Tuesday, April 19, 2022

đŸ“–Authors To Watch: Michael Meyer Author of Triangle of Hope #authorstowatch #interview #PUYB


Michael Meyer
 is the author of mysteries, thrillers, humorous fiction, and non-fiction: Love and romance, laughter and tears, thrills and fears.

He has resided in and has visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to his own published writing. He has literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. He has lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left him. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as he has aged.

Among the many unique things that have happened to him in his world travels, he has walked the streets of Istanbul with a detective, searching for a pickpocket who got him good. He has ridden on the back of a motorcycle in Tehran while the driver, who spoke not one word of English, pointed out all the sights to him. He has wrestled an Iranian soldier who tried to break into his hotel room in Tehran. He has had the paint completely stripped from his car as he drove across Saudi Arabia in a sandstorm. He has stood on the stage of a busy nightclub in Tokyo, singing “She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain When She Comes” to an audience feeling no pain from the Sake they were drinking. He has been chased by a family of mongooses (yes, that is the correct spelling) on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Croix. And that is just the beginning of his long list of worldly adventures.

As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, he now lives in Southern California wine country with his wife, Kitty, and their two adorable rescue cats.

His latest book is the contemporary fiction, Triangle of Hope.

Visit him on Facebook.

If one person can make a difference, just think what three can do. A tender story of love. Three strangers, each harboring a dark secret, become united by chance in a small Irish village, and the wonderful power of the human spirit comes alive.

If you believe that love and romance can happen in unusual circumstances, then this book is for you.

“From page one, I found myself mesmerized at just how powerful the book was going to be.” – A Girl and Her eBooks Blog

“Meyer did a great job in weaving the story lines of the three main characters into a conclusion which was exactly what the title suggests. Triangle of Hope is a compelling read from start to finish.” – Jade Diamond Book Blog

“I absolutely adore this story.” – Lauren Alumbaugh, Goodreads Librarian

“A book that will stay with you forever.” – Wanda’s Amazing Amazon Reviewers

Book Information

Release Date: December 1, 2014

Publisher:  Pacific Books

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1611883251; 176 pages; $5.99; E-Book, $2.99; Kindle Unlimited FREE

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3HPk95L

Book Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uXCv7wp3go

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

I come from a long line of teachers. My grandmother, my dad, my mom, and most of my aunts and uncles were teachers, as are my three sisters and my wife, and many of my first cousins. My father as an English professor, and I wanted to follow in his steps. I love the higher education environment. Colleges and universities are to me like sugar water to a hummingbird.

I have always had a talent for writing, which was driven by my passion for stringing words together to say something that would make others take notice. My teachers, all through the school system, told me so. I have written my whole life. My cupboards are filled with my writing, which spans a forty-five year period. I have bits and pieces of stories, completed short stories, essays, and notes galore.

I became fascinated with books at a very young age. I must have read every

CURIOUS GEORGE book out there. At the age of ten, I self-published my first book, a short synopsis of California history. My parents bought the only copy, but I was a published author at an early age. The writing bug struck me hard.

I have written my whole life. My study at home is filled with manuscripts of one sort or another. When I retired from my 40-year career as an English professor, I found that I now had the time to work on the unfinished manuscripts I had started years before. I have now published seven books. In retirement I have suddenly found the time I need to devote to one of my lifelong passions: writing. And I also am privileged to have the time to see things through to completion. The unfinished works in my study are quickly vanishing, to my delight.

I am not out for money. As a retired college professor, I have a nice pension. Rather, I want to write until I die. I love creating characters and plots. Writing to me is like reading. I never know precisely where things will lead. I am in good health, and my doctor told me that writing is a very healthy avocation for someone in my situation: a retiree. I love his advice.

The most difficult part of writing for me is placing the following words on my manuscript: The End. I get very involved with my characters as I write. I laugh and cry with them, and I agonize over their actions and their circumstances. They are like my own children. I am sad to see them grow up and then go off to live their lives on their own. Saying goodbye is tough, even though I know that they have found a very good home on Amazon.

