Monthly Archives: February 2016

VBT ~ New York Night by Stephen Leather

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 New York Night
by Stephen Leather

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GENRE: Horror/Supernatural

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BLURB:

Teenagers are being possessed and turning into sadistic murderers. Priests can’t help, nor can psychiatrists. So who is behind the demonic possessions? Jack Nightingale is called in to investigate, and finds his own soul is on the line. New York Night is the seventh novel in the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series.

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BOOK EXCERPT

Sara could see that he was afraid so she smiled what she hoped was a comforting smile. ‘It’s a game,’ she said. ‘It’s just a game.’

‘If you want to play a game, let’s play Grand Theft Auto,’ said her brother. Luke was ten, six years younger than she was. They rarely played together but she needed another pair of hands for the Ouija board and Luke could be relied on to do as he was told.

‘Because I want to play this,’ she said.

‘It’s stupid,’ he said. ‘I’ve never heard of a game like this before.’ He sat back on his heels. They were in her bedroom. He was rarely allowed into her room and had looked at her suspiciously when she had first suggested they play a game together.

‘You liked Charlie Charlie didn’t you? Well this is the same. You can ask it question and it’ll answer.’

‘Charlie Charlie is for fun,’ said the boy.

‘So is this. But with Charlie Charlie you can only pick one of four answers, right? This way the spirits can talk to us.’

‘Spirits? You mean ghosts?’

‘It’s all the same. Look, it’s a game. Just a game. Do you want to play or shall I tell mom you haven’t done your homework?’

Okay, okay,’ mumbled Luke. ‘Don’t give me a hard time.’

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Stephen Leather is one of the UK’s most successful thriller writers, an eBook and Sunday Times bestseller and author of the critically acclaimed Dan “Spider’ Shepherd series and the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective novels.

Before becoming a novelist he was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mirror, the Glasgow Herald, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. He is one of the country’s most successful eBook authors and his eBooks have topped the Amazon Kindle charts in the UK and the US. In 2011 alone he sold more than 500,000 eBooks and was voted by The Bookseller magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the UK publishing world.

Born in Manchester, he began writing full time in 1992. His bestsellers have been translated into fifteen languages. He has also written for television shows such as London’s Burning, The Knock and the BBC’s Murder in Mind series and two of his books, The Stretch and The Bombmaker, were filmed for TV. You can find out more from his website http://www.stephenleather.com and you can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenleather

Jack Nightingale has his own website at www.jacknightingale.com

You can buy New York Night on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/New-York-Night-Nightingale-Supernatural-ebook/dp/B017T03500/

You can buy New York Night on Kobo at https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/new-york-night-the-7th-jack-nightingale-novel

You can buy New York Night on iBooks at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/new-york-night-7th-jack-nightingale/id1057762247

You can buy New York Night at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/591862

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Stephen Leather will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:  http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/01/nbtm-new-york-night-by-stephen-leather.html

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Interview With….

Stephen, thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you.
I have a pilot’s licence, but I don’t really like flying! I did learn how to paraglide (where you fly a parachute with a huge fan on your back) but that was even less fun. I have jumped out of planes four times. The first three times were with the RAF’s display team which meant climbing out onto the wing of a biplane and jumping off. It was a long time ago! But here’s the thing. I have a real fear of heights and almost never use lifts (elevators, as the Americans call them). My publisher used to be based on the 22nd floor of a tower block. I used to walk up the stairs rather than use the lift! I have been stuck in lifts four times in my life so my fears are not groundless!

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Living or dead? If dead, I’d choose Jesus. I have so many questions for him. If living, Stephen Hawking. Again, I have so many questions and frankly I find his black hole book more confusing each time I read it.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
New York Night is the seventh book in the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series. The first five were published by my UK publisher Hodder and Stoughton and were set in the UK. I am now self-publishing the books and have moved the character to the United States. The first self-published book was San Francisco Night and the next one will be Miami Night. In the latest book, teenagers in New York are being possessed and turning into sadistic murderers. Priests can’t help, nor can psychiatrists. So who is behind the demonic possessions? Jack Nightingale is called in to investigate, and finds his own soul is on the line.

What is your writing process?
I sit in front of the TV with my Mac on a coffee table. I watch TV as I write and always have done. It helps when I need to describe a character’s clothing and the credits are always a good source of names! I drink a cup of coffee pretty much every half hour and my cat (one of three) Peanut Butter sits on the sofa next to me to keep me company.

Tell us about your main character:
Jack Nightingale as a cop who was sacked after a man he was interviewing was thrown through a window and fell to his death. No one knew for sure if the man had jumped or if Nightingale had pushed him, but it was the end of his police career. He became a private detective, and just before his thirty-third birthday he is told that his father was a Satanist and that he sold Jack’s soul to a devil. On his birthday, the devil is coming to collect the prize. That’s the first book, in which Jack has to find a way of saving his soul – by the time we get to New York Night he is much more familiar with the supernatural world. He travels from city to city fighting the forces of darkness while keeping his own soul safe. Jack smokes too much (so much so that when I’m writing I feel like having a cigarette even thought I’m not a smoker! He has a good sense of humour and often says things that make me laugh out loud!

