Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Book Feature: Nadya's War by C.S. Taylor






Title: NADYA’S WAR
Author: C.S. Taylor
Publisher: Tiny Fox Press
Pages: 300
Genre: Historical Fiction

BOOK BLURB: 

Nadezdah "Little Boar" Buzina, a young pilot with the Red Army's 586th all-female fighter regiment, dreams of becoming an ace. Those dreams shatter when a dogfight leaves her severely burned and the sole survivor from her flight.

For the latter half of 1942, she struggles against crack Luftwaffe pilots, a vengeful political commissar, and a new addiction to morphine, all the while questioning her worth and purpose in a world beyond her control. It's not until the Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad that she finds her unlikely answers, and they only come after she's saved the life of her mortal enemy and fallen in love with the one who nearly kills her.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



Seven of us zipped through the overcast sky, a dozen meters beneath the cloud layer. Gridnev flew lead and a girl named Tania from First Squadron flew on his wing. Alexandra and I cruised next to them about thirty meters away. I pictured myself as a modern version of my ancestors who rode into battle on horseback, courageous and strong. If only they could see me now, sailing through the air to drive off the invaders. I wondered if they’d be proud or jealous. Maybe both.
The four of us escorted a flight of three Pe-2s from the 150th High-Speed Bomber Regiment across the snowy landscape. That unit was led by Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Polbin who I’d heard was quite the commander. I’d also heard he enjoyed music and sang well, like me, which made me think we’d get along—even if he was a die-hard communist and loyal to Stalin.
The twin-engine Peshkas flew nearly as fast as our fighters, something I was grateful for. I’m certain the three crew members inside each bomber were thankful as well, since unlike the German Heinkels and Stukas, these planes were tough to catch for any aircraft. That being said, I was glad I was in my Yak-1. I wouldn’t have wanted to fly one of those bombers at all, no matter how prestigious they were. They were still big targets, and far less nimble than the fighter I had. I prayed we’d keep them safe.
All the Pe-2s, however, did have fresh, winter paint jobs. Their off-white and tan colors hid them well in the surroundings, and if I wasn’t paying close attention, I’d even lose sight of them from time to time. Their target was a rail depot the Germans were using to bring in supplies and troops headed to Stalingrad. Obliterating it would disrupt logistics and force the Luftwaffe to keep it safe once rebuilt.
With luck, the Germans wouldn’t spot the Peshkas until the bombs were already dropping and they were headed home. I fantasized about how easy of a mission this could be as we went deeper into enemy lines. Those thoughts almost turned into dreams as the drone from my fighter’s engine combined with the dreary sky nearly put me to sleep, despite the digging pain in my arm.
“Tighten up, Little Boar,” Gridnev called out over the radio.
My eyes snapped to the formation. I’d drifted away from the bombers by a good fifty meters sideways and at least that in altitude. I glanced over my shoulder to see Alexandra off to my right. She’d stayed with me even as I wandered. “Reforming now. Thought I saw something below and wanted a better view.” 





C.S. Taylor is a former Marine and avid fencer (saber for the most part, foil and epee are tolerable). He enjoys all things WWII, especially perfecting his dogfighting skills inside virtual cockpits, and will gladly accept any P-38 Lightnings anyone might wish to bestow upon him. He’s also been known to run a kayak through whitewater now and again, as well give people a run for their money in trap and skeet.

His latest book is the historical fiction, Nadya’s War.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Bookish Chat with Legal Mystery Author Ken Malovos


Ken Malovos has been practicing law in Sacramento for over forty years. He spent twelve years with the Public Defender’s Office and twenty-five years as a business litigator. He now serves full-time as a mediator and arbitrator. Ken has written two previous Mike Zorich novels and both have been recognized by Chanticleer Book Reviews. Contempt of Court was a First Place Category winner in the legal genre of the Mystery and Mayhem competition in 2014. Fatal Reunion was a finalist in the Thriller and Suspense competition in 2016. Ken and his wife live in Sacramento.

His latest book is the legal mystery, ONE NIGHT IN AMBOISE.

Visit his website at www.malovoslaw.com.



As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I thought of secrets that we all have and how we try to keep them hidden. For example, the former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert kept a secret for many years, that he was involved in improprieties with young men when he was a wrestling coach. Yet, he ran for Congress and was third-in-line to be President before anyone found out. How does someone keep something like this a secret? What goes through his/her mind? What is his/her emotional state?

