Category Archives: Interviews

VBT – FINDING GEORGE WASHINGTON

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Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale
by Bill Zarchy

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GENRE: Sci-Fi / Alternate History / Baseball Saga / Action Thriller

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BLURB:

On a freezing night in 1778, General George Washington vanishes. Walking away from the Valley Forge encampment, he takes a fall and is knocked unconscious, only to reappear at a dog park on San Francisco Bay—in the summer of 2014.

Washington befriends two Berkeley twenty-somethings who help him cope with the astonishing—and often comical—surprises of the twenty-first century.

Washington’s absence from Valley Forge, however, is not without serious consequences. As the world rapidly devolves around them—and their beloved Giants fight to salvage a disappointing season—George, Tim, and Matt are catapulted on a race across America to find a way to get George back to 1778.

Equal parts time travel tale, thriller, and baseball saga, Finding George Washington is a gripping, humorous, and entertaining look at what happens when past and present collide in the 9th inning, with the bases loaded and no one warming up in the bullpen.

BookCover_FindingGeorgeWashington

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EXCERPT

Aurora

The General watched as the Northern Lights spread, shimmered, and swirled through the sky like the smoke from God’s own cigar, now rising, now dipping, now twirling and pulsing.

Though soldiers often considered the aurora a bad omen, at that moment it thrilled him. To the east, he could see the glow of sentry fires of some of the closer regiments, the troops hunkered down for the night. A short distance to the south, the men of his personal guard occupied their own group of makeshift huts within sight of the farmhouse.

It’s cold. I should get back before Patsy and the staff begin to miss me.

He paused and took a deep breath of the night air. He was a durable and determined man who had survived cold and wintry weather during his early life as a surveyor and, later, as a British officer. He would show his Continental Army troops that the cold didn’t bother him, that staying strong was a state of mind. Certainly they had it worse than he did, but they respected that he had refused to move out of his tent into the stone farmhouse until his men moved out of their tattered shelters into log huts.

The fluid, ethereal display of light in the skies danced and pulsated. Before he could climb down the hill and head back toward the farmhouse, the ground under his feet began to shake and rumble, providing a steady, geological drumbeat to accompany the green and red light in the sky. The terrain rolled. He lost his footing on the ice, just at a point where a crisp moonbeam seemed to hit the patch of turf he was crossing.

The earth came up to meet him, and he banged his head on the frozen ground. Woozy and lightheaded, teetering on the edge of consciousness, he felt a great sadness, felt the bones in his body melt in the shard of moonlight, even as, in his remaining awareness, he realized the moon was not out that evening. He felt his body scooped off the ground, as if by a vengeful wind, then tumbled in a heap onto something hard and unyielding that swept him along at a great rate of speed. All went dark.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Bill Zarchy filmed projects on six continents during his 40 years as a cinematographer, captured in his first book, Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil. Now he writes novels, takes photos, and talks of many things.

Bill’s career includes filming three former presidents for the Emmy-winning West Wing Documentary Special, the Grammy-winning Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em, feature films Conceiving Ada and Read You Like A Book, PBS science series Closer to Truth, musical performances as diverse as the Grateful Dead, Weird Al Yankovic, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, and countless high-end projects for technology and medical companies.

His tales from the road, personal essays, and technical articles have appeared in Travelers’ Tales and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, the San Francisco Chronicle and other newspapers, and American Cinematographer, Emmy, and other trade magazines.

Bill has a BA in Government from Dartmouth and an MA in Film from Stanford. He taught Advanced Cinematography at San Francisco State for twelve years. He is a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and a graduate of the EPIC Storytelling Program at Stagebridge in Oakland. This is his first novel.

findinggeorgewashington.com
findinggeorgewashington.com/blog
billzarchy.com

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0984919120/
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NXXNLBB/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Finding-George-Washington-A-Time-Travel-Tale-by-Bill-Zarchy-112403433952296

The book will be $0.99.
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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Bill Zarchy be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

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Interview With …..

Thanks for being here today. Tell us about you as a person.

I love sunset walks on the beach, dogs, and a warm fire. I’m allergic to cats, so what looks like a sweet, purring ball of cuddly fluff to you looks like a scratchy, itchy, sneezy hour to me. I have always been a writer. My dad gave me an old portable typewriter when I was a young lad, and I taught myself to type pretty quickly with two fingers. I convinced some relatives to pay me money for a “subscription” to a family newspaper that I published with carbon paper and light gossip for an issue or two. I wrote a column for my high school paper and was managing editor of the campus daily when I was an undergrad at Dartmouth. I was seduced by visual media after graduate film school at Stanford, and I ignored my writing for a long time, till about 20 years ago.

My wife and I have been together nearly 50 years, 43 of them married. We’ve lived in the same house for 35 years. We love family, baseball, music, movies, friends, theatre, and ballet. As a tall guy who’s never been good at basketball, I hated basketball for much of my life, a whiny response to folks saying, “Wow, you’re so tall! You must be SO good at hoops!” We have two wonderful sons. One is a speech-language pathologist, and one is a lawyer.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

I’ve been researching Franklin D. Roosevelt for another novel, and I would very much like to meet him, to see how it feels to be in his presence. I’m intrigued by the sparkling personality that emerged from the twists and turns of his remarkable life — raised in wealth and privilege, struck down by polio, a cruel twist of fate. Then coming back from that depressing low point to be elected president four times, always depicted smiling. Historians attribute the great empathy he exhibited toward others to his own life narrative of triumph over adversity. I’d love to spend time with him, perhaps as a fly in the wall, and try to see if his warmth and empathy is genuine, or something fabricated for the cameras, to enhance his public image. I don’t mean to sound cynical. I’d just love to meet him.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

The presidents have always fascinated me, especially Washington. He’s so far back in time that his accomplishments have always seemed larger than life, and perhaps they were. As a young boy, I often asked myself how I would explain technology — like trains, cars, planes, cameras, movies — to George Washington, if he suddenly left his horse-and-buggy age and appeared in mine. When I was looking for an idea for a novel a few years ago, that old notion popped up again, and I began to develop it as a comical, fish-out-of-water story. As I learned more about George, I began to see him as the pre-eminent figure of his age, which sparked a new theme. What if he never returned to Valley Forge? What cascading effect would that have on the history of the world? Then my beloved Giants had a magnificent season, and I began to fold a baseball metaphor and theme into the story mixture. It’s all a big stew, really.

What is your writing process?

When I was younger, I could write and think in the midst of chaos, surrounded by people and media. But lately, as my attention has become more fragmented, I need peace and quiet. I only write in my office, formerly my son’s room, which I took over some years ago. I have a comfy chair, good elbow support, a keyboard in a tray off a large wooden desk. I use a Mac laptop on a stand, which raises it up to match the height of an adjacent large monitor.

