneous and divine. It was somehow laced with that magical ingredient that had been missing from most of my previous decisions: the lively will to act.

In the three years since, I’ve written two novels, one collaboratively with a New York Times bestselling author. I’ve written countless short stories, many receiving honorable mentions in some America’s most respected print publications. I’ve published one novel independently and the other through one of the greatest publishing houses in the world. My mystery novel went mass market paperback and is a huge success in North America and United Kingdom. I even got to meet, interview and share my book with the legendary 41 times bestselling fantasy author Piers Anthony.

I did all that in three years, and it wasn’t hard. NOT because I’m in any way more talented than any other. I know exactly why it went so smoothly, and my greatest ambition is to use my writing to teach others how easy it really is to be all that you want to be, to achieve your soul’s desire and to find peace.

What’s it about? 

“Ascension Denied”, the book that started it all, is a hilarious and clever story about the inevitability and beauty of death, the pointlessness of striving for any goal other than our own, and beer in heaven:

Purgatory is in trouble. Strange deals and corruption are preventing the dead from ascending to their final resting place. The ferryman is still bringing daily loads of freshly perished souls to the shores of the afterlife. Guardian angels are rebelling. But worse, the mayor has restricted all afterlife beer-drinking. What is the point of death if not to enjoy the fact that liver disease is no longer a threat? Alice Shepherd, who has only been dead for five years, finds herself at the helm of a band of activists determined to set things straight. But can Alice unclog the system before the streets are overrun by dead people? And what happens when two drunk guardian angels accidentally open the doors to Hell?

Give us an insight into your main characters. What do they do that is so special?

One of the interesting things I discovered about my characters is that dead or alive, angel or human, all wildly different, they all seem to share the same weakness: A fear of their perceived inability to handle what they believe they’ve been assigned to do. The intriguing thing is how they handle that fear, regardless of whether or not it’s valid. Take Mayor Jagger T. Fleisch for example. He is simply terrified of our heroine Alice Shepherd, and has implemented a stringent bureaucracy to keep purgatory under his control. In between drags of his soggy cigarette filter, his lipsticked pout barks condescending orders to assert his authority, sending him into fits of juicy coughs. He would do anything to increase his power. On the other hand, Raen-El, a guardian angel brimming with divine might, is crippled under the responsibility of protecting the living. He knows that every piece of advice he whispers will send ripples of cause and effect like aftershocks through the present and future of every living human. He would do anything to quit his job.

You know, I think we all share this fear. We’re torn between “follow your dreams” and “this is your lot, make do”. Throw in a bit of guilt-tripping and some stern words of advice from our elders, coupled with absolutely no idea what happens next, and I think we’re all pretty terrified. But then, like my characters, we plod along, making life up as we go along and from time to time we return to that core center where we are truly ourselves, and that’s where we find strength. When we revisit the part of us that knows there is nothing to fear we tap into an eternal stream of energy, intelligence and faith that can keep us progressing in the direction of our dreams as long as we’re willing to let it. The really magical thing is, as soon as we align with that part of ourselves everything becomes easy. Even publishing books.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

When we talk about success in publishing we often say it takes luck more than talent. And that’s probably true. But let’s examine what luck really is. You see, the same number of lucky pennies, better breaks, open doors and crazy coincidences are available to absolutely everyone. It’s the ability to spot them and, most importantly, act on them, that separates the “lucky” from those who stand still. When I decided to become an author and began to develop my story premise, the thought struck me that I should reach out to the business community and try to find a mentor. I sent my writing samples out and attracted the amazing Scott Ciencin, the New York Times bestselling author of Shadowdale. He liked my samples and asked if we EPSON MFP imagecould collaborate on an idea he had. A couple of years later our mystery novel “The Humbug Murders” was complete under our collaborative penname L. J. Oliver and published by Simon & Schuster across two continents. What an incredible stroke of luck for me, right? In fact, this success was almost inevitable and this is why: when you respond to a call from your soul, the universe conspires to make it happen for you in the highest and best way for all. Scott needed me, and I needed him, and our meeting resulted in the creation of a beautiful novel. Sadly, my dear friend Scott passed away suddenly before we finished the story, and the divine timing of it all solidified the belief in my mind that when you respond to those inner nudges, the hunches and flashes of inspiration, you know you’re moving in the direction that will best serve both you and others in your path.

Why do you write?

And that is precisely why I write. It’s the song calling to me from deep within, and once you hear its dulcet humming you can never unhear it! In fact, it is your responsibility to act on it, to do the thing that enlivens you the most. And it’s never too late to begin living in this truth of who you really are. You are enacting a story, living it page by page and writing it as you go along. Every decision you make opens a new chapter that takes your story in a different direction. When you revisit past chapters you have the power to read between the lines and discover new and deeper meanings – or simply to dwell on old words, if that is your choice. In this way you also have the power to shape the direction of your future, writing your story the way you want. You are never truly bound by the chapters of your past. But it takes empowerment and courage to recognize that.

