Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Interview with Peter Darrach, author of 'Tavern on the Edge of Time'



Peter Darrach has lived in New York, London, Prague, Munich and Vienna. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a Master of Arts degree in German Literature, both from Pennsylvania State University. Darrach pursued a career in sales and marketing in fields as diverse as amusement parks and retail before moving to Europe in 1991. Since then he has worked in Eastern and Western Europe, holding a series of executive positions with blue chip FMCG companies.  Most recently he has returned to the U.S. to pursue his career as a business coach and fiction author and currently lives in Florida.

His latest book is the sci-fi, Tavern on the Edge of Time.
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About the Book:

During the year 2125, former asteroid miners Max Cody and Elaine Zhou never get a moment’s rest. No sooner have they doused the flames of war between Earth and Mars or returned from their first trip to the Tavern on the Edge of Time when they are called upon to help fit out the fledging Martian colony orbiting Jupiter’s moon Callisto. In parallel, Earth extradites the war’s fomenter, ex-billionaire arms merchant Xanthus Rex, hoping to gain from his insights into Martian teleportation technology, but he manages to turn Earth’s resources toward private revenge against Max, Mars, and the Callisto Colony. In the meantime aliens are leaking into the Earth-Mars continuum from the Tavern, whose proprietor repaired and upgraded Max after accidentally injuring him during an asteroid mining expedition. Max’s enhancements help, of course, but when strange beings with the power to animate matter—the Assemblers—find their way to Earth, Max, Mars, and humanity are sorely beset. Worse yet, the Tavern itself is becoming unstable, its acquisitive host having overstretched his considerable powers. His prospecting for collapsed neutron matter has also opened portals between continua, inadvertently adding still more aliens to the mix. That’s when the Assemblers’ overlord arrives and Max finally meets his match. Oh, and Elaine is expecting their hybrid baby. Yes, you might say these are difficult times at the Tavern on the Edge of Time.

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Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

For 22 years I was a business executive.  Now I am allowing the more creative side of my personality more room, which means I’ve discovered painting, rediscovered playing music, I love to cook, and I am an active runner.

When did you start writing?

I wrote the first of my current three books as a rough draft in 2008, but didn’t actually publish it until 2012.  However, I have two degrees in literature, so I’ve been involved with the medium rather a long time—with a 22 year break to go off and be a business executive in Europe.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Actually seeing my first book in print was probably a bit like beholding a son or daughter for the first time...metaphorically at least.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Geography is not important for me.  It’s more the temporal and activity spheres which are key, i.e., I need enough time and peace and quiet to be optimally productive.  At least once I have locked myself in a hotel room for three days to really focus.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Admittedly, I tend to have too many balls int he air most of the time, but I like to keep busy.  With more time, I would either be more productive on one or more of my areas of focus, or I would finally learn how to stare into space, relax, and do nothing (at least temporarily).

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

When I finish the current SECOND SKIN SERIES which takes place in 2125 and 2126, I would like to write a historical novel or perhaps series.

Back to your present book, Tavern on the Edge of Time, how did you publish it?

Self-publishing using Createspace and others.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

No, but I have already traveled too much in my life, so I don’t really have to. 

Why was writing Tavern on the Edge of Time so important to you?

These stories have been bubbling in me for some time and I simply needed to release them. Both the formal and informal reviews have been quite positive. It’s very inspiring to have strangers tell you your that reading your books is like “dreaming with your eyes open.” Who knows, a publisher may be intrigued by the positive attention.
Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

My ideas usually come when I am doing something monotonous which doesn’t require much conscious thought, particularly running or swimming.  Probably the activity allows me to use subconscious functions and draw associations more freely; i.e., it opens doors.

Any final words?

Well, yes.  We haven’t actually explained what the book is about...

