Michael Lorde, Author of “Blind Veil”

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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS Welcomes Featured Author Michael Lorde

Author Michael Lorde was born and raised in upstate New York, has lived in the open country of Tennessee, near the beach in Virginia, in the mountains of West Virginia, and currently lives in Snowy Michigan. Michael has written books since the age of ten. Traveling, and the outdoors are both passions of this author who has been to 39 states, and to many U.S. National Parks.

After making a decision to publish Blind Veil, Michael has three additional books which are scheduled for release in 2012, including the sequel to this debut Psychological Thriller.

“I love the absurdities… the oddities in a book, no matter the genre. I don’t read books to find ‘normal’ or ‘usual’ or ‘boring’. I want to be taken somewhere I can’t otherwise go. That’s why I read… for those twists and turns and things that make me say ‘augh’. If an author can do that, they’ve got me.”

“My children and pets, Landscaping, the outdoors, painting and woodworking are some of what inspires me. Every day is a gift and I think it’s important to think in the joy of the moment as often as you can. I don’t want to be sitting in a porch chair at eighty, remembering a whole lot of regrets, so I work at appreciating my time while I’m here. I’m the type of person who needs to stay busy. Whether it’s writing words on a page, or making a fountain head for a pond, I like to create things.”

Today, Michael discusses Blind Veil.

What is the main premise of this book?

Blind Veil is a Psychological Thriller that will ‘mount the reader on the dashboard for the ride’. There is nothing backseat about diving into the mind of the main character, who is a New York City cop. Highly respected Officer Simms’ purchase of a new boat, carries him into a nightmare from nearly the moment it leaves the harbor on his first trip out. Once out on the water, everything in his life changes in an instant. After being drugged with an unknown substance by a so called ‘doctor’, he slowly begins to hallucinate; but are these visions real? When the medical community finds no evidence of chemicals in his bloodstream, and no signs of any other health condition, Simms must look for his own answers. He remembers the seemingly crazy deathbed rants of his uncle and begins to question his own sanity. Does mental illness run in the family, or does this ‘truth’ the doctor threatened to show him, actually exist. This is a conspiracy story and police procedural all wrapped into a tight little suspense thriller with science fiction elements to boot. You’ve never read a book like this. I classify it as a psychological thriller because you are living in the characters mind for much of this book, but it’s hard to classify the plot into a single genre. I’ve had readers tell me, “I’m so surprised. I almost didn’t buy it because it’s not the genre I normally read, but I loved it”. I’ve also heard, “This is really different than what shows on the Amazon teaser pages. If you could show the other pages, people would know what’s inside,” And they’re right, if you read the reviews, you’ll hear that same thing because the set up, is not the plot. If you like exciting stories give it a go. It’s 99 cents today, so what have you got to lose? In any case, I hope you read the reviews and decide for yourself. I’d love to have you along for the ride, and there’s plenty of room up front. I drive a truck.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

Definitely Simms. He thinks quite a bit like me. I’m pretty brutal in my characters situations, so I empathize with him, which of course makes me like him even more.

But… then again, Byron Chelvski is a really great choice too. I like him because he’s quirky as all get out, and I do enjoy quirky characters, no matter what actions they might take.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I write at home sometimes, but mostly at my office. Its easier to do the actual ‘writing’ at the office, so I’m not distracted by my dogs, who think they’re my kids. But with editing it’s different. I can do that at home, since there’s not the same level of creativity involved. Also, it’s not my favorite thing to do, so I like distraction from it sometimes. As far as the writing itself, I write wherever I am, and with whatever means possible. I’ve been known to sit in my parked car waiting for my daughter while I peck away at my laptop, or write half a chapter in tiny illegible letters using a pencil that keeps ripping the paper napkin ( try deciphering that one when you get back home). It just doesn’t matter what you use to write with. When the words are screaming to come out, you will find a way to pen them down. I’m pretty sure that the shyest author in the world would think nothing of borrowing a pen from anyone, anywhere.

When reading, do you prefer eBook or paperback?

While eBooks are great, I will always prefer paperbacks… the feel, the smell, the crisp clean pages. There is nothing like holding a new book in my hand. When I open a paper book, it feels like I’ve just stepped through time and reading it keeps me there. EBooks captivate my attention too and I love reading in any format, but eBook reading just doesn’t affect me the same as a good old fashioned book ( do you think there’s a correlation between this, and that fact that as a kid I was read paperback books daily?)

What’s your favorite gadget?

I took my daughter to see the statue of liberty a couple of years ago and spent ten bucks on a pen. It writes really nice.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the sequel to Blind Veil which is due out around Christmas. I have a fantasy YA which is in edits and a children’s book called Canon Balls for Girls, that’s due for release in June. This children’s book is an anti-bullying book and I’m pretty excited to have it coming out. I have four kids of my own; two sons and two daughters, and I know what goes on in the schools as early as elementary. Anyone over thirty doesn’t understand how much the digital age has changed the game of bullying. Winning a fist fight at school is not going to stop the kid anymore, and with the number of increasing teen suicides because of it, this project is really important to me. If I can change just one kid’s mindset, I’ll feel really good about it. Cannon Balls for girls is written for an elementary school level reader.

Who designed this cover?

A graphic designer and beta reader for Blind Veil. She stepped outside of her normal workload and agreed to design the cover for me. She is truly gifted. Thanks Christine Smith!

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?

Budha, Jesus, and the Pope. Being a pretty spiritual person, I have A LOT of questions, and yes, a warped sense of humor as well.

So do you like to cook?

I love to cook, and love to pass the hot mitts to anyone else who does as well. Having been a single parent to four kids, I can easily sit back and let someone else handle the stove, but yes, I enjoy cooking alone, or beside someone, and can cook just about anything.

