Meet The Author + giveaway!: Charlie Laidlaw @claidlawauthor @RRBookTours1 @AccentPress

With pleasure, let’s get to know Charlie, I am reading his work at the moment so far, very different from what I expected but I am enjoying it! It’s rather nice to connect with a fellow British author….. he’s from Scotland, but you know what I mean he’s from my neck of the woods.

Thank  you to R and R Book Tours for my review copy and the chance to interview Charlie.

R&R Book Tours

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Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi, Kim, and nice to meet you too.  I’m from the west of Scotland, although I now live in the east of Scotland.  In between, I worked as a journalist in London.  Away from writing, I teach creative writing.

Kim: Oh cool, London my home town that’s interesting. Scotland though? It’s a bit chilly for me up north. 

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

I don’t think there was any inspiration behind it.  It was just something I realised I could do.  If I realised I could work with wood, I would have become a carpenter.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

Too many to mention, living and dead.  Paul Gallico probably inspired me as a child, the likes of Hemingway and Fay Weldon came later.  Since then, many, many writers.  The important thing is to keep reading and discovering new voices.

What genre do you enjoy reading?

Literary fiction.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It didn’t really.  I think you have to learn to be true to what you’re writing, and that shouldn’t change whether you’ve written one or a hundred books.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

No, no series.  I’ve written three stand-alone books that all just happen to be set in my part of Scotland.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

I thought about linking them in subtle ways, but decided against.  Anne Tyler is a good example, with her books set in the same part of the USA, but completely unrelated to one another.

Have you ever thought about writing in a different genre? If you could what genre would you like to dabble in?

I’m writing a children’s book and a friend of mine is doing the illustrations.  So, who knows where that might lead?

Kim: Wonderful, that’s a totally different talent all together capturing a very  young reader. All the best.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

I think just being published.  It was an ambition for a long time, so it was an ambition fulfilled.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Every day – still.  But I’ve just bought an Apple Mac so it would be a very expensive bout of frustration.

Kim:*giggles* yeah, I’d think twice about that one.

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer?

Plotter.  I can let the story unfold in strange ways, but I have plot and storylines mapped.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I love creative writing, and the unusual ways that an author can express themself.  But I hate bad grammar.

Every writer has a word(s) that they always slip up on when they write, then slap their forehead when they notice their typo. For me it’s further and farther exit or exists-  but hey I’m over it now.  Do you have a word (s) that make you go blah! Go away not another damn typo.

I hate my new Apple Mac keyboard with a vengeance – every second word has a typo in.  Can’t get the hang of it at all.  So, basically, virtually every word.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Learn your trade.  It’s like becoming a lawyer or a plumber.  You have to understand things like plot and character, the nuances of time and place, the use of adjectives and adverbs.  Then, take advice, show your stuff to people whose opinions matter to you.  Don’t try to do the journey on your own.

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

A third book set in rural Scotland, entitled Love Potions and Other Calamities.  Out on November 6th.

So… where can we get your books?

That depends where you are, but always on Amazon.

What are the most important magazines for writers to subscribe to?

I must confess I don’t know the answer to that!

Kim: Me neither, my confession is that’s why I always ask!

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!”

Good question, and I don’t know!  I suppose I would like to be able to write full time on the back of what I can make financially.  But, what’s nice is to have my books critically well received – so that’s a realistic notion of success.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Probably hurts them, because big egos get in the way of humility which, I believe, all good writers have.  Good writers don’t have false ideas of their own talent.  Bad writers with big egos have  unreasonable ideas of their worth.

Kim: Awww it’s a fine line we tread Charlie. You’ve got to have confidence though.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I probably do spend a lot of time on research, but that’s just a reflection of the books I’ve written up to now.  Other projects I’m working on are taking very little research.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I don’t mind bad reviews because not everyone will like my books.  But what I don’t like are reviews, good or bad, where the reviewer has obviously skimmed through my book, and didn’t “get” the main themes.

The only advice I would give to book bloggers is not to get bogged down with huge reading challenges.  Simply take the time to enjoy a book, and to enjoy reading at a reasonable pace.

What was your hardest scene to write?

I don’t write anything graphic or violent, and I would have trouble writing that kind of thing.

Do you Google yourself?

Surprisingly not!

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with a number of authors, and we are all supportive of one another.  I’m not sure that we help each other become better writers, because we’re all writing in different genres.  But it’s nice having writery semi-colleagues.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

From one to five years.

What would you like readers to know?

About me?  I’m a very nice person who likes paella, Greece, whisky (obviously), and white wine.

