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Monday, June 26, 2017

Chapter reveal: THE FIVE MANNERS OF DEATH, by Darden North


The5MannersOfDeath_coverfinalTitle
:  THE FIVE MANNERS OF DEATH
Genre: Mystery
Author: Darden North
Publisher: WordCrafts Press
Find out more on Amazon
About the Book: The Five Manners of Death is a taut, tense, and gripping tale about a long-buried secret that once unleashed will begin a countdown of the five ways to die.  For Mississippi surgeon Diana Bratton, the novel’s protagonist, pages torn from a 1960s college yearbook reveal that murder is a family affair…
About The Five Manners of Death:  When a construction worker unearths  a decades-old human skull on the campus of the University of Mississippi, he sets in motion an eerie chain of events that leaves one  woman desperate to rewrite history and another woman desperate to find the truth.
After the discovery of her Aunt Phoebe’s 50-year-old note detailing the five manners of death, surgeon Diana Bratton is surrounded by bodies.  Suicide, accident, natural cause, and one death classified undetermined are soon crossed off this grisly list—leaving Diana to believe that only homicide remains. But the police prove her wrong:  Phoebe is linked to murder—not only by those skeletal fragments uncovered on the University campus but also to the recent deaths of two local men. Diana is torn:  should she try to prove her aunt’s innocence or accept police theory that her beautiful, beloved aunt is a woman who harbors dark and deadly secrets?
Stealing precious time from her young daughter, her surgical practice, and her hopes for a renewed romance, Diana launches a pulse-quickening quest to clear Phoebe’s name.  However, as she searches for evidence, Diana finds that her desire to reach the truth may be eclipsed by Aunt Phoebe’s need to rebury the past. When reality finally emerges, Diana faces the cold fact that murder is a family affair.  After all, things aren’t always what they seem. And some things never die…
With the precision of a surgeon, Darden North has crafted a confident and chilling tale about lies, secrets, deception and the conflict that erupts when the past and present collide.  Meticulous plotting, richly-drawn, engaging characters and a shocking storyline combine to create an extraordinary thriller resplendent with twists, turns, and the unexpected.  A unique but realistic story teeming with the right mix of medical authenticity, The Five Manners of Death plunges readers deep into the minds of the novel’s characters as each learns that no one can be trusted—and that everyone has his own agenda. With this sensational, skillful and highly suspenseful tale, Darden North claims a solid spot among today’s finest thriller writers.
About the Author: A board-certified physician in obstetrics and gynecology, Darden North writes murder mysteries and medical thrillers. His novels have received national awards, most notably an IPPY in Southern Fiction for Points of Origin. A native of the Mississippi Delta, Darden lives with his wife Sally in Jackson, Mississippi, where he practices medicine
Connect with the author on the web:
Instagram and Twitter: @dardennorth
CHAPTER 1
     Phoebe struggled against the sheets, pushing up with her arms. The glass of water on the silver tray rocked back and forth on the bed.
“Is the funeral home here?” she asked and settled against the pillow.
“No, because you’re not dead,” Diana said. “At least not yet.”
Diana blotted the sweat from her aunt’s forehead—skin hot enough to singe fingertips. She jerked away from the rattling cough that followed. Diana could not be sick too.
Phoebe managed to cling to the bed sheets instead of rolling to the floor. She shook her head when the hacking passed. “I told you to use one of the linen handkerchiefs, the ones with my initials.”
“Forget the Emily Post,” Diana said. “Here, take a sip of this.” She put the fresh Waterford tumbler from the nightstand to Phoebe’s lips. The red mane swung free of the pillow, strands of hair matted on Phoebe’s forehead. Diana bent and tried to fluff the pillow back into shape. The satin felt moist, almost gummy. She gave up and flipped the pillow over to the unused side.
“For heaven’s sake, please fill that glass with something besides water,” Phoebe said, swallowing hard. She almost floated back against the padding. Despite the cigarettes abandoned a few years ago, cocktails every afternoon, and a two-day fever racking her delicate frame, Diana Bratton’s aunt remained beautiful. No one judged her a day over 40, much less over sixty.
“Vodka and soda is in the rosewood cabinet inside my dressing room,” she said, handing the glass of water back to Diana. “Get it, please, and refresh the philodendron in the corner with this.”
“You should have listened to me about that flu shot,” Diana said.
Phoebe took the monogrammed linen handkerchief from her. “This is a family heirloom—my family. It belonged to my mother.” She blotted her forehead, then tossed the handkerchief atop the used pile near the lamp.