I marvel at folks like you who can write while listening to songs with lyrics. We must be a different species. I can’t have words floating around in the air around my head when I’m trying to compose words inside it, but more power to you if it works for you! I only listen to instrumental music. Lots of jazz, usually soft jazz. I have a Miles Davis / John Coltrane playlist that lasts 16 hours, though some of it’s too raucous for writing. I play classical sometimes, looking for pieces that have a steady dynamic range throughout, like chamber music, rather than those that get very loud and very soft, like concerti or symphonies.

I work best in two-to-four hour shifts, with breaks for pit stops and stretching as needed.

Tell us about your main character:

My main character is General George Washington of the Continental Army, who comes to the present. This is not the old, marble-faced, unhappy-looking guy on the dollar bill, but a tall, vigorous, powerful leader in his mid-40s, who’s perplexed by his sudden shifts in venues and centuries. He’s very intense, but exercises tight self-control, rarely shows anger. He’s a man’s man who nonetheless enjoys the company of women. An excellent rider and a graceful dancer. In his own era, he was the most famous man in the Colonies — and one of the richest — despite having little formal education.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.

It’s tough to imagine who could play Washington credibly, but I think William Hurt has a broad, strong face and the right kind of presence to pull it off. Unfortunately, he’s 71 now, more than a quarter century older than George in my story. I thought David Morse did a good job portraying Washington in the mini-series John Adams, but he’s in his late 60s. I also liked the accent he used for George. Hurt and Morse are both tall, like George.

What are you working on next?

Right now, I’m working with an actor on an audiobook version of Finding George Washington. We’ve done all the recording, but it needs to be edited, checked, corrected, and mixed. I hope to be able to release the audiobook in just a few weeks. David Boyll, the actor, is performing all the different roles with different voices, and he’s highly skilled at accents. For George, he’s been using a sort of an English West Counties accent, similar to David Morse in John Adams. It’s been fun hearing my words come to life!

I’m also planning a sequel to Finding George Washington. It’s about FDR, titled Saving Franklin. It centers on an incident from 1933, where Franklin D. Roosevelt, newly elected to his first term as president, is the object of an attack by a seemingly crazed gunman. FDR is unhurt, but half a dozen shots were fired, causing several injuries and two deaths. It’s a ‘what-if’ story. What if Roosevelt had been killed that night and never become president? What would happen to the U.S. and the rest of the world without FDR’s leadership through the Depression and World War II? I’ve made a couple of research trips and written a bit of this, involving some of the same characters in Finding George.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

First and foremost, make it the best book you possibly can. Write, edit, rewrite. Get notes from other writers and learn how to get and give constructive, positive feedback. If you possibly can, have your book professionally edited. Get on social media and join online interest groups. Get a website. Blog and post about yourself and your book and other subjects. Plan online and in-person events with bookstores and libraries and other organizations. Ask readers who like your book to post online reviews for it. Purchase reviews from Clarion, Kirkus, and other review services. Do a book blog tour. Advertise if you can.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

The book I’m most looking forward to reading is Spider Woman’s Daughter, by Anne Hillerman, her first novel about the Navajo Tribal Police. She took over the series from her father Tony Hillerman after he passed away a dozen years ago. I saw the author speak at an online book chat a few weeks ago, and I recalled how much I enjoyed the earlier books in the series. I ordered her book and wrote to her, and she graciously accepted a copy of my debut novel, Finding George Washington.

Anne’s book will have to wait a little while. I normally only read one book at a time, but right now, I’m in the middle of both A Promised Land, by Barack Obama, and Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, by James Nestor, and I can’t deal with the idea of being in the middle of three books at once.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I worked for many years as a cinematographer, shooting film and video projects on six continents, and I taught Advanced Cinematography at San Francisco State for twelve years. Since retiring from the film business six years ago, I’ve studied (oral) storytelling and, in 2018, produced and performed my first one-man storytelling show called “Billy Solo;” in 2019, curated and hung my first photo exhibition; and in 2020, published my first novel, Finding George Washington: A Time Travel Tale.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?

I want x-ray vision!

I want to be able to see into buildings and containers and vehicles. I want to know what’s inside nearly everything around me.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Feel safe enough to travel again.
  • Visit Antarctica. I’ve been to the other six continents and would love to collect the whole set.
  • Attend Game 7 of the World Series in San Francisco, in great seats on the field level, as my beloved Giants win it all!
  • Write several more books, mostly novels.
  • See Finding George Washington made into a movie.

Any final thoughts?

This has been fun. Great questions. Thanks so much for hosting me!

Book Tour – DRAGON(E) BABY GONE

TourBanner_Dragon(e) Baby Gone

Dragon(e) Baby Gone
(Reports from the Department of Intangible Assets Book 1)

by Robert Gainey

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GENRE: Mystery Fantasy

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BLURB:

Diane Morris is part of the thin line separating a happy, mundane world from all of the horrors of the anomalous. Her federal agency is underfunded, understaffed, and misunderstood, and she’d rather transfer to the boring safety of Logistics than remain a field agent. When a troupe of international thieves make off with a pair of dragon eggs, Diane has no choice but to ally with a demon against the forces looking to leave her city a smoldering crater. Facing down rogue wizards, fiery elementals, and crazed gunmen, it’s a race against time to get the precious cargo back before the dragon wakes up and unleashes hell.

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EXCERPT

Modern times gave way to a general idea that reason and logic were enough to stop something from dragging you into the sewers and wearing your skin to protect itself from daylight. It’s easy to see why: it doesn’t happen to a lot of people, therefore it must not happen. I see it all the time, people who say things like “I’ve never seen a ghost, so they must not exist.”

Oh yeah? Because if spirits did exist, they’d all be tripping over their ghost dicks to haunt you? Do you understand the preternatural forces that conspire, the circumstances that line up, to create any kind of ghost? Let alone one that shows up in your room at night and moans about revenge or betrayal or rattles some chains and teaches you a valuable lesson about being selfish?

“Well, there’s no such thing as Bigfoot. All those pictures are super blurry and grainy,” they say, their voices nasally and snobby, like all the knowledge of the world is pumped directly into their tiny brains through their tiny phones. Go stand out in a remote Colorado forest one night. Turn off your phone, open your eyes and ears, and wait. When you feel those eyes watching, and when you know, deep in that primitive monkey brain, way, way down inside, that there’s more than just the animals you have names for sharing that clearing with you, then you can call me to tell me that there’s no such thing as Bigfoot.