Kim: Haha haha…. okay, noted.

What’s your favourite movie?

I have no idea…but I watched Splash for the first time in years recently, and really enjoyed it.

What’s your favourite book and why?

I can’t really answer that but the book that probably had the greatest influence was Paul Gallico’s Jenny.  It’s a children’s book that doesn’t shy away from death…I found it wonderful and sad, and was my portal from children’s books to more adult books.

What music do you like?

Virtually anything!

Where would you like to travel to and why?

I took a year off some time ago and travelled round the world, visiting countries such as Syria and the Lebanon – the latter of which was still in the throes of civil war.  I’ve therefore seen places in pain and in poverty.

My favourite overseas country is Greece and, maybe, I’d like to visit every Greek island and then, like Lawrence Durrell, write about them.

Tell us about how you develop your characters?

They really develop themselves.  I talk to them, listen to them, flesh them out bit by bit.  I hope my characters come across as real because, first, they must be absolutely real to me.

Which one of your characters is your favourite and why?

Whoever I’m writing about!

Do you need a lot of sexual experience to be a good erotica author?

Probably a good imagination is more important!

Kim: *giggles* ya know, just last week I was talking to my co-author, we were talking about  ‘girly’ stuff nothing major but in response to something I said about a guy I know, she said to me ‘Kim, OMG you’ve got a dirty mind!! S*ht.’ What I said was nothing ( in my mind) bad.   I cracked up, my response was ‘ yeah, I’m a romance writer don’t forget’…. maybe a ‘dirty mind’ helps too 🙂

If you could do it all again would you change anything?

I would have taken my own advice and learned my trade sooner.  A lot of blind alleys could have been avoided!

Pick one a one time “Bestselling author” or an author with longevity what would you rather?

Both, equally.

Thank you Charlie! It was wonderful to connect with you. I will keep making my way through your book and review as soon as I can…. I don’t want to ‘skim’ I want to enjoy!

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Welcome to the month-long mega tour for Charlie Laidlaw’s newest book, The Space Between Time, due for release on June 20th! There will be fantastic bloggers participating, who will be posting interviews, excerpts, reviews, and other exclusive content!

Additionally, there are loads of goodies being given away, so be sure to enter at the bottom!

Book Cover

The Space Between Time

Expected Publication Date: June 20th, 2019

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Dark Comedy

There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…

Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.

But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.

The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.

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Excerpt

Timescale for a Closed Universe

It wasn’t an afternoon that I like to remember, and not just because of my shrieking tantrum. Once I’d calmed down, Mum told me I’d been very silly, because it was all make-believe on a cinema screen. I reminded her that she’d cried when Bambi’s mum died, and that was a film and a cartoon. Mum said that it wasn’t the same thing at all. But I wasn’t being silly because I wasn’t old enough to know the difference between pretence and reality.

Dad had looked pretty dead on the screen. The blood on his chest had looked pretty real. If it had been a different dead person, I would have been OK. Children don’t really know where make-believe ends and the real world begins and, partly because of who I am, it’s remained pretty hazy ever since. I also don’t like to remember that film because it was the moment when I realised that our lives were about to change, and I didn’t know if that would be a good thing.

Sounds strange, yes? Here’s something stranger: I am a child of the sea, I sometimes think, and have done ever since we first moved to live beside it. I feel subject to its vagaries and tempers, with its foaming margins framed against a towering sky. I am familiar with its unchanging mood swings. That’s how I like things; I find the familiar comforting. I find change threatening.

I am the daughter of someone who, not long after that ghastly cinema outing, became one of the most famous actors of his generation and, importantly for me, the granddaughter of a rather brilliant but obscure physics professor. But despite their overachievements, I have inherited no aptitude for mathematics and my father positively hated the idea of his only offspring following in his thespian footsteps. He knew how cruel and badly paid the profession could be. But I still look up to my grandfather, and think of his ludicrous moustache with affection.

Gramps once told me that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on Earth. Just think of all those sandpits, beaches and deserts! That’s an awful lot of stars. He then told me, his only grandchild, that I was his shining star, which was a nice thing to say and why I remember him talking about sand and stars. On clear nights, with stars twinkling, I often think about him.

I still believe in my grandfather, and admire his stoic acceptance in the face of professional disdain, because I believe in the unique power of ideas, right or wrong, and that it’s our thoughts that shape our existence. We are who we believe ourselves to be.

I gave up believing in my father long ago, because speaking other people’s words and ideas seemed like a lame excuse for a job, even if he was paid millions, and met the Queen on several occasions. She must have liked him because she awarded him an OBE for services to film, theatre and charity. Charity! Who the hell told the Queen that?

