Monday, November 20, 2017

A Bookish Conversation with Crime Thriller Author Robert Parker



Robert Parker is a new exciting voice, a married father of two, who lives in a village close to ManchesterUK. He has both a law degree and a degree in film and media production, and has worked in numerous employment positions, ranging from solicitor’s agent (essentially a courtroom gun for hire), to a van driver, to a warehouse order picker, to a commercial video director. He currently writes full time, while also making time to encourage new young readers and authors through readings and workshops at local schools and bookstores. In his spare time he adores pretty much all sport, boxing regularly for charity, loves fiction across all mediums, and his glass is always half full.

His latest book is the crime/thriller, A WANTED MAN.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

  
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?

All sorts! I have two young kids and a third due any time now, and they keep me very busy! Aside from trying to be as active a father as I can be, I box regularly to raise money for Cancer Research UK, training 6 days a week. After 3 fight camps in a row, I’m having a little break from the fights themselves at the moment but I’m still training. I’m aiming to step back into the ring in March 2018.

When did you start writing?

When I was 6, I remember wanting to write books and stories and would do so any time I could. I then picked up scriptwriting when I was 17, before coming back to writing prose at 29. That’s when I started writing novels.

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

The first conversation with Linda Langton, my agent. Changed everything in an instant, and hers was the first voice in the publishing industry that told me there was something there in my work and that I should keep writing and press forward. I’ll never forget it.

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

Somewhere with water. It just drags my blood pressure right down, as soon as I see it. Give me anywhere with a big quiet lake or river and a decent pub and I’d be very happy.

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

Be cheeky and ask for another 4! There just isn’t enough hours in the day for everything I want to do in life, but I’m going to push it has hard as I can.

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

New York. I’ve been once and was so seduced by the variety, the sense of opportunity, the spirit, the scale. I am enamoured by it, but I’ll need to go a few more times before I can write about it – I full underqualified to commit everything that New York is and represents to page!

Back to your present book, A Wanted Man, how did you publish it?

It was published by Endeavour Press, after I originally self-published it 4 years ago. I’ve rewritten it over 40 times to get to this stage, to get a publisher to say yes!

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

It is set in Manchester, UK, my home city, so aside from living there and interacting with it daily, I luckily didn’t have to do anything special. I think it’s an amazing city that lends itself so wonderfully to storytelling, so much so that every location in the book is real, and only the odd street name and pub name has been changed.

Why was writing A Wanted Man so important to you?

I’m not precious about any of my work, but I’m very influenced by certain topics which play a big part in the story of A Wanted Man. I’m very inspired by the works of our armed forces, and the sacrifices they have made in recent combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. I respect them hugely, and I often wonder what it would be like to go to war, grow up during said war, then come home to a country that is much changed. I felt like telling a story like that was important to me, because I feel like a lot of people take their sacrifices for granted. 

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

A very simple answer is ‘life’. It might sound a bit grand, but just ‘living’ tends to supply all the inspiration I’m after. If you’re looking for inspiration: Just live a good varied life, day to day. Go out and embrace stuff, do things you’ve never done before, go places you’d never picture yourself visiting. The world is mad enough all by itself.

Any final words?

Never give up. Whatever it is you want to do, you can do it. You’re the only voice that says you can’t. Ignore it, and get at it. Two hands.
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Interview with Multi Award-Winning Crime Fiction Author Jennifer Chase


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:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:
                                                              
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.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


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 being outdoors, hiking, taking photographs, and training my German shepherd. And of course, I love to read. I wish I had more time to read both fiction and non-fiction books.

When did you start writing?

I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest childhood memories of writing was when I was four years old. I wrote tiny script lines for all of my stuffed animals. I loved writing all throughout school and then I wrote more seriously as an adult, writing screenplays, local newspaper articles, and some copyrighting.

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

I learn something from every book project, but everything really became real (for lack of a better description) for me when I won a gold medal for an action thriller, Dead Burn, in 2013 from Readers’ Favorite. There was an overwhelming amount of entrants, but it was because this particular book was almost scrapped completely because I felt that there were two separate storylines. I thought about it for a while and a solution came to me. I put the most amount of blood, sweat, and tears into that book. It meant a great deal to me to have won that award. It was a personal triumph for me.