The action begins in the year 2125. The first book in the series (SECOND SKIN) follows the asteroid miner Max Cody who is wounded and repaired with some unexpected enhancements by aliens while prospecting. He and his navigator / girlfriend Elaine Zhou face vicious ice pirates in the asteroid belt and on the enormous MARS ORBITAL SMELTER ARRAY (a.k.a MOSA) who plan to attack Mars and Earth.
In the second book (SECOND SKIN TOO) the duo is called upon to join a diplomatic effort to try and avoid war with Earth over Mars’ mining prowess, a conflict driven by billionaire arms merchant Xanthus Rex.
The latest book (book three, THE TAVERN ON THE EDGE OF TIME) brings us directly in contact with the alien who repaired Max, not to mention numerous other aliens, who frequent a peaceful place call the Tavern on the Edge of Time. Unfortunately, Earth, Mars, the Tavern, and even Mars’ poor fledgling colony on Callisto come under attack both from human and far stranger adversaries—especially the Assemblers. It looks like Max has met his match this time.
Visit www.peterdarrach.com for more details.

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Corkscrew Life by Richard Coulson Book Blitz - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Title: A Corkscrew Life
Author: Richard Coulson
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 322
Genre: Biography/Personal Memoir
Format: Ebook
Purchase at AMAZON

Richard Coulson’s memoir of his peripatetic life vividly describes his unique travels and the exceptional people he met along the way. His adventures began at birth and continued into his childhood with his glamorous mother in Nassau, Bahamas. Following an Ivy League education and army service in Korea, he became a New Yorker practicing law with a major Wall Street firm. His move into investment banking led to eight years in London, and his eventual return to Nassau, an offshore financial centre. His professional career has involved projects with locations ranging from Latin America to Europe to the Far East, with particular emphasis on Mexico, where he advised on many ventures and made life-long friends. He enjoyed gaining intriguing insights with contacts in Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, and Switzerland, as well as a notorious American inside-trader, and a charming fugitive scoundrel known as “The Pirate of Prague.” The range of his personal interests were reflected in his friendships with conservative pundit William F. Buckley; Russian aristocrat Prince Nikita Lobanov, who rose from penniless exile to sell his art collection to Putin’s Russian government; and Norbert Schlei, a star attorney whose success was shattered by a misguided Federal prosecution. Interwoven into A Corkscrew Life are passages revealing both the joys and disappointments of Mr. Coulson’s own life It describes his obsession with sailing; the strains on his family from changing homes; love, illness and death; questionable career moves; and an unexpected epiphany.

  amazon 

During Richard Coulson’s career as lawyer and investment banker, he lived in New York City, London, and finally, in Nassau, Bahamas. He continues his work as a financial consultant and an author of articles and a monthly newspaper column. He has enjoyed worldwide travel exposing him to exceptional personalities and unique adventures
  

Richard is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 1 and ends on September 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, September 16.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mountain Biking in the Tao by Mark Tracey Book Blitz - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!



Title: Mountain Biking in the Tao
Author: Mark Tracey
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 90
Genre: Sports/Recreation
Format: Ebook
Purchase at AMAZON

 "Mountain Biking in the Tao is the seminal work on Taoist philosophy and how it applies to mountain biking and life. Inspired by years of riding and meditation it gives the best possible advice on how to properly ride your mountain bike. Relax, be who you are, then go ride in the Tao on the trail nearest your own home."

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Since 1996, Mark Tracey has ridden the mountains of the great Northwest, claiming Mount Hood as his home mountain. Prior to that, his home mountain was Sandia Peak, just outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico. In addition to riding the earth?s mountains on his bike and snowboard, Mark coaches wrestling, builds Lego robots, and fixes Macintosh Computer problems. He has studied the Tao Te Ching since 1987. Mark lives with family in Portland, Oregon.
 

Mark is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 1 and ends on September 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, September 16.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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What is Growing Out of Your Ear by Angela Graham Book Blitz - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


 
Title: What is Growing Out of Your Ear
Author: Angela Graham
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Pages: 24
Genre: Children's Fiction
Format: Ebook
 Purchase at AMAZON

 It is summer and Angela eats a bowl of cherries. After she swallows some cherry pits, her Grandpa warns what will happen -- “A cherry tree will grow out of your ear.” Angela thinks that is silly. Do you believe a cherry tree can grow out of Angela’s ear? 