“I’ve never been much for free advice, even from you, Dr. Bratton,” Phoebe said. She reached for a fresh piece of linen from the Chinese porcelain tray near the bedside table, one of the pieces of china left uncrated for the move.
“I should have sneaked that syringe of flu vaccine out of the office and popped you with it myself—a real freebie.” Diana shielded her face just as more coughing and hacking racked Phoebe’s body. “It’s never too late for the pneumonia vaccine, but I give up.”
Diana opened the drawer in the bedside table and unwrapped the small package underneath the magazines, ink pens, and note pads. “Will you at least take a breathing treatment?”
Phoebe grabbed the nebulizer, inhaled twice and sputtered. “You mentioned your office—makes me think of your surgery partner. A woman I play bridge with calls men like that arm candy.”
“Brad’s been real busy. We just had our seven-year anniversary.”
“Should have been a wedding anniversary, my dear.” She grabbed an extra puff on the nebulizer. “Not long ago, you and your Doctor Brad Cummins were all but married—except for the ring.”
“I’ll ignore that,” Diana said. “Here’s a fresh handkerchief.” She dodged the path of the next coughing spell.
Arm candy,” Phoebe gasped. “Just thinking about that Dr. Brad Cummins makes an old lady feel better.”
“This thing isn’t doing you much good, even if overused,” Diana said. She tossed the nebulizer at the oxygen tank. It landed near the head of Phoebe’s four-poster mahogany bed and slid along the floor to behind the drapes.
“You sound worse.” She dug a digital thermometer and stethoscope out of her purse. “Inhale and exhale, deep,” she ordered.
Phoebe obeyed with deep breaths and release. “Where’s that other thing going?”
“In that know-it-all mouth of yours,” Diana answered. She put the stethoscope aside and placed the thermometer under Phoebe’s tongue. “Your lungs sound horrible—like a tornado—not to mention that your temp is still up.”
“I probably have pneumonia.”
“That’s another vote for the vaccine; and instead of a hearse, I’m calling Metropolitan for an ambulance.”
“Please, please, Diana, don’t. This is such a close-knit neighborhood, lots of busy-bodies. Sirens will cause such a stir.”
“You’re moving out of this place. You don’t care what the old neighbors say,” Diana said.
“Thank goodness we closed on the new house before I got sick, and I’m glad that I bought a place in town.”
“Regardless, I should have insisted you go to the hospital sooner,” Diana said. “Except for Kelsey, you’re the closest thing I have to blood kin.”
“I give up. Maybe you’re right.” Phoebe reached for the thick white cotton robe at the foot of the bed. The new silk one from Neiman Marcus remained boxed in her closet. “Here, help me with this thing and then get me to your car. Seeing your beautiful daughter once I’m settled into my room would really cheer me up.”
Diana wrapped the robe around the sheer pajamas, moist from sweat. Phoebe’s skin felt clammy. “Covering up is probably wise. This slinky outfit may get you arrested when we roll through admissions,” Diana said. She eased Phoebe into the silk slippers waiting on the Oriental rug. “Better yet, maybe we should change you into something less provocative. I’ll check your closet.”
A long row of cocktail dresses and tailored suits on hangers lined the walls to the left and right of the master bedroom closet. A built-in bank of drawers was located at the end of the space. Diana searched and found a pink fleece set neatly folded in the bottom drawer.
“I’m glad everything is not already boxed up,” Diana said. “Let’s slip you into this.”
“No, no. I’m much too weak to change clothes.” Phoebe stood, unsteady at first, then grabbed her purse from the dresser, clutching it to her chest. She coughed and sputtered as they moved down the hall toward the living room. “Doctors and nurses make note of expensive pajamas. I won’t part with these,” she said.
Diana caught Phoebe before she stumbled over the stuffed boxes and cartons piled in the entrance hall. “OK, you win. We’ll go as you are, but once I turn you over to the hospitalist, I’ll come back and pack a bag for you,” Diana said. “You won’t need much. The gift shop will have toiletries.”
She took Phoebe by the elbow and guided her out through the front door, past the white columns that anchored a wraparound porch extending across the front and along the sides of the house. Down the steps, at the foot of the narrow driveway, a dumpy, red-faced man in his sixties stopped to fumble with a plastic Wal-Mart shopping bag.
“Wouldn’t you know it,” Phoebe whispered under her handkerchief, “that fool, Carvel Eaves.”
“Afternoon, ladies. Lots of tidbits on my afternoon stroll,” he said. Like a pendulum, he swung the bag stuffed with empty soft drink and beer cans, crumpled fast food bags, and gum wrappers in Phoebe’s direction.