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

I need to be by the water—at least that’s how I feel. It doesn’t always have to be the ocean like here in California, but it helps. I love writing where I’m at right now in my home state of California.

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

Read and sleep.

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

I’ve been thinking about a location outside of the United States, such as Canada or Europe. The interesting settings and storylines would almost be endless.

Back to your present book, Dead Cold, how did you publish it?

Dead Cold is independently published with JEC Press.

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

I did not travel for research to write Dead Cold, since it takes place in California. I did have detailed research questions that related to various aspects of forensics and law enforcement. I have wonderful expert sources that I can contact. It’s preferred over searching the Internet where information can be incomplete or erroneous.

Why was writing Dead Cold so important to you?

All of the books in the Emily Stone Thriller Series are important to me. I love writing action thrillers—I think was born to write them. Each book challenges me and I think that’s why the character hasn’t become boring or stale—at least not yet. I try to find interesting tidbits in the forensics or crime scene areas that most haven’t heard about and incorporate them into the story.

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

I find that when I’m not forcing ideas, scenes, or new characters, it comes to me much easier. When I’m hiking and outdoors, ideas seem to flood towards me. It’s when I’m doing the simplest tasks is when storylines begin to build up in my writing arsenal.

Any final words?

Thank you so much for the interview opportunity.

If readers are looking for a new crime thriller series with an original heroine, then I have a series for you. I love hearing from readers, please feel free to connect with me on social media.


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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Creating the Perfect Reading Space

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Creating the Perfect Reading Space

Are you an avid reader that simply loves to slip away into your own world with a book in your hand?  If you are serious about reading, then you should probably create a special place to read.  But, if you have a family, finding a space of your own can be difficult.  Luckily, today, we are going to learn a few tips that can help you create the perfect reading space anywhere in your home.  
Books, Read, Book Pages, Literature, Learn, Relax

Use Candles to Enhance the Mood

A great way to turn an ordinary room into a peaceful reading environment is by lighting some candles.  Oxford library candles make a perfect addition to any reading area and it can set the mood as well!  This will allow you to bring down the lights but still have enough light to read by. Not only can a candlelight set the mood; many candles have a pleasant smell that can eliminate odors. But, remember to be very careful with candles and only burn them if you are going to be in the room.  Just one candle knocked over can cause major damage to your home and threaten the life of your family.  

A Comfortable Chair

No reading area would be complete without a comfortable chair to relax in.  Depending on your personal style, you can choose from many different styles of chairs.  Some readers may enjoy a plush recliner chair, while others would prefer the warmth that a soft leather chair provides.  But, you don’t have to spend a lot of money when purchasing a chair for your reading area.  There are many places that sell used furniture and you can find a really good deal on a preowned chair.  You can also buy a good-quality used chair from a flea market or garage sale.  Websites like Craigslist are also a good place to find a used chair, but remember to be very careful when dealing with people that you don’t know in person.  There are quite a few scams that happen on these sites, so make sure that you meet in a safe and well-lit area.

A Sturdy Bookshelf

Another must-have piece of furniture that you need for your reading room is a bookshelf.  Bookshelves will give you a place to keep your books safe and organized.  Make sure that the bookshelf you choose is sturdy and large enough for all the books you own.  As a book lover, you probably have a ton of books that need a proper home.  Depending on the layout of your reading area, you can choose from differently shaped bookshelves to maximize your storage capacity.