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 Angela Graham lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband, two lively children and their dog. She has enjoyed writing stories for her children since they were young to inspire the love of reading. Angela’s stories add a humourous twist to real life. This story is motivated from Angela’s own childhood.
 

Angela is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 1 and ends on September 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, September 16.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Post-Traumatic Stress Derailment by Afrah Caraballo Book Blitz - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Title: Post-Traumatic Stress Derailment
Author: Afrah Caraballo
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 45
Genre: Health/Medicine
Format: Ebook
Purchase at AMAZON

No matter where trauma comes from, it’s always violent.

It breaks hearts and shatters shields – regardless if it’s caused by an earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, abuse, a car crash, murder, or something else. Those who suffer from trauma often wonder if there’s something wrong with them. Afrah Caraballo, a licensed clinical social worker specializing in mental and emotional trauma, wants those who suffer to know that there are logical explanations for their feelings and behaviors. She helps caregivers and victims of trauma: • Identify the cause of the problem; • Validate loss and begin the healing process; • Overcome the sense of guilt and shame that hold many hostage. You’ll also discover how to recognize the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder and get details on how trauma affects different age groups. Regardless if you’re a clinical social worker, victim of trauma, or caregiver to someone who is suffering, you’ll find this guide an invaluable tool to helping yourself and others.

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Afrah Caraballo, MSW, LCSW is a teacher and healer. A licensed clinical social worker specializing in mental and emotional trauma, she is the clinical director at Family ROCS. Her experiences such as living in Israel and serving in the U.S. Air Force fuel her passion for enlightening and supporting trauma survivors and caregivers. She lives in Colorado Springs. 
 

Afrah is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 1 and ends on September 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, September 16.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Monday, September 1, 2014

The Darkest Side of Saturn by Tony Taylor Book Blitz - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!


Title: The Darkest Side of Saturn
Author: Tony Taylor
Publisher: iUniverse
Pages: 492
Genre: Science Fiction
Format: Ebook
Purchase at AMAZON

 It’s 1997 at a mountaintop observatory in Southern California where spacecraft navigator Harris Mitchel and astronomer Diana Muse-Jones discover a dangerous asteroid which may hit the earth within two decades. As the asteroid tumbles through space towards an uncertain impact, Harris and Diana fight bitterly over how to announce their discovery. When Harris goes public to a skeptical world—at the cost of his and Diana’s careers—he sends their already turbulent relationship into a blaze of conflicting passions. As his notoriety builds, a fanatical preacher and his unhinged followers stalk him while an obnoxious radio personality provides disruptive help. Harris becomes an unwilling Pied Piper for his own overzealous followers hungry for belief and eager for guidance into an uncertain and tumultuous future. In this science fiction drama the characters battle each other in contests of Damn your world view! against a background of hard science, religion, romance, metaphysical speculation, and the forces of nature versus human passions and dreams. Meanwhile an asteroid hurtles through the solar system and global salvation or disaster hangs in the balance. “A courageous and visionary work … an instant classic.” —BlueInk Reviews

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Tony Taylor spent a long career navigating NASA spacecraft—including Voyager, Cassini, Mars Polar Lander, Galileo, and MESSENGER—to every planet in the solar system. He graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and earned an MS in physics from the University of Arizona. Tony and his wife, Jan, live in Sedona, Arizona.
 

Tony is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins September 1 and ends on September 13.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, September 16.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Interview with Melodie Campbell, author 'Rowena and the Viking Warlord'



Billed as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy" by the Toronto Sun (Jan. 5, 2014), Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.

Winner of nine awards, including the 2014 Derringer (US) and the 2014 Arthur Ellis (Canada) for The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books), Melodie has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and seven novels.