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I’m lucky in that at the moment Martin Campbell (Goldeneye, Casino Royale) is directing the movie of my book The Chinaman. The hero of the title is played by Jackie Chan and the IRA villain by Pierce Brosnan. How cool is that? For Jack Nightingale, I think I’d like to see him played by Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s the perfect age!

What are you working on next?
I am working on the 13th Dan ‘Spider’ Shepherd book, Dark Forces. Shepherd is up against a Syrian sniper who travels to England to carry out a terrorist atrocity.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Concentrate on your writing and the readers will seek you out. There’s nothing worse than a writer clamouring for attention, especially on social media. Best to concentrate on producing the best books you can. I wouldn’t bother with Twitter – everyone seems to be shouting and no one is listening – but have an informative and interesting web page and Facebook page. And have an email list that fans can sign up for – that way you are sending information to readers who are genuinely interested in hearing from you! And always respond personally. If a fan has made the effort of contacting you, the least you can do is reply!

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
A book on lock-picking. I am teaching myself to pick locks.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m usually good at predicting the future based on what is happening in the present. I think that comes from spending so much time plotting books. I can usually see when out politicians are making mistakes, and can predict what will happen when things go wrong!

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Time travel, backwards and forwards. It would answer all those questions I need answering. I would love to see how much of our beliefs about our universe are true. I’m not sure I believe in the Big Bang, for instance. Or that the universe is expanding. I figure time travel would provide the answers!

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Go dog-sledding in Alaska
  • Ride a camel across the safari
  • Fly a helicopter
  • Bob-sleigh down the Cresta Run
  • Climb Everest

I’m pretty sure I’ll get around to the first three at some point!

Where can readers find you on the web? My website is www.stephenleather.com and I am often on my Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/stephenleatherofficial – where I am happy to talk to readers!

Any final thoughts?
If you’re a reader, keep reading. And if you’re a writer, keep writing!

VBT ~ Hidden Chamber of Death by Hawk MacKinney

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Hidden Chamber of Death
by Hawk MacKinney

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GENRE: Mystery/Suspense

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BLURB:

Hidden Chamber of Death is a compelling tale of intrigue, murder, deception and suspense that leads retired Navy SEAL/part-time private investigator Craige Ingram in search of the connection between seemingly random murders and a banking conspiracy. Working with the local homicide investigator, who just happens to be a former Navy buddy, Craige Ingram’s attempts to protect a lonely widow and solve the case before another person dies are only thwarted by a psychotic killer whose motivation is based on pure depraved pleasure. In this first book of the MOCCASIN HOLLOW MYSTERY SERIES, the instincts and skills Ingram and his buddy acquired as Navy SEALS are tested to their limits.

recreated in 3D with vintage drawings of the 18th century

recreated in 3D with vintage drawings of the 18th century

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BOOK EXCERPT

Except for the Silver Bluff Museum of Southron Art annual charity event, prominent CEO Llewyn Royce Sedgewicke and PI Craige Howelle Graeme Roynane Ingram didn’t move in the same social circles. Chances were slim to none that Royce Sedgewicke would’ve ever been invited to the sprawling riverfront lands that had once been Grannie Ingram’s dogtrot Moccasin Hollow.

Unlike his collection of mounted big game trophies, portly Royce Sedgewicke’s food-bespattered tuxedoed carcass stretched like public road kill amid the crash and smash of food, china, crystal and splayed floral pieces, and very dead. Last-breath gurgles around his gagging tongue; smart phones madly clicked, flooding social media before the emergency ambulance arrived. The headlines made big local news. Online photos of his swollen tongue and overstuffed derrière made a bigger hit of his grand departure, squandering what little decorum he ever had. That mess was bad enough, but he left a bigger one behind.

The circle cinched a lot less social and way more snug when the head of Buckingham Parish Metro Law Enforcement, Investigative Support Team Graysen MacGerald paid an off-the-record visit to his grown-up-together SEAL Commanding Officer Craige `Peadinger’ Ingram. The death certificate said heart attack—it wasn’t.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. Following graduation, he served in the US Navy for over 20 years. While serving as a Navy Commander, he also had a career as a full-time faculty member at several major state medical facilities. He earned two postgraduate degrees with studies in languages and history. He has taught postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel.

In addition to professional articles and texts on fetal and adult anatomy, Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. This was followed by the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. In a change of direction, October of 2012 saw the release of Hawk’s first science fiction novel, The Bleikovat Event, in The Cairns of Sainctuarie series. Volume II in The Cairns of Sainctuarie series, The Missing Planets, was released in 2014 with Volume III in the works.

Hawk’s latest project focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was just released, and Book 2 in the series, Westobou Gold, will be released in the fall.

http://www.hawkmackinney.com

http://hawkmackinney.net/index_htm_files/hidden_chamber_of_death.mp4

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01APHN1YE/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hidden-chamber-of-death-hawk-mackinney/1123258381

Book Video:

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Hawk MacKinney will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/01/nbtm-hidden-chamber-of-death-by-hawk.html

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Interview With….