Do you have pets?

My daughter and I have two dogs you could almost fit in your pocket. One is a Shih tzu

Named Chi-chi who wholeheartedly believes she is human. If she is not the reincarnate of a person into an animal, then no such thing exists. Never in my life have I seen a dog with more attitude. She struts around the house like a teenager at the peak of hormonal imbalance, demands ‘people food’ at each meal (which she rarely gets), complains with a voice that almost sounds human, and barks out orders like a drill sergeant in boot camp. She fully believes she is the alpha male of the entire household, no matter how much I laugh at her and telling her she isn’t. She drives me absolutely nuts… and still I love her to pieces. Though it took me over a year to warm up to her ‘attitude’ when we got her years ago ( she was my eldest daughters dog), for some reason she picked me as ‘her person’, and listens to few others. We are now inseparable. She’s a trip, but a real sweetheart and she keeps me on my toes.

Our second dog is a miniature dachshund named Angel. She’s still a baby at almost two years old and has eyes that would melt the heart of a crocodile. She doesn’t have to ‘insist’, in order to get anything she wants from my ten year old daughter. She’s softhearted dog and precious until someone is around her people, and then she’s fierce (yeah, right).

Our dogs have barking contests with one another to prove who is the most loyal and best protector when someone comes to the door. They have actually gotten into arguments from time to time, and then the barking beast turn from the door to one another, and the challenge is on. They will continue barking for a deafening minute to each other. In the two years that we’ve had Angel, the two dogs have actually had a nipping brawl twice, when the loser of the barking contest gets too upset to hold it in and lashes out at the other. Thankfully they have not hurt one another, or I would have to make serious changes, but it’s ridiculous. Needless to say, our mailman does not knock on our door anymore and our friends call before pulling into the drive, to alert us that they will soon be at the door. And through it all, our puppies keep us laughing! We are dog lovers all the way.

What’s your bucket vacation?

If we could bring the dogs- a six month cruise to include stopping points in Australia, Japan, Thailand, and we’d dock the ship in India so I could stay in Goa for a month. They can pick us up the way back. That trip would be perfect.

If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?

Luck –O the Irish. Everyone needs a little luck from time to time.

Where can your readers stalk you?

Amazon
Barnes and Nobles
Website
Smashwords
Twitter @BlindVeil
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/michaellordeauthor

 

Kenneth Hoss, Author of “Storm Rising”

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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS
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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS Welcomes Featured Author Kenneth Hoss

Kenneth Hoss was born at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas in 1957. Kenneth served a combined total of fourteen years on active duty from 1974 to 1987 in both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy. He has lived in several States, including South Carolina and California.

What is the main premise of this book?

It’s the story of a female NYPD Detective, how she deals with the obstacles life throws in her path

How long did it take you to write it?

From start to finish, just over a year.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

Well, I am biased, so I have to say it’s Kelli.

When reading, do you prefer eBook or paperback?

I switch it up. I have a Kindle, but I still love the feel of a real book in my hands.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the second book in the Kelli Storm series, Storm Warning.

What is something that surprised you about being an author?

Tough question. I guess I’d have to say it’s the sudden “fame”. Now when I go into my local pub, I have people I don’t know coming up to me and asking if I’m the ‘Author” everyone is talking about.

What one word describes how you feel when you write?

That’s easy, excellent!

Who designed this cover?

That would be George Arnold, the husband of fellow author Carolyn Arnold. I have to say, when I saw the cover, I fell in love with it.

Can you tell us about an early childhood memory ?

Well, that depends on how early. I can recall things from when I was three and four. I can remember riding on the train with my Mother, going to meet my Dad in San Antonio where he had gone to find work. I was maybe four at the time. I remember because my first sister hadn’t been born yet.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?

What are PJ’s???

What are your pet peeves?

People who drive too slow. (Like going 25 in a 35.)

What’s your favorite beverage?

I have two actually. One is Guinness and the other is Pepsi.

So do you like to cook?

Absolutely. I’m somewhat of a closet gourmet. My favorites are Italian and French.

What’s your favorite ice cream?

Butter Pecan.

Do you normally eat for breakfast, of do you skip it and get straight to work?

One or two cups of coffee and then off to work.

What is something you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?

My trusty USB thumb drive.

Do you sleep in or get up early?

Always early. Since my days in the military, I’m doing good to sleep past 7 a.m. on the weekends.

Which do you use most for writing on, laptop or desktop?

Laptop.

Do you have pets? Do you have a picture of them you can share?

No pets.

What’s your favorite gadget?

Gadget is such a broad term. I would have to say my “Smart Phone” would have to be my favorite gadget.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

At home and usually in the evening, though on weekends it’s pretty much any time.

What are your thoughts on receiving book reviews – the good and the bad ?

The good, it validates your work as an author. The bad, well, I don’t really see any bad side to it other than not getting any at all.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would want with you?

Well, John Grisham would be my top pick, though I wouldn’t wish anyone being stranded on a desert island. Next I would pick Stephen King, to tell us scary stories around the fire at night. Lastly, Jane Seymour because I met her once when I lived in California and was working on a television movie, and she is a really interesting person. (Good looking too.)

What’s your bucket vacation?

I would love to sail from Hawaii to Fiji, and then on to Sydney.

What’s your favorite quote?

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” E.L. Doctorow

List 3 books you’ve just recently read and would recommend?

I hate to admit it, but the most recent book I read was about 3 months ago.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

Well, for Kelli I see Charlize Theron playing that part. For Kevin, I see Gerard Butler. For Lt. Franklin, Sasha Roiz. Still haven’t figured out who I would want to see play Bill Hayes. Even though he doesn’t actually appear in the book, I think Benicio Del Toro would make a great Miguel Garcia.