Melodie got her start writing stand-up.  In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. Her fiction has been described by industry reviewers as "hilarious" and "laugh-out-loud funny."

Melodie has a commerce degree from Queen’s University, but it didn’t take well.  She has been a bank manager, college instructor, marketing director, comedy writer and possibly the worst runway model ever.  These days, Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada.

Her latest book is the paranormal romance time travel, Rowena and the Viking Warlord.

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About the Book:

He was her enemy and her lover…

As Cedric fights battles down south, Rowena unwittingly rides into an enemy war camp and is taken prisoner by her old friend Lars, who is not what he seems. 

Yet Rowena is not helpless. After all, she is a hereditary half-witch with a whole lot of magic in her.  Too bad she doesn’t know how to use it. Escaping from the camp, she continues to botch up spell after spell. Soon Kendra joins her on the trek back to Huel, along with the latest magical mistake, a flame-burping dragon called Cinders.
 
When war comes to Land’s End, it brings the one man who threatens to conquer everything in Huel, including Rowena’s heart. Now she has to make the biggest decision of her life. Will she return through the wall to safety in Arizona? Or will she stay in Land’s End for good, and fight to save her people from the Viking Warlord?

For More Information

  • Rowena and the Viking Warlord is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love to eat.

Okay, for a second point, I’m tempted to say Eat again. But my dog Frankenpoodle would probably prefer a walk.  That’s what happens when you have a giant of a dawg lying on the beat up couch beside you as you write.  When you lift your hands from the keyboard, it’s dawg time.

When did you start writing?

At the age of 4.  My parents called it lying.  That was so short-sighted of them.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When a fan wrote to say that ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL (book 1 of this trilogy) was the best book she had ever read.  I actually cried.  I’ve won 9 awards, Shelf-ish.  None of them can match that moment. I write for her now, and readers like her.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

To the medieval stone castle in Land’s End, where Rowena and the Viking Warlord takes place.  This was once a real castle that my family owned in Shropshire, that burned down in 1550.  But dammit, Air Canada hasn’t perfected time travel yet!

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

WRITE!  I work full time as the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada, so I am always fighting for time to write.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Sicily.  Half my family is from Sicily.  I’d like to write something historic there, maybe another rip-roaring fantasy adventure.

Back to your present book, ROWENA AND THE VIKING WARLORD, how did you publish it?

I’m with a small traditional publisher in Canada, Imajin Books.  They are wonderful!  They pay a small advance, and above-average royalties, and provide TLC for your book.  I had some input to cover design and marketing blurbs.  All good.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I believe in knowing your location really well.  So yes, I have traveled to Arizona many times for this series.  I also know the south of England (relatives live there).  And although I can’t go back in time, I learn a lot by seeing the landscapes of ‘Land’s End’ as they are today.

Why was writing ROWENA AND THE VIKING WARLORD so important to you?

This was the third book in the Land’s End trilogy.  But I think the thing about this book is:  it is my ultimate fantasy.  I wanted to write a fast-moving, rollicking fantasy novel, with castles and swordfights, humor and sex…but I wanted it to be written through the eyes of a woman.  Reviewers called ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL “The Princess Bride with Sex!”  That’s what I wanted:  a rollicking medieval adventure novel, with broad humor.  And yup – that Viking Warlord is my secret fantasy!

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

Ah, that question.  I teach Crafting a Novel at college, and everyone asks this.  The thing is, if you are a writer those ideas are with you all the time. They haunt you at night.
  
They distract you during the day.  I have been writing fiction for 25 years, and I will need another 25 to go through all the ideas I currently have.

As I tell my students, I can teach you the craft of writing, and how to become a much better writer.  But plot ideas are magic that you have to create yourself.

Any final words?

ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL, the first book in the trilogy, was an Amazon Top 100 Bestseller (all books) in Sept. 2013!  T’was jolly cool to find myself sandwiched between Tom Clancy and Nora Roberts on the bestseller lists.  I hope readers find ROWENA AND THE VIKING WARLORD equally wonderful reading.