She frowned and opened the door to Diana’s car. “Interesting hobby you have, Carvel—keeping our Belhaven neighborhood free of litter during your walks. But I don’t have time for …” (The comment was stalled by another round of coughing, topped off with a protracted wheeze.) “… time for your nonsense today.” She slid inside the car into the passenger seat.
Carvel Eaves leaned toward Phoebe. “Never know what people will toss out into the streets,” he said. “Most of the time it’s teenagers throwing beer cans out the window before mom and dad see or discards flying out the back of their pickups. Sometimes it’s just careless trash collectors.” Carvel took a second look at Phoebe. “Looks like you’re a little under the weather, Miss Phoebe.”
“You’re not listening, Carvel,” she said. “My niece and I are in a terrible rush.”
“A rush? Just like during last Saturday’s bridge tournament?”
“That wasn’t me with the mistakes. Your game was off,” she answered. “When I trumped you and closed you out, I was just trying to end the misery for us all.” Phoebe tilted her head past him through the window for an even longer, deeper coughing episode—this time punctuated with two wheezes.
Diana opened the driver’s door and tossed her white jacket out of the way to the back seat. She patted Phoebe on the back until the coughing and wheezing ceased. “Tell Mr. Eaves goodbye. We need to get to the hospital,” Diana said.
“You do sound rough, Phoebe,” Carvel said. “Guess you’ll miss this weekend’s bridge tournament and your master points?”
“Seems I will. My niece thinks I’m on death’s door and insists on the hospital. She’s a doctor, you know … a surgeon.”
“Everybody knows that, Phoebe. She fixed my golf buddy’s hernia.” Eaves reached low for the plastic cup lid and drinking straw spotted near the curb and stuffed his bag. He smiled. “No complaints since.”
“Carvel, we have to go. Start the car, Diana.”
Diana pushed the ignition switch.
“Funny you said something about death’s door,” he said. Carvel leaned closer, then seemed to think better of it. He smoothed the piece of paper. “Let’s see … The paper is old. It’s some type of list … The printing is a little smeared and definitely faded, but at the top it says The Five Manners of Death.” Carvel tipped his Ole Miss baseball cap. “Better be careful at that hospital, Phoebe. Seems there are several ways to go.”
“My God, Carvel. Those were notes from a college English composition class, creative writing. I found that when packing for the move and threw that ancient garbage away,” Phoebe said. “Even now, I can’t seem to get rid of those papers—thanks to busybodies like you.”
He spotted a weathered, rolled-up newspaper flattened against the curb across the street. “I better get that. Newspaper decomposes quick.” Carvel stuffed the sheet of paper back into his makeshift trash bag and headed across the street.
“Unique little man, that Mr. Eaves,” Diana said and closed her door. Forgetting the car was already running, she again pushed the ignition, then placed her cell in a compartment on the console.
“Never mind that old fool. He tried to convince my bridge partner to go to the golf party at the country club last Christmas, practically begged her to date him.” Phoebe fished a fresh disposable tissue from her purse, which nearly disintegrated under more coughing and hacking. Then there were sneezes. “Her husband hadn’t been dead a month.”
“Maybe you should just rest quietly,” Diana said. “Let your seat back with that button between the seat and the door.”
Diana reached for her cell but remembered the Bluetooth. “I better give a heads-up to the hospitalist at Metropolitan,” she said. “He won’t mind; he gets paid per admission.” Diana pushed CALL on the steering wheel and spoke the name.
A voice blared from the stereo speakers. “Dr. Bahrain here.” Startled, Diana swerved to miss the edge of a brick pillar marking the entrance to a driveway.
“Diana!” Phoebe screamed. “Is it too late for that ambulance?”
Diana straightened the vehicle and slowed at the four-way stop to turn the corner. She took a deep breath and answered the hospitalist. “Ahmed, this is Diana Bratton. Can you take a look at my aunt? She’s not any better. I think pneumonia has complicated her asthma.”
“Sure, Dr. Bratton. Bring her on in. I’ll expedite the admission and fix her up in no time.”
“Thank you. We’re 15 minutes away.” They ended the call just before Phoebe started to wheeze and cough. Diana reached behind to rummage through the pockets of her lab coat in the back seat. “I think there might be an extra inhaler in here,” she said, “a sample from the office medicine closet.”
“Diana!” Phoebe grabbed Diana’s shoulder. “Something’s ahead in the street.”
Diana dropped her lab coat and swerved to miss the crumpled mound lying on the pavement. She slammed the brakes, the shoulder straps jerking them against their seats. Diana checked the rearview mirror, unbuckled her seatbelt, and sprang from the car.
Several aluminum cans, a rolled newspaper, and a plastic sack were nearby. It was Carvel Eaves. The note in Phoebe’s handwriting lay next to him.