If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?

A mug of green beer. It’s a sin to leave beer behind.

Where can your readers stalk you?

Readers can stalk me at the following links:

My blog: http://kenhoss.blogspot.com
Twitter: kennhoss@twitter
eBook: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Rising-Kelli-Novel-ebook/dp/B0053GAWYU/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_t_1
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storm-rising-a-kelli-storm-novel-kenneth-hoss/1103391061
Paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Rising-Kelli-Novel/dp/1467985430/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Wendy Cartmell, Author of “Steps to Heaven”

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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS
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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS Welcomes Featured Author Wendy Cartmell

Wendy Cartmell is a former teacher, PR manager and editor of a large corporate newspaper, who has always written, either for her work, or stories for her children. She turned her hand to crime writing in 2010 resulting in a new crime series featuring Sgt Major Crane of the Special Investigations Branch, drawing on her husband’s 22 years service in the British Army.

The first book in the series Steps to Heaven and the second 40 Days 40 Nights are both out now. The third, as yet untitled is, as they say, a work in progress.

Wendy is now publishing her books for children, the Professor Letters series and Wilhemina the Witch.

What is the main premise of this book?

Soldiers are killing their family and then committing suicide. Sgt Major Crane needs to know why.

How long did it take you to write it?

About a month to plot it out and outline each chapter, three months to write and then a further three months to edit and copy edit.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

Oh without a doubt Sgt Major Crane.

What projects are you currently working on?

The third book in the Sgt Major Crane series

What is something that surprised you about being an author?

How much I enjoy the writing process.

Who designed this cover?

My husband Eddie who is much more creative with photographs and colour than I am.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?

Definitely! I tend to write in the mornings when I get up, so I don’t bother to get dressed, I just get writing.

What’s your favorite beverage?

I’m English so it’s got to be tea.

What is something you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?

Pen and paper. My husband and I regularly plan novels, sort out plot problems and decide on how a certain situation would be handled in the army. We mostly do this sitting in the sunshine having a coffee. Well, I do live on the Costa del Sol in Spain!

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

I would love Ray Winston to play Sgt Major Crane.

Lawrence Fox to play Sgt Billy Williams

If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?

A Rainbow – because they are just so beautiful.

Where can your readers stalk you?

In and around the mean streets of Aldershot in the UK.

http://www.amazon.com/Nights-Major-Crane-Novels-ebook/dp/B006O5Q77A/
http://www.amazon.com/Steps-to-Heaven-ebook/dp/B005U9T20A
http://www.wendycartmell.webs.com

 

Dixon Bennett Rice, Author of “The Assassins Club”

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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS
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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS Welcomes Featured Dixon Bennett Rice

Dixon Bennett Rice is a novelist living in Kalispell, Montana, deep in the majesty of the Rocky Mountains. Besides eight years in Army Intelligence, he’s been a funeral director, investigator, office manager, payroll manager, shipping clerk, insurance agent, and retail salesman. He’s jumped out of perfectly good aircraft. He’s gone into jail as a literacy volunteer, and also not so voluntarily. Dixon’s been writing part-time for a number of years, and full-time since 2010.

His father was a Naval officer and Dixon was born on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. He has siblings who were born in Baltimore MD, Columbus OH, Norfolk VA and Fairfax VA. Like most military families, they moved around a lot. Dixon went to high school in Mercer Island, a Seattle suburb, and got a BA in Political Science at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma WA. At one time he had aspirations of going to law school, but decided to spare the planet one additional attorney.

He has always been a storyteller, and entertained his children by spinning bedtime tales. They encouraged him to write them down, and some were published in various local and regional magazines. Dixon also started writing reviews of children’s literature, and edited a literary magazine for the Authors of the Flathead in Kalispell. He’s past president of the Authors of the Flathead, and has served as chairman of the Annual Flathead River Writers Conference. He eventually switched from children’s lit to writing thrillers, which caused him to totally lose control of his writing addiction.

Dixon and his wife Mitzi, who teaches business subjects in high school, have raised four children, who are currently scattered from Seattle to Fargo to Kosovo. They are wonderful kids, but not writers. Dixon isn’t actively looking to trade his children for a more literary variety, but will consider all offers.

He’s been active in Toastmasters, soccer refereeing and coaching, Rotary’s international charities, world hunger charities, the American Cancer Society, and recently donated his 100th unit of blood for the local Red Cross. Dixon has won statewide speech competitions in both humorous and dramatic speaking.

What is the main premise of this book?

I wondered, “What if a young, likable guy ‘accidentally’ became a serial killer?” I set up a situation in THE ASSASSINS CLUB where Tyler Goode gets targeted by a redneck bully and his squad of younger, equally brutal brother in the Flathead Valley of Montana. (And don’t forget Dad.) Each time Ty kills in order to survive, he feels he’s performed a community service – and he gets one helluva rush. Before long, it’s become a habit he can’t shake.

How long did it take you to write it?

The main plot came to me, pretty much fully realized, during a 15-hour car drive after dropping off my son at college. Then it took two years to weave in some interesting subplots, flesh out the characters, and please my critique group.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

Heroes are easy to write, in my opinion – so easy that they often become cardboard cutout characters. I enjoy the unbalanced, unreliable characters. In THE ASSASSINS CLUB, there is a second serial killer who will collide with Ty in the final chapter, a 30ish man who thinks he is Jesus. His sections are written entirely in present tense, because that’s all he knows. The voices in his head raise such a ruckus that he can’t remember the past, nor can he look forward to the future. He’s walking up the West Coast, killing when the mood strikes him, going where his voices direct him. If Jesus tells you it’s Monday, you’d better check a calendar.