Hawk, thanks for being here today. Tell us about you.
Disciplined, objective-oriented. Very seldom say NO to myself; absolutely never when it comes to painting with words. A Triassic irritation if I go more than 36hrs without scribbling notes or editing.

Something unusual that people may not know about you.
When a cream-on-the-strawberries 10min-spotlight has me dead center…the gregarious alter ego is calculatingly evident. Otherwise almost reclusive, & I don’t suffer a lack of courtesy well.

What makes you, you?
Same as the talent-question below…examples set by those I respect…time-proven principles, behavior that is responsible for effects of one’s decisions.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
One day isn’t long enough for me to even read my curious changing-answer(s) to/from the CERN/LHColllider…Albert Einstein perhaps.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
In Hidden Chamber of Death, SEAL Craige HowelleGraemeRoynaneIngram, no longer on active duty…now part-time PI Craige Ingram…is Trustee of Ardochy Manor and the estate of the late eccentric dowager Theosia Ambarella McGiffern. In dealing with legalities, he soon uncovers intrigue, banking conspiracies, deception, blackmail, larcenous rip-offs, a madman’s frenzied trail of murderous lust, and one very captivating young widow. Craige Ingram attempts to protect the lonely widow and solve the case before another person dies, but is thwarted by a psychotic killer with a motivation based on pure pleasure. The instincts and skills Ingram and his buddy, the local homicide investigator, acquired as SEALS are tested to their limits.

What is your writing process?
About 430-5a with a USMCorps thick-kick raw cup of coffee that’s kissin’ cousin to toffee. A break about 930-10a for a lunch—30min exercise or walk. Back at it about 2p. Break at five. From 7-930 & shut down the computer. Not a set-in-stone schedule. A notepad readily handy for murder & mayhem solutions or new twists in the slurry of mayhem or sci-fi…truly the same genre.

Sometimes my writing/editing is pleasant with:
Chopin, Beethoven, Sibelius, Smetana’s Má vlast, the great Russian composers/The Beach Boys/ABBA…music blocks out the world, & one can carve whole pages with Chopin’s etudes in the background. If the music distracts…my man-cave is silenced.

Tell us about your main character:
Craige Ingram in the Moccasin Hollow series, Hidden Chamber of Death, is a wealthy landowner. Formerly an active duty SEAL, Craige has strong family connections in the historical founding of his bloodline in Moccasin Hollow. Loyal to his former SEAL buddies almost to a fault; loves his home, Moccasin Hollow, and the land surrounding it that his Grannie left him. When his parents were killed, it was his Grannie who reared him; and she is the one person who most influenced the man he is today.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why?
Listed in no order:
Eric Christian Olsen
Travis van Winkle
Matt Damon
The specifics of which would depend on script casting. Whether action vs. character-driven depends on the director/producer and the type of film.

What are you working on next?
3 manuscripts…two more titles in the Moccasin Hollow series & one more title in the Cairns of Sainctuarie sci-fi series…drafts are in final edits.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Don’t say NO to yourself. Feed that child that lives within each of us…it’s the wellspring for energies needed for time-eating marketing and is the source of our imagination. Budget time most of all…paying the light bill helps…one can’t buy more time.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
Moccasin Trace – the storied bloodlines of my protagonist in the Moccasin Hollow series.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
No more than anyone else, but country ken & family hillbillies have honed their natural instincts; i.e., hunters-watchers who look-taste-listen to what’s about. I learned from them. I was also fortunate to receive help from individuals who’ve cared for/supported my goals & talents. Some I never knew or met.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
None. One ‘power’ cannot police the planet without undermining its citizens…economically, socially, etc. we are no longer a species from this or that set of borders. Using the plural pronoun ‘we’, one African herder-farmer watching the first moon landing put it most succinctly, “We did it.” We…our dominant species, WE have become a space race. That implies a great deal. If your question refers to special power ‘stuff’…mmm…an expanded brain that would let me file AND remember all the fantasies that spin through each day and sleep-time. Technicolor productions from that ‘secret’ place.

List 5 things on your bucket list:
More than 5 are wrapped in the impossible. More than a few raw manuscripts…if I lived beyond the limits of Methuselah’s 900+ years, I’d never get all the tales told that spring from great-aunts and grannie’s fantasies.

Where can readers find you on the web?
www.hawkmackinney.net
Full descriptive videos of each title released in The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series and The Cairns of Sainctuarie sci-fi series have web links with each title.

Hidden Chamber:

Bleikovat Event:

Missing Planets:

Moccasin Trace:

VBT ~ I’D RATHER WEAR PAJAMAS

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I’d Rather Wear Pajamas
by Chelsea Walker Flagg

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GENRE: Humor/Memoir

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BLURB:

Everybody has the awesome opportunity to find their own strength and path through life. Some come about their self-discoveries through studying and working hard. Others (Chelsea) spend their time nearly burning down kitchens and driving around the country with a car full of hangers.

Chelsea grew up wanting to be “strong.” She thought arguing her way through childhood and becoming a world-class attorney would get her there. But, through a series of humorous, and only slightly embarrassing events, Chelsea comes to realize that maybe her strength is meant to shine in different ways.