My publishing success was not an end in its own right. Rather it was a demonstration to myself that I can achieve anything – absolutely anything when I find the courage to respond to the song. So the greatest gift I got from embarking on the great adventure of authorship was learning that good writing is about story – yes – but it is the empowerment of the hero that drives the story. Who is the hero? We all are, of course, the heroes of our own, amazing, individual stories.

I believe true spirituality lies in the ability to go within and take a close look at the stories we’re writing. To honor our own spirituality and faith in whatever form it takes: religious, natural, secular or scientific. There is no need to align with one belief system or another, but we do have a deep responsibility to align with ourselves. To listen to our inner voice and acknowledge it. And that is a challenge.

What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?

Stop looking for the formula. Whether it’s how to write your book, how to market it, get reviews, reach the top seller lists – whatever the formula might be that you’re looking for. Stop looking and start listening, really listening to the humming coming from within. There are infinite ways to succeed as an author, many of those ways haven’t even happened yet so you won’t find them as long as you’re looking out there. Instead, keep your thoughts and feelings focused on what enlivens you the most and dial up the volume on your soul song. The universe has a knack of working it all out for you, all you have to do is show up for the challenge.

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Thanks to Elizabeth for joining us on this weeks blog! Please be sure to follow her and check out her books!

Website: http://www.eaawilson.com

Blog: http://www.eaawilson.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EAAWilsonauthor/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/E.-A.-A.-Wilson/e/B00V0O1Q0I/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1451846963&sr=8-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13930915.E_A_A_Wilson

WIP Wednesdays: Only The Willing

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Ahh! I love this book. Gives ME the creeps! What about you?

*****

“I agree with you, Doc. I would rather you take your time and get back to me sometime tomorrow and then at least I know you will have done the best you can to try and figure out things on your end. I do not want to end up chasing my own tail because we missed something.”

“Neither do I Stan. This guy needs to go away. For a very long time.”

“I don’t doubt that. I know that you will do the best that you can to help us.”

“I will without a doubt, you have my word.”

“Thanks Doc. Ill be in touch later.” Stan said turning away before Doc Williams put a hand on Stan’s shoulder to stop him.

“Stan, one more thing.”

“Yes?”

“We have to work fast. If this is only the first victim for this guy he is a walking time bomb of rage. If this is not his first victim then he has been building up for a long time. Either way we need to stop him. As fast as we can. Otherwise we can expect more like this.”

“I would have to agree with you on that one Doc. This is not my idea of a great way to start my week off.”

“Agreed and I don’t know if I could handle any more weeks starting off like this.” Doc Williams said shaking his head as he turned back to his assistant who was going about making the preparations to transport the body back to the medical examiners office.

Stan left them and went looking for Jane trying to avoid looking at the bed as best as he could. He didn’t succeed very well and the glances he did steal in that direction were more than enough to make his stomach roll all over again. He found Jane outside the room gulping in fresh air.

“How you doing there partner?” Stan said coming up beside her and putting an around around her shoulders.

“I’m not so sure Ill be sleeping tonight after what I saw in there.” She said taking another deep breath of cool morning air.

COVER REVEALCaged:

 

Cover-Reveal

 

Title: Caged

Author: Karina Espinosa

Cover Design: Laura Hidalgo at Beyond DEF

Release Date: April 26, 2016

It’s hard out there for a lone-wolf.

 

Mackenzie Grey has started a brand new life in an attempt to escape the Brooklyn Pack. She settles in as a detective in a special unit of the LAPD when her identity is put at risk, and she has no choice but to run again. The question is: does she want to run forever?

As events force Mackenzie to confront her past, she is met with many surprises—including the revelation of her true ancestry. When Packs across the country learn of who she is, Kenz becomes the object of desire in a deadly wolf hunt, and she must once again fight to keep her freedom. 

Witnessing first-hand the barbaric treatment of Lunas, Mackenzie has to make a choice—follow the prediction of her Vision Quest or let herself be CAGED…

 

Karina Espinosa is the Urban Fantasy author of the Sins of the Fallen series and the Mackenzie Grey novels and a blogger for HollywoodNewsSource.com. Infatuated with travel, pop culture, and the need to write everything down, she spends much of her days in front of a computer working on her next book, shopping online, and listening to music. With nomadic tendencies, she is currently resting her head in South Florida until the itch to move strikes again. You can usually catch her on Facebook, Instagram and live-tweeting during episodes of The Walking Dead and Orphan Black. Follow her on social media!