When I am in the groove, which is the vast majority of the time when I am sitting at my keyboard, working on a manuscript, the characters call out to me, leading me onward, and it is exciting to me, because I never quite know where they will lead me. I have fun writing. It is pleasurable for me. The very second, though, that something seems too tough to handle at the moment, I stop. I will then go off and live my everyday life, waiting until the trigger I need pops into my head. That’s when I run back upstairs to my study and start working once again.

It is a good life. I enjoy writing immensely. Life is too short to do otherwise.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

People often ask me how I decided to self-publish my own books. The answer is simple, and yet there is some complexity to it. I wanted my work to be read right away. If I had gone the traditional publishing route, COVERT DREAMS, DEADLY EYES, THE FAMOUS UNION, THE SURVIVAL OF MARVIN BAINES, TRIANGLE OF HOPE,  SAVORING THE WORLD: HIT AND MISADVENTURES, and THE THREE KITTTIES THAT SAVED MY LIFE would still be somewhere along the lengthy publishing route, lying there not yet ready to be put into readers’ hands. It takes months, sometimes years, to get one’s work published the traditional way. I am so delighted that Amazon Direct Publishing came onto the scene. My books have already sold thousands of copies since their birth at their new home at Amazon. And in that short time, my books have made me an international author. Copies of them have already been bought in England, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, and Singapore, in addition to wide distribution throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, they are also now available in paperback on Amazon. None of this would have been possible, in such a short time, if I had chosen to pursue the traditional publishing route.

            F. Scott Fitzgerald, the highly acclaimed international author, often complained of having to change parts of his books, especially endings, to satisfy his publishers. He is not, by far, the only author who has had to adhere to someone else’s editing in order to be published. In my case, the case of a self-published novelist on Amazon Kindle, I have complete control over every single aspect of my book, every word, every punctuation mark, and even to the appearance of the cover. It is my choice, and mine alone, how to begin and how to end my own book. I have complete control over all of my characters’ actions, thoughts, and words. In a nutshell, as a self-published author, I am the true writer of my own work. No editor has had a hand in changing even a single word of my original work. The book is mine, and mine alone, and it is presented to the reading public exactly as I want it to be, nothing changed to satisfy a publisher’s whim.

How did you get the idea for the book?

After my wife died of leukemia, I was close to a basket case. I blamed myself for her untimely death, much as Clint Westerly does in my book, although both of us are totally blameless for the terrible disease that took our spouses.  Since I simply could not get my head around this unwarranted rumination, one day I just began putting some thoughts onto paper, and, as the clichĂ© goes, Triangle of Hope just evolved from that point. I was a university writing professor for over forty years, teaching at universities in Asia, the Caribbean, Saudi Arabia, and here in the United States, so writing has always played an enormous part of my life. I lived my book as I wrote it, captivated by the downs and then the ups of the characters.  I am delighted to say that I was able to come up with an ending that I only wish could jump off the page to become reality for the world in which we find ourselves today.

Since I am a diehard international traveler, I was able to incorporate a wide variety of experiences I have had while traveling as well as giving written birth to a couple of my own long held, dreamlike fantasies, such as taking out all of my retirement funds and traveling the world in luxury for as long as my money lasts.

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

If you have an urge to write, then keep plugging away. Writing is a lonely business, and there are so many distractions and excuses to be used to put off the hard part: actually putting pen to paper, or, in today’s world, putting your fingers to the keyboard.


đŸ“–Authors To Watch: N.L. McLaughlin Author of Lost Boys @nl_mclaughlin #authorstowatch #interview #PUYB


N.L. McLaughlin
 was born and raised in Massachusetts. After serving in the USMC, she returned home and went to college. Not long after, she moved to California and married. Six kids and multiple moves around the US later, she and her family call Texas home.