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BOOK EXCERPT

I think the real reason I’ve always longed to be viewed as strong is because I’ve never been able to do a single pushup in my entire life. Not a single one. As if gym class isn’t painful enough for every student ever; throw in that little nuance and you’ve got yourself a recipe for ridicule and embarrassment. I’d walk into those dreaded gym periods like I was walking the green mile to my death. The absolute worst was when that splintery rope would be hanging down from the ceiling, taunting me with the realization that it was rope climbing day. You know what I’m talking about, right? Those days couldn’t have been painful for just me. You stand in the lineup of students all waiting their turn while watching the poor sucker on the rope trying to scramble his way at least two inches off the floor. You contemplate ways to make yourself sick in order to get a free pass to the nurse’s office, but then it’s too late and it’s your turn. You pray that you don’t have a hole in your pants as you mount the rope. And then you get nervous. You get really nervous. Which means that you start spontaneously passing insane amounts of gas—while trying to climb the rope—with all your classmates down wind. I’m getting gassy just thinking about it. Blurb 2

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Chelsea was once obsessed with cats, longed to live in a big city, didn’t think she would ever have children, and aspired to be an attorney. She now lives in Boulder, Colorado as a stay-at-home mom and comedic writer with her husband and three daughters. She has no current plans to own a cat.

Chelsea Walker Flagg Social Media Links
http://www.chelseaflagg.com/
https://twitter.com/chelseaflagg
https://www.facebook.com/chelseawalkerflagg
https://www.pinterest.com/chelseaflagg/

Book links: The book will be $0.99 during the tour.

http://www.idratherwearpajamas.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Rather-Pajamas-Chelsea-Walker-Flagg/dp/0996728406/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27082021-i-d-rather-wear-pajamas

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/id-rather-wear-pajamas-chelsea-walker-flagg/1122748957

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

The author will award a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card to one randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/01/vbt-id-rather-wear-pajamas-by-chelsea.html

Patreon.com

COTC1a

Take a moment to check out what we are doing on Patreon. If you like what we are doing please follow, and share.

https://www.patreon.com/ASJPublishing

VBT – Escape from the Past: The Kid

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Escape from the Past: The Kid
by Annette Oppenlander

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GENRE: YA historical/sci-fi

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BLURB:

Time-traveling gamer, Max, embarks on a harrowing journey through the Wild West of 1881! After a huge fight with his parents, Max tries to return to his love and his best friend, Bero, in medieval Germany. Instead he lands in 1881 New Mexico. Struggling to get his bearings and coming to terms with Dr. Stuler’s evil computer game misleading him, he runs into Billy the Kid. To his amazement Billy isn’t at all the ruthless killer history made him out to be. Trouble brews when a dying Warm Springs Apache gives Max a huge gold nugget to help his sister, Ela, escape from Fort Sumner. Shopping for supplies Max attracts the attention of ruthless bandits. Before Max can ask the Kid’s help, he and Ela are forced to embark on a journey to find his imaginary goldmine. This is book 2 in the Escape from the Past trilogy.

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BOOK EXCERPT

My chest began to throb without warning, then tighten. Had it been this painful last time? Ten months had passed since I’d last played. I smiled despite the pain. I couldn’t wait to sneak up on Bero. Hug Juliana. The pressure on my body increased. She’d be mad, of course, but then she’d kiss me. Maybe we could sneak into the barn tonight.

The weight on my lungs grew. Breathing stopped. My vision filled with the red haze of oxygen deprivation. I tried to gulp, but my ribs were glued to my sides. I was stuck…and terrified. The fog turned gray…then black. Like last time, I managed to stand, but my legs and feet stood rooted like the giant oaks in Hanstein’s forest.

My heart pounded in my neck, the only sign I was still alive. The fog deepened. Why was this taking so long? Still the pressure held as if I’d been thrown under a boulder. I was dying.

I’d made a huge mistake.

It’s easy to forget fear. Stuff happens and you get distracted. After a while all you remember are the good things. Now that I was unable to move, unable to do anything, I remembered the way I’d felt the first time I landed in the game. I’d felt terror.

And terror was back now in full force, squeezing my middle and poking at my heart. As the pressure lifted and the fog cleared, the sense of impending doom gripped me with such force that I fell forward. I’d made a horrible mistake.

Stumbling, I stubbed my toes and suppressing a shout. In the near darkness, a rock or cliff rose wide as a house and three stories high. I only saw its outline, a black edge against the starry sky above.

The whistling I’d heard earlier definitely came from between the giant rocks. The air was filled with the scent of grasses, grit and something like sage. Had I returned in the summer?

Behind me the area appeared more open. Maybe I was down near the river and Luanda’s house. Should I move in the dark or wait? I’d get lost, wandering off in the wrong direction.
A cold wind dug under my shirt and nipped at my skin. I tugged my sweater closer around me when I saw something glowing on the ground like a huge red eye.

“Not a move, Boy,” the voice hissed. “Or I’ll blow a hole through your gut.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Annette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for young adults. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.
“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story.”