When reading, do you prefer eBook or paperback?

I love tree-books at home, but nothing beats my Kindle when I’m on the road.

What projects are you currently working on?

I have written another Montana thriller, and puttered away with it for a decade, trying to solve plot problems caused by modern police technology. I really enjoyed writing THE ASSASSINS CLUB in the 1970s, and realized that moving my work-in-progress back to that same era would make the plot problems vanish. So I’m on my final rewrite of MONTANA IS BURNING and hope to have it published this summer.

What is something that surprised you about being an author?

I am continually surprised by the unexpected actions of my characters. On my 15-hour car trip, Ty was already very real to me, but the minor characters around him were pretty vague. The book concept really caught fire when two deputy sheriffs approached the protagonist and said, “We know you’re killing people, Ty.” He thought, “Uh-oh, here come the handcuffs.” Instead, one of the deputies said, “We want to get in on it.” The addition of two law enforcement officers to Ty’s pastime creates interesting problems. In further books in this series, the ‘club’ will continue to expand, with continual new complications.

Who designed this cover?

I was fortunate to discover Suzanne Fyhrie Parrott and her business Unruly Guides. Suzanne and I talked about my story, and I gave her some general concepts. She did a marvelous job of turning my fuzzy ideas into a brilliant reality. She also formatted my novel. You can find Unruly Guides on FB at https://www.facebook.com/UnrulyGuides and Suzanne’s website is http://www.UnrulyGuides.com/ What

What are your pet peeves?

One of the things I love about the writing community is how helpful people are, even to clueless newbies. However, there is always a small number of folks in any endeavor who take job in dragging other people down. Some friends of mine have receive awful reviews from people who never even bothered to read the reviewed book.

So do you like to cook?

I never would have survived college if I hadn’t learned how to make spaghetti sauce and barbecue chicken. My wife and I have a deal – if one of us cooks, the other one cleans up. I try to cook whenever possible.

Do you sleep in or get up early?

We all have an internal critic in the back of our head, whispering that “this is worst crap that’s ever been written – let’s go for a jog instead.” I’ve learned that if I get up at 5 am and head down to a local coffee shop, I can get hours of work done before my critic wakes up. And if I’m on a good writing roll, I can just ignore his negative remarks.

If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?

I’m about three-fourths Irish, and every Irishman knows that his most precious asset is the “Luck O’the Irish.” It’s amazing the Emerald Isle survived the Potato Famine, centuries of British mistreatment, and our own fondness for fermented and distilled beverages of every kind. There must be a reservoir of good luck to account for our very existence.

Where can your readers stalk you?

My daily blog on the writing life, Wredheaded Writer, can be found at http://wredhead.blogspot.com/ I plan a second blog aimed at fervent readers such as myself, but haven’t yet gotten it off the ground. The Kindle link for my e-book is http://tinyurl.com/7fav44l and you can find me on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/87hkkoz or search for plain old Dixon Rice.

Derek Graystone, Author of “Two Graves”

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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS Welcomes Featured Author Derek Graystone

Derek Graystone was born in Rivers, Manitoba, Canada. After a brief stay there and in Trenton, Ontario, Canada, Derek has spent the majority of his life in London, Ontario, Canada. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a Bachelors Degree in English Literature in 1984.

Derek has had a varied career including jewelry store manager, warehouse manager for an ice cream distributor, manager of a gas station, and the finance and systems manager for a children’s charity. In 2002, Derek quit his day job and started his own office automation and Internet presence company and a relaxation massage business with his wife. Derek is also a Reiki Master as well as having a successful online Wiccan business.

Derek’s first book, The Schliemann Legacy, is a spy thriller involving Nazis, terrorists and the hunt for the treasures of Troy.

Derek followed up with Two Graves, a crime novel about a serial killer who is killing look-alikes of the people who bullied and terrorized him in his youth.

Derek lives with his wife Yvette in their home in London Ontario when they aren’t visiting their island getaway in Exuma, Bahamas. Derek is also the father of four girls and one boy and has five granddaughters (and another grandchild on the way, due in August).

What is the main premise of this book?

I, like so many others, was bullied when I was a kid. But I’m not one to write an intellectual treatise on the cause and effect of bullying on children and adults. I’m not out to change the world.

I just want to get even.

If you were ever bullied, imagine if you finally had enough and decided to get even.

That is what my killer does in Two Graves. Using computer aged photos of his high school tormentors, my killer sets out to get even with look-alikes, using the killings to reveal their past crimes. And he has had years to dream up some imaginative, and rather gruesome, methods for getting even.

Where did the title come from?

The title is from the Chinese proverb; “When you set out on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” This is a lesson that many of the characters in my novel have to learn.

When reading, do you prefer eBook or paperback?

I always thought I would be a paperback man – after all, I still do all my editing on paper, not the computer. I only bought my Kindle to make sure that my Indie published books converted well. And then I downloaded a novel to try it out and I have been hooked since. I love seeing my paperbacks sitting on a shelf but you can’t beat the convenience, clear image and ease of reading from the Kindle.

What projects are you currently working on?

Put it down to my own eclectic tastes, I can’t stick with a single genre. Currently, I am working on the first book in an urban fantasy series about witches, Spartan warriors, and old Gods called Witches of Aquarius. At the same time, because I get distracted easily, I am plotting out the sequel to Two Graves called Too Many Graves. What does it mean if you spend a large part of your day trying to decide if that really would be a good place to dispose of a body?

What one word describes how you feel when you write?

Seriously? You’re asking this writer to describe something with just one word? From someone who hasn’t met a short story that he couldn’t stretch into a novel, you want something in one word? OK, let’s go with…

Me.

