Friday, September 22, 2017

Interview with Frankie Hogan, Author of LIVIN'

Frankie Hogan is an American writer, director, and filmmaker. He is a founder and principal partner of Corner Prophets Production Company, a film production company started in 2012, and the company controller for a Los Angeles-based international interior design firm.

Find out more on Amazon

Q: Congratulations on the release of your book, Livin’. What was your inspiration for it?

A: I’ve always been a storyteller—at the bar with friends or over dinner with family. I’m a screenwriter and usually put my writing ideas into that format. Writing a book just wasn’t on my radar until I started my international travels. I would come home and tell stories at the bar and faces would light up. The universal excitement for travel is almost unmatched. Again and again, people responded, “You should write about that!” It took me a while, but I finally admitted to myself, they’re not shittin’ me.

Q: Why was the writing of this book important for you?

A: I know and grew up with people who love hearing stories of far-off lands. These are people who picture themselves riding on a camel in the Sahara or hiking through the Amazon. They had childhood dreams that, for one reason or the other, couldn’t be realized. But stories of those places still bring smiles to their faces. The vicarious travelers. I also know people who are exactly like the first group, except they put up imaginary barriers. A lack of money, time, and access have all been blasted out of the water as excuses in today’s connected world. I want Livin’ to motivate those people to hop off their asses and get after it.

Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

A: Livin’ was written over a four-year period with another four months of editing. So this has become my longest writing project, not because of the writing, but the trips it covered. Like I said, these started as stories told in bars about trips I took. I dig that tone of a buddy bullshittin’ over drinks about what he got into, with a smile glued to his face. And it was important for me to keep that tone. I made sure all the way through editing that I stayed true to that.

Q: What is the one thing you hope readers will take away from your book?

A: The time is now.

Q: What discoveries or surprises did you experience while writing this book?

A: An early reviewer of Livin’ said that one of her favorite parts of the book was when I described navigating my way through a chaotic airport. How I brought her there. This put a smile on my face because, as a screenwriter, a scene like that would hit the cutting room floor. If a scene doesn’t advance the plot, it doesn’t make the film. But in a nonfiction memoir, you have more leeway. And I love how something like that can build a connection with the reader.

Q: How do you define success as an author?

A: Fuck fortune. I’ve been happy with next to nothing and I’ve made money now. I usually feel successful if I feel I was able to deliver emotion to my reader. When you sit down to write, there’s an intended reaction that you hope to convey to the reader. A dreamed response to your work. I’m not talking about good reviews. I’m talking about how you make your readers feel after months and years of pouring your soul into something. It doesn’t always go as planned. But when it does, that’s success to me.

Q: Could you talk a little bit about your publishing process?

A: I’m lucky that I come from the film business, which is a bit further down the road when it comes to indie projects. I run a film production company, so I understand the ups and downs of producing an indie. Let’s say you’ve written your book, have decided you want to publish independently, and now you’re thinking, “What’s next?” Money is what makes the train steam ahead. Pitch away. You never know. A friend of a friend loved the travel stories I told at a party. He heard I was writing a book about them and became my main investor. Once the money was in place, I made a budget and put together a solid team, from editing and design to publicity, printing, and marketing. My time in film gave me a step up, but it’s all out there if you plan on going the indie route. Do your research. Read articles and books on self-publishing. Talk to other authors. Talk to vendors. It’s doable.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring nonfiction writers? Could you offer some tips or resources that have been helpful to you?

A: I’d say remember what nonfiction means. It’s not a collection of greatest hits. Be real with it. Livin’ includes the good, the bad, and the ugly. The more you open yourself up, the deeper the connection you’ll have with your readers.

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

A: If you’ve ever daydreamed about a safari in South Africa or wondered what modern-day cities in Vietnam are like or even wished to smoke the finest green in an Amsterdam coffee shop, Livin’: From the Amsterdam Red Light to the African Bush is the book for you. www.livintravelbook.com





Thursday, September 21, 2017

Book Feature: Sleep Like the Dead by Alex Gray - and a Giveaway!








Title: Sleep Like the Dead
Author: Alex Gray (A DCI Lorimer Novel)
Publisher: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Genres: Mystery/Suspense
Touring: September 4 - September 29


There’s a hitman in Glasgow: unpaid and angry, he’s decided to settle his own debts…

Marianne Brogan can’t sleep. She’s plagued by a nightmare: someone in the shadows, whispering threats, stalking her every move. To make matters worse, Marianne can’t get hold of her brother, Billy. Despite knowing some shady characters from Glasgow’s underworld, Billy’s always been there for her – until now.