That is, if you live to turn your phone back on again.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Robert Gainey is a born and raised Floridian, despite his best efforts. While enrolled at Florida State University and studying English (a language spoken on a small island near Europe), Robert began volunteering for the campus medical response team, opening up a great new passion in his life. Following graduation, he pursued further training through paramedic and firefighting programs, going on to become a full time professional firefighter in the State of Florida. He currently lives and works in Northeast Florida with his wife and dogs, who make sure he gets walked regularly. Robert writes near-fetched fantasy novels inspired by the madness and courage found in everyday events.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RNGainey
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/robertngainey/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robert.gainey
Blog: https://robertgainey.blogspot.com/
Website: robertgainey.com

BUY LINKS:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragon-robert-gainey/1139526445

https://books.google.com/books/about/Dragon_e_Baby_Gone.html?id=vY17zgEACAAJ

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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

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Interview With …

What is something you’ve lied about?
I once told my wife I was going up into town to try and find a piece of specialty wood for a desk I was building. There are a couple sawmills who stock stuff like magnolia, white oak, cypress, that sort of thing, so it was a plausible lie, and I’d been talking about building this desk for a few months. This was during the pandemic lockdown, so my wife was working from home, so she’d have noticed me missing from the house for four or five hours, and I needed a good excuse. About two hours in, I had to call and make up some story about the first place not having anything I wanted, so I was going to have to drive further out to another and see what they had.

The truth was, I actually drove to an animal rescue in Jessup, Georgia to get a puppy for my wife. She’d never suspected for a second I’d been anything less than truthful, so when I walked in with Magnus it was worth every mile just to see the look on her beautiful face.

Who is the last person you hugged?
My wife, naturally. As long as I’ve got arms, that’ll always be the last person I’ve hugged at the end of every day.

What are you reading now?
I’m branching out into a genre I don’t normally get into, reading Helen C. Johannes’ Lord of Druemarwin. I’m also in the process of reading Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War by Judith Miller, but that’s at the fire station so I only read it every third day.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?
I’m a big fan of puns and wordplay. I find something memorable, something funny, something that I’d look at and say, “Huh, I’ll give that a try.”

Share your dream cast for your book.
It’s funny you should ask, since my wife and I just discussed this a few days ago. It may seem like a kind of vanity project, but we did slap together something resembling a casting call.
Diane – Aya Cash
Archades – Josh Brolin
LaFleur – Lance Reddick
Sadie – Gwendoline Christie
Jericho (voice only) – Chris O’Dowd

I’m happy to field phone calls from any of them. No need to be shy.

VBT – HUNGER WINTER

TourBanner_Hunger Winter

Hunger Winter

by Rob Currie

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GENRE: MG Historical Fiction

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BLURB:

It’s the Netherlands in late 1944. Thirteen-year-old Dirk’s Papa left to fight with the Resistance. Then Mama died. When the Gestapo snatched his older sister and he learned they were coming for him next, Dirk left home in the middle of the night. He had his pockets stuffed with food, his little sister asleep in his arms, and his heart heavy with a dark secret.

Cover_Hunger Winter

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EXCERPT

BAM! BAM! BAM!

Dirk Ingelse’s eyes flew open, and he raised his head off the pillow. Who could be knocking on the front door? Gestapo? His insides turned to ice.

The pounding resumed, the sound carrying easily up the stairs into Dirk’s bedroom. It didn’t sound like the rap of knuckles—it was more like the thumping of an angry fist. Or the butt of a rifle.

It had to be the Gestapo. They had been doing more raids lately, and they often came at night. Who else would pummel the front door of the Ingelse’s farmhouse in the middle of the night and risk getting arrested?

Dirk rolled out of bed and crept to his bedroom window. Easing the curtain open a bit, he kept his face away from the window, like Papa had taught him. He couldn’t see a vehicle. But what if they hid their car? Dirk’s right hand shook.

He couldn’t hide. They would tear the place apart to find him. And he couldn’t run—they would have the place surrounded. He’d heard stories. His right hand shook harder. It had been doing that a lot ever since—

The assault on the door resumed, even louder this time. “Open up!” growled a deep voice.

Dirk turned from the window and crept down the stairs.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Life conspired to get Rob Currie to write Hunger Winter: A World War II Novel. His father is a World War II veteran and his wife is Dutch. An award-winning author, it was only a matter of time before he would focus his writing on World War II. Research for Hunger Winter included numerous books, interviews with Dutch WWII survivors, and three weeks in the Netherlands. His investigation revealed astonishing details about the Dutch experience of the war, which begged to be turned into a book.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, he graduated from Cornerstone University and went on to earn a master’s degree and doctorate in psychology from St. Louis University. He has taught psychology at Judson University since 1987. His hobbies include playing basketball, cooking, and writing poetry.

Author Web Site: www.robcurrieauthor.com

Buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Hunger-Winter-World-War-Novel/dp/1496440358/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Rob Currie will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Author Interview

Tell us about you as a person. What makes you, you?

I enjoy being creative with words and one avenue of doing that is writing humorous poetry. I want to do with words what the Harlem Globetrotters do with a basketball. Here’s a sample.

There once was a hard-working poet

Who lacked talent but didn’t know it.

He worked to be witty. He tried to be terse.

But his poetry went from bad to verse.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

My person would be Corrie ten Boom. She survived a WWII concentration camp, yet her faith enabled her to forgive her captors.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

This book is like fusion cooking for me in that it combines multiple interests of mine. But instead of combining culinary styles, this book blends my love of World War II, books for kids, and action stories. It helps me be successful when I work at something I am passionate about. And for me, the key to being passionate is to pour my energy into a project that addresses more than one thing I love.

What is your writing process?

I get ideas for stories from just about anywhere. It’s like being in love and anything you see feeds into the way you relate to your sweetie. For example, I got a poignant plot idea for Hunger Winter from an article in the The Chicago Tribune about a young man who partially blamed himself for his mother’s death even though it wasn’t his fault. Most of my story is written by sitting and putting in the hard work and long hours. But some of the key elements come to me from things I experience or read when I’m not actively working on the book at that moment.

Tell us about your main character.

Thirteen-year-old Dirk has to hide from the Nazis, protect his sister, and find their father. His story is an action-adventure, a sort of junior James Bond or Indiana Jones. More than once he thinks he’s safe and the danger’s behind him, but he discovers the enemy has caught up with him again. He’s fiercely protective of his little sister and has a close relationship with his Papa.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why?

I’d pick Daniel Radcliffe, who portrayed Harry Potter. Daniel has the ability to summon and display courage in the face of difficult situations.

What are you working on next?

I’m doing research for a sequel to Hunger Winter. I’m also taking time to read a variety of books, with a range of topics and styles. I believe authors have to replenish their minds with fresh ideas before writing the next book. We’ve all read novels where the sequel sounds too much like the prior story. I don’t want to do that.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

Network with other people with the same writing interests as you. Devote yourself to be helpful to them even if you get nothing in return. In the end, it will come back to you as people will go out of their way to promote your work. Someone said, “She is always on other people’s minds because she never thought about herself. She was always focused on helping other people.”

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I enjoy opening the refrigerator, seeing what we have, and improvising a new recipe. It’s a little like creating a story. You have to think how the food ingredients interact and the planning process is similar to putting together the elements of a story.