More than at any other time, I feel like the “me” I want to be when I am writing.

Who designed this cover?

The cover was my design and, luckily, I happened across a beautiful naked body lying in the leaves. The knife was just an added bonus.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

In the sunshine, on the deck of the house in Exuma that I intend to buy when I become an obscenely successful author. In fact, during the Shamrocks and Sirens event, that is exactly where I am, working on my next novel but, unfortunately, just for a week this time. Luckily, it is a very private deck (see below).

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?

I would if I ever wore them.

What’s your favorite beverage?

Pepsi. But unlike Lt. Mann in Two Graves, I quit drinking it when I hit an average of 8 to 12 cans a day. I’ve been clean for almost 6 years.

So do you like to cook?

I suppose I am more of an eattie than a foodie but give me a BBQ and I can make anything.

What is something you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?

My good luck necklace that I have worn since I was in my 20s. It is a golden bunch of bananas that remind me of my dream of spending my days writing my novels on a tropical island.

Do you sleep in or get up early?

As the father of five and a registered insomniac, I can honestly say the last time I slept in was after my emergency appendectomy. And even then the damn nurses kept waking me up to see if I needed anything to help me sleep.

What is your favorite quote?-

Living well is the best revenge.

If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?

A Shillelagh because you never know when you might need a good blunt object.

Where can your readers stalk you?

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/dagraystone
Twitter: http://twitter.com/dagraystone
Web Site: http://www.dagraystone.com
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5089051.D_A_Graystone
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/D.A.-Graystone/e/B005A3XTEG/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1330960625&sr=8-1

Deborah J Ledford, Author of “Snare”

Part Eastern Band Cherokee, Deborah spent her summers growing up in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina which is the setting for her suspense thriller novels and many of her short stories.

Book two of her Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series, SNARE is The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, nominated as Best Mystery that captures the landscape of the Southwest.

Classical music themed STACCATO is Book One of Deborah’s series. Both books are published by Second Wind Publishing. The “STACCATO Book Trailer” is Now Showing on YouTube.

As well as a suspense thriller novelist, Deborah is also a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize. Her award-winning short stories appear in numerous print publications as well as literary and mystery anthologies.

What is the main premise of this book?

SNARE is The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist about the journey of a female Native American pop music sensation about to embark on her first personal appearance. An altercation occurs during her concert and peril ensues. Here’s a brief synopsis: One rock star sensation. Two men from her past want her dead. Three others will risk everything to keep her safe. All are in peril. Who will be caught in a trap? SNARE: Revenge with a beat.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

Although I love my main character, Deputy Steven Hawk, and rock star Katina Salvo was a blast to write, my favorite character is Katina’s Aunt Sylvie. I’m part Eastern Band Cherokee and the Native American elements in all of my works are very important to me. I spent a lot of time on the Taos Pueblo Indian reservation in New Mexico and the people of the pueblo continue to captivate me.

What projects are you currently working on?

Book three of my Steven Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series is finished. Fingers are crossed that this novel will be released by year’s end. I’ve started a new multi-cultural thriller series that takes place entirely in Taos, NM. I’m also nearing mid-point on a Young Adult mystery that I’m very excited about.

Do you sleep in or get up early?

My background is in the theatre, so I prefer to stay up very late.

Which do you use most for writing on, laptop or desktop?

I only use a laptop. I type quite fast so have worn out a lot of keyboards. My latest is an Acer which I have hooked up to a 22” monitor and full size keyboard. I love the set up!

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

My desk is actually a dining room table. This allows me a lot of space to spread out my research materials and tabletop speakers so I can enjoy great music while I write. I’m also a professional content editor so I work on clients’ manuscripts early in the morning, and catch up on the necessary correspondences and a bit of social networking. I write in the afternoon—ideally after a refreshing nap. I’ve found that my words are best composed while I’m nearly comatose.

What are your thoughts on receiving book reviews – the good and the bad?

I’ve been very fortunate that SNARE has received stellar reviews. I’m so grateful for the reviewers who support independently published authors—without them helping to spread the word about our books we would have a very limited readership.

What’s your favorite quote?

“A blank page or canvas. His favorite. So many possibilities.” From the stage play Sunday in the Park with George by Stephen Sondheim.

List 3 books you’ve just recently read and would recommend?

Iron House by John Hart—his Last Child remains one of my favorite books of all time. You’re Next by Gregg Hurwitz. Fallen by Karin Slaughter.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

Erin Daniels would be the perfect Katina Salvo—she’s not Native American but she has the “look” I imagined when creating this character. Angie Harmon as Aunt Sylvie—Angie is part Native American and I love her speaking voice. I’ve always envisioned Henry Simmons (NYPD Blue) as my lead character in the series, Deputy Steven Hawk.

If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?

A green derby – What’s not to love about a green hat?

Where can your readers stalk you?

The first chapters of SNARE and STACCATO, as well as a few previously published short stories, are available at:

My website: http://www.deborahjledford.com/
Facebook Personal Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000454722747
Deborah’s Book Page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/STACCATO/246707792355
Twitter: @djledford

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From now until March 18, Snare is on sale for $2.99 on Kindle at: Amazon

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Jennifer Chase, Author of ‘Dark Mind’.

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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS
Click here for all the contests and a chance to win a set of special mugs:
SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS … AN IRISH EVENT!!!

12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS Welcomes Featured Author Jennifer Case

Jennifer Chase holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s in criminology. She’s a member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists. She is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and a criminologist. She has authored four crime fiction, thriller novels and a non-fiction book screenwriting book. Currently, she resides in California where she is at work on her next book.

Today, Jennifer Case discusses her book, ‘Dark Mind’.