AUTHORS TO WATCH: EVY JOURNEY AUTHOR OF HELLO, AGNIESZKA @eholychair




Evy Journey has always been fascinated with words and seduced by beautiful prose. She loves Jane Austen and invokes her spirit every time she spins tales of love, loss, and finding one's way—stories she interweaves with mystery or intrigue and sets in various locales. SPR (Self Publishing Review) awarded Evy the 2015 Independent Woman Author bronze for her writing.
She's lived and traveled in many places, from Asia to Europe. Often she's ended up in Paris, though—her favorite place in the world. She's an observer-wanderer. A flâneuse, as the French would say.
The mind is what fascinates her most. Armed with a Ph.D., she researched and spearheaded the development of mental health programs. And wrote like an academic. Not a good thing if you want to sound like a normal person. So, in 2012, she began to write fiction (mostly happy fiction) as an antidote.

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Elise thought she knew her mother. Agnieszka Halverson is a caring woman, a great cook, and an exceptional piano player; but living in a secure, predictable world, she’s also a little dull. Her world is
devastated when her oldest son attempts suicide, and Elise finds her mother has a past—both sweet and bitter—that she must now reveal to explain the suicide attempt. A past rich with a passion for music and shattered dreams, betrayal of a sweet but tragic first love, second chances and renewed hopes.

Born to immigrant parents weighed down by their roots, Agnieszka takes solace in learning to play the piano, taught by a sympathetic aunt who was a concert pianist in Poland before World War II. But when her aunt betrays her and her parents cast her aside for violating their traditional values, can Agnieszka’s music sustain her? Can she, at eighteen, build a life on her own?

When she finally bares her soul to her children, Agnieszka hopes they can accept that she has a past that’s as complex as theirs; that she’s just as human, just as vulnerable as they are. But do her revelations alienate her husband and can they push Elise farther away from her?

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble



We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?

I wrote my first story—a short one—when I was in high school. I did  it for the school paper. Many of my classmates told me they liked it. So did the teacher-adviser for the paper.

I was then the editor-in-chief of  the paper and my forte was supposed to have been essays, not fiction. But I found fiction a lot of fun to write. I could let my imagination take flight. When I did editorials, I always had to keep the facts of what I was commenting on in mind. After my modest success with my first short story, you could say I was hooked. I wrote a few more.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

My most recent release in October, 2016, is Brief Encounters with Solitary Souls, a book of short stories on the truth contained in this Eugene O’Neill quote: “Life is for each man a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.” The five stories are set in various locales, two of them in Paris where I’ve “lived” off and on for two to six months at a time. 

How did you get the idea for the book?

Hello Agnieszka is Book 2 in a family saga that starts with her daughter Elise. I hadn’t initially intended to write a series but I got intrigued with the idea of finding out what kind of past Agnieszka might have had. That’s how Book 2 took shape.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

My main characters tend  to be my favorites. I think I have trouble writing about people I don’t like. Better, or at least braver, writers than I may enjoy narrating the adventures of an evil protagonist, but I can’t spend months, maybe years, in the company of a protagonist who terrorizes me every time I put her in a scene.  Anyway, Agnieszka’s passion for music speaks to me; so do the poignant events and heartaches she goes through. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

This was a relatively easy book to write. Maybe because the main character’s personality has been largely defined in the first book. So were those of two other characters  (Elise and her father). Including certain aspects of Polish culture was the least easy part but research filled the gap in my knowledge so I could write those sections confidently. 