Can you tell us what your book is about?

It is about an allegation of rape that took place in Amboise, France, thirty years ago. I follow the lives of the man and the woman and how each of them copes with the initial event. The man becomes a lawyer and then a judge and is now on trial for murder of someone else and he must revisit the rape in order to defend himself.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?

The main characters are the man and the woman. The woman has much trouble coping with the rape and  telling anyone or even admitting that she is not sure if she was raped. Many people might find this all hard to believe, but it is a reality, as many studies have shown. As I said above, the man becomes a judge and is accused of the murder of someone else. He must finally confront the secret of his life in his trial.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

Read. I did not read much fiction as a younger person but now I love fiction and I am catching up with my reading, while I am writing. I wished I had read a whole lot more.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

I am a half-outliner and a half-pantster. I try to outline the initial thoughts and plot ideas and then just write and see what would logically happen next, what the next decision of this character would most likely be.

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

I do. I have received some nice reviews, which I love. But I doubt that many people are going to take the time to tell me the book was lousy.

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

I need to “show not tell.” This is the classic writing rule and it is sometimes hard to follow. I think I am showing, through dialogue, but then I lapse into more telling than is necessary.

What has been your best accomplishment?

As an author, I have received awards from my first two novels from Chanticleer Book Review Book Competitions. This has validated my writing from an objective third source, which has been very rewarding.

Do you Google yourself?

I do. Not often, but I do. I read what others have written but usually I already have seen their reviews on Amazon.com.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have a total of three published novels and a whole bunch of partial writings. Everything else is just an idea in my mind. I am still debating on what my next project will be.

Fun question – if you were princess or prince, what’s one thing you would do to make your kingdom a better place?

Get rid of guns of all types, except legitimate hunting rifles and shotguns. I see absolutely no need for guns whose purpose is to kill people.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

I just hope that they enjoy this book. It was a lot of fun writing it and I want all my readers to have a fun time with my books.



About the Book:

JIM HANSEN AND CORINNE LARSON are overseas college students at Amboise, France. After meeting at a local bar they leave and encounter a drunk. JIM hits him and the man may be dead. At the manor house where they live, they kiss and make love. The next day she accuses him of rape but does not formally charge him. He denies the charge. The police investigate the killing of the drunk.

After they return to California, CORINNE struggles with the whole incident, wondering if she was at fault. She talks to her sisters and then seeks professional help after turning to alcohol.  JIM goes to law school and becomes a deputy district attorney, always wondering if the allegation of rape will surface and whether he did the right thing. He marries another overseas student from Amboise.

ALICIA OBREGON contacts JIM and asks him to dismiss the criminal case against her husband. She informs JIM that she knows all about Amboise and threatens to expose him. He throws the case, thereby allowing a guilty person to go free. Over time he pays her money.

JIM is appointed a judge and ALICIA continues to blackmail him. CORINNE’s husband comes to Sacramento and confronts JIM in his chambers. JIM says he is sorry about the whole thing. JIM goes to a rehabilitation facility but in a few weeks he leaves, feeling he has resolved all of his concerns. 

ALICIA is found dead. ALICIA’s husband is charged with her murder but he implicates JIM because he knows all about the blackmailing scheme. JIM then is arrested and must stand trial for the murder of ALICIA. The prosecutor focuses on JIM’s motive. JIM asks noted trial lawyer MIKE ZORICH to represent him.  JIM turns down a plea bargain and a sensational jury trial follows. JIM is not truthful with his wife, his attorney or the jury. CORINNE’s husband testifies. The jury cannot reach a decision and JIM must live with a tarnished reputation amidst unsettled questions whether he killed ALICIA and raped CORINNE.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon




Thursday, November 9, 2017

Cover Reveal Day! CIRCUMVENT by S.K. Derban





Title: CIRCUMVENT
Author: S.K. Derban
Publisher: Touchpoint Press
Genre: Mystery



Imagine living in a quaint, beach front cottage on the Hawaiian island of Maui. You have an amazing job, combined with the pleasure of working from home. Lunch breaks become a daily picnic on the sand. Dessert is always included because of your marriage to a famous pastry chef. Life could not be any better. Or so it seems... When French born, Nikki Sabine Moueix travels to Hawaii for a special work assignment, her job of writing an article about a famous Swiss pastry chef generates more than a magazine piece. They fall in love, get married, and Nikki becomes Mrs. Ruggiero Delémont.