Social Media Links
Website: http://www.annetteoppenlander.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annetteoppenlanderauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27180530-escape-from-the-past
Twitter: @aoppenlander

Buy Links
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Escape-Past-Kid-book-2/dp/178535213X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1447856090&sr=8-2&keywords=escape+from+the+past+the+kid

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/escape-from-the-past-annette-oppenlander/1122768791?ean=9781785352133

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781785352133

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Annette Oppenlander will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
http://www.goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/01/vbt-escape-from-past-kid-by-annette.html

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INTERVIEW WITH….

Annette, thank for being here today. Tell us about you.
I’m pretty introverted so while I love meeting new people I tend to be most comfortable at home. I’m also fully bilingual because I grew up and studied business in Germany. Because I spoke German with my kids when they were little, I can still switch languages on a dime. Another thing most people don’t know is that I love fly-fishing and am a decent fisher woman. At times I even out-fish the men around me which makes them rather mad.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’d chose to hang out with President Obama. He’s one of the most powerful people in the country and world and I’d love to see how a typical day running the U.S. goes down.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Growing up in Germany, I’ve always been fascinated with the Wild West. I remember watching westerns with my father and reading books about pioneers, American Indians and the gold rush. After I moved to the U.S. I continued reading historical fiction set in the eighteen and nineteen hundreds.

I chose Billy the Kid because I see him as a tragic character who encountered a string of bad luck and was basically set up to fail. He isn’t much older than Max and it’s easy to see how any young man could’ve had Billy’s fate. The second important character is Chief Nana, A Warm Springs Apache warrior, who in the summer of 1881 rode a 3,000 mile vengeance war against the U.S. Army. He was never caught nor were his fifteen or so warriors. The amazing thing about him was his age. He was around eighty years old then and had a bad leg.

What is your writing process?
I typically write in my office, an ex-bedroom with lots of bookshelves and a desk. I have a really great chair that allows me to sit for many hours. Some people love to write in a coffee shop, but I find that too distracting. I use paper/journals for notes and spontaneous thoughts, but I always write on a laptop. You’re talking to a chocoholic, so anything with chocolate works for me and I eat way too much of it on a daily basis. I write drafts in the morning because that’s my most creative time. Editing, research and reading are typically done in the afternoons. I try to write most days though I don’t write much when we’re traveling.

Tell us about your main character
Fifteen-year old Max ‘Nerds’ Anderson recently moved from the U.S. to a German village. His parents are divorced and he lives with his German mother. Max is your typical teen, nerdy and great with computers, smart yet insecure with girls. He’s a gamer so he spends many hours playing video games. The time-travel experience forces Max to go way out of his comfort zone. He has to overcome many obstacles, physical and emotional, while helping other people.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
I’d like somebody like a young Michael J. Fox who’s quirky and silly and smart. It has to be somebody who’d ‘age’ well on screen because I’d hope, all three books would be made into film. In book one, “The Duke’s Wrath” Max is 15, in book three he’s 17.

What are you working on next?
I just finished the third book in the trilogy, “Escape from the Past: At Witches’ End” which takes Max back to the Middle Ages. The manuscript is currently in editing at the publisher. My current writing project is a story about two teens growing up during WW2 in Germany. It’s a love story based on my family, but it is ultimately a story of forgiveness.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
In today’s publishing environment, marketing is a tough proposition. No matter whether you’re traditionally published or self-published, the competition for a reader’s time is fierce. I wish I had a magic bullet for the things that work. I don’t. Here is what I do believe. While you market, keep writing your next book. And your next. Determine who your audience is and where you can find them. Be active on your blog/website. Build an e-mail list. And please…don’t give away your books for free. It defeats the purpose of being an author who spends many thousands of hours creating art.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
I’m reading “The Night Watch” by Sarah Waters. I love her style and the eras she sets her stories in.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I’m truly bilingual, speaking/writing English and German and having lived in both countries for twenty plus years. I’m a decent fly-fisher woman and on occasion out-fish men. I’m a chocoholic and can sniff out chocolate wherever I go. Just kidding on the last part.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
I’d love to be able to fly. Push off the ground and spread my arms. How glorious it must be to see the world from above, soar through valleys and across mountains like an eagle. Aside from the thrill of it, I’d also solve transportation and traffic problems.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Trip around the world
  • Skydiving
  • Bicycling the Euro trail from France to Russia
  • Growing a vegetable garden – was never able to
  • Building a home

Where can readers find you on the web?
Website: www.annetteoppenlander.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annetteoppenlanderauthor/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Annette-Oppenlander/e/B00W8QRTJ4/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?utf8=✓&query=annette+oppenlander

Any final thoughts?
I always love hearing from readers and invite you to leave a comment or note here on the blog or on my website, Goodreads or Facebook author page.

Thank you very much for having me!

VBT – Apocalypse Wow by Ben Mariner

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Apocalypse Wow
by Ben Mariner

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GENRE: Science Fiction/Humor

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BLURB:

Jack Winters is in a bit of a pickle. Things started out just fine. He had a decent job and a few friends. Then he met the woman of his dreams. They go out on a date and things go really well. That’s when things go south. The morning after turns out to be a week later and the world went ahead and ended itself while Jack was far away in dreamland. Now he’s awake in a post-apocalyptic world with no family, no job, and worst of all, no girlfriend. Along with his friends and some other random tag-alongs, Jack will journey cross country to find the woman of his dreams against zombies, heavy metal horsemen, pirates, and a power so immense and evil it will put his very soul to the test.