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m writing a fifth novel that includes many scenes involving food because the protagonist has a job cooking at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Her grandfather was a French chef.  The novel has no title yet, though.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?

One I learned from Francine Prose, a writer and professor of writing: Read fiction that has stood the test of time and pay attention to how great writers do it.

AUTHORS TO WATCH: IRENE WOODBURY AUTHOR OF POP-OUT GIRL






Irene Woodbury’s third novel, Pop-Out Girl (2017), pushes a lot of buttons. It’s a gripping look at the tumultuous life of a 23-year-old showgirl-wannabe named Jen Conover who pops out of cakes at special events in Las Vegas for a living. The novel offers riveting glimpses into the loves, lives, triumphs, and tragedies of Jen’s family and friends as well.

Irene grew up in Pittsburgh, and has lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Denver. The University of Houston 1993 graduate also called Texas home for seven years. Her writing career began In 2000. After five years as a successful travel writer, she switched to fiction. Irene’s first novel, the humorous A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis, was published in 2011. The darkly dramatic A Dead End in Vegas followed in 2014. Pop-Out Girl is another dramatic effort. With her husband, Richard, editing, Irene completed the novel in eighteen months. She hopes audiences will enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it. 

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Title: POP-OUT GIRL
Author: Irene Woodbury
Publisher: SynergEbooks
Pages: 188
Genre: Commercial Fiction

When Zane Hollister returns home to Las Vegas after two years in prison and discovers his showgirl-lover is with another guy, he goes ballistic. After stalking and taunting the couple for months, his toxic jealousy takes a darker turn. To wipe out Colton, Zane masterminds a devilish zip line accident and a terrifying car crash. When those fail, he resorts to kidnapping Jen and forcing her to marry him. And it gets even worse when Zane shoots Colton’s boss, Matt, by mistake as he aims for Colton in a horrific drive-by shooting.
        
With Matt lingering in a coma, Jen’s cocktail-waitress mother, Brandi, absorbs a seismic shock of her own. After hearing Matt’s name on the local news, she realizes he’s her first love of decades past—and Jen’s real father.
        
Will Matt emerge from his coma to reunite with Brandi and Jen? Do the cops nab Zane, who’s hiding out in Hawaii? And can Jen and Colton’s love survive Zane’s lethal jealousy?
           
There’s a happy ending for some, but not for all, in Pop-Out Girl.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Smashwords




We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures, Irene! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?

I was a successful travel writer for five years, and I noticed that when I needed to do something fictional in a story, I loved it. So I ultimately decided to write my first novel, and five years later it was published. I never went back to non-fiction, but I might someday. I miss it.

Describe your writing process. Do you come up with a plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

I start out with the basic plot for a novel, but as I get to know the characters I develop the story in whatever direction it needs to go. Sometimes a character starts out in a minor role, but they emerge so strongly that you beef up their storyline. And other characters recede. Truthfully, you never know what’s going to happen because the characters drive the story and they can be a bit unpredictable.
I write in the mornings in a small bedroom at the back of my house. There’s a garden outside and I love to look out at my neighbors’ trees. It’s very cozy and relaxing.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Pop-Out Girl is a very intense novel. It’s basically the biography of a 23-year-old showgirl who pops out of cakes at special events in Las Vegas for a living. She has a steady guy she’s crazy about, but then her ex-boyfriend gets released from prison, comes back to town, and makes Jen’s life hell as he stalks her and her new guy. It gets very   dangerous, with scary accidents, a kidnapping and forced marriage, and, ultimately, a drive-by shooting. Pop-Out Girl is an exciting novel with vivid characters and compelling storylines. It was hard to stop writing it, and I hope readers will find it hard to put down. 

How did you get the idea for the book?