These are just three of the items that you can add to your reading area to give it more character.  Having a cozy space to read will help you relax and it will give you a place to call your own.  This area doesn’t have to be large.  In fact, you can even set up an amazing reading area inside a walk-in closet.  
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Book Review: My Brain is Out of Control by Dr. Patrick Mbaya







Publication Date: September 2016
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Formats: Ebook
Pages: 76
Genre: Biography/Autobiography
Tour Dates: October 23-December 15

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Although Dr. Patrick Mbaya’s illness caused a lot distress and nearly took his life, the emotional symptoms of the depression he developed helped him understand and empathize with patients and how they feel when they become ill. In My Brain is Out of Control, Mbaya, fifty-five and at the peak of his career, shares a personal story of how he suffered from a brain infection in 2010 that caused loss of speech, right-sided weakness, and subsequent depression. He tells how he also dealt with the antibiotics complications of low white cell count and hepatitis. He narrates his experiences as a patient, the neurological and psychiatric complications he encountered, how he coped, and his journey to recovery. Presenting a personal perspective of Mbaya’s illness from the other side of the bed, My Brain is Out of Control, offers profound insight into battling a serious illness.


MY REVIEW:


I have to admit I was a little leary about reading this book. My fear was that because it was written by a doctor, some of the terminology and phrases used might be too medical. Thankfully, that wasn't the case at all. 

This book chronicles what happened to Dr. Mbaya after he was diagnosed with a brain infection. The symptoms and aftermath are truly frightening, and how he overcame all of it and was able to tell his story through this book is commendable. 

Easy to read and something that could happen to anyone, I would recommend this book to all. 



Dr. Patrick Mbaya is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. He is a consultant psychiatrist and honorary clinical lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He has a special interest in mood and addiction disorders.

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Book Feature: One Night in Amboise by Ken Malovos




Title: ONE NIGHT IN AMBOISE
Author: Ken Malovos
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 289
Genre: Legal Mystery