I stopped believing in him one Christmas Day, a long time ago, when he simply didn’t turn up. It wasn’t his presents that I missed, or even his presence, but the warm, fuzzy feeling of being important to him. During that day of absence and loss I concluded that his wife and daughter couldn’t much matter to him, otherwise he’d have made a bigger effort to get home. That Christmas Day, my father was simply somewhere else, probably in a bar, immaculately dressed, his hair slicked back, the object of male envy and the centre of every woman’s attention for miles around.

In that respect, Dad was more tomcat than father, except that by then his territory, his fame, stretched around the globe. I know this: by then he had a Golden Globe to prove it. He gushed pheromones from every pore, squirting attraction in every direction, and even women with a poor sense of smell could sniff him out.

I feel mostly Scottish, but am a little bit Italian. It explains my name, Emma Maria Rossini; my dark complexion, black hair, the slightly long nose, and thin and lanky body. Obese I am not, and will never be, however much pasta I eat, and I eat lots. It also explains my temper, according to some people, although I don’t agree with them, and my brown cow’s eyes, as an almost-boyfriend once described them, thinking he was paying me a compliment, before realising that he had just become an ex-almost-boyfriend.

But mostly I am a child of the sea. That’s what happens if you live for long enough by its margins: it becomes a part of you; its mood echoing your mood, until you know what it’s thinking, and it knows everything about you. That’s what it feels like when I contemplate its tensile strength and infinite capacity for change. On calm flat days in North Berwick, with small dinghies marooned on the glassy water, and loud children squealing in its shallows, it can make me anxious and cranky.

The sea, on those days, seems soulless and tired, bereft of spirit. But on wilder days, the beach deserted, or with only a hardy dog-walker venturing across the sand, with large waves thundering in, broaching and breaking, then greedily sucking back pebbles into the foam, I feel energised: this is what the sea enjoys, a roaring irresponsibility, and I share in its pleasure. We are all children of the sea, I sometimes think, or we should be – even those who have never seen an ocean or tasted its saltiness; I can stand for hours and contemplate its far horizons, lost within myself, sharing its passion. In the Firth of Forth is the ebb and flow of my past and my existence, wrapped tight against the west wind. It is what I am, placid and calm, or loud and brash.

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About the Author

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I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook | Twitter

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I have 2 signed copies of The Space Between Time to giveaway, 3 fun coffee mugs featuring all 3 of Charlie Laidlaw’s books, and 3 digital copies of the book in the winner’s format of choice! Amazing right? Click the link below to enter!

*Open Internationally – Giveaway closes June 30th

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Meet The Author: Misty Mount, Mystery & Suspense Author. @MistyAMount @AuthorMistyMountOfficial/

R&R Book Tours

Thank you to R&R Book Tours for sending this author’s book my way! I am so backed up with read and reviews, I could not fit into her tour date a review, but I’ve sneaked in an interview, let’s get to know Misty’s style.

Misty

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy? 

Hello! I’m from smack-dab in the middle of the USA. I’m a wife and mother to an eight-year-old son. I’m also a caregiver to my 33-year-old sister with special needs. Most days my home life is busy and deafeningly loud. If I’m not writing, in my free time I’m hanging out with my brother watching Doctor Who, Star Trek and anything sci-fi.

How did you start writing? What was your inspiration to create?

 It started in kindergarten. My teacher was reading this story to the class and I was enraptured until the ridiculous ending, which ruined the magic for me. At home I rewrote the ending the way I thought it should go and I’ve been writing ever since.

Kim: You know, I am glad I am not the only one who has read stories and thought ‘ damn, I could of ended that better!’

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you? 

I love classic sci-fi authors like Arthur C. Clark, Philip K. Dick and Larry Niven. I also love old mystery and gothic romance authors like Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt.

What genre do you enjoy reading? 

I’ll read just about anything (including shampoo bottles) but my favorite genres are mystery and science fiction.

Kim: *Scratches her head* you remind me of  my co-author the mystery and Sci-Fi mixture. I have never actually read this genre I’m rather ashamed to say! I hope to one day dive into Sci-Fi.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? 

I was first published in my very early teens and, honestly, it was a bit traumatic. I started worrying too much over how my writing would be received instead of enjoying the process. I was too young and sensitive to handle negative reviews and as a result refused to show anyone my writing for over a decade afterward. 

Kim: Really… oh my goodness! For decades? Girl the fact that you are doing this tour with R&R shows just how far you’ve come. Good for you!