I got the idea originally as I walked around the Las Vegas Strip while writing my second novel. I thought it would be interesting to have a man come to Las Vegas and meet a sweet, beautiful showgirl, without knowing she’s his biological daughter from a long-ago first-love he was engaged to. She proceeds to get involved with a colleague of his, and everything evolves from there. That was the genesis for the book. 

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Jen’s mother, Brandi, is a favorite. At age eighteen she leaves San Jose with another guy four days before her wedding because of major problems in her family and her fiance’s. She ends up in Las Vegas and finds out weeks later that she’s pregnant. And somehow she makes it work. Brandi is high strung, but strong. I feel sorry for her in some ways, but I also admire her.

A second character I have to mention is Zane Hollister. He has just returned to Las Vegas after two years in prison and discovered that his showgirl-lover is with another guy. He tries to get Jen back, but it doesn’t work. So he starts stalking and terrorizing her and her new boyfriend. It gets very dangerous; he commits some serious crimes, from kidnapping to attempted murder. In spite of all this, by the end of the book I felt that I understood Zane—and that if he had just grown up in a different environment, maybe he would have lived an entirely different life. Zane is impulsive and destructive, but he’s capable of love. He loves Jen. He loves his mother and children. He’s a hot mess of a dude, but so compelling he steals the book.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

Organizing the 42 chapters in a way that would be exciting, but easy to follow. I pulled the book apart and put it back together again three times. Each time, it was a lot of work and quite confusing. But all’s well that ends well.

What projects are you currently working on?

Promoting Pop-Out Girl is keeping me busy right now. I look forward to starting another novel in six months to a year. Maybe a humor book or a sequel to Pop-Out Girl.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?

Pay as much attention to the final chapters as the first ones. Many writers start out fresh and full of energy, but the later chapters are weaker and not as sharp. Once you have your ending, work on those final chapters early so you have that confidence of knowing they’re there as you work on the rest of the book.

AUTHORS TO WATCH: URBAN FANTASY AUTHOR JOSS LANDRY @josslandry



Joss Landry has worked as a consultant for more than twenty years, writing copy for marketing firms and assisting start-up companies to launch their business. She recently made the switch from composing copy and promos, to writing fiction and prose. She is developing her style through courses and the support of other writers and is presently working on honing three other novels for publication.

Blessed with four children and six grandchildren, she resides in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, a staunch supporter, and enjoys spending time biking, rollerblading, playing tennis, and swimming. She loves creating stories as she says they fulfill her need to think outside the box.
Her latest book is the urban fantasy/paranormal, I CAN FIND YOU (Emma Willis Series #2).

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Emma just turned fifteen. Her powers have spiraled to include unusual magic, and she gladly relies
on Hank and Christina’s friendship to mark the way. Thomas Carson’s feelings for Emma have changed, her aunt Franka tells her—a young man her aunt describes as a young buck whose testosterone plays a big role in his life.

New friends around Emma surprise her. They appear to be like nothing she could have imagined, and their goals stir more disturbance than their presence until she bumps into the scourge of her existence: entities who wish to control what humans do and say. She learns they are powerful, vindictive and will stop at nothing to obtain what they want. Will Emma be able to protect the people she loves?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?

Walking on the beach in Miami, Florida with my little dog, Chief. Sometimes I would walk with a friend, but since I enjoyed to catch the sunrise, Chief and I often walked alone, listening to the ocean’s surf and giving into the aura of peace surrounding us. There, one morning, characters for the first book I ever wrote began to talk and argue and live out their lives inside my head. I got back to the condo and started typing as fast as I could. Luckily, I’m a fast typist, because, in 45 days, I had 200,000 words down and a completed novel. Of course, I couldn’t catalog the story’s genre or realize the novel had too many words at the time. I just wrote the story as it unfolded in front of me. Even all those years ago, you might have called the novel an urban fantasy, grounded in current, everyday reality, submerged in mystery, and displaying paranormal tendencies—not to mention a touch inspirational. 

My husband has reread the manuscript three times, at least, and says he would like to see me publish this one. The story will be a trilogy when I complete the hat-trick. My husband also states this happened to be the loneliest time of his life. Good thing my nineteen-year-old son still lived with us at the time. The company helped.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

I don’t plot. Tried it once as in all the courses I have taken since the episode in Miami, and teachers tell me it is imperative to plan, well the good teachers at least. I can’t. Catastrophe ensues when I do. The story never goes remotely in the direction I predicted. I plot by amassing pics of my characters, their location, their education (schools, universities) their families their likes and dislikes pics of their pets and cars … The story unfolds from there. 