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BOOK EXCERPT

7:51 a.m.

My alarm went off at the same time it always did. It prattled out its god awful incessant whine like it’s prone to doing as if I actually cared about its existence. I reached a hand out from under the blanket and slapped the snooze button with a little more gusto than I probably should have. Maybe it’s just me, but putting a little extra mustard on that snooze button in the morning gives me a feeling of satisfaction, like it’ll think twice about bothering me again if I just smack it hard enough.

I rolled over and went back to sleep.

8:00 a.m.

The alarm blared back into life. Who decided nine minutes was the standard amount of time for the snooze feature on an alarm clock? Was there some kind of study done at some point that found that people only needed nine minutes of extra sleep at a time? Personally I would think fifteen or twenty minutes would be more appropriate. Again, maybe it’s just me. I pushed the blanket back and lurched onto my feet. The room was spinning ever so slightly. That had to do a little with standing up too fast, and a lot to do with being hung over. I clicked the snooze button on the alarm with the big toe on my right foot. Everything in my room was on the floor. I didn’t own a traditional bed. It was just a futon mattress lying on the floor, so everything had to be at ground level so I could easily reach it. I was trying to adopt a Japanese style of living.

All right, fine. I just couldn’t afford real furniture. Are you happy now that you got me to admit that?

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Ben Mariner is the author of Apocalypse Wow as well as The Many Lives of Zane Montgomery, which definitely sold some copies to some people. He currently lives in Denver with his wife and animals. He enjoys mozzarella sticks, dunk tanks at carnivals, and solving crime with his psychic powers and best friend/sidekick.

Amazon listing:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1507635222?keywords=apocalypse%20wow&qid=1449351236&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/A_Writer_Guy

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBenMariner

Blog:
http://www.awriterguy.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1319987.Ben_Mariner

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Ben Mariner will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/01/vbt-apocalypse-wow-by-ben-mariner.html 

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Interview With….

Ben, thanks for being here today. Tell us about you.
I prefer Oingo to Boingo. I love puzzles both crossword and jigsaw. I was raised on Seinfeld and Friends. I strongly believe in the use of proper punctuation and not shortening words for no reason. If I could be any animal in the world, I would choose a kangaroo.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I would probably say Adam Brody. He just seems like a pretty chill guy that would be super fun to just grab a drink with and debate the everyday minutiae with. Plus, Seth Cohen from The OC is one of my favorite characters of all time.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
That story is over a decade long and kind of hard to sum up quickly. The idea has been bouncing around my head since high school and I kept coming back to it, trying to write it down, but it never really took hold. I never really got past the first chapter until a few years ago. Once I broke that barrier, it was easy to finally bring this book to fruition.

What is your writing process? 
I’ve got to start every writing session off with Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen. With Apocalypse Wow I tried to listen to as much 90’s music as possible to help me get in the 90’s frame of mind.

Tell us about your main character:
Jack Winters is just kind of a loser. He works in a record store with his friends and lives in a crumby apartment. He has an almost unhealthy fixation on 90’s pop culture and a deep rooted love for retro video games. He’s just kind of drifting along, going with the flow and using sarcasm as a way of dealing with the everyday doldrums.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
Unfortunately, since Johnathan Brandis is no longer with us (RIP), I’d want to see Alex Solowitz as Jack. He was absolutely hilarious as Mickey Parke in the 2gether movie back in the early turn of the millennium and I’d like to see him in more of a leading role.

What are you working on next?
Next up is Apocalypse Wow 2: Apocalypse Wower. It’s set a year after the events of the first book. Jack is missing and everyone in the world seems to be out to find him.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
Keep plugging away. Times will come when you think no one cares or wants to read it. We all have to go through those things. Just keep pushing your work out there and know that there will always be people who want to read it.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
I just finished reading The Call By Eli Freysson. It’s a fantastic YA fantasy book that just really captivated me. It was dark and gritty. Really good stuff. I highly recommend that to anyone looking for a good adventure.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I don’t know if it’s a talent necessarily, but I’m a bottomless pit of useless information, especially when it comes to pop culture. I remember things most people never even noticed in the first place. That information, however, almost never comes in handy.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Such a touch question. There’s so many amazing powers. I think I’d go with healing power like Wolverine’s. Mostly because I hate being sick or injured. It’s annoying. So eliminating that would be pretty sweet.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. Get Mickey Mouse to throw the first punch
  2. Wrestle a space troll
  3. Literally eat my weight in pizza rolls
  4. Be an extra in a movie who garners as much attention as the guy double fisting margaritas in Jurassic World
  5. Start an internet company that sells nothing but secondhand Zubaz pants

Any final thoughts?

I just hope everyone who decides to read Apocalypse Wow enjoys it and wants to recommend it to a friend. It’s just out there to entertain, and I hope it does that.