Meanwhile, DCI Lorimer and his team are faced with a string of seemingly unconnected but professional killings. Without witnesses or much conclusive evidence to build a case, the officers are drawing a blank. Criminal psychologist Solly Brightman is off the case due to budget cuts. But Solly is more closely connected to the murders than he could possibly know . . . And as the hitman plans a bloody ransom to get his fee, the race is on to find out just who hired him – and who’s next on the hit list.







Detective Chief Inspector William Lorimer felt the swish of the plastic tape behind him as he entered the crime scene. He glanced at the house, one eyebrow raised in slight surprise. It was such an ordinary two-up, two-down mid-terrace, a modest suburban home, like thousands of others in and around this city in a district not particularly known for a high rate of crime. And certainly not for ones like this. But impressions could be deceptive, that was something he’d learned long ago, and as the Chief Inspector took another look around him his mouth became a hard thin line: scratch the surface of any neighbourhood and the veneer of respectability could expose all manner of human depravity.
The entire garden was cordoned off and a uniformed officer stood guard at the front gate, his eyes shifting only momentarily to the DCI. Lorimer turned to look behind him. Across the street a huddle of people stood, clearly undeterred by the driving rain, their curiosity or compassion binding them in a pool of silent anticipation. Three police vehicles lined the pavement, a clear sign of the gravity of the situation.
The incident had occurred sometime during the night yet the bright glare from a sun struggling to emerge from layers of cloud made a mockery of the situation. This was an ordinary Monday morning where nothing like this should be happening. He could hear the hum of motorway traffic several streets away as people headed to work, oblivious to the little drama that was about to unfold. A bit in tomorrow’s newspaper would command their attention for a few moments, perhaps, then they would dismiss it as someone else’s tragedy and continue about their business, glad that it didn’t impinge upon their own lives.
His business lay ahead, behind that white tent erected outside the doorway, keeping the scene free from prying eyes. Lorimer nodded, satisfied to see it in place. At least one journalist might be among that knot of watchers over the road, he thought wryly. Closing the gate behind him he ventured up the path then stopped. Someone had been violently sick out here, the traces of vomit splashed over a clump of foliage not yet washed away by earlier torrential rain. Whatever lay inside had been shocking enough to make one person’s stomach heave.
With a word to the duty officer the DCI let himself into the house, his gloved hands closing the door carefully behind him. The body lay spreadeagled on the hall carpet, the gunshot wound clearly visible in the artificial light. He was clad in thin summer pyjamas, the shirt open revealing his bare chest. Any traces in the immediate area would assist the scene of crime officers in learning a little more about the victim’s end, as would the bullet lodged within his head. For Lorimer, the story was one that seemed sadly familiar; a gangland shooting, maybe drug related. The single shot to the temple indicated a professional hit man at any rate, he thought, hunkering down beside the body.
‘What can you tell me?’ he asked, looking up at Detective Sergeant Ramsay, the crime scene manager, who hadarrived before him.
‘Well, so far as we can make out there was no call from neighbours about hearing a weapon being discharged.’ The officer shrugged as if to say that didn’t mean much at this stage. To many people, having a quiet life was preferable to giving evidence in a criminal trial.
‘The killer’s weapon may have been fitted with a silencer, of course,’ Ramsay continued, ‘or the neighbours on either side could just be heavy sleepers. We haven’t found a cartridge case, by the way,’ he added.
‘So who called it in?’ Lorimer wanted to know. ‘Colleague of the victim, sir. Was coming to give him a lift to work. Didn’t get an answer to the doorbell so he looked through the letterbox, saw the body . . . ’
‘ . . . And dialled 999,’ Lorimer finished for him.
‘Suppose that was the same person who was sick outside?’ Ramsay nodded. ‘Poor guy’s still shivering out there in the patrol car. Had to wrap a blanket around his shoulders. He’s been trying to give us what information he can.’