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





April 1985
It all happened in a couple of seconds. The man was lying on his back in the café doorway on a wet, dimly lit street in Amboise, France. He appeared to be lifeless. There was no movement.
Corinne Larson looked at the man and then at Jim Hansen in astonishment. The two American students were standing under the overhang of the closed café, as rain fell lightly. It was just after eleven at night and all the shops were closed on the dark, narrow street, just down from the Rue Nationale.
The man startled them when he jumped out from behind a garbage can and grabbed the end of Corinne’s coat. Instinctively, Jim grabbed Corinne and pulled her away. She clutched her purse and said something to the man, who was reeking of wine and looked crazed with wide open eyes. Then he lurched toward them again. Jim swung his fist and caught the man on the right side of his face, stopping his forward movement. The man was stunned. Jim quickly pushed him as hard as he could and the man fell back, banging his head on the garbage can and landing in front of the door with a thud.
Jim paused for a second, deciding what to do, but the man lay still, his eyes closed. Jim did not think he felt a pulse when he put his fingers to the man’s wrist, but he was not certain. He stared at him for a moment. The man was unshaven and hatless; his belt rested more on his ample stomach than in the loops of his pants. He wore a tattered jacket with a large tear on the left sleeve and a battered, old beret lay on the ground.
“Come on, let’s get out of here,” Jim said.
“Wait. Is he okay?”
“I don’t know. I think he’s drunk. But I think we need to get out of here.”
“Wait a minute.”
Corinne looked around, a worried expression on her face. Jim took her by the arm and they started walking, each of them checking back every few seconds to see if the man moved. He didn’t. Jim looked down the street, but there was no one in sight. It was quiet and dark and wet. They only had a few more blocks to go, as they hurried within eyesight of the Chateau Royal d’Amboise and headed to the manor house, where they were staying with other overseas college students from California.
“Maybe we should say something to somebody,” Corinne said. “Call the police?”
“There’s nobody around here. Let’s just forget this whole thing,” he said. “Leave it alone.”
“That doesn’t seem right.”
“I don’t think we should get involved. They may blame us. You never know.”
“But we didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Right. I was just defending you. We didn’t do anything wrong.”
She looked at him. He didn’t meet her eyes. Instead, he looked down the street again.
“You know, probably nobody will even miss him,” Jim said.
“Why would they blame us?”
“I don’t know. We are foreign students. I’m just afraid I could be charged with something and get locked up. Somebody else will find him…” his voice trailed off.
Jim pulled Corinne close to him. She pulled the lapels of her black coat up around her neck and leaned her head slightly into his, as they scurried along. That April night, a group of American students went to the Brasserie Hippeau, about a half-mile from their manor house. Everyone had too much to drink, but that’s what kids do in college—they drink too much.
The memories of America’s saving role in World War II and all of the G.I.s who served in France during the war were not entirely gone, even forty years later. The residual good will from that horrific time was passed down to the children and grandchildren of the town’s citizens. So a little excess drinking by the young Americans was easily tolerated. Most people took a parental interest in the students. A group of middle-aged women engaged in a game of bridge at a table about twenty feet away grinned at each other as they observed the noisy group in the corner.
The students talked about their families back home and about the year that was drawing to a close. Mostly, they drank beer. Gradually, the group of students that assembled at the watering hole decreased in size until only six remained.
The brasserie stayed open past its usual 9:30 closing time, as it often did when there were patrons. It was late and someone said it was time to go home. The other four took off and it was just the two of them. Jim waited for Corinne while she went to the restroom.
Jim watched as she sauntered to the back of the bar. He liked the way she her rear moved with each forward motion of her hips. He thought about her big brown eyes when she gazed up hazily from her glass of wine into his eyes. They were soft and her eyelashes were long. Her brown hair fell just below her shoulders and she would brush it away every now and then as it tickled her cheeks. After a couple of minutes, she emerged from the back of the brasserie with a slight smile on her face. He looked at the curve of her waist and her perky breasts. On her slender neck she wore a silver chain with a silver heart. He was glad to be with her.
“They said they wanted to get going, so I told them I would walk with you,” Jim said. “We can catch up.”
“That was nice of you, but I have walked these streets alone a lot of times at night. It’s a pretty safe town.”
“I know, but just the same. Can’t be too safe. Besides, we’re both pretty buzzed.”
“You’ve got that right,” she said. “I haven’t had that much to drink in a long time.”
Jim Hansen liked Corinne Larson, even though they had not spent much time together during their stay in France. They were part of a group of 80 students, but for some reason they did not cross paths all that much. Maybe it was because so many smaller groups formed naturally.  But then they met unexpectedly a couple of months ago on a Saturday afternoon in Amboise. Both were exploring where Leonardo da Vinci lived at the Chateau du Clos Luce in 1515 and the Chapel of Saint-Hubert where he was buried. Every citizen of the small town knew the story of how Leonardo came to France with his famous painting, the Mona Lisa. Their interest in French history drew them together.
Ever since that afternoon, Jim and Corinne often smiled at each other in class and in the dining room. But they did not spent time alone with one another. Jim was reluctant to approach Corinne, for reasons he could not explain, and Corinne was naturally shy.
They didn’t say much more on the way home, both lost in their thoughts, just walking along to avoid any further issue with the drunk who had accosted them. He saved her, so to speak. He did a good thing and he felt proud of himself. They passed the fountain in the center of the town, a favorite gathering spot for the students. As they arrived at the manor house, Jim let her scent waft over him. He wondered if he would dare make a move. He had to, she was so good-looking. And he figured he was her hero.
They opened the creaky door and shook off the raindrops, Jim keeping in close contact while he helped her out of her coat. And then he kissed her. She seemed to be surprised at first, but she reciprocated and they sat down in an adjoining parlor on a sofa. They kissed a lot that night. After a while, he closed the door to the small room. He started to unbutton her blouse, but then it ripped in the process as their kisses became stronger and longer.
It might have been the alcohol or the hormones or the exhilaration of the knight-in-shining-armor saving his lady, but only the two of them knew exactly what happened in the next few minutes. It became the subject of their memories for many years after that rainy night in the middle of France.
He recalled her saying “no” at some point, but he didn’t really think she meant it. As he saw it, her actions said the opposite. Yes, she struggled and tried to push him off and yes, he was bigger, but she never yelled out. She didn’t leave. He may have pushed her back, he couldn’t recall. She turned her head to the side when he tried to kiss her some more. Later, she grabbed her clothes, put on her coat, and left quickly. It was quiet in the old house and he was pretty sure nobody heard them.