You are given the choice of one superpower. What superpower would you have and why?

I would choose the ability to say things that always make people laugh. I have a lively sense of humor and I get laughs but not always. One of life’s greatest joys is to makes a friend or family member laugh.

List 5 things on your bucket list.

  1. .Learn to speak Dutch
  2. Have one of my songs performed at a concert
  3. Visit more Civil War War Battlefields
  4. Write a sequel to Hunger Winter
  5. Perform a successful standup comedy routine
  6. Build a simple cabin in the woods
  7. Learn to count to five 😊

Where can readers find you on the web?

www.robcurrieauthor.com

Any final thoughts?

Two endorsements for Hunger Winter:

The Corrie ten Boom House Foundation runs a WWII museum in the Netherlands, which is where Hunger Winter is set. They wrote:

I read this book with great interest. I would love to encourage everyone to read this book. Hunger Winter succeeds in describing a very realistic picture of the situation in the Netherlands when the country was in a very difficult time.”

This is a fine book! Bravo to author Rob Currie. I loved it all—every word and every layer.”

Louise Borden, Author of Ski Soldier: A World War II Biography

One more thing:

Half of the author’s royalties go to Compassion International, a charity which gives food to hungry children around the world. Due to the strong response to Hunger Winter, so far over $3,000 has been donated since the book’s release in early March.

Author website: www.robcurrieauthor.com

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/yaen3br8

Barnes and Noble: https://tinyurl.com/yc73xnjw

Books-A-Million https://tinyurl.com/y7ppskxn

VBT – Vengeance of Grimbald

TourBanner_Vengeance of Grimbald

Vengeance of Grimbald

by Richard Hacker

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GENRE: Fantasy Thriller

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BLURB:

Addison and Jules, members of the League, a secret alchemist society of Inkers who protect the time continuum, believe they defeated their enemy, Cuthbert Grimwald, known to them as Kairos. When he resurfaces filled with vengeance, intent on destroying the League, and acquiring the Alchimeia, a book of such power the League has hidden it for millennia, Grimwald leaves a path of destruction across centuries. As he quests for absolute control of reality, Addison and Jules pursue him through time and death in a desperate struggle to save the world from his vengeance.

Cover_Vengeance of Grimbald

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EXCERPT

You’ve done well my friends. A bit of a shaky start, but in the end, I am pleased with the result.”

Jules glanced to Addison, who was also pulling himself up to stand. “What are you talking about? You could have killed us.”

If I wanted you dead, we wouldn’t be talking.” Boggy raised his hands as if to parry their blows. “Today’s lesson is partnership. Do you see?”

Addison slowly rotated an arm with a grimace. “Keep talking.”

Inking is a dangerous enterprise. You find yourself in a foreign world in an earlier time, often fighting to survive long enough to complete your mission. But the physical dangers of inking do not hold a candle to the emotional and psychological dangers. Your consciousness, the essence of your being, occupies the mind of another. With each passing moment, a small part of who you are slips out of your grasp unless you master the relationship between Inker and host. You must die to live, right? But all living creatures naturally gravitate toward life and away from death. The world of an Inker is therefore a paradox of conflicting realities. Without a partner, you struggle alone against insurmountable odds. Partners have each other’s backs, keeping the hosts alive and the mission viable. And upon completion, partners ensure their hosts die. Because we never leave an Inker behind. Never.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Richard Hacker, lives and writes in Seattle, Washington after living many years in Austin, Texas. In addition to the science fiction/fantasy novels of The Alchimeía Series, his crime novels ride the thin line between fact and fiction in Texas. Along the way, his writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. As a judge in literary contests shuch as PNWA and ChicLit, and as a freelance development editor, he enjoys the opportunity to work with other writers. In addition, he is the Sci-Fi/Fantasy editor for the Del Sol Review. DIE BACK was his first novel in the Alchimeia series.

Del Sol Press books by Richard Hacker are available at Amazon

The Alchimeía Series

DIEBACK: Book One

VENGEANCE OF GRIMBALD: Book Two

Other books by Richard Hacker:

Nick Sibelius Crime Series

KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE

BUZZARD BAIT

ALL HAT AND NO CATTLE

Follow the author at www.richardhacker.com

Or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RWHacker

Amazon buy link:

https://www.amazon.com/Vengeance-Grimbald-Alchime%C3%ADa-Richard-Hacker/dp/0999842595/

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Richard Hacker will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

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Richard, thanks for being my guest. Tell us about you as a person.

I’d say people who know me well, know me as creative and willing to fall flat on my face. So I took up drawing last year after not drawing anything but stick figures since childhood. I kept a sketch journal on a recent trip to Europe. Urban sketching is the sort of thing where you’re putting yourself out in the world. You’re standing on a busy street drawing the scene. People come by to chat, to see what I’m up to. It’s still a bit scary, but I keep on doing it. And what a great way to see the world with new eyes! Another thing that takes me out of my comfort zone is singing in a vocal jazz ensemble. I’ve always enjoyed singing—choral music & singer-songwriter music with a guitar, but doing a scat solo in a performance is pretty challenging (to me, least). One other thing most people don’t know about me is that was an instrument rated private pilot. I’m not active anymore, but flying is a peak experience in my life.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

Barak Obama. Have a beer, shoot some hoops, talk about the world. What a day that would be.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

Six hundred years after a fifteenth century scryer gains the alchemical knowledge to create a dark future in his own image, Addison Shaw inherits a destiny: to fight this ancient war that threatens all he loves with extinction. Using an alchemical pen, he writes himself into past lives, leaving his body in the present. Upon completion of his mission, he must die in order to break the link and return home. Addison, and his inking partner, Jules, are members of the League, a secret alchemist society of Inkers who protect the time continuum. They believe they defeated their enemy, Cuthbert Grimwald, known to them as Kairos. When he resurfaces filled with vengeance, intent on destroying the League, and acquiring the Alchimeia, a book of such power the League has hidden it for millennia, Grimwald leaves a path of destruction across centuries. As he quests for absolute control of reality, Addison and Jules pursue him through time and death in a desperate struggle to save the world from his vengeance.

What is your writing process?

My writing process is intentionally unstructured. I’ve got lots of colleagues who like to have a certain environment, like yourself, certain music, a specific location. I know one writer who has to have a latte and chocolate or it’s just not going to happen. LOL. Each of us has to find our own path. Mine is to ready to write anywhere, anytime, under any circumstance. I’ve written on planes, trains, buses and cars; in coffee shops, studies, offices, park benches; morning, day, and night; in silence or with music. I will say, while I do try to be flexible, some situations provide more challenge than others. I was on a plane with a small extremely unhappy child (and a parent with weary survivor eyes) screaming. Yeah, it was a bit difficult to concentrate.

Tell us about your main character.