‘Okay. What do we know so far?’ Lorimer asked, looking at the dead man, wondering what his story had been, how he had been brought to this untimely end. The victim was a man about his own age, perhaps younger, he thought, noting the mid-brown hair devoid of any flecks of grey. For a moment Lorimer wanted to place his fingers upon the man’s head, stroke it gently as if to express the pity that he felt. No matter what his history, nobody deserved to die like this.
‘Kenneth Scott,’ the DS told him. ‘Thirty-seven. Lived alone. Divorced. No children. Parents both dead. We haven’t managed to get a lot else out of the colleague yet,’ he added, jerking his head in the direction of the street.
‘Too shocked to say much when we arrived. After he’d seen his pal.’ Lorimer continued to focus upon the dead man on the floor.
The victim’s eyes were still wide with surprise, the mouth open as if to register a sudden protest, but it was not an expression of terror.
‘It must have happened too quickly for him to have realised what was happening,’ Lorimer murmured almost to himself. ‘Or had he known his assailant?’
‘There was no forced entry, sir, but that might not mean all that much.’ The DCI nodded a brief agreement. Men were less likely to worry about opening their doors to strangers, if indeed this had been a stranger. And a strong-armed assassin would have been in and out of there in seconds, one quick shot and away. Lorimer sat back on his heels, thinking hard. They would have to find out about the man’s background as a priority, as well as notifying his next of kin. The pal outside had given some information. They’d be checking all that out, of course.
‘What about his work background?’ Lorimer asked.
‘They were in IT, the guy out there told us, shared lifts to a call centre on a regular basis.’ Lorimer stood up as the door opened again to admit a small figure dressed, like himself, in the regulation white boiler suit. His face creased into a grin as he recognized the consultant forensic pathologist. Despite her advanced state of pregnancy, Dr Rosie Fergusson was still attending crime scenes on a regular basis.
‘Still managing not to throw up?’ he asked mischievously.
‘Give over, Lorimer,’ the woman replied, elbowing her way past him, ‘I’m way past that stage now, you know,’ she protested, patting her burgeoning belly. ‘Into my third trimester.’
‘Right, what have we here?’ she asked, bending down slowly and opening her kitbag. Her tone, Lorimer noticed, was immediately softer as she regarded the victim. It was something they had in common, that unspoken compassion that made them accord a certain dignity towards a dead person. Lorimer heard
Rosie sigh as her glance fell on the victim’s bare feet; clad only in his nightwear that somehow made him seem all the more vulnerable.
‘Name’s Kenneth Scott. His mate came to collect him for work at seven this morning. Nobody heard anything last night as far as we know,’ he offered, making eye contact with Ramsay to include him in the discussion. This was a team effort and, though he was senior investigating officer, Lorimer was well aware of the value everyone placed on the scene of crime manager who would coordinate everyone’s part in the case.
‘Hm,’ Rosie murmured, her gloved hands already examining the body. ‘He’s been dead for several hours anyway,’ she said, more to herself than for Lorimer’s benefit.
‘Rigor’s just beginning to establish. May have died around two to four this morning.’ Rosie glanced up at the radiator next to the body. ‘I take it that’s been off?’
‘I suppose so,’ Lorimer answered, feeling the cold metal under the layers of surgical gloves. He shrugged. ‘It’s still officially summertime, you know.’
‘Could have fooled me,’ Rosie replied darkly, listening to the rain battering down once again on the canvas roof of the tent outside. ‘That’s two whole weeks since July the fifteenth and it’s never let up.’ Lorimer regarded her quizzically.
‘St Swithin’s day,’ she told him. ‘Tradition has it that whatever weather happens that particular day will last for forty days. Or else it’s more of that global warming the doom merchants have been threatening us with,’ she added under her breath.
‘But this fellow’s not been warmed up any, has he?’ Lorimer said. ‘Nothing to change the time of death?’ The pathologist shook her blonde curls under the white hood. ‘No. Normal temperature in here. Wasn’t cold last night either so we can probably assume it happened in the death hours.’ Lorimer nodded silently. Two until four a.m. were regarded as the optimum times for deaths to occur, not only those inflicted by other hands. He had read somewhere that the human spirit seemed to be at its most vulnerable then. And villains seeking to do away with another mortal tended to choose that time as well.
They’d find out more after Rosie and her team had performed the actual post-mortem and forensic toxicology tests had been carried out. Until then it was part of his own job to find out what he could about the late Kenneth Scott.