Of course, I also discovered how my location is important. I need to hear and see the story unfolding in front of me. Listen to the characters thoughts, wishes, and words. I found some areas give me better reception than others. At first, people around me thought this was crazy. When you analyze the concept, this does sound a little out there. Even to me. In Miami reception came through loud and clear. Amazing. Then in Montreal Canada where we lived, nothing, or a bare trickle. Took me a year or so to decipher the impression of a novel and I would be sitting at the typewriter facing a void of silence. When my son moved to Alberta, and he asked me when we were also moving since we moved so many times in our lives, I laughed and joked that we would soon be there. I was in the throes of Exhale and Reboot, another book I wrote. When we visited him and his family, I realized that reception in Edmonton, Alberta was phenomenal. Didn’t know why. I still don’t know why. No ocean close by and the ground elevation is quite higher than it was in Montreal. However, impressions, thoughts, and plots unfold at incredible speed. A little like some portable radio you turn and twist to get more channels and better reception. I had started the book I’m launching now, I Can Find You in Montreal. When I arrived across the country in Edmonton, I finished the book in less than thirty days. Then when I reviewed from beginning to end, I needed to redo the first ten chapters I wrote somewhere else. I have since found out I'm not the only one with this reception problem and a famous writer I know of also moved from Montreal to somewhere near the Chesapeake Bay to get better reception. 

Can you tell us about your most recent release? 

I Can Find You is the second book in the Emma Willis Series.  Emma is now fifteen years old, and she still has her friends, Amelia Swift who knows nothing of her powers and Thomas Carson who does, and who attempts to curb Emma’s use of them. OBE, for instance, gets Emma into trouble now and again as she can transport corporeally through after life portholes. Emma can also conjure, something she usually refuses to do as the magic put her in danger more than once. Going through the portals, she connects with new friends and discovers their goal and their reason to be here on Earth, frightening. What are all these aliens from other worlds doing here on Earth? She still helps Hank Apple, the detective who was promoted Captain with some of his difficult cases and likes the company of Christina Tyler, her fifth-grade teacher who has become the older sister she never had. While helping Hank, she discovers incredible talents in her grasp. Gifts once dormant are emerging and Emma wonders about her origins and their stunning potential. When she reaches for the big book of spells her grandmother left her, the book many of her ancestors contributed to writing throughout the ages, she can’t find any reference to some of the talents Emma just discovered she owns. Emma packs of a lot of action and adventure in this book.

How did you get the idea for the book? 

Good question. In fact, I Can Find You brings us another adventure in the life of Emma Willis. The first book came to me while I was doing a course, a 48-hour course of complete and total devotion to a story, any story. As the trainer outlined what I needed to do, I did, and from this course sprung I Can See You. Although, I was never keen on writing a series. All my author friends were writing up series, some two and three at a time, and I just wanted to write a story and be done with it. Why? Simple. Emma is always with me, discovering new ideas, mumbling in my head what she intends to do next. I’ve already started the research for Emma Willis Book III, I Can Help You. Once I finish the research, the story will write itself. In fact, familiar characters take over your life a little. They are never far behind—and sometimes invade my life.—or even quiet about their intentions. Thank God, Emma is a gentle, sweet person. Otherwise, I would not be able to curb the enthusiasm of a bossy character.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Impossible to pick one character over another. The exercise would be like picking a favorite, child. Here are some of my favorite characters. Emma Willis, in the series of the same name. Barnum, in a book soon to be published: What About Barnum? Hank Apple in Emma Willis Series, and Kat Bonner in Mirror Deep. I also like Candice Newman in Exhale and Reboot. She is a sophisticated and elegant character.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?