When another assignment calls for Nikki to spend three weeks in France, Ruggiero’s schedule prevents him from joining her. She travels alone, advancing straight into danger. After a threatening confrontation, Nikki wakes up in a French hospital with no knowledge of her past. When she fails to check in, Ruggiero panics and pushes for an immediate investigation. But as he closes in, Nikki’s new found friend moves her to another city. It becomes a game of hide and seek with Nikki as the prize.

CIRCUMVENT allows readers to form a bond with Nikki as they yearn for her to remember. They will cheer for Ruggiero and his relentless determination to locate his beloved wife. This is a story about two people who never lose their faith in God, and find amazing friends to help them along the way.  



When the plane leveled at a cruising altitude, Nikki reclined her seat back and reopened her novel. Her seat mate appeared to be napping, and Peter Safin was busy preparing his work area. Nikki’s curiosity flourished when she realized her reclining position provided a clear view of his laptop screen. But, as his fingers danced along the keyboard nothing on the illuminated display made sense. She was reading a combination of letters and numbers that appeared to be some sort of code. Maybe he’s a spy, Nikki amused herself in thought. A Russian spy. No, wait! Her mind raced. Maybe he’s a mole, or even a double agent.

Nikki almost laughed aloud as she refocused on the book within her hands. It was the latest spy novel, written by one of her favorite authors. Maybe I should switch to romance.



Born in the United States, S.K. Derban moved to London within the first three months, and remained in England until the age of five. Her mother was involved with the London Royal Ballet Company, and a great fan of the arts. Even after returning to the United States, S.K. Derban’s life was filled with a love of the theatre and a passion for British murder mysteries. 

Her personal travel and missionary adventures also help to transport readers virtually across the globe. S.K. Derban has smuggled Bibles into China, and has been to Israel on seven missionary trips. When writing, she relies on all aspects of her life, from a strong faith in the Lord, to her unique combination of professional experience. The many personal adventures of S.K. Derban are readily apparent as they shine through into her characters. Circumvent is the third mystery novel for writer S.K. Derban.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Book Trailer Blitz: The Amendment Killer @ronbarakauthor


Title: THE AMENDMENT KILLER
Author: Ronald S. Barak
Publisher: Gander House Publishers
Pages: 320
Genre: Thriller/Mystery & Suspense/Political Thriller


BOOK BLURB:   
                                                   
"WE HAVE YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER. HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO."

That's the text message Supreme Court Justice Arnold Hirschfeld receives as hearings commence in the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the fate of the 28th Amendment - enacted to criminalize abuse of power on the part of our political representatives.

In court to defend the amendment, retired U.S. District Court Judge Cyrus Brooks observes his old friend and law school classmate Hirschfeld acting strangely and dispatches veteran D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello to find out why.

In the meantime, Hirschfeld's precocious and feisty 11-year-old diabetic granddaughter Cassie, brutally kidnapped to control her grandfather's swing vote upholding or invalidating the amendment, watches her insulin pump running dry and wonders which poses her greatest threat, the kidnappers or the clock. As Brooks is forced to choose between saving our nation or saving the girl.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:
Tuesday, May 6, 6:30 am