Alex Gray was born and educated in Glasgow. After studying English and Philosophy at the University of Strathclyde, she worked as a visiting officer for the DHSS, a time she looks upon as postgraduate education since it proved a rich source of character studies. She then trained as a secondary school teacher of English. 

Alex began writing professionally in 1993 and had immediate success with short stories, articles and commissions for BBC radio programmes. She has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable and Pitlochry trophies for her crime writing. 

A regular on the Scottish bestseller lists, her previous novels include Five Ways to Kill a Man, Glasgow Kiss, Pitch Black, The Riverman, Never Somewhere Else, The Swedish Girl and Keep the Midnight Out. She is the co-founder of the international Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, which had its inaugural year in 2012. 

Connect with her at her website: http://www.alex-gray.com or on social media







a Rafflecopter giveaway




BOOK TRAILER SPOTLIGHT: REFLECTIONS: A JOURNEY TO GOD BY GARY & SUSAN EBY @EbyGary






Title: REFLECTIONS: A JOURNEY TO GOD
Author: Gary & Susan Eby
Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing
Pages: 268
Genre: Spirituality/Self-Help/Healing/Poetry

Our disclaimer: you are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality. What we believe in is not that important. What really counts is what you believe that gives your life meaning, direction, and purpose.
This book is about our personal stories with Spirit and what we've learned along our journeys. We're sharing it with you because it might help you on your own journey to God. We only ask that you read this book with an open mind and heart.
We suggest you pick one of these spiritual essays. Ponder it, meditate for a while, even read it out loud. Allow yourself to feel the words and the light, which may lead you to discover the better life you truly deserve.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Emotional Healing
In the twilight of an Oregon summer night, the half-moon projects a mystical glow. Cool mountain air flows with the gentle sounds of cricket music. A glimmering star curtain unfurls to reveal a celestial vision of power and energy that transcends all human worry, doubt, and fear.
Tonight I am at peace, yet I still struggle with discouragement. A part of me obsesses and worries about an unsure financial future. This negative side is unforgiving, self-critical, and emotionally abusive.
At age 60, it appears overwhelming and even impossible to change the direction and course of my life. As I try out new ideas and new technology to achieve my dreams and goals, I stumble and fall. So many barriers and obstacles loom on the horizon. The prospect of giving up and throwing in the towel appears seductive.  Why not just give up?   What's the point anyway?
I ask myself why am I trying so hard to achieve my dreams, when reality smacks of karma, suffering, powerlessness, and death?  We all know about all of those 'bad things' that keep happening to 'good people'. Right?
I accept that evil and injustice exists in this world.  I know random or calculated acts of violence, painful relationships, disease and the loss of loved ones, cause untold pain and suffering.  In these moments of despair, frustration, and discouragement, my consciousness returns to the power of the half-moon.
There is darkness but the moonlight always conquers the night. Even when no moon can be seen in the sky, the moon is there.  Tonight, I choose to thrive on the Light living within all of us.
Much of life will remain a mystery. The stars above and the universe within will sustain me through predictable trials and life challenges. I choose to embrace the majesty of life made sublimely radiant by those infinite, flashing, celestial spheres.
I feel myself merging with the universe and my thoughts begin to turn toward God.  This is the place I want to be.  This is the space I want to be in.  This is where I want to live my life.  I refuse to let the negative overtake me.  
I emotionally reach out toward the lights dancing in the sky and accept what is always, always true.  I am forever guided by God, and whatever happens in my life, I know Spirit will show me through.  No fears, worries or negativity can touch me when I am existing in the Love Light.
Link to Trailer:



Gary Eby is a retired social worker, mental health counselor and addiction therapist. He writes about self-help and spirituality. Gary loves playing the piano, the drums and walking on the beach with his wife, Susan. His motto is "Choose the positive, because it's all good!"


Susan studied philosophy in college. Some of her favorite philosophers are Socrates, Plato, William James and St. Thomas Aquinas. She is currently enjoying Emerson's mystical essays. We have conducted an interview with them.

Their current book is Reflections: A Journey to God.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Interview with Jennifer Chase, Author of 'Dead Cold'



Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

Her latest book is the crime thriller, Dead Cold.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

Books and fictional stories always fascinated me ever since I was a young child. I loved all types of stories and how it could transport you anywhere at any time. I’ve always written stories, and then later screenplays, but it wasn’t my main occupation.  As things changed in the publishing industry, I jumped in and wrote my first professional book in 2008, and I’ve never looked back.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

No. When I’m reading or watching a movie, it’s for escape and entertainment.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

It’s always been a passion and continued to grow through the years.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

One of my personal nemeses of writing is procrastination. I’ve learned to refocus my attention to my writing project(s) to not let anything unimportant get in the way.

What hours do you write best?

My best writing hours are late afternoon and nighttime. I’ve tried to be a morning writer, but it doesn’t work with me.

How often do you write?

I write something every day, except Sunday.

Are you an avid reader?

I’m not as much an avid reader as I used to be. There aren’t enough hours in the day—unfortunately. Now, I have to budget my time for reading.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading The Kill Room by Jeffrey Deaver. My Kindle is full of great books waiting to be read.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on the second book of the Chip Palmer Forensic Mysteries, Scene of the Crime, which will be out later this year.  I’m outlining the next Emily Stone Thriller, Dark Lies, which will be out early 2018. There are a couple of Novellas that I’m considering for short Emily Stone cases.