Don’t wait like I did. I needed an ocean to prompt me to write. There is never a perfect time to start writing even if you just jot down the preliminary ideas of a book. These notions will brew and percolate, and at a moment’s notice when you least expect it, you will find the inspiration to write down your story. In the meantime, you might like to join groups of other writers. One of the ones I joined was called The Next Big Writer dot com. It’s a free group of more than five thousand authors that are submitting their chapters for review by others. When you do a review, you amass points, and this allows you to post your writing and get it reviewed. A most friendly group, they helped me tremendously before I began to write. I am still with them, and I like to run chapters by them as I’m writing. Also, get Grammarly dot com. You cannot write without it.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

YOU GOT THIS! BOOK BLAST & GIVEAWAY!



Title: YOU GOT THIS! A MOTIVATIONAL GUIDE FOR ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS
Author: James Kademan
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 256
Genre: Self-help / Motivational




You Got This! A motivational guide for achieving your goals. Written by renowned business coach James Kademan of Draw In Customers Business Coaching. This is a quick read that will drive you to achieve what you have been working on. Sometimes you just need a kick in the rear to get you moving, this is that kick.

For a preview, check out this video:


ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble





James Kademan hails from a distinct past that includes a number of experiences that brought him to the point of feeling it was necessary to write a few things down. Like most writers he started with chunks of paper that were strewn all over his desk, house, garage and under more than a few car seats.

After realizing a bit of organization was needed he resolved to grab those notes, combine them, type them, edit them, polish them and ask the world for some honest feedback. That led to a couple books being written. James' first real book, You Got This! A motivational guide for achieving your goals was a small slap in the face of typical motivational books. Not through intention, just in its simplistic content.
James Kademan's upcoming soon-to-be bestseller, The BOLD Business Book will hit the shelves in couple short months.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK





James Kademan is giving away three individual 1 on 1 business coaching 1 hour phone sessions and 3 YOU GOT THIS books!!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway ends midnight July 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 29.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



a Rafflecopter giveaway




MEDIA CONTACT:
Dorothy Thompson
 CEO/Founder PUMP UP YOUR BOOK
Winner of P&E Readers Poll 2016 for Best Publicity Firm
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Friday, June 23, 2017

AUTHORS TO WATCH: DIANA SIMS AUTHOR OF FOREVER KING: SURVIVING THE LOSS OF MY UNBORN CHILD





As a self-publishing author, Diana Sims has felt compelled to share her journey regarding the loss of her son, and the miracle that took place after his passing. She simply wants to let other women, who have lost children, know that there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

Aimed primarily at all mothers ranging from teenagers to the older women, Forever King: Surviving the Loss of My Unborn Child particularly addresses those who have lost a child, no matter the circumstance.

Diana is committed to humanitarian services whether in her field or position. She worked for many years helping customers keep their homes from foreclosure during the economic fall in 2008. Currently, she is assisting physicians and patients as a Patient Liaison. Diana is a California native and resides in Southern California with her loving husband Cory Sims, and three handsome Kings in training: Isaiah, Solomon, and Anthony Sims.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK




Title: FOREVER KING: SURVIVING THE LOSS OF MY UNBORN CHILD
Author: Diana Sims
Publisher: Forever King Publishing
Pages: 78
Genre: Inspirational/Self-Help

Sims life has been one of a survivor… a survivor of grief and distraught after having lost a child. Today, she is using the journey, to help other women, who have had similar experience of losing a child, whether through early pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth, to have hope.

Watch the book trailer at YouTube.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble




Tell us a little about yourself. When did you begin writing?
 
I wrote poetry all the time as a child. For this project, I begin writing almost three years ago, journeying the events after the loss of my son.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write? 

I am a Pantster. I love to write as I go, I believe it is more organic and authentic.

Can you tell us about your most recent release? 

This is my first book. It is about the loss of my unborn son King Josiah Sims. How I handled the loss, what took place in my life after the loss, and getting through pregnancy after the loss of my son.

How did you get the idea for the book? 

Someone dear to me that helped me through my loss of King, lost their son full time and delivered him stillborn. This gave me the courage to share my story so others would know they are not alone and this happens more often than we speak about.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book? 

Having to re-live that whole experience over again to ensure the transparency was emotions were fresh and the readers can see into my life during that time.

Which authors have inspired your writing? 

Cindy Trimm and her devotionals. One of my favorite books from her is commanding your morning. It was a pivotal read during the recovery of losing my son.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors? 

I would say, stay true to yourself. You are trying to convey your heart and life journey to the world. Let them see you through your eyes… Do not try to copy anyone else.