What is the main premise of this book?

Dark Mind takes readers on a crime adventure with vigilante detective Emily Stone who hunts serial killers and child abductors covertly under the radar. She shadows police investigations and secretly submits all of her carefully compiled evidence to the detective(s) in charge via an untraceable email. The newest case takes her to the beautiful island of Kauai where she’s put to the ultimate test of her profiling and investigative skills of tracking a brutal, sadistic serial killer deep into the jungles.

How long did it take you to write it?

I spent one to two months creating an outline, which ultimately becomes my first choppy draft. From that point, it took another two to four months of writing and rewrites to complete the book. It takes an average of six months to write one of my crime thrillers.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

That’s easy! I enjoyed creating the main character of Emily Stone for an ongoing series. It was a writing process for quite some time before I decided to introduce her to readers. She’s definitely tougher and smarter than I am, but I wanted to make her wonderfully flawed with her mission to find serial killers.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I write mostly in my home office. It’s quiet and I find that I can get more writing done in my scheduled blocks of time rather than in a public place like a coffee bar. In the summer months, sometimes I take my laptop or notebook outdoors for fresh air and writing.

When reading, do you prefer eBook or paperback?

A year ago, I would have definitely said paperback. For the most part, I still prefer them. I bought an Amazon Kindle last year and I really love the ease and less clutter of it. So I’m torn at times, but for reading entertainment I choose an ebook and for my more technical and non-fiction books I prefer paper.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?

Who told you? You bet I write in my PJs in the mornings when I don’t have appointments or important errands to run. Barefoot and in my PJs is like the comfort food of writing. The more comfortable, flannel with silly prints on them the better. Anyone have a line on adult flannel SpongeBob pajamas?

So do you like to cook?

I’ve never really enjoyed cooking as a daily task, but recently I’ve found out that I don’t tolerate wheat or gluten well. I’m not diagnosed with the related disease, but now without it I’m feeling better with more energy. Without pastas and breads I’d go completely crazy, so I’ve been in the kitchen cooking more and I’ve found that I do enjoy it once I’ve made peace with it.

What’s your favorite ice cream?

Ice cream is my sweet vice. My favorite flavors are chocolate chip and butter pecan tied in first place.

Do you have pets?

Yes, my life wouldn’t be complete without my four-legged buddies. I have two Labrador retrievers (would love more) and two cats. My labs keep me balanced and make sure that I take plenty of much needed writing breaks. Since writing about serial killers can be dark at times, my dogs lighten things up with fun and high energy.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

I love this question! There are so many wonderful actors out there, but my dream players would be… Angelina Jolie as Emily Stone, Johnny Depp as Rick Lopez, Matthew McConaughey as Jordan Smith, Hey, remember I did say dream actors.

If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?

First, I was going to say a walking stick for protection against bad guys on the way home from the party, but I’d have to say a rainbow because everything in life gets better with a rainbow. Bless the Irish!

Where can your readers stalk you?

I welcome questions and comments!
Author Blog
Twitter
Facebook

Andy Holloman, Author of “Shades of Gray”

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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS
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SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS … AN IRISH EVENT!!!

12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS Welcomes Featured Author Andy Holloman

Writer Andy Holloman has been scribbling stories since a young age (according to reliable sources). “Shades of Gray” is his first published novel and grew out of his experiences as a travel agency owner many moons ago. He was fascinated with the true story of a client of the business that was murdered. Suspecting her line of work was drug smuggling, a story sprouted in his over-active imagination – How far would a desperate person go to save their child and their business.

He is the father of three and happily married for 20 years. A graduate of UNC-CH, he lives in the Raleigh, NC area and is busy carpooling, keeping his wife happy, and attending his kids sporting events. He loves the great outdoors in NC, is an avid reader, and a social media goofball. Most evenings, he can be found tapping on his well-worn keyboard as he “births” his next novel.

Today, Andy Holloman talks about his writing and his Thriller ‘Shades of Gray’.

What is the main premise of this book?

To what lengths will a father go to save his child and his failing business

How long did it take you to write it?

I began writing in 2003 and continued until I considered the book finished, which took 2.5 years.

Then I put the MS on a shelf and revised it when I received interest from a publisher, which all happened about Feb. of 2011. So I would estimate a total of approx. 3 years.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

I tend to enjoy the “bad” guys the most and thus my favorite character is my baddie, Jamel Scott.

When reading, do you prefer eBook or paperback?

I prefer paperback. However, I received a Kindle a few months ago an eBooks may soon become my favorite.

What projects are you currently working on?

I don’t have any new novels in progress right now.

What is something that surprised you about being an author?

I was surprised how much “re-writing” is involved in writing a novel. I hadn’t envisioned that this process (for me) would take up just as much time as the actual drafting of the book.

What one word describes how you feel when you write?

Energized

Who designed this cover?

A great friend, Matt Taft who is a very talented graphic designer. Also, my sister is a painter and the background is her work.

Can you tell us about an early childhood memory?

Tent camping in Vermont with my family on the way to the Worlds Fair in Montreal in 1967.

Do you ever write in your PJ’s?

Yes, except when I’m writing in a coffee shop!

What are your pet peeves?

People giving answers to questions when they really should be saying they “Don’t know”.

What’s your favorite beverage?

Mountain Dew. The Official Soft Drink of the South. *wink*

So do you like to cook?

Yes. I do most of the cooking for my family.

What’s your favorite ice cream?

Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough.

Do you normally eat for breakfast, or do you skip it and get straight to work?

Yes, usually a bagel.

What is something you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?

Gotta have my glasses now that I’m approaching 50!

Do you sleep in or get up early?

My sleep schedule revolves around getting my kids off to school. Sometimes I sleep in on Sundays.