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration? 

This is quite the common occurrence! It happens at least once every project, usually around the halfway point when I’m beginning to question whether everything will come together.

Kim: Haha, been there. And I’m still there writing a romantic thriller that I started in about three years ago, or maybe even more. Since then I’ve completed two novels and a couple of novellas. I have made a promise to finish it this year, still working on it as we speak!

Are you a “plotter” or a fly by the seat of your pants “pantster” as a writer? 

I’m 100% a “plotter!” I’m not good at improvising; it makes me anxious. I always go in with an outline and a plan.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing? 

This question is especially funny since commas are the bane of my existence! My editor will kindly but firmly attest to the fact that I can’t figure out what to do with them. 

Kim: I love the response I always get to this question, there is a common trend to all responses. ‘Ditto’ girl… ditto.

So…. where can we get your books? 

They’re available online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and any major book retailer. 

What does “success” look like to you? When would you say “damn, I’ve made it baby!” 

For me, it was when my son asked for a copy of each of my books to place in his treasure chest. You can’t ask for a better feeling than that!

Kim: Oh how cute!!! Bless your boy.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones? 

I don’t anymore, or at least I try not to. My editor vets them for me and passes on ones she thinks I’ll enjoy. I’m very sensitive and don’t need any extra negativity in my life.

What would you like readers to know?

 I want my readers to know that I appreciate and value the support of every single one of you! Thanks for sharing in my inner world.

Twitter: Author Misty Mount @MistyAMount

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorMistyMountOfficial/

Bookbubhttps://www.bookbub.com/authors/misty-mount

 

How cool is Misty, a mixture of mystery and Sci-Fi! Here’s some info on her latest book. I wish I had the time to read and review in time for her tour. Check it out

 

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The Keeper (The Underground Defenders Book 1)

Expected Publication Date:May 28th, 2019

Genre: Mystery/ Suspense

Page Count: 230 Pages

Publisher:  Liminal Books (Between the Lines Publishing)

When the Ericksons move home to care for their ailing grandmother, they’re told a stranger has taken up residence in the attic of the sprawling mansion. Upon investigation, the family isn’t sure the tenant is anything more than a figment of old Mrs. Erickson’s imagination—until a mysterious young woman begins to show herself to the family in fleeting, uncanny visits.

When unexplained things start happening under the mansion’s roof, suspicions arise as to just who—or what—she is. In the chaos that ensues, the family is forced to make a decision: trust the stranger or band together as a family against her—and their grandmother who’s protecting her.

Pre-Order on Amazon

About the Author

“I read because my grandmother showed me how to immerse myself in books for recreation, relaxation or even as a coping skill.

I write because my head is filled with daydreams and I like to choose the endings.”

Misty Mount has written since age five and was first published at fourteen. By day she’s a caregiver, wife, and mother to a young son but during the quiet hours of night she becomes a novelist.

Misty Mount

The Road To Publishing Update! #amwriting

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So, I finally finished this  suspenseful romance, with a historical feel to it a few months ago, I’m really proud. I have submitted my work to some publishers and agents and had some good responses! Today, I am tasked with giving it a final proof read, so I can send it back to those who are interested in my work. I sent off the normal three chapter query etc and here are some responses…

Publisher- requested the full manuscript after reading a sample! Feedback was ‘ Kim you’re an exceptionally talented writer.’ I became a bit tearful after reading the feedback.  Happy days.

Agent- would like me to re-edit slightly and return the sample… hmm not sure on this request after reading it.

Agent- requested a sample within 24 hours of submission, I am waiting out the 6- 8 weeks for a response to see if she is interested in working with me. I would LOVE to work with this agent with all my heart, from research I feel maybe we would be a good match, in terms of what I write and what she likes.

Publisher- invited  to revise and resubmit! I think I will go with this request possibly, as it’s a well established romance only publisher.  I would like my work under their label but it’s a long wait to resubmit that’s the only thing, but really happy for the interest.

Agent- There is another agent I would really like to work with, and feel we could be a good fit. My work meets her wish list. I sent a nice email to see if she had got to my submission as yet, as she confirmed she sends her ‘rejections’ within a week. The response was ‘ still on my pile for consideration Kim, hang in there.’ Happy I am not on the reject pile… yet!

Today, I have two things to work on final proof reads and edits of this novel, and more submissions as I received a book with 2019 updated publishers and agents. There are a ton of romance representatives here.