Her latest book is the YA fiction, Lost Boys: Book Two of the American Nomads.

You can visit her website at  www.NancyLMclaughlin.com or connect with her on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Life has returned to normal for the Nomads. Finn and Teague are closer than ever. The bond between River and Cash is evolving into something more, and Zac has his family of misfits. Even Beth has come into her own. No longer a greenie, she is now a full, contributing member of the group. Her internet fame has blossomed beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

Riding the rails from one adventure to another, life is perfect.

Or so it seems…

Recently released from prison, Daniel is on a quest to locate Finn. Thanks to Beth’s videos, he has a trail that will lead him straight to his quarry.

As the miles scroll by, the distance between Daniel and Finn shortens, bringing them closer to an ultimate confrontation.

Who will survive when their paths collide?

Book Information

Release Date: March 29, 2021 (e-book)

Publisher:  Twisted Sky, LLC.

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1736705940; 314 pages; $13.99; E-Book, $3.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3JDKJ2k

Signed Copies – www.nancylmclaughlin.com

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

I read voraciously and have always loved fiction. I wanted to write this particular story, so I sat down and finally got to work.

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

I start with a core idea then work out from there. In the case of the American Nomads series, I have the full story mapped out. I am filling in the blanks as I being the story to its completion.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?                       

Lost Boys is the second book in the American Nomads series. It picks up a few months from where book one left off. Things have gone back to normal for the group. What they don’t know is that their new addition – Beth – has been uploading videos online of their adventures. Those videos will cause more harm than any of them could ever imagine.

How did you get the idea for the book?

No really sure. It just came to me.

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

I would say Finn. Because he is so profoundly broken yet there is still something about him that his friends adore

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

Delving into the dark side of human emotions

What projects are you currently working on?

Book three in the series – Imagined Dragons

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

Keep writing.


Monday, April 18, 2022

đŸ“–Authors To Watch: Michelle King Author of Breathe In #authorstowatch #interview #PUYB


Michelle King lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Chayne and her children. She loves coffee, Superman, rollercoasters, and has an addiction to chapstick.

She works in healthcare management and in her spare time writes novels. As a multi-genre author, she has written in the categories of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards.

She is the author of the thriller, Breathe In.

Visit her website at https://www.authormichelleking.com/ or connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Breathe in. Breathe out. This mantra gets Tessa Benson through the day. The man she loves walks all over her, and she just wants to get by without her heart shattering to pieces. If she could find her voice, she’d scream. Everything changes in one night, when she’s snatched from the streets and tied to a bed, a camera set up to capture her dying moment. And the person who paid to watch her die…is still out there somewhere. Tessa prowls dark neighborhoods in a quest for justice, but she doesn’t find the killer. Not until they strike again…in the place Tessa is least expecting, and where it hurts most.

“Dark. Disturbing. Absolutely out of character for Michelle Bellon (compared to her other books). You absolutely feel for Tessa. Your heart & soul breaks with her. You will get angry & you will cry with her. Simply amazing.” – Amazon Reader

“This story is a very, very dark thriller. It has some things in it that might upset some people. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! Tessa is trying to just get through each day with the man she loves. He is not a nice man. He walks all over her, belittles her, he is a scum bag! Then she gets kidnapped one night and tied to a bed. There is a camera on her to show someone or some people just how she is going to die! Can she get away? Who would do such a thing? You will need to read the book to find the answers.” – Amazon Reader

Book Information

Release Date: November 15, 2019

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN:  978-1640347953; 272 pages; $13.99; Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3grB5TS

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

I started having dreams about book ideas and plots. I would wake up with ideas flowing but I had no idea where to start. I’d never written anything other than college papers at that point. However, I couldn’t stop obsessing on these ideas so I thought what the heck, might as well sit down and try. So I set a goal to write twenty-minutes a day. My youngest child was just a baby at the time, and I had three other children. Some days I didn’t write at all, but some days I would write for two hours while the baby slept. I learned I had an ability to get my ideas to paper fairly well. Six months later I had a book. It was a total mess and needed some serious revisions and editing, but it was a book. That’s how it all began.