Which do you use most for writing on, laptop or desktop?

Laptop

What’s your favorite gadget?

Love my Iphone.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

I typically write after my children are in bed (after 9pm) and on Sundays. I prefer to write at home.

What are your thoughts on receiving book reviews… the good and the bad?

Book reviews are very important to me. I crave feedback regardless of whether it is favorable or not.

If you were deserted on an island, who are three famous people you would want with you?

The Dalai Lama, Steven Speilberg, and Scarlett Johansson (for scenery)

What’s your bucket vacation?

3 weeks camping across Australia.

Your favorite quote?

“I don’t like writing. I like – having written.” Gloria Steinem (probably)

List three books you’ve just recently read and would recommend.

The Ninth District by Dorow
The Road by Mccarthy
Replay by Grimwood

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

Main Character (John Manning) – Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Wanda – Jada Pinkett Smith

Where can your readers stalk you?

www.AndyHolloman.com or

Twitter @AndyHolloman

Pat Bertram, Author of “Daughter Am I”

Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Second Wind Publishing liked her style and published four of Bertram’s books: ‘Light Bringer’, ‘Daughter Am I’, ‘More Deaths Than One’, and ‘A Spark of Heavenly Fire.’

What is the main premise of Daughter Am I?

When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents-grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born-she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians-former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love Tim Olson, whose grandfather shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim need to stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret.

How long did it take you to write it?

I developed the idea for Daughter Am I in a single day, but I had to finish the book I was working on at the time, so I didn’t actually begin writing Daughter Am I until several months after I got the initial idea. It took me a year to write, and then another year to edit.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

That is a hard question! All the octogenarian gangsters in Daughter Am I are my favorites in their own way. There’s Teach, who sells bullets he claims came from the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. There’s Kid Rags, who still works as a forger. There’s Happy, a trigger-happy ex-wheelman for the mob, whose hands shake so much he can barely aim let alone shoot. That’s only three of the octogenarians — there are seven feisty old gangsters all together. Well, six gangsters and one ex-showgirl.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently collaborating on writing a novel online with eight other Second Wind authors. We each write from the POV of a different character, and follow that character throughout the story. In the first story, a little girl’s body was found in the desert, but who killed her? We won’t know until the book is finished! You can find this project at http://rubiconranch.wordpress.com I hope you will check it out!

What is something that surprised you about being an author?

The most surprising part for me is that I know how to write. For many years, my life was shadowed by the sadness of having no innate talent for writing. I’m not being modest — I really couldn’t write anything worth reading. When I decided to write despite that lack, I set out to learn everything I could about developing a readable story. Most of the how-to books confused the heck out of me — the authors would talk about rising conflicts and motivation/reaction units, and I didn’t have a clue what they meant. It’s only recently that I realized I actually know what I’m doing.

What one word describes how you feel when you write?

Intent.

Who designed this cover?

I did! I took the photo while I was out walking one day, and then tweaked the color. I’m pleased with the result.

Which do you use most for writing on, laptop or desktop?

Okay, I admit it: I am a closet pencilphile. Seems silly, I know, in this electronic age, but I write in pencil on loose-leaf paper. There. I’ve outed myself. I feel so much better now.

I am not being contrary. I do have reasons. I have a better mind/writing connection using pencil and paper than I have with a keyboard; a mechanical pencil is easier on my fingers than pen, and paper is easier on my eyes than a computer screen. But I do use a lap top for blog posts and interviews and such.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

For me, fiction writing is largely a matter of thinking, of trying to see the situation, of figuring out the right word or phrase that puts me where I need to be so the words can flow. I can do this better late at night, in bed, clipboard propped against my knees or on a pillow than sitting at a desk. If, as Mel Gibson said, “A movie is like public dreaming,” then novels are like shared dreaming, and where better to dream than in a comfortable bed?

Your favorite quote:

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” — Goethe

Where can your readers stalk you?

I have a website — http://patbertram.com — where I post important information, including the first chapters of each of my books, but the best way to keep up with me, my writing, and my life on a daily basis is by way of Bertram’s Blog. http://ptbertram.wordpress.com

I’m also at Facebook, Good ReadsSquidoo, Twitter

All my books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. Smashwords is great! The books are available in all ebook formats, including palm reading devices, and you can download the first 20-30% free!

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Helen Hanson, Author of “Dark Pool”

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12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS
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SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS … AN IRISH EVENT!!!

12 Day Reader’s Event SHAMROCKS-N-SIRENS Welcomes Featured Author Helen Hanson

Helen Hanson writes thrillers about desperate people with a high-tech bent. Hackers. The CIA. Industry titans. Guys on sailboats. Mobsters. Their personal maelstroms pit them against unrelenting forces willing to kill. Throughout the journey, they try to find some truth, a little humor, and their humanity — from either end of the trigger.

While Helen writes about the power hungry, she genuinely mistrusts anyone who wants to rule the world.

Helen directed operations for high-tech manufacturers of semiconductors, video games, software, and computers. Her reluctant education behind the Redwood Curtain culminated in a B.S. in Business Administration with concentrated studies in Computer Science. She also learned to play a mean game of hacky sack.

She is a licensed private pilot with a ticket for single-engine aircraft. Helen and her husband spent their first anniversary with their flight instructor studying for the FAA practical. If you were a passenger on a 737 trying to land at SJC in 1995, she sends her most sincere apologies. Really.

Born in fly-over country, Helen has lived on both coasts, near both borders, and at several locations in between. She lettered in tennis, worked as a machinist, and saw the Clash at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium sometime in the eighties. She currently lives amid the bricks of Texas with her husband, son, and a dog that composes music with squeaky toys.