Addison Shaw is a twenty-something young man whose father was brutally murdered. He walks with a cane because of a leg injury he received in a car accident as a teenager. Addison is emotionally fragile, especially in light of the loss of his father, but he also has an deep inner strength that enables him to persist even when his world appears to be falling apart.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why.

I think I’d go with either John Krasinkski (The Office, Jack Ryan) or Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker, Altered Carbon). Both of those actors do a great job of projecting their humanity and internal pain while having the ability to be pretty kick ass.

What are you working on next?

I’m currently working on the third book in the Alchimeia series—untitled at this point. And I’ve got another project I’ve worked on and off over several years, a humorous science fiction story along the lines of Tom Holt’s novels, called THE BIFURCATION OF DUNGSTEN CREASE. Hopefully, Book 3 of the Alchimeia will be out in 2021.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

I’ve done a lot of different things from book tours to release parties to email campaigns. I can’t say I’ve found any one thing that is the silver bullet. The book business is very crowded these days, so I think you just have to be persistent. Keep putting yourself out there.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

If you by shelf you mean what I’m reading right now, well I got inspired by the HBO version of His Dark Materials to read Pullman’s trilogy again. I’m currently on the last book and it still reads well. If you mean my fav from anything on my bookshelf—way harder question! Books that come to mind: Ian Tregillis, The Mechanicals; Iain Pears, The Instance at the Fingerpost; William Gibson, Neuromancer; China Miéville, The City In The City. But I could go on and on.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

Not sure how special they are. I draw, I write, I sing, and I cook. Occasionally I do one of those in an extraordinary way—I hope.

You are given the choice of one super power. What super power would you have and why?

Mind control. We’d always go to the restaurant of my choice and I’d guest post on your blog. (Dammit! Didn’t mean to say that. (I’m gazing at you with my super-power mind control eyes). You have just forgotten what I said about guest posting…

List 5 things on your bucket list:

  • Tour Japan
  • Tour Australia
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Speak a second language fluently –I’m going for Spanish
  • Stand on the site of first powered flight at Kitty Hawk.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Thanks for having me on the blog and thanks readers for dropping in today. Please check out DIE BACK and VENGEANCE OF GRIMBALD. Both are available on Amazon. And I’d love to hear from you. Visit my website, www.richardhacker.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RWHacker and drop me a line.

I don’t have a trailer for Vengeance of Grimbald, but I do for Die Back and it’s a good visual introduction to the series. You can find it here.

Any final thoughts?

Two things I’d like to add. First, the underlying message of the Alchimeia series is about courage and perseverance. When life looks hopeless, when everything seems to be turned upside-down, the people who make a difference are not superheroes, but people like you and me, who persevere in spite of the odds. And second, readers are the reason for the season. Without you, writers would be lonely people sitting in coffee shops pounding on laptops. With you, we become the tellers of fantastical stories, entertainers, philosophers, and poets. And together, a writer and a reader, we make magic. Thank you for sharing some of your life with me.

VBT – LEARNING TO BEND

TourBanner_Learning to Bend

Learning To Bend

by Michelle Davis

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GENRE: Women’s Fiction

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BLURB:

Jenna Moore’s flawlessly orchestrated life and engagement to Ben Kelly, “the perfect man,” vanish when she discovers a controlling side of her fiancé. Confused and unsure of who she is without Ben, Jenna decides to uproot from her safe, predictable life in Boston and move to Bend, Oregon, hoping to find her answers there. It’s when she meets Jackson, a former Navy SEAL who battles demons of his own, that Jenna finds the courage to let go of being perfect and embrace uncomfortable risks, transforming her life through forgiveness, compassion, surrender and acceptance. Yet the rewards from discovering her true self exceed Jenna’s expectations – not only does she find the greatest love of her life, but she also understands what’s kept her from learning to bend.

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EXCERPT

Yet, at that moment, there is a subtle shift in my being. As devastated and lost as I feel, a small part of me unfolds, almost releases. I can’t describe the feeling as it’s something I’ve never before experienced. I breathe, inhaling Ben’s scent, knowing it’s most likely the last time I am going to be this close to him. Then Ben moves his hand to the back of my head, pulling me towards him, passionately kissing me as we momentarily return to who we were. My body instinctively takes over as I languish in his taste, surrendering to him, if only for a few seconds. But I come to my senses and pull away. We are no longer the Jenna and Ben who are about to be married in two months. No, that couple is gone. It’s then that I do the unavoidable – I slowly remove the ring from my left finger and press it into Ben’s hand. After all, this is a family antique. It no longer belongs to me. I call for Sam, give Ben a final goodbye kiss on the cheek, and leave.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Michelle Davis, whose career path includes banking, teaching, and college admissions consulting, holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University and a M.S. in Education from St. Joseph’s University. Through her blog, elevate, Michelle’s goal is to inspire others to shift their perspectives and welcome change as they realize their life purpose. A Pennsylvania native, Michelle and her husband enjoy visiting their sons in Boston and spending time in Bend, Oregon, the settings of her debut novel, Learning to Bend. To learn more about Michelle and how to elevate your life, visit www.michellemdavis.net.

https://www.michellemdavis.net

https://www.learningtobend.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/LearningtoBend/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/michellemillerdavis/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Michelle-Davis/e/B083ZLXBXS/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Bend-Michelle-Davis-ebook/dp/B083L5HM7G/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/learning-to-bend-michelle-m-davis/1136004857

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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

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What are four things you can’t live without?

  1. Coffee
  2. Exercise of some sort – I get antsy when confined and need to move so I don’t annoy people
  3. Dogs – I cannot imagine life without our incredible dogs
  4. Dark chocolate peanut butter cups – I fool myself thinking that the organic ones are good for me

What is your favorite television show?

I love watching Friends. I think that I’ve seen every episode multiple times. In fact, when I’m home alone at night, I’ll watch rerun after rerun – sometimes till one in the morning. I recently had the “aha” moment that most likely my fondness for Friends connects to my childhood when I loved the Archie comic book series. The characters are almost identical. Plus, Friends has the most amazing cast. Wouldn’t you want them to be your friends with Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, Ross, Joey, and Chandler?

If you could be any character, from any literary work, who would you choose to be? Why?

Tough question. It would be very interesting to be Liz Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love. What incredible life experiences she had – eating in Italy, praying in India, and loving in Indonesia. Plus, Julia Roberts, my all-time favorite actress, played her!

What have you got coming soon for us to look out for?

My next book is called The Healers. It’s quite different from Learning to Bend. In fact, it begins with a murder. More to come later.

What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Amy Impellizzeri, author of Lemongrass Hope, The Truth About Thea, The Secret of Worry Dolls, and Why We Lie, encouraged me to attend her writers’ workshop. That was my introduction to writing (I’m not counting my freshman writing class at Lehigh University). She’s been a dear friend ever since and has served as my mentor.