* * *
The morning after that April night with Corinne, Jim ate breakfast with his usual gang. He was thinking of the man he shoved. Maybe he wasn’t dead. Maybe he had a pulse and Jim just didn’t feel it. He certainly seemed to be drunk. Maybe he slept it off and was okay. That was probably what happened, Jim thought to himself. The more he thought about it the more he became convinced the man survived and everything was fine. He probably should have looked for help, but it was too late now.
With a sturdy build and 6 foot 2 inches in height, blue-green eyes and dark brown hair, he bore something of a resemblance to Paul McCartney. At least that was what he was told by his sisters and a couple of their friends when he was growing up. He didn’t think he looked like the famous singer at all. He had a small scar over his right eye, the result of an accident in his youth when he was playing catch in the front yard with a friend and crashed into a lawn sprinkler attached to a hose, but he figured he was still handsome enough.
He thought of Corinne and wondered if they might become real friends. He liked her and he hoped she felt the same way. Last night was exciting and still at the front of his mind. He wished she had stayed instead of leaving so quickly. He looked around the dining room for her, but she was not to be seen. After breakfast, he went to class and then spotted her on the other side of their classroom in the stately hall that served as the large classroom. She did not even look at him when she walked by him. Odd, he thought. Surely, she couldn’t be mad at him. A couple of hours later, he saw her again as they were leaving their French Revolution history class, the last one of the morning.
“Hey, Corinne, how’s it going? I really enjoyed getting to know you last night. That bar is a happening place.”
She looked at him for a second and then turned away and walked into one of the many small rooms nearby, clearly inviting him to follow. Jim tried to close the door, but it jammed, as did so many of the doors in the old house. He fussed with it for a moment before finally getting it to shut.
“I was thinking we might go somewhere this weekend, if you are up to that, maybe Paris.”
“You know, there is an honor code in this program. And when it comes to sex, the rule is that ‘no means no.’ Have you ever heard of that?”
“Sure I have.”
“You bet you have. And I said no, but you pushed me down. You know I didn’t want to have sex. You forced me. What happened last night was not right.”
“I don’t know what to say, Corinne. I thought you agreed. I don’t know what you are talking about. I thought we were friends. I really like you.”
She stared at him without blinking, hands on her hips. “You know what I am talking about. I never wanted to do anything like that.”
“You went along with everything we did. How can you possibly say that?”
“I can say it because it’s true.”
“Look, be reasonable. That’s not what happened at all.”
“Oh yes, that’s what happened. And that’s not all. You hit that man and you pushed him over. You didn’t have to do that. He was a drunk and he wasn’t going to do anything to you or to me. And you did not even want to stop and see what happened to him. I think you might have killed him.”
“I was trying to protect you. He grabbed you!”
“Oh, for God’s sake, he was harmless. What you did was unnecessary. And you made me rush away with you. You didn’t even want to stop and help him. That wasn’t right. You need to turn yourself into the police and tell them what happened. And you need to figure out why you didn’t stop when I told you to stop.”
“But…”
“I don’t want to hear it. Not until you are ready to apologize. You need to stand up and do the right thing.”
She opened the door and walked away.  Jim looked at her, speechless, and then sat down. What was that all about? She couldn’t possibly be saying he raped her, but she was. He thought again about last night. Yes, they had been drinking, but he was sure she agreed to everything.




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.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'NIGHT IN JERUSALEM' GAELLE LEHRER KENNEDY




Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy worked as an actress and writer in film and television in the United States and Israel. Night in Jerusalem is her debut novel, which she has adapted to film. She lives in Ojai California with her husband and daughter.

She writes, “I lived in Israel in the 1960s, a naive twenty-year-old, hoping to find myself and my place in the world. The possibility of war was remote to me. I imagined the tensions in the region would somehow be resolved peacefully. Then, the Six Day War erupted and I experienced it firsthand in Jerusalem.

I have drawn Night in Jerusalem from my experiences during that time. The historical events portrayed in the novel are accurate. The characters are based on people I knew in the city. Like me, they were struggling to make sense of their lives, responding to inherited challenges they could not escape that shaped their destiny in ways they and the entire Middle East could not have imagined.