Y’all know how it goes, don’t put all eggs in one basket and keep options open. I remain hopeful that the two agents I have my eye on I can win over with my opening chapters, but still I feel like I need to caste my net wide if that makes sense. This is a very special story to me, I have written it spanning over different eras from the 60s – 80s and in the present day and really took a lot of time and care, I want it in the right hands if that makes sense.

What I have learned from this process is this, even if there is interest in your work, be sure that you want your work to be published or represented by the person showing interest. We all have clear goals with our writing careers, if you don’t think it can be met…keep  looking for someone that can help you achieve what you wish.

I must say, it does take you away from current projects though, focusing on getting this novel out has meant little time to write the current one I’m now on. Or maybe it’s me as I don’t just throw my work at anyone, I really spend time knowing who I am approaching. (Which I advise).

Have a great week! Good luck and happy writing to all writers in the same boat as me! Searching for their ideal match.

 

 

 

 

He’s Back, New Release by Luke Murphy @AuthorLukeMurphy @AuthorLMurphy

I remember when I interviewed Luke in 2017, he was a fun person to get to know, it seems like a long time ago, read his interview here. Luke is a best selling international author in the crime fiction and thriller genre all the way from Canada. I am really proud to share his latest work with you!

 

Luke Murphy Rock a Bye Baby Front Cover Final

An aunt’s worst nightmare…

In the city of Denver, a series of baby kidnappings has the town devastated.  With no ransom demands and no contact from the perpetrators, local law enforcement is at a dead end. No motive equals no answers.

A cop’s personal obsession…

Charlene Taylor’s niece becomes a victim, and the LAPD detective is thrown headfirst into a whirlwind case with similarities to one from seven years earlier. Out of her jurisdiction, and with no friends or leads, Charlene must walk-the-line between cop and sister.

Who can she trust?

Charlene has to decide who’s an ally, and when an unlikely partner steps forward, they must race against the clock: because that critical 48 hour window has come and gone.

 

Review Blurbs

“Rock a Bye Baby has everything—a haunted protagonist, heartfelt emotion, and a twisty, thrilling plot.  A scorcher of a follow-up in a promising series.”—David Ellis, NYT bestselling author of The Last Alibi

“Murphy has cleverly crafted a riveting crime thriller, with a hefty dose of white-knuckle suspense. Entertaining and enticing to the very last page.”—Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author of Submerged

“Rock a Bye Baby is an exquisitely told thriller, full of surprises and terrifying moments. Murphy is a gifted storyteller who keeps the tension crackling throughout. Charlene Taylor drives the story to a very satisfying and unexpected ending.”—Kristina Stanley, bestselling author of the Stone Mountain series.

 

About the Author

 

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Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of Dead Man’s Hand (Imajin Books, 2012) Kiss & Tell (Imajin Books, 2015), and Wild Card (Imajin Books, 2017).

Murphy played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. His sports column, “Overtime” (Pontiac Equity), was nominated for the 2007 Best Sports Page in Quebec, and won the award in 2009. He has also worked as a radio journalist (CHIPFM 101.7).

Rock-A-Bye Baby is Murphy’s fourth novel.

Murphy lives in Shawville, QC with his wife and three daughters. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude).

For more information on Luke and his books

visit: http://www.authorlukemurphy.com, ‘like’ his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLukeMurphy and follow him on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/AuthorLMurphy. Amazon http://mybook.to/RABB

Interviewing Author – Jane Risdon

I really do love Jane and wish her all the best!! Great interview.

Plaisted Publishing House

We’d like to introduce you to Jane Risdon, one of our latest clients who recently released an anthology of shorts called Undercover: Crime Shorts. This book already has five 5 star reviews with readers enjoying the twists and turns within the stories.

You may have already heard of Jane Risdon. Jane is one of our Ghostly Writers and has a story in each of our Ghostly Writes AnthologiesIntroduction over here is the lovely, creative murder mystery author, JANE RISDON.

Jane possible author photoWhat & Who Inspires you to write?

Nobody inspires me. I am self-motivated and have always wanted to write. I may get ideas from overheard conversations, situations, and experiences I’ve had or come across in my ‘other life.’  Working in music, television and the movies is great fodder for a writer. Anyone who has spent time in Hollywood knows what I mean.

How did you get into writing?…

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Release Day Interview: With CS Johnson @C_S_Johnson13 #RRBookTours1

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Should I go to College? What About Student Loan Debt?

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publication Date: March 14th, 2019

If you’re a high school student, chances are you’ve been thinking about where you will go to college. Or if you will go to college at all.
I’ve been there. And as a former teacher, I’ve seen thousands of students there, too. So I wrote this book to help you.
This book offers sound advice about deciding whether or not you want to go to college, and, if you decide to go, how you can save time and money along the way.