About the Book:


                                                              
Title: DEAD COLD
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 326
Genre: Crime Thriller

BOOK BLURB:

What happens when one California community has a disturbing spike in homicides? It catapults cops into a deadly game of murder. Frozen human body parts hideously displayed at the crime scenes offers a horrifying interpretation that only a sadistic serial killer could design—and execute.

On the hunt for a complex serial killer, vigilante detective Emily Stone must face her most daring case yet. Stone’s proven top-notch profiling skills and forensic expertise may not be enough this time.

Young and ambitious, Detective Danny Starr, catches the homicide cases and discovers that it will test everything he knows about police work and the criminal mind. Can he handle these escalating cases or will the police department have to call in reinforcements—the FBI.

Emily Stone’s covert team pushes with extreme urgency to unravel the grisly clues, while keeping their identities hidden from the police. With one last-ditch effort, Stone dangles someone she loves as bait to draw out the killer. She then forces the killer out of their comfort zone with her partner Rick Lopez, and with help from a longtime friend Jordan Smith. A revelation of the serial killer’s identity leaves the team with volatile emotions that could destroy them.

The killer continues to taunt and expertly manipulate the police, as well as Stone’s team, and as they run out of time—they leave behind everyone and everything—in Dead Cold.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

A Shape on the Air Book Blast!




Title: A SHAPE ON THE AIR
Author: Julia H. Ibbotson
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Pages: 267
Genre: Medieval Timeslip Romance
Unlocking a love that lasts for lifetimes … and beyond …
Dr Viv Dulac, a lecturer in medieval studies, is devastated when her partner walks out (and with her best friend too) and it seems that she is about to lose everything. Drunk and desperate, her world quite literally turns upside down when she finds herself in the body of the fifth century Lady Vivianne. Lady V has her own traumas; she is struggling with the shifting values of the Dark Ages and her forced betrothal to the brutish Sir Pelleas, who is implicated in the death of her parents. Haunted by both Lady Vivianne and by Viv's own parents' death and legacy, can Viv  unlock the mystery that surrounds and connects their two lives, 1500 years apart, and bring peace to them both? Can the strange key she finds hold the truth? A haunting story of lives intertwining across the ages, of the triumph of the human spirit and of dreams lost and found.

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Amazon


Prologue

1500 years before

Lady Nymue, her mother, is rising from the mere like a spirit: tall, slow like a dream, over-gown falling in slim folds from her waist. Vivianne sees her in a haze of mist, like magic, an illusion. She feels it, that enchantment, and it is enfolding her, but making her shiver, too. Her life-giver, robes dry despite the water, is coming towards her as she stands anxiously on the bank, waiting impatiently, calling out urgently, hopping from one foot to the other, tangling her feet in her earth-sweeping kirtle, longing to rejoin her playmates who are chasing around the village pretending to be Roman soldiers. Her mother, reaching out a hand to her, is shaking her head, but laughing. Be more patient, my little Lady Vivianne, she says, I have not completed my rituals, but let me wrap you in my cloak, for I must return to the mere. But she is only a little girl and something is making her feel cold, frightened. No, she calls, sticking out her lower lip, I want to play! I want to be Honorius this time! They promised! Eleanor will play my wife - or maybe my lady servant.
Her mother is ruffling her soft curls. Well, then, she smiles, I will return later to finish. She is lifted onto her mother’s horse, in front, held close. Dry, warm, comforting. Riding back to the village. Her care-giver is taking her back to play with her friends again. Her mother turns to the special hall which her father, Sir Tristram, called “sacred” and where she is only allowed to go sometimes.
And then, fire, flames, the acrid smell of smoke. Looking across to the great hall, terror strangling her heart, stealing her breath. Running towards the wooden building, through the ash and cinders and the roaring, screaming now, choking. Someone holding her back, pulling her.
Darkness.
Waking up in her little bed. A big red-faced man in the shadows, haloed with a fair unruly beard and thick wild hair, telling her that her parents were dead, burned in the fire. Her mother and her father, both of them. An accident with tallows. She knows those tallows; they are always on the altar in the sacred hall. They are only spoken of in whispers. But this man is speaking in a strange way, loud, too loud, and it seems to her, sneering, as she peers at him through the darkness.


Julia Ibbotson is giving away a PDF copy of ‘Drumbeats’!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter
  • This giveaway ends midnight September 29.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on September 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!


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Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is obsessed with the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana) specialising in medieval studies, and has a PhD in linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a teacher, lecturer and researcher, and a single mum.  Julia has published four books, including a children’s book S.C.A.R.S (a fantasy medieval time slip), a memoir, and the first two novels of her Drumbeats trilogy (which begins in Ghana).  Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga, and walking in the English countryside.

Her recent release is A Shape on the Air.

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