I have always been intrigued by the miraculous. How and where the soul’s journey leads and how it reveals its destiny. How two people who are destined, even under the threat of war and extinction, can find one another.

Israel’s Six Day War is not a fiction; neither was the miracle of its victory. What better time to discover love through intrigue, passion, and the miraculous.

Writing this story was in part reliving my history in Israel, in part a mystical adventure. I am grateful that so many who have read Night In Jerusalem have experienced this as well.”

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK





Title: NIGHT IN JERUSALEM
Author: Gaelle Lehrer Kennedy
Publisher: PKZ Inc.
Pages: 246
Genre: Historical Romance

A bewitching love story that is also an extraordinary portrait of Jerusalem, its faith, spirituality, identity, and kaleidoscope of clashing beliefs, Night in Jerusalem is a novel of mystery, beauty, historical insight, and sexual passion.
David Bennett is invited to Jerusalem in 1967 by his cousin who, to the alarm of his aristocratic British family, has embraced Judaism. He introduces David to his mentor, Reb Eli, a revered sage in the orthodox community. Despite his resistance to religious teaching, David becomes enthralled by the rabbi’s wisdom and compassionate presence. When David discloses a sexual problem, Reb Eli unwittingly sets off a chain of events that transforms his life and the life of the mysterious prostitute, Tamar, who, in a reprise of an ancient biblical story, leads both men to an astonishing realization. As passions rise, the Six Day War erupts, reshaping the lives of everyone caught up in it.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



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 read a lot, of course. I love stories that are told simply, where the writer is unobtrusive and the characters and plot say it all. I think it was Einstein who said it is easy to make something complicated, but it takes genius to make things simple. Einstein gets blamed for a lot of stuff, I know, but you get the drift – there’s a simple that takes mastery to achieve. It is hard to write stories that are so clear and transparent you can see right into the souls of the characters. That’s what works for me. I don’t care what the genre is. If it does that, I’m in! I like that kind of simple in everything, from the way my garden is laid out, to how my furniture is arranged. I love walking in nature, listening to the birds, and, especially if water is involved, I am in heaven.

When did you start writing?

I started writing at about 30, pretty much as soon as I got a sense of who I am. I had been working as an actress, and before that as a model. I knew the arts were for me. The thing that drew me to writing was that I could do it all myself without anyone telling me what my part was or where I had to fit in. I’ve always responded best to the beat of my own drum, which I can hear loud and clear most days.

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

I studied creative writing at Columbia and came to appreciate the astonishing virtuosity of our writers. But the pivotal shift for me came when I realized I am not at all interested in writing for its own sake. Sometimes, I find the writing can get in the way of the work. The writing I love is where the writer becomes invisible. I found it hugely liberating to disappear into my characters and their world. I have never looked back.

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

I’d go to Connemara in Ireland. It was home to John O’Donohue, a poet who lights up my life. He talks about “landscape as presence” and celebrates the spiritual connection of Celtic culture with the natural world, where every brook and feature of the land has a name, a history and a divinity. I have always been affected by the energy of place. I am inspired by the mists and shades of the British Isles and the accents and wordplay of the natives. It makes me want to write!

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

I’d go to a nearby beach. It’s across railroad tracks and a scramble down a cliff, so it gets left alone a lot - but not by the seals. I love bodies of water. Here in Southern California, the most accessible one is the Pacific Ocean. Not too shabby!

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

Egypt. I spent 2 months there and it felt like déjà vu, especially sailing down the Nile, while in Luxor.

Back to your present book, Night In Jerusalem, how did you publish it?

I self-published, using a talented designer who turned my manuscript into an elegant book.

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

The book draws on my experience in Jerusalem around the time of the Six Day War. I spent the best part of 10 years in the city and wanted to capture how it was when I was there. The neighborhoods and important landmarks have not changed much. I checked with Google maps to make sure I had the street names right and, where there were discrepancies, confirmed my recollection with friends who still live there. Aside from having the geography laid out accurately, it was important for the book to capture the feeling of the city at that time, so the main travelling I did was back through time, to connect with the energy of the place and its people when their everyday survival was not taken for granted, despite thousands of years of presence. The city embodies the spiritual practice at the heart of much of our civilization and is an architectural wonder in its own right. In some ways, it is with all of us, wherever we are.