“This is the book about college I wish I had read when I was younger.” – My 30-year-old self

SHOULD I GO TO COLLEGE? WHAT ABOUT STUDENT LOAN DEBT?
•Describes what college is
•Promotes thoughtful self-reflection
•Outlines your options post-high school
•Offers tragically hilarious truths about teaching
•Reaffirms the code of personal responsibility
•Likens student loans to dragons that need to be slain

ALL PROCEEDS OF THIS BOOK GO TOWARD 
HELPING STUDENTS PAY OFF THEIR 
STUDENT LOAN DEBT.

Hello nice to meet you! Tell us a bit about you where are you from and other than writing what else do you enjoy?

Hi there! Thank you for having me! I always appreciate the time people take in getting to know me.

I am C. S. Johnson, and I write in a variety of genres, mostly fantasy or science fiction. I started writing largely as a way to cope with reality, and I found out that it really helped and I enjoyed it a lot. Since then, I’ve been working to keep at it. There are a lot of other benefits to writing I’ve noticed, and meeting new people and getting to talk about interesting ideas are just some of them.

For my own favorite types of books to read, I enjoy a variety, just as I enjoy writing. I think in a lot of my own books that there are several other books that lend their influence. I do have to laugh, because my favorite books are usually memoirs or biographies, but I write fantasy and speculative fiction.

Who is your favourite author, is there anyone out there that inspires you?

I have a large variety of favorite authors, and I am sure I haven’t read some of them yet. If I had one go-to author, I would pick C. S. Lewis; I have never read anything of his I haven’t loved, needed, or deeply appreciated in some way. As for inspiration, my mother is my first spark among the fires of my heart. She was the one who taught me to read, and she is the one who is still out-reading me every week. I love writing books I know she will enjoy, even if she is not as much of a fantasy reader.

So you’ve published a series, what is the series about?

I’ve published a couple of series now, and I’m working through the last book of one more. The first series I wrote was the Starlight Chronicles; it is my epic superhero fantasy adventure, about an egotistical teenager who, after finding out he is a fallen star with supernatural power, is reluctant to save his city from evil. It’s a very dry, sarcastic sort of series, alternatively cynical and poignant, as my protagonist faces off the trials and tribulations of high school life and growing up. So far, my other series are a little softer in tone and subtler at the satire.

What was it like creating back to back stories that link?

For me, it’s like watching a heartbeat on an EKG; book one sputters some, and then shoots up, fast and hard; book two dips down lower, almost in a needed recovery, before striking back; and then the rest of the series books’ start the entire process over again, offering a persistent rhythm that becomes the heart song of a story.

Kim: 🙂 I love that !! Haha, very good way to describe it.

What has been your most proud moment as an author?

My author career has been marked with a lot of proud moments—I’ve had a Hollywood producer tell me my series is wonderful and she’s rooting for it to be picked up by a studio (Please, Dear God, please, haha!), I’ve had a very famous movie star compare it to Harry Potter and Tolkien, and I’ve had a lot of great readers turn into friends as we’ve gotten to know each other. I have a whole list of people in that group that I’ve designated my “Almost Famous Readers,” since I jokingly say that as an author, I’ll be famous for being almost famous one day. I even had one of them make me an award plaque and send it to me, and I cherish it.

If I had to pick one moment, I’d say it has to be the day when my young son, who does not like to read that much, told me he wanted to write a book. I actually opened a document for him to work on my computer, and he wrote out a small book’s worth of a story. I was absolutely amazed and profoundly proud of him.

Kim: Ohhhhhh my  heart just melted, that is so sweet. I hope he continues. I love it when children get involved, especially boys who are less likely to read. My son thankful has learned to love to read, whether he’ll write is another story as he hates it, then again he’s only five. He would rather do colouring-in.

Was there ever a time you wanted to pick up your laptop, and then launch it out the window with frustration?

Yes. It happens almost every week, like swirly, sporadic clockwork.

Am I the only one who gets hung up on commas? Do they make you go blah! when you’re writing?

I think every author has a punctuation thing they either love or hate. I am a huge semicolon lover; give me a long sentence where it will list detailed, specific things, offering up new insights while solidifying the foundational logic as it rambles on. It is glorious to watch such beauty grow and unfold.

If I have a thing to hate about commas, it is when people use them wrongfully. Uncoincidentally, this usually happens when the comma is actually supposed to be a semicolon.