Book Tour – Black Crow White Lie

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Black Crow White Lie
by Candi Sary

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GENRE: Adult-YA Crossover

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BLURB:

Young Carson Calley has a rare and magical gift of healing, a gift which both defines him and threatens to betray him. He lives in Hollywood motels with his alcoholic, fortune-telling mother, Juliette. She nurtures his gift, but her ways are deceptive. She feeds the boy fantastical stories to convince him of his greatness. At fourteen, Carson finally wises up to her lies and his identity is completely shattered. Juliette is too deep in her addiction to help him separate the facts from the fictions, so he looks for answers on the streets of Hollywood. There he finds Faris, a tattoo shop owner, and Casper, a cashier at a head shop. These two unlikely mentors help this troubled yet extraordinary boy find his way to the truth.

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Book Excerpt:

“Putting my hands over her head I felt the tiny stars that always came. It felt like thousands of them came pouring out of my hands. I couldn’t see them with my eyes; I could only see them with my eyes closed. But I could feel them. They filled my hands with heat, and when I shared them with my mom, they made her feel better.
I don’t remember the first time I used the stars, just like I don’t remember the first time I used my voice. When I asked my mom how I got them, she said I just knew I had them in me—the same way I knew I had words in me.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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Candi Sary graduated from the University of California, Irvine. Her awards for Black Crow White Lie include 1st Place in the Dante Rossetti Awards, winner of the Reader Views Literary Award for the West-Pacific, and first runner-up in the Eric Hoffer Award for fiction. Her novel was also adapted into a short film by Chase Michael Wilson. She lives in Southern California with her husband and two children. She can often be found surfing out in the waters of Newport Beach.

www.bluemarybooks.com
www.candisary.com
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B016IPJ5DI
https://www.facebook.com/Blue-Mary-Books-1650366188536453
Instagram: @hers_for_the_reading

Short film trailer:

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Candi Sary will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2015/11/nbtm-black-crow-white-lie-by-candi-sary.html

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Interview With….

Candi. Thanks for being my guest today. Tell us about you
I have two adult kids who just happen to be a couple of the coolest, most interesting people I know, I am happily married to a man as playful and curious about life as I am, and I have a passion for reading and writing. I spend a lot of time at the beach—surfing, paddle boarding, bike riding or just enjoying the sunset. I like to think and analyze, sometimes too much, but I’ve learned to focus my overactive mind on my writing. I have three little dogs who remind me every day, with their wildly wagging tails, that life is good.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
There is so much to discover and enjoy and love in this world. I’m inspired by possibilities. That’s what gets me out of bed each morning—the possibilities for adventure and the opportunities to be touched by someone or something magical. I feel this in my own life, and for my characters in my writing. Sometimes, as a writer, I feel like I have more than just one life. I get to intimately explore the lives of these characters who show up in my head, and feel the joys, pains and lessons of their journeys as if they were mine.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
The first famous person that comes to mind is Brandon Flowers, lead singer for The Killers. I listen to his music all the time. Every day, when I take a break from writing, I go on a long walk to gather my thoughts. For some reason, I’m always compelled to play his music on my walks. His voice, his lyrics, his storytelling—I don’t know the guy and yet I feel such a connection to his art. I’d love to hear the inspiration behind his music, and dig a bit into his amazingly creative mind.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
I chose to explore the life of a healer in Black Crow White Lie—someone who has the amazing ability to cure people of disease. Carson appears to be just an impoverished boy living in hotels with his alcoholic, fortune-telling mother, yet underneath he is extraordinary. The novel takes readers on Carson’s unconventional journey toward his greatness on the provocative and colorful streets of Hollywood.

Tell us your writing process
Most of my writing is exploring the characters as I go. It takes time to get to know them well. I have a general idea for the plot, but I let the characters lead the story as they come to life on the page. I also spend a lot of time away from the computer learning about them and working out storylines. When I go on long walks, while I chop vegetables, while I drive, and even when I clean the house, my mind stays with my characters. There’s something about the simplicity of those activities that free up my mind so that it can use all its energy to feed my stories.

What advice can you share with other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
It seems for me, personal connections lead to successful promotion. When I was able to get bookstore owners to read my book, they told their customers about it and far more books sold than in the stores where it sat unknown. When I attended local book clubs, the women really enjoyed connecting the author to the book, and referred me to several other book clubs, who then referred me to more! That was my favorite part of promoting—meeting readers and discussing the book with them. Some authors are much more creative than I am with social media and they are successful with it, but I have found that personal appearances and connections work best for me.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I first learned to read and write at 5, I knew I wanted to be a writer. Then at twenty-five, while home raising my kids, I officially began my journey as a writer. It hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t even been enjoyable all of the time, but it certainly has been fulfilling in the most unexpected ways.

Tell us about your main character:
For a boy living on the gritty streets of Hollywood, Carson remains fairly innocent and optimistic. He has a mysterious gift of healing that gives him purpose despite his otherwise difficult life. He has a dark side, as would be expected from someone in his situation, but he really tries his best to rise above the darkness. There is also an energy about him that just makes him likable. After the book was published, I read it several more times, just to spend a little more time with the character I so enjoyed writing.