Why was writing Night In Jerusalem so important to you?

Winston Churchill wrote that there is nothing as exhilarating as when someone shoots at you and misses. When I went to Israel, I was a naive twenty-year-old. To me, the possibility of war was remote. I imagined the tensions in the region would somehow be resolved peacefully. When the Six Day War erupted. I experienced it firsthand. I remember as if it was yesterday the time I spent in shelters with other women, listening to Arab news reports on the radio proclaiming victory while we contemplated how we would end it for ourselves. It turned out, of course, that the war went the other way. We were to live! Jerusalem was re-unified! Now, that was exhilarating. At the same time, the search for peace, the endless arguments about what it should look like, and the courageous, impossible loves that thrived despite all odds - the themes of Night In Jerusalem - have been with me my entire life. I do not have answers to the questions they bring up: why does it take such courage to truly love, how impossible it seems to bring peace to the world, and, of course, why “God works in mysterious ways.” The characters in the book, and their responses to the challenges they encounter, express different points of view that I share, even as they conflict with each other. I want the book to show how these differences can be contained in fulfilled and inspiring lives, and how happiness depends on us embracing our individual destiny, not on following any prescribed path. Night In Jerusalem speaks with the voice of my heart.

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

The love story in Night In Jerusalem came to me on a movie set. We were filming on a blazingly hot day, dressed as lightly as possible, the men stripped to the waist. An orthodox woman in long black clothes and a wig kept coming out to look at us from her balcony. I sensed how strongly she yearned for contact. The gap between us could have been crossed in a few paces, yet we were centuries apart. I imagined what it was like to be her, what courage it would take for her to break free, how she might do it. Decades later I wrote the book. I pay attention to people and imagine their stories. They are everywhere.
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Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Tangled Web by Mike Martin




 We're happy to bring you Mike Martin's A TANGLED WEB Blog Tour! Please leave a comment for Mike to let him know you stopped by!


Title: A TANGLED WEB
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Booklocker
Pages: 338
Genre: Mystery

Life is good for Sgt. Wind­flower in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. But something’s missing from the Mountie’s life. Actually, a lot of things go missing, including a little girl and supplies from the new factory. It’s Windflower’s job to unravel the tangled web of murder, deceit and an accidental kidnapping that threatens to engulf this sleepy little town and destroy those closest to him. But there’s always good food, good friends and the love of a great woman to make everything better in the end.