What three tips would you give any aspiring writer?

Since I have written a lot of books, I do get asked a lot of questions about how to write a better story. I actually wrote a book for them, and it just came out this year. The book is “Good Writing is Like Good Sex: Sort of Sexy Thoughts on Writing” and it’s a quick, provocative overview of what makes a “sexy” book. So to answer this question honestly, I’d say, “Buy my book, read my book, and then try to use what I say in the book.” But I feel like that might be a little too pushy, haha.

Kim: Girl… you just said it 🙂

What are you working on now? What will you release next?

Right now, I am juggling a few projects. I have two books I am working on this month. I mentioned it before, but I am finishing up The Order of the Crystal Daggers, my Cinderella meets Mission: Impossible historical fiction set in 1870s Prague. In this final book of the series, Eleanora, my protagonist, has to rescue a kidnapped prince and save the Emperor from assassination, all while working to repair her relationship with her brother and uncover the hidden truth about her mother’s past. Luckily, she’s got quite a few people to help her, although plenty of them are juggling their own problems and facing the consequences of their own secrets. The series has been so fun and wonderfully received, so I am sad to see it end, but I am also nervous about sending it off with the seriousness and the level of diligence it’s due.

The second novel I am working on my science fantasy story, Till Human Voices Wake Us. It’s toeing the literary fiction line, but it’s about a college student who finds out the hard way that his uncle’s stories about being held hostage by mermaids who don’t believe in humans are all true. It’s a book about questions of reality, insanity, hope, and meaning, and what it means to be human. I am hoping to have it out for summer.

I also have a few short stories I’m working on for publication later this year and early next year.

Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

I think pride is rightfully the most deadly of sins, and partially because it is something that must be closely monitored. Confidence as a writer will help; arrogance will only lead to harm.

If you have a lot of confidence as a writer, I think you also have to have a lot of humility to make it work. I think I am more likely to err on the side of hesitation as a writer just because I know my limitations as a writer very well. My husband works in healthcare and it is my apparently favorite joke ever to tell people he goes into work to save real lives, and I stay home and ruin fake ones.

My stories are icing on a cake, but in order to have the cake, we need people who know how to bake and people who can build things in which those things are baked. I offer stories to entertain, to get people to think, to reframe a perspective. They are part of my heart, but my heart was not made for everyone. Sometimes, it was not made for a particular person right now, either. I was utterly appalled the first time I read 1984 in high school. The second time I read it, after a few more years passed, I loved it. There is very little point in offering someone icing if they are looking for someone to give them bread.

I have had a few people recognize me off the street, and I am more dumbfounded than anything else when they do. I honestly never expect that reaction to change.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

 

I am tremendously thankful to my readers for the time they spend inside one of my books. I know, as a writer, and as a mother, there is so little time in the world when one is attempting to read. When I get a book review, I am always grateful; but I am considerably, and understandably much more happy when I find that the reviewer has either enjoyed my books, or they found my books to be good despite the unmet expectations in my characters, plot, or presentation.

I know there are plenty of talented writers who write books that are more fun, more fantastical, or just more of what is expected than I do. While I do try to make it fun, and keep it fun, I write books that make you smile, make you think, make you laugh. I tell people that I don’t write “Candy bar books,” but I don’t write “full-course meal books,” either. Maybe a good meal replacement bar would be a good analogy for my work, or we can get the icing analogy back out and put it on some carrots (which, thanks to some of my pregnancy moments, I know is better than it sounds.)

Either way, I rejoice with the good reviews, and I call my mom over the bad ones. She knows I have a soft heart, even if I have to hide it from the rest of the world.

What was your hardest scene to write?

I feel bad for admitting this one, but when you’ve had a lot of “last battles,” sometimes it’s hard to just write out the fight scenes and the “save-the-world” moments without feeling repetitive or a case of oncoming “writer-ex-machina,” where convivence and coincidence just collide too much for the writing to be good. As I was finishing up my steampunk book, One Flew Through the Dragon Heart, I told some of my readers I was ready just to nuke everything and be done with it.

I had one of my snarky reader friends tell me that nukes aren’t steampunk-approved, and we had a good laugh about that, and that made it easier to go back and try again.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It always depends on the book, but six to eight weeks is my average lately. I have some novellas which are shorter, and seriously, those don’t take nearly as long. I have some longer books which don’t ever seem to take that long at all, but it depends on the size more than anything else. Life interrupts me a lot along the way, too. I am a wife and a stay at home mom with two young kids; I like making my house more of a home, and there are other things I love that require my attentions, and I have been trying to be better about making sure social media especially is more of a back-burner thing of late.