We have your granddaughterHere’s what you need to do.
Thomas T. Thomas III reviewed the language. Again. He closed the phone without hitting send. Yet.
He stared through high-powered binoculars from atop the wooded knoll. As always, the girl hit one perfect shot after another.
Cassie Webber. Age 11. He’d been tailing her for three months. It seemed longer.
She was chaperoned everywhere she went. Two-a-day practices before and after school. Her dad drove her in the morning. He watched her empty bucket after bucket and then dropped her off at school. Her mom picked her up after school, ferried her back to the practice range, and brought her home after daughter and coach finished. Mom and daughter sometimes ran errands on the way, but always together. Even on the occasional weekend outing to the mall or the movies, the girl was constantly in the company of family or friends. Having someone hovering over me all day would have driven me batshit.
His childhood had been different. When Thomas was her age, he walked to school on his own. And he lived a lot farther away than the girl. His daddy had never let his driver chauffeur him around. Wasn’t about to spoil him. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Didn’t spoil me that way either.
He kept telling himself patience was the key. But his confidence was waning. And then, suddenly, he’d caught a break. The girl’s routine had changed.
She started walking the few blocks between school and practice on her own. Dad dropped her off at morning practice and Mom met her at afternoon practice instead of school. Only a ten minute walk each way, but that was all the opening he needed.
Everything was finally in place. He would be able to make amends. He would not let them down.
This time.
She completed her morning regimen, unaware of Thomas’s eyes trained on her from his tree-lined vantage point. No doubt about it, he thought to himself. She was incredibly good. Driven. Determined.
And pretty.
Very pretty.
He relieved himself, thinking about her. A long time . . . coming. Haha! As the girl disappeared into the locker room, he trekked back down the hill, and climbed into the passenger side of the van. He returned the binoculars to their case. He removed the cell from his pocket, and checked the pending text one more time.
Moments later, the girl emerged from the locker room, golf bag exchanged for the backpack over her shoulders. She ambled down the winding pathway, waved to the uniformed watchman standing next to the guardhouse, and crossed through the buzzing security gate. She headed off to school.
Without taking his eyes off her, Thomas barked at the man sitting next to him. “Go.”


About the Author

Described by his readers as a cross between Agatha Christie, Lee Child, and John Lescroart, bestselling author Ron Barak keeps his readers flipping the pages into the wee hours of the night. While he mostly lets his characters tell his stories, he does manage to get his licks in too.

Barak derives great satisfaction in knowing that his books not only entertain but also stimulate others to think about how things might be, how people can actually resolve real-world problems. In particular, Barak tackles the country’s dysfunctional government representatives—not just back-seat driving criticism for the sake of being a back-seat driver, but truly framing practical remedies to the political abuse and corruption adversely affecting too many people’s lives today. Barak’s extensive legal background and insight allow him to cleverly cross-pollenate his fiction and today’s sad state of political reality.

In his latest novel, THE AMENDMENT KILLER, Barak calls upon his real world legal ingenuity and skill to craft a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution criminalizng political abuse and corruption that Constitutional scholars across the country are heralding as a highly plausible answer to the political chaos destroying the very moral fiber of the country today. It’s difficult to read THE AMENDMENT KILLER and not imagine what could—and should—be expected and demanded of those political leaders who have forgotten they are there to serve and not be served.

Barak is also a committed and strident advocate of finding a cure for diabetes. One of the primary characters in THE AMENDMENT KILLER is the feisty and precocious 11-year-old diabetic granddaughter of the Supreme Court justice holding the swing vote in a case in which Congress is challenging the validity of Barak’s hypothetical 28th Amendment. It is no small coincidence that Barak is himself a diabetic. Or that he has committed 50% of the net proceeds of THE AMENDMENT KILLER to diabetes research and education.

Barak is singularly qualified to have authored THE AMENDMENT KILLER, which will appeal to political and legal thriller aficionados alike. Barak is a law school honors graduate and a former Olympic athlete. While still in law school, he authored a bill introduced in Congress that overnight forced the settlement of a decades long dispute between the NCAA and the AAU to control amateur athletics in the
United States.

Present-day politicians would do well to read THE AMENDMENT KILLER and not underestimate the potential of Barak’s 28th Amendment. You can read his 28th Amendment at ronaldsbarak.com/28th-amendment-page-2. You can also read his occasional political blogs at ronaldsbarak.com/blog.

Ron and his wife, Barbie, and the four-legged members of their family reside in Pacific Palisades, California.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Book Feature: Fix Your Diet, Fix Your Diabetes by Tony Hampton MD



Title: FIX YOUR DIET FIX YOUR DIABETES
Author: Tony Hampton, MD
Publisher: Windy City Publishers
Pages: 168
Genre: Self-Help