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

I jot down all my ideas haphazardly. Just a bunch of messy notes. I typically have a few key scenes in my head and build my plot around those. Then I sit down and start writing and see where it goes from there. It’s pretty organic. I write somewhere quiet where I can focus. I’m not one of those who can have a tv or music on in the background.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Breathe In is meant to be an inspiration to women who feel less than or who are experiencing abuse. It’s the story of a simple, weak-minded woman who finds herself in a horrifying situation and is tested to her limits. It’s through this experience that she finds her inner warrior and discovers what she’s really made of.

How did you get the idea for the book?

Well, I love to create characters who are flawed and struggling with something dark or complex in their lives. I had the general idea for the plot for a few years, but it wasn’t until I was going through my own difficult time in life that I finally sat down and started writing it. I knew it would be good for me to have an outlet for what I was going through, and Tessa was the perfect character for that. I wanted to take a woman who saw herself as weak and test her to the point that she would find out what she was really made of. As I began to write, the plot changed and evolved quite a bit from what I had originally intended but I’m happy with the way it turned out.

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

Hmm, that’s hard. I enjoy them all for different reasons. I love Tessa from this book because its so fun to watch her evolution throughout the story. But I have a special love for Aiden in The Fire Inside. That story is a bit of a tearjerker.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

Tapping into my own emotions was challenging and necessary. I had my own challenges in life at that time and writing the book served as an outlet for a lot of rage and sadness. It was very cathartic.

What projects are you currently working on?

Nothing at the moment. I’m very busy in my career and also finishing my master’s degree. Hopefully I will get back to it soon though!

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

Learn the industry. Listen to critique as a positive thing even when it’s hard to hear because it helps you get better. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

đŸ“–Authors To Watch: Cheryl Carpinello Author of Grandma's & Grandpa's Tales #authorstowatch #interview #PUYB @ccarpinello


Cheryl Carpinello
 taught high school English for 25 years. During that time, she worked with numerous students who didn’t like to read for a variety of reasons. However, she discovered that even the most reluctant readers became engaged in the classroom and in reading when she introduced units on King Arthur and the works of ancient world writers. Upon retiring, she set out to write fast-paced, action-filled stories in these setting to encourage young readers to read more. Her success with readers aged 8-16 led her to reach out to the youngest of readers and those readers just starting out. Revising stories she had written for her own children, she created Grandma/Grandpa’s Tales for ages 4-7.  Her four grandchildren’s conversations created the stories in Book 3 of this series.

Visit her on Twitter and Facebook.

Grandma and Grandpa’s Tales books 1-3 encourage early readers with fun stories incorporating difference aspects of nature. Book 1, Wild Creatures In My Neighborhood and What if I Went to the Circus, explores the wildlife around neighborhoods and introduces decision-making. Book 2Singers of Songs and The Not Too Stubborn Humpback, explores a common, but not so common insect, and lets readers see that being stubborn isn’t always good. Book 3Vampires in the Backyard and A Fish Tale, introduces readers to an extended metaphor and lets them decide if the fish story is real.

Book Information

Release Date: Grandma’s Tales #1 (2016), Grandma’s Tales #2 (2018), Grandma’s Tales #3 (2021), Grandpa’s Tales #1 (2016), Grandpa’s Tales #2 (2018), Grandpa’s Tales #3 (2021)

Publisher:  Silver Quill Publishing

Soft Cover: Grandma’s Tales #1 – 39 pages; $9.99

Grandma’s Tales #2 – 66 pages; $13.99

Grandma’s Tales #3 – 64 pages; $14.99

Grandpa’s Tales #1 – 39 pages; $9.99

Grandpa’s Tales #2 – 66 pages; $13.99

Grandpa’s Tales #3 – 64 pages; $14.99

Amazon Ma 1:  https://amzn.to/3374bEX

Amazon Pa 1:  https://amzn.to/3uHMKpA

Amazon Ma 2:  https://amzn.to/3Jan0X5

Amazon Pa 2: https://amzn.to/34HGt2g

Amazon Ma 3: https://amzn.to/3wELnJj

Welcome back to My Bookish Pleasures, Cheryl! Writing children’s books is a different genre than I’m used to of yours. How did you get into writing children’s books?