What are you working on next?
I’m working on a ghost story that is somewhat connected to Black Crow White Lie. Magdalena, one of the main characters, is Carson’s sister. She was taken away from her unstable mother and given to her grandmother in Northern California for a better life. Like Carson, Magdalena has a mysterious gift that makes her life as challenging as it is extraordinary.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I have a mug that says, “I write. What’s your superpower?” I like to think my special talent is writing. Otherwise, I’m kind of happily average at the variety of things I try.

Who are your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors are Toni Morrison, Jose Saramago, Jonathan Safran Foer and David Foster Wallace. I also love to discover lesser-known authors who write wonderfully out-of-the-ordinary novels. Haruki Murakami says: “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

What do you like to do with your free time?
I like to spend time with my family and friends. I love being active—taking long walks out in nature, surfing, paddle boarding and bike riding. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, and I also really enjoy cooking.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
The ghost story I mentioned before is still in the works. It’s moving slowly, but I have a good feeling about it. Hopefully I can have a first draft done this year, and next year I’ll work on edits and re-writes. So maybe it can be released in 2018. Sounds like a long time but it should be worth the wait!

Where can people find you on the web?

Website: www.bluemarybooks.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Blue-Mary-Books-1650366188536453/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CandiSary

YouTube trailer of the short film based on my novel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoD7KICbNYY

Instagram: hers_for_the_reading

Any final thoughts?

I really appreciate you having me on your blog. Thanks for hosting. During the blog tour Black Crow White Lie is on sale in the Kindle store for only 1.99. I hope you and your readers will take a look!

Blog Tour ~ The Daffodils Still Grow

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About the Book:

Title: The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughter
Author: Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell
Publisher: Mascot Books
Pages: 38
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

The Daffodils Still Grow is a full-color illustrated book that portrays life after a loved one dies as seen from the observations of a motherless child. “Beautiful and inspiring.”

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For More Information

  • The Daffodils Still Grow is available at Amazon.

  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.

  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

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Giveaway:

Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell is giving away a The Daffodils Still Grow T-shirt!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one The Daffodils Still Grow t-shirt

  • This giveaway begins February 1 and ends April 29.

  • Winners will be contacted via email on April 30.

  • Winners have 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author

Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell

The Daffodils Still Grow was inspired by diary entries of the author/illustrator, Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell, after the death of her mother when she was 14. “My mother committed suicide when I was 14, and after nearly a year of crying and hurting, I was surprised — almost shocked — to see the daffodils she planted right before her death still bloom again. It was a big wake-up call to me that, even though she was gone, I could still carry on without her FOR her. Somehow, our loved ones still find a way of communicating with us when we need it the most.” Sherri Elizabeth now attends Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. She has a BA in both communications and studio arts from Austin Peay State University. She hopes that every parent will know how irreplaceable and loved they are to their children and that every child who has lost a parent will know they are not alone. Remember, the daffodils still grow!

For More Information

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Interview With….

Sherri, thanks for being here today. Tell us about you. 
I guess I could say I’m a deeply flawed person in a lot of ways, but who a person is, I think, should always be entangled into who they are as a writer – or as an artist, or a creator of any kind. Writing (creating) runs deeper than jobs that are done for dollars, and it has the power to bridge gaps, to touch people’s hearts and to heal. Being vulnerable and brave enough to put your heart out there as an artist and as a person is the one decision that will usually make what you are creating worthwhile and make it matter. It will be the one reason why it connects to those who see it or read it. So, be vulnerable. Be open. Be brave and be you.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Brenda Euland (1891-1985) because she was so encouraging of writers and because she was such an inspiration

What’s the story behind your latest book?
The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters was inspired by diary entries I wrote as a child while grieving for my mother. It gives a voice to children who experience that loss and also shares some hopeful insight about how a mother’s love and legacy continues on.

What is your writing process? 
I usually start by asking myself what I want people to get out of the book, how I want it to make them feel and why (I hope) it will be worth their time reading it. Then, I ask myself how I can do that.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.
The model who posed for the illustrations in the book is also an actress, so of course she would play the lead role — Hayden Gael Barnes.

What are you working on next?
I’m trying to branch out into fiction, specifically YA mysteries.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?
I would approach it with a giving spirit. If you can find people who are in need of the story you’re telling, give them your story. They will pay you back in feedback and in doing their own marketing for your book, because they’ll be that excited and that pleased.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?
If You Want to Write by Brenda Euland

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Tenacity? Does that count?

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?
Magic – so that I could magically fix everyone’s problems and make everything okay

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. To have children and be an excellent mother

  2. To do something that helps animals in a powerful way

  3. To write and publish at least 3 novels that make a positive difference in the world

  4. To provide more for the people I love

  5. To make a living as a writer

Where can readers find you on the web?

www.facebook.com/thedaffodilsstillgrow

www.facebook.com/sherrielizabethtidwell

www.sherrielizabethtidwell.com

www.twitter.com/daffodilsgrow

www.twitter.com/booksbysherri

Any final thoughts?

A quote from Natalie Goldberg: “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”