It’s hard to pinpoint any particular book as influencing my writing, as I believe that my writing is still in its infancy and am unsure as to where it is headed. But I’d have to say that I love the intriguing story line of The Celestine Prophecy. Additionally, the characters are beautifully developed in A Gentleman in Moscow.

VBT – JUNGLE BEAUTY GODDESSES SERIES

TourBanner_JungleBeautyGoddess_animated

Jungle Beauty Goddesses Series: Pretty Blue, Aquatic Ball, Dirty Ball

by C. G. Sturges

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GENRE: Fantasy, Erotica

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BLURB:

Jungle Beauty Goddesses “Pretty Blue” Book 1

BookCover_Book 1 Pretty Blue Ball

If you were given planet Earth as a gift to develop its life forms—would the world be a better place than it is today? What would your primary expectation and goal be for each human? Would you give them free will or plan their destiny? Would you demand that your humans worship you as their creator? Would you be available to assuage their every desire; and acquiesce to their demands, prayers, and wishes? Would you grow to resent them for living the life you imagined?

The Jungle Beauty Goddesses were free-spirited goddesses who enjoyed their freedom as the youngest children—and the last deities born to their parents—creators of the universe. Per the family tradition of being awarded a planet, the septuplets were given planet Earth as a gift for their birthday. Their siblings, also gods and goddesses of the universe since the beginning of time, warn them about the challenges of selflessness, power, worship, and divine duty.

The seven sisters struggle to maintain their own freedom as limitless beings, while sibling rivalry makes it difficult to accept their collective duty to fulfill the family obligation to the deity-hood as creators for planets.

The entire universe threatens to collapse due to their negligence and disobedience. They question the boundaries of their divine powers as they ponder whether it is possible to mold a being to be superior to its creator.

Jungle Beauty Goddesses “Aquatic Ball” Book 2

BookCover_Book 2 Aquatic Ball

Sometimes your worst nightmare is having everything you ever wanted. Upon visiting planet Earth, the Jungle Beauty Goddesses discover that the life forms they created are in danger of extinction, and an unforeseen dominant species has positioned itself to take dominion.

Unprepared and disillusioned about how to access their highest vibrational frequency; the Jungle Beauty Goddesses face their own demise.

The only way they can save themselves, their planet, and ultimately the universe is by managing to align with their deity powers and the wisdom of their highest selves in the face of their worst fears, disappointments, and betrayals.

Jungle Beauty Goddesses “Dirty Ball” Book 3

BookCover_JBG Book Dirty Ball 3

If you had the power to make anyone in the world fall in love with you—would you? Jungle Beauty Goddess Afar revokes her deity vows and takes her destiny into her own hands by participating in the life she was born to create for others.

Afar embraces the deepest, darkest nuances of her shadow self with brutality, dignity, and integrity. She brazenly unleashes the murkiest qualities of the human condition and leaves the chaos for her unsuspecting sisters to clean up or suffer the consequences of losing the planet given to them by their parents–creators of the universe.

Jungle Beauty Goddess Afar’s actions give a new meaning to the saying, “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.”

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EXCERPT

Solution: We, the merbeings /mermaids/merfolks, are on the side of the Jungle Beauty Goddesses. We want to preserve the natural beauty of Earth and all of its life forms that are capable of adapting to Earth’s natural environment causing the least amount of damage to the cosmos.

We, the Mermaids, do not need to me be monitored like humans. We do not need the assistance of other worldly guides, angels, or higher order omnificent beings to exist and coexist peacefully with like-minded beings on planet Earth.

We will not use or create industrialized products or services, technology, or substances that will destroy the Earth’s natural resources. The Earth, as it is, without alterations, machines, or chemicals creates the prime and ultimate living conditions for our species.

Summary:

We are the natural evolutionary heirs to planet earth bequeathed by the hands of destiny. Planet earth is rapidly becoming an aquatic planet designed for life forms which can adapt to a water-only environment. If you sign planet Earth over to us for safekeeping—you will never have to worry about this planet being selfishly exploited for its resources. You will never have to come here again and you are free to live your life as you please.

With the deepest Respect and Love,

Merlady Jophiel

MerladyJophiel

Merlady Gabrielle

Merlady Gabrielle

By signing this document, you are collectively agreeing to give Planet Earth to Mermaids who would graciously take domain over all life forms in this world.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

author picture_Jungle Beauty Goddesses

Cassandra George Sturges is the author of “A Woman’s Soul on Paper,” “Success & Beauty is an Attitude,” “The Illusion of Beauty: Why Women Hate Themselves & Envy Other Women,” and “Why Racism is a Mental Illness.” For many years, she was an advice columnist for Today’s Black Woman Magazine and is currently a full-time psychology and sociology professor at a college in the mid-west. She is a high school dropout who graduated with her General Education Diploma and eventually earned five college degrees including two masters and a doctorate degree. In her late forties, she began making life-size fabric sculpture, cloth dolls that turned out to be the main characters in her Jungle Beauty Goddesses coming of age, modern creation Nubian Mythology fantasy fiction, sensuous, romantic series. She is the mother of two adult children, a grandmother, and for over 20-years has shared her life with her twin flame.

Cassandra George Sturges Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/Authentikbeauty

https://www.authentikbeautymagazine.com/c-g-sturges-bio

https://twitter.com/georgesturges

https://www.instagram.com/cassandrasturges/

http://junglebeautygoddess.blogspot.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/AuthentikBeautyBlogs

https://www.amazon.com/Cassandra-George-Sturges/e/B00AAPRMBK?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5&qid=1573637943&sr=1-5

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One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

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

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Any weird things you do when you’re alone?

I talk to my Star Alien Being Gemstones and Crystal Skulls. I love them and they love me. They all have different energies, properties, and personalities. I wear them in the center of my bra most days. They highlight and exude different parts of my personality. When I want to be charismatic and devilish—I wear my peach aventurine. When I need protection, I wear my clear Black Tourmaline Rutilated Quartz Crystal Star Alien Being. When I need to get things done and be extremely organized, I wear my Citrine Star Alien Being. I also noticed that people treat me differently based on the alien being or crystal skull that I am wearing. Random people speak to me and are kind when I wear my African Jade Alien Being and my blue apatite skull. When no one is looking, in stairwells, elevators, when I am in the car alone… we have conversations about what is going on in my surroundings. At the end of the day, I try to remember to kiss them and thank them for accompanying for that day.

What is your favorite quote and why?

My Favorite quote in the universe is: “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” By Dr. Seuss. I have been teaching Sociology and Psychology full-time for 20-years and I have this quote centered at the top of all of my courses syllabi. I encourage my students to be authentically truthful and respectful during class discussions because I believe as human beings we grow and evolve through each other’s truth. The richest, juicy, class insights and discussions have come from students sharing their truth. I tell my students that 2+2 = 4 all over the world, at every school—so the content that they are learning can be absorbed from home reading a book—but the collective energy of each student’s history, culture, and beliefs creates a unique learning experience that will never be duplicated ever again in human history. This is why it is essential to the learning process that my student’s share their honest opinions, outlooks, and beliefs about life.