Today, Helen speaks with us about her Thriller ‘Dark Pool’.

What is the main premise of this book?

Forty Billion Reasons to Kill

By this time in her life, Maggie Fender expected to be on her way to law school. Instead she’s far from any degree, waiting tables to support her teenage half-brother and their ailing father. With early onset Alzheimer’s, her father’s lucid moments are few and unpredictable.

Her brother’s legal defense for felony hacking charges strained their finances to a snap. In spite of the conviction, he claims he was framed. But now that he’s on parole, he also claims their father is sending them messages.

Maggie’s tired of the struggle, but she’s everybody’s legal guardian. Slowing down will lead to disaster. She can hustle. Or face financial ruin.

This isn’t the life she envisioned.

In the news, disgraced hedge fund manager Patty O’Mara awaits trial for bilking investors out of forty billion dollars. The legendary dark pool wizard offered phenomenal profits until the SEC examined his books. Then they discovered O’Mara didn’t make any legitimate trades on the market.

O’Mara ran his hedge fund the way Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff ran theirs. It was all a fraud.

One wealthy investor rallies the troop of irate victims by hiring a noted private investigator to find the missing pot of gold. A Russian mobster, out thirty million in cash, prefers to search for the money alone and without witnesses. Their competing efforts sift the same set of facts.

So why are they interested in Maggie Fender’s incoherent father?

While SEC officials try to rebuild credibility for allowing the financial scandal to rage unchecked, the private investigator and the Russian mobster vie to answer a solitary question:

What happened to all that money?

Who’s your favorite character in it?

I won’t call her my favorite as it might hurt Travis’ feelings, but I admire Maggie Fender. She’s not Wonder Woman. Her family burdens occasionally make her cranky, frustrated, and even resentful, but she’s taking care of business and her family as best she can. I think she’s an everyday her-o.

What projects are you currently working on?

My protagonists could be you or me–people thrust into peril because of someone else’s yearning. This time I’m writing about the man who entices the world to buy Viagra. Meet Baxter Cruise: spammer for hire. He spews garbage into your inbox to put himself through college. His cozy world of lattes and wi-fi hot spots is about to explode.

What one word describes how you feel when you write?

Seriously? Only one word for a writer? Can’t be done.

What are your pet peeves?

My dog, Maela, is a herder, and anyone outside of our pack peeves her. Consequently, dog parks are currently not an option. She loves squeaky toys, but pouts when we don’t want to play. She’ll place a squeaky toy on my chair and repeatedly ram her nose into it to entice me.

Lately, we’ve been watching the Dog Whisperer to understand all her peeves. The show makes her nervous.

Oh? You meant my peeves? Sorry.

So do you like to cook?

I’m an awesome special events cook. Prime rib on the rotisserie. Smoked turkey (okay my husband makes this one). Homemade Caesar salad. Yes, you must use real anchovies. Cranberry cheesecake. Tart and sweet–the perfect combination. Flourless chocolate cake (recipe from The Fish Market in the SF Bay area). Grilled portabellas with parmesan. Artichoke risotto. Caprese salad. Mmmmm.

Daily cook, not so much. I reheat a lot. As the youngest of seven, I didn’t know how to make any recipe in smaller than Army chow-hall proportions. I’ve learned to make big batches and stow portions for the future. I heart my freezer.

What is something you never leave home without (apart from keys, money and phone)?

Pen and paper. The ideas for my stories, the threads and twists, usually come to me when my brain isn’t focused on the actual writing. Typing into a smart phone doesn’t offer the same sensation. I’ll see a person react to a situation or overhear snippets of a conversation, and suddenly I have an idea that I need to capture. If I don’t use it on my current project, I store it for consideration in a different work.

I record mannerisms, interesting phrases, and occasionally something diabolical comes to mind.

What’s your favorite gadget –

The Swiss Army knife–affectionately known as the SAK since my days behind the Redwood Curtain. Mine has no less than twenty six tools. I’ve used it to pick my own front door lock, saw branches for hot dogs skewers, and focus sunbeams to a flaming pinpoint upon dry tinder. Or ants. I hate ants.

The Swiss Army knife even played a role in my marital bliss. My future husband stopped by my office to troubleshoot a computer problem. He wanted to open the computer case but didn’t have any tools. I offered him the use of my trusty SAK fully equipped with both regular and Philips screwdrivers. Apparently, I won points for resourcefulness.

What’s your bucket vacation?

If I was forced to travel in a bucket, I would not want to go over Niagara Falls.

Not in a box. Not with the jocks.

Not in a barrel. Not with a Daryl.

My bucket would require a multi-colored hot-air balloon lofting overhead so we could fly over the falls.

I’d also take a bucket seat in a Ferrari Enzo to cruise the coast of Italy.

If I can’t go anywhere, a bucket full of red wine works.

If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?

I would bring a mug of green beer for two reasons.

First: A Filipino friend of mine married an Irishman, and we happened to be at a party together one night. Being a gentleman, her husband offered to get me a drink from the bar. I requested a glass of water. My choice seemed to perturb him. When he returned with my water, I asked if I had offended him. He replied, “It’s damned embarrassing for an Irishman to be at the bar asking for a glass of water.”

Yes, that’s a true story.

Second: I like beer. Alaskan Amber on tap. There’s none better. Sadly, they don’t sell it in Texas.

Where can your readers stalk you?

I’m highly stalkable online:

Amazon ~ iBooks ~ Amazon UK ~ Nook ~ XinXii

facebook ~ My IAN Page ~ WebSite ~ twitter ~ Goodreads

In real life, please remember that I’m half Sicilian, I own a killer dog beast (note the After photo above), and I live in Texas. Where even our little old ladies are packing heat . . .