Cheryl: Thank you. Writing Grandma/Grandpa’s Tales is really an extension of my MG/Tween/YA stories. As an educator, I’m always exploring ways to get more kids reading. Reaching out to a younger audience made sense. If preschool and kindies become frustrated with learning to read, then chances are that frustration will continue as they grow. And most of the stories in the Grandma/Grandpa series had already been written.

Do you think it’s particularly hard to write children’s books?

Cheryl: I think it’s really hard to write picture books! At a glance, the books look easy because there doesn’t appear to be much to them: no more than 15 words per page and lots of pictures. However, to get those words just right so that the reader is pulled into the story takes a lot of trial and error. And, I scour the internet searching for just the right images to connect with the text and the reader. These two items take several months. By the time my illustrator is finished with the final images, the cover and layout are finished, 11-12 months has gone by. I can get one of my novels done in that time!

What is your special place to write?

Cheryl: My house is like Grand Central Station most days and so writing becomes a challenge. I still write from my couch with a concert DVD playing, but I’ve also found new writing spaces. With my home being the classroom for three students and one teacher during the lockdown, I’m frequented the local library when open. I’ve also discovered that my favorite breakfast restaurant is a good place for me to write. No one talks to me—although people are talking, I can just ignore them—and no phone is ringing for me! In fact, this is where I’m writing this interview! I look forward to heading back down to Mexico this summer where devoid of all distractions—except the sun, sand, and sea—I’m able to get some good progress on my next story.

Can you tell us a little about your illustrator (who incidentally did a fantastic job!)?

Cheryl: I always go to the Fiverr platform which only lists freelancers. Zeeshan Shahid, from Pakistan, did the images for both books 2 & 3. We collaborate on the images, and he always goes that extra mile for me.

When you are not writing, what are you doing?

Cheryl: Our grandkids frequent our house so one of them is always around. I love to read. Currently I’m reading series the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owens which incorporates literary history with Arthurian Legend and mythology. I’m always reading nonfiction books about the ancient worlds, like Amelia B. Edwards’ A Thousand Miles up the Nile. We love to travel and pair our trips with college football games and my research which takes us on international trips.

If you could choose the perfect place to write more children’s books, where would that be?

Cheryl: For the most part, I’ve learned to just sit and write wherever I’m at. My grandkids always check in on what I’m writing. They don’t hesitate to read and comment on the story and the illustrations. That said, my living is my perfect place to write children’s books!

Sunday, April 3, 2022

đŸ“–Authors To Watch: Tracy Shawn Author of Floating Underwater #authorstowatch #interview #PUYB


Award-Winning Author Tracy Shawn lives and writes on the Central Coast of California. Her debut novel, The Grace of Crows, won several indie book awards. Floating Underwater is her second novel. Tracy Shawn’s short stories have appeared in Literary BrushstrokesPsychology Tomorrow Magazine, and Steel House Review Literary Journal. She’s written numerous articles for print and online publications and is currently working on her third novel.

You can visit her website at https://www.tracyshawn.com/ or connect with her on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads.

Part psychological fiction and part mystical fiction with a dash of magical realism, Floating Underwater follows a woman’s astonishing journey through the extraordinary and, ultimately, to her self-actualization and power.

Fearful that her lifelong premonitions not only predict the future but can also change its very course, Paloma Leary is devastated when her latest vision foretelling a third miscarriage comes true.