Want to fix your diabetes?  In this book, I share with my diabetic and borderline diabetic readers that they have the power to reverse or prevent diabetes simply by changing their diets.  It starts with how you think.  By removing old beliefs to new ones that better serve you, the path to recovery from diabetes can be that simple.  Once I provide the rationale for changing old beliefs to more productive ones, I then share with you ways to stay motivated as you journey to a new way of eating.  You are then given a deeper understanding of why so many people have diabetes.  This knowledge will allow you to remove thoughts you may have had where you blamed yourself for having diabetes.  You are then given tips on how to maintain the motivation needed to make a successful transition to a diabetic friendly diet.  Additional knowledge is given about the many complications which could occur when this condition is not well controlled.  Empowered with the understanding of why diabetes occurs and its many complications, you will be given a case for changing how diabetes is treated.  This is done by changing the focus of diabetes management away from the symptoms (elevated glucose), which is how we currently manage this condition, to treating the cause of the disease (insulin resistance).  You are then given the rationale for increasing healthy fats in your diets while reducing starchy carbohydrates and processed foods.  Once this is explained, examples of foods that should be considered for smoothies, snacks, and dinner are given so you will know how to choose foods which are best.   Finally, tips on how to avoid being fooled by marketing labels and claims of so-called healthy foods provide the framework by which great dietary choices can be made.  This new approach to reversing diabetes with diet will reverse diabetes in nearly anyone willing to make these simply lifestyle changes.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



INSULIN RESISTANCE AND HOW TO REVERSE IT

Now that you understand that Type 2 diabetes is about insulin resistance, it’s time to rethink how you are approaching your treatment for this condition. Most doctors and their patients focus on reducing the blood glucose values and if they’re successful they feel they’re controlling diabetes. But I asked myself if we were fixing the core problem or simply treating the symptoms. After reflecting on the question, I realized the core problem may not be elevated blood glucose levels after all. High glucose values are simply a symptom of diabetes. So where should the focus be?

The answer is insulin resistance. By focusing on this, you could achieve much better results, since this is essential to fixing your diabetes. Let’s use an analogy to help think about this concept in a different way. If I see a patient who presents with a painful throat, red and swollen tonsils, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and a fever, I know I likely have a patient who needs to be treated for strep throat. In order to solve his problem, I will need to give him an antibiotic to fight the bacteria that is causing his symptoms. If I gave this patient Tylenol, I would only be treating his symptoms, and would likely end up with a patient who feels better but isn’t really cured.

This is what we are doing with our diabetes treatment. This is also likely the reason we consider this a progressively worsening disease. By shifting your focus, you will find a path to the solution you’ve been searching for. Why focus on insulin resistance? Because when insulin levels are high due to resistance, lipolysis (fat breakdown) is inhibited, sensitive arteries throughout the body are exposed to damaging higher levels of glucose, muscle protein synthesis is reduced, and glycogen-filled cells are converted to fat for storage.

Dr. Tony Hampton has been treating patients with multiple chronic conditions for nearly two decades. In addition to his role as an Advocate Medical Group (AMG) family physician over the last nine years, Dr. Hampton currently holds multiple responsibilities within the Advocate Healthcare, including Medical Director of AMG Beverly, Vice-Chair of AMG’s Governing Council, Chair of Health Outcomes Committee and Co-Chair of Executive Diversity Council. 

Over the last two years, Dr. Hampton has worked closely with AOS, successfully piloting advancements in AMG’s operations management systems. He is a champion for change that results in greater work-life balance for physicians and an enhanced patient experience. His interpersonal skills, clinical knowledge, and desire for strong patient/team engagement will continue to make Tony an asset to the AOS team. 

A regular speaker for the American Diabetes Association and consultant for the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Initiative to Improve Diabetes Care, Dr. Hampton is passionate about empowering patients by changing old beliefs to new ones which better serve them using evidence-based medicine. Educating them on the root cause of disease processes and the importance of diet provides the path to positive health outcomes for diabetics, borderline diabetics, and patients not at their ideal body weight. 

He is a Certified Physician Executive (CPE) and earned his MBA from the University of Phoenix. Tony authored the book Fix Your Diabetes, Fix Your Diet, Your Dietary Solution to Reversing Diabetes which was published in April 2017.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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  Watch Dr. Hampton talk about fix your fear of fat in your diet:





Tuesday, October 17, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'Summer on Earth' Peter Thompson



Peter Thompson grew up in Illinois, and lives near Chicago. He remembers how excited he was when the first astronaut stepped on to the moon. He has had an appreciation of space, and all its possibilities ever since. His love of children’s books developed while reading to his three sons. His first novel, Living Proof, was a thriller published by Berkeley Books. Summer on Earth is his first book for younger readers. It will be released in August of this year.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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What’s inside the mind of a middle grade sci-fi author?