 

VBT – POISONED PAWN

TourBanner_Poisoned Pawn

Poisoned Pawn

by David Siegel Bernstein

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GENRE: Detective, Mystery

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Cover_Poisoned Pawn

BLURB:

Caleb Jacobs is a man with a past. After serving on a failed dark ops assignment in Afghanistan, he leaves Marine Corps Intelligence to try to build a new life in Philadelphia as a homicide police detective.

Jacobs is happy, for a time, until he is assigned to solve the murder of Shannon Faraday. During the investigation, he is convinced the evidence points to him as the killer. He knows it is only a matter of time before other investigators see the same. He has no alibi and the clock is counting down.

Behind his partner’s back, Jacobs hires a private investigator named Lawrence Holmes. The PI is an irritation to the police, but he is unmistakably brilliant. And, many powerful people in the city owe him favors. Holmes is a bit odd. He insists on calling Jacobs Watson but claims to never have heard the name Sherlock. Jacobs can live with this kind of crazy as long as together they find the real killer.

They quickly link the murder to a series of seemingly unrelated crimes occurring throughout Philadelphia, and Jacobs becomes convinced the murder is related to the truth of what had happened during his time in Afghanistan. Old secrets have come back to haunt him.

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EXCERPT

I felt like shit for having to hire a private investigator, especially one who was most likely insane. Still, I couldn’t deny that his type of crazy got results. Reluctantly I handed over an envelope to the man sitting on the sun-bleached bench.

He opened it. Satisfied with my offering, he slid it into his jacket. “Ah, Watson,” he said. “Good to see you again.”

I shook my head and dropped onto the bench next to him. “My name is Jacobs. Caleb Jacobs,” I said, hoping the reminder might stick this time.

He turned to me. “Did you say something?”

I sighed. “No, Holmes.”

If I wasn’t desperate for his help, I’d strangle him. Of course my superiors at the Philadelphia Homicide Unit wouldn’t appreciate that. But I wondered if a cop hiring a private investigator was any worse of a violation. I needed Lawrence Holmes for his connections and unique viewpoint, things my PHU colleagues couldn’t provide. He might not be the fictional character he played at, but he was a talented PI.

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AuthorPicture

AUTHOR Bio and Links

To support his writing addiction and excessively extravagant lifestyle, David Siegel Bernstein, PhD, is a data scientist who consults as a forensic statistician. That sounds really boring until you realize that his clients include the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and a host of other acronymonious agencies who cultivate exciting and shadowy reputations. Alas, those reputations are mere facades that disguise the real reason these organizations exist, which is to keep him entertained and fed.

When David wants a break from this spellbinding work, he writes. His fiction credits encompass two novelettes and sixty shorts. His nonfiction has appeared in newsletters, popular blogs, academic journals and he is the author of the book Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction.

He lives within the shadow of Philadelphia with his wife, Michelle, two children, Seth and Gwendolyn, and a dog named Ringo Biggles Woofington.

DavidSiegelBernstein.blogspot.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/bernsteindavid1

facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DSBernstein/

twitter: @DavidBernstein

instagram @davidsieglebernstein

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

David Siegel Bernstein will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

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David, thanks for being here today. Tell us about you as a person.

I want to start by thanking the CA Milson for taking the time and space for this interview.

To support my writing addiction and excessively extravagant lifestyle, I am a data magician—only without the magic. Math, machine learning, and science are my tools. I’m a forensic data scientist who specializes in looking for patterns in data that reveal patterns in human behavior. I know that sounds really boring until you realize that my company’s clients include the US National Security Agency (NSA), the Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and a host of other alphabet agencies who cultivate exciting and shadowy reputations. Alas, those reputations are mere facades that disguise the real reason these organizations exist, which is to pay my salary.

I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and taught martial art classes at the university where I did my undergraduate work. This is the style of fighting Poisoned Pawn main character Caleb Jacobs uses in fight scenes. I have a kick-ass comic collection (which makes me popular with the ladies). And, I enjoy a good game of chess.

To go with my tough guy motif, I own a Toy Poodle named Ringo Biggles Woofington.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

If I could choose anyone in history, I would like to hang out with physicist Richard Feynman. He would be a lot of fun to talk to. I would love to hear some of his legendary stories in person. It would also be interesting to get his take on the current state of science. If I’m limited to choosing among the living, I’d hang with David Tennant. I’m a huge Dr. Who fan.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

The modern mystery screams for a thriller component mashed up with sexual tension. Poisoned Pawn yells back with a fast-paced story loaded with femme and homme fatales.

It is also about the perfect crime and getting away with it… almost.

What is your writing process?

My process is a messy one. I write when I have the free time and in almost any location. To make matters worse—for fiction—I do not write from an outline. I let the story unfold organically. The characters usually tell me what’s needs to be done. That said, I do workshop parts in a writing group I lead.

On the other hand for my nonfiction books such as Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction, I do create an outline and spent part of each day conducting research before pen to paper (cursor to screen).

Tell us about your main characters

Poisoned Pawn is the story of Caleb Jacob, a man with a dark past. After serving on a failed dark ops assignment in Afghanistan, he leaves Marine Corps Intelligence to try to build a new life in Philadelphia as a homicide police detective.

In this novel, he is forced to partner up with a private investigator named Lawrence Holmes. The PI is an irritation to the police, but he is unmistakably brilliant. And, many powerful people in the city owe him favors. Holmes is a bit odd. He insists on calling Jacobs Watson but claims to never have heard the name Sherlock.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead roles and why.

David Siegel Bernstein as Caleb Jacobs (okay, maybe not). How about my look-alike Chris Hemsworth? (okay, again maybe not). I think Karl Urban or Eric Bana would be good choices. As for Holmes, I’d go with Nathan Lane. With this combo, viewers would get a good feel for both the darkness of the story and the humorous moments.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on the next book in the Caleb Jacobs series titled The Queen’s Gambit. A frighteningly skilled assassin hires Jacobs to find her latest assignment and to then protect him from her.

I’m also working on a science fiction novel set on a planet where time is literally a currency. The wealthy live for hundreds of years in dewy youth while the poor are geriatric.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

Build a platform before your book comes out. This makes it much easier to get the word out when the project is complete. Then, by hook or by crook, find a way to get onto C.A. Milson’s blog!

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

I can be very annoying. It is a gift.

You are given the choice of one superpower. What superpower would you have and why?

To be able to speak any language upon hearing or reading it. This includes computer programing languages.

List 5 things on your bucket list:

The PG version bucket list

  1. To have a bestseller (and have it made into a movie)
  2. Travel to Japan
  3. Get a Tattoo
  4. Have a secret admirer
  5. Play my guitar with a band on stage

Any final thoughts?