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“Life doesn’t get much better than this,” said Winston Windflower. The Mountie looked over at his collie, Lady, who wagged her tail at the sound of his voice. If dogs could smile, she smiled back. His world was almost perfect. He had the love of a great woman and a good job as a Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrolling one of the lowest crime regions in the country. Plus, the weather had been mild so far, at least for Newfoundland in early December, and that meant no snowstorms with forced overnighters at the detachment. Life was very good indeed.
He had good friends, including Lady, who was amongst the best of them. And he had a child on the way. His wife, Sheila Hillier, was pregnant and at the clinic for her three-month checkup. He was waiting to hear how both Sheila and the baby were doing. His Auntie Marie had told him the baby was a girl, and if anyone knew about these things, it was his Auntie. She was a dream weaver, an interpreter of not just dreams but of messages from the spirit world. Windflower had recently spent a week with her and his Uncle Frank, another dream weaver, to learn more about the dream world.
Interpreting dreams was part of his family’s tradition. But it was an imperfect tool that gave information, not always answers. Perhaps the most important thing he learned was that dreams do not predict the future. Instead, as his Auntie told him, “Dreams tell us about our past, what has already happened. They also point to actions we should take if we want to get the right result in the future and to the signs all around us that we need to follow.”
Windflower was contemplating that piece of wisdom when he noticed a very distraught woman get out of her car outside the RCMP detachment in Grand Bank. She ran towards the front door. He walked out to meet her, but the administrative assistant, Betsy Molloy, beat him to it.
“There, there now, Molly. What’s goin’ on?” asked Betsy as she put her arms around the other woman and guided her to a seat in the reception area.
“It’s Sarah, she’s gone,” said the other woman between sobs. “I told her to stay close by the house where I could see her. I went out back to put the wash on the line. When I came in, she was gone.”
“Okay, Mrs. Quinlan,” said Windflower as he knelt down beside the two women. “How old is Sarah?” He didn’t really need to know how old the girl was. He wanted to help the mother calm down so she could give them as much information as possible.
“She’s going to be six next month,” said Molly Quinlan. “She’s growing up so fast. But she’s still such a little girl. And now I’ve lost her. Brent is going to kill me.” She started sobbing again.
“What was she wearing so that we can help find her?” asked Windflower, trying to get information but also trying to help Molly Quinlan feel useful.
The woman stopped crying and said her daughter was wearing jeans and a favourite t-shirt. “It was pink and had sparkles. She said it made her feel like she was a princess. And she had her light blue jacket on with a hood.”
Windflower smiled. “I’m sure she’ll show up soon. But let’s go over to where you last saw her, and we’ll start looking. She can’t have gone far. Leave your car here, and come with me. I’ll drive you over.” The woman smiled weakly at Windflower through her tears and allowed him to take her arm and guide her to his Jeep outside the door.
He returned inside to give directions to Betsy. “Get Constable Smithson in here. I’ll call Frost and get him to come in from his rounds.”
Betsy nodded her agreement, and Windflower went outside to drive Molly Quinlan home.
Meanwhile, it turns out, Sarah Quinlan was fine, perfectly fine. She had wandered a little way from home in the centre of town. She was going to go down to the nearby brook to feed the ducks. She knew better than to go into the water, but she couldn’t see any reason why she couldn’t just look. She’d done it before, and nobody seemed to mind. As long as she didn’t stay away too long, everything was okay.
Sarah had that great fearless attitude of a child who grew up in a small and very safe community. She knew most of her neighbours, and they all watched out for her. She also had the natural curiosity of little children, especially when she saw something new. The truck parked on the roadway above the brook was new, so Sarah went to take a closer look. Even better, the back door of the truck was open, and there was a ramp leading inside. This was certainly worth a closer inspection.
Sarah Quinlan was having fun exploring the back of the large truck when she heard a loud, rumbling noise. She didn’t know it, but the driver had started the engine. It was so loud, and Sarah was so frightened by it, she froze. The next thing she remembered was everything going almost completely black and the back door of the truck slamming shut. She cried out, but by then it was too late. Seconds later she, the truck and the unsuspecting driver were barrelling out of town and onto the highway.
Windflower drove Molly Quinlan to her house and got her to show him where Sarah had been playing. Together they walked through the house to see if the little girl had come home and hidden there. But no such luck. While they were searching the house, they were joined by two of Quinlan’s neighbours who took over Molly’s care and made her a cup of tea. Soon afterwards Constable Harry Frost arrived from his highway patrol.
Windflower gave him a quick update and directed him to go to one end of town to start the search. He would begin the house-to-house search through the neighbourhood when Smithson showed up.
He first checked out back and looked in the storage shed, a favourite hiding place of every little kid and probably where Windflower himself would have taken refuge. But Sarah was not there. As he went to the front of the house, Constable Rick Smithson showed up.
“Afternoon, Boss,” said Smithson. “Any sign of her yet?”
Windflower shook his head. “Frost is doing the big circle search. You and I will start the door-to-door. Ask them if they saw the girl this afternoon. I’ll start from here. You go down to the brook, and work your way up.”
Smithson returned to his cruiser and sped off. Windflower wasn’t worried. Yet. But he knew that the first few hours were crucial in finding a missing child. If they didn’t, then it was almost always something more serious. Not time to panic, but no time to waste. He walked up to the first door and knocked.





Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.

He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home.

A Long Ways from Home was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web is the newest book in the series.

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COVER RELEASE BLITZ: 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:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

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