Curiosity and empathy. I think it all comes down to that sense of wonder, and imagining what things would be like, if something was different. By asking What if questions, and trying to put myself in the shoes of the character experiencing this situation, I get a chance to live life from a new perspective. My novel, Summer on Earth, is the story of Ralwil or Will, an alien who is forced to land on a farm to fix his broken spaceship, and his relationship with Grady, the 11-year-old boy who lives there. It was a lot of fun writing from the perspective of Ralwil, an alien from another galaxy. To him, everything here is new and exotic. Things we take for granted and think of as dull and boring, are fresh and exciting to him. Grady’s perspective was challenging in another way. It has been a long, long time since I was 11 years old. Remembering back to how I was at that age, and trying to make it authentic, was very satisfying in the end.  

What is so great about being an author?

It is a wonderful feeling to have an idea, and to start writing, and to see how the story takes shape. I love how characters come alive and go off in their own direction. When a story works, it feels like I am a stenographer, just trying to keep up and write down the story as it flows out of me. I think we all have creative impulses, and it is a wonderful feeling to start with just a germ of an idea, and to see it grow. When my writing flows, it is exciting for it to come together, surprising me at times as the story finds its way, and ends up as a finished novel, telling a story that has never been told in that way before.

When do you hate it?

I don’t think I ever hate it, but writing can be frustrating at times. Every day you start with a blank page. Sometimes the story flows and it feels great. Other times it is a struggle. I try to push through when it isn’t flowing, but there are times where I don’t like any of my ideas, and nothing is working the way I want it too. I just try and relax and keep going. It always comes back if you keep on putting in the time.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

I do most of my writing early in the morning. I try and get up at five thirty, and write for a few hours before going to work. I usually read what I wrote from the day before, say may affirmations, then put on my headphones and listen to some instrumental music, set the timer and start to write. On a good day it will flow effortlessly. Sometimes it doesn’t, but if I keep it up, the story comes through.

How do you handle negative reviews?

There is always a sting when you read a bad review, and I wonder sometimes, maybe they are right? But the truth is, a review is only an opinion. I’ve had enough good response to know that my stories are working, even if they don’t work for everyone. You have to believe in what you do. Our stories are all personal, even when they are fiction, and as an author we need to have confidence that we are telling the story the best way that we can tell it, even when someone else doesn’t get it.

How do you handle positive reviews?

It is a good feeling to know that someone really connected to my story, and I immediately think that they are obviously very intelligent, beautiful and well respected human beings. I’m only partially kidding when I say that. In my heart I send out thanks and gratitude. It feels good and I do get a boost from good reviews. But, like a bad review, it is still only one person’s opinion. I read them, enjoy them, and move on. 

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

Surprise, mostly. I don’t bring it up as a rule, so they are more likely to hear about it when someone else tells them, or they read an article, or now, it might be because of social media. People see you in the way they know you, or were first introduced to you. We all have many facets, and people who know me through my work, or from family connections or any other relationship, think of me based on how they first came to know me. I know I feel the same way when I find out something new about a friend or acquaintance that I didn’t know before. I recently found out that someone I’ve known for years was a painter. I thought that was so cool, and it made me look at her in a new light. When people find out I am an author, they are surprised, but it rounds me out as a person to them. They see me for more than the one role they might identify me with. Most people don’t know many authors, though, so when they ask me for my autograph, or to sign a copy of my book, I sometimes feel like a minor celebrity. 

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I try and write every day, but some days I am very productive, and other days, not so much. I do take breaks from writing, but if I am working on a project and it doesn’t flow, I keep pushing. I’ve found that inspiration comes reliably when I push through and put in the work.

Any writing quirks?

I usually sit in the same spot and listen to music when I write. I also say my affirmations before I start, and find that this helps put me in the right head space for writing.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

I’ve been very lucky in that my family and friends have been very supportive of my writing. And that does make a big difference. But ultimately, I write for myself. When I write it is a form of self-discovery, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Early on, the people I share my work with are those who I know will take it seriously. Sometimes there are stories that I get excited about, and my early readers don’t see it the same way. When that happens I listen to their opinion, and then decide whether I want to accept it, or not. As a writer you have to have a pretty thick hide, because criticism is part of it, and good criticism can make you better.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Absolutely. I love to write, and when it is flowing I have a real sense of joy and accomplishment. But there was a long period where I stopped writing entirely. At the time, my life was busy and I had a lot of stress from other sources. I kept getting stuck with my writing. I felt blocked and discouraged and trying to write was just adding more stress. I put everything away and just stopped.  I missed it, but writing was too painful at the time. Since then, I have come to appreciate the process more, and now I try and keep writing even when I don’t feel like it is working. In the long run I have faith that what needs to come out, will come out.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