Why do you ask? Am I dying? I am too young for final thoughts. I hope your thoughts are on the best way to get a copy of Poisoned Pawn.

VBT – Jay Got Married

TourBanner_JayGotMarried

Jay Got Married

by James Robinson Jr.

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GENRE: Non-Fiction Humor

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BLURB:

Jay Got Married consists of 9 humorous and, at times, poignant essays chronicling the ironies of everyday life in word and picture. Take for example the lead essay, aptly titled, “Jay got Married,” where I find myself mired in a horrendous dream.


In the fantasy, my aging father–dressed in his favorite Champion t-shirt with stains covering the front–marries my wife and I like he did 42 years ago but, this time around, the my 92-year-old ex-clergy dad forgets his lines causing me to coach him through the event with hints like: “ask for the rings, ask for the rings.” All the while, my best man sings Sonny and Cher’s, “I Got You Babe.”


Finally married, my wife and I end the ceremony with a kiss. But as I turn to exit, my eyes catch a glimpse of the bridesmaid who is no longer my wife’s best friend but now Gal Gadot from Dell Comics and Wonder Woman Fame. She is dressed in full Wonder Women regalia and looks totally shocked by the whole affair.


My mother turns to my father (now in the audience) with a quizzical look and says, “Dad, look at that bridesmaid. Isn’t that Superman?” She doesn’t get out much.


As we exit the church, and the bubbles fill the air–no one uses rice anymore—my wife ignores the limo and takes off on a sleek motorcycle, leaving me in the lurch—hence the cover. 
Sure, it’s sounds crazy. But, in truth, isn’t the world of marriage crazy these days? In my case, what would one do when faced with the prospect of losing their beloved wife after 42 years? At age 67, would they remarry? Would they even want to remarry? These and other marital tidbits are discussed with humor and as much reverence as I could muster.


P.S. The author pairs up with Wonder Woman again in a final bit of photo wizardry Why? How? How are tricky copyright infringement laws avoided? Read Jay Got Married and find out.

Cover_Jay Got Married

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EXCERPT

You’re like, “What’s the big deal? Sure, it’s a sad thing, but don’t be too hasty. People fill that void in their lives all the time. It can happen. Sure, you’ve lost someone near and dear to you. But you could get over it. Even at your age. Time heals all wounds.” (Boy, you could’ve done better than that.) “People are living longer now. You’ll have more time to think this through. I see couples remarrying in their 70s and 80s.”

And I say, “While that may be true, I have to ask myself how I could find someone after a tragic death, when married people can’t seem to decide who they want while they’re both still among the living. I see people divorce and remarry two, three, four, and even five times. Amongst the marital shrapnel, some have their next spouses all picked out before the split.

Switch partners in the middle of a dance four or five times? Really? After a few shots at it, I would have to practice a little self-examination. I think I’d ask myself, “Am I missing something? Shouldn’t I be wondering if a pattern is developing?” Before I jump a fifth set of bristles, I’d be thinking, Why do I keep marrying people and divorcing them? Could it be… could it be… could it be… me?

Well, the difference is, you can count these cast-offs in the still among the living category. You can always figure on those exes to be around to torture for alimony, child support, and just general purposes. But once they’re gone, you’d have to feel some kind of grief. Even if you only see their name in the obituary and suck your teeth.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

James Robinson, Jr. is an award-wining author who has written 6 books in both the fiction and non-fiction genres. His first book Fighting the Effects of Gravity: A Bittersweet Journey Into Middle Life, was an Indie Award winner for nonfiction. His first foray into fiction, Book of Samuel, was a Readers’ Favorite Award Winner. His latest book—Jay Got Married—is a collection of 9 humorous, sometimes poignant essays.

Mr. Robinson resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife of 43 years. He is the father of three daughters ages 37, 38, and 40 and has six grandchildren

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/James-Robinson-Jr./e/B0074O0QLI%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesrobinsonj1

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

James Robinson Jr. will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

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James, thanks for being my guest. Tell us about you as a person.

I was born in 1952 and endured the tempestuous 60’s which included flower power, Black Power, the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Joan Baez music. I recently wrote a book about my father’s (a minister’s) life which included his exploits as a civil rights advocate during the sixties. Attended Carnegie Mellon University (an English major in an Engineering College, go figure).

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

Ryan Reynolds. He seems like an interesting guy with a good sense of humor. #2—Gal Godot of Wonder Woman fame. No, I don’t care how hot she is; I need a picture with her for my book. Read it—or zip through the Jay Got Married Essay—and you’ll see why.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

Jay Got Married is a collection of 9 humorous essays told in a tongue-in-cheek style. The book centers around my views on life sometimes touching upon real-life issues. I find that essays are the best vehicle for me because I can tell one story at a time.

What is your writing process?

Oddly enough, I took a psych course in college where I remember the professor saying that you shouldn’t listen to the TV or radio because they are distracting—they are, in fact, in business to get your attention. So the best thing to do is to use some kind of white noise (they didn’t use that term way back then) like a fan or something similar. So a fan serves me best. Once I began to have children and grandchildren, however, my concentration has improved greatly, I am much better at blocking out noise. I still can’t compete with Metallica.

Tell us about your main character.

N/A But in a book of essays where I rely on personal experiences, my friends, family, and casual acquaintances are the main characters. My wife wasn’t very happy at all to be a main character.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role and why?

If anyone turned this book into a movie they would need to be institutionalized. But I would have to play the lead; I’m the only one crazy enough.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a sequel to my first book, Fighting the Effects of Gravity: One Man’s Journey Into Middle Life. I was middle aged when I wrote that book but now, I’m 67 and staring into the face of old age. The new book is tentatively titled: Old Age Sucks.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their book?

I always use promotions like KND (Kindle Nation Daily) and blog tours. KND promotions are great for a one-day blitz. Unfortunately, your sales numbers will take a precipitous drop the next day. There are blog tours that are very good for obtaining 7-8 reviews but aren’t meant to sell books. In theory, authors are supposed to twitter but I hate to do that. Libraries will also allow authors to use their facility to hold lectures and they will even post signs for upcoming author events.

What is your favorite book on your shelf right now?

Kurt Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?

No, and thanks for making me feel insignificant.

You are given the choice of one superpower. What superpower would you have and why?

Sing like John Legend. I don’t want to fly and it seems like a superpower to me.


List 5 things on your bucket list:

  1. Learn how to play piano to impress my family and friends.
  2. Learn how to fly. Not like Superman. Fly a plane.
  3. Test drive the new, mid-engine Corvette
  4. Sell 100,000 books
  5. Take vacations in Hilton Head Island, SC like we used to before we started taking care of my 90-year-old parents.

Any final thoughts?

Buy my book; I’m poor.

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