What’s your favourite book and why?

My most consistently favorite book is Till We Have Faces, by C. S. Lewis. I try to read it every year and every time I do, I get something different out of it. It was a book I first read during a tumultuous time in my life, and I have never forgotten the magic of the first readthrough. This past year I read it and felt more drawn than ever to Revidal, the main character Orual’s other sister, and I like books that make great use of their secondary characters like that. The sudden loss of her sister’s favouritism and their unity must have been devastating to her, and her growing loneliness and desperation as Orual took the throne seemed much more relatable to me as an adult.

 

Thank you for joining is this month, I wish the author well with her release, and you can connect with her below!

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About the Author

C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me

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New Release: Maiden’s Peak by Kirsty E. Carter+ Giveaway!! (Murder Mystery) @KirstyEcarter @RRBookTours1

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Maiden'sPeak

If you are looking for a good mystery with a hint of the paranormal, you will want to read on! I have an excerpt for you, and a chance to win a copy of the book!

Maiden’s Peak

Expected Publication Date: May 7th, 2019

Genre: Murder Mystery/ Paranormal

Publisher: Between the Lines Publishing

Victor Shelton ran from his family’s legacy of prophetic dreams at seventeen but finds at twenty-eight that he is unable to run from the nightmares that plague him. Haunted by images of his own death each night he follows the fleeting memory of the town limit’s sign in his nightmare to a quaint Colorado town.

Beckoned to a forbidding mountain peak with a past riddled by ghost stories and legends, Victor must figure out who is friend or foe. Can he unravel the secrets of the enigmatic citizens of Carver’s Corner and solve his own murder before it happens?

Perhaps the answers are in the siren song of whatever is calling him to the caves under Maiden’s Peak. The song in the darkness urges him on, but whether it is to his death or to his salvation, Victor can’t say. All he knows is that once before he had not heeded the call of his dreams and someone had died. He can’t let that happen again.

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Excerpt

A solitary scrap of paper was swept from the cold pavement by the updraft. The gust of wind lifted my hair and ghosted a frigid breath across my neck, causing the hairs there to stand on end. I’d come to this small town chasing a dream, but not the kind that beckons a person to great things. No, the dream that had brought me here is the kind that leaves you huddled in a corner, quietly sobbing.

Two months had passed since the nightmares began, and I hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep since. Even as I thought about it, flashes of the nightmare came to the front of my mind, and I quickly veered my thoughts away to keep the images at bay.

Somehow, I thought coming here to Carver’s Corner would make it better. This place was featured in the nightly horror show that my dreams had become. Being here didn’t make the dream come into clarity or logically fall into place. I had never been to this town and probably would not have missed its presence in my life if I hadn’t been beckoned here by the insistent dreams.

My grandmother insisted that we had some cunning folk in our family tree. Cunning folk, in case you’ve been blessed with ignorance, is another name for wise men and women who heal and help others through both natural and magical means.

That might not seem so bad, but at seventeen, I rebelled with every fiber of my being. I wanted so much to be like everyone else. I tried so hard to pretend that I wasn’t plagued most nights by dreams that were seemingly not my own.

Sometimes the dreams came true; sometimes they merely taunted me. The embarrassment of misinterpreting a dream was something one truly had to experience before you could appreciate it. The looks on people’s faces when they had deemed you unbalanced was something you never got used to. The straw that finally broke the proverbial camel’s back came at a party in my junior year of high school. For weeks, I had dreamed of a fire at that party. It was the only reason—other than my then-crush, of course—that I had gone. As it turned out, I’d read the signs wrong, and the dream was more my anxiety than anything else. Needless to say, Betsy Stevens didn’t appreciate me ruining her party by screaming about a fire that never came to be.

A couple weeks after the incident, I left and went to live with my dad, who was on the East Coast—far away from talks of cunning folk and prophetic dreams. The move had worked in many ways. My dreams even stopped for a time, but as with all good things, it did not last.

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About the Author

Kristy E Carter

Kristy has been making up her own stories for entertainment for most of her life. Eleven years back she decided that perhaps others would want to walk through the worlds she has created. With over 10+ books in both urban fantasy and cozy mystery, Kristy has allowed readers to venture into realms where magic lives and murder mingles with humor. She currently lives with her family in the Southeastern United States where she helps other authors when she is not writing her own novels as a freelance writer and editor with eleven years of experience. With many projects in the works, there are sure to be more worlds for courageous adventurers to delve into.

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