I don’t. Money is important to the extent that it gives you validation. Knowing that a publisher believes in your story enough that they are willing to pay for it, is a great feeling. I remember when I saw my first novel in a book store the first time, it gave me a real rush of excitement. I have to admit, I do fantasize about my book becoming a runaway best seller, and I am looking forward to the movie premier (take note, any movie producers in the audience). But I don’t write for the money. If I was given a choice of having a whole bunch of readers reading my book for free and loving it, or having someone pay me a ton of money not to publish the book, I would always go for more readers. Like most authors, I work a full-time job, and that’s where most of my money comes from.


What has writing taught you?

That’s a great question. I have learned a lot about myself in the process of writing. I know that I can take on a big project, and see it through to completion. I have learned not to take myself too seriously, and I try and separate the process from the outcome. I’ve learned that I have more fun when I write for my own enjoyment, then when I try and write for some potential audience. I know that writing is almost like praying or meditating. I am the one typing on my keypad, but when the writing flows, I connect with something else, and I am often surprised and delighted by what comes out on the page.


Leave us with some words of wisdom.

When writing, especially in the beginning, don’t write for other people, write for yourself. I try and amuse myself. I know things are going well if I’m laughing while I write, or feel tears come to my eyes. I try to turn off my editor, let it go and just have fun.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Feature: Dead Cold by Jennifer Chase



We're really excited to be part of Jennifer Chase's DEAD COLD Blog Tour! 



Title: DEAD COLD
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Pages: 326
Genre: Crime Thriller
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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ESCAPE WAS IMPOSSIBLE. TEARS STREAMED down her face as she sat in the darkness and waited for the man to return. There was no other choice—but to wait.
She hadn’t eaten anything in three days and had only a limited amount of water—her strength continued to fade with every hour. With her wrists and ankles secured with duct tape, her skin stung with pain every time she struggled to move. At least the man had peeled the tape from her eyes and mouth so that she could see something besides pitch-blackness.
Even if she could escape, the only way to safety was jumping into the frigid water, but she could not swim and would drown before ever reaching the shore.
The only thing thirteen-year-old Kayla Swanson thought about was home. Fond memories flashed through her mind of her parents, her little brother, and her dog Charlie. She was never going to see them again. Their smiling faces were forever etched in Kayla’s mind, and she constantly held them close to her heart.  
The boat rocked, and seemed to sway more violently as the tide flooded in and out of the harbor. Kayla could hear a consistent clanking noise above her as the boat rolled back and forth. The sound had a hypnotic quality, and kept her mind on something else besides when the man would return and what he would do next. 
Her lips were dry and cracked as she bordered on dehydration. Even her tears dried on her cheeks, leaving her skin stiff and drawn. Her body began to shake, not only from fear, but also because of the extreme exhaustion and the constant dampness all around her.
The boat rocked more, but this time it shifted from the opposite sides. Kayla heard soft footsteps above, which she knew wasn’t her captor’s heavy walk. She strained her eyes in the darkness and thought she saw a thin shadow stealthily move along the upper deck.
Was it a ghost?
Kayla remembered a television series where a team of people hunted ghosts and they had said that ghosts could occupy any type of space, house, property, and even a boat.
She blinked her eyes several times and hoped that she could catch a glimpse of the ghost again. With every ounce of declining strength, Kayla scooted her body closer to the narrow stairs leading to the upper deck.
Painfully craning her neck, she strained to see something up in the darkness.
The dark shadowed areas played tricks on her eyes—it was there, then it wasn’t.
She waited for several minutes.
Nothing appeared.
The only sounds she heard were the usual boat noises she had grown accustomed to hearing. Whatever she thought she heard was gone now. It was most likely her imagination trying to give her some hope and a few moments break from her dire circumstances.
As she relaxed her shoulders and leaned back against the wall, the reality of her world pressing down hard. Tears streamed down her face. She tasted the saltiness that settled around her mouth. Her last moments were approaching, and there was nothing she could do.



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.

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