Falling into a mystifying world of increasingly bizarre phenomena, including a psychic connection with her mysterious neighbor, out-of-body experiences, and visits from her long-dead mother, Paloma grows desperate for answers. She is also desperate to start a family. But when a life-changing vision reveals a tragic secret from the past, Paloma learns to accept her gifts and embraces a far different future than she ever could have imagined.

“One woman’s mystical journey to move forward while confronting a troubled, mysterious past. Beautifully written; an ethereal, eloquent pleasure.” ~~Marlene Adelstein, author of USA Today bestseller Sophie Last Seen

“Mystical and magical realism permeates this women’s novel, and Amy Harmon fans would embrace Shawn’s adept storytelling. The author delivers spot-on dialogue, believable and enchanting characters, and surprising twists. It’s easy to imagine the novel as a talked-about book club selection (in fact, there’s a list of questions at the book’s conclusion). Poignant and beautiful, Floating Underwater leaves readers yearning for a sequel and another look at these captivating characters.” ~~Starred Review by Patricia Moosbrugger for BlueInk Review

“The writing is stunning…Paloma’s journey toward friendship, love in her marriage, and the realization that her fears have kept her eyes closed to everything happening around her is a journey worth following. This book will remind you to listen to the wind when it speaks and to look for what’s floating beneath the surface of the water.”~~Reviewed by Jenna Swartz for San Francisco Book Review

“A mystical journey that will take its readers on a whirlwind tour of beautiful imagery and meaningful life adventures, Floating Underwater is the story about a woman named Paloma Leary who learns that she has some very special gifts to share with the world…This book is wonderfully written in a lovely beach setting…Floating Underwater is the perfect book for someone looking for a bit of fantasy thrown into a realistic setting with realistic characters. Written with special attention to little details, this book is relatable, yet very special and is a one-of-a-kind read.” ~~Reviewed by Kristi Elizabeth for Manhattan Book Review

Book Information

Release Date: September 8, 2021

Publisher: Turbulent Muse Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1736664902; 312 pages; $10.99; E-Book, $3.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3GrO5TV

Amazon Kindle: https://amzn.to/3qA2EA3

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

My professional writing career began when I started to get articles published in print and online newspapers and magazines. Like so many other authors, I had always dreamed of writing a novel, though. It wasn’t until my forties that I actually set out to do so. I took a slew of writing courses, went to writing conferences, and studied books on how to hone my craft. During this time, I finished my first novel, The Grace of Crows. Then, being the crazy writer that I am, I immediately started Floating Underwater.

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

I’m definitely more a “seat-of-my pants” type of writer. For my first two novels, I only knew the beginning and end before I sat down in front of the keyboard. I write most every day, usually at my desk with a cup of tea nearby (and I get up every so often for some chocolate!). 

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Floating Underwater is about a woman named Paloma who is fearful that her premonitions may not only predict the future but can also change its very course. When her latest vision predicting her third miscarriage comes true, Paloma grows desperate for answers. As she falls into a mystifying world of increasingly bizarre phenomena, Paloma worries that she’s inherited her mother’s schizophrenia. But when a life-changing vision reveals a tragic secret from the past, Paloma learns to accept her gifts and embraces a far different future than she ever could have imagined.

How did you get the idea for the book?

Floating Underwater came to me from personal experience (I’ve had two miscarriages), past work history (when I was younger, I interned at a psychiatric center), and from my grandfather’s interest in the metaphysical.

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

I love Serena because she’s like a living mermaid—wild, free, and otherworldly.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

In all honesty, it was how long it took to write (over nine years!).

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on my third novel and am currently mapping it out with a synopsis and outline so that I can hopefully finish it in a year or two!

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

Write almost every day. Read as much as you can. Take courses and learn your craft. Writing is challenging and most people will not make an income from it—so buckle in, it’s a bumpy, crazy ride. But if you’re willing to sacrifice your time and energy working on your craft (even when you don’t feel like it), your